A lame excuse from Truman G. Madsen

The catch-all forum for general topics and debates. Minimal moderation. Rated PG to PG-13.
Post Reply
User avatar
Dr. Shades
Founder & Visionary
Posts: 14130
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:07 pm

A lame excuse from Truman G. Madsen

Post by Dr. Shades »

Quite a few years ago I was talking to my dad's cousin who apparently was somewhat close to Truman G. Madsen, quasi-famous Mormon author and lecturer. He described a conversation he had with Brother Madsen about the missionary program. Madsen reportedly stated, "The church must be true! How else can the Lord send out 50,000 naïve 19 year-olds and expect the church to grow if it wasn't actually true?"

I was a hardcore TBM at the time, so I didn't think to question the logic. Now that I'm older and (hopefully) wiser, I wish I could've been in on that conversation. Had I known then what I know now, I would've replied with, "What mid-level Fortune 500 company wouldn't jump at the chance to have 50,000 complete suckers willing to work for free while following completely inane rules? So what if one of them slept in, watched a movie, or held hands with a girl once or twice--what Fortune 500 company wouldn't consider that an acceptable 'sacrifice' to have a free sales force like that?"

If the conversation really took place as reported, it appears Brother Madsen may be beset by his share of doubts, too. I wonder how he would react if someone could show him that alternate perspective.

Does anyone else have an example of flimsy logic used by someone to hold on to their faith?

User avatar
GivingWarAChance
Nursery
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:35 am

Post by GivingWarAChance »

That Madsen comment was somewhat in the nature of a joke, I'd guess. But you're welcome to assume he meant it in all seriousness, if you prefer.

Like in the Peanuts comic strip Lucy is asked by her brother Linus why the sky is blue. She responds hotly: "Because it isn't green!" Linus is startled by this and comments that he had always thought there'd be a more complicated reason.

That's also a joke.

User avatar
Nortinski
Deacon
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:38 pm

Re: A lame excuse from Truman G. Madsen

Post by Nortinski »

Dr. Shades wrote:
Does anyone else have an example of flimsy logic used by someone to hold on to their faith?


My favorite has always been, "The Church must be true. Look at how persecuted we are."

Nort

User avatar
Dr. Shades
Founder & Visionary
Posts: 14130
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:07 pm

Re: A lame excuse from Truman G. Madsen

Post by Dr. Shades »

Nortinski wrote:My favorite has always been, "The Church must be true. Look at how persecuted we are."


In that case, Judaism is the true religion. . . or perhaps the Branch Davidians.

User avatar
Nortinski
Deacon
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:38 pm

Re: A lame excuse from Truman G. Madsen

Post by Nortinski »

Dr. Shades wrote:
Nortinski wrote:My favorite has always been, "The Church must be true. Look at how persecuted we are."


In that case, Judaism is the true religion. . . or perhaps the Branch Davidians.


Certainly Adolf Hitler's message was "true". He had the whole world against him. The poor little fella.

Nort

User avatar
Gazelam
Lightbearer
Posts: 5659
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:06 pm

Missionaries

Post by Gazelam »

As a return missionary I can tell you that the Holy Ghost is extremely powerful in the mission field. The bufeting of the spirit I felt in the MTC were incredible. When I left on my mission I can't really claim to of had any real knowledge of the gospel, I went because I knew it was the right thing to do, and having grown up in my home ward I knew the quality of the young men who left, and what they were like by the time they got home, andf I wanted that for myself. I wanted that change, whatever it was.

The MTC was very intence spiritualy. I didn't know what the Holy Ghost was then, but looking back I can see it. Believe me when I tell you that a lot of those that were there really were 19 year old boys and spending a good portion of my mission around some from beginning to end, there was a mighty change that takes place. I was lucky enough to serve in a proper mission, led by a worthy mission president and those who sought to uphold their covenants, my brother was not so lucky and has not yet recovered.

