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A FairMormon Analysis of:
MormonThink
A work by author: Anonymous

A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page "Testimony & Spiritual Witnesses"

FAIRMORMON'S VIEW OF THE CRITICS' CONCLUSIONS


The positions that the MormonThink article "Testimony & Spiritual Witnesses" appears to take are the following:

FAIRMORMON'S RESPONSE AND SUPPORTING DATA


On their old website, MormonThink claims...
Many saints are essentially 'taught ' their testimonies growing up. We've all seen many Fast & Testimony meetings where a five-year old child is at the podium with his mom or dad whispering in his ear telling him exactly what to say "I know the church is true, I love my mommy and daddy, I know Joseph Smith was a prophet, etc." ....And when these children grow up they naturally hold on to the religious beliefs that they were taught as children. If those same children were raised by Islamic Extremists they would very likely support those views instead of Mormonism.


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On their old website, MormonThink claims...
Many converts, who have since become inactive, admitted that they were so impressed by the missionaries that they didn't want to disappoint these young men that took such an interest in their well-being, so they said they had a testimony when they really didn't have one.


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On their old website, MormonThink claims...
Critic's Point: Sounds like if you don't get any real answer from the Holy Ghost that you should just keep on following the church and do everything you're suppose to do such as paying 10% of all your income to an organization that you do not know is true or not, and maybe you will slowly gain one and that may take many years or even a lifetime. It is suspicious when the leaders tell their members that the way to gain a testimony is to follow the leaders and some time in the future you may get a testimony but don't expect anything spectacular.


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On their old website, MormonThink claims...
Critics say that people that claim to get a 'burning in the bosom' are just experiencing a warming sensation that is caused by the person itself and not an external force. Ever wonder where the expression 'heart-warming' comes from? It's meant to describe a warm feeling you feel inside yourself. It's related to emotional responses to intense drama. The drama does not need to be true. For example, heart-warming is often used to describe watching a 'tear-jerker' movie where a beloved character dies saving someone else or reading a fictional, inspirational novel.


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On their old website, MormonThink claims...
The whole "burning bosom" warm feeling is not uncommon in daily life for people of any and all religious backgrounds. We felt it when Superman saves someone that fell off a building, when Darth Vader turns on the emperor to save his son Luke, when Lassie finally came home and when the Grinch returned all the toys to Whoville. ....All of these experiences can cause the "burning bosom" regardless of religion. That is because they are "emotion-based." Whether something is meaningful to us is the result of our past experiences and belief system. While an American would feel the tingles during the National Anthem, a visiting Frenchman may not feel anything at all. Why? Because the American Anthem has no meaning for him.


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On their old website, MormonThink claims...
The feelings are certainly not unique to the LDS Church. Bonneville Productions, the media firm owned by the Church, claims to produce that special feeling that many of us and investigators associate with the Holy Spirit. In fact, Bonneville has trademarked this term and calls it "Heartsell". "Their unique strength is the ability to touch the hearts and minds of audiences, evoking first feeling, then thought and, finally, action. They call this uniquely powerful brand of creative HeartSell® - strategic emotional advertising that stimulates response." If you own a business you can also employ "Heartsell" by hiring Bonneville to consult for you. At first, we couldn't believe that they would blatantly admit that they can manufacture such feelings but they do.


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On their old website, MormonThink claims...
For devout believers in the Holy Bible, Satan can appear as an 'Angel of Light' and can possess many of the other attributes we associate with truth and goodness. It's possible that Joseph and others were deceived by the 'Master of Lies'. For those adamantly opposed to polygamy and some of Joseph's other teachings, this is a possibility.


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On their old website, MormonThink claims...
Many people, that the missionaries give the Book of Mormon to, sincerely pray about it and do not get a witness that it's true and therefore do not join the LDS church. How are we to reconcile that? Should not the Holy Ghost bear witness to all sincere seekers of the truth? The often heard trite answers such as 'he wasn't ready' or 'you expect too much' don't really make sense when you think about it.


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On their old website, MormonThink claims...
The people following this counsel repeat things over and over, until they convince themselves that they're true. Just keep telling yourself, "I know it's true...I know it's true...I know it's true--" --and before long, you'll believe it! The advice is essentially to lie enough times until you believe it yourself. Just think about this for a minute. If you don't have testimony, bear one anyway.


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On their old website, MormonThink claims...
After David Whitmer left the church he said "If you believe my testimony to the Book of Mormon; if you believe that God spake to us three witnesses by his own voice, then I tell you that in June, 1838, God spake to me again by his own voice from the heavens, and told me to separate myself from among the Latter-day Saints, for as they sought to do unto me, so should it be done unto them." (Address to All Believers in Christ, p. 27, 1887). Critic's point: So which testimony of David Whitmer is wrong?


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On their old website, MormonThink claims...
Critic's comment: If members were to take the time to ask believers who’ve experienced Baptist, Pentecostal or Evangelical revivals what they felt, they would recognize the symptoms: heart-warming, mind-stimulating peacefulness and assurance that God loves and gives them truth. Hindus will attest that of the seven chakras the heart and mind centers are designed to follow higher understanding and intuition. Proper use of these chakras will yield intense elation, peace, higher truth and a refined sense of consciousness that only the diligent can achieve. The chakras experience is occasionally head-to-toe sensations and can become a full-time guiding essence if one seeks such constant experience. And so forth and so on with elements of all major religions that believe in spiritualism. There are members of other walks of life that will describe their spiritual renewal with terms reflecting the burning of bosoms and enlightenment of mind to higher states. Are these really inferior to LDS Holy Ghost witnesses? How do you know?


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On their old website, MormonThink claims...
Conclusion 1. I've had spiritual witnesses that my church is true. 2. Since my church is true, all other spiritual experiences that confirm that other churches are true must be wrong.


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On their old website, MormonThink claims...
Critic's comment: Where was their Power of Discernment? Even the Tanners, which are considered some of the biggest enemies of the Church, said that the documents were likely fakes but the Church bought them anyway.


FairMormon commentary




On their old website, MormonThink claims...
Statistically, the death rate from car accidents in Utah is the same as across the nation. Statistically, the death rate of terminal cases in Utah is also the same as the rest of the nation. With all the priesthood blessings being given in Utah, why don't we see a statistical difference?


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On their old website, MormonThink claims...
Our Thoughts: It would be an interesting study if the prayers of different faiths, namely the LDS religion could be tested for effect vs. those of other religions. From personal observation it seems that sometimes prayer in general appears to be beneficial and other times it appears to make no difference at all thus rendering prayer as a hopeful remedy to some affliction but with no guarantee of success. In other words, it can't hurt but don't count on it to really work.


FairMormon commentary




On their old website, MormonThink claims...
Most Latter-day Saints testimonies are merely of the 'warm fuzzy' variety. Very few actually claim to have anything more than this. Many people just believe because they think someone else must have a VALID testimony - more than just warm fuzzies. At church it seems that the same 10-20 people get up and bear their testimony every month. What about the other 80%? Maybe the others are just shy or maybe they don't really have testimonies.


FairMormon commentary




On their old website, MormonThink claims...
We don't doubt that many LDS have strong feelings that the church is true. However, we question whether these feelings are really a reliable guide to establishing truth. Some of us accept that some LDS members may have even received some sort of unearthly spiritual 'witness' regarding either their testimony or some other aspect of their lives. However there is considerable evidence that the 'spirit' is totally unreliable as a means of determining truth.


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On their old website, MormonThink claims...
If testimonies are so fragile perhaps it's because they are not real. That's the reason we have Fast & Testimony meeting every single month. If they were really powerful events then we would never have to fear losing them.


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