Ep 183 – Aggieland Smackdown

Smackdown

Posted June 7th, 2015

Faith crisis, shmaith crisis. Come on, people — there is no valid reason to doubt the Mormon church. Ever. Cuz this one guy doesn’t. And he’s a sorta professor/researcher kind of guy who is also a reader and a writer and an Aggieland Mormon blogger guy, and none of the noise from professional skeptics has ever made him want to join them in their misery! Although today, miserable noisy Infants Jake, Tom, Glenn, Randy, and Matt decided to give him a little smackdown. And you’re invited to listen in. Enjoy.

http://www.aggielandmormons.org/2015/04/my-letter-to-anyone-experiencing-faith.html

Glenn

Jake

John

Matt

Randy

  • darth_bill

    bad link

    • Glenn

      fixed

  • bob

    Link is the Lowery Podcast.

  • Thomas Moore

    I absolutely loved this episode. Only because I could relate to Nate from my TBM days and to the ridiculous outlook that I had. I especially liked the illogically way that we used to back up J.S.’s reputation by using the words and testimony of other Mormon leaders. It’s the way that Christians back up the words of Paul’s infallibility by using the Bible.

  • Dan

    “It’s the 8th wonder of the world, there’s no plausible scientific or naturalistic explaintion for this book [the BoM] to be even in existence. Other than “magic”. – either Matt or Randy at 49:30 (god damn it, I can never tell you two apart and you both speak back to back right here.)

    Either way, I’m still suggesting you guys start selling IoT shirts with these quotes on the front.

    • Orrin Dayne

      It was Randy. And it was hilarious.

    • Brad R

      I heard from a German (Uchtdorf’s alter-ego) evangelical pastor that the Bible is one of the seven wonders of the world, so I’m sure the Book of Mormon must be on that list too. It can’t be explained in any other way, right?

      • Daniel Frost

        It’s funny. When I was a missionary I read the Book of Mormon about 10 times, mostly in Spanish and really did feel like I was learning about myself and about life. Later when I was fighting in Afghanistan it bothered me so much that I couldn’t get any answers for what I was going through from the book that has helped me so much (I thought) as a missionary. I was naïve enough, or stupid enough to think that the war would be similar to my mission. I pretty much became an atheist as a result of that year in the desert, but really clung to the Book of Mormon as my last ditch, Hail Mary evidence that I could be wrong. I mean, what else could explain how it came into existence? I mean there’s no way that Joseph Smith could have just produced this book that I had at one time felt so connected to. In my brain I knew it wasn’t true but I really held out hope in my heart that the BoM would bring me back to belief. The second I allowed myself to really look at alternative theories for it’s creation – including Jospeh Smith’s history – then I was finally able to walk away from the church completely. In the end, Gordon B. Hinkley was right.

      • Dan

        It’s funny. When I was a missionary I read the Book of Mormon about 10 times, mostly in Spanish and really did feel like I was learning about myself and about life. Later when I was fighting in Afghanistan it bothered me so much that I couldn’t get any answers for what I was going through from the book that has helped me so much (I thought) as a missionary. I was naïve enough, or stupid enough to think that the war would be similar to my mission. I pretty much became an atheist as a result of that year in the desert, but really clung to the Book of Mormon as my last ditch, Hail Mary evidence that I could be wrong. I mean, what else could explain how it came into existence? I mean there’s no way that Joseph Smith could have just produced this book that I had at one time felt so connected to. In my brain I knew it wasn’t true but I really held out hope in my heart that the BoM would bring me back to belief. The second I allowed myself to really look at alternative theories for it’s creation – including Jospeh Smith’s history – then I was finally able to walk away from the church completely. In the end, Gordon B. Hinkley was right.

  • hetaira

    “Percolated and Peed-on” – I hope Holland actually uses that in Oct. Love you guys. I think your seeing each other this time brought a fun little extra verbal towel-snapping. Hey, can you guys tell this never-mo what is BRT and give examples?

    • Glenn

      Building Relationships of Trust. An early stage in the “commitment pattern” missionaries are taught to use to butter people up preparatory to the “Help Others Feel and Recognize the Spirit” and then go right into the direct “Will You” questions.

      Example:

      Wow, this is a really neat home you have. My parents have a very similar home. And we have almost that identical couch. It’s awesome isn’t it? Is that a picture of your family? Families are so important aren’t they? I think so too. (BRT)

      Wouldn’t it be great if families could be together forever and we didn’t have to be separated form our loved ones after death? How would that make you feel if you know that were true? [pause and pretend to listen to and care about their answer] Yes, I feel that very strongly. In fact, it is really the spirit of God we feel that confirms to us the truthfulness of these things. (BRT + Help others feel and recognize the spirit)

      Hetaria, will you let us share our brief message with you about how families can be together forever? (direct “will you” question that turns you into the asshole if you say no).

      The commitment pattern is also helpful in Multi-level Marketing schemes and service industries like NuSkin, Noni Juice, TruGreen, or Terminix. Thank you very kindly Mormon Inc!

      • hetaira

        Awesome, I get it now, thanks. No wonder the locals here in the upper-Jello-Belt are such effective salesmen/women. Like the financial advisor that used the classic “I’m sure we’ve met before, you seem so familiar to me – maybe blah blah” (I didn’t hear anything after that as my BS meter was screaming). You guys have helped me a lot in decoding the nice-but-foreign culture for me. Help me think of a good follow up when (as a 57 yr old woman) I explain I’m never married with no kids and I get the blank stare of utter incomprehension.

        • Glenn

          Yes. I emailed Nate and invited him to come on. He politely declined.

