Mormonthink, Mormon Think, MT
We filed this group under “Anti-Mormon” even though they claim that the majority of their contributors are LDS:
About 25 Latter-day Saints have contributed substantially to the MormonThink website. The majority of those people are active, church-going members of the LDS Church.
Most of us still attend church regularly, do our home-teaching every month, and perform callings and service. Some have drifted into inactivity. Others have found the issues identified on this web site to be too troubling to allow them to remain active in the church.
It becomes apparent however, based on their disparaging of David Whitmer, that they are less than interested in truth, and certainly are not pro-LDS . No fence sitting, disgruntled Mormon can claim to be honest in their endeavors to understand LDS Church history without having FIRST read the writings of David Whitmer.
Case in point, Mormonthink does not mention David’s writings, and it is clear they have not read them.
The field David plowed
David plowed a field in less time than it normally took him and jumped to the conclusion that it was a sign from God, a miracle. His father planted the suggestion that “there must be an overruling hand in this” so David immediately concluded that there must be a supernatural explanation to his rapid work – the only other explanation David or his father could think of. This is odd and disturbing on many levels since David plowed the field himself. He based his supernatural explanation on nothing other than the time he spent working in the field vs the time he remembers he did it in the past – and his father suggesting an unworldly explanation. Those familiar with statistics call that superstitious practice, counting the hits and ignoring the misses. Church leaders like to tell this story with an air of objectivity, though none is present.
Having plowed the field many times, David knew how long it would take, as well as his Dad who plowed it as well.
The field plowed by angels
The next day, his sister said she and her children observed three men working in the field. Since David didn’t hire them, he naturally assumes that it was “divine intervention”. Well, if David can think that three men working in the field are angels, when his sister and children who saw them thought they were just men he hired, then obviously David is easy to convince with very little evidence. Most people call that gullible. In the social sciences it is called confirmation bias. (Gary Marcus, Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind, p. 53)
So who were the three men? Could have been anybody. Maybe David’s dad hired some people and just let it be when David thought it was divine so he had some additional incentive as his dad seem to think David’s getting involved with Joseph was a good thing.
Some people can’t accept facts like: “This is what occurred.” even after having been recorded by multiple witnesses.
The disappearing traveler
Reminiscent of the vanishing hitchhiker urban legend tales that have been told for hundreds of years in various forms, Whitmer claims to have offered a ride to what later turns out to be Moroni taking a stroll. The man declined the ride, then David and the other men looked at each other and looked around, but the man vanished into thin air.
The sleight of hand trick – pretend you are showing readers the whole account, then withhold the part that would shatter your interpretation. How many viewers for example, of this hitchhiker apparition, had a conversation with the apparition who used a word known only in the Book of Mormon? None. It’s this kind of deception throughout the site that reveals their real agenda.
David said that Joseph told him that the man was in fact the angel Moroni. Isn’t it strange that David described the man as “old”. In all the painting and depictions of Moroni, he is never described as “old”. He was also wiping the sweat off of his forehead because it was very warm. Do angels sweat? Was he dressed right? Joseph mocked a man in print for describing an angel that was not dressed quite right (History of the Church 5:267-268). Why didn’t the angel extend his hand to identify himself as the official doctrine states? (D&C 129; Words of Joseph Smith, p. 44; History of the Church, 3:392) Isn’t it strange that when David and Oliver were later allowed to be “witnesses” and view the angel, they had already seen him before – so why was it extraordinary to view him again? If David could be convinced that an ordinary looking “old man” wandering down the road wiping his brow due to the warm sun was really an angel (and the very same angel he claimed to see later), then it becomes obvious to most reasonable people that David’s testimony of seeing an angel is not convincing. The same is true for Oliver.
The authors of this site have never encountered a resurrected or translated being, and are ignorant of the different ways they can manifest. When Jesus appeared to Mary in the garden, why wasn’t she knocked to the ground and blinded like Saul?
Christians have stories of divine encounters of angels “in disguise” as humans of all types, even with body odor, sweat, saliva, and a persona typical of humans, not to mention the Old Testament examples where they eat, sleep, walk, yet can destroy cities with their power (See Sodom and Gomorrah for details).
Whitmer’s description of the angel
John Murphy interviewed David Whitmer in June, 1880.
When asked in 1880 for a description of the angel who showed him the plates, Whitmer replied that the angel “had no appearance or shape.” Asked by the interviewer how he then could bear testimony that he had seen and heard an angel, Whitmer replied, “Have you never had impressions?” To which the interviewer responded, “Then you had impressions as the Quaker when the spirit moves, or as a good Methodist in giving a happy experience, a feeling?” “Just so,” replied Whitmer. Whitmer interview with John Murphy, June 1880, in EMD5: 63.
Perhaps David said the angel had no appearance or shape because there was no angel.
Again the contributors of this site reveal their lack of experience or understanding of the supernatural. When the resurrected Jesus appeared to Saul and his traveling companions, what did they say they saw? What about Moses and the “burning bush?” The raitional mind will not accept the ways of God. The sooner the contributors of this site realize that, the sooner they will find the true peace that “passeth all understanding.”
David Whitmer on God telling him to leave the saints
As stated before. Whitmer made the following well-documented statement:
“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’… [Address to all believers in Christ, p27, 1887.]
Critic’s cite this as strong evidence that Whitmer is either someone that lied about what God told him, lied about the angel or was so superstitious and impressionable that he was mistaken when he thought he heard God or an angel speaking to him. So which statement was David Whitmer lying about or had been mistaken about? Whitmer does not come off as a trustworthy witness.
Latter-day Saints condone a lot of beliefs that are unsavory to the true spirit of Christ. Unless a “Saint” comes out of Mormonism for that reason, they will be missing the mark. Had the contributors of this web site read David’s Address, they would have known the context of the statement, which would have endeared them to David, instead of slighting him.
Joseph Smith said of David Whitmer
“John Whitmer, David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, and Martin Harris are too mean to mention” Smith said of David Whitmer: “God suffered such kind of beings to afflict Job. This poor man who professes to be much of a prophet, has no other dumb ass to ride but David Whitmer, to forbid his madness when he goes up to curse Israel; and this ass not being of the same kind as Balaam’s…he brays out cursings instead of blessings. Poor ass!” (History of the Church, vol. 3, p.228 & 232).
It’s a wonder why anti’s trust Joseph’s statements when it comes to David, but don’t when it comes to everything else. The truth is, Joseph said many mean things about many people who left him. So long as you did not challenge or question his motives, you were fine. David was known for his integrity as documented by all who knew him. The act of Joseph ordaining David his successor speaks louder than those words.
The rest of the conflagration of attacks are not worthy of our time.