Mormons and Hypocrisy: A Personal Experience with Cognitive Dissonance

By: Guest
November 11, 2010

Today’s guest post comes from Cornponebread.

I started this out as a “Mormons vs. Latter-day Saints” article.  There had been a few things lately which bothered me about those who practice the “Culture of Mormonism” as opposed to those humble seekers of truth;  the followers of the true doctrine of the restored Gospel.  What I ended up with was far different from what I had started with.

The more I got into it, the more I realized what an open-ended issue this is!  As I thought about it and asked friends in different wards, I realized that each ward has its own culture.  For instance, this last Sunday I went away from my testimony meeting feeling empty, frustrated, and most certainly not edified.  In my current ward, the “culture” dictates that testimony meeting is a combination of small kids getting up and repeating what their parents tell them to say, the usual suspects with their life-threatening event of the month, the ensuing one-upmanship, the name-dropping, the “I was sitting in the temple” stories…  You get the picture!  And in all this, very little if any actual testifying.  Our poor Bishop has really tried to change this, but to little or no avail.  He has suggested in the past that we leave out the stories (after which the RS president promptly got up and told a story) and concentrate of actual testimonies, that those who usually get up and give lengthy testimonies shorten theirs and give others a chance (after which prime suspect number one went on for over 10 minutes), and has gone so far to assign people in advance to give “proper” testimonies.  Nothing has changed!

Once my ward was finished, I listened in on the ward that follows ours.  Whereas my ward never lacks for people taking advantage of “open mike” time, I was surprised at how few took the stand in this other ward.  It reminded me of my ward growing up.  It was about an hour and a half of silence, punctuated by a few testimonies, the substance of which I can’t recall after all these years.  (Back in the day, sacrament meeting was much longer, about an hour and a half).  I returned from my mission, and nothing had changed.  Imagine my surprise when a few years back I attended a testimony meeting in that ward for the first time in over 20 years, AND NOTHING HAD CHANGED!!!

So it seems clear from this example alone that there is a culture from ward to ward, in addition to the culture within the Church as a whole.  Further to this, the culture changes from region to region, depending on whether or not the Church is a long-established institution in the area (Utah, Idaho) relatively new OR geographically removed from the Utah-Idaho area (like it was when I was on a mission),  or somewhere in between.

The danger of having specific cultures or sub-cultures is that they breed dissonance.  People come from other cultures and don’t do things the same way.  Sometimes they are ostracized.  Sometimes they feel like they don’t belong.  I’ve heard many times that the Church is the same in Salt Lake as it is in London as it is in Madrid as it is in Tokyo.  And while it’s true that they teach out of the same manuals and have access to the same materials, the culture is definitely different from place to place.  And I’m not talking about the obvious socio-economic conditions.  I’m talking about the way the Word is interpreted and applied.

As I asked and observed, I found that a lot of this “culture” is fostered by arrogance and hypocrisy.   People look down their noses at others because they are “different”, when in reality they should be more Christ-like and accepting.  People are quick to judge and point fingers, to scoff in self-righteous indignation.  Now my personal observations are too few to be scientifically valid, but my conversations with others from around the Church in different areas and countries seem to point to the same problems.

How is it, then, that a culture of hypocrisy has taken hold within the membership of the Church?  It is surely not preached from the pulpit.  It is not preached from the conference center.  It is not preached in the magazines.  Why, then, is there so much hypocrisy within the Church?  As far as I can tell, the answer is that because although the Church does not actively preach hypocrisy, it most certainly and actively practices it!  Here are a few examples:

