RE: I left the church because I found out all the history that they never taught.
This post, by Ardis E. Parshall, has gotten some play recently, here at MSP and elsewhere. Since numerous people linked to it, I thought I’d stop by to see what all the fuss was. Basically she talks about her awful mission experience and then concludes that there is nothing that can convince her that the LDS Church is NOT true, because those are all failings of men, not the gospel. After reading the post, I wrote up a response, which I attempted to add to the discussion. There is no indication when you attempt to comment that comments are screened and correlated. But my comment was correlated out of existence and here’s her response to my (never posted) comment. So, I figured I’d post it here:
Ardis,First, it’s awful what happened to you on your mission. Truly awful.Second, it sounds like what you are saying despite that is that there is nothing, nothing that could ever get you to stop believing the LDS Church is true and that there is a god. If that is what you believe, your position is irrational. Daniel Dennett makes this point quite clear in his book, Breaking the Spell. Let me see if I can illustrate this with a hypothetical scenario. If you really are saying that nothing can change your position, then:If two supernatural entities descended from the sky one bright, beautiful morning while you were outside on a walk with several people you trust and care about; and if they glowed with supernatural brilliance and had all of the stereotypical characteristics attributed to god the father and jesus christ (you know, male, beards, long hair, white-skin, etc.); and if they descended right in front of you, hovering mid-air, and began to speak, “Ardis, your mission president was an evil man. He was not called of god. The LDS Church is in apostasy. We are here to call you to start a new religion. One that represents our true desires.”; and if they then proceeded to ordain you as the next prophet(ess) and detail their plans for you; and if the visit lasts several hours; and the people with you, whom you trust, are there to witness it, would you deny that it occurred?Based on your earlier suggestion that there is nothing that can dissuade you from your “knowledge” that the LDS Church and its gospel are true, your response to this supernatural visitation would be to dismiss it and deny it. After all, it didn’t go through the proper priesthood channels. It was not correlated. And it runs counter to current Mormon teaching that women cannot hold the priesthood. Ergo, it must not be god and jesus christ.As an apostate and now atheist, if this happened to me and those who were with me were credible witnesses, I’d at least have to consider it as genuine. Why wouldn’t you? If you wouldn’t, your belief is irrational. If you’re okay with that, there isn’t much else to say. If you don’t think it’s irrational, please explain why.Of course, the obvious follow-up to this is: Yes, this is extreme, but if you would reconsider your beliefs for this extreme event, why wouldn’t you for something less extreme, like Joseph Smith’s philandering or Brigham Young’s false doctrine? It’s just a matter of degree. Yet, you dismiss that as irrelevant. That is irrational.Just my two bits…
I’m doubting Ardis will sully herself by stopping by MSP to respond, but you never know.