The Anti’s Anti Site

Rusty - April 4, 2006

In the Church we get pretty regular instruction to stay away from certain influences (such as anti-Mormon literature) that can have a potentially damaging effect on our testimonies. I wonder if in the Anti-Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints if they get similar instructions. If they do then posts like Ronan’s latest would surely be on thier list of DO NOT VISIT.

Thanks for the post Ronan (and everyone who commented), that’s the kind of stuff that strengthens me.

7 Comments »

  1. Your post made me think of an anecdote from my mission.

    Although Seventh-Day Adventists are not anti-Mormons per se, or that is, in the sense you mean, I was genuinely surprised that many of the Seventh-day Adventists that I ran into in Berlin and other areas of northeastern Germany utterly refused to touch the Book of Mormon, let alone read it. Because more than one exhibited this curious trait, I concluded that it must have been due to some explicit instruction to them by their leaders.

    Essentially, the Book of Mormon itself could be considered the anti anti-mormon site.

    Comment by john f. — April 4, 2006 @ 7:33 pm

  2. i’m curious why the church has to tell people to stay away from certain things that might question their beliefs (although i notice you said things “that can have a potentially damaging effect on our testimonies” i think they’re the same thing). would not the church want you to question your faith, the reasons why you believe the things you do, work out those answers and then in the end wouldn’t you be a better believer because of that search? instead, it seems to me, that you get a bunch of people blindly following, not knowing what exactly or why exactly they believe certain things. the only thing they’re sure of is, oh, i better stay away from such and such because the church said so.

    Comment by cara — April 5, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

  3. cara,

    I see what you mean but I think there’s merit in avoiding certian things for a couple of reasons. One could be that our testimonies may not be ready to wrestle with complicated questions when we are still trying to gain solid ground on the basics.
    More importantly, however, is that by searching out, visiting and learning from anti-Mormon sites will cause far greater doubt and ill spirit then good. I was on a kick for a short time. trying to form my own apologetics, but I soon realized all I gained from it was a spirit of contention and darkness. Not light and truth or a strengthening of testimony. That’s best done by studying the gospel.

    Comment by Bret — April 6, 2006 @ 3:17 pm

  4. I love to read what they are saying about us. And sometimes my testimony is shaken…for a while. But soon enough the spirit whispers and I become so much stronger. I think it is an individual thing. Some people should absolutely avoid it. But some people are strengthened by it. Think of it as building up an immunity to poison. Take small doses from time to time. Allow your body to become used to the small doses. Then repeat. Eventually, like the Dred Pirate, even the strongest, most convincing evidence they throw at you will have no effect.
    But by telling all to avoid it throws a very alluring light upon it. That alone gives anti-mormon info some credibility. And that is what weakens testimony. I say face head on what scares you. That is my opinion.

    Comment by john cline — April 6, 2006 @ 5:25 pm

  5. The anti’s are winning. The church has essentially stopped growing, and may even be shrinking slightly. Only the high Mormon birthrate prevents a decline on the scale of the mainline protestant churches. All the high-priced PR and new temples in the world aren’t changing that. Retention and activity rates are terrible. Throughout the country huge Evangelical churches sprout everywhere. How is your ward doing?

    The Church has to confront the anti’s head on, fearlessly. If this means some serious, painful re-examination and re-interpretation of LDS history, so be it. It may mean tolerating radically varying views of the BoM itself (needless to say, this already quietly exists…there are plenty of temple-going members who, in their heart of hearts, do not believe the BoM is an ancient document). The Community of Christ has taken steps in the right direction, but only time will tell if this has saved or doomed them as a viable denomination.

    Comment by Mike — April 7, 2006 @ 2:09 am

  6. Gee, last time I looked we are still converting people and a good pace and retention rates are up. For the most part people don’t leave the church through the influence of anti-Mormons, but through the social situation in the wards in which they live.

    Apoligetics is ultimately futile, at least in the Mormon case, because it does not connect with how the faith and faith itself works in everyday life.

    Comment by N. Tolman — April 11, 2006 @ 12:44 pm

  7. I agree with N. Tolman in that “faith and faith itself works in everyday life”. I honestly have no idea what the conversion and/or retention rates are, but I do know that we shouldn’t tolerate any such views of the Book of Mormon any more than we would the Bible or any holy scripture.

    Comment by Adam — April 19, 2006 @ 4:11 pm

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