  1. The Church tells us to refrain from participating in, attending or watching sporting events on Sundays.  The Sabbath day is holy, after all.  Many times stories have been printed in the Church News, Ensign, New Era and Friend about individuals who gave up a chance at a championship or a professional career because they would be required to do so on a Sunday.  A few years back the BYU women’s rugby team went to the nationals but due to a scheduling error were required to play on a Sunday.  The players elected to remain true to their standards and were forced to forfeit their game, thus eliminating them from the tournament.  They were lauded by the leadership of the Church for taking this difficult stand.  OK, so why does the Church-run KSL television station show six hours of football on Sunday?  Why doesn’t the Church take a stand?  This is hypocrisy.
  2. The Church warns us to avoid pornography in all its forms.  The Bible tells us not to uncover one another’s nakedness (Lev 18:6-19) yet at Church-run Brigham Young University in their art program, the painting and sculpting of nudes is part of the curriculum.  Granted, the models don’t pose nude, but it is left to the artist to “fill in the blanks”, in a manner of speaking.  Now I don’t want to enter the art vs. pornography debate here, but consider this:  Before internet porn there were porn magazines.  Before magazines there were pornographic photos.  Before the photos, there were pornographic drawings and paintings and sculptures.  I’ve always maintained that pornography required one of two elements to be considered such:  the intent of the one producing it, and the intent of the one viewing it.  It thus follows that a painting or a sculpture, no matter how undeniably skilled the artist, can be viewed as pornographic.  If we are to avoid pornography in all its forms, why provide the means for someone to derive a pornographic experience?  This seems hypocritical to me.
  3. Ephesians 4:14 tells us not to be carried about with every wind of doctrine.  Yet how does the Church explain its own doctrinal changes?  The softening of the Church’s stance on homosexuality comes to mind.  The Church’s stance that all indigenous peoples in the Americas are literal descendants of Lehi, since debunked by DNA testing, has now been somewhat altered by a change in the text to the introduction in new editions of the Book of Mormon.   Previously, the introduction said that the Lamanites “are the principle ancestors of the American Indians”  Now it says the Lamanites “are among the ancestors of the American Indians”.  So which is it?  It is documented that Pres. Hinckley referred to the people of Central America as descendants of Lehi in several dedicatory prayers he gave for temples in that part of the world.  Now it seems this is not the case after all!  Yet several prophets have made comments to the effect that the Church is either true or it is false.  President Hinckley himself, on the PBS documentary “The Mormons”, said “it’s either true or false. If it’s false, we’re engaged in a great fraud. If it’s true, it’s the most important thing in the world.”  Truth, as I understand it, is unchanging, immutable, eternal.  Truth does not change with every wind of doctrine.   A subtle change in wording, even just one word, is still a change.  Hypocrisy!
  4. And what’s with the censorship of Pres. Packer’s talk at the last conference?  Either he said what he said, or he didn’t!  Why is the “official” version sanitized?  I thought D&C 68:4 taught us that what these men say is scripture?  If it is scripture, why change it?  What then is the Church’s stand on homosexuality?  Is it as Pres. Packer said, or is it something else?  Why can’t the leaders agree on it?  More hypocrisy!
  5. Matthew 6:1-4 (also 3 Nephi 13:1-4) warns us to do alms in secret, and not to sound a trumpet before us so that others can know what we are up to. Yet the Church spares no expense in trumpeting its own alms, done in the form of humanitarian aid, to the world.  It seems there is always a camera there to record the moment for posterity.  This is totally contrary to biblical (and Book of Mormon) teaching, yet there they are, never missing a photo op.  Still more hypocrisy!

I haven’t even gotten into the usual tired arguments that the “anti-Mormons” put forward.  Some of them are bunk, but some of them hold water.  There are several dark “secrets” in Church history which the leadership is aware of, yet if anyone dares bring them to light, they are excommunicated.  Brigham Young taught the doctrine of blood atonement.  He taught in the temple that Adam and God were one and the same.  IN THE TEMPLE!  The Church does not accept these doctrines currently, but at one point it did.  Isn’t that hypocrisy?

We are shocked by allegations that Warren Jeffs was not only a polygamist, but married girls as young as 12, making him a child molester.  What does the Church have to say about Joseph Smith marrying Heber C Kimball’s 14 year old daughter?  (This, by the way, is documented in Church-produced materials, including FamilySearch.org)  Was he a child-molester as well?  If I brought this up at Church, I wonder what would happen?

What other examples of hypocrisy do you see in the Church?

Do you view the above examples as hypocrisy, or do you view them in a different light?

Why does the “true” Church change its doctrines, or at least put a different spin on some of them?

Do these changes bother you?

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35 Responses to Mormons and Hypocrisy: A Personal Experience with Cognitive Dissonance

  1. Thomas on November 11, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    “the usual suspects with their life-threatening event of the month”

    Still reading the piece, but had to LOL.

