LDS Mormon Primary Children





Should we tell our children the truth about Mormonism?
by Tal Bachman

1.) If the church is all it claims, then no sacrifice would be too great for it; but if it is not what it claims, then NO sacrifice ought to be made for it at all.

2.) If you have come to conclude that the LDS Church is a fraud, tell your children why. Stop deluding yourself, out of fear and emotional dependence, into thinking that a church which would rather see your child come home dead from his mission, or see you go bankrupt partly because of your tithes, offerings, and time wasted on the thing while it spends billions on real estate and radio stations, really is "the best thing out there", and that you ought to just let them believe it "because it's good for them".

Can your children hear good things taught at a Mormon church service? Of course. Does that justify lying through omission to your children because you've bought the cult scare tactics about them turning into drug addicts if they don't swear slavish obedience to some village magician's successor as president of a fraudulent "one, true church"? No way.

You can hear "good things" pretty much anywhere (I know this may be hard to believe for those born and raised in the church in Utah...); and there is absolutely no reason why good, true things need to be mixed up with nonsense which may actually be very harmful.

Is it really so crazy to imagine that virtue is its own reward? Yes, if you're an active apostate, like one of these "liberal-Mormon" types who knows it's a fraud but just keeps wishing "the church would get with it." One of the few straightforward things Gordon B. Hinckley has summoned the courage to emit in the past decade is this statement: "either it is a fraud, or it is not". And if it is, it ought to be treated as one.

Every day your child grows older constructing him or herself, and learning how to make sense of the world, on a completely fraudulent foundation, making all his/her most important decisions based on comments no more divinely inspired than those of Brian David Mitchell's, the more you set him or her up for crushing disappointment. Why do this? The sooner they find out, the easier it will be. So my opinion for what it's worth is, we do our jobs as parents and prepare our children for a happy, responsible life by ceasing to ape Joseph Smith and Gordon B. Hinckley in letting them think a lie is the truth, and the truth is a lie.

I'm not saying we necessarily force our children to stop going to primary. If we explain to our children why we believe that Santa's not real, but they still want to send letters to him, what are we going to do? But at least we will have done your part. Doesn't that make sense?

I'm completely sick of getting e-mails from people telling me how they just can't level with their children about the church because it will "upset them". Duh - of course it will upset them. Is there nothing worse than being upset for awhile? If your daughter's dating some guy you find out is a convicted felon, do you keep quiet because she'll be upset? Our children being upset is a lot better than them wasting the only life they have, that I know of, devoting themselves to a harmful cult run by men like the duplicitous Gordon Hinckley, the silly egomaniac Thomas Monson, and the odd, angry Boyd K. Packer, who would probably rather see his own son dead, as Joseph Fielding Smith once said about his own sons, than acknowledge he was a homosexual?

Besides, the sooner your children know, the easier it will be for them to handle it. And would we keep it quiet if it meant our children getting killed for the thing? The odds are overwhelming that they never would have to die for Mormonism, but that isn't because missionaries still aren't serving in very dangerous places, and taking gross risks for it out of an exaggerated sense of invincibility.

But Gordon B. Hinckley did, and does, take that risk with the members; and because neither he nor any church leader will open the archives up for fear of "damaging" information getting out (what should there be to fear?), I regard them all as complicit in the murder or suffering of everyone who has paid a price for this church. Everyone who has ever stonewalled or obfuscated or outrightly lied for the thing is complicit. The General Authorities all ought to be ashamed of themselves, demanding that members vow to be honest with their fellow men, when they don't even know the meaning of the word, and would rather see people dead than be so. The whole attitude is elitist, literally, to a potentially lethal degree. And these are the humble (salaried) servants of a man who supposedly gave his life for others, and who said "the truth shall make you free", and "do unto others as you would have them do unto you"? The sick truth is that Mormon leadership and apologists, in their allegiance to the organization over truth (however personally amiable they might be as individuals), make a mockery of the very man they claim as "the first Mormon". What a sick, unfunny joke.

We raised our children, with the best of intentions, in a cult-like organization, teaching them that the way to please us and win approval from their peers, was to get up in front of 200 people once a month, and LIE, by announcing that they "knew" something which they didn't know. We taught them to bear false witness, as did Elder Packer in his "Candle" monstrosity, to be dishonest with their fellow men, and that really sucks, and I say we ought to try to undo the damage by leveling with them now. And once we do, then let them make their own decisions.

