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    611 days, 10 hours, 33 minutes, 16 seconds ago

CHRIS JOHNSON

http://askreality.com/

http://www.youtube.com/user/askreality?feature=watch

Hidden in Plain Sight(From the EXMO Conference..exposing the main source material for The Book of Mormon..AMAZING!)

*Video & audio of Chris’ great EXMO Conference speech is now posted below!

MP3 DOWNLOAD

2013 – Chris Johnson – “How the Book of Mormon Destroyed Mormonism!”

Published on Oct 25, 2013
**There are a few technical issues with the video that need to be fixed- we hope to have an updated version uploaded by the end of the weekend (10/25/13)**

To read “The late war, between the United States and Great Britain, from June 1812, to February 1815 : written in the ancient historical style” (1816) by Gilbert J. Hunt:

https://archive.org/details/latewarbetween_00hunt

To read “The First Book of Napoleon” (1809):

https://archive.org/details/firstbooknapole00gruagoog

 

My name is Chris Johnson and I’m an Ex Mormon

http://www.iamanexmormon.com/2011/05/this-is-how-i-discovered-truth-my-name-is-chris-and-im-an-ex-mormon/

I served a mission in Japan and remember all the wonderful spiritual experiences and feelings very vividly. Spirituality, God and Religion is such an interesting and passionate topic.

My life has been such a wonderful journey of discovery, and I have found so much to gain by studying these topics. My life is truly enriched because of light and truth.

I encourage you to leave no stone unturned in your quest for truth.

My advice? Learn what truth is, and seek to discern the patterns of truth. Here is what I have found so far:

Truth is not afraid of being discovered and examined thoroughly, rather it is darkness and deception that hides behind the shadows — in hopes of never being “found out”.

Truth can be sliced and analyzed in 100 different ways and it will always remain true.

Falsehood on the other hand can only be sliced a few different ways before it becomes increasingly obvious that it is false.

People who hold false beliefs avoid criticism and debate, and tend to avoid sharing their experiences publicly because they know their opinion is not well founded.

Truth tends to fit all the facts, while falsehood only fits a portion of all the facts.

Truth is independent of belief, social status, tradition, feelings, experiences or culture.

Falsehoods that persist for long periods of time (generation after generation) tend to have a propagation mechanism that takes advantage of human purposes, fears and desires.

Truth cannot contradict itself or reality.

As knowledge is gained, truth and falsehood both become more self-evident. Therefore knowledge plays a major role in discernment.

When seeking truth, physical data is better than personal testimony.

Why?

Because people make assumptions. People can be biased. People make mistakes. People can give in to societal pressures. People can hallucinate. People can unintentionally forget important facts. People can unintentionally fabricate false memories. People can lie. People can persuade each other. People can have fragile emotional conditions that affect their perception or judgement. People can have rare or dubious experiences that are not generally repeatable under properly controlled experimental conditions and therefore cannot be interpreted objectively.

Physical data on the other hand can be gathered by independent sources, repeatably scrutinized and rigorously tested, measured, checked, peer reviewed, experimentally replicated and analyzed independent of biases.

In other words if someone says there was no Tsunami in Japan “because they were there and experienced it first hand”, the overwhelming physical evidence will trump and invalidate his testimony.

When determining whether something is true or false we must remove ourselves as far away as possible from known human biases, prejudices, logical fallacies and other phenomenon that are commonly used to deceive people. For example it is a common fallacy to believe that “other people hallucinate, but I do not” or “Other people are stupid, but I am not” or “My spiritual experiences are real but other people’s spiritual experiences of other faiths are not real”. In this way, we must remove ourselves from subjectivity, and even understand human nature as best we can if we are to gain any real understanding of truth.

When determining whether or not an organization is true or false, we must first understand what true and false organizations look like.

Organizations that have truth and integrity, do not need to lie to the public nor tell their members to avoid or fear information that is critical of the organization. True organizations have nothing to fear, while those that organizations that are fraudulent have a tendency to persuade their members to avoid, label, fear or cause them to feel negatively towards critical people or anti-literature. This is how a fraudulent organization survives in a world where information is increasingly more available.

