Lying for the Lord
- "What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers. I labored with these apostates myself until I was out of all manner of patience." - Joseph Smith 
- "A half-truth presented as the whole truth is a complete untruth." - J.I. Packer
- "Even sharing the truth can have the effect of lying when we tell only half-truths that do not give the full picture. We can also be guilty of bearing false witness and lying if we say nothing, particularly if we allow another to reach a wrong conclusion while we hold back information that would have led to a more accurate perception. In this case it is as though an actual lie were uttered." - Robert J. Matthews
- "In matters of honesty, there are no shortcuts; no little white lies, or big black lies, only the simple, honest truth spoken in total candor... Being true is different than being honest.” - Gordon B. Hinckley
Lying for the Lord refers to the practice of lying to protect the image of and belief in the Mormon religion, a practice which Mormonism itself fosters in various ways. From Joseph Smith's denial of having more than one wife, to polygamous Mormon missionaries telling European investigators that reports about polygamy in Utah were lies put out by "anti-Mormons" and disgruntled ex-members, to Gordon B. Hinckley's dishonest equivocation on national television over Mormon doctrine, Mormonism's history seems replete with examples of lying. Common members see such examples as situations where lying is justified. For the Mormon, loyalty and the welfare of the church are more important than the principle of honesty, and plausible denials and deception by omission are warranted by an opportunity to have the Mormon organization seen in the best possible light. This is part of the larger package of things that lead many to describe Mormonism as a cult. "Lying for the lord" is part of Mormonism's larger deceptive mainstreaming tactics, and conversion numbers would drastically lower if important Mormon beliefs were fully disclosed to investigators.
Sunstone, a magazine for more or less intellectual Mormons, recently held a symposium and hosted a lecture called, "Truth-Telling and Mormonism". Here's the blurb:
- TRUTH-TELLING AND MORMONISM
- SCOT DENHALTER, M.A., English literature; vice-president of NEAT, Inc.; Cybersaints editor, SUNSTONE; official contributor, SunstoneBlog.com.
- RYAN WIMMER, B.A., art history; entering graduate program in history this fall; 2nd Lt., Utah National Guard
- This session features two reflections on the issue of Mormon truth-telling. Scot Denhalter’s presentation focuses on the musings of Princeton moral philosopher Henry G. Frankfurt about a quality of misrepresentation that falls on the continuum between telling the truth and lying (somewhere just short of a lie), which he names “bulls*it.” Denhalter asks if this type of discourse exists in Mormon culture and, if so, to what extent? Is there a different type of it in Mormonism than is found elsewhere? Does the Church employ social mechanisms that increase or decrease the incidence of “b.s.” in Mormon culture? Ryan Wimmer explores a religious principle, taqiyah, that Shi’a Muslims use as a means to protect their faith. Taqiyah means to “safeguard or defend” as well as “to fear” (as in the sense of being pious) and allows members of the faith to be untruthful when their life or religious faith is in danger. Wimmer argues that a similar principle exists in Mormonism—though it’s unnamed and has yet to achieve a recognized status as an aid to faith. He asks, “Should it?” 
 Lying as missionaries
One Mormon blogger writes, "When I was a missionary, the church’s official Missionary Guide instructed missionaries to avoid providing direct answers or solutions to investigators' questions or concerns." On his mission, he "fell back on rhetorical tricks or even outright denials." He writes on:
- "I wonder if it might be fair to say that, while individual responses to such questions by particular missionaries are not instances of sophistry, the system which puts missionaries in the line of rhetorical fire without providing them with the information necessary to craft meaningful answers to legitimate questions about the church is a form of collective sophistry?" 
One commenter agrees: "We need to do more to give missionaries potential explanations in a way that is not vague or contradictory. Of course, that would involve acknowledging a less than perfect history, which we’re just not willing to do as an institution."
Robert Millet, in a presentation about how to handle the tough anti-Mormon questions missionaries may face while on their missions or afterward, says, "We really aren’t obligated to answer everyone’s questions." He goes on to say, "We never provide meat when milk will do", and, "We seek to answer any serious question by finding the most direct route to the Sacred Grove." 
