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Thread: NY Times Article on Dissaffected Swedish Area Authority

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    Quote Originally Posted by AggieIam View Post
    My situatio is similar to yours. And we aren't alone. Every once in a while I run into an old friend just to find out they have more or less left the church. All have stated that they are happier because of it. Myself included. The way the church handles apostacy only pushes people farther away leaving them with a bitter taste towards the church.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Ah... The bitter apostate. You are hitting all the stereotypes.
    Wait, I thought AggieIam was saying, like Vic, that he's still active ("my situation is similar to yours") even though some of his friends have bailed. I guess I'm confused.

    EDIT: And I'm wary of setting the bar for apostasy too low anyway. 'Disaffected,' 'disappointed,' 'bored,' 'unfulfilled' and the like don't qualify in my book. For it to be apostasy it has to involve something with rather more flair, like setting yourself on fire or going on Oprah.
    Last edited by Harry Tic; 07-23-2013 at 01:13 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Tic View Post
    Wait, I thought AggieIam was saying, like Vic, that he's still active ("my situation is similar to yours") even though some of his friends have bailed. I guess I'm confused.

    EDIT: And I'm wary of setting the bar for apostasy too low anyway. 'Disaffected,' 'disappointed,' 'bored,' 'unfulfilled' and the like don't qualify in my book. For it to be apostasy it has to involve something with rather more flair, like setting yourself on fire or going on Oprah.
    http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Leaving-the-Saints

    Whoa - I am I the last to hear about allegations of sexual abuse by Hugh Nibley?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Leaving-the-Saints

    Whoa - I am I the last to hear about allegations of sexual abuse by Hugh Nibley?
    Maybe. Probably not. Ftr, my wife has read all of her stuff and thinks the allegations are made up and she's just a super bitter apostate type. But that was years ago before she fully embraced her progmo role.
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    Even with correlated, limited Swedish church publications, I have a very difficult time believing this guy didn't know of some of these things given his leadership positions in the church. I mean no members ever brought up any of these issues to him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Leaving-the-Saints

    Whoa - I am I the last to hear about allegations of sexual abuse by Hugh Nibley?
    I came across a book she wrote with her husband in either college or medical school at Deseret Book--started thumbing through it and ended up reading the whole thing. In it, they set up some sort of model for compulsive type behavior and while I don't remember the specifics, I remember finding it really interesting. This was before her public disaffection from the Church and the book was, as you'd expect from any book sold at Deseret Book, very orthodox. I think it was much later when I recognized her name as someone who had publicly left the church. Her writings now are much more fluffy and nonsensical, from what I've looked at.

    I thought you would all enjoy that story. You're welcome.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surfah View Post
    Even with correlated, limited Swedish church publications, I have a very difficult time believing this guy didn't know of some of these things given his leadership positions in the church. I mean no members ever brought up any of these issues to him?
    Yeah, I'm flat out calling BS on this one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indy Coug View Post
    Yeah, I'm flat out calling BS on this one.
    I'm calling BS on your calling BS. I think this is an all-too-common reaction that I'm already seeing in the bloggersphere and I think it's crap. The emerging party line seems to be, "Oh, yeah. We all know this stuff. We've always known this stuff. We don't hide this. Everybody knows this stuff." It's disingenuous. This stuff does not get taught and, believe it or not, there are many church leaders--especially outside the US--that have pretty much taken the church line at face value. They read the approved books, they diligently fulfill leadership callings, and they have tended to use the internet for strictly instrumental purposes. It's unsurprising that older members of the church abroad--particularly those who have been more involved with administration rather than spending free time boning up on church history and doctrine or surfing the internet--are just now starting to reach some troubling conclusions.

    Do you have any particular reason to impugn this guy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    I came across a book she wrote with her husband in either college or medical school at Deseret Book--started thumbing through it and ended up reading the whole thing. In it, they set up some sort of model for compulsive type behavior and while I don't remember the specifics, I remember finding it really interesting. This was before her public disaffection from the Church and the book was, as you'd expect from any book sold at Deseret Book, very orthodox. I think it was much later when I recognized her name as someone who had publicly left the church. Her writings now are much more fluffy and nonsensical, from what I've looked at.

    I thought you would all enjoy that story. You're welcome.
    This is the book: https://byustudies.byu.edu/showtitle.aspx?title=6139

    My parents gave it to my sister because they think she needs it. Awkward.

    One of the compulsive behaviors is homosexuality. Right up there with eating disorders, alcoholism, and drugs.

