FaithWorld

Mormons have “fundamental” PR problem

April 10, 2008

Warren Jeffs in the dock in St. George, Utah, 21 Sept, 2007/poolThe Mormon faith — or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as it is officially called — has a “fundamental” PR problem.

It may have renounced polygamy over a century ago but the breakaway sects which continue to practice plural marriage are the ones that often catch the public eye, leading to the popular misconception that all Mormon men have, or strive to have, more than one (often underage) wife.

This was driven home to me as investigators late last week swooped on a polygamist compound in a remote part of west Texas in response to an abuse complaint.

The compound belongs to followers of jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs and is linked to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which broke away from the main branch of the faith decades ago.

Over 400 children were yanked from the Texas facility over the course of the weekend and into the early part of this week, providing a riveting spectacle in a dusty corner of the state.

Television footage showed young girls in long, apparently homemade “pioneer dresses” boarding buses. Some who looked to be in their early teens carried infant children. Texas child welfare officials said it was their biggest operation ever.

As all of this was unfolding my wife happened to mention to a friend of hers in South Africa — a friend who is well-educated, a journalist and a devout Christian — that I was covering the story. Her friend’s response?  “Those Mormons, they’re weird. I don’t answer the door when they knock,” she said. My wife said as far as her friend was concerned, Mormons were Mormons and that was that.

Salt Lake Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, 28 May 2007/Lucy NicholsonOf course, the mainstream Mormon church, which claims a worldwide membership of around 13 million, is the one sending missionaries around the globe to knock on doors and spread the faith.

The renegade polygamist sects whose followers number several thousand (some estimates are as high as 40,000 or more) are not knocking on doors in Johannesburg. But the perception is clearly there: Mormons are the funny fellows taking multiple wives and living in isolated retreats in remote patches of America.

In places like Texas, the mainstream Mormon faith — based in Salt Lake City, Utah — has to contend with plenty of suspicion anyway.

Southern Baptists and other evangelicals widely regard Mormonism as an almost sinister cult which is successfully competing for souls among the faithful. They regard Joseph Smith, who founded the faith in New York state in 1830, as a false prophet. Southern Baptists are taught in Sunday School to be wary of that “knock on the door” from Mormon missionaries.

Against this backdrop the last thing the mainstream LDS needs is more bad press stemming from its fundementalist kin. The Texas media is abuzz about the probe and court documents alleging a compound rife with sexual abuse and girls being forced into “spiritual marriage” after reaching puberty.

One also gets the impression that Texas authorities were chomping at the bit to take the place down, given the scale of the operation in response to complaints allegedly made by one person.

But it has all served to reinforce popular stereotypes of the Mormon faith — and that must be causing discomfit in Salt Lake City.

Comments
159 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Wow! What a conversation. So many different views. There’s one interesting fact that no one has mentioned. The last recognized polygamous marriage sanctified by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints happened in 1889. The FLDS church wasn’t organized until 1930. So did these people take 40 years to decide which part of the “Mormon” religion they wanted to believe in? Another interesting thing no one else has mentioned is that The Book of Mormon itself strongly condemns plural marriage (see Jacob 2:27)and clearly teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman. The main question here should be is child abuse or spousal ever appropriate under any circumstances. The leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been condemning child and spousal abuse for many decades. The FLDS church leaders who force women and chidren into such a degrading and evil lifestyle are the only ones at fault in this awful situation. History can’t be blamed for today’s evil.

Posted by Betty | Report as abusive
 

As an Arizona resident, I am exposed to Mormonism all the time. As a high school student I have many Mormon friends. I have (with an open mind, I might add) read the Book of Mormon and parts of the other canon. Does it matter, what specifically people believe in, if it makes them a better person? I think that all religions are all paths to God or whatever you may believe in. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is an institution that betters people. They, or any other religion, should not have to take responsibility for the fringe psychos. As a Non-Mormon, I see Mormonism just as I see any other religion, as a path to God. (I’m a Unitarian Universalist by the way.) So I propose that anybody with some sort of vandetta against Mormonism to keep it to yourself, and those LDS members on here to reply in a way that retains your dignity, your audience, and that of your church. We all have different views of the Divine, but does that make us bad people? Blessed be those who suffered in Texas.

Posted by Ryan | Report as abusive
 

It’s interesting that the surname “Stoddard” is very prominent in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s entirely possible that Mr. Ed is a descendant who has wandered off to tell another tale.

Posted by Steve 45 | Report as abusive
 

While I appreciate that Betty is sincere in her position, I would encourage her to dig a little deeper into the history of the end of polygamy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the beginnings of the several polygamists sects. It was not until 1904 and Joseph F. Smith’s second Manifesto that Mormon leaders really started to crack down on polygamists and to purge the Church of those leaders who still encouraged it. Even then, the issue wasn’t resolved. Most fundamentalist sects trace their beginnings back to the 3rd President of the LDS Church, John Taylor, during the time of the federal raids. It’s some interesting history that can not be simply summarized on a discussion board. I think you’d enjoy learning more about it.

Posted by Alan | Report as abusive
 

The LDS church has an extensive and remarkable PR system. Not only do our 50,000+ missionaries contribute, but the thousands of TV and Radio spots that run daily. Our leaders meet with political presidents, talk-show hosts, and international organizations. Physically, we have 22,000+ meeting houses, 125 temples, and almost 300,000 new converts worldwide every year.

We make the news. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has an awesome presence…..but Reuters ignores it. The reason the LDS church doesn’t make Reuters national news more often is because the church actually obeys civil law and respects the beliefs of others, like the Baptists.

Only negative news makes the news. When Reuters begins reporting on positive contributions made to communities around the nation, the LDS church will begin to make the news every day.

If the media can’t get it right after over 100 years, perhaps there’s little hope they ever will. Even a great PR program can not change rational ignorance. No matter what we do or how we do it, misconceptions will always be out there.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive
 

The article is quite fair, although it strikes me that people will see the Mormon Church the way they want to. I could explain to a KINDERGARTENER that polygamy and the Texas sect have no bearing whatsoever on the mainstream Mormon Church and the lives of its members (aside from having to redress others’ misconceptions), and the kindergartener would understand the FIRST TIME and go on accepting others the way kids do until we teach them otherwise. The Mormon Church abandoned polygamy over a century ago, and a bit of historical research will reveal that none of this wacko sexual abuse was part of the picture then. Since we’re in 2008, you’d think we would profit from our access to information and no longer rely on legends to form our views.

