Last update 03/31/2010 - logo courtesy Solomon Skink
Click the image to read the latest reviews or purchase Dr. Southerton's book which was released Fall of 2004.
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Click image to read interview
Michael Coe is the Charles J. MacCurdy professor emeritus of Anthropology at Yale University and curator emeritus of the Division of Anthropology at the school's Peabody Museum of Natural History. He is an expert on the Maya, who inhabited the same part of Mexico and Central American where Mormon scholars say the events of the Book of Mormon took place. In this interview, Coe discusses the challenges facing Mormon archaeologists attempting to prove the historical truth of their central scripture and his own views on Joseph Smith. This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted May 16, 2006.
Richard Criddle, active LDS, retired professor of biochemistry and biophysics says, "Faithful Should Relish Findings."
Logan Utah Herald Journal - October 10, 2004
"All in all, Southerton should probably be thanked for a book which, though overtly anti-Mormon, brings to the attention of many Church members for the first time some topics that have been a focus of interest among scientists, including LDS scientists for decades."
|Leveling the Playing Field With Mormon Apologists - "Faith versus Facts" by Randy Jordan - Presented to the 8th Annual Ex-Mormon Conference October 5, 2002 Salt Lake City, UT||The Book of Zelph Another Testament of The Book of Mormon - translated by Josh Anderson - 2005|
|A Glimpse into the Mormon Apologetic Mind by Bob McCue - Nobody who has invested much time down a blind alley likes the messenger who shines a light at the brick wall up ahead.||Mormonism's Believe It Or Not by James Juris. Also, click here for a "Parody on the Reasoning of LDS Apologists" by James Juris.||This Is Not the Place by Hampton Sides - Double Take Spring 1999: For the last fifty years, Mormons have searched for proof of their church's mysterious origins but is it there?|
Thomas Murphy, Ph.D. University of Washington, has a new article entitled "Simply Implausible: DNA and a Mesoamerican Setting for the Book of Mormon" that will appearg in the Winter 2003 issue of Dialogue. Those who are not current subscribers may subscribe to Dialogue.
Preview pages from Dr. Murphy's dissertation, Imagining Lamanites: Native Americans and the Book of Mormon, are now available. Copies in digital or print formats can be purchased from UMI at the same website.
Dr. Murphy's speaking schedule and PDF copies of most of his publications are available at his home page.
11/21/2010 - by Peter and others from Recovery from Mormonism
95% of TBMs (True Believing Mormons) will not go near the site. The truth is that most Mormons are completely unaware and oblivious to the legitimate criticisms of Mormonism.
The more apologetic sites the more exposure they will have.
This is wonderful news.
I can testify that it was Mormon apologetic websites like FAIR that made me realize Mormonism was not true.
Nobody can walk away after taking a real look at the criticisms and see the church the same way. If anything, people realize no matter how good they perceive it, no matter how good the intentions they think the leaders have, they will realize that the "church" is not what it claims.
If someone has a dichotomous view, where they believe either the church is 100% true or the "biggest fraud in history" as GBH said hin his talk, then it makes the choice a rather easy one.
For a time, the more I doubted, the more I tried to study - by robertb
and shore up my belief. Then a day came I just gave up and admitted to myself it wasn't true, I had doubted for a long time, and I was going to believe what I really found. I hope your husband is reaching that point.
FAIR makes it hard to believe - by JoD3:360
Yeah, a person can lose confidence really fast when they read out of control smokescreens. FAIR spins smoke like there was no tomorrow, and many people just throw their hands in the air and say "fine, I'll believe, just stop with the nonsese already".
The smokescreens used to send up red flags and warning flares all the time when I was a TBM, and yet I somehow understood that it was important for people to have an acceptable church answer.
Looking back, it seems pretty silly that people would go to such lengths to provide an "acceptable church answer" when if it was true, a simple statement should suffice.
But that's how we dig ourselves out of a lie, isn't it? By whipping up all manner of explanatory excuses, no matter how far-fetched.
I remember reading FAIR article after FAIR article, convincing myself, telling myself all kinds of stories to myself about how it was still plausible. However, I started realizing that if I was truly going to be honest with myself, there really was no answer. The explanations usually contradicted other explanations, and in many cases, completely contradicted teachings of prophets, and official positions by church leaders, as well as long standing and well established doctrine.
