Welcome to MormonThink


MormonThink is concerned with truth. As such, we attempt to correct misinformation about the LDS Church made by critics and defenders of the faith (including the Church itself). We present a range of perspectives and viewpoints, privileging those we believe are the most accurate, consistent and empirically valid.

Please start by reading the Introduction.

“Well, we have nothing to hide. Our history is an open book. They may find what they are looking for, but the fact is the history of the church is clear and open and leads to faith and strength and virtues.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley
(Prophet, Seer & Revelator)

~ Dec. 25, 2005 interview with The Associated Press


Top Current Stories


LDS historian Richard Bushman: 9 ProTips from Richard Bushman - 7/21/15

Interesting and candid comments from faithful, LDS historian Richard Bushman for those who are concerned about church history and how to deal with sticky issues. Wheat & Tares article


Salt Lake Tribune: What do progressive Mormons want - 7/20/15

A growing number of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints consider themselves "progressive Mormons."

Although no official definition exists of what constitutes a progressive Mormon, one could loosely define progressive Mormons as those who are less likely than traditional Mormons to believe in (1) obedience to authority above personal inspiration (2) the LDS Church's unique restoration claims (3) literal interpretations of scripture (4) strict traditional observances (i.e. Sabbath observance, modesty, tattoos, Word of Wisdom, etc.) and (5) the unquestioned authority of the leaders of the LDS Church.

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LDS Church Newsroom: Church Leaders Counsel Members After Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Decision - 6/29/15

The following letter from the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is being read in Church meetings across the United States and Canada beginning Sunday, July 5.

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One member's response to the letter


Salt Lake Tribune: On 37th anniversary of priesthood ban’s end, black Mormons say race issues still need attention - 6/9/15

Thirty-seven years ago Monday, the LDS Church announced a momentous decision: Its priesthood would henceforth be open "to all worthy male members," ending a century long ban on black men and boys in its ranks.

The June 8, 1978, change was celebrated throughout The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, leading many Mormons to believe past racial issues were now over.

The change, however, did not explain any reasons for the prohibition in the first place, nor put an end to some of the theological folklore that long had been used to defend the ban, which also kept black Mormon women out of the faith's temples.

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Read MormonThink: Response to the Race and the Priesthood - Response to LDS.org


Salt Lake Tribune: This Mormon Sunday school teacher was dismissed for using church's own race essay in lesson - 5/5/15

It all started with a question.

The Mormon youth simply asked his white Sunday school teacher why the man's Nigerian wife and her family would join a church that had barred blacks from being ordained to its all-male priesthood until 1978. Why, the student wanted to know, was the ban instituted in the first place?

To answer the teen's inquiry, Brian Dawson turned to the Utah-based faith's own materials, including its groundbreaking 2013 essay, "Race and the Priesthood." His research prompted an engaging discussion with his class of 12- to 14-year-olds.

But it didn't please his local lay leaders, who removed him from his teaching assignment — even though the essay has been approved by top Mormon leaders and appears on the church's official website lds.org

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MormonThink's response to essay on Race and the Priesthood


Grant Palmer TV Interview - 4/28/15

On 4/22/15 noted Mormon author Grant Palmer did a TV interview with Jason Wallace on the subject "Why William Law opposed Joseph Smith in Nauvoo" during the last two years of Smith's life. Watch this interesting interview on youtube.


Mormonism Unvailed: Eber D. Howe, with critical comments by Dan Vogel - 3/23/15


Howe's infamous book has often been labeled as 'anti-Mormon' by LDS defenders like Hugh Nibley. However, it is referenced many times in books written by faithful LDS historians like Richard Bushman. The average member doesn't know exactly what to think of the book as many of the things in Howe's book have now been confirmed from faithful sources. We are very much looking forward to reading a critical analysis of this landmark book by award-winning, Mormon historian Dan Vogel when it comes out on April 20, 2015.

Summary: Any Latter-day Saint who has ever defended his or her beliefs has likely addressed issues first raised by Eber D. Howe in 1834. Howe’s famous exposé was the first of its kind, with information woven together from previous news articles and some thirty affidavits he and others collected. He lived and worked in Painesville, Ohio, where, in 1829, he had published about Joseph Smith’s discovery of a “golden bible.” Smith’s decision to relocate in nearby Kirtland sparked Howe’s attention. Of even more concern was that Howe’s wife and other family members had joined the Mormon faith. Howe immediately began investigating the new Church and formed a coalition of like-minded reporters and detractors. By 1834, Howe had collected a large body of investigative material, including affidavits from Smith’s former neighbors in New York and from Smith’s father-inlaw in Pennsylvania. Howe learned about Smith’s early interest in pirate gold and use of a seer stone in treasure seeking and heard theories from Smith’s friends, followers, and family members about the Book of Mormon’s origin. Indulging in literary criticism, Howe joked that Smith, “evidently a man of learning,” was a student of “barrenness of style and expression.” Despite its critical tone, Howe’s exposé is valued by historians for its primary source material and account of the growth of Mormonism in northeastern Ohio.

Read more here


Ancient Ruins and the Book of Mormon - Dan Vogel - 3/2/15

Award-winning author Dan Vogel has released his latest video on Mormonism which we have added to our section on the Book of Mormon Issues.

The purpose of this video is to explore what was known about the ruins and antiquities of the New World before Joseph Smith dictated the Book of Mormon in 1829, and how that information compares with what is claimed in the Book of Mormon. In other words, does the Book of Mormon’s content demand an extensive knowledge of New World antiquities beyond what was known by Joseph Smith’s contemporaries?

Ancient Ruins and the Book of Mormon - Dan Vogel


Moroni and the Swastika: Mormons in Nazi Germany - 2/20/15

This is a fascinating new book for anyone interested in how the LDS Church dealt with Nazi Germany.


Moroni and the Swastika: Mormons in Nazi Germany by David Conley Nelson Ph.D

Summary: While Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist government was persecuting Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses and driving forty-two small German religious sects underground, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continued to practice unhindered. How some fourteen thousand Mormons not only survived but thrived in Nazi Germany is a story little known, rarely told, and occasionally rewritten within the confines of the Church’s history—for good reason, as we see in David Conley Nelson’s Moroni and the Swastika. A page-turning historical narrative, this book is the first full account of how Mormons avoided Nazi persecution through skilled collaboration with Hitler’s regime, and then eschewed postwar shame by constructing an alternative history of wartime suffering and resistance.

Read more here


Video on the Church essays - 1/29/15

Brother Jake made an entertaining and informative 4-minute video on the Church's essays. Of particular note is he makes mention of how the Polygamy in Kirtland and Nauvoo essay is not listed with the other essays on the Church's website: Brother Jake Presents: A Gospel Topics Commercial


MormonThink's response to Church Essay on Joseph Smith's Polygamy - 1/8/15

An editor at MormonThink has compiled a well-received response to the LDS essay entitled 'Plural Marriage in Kirtland & Nauvoo' which was published on the LDS.org website in Oct 2014. Please read Plural Marriage in Kirtland & Nauvoo - Response to LDS.org




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