Beliefs Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion

What’s wrong with BYU-Idaho’s Mormon dress code

Yesterday afternoon, BYU-Idaho President Kim Clark ruffled feathers with an apparently judgmental Facebook status update, posted just after he’d strolled around the campus:

BYU-I dress code

BYU-I has gained a reputation as the most conservative of the various Mormon universities. It’s legendary for “grooming standards” that prohibit even the knee-length shorts and capri pants allowed at other BYU campuses (and in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet).

Here are three reasons we might want, as a culture, to think more deeply about Mormon dress codes.

capri pants1)   The dress code focuses attention on shallow perceptions of appearance rather than larger Christlike goals like community service or education for the common good. Why are we so fixated on pharisaic details? (What’s the big fetish about ankles, for heaven’s sake?)

“If these dress codes were just silly, if they weren’t doing any palpable harm, then this issue wouldn’t matter so much,” Aaron C. Brown commented on Facebook, a Mormon who graduated from BYU in Provo. “But they ARE doing harm. They’re contributing to the spiritual shallowness of our membership. . . . A not insignificant number of [church members] have been OBSESSED with the clothing choices of both their fellow members and the non-members around them. There are so many worthwhile causes and endeavors they could’ve pursued.”

2) The code emphasizes obedience as the ultimate good, even without providing good reasons for that obedience.

President Clark’s Facebook remarks yesterday echo almost verbatim his 2006 devotional “Out of Small Things Proceedeth That Which is Great”:

Obedience to the small things creates a spirit of obedience in all things, and thus protects against evil and invites the blessings of heaven (p. 34 of student manual).

Yes, there are examples when faithfulness in small matters demonstrates our willingness to be faithful in large ones, as Jesus suggested when he spoke about being good stewards of wealth (Luke 16:10-12).

[tweetable]But enforced conformity to an arbitrary dress standard does not bring with it a guarantee of the blessings of heaven.[/tweetable]

On the contrary, undue focus on levitical concerns such as the precise measurement of exposed flesh between cuff and foot risks creating a people who imagine God as an exacting critic who has little to do with the loving Christ of the New Testament.

It might be good for Mormons to remember that Jesus’ only words about clothes in the entire New Testament were an admonition for us to stop worrying so much about them (Matthew 6).

3) Finally, the university’s single-minded concentration on dress code turns Mormon students into their brothers’ -– and sisters’ — keepers.

President Clark asks students to “help each other to be obedient in even these small, but important, things” and to “share this message with roommates and friends.”

That’s not sharing; that’s policing.

I’m reminded of the 2011 news story of a BYU-Idaho student being booted out of a testing center when she showed up in skinny jeans. The student was female, the test center employee male; he made a judgment call that transcended even the university’s own policy, which as subsequently clarified, does not explicitly prohibit skinny jeans.

It may seem that President Clark’s invitation to “share” is not gender-specific, since he certainly doesn’t state that it’s women who need “help” in determining what’s appropriate. But the gendered power dynamics of Mormonism mean that many young men may interpret such statements as giving them carte blanche to pass judgment on the clothing choices of the young women in their midst.

Such an interpretation has been subtly reinforced by the university and the Church; in the 2011 debacle, for example, both institutions responded that the actual standard prohibited clothing that is “sleeveless, strapless, backless, or revealing. It should not have slits above the knee or be formfitting.”

In other words, clothing that deserves particular censure is . . . clothing that might be worn by women. I haven’t seen a BYU-Idaho guy in a strapless dress with a slit above the knee in a long, long time.

But now I know that if I do, I should share with him that his choice is inappropriate, and hope that he exhibits a spirit of obedience about his mistake.

About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (Random House/Convergent, 2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church" (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.

209 Comments

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  • Interesting article. As a Mormon who attended both BYU-Idaho and BYU-Provo, I agree with most of what you wrote. However, your comment that Jesus only spoke of clothing once totally side steps and undercuts the LDS belief in continuing revelation through a living prophet. You even cite a publication from the leader/prophet of the LDS church (For the Strength of Youth) yet don’t give any credence to him later in your article for things he has taught about clothing standards.

  • What’s wrong with this dress code critique?

    a. It is not logical to conclude that focus on the small things like a dress code, necessarily means that other larger things are not being attended to. It is a fallacy to assume those interested in enforcing a dress standard, cannot also be anxiously engaged in what Christ called the weightier matters.

    b. Christ taught that by small and simple things are great things brought to past and that those who are FAITHFUL in a few things will be made rulers over many. It is a fallacy to assume that the dress code is the only issue here, and that because it is small in the eyes of the critic it is therefore of little import. Contrarily the President’s statement was to those who had promised to adhere to a standard and were failing to do so. Lack of integrity, and wanting to be the rule maker, instead of following the rules we promised to follow, are serious matters, which reveal a sick soul. If the student disagrees with the code and feels it is a small or trivial matter, they can go elsewhere to a school with no code at all. It is dishonest and selfish to agree to standards, and then to violate those standards. It is a great injustice for that person to take up a slot at a University, and then to violate their promise, when many others denied admittance, would have adhered to the standard faithfully and would love to have been accepted.

    c. It is a self serving classification to call the dress standards arbitrary simply because it meets ones desires to then criticize them. It is not the case that some church leader just sat down one day, and arbitrarily decided on lengths. One might also argue that God arbitrarily set the words of the sacrament prayers, and how silly it is to do them word perfect.

    d. The Matthew 6 claim is as ridiculous as it is fallacious. First Christ was talking about the source of the clothing, not the modesty of it, and in fact Christ’s teachings as a whole support modesty of dress. It is a common fallacy to take statements of Jesus out of context of the statement, and out of context of everything else he taught on that subject, in order to try to make one’s point. Second, the inference of the quote as used by the proponent could be used to argue that clothing was an unnecessary thing period, which was clearly not the Savior’s intent.

    e. It is always fascinating to me that those who quote “the Brother’s Keeper” thing, seem to not realize the context in which it was first used. It was a selfish, evil and murderous Cain, who taught the doctrine, and who was speaking to God, in an attempt to escape accountability for his actions. Cain’s argument is that we are not our brother’s keepers. Christ, Paul and many other prophets taught the opposite. We are our brother’s and Sister’s keepers. It is our duty to teach, preach expound and exhort. That is the only truly loving way to behave, facilitation, is never loving, though it is often popularly claimed to be such. I imagine the Samaritan, walking away from the wounded Jew, with the justification on his lips, I am not my brother’s keeper.

  • Seemingly insignificent things like showing some ankel in public might seem like harmless fun, but sometimes even a tiney sound can send the avalanch tumbling down the slippery slope of good intentions.

    One day the young ladies are showing their ankels, and by next week they may be walking around without their bonnets on! It is best to correct these enfractions when they are still small. Good luck to the Mormons in their fight against modern licentiousness.

  • This is perfect. Thank you for writing this. I have long thought that the dress and grooming standards of the church and of the BYUs gives permission to judge each other, which I don’t think is particularly Christlike.

  • FWJ – You and I see things very differently. I do support that fact that the students did sign the honor code, and if these specifics – ankle’s showing etc. were specified, the school has the authority to make it an issue. That the President of the University chose to do so is his prerogative.

    Where I struggle is the idea of the other students “checking” on other students. The minute people are instructed to help their college mates we cross lines that are not in keeping with an article of faith. “We believe men will be punished for their own sins and not Adam’s transgression.”

    As a mother of a BYU-Utah grad, I can tell you that BYU – I students take it upon themselves to enforce their honor code everywhere. And my question is Why? They are no longer on campus, they are not responsible for some one else’s agency, and honor codes differ from school to school. I have an answer to my question – more than one BYU-I student has told me “It’s a much more spiritual school than the other BYU’s.”

    I could go on for pages about the problems this causes, but then Ramuemptoms have always caused problems.

    Again the President is entitled to enforce his honor/dress code – and it appears that each school gets to write it’s own dress/honor code, I think though it crosses the line when it implies a higher level of judgement, spying, and pride in it’s students.

  • We have often joked that BYU-I is where the Taliban caves of Mormonism are located. The dress code creates adults that are worried when their toddler wears a sundress that wouldn’t cover garments and quickly layer the child up in hopes of being modest. Twenty years ago we were not so obsessed with shoulders and ankles as we currently find at BYU-I. Oft times, after paying 10% in tithing, the church schools become a few of the only financially affordable colleges. I have always hated the rules and am glad that my children have been able to attend BYU where they can have not only greater freedom in their dress but also there is greater intellectual thought and discussion that helps broaden the minds of the students as they prepare to “make the world their campus”. BYU is in no means perfect but I can’t see what the dress code gets the students at BYU-I.

  • I couldn’t agree more that the dress and grooming standards at LDS owned universities are not only over the top, but they also teach an incorrect principle. Does it say anywhere in the Bible, Book of Mormon, or any other scripture, “The Lord looketh upon the clothes.”? I think not. It says the Lord looks into the hearts of His children. Then why would we place an emphasis on judging others on standards that are not ones the Lord created? What is the difference between this and teaching worldly philosophies?

    I think this also extends to the unwritten dress codes in LDS churches. I refer now to the bogus, but very real “Doctrine of the Sacred White Shirt”. I am sorry, but there is immense pressure to wear white shirts to all meetings in this church. And this is aimed at men, not women (women have even more pressure not to wear pants to church). If you don’t believe this is true, go count shirts in any LDS meeting–especially in Utah and other conservative states like Texas. I am positive there is over 90% conformity to this ridiculous standard that isn’t a doctrine and isn’t even a policy. In fact, the General Handbook expressly tells church leaders to not withhold the right to participate in sacrament ordinances from young men who do not wear white shirts. The very fact that they had to mention this warning shows that the leadership of the church is well aware that many local leaders have taken this thing way to far.

    And the irony of it all is, the scriptural teachings on this subject are virtually 100% on the side of warning about the dangers of creating differences among people because of apparel. I think it is appropriate that the Savior used the metaphor of “whited wall” in perhaps his most scathing criticism of the pharisees for the sin of hypocrisy. I don’t think the Savior meant that wearing certain clothing that made you look pious was the key to following His teachings. That white shirt isn’t what counts. Really.

    And to call it “obedience” to follow some rule that doesn’t even come from Heavenly Father?! Come on, leaders! Wake up! Obedience is not a universal principle. Obedience to Hitler, Mao or Stalin will never get you into heaven. I have a testimony of that truth. Obedience to doctrine is what we are accountable for–not obedience to whatever little rule somebody decides to add to Heavenly Father’s teachings.

    I don’t think we want to become The Church of Jesus Christ of Superficial Latter-Day Saints with a slogan of–“We look holier than the rest of you, regardless of how we actual live our lives”.

    Any way, I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who finds all of this troubling and even offensive.

  • LOL, FWJ! I think it is amusing how you are all like, “I am going to make an itemized list, and use the word ‘logical’ a lot, and especially the word ‘fallacy’! To show how fallacious this is! I am arguing logical, and my points are totally more detailed than saying that dress codes are good because people should just DO WHAT THEY ARE TOLD.”

    Also! In your seemingly exhaustive list of comments, you fail entirely to engage with Jana’s point that the dress code seems targeted more at women than at men. Which would be unfair, right?

    Also–fallacy!

  • There are really two separate issues at play here. The first is whether or not the dress code could stand to be modified without compromising modesty. The second is whether people who have agreed to a certain standard have the right to get indignant when they are called out for violating their agreement.

    On the first score, I think there is clearly room to modify certain dress policies at all the church campuses. Surely we will all survive exposure to people’s ankles and calves. Those seeking a significant liberalization of the policies probably shouldn’t expect much support for too much exposure beyond the kneecap. It has been hinted in the past that the ban on facial hair could potentially fall over time, though I’d bet that there would still be standards on grooming if it were to happen.

    On the second point, when you sign the honor code you give your word that you will adhere to the policies. One doesn’t get to bitch about it later when one is in violation of it. One may respectfully petition the school to reconsider, but I would even consider it inappropriate to make a stink beyond perhaps a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. There are other schools out there. Nobody is holding a gun to anyone’s head.

  • Women are more likely to wear revealing or form fitting attire than men. Men are more likely to have facial hair. Both are restricted for both genders according to the honor code. Avoiding one set allows you to irrationally make the assumption that the honor code targets one gender and not the other.

  • You are right, Brian, about honor code promises.

    But did you ever promise, or covenant that you would always wear a white shirt to church and idly sit around while some local leader called it the “uniform of the priesthood”? I went to BYU. I agreed to the dress code and I followed it. But I never agreed to or covenanted to wear a certain color shirt to church, and I don’t believe Heavenly Father has asked us to do so. And yet, you cannot honestly say that there is not great pressure to conform and follow the group. And if you do not, I think you will be treated differently and viewed differently than if you conform.

    I also think this type of practice is the road to apostasy. I do not believe early Bishops started wearing Priest robes, crosses and rosary beads over night. I think they started wearing something, and then started saying, wouldn’t it be great if all of the righteous did it too. And 200-300 years later, you end up with robes, shepherd staffs, mitres, etc.

    I think it starts with “little” new rules like white shirts. And develops into singing “We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet” whenever a GA enters a room. And if we aren’t careful, we might have one that wants us to bow three times when we do it. And beatify them to sainthood after they die.

    I think church leaders need to be very careful about “looking beyond the mark” and creating new commandments, rules and practices where Heavenly Father has not chosen to do so. The fact that a leader has received a sacred calling does not mean that every idea that pops into his head is a revelation from God binding upon his area of stewardship. And “obedience” and “sustaining leaders” does not mean that we have to blindly follow whatever new thing these leaders may come up with. Many of the wonderful LDS leaders are very careful in this area. But not all of them. As the scripture goes, “we have learned…that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority…they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” I believe this revelation was written to LDS church leaders specifically. And I also believe Heavenly Father wants them to be very careful with what they do in His sacred name–which means they should be extremely cautious about creating new rules and doctrines in the kingdom unless they are sure they come from Heavenly Father.

  • I think most of your concerns could be easily addressed with the following language change at the BYU-I level: “BYU-Idaho, as part of its mission to prepare young men and women for entering into the professional work force, has chosen a business-casual dress code. Business casual is understood as…”

    Because frankly, that’s what the dress code is.

  • WindRiverHiker writes: “But did you ever promise, or covenant that you would always wear a white shirt to church and idly sit around while some local leader called it the ‘uniform of the priesthood’?”

    Nope. Never made any such promise, nor was one ever solicited. Yes, I’ve heard people refer to a white shirt and tie as the ‘uniform of the priesthood.’ No, I never bought that this was factually true, and treated it accordingly.

    I probably wear white shirts voluntarily most Sundays, but primarily because I’m a guy and almost everything goes with white, so I can choose almost any tie to accompany plain slacks and I’m good to go. Simplicity at its finest. But I really enjoy my various dress shirts of burgundy, blue, dark blue, purple, black, and whatever other colors I can find in my size from time to time, and I wear them to church at my personal pleasure. I never hear criticism, but usually get compliments from both genders.

    WindRiverHiker continues: “I never agreed to or covenanted to wear a certain color shirt to church, and I don’t believe Heavenly Father has asked us to do so. And yet, you cannot honestly say that there is not great pressure to conform and follow the group. And if you do not, I think you will be treated differently and viewed differently than if you conform.”

    That hasn’t been my experience, but I’m open to the fact that such happens in places.

    Continuing: “I also think this type of practice is the road to apostasy. I do not believe early Bishops started wearing Priest robes, crosses and rosary beads over night. I think they started wearing something, and then started saying, wouldn’t it be great if all of the righteous did it too. And 200-300 years later, you end up with robes, shepherd staffs, mitres, etc.”

    Why is it that when some people take issue with a given policy, their examples become exceedingly preposterous?

    More: “I think it starts with ‘little’ new rules like white shirts. And develops into singing ‘We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet’ whenever a GA enters a room. And if we aren’t careful, we might have one that wants us to bow three times when we do it. And beatify them to sainthood after they die.”

    A bit over the top, don’t ya think?

    I don’t recall hearing people breaking into “We Thank Thee O God For A Prophet” for random GAs. Rather, it seems to be rather reserved for the actual President of the Church. And needless to say, we don’t do the bowing and beatification thing as a rule.

    I completely disagree with the notion that church leaders run amok “creating new commandments, rules and practices where Heavenly Father has not chosen to do so.” Commandments come from God alone. Rules may be created to respond to various needs at any given point in time, and it isn’t playing God to create them. I am unaware of any prophet who has maintained that “every idea that pops into his head is a revelation from God binding upon his area of stewardship.” That’s not the way the Lord’s servants generally operate. And for all intents and purposes, people like that tend to get weeded out before they ever rise to the apostleship.

  • Bingo, Christy! Lots of universities, usually private schools with high academic standards, require business attire of their students. Even high schools do it.

  • Been an active priesthood holder for decades, and I for one haven’t heard “uniform of the priesthood” until now.

  • Brian, I have a dear friend in my ward, old enough to be my dad (but way younger than my dad!), who I’ve heard use the expression many times. It’s his personal thing. I’m sure he heard it years ago from someone he deeply respects. It is what it is. I can absolutely believe others who say they have heard it as well. That said, that doesn’t mean anyone has to take it too personally and feel judged by it either. Nobody is going to lose their home teaching gig over a colorful shirt.

  • I appreciate your perspective and readily admit that I may be stating the case emotionally and strongly. But, I have personally witnessed a Stake President send a man home from a Stake Priesthood Meeting on a Saturday because he had come directly from the airport wearing a gray shirt with his suit–not the “uniform”. That was many years ago, but it really impacted me because it seemed so wrong to treat someone like this who had made an extraordinary effort to make it to a meeting. And this same Stake President and his counselors would approach people not wearing white shirts and call them on it frequently.

    Also, I know of a stake right now, today, in Draper, Utah (not my stake) where the Stake Presidency will not issue a temple recommend to anyone who does not show up to the interview with a white shirt on. I believe this to be in direct contradiction to the very specific, very clear instructions on temple recommends–which do not allow local leaders to make up new requirements and questions beyond those prescribed by the church.

    So I respectfully disagree that some local leaders go beyond the mark and make new rules.

    Having said that, I have had the good fortune, like most LDS members, to have only had one local leader in my entire life that I thought was actually doing quite a bit of this. My leaders have mostly been wonderful, good-hearted, caring people And I only know of a couple of GA’s who have done it–including one who published a book on “doctrine” that got pulled off the market and give more than 1,000 edits, and still ended up containing “doctrine” that the church has had to disavow.

  • I’m glad that you ultimately agree that the weird stories are largely the outliers rather than typical. I would imagine that a stake president who would withhold a temple recommend over the wearing of a white shirt to the interview would probably have some explaining to do if the member were to appeal the matter.

  • Irony points for judging people of not being Christlike because of an assumed tendency to judge others!

    Bonus irony points for accusing someone of not being Christlike for judging when in fact Christ is the ultimate judge!

  • Agreed. I’m not claiming it hasn’t been said, but I’ve lived in enough wards spanning enough regions to know it’s certainly not common. (I’ve literally never heard that phrase to the best of my memory until today) And yet WRH goes into this long-winded rant making several assumptions filled with accusations of apostasy and what not…

    He might want to check out xkcd dot com /1339/ to relax a little.

  • Carrie:

    It is precisely because we will be punished for our own sins, that a Loving Father and His loving Son, desire for us to be keepers of our fellow beings. We are to warn them, teach them, help them in any way we can so that they might be saved. It is decidedly unloving, to let them go on in the way of sin, simply because we are afraid of sounding self-righteous.