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  2. Thomas on November 11, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    “yet at Church-run Brigham Young University in their art program, the painting and sculpting of nudes is part of the curriculum. Granted, the models don’t pose nude, but it is left to the artist to “fill in the blanks”, in a manner of speaking.”

    In my brief career as a BYU figure model (the alternative was vacuuming hallways at 3 a.m., and that simply wasn’t going to happen), I can tell you that nobody filled in my Speedo-covered blanks.

    Ah, memories. Standing in what I think Judge Bybee would call a “stress position” for half an hour in the drafty $@%# Brimhall Building in mid-January, turning blue on one side while a pathetically inadequate space heater was setting the hair on one leg on fire. This is why I could never work up too much outrage about “waterboarding.” Been there and got the $10/hour.

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  3. Thomas on November 11, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    Seriously, though, I think you should take greater care with the word “hypocrisy.” Hypocrisy and inconsistency are not synonyms.

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  4. Not Cornponebread on November 11, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    Cornponebread, you seem pretty worked up here. Often those who accuse others have an issue with the very thing they are accusing others of. Is there something else going on with you that is fueling this fire of indignation?

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  5. Ben on November 11, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    “Do you view the above examples as hypocrisy”

    Nope. I think you’re both over-reaching and over-simplifying several of these. Moreover, I’m not sure any of these account for individual behavior or ward culture.

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  6. AdamF on November 11, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    “If we are to avoid pornography in all its forms, why provide the means for someone to derive a pornographic experience?”

    In my experience working with clients who may have a sex “addiction” (in quotes so I don’t offend anyone, haha), a LOT of things can be “pornographic” to an addict. Seeing a woman in shorts can be. Putting an arm around a woman can be. Even just getting on the Internet without looking at anything explicit can be part of the addictive process. I think if there is any improvement that needs to be made regarding how we view porn (no pun intended, LOL!) is that it should be less of a focus on the WHAT of it, and more of a focus on the HOW. Point being, a LOT of stuff is “pornographic” to someone with a problem… even “modestly” dressed women.

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  7. hawkgrrrl on November 11, 2010 at 4:04 PM

    I agree with Thomas that inconsistency is not the same thing as hypocrisy. Also consider that the church also teaches that we should not be commanded in all things, and then proceeds to command us in a whole heckuva lotta things. As to your list:

    1 – sporting events. I’ve never heard an admonition not to watch televised sports on Sundays.
    2 – even in the ancient world, simple nude art differed from pornographic nudity. Pornography was often used to communicate services you could obtain at a brothel to those who couldn’t read. Drawing the nude form does not usually portray sexual acts and is therefore not pornography by any stretch.
    3 – the evolution of doctrine over time as understanding improves is not the same thing as being carried around on every wind of doctrine. Policies and teachings go through a rather slow pace of change, not a whimsical one.
    4 – of course, the party line would be that his talk was prone to misunderstanding due to word choice. Hypocrisy? I don’t think so. This is an example of dissent and correlating of opinion.
    5 – yes, this is true on some level, but there is a lot of humanitarian effort that the church doesn’t take credit for as well. The other reason to take some credit is missionary work and inspiring people to do likewise. If you don’t communicate to your members that charity is important, they do less charity. If you don’t work with other faiths and organizations to do charity, you get less done. And no one wants to join a church that doesn’t do charity.

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  8. Chase on November 11, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    From a philosphical standpoint I think that you are heavily mixing Hellenistic philosophy in your understanding of what Truth is. You talk about immutable, unchangeable truth. You are thinking like a greek Platonic. Hebrew and middle eastern thinking in general was never so immutable. Truth is not a thing out in the universe. It was contextual and in Hebrew thought Truth is embodied, Christ was being quite literal when he said he is the Truth. If you want to believe in a fixed Platonic truth, which by the way was only introduced into Christianity several centuries after Christ, than yes the Church is hypocritical. However you can not believe in an active revelation and remain with the Platonic thought, J.S. once said that the heaven and men are governed according the circumstances that they find themselves in. This is why Moses can say that shalt not kill and then give the command to destroy every man, woman, and child in a nation.
    When President Hinkley says it is true or it isn’t, what he is referring to is that this the church of Christ and He governs it according to its circumstances or it is led by liars and frauds.
    Gospel Truth is never fixed like most of us Western thinkers want it to be, it moves, it lives and breathes.Never put a stick in the ground, that is why a prophet is needed to tell us the newest will of the Lord.

