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The CES Letter


The CES Letter, short for "Letter to a CES Director," is a document written by Jeremy Runnells, a former member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also called the Mormon or LDS Church. Originally composed in 2013, the CES Letter has gained attention within and outside the LDS community for its extensive examination of various historical events and doctrines within Mormonism. The letter was addressed to a director of the Church Educational System (CES), hence its name, and was intended to address Runnells' doubts and concerns with the LDS Church.

The CES Letter is actually a crowd-sourced compilation of questions and criticisms regarding LDS Church teachings, history, and practices. It covers a wide range of topics, including the origins and translation process of the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham, as well as the credibility of Joseph Smith as a prophet, the practice of polygamy, and various other historical and doctrinal ideas.

One of the central themes of the CES Letter is the historical and archaeological challenges to the Book of Mormon's authenticity as an ancient record of Native American civilizations. Runnells believes there is a lack of archaeological evidence supporting the events described in the Book of Mormon.

The letter also delves into the controversial aspects of Joseph Smith's life, including his practice of polygamy and polyandry, his involvement in treasure hunting and folk magic, and inconsistencies in his accounts of the First Vision. Runnells argues that these issues raise doubts about Smith's credibility as a prophet and the divine origin of the LDS Church.

Since its publication, the Mormon CES Letter has sparked widespread discussion and debate within the LDS community and beyond. Supporters of the letter praise it for providing a platform for individuals to voice their doubts and concerns about the LDS Church openly. Critics, on the other hand, argue that the CES Letter presents a poorly researched, one-sided, and biased view of Mormonism and overlooks the spiritual experiences and beliefs of faithful members.

In conclusion, the CES Letter represents a significant contribution to the ongoing dialogue surrounding Mormonism's truth claims and its historical and doctrinal foundations. While it has been a catalyst for many individuals leaving the LDS Church or reassessing their beliefs, its impact extends beyond Mormonism, prompting broader discussions about faith, truth, and the search for meaning in a complex world.

What is the CES Letter for Mormons? Faith questions, Religions of America, LDS Church beliefs, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, What does the LDS Church teach? Do members of the Mormon Church study? What do you have to do to become a Mormon? Lifestyle choices


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