Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Oh say what is truth..."

I have noticed recently a trend with my Facebook wall.  It always occurs over the weekend, on the  day of rest.  It is as if the Hounds of Hell are unleashed on my poor unbelieving soul.  I want to "bear/bare my testimony" that the Hastening the Work program of the LDS church is happening.  Every Sunday my wall becomes a pinterest poster board for little quotes and deep thoughts by my Mormon friends.  The pictures of sunsets, beaches, that solo tree on a hill combined with an emotional faith declaration are really pulling at my heart strings--no not really.  I don't  care that members on the internet are sharing these little pearls of great price, at least I can block them.  I  must, however, make a stand against the "knowledge of truth" the members claim.

I must admit that I'm no expert in linguistics.  I can speak/write English correctly, sometimes.  I did learn a foreign language for my LDS mission.  I was fluent to an extent, but I have haven't studied that language for over 20 years.  I state this to be upfront and honest. I don't consider myself an expert on this topic.

When members state they "know the church is true", what does that mean?  To Mormons, knowledge is the the fruit of faith.   You cannot obtain "knowledge" through secular means.  Only true "knowledge" comes from God.   All other knowledge is not trustworthy.  Members claim that science is always changing.  But to be clear, science isn't a truth, only a process to determine truth.   Yes, science changes answers as new evidence comes forth. That is normal and expected.  To members, God's ways never change.  Unfortunately, God has changed His mind on several issues.  So is God's method of determining truth any different from science?

What is the root word for truth.  According to my research, truth came from the Latin word ver.  As in; to verify.   I will use the Latin definition to clarify my point.  Some things are verifiable, some are not. To members, one can verify truth by praying about it.  In the Book of Mormon, Moroni 10:3-5, we learn truth by praying and asking God. One question to this claim, what if someone got a negative answer from God?  Ah, the double bind,  God won't give you a negative answer, because the Book of Mormon is true,  is the normal response.  They will tell you, that you must try harder with more faith.  Which leads to another question, what is the root word of faith?

Faith comes from the Greek word pistis, which means persuasion or to become persuaded.  That means when you have sufficient faith, you have become sufficiently persuaded to buy into what is being presented.  If you are buying a time share, you will be presented with all the facts and then make a decision.  How this process is applied in the Mormon church is as follow:  God won't give you a yes answer until you have exercised enough faith.  Or in other words, until you have been persuaded adequately to accept the story.  This is just confirmation bias.  This persuasion comes from other individuals at first.  Leaders, parents, mentors, friends all begin the process.   Over time, however, we internalize all the teachings and begin to persuade ourselves.  That is the hook. That is why it is so hard to leave Mormonism or why loved ones never leave.  We have persuaded ourselves it is true.  At that point, we "know" and nothing will change that.  

Mormons who get up and pound the pulpit every month stating "I know the church is true. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet. I know the Book of Mormon is true", really know.   They  have obtained knowledge, according to their own bias that they developed.  Unfortunately, it has no basis in the real world around us.


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