Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Lapsed Mormon Unloads On Mitt Romney

For all the talk about dirty tricks this season, one of the more questionable (and curious) came at a news conference Monday far from the campaign trail. At a news conference at the sleepy National Press Club in Washington, a no-name college classmate of Mitt Romney hawked his "open letter" to Romney titled "Mitt, Set Our People Free!"

A lapsed Mormon, Michael Moody mocked his former religion (in very nasty terms) and declared Romney unfit for the presidency because of what he sees as the Mormon former Massachusetts governor's biggest conflict: his "blood oath" to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

And then came the "C" word: "The great American cult," Moody said, characterizing the religion founded by Joseph Smith, a prophet to Mormons.

"Many of you are from the East Coast and you don't know a lot about Mormonism," Moody said to the roomful of about a dozen reporters and four photographers who clearly had nothing better to do, what with 75 percent of their colleagues from the Fourth Estate (truly a "C" word organization) in New Hampshire to cover Tuesday's primary.

So, even as he went on and on (and on) trampling the tenets of Mormonism, Moody omitted references (too obscure for his East Coast audience) to the angel Moroni, who led Smith, the prophet, to a set of golden plates in 1827 written in an unknown language -- and then to the seer-stones Urim and Thummim, which translated the ancient language to the epic Book of Mormon.

Instead, Moody spoke in more dumbed-down terms of how Mormons are beholden to living prophets, such as Gordon Hinckley, who can tip them off to the Second Coming. "The Mormon prophet -- he is the man," Moody said, adding that "they" -- the Mormons -- are "waiting for Hinckley to tell 'em: 'Let's go to Missouri and knock it off with an Osmond concert and build the new Jerusalem."

The seemingly embittered former Mormon claims he and Romney were members of the Cougar Club together at Brigham Young University, where he saw Romney give the valedictorian speech at their 1971 graduation ceremony. There was "great buzz" on campus about young Mitt one day running for president, he said. Romney's view, he claims, was "If not me, then who?"

One of his main problems with Romney becoming president is that Romney, if he follows the teachings of his faith, "believes he's going to become a God some day."

Oh, but goodness, don't think that Moody's trashing of Romney is personal or anything. "I'm not trying to hurt Mitt Romney," he said, (unconvincingly).

Romney's campaign didn't acknowledge whether Romney remembers Moody. But Romney campaign spokesman Kevin Madden pointed the Sleuth to Romney's Dec. 6 JFKesque assertion in his speech titled "Faith in America": "Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, within the province of church affairs, and it ends where the affairs of the nation begin."

"Governor Romney's address was a soaring tribute to the grand tradition of religious liberty in our country," Madden tells us. "Those interested in divisive tactics involving the faith of fellow Americans should read it."

Moody claims he has "no affiliation" with any other GOP presidential candidate and hasn't decided who he'll support for president. An eight-page summary of "Mitt, Set Our People Free!" mentions former GOP Arkansas Mike Huckabee's name twice, and defends the Huckster for catching "flack" for asking Romney whether Mormons believe Jesus and Lucifer were brothers.

For what it's worth, Mike Moody can answer that question: "They do believe that Lucifer and Jesus are brothers."

(And also for what, if anything, it's worth, he doesn't have as many issues with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who is also a Mormon, because Reid was a convert to Mormonism and, therefore, in Moody's estimation, "not a cultural Mormon." Moody, a resident of Las Vegas, added: "He doesn't wear it on his sleeve." )

By Mary Ann Akers  |  January 7, 2008; 5:36 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Ed Rollins: More Dirty Tricks
Next: Mystery: What Was Clinton Lugging Around This Morning?

Comments

There's a saying in the Mormon church that largely holds true. It certainly does with this weird Michael Moody. "People can leave the (LDS) Church, but they can't leave it alone."

Anyone can make anyone's beliefs look funny or even evil. Michael Moody just sounds "moody"!

Posted by: diligentdave | January 7, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

There are many misunderstandings about the Mormon faith, Mr. Moody has highlighted a few of the anti-Mormon favorites. This article is hardly enlightening, instead of giving good solid facts it only serves to perpetuate inaccuracies. Great timing, I am a Ron Paul fan and know the media is against him, but surely Mitt Romney is #2 on their list.

Posted by: Liberty76 | January 7, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree with diligentdave. Moody is obsessed. I can make even more destructive assinuations against Huckabee and the Southern Baptists. Their religion can be made to look just as conspiring and their members made to look even more naive and deceived than the Mormons. Huckabee's propensity to use the "brothers and sisters" of his faith to sway election results was clearly demonstrated in the organized way in which they mobilized their churches in Iowa. The tax status of those churches should be brought down due to the repeated instances of using churches and church vehicles to campaign. If a faith will keep their church out of the fray, as the Mormons seem to be doing, why don't we leave this stuff alone?

Posted by: trailman101 | January 7, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

If you want to write about the Mormons, get your info from a Mormon! And... BTW what's so wierd about Mormons? Not any wierder than the Baptists teaching for the cradle (they have all kinds of materials that they use) and they teach ANTI Jehovah Witness, Christian Science, LDS, Catholic -- you name it they are the Anti-Anti's.

Posted by: Emmaline | January 7, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Religious bigotry is live and well! Give me a break! This Moody sounds like an excommunicated mormon. His word has no credibility. This is like an ex-employee telling how bad the company was before he got fired.

If you want to find out what the mormons actually believe go to www.lds.org

Posted by: John N | January 7, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Emmaline:
"anti-anti's" LOL!!! I'll have to remember that, especially since I've lived with some of these types of Baptists. It's a shame, the bigots make the other normal Baptists look bad.

Posted by: Debrar | January 7, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

For what its worth, Mr. Moody has it backwards regarding "convert" vs "cultural" believers of a religion. Converts do not have an excuse - they study the religion and join with "open-eyes",(Mr. Reid), whereas cultural believers(Mr. Romney) adopt their parents religion. Although a cultural believer could become like a convert, (othodox in their beliefs), I have not seen evidence in Mr. Romney. In fact, the opposite, i.e, Romney was previously pro-abortion, a capitalist (mormons teach a communist-socialism theoacracy, i.e, Mr. Reid), and works on Sunday. Ok, there are other things that could point the other way. The point is, your own fears will grow horns on any human being, i.e., black-slavery, muslims, scientology, christians-roman era, witchcraft-dark ages, believing the world is round prior to its discovery, should I go on? Someone needs to pull people like Mr. Moody outside-in or is it inside-out. You got it, your perceptions become you.

Posted by: gb | January 7, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

For what its worth, Mr. Moody has it backwards regarding "convert" vs "cultural" believers of a religion. Converts do not have an excuse - they study the religion and join with "open-eyes",(Mr. Reid), whereas cultural believers(Mr. Romney) adopt their parents religion. Although a cultural believer could become like a convert, (othodox in their beliefs), I have not seen evidence in Mr. Romney. In fact, the opposite, i.e, Romney was previously pro-abortion, a capitalist (mormons teach a communist-socialism theoacracy, i.e, Mr. Reid), and works on Sunday. Ok, there are other things that could point the other way. The point is, your own fears will grow horns on any human being, i.e., black-slavery, muslims, scientology, christians-roman era, witchcraft-dark ages, believing the world is round prior to its discovery, should I go on? Someone needs to pull people like Mr. Moody outside-in or is it inside-out. You got it, your perceptions become you.

Posted by: gb | January 7, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

The shamefulness about this article starts with the media. It's as if they are searching for controversy not fact. Why else would you interview one that is obviously a "lapsed Mormon"? Controversy. Stirring the pot. Why can't we just ignore people that have no agenda other then drawing attention on themselves?

Posted by: Carson | January 7, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Emmaline:

"If you want to write about the Mormons, get your info from a Mormon!"

Exactamundo!

And if you want to learn about Communism, go to the writings of Joseph Stalin - no point in wasting your time with ex-Communists & non-Communists. They will only confuse the issue ...

Posted by: tlfamm | January 7, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Clearly Mormons do not believe the traditional Christian dogma established by Jesus and his disciples and the Catholic and Protestant (as well as Orthodox) Churches. Americans tend to want a President that is Christan because after all this is a Christian country right? God Bless the USA!

Posted by: jmr862003 | January 7, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

There are many things the Mormons will not tell you, because they take strict secrecy oaths to protect what goes on in the temple. I found out the hard way when my daughter converted. Her own parents were not allowed to attend the wedding, because we are not Mormon. She was not allowed to know beforehand what the ritual would be like or to ever talk about it afterward.

To really know about the Mormons, go to ex Mormon websites such as Recovery from Mormonism and ask people who have been there and will talk about it.

Posted by: ph | January 7, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

There is a certain saying the in Scientology Church; "People can leave Scientology but they can't leave it alone."

Posted by: paperboy | January 7, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

jmr862003,

Christianity as taught by Jesus and His disciples and the Catholics and the Protestants. . . and the Orthodox Churces? LOL. That's funny. You don't get the joke but I'm sure others will.

Posted by: Travis | January 7, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I left the mormon church and they sure can't seem to leave me alone.

Missionaries, home teachers, visiting teachers for my wife, bishop and his counselors come a calling. Thats not to mention my family that just cannot accept that somebody could leave their religion.

Yes, if only they could leave us alone...

Posted by: through the peephole | January 7, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

To clarify a point. The question about Jesus and Satan being brothers has never been answered directly. From Mormon magazines and teaching manuals, including a manual to teach the youngest children:

(ElRay L. Christiansen, "Q&A: Questions and Answers," New Era, July 1975, 48-50)
"Can Satan or his hosts read our thoughts, and do they still have a knowledge of our pre-earth life, which would and could aid them in tempting us?"

Answer
The account of Satan, or Lucifer as he came to be known, is a frightening example of rebellion against God and apostasy from that which is right and good.

All of us, including Lucifer, are sons and daughters of God. Before we were born into mortality, we lived in the premortal state as spirit children of our heavenly parents. We were taught there the plan of salvation.

(I Am a Child of God By Elder Robert D. Hales of the First Quorum of the Seventy (Liahona 1978 November) (Friend March 1978))
Lucifer was one of Heavenly Father's most brilliant spirit sons.

(Presidents of the Church Teachers manuel Lesson 1)
When Heavenly Father presented the plan of salvation, he said, "Whom shall I send?" Jesus said, "Here am I, send me" (Abraham 3:27). But another of Heavenly Father's spirit children, named Lucifer, said, "Here am I, send me" (Abraham 3:27).

(Lesson 4: I Chose to Follow Jesus Christ," Primary 2: Choose the Right A, 16)
Point out that another spirit son whose name was Lucifer also wanted to be sent to earth to help us. He told Heavenly Father that he would come to earth and force all of us to do what is right. He wouldn't let us choose for ourselves. Lucifer wanted Heavenly Father to give him all the honor and glory.

Posted by: Jim Huston | January 7, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

You want accurate info on mormons? www.mormon.org.

Posted by: George | January 7, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Mr Moody is a sad puppy! If'n he's an excommunicated Mormon, then he likely has a beef with his Bishop and any Bishop (such as Romney) who likely had a hand in his excommunication. Sad......

Posted by: Louinjax | January 7, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Re Baptist Bashing: "they have all kinds of materials that they use." Yeah, that whole Bible thing. Wow. You got us. Huckabee-too liberal for the Republican elite and too conservative for any Democrat. Let's ban religion. It's not good for the bottom line and status quo. That whole Jesus thing just freaks me out. You know. Peace. Love.

Posted by: Bully Graham | January 7, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

When Romney went through the secret LDS temple endowment ceremony he would have taken the oath to observe the Law of Obedience and promised before God, angels and witnesses to "accept the Law of Consecration as contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, in that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion." If Romney should be elected, would he view the US Presidency as something the Lord has blessed him with? Would he keep his sworn oath to consecrate that blessing to the LDS Church?

Mormons claim that theirs is the "one true church". Missionaries spend two years repeating Joseph Smith's claim that God himself had declared all other churches to be false, all an "abomination" before God and those who professed those creeds are "corrupt". Mormons perform proxy baptisms for the dead (usually without the permission or knowledge of the person's living relatives) To make the posthumous Mormons. Mormons do not permit non-Mormon parents to be present at temple wedding ceremony of their own child; forcing couples into making the people who love them to wait outside with broken hearts. Prior to 1990, the temple ceremony included a portrayal of a Protestant minister as a servant of Satan. Mormon doctrine still teaches that black skin & features are a punishment from God - the Curse of Cain.

Mormons whine about prejudice when their doctrines and practices are scrutinized and yet are unwilling to examine how they discriminate against others.

It is telling that the most animosty toward the Mormon church is from former members and non-members who live the the theocracy that is Utah.

Posted by: caedmon | January 7, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Who said he was excommunicated?

Many people quit the Mormon church when they find out they have been lied to their whole lives about it's real history.

The church practices a particularly vicious form of shunning and spreads nasty rumors about anyone who dares to leave it.

Posted by: ph | January 7, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

A great website for some Mormon beliefs and Temple ritual can be found at: http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/resurrectwife.htm

Posted by: Daleesp | January 7, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Moody may have seemed bitter but only those who leave the Mormon church know what the experience is like. Mormons in general, are very self-righteous and are quick to defend their faith, all the while claiming to be Christians who "don't judge" others. Unfortunately, they judge heavily and make it a point to criticize anyone who has a complaint with Mormonism, even when those complaints are legitimate.

Posted by: Sara | January 7, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

satan isn't somebody that has so much power that he just flared himself into being. Of course he was "created" or he'd be more powerful then Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father is in control, even of what satan's limited power can do to us. If that makes one think that Jesus and satan are brothers, so be it.

Posted by: Melanie | January 7, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to see that some 'good Christians' are intent on judging who is 'Christian enough' or who belongs to a 'cult'. (www.mormoncult.org has some answers on the cult aspect)

Posted by: jeff | January 7, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I think that the more interesting point is not the LDS church's influence over Romney, which I think is negligible, but rather that Romney was a representative of this organization when it practiced racial discrimination with the justifications that Blacks were cursed collectively as descendants of Cain and Ham and individually for their conduct relative to other races in some premortal existence.

Unless, Akers also believes that opposition to racism is a "dirty trick."

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 7, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and someone should Romney about the temple ceremonies that he participated in prior to 1990 in which ministers from other Christian denominations who received pay for their work were portrayed as being in the direct employ of Satan.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 7, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I am really tired of the Mormon bashing that has surrounded Mitt Romney's Presidential bid.

Romney has not run his campaign as a Mormon attempting to be our next President.

Unlike Huckabee who has run on the basis of being a Christian Pastor, Romney has run his campaign as a conservative attempting to be our next President who just happens to be a Mormon.

In my view, no one has the right to condemn or persecute anyone else for their faith.

Isn't this America and wasn't our Country was founded upon the premise that all Americans have the God-given right to practice their faith according to the dictates of their own conscience.

Anyone who violates this fundamental right should pack up their bags and leave this Country -- I can recommended several Islamic countries where this level of bigotry is acceptable.

According to my extensive research and by biblical definition (as opposed to nicean definition) Mormons are every bit as Christian if not more so than any other protestant/evangelical religion, including: Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Lutherans, Wesleyans, etc.

Didn't the Savior spend much of his mortal ministry condemning the Pharisees and Hypocrites. Perhaps we should spend some time studying his example and message of inclusionism.

Isn't it far past time for us to put aside our religious bigotry and get on with the process of nominating our next President.

Posted by: Republican Evangelical | January 7, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

The main problem going to a Mormon source for correct information on Mormonism is that these sites misrepresent, falsify or cover-up unsavory doctrines and embarassing history items. Most Mormons are either unaware of these factors that are negative to their current beliefs, or consider them to be of little consequence and "anti-Mormon". Can the "one and only true church" be true even if just one item which the church promotes as true is known to be false?

Posted by: Wilruff | January 7, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

God shines his sun and rains his rain on both the good and the evil, and told us to love our enemies, not just our friends.

As a Mormon, I think we should focus on following Christ, in this one thing at least if we can't agree further, and dispense with personal and institutional and petty theological attacks.

Let Jesus decide these details when he comes again. No need to judge for him if he hasn't given you that authority. If you disagree yourself, disagree for yourself, not for me.

This doesn't mean we should spend our lives in ignorance, but the scriptures teach us to ask God if we have a troubling question, not people who point the finger of scorn. He could have said ask your minister, but not all ministers are right, either, let alone do they disagree.

Also as a Mormon, I can tell you I was there as a spirit when the Council of Heaven happened, but I can't remember it, so I have no business FORCING my version of pre-Adam history on anyone or TAKING FLAK from others who also can't remember it. (Two sides of the same coin.)

The basics from a Mormon perspective are that Adam and Eve had to fall from the presence of God to become wise, but that a way back had to be prepared for them, and that was Jesus Christ, but the way back had to be voluntary or it would not mean anything. Jesus was chosen from the beginning, probably before the council ever happened. Nevertheless, the Father asked who he should send and two choices came up, one that would respect the freedom to of moral agency and one that would force us to go through life spotless, perhaps without even falling or maybe Lucifer imagined infinite abortions--who knows. But he would get all the glory whereas Jesus said he would give the glory to the Father. A war ensued, in which a third of the host of heaven followed Lucifer and were cast out of Heaven by the power of God, never to receive bodies. They had rejected their first estate and would not be given the opportunity to receive another. Lucifer became the fallen angel Satan, empowered to tempt man for the period of this life, if man would let him, but subject to the ultimate power of God.

You can present this story in its full glory, which undoubtedly reflects a great loss of detail, or you can present it in a mocking way, as some do. To me it glorifies God and helps complete my understanding of the meaning of life. If we "keep our second estate" by doing our part here, we can inherit "all that the Father has" as a joint heir with Christ. We will have done our part, and Jesus will have done the rest, opening the pathway back to the Father, bridging both sin and death as some put it, through his suffering and the power of the resurrection, by which we are brought back into the presence of God to be judged.

What people like Moody are really doing is questioning the authority of those who received or continue to teach these revelations, with insufficient evidence to prove one way or the other. If God doesn't confirm it to you, you have insufficient evidence to make an honest stand one way or the other.

Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers, not blessed are the troublemakers. I kind of wish he had said blessed are those that listen to the peacemakers, but that should be implicit. Jesus of course, was the Great Peacemaker.

Posted by: Jed | January 7, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I am waiting for the first example of how Mitt Romney's interpretation of his obligations as a Mormon entered into his governance of Massachusetts and/or his business leadership career.

Anyone???????

Posted by: Terry Ott | January 7, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Why is this news?

Posted by: Catcher in the Sly | January 7, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps they should ask this question: If Jesus was not part of a great, preordained plan, why was he prophesied of and looked forward to hundreds, even thousands of years before his coming? From a Mormon perspective, on two continents?

Posted by: Jed | January 7, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so now should we dispute and tear apart all of the other bloggers religions?

Should we start with the Baptists,
or the Jehovah Witnesses,
or the Pentacostals?

Where should we start?

Isn't this the way that Christ would handle things?

Didn't he try to find ways to hate? Try to divide?

If you are a Christian, isn't this what you are supposed to be doing?

So, which religion should we attack next?

All religions have issues, let's dissect, trash, and abuse the doctrine and the people --- for Jesus.

When we are done, let's remember that we are just acting like Christians. I mean, isn't that really why we do the things we do?

Posted by: Debrar | January 7, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I have some comments to this Mormon's spiel:

Isn't this America and wasn't our Country was founded upon the premise that all Americans have the God-given right to practice their faith according to the dictates of their own conscience.

>No one has said that Mormons can't practice their religion. At least not since Joe Smith was booted out of Illinois, back in the 1800s. He and his followers were booted out because the men practiced polygamy (and pedophilia with some of the underage brides).

Anyone who violates this fundamental right should pack up their bags and leave this Country -- I can recommended several Islamic countries where this level of bigotry is acceptable.

>Its not 'bigotry' for a religion to define itself. Its telling the truth. Mormonism is counter to many important, basic, biblical doctrines. Mormonism is hinged on this: Was Joe Smith a prophet under inspiration or not? Was all of the church doctrine, from the carefully studied and parsed New Testament, wrong for 1700 years?
Were all who did not accept polygamy damned eternally? Last but most important, were Jesus Christ and the rest of the apostles lying when proclaiming His deity?

According to my extensive research and by biblical definition (as opposed to nicean definition)

> Ah, here is the caveat', the Nicean Creed (and every other creed from the early church!)

Mormons are every bit as Christian if not more so than any other protestant/evangelical religion, including: Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Lutherans, Wesleyans, etc.

>Uh, no. Mormons are Mormons. They use alternative scriptures, they use Christian words and alter their meanings, they teach polytheism, they have also repudiated the very foundation (polygamy) that old Joe Smith and Brigham Young said was essential for salvation, not to mention for populating your new planet in the universe!

Mr Mormon: is your church eternally damned for repudiating the prophet's teachings or was your prophet wrong (or a liar)? In Israel they stoned false prophets for one wrong prophecy!
Shysters like Smith and Charles Taze Russell founded churches with doctrines that were totally unique and opposed to Christianity...by its very definition!

Posted by: Ron Barker | January 7, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

I am a Mormon and a believer in Jesus Christ. I try to live the 10 commandments and the Beatitudes. I love my wife Pam of 25 years and my two sons very much. I also love my country with all my heart. I have been to Omaha Beach and have seen the tears in my young sons eyes when he realized the cost of freedom in our land. Mr. Moody is flat out WRONG.
1.Our Temples are not secret, they are sacred to us. Prior to their dedecation thousand and thousands of people from all religious backgrounds are invited to visit during the open houses. In Sacramento prior to the dedication of the Temple there some 175,000 people visited and tour the inside of the Temple.
2.Our 12th Article of Faith says "we believe in beign subjectt to our political leaders and in honoring and sustaining the law".
3 The Mormon Church is offically neutral on all political matters. The President of the Church never tells a member what to do politically. Look at the difference between Harry Reid and Mitt Romney, can you imagine two more politically differing opinions? Obviously these men are not are not getting marching orders from the same source because they totally oppose each other.
4. I go to the temple with my wife almost monhly. We worship God there and renew our marraige vows. There is no Blood Covenant.
5. Look at the Mormons you know. In general,are they not some of the best people you know? They love their families and they are Patriots for this Great Country.
6. First and formost Mormons believe in Freedom of choice or Agency. We believe that all men are endowed with this right from the creator. If God gave it to us in the begining, why would he ever take it away. Christian theology teaches about the struggle between God and Satan for the Agency of man. God want all men to have liberty or freedom while Satan wants to force and control all mankind. It is unconsciencable that such a lie could be told about my faith.

Jesus said "By their fruit ye shall know them".

Think of Mitt Romney, he has been faithful to his wife and his family. He love his country. He is a great Patriot who represented the country with honor during the Olympics.

Come on America lets unite on our common Christian faith not be full of venom and hatred for Mormons, Catholics, Baptists, and Protestants of all denominations. Lets focus on what unites us and remember that many have fought and died for this great land and its liberty including many of ALL of the religious of those churches I just mentioned. Please, I love this land I love and honor Jesus Christ, the true author to our liberty.

Posted by: Ronald Whitmer | January 7, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse


Tim Russert's interview with Mitt Romney reminded us that Romney has changed positions on major issues including abortion, same sex marriage and gun control when he found it expedient to his presidential bid, causing many of us to question the use of his statement, "Americans do not respect believers of convenience". The loyalty he expresses to the faith of his fathers seems appropriate in that this deity has also flip flopped on major issues. In 1890, the LDS god forbade the practice of plural marriage after decades of telling followers that the only way to celestial exaltation was via the doctrine of polygamy. He apparently changed his mind again in 1978 when he revealed to his prophet that Blacks would now be eligible to hold the priesthood. This revelation came after more than a century of doctrine that taught Negroes were cursed with a black skin because of their iniquities in the pre-existence, and could never hold the LDS priesthood.

Some voters may overlook a few of Mitt's foibles but with increasing disclosures about the LDS faith, it's easy to understand why, in recent polls, most of the nation would not vote for a Mormon president. Had his church opted to explain doctrinal flip flops as simply the correcting of human errors in church doctrine, then one might understand, but to claim divine revelation for these changes suggests that this Mormon god, like Romney, is terribly undecided and subject to philosophical change with every shift in the political winds.

Posted by: Meso | January 7, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Romney claims that he will be independent of his church's leadership.

He keeps telling us that the LDS leadership (including his now deceased cousin Marion Romney) respect the separation of Church and State and encourage independent thought on all matters spiritual and civil.

But there's a problem.

The LDS prophets have always taught that there is no separation between the 'spiritual' (i.e. religion) and the 'temporal' (everything else).

Ezra Taft Benson ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezra_Taft_Benson ) the leader of the Mormon church from 1985 to 1994 repeated these teaching in absolute clarity.

"FOURTEEN FUNDAMENTALS IN FOLLOWING THE PROPHET
BY
ELDER Ezra Taft Benson
February 26, 1980

...

Ninth: The prophet can receive revelation on any matter--temporal or spiritual.

Said Brigham Young:

Some of the leading men in Kirtland were much opposed to Joseph the Prophet, meddling with temporal affairs... .

In a public meeting of the Saints, I said, "Ye Elders of Israel.... will some of you draw the line of demarcation, between the spiritual and temporal in the Kingdom of God, so that I may understand it?" Not one of them could do it....

I defy any man on earth to point out the path a Prophet of God should walk in, or point out his duty, and just how far he must go, in dictating temporal or spiritual things. Temporal and spiritual things are inseparably connected, and ever will be. [Journal of Discourses, 10:363-364]

Tenth: The prophet may be involved in civic matters.

When a people are righteous they want the best to lead them in government. Alma was the head of the Church and of the government in the Book of Mormon,
Joseph Smith was mayor of Nauvoo, and Brigham Young was governor of Utah. Isaiah was deeply involved in giving counsel on political matters and of his words the Lord Himself said, "Great are the words of Isaiah" (3 Nephi 23:1). Those who would remove prophets from politics would take God out of government."

Benson goes on to say:

"Fourteenth: The prophet and the presidency--the living prophet and the First Presidency--follow them and be blessed; reject them and suffer."

As for the idea that Mormons are free to follow their own best reasoning in 'spiritual' matters, Benson quotes a previous LDS President, Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, N. Eldon Tanner,

"The Prophet spoke out clearly on Friday moming, telling us what our responsibilities are... .

A man said to me after that, "You know, there are people in our state who believe in following the Prophet in everything they think is right, but when it is something they think isn't right, and it doesn't appeal to them, then that's different." He said, "Then they become their own prophet. They decide what the Lord wants and what the Lord doesn't want."

I thought how true, and how serious when we begin to choose which of the covenants, which of the commandments we will keep and follow. When we decide that there are some of them that we will not keep or follow, we are taking the law of the Lord into our own hands and become our own prophets, and believe me, we will be led astray, because we are false prophets to ourselves when we do not to follow the Prophet of God. No, we should never discriminate between these commandments, as to those we should and should not keep. [In Conference Report, October 1966, p. 98]"

Full text of the speech is reproduced here -> http://www.lds-mormon.com/fourteen.shtml

Posted by: Flipper | January 7, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

In response to Ron Barker -

I'm quite sure that there will be members of the Mormon Church who will hear the Savior say depart from me I never knew you. I'm equally certain that there will be members of the Mormon Church who will hear their Savior plead their case unto the Father.

I'm quite sure that this will prove equally true for members of virtually all evangelical Churches. Some will be told to depart from the Savior's presence. Others will kneel at the feet of the Savior and will have the privilege of hearing him plead their case unto the Father.

I truly believe that one of the key differentiators will be the extent to which we pattern our lives after the teachings and examples of Christ.

Part of his example was one of inclusion. Inclusion for the jews and gentiles alike.

Didn't the Pharisees also believe that they were the only ones whose beliefs and traditions were correct. The Savior offered stern warnings unto the "Scribes and Pharisees" calling them hypocrites. Perhaps a careful, prayerful study of Matthew 23 would be appropriate.

Posted by: Conservative Evangelical | January 7, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Flipper:
Are you a Mormon? I am. We separate politics from forced religion (unlike some other running candidate(s).

We do not encourage a candidate to preach from the pulpit, and we honor the taxfree laws. Mitt Romney told the world how he would conduct himself and serve America, and that is just what he will do. You don't know what you are talking about, and you put comments on blogs that are out of context.

Being an American President requires that you represent all faiths, and that is what Romney said he would do, and that is what my church encourages. Romney is running for the office of President, not as your Preacher -- look to Mike Huckabee for that.

AND, you should be concerned about Huckabee for he continues to muddy the water between his candidacy and his religion. Have you seen Romney touring Mormon churches and telling the crowds that they are God's army and that they need to do this for God? No. And before you make a snide comment that we don't follow God (NOT!, we do: www.mormon.org) you need to remember that this is not the forum for running for President.

We need someone who represents more than our values (which are important), we need someone who can lead, accomplish what they say, grow our economy, correct health care and education, tackle illegal immigration, etc.

There are too many faiths in America to be exclusive to one, and that is basically how Mormons feel a Mormon President should act. Reread Mitt's address on Faith in America.

Posted by: Debrar | January 7, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

What a sorry piece of journalism coming from one of the nation's great newspapers.

Note: This comment comes from a 60 year male member of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" living in Salt Lake City.

Posted by: Kent Sibbett | January 7, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

This is from Rush Limbaugh:

Iowa is a caucus; it's a weird setup. New Hampshire allows independents to vote in the Republican primary, which is why McCain is doing as well as he is doing, and it's why the media want this to be a bellwether against Romney. I mean, Pat Buchanan came in second. He came in a very strong second in New Hampshire in 1992. Now, I'm not saying that these contests are not to be taken seriously here, and that they're not to be fought and to be won, but we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. New Hampshire is no longer the conservative barometer it used to be. The state has changed, it is now quite liberal. A lot of people who used to live in Massachusetts have moved into New Hampshire to escape New Hampshire's high taxation and other problems. New England generally the northern states, states like Iowa, is not where the conservative base resides in large numbers. The Drive-By Media would love to destroy the conservative coalition. They would love to destroy the conservative base to the Republican Party. That's why they are promoting Huckabee; it is why they are promoting McCain.

Posted by: Debrar | January 7, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

160,000 hits a day on a site that illustrates for all the prevarications that are Mitt's life blood:

www.exmormon.org

Posted by: Randall | January 7, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I was there and it seems the reporter or her editor heard every other word. So much for accuracy in the media! For the real story, visit www.therevelationpress.com

Posted by: Daryl | January 7, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm not interested in attacking anyone, but if you want to know what it is really like to grow up in the Mormon church, check out my blog: http://www.clintrogersonline.com/blog/?p=75

Posted by: Clint | January 7, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, the faith and covenants of Mitt Romney is exactly a reason the American people should vote for him. Everyone seems to worry that Mitt Romney would take orders from the President of the church when in fact, it is the other way around. Joseph Smith himself wrote:

"We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments; and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience.
We believe that every man should be honored in his station, rulers and magistrates as such, being placed for the protection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty; and that to the laws all men show respect and deference, as without them peace and harmony would be supplanted by anarchy and terror; human laws being instituted for the express purpose of regulating our interests as individuals and nations, between man and man; and divine laws given of heaven, prescribing rules on spiritual concerns, for faith and worship, both to be answered by man to his Maker." Doctrine and Covenants 134: 5-6

President Hinckley and all of the members of the leadership of the LDS church made covenants to obey the commandments and uphold the law. If Mitt Romney is elected President of the United States, then these leaders would be responsible for upholding the law, under which President Romney would have leadership. President Romney would then be accountable to God for his actions and his alone.

President Hinckley and the church leadership have responsibility for the spiritual affairs of the church, not the running of any government, especially this one.

How many other candidates have made sacred covenants to uphold the law, to have honor and integrity, to be faithful to ones wife and family, and to be honest in their dealings with their fellow man? It is exactly those covenants that will ensure that President Romney will lead our country with fairness, honesty and integrity.

Posted by: Todd | January 8, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

In response to Meso. First of all, the mormon religion never taught that those of African descent would never be able to hold the priesthood. In fact the opposite was true. Growing up I was taught that they would be allowed to hold the priesthood someday, and sure enough that happened. The early mormons in Missouri were driven out of the state in part because of their abolitionist views and their call to freed slaves to come and join them in Missouri. Why can't people just agree that they disagree when it comes to religion, why must we personally attack and demean. That's the kind of behavior that gives Christians throughout the country a bad name, and certainly is not representative of the Savior's teachings.

Posted by: Shauna | January 8, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

It's sad but many of these anti-Mormon and anti-Mitt comments are all hypocrites. There is too much ignorance here because many of you have your heads stuck where the sun don't shine. Mood should move on with his life and don't look back. Be a 'don't worry be happy guy.' How can you learn the truth by going to an anti-Mormon site? And if you don't trust the Mormon site, go to God and pray until you have an answer. Don't quit even if you continue to pray for 7 days. And if you don't get an answer, then give up all your possessions and live like a monk. The fact is that all relgions have issues in their past. So, instead of attacking another person or another religion, why don't you go and do something positive for others?

Posted by: Savea7 | January 8, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I am a lapsed Mormon. I can trace my ancestry back to the pioneers who came to Utah with Brigham Young. I went to college and never went back to the church. I left because the rules of the Church were not my cup of tea. The only affect it had on me is that I did not see my father remarry. I met him outside the temple for pictures. That did not bother me in the least.

This is the first time I have really looked back at it in over 20 years and I am sickened. Not by what the Mormon Church has done, but the attacks on it. I respect the people who are in this church, and find nothing that would make me wary of one of their members being President. After all, it is not Mitt Romney that campaigns from the pulpit of his church, it is Mike Huckabee. He is a member of a church that has published such works as "Mormonism Unmasked" that promised to "lift the veil from one of the greatest deceptions in the history of religion". http://www.slate.com/id/2180391

If these attacks were on Judaism or Catholicism, they would be denounced for being the anti-American bigotry that they are. Freedom of Religion and Assembly are 2 of the hallmarks of this county, if you do not like a religion, do not go, it is what I did.

One last point, I am very much a libertarian. I have voted Republican in every election since 1980. If the Republican Party wants to put up Mike Huckabee as it's standard bearer, I will vote for someone else just as I will vote for someone else when the primary comes to Maryland.

Posted by: mbc | January 8, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Are we still on the issue of Mitt Romney's Faith? Apparently if the Washington Post will keep fueling the fire by publishing articles about the moromn faith, then people will keep pushing the topic, way to go washington post, join the ranks with Moody in telling his bigoted story!

Posted by: confused? | January 8, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

There probably is alot better coverage of the Presidential elections that can be found Mary Ann, seems to me that the article seems a little desperate just to find dirt on Romney and to keep the anti-mormon sensation running high. Tired of candidate mud-slinging, Akers clean the mud off of your own hands and quit perpetuating the religion issue, we are voting for a President not a pastor or mormon leader!

Posted by: sleuth? | January 8, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

To find out about a cult, you do not ask current cult members. They are brainwashed. You need to ask an ex-cultist, right?

To find out what Mormons believe, do NOT ask a Mormon. they do not know. Go to exmormon.org. former bishops, stake residents, and others tell what it is really like.

Posted by: Bonnie | January 8, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Great idea Bonnie. If you want to know what people are really like, go to their enemies. No doubt you'd recommend that someone doing research on African-Americans go to the KKK for the best insights.

As to Mormons becoming gods--the term for this is "theosis" and it's actually an ancient part of Christianity. The Eastern Orthodox to this day believe it. Check out Wikipedia under "theosis." The article also has a more accurate statement of Mormon belief than anything you're likely to read on a born-again site.

If you read the article on Luther in the footnote, you'll also find that Luther preached Mormon doctrine: "In an early (1515) Christmas sermon, Luther notes:
As the Word became flesh, so it is certainly necessary that the flesh should also become Word. For just for this reason does the Word become flesh, in order that the flesh might become Word. In other
words: God becomes man, in order that man should become God."

Luther, by the way, also tried to introduce polygamy among the Germans, using exactly the same arguments for it that Joseph Smith used. Luther was able to perform one polygamous marriage before popular oposition made him back down.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Since I assume anti-Mormons consider themselves "good Christians," they believe in the "Golden Rule." Therefore, they want Mormons to discredit and ridicule their churches as they do the "Mormons."

Don't Baptists believe Mother Theresa was the spirit brother of Hitler?

Didn't the recent president of the Southern Baptist Convention have to leave his church position for adultery? (About the same time the Mormon president was at the White House receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award for years of disaster relief services given to America and the world.)

Don't Evangelicals believe that if a "saved" member murders a Mormon child, the Mormon child will automatically spend eternity in hell while the murderer will go directly to heaven?

Don't evangelicals and other "historical Christians" believe in the Jesus of the Nicene Creed and not the Biblical Jesus and his church: apostles, prophets, one lord one faith one baptism?

Don't evangelicals believe that you can't add to the Bible because it says so at the end of Revelation? Yet, when John's Revelation was written the Bible was not yet compiled for another 200 or so years.

Don't Evangelicals believe that only God should judge people? Apparently not, since they believe all "Mormons" automatically go to hell.

Aren't Evangelicals good Americans who support the Constitutional right to freedom of religion? Apparently not, since they are so quick to trash "Mormons."

Posted by: David | January 8, 2008 5:26 AM | Report abuse

Since I assume anti-Mormons consider themselves "good Christians," they believe in the "Golden Rule." Therefore, they want Mormons to discredit and ridicule their churches as they do the "Mormons."

Don't Baptists believe Mother Theresa was the spirit sister of Hitler?

Didn't the recent president of the Southern Baptist Convention have to leave his church position for adultery? (About the same time the Mormon president was at the White House receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award for years of disaster relief services given to America and the world.)

Don't Evangelicals believe that if a "saved" member murders a Mormon child, the Mormon child will automatically spend eternity in hell while the murderer will go directly to heaven?

Don't evangelicals and other "historical Christians" believe in the Jesus of the Nicene Creed and not the Biblical Jesus and his church: apostles, prophets, one lord one faith one baptism?

Don't evangelicals believe that you can't add to the Bible because it says so at the end of Revelation? Yet, when John's Revelation was written the Bible was not yet compiled for another 200 or so years.

Don't Evangelicals believe that only God should judge people? Apparently not, since they believe all "Mormons" automatically go to hell.

Aren't Evangelicals good Americans who support the Constitutional right to freedom of religion? Apparently not, since they are so quick to trash "Mormons."

Posted by: David | January 8, 2008 5:42 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney learned how to flip flop from the Grand Master of all flip-flopiest of flip floppers...the Mormon/LDS church.

Mitt and the church will tell you the church doesn't get involved in politics, however the LDS Church most certainly does get involved in politics (e.g., Prop 22 in California) even though they tell the media otherwise, because they don't want to lose their tax-exempt status.

Many LDS members have a persecution complex and cry how unfair that "intolerant bigots" make Mitt Romney's religion an issue in his candidacy, even though it was Mitt himself who made his religion an issue from the start and with his asinine comments like "Freedom requires religion". It's astounding these LDS people don't see the hypocrisy of their words when then church is intolerant of:
- Gays
- Other religions and churches. The LDS Church claims "We are the ONE TRUE CHURCH on the earth." History well documents the Mormon church claimed the Catholic church as "The wh*re of the Earth".
- Historians have been excommunicated by the church for publishing books based on actual events in Mormon history
- Black males, who the LDS Church has long said (and still says) were "descendents of Cain and less than valiant in the preexistance" as the reason for not getting priesthood until 1978
- Couples in interracial relationships. Current leaders in the LDS hierarchy have spoken out against interracial marriage. Brigham Young even preached such couples should be put to death.
- and on and on

It's ironic how the LDS Church wants others to be tolerant of their intolerant faith, yet they'll turn around and battle if you even question their history, believe in a different God (or no God), or have a different view of civil rights.

Posted by: EGC | January 8, 2008 5:54 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe so many people believe all these fairy stories about adman and eve and lucifer. (And I have to say it worries me that potential Presidents buy in to this. It shows a complete lack of intelligence and understanding about the history and development of humanity)

Mormans, Jews, Fundametalist Christians, Muslims etc who believ in the literal truth of their holy books are naive.
The strories contained in their holy books are the equivalent of a religion designed for kindergarden children.

I can understand uneducated people consuming it word for word but in the 21st Century it is surely time to grow up.

Do you not understand that these sort of stories are prevalent in all religions and cultures and that they are MYTHS not fact.

Myths are very powerful and the stories can help you understand certain universal truths but please try and get your head round the fact that tales of great floods and Noah's Ark etc are just apocryphal tales that are useful learning tools in the road of life.

As I said, grow up and get real.

Bby all means use the stories and parables to help you get closer to the truth of your own soul/spirit and its relationship to whatever God you believe in but please don't vote for people who believe that archetypal myths are actually real events.

It is too scary having the world's most powerful nation controlled by such crass and shallow sheep. You need a leader not a follower of fiction.

Posted by: Graeme | January 8, 2008 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Romney bashes "secularism", even though it was secularism that has protected this great nation from becoming a theocratic backwater that stifles economic development, technology, medicine, human progress, and yes, even spirituality.

Anyone who believes Romney's statement of "Freedom requires religion" should ask a refugee from Afghanistan or Iran how they feel about that description?

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 8, 2008 6:19 AM | Report abuse

To find out about something read both sides of the argument. In the case of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints they will not give an honest and open account of their church history, church doctrine or finances. They prefer the old adage: "Milk before meat" for "investigators"- those potential converts into the church. I found in my study of the church that the milk was sour and the meat rancid.

I've found the following sites very useful in gaining a realistic view of the church: http://www.exmormon.org/, http://home.teleport.com/~packham/ and www.i4m.com/think.

Posted by: Just wondering 1 | January 8, 2008 6:40 AM | Report abuse

"If you want to write about the Mormons, get your info from a Mormon!"

So, if you want to know about Communism in Cuba make sure all your information comes from Fidel Castro?

I don't think so. It's best to get your information from all available sources to know what's really going on.

Underneath it's carefully micro-managed exterior Mormonism has a lot of beliefs that most find strange. Mormon foundational beliefs have huge problems in their historical accuracy. Mormons argue you need the milk before the meat - just another sign of the cult that it is. I understand Moody's frustration, however I don't know if he chose the best means of expressing it.

Posted by: Old Joe Clark | January 8, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: DavidE | January 8, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

if it is "one of the more questionable" "dirty tricks this season" why would you validate it by reporting on it? the media are shameful

Posted by: Media Hack | January 8, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Moody is an embittered excommunicated apostate of the LDS church. If anyone would like to really learn about what the church believes, please visit lds.org or mormon.org. (By the way, there are no "blood oaths" to the church).

Posted by: Bryce | January 8, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

http://nowscape.com/mormon/mormcr1b.htm
The blood oath is a part of the tradition. Here is a good link to the ceremony. Joseph Smiths brother was a mason and the rites were
"borrowed" by the LDS Church.

Posted by: DavidE | January 8, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Bryce writes:
'By the way, there are no "blood oaths" to the church'

Perhaps not now, but Mitt Romney would have performed the appalling temple ritual summarized below:

"Each priesthood has two "tokens, signs and penalties" (only three penalties were actually stated, and in 1990 even those three were eliminated), which the patrons are given in sequence as part of their initiation. Each token also has a name which must be learned.
...
The execution of the Penalty was represented by placing the right thumb under the left ear, the palm of the hand down, and by drawing the thumb quickly across the throat to the right ear, and dropping the hand to the side."

http://home.teleport.com/~packham/temples.htm

Posted by: tlfamm | January 8, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Am I correct in assuming that if you're a "no-name," nothing you say has any value and you deserve to be ignored? I don't know who this guy is - neither do you, which I suppose is the point - but please! Are we so celebrity-obsessed that we can't admit that the little people might occasionally have a relevant point to make? And face it, while we're all so busy bending over backward to be culturally competent and religiously tolerant, we can admit that Mormonism has many way-out beliefs and a not-always-squeaky-clean history. Cult? I don't know. But are the Native Americans really the descendants of the evil tribe that made endless war against the righteous tribe, as described in the Book of Mormon? Hmmmm.

Posted by: melanie wilson | January 8, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Well, bigotry is as bigotry does and this blog was never intended to educate anyone about Mitt Romney or Mormonism. It was clearly intended to inflame and give voice to religous bigotry and to serve as an appeal to demean a specific candidate - oh, and just coincidently to get the issue back out there just before the New Hampshire primary. The shame here is on the Washington Post and Mary Ann Akers. Had Ms. Akers printed a similar gnome from some idiot about whether a black american could properly serve as president, the Wash. Post would have rightfully and immediatly have taken her blog down - while Ms. Akers profusely apologized to the likes of the Rev. Sharpton. This blog is nothing more than a continuation of that not so innocent appeal to bigotry that began with Mike Huckabee. If that is the leadership you want, vote for Mike. I'm for Rudy -- the non-practicing Catholic.

Posted by: DC | January 8, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I find the bitterness of born-agains towards Mormons very strange. It's not the sort of emotion that one would typically consider "Christian." I have talked to a lot of Catholics over the years and find that they don't get nearly as worked up (of the over 700 anti-Mormon groups in the US, only three are run by Catholics, the rest are born-again projects). The born-again eagerness to send 99 percent of humanity to Hell for eternity also strikes me as distinctly un-Christian. Mormons may not believe your religion is true, but we don't believe you'll go to Hell over it.

I also find the paranoia a bit strange. This weird claim that we are hiding something. All the fundamental documents that born-agains use to critisise the Church are freely available at either BYU or Deseret Bookstores.

Do you want a copy of the original text of The Book of Mormon? It's there. In fact, if you want to see every change made to the text since it was a manuscript, BYU even publishes a four-volume edition with all the changes listed in the apparatus. Do you want Juanita Brooks "Mountain Meadow Massacre"? It's there. Faun Brodie's scholarly attack on Joseph Smith ("No Man Knows My History")? It's there. A copy of any of the texts that Joseph Smith supposedly plagerized in writing The Book of Mormon? Check out BYU Bookstore. I was just home on leave from Iraq for a few weeks and stopped by BYU bookstore. They're still selling "Dialogue" and "Sunstone," two journals frequently very critical of the Church.

In other words, if you wanted to write a scholarly critique of the LDS church, you would come to us to get your basic materials. So what, exactly, is being hidden?

Granted, most Mormons know zip about their history or doctrine, but long experience tells me that is equally true of Catholics and Protestants. I've lived in Moslem countries for the last six years and I think I can also fairly say the average Moslem knows little or nothing about his own religion other than the commonplace hand me downs that form the religious background of most religious people.

That said, I have pretty much read most of what has been written on Mormon history and doubt that we have much more to be disturbed about than, say, Protestants or Catholics, whose own histories are not altogether an unmitigated example of Christian living. Nor do you secularists get off. The secular governments of the last century (Nazi Germany, communist Russia and China) don't really support your argument that man without religion is a vast improvement over homo christianus.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, we wold be in big trouble if we ever elected a "non-"christian" as president of the United States...Oh wait, we already did that with Thomas Jefferson, and that turned out okay, I guess.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Poor Melanie. If you'd actually read The Book of Mormon, you'd find that the two major groups are both portrayed as at times noble and other times wicked, rather like people in real life. Those American Indians who descend from the Lamanites have nothing to be ashamed of. The Book of Mormon provides them a proud history.

That's what bothers me about the born-again posts I read. They're a mixture of profound ignorance and active imagination about a religion that has almost no resemblance to what I as a Mormon believe and practice.

Yes, I'm aware of our history, probably more so than anybody who has posted on this site. I wish born-agains would at least take the time for a little research beyond the perfervid shelves of their local "Christian" bookstore before they make statements accusing millions of people of deception. If the Church were the kind of weird conspiracy your paranoid minds have cooked up, it would have collapsed long ago.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Lacrima you said "Those American Indians who descend from the Lamanites have nothing to be ashamed of. The Book of Mormon provides them a proud history."

It's amazing that there are people in the 21st Century who believe that the American Indian descended from Israel...as the Book of Mormon points out.

Despite extensive DNA research that clearly shows no Semitic DNA whatsoever...and that native Americans are the decendents of people who migrated to North America from Siberia via the Bering Land Bridge approx. 10,000 years ago.

Now the LDS Church is changing what the Book of Mormon says about this, because it doesn't jive with science...despite their claim for 180 years (and yours in this post) that Native Americans are "Lamanites" decended from Israel.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=oYAiKTHoxVI

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 8, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The Prophet Joseph Smith went through many great trials in his life. One time, you may recall that, when he was in Kirtland, Brother Behunin came to him and said, "Brother Joseph, many of the brethren have left the Church, and not only have they left the Church, but they have turned against the Church and become some of our most bitter persecutors. I will never leave the Church, but if I do, I will move out in the country and buy a little farm somewhere, and I promise you that I will never turn against the Church."

Joseph said something that was very prophetic. He said, "Brother Behunin, you do not know what you will do. When you join the Church of Jesus Christ, you leave neutral ground forever behind."

Posted by: Gazelem | January 8, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Before you says "You need to read the Book of Mormon"...let me state that I have. As a student of LDS Seminary, missionary of the LDS Church who served a 2-year mission, and a graduate of Brigham Young University I know what the Mormon Church's stance is.

After years of study and thoughtful deliberation, it pained me to come to the stark realization that the LDS Church is not what it claims. It's dogmatic claims fall apart in the face of objective scientific scrutiny. I also feel the Mormon leadership is disingenuous and extremely judgemental and harsh not only with other faiths and lifestyles, but also with it's own members. For these reasons, last year I resigned from the LDS Church along with my wife.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 8, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Lacrima, It is you who needs to do a little study on Mormonism. The church is now telling it's people that the American Indians aren't necessarily descended from the "Lamanites" of old...DNA testing has proved that idea false. The recent change in the introduction to the Book of Mormon now reads - among the ancestors of American Indians - instead of the principal ancestors of the American Indians. Yet another flip flop from your church. You are not so aware of your church history as you proclaim to be.

Posted by: Meso | January 8, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I hesitate to talk about the temple, but Bryce's comments are another example of that born-again ignorance that has been demonstrated so often in this series. The ritual he refers to has never been known as a "blood oath," but is rather a simple promise to put our duty to God above our own lives, something along the line of the early Christian martyrs. It's a promise that Bryce and Melanie's spiritual ancestors gave mine several opportunities to live up to.

The term "blood oath" is not really tightly defined, but probably refers to a promise made by many members in the first few generations after Joseph Smith to take vengeance on his murderers. That bit of anti-sociality is long gone and I doubt that any Mormon now living has direct experience of it. In fact, the Church has long ago reconciled itself with Illinois and Missouri, where many of the early persecutions took place.

So, it is correct to say that there is no blood oath in modern Mormonism.

Those who really want to know what Mormons believe about the temple as opposed to what born agains believe we believe can get a copy of Boyd K. Packer's book on the temple--lots of pictures and a surprisingly detailed statement on the ceremony. You can also go through any temple before it is dedicated. Enough are being built these days that the opportunity should not be hard to come by.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Some lunatic came into a news room ranting and raving and this made the Washington Post? Why is this news?

BTW Meso, you are ignorant of the Book of Mormon. There are several tribe's stories in the Book of Mormon, not just one from Jerusalem. The DNA stuff you use as your "proof" of your point is just silly to those who know the book.

As for trying to stir the pot on a campaign about blood oaths, Romney trying to make everyone Mormon, etc. Yeah, that makes lots of sense. Last time I checked, everyone that came to the Olympics in 2002 and the state of Massachusetts during Romney's term became Mormon. Yes, that's how it all happened. It's all a conspiracy. And yes Romney used the focus of all of the media during his faith in America speech to convert everyone too. Yes, that is his secret plan. Get real!

The Washington Post really does a diservice to it's readers when it publishes things like this as newsworthy. It's like reading the National Enquirer.


Posted by: Reader | January 8, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Ah, Meso. I have read all those things. Early members of the Church believed that history of The Book of Mormon encompassed all of North and South America. Most modern Mormons believe that its history is confined to a small part of Central America. That change was brought about by scholarly analysis, not by any official action of the Church and hardly counts as a flip flop. I doubt if you believe all the things about the Bible that your born-again ancestors once did.

As to DNA, it hasn't proved anything. DNA testing is rather more complex than you think. If you have the intelligence to follow up on it, go over to Dieneke's Anthropology Blog (http://dienekes.blogspot.com) which publishes abstracts of a lot of DNA studies. You'll see that for a number of reasons it will take a fairly substantial effort to say anything about your subject.

Keep in mind also that, although born agains say that the ancestors of The Book of Mormon peoples were Jewish, the book itself states quite clearly they were not. We have no real idea what they were, except Middle Eastern with probably an admixture of Egyptian blood. Likewise, the original stock of settlers consisted of around 30 people whose DNA would quickly have been diluted by intermarriage with locals, whose existance, despite the early rhetoric of the text, is also demonstrated in The Book of Mormon.

As a born again, you're used to popping off with the first thing that comes into your head. Do a little study and you'll see that DNA studies will bring you little solace and don't offer much of a challenge to Mormonism.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it strange that so many people in America are so critical of religions except Islam which is totally foreign to religions in America and believes anyone who is not a believer or convert of Islam, is an infidel? And I would imagine all those so critical of religion and concerned about Mitt Romney being Mormon would probably have no problem with a Muslim president. I can't believe all this hoopla about his religion when we have another evangelical christian like Huckabee, using religion the same as Bush has done,and the media is calling him sincere, touching, moving and in touch with people.

Posted by: Red Rose 1 | January 8, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

What political discourse of any value is provided by this article and the ensuing comments?

Mr. Moody's criticism clearly has no basis in, nor association with policy or the issues of the campaign. Further, this list of 75 comments is only evidence of deep-seated animosity by those who are opposed to Mormonism and rabid defensiveness by those who favor it.

Linking this religious side show to the political process does our country no favors. It only obscures the issues and distracts normally clear-thinking Americans from the factors that are most important in choosing the candidate they will support.

It is a shame that there is a double standard with regards to a public official's personal life. The media and the public accepted President Clinton's claim that his personal life was his own business when he was unfaithful to his wife and dishonest to the nation regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Yet, we can't leave alone Governor Romney's personal religious convictions which are equally personal, yet more predictive of honesty and fidelity than President Clinton's actions. Let's give Governor Romney's personal life the same respect we gave President Clinton's.

For the good of the future of our country, please let us spend our valuable time investigating and understanding the issues that face our next president, and who will provide the best solutions.

Posted by: Paul | January 8, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I watched a PBS documentary the other night which highlighted life in a 2000 yr old Monestary...I thought THAT was wierd. ;-) Pretty much every religion has it's own unique 'wierdness'. Anti mormons who have been raised as orthodox Christian just can't 'get' the fact that their religion is based on years of political discussions. (ie Nicean Creed) If that's the requirement for a true Christian religion, then Christianity may not be for me!
:-P If I recall, Jesus left the 'mainstream' religion and dogmatic practices of his time & created a new law. And if I recall, he didn't form a government commitee to clarify his doctrine.

Posted by: Rosie | January 8, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I prefer the quote "organized religion is for the weak minded" as evident by the above ramblings (blogs) of the insane. Can't you see the divisiveness that religion has created?

Posted by: TM | January 8, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Elder George! Aren't you a fine one--a burnt out Mormon taking out his frustrations on those of us who are still quite happy in the Church. The fact that you still refer to yourself as Elder suggests just how troubled you really are.

I, along with many other Mormons, believe that relatively few modern Indians are descended from the Nephites. That belief was not brought about by anything the Church said. It's the result of a close analysis of the text. I fail to see how better understanding a document suggests that the document is false, although maybe that works from a born-again point of view.

