Song of the Week: The Beauty of Gray
Song of the Week: For Sale

The 96 Theses: Suggestions for Improving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 61-72

61.  The Church teaches that the Book of Abraham is an ancient document written by the hand of Abraham upon papyrus and translated by miraculous means by Joseph Smith, despite a mountain of evidence that suggests to a reasonable certainty the falsity of that proposition.

62.  The Church should acknowledge that the Book of Abraham scrolls and the text written thereon do not date from Abraham’s day and that the text of the Book of Abraham produced by Joseph Smith has no connection whatsoever to any ancient document but is instead a product of Joseph Smith’s own creative genius.

63.  The Church teaches that the Lamanite people of the Book of Mormon are the “principal ancestors” of the Indians of North, South, and Central America.

64.  The Church should acknowledge that scientific evidence demonstrates to a degree approaching absolute certainty that the Indians are not descendants of any Israelite group from the time period covered by the Book of Mormon text and should stop teaching as true something which is demonstrably false.

65.  The Church teaches that the Book of Mormon is a literal history of (essentially) two separate groups of people who sailed from the Middle East to the Americas, the first coming in wooden submarines around 2200 B.C.E. and the second in a surface ship around 600 B.C.E. The Church teaches that these separate groups established great civilizations with populations that numbered in the millions. The second group allegedly built great cities, had use of the wheel, smelted various metals, had a system of money, planted crops (such as barley), and domesticated animals (such as the horse and oxen). This civilization also practiced a hybrid form of Jewish Christianity during the 600 years before the birth of Christ. Both civilizations were destroyed at similar last great battles involving the use of weapons of steel by millions of combatants resulting in at least two million deaths. Both civilizations also kept written records on metal plates. The Church misleads its members and potential converts by producing videos and funding apologetic organizations that suggest there is scientific evidence supporting the Book of Mormon’s historical narrative.

66.  The Church should acknowledge that there is no scientific evidence supporting the Book of Mormon’s historical narrative, should stop producing videos and teaching materials that suggest otherwise, and should stop funding the production of materials by apologetics organizations that suggest otherwise. The Church should stop teaching as historical fact anything for which there is no evidence in support.

67.  The Church teaches that human history began with a literal Adam and Eve, who were the first of our species to live on earth and that no human beings lived and died on earth prior to Adam and Eve, who lived approximately 6000 years ago.

68.  The Church should acknowledge that scientific evidence demonstrates to a degree approaching absolute certainty that human beings of our species (homo sapiens) have lived and died continuously on the earth for at least 100,000 years, that animals, including earlier human predecessors of homo sapiens, lived and died on Earth for millions of years, and that life and death on Earth began approximately 3.5 billion years ago. The Church should stop teaching something as true which is demonstrably false.

69.  The Church allows marriages for “time and all eternity” to be performed only in the temple but does not allow nonmembers or members without temple recommends to witness such weddings. And the Church does not allow a couple to have a civil ceremony before going to the temple; the couple has to wait a year after a civil ceremony to be sealed in the temple (except in some countries where civil marriages are required by law).

70.  The Church should allow family members to attend marriages and sealings in the temple or, alternatively, the Church should allow couples with family members not holding temple recommends to have a civil wedding ceremony followed soon thereafter by a temple sealing (as it does in some countries where required by law).

71.  The Church requires members who have been through the endowment ceremony in the temple to wear “both day and night” special undergarments with Masonic markings on them. The undergarments can be purchased only through Church-owned businesses. The Church teaches its members that the “garments” will be a “protection” to them as long as they wear them and failure to wear the garment will place the member in Satan’s power.

72.  The Church should abandon the garments altogether as a vestige of Joseph Smith’s scheme to keep polygamy a secret.

Comments

-Domokun-

Equality, in the second clause of #69, in countries where the government don't recognize religious wedding ceremonies, LDS are allowed to have a civil ceremony preceding the temple sealing without the one-year waiting period. Some countries recognize religious weddings as legally valid, such as in the USA, and so the temple sealing is also the wedding ceremony in those cases. I think it's interesting that the difference in waiting a year or not for a temple sealing following a civil wedding is due entirely to geographical location. If it's an irrevocably decreed law of heaven, why the uneven policy?

Equality

Good point, -Domo-.

I think the reason for it is obvious. In the U.S., where a couple is not required by law to have a civil ceremony before going to the temple, the church uses the temple as extortion to extract tithing funds from family members who want to attend their loved one's wedding. It's a form of control exerted over those who might not otherwise be willing to actively support the church with their time, talents, and treasure.

Lunar Quaker

I also think that the one-year rule is a means of extortion. I don't see any rationale for it. The rule causes more harm than good. It only serves the church, and since most of the folks in SLC don't have immediate family outside of the church, they don't understand the pain that this causes some families.

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