RD Extra: The Ties That Bind – Sophie’s Story »« Episode 98: Presuppositional Apologetics (part 2)

Episode 99: Formons

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints remains largely mysterious to those of us on the outside. With the help of three former Mormons, we explore the history, rituals and beliefs of the LDS including proxy baptisms for the dead, racial issues, mission trips, and a theology more uncomfortable than any “magical underwear.”

Also, Rick Santorum’s comments about the separation of church and state make us want to throw up and in God Thinks Like You we look at recent claims by Santorum and others that colleges are nothing but liberal atheist factories.

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Comments

  1. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    Video: Ted Cox – How to get into Heaven according to the Mormons
    Video: Ted Cox – Q and A
     
    Audio: Irreligiosophy – 070 Mormonism from a Female Perspective
    Audio: Irreligiosophy – 077 Missionary Experiences 1
    Audio: Irreligiosophy – 078 Missionary Experiences 2
     
    Video: PBS Frontline – The Mormons 1
    Video: PBS Frontline – The Mormons 2

  2. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    There’s a comment with lecture, podcast, and documentary links awaiting moderation.

  3. elderkorihor says

    I have only made it through half of episode 99 – Formons, but I want to shed a little light on the Blacks and the Priesthood issue.

    Just a personal note here: I was a mormon missionary in 1978 when the announcement came – a bolt out of the blue, and I heard on the radio news that the mormon church was going to allow blacks to become priests. (At first I thought that this meant the church was going to give them the so-called “Aaronic Priesthood” as that was the one with the ranks of priest, but soon I learned it would include the Melchizedek priesthood as well. Before this time, if we tracted out a black person, I was told official church policy was to apologize for the disturbance and move on, as the church did not proselytize blacks. (I was honestly surprised at this policy at the time, as the church seemed to me so unreservedly obnoxious in its efforts to get the world out, but that’s what they told me.)

    I heard later from friends who had GAs as relatives that the reason the revelation came when it did was because the church’s first temple in Brazil was about to open, but very few Brazilian converts would be able to go as almost the entire population was of mixed race – and many did not know their ancestry sufficiently to ensure church leaders that they had no “black blood” (and ANY amount was too much as far as the mormon church was concerned). So rather than open a temple which would have embarrassingly few attendees, the leaders (First Presidency and 12 Apostles) one way or another changed it. I have no doubt some of the so-called apostles went kicking and screaming into this new age, but go into it they did.

  4. Jason says

    Great podcast. I’ve had an (academic) interest in Mormonism for several years and have taken every opportunity to quiz former Mormons whenever I have the opportunity. To my surprise, after Catholics, a lot of the atheist I’ve encountered are former Mormons.

    I couldn’t help but be amused when Dave expressed his sympathy with Scott for having to participate in the missionary work for two years. Two!!! I was born into the JW religion and the door-to-door ministry was something I had to participate in from childhood up until I left at the age of 25. JW’s will sometimes ridicule Mormons in their meetings for not taking the door-to-door ministry as seriously as they do.

    All of the Mormons I’ve conversed with so far are former members. I’d like to one day talk with someone who is still a practicing member. I wonder how they would respond if I were to present them with some of the information in this podcast.

  5. elderkorihor says

    Just a bit of clarification on degrees of glory.
    There IS another place mormons believe in (or used to anyway) below (wayyyy below) the Telestial Kingdom called “Outer Darkness” (OD). This is the place where the sons of perdition go. To qualify for such an honor, you must deny the Holy Ghost, meaning in more easily understood terms, you must deny a testimony of the Holy Ghost about the truthfulness of mormonism. Essentially have been a mormon but at some point denied your earlier testimony. So, all of the mormons you are talking to on your show are candidates (as am I) to be consigned to the buffetings of Satan for eternity. While even the Telestial Kingdom is quite pleasant by earthly standards, Outer Darkness really IS a lot like the traditional concept of hell – though mormons offer few details as this place is so bad.

    As an aside, I think it’s kind of funny that some people speculate that Marco Rubio might be a VP running mate for Romney, while by the definition mormons give, Rubio is a technically a strong candidate for OD having rejected the church a few years after he was baptized as a child when his parents joined – when he rejoined the Catholic Church his parent had previously belonged to. Most mormons will never say that anyone who leaves mormonism after having been in it will definitely or even likely be consigned to OD, as only god knows if they really had a “testimony,” but officially, if not commonly believed, rejecting mormonism after having lived it is a ticket to OD.