On page 50 of the current missionary manual, Preach My Gospel, the section on The Fall reads:
- "When first teaching this doctrine, do not teach everything you know about it. Explain very simply that God chose two of His children, Adam and Eve, to become the first parents on earth. After their transgression they were subject to both sin and death. By themselves they could not return to live with Heavenly Father. The Lord spoke to Adam and taught him the plan of salvation and redemption through the Lord Jesus Christ. By following that plan, Adam and his family could have joy in this life and return to live with God (See Alma 18:36; 22:12-14)."
Missionaries are in essence encouraged not to disclose that Mormons believe that The Fall is a wonderful and fortunate event, that the curses that followed are considered blessings, and that the action that Adam and Even committed is considered righteous, intelligent, and worth imitating.
 Concealing the sacrosanct and avoiding embarrassment
When prompted to discuss an issue that is potentially embarrassing to the Mormon religion, Mormons often make an appeal to the impropriety of discussing such "sacred" things. Practically speaking, what is often explicitly appealed to as "sacred" is treated as "secret". Many Mormons, for example, will appeal to the sacredness of temple ceremonies as an excuse not discuss the pre-1990 swearing to throat-slitting or disembowelment, the Masonic "Five Points of Fellowship", or the chanting of "Pay Lay Ale". The same appeal is made not to discuss the spirit mother(s) in heaven, the implications of the Mormon view of human exaltation, or the potentially embarrassing, non-divine, sinful past of God the Father. One Mormon put it this way:
- "There is no requirement from the Church for LDS not to discuss the nature of Diety, it is just that I, and I would think most LDS, am not comfortable in [publicly] discussing the knowledge I have of my Father in Heaven."
Another appeal made is that it is inappropriate to discuss what LDS prophets, apostles, and other authorities have publicly said about some things (such as about the past of God the Father or the nature and implications of exaltation) because they are simply speculative and not in accordance with what is explicitly revealed in the standard works or the emphasis of the modern church.
Under pressure to address such embarrassing things, Mormons will also give the impression that their religious hierarchy has or doesn't have an "official" position when the contrary is true. For example, when prompted to address the historical teachings by Mormon leaders that God the Father had physical sex with Mary to impregnate her, Mormons will give the impression (or even explicitly state) that the official position of the Church states that the conception was completely supernatural and absolutely involved no sexual contact. When challenged with the fact that the Mormon hierarchy takes no position on whether God the Father once horrifically sinned in a past mortal probation, some Mormons will give the impression that it is doctrinal that the Father only experienced one mortal probation, and that it was completely of the pattern of the probation of Jesus Christ here on this planet. When challenged with the historic Mormon idea that men may become "gods" in the fullest sense of deity, some Mormons claim that the idea is only speculative and shouldn't be discussed, "because it doesn't pertain to our salvation", when on the contrary the doctrine has been repeatedly and forthrightly affirmed even in recent Church-published literature.
 "Milk before meat", and then some dessert
Mormon Molly Bennion writes:
- "Many have argued, often under the guise of 'milk before meat,' that we must not disillusion the new or weak with all-too-human history or the questioning of the Lord’s anointed–questioning being by definition under this theory, criticism, even heresy. Better the lie."
Mormons often appeal to the concept of "milk before meat" to justify not disclosing potentially shocking and embarrassing doctrines. 
- "I would be careful bringing [up] this matter with any nonmembers... [H]ow to address this [Lorenzo Snow Couplet theology] with nonmembers[?]. My advice: don't. This is difficult doctrine. Remember, milk before meat." 
Criticism of this mainly appeals to the idea that a valid "milk before meat" concept need not require that specific, hard-hitting questions be met with deliberately obfuscating answers. Also, much of what Mormons consider "meat" is actually "milk". That God was not always God, and may potentially have scores of wives with whom he has marital relations to make spirit babies, fundamentally, radically affects the way a non-Mormon (or recently converted Mormon) views God. It is far too important to leave out of "missionary discussions". When Paul preached the gospel to pagan Gentiles in Acts 17, he immediately appealed to his basic understanding of the fundamental nature of God. Mormons owe it to potential converts to do the same.