You guys sure don't seem to put much thought into anything. I remember a few years ago "First Things" reviewed a book called "The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind." Turns out there is no evangelical mind, something the reviewer couldn't deny, although he seemed to think it impolite to say out loud.

As to your years of study. do you think you're the only one who has studied? I spent, I'm embarrassed to say, 14 years in college studying literature, history, law and languages. And I still believe Mormonism is true, as do many others who have deeply studied it. We are not quite the ignorant sheep you born agains like to claim.

You claim that Mormonism falls apart in the face of scientific scrutiny. Every secularist on this site would say the same thing about religion in general. What's your point? That I should give up my own thoughts and studies and blindly accept yours? That would be sheepish, wouldn't it?

I've met plenty of burnt out and bitter Baptists, but the Baptist Church thrives just fine without them. Likewise for the Catholics. You and your ilk who hang around the anti-Mormon sites really prove nothing except that life is full of shipwrecks. I'm sorry for you.

Mormonism has given me a wonderful life. A great wife, a good and loving family, friends everywhere I go and doctrines that lift my mind out of the muck of modern life.

I have attended Church for a month or more in 40 different LDS congregations in a dozen different countries. Everywhere I go, I see happy, loving people whose lives are being changed for the better, who have a deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ and a determination to live by the principles He taught.

That's the Mormonism I know and love. If I were to give it up, what do you have to offer in return except for the bitterness and paranoia that seems so typical of the born again postings I see.? That's not much of a trade, my friend. I think you were cheated.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Mary Ann...

I guess we can all be accused of not remembering the high aspirations of the educational institutions which provided us so much opportunity in this world. I'll be the first to admit that I probably also fit in that group.

However...

You state that you graduated from Guilford College on your personal link.

http://www.guilford.edu/about_guilford/

At the above link it states:

"Guilford College draws on Quaker and liberal arts traditions to prepare men and women for a lifetime of learning, work and constructive action dedicated to the betterment of the world."

One of the listed traditions included:

"a values-rich education that explores the ethical dimension of knowledge and promotes honesty, compassion, integrity, courage and respect for the individual"

However this tragic piece of journalism on your part strikes me as quite sad. Not only does it provide a inappropriate outlet for the subject of your article, but it also leads to "yellow journalism" on the part of the Washington Post.

I would suggest that "constructive action"
was not served to either party...the subject of your article or members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Silver Fox 801-947-0818

Posted by: Active Mormon Unloads on Meet Mary Ann Akers | January 8, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

This guys is a joke. The BYU Cougar Club isn't some tight nit religious organization, it supports the sports programs at BYU...and even that many years ago, could've had hundreds/thousands of members. The school itself currently enrolls 30,000 students and even back when Mitt was there...had to have been around 15-20,000...and he knows him because he was the valedictorian? Ugh...what joke.

Posted by: MJ | January 8, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I think that was the whole point of the article don't you? - To cause devisivness during the campaign and keep people focused on the things that divide us and not recognize that those differences are really our Nation's unique strength. Of all the freedoms we enjoy, freedom to have differing views when it comes to religion is among one of our Nation's great strengths especially to be able to have those differing religious views among our nation's political candidates and public officials.

Posted by: Reader | January 8, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

TM, if organized religion were for the weak minded, you'd have a hard time explaining why so many great minds have participated in organized religion.

Secularists somehow think they can foist all of mankind's sins onto religion and then bask in the innocence of thier own atheism. I would think that recent history would embarrass them somewhat. We've had several devoutely secular governments that have produce more blood and devestation than religion ever managed.

Years ago when I lived in the Congo, I worked awhile with chimpanzees, our putative closest relatives in the animal world with whom we seem to share over 98 percent of our genes. Turns out they are violent, bloody savage animals (but cute). I'd suggest that the violence of humanity is inherent in our genes and that religion has little to do with it.

So watch out my secular friend. Despite your cockiness, your genes are little different from mine.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Debrar,

That's total BS and you know it.

When the Bish stands up and says, there's an election coming, these are our values, this is what we believe, Candidate #1 agrees with those values and Candidate #2 doesn't; that's an endorsement from the pulpit -- plain and simple.

The Prophets tell us that no one can draw a line between Church and State.

The Prophets tell us that we must never substitute our judgment for theirs.

What part your own Prophets words don't you understand?

>There are too many faiths in America to be exclusive to one, and that is basically how Mormons feel a Mormon President should act. Reread Mitt's address on Faith in America.

Have you no shame?

You know that Mormonism teaches that they are the ONE TRUE CHURCH.

You know that Mormonism teaches that all other churches are in apostacy.

Milk before meat -- that's the way to get your message out.

I've participated in the lessions. Don't bother telling your lies to people who know the truth.

Posted by: Flipper | January 8, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Does Romney have a rapid response team of Mormons ready to attack anyone who questions his religion? Mormons statistically are not a large percentage of the population but they sure pop up in a lot of comments. Just wondering...

My concern is due to friends I know who have been shunned by the Mormons. One was the descendant of the director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. If you don't tow the line, you're shunned. This can be a very powerful tool, as Mormons are extremely family oriented. Who would risk being shunned by their family? It's a concern about Romney. I see far more politions willing to buck their church leaders (Catholics, for example, on abortion) than I see Mormons doing it.

Posted by: MJ | January 8, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

All I read in the story is a violation of the US Constitution. There IS NOT supposed to be a religious test. All I hear about Romney and his candidacy is an ongoing RELIGIOUS TEST.

You just got to love all those "strict constructionist" evangelicals VIOLATING THE CONSTITUTION!

Posted by: Kris in AL | January 8, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I'd suggest that anyone with questions about the origins of the LDS church to read Fawn Brodie's excellent biography of Joseph Smith. This book is old, but still in print and it posits that Smith was a real snake-oil salesman and charlatan. Brodie was raised a Mormon, I believe, and also left the church.

Posted by: Judith | January 8, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Meso,

You misrepresent why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has changed positions on Polygamy and giving the priesthood to people of black ancestry.

First, polygamy was given up by the LDS Church because the United States declared war on our church and officially made polygamy illegal in the United States. The United States then began confiscating LDS property, imprisoning our leaders, and taking away our political rights.

The LDS Church was given a choice, either continue to practice polygamy and have everything confiscated by the United States or submit to the laws of the United States and give up polygamy.

The prophet at that time, explained the choice our church faced in a General Conference that is a meeting for all members of our church. I quote:

"The question is this: Which is the wisest course for the Latter-day Saints to pursue--to continue to attempt to practice plural marriage, with the laws of the nation against it and the opposition of sixty millions of people, and at the cost of the confiscation and loss of all the Temples, and the stopping of all the ordinances therein, both for the living and the dead, and the imprisonment of the First Presidency and Twelve and the heads of families in the Church, and the confiscation of personal property of the people (all of which of themselves would stop the practice); or, after doing and suffering what we have through our adherence to this principle to cease the practice and submit to the law, and through doing so leave the Prophets, Apostles and fathers at home, so that they can instruct the people and attend to the duties of the Church, and also leave the Temples in the hands of the Saints, so that they can attend to the ordinances of the Gospel, both for the living and the dead?"

We may still believe that polygamy has a place somewhere in some circumstances as the prophets in the Bible who practiced polygamy indicates, but the LDS Church chose to ban polygamy because the practice was declared illegal by the United States and one of the principles of our faith as espoused by Joseph Smith in the 1830s is that we will obey the laws of the land. As a Mormon, I simply accept that God will reveal at some point, in this life or the next, how polygamy fits in with His plans. I will then be left with a choice of whether to obey His plans or not.

It is fine if you don't agree with the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. But, if you study Christianity or religion very deeply, I believe you will find that our beliefs offer the best explanation for our existence, God's plan for us, and what has occurred since Christ's resurrection.

If you don't agree with my faith, that is fine. We can all still work together to promote healthy families, remove discrimination, and elect the best possible public servants even if we don't go to the same church.

Posted by: Utah Mormon | January 8, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Some would have you believe that to learn about the Mormon faith you only need to hear from within this church alone. There are still a few practicing Branch Dividians in Texas and others who escaped and left this Religion. Who would you wish to get your information from if wanting to join this particular group?

Posted by: Michael | January 8, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

This article makes me laugh, the real issue here is not Mitt it is not the Mormon faith it is Michael Moody and his personal choices.

There are really one two ways that people leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. One is to request it, the second is to break the rules that are clearly spelled out.

It is no different from a person who chooses to drink and drive. By this point in our country every one knows drinking and driving is wrong yet people still do it. Likewise in the LDS church a you have to make a choice to act in a certin way.

It was Mikes choice and he is mad becasue someone set a rule that he did not like and he choice not to live by. Keep that in mind the next time you listen to an angry person who was once a member of the LDS church. Oh did he even both to mention why he is not a member, no because it would show what type of person he is.

Posted by: Dear Mary Ann Akers | January 8, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Meso,

Regarding giving the Priesthood to people with black ancestry, the best explanation I have been able to find is that we adopted the practice of other "white" churches at the time. Joseph Smith actually gave the priesthood to some blacks and gave them more rights than most "white" churches at that time. However, while he was working on translating the Book of Abraham, he had some questions about the descendants of Ham who married Egytpus and were seemingly denied the priesthood by Noah. After this time, the church seemed to no longer give the priesthood to members of our church that had black ancestry and it became policy at some point. In the 1800s and 1900s, this was consistent with most churches. There is no formal revelation or explanation in our scriptures that explain why this change occurred.

The only official statement I can find regarding this subject is when the Apostles of our church fasted and were united in prayer to God about whether the policy should be discontinued in 1976.

Our leaders indicate they all felt inspired by God that the practice should be discontinued. Our Church then changed the policy in 1976 and again began giving the priesthood to members of our church that had black skin or black ancestry as Joseph Smith did initially in the beginning.

I also don't agree with the practice of discimination regarding who can hold the priesthood or not based on the color of their skin. But, even in the Bible, God only allowed some people to have the priesthood. Only the tribe of Levi were able to hold the Levitical or Aaronic Priesthood of all the descendants of Abraham. I don't understand why this is nor do I know if my church not giving the priesthood to blacks was correct. But, I'm glad the Apostles of my church were willing to fast and pray and change the policy of my church based on the answer they received. Whether the policy was incorrect to begin with or whether my church took too long to change the policy, I will ask God when I die to find out.

I am just glad that the United States of America has been setup to empower people to use the power of democracy to erode the evils of discrimination against anyone that has a just cause.

It is fine if you don't agree with the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. But, if you study Christianity or religion very deeply, I believe you will find that our beliefs offer the best explanation for our existence, God's plan for us, and what has occurred since Christ's resurrection.

If you don't agree with my faith, that is fine. We can all still work together to promote healthy families, remove discrimination, and elect the best possible public servants even if we don't go to the same church.

Posted by: Utah Mormon | January 8, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Mormon church member. I think its time for my church to get over our last iota of racism. Its time for us to denounce the Book of Mormon. Its racism teachings are disgusting. The idea that God would give dark skin to people for being wicked is absurd. So is absurd the idea that God would give white skin to people for repenting. Its also quite bigoted to associate dark skin with loathsomeness and white skin with delightsomeness. Its time to speak out against those shameful phrases in the Book of Mormon. I just hope that those who are offended for this continued racism will forgive us for this shameful arrogant racism history.

Posted by: Alex | January 8, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Religious controversy has no place in a political campaign, but I would like to point out that Webster's Dictionary simply defines Christian "as a person who believes in Jesus Christ and follows his teachings". That commonly accepted definition is entirely consistent with "Mormonism" as shown by even the most superficial examination of Mormon doctrine, including that taught in the Book of Mormon, which Mormons accept as another testament of Christ along with the Bible. Mitt Romney certainly qualifies, if anyone does, based on his stated beliefs, and demonstrated good character and lifestyle. Certain bigots have for years spread the big lie that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not believe in Jesus Christ. That's like saying the Pope is not Catholic. But if you repeat a lie often enough, apparently some ignorent people will believe it. The undeniable truth is that the LDS Church has always worshiped Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God and Savior of the world. Every prayer, sermon and ordinance in the LDS Church is offered in the name of Jesus Christ. In fact, Mormons go so far as to try to emulate the Savior, and actually live their lives (imperfect as they may be) in accordance with His example and teachings. Mormons don't preach for money either. (Maybe that's what peeves greedy televangelists and back-biteing "evangelicals" so much.)
No self-appointed "expert" has the right to arbitrarily redefine Christianity according to his own wisdom, so as to exclude the vast majority of those who humbly believe in Christ and seek to follow Him. Let God judge what's in our heart, not man. And let the voters judge a candidate on character, courage, competence and judgment, not private religious beliefs.

Posted by: Kaanapali | January 8, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

What's shameful about this re-hash of months-old pseudocontroversy is that the WaPo warmed it over on the morning of the New Hampshire primary. Shame on the WaPo for printing this!

Posted by: Disappointed | January 8, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that there are a lot more glaring defects to Romney than his religion. His espousal of torture as an 'effective means of information gathering' is inexcusable. His appointment of Blackwater's Cofer Black to his advisory staff is one more disqualifier. If Romney were elected, Black's presence would be a glaring conflict of interest. Blackwater's chairman Prince has shown a strong desire to attach himself to the federal government. (And its shown incredible benefits on the balance sheets so far.) We must not let this happen. We cannot allow the US which is already overrun (if not completely controlled) by the military industrial complex to also fund private mercenary armies. A Romney administration will simply become act II of the Haliburton /Cheney story, only the cast of characters will include Cofer Black and Blackwater. I think this whole religion thing is a dodge. It will distract the public using a rather innocuous issue in order to prevent Blackwater from getting any press. Wake up. Blackwater has no motivation to end the war. Romney thinks we should double Gitmo. Should someone with such a disregard for 'self evident' truths be allowed to take the presidential oath of office?

Posted by: Rawkcuf | January 8, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Flipper and TM,

Just how deep does the paranoia go? I've been an active Mormon for 56 years and have never had a bishop even suggest how I should vote. Can you name one that has pushed his congregation in a certain direction? I doubt it.

Even back in the days when Church leaders got more involved in politics, they were often on opposite sides. The most famous case was the debate whether or not to join the UN. The then-president of the Church was on one side of the question and his first counselor, JR Clark, on the other.
Prophets are not slavemasters and I'm not sure what evidence you can come up with to suggest they are.

As to your dismay that we believe we are the true church, you certainly believe we are false, so you must believe something else is true. Having discovered that, should I now react to you with disgust and paranoia? I sometimes think you people need to be on meds.

As to milk before meat, that's how most teachers work, unless you were one of those geniuses who walked into kindergarten and sat down to a calculus text. Somehow I doubt it.

And dear TM, exactly how is the descendent of a director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir supposed to act in order not to be shunned? Should he walk the streets humming hymns and waving his arms? I want to know so that if I ever find someone musical in my past I'll know what to do in order not to get kicked out of my congregation.

My wife and I both come from large LDS families, some of whom have gone inactive. They come to our homes and they don't smoke or drink. We go to theirs and don't sing hymns or leave religious tracts on the kitchen table. It works out quite well. Suggest it to your friend.

As to your suspicion about the Mormon response team, there aren't so many born agains in the US either, but you guys seem to hang around any site that offers a chance to bash Mormonism like so many blow flies around a new born calf. Should I befrightened? Will I be safe leaving my room tonight? Give me a break. What kind of mental world do you people live in?

The only reason I'm here is that I'm stuck in a hotel in Jordan waiting for a C-130 to take me back to Iraq. I'm bored, so I thought it might be fun to enter the world of born again paranoia, the Twilight Zone of Christianity.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Akers,

Thank you for perpetuating bigotry and ignorance in our society. Perhaps writing for a tabloid would suit you better. Hopefully, intelligent people will see this story and Moody's opinion for what it is--trash. Perhaps next week you can post lies about the Jews, and then the following week perhaps you could do the same for Islam, or Buddhism etc.

Posted by: Karl Thorpe | January 8, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Utah seems to lead the nation in depression and young adult suicides. I believe that much of this might be related to people finding out about the history and truth of the Mormon religion.

Those who are devoted adherents of the faith are more likely to break off relations with any family or community member who decides not to continue to believe.

This lead me to believe that there are plenty of Mormons who might not believe in the faith but continue to follow because of the negative consequences of leaving such a tight knit group.

I have often wondered if this defense of the faith is similar to those with Stockholm Syndrome as these people might not really believe in what this religion believs but certainly are going to defend it on behalf of the one's they love.

Posted by: Adam | January 8, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Alex,

You're living proof that not all the idiots on this blog are born agains. The color divide in The Book of Mormon has nothing to do with race. If you've actually read the book, you'll be aware that both parties are descended from a common father and constantly refer to each other as brother throughout the book.

The situation is analogous to 19th century England, when the pale upper classes despised the sunburnt lower classes, who spent all their time in the fields. Not nice, but not racism.

The Book of Mormon is very clear that the Lamanites tend to be hunters and herders, whereas the Nephites tend to be city dwellers. Those two groups have always disliked each other, as they do even today. Ever heard the term "hick?"

When the Lamanites do finally, as it were, lighten up, it's after they take over the city of Zarahemla and both become Christian and sedentary city dwellers. In other words, their skin color has nothing to do with race and everything to do with culture, location and social class. As I said, not nice maybe, but certainly not racism.

Pay some attention to what you read and maybe you won't sound like a bucket of rocks.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

While I wouldn't intrude on the decision that each person must make in choosing a candidate to support, when any man chooses to run for the office of the president, it is vitally important to know something about the person's belief system and religion. It is completely fair to measure part of one's voting decision on such knowledge and to exclude an individual if they believe that there is something wrong with voting for a person whose religion they believe has some great defect that could adversely impact our nation. Just because a person believes such doesn't make them right or wrong necessarily, but that is the way our system works. We have to judge the nature of the person if we are going to make an informed decision. It is up to each candidate to plead their case and persuade the people that their belief system will only enhance their resolve and integrity to uphold the constitution and the laws on behalf of the people of this nation.

In a court of law people are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. The campaign trail is not a court of law and it is un-American to think that a person's religion should not be scrutinized. If he were smoking the peace pipe while practicing the religion of the ancients I think the people would want to know. It is up to the candidate to convince the people at that point that he did not inhale.

Posted by: Dale | January 8, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

So are you one of those wierd reporters there with nothign to do?

I congratulate you for mocking him and his obvious lack of credibility, but why even make a write up on this?

Posted by: Sillly | January 8, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

These comments should offer a useful overview for outsiders on the subject of Mormon issues; as a fifty year resident of "Zion," and a longtime participant on an Internet site mentioned (www.exmormon.org), I've seen and participated in free-for-all stuff like this since I was a teenager who decided LDS, Inc. was a toxic organization that numbed the minds and stole the time of my friends whom I loved and cared for.

Sadly, when LDS faithful are confronted with the objective facts about their religion and its history, they regularly resort to the dishonesty and prevarication displayed here, and almost automatically assume a "victim mode" that allows them to retain their identity and castigate their persecutors. From this bunker mentality, they launch their ad hominems and diatribes that are repleat with strawman arguments and fantasy and little else.

Poster "Lacrima" offers us an example with the statement, "The term "blood oath" is not really tightly defined, but probably refers to a promise made by many members in the first few generations after Joseph Smith to take vengeance on his murderers. That bit of anti-sociality is long gone."

The "bit of anti-sociality" referred to led to the largest mass murder of white civilians in the United States by other white civilians until the Oklahoma City bombing (The Moutain Meadows Massacre). And a 20-year coverup by the "Prophet" of the LDS Church followed, and those of us raised in Utah were never exposed to this history until we were adults and ferreted out the facts on our own.

Lacrima's pronouncements on the subject of DNA research are even more ludicrous. There's overwhelming proof--archaeological as well as geneitc-- that Native Americans descended from Siberians migrating to this continent 15-20,000 years ago, and the "Book of Mormon" puports to be a history of a Semitic people who sailed to the New World circa 600 B.C. These mythical folks built large civilizations, fought huge wars, and curiously, there's no trace of them, anywhere.

And please don't get me started on the subject of Mormon racism . . .

Small wonder Mormons are embarassed when this stuff surfaces and immediately attack the bearers of this bad news.

Posted by: SL Cabbie | January 8, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Meso,

I have studied the tenets of my faith for many years now and believe in my church and believe it to be an amazing organization for good, even if we church members are not perfect and cause our church to suffer from our imperfections.

We are organized to help the poor and the needy around the world regardless of their church affiliation or beliefs.

Our church enforces a policy of strict political neutrality and encourages its members to use their freedom to study and support the candidates we feel are the best ones. That is why a very liberal Democrat Senator Harry Reid and a very conservative Senator Republican Orin Hatch can both be Mormons with very different political beliefs.

Our church will not allow anyone to give a talk in church about which candidate to support.

Our church will not allow us to use church buildings or property to hold political events. Our church will not say one word in either support or criticism of Mitt Romney or other political candidates.

Our church will not allow church vans or buses to be used to get people out to vote. I wish the IRS would make other churches obey the law as well as our church does so everyone can try and decide for themselves whom to vote for. We believe that most people are smart enough to decide whom the best candidate is.

Only on policy issues like legalizing gambling will our church publish a policy that speaks against political policies that may increase evil in the world and enslave people to its practices.

We also don't have a paid ministry which is different from other Christian churches as well. No one in our church has a financial incentive to share our faith.

Paid ministers and pastors have a financial incentive to slander anything that might take paying church members from their congregation. That is why Christian churches with paid ministers are the most adept at putting out anti-everything pamphlets. Their mantra is that if you believe in Jesus, you are saved no matter how bad your actions are, except if you happen to believe in the teachings of a different Christian church that doesn't believe in the Nicean Creed. Thus, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is proclaimed a cult and a non-Christian church by these incentivized pastors because we don't believe in the Catholic teaching of the Nicean Creed regarding Jesus and Heavenly Father being one person. There are ample scriptures in the Bible explaining our position on this issue.

Thus, the pastors of many churches tell their congregation how to vote and that if they speak to Mormons themselves to find out what they believe, they are in danger of going to hell. I can fully understand disagreement about beliefs, but this is totally illogical.

It is fine if you don't agree with the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. But, if you study Christianity or religion very deeply, I believe you will find that our beliefs offer the best explanation for our existence, God's plan for us, and what has occurred since Christ's resurrection.

If you don't agree with my faith, that is fine. We can all still work together to promote healthy families, remove discrimination, and elect the best possible public servants even if we don't go to the same church.

Posted by: Utah Mormon | January 8, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

The "Bish" NEVER stands up to discuss any candidate or election. In fact, the church specifically instructs Bishops not to do this - ever!

The church encouraged polygamy, yes, but never stated it was the only way to salvation. In fact, first wives had to agree to a subsequent wife...with no requirement that she do so or any threat that she would lose her right to salvation because she didn't agree. (I have at least one ancestor who was granted a church divorce because her husband took a second wife without her approval.) Also, I've not seen evidence of pre-teen or even teenage polygamous marriages in the real LDS church back in the 1800's. You must have it confused with the bogus, so-called fundamentalist Mormons, who are not LDS and never were!

The practice of polygamy came up against another LDS belief to obey the laws of the land. Apparently, the church places a very high premium on obeying the law (or as Christ would say, "Render unto Caeser that which is Caeser's..."), and the change is evidence that polygamy or lack thereof is not tied to the path to salvation.

There's much more to dispute about several of the posts here, but I don't have the time nor the inclination.

I will point out, however, that I am LDS. I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and came to fulfill God's promise that ALL of us will have the opportunity to return to Him. I believe the Old and New Testaments and the Book of Mormon are true and are testaments of the Glory of God and Jesus Christ. I pray that our country will prevail in righteousness and that all our leaders will receive His guidance.

Just a word to those ex-members who do not wish to be contacted by the church: I hope you would change your minds, but if not, all you need to do is let your Bishop know to mark your records "DNC" (do not contact), and your wishes will be respected.

Posted by: Karen | January 8, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Karen,

The source for details about teen age polygamy within the early church exists on the churches own geneology website. I would suggest you not go there if you are not prepared for assimilation.

Posted by: dan | January 8, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

SL Cabbie,

Unless you're a lot older than I am you didn't have to ferret out anything. "Mountain Meadows Massacre" (Juanita Brooks) was published in 1950 and contains all the information you could want. Both it and a more recent book on the subject exonorate the president of the Church from responsibility for the massacre, although the Church recently did accept repsonsibility and apologized to the descendants of the survivors. I haven't got a copy of the new book yet, but Brooks, as I recall, doesn't bring up blood oaths as the problem.

Both her book and the review of the new one suggest that it was a continuation of old animosities from the east. Not nice, but again, doesn't support your thesis.

And why are you people so wrapped up in conspiracy? Had to wait until you were an adult to find the facts? You could have found them in any bookstore or library.

As to the DNA, I don't disagree with you that the majority of American Indians are descendants of Siberians. That doesn't change the fact that there is no reason to disbelieve The Book of Mormon story of a small group (30 or so) of Semitic settlers who came to Central America and founded a civilization. Current studies suggest the actual area of Book of Mormon settlement was rather small, a few hundred miles in diameter at most (see "Mormon's Map" by John L. Sorensen. If you have a tough time with libraries or bookstores, have a friend get it for you.)

If the DNA evidence were as strong as you say it is, believe me, the media would be trumpeting it from the mountain tops. Be a little patient. Maybe the wind will blow your way, but it hasn't yet.

You say there is no evidence of advanced civilizations or great battles in Central America? Where do you keep that cab of yours parked? Under a rock?

As to Mormon racism, if you'd do a little research through some back issues of "Dialogue" you'd find an article describing Mormon racial attitudes before the ban on blacks receiving the priesthood was listed. We were pretty much indistinguishable from the US population as a whole. Not great perhaps, but hardly monstrous.

I was once in a military exercise and wound up one evening sharing a tent with an old black first sargent. He asked me at one point if I knew anything about Mormons. I said, "a bit" and he replied,"Best damned people I ever knew." Seems he'd been transferred to a guard unit in Ogden. He said his neighbors treated him and his family like gold. His wife and kids joined the Church and when he was transferred to the California National Gaurd, where I met him, they refused to leave Utah. He was trying to get transferred back to Ogden as quickly as possible so he could see his son off on a mission. There's some Mormon racism for you.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

There are only 2 ways to look at The Book Of Mormon, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint. They are either what they claim to be or they aren't. Joseph Smith was either truly an instrument in the Lord's hands
or He was a 14 year old mastermind genius-still fooling millions of people today.

DNA is a man made test with .??% room for error as they off the bat admit. Would Heavenly Father allow anyone to line up every fact needed to neatly prove that the BOM is true?

Do we have Noah's Ark today? Do we have the cross that Jesus died on? Do we have the stone tablets (the unbroken set:) that had the 10 commandments on them? Did Heavenly Father allow anything in the New Testament to be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt?

We are walking by faith. That leaves us with some trusting to do. I can't prove that my Savior existed, but I feel Him. I know it's true.

Take a look at any 14 year old young man. What are they usually? Unsure of themselves, quiet, a little backwards, slightly geeky-and that's now, here in this modern fast paced world! Think back to the 1800's when children still were disciplined and had respect for their authorities. I picture a Joseph Smith that was loyal to his family, humble, helpful, a good son. He knew he didn't have all the answers, he wasn't cocky or boastful. He was seeking, full of questions. Could he without "Google" :), or other means of research, just a few years later have "written" the BOM from a 3rd grade education? Without even a ballpoint pen to do so?

Everyone is right the BOM and The Church are either miracles or frauds.

Could Joseph Smith have been such a mastermind genius who had such knowledge of the Bible that he didn't leave out one part of the instructions from the New Testament?

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
Repentance
Baptism by Immersion as Jesus Himself did
Gift of the Holy Ghost by the Laying on of hands
12 Apostles
Elders in groups of 70
Missionaries sent 2 by 2
on and on

Could he have done that? They didn't even own tractors back then. Could he, having been a farmer's son have created a religion with every point in it without
help? After being brought up as a farmer in the fields all day-acre and acre by
hand/hoe/horse n plow?

Most people who don't like Joseph Smith don't like that he became a polygamist. They think he wrapped a religion around his need for sex. Surely there would have been other ways to fulfill that need. Especially without creating a religion and bringing so much attention to it! Some men fulfill that need today, it's called cheating on their wives down at motel 6, which often leads to children on the side left to chance.

I know that people say all kinds of things against the early Church leaders and I ask: has anyone ever slandered your names? have people ever said anything about you that was a half truth? or a stretch or even an out and out lie? Would it have been any different for Joseph Smith? He isn't here to defend himself. People on the Internet can twist things however they want to.

Could a man of humble beginnings, who never made a dime for the religion he brought forth, and was killed, in part because he was going to run for the Presidency of the United States, still have such an impact on so many people from the grave today if it wasn't all true?

Either "ALL" things are possible with God or they aren't.
It's either true or it isn't....

If I had lived in the time of Samuel the boy prophet, would I have believed he was a prophet?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints either has Heavenly Father's
plan of salvation or it doesn't...
It is either true or it isn't...

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Amazing. Akers tries so hard to make her editorial objective--"dirty tricks"--and set up Moody as a naughty boy, but it's hard to justify putting something like this, something so unimportant and irrelevant, out there on this particular day. Hm.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 8, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Want to read something interesting? If you can find a copy of "Nightfall at Nauvoo" by Taylor, you might find it quite enlightening.

Posted by: Unicorn | January 8, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so now that everyone knows everything there is to know about Mormons (as blogged by know-it alls from both sides), do you think that we can get back to electing the next President of the United States?

Get over it folks. All religions have weird, funny, mis-understood beliefs. So what? I couldn't give a rats behind what you think about my particular religion and I don't give a damn what you believe.

This is politics people. God and/or Jesus are not on the ballot.

Let's elect someone who can get us out of the impending fiscal calamity we will be in before the elections.

People need to grow up and realize that this is a free country, and everyone, including Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, McCain, Thompson, Hillary and Obama have a right to worship any way they want, when they want, and to whom they want. Get freaking over it!!!!!

Posted by: J Scott | January 8, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

So many religious people (notice I didn't use the word "Christian" so as not to offend anyone) and so many intolerant, judgmental, sinless and bigoted people.

You make God proud!

Posted by: J Scott | January 8, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Dan,

It was quite common in prior centuries for girls to marry in their early teens. It's not a scandal and the Borg won't assimilate you if you know about it. (Again, are you anti-Mormons all paranoid?)

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

If the Book of Mormon folks were confined to such a small area in Central America then why does God send Oliver Cowdery to preach to the Lamanites in Missouri? And why in Helaman 3:8 of your Book of Mormon does it say that those folks spread from "sea south to the sea north, from sea west to the sea east" if this small area of Central America was the place you now attribute to something your own book says happened in so vast an area? And how do you suppose these folks pulled their chariots if horses didn't exist here until Columbus arrived centuries later? And no, DNA doesn't aritrarily rearrange itself in the short time since BofM times. And no, Joseph Smith didn't journey to Central America to find the gold plates, he found them in New York. Your book just doesn't stand up to scientific scrutiny. Maybe that's why they have to keep changing it.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I did not necessarily enjoy reading this article, but the headline caught my attention (as does most things that are controversial). However, I did enjoy reading all the comments and insights. I agree, if you want correct information about the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visit mormon.org or lds.org.

Whether it be be Romney, Huckabee, Obama, whomever, it is evident that religion is a hot topic right now.

There is an independent film coming out this month titled: "Article VI: Faith. Politics. America.he film was directed by Bryan Hall and Jack Donaldson. It is an intense discussion of the role of faith in politics. The title is taken from Article Six of the United States Constitution: "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

If you haven't seen the trailer I suggest you check it:

http://www.articlevithemovie.com/

This is powerful film. Made me think that we as Americans really haven't come as far as I once believed.

Posted by: Jessica | January 8, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Dear Nameless,

Your questions have long been answered. Do a little reading of something besides anti-Mormon lit. It will do you some good.

As to Book of Mormon changes, who changed it? You could still get by quite well with the 1830 edition and the Church still sells it. There have been some spelling and other textual changes over the years, but none to greatly change any meaning. If you were to do some research (the four-volume edition with all the changes listed is for sale on line at BYU Bookstore) you'd see that for yourself. As I mentioned above, the Church sells almost all the materials the born agains use to denounce us. Must be frustrating for you.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima says: "Elder George! Aren't you a fine one--a burnt out Mormon taking out his frustrations on those of us who are still quite happy in the Church. The fact that you still refer to yourself as Elder suggests just how troubled you really are."

My response: Wow! All I did was express my opinion...just like you did. Why are you so offended by that? Incidentally, many churches use the title of "Elder", the LDS Church doesn't have a copyright on it.

Lacrima says: "I, along with many other Mormons, believe that relatively few modern Indians are descended from the Nephites. That belief was not brought about by anything the Church said."

My response: Lacrima, it not the Nephites, it's the Lamanites (descended from Native Americans.

Lacrima says: "You guys sure don't seem to put much thought into anything."

My response: When you say "you guys" what do you mean?

Lacrima:
"As to your years of study. do you think you're the only one who has studied?"

My response: No. I know a lot of people who have studied it.

Lacrima: I spent, I'm embarrassed to say, 14 years in college studying literature, history, law and languages. And I still believe Mormonism is true, as do many others who have deeply studied it. We are not quite the ignorant sheep you born agains like to claim."

My response: I never said anyone was an arrogant sheep in my posts. Incidentally, I am not a "born again". However, I find it rude that you refer to born again Christians in that matter.

Lacrima: "You claim that Mormonism falls apart in the face of scientific scrutiny. Every secularist on this site would say the same thing about religion in general. What's your point? That I should give up my own thoughts and studies and blindly accept yours? That would be sheepish, wouldn't it?"

My response: Why are you so defensive? I have never asked you to believe anything. I do, however, agree with you that most religions in general fall apart in the face of scientific scrutiny. Especially Mormonism and the Book of Mormon. Any non-Mormon archeologist, DNA expert will agree with that. The Book of Mormon claims thousands upon thousands of people who used metal weapons, tools, animals, and plants that have never been found in the Americas during the time of the Book of Mormon. Don't you find that odd? There is not a conspiracy to shut Mormonism down, but Mormonism not only lacks evidence it goes against many of the laws of science.

Lacrima says: "You and your ilk who hang around the anti-Mormon sites really prove nothing except that life is full of shipwrecks. I'm sorry for you."

My response: You say this simply because I have expressed my views. For what it's worth, I have a very full life with a loving wife, child, extended family, and many loving friends. There is no reason to feel sorry for me, I am truly happy. My happiness has grown exponentially since I left your church. It was a difficult decision, but I am truly glad I did.

Lacrima says: "Mormonism has given me a wonderful life. A great wife, a good and loving family, friends everywhere I go and doctrines that lift my mind out of the muck of modern life."

My response: "Great. Life is good."

Lacrima says: "That's the Mormonism I know and love. If I were to give it up, what do you have to offer in return except for the bitterness and paranoia that seems so typical of the born again postings I see.? That's not much of a trade, my friend. I think you were cheated."

My response: Not speaking for "born agains" (as you call them), because I am not one. Just because someone decides they don't believe in your faith means they are to be pitied or referred to as "bitter" or "paranoid". I just find it interesting how you so willingly give your opinion on the Mormon church, but God forbid, anyone else have a differing view. Defensiveness, name calling, and very negative assumptions is not a civil way to discuss this.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 8, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse


While a religious litmus test for candidates to the highest office in the land should be a non-issue, Mitt Romney's adherence to a religious doctrine, that many feel borders on cultism, has left him vulnerable to critics who claim his loyalty to Mormon founder, Joseph Smith, is similar in scope to followers of Jim Jones, David Koresh or L. Ron Hubbard, to name a few.

Romney's speech stressed an American tenet, the belief in the "equality of humankind", yet, while on an LDS mission to France in the 1960's, he was preaching that blacks were an inferior race and not worthy to hold office in his church. His speech contained no reference to this former doctrine or any hint of the fact that women are treated as second-class citizens in Mormonism.

Reminiscent of JFK's Catholic speech nearly a half century before, Romney certainly appeared presidential in former president Bush's library setting, but his words contained nothing of substance to those seeking to understand his religious beliefs. Many, familiar with Mormonism, question whether an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution would take precedence over his secret oath taken years earlier swearing allegiance to church hierarchy.

With many voters rushing to their computers to explore Romney's quirky religion, much of that religion's checkered past will come to light and perhaps expose it to more sunshine than it's white and delightsome image can endure and consequently derail this steadfast Mormon's bid for presidential office.

Posted by: Meso | January 8, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I thought the Washington Post was a professional organization. Why would you print blather like this and call it news? Can you please stop being part of the problem of spreading misinformation to the citizens of this country and start being part of the solution?

We'd all appreciate it.

Posted by: Spencer, Boise, ID | January 8, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Once last comment to all those who say why can't we just be nice? I have no intention of voting for Romney. I don't like the guy and have strong suspicions that he'll quicky develop New York Times Syndrome and become just another RINO.

That said, I didn't bring up his religion, nor did the other Mormons who read this site. We have no objection to it at all. It was the born agains and the secularists who attack him for his religious views, often in ways that are pathetically mendacious or ignorant.

Although I have received nothing but good through my membership in the Church, I realize others have had their problems. That's OK, it's life and it doesn't work the same way for all of us. I just don't see why the haters and the embittered should control this particular conversation.

Whatever I think of his politics, Romney is a decent human being who deserves a shot at the presidency without having his religion attacked. Whether or not Mormonism is true, it's adherents tend to be decent, law abiding people and that's really all that's important as far as his personal life is concerned.

Hammer the guy for his politics. I do. But, I feel no sense of shame at all in defending my religion and his from these weird, paranoid and wrong headed attacks on a religion that has brought about far more good than harm.

The secularists don't bother me much. They're kind of cute in their way, and I rather suspect that they like Oedipus (another secularist, if you recall the play) will discover their blindness soon enough.

But I have a hard time with the born agains, whose own religion is under constant attack by both secularists and liberal Christians. You'd think they would have developed some sympathy for other believers, even those whose beliefs they don't share. You'd think they'd at least be willing to tone down the nasty rhetoric, but instead they hand around like rabid dogs, snapping and growling mindlessly everytime Romney comes into view?

What gives? We all know you don't believe in Mormonism. You're Protestants and that's OK. We don't hate you for it. Just move on a little and see if you can't find something political to attack Romney for. Or, go out and campaign for Huckabee. That's OK, too. Just get over the religion thing. Romney won't become a Baptist anytime soon.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima says: "I just don't see why the haters and the embittered should control this particular conversation."

My response: Who is controlling the conversation? How many postings have you made where you have called people names, used negative stereotypes, etc?

Lacrima says: "The secularists don't bother me much. They're kind of cute in their way, and I rather suspect that they like Oedipus (another secularist, if you recall the play) will discover their blindness soon enough.
But I have a hard time with the born agains...You'd think they would have developed some sympathy for other believers, even those whose beliefs they don't share. You'd think they'd at least be willing to tone down the nasty rhetoric, but instead they hand around like rabid dogs, snapping and growling mindlessly everytime Romney comes into view?"

My response: And you wonder why people call Mormons judgemental???

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 8, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Here is Mike Moody's (self-authored?) bio on the Revelation Press website:

http://www.therevelationpress.com/authorbio1.htm

Can anyone really take this guy seriously?

Posted by: Brock | January 8, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Will the REAL God please stand up! Geez, what is it going to take for all the religous to come to the realization that GOD is as real as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Actually, the easter bunny is GOD, as he/she makes eggs come out of its ______, the miracle is that people then put them to their mouth and eat them, that's the MIRACLE. So therefore, all praise be to GOD. For only the Truly Devoted would eat S_H_I_T while finding fault with one another.

Posted by: paiaso | January 8, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

To Through the peephole,

If you and the other members of your family will write letters to your Bishop asking to have your names removed from the Church's membership rolls, church representatives will stop contacting you. As long as you are a member, the contacts will continue. By the way, if they didn't care about you they wouldn't visit you.

Posted by: rmh | January 8, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I love it when the Pagan Sects fight among themselves.

And Jed (10:21 PM)said "Perhaps they should ask this question: If Jesus was not part of a great, preordained plan, why was he prophesied of and looked forward to hundreds, even thousands of years before his coming? From a Mormon perspective, on two continents?" Well, Jed, perhaps you should consider the possibility that he wasn't. Perhaps he was one of the many descendants of David that was hoped to be the messiah, but did not fulfill the prophecies. There have been several, including Josef and Jakov (known to some as James), right up to a Lubuvich rabbi a few years ago. None of them has yet ushered in the time of Peace.
(Oh, and if you read the Gospels, you may realize you are waiting for the third coming)

Posted by: Mike | January 8, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

my opinion is "keep religion out of the government." As a resident of salt lake city (and a non-mormon) i find the aforementioned communistic-socialist theocracy theory disturbing, and i never really understood why the LDS church continuously influences their people to vote conservative, and now, after reading this article, i think i know. The LDS church wants a monopoly on social services to subvert the secular services, forcing those citizens who require aide to join the church in order to receive it. the most pragmatic reason for this would be the payback the church would receive in tithing later, after said families become more stable, and while the essential message and intention of the church may be percieved as beneficial to the people, so was the nationalist movements of pre-WWII germany and Italy.

and for that matter, the nationalist movements of the present day U.S.

not to insinuate anything or nothing.

thanks for having this discussion.

Posted by: shaesinister | January 8, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

btw. i think Utah Mormon has his head on right. probably one of the only sane and composed people on this forum.

go UM.

Posted by: shaesinister | January 8, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, I am another sane and composed writer (and Latter Day Saint)...but let's face it, without Dr. Phil here to back me up, I've got nothing...

So basically I am a Latter Day Saint who believes essentially what shaesinister does...the religious right scares me. All too often, the religious right tend towards seeing Jesus as a GI or a tank driver...

I believe in the Book of Mormon, I believe that Jesus Christ has made us "joint-heirs" (essentially, what Moody is talking about when says we become Gods...total distortion if you ask me), I believe in all the fundamental teaching of the gospel. Yet I believe Moody to be wrong...simply put. I have made no blood oath against the United States; in fact, I would willingly participate in active duty if called upon to do so. If anything, the Constitution is revered nigh unto scripture in LDS culture. Active Latter Day Saints are throughout gov't: in the CIA, FBI, the Cabinet, and other branches. The talk of Mike Moody is the kind of talk that leads to round-ups and institutionalized repression (though such things are not likely to happen given our poststructuralist environment).

Basically, Moody is a wannabe rabble-rouser who seems to aching for a fight. Bluster, not truth.

Posted by: Russell | January 8, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Moody's message of hate is nothing more than a message of pure hate. Disgusting and not worthy of print. Nor worthy of my time to respond any further. Slanderous hate speech is hurtful; however, whether religious hatred, racial hatred, or hatred based on sexual orientation. None of it is worthy of our attention.

Posted by: Norma | January 8, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

As a proud Pagan I came to the conclusion that many people just don't understand Gods and Goddesses enough to be a part of a religion. I do think that judging other faiths is a fair thing to do as you examine your own faith in light of life around you. All religions are cults to some degree at some point in their history and frankly, Mormonism is one of the scarier ones. There were many similar cults started in the 1800's and most withered away but Smith had a good plan for keeping people in line and so now there are millions of people who believe in magic golden tablets and all the rest of it. Personally it makes no sense whatsoever to me and so Romney himself makes no sense whatsoever to me. I'm not suggesting he quit his faith or that it's a bad religion, but it really makes no sense and is a lot sillier than even the Catholic cult. I stick with the Goddess. Mom doesn't judge us or make us wear funny hats or breed like flies. She just doesn't want us to hurt our brothers and sisters. We should lighten up on Mitt and the rest of the runners. We should pity their need for approval and their lust for power. None of them seem very happy.

Posted by: William Shirley | January 8, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Moody was wrong, it is this that a mormon MALE becomes a celestial god (note little g). The more children and wives he has enables him to quickly populate the little planet he will receive for being a good and obedient mormon. And since when does a secular newspaper columnist from this particular rag write critically of an ex-mormon who happens to not like Mitt Romney? Just someone else you and your cult can ridicule. He is basically right about the mormon religion, it is a cult, a very dangerous cult. Good God, this entire newspaper has devoted itself and its writing staff to being anti-christian, but will stick up for anything or any religion not in line with the Holy Bible. I doubt if any of these employees have read the Bible or the book of mormon (note lower case letters) to engage in any knowledgeable debate. Besides Mary Ann is a muslim and hates christians, that is why she wrote this ridiculous article.

Posted by: Candy | January 8, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I was wrong. I hadn't noticed Elder George's last reply, so now I'm writing more.

As to born agains, they hate to be called Protestants and I refuse to let them co-opt the name Christian. Since they constantly proclaim their born again status, born agains seems to suit. It is hardly worse than calling us Mormons when our preferred name is Latter-Day Saint or LDS.

As to the civility of the discourse, I have been reading articles on Romney for awhile now and find it remarkable that everyone is an opportunity for some born again, often more than one, to attack Mormonism. In fact the very moody fellow who started this discussion off, is typical of born agains in my experience--full of anger and wild statements, short on fact and Christian decency. I find it just a bit sick and I guess my irritation shows.

If you want to read a polite discourse between an Evangelical and a Mormon, read "How Wide the Divide" by Blomberg and Robinson. In it two educated people politely discuss their religous beliefs. It's quite different from most of the born again stuff I've seen appended to Romney articles.

Your own writings, whether you are born again or not, are of the same ilk. You state that you can not believe anyone in the 21st century would believe.... That's fine, but what does it have to do with politics? One could make the same statement about Huckabee's belief in the virgin birth with the exact same irrelevance to the political discussion.

The fact that you choose to inject something so seemingly irrelevant into the discussion suggests you're part of either the born again or secularist group. I assumed you were born again because of your use of the religious title.

Other groups use it, but not often as a public title. The only person I've ever known to do so outside the LDS Church was a friend of mine who was a Dutch Reformed pastor. I expect you are not one of them. On the other hand, I have seen former Mormons use their former titles as a way of gaining a bit of panache among their new-found Protestant friends. At any rate I find it a bit odd that you would call yourself by a religious title on a secular blog. Are you really an elder in some other church? Or, are you just being cute?

In your second letter, you make a great deal of your status as a former Mormon and the copious study that led you from the Church. Again, this is typical of Mormons who have moved over to Protestantism--check the cult shelf of your local "Christian bookstore, and you'll see what I mean.

You didn't claim that your personal conclusion after all this study was that Mormonism is not for you, but rather that objective science proves the Church wrong. Very impressive statement, but I doubt that you have either the training or the knowledge to make it. Others with as much study time and intelligence as you have come to the opposite personal conclusion. There is far more evidence on the other side than you seem to be willing to admit.

The verdict, especially, on the DNA evidence is still out and to think otherwise is a bit wishful. So, yes, I do find it a bit arrogant on your part to say that objective science supports you, when all you mean to say is that you came to a personal conclusion.

Personal conclusions are fine. There are probably close to six billion people out there who have or would personally conclude that Mormonism is not for them. Doesn't bother me in the least. But, when you call upon a higher authority to back your personal claims, I hope my reply was not defensive, but rather offensive. Arguments by authority are inherently weak.

Do I find it odd, you ask, that Mormonism should be out of step with objective science? Not at all. I grew up at a time when objective science was predicting a new ice age and now it is predicting global warming. My first geology text at UCD found the idea of plate tectonics quite offensive; now every school kid accepts it. Objective science, if you trace its history, has often been full of beans. It's better to think for yourself. Eventually objective science will get 'round to the evidence.

I'm glad, however, for your new-found happiness, although, if you're so happy, I wonder why you feel compelled to tell your story and justify yourself in completely irrelevant forums. You remind me a bit of the Ancient Mariner, who felt compelled to tell his story to every passer-by until he got it off his chest. Probably won't happen, but good luck.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima equated former Mormons with the Klu Klux Klan.

It is this kind of vapidity and lack of thought that makes Mormonism, in my opinion, so dangerous.

Seriously. If you want to know the truth about Mormonism, vist www.exmormon.org and http://www.utlm.org

Posted by: Matt | January 8, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Why not SIMPLY ASK ROMNEY where he stands on the separation of church and state!!!? I understand the separation of church and state is so strong among Mormons that they will allow NEITHER political speeches from their pulpits NOR political rallies in their buildings. Evangelical churches DO politicize from the pulpit. They held prayer meeting on behalf of Huckabee in their churches. So which of those candidate poses the greater threat to religious freedom?!

Posted by: almanojodo | January 8, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

From this link:
http://youdecide.homestead.com/index.html

Website includes video re-enactments about questionable Mormon temple rituals. Please visit the site.

Posted by: Dianne Pearce | January 8, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

WOULD YOU VOTE FOR A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WHO????

* Has performed a death oath ritual hundreds of times where he has drawn his thumb across his throat from side to side as if he were slitting his own throat?

* Has performed another death oath ritual hundred of times where he has drawn his thumb across his abdomen as if he were disemboweling himself?

* Believes that when he gets to heaven he will have multiple Goddess wives who will have unlimited sexual relations with him so as to populate his own planet where he reigns as God?

PLEASE WATCH THESE VIDEOS. I EXPERIENCED THESE RITUALS FIRSTHAND - AND THEY SCARED ME TO DEATH.

I was only 21 years old at the time, but my first thought was - "What could happen if the person who convinces people to do these strange rituals asked them to do something illegal or immoral?"

I am a former Mormon. I graduated from Brigham Young University. I was married in the Washington, DC temple.

I vehemently believe in freedom of religion. However, I am concerned that someone who professes questionable beliefs and who has participated in cult-like rituals might become our President.

I believe in full disclosure and Mitt Romney says that he also believes in full disclosure. As such, I am presenting these videos so that YOU DECIDE what you think about this information. This information is not widely available to the general public.

Mormon's state that what goes on in their temples is "sacred, not secret" so here are some of the rituals that I myself have participated in when I was a Mormon.
After learning of and participating in these rituals I could no longer hold this faith in my heart and in my mind.

I believe that God is fantastic, creative, kind and loving.

When I exited the Washington, DC Mormon temple after going through the rituals for the first time I was asked by the other Mormon's who accompanied me what I thought about what I had seen and experienced.
My response was that if those ceremonies and teaching were indeed of God, then I would rather go to hell with the non-Mormons.

I told them that my God doesn't require secret death oaths, doesn't require a new secret name for me to be recognized so I could get into heaven, doesn't require me to know a memorized script to get into heaven, doesn't require me to wear secret underwear that was put on me at the end of several ceremonies where I was totally naked - except for an xray gown type of covering with fabric on the front and back, but with totally open sides.

If you would like to speak with me about what I have written here please feel free to contact me: I feel that this information needs to be disseminated immediately.

Voters must have this "sacred, not secret" information so they can make their own decisions about whether a practicing Mormon would be their choice under all circumstances of national and international security.

How meaningful will an oath of office be for someone who makes death oaths to their God and in the name of their religion?

Dianne Pearce
Email: dpearce@erols.com
Phone: 636-675-5232

See actual video re-enactments of questionable Mormon temple rituals:

http://youdecide.homestead.com/index.html

Posted by: Dianne Pearce | January 8, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Elder George, in reply to your last blog, as I have mentioned before, it is not Mormons who are interjecting religion into the debate, it's largely the born agains, with some secular participation. If Mormons didn't reply, the born agains would control the conversation. Isn't that a bit obvious? Personally, I'd much rather discuss politics.

And let's see: I'm writing back to people who call my religion a "very dangerous cult" denounce it in rather nasty terms and I'm judgemental for calling the writers snappy and growly? Just how, for example, would you characterize Moody's diatribe? Or Candy's letter?

I can appreciate where your sympathies lie, but I think you're being just a bit hypocritical here. You may have noticed that although I've been tough on several writers, I've offended no one's religion. Would that the born agains could say the same.

And, yes, Candy dear, we did notice your very clever use of capitalization. A mind like yours will no doubt bring the evil empire crashing down before long. Perhaps, if you could just get clever with your punctuation . . . .

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Elder George, in reply to your last blog, as I have mentioned before, it is not Mormons who are interjecting religion into the debate, it's largely the born agains, with some secular participation. If Mormons didn't reply, the born agains would control the conversation. Isn't that a bit obvious? Personally, I'd much rather discuss politics.

And let's see: I'm writing back to people who call my religion a "very dangerous cult" denounce it in rather nasty terms and I'm judgemental for calling the writers snappy and growly? Just how, for example, would you characterize Moody's diatribe? Or Candy's letter?

I can appreciate where your sympathies lie, but I think you're being just a bit hypocritical here. You may have noticed that although I've been tough on several writers, I've offended no one's religion. Would that the born agains could say the same.

And, yes, Candy dear, we did notice your very clever use of capitalization. A mind like yours will no doubt bring the evil empire crashing down before long. Perhaps, if you could just get clever with your punctuation . . . .

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima: It's pretty clear you are a "do as I say, not as I do" type of person. You talk about respect, but it's clear you don't have a clue how to give it. It's apparent that debate for you is the juvenile and holier-than-thou pulpit-spewing and name calling you insist in engaging in.

You're obviously unwilling to admit the damning evidence of countless metals, plants and animals that are claimed to be in the Americas during the time of the Book of Mormon in spite of the scientific community saying so many listed simply didn't exist. DNA evidence...what can I say that already hasn't been said numerous times.

Believe what you want, it's your tithing money not mine. You can belittle secularism all you want, but it is secularism that has kept this country from becoming a theocratic joke of a country that stifles human, economic, and scientific progress.

For the record, I think almost all organized religions but especially the Mormon Church...a sexist church with a stark history of blatant racism. The same Mormon Church that will spend over $2 billion on a shopping mall in Salt Lake City, hundreds of millions of dollars on a self-serving tabernacle in Salt Lake City, and millions on a hotel on the North Shore of Oahu...while hundreds of thousands of it's own members go to bed hungry every night in third-world countries. Yes, it's jaw-dropping.

Mitt Romney has shown time and again, he will lie as he did two months ago when he tells the press his father walked with Martin Luther King on Washington...and it was the press who uncovered the fact this never happened. It's just a fabricated lie. There are numerous other examples.

Elder George Carlin - A proud secularist, ExMormon, humanist, and American

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 8, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

almanojodo you are wrong. The Mormon church DOES preach on political issues.

I remember as a young Mormon being lectured in church and via special letters from the first presidency on how evil the Equal Rights Amendment was! How we should campaign and vote against it.

As I was a young Mormon in Britain, this acted as a reminder that the Mormon hierarchy really could NOT grasp the fact that not everywhere in the Mormon Church was in America.

Posted by: Matt | January 8, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully your faith will sustain you. Your tolerance for one another needs some work. I would not want to spend eternity with you people. Sounds like hell to me. I don't need religion to know you who profess to know God have a long way to go.

Posted by: TM | January 8, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Matt,

It's called an analogy. It doesn't equate two thing, but, rather, says that the two things have an equivalent relationship with two other things. That is, KKK hates blacks and therefore is not likely to be a neutral source of information about them. Ex-mormons seem to dislike Mormons and are therefore not likely to be a neutral source of information about them.

If that's too hard for you to understand, maybe you can find a friend who got a reasonable score on the SATs to go over it with you. One reason I think born agains are so dangerous is that they don't seem to have the intelligence to function well in a modern society.