  6. Mark says

    Great episode, as usual. However, you dismiss Jonathan Haidt (approx. 23:00) in exactly the way Haidt would expect you to (arguing, basically, facts are facts, so what does it matter if a student hears them from a liberal or a conservative?). You then introduce the next topic (approx. 26:00) by apologizing that women are not part of the discussion. So, which is it? Why aren’t facts facts when it’s only men telling us Joseph Smith was a con artist?

    My point is, Haidt has it right. We privilege our own values, then rationalize away the inconsistencies. Of course, I am basing my comment on his TED talk, not his book (The Righteous Mind) because today is its release date and it hasn’t arrived yet from Amazon. But I can’t wait to read it so I can reinforce my pre-acquired values. ;-)

  7. Formon says

    One thing not mentioned in the podcast is that one requirement for a temple recommend is that you pay full tithing to the church. That is, generally, 10% of all your income. Convenient since the rituals to achieve exaltation can only be performed in a temple. It’s why the Mormons can build so many temples across the globe.

  8. says

    Mark #6:

    My point is, Haidt has it right.

    No. What Haidt has right is reflected in the research literature on confirmation bias, confabulations, the fundamental attribution error, and other such cognitive foibles — in other words, it’s nothing new. The problem is that Haidt is so wrapped up in playing “neutral” he fails to acknowledge that conservatives are consistently taking positions not based in reality with no signs of stopping any time soon, preferring to ignore that and hide behind the cognitive foibles he’s pointing out when he says ‘liberals are just as bad’.

    You would do much better to cite the actual research on cognitive biases than a radical-centrist hack who can’t get off his high horse because he thinks it’s lower than all the other high horses.

  9. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    You then introduce the next topic (approx. 26:00) by apologizing that women are not part of the discussion. So, which is it? Why aren’t facts facts when it’s only men telling us Joseph Smith was a con artist?

    This does not follow.

    Even people who were never mormons can recite history. The gender difference applies to how a member describes living in the church. The men and women are conditioned differently, so they have different interview responses with regard to how mormonism affected them: rituals, emphasized doctrines, social pressures, etc.

  10. Eric says

    I loved this episode. So much focus is on traditional Christianity, but I’ve lived my entire life in Salt Lake City. Traditional Christianity is, in so many ways, a non-issue for me. It’s good to hear stories from people that share a background with myself.

    A friend of mine who runs a local podcast recently interviewed me to hear my story of deconversion from Mormonism and I’m not sure I can think of a better place than here to share it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aOvdNxGyGU

    Thanks for the awesome podcast. I haven’t missed an episode in years.

  11. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    Relevant comments reposted from Pharyngula
    – – –
    CA7746

    @jamessweet #6:

    a baptism for a dead person doesn’t posthumously make that person a Mormon, it gives them the opportunity to do so.

    This sounds like a softening apologetic.

    What are the circumstances in which someone would refuse, given that they’re in one of the mormon afterlives when offered the choice. No need for faking. And what would be the point of bothering to baptise Hitler if they didn’t think the opportunity would be thoroughly compelling?

    Not guranteed conversion, but likely very close to it.

    – – –
    jba55

    CompulsoryAccount7746: I have a friend who is Mormon and last time we talked about it her response was pretty much what jamessweet said. To which I replied with pretty much what you said. She fumbled around for a bit then plopped down some crap about “having faith” and changed the subject. Seems to happen a lot when we talk about her religion. It helps that I’m ex-mo, I can whip out all kinds of things about the LDS that make her uncomfortable. It’s kind of fun to listen to her scrabble for apologetics.

    – – –
    Lynna, OM

    James Sweet @6 is repeating what LDS Church leaders say. That explanation that the dead person/spirit can accept or reject the mormon necrodunking is the softening apologetic.

    However, the Church seems to assume that no one ever rejects the offer because they go on to schedule additional temple ordinances, including one that is called “confirmation.” The dead person is confirmed as a member of the mormon church.

