new website to build bridges

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Post Reply
User avatar
DBMormon
Posts: 806
Joined: 18 Aug 2012, 04:42
Location: Ohio near Kirtland
Contact:

new website to build bridges

Post by DBMormon » 20 Jun 2017, 22:36

Hope it is okay to share this here

Image

Mormon Primer :
An examination of controversial issues within Mormonism from multiple Perspectives

http://mormonprimer.com


I feel like people share a certain other pdf that will go unnamed in an effort to convince their loved one their faith transition is valid. The problem is that other PDF looks critical and feels unsafe. I have spent several months with lots of help from others (thank you to those who helped 😉) in creating a document that feels faithful. Creates trust, and explores the issues from a believer perspective. Something one in a transition could share and no one could point to it as anti. I wanted something that gently nudges you to see just how messy this gets but does it with the feeling of a loved one with their arm around you loving you into listening.

We live in an information age. Much of the history of our faith which was once obscure, is now coming into our cultural awareness. Some of this information appears to be challenging to our faith. Many websites and online articles today are written to impose a critical view of the Church and to diminish faith. What is needed is a fair and balanced article designed to show the critical perspective, then to go one step further in surrounding that perspective with faithful views. The Mormon Primer attempts to do this, offering what we believe is objectivity and historical context. A clear explanation of the material supplemented with Footnotes and Resources to allow the reader to learn on their own. This is what we believe we have done with the Mormon Primer.
Last edited by DBMormon on 21 Jun 2017, 19:01, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Reuben
Posts: 446
Joined: 05 Nov 2016, 10:04

Re: new website to build bridges

Post by Reuben » 21 Jun 2017, 01:28

Here's a thing to click on: http://mormonprimer.com/
My intro

Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before certainty.

DoubtingTom
Posts: 246
Joined: 22 Mar 2017, 12:13

Re: new website to build bridges

Post by DoubtingTom » 21 Jun 2017, 08:21

Bill, thanks for your work on this.

I don't want to sound too critical because I can tell you've worked really hard on this, and I haven't had a chance to read the most updated version. But when looking at the new website, one thing jumped out at me that would make me hesitant to direct my TBM family members to the website. The part showing the numbers of wives, stones, first vision accounts, and age of youngest wife could strike some TBMs as "anti" the way it's presented right there in that format. Almost like a "shock" factor. I'm sure the intent of the site is not to shock but to inform, but my impression is that specific part of the frontpage could come across that way. The rest of the website looks great and very inviting, but I might consider changing that part on the home page in order to not scare off some TBMs who might otherwise benefit from developing a better understanding on why their loved ones struggle.

Just my two cents. Thanks for being willing to work so hard on this project!

User avatar
dande48
Posts: 1078
Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35
Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: new website to build bridges

Post by dande48 » 21 Jun 2017, 10:43

Wonderful site! I love the css, and all the thought and time put into the primer.

I agree with Tom, though. Certain aspects on the front page, could be automatically viewed as "anti", since they go against what many members hold to be the undeniable truth. I remember bringing up a few similar concerns to my wife, when I first started to be more open about my transition. Her first gut reactions were "But Joseph Smith and Brigham Young didn't have sex with their polygamous wives", and "Which are you going to believe more? 'Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling', or the scriptures?"

I'm not saying that the things placed on the front page aren't 100% indesputable facts... except for the part about JS marrying Fanny Alger. There's a lot of doubt that they were actually married, polygamous or otherwise :silent:. But even absoulte facts can put people in a defensive mindset, which is exactly what we want to avoid.

Thanks again. I'm grateful to have this as a resource.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

Roy
Posts: 5060
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: new website to build bridges

Post by Roy » 21 Jun 2017, 11:17

dande48 wrote:
21 Jun 2017, 10:43
except for the part about JS marrying Fanny Alger. There's a lot of doubt that they were actually married, polygamous or otherwise .
I am interested in exploring this but do not want to derail the purpose of this thread. I will start a new thread in the history section.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16105
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: new website to build bridges

Post by Curt Sunshine » 21 Jun 2017, 11:21

I think your intent is noble, Bill - because I know you and your heart.

I think most traditional members would have a visceral, negative reaction to the home page, as been been stated by others. That first impression is of someone only highlighting negatives - and a couple of the claims are not as clear-cut or objective as the wording implies. The image of the temple, with "negative information" above the spires is not one that will sit well with many orthodox believers, since it is similar to what anti-Mormon sites do visually. Also, there is no hint of "testimony" or commitment or core belief in any of the verbiage - and that is a huge red flag for many members.