    It is not the correction that is in issue, for the scriptures are filled with commands that we do just that, but rather how one undertakes to correct others. Love, humility, concern, and tenderness are essential. Sadly, loving correction is often cast aside as misjudging by the person who does not want to change, and pride is often as strong if not stronger on the part of the one being corrected, as the one seeking to correct them.

  • One’s inability to understand the basic principals of logic and reasoning, or to see how fallacies undercut the original argument, do not necessarily equate to those items being irrelevant.

    The real fallacy is found in your erroneous assumption that having different standards for males and females is somehow unfair. If males and females are in fact different, then having different standard has nothing to do with fairness.

  • If you signed the Honor Code, you should abide by it, but many of these judgmental comments go one step further. Their attitude is not only should you abide by it, you should never criticize it, suggest changes, or point out problems. And that’s where it moves beyond being a strict dress code and into authoritarianism. Is there any way to even give feedback about the so-called Honor Code? If there was, could you give open and honest feedback without being judged as unworthy?

  • I find it funny that a religion that worships a founder who married and bed multiple 14 year old girls while already married to 12 other women cares that much if someones ankles are showing? Such hypocrisy is why I left the church years ago.

  • Why would anyone in their right mind promise to not wear shorts? Shorts are not evil. A church that worships a founder who bed and married 14 year old children now cares that it’t members wear shorts? God what a hypocritical church/school BYU is. Why would anyone go there – it’s not even a very good school educationally on a national level

  • It’s funny how many parallels you can draw between the LDS Church and the Taliban. They are only limited in what they can do because they are HQ in america. Keep in mind they only abolished polygamy and allowed black people cause they were forced to by the government.

  • Perhaps you should have paid a little more attention in Sunday School while you were still there. Here’s a trivia question: how many children did Joseph Smith have?

  • FJW –

    Former member of the BYU-I Student Council here. I was there when Bednar was present, and was able to sit in some meetings where the honor code was discussed by the leadership. I would like to address your point c.

    Yes, the meetings opened with a prayer, but it was an arbitrary decision. We did not do additional research, debate was not permitted, and there wasn’t period for student input. The leaders set the standards and the opportunities given to us as members of the student council was on how we could promote and enforce them (the rules).

    They were not things that authorities outside of the university provided input on. I do believe that higher up church leaders may have had veto authority, but they did not get involved in the workings of the school beyond financial matters.

    In short, it was an arbitrary decision, and to say that they were received as a result of revelation or guidance is incorrect.

  • What does that have to do with anything? Are you denying that he married and bed 14 year olds? Go look up Helen Mar Kimball. If you still don’t believe it then go to http://www.familysearch.org and look at his marriages. Even the LDS Church doesn’t deny that he married 14 year olds. Perhaps it is you who should have paid better attention…..although the church doesn’t teach this in Sunday School, nor do they teach multiple versions of the 1st vision that actually exist, nor do they teach that Joseph never mentioned the priesthood until 1835, nor do they mention that he started practicing polygamy in 1831 when he married Fanny Alger – 5 years before the actual keys that allowed polygamy were supposedly given to him. Oops.

  • Continuing revelation like denying blacks the priesthood? Guess it’s time for Tommy Boy to have another mythical revelation about gays now.

  • You should probably not make so many assumptions about me or what I have or haven’t been taught at Sunday School.

    Do you know the answer my question?

  • Are you asking about how many the church says he has? Or how many of his polygamist wives say he spawned with them? The church says 8. But if you look at the women who he was married to – 27 women according to the churches own website, then he had about 20 children. Point? Please answer my question and quit trying to defect. Are you trying to deny that he married 14 year olds? Your own church admits it. Why don’t you?

  • Here is a link to his wives. It ties to what is in family search and the churches own website, although some reports say there are 8-10 who were not reported on this list who he married. But let’s stick to facts and data.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Joseph_Smith's_wives

    And sorry, it was 11 children born to Emma, and a reported 13 additional from other women. So a total of 24. But please tell me you aren’t going to dispute polygamy by the number of children or try to say he didn’t have sex with these women. Read Helen Mar Kimball’s journal, or Fanny Alger, or Sylvia Porter, or Sara Ann Whitney all said the relationship was sexual. All died faithful in the church. But I am sure they were all lying right?

    Just admit your prophet is a pedophile.

  • TomW, if I have interpreted your last remark accurately, Chris may be passionate about this topic but an ad hominem is basically no different than saying “Oh yeah? Well you’re a poopy-head”. Let’s hear a factual rebuttal to Chris’ allegations. Hint…there isn’t one. FARMS tries but anybody reading its defences are left to wonder, “is this the best the true and living church can come up with?” And now this former bishopric member, seminary instructor, returned missionary, temple-married, individual is signing off with dreams of an early breakfast with hot coffee and a golf scramble Sunday at 9. God how I now love my weekends.

  • While there are gender issues with the Church, I really thought that BYU-Idaho’s dress code had more to do with its student body and mission than with shaming women. BYU-I is a lot easier to get into and my family members who attend were more focused on finding a job than the BYU students in the family. And BYU is pretty career-focused! I just think this might a situation where gender is not the issue, but rather that BYU-I sees that its students come from all sorts of backgrounds and training students to get in the habit of an office-friendly dress code makes them more marketable since the school isn’t the most prestigious university out there. It’s just another advantage that BYU-I wants to offer students consistently (and in a paternalistic way) to accomplish the mission of the school: Get jobs for graduates.
    I think the gender reading is a stretch because it assumed that only Mormons or BYU-I students have an issue with women and their dress. This is a society-wide issue, not special for Mormons. Also, it seems like a strict dress code would help students who don’t come from homes where dressing for business settings is the norm get up to speed when interviewing for jobs or just representing the school (children of farmers or blue collar workers or just really casual people). In an ideal world, no one judges us on our appearance, but we don’t live in an ideal world…

  • Danny. Here are the 3 main rebuffs the church has to Joseph’s pedophilia.

    1. Marrying a 14 year old during that time was normal. NO. It actually wasn’t but it did occasionally happen if a family wanted to marry their daughter into a wealthy family. But these cases were marrying the 14 year old to an 18/19 year old who was not already married. Joseph was 38 and married to 15 other women when he took his first child bride.

    2. Polygamy was legal. NO the 1832 Illinois Anti Bigamy act made polygamy illegal. So when the glorious profit scripted the Article of Faith about “sustain and obey the laws of the land” it, among many other things, made him a complete hypocrite.

    3. Joseph’s polygamist relationships were spiritual not sexual. Many of the women Joseph married ended up keeping journals and staying in the church. Several including Helen Mar Kimball wrote a journal which outlined how she was surprised that when she was offered Joseph’s “hand” in marriage that it was sold as a spiritual union, but then immediately turned sexual.

    Not only did Joseph marry 14 year olds, he married multiple women who were already married to other mens wives. There is no way anyone, member or non member can legitimately defend this sexual predator. I was a faithful member, bishopric, EQ president, RM, temple married and tried for years to find a loophole. But there isn’t one.

  • Actually that is the total opposite of how it works at BYU-I. The students who go there mostly ( I would say 90%) are not smart enough to get into BYU and choose BYU-I mostly cause they have no other choice. BYU (provo) is more difficult to get into and because of that the kids who do get in have other choices other than BYU. My son applied to BYU and got in, but then chose Stanford instead. BYU was just a fall back for him plus the dress code and everything else plus being really a second rate education made his choice easy. But for kids who get into BYU-I the church really can hold them hostage to higher standards cause those kids don’t have a lot of choices. And the church knows this.

  • 24 children from Joseph Smith, eh? That’s far more than most anti-mormon websites I’ve seen. Granted, prior to the age of the internet and DNA testing, there were no limits to the accusations against Joseph Smith. Do you trust modern DNA testing as it relates to determining blood relations, and would you like to revise your number after looking it up?

  • Brian,

    It’s like arguing how hot the sun is. We know it’s hot but exactly how hot doesn’t really matter really. Whether Joseph had 24 children, 20 Children doesn’t really matter. And DNA has nothing to do with hit. The records from the 1800’s are accurate enough this taken with witnesses from the church – Wilford Woodruff’s journal is a critical source and it’s not really in dispute that Joseph married two girls age 14, and 11 women who were already married to other women. So I will ask you again. The church does not deny this. Why do you? Is it that once you admit that your profit was a pedophile sexual predator that you probably have to start looking at all his other “fruits”? May have to ask yourself why he had to tell the “tale” of the first vision 4 times before he could recount that transcendent event correctly? Why he never mentioned priesthood restoration until 1835. Why he starting marrying other women in 1831 (go look up his marriage to Fanny Alger) before he received the keys to eternal marriage in the Kirtland Temple in 1836. That along with 1,000’s of other lies the man perpetuated. It doesn’t take DNA or science to realize that Joseph Smith was a complete con man.

    I know it’s hard to realize that your church is a fraud and what you have been taught all your life are lies. I found it was better to live my life with honesty and truth rather than to keep perpetuating a lie.

    Bow your head and say yes.

  • Jana, two problems with your post. First, your question of why we are so focused on those Pharisaic details. Don’t forget that when Jesus went on his famous rant in Matthew 23, he said:

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

    Yes, things like dress codes are minor, and we shouldn’t neglect the weightier matters to obsessively focus on them, but neither should we neglect the minor matters. I would not call a simple Facebook post calling attention to consistent violations of the dress code students sign on to, to be obsessive.

    Second, are we our brother’s keeper? YES! But there’s a big difference between passing on a message and perhaps occasionally reminding a fellow student of the dress code if they violate it and “policing” – to me, at least, the second requires reports to the authorities of violations with possible repercussions from said authorities or something similar.

  • Doug,

    I just find it ironic though that you worship a man who bed 14 year old girls and other mens wives yet you get all uppity about an ankle showing. And use the quote correctly, the quote “my brothers keeper” was used in defiance, it was not a suggestion that someone should be watching out for another – in other words ratting them out. What happened to “free agency” I thought your church believed in that?

  • Troll someone else, I have better things to do than waste my time ‘bashing with a mocker. Psalm 1:1-2:

    Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
    or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
    but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.

  • Doug,

    I was not bashing. I was only asking a question based on facts that the church does not deny. If you are afraid of your own churches history then that is certainly understandable, but don’t accuse me of bashing. I was merely pointing to facts that the church admits. Go look at http://www.familyserach.org if you don’t believe me.

  • Doug, Sorry that you feel that my pointing out that your cult worships a pedophile as me trolling. But I have the right to comment here just as anyone else does. Go take your persecution complex somewhere else.

    Bow your head and say yes

  • Yet again, play with someone else foolish enough to waste time “debating” an obviously hostile, closeminded troll.

  • 24 vs 20 wouldn’t make much difference, but would it matter if, perhaps, Joseph Smith fathered exactly zero children with anyone besides Emma? Why are you so resistant to modern DNA evidence?

  • Jan, that was aimed at Chris, not you, I hit the wrong button. Feel free to delete these. In fact, feel free to delete the intended thread from Chris’s response to my post on down.

  • Back to ad hominems? “Basher”, “troll”. Please don’t hold it against Chris (not that he needs my help) for his use of factual information that challenges your/the Church’s carefully constructed (but inaccurate) narrative of its history. Facts are just facts. They aren’t pro- or anti- anything. Look up Zina D.H. Young. On Wikipedia it says, “She practiced polyandry as the wife of Joseph Smith, and later Brigham Young, each of whom she married while she was still married to her first husband, Henry Jacobs.” What, Joseph and Brigham didn’t have enough wives already? Reminds me of Nathan the prophet talking to David about the rich man taking the poor man’s only sheep. Henry was NOT ok with it but stayed faithful anyways. Amazing to me. The church can try to duck and sidestep issues, the the cumulative weight of all of the problems overwhelmingly shows it be other than it claims to be. Were this debate to be taken to court, I believe the church could be shown false not just by a preponderance of evidence but by the elevated standard of clear and convincing evidence. Hence, my revulsion at the comments by the president of BYUI. Needless guilt, anguish, and sacrifice placed on our youth’s shoulders. The church wants unquestioning obedience. God forbid those kind of people should actually have responsible positions in government or anywhere else for that matter.

  • Yet again, troll someone else foolish enough to waste time “debating” an obviously hostile, closeminded mocker from the first post.

  • If you got a real education from a real university and not just followed a brainwashing cult you would know how to properly reply to a comment. But at least your ankles aren’t showing.

  • If you want to bring in issues that have nothing to do with the subject of Jan’s post in order to attack others’ faith, waste someone else’s time. I’ve long since learned to tell the difference between an honest outsider and a mocker.

  • And Doug. Why do you find me hostile? Because I point out the truth. If there is something I said that is erroneous please point out the err or my ways. I am not hostile. Not even close. Sorry you have such a persecution complex that you can’t have a rationale debate without having to think someone who is right is hostile.

  • I wasn’t saying BYU-I was harder to get into that Provo or somewhere like Stanford. I was saying that BYU-I’s stricter dress code could be part of its “training” for its students for the workforce. It’s superficial, but among less-competitive colleges, small things can make a difference in the job market.

  • I wonder if the mockers of BYU-I, and the more recent trolls, are familiar with what is required in the military.

  • It is both arrogant and illogical to claim that simply because one was not permitted to add their private input into a decision, that the decision was arbitrary.

    If that were the case the every decision ever made by mankind, in which I did not get to add my private 2 cents, would be arbitrary.

    Jesus made many decisions for his disciples, without asking their input. However, since he made them based on thought, prayer, and revelation from the most high God, they were anything but arbitrary.

  • Brian,

    What a horrible comparison. Yes the military is very ridged. They place soldiers in harms way where following rules saves peoples lives. They also help people develop character by following rules while they are in the military with the assumption that once they leave the military the people are better for it. They don’t build $2B malls, they don’t lie to their constituents, they don’t harm people by teaching them lies and hiding behind a sordid history. The military provides a service for the citizens of the US. The LDS Church provides nothing. Bad comparison. Sorry try harder as that attempt came off as desperate.

  • Ellen,

    Problem is many of the kids at BYU and BYU-I are forced by their parents to go there. I have literally met numerous parents who would withhold tuition from their kids if they did not attend BYU or BYU-I. Many members of the church brainwash their children, and when that doesn’t work they resort to blackmail. If you don’t think this goes on in the church then you are in denial cause it goes on all the time. My son’s girlfriend wanted to be a dr and was FORCED to go to BYU – a school that has neither a pre med program or a research back ground, both of which med schools look for. She ended up going to U of I and came out with $100K in debt cause her dad would not pay for anything other than BYU.

    Many of the kids at BYU-I don’t have an alternative. BYU-I pretty much accepts anyone as long as they go to seminary and can lie through a bishops interview. The dumbest kids in our ward who were in resource classes went to BYU-I. And so for many of them they also don’t have an option to leave if they want a college education, although BYU-I is a second rate education that carries no real value in the work world.

    So your assumption that these kids can simply leave is incorrect.

  • Within reasonability BYU-I is welcome to have and enforce their admittedly strict dress code. Those you go there agree to abide you those standards. However, the rest of us need to be more concerned about the inner human than about outward appearances, because the Lord is (See 1 Samuel 16 especially verses 7). In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord makes it clear He is more concerned about loving and forgiving attitudes than about outward appearances and performances (Matthew 5). This is especially important in dealing with our brothers and sisters in the real world and in the Lord’s Church (See http://www.ldsliving.com/story/76721-when-your-child-doesnt-fit-the-mormon-mold )…

  • Clearing Out the Notebook:

    From Brother Clark’s Facebook Post:

    “Obedience in the small things creates a spirit of obedience in all things.”

    Solid doctrine. The question now is this: Do we get to be “cafeteria Mormons” who simply decide on a case by case basis which small things really create that spirit?

    From the article:

    “The dress code focuses attention on shallow perceptions of appearance rather than larger Christlike goals like community service or education for the common good.”

    This is the same line of logic which some folks use to get from “Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants instructs us to avoid coffee and certain types of tea” to “Section 89 tells us to avoid all forms of caffeine.” The first is true. The second is merely conjecture. I would submit that the biggest reason we avoid coffee and tea is that this is a test of obedience “in the small things” which the Lord gives us. Passing this test means we are on the road to creating a spirit of obedience in greater, and eventually in all, things.

    “Why are we so fixated on pharisaic details?”

    There is a certain subset of the LDS population which tends to see any- and everything as “pharisaic” which requires of us something which a) is uncomfortable for that subset, and b) has no immediate cut and dried answer which will make said subset comfortable on an intellectual level. Labeling helps these good people overcome their aversion to obedience in whatever the particular tenet is.

    “(What’s the big fetish about ankles, for heaven’s sake?)”

    Given that the usual connotation of the word “fetish” is sexual and of the nature of gratification, I wonder if a better, more accurate term could not have been found here?

    “The code emphasizes obedience as the ultimate good, even without providing good reasons for that obedience.”

    Line upon line, precept upon precept. Sometimes we qualify for further light and knowledge based on obedience when said light is not very much.

    “Enforced conformity to an arbitrary dress standard does not bring with it a guarantee of the blessings of heaven.”

    One might ask this question: Were in “Mormondom” do we hear the term “brings forth the blessings of heaven” most often? Answer: Arguably, in the beginning of the 4th verse of “Praise To The Man”, one of our most beloved hymns. And what word precedes those six? “Sacrifice”. Does conformity to a dress standard as part of the privilege of attending BYU-I constitute sacrifice? Absolutely. So yes…it DOES bring forth a certain number of blessings. As to “arbitrary”, so are the ages of 8 for baptism, 12 for priesthood ordination, and 18 for young men to serve missions. “But wait!”, you say…”The Lord instituted all of those, therefore they are not arbitrary!” OK…but then…can you unequivocally say that the Lord did not, through His servants, institute a dress code which happens to inconvenience you?

    “On the contrary, undue focus on levitical concerns such as the precise measurement of exposed flesh between cuff and foot risks creating a people who imagine God as an exacting critic who has little to do with the loving Christ of the New Testament.”

    This is the “enforced either/or game” that some LDS are fond of playing. It is not “undue” unless the Lord says it is. It is not “Levitical” unless the Lord says it is. I have not seen the Lord do either. And I’m willing to believe that the Lord isn’t worried about risking the creation of the type of people described above.

    “It might be good for Mormons to remember that Jesus’ only words about clothes in the entire New Testament were an admonition for us to stop worrying so much about them.”

    It might be good for some Mormons to remember that the entire basis of this faith is that revelation on both faith and church governance did not stop with the conclusion of the New Testament.:)

    “the university’s single-minded concentration on dress code turns Mormon students into their brothers’ -– and sisters’ — keepers.”

    Do you really think that this is what it takes to get us there? Mormon students ARE each others keepers. Let me give you an example:

    In the many years that I have taught the 16-18 year old Sunday School class, I cannot remember anymore how many dozen times I have taught the following two precepts:

    1. Young Women: Do not engage in any activity which would keep a young man from serving a mission, regardless of whether or not said activity is his idea in the first place.

    2. Young Men: Do not engage in any activity which would keep a young woman from holding her place as a Daughter of God in the highest possible regard, even if she is willing, or even more than willing, to do so.

    I squarely put it on them to be each others keepers. We ARE each others keepers. What we should not be is each others judges. But that’s a whole ‘nother discussion.

    “That’s not sharing; that’s policing.”

