(reposted from: http://notjustonereason.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/those-with-nothing-to-hide-hide-nothing/)

Those with nothing to hide, hide nothing

23 Jul 2013

The LDS church has recently (July 13, 2013) unveiled a new search engine powered by Google and censored by LDS inc.

The Church has revamped the search function and features to include Google’s powerful search technology, harnessing its signature ability to find relevant information.

Relevant information? What does that mean?

That means: Official, Safe Content

Official? Safe?

The new search provides a more safe and Church-specific search experience than Google, said Brother Ward. When you search from Google’s website, the results you get back may or may not be official content, he explained. Some results might be links to members’ personal blogs or even anti-Church sites.

The LDS.org search, however, only returns links to official Church-approved content that is currently available on LDS.org and other Church websites. And even though Google’s technology is used, no user information is provided back to Google. “It provides a safe, private, shock-free environment to search for approved gospel resources,” said Brother Ward.

So you can search only church approved sources and get only church approved answers to all your gospel questions.

Why is that needed? Because people (good, faithful LDS people) are searching Google for help with their lesson plans for Young Women’s, Priesthood, Seminary…. and getting back “shocking” information about the church. Shocking because it’s information they’ve never heard before that it true- and the more and more they search the more and more they learn about this information- and then they leave the LDS church because they feel lied to and betrayed. So how does the Church deal with this problem? Not by being more open and honest and teaching this information themselves- no- they deal with it by trying to bury it further.

For example- let’s search polyandry. Now we know that polyandry is when a man marries a woman that is already married. Joseph Smith did this 11 times before he died. Let’s see what the search on LDS.org turns up. (You can use Ctrl + to zoom in)

The first result is D&C 132:51. Not bad considering that the entire section is about plural marriage. Let’s see which verse specifically it found.

51 Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to aprove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice.

Hmm. Nothing explaining polyandry, mentioning Joseph and polyandry- instead it’s a verse threatening Emma that if she were to engage in polyandry herself (with William Law specifically) then she would be disobeying God. But you’d only know that’s what this verse was referring to if you’d read lots of other church history. But it shows that the search function knows what you’re talking about.

What about the other search results? Do they go into more depth? Explain polyandry with a definition? Mention any one of the 11 women who sacrificed and married Joseph in polyandry?

No. You get an I’m a Mormon profile with no mention, two Seminary lessons with no mention and that aren’t relevant to the search, and then a list of feel good church magazine articles that aren’t at all relevant.

So how did Google do? (Once again Ctrl + to zoom in)Google polyandry1Google polyandry

Google leads with MormonThink.com to a page specifically about polygamy, polyandry and a helpful infographic of the wives of Joseph Smith.

The next link is to FAIR- a site considered to be friendly to tough LDS questions. They define polyandry, discuss how it relates to Joseph’s marriages and then give links to other questions you may have about polyandry in general.

Following that is a link to a FAIR conference talk by Brian Hales who is known for his research into polygamy and polyandry and has released a couple of books exploring the topics. While I disagree with his conclusions (and so do most notable historians) it’s still relevant information if you want a well rounded picture about polyandry.

Then there is a youtube video, an article from Dialogue, and a blog post by Times and Seasons.

Eighth on the list is LDS.org.

So maybe there is a search result on LDS.org that the search function before didn’t find! So I clicked on it. This is what came back.

The exact same search I’d already done on LDS.org.

There is some text in the Google search under that result that says this:

LDS Mormons do not currently practice polygamy, polygyny, nor polyandry. The principles of this biblical practice were revealed to Joseph Smith Jr. from 1831.

So if you want to know what polyandry is- or why it’s relevant to the history of the church lds.org won’t tell you anything. It doesn’t even say it was practiced by Joseph Smith- just that the principles were revealed to him.

What you will find is:

The Church has revamped the search function and features to include Google’s powerful search technology, harnessing its signature ability to find relevant information.

So relevant information? What does that mean?

It means that the church is still hiding information the best they can. It means that knowledge is power- and the church- LDS Inc. is trying to take that power away from you.

When are they going to stop trying to hide the truth and just come clean? When are they going to start being ‘honest with their fellowmen’?