What adds complication to the issue is that Mormons are typically atheological, and, for example, could care less that God progressed from man unto godhood, and now physically lives on a planet near the star-base Kolob. Not only would disclosing such beliefs hurt the church's image, but the Mormon missionaries themselves consider them peripheral and mostly irrelevant issues.
- "Joining a religious group is much like a marriage, often including a type of “falling in love”. When two people are seriously involved and contemplating marriage, is it really the ethical responsibility of each to, say, hire a private investigator to fully investigate the background of their loved one to make sure there are no ugly surprises after the wedding? Or is it the moral and ethical responsibility of each party to make that disclosure?" 
- "Many if not most members have the impression that they should not read anything that says anything remotely controversial about the church or its leaders. They think the material is somehow evil or dishonest if it exposes information that is not contained in the correlated or popularized church publications." 
Mormon Ian M. Cook writes:
- "Fundamentally you are right, we need to stand up and distinguish ourselves from the pack.
"I have an experience though that makes me think twice about it that way. I was about 16 and I had recently learned some of the deeper doctrines of the church etc. Not sure where I heard it, but I happen to be sitting on the school bus talking to a bunch of people about LDS doctrine. I was teaching the plan of salvation. The other kids were really interested. I went so far as to teach the three degrees of glory and then I told them we could become Gods.
"I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but later, I was helping this guy build a house and I didn’t realize it but he was a recent convert to the church and the step father of one of the kids that were listening to the conversation. He told me that his step son really liked what I had to say, up until I got to the Gods part. It turned him away from the church.
"I have felt bad about it since then. This kid was the only member of the family that did not join the church. This was based on what I taught.
"Perhaps he would have found this out later and left the church anyway. I can’t help but think that he could have been converted more spiritually and then he could have accepted those teachings.
"Milk before meat as they say."
Mormon apologist Jeff Lindsay writes that the issue of becoming gods is "dessert" that "we don't know a lot about":
- "I personally feel that the whole of issue of 'gods' is an advanced topic that we don't know a lot about, so I consider it as meat (actually, dessert) that doesn't need to be served as the first course."
 The problem of the Mormon concept of "doctrine"
There are many doctrines in Mormonism that are not explicitly, publicly promoted, that nonetheless are part of the underlying, fundamental worldview. For example, consider the Mormon belief that God has a wife. This is clear on multiple accounts. One cannot be exalted or become a god without a spouse. "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" speaks of our "heavenly parents", and is obviously not talking about a set of same-gender, homosexual parents. Eternal progression involves Celestial families continuously, eternally growing in progeny. Divine gender is permanent and eternal. Mormon Sunday school material has at times explicitly spoken of Heavenly Mother. Most every Mormon personally believes they have a Heavenly Mother who is married to their Heavenly Father. Even given all the above, Mormons are notwithstanding hesistant to publicize this belief or affirm it as Church doctrine. Mormons will even act offended at the suggestion that they believe that God has wife, guilting others into thinking they have used overly biased, uncredible sources to learn about their religion--sources that Mormon themselves don't glean doctrine from. That the Mormon Church does not actively emphasize the Heavenly Mother, nor give her clear, public affirmation to the same degree as other doctrines, is seen as enough reason to give plausible denial--to deny that it is "doctrine". Using this definition, Mormons deny to outsiders that such beliefs are "doctrine", even knowing that others perceive such statements and attitudes to communicate that such ideas are extremely speculative and not clearly implied by the rest of the Mormon worldview.