There comes a point when you have to just be honest with yourself and come to terms that the LDS church is (GASP!) not true.
When you accept that, everything starts to make much more sense.
In fact, one of the things I wish I had done while still a member was to start giving people copies of FAIR DVDs.
Fair and Farms killed any remaining testimony I had. - by Tauna
Fair and Farms killed any remaining testimony I had.
I went to these sites to try to find answers (Why did Joseph Smith marry 11 women that were already married? Why did the 1st vision story keep changing?, etc.).
I found that I would read the answers Fair and Farms were giving and I felt confused (aka a stupor of thought). I am a pretty intelligent person, but I honestly could not follow their logic.
I soon realized that they were trying to confuse me. They don't have the answers, so they give long explanations with obscure words. They have no reasonable explanations and they know it.
No better place - by Peter
This is why I say that there is no better place for a Mormon to lose their testimony than an apologetic website. There is a saying that goes something like "nobody discredits Mormon prophets like Mormon apologists". You get the point.
This is why I say the best thing one can do is get Mormons to go to Mormon apologetic sites. They go there with complete sincerity looking for answers, and they realize that there are no answers. Many times, you read 10 page articles on a simple question and realize about halfway through that they don't even intent to answer the question. Many times, the article does not refute the criticisms, but attacks the critic personally and contains pages after pages of how unqualified the critic is and how much more qualified the author of the apologetic article is, so nobody should worry about it.
You realize that this does not answer anything at all.
This was my experience, it was Mormon apologetics that helped me see the truth about Mormonism. I can say that honestly with all sincerity.
Assenine Equine - by Zeezrom
FAIR and FARMS was where I found further problems that I hadn't yet come across.
I started reading with the expectation that they were going to answer the crticisms and prove all the so called anti's wrong, instead they were confirming what I had discovered and then trying to make excuses for them.
Some answers were so stupid that I couldn't believe they would suggest such things, but then what else can they say when faced with reality.
I think Tapirs for Horses was ridiculous and Lamoni's summoning of preparing the Horses and Chariots being referred to basically as prepare packed lunch Horseburgers and back pack! lol
Quicksand Theology - by rt
An acquaintance of mine refers to apologetics as quicksand theology. Not sure what it means but it sounds to the point :-)
ICZ - by amos
In my own case there was a compensating phase before I consciously realized that my testimony was strained, I had a year or so of Increased Compensatory Zealousness (ICZ).
Let your True Believing Mormon (TBM) family membersp up all the FARMS he/she can eat, because it only gives him/her a BIGGER camel to swallow.
Thanks to those boys - by angsty
I have FAIR, FARMS & Nibley to thank for introducing me to a multitude of problems I never knew existed. I never would have visited anti-sites, but thanks to those boys, I didn't have to. They did a great job explicating the problems and a very poor job answering them.
05/29/2010 - by Iconoclast from Recovery from Mormonism
Occasionally when talking with TBM's (True Believing Mormon) about Mormon related matters, discussion will eventually devolve to the point where they drag out defenses framed by so-called scholarly apologists.
I like to respond with the following story.
There once was a young man named John preparing to go on a mission and in need of a new suit. No one in his family was had the skill nor was capable of making one for him but recommended the services of a well-known local tailor. The tailor's name was Dan (Peterson) who was known to work cheap.
John visited Dan's place of business. After agreeing on a selected material and price, Dan took the appropriate measurements and John's money and told him a time to return when his suit would be ready.
On the appointed day John returned to the shop where Dan had the suit laid out for him. John was pleased with the quality and craftsmanship of the suit and was anxious to try it on. After putting it on John immediately noticed that there were a number of problems as he looked at himself in the mirror.
"The crotch is too low" said John.
"Well, we'll just hike them up to your rib cage" said Dan while jerking up the pants.
"But, the pants are still dragging on the floor" said John.
"HmmÉ" observed Dan "just bend your knees and lean forward at the waist to draw them up"
"OK" complied John "but the waist is too tight."
"Just suck it up" demanded Dan.
"But that makes the jacket is too loose in the chest" protested John.
