Lying for the Lord?

I think this uploader believes a clip like this will bring the Mormon Church to its knees. Spoiler: not so much.

If you’d like to talk about the accusations he makes in his pop-ups at the bottom of the screen, let me know (just identify which one, (1), (2), or (3), that you want to discuss). Those accusations are these:

  1. Millet says, “That’s why I group this under Answer the Right Question. The uploader says, “Don’t be honest – this is how you deceive people”. (0:12)
  2. Millet says, “In the spring of 1820, there was a young man named Joseph Smith, Jr., who was concerned about the subject of religion and wanted to know which church to join…”. The uploader says, “Not talking about sin and Jesus – Mormons are not Christ-centered, they are man-centered”. (1:10)
  3. Millet says, “The issue facing the religious world today is “Was Joseph Smith called of God?” The uploader says, “Is this the most important? No it is not!” (2:13)

Still, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see past the spin. I actually love this little segment. I hope at least that the Latter-day Saints appreciate it.

And the title of Millet’s talk was not “Lying for the Lord”. I know – shocker. But just in case…

For those who want to see another place where this same principle is discussed, read Preach My Gospel, the section entitled “Use the Book of Mormon to Respond to Objections” starting on page 108. Trust me – it makes sense.


4 thoughts on “Lying for the Lord?”

  1. You’ve gotta love good ole’ videos like this! I grew up as a Mormon and actually have met with Robert Millet quite a few times – I read his books while on my mission and after and met with him at BYU in an effort to keep my faith. Anyways, I think what he’s explaining here would be OK if it ended after the first conversation. The problem comes when people are baptized without ever knowing about any of the deeper doctrines of the church. This whole “milk before meat” thing is too often an excuse to hide strange doctrine until the listener is adequately invested in time, money, and reputation to back out easily.

    1. I think that’s a fair stance. Latter-day Saints shouldn’t be disingenuous, or try to hide some of the less flattering elements of Church history and doctrine. Still, I’m not sure I’m on board 100%.

      I don’t think that people need to know every doctrine before accepting the gospel. If they know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, learning about (for example) the deification of man shouldn’t change that knowledge. If their testimony in the foundational principles – those relating to Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, the Church, and Jesus Christ – are strong, then they can weather each doctrinal hiccup along the way.

      I also wonder what you mean by hiding deep/strange doctrine. If you’re referring to gospel doctrines, the gospel principles manual goes pretty much as deep as it goes, and investigators take the gospel principles class their first year as new members (they’ve also would have been sitting in on this class during their investigation).

      If, though, you’re referring to something like the unsanitized version of Church history, and suggesting we highlight the flaws of the early leaders, I think that’s a bad idea. If people want to achieve “synthesis” they can research for themselves, but the place for that is not in Sunday school (for a good argument in favor of this, see Dan Peterson’s article here:

      1. I am referring mostly to sanitized history and doctrine. The church has changed quite a bit since it’s founding 180 some years ago, and they have not done a good job defining that change and explaining it to the world. The reason of many of people who leave the church is not the doctrine or the history itself, but is the dishonest approach the church takes towards that explaining it (or not explaining it). Some people don’t like to hear that, but if the church wants to hold on to more members they need to understand the reasons people leave and address them. People want honesty and bold truth in a church that claims to be THE true church and led by God – they don’t want PR answers that carefully skirt the issues.

        Anyways – hopefully I’m not overstaying my welcome here on your blog – but there are my 2 cents 😛

      2. Ah, you’re not overstaying your welcome. There’s always room for people who disagree with me. Stay as long as you like.

        I don’t think the LDS Church will ever step into the shoes you’re laying out, and for an arguably legitimate reason. The Church is in the business of saving souls, if you will, a process involving faith and repentance, among other things. The nice thing about faith and repentance is that they are fairly accessible regardless of professional interest, intellect, or a host of other characteristics. You don’t need to be a Mesoamerican expert to have faith in the Book of Mormon.

        Because this is their objective, they can teach the gospel without being candid about (for example) Joseph Smith’s polygamy, or they myriad other petty anti-Mormon accusations that have been handled time and time again. In this business, the soul saving business, such things are merely distractions. That’s why the Church, and the PR department, largely ignores them.

        If you’re talking about the business of historiography, or academia, then the issues you bring up are of the utmost importance. But those are not businesses the Church is in, which is why I don’t think we’ll ever have the honesty or boldness out of the Church that you talk about.

        If I was in Church leadership, I can’t say I’d do anything different.

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