    Actually, no it is not. It becomes policing when a person has the discretionary power to restrict the free movement of another by fiat (in the same way in which a police officer has the discretionary power to remove dollars from your bank account when you have to pay for the ticket he issues). In this particular case, it is indeed sharing…and caring.:)

    “It may seem that President Clark’s invitation to “share” is not gender-specific, since he certainly doesn’t state that it’s women who need “help” in determining what’s appropriate. But the gendered power dynamics of Mormonism mean that many young men may interpret such statements as giving them carte blanche to pass judgment on the clothing choices of the young women in their midst.”

    Not buying into this. It smacks of that whole “those big bad boys are telling us poor helpless womenfolk what to do” thing. The women of the church are empowered of God. The “gendered power dynamics of Mormonism” are the invention of a “victim mentality” which is somewhat juvenile, and which could stand to grow up a bit.

    “Such an interpretation has been subtly reinforced by the university and the Church; in the 2011 debacle…”

    Debacle? Really? A debacle is a sudden downfall…a rout…a complete collapse…a failure. Could someone show me where I missed the memo that the Church suffered any kind of downfall…rout…collapse…failure?

    Words mean things, people.

    FWJ – You write:

    “It is not logical to conclude that focus on the small things like a dress code, necessarily means that other larger things are not being attended to. It is a fallacy to assume those interested in enforcing a dress standard, cannot also be anxiously engaged in what Christ called the weightier matters.”

    Swish! Nothing but net!

    “Christ taught that by small and simple things are great things brought to past and that those who are FAITHFUL in a few things will be made rulers over many.”

    And again!

    “Contrarily the President’s statement was to those who had promised to adhere to a standard and were failing to do so.”

    And again! From behind the 3-point line!

    When I was 18, I could have gone to BYU. I certainly had the grades. My parents certainly would have rejoiced. However…I was just as interested (maybe even more interested) in my budding career as a rock musician than in where I might one day earn my undergrad degree, and the “look” was just as important as anything else at the time. So what to do? I took college classes somewhere else! Did that keep me from a temple recommend? No. From a mission? No. From a temple marriage? No. From leadership positions at both the Ward and Stake level? No. And through all of that, with my mission being the notable exception, I have spent a lifetime with my hair length and facial hair being out of synch with what would be required of a BYU student. So what? I simply chose to not attend a campus which would require this particular standard of me. No harm done. Wanna wear the goatee? Wanna wear the man-locks in a pony tail? Wanna rock the strapless, backless dress? Go to a college that allows for it. End of story. Quit whining already.

    “One might also argue that God arbitrarily set the words of the sacrament prayers.”

    Keep the 3-pointers coming!

    “It is decidedly unloving, to let them go on in the way of sin, simply because we are afraid of sounding self-righteous.”

    Thou are on a roll!

    “It is both arrogant and illogical to claim that simply because one was not permitted to add their private input into a decision, that the decision was arbitrary.”

    While I know nothing about either you or CWM, reading your exchange reminds me of times when, as a high school teacher, students wish to debate me as a peer. The fact is that I, as faculty, have the right to decide whether debate even takes place. The default position is also that, as an adult old enough to be the father of my students, I have lived long enough to gain more perspective, and that it is not in the best interest of myself OR my students to start afresh every time a young’un thinks they’ve reinvented the wheel. I’m guessing our brother CWM will eventually gain more perspective and come around.

    Carrie – You write:

    “FWJ – You and I see things very differently. “

    Then you would be wrong in those places.:)

    “Where I struggle is the idea of the other students “checking” on other students.”

    Shortly before he concluded his term as my mission president, Keith McMullin, who would go on to be a member of the Presiding Bishopric, told this story:

    A few service members in Korea were friends through their association as members of the LDS Church. The night before they were supposed to ship back to the States at the conclusion of their deployment, they were given a night of liberty on the town. One of them, arriving early at a bus stop for a return to the base, saw another, already at the bus stop, being approached by a lady of the evening. He made the decision to hang back…to “see what his buddy would do”. Inevitably, he watched his buddy leave for a short time with this woman. No word was ever spoken about it. The next day, they both got off of the same airplane in the States. As he watched his friend being hugged by his wife, he thought “How will I ever forgive myself for not stepping in and helping prevent that? I will live with that for the rest of my life.”

    “OK”, you say, “That was adultery…not a fashion choice.” True…IF you live your life on the cutting edge of superficiality. I would take the position that it is THOSE people who have the obsession with clothing choices…so much so that they are unwilling to help a brother or sister keep a small covenant. Bluntly, if I had a child at a Church university, and her (I have 3 daughters) classmates were unwilling to help her keep this part of the code of conduct of the school, I would also worry about their willingness to help her when it comes to bigger and more substantial issues.

    “The minute people are instructed to help their college mates we cross lines that are not in keeping with an article of faith. “We believe men will be punished for their own sins and not Adam’s transgression”.

    Err…umm…what does original sin have to do with any of this?

    “As a mother of a BYU-Utah grad, I can tell you that BYU – I students take it upon themselves to enforce their honor code everywhere. And my question is Why? They are no longer on campus, they are not responsible for some one else’s agency, and honor codes differ from school to school. I have an answer to my question – more than one BYU-I student has told me “It’s a much more spiritual school than the other BYU’s.”

    I, too, have run into similar things. When I returned from my mission, I went back to my former (and future) career working in the rock music industry. I looked every bit the part as well. From time to time over the years, in gatherings such as mission reunions where some of my former mission cohorts were present, I would hear from this or that person that they were disappointed that I had chosen to “no longer look like a missionary”. The reality, though, is this: Those people are a small, albeit loud, minority. The vast majority of those with whom I served a mission saw no issue. Likewise, I would stake my last penny that the vast majority of BYU-I grads could not possibly care less about any kind of post-college, off-campus enforcement of a code which expires when the student is no longer a student. Let it run off your back.

    Nix – You write:

    “you fail entirely to engage with Jana’s point that the dress code seems targeted more at women than at men. Which would be unfair, right?”

    Not necessarily right. Do women have more “options” that would bring them out of compliance than men do? If so, then a higher number of items in that direction is warranted. I would suggest more detailed research on your part.:)

    Brian – You write:

    “Women are more likely to wear revealing or form fitting attire than men. Men are more likely to have facial hair. Both are restricted for both genders according to the honor code. Avoiding one set allows you to irrationally make the assumption that the honor code targets one gender and not the other.”

    Exactly.

    Ronald – You write:

    “It is best to correct these enfractions when they are still small.”

    So…am I guilty of dereliction of duty in not correcting your small….enfraction?

    Allyson – You write:

    “We have often joked that BYU-I is where the Taliban caves of Mormonism are located.”

    Honey, I think you have just insulted all of downtown Kanab!

    (I will now sit back and wait for someone to lambaste my arbitrary decision to call you honey…especially without finding a male to also call honey…and all the while do it without feeling they are being judgmental.)

    Chirs – You write:

    “It’s funny how many parallels you can draw between the LDS Church and the Taliban.”

    I think the biggest one is that they are pretty much always drawn by intellectual lightweights.

    Also…just curious…did you seriously just misspell your own name?

    “Why would anyone in their right mind promise to not wear shorts?”

    Maybe they have ugly open sores?

    Maybe they live in Alaska?

    Also…just curious…did you seriously just misspell your own name?

    “Why would anyone go there – it’s not even a very good school educationally on a national level”

    Do tell!

    According to US News & World Report, BYU was ranked #62 nationally, beating out school such as Clemson, Purdue, U. of Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, Rutgers, Baylor, Virginia Tech, Marquette, TCU and Michigan State. All of this while charging a base tuition of $5000 per year. Wanna beat that? The next best is that vaunted bastion of intellectual thought, the University of Wyoming, which costs you $354 less for it’s ranking of #161.

    “A” for effort, thanks for playing. Also…just curious…did you seriously just misspell your own name?

    “Please answer my question and quit trying to defect”

    Is Brian moving to Russia? North Korea? Iran? Did I miss this memo? Or did you have a revelation while wearing your Seer Shorts?

    And thank you for finally spelling your name correctly, even if it apparently has cost you vocabulary troubles.:)

    “11 women who were already married to other women.”

    Wait…WHAT???? In my passion for U.S. History, did I somehow manage to miss out on the pre-Civil War legalization of gay marriage? Dude, I suggest you go back to misspelling your name. Going from Chirs to Chris seems to have ruptured your cortex.

    “the church really can hold them hostage to higher standards”

    Oh, the humanity! Held to higher standards! Sound the alarm!

    “I just find it ironic though that you worship a man who (etc.)”

    Dude…this is where we finally expose you for the liar that you are. In an earlier post, you claim to have been a returned missionary, an Elders Quorum President and a member of a Bishopric. It is as preposterous to believe that someone who has held these callings would think that LDS worship ANYONE OTHER than God, the Father, and do so in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, as it is to believe that someone would claim to have managed the Yankees, Dodgers and Giants, while simultaneously claiming that a baseball diamond has 6 bases. Game, set, match, dude. While one can certainly argue the veracity of LDS doctrine, one cannot get something so basic so wrong and still claim to have held leadership positions in the church.

    I wish I could give you an “A” for effort on this one, but you’re obviously slipping. Whatever it is you’re taking, I suggest you don’t drive for a while, and stay away from sharp objects. Jus’ bein’ my bro’s keeper here, don’tcha know.:)

    “I was not bashing.”

    OK, I admit it. I laughed.

    “I was only asking a question”

    Go back. Look up “question”. Try again. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

    “I was merely pointing to facts”

    Wait…I thought you were only asking a question. Make up your mind, bro!

    “If you got a real education from a real university and not just followed a brainwashing cult you would know how to properly reply to a comment.”

    If you had made it beyond 7th grade, you might know how to actually construct a sentence. Then again…

    “If there is something I said that is erroneous please point out the err or my ways. “

    I would, but I think the sentence speaks for itself.

    “Yes the military is very ridged.”

    Seriously? It always seemed to me that they were pretty smooth. But I’m only the nephew of a veteran, the cousin of a veteran, the brother of a veteran and the father of a veteran, so what do I know?

    “Problem is many of the kids at BYU and BYU-I are forced by their parents to go there..”

    Really? Forced? So there are kids who can say that one of their parental units held a gun to their head and said “You WILL attend BYU!!!”????

    “I have literally met numerous parents who would withhold tuition from their kids if they did not attend BYU or BYU-I.”

    Two points here:

    1. The withholding of tuition, by a parent, to their adult child, does not constitute force. The child is an adult, and the parent is under no obligation to pay for further education. There is nothing unreasonable about a parent saying “I am willing to pay for your college education…if you attend BYU.” One of my former voice students has parents who told her “We will pay for college for you if you attend Biola.” What’s the difference?

    2. I have also met the children of non-members – either because of a part-member family situation or because they converted and were baptized as teens – whose parents said “I will pay for you to go to college…but NOT at BYU.” And? It’s the parents money…and the offspring is an adult. End of story. But you see, it works both ways.

    “She ended up going to U of I and came out with $100K in debt cause her dad would not pay for anything other than BYU.”

    And? There are schools where a degree does not force one to go $100K into debt. This entire line of argument is ludicrous.

    “Many of the kids at BYU-I don’t have an alternative.”

    Sure, they do. It’s called “Community College” for 2 years, and then transfer to a State school. Get a scholarship. Get a grant. Join the Armed Forces and attend college for free on the GI Bill (which is what my daughter is doing). Or do college in increments while working full time and saving money.

    Hiker – You write:

    “I refer now to the bogus, but very real “Doctrine of the Sacred White Shirt”. I am sorry, but there is immense pressure to wear white shirts to all meetings in this church.”

    Pressure? Are you serious? OK let’s get real for a second. Are there places in the world where this is more of an issue than other places? Sure. The closer you get to Salt Lake City, the more common it is for the white shirt to be ubiquitous. But hello….this is a CULTURAL thing. The same thing applies to facial hair. I lived in Europe for a number of years, and held both Ward and Stake leadership callings there. And guess what? During that time, I had long hair…sometime pony-tail long hair…I often wore a beard…and I rarely wore a white shirt. When it did, it was purely because I felt like it that day. The only person who ever gave me grief was one particular American who happened to live over there.

    But NONE of this rises to the level of “immense pressure”. If you’re feeling “immense pressure”, you’re bringing it upon yourself. Let it roll off your back, bro.

    “go count shirts in any LDS meeting–especially in Utah and other conservative states like Texas.”

    Thanks for making my point. It’s a cultural thing.

    “I am positive there is over 90% conformity to this ridiculous standard that isn’t a doctrine and isn’t even a policy.”

    The more conservative the local culture is, the more likely this is to be true. But again…pressure is felt only if you choose to feel it.

    “did you ever promise, or covenant that you would always wear a white shirt to church and idly sit around while some local leader called it the “uniform of the priesthood”?”

    Uniform of the priesthood????????? I’ve been an active member of this church for 53 years and have NEVER heard that one before. I seriously just laughed so loud I hope I haven’t woken my family!

    “I never agreed to or covenanted to wear a certain color shirt to church, and I don’t believe Heavenly Father has asked us to do so.”

    I think I could make the case that the Lord has asked us to do so as Elders on a full-time mission. But that may be about it.

    “I think it starts with “little” new rules like white shirts. And develops into singing “We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet” whenever a GA enters a room.”

    I have served as a Stake Organist in multiple stakes and have NEVER been asked to do this. Further, I have served as a translator for General Authorities, and have NEVER seen a meeting break into that hymn upon our entrance into a room.

    Sidebar: While we’re talking pressure…here’s pressure: Sitting behind Thomas Monson, whispering into his ear in English what is being said in German…and then stumbling for a word.

    Sidebar to the sidebar: On that particular occasion, he turned around, gave me the word in English, and then turned back while I continued on, as if nothing had ever happened, and would never have brought it up again, had I not mentioned it later.

    “I think church leaders need to be very careful about “looking beyond the mark” and creating new commandments, rules and practices where Heavenly Father has not chosen to do so.”

    From my time serving in Europe, I recall a couple of minor instances of this:

    – The new temple president who had “footprints” stenciled on the carpeting so that no temple patron would walk out of line.

    – The mission president who decided that all Elders would wear “the official mission tie”.

    In both cases, a visiting General Authority immediately put the kibosh on these policies and life returned to normal.

    “The fact that a leader has received a sacred calling does not mean that every idea that pops into his head is a revelation from God binding upon his area of stewardship. And “obedience” and “sustaining leaders” does not mean that we have to blindly follow whatever new thing these leaders may come up with. Many of the wonderful LDS leaders are very careful in this area. But not all of them.”

    Concur. Where we might differ is in the percentage.

    “I have personally witnessed a Stake President send a man home from a Stake Priesthood Meeting on a Saturday because he had come directly from the airport wearing a gray shirt with his suit–not the “uniform”. That was many years ago, but it really impacted me because it seemed so wrong to treat someone like this who had made an extraordinary effort to make it to a meeting.”

    I did have something similar happen to me once, almost 30 years ago. There was a meeting – about 60 miles away – that I was not going to be able to attend because of work. When I did get to work that evening (I was playing piano at a hotel, and my shift started at 6pm), I was suddenly given the night off because an out of town group decided they wanted to perform. I immediately jumped in the car and drove to the meeting. Had I gone home to re-dress, that would’ve been 60 additional miles and, even at Autobahn speeds, I would have never made it.

    So I walked into this meeting wearing a Norwegian wool sweater and jeans. The Mission President looked at me and, in front of the visiting GA and 2 Stake Presidencies, said “President Walker, is this how you come to a meeting led by one of the Brethren?” And I replied “Yes it is, when the only other alternative is to miss the meeting.” That was the end of that.

    Tom – You write:

    “when you sign the honor code you give your word that you will adhere to the policies.”

    Swish! Nothing but net!

    “There are other schools out there. Nobody is holding a gun to anyone’s head.”

    And again!

    “Never made any such promise, nor was one ever solicited.”

    I was once told by a General Authority, in reference to a Stake Calling I held at the time, that if I did not cut my hair short and shave my beard, “the local membership would not take me seriously”. I tried, as humbly as I could, to tell him that, although he may be visiting my area, I was well known to the membership, and I had no problem getting anyone to take me seriously. I also told him that, within a year, the statistics would bear me out, and that if they did not, I would reconsider. Bless that dear GA’s heart, he actually called me a year later, and congratulated me on having made good on my promise to triple the number of baptisms in my Stake.

    Now, I totally realize that Paul planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. I’m just saying that my hair and beard (and colored shirts) didn’t hinder the harvest.

    “Nobody is going to lose their home teaching gig over a colorful shirt.”

    DANG it! So much for that extra bit of free time. I guess I’ll have to go back to being my brother’s keeper after all.

    Christy – Thank you for pointing out the “business casual” aspect.

    Danny – You write:

    “Let’s hear a factual rebuttal to Chris’ allegations.”

    If my 7-year old grandson were to come into my office and repeatedly say “all cars have 3 tires and a steering wheel shaped like a Rhodesian Ridgeback”, would I really be required to waste my time with a factual rebuttal? Sometimes the best way to deal with absurdity is to return it with same. “Chirs” is a great example of such.

    DSmith – You write:

    “it seems like a strict dress code would help students who don’t come from homes where dressing for business settings is the norm get up to speed when interviewing for jobs”

    Sounds like a stellar business model to me.

    TM – You write:

    “BYU isn’t a university, it is a seminary owned, run by the mormon cult to keep indoctrinating youth.”

    No one with any sense of actual academia would agree with that. “A” for effort, thanks for playing.

    Ellen – You write:

    “There’s only one thing to consider, actually. If you can’t handle the rules go somewhere else. #duh”

    Quit makin’ sense, hun…you’ll make some of the natives rupture a spleen.:)

  • You know, Kim Clark owns a home in my ward (not Idaho) and attends with us from time to time.

    I’ve heard his commentary in Sunday School multiple times and can attest that he is anything but shallow in his understanding, belief and sincerity for the gospel.

    Too often we criticize people for some single statement that they make in isolation from the rest of their personality, behavior, or volume of statements.

    I think if the BYU-I president is trying to make a statement about the dress code on a FaceBook update which is generally by necessity brief; or if he is speaking on modesty, he is not likely to lay out all of his other beliefs in that statement or that address due to time constraints.

    I believe that if this statement was truly couched in the canon of Kim Clark’s actual beliefs then it would likely raise less ire.

    Unfortunately, in today’s society, we judge each other on our facebook posts and tweets, rather than judging someone in the context of their totality.

  • Whoa. Please, please limit your comments to a reasonable length. 300 to 500 words would be the upper limit. If you need to, you can post separate comments to each person as you reply to them.

  • Hi Jana. Sorry about the length. That’s what happens when life gets too busy and I don’t get to check you as often as I’d like to.

    Andrew – You write:

    “I’ve heard his commentary in Sunday School multiple times and can attest that he is anything but shallow in his understanding, belief and sincerity for the gospel.”

    Bluntly, you don’t get to be in the position he is in if you are shallow in understanding, belief and sincerity. Indeed – and I mean this in a very benign way – I would ascribe said shallowness more to his critics.

  • Of course you were bashing. when you say things like, “…Tommy Boy to have another mythical revelation…” or use the word “profit” instead of Prophet. please realize that you are not really interested in civil discussion.

    But, I´d be interested in you reference where Helen Mar…said that their relationship was sexual.