"You'll just have to hunch your shoulders to tighten it up" was Dan's solution.
"Even now, the sleeves are way too long" complained John.
"That's easy enough to fix" countered Dan, "just stretch your arms out in front and bend them at the elbow to take up the excess."
John did as he was told and looked at himself again in the mirror. He realized that the suit now fit perfectly and was everything that he had hoped for, and that Dan was indeed a master tailor and worthy of his reputation.
John thanked Dan and left the store trying to be careful to hold his body position just right in his new suit. As he walked out onto the street and then down the sidewalk people took notice of the handsome young man in the suit.
"My God!" exclaimed one man, "just look how crippled up and deformed that poor bastard is. And at such a young age".
"Indeed, it's a pity" said another who happened to be a Mormon, "but isn't it amazing how well his suit fits".
10. Great Moments in Cognitive Dissonance
9. Smarter People Than You Who Believe
8. Who's Who of Lame Excuses
7. Extreme Makeover: Bogus Religion Edition
6. It's Still a Pig, Even if the Lipstick Has a PhD.
5. Dancing Around the Truth
4. Lie to Me: Utah
2. At Least We're Not Defending Bigfoot
1. It's Not a Lie if You Believe It
Did he depart from Zarahemla? - by 6 iron
Depending on whether its "First Class" or "Coach"
I'm guessing somewhere around TWO-FITTY with added luggage raising the price to near THREE-FITTY!
Damn cureloms have gone greedy as well, but if it comes down to it, they'll have to axe the crutch for bail-out money!
The answer to life, the universe, everything is...42. DUH! - by transplant in texas
Agree, but would it be too much to ask that we round it up to forty-two-FIFTY? - by Timothy
Was the nephite wearing metal armor, was the curelom wheat fed? More details please. - by Fisher of Fish
Official FAIR statement is: - by Jesus Smith
"No prophet has officially commented on this, but if you refer to Ether 15:11, you should note that this clearly refers to the Amerindian Cumorah, not the Joseph Smith Cumorah.
"Thus you should hesitate to draw any conclusion that would harm testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Moron."
4 Limnah, 3 ontis in total (inc. tax and tip) - by Matt
Sadly - by Angel
Sadly the Curelom never arrived at his destination. He crashed into a west-bound Cumom with such ferocity that both animals died instantaneously in a maelstrom of flying chariot parts.
Details please: Is the curelom traveling toward Earth's Ramah or Kolob's Ramah? Time is relative. - by Mason
Abraham 3: 3-4, 9, 16
3. And the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is aKolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord thy God: I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest.
4 And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its atimes and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a bday unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand cyears according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord’s dtime, according to the reckoning of Kolob. • • •
9 And thus there shall be the reckoning of the time of one aplanet above another, until thou come nigh unto Kolob, which Kolob is after the reckoning of the Lord’s time; which Kolob is set nigh unto the throne of God, to govern all those planets which belong to the same border as that upon which thou standest.
Everyone knows - by JC
1. Firstly, everyone knows that Cureloms are is something perfectly believable like a horse, I mean a tapir, I mean a the man must be riding a chariot with no wheels rather than the tapir itself. Spiritually speaking.
2. Ramah should not be confused with its other name Cumorah, which coincidentaly and totally irrelevantly has the same name as that island group near madagascar with the capital "Moroni", that is totally different to the BoM Moroni.
3. It is relevant to note that a "Senum is the value of them all".
4. There is no way Jo-baby could have known about cureloms in 1830! Your question so proves the BoM is True!
5. Study it out in your mind, consult you peep stone, and a burning in the bosum will confirm the truthfulness of all timetables.
6. This is the same question Moroni had when fleeing Ramah with the 600 pound Gold Plates tucked under his arm and the whole Mongolian-Lamanite Nation after his ass (yes there WERE asses in pre-colombian times.
Hope this clears that up.
That's easy...10%. - by Geneticerror
The answer is not important to our salvation. We'll find out on the other side. - by s1747302
I can't get this one out of my mind. More specifics required - by Mason
1. Is the Nephite (on a white furred curelom) allowed to use the Liahona to avoid traffic jams and routes under construction?