The Mitt Romney presidential bid revealed that we still live in a country full of bigots. Unfortunately, the most intolerant are usually the most outspoken—hence the sensationalism behind the reporting of the Texan sect. In the United States there’s a limit to how much you can spook people out, as there are enough Mormons around to prevent extreme gullibility. Internationally, however, the problem is much worse, and conniving foreigners lick their chops at such a chance to pass intolerance onto their fellow citizens. It’s sheer opportunism. Have we heard this week about the Roman Catholic Church in Germany admitting to its collaboration with the Nazis? What about these extreme Evangelical groups who go around disturbing funerals? Why aren’t people making such a fuss about this, too? That’s precisely my point: people will insist on seeing what they want to.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive
 

I love how this went from being about a discussion about the article to being an argument about the church. Wow…some of your comments are so bigoted and hateful its not even neccesary to respond. Really go and get a life.

Ed Stoddard- I appreciate your article. You forgot to mention a few things and a little bit of a different wording might have helped but it was clear and consice. I as a Mormon appreciate it.

Posted by Sarah | Report as abusive
 

Alan is correct. Just look at Henry B. Eyring’s (LDS Church 1st Counselor) grandfather, Edward Christian Eyring. He married two Romney sisters (sorry for not putting their names up, but polygamy is by definition sexist anyway), one in 1893 and the second in 1903. He had children with both of them after this, and he and both his wives survived into the 1950s. The statement that LDS Church polygamy ended in 1890 is not correct. Just look this information about Eyring up on familysearch.org. LDS Church polygamy really ended (meaning no new polygamous marriages) in the 1900s sometime. The second manifesto really had a more permanent effect than the first, which since it was not strict, is not very significant.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive
 

This conversation became shrill very quickly. That seems to happen in conversations that include the word “polygamy,” at least in our time and culture.

Raping children is reprehensible. It is an ugly, depraved distortion human sexuality, and the marriage bonds that have traditionally protected and nurtured it. It is not the only possible expression of polygamy.

As a group, Americans seem to have a hard time with polygamy. We’re manage to cope with lots of kinds of sex before, outside, and beyond marriage. We can’t get our heads around the fact that there are cultures wherein a man and more than one wife might find a rewarding, satisfying family life. Multiple mistresses, multiple lovers, sex as entertainment, we get. Multiple wifes, not so much. It’s our own myopia and cultural arrogance.

I’m ready to bet a hot fudge sundae that most of those screeching about polygamy don’t have the first idea of what it is they’re condemning. And they aren’t likely to invest much in trying to understand any time soon. Studying humanity can be complex, subtle, interesting, and rewarding. But only if you’re willing to be complex, subtle, interesting, and listening.

Posted by Lance Myler | Report as abusive
 

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have attempted to become more educated about many faiths, although I’m sure I’m still very ignorant about many of them, or perhaps even misunderstand or associate them with things they do not believe. I am not surprised that many misunderstand what it is Latter-day Saints believe, because I am probably guilty of the same in reference to other religions, but I do hope and encourage others to seek out the truth for themselves–that is one of the most vital beliefs of Latter-day Saints. Talk to someone who is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or visit the Church’s official site at lds.org. If I wanted to know what a Roman Catholic believes, I would talk to my grandmother (who is one) and avoid allowing the media, popular notions, or random sites I googled on the internet to tell me what their faith means to them. As a Latter-day Saint, I love my faith and try to respect the faith of others. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. I believe that President Monson is a living prophet today who does indeed receive revelation from God. God has not forgotten us, but lives and still loves all of his children today and wants them to find happiness through modern revelation. I know that each of us can receive answers for ourselves by asking God in faith. It is hard for me to see something so precious to me–my faith–being degraded, whether that be intentionally or in ignorance, so please try to find out what members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe by asking them directly, whether you are a journalist or an individual who is trying to better understand the world around them.

Posted by Michelle Lizon | Report as abusive
 

As a member of the “mainstream” LDS faith I appreciated the intent of this article and felt it was a fair representation of the problem, if a few points could have been added or expounded on. As a follower of Jesus Christ, however, I have been embarrassed by the comments posted here, Mormon and non-Mormon alike. The first and great commandment is to love God and the 2nd, like unto it, to love our neighbors as ourselves. That’s in Matthew folks. There’s been far too little love and respect posted here. Ryan thank you for your post.

On the article’s topic let me just say that the blame for the confusion between the main LDS church and the splinter groups cannot be placed on the media or rival church preachers or any other group solely. If it could, however, it would be with the splinter groups themselves. My husband was born into one of these groups and raised in a second one before JOINING the LDS church. From the LDS perspective they are very different fish. Most of the splinter groups, however, consider themselves to be “Mormons”, even if the more righteous congregations. They will, almost to a person, tell you they are mormons, regardless of whether their beliefs are the same or different, legal or illegal. And each group has it’s own unique concepts and practices, as we’ve disturbingly found out with regards to the FLDS “temple” practices. How are the media or anyone else who hasn’t spent significant time studying the issue supposed to tell the difference? They, like the rest of us, do the best they can and in most cases, they do a reasonable job with a sincere effort to be fair.

Posted by Crystal | Report as abusive
 

Just for clarification- I was speaking of their beliefs, other than polygamy, when I wrote about illegal beliefs. I am well aware that polygamy is illegal under federal and most state statutes. It is the practices such as we’ve heard about this week that I was referring to when stating illegal beliefs.

Posted by Crystal | Report as abusive
 

I’ve read all the comments above and am dismayed.

The original article is crying over the fact that FLDS and LDS are getting confused in the press and the perception in the general public is that Mormon is Mormon. It admonishes people to get the facts.

Well…..I’m not Mormon. I’m Southern Baptist..(no, no..keep reading) and I am taking issue with both the author of the original article & some of the posters for the same reasons.

#1 – We do NOT preach anti-Mormonism in “Sunday School.” We teach the New Testament. It is taught much like a History class….History of the Tribe of Israel.

Go to ANY Southern Bapt. Church, anywhere, stop by the Church Office and ask for a copy of the Children’s literature. I DARE you to find ANYTHING in either the children’s copies or the teacher’s guides to which you would object.

#2 – from one of the posters above –
“The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is often accused by Evangelical pastors of not believing in Christ and, therefore, not being a Christian religion.”

There are only a 3 steps to becoming a Christian, as per Southern Bapt. doctrine.

Believe that Jesus Christ was the ONLY son of God.
Make a Public profession (announcement) of this.
Be baptized by immersion in the name of the Father (God), the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit.

That’s it.

Therefore, if I understand my LDS doctrine correctly, you aren’t Christians, by the SBC definition.

You don’t believe that Jesus was the ONLY son of God
and you don’t believe in the Trinity.

I’m not saying that this makes Mormon’s bad, I’m just saying it makes them “Not Christian.”