How do we find truth?

If we assume we have the truth, and we shield ourselves from outside opinion and outside influence by repeating to ourselves “Nothing can persuade me to believe otherwise….” Then we have closed off a valuable portion of our brain that could help us in the case we are wrong.

If your brain gets flooded with endorphins or other “feel good hormones” while reading a particular spiritual book, or praying, it is a natural consequence that we humans interpret that to mean that the book or experience is significant in a divine way. It is not until we find people having these very same spiritual experiences all over the world while reading books and ideas that completely contradict one another that we realize that our brain is a delicate beast to handle indeed.

An atheist can read the “God Delusion” and feel an amazing spiritual experience, while a Muslim can receive a powerful spiritual experience from the Koran — Both books plainly contradict the truths found in the Book of Mormon, so what are we to conclude?

Spiritual experiences are flimsy truth claims at best, but at worst they are so common and so integral to being human, that religions use these experiences as proof of their particular authority. This does not sit well in our more enlightened day and age where we must sift through all the marketing and advertising “hogwash” that companies are throwing our way on nearly every page on the Internet. It is easy to see that companies and religions know how to push our psychological buttons to get us to buy into their particular products, services and ideas.

To find truth we must look at all the data and see which theory fits all the facts, then toss all the theories that don’t fit. False religions generally do the opposite by assuming their theory is correct and then seek after facts that fit their theory and toss all the facts that do not fit their theory.

Picking facts that fit your theory is a good way to persuade people, but not a good way to determine the truth.

False religions also tend to create reasons to believe things that contradict reality in order to keep their theory viable, but when pushed and all the reasons are debunked, false religions will tell you to rely on faith.

Faith is applied generously and desperately as the “cure all” solution to the world’s failing belief systems. It can be fun for a while, but again, it is not a great tool in helping us determine the truth. In fact faith is only required where the facts are unknown, and when solid independent data contradicts a personal or religious belief, the belief should be tossed, not held on to with an ever tighter grip for the sake of “faith” alone.

Wise people drop their falsehoods when confronted with solid indisputable data. But being wrong is the most difficult thing to admit, and herein lies the biggest hurdle in finding the truth.

Good luck in your search.

My name is Chris Johnson and I’m an Ex Mormon. 

 

1.0 – Why I left Mormonism – Introduction

Hi my name is Chris and I grew up in the LDS church. As a young boy I began to build up a strong relationship with God. He guided me in my life and testified to me that the Book of Mormon was true. I felt His love for me, and I consequently developed a strong desire to share God’s love with the world. As a 19 year old, I worked and saved until I had enough money to serve a two year mission for the LDS church. I was passionate about truth, and desired to bring souls unto God. Those two years were filled with growth and spirituality. I felt the Holy Ghost’s love and influence in my life and took truth very seriously. My mother taught me to seek after all that is good, all that is right, and all that is true. I love my mom, and because she has been such a great influence in my life, I dedicate this series to her.

If you are absolutely sure that the Mormon religion is the one and only true religion on the earth, then this video series is not for you. I learned on my mission that nobody will ever convert to the truth if they think that they already possess the truth. My heart goes out to those that want the church to be true. I also want the church to be true. For many of us, it is our lifeline, our identity, our hope for eternal life. This series is for those that want the church to be true, but are willing to give it up if it turns out to be false. It is for the honest at heart. It is for the humble. It is for those that have the courage to stand for what is right. It is also a message brimming with hope. I invite you to a journey towards a world full of hope, love, truth, peace, and joy.

 

2.0 – Why I left Mormonism – A Commitment to Truth

Perhaps some of your friends or family have left the church, and you want to understand why. Maybe you want to help them, but you know they won’t listen to you until you truly understand where they are coming from. Some of you may have had questions of your own, but you were told not to explore them. This topic is very pivotal and sacred to all of us, so my purpose is not to tell you what to think, but to open a dialog where everyone is welcome to share their views and answer difficult questions. I hope you feel comfortable and safe as you explore the possibilities presented in this series.

