The Truth Shall Make You Free, and We Can’t Have That

I wrote just a few days ago about my absolute horror when reading Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” and discovering that a lot of what Orwell describes as the tools and effects of totalitarianism have been present in my life because of my association with the LDS church. Almost on cue, the church decided to prove my point by going after the editor of MormonThink.com, which is run, according to its home page, “largely by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are interested in the historical accuracy of our church and how it is being taught to its members and portrayed in the media.”

In my experience, the information presented at the site is historically accurate, indeed far more so than the church’s own web site, or the apologetic site, FAIRLDS.org. I support their mission and believe they are sincere and have made a good-faith effort to be fair and accurate. Accuracy is apparently unwelcome in the LDS church.

What is so ironic to me is that, as members of the LDS church, we were taught that truth matters. We sang in our hymns, “true to the faith that our parents have cherished, true to the truth for which martyrs have perished” because

Yes, say, what is truth? ’Tis the brightest prize
To which mortals or Gods can aspire.
Go search in the depths where it glittering lies,
Or ascend in pursuit to the loftiest skies:
’Tis an aim for the noblest desire.

Our leaders taught us the value of truth. Here are a couple of representative quotes:

“To those who humbly seek, there is no need to stumble or falter along the pathway leading to truth. It is well marked by our Heavenly Father. We must first have a desire to know for ourselves. We must study. We must pray. We must do the will of the Father. And then we will know the truth, and the truth will make us free” (Thomas S. Monson, “Great Expectations,” CES fireside for young adults, Jan. 11, 2009).

“Clear declaration of truth makes a difference in people’s lives. That is what changes hearts. That is what the Holy Ghost can confirm in the hearts of God’s children” (M. Russell Ballard, “Pure Testimony,” Ensign, Nov. 2004, 41).

For many of us, seeking and discovering the truth about our religion led us to doubt and even leave the church, but others have stayed because they were able to absorb that truth into their beliefs. I find that admirable, and in some ways I wish I could have done that as well.

But the LDS church hierarchy clearly does not admire continued faith in the face of troubling information. No, it’s not quite that. It seems to be fine within in the church to question or hold unorthodox beliefs, as long as you do so privately. The moment you share the truth, you are on dangerous ground. I’ve had many Mormon leaders and friends tell me I need to keep my opinions and knowledge to myself, lest I damage someone’s faith.

I won’t do that. I have never tried to dissuade people from their faith in Mormonism, but I will not be silenced. If speaking the truth damages one’s faith, that is a pretty good sign that it’s a misplaced faith. Truth is not scary; it is not hurtful. It may be uncomfortable and perhaps painful to acknowledge, but Jesus was right that knowing the truth sets you free because knowing the truth allows you to see clearly and make informed decisions.

So, I stand in solidarity and support with those who have dared to publish truth. I’m a little surprised that the church hasn’t come after me, but then it won’t matter to me if they excommunicate me.

And let me just say something to those members and leaders of the LDS church who would attempt to silence those who publish the truth: You may succeed in quieting some people, but you cannot put the truth back in a hidden corner. You can’t quash the truth because you taught us to cherish it.

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25 Responses to The Truth Shall Make You Free, and We Can’t Have That

  1. I can’t say I’m surprised by the church’s action, although I am certainly disgusted.

    When I began my journey out, I remember my husband and I looking at each other in panic, knowing if we brought up our questions with the bishop, we would be made to feel as though we were committing sin.

    • runtu says:

      I’m not surprised, either. The notion that you can suppress truth (and it’s desirable to do so) is abhorrent to me, but what else is the church supposed to do?

  2. FireMountain says:

    “The TRUTH is what we say it is.”
    I withdrew my membership largely because I wanted it to be my own choice and not wait to be excommunicated, which would eventually have happened for similar reasons as [name removed by request] excommunication. I angered and annoyed too many people for the “faithful” to allow me to stay. I remember (and laugh about) what my former bishop told my former husband when they held a “secret” meeting to discuss me–“she isn’t saying anything which isn’t DOCTRINAL, but what is WRONG with her?!” He was very troubled about what he called “meat before milk” things I said and wanted me to “water down” the truth, pretty it up a little, so as not shake the easy “faith” of any of the members. I am afraid that [name removed by request] story is an altogether too common one and we need to anticipate more of the same.

    • Lauriston Y. says:

      Hello Firemountain! Nice reading your comments about getting your name removed from this. propaganda-church,evils-church,assembly-of vicious chuch, inhumanity-churc ,racist-church,motivator-churc,impostors -churc,this disguised church. This unkind church keep me getting vomited. I have been leaving it sfor ten years. But I would like to get my name removed. Please Firemountain help me to process in getting my name removed very quickly. Show me please how to process. I wait for your help to get my name remove from this evil church.

  3. Odell Campbell says:

    I wonder if a new round of the September 6 attacks is about to begin.