I have nothing but the highest respect for the LDS Church. I lived in Wyoming for a time, and came to respect the members of this church and saw 1st hand the good work that it does.

However, Those of you living in Utah have the same problem that Souther Bapt. in Texas have….you don’t know anything else.

It was a revelation (not in the religious way) to me, when, for the 1st time, I lived somewhere that I wasn’t part of the majority.

I didn’t have the shared cultural experiences as my neighbors, nor did we speak the same language, in many cases, as both the SBC and the LDS have their own vocabulary, many times using the same words but with conflicting definitions.

Whenever I would comment on being a minority, upon meeting Mormons, they would say (almost to a man) “See! We don’t have a tail and horns.” Do you guys teach this stuff to your kids? It must be “shared knowledge.” Why else would EVERYONE say the same thing and in almost the same way?

#3 – As for being a cult. I HATE this word. It has too much baggage. Sect isn’t much better (think Muslim Sect). No, I don’t believe that the LDS is a cult, nor do 99% of the people in the SBC, but I’m sure there are some who do.

#4 – If you take such offense to having FLDS tied to LDS, please quit lumping all of us Bapt. into the same pile and those “Fundamentalist” nuts.

Most Bapt. are like most Mormons: a nice bunch of folks, going to Church, raising our families, and trying to be a decent people. WE don’t have time to throw stone at anyone else, we are too busy mowing the lawn & washing the dishes.

If you want tolerance and understanding, practice it. If you don’t want outsiders saying things you feel are either malicious, or at the least, uninformed, bone up a little on your facts about other’s beliefs. And know this…we aren’t out to get you….HONEST.

Posted by L Watson | Report as abusive
 

Thank you Ed Stoddard for bringing to light the persistent misconceptions about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As a member of this church, I appreciate responsible journalism and those who attempt to report about such inflammatory stories fairly and accurately.

One can not help but pity the poor women and children who have been abused by unrighteous men anywhere. I am deeply grateful to the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who repeatedly warn against abuse of any kind and the reporters who bring us news of its occurence. This kind of dialogue needs to be continued.

I am disappointed that this blog has digressed into a cat-fight largely instigated by those who holds animosity or different beliefs than members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These attempts to continue to link the practice of polygamy with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are insulting, but ultimately in vain. Telling members of the Church what they believe is laughable. Mincing words about whether polygamy was effectively disavowed after the first or second Declaration that it was not approved by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is of little value.

Polygamy is not a part of the modern teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and those who make this important distinction in the media should be commended for a job well done.

Posted by DW | Report as abusive
 

Thank you all for your comments. It was interesting to read so many opinions. However, there is no one’s opinion more important to me than MINE! I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church on earth today that contains the WHOLE gospel of Jesus Christ. Others have parts, but not ALL. I am grateful that I went through a period of rebellion and questioning because now I can say that this is MY testimony and no one elses. I love the Savior with all my heart and will be forever grateful to Him for His great gift of the Atonement. It gives me the opportunity to return to live with my Father and Brother once again.

Posted by Amy | Report as abusive
 

This is for “Mormons Are Christian.” Please don’t refer to blogs as articles. There is a huge difference. This is for everybody else. The very fact that this article exists shows that the LDS church has a media problem.
Attacking the motives of the author and the media as a whole is not going to gain members or the LDS church any favor with the media.

The issue is that the LDS church still has a media problem. When people hear about polygamists, they still think “Mormons.” When people hear about temple ceremonies, they will still think about the authorities finding beds in the temple at the YFZ Ranch.

Saying that the LDS church has a media problem is not an attack on the LDS church. It’s just pointing out the obvious. If you travel around the world people have certain beliefs about the LDS church. Why do people take it so personally when somebody points that out?

And further, to point out that the events at the YFZ Ranch are not helping the LDS church is just pointing out the obvious. Nobody is saying they hate Mormons, they’re just saying that their church has a PR problem.

Posted by T-Bone | Report as abusive
 

DW’s main point is very important. Regardless of the LDS’s past with polygamy, it has not been tolerated by the Church for over a century. While it is a more difficult issue than most of us would like to admit, there is no question but that the modern Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seeks to distance itself from its polygamist cousins and there is zero tolerance for the practice.

Posted by Alan | Report as abusive
 

Oh, how I wished I had all day to sort out the confusion people have about my religion (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). First, to answer Paul, you completely misunderstood my comment about Muslims. I said that to compare these polygamists in Texas to members of my Church is just like comparing terrorists to the general body of Muslims- it’s logically absurd. Do you understand now? I wasn’t putting down Muslims in any way; to the contrary, I was defending them from those who hear about a terrorist act in the name of Islam and then assume all Muslims are terrorists. There is no logic or truth or intelligence, frankly, in that. When people associate me and my faith with psycho polygamists groups, it makes me want to set the record straight- these groups have NOTHING to do with us and they haven’t for over a century! Someone commented above that Joseph Smith is evil because one of his “fruits” are these psycho polygamist ranches. GIVE ME A BREAK! This is another prime example of the kind of poor reasoning that drives me crazy! If we were to adopt and follow this kind of reasoning, then we’d have to assume that Jesus Christ himself was evil because of the many criminals that have lived over the centuries who have professed to be Christians and then done terrible things. What about the Crusaders for starters? Were they justified in their actions just because they called themselves Christians? And, does their terrible deeds mean that Jesus Christ is evil since they called themselves Christians? I think we can do better than this, people. I think it’s high time we all opened our minds a bit and were a little bit slower to damn the whole world just because the whole world believes a bit differently than us… If anyone would like to continue a private conversation, please email me at: anzianohansen@yahoo.com. I don’t have time to sort out but one confused person at a time I’m afraid…there’s just way too many people that have misconceptions about my faith, and it doesn’t help when there are people out there doing whatever they can to fight against our Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you believe that the teachings and work of Joseph Smith have even an ounce of evil in them, or even if you do not believe that he was actually a Prophet of God, but you’re curious to hear why 13 million highly educated people do (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are more educated on average than any other people under the sun except for Jewish people), email me and I’ll try to explain my position.