I want to include you in my journey, please feel free to question everything presented here, think about it, analyze it. If I am wrong, or if you feel I have missed something pivotal then let me know, so I may change my ways. Let’s discuss it here openly so that all may benefit.

As LDS Apostle John Taylor said:

I think a full, free talk is frequently of great use; we want nothing secret nor underhanded, and I for one want no association with things that cannot be talked about and will not bear investigation. (Journal of Discourses, Volume 20, Page 264.)

The church meant everything to me, I lived and breathed it, every moment and every day of my life. It was the anchor to my soul, it lead me to Jesus Christ — the hope of my salvation. At its core, the church encourages us to build love in our hearts, to serve others, to be honest, good citizens and to progress in our lives. It will always remain a part of me, for it helped shape my moral compass, and with all of my heart, I believed it to be true. I never wanted to leave it, so what happened? In short, I made an intriguing discovery regarding truth.

I remember a powerful moment — only a few years ago. My brother was struggling with his LDS testimony and I wanted to help him as I felt I had a deeper understanding of the gospel than he did. But three thoughts occurred to me.

First, I could not help him if I did not fully understand his concerns. How could I expect him to listen to me, if I would not listen to him?

Second, I could not fully understand him if I arrogantly decided before hand that all of his points were going to be invalid.

Third, If it turned out that I was wrong about my faith some how, would I end up defending the wrong church to my grave as I’ve seen other men do? I knew that defending my religion at all costs meant I would lose my ability to see both sides clearly and objectively.

As I wondered if it was alright for members to investigate both sides of our faith, my mind drew strength from words like that of LDS Apostle J. Reuben Clark:

If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed. (Apostle J. Reuben Clark, J. Reuben Clark: The Church Years. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1983, p. 24.)

As these thoughts settled in my mind, I realized that my brother and I were not so different, we had the same goal: Truth. I realized that the goal was not to make the church seem true at all costs, but to find the truth at all costs.

And I wanted to be a follower of Christ, a man of integrity.

So at that moment, I decided to follow the path of truth, no matter the consequences. I decided that if the church were true, I’d live every principle to its fullest, and do my utmost to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth.

On the other hand, if the church were somehow not true, I would leave it — even if it was painful – so that I could follow more truth and continue to progress in my life. I knew that settling for anything less than the truth would never satisfy me — so I made the commitment then and there to follow truth no matter where it lead me. I remember it was a reassuring, peaceful, memorable moment. I felt God was pleased with my decision to take truth so seriously.

People have died for the church, and I wanted to have that same kind of commitment to truth. I admire those that value truth so highly.

Before we go to the next video, I’d like to see where you’re at in regards to truth. We all have differing opinions, but I’m guessing that most of you feel the same way about truth. Nobody wants to live a lie. So let’s hold a mini-poll here on youtube to see how many people are serious about the truth. If you are committed to following the truth, give this video a thumbs up, otherwise give it a thumbs down. Thanks, and I look forward to reading all your comments and feedback.

 

3.0 – Why I left Mormonism – Pillars of Truth

In this video I want to analyze truth with you, I want to strip it down so that we can easily understand it and comprehend it. I want to explore the following questions:

1. What is truth?
2. How does the LDS Church approach truth?

1. What is truth?

Some people think truth is a matter of opinion. But I am grateful for the LDS church’s teachings regarding truth, it taught me that truth is independent of our thoughts or opinions. It represents reality as it actually exists, in the real world.

I love the truth, and the LDS Church teaches many wonderful truths.

