CES Letter 2.0 Launched

Today, we are releasing to the public CES Letter 2.0 in Paperback (all past orders are fulfilled or being shipped tomorrow - new orders can now be taken), PDF, and ePub versions. The HTML and Audio versions are in final production and will be released shortly in December 2017.

The biggest and most substantial change in CES Letter 2.0 is the tone. There are no longer any tonal issues in the CES Letter.

“I really appreciate that he modified the tone. I totally understand why it was snarky, but this version is snark free so it’s easier to share.”

Mike - Facebook comment after receiving paperback book


2013-2016:

When Jeremy wrote the letter to the CES Director in April 2013, it was from a place of desperation and from feeling upset about learning about the LDS Church’s truth crisis. It was not written for the public but was written as a private letter between Jeremy and the CES Director to seek answers to his questions.

The purpose of the CES Letter from 2013 – 2016 was one thing: to get official answers from the LDS Church – through official Church channels – to questions about the LDS Church’s truth claims problems.

The CES Director and the Church “answered” through silence, intimidation, and ultimately threats of excommunication. This came to a head in April 2016 when Jeremy excommunicated the LDS Church from his life during his kangaroo court (www.cesletter.org/resign).

After years of seeking answers, Jeremy finally got his answer from the LDS Church:

The LDS Church does not have answers to its truth crisis. The LDS Church is a man-made institution and its foundational truth claims completely collapse under the weight of scrutiny and investigation. The LDS Church is not only not true but they will aggressively seek to censor, intimidate, and excommunicate you if you persist in asking the questions they do not like being asked.

2017 Onward:

The purpose of the CES Letter is no longer about getting answers from the LDS Church as the LDS Church gave its answer.

The purpose of the CES Letter now is to be an effective resource for honest Latter-day Saints and investigators to quickly – within hours and days – get a baseline of what the LDS Church does not want its members and investigators to know about its truth crisis.

It’s a quick guide and high level overview on some of the biggest threats to the LDS Church’s foundational truth claims and a starting point for many to initiate deeper research into the various issues and problems.

It is with this new focus and mission of effectiveness that CES Letter 2.0 is launched.

What's Different?

The CES Letter is not dramatically different. Folks will still recognize the CES Letter as the CES Letter. What’s different are the following:

Tone:
Jeremy has taken a fine-tooth comb and gone through the entire document many times to identify and change parts of the document that are snarky or hostile in tone.

New Design:
Thanks to the expertise and skills of two designers, CES Letter has been newly designed for both digital and printed versions in addition to the new website. Special thanks to Craig Bishop for the interior layout and to Craig Keeling for the cover and the website design.

Chapter Title pages and quotes:
Quotes have been added to Chapter Title pages before each chapter or section. These quotes are designed to give more context and “ah-ha” moments relative to the topic.

Clearer and simpler graphics:
In preparation for the paperback, new graphic design have been utilized to make the presentation simple and easier to understand and absorb.

"Scriptures" Chapter Removed:
The Scriptures section is where a lot of the tonal problems were in the previous CES Letter. After much thought and evaluation, Jeremy decided that the Scriptures section was redundant and unnecessary as it was a distraction from the core problems that are uniquely Mormon. Many of the issues with the bible and Christianity that were discussed in this section aren’t uniquely Mormon issues and problems.

Inoculation against Mormon apologetics:
In a desire to help readers and investigators to escape the Mormon Apologetic House of Mirrors quicker, Jeremy has added content that gets to the heart of weaknesses of commonly used Mormon apologetic claims and arguments.

Revamped sources and sources system:
Jeremy has added sources that are even more LDS friendly or neutral. Additionally, Jeremy has set up a system to where the sources are redirects through cesletter.org’s server to ensure that there are no dead or weak links in the future. When a source dies, it can quickly be changed for all mediums (paperback, PDF, epub, HTML, etc.) with a single change on the server.

Epilogue with more resources:
To make it easier for readers, new resources such as Frequently Asked Questions, Common Attacks, a centralized Debunking page, an updated Resources page, and a direct link to access to LDS Church essays have been created.

Quick links to new materials:

What’s currently being worked on and completed in December 2017:

HTML CES Letter (in final stage production)

Audio CES Letter (in final stage production)

Kindle CES Letter (need help - see below)

Continuation of updating and optimizing website

What Jeremy needs help with:

Kindle:
This has been a struggle. If any of you are Kindle experts and would like to help, please email Jeremy at cesletter@gmail.com with “Kindle” in subject line.

Social Media:
TBM trolls have been leaving 1 star reviews on Facebook. Many were personal attacks against Jeremy which Facebook removed. Please add your reviews to counterbalance the TBM trolls. To leave a review on CES Letter, please go here: Facebook CES Letter Page




About the Author

Born and raised in Southern California, Jeremy is a seventh generation Mormon of Pioneer heritage who reached every Mormon youth milestone. An Eagle Scout, Returned Missionary, BYU alumnus, Jeremy was married in the San Diego Temple with expectations and plans of living Mormonism for the rest of his life.

In February 2012, Jeremy experienced an awakening to the LDS Church's truth crisis, which subsequently led to a faith transition that summer. In the spring of 2013, Jeremy was approached and asked by a CES Director to share his questions and concerns about the LDS Church's origins, history, and current practices. In response, Jeremy wrote what later became publicly known as the CES Letter (originally titled Letter to a CES Director).

The CES Director responded that he read the "very well written" letter and that he would provide Jeremy with a response. No response ever came.

“I believe that members and investigators deserve to have all of the facts and information on the table, to be able to make a fully-informed and balanced decision as to whether or not they want to commit their hearts, minds, time, talents, income, and lives to Mormonism.”

Jeremy T. Runnells


Interview with Mormon Stories

Part 1 On Growing Up Mormon and the Genesis of the CES Letter 
Part 2 Jeremy Discusses the CES Letter in Detail 
Part 3 Rapid Firing Round, Reaction to the Letter 

Debunking

Several unofficial Mormon apologists, including FairMormon, have provided responses to CES Letter:

Jeremy's response to FairMormon:

The only official response, to date, is the series of recent essays by the LDS Church, which is available on the Church’s own lds.org website.

A comprehensive critique of each essay is available here on MormonThink.com.

Jeremy’s rebuttals to other Mormon apologist arguments:

A Zombie’s Reflections on That Mormon Apologist’s Reflections

Jeremy’s rebuttal to Daniel C. Peterson’s FairMormon Some Reflections on That Letter to a CES Director presentation.

The Book of Abraham: “Except for Those Willfully Blind, the Case is Closed”

Jeremy’s rebuttal to Brian M. Hauglid’s Jeremy Runnells and the Book of Abraham essay.

The Sky is Falling – Part 1

Jeremy’s rebuttal to FairMormon’s Kevin Christensen’s Eye of the Beholder essay.