Elder George,

I think Dianne makes my point about former Mormons wearing their former Mormonism as some kind of badge of authority. As to going to Hell with non-Mormons, we don't actually beieve non-Mormons will go to Hell. Decent people of all sorts will wind up in something very akin to traditional Christian Heaven--a bit boring, as Mark Twain pointed out, but otherwise pleasant.

It's actually the born agains who believe that non-born agains will burn in Hell forever. Perhaps she got us confused?

We do have a temporary place of punishment, but that's for people who have been objectively immoral--unrepentant murderers, liars, etc.--and in the end even they will partake of salvation. We don't believe in punishment for doctrinal differences. That, again, is a born again trait.

Our Hell is reserved for those who know the plan of salvation fully and choose to reject it, a rather small group of humans.

Nor do we believe that we will have endless numbers of wives in Heaven. Perhaps she has us confused with Moslems? As to sex in Heaven, it's a matter of debate, not doctrine. A recent issue of "Dialogue" contained an article arguing in favor of the proposition, but was followed up by a long letter pointing out the nothing in LDS doctrine requires physical sex to exist after this life. However it turns out, I'm sure some of us will be disappointed and others pleased.

The planet thing is just a piece of LDS urban myth. What we believe is that if we are worthy we will become joint heirs with Christ (now, where did that come from?) and be able to participate with God in his further creations. There has been lots of speculation, but nothing I'm aware of that we would call doctrine.


As to Dianne's scary movie, much of what upset her has been taken out, probably on the grounds that it smacked too much of 19th century melodrama and was putting people off. However, I've been through the temple many times both before and after the change and I've never met anyone who had Dianne's reaction. She can take pride in being unique.

I have always found the ceremony uplifting and am grateful for an opportunity to return to the temple often.

If you do watch her film, keep in mind that the real temple is brightly lit and you're not likely to see any of the zombie types that lurk in the background of her work. There's no eery music either. If that's what you're after, I'd recommend you rent "Shawn of the Dead."

And what's this business with born agains and underwear? Yes, the garment does remind us of our covenants. A generation ago, they were one piece. When everyone wore union suits, they looked like union suits. Nowadays they look like t-shirts and shorts. I suppose if we wore a hat like Jews and Moslems, or maybe special socks, born agains could get over it, but they just can't seem to get their minds off our underwear. Perverts. Play with your own shorts and stay out of ours.

Well, it's been fun but probably worthless. When you're dealing with people who can't even understand simple analogies, there isn't much hope of intelligent conversation. Much better to talk to Catholics. Rationality is part of their religion, in fact, I think they invented it. They also have enough self-confidence not to get all weird and paranoid when discussing beliefs different from their own.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

pls elect a prestdent that is a christian am a mormornite i love dem but if u want america to remain elect a chritian i won't say who cause afterall america is a xtian country and God bless america

Posted by: stephanie | January 8, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Stephanie, You are a great example why I hope a non-religious, secularist wins the presidency.

Posted by: Save us All | January 8, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Elder George,

My main objection has been to people insulting my religion. I've been tough on some people, but I don't believe I've insulted anyone's religion. It was another Christian who wrote the book showing that evangelicals tend to be a little thick. ("The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind" by Mark Noll) According to the review in "First Things," "the scandal of the evangelical mind," he laments, "is that there is not much of an evangelical mind." Nothing I've read on this blog leads me to disagree. In fact, Candy might be the poster girl for the book.

Countless metals, animals and plants? Of the metals, only steel remains problematic. Of the animals, I think only the horse, whatever kind of draught or riding animal that may refer to. I'm not aware of any controversial plants. Perhaps you could name a species or two. At any rate, you should read John L. Sorensen's book, "An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon." It would answer most of your questions and has good footnotes to the appropriate scientific literature. I did a random check of a bunch of them once just to make sure Sorenson was playing fair. All his notes lead back to real sources.

As to the DNA, I've read what appeared in the press. It wasn't overwhelming and the only people I know of who got excited over it are a few people such as yourself with an ax to grind. Give me an article citation and I'll be happy to read whatever it is you find so convincing.

I'm happy your happy in your secularism, whatever good it does you. Since most of the early signers of the Constitution were Christians of one brand or another, it would be very difficult to argue that secularism saved our country. What saved us was tolarance, an unwillingness to magnify our religious differences. Maybe the born agains could learn the lesson. Given that the arts and sciences have flourished under every kind of religion at some point or other, you would have an equally hard time arguing that secularism is necessary for human development. Likewise, economic prosperity has occured in deeply religious countries. In so far that secularist tend to be socialists, I would have to say that secularism is more likely to harm prosperity than help it.

As to Mormonism being racist, that's just flapdoodle. I've seen the Church have success among more ethnic groups than you could probably name, including a multitude of African tribes. My own in-laws come in a variety of hues and I'm not aware that anyone has ever had a problem with it. And, if the Church is so sexist, why do more women than men joint it, a phenomenon that every LDS missionary faces?

As to the new mall in Salt Lake and the hotel in Oahu, those are what is known as investments and, if well run, will eventually return a profit to the investor. That's hardly taking money from the poor. As to the new Conference Hall, we're a big church. We need to gather somewhere. If Candy is successful in destroying the Church through the use of non-standard capitalization, perhaps we LDS can soon go back to renting small halls and sell the Conference Center to The First Church of the Lower Case, which I'm sure she's busy founding as I write.

As to starving poor, you know as well as I do that the Church spends huge amounts of money on welfare every year and also sends out thousands of retired couples to do humanitarian work. We've got little to be ashamed of there, although we could always do more. Studies show that religious people in general tend to be more generous in donations of money and time than secularists. What are you giving to the poor now that you've managed to pocket your tithing?

As to George Romney, eat him up big guy. He's not my candidate.


Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Make that Mitt. I'm showing my age, but I still done't like him.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

"It's called an analogy."

Thank you for that. We would never have guessed. However, it is a fatally flawed analogy.

Therefore, it served no purpose.

And it's nice you seem not to have met racism in your time as a Mormon. I, however, when I was a Mormon, did see racism. More than once. And I saw church leaders ignore it.

Actually, I think that was the most upsetting part. That the leaders looked the other way and allowed a family to be chased away by nasty, vile racist members.

But, you see, the basis of what one could describe as Utah Mormonism was Brigham Young. Who was a racist to his very core.

Posted by: Matt | January 8, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Let me ask the Mormons posting here a question. Part of Gods plan required a Satan or nemesis. Satan fulfilled that role. Did he not therefore "filfill the measure of his creation," to quote from the temple ceremony? If he fulfilled the measure of his creation, does he not earn the right to the Mormon Celestial Kingdom? I would really like a thoughtful opinion on this.

Posted by: Jim Huston | January 8, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima: You sanctimonious, arrogant, God-fearing man. Most of the Founding Fathers were Deists...look it up.

To get to you point regarding metals, animals, and plants...science is a b*tch. Here you go:

Cities:
Numerous books and papers, of which I have many, describe proposed Book of Mormon locations for cities and for the "narrow neck of land". All of them differ significantly. No city has yet been identified as being Nephite or Lamanite. This is significant in that Zarahemla was occupied for hundreds of years. Almost all geography mentioned in the Book of Mormon is in Mormon's abridgment of the plates. He would have known which locations would have been destroyed by the crucifixion. Therefore, the weak LDS apologist stance that the cities were destroyed is not valid. Remember we are talking about a time period from 2000 BC to 400 AD and millions of people and these cities they occupied have yet to be found.
A curious note is that when the Nephites landed in the Americas there were already millions of inhabitants in the land with large cities and infrastructure. Why are these peoples not mentioned?

Plant and Animal Life:
There are four major crops mentioned in the Nephite records. These are:
Barley (Mos 7:22, 9:9, Alma 11:7, 15)
Figs (3 Ne 14:16)
Grapes (2 Ne 15:2, 4, 3 Ne 14:16)
Wheat (Mos 9:9, 3 Ne 18:18)
Archeological findings for the time period of the Book of Mormon:

Barley NONE {an new world variety was found in Arizona and totally unrelated}
Figs NONE
Grapes NONE
Wheat NONE
This negative score on the plant-life test should not be treated too lightly. An abundance of evidence supporting the existence of these plants has been found in other parts of the world of antiquity. The existence of numerous non-Book-of-Mormon plants (maize, lima beans, tomatoes, squash, etc.) has been supported by abundant archeological findings. Quoting from Tom Ferguson: "I (Tom Ferguson) participated in excavating a trench a the edge of the Grijalva river in which we found a ceramic vessel is a stratum dating to about 200 BC. The vessel contained lima beans that had been burned anciently and discarded--pot and beans--as too badly burned to be edible. And yet they were still in their pristine and perfect form. The beans were carbon-14 dated helping to place the whole stratum on a true time scale. Art portrayals in ceramics, murals, and sculptured works--of ancient plant life--are fairly commonplace. Thousands of archeological holes in the area proposed have given us not a fragment of evidence of the presence of the plants mentioned in the Book of Mormon. The holes include the great one dug by Edwin Shook at Tehuacan, Puebla, Mexico. He excavated a cave -- going back to 5000 BC., finding most of the major plants of the area. But no wheat, barley, figs or grapes."

I would like to note that wheat is very durable. Wheat in near perfect condition has been frequently found in the Egyptian pyramids dating back thousands of years. There is absolutely no evidence from any source that wheat was ever used in the ancient Americas. This alone brings the Book of Mormon into serious doubt.

Animal Life:
This section is fun and Mormons are derided here for claiming horses and elephants were used by the ancients in America. This derision is for good reason, for they have never been found! There are more animals mentioned which reinforces the fictional nature of the Book of Mormon.
There are many animals mentioned in the Nephite records. These are:

Ass
Bull
Calf
Cattle
Cow
Butter
Milk
Flocks
Goat {the Nephites claimed to have found the domestic goat no less!}
Herds
Horse {the horse plays a major role in the Nephite and Lamanite societies}
Ox
Sheep {this was a major animal in the Book of Mormon}
Sow
Swine
Elephants
Archeological findings for the time period of the Book of Mormon:
Ass..... NONE
Bull.... NONE
Calf.... NONE
Cattle.. NONE
Cow..... NONE
Butter.. NONE
Milk.... NONE
Flocks.. NONE
Goat.... NONE
Herds... NONE
Horse... NONE
Ox...... NONE
Sheep... NONE
Sow..... NONE
Swine... NONE
Elephants (NONE contemporary with the Book of Mormon)
Again from Tom Ferguson: "Evidence of the foregoing animals has not appeared in any form -- ceramic representations, bones or skeletal remains, mural art, sculptured art or any other form. However... evidence has been found in several forms of the presence in the Book-of-Mormon times of other animals--deer, jaguars, dogs, turkeys etc. The zero score presents a problem that will not go away with the ignoring of it. Non-LDS scholars of first magnitude, some who want to be our friends, think we have real trouble here. That evidence of the ancient existence of these animals is not elusive is found in the fact that proof of their existence in the ancient old-world is abundant. The absence of such evidence...is distressing and significant, in my view."

Metals:
I will be briefer on the metals, but this is fascinating to me as I have both a BS and MS in metallurgical engineering.
Evidence supporting the existence of these metals, skills and products...at this time as follows:
Bellows....... NONE
Brass......... NONE
Breast Plates. NONE
Chains........ NONE
Copper........ NONE
Iron.......... NONE
Ore (mining).. NONE (this is very significant, no evidence of mining activities)
Plows......... NONE
Silver........ NONE
Swords........ NONE (none that are metal)
Steel......... NONE
Again from Tom Ferguson: "Metallurgy does not appear in the region until about the 9th century A.D. ...I regard this as a major weakness in the armor of our proponents and friends". ...Art does not portray the existence of metallurgical products or metallurgical activity. Again, the score is zero.

There are so many items archeologically, historically and using textual criticism to show the Book of Mormon to be fictional, that anyone willing to do a little study will reach the same conclusion.

There is a lot of Mormon mythology that states that the Book of Mormon has been "proven" by such and such a find or the uncovering of a city. When investigated ALL of these claims have been shown to be false. The myths are circulated in the Mormon culture by Sacrament meeting talks, Priesthood meeting discussions and in LDS social circles so much, that Mormons who do not investigate the source of the information, believe the stories to be true. They use these false stories to "strengthen their testimonies". Please see section on Problems with believing in Mormonism / Mormon Apologetics on this site for a letter from the Smithsonian which verifies these statements.
From: http://www.exmormon.org/whyileft.htm

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 8, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Actually Matt, it is a very good analogy. I was a very successful lit major. We do that kind of thing well. And it makes my point quite well. Hostile people are not a reliable source of information on the people they hate.

I didn't say that no Mormons are racist. I'm sure some are. But the Church itself is not racist or we would not be having such success among such a wide variety of ethnic groups, including Africans.

I'm not a Utahn myself, but I have lived in the state while going to BYU and now have kids going to BYU, so I still visit. I find Utahns pleasant, although a bit odd. AS to your horror story, I told one about a black family in Ogden who fell in love with the Church because of the kind treatment they received from members there. I guess our two anecdotes cancel each other out.

Most people in the 19th century were racist by modern standards. They thought differently about race than we do. I've read Arrington's biography of Young, plus some articles and a number of histories about early Utah. I haven't seen anything that would make him worse than normal for the time. In his actions, he went out of his way to honor the black members who came across the plains, which suggest he knew how to overcome his prejudices or at least keep them from controlling his actions. As to Indians, you might pick up the book on the Mormon--Indian wars that came out a few years ago. By the standards of the time, Young's actions were quite enlightened, certainly better than what the Feds did to them. Too bad members didn't pay more attention to his advice.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

I am glad this election has given Christians an opportunity to teach the world about the Mormon Cult. Yeah Mitt ! Thank you !

Posted by: DavidE | January 8, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Many Americans are Mormon. Many Mormons are not Americans. "Ex-Mormons" are bitter. Anti-Mormons are wrong. Inactive Mormons are good people. Therefore, everyone on here who thinks they know everything doesn't really know anything.

If you have any questions about the Mormon Faith do not hesitate to email and ask your questions.

depquarm@yahoo.com

Posted by: Allen | January 8, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Elder George,

I don't have time to go through all your points one by one. It's worth pointing out that a calf is not a type of animal, but rather an animal of a certain age. Just as a sow can be a bear or pig, calves can also be a variety of animals. Butter, milk, bulls, flocks and herds are also not types of animals (you sure you're not an evangelical?).

Bellows, ore, swords. chains, breast plates, ploughs etc, are also not metals. Ploughs in medieval Europe were often entirely of wood and drawn by human labor. Aztecs made wonderful swords of obsidian and The Book of Mormon describes breast plates of cloth.

Native grapes certainly exist in the Americas. You can buy them from any good plant catalogue. Barley has been found. It's been a long time since I've read Sorenson's book, but he'll answer far more of your questions than Ferguson can. Ferguson was OK for his time, but he was a lawyer, not an archeologist. Sorenson is a rigorously trained scholar and footnotes all his claims, so you can at least question his sources or his use of them.

Even Sorenson admits that not all questions have been answered, but most of what you bring up is old hat and long resolved. Using Ferguson does you no good and you have to admit that your lists are a bit naive, to be kind, although I will admit that all four of your plants are plants. Read something reliable and then try again. There are still real problems, but your outdated lists have so much noise you can't make the points you want to make.

There was a period when I was a young teenager when people were trying to use archeology to bolster their testimonies, but I think that trend went out of style years ago.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Elder George,

I missed your first comment. In fact, if you go to this site, you'll see a list of all the founding fathers and their religious affiliatins. All of them had some connection to a Christian religion, although some of them certainly tended more to deism than standard Christianity. The deism of the time by the way was not equivalent to modern secularism. Even Jefferson spent a great deal of time with his Bible. He actually created his own version, kind of like a Christian feminist whose book on Genesis I once read. The list is here: http://www.adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion.html

Here is a list of quotes from most of the founding fathers, including Jefferson, that suggests their basic Christian orientation: http://www.eadshome.com/QuotesoftheFounders.htm

If you go to this site and scroll down to religion, you'll see that this author differs from the first one cited above, but still shows that the majority of the founding fathers were fully Christian, although not interested in establishing a religious federal government. As I recall, however, the majority of states at the time had state religions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States


Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Elder George,

I missed your first comment. In fact, if you go to this site, you'll see a list of all the founding fathers and their religious affiliatins. All of them had some connection to a Christian religion, although some of them certainly tended more to deism than standard Christianity. The deism of the time by the way was not equivalent to modern secularism. Even Jefferson spent a great deal of time with his Bible. He actually created his own version, kind of like a Christian feminist whose book on Genesis I once read. The list is here: http://www.adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion.html

Here is a list of quotes from most of the founding fathers, including Jefferson, that suggests their basic Christian orientation: http://www.eadshome.com/QuotesoftheFounders.htm

If you go to this site and scroll down to religion, you'll see that this author differs from the first one cited above, but still shows that the majority of the founding fathers were fully Christian, although not interested in establishing a religious federal government. As I recall, however, the majority of states at the time had state religions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States


Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Jim Huston,

It's a clever question, but I think Christ himself provides the answer in Matthew 18:7: ...it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom offence cometh.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double posts. The internet at my hotel has an odd interface.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima, you're a trainwreck.

Posted by: Patrick | January 8, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

The following was taken from Mormon resources only and quotes Mormon Prophets and Apostles as they Preached Mormon Doctrine. It can be found on www.realmormonhistory.com

Heber C. Kimball, a member of the First Presidency, said that Exmormons will have their bowels kicked out:

"Judas lost that saving principle, and they took him and killed him. Itis said in the Bible that his bowels gushed out; but they actually KICKEDHIM until his bowels came out. "'I will suffer my bowels to be taken out before I will forfeit the covenant I have made with Him and my brethren.' Do you understand me? Judas was like salt that had lost its saving principles--good for nothing butto be cast out and trodden under foot of men.... It is so with you, ye Eldersof Israel, when you forfeit your covenants.... I know the day is right at handwhen men will forfeit their Priesthood and turn against us and against thecovenants they have made, and they will be DESTROYED as Judas was. (December 13,1857 in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, pages 125-126)

Blood must be spilled or sins will stick to a man:

"There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receiveforgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had theireyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing toHAVE THEIR BLOOD SPILT upon the ground, that the smoke thereofmight ascend to heaven as an OFFERING FOR THEIR SINS; and thesmoking incense would ATONE for their sins, whereas, if such is not thecase, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world. (Sermon by Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses,Vol. 4, pages 53-54; also published in the Deseret News, 1856, page 235)

Killing people is for their own good:

"I know, when you hear my brethren telling about CUTTINGPEOPLE OFF FROM THE EARTH, that you consider it is strong doctrine,but it is to SAVE them, not to destroy them.... (Sermon by Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses,Vol. 4, pages 53-54; also published in the Deseret News, 1856, page 235)

If some people knew what was good for them, they would beg the Mormons to kill them:

"And furthermore, I know that there are transgressors, who, if theyknew themselves, and the ONLY CONDITION upon which they canobtain forgiveness, WOULD BEG OF THEIR BRETHREN TO SHEDTHEIR BLOOD, that the smoke thereof might ascend to God as anOFFERING to appease the wrath that is kindled against them, and that thelaw might have its course. (Sermon by Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses,Vol. 4, pages 53-54; also published in the Deseret News, 1856, page 235)

Brigham had people coming to him asking to be killed:

I will say further; I HAVE HAD MEN COMETO ME AND OFFER THEIR LIVES TO ATONE FOR THEIR SINS. (Sermon by Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses,Vol. 4, pages 53-54; also published in the Deseret News, 1856, page 235)

Killing animals works sometimes, but other times a man must be killed:

"It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins throughthe fall and those committed by men, yet MEN CAN COMMIT SINSWHICH IT CAN NEVER REMIT. As it was in ancient days, so it is in ourday; and though the principles are taught publicly from this stand, still thepeople do not understand them; yet the law is precisely the same. Thereare sins that can be ATONED for by an offering upon an altar, as inancient days; and there are sins that the blood of a lamb, of a calf, or ofturtle doves, cannot remit, but THEY MUST BE ATONED FOR BY THEBLOOD OF THE MAN.(Sermon by Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses,Vol. 4, pages 53-54; also published in the Deseret News, 1856, page 235)

From the Salt Lake Tabernacle, it is proposed to select executioners and a place to kill people:

"I say, that there are men and women that I wouldadvise to go to the President immediately, and ask him to appoint acommittee to attend to their case; and then let a place be selected, ANDLET THAT COMMITTEE SHED THEIR BLOOD."We have those amongst us that are full of all manner ofabominations, those WHO NEED TO HAVE THEIR BLOOD SHED, forwater will not do, their sins are of too deep a dye."You may think that I am not teaching you Bible doctrine, but whatsays the apostle Paul? I would ask how many COVENANT BREAKERSthere are in this city and in this kingdom. I believe that there are a greatmany; and if they are COVENANT BREAKERS we need a placedesignated, WHERE WE CAN SHED THEIR BLOOD." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pages 49-50)

Joseph Smith prefers cutting heads off over hanging people:

"In debate, George A. Smith said imprisonment was better than hanging. "I replied, I was opposed to hanging, even if a man kill another, I WILL SHOOT HIM, OR CUT OFF HIS HEAD, SPILL HIS BLOOD on the ground, and let the smoke thereof ascend up to God; and if ever I have the privilege of making a law on that subject, I will have it so." (History of the Church, by Joseph Smith, Vol. 5, p. 296

Joseph Fielding Smith explains how blood atonement was incorporated into Utah State law:

"...the founders of Utah incorporated in the laws of the Territory provisions for the capital punishment of those who wilfully
shed the blood of their fellow men. This law, which is now the law of the State, granted unto the condemned murderer the privilege of choosing for himself whether he die by hanging, or whether he BE SHOT, AND THUS HAVE HIS BLOOD SHED IN HARMONY WITH THE LAW OF GOD; AND THUS ATONE, so far as it is in his power to atone, for the death of his victim. Almost without exception the condemned party chooses the latter death." (Doctrines of Salvation, by Joseph Fielding Smith, Vol. 1, p. 136)

Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, on the proper way to kill people:

"As a mode of capital punishment, hanging or execution on a gallows does not comply with the law of blood atonement, for the blood is not shed." (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce R. McConkie, 1958 ed., p. 314)

Bruce R. McConkie laments that the government does not kill cheaters

"Modern governments DO NOT TAKE THE LIFE OF THE ADULTERER, and some of them have done away with the supreme penalty where murder is involved-all of which is further evidence of the direful apostacy that prevails among the peoples who call themselves Christians." (Mormon Doctrine, 1958 ed., p. 104)

Brigham Young teaches when one should stab their brother and their wife:

"Let me suppose a case. Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and PUT A JAVELIN THROUGH BOTH OF THEM, YOU WOULD BE JUSTIFIED, AND THEY WOULD ATONE FOR THEIR SINS, AND BE RECEIVED INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD. I would at once do so in such a case; and under such circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would DO IT WITH CLEAN HANDS... "There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, YOUR OWN BLOOD MUST ATONE FOR IT;..." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p. 247)

Women's closest relative must kill her seducer:

"The principle, the only one that beats and throbs through the heart of the entire inhabitants of this Territory, is simply this: The man who seduces his neighbors wife MUST DIE, and her nearest relative MUST KILL HIM!" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, page 97)

Shooting people is as important as baptizing them:

If you will cause all those whom you know to be THIEVES, to be placed in a line before the mouth of one of our largest CANNON, well loaded with chain shot, I WILL PROVE BY MY WORKS WHETHER I CAN METE OUT JUSTICE to such persons, or not. I WOULD CONSIDER IT JUST AS MUCH MY DUTY TO DO THAT, AS TO BAPTIZE A MAN for the remission of his sins. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, pp. 108-109)

Non-believers must die:

"The time is coming when justice will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet; when we shall ask, 'Are you for God?' and if you are not heartily on the Lord's side, YOU WILL BE HEWN DOWN." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, page 226)

Counterfeiters must die:

"We investigated several orders purporting to be drawn byJ. Allen, Lieut. Col., signed by James Pollick; which I requested should beburned. I swore by the Eternal Gods that if men in our midst would notstop this cursed work of stealing and counterfeiting THEIR THROATS SHOULD BE CUT." ("Manuscript History of Brigham Young," Feb. 24,1847, typed copy)

Interracial couples must die:

"Shall I tell you the LAW OF GOD in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the PENALTY, under the LAW OF GOD IS DEATH ON THE SPOT. This will ALWAYS BE SO." (Journal of Discourses, v. 10, p. 110)

Any man having children with a black woman must be beheaded, and his children must be killed:

"And if any man mingle his seed with the seed of Cane [sic] the ownly [sic] way he could get rid of it or have salvation would be to come forward and have his head cut off & spill his Blood upon the ground it would also take the life of his children..." (Wilford Woodruff's Journal, recording a speech by Brigham Young, January 16, 1852, typed copy; original located in LDS Church Archives).

Brigham Young: Apostates must leave Salt Lake City, or they must die:

"I say, rather than that APOSTATES should flourish here, I WILL UNSHEATH MY BOWIE KNIFE, and CONQUER OR DIE. (Great commotion in the congregation, and a simultaneous burst of feeling, assenting to the declaration.) Now, you nasty apostates, clear out, or judgment will be put to the line, and righteousness to the plummet. (Voices, generally, 'go it, go it.') If you say it is right, raise your hands. (All hands up.) Let us call upon the Lord to assist us in this, and every good work." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, page 83)

Do you love your brothers and sisters enough to kill them?

"All mankind love themselves, and let these principles be known by an individual, and he would be GLAD to have HIS BLOOD SHED. That would be loving themselves, even unto an eternal exaltation. Will you LOVE your brothers or sisters likewise, when they have committed a sin that cannot be atoned for without the SHEDDING OF THEIR BLOOD? WILL YOU LOVE THAT MAN OR WOMAN WELL ENOUGH TO SHED THEIR BLOOD?... "I COULD REFER YOU TO PLENTY OF INSTANCES WHERE MEN HAVE BEEN RIGHTEOUSLY SLAIN, IN ORDER TO ATONE FOR THEIR SINS. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance (in the last resurrection there will be) if their lives HAD BEEN TAKEN AND THEIR BLOOD SPILLED on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are now angels to the devil... I have known a great many men who LEFT THIS CHURCH for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their BLOOD HAD BEEN SPILLED, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER FOR THEM, the wickedness and IGNORANCE of the nations forbids this principle's being in FULL FORCE, but THE TIME WILL COME WHEN THE LAW OF GOD WILL BE IN FULL FORCE. (Sermon by Brigham Young, delivered in the Mormon Tabernacle, Feb. 8, 1857, printed in the Deseret News, Feb. 18, 1857; also reprinted in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pp. 219-220)

The way to love your neighbors is to kill them:

"THIS IS LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES; if he needs help, help him; and if he wants salvation and it is NECESSARY TO SPILL HIS BLOOD on the earth in order that he may be saved, SPILL IT. Any of you who understand the principles of eternity, if you have sinned a sin REQUIRING THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD, except the sin unto death, would not be satisfied nor rest until your blood SHOULD BE SPILLED, that you might gain that salvation you desire. THAT IS THE WAY TO LOVE MANKIND." (Sermon by Brigham Young, delivered in the Mormon Tabernacle, Feb. 8, 1857, printed in the Deseret News, Feb. 18, 1857; also reprinted in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pp. 219-220)

Mormon prophet nearly stabs a man with his pocket knife , thinking he might say something disagreeable:

"About 4:30 p.m. this meeting adjourned and was followed by a meeting of Presidents Woodruff, Cannon and SMITH and Bros. Lyman and Grant....Bro. JOSEPH F. SMITH was traveling some years ago near Carthage when he met a man who said he had just arrived five minutes too late to see the Smiths killed. Instantly a dark cloud seemed to overshadow Bro. Smith and he asked how this man looked upon the deed. Bro. S. was oppressed by a most horrible feeling as he waited for a reply. After a brief pause the man answered, 'Just as I have always looked upon it--that it was a d--d cold-blooded murder.' The cloud immediately lifted from Bro. Smith and he found that he had his OPEN POCKET KNIFE GRASPED IN HIS HAND in his pocket, and he believes that had this man given his approval to that murder of the prophets HE WOULD HAVE IMMEDIATELY STRUCK HIM TO THE HEART." (Daily Journal of Abraham H. Cannon, Dec. 6, 1889, pages 205-206 )

BYU history professor refers to a specific case of blood atonement:

"To whatever extent the preaching on BLOOD ATONEMENT may have influenced action, it would have been in relation to Mormon disciplinary action among its own members. In point would be a verbally reported case of a Mr. Johnson in Cedar City who was found guilty of adultery with his step-daughter by a BISHOP'S COURT and SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR ATONEMENT OF HIS SIN. According to the report of reputable EYEWITNESSES, judgment was executed with consent of the offender who went to his UNCONSECRATED GRAVE IN FULL CONFIDENCE OF SALVATION THROUGH THE SHEDDING OF HIS BLOOD. Such a case, however primitive, is understandable within the meaning of the doctrine and the emotional extremes of the Reformation." (Utah Historical Quarterly, January 1958, p.62, footnote 39)

Any doubts that this is the "Great American Cult?"

Posted by: Ex- Necrodunker | January 8, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima, I have read your posts and you seem to be in a defensive, shut-down mode. I do not see you have answered anyone on any question or point. Answering what you "wished they had asked" is not acceptable in a public forum. Have you read what Jefferson wrote to his nephew about the Bible? In his opinion is was a fantasy for people with weak minds. You did not answer my question and and while claiming to answer George Carlin's question you disclaimed the majority of issues and said that items like bellows and ore were not metals. You are right. They are items required for refining metals and leave a very broad footprint when they are used. Swords and brestplates are generally metal and in the Book of Mormon are listed as being metal. Refining again leaves a very broad footprint. You have also elected to not comment on the Ass, Cattle, Cow, Goat, Horse, Ox, Sheep, Sow and swine which are specific animals. There is also wheat, European Barly(not the North American variety which is not related), oats and other grains. Please try to give direct answers rather than the blather that generally comes from Mormon apologists.

Posted by: Jim Huston | January 9, 2008 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Adam is our God. Eve was one of his plural wives. We are all their spirit children, born in heaven, and given mortal tabernacles when we came to earth. Blacks wear the mark of Cain. Mormons swear the blood oath to obey the church. When the command is given to shed blood, as it was at Mountain Meadows, they will obey. My family pushed handcarts from Westport to Salt Lake City. My great-grandfather had three wives. The Mormon missionaries hound me like a rabbit- they are fanatics, and DNA has proven that their fantasies about the Native Americans being the Lamanites are not true. The Smithsonian sends out a form letter refuting Mormon claims that cities in MesoAmerica have been discovered using the Book of Mormon- no archaeological find has ever verified a single Mormon claim. They are nuts, and people should be very afraid of them.

Posted by: Apostate | January 9, 2008 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Jim Huston wrote:"Part of Gods plan required a Satan or nemesis. Satan fulfilled that role. Did he not therefore "filfill the measure of his creation," to quote from the temple ceremony? If he fulfilled the measure of his creation, does he not earn the right to the Mormon Celestial Kingdom? I would really like a thoughtful opinion on this."

My answer, "fulfilling a role" does not equal "fulfilling the measure of creation". God created mortal man and his spirit. His plan as you reference was to see if his creations(mortal man and the mortal man's spirit) would follow his commandments. That is all I will offer.

After that your question is a loaded question I am sure. As you have already shown by you response to Lacrima you do not truly look for a thoughtful response on your question. Rather you have probably engaged members of the Mormon faith before and only try to ensnare them when they give a response. How do I come to that conclusion? By your admittance to Lacrima that you have heard the "blather that generally comes from Mormon apologists". Your tactic is actually quite common among certain groups--Ask what seems like a very serious open minded question related to a faith then upon receiving an answer to said question provide an already preconceived retort or claim that contradicts the answer given--

Posted by: yz1 | January 9, 2008 3:29 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney is trying to present the Mormon religion as just another Christian denomination. Our experience may raise questions about how well some Mormon "family values" align with those of other faiths. When our only daughter was married in a Mormon temple, we were not allowed to attend the wedding because we are not Mormons. Our feelings and values were not respected. We were told we could wait outside the building. The ceremony is so secret that the bride is not permitted to know in advance what it will be like or to talk about it afterward. When we were raising her, we never imagined that we would be excluded from her wedding. Romney's candidacy has given voters a good reason to explore his unusual and unique beliefs.

We eventually discovered that the temple ritual was mostly copied from the Freemasons to hide Joseph Smith's polygamy. There is information online at several sites maintained by ex- Mormons, as well as in books and historical records. Helpful sites for us were Mormon Curtain, under the topic, "Mormon Temple Ceremonies" at (link) and Recovery from Mormonism at (link) which has many stories similar to ours. Their main pages have links to numerous other controversial Mormon ideas.

The Book of Mormon is a fantasy prehistory of the Americas. It says that Native Americans are descendants of a lost tribe of Israel and Christ appeared here to speak to them. Mormons are not allowed to read anything critical of their church or examine the actual history of the founder, a convicted con man who said he was forced by an angel to "marry" dozens of woman. Some were already married to other men and at least one was only fourteen years old.

Posted by: KC | January 9, 2008 3:46 AM | Report abuse

The Mormon book of Abraham was proven to be a ripoff of the egyptian book of the dead. Joseph Smith claimed to have interpreted the Book of Abraham from papyri and mummies bought in 1835. The papyri contained Egyptian hieroglyphics which Joseph Smith claimed contained the Book of Abraham written by Abraham himself.

Thomas Ferguson, a Mormon archaeologist, concluded in a private letter to a friend:


"Since 4 scholars, who have established that they can read Egyptian, say that the manuscripts deal with neither Abraham nor Joseph-- and since the 4 reputable men tell us exactly what the manuscripts do say -- I must conclude that Joseph Smith had not the remotest skill in things Egyptian-hieroglyphics. To my surprise, one of the highest of officials in the Mormon Church agreed with that conclusion when I made that very statement to him on Dec. 4, 1970--privately in one-to-one [c]onversation...

It's such a rediculously transparent fraud, I'd eat Mitt Romney's magic underwear if the public couldn't see through him and his cult and elected him.

Posted by: Gerry | January 9, 2008 4:01 AM | Report abuse

As I suggested in my original post, this little free-for-all offers outsiders an insightful overview of what Utahns term "The Great Divide" which separates MormonThink from much of the rest of the human race. I was fairly certain "Lacrima" would charge headlong at the red flags I waved, and I wasn't disappointed. Before I erect some "factual gravestones" over those holes he's just dug, I'll note--again for the outsiders--that his arguments are entirely representative of the current state of Mormon apologetics, which, to borrow Orwell's phrase, amount to "defense of the indefensible." Those curious about Mormonism who read his words have indeed been offered the opportunity to "learn about Mormonism from a Mormon."

Unfortunately, it's difficult to know where to begin since I was subjected to exactly the kind of personal attacks and dishonest diatribes I predicted . . . I suppose the subject of Mormon Temple Oaths is as reasonable a place as any; I noted the blood oaths to "avenge the blood of the prophets" were doubtless involved in the Mountain Meadows Massacre, which was partly an act of revenge for the murder of Mitt Romney's great-great-grandfather (in Arkansas by the man whose wife Apostle Parley P. Pratt had appropriated as his own).

Our "Lacrima" doesn't waste any time insisting that if I didn't know anything about MMM, it was my fault, since Juanita Brooks wrote about the subject in 1950, and that ought to be all I need to know . . .

Well, there was a copy of that book in my JackMormon grandfather's library, but I didn't get around to reading it until after he passed away; I'm not sure when I first heard about Mountain Meadows, but it wasn't until I was in grad school finishing up a teaching certificate that I broached the subject with an academic. An Ed Psych professor of mine described how, as a young teacher, she'd permitted a report on the subject, and after tearful young Mormons came into her class insisting it had never happened, she wound up nearly losing her job . . .

And I have in my possession a copy of "The Utah Story," the textbook used in Utah History from approximately 1960 through 1972, and there's no mention of the event (or how Parley P. Pratt died) even though men like John D. Lee and Jacob Hamblin are mentioned and celebrated as venerated pioneers.

BTW, the author of "The Utah Story" was Milton R. Hunter, a General Authority in the LDS Church at the time . . .

I find it kind of ironic that "Lacrima" is emulating Hunter's example, and makes no mention of my friend Will Bagley's prize winning volume "Blood of the Prophets" about the killings (where 120 or so individuals, eighty of whom were women and children, were lured out under a flag of truce and executed in cold blood. The tie-in with the Parley P. Pratt murder is that most of the wagon train members were from Arkansas).

And as for that "apology" the LDS church offered, here's a link to the story from the church's own mouthpiece, "The Deseret News."

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695209359,00.html

"Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve read the church's statement . . . [which] places blame for the Sept. 11, 1857, massacre on the local church leaders at the time and church members who followed their orders to murder some 120 unarmed men, women and children.

'We express profound regret for the massacre carried out in this valley 150 years ago today, and for the undue and untold suffering experienced by the victims then and by their relatives to the present time,'

Funny, when I was growing up, I was alway taught an apology ought to carry the words "I'm sorry" or "apologize," and I don't see either in this article although the journalist reporting includes it as a fantasy . . . There's also a separate statement to the Paiute Indians, which I found particularly galling, given that I've seen volumes written--under the aegis of church-owned Brigham Young University--that blamed the original massacre on the Indians, a tactic first adopted by Brigham Young (who was given information on all the participants by both John D. Lee and others within months of the event).

Finally, the church-financed volume that Lacrima claims exonerates top LDS leaders hasn't been printed yet, despite a five year wait and expenditures in the millions of dollars.

Moving on, Lacrima's insult implying that I must be blind because I "say there is no evidence of advanced civilizations or great battles" is another bit of nonsense. Any battles fought or citites built were by Native Americans (most of them well after the alleged timeframe of the mythical Nephites), not Hebrew descendants (the DNA that proves this is mitochondrial DNA, passed essentially unchanged from mother to child, and we know what Semitic mtDNA looks like, and the sequences differ substantially from Amerind mtDNA.

And the suggestion to review the works of Mormon apologist John L. Sorenson is a genuine screamer. Sorensen, noting the absence of horses in pre-Columbian America (Joseph Smith mentions horses in the BOM, as noted above), suggested the Nephite warriors rode tapirs or possibly deer into battle . . .

As for that bit of testimony-bearing denying LDS racism (well except when the rest of the country was also being racist, a fabrication in and of itself since there were many who believed in racial equality long before the Civil Rights movement), I wonder how that black sargent would've reacted had he known his son wouldn't have been able to go on a mission a scant 30 years ago since he wouldn't have been permitted to receive his Temple endowments . . .

BTW, a sister of mine married a black some time after the Kimball Revelation, and the entire Mormon half of my family boycotted the wedding . . .

Posted by: SL Cabbie | January 9, 2008 5:13 AM | Report abuse

Does it occur to anyone (or indeed trouble anyone) that in all likelihood in another 25 years we will be having this same discussion about scientology. You wait long enough and get enough people espousing a set of beliefs and pretty soon you become socially acceptable and your set of beliefs become immune to critique in polite society. It is the remarkable transformation of a cult into a religion.

Posted by: Timothy | January 9, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Romney's beliefs in Mormon doctrine are his biggest political weakness. It's unfortunate that simply believing in the piousness of a 19th century polygamist and pedophile, that one who lives a righteous life will become a god, and that we each can count on an imaginary friend could be problems for a person wanting to be President. Imagine.....

Posted by: Proximo | January 9, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, Joseph Smith was an amoral con man, polygamist and pedophile. Brigham Young bears personal responsibility for the above mentioned mass murder. Mormonism is a cult. And I was appalled that anyone would try to pedal this piece of tripe:

"if you want to know about mormonism, ask a mormon"

Yeah, they will repeat all the propaganda and lies they have been told to worship their whole life, and will not criticize the scam that is mormonism. It is the phoniest of all religions, all of which are false.

Posted by: DrFelch | January 9, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Ex-Necrodunker,

Your long quote isn't nearly as sginificant as you think. The idea underlying all of them is found in 1Cor5:5 (To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus). This is the same scripture that Catholics and Protestants used to justify burning witches, heretics and each other. The idea was that by killing an apostate Christian, you were doing him a favor.

Mormons, as part of our moving away from our apostate Christian heritage, have dumped that concept. Oddly enough, I once heard this scripture favorably discussed on a Christian (i.e., Protestant) radio show, suggesting that some Protestant groups still believe in it.

Huston,

Thanks for showing your true colors. Elder George's statement was that all the founding fathers were deists. The historical record shows that is a false statement. Jefferson's letter to his son is entirely irrelevant to the point.

I and most LDS will freely concede that The Book of Mormon is not proven. To use Ferguson, an amateur at best, to make that point, however, just shows how far behind the curve you antis are. Sorenson may not have all the answers, but he is a trained professional and that's where the discussion is these days.

I repeat a sow is not a type of animal. Both female pigs and bears are referred to as sows, possibly other animals as well. I appreciate your high botanical standards, but I doubt The Book of Mormon will rise or fall over the question of Nephi's being able to distinguish among breeds of barley.


As to the rest of the questions, read Sorenson's book yourself. I could read it and quote it to you, but I'm not your research assistant. You somehow think that my obligation is to satisfy you, but in fact I only need to satisfy myself and I am personally satisfied that The Book of Mormon still merits my faith.

You mistake the nature of Mormon apologetics. Part of it is in reaction to legitimate questions by outsiders and is designed, not to prove the book, but to show that there is some rational basis for believing it. In that sense it has succeded.

The other part is that a lot of us are interested in the BoM as a book, in the same way one might be interested in any other historical document. We start, however from the premise that the book is true, even though a, b and c remain problems. You start from the premise that because a, b, and c are problems the book must be false. Those are not easily reconcilable attitudes and I'm not sure where further argument will take us.

I'm still waiting for a citation to your definitive DNA evidence. Your position on this is a bit weak. You state on the one hand that the site of Nephite civiliztion is unknown and on the other that you have genetic proof they weren't there. I've referred you to a site run by a professional geneticist (he has never discussed this issue and I doubt he is Mormon) who posts a lot of rather interesting genetics studies. Read them and you'll see that life is not as simple as you think.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Lacrima:
I'm not a Mormon, but after reading many of the posts here and your responses to them, I would like to point out that you engage in a red herring and ad hominem-type of debate strategy. Someone familiar with logical fallacies can see what you are doing. You have attacked the messengers, instead of focusing on the message.

With so many countless scientific and literary works providing solid evidence that the Book of Mormon is fraudulent, it seems incredulous to imagine any "rational basis for believing it".

Posted by: Peter O'Brien | January 9, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The Mormon Church is a Cult, plain and simple.

Posted by: Jaguar | January 9, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

>>the Mormon former Massachusetts governor's biggest conflict: his "blood oath" to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

If what Mr. Moody says is correct, the Mormon mafia should take *former-Mormon* Moody out any day now.

Posted by: Jon | January 9, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

>>You have attacked the messengers, instead of focusing on the message.

How about the messenger's logic? In essence, he's claiming that Romney will be killed by the church if he goes against it, yet he himself is a former Mormon who is openly fighting against the church.

So, there are hundreds of thousands of former Mormons out there. Why haven't we heard about the mass killings of all these lapsed members?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I cannot support a candidate that believes the story of Joseph Smith: finding gold plates inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphics buried in NY, then also finding a pair of magical eyeglasses that he used to translate the cryptic writing into English. Then, both disappeared with no evidence of their 1820's existence.

An excellent book about Mormon's real history: One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church

http://www.equip.org/site/apps/ka/ec/product.asp?c=muI1LaMNJrE&b=2537845&ProductID=430497

Posted by: Texas Baptist | January 9, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Why is this rag still up? I see a defamation lawsuit against the Post here. Post a blog here that starts out with a skin head rag on black intellegence, or whether the jews were responsible for the holocoust and see what happens. Oh, sure there is no agenda here - yeah, right(sic). Again, the Post itself was diminished by this blog. Under the guise of information sharing, the Post no longer stands against inequality, hatred, bigotry, or for religous freedom or the fundemental rights of privacy. Akers and her Yellow journalism belong to other internet sites/blogs - not here. She owes a lot of people an apology.

Posted by: Angry American | January 9, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

All I know is that I don't want a President
that is "owned" by a prophet.

Posted by: Vickie | January 9, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

LDS Cabbie,

You're a bit facile with your personal history. In one letter you claim that all the info was hidden and you had to ferret it out as an adult, and now you admit that the most significant volume written on the subject to date was easily available to you, but you just didn't bother to read it. You ought to keep your stories straight.

You claim that the "blood oath" was instrumental in precipitating the MMM. That may be true, but you provide no evidence for it. Even if it is true, I'm not sure that it makes an already horrible event much worse.

You also state that I claim the new book on the MMM exonorates the Church. I made no such claim, as I haven't read it yet. What I said is the Brook's book exonorates high Church leaders and that I have read that the new volume comes to the same conclusion. Given the trouble Brigham Young was having at the time with both the Feds and the Indians, it would have hardly have made sense for him to stir up more trouble by ordering the slaughter of a wagon train full of Arkansans.

Since the evidence to this point shows that the Church as a whole was not responsible for the MMM, I would say that it's recent actions are adequate.

As to the so called racist Church, I'm not sure the social pathologies of your family prove anything. As I've mentioned before, members of my own family have married members of other ethnic groups, not only without protest from anyone, but with a great deal of familial joy. Children of those marriages have since gone on to interracial marriages of their own, including one who recently married the blondest of blond Utahns. Both families were happy with the marriage.

I lived in Africa for many years. During that time I received callings from black leaders and my sons were interviewed for priesthood advancement by black leaders. I was never given the sense that we were special because we were white. I've seen apostles visiting Africans and showing the same love and kindness I've seen them show to white members in Eastern Europe when we lived there. I have in fact seen the Church grow in many different countries and have never seen it or its leaders act in a racist manner. So, what am I to believe--you or my lying eyes?

This, by the way, is not "testimony bearing" as you put it. I've been there and have seen for myself, whereas life seems to have confined you to a cab in downtown Salt Lake City. If by "testimony bearing" you mean making emotional statements made without adequate evidence, the fault would seem to lie with you.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Vickie,

I agree with you. We don't want a president who is under control of a prophet. If anybody presented any evidence that Romney or any other LDS politician were under the control of the prophet, that would, indeed, be reason to oppose him. So far, no one has presented any evidence that such is the case.


Do you have any such evidence? If so, why don't you kindly put it up for discussion, instead of just popping off with platitudes?

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The poster who id'd himself as "Angry American" is obviously a Mormon.

AA - This is the United States where we still have free speech. Just because a number of blog posters provided information on Mormon dogma, scriptures, quotes from Presidents of the Church, scientific facts on the Book of Mormon...doesn't mean the Washington Post promotes "inequality, hatred, bigotry, or for religous freedom or the fundemental rights of privacy".

Perhaps you should speak with your ecclesiastical leaders about those, since there is well-documented evidence that shows they act in all of those things.

Posted by: Get Real | January 9, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Mary Ann:
These baseless attacks by Mormons is what happens when you try to report objective journalism on anything they find contradictory.

I have never found a religious sect so defensive with such an illogical and irrational persecution complex.

Posted by: P | January 9, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

It's so true that people who leave the church cannot leave it alone. My father in law talks about it constantly when we go to visit him. It's like he needs validation from us that what he did (leaving the church) was correct. Moody sounds like he has some serious issues still and is looking outwardly to find inner validation for the choices he's making.

Posted by: Emily Ekins | January 9, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The LDS Church and its robotic members hate gay people. Guess what? The feeling is totally mutual.

Posted by: BostonQueer | January 9, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Lacrima,
Perhaps you should offer evidence to support the Mormon view. You call for evidence from us who oppose your view, but only offer quips and insults to those, like Vickie, who are only guilty of believing somehting other than Mormon bovine excrement.

Posted by: Proximo | January 9, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Emily Ekins:
You said "It's so true that people who leave the church cannot leave it alone."

Let me give you a few reasons why it's hard. People who leave the church are highly varied and do so for a variety of reasons.

Many spend years on LDS Missions and/or thousands of hours as contributing members of the LDS Church. Some spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in tithing and some spend hours and hours in the LDS Temple doing temple work for others.

Then when they determine the church is not what it seems and decide to leave, it is a painful experience because many "so called" friends turn against them. Spouses divorce because of the rift it causes them that their non-believing spouse doesn't go to church anymore. I have non-believing friends who pay 10% of their income in tithing to the Mormon church, because they love their spouses and are afraid they will leave them if they stop paying tithing and going to church. I have heard countless stories of children turning on a parent who decides to leave...and these parents are people who devoted their lives to the LDS Church. Instead of getting support from their loved ones and church friends for sticking up for their belief that the church is not what it seems and to hold their head high with their integrity in tact, those people turn on them like passive-aggressive wolves. It's truly sad.

That is why many have a hard time "leaving the church alone" (which incidentally is very much a Mormon cliche). When you visit your father-in-law and he "talks about it constantly", do you think he might feel alienated when all of his family members go to church, talk about church, pay money to a church he might find reprehensible...and they view him as somebody who will not be a part of their "eternal family". I feel bad for him Emily.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 9, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Let these few departees take their brief bows in the secular spotlight; someday they will bow deeply before the throne of the Almighty, confessing that Jesus is the Christ and that this is his work.

Posted by: Neal A. Maxwell | January 9, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"Bashing people for their religious views" equals "No Class".

LDS doctrine is to treat ALL people as brothers and sisters.
Why is everyone so worried?
I'm not voting for Mitt because Ron Paul supports my views; however, I think Mitt Romney should be proud of his Christian faith. True Christians are no threat to other faiths.

Posted by: Jefferson | January 9, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Peter,

I have indeed attacked a number of the messengers on this site, because, to be frank, most of them strike me as a bit gormless. You, for example, need to look the word "credulous" up in the dictionary. If you can't even use you own native language with facility, why should anyone take your ideas seriously?


LDS Cabbie can't even get the facts of his own life, yet he wants me to take at face value all his "facts" about the Mountain Meadow Massacre and LDS racism.

Elder George can't distinguish in his lists between adjectives and nouns, between animals and words that describe the gender or age of animals, and then he cites as evidence an amateur acheologist. Who can take a guy like that seriously?

I'm sitting in a hotel room without any library nearby, but, if you go back and read my replies, I have tried at least to cite titles of books, references to web sites, etc. Nothing I've written meets professional standards, but I've tried.

There is a whole intellectual world out there that deals with Mormonism seriously, if not always positively. Little of that world seems to be familiar to the people on this site, including the Mormons, who seem shockingly ignorant of their own doctrine and history.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Mormonism seems a lot like Catholicism in the way it's escapees remain obsessed with it's absurdities and obscenities.

I'm guessing that a Mormon upbringing damages a person's capacity to live freely and be happy so severely that they must continue to symbolically kill the beast, escape from Babylon, repeat the repudiation, in the vain hope of someday being capable of free thought and happiness.

Based on personal contacts, I rank Mormons up there with Scientologists and Jehovahs Witnesses as people likely to make good presidents.

Posted by: Phlogiston | January 9, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I trust those following the acrimony "Lacrima" has been spewing forth will note he has been reduced to insults and attacks exactly as I prophesied...BTW, Lacrima, I was precocious enough to avoid LDS baptism--the only one of my siblings--so spare me the presumptive insult, and regarding my family pathology, it was strictly an accident of birth. I consider my activities on exmormon.org as evidence of my strong desire to overcome the handicap of unfortunate natal circumstances.

Lacrima seems content, however, to remain immersed in his fantasy world; perhaps it's from the effects of that African sun he's brags about...

Juanita Brooks' volume "The Mountain Meadows Massacre" did not exonerate Brigham Young, and privately, she held the view he'd ordered it (conceding the evidence wasn't there to convict him), a view Will Bagley-with whom I had lunch with a few weeks ago--has taken very public (as seen in the PBS documentary aired last year).

Brooks deserve accolades for defying LDS pressure not to publish her book; she was a courageous woman who once sat outside the office of church leader David O. McKay with a list of historical documents on the matter she was asking for, only to be ultimately refused by his personal secretary... LDS suppression of legitimate history is another fact Lacrima may have trouble dissolving into his morning Ovaltine...

However, Brooks does repeat LDS folklore that tarnished the reputation of the Fancher Party, suggesting they'd provoked the Southern Utah settlers and somehow had a hand in inviting their own doom. There's also the nonsense about a mythical potent poison added to catte carcasses and a running spring (an utter impossibility) that she repeats, and she's in clear error in suggesting the Paiutes launched the initial attack (source: Bagley again, who notes there were perhaps three rifles among all the tribes of Southern Utah, and the initial volley killed or injured most of the adult males of the wagon train).

Brigham Young's histrionics about the Indians were pure posturing on his part, and it's absurd to suggest that situation justified the mass murder of women and children. Well, the justification is there if one considers he likely ordered the killings and knew he could blame the Indians as a move in his own diabolical chess game.

Yeah, veriy, the Cabbie doth prophesy that Lacrima shall shortly accuse him of repeating wicked anti-Mormon lies...

Gonna be a little tough to type while he's raising his arm to the square, however...

And I'm still amazed at the logic that blames me for being a late starter learning about MMM... Shoot, if I were a real jerk, I could say the same thing about Lacrima and DNA, since he's demonstrated marked ignorance on that one, and the essential information has been around since I was a teen-ager in the 60's. I'm comfortable discussing that subject as well, with, among others, Simon Southerton who's another friend of mine.

Honest, Lacrima, here's some advice to you: Don't pick fights with cabbies; some of us really are smarter than you, and worse, we have lots of smart friends as well...

And a honk of my horn to Jim H. and Elder George C. above...

Posted by: SL Cabbie | January 9, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima:
Attack, name calling, attack, nitpicking, attack. The hallmark of a Christian?

Mormonism fails the objective, intellectual test...miserably.

Posted by: Peter O'Brien | January 9, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Mitt will force plural gay marriage on America

Posted by: John Ryan | January 9, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

im glad this guy got up and tld his version of the truth. i have learned so much reading the comments today.

i had no idea there had been a massacre. i didn't know about the wedding issue until the woman talked about her daughters' wedding. how does a christian church go along with excluding family from their daughters' most important day? what daughter goes along with that without at least some "brainwashing"?

much like scientology the "church" doesn't want it's members around non-believers. it's easier to keep them in line that way (btw, huckabee and his crowd are the same way).

i was recruited as a 14yr ld black kid for the church when we moved to california in the late 70's. the only thing i knew about them was that they were really nice, clean and white, which having left chicago, i really wanted to be. of course my elderly had mentioned they were a cult and were no better than the kkk.

finally one day as i was defending them a jeff spicoli like stoner said "washington don't you know they get extra points for catching coons?" i asked my mormon "friends" and while not getting points they certainly got extra praise for blacks and "mexicans". then i actually read the book.

omg what a load of crap! it was a weird version of the bible with the names changed. i would sit with a friend and laugh all day!

people, it's a cult and a weird one at that.

Posted by: dw314 | January 9, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

If Mike Huckabee had made racial comments about a leading black candidate or sexist comments about a leading female candidate, he would have been castigated by the media. How he was able to launch his surge on religious bigotry is dumbfounding to me. It seems that everyone is oblivious to the obvious.

In the event that Mitt Romney does not win the nomination, then history will show that Mike Huckabee pulled off the political crime of the century. It was Mike Huckabee that raised religious issues among Iowa evangelicals by comments toward Romney's religion.