2. How does the LDS Church approach truth?

It has a beautiful, intricate and richly orchestrated belief system. Let’s take a look at why people believe the LDS church is true. We should not treat this lightly. I believe this topic deserves our utmost respect. There are many reasons why we as members believe in the LDS church:

We receive answers to our prayers. We witness miracles. The Holy Ghost tells us the church is true. A number of us have had near death experiences that confirm LDS teachings. The church is supported by the bible, and is a complete restoration of biblical Christianity. We have Modern Prophets that receive the Word of God, exactly like the ancient biblical prophets did. The church has an unbroken chain of Priesthood Authority that goes back to Christ. The Book of Mormon’s veracity is confirmed to us by the power of the Holy Ghost, and by other sources. It is a second witness of Christ. Our church is supported by other scriptures. Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Many can testify to these things. We have modern Temples, just as the ancient Jews did, and we receive spiritual guidance in these sacred buildings. The church gives us hope for Eternal Life with our family and loved ones. As the church predicted, the world is becoming more wicked. But the church is the source of so much good, and we feel the effects of Jesus Christ’s Atonement in our lives. The church helps us by giving us a social support group, good friends and opportunities to serve. All of it makes so much sense. The claims of the church are supported by Science.

These are the main pillars supporting the hypothesis that the LDS Church is true. This beautiful belief system served me well through-out most of my life. Because my mind had multiple reasons to believe that the church was true, I was unlikely to change my beliefs. For example, if my faith in any one of these pillars became weak, my mind could rely on the other pillars for strength in order to keep my belief system intact. If many of these pillars were to fail all at once, it may be termed a “crisis of faith” — meaning it be might time to re-evaluate my belief system.

When I got off my mission, I was happy with my belief system, I had no reason question it. I presented it to thousands of people while proselyting and I could not understand why anyone would reject such a beautiful belief system. At the time, I believed that the only reason people would reject it, was pride or sin. I didn’t know that there were some significant truths missing from my life.

Little did I know, that I was about to discover some new pillars of truth — and it would change my life forever.

Throughout this video series, I will share what I have discovered about truth. I encourage your involvement, and feedback so that we can keep this as fair as possible.

 

4.0 – Why I left Mormonism – Do We Filter Reality?

In the last two videos, we discussed the importance of truth, and talked about the pillars supporting the LDS belief system. In order to fairly analyze the LDS church and its claims we need to find tools that are broad enough that they can be used to determine truth in most circumstances.

One of the tricky things about truth is that we use our human brains to make judgements about whether something is true or not. If we don’t understand the limits of our brain, then we may end up making poor judgements.

For the sake of this video, I’m asking — Do we filter reality?

 

5.0 – Why I left Mormonism – Sacred Bias

My fifth video explores how religion and bias are related and what I did to overcome my own private bias in order to research both sides more sincerely.


All material in this video is used under Fair Use (17 USC § 107) and Fair Dealing (UK CDPA 1988 s30-(1)). Credits: “Root of All Evil?”, Channel 4, UK.

 

6.0 – Why I left Mormonism – Gaining Perspective

As I prayed for the Lord to help my brother and I see clearly, I felt a desire to have stronger faith — a faith that was not based on blind ignorance or emotional biases …

 

7.0 Why I left Mormonism – How to Avoid Deception

In this video I will be discussing some methods that organizations are using to deceive us and control our lives. I have personally found this information to be very beneficial for my family, my health and even my finances. To achieve our highest potential, it is important to learn how to avoid deception, and embrace truth.

In the last video I explained that while I was praying to help my apostate brother Duane come back into the LDS church, I came into contact with some ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses. They explained that their former religion used specific techniques to control their mind, so I investigated those techniques and was surprised by what I found.

[Partial Dialogue:]

I always thought that mind control was something from the movies. So when the ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses began explaining how their minds had been manipulated and controlled by specific techniques — I was in shock and amazement. At first I resisted, but then I felt peace knowing that this information came as a result of my sincere prayers. Calmly, slowly, it all started to make sense. This is how they do it. Here is an official Jehovah’s Witness video made to teach gospel principles to their children.

[ http://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/… ]

[… This is how the BITE model of mind control works…]

[… Watch the video to see how to Avoid Deception and Mind Control]

Credits:

1. Steven Hassan – http://www.freedomofmind.org
2. Laura Sandeasterman
3. Mickey Hudson
4. Craig Stevens
5. “Joe” – “Episode 80: Leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses”
6. Stephanie H. – 2013 JW Convention Audio and Slides are from her video “I am a Human Apostate, and so are YOU!”

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