- See main article: Beliefs
 The problem of language
Mormonism as a whole seems to be abandoning phraseology which clearly discloses more controversial Mormon beliefs, and adapting language which can both contain the controversial meanings yet obscure them from those outside the group. Equivocal Mormon language, such as the phrases, "after all we can do" and "keeping all the commandments", complicates communication between Mormons and non-Mormons. Such language is ambiguous and adaptable. The two phrases can mean anything from trying hard, to doing better, to perfection, and can at various times refer to the comprehensive whole of what it means to be holy, or simply managing larger, egregious sins (such as adultery, but not outstanding, deeper sin-issues of the heart, like pride or half-hearted worship). Mormons, who seem in many ways to share the tendencies of American postmodernism, seem content with vague and equivocal rhetoric, because they can supply it with a variable amount of content. The phrase, "become like our Father in heaven" is another good example. The 1978 version of 'Gospel Principles reads, "We can become Gods like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation." (p. 290) The 1997 revision reads, "We can become like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation." (p. 302) Given the context and audience, a Mormon can use "become like our Father in heaven" to subtly imply the full communication of what traditional Christians have always consider divine, incommunicable attributes. In other words, by it a Mormon can mean deification--becoming a god with all the attributes God the Father has--, whereas an outsider understands the phrase to mean moral purification and sinlessness.
This problem is exasperated by the fact that Mormons already use Christian terminology with meanings of a fundamentally different worldview.
 "A testimony is to be found in the bearing of it"
- "How do I know the church is true? Because I know the church is true."
One return Mormon missionary wrote the following:
- "When I was on my mission I never felt truly that the church was true; to be honest, I just didn't know. For that reason something that M. Russell Ballard said [in a talk to the missionaries] really stuck out to me. He told a story of a missionary who came to him and said 'I can't say that I know the church is true because I don't really know it and I feel guilty when I say it.' Ballard (who was a mission president at the time) responded: 'The way you gain a testimony is in the bearing of it.' In other words he told this missionary and essentially all of us in the conference, if you don't know the church is true just keep lying to all of your investigators and tell them you do know, until you have said it enough times that you brainwash yourself into believing it is true." 
Boyd K. Packer explains it this way in Ensign:
- "It is not unusual to have a missionary say, 'How can I bear testimony until I get one? How can I testify that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that the gospel is true? If I do not have such a testimony, would that not be dishonest?' Oh, if I could teach you this one principle. A testimony is to be found in the bearing of it! ... It is one thing to receive a witness from what you have read or what another has said; and that is a necessary beginning. It is quite another to have the Spirit confirm to you in your bosom that what you have testified is true. Can you not see that it will be supplied as you share it? As you give that which you have, there is a replacement, with increase!" 
Mormons say to each other often in church life, almost word for word, "I know the Church is true. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God." Mormons are taught, "Bear your testimony often" . One Mormon writes:
- "Quite simply, you can't have a testimony until you bear it to someone. At the moment that you tell someone that you know X is true - even if you don't know it yet - the Spirit will testify to you that it is indeed true. It may sound a little iffy, but I can tell you that it's true. I had the same issue as you did at one point. I wasn't sure that the Church was true, but I wanted a testimony. I got up in testimony meeting (the same time that I described earlier, in fact) and told everyone that I 'believed' the Church was true. I prefaced it by telling everyone that I didn't know for sure yet, but I had heard that this was the way to find out for sure, so I was going to give it a shot. Sure enough, it worked. The Spirit told me that the Church was indeed true. In fact, the Spirit is telling me again that the Church is true as I'm writing this response. It's really cool. I suggest that you try it for yourself. If you want to know for sure that the Church is true, tell someone else." 
BYU professor Randy L. Bott writes:
- "Elder Boyd K. Packer gave a marvelous talk entitled, 'The Candle of the Lord' in which he said, 'Oh, if I could teach you this one principle! A testimony is to be found in the bearing of it.' How do you get the rock-solid testimony about the Savior, the Church, the prophet, or the plan of salvation? It is difficult to 'live' those. But Elder Packer teaches true doctrine: 'Stand up in fast and testimony meeting and bear your testimony about that which you feel you know something but are not totally sure. In the very process of your testifying, the Holy Ghost will bear unmistakable testimony to you that what you are saying is true.' The Lord confirms this method of gaining a testimony when he says, Lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall [note the future tense] put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men; for it shall [again, note the future tense] be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say..." 
As Cicero said,
- Nihil turpius quam cognitioni assertionem praecurrere. [Cicero, Academica, i. 45. "Nothing is more shameful than to affirm before knowing."]
