Friday, June 1, 2012
The LDS Emergent Church
“Truth is the most important thing.” I was sitting across the table from Elder Cody and his partner in the local Mexican restaurant. Five months earlier they had stopped by my house to give me a copy of the “Book of Mormon.” I told them that I would read the book and was willing to discuss it with them. When they returned five months later I invited them to join me and a friend (Pastor Josh Miller) for lunch.
At the beginning of our lunch conversation I made it clear that I was not interested in any promises, guarantees or benefits that any religion or philosophy had to offer until it could be proven that the religion was true. Elder Cody agreed and we began our discussion with a series of questions I had regarding the “Book of Mormon.” We both agreed that the burden of proof rested upon them to show that the “Book of Mormon” was not necessarily true but merely plausible.
I had previously mark passages in the BOM that I felt were in need of explanation. I pointed out the curious repetitive use of phrases (“behold,” “and it came to pass,” etc.). I point out the Semitic idioms, use of 1600’s-KJV words, Greek, French, etc. I spent a great deal of time pointing out many of the items listed in the BOM were out of place or in the wrong time (compasses, steel, elephants in North America, etc.). After some thirty minutes of showing that the BOM could not be true because it does not relate to reality, Elder Coby says “Have you prayed and sincerely asked that God would show you that this is true? I believe it is true because God has shown me that it is true.”
Please notice the contradiction and logical flaw. Coby had told me earlier that truth was what we must base our beliefs on. Truth is self-evident. For something to be true it must (at least) not contradict itself and it must be reality. Coby (like so many others) accepts the category of objective truth but is reliant upon a subjective verification (his feelings), even if his feelings contradict reality.
I pointed out that feelings and assurance alone are not reliable to determine truth. In fact, feelings can mislead. I used the example of the Muslims who flew the planes into buildings in the US some years ago. There can be no doubt these men were sincere believers of their religion. They believed they could commit murder and suicide and receive eternal benefits. However, their feelings and beliefs were not the test for reality. If so, then Cody and the Muslims must be right because they both have sincere feelings. But this is not possible because Mormons and Muslim religions contradict. They both cannot be true.
The Gospel message was presented. I pointedly told them that the BOM is not true because it does not represent reality and that their beliefs were false. Sadly, later that day I saw them on their bicycles spreading their heresies, working hard to be a god and stifling their intellect to maintain the lies that they have chosen to believe.