2. What day of the month is it? (i.e. if it is near the end, presumably he/she will need to do some home/visiting teaching in the course of his/her travels.)
3. Is it a new curelom or did he miss the Cash for Clunker Cureloms Program?
4. As we all know, white furred cureloms don't do well in fog. Will they be passing through any mists of darkness on their travels to Ramah that might mess things up?
Okay, some specifics - by Laman and Lemon
I can appreciate that you may follow DCP and FAIRS research on Cureloms and Cumoms. But I follow the eastern US theory, and they CLEARLY show that Cumoms were feathered, not furry.
Get your furries in order!
I'm afraid if we aren't able to come to some consensus on which apologist to follow, things could get ugly between us you FARMS reading heretic.
Further, you may assume:
1. Not only is there 1 fat assed Nephite to be laden upon, but
2. 250 lbs of gold
3. Originating in the Mountain Standard time (EVERYTHING of value originates here)
4. A correct map showing the fastest route to Joseph Smith's backyard wonderland. Remember this route. You will be doing it later as an angel after the mongoloids kill your ass in utah.
5. Assume sufficient barley gas stations along the way.
No need to pack food or clothing as you can pick this from the bodies of your troops along the way.
A curelom traveling at 2000 cubits per senum? Yeah, right. Let's get real. - by Jonny the Smoke
No curelom has EVER been clocked at 2000 cubits per senum! You must be thinking of Cheribum or pehaps Seraphim....they can reach that speed and well beyond quite easily.
The fastest curelom I know of on record reached a top speed of 1300 cubits per senum...but that was while pulling a chariot fully loaded so I'm sure it could have done 1600, maybe 1600-fitty without the the chariot and if it had a good, productive bowel movement that morning.
Anyway, here's the real point....you asked the wrong question. The question you should have asked is...if there was real prophet on the Hill Ramah....wouldn't you ride your curelom hard, not sparing the riding crop and pay any price to get there?
Well, what are you waiting for?!? Mount up and give it the spurs!!
There are few things I mount up and ride hard - by Laman and Lemon
Going to the "prophet" ain't one of them either.
If you look on your speedometer mounted on your curelom, you will notice that cubits/senum can be roughly translated as dollars per mile.
Further, the 2009 Seraphim comes with a hood mounted flaming sword. That's why they go so fast. They go even faster when their are underage girls or already married women around. The flaming sword is actually detachable and there are conversion kits for your Curelom. (Note: it is a ONE way conversion, unless your name is Zina)
Consider your Curelom understands Adamic. You can get some impressive short term results if you add enough fear and guilt, besides the performance enhancements from your flaming sword. I am EASILY clocking speeds over 2000 cubits/senum. (remember they work better with underage girls around) Of course, the Cureloms drop dead after doing this, but hey, they are just cureloms. They will never go extinct.
How much does it cost? - by JC
Assumes that the nephite will pay all fares thus incurred (ie is not "tight like unto a dish")
Calculation by Nephite taxi meter - by cricket
The hill Ramah sat in the middle of a narrow neck of land. The reason it was called by this name is because at this point the distance from the east sea to the west sea was just a day's ride for a Nephite on a cumum. (Helaman 4:7).
If we consider one day to be from sun up to sun down, and considering that the Nephites lived in Central American, one average day would be about 12 hours. The average cumum today travels comfortably at a speed of three miles per hour. A brisk ride is approximately 4-5 miles per hour.
Therefore, we can estimate that the narrow neck of land was approximately 50-60 miles wide. We also know that going south from the land Desolation to the land Bountiful, which was on the other end of the narrow neck of land, was a day and a half's journey for a Nephite on a cumum (Alma 22:32), which would make it approximately 75- 90 miles long.
"In a slow walk, a cumums usually keep the head lowered. However, when a cumum runs, its movement becomes quite horselike: In a trot, they lift their heads and move their legs in an elastic manner. The amazingly fast gallop is seen only when the animals are in flight, playing, or when they are extremely excited."