Posted by Shaun | Report as abusive
 

One other comment/response to those that say Joseph Smith was evil because these psycho polygamist sects exist today: These cults are NOT MORMON- their ancestors were EXCOMMUNICATED from our faith a century ago. A careful read of the Bible indicates that when a people rebel against God OR his true servants, instead of a blessing, they receive a cursing. Think about what happened to the Jewish nation shortly after their general rejection of Christ himself. Think about the destiny of the Roman empire after it had perverted Christianity. The same fate awaits those who pervert Mormonism, which is nothing but 1st Century Christianity restored to the earth through Christ himself. These polygamist sects are among the most cursed people on the face of the planet. Why? Because they rejected a true Prophet of God. Jesus Christ ended polygamy long ago, and he directed this to occur through his Prophet. Those who rebelled against this Prophet rebelled against the Lord and therefore they have been cursed and dwindled in unbelief and they have been lead by Satan astray and even to the commission of the abuses and crimes that we are witnessing now. The fact that these groups exist actually ADDS evidence to the idea that True Prophets have lead the main body of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the beginning. When people listen to their counsel (and not to the counsel of of breakaway apostate psycho false prophets), they are blessed exceedingly. Look at the statistics at adherents.com to see how blessed the main body of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is today. The active members of our Church statistically are among the happiest, healthiest, most educated, most prosperous, and most religious people on the face of the earth. [A multitude of studies have shown that as people tend to get more education, they tend to become less religious. Only with regard to the Mormons is this untrue. As we get educated, we become MORE religious, active, and steadfast in our faith. Why, because truth is truth- and it "tastes" like truth whether it is arrived at scientifically or whether it is given directly to us from God through the power of the Holy Ghost.]

Posted by Shaun | Report as abusive
 

One more thing and then that’s it unless someone emails me (anzianohansen@yahoo.com): I’m weary of people calling members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints racists. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. People distort and take out of context what Joseph Smith and other said regarding race, but the reality is, we as a Church were anti-slavery before it was popular in the North prior to the Civil War! Check the history books. Joseph Smith prophesied, and I quote, that the black people of America would soon “take the shine off the shoes [of those they now serve as slaves]” because of their intelligence, ability to work hard, and their strong faith in the Lord. Joseph Smith prophesied exactly where and when the Civil War would begin and he stated that it would start over the slave question, he himself having always supported complete abolition from the beginning and warned the United States of impending destruction because of their gross sins against eachother including against the black race. It’s ironic that some of the fiercest opposition the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints receives is from Baptist Preachers from the “Bible Belt,” many of whose grandfathers were slave and plantation owners. Rather than listening to these “Christians” who will preach to you for your money, if you want to know what our Church believes about African Americans or the black race in general, you should ask one of the hundreds of thousands of them in our Church; more people are joining our Church of the African or black race than just about any other, and they now hold high positions within our Church, including positions of Bishop, Stake President, Area Authority, and General Authority. Joseph Smith taught from the Book of Mormon which teaches that all men are created equal.

Posted by Shaun | Report as abusive
 

In 1847, in Winter Quarters Nebraska (a Mormon town at that time) was the location where Mormons coming from the eastern United States, and from Europe, would stop and camp for the Winter. Once spring came they would load up their hand-carts and cross the Great Plains on their way to the Salt Lake Valley in what later became Utah. Tens of thousands of Mormons made this trip. In 1847, in Winter Quarters, a half-black/half-Native American Mormon Elder named William McCary seduced a number of white Mormon women, claiming he was an “Indian Prophet”, and that he was Adam and Peter reincarnated, and telling each of the white Mormon women they were Eve reincarnated. He became known as “Black Pete”. He was soon excommunicated. At that time “amalgamation” between the white and black races was considered by just about all white Americans (including white Mormons) as an abomination before the LORD, and the reason why the LORD destroyed the world via the Great Flood of Noah.Soon after the “Black Pete” affair, Brigham Young reversed himself and accepted the “Curse of Cain Doctrine” (Negroes are the children of Cain and inherit the mark of Cain) and the “Less Valiant Doctrine” (Negroes were less valiant in the War in Heaven and as punishment were born Negroes) of the Pratt brothers. All Black Mormon males were banned from the Priesthood (except for Eljah Abel and his descendants), and all Black Mormons were “banned” from Mormon Temples. This “ban” lasted until June 8th, 1978. The “ban” on receiving the Priesthood and in receiving the Higher Ordinances (Endowments and Sealings) in Mormon Temples is known as “The Priesthood-Ban Policy”. Together, the Curse of Cain Doctrine and the Priesthood-ban Policy is referred to as “The Curse of Cain Legacy”.

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive
 

Shaun, I understand what you are saying and you make a good PR rep for your church, but how do you get around the fact that blacks were denied the priesthood until the late 1970′s? I still see no black faces in the Tabernacle Choir or on the stage during General Conference.

The plain truth is that people in areas where the internet is not available (not just Africa) are the only places that the LDS faith is still having positive growth. Also, the 13 million members that the LDS church claims includes any member who has ever been baptized and counts them up until the 110th anniversary of their birth, whether they are dead or alive. In other words, the LDS church counts dead people as live, active members in order to bolster its numbers and seem larger than it really is.

Not to mention the poor retention rates in Mexico. There is enormous disparity between the numbers the LDS church claims and those who claim the faith when the census rolls around.

There is a pattern of ongoing dishonesty. Why would a church need to spend so much time trying to pretend not to be racist if they did not have a history of racial discrimination. Up until the late 1970s, black members had to have white members perform all ordinance in their place. In other words, a black man had to let a white man bless his children, pass him the sacrament, and perform marriages for black/black couples.

Obfuscation does not clear up the PR problem. It just makes Mormons look worse.

And for the others who attack the press for reporting on the LDS church’s PR problem, here’s a hint: It doesn’t help you look more mainstream when you do that.

Posted by T-Bone | Report as abusive
 

Some people get it and some people are blinded by their own assumptions.

As a Mormon, I cringe at hearing the crimes committed at YFZ camp/community. Child abuse in any form is intolerable amongst all people.

Let our prayers be for those who suffer, in Texas and any other part of the world.

Now go serve your neighbor as you would serve God.

 

First of all, you CANNOT separate the ‘fundamentalist’ Mormons from the mainstream LDS church. What they practice is closer to the true’ church than the mainstreams practices.

A previous comment stated:
“These people in Texas are in no way akin to the actual Mormons, nor does their style of polygamy in any way resemble the polygamy of the 1800’s Mormon church.”

I suggest this reader bypass the constant ‘advice’ of their church leaders to “avoid anti-Mormon writings” and actually learn what their church is REALLY all about. ‘Anti-Mormons’ can lead you back to your own LDS website, doctrines, writings and comments from church leaders that will enlighten the average LDS member who practices the same ‘obedience’ required of the FLDS. Read you church writings, listen to you leaders, and note how many times the word ‘OBEDIENCE’ comes up. Then take a tally of how many people have been disciplined or excommunicated when they did not OBEY.

As for the Texas cult not in any way resembling the church of the 1800′s…PULEEEEEZE!!!