    In addition to confirmation, there may be marriages (“sealings”), as in Hitler being sealed to Eva Braun, and other sealings. Children may be sealed to parents. Romney’s great grandfather may have additional wives sealed to him.

  12. tokyokaijin says

    The inscription that hangs over the College of Opus Dei (COD) says: Santorum quorum cacam dixit.

    Since LDS often refer to themselves collectively as “Saints,” this can be taken as a broad thematic motto for “Shi* that Mormons/Santorum/religious conservatives say[s].”

  13. Andrew Ryan says

    “You then introduce the next topic (approx. 26:00) by apologizing that women are not part of the discussion. So, which is it?”

    Eh? They were just saying that they had some women lined up too, but weren’t able to include them yet for whatever reason.

  14. Jeremy says

    elderkorihor (#5)

    There IS another place mormons believe in (or used to anyway) below (wayyyy below) the Telestial Kingdom called “Outer Darkness” (OD).

    As noted, the teachings about outer darkness have not been entirely consistent. I was told that you had to be really high in the hierarchy and then turn “traitor” before you could qualify for OD, so only like 5 ish people ever would be sent there, and all those regular “lapsed” members would end up in the telestial level.

    (I know: if you have to explain it: “high” + “OD” = ba-dum-tssh!)

  15. F. Bacon says

    I couldn’t bear listening past the long, drawn-out description of every aspect and ritual of Mormonism. It got really boring after about 1:11:00

  16. says

    Just a quick point that I thought should bear some mentioning. Although I do think it’s interesting that official Mormon teaching doesn’t talk about how Joseph Smith himself might have been a polygamist, there was a brief mention of the fact that he probably was.

    Is this any different from an ad hominem attack on him? While there’s no shortage of places to rebut and refute the actual theology and teachings of the church (such as his “translation” of the Book of Abraham, or the giant gold plates that only he could translate, etc… Questioning whether he was a faithful, happily married man vs. a polygamist shouldn’t really enter into the greater discussion.

  17. llewelly says

    With respect to Joseph Smith’s wives, see:
    http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/

    With respect to

    “a baptism for a dead person doesn’t posthumously make that person a Mormon, it gives them the opportunity to do so.”

    I am nearly certain this is a post ADL lawsuite explanation.

    I was taught that the after life of the inadequately chruched consists of being preached to, and once a non-mormon had been made enough “spiritual progress” in the afterlife, they would, by way of the Holy Ghost, plead with their relatives (or, if no qualified relatives were available, other qualified Mormons), for the ceremony to be preformed. Likewise for the following endowment ceremonies, marriages, and sealings; the theology was that those in the afterlife were struggling to make “spiritual progress”, had done all they could on their own, and were blocked on the requirement for a few ceremonies to be performed down on Earth.

    This theology is why the LDS church refuses to put in place firm requirements about which dead people they can preform their ceremonies for; they believe the dead change their minds, and come begging to the living Mormons for these ceremonies, and that many names are submitted because the living heard the voices of the dead. But the voices of the dead are faint, and extensive genealogical research is usually (but not always …) required to hear them.

  18. Dane says

    Just heard Ted Cox speak in Vancouver and I was horrified by what these folks really believe. What I’m wondering is: is there any point in engaging them in conversation when approached by missionaries? In the past, I’ve always just walked on by but if there is anything I could say or ask that might plant a seed of doubt in their minds, I’d love to give it a go.

    :)

    Dane

  19. Patrick says

    Jim Phynn- There is significant evidence that Joseph Smith used his position as a religious leader in order to sleep with women. Including women married to other people at the time.

    This is pretty standard cult leader behavior, and speaks to his motives. Both are relevant to the truth of his alleged revelation.

  20. MoNoMore says

    @elderkorihor – you are correct that people who have become apostates are believed to go to the Telestial Kingdom, not Outer Darkness. To qualify for Outer Darkness would mean you received your “calling and election made sure” – which means you’ve had a personal interview with Christ and then you deny and fight against him (essentially rebelling against god even though you have a perfect knowledge of his existence). So……I think we could all agree that the number would be 0, but hey – that’s just my logic talking.