3.) More broadly, and lastly, I remain completely unable to find any validity to the argument, first spun out by Plato and carried on in our own time by a few Straussians, Stalinists, Nazis, religious leaders, etc., that humans are so completely stupid as to require being force-fed consciously crafted lies to function healthily. But even if that were the case, I should say that no man has the right to presume that another requires lies; if lies really are necessary for life, then each man ought to, and presumably would very naturally, unconsciously create his own. And maybe we do anyway in some ways, even in the most liberal of environments.

But for us to consciously create a myth, or come to see a myth for what it is, and then, out of some sense of our superiority, some sense of our "right to rule because we get it", impose it on sincere others whose only crime is to trust us, is to take away their freedom, to bind them to us through fraud, to perpetuate our own advantage over them, to make war really upon our fellow man. It is to set them up for bitter disappointment once they come to see, like us, the myth for what it is. But this is rather like the attitude I sense in certain church leaders (and hear anecdotal evidence of). But it is just wrong.

And by the way, for Boyd K. Packer, who calls himself an apostle of Jesus Christ, to draw moral equivalence between not gratuitously insulting overweight church office building ladies, and withholding facts from people who are devoting their entire lives to a church based on claims those facts might disprove, really says a lot about how totally immoral Mormon (or other such organizations') "morality" can get.

I just can't see why truth should need lies to sustain it, and if someone can tell me why, I am happy to listen. Maybe there is something about the whole Mormon theory of "'truth' creation and management" that I'm missing.

4) A close relative of mine told me some months ago that even if there were no plates, God and Jesus didn't appear to Joseph, and Peter, James and John didn't appear either to bequeath the priesthood to him, that "the church would still be true".

LDS Radio "personality" Van Hale continues to proclaim that the church is true, despite acknowledging that the Book of Mormon is not a translation of an ancient record, which of course necessarily means that either he believes that the angel Moroni was lying, or that there was no angel Moroni and Joseph Smith was lying. Yet, "the church is still true".

LDS historian Davis Bitton delivers an essay in which he claims that a testimony of the church doesn't depend on a testimony of the history of the church, despite the fact that, given that the foundational events of the church ALL HAPPENED IN THE PAST, and thus exist under the category of "history", this is a logical impossibility. He even advocates playing mind games with yourself prior to reading church historical documents so as not to have your faith damaged, e.g., imagining the worst thing you could find out about Joseph before research so that you are always pleasantly surprised.

Daniel Peterson acknowledges that the Old Testament is a "re-imagination" of Israelite history by a later Israelite historian, despite the O.T. being a canonized portion of LDS scripture, and despite JS never proclaiming it as such though he produced an "inspired" revision of it (although Joseph, oddly considering his gargantuan sexual appetite, did take the opportunity of declaring that the Song of Solomon wasn't inspired scripture); but DCP will not acknowledge that another canonized portion of LDS scripture, the Pearl of Great Price, might likewise be a "re-imagination" of Abrahamic history, or the BOM a "re-imagination" of American history by a would-be American historian named Joseph Smith. All the more peculiar is that the only reason DCP acknowledges this about the OT is the voluminous evidence that it is, in fact, a "reimagination" - but the voluminous evidence weighing in favour of the BOM being a "re-imagination" of American history by a later American historian, and also in favour of the PGP being a "re-imagination", have been rendered non-existent and therefore entirely untroubling to him. (Talk about the fallacy of "special reasoning"...).
So, "the church is still true".

Dallin Oaks twists hiself into pretzels trying to create rationales for believing mutually contradictory or flat-out bizarre church claims, and even once went so far as to claim that he would still believe if his superiors decided that the BOM wasn't to be considered historical anymore. So for Dallin, as for my relative, even if Joseph had lied about the BOM, "the church would still be true".

Both amateur and professional church defenders post messages on boards and send personal e-mails to guys like me which, almost without exception, make no sense, or as little I should say, as the rancourous ramblings of Nation of Islam defenders, right wing populist conspiracy theorists, alien-made crop circle believers, etc.

And rank and file members all throughout the church, like me for years, are creating the most absurd alternative realities in their minds in order to keep on believing in something which no one, not DCP nor Gordon Hinckley himself, can even explain coherently in the end, and which quite apart from external reality could never possibly be true given its many internal inconsistencies...

So my question is: At what point should people - not just within Mormonism, but in any group like it whose beliefs just, in the end, cannot sustain contact with reality but in which we are so emotionally invested we can't admit that to ourselves and so declare war on our own minds - kind of be considered officially nuts?

Tal Bachman

Top of Page | Home Page | Mormon Biographies | E-Mail

Copyright, all rights reserved.
Terms of Use