    It's a horrible book.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Tic View Post
    I'm calling BS on your calling BS. I think this is an all-too-common reaction that I'm already seeing in the bloggersphere and I think it's crap. The emerging party line seems to be, "Oh, yeah. We all know this stuff. We've always known this stuff. We don't hide this. Everybody knows this stuff." It's disingenuous. This stuff does not get taught and, believe it or not, there are many church leaders--especially outside the US--that have pretty much taken the church line at face value. They read the approved books, they diligently fulfill leadership callings, and they have tended to use the internet for strictly instrumental purposes. It's unsurprising that older members of the church abroad--particularly those who have been more involved with administration rather than spending free time boning up on church history and doctrine or surfing the internet--are just now starting to reach some troubling conclusions.
    I have to agree with HT on this one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    This is the book: https://byustudies.byu.edu/showtitle.aspx?title=6139

    My parents gave it to my sister because they think she needs it. Awkward.

    One of the compulsive behaviors is homosexuality. Right up there with eating disorders, alcoholism, and drugs.

    It's a horrible book.
    I was a horrible person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Tic View Post
    I'm calling BS on your calling BS. I think this is an all-too-common reaction that I'm already seeing in the bloggersphere and I think it's crap. The emerging party line seems to be, "Oh, yeah. We all know this stuff. We've always known this stuff. We don't hide this. Everybody knows this stuff." It's disingenuous. This stuff does not get taught and, believe it or not, there are many church leaders--especially outside the US--that have pretty much taken the church line at face value. They read the approved books, they diligently fulfill leadership callings, and they have tended to use the internet for strictly instrumental purposes. It's unsurprising that older members of the church abroad--particularly those who have been more involved with administration rather than spending free time boning up on church history and doctrine or surfing the internet--are just now starting to reach some troubling conclusions.

    Do you have any particular reason to impugn this guy?
    It's not so much that they haven't heard of the issues, as much as they don't realize just how credible/valid the issues are, I'd guess. I listened to an interview of a McConkie, very orthodox and knowledgeable guy, who recently completed a study companion to the D&C. He said he was shocked at how little the GAs knew about these issues, because they just don't have the time or the desire to investigate them. They have plenty on their plate already. The church is reportedly addressing this with periodic briefings on different issues with them.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Indy Coug View Post
    Yeah, I'm flat out calling BS on this one.
    I assume you're calling BS on a few other Swedish leaders in the church, who faked it enough to get the attention of Marlin Jensen and Richard Turley to fly over and appease their BS concerns...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    It's not so much that they haven't heard of the issues, as much as they don't realize just how credible/valid the issues are, I'd guess. I listened to an interview of a McConkie, very orthodox and knowledgeable guy, who recently completed a study companion to the D&C. He said he was shocked at how little the GAs knew about these issues, because they just don't have the time or the desire to investigate them. They have plenty on their plate already. The church is reportedly addressing this with periodic briefings on different issues with them.
    This. Wasn't it Elder Eyring or Elder Holland that said if you ask certain questions of some High Priests groups you would get just as good an answer as if you were to ask the General Authorities? Some GAs are scriptorians and well versed in church history and doctrine, but I suspect these are increasingly a minority. Most, I suspect, are more devotional in their approach to scripture. They're both disinclined to pursue difficult issues and too harried to do so, except insofar as hard questions may occasionally come up in an interview or something. And in those circumstances they are likely, I think, to approach the problem as one of pastoral counseling and administration. I find it entirely plausible that perhaps this Swedish authority had some issues percolating "on the back burner" for a while that for some reason came to the fore (my impression is that there have been some widespread problems circulating among the Swedish saints for the last couple of years).

    What ticks me off is the old FARMS tactic of smearing someone's motives or reputation when they ask hard questions. There's a reason why Daniel Peterson and his ilk are walking dinosaurs.
    Last edited by Harry Tic; 07-23-2013 at 04:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northwestcoug View Post
    I assume you're calling BS on a few other Swedish leaders in the church, who faked it enough to get the attention of Marlin Jensen and Richard Turley to fly over and appease their BS concerns...
    Damn straight I am. I can believe they wanted to see if they could get more info than they had, but I don't believe for a second they didn't know about these issues well before, like years before, the Elder Jensen powwow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Tic View Post
    I'm calling BS on your calling BS. I think this is an all-too-common reaction that I'm already seeing in the bloggersphere and I think it's crap. The emerging party line seems to be, "Oh, yeah. We all know this stuff. We've always known this stuff. We don't hide this. Everybody knows this stuff." It's disingenuous. This stuff does not get taught and, believe it or not, there are many church leaders--especially outside the US--that have pretty much taken the church line at face value. They read the approved books, they diligently fulfill leadership callings, and they have tended to use the internet for strictly instrumental purposes. It's unsurprising that older members of the church abroad--particularly those who have been more involved with administration rather than spending free time boning up on church history and doctrine or surfing the internet--are just now starting to reach some troubling conclusions.
    Word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indy Coug View Post
    Damn straight I am. I can believe they wanted to see if they could get more info than they had, but I don't believe for a second they didn't know about these issues well before, like years before, the Elder Jensen powwow.
    Yeah, and pretty much every member that's ever had a serious question is probably showboating or using their question as a pretext to start chugging Schlitz and looking at the Swimsuit edition without remorse.