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  9. Thomas on November 11, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    “In my experience working with clients who may have a sex “addiction” (in quotes so I don’t offend anyone, haha), a LOT of things can be “pornographic” to an addict.”

    I remember reading a long-ago argument against obscenity laws, to the effect that there was no point in legislating against erotica, since the average young male was capable of being aroused by the Mechanic’s Lien Law.

    That is, by the dryest, dullest, most deadening material imaginable. And unfortunately what I spend a fair portion of my life dealing with. Which probably explains why I waste so much time here.

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  10. Thomas on November 11, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    “You are thinking like a greek Platonic.”

    funny, I read that as “geek Platonic.” And I agreed (that Platonists were geeks). Yay Aristotle.

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  11. Chris on November 11, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Great post! I hope it is read by some in the Church who have the power to make necessary changes. Another matter of cognitive dissonance for me is the Church outwardly saying they do not condone spousal abuse and then looking the other way when GA’s friends and relatives abuse their wives.

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  12. Bored in Vernal on November 11, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    I want to address your comments on testimony bearing. I know it can be frustrating to hear travelogues or long drawn-out thank-a-monies, but I prefer people’s stories to a dry recital of what they “know” is true. I always taught my kids when bearing testimony that I wanted to hear not simply what they know, but the story of how or why they got their testimony of the principle. And I even enjoy the odd ones–it shows people’s personalities and brings us closer as a ward.

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  13. Stephen M (Ethesis) on November 11, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    Ward cultures often change with changes in bishops. I’m impressed at a culture that resisted change for twenty years ;)

    Seriously, though, I think you should take greater care with the word “hypocrisy.” Hypocrisy and inconsistency are not synonyms.

    Yes, though thinking they are, and finding inconsistency when what is going on is multiple currents, is a surefire way to head towards indigestion.

    Chase — nicely said.

    Thomas — when I was still young, I even litigated some mechanic’s liens, don’t remember ever finding them erotic. Maybe if I had just been younger. Now that I’m older, there are things I know I should find erotic that I don’t.

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  14. Bored in Vernal on November 11, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    lol, Stephen.

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  15. Joe on November 11, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    Nudes are pornographic? Seriously? We were created in God’s image and are ashamed of it? If there is a cognitive dissonance it’s the weird attempt to pretend that we aren’t physical, sexual beings.

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  16. Jared on November 11, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    Cornponebread–this ranks as one weakest attacks on the church I have ever read or a display of tongue-in-cheek at its best.

    LOL

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  17. Joe on November 11, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    Another cognitive dissonance; watching porn leads to a slippery slope of sin, yet actually having sex with your wife has no ill effects.

    * * *

    BTW, cognitive dissonance can lead to hypocrisy, but is most definitely NOT the same thing.

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  18. Dan on November 11, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    I’m with Thomas. Take care with the hypocrisy label. The one critique which Jesus was very strong on with the Jews of his time was the issue of hypocrisy. He was very harsh with them on this. The examples you cite are rather mild in comparison to the examples Jesus cited of the Pharisees. I would not put today’s church leaders and the church itself on the same level as the original hypocrites

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  19. GBSmith on November 11, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    I never thought I would agree with Jared on anything but this post has so much misinformation, bad logic, unsubstantiated claims, and misinterpretation of scripture (the leviticus passage has to do with sex not nudity), that I admire anyone that knows where to begin to discuss it.

    Dissing the church for humanitarian service in public and not secret? What should the church have done after the fast for Ethiopia? Slip an envelope with $6 million under the door of Catholic Relief, ring the door bell and run away?

    What the brethren say in conference isn’t scripture unless you want to redefine the term.

    Doctrine changes because most of the time it’s not doctrine but policy and the rest of the time because we’re supposed to believe in prophets.

    Nakedness=pornography. Not really. Actually not even close. Remember to the pure all things are pure. And besides there are temple recommend holding mormon nudists and I don’t think any had to lie to pass the interview.

