Ep 51 – The Summons: Tom Phillips vs. Thomas S. Monson – Part 3

Written by on February 26, 2014

We wrap up this three-part series with a few final words from Tom Phillips and a whole lot of panel discussion.

    • Glenn   On   February 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks Steven. Do you have any idea if this was really a “curse box” that general members could use like the blessing box today, or was this more something that GA’s would use as a sort of voodoo privilege of GA-hood?

      • Steven   On   February 26, 2014 at 4:25 pm

        I did not see a reference to a box, I can look at it better when I get in front of my computer but for now here is a little more detail:
        On 30 November the Quorum of the Twelve met in the temple,dedicating its attic in preparation for performance of the rituals. According to the diary of William Clayton, a scribe in attendance:
        At about 12 o’clock we clothed and . . . then offered up the signs of the Holy Priesthood and repeated them to get them more perfect. I was requested to keep minutes.
        President offered up prayers and dedicated the Attic story, the male room and ourselves to God, and prayed that God would sustain and deliver from the hands of our enemies, his servants untill they have accomplished his will in this house. Elder Taylor then sang “A poor wayfaring man of grief &c.” after which we again offered up the signs and Elder Kimball prayed that the Lord would hear and answer the prayers of his servant Brigham, break off the yoke of our enemies and inasmuch as they lay traps for the feet of his servants, that may fall into them themselves and be destroyed.

  1. Point4   On   February 26, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    About points 4 & 5:
    I’m pretty sure that what Tom is getting at is the fact that The Nauvoo Expositor was publishing facts about Joseph Smith’s polygamy. Joseph was arrest (leading to his death) because he ordered the destruction of the printing press.
    4. Joseph and Hyrum weren’t jailed and killed for their testimony of the Book of Mormon. They were jailed and killed for destroying a printing press. It’s hard to understand what huge deal the freedom of the press was less than a hundred years after the US independence.
    5. The Nauvoo Expositor wasn’t printing lies and as such Joseph Smith wasn’t justified in destroying it. Further it sets the stage for the church to cover up “anti” material.

  2. Doug Bundy   On   February 26, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    No, if you believe that God reveals the truth on all these matters, you pay tithing.
    Believing that unseen evidence trumps visible evidence, in these matters, does not constitute dishonesty.
    Who can prove that modern scholars have all the papyri that JS had?
    Who can prove that the facsimile JS refers to is the very one published?
    What book is more correct on the religion of ancient American Christians than the Book of Mormon?
    Mormons don’t talk to Jesus. They talk to the Father, in the name of Jesus.
    Ancient Americans have oral traditions that a white, bearded, prophet walked among them. He was identified with the planet Venus, as was Christ. He warned them against the warring strangers, whose love of weapons would drive them to make man over. He directed them to bury their records deep in the earth, until the cycle of warring strangers ends. None of these claims are supported by Scholars, but does that prove there is no basis in fact for any of them?
    Who can prove that no changes in space or time took place after the fall of Adam and Eve that materially affect conclusions drawn from examining our current location in space and time?
    Who can prove that he that trusts in the arm of flesh is not cursed?

    • Bob Caswell   On   February 26, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      “Unseen evidence trumps visible evidence” is quite the get-out-of-jail-free card. I’m just glad our legal system doesn’t work that way! That would be scary. Your honor, any day now I’m sure you’ll get what you need to understand just how innocent I am… Until then, whatdaya say we don’t bother with all this visible evidence. I mean, how relevant can it be when you don’t have the unseen evidence I’m sure is coming?

      • Doug Bundy   On   February 26, 2014 at 11:51 pm

        What is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen? That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
        Render unto God the things that are God’s.

      • Randy_Snyder   On   March 4, 2014 at 5:43 pm

        Thanks for coming on to bare your testimony. It’s nice to know that truth isn’t objective in any way. Which of course means that you can’t be certain that your subjective testimony is anything more than delusion. Not very convincing to others and utterly worthless in advancing our species’ progress in science, medicine, and technology.

      • Doug Bundy   On   March 4, 2014 at 10:10 pm

        How do I say this, so you can understand? The progress of the Gentiles, i.e. Western civilization, is a blessing turned cursing, because they are lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations. The truth is, He will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay down the haughtiness of the terrible.

      • Randy_Snyder   On   March 4, 2014 at 10:37 pm

        And thou knowest this because The Lord hath made it plain unto thine eyes. Verily, not the eyes of man, but the eyes of the Spirit. For a vision was opened up to thee manifesting all things pertaining to this generation. And sore will be the cursings of this generation for they hearken not unto The Lord. But they hearken unto their own understanding, yeah they lean on the arm of flesh. And The Lord will consume this generation according to his infinite mercy and justice. Brother, adieu…

      • Blorg Jorgensson   On   February 28, 2014 at 3:57 pm

        Judge: “Mr. Nephi, you weave a very impressive tale. While I’m sure this Holy Spirit is very compelling to you, I’m still going to have to uphold your murder conviction.”

    • Blorg Jorgensson   On   February 28, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      With this perspective, literally ANYTHING could be true. Anything. “Trust not in the arm of flesh but in the arm of… rich, creamy caramel, slathered in mouth-watering dark chocolate.”
      If we’re going to live in reality, we need some reasonable standard of reality. The scientific method is the only theoretically unbiased, fact-based system available. When God deems the rest of humanity worthy of his revelations, then we can talk about changing that.