    As for the quote in the podcast which states that Joseph Smith essentially said that if you saw the greatest of the Telestial Kingdom, you would kill yourself to get there. That is a widely misquoted statement. Included is a link (for anyone who care to read this lengthy bit) which explains how it is not believed to be attributed to JS.

    http://www.lifeongoldplates.com/2008/12/committing-suicide-to-get-to-telestial.html

  21. says

    The thing I am left with is how horrific it must be for a rape victim to go through the magic underwear ceremony.

    What happens if the genital touching triggers an extreme reaction?

  22. says

    The end of the Formons broadcast said, “We haven’t forgotten about the ladies.” But they did appear to forget about the Democrats.

    I had to shake my head that the focus was on Mitt Romney; that he has some questions to answer about his faith in regard to how he would govern as president.

    Has everyone forgotten that Harry Reid is a Mormon? Granted, he’s seen as an apostate by some, but still…he ascribes to the same far-out religion as Romney. And there wasn’t a single mention of him on the podcast.

    I am a recovering Evangelical Christian and former Republican (now Libertarian). I love this podcast, but grow weary of the GOP continually being bashed. I long for a forum where issues like this can be discussed without a political axe to grind.

  23. says

    Gregory Lynn: Too add to your point, by my own anecdotal experience, the mormon’s seem to suffer a high rate of molestation of the young girls. I don’t believe it’s anything institutional, just something that the culture can’t deal with. They can’t bring themselves to believe it.

    Also, some of the most emotionally screwed up kids I knew growing up were the tail end adoptees of older mormon couples. Couples that had had as many of their own kids as they could, and then adopted one after another after another up into their 60’s. The poor kids had parents that had started out strict, and not only gotten stricter with age, but no longer had the energy to keep the kids in any activities. So they basically grew up grounded to their rooms.

  24. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    It’s been a week, so I’ll repost #2 in pieces…
    Video: Ted Cox – How to get into Heaven according to the Mormons
    Video: Ted Cox – Q and A

  25. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    Audio: Irreligiosophy – 070 Mormonism from a Female Perspective
    Audio: Irreligiosophy – 077 Missionary Experiences 1
    Audio: Irreligiosophy – 078 Missionary Experiences 2

  26. seriously? says

    why do you guys care about politics so much? you’re giving atheists from the right a bad name and you are reinforcing the notion that if you have no religious affiliation, you also don’t want a maximum of individual liberties. I have to constantly explain to religious people that despite my nonreligious approach to life, I also don’t favor wars (the Wilsonian and now Obama project), usurpation of marriage rights (the ongoing republican-democrat agreement) or of drug use rights, etc.

    the left position should never be synonymous with the atheist position.. in deed, there is no such thing as ‘atheism,’ but, as Harris has argued, we continue to substantiate the atheist stereotypy without balanced discussions regarding the relationship between politics and religion.

    I have the following suggestion: with every criticism of republicans, you must mention, with equal fervor, the violations of reason in the opposite party. give the left a dose of hypocrisy critique regarding the Jeremiah Wrights of the world. maybe we can shake at least some of those features most wrongly think of when they approach us?

  27. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    @seriously? #30:

    why do you guys care about politics so much?

    Politicians pass laws affecting: women, education, science, and medicine. Republican politicians have been making a spectacular/horrific show of religious motivation to harm all of the above.

    Three minutes into this episode: “Rick Santorum, when he says something stupid, it’s almost always intentional, right?” “That’s what’s a little scarier about it.”
     

    I have the following suggestion: with every criticism of republicans, you must mention, with equal fervor, the violations of reason in the opposite party.

    ‘Fair and balanced’, gotcha.
     

    maybe we can shake at least some of those features most wrongly think of when they approach us?

    “Godless marxist Obama-worshipping liberals who want to take away guns, destroy marrage, and brainwash your daughters into wanton harlotry at an elitist college, then shut down your church, invite islamic terrorists to attack, and give immigrants your job” is standard among talking points relentlessly hammered by Fox and conservative politicians (both republican and libertarian), well past the point of self-parody.
     
    Predominantly, the atheist blogosphere and podcasters’ tone regarding democrats has been grudging acceptance of a lesser evil. With sporadic announcements of their disappointing capitulations/reneging, or rarely, a specific politician doing something laudable.

    Condemning malicious idiots on one side is not praise for the other. And deliberately playing up matched outrage to portray them as equivalent is dishonest.