  • If you can’t obey something as silly as shaving your face, how will you obey when God asks you to do something like paint lamb’s blood on you doorposts?

    For me the dress code was all about humility. Everyone knows that it isn’t a commandment from God for men to be clean shaven. The dress codes at the BYUs are more about being willing to set aside some of your individuality and being obedient even when it doesn’t make sense. For some people, including me, it was a lesson about how we should obey God even while acknowledging that our thoughts are not His thoughts. Like a real life parable.

    So BYU could change its dress code or leave it as it is, it usually doesn’t hurt people to wear sleeves and shave. (If it does hurt you can get a medical exception, e.g. a beard card.) But sometimes it is worthwhile to obey something even if you have no idea why, because that’s the way God often works.

  • Personally, I think 300 to 500 words sounds a little arbitrary. Many people consider a reasonable number of words to be somewhere in the thousands, or beyond. I’m not sure why you, Jana, the creator and author of this blog, think you should have any say in what is a reasonable-length comment. People should be free to post whatever size comment they feel like; and for that matter, use whatever language they want. Anything less would feel like, oh, I don’t know, being subject to some arbitrary, unreasonable word-code.

  • “If you can’t obey something as silly as shaving your face, how will you obey when God asks you to do something like paint lamb’s blood on you doorposts?”

    Honestly, these good folks remind me of Naaman, who wanted Elisha to cure him and wound up twice offended…first, by the fact that Elisha sent a messenger, and second because Elisha told him to wash seven times in the Jordan. He wanted something more to his taste than to the Lord’s.

    In more modern times, there was once a number of men who made a big deal about how they would be willing to die for the Church. After a while, Emma Smith posed the question “But how many of you are ready to LIVE for the Church?”

    If the Savior visited some of these good people and said “Look, ixnay with the shorts, k? And while you’re at it, stop whining, k?” I wonder how many of them would wish to lecture the Savior about it. And yet, they get all uppity because it’s the servant.

    By the same token, if the Prophet said “We need ALL of you to pack your things, get into your cars and be at your Stake Centers at 9pm Mountain Time, where we will reveal where we are all driving to greet the Savior”, the parking lots would look like a tailgate party before a Bowl game. But when it’s something as simple as his servant saying “Hey, let’s not wear shorts”, it’s now a Federal case?

    Let’s get our priorities in order, folks.

    “For me the dress code was all about humility.”

    Swish! Nothing but net!

    “The dress codes at the BYUs are more about being willing to set aside some of your individuality and being obedient even when it doesn’t make sense. For some people, including me, it was a lesson about how we should obey God even while acknowledging that our thoughts are not His thoughts. Like a real life parable.”

    And again!

    “sometimes it is worthwhile to obey something even if you have no idea why, because that’s the way God often works.”

    Psst…that was supposed to be a secret! Next thing you know, teenagers will be trying this, and then life will be so boring we may have to go out and do our home teaching just for the excitement level!

  • I am NOT Mormon, I do not believe in the same things, and after this garbage it’s almost historical to me that this woman gets to dictate how followers of the same.religion look now not only in the sanctity of the home of God on earth, (aka, your church, steak center, tabernacle, & or temple) but also now in everyday life? God does not discriminate on appearance. If he did Jesus and the rest of men who died before shaving existed. Facial hair is truly a joke well groomed or not but at least washed you as a human have your right to be who you want but NO LIVING HUMAN has the right to make up rules and say these acts are evil, those clothes are evil, & that hair shows your disrespect for god. All because they are old and afraid of change. You are not god you do not get to make it up as you go and take out everything you don’t like to see. You know what, I hope I’m standing in line the day all you self appointed hierarcs and supposed speakers of god have to explain why your doing the Lord’s work picking and choosing making life rules and dictating people’s lives, believe in god show faith however, too whatever extent you desire. Only set rules and guidelines for yourself, if someone else don’t follow them they will answer to god. No one should ever be told that because they don’t look a certain way or wear the right clothes or shoes or hairstyle. Your pathetic attempt at controlling more robots to grow up and dump money into your poor attempt of a religion is sad and true success at a man made dictatorship with all your followers I’m surprised you have as many as you do. But money always attracts people don’t it mormons? Oh and please, penalize/punish kids trying to an education because you don’t like they’re pants ya lol let’s see just how big your next generation of followers is gonna be with your 1940s scare tactics and excuses why everyone should listen to made up rules for personal preferences and talking about how our outter appearance is reflecting on the holyness of one’s inner soul. God is god you are not, so mormon hierarcs get off that high horse your on cause kids these days wear what they want and do what they want. Your in for a rude awakening if you think your bs religion is gonna be the same in 20 years if it’s even still around then. I’m a believer in god and Jesus Christ I am Christian AND I AM NOT MORMON just cause mormons “claim” that to, does not make them Christian. Mormons believe in a god that comes up with as we go sins made up by man coming off one helluva mushroom trip just a little bit ago. Compared to the actual god Christians believe in a god full of forgiveness and understanding. The Christian god, would NEVER turn away a willing to learn soul because of they’re appearance but yet mormon hierarcs are upset that the students at theyre SCHOOL FOR LEARNING, don’t look the way they want? Your pathetic if you want a basic obedient class stop being a school, your hardly one anyways. If I’m wrong guess I’ll talk to god about it. But when judgement comes all will be given the truth but one truth everyone knows we are her e to be us NOT TO CONTROL OTHERS IN HIS NAME

  • Little do you know! The daughter of a good friend of mine had straight A’s and is attending BYU-I because she couldn’t get into BYU Provo despite 4 years of Seminary and an impressive portfolio of extra curricular activities and service.

  • srm, thank you for pointing out the fellow’s use of “profit,” instead of “prophet.” Very 8th grade.

  • There you go. She couldn’t get into the school of choice so ended up at BYU-I.

    GPA/extra circulars are only a secondary criteria compared to the almighty SAT scores. BYU-I’s acceptable SAT scores are in the mediocre range (about 1500 on average), BYU-Provo looks for about (1800-2000 range) which is above average*.

    [*Ivys look for 2200-2300+ range]

  • The POINT, Larry, is that BYU is actually a fairly good university. If it weren’t for the fact that Cal State Fullerton offered the International Business program that I wanted, I would have at least considered BYU as an alternative. No university is the best at everything, but there are some fields where BYU excels and is widely respected, and there is really no value in attempting to diminish the institution itself nor its students.

  • Yoho – I think you just witnessed the latest case of the empty barrel making the most noise as it rolls down the hill.:)

  • Wow Pianomike the Prozac has obviously worn off. TIme to refuel. I am sorry, I don’t have enough hours in the day to read this senseless drivel. It’s obvious you didn’t attend either BYU-I or any other second rate school. And your statistics mean nothing cause they are not a comparison to what we were even talking about. Go look at recruiting and kids actually getting jobs. You are trying to tell me a kid graduating from BYU-I has a better chance of getting a job than a Texas A&M grad. Laughable.

    And please answer my question. Did Joseph Smith not marry 2 girls age 14? And did he not marry 11 women who were already married to other men? Please answer simply yes (tell the truth) or No (lie about it). There simple even you could follow.

  • It’s all about control. If you question something as simple as shaving, then God forbid you may start asking why Joseph Smith bed children and other mens wives. Make no mistake the church could care less if you have a beard. But allowing you to take control in one facet will open the door to you assuming you have the right to think on other planes. It seriously has nothing to do with “humility”

    And sorry that is not the way God works. God is very clear in his instructions and why he asks for obedience in some things. He always provides a way. It’s cultish behavior to simply ask someone to believe something and obey a principle cause the “leader” says so. Look at Jim Jones, David Koresch, Hitler, Thomas Monson.

  • Chris, just because BYU-I has only recently entered the world of 4-year institutions doesn’t mean than it is viewed as second rate across the board. It has been my experience that very few companies care very much about the name on the diploma (unless we’re talking über-elite institutions), but rather they concern themselves with the candidate sitting on the opposite side of the table and the rest of their resume.

    You write, “You are trying to tell me a kid graduating from BYU-I has a better chance of getting a job than a Texas A&M grad. Laughable.”

    I suppose it might matter if an Aggie has a very specialized degree in something that the institution is especially renowned for, but otherwise I haven’t worked for a single company in my entire professional career spanning over 2 decades, predominantly in the semiconductor industry, where the one would have been perceived an advantage or disadvantage over the other. Heck, most companies don’t even ask what your GPA was anymore. Almost nobody hires blindly off of a college degree. It’s what you do face-to-face which carries the most weight by leaps and bounds.

    As for the other questions about Joseph Smith that you keep harping on, can you please explain to me (whether the allegations are true or false) how this is even remotely applicable to the question of BYU-I having a dress code? It comes across as if you are simply looking for opportunities to trash talk Joseph Smith and the LDS church, and any topic would do.

  • Pianomike, You need to go check your statistics better. Your tens of thousands number is way off. Go look at the year over year growth of the church, the last two years it’s been about 1%. WOW with 30,000 new missionaries the growth rate from 2010 actually decreased. Any normal corporation would fire their salesmen, but perhaps those who are being sold to are smarter and see the fraud. The numbers the church publishes don’t account for those who remove their name – as estimated by Marlin K. Jensen it is about 100,000 people per year that request name removal and then by the churches own admission only about 30% of new converts are active one year later. So do the math, that means that the church isn’t growing at all. Let me do it for you cause I know you are not capable. 300,000 converts per year of those 30% stay active so roughly 90,000. Approximately 100,000 remove their name every year, which means at best the church is flat year over year. In fact in 2013 the church , for the first time ever actually sold more chapels than they built. Growth huh?

  • Chris, you already come across as a one-trick pony, but the moment you write things like “Look at Jim Jones, David Koresch, Hitler, Thomas Monson” you have completely left the reservation, not to mention our solar system.

  • Pianomike. Let me help you with the stats cause you obviously need help. The church is not growing at all. Your “ten thousand” per month does not take into account two critical factors. First off the year over year growth rate of the church is about 1.3% which with 30,000 new missionaries added to the force in 2011 the growth rate actually went down. Wow. The number of convert baptisms that the church spews in conference does not take into account the number of members who resign from the church formally. Marlin K. Jensen said in 2013 that people were leaving in “Droves” and then said that droves meant approximately 100,000 per year send in a resignation letter to the membership department. The convert number also does not clarify that by the churches own admission only about 30% of the converts are active one year later. So let me help you with the math cause I know you can’t do it. 300,000 baptism per year, of that 30% stay active so about 90,000. Subtract the 100,000 or so who leave the church every year and at very best you have a flat growth rate. For the first year on record, in 2013 the church sold more meeting houses than they constructed. Growth? I think not

  • I’m seeing three basic threads: #1) You signed the agreement so honor it.

    #2) The honor code is divinely inspired and so disagreement with it is to disagree with God or slightly variated

    #3) If you can’t be obedient in even trivial (but God-inspired!) matters, you decrease your odds of getting into the VIP portion of Mormon heaven.

    I think I’ve gotten the gist of these threads. I don’t want to be accused of building a strawman argument.

    #1) I get. Private institutions get to make their own rules.

    #2 and #3) concern me tremendously. #2 begs a huge question. Inspired? Really? Who was inspired? How did that inspiration come? No doubt, somebody had a warm fuzzy feeling and said “aha, that’s from God”. In other words, emotions confirm eternal truths. That this is a problematic way to seek God’s will can be illustrated from a factual history of the church. Does anybody now believe Brigham Young was inspired when he declared blacks to be inferiors and unworthy to hold the priesthood? How about all those leaders who came after him who parroted the same garbage? No doubt they thought it was inspired. Moreover, since Brigham taught this from the pulpit, it was DOCTRINE for the saints of his time. It was doctrine until 1978. Yet today, the church says of his views and all those “prophets” until 1978, “Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else.” (www.lds.org/topics/race-and-the-priesthood) Those “theories” the church mentions were DOCTRINE for 100 years or so. Yet now the church says Brigham and his progeny were speaking as men. So how does one know that Monson’s talks of today won’t be disavowed at a future time? And the race thing is just ONE of a number of similar inspiration/doctrine problems.

    So you won’t find me jumping on the bare ankles = rebellion to God’s inspired servants = more likely to go to the slum part of Mormon heaven. And I think it’s a damn lousy thing to inflict on our young people. So, no, Pres. Clark doesn’t get a pass from me. He may be a nice old man, but he is a zealot in defense of a harmful organization.

  • SRM,

    Her journal was published. It’s called “A Widows Tale”. In it she clearly states that the relationship was sexual.

    And facts are not bashing. I have stated nothing here that is not factually documented. And the reference to profit – the church is a multibillion $$$ corporation that in 2013 gave approximately 2.4% of it’s income (tithing) to charatable ventures. In that same year Thomas Monson received 0 revelations. Prophet or Profit. You decide.

  • Chris, I find it interesting that you tell pianomike that he needs to go and check his statistics better, and then you rattle off several unsubstantiated claims of your own!

    The growth of the church is easy to track. Nobody documents its membership statistics as actively as the LDS church.

    You wrote: “Go look at the year over year growth of the church, the last two years it’s been about 1%.”

    Shall we go look together?

    Here’s the most recent statistical report for the year ending 2013: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/statistical-report-2013?lang=eng

    Total Membership: 15,082,028
    New Children of Record: 115,486
    Converts Baptized: 282,945

    282,945 divided by 15,082,028 results in 1.88% convert baptism growth, which is nearly double the 1% you proclaimed.

    Since you mentioned “the last two years,” let’s also look at the year ending 2012: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/statistical-report-2012?lang=eng

    Total Membership: 14,782,473
    New Children of Record during 2012: 122,273
    Converts Baptized during 2012: 272,330

    272,330 divided by 14,782,473 results in 1.84% convert baptism growth, which again is nearly double the 1% you proclaimed.

    In case you were wondering, convert growth was 1.95% for the year ending 2011, 1.93% for the year ending in 2010, 2.03% for the year ending in 2009.

    You continued: “WOW with 30,000 new missionaries the growth rate from 2010 actually decreased. Any normal corporation would fire their salesmen, but perhaps those who are being sold to are smarter and see the fraud.”

    You are correct that the growth rate has declined from 2010, but you were way off in your alleged percentages. As for the corporate comparison, it falls flat with regard to the church, because missionary service is not a mere numbers operation where the success is tabulated purely by convert baptism statistics. Young men and women who serve full-time missions are also more likely to marry in the temple and to remain active in church. Missions also prepare men and women for future service in the church in ways which are difficult to replicate via other means. A 30,000 increase in full-time missionaries is a revolutionary development which will strengthen the church for years to come, regardless of any impact on convert baptisms.

    You write: “The numbers the church publishes don’t account for those who remove their name – as estimated by Marlin K. Jensen it is about 100,000 people per year that request name removal and then by the churches own admission only about 30% of new converts are active one year later.”

    I would love to see a published confirmation by the church that it continues to count for statistical purposes those who have requested that their names be removed. I would also love to see where Marlin Jensen ever claimed 100,000 people request their records to be removed annually. I have seen him completely misrepresented in the past, and unless you’ve got something airtight, I’m not buying. As for continuing activity rates, I don’t know if 30% is a correct figure or if the church has published anything else, but I do see this as one of the primary functions of the increased missionary force – to fortify and strengthen these new converts. It’ll never show up in the convert baptism statistics, but every lost sheep matters to the Lord whether or not the person has ever been baptised before.

    You write: “In fact in 2013 the church, for the first time ever actually sold more chapels than they built. Growth huh?”

    That doesn’t pass the smell test at first reading, but I welcome you to provide evidence.

  • I love this pithy inane articles. For goodness sakes, if you don’t want to keep the dress code don’t go to the school. I’m LDS. I decided when I was graduating from highschool that I had no desire to follow the dress code at BYU or BYU-I (Ricks at the time) so I didn’t go to either. I later graduated from BYU in Provo, buy which time following the dress code was the least of my concerns.

  • Chris, I just debunked your numbers on a prior comment that you made.

    You added more to debunk in this one:

    “Marlin K. Jensen said in 2013 that people were leaving in ‘Droves’ and then said that droves meant approximately 100,000 per year send in a resignation letter to the membership department.”

    Actually, Chris, Marlin Jensen NEVER said that “people were leaving in ‘Droves’ .” That was a term one of his questioners used, and anti-LDS folks on the web have either mistakenly or maliciously fabricated a story that Jensen said it. He did not. He did make comparisons between present-day apostasy with that of early church history in Kirtland, but even then it wasn’t in crazy numbers and obviously the church weathered the storm and blossomed in the aftermath.

    Last June I had the opportunity to attend a multi-stake conference broadcast in Bern, Switzerland, featuring President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. With regard to Kirtland, he commented that it was a time of unparalleled spiritual growth, but also great trials. He spoke of the outpourings of the Spirit in that era, likening them to the original Pentacost. He continued to say that it depends upon us whether today is a day of Pentacost for you and me. He said that it was tragic that some could not remain faithful, that they could not withstand the trials and criticisms of the world despite the great manifestations that they had experienced at the Kirtland temple dedication, but that the majority did remain true. He said that our spiritual lives must be continually fed. Testimonies save us from the pitfalls of the adversary. I wrote down a couple of his direct quotes from the conference: “There are those who persecute and rail against the church and its members.” “It is easier to talk about a testimony than it is to acquire one.” He continued to note that if we have to work hard to obtain a testimony, it will be even stronger. Every Latter-day Saint, young and old, has the firm responsibility to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Satan wouldn’t mind if we declared the truth of the gospel to be negotiable.

    That some people leave the LDS church is not exactly breaking news. It has always been such, and will probably continue to be so until the Second Coming. The laws of agency have not been abridged.

  • Danny, you are in error when you suggest that the church now disavows the priesthood ban itself as not possibly having been the will of God. What the church disavows are speculations offered by many people in the church over the years with regard to the reason/origin of the ban. There’s a difference.

  • Brian, the comment by Chris is wrong; the comparison is not horrible at all. Chris msses the point. The point is not that BYU-I should be like the Army; the point is (if you don’t mind me filling it in) is that ANYONE’s dress code or any other standard of appearance, behavior, punctuality or anything else has to face up to a requirement of strict application for the standard to be meaningful.

    There are lots and lots of jobs, positions, callings and roles in which someone in charge sets dress or appearance standards. This happens in the employment context every day. Literally the very minute that standards are set, the question will be posed, well, how much variation is acceptable?

    In any individual case, there is strong temptation to allow minor variations. But it quickly develops that the tolerance for variation is in effect setting a new and lower standard. Because when the next case comes along, the argument will not be a comparison to the original standard. The argument will be, “You let so-and-so get away with such-and-such, how is my case all that different?”

    By the time you get done adjudicating all the cases, you don’t have a standard left … UNLESS you made a decision early on to stick to your guns.

    So the military comparison is as apt as any other comparison to an organization that wants to encourage good grooming and neat appearance, and avoid salaciousness,slovenliness or competition over who can get away with more than whom.

  • I thought my daughter should attend a state university, but she wanted to go to BYU. She got her way. How does that fit in with your tidy little generalizations about “brainswashing” and nonsense like that?

  • Tom,

    Go google Marlin K. Jensen and re-read the article. He used the word droves. And the church is losing members more rapidly than any time in history and it’s growth has stalled to a staggering 1%. Why do you think they changed the missionary age – startling revelation? No it’s because they were losing too many missionaries to other things like school so they change the age to manipulate them to go on a mission right out of high school. I told my son he has to do 1 year of school and then his mission. Thank God that now he is in his second year he won’t be wasting his time selling a BS religion. But with 30,000 new missionaries in the field the growth rate of the church dropped. And I noticed you said you were going to “debunk” my stats but you didn’t. Ok so whether the number is 100,000 or only 50,000 it still means that pure growth in the church has basically ceased.

