Out with the Old

This is part 3 of a review of “The Miracle of Forgiveness” Click here to find Part 1 and Part 2.

There are certain passages from “The Miracle of Forgiveness” that I think most Mormons would be embarrassed by or at the very least conceded that they should be skipped over. I don’t think they are the main focus of the book and I don’t think the message of the book should be evaluated based on these missteps. But I do think that the LDS church should cease selling the book through its Distribution Centers because of these statements. They reflect poorly on the church and expose some shoddy thinking on Kimball’s part. As the church has ceased selling “Mormon Doctrine” I imagine the day is approaching when “The Miracle of Forgiveness” is no longer offered.

Some of these statements include:

Masturbation, Homosexuality and Bestiality

For done in private, it [masturbation] evolves often into mutual masturbation — practiced with another person of the same sex — and thence into total homosexuality .
. . . .Thus it is that through the ages, perhaps as an extension of homosexual practices, men and women have sunk even to seeking sexual satisfactions with animals.

Bigfoot/Cain
Kimball includes an excerpt from a book about David W. Patten that quotes a letter by Abraham O. Smoot who recollected a story told to him by Patten about an encounter with a person named Cain who we would generally recognize as Bigfoot.

Excommunication
In addition to a reprinted resignation letter that strained credibility in it’s acknowledgement that the former believer could not uphold the standards of the church, Kimball had this to say about excommunication:

A true Latter-day Saint would far prefer to see a loved one in his bier than excommunicated from the Church.

Teenage Dating
There were long sections of the book devoted to how teenagers should go about dating (a clear indication that the book was not solely intended for those in serious sin). One of the more humorous was his strong direction that you should dance with as many partners as possible and never reserve yourself for just one partner. The dictate was humorous for me to read from a leader of a religion with a polygamous past it wishes to downplay.

Baptism
This section wasn’t embarrassing as much as it seemed to violate conventional Mormon wisdom that baptism is available to all in the afterlife.

One cannot delay repentance until the next life, the spirit world, and there prepare properly for the day of judgment while the ordinance work is done for him vicariously on earth. It must be remembered that vicarious work for the dead is for those who could not do the work for themselves.

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10 thoughts on “Out with the Old

  1. Everything Kimball said that is listed here is bullsh-it except for the Cain/Bigfoot thing. You can take that to the bank.

  2. I haven’t tried to defend Kimball’s book yet and I’m definitely not going to defend it on these points. That said, I applaud his inclusion of the story on Cain, and only wish he had discussed the connection between sin and other unearthly creatures: unicorns (proponents of homosexuality), Popobawa (ahem!), the phoenix (homosexuality again—I sense a theme), will-o’-the-wisps….

    Responding to your tangential statement: “[The focus on teenage dating practices is] a clear indication that the book was not solely intended for those in serious sin.” That’s precisely true, but that’s not exactly the distinction that was proposed in the other thread—which was really about whether this book is meant for all sin no matter how small their offenses. Since Kimball believes that improper dating will inevitably lead to very serious sin, one could say that the book is written “for those in serious sin—or those in danger of such.” Thus, from this part of the book alone it could still be said that the scope is narrow to address serious sin and not sin in general.

  3. Come on Tim, you are just being hard hearted (probably due to unresolved sin) at this point. Everyone knows that really hardened sinners stay up late at nights worrying about dating rules and the origin of Big Foot. I take this as yet more evidence that this book was only meant for the really bad cases. In fact, it’s probably strictly aimed at people who kill puppies for the fun of it. Thus any critique of its harsh stance is missing the point, and is a tacit approval of killing puppies for fun.

  4. Tim, you didn’t mention this:

    I see young women, and
    some older ones, on the streets wearing shorts. This is not right. The place for
    women to wear shorts is in their rooms, in their own homes, in their own
    gardens.

    He goes on to suggest to wearing immodest clothing may be borderline pathological.

  5. Almost Dr. Seussian. Could somebody reorganize it to “I don’t like them on a street, only in a home….” I wish I were more poetically-inclined.

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