Look Joseph Smith’s family line up on your own familysearch.com genealogy website and count his wives. Then go do a search of the wives of Joseph Smith and read their journals, acknowledged by the church as part of their history.

Helen Mar Kimball, a 14 year old LITTLE GIRL and one of Joseph’s ‘wives’, was ‘given’ to Joseph by her father essentially as a trade off because Joseph wanted Kimball’s wife. Kimball couldn’t bring himself to give Joseph his wife so the couple sacrificed their 14 year old daughter instead. Joseph Smith was, and there is documented PROOF, an adulterer, a pedophile, a fraud. It is all in their own church history.

Joseph was the original Warren Jeff’s and the LDS church still sustains him as a prophet and defends every slimy thing he did, hides the truth of it’s history from it’s members, lies about everything from it’s history to it’s finances to it’s membership (12 million MY EYE!!!). That number includes all the inactive members, members who have walked away from it’s lies, the member’s it refuses to take off of it’s rolls without a battle and most despicably, uses numbers from third world countries where they baptized people who have no clue what they are getting into and most never really get involved beyond the baptism. But they still count in the eyes of the church so they can continue to propagate the myth that it is the fastest growing church. Total BS and PR spin. And yes, there is plenty of PROOF of this for anyone who cares to really investigate.

Of course, most practicing LDS members refuse to do just that and continue to chant “I KNOW that the church is true, I KNOW that Joseph Smith was a prophet…” just as they all have been taught to do without question since they were old enough to talk. Nope, no ‘cult’ here.

Read the Young Women’s manual on the LDS site where you will find the quote ” you will learn to OBEY your Bishop…” This church may not be AS abusive as the FLDS, but they are not far behind. Members are pounded constantly with instructions to OBEY the Priesthood holders, and let’s not forget the famous Dallin Oaks quote…”It is not right to criticize the leaders of the church, even if the criticism is true.” And before any indignant LDS members start going off with the rote reply that it was taken out of context in the PBS interview, the entire transcript IN context is available on their site. YES HE DID MEAN EXACTLY WHAT HE SAID!

The LDS church is as corrupt and controlling as they come. The only real difference is that while the leaders of the polygamous sects are religious fanatics and their corruption and abuse stems from that, the LDS leaders are in it for the money and conform to society because it allows them keep their scheme going. They control the churches purse strings and sit pretty while their ‘flock’ becomes addicted to anti-depressants to cope with their cognitive dissonance and repeatedly wins Utah the honor as the state with the highest use of antidepressant drugs. Who needs alcohol, cigarettes and sex when you are in an antidepressant fog!

And lastly, for anyone who still believes that the LDS is not a HARMFUL ‘cult’, look near your local high schools and count how many LDS churches are situated nearby so that they can coax our youth into their cult. Then take a look at what these same youth endure in the name of God when they are sent on those all important missions here:
http://www.lds4u.com/Missionaries/rules. htm

Look up the guidelines for cult behavior and compare it with this list. RESEARCH what the church is REALLY all about. And whatever you do, DON’T ask a MEMBER of the LDS church, they are the last ones who know or will ADMIT what their church really is. The robot response is all the same, as taught to them day in and day out. Unfortunately, those doing the teaching are just as clueless ( or are corrupt). The blind lead the blind in this church and anyone who takes the blinders off and does any honest research leaves. And if you don’t believe that members are leaving in droves, just read a newspaper article or two about the recent General Conference and Monson’s pleas for former members to come back and make a note of how many LDS commercials, billboards and other PR items infiltrate your consciousness each day in a desperate attempt to increase membership.

Pray, pay and obey…NO WAY!!!
The LDS church is just the FLDS church in a prettier package with less actual physical abuse. But, abuse is abuse, and spiritual abuse is JUST as destructive and that IS a big part of the LDS church. And, the LDS is just one wacky revelation away from being back into polygamy themselves. I suspect they are not worried though, because deep down they know there really are no ‘true’ revelations and the odds of prophet with his $3,000.000 suits and sparkly limo and swanky digs to lose having one that will land him behind bars is slim.

Any way you look at it, Joseph Smith was a liar and a fraud and was NOT a prophet and the ‘church’ is not true. If the ‘burning in your bosom’ has you convinced otherwise, I suggest you seek counseling (somewhere OTHER than through your Bishop!).

Joseph started what the FLDS in Texas are continuing, and if you support Joseph Smith’s actions you support theirs. On the other hand, if you condemn what is happening in Texas, you should rethink your alliance to the church and the ‘prophet/con artist’ that created it.

Posted by Laurel | Report as abusive
 

Wasn’t polygamy used by original LDS for the purpose of increasing membership? Perhaps this group is a spin off of LDS the way LDS is a spin off from traditional Christian faith. All religions are spin offs of others unless we go all the way back to the first witch doctor. This group takes a que from it’s mother faith that did the same thing the difference being that now it’s unlawful.

 

Quote from Shaun

“If you believe that the teachings and work of Joseph Smith have even an ounce of evil in them, or even if you do not believe that he was actually a Prophet of God, but you’re curious to hear why 13 million highly educated people do (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are more educated on average than any other people under the sun except for Jewish people), email me and I’ll try to explain my position.”

And you wonder why people judge you and the church you represent? Oh, no, your church does not consider itself ‘superior’…LMAO Where did you hear that, from the same liars who hide church history from it’s own members? What happened to the church teachings that say all people are equal in God’s eyes? Give me a break! Are there intelligent LDS members? Certainly. Apparently you ignore the intellectuals who are non-LDS just as your leaders command. Open your mind. The world is full of information…TRUE information, and intelligent people who disagree with Orson Pratt’s spirit veggies and Brigham Young’s Quakers on the moon. Excuse me while I suit up and “Hie To Kolob”. *eyeroll*

Posted by Laurel | Report as abusive
 

I thought it was a little strange that the police in Texas used buses supplied by the Baptist church when they raided the compound. The raid was appropriate from what I’ve read, but I wonder how Baptists would have felt if they saw buses labeled “Mormon Church” hauling away members of their faith. The police should have used school buses or buses from a private firm.

Posted by In Virginia | Report as abusive
 

For L. Watson:

I appreciate your understanding from a Southern Baptist perspective. Granted, in my encounters with Evangelical denominations, I cannot quite believe that 99% of them wouldn’t refer to the LDS Church as a “cult.” But you’ve hit it right on the nose when you note that “cult” is a word thrown around far too easily for its emotional content.

I wish to pose a couple of MAJOR corrections to your understanding of Mormonism. (To those who will surely jump all over me, I refer you to my previous posting, made at 5:11am GMT on April 11.) In fact, according to your SBC requirements for being a Christian, Mormons seem to fit all three—if only one is willing to admit it.