    And the Kirtland era people left because of two things. Joseph bedding other mens wives and his failed investment scheme where he lost peoples money (Kirtland safety society bank) that is why they left. Today they are leaving cause the church is a fraud and anyone who understands history and how to do their own research can clearly see this.

    Funny how you assign one thing to Satan, but when Joseph Smith bed and married a 14 year old girl that was somehow okay? Oh the hypocrisy

  • It will be interesting to see what they blame their ban of gays once they change their position and allow gays to actively participate in church ordinances including marriage. I know I know it will never happen, just like Joseph F. Smith said that no negro will ever hold the priesthood. Wait for it. Toto is pulling pretty hard on the curtain.

  • Joseph Smith ordained blacks. Brigham stopped it. Funny how god changed his mind so quick. Kind of like with the temple ceremony (changed 4 times) the book of mormon (changed 1,000’s of times so much for the most correct book), the Book of Abraham, the First Vision and it’s 4 different versions. Just watch the interview with President Hinckley where he is asked about blacks and he lies through his teeth. History is a killer especially when facts don’t lie.

  • Tim,

    Problem is most kids who go to BYU-I don’t have a choice as most couldn’t get into other schools. No one choose BYU-I over a good school. Hell I have kids in my ward who couldn’t get into the University of Utah so they had to go to BYU-I. So it’s not necessarily choice and some are held hostage by parents who force their kids to go to BYU. So the choice is not as simple as you make it. I feel for the kids who are forced by self righteous parents to attend BYU or BYU-I cause it’s really a second rate education, plus they are force fed lies and dogma that is destructive to them long term. I would not let my kids go to BYU under any circumstances.

  • “The worst sinners, according to Jesus, are not the harlots and publicans, but the religious leaders with their insistence on proper dress and grooming, their careful observance of all the rules, their precious concern for status symbols, their strict legality, their pious patriotism… the haircut becomes the test of virtue in a world where Satan deceives and rules by appearances.” -Hugh Nibley

  • BYU PROVO is a good school. The 1st choice of many an applicant. The “flagship” for the system.

    BYU Idaho is its lower ranking, “settle” school iteration. It has entrance requirements on par with resident admissions of most state universities. But it lacks the recognition of such schools except among the LDS set. It is the place people apply to with either low ambitions or unmet expectations.

  • Chris, the burden falls to you to provide a credible link to Elder Jensen claiming people are leaving in “droves.” That was a term used by his questioner, not Elder Jensen himself. I’ll be happy to credit you if you prove me wrong. Do us all the courtesy of conceding that you are unable to do so if your efforts fall short.

  • Chris – Joseph F. Smith would have been well aware of the promises that all worthy males would eventually receive the priesthood. It was never a question of “if,” but rather of “when.” Why are you so insistent upon misrepresenting the church? Why should people believe the time or two that you may be accurate when you undermine your credibility with every inaccuracy?

  • You might wish to reconsider throwing around the L-word so recklessly, Chris, when your posts have had their own difficulties with integrity.

  • What’s your problem, Chris? Did someone pee in your Cheerios or something? Jeez!

    Lots of great students choose BYU-I over other institutions where they could also be accepted, either because they hope to transfer to BYU-Provo before all is said and done, or because other institutions are considerably more expensive, or for any number of other personal reasons which aren’t yours to judge.

    You write that some kids “are held hostage by parents who force their kids to go to BYU.”

    Was it you who cited someone who went $100K into student loan debt because their parents wouldn’t pay for it? Well guess what? That’s damned expensive, and I wouldn’t pay for that either! In these times it is challenging enough to afford church schools or some of the lesser state schools. Nobody has a claim on their parents to pay for their higher education.

    (And let me re-emphasize, I’m not a BYU alum. I don’t have a horse in this race. I laugh at my friends in EQ who perpetuate their little BYU/UofU rivalries. I just don’t care.)

  • I wouldn’t describe the people I know at BYU-I to have low ambition, and it is actually quite rude of you to render such a blanket judgment like that.

  • Tom,

    Funny how you question my integrity but refuse to cite any specifics where I have said anything wrong? Please correct me if I have said anything that is not factually correct. Please.

  • I would think that in many cases a debt of $100K at a reputable university would pay off sooner than an education at BYU-I. My son passed on a full scholarship at BYU (not BYU-I) to go to Stanford. His total bill for 4 years was about $250K. I was glad to pay it to have him not go to BYU. BUT he will make far more than $250K more going to Stanford than BYU over the course of his career plus he doesn’t have the stigma of going to BYU which anyone who lives outside of Utah knows all about.

  • Tom, better go read his talk then. Several apostles and profit’s made the promise that the negro would never receive the priesthood. It is sad how little you know about your own religion.

  • Tom,

    You are correct, but still wrong. The question was asked to him if he knew the church members were leaving in “droves” to which he said yes he and the church leaders were aware. Still doesn’t rebut my argument that the church has ceased growing.

  • That is just ridiculous. No one needs training on how to dress in the workplace. I did my undergrad at Utah and my MBA at Northwestern. At Utah I wore shorts and flip flops for 4 years (except in the winter), now I am the CFO of a large company and wear a sport coat and nice business casual attire. There is no correlation between what you wear at school and in the workplace. BYU-I does it as a method to control only.

  • So because I am calling you and your church out on all the lies and frauds and the only defense you have is to clarify what Marlin K. Jensen agreed to rather than what he said, and to accuse me of having someone pee in my cheerios? Really? I mean I know you can’t defend the facts that I have thrown at you – there is no defense to the claim that Joseph was a pedophile. But peeing in my cheerios? That is something my 11 year old would say.

  • Unmet expectations it is. Whether it is polite or not, BYU-Idaho is still not going to be considered anything beyond a 3rd tier college by any objective standards. A school for mediocre students with devout LDS parents. Not a place for people with a whole lot of choices.

  • Something didn’t seem right when I read your post, despite the claim that you didn’t want to argue a straw man.

    I quickly did a word search for words similar to “divine” and “inspired,” and it turns out nobody besides yourself actually mentioned those words. I then wasted far too much time reading every post on this thread, and it turns out that while #1 is common, #2 is pretty much absent. In other words, your post is very much building a straw man.

  • BYU-I’s dress code is a tradition, not a theology (as evidenced by its different standards than other LDS schools). Students who go there choose to be part of the tradition, and agree to an honor code that includes the dress standards.

    Whether you like the standard or not, knowingly going against a code of honor and a dress code that you signed is dishonest, and the university president is correct to fight the disease of casual cynicism regarding the rules. He wisely included in the original post that he realizes dress code is ‘a small thing’, but that the larger principle of honesty and obedience to an agreement one made is very important.

    I think that as someone with experience with Mormons, the author is aware that BYU-Idaho’s dress code isn’t a “Mormon dress code”. Rather, the ‘M word’ is exploited in the headline to grab attention. The only ‘Mormon dress code’ is the standard in the strength of youth manual and the basic guidelines inherent in the LDS temple garment (basically necessitating knee-length apparel with covered shoulders for both men and women). The BYU-Idaho honor code and dress standards are NOT a “Mormon Dress Code”, but they do represent an at-will agreement made by students, which is shameful to disregard.

    If an LDS student is that attached to their shorts there are myriad other universities they can attend, but if they choose to attend BYU-I and sign the honor code w/attendant dress standards they should hold THEMSELVES to that agreement, without the president needing to say anything. Articles like this frankly seem exploitative, as the president’s remarks were intended for students who signed a specific dress code, not for the public at large, and were certainly not meant to define what a “Mormon dress code” is.

    The is no goodness or journalistic heroism in trying to draw attention to and cause a fuss over a college leaders’ day-to-day actions encouraging students to follow regulation. University presidents across the country do that routinely, BYU-I only gets attention because the standards students agree to are on a higher level than most schools.

  • The easily documented membership statistics disposed of your fabrications regarding convert baptism percentages.

    The rest of what you brought forward was already absent evidence. How do you expect me to prove the non-existent, when you won’t put up your alleged evidence for what you claim to be truthful?

    Where is the Merlin Jensen quote where HE talks about “droves”? Where does he mention 100,000 people removing their names from church records annually?

    You’re the one who seems to have issues with statistics and facts.

  • Chris, Stanford is certainly a fine institution, no doubt about it. Other than perhaps Accounting, I can’t think of any discipline where a BYU degree might be better than a Stanford one. If he can afford the $250K student loans, more power to him. I completely disagree with your assessment that there is a stigma associated with attending BYU. Perhaps in liberal elite circles, but not in the general workplace.

  • Chris, I am quite familiar with the history of this issue. I am aware of various speculative statements regarding when blacks would receive the priesthood, some of which were, in the words of Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “spectacularly wrong,” but that is an entirely different thing from claiming that the church had a doctrine that blacks would never ever ever receive the priesthood. Brigham Young taught that the day would come. Growing up in the church prior to that time, it was always my understanding that it was a question of “when,” not “if.”

  • Chris, thank you for finally confessing that Jensen did NOT say what you claimed he said.

    For your next act of contrition, you can also concede that rumors of the demise of the church via a mass exodus are likewise exaggerated.

    I usually don’t refer to the classic LDS apologetics sites, but since this one came up as the next-to-top listing on my Google search on the Jensen transcript (which you never provided in context), and because it is so thorough, it seems fitting to use it: http://blog.fairmormon.org/2013/01/15/reports-of-the-death-of-the-church-are-greatly-exaggerated/

    Among other things, in responding to how the Q&A was misquoted and misrepresented by the church’s critics, Jensen further stated, “To say we are experiencing some Titanic-like wave of apostasy is inaccurate.”

    And from a Washington Post link cited by fairmormon.org:

    Church officials say the growth of [certain Internet sites] does not point to a corresponding growth in the number of Mormons leaving the church, whose membership has burgeoned to more than 6 million in America. “Those leaving the church are a fraction of 1 percent each year and it is a trend that is decreasing rather than increasing,” said Michael Purdy, a church spokesman.

  • Chris writes: “No one needs training on how to dress in the workplace.”

    I totally beg to differ based on personal experience, respecting that your own experience in your field may readily confirm your position as well. I’ve certainly encountered multitudes who have no clue how to dress for an interview, let alone their job if they score the job.

  • Chris, as has already been demonstrated, you and “the facts” often have a sketchy relationship. But you come across as so completely frothing with bitterness toward the church, it begs the question if someone has tainted your food.

  • Larry writes: “Whether it is polite or not, BYU-Idaho is still not going to be considered anything beyond a 3rd tier college by any objective standards.”

    It seems to me that your comments betray your own utter lack of objectivity.

    “A school for mediocre students with devout LDS parents.”

    That’s just plain rude and ignorant. Not only do I know a fair number of top-notch students who are attending BYU-I (yes, they would have preferred the Provo campus, we ALL get it!), but I also know kids who are the only members of the church in their family, or come from inactive families, who have chosen to go there.

    “Not a place for people with a whole lot of choices.”

    So tell ya what, Larry. You make your decisions based upon your personal priorities and resources, and allow all others the same privilege, let them seek higher education when, where, or how they may. Fair enough?

  • My perspective is based on the admission stats and comparable colleges. I would say the same thing about many state universities with such stats. The major difference between them being the religious marketing angle which accounts for much of its enrollment.

    “Not only do I know a fair number of top-notch students who are attending BYU-I (yes, they would have preferred the Provo campus, we ALL get it!)”

    And my point is they weren’t top notch enough to get into Provo, so they went to BYU-I.

  • Larry, there’s this thing called “capacity.” BYU-Provo has maxed out. At some point you have a whole mess of equally top-notch students, and choosing between the winners and losers becomes more of a lottery process than it reflects upon the respective merits of those who are accepted or rejected. The exception is generally manifest in the school’s attempts at diversity (yes, a form of Affirmative Action exists at BYU), which results in turning away some additional top-notch students in order to accept students of various backgrounds and nationalities which would otherwise be way underrepresented or completely non-existent.

  • @Ciderman,

    “You are fooling yourself”

    To fool oneself is to support a position without evidence.

    THEIST = “I believe in Gods despite lack of evidence. That is why we call it FAITH”

    ATHEIST = “I don’t believe in Gods but will consider any evidence”

    Who is the fool?

  • Tom,

    Okay so you can’t answer my questions or provide data that would suggest that my “facts” are incorrect.

    That is really all you had to say. Thanks

  • Stanford accounting vs. BYU are you crazy? BYU isn’t better than Stanford at anything. I am the CFO of a large company and have recruited all over the world. I can tell you BYU students are at a severe disadvantage in the recruiting world as they are seen by most as odd and a member of a strange cult. Not saying it is right or wrong, but I have never been able to recruit a BYU grad for a sr position I was recruiting for as either they couldn’t pass the interview or the stigma attached by other interviewers was too great.

  • Sasha,

    You are wrong. I would estimate that 80% of the students at BYU-I don’t have an alternative as they got into BYU-I cause they couldn’t get into other schools. Do you ever hear someone say “my dream is to go to BYU-I”? NO. I would say 20% of the kids there attended BYU-I cause they were close to getting into BYU and hope to transfer. But transfers from BYU-I to BYU are rare and I would guess if I am being honest that 80% have no other alternatives. Either they couldn’t get into other schools, or couldn’t get into BYU and their parents are such Nazi’s that they won’t allow them to go somewhere else.

  • Tom,

    No the church does not publicly document activity rates among members. The church membership group has estimated based on stats gathered by the wards that about 30% of the 15 million are active. So if you take that same estimate to what the church has already admitted to new converts (30% retention) then my numbers are accurate. Hard to admit I know.

    Why do you think the church spends millions in retention campaigns? Cause there isn’t a problem?

  • Carrie: it seems like a huge over-generalization for you to imply that all students who have attended BYU-I now take it upon themselves to enforce dress standards wherever they go. Some of us don’t actually do that. While I agree that some former (and current) students do continue with the idea of policing their fellow man on moral issues (not strictly contained to dress and grooming issues), there are a lot of us who have move past some of the small minded ideas of BYU-I. So next time please don’t lump us all together.

    And in response to your comment about it being a more spiritual school…without having attended the school yourself or had one of your children attend you won’t understand how much the idea of spirituality is emphasized on campus. It seems that each BYU campus has a different theme or emphasis that is promoted and BYU-I’s theme is spirituality. Academics, sports, cultural awareness, etc. are all secondary to the idea of following the gospel and living within the standards of the church. Attending class is less emphasized than attending all your church meetings on Sunday. Completing homework is secondary to participating in FHE activities. You are more likely to be kicked out of school for a moral issue or inactivity in church than for an academic issue. Spirituality is thrust upon the students at every turn of the day. This doesn’t necessarily make it a more spiritual school but students are lead to believe that it is more spiritual because of the constant emphasis on it.

  • TomW, I see your point. But I maintain the “speculations offered by many people” include those made by church leaders in official sermons. I grant you the essay is a bit vague about whose comments it may be disavowing. But it provides clues by listing a few of the now discredited theories it disavows. The listed discredited theories fall in line with comments made by Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Joseph Fielding Smith, Orson Hyde, Spencer W. Kimball, and Bruce R. McConkie, for instance.

    To me, the essay repudiates those statements/”speculations” made by those individuals. One is left to wonder then how Brigham Young could be both inspired when he instituted the ban on blacks in the priesthood but uninspired as to why? Brigham Young of course would deny that he was uninspired on anything he preached from the pulpit. (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 95) He would deny that he had ever given uninspired counsel. (Journal of Discourses, vol. 16, p. 161) Yet it is plain the church essay disavows his statements and those akin to them, such as those made by the individuals above. Where does that leave the average member? How can a prophet’s statements be inspired one day and then decades later be uninspired? I mean, this is not the same as the Lord wants you to go left now and in the future go right. He can change his mind. But rationales do not change, do they. Either these men gave correct explanations or they did not.

    And for me there is an issue of hubris. If in fact the leaders were uninspired regarding their speculation, why then did they not forego commenting in situations where their comments would be taken in the most serious way? To me it suggests a cavalierness (is that a word?) in thinking that is disconcerting. If the church indeed disavowed their statements, why did they think it appropriate to make them in the first place? And we are not limited to one individual. Our history of church leaders commenting in a consistently patronizing and racist manner spans more than a century.

    Just a couple of gems here. Joseph Fielding Smith refers to people of color as “darkies”. (Look magazine, October 22, 1963, page 79) And Spencer W. Kimball talks about how native Americans who participated in the Indian placement program were becoming whiter. (The Improvement Era, Dec. 1960, p. 923) One may say these individuals were products of their time. Whose parents didn’t in some fashion talk that way. But in my naivete I sort of thought a prophet of God would be ahead of the pack, not trailing behind it.

    Many of leadership’s blatantly racist remarks were made from the pulpit in general conference and are recorded in the Journal of Discourses or History of the Church. Aren’t we taught that the General Conference issue of the Ensign becomes scripture for the next 6 months? “Speculations” (racial comments) from the pulpit were “scripture” to saints for that time. Is the church openly admitting that its senior leaders preached false doctrine at general conference? Remember, those “speculations” were often made in official settings where the speakers spoke with the mantle of their authority.

    At best they spoke recklessly and abused their positions; at worst they knowingly preached as god-inspired doctrine matters they in fact were not inspired on. And how was the rank and file to know if the conferences speaker was full of BS or not? What happens to a member who says openly the leadership is not inspired? Huh?

    I have no doubt the current essays are unattributed just so the church can distance itself from them if doing so becomes expedient in the future. The more the church tries to duck and weave, the further down the rabbit-hole we go. And it leaves me pondering, is this really how the true church of Jesus Christ would need to behave, let alone actually behave. Just how hands-on is God in this church? And why would the true church issue such obfuscatory and indeed dissembling essays?

    So, to close the loop on this, I have a hard time when anybody tries to say or imply that the BYUI standards are “inspired”. The record of inspiration on blacks in the priesthood, polygamy (now you see it now you don’t), temple ordinance change (I thought revelations were perfect?), and on and on make me quite skeptical when somebody tries to equate something like the BYUI dress standards to inspiration. In fact, I don’t believe these people are anymore inspired than anybody else. And the insidiousness lies in the fact that young people will carry on their shoulders that there is inevitably some cosmic implications to whether or not they wear shorts on campus. Not good at all.

  • To deceive oneself is to decide what YOU want to be true, set the rules for what constitutes evidence, and then claim that those who have the opposite view have no evidence. It is actually worse than fooling oneself, because it is purposeful and dishonest. In the real universe:

    Theist=one who knows there is a God, because God has revealed himself to them. Once they obtain a perfect knowledge, faith becomes irrelevant since they know absolutely.

    Atheist= one who out of anger at feeling unjustly treated, or desiring to fulfill lusts without guilt, has determined for themselves there is no God, and made themselves the ultimate arbitrator as to that issue, ensuring they can never be proven wrong.

  • Whoa. I don’t see any judging in that comment! FWJ is now like the shadow and knows what lurks in the hearts of atheists. Am I poking a bit? Sure. But c’mon, that comment ranks right up there with the worst of stereotypical self-righteous believers.