    You're a peach, Indy. Good thing the church leadership in deciding to send Jensen and Turley over is a little more sensitive and discerning than you are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Tic View Post
    Yeah, and pretty much every member that's ever had a serious question is probably showboating or using their question as a pretext to start chugging Schlitz and looking at the Swimsuit edition without remorse.

    You're a peach, Indy. Good thing the church leadership in deciding to send Jensen and Turley over is a little more sensitive and discerning than you are.
    Sounds like you need to contact the NYT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indy Coug View Post
    Sounds like you need to contact the NYT.
    For agreeing that it was prudent and reasonable of the Church to send Elders Jensen and Turley over to address the Swedish saints? If you're taking more of a hard line than the church leadership on this one, more power to you, brother.

    For thinking that we as a church have not done a good job of addressing controversial topics in correlated materials? Well, good luck fighting that battle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Tic View Post
    For agreeing that it was prudent and reasonable of the Church to send Elders Jensen and Turley over to address the Swedish saints? If you're taking more of a hard line than the church leadership on this one, more power to you, brother.

    For thinking that we as a church have not done a good job of addressing controversial topics in correlated materials? Well, good luck fighting that battle.
    No, just all the hyperbolic nonsense about Schlitz and swimsuit porn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indy Coug View Post
    No, just all the hyperbolic nonsense about Schlitz and swimsuit porn.
    Yes, it was hyperbole. So what? I'd like to know what serious point you were making about the motives of the Swedish saints that wanted the meeting. Apparently you feel very confident in saying that something was afoot. What reason do you have for thinking they were being disingenuous? Presumably you have some kind of hypothesis about their motives if you're not taking their explanation at face value. What is it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Tic View Post
    Yes, it was hyperbole. So what? I'd like to know what serious point you were making about the motives of the Swedish saints that wanted the meeting. Apparently you feel very confident in saying that something was afoot. What reason do you have for thinking they were being disingenuous? Presumably you have some kind of hypothesis about their motives if you're not taking their explanation at face value. What is it?
    I already stated I believed they wanted additional information and I have no problem with that. My point of contention is how Mattsson portrayed himself in the article as some vastly experienced member who had served a mission and many years of leadership experience in the church and miraculously only became aware of this stuff very recently.

    I served a mission to England just like he did. Brits were always throwing this kind of stuff in my face when I was on my pre-internet mission; but none of it was a surprise because I had already been exposed to this stuff years beforehand. Do I believe for a second he didn't encounter this stuff while tracting 40, 50 or more hours a week? Not bloody likely. I think either he's being disingenuous or Ms. Goodstein decided to paint him as being a little more oblivious than he really was.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indy Coug View Post
    I already stated I believed they wanted additional information and I have no problem with that. My point of contention is how Mattsson portrayed himself in the article as some vastly experienced member who had served a mission and many years of leadership experience in the church and miraculously only became aware of this stuff very recently.

    I served a mission to England just like he did. Brits were always throwing this kind of stuff in my face when I was on my pre-internet mission; but none of it was a surprise because I had already been exposed to this stuff years beforehand. Do I believe for a second he didn't encounter this stuff while tracting 40, 50 or more hours a week? Not bloody likely. I think either he's being disingenuous or Ms. Goodstein decided to paint him as being a little more oblivious than he really was.
    I served a mission in France. I remember being shocked when I ran into someone who actually knew that Brigham young was the name of a church leader and not just a football team (he knew nothing else about him.).

    I'm guessing my experience is much more akin to the Swedish one than yours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    I served a mission in France. I remember being shocked when I ran into someone who actually knew that Brigham young was the name of a church leader and not just a football team (he knew nothing else about him.).

    I'm guessing my experience is much more akin to the Swedish one than yours.

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    Yeah seriously. I saw one anti pamphlet in my two years and didn't read it all for fear of losing the spirit. I do simply remember it quoting BY when he supposedly said the moon was populated.

    It doesn't surprise me at all that a European church leader of his tenor wouldn't know much about this stuff. He likely spends very little time on the Internet and very much time traveling around giving speeches to big congregations. He likely never interviews individuals unless they are stake presidents and bishops and its likely those people are afraid to broach the subject with him.

    My mom has been to pretty much every CES ever given including 30 straight years of education week and she has no idea that JS practiced polyandry or used a peep stone in a hat to translate the BoM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moliere View Post
    Yeah seriously. I saw one anti pamphlet in my two years and didn't read it all for fear of losing the spirit. I do simply remember it quoting BY when he supposedly said the moon was populated.
    Not just populated, but populated by people looking like this:

    QuakerOats.jpg

    It seemed a reasonable hypothesis at the time.
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    I had the same reaction as Indy and Surfah when I read this portion of the article.