  28. seriously? says

    right…

    this is obvious, and there is no official atheist position regarding any of those laws because there is no ‘atheist’ position. the only thing that should be common to those who don’t believe in a god is that we all don’t believe in god. if you think that there is an atheist position, please give me some guidance.

    there is such a thing as a racist atheist. there are atheists who think that education should not be managed by the state because the state too frequently prefers religious to nonreligious policies and biases the curriculum against free thought and humanism. there are atheists who think that the federal government should not be mandating that we all become the customers of insurance companies under threat of fine or jail (PPACA). some atheists also think that dropping bombs on Libya or killing an American citizen without due process of law (http://bit.ly/4hGKva) is a bad idea, but there are others who prefer to trust the current party in power or president regarding these issues… because the alternative is worse? the close reader should realize that there is no alternative except the communist or libertarian movements.

    We atheists can agree on a number of goals without agreeing on how they will be realized.

    I challenge you to find one libertarian who has ever said anything like “Godless marxist Obama-worshipping liberals…” I can cite you full books that argue against your generalizations, most notable is Jeffrey Miron who has published extensively on the need for open boarders, decreased state control of marriage and sexual contracts, etc. (http://amzn.to/e41XOn)

    All I’m asking for is that you or any other atheist substantiate your accusations. Demonstrate (don’t simply assert) that the alternative (the democratic party) is any better.

    I did not say that “condemning malicious idiots on one side is… praise for the other.” The disproportionate obsession of the atheist blogosphere against the republican party does that for me well enough. It’s well known that more atheists vote democrat than republican (http://bit.ly/LUUHx) and you yourself stated that the atheist community’s support for the democrat party is one of necessity… ok, demonstrate why it’s necessary: why is supporting a president or party who refuses to respect state laws regarding marijuana or close Gitmo a better idea?

    How would it be dishonest? Demonstrate to me that the democrats have been more judicious regarding the rights of LGBTs, war, drugs, religion. They haven’t been and you know it. Both parties are horrible at ensuring proper freedoms to Americans. That is why I am so disappointed. the Democratic party and President Obama has met the Bush standard of preemptive strike, restricting marriage rights to minorities with equal fervor.. and yet we don’t hear anyone from the atheist community saying this. if we took the atheist blogosphere’s word for it, we would easily assume that only one party restricts our rights. in reality that’s not the case.

  29. llewelly says

    seriously? | March 21, 2012 at 2:38 am:

    why do you guys care about politics so much?

    Good question. Perhaps you should ask yourself why you spent the remainder of your post on politics.

    Politics, love it or hate it, is what decides the laws we’re expected to follow – and how they’re enforced. I wish I could ignore it, but the more people there are who ignore politics, the more vulnerable our freedoms are.

    give the left a dose of hypocrisy critique regarding the Jeremiah Wrights of the world.

    The “Jeremiah Wrights” of the world have little influence. To give them equal time would be to show a grotesque lack of a sense of proportion.

  30. llewelly says

    Tom | March 19, 2012 at 11:22 pm :

    Has everyone forgotten that Harry Reid is a Mormon? Granted, he’s seen as an apostate by some, but still…he ascribes to the same far-out religion as Romney. And there wasn’t a single mention of him on the podcast.

    There was also no mention of Senator Orrin Hatch, or Senator Mike Lee, also both Mormons.

    Perhaps a future podcast should enumerate all 535 members of congress, their respective religious beliefs, a representative quote, and a summary of relevant legislation they have been involved in.

    Note that if you search the archives you can find plenty about Obama’s statements about religion.

  31. llewelly says

    How would it be dishonest? Demonstrate to me that the democrats have been more judicious regarding the rights of LGBTs, war, drugs, religion.

    If you had stuck with drugs, you could have had a strong case. Even with war and drugs you could have done ok. But then you went and rolled in LGBT rights, and religion.

    On LGBT rights, it’s now legal to be openly gay in the military, thanks in part to Democrats, and despite tons of opposition from Republicans.

    It’s true, Democrats have long been painfully slow to act, and have tried to fob off gays with half-measures like “civil unions”, but now, most of them are finally coming around; almost all the political support for LGBT rights comes from Democrats, and most of the opposition comes from Republicans. True, the Democrats had to be bludgeoned into supporting gay rights – but that is the answer to your previous question, that is why people “… care about politics so much …” .