    KSL broadcasting sports on Sunday? Do they really? The horror. Sorry, sarcasm is the devil’s tool. That’s really reaching for a criticism.

    There are lots of things that have troubled me over the years about the church but somehow you’ve managed to not mention one of them.

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  20. Jared on November 11, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    19 GBSmith–

    aw-shucks, I’m moved by your kind words and admission that miracles do happen.

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  21. Mike S on November 11, 2010 at 9:01 PM

    I actually agree with Jared as well, and GBSmith. This is a very uniting post.

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  22. MoHoHawaii on November 11, 2010 at 9:46 PM

    A very uniting post indeed.

    I actually think the best way to address the issue that I think underlies the OP is to think of in terms of Elder Poelman’s beautiful conference talk of 1984 which argued for using the Church as a vehicle for living the gospel. (Be sure to read the original text and not the heavily modified published version.)

    [Big gay hugs to you, Jared, GBSmith and Mike S. :- ) ]

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  23. Jared on November 12, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    #22 MoHoHawaii–

    A straight, brother in the gospel hug to you.

    I agree, trying to understand the reasoning behind the Poelman incident is like trying to scratch your head with your elbow.

    I’m sure those in leadership responsible for that particular mess learned something.

    I always like to look a a deeper when I encounter these types of things. For example, did Elder Poelman leave the church? No, he was released at age 70 in 1998 as an emeritus general authority.

    He, like many other GA, is well educated-lawyer with a Harvard degree-he could have left the church after this humiliation, but didn’t. What does that say?

    As far as that goes, how many GA’s, especially in recent memory, have left the church, been a whistle-blower over some issue, or in some other way protested? Some have had troubles keeping the commandments, but I don’t know of any who have publicly denounced the church in the last 100 years.

    Maybe someone knows something on this that I don’t, and will let us know.

    The point is-the leadership of the church at the highest level-are steady, loyal, immovable, followers of Christ. What does that say?

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  24. hawkgrrrl on November 12, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    Wait, MoHo, I get no hug?

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  25. Thomas on November 12, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    The word “hypocrisy” comes from the Greek hypókrisis, meaning “play acting.” It connotes pretending to virtues one does not really possess, or even intend to possess. That doesn’t remotely describe the Church.

    There may well be inconsistencies galore in Church doctrine and culture — but if you point them out to Church faithful, your response will far more likely be “hmm…never thought of that” or “That’s different!” than “dang, you got me — I never really did care that much about the Sabbath/chastity/etc.; it was all an act.”

    People have a great ability to compartmentalize, to rationalize, and apply different standards to different circumstances. So even if the positions truly are fundamentally inconsistent (and you can make a case, in each of the scenarios referenced in the OP, that the Church’s overall position can be reconciled with the apparently inconsistent specific cases), this is not evidence of “hypocrisy,” or play-acting.

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  26. Paul on November 12, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    “As I asked and observed, I found that a lot of this “culture” is fostered by arrogance and hypocrisy.”

    I invite you to attend my midwestern ward where we are welcoming and loving to all comers. It’s our culture to be so.

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  27. FireTag on November 12, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    Dan agrees with Thomas??? Truly a miracle to discuss at the next testimony meeting. :D

    I am, however, truly confused as an outsider by the term in the OP “proper testimony”. Since it seems to me that what were described were perfectly proper if they were personally believed to be true. What am I missing?

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  28. Bored in Vernal on November 12, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    FireTag, in 2002 a First Presidency letter instructed us to bear brief testimonies of Church principles. This has been further interpreted to exclude exhortations, experiences, confessions, sermons, stories, explanations, etc.

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  29. Joe on November 12, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    If we’re talking about hypocrisy as Thomas defined it, I think there is plenty of hypocrisy in the church. The church leaders portending to be servants of the Lord, yet living in the manner they do is true hypocrisy.

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  30. Jonathan N on November 12, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    As several others have suggested, I don’t see any hypocrisy in the list in the OP. For more incisive analysis of teh many paradoxes in Mormonism, I recommend Givens’ book, People of Paradox. One of the most delightful aspects of Mormonism is the paradoxical nature of some of our doctrines and practices.