 "Faithful history"
- "As the [LDS] church attempts to put forth a media-friendly image, it tries to hide its rather unique past. Unfortunately, many young people grow up in the LDS faith and learn only the homogenized version of Mormon history. Those who have intellectual curiosity will inevitably run across discrepancies and many of those will lose faith in a religion that claims to be the 'one true church' and yet is not totally honest about its own history." - Armand Mauss (Mormon sociologist and Mormon Studies scholar; former board member of Dialogue)
Boyd K. Packer wrote:
- "You seminary teachers and some of you institute and BYU men will be teaching the history of the Church this school year. This is an unparalleled opportunity in the lives of your students to increase their faith and testimony of the divinity of this work. Your objective should be that they will see the hand of the Lord in every hour and every moment of the Church from its beginning till now... Church history can be so interesting and so inspiring as to be a very powerful tool indeed for building faith. If not properly written or properly taught, it may be a faith destroyer... There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not... Some things that are true are not very useful... That historian or scholar who delights in pointing out the weaknesses and frailties of present or past leaders destroys faith. A destroyer of faith — particularly one within the Church, and more particularly one who is employed specifically to build faith — places himself in great spiritual jeopardy. He is serving the wrong master, and unless he repents, he will not be among the faithful in the eternities. ... Do not spread disease germs!"
This is from an interview Packer had with documentarian Helen Whitney:
- HW: Is there a conflict between a faith-promoting work of scholarship and factual scholarship? Is there a conflict at all?
- BKP: There can be. Some things that are true aren’t very useful. And there are those in the past who have looked at the leaders of the Church, for instance, and found out that they’re human and want to tell everything. There are steps and missteps that don’t help anything. Some think that to be totally honest they have to tell everything. They don’t. If they’ve got the mindset for that, then they’re always grumbling — they have an appetite for it. They’re free to do that, but it isn’t really productive, it doesn’t really make anybody happy.
- Someone you knew, say when you were in college, made a terrible mistake. You knew about it, and it was forgiven and lived beyond. There’s little purpose in going back and digging that out and speaking of it when their children might be present — a lot of things that are true historically aren’t very useful and don’t generate happiness.
Dallin H. Oaks said:
- "It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercises corporate power or even government power. It is quite another thing to criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true. As Elder George F. Richards, President of the Council of the Twelve, said in a conference address in April 1947, 'when we say anything bad about the leaders of the Church, whether true or false, we tend to impair their influence and their usefulness and are thus working against the Lord and his cause.' ... The Holy Ghost will not guide or confirm criticism of the Lord's anointed, or of Church leaders, local or general. This reality should be part of the spiritual evaluation that LDS readers and viewers apply to those things written about our history and those who made it." -"Reading Church History," CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium, Brigham Young University, 16 Aug. 1985, page 25. also see Dallin H. Oaks, "Elder Decries Criticism of LDS Leaders," quoted in The Salt Lake Tribune, Sunday August 18, 1985, p. 2B
Bob McCue writes:
- "Mormonism’s mate to the pious lie is its 'faithful history' principle - a form of censorship. 'Faithful history' suppresses all information that, in the eyes of current Mormon leaders, does not encourage church members to be more obedient to them. Facts that strongly suggest Smith and other Mormon leaders are not trustworthy are airbrushed out of Mormon consciousness. It is clear, in my view, that Joseph Smith behaved in classic philosopher king fashion and that the Mormon 'faithful history' policy discloses a group of modern philosopher kings who feel justified in telling pious lies." -Bob McCue[Citation needed]
 Slander of opponents and ex-Members
- "Fabricated stories designed to protect the individuals are seen elsewhere. Sidney Rigdon in the 18 June 1845 'Messenger and Advocate' reported that Parley P. Pratt, in speaking of the means by which church leaders should sustain Smith, advised that 'we must lie to protect brother Joseph, it is our duty to do so.' Not only were church leaders willing to violate the law to promote polygamy, they did not hesitate to blacken the character of individuals who threatened to expose the secret practice of plural marriage. Sarah Pratt was not the only woman to suffer from this policy. The 27 August 1842 'Wasp,' for example, branded Martha H. Brotherton a 'mean harlot,' and Nancy Rigdon suffered the same treatment after she opposed Smith's polygamous proposals.....Jane Law, wife of Smith's counselor William Law, was also blacklisted for rejecting Smith's polyandrous proposal." -Richard van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy: A History, pp. 38-39
- "In the LDS Church, often dissension or questioning is negatively valued. Apostates, those who leave the church and no longer affirm all the doctrines of the church, are thought to have done so because they sinned, or they wish to sin, or they found the positive lifestyle too demanding. Or maybe they were abused by church authority or patriarchy, or they might have been offended by something a member of their congregation did. These scenarios do not apply to me. I simply found that the church is not what it claims to be, nor is it honest in all its dealings with its fellow man, as it demands its members to be."