1. Mormons DO believe in the Trinity. I am an Italian and Spanish-speaking Mormon, and in order to refer to what English-speaking Mormons commonly call “the Godhead,” we use the term “la Trinità” or “la Trinidad.” Both terms refer to exactly the same thing. NOW, if the SBC requirement is to believe in the Trinity AS DEFINED BY THE NICENE CREED, then yes there are some differences. However, the SBC ought to be careful in saying this because the Nicene Creed is non-Biblical, and it’s my understanding that the SBC claims the Bible as its sole source of spiritual authority.

2. Mormons, too, publicly confess their acceptance of Christ. First, they do this when they are baptized by immersion in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. In addition, Mormons make a public profession of their faith in monthly worship services known as fast and testimony meetings. Granted, the latter is not to be confused with the highly personal process of being “born again,” a doctrine in which Mormons believe firmly. NOW, if by public profession you mean THE “Sinner’s Prayer” as shared by many Evangelicals, then I would caution you again on the non-Biblical factor.

3. Mormons DO believe that Jesus Christ was the “only begotten Son” of God (see esp. John’s writings) but also acknowledge God as “our Father in Heaven” (see esp. the New Testament) and hence believe that we are spiritually “the children of God” (see esp. Paul’s letter to the Romans.) If by the “ONLY Son” of God you refer to the purported belief that Mormons believe Satan to be the brother of Christ, that’s a misleading notion meant only to scare people. As a matter of logic, we believe God to be the creator of all things (through his Son) and hence also the creator of all of us. Yes, one may extend it to mean that God also created that “son of the morning” that fell from heaven (see Isaiah’s writings), but to infer that Mormons somehow put Satan on the same level as Jesus is simply deceitful. (But perhaps we’re getting too much into theology for a Reuters blog.)

Again, thank you for your posting and your kindly disposition. Shouldn’t we try to see these things in each other rather than insisting on being polar opposites?

Respectfully yours,

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive
 

As man is god once was. As god is man shall become.

I wonder who said that?

…..Adam the Archangel the Ancient of days……..the only god with which we have to do ….

I wonder who said that?

In D&C god commands Joe Smith to take plural wives and for Emma to put up with it.

Guess God (or Gods) does (do) change his (their) minds?

Must have been a liberal in his soul. Changes doctrine to fit the times. I guess god is really a changeable god.

Good old Joe – I think the Texas cult is a lot closer to the original concept of Mormonism than that of the mainstream cult headquartered out of Utah.

But hey, this is America! And fortunately this is not another Waco.

Posted by drahme | Report as abusive
 

The LDS church does not have a problem; modern-day Pharisees (self-righteous Christians)do. It is so typical of you ignorant Americans to demonize anything you don’t understand. But “woe unto those who call evil good and good evil.”

Posted by The Ephraimite | Report as abusive
 

Wow, some people bearing false witness against Mormons. Like that’s new.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive
 

Uh-oh. Looks like that Abraham guy from the bible had a bunch of wives and concubines. I guess this whole christian religion is a sham because of polygamy. Lets just all go home and convert to something else.

I can’t believe how narrow minded we all are. We post on these blogs so matter of factly that we know who God is and How we should worship him yet we all disagree. We think we know where God has drawn the line.

He must be looking down on us completely appalled by our stubborness because we only believe what we want to and what our relatively useless minds restrict Him with. Maybe we should all shut our mouths, read the word, and pray with an honest heart for once. How many of us when we pray are really willing to change our own beliefs IF God told us otherwise? Very few, that is why God doesn’t tell so many of us what is true. We all think we know better than Him. After all, we have all read the Bible.

 

Having been raised a polygamist from birth, later converted to the LDS faith, and raised arround many friends of other faiths I hope I can help a little in this conversation.

Let me clarify a couple of things.

First – The LDS faith does indeed NOT practice poligamy anymore, it has been out of such ways of life for some time.

Second – The LDS church like the baptist churches and other good Christain faiths teach faith in Christ, moral character and upstanding ways of living.

Third – The definition of God the father and the son and the holy ghost being the same person in body and substance as put forth by the council of Nicea we do deny. We worship God as our father, Jesus as his son and the only way to salvation, and the holy Ghost, three distinct people. Our faith in Christ as Christians is no more controlled by our acceptance of some councils decision on what God is than any of your faiths are based on the decision of other men or women. It is a personal relationship. Acusing someone of not being Christian because they do not follow exactly how another religion follows Christ is Religious persecution.

Fourth – Poligamist churches are good and bad, I have seen both. I have seen where they are kind loving and have great lives, work well together, and have a blast. I have alos seen where they are twisted and power hungry or stupid becuase of blind ignorance. Just like anyone else in the world can be except in concentration. So is it wrong to be a poligamist, sure it is, it is against the law. Is it wrong for someone in another country to live such? NO it is not. If that were the case then Abraham and many of the other prophets in the old testament would be doomed.

Fifth – Truth is, it can not be created or destroyed, only forgotten. Either God is or he is Not, either we are or are not, and there is life after death or not. If you want to know the Truth start talking to the author.

Posted by Eric Peterson | Report as abusive
 

Finally a note on the different factions.

They are and never will be unless they actually agree to be a part of each other.

If I have a car garage and hire a bunch of guys to work for me, they get pissed at how I do things and go make their own Garage, the only thing in common is the fact that they once worked for me and some of their workmanship may be similar, but they are NOT a part of my company.

This is the same thing when it comes to religion, someone does not like how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does something, they LEAVE the church or are kicked out, and go off and start their own church. The difference IS the same.

Posted by Eric Peterson | Report as abusive
 

To Joel,

AMEN, brother.

Posted by Crystal | Report as abusive
 

I am a Mormon (LDS, not FLDS). Thank you for this article. Many journalists have been very lazy about distinguishing between the 13 million LDS “Mormons” and the FLDS.

Posted by Travis | Report as abusive
 

Reading all those comments in this article make me weary and sad, cause 1 man made a very grave mistake by claiming that 1 man must have more than 1 wife to become a G-D. This was pure evil and evelish, causen everywhere in the world where they practise this custom, it creates misery. Read it for yourselves in the Olde Testament (Bible). It sturred things things up between the son of Sarah (1st wife of Abraham) and the son of her maid (2nd wife), Ishmael, who became the father of all Arab Nations.

Posted by amj2008 | Report as abusive
 

Ten years ago I became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was a decision I made after much prayer, much fasting, and much soul searching. There was no pressure for me to do so, it was a choice freely made, and one I have never regretted for a moment. My decision came after many years of disillusionment over religion in general, and the faith of my childhood in particular.

