Monday, September 17, 2007

The Weakest Link

According to Mormon teachings, to achieve salvation and exaltation, I must embrace the following chain of doctrinal beliefs. Each link of this chain is connected to form a belief in Mormonism…break one of the chains….and Mormonism falls as a false religion…

I must believe Joseph Smith restored Christ’s true church. For me to believe Joseph Smith restored Christ’s true church, I must believe there was a need for such a restoration. To believe in the need for a restoration, I must believe in the great apostasy. For me to believe in the great apostasy, I must believe a Christ established his church. To believe in a Christ I must believe in the atonement. To believe the atonement, I must believe in the fall of Adam. For me to believe in the fall of Adam I must believe the Adam and Eve story is a literal historical fact, and finally I must believe in the Creation of the earth by a God who was once a man. According to D&C 77, this chain of event happened 6,000 years ago, prior to that there was no death on this earth.

Russell M. Nelson summed up this fundamental linkage of beliefs (October 1996 conference talk entitled “The Atonement”, published in the November 1996 Ensign beginning on page 33) by stating:"The Creation required the Fall. The Fall required the Atonement. The Atonement enabled the purpose of the Creation to be accomplished. Eternal life, made possible by the Atonement, is the supreme purpose of the Creation. To phrase that statement in its negative form, if families were not sealed in holy temples, the whole earth would be utterly wasted.

The purposes of the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement all converge on the sacred work done in temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The earth was created and the Church was restored to make possible the sealing of wife to husband, children to parents, families to progenitors, worlds without end.This is the great latter-day work of which we are a part. That is why we have missionaries; that is why we have temples—to bring the fullest blessings of the Atonement to faithful children of God."

For the Mormon church to be what it claims to be and to be the conduit to salvation and exaltation the story of Adam and Eve must have literally taken place, and for me to accept the story of Adam and Eve as a literal historic fact I must:

1) Discard and disregard ALL historical, anthropological, archeological, and paleontological discoveries, research and records that describe, reference, or refer to the existence of humans prior to 4,000 BCE. (Adam was the first human.)

2) Discard and disregard ALL biological and paleontological discoveries, research and records that describe, reference, and refer to or imply that life forms died prior to 4,000 BCE. (There was no death prior to the fall of Adam.)

3) Accept as fact that prior to 4,000 BCE the planet Earth resided in the vicinity of a distant celestial body named Kolob and that around that time the planet Earth moved away from Kolob (as a result of the fall of Adam) and settled into its current solar orbit.

I cannot accept or embrace these premises. The story of Adam and Eve, therefore, is just that, a story – another creation myth, a metaphor, a parable. With that said this doctrinal chain fails at its weakest link.

If there was no Adam there was no fall of Adam, and without the fall of Adam there was no need for an atonement. If there was no need for an atonement, there was no need for a Christ. If there was no need for a Christ then there was no need to establish an authoritative church of Christ, and if there was no authorized church of Christ there was no great apostasy. Without such an apostasy there was no need for a restoration. If there was no need for a restoration then Joseph Smith was a fraud.

For me the show is over. Somebody turn out the lights and lock the door. Elvis has left the building.

12 comments:

Allison said...

You will LOVE this!!

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5216975979627863972&q=zeitgeist+part+1&total=77&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

Allison said...

Oops, try again!
click here

paranoidfr33k said...

Cr@ig,

I like the reverse logic. You spell it out quite clearly. It seems to put all of christianity into the same sphere, being false from the get-go.

/paranoidfr33k

jen said...

Curious-zeitgeist is worse than atheism....Depressing.... and makes me want to find a bag...
Thank God for II Cor. 4:4- read it and have hope!!!!

Interested said...

Excellent post. It is very refreshing to find like-minded thinkers. I placed link to you on my blog.

Wendy said...

I guess they won't be driving to church in the petrol guzzling mormonmobiles anymore - no death before 6,000 years ago means that oil doesn't exist. Therefore if you believe in the atonement you'll have to walk to church :)

Anonymous said...

I just have to write somewhere public that I am now a closet apostate! I was a TBM as of a month ago, but after an honest attempt to steal myself against possible "anti-," I realized what a crock Mo-ism is. 28 years of my life are gone, and now I have to find a way to leave without destroying my family (wife is TBM). This is why some people can't leave the church alone. It destroys many families as soon as someone hears the music stop. Conference yesterday just about made me barf in many instances. Things that used to get shoved under the rug of "faith" I now see as naked revelations of Mo-ism's fraud. Whew! I feel better already.

paranoidfr33k said...

anonymous, welcome.

Check out the New Order Mormon (NOM) & Further Light & Knowledge (FLAK) forums. They are a good place to start when figuring out what to do after realizing the church isn't what it seems.

/paranoidfr33k

Anonymous said...

Craig,

Here you are saying all these things about the church...just because you did something wrong, and was excommunicated...
Quite sad. You are now just one of many ex-mormons who can't deal with their bitterness towards the church. Do me a favor: grow up and move on.

vcomp1960 said...

Cr@ig, I'm glad my parents and grand parents (both sides) were catholic apostates who told me never to believe in any religion. However, I don't think they had much trouble breaking away, at least they never said so. I don't believe in much but very happy doing as I please.

vcomp1960 said...

Loved the video allison

Merc8es said...

This post is a long time ago, but I am enjoying reading your journey. My sister and I were laughing at your 2006 Close Encounters classifications, which are hilariously apt descriptions, and match her experience living in Utah Valley.
I am commenting because this 'touches' the one aspect that disturbs me most- the infused view that deity and church are on the same level. Faith belongs to God alone and allows for absolute freedom and diversity of thought; thus naturally divergence of theological beliefs.
The atonement idea does not match the character of God that Jesus taught. I reject it without rejecting my faith in God. The Bible is not a forgery of an ancient document like the Book of Mormon, but we can only speculate who wrote it and for what purpose. Perhaps Moses, dealing with a barely monotheistic people, thought they needed a simple story showing how one god might create all people.
I am behind in your story, but I want exmo's to know that there is such thing as finding inner faith and attempting communion while maintaining personal intellectual honesty, and enjoying a spiritual journey that is free from selfish obsession with personal salvation. Consenting to a doctrine is not the same as achieving faith in God. In choosing self-honesty I think you've chosen the right.