As Huckabee's tactics started to show in the Iowa polls, Mitt responded with his "Faith in America" speech. Romney was then forced to work on damage control. Romney's efforts in Iowa payed off and he continued to rise back in the polls but the damage gave him a second in a state he held firmly until Huckabee's misuse of the public forum.

McCain saw his window and concentrated on New Hampshire while Romney was being unduely "occupied" in Iowa. Romney was forced to agressively address things detracting from what his positive messaging had been and did so famously. Romney then relied on comparison ads to contrast differences. These ads were constantly referred to as "attack ads" by Huckabee, who continually portrayed him as "desperate", and "attacking".

Now Huckabee is able to capitalize on such tactics. Because of his use of the majority evangelical state of Iowa and with the ignorance of the media toward the Mormon religion, he flew under the radar of a nation that has worked since Lincoln to erase such bigotry.

A majority of the nation now sees only that Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucus and know nothing of the back story. I think it important to present it. Observe for yourself and pass these perspectives along. We need a TRUE man for change and a proven record of turning things around in the oval office.

Vote Mitt Romney

Posted by: Kelly Warnick | January 9, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/v/xrfOdLqMogs&rel=1


This thread illustrates things I learned form living 20 years in Utah. Mitt is a good example of what I experienced there.
They play semantics,deny, cite unproven science with no understanding,deny their published and recorded history and cant admit they are wrong, LDS missionaries are brainwashed for two weeks in Provo Utah and learn comebacks and arguements to convert Christiand to Mormonism. Sadly Utah leads the national averages in suicide,divorce,prescription drug abuse,
teen pregnancy, and teenage suicide. The pressure and realization that all things are not as they have been taught is way too much for them to handle. I have many LDS friends and deep down, I feel very sorry with them as I see there frustration grow
as they realize reality contradicts their religion.

Posted by: eSPO1 | January 9, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Your support of Mormon bashing only causes me to think LESS of your paper. Hatefulness such as this article spins should be beneath your dignity.

Posted by: N. Faye | January 9, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

LDS Cabbie,

I didn't say you were a late starter. You said you were a late starter. Go read your own post. You were, as you say, "never exposed to this history until we were adults and ferreted out the facts on our own."

That's OK by me. I don't think that there is a particular age at which one needs to read about the MMM.

As to Brigham Young's culpability, it doesn't make much difference what Brooks believed or what Bagley says on PBS. If there is no evidence there is no evidence.

I'm not sure how many times I have to repeat myself, but I've already said that the MMM was horrible. Nothing the Mormons said afterwards justifies it. Does that work for you?

Facts are not anti-Mormon, they're just facts. What I find to be anti-Mormon is this incessant dwelling on the negative side of the Church. Yes, there are embarrassing things about the Church's history. One could say that of any religion. If that were sufficient to cause someone to give up his religion, there would be no religious people at all. And, once we were all secular, we would start discovering embarrassing things about humanity. Then, where would we go?

Martin Luther once called the world a "great sh*thouse" and so it is. The LDS Church certainly hasn't escaped its effects, but that doesn't change the fact that I love the Church and have received nothing but good from my years of membership. My beliefs have not kept me from professional success or from doing just about anything I want (I'm not sure why Phlegiston thinks Mormons/religious people have no freedom--maybe I just don't feel my chains).

I can understand why people leave the Church. It's a lot of work. Faith doesn't always overcome doubt. When I was an elders' quorum president years ago in California, I spent a lot of time with my inactive members and quite sympathized with a lot of them.

Most of them, however, didn't go off into extremes of antagonism; they just went on to other things, some happily, some not. It's this odd antagonism of some exes I don't understand.

I mean, I don't believe in flying saucers, but I don't spend my days attacking those who do.

It's a big world and far less than one per cent of it is Mormon. You ought to value us a rare and interesting culture and go after something larger and more common, say the Democratic Party. Wouldn't that be fun?

And, SLC Cabbie, I don't doubt you have intelligent friends, but it doesn't rub off. After all, I have rich friends.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

This whole pathetic blog saddens me. People have a right to their religious beliefs, whether they believe in the Book of Mormon, Krishna, or little green elves. It is anti-American, irrational, and unfair for people like those on this site to deride, make fun of or belittle Mormons for believing something simply because they themselves find it hard to believe. Mormons are people. Period. They are no more dangerous than other people, they are no more crazy than other people, they are no more wrong-headed than other people. They are just people. Just because others don't think like you doesn't automatically make them evil. Be fair, friends. This all sounds like silly paranoia.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 9, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Whilst I am a strong believer in the separation of church and state, I also think it imperative to evaluate all aspects of any candidate running for the presidency of the USA, including their religious beliefs. I challenge anyone to tell me beliefs do not effect decision making.

The fact that Huckabee doesn't believe in evolution and prefers creationism reveals a basic lack of critical thinking, a lack that I do not want in any person who, as president, would control the most powerful military in the world.

Despite Romney's speech on the grand tradition of religious liberty his belief in the questionable tenets of Mormonism makes me question his ability to make rational judgements and right decisions.

I happen to believe in a universal God present in each and every point in creation (how else can a God be?). It represents a fundamentally different world view to those who believe eg that only Christians will be saved, that only believers in Allah will go to heaven, that only Jews are God's people, ....... With such a dualistic world view there are always others to dump ones aggression, insecurity, fear, etc. on - witness Bush and his axis of evil thinking. Don't tell me belief has no effect on policy making.

I wonder if the general unwillingness of the American people to question a candidate's religious beliefs hides a deep fear to question the tenets of their own religion? If so it indicates a serious lack of deep self awareness and an unwillingness to face truth.

Posted by: Annalakshmi | January 9, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

With apologies to the late Molly Ivins, I believe that the second best free entertainment in the world is a good "food fight" over religious belief(s). (Molly gave the "best free entertainment" award to the Texas legislature when in session.)

Posted by: dowert | January 9, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Annalakshmi, if you will only vote for someone who believes in "a universal God present in each and every point in creation (how else can a God be?)," you might have a hard time finding a candidate to vote for. You are exactly the kind of person that I was talking about above--one with no tolerance for those whose beliefs differ from your own. Tolerance implies a fair and objective attitude toward people whose religious beliefs differ from one's own. Behavior, not belief, is the most important indicator of a person's true nature.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 9, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima claims that the ancestors of the Book of Mormon people were not Jewish. His own books says differently...2 Nephi, 33:8 in Nephi's words, says "I have charity for the Jew--I say Jew, because I mean them from whence I came." These folks also populated the Americas "from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east." Now how do you suppose that their semitic DNA could arbitrarily rearrange itself in so short a time so as to not leave a trace of same?

And how did these folks go to war in chariots with swords of steel when neither horses nor steel were to be found in the early Americas? One of your own apologists from FARMS (one of the propoganda arms of the LDS Church) suggested that Book of Mormon folks were mistaking tapirs for horses. Wow, can't you just picture an Arnold Gribert painting of the American version of Ben Hur but with a team of squealing pig-like tapirs carrying warriors into battle.

And why is your church now saying that the Hill Camorah in upstate N.Y. is not actually the place where over 2 million people lost their lives in epic battles? If that isn't the place then why did they build such an elaborate edifice to commemorate that hill?

Lacrima, you say that a band of thirty intermingled with locals and soon diluted their DNA, yet your Book of Mormon makes no mention of an existing population of people in the land. And if the area mentioned in your Book of Mormon took place in small area in Central America as is now contended, then why did God send Oliver Cowdery to be a missionary to the "Lamanites" in Missouri? And why does a piece of Egyptian hieroglyphic papyrus, that Joseph Smith "translated" turn out to be nothing but a pagan funeral script when translated by real Egyptologists? Wouldn't a thinking person suspect this 19th Century con man faked the rest of his works also?

Get your head out of the sand, Lacrima, a dose of reality might indeed bring you back to your senses.

Posted by: Meso | January 9, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

For those who don't know, the ultimate goal of Mormon's is to become Gods of their own planets. It's the reason they live the way they live. It's a DIRECT defiance of the first commandment. And they call themselves christians? No way!!

"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.

Lacrima, Tell me where they found any evidence of horses, wheat, barley, gold and silver coins used by the indians before the Spanish settlers? All of which are included in the book of Mormon's account of the Americas.

Posted by: Gerry | January 9, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The only difference between a cult and a religion is the number of members.

Posted by: apostate | January 9, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Why does the Mormon Church have a 20 million dollar budget for apologists? I always thought that truth didn't require spin. For a church that professes a belief in divine revelation, it seems only too willing to let these apologists spin their own version of Mormonism. Why aren't these doctrines delivered from the pulpit instead of from these hired spin doctors?

Posted by: Meso | January 9, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

This is, of course, how an amplifiew whispering campaign works. A candidate signifies his willingness to use religious bigotry as a weapon and his supporters keep repeating the tired and discredited tidbits. Some of them are sincere. Some of the are doing for a political purpose. Some of them are just ignorant. But for a columnist in a major newspaper to repeat this tired and discredited nonsense simply beacause someone not newsworthy himsel calls a press conference to repeat does the newspaper and its readers a serious diservice

Posted by: rtbohhan | January 9, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I believe the Bible when it states in Revelation 3:21- To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

If that isn't Godhood what is it?

Just as a person can tell a newborn baby that someday it could be a CEO for their relatives company, I don't think it's any different to tell men they can someday be Gods. Most would only see the infant, some would see the potential.

I doubt that God's so unsure of Himself that He's threatened or offended that people would want to be like Him.

What good parent doesn't take it as a compliment that a child wants to be like them? Since we are talking about "men" I'm not worried they're going to get there anyday soon...but I'm pretty sure that Heavenly Father won't mind sharing His "recipe" on how to do it, with those that are capable of that responsibility.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

In response to Meso:

1) First, I respond with a quote: "Though argument does not create conviction, lack of it destroys belief. What seems to be proved may not be embraced; but what no one shows that ability to defend is quickly abandoned. Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish." -- Austin Farrer

2) Where did you get the figure that the LDS Church spends 20 million dollars on apologetics? Interesting that you have such inside information on the Church's budget, when the Church's budget is a more tightly-kept secret than the recipe to Coke.

Posted by: Flagar | January 9, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

You've got to be kidding me. It's a commandment, the very first one. Most of the bible was written around the commandments. Equating God to a Ceo is so insulting I don't even know where to start. Besides that, Mormon's believe they will be God's of their own PLANET?!? Can we start that trend early and send them all to Pluto?

Posted by: Gerry | January 9, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The Mormons believe there are trillions upon trillions of gods. February 18, 1855, Apostle Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, v.2, p.345: "If we should take a million of worlds like this and number their particles, we should find that there are more Gods than there are particles of matter in those worlds."

Posted by: Meso | January 9, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Flagar, my info comes from having close relatives at the very top of this pyramid scheme, as well as many drones at the bottom end (deceivers and deceived).

Posted by: Meso | January 9, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Meso:

More relevantly/substantively, how do you respond to the Farrer quote, given in response to your criticism:

"Though argument does not create conviction, lack of it destroys belief. What seems to be proved may not be embraced; but what no one shows that ability to defend is quickly abandoned. Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish."

Posted by: Flagar | January 9, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Meso,

You're back. Good for you. If you read further in The Book of Mormon (I'm guessing that you're just proof texting), you'll find that the Lehites are descended from Joseph of Egypt, who was the ancestor of two tribes (read chapter 5 of First Nephi). Your quote establishes the fact that they originally lived in Jerusalem and partcipated in Jewish culture. Nephi liked the Jews, but was not one of them.

As to the rest of your post, without going into details, I've conceded that questions remain about The Book of Mormon, but I still believe its claims. I've read a good number of books on both sides, including "Kingdom of the Cults," "Maze of Mormonism" and their ilk, and would have to say that I think the historical claims of the BoM are more firmly established today than since it was published. Try reading Givens' "By the Hand of Mormon" published recently by Oxford Press.

Remember, I don't have to convince you of anything to remain a happy member of the Church. I only need to convince myself. You, however, seem feel a need to convince me, so go for it.

Gerry,

The belief that Christian salvation leads to godhood is hardly unique to Mormonism. Go read the article in Wikipedia on theosis I mentioned in a previous post. A belief in theosis was once at the heart of your Christianity and remains part of Orthodoxy even today (does that mean those guys go to Hell too?). If you read the "Concordia" article from the footnote, you'll see that Luther also believed salvations lead to godhood. I subscribe to Harvard Theological Review and they had an article in the last year or so on theosis in the writings of Calvin.

What this means is that you could become a traditional Christian, believe in your own future godhood and still hate Mormon theology. That sounds like a hard deal to pass up.

Mormons believe in a creative, challenging, and interesting eternity. I once asked a Protestant pastor what Christians would do for eternity. He answered that they would spend it delivering God's messages to the Jews who will inhabit the earthly Paradise. Sounds real fun.

Catholic Heaven must be even more boring. Look how Christians end up at the end of Dante's "Comedy."

Mark Twain wrote a great and really funny essay on this subject. Read it and you'll be even more tempted to leave your little born again cult and return to your Christian roots.

Dowert,

I fully agree with you. Outside of Facebook messages to my family, I don't think I had posted more than four or five lines before now. But, this has kept me entertained for two days. However, if the weather is clear in the morning, I'm off to Petra and Bethany.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Flagar, answer my question first: Why does your church rely on spin doctors to deliver their holy doctrine as opposed to claiming divine revelation and responding from the pulpit? Is this the new face of Mormonism...leaving it to paid apologists to spin this new version and quietly slipping it in under the radar?

Posted by: Meso | January 9, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

In 1828, eight years after he supposedly had been told by God himself to join no church, Smith applied for membership in a local Methodist church.

I'm pretty sure that if God himself appeared before me and told me not to do something... I'm going to listen.

FRAUD

Posted by: Gerry | January 9, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

I was raised a Mormon and although not active, later in my life I did read the Book of Mormon as well as the Pearl of GP and D & C. I did this in a study group of neighborhood couples. That study pretty much convinced me that I could't, in good conscience, remain a member and be a part of such a distortion of truth so I left the church shortly after these studies.

I suspect you, like most Mormons, were born into this religion and will do anything to defend it regardless of the lies you have to tell in support of it.

Posted by: Meso | January 9, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Come on Lacrima?
God's on your own planet? Besides that what about the obvious Plagiarism that occurs in the book of Mormon.

Many of the basic historical notions found in the Book of Mormon had appeared in print already in 1825, just two years before Smith began producing the Book of Mormon, in a book called View of the Hebrews, by Ethan Smith (no relation) and published just a few miles from where Joseph Smith lived. A careful study of this obscure book led one LDS church official (the historian B. H. Roberts, 1857-1933) to confess that the evidence tended to show that the Book of Mormon was not an ancient record, but concocted by Joseph Smith himself, based on ideas he had read in the earlier book.

The Book of Abraham is pretty darn similar to the Egyptian book of the dead as well.

Posted by: Gerry | January 9, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Meso:

It's a false either-or to say that because the Church has apologists who defend its message, then it does not "claim[] divine revelation and respond[] from the pulpit." It actually does both.

Have you ever read the Church's Conference Reports? I would advise you to go to www.lds.org so that you can see what actually is taught from the pulpit before saying such things, but I realize it's so much easier for you to simply dismiss an entire religion out-of-hand than to actually give it fair treatment.

Critics of the Church speak volumes about their own lack of intellectual rigor when they resort to straw man arguments, false either-ors, and a host of other logical fallacies to dismiss what is actually a very rational theology.

Posted by: Flagar | January 9, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

The Book of Mormon says that the Lamanites are the PRINCIPAL ancestors of the American Indians. Those same Lamanites were descended from father Lehi from Jerusalem. The LDS church has alway contended that these Jews established themselves in the New World. It sounds as if you are being an apologist for the church and putting a new spin on an old story. Could it be the complete lack of DNA evidence that's causing you people to completely change your story? Flip flop, flip flop.

Posted by: Meso | January 9, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

God, I hate religion.

Posted by: fat sam | January 9, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Meso,
Don't forget that they were light skinned jews before God Punished them and gave them brown skin. (According to the Book of Mormon).

Posted by: Gerry | January 9, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

PS - the "straw man arguments" I'm referring to are all the people (example: half the posts above) who gleefully refer to one obscure doctrine or historical footnote, usually quoted from the Journal of Discourses or some other source, and proceed to say, "FRAUD!" or some other trite comment.

Honestly, the more critics of the Church try to convince me with their weak, unreasoned, and illogical arguments, the more I become convinced of the truthfulness of the Church.

Meso, is it possible that you hate Mormon apologists because they are winning?

Posted by: Flagar | January 9, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Gerry,

Where do you get this own planet stuff? I didn't know I got my own planet until a Protestant colleague of mine told me about it a few weeks ago. I told him thanks and invited him to come on over and go fishing with me someday. I hope he does.

You born agains have created a kind of Mormonism that no Mormon believes in. I've read several times in this series of posts that the things we think we believe are actually subterfuge and deception, and that the only way to true knowledge is to study with the antis. Don't you find that a bit strange?

What would you think if a Moslem came up to you and told you that only he could really explain your Christian beliefs, and that what you thought you believed was all just nonsense. Surely, even a born again can see the nonsense of that.

One reason Protestants get upset over the idea of godhood is that they tend to see God as a king. Kings don't like competition. Just look at how Herod reacted to the Wise Men's announcement of Christ's birth: He went out to slaughter the competition.

Mormons, however, see God as a father and fathers aren't really jealous of each other. I was a kid once and loved my father. When I became a father myself, I still loved and respected my father. And now that my kids are fathers, I still feel their love and respect, along with that of my grandkids. In other words, things just keep getting better.

God doesn't want us to be kids forever. He wants us to be great and good and powerful and creative. And, guess what? It doesn't threaten or diminish Him in any way. God will always be my father--loved, respected and obeyed.

What kind of God do you beleive in who can only maintain His status if surrounded by inferiors? Sounds like Herod to me. As I pointed out in my last post, your born again belief in eternal inferiority is by no means part of traditional Christianity.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Flagar,

Yes, I have watched LDS conferences hoping to glean something of importance to explain the discrepencies in their doctrine and reality. They have made no attempt to explain DNA studies, archaeological evidence, historical incongruities or any number of inconsistencies in doctrine. They apparently feel more comfortable letting the "hired guns" explain church doctrine and thus not getting their own hands dirtied in the fight for truth.

Posted by: Meso | January 9, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

and since I grew up in the (christian) church:

Jesus probably DID have a serious martyr complex, and basically committed suicide by cop.

However, IF forced to choose, I would be much happier following the teachings and footsteps of a flaky peacenik than a con-man staying one step ahead of the law...

Posted by: fat sam | January 9, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Let us start at the beginning, and according to Mormon theology/cosmology, the beginning is Kolob. Kolob is a star, where exactly it is located in the night sky is unknown. But this star of Kolob is a very special star, for it is the location of the first creation. One of the planets orbiting the star Kolob is the home planet of none other than God himself.

It is explained that on this planet orbiting Kolob, one day is the same as a thousand years of Earth time. Thus from this fact comes the statement in the Bible where it says that a day to the Lord is like a thousand years. A sort of scientific explanation to what was previously a spiritual statement.

The Exaltation of Man

So Kolob is the star around which orbits the home planet of God. But this raises further questions. Why does God have a home planet? Is he not God? Does his presence not fill the entire universe? Is that not the very definition of omnipresence?

In order to answer this question, we must explain that Mormons do not have the same ideas of God as normal Christians do. Most people assume that they do, but their conceptions of deity are in fact extremely different.

One of the most important differents (although by no means not the only) difference is this idea of the exaltation of Man. It is believed by Mormons that after the Resurrection (the Resurrection of all mankind, not just of Christ) all Mormons who have been baptized into the Mormon faith will receive new Resurrection Bodies that will make them the same as God. According to some Mormon thinkers, these resurrected Mormons will in fact go on to be Gods themselves, of their own worlds, which they will populate with their spiritual children. (This is only for the males, of course).

It is believed by Mormons that this is what happened to God. He was originally a man, just like us, before he became exalted and received the Resurrected Body. This is the first Creation, the first generation where Gods began to be, according to the hymn "If You Could Hie to Kolob." Mormon cosmology states that the universe is constantly expanding, as new generations of Gods continue to create and populate worlds of their own: endless creations.

Posted by: Gerry | January 9, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima or Flagar,

How do you explain - horses - in the Book of Mormon. If you could satisfactorily explain that one conundrum (the historical lack of archaeological evidence to support their existence here before Columbus) then I might be more susceptible to your argument about the historical accuracy of your book. Just don't give me that story about tapirs...pleeeeeeez.

Posted by: Meso | January 9, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Gerry-
Please enlighten me~ If this scripture isn't talking about Godhood what is it talking about?

King James Version -Revelation 3:21- To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

I realize it rules out the Nicene Creed confusion but that would be another conversation....

As for the first commandment, I don't step on anyone's toes by believing in it, as well as Godhood.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me

Sorry for the ongoing "business" theme but if I have a boss, I'm obviously not going to offend him by running across town to ask someone else's boss any ?'s I might have.

I'm pretty sure men could become God's without forgetting who their God is...

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Meso,

I think you've gone over the edge. Since you obviously haven't read the book, here is what it says on the point in question:

(I Nephi 5:14) And it came to pass that my father, Lehi, also found upon the plates of brass a genealogy of his fathers; wherefore he knew that he was a descendant of Joseph;

That is not called apologetics; it's called the ability to read a simple narrative passage and interpret its meaning. Did you score more than two digits on your SATs?

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

you are quite the pompous a$$, aren't you? -- and nowhere as clever as you seem to think you are.

your religion is demonstrably racist, arrogant and exclusionary, (nor can it be defined as 'christian' -- not that I care -- by even the most liberal standards), a flavor that seeps into all your posts; well, to be fair, the arrogance and exclusion do-- bully for you that i couldn't get that sulphur whiff of racism from your posts...

To try to defend your beliefs by talking down your nose at others? that's just funny. Or, it would be if you didn't also try to proselytize. at which point it becomes simply annoying.

Posted by: fat sam | January 9, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Gerry,

The Mormon Church is now shying away from the idea that God was once a man thing. You remember, "as man is now God once was; as God is now man may become". Gordon Hinckley says that's more of a couplet and that gets into some pretty heavy doctrine that we don't know very much about. Could it be that the church realizes they have been contradicting their own book?

Mormon 9:9 - "For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?"

Moroni 8:18 - "For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity."

Flip flop - flip flop.

Posted by: Meso | January 9, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

This would make a good HBO mini series. Oh, someone already thought of that!

Posted by: TM | January 9, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Sit with me in my throne? You can try to spin that into whatever you want. Here are some more not so vague scriptures.


Men cannot become gods (Isaiah 43:10). Man is a created being, unlike God who has always been (Genesis 21:33). God will not share his glory with another (Isaiah 42:8).

Posted by: Gerry | January 9, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Religiosity can be cured. You first have to admit to yourself that you have a problem.

Posted by: jack-hindu | January 9, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima, can you explain why I and my husband could not attend our daughter's temple wedding? I was never given a reasonable explanation for that. There is no other religion on the face of the earth that would not have allowed us to be with her and see her get married. No Christian religion operates this way.

I have read accounts of what actually goes on in the temple during the "sealing" (Mormon wedding) and it looks like the holy things they didn't want us to see were old fraternal handshakes, borrowed from the Freemasons. For that, they broke two parents hearts.

We were with our daughter for every part of her life, every event, every play, concert, school award; every celebration she participated in, but not there for her wedding.

How can your church ever talk about "family values" when they treat families like that?

Posted by: ph | January 9, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

When Nephi says: 2 Nephi 33:8 "I have charity for the Jew -- I say Jew, because I mean them from whence I came."

2 Nephi 33:10 "And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ"

Maybe I don't have the education you have but it sure sounds to me as if he's calling himself a Jew here.

Posted by: Meso | January 9, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Mormonism is TRANSPARENT, sorry Lacrima. There are more questions than answers in the book of Mormon. I've tried asking questions to mormon missionaries and I get the burning busom response. "Faith and Doubt can't exist together, I just pray about it and I know the truth."

The Bible presents clear tests for those who claim to be prophets. In Deuteronomy 18:20-21 we are told that a prophet of God will never have false prophecies and will never teach false gods. We have already seen that Joseph taught false gods. But he also proclaimed several false prophecies. Keep in mind that it only takes one false prophecy to make one a false prophet.

Here is just one false prophecy. In Doctrine and Covenants section 84, Joseph prophesied that the city of New Jerusalem would be erected within his generation"in the Western boundaries of the State of Missouri." But to this day, the Mormon Church has failed to erect it. In fact, the Mormon Church does not even own that land on which Joseph said the city would be built. This clearly is a false prophecy. How could Joseph be a prophet of God?

Here's a whole slew of false prophecies by big Joe as I call him.

http://trialsofascension.net/mormon/prophecies.html

Posted by: Gerry | January 9, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Maybe if the BoM and The Church aren't "true" we could all just decide that it's got the best plan out there, get on the same side, go back to God and say:

"what do you say, can we just try this plan-it's the best one?"

"we really don't want to sit around for eternity doing nothing more then praising you-no offense, we love you, it's just you let us do so much on earth that if you take things away, like our bodies, our families, we're gonna be a little bored for eternity?"

and " why did you have to send us to earth to deal with all the hell down there-wars, sicknesses, pain, and suffering, if there's just boredom as the reward back here?"....


Either "ALL" things are possible with God or they aren't, The Church is either true or it isn't...

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I sometimes am a prophet. I usually can tell when I'm ready to blow a lot of hot air.

Posted by: TM | January 9, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"... no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." Artlice VI, US Constitution

Akers and the WaPo have stooped to tabloid journalism.

I have never seen Romney wear his religion on his sleeve until the emergence of the anti-Mormon rant. But I have been made aware of the SBC agenda:

...the SBC got serious about tempering the expansion of what was becoming the fastest-growing religion in the world [Mormonism]. They developed programs, trained pastors, hosted Mormonism-awareness conferences, and published articles to help spread the message to Southern Baptists that Mormonism was a dangerous cult religion they had to avoid. The SBC's Sunday School Board developed an instruction kit, "The Christian Confronting the Cults," that covered five religious groups: the Mormon Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Worldwide Church of God, the Unification Church (the Moonies), and Christian Scientists. The book quickly became the Sunday School Board's top-selling item. The Baptist Film Centers even purged two films produced by Brigham Young University from its distribution lists. Neither film addressed doctrinal issues, but the Southern Baptist Convention dropped the titles so as not to appear approving of Mormon-produced messages. All of these efforts against Mormonism, an SBC magazine explained, were "to help Baptists witness to Mormons without becoming 'Mormonized' themselves."

... The Mormon Church has met efforts from the SBC and other evangelical groups with silence. While it maintains its claim as "the only true and living church," the denomination has avoided targeting specific faiths in the way it has so often found itself in others' crosshairs.

From the article, Southern Baptists vs. the Mormons: Mike Huckabee's and Mitt Romney's Faiths Have Tangled Before. By Neil J. Young, Posted Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007, Slate.com

My question is, has the Federal government looked into possible SBC violation of separation of church and state during political elections? It seems to me that we may have a conflict of interest here.

Posted by: a stevens, OH | January 9, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Ever wonder why we're warned to watch out for the "false" prophets in the end days? so we'll make sure we find the "true" one...

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Meso,

It's really not that hard. The passage I quoted talks about genealogy.

The first one you quote refers to physical origin. Nephi really did come from them, but he didn't descend from them.

The second passage you quote refers to three groups: brethern, Jews, and the ends of the world, i.e., everybody else. Nephi always respected the Jewish role in the plan of salvation. He saw them as preservers of the scriptures and forebearers of the Messiah. He singled them out for special, if not always positive treatment, and tried to preserve the connection between his family and them.
But, he wasn't a Jew.

Really, these three passages are easily reconciled, and if it makes things any easier for you, the fact that the Lehites were descended from Joseph doesn't resolve the DNA question.

I'm still waiting, by the way, for the a reference to this devastating DNA article so many of you keep referring to. Surely one of you has actually read it? And, if it's so devestating, there must be a copy at ex-mormons.com or some other simalar site. I promise I'll read it.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Dadgumburnship, I had to peek in here one more time, and now I'll probaby be late for work cleaning up all the bullchip leavings with this new plow I hooked up on the front of the ol' police interceptor...

Lacrima alternately insults me and then tries to manipulate me with that platitude, "Membership in the LDS church isn't easy," apparently unsatisfied with the mission he doubtless filled for the church around age 20 (honest, guy, if you live long enough, they'll beg you to go on a senior mission; they even asked my inactive dad who hasn't paid a dime of tithing since he was 19).

And, incredibly, as a Mormon he claims never to have been exposed to "As man is God once was" doctrine that is part-and-parcel to the Gospel of eternal progression. Shoot, as the ward project, I heard about that one from the bishop's daughter, the one who taught me to french kiss...

Of course now the apostates' message to the faithful is, "As you are, we once were. As we are, you may become."

And here you go, Lacrima, I'm going to channel Satan for a second or two:

"Pssst, wanna hear how you can get a 10% pay raise?"

And then there's Flagar's denouncing the use of strawmen, only to use a strawman of his own (paraphrased, "Those who refer to something obscure, usually in the JOD, and holler, 'FRAUD1'")

Never read the JOD myself, but the quotes my ex-Mormon friends have pulled from it are scary. I do have a copy of Charles Larson's "By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus" that overwhelming demonstrates the source papyrii for the Book of Abraham were from around the first century A.D. and not fifteen centuries earlier as Joseph Smith claimed.

Fraud. BTW, Larson was fired from a public school teaching job in Provo, Utah, for his authorship of this book.

And no steel, horses, elephants, wheat, or use of the wheel (all mentioned in the BOM) anywhere in the archaeological record of the New World. Fraud.

And Lacrima also trying some strawman tactics with that "Nephi was of the tribe of Joseph" spiel; that one's got some red herring elements, too since what's relevant is the DNA of Native Americans (there are five basic haplogroups of mtDNA that can be found in the Americas and traced to Siberia), and not Hebrews or Egyptians or Hottentots...

And anyone who believes Lehi's voyage is a possibility (forget the Jaredites, even) needs to review maritime sailing technologies in Arabia in 600 B.C. Them are mighty big oceans; I know, I almost drowned in one them once...

Lastly, Lacrima, you're right about one thing, membership in LDS, Inc. isn't easy. I realized I would bit when I decided I just can't seem to keep my mouth shut when I'm forced to listen to nonsense. Goes back to a TBM biology teacher who was a Bigfoot afficianado... Way back in '67, the year my generation invented pre-marital sex...

And that flaw of needing to speak up doubtless speaks more for my current occupation than any cerebral or psychological shortcomings...

But hang on until you can stand it anymore; you folks are great poster children for the problems of cognitive dissonance...

Posted by: SL Cabbie | January 9, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Irresponsible journalism at its worst.

It just demonstrates how low the press will go.

I believe this is the same National Press Club that called Robert Dole a crippled "gimp" during one of their meetings when he was running for president.

Totally disgusting...

Posted by: Roy Dew | January 9, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and here you are Lacrima, a link to that copy of a DNA article featuring my friend Simon Southerton whom I mentioned above.

http://www.rickross.com/reference/mormon/mormon285.html

"In the 1990s, DNA studies gave Mormon detractors further ammunition and new allies such as Simon G. Southerton, a molecular biologist and former bishop in the church.

"Southerton, a senior research scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia, said genetic research allowed him to test his religious views against his scientific training.

"Genetic testing of Jews throughout the world had already shown that they shared common strains of DNA from the Middle East. Southerton examined studies of DNA lineages among Polynesians and indigenous peoples in North, Central and South America. One mapped maternal DNA lines from 7,300 Native Americans from 175 tribes.

"Southerton found no trace of Middle Eastern DNA in the genetic strands of today's American Indians and Pacific Islanders."

Checkmate.

Posted by: SL Cabbie | January 9, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

Apparently the LDS boys in SLC know enough about DNA evidence to remodel their introduction in the Book of Mormon to read: AMONG the ancestors of American Indians...that one word change from PRINCIPAL ancestors of the American Indians speaks volumes about how they feel about DNA evidence. You probably didn't get the memo yet regarding this newest change.

If you need to read about DNA studies, perhaps Simon Sutherton's (former Mormon from Australia) work might be of interest. He was excommunicated for daring to challenge longheld Mormon beliefs about the pedigree of American Indians through his work in DNA. I suppose you're going to say you've never heard of him or his work?

Posted by: Meso | January 9, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

PH,

I know I've been awfully sarcastic in my posts, but, in all sincerity, you have my full sympathy. I've had four kids get married so far, and it would have broken my heart not to be present.

In Europe, where I lived seven years, most countries don't accept church weddings as legally binding, so everyone gets married first at the town hall and then goes off to church, synagogue or temple for a second wedding. I think we could do something like that in the US. Let couples like yours get married first in the chapel so both families could attend, and then let the two of them go off to the temple to be sealed. That only takes five minutes or so. With increasing numbers of convert members, it seems like that would be a humane concession to everyone's feelings. Since it's already done in other parts of the world, it doesn't seem likely that any doctrinal considerations would prevent it being done in the States.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

It's about time someone asked Mitt what the Law of Consecration means when it says: You and each of you COVENANT and PROMISE before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar, that you do accept he Law of Consdertion as contained in this, the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, in that,you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion

Mitt has taken this oath and we deserve an answer as to how he can reconcile that with keeping the LDS at arm's length as president.

And in response to the comments that the LDS is like other Christian religions, the truth is that it has more resemblances to Islam. It may name Jesus in the church's title but they, clearly, have 1) superseded Christ with another prophet who is central to their beliefs, 2) adopted other primary sources ("Book of Mormon", "Pearl of Great Price" and "Doctrines and Covenants") and 3) present themselves as the only true church.

The differences between Christianity and the LDS don't preclude anyone from voting for Romney but they have a clear right to know who and what they are voting for and Romney has yet to be forthcoming about the core beliefs that his church has a long-standing policy of being very circumspect about.

The provisions of the Law of Consecration, on the other hand, should give a responsible voter pause -- particularly in light of the LDS history of theocracy in UT and their extraordinary activist role in denying the women of America the protection of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Posted by: laverite | January 9, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

PH,

I know I've been awfully sarcastic in my posts, but, in all sincerity, you have my full sympathy. I've had four kids get married so far, and it would have broken my heart not to be present.

In Europe, where I lived seven years, most countries don't accept church weddings as legally binding, so everyone gets married first at the town hall and then goes off to church, synagogue or temple for a second wedding. I think we could do something like that in the US. Let couples like yours get married first in the chapel so both families could attend, and then let the two of them go off to the temple to be sealed. That only takes five minutes or so. With increasing numbers of convert members, it seems like that would be a humane concession to everyone's feelings. Since it's already done in other parts of the world, it doesn't seem likely that any doctrinal considerations would prevent it being done in the States.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that Romney's Mormon faith continues to be one of the most talked about points on the BLOG's and the only reason many of the BLOGGER's say they will not vote for Romney. In a nation where women and blacks did not have the right to vote when the country was founded, but religious freedom was guaranteed and religion was purposely eliminated by law as a litmus test for public office, we brag about how far we have come as a country in overcoming bigotry and prejudice by having a black man, Obama, and a woman, Clinton, running for president. What about the religious freedom that was guaranteed by the Constitution and the elimination of religious affiliation in determining the viability of a political candidate? Maybe we haven't come as far as we are bragging about. Maybe we still have bigotry and prejudice as a core issue in this country.

The Evangelical Christians, who seem to make up the majority of the aforementioned bloggers, feared the same issues regarding religion when John F. Kennedy, a Catholic, was running for President. They feared that he would allow the Pope to run or influence the White House and US public policy through John F. Kennedy. There were many Evangelical Christians who openly opposed John F. Kennedy purely on the basis of his Catholic religion. They tried to convince their congregations that Kennedy would follow the Pope or use the Presidency to forward a Catholic agenda. They preached that the Catholic Church would gain followers from their congregations as a result of a Catholic in the White House.

The Evangelical Christians were proven wrong. Kennedy never allowed the Pope to set the political agenda of the United States, nor did Kenneday have power to do that. This country was designed with a number of checks and balances to prevent any such thing from happening. Kennedy would have had to have collusion within Congress and complete control over the Supreme Court in order to forward a Catholic agenda.

We have the same record with Romney. He never attempted to forward a Mormon agenda in Massachusetts as govenor. The fear of the Evangelical Christian's concerning Romney's fatih is completely unfounded, just like it was with Kennedy's Catholic religion.

The Evangelical Christians should be asking themselves, "What would Jesus do?". Would Jesus discriminate against another person on the basis of their religious affiliation or faith. The "Golden Rule" would answer the question for them. The parable of the good samaritan is the example set forth by Jesus concerning religious differences and how they should be dealt with.

All of the hypocritical so-called "Christians" out there who are sharing their garbage should act like the "Christians" they pretend to be.

Posted by: Roy Dew | January 9, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

" I think we could do something like that in the US. Let couples like yours get married first in the chapel so both families could attend, and then let the two of them go off to the temple to be sealed. That only takes five minutes or so. With increasing numbers of convert members, it seems like that would be a humane concession to everyone's feelings. Since it's already done in other parts of the world, it doesn't seem likely that any doctrinal considerations would prevent it being done in the States."

Yeah, it does seem like a humane concession, but is not allowed in the United States. The reason the Church allows it in other countries is because those laws don't accept religious forms of marriage as legally binding.

If you were to get married in he courthouse and then want to go straight to the temple, you would be required to wait 1 year before attending the temple.

If you don't believe me, go ask your bishop.

Posted by: Post-Mo | January 9, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Roy,

It's just a matter of wanting to know more about the cult that Romney belongs to and what similarities it may have to cults represented by Jim Jones, David Koresh or L. Ron Hubbard, to name a few. Voters should be entitled to scrutinize Mitt or anyone who has sworn allegiance to such groups.

Posted by: Meso | January 9, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Any members of the LDS Church should boycott this BLOG. Do not lend it any legitimacy by acknowledging it at all. This is the very type of people and propaganda that led to the persection and death of many of the early members of the Church... including members of my family.

Posted by: Roy Dew | January 9, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Roy,

You're too late on that boycott, this site is crawling with Mormon faithful, trying desperately to pretend they are mainstream Christians.

Posted by: Meso | January 9, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Gerry,
You're not allowed to paraphrase scripture and then call them not so "vague"... nice try.

Haven't enough people been accused of "adding" to the scriptures already?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Post Mo,

You idiot. You said exactly what I said. Of course the one-year waiting period is the problem. That's what we would like to resolve.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Roy, Roy, Roy:
Wow! It's amazing how you can go from civil discussion and talking about the Mormon Church to saying "This is the very type of people and propaganda that led to the persection and death of many of the early members of the Church... including members of my family."

This comment would be hilarious if I didn't think you were serious. I highly doubt that any of these people want to see harm come to another...and if any do, they are nuts. Chill out.

The truth should withstand scrutiny. Why the boycott?

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 9, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

SL Cabbie,

I'm aware of the Mormon plan of salvation, I was just unfamiliar with the private planet plan. Tell me more. Do we get to design our own, like in "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"? Or do we have to take something ready made?

I quite like the idea. I'm beginning to realize the advantages of letting someone else determine all my beliefs. Sometimes people come up with some really cool stuff.

Cabbie, I'm not trying to manipulate you, because I honestly don't care what you believe. I'm just having fun on the net.


By the way, you blew the joke. It goes like this:

Question: What does it mean to be excommunicated from the LDS Church?

Answer: A ten per cent raise and another free day on the week end.

Our version is much better than yours.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Elder George Carlin

If you were a faithful Elder of the Church you would know what the Church teaches about arguing about Church doctrine. Your comments betray your intelligence and your judgment.

If you are a full-time missionary of the Church, you are in violation of mission rules by merely being on the BLOG. If you are not a full-time missionary of the Church then you have no right to use the title Elder.

Posted by: Roy Dew | January 9, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to all for the insights posted here.

Of course one cannot win an argument with a Mormon - they have an answer to everything.

But it helps to be reminded of the horrid inconsistencies and hidden agenda of that organization.

Hopefully it will eventually get swallowed up and digested within traditional Christianity.

Posted by: Dan Tranger | January 9, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

"You idiot. You said exactly what I said. Of course the one-year waiting period is the problem. That's what we would like to resolve."

Oooh, does that make you feel like a big tough man? Calling people names? Sitting there all alone in your little hotel room with nothing to do but insult people?

I think it just makes you look like one big arse.

Just who is this "we" who wants to resolve this 1 year waiting period. The leaders of the Church aren't doing anything about it. IT'S BEING USED AS A SCARE TACTIC.

Stories are flown around about couples who waited to be sealed, but before they could get to the temple, one of them died in a car crash.

Any temple-going couple wanting to wait to be sealed is told by their bishops that marrying in the temple is more important than pleasing everyone and that their salvation depends on them not waiting.

It's a bunch of bull s*** to me.

Just like all the hot air your blowing that smells a lot like manure...

Posted by: Post-Mo | January 9, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Meso,

The change to the BoM you people keep talking about was a change to the preface, a modern document that gets replaced every few decades anyway. That's hardly earth shaking. That particular change has been in the works for awhile. Most literate Mormons these days realize that the majority of Indians are of Siberian stock.

The limited geography of the BoM (read "Mormon's Map") doesn't make the Siberian thing a problem for us.

If the Sutherton article is the devastating article you've referring to, of course I've read it. There's nothing new in it and it has been--not refuted--but put into perspective by a number of people with credentials equal to Sutherton's. Try reading some of these articles: http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/dna.php

I know, it's BYU and it's Mormons talking about their own religion and that's not allowed, but try reading them anyway. They're interesting.

As I wrote to Cabbie way back when, the DNA question is still open--for both of us.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Post Mo,

I didn't mean to insult you. Your post made me think objectively that you're an idiot. Your second post didn't change my mind.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

SL Cabbie and Meso -

Please, enlighten me - as a faithful Mormon, it sounds like you believe me to be lost.

Share your wisdom, what must a man do to be saved?

Posted by: Flagar | January 9, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

"Sometimes people come up with some really cool stuff."

yeah. like magical mystery tablets and salamanders with magic eyeglasses to read them.

or something.

not to mock you.

Posted by: fat sam | January 9, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm an elder and I have the GAS to prove it. HA HA lighten up people you only live once or maybe not.

Posted by: TM | January 9, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

"I didn't mean to insult you. Your post made me think objectively that you're an idiot. Your second post didn't change my mind"

And what exactly is your "objective" basis from my comments that deem me "an idiot".

I can safely say, whatever basis you have, I have equal "objective" basis to call you a lonely, sad man, who probably has no friends.

Posted by: Post-Mo | January 9, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and also an idiot.

Posted by: Post-Mo | January 9, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Roy, this isn't my real name. George Carlin is a comedian.

I put Elder on it out of jest because I thought it would be funny to put a religious title on him. If you know anything about Carlin, which it sounds like you probably don't, then you'll know what I mean.

Roy, I was an Elder for the church for many years. I went to seminary, served an honorable LDS Mission, held various leadership positions, attended BYU, married in the Salt Lake Temple, and last year after many years of struggling with my Mormon faith, I chose to resign.

No one offended me and I didn't do so in order to do immoral things. I am still the same loving husband, father, son and friend but without believing in Mormonism. This realization was one of the hardest things I was ever forced to accept. I can't tell you enough how glad I am...although I understand how you can't understand this. I have many family and friends who are still LDS and they are very good-hearted, loving people. I want all the happiness in the world for them. However, I think it's important for people to see both sides of the issue. The church certainly doesn't want you to even read non-faith promotings viewpoints...which I always thought was odd considering I felt the truth should withstand scrutiny. Truth is more than a warm feeling...if not supported by facts, then it should at least not be contrary to solid scientific and well-documented historical evidence. With all due respect Roy, I personally feel countless claims the church makes, fall flat on it's face when faced with objective scrutiny. I left the church to hold onto my integrity and if there is a God, then I feel I can hold my head up high for doing what I did.

Regards,
Elder George Carlin

"Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 9, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Dan Tranger,

If we have answers for everything, maybe you should consider the possibility we're right.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 9, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

It's a shame that Joseph Smith didn't know about the limited geography theory.

'The Book of Mormon is a record of the forefathers of our western tribes of Indians. By it we learn that our western tribes of Indians are descendants from that Joseph who was sold into Egypt, and that the land of America is a promised land unto them.' (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 17).

'He [Moroni] told me of a sacred record which was written on plates of gold, I saw in the vision the place where they were deposited, he said the Indians were the literal descendants of Abraham.' (Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, Diary 1835-1836, pg. 76).

I guess Moroni forgot to mention all of their non-Israelite ancestors. I'm very surprised that you would defend such a book, given that it contains a racist ideology with its numerous descriptions of light skin and its bearers as good and dark skin and its bearers and loathsome and disobedient. These beliefs are typical of views on race that many held in the U.S in the early nineteenth century.

Of course, most people and groups have repudiated such antiquated bigotry as inaccurate, patronizing, and offensive to the indigenous peoples of the Americas. It's such a shame that you defend such a work. Perhaps in your ignorance you think that you are actually being clever or even useful. I feel so sorry for you.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 9, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Here are the top 10 biggest problems with Mormonism.
1. Book of Abraham is proven to be a fraud. Joseph's translation is known to be wrong.

2. The Book of Mormon is a ripoff of "View of the Hebrews" as summarized by Elder B. H. Roberts.

3. The whole account of the Native Americans is rediculous. There is no evidence of the wars, culture, or cities that Joseph Smith wrote about. The idea that God punished them by turning their skin brown is not only ignorant but racist.

3. It's all in the archeology. No evidence of horses, elephants, metal money, wheat, barley before the spanish settlers, contrary to the BOM.

4. Joseph Smith is a proven false prophet. Deuteronomy 18:20-21 we are told that a prophet of God will never have false prophecies and will never teach false gods.

5. Mormon's believe they will become Gods which contradicts the first commandment.

6. Joseph didn't know his head from his rear. On April 23, 1843 a set of brass plates was discovered in an Indian mound near Kinderhook, Illinois. When presented to Joseph, he pronounced them to be authentic ancient records. They were proven to be forgeries just a few years later.

7. Joseph has several versions of his first vision. Over the years Joseph's story changed from an event in the year 1823 to 1821 to 1820. Depending on the account Joseph gave, it was either a spirit, an angel, two angels, many angels, Jesus, and finally, the Father and the Son. For such a momentous event, it seems to me that one's recollection would be much clearer, had it actually occurred.

8. If god really instructed Joseph Smith not to join any church than why did he apply to join the Methodist church 8 years after his vision.

9. Oliver B. Huntington recorded in his journal in 1881 that Joseph F. Smith, who became the sixth President of the Mormon Church, taught the Lord gave Joseph Smith the exact English wording and spelling that he should use in the Book of Mormon. If this is true why have there been so many changes from stances on polygamy to racist teachings?

10. Major contradictions to the Old and new testament regarding heaven, hell, jesus, god. Pretty much all the major points.

Posted by: Gerry | January 9, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

As a former Mormon (no I was not excommunicated or disciplined, nor was I offended by anything someone said to me. I simply decided I had outgrown the Mormon church; it just didn't fit any more, so I left) it is fascinating to see this level of emotion and response.

It also interesting that as powerful a religion and force as it is in the U.S. and the world, most people don't know that much about the Mormon Church or the doctrines and practices of Mormonism.

Even many faithful members don't seem to know that much about the church and its doctrines. It's not easy. They are told to only read materials that are favorable in treatment to the Mormon Church and its doctrines and policies (usually church sanctioned publications). Anything critical in tone or message about the Mormon church, its doctrines, policies, practices are to be distrusted and disbelieved. The messenger should also be "shot" as a matter of course.

The people who seem to know the most about Mormonism are folks who "studied themselves out of the church." They have learned there are many sources of good, objective information about the church and no longer wear blinders.

Posted by: paperboy | January 9, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Elder George Carlin

You may chose to believe what you will or chose to believe nothing.

You mention that you have friends and family that are still faithfull members of the Church. Your actions betray them, whether you believe in Mormonism or not.

I have many friends of other religions and would never consider belittling or attacking their faith. I have respect for all religion, I hold it all sacred, and treat it accordingly... because that is a principle that I have been taught throughout my life as a member of the Mormon faith.

I can think of no more cruel practice than denegrating, destroying, or attempting to destroy the religious faith of another person.

Posted by: Roy Dew | January 9, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Roy Drew said,

"I have many friends of other religions and would never consider belittling or attacking their faith. I have respect for all religion, I hold it all sacred, and treat it accordingly... because that is a principle that I have been taught throughout my life as a member of the Mormon faith.

I can think of no more cruel practice than denegrating, destroying, or attempting to destroy the religious faith of another person."

I guess that you did not attend the temple prior to 1990, when Christian ministers who received compensation for their ministry were depicted as being in the direct employ of Satan.

I also assume that you have never read the Book of Mormon, what with its description of the great and abominable church, which is clearly a representation of Christian faiths generally and Catholicism in particular.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 9, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Amidst the discussions of religious tolerance, or lack thereof, of the various posts above, it seems to me the elephant in the room is the extent to which Mormonism looks like complete hogwash to those of us not in the faith, from the story of the golden plates that nobody else can see, to the genetic absurdities conflating Native Americans with lost tribes, to the plagiarism noted by many in the Mormon scriptures. I find it terrifying to contemplate the unconscious dishonesty required by an adult to strenuously maintain beliefs that, on some level, they must see as ridiculous, and what it would mean for us to have a president who had the ability to maintain such absurdities.
I apologize if these views cause any Mormon readers pain, but I feel that such things must be said.

Posted by: Steve | January 9, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DavidE | January 9, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Steve makes excellent points.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 10, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Now that we've thoroughly thrashed or defended the LDS religion, we can conclude we're getting nowhere.

Trying to prove/disprove a religion based on historical and/or other logical arguments can't be done. The sands of time move. Civilizations rise, fall, are conquered and scattered. Records are distorted, forgotten or lost. Languages evolve, word meanings are lost in translation. When it comes to religion, answers can only come on an individual basis from god, whatever you believe him to be.

Posted by: Jash | January 10, 2008 2:08 AM | Report abuse

We have a choice, a secular progressive fascist or a Mormon, a Baptist or non committed Rudy, Thompson or Ru Paul.

Personally I am not electing a Pope, a Minister, a Pastor, a Rabi or a priest, I am electing a President of the United States in whom I hope to have him meet the highest expectation of my Values.

I want a President who will seal the borders, Send all the illegal aliens home, fine and jail all their employers. A President that will fix the broken Washington DC Gov, a President who will Veto all pork Barrel bills, one that has a veto pen a huge as the bills placed before him, a President whom will continue the war against Islamist Fascists and one that will increase our Military. One that will nominate conservative judges, and a President with balls who will stand up to the Democrats and yell at the top of his voice, Stop supporting our enemy, stop calling all Republicans right wing nuts. A President that will stop the attack against our right to protect ourselves with Guns, have a wiretap policy that Democrats hate but the people love.

That Candidate is Mitt Romney.
Rudy, Chukabee, McCain all will give amnesty to Illegal aliens, or have them pay a fine and let them stay, either way its still amnesty.
McCain would not vote yes for the Tax breaks we got, yes McCain fought hard against any tax cuts. Huckabee raised the taxes of his state 500 billion dollars, Fred Thompson voted liberal far too many times, he traded 2 votes for one and we lost. Yes Romney did some funny things, but he is the only one during the debates who says he will be a true conservative.

Ed McGarvey Pa

Posted by: Ed McGarvey | January 10, 2008 3:33 AM | Report abuse

To distill all this down to truth and nothing but the truth, read the following persons' contributions: Steve, Paperboy, Ex-Necrodunker, Diane Pearce and Texas Baptist. There is a barrel of garbage here, but these and a very few others are telling the truth. I read one erroneous definition of a cult...actually a cult is a group that is not what it claims to be--fits LDS to a tee.

Posted by: kalea | January 10, 2008 4:04 AM | Report abuse

I can see why born agains don't feel the need for living prophets. You've got people like Kalea who can declare the truth with more confidence than Isaiah.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 5:03 AM | Report abuse

Gerry,

You're so dogmatic and wrong, I might almost conclude you're an evangelist. Let's look at your points one by one:

1. Wrong. Although the Book of Abraham is unproven, it certainly is not dead. Read, if you do read, the following articles for a start: http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=93; http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=92. You might have to join FARMS to get access, but membership is cheap.

2. Wrong again! I've read the Roberts' article and he came to no such conclusion. I've also read "View of the Hebrews" and don't think it would even be possible to come to that conclusion (unless, of course, you're an evangelist--you guys seem to be able to conclude anything). I bought my copy of "View of the Hebrews" at BYU Bookstore, by the way. Here's a good quote for you: "Finally, on or about 1 September 1933, just a few weeks before his death, B. H. Roberts told Jack Christensen, "Ethan Smith played no part in the formation of the Book of Mormon. You accept Joseph Smith and all the scriptures." You can find the whole article with foot notes at:http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/pdf.php?filename=NTE2MDYzMzEyLTktMS5wZGY=&type=cmV2aWV3

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 5:08 AM | Report abuse

3. We've discussed the archeology before. It doesn't prove The Book of Mormon, but it sure isn't hurting it. The article on Roberts I posted above summarizes some of the latest research. I'm an amateur archeology buff and I can tell you that most archeologists would also tell you that their research shows that much of the biblical text is also wrong.

This business of the BoM being racist is just another one of those dogmatic statements without any support. The Nephites and the Lamanites are not separate races, they're two social groups, one urban and the other rural. Those two groups have always despised each other, and the rural group tends to be darker than the urban group. I've lived in Central Asia for the last five years and that's exactly the situation there. Now I live in Iraq and see the same thing. For an exmaple closer to home, look at 19th century England. Even the Republican/Democratic split in the US tends to be rural/urban as the attached electory maps from 2004 show: http://www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/JAVA/election2004/

It isn't race, it's lifestyle and sunshine.

4. We see, as Paul says, through a glass darkly. Joseph Smith wasn't always right, but as one who has enjoyed the blessings of the Restoration, I think he's about as good as it gets. By your standards, Paul was also a false propher, since he clearly thought Christ would return in his own lifetime. That should save you a lot of reading in the NT.

5. Wrong again. You clearly did not read the Wikipedia article on theosis. If you are right, then even Martin Luther was a heretic. Read, my friend. Many orthodox Christians today and throughout history have believed that salvation leads to divinity. It's not a Mormon innovation.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 5:10 AM | Report abuse

6. Wrong again. The Kinderhook plates were fake, but Joseph Smith, despite his initial interest in them, never pronounced them authentic. See http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/pdf.php?filename=MTMzMzMyMjM5OS00LTEucGRm&type=cmV2aWV3

7. "There are fewer differences between the various accounts of Joseph Smith's first vision than between the five different accounts of the apostle Paul's first vision and his trip to Damascus (Acts 9:1-30; 22:5-21; 26:12-20; Galatians 1:11-24; and 2 Corinthians 11:32-33) or in the various accounts of Christ's resurrection found in the four gospels. (For example, did the men with Paul hear the voice but see no man, as in Acts 9:7, or did they see the light but not hear the voice, as in Acts 22:9?) Indeed, there are no blatant contradictions between Joseph Smith's accounts--only different emphasis--as would be expected when someone recounts an event from his life at different times and in different circumstances." A good book to read on this is "Opening the Heavens."