You see, I was raised Southern Baptist. Not just raised, but fairly surrounded by it. My uncle was a Southern Baptist preacher, as is one of his sons today. My father is a lay minister in the Missionary Baptist Church. You will find the names of my ancestors among the founders of the American Baptist Council. You could say my family history is very much aligned with that of the Baptist faith in America and you would be correct.

Yet the way the various Baptist sects (yes, sects) rail against each other is exactly what turned me away from religion for most of my life. “Don’t believe what those heathens at the First Baptist Church teach, they’re all wrong. We here at the Second Baptist Church have it all right.” “Brethren and sisters, pray for the souls of those poor, deluded Second Baptists that someday they may see the light and join the First Baptist Church.” Not to mention the Calvary Baptist Church, the Antioch Baptist Church, the Mount Carmel Baptist Church, or the literally hundreds of different churches of the dozens of different Baptist associations, all of whom consider themselves the only “true” Baptist church. Let’s not even get started over how they feel about Lutherans, Catholics, Prebyterians, Methodists, Muslims, Buddhists, Mormons, or any other “heathen” religion. I got so sick and tired of seeing men (and women) who were cursing, adultering, backstabbing, blaspheming scum Monday through Saturday all of a sudden become shining examples of the best church members ever on Sunday when they slipped that $500 “donation” into the plate. Those elder’s seats up front don’t come cheap, after all. Sunday services were more of an “old boys association” gathering than worship. The hypocrisy of it all sickened me to the point were going to church on Sunday was more trial than it was worth. Glorification was going on, but I’m not totally sure it was God being glorified.

One of the many things that helped make my decision to become LDS is something in what is called The Articles of Faith. It’s something I have always believed to be true, something that is one of my deepest principles of faith. It says “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may” (A of F 11). Oddly this is something that all too many people seem to be unable to comprehend. This simple concept is what was lacking in the faith of my forebears, of my childhood, and is what ultimately drove me away.

Did I have questions and reservations about the LDS faith? Yes, I did, particularly regarding the practice of plural marriage. But rather than making unwarranted assumptions based on mass media hysteria I actually took the time to research and study the practice, why it came to be and why it was done away with. It had everything to do with providing for women and children who had lost husbands and fathers, who had nobody to provide for them and NOTHING AT ALL to do with anything perverted, or with political expediency. When there was no longer a need, the practice was abolished. As simple as that. Those people in Texas are not, and never have been Mormon, no matter the name they call themselves by. They have as much connection to the LDS faith as cheese does to a car’s gas mileage. In other words, NONE.

(The fact that this is happening in Texas makes me more angry than any contrived connection to my faith. I also happen to be a Texan, even though I don’t live there right now.)

Here’s food for thought for the anti-Mormons posting here: how many of YOUR churches have had literal extermination orders issued against them by the government? How many of YOUR families were forced out of their cities by armed mobs, chased from their homes at gun- and sword-point? How many of them were sent into the bitter winter snow and ice with no shoes, no coats, no blankets, no tents, no food, no hope? That is part and parcel of the history of the LDS heritage. Oddly enough, I can only think of one other religious group that’s been treated the same way…

Posted by Barry | Report as abusive
 

Who ever said Reuters was an honest news authority?

“Mormons have a Fundamental PR problem” accompanied with a picture of Warren Jeffs? Wow, that must have really made Ed Stoddard happy. A little jab here, a little sarcasm there…forgetting that he continues to ‘play’ the same old warped record over and over again. Gasp! We didn’t know there were some in the MSM who can’t seem to rise above their own personal bigotry?

As for all the comments, it’s clear that many people who think they are learning from ‘intelligent and qualified researchers’ have been completely duped (i.e. Laurel).

The only way to find out if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true is by reading the scriptures, praying and striving to live the commandments. Basically, it is the same requirement that faithful disciples of Christ have come to know is a necessary pathway to follow in order to come to a knowledge of Christ. These requirements still remain true today.

If you don’t believe in the Holy Ghost and revelation, yet expect an ‘answer’ from above, you are fighting a losing battle. You simply can’t have it both ways. And to deny that people today can receive an answer (personal revelation) sort of makes a search for spiritual truth an impossible feat. Faith is the first principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In order to get an answer, you have to have faith that you will receive an answer. And yes, there are millions and millions who have received personal revelation today.

I don’t have the time to find the blogger’s name who claimed he was a Baptist and yet he denied being taught that the LDS faith was a cult. Go to the ‘Baptist Press’ website where they can enlighten you further. They, (the SBC), claim the LDS faith is a cult (yes, it’s 2008 and the SBC still holds onto this myth) rather than cite the OT and NT scriptures that LDS faithful believe in which support their beliefs (i.e. the Godhead) of three separate and distinct individuals… very different from the ‘trinity’ version of God which is a man-made doctrine.

Constantine was not a prophet, and as far as I know, he never claimed to be one. Obviously, God never revealed himself to Constantine. We wouldn’t have the confusion about the ‘nature of God’ we have today IF God had chosen Constantine as his prophet. If one has to sit around and gather everyone elses’ IDEA of God in order to make a proclamation about a God you’ve never seen or heard, well…….then you see how so many today have been misled. You see the actual ‘fruits’ that Paul and many others spoke of – that there was going to be a great apostasy. We have to acknowledge Stephen’s testimony of the resurrected Christ, standing separate and distinct from God the Father. (Acts 7:55,56). So, the LDS faith is the only Christian faith out there which makes this same claim today – like Stephen and many others who actually SAW. All prophets in the past have claimed to have seen God (Moses and others spoke to God face to face). So, in all honesty, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does indeed revere prophets and modern-day revelation. Sounds like this church IS really onto something!

For those who are worried that all LDS members will have to accept polygamy in the hereafter, well, we also believe in free-agency. As far as I know, not all the prophets in the Bible practiced polygamy, the Lord has brought that principle back when he has determined it was necessary. None of us can change that simple fact, and we needn’t worry ourselves over a decision we have the ‘freedom of choice’ to make if indeed, we are ever faced with that choice at some future time.

 

This is an interesting public relations program for the largest Mormon organization – the one located in Salt Lake City. Fundamentalist Mormons, such as Warren Jeffs, follow more closely the teachings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young than the Salt Lake version of Mormonism.