"In addition, cumums can climb quite well, even though one would not expect this because of their bulky figure. Even steep slopes do not present obstacles. They jump vertical fences or walls, rising on their hind legs and leaping up. Cumums can be domesticated quite easily if they are captured when young. Young cumums who have lost their mothers are easily tamed and will eat from a bowl, and they like to be petted and will often allow children to ride on their backs." - BYU FARMS - Book O' Scuses: Volume 13 page 3. - Edited by Daniel C Peterson
In that the Book of Mormon does mention whether Nephite taxi services where regulated or not, we can only pray for an answer to as to the cost.
WRONG!!! The correct answer is - by Laman and Lemon
Nephites were priveledged to ride on the cumums. They made the Lamanites ride the cureloms. A Nephite wouldn't be caught dead riding a curelom.
Damn it. I hate pop quizes and trick questions. I should have known that one. - by 6 iron
Busted - by Mason
You forgot to distinguish between the cureloms in the Land Southward that had black fur and the more delightsome cureloms in the land Northward that had light colored fur. The Nephites did ride the latter.
Is it a European Swallow or an African Swallow? - by Laman and Lemon
I received an e-mail yesterday from an exmormon with the following observation, which I thought was quite perceptive:
"It is interesting to see to what degree Mormons are continuing to rewrite their theology in the face of increased scientific knowledge. One could argue, with the notable exception of polygamy, that many of the more ridiculous doctrines had changed very little up until the 1990's."
"Hinckley in many ways unleashed a new type of Mormon, the neo-orthodox, one who has to deny parts of Mormonism in order to defend it. The process has helped move control of Mormon doctrine now out of the hands of its ecclesiastical leaders and into the hands of the neo-orthodox academics and hobbyists".
Plausible Deniability - Official vs. Offecal by Taddlywog
That online discussion with a missionary yesterday was very interesting. I never expected that the missionary would refer to FAIR for answers, which are not "official" church answers.
My new favorite term is Offecal. If you cant get official answers, you are getting offecal answers.
Visions of "Offecal First Visions by brett
I may use that to start the "Offecal Church". My story will be that Mr. Hankey from South Park rolled into the woods and had a vision where he saw to bigger poo's and they told him not to eat any corn because it was all bad.
(Of couse that would be the 5th version of the "vision". The earlier ones would just have him hearing something coming from the toilet)
Anyone want to join??
Shifting burden of proof - by Dogger Dog
Thanks Internet, for shifting the burden of proof from the mouths of senile old men to the desks and libraries of academics. I prefer the future of the church to be with the academic types, frankly. If they are honest in their disciplines, as I was in mine, facts will win out over faith, and the church will one day concede or acquiesce some of its hood-winking. And yes, the email from your informant is quite revealing - I've noticed a shift as well from the "follow the prophet and you won't go astray" mantra to "FARMS/FAIR says..." Very insightful.
My only problem with (Mormon) apologetics is that there are WAY TOO MANY things to do apologetics for. The human mind has difficulty thinking about many things all at once, but if you try, and take a step back and take in Morg-ism from a bird's eye view, it's not hard to see that they need apologists at every turn: for JS's myriad of foul-ups, the BofM's numerous anachronisms and oddities, BY's issues, historical problems, modern errors, etc. etc. Each apologetic excuse reduces the statistical possibility of the church's veracity to the point that the probability of it being true is nearly reduced to zero. What I'm saying is: when you have apologetic enthusiasts who need to scram to explain nearly every page of your history and doctrine, chances are you're looking at a fraud.
He got it right about Hinckley's strategy - by Don Bagley
Denial equals survival.
The downside of that - by tbrown9163
I think the downside of denial of truth, is that the revolving door of converts coming in, then spinning out, sped up. I even remember seeing pretty dramatic stat's 15 years ago as a local Morg leader.
They may have won some 'battles' but in the longer term there are more unhappy customers than happy ones that dampen the whole marketing scheme overall. You know what they say about unhappy customers...
I'm sure that their overall approach is that people will eventually forget, or be too ingrained to think otherwise and just maybe they'll have enough children so they can keep their jobs.
So much for Daniel's dream of covering the earth. Makes me wonder when the last time someone was allowed or 'encouraged' in Morgtalk to give a talk on the subject. Probably few in anyone's recent memory (the forgetting thing again)
Offecal deniability. No more of that everlasting and unchanging - by ananon
doctrine for Mormons. Their doctrines are now flitting to and fro wherever the winds of change take them. Don't read the Bible where it says "That's what the Devil does to his followers and that Christ is rock-solid in what he teaches" haha.