 Notable quotes
- "I will now say, not only to our delegate to Congress, but to the Elders who leave the body of the Church, that he thought that all the cats and kittens were let out of the bag when brother Pratt went back last fall, and published the Revelation concerning the plurality of wives: it was thought there was no other cat to let out. But allow me to tell you, Elders of Israel, and delegates to Congress, you may expect an eternity of cats, that have not yet escaped from the bag. Bless your souls, there is no end to them, for if there is not one thing, there will always be another." (Brigham Young, "Where the Wicked Go, Etc.", Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, pp. 188, June 19, 1853.) - Link
- "When asked about an unflattering (though historically accurate) book about the life of Emma Smith called Mormon Enigma: The Life of Emma Hale Smith which sheds a very unfavorable light on Joseph's practice of polygamy Elder Oaks said this": "My duty as a member of the Council of the Twelve is to protect what is most unique about the LDS church, namely the authority of priesthood, testimony regarding the restoration of the gospel, and the divine mission of the Saviour. Everything may be sacrificed in order to maintain the integrity of those essential facts. Thus, if Mormon Enigma reveals information that is detrimental to the reputation of Joseph Smith, then it is necessary to try to limit its influence and that of its authors". (Apostle Dallin Oaks, footnote 28, Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith: Psychobiography and the Book of Mormon, Introduction, page xliii)
- "Lying is intentionally deceiving others. Bearing false witness is one form of lying. The Lord gave this commandment to the children of Israel: 'Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour' (Exodus 20:16). Jesus also taught this when he was on earth (see Matthew 19:18). There are many other forms of lying. When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest." - Gospel Principles, chapter 31, "Honesty"
- " I myself prefer not to discuss certain things in certain venues. And the fundamental nature of God is one of those things..." - Daniel Peterson
- "3 Nephi 14:6. This same teaching is found in Matthew 7:6. In the Joseph Smith Translation of that verse, Jesus commands His disciples to preach repentance rather than teach the mysteries of the kingdom (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 7:9–11). Why is it important to focus our gospel teaching on basic doctrines?"
- “We can teach the gospel with plainness and simplicity, focus on fundamentals, and emphasize what matters most. We do not tell all we know, nor do we teach on the edge of our knowledge.” Robert Millet, Getting at the Truth, pg.74
- "The successful... teacher must also possess another of the rare and valuable elements of character—a twin brother of moral courage and often mistaken for it—I mean intellectual courage—the courage to affirm principles, beliefs, and faith that may not always be considered as harmonizing with such knowledge—scientific or otherwise... An object of pity (not of scorn, as some would have it) is that man or woman, who having the truth and knowing it, finds it necessary either to repudiate the truth or to compromise with error in order that he may live with or among unbelievers without subjecting himself to their disfavor or derision as he supposes. Tragic indeed is his place, for the real fact is that all such discardings and shadings in the end bring the very punishments that the weak-willed one sought to avoid. For there is nothing the world so values and reveres as the man who, having righteous convictions, stands for them in any and all circumstances; there is nothing toward which the world turns more contempt than the man who, having righteous convictions, either slips away from them, abandons them, or repudiates them." - J. Reuben Clark Jr. [1938 address], “Excerpts from The Charted Course of the Church in Education,” Ensign, Sep 2002, 54–61
- "If the Lord places His servants under a strict command not to reveal His word, 'only according to the portion of His word, which He doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto Him;' and, therefore, they withhold some of those things from the world that have been revealed unto them, does that make them cowardly? If so, not only Brigham Young, but Joseph Smith, yes, even the Son of Man Himself would be cowardly. No, the fact that they have refused to do this thing proves them to possess the greatest courage, for it has caused them to face persecutions, even death.