We have an active web site that your readers may be interested in. We help people recover from being a Mormon. We have stories of those who grew up in polygamist compounds plus stories and posts from many thousands of Salt Lake Mormons who have left their religion. Visit Recovery from Mormonism – http://www.exmormon.org

Posted by Eric Kettunen | Report as abusive
 

I JUST WISH THAT THE CHURCH WOULD CHANGE ITS NAME TO “THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST” INSTEAD OF ADD TO “OF THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS” AS IT CAUSE TOO MUCH PROBLEMS TO EVERYONE AND TOO CONFUSED AND LOTS OF MISUNDERSTANDS. IF WE CHANGE THAT NAME FOR CHURCH IT MAY HELP TO RESOLVE ALL THE CONFUSIONS. IT IS JUST MY FEELINGS..

SHELLY

Posted by SHELLY | Report as abusive
 

Well, there’s not much talk about all those poor little raped girls, I notice.

I’m sure the religious debate is much more important?

No wonder church attendance figures are down and most clear-headed and logically thinking people have left your false relgious institutions in droves.

Get your priorities right, people!

What are you going to do about the poor 16 year old girl with FOUR children who was found in Texas?

That is utterly disgusting and proves that young American females are clearly at risk from religious fanaticism…they fare no better in the US than they do in Afghantistan under the reign of the Taliban in circumstances such as these.

The lack of concern for thier welfare is utterly sickening.

Posted by kc | Report as abusive
 

The fact Mormonism was officially a racist organisation until 30 or so years ago demonstrates their problems. They’ve had to change their polygamy and racist views to conform with moral norms, ie. the original religion was immoral. New religions take time to invent their made up rules, just like Christianity generally when the Council of Nicea it as decided Jesus must have been divine

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive
 

Here is the official statement from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about this issue:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OqdOM9ud v4

‘Nuff said.

Posted by AnnieB | Report as abusive
 

Anyway, I believe it is right to wake up the world in this conflict of justice, when traitors and tyrants martyred Joseph Smith they thought that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was a mortal creation and that it would die with Joseph Smith, but the Church isn’t a mortal creation and therefore it lives today as God’s kingdom and as a testimony of the divinity of God, we can all question and ridicule the Church for whatever purpose, but in time traitors and tyrants will cease to speak these words of condemnation, The Church will long outlive the traitors and tyrants of today just as it did from its humble beginnings, this is the will of God, however hard people try to condemn His words the simple truth is that His Church his here until He sees it necessary to be here. Of course, Jesus Christ was looked upon as a liar and reviled by man, oh how history repeats itself. I invite everyone everywhere come learn of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so that the Lord may extend your understanding and pour out blessings upon you, the best place to start is http://www.mormon.org, I promise with a sincere heart this is the way God has designed for you in these last and most troublesome days, listen to the guidance of the latter-day prophets. Thank you, may god bless you.

Posted by Paul Thomson | Report as abusive
 

I wish these so-called mainstream Mormons would stop spreading their mistruths about a religion founded on lies and misinterpretation…A man called himself a prophet and added a book to the Bible and made up a new religion…Oh Gee, that is so cool— I should call myself a prophet and acquire tax-exempt status and preach whatever I choose— incest, rape, polygamy, intimidation of women and children, or whatever else I create…How sad…Mormons hate the truth—they hate to be called the cultists they really are —they are only one or two steps above scientology!

Posted by Adam Grant | Report as abusive
 

Polygamy is never to be a matter of intervention bythe state or indeed considered any business of the state. It is a matter for the individuals involved. Child abuse is altogether a different matter. However that is a complicated issue for the church as well, indeed any church that seeks to teach acceptance of ways in defiance of sanity and basics tenets of moral reason.

 

Adam Grant spewed, “I wish these so-called mainstream Mormons would stop spreading their mistruths about a religion founded on lies and misinterpretation…”

Adam, it is not the mainstream Mormons who are spreading misinformation. There are professional organizations, entire ministries, volumes of work and ministers of deceit who do that against us. The very little (relatively) that is done to answer it goes virtually ignored by the “countercultists”. It is a serious form of intellectual dishonesty and one that Carl Mosser and Paul Owen (two Evangelical scholars) acknowledged and criticized heavily.

It is not the Mormons Paul, who have to distort our teachings to make them appear as weird as possible. It is not the Mormons who must quote out of context, or simply make quotes up out of thin air to lie about our beliefs. It is not the Mormons who pour over second or third hand sources, dated well over one hundred years ago, to attempt to find any morsel with which they can make the church look bad. It is not the Mormons Paul, who have completely ignored the vast body of impressive evidence which indicates that the Book of Mormon is an ancient Semitic work.

No, it’s not the Mormons spreading misinformation. It is the modern day Pharisees and Scribes who work in darkness.

Is it okay if I believe what I believe without others trying to define my beliefs for me? And if I happen to invite you to consider my beliefs, please don’t be offended. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t ask. All you have to do is to say, “No”.

Posted by Don | Report as abusive
 

Don’t you think your all missing something? I don’t know what you believe but I believe Jesus paid with his life for my sin, present, past, future. He has paid the debt. If you want to know him seek him. He waits for you to knock at the door or ask to know him. Why is the world inventing all these human religions. What good are they you will never keep the rules? Their is a freedom worth knowing, a love worth recieving. Break your chains ask seek check out http://www.ucb.com or http://www.maranatha-exeter.org know the right shepard. Its jesus! Not a set of rules! You won’t ever keep them all! God Loves you just believe jesus wants to know you, and loves you where you are right now. then pick up a basic bible, nothing thats been altered to suit a false truth.(Manmade)!Then ask god to help you understand the words in it and show you the truth. Start at the Gospels. God Bless you! If you read this God is waiting to love you. Its not complicated, Not rule orientated. “Their is no greater love than this, to give your life for a friend.” Christ jesus did that for you. He was raised from death. Hes god! Believe That! If you don’t you don’t know the truth! Ask him to show you? What can you lose! The world doesnt hold any answears. It won’t set you free just pull you down. Love from a follower Of Christ! Hes my saviour and I love him, Why? He died when I should of!

 

As a Latter-day Saint it often puzzles me why so many so-called Christians would preach or promote anything contrary to that of love and tolerance and respect for all people, regardless of their religion or race. At church we preach about the apostacy (or falling away from truth), which happened at the death of the original 12 disciples. We also discuss the restoration of those same truths to Joseph Smith, through devine revelation. Not once do we say anything negative about any other religion, only that they have not recieved the fullness of the gospel as taught in the LDS church.
We praise the reformers for their desire to seek the truth and their commitment to the Lord and ask all those who profess to follow Christ to open their hearts to the gospel message we share and seek to find out if it is true for themselves. I have done this and have found the everlasting gospel of the Lord and know that it provides the only true path back to the presence of our Father. It is a path of love for one another and joy in serving the Lord.

Posted by Aidan | Report as abusive
 

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