8. This falls under the category of "who cares?"

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 5:12 AM | Report abuse

9. This point is so incoherent I don't know what to reply to. Maybe you can clarify.

10. Wrong again. I once spent almost a year working through the NT with a Church of Christ pastor. He originally invited me to his home to prove the LDS wrong, but after awhile had to concede that the LDS have their New Testament ducks in order, even though he didn't agree with us. We eventually became quite good friends and the year was well spent, I think, by both of us.

The LDS sunday school curriculum spends two out of its four-year cycle on the Bible (the other two are Book of Mormon and Church history). We read the Bible all the time (King James is our version) and have no problem finding the Gospel in it.

If these are the only 10 serious problems with the LDS church, we're in pretty good shape. Thanks for pointing that out.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 5:13 AM | Report abuse

Roy:
You said that since I have friends and family that are still faithful members of the Church, my actions betray them.

I absolutely do NOT agree with you. I feel it is critically important that people have the entire story when voting for a candidate running for the President of the United States who is a member of an organization that has a long history of racism, sexism, and getting involved in politics.

As I mentioned on Sunday, Mitt and the church will tell you the church doesn't get involved in politics, however the LDS Church most certainly does get involved in politics (e.g., Prop 22 in California, etc.) even though they tell the media otherwise, because they don't want to lose their tax-exempt status.

Many LDS members have a persecution complex and cry how unfair that "intolerant bigots" make Mitt Romney's religion an issue in his candidacy, even though it was Mitt himself who made his religion an issue from the start and with his asinine comments like "Freedom requires religion". It's astounding these LDS people don't see the hypocrisy of their words when then church is intolerant of:
- Gays
- Other religions and churches. The LDS Church claims "We are the ONE TRUE CHURCH on the earth." History well documents the Mormon church claimed the Catholic church as "The wh*re of the Earth".
- Historians have been excommunicated by the church for publishing books based on actual events in Mormon history
- Black males, who the LDS Church has long said (and still says) were "descendents of Cain and less than valiant in the preexistance" as the reason for not getting priesthood until 1978
- Couples in interracial relationships. Current leaders in the LDS hierarchy have spoken out against interracial marriage. Brigham Young even preached such couples should be put to death.
- and on and on

It's ironic how the LDS Church wants others to be tolerant of their intolerant faith, yet they'll turn around and battle if you even question their history, believe in a different God (or no God), or have a different view of civil rights.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 10, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Lacrima:
Gerry made the statement: "If god really instructed Joseph Smith not to join any church than why did he apply to join the Methodist church 8 years after his vision?"

You said: "This falls under the category of "who cares?"

Who cares? Joseph Smith claims he was told by God not to join any church, then goes ahead and does it anyway? I think this should fall under the category of "BS, it never happened".

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 10, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

All religions are man-made. Polygamy is widely practised in all civil societies under different guises- Islam allows men to have up to four wives; married men and women of non-polygamous religions have more frequent extra-marital relationships. Religion in the modern world is big business and competition is extremely high as money buys influence and power. Ordinary innocent people, blindfolded and misguided by promises of eternal salvation are the real victims. Mormonism is just one of the many established institutions competing in this global market and of course the message has to be modified in order to maintain authenticity. Let us pray for more $$$$$$$ souls.

Posted by: JC | January 10, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Mormonism is a cult with a murderous past.

http://www.truthandgrace.com/mormonhistory.com

Posted by: Donna summer | January 10, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

George Carlin Politically Incorrect, May 29, 1997:
In the BS Department, a businessman can't hold a candle to a clergyman. 'Cause I gotta tell you the truth, folks. When it comes to BS, big-time, major league BS, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims: religion. No contest. Religion easily has the greatest BS story ever told.

Think about it, religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man, living in the sky, who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time!

But He loves you.

He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good BS story. Holy (blank)!

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 10, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I say "who cares" because joining the Methodist church would have consisted of little more than attending meetings and letting his name be listed in a roll book. I guess I just don't believe in a God who would reject someone for hanging around with Methodists, a rather decent group of people. It's not as if he had joined the Mafia.

I also say "who cares?" because obviously the Lord didn't care. Two years later Joseph was allowed to organize the Church.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Is he for real? Can he not see the falacy in his thinking? He probably thinks I am talking about someone else.

Posted by: WOW | January 10, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Donna summer:

Did you know that people thought Jesus' teachings were cultish, and that Catholicsm is considered a cult? You need to identify that this is your view since this is not the reality.

So, tell me, what other religion can we bash and lie about, in the name of humanity and Christ? We have many religions/faiths because we have many points of view -- so, if the religion is not of your liking, I guess that means you should trash it. I'm thinking that maybe we don't have quite enough hate in this world, we need to make sure that we look to attack, spew, falsify, mislead, pander, spin and post comments which encourage contention and divisiveness. What do you really think the intent of this article is for? Take a moment and think about it. Be honest.

If you'd like to know what the "Mormon" church (The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints) REALLY believes, go to: www.mormon.org

You know how people are when they hate something, their deliverance is biased. People with common sense and intelligence would pursue the topic on their own and make their own decision based upon their findings.

Someone interested in the Jewish faith would not ask a "Hitler".

Freedom of Religion.

Posted by: Debrar | January 10, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The Mormon faith is no different that other faiths - there is a challenge of disbelief - but that is the nature of faith. The Mormon faith does have unique attributes - like being in direct opposition to the Catholic Church. This is not a reformation church, it is THE RESTORED CHURCH. Restored because the Catholic Church is the church of the Devil. It is just another belief system.
Ohg.
http://thefiresidepost.com/2007/10/10/mormons-the-beginning-theology/

Posted by: Ohg Rea Tone | January 10, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Lacrima, 'ol buddy, here is Joseph Smith's claim (from the LDS Church's website):

"My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)--and which I should join.

I was answered that I must join NONE of them, for THEY WERE ALL WRONG; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all ccorrupt; that: "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the gpower thereof."

HE AGAIN FORBADE ME TO JOIN WITH ANY OF THEM..."
From: http://scriptures.lds.org/js_h/1

So it's clear that Joseph Smith said God told him not to join ANY other church, yet then he does anyway.

Now you claim, "I guess I just don't believe in a God who would reject someone for hanging around with Methodists, a rather decent group of people."

Lacrima, Then you don't believe in Joseph Smith's first vision. These were Joseph Smith's words not mine. I don't have anything against Methodists, but don't try to muddy or sidetrack the issue here. Joseph Smith either lied about seeing God, or, after claiming to have seen God and Jesus Christ face-to-face, he went ahead and did something they were adamently specific about.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 10, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Elder George,

Nice joke, but let's follow up. Try replacing "religion" with "state." The state takes from me three or four times as much money as religion ever did (and I pay my tithing). If it can't get more money out of me, it borrows insatiably and leaves the debt to my children and grandchildren.

My church sent me on a two-year mission. The state has sent me and millions of others from one war to the next over my lifetime and throughout our history.

God imposed ten commandments on me and gave me a way to repent without punishment. The state imposes more rules than any human can comprehend and will destroy me and my family if I break them.

But it does all this for my own good. And it always wants more money. etc., etc, etc.

I hope that, along with giving up religion, you've also become a Libertarian.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Elder George,

I do believe the first vision. I just don't believe that a) Joseph Smith was perfect or needed to be in order to be a prophet, and b) as I've already mentioned, the hanging around with Methodists was enough to make him or anyone else fall from grace.

Jospeh liked Methodists and they returned the favor by joining the Church by the thousands during the 19th century. Felix culpa, as they say.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Lacrima: So you acknowledge that Joseph Smith went ahead and joined another church after seeing God the Father and Jesus Christ face-to-face who specifically told him NOT to. Then you say "I don't believe Joseph Smith was perfect." Wow, I would think not. Considering, he did something that God and Jesus Christ told him not to after seeing them both face to face.

You are certainly the spin-meister.

Now, let's talk about which first vision Joseph Smith referred to, as he had almost ten different documented "first vision" stories. The one I gave you is currently (as of 2008) the church-sanctioned version.

The official account of this first vision found in Mormon Scripture (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith -- History, 1:14-20) was not recorded by Joseph Smith until 1838, 18 years AFTER the supposed event. However, for years before this, Joseph, and his close associates did talk about his early visionary experiences. These earlier accounts contain significant variations from the official First Vision account. Presented in chronological order.
• 1827 Account of Joseph Smith, Sr., and Joseph Smith, Jr., given to Willard Chase, as related in his 1833 affidavit.
• 1827 Account by Martin Harris given to Rev. John Clark, as published in his book Gleanings by the Way, printed in 1842, pp. 222-229.
• 1830 Interview of Joseph Smith by Peter Bauder, recounted by Bauder in his book The Kingdom and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, printed in 1834, pp. 36-38.
• 1832 Earliest known attempt at an 'official' recounting of the 'First Vision, from History, 1832, Joseph Smith Letterbook 1, pp.2,3, in the handwriting of Joseph Smith.
• 1834-35 Oliver Cowdery, with Joseph Smith's help, published the first history of Mormonism in the LDS periodical Messenger and Advocate, Kirtland, Ohio, Dec. 1834, vol.1, no.3
• 1835 Account given by Joseph Smith to Joshua the Jewish minister, Joseph Smith Diary, Nov. 9, 1835.
• 1835 Account given by Joseph Smith to Erastus Holmes on November 14, 1835, originally published in the Deseret News of Saturday May 29, 1852.
• 1838 This account became the official version, now part of Mormon Scripture in the Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith -- History, 1:7-20. Though written in 1838, it was not published until 1842 in Times and Season, March 15, 1842, vol. 3, no. 10, pp. 727-728, 748-749, 753.
• 1844 Account in An Original History of the Religious Denominations at Present Existing in the United States, edited by Daniel Rupp. Joseph Smith wrote the chapter on Mormonism.
• 1859 Interview with Martin Harris, Tiffany's Monthly, 1859, New York: Published by Joel Tiffany, vol. v.--12, pp. 163-170.

From: http://www.irr.org/mit/First-Vision-Accounts.html

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 10, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Elder George,

I know you say you're not a born again. While it's true you don't show signs of their paranoia, you do have their odd wooden way of thinking.

God said "x." No matter how petty "x" is (and, I agree that Joseph should have been obedient), if Joseph doesn't do "x," he's cast off forever. I'm sorry, but I just can't believe in a heavenly martinet.

In my relgion, at least, God is a warm, caring person who is willing to work with my foibles. I can hardly expect him to do less with Joseph Smith.

Anyway, if you go to this site, which lists all the evidence for Joseph Smith having become a Methodist, you'll find that the evidence is tenuous at best: http://www.askgramps.org/why-did-joseph-smith-jr-attempt-in-june-1828-to-join-the/

My guess is that you've been spending too much time reading the works of Wesley Walters. That's not healthy for anyone.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

pbbbt! Is this a hangout for Mormon apologists?

Get over yourselves, dudes. You and Mitt are about as relevant as Bhagwanh Shree Rajneesh and the Bhagavad Gita.

lawl!

Posted by: Kelvin | January 10, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Elder George,

You people are bit loose with the English language. I'm an obscure person on an obscure site exchanging anonymous e-mails with nobodies. That's hardly the work of a "spin-meister."

You could possibly call me a rationalizer, but I just happen to believe in a tolerant, friendly God. Your efforts to make me believe in a heavenly dictator aren't likely to work.

And what's with the huge list? You people keep posting huge lists as if they mean something. Paul's vision occurs in five versions, some conflicting, but I believe in it. The Christmas stories disagree with each other, but I believe in the birth of Christ; the crucifixtion and resurrection stories conflict, but I believe that Christ was crucified and resurrected.

Heck, read "Scientific American," like I do, and every other month you'll find a new theory on the nature of the universe that conflicts with a number of other theories, but I even believe in the existence of the universe.

Don't be so petty. People tell conflicting stories about real events all the time. They forget, get confused, emphasize or even embellish based on audience. It doesn't mean they aren't referring back to something that actually happened.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

No Kelvin,

It's a site that originally posted the ravings of an anti-Mormon lunatic and has since been taken over by people with no life.

There's hundreds of millions of sites out there. If this one doesn't appeal to you, try seeking some variety.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Lacrima: You say I have "an odd wooden way of thinking" yet you believe in:
- A man who has multiple accounts of the first vision
- A man who married women who were already married to other living men
- A man/pedophile who was caught by his wife having sex with a 14 year-old girl
- The Book of Mormon that is a plagerized rip-off of other books that is contradictory to basic science
- Brigham Young, a prophet, who preached hateful racist dogma as doctrine
- A church that didn't allow black males to hold the priesthood until 1978, yes 1978! This was based on being descendents of Cain.
- Excommunicating historians and intellectuals for publishing books on well-documented events in Mormon history. What does the church have to hide?
- The list goes on and on

Now, who has an "odd wooden way of thinking"?

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 10, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Lacrima: You didn't address the multiple "first vision" accounts. Instead, you attack the messenger. What a big surprise!

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 10, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Good job Lacrima !! Keep the misleading and blatantly dishonest information at bay.

By the way, Romney's got my vote.

Posted by: Observer | January 10, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Can we talk about witchcraft now? Although, I have found the discussions entertaining, it's getting a little old.

Posted by: TM | January 10, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Folks if anyone is misleading or blatantly dishonest it's Lacrima. Please read the posts and responses from others and you can determine this for yourselves.

Good grief. Lacrima is obviously an extremely insecure person and liar. Mitt Romney is a sucker and a flip-flopping liar as well. I am not voting for a sucker to be my president.

Posted by: Observer too | January 10, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Elder George,

What's to comment? The versions exist. That doesn't mean there was no first vision.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I am usually pretty tolerant but I think I like mormanism less than ever after all of this. Lacrima I can't believe you have any friends. Are you still in that hotel room?

Posted by: TM | January 10, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, TM, you haven't learned to spell it yet.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The more I listen to the anti-Mormons and read up on the Mormon faith, the more impressed and curious I am. I guess in all the hate you do find some answers. Kind of like a phoenix that rises out of the ashes. I appreciate your comment Lacrima, but it's a shame you have to make them. We live in a country that honors religious freedom.

Posted by: Observer | January 10, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me that many religions have good and bad things about them, which anyone could hone in on if so desired.

When I see multiple versions of events, provided by people with a vested interest, I become immediately skeptical.

If we predict the future based on the past, then how can anyone say that Romney is going to consecrate the presidency to his church? Isn't that just nuts?

No one is forced to support any particular candidate, but to attack someone based on innuendo seems outrageous.

But the freedom to say these things is part of what makes this country great. I would think even Mormons appreciate the separation of church and state. For obvious reasons.

Posted by: Who am I to Judge? | January 10, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Elder George,

Let me get to your next list.

1. multiple versions. You haven't actually pointed out the significance of this. Multiple versions exist of many real events. I actually posted an interesting quote on this somewhere up there. I guess you missed it.

2. polyandry. As Compton points out ("Sacred Loneliness," a book often used by anti-Mormons) Joseph never lived with any of his polyandrous wives. A strange practice, but seemingly asexual.

3. Although Helan Mar Kimball was 14, that was still on the lower edge of an acceptable age at the time. Kentucky until recently allowed 13-year olds to marry (note where the dash goes--your writing skills need work) and I've read of such marriages taking place before the law was changed.

You either like polygamy or you don't. I'm glad it's gone, but I can't get worked up over it. It's interesting that although Joseph Smith had more or less thirty wives, there are only between five and eight known descendants from his plural wives, about the same number he had with Emma, his first wife.

His contemporaries who practiced polygamy on a similar scale all have, literally, tens of thousands of descendants. Joseph Smith has only 800. This suggests he wasn't quite the goat people accuse him of.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

Good to hear you're paying your tithing. My General Authority cousin at the top of this pyramid scheme thanks you. It surely makes his life much more comfortable.

Posted by: Meso | January 10, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Man I was excited to see this still going this morning. I thought everyone got bored of it. Lacrima, your the first Mormon that has even had a defense to what I would call the "hard" questions. I can't tell you how many times I've asked a mormon why the book of Mormon says we had horses in America before the spanish settlers, and all they can respond is "I just pray about it and I know it's true." Or they tell me, "Faith and Doubt don't have enough room to live together." So I am appreciative of your responses. I encourage people not to bash him so much. He's really trying to answer most of the questions as well as he knows how, and thats VERY VERY rare coming from Mormons. I am not an Evangalist, hardly that. I was born Catholic, moved to the south and became more of just a general christian.

Posted by: Gerry | January 10, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

David Koresh and Joseph Smith had much in common. They both lived off the sweat and toil of their parishioners. They both took on multiple sex partners from their congregations and they both sought complete control over their subject's daily lives. Koresh's compound wasn't nearly on the scale of Nauvoo but his plans were every bit as grandiose as Smith's, he just had the misfortune to be born into the 20th Century where most educated folks couldn't quite accept him as easily as they did his 19th Century counterpart and his followers had no wilderness to retreat to to practice their cult.

Posted by: Meso | January 10, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

If a Mormon can claim to be a Christian then can a Christian claim to be a Mormon?

I love to hear Mormons playing the persecution card. "we don't come to your house and belittle your religion..."

Of course tell that to the young men called "Elder" who showed up at my door and proudly claimed Joe Smith spoke with God and God said "all religion were an abomination in his sight".

Mitt should get called on the carpet for his pre 1990 temple oaths.

Posted by: Anubis | January 10, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Roy Dew: "If you were a faithful Elder of the Church you would know what the Church teaches about arguing about Church doctrine." You seem to be implying here that it is somehow wrong to argue. If I am wrong please correct me, if you do think that, please read D & C Section 71, in particular what Jesus says in these verses:
7 Wherefore, confound your enemies; call upon them to meet you both in public and in private; and inasmuch as ye are faithful their shame shall be made manifest.
8 Wherefore, let them bring forth their strong reasons against the Lord.
9 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you--there is no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper;
10 And if any man lift his voice against you he shall be confounded in mine own due time.

And for anyone who is arguing about how any Semitic DNA was mingled with a local population, you are apostates who need to read the book of mormon. They could not have assimilated with any asiatic/bering straight peoples. Those people were, as you would know if you read the book of mormon, all killed in the Noachian flood a couple thousand years earier!

The people who did come before the Lehite/Mulekite migrations around 600 bc were the Jaredites. But the last Jaredites all died out and we only know of them because the last one lived with the Mulekites for a year or so before he died.

So stop making these arguments about DNA which are directly contradicted by the book of mormon itself. Please, you make mormons look bad.

Posted by: Brother of Mahonri | January 10, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Book of Mormon--This statement is just more blather. No Mormon claims the Book of Mormon is "proved" but there is far more evidence in its favor that you seem to be aware of. I've read most of the anti-Mormon stuff out there. You should maybe try reading some Mormon stuff and looking at the other side.

There is nothing there that would convince you, but there is enough that you could maybe understand how intelligent, educated people can still take it seriously.

blacks/priesthood-this statement is simply ahistorical. Joseph Smith ordained blacks and no one is quite sure when or why the ban took place. The most reasonable guess is that it had to do with avoiding persecution as abolitionists, since the Church was very anti-slavery (my wife's ancestors freed their slaves when they joined the Church). The Cain thing was an effort by some members to explain something otherwise inexplicable. There were other explanations as well, but none of them became doctrine. Most members were quite happy when the ban was lifted.

excommunication-the fact that you publish unwelcome history doesn't get you excommunicated. Juanita Brooks is a perfect example. Fawn Brodie was excommunicated because she decided Joseph Smith was not a prophet. I've read the writings of the others for years in magazines like "Sunstone." They were pretty stidently anti-Church. Being out of the Church, by the way, has kept none of them from writing and publishing, and people like me from reading them.

Brigham Young--everybody in the 19th century was a racist by our standards, including Lincoln. I've read a great deal about Young's life and haven't seen anything to suggest he was worse than his contemporaries. He certainly treated the blacks who lived in SLC well. BYU studies recently published a firsthand account of a Polynesian who visited Young and was quite pleased with his reception.

A good part of virtue consists in overcoming your worse beliefs and feelings.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima: My ancestors settled a small town in Cache Valley with settlers who brought their slaves with them. Did you know that the Utah Territory, with Brigham Young as its leader, was given the choice by congress as to whether to be a free territory or a slave territory? Guess what Brigham chose? To allow slavery. DId you know you could pay your tithing with a slave? Thats right, give the slave to the church instead of however many bushels of wheat you owed. DId you know that Brigham prophesied that the civil war would NOT end slavery?

As Boyd Packer said: "Some things that are true are not very useful" so I think its best not to even bring the subject of mromons and slavery up.

Posted by: Brother of Mahonri | January 10, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Ok back to the matter at hand. I'm looking up dogmatic as we speak but for the rest of your responses I'd like the opportunity to respond myself.
1. The script and pictures on the papyrus has been heavily researched. Not only has it been Concluded that Joseph Smith's interpretation is completely wrong, they also proved that the drawings Joseph Smith completed were completely incorrect.

Here are some responses from Egyptologist who were given Joseph Smith's translation.

In 1912, the Rt. Reverend Franklin S. Spalding, Episcopal Bishop of Utah, sent copies of the three facsimiles from the Book to world-class Egyptologists and Semitists. Eight responded with uniformly negative appraisals:

the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City: "Joseph Smith's interpretation of these cuts is a farrago of nonsense from beginning to end...five minutes study in an Egyptian gallery of any museum should be enough to convince any educated man of the clumsiness of the imposture."

"...difficult to deal seriously with Smith's impudent fraud."

"Smith has turned the Goddess into a king and Osiris into Abraham."

"...very clearly demonstrates that he (Joseph Smith) was totally unacquainted with the significance of these documents and absolutely ignorant of the simplest facts of Egyptian Writing and civilization."

"...the attempts to guess a meaning are too absurd to be noticed. It may be safely said that there is not one single word that is true in these explanations."

Posted by: Gerry | January 10, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Brigham Young called slavery a divine institution.

Posted by: Meso | January 10, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

2. There are so many problems with the origins of the book of Mormon and the stories that are in it. Here's some of the info I could find.

Joseph's mother recorded that long before Joseph had received the gold plates he was well aware of the stories contained therein:


"During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals that could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of traveling, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would to with as much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life with them." (Lucy Smith, Biographical Sketches, p. 85)
Joseph told these stories well before his brother Alvin's death in November, 1823. Yet he never got the plates until September, 1827. Where did all this specific information come from? We have no record of these kinds of details being given to Joseph through his annual interviews with Moroni. Where else but from Joseph's fertile imagination and the source materials to which he had access?

The Indian mounds that dotted western New York were a constant source of speculation during the time Joseph grew up there. It was a common legend that western New York and Ohio had once been the site of a terrible slaughter and that the mounds were the cemeteries of an entire race. In 1821, a Palmyra newspaper stated that diggers on the Erie Canal had unearthed "several brass plates" along with skeletons and fragments of pottery. (Fawn Brodie, No Man Knows My History, pp. 35-36)

That Native Americans descended from the Hebrews was a popular theory at the time Joseph lived. America's most distinguished preachers - William Penn, Roger Williams, Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards - had all espoused the theory. A Jewish rabbi, M. M. Noah, summarized the parallels between the cultures of Hebraic and Indian customs in Joseph's hometown paper on October 11, 1825. Joseph unquestionably had access to the Wayne Sentinel, for on August 11, 1826 his father was listed among the delinquent subscribers as owing $5.60. (Fawn Brodie, No Man Knows My History, 45-46)

Ethan Smith was a minister of a Congregational Church in Poultney, Vermont from 1821 to 1826 when he wrote View of the Hebrews. It was first published in 1823 (the Book of Mormon was published 6 years later in 1829). Interestingly, Oliver Cowdery, scribe, and later witness of the Book of Mormon, lived in Poultney for 22 years until 1825. Cowdery's stepmother and three of his sisters were members of Ethan Smith's congregation. No direct evidence exists that would prove or disprove Joseph Smith had read View of the Hebrews. Another book, The Wonders of Nature and Providence Displayed, was in the local Manchester Library (five miles from Joseph Smith's home) and extant records show that it was reportedly checked out during the years 1826 to 1828. This book includes a long selection from Ethan Smith's book and attempts to establish a Hebrew origin for Native Americans.

Ethan Smith's theory of the origin of the Indian mounds was exactly the same as that which formed the heart of the Book of Mormon story:

Posted by: Gerry | January 10, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

3. Much of the archaeology of the bible is wrong? I'd love to know examples? Most of the bible is consistent with people places animals food. You can prove civilizations existed that are concurrent with the Bible. This is probably one of the strongest arguments against Joseph Smith so I understand why you are dismissing it so easily. It's a lot like those old Wendy's commercials. "Where's the Beef." The book talks about wars, civilizations, millions of people. None of which we have any hard evidence for. We have seem to uncover remains of every civilization that has inhabited this planet. Rome, Athens, Ruins in Mexico, Peru the list goes on and on but no sign of Lamanites or Neophites.

"The Smithsonian Institution has never used the Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archeologists see no direct connection between the archeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book." ("Statement Regarding the Book of Mormon," Smithsonian Institution, Spring 1986)

According to the Book of Mormon, at least 230,000 men died in battle at the Hill Cumorah. Also, this battle was about 1/10 the size of the battle which took place at the same location approximately 1,000 years earlier when, according to Ether 15:2 "nearly two millions" of the Jaredites had their last great battle.

However, there is literally not a trace of archaeological evidence to support the claim that so many men died in battle at the tiny hill now owned by the LDS Church in the State of New York called Cumorah.

Book of Mormon Metallurgy

Among the most significant cultural anachronisms in the Book of Mormon is the depiction of Nephite civilization as having iron and other metal industries; we read of metal swords and breastplates, gold and silver coinage, and even machinery (2 Nephi 5:15; Jarom 1:8; Mosiah 11:3,8; Ether 7:9;10:23). However, there is no evidence that any New World civilization attained any such industry during Book of Mormon times (600 B. C. - 421 A. D.).

As former Brigham Young University anthropology professor, Dr. Raymond T. Matheny, points out:


"The tools that the people [in cultures that did have metallurgical industries] used are primitive but nonetheless they are there, and they spell out a system of exploitation of those natural resources. In refining ores and then bringing these to casting and true metallurgical processes is another bit of technology that leaves a lot of evidence. You can't refine ore without leaving a bloom of some kind or...that is, impurities that blossom out and float to the top of the ore...Also blooms off into silicas and indestructible new rock forms. In other words, when you have a ferrous metallurgical industry, you have these evidences of the detritus that is left over. You also have the fuels, you have the furnaces, you have whatever technologies that were performing these tasks, they leave solid evidences. And they are indestructible things...non-ferrous metallurgical industries have similar evidences. No evidence has been found in the new world for a ferrous metallurgical industry dating to pre-Columbian times. And so this is a king-size problem, it seems to me, for so-called Book of Mormon archaeology. The evidence is absent." (Michael Coe, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer 1973, p. 23).

Book of Mormon Crops

The Book of Mormon indicates that the Nephites produced various crops including barley (Mosiah 7:22, 9:9; Alma 11:7, 15), figs (3 Nephi 14:16), grapes (2 Nephi 15:2, 4; 3 Nephi 14:16), and wheat (Mosiah 9:9, 3 Nephi 18:18). However, there has been no archeological evidence for any of these crops. Archeology does indicate the peoples of the region ate maize (corn), lima beans, tomatoes, squash, and amaranth, but none of these crops are mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

Thomas Ferguson, archaeologist, noted defender of the Book of Mormon, and founder of the New World Archaeological Foundation at BYU stated:


"I participated in excavating a trench at the edge of the Grijalva river in which we found a ceramic vessel in a stratum dating to about 200 BC... Art portrayals in ceramics, murals, and sculptured works--of ancient plant life--are fairly commonplace. Thousands of archeological holes in the area proposed have given us not a fragment of evidence of the presence of the plants mentioned in the Book of Mormon. The holes include the great one dug by Edwin Shook at Tehuacan, Puebla, Mexico. He excavated a cave -- going back to 5000 BC., finding most of the major plants of the area. But no wheat, barley, figs or grapes."
Book of Mormon Animals

Similarly, the Book of Mormon describes various domesticated animals: asses, cows, goats, sheep, horses, oxen, swine, and elephants. However, Pre-Columbian evidence for such animals in Mesoamerica is scant, at best. There is no evidence of horses in Central and North America before the Spaniards arrived (hundreds of years after the Book of Mormon). Why then does the Book of Mormon refer to horses where there were none?

Dr. John L. Sorenson proposed that the Nephites were really referring to either a species of deer or tapir, but since they did not have names for these animals, they called them horses. This seems a weak response, but even if it were true it doesn't account for the many other animals and crops for which there is absolutely no archeological evidence.

Again from Thomas Ferguson:


"Evidence of the foregoing animals has not appeared in any form -- ceramic representations, bones or skeletal remains, mural art, sculptured art or any other form. However... evidence has been found in several forms of the presence in the Book-of-Mormon times of other animals--deer, jaguars, dogs, turkeys etc. The zero score presents a problem that will not go away with the ignoring of it. Non-LDS scholars of first magnitude, some who want to be our friends, think we have real trouble here. That evidence of the ancient existence of these animals is not elusive is found in the fact that proof of their existence in the ancient old-world is abundant. The absence of such evidence...is distressing and significant, in my view." (Tom Ferguson, Written Symposium on Book-of-Mormon Geography, 1978).

Posted by: Gerry | January 10, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

4. Joseph Smith couldn't even prophesize his successor in his own church. He called for his son to become the next church prophet, that is until he died and Brigham Young decided he would be the next prophet:

Despite claims by the LDS church to the contrary, the evidence is strong that Joseph blessed his eldest son, Joseph, and promised him succession as the church's next prophet. In the winter of 1843, during a sermon to his people in the grove next to the Nauvoo temple, Joseph called his son to the stand beside him and declared:


"I have often been asked who would succeed me as the prophet to the church. My son Joseph will be your next prophet."

Posted by: Gerry | January 10, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The reason that most Mormons don't have answers to the "hard" questions is that most of them don't really care about those questions. And why should they? Faith isn't based on rationality. Ask any "Christian" where Christ's body went after he ascended to heaven. (I've never been able to find one who can tell me that.) Ask any Hindu how he can believe that God really takes the form of an elephant. Ask any Buddhist how it's possible to be born into another body and not be the same person. No one who truly has faith in their own religion, whether they are Muslim, Hindu, Christian or Scientologist, does so because they have "thought" about it. They believe because it appeals to their spiritual nature somehow. How can a rational human being believe in a man being killed on a cross, thrust through the side with a spear, buried in a tomb with a large stone across the door who then appears alive again, whole and well and even superhuman? Rationality and religion don't mix. But that is the whole point, isn't it? Our souls yearn for the miraculous, that which goes beyond this horrible material world we live in. So leave us Mormons to believe what we believe. We will do the same for you. As long as we're not going around killing people in the name of our faith, what harm does that do? We might try to convert you to our view, just as you might try to convert us to yours, but trying to "prove" or "disprove" any religion is paradoxical. And no one has ever been convinced of religious truth by argument. Only the Spirit can perform that miracle. So have your intellectual fun, but remember that it's only an exercise. Nobody who discusses religious questions is ever going to change their views as a result of this sort of mental gymnastics and rhetoric.

Posted by: Another Mormon with Answers | January 10, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

I am proud of you for taking your first steps toward finding out the truth by engaging with others who do not believe in what you believe. A few years from now you too will probably helping others learn the truth about their religion. It is a hard path to take but the end results are worth it. Good luck to you!

Posted by: Kim | January 10, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone notice a trend here...the State of Utah, founded and populated by Mormons, has the highest bankruptcy rate in the nation, leads the nation in multi-level marketing (pyramid schemes) companies, has the highest per capita consumption of anti depressant medications and is known as the scam capital of the country. Barron's Magazine did a great article titled "Snookered in Salt Lake City" which detailed a mini-Enron scheme that some of the Mormon brethren started. The article detailed how a major West Coast energy company was defrauded of 76 million dollars by these devout, squeeky clean Mormon boys. When federal bankruptcy officials sought to recoup the monies these crooks "tithed" into the church before their pending indictments, Senator Orrin Hatch (a Mormon in good standing) successfully squelched that with legislation prohibiting the feds from seeking redress from church coffers rife with ill gotten gains.

Do we as voters not have the right, indeed, the obligation to delve into such matters? Should we not be concerned that Mitt might feel the urge to do to the country what his fellow Mormons have done to Utah?

Posted by: Meso | January 10, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Tell me that a Mormon would ever vote for a Jewish candidate or a Jehovah Witness candidate. I would not vote for Mitt Romney because he is Mormon. If that makes me narrow minded then so be it. I know too much about the religion to be comfortable with a Mormon in office.

Posted by: Joni | January 10, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

5. It's a commandment, no Gods, just one. It's a nice thought that we can become dieties but seriously?!? Multiple gods is for Greek Mythology. You can't be christian and believe in Millions of Gods ruling there own world. We have one omnipresent God. Thats it, end of story.

Posted by: Gerry | January 10, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I would vote for a Jew or a Jehovah's Witness or any candidate whose political views were in line with my own political ideals. What does religion have to do with it? If you would not be comfortable with a Mormon because you "know too much about the religion", that indicates to me that you know too little about the religion. I know a lot about Protestant Christianity that disturbs me, but that doesn't prevent me from voting for Protestants. I don't expect that their religious views really have much to do with their politics. If they did for Mormons, then we wouldn't have both Democratic and Republican Mormons in Congress.

Posted by: Another Mormon with Answers | January 10, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

6. Here's some real info on your kinderhook plates.

For nearly 140 years, the LDS church defended Joseph's partial translation of the Kinderhook plates (in fact there are several pages dedicated to the story of the Kinderhook plates in the 7-volume History of the Church) but as soon as they discovered beyond any reasonable doubt that the Kinderhook plates were fake, they tried to distance themselves from the whole situation by claiming "...there is no evidence that Joseph Smith ever concluded the plates were genuine..."(Ensign , August 1981, pp. 66-70). Apparently a partial translation of them as recorded by Joseph's personal secretary and witnessed by several Mormon Elders was plenty of evidence for the nearly 140 years in which the LDS church defended Joseph's translation of the plates.

Apologists claim that Joseph was not fooled and had no intention of translating the plates. However, if he had not been murdered in June 1844, it is very possible that he would have published a complete "translation" of these bogus plates. Just a month before his death it was reported that he was "busy in translating them. The new work...will be nothing more nor less than a sequel to The Book of Mormon..." (Warsaw Signal, May 22, 1844) The fact that Joseph was actually preparing to print a translation of the plates is verified by a broadside published by the Mormon newspaper, The Nauvoo Neighbor, in June 1843. On this broadside, containing facsimiles of the plates, we find the following:


"The contents of the Plates, together with a Fac-Simile of the same, will be published in the Times and Seasons, as soon as the translation is completed."
In a letter dated April 8, 1878, Wilbur Fugate recalled:


"We understood Jo Smith said [the plates] would make a book of 1200 pages but he would not agree to translate them until they were sent to the Antiquarian society at Philadelphia, France, and England."

Posted by: Gerry | January 10, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, Gerry, Mormons really aren't "Christians." We don't believe in the Christ promulgated by the Nicene Creed. We believe in the Christ of the New Testament, the true Christ, the one who was resurrected and stayed resurrected, who differentiated himself from the Father and the Holy Ghost, who calls himself the Son, who was the Savior of all humanity and not just "Christians," who didn't condemn people to hell, who loved everyone, regardless of whether they were "Christian" or not.

Posted by: Another Mormon with Answers | January 10, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

7. My boy Elder George Carlin already took care of that one.

8. LOL, I'm sure that Joseph like Methodists and didn't mind hanging out with them outside church, but.... If God himself appeared before me and told me that I needed to eat earthworms and roaches to reach salvation I'm pretty sure I'd obey. Abraham almost sacrificed his son!!!!! Joseph Smith couldn't go eight years without joining a church like God instructed. What resolve your prophet has!

Posted by: Gerry | January 10, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I've thoroughly enjoyed these discussions and have spent a day and a half (!) reading the materials at the internet sites. Holy Moroni, Batman. Are you all sure the LDS haven't transposed the D and the S in their name?

Get this. They've baptized Hitler and then they baptized his Holocaust victims. And I wasn't ever going to vote for Romney anyway, but I'm now seriously concerned that there is any possibility of his getting elected. I can't remember the woman's name, but I read a speech given by the highest ranking Mormon woman which she gave just a few months ago. This broad makes June Clever look like a bra-burning liberal. I think I'm now more than slightly concerned with a Mormon being in charge of EEOC and the Civil Rights Commission.

This whole Mormonism thing is like not being able to look away from an accident. Creepy and sickening and fascinating. (And I'm never going to be able to look at this guy I know at work who's a Mormon again without blushing! Really. That Temple thing they do is right down kinky.)

Posted by: Fascinated in Fairfax | January 10, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

9. Here's a little clarification. The book of Mormon was supposedly a perfect translation from the Golden plates. Why have there been so many major changes from the first edition if it was so perfect? So much so as of this year they changed the wording on the ancestry of the American Indians.

There have been at least 3,913 changes made in the Book of Mormon from the time it was first published in 1830.

Here they are, and we are not talking typographical errors.

http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/3913intro.htm

Posted by: Gerry | January 10, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Bro,

I wasn't aware of the slavery in Utah thing. If you have a citation (my ancestors also settled in Cache) I'd love to read the article or book. That doesn't change the fact, however, that the earliest Mormons were accused of abolitionism.

Gerry,

As I've said before, I'm willing to leave the Book of Abraham as an open question (although I believe it, myself). For you, however, to call it a fraud based on Spaldings 1912 evidence is just silly. Egyptology and the arguments have advanced a great deal since then. It's like you're trying to use two sticks and a hollow log to communicate with a radio. Get with the times and then make a serious argument. They're out there to be made.

For the four years before Joseph Smith received the plates, he received an annual visit from Moroni, which accounts for Joseph Smith's stories. We don't by the way know any of what Moroni told Joseph. Keep in mind also that Lucy Smith wrote the book as an old woman and is not too accurate on her dates.

I'm not sure what sources you're using, but, again, you're out of date. Even the born agains have gone beyond the Ethan Smith stuff, and it's really hard to put an idea into their heads ("The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind").

Yes, many people thought the Indians were descended from Hebrews and, yes, there were mounds in the area where Joseph grew up. There are, however, no mounds in the BoM, not even the word.

But that's not really the point. If Joseph Smith had written the BoM as a novel, it would have been proven false within a few decades. I'll give you an example:

In the 1700's a Scottish poet and scholar "discovered" and translated an ancient manuscript which he published as "Ossian." It was wildly popular for a long time (Napolean loved it, musicians composed music about it--Fingal's Cave), but it was soon proven semi-fake, because it just didn't "fit," despite the fact that McPherson used real Scottish ballads in writing it. (go here for a short summary http://www.bbc.co.uk/legacies/myths_legends/scotland/highland/article_1.shtml).


McPherson was a serious intellectual who knew what he was doing and used authentic materials in his work and still got caught. If Joseph wrote the BoM himself it would be painfully and obviously fraudulent.

But the BoM fits its supposed milieu in many ways. In fact, the old world portion is surprisingly well established at this point. There are name studies, word studies, structural studies, word print studies, and so on that suggest, without proving, that the BoM is real. And the evidence is getting better, not worse.

None of it's proof, but the argument today is vastly different than that old 19th century stuff you're playing with. Get up to date and the argue some more.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Dear Fairfax, Don't look now, but your narrowmindedness is showing.

Posted by: Another Mormon with Answers | January 10, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Gerry,

Everyone is aware of the changes. The people who publish those lists are using materials published by BYU. The changes are not significant, but anyone is free to use the 1830 edition, which the Church still publishes.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Gerry, Also check your sources. The latest change you refer to is a change to the indroduction, not part of the original texts. Introductions can be changed without cheating.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

You say evidence is getting better, not worse for proving authenticity of your Book of Mormon. Why then, in light of recent DNA discoveries, have your leaders found it necessary to change the Intro from principal ancestors to among the ancestors? Wouldn't that suggest evidence for it's authenticity is lacking?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Um, no it wouldn't. The change to the intro reflects what most educated Mormons have believed for most of my adult life.

I've posted on the DNA before, including articles by geneticists. Sutherton's DNA evidence is not nearly as damning as you seem to think. In fact, after reading a bit more on the net, it turns out the the genetic stock of American Indians is more complex than anyone thought, although there is still no evidence of Semitic DNA.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

Tossing off legitimate scientific proof seems to be part and parcel of your religion. I'll bet you make your parents proud.

Posted by: Meso | January 10, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

10. This one's a biggie because I think it is what excludes mormon's from being considered christians. Pay attention "Another Mormon with Answers"

The reason Mormonism is not Christian is because it denies one or more of the essential doctrines of Christianity. Of the essential doctrines (that there is only one God, Jesus is God in flesh, forgiveness of sins is by grace alone, and Jesus rose from the dead physically, the gospel being the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus), Mormonism denies three of them: how many gods there are, the person of Jesus, and His work of salvation.

Mormon Jesus (MJ) Vs. Christian Jesus (CJ).
MJ- Common (one of many gods) and, in some ways, of minor important in the largerMormon cosmology.
CJ-Unique (the Second Person of the one and only Godhead) and of supreme importance through time, eternity and all creation

MJ-Conceived by a physical sex act between God the Father (Adam or Elohim) and Mary, thus not through a true virgin birth
CJ-Conceived by the Holy Spirit, who supermaturally "overshadowed" Mary, thus a true virgin birth

MJ-Once sinful and imperfect
CJ-Eternally sinless and perfect

MJ-Earned his own salvation (exaltation, godhood)
CJ-As God, never required salvation

MJ-A married polygamist?
CJ-An unmarried monogamist

So because your idea of "Christ" is different than mainstream Christians, you can't be included.

The Bible talks about false prophets writing false books. Open your eyes people. Blatent Fraud.
Here is a summary of some weird beliefs of Mormon's from exmormon.org

God was once a man like us.

God has a tangible body of flesh and bone.

God lives on a planet near the star Kolob.

God ("Heavenly Father") has at least one wife, our "Mother in Heaven," but she is so holy that we are not to discuss her nor pray to her.

Jesus was married.

We can become like God and rule over our own universe.

There are many gods, ruling over their own worlds.

Jesus and Satan ("Lucifer") are brothers, and they are our brothers - we are all spirit children of Heavenly Father

Jesus Christ was conceived by God the Father by having sex with Mary, who was temporarily his wife.

We should not pray to Jesus, nor try to feel a personal relationship with him.

The "Lord" ("Jehovah") in the Old Testament is the being named Jesus in the New Testament, but different from "God the Father" ("Elohim").

In the highest degree of the celestial kingdom some men will have more than one wife.

Before coming to this earth we lived as spirits in a "pre-existence", during which we were tested; our position in this life (whether born to Mormons or savages, or in America or Africa) is our reward or punishment for our obedience in that life.

Dark skin is a curse from God, the result of our sin, or the sin of our ancestors. If sufficiently righteous, a dark-skinned person will become light-skinned.

The Garden of Eden was in Missouri. All humanity before the Great Flood lived in the western hemisphere. The Ark transported Noah and the other survivors to the eastern hemisphere.

Christ will not return to earth in any
year that has seen a rainbow.

Mormons should avoid traveling on water, since Satan rules the waters.

The sun receives its light from the star Kolob.

If a Gentile becomes Mormon, the Holy Ghost actually purges his Gentile blood and replaces it with Israelite blood.

A righteous Mormon will actually see the face of God in the Mormon temple.

You can identify a false angel by the color of his hair, or by offering to shake his hand.

Posted by: Gerry | January 10, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Meso,

I'm beginning to think you're a real idiot. I never said Sutherton's DNA paper was wrong. I said it doesn't make the point you think it makes, and I gave you some articles from other geneticists to show that.

Some of your other postings also suggest you're a bit dim.

Gerry is a bit our of date and a little too dependant on laundry lists, but at least he seems to have a three-digit IQ.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima: (or should I just call you cousin, suince if you have ancestors who settled cache valley its highly unlikely that we are not related ;-) )

The Cache Valley mormon slaveholders I read about in a book my mom has called "Windows of wellsville" or something like that. Its a history of Wellsville and the surrounding towns, with tons of first party journal and newspaper acounts, I highly recommend it. (written by the local historical society I think) If you are a Bankhead you are related to them.

I dont recall where I learned all about Slavery in Utah in general, so I just googled slavery in Utah and found these references for you:

Ronald G. Coleman, "Blacks in Utah History: An Unknown Legacy," in The Peoples of Utah, ed. Helen Z. Papanikolas (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1976); Dennis L. Lythgoe, "Negro Slavery in Utah," Utah Historical Quarterly 39 (1971); Lynn R. Bailey, Indian Slave Trade in the Southwest (Los Angeles: Westernlore Press, 1966); Carling and A. Arline Malouf, "The Effects of Spanish Slavery on the Indians of the Intermountain West," Southwestern Journal of Anthropology l (Autumn 1945)

As for early mormons being accused of abolitionism, it is true that Smith ran a presidential campain promising to use tax dollars to buy the slaves from their masters and ship them all back to africa. But I don't see that as being anything to be particularly proud of.

More to the point, Utah momrons were never accused of being abolitionists, although the Missouri mormons who eventually became the RLDS may have been, they never had a black preisthood ban, I do know that.

Posted by: Brother of Jared | January 10, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Gerry, you do love a laundry list, but I get frustrated because I can see by your most recent posting you've read absolutely nothing I've suggested.

Belief in salvation leading to godhood is not unique to Mormons. Orthodox Christians believe it, Luther believed it, the early Church Fathers believed it. Many Christians would find you a heretic for not believing it. Please, go read something before you get back to this point. I just accused you of having a three-digit IQ. Don't make me look bad.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight. I'm "narrow minded" because I'm shocked that Mormons baptized Hitler AND his victims? Or is it because that n*ked blessing and that five-point hug and the cutting of throats and calling Protestant ministers servants of the devil is kinky?

Wait till you hear what else I'm narrow-minded about. God had actual, get down dirty sex with the Virgin Mary?! A Mormon woman is instructed to marry early, have ooodles of kids, work as an unpaid babysitter for the church, obey her husband explicity and her reward? Her husband may (or may not) call her through the veil, but even if he does, she gets to stay pregnant for eternity while he collects trophy wives. Now that's a destiny I'd look forward to. No wonder Utah takes more Prozac than any other state in the US.

I also read about Utah being the first in bankruptcy. That, coupled with Orin Hatch's bill to exempt Mormon tithing from the bankruptcy laws (and he got it passed with the help of his good friend, the Mormon Democrat Majority Leader, Reid) sounds a bit like Mormon collusion to me. I did the figures and one begins to understand why the Mormon church would be so concerned. The median income in Utah is around $58,000. Let's say the average parish has 300 families which earn the median income. That would be $1,740,000 from ONE parish. And I read somewhere that the church spends less than 3% of its billions on charity and there was this one prophet (Faust) who bragged about buying the gold teeth of the poor members in South America so they could build a Temple there. Yessiree! I was about as narrow minded as I could get when I read that one.

There's been a lot written about how the church controls Utah politicians and its courts and that's pretty serious. The governor of Utah even prevented the autopsy demanded by law of the Mountain Meadow victims at the church's behest.

I also read about a study done by a BYU professor about how rape and child sex abuse victims are treated by the community and the law, and I'm beyond shocked. Victims were chided by the leaders of the church for bringing on their own rape! And the study was suppressed by the church and the professor disciplined.

I also read numerous accounts of the Mormon "reeducation" program for gays, where the gay man would have electrodes attached to his genitiles and then be shown gay porn movies. An electric shock would be administered if the obvious result occured. You think I'm narrow-minded because I find this beyond disgusting? No wonder Romney won't come out against torture.

But the Mormon founders have made some of the worst racial slurs I've ever read and make Bull Connor look like a giggling school girl. Get this: "At the time the devil was cast out of heaven, there were some spirits that did not know who had authority, whether God or the devil. They consequently did not take a very active part on either side, but rather thought the devil had been abused, . . . These spirits were not considered bad enough to be cast down to hell, and never have bodies; neither were they considered worthy of an honourable body on this earth: . . . But those spirits in heaven that rather lent an influence to the devil, thinking he had a little the best right to govern, but did not take a very active part any way were required to come into the world and take bodies in the accursed lineage of Canaan; and hence the Negro or African race (Speech of Elder Orson Hyde, delivered before the High Priests' Quorum, in Nauvoo, April 27, 1845, printed by John Taylor, p. 30).

And this:

"After the Mormons moved west, Brigham Young, the second president of the church, became very adamant in his disapproval of blacks. Preaching in 1859, at the October Conference of the LDS Church, President Brigham Young declared:

Cain slew his brother . . . and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. . . . How long is that race [blacks] to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam's children are brought up to that favourable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 290).

On another occasion Brigham Young declared:

Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110).

Preaching in 1882, John Taylor, the third president of the LDS Church, taught:

Why is it, in fact, that we should have a devil? Why did not the Lord kill him long ago? . . . He needed the devil and great many of those who do his bidding just to keep . . . our dependence upon God, . . . When he destroyed the inhabitants of the antediluvian world, he suffered a descendant of Cain to come through the flood in order that he [the devil] might be properly represented upon the earth (Journal of Discourses, vol. 23, p. 336)."

So yes, I'm very, very narrow-minded when it comes to male domination, abusive sexism and racism. Wasn't it your Dalin Oaks who declared on Public Television that there's no room in Mormonism for "feminists, gays or intellectuals." I think we can all agree that you Mormons have proven you're members in good standing under Mr. Oak's proscription.

Posted by: Fascinated in Fairfax | January 10, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,
You have to believe the book of Abraham. A false interpretation by Joseph Smith undermines your whole religion. It has been proven to be false beyond any doubt. They have gotten pretty good at reading hyrogliphics. You have to create room for error to maintain your belief system. That goes for every aspect of your cross examination. If anyone of those points are false your whole religion is false.
So here it is. They found the papyrus, they translated it and it's nothing like Joseph Smith said it was.
I like this analogy:
The Book of Abraham problem is the death knell for Mormonism. In order to understand its significance, let's say the bones of Jesus were found. One day archaeologists find a big box in Jerusalem during a dig. As they bring the box up and clean it off, there is writing on the box that says, "Jesus, son of Joseph the Carpenter, the one who was called the Christ." As the archaeologists lift the lid off the box, there is silence as everyone zooms in on the skeleton of one who had been crucified. On top of the skeleton is a papyrus which says, "We fooled the world, until today," and it's signed, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, etc. Well, you might say, "That doesn't prove anything. It could be a first-century Jewish fraud." And you would be right. It could be. But suppose we did a DNA test on the bones and compared the results with a similar DNA test from a blood stain on the Shroud of Turin and they matched! Christian leaders were responding, "We have no answer. There's definitely a match. It's a mystery!" What would you do? The Apostle Paul said, "If Christ has not been raised ... your faith is worthless" (endnote 46). The Bible says Jesus rose bodily and ascended into heaven. But we have his bones. "Gosh, I thought it was true. I thought I had a relationship with Christ." What would you do? What the bones of Jesus would do to Christianity, the Book of Abraham does to Mormonism.

Posted by: Gerry | January 10, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima - You claim that the limited geography heresy you are propogating here is "what most educated Mormons have believed for most of my adult life."

Lying for the lord? Or you calling 99.99 percent of all mormons uneducated? ;-)

Posted by: Brother of Mahonri: | January 10, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Bro,

I spend more time with Mormons than you do, I'll bet. And most of the ones I spend time with accept the limited geography theory. Books on the subject have been coming out for some years and we were talking about it at BYU when I was a student there in the early 70's. Maybe I don't hang around with enough dumb Mormons, but my experience is what it is.

I really am interested, by the way, in learning more about Utah slavery. If you do have a reference, please post it.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Er, Mr. Lacrima, before you assign IQ points to anyone else (and, BTW, IQ is not synonymous with ignorance, so your jibe fell a bit short of the mark), you should probably spend a few minutes looking up what "Orthodox" Christians think of your multiple god, pyramid scheme. That's precisely the reason Catholics and Methodists won't accept Mormon baptizims for potential converts. And Jews? The One God thing was what set them apart from all other ancient religions.

Have you ever asked a Jew or a Catholic or an Episcopal or an Eastern Orthodox member if they believe in multiple gods? Believe me, the Evangelicals are not the only ones who think Mormonism is exactly like Scientology.

And while I'm at it, don't you Mormons ever consider that Christians had been around for 1700 years before Joe and Brigham came along and desecrated THEIR holy symbols and beliefs? You people really don't understand why a Christian might think of your perversions against the Virgin Mary and the Cross akin to that work of art where a man is urinating on The Cross? You really don't have a clue how very bad it is of you to call the Catholic Church the church of the Devil and the Great Wh*ore? Or to depict a Protestant minister as a servant of the Devil? You sling insults and demean all other beliefs but have the quaint notion that everyone should respect yours?

I think perhaps there's a very large beam that needs removing from Mormon eyes.

Posted by: Fascinated in Fairfax | January 10, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Gerry,

I don't have to believe anything, including the Book of Abraham. Mormonism is not a state of slavery.

The Book of Abraham is not the key to the survival of Mormonism. If it were proven that Joseph really didn't tranlate papyri, we could easily enough liken it to the Book of Moses, which was written more or less under the inspiration of ancient texts (Genesis, to be precise), but not with reference to the text. It would drive you guys nuts, but Mormonism would survive.

If you want to kill the religion, you need to go for The Book of Mormon. I'm afraid it's the only way.

I would still find it interesting if you would read the Wikipedia article on theosis and the Concordia article in the footnote.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I grow bored of this. So I prayed to God to help me find my way. I felt my busom burning and God spoke to me and said Go Forth to Chic Filet and get some food. For otherwise you will starve to death. So there it is, God endorses Chic Filet, so he endorses Mormonism. It's been fun, I'm sure I'll be back later. I think I enjoy this way too much. I have a whole arsenal to prove you wrong Lacrima on Mormonism not being a state of slavery. We'll call them indentured servants for political correctness. :)
Later guys,
Gerry
-Gerry

Posted by: Gerry | January 10, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh please can we hear more from the book of moronism?

Posted by: TM | January 10, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Well kids, it's been fun, but I think I'll check out, too. I'm off to war in a couple of days and have more serious things to think about.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima: How many mormons you know is not relevant to the accuracy of your statement about whether most mormons disbelieve the book of mormon's (and the other scriptures) message that the Noachian flood really happened.

Even if you have know 10,000 mormons and I have known 5,000, it doesn't change the fact that most mormons do NOT beleive in the heresy of the Noachian flood and the Tower of Babel being just myths. Any mromon who believes that has rejected the truthfullness of not only the book of mromon, but the doctrine and covenants, Pearl of Great Price and the Bible as well (Yes the JST translation too).

The fact that you are older than me surprises me. It makes you less credible. There is no way someone in their 50's can honestly say that most mormons think that their scriptures are not true. I thought you were some 20 something and had spent little time as an adult and hung out with a crowd of internet mormons (ones who think they are smarter than the prophets and the scriptures and pick and choose which scriptures to believe in) That said, your expereince is what it is of course. Its just that Ive seen peopel exaggerate stuff on the interent about 30 million times. ;-)

But from my perspective let me tell you that I have never met someone who believed in your heresy. I've seen them on the internet, there is a small but very vocal group. But as for being a percentage of the 4-5 million or so active mormons? They are less than one percent. Way less. WHile I was typing this I got a call from a friend of mine who (like me) has been in the church for over forty years. He was dumbfounded when I told you what you had claimed. He, like me, has NEVER met anyone who espoused your heresy. And he even lives in the mormon corridor.

