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InstilledPhear posted a topic in General DiscussionI just got asked some very curious questions about the church by an Ex-Mormon. Any help in researching and/or shedding some light on these would be much appreciated--I don't even know where to start. This is what she asks: "My question revolves around the fact that you keep saying that the only reliable source of information is within the Church, regardless of historical and scientific evidence that is out there. I'm going to go out on a limb here and ask a few questions that I have about doctrine and history and I'd really love to have anyone answer since I haven't found anything on the topics on lds.org, in any talks, or other Church approved materials out there. 1. The Book of Abraham: a few years back the University of Chicago found some of the transcripts that Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Abraham with a letter from Emma verifying this. Egyptologists, both LDS and not, studied it and found that the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham and the actual papyrus had literally nothing in common. Is modern Egyptology completely wrong? 2. Polyandry: out of Joseph's approximately 33 wives, at least 9 of which were married to living, healthy, worthy members. This contradicts celestial marriage. Which leads me to: 3. Evolving celestial laws: if this life is but a single grain of sand in eternity, why has God changed his mind about celestial marriage (doesn't he say that there is no commandment that he gives that won't prepare a way for us to accomplish it?), the blood atonement (Brigham Young), African Americans and the priesthood (was God a racist or does he bend his will to what's popular at the time?), or the numerous changes and editions in every Church material out there (history of the church, the Book of Mormon, editing sermons, and removal of the journal of discourses). 4. And last but not least in the History of the Church volume 6 Joseph Smith boasted he did more than Jesus Christ to keep the church together. In my eyes, a man that has not only seen, but talked with both God and Jesus could never EVER boast like that under ANY circumstances. Why would he say this?" These questions are very difficult and I'm absolutely at a loss of how to answer them. If anyone can spend even a few minutes helping me research and find material that can help, I would appreciate it endlessly. Links to talks by general authorities or church-approved published material would be most helpful.
InstilledPhear posted a topic in General DiscussionI bore my testimony to a friend about God's unconditional love for all of his children, and that friend countered with this scripture: Exodus 20:5 says "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;" My friend goes on to say: "So...he is going to spite myself, my children, my grand and great grandchildren, just because I don't wholly worship him? Yeah, that sounds like love. And the fact that supposedly you are damned to hell for rejecting a God that you have absolutely no proof of. He is like "here, earthlings. Imma put you on this planet and give you this book that is full of contradictions and doesn't fully make sense, and if you don't put all your faith in me you get to spend eternity in fire and brimstone. Also, I'm going to make myself as scarce as possible and not show you or any other human that i really exist." Theres a guy, who created the whole universe, gave up his only son, has the POWER to create an entire universe yet not enough power to save starving abused children or slaves or dying humans, and if you don't worship him you go to hell. But he loves you. Right." As you can see, she's so anti-God and anti-Mormon that I'm really unsure of what to say that can really help her out. I don't want to fuel the fire, but I don't want to shove my beliefs down her throat, either. I just hope that I can come up with the right thing to say that will allow her to stop for a moment and reevaluate her beliefs. If anyone would be so kind as to back me up and share their wisdom, it would be much appreciated. In the meantime, I'm searching for scriptures that will reassure her that God does, in fact, Love us all with a pure and unconditional Love.