The Holy Ghost is key. It is best to go out with an understanding of how he works, but as long as at some point you recognize him and apply him, you see miracles occur.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. - Plato

User avatar
Nortinski
Deacon
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:38 pm

Re: Missionaries

Post by Nortinski »

Gazelam wrote:I was lucky enough to serve in a proper mission, led by a worthy mission president and those who sought to uphold their covenants, my brother was not so lucky and has not yet recovered.


A "proper mission"? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...yer killin' me. Let me guess, none of the Elders in your mission ever masturbated either, right?

Jeesh Shades, where are you getting these people? Please remove the ads from the Ensign. It's bringing out the crazies.

Nort

User avatar
Gazelam
Lightbearer
Posts: 5659
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:06 pm

Post by Gazelam »

Wow, I like your Avatar, damned in your progression then and now.

You trying to confess a sin to us with that post?

This is the wrong place, go find your Bishop.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. - Plato

User avatar
Dr. Shades
Founder & Visionary
Posts: 14130
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:07 pm

Re: Missionaries

Post by Dr. Shades »

Nortinski wrote:Jeesh Shades, where are you getting these people? Please remove the ads from the Ensign. It's bringing out the crazies.


Now, now. :-) I'm sure you were speaking in jest, but for Gazelam and everyone else: This board is 100% LDS-neutral. All points of view are fully welcome, whether from believers, disbelievers, undecideds, etc.

David Waltz
Nursery
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:55 am

Post by David Waltz »

The Dr. posted:

>>I was a hardcore TBM at the time, so I didn't think to question the logic. Now that I'm older and (hopefully) wiser, I wish I could've been in on that conversation. Had I known then what I know now, I would've replied with, "What mid-level Fortune 500 company wouldn't jump at the chance to have 50,000 complete suckers willing to work for free while following completely inane rules? So what if one of them slept in, watched a movie, or held hands with a girl once or twice--what Fortune 500 company wouldn't consider that an acceptable 'sacrifice' to have a free sales force like that?">>

If you think 19 and early 20 year olds with 12 weeks of training would be accepted as salesmen/salespersons by Fortune 500 companies, well, I have a bridge in New York City I would like to sell to you.

The Beachbum

User avatar
Dr. Shades
Founder & Visionary
Posts: 14130
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:07 pm

Post by Dr. Shades »

GiveWarAChance wrote:That Madsen comment was somewhat in the nature of a joke, I'd guess. But you're welcome to assume he meant it in all seriousness, if you prefer.


That's a good point. Perhaps it was only a joke on his part. Considering the tone of voice of the person who told me the story, I'd always assumed he was being serious.

Thanks for giving me another perspective.

David Waltz wrote:If you think 19 and early 20 year olds with 12 weeks of training would be accepted as salesmen/salespersons by Fortune 500 companies, well, I have a bridge in New York City I would like to sell to you.


What if this sales force was willing to work completely unrealistic hours for no pay?

Trojan Tapir
Nursery
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 4:17 pm

Re: Missionaries

Post by Trojan Tapir »

Gazelam wrote:As a return missionary I can tell you that the Holy Ghost is extremely powerful in the mission field. The bufeting of the spirit I felt in the MTC were incredible. When I left on my mission I can't really claim to of had any real knowledge of the gospel, I went because I knew it was the right thing to do, and having grown up in my home ward I knew the quality of the young men who left, and what they were like by the time they got home, andf I wanted that for myself. I wanted that change, whatever it was.

The MTC was very intence spiritualy. I didn't know what the Holy Ghost was then, but looking back I can see it. Believe me when I tell you that a lot of those that were there really were 19 year old boys and spending a good portion of my mission around some from beginning to end, there was a mighty change that takes place. I was lucky enough to serve in a proper mission, led by a worthy mission president and those who sought to uphold their covenants, my brother was not so lucky and has not yet recovered.

The Holy Ghost is key. It is best to go out with an understanding of how he works, but as long as at some point you recognize him and apply him, you see miracles occur.