I urge you to read your scriptures. They testify that the Naochian flood was real. That the Lord broke apart the continents some 4500 years ago. That the Americas were wiped clean of all living things. That the Jaredites repopulated them with people, plants and animals. Everything living before that time (including any purported Bering Striaght Asians/Indians) was killed. To say this did not happen is to say the book of mormon is false.

I already gave you the slavery citations - you must have missed it - scroll up and look for my posts - Ive only made about 5 of them, should be easy to find.

Posted by: Brother of Mahonri | January 10, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

And thus the Lacrimaites and the Mahonrites divided. The one becoming dark skinned and wiked, while the other light skinned and delightfulsom.

Posted by: 2nd Nephi | January 10, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Not fair! Why does lacrima get to change skin color just cause he rejects the word of god. Im tired of being so damn pasty!

Posted by: Brothr of Mahonri | January 10, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

And Thus the Mahonrites went to the tanning beds to look more like their evil brothers.

Posted by: 2 Nephi | January 10, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I guess there are good things in war.

Posted by: TM | January 10, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

It really is tough to quit.

You people make such odd assumptions. I'm dark enough that when I addressed a conference on international drug trafficking a few years ago, the Pakistani Minister of Defense came up to me afterwards and said that until he heard my American accent, he thought I was one of his new staff members. In Utah people sometimes try to talk to me in Spanish. I do lighten up in the winter, so, who knows, maybe the cold makes me virtuous.

Bro, I did read your citations, but they don't make a lot of difference to me. The JD is not my Bible and I'm not aware of anyone in the Church who espouses slavery.

You need to attack what I believe, not what you think I should believe in order to make your attacks easy. That's just dumb and it's why the born agains will never win their point.

What's with the Noah's flood business. You're not doing drugs are you? Or, did I miss a bunch of posts?

I'm still waiting for that reference. You're not hiding anything from me are you?

Posted by: Lacrima | January 10, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't anyone have a problem with the fact that Moses was a polygamist? He gave us the 10 commandments after all.

Numbers 12:1 points out he and his additional wife were part of one of the first bi-racial couples. Notice also that the first wife wasn't too happy and it led to her being struck with Leprosy.

Why is the behavior of the older prophets ok or believable but when it's a modern prophet it's weird or ungodly?


Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

smith and young sound (read) as though they are psychotic.

Posted by: anon | January 10, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

sorry should have said Moses sister didn't like it and got the Leprosy...got the gals mixed up, forgot Zipporah was the first wife.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima: 2nd Nephi and I were engaging in some mormon humour. If it went over your head, well I guess you just aren't mormon enough then. And as irrelevant as it still is, if you didnt understand those jokes, you not only do NOT know more momrons than me, but you probably have never read the book of mormon cover to cover. ;-P

Then you said: "Bro, I did read your citations, but they don't make a lot of difference to me. The JD is not my Bible and I'm not aware of anyone in the Church who espouses slavery."

Are you trying to make mormons look bad? You did NOT read my citations. One was to a book that is out of print. And it is NOT in the drawer of your hotel room. Other citations were to historical journals and books, here they are again:

Ronald G. Coleman, "Blacks in Utah History: An Unknown Legacy," in The Peoples of Utah, ed. Helen Z. Papanikolas (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1976); Dennis L. Lythgoe, "Negro Slavery in Utah," Utah Historical Quarterly 39 (1971); Lynn R. Bailey, Indian Slave Trade in the Southwest (Los Angeles: Westernlore Press, 1966); Carling and A. Arline Malouf, "The Effects of Spanish Slavery on the Indians of the Intermountain West," Southwestern Journal of Anthropology l (Autumn 1945)

You claim you read these? BS You claim these are journal of Discorses? BS I have never mentioned the JoD. Are you trying to look stupid to discredit the church? If so you are doing a great job. And why are you talking about you not knowing mormons who esposue slavery? Do you seriously think that people live to be 150 years old? Thats how old you would have to be to have been around mormon slaveholders.

The flood is what makes limited geography impossible. You are making a heretical claim (since even the most simple things are going over your head, i should probably explain that heretical means a position that goes against the orthodox doctrine. In this case the book of mormon, the doctrine and covenants, the bible and the Pearl of Great Price. Not to mention 10-12 living prophets)

Your heretical claim (limited geography) is that the Lehites intermarried with populations of people who were not mentioned in the book of mormon. (i.e. the native americans) This is heretical and denies that the book of mormon is God's word. Because the book of mormon says that everyone (including the supposed people who limited geography heretics claim intermarried with the Lehites) was killed off in the flood. If you deny the Noachian flood as a real event - which wiped off EVERYONE who was living (including native americans) - then you are denying the truthfulness of the book of mormon. Limited geography is a heresy. Read your scriptures.

Posted by: Brother of Mahonri | January 10, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

sorry should have said Moses sister didn't like it and got the Leprosy...got the gals mixed up, forgot Zipporah was the first wife.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Yes, us Mormons believe that Jesus has a tangible body of flesh and bone because the Bible tells us so:

"Latter-day Saints are sometimes accused of having an antibiblical theology because they believe that God is a glorified being of flesh and bones--not just a spirit essence. Some who write anti-Mormon pamphlets insist that the LDS concept of Deity is contrary to what is recognized as traditional Christian doctrine. In this they are quite correct. The traditional view about the Trinity is well over a thousand years old, and time has a way of hallowing ideas, whether or not they are true.

One of the most demonstrable truths from the Bible is the physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. When Jesus came forth from the tomb, he showed himself to his Apostles. Even they thought him to be a spirit, but he said: "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have."

Then he showed them his hands and feet, and when they were still skeptical, he asked for meat and honeycomb and ate before them. (Luke 24:36-43.) Then they saw he was no apparition.

Thomas was not present at the first appearance to the Twelve, so he remained skeptical. He told the others: "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." (John 20:24-25.)

One week later, Jesus again appeared to the disciples. This time, Thomas was among them. The Lord greeted them, then spoke to Thomas: "Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing."

Thomas could only exclaim, "My Lord and my God." (John 20:26-28.) That day he became a special witness of the Lord's literal resurrection.

After Jesus was resurrected, more than five hundred also saw him and testified of his physical resurrection. (1 Cor. 15:5-8.) The Apostles, too, were witnesses of his ascension into heaven when two angels told them that Jesus would return in like manner as he had ascended. (Acts 1:9-11.)

We also know that at his second coming, Christ will appear with a physical body. John testified that "every eye shall see him." (Rev. 1:7.) Zechariah prophesied that "his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives" (Zech. 14:4; italics added), and the beleaguered Israelites "shall look upon [him] whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him." (Zech. 12:10.) And then "one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." (Zech. 13:6; italics added.)

With such an abundance of biblical testimony from the ancient Apostles and prophets, how did traditional Christianity come to the idea that somehow Jesus' bodily identity was dissolved into spirit essence? How did the Christian sects come to accept the idea that though three personages comprise the Godhead, they are one immaterial spirit? Certainly the ideas are not apostolic in origin."

excerpt from: William O. Nelson, "Is the LDS View of God Consistent with the Bible?," Ensign, Jul 1987, 56

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey,remember me - Michael Moody - the one who started all this, with help from Mary Ann's humbling comments about my big adventure at the National Press Club? Wish you could have been there to hear what I really said. For the record, my book is not kind to Harry Reid ,whom I have known since 1973. And Brigham Young did call slavery a divine institution. He said it in an interview with Horace Greeley in 1859 - which is in my book and documented along with 10 pages of other end notes.Don't believe me? Find at on Amazon and read it!

Posted by: Michael Moody, Author of Mitt, Set Our People Free! | January 10, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Michael Moody: You have cajones the size of cannonballs. Great job!

It would be great to have you post at:
www.exmormon.org

Best regards,
Elder George Carlin

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 10, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

That's it?

You want to point out that you don't like Harry Reid, and that Brigham Young spoke about slavery?

Thanks for the reminder that it was all a ploy to sell your book-hope it bombs...

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Well, folks, enough of this nonsense. It still escapes me some people feel so compelled to attack and try to destroy the religious faith of other people. So much of what you say is either inconsequential in the light of modern prophecy and thought or just simply nonsensical interpretation of what you think you know about the church's doctrines that it is not really worth my time to continue with this thread. I'm NOT a "Christian" like you and I am very, very glad I am not. If I were not a Mormon, I would be a Buddhist. As far as I know, they don't make a concerted effort to destroy the religious faith of others. You cannot destroy my belief in my religion. It is good and its fruits are good and it makes me happy. As I've said before, your bitterness and bias in many ways invalidate your arguments. I NEVER listen to people who argue from personal rancor. It colors their minds. There is too much hatred in this thread. I am sick at it. And that goes for the original impetus, as well, Mr. Moody. I don't care whether you sell copies of your book or not, but it is slimy of people to make money from discord and hatred. Peace of mind comes from calm acceptance of the Lord's love--I wish it for all of you.

Posted by: Another Mormon with Answers | January 10, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

So when are we going to get "lapsed Southern Baptist unloads on Mike Huckabee"?

Posted by: cspencef | January 10, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or does anyone else here feel that Lacrima is probably sitting in his office (in the Mormon command center) in SLC where he probably works as an apologist on one of their propaganda teams? When he suggests that he's headed off to war in Iraq, why do I get the feeling that he's repeating a Paul H. Dunn script? Maybe his next entry will be from Baghdad with a thrilling account of how, under heavy fire, he raced across the open, bullets shredding his clothing but was miraculously saved by his magic underwear.

He certainly sounds like a well versed version of the typical apologist...attack the messenger, and never attempt to refute the message with anything other than smoke and mirrors.

I hope he plans to ride in a well armored Humvee...I'd hate to think he was riding into battle on the back of a tapir.

Posted by: Meso | January 10, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Meso,

You found me out. Here I am in my vast underground bunker laboring away with thousands of my fellow spin meisters to write e-mails to idiots on the internet. It's a thankless task, but there's such a shortage of idiots in the Church that we really feel the need to convert you all.

One reason I have attacked the messenger is that so many of you just come across as absolutely bizarre. Let me tell you how to be successfully anti-Mormon;

1. Get over the anger. So many of you come across as just outraged that Mormons could even exist. Maybe Mormonism is outrageous, but, really, it's hard to listen to people who are foaming at the mouth.

2. Get over the conspiracy theory. Mormonism is not some vast conspiracy to do...what? I've never been able to figure out what people think we're a conspiracy for, but it makes you sound like members of a flying saucer cult.

3. Learn what we actually believe. Several times I've read in these posts that you can't trust a Mormon to tell you about Mormonism (see 2. above), so you resort to some form of Mormonism that exists mostly in the minds of born agains and on the cult shelves of "Christian' bookstores.

Problem is, we don't believe most of that stuff. Gerry and Fairfax's statements of Mormon theology is so far off that half the time I don't even know what they're talking about (but, I do want my own planet now).

4. Don't quote the Journal of Discourses at me. If Mormons thought it was so frightening, we wouldn't sell it in Church book stores (http://deseretbook.com/store/search?search=journal+of+discourses). If I can't be a Mormon because Brigham Young believed in slavery, than I can't be a Democrat either, because that was once the party of slavery. That's just puerile stuff.

5.Get up to date on the arguments. Gerry was using 100-year old arguments that even a 2nd-rate hack like Wesley Walters doesn't use anymore. The fact that you would use "ride" and "horses" in an argument about The Book of Mormon immediately tells me that you're not serious and not worth listening to.

6. Don't use born agains as your attack dogs. Even their fellow Christians think they're dumber than a bucket of clams ("Scandal of the Evangelical Mind"). Most American Mormons these days tend to be middle class and college educated. Sending a born again to talk to us is like sending the village idiot. We'll listen politely, but not seriously.

If you follow these simple rules, you'll have a chance of getting to real Mormons, the sort who are happy in the Church. Right now, all you're doing is culling the disaffected, and that's actually a favor. If it weren't for you, they'd be hanging around the Church causing trouble; now they just make angry postings at exMormon and sites like this.

Good luck to you.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 11, 2008 4:05 AM | Report abuse

The Elder George Carlin has it right from the beginning...
All religions are all about faith and beliefs - if anyone can prove any of this - seriously prove the existence of God or that Jesus was the son of God or that Smith really had these golden templates or that Moses really brought down the 10 Commandments from the Mt. - then I might have faith in it. Otherwise, I'll just stay with reality and give my money to someone who needs it instead of a church. Heaven is up and hell is down and it's fiery! All this made up stuff to keep people in line and afraid.

The reason this argument started had to do with what was said about Romney. From what I've read in the past and heard from him, he is a liar. And his religion wouldn't (and shouldn't) have anything to do with him holding government office. But he brought up religion in his speech to conservatives a few weeks ago - saying that freedom needs religion. No it doesn't.

Our government was founded on principles of the constitution, not principles of religion. Using God or religious basis at all in choices to govern should be deemed unconstitutional, as it is not including ALL people of the US. In the eyes of the law, all Americans must be equal.

Posted by: Superfly | January 11, 2008 4:05 AM | Report abuse

Lacrima,
You've flushed me out of the woods. I swore I was done. Horses are a HUGE problem for the book of Mormon. You can't just cast it aside like that. I don't even know the answer, but how much of your book is dedicated to the Native American civilizations? Point being, if they claim there were horses when they weren't here it discredits the whole thing because it's WRONG! If your book says the Native American's were using metal money and we have no evidence that that existed before the spanish settlers then it's WRONG. These are huge issues. Most of the accounts of America before the Spanish Settlers by Joseph Smith are completely insane.


According to the Book of Mormon, at least 230,000 men died in battle at the Hill Cumorah. Also, this battle was about 1/10 the size of the battle which took place at the same location approximately 1,000 years earlier when, according to Ether 15:2 "nearly two millions" of the Jaredites had their last great battle.

However, there is literally not a trace of archaeological evidence to support the claim that so many men died in battle at the tiny hill now owned by the LDS Church in the State of New York called Cumorah.

So over two million people die in a small area, where are the bodies? I am from Tennessee and our civil war graveyards are HUGE! I doubt there are Two million Civil War Soldiers buried in the entire state!

Posted by: Gerry | January 11, 2008 5:51 AM | Report abuse

Every word you write AGAINST the Mormons (who believed that Jesus is the Christ and Redeemer) and every lies you tell to the good people of America are all recorded by God's angels in heaven.

At the time of judgement day, you will all be shown of your pasts "how you acted against the Mormons". You know if I'm in america, I will vote for those candidates whether or not he/she is a Catholic, a Baptist, a Presbiterian or anyone who has the love to serve America and its people. Are you not happy and thankful that you are born in God's choice land, a land of promise which is "America, The Beautiful?" We, the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints loves every one because we are all sons and daughters of God.

When Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith were martyred in Carthage Jail and from that time until now, did we seek revenge for our beloved prophet and his brother? NO, NO, NO, because it is against our teachings.

To you Mr. Moody, if you were really a mormon, it would have been better for you that ye had not known Jesus Christ and not received his gospel rather than knowing Him and received His gospel but after that deny Him and His Church. I assure you Mr. Moody that (we) the mormons of the Philippines love America and its people and we are ready to help defend America for the cause of preserving liberty and keeping it's people safe.

For us, it doesn't matter if our brother in faith who is running for U.S. Presidency will loss the election. What matters most is that at least a good mormon (or good baptist or good catholic or anyone) has a sincere desire to serve your God given land and its people.

To the American people:

If you believe Mr. Huckabee or anyone other than Mr. Romney could give good service to you and your country, vote for that man.

But let me tell you, though I don't know Mr. Romney personally, I could feel THERE'S SOMETHING VERY GOOD IN THE HEART OF MR. MITT ROMNEY FOR "AMERICA".

GOD BLESS AMERICA and may your U.S. Presidential election be peaceful.

Posted by: benskie | January 11, 2008 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Gerry,

I think "flushed" is the operative word.

Let me, using the three examples you just gave, show you how wrong headed you are and at the same time explain how you can make your attacks more effective.

Horses: Let's look at the linguistics first. Modern English has about the largest vocabulary that has ever existed. We have a word for almost everything. Premodern languages were more limited. The OT for example has a total vocabulary of about 8,000 words.

One of the things linguists do is look at how people re-use words as they move from one environment to the next. It's a very important part of Indo-European linguistics. For example, the German word "Tier" refers to animals in general, whereas its English cognate "deer" refers to a few specific animals. The American robin is a very different bird from the English robin. The early settlers simply used a word they knew and applied it to a bird that somewhat resembled the robin they knew from home. They did the same with the word "buffalo."

Getting back to horses, when the Greeks first went to Egypt and saw large, ungainly quadrapeds living in the Nile, they called them horses, i.e. river horses, or hippopotamuses. In other words, they saw a brand new animal that barely resembles a horse and called it a riverhorse because that's the word they had. Likewise, German word for hippo is Nile horse.

Now let's get back to the BoM. Outside of the bibilical quotes, horses in the BoM are never ridden (hence my comment to Meso). They are either in herds or in one very localized Lamanite society mentioned as draft animals for chariots.

So here are the real questions:

1) Is there in Central America a quadraped that more or less resembles a horse (at least as much as a hippo does) that can be herded and used as a draft animal?

2) Since there is no record of wheeled vehicles in pre-Columbian America, where do these chariots come from?

That's very differnet than simply announcing that horses are a huge problem for the BoM. The answer to the first question is quite likely yes. The answer to the second question is that wheeled toys have been found, but no wheeled vehicles. The BoM makes clear that the use of "chariots" was very limited, but no evidence has been found for them yet.

Can you see how that's different than just popping off with dogmatic and really unsophisticated declarations?

Posted by: Lacrima | January 11, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Now, let's look at coins. If you go to Alma 11, where Mormon for some strange reason decides to talk about the Nephite monetary system, you'll notice that he nowhere uses the word coin. In fact coins are not mentioned at all in the BoM.

In describing the monetary use of metal, Mormon uses the word piece or pieces. He then tells us the value relationship of various pieces of gold and silver to each other and to various commodities. In other words, he is describing a rather primitive system of weighing things out. Any reasonable person who believed in the BoM would probably take it as proof that the Nephites, at least, had no coinage. It says nothing at all about the rest of the Americas.

Last, let's look at Hill Cumorah. I trained as a classicist. Among the books I read were the Odyssey and the Iliad, which people have been reading for 2,000 years or more. Each gneration's understanding of those texts has been different.

Same with the Bible. No one understands the Bible today in the way that someone living in AD 1000 would have understood it, or the way someone living 200 years ago would have understood. That doesn't mean the Bible isn't true, just that we look at it differently each generation.

I remember as a boy picturing huge battles in upstate New York, back when we all believed that the BoM described life on two continents. Closer study ("Mormon's Map" and others) have shown that BoM geography is much more limited.

The fact that we have changed our view of the text, doesn't change the text itself or the truth of the text. The fact that Joseph Smith and others had one view of the text doesn't obligate us to hold that view forever.

So, I've already tried to give you some helpful advice on how to be an effective anti-Mormon. Let me add a bit more for you: Figure out the what the questions really are. The stuff you and Fairfax and the born agains are throwing out there just makes you look like rubes, bumpkins, nincompoops.

Blanket statements, old crap from a century ago, laundry lists of stuff copied from exmormon, wild misstatements of LDS doctrine--none of this will cut it anymore. Use your brain, that's my advice.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 11, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Lacrima says: "Use your brain, that's my advice."

More derogatory and malicious drivel.

What happened in your life to cause you to use derogatory verbiage, red herrings, ongoing ad hominem attacks, and call people names? What do you feel is wrong about straightforward debate without using these things?

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 11, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Time to rehash the history of ALL faiths. Christian Crusaders, Christ's cruxcifiction by the Jews, the Spanish Inquisition, the Catholic church's history (past and present), snake handling, fire and brimestone spewing, redneck hillbilly Believers. The list goes on. Do we want to drudge through all of them, because they ALL have issues. Hopefully the truth would be told correctly, unlike much of what is being said about the Mormon faith. Did anyone think about looking into the Muslim faith while we're at it?

Posted by: Observer | January 11, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

How many candidates are Catholic? Shouldn't we be fearful of them? How many are Evangelicals? Knowing their history, shouldn't we be fearful of them? How about the rest of them? In fact, we bloggers are of many faiths -- so, shouldn't we be fearful of each other?

Posted by: Observer | January 11, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Another Mormon with answers said: "If I were not a Mormon, I would be a Buddhist. As far as I know, they don't make a concerted effort to destroy the religious faith of others. You cannot destroy my belief in my religion. It is good and its fruits are good and it makes me happy. As I've said before, your bitterness and bias in many ways invalidate your arguments."

I think you just confirmed the Christian argument that Mormons aren't Christians. I mean if I weren't an Episcopal, I'd still be a Christian whether I follow a specific tradition or not. Obviously your Mormonism trumps your Christianity.

Also, I'm pretty sure the NAZI's would have loved your being on the Tribunal at Nuremberg because all of the Survivors of the Death Camps were definately angry and bitter. Anyone out there know of a case where testimony was thrown out of court because the victim was p*ssed?

Oh, and may I again comment that you Mormons have a very strange notion of fairness. Anyone who questions your version of history or who quotes YOUR prophets is out to destroy you. Yet your church sends out an army of 19 year olds in polyester with bad haircuts to tell Christians that their churches apostatised and are abominations to God?

This whole discussion confirms the growing perception of Mormons as snake-oil salesmen. One of the more significant polls taken in New Hampshire involved the question of who the voter chose if they believed personal attributes, ie, character, leadership ability, moral principles like truthfulness. The Mormon candidate whose supporters believe is so "moral" because he's never had a divorce, but the he lost to McCain 75% to 24%.

I also thought last night's debate was interesting. Mike Huccabee was asked the only question about religion when he was challenged over a statement he'd signed about women and marriage. Did he scream "unfair! They're picking on me?" Nope, he answered the question with humor and didn't make any moves to duck a perfectly reasonable question about his views on women. So very unlike the whiner Romney who accuses Huckabee of "bigotry" because he made a statement about Mormon doctrine that was, BTW, perfectly true. Instead of playing the persecution card, why didn't Romney just say, "yes, we believe Satin and Jesus are brothers because...."

I'm getting the feeling that you Mormons are ashamed of your own beliefs.

Posted by: Fascinated in Fairfax | January 11, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

benskie,

You said, "When Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith were martyred in Carthage Jail and from that time until now, did we seek revenge for our beloved prophet and his brother? NO, NO, NO, because it is against our teachings."

Then how do you explain the oath in the Temple ceremony until around 1930 that demands the members fight against the United States because of the death of the prophets? (look up the Smoot hearings in Congress)

And how do you explain the Mountain Meadow Massacre? Executing 120 innocent men, women and CHILDREN up close and personal after disarming them under the flag of truce looks pretty revengeful to me.

Posted by: Fascinated in Fairfax | January 11, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I gotta tell you, Lacrimer, your credentials are pretty impressive!

You spent 14 years studying literature, law, history and (sorry, I forget your 4th area of scholarship). And I was just thinking that my son was turning into a professional student because he's entering his sixth year of college.

How come with all that education you're an enlisted guy instead of an officer? (that landing in a tent with a first sargeant thing) And I'd also be really interested in how California "transferred" a member of the Utah National Guard to their state? And that guy's wife and kids refusing to go with him doesn't speak very well of Mormon family togetherness does it?

Now, you're going off to war in a couple of days. Are you still an enlisted guy? That's pretty impressive that you gave a presentation at an international drug symposium and spoke with the Pakistani Minister of Defense and you're a mere foot soldier.

Posted by: Fascinated in Fairfax | January 11, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I doubt Mormons are "ashamed" of their own beliefs. It seems that everyone crams their beliefs of what the Mormons believe and feel down their throats and create so much hate and bias. Attacking a religion and then expecting the members to defend it is not the way to learn real doctrine, beliefs and concepts. Do you people do that with all the things you are studying and that you disagree with? Do you do that with ALL religions? When do we start bashing the Catholics? And then when do we include the Evangelicals? This blog is so filled with hate and hypocrisy. Why can't we do the basic -- all get along. What a great fundamental concept.

Posted by: Observer | January 11, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Fairfax,

You keep proving your own stupidity. I somehow proved that Mormons aren't Christian because some other Mormon said he would become a Buddhist? A statement made by 1/12 millionth of our membership applies to all of us? I have a five-year old grandson that understands logic better than that.

I'll tell you why we aren't Christians. It's because in the 4th century a group of theologians put together a creed (Nicene) that would henceforth determine who is and is not a Christian.

It's called branding. The French do it all the time. Champagne for instance must meet a certain number of characteristics, including where the grapes are grown. Any other bubbly wine, even though it may taste, look, and smell like Champagne, may not be legally called Champagne.

I just reread the Nicene Creed. Most Mormons would agree with a good 90 percent of it, but we don't meet all the criteria, so we don't get the brand name. Rather than think of us as non-Christians, think of us as off-brand Christians.

As to the rest, we're not in court, so I can't be compelled to listen. We are in the free market place of ideas and everything is voluntary. What I've been trying to explain to you yokels is how to approach us and argue with us so we'll listen. I'm trying to help you communicate with us.

I don't care if you're angry in private, but I'm not going to spend time listening to a raving lunatic like Moody.
I'm also not going to spend time going through laundry lists, arguing about things I don't believe, etc., etc.

Here are a couple more reasons why I think (objectively, not for the sake of insult) that you're stupid. Look at your paragraph above about how we think you're out to destroy us. Most of your arguments have been efforts to prove that Joseph Smith and his successors are not prophets and that The Book of Mormon is false. If you were to succeed, that would in fact destroy the LDS church. It's OK for you to try, but it'a jusr dumb not to see the logic of what you're doing.

Look at your next paragraph. There is no relationship between what you claim (snake oil) and what you show (McCain won). First of all, McCain is one of the most honorable men in US government, easily Romney's equal. Second, you show no relationship between the poll and the election. People make a lot of choices in elections, that have little to do with morality. McCain is well known and popular in New Hampshire; Romney is not. (I am, I remind you, no Romney supporter and I don't care if he loses.)

Then look at your last paragraph, which is just a farrago of nonsense. Huckabee never asked the Jesus/Satan question to Romney. He brought it up at a news conference where Romney wasn't even present, so had no possibility of replying (bad facts).

Second, a question about women's civil rights is entirely legitimate in a political campaign and Huckabee's creed may have some effect on that.

As far as I know, the civil rights of Jesus and Satan are not at issue in this campaign, so I'm not sure what legitimate role a statement like that has except to upset an Evangelical audience (bad analogical skills on your part).

Last, what in the world makes you think I'm ashamed of being Mormon? Just because I don't believe what you say I should believe, doesn't mean I'm ashamed. It just means I know what I believe and it's not to be found on the pages of exmormon.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 11, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Fairfax,

At a certain point, if I were you, I'd become embarrassed to write in public. Being in a tent with a sergeant implies nothing about rank whatsoever. The tent at the time was serving as the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and I was a captain. Second, fulltime Army Reserve and National Guard specialists can transfer all over the US. The fulltime people in my reserve unit in California had served in several different states. They look for new slots in order to get promoted.

Again, with the false generalization thing. The actions of one person can not be generalized to a group. I never met the man's wife and can't expalin her choices.

And last, what makes you think I'm still in the Army? I'm a senior member of another government agency. There are 100's of USG civilians all over Iraq and we get shot at just like anyone else. During my first six months, my location suffered five dead and over 60 wounded from rocket attacks.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 11, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Slavery was legalized in Utah in 1852, following the Compromise of 1850, which allowed for popular sovereignty on the matter in the territory, although it had been allowed previous to this date. On January 23rd of that year, Brigham Young told members of the Utah legislature, "We must believe in slavery."

Joseph Smith was obviously much better on the subject than Brigham Young.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 11, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima apparently feels that since his book says nothing about Nephites/Lamanites riding horses but does mention chariots when speaking of horses that we have it all wrong. Apparently their wheel-less chariots must have resembled sleds and since horses could have meant any American quadrapeds, is it possible these folks took a cue from Santa Claus and had deer or possibly their cousins from the north, reindeer, pulling their sleds through the jungle? It seems to a dimwit like myself that it might have been easier to ride these quadrapeds rather than to use them as draft animals and hitch them up to a chariot/sled for locomotion. But hey, that's coming from a guy who doesn't have half the education of Lacrima...so who knows?

Posted by: Meso | January 11, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Lacrimer, I'll be sure to wear ear muffs so what few brains I have don't leak out. And your purpose is to teach folks how to communicate with you? Where did you get your degree? From the Mike Tyson School of Finese and Diplomacy?

Hum. Your champagne analogy doesn't quite work. One of the key ingredients to any bubbly that calls itself that is grapes. Even the non-Champagne area knock-offs need to have grapes. You're saying that it's the same thing even when it's made with potatoes. Mormonism is certainly a Christian derivative, but how can they be anything like all other Christian denominations when they don't even worship the same god Jesus worshiped? Honestly, the Jews have a pretty good handle on their historical, religious beliefs and their god is NOT a man.

And about the Buddist/Christian comment, I wasn't talking to you was I? (unless you're also Another Mormon with etc. etc).

So, since we're out to misstate your beliefs, maybe you'd like to explain how we find out what those are. We're supposed to ignore what your prophets and founding fathers say; we're supposed to ignore your history; we're supposed to accept the anacronisms in the Book of Mormon or the "explanations" of what the writer of the book really meant; we're supposed to ignore all scientific, biological, archeological, linquistic evidence that the Book of Mormon is a rather badly written piece of fiction and accept whatever a Mormon says whether what he/she says contradicts his/her own prophets or founders or history.

I don't think that's going to happen. I don't think Mormons are going to be allowed to spin and doctor history and science without being challenged. And since Mitt Romney subscribes to these rather odd beliefs and gives 10% of his income to a church practices racism and sexism (he, after all, was a full-paying member before the 1978 "revelation") and in fact served as one of its high-ranking officers, I do think it's fair to examine his beliefs. I really don't want a man who thinks he's going to become a god in the most powerful office in the world. As a woman, I really find his belief that he gets to keep lots of women pregnant for eternity seriously offensive. I also don't want someone who thinks dark skin is a curse and that the Americas were settled by a lost tribe of Israel deciding what programs in science get funded.

I do have an obligation to examine the reasoning skills of all candidates.

Posted by: Fascinated in Fairfax | January 11, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima said: "So, I've already tried to give you some helpful advice on how to be an effective anti-Mormon"

No one on this very long thread has been a more effective force against mormonism than Lacrima. All the non-members who have read this thread will now never join the church after his (or their) disengenous and snide performance here.

So I think it is quite possible you are not even a mormon. You are most likely actually what you claim to know all about - a born again - who has pretended to be a mormon, an illogical disengenous mormon, for one purpose and one purpose only: To make the LDS church look bad. Perhaps Lacrima is a group of people posting from some born again christian ministry to mormons. He/they sure seem to know more about the born agains agttacks on mormonism and the LDS apologetic responses than he/they know about mormonism itself. If Lacrima is multiple posters that could explain why the details of Lacrima's post sometimes contradict each other.

Based on his/their responses to me alone, it is apparent that he/they have never even read the book of mormon.

Posted by: Brother of Mahonri | January 11, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey Lacrimer! I said I was impressed with your credentials! Really. And I believe you've done every, single thing you've claimed! You're an impressive powerhouse of erudition. I should be ashamed of occupying the same planet as a great thinker and doer like you! Really.

Posted by: Fascinated in Fairfax | January 11, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Berkeley.

I just read a speech on the subject by Brigham Young and I have to agree with you--Joseph was better.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 11, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Fairfax,

You do have an obligation to examine the reasoning skills of the various candidates. You just lack the tools.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 11, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Fairfax, maybe you should have been a professional student like Lacrima. Then you'd have the ability to examine those reasoning skills on a higher level.

Posted by: Meso | January 11, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I honestly think that Young was pretty bad for his time, particularly for a Northerner. Some of his statements, such as declaration that God would strike down on the spot any couple engaging in interracial relations, would have fit in quite well in the unreconstructed South.

Smith was much better, and in my opinion better than many Northerners of his time in regard to race relations. He doesn't appear to have had much, if any, personal prejudice toward those with African ancestry, and in general he appears to have consistently disliked slavery, although this did not prevent him from making more favorable statements about the practice to pro-slavery audiences in Missouri. In many respects, Smith's attitude toward Blacks in the 1840s reminds me of that held by another figure in Illinois politics, namely Abraham Lincoln, in that both came to support the abolition of slavery but did not necessarily want African-Americans to live with whites in a racially-mixed society and so supported their repatriation to West Africa.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 11, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Berkeley,

Brigham Young had a lot of rough edges, although, if you read some of his other writings, he could be wonderfully humane at times. From an LDS standpoint, I think he was the only LDS leader at the time who had the strength of character to make the Utah venture successful. None of the other potential successors to Joseph had anything like Young's strength of will. Rigdon would have been a total disaster.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 11, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima: I am VERY impressed with you. Nothing like having the Idiot Pack gang up on you, regardless of what the truth -- and their lack of knowledge regarding it -- may be. Sheep mentality, that's for sure. I understand more now why Joseph Smith was killed. People like some of these would do the same.

Hate is alive and well in America!

Posted by: Wow | January 11, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Goodbye to all you religious morons. Lacima watch you back, hate it if you were the victim of friendly fire.

Posted by: TM | January 11, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Goodbye to all you religious morons. Lacima watch you back, hate it if you were the victim of friendly fire.

Posted by: TM | January 11, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I am sure that Young had a tenderness to him and concern for others. On the other hand, there are certain aspects of his leadership, such as the teaching and practice of blood atonement at Utah at certain times, that I find simply objectionable.

I agree that Young was the only leader with the resolve to lead the movement to and development in Utah territory. My question is whether or not this venture was a good idea. I think that the development of an intellectually and socially isolated and insular community, while interesting for anthropological purposes, was unfortunate. The LDS church and people have devoted much subsequent time and energy to re-enter the mainstream of U.S. society, and much work still needs to be done, particularly doctrinally if the LDS church wishes to be perceived as a mainstream Christian group.

I think that it would have been better if the Brighamites had dispersed in the Midwest some time following the death of Smith and re-entered that society, as was the case with many other short-lived groups led by perceived successors of Smith. Of course, then a group would not exist to revere Smith as a visionary, but I do not think that Smith's contributions intellectual or theologically merit such a claim. Few people remember someone such as Charles Grandison Finney, but such a figure is more deserving of praise.

Were I to have had the chance, I would much preferred to have settled in Oregon Territory than Utah Territory, or to have been an associate of Samuel Brannan rather than Brigham Young. I assure that the Bay area is much nicer than the Salt Lake area.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 11, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm just having a great time picturing the Native Americans Fight a war with Wood Swords, chasing eachother with wheel-less chariots pulled by deer. You mormons got it all figured out. I just glanced at jeff lindsay's website, (mormon apologist). It's funny how nothing in the book of mormon meant what it was supposed to mean. Everything was lost in translation. Never mind the fact that The golden tablets were supposed to be perfect and Joseph Smith was given the ability to translate them by good, all of a sudden there is all this room for error. Maybe thats why Joseph joined the methodist church a few years later. He couldn't believe the stuff god was telling him about native america?

Posted by: Gerry | January 11, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone happen to notice the similarities in the way Mitt explained how he SAW his father march with MLK and how Book of Mormon witnesses SAW the golden plates with their "spiritual" eyes?

Posted by: Meso | January 11, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Hear, hear, WOW. It's a bit frightening to see so much intolerance and religious bigotry in one place. Way to stand up for yourself and Mormons, Lacrima. And thanks for your service in Iraq.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 11, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow,

I wouldn't get too worried about these people. They're just a very small and not particularly bright subset of a very good group of people.

In our first African post, almost all of the American community consisted of fundamentalist missionaries. I know when we arrived, they all got together and showed "The Godmakers," but my teenagers dated their teenagers (one of them had to read a chapter from "Maze of Mormonism" everytime she got home from a date with my son), we clebrated Christmas and Easter together, and became quite close friends.

When one of the neighboring countries broke out in war, we had a Baptist pastor and his wife stay with us for about ten days. They came to Church with us, sang hymns with us and, again, became very good friends.

That has been my general experience, with some small exceptions. So, co-existance is not only possible, it's enjoyable and has lead to a lot of good friendships over the years.

It's only the angry types that lurk on these sites. And, I have to admit, I've been an SOB myself, so I really haven't gotten anything undeserved. I've just been staving off boredom with what I hoped would be a good argument.

So, don't worry, your home and life are safe.


Posted by: Lacrima | January 11, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,
I'm actually friends with a lot of Mormons so yes we can co-habitate. The reason it's a small subset representing "born agains" is because no one knows squat about mormons. I've lived in three states and it took me until this year when I moved out west to meet a Mormon. I'm 30 and before this year I knew didly squat about Mormonism. I'm not an angry person, I just couldn't believe what I was learning from my new Mormon friends. The day any history book mentions the word Neophite or Laminite or anything about the Mormon accounts of the Native Americas I'll eat my hat. Until then it remains obvious fiction. Mitt Romney is doing a good job putting Mormon's under the spot light, and it will either help you or hurt you. He needs to be honest when he answers questions about his faith though.

Posted by: Gerry | January 11, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

Joseph Smith's mother said,
"During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals that could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of traveling, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life with them."

- Lucy Mack Smith, mother of Joseph Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, p. 85

Animals upon which they rode? No mention of antlers getting in the way or of them squealing like pigs. What do you suppose those animals could have been?

Posted by: Meso | January 11, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Gerry,
Well, many, many people consider the Bible to be fiction, too. It seems a bit silly to try to base one's faith on factual evidence. One is doomed to failure in any case, whether Mormon or any other faith. Faith by nature is based in spirit. It isn't faith otherwise. Remember Hebrews. And I agree with you about Romney. But also realize that, as you've seen in this blog, Mormons and Protestants sometimes disagree about what Mormons actually believe. It seems pretty clear to me that Mormons have a different view of their doctrines than you do. Both are simply perspectives. You can't expect him to tell you what you want to hear when he may not see that what you want to hear exists.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 11, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

And Meso, will you PLEASE drop the deer thing. It's ridiculous. Perhaps they were refering to llamas.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 11, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

We seem to still have a misunderstanding about the lineage of Lehi...Jew or Gentile. Mormon scholar, J. N. Washburn has a different take than you...
"The point at issue is not that Father Lehi, the Jew, could read and understand Egyptian, though this is surprising enough... No, the big question is how the scripture of the Jews (official or otherwise) came to be written in Egyptian... If I were to suggest what I think to be the most insistent problem for the Book-of-Mormon scholarship, I should unquestionably name this one: account for the Egyptian language on the Plates of Brass, and the Brass Plates themselves."

- J.N. Washburn, Mormon scholar, The Contents, Structure and Authorship of the Book of Mormon, p. 81

Posted by: Meso | January 11, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Fairfax, "One of the more significant polls taken in New Hampshire involved the question of who the voter chose if they believed personal attributes, ie, character, leadership ability, moral principles like truthfulness. The Mormon candidate whose supporters believe is so "moral" because he's never had a divorce, but the he lost to McCain 75% to 24%."
Doesn't seem to have made that much difference in the real world, since McCain's lead in NH was only 5%, 37% to 32%, according to CNN.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 11, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Actually, despite what Mr. Washburn says, if Lacrima's quotations above from the Book of Mormon are right (you might go back and reread them), Lehi was a descendant of Joseph, who technically wasn't a Jew at all. He was a Hebrew, but not a Jew. Jews are considered to be those who descended from the lineage of Judah. I don't know anything about Washburn, but if he doesn't know that, he may not be a very reputable source.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 11, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

There's no room in Mormonism for gays, feminists or intellectuals. My Mormon friends, you have made me proud this day.

Posted by: Dalin Oaks | January 11, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Berkeley,

I grew up in the Bay Area and loved it. I've lived in a lot of cities since then, but San Francisco and Berkeley remain my favorites. My brother still lives in San Francisco.


There were certainly better places than Utah, but, as an active Mormon, the advantage I see for us is that it gave us a century to develop our own culture. Like all cultures, some of it's good, some of it isn't, but overall, I wouldn't trade it for anything else I've seen.

Had we settled some place else, I'm afraid we would have wound up like the Community of Christ, which is slowly winding down and subsiding back into Protestantism. I think we Mormons have our place in the world. It's a challenging religion, almost like having a second job sometimes, but the ones who stick with it seem to be as happy as I have been.

I hope personally that we don't return to mainstream Christianity. It would mean abandoning much of what makes life good for us. I went with my wife to the temple last week before returning to Iraq and took a great deal of comfort knowing that whatever happens our relationship won't end.

I just read a biography of Brannan. Interesting character, but a little too unsteady and self-interested to make a good leader. Brigham Young didn't die poor, but he managed to handle Church affairs just as ably. Plus, he never quit or got distracted.

Brannan had a little San Francisco congregation for awhile and for awhile took good care of it, but, as so often, he got distracted and went on to other things. My guess is that, as president, he would have gotten the Church to California and then have gotten bored with it.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 11, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Baku Reader, I was referring to an exit poll where they asked people who said that character mattered more than specific issues, and in THAT poll, amongst the voters who considered that an important issue, they chose McCain 75% over 24% for Romney.

Posted by: Fascinated in Fairfax | January 11, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I got that, Fairfax. But they still voted only 37% for McCain. What really matters in an election? What people think or what people do?

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 11, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I was raised in the Mormon church, grew up outside of Utah, which Mormons refer to as "the mission field" and was a faithful, tithe-paying member despite my uneasiness regarding the role of women in the LDS church. I remained faithful until I moved to Utah (Zion to Mormons)and saw the deception, prevarication and obfuscation underpinning the Mormon machine. The man who posted the following comments is a perfect example of a Mormon who has learned his lessons of deception well. Allow me to deconstruct his comments and lay bear the truth behind the deception:

1.Our Temples are not secret, they are sacred to us. Prior to their dedecation thousand and thousands of people from all religious backgrounds are invited to visit during the open houses. In Sacramento prior to the dedication of the Temple there some 175,000 people visited and tour the inside of the Temple.

"Sacred but not secret" is a favorite LDS mantra learned by every young Mormon. Yes, before temples are "dedicated" to God by a general authority, nonmembers may tour them. However, nonmembers may NOT witness the secret ceremonies that occur within those walls, ceremonies that mirror almost exactly the ceremonies established by the Masonsic Order. For example, baptism for the dead, the endowment ceremony and the ceremony for eternal marriage are secret, not for the eyes of nonmembers. In fact, when a couple is married in the temple, only family members with temple recommends may attend the ceremony, regardless of their relationship to the bride and groom.

2. Our 12th Article of Faith says "we believe in beign subjectt to our political leaders and in honoring and sustaining the law".

If that were true, polygamy, which has been openly practiced in Utah for years, would have been prosecuted rigorously. Yes, prosecutions have taken place but only when a situation attracts media attention. When I moved to Utah, I was shocked to see polygamists blithely and openly going about their business without fear of being targeted by law enforcement. The mainstream LDS church labels these people renegades and not part of mainstream Mormonism. The LDS church leaders deny that polygamy exists within its membership but it is a fact that men can still be married and eternally sealed to more than one woman in the temple ceremony because Mormons believe polygamy is practiced in the hereafter. There are also mainstream Mormon families who practice polygamy on the "down-low". As long as it doesn't become public knowledge and an embarrassment to the LDS church, these polygamists are left alone. When polygamy was supposedly outlawed in Utah in the mis-1800's, polygamist communities were established in Canada and Mexico with ties to the mainstream church. these communities still exist. The mainstream media should ask Mitt Romney about these communities.

3. The Mormon Church is offically neutral on all political matters. The President of the Church never tells a member what to do politically. Look at the difference between Harry Reid and Mitt Romney, can you imagine two more politically differing opinions? Obviously these men are not are not getting marching orders from the same source because they totally oppose each other.

When the Equal Rights Amendment was being considered for ratification, the Mormon Church led a vehement campaign against it. Anti-ERA rallies and calls to action to defeat the ERA were held in Mormon chapels under the direction of Mormon men since women are not priesthood holders and have no power to command the membership to do anything at all, unless they are speaking for the priesthood. All church authority rests with men because they are the priesthood holders.

4. I go to the temple with my wife almost monhly. We worship God there and renew our marraige vows. There is no Blood Covenant.

The Blood Covenant has been changed. The part of the ceremony in which the temple-goer pantomimes slitting his/her throat and gut if they ever reveal the secrets they have been told in the ceremony no longer exists. However, the promise to keep the secrets and the warning that there will be dire consequences if those secrets are revealed remains the same.

5. Look at the Mormons you know. In general,are they not some of the best people you know? They love their families and they are Patriots for this Great Country.

Mormon families are under unbelievable pressure to convert nonmembers. To accomplish that, Mormons publicly will act and look as perfect as possible. That doesn't mean there is anything perfect about them. It is an image, carefully cultivated to bring others into the fold. Mitt Romney is a perfect example of this Mormon "who is the perfect package" marketing. He is an 8X10 glossy candidate who is also an empty suit.

6. First and for most Mormons believe in Freedom of choice or Agency. We believe that all men are endowed with this right from the creator. If God gave it to us in the begining, why would he ever take it away. Christian theology teaches about the struggle between God and Satan for the Agency of man. God want all men to have liberty or freedom while Satan wants to force and control all mankind. It is unconsciencable that such a lie could be told about my faith.

Jesus said "By their fruit ye shall know them".

Think of Mitt Romney, he has been faithful to his wife and his family. He love his country. He is a great Patriot who represented the country with honor during the Olympics.

Come on America lets unite on our common Christian faith not be full of venom and hatred for Mormons, Catholics, Baptists, and Protestants of all denominations. Lets focus on what unites us and remember that many have fought and died for this great land and its liberty including many of ALL of the religious of those churches I just mentioned. Please, I love this land I love and honor Jesus Christ, the true author to our liberty.

What Mormons say and do publicly and what they say and do privately are often in conflict. Mormons say they believe in freedom of choice. However, if you are a member and choose to act in oppostion to the LDS church's stated position on any subject, punishment will be swift and it often takes the form of shunning. Young men who have refused to go on a mission for the Mormon church are routinely shunned not only by their chapel membership but by family members as well. Yes, you have freedom of choice. But woe unto you if your choice isn't in accord with the LDS church's will.

Posted by: Hotdogjohnny2006 | January 11, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Well done hotdog!

Posted by: Gerry | January 11, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

What church does not impose some kind of standards and opinion? If you were an Evangelical you'd be hearing even more about fire and brimstone.

Why do you think some people don't want to be part of a religion? They don't want to be directed in how they act; trying to hold people accountable, or encourage morals and standards, is nothing particular to the Mormon church alone.

How biased and assinine some of these comments are.

This feels like Mormon Bashing 101, rather than honoring any form of Freedom of Religion.

You may be attacking the Mormons right now, but then it will come your turn to be attacked -- however that will be.

"What goes around, comes around."

Posted by: Obviously | January 11, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

I admire the former RLDS church for what they did. For historical reasons, they didn't have the problems associated with polygamy or the temple endowment, but they also addressed historical problems that were part of their tradition. I think one of the most inspiring statements that have come out of the Mormon movement generally was offered by Grant McMurray when he said:

"The proper use of the Book of Mormon as sacred scripture has been under wide discussion in the 1970's and beyond, in part because of long-standing questions about its historicity and in part because of perceived theological inadequacies, including matters of race and ethnicity.

Those concerns were directly related to what the church has often called its "Mission to the Lamanites," the term in the Book of Mormon often applied indiscriminately to all Native American peoples. While commendable in its spirit, the missionary efforts were severely compromised by the language of the Book of Mormon itself, where it depicts the "Lamanites" as having been cursed because of their unfaithfulness and iniquity: "Wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, the Lord God caused a skin of blackness to come upon them that they might not be enticing to my people." (II Nephi 4:35)

We cannot mask with theological apologetics or cultural acrobatics the inadequate and destructive consequences of language such as that. Whatever our view of the Book of Mormon may be, we must purge from our consciousness any notion that the color of people's skin is an indicator of their worthiness, or that white skin is "delightsome" while black or brown skin is "loathsome." While good people made substantial effort to move beyond the folklore and language of the book, it was very difficult to form an outreach program of ministry around such an understanding in a time of increased sensitivity to culture and language."

On the other hand, people associated with groups such as FARMS and FAIR continue to engage in "theological apologetics" and "cultural acrobatics." And to what end? If people want to emphasize what has been good in LDS society, then they would be better much better off emphasizing community, hard work, and concern for others, rather than attempting to defend historical inaccuracies, theological weaknesses, and offensive vestiges of racism.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 11, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Obviously said:: "What church does not impose some kind of standards and opinion?"

Of course churches impose their will upon members. But Mormons perpetuate the ilusion that all members are encouraged to exercise free will and will not be coerced into submitting to the will of the LDS organization. In fact, nonmembers are treated to a completely distorted view of free will within Mormonism. They are led to believe that exercising free will within the LDS church is a celebrated practice. Nonmembers aren't told about the often cruel and extreme consequences of exercising that free will in disobedience to the LDS church's orders. There is no free will in Mormonism. Submit or be excised. That is the MO in the LDS church.

Posted by: hotdogjohnny2006 | January 11, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Ive grown up in the church, been on a mission, and served in many callings, but I have never heard that the lamanites were cursed with a dark skin because of lifestyle and sunshine. Lacrima, if you do know anything about archeology, you would know that most people in any civiliazation are not urban but rural, and that the nephites would be getting just as much sunshine as lamanites. The BoM is quite clear that the curse of a dark skin was from God to keep the two groups apart (so that the lamanites would not become enticing to the nephites).

Sunshine has got to be the dumbest explanation I have ever heard. This curse was past dowen from generation to generation (meaning that God would have to make some genetic changes). You can also see that some of the lamanites who went over to the nephites did not change skin color. You may want to read the BoM again on that one. Very funny idea though

Posted by: Fake Baker | January 11, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima write: "Actually Matt, it is a very good analogy. I was a very successful lit major. We do that kind of thing well. And it makes my point quite well. Hostile people are not a reliable source of information on the people they hate.

I have a degree in English and history. I am a professional writer. Your analogy was bogus.

Posted by: Matt | January 11, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

The Bible has made abundant historical references to geographical locations and events that archaeologists have verified, examples of which can be seen in the ruins at Jericho, the royal palace at Samaria or the water tunnel under Jerusalem (the one that provided water during the Assyrian siege). When we look at the Dead Sea scrolls, we have something tangible to back up the Bible.

The only archaeological evidence we have that might support Mormonism ended up doing just the opposite. The Egyptian hieroglyphic parchment from which Joseph Smith claims to have "translated", the Book of Abraham, was later found, by real Egyptologists, to be a common pagan funeral script with no mention of Abraham and written several centuries after the time of Abraham. If Joseph Smith was willing to create that fraud, why on Earth should one be expected to believe anything else that charlatan produced?

The LDS Church has become a gigantic corporation rivaling many Fortune 500 companies. Many of the multi-level marketing schemes abundant in Utah need look no further than the LDS Church for inspiration. It's the white shirt, dark suit missionary version of junior Amway distributors going door to door looking for new recruits to keep the pyramid growing and the boys at the top wealthy.

The IRS would be well served to investigate the tax exempt status of this organization that, by some estimates (actual figures are a closely guarded secret since 1959), gives less than 3% of it's wealth to charity. When tax exempt churches are in competition with legitimate businesses, we have a real problem in this country.

Posted by: Meso | January 11, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

If one believes that the Book of Mormon was written by ancient people, the problem of God cursing the Lamanites with dark skin doesn't really make much difference. It represents an ancient bias that one can ignore. After all, modern-day Jews don't go around stoning adulterers, do they? What ancient people believed and said is often ignored or dismissed as primitive. I think the same can be done here.
Hotdog you are just plain obfuscating when you bring up the red herring of modern-day polygamy, particularly in the lack of prosecution. First of all, the Church doesn't have any power to prosecute anyone. Period. And furthermore, it states clearly in the Doctrine and Covenants that matters of law are to be left to the legal apparatus of the government, regardless of the crime. The only power granted to the Church in violations of law is to excommunicate, which is an honorable and fair way of dealing with members of a faith who blatantly and unrepentantly (that's the key, by the way) practice behaviors any sort that are not in accord with the Church's ideals. It's better than stoning or burning, wouldn't you say? And, believe me, the Church doesn't tolerate polygamous marriages within its purview. I have personally known a polygamist and his wives who was excommunicated the second his actions were made public. Perhaps the the Church doesn't involve itself in actively encouraging the prosecution of polygamists because it recognizes and appreciates that it doesn't have any business doing so.
The ERA was vigorously and openly opposed by other religious groups than the Church, particularly fundamentalists. I suppose there may have been meetings in LDS Church buildings about it, but I have read the specific instruction letter from the First Presidency stating that political matters are never to be discussed in any forum in or around Church property. So if anyone did (or does) use Church facilities for political activity like that, they are going directly against Church direction and would probably be reprimanded if it were discovered, even though the Church did publically state its opposition to the ERA. By the way, I have been a feminist all my adult life and I know many other feminists in the church, including my daughter-in-law. Most of us seem to be perfectly happy with the Church. I myself have sat in many, many councils of Church leadership, directed many, many meetings (in which there are men, as well as women), made many, many suggestions, given much advice, given many, many talks in general meetings of the Church and generally felt that my leadership was legitimate, appreciated and honored by those men with whom I have intimately worked.
As to member missionary work, yes, the Church does invite members to share the Gospel with others, but that is again a common thread with other evangelical organizations. And when one is happy with one's life, it seems only natural that one wants to share the source of the happiness. It isn't institutional. It's doctrinal. Christ himself admonished us to share the good news. Don't you do the same? In your perverse way, isn't that why you try so hard to turn Mormons to mainstream Christianity? At least we tend not to go about it by tearing your religious beliefs to pieces whenever we get the opportunity. I would love to see people like you afford me the same respect.
Finally, the temple has been hashed and rehashed. It strikes me that, since one can and has been able to always, read the temple ceremony in the Library of Congress, it can never have been said to be a secret, and certainly it is no longer a secret to anyone who cares to read an anti-Mormon diatribe. It's been quoted on this blog, for goodness'sake. Why do you even care? The interest you people show in the temple seems childish. What is done in the temple is important only to those who go there. It doesn't harm anyone, and if you don't believe in it, it shouldn't bother you. The temple-attending people I know are all pretty mild-mannered folks. And we don't do or say anything that makes us into ravening murderers. The oaths we make are to help us remember to be GOOD, not bad. They are all about living Christ's gospel to the fullest extent possible. I think most of us understand that, if we stay active in the Church and continue to attend the temple. The temple is primarily a place for us to be quiet, away from the pressures of the world, and to contemplate eternity and truth in an atmosphere of peace, tranquility and love. I don't see how that can be a bad thing. The ceremonies are adjuncts to that for most people I know.
Anyway, I hope this all actually means something to you who have been attacking the Church with such apparent hatred, but I don't really expect it to. I have been shocked at the level of rancor exhibited in this thread. I have never in my life come up against anyone who was so bitterly rude about the Church, and I have lived outside Utah for almost thirty years in many places among many peoples from many cultures, including Muslims and Southern Christians, who are typically thought to be intolerant. This discussion has been eye-opening and a bit scary. I'm sorry that there are people in the world who have so little respect for others. Along with Another Mormon with Answers, I hope that you can gain a little peace in your hearts.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 11, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow. This blog is amazing. I didn't even have time to read all the hundreds of comments.
I'm frustrated that the Washington Post would give voice to criticisms against a religion and then provide blogging space for people to try to either defend or destroy another's religious tenets.