"Joseph the Prophet was commanded to keep some things from going out into the world that had been revealed unto him and the Church. He also received revelations that he could not teach to the Church in the beginning, no more than Jesus could teach all things to His disciples. When he did reveal some of the "mysteries" there were many who left Him and denied the faith, just as they did when Jesus told His disciples He was the bread of life (John 6:66)." (Joseph Fielding Smith, 1909, "Origin of the Reorganized Church and the Question of Succession", pp. 119,120)
- "As to a person not knowing more than the written word, let me tell you that there are keys that the written word never spoke of, nor never will." - Brigham Young, Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, p. 667
 Christian response
Lyrics from "Stained Glass Masquerade", by Casting Crowns:
- So I tuck it all away, like everything's okay
- If I make them all believe it, maybe I’ll believe it too
- So with a painted grin, I play the heart again
- So everyone will see me the way that I see them
- Are we happy plastic people
- Under shiny plastic steeples
- With walls around our weakness
- And smiles to hide our pain...
- The performance is convincing
- And we know every line by heart
- Only when no one is watching
- Can we really fall apart
- But would it set me free
- If I dared to let you see
- The truth behind the person
- That you imagine me to be
- ↑ , "Address of the Prophet—His Testimony Against the Dissenters at Nauvoo", delivered Sunday, May 26, 1844. Printed in History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408-412. Available at UTLM.org. The quote is significant when one considers that Smith secretly had thirty wives at the time of the address (cf. a partial listing with dates at FamilySearch.org).
- ↑ http://www.calvarysbd.com/quotes_pastor.htm
- ↑ Robert J. Matthews, Ensign, October 1994, p. 54
- ↑ Gordon B. Hinckley in “13th Article, simple yet powerful,” Church News, September 22, 2007, p.3
- ↑ "Missionary Sophistry?", a blog post at "Latter-day Saint Liberation Front". Accessed 8/23/2006. URL: http://ldsliberationfront.net/?p=167
- ↑ Mormons often object of being accused of practicing secrecy, but as Bill McKeever shows, this objection is unfounded and contradicts the very nature of the temple ceremony (even the post-1990 version):
- "Until the ceremony was drastically revised in 1990, the temple ceremony itself contained portions which patrons (those who participate in the ceremony) were told to keep secret. For instance, Mormons must learn different tokens or handshakes they feel are necessary if they hope to be able to return to their God after death. These include the first and second token of the Aaronic Priesthood and the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or sign of the Nail and the Second Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or Sure Sign of the Nail. Each token came with an obligation of 'secrecy.' After learning the 'First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood,' a character portraying the Mormon God 'Elohim' tells them, 'I will now explain the covenant and obligation of secrecy which are associated with this token....' Patrons then had to 'covenant' never to reveal these secret handshakes by promising, 'Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken.' The post-1990 ceremony has deleted the words 'of secrecy' regarding this and other tokens but patrons are still told to 'never reveal' what they have learned. The newer ceremony also no longer requires patrons to repeat the phrase, 'Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken.'" - "The LDS Temple Ceremony - Sacred or Secret?". URL: http://sacredorsecret.com/sacred.htm
- ↑ http://concernedchristians.org/board/viewtopic.php?p=24298#24298
- ↑ For an example, see the discussion that ensued here: http://mormoncoffee.blogspot.com/2006/12/fair-above-all-virgins.html
- ↑ http://www.bycommonconsent.com/2006/12/2272/. Accessed 2006/12/05. To the author's credit, she went on to say, "Although I have never bought this argument, both because lies seem usually to be inherently wrong and because that presupposes the meat-eaters are more righteously sacrificed than the milk-drinkers, it was possible to function under the argument as long as few learned the facts."