    Fact is, religionists are ok for others to use rational evidence-based thinking on everything but religion. There we are supposed to suspend logic and rationality and base things on emotion. I cried when I saw that church movie. It’s the spirit! I cried when I heard that testimony. It’s the spirit! I felt good about Sister Smith being our RS president. Called by inspiration!

    Yet D&C says God will speak to us in our minds AND in our hearts. We seem to forget the former, and only consider the latter. Of course, you have to believe D&C is scripture for that to even be an argument. Coming from a guy whose own wife didn’t trust him with other women (See Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling), can’t say I’m keen on the D&C as scripture part.

  • It appears that sainthood isn’t the only thing Ms. Riess is flunking:

    “If these dress codes were just silly, if they weren’t doing any palpable harm, then this issue wouldn’t matter so much,” Aaron C. Brown commented on Facebook, a Mormon who graduated from BYU in Provo.

    Just add Facebook to your list of famous Mormons. Alphabetically, it comes before both Adolf Hitler and Steve Martin.

  • Hopeful, please share with us your insights as to the Latter-day Saint introduction of the burqa to its wardrobe guidelines for women. I’m intrigued.

  • @FWJ,

    “Atheist= one who out of anger at feeling unjustly treated, or desiring to fulfill lusts without guilt, has determined for themselves there is no God, and made themselves the ultimate arbitrator as to that issue, ensuring they can never be proven wrong.”

    Gosh.

    I’m “angry at feeling unjustly treated”?
    I’m a wealthy, respected white man married to a beautiful woman for 30 years. I hardly think that makes me ‘unjustly treated’. I’m no victim, pal.

    “desiring to fulfill lusts without guilt…”
    Nope. Tells me more about you, though.

    “has determined for themselves there is no God..”
    Not exactly – I told you I’m ready for evidence. You simply haven’t provided any.

    “ensuring they can never be proven wrong.”
    One more time – show me the evidence and I’m ready to believe.
    Where is your god? Go.

  • Classic Self Deified hypocrisy and a perfect example of what I stated.

    1. Judging me and condemning me for what? Judging and condemning others.

    2. Inferring I cannot know what evil lurks in the hearts of men, while inferring the evil lurked in the hearts of great men and spiritual leaders of the church.

    3. Trying to discredit evidence, because it does not comply with their privately proclaimed standard of what evidence is. Just as I stated; when they are God and their private rationale is truth, they cannot lose the argument, even when the absolute truth is that all human reason is biased and subject to flaws. Of course when one deifies their own reason, they solve that dilemma, at least in their own minds.

  • Umm, another characteristic of the self deified is that they are not really good at introspection.

    However, all things being equal there is reason why Atheist Max choses the position: I reject that there is a God, unless someone prove that he exists?

    The real question is why would he not, all things being equal, choose the position: I accept that there is a God, unless someone proves that he does not exist? I want to hear why? Go!

    Honestly considered and answered, all Atheists will find that one of the two reason I suggested before, lies at the heart of why they choose the first position and not the later.

    Those who want to know God, can know him and know him perfectly like I do.
    So add my witness to the thousands of others that have been given, and you have evidence.

    Seek to verify those claims with the only perfect and unflawed source of truth, and the seeker can know the truth personally.

  • If you serve a mission, there will be very particular dress and grooming standards. If you serve in the armed forces (as I did), there will be very particular dress and grooming standards (when you are in uniform) (I once prosecuted a young man who wore an earring in uniform, which is only allowed for women). If you join a police force, there will be very particular dress and groomiing standards.

    Organizations that expect an extraordinary standard of behavior tend to include standards of dress and grooming. Of course, Mormons who are not serving as missionaries, or attending a BYU campus, have more general standards of “modesty” and “chastity”, and we are very open to people who don’t dress that way coming to church with us and, as they learn and voluntarily adopt our standards, conforming to them along with other standards of behavior (Word of Wisdom, no swearing, reverence in church meetings, etc.).

    Many aspects of any dress code are by their nature arbitrary, just as whether your country tells you to drive on the left or right side of the road is arbitrary, yet the whole value of such standards is that they be uniform and simple and understandable.

  • Chris, the burden to prove that your ‘facts’ are even facts in the first place falls to you. The only thing you’ve brought forward that can be substantiated outside of your actually providing a source to deal with are the membership statistics which you were proven to either have been wrong about, or to have lied about, your choice.

  • Chris, I think your views are significantly tainted by your obsessive hatred. Most companies really don’t give a rat’s arse about most colleges (a few impress, but most are just checking the box that someone attended school), and are more concerned about the personal interview.

  • Chris, you personally stated, “The numbers the church publishes don’t account for those who remove their name – as estimated by Marlin K. Jensen it is about 100,000 people per year that request name removal and then by the churches own admission only about 30% of new converts are active one year later.”

    First of all, you have failed to provide evidence that the church continues to count those who have had their records removed in its membership statistics.

    Secondly, you have failed to provide evidence that Marlin K. Jensen characterized the quantity of those requesting records removal to be 100,000 souls per year.

    Lastly, the church has not by its “own admission” claimed that only 30% of new converts are active one year later. Now you are claiming to extrapolate that figure from other activity rate figures, which aren’t really possible to apply to new converts “one year later” because there is no data that I have seen nor that you have put forth which suggests that overall church activity/inactivity figures may apply to new converts upon their first year anniversary in the church.

    You just make things up, one after another, and insist that your fabrications are truths. Yet when pushed, everything falls apart as either a lie, a misrepresentation, or otherwise baseless.

  • Idaho State University is just down the road in Pocatello, and has a large LDS student population, probably as large as attends BYU-Idaho, since it is a much bigger university. Down the road a bit further in Logan, Utah, is Utah State University. Both of those schools are well stocked with LDS kids from Idaho. I sincerely doubt that the students admitted into BYU-I could not get admitted to either of those nearby state universities.

    BYU-I gets a lot of students from up here in Washington State. I teach for Washington State University, and the main campus in Pullman is just seven miles from the University of Idaho campus in Moscow. I really dolubt that anyone attends BYU-I out of desperation in the face of no alternative choices.

    Kim B. Clark was the Dean of the Harvard Business School in Massachusetts for a decade, and is well known in academic circles as a very intelligent guy. He has been a highly paid consultant in the business world. He is well aware of the different standards (or lack of standards) in dress and appearance that other colleges follow. My guess is that he and his faculty have made their choices about these standards after due deliberation. He and his faculty are surely well aware of all the relevant factors, and have concluded that this standard is the optimal one for their school. Ultimately attending BYU-I is a voluntary choice, and one takes the entire package if one chooses to study there. The standards are hardly costly or difficult to comply with. For most college students, they would be the least difficult part of attending BYU-I; a bigger challenge would be avoiding booze. You have to live a disciplined lifestyle to attend BYU-I, and the dress code is a test of your willingness to participate fully.

  • It’s easy for Jana, commenters, or any of us to hack away at the dress code for any BYU campus. I would like to see what Jana’s dress code would be like. OK Jana, you are the president of BYU-I. Whatcha gonna’ do? Let’s get positive.

    I worked at a public school years ago that had no dress code. It came down to boys without shirts and girls coming to school in bras and very low cut jeans. I won’t tell you how low cut the jeans were, but you can use your imagination. Needless to say, I am an advocate of dress codes.

  • Yes I know exactly what a Nazi is and my use was correct. These are the same parents who force their kids to go to BYU who cut off their sons who are gay and end up killing themselves. In your fictitious religion, they will be relegated to the lowest degree of the telestial kingdom for the way they treat their kids. And the church is full of them.

  • Tom,

    How bout talking in circles you cite specific retorts to my claims.

    1. Joseph Smith married and bed 14 year old girls.

    2. Joseph Smith married 11 women who were (at the time) married to other men.

    3. Polygamy was illegal in Illinois (1832 Illinois Anti Bigamy act).

    4 Joseph entered his first polygamist relationship with Fanny Alger in 1831 – 5 years before the keys which supposedly allowed polygamy were even received.

    5. Joseph dictated 4 different versions of the First Vision. The first only spoke of Angels, the second included Christ, the third Satan and the finally the fourth version is the one we have today. A transcendent event that changed religious history – yet it took him 4 times to remember it correctly.

    6. The Priesthood restoration wasn’t even mentioned until 1834 the year after the first D&C was even published.

    Ok that is enough. Please go ahead and prove that these 6 things are not facts.

  • Again you go to extremes. Mo Mo’s are good at that.

    I don’t think anyone is saying a dress code is a bad thing, many schools have them. Harvard’s dress code stipulates that women can not wear short shorts or short skirts and can’t wear tank tops. Sleeveless shirts are okay as are skirts as long as they are no higher than 3″ above the knee. Men can’t wear tank tops or cargo pants or cargo shorts. Sounds reasonable.

    No shoulders and no ankles showing sounds like the taliban. No work place would ever try to inflict such standards as they would be sued for discrimination. BYU is allowed to be sexist cause they are a private institution and the fact that kids sign the dress code exonerates BYU from any legal liability.

    And people who compare BYU to the military are complete morons. Hey Prisons have dress codes too – except BYU-s are more stringent. Course I have been to BYU and it feels like a prison, and there is just as much sex and drugs going on so maybe the comparison is correct.

  • You don’t seem to understand there is a different dynamic at play here. Many of the kids who attend BYU-I CANT……let me repeat this CANT attend Utah State or Idaho State University as they have been forced by their parents to attend either BYU or BYU-I. You make it sound like it’s a choice and for every student I knew that attended BYU-I it was because they couldn’t get into BYU and their parents made them go to BYU-I. I admit that is not the case with every single student there, but for a majority of them it is the case and so by virtue of that they are forced to accept a dress code.

    And the fact that Clark was a Dean at Harvard doesn’t make him any less of a douche bag. Rather than using a Facebook post to chastise the girls for God Forbid their ankles showing (it sounds comical when you read that doesn’t it) or men not completely shaving why isn’t he encouraging them to be christlike to each other, don’t judge, or here is a foreign concept to mormons, go dedicate your time serving the poor, the indigent, or the homeless. No this D bag instead wants to tell everyone to report some poor sister whose ankles are showing?? Wow how you don’t see an issue with this is sad. Ok overlooking the fact that Joseph Smith married and bed 14 year olds I can understand you ignoring hard cold facts. But not seeing a problem with this guy. Come on.

  • Yes, Danny, you are absolutely correct that church leaders – prominent church leaders – openly engaged in speculation which was generally accepted by the church as authoritative and which has since been appropriately disavowed.

    You write: “One is left to wonder then how Brigham Young could be both inspired when he instituted the ban on blacks in the priesthood but uninspired as to why?”

    I understand why many people wonder. Personally I do not. I accept the possibility that there was a reason known to God, and possibly (but not necessarily) to Young, and that the prophet knew enough to know that the ban would someday be lifted, but not necessarily the complete picture, thus leaving him to speculate as humans are wont to do.

    “Yet it is plain the church essay disavows his statements and those akin to them, such as those made by the individuals above. Where does that leave the average member? How can a prophet’s statements be inspired one day and then decades later be uninspired?”

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave perhaps the best answer to your question in a 1988 interview to the Daily Herald in Provo. He said:

    “If you read the scriptures with this question in mind, ‘Why did the Lord command this or why did he command that,’ you find that in less than one in a hundred commands was any reason given. It’s not the pattern of the Lord to give reasons. We can put reasons to commandments. When we do, we’re on our own. Some people put reasons to [the ban] and they turned out to be spectacularly wrong. There is a lesson in that…. The lesson I’ve drawn from that, I decided a long time ago that I had faith in the command and I had no faith in the reasons that had been suggested for it.

    “…I’m referring to reasons given by general authorities and reasons elaborated upon [those reasons] by others. The whole set of reasons seemed to me to be unnecessary risk taking.

    “…Let’s [not] make the mistake that’s been made in the past, here and in other areas, trying to put reasons to revelation. The reasons turn out to be man-made to a great extent. The revelations are what we sustain as the will of the Lord and that’s where safety lies.”

    That works for me. Your mileage may differ.

    You write: “Either these men gave correct explanations or they did not.”

    I think Elder Oaks answered as well as anyone can. Faithful Latter-day Saints can accept that the origins of the ban may be rooted in some yet unknown divine instruction, and are not bound to accept the speculative reasons which some of the brethren gave to help the ban make sense to themselves. As Oaks put it, it was unnecessary risk taking.

    “And for me there is an issue of hubris. If in fact the leaders were uninspired regarding their speculation, why then did they not forego commenting in situations where their comments would be taken in the most serious way? To me it suggests a cavalierness (is that a word?) in thinking that is disconcerting.”

    I would put forth that most of mankind throughout human history has had a knack for what you call cavalierness. Only in recent years do we live in a world where every utterance can find its way online and can come back to bite us in the arse. Our generation is increasingly mindful of the fact that Google knows no bounds. Not that it completely stops us from spouting off without thinking, but we are far more mindful of the possibilities than prior generations. I doubt there is a single one of us who would be proud of everything that we have ever said or done. If put under the internet colonoscopy we would all feel shame. We would all be caught off guard from time to time. Prophets and apostles are far from exempt when it comes to the potential to say things in their capacities as human beings. That’s why it’s best to trust in the doctrines themselves and not obsess over the imagined underlying reasons for them, whether they be our own or someone else’s construction.

    “If the church indeed disavowed their statements, why did they think it appropriate to make them in the first place? And we are not limited to one individual. Our history of church leaders commenting in a consistently patronizing and racist manner spans more than a century.”

    Again, we are talking about human beings who deserve to be examined within the culture of their times rather than being held to an unrealistic 21st century star chamber.

    “Just a couple of gems here. Joseph Fielding Smith refers to people of color as ‘darkies’. (Look magazine, October 22, 1963, page 79)”

    Thanks for providing a perfect example of applying unrealistic generational standards when criticizing. First of all, did Smith employ the term with derision or affection? Context actually does matter. Secondly, Joseph Fielding Smith was born in 1876. So in 1963 he would have been 87 years old. I would be willing to bet that in his childhood he learned and sang Stephen Foster’s “Old Folks At Home,” commonly known as “Swanee River,” published in 1851. It’s a song I learned in elementary school in the 1970’s. He might have actually learned it in the 1880’s! The song includes the chorus:

    “All de world am sad and dreary,
    Eb-rywhere I roam;
    Oh, darkeys, how my heart grows weary,
    Far from de old folks at home!”

    Ultimately the question comes down to the manner in which an 87-year-old man employed the term in 1963, not how a 30-year-old man might interpret the term in 2014.

    “One may say these individuals were products of their time. Whose parents didn’t in some fashion talk that way. But in my naivete I sort of thought a prophet of God would be ahead of the pack, not trailing behind it.”

    Prophets of God are ahead of the pack when it comes to doctrine itself. When it comes to the rest of life, they are just like the rest of us. We owe them the same charity that we would hope future generations would apply to ourselves.

    “Many of leadership’s blatantly racist remarks were made from the pulpit in general conference and are recorded in the Journal of Discourses or History of the Church. Aren’t we taught that the General Conference issue of the Ensign becomes scripture for the next 6 months?”

    Some remarks are probably more defensible than others, but the thrust of the question is whether the things taught in General Conference become “scripture for the next 6 months.” Yes, people have said it. No, that doesn’t mean it is technically true! On the whole, however, faithful Latter-day Saints strive to apply the principles they are taught in General Conference, and we live in a day where the talks are prepared in advance with far greater attentiveness to doctrinal harmony than in any previous era. The glory days of J. Golden Kimball are gone forever.

    “Is the church openly admitting that its senior leaders preached false doctrine at general conference?”

    We’re probably going to have to keep repeating the answer to this question until the question stops getting asked. Senior leaders engaged in speculation which the church has disavowed. One can choose to get testy over the preaching of speculation if one really wants to, but speculation and doctrine are different things, the former generally being man’s attempt to make sense of the latter, often at the expense of personal embarrassment.

    “What happens to a member who says openly the leadership is not inspired? Huh?”

    I suppose that would depend upon whether the member openly opposes doctrine or opposes speculation to explain the doctrine, or in some cases actively promotes their own speculation contrary to official interpretations of doctrine.

    “Just how hands-on is God in this church?”

    Exactly as much as He feels is warranted. Nothing more nor less.

    “And why would the true church issue such obfuscatory and indeed dissembling essays?”

    Probably in order to respond to those special individuals who spend their lives parsing every utterance looking to take offense, or who look for ways to avoid following counsel, rather than employing a little faith now and then in the Lord’s anointed.

    In the meantime, the rules of the road at BYU-I don’t sneak up on you after you have already enrolled and purchased your housing contract. They are known and agreed to well in advance. It is but one of thousands of institutions a human being might choose to attend.

  • Chris, my grandfather was one of Hitler’s ‘guests’ at one of those special little camps during World War II, and I find the ease with which you employ the term “Nazi” to describe your theological foes to be abhorrent, disgusting, and vile.

    You write, “These are the same parents who force their kids to go to BYU who cut off their sons who are gay and end up killing themselves.”

    It would be against the law to force someone to attend BYU or any other institution. Nice try.

    To the extent that an LDS parent would “cut off their sons who are gay,” that’s really not consistent with what the church has been teaching on the matter. That’s not to say that parents or the church should sanctify sinful acts, but the doctrine is clear that we continue to love our children and pray for them.

    You continue, “In your fictitious religion, they will be relegated to the lowest degree of the telestial kingdom for the way they treat their kids. And the church is full of them.”

    In the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ, He alone decides everyone’s eternal destination. Neither you nor I are at liberty to speculate.

  • Chris, I don’t have my copy of “Rough Stone Rolling” handy, and I’m not going to play your games with regard to Joseph Smith.

    You lied about Marlin Jensen’s comments.

    You lied about convert baptisms rates.

    You lied about the numbers of folks requesting their records be removed, and you have failed to support your claim that the church continues to count people with removed records in its membership figures.

    You have repeatedly failed to back up the statistics which you claimed people should check. (“Pianomike, You need to go check your statistics better. Your tens of thousands number is way off. Go look at the year over year growth of the church, the last two years it’s been about 1%.”)

    You seem to employ the tactic I have seen so many times over the years from critics of the church. Throw some crap at the fan. See what sticks. If disproven, throw some different crap at the fan and never own the past failures. There’s always new crap, and never any responsibility or integrity about that which is disproven.

  • They don’t allow knee-length shorts?? I’m curious as to why they would make such a restriction. I went to BYU-Provo and learning to wear knee-length shorts was hard for me, not because I was a “sinner” per se, but because it had never been emphasized to me and my parents had bought me plenty of shorter shorts. But I did it. I even agreed with it once I worked out the reasoning in my head–it made sense because we were working toward going (or already had gone) to the temple and any clothing that would reveal the garment shouldn’t be worn. I don’t even buy such clothes for my little kids because I want them to be prepared for it and for it not to be a hard thing for them when they are older.

    So while I understand that the BYU-Idaho students ostensibly agreed to the dress code in choosing to go there and so should honor that commitment, I don’t understand the code itself. I like things to make sense, and this doesn’t to me.

  • I know I’m replying to myself, but I looked it up and I kind of understand it now. It had nothing to do with modesty. Supposedly, the university is trying to distinguish itself by making the students look more “professional” and be prepared for professional environments. Most businesses have dress codes where capris or shorts wouldn’t be allowed. If that is the goal, it makes more sense. I wouldn’t like it, but I’d follow it. You know, I think my Education classes made us wear slacks or dresses or skirts when we were working in the schools, so I suppose this is no different from that. They are just getting them ready for professional environments.

