Taylor Christensen is making a splash in the Mormon world this week, publishing a video on his Facebook page which as of writing this Thursday afternoon has over 140K views and over 1,000 shares (according to FB–not sure how accurate these FB stats are). I wrote a blog post (Taylor Christensen Anti Mormon Video) on this on my personal site earlier this week. I wanted to share this here at Wheat and Tares to see what kind of discussion we could have.

The gist of the video is that Taylor hopes to communicate to other Mormons that many of the “anti-Mormon lies” we hear about are actually true, so we shouldn’t judge those that leave the Church over them, but he still believes in the Church and will stay, placing his faith in Jesus Christ. He is inviting everyone to be more empathetic to each other.

Watch the video on his public facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/taylor.christensen.94

Here are some of the comments I’ve seen in various forums.

On the narrow minded LDS side of things:

Those who dearly desire to find reasons to disbelieve will be able to do so.

I did not feel the spirit during this video. This is just stirring up things that don’t need to be stirred. The information in its entirety is there and it’s okay to have questions but let’s not air our dirty laundry out to dry. Have respect for our first leaders… Yes they were imperfect but let’s move on. The only thing we should be worried about is how to grow closer to Christ and this doesn’t help. All these “issues” can be addressed on fairmormon.org

I would argue that HE was addressing LOCAL leaders and NOT Joseph Smith JR. Concerns over JS JR come from those who STOP reading the BOM daily like President Monson counseled

In my humble opinion, Brother Taylor Christensen overstepped his bounds by broadcasting such a video. His video will undoubtedly lead to even more people leaving the Church by pointing them into the direction of sensational anti-LDS sources that address these issues in a non-faith saving manner. In my opinion, he should have referred his viewers to their local Priesthood leadership and the following links to the essays located on lds.org. I testify to you that Joseph Smith, although flawed, was and is the Prophet of the Restoration…

Most people don’t leave the church over history, they do over particular incidents with members past and present.

This in not an anti Mormon message – I stopped after 2 minutes when I found out Joseph just copied the BOM from other books he easily had access to – but I reiterate, it’s not an anti Mormon message! Haha. Good one

He does the same mistake many does. You cannot judge what happened so long ago by the standards of today.

This is an anti-Mormon video. You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to discredit God’s chosen leaders. You are making accusations and implying things that are hearsay and are untrue. You are young and uninformed.

On the narrow minded Exmormon side of things:

Read the CES Letter. It’s all a fraud.

Man, indoctrination is running real deep here. My problem is the fact that after everything he read and knows, he still cannot figure out that JS was NOT a prophet, he was a CON and it is very worrying that these people cannot distinguish between good and evil, that everything is grey for them.

Taylor you are living in a fantasy that the Mormon church culture will change from a culture of exclusion to inclusion. It will always be an us and them culture.

Of course it’s “not an anti-Mormon video.” It’s an apologist video. It’s great that you are asking people to accept those who have left the LDS church, but your justifications for racism, bigotry, etc is sad.

I put a magic rock in a magic hat and it predicted a church disciplinary council in this guys future.

Immense courage to call out the corruption, dishonesty and white washing of a billion dollar tax exempt corporation

And on the more thoughtful side:

Seems like a pretty reasonable approach, trying to understand each other’s different paths and respecting those paths.  I’ve thought that this is the way that the church needs to go for a while now.  I even wrote a letter about this to Elder Uchtdorf a couple years ago, but didn’t get a response unfortunately.

I think he did well.   I agree he went on a little too in depth about polygamy since there still are some unanswered questions, but I think you have to take it all the way down at least mentally  before you can see the beauty.

I have been saying that the history is totally irrelevant to the faith forever and Taylor says it well and in a way which will communicate to millennials and others as well.

I’ve been having a really hard time with some of the facts presented in this video for the past several months. I wasn’t going to go to church today until I watched this video. Thank you.

This is very powerful and brave. Thank you for sharing and trying to build a bridge between current and former believers.

Beautiful. Fingers crossed that discussions like this can become more common in the church and that more people can have the empathy you’ve developed. Thanks for sharing!

So, what do you think?