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Dan Vogel videos on the Anthon Manuscript - 2/28/14
Award-winning author Dan Vogel made a 3-part set of youtube videos on the Anthon manuscript. The Anthon Manuscript is said to contain actual characters from the book of Mormon. If they could be verified as ancient writings as Professor Charles Anthon reportedly did in 1828, then this could give enormous scientific evidence for the historical claims of the Book of Mormon. Watching the videos really helps the viewer understand what the issues are and what likely happened. It is by far the most comprehensive video set on the subject.
Link to: Dan Vogel videos on the Anthon Manuscript
Becoming like God - 2/25/14
The Church just released the next essay addressing troubling issues in its history. Becoming like God
Debunking FAIR - 2/23/14
Letter to a CES Director went viral on the internet in the spring of 2013. In the fall of 2013, LDS apologetic group FairMormon publicly released an analysis of the CES Letter. In response, Jeremy has now released Debunking FAIR's Debunking
Recent changes in the Church - 2/12/14
Ganesh Cherian of Wellington, New Zealand is currently a Stake High Counselor and has served as a bishop for five and a half years. Please read his very insightful blog: A Former Bishop’s Doctrinal Dilemmas
Is change coming to Mormon temple wedding policy? - 2/12/14
Salt Lake Tribune article by Peggy Fletcher Stack
Treating Sensitive Issues in the New Church History Seminary Manual - 2/11/14
This article by Meridian Magazine introduces the new edition of the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History manual for seminary students. The new manual includes a discussion of several sensitive topics in church history. These include such things as the various accounts of the First Vision story, Mountain Meadow Massacre and polygamy.
Unfortunately, the lesson manuals don't address many of the most serious problems of each issue. They often only bring up one or two minor critics's problems of each issue and ignore the hardest-to-explain problems.
For example, the Book of Abraham section only brings up one issue which is that the papyri only date to about 100 BC vs the time of Abraham at 2000 B.C. BOA pg 524-527 (go to unit 31, lesson 152)
The lesson manual doesn't say anything that addresses the real problem with the BOA which is that Egyptologists state that Joseph Smith's translations of the facsimiles and papyri are completely wrong.
The manual sums up the BOA problems with a simple:
Although we do not know the exact method Joseph Smith used to translate the writings, we do know that he translated the book of Abraham by the gift and power of God.
The lesson also has a major contradiction. On page 525 it says:
The Prophet Joseph Smith never claimed the papyri were indeed the writings of Abraham.
Yet, on the same page right it states:
In a statement dated 5 July 1835, Joseph Smith, declaring the importance of these ancient Egyptian writings, recorded: ‘I commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics, and much to our joy found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham.
With these types of superficial answers that don't really address the critics's issues, the next generation of seminary students that use this manual will still be unaware of the most serious problems of Church history. Read full article
Open letter to President Thomas S. Monson - 2/9/14
LDS members have started a movement to prompt the Church to be more open with its history. Please read this well-written letter to the Church asking for more transparency. Consider adding your signature. http://www.mormonopenletter.com/
Thomas Monson issued court summons to answer allegations of fraud - updated 2/26/14
The Prophet of the LDS Church, Thomas S. Monson has been ordered to attend court and face allegations of fraud.
Read more about it here including recent updates: Monson-Summons
Note: The MormonThink website is not involved in this private legal action. We merely report the news.
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Book of Mormon and DNA Studies - 1/31/14
The Church just released the next essay addressing troubling issues in its history. The essay asserts that DNA studies cannot be used decisively to either affirm or reject the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon. See Book of Mormon and DNA Studies
MormonThink response to essays -1/18/14
MormonThink has listed some additional information we have on the Church essays. See Responses to Gospel Topic Essays On LDS.org
Book of Mormon Translation - 12/30/13
The Church just released the 4th essay addressing troubling issues in its history. An essay on the mechanical process in which the Book of Mormon was translated is now in the topical guide of the LDS.org website. Read more about it here: Book of Mormon Translation
Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah - 12/17/13
The Church just released the 3rd essay addressing troubling issues in its history. An essay on Polygamy is now in the topical guide of the LDS.org website. Read more about it here: Plural Marriage
Race and the Priesthood - 12/8/13
The Church just released the 2nd essay addressing troubling issues in its history. An essay on Race and the Priesthood is now in the topical guide of the LDS.org website. Read the essay and our response: Race and the Priesthood
FIRST VISION UPDATES - 11/26/13:
Youtube video & CES Lecture:
Author and retired CES director of 34 years Grant Palmer, gave a lecture at the SLC Library, Nov. 6, 2013. The outline of the lecture can be read here: Joseph Smith's changing view of God as seen in his First Vision accounts
Youtube video: "Joseph Smith's changing view of God" with Grant Palmer
Church essay on the First Vision:
As MormonThink first mentioned on 6/3/13, The LDS Church has released it's first of 13 reported essays addressing controversial historical Church topics. Read more about it here: First Vision Accounts
Church historian acknowledges LDS Church has been keeping information from its members - 11/15/13
Current Church historian Elder Steven E. Snow, who recently replaced Elder Marlin K. Jensen as the Church Historian and Recorder, did an interview with BYU’s Religious Educator on the topic of Church history. In the interview, Elder Snow essentially admits that the Church leaders have suppressed information about Church history. He also tacitly states that they would still be doing so were it not for the internet. Read Truth in Church History: Excerpts from the Religious Educator’s Q&A with Elder Steven Snow
MormonThink billboard goes up in Utah - 11/4/13
MormonThink put up its first billboard in Salt Lake City. To see a picture of it and read how and why this came about, read MormonThink Billboard.
New York Times headline - A Top Mormon Leader Acknowledges the Church ‘Made Mistakes’ - 10/7/13
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency made some startling admissions during the October 2013 conference. From the New York Times:
One of the top leaders in the Mormon Church acknowledged in an address to the church’s global membership on Saturday that past leaders had “made mistakes” that had caused some Mormons to have doubts, an admission that amounts to a significant change in tone in the leadership’s approach to Mormons who question, dissent or defect from the church.
Full article: New York Times
Seventy Hans Mattsson discusses his faith crisis - 7/20/13
In a New York Times article, former LDS Area Authority and member of the 3rd Quorum of the Seventy, Hans Mattsson discusses his faith crisis.
New Book of Abraham video - 6/30/13
This 23 minute video, made by a Latter-day Saint is one of the best, most concise and neutral overviews of the Joseph Smith papyri. He gives an excellent summary of the history of the Book of Abraham, the problems and the apologetic explanations. The Joseph Smith Papyri
For other stories, see What's new? and Latest News on Mormonism