Posted by: W | January 11, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

BakuReader wrote:

"If one believes that the Book of Mormon was written by ancient people, the problem of God cursing the Lamanites with dark skin doesn't really make much difference. It represents an ancient bias that one can ignore. After all, modern-day Jews don't go around stoning adulterers, do they? What ancient people believed and said is often ignored or dismissed as primitive. I think the same can be done here."

This is nonsensical. Many Jews now believe that the authors of the Old Testament were obviously real people and that they expressed their beliefs and understanding, which we now find to be uninspired and primitive. I never met a Mormon who believed that fictional characters such as Nephi and Moroni actually existed but were not inspired in any manner. The notion contradicts the LDS article of faith stating that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and Joseph Smith's statement to the effect that it is the most perfect book produced.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 11, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

BakuReader wrote:

"The ERA was vigorously and openly opposed by other religious groups than the Church, particularly fundamentalists. I suppose there may have been meetings in LDS Church buildings about it, but I have read the specific instruction letter from the First Presidency stating that political matters are never to be discussed in any forum in or around Church property. So if anyone did (or does) use Church facilities for political activity like that, they are going directly against Church direction and would probably be reprimanded if it were discovered, even though the Church did publically state its opposition to the ERA."

This statement is demonstrably false. LDS church leaders organized opposition against the ERA. The First Presidency of the LDS church sent a letter to all mission and stake presidents on December 29, 1976 urging them "to join others in efforts to defeat the ERA," leading to coordinated efforts by Mormons in 21 states to oppose or rescind ratification. As an example, the following year the Relief Society general presidency sent a letter to all regional representatives in Utah reiterating Ezra Taft Benson's telephoned instructions for all wards in the state to send 10 women to the Utah International Women's Year meeting with instruction to vote against a measure that seemed "feminist" or favorable to ERA. Similar efforts were coordinated by LDS leaders in Virginia, which can be found with a search of the Washington Post archived articles.

Perhaps you should learn some history before posting ill-formed and inaccurate views.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 12, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

I supposed that BakuReader is also unaware that the LDS church has directly contributed money to efforts to defeat gay marriage ballot initiatives in states such as Hawaii and has had letters read aloud in congregations in states such as California asking members to write to their elected representatives to urge them to oppose gay marriage measures.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyF;ats | January 12, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

More on the LDS church and ERA from the abstract on a 2007 article in American Quarterly by Neil Young:

"While the historiography of the ERA has largely concentrated on the role of Phyllis Schlafly and Southern fundamentalists in defeating the proposed constitutional amendment, this article argues that the Mormon Church played a critical role in stopping the ERA in states as diverse as Utah, Nevada and Virginia. In doing so, the Mormon Church proved itself a formidable, if overlooked, player in the emerging New Right coalition. This article also highlights the critical role that Mormon women played in the church's political efforts against the ERA. In seeking to defeat a gain for women's equality, the Mormon Church activated its women through their church service organization to work against the amendment's ratification. This work was often presented as a religious calling, and Mormon women opposed the ERA out of service to their church as much as from political conviction. At the same time, the Mormon Church increased its emphasis on women's proper role, stressing wifely submission and domestic duties--a marked change from the church's historic encouragement of women as public figures."

Young then goes on to make the odd claim that LDS women participated in the movement in part to demonstrate that they should not be viewed solely as housewives.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 12, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I went to bed early last night and missed the storm. I think Berkeley is correct that Mormons are too coy by far with The Book of Mormon, but let's just make a few points about the text and real life to show that it is not racist.

1. First of all, The BoM is not about Nephites and Lamanites, per se, it's about the leaders of the Nephites and Lamanites. This upper class bias is typical of ancient literature, whether you read the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Bible, the Odyssey, Iliad, etc. Daphnis and Chloe may be an exception, but it's a rare one.

2. The split between the Nephites and Lamanites is clearly shown to a cultural one. The Nephites, who wrote the book, depict themselves as scholars, artisans, and traders, and the Lamanites as primitive hunters and gatherers.

This situation is set up from the very beginning: Nephi portrays himself as a thinker and a religious visionary, and describes his older brothers as a pair of thugs.

3. The Nephites themselves never portray the split as a racial split. The Lamanites are always their "brethern."

Posted by: Lacrima | January 12, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

No Nephi doesnt say anything about race. He just says that the lamanites were cursed with a dark skin, which you seemed to think is caused by lamanites over exposure to sunlight. Its a very silly and ignorant idea. Not all nephites would be spending there day indoors, and not all lamanites would be out suntanning :)

Posted by: Fake Baker | January 12, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm not going to comment on anything you people just posted except to say that you don't seem capable of reading what a person actually says. You read what you want to see and that is all. That makes discussion absolutely impossible, since nothing I can say will be understood or acknowledged by you. The mark of a true conversationalist is the listening, not the talking. You cannot carry on a conversation because you don't actually listen. So see ya, wouldn't want to be ya.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 12, 2008 3:26 AM | Report abuse

P.S. Too bad, Berkeley. I was thinking you might actually be someone worth talking to.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 12, 2008 3:38 AM | Report abuse

Fake, you're an early riser. Let me finish. I had to dash down to breakfast before it closed down.

First, go back and read what I wrote. The problem with most you of antis is that you're caught in some kind of Sartrian Hell where you repeat the same things over and over. No conversation with you is even possible.

Most pre-modern societies are largely agricultural, but as I pointed out, the stories aren't written about the peasants, they're written about the leaders. Read the BoM, for Heaven's sake, and take some time to understand it before you repeat the standard anti platitudes.

I currently live in Iraq and meet regularly with the provincial council of province x. Most of them have skin lighter than mine. But, when I walk around the base, the local Iraqi workers are all quite dark. It really is sunshine and class.

I've seen the same thing in Jordan--dark-skinned Bedouin herders v. light skinned office workers. Same in Central Asia, where I worked for five years. Same in 19th century England, if you've read any English lit. I've also spent time in Thailand. The king and the royal family are all lighter skinned than your typical village Thai.

None of these differences have anything to do with race, and everything to do with class and culture. The difference is accounted for by the fact that the upper classes tend to be sedentary and more indoors types, and the darker ones are workers and outside. It's exactly the situation portrayed in the BoM.

Years ago in California I did a lot of work with Laotian immigrants. One of them was a woman who had been very upper class in Laos and was quite light skinned. Her husband had been murdered in Laos and she had eventually married, for charmingly romantic reasons, a dark-skinned peasant soldier. Her three children by her first husband were light skinned like herself, but her fourth child was dark skinned like her husband and she constantly pointed out how ugly his color was.

She wasn't racist. The poor kid was pure Lao, just as she was, but his skin color marked him as lower class.

In fact, if you would read the BoM with your blinkers off, you would find that it has little or nothing to say about race, but is rather shocking in its class structure.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 12, 2008 3:51 AM | Report abuse

Berkeley,

I remember the ERA days and I thought then as I think now, that it was errant nonsense to pass an amendment to eliminate gender discrimination in a Constitution that makes no gender distinctions. However, it's a quiescent, but by no means dead, issue at this point.

The fact that the proposal never won in more than 35 states despite time extensions from the initial seven years suggests that more Americans than just Mormons were in opposition to it. If you'll go to this map (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Rights_Amendment), you'll see that the ERA failed in all the southern states (except Texas), so it's unlikely the Church made much difference in Virginia, where it has a rather small population.

It seems to me that if the author were going to make a rational choice of three states where the Church had influence, Utah, Nevada and Idaho would make much more sense than Utah, Nevada and Virginia.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 12, 2008 4:44 AM | Report abuse

From Hugh Hewitt, for those who think Huckabee is being a big boy about getting a bit of his own:

"The huge loser tonight was Mike Huckabee. . . . . Huck's whining about the religion question was also off-putting coming from a candidate who has so often injected religion into this campaign."

http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/blog

Posted by: Lacrima | January 12, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

"The only reason I'm here is that I'm stuck in a hotel in Jordan waiting for a C-130 to take me back to Iraq."
- Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 01:05 PM

Lacrima, I think they forgot you.


Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 12, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Tomorrow morning George

Posted by: Lacrima | January 12, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"The only reason I'm here is that I'm stuck in a hotel in Jordan waiting for a C-130 to take me back to Iraq."
- Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 01:05 PM

Lacrima, I think they forgot you."

Hilarious. Don't forget he was leaving for Israel three days ago too. Wonder where he will be off too today. Or maybe he will jsut add another academic degree. ;-)

Walter Mitty is alive and well and posting on the Washington Post web site.

Posted by: Brother of Mahonri | January 12, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Right, Walter Mitty or Chuck Barris straight out of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 12, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

My statement was not about the merits of the Equal Rights Amendment. My statement was in response to the notion that the LDS church did not condone use of its facilities by members to hold meetings to organize against ERA, when in fact leaders of the LDS church themselves organized women to oppose ERA through the church's ecclesiastical structure.

As for including Virginia as opposed to Idaho, that would be the choice of the author, who might possibly be LDS (the surname "Young" is not unknown in LDS circles and the articles does try to portray the organization's efforts in a manner as positive as possible with regard to the empowerment of women). The LDS church's efforts had an effect in Idaho, whose state legislature ratified ERA before the announcement of the LDS church's view and then rescinded that ratification, an action of some ambiguity with regard to its legal effect, subsequent to the church's statement.

The author, however, chose to mention "states as diverse as Utah, Nevada and Virginia" in the abstract, perhaps choosing Virginia rather than Idaho because the former is not thought of as having large numbers of LDS members or influenced by LDS thought. Interestingly, the author mentions the three states that you mention as well as Virginia and argues that the church thought that it could influenced the debate on ERA in each saying,

"With just 2.7 million U.S. members by 1980, the Mormon Church could have little influence in a presidential election. But the localized process of ratification carried out in fifty state legislatures meant the that the church was able to focus on states where it could be most effective: in Utah, where Mormons controlled the legislature; in Nevada and Idaho, with significant Mormon populations in both the citizenry and legislature; and even in Virginia, where a small, but politically active Mormon population could disproportionately affect the legislative process. Since 1.3 million, or nearly half, of the church's U.S. membership resided in Utah, Nevada, and Idaho, the church could offer itself to the anti-ERA movement as the best source for preventing ratification in the intermountain West. Also, though only twenty-six thousand Mormons lived in Virginia, the fact that half were concentrated in the politically active D.C. suburb counties of Arlington and Fairfax likely led the church to believe it could guarantee the ERA's defeat there."

And in many respects this was true. Young goes on to state:

"Mormon leaders in northern Virginia organized the Virginia LDS Women's Coalition (VLDSCC), an anti-ERA organization all Mormon women were encouraged to join. Those who did were then "set apart," signifying a church calling had been extended and accepted. The VLDSCC quickly ballooned to sixteen thousand members, and it joined with other Virginia anti-ERA groups in lobbying state legislators, circulating anti-ERA literature, holding demonstrations, and collecting signatures for anti-ERA petitions, many gathered before and after church services. Though accounting for less than 1 percent of Virginia's population, Mormons wrote approximately 85 percent of the anti-ERA letters Virginia state legislators received."

These are simple matters of history and historiography.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 12, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

If the Mormons are wrong then who is right?

I often notice the ex-Mormons go on about their leaving the church and why. But where did they go on to find the "real" truth??? Where should one look for salvation?

Some just carry on sad that they couldn't live up to the standards (usually only one point)or didn't agree with them so wanted an easier way.

No ex-Mormon has ever come forth and then told us to go and join the Methodists, or the Baptists or any of the other hundreds of denominations because they now believe they definitely have the truth.

The ex-members will sometimes say that faith or belief is enough, or they've found a nice church family. Some just seem to have stopped believing in God at all. The more honest ones admit they miss the Church.

My second ?:
Why do people seem completely fine with openly gay couples, sorry never found accepted in scriptures. But come unglued over scriptural backed Polygamy found in the Old and New Testament?

My dad was married to my mom for 26 years before she died, he's been remarried for 7 years now. When we all gather back into Heaven which wife should he forget or ignore? He's loved them both...and they both have loved him.

If the Bible's right there's only one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism. Jesus Himself did it by immersion to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus is the one that said "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

That's why we do Baptism for the dead. Those that didn't receive a Baptism and died out in the hills of Tennesee, or in the lack of Africa before ever hearing the name of Jesus Christ, are not damned as some would have us think. The Gospel is more loving then that. Every knee will eventually bow. First they'll all be taught about Him.

Look at what Paul said:

Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? 1 Cor. 15: 29

Notice he didn't once tell them to quit the practice of being Baptized for the dead. He asked them if they had forgotten why they were doing it. They were doubting there would be a resurrection someday.

I hope that we can all remember that the only enemy we all have is satan himself, who stirs our hearts so we'll contend with one another. The rest of us are brothers and sisters whether we remember it or not.

I pray that the open minded will seek after the Truth and find it. I also pray that those that have left the Church will one day find their way back.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 12, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"My dad was married to my mom for 26 years before she died, he's been remarried for 7 years now. When we all gather back into Heaven which wife should he forget or ignore? He's loved them both...and they both have loved him."

Has he been sealed to both of them, like two current LDS apostles? Then the LDS teaching is that he can have both as wives for eternity. The LDS church just suspended the practice of polygyny in this life in 1904.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 12, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Berkeley,

Having lived through that era, I don't disagree with you that Church was very active in the anti-ERA movement. My point about Virginia is that it is quite conservative anyway, and that it is part of a block of states that went solidly against the ERA. I think under the circumstances, the "background noise" is just too great to make the author's point.

I wonder, even, if the Church's actions in Virginia might not have bordered on self-defeating. I've spent a lot of time there off and on over the years, including a year for language training. My general impression is that "real" Virginians regard those of us (not just Mormons) who live in the DC area as carpetbaggers. I can't imagine that barrels of letters from the DC area, where most Mormons live, were all that welcome in Richmond.

The general attitude of the state towards Washington can be seen in the motto on the state flag: sic semper tyrannis, the words that marked the asassination of Lincoln.

Idaho, on the other hand, has a conservative Mormon south (that would prefer to be part of Utah) and a liberal, secular north (a former girlfriend of mine--non-LDS--lives there now, and once commented on the baleful influence of Mormons in Idaho politics).

I think Idaho would have been a much clearer example of the effects of Church influence and that the Virginia example remains somewhat dubious.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 12, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse


Lacrima,

And God so hates those who work in the fields that he curses them with suntans?

"After the people again forgot the Lord and dissensions arose, some of them took upon themselves the name Lamanites and the dark skin returned. When the Lamanites fully repent and sincerely receive the gospel, the Lord has promised to remove the dark skin."

- Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, v. 3, p. 123, 1953

Apparently this means that for those who repent and receive the lord, office jobs are the reward (along with the white and delightsome skin that engenders).

Posted by: Meso | January 12, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

My dad isn't a member, but one day I'll help that:)

Posted by: Anonymous | January 12, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Baku Reader:

"'m not going to comment on anything you people just posted except to say that you don't seem capable of reading what a person actually says. You read what you want to see and that is all. That makes discussion absolutely impossible, since nothing I can say will be understood or acknowledged by you. The mark of a true conversationalist is the listening, not the talking. You cannot carry on a conversation because you don't actually listen. So see ya, wouldn't want to be ya."

Here's what Baku Reader wants to hear:

"Baku Reader, you are a such a SPESHULL person. You are such a SPESHULL spirit. Sure, your statements are historically inaccurate and you haven't bothered to do a cursory library search on the basic history of your church, but you're so SPESHULL. Besides, what's really important is not intellectual rigor or ethical integrity but rather your subjective personal experiences and the solipsistic views that you have formed from them. You and those close to you are the most important people in the world. Don't worry about those silly scholars and intellectuals; they're just embittered types who believe in intellectual honesty. And besides, anything that doesn't please you and your ego is obviously flawed. You're the center of the world, and God loves you for it! Now it's time to get ready for your meetings."

Typical anti-intellectual, narcissistic LDS drivel. And the "see ya, wouldn't want to be ya" is classic, particularly from a member of an organization with an ideology of white supremacy.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 12, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Berkeley,

I have to call you on the "white supremecy" thing. Years ago, "Dialogue" published an article on LDS racial attitudes and compared them to national data and found that LDS attitudes were generally the same. It's been years since I read the article, but as I recall the data was for the late '60s or early '70's.

Now that the Church is 55 or so percent Hispanic, those attitudes would be dangerous to say the least.

In Africa, all our local leaders were black. In fact, the only ones still maintaining white leadership was the group most likely to call Mormons racist--the fundamentalists.

What ever Brigham Young's attitude may have been, it hasn't carried over. Even in the States we have black and hispanic bishops of largely Anglo wards, and we're starting to see Hispanics join some of the higher ranks of Church leadership.

Think of us as Scrooge in "Christmas Carol." Life goes on and people often improve.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 12, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I wasn't going to get back on this mess, but this is too good to pass up. It took you nine hours to figure out that scintillating comeback? That was pretty bitter. Did I touch a nerve? Are you a little unsure of your own smarts there? If you want to know, I was put off by the fact that you seemed to think that I had no idea that the Church had opposed the ERA. That wasn't the point I was trying to make, if you'll actually read my post. I have been a feminist (to my family's chagrin) since at least 1970, and I am fully aware of the Church's involvement in the ERA's defeat. My point was that the Church doesn't knowingly allow CHURCH FACILITIES to be used for political purposes. That's a tax thing, you know. The Church has spoken out several times that I am aware of on political and social issues, used its influence and even, yes, horrors, its money to accomplish what the leaders perceive as its moral goals. The only issue I personally have not been in total agreement with the Church's stand was the ERA, but even as a feminist, I was not all that eager to see the amendment pass. My constitutionalism and my libertarianism are usually stronger than my feminism.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 12, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

Thanks for your comments. I never said anything about race, only about your comment about lifestyle and sunshine. I know 99.9% of LDS are anti by your definition, because we cant seem to read the BoM and see what you do. That may take some very good drugs.

I understand class structure very well, and that the peasant class tends to have darker skin. I was not aware this was a curse from God. Now I know all you have to do is get into the upper class and the curse is removed (no repentance required).

I realise that some people want to see what they want when they read the BoM. I never knew that Alma the younger was a lamanite for a number of years as a servant of King Lamoni.

Like I said before, I have never heard that one in all my years as a member. This is the first time I have heard this explanation for Gods curse of a dark skin. Maybe its you thats reading into the text what you want to see, and maybe most of us members who have read the Bom, can understand a few things.

Posted by: Fake baker | January 12, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey Lacrima,

Now that the church is 55% Hispanic, are all these folks becoming more white and delightsome or just the ones who have finagled desk jobs?

Posted by: Meso | January 12, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse


Lacrima,

By your account, it's not so much the sins of these hunter gatherers and field workers that merit their dark skin so much as it is the tanning rays of the sun. You sure sound like the run of the mill apologists who are trying desperately to put a new spin on your church's racist past. Too bad you can't expunge those troublesome verses in your Book of Mormon or statements of your prophets:

"And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men."

- Book of Mormon, Alma, chapter 3, verse 6


"The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised.

- Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference, Oct. 1960

Posted by: Meso | January 12, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Meso,

Let me pretend to be an LDS apologist:

Ancient prophets of Israelite ancestry (for whom absolutely no evidence exists of their society's existence) believed that they were lighter in complexion than related groups because God cursed those groups with dark skin for disobedience (and thus those prophets are said to have had the same type of racial views as early 19th century white Americans), but the reality is that those related groups had darker skin because of greater exposure to the sun (even though both groups would have been exposed to the same climate), and Joseph Smith taught that what these prophets wrote was true (but apparently now LDS apologists know much more about Book of Mormons peoples than Smith did even though he claimed to have been instructed repeatedly by a resurrected member of the group).

See, it makes perfect sense if your purpose is to engage in any manner of intellectual gymnastics in order to support a pre-existing belief. Of course, why anyone would waste time trying to explain away an ideology that contains the white supremacist notion that light skin is favored by God to dark skin rather than simply stating that these views are antiquated, irrelevant, and offensive is beyond me.

Rather than sanctioning silly apologetic arguments, the LDS church should have longer ago moved to deemphasize and then jettison the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham. It's what reasonable leaders such as B.H. Roberts and Hugh B. Brown would have wanted.

If the Book of Mormon is the keystone of the LDS church, then the LDS church is a bigoted fraud. If honesty, humility, and commitment had been the cornerstones of the LDS church, then the course of its history would have been much more admirable.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 12, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Baker,

I think you're engaging in a naive reading of the text. If you go to 2Nephi5 where the cursing is described, you'll see that it covers a whole series of traits that will make the Lamanites loathsome to the Nephites (see verse 24).

I believe in God, but I don't believe in magic, so I have a hard time believing He just waved his hand and a bunch of former big city sophisticates all of a sudden became wild forest dwellers.

It seems clear enough that Laman et al. went off and established a new culture that quickly devolved (one of the complaints the Lamanites make against the Nephites is that Nephi stole the book, the key to their culture).

Nephi quotes God as saying three things about the Lamanites if they don't listen to Nephi: (v20) they will be cut off,(v22) become loathsome, and (v25) be a scourge.

It's Nephi who lists the qualities of "loathsome," and notice that he picks all social markers: dark, idle, mischievous, primitve hunters. Notice also that he mentions no moral qualities,i.e., they're not liars, cheats, drunks, aldulterers, etc.

So, Neohi's kids won't avoid the Lamanites because they're bad, but because they're low class.

It's rather odd, but a few years later, Jacob is forced to point out that already the Lamanites are more moral than the Nephites and that they (the Nephites) need to quit mocking the Lamanites for their dark skin, because morally speaking the Nephites are filthier than the Lamanites.

This is the origin of the whole dark skin tradition. The rest of the mentions in the BoM are just following this tradition.

The BoM is either just a fairy tale, or it's real. I believe the latter, and so I think it perfectly valid to look at its characters as real people with all the faults real people have.

So look at the situation. Nephi's brothers constantly accuse him of wanting to be ruler; Nephi always demurs. But, when the chance comes, Nephi sets up a social system that will prevent the Lamanites from easily rejoining the Nephites.

Why? Because if they do, the Lamanites will have superior claim to the rulership and Nephi's descendants will lose out. You can trace the evidence for this throughout the BoM, which, as I've mentioned, is the history of a ruling class, in common with most ancient books.

That doesn't mean that Nephi was not a real prophet. It simply means he was also human and took a chance to do well by doing good, as the saying goes.

I don't know if you believe in the BoM or not, but, if you do, read it. It is complex and endlessly fascinating. And it should serve as more than just a source of aphorisms.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 12, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I see there is no hope for you on this one. People really do see what they want to. Hope things go well for you in Iraq.

Posted by: Fake Baker | January 12, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

Again it's the old conumdrum...did he speak as a prophet or as a man?

"Thirteenth - 'Are the Mormons abolitionists?' No, unless delivering the people from priestcraft, and the priests from the power of Satan, should be considered abolition. But we do not believe in setting the negroes free."

- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church, v.3, p. 29

"You must not think, from what I say, that I am opposed to slavery. No! The negro is damned, and is to serve his master till God chooses to remove the curse of Ham."

- Prophet Brigham Young, New York Herald, May 4, 1855, as cited in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Spring 1973, p. 56

So, Lacrima, are you suggesting that these prophets of God were simply products of their surroundings...That the politics and opinions of man took precedent over what God was telling them? Why the continued allegiance to a doctrine that is as changeable as the seasons?

If the Book of Mormon is nothing more than a historical record of man's bigotry and superstitious magic as you seem to be saying here, then why do many of your brethren profess it to be the word of God?

Posted by: Meso | January 12, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Here is Roberts' statement on the BoM:

"Let me say once and for all, so as to avoid what might otherwise call for repeated explanation, that what is herein set forth does not represent any conclusions of mine. The report herewith submitted is what it purports to be, namely a 'study of Book of Mormon origins,' for the information of those who ought to know everything about it pro et con, as well as that which has been produced against it. I do not say my conclusions for they are undrawn. It may be of great importance since it represents what may be used by some opponent in criticism of the Book of Mormon. I am taking the position that our faith is not only unshaken but unshakable in the Book of Mormon, and therefore we can look without fear upon all that can be said against it. "(Madsen, ed., B. H. Roberts: Studies of the Book of Mormon, pp. 57-58)


I fully agree.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 12, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

Funny you would bring up B. H. Roberts. Most scholars have concluded that by the time of his death his academic research had led him to conclude just the opposite of his earlier pronouncements concerning the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.

Posted by: Meso | January 12, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

The Five Questions Roberts Couldn't Answer
B.H. Roberts asked the General Authorities to answer these five questions:
1. Linguistics: Riter asked - if the American Indians were all descendants of Lehi - why there was such diversity in the language of the American Indians and why there was no indication of Hebrew in any of the Indian language?
2. The Book of Mormon says that Lehi found horses when he arrived in America. The horse described in the Book of Mormon (as well as many other domestic animals) did not exist in the New World before the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors.
3. Nephi is stated to have had a "bow of steel." Jews did not know steel at that time. And there was no iron on this continent until after the Spaniard conquest.
4. The Book of Mormon frequently mentions "awards and scimeters (scimitars)." Scimitars are unknown until the rise of the Moslem faith (after 600 A.D.).
5. The Book of Mormon says the Nephites possessed silk. Silk did not exist in America in pre-Columbian times.

Posted by: Gerry | January 12, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to beat lacrima to the punch on Roberts questions.
1. Language was lost as time passed, just like the fact that Jesus appeared before the Indians and they seem to have forgotten and left no evidence of christianity or mormonism.
2. The Lehi word for Horse is quadraped so Lehi saw Deer.
3. This wasn't real steel, there is an ambiguous word for weapon that could refer to wood or steel or bamboo.
4. What's a scimitar anyways, I don't even have to respond to this one.
5. There is evidence of worms in pre spanish America. There is also evidence of silk weaving spiders, they also had a word for cloth that could have meant silk or cotton or burlap.
Besides this is 100 year old information and old arguments that are completly valid lose credibility because they are old. Mormons Rule!

Posted by: Gerry | January 12, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Meso,

I've pretty much quit answering you because, to be honest, if there was a gold medal for stupidity, you'd be too dumb to win it. It's fairly clear that you either haven't read or understood anything I've written.

But, I'll try one more time. Years ago, when I was a freshman/sophomore at UC, we used to gather around at night and talk about books (people still did that in the 60's). One of the favorites was Hermann Hesse's "Steppenwolf, " a book about a troubled fellow named Harry Haller, as I recall. One of the leitmotivs of the book is Harry's refusal to listen to classical music on the radio because of all the static (the book came out in the 20's when radio was still primitive).

In the end, Harry is condemned by Mozart to listen to the radio and reverence the spirit of it. Bad synopsis of a great book, but it will do.

Life is like that, full of static, but with a rich spirit behind it. Of course I believe the BoM. I also believe that Joseph Smith and all of his successors were true prophets. But, as Christ said, there is only One who is perfect.

So sure, you can throw up quotes from the JD and point out various social flaws in the Church all you want. I wish our history were perfect, but it isn't. I wish our prophets were perfect, but they're not.

But, I have seen the Church in more than a dozen countries, and what I see are happy people raising good families in the admonition and nurture of Christ. I have attended Church at this point in probably over 50 wards and branches, and have found, not friends, but family everywhere I've been.

I'll give you a good example. On my second African tour, I used to visit Burundi a lot, flying in on Monday and leaving on Friday. One time, however, there was a coup and I got stuck in Bujumbura for several weeks, so that I was able to attend Church.

There I was in a fairly wild and dangerous place at the time (Burundis are normally delightful people), but when I found the little chapel and sat down the the half-dozen members, I was all of a sudden with family, as much as if I had been in my own living room.

So, you guys throw up the static, but I know the spirit of the Church. I love it and believe it comes from God. So there you go.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 12, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey Lacrima,

Those damned horses again. Wouldn't it be prudent on your part to just admit that your Book of Mormon has no basis in reality and perhaps accept it as the fairy tale that it is? I'll bet you've already done that with biblical stories...the Flood, Adam and Eve and manna from heaven, to name a few.

If the church exists or dies on the factuality of your Book of Mormon, I'd say the funeral is long overdue.

Posted by: Meso | January 12, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

Too bad that with all your education and world travel you couldn't pick up enough street smarts to be able to know a scam when you are introduced to one. The LDS Church thrives on faithful tithe payers like yourself. So unless the church pays you well as an apologist or you have hopes of getting to the top of this pyramid as a general authority or apostle (deceiver), then you're destined to work in the trenches as the well educated drone that you appear to be (deceived).

Posted by: Meso | January 12, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Could we all please move past the horse thing? The Bible tells us there were dragons....

Posted by: Anonymous | January 12, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Somebody wrote:

"Could we all please move past the horse thing? The Bible tells us there were dragons...."

In which translations? What were the Hebrew and Greek terms? Oh wait, we can check these with the Bible, but not the Book of Mormon.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 12, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Revelations, it is using obvious symbolism. The dragon is Satan.

12:9 The great dragon was thrown down, the old serpent, he who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

12:10 I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now is come the salvation, the power, and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ; for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night.

12:11 They overcame him because of the Lamb's blood, and because of the word of their testimony. They didn't love their life, even to death.

12:12 Therefore rejoice, heavens, and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil has gone down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time."

12:13 When the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.

Posted by: Gerry | January 12, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

""The only reason I'm here is that I'm stuck in a hotel in Jordan waiting for a C-130 to take me back to Iraq."
- Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 01:05 PM

Lacrima, I think they forgot you."

No, they know exactly where they left him. But they aren't going to collect him. I wonder when he will work that out for himself?

Posted by: Matt | January 12, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

More inline with the original subject of this blog...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csCMA9QKyJQ

Posted by: Gerry | January 12, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse


The dragons I was referring to are in the old testament: Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death. Psalm 44:19

Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. Psalm 74:13

Mal. 1: 3
And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

I could go on in examples but I'll just say I don't need every word in the BoM to be exact to what was meant. The Bible itself isn't either and I believe it to be the word of God...

It's believed these dragons were actually jackals

Posted by: Anonymous | January 12, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Somebody wrote:

"I could go on in examples but I'll just say I don't need every word in the BoM to be exact to what was meant. The Bible itself isn't either and I believe it to be the word of God...

It's believed these dragons were actually jackals"

The Hebrew word translated in the KJV is transliterated as tannin. It refers to some type of monstrous creature, usually found in desert regions but can also refer to sea creatures. Other translations do not use the word "dragon."

The Book of Mormon, according to LDS teachings, should not have nearly as many of these problems because it is supposedly an inspired translation of ancient records.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 12, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Berkeley,

You disappoint me. Here I thought you were someone with sense and you turn out to be just another fundamentalist.

Pick up any copy of the OT in Hebrew, or the NT in Greek and you'll see thousands of textual variants listed in the apparatus, far more than you'll find in the BoM.

If you'll pick up a copy of any Anchor Bible Commentary for the OT, especially for the older parts, you'll find that there are many words still whose meaning or grammatical structure continue to be disputed. You'll get the same results with any professional Bible commentary.

If you follow any of the professional literature, or just go to a good city libray and peruse back issues of "Biblical Archeology Today," you'll see that enormous debates rage over the historicity of the Bible.

The "minimalists" claim that biblical history starts after the Exile and that everything in the text before then is just myth and legend, or outright fabrication.

More traditional scholars are still debating existence of David, for which, in fact, there is very little evidence. But, even they generally agree that most of the material before Kings and Chronicles is also myth and legend.

If you're a biblical literalist, as most fundamentalists are, the text presents you with even more problems. Don't pretend for an instance that there are no problems with its text, interpretation or history. By biblical standards, the BoM looks pretty good.

I still believe in the existence of Adam and Eve, Abraham and the patriarchs, etc., but don't rest my faith on the expectation that some mainstream scholar will bolster it with evidence.

You people spend a great deal of time attacking Mormonism, which is fine--keeps you off the street and culls the weak--but there are people out there who would eat your shorts in any discussion of Christianity (Jefferson would have been one of them).


Posted by: Lacrima | January 12, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey, just because we've debunked the Book of Mormon, Lacrima has decided to bash the Bible because it's not all that plausible either. Wait a minute, I thought these LDS guys believed in the Bible along with their Christian brothers...what gives?

Posted by: Meso | January 12, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Here's another thing that I don't understand about LDS apologists. They spend a great deal of time trying to defend the Book of Mormon as somehow being historically accurate in terms of describing conditions that supposedly could exist somewhere in the Americas or containing Semitic loan words. Yet the even more remarkable thing about the Book of Mormon, in my opinion, is as remarked at the time of its publication by Campbell is that it touches upon every theological controversy known in the Burnt Over district in the 1820s and settles them all.

Imagine, a group of pre-exilic Israelites being taught doctrines concerning baptism, salvation, and the nature of Christian deity that would have been completely alien to them, and yet never is there any sense in the text that they found these concepts difficult to comprehend. It's really remarkable that a group of monotheistic Israelites could accept the divine nature of a messiah, when obviously no such attribute was ever assigned to a messianic figure in their religious tradition, and Jesus of Nazareth himself, in the view of most historians of the early Christian tradition, never claimed to have divine status, but rather was understood in this manner subsequently by the early Christian community in a development of thought that was frought with controvery and debate.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 12, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I find Jeffery Curtis Foli's statements very telling. As a former mayor of Chillicothe, Missouri he claims he was threatened by the Mormon church to "get into line" and govern they way he's told by the church. This confirms the claims of many Mormons and ex-Mormons.

I wonder if the Wash. Post investigates things like this, or just turns a blind eye.

Posted by: Deb | January 12, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Let me see, Deb. There are Mormon senators, congressmen and governors and they don't complain about the Church trying to run them, but the Church is supposedly trying to run affairs in Chillicothe, MO, a rural farm town with 9,000 people and absolutely no importance to anybody except those 9,000? Is there no end to the paranoia and gullibility of you people? What did the Church tell him to do--plant more corn?

Berkeley,

Campball's objections were pretty much cleared up decades ago. If you want something up to date, you need to read Tony Hutchinson's (sp?) article in "Sunstone" from a few years ago. He makes a case for good old revivalism in the BoM.

I've noticed that in general you guys have a penchant for using old sources. Much of the best anti-Mormon work these days is being published by Signature Books. Those guys are at least state of the art. "Sunstone" is often another good source, as is "Dialogue."

You really need to keep up with the times. One problem with preaching to a born again choir is that it's so easy to seem erudite that you forget there may sometimes be intelligent people in the audience.

As to the divinity of Christ, again you're showing what seems to be a group penchant for quoting authority rather than looking at the text. There are many passaages in the NT where Christ's divinity are proclaimed. Here are three: John 1:41 and 49, and Math 16:16.

If you want to follow up, there is a great book by F.F. Bruce, a well known Evangelical scholar, called New Testament Development of Old Testament Themes." He'll take you to the texts that show very clearly that Christ thought of himself as a true OT messiah. You might also try N.T. Wright's (an Episcopalian priest) series on Christ and the early Church.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 13, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"The only reason I'm here is that I'm stuck in a hotel in Jordan waiting for a C-130 to take me back to Iraq."
- Posted by: Lacrima | January 8, 2008 01:05 PM

"Lacrima, I think they forgot you."
- Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 12, 2008 09:17 AM

"Tomorrow morning George"
- Posted by: Lacrima | January 12, 2008 09:41 AM

Lacrima, shouldn't you be gone by now? They must have forgotten you.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 13, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

As I say, boys, you're behind the times. Here is the latest on scimitars, which date back to around 1600 BC.

In the form of the khopesh, the scimitar started playing a sometimes significant role in Middle Eastern warfare more than two millennia before the advent of Islam. Famed scholar and Egyptologist, Zahi Hawass asserts that the Egyptians of the 18th Dynasty (circa 1600 B.C.) used new weapons technologies borrowed from the Hyksos, including "the scimitar" as important tools in fostering Egypt's regional domination which characterized much of the New Kingdom period (p 21-22). Some might judge that Hawass' use of the term anachronistic but nonetheless this provides evidence for the use of something akin to the scimitar in well before the development of the Persian shamshir. Many Islamic traditions adopted scimitars, as attested by their symbolic occurrence, e.g. on the Coat of arms of Saudi Arabia or the traditional surik in the Coat of arms of East Timor. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scimitar)

No doubt it's that sneaky Mormon cabal planting evidence again.

Posted by: Lacirma | January 13, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Elder George,

You can tell where I am? I'm actually sitting in the internet cafe at Camp Sully (Baghdad) waiting for my midnight flight to deep in the heart of darkness. We have internet there, too.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 13, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see our tax dollars being used so effectively on you to "free Iraq".

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 13, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure you have more important things to do--like exposing the Mormon conspiracy to take over the world. (It's what we do every night, Pinkie).

Is your implication that because I love and defend my church that I'm not entitled to also love and defend my country? You people really are bigots.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 13, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sure you have more important things to do--like exposing the Mormon conspiracy to take over the world. (It's what we do every night, Pinkie).
Is your implication that because I love and defend my church that I'm not entitled to also love and defend my country? You people really are bigots."
- Posted by: Lacrima | January 13, 2008 12:47 PM

What would a post from Lacrima be without namecalling and inuendo? I'm sure we'll never know.

You call sitting on your butt on your computer writing irrational drivel to "defend" your church, while defending our country?

As far as calling me a "pinkie", you have no idea what my veteran status is or what I have done for this great country. I can see however, that you are soooo busy at work for the cause of democracy in Iraq.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 13, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

So, you've never waited at an airport before? Don't worry about the work, it will be seven days a week until the end of my tour. It's nice to get a break.

"Pinkie," by the way, refers to one of the two mice in the cartoon show Pinkie and the Brain. I didn't think you'd miss an allusion to popular culture. I'm sure you were a brave soldier in your day.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 13, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I take it you don't fly much with the USAF. Lot's of waiting in dark and miserable spots.

"Pinkie," by the way, is one of the two mice in the carton "Pinkie and the Brain." I thought you might catch an allusion to popular culture, but I've overestimated you again.

I'm sure you were a brave soldier in your day.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 13, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"Pinkie," by the way, is one of the two mice in the carton "Pinkie and the Brain." I thought you might catch an allusion to popular culture, but I've overestimated you again."
- Posted by: Lacrima | January 13, 2008 01:10 PM

Popular culture huh? Yeah, popular in the 1990s when the cartoon was running. Call me ignorant as I didn't watch a CARTOON that was cancelled after three seasons. Just more of the typical derogatory innuendo from Lacrima, the soldier who is busy at work defending America

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 13, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Pinkie (aka Carlin),
This is actually Dumb and Dumber, with you filling both roles.

Posted by: The Brain | January 13, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

So why have I this nagging feeling that Lacrima is actually at home in SLC, at work at his day job as an apologist for his church. This supposed posting from Iraq sounds too much like a Walter Middy/Paul H. Dunn scenario. Speaking of Paul H. Dunn, I hope Lacrima keeps Dunn's inspirational and comforting tapes with him always, wherever he is.

Posted by: Meso | January 13, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh, wait, maybe Carlin is Dumb and Meso is Dumber.

Posted by: The Brain | January 13, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The Brain, you won't ever win a Pulitzer, but you could have been a writer for Hee Haw.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 13, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Elder George,

It's funny, during all these days of posting I've posted a number of references in reply to your posts, and nary a sign that you've read any of them. Instead, all I get (and you're not the only one, Fairfax makes you look like Einstein, as does Meso) is wild misstatements of LDS doctrine, quotes from obsolete texts and laundry lists from the JD.

But, I post a reference to a cartoon show you've never heard of and you're back in a minute with all the details. I'm beginning to realize the nature of the long and careful study that took you out of the Church. Do the born agains have an anti-Mormon cartoon show? Did you watch it twice and figure you had all the info you needed to make an informed decision?

What a mind. But, you do fit in well with your new crowd.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 13, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, more mean-spirited spew from Lacrima. How Christlike. I'm sure the Mormon Church is so happy to have you as a self-annointed apologist.

I'm just crushed, deflated and surprised this is coming from someone sitting on their a** on a computer talking about backwards dogma bare of any thread of reason or logic, while your colleagues are out actually defending freedom.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 13, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima: Why don't you read some of my posts and see if I have any references.

I get the feeling your psyche is much like Edvard Munch's The Scream.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 13, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Elder George,

You do have some references. One set is from your JD laundry lists. As I've pointed out numerous times, the JD is not scripture and there is nothing there that I or any other Mormon is obligated to believe. You never actually explain what meaning you impute to the quotes. You (and the others) just seem to imply, "Here's a really scary Mormon quote, so run away from your religion, quick."

That's not reasoning.

Most of your other quotes are from obsolete sources that no one even reads today. I've tried to help you out with better resources. I figure, if you're going to be anti-Mormon, you ought to at least make a good argument. Otherwise, it's no fun at all to argue with you.

I will confess that you're not the worst lunatic on the site. Moody, Fairfax and Meso take the cake there. I think that with a little work, you might become a moderately effective anti-Mormon. Just follow my program.

As to my "Christianity," I look at your (and here I group you all) anger, bigotry, contempt for what we hold most sacred, and just the lazy way (I mean the half baked quotes, the laundry lists, etc.) you attack us, as if Mormonism is so contemptible that all you have to do is throw a little trash at us and we'll drop like flies. And how offended you get when we bite back.

Grow up big boy and learn your trade. Next time maybe you won't get your fanny chewed off.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 13, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I have quoted the Book of Mormon, quotes from the LDS Church own website, and others. Go back and read the posts Lacrima, all of them are here.

For what it's worth, I'm not angry at all. It's ironic that you claim I "attack us [Mormons]", yet it is the Mormons who have long attacked and demonized:
- Gays
- People of color were "demonized" by the LDS Church for well over 100 years
- People in "interracial" relationships
- Intellectuals
- Feminists
- Women who wear provocative clothing
- Working mothers
- Other LDS people who choose to work on Sunday
- Other LDS who are single adults
- Other LDS who are couples who decide not to have children
- Other LDS people who decide to come home or are sent home early from their missions
- Other LDS people who don't attend the temple or get temple recommends
- People who publish historical books on actual events in Mormon history
- Countless newspapers, magazines, and television programs
- Hollywood
- The makers of the movie "September Dawn" about the Mountain Meadows Massacre
- Democrats, a "big-time demonization" of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Rocky Anderson
- People who masturbate
- People who have premarital sex
- People who swear
- People who smoke
- People who chew tobacco
- People who drink alcohol
- People who drink coffee
- People who drink black tea
- People who shop on Sunday
- People who watch rated-R movies
- Adults who read Playboy or watch pornographic movies
- People who are excommunicated or disfellowshipped from the LDS Church
- People who voluntarily leave the LDS Church
- Atheists
- Muslims
- Born-again Christians
- Jehovah's Witnesses
- Scientologists
- Catholics (by calling The Catholic Church "The Wh*re of the Earth" for over a century)
- People who are taking into consideration Mitt Romney's religious beliefs when casting their vote for the next President of the U.S.
- Liberals (e.g., Michael Moore. Watch the documentary "The Divided State" sometime and tell me who "demonizes" who)
- and on, and on, and on

Lacrima, instead of having an irrational persecution complex, perhaps you and a few other Mormons should step back and look at who attacks and demonizes who. You and the LDS Church certainly doesn't have the copyright on ethics, yet you sure seem to have the monopoly of judging people.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 13, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

This site was started out discussing Mitt Romney and the quirky religion to which he is aligned. I'm sure that most folks who have stumbled onto these posts didn't know (and still don't know) much about Mormonism other than it certainly doesn't resemble anything remotely akin to their own religious or secularist notions of Christianity. Slavery, a divine institution - A god of flesh and bones, living on a distant planet at the center of the universe - Ancient inhabitants of the Americas with wheel-less chariots/sleds being pulled by deer - Magic underwear - Egyptian documents purporting to be the writings of Abraham but in reality just a pagan funerary script - Men becoming gods with harems in heaven for the faithful - Not just multiple gods but trillions of gods (one for every planet in the universe). Wow the list goes on.

I suppose these ideas don't seem so strange to faithful Mormons, like yourself (one can only assume you were born into this cult), who have known little else since they were old enough to remember, but to the rest of the world and those few free thinkers and rebels who have escaped that religion, this is one mighty strange bunch of folks!

Mormons certainly are viewed by many as the clean-cut, wholesome, family oriented, patriotic citizens that their TV commercials portray them to be, but in reality their lives are plagued by the same woes that the rest of the country experiences. Their Mecca, Utah, where they are in the majority, has been named, in a recent poll, as the state with the most depressed citizenry in the union. As noted in earlier posts, they have the highest per capita consumption of anti-depressants (Prozac), one of the highest incidents of suicide and the highest number of bankruptcies in the nation. In the business world, Utah is known as the scam capital of the country, not only because of the fraudulent penny stock schemes found there but also because of the number of consumer fraud cases investigated there. It is no wonder that this state has produced more multi-level marketing schemes than any other state. Does this sound like a healthy population of people to you?

Romney's faith speech told the world little about Mormonism, but as his religion remains in the spotlight, much of it's checkered past will come to light only to expose it to more sunlight than it's white and delightsome image can endure. I certainly hope so.

Posted by: Meso | January 13, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow! What a busy and noisy site this has been.

Were prophets (those who testified of the reality of God/Jesus Christ) convinced of the truthfulness of His gospel because they were given physical evidence? Or were they given an experience that few mortal men/women receive in their lifetimes (for God is no respecter of persons)? Weren't prophets sent out into the world to testify of the 'reality' of Jesus Christ and on a few rare occasions, the Father was also seen?

Do you understand what being a joint-heir means? Think about that. Joint means equal and heir means kinship with equal possibility. Even Moses spoke of multiple Gods' and this was documented well before Jesus Christ came into the world. Why don't modern-day Christians ever quote the Old Testament?

For those who seem to know the Bible so well - do you pray and receive a spiritual witness of truth - or has God changed the requirement to prove Him by physical evidence? Anyone searching for signs and physical evidence does not have sufficient faith to be saved.
And Christians of all faiths agree on that. God would be a liar IF His plan for his children finding truth was changed somehow to include gathering physical evidence.
This does not mean that God cannot provide physical evidence, but it isn't a 'marker' for finding truth.

Prophets have always been witness to God's glory and 'the works of His hands' and their mission is to give their witness to the world. As in ages past, those who refused to believe the 'prophet' of their time (was a true witness of Christ),.....the same standard of 'true believer' applies to us today for God's standard for the calling of a prophet has never changed and never will change.

We are ALL here to grow through our journey of life.
We are all free to be a believer or an 'accuser' who fights against the truth.

For some, faith is a scary thing. But, the reality is - you've either got it or you don't. Saul/Paul was one of the lucky ones who turned his life around when he had one of the above rare and very spiritual experiences.

It's true that Mormons aren't free from many of the ills that affect society....no religious person is exempt from
trials, temptations and weaknesses. That's one of the great tests in life - for us to overcome our weaknesses. Whenever a person has received abundant blessings, pride often enters in and priorities become misplaced. Our faith is tested, yet repentance is always possible.
As Christ said, "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone." So we too, should apply this very wise counsel since believers of Christ and those who profess to follow him, do live by these words.

If we all lived the commandments, we wouldn't have so many social ills today. We are now witnessing the great
winding up scene that was prophesied by the prophets of old. This truth affects all people on the earth today.
So no matter what religion you choose, you will be held accountable for your choice. Choose wisely. Denigrating
another person's faith really doesn't get you anywhere. Better to spend your time studying and testing God with the principles taught since you will have to answer to your 'works', thoughts and beliefs someday.

From a true believer.

Posted by: what is truth? | January 13, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

What is Truth,

The physical evidence that we non-believers seem so pre-occupied with in regards to your Book of Mormon are the result of the nonsensical claims of historicity presented in that book. It's portrayal of the indigenous tribes that peopled this land before Columbus do not jibe with the archaeological and biological evidence that show an Asiatic ancestry rather than the Semitic, Middle Eastern pedigree for those people in your scriptures. If that book had simply been a primer on how to be good Christians and the paths necessary to get to heaven, fine, but to make absurd claims in regards to the ancient inhabitants of the Americas that are completely contrary to scientific research suggests nothing but a work of fiction.

Your church leaders have repeatedly stated that the church's foundation is rooted in the authenticity of that book, that the church lives or dies on what is written in that book. As I stated in an earlier post, the time for the funeral is well past due.

Posted by: Meso | January 13, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

What is Truth,

The physical evidence that we non-believers seem so pre-occupied with in regards to your Book of Mormon are the result of the nonsensical claims of historicity presented in that book. It's portrayal of the indigenous tribes that peopled this land before Columbus do not jibe with the archaeological and biological evidence that show an Asiatic ancestry rather than the Semitic, Middle Eastern pedigree for those people in your scriptures. If that book had simply been a primer on how to be good Christians and the paths necessary to get to heaven, fine, but to make absurd claims in regards to the ancient inhabitants of the Americas that are completely contrary to scientific research suggests nothing but a work of fiction.

Your church leaders have repeatedly stated that the church's foundation is rooted in the authenticity of that book, that the church lives or dies on what is written in that book. As I stated in an earlier post, the time for the funeral is well past due.

Posted by: Meso | January 13, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

What is Truth? wrote:

"Even Moses spoke of multiple Gods' and this was documented well before Jesus Christ came into the world. Why don't modern-day Christians ever quote the Old Testament?"

Ummm, What Is, are you really not familiar with the historical development of monotheism as it relates to Judaism and Christianity as well as Islam? From your post, I assume that the answer is no. This is seventh-grade stuff. Please read a copy of "The History of God" or any other basic primer on the subject.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 13, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

A great quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald on the Recovery from Mormonism site:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Either you think -- or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you."

- F Scott Fitzgerald

C'mon, What's Truth, be a rebel. One of the wisest men of the OT, Solomon said in Prov. 28:26, "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered."

Trust your intellect.

Posted by: Meso | January 13, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Baku wrote: "By the way, I have been a feminist all my adult life and I know many other feminists in the church, including my daughter-in-law. Most of us seem to be perfectly happy with the Church. I myself have sat in many, many councils of Church leadership, directed many, many meetings (in which there are men, as well as women), made many, many suggestions, given much advice, given many, many talks in general meetings of the Church and generally felt that my leadership was legitimate, appreciated and honored by those men with whom I have intimately worked."

Baku, when a baby is blessed, even your baby, the one you gave birth to, are you standing in the circle of men who lay their hands on the baby to give it a blessing through the power of the priesthood? Are you permitted to bless the sacrament and pass it to the congregation through the power of the priesthood? Are you allowed to baptize anyone through the power of the priesthood? Have you been a bishop of a ward, a stake president, even a deacon, the lowest level of priesthood calling? Do you have the priesthood which allows you to wield authority in the LDS church? Make all the "suggestions" you please and give "advice" til you're blue in the face, but until you have the priesthood, you have no power to turn those suggestions into actions. Only a man, even a 12 year old boy, can do that through the power of the priesthood in Mormonism. If you're a woman, you will never exercise that power and that is the power of Mormonism. BTW, you may call yourself a feminist but, I and every exmormon woman knows, sadly, you're lying through your teeth. Or, as every exmormon woman knows, you're "lying for the Lord" to protect the men in the LDS church and to help the LDS church save face. Stop playing the Fool and letting Mormon men hide behind your skirts. They're not going to thank you for it nor will they respect you. They'll continue to treat you as a second class citizen and use you. You're a sad case, like so many other foolish, Mormon women.

Posted by: hotdogjohnny2006 | January 14, 2008 2:04 AM | Report abuse

hotdog,
Your understanding and my understanding of "power" in the Gospel and the Priesthood are obviously very different, so I suspect we really have little to discuss. I personally believe that the attempt to use power as you seem to define it is at the root of almost all the evil in the world. I prefer to avoid evil of all kinds. I use my feminism to improve the moral and material lives of both men and women in general and not to exercise control over the lives of others or to aggrandize myself or my gender. (I like to think that's how Christ wants it.)

Thank you for your kind and generous judgement of my life, my motives and my thoughts. It's good to know there are omniscient people in the world. I had previously always been under the impression that only God knew my heart. I hope you continue to succeed in your role as the spokesperson for "every exmormon woman." It's comforting to know that they all also understand me so well. Maybe I really should leave the Church so that I can become omniscient, too. Good luck.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 14, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Can you give your definition of what being a joint-heir means?

Do you only believe the Bible because of 'physical' evidence?

Do you believe in the possibility of receiving personal revelation?

Do you believe that Jesus Christ's gospel is all about
physical proof rather than a spiritual witness?

What of the other points in the above article?

Let's hear what you do know to be true so I can see where you are coming from.

'True Believer'

Posted by: for meso | January 14, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

True Believer,

Take the time to watch this video and you'll understand a little more of what I am talking about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svfxSscxh8o&feature=related

Posted by: Meso | January 14, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I am a former Mormon (officially left and converted to Christianity--not excommunicated). Like Mr. Moody, I too fear a Romney Presidency.

As far as the debates against Mormonism--it is founded on some tenants that do not pass any kind of logic. For instance:

1-It has very unique dogmatic beliefs about the pre-existence and the common man's ascension to god-hood that were not a part of any early Jewish or Christian theology on Earth. If these tenants were true, one could assume that SOME prophet prior to Joseph Smith (or on the Eurasian or African cotenants, for those who believe that Smith's Writings about the American continent were true), or at least Christ himself, would have identified the misconceptions at some point in history.

2-That the Christian Church was so weak that it could only last for one generation, to be revived in the 1800 by prophecy, but at no other time.

3-That all Native Americans are Hebrew descendants, and that a Jewish civilization existed on this continent--while no shred of archeological evidence exists except for "Golden Plates" that were hidden before and no longer exist on Earth.

One should view both side of an organization to find out the truth about it. One should look at what the Mormons say, and what others say. Former Mormons like myself and Mr. Moody have a very special viewpoint about this faith, as they have lived it but are no longer bound to it.

As to actual reasons to be weary of a Mormon president, growing up in Southeast Idaho, I saw how pervasive that church was into all matters of daily life. It is not unlike a desire to implement Sharia law in a Muslim country. It makes me fearful for our country.

For Mr. Moody's primary argument--the full authority of the President of the Mormon Church--Mr. Moody is spot-on and that is not a light matter. The President of their church is considered to be a living prophet of God. It is assumed that he routinely has private one-on-one conversations with the God. Most of today's main-stream religions--even Catholicism with the concept of the "infallibility of the Pope" usually do not go to this extreme of their belief. It is not unreasonable that this person could give a sitting president direction--claiming it to come directly from the mouth of God--and that president would be bound to obey for actual fear of eternal damnation. That notion is not religious bigotry or anything else, it is simply a fact that no other main-stream religions share--only cults.

Posted by: Dave | January 14, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness Lacrima is still on this blog since I, and many others, enjoy reading his comments.

Posted by: Stay tuned | January 14, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness Lacrima is still on this blog since I, and many others, enjoy reading his comments.
Posted by: Stay tuned | January 14, 2008 04:46 PM

What's going to happen if Lacrima leaves and can't post anymore of his irrational responses dabbled with insults? Are all the mormons going to lose their testimonies? LOL!

Posted by: LOL! | January 14, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Baku wrote: "Your understanding and my understanding of "power" in the Gospel and the Priesthood are obviously very different, so I suspect we really have little to discuss."

I have to laugh at your transparently consecending tone since it's straight out of the LDS handbook for dealing with "uppity" members, especially uppity Mormon women. I recognize it as the tone employed by members when they have been backed into an uncomfortable corner and want to put the offender in her place.