      • Krystal

        Yes! Every successful salesman knows how to BRT!

  • Orrin Dayne

    The guy makes an appeal to his own authority as a professor/researcher, but then bases his whole message on his ordinary testimony. The last thing a person going through a faith crisis needs is another testimony. They need good answers. And they never come.

    • Glenn

      Not exactly true, Orrin. There is one really good and rock solid answer that explains each and every crisis and concern anyone has ever have about the church. It’s just the last answer our believing selves ever wanted to accept.

      • Orrin Dayne

        LOL, yes. I should have been more specific.

    • Gabriel von Himmel

      answer,
      mormon shadow puppets

      The message was the messenger: Ingeel
      The messenger was the message: Ingeel
      Agape . . .

      There we were, in prayer, “Pay-lay-ale” etc. and after an eternity of mumbling the repetition “Pay lay ale,” we looked up and falling from the sky was an angel.
      We could hear the rush of his wings, all the while the Angel was screaming, pay le ale as he hurtled to earth; his horn was lost in the moment. Again and again “O God, hear the words of my mouth!” until he joined us in our sacred ritual. “Like us he was cast adrift –– left akimbo.” The horn struck and bounced, a heap of rumpled glitter turned to uselessness.
      http://www.scari.org/Mormon.Deconstructed.html

      Gabby

  • Ryan Gregson

    I’m most offended by this guy’s use of Cafe Rio as an example of ‘great taste in restaurants’.

    • albertinamel

      Glad to know someone else hates their food!

  • Orrin Dayne

    Brother Sharp made arguments that were convincing and faith affirming … to himself and other believers. He wrote what he thought he would need to read, if he ever experienced a faith crisis. But he was speaking words that his current believing self finds persuasive. He either did not know or did not care that his words would have no effect for those having a faith crisis. (I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and conclude that he’s just clueless.)

  • Brad R

    The intro was golden! I loved it!

  • Matt Thornton

    I had lunch with an old friend I used to work with a few months ago and based on that single piece of anecdotal evidence in the discussion that starts around 49:50 Glenn is spot on. We were discussing if there was anything that could shake his testimony in the Book of Mormon or the Church. I said “What if they find a letter from Joseph Smith to Oliver Cowdery saying he couldn’t believe people were actually buying into the religion?” Nope. “What if they find an original first draft of the Book of Mormon in Joseph’s hand with different names, stories, and places?” Nope. “What if someone comes forward with the 116 pages and they contradict x, y, and z?” Nope. “What if Monson comes forward and says he hasn’t believed in years and it is all made up?” Nope. “Is there anything at all that could persuade you that the book may not be true?” All nopes because he had had it confirmed to him in his heart. Truthfulness wasn’t even on the table. (I may not remember every question perfectly, but that’s the gist)

    • Glenn

      You had me at spot on. 😉

    • Travis Gower

      And so a testimony doesn’t rely on a belief in prophetic infallibility. It relies on a belief in personal infallibility.

  • Craig Keeling

    Loved this episode.

    “Well, you can voraciously read Dr. Seuss…” LOL

    The Nye/Hamm debate point is crucial to the discussion, I’m so glad you guys mentioned it. Tied it up perfectly because that’s what the professor’s premise hinges on. He can’t do the thought experiment, he can’t understand what a faith crisis is, he can’t find his way out of his own worldview because it’s so up his own ass.

    Remember, it doesn’t matter what Monson, Packer, Lorenzo Snow, or even Jesus Christ could say to you in a vision… It’s the strength of the Holy Ghost that determines the epistemology and establishes the truth in that worldview. Nothing can trump it! And how convenient, because it then makes the church’s truth claims untouchable by “any amount of logic or history” (WTF?).

  • Juliann K. Pickett

    And a P.S. to my comment, the tags on this post to file it as we’re freaking hilarious. I love that ‘cafe rio’ and ‘pompous righteous ignorance’ are actual tagged categories.

    • Juliann K. Pickett

      And a P.S. to my comment, the tags on this post are freaking hilarious. I love that ‘cafe rio’ and ‘pompous righteous ignorance’ are actual tagged categories.

  • Krystal

    I think “honest inquiry” to the author means that you approach your study with an intent to stay true to your testimony vs a desire to unearth information that would support or confirm the criticism. I’ve often heard the argument that you’re going to find trouble if you’re looking for it. He’s accusing anyone who finds things that are destructive to a testimony of not coming from an authentic place. I would think that doubters would find his rhetoric offensive, but I imagine it is effective for some readers–the ones who are more concerned with how others perceive their actions or are prone to mental self-flagellation.

  • MoroniVice

    I damn near lost my mud listening to this smackdown. Classic IoT pod can’t be topped.

    Has anyone reached out to Nate for that interview? It would be cool if he could be a good sport and talk to you guys for a 10-min phone-in.

    • Glenn

      Yes. I emailed him and invited him to come on. He politely declined.

      • MoroniVice

        “Bum gravy!” – Sir Winston Churchill

      • Craig Keeling

        That would have been a blood bath. Smart guy, but can’t say I’m not sad.

  • Jerome

    This essay and its intended audience make more sense if you think of it as an audition for higher office in the church. Especially the GA fandom.

  • This was so good guys! Thanks for doing it! Because if you didn’t, there is no way I would have been able to get through this garbage. Love when you guys have a smackdown on something. Great insights and good times were had.

  • Mark Haymore

    @GlennOstlund:disqus Just listened to this. Do you remember what the postlude music was from? I wanna hear the whole thing. Thanks!