  3. jamesallred   On   February 27, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Great podcast guys. I really do appreciate hearing Tom Phillips perspective of the case and hearing more about how he convinced the court to move it forward.
    I know in part 3 you argued a bit about how the seven issues could be tied to tithing. For me the linkage is in how a person decides to join the church.
    The court case is about demanding that the church tell a more honest story when people are being converted. If they taught me those seven items I would not have joined the church. We know thousands of people who have left once finding out some of those seven items.
    Just a thought.
    Keep up the great work guys.

  4. 3GrandKeys   On   February 28, 2014 at 9:13 am

    GBH’s response about not really talking directly to God must’ve been such a buzz kill to all the young prophet hopefuls of the time.

  5. Blorg Jorgensson   On   February 28, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Near the end of the episode, one of you guys (maybe Tom?) speculated that perhaps Tom Phillips was motivated by a need for vindication in the eyes of his family. I think some people felt this, to some degree, when Uchtdorf gave his conference talk mentioning that apostates aren’t all just lazy or offended or prideful.
    At first, this need for vindication resonated with me. But then I realized that it would be a hollow victory. I’d much rather have family members respect my position because they respect me. Instead, they will only vindicate us to the degree that their leaders tell them to.
    In other words, I’d like my family members to think critically rather than just do what their leaders say, even if it sort of benefits me. Am I making sense here? I guess I’m specifically thinking about how I raise my children — with the hope that they respect me more than church leaders who are complete strangers to them.
    Another good podcast, guys. Keep ’em coming.

  6. Scott Evans   On   February 28, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    after listening to to the Tom Phillips versus Thomas S Monson podcasts and listening through the panels comments, I think I agree with the the final consensus in that the lawsuit itself properly will have zero impact on the Church. However, it may- and hopefully- will have impact on the ability of the LDS church to continue to convert people the way they have. This is similar to the Bill Nye versus the Young Earth creationist debates. Nye wasn’t trying to change the opinion of young earth believers. He was simply trying to shine a light that people believe this way and it’s silly.
    In my opinion, this is similar. No matter what actually happens in the court case this is a win in the court of public opinion. It shines a very obvious light on some very obvious flaws in Mormonism. Whether those flaws are shared with other religions or not doesn’t really matter. In the court of public opinion young Earth creationism is being mocked. By linking Mormonism and young Earth creationism it helps to shine the flashlight for the rest of LDS silliness.
    From a legal perspective, he may not have proof of any of these points, but in the court of public opinion it would be easy to prove that Mormons believe this silly thing, therefore, this other thing they believe is silly too.

  7. Regis   On   March 1, 2014 at 8:58 am

    If I were Phillips, I would have emphasized that the church has a correlation committee, the raison d’etre of which is to control information that is received by current and prospective tithe payers. It wouldn’t be difficult to show that the correlation committee withholds potentially relevant and damaging information from curriculum manuals and missionary manuals. This would be much easier to prove than the falsehood of various items of faith, and it strongly resembles conventional fraud.

  8. essayant1   On   March 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I really enjoyed listening to these three podcasts, but I disliked part 3 because of the panel discussion. First it seemed mean-spirited to have the discussion when he wasn’t there to defend him.
    Second your speculation about his reasons for doing so are unfounded. You claimed from the John Dehlin podcast that he lost contact with his family. That’s not true, he said in the (JD) podcast that he has a very good relationship with his family, but that before he had an outstanding relationship. His primary reasoning would be more that he cares about people and doesn’t like people being deceived.

    • Randy_Snyder   On   March 4, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      Fair criticism and our apologies if we misrepresented Tom’s familial situation. But panel discussions are our MO and having Tom on it would have just been more interviewing. We did give him 2 hours before we did out Infants take on it.

  9. Edmond   On   March 1, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    The Book of Abraham connection with the false representation part casts Joseph Smith’s credibility in doubt. This has repercussions into whether the KEYSTONE text, the Book of Mormon, was really translated–not to mention the JST. The Book of Abraham is the clearest case in point showing it is all a fraud.

  10. gilbert gripe   On   March 6, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    People pay tithing because they believe that the LDS church is God’s true church. This claim rests squarely on Joseph Smith’s credibility. All 7 items came from Joseph Smith’s mouth and were declared by him as being revealed to him by the power of God. Joseph Smith’s connection to God is why we pay tithing. We have to “buy” (ahem be “worthy of”) the saving ordinances that God revealed to Joseph Smith.
    All the deceptions are to protect the Joseph Smith story. If Joseph Smith was mistaken about the Garden of Eden being in Jackson county and mankind descended from Adam and Eve, what else is a mistake? Either God told untruths to JS or the whole thing is from the erroneous imaginings of JS.
    Joseph Smith is the link that ties tithing to the 7 items. All 7 items can be disproved and along with them the Joseph Smith story.

  11. Orrin Dayne   On   April 6, 2016 at 12:16 am

    It’s interesting to be re-listening to this episode, after the church published the rest of the essays and Tom’s lawsuit was tossed out.
    Anyway, regarding the relationship to the false representations and receiving tithing, I would argue that the connection is this: the corporation continued to make false representations in order to continue to receive tithing. In other words, they feared that, if they stopped making these representations and/or removed them from their scriptures, members would find out and stop paying tithing. For example, what if they removed the “by his own hand upon papyrus” from the scriptures. The Salt Lake Tribune and maybe the New York Times would pick it up and then a lot more tithe payers stop paying tithing, among other things.

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