The "Holy Ghost" is nothing more than a completely common, self-created, and often self-fulfilling (people get a good feeling about things they WANT to be true) emotion that is in no way unique to Mormonism, or even religion for that matter. It's the same feeling that a Baptist gets during a powerful sermon. It's the same feeling that a Muslim gets praying to Allah. It is even almost certainly the same feeling that the radical fundamentalist Muslims used to justify their decision to fly airplanes into the WTC. It is the same feeling that many have reported feeling when listening to the inspiring, and yet wholly fabricated, tales of Paul H. Dunn. It is, in other words, a feeling that does nothing to allow one to ascertain objective truth.

Virtually every human feels "spiritually" stirred at times. It is unfortunate that the Mormon church uses this common phenomenon to manipulate its members into believing the lies of a pedophile, paying 10% of their money to a cult, and volunteering to suck more people (and therefore more money) into the cult.

Best of luck to you, Gazelam, in discovering the truth. Keep studying and at least allow yourself to entertain the possibility that the church might not be all it claims to be, and I have no doubt that you will find your way out of the Mormon church some day.

David Waltz
Nursery
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:55 am

Post by David Waltz »

Hi Doc,

You asked the following:

>>What if this sales force was willing to work completely unrealistic hours for no pay?>>

Sales for large corporations is all about image; I just don’t see them using what amounts to basically untrained boys (very young “men”) to represent their corporate image. A college degree is part of the image, and the bigger the name of the university on the degree, the better the image.

Further, if corporations thought a two-year apprenticeship program was more productive than 4-year degrees, I am quite sure we would see such a program being utilized. (I think they would get droves of applicants for such a program, I for one would rather serve a two-year apprenticeship with a Fortune 500 company, than go to college for 4 years, especially when one factors in the spiraling cost.)

The Beachbum

User avatar
Negative
Nothing
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:32 pm

Post by Negative »

David Waltz wrote:...Sales stuff...


Actually there are a few large companies that use an untrained/low trained sales force. Kirby, the vacuum company, is notorious for hiring inexperienced sales people. It's just another kind of sales ploy (obviously unpopular) that uses masses of sales people in the hopes that they will each sell a couple of units.

I'm not sure if any Fortune 500 companies use this method but it makes sense that the church would since missions aren't 100% about finding new members. It's also a good way to create 'Super Members'. ‘Super Members’ (IE: Members that have been on a mission) are hyper-indoctrinated and have made a large sacrifice for their religion, which causes the member to have a greater personal stake invested in the religion. Much like the difference in the members of an untrained militia verses the members of a professionally trained Special Forces unit in an army.

User avatar
Gazelam
Lightbearer
Posts: 5659
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:06 pm

The Holy Ghost

Post by Gazelam »

Trojan tapir,

I'm sorry that you have no belief in the Holy Ghost, or anything else from the sound of your post.

The Holy Ghost is unlike any emotion that a person could manufacture or inspire. When you ask a person to pray on their own, and they receive an answer to their prayer, that isn't emotion stepping in. My personal experience was like being filled with light, and at the same time being wrapped in a blanket and comforted, this in responce to asking the Father directly if the church was true, and if it was truly his church. This was not something I could ever create again by just an emotion or feeling. I had in fact communicated with God. And I was not the only one to have this happen. This occured to most of those I taught, they came to me after I had taught them asking to be baptised, that they had received answers to thewir prayer to the Father in the name of Christ.

But keep calling the Church of Christ a cult if you wish. I suppose anyone who was ignorant concerning the teaching of God may think the same way you do. I encourage you to take the missionary discussions, and set aside your ignorant prejudice. The Holy Ghost's inspiration is there for you if you ask for it with true intent and a desire to know truth.

Gazelam
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. - Plato

Ray A

Re: A lame excuse from Truman G. Madsen

Post by Ray A »

Dr. Shades wrote:
If the conversation really took place as reported, it appears Brother Madsen may be beset by his share of doubts, too. I wonder how he would react if someone could show him that alternate perspective.