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  31. cornponebread on November 12, 2010 at 11:11 PM

    Well, thanks for all the replies, no matter what they were. For starters, I’m new to this stuff. I’m not a philosophy major. I’m not schooled in preparing intelligent arguments. So the feedback is actually welcome. I’ll address a few points:

    3 Thomas: Yes, I am aware in the difference between the two words, and in retrospect they were indeed poor examples of hypocrisy per se. Still, they trouble me.

    4 Not Cornponebread: Yes, rants are often reflective in what’s going on in the mind of the ranter. I really have a hard time with hypocrisy on any level, especially when I’m the hypocrite! At this time I was really feeling hypocritical about having to teach things in my HP group that I am questioning, or not being able to truthfully answer in the affirmative to some of the temple recommend questions etc. Good call.

    8 Chase: Yeah, I am a very black and white thinker!

    To those who commented on the pornography thing… I considered not putting that in because I know it’s a can of worms. Of course I believe that nudity is not pornography, but my qualifier that that one of the elements of pornography is in the eye of the beholder stands. Grey’s Anatomy is a useful book, but in the hands of a 14 year old boy it’s useful in quite another way! It’s just that I’ve seen some of the “finished” works, and they leave nothing to the imagination. As beautiful and as skilled as they are, they awaken the 14 year old boy in me! :) Maybe I’m just a perv…

    16 Jared (et al): First, this was not an attack on the Church. Just putting out some questions. I’ve been a (mostly) unquestioning member all my life and these are my first baby steps into the realm of cognitive dissonance. I had questions and wasn’t sure where to turn or how to present them. If I wanted to attack the Church, I am fully aware that I could have come up with a lot more salacious stuff than that. These are just things that I am currently struggling with. Some of the answers have been very informative, and I actually feel a bit better about a few things based on some of the comments I have found here. Be kind, I’m a newbie! (if a 50 year-old can be called a newbie)

    26 Paul: I’d love to come to your ward. Mine is a real mix of “Mormons” who are in it for the social aspect and those who see it as much more. I am ever hopeful!

    Again, thanks to all.

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  32. FireTag on November 12, 2010 at 11:11 PM

    BiV: Thanks for the clarification.

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  33. salt h2o on November 15, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    I’m going to have to agree- my issues around hypocracy and the church have more practical day to day implications than the ones mentioned here- and they all stemp from church members

    Such as judge not lest ye be judged. Love thy neighbor. If ye have done it unto the least of these.

    You know, a gospel that preaches love, acceptance and humility but has churches that for the most part aren’t a welcoming warm safe place. That’s the hypocracy I’m sick of this other stuff you speak seems comparitively trivial.

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  34. LJ on March 30, 2011 at 7:13 AM

    Although I used to be quite active in my younger days, I have grown away over time due to this very subject. My issues aren’t necessarily the ones you bring out, but there are some striking examples of hypocrisy/inconsistency (whatever you want to call it) that not acknowledging as at least having some merit would…well frankly be dishonest. Reading some of these responses, I have to admit make me cringe a little. How can you possibly justify these? I mean, are you seriously going to define truth as “living and breathing” (which implies changing) when every Church leader before you taught otherwise? Why not just acknowledge these inconsistencies for what they really are?

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  35. SilverRain on March 30, 2011 at 8:00 AM

    Some have already said this, but I’m responding to the OP, not comments.

    I didn’t think KSL was run by the Church.

    Art as pornography? What, are the naked cadavers in the med labs porn, too? Seriously? Nakedness does not equal porn.

    “Carried about by every wind of doctrine” doesn’t mean that doctrines don’t change. It means you don’t get caught up in the nonessentials, like the stuff you mention.

    One man’s sanitized is another’s clarification. As a person who often gets read as saying something other than what I mean, I completely understand.

    I don’t think the Church trumpets everything they do. How would you know if they didn’t? Self-fulfilling kvetch.

    And as far as ages for marriage, 14 wasn’t the same then as it is now. It’s impossible to judge past actions perfectly.

    If you were going to write a post on hypocrisy, there are a TON of better items to bring up than these. But I have a more forgiving outlook. I know that people in the Church are still people, and therefore prone to hypocrisy.

    Myself included.

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