Antagonists’ Major Allegation: The LDS Church Conspires to Cover-up Truths
The Internet is full of anti-LDS articles and videos. Some are by former members who left the church, but who cannot leave the church alone.
Most of the anti-LDS websites make the following allegation:
- “The Mormon Church hides, and does not want you to know, about church controversies.”
- “You didn’t learn about that in church!”
- “No one told me about that!”
Titles of videos and articles include:
- “Facts the Mormon Church does not want its members to know.”
- “Mormon secrets, what the missionaries don’t tell you.”
- “Mormon secrets exposed.”
My Personal Response
By alleging that they are “exposing a cover-up,” or “uncovering secrets,” these critics are trying to instill the feeling of deception and betrayal. These feelings can shake faith more than the so-called “truths” they are “exposing.”
First, the purpose of church education is to bring people to Jesus Christ by teaching His gospel, from His scriptures, by the Holy Spirit.
The time set aside for talks and lessons is limited, so we must set priorities.
- First, we teach the things we must know.
- Second, we teach the things we should know.
- Third, if there is any time left over, we teach the things that are nice to know.
After that, there is no time left over to discuss speculation, church history controversies, false doctrine, and anti-Mormon claims. When a short lesson must cover a dozen chapters of scripture, there is no time to talk about possible “hang nails” on the body of the church.
The church is a place to worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a place of spiritual edification and doctrinal enlightenment. It is not a place for in-depth discussions of church history or controversies.
No one is hiding anything. It is a matter of time, priorities, and perspective. More importantly, when we shift the focus from teaching the gospel of Christ from the scriptures to anti-LDS controversies, we can actually feel the Holy Spirit leave.
Second, I personally learned about these controversies from the church during my college institute classes.
That was forty-five years ago. Most controversies have not changed since then. The church was not hiding anything. In fact, it was the church that “exposed” me to these “secrets.”
Third, almost all of these questions have been answered in church books and magazines and in church-related publications and websites.
Everyone has easy access to these materials. No one is hiding anything. There is no conspiracy.
Those who have questions should go to the primary sources for answers. For example, if you want to learn the truth about Judaism, you don’t go to a Muslim. If you want to learn the truth about Catholicism, you don’t go to an evangelical Christian. Likewise, if you want to learn the truth about “Mormonism” you go to the source — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Members’ Ignorance Makes Them Vulnerable to Criticism
Sometimes, members are blindsided by their own ignorance. They have a superficial knowledge of the scriptures, doctrine, and church history.
They expect someone else to spoon feed them, rather than putting in the effort to learn for themselves.
They complain, “The church didn’t tell me about that.” Whenever anyone makes an accusation against “the church” you need to ask the question, “Who?”
“Who didn’t tell you?” “Who was supposed to tell you?” “The overwhelmed Bishop?” “The busy Relief Society President?” “A time-constrained Sunday School teacher?” “The teenage missionaries?” “Who?“
All the answers are out there. It just takes a little time and effort to look them up. And, for those genuinely looking for answers, the time and effort are well worth it.
Resources For Answers to LDS Doctrinal and Historical Questions
Some excellent resources providing accurate information and answers to doctrinal and historical questions include:
- Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt, by Michael Ash.
- Fair Mormon Answers website (www.fairmormon.org)
- Book of Mormon Central website (www.bookofmormoncentral.org)
- Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship (www.mi.byu.edu)
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints website (www.churchofjesuschrist.org; http://www.history.churchofjesuschrist.org)
- Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship (www.interpreterfoundation.org)
- BYU Studies: Lots of in-depth articles https://byustudies.byu.edu/
- Encyclopedia of Mormonism: online version of 4-volume bound set. https://eom.byu.edu/
- Gospel Topics: https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics?lang=eng
- Gospel Topics Essays: https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics-essays?lang=eng
- Church History Topics: https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/history/topics?lang=eng
- Pearl of Great Price issues: https://www.pearlofgreatpricecentral.org/
(Other “Sunday Sermons” go to londonedition.home.blog or http://www.londonedition.net)