  • Chris again of course you are bashing. you posts ooze it. I lov e to have civil discusions about such topics…but your disrespect precludes real discusion.

    BTW, you are incorrect “A Widows Tale”.¨does not say what you claim.

  • @FWJ,

    “another characteristic of the self deified is that they are not really good at introspection.”
    It takes one to know one.

    “all things being equal, choose… accept that there is a God, unless someone proves that he does not exist? I want to hear why? Go!”

    Are these choices really all equal?
    Wow. – Okay…which God shall I choose?

    Allah? Then you are the infidel. (Slay them – Surah)
    Yahweh? Then you are the infidel again following a false messiah.
    Ganesha? Then I’ll have to curse your children.
    The Hummingbird Wizard? Then I’ll have to throw your children into a volcano.

    “all Atheists will find…
    Those who want to know God, can know him and know him perfectly like I do.”

    Beautiful. And what a great marketing program you are.

    “So add my witness to the thousands of others that have been given, and you have evidence.”
    Sounds like you are making a perfect argument for Allah.
    A billion Muslims can’t be wrong.

    “Seek to verify those claims with the only perfect and unflawed source of truth, and the seeker can know the truth personally.”
    That is garbage.
    Unexamined evidence cannot be defined as ‘perfect and unflawed’!

    Ridiculous. Fairy dust has a better argument.

  • @Atheist Max

    Typical of those who want to be truth as opposed to discovering it, is that they will avoid answering the questions which destroy their position, and move to other ground. But that matters little because the flawed methodology they use still remains.

    The existence of a true God is not logically refuted by the existence of false gods. It is a fallacy of argument to say that because there are many Gods, that therefore none of them can be the true and living God.

    My testimony as to the existence of a true and living God is just as valid as AM’s assertions refuting that witness. To claim it is “marketing” is to color the evidence in such a way as to assist the person in avoiding its impact on them. That is a straw man, calling it marketing, does not refute the claim. One might just as easily and legitimately say to AM, “And what a great marketing program you are for Atheism.”

    The tired argument about a billion Muslims is as invalid now as it was when it was first used. The number of adherents does not logically mean that it must be true. One possibility is that Billions are wrong and only a few right. Again it is a fallacy of logic to base arguments on the premise that the existence of other religions, means all religions must be false. Numbers of believers is irrelevant to truth. Besides, if AM’s argument was accepted as valid by him, then he would have to not be an Atheist, since they are in the minority.

    Declaring something to be garbage because it suits their preconceived notions to do so, and conveniently absolves them from having to consider it, does not make it garbage in the absolute sense. The real garbage is the fallacious claim about un-examined evidence. If it is in fact un-examined, then one cannot know with a certainty that it cannot be perfect and unflawed. For that possibility must still exist. It is also fallacious for one to claim that because they did not examine the evidence, it has not been examined by others. To claim so is the real fairy dust.

  • your estimate of 80% is specious. It is clear that the acceptance rate is high. but not the highest around. The are a lot of other schools that admit a higher percentage of there applicants…so to say they can´t get into other schools is inaccurate.

  • @FWJ,

    You failed again to produce a sliver of evidence for a god.

    I said, if you provide it, I will examine it.
    But you don’t provide it.

    It was your argument, “add my witness to the thousands of others” which can be tossed out as hogwash. You invoked the fallacy of tautology – not me.
    My personal ‘witness’ of Elvis Presley yesterday at Wal-mart is just as hollow and useless.

  • @Atheist Max

    No you failed to accept the evidence offered or to examine it with a methodology that is effective. You merely offered illogical and self-serving reason for why the evidence was to be rejected by you. My witness cannot be tossed out as hogwash simply because you do not want to believe it or because it does not agree with your preconceived notions.

    If you actually had seen Elvis at Walmart then your witness would be neither hollow nor useless. However it is legitimate for you to judge your own witness as being useless, but not others. To do so elevates you to the position of being the only source of truth, which is exactly what I claimed you would do. That is convenient to your choosing to disbelieve in God, but it is not a valid refutation of his existence.

    So I say again there is a God, who has revealed himself to me, and he will reveal himself to the humble and submissive, i.e. those who want to know truth, as opposed to wanting to be truth. Your illogical claims about numbers of believers or the existence of contrary claims do NOT disprove my assertion, so the evidence stands. You are free to refuse to accept it, but that does not make it invalid. However your still untold reasons for choosing that option are the really interesting question.

  • Tom,

    You are completely delusional if you don’t think parents force their kids to go to BYU. Your phony underwear is obviously too tight. Many parents give kids an ultimatum of either go to BYU or pay for your own education. I have known many who do this. And if LDS families don’t shun their gay kids then why did the LDS Church sanction a website to help parents deal with kids who come out and the first admonition they give is to not judge or abandon your children??? If it wasn’t an issue why the website and if you don’t think it is an issue you are far more delusional than I thought.

    And it’s too bad that the tradition of being forced to do something or brainwashed into it didn’t stop with your grandfather, you obviously drink the cool aid the LDS cult feeds you.

  • FWJ,

    “there is a God, who has revealed himself to me”

    Lucky you.

    Because otherwise I’d have to explain to you that scientists call this the mommy/daddy instinct.

    You were born with it, along with baby teeth and baby hair – and you were born to find your parents. You could not have survived infancy without this keen and powerful drive.

    The same neuroscientists are showing that this drive is endemic to all primates and other higher mammals. It is completely conclusive evidence that the trait which forces within us this drive to find a parent is part of why religions exist. We simply do not grow out of this trait in our cultures because there is an ancient industry in most countries which have mistaken this trait for something else – GOD – and it is in their interest to nurture the drive rather than encourage people to give it up.

    Just as most people grow out of their baby hair, baby teeth and baby skin – we eventually grow out of the SEARCH FOR MOMMY AND DADDY also.

    Except for those who cling to it for reassurance and who have been conditioned to keep it by their culture.

    It is NO MYSTERY TO ME why you cannot describe your god.
    Or prove his existence beyond your personal experience. You are looking for your parents — still! —- but you are unaware that this is where you are getting the drive from.

    You have not turned off that infant switch because you don’t know how to – and you wouldn’t want to.

    The infant’s need for a parent is never ending to those who ‘keep faith’ in this primitive trait.

    Every time you see a bishop in hat, a pope with a ring, a muslim woman in a hijab, a priest in a collar, a Sikh in a robe – you are looking at a person who has not grown out of his baby teeth!

    Religion is truly infantile.

  • Chris writes: “You are completely delusional if you don’t think parents force their kids to go to BYU. Your phony underwear is obviously too tight. Many parents give kids an ultimatum of either go to BYU or pay for your own education. I have known many who do this.”

    It would be against the law to force your child to attend a university of any kind. Offering to pay for certain schools and not for others is a parent’s prerogative. That may be employing economic persuasion, but it isn’t force. And for what it’s worth, my underwear is quite comfortable, thanks!

    Chris continues: “And if LDS families don’t shun their gay kids then why did the LDS Church sanction a website to help parents deal with kids who come out and the first admonition they give is to not judge or abandon your children??? If it wasn’t an issue why the website and if you don’t think it is an issue you are far more delusional than I thought.”

    I never said that LDS parents have never done that. Lots of parents across faith lines are pained when their children choose paths contrary to the commandments of God. This is far from a unique LDS experience. The church’s website is absolutely a response to the issue that many parents handle such circumstances poorly, or lack good resources to help them deal with it.

    Chris, nobody forces me to do anything. I choose, as an expression of my faith, to strive to follow the Lord’s prophets and apostles. I’m happiest when I do so.

  • Congratulations on your fine achievements in educational and professional settings. But look at who you are and what doors were opened to you: Northwestern is a great school and employers flock to hire MBAs, BYU-Idaho is not aimed at the same type of student. BYU-I isn’t even meant for the same type of student at BYU, nevermind fancy schools like Northwestern and Stanford like you and your son attend. For lower-regarded schools, the professional work attire habit (as well as appearing more polished for on campus recruiting and visitors) can give BYU-Idaho a badly-needed edge that Northwestern and Stanford just don’t need. I’m not entirely disagreeing with you that the school might enforce a dress because it is in some ways a school of last resort for some. But I also see entirely practical reasons that are tied to the mission of the school that lead to a business casual dress code.

  • Atheist Max
    Your reliance upon science, (at least upon that science which you choose to accept as truth), is typical, but it does not, and cannot, reveal what is absolutely true.

    Thus the mommy/daddy theory, which you accept for reasons you still have not revealed, but which I have indicated earlier, may be pleasing to you because it supports your preconceived notions, IT IS still no more reliable than any other human based theory or reasoning. Ethicists have long since recognized that ALL humans, even scientists, are subject to bias.

    There still exist the possibility that God does exist, and we are his creations, AND that those who for lust, or feelings of injustice, want to dismiss God, turn to and even invent theories to try to explain away the truth of his existence, because that existence contradicts their own preferred notions. In fact, that is the basis of your mommy daddy theory. It is arrogant and typical of the self-deified, to think they have the ability to turn off the mommy/daddy switch, and due to their greater mental prowess they are not deluded like others. That arrogance is particularly damaging when it blinds the prideful one to the fact that they are the ones in error, and their theories are flawed. As previously stated atheists are terrible at honest introspection.

    Your claim about my not describing my God is a fallacy in that you are stating facts not in evidence. That I have not described him does NOT logically lead to the conclusion that I cannot do so. I can also prove his existence beyond my personal experience and have done so many times by relying upon the ONLY source of absolute truth, God himself.

    Self-Deification is truly infantile, in that it applies the narcissistic position of a temper tantrum, the proponent getting what they want by dismissing truth, inventing theories, exercising flawed reason, all in order to justify and then enthrone their personal godhood. They approach the search to truth like this.

    1. Determine for private reasons there is no God

    2. Look for any writings, science, experiences, mathematics, flawed reasoning, that supports that already determined position.

    Such a methodology works for them, but it is not a good methodology for those who really want to know truth.

  • This is what I’ve been trying to say! BYU-I also has an unusual academic calendar/3 tracks and they really emphasize internships and professional experience as a part of the college experience. That means that there are companies and recruiters on campus all the time so having the students look ready for work is a smart decision.

  • FWJ,

    “your mommy daddy theory..”

    It isn’t mine. Just like the theory of Gravity isn’t mine.
    Neurology isn’t ‘my theory’ either, for that matter.

    You like to call me self-deified. That is funny because I have no powers and no belief in god – so it is ridiculous.
    Meanwhile you call me arrogant while you are the one who claims to know and have some sort of relationship with the biggest, most powerful thing in the universe – yet you can’t show me one piece of evidence that is even a little bit convincing.

    All you have is the search for parental authority (which is a proven trait of humans and other higher mammals) and the assertion that there is a vague, unexplainable power which dictates morality.

    Unfortunately, again you miss the fact that morality – understood as the ‘sense of fairness’ and ‘the golden rule’ – is shown to be (according to actual empirical evidence) to be a common survival trait in nature. Primates, Dogs and whales show a very distinct interest in fairness.

    But you will dismiss the ‘science’ as arrogance. Even though it is completely and entirely dependent on actual EVIDENCE while you defend nonsense which is unsupported by ANY evidence.

  • Science explains why people believe in God.
    It is all about finding your parents and you inherit this desire
    from your parents.

    Just as evolution ensured you would require 8 hours of sleep each night (or you will go mad), food and water every day (or you will starve to death) and require sex (or our species would die off) you have been handed a desire to find your parents from the moment of birth.

    Ignore reality if you want to – but don’t say it isn’t true just because you don’t like it. Arrogance belongs to the person who rejects information.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=pg1IFIKDONMC&pg=PA97&lpg=PA97&dq=god+as+parent+figure&source=bl&ots=0KDsTjKurc&sig=dQOvW2XfYohQyOdYA-UQaMiNp8M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=2oQjVLi4MInbsATky4CoDQ&ved=0CEcQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=god%20as%20parent%20figure&f=false

  • Atheist Max,
    Thanks for proving my points.

    1. Atheists take the position that anything they do not want to accept as evidence simply does not exist. They cannot refute the evidence so they circumvent it by labeling it as non-evidence. Again it serves their private purposes, but it is not a sincere methodology to discover absolute truths.

    2. Self-Deification is the process of taking one’s human and therefore flawed reason, and elevating it to be the only determiner of truth. Thus they are the ultimate authority on what is evidence, what is credible, what is moral, what is just, etc. The they do not need God, because they take his position as the only source of truth, for themselves. Thus becoming a god unto themselves. It is a process clearly demonstrated here by Atheist Max. The only evidence he will find to be convincing is evidence which supports his predetermined desires. To such if they cannot understand a concept, then they, from their private Sinai, decree it to be unexplainable or nonsense.

    3. “actual imperial evidence” is still human based, and subject to bias. Citing it over and over does not remove the bias, nor make it more credible. Besides, of thousands of species he lists three which he claims for self serving purposes indicate an interest in fairness, and then extrapolates an all encompassing rule from that. That is ridiculous, and even if the innate sense of fairness were in every living creature, that does not logically lead to the conclusion that it is a mere function of biology, and opposed to an divinely instilled trait. However, such is how the self-deified mind works…things are as they want them to be!.

    Interestingly we finally get in this last post a hint at why AM chooses the position of there being no God, and demanding proof of his existence, it is related as we can surmise from his comments, to morality!

  • This is just a reaffirmation of what I just posted with regards to self-deification.

    Science does not explain why people believe in God, AM’s private interpretation of a theory in that area and his enthroning it as truth, may support his preconceived notions about that, but it does not overcome the flaws and bias that remain in ALL human endeavors. There is a reason, honest academics refer to them as THEORIES. Self-deified individuals take theory and deem them to be laws, whenever it suits their purposes.

    Evolution is just one possible explanation for the physiological needs AM expresses, but not the only one. However, the self deified take theories as we see here, and decree them to be the only “reality.” The act of dismissing contrary beliefs and even other logical possibilities, as not acceptable because they are not “reality” is a perfect illustration of how far the self-deified will go to avoid absolute truth in favor of personal truth.

    Finally his reference to a book on Google, is humorous. It reminds me of the ad where the girl goes out with a obvious loser who she is sure is a French fashion model, because she saw it on the internet. (It must be truth) Just because other humans use the same flawed methodology to arrive at conclusions, does not then validate the methodology. One or hundred books from Google, would not make any difference if they apply the same flawed methodology to arrive at their conclusions. AM’s evidences are all purely human based and so are all necessarily flawed.

  • FWJ,

    “There is a reason, honest academics refer to them as THEORIES.”

    This is exhausting.
    Scientists use ‘theory’ as CONFIRMED AS FACT THUS FAR.
    All scientific theory is subject to constant review by other scientists – which is why a scientific theory which holds up over time is considered FACT!

    ALL OF THESE SCIENTIFIC THEORIES ARE CONSIDERED ‘PROVEN FACTS THUS FAR’:

    List of functioning workable Scientific theories

    1. The Atomic Theory
    2. The Theory of Matter and Energy: Conservation of Matter and Energy
    3. The Cell Theory
    4. The Germ Theory
    5. The Theory of Plate Tectonics
    6. The Theory of Evolution
    7. The Big Bang Theory
    8. Chaos Theory
    9. The “Gaia” Theory of a Sustainable Earth which is illustrated with the idea of Spaceship Earth
    10. The Theory of Quantum Mechanics
    11. The Theory of Special Relativity which subsumes The Theory of General Relativity which subsumes Newtonian theories of motion
    12. The Photon Theory of Light Energy and its speed of light
    13. The Theory of Electromagnetism as begun by Maxwell and continued with the work of others
    14. The Theory of Radioactivity or Nuclear Theory
    15. The Theory of Molecular Bonds
    16. The Theory of States of Matter—or is this part of the Atomic Theory and the Molecular Bond Theory?
    17. The Theory of Thermodynamics—hey, I guess this theory takes care of the States of Matter and the Molecular Bond theories.
    18. The Theory of Homeostasis within Living Organisms
    19. The Constructivist Theory of Learning
    20. The theories of self and development of mental processes in the brain.
    21. Theory of Gravity

    THESE THEORIES WORK – PERFECTLY – UNLESS AND UNTIL NEW EVIDENCE DISPUTES THEM.

    “Self-deified individuals take theory and deem them to be laws, whenever it suits their purposes.”
    You need to learn about science. Scientific use of the word ‘theory’ is simply out of your area of knowledge. You don’t understand it.

    “Evolution is just one possible explanation for the physiological needs AM expresses, but not the only one.”
    So far SCIENCE HAS THE PROOF. You don’t have even a sliver of evidence for your claim. What else can be said?

    “One or hundred books from Google, would not make any difference if they apply the same flawed methodology to arrive at their conclusions.”
    Interesting response. I see that books are a strange idea to your worldview.

    “AM’s evidences are all purely human based and so are all necessarily flawed.”
    But you are not human – your personal ‘evidence’ is somehow super human? And you called ME arrogant ???

    You have no humility. You are a preening Christian. So certain that you are correct because your parents taught you this stuff – you cannot even consider reality.

    And you can’t wait to tell an Atheist like me that he is out of line – but you have no evidence at all that I am out of line. And, further you claim you don’t need evidence, your own personal story is all you need to show. Personal testimony is no better than another UFO story. Good luck with that nonsense!

  • Atheist Max:

    This IS exhausting. Since all your claims are based on the same flawed methodology, which relies upon flawed human reason, restating them ad infinitum does not make them unflawed. The methodology is erroneous, and so all assumption and claims based on that same flawed methodology remain erroneous.

    The statement “Confirmed as fact THUS FAR” is oxymoronic. It is like the ethical term “Universalist Exceptionist.” If there are exceptions to norms, then the word universal is rendered meaningless. In your case the term “thus far”, automatically challenges the use of the word fact, which proves my point. In the world of flesh reliance, facts are never absolute, and so are not really facts at all, just suppositions, subject to change. If the theories presented really did “work perfectly” then there would never be evidence to dispute them. Thus you do not understand the use of the word theory, in that you take a non absolute concept and try to make it stand for an absolute. Self serving yes, valid, no!

    My evidences are based in revelation from and external and unflawed source, God. His decrees are absolute and are not followed by the fuzzy “unless/until”. Your evidences are based on an internal source subject to bias, and personal whim, and are flawed. It is your methodology that is in error. In essence you believe what you want to…perhaps not because your parents taught you, nor because it is really truth, but only because it pleases you.

    Contrary to your claim books are an integral part of my world view, but I see them as they really are, interesting, but still human based and so subject to bias…….. you see them, at least those that support your private world view, as perfect. In essence such books become your parents.

    Reliance upon a parent’s teachings, is no more valid than reliance upon a scientist’s teachings. In fact, AM’s reliance upon science (human based) is no different than another’s reliance upon their parents (human based), or books (human based). His allegation about my source of truth is in error. My witness is independent of any human input and comes straight from the unflawed source, God. That is reality. Of course that reality destroys the narcissistic self-deified state of atheists, and so they reject it as not real, not because it is not real in the absolute sense, but rather because it challenges their right to reign as their own god.

  • @FWJ,

    “My evidences are based in revelation from and external and unflawed source, God. His decrees are absolute and are not followed by the fuzzy “unless/until”

    Laughable nonsense. You have no ‘evidences’ at all.
    One feature of unflawed evidence is that it must be presentable.

    And as for ‘absolute decrees’ your god is a joke – I get whiplash reading how he is in favor of and YET totally against the same things!

