Question: How do critics of Mormonism define "lying for the Lord"?

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Question: How do critics of Mormonism define "lying for the Lord"?

Critics of Mormonism often accuse the Church (or its leaders, its missionaries, or its members) about not telling "the truth" about that which Mormons "really believe"

Generally, however, the 'truth' which the critic wishes the Church would spread bears little or no resemblance to what the Church teaches, believes, or practices. Cries for "honesty" from the critics are often nothing more than a claim that the Church must adopt the critics' perspectives, interpretations, or preoccupations.

Critics of Mormonism may portray Church members as "lying" when the critics have, instead, misinterpreted or misrepresented what the member intended

A common example of this tactic is the claim that President Hinckley lied about LDS doctrine in an interview. As the wiki link demonstrates, this claim is false and represents a misunderstanding. This particular claim is particularly ridiculous, since it supposes that President Hinckley would believe that he could deceive a national newsmagazine, interviewing him on the record!

Members of the Church are also bound by requirements of confidentiality, which is portrayed as "lying" when they meet hostile attacks with silence

Members will not discuss certain matters which they have covenanted to keep sacred, and some experiences are not to be shared unless the Holy Spirit directs. Members may be portrayed as "lying" when they meet hostile attacks with silence, or when they attempt to protect things they consider sacred by deflecting the conversation to other topics.

Church leaders who provide spiritual guidance to others operate under confidentiality rules (sometimes called a clergy-penitent relationship) which they will not set aside even if the member being counseled chooses to speak. This provides an environment in which leaders may be falsely accused or characterized by a disenchanted member, yet the leader remains unable to defend themselves. Often, charges of "lying" are one-sided reports from the disaffected, with the other party unable to respond. We should use charity and caution in judging such cases.

Church members and leaders have similar confidentiality duties as non-member counterparts in various fields. Physicians and attorneys must keep professional confidences, military personnel must keep national security secrets from the enemy, businessmen must keep trade secrets private, etc. Meeting these ethical duties is not always easy, and could leave one vulnerable to charges that one is being 'dishonest' or 'hiding the truth.' Those who seek to find fault will likely succeed.

A FairMormon Analysis of MormonThink page "Lying for the Lord"

The critical website has a laundry list of 152 cases in which they claim that "lying for the Lord" was practiced. We respond to some of the more interesting or well-known issues (follow the links below for the full response to each issue).

Claim Evaluation
Chart lying for the lord.jpg

A FairMormon Analysis of MormonThink page "Lying for the Lord"

Summary: MormonThink concludes that "lying was the method the church used as standard operating procedure to keep from losing its members." MormonThink also notes that "The message from current leaders is clear. Pretend that the LDS leaders are infallible, blindly obey and conform." (FairMormon note: this is a standard position taken by many ex-Mormons after their disaffection with the Church).

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