If you read the comments here, I hope you understand their intent - and their value. If you are trying to help people remain actively involved in the LDS Church, I think you should rework the homepage quite extensively.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 6814
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: new website to build bridges

Post by SilentDawning » 22 Jun 2017, 10:27

DBMormon wrote:
20 Jun 2017, 22:36
Hope it is okay to share this here

Image

Mormon Primer :
An examination of controversial issues within Mormonism from multiple Perspectives

http://mormonprimer.com


I feel like people share a certain other pdf that will go unnamed in an effort to convince their loved one their faith transition is valid. The problem is that other PDF looks critical and feels unsafe. I have spent several months with lots of help from others (thank you to those who helped 😉) in creating a document that feels faithful. Creates trust, and explores the issues from a believer perspective. Something one in a transition could share and no one could point to it as anti. I wanted something that gently nudges you to see just how messy this gets but does it with the feeling of a loved one with their arm around you loving you into listening.

We live in an information age. Much of the history of our faith which was once obscure, is now coming into our cultural awareness. Some of this information appears to be challenging to our faith. Many websites and online articles today are written to impose a critical view of the Church and to diminish faith. What is needed is a fair and balanced article designed to show the critical perspective, then to go one step further in surrounding that perspective with faithful views. The Mormon Primer attempts to do this, offering what we believe is objectivity and historical context. A clear explanation of the material supplemented with Footnotes and Resources to allow the reader to learn on their own. This is what we believe we have done with the Mormon Primer.

I think the name "Mormon Primer" is misleading. A Primer is a basic look at something if my understanding is clear -- something to get you started.

These are not milk before meat articles for someone trying to learn about the church from a newbie status. I think Mormon Perspectives or similar is a better title because you try to show the different perspectives on these issues.

Also, I saw the references at the bottom of the first article, and I would check to make sure some don't have an anti-Mormon reputation.

Also, the artwork looks like of like what you see in Church publications, so people might think it's church sanctioned, and that could get you in trouble . I know it's not on LDS. org, but you allow a download of the material and at first glance the PDF looks a bit LDS Churchish to me, even if you have made it clear it's not LDS church official material elsewhere.

On the other hand, I like how you have the four different views for each issue, although I found the red highlighting confusing as one of the perspectives was also given in red type, wasn't it? I can't remember. I like the different colors because I could match them up with the perspective on the issue, but I would make sure the color used for a particular perspective is used only for that perspective and not for general formatting.

So, it's getting there, but I do have some concerns about it.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

Ashley
Posts: 13
Joined: 03 May 2017, 22:21

Re: new website to build bridges

Post by Ashley » 22 Jun 2017, 10:45

This is great, I'll have to head over and read it. I'm always looking for a good source that comes off as "pro" and won't freak out tbms.

User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 6969
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: new website to build bridges

Post by Heber13 » 22 Jun 2017, 21:58

1) Are temples and church images allowed to be used without permission from the church if you are copywriting the website and document?

2) Content in the pdf looks to cover many issues, list looks good. But many of these are handled by the church essays, which seem like that should be the main source for such topics. Didn't read the whole document to see if essays were referenced enough, but I didn't find much about that. Should use more source from essays....that is what the church is publishing.

3) while the pdf content looks balanced...the website does not. You overlay wives and negative church statistics on top of temples. Poor taste. And slanted statistics negatively showing the church, which is why most comments above are stating it looks anti...creates trust conflict with the material...kind of wolf in sheep clothing feel to it.

4) document doesn't provide methodology for claims.
Reconciled: The perspective of Mormons who have integrated the historical facts or criticisms with their Mormon beliefs into a new faithful approach.
What is this based on? Would any surveyed group of "reconciled" members mostly agree with those views? I don't know of such a group to survey...and don't see a methodology to test any of the claims, such as:
Most Reconciled members are deeply uncomfortable with the young ages
of some of the wives and the secretive nature of the practice.
Says who? No references, no surveys, no group spokesperson.

Based on what is written, I don't know I find myself in any of the categories you outline. It feels more like one person's opinions. I am guessing many members of the church would feel the same way...they likely don't fit a naive hard-nosed gospel approach, even if they are black and white literal thinkers...there is still lots of variation and nuance within the believing camp as well. So...it kind of feels like it is putting down the believing group...again, why the "anti" feel to it, which that group will just dismiss, not really talk about seriously.

If the document is written for people in a faith crisis...they will likely appreciate the viewpoints. To other groups, it has less of a draw to it.

It is written as if speaking for a particular group, when there is no way to test or substantiate any of the viewpoints, which will not capture the eyes or attention of faithful latter-day saints who don't have time to research every new website popping up.

It would seem to be better written if just presented as "Bill's viewpoints trying to reconcile things," unless these groups referred to in the intro can better be established.

It is not an easy undertaking to do such an effort. I applaud your intentions.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Post Reply