    GOD CAN’T MAKE UP HIS MIND.

    THINGS GOD HAS BANNED AND YET ALLOWED BACK AND FORTH OVER 2000 YEARS:

    CHRISTMAS TREES – (Jeremiah 10:24)
    SHAVING – (Leviticus 19:27)
    CURSING – (Ephesians 5:4)
    Gossip – (Leviticus 19:16)
    Football on Saturdays (Exodus 20:8)
    Eating Lobster – (Leviticus 11:10)
    Eating Pork – (Leviticus 11:7)
    Cotton/Polyester – (Leviticus 19:19)
    Associating with women who
    Are having their Periods – (Leviticus 15:19-20)

    THINGS WHICH GOD ONCE DEMANDED BUT THE CHURCH HAS DECIDED GOD DIDN’T MEAN IT!

    Don’t let cattle graze with other kinds of Cattle. (Leviticus 19:19)
    Don’t have a variety of crops on the same field. (Leviticus 19:19)
    Don’t wear clothes made of more than one fabric. (Leviticus 19:19)
    Don’t cut your hair nor shave. (Leviticus 19:27)
    Any person who curseth his mother or father, must be killed. (Leviticus 20:9)
    Anyone who dreams or prophesizes anything that is against God, or anyone who tries to turn you from God, is to be put to death. (Deuteronomy 13:5)
    If anyone, even someone from your own family, suggests worshiping another God, kill them. (Deuteronomy 13:6–10)
    If you find out a city worships a different god, destroy the city and kill all of its inhabitants … even the animals. (Deuteronomy 13:12–15)
    Kill anyone with a different religion. (Deuteronomy 17:2–7)

    THIS GOES ON FOR THOUSANDS OF PAGES!
    IT IS GARBAGE.

  • Garbage is in the eye of the beholder:

    It is duplicitous for AM to profess the reliability of science, after noting that theories are just there until future evidence comes along to refute them, and then to try to show that the his perceptions of a similarly temporary state with regard to God in scripture, renders the concept of God invalid. If changes are equal to invalidity, then AM , if he were honest, would have to reject both science and God.

    For example: Steady State, no Big Bang, no Bang Bang, no String Theory….. talk about whiplash.

    It is also fallacy for someone with such clear bias as that demonstrated by AM, who has no understanding of the spirit or holy things, to then undertake to use scripture, which he cannot possibly understand, to refute what scripture teaches. His attempts to do so here, merely highlight the reason his arguments will always fail, they are still based in flawed human reason. His reliance on his own clearly biased interpretations, and flawed human reasoning reveal the contextual and doctrinal holes in his methodology.

    Contrarily, one enlighten by the Holy Spirit and reliant upon the flawless revelation from a perfect God, can read the scriptures in context and understand that what AM tries to demonstrate as contradictions, for his private reasons, are nothing of the sort, and can be explained and understood perfectly.

    He is like the blind man of the Indian proverb who is holding the elephant’s tail and demanding in self deified arrogance, and in capital letters no less, that…. IT IS A SNAKE!

  • @FWJ,

    Care to explain why this behavior is morally superior to a gang leader?

    GOD SAYS – CUT OFF YOUR WIFE’S HAND IF SHE TOUCHES ANOTHER MAN’S PENIS.

    “If men get into a fight with one another, and the wife of one intervenes to rescue her husband from the grip of his opponent by reaching out and SEIZING HIS GENITALS, you shall cut off her hand; show no pity.” – DEUT. 25:11

    Cut off your wife’s hand?
    Show no pity?

    Yet, Jesus agrees. (JOHN 1:17), (Mark 10:19)

  • @ Atheist Max

    To save time and avoid monotonous repetition, AM should just provide us with the link to the Skeptics Guide to the Bible, where many more such fraudulent arguments are outlined in great detail. Of course since the writers of the Skeptics Guide use the same flawed methodology as AM to outline their points, their arguments are just as invalid as Atheist Max’s

    AM’s flawed methodology constitutes the blinders on his eyes. No matter how many arguments he makes with the blinders still in place (flawed methodology), they will still be flawed. No matter how much a seeing person tries to explain that it is an elephant, AM and those like him, will remain erroneously insistent that it is a snake.

    Ethically, AM’s position that there is no God and therefore no absolute morality, leads to much more atrocious and evil results than his misinterpretation of scripture here. The great cultural revolutions, and ethnic cleansing by godless world leaders and philosophies, based solely upon race of the victims, are clear examples. If Max were consistent he would have to reject his atheism with its necessary moral relativism, because of the merciless results it allows, under the same grounds as he suggests here.

    Until he removes the blinders, and admits his bias, and flawed methodology, AM will never understand scriptures, never get context, never understand eternal perspective, never see things as they really are, and so never know truth.

  • @FWJ,

    FWJ is ignorant. He doesn’t understand that “ethnic cleansing”

    is a religious term.

    As a scientist, I already know that all humans are related as one species. We are all linked to exactly the same primate of 300,000 years ago.

    It is FWJ, the religious, who seeks to imagine ethnicity and religious distinction. As such Religion is pathetic, divisive nonsense.

    There is NO such a thing as absolute morality.

    And nobody knows that better than those who wrote the God myth:
    “Lo, a day shall come FOR THE LORD when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, WOMEN RAVISHED; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city.” (Zechariah 14:1-2)

    What morality could possibly be preached here? It is garbage.

  • Since Atheist Max remains blinded by his own flesh based and flawed methodology, his assessment of where ignorance lies is also flawed.

    Ethnic cleansing is NOT merely a religious term. It was the godless, cold hearted, Nazi fanatics, whose self-deification allowed them to massacre men, women and children without remorse, without conscience; after all the Jews were merely a function of biology in their eyes. They inflicted great suffering in the name of science.

    Similarly, it was the irreligious Socialist leaders, who adopted the same view toward God and religion that Atheist Max proposes here, who engineered the annihilation of over 6 million Jews, and committed untold atrocities as part of their cultural revolution and attempt to kill God and absolute morality with him.

    If there is no absolute morality as AM first agues then his misinterpretation of scripture which follows is meaningless, since he is trying to make a moral judgment based on what he thinks the scripture teaches, after already saying there are no absolutes morals, and so all moral judgments are superfluous.

    That is the real ignorance, and it is made worse by the fact that he remains blind to it.

  • @FWJ,

    FWJ does not understand that his Hitler was Christian and all of his evil motivations were Christian:

    Hitler and his SS were sworn Catholics and Christians, hailed allegiance to the Fuhrer (father) under ‘God’, demanded faith in the divinity of the Aryan Race and demanded each Nazi wore the belt buckle which read ‘God on our side’ (“Gott Mit Uns”) or God With Us. Hitler’s first peace treaty was the Vatican Koncordat in 1933 where the church swore allegiance to Hitler and Hitler would choose the Bishops for Germany.
    Hitler’s hatred of Jews was founded on the writings of Martin Luther, he declared Christ ‘his model of the great soldier’ fighting against the evil of the Jews. (Mein Kampf) His favorite words of Jesus ended the Parable of the Minas; “Execute them in front of me.” – Jesus(Luke 19:27)

    Hitler is not Atheist. Hitler and the Nazis were FAITH-BASED and Christian in particular.

  • Interesting that Atheist Max only tries to counter the point about National Socialism in Germany, leaving the atheistic socialism as evidence of the results of the teaching that there are no moral absolutes. Yet even in his attempts to distinguish the NAZI example he is still in error.

    Only a person who has adopted the flawed methodology of human reliance, would think that what a person writes in a book, or wears engraved on their belt, are reliable indicators of their true beliefs.

    Hitler and his henchmen were no more a Christian than Saddam Hussein was a Muslim. One of the dangers of the Self-Deified philosophy of moral relativism, it that it allows atheist at heart, to profess religion or belief in order to use religion to further their irreligious ends. Why not, they are after all god, and free to act how they want.

    Perhaps if Atheist Max had spent more time actually studying scripture as opposed to trying to twist them to fit his preconceived notions he might have learned that absolute truth, for example as Jesus taught In Matthew 7:22-23.

  • @FWJ,

    You are completely WRONG.

    TELL ME, IS JESUS IN HELL?

    If Jesus can’t be a good Christian, who can be?
    So who is the FIRST CHRISTIAN SINNER?
    “Sin” is a religious term for going against God’s laws.

    Supposedly, these would be some sins
    according to the Bible:

    Hate,
    bigotry,
    Not forgiving,
    Incitement to violence,
    attacking a foe,
    weaponizing for battle,
    Not loving neighbors,
    telling lies,
    stealing, cursing,
    killing for vengeance,
    judging others,
    racism..
    .etc…

    SO…

    JESUS LIED. Isn’t lying a sin?

    “‘Go to the festival yourselves.
    I AM NOT GOING to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come.’ After saying this, he remained in Galilee. But after his brothers had gone to the festival, THEN HE ALSO WENT not publicly but as it were IN SECRET.” (John 7.8-10).

    JESUS COVETED HIS NEIGHBORS GOODS AND INSTRUCTED FOLLOWERS TO STEAL – Isn’t coveting and stealing a sin?
    “untie them” ..”bring them to me” (Matt. 21:2-3)
    Only Luke’s version says permission was granted but only after the fact.

    JESUS DIDN’T FORGIVE – he sent them to Hell! (Mark 16:16)
    Isn’t that a sin?

    JESUS CURSED his enemies – “Thou Fools!”(Matt. 23:17)
    Isn’t that a sin?

    JESUS DESTROYED HIS ENEMIES WITH VENGEANCE –
    “bring to me my enemies….execute them in front of me”(Luke 19:27)
    Isn’t that a sin?

    JESUS DID NOT LOVE MOST OF HIS NEIGHBORS
    – They are ‘Dogs’!(Matthew 15:26)
    Isn’t that a sin?

    JESUS TOLD PEOPLE TO JUDGE OTHERS HARSHLY – “If you deem them unworthy…Remove your blessings of Peace”!(Matt 10:13)
    Isn’t that a sin?

    JESUS WAS BIGOTED – “They are swine” (Matthew 7:6)
    Isn’t that a sin?

    JESUS VIOLENTLY WHIPPED PEOPLE – “He made a whip of cords and attacked them” (John 2:5)
    Isn’t that a sin?

    JESUS CAME TO INCITE VIOLENCE – “I do not bring peace.”(Matt 10:34)
    Isn’t that a sin?

    JESUS PREPARED FOR WAR – “if you have money, buy a sword” (Luke 22:36-37)
    Isn’t that a sin?

    JESUS TOLD PEOPLE TO IGNORE THE LOVE OF PARENTS – “hate your mother and father…hate your very life” (Luke 14:26)
    Isn’t that a sin?

    JESUS TOLD PEOPLE TO KILL THEIR CHILDREN – doesn’t that sound like a sin?
    “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? …. ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ (Matthew 15:3).

    JESUS INCITED VIOLENCE AND WAS IMPATIENT – “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!….and what constraint I am under until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on Earth? No, I tell you, but CONFLICT.” – Jesus – (Luke 12:49-51)

    Is this not the sin of pride? Isn’t patience a Virtue?

    !

    Your Jesus sinned more than ANY Atheist I ever met!
    And that is according to the laws within the Bible

    JESUS WAS A SINNER.

    DID JESUS REPENT OF HIS SINS?
    DID JESUS ASK FORGIVENESS?
    IS JESUS IN HELL?

    JESUS’ contempt for the laws of Yahweh,
    while ENFORCING THEM (o_O)
    is the most two-faced, obvious garbage
    in the history of religious nonsense.
    Which is saying a lot!

    Stop your immoral preaching of this monster!

  • No, Atheist Max is completely wrong:

    The blinders of personal bias and flesh reliance have made it impossible for him to understand the scriptures and his characterizations of Christ are in total error, though they are no doubt pleasing to his carnal mind, and support his self deification. As expected he tries to trash Christ, to facilitate his private coup.

    Besides, since in the end Atheist Max promotes moral relativism, his argument are worthless either way. There is no basis for him to judge the actions of others, God, Christ, or Hitler, since there are no moral absolutes in his universe, he has no right to say what is right or wrong.

    My original point remains intact. Atheists, because they believe in moral relativism, have no qualms about pretending to have faith, or to being religious, if it serves their purposes and they can get something from it. On the other hand, true Christians, who understand the real Christ, see the absolute truth, and who are subject to the only trustworthy methodology to truth, are thus dedicated to following Christ, and would never pretend to be atheists, because in doing such would violate the absolute moral code, they adhere to.

    However, this latest hogwash of twisting the scriptures to try and make them say what they do not, provides us with an illustration of the dangers of ethical situationalism, followed by those like Atheist Max. They will do or say anything, that supports their position, no matter how wrong or bizarre it is. Self Deification must be protected at all costs, and since they are god, they will pay the price without the slightest guilt. That is the power of being “Gods unto themselves”

    Thus trusting the claims of scripture made by AM and his type, would be like trusting ISIL, to give one a correct description of Shia Islam. Ridiculous.

  • @FWJ,

    “he has no right to say what is right or wrong.”

    Why do you claim a right yet think you can deny it to me?
    Who do you think you are!?

    Ever so humble in Christ? To hell with that!

  • @ Atheist Max:

    That is a function of your philosophy.

    Those who support the concept that there are no moral absolutes, are logically barred from being able to say what is right or wrong for others, that is the inescapable nature of moral relativism. When you adopt that flawed philosophy, you deny yourself the right to make those kinds of moral judgments.

    Contrarily, when one adopts the philosophy that there are moral absolutes, they are then entitled to make moral judgments as to right and wrong, based on those absolutes.

    BTW it is strange for an atheist to use the term “To hell with that!” since in their flawed world view, there is no hell!

  • @FWJ,

    “That is a function of your philosophy.”
    No it isn’t. You are being childish.
    Atheism is not a claim. I’ve said that 20 thousand times. I have no philosophy. And if you try to shoot innocent people I have the right to say you are wrong and I would stop you. There is absolutely no ‘philosophy’ to discuss.

    “Those who support the concept that there are no moral absolutes, are logically barred from….” blah blah.
    Your God has no moral absolutes. He has (supposedly) killed millions over nothing and he has committed millions of abortions killing innocent children in the womb (supposedly)
    The Lord said…”YET WILL I SLAY even the beloved fruit of their womb.” (Hosea 9:11-16)

    If God is a moral absolute, why is abortion and the killing of innocent babies something he supported for all of eternity? Why is murder sacred and blessed at one time but forbidden at another? What is ‘absolute’ about that? NOTHING!
    God is a tinkering, genocidal mad man. I know hundreds of people who are better behaved than God – and they are atheists.

    “Contrarily, when one adopts the philosophy that there are moral absolutes, …..”
    Nonsense.
    I have already pointed out that God has no moral absolutes at all. Murder is correct one day, wrong the next. And he doesn’t hold them to any rules either. God is just a metaphor for passing the buck on whatever immorality you feel you want to commit.

    ‘BTW it is strange for an atheist to use the term “To hell with that!” since in their flawed world view, there is no hell!”
    Foolish nonsense.
    ‘Hell’ is a man-made word for a man-imaginary realm. I have every right to use that word however I wish. Sin, Soul, demons – it is all man-made. Just like the word Heaven.
    I claim the right to use any religious word any way I like.
    Chocolate ice cream is heavenly!

    Religion is man-made and your god is man made.
    You prove it every time you try to convince me otherwise!

    If god was real and everybody knew it, I would know it too.
    And I would not be able to deny it.

    But nobody KNOWS it.
    And that is why religionists blanket themselves in belief – despite all evidence to the contrary.

    It is time for religion to be abandoned. It is all corrupt nonsense
    Just ask James Foley.

  • @Atheist Max:

    Saying things 20 thousand times, or a million times, does not make them true, except in the minds of the self deified. Attempting to cite scriptures one does not believe in and cannot understand is also invalid. Both actions are the real expression of being childish

    Based on your philosophy, you have no way to determine who is innocent, in fact since there are no absolutes in your world the, very word innocent is meaningless. You have no moral authority to judge someone who shoots innocent people. ISIL does it and rationalizes that they are acting morally. I can refute them because I know they are absolutely in error, you cannot, because you have no basis to claim that your belief is valid and there is not. You can claim for private reasons that you think they are wrong, and they can claim for private reasons that you are wrong. Tie!

    It is also childish to continue to reject God because you claim him to be evil or genocidal, etc. when it is the Atheist, and atheism whose belief systems justify evil and genocide. You cannot refute and disbelieve God for being what your own philosophy promotes, without being a hypocrite.

    When an atheist says “I claim the right to use any religious word any way I like.” It is a perfect illustration of self-deification. The absolute and real meaning of the words are no longer relevant, only the meaning the self deified assign to them. AM uses that same approach to scripture, and twists them to mean whatever he likes.

    God is real. I know it absolutely. Also everybody CAN know it, if they are sincere truth seekers. That is not the same thing as saying everyone does know it. Atheist, agnostics and others choose to reject God for private reasons already mentioned. They do not know God or absolute truth, because they do not WANT to know God or absolute truth. It is clear to the sincere truth seeker that secular humanism, moral relativism, and all aspects of atheism are truly man-made, and being so they are necessarily flawed.

  • Amen Mel!! Mormon culture shudders at the idea of criticism or suggestion, and it’s fascinating to me. I can’t ask questions if I sign a stupid honor code? I can’t suggest it change? I can’t discuss it’s inherent sexism? I’m a zombie now?

    Good point Mel!

  • If only BYUI had high academic
    Standards! Maybe the
    Academic standards should be the focus, not the clothes people wear.
    Novel idea!

  • Or you could simply obey a racist “revelation” because you just should. Blind obedience is mans way of exercising control, and you sheeple are controlled.

  • Actually, piano mike, the dress code is made up by men, not dictated by God. Revelation requires a presentation at
    general conference and a vote by the members of the church… And as this hasn’t been presented or voted on, I’d say it’s man-made.

    And the smiley faces didn’t take away the general bitchy tone of your comment. 🙂

  • Funny that you require evidence to believe anything contrary to your religion, yet mock people who require evidence to believe in a higher power. Hmm.

  • Sorry for being late to the party.

    Chris, you should take the time to read Pianomike. I took the time to read your posts. Pianomike nailed you.

    Between Chris and Danny S we have two good examples of angry people.

    Whew!

    And I got this in with less than 300 words.

  • As the BYU with the lowest admission standards, the dress code also serves as a way to make students be accountable for their future. They are encouraged to dress professional so that they are ready for jobs once they graduate. Wearing sweatpants to class promotes a laziness in one’s thoughts and studying habits. As someone that attended a non-BYU college, I wish I had been held to these standards so that my mind was more focused on my future over having fun.

  • You apparently need to do more research for yourself before blasting things you don’t understand. The dress code is not decided upon by one person. The church and the school board created it as a way of holding students accountable. The primary purpose of the dress code is for students to look professional at all times. Being Christlike isn’t only about loving one another no matter what, it is about helping each other follow Christ, his teachings, and that includes following the rules. It is a sign of respect to be able to follow a simple dress code that really isn’t a big deal. The dress code is for campus. As soon as students get home, they are free to change into whatever they want.

  • I’m surprised they’re allowed to wear Jeans on Campus, at all, since we were not allowed that in 1977-78. Only Pant Suits, were allowed to be worn on campus, otherwise it had to be a dress, or skirt & blouse, for women. We had to look professional, for class. We could only wear Capris, jeans, or Mormon shorts, when NOT going to class.

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