Truman Madsen is a very fine author. I've read many of his books and found all of them very spiritual, especially Christ and The Inner Life. In 1982-3 I read his biography of B.H. Roberts, titled Defender of the Faith: The B.H. Roberts Story. This was the first time I encountered Roberts, and I was fascinated, but from reading between the lines I felt, instinctively, that Madsen left out significant portions of Roberts' life. Many of the things he recorded about Roberts seemed to be unfinished, and I had many unanswered questions. So I wrote Brother Madsen and asked him if he could tell me more about Roberts, because "I sensed you left out a lot". I really wanted to know more. Brother Madsen wrote back to me and referred me to a church historian and said he would answer my questions. I thought this was strange, because Madsen was the biographer. Shouldn't he know everything about Roberts?

I didn't bother writing the church historian because I felt this was a fob off. It bothered me for a long time, until I came across Roberts again, first in spot commentary through Dialogue and Sunstone, then the bombshell - Studies of the Book of Mormon which was published by Signature. It was only then I realised how much Madsen had left out of his biography. There was no mention of Studies in detail, except that Roberts was working on "controversial" subjects in his studies. I got all the details from Studies itself. I didn't feel angry at Madsen at all, because I really liked his other inspirational writings, but from then on I could not trust him as a biographer or historian. I was too naïve then to read the critical reviews of Defender of the Faith, but my feeling is that if Roberts had read Defender he would have been spitting chips. The irony is that this biography, or more appropriately hagiography, was about a man who was one of the most outspoken and honest GAs in the church's history. The issue here is not whether Roberts was right or wrong, but his courage to bring "these difficulties" to the attention of his Brethren, and their reply was "will it help or hurt us? If it will hurt us we don't want to hear about it". (parahprased)

User avatar
Dr. Shades
Founder & Visionary
Posts: 14130
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:07 pm

Post by Dr. Shades »

Wow, thanks for writing that up, Ray A! Very, very interesting.

In fact, the issues you raise have prompted me to start another thread on the proper way to write history.

User avatar
Jason Bourne
God
Posts: 9207
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:00 pm

Re: A lame excuse from Truman G. Madsen

Post by Jason Bourne »

Dr. Shades wrote:Quite a few years ago I was talking to my dad's cousin who apparently was somewhat close to Truman G. Madsen, quasi-famous Mormon author and lecturer. He described a conversation he had with Brother Madsen about the missionary program. Madsen reportedly stated, "The church must be true! How else can the Lord send out 50,000 naïve 19 year-olds and expect the church to grow if it wasn't actually true?"

I was a hardcore TBM at the time, so I didn't think to question the logic. Now that I'm older and (hopefully) wiser, I wish I could've been in on that conversation. Had I known then what I know now, I would've replied with, "What mid-level Fortune 500 company wouldn't jump at the chance to have 50,000 complete suckers willing to work for free while following completely inane rules? So what if one of them slept in, watched a movie, or held hands with a girl once or twice--what Fortune 500 company wouldn't consider that an acceptable 'sacrifice' to have a free sales force like that?"

If the conversation really took place as reported, it appears Brother Madsen may be beset by his share of doubts, too. I wonder how he would react if someone could show him that alternate perspective.

Does anyone else have an example of flimsy logic used by someone to hold on to their faith?


Good point. The young missionaries are full of energy, belief and mostly they work pretty hard. It is really quite ingenious to do missionary work this way.

Jason

User avatar
Southern Redneck
Star A
Posts: 86
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:41 pm

Post by Southern Redneck »

Good point. The young missionaries are full of energy, belief and mostly they work pretty hard. It is really quite ingenious to do missionary work this way.


Energy over wisdom makes a fast growing church with no solid foundation of truth and knowledge. Using young dumb kids is easier then getting older wiser people to do the same. Not ingenious, but easy.

harmony
God
Posts: 18195
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:35 pm

Post by harmony »

Southern Redneck wrote:
Good point. The young missionaries are full of energy, belief and mostly they work pretty hard. It is really quite ingenious to do missionary work this way.


Energy over wisdom makes a fast growing church with no solid foundation of truth and knowledge. Using young dumb kids is easier then getting older wiser people to do the same. Not ingenious, but easy.


There is a fair number of supposedly older/wiser couples doing the same work. It's all in how it's framed, and the church is expert at slick framing.

Post Reply