    But when he discovered credible evidence that the church’s founder, Joseph Smith, was a polygamist and that the Book of Mormon and other scriptures were rife with historical anomalies, Mr. Mattsson said he felt that the foundation on which he had built his life began to crumble.
    I can understand not knowing some of the historical anomalies in the BofM and all that, but you've been on a mission, area authority, etc., and you didn't know Joseph practiced polygamy? What? How is that even possible? It's not like we're talking about seer stones and talismans here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkGrace View Post
    I had the same reaction as Indy and Surfah when I read this portion of the article.



    I can understand not knowing some of the historical anomalies in the BofM and all that, but you've been on a mission, area authority, etc., and you didn't know Joseph practiced polygamy? What? How is that even possible? It's not like we're talking about seer stones and talismans here.
    The more likely thing is that the media isn't reporting it accurately. He probably didn't know that Joseph Smith married 14-16 year old girls and did it in secret and wrote them letters the way he did.

    The letters he wrote these girls are just shocking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkGrace View Post
    I had the same reaction as Indy and Surfah when I read this portion of the article.



    I can understand not knowing some of the historical anomalies in the BofM and all that, but you've been on a mission, area authority, etc., and you didn't know Joseph practiced polygamy? What? How is that even possible? It's not like we're talking about seer stones and talismans here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    I served a mission in France. I remember being shocked when I ran into someone who actually knew that Brigham young was the name of a church leader and not just a football team (he knew nothing else about him.).

    I'm guessing my experience is much more akin to the Swedish one than yours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moliere View Post
    Yeah seriously. I saw one anti pamphlet in my two years and didn't read it all for fear of losing the spirit. I do simply remember it quoting BY when he supposedly said the moon was populated.

    It doesn't surprise me at all that a European church leader of his tenor wouldn't know much about this stuff. He likely spends very little time on the Internet and very much time traveling around giving speeches to big congregations. He likely never interviews individuals unless they are stake presidents and bishops and its likely those people are afraid to broach the subject with him.

    My mom has been to pretty much every CES ever given including 30 straight years of education week and she has no idea that JS practiced polyandry or used a peep stone in a hat to translate the BoM.
    Indy is not talking about exposure to various interesting points in Mormon history as a Saint in Sweden, but about the time Elder Mattson served as a missionary in the UK. Indy cited his experience in the UK, which seems more relevant that anything missionaries might encounter from the French. About the time I served, a missionary was kidnapped in the UK by his girlfriend, creating a lot of good fodder for the tabloid press.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoonerCoug View Post
    The more likely thing is that the media isn't reporting it accurately. He probably didn't know that Joseph Smith married 14-16 year old girls and did it in secret and wrote them letters the way he did.

    The letters he wrote these girls are just shocking.
    This has to be the case. Ages, polyandry, etc., I can see. To just not know that Joseph practiced polygamy? I have a hard time believing that one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoonerCoug View Post
    The more likely thing is that the media isn't reporting it accurately. He probably didn't know that Joseph Smith married 14-16 year old girls and did it in secret and wrote them letters the way he did.

    The letters he wrote these girls are just shocking.
    Do you know of a source to see these letters?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkGrace View Post
    This has to be the case. Ages, polyandry, etc., I can see. To just not know that Joseph practiced polygamy? I have a hard time believing that one.
    I think we're straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel here. He probably was aware that JS had multiple wives. And he was probably aware there were historicity issues with the BoM. And maybe he knew something about the complications with the standard Book of Abraham story (although I think fewer members are aware of this). I don't think it's uncommon for someone to be more or less 'aware' of those issues but not really feel their full weight or understand their complexity until years after hearing about them. It sounds to me like things began to snowball and circulate among certain circles of long-time members. This isn't totally mysterious and doesn't require us to assume bad faith on anyone's part.

    I doubt that it's a question of these long-time members being totally naive about everything and then from one day to the next discovering the miracle of Google. But I don't think that very many faith crises take that shape anyway. How many people on this board that are perhaps only half-in the church now or maybe even all the way out went on a mission, learned about some of this stuff and managed to shelve it for a while until it became too much? Or perhaps learn something in more detail--e.g., not just that JS had multiple wives but their ages and circumstances and so on--and then that becomes the straw that broke the camel's back?

    I don't know--I got the impression the guy is still doing his best to remain loyal. He doesn't seem like an apostate to me and it bugs me when people assume the worst about someone's motives. That is, as I said earlier, the dinosaur approach to resolving faith conflicts. It's ineffective and the brethren seem to be sending the signal that that's not how we deal with crises anymore.
    Nothing lasts, but nothing is lost.
    --William Blake, via Shpongle

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