My Sunstone transition - by tbrown9163
About 12 years ago, I went through what I now internally refer to as my 'Sunstone' transition. Here in MN Twin Cities, I came across a copy of the Sunstone journal in a local Barnes and Nobles. I thought it was pretty interesting that it would actually be racked several copies deep this far outside the Mormon curtain. At least 4 copies were sold in the week that I had been browsing. I looked for Ensign's and none could be found. Hmmm.
I followed that strain for a while and after a while, I just didn't feel that straddling the fence was fitting of my conscience. I came to the conclusion that the Universe just didn't work that way (either way) and neither did everyday life.
However for me, it did serve a valuable purpose. I bet the Morg would just as soon as that transition phase blow away. However I also think that if it did go away, it wouldn't change their 'problem'.
Chapel vs Offecal Mormons by Uncle Mo
The process has helped move control of Mormon doctrine now out of the hands of its ecclesiastical leaders and into the hands of the neo-orthodox academics and hobbyists.
Chapel Mormons (as opposed to Internet Mormons) have little or no exposure to neo-orthodox or academic Mormons and these supposed shapers of doctrine have no official mouthpiece in official LDS channels. Those that go about praying, reading their scriptures, and attending meetings only have no exposure to this.
From my standpoint that's everyone in my household except me.
The Mormons need new and creative revelations for the faith to grow
If I were interested in working within the Mormon myth making business, "The Religion Making Business," in the Mormon Paradigm. I would petition to have the Book of Mormon altered to reflect its present-day relevance. I would petition to have all 1381 entries of "And it came to pass" altered to "Once upon a time."
A petition for clarity in the Scared BOM would focus the mind and, hopefully, create more myth for the Mormon Church Myth Makers. Like the King James Version Of the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon could stand a makeover.
A Mormon Scholar can choose precious phrases in the Book of Mormon and extract and insert "Once upon a time" where needed and demonstrated the effect. A Petition for Change could be taken to the Mormon Quorum for consideration. After all it's merely a slight modification to the text, the content remains intact. It seems a group of dedicated Ex-Mormons could masterfully insert a Protestant infusion of new blood and help create more traction and more Mormon Religious Tradition. We know the conference of Nicea did not take place in a vacuum. More religious tradition is more better in the religious making business.
The Mormons need new and creative revelations for the faith to grow, why not help out, focus the mind and reveal the Mormon Coda for all to see.
1- The Bible is the word of God
2- Everything it says is true
3- The Bible says Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a city in Palestine/Israel
4- so Jesus really was born in Palestine/Israel
5- The Book of Mormon(tm) is an another word of God
6- Everything it says is true
7- The Book of Mormon(tm) says Jesus was born in Jerusalem, a city in Palestine/Israel
8- so Jesus really was born in Palestine/Israel
9- There are no conflict between the Bible and the Book of Mormon(tm)
10- The copyright of the book of mormon is owned by LDS church
11- Therefore, the Church is true...
Yes, I admit it - I am a geek. I love to read science fiction. I am finishing the second part of a 2 part series entitled "Hyperion" by Dan Simmons. He is an excellent writer. The first part had an interesting read regarding apologetics. The priest (a major player in this novel) who is quoted below, was exiled to another planet due to his work. I could not stop thinking how this related to FARMS and other apologists.
From the book Hyperion by Dan Simmons:
“It is growing dark. I am getting old. I feel something… not yet remorse… at my sin of falsifying the evidence at the Armaghast dig. But, Eduard, Your Excellency, if the artifacts ‘had’ indicated the presence of a Christ-oriented culture there, six hundred light-years from Old Earth, almost three thousand years before man left the surface of the home world…
Was it so dark of a sin to interpret such ambiguous data in a way which could have meant the resurgence of Christianity in our lifetime?
Yes, it was. But not, I think, because of the sin of tampering with the data, but the deeper sin of thinking that Christianity could be saved.”
Mormonism and apologetics never seems to get out of my life, even in escapist literature. sigh...
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