- ↑ Available online here.
- ↑ http://mormanity.blogspot.com/2004/07/meat-before-milk-dealing-with-divine.html
- ↑ "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". URL: http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,161-1-11-1,FF.html
- ↑ Richard Packham, "Mormon Lying", URL: http://home.teleport.com/~packham/lying.htm. Accessed 9/14/2006.
- ↑ Boyd K. Packer, "The Candle of the Lord," Ensign, Jan. 1983, p. 51.
- ↑ Hugh W. Pinnock, "Necessities of Living". Available here: http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6739
- ↑ This was a response on BYU's "100 Hour Board" to a question about how one can know they have a testimony. Available here: http://theboard.byu.edu/index.php?area=viewall&id=18381 BYU's 100 Hour Board
- ↑ Randy L. Bott, Prepare with Honor: Helps for Future Missionaries, p. 47
- ↑ Armand Mauss, The Angel and the Beehive, University of Illinois Press
- ↑ For an introduction to the concept of "faithful history", the following Mormon blog post is recommended: http://mormoninquiry.typepad.com/mormon_inquiry/2006/05/faithful_histor.html
- ↑ Boyd K. Packer. "The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than The Intellect". A talk given at the Fifth Annual Church Educational System Religious Educators' Symposium, 22 August, 1981, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. For an official transcript see Brigham Young University Studies, Summer 1981
- ↑ "President Packer Interview Transcript from PBS Documentary". Available online here.
- ↑ "Mormon Doctrine and the Presidency: An Insider's Perspective". Available here.
- ↑ http://cougarguard.com/forum/showpost.php?p=98921&postcount=4
- ↑ Available online here.
- ↑ [url=http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index.php?s=&showtopic=35296&view=findpost&p=1208417345]URL[/url]
- ↑ Lesson 38: “Old Things Are Done Away, and All Things Have Become New”, Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (1999),168
- LDS Leaders and "Lying for the Lord"
- Lying for the Lord, by Jim Day
- Temples, tours, and the truth, by Eric Johnson
- Truth and Mistruth in Mormon History, by B. Carmon Hardy
- Did Joseph Smith Justifiably Lie About Not Having Multiple Wives?
- Milk Before Meat (ExMormon.org)
- LDS Leaders, Their Ethics and Lying for the Lord (ExMormon.org)
- Mormon Lying, by Richard Packham
- Michael J. Barrett – Excommunicated for Publicly Confirming LDS Teaching
- Lying for the Lord: An Essay (PDF), by B. Carmon Hardy - Solemn Covenant: The Mormon Polygamous Passage. Appendix I.
- Does Mormonism Encourage Honesty? - An account of an ex-Mormon
- Paul H. Dunn - A 20th Century Mormon General Authority and Teller of Tall Tale
- Lying for the Lord, by Ken Clark
- What Is It About Mormonism?, by Noah Feldman (New York Times)
- What Is It About Mormonism? (MP3) - interview with secular author of aforementioned article
- Church History and Censorship
- Interviews with Harry G. Frankfurt
- Gospel Teachings About Lying, by Dallin H. Oaks
- Elder Gene R. Cook meets Mick Jagger (excerpt of a talk given by Elder Gene R. Cook at Ricks College)
- Lying for the Lord? (FAIRWiki)
- Missionary Malpractice per se, by Kevin Barney (Kevin on the board of FAIR)
- Lying for the Lord v. Justified in not telling the whole truth - A revealing discussion among Mormons
- John Taylor's 1850 "Three Nights' Public Discussion" - John Taylor deceptively gives the impression that he is monogamous
- The Challenge of Honesty, by Frances Lee Menlove
- Honesty: A trait of the truly converted, by Robert L. Kimball (LDS Church News)
- Hugh Nibley's coded language and the minority mind-set, by Michael De Groote
- “The Qmlbwpnygax Eujugec Have Not the Power to Ktgjie the Wzznlhmpygtg”: Codes and Ciphers in Mormon History (part 1) by Ardis E. Parshall
- The Way of the Church, by Hugh W. Nibley