    As for religion – it is not (with very few exceptions) Democrats who are pushing the Christian Nation mythology, the religiously motivated war on women’s rights, Creationism in schools, or any of so many other religious agendas.

    The Democrats are particularly well-behaved when it comes to religious freedom, and often give shelter to state-sponsored prayer of form or another (and there are plenty of mentions of such in the past episodes), but their infractions are so much less awful in nature that to give them “equal time” would silly.

  32. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    @seriously?:

    I challenge you to find one libertarian who has ever said anything like “Godless marxist Obama-worshipping liberals…”

    Ron Paul about the War on Christmas:

    Through perverse court decisions and years of cultural indoctrination, the elitist, secular Left has managed to convince many in our nation that religion must be driven from public view. [...] The ultimate goal of the anti-religious elites is to transform America into a completely secular nation, a nation that is legally and culturally biased against Christianity.

    - – –
    @seriously?:

    the Democratic party and President Obama has met the Bush standard of preemptive strike, restricting marriage rights to minorities with equal fervor.. and yet we don’t hear anyone from the atheist community saying this.

    PZ Myers:

    I had hopes that he’d get in office and stand up for some principles… but no such luck. There are several reasons for my dissatisfaction.
    – He has failed to support gay civil rights.
    – The Stupak amendment to the health care bill seems to be sailing through unopposed.
    – His cozy relationship with Wall Street.
    – And now, his expansion of the war in Afghanistan, and his support for a corrupt and failed state.

  33. says

    Is this any different from an ad hominem attack on him?

    It speaks to his character. Since the entire story about the golden plates, translations and so on are founded entirely in the testimony of Joseph Smith, with no corroborating witnesses or evidence, his character becomes rather important.

    The entire Mormon faith stands or falls with the moral character of Joseph Smith. If he can’t be trusted, we don’t need to go any further. We don’t need to critique the Book of Mormon or to point out the flaws in the Book of Abraham.
    We don’t have to worry about the conflicting revelations of later prophets or the political shenanigans of the present church.
    Joseph Smith IS Mormonism. If he was a fraud, then Mormonism is a fraud. There’s no way to recover from that. The entire church, up to this day, is built on the authority of Joseph Smith.

    As such, pointing out the flaws of JS is highly relevant and I don’t think it counts as an ad hominem. An ad hominem is when you attack the man instead of the argument. In this case, the man is the argument.

  34. says

    I have the following suggestion: with every criticism of republicans, you must mention, with equal fervor, the violations of reason in the opposite party

    I have a suggestion for you: make your own podcast.

  35. Persimmon Hamster says

    I was glad to hear one of the guests mention the Mormon belief that they, too, can become gods with their own worlds to rule over. But I was surprised that it was given no attention. This belief is, in my opinion, the one that could effectively convince the world that the religion is crazy if it were made more public (I get the impression they really try to keep it a secret).

    As a former Christian with plenty of Christian relatives and friends, I feel most Christians are fine with Mormonism because they feel there is plenty of Jesus sprinkled in, making it sufficiently Christian in nature. You can tell them all sorts of weird things about Mormonism, but none really pack a punch as long as Jesus and a sense of humbleness are in there somewhere.

    But the idea that men can become gods is so wholly incompatible with Christianity that were they to hear this, and truly register it, not a single one of them could go on thinking Mormonism was an acceptable religion. Or at least until they forget, which is why I am all for constantly repeating it.

    Not only that, but I find the idea fascinating and have always been curious to know more of the supposed mechanics around this potential career path to godhood (it sounds like it pays better than my current job).

    So if there are more Mormon installments to come, I think it would be great to revisit this point in more detail.

  36. says

    I was glad to hear one of the guests mention the Mormon belief that they, too, can become gods with their own worlds to rule over. But I was surprised that it was given no attention. This belief is, in my opinion, the one that could effectively convince the world that the religion is crazy if it were made more public (I get the impression they really try to keep it a secret).

    A friend of mine is a mormon ‘elder’ (whatever that means) and I asked him about the planetary administration thing. He was visibly uncomfortable, and said, “you’ll probably laugh at this, but…” yes, that’s one of the doctrines. He was right – I did laugh.

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