In 2013 the LDS Church began publishing essays on various doctrinal items to add to the Gospel Topics section of their website. They said they’ve done this to clarify some confusing aspects of Mormonism and clear up any confusion.
Unfortunately they’ve only made things worse for themselves by not being forthright in their information. To date we’ve not come across one essay of the eight they’ve published that’s factually honest or correct and we’ve been told there’s more to come.
The first public announcement of the upcoming release of the Joseph Smith Papers came via a BYU Devotional Speech delivered by D. Todd Christofferson, an apostle of the Church. You can read the major highlights of that here or clicking on the embedded link above.
Are Mormons Christians?
In January 2014 the Church came out with a rewrite for their Gospel Topics section. This time they posed the question; ‘Are Mormons Christians?’. As you might imagine we had our own opinion of that!
Becoming Like God
In March 2014 the Church did an about face and set the wheels in motion for members to question their ever evolving doctrine once again.
Their essay on Becoming Like God probably made ol’ Joe roll over in his grave in Carthage, IL. Smith built the Church upon the principle that people had been dragged down by Christian dogma by not teaching everyone could become a god of their own planet so he arrived to set the record straight.
Alas, all that would evolve as well with the latest interpretation of Smith’s teachings. If you ask my mother nothing in her mind has changed; she’s still going to be a goddess wife someday. According to the Church’s latest edits to the Gospel Topics section my mother’s hope of her heavenly status doesn’t coincide with theirs.
Book of Abraham Translation
Several months after the BoM Translation Essay was put out by the Church another essay made its way to the public on the Translation of the Book of Abraham. This time they acknowledged the text from the BoA doesn’t contain the text from the funerary scrolls, but that didn’t stop them from explaining why they’ve canonized it.
Book of Mormon & DNA
In January 2014 the Church published an essay for their Gospel Topics section they dubbed Book of Mormon and DNA Studies.
Today we’re taking a look at their claims in this one and weighing them against factual information we have from none other than the Church itself.
Book of Mormon Translation
In December 2013 the Church quietly released their latest Gospel Topics rewrite and this time around its focus was on the BoM translation. Using a hat and crystal stones to translate the ‘ancient’ plates, Smith and friends published his work at record pace. The Church lauds his fame and genius while critics look at facts. Here’s what the Church said and what we discovered about the BoM Translation –
First Vision Accounts
In December 2013 the Church issued an essay trying to clear up problems in the history of Joseph Smith’s first vision. Ironically, we had just published our investigation of Smith’s first vision accounts a few months beforehand.
Here’s what the Church had to say about Smith’s vision that is now included in their Gospel Topics section.
Here’s the link for Life After Ministries article on Smith’s multiple accounts of his vision.
Race and the Mormon Priesthood
We’re wondering…if the Church isn’t racist then why do they feel that they must publish statements defending themselves? Why don’t they just let their own documentation speak for itself and let it be? In December 2013 the Church issued yet another essay/statement on their position about race.
Peace and Violence among 19th-Century Latter-day Saints
May 2014 saw the Church’s attempt at explaining away their behavior problems in the early days of Mormonism. After reading their latest essay and addition to their Gospel Topics section we felt it necessary to provide the historical truth for those who are unaware of Mormonism’s violent past.
Plural Marriage & Families
In December 2013 the Church published an essay defending their history of polygamy and why they practiced it.
Missing from their explanation was truth. This essay did nothing to clarify any misconceptions as as they gave excuses why they did this or why they continued to practice it after they were ordered by the feds to stop.
The Manifesto & the end of Plural Marriage
In November 2014 the Church published an essay trying to cover their tracks from the events that took place during the tumultuous years of 1890-1904. Not surprisingly, their version of truth doesn’t match up with reality.