  4. Heather says:

    This makes me so angry! Do they really think this will stop him from speaking out against the church? Hahahaha. When I was threatened with excommunication my reaction was not to shut up- but to speak out even more.

    Hopefully we can hear much more from him…

  5. David says:

    The church used to be very successful at tossing “inconvenient truths” or non-faith-promoting information down the so-called “memory hole.” Control of information is not as easily attained in this information age. Truth has nothing to fear. It does not hide from the light of observation and scrutiny. It stands up to interrogation and criticism.

  6. Lauriston Y. says:

    It’s amazing reading these impostures things from the LDS church . But Since I have been left this arrogant church, I am not afraid , about being excommunicated or name removed. I don’t give them any power over what I should share or not. If they want to excommunicate me, they would do it without me. I don’t think that I need any conversation with them. If they removed my name now it would be a greate blessing to me. They should cease and desist to lie like the devils in the name of God. They should embrace the truth to become a good promoting of God or Jesus. I have never met any group of people like the mormon is keeping lying on the name of God. They don’t even ashamed keeping lying …that’s disgusting. ..

  7. GBSmith says:

    What web site? What information was redacted? How was someone intimidated? It’s hard to generate the appropriate amount of outrage without some facts.

  8. Jong1064 says:

    Is this any different than Joseph Smith destroying the printing presses?

  9. Odell Campbell says:

    This a paste from my comments at Rfm:

    Respectfully, trying to have LDS Church authorities acknowledge the accuracy of your material is a waste of time.

    That is not their agenda, although it might be your agenda. They simply want to silence you.

    While I understand it might be a sensitive family issue for you, do not be mistaken that the LDS church, your bishop and stake presidency want to open a dialogue with you. They want you to agree to their terms. The leverage they have is fear, fear that they can alienate you from your family – which is probably true.

    While I don’t know what interest the press may have, I would encourage you to be true to your principles and to your integrity as a seeker of truth.

    I know when Simon Southerton was execommunicated he was not allowed to defend his research during the process. In these matters, the stake president completely controls the process.

    What the LDS church wants is to manipulate you (to which it already appears it has had some partial success considering your removal of information). If it cannot silence you it will attempt to discredit you to Mormons by excommunicating you.

    In any event, good luck to you and stay strong.

    • Lauriston Y. says:

      In life, sometimes we should make the good decision that can bring freedom of concious, being honest to yourself, but not being controlled and manipulated from any one. The best way to become really free it’s being free with your conscious, mind etc.we shouldn’t do anything because of being imposed to do so. Life sometimes asks to make good choice to become shameless and guiltless. We should have courage to make even if it’s hard, we should choose the right things no matter what could happene. These hards things bring to us strength and fortifications . And by the way it’s how we will discover how Wong we were in being so attached to the tradition and taboos.
      However I advise you to make the choice you think will fit you well. ..
      .

  10. GBSmith says:

    OK so it was MormonThink. Now what did the church do in “going after the editor”?

    • Lauriston Y. says:

      The church has been asking the editor to reveal the others people’s hidden name. By being refused from the editor, the church has getting him to its council of love and excomunicated him. ….

      • GBSmith says:

        Sorry but I don’t have much sympathy for someone that puts up information anonymously whether it’s true or not. It makes your motives even more suspect and less likely just the dissemination of “truth”.

      • runtu says:

        I understand why people post anonymously, mostly to protect their families.

  11. Jean Bodie says:

    A Court of ‘Love’.

  12. JK says:

    Hello Runtu,

    You wrote a very good article. I agree with its premise 100%.

    They will ex him – this is inevitable if they consider dissent apostasy.

    This makes me rethink seriously why I stay in this church. I should probably go inactive for the next few years. I mean, really, this is some messed up stuff.

    Yes, one of the church’s mission is to protect the name of the church. So they will do this.

    But it is sad to see it done.

    JK

    • Lauriston Y. says:

      God is liberal, even jesus is liberal. But the people who pretend to act in the name of God are not liberal, how funny and ridiculous they are. These motivators act like police, they are not liberal, it’s how to discover how evil they’re, they auto proclaime themselves like God’s Police. They auto-proclaim themselves like God’s prophet and apostles. They even pretend that they know more than Jesus Christ and even surpasse Jesus Christ. How ridiculous they are in zombifying the people. They even pretend they lay down in the same bed with God and Jesus Christ. They even pretendd that God and Jesus live and dwell in their building temple, what’s ridiculous they are. The Bible said that God doesn’t dwell in the temple made with the hand of man. Does the bible lies or they are all lying. ….it’s funny and ridiculous. They misconduct people in error. …it’s odd and ironic. …

  13. Lauriston Y. says:

    Need reply! Reply to this comments!

  14. […] simply can’t resist excommunicating people. So guess what is all over the news? Mormon with outspoken blog posts on church says may face […]

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