There is only one source of power in Mormonism and that power is the priesthood which is only given to men. That is all anyone needs to understand regarding exercising authority and power in Mormonism, as you know. Let's not quibble over semantics. Power is authority in Mormonism and the power rests with the priesthood, something neither you nor any other LDS woman has or will be given.

Women may serve in secondary roles, advising, suggesting and cajoling as much as they wish in Mormonism but they have no power within the LDS church to affect change; interpret scripture for the church membership; decide LDS church policy; speak in an official capacity for the LDS church (unless instructed by priesthood holders) or perform any doctrinal rituals since they have no priesthood power. Whether that priesthood power is exercised in a benign or malignant manner is beside the point. You, as a woman, will never be given the opportunity to exercise the priesthood for good or ill. You and every other LDS woman has been instructed by "the Brethern" to fulfill one purpose, that of preocreation. Your 12 year old son, if you have one, has more authority in the Mormon church than you have. What a sobering thought and ignominious position for any woman, Mormon or otheriwse, to be relegated to.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 14, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Phlogiston, you're absolutely correct! Mormonism is as dangerous a cult as Scientology, although it's been around longer and worked hard to smooth its rough edges. Treat a Mormon political candidate with as much aversion as you would a Scientologist.

Posted by: hotdogjohnny2006 | January 14, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse


-That the Christian Church was so weak that it could only last for one generation, to be revived in the 1800 by prophecy, but at no other time-

Pretty much hard to keep the original Church going when everyone was killed. Thus ending the authority to act in Jesus' name as well.

Traditional Christianity tried to revive it all through the Nicene Creed councils 325 years later with lawyers and theorists. So we can assume that either the Roman Catholic Church is the correct Church still acting in God's name since they came out of the time of persecutions against the early saints.

or there really was a need for a restoration and the Mormons have brought it back. If the Roman Catholics had the authority then any Protestants that broke off from them were ex-communicated anyway so their authority would have ended.

For me, when I converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints I came to realize that I had to either be an Atheist or a Mormon. No middle ground. Thankfully I've had enough Spiritual experiences I can't explain, so I know there's more then just us.

It's no harder for me to believe that Jesus walked on water, Moses parted a sea, or the dead were raised then it is to believe that God loves us enough to let us have eternal families, that a 14 year old had a vision or that we definitely need a Prophet in these last days before Jesus comes back for His 1,000 year reign. The history of the Church actually seems right in line with the way God works. Ravens fed Elijah. City of Enoch was taken up. Noah lived on a ark for about a year full of animals. Why not gold plates? Why not Moroni? Why not?

Religion is all slightly crazy if we "think" about it, the BoM is no more crazy to exist then the Bible.

I also find it extremely interesting that most of our modern day "knowledge" and technilogical advances began around the time the Church was restored. Think about it, before the 1800's life on this planet had been about the same since the beginning! The people traveled by walking, horse, or horse and wagon. They used candles, and torches. They ate mostly what they grew or caught. As a people, we weren't given electricity, automobiles, telephones, etc. till right around the restoration or shortly after. Why do I mention this? Only to point out that a flood of knowledge came forth and continues today that never existed before. It all goes hand in hand.

The floodgates of Heaven rained down knowledge so that Heavenly Father could restore His truths in a free nation, under the Constitutional protection of religious freedom. It could never have come forth before then and survived, or thrived to the World wide Church it is today.

Posted by: Somebody Wrote | January 14, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

As for being a woman in the Church, I feel no need to be a man and have even more responsibilities. Nor do I feel threatened by 12 year old boys. I guess I'm pretty comfortable in my skin and being a "help" mate as I was created for according to the Bible. That in itself keeps me busy:) most men I know need help... but got to love em!

Posted by: Somebody Wrote | January 14, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

"That in itself keeps me busy:) most men I know need help... but got to love em"

Again with the condescension? You're only kidding yourself...or trying to make yourself feel better about being a second class citizen. Men don't need help...they run the world, including religions. You and other women do the work and men get the credit. You may be happy with that arrangement but, thank goddess, other women aren't and see a drastic need for change, even it means leaving a patriarchal religion that climbs on the backs of women to reach eternal glory.

Posted by: hotdogjohnny2006 | January 14, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Somebody Wrote wrote:

"-That the Christian Church was so weak that it could only last for one generation, to be revived in the 1800 by prophecy, but at no other time-

Pretty much hard to keep the original Church going when everyone was killed. Thus ending the authority to act in Jesus' name as well.

Traditional Christianity tried to revive it all through the Nicene Creed councils 325 years later with lawyers and theorists. "

One of the reasons that many people remain Mormons is that they do not have a basic understanding of Western intellectual history, let alone the rudiments of Christian history. Yes, that's right, Somebody Wrote, there was no development of a Christian tradition between approximately 60 and 325 C.E.

This is even better:

"Think about it, before the 1800's life on this planet had been about the same since the beginning! The people traveled by walking, horse, or horse and wagon. They used candles, and torches. They ate mostly what they grew or caught. As a people, we weren't given electricity, automobiles, telephones, etc. till right around the restoration or shortly after. Why do I mention this? Only to point out that a flood of knowledge came forth and continues today that never existed before. It all goes hand in hand."

Yes, that's right. There was no Renaissance. No Enlightenment. No agricultural revolution. No Newton. No Watt. No Lavoisier. No Darwin. No advances in shipbuilding or navigation. No steam engine. No printing press. Didn't Alexander Pope write, "Nature and nature's law lay hid in night/And God said, "Let Joe Smith be, and all was light!"

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 14, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow, nice twisting of my words Berkeley.

Posted by: Somebody Wrote | January 14, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

"I have to laugh at your transparently consecending tone since it's straight out of the LDS handbook for dealing with "uppity" members, especially uppity Mormon women. I recognize it as the tone employed by members when they have been backed into an uncomfortable corner and want to put the offender in her place."

I didn't know there was an official handbook for doing that. What's the title? I'll have to see if I can get hold of it because I know SO many "uppity" members, especially uppity women. We really have to be careful to put those people in their place; otherwise, they might . . . quit?

I'm sorry about the condescension. As I said before, since you don't have the same conceptions of power that I do, and I seriously doubt that you will change your views about that, I really don't have anything to discuss with you, anonymous person who sounds exactly like hotdog. So I guess the only thing left is to condescend.

Oh, gosh. I just realized. I hope that followed the handbook exactly. I would hate to do anything that the Priesthood wouldn't like. I don't know what horrible things they might do to me. Throw me off the top of the Salt Lake temple into the Great Salt Lake or something. Oh wait. I'm not a virgin. They only do that to virgins. I guess they might have to keep me barefoot and pregnant. Oh, wait, I'm too old for that. Well, I'm sure they'll think of something. Maybe they'll stone me or cut off my hand. Those monsters. They've just terrorized me my whole life. The horror! The horror!

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 15, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

I love this quote about the Book of Mormon.

Joseph Smith's well-known statement: "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book."

Obviously, all this room for error that Lacrima and other Mormon apologists try to create completely contradict Joseph Smith's own statement.

Boy, those thousands of changes to the book of Mormon must really help the most perfect book become perfecter. Thats a real word. Just like Indians are Jews.

Posted by: Gerry | January 15, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Elder George,

You obviously have no sense of irony. Here I am twitting you about your laundry lists and how do you respond? With a laundry list! Next time you squirt (the metaphor is taken from squids) one of these things out, remember to include Motherhood, Apple Pie, the Flag and Bambi on the list of things we demonize. It will make your laundry list ever so much more fearsome.

And Meso, advising us to use our minds! There's another guy with no sense of irony.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 15, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Berkeley,

Your reply to Somebody Wrote actually proves his point. He essentially said that the conditions of human life did not radically change until the 19th century in reply to which you rattle off a number of improvements, most of which took place in the 19th century. The two exceptions are the Renaissance and the Enlightenment which, interesting though they are, did little to improve the daily lives of humanity.

There have been no more dramatic changes (not all of them improvements) in the human condition greater than those that took place in the 19th century and beyond, as your own little laundry demonstrates.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 15, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Lacima: I see you are back to your subjective, self-righteous, and insulting self. You are apparently also a self-appointed expert on irony. Now that is ironic!

I recommend that you focus on the issues next time, instead of getting sidetracked and lying to people. However, when the subject of logic is taught in debate courses, instructors teach that people who are arguing or defending a damning story, who have no evidence will often try to sidetrack the audience/jury with illogical fallacies.

In all honesty, I think you are a person with above-average intelligence. Despite saying how dumb I am. I would have really enjoyed a good debate, because I think you are the first Mormon I have met who is both 1) Willing to debate and 2) Provides somewhat decent answers. However, you constantly get sidetracked and always include an insult in your responses. I wonder why you feel name-calling is necessary. I think you are bright enough to know that the "anti-Mormons" (as you call them) are not as stupid as you claim.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 15, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"The two exceptions are the Renaissance and the Enlightenment which, interesting though they are, did little to improve the daily lives of humanity."
- Posted by: Lacrima | January 15, 2008 09:24 AM

The Renaissance and the Enlightenment did little to improve the daily lives of humanity?

The Renaissance not only brought intelligent entertainment, art, and music to the advances to lift the daily burdens, but it was an age of great advances in science, medicine, and exploration.

The Enlightenment was a time when the middle class grew tremendously and allowed the people within it to learn ideas and philosophies that were kept from them from the Catholic Church. As someone posted so eloquently on Wikipedia:
"The Enlightenment stressed that we are products of experience and environment, and that we should have the utmost confidence in the unlimited capacity of the human mind. It stressed the unlimited progress of humans, and the ideas of atheism and deism became especially prominent. Adam Smith's concept of free market capitalism sent European economics in a new direction. Enlightened despots such as Catherine the Great and Joseph II replaced absolute monarchs and used their states as agents of progress. Education and literacy expanded vastly, and people recognized the importance of intellectual freedoms of speech, thought, and press.
Although the ideas of the Enlightenment clashed with Church dogma, it was mostly not a movement against the Church. Most Enlightened philosophers considered themselves to be followers of deism, believing that God created an utterly flawless universe and left it alone, some describing God as the "divine clockmaker."

Those two ages didn't improve the daily lives of people? Perhaps, not for an "employee of the Catholic Church" or someone who values the sanctity of the human mind over unquestioning religiocity and irrational dogma.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 15, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Elder George,

What? No laundry list? The Renaissance and the Enlightenment were wonderful periods, but at the end of them, the average man and woman still lived under conditions little different than their ancestors had lived under. The 19th century was the century that changed the conditions of human life. Go back and read Berkely's laundry list. It makes my point quite clearly.

Try reading Paul Johnson's "The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830" if you have any doubts.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 15, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"The Renaissance and the Enlightenment were wonderful periods, but at the end of them, the average man and woman still lived under conditions little different than their ancestors had lived under. . Go back and read Berkely's laundry list. It makes my point quite clearly.
Try reading Paul Johnson's "The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830" if you have any doubts."
- Posted by: Lacrima | January 15, 2008 10:17 AM

Lacrima: I have absolutely NO doubts the Renaissance and Enlightenment improved the daily lives of people living at those times. I have responded with specific improvements made. Any college history course dealing with those two time periods teach students what a great many of these advances were.

For the middle-class people, great improvements in medicine, science, education, entertainment, commerce (e.g., by means of exploration), philosophy (i.e., way to think about life differently from the hateful Catholic dogma preached at that time), etc.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 15, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Carlin, it's good to see you're an equal opportunity hater. You hate Catholics as much as you hate Mormons. Way to go. I'm glad you don't discriminate.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 15, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

Speaking of the advances in technology and culture of the 19th Century and the birth of a modern world society.

When the Nauvoo Expositor did a story on Joe Smith's philandering and attempted liaisons with several of that community's women, he (Smith) sent in his goons and had the printing press destroyed. Would you consider his contempt for the freedom of the press that enlightening for the citizens of Nauvoo?

Posted by: Meso | January 15, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Baku: I don't hate Catholics or Mormons as people. There is a big differentiation between hating a person and not liking what they say or preach.

Let's suppose a close friend says (in a fit of rage): "I hate Baku Reader's children, spouse, friends and everything Baku Reader stands for." Would you hate what that she says, hate her, or both? Suppose she apologizes and says "I'm truly sorry and I didn't mean what I said." You could probably forgive her, but still not like her statement. Right?

I know a lot of Mormons and Catholics who are kind-hearted, well-meaning people. What I don't like is their "professed" beliefs in the illogical, irrational, sexist, racist, and hateful dogma their churches have preached for centuries that have destroyed the lives of people.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 15, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Re: Historical Living Conditions

I am sure that we are all aware that living conditions in a society such as England from, say, 1200 to 1800, were broadly speaking flat, due to the fact that the economy was in a Malthusian trap. (And it goes without saying that we all understand this to mean that the numerous advances in technology, which may have produced short-term increases in standards of living, also led to increases in population, which tended to lower living standards to their previous level.) Conditions were obviously somewhat better in English North America due to the greater per capita abundance of resources, a fact noted by many including Malthus.

What does this have to do with the LDS church? Nothing. For various reasons:

1. The epidemiologic transition, which led to significant improvement in health and mortality, and can be dated to perhaps the late 19th century was due principally to improvements in nutrition, sanitation, and some early public health measures. The ground work for these advances was laid by the Agricultural Revolution of the 17th and 18th centuries and the Industrial Revolution beginning in the 18th century. None of this had anything specifically to do with the LDS movement. If anything, the demographic transition would have been delayed if more people had followed the counsel of LDS leaders with regard to fertility.

2. Living standards in industrializing areas such as parts of England and the U.S. actually decreased in the 19th century, particularly as measured by life expectancy due to greater population density in urban areas, and the resultant increases in airborne disease transmission and contaminated water supplies. By the arguments put forth by devotees of Smith, I suppose that we should blame him and his movement for this trend, except for the fact that there is no causal connection for any such claims.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 15, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I was mearly pointing out that the modern conveniences of electricity, automobiles, telephones etc. didn't exist during times like the Renaissance. I'm sure Darwin would have loved a lap top. I'm sure everyone would have loved a washing machine or a bathtub with actual plumbing as we know it! In saying they didn't have what we have, in no way doubts that they weren't resourceful, enlightened or smart people. They just obviously weren't blessed with the knowledge we are today. One of their greatest inventions was the wheel!

Just as recent as when Joseph Smith lived, people died from dehydration.

Thank goodness for plastic invention & IV tubes today! We really take too much for granted. Only 178 years ago, there were no automobiles, no tv's, no indoor electricity or plumbing, no electric stoves, no refrigeration, no microwaves, no air conditioning or electric heat, definitely no cell phones, Internet, on and on.

How many antibiotics do we have today in comparison to what existed just 178 years ago?

School back in the 1830's was still held in one room classrooms, today people can earn college degrees from their own home!

They put on stage plays and played fidels by the fire, we can each buy our own DVDs and CDs.

They bartered eggs for store credit, we pay by debit.

We entered a boom of knowledge and ability along with convenience-why? Why was it time to let it all out? Here in America after 1800?

Posted by: Somebody Wrote | January 15, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

The LDS Church and religion in general did their utmost to discredit Charles Darwin and his discoveries. Late into the 20th Century, the Mormons were still preaching a 6000 year old universe (read Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R McConkie). Left unchallenged, this kind of "enlightenment" could put us back into the dark ages.

I'll take science over Mormonism anyday.

Posted by: Meso | January 15, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I got ya, Carlin. But it strikes me that manifesting distaste for ideas shouldn't be quite so fraught with the frantic emotion I sense in some of the posts you have made here. Dispassion indicates to me careful thinking. Calling groups or their ideas hateful, making calculated efforts to tear down the ideals of other people, trying to destroy people's religious faith--none of this seems to me objective or rational. I have a very hard time with that kind of argument. It doesn't make me want to listen. It only makes me want to dismiss it as emotional diatribe.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 15, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Any advancements in understanding nature and the universe we inhabit came about not because of but in spite of any role that religion had to play.

Posted by: Meso | January 15, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm in no way saying that Joseph Smith was responsible for the convienance of life after the 1800's, he himself probably would have enjoyed everything I've mentioned.

I'm saying Heavenly Father had everything He needed in place to bless us with more knowledge-a free country, a Constitution, and the Gospel in place again.

The Gospel has to be preached in every nation, kindred, and tongue. Our modern day Internet, satellites, and TV's alone are huge with helping in that effort.
GO BYU TV:)

Posted by: Somebody Wrote | January 15, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

You're right, Meso. Practically every Christian denomination in Darwin's day and beyond dismissed his ideas. The Snopes trial (for example) certainly wasn't a Mormon affair, and it was commonly held during the 18th and 19th centuries that the world was 6000 years old. I might point out that in our day and age, the most vociferous anti-Darwinists are fundamentalist Christian sects, but they teach evolution at BYU, and in fact, although there have been General Authorities and Presidents of the Church who held their private views of evolution, there has not been an official statement on the subject from the First Presidency. For an interesting, helpful and hopeful article on this subject, see Dialogue, "The Mormon Myth of Evil Evolution," by Michael Ash, Winter 2002.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 15, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Somebody Wrote,

It is the modern day age of the computer and the internet specifically that have shown the world what Mormonism is all about. No wonder your convert numbers are down since it's introduction. Your church has chosen to hedge it's bets and is now relying more on developing it's extensive real estate holdings and business ventures than having to rely on their mainstay, tithing donations. The 2 billion dollar mall in SLC is but one example of how your church is dealing with this crisis.

Posted by: Meso | January 15, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Baku,

Are you suggesting that the LDS Church welcomed Darwin's ideas with open arms? I can certainly cite church leaders all the way from John Taylor to just recently who said otherwise. "Mormon Doctrine" was one of the first books given to me when I looked into your church. Should I clutter up this site quoting what McConkie had to say about Darwin?

Posted by: Meso | January 15, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

No, Meso, you have misread the post. (Do you do that on purpose?) The point is, Mormons (not necessarily the Church) were no different than other Christians in denouncing Darwin. There are still lots of Mormons who don't believe evolution has any truth to it; there are lots who do, including myself. The same is true of many other people who belong to modern Christian sects. That's all I said. No suggestions of any kind. I hope that's clear now.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 15, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

It's rather unfortunate that Mormon Doctrine was your introduction to the Church. It's sort of like the Journal of Discourses--not official but very authoritative sounding. I suggest you stick to the scriptures, the five Standard Works of the Church, if you want to understand "Mormon doctrine". They pretty much say everything about the gospel that needs to be said. Everything else you might read, with just a few exceptions, is interesting, sometimes uplifting, sometimes enlightening,sometimes discouraging, sometimes puzzling, sometimes helpful, sometimes unhelpful, but not necessary to understand the doctrines of the Church. "Search the scriptures." That's where the true doctrine is found. I don't care whether you believe in them or not, but that's where you'll find LDS doctrine. And if prophets or other authorities, scholars, or miscellaneous folks say things that are supported by the scriptures, you can probably assume it's reliable. If there's no support in the scriptures, it's probably their own ideas and you can take it or leave it.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 15, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Baku,

The difference between Mormons and other sects is that Mormons claim divine revelation. They call themselves the only true church. If their leaders are divinely inspired then why has the paradigm shifted from disavowing evolution to embracing it? Was God undecided about what Darwin was suggesting in the 19th Century but now accepting it? Like Romney, this god of yours sure does a lot of flip-flopping.

Posted by: Meso | January 15, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Mormons Are Fastest Growing Religion
By The 700 Club


CBN.com - Mormonism is the fastest growing faith group in American history according to "U.S. News & World Report," which reports that if present trends continue there could be 265 million members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) worldwide by 2080.

Mormons have launched a major expansion program to keep up with growth, opening 32 temples across the country this year. There are now 100 temples internationally, serving 11 million Mormons.

One reason for the LDS increase is that its message "strikes a spiritual resonance in people," Neal Maxwell, one of the church's elders, tells the newsweekly. Another, the magazine notes, is its aggressive missionary effort. Last year the church sent out almost 60,000 missionaries to 120 countries, where they won 306,000 converts.

LDS teaching emphasizes the church's commitment to conservative and family values, and downplays its past beliefs in polygamy and racism. Critics maintain while Mormons may use the same vocabulary as mainstream Christians that "they frequently attach radically different meaning to the terms," says the magazine.

http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/ChurchAndMinistry/Evangelism/Mormons_Are_Fastest_Growing_Religion.aspx

Obviously this is a couple of years old as we now have over 13 million world wide members, and over 125 temples.

I guess I don't have a problem with Tithing. I paid it before at the other Churches I've attended as well. Strangely I never paid a full tithe to those, just gave what I felt like. I guess I knew it wasn't going to the Lord.

I have no problem with the Lord needing $ to futher things. Why would the Creator of this earth be broke? Or come back to a Church that is?

Posted by: Somebody Wrote | January 15, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

SW,

You quote U.S. News & World Report:

"LDS teaching emphasizes the church's commitment to conservative and family values, and downplays its past beliefs in polygamy and racism."

Past Beliefs? It just seems to some of us that a religion that relies so heavily on ongoing revelation shouldn't have to change it's doctrines so frequently. Is God really that undecided? Shouldn't past beliefs be the same as present day beliefs to a religion that hears directly from God on a regular basis? Or, as I've asked in previous posts, is your god doing a lot of flip-flopping?

Posted by: Meso | January 15, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

THE BOOK "MORMON DOCTRINE" ISN'T ALWAYS MORMONS' DOCTRINE.
.
A commenter cited "Mormon Doctrine" as the source of one of the supposed LDS beliefs. I have a copy of both the first and second editions of this book.
--- Please note these words from the author's Preface to the first edition, "For the work [the book] itself, I assume sole and full responsibility."
--- In the second edition, the Preface includes that phrase and has this on the same page, "In publishing this Second Edition, as is common with major encyclopedic-type works, experience has shown the wisdom of making some changes, clarifications, and additions."
.
I feel confident in the assertion that if a publication, even by an authority of the Church, not only does not claim to be authoritative but instead EXPLICITLY STATES THE *AUTHOR* SOLELY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS CONTENT, then it represents the author's personal views and is not an authoritative statement of LDS doctrine.(FWIW, "The Journal of Discourses" was published by the European mission, based in England, without review or approval by the Church)
.
So, what is an authoritative statement of LDS doctrine? A page on the Church's official website addresses this. One paragraph there states,
.
"Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four "standard works" of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith. Isolated statements are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted."
.
Here's the link to the entire page: http://www.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=970af 549db852110VgnVCM100000176f620aRCRD&vgnextchannel=f5f411154 963d010VgnVCM1000004e94610aRCRD

Posted by: manaen | January 15, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Baku Reader:
"...it strikes me that manifesting distaste for ideas shouldn't be quite so fraught with the frantic emotion I sense in some of the posts you have made here."
- Posted by: Baku Reader | January 15, 2008 12:29 PM

Frantic emotion? Really like what?

You also mentioned that what I posted doesn't strike you as "objective or rational". I got to tell you Baku, I feel if anybody is not objective or rational it's someone who is a member of a religion who tries to debate why their religion and God(s) makes sense. Without trying to be offensive, it's strikes me as ironic coming from you, who is a devout member of the LDS Church. You are telling me that I am not "ojective or rational", yet you believe in a religion that is based on a person who has multiple versions of seeing God, Jesus, or other deities. You believe in a religion that promoted polygamy, denied black people your priesthood based on their skin color, and is based on a book that claims Native Americans descended from Israel approx. 3,000 years ago from a small family who crossed the Pacific in a submarine-like boat, while none of the objects they used (in the millions) have ever been found by archeologists. That same book also claims theirin state multiple animals and plants existed, when modern-day scientists state they didn't...and who also state DNA evidence clearly and objectively shows Native Americans didn't originate in the Middle East when that book claims they did.

And you say I am not objective or reasonable. Well, okay.

Can you truly be objective about a religious dogma that is not based on reason or logic? As Jon Krakauer said in his book "Under the Banner of Heaven":
" Faith is the very antithesis of reason, injudiciousness a crucial component of spiritual devotion...Common sense is no match for the voice of God..."

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 15, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

RE: my comment @ 1/15/08, 2:13 pm, here's the correct link to the LDS Church's statement on what's authoritative:
.
http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/approaching-mormon-doctrine

Posted by: manaen | January 15, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

SW,

LDS converts have dropped steadily from 1996 to present. Those figures are:

321,385 in 1996

241,239 in 2004

Seventh Day Adventists are growing by 5% yearly and along with the Assembly of God Church those growth rates are outdistancing the LDS Church which is seeing growth mainly in the birthrates of existing members.

Many third world converts to your faith stop attending services after only two months, yet their names, along with the names of baptized non-active members stay on the church rolls further exaggerating their numbers.

Posted by: Meso | January 15, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Manaen,

"Mormon Doctrine" may not be cannonized but the Apostle, Bruce R. McConkie certainly had the blessings of church hierarchy when he published the second edition of his book. It may not jibe with the neo-mormonism now being touted, but it was the latest word of your church when printed and as late as the 1980's when it was given to me as a reference guide by a local bishop.

Pinning your church leaders down on what is and is not doctrine can be a frustrating endeavor indeed. When first studying your religion I had questions about their stand on biological evolution. I sent a letter of inquiry to church headquarters. Their response was to send me a tape of the tabernacle choir but no mention of their stand on evolutionary theory. How nice.

Posted by: Meso | January 15, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Joseph Smith didn't talk to Jesus and there are no Book of Mormon cities. The Mormon Church is a giant Myth Fraternity (a term coined by Thomas Ferguson after he spent thiry years looking for any evidence of the Book of Mormon civilization). Chapter 8 of my book is entitled The Great American Cult and, sadly, many of my relatives are trapped in it. That was a major reason I wrote my book and challenged Mitt to use his respect and influence with members to help free them.

Posted by: Mike Moody, author of Mitt, Set our People Free | January 15, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Joseph Smith didn't talk to Jesus and there are no Book of Mormon cities. The Mormon Church is a giant Myth Fraternity (a term coined by Thomas Ferguson after he spent thiry years looking for any evidence of the Book of Mormon civilization). Chapter 8 of my book is entitled The Great American Cult and, sadly, many of my relatives are trapped in it. That was a major reason I wrote my book and challenged Mitt to use his respect and influence with members to help free them.

Posted by: Mike Moody, author of Mitt, Set our People Free | January 15, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Joseph Smith didn't talk to Jesus and there are no Book of Mormon cities. The Mormon Church is a giant Myth Fraternity (a term coined by Thomas Ferguson after he spent thiry years looking for any evidence of the Book of Mormon civilization). Chapter 8 of my book is entitled The Great American Cult and, sadly, many of my relatives are trapped in it. That was a major reason I wrote my book and challenged Mitt to use his respect and influence with members to help free them.

Posted by: Mike Moody, author of Mitt, Set our People Free | January 15, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Baku said: "Oh, gosh. I just realized. I hope that followed the handbook exactly. I would hate to do anything that the Priesthood wouldn't like. I don't know what horrible things they might do to me."

The only horrible thing the priesthood might do to you has already been done. As a woman, you are significant in the eyes of the LDS church only as far as your reproductive power can be used by the Mormon leadership to "build the kingdom". To Mormon authorities and Mormon men (no distinction really) you are nothing but a delivery vessel for spirit children to gain mortal bodies. This is part of Mormon doctrine, as you know (but won't admit). Your heart and mind are secondary to your womb. Now that you can no longer bear children, you are becoming more invisible to church members...tolerated, placated, patronized, yes...but ultimately unimportant. I'm sure this is already happening to you, just as I'm sure you won't admit it to yourself or anyone else. It's sad to be a Mormon woman, condemned to lead a half-lived life.

***BTW, regarding your last post. From condescension to sarcasm in one fell swoop. Nicely done, Baku, and that approach is also srtraight out of the Mormon handbook, which, of course , is metaphoric. I'm sure you know that but, like most Mormons, you love to play with semantics and deny you know anything about anything that might prove uncomfortable for you.

Posted by: hotdogjohnny2006 | January 15, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Baku Reader wrote:

"I suggest you stick to the scriptures, the five Standard Works of the Church, if you want to understand "Mormon doctrine""

There's now a 5th LDS standard work? When did that happen? What is it, the translation of the Kinderhook plates?

OK. according to LDS scripture, the ancestors of Africans and indigenous Americans were cursed with dark skin because of disobedience. We're back to white supremacy. And according to the criteria of authority for the LDS church posted by maenan, the church is profoundly racist, given these scriptural claims, as well as the official statements on race made by the First Presidency in 1949 and 1969 that have never been repudiated. Thanks to maenan for showing us that the authoritative doctrine of the LDS church is that Blacks were cursed.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 15, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Meso,

"Often in error, but never in doubt" would seem to be your motto. President McKay strongly discouraged McConkie from publishing his book and found it full of errors. There is a discussion of this in the recent book "David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism."

Elder George,

If you wonder why I insult you, go back and look at your posts. Some of them are moderately intelligent, but many of them are just irrational, like your great Mormon demonology.

Keep in mind that I honestly don't care that you left the Church. It's much better that you're out than hanging around Sunday School whining all the time.

What has been interesting for me is the psychology of the people who argue against Mormonism on posts like this. I've known many people who've left the Church and many more who've joined it from other churches. Most of them don't spend their days attacking their old faith.

You angry leavers are particularly interesting. What in the world compels you to hang around the internet rationalizing, often quite vehemently, your decision to perfect strangers? As I've mentioned before, you remind me of the Ancient Mariner, compelled by some inner demon to tell your story over and over again until it makes a difference.

But it will never make a difference, big guy. You need to work those demons out for yourself and just get on with life.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 15, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

It's good to see Mike Moody on the scene. It would be nice if Romney had tried to use his influence to reform the church long ago, but that would have required character. As you stated, Mormonism is a fraternity, or cult of loyalty if you will. Integrity is as prized in its circles as intellectualism or feminism.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 15, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

That's what makes you Mormon people different from Christian denominations...you claim to receive divine revelation on a daily basis so when your leaders announce that more acceptable moral tenets are adopted, they claim divine revelation for those changes. When the world finds fault with your doctrines you simply expunge those embarrassing beliefs by claiming that your God has spoken to the prophet concerning said matters and made the necessary changes. The trouble with that scenario is that you are, in effect, blaming your own god for these flip-flops. How can you claim that God's doctrines are eternal when he changes them so often?

Posted by: Meso | January 15, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

No one has converted anyone to either side of this debate. Both sides show that they will lie to defend their position, but that will be the nature of most people. The mormons must learn to look at their religion from the outside to understand why most Christians consider themselves cult members. Most Christians should try and look at how most mormons look at their religion as the one true church and understand that these mormons can never look at their religion from the outside to get that perspective. I would guess that only a very few will ever really be able to feel what the other person sees and feels. And thus this debate will go on with only a select few who will realize what great people mormons are and a few mormons who realize that their religion is not what they thought it was.

Posted by: 2Nephi | January 15, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Lacrima is back...back with a barrage of insults but no answers to the questions we're asking here. If he were as intent on explaining his church as he is on attacking the doubters then his remarks might have more merit. Attacking the messenger is the hallmark of the apologetic arm (FARMS) of his church and I'm sure Lacrima does them proud.

Posted by: Meso | January 15, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if you were talking about my post, but if you were, you may want to re-read it as I doubt you could possibly confuse me with someone who can not look past what they believe. If you were insulted by what I said, then you too possibly can not look past what you believe.

Posted by: 2Nephi | January 15, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

2Nephi wrote:

"Most Christians should try and look at how most mormons look at their religion as the one true church and understand that these mormons can never look at their religion from the outside to get that perspective. I would guess that only a very few will ever really be able to feel what the other person sees and feels. And thus this debate will go on with only a select few who will realize what great people mormons are and a few mormons who realize that their religion is not what they thought it was."

Plenty of Mormons develop a perspective about their religion. They either leave or become New Order Mormons. As for "what great people mormons are," I grew up in a ward in Manassas. Mormons were well intentioned but generally somewhat odd because of their insular intellectual and cultural background. They lagged behind the average member of the community because of this.

There have been plenty of great people who have come out of the Mormon tradition. People such as Paul Boyer and Kip Thorne. They don't affiliate with the LDS church.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 15, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

A true voice of reason!

Posted by: Jim | January 15, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

And that was my point too! I just chose to say only a very few will ever look past what they have been taught, while you feel the word should be plenty.

I agree that the people you mentioned are probably great people, I just feel that there are far too few of them.

Posted by: 2Nephi | January 15, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

McKay may have had strong feelings against McConkie publishing his 1966 revised version of his 1959 book but the following president, Joseph F. Smith, was not so reluctant. 'Mormon Doctrine' is still quoted in church literature and in conference talks today.

Are you saying it is only unreliable when we doubters refer to it? The church still quotes the 'Journal of Discourses' when it feels the urge. Are you suggesting that church leaders are using a discounted text here too? If these texts are no longer considered orthodox and reliable then burn them but in the mean time don't blame us doubters when we also quote them.

Posted by: Meso | January 15, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima: You stated "What in the world compels you to hang around the internet rationalizing, often quite vehemently, your decision to perfect strangers?"

Lacrima, you could answer that as well since you also fall into the category. My answer is that I feel that people deserve to view both sides of the story and not just the side Mormonism wants to portray. I feel that adults who are truly interested in this post will consider both sides of the story and make a rational decision based on that.

I have known dozens of people who have left the Mormon church and the vast majority seem quite happy. Sure there is a sense loss at first, followed by a period of grieving, and often a sense of anger. The anger that many feel seems understandable considering the years of service and the considerable sums of money they have put into the church, only to ultimately feel that church is fraudulent. Many people they felt were close friends, suddenly leave and no longer want to associate with "an apostate" despite the reasons. Some marriages end when one spouse leaves the church. Many former Mormons feel stigmatized within their community and often at home.

That sense of loss is more often than not replaced with a sense of joy. Many claim it's life changing that they they no longer have to jump through the proverbial irrational hoops the dogma sets in place anymore. They find it freeing.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 15, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Elder George,

At least Lacrima is here. Either as an apologist defender, a person actually seeking the truth, or a fraud who likes to see everyone argue. Very few Mormons are brave enough to open their eyes to the views of others. I have to applaud him for at least being here.

Posted by: 2Nephi | January 15, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting to note that Lacrima feels compelled to 'hang around the internet' with the rest of us and if my calculations are correct it's past 2:45 a.m. in Baghdad. He probably couldn't sleep with all those guns going off.

Posted by: Meso | January 15, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

RE: Meso's comments, 1/15 @ 2:35pm

(1) "LDS converts have dropped steadily from 1996 to present. Those figures are:
321,385 in 1996
241,239 in 2004

(2) "[...]the LDS Church which is seeing growth mainly in the birthrates of existing members.

(3) "Many third world converts to your faith stop attending services after only two months, yet their names, along with the names of baptized non-active members stay on the church rolls further exaggerating their numbers."

# # # # # # #

Here are some answers:

(1) Convert baptisms have *not* "dropped steadily from 1996 to present." The apex actually was in 1990 and convert baptism fluctuated since then, with a general decline from 1996 to 2004 (even during this period, 1999 had more converts than 1998 and 2001 had more than 2000). However, the Church's new program to "raise the bar" for the missionaries called has yielded results: with convert baptisms increasing from the 241k in 2004, to 243k in 2005, to 273k in 2006. This hardly is a "steady decline to present." Also, convert baptisms per missionary increased from 4.1 in 2003, to 4.5 in 2004, to 4.7 in 2005, to 5.2 in 2006. (Source: statistical reports from General Conferences, available at lds.org).
.
(2) I'm puzzled by your comment about growth mainly coming from births to members because you accurately cite the exact number of converts in 1996 and 2004, but ignored the lesser increase-in-children-of-record numbers that were presented with them. FYI, the convert-baptisms/increase-in-Children-of-Record figures were:
> 2004, 241k/99k
> 2005, 243k/93k
> 2006, 273k/94k
I don't see how these figures support your statment that "the LDS Church [...] is seeing growth mainly in the birthrates of existing members."
.
(3) Yes, there are people in the 3rd world who stop coming after a couple of months, just as in the rest of the world. However, the Church allows people to retain their membership -- as do other Churches -- without attending services frequently. Church surveys of less-active members revealed that about 90% still believe the doctrines but stopped attending for social reasons (e.g. someone offended them) and about 10% stop coming because of disbelief.
.
But, is your point really that the LDS Church should excommunicate people who don't attend meetings? If so, are you prepared to make the same demands of all churches? Are you aware of other major churches that purge their reported membership for inactivity? The biggest church, the Catholics, for example, certainly don't do that.

Posted by: manaen | January 15, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Re: Meso's comment @ 1/15, 2:48pm
Manaen,

" "Mormon Doctrine" may not be cannonized but the Apostle, Bruce R. McConkie certainly had the blessings of church hierarchy when he published the second edition of his book. It may not jibe with the neo-mormonism now being touted, but it was the latest word of your church when printed and as late as the 1980's when it was given to me as a reference guide by a local bishop."
.
and
.
1/15, 6:34 pm
"McKay may have had strong feelings against McConkie publishing his 1966 revised version of his 1959 book but the following president, Joseph F. Smith, was not so reluctant. 'Mormon Doctrine' is still quoted in church literature and in conference talks today.

Are you saying it is only unreliable when we doubters refer to it? The church still quotes the 'Journal of Discourses' when it feels the urge. Are you suggesting that church leaders are using a discounted text here too? If these texts are no longer considered orthodox and reliable then burn them but in the mean time don't blame us doubters when we also quote them."
.
I hope this helps: if you're looking for authoritative statements of LDS doctrine, use the sources the LDS Church puts forth as authoritative doctrine. Anything else isn't authoritative. All the writings of the Church leaders and other members are as the quotation I cited at 2:13 today says, "a personal, though well-considered, opinion" (or less). If someone, in a personal opinion refers to another's personal well-considered opinion, that does not make either one authoritative. This includes not only "Mormon Doctrine" and "Journal of Discourses" but any other comments that have not been deemed authorized through the process explained in this quote from the Church's website. This includes comments in General Conference, in Church magazines, etc that are not deemed authoritative. In short, if the Church doesn't say something is authoritative, it is not authoritative.
.
This does not mean that there isn't benefit in pondering these "personal, though well-considered" comments. There is much (most) that I personally believe. However, I also personally believe this from Heber C. Kimball, "To meet the difficulties that are coming, it will be necessary for you to have a knowledge of the truth of this work for yourselves. . . . If you have not got the testimony, live right and call upon the Lord and cease not till you obtain it. . . The time will come when no man nor woman will be able to endure on borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within himself. If you do not have it, how can you stand?" This echoes what we tell prospective converts: go ask God, get your own answer as to whether what we offer is true.
.
So, it isn't that these texts no longer are considered orthodox -- they never weren so considered. Can you find an authoritative place that says otherwise?

Posted by: manaen | January 15, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Manaen for some unknown reason wrote:

"(3) Yes, there are people in the 3rd world who stop coming after a couple of months, just as in the rest of the world. However, the Church allows people to retain their membership -- as do other Churches -- without attending services frequently. Church surveys of less-active members revealed that about 90% still believe the doctrines but stopped attending for social reasons (e.g. someone offended them) and about 10% stop coming because of disbelief."

Had Manaen done a cursory check at pro-LDS sites such as cumorah.com, he or she would be aware that approximately 15% of LDS members of record in developing countries such as Mexico or Brazil self-identify as LDS in national censuses. These people were not offended by LDS members in most cases because most of them never attended LDS services for any appreciable time. They weren't converted in the first place.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 15, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

RE: WestBerkleyFlats @ 1/15, 9:49pm

I also wrote in the paragraph after the one you quoted,
"But, is your point really that the LDS Church should excommunicate people who don't attend meetings? If so, are you prepared to make the same demands of all churches? Are you aware of other major churches that purge their reported membership for inactivity? The biggest church, the Catholics, for example, certainly don't do that."
.
Again, are you proposing a different standard for how The Church of Jesus Christ counts members? If these people did what's required to be recorded as members, they're recorded as members until they do what's required to not be recorded as members -- like in other churches.

Posted by: manaen | January 15, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Manean, you need to increase your analytical rigor. Stating that people in third world countries stop attending soon after attending baptism and then going on to quote a statistic about inactive members that may be true in the U.S. but not developing countries is not persuasive, or even accurate. Many of those who were quickly baptized in developing countries did not join the LDS because of committed belief and did not inactive because of disbelief. Your point is irrelevant.

As for how churches count members, this varies widely, as do membership requirements. Moreover, many people within the LDS church have stated that there has historically been excessive emphasis on numbers in terms of baptisms rather than conversion and retention. The most egregious examples are of the Moyle "baseball baptism," but the problem has been sufficiently widespread that apostles have had to have been sent to countries such as Chile and the Philippines to implement different models of church-building.

You really need to present more sophisticated arguments with regard to whatever point it is that you are trying to make.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 16, 2008 12:03 AM | Report abuse

The relevant point is that LDS membership figures are to some extent inflated as a measure of true membership because of the church's emphasis on growth as evidence of proof of the church's truth claims.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 16, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

The relevant point is that LDS membership figures are to some extent inflated as a measure of true membership because of the church's emphasis on growth as evidence of proof of the church's truth claims.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 16, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Meso,
Can you truly be objective about a religious dogma that is not based on reason or logic?

No.

And there is no such animal. I challenge you to show me any religious dogma based in reason or logic. That's the whole point of the spiritual. I don't know whether you are religious or not, I can't really tell (it's always a bit hard to tell what your agenda really is)but if you are trying to find reason and logic in religion, you are doomed to failure. However, one can still discuss religious ideas without resorting to emotional diatribe.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 16, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

The relevant point is that LDS membership figures are to some extent inflated as a measure of true membership because of the church's emphasis on growth as evidence of proof of the church's truth claims.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 16, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Baku:
I believe your last post was directed to me (not Meso), as I'm the one that asked the question. I appreciate your response and I think it's an honest answer.

You mentioned "not knowing what my agenda is" and whether I'm religious. I'm no longer religious and as far as having an agenda, I suppose it's just to let people know there are two sides to the Mormon puzzle. I don't like titles, but my dogmatic belief lies somewhere between a deist and an agnostic.

You mentioned in your earlier post to me:
"...it strikes me that manifesting distaste for ideas shouldn't be quite so fraught with the frantic emotion I sense in some of the posts you have made here."
- Posted by: Baku Reader | January 15, 2008 12:29 PM

Then you just stated
"...one can still discuss religious ideas without resorting to emotional diatribe."

Can you give me some examples of what I have posted that you consider "frantic emotion" and "resorting to emotional diatribe"? I sincerely don't know what you are referring to.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 16, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Elder George,
I do apologize. I was in bit of a rush and did mix you up with Meso. I guess "frantic" might have been a bit of hyperbole to be applied to your postings, but you have to admit, there is quite a bit of frantic emotion and, yes, diatribe floating around on this blog (and I'm sorry but some of the diatribe can be attributed to you, even if it's not particularly emotional). Your calling Catholic teachings hateful seemed to fall into that category, though. The several posts in which you have, to my mind, made
calculated efforts to tear down the ideals of other people, and to destroy people's religious faith also struck me as irrational (in the context of my post of yesterday), not to mention either fair, tolerant or kind. I have no problem, and in fact very much enjoy, discussing religion of all kinds. (I teach a school class on religious literature of the world.) However, although spiritual matters and religious belief can and should be discussed from an intellectual standpoint, they are not defensible from a logical standpoint, nor should they be required to stand up to logical scrutiny. It's all about faith, not reason. People without faith may not be able to understand how it is to have it; people with faith may not be able to understand how it is to be without it. It's a miraculous thing to me that sincere people almost always find the thing that fits them best. Sometimes it takes a while for them to come to the determination of their faith (or non-faith), but it has to be a highly personal pursuit. Gently and tolerantly examining ideas, philosophies, doctrines, history and personalities might steer people in one or another direction, but clearly, if a person is truly committed to their faith, throwing logic (or seeming logic) and facts (or putative facts) at them isn't going to change that commitment. Those people who think they can somehow wean Mormons away from Mormonism by showing Mormons their particular version of "the facts" just don't get it. We aren't there because we THINK it's true; we are there because we BELIEVE it's true. Being nasty about the Church just causes rancor and bitterness, divisiveness and conflict. We have too much of that in the world already, don't we? You can catch more flies . . .

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 16, 2008 6:29 AM | Report abuse

P.S. I have to apologize for the Dumb and Dumber comment. It was out of line. Sorry to you and Meso, both.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 16, 2008 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Baku:
I'm going to come out and say it. You are a hypocrite. You demonstrate a passive-aggressive hostility towards Meso and others who provide refuting evidence towards Mormon doctrine:
"No, Meso, you have misread the post. (Do you do that on purpose?)"
- Posted by: Baku Reader | January 15, 2008 01:11 PM

You call insult their claims by calling them "ridiculous":
"And Meso, will you PLEASE drop the deer thing. It's ridiculous. Perhaps they were refering to llamas."
- Posted by: Baku Reader | January 11, 2008 02:49 PM

Essentially, you are critical of those who provide compelling evidence in contrary to Mormon doctrinal claims, while at the same time being supportive of those who those who revert to name calling and character attacks:
"Hear, hear, WOW. It's a bit frightening to see so much intolerance and religious bigotry in one place. Way to stand up for yourself and Mormons, Lacrima. And thanks for your service in Iraq."
- Posted by: Baku Reader | January 11, 2008 02:00 PM

Lacrima insults people in almost every post and is obviously bigoted and hateful against Born-again Christians and anyone critical of Mormon history or who provides refuting evidence the Book of Mormon claims that are contradictory to science. Yet you nit-pick "antis" comments.

You have also been downright insulting:
"I'm not going to comment on anything you people just posted except to say that you don't seem capable of reading what a person actually says. You read what you want to see and that is all. That makes discussion absolutely impossible, since nothing I can say will be understood or acknowledged by you. The mark of a true conversationalist is the listening, not the talking. You cannot carry on a conversation because you don't actually listen. So see ya, wouldn't want to be ya."
- Posted by: Baku Reader | January 12, 2008 03:26 AM

Baku, you are at fault as much as anyone on this board. You make attribute statements about my communication style (e.g., I have "frantic emotion" and "emotional diatribe" in my posts), yet, when asked for examples (on two occasions), you don't or can't give any.

You said "Your calling Catholic teachings hateful seemed to fall into that category, though."

Here is what I actually said:
"For the middle-class people, great improvements in medicine, science, education, entertainment, commerce (e.g., by means of exploration), philosophy (i.e., way to think about life differently from the hateful Catholic dogma preached at that time), etc."
- Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 15, 2008 10:39 AM

"...the hateful Catholic dogma preached at that time" was in context of the debate I was having with Lacima. "That time" being the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, a period where the Catholic church was imprisoning people like Galileo for his scientific statements, burning people at the stake for heresy like Giordano Bruno, and executing people like Chevalier de La Barre who was beheaded on charges he had marred a crucifix, sung irreligious songs, and worn his hat while a religious procession had passed. Are you saying the Catholic Church didn't preach hateful, if not murderous, doctrine at that time? What about a few centuries prior to that during the Crusades?

Even in this past century, I find the Catholic Church's (and other Protestant churches) support of the Nazi regime absolutely appalling. For a few pictures: http://www.nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm

You want people to be respectful and tolerant of religion, when it is arguably the most INtolerant invention of mankind. Why should people respect religion when it is discriminatory of other faiths and people who don't fit within their rigid definitions of what is considered "acceptable"?

The Mormon church is one of the most intolerant religions in the United States. It preaches acceptance in the most ironic sense of the word. Yeah right, acceptance as long as you are conservative, straight, Christian, don't criticize any of their leaders, and don't debate any of their literature using scientific evidence.

You can trumpet "respect and tolerance" all you want, but it would be refreshing to see Mormons and other religions actually live it.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 16, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Baku,

Apology accepted. Although I didn't think your postings were all that spiteful.

If your church had begun as an institution to extol the teachings of Christ and show folks how to be more loving and caring about/to each other then I wouldn't be posting my thoughts refuting this religion.

The LDS Church claims to tell us about the early inhabitants of the Americas. This alleged history is the keystone of the religion. They have claimed that the ancestors of the American Indians are Hebrew emigrants that peopled the Americas from "sea south to sea north, from sea east to sea west". Scientific evidence has disproved their claims and the 'keystone' of their religion has crumbled. The stories that their apologists are spinning are completely different from the founder's. I am just pointing out these inconsistencies and the church's attempt to covertly change what they have been telling us since their inseption. I am doing this in a attempt to expose this cult's real ambition, financial gain.

As has been pointed out in previous posts, the LDS Church is a mega-corporation. It has vast real estate and commercial interests. I have compared it to a multi-level marketing scheme or pyramid scheme if you will. I know people at the top of this pyramid and people at the bottom. Those at the top who have shown an accumen for turning a profit are rewarded with lucrative positions as directors on several boards. Their lifesyles rival those of many Fortune 500 corporate bigwigs. Their goals are not to bring soles to Christ but to maximize profits and increase the bottom line. You won't find any blue collar workers getting to the top of this pyramid...these boys are business school grads, attorneys, politicians and money launderers.

Baku, I have relatives who struggle to pay their 10% to this band of Gadianton robbers and I don't see their lives any better for it. If they had done any due diligence before deciding on it they probably wouldn't be a part of it. Unfortunately most LDS folks were born into this religion, like I was, and assumed their parents had done their own research. I was the kid who tore everything apart to see how it worked and it (LDS Church) didn't work for me. If having a warm fuzzy feeling works for you then by all means stay with this religion. Just don't blame those of us sheep who chose not to be sheared by the boys in Utah.

Posted by: Meso | January 16, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your comments, guys. I stand by my comment that posters (and not just you) on this board have tended to read posts for what they wanted to glean in order to knock down someone else rather than to understand what the other person is really saying. No apology for that. I think it has been true. I also think the way Meso kept harping on the deer thing was ridiculous. So no apology for that, either. I actually told you, Carlin, that upon reviewing your posts, I found you NOT frantic and not emotional. (See my previous statement about gleaning for argument's sake). Thanks for explaining your use of the word hateful. I understand your context better. Meso, I'm sorry you have such a negative view of the Church's motivations. I don't think I can change your mind, though, so I'm not going to try. My conviction is more than warm fuzzies, and I find your belittling of my religious experience rather offensive. And, I think that, having sincerely tried to explain something important and fairly vital to this whole discussion only to have the actual meat of what I said ignored in favor of castigating me for hypocrisy and one more dig at the Church, I am going to bid farewell to you. God bless.

Posted by: Baku Reader | January 16, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

You guys remind me of my cousin who was kindly asked one day by my brother please not to smoke on my parents' property. He left and hasn't ever come back, and furthermore, he convinced some of his brothers and sisters to shun my parents as well. For years, the family put up with his drug use, his illegitimate child, his disregard of his mother, his jail time, and welcomed him back with open arms to every family function, lent him money which wasn't repaid, took care of his kid, and so on but one small request not to smoke in front of the children made him decide we all hate him and are totally intolerant of him. You probably will say that isn't true of you, but your postings ooze with that. Your calling Baku Reader a hypocrite for not tolerating intolerance is a joke. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I don't think it was Baku Reader who was throwing the rocks.

Posted by: Familiar Ex-Mormon Story | January 16, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Meso,

When you say the Church's goal is not "to bring soles to Christ," are you referring to fish or shoe bottoms?

This could be theologically interesting.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 17, 2008 1:54 AM | Report abuse

Terry Ott,

We have to use heads.
Ask your question to Mitt Romney.

This is what you wrote:
-------
I am waiting for the first example of how Mitt Romney's interpretation of his obligations as a Mormon entered into his governance of Massachusetts and/or his business leadership career.

Anyone???????
--------
Again, use your head not your mouth and
fingers.

Posted by: Saxophonist | January 17, 2008 4:16 AM | Report abuse

To Mr. Ph,

You are WRONG.

People quit the LDS church because they cannot abide with the rules, teachings and standards of this true church such as the following:

1. Observance of the "Word of Wisdom".

All those who join the church are discouraged to drink liquors, hot drinks, coffee, smoking cigarrets. They cannot stop their vices. They cannot abide with this God's law because their hearts are set for things of this world.

2. Some of them were excommunicated or disfellowhipped because they committed adultery or fornication or stealing church money.

3. Some left the church because of jealousy to become a leader by appointment not by the dictate of the Spirit.

4. Some left because they cannot share their money through the "Law of Tithing" to God who is the giver of all things.

If you have the attitude as to those mentioned above, you better not join the church because you're just putting filthiness to this true church just like what Mr. Moody did.

---------------------------------

Mr. ph, this is what you wrote:

Who said he was excommunicated?

Many people quit the Mormon church when they find out they have been lied to their whole lives about it's real history.

The church practices a particularly vicious form of shunning and spreads nasty rumors about anyone who dares to leave it.

Posted by: ph | January 7, 2008 09:21 PM
-----------

Posted by: The Watcher | January 17, 2008 5:15 AM | Report abuse

Meso,

What you exposed here that our church ambition is for financial gain is a big LIE and you are a big LIAR and the church you belong is a great LIAR.

I have served the church as Bishop for almost 8 years and not a single penny went into my pocket whether it was for my salary or a stolen money as other preachers and leaders of other religions do. We serve the church as bishops, stake presidents and other leadership positions WITHOUT PAY. We have our own jobs and we are paid by our employers which are not connected to the church. We pay one-tenth of our salaries to the church as obedience to God's commandment found in Malachi and even in the teachings of Jesus Christ in the New Testament and the Book of Mormon. But the Church is NOT FORCING us to pay. We have our free agency whether or not we pay our tithing. Because we strongly believe that it is God's commandment to pay our tithes, we obeyed. The Church leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are HONEST MEN OF GOD. That is why you can see that our temples and chapels are very beautiful as compared to other churches edifices. This is because the moneys we paid as our tithes and offerings are very well managed. When we paid our tithes and offerings to the bishop, we don't care anymore what he will do with it for we have trusted him and it is already his responsibility to answer to our God if he does anything bad with it.

You have said that the 'keystone' of our religion "which is the Book of Mormon" has crumbled, you are WRONG because this book will penetrate to every nation, kindred, tongue and people even in your church. Someday, you will see that your church will be destroyed by the power of God and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will stand forever and ever. Try to look around your area about the growth of our church. Are you not aware of it? Satan has no power over this church for this is the church of Jesus Christ, the Savior mentioned in the Bible and the Book of Mormon as well as in the Pearl of Great Price. Observe the characters of the church members around you and compare it to you and your brothers and sisters. Are you not wondering why our church is growing fast and strong? That is because we strongly believe and proclaim that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of all mankind, the Head of our church and the Son of our Heavenly Father. I know, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ personally appeared to Joseph Smith, our prophet. Our prophet sealed the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and this church with his own blood.

Therefore while you still have time, you must REPENT of what you're doing "deceiving the people on the web". You must know that the Lord Jesus Christ is able to strike you anytime for telling lies to the people.


Posted by: Nephite | January 17, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Hey Nephite,

Glad to hear you're enriching the church coffers with your tithes, but being a bishop only means you're still a drone at the bottom of the ladder. In order to partake of the riches at the top of this pyramid, you have to show an accumen for making $$$ for the bigwigs who run the show. You'll never be an 'insider' until you can be effective on a large scale and bring in the big bucks like the corporate heads in SLC. Take some business courses, become wealthy...there may still be some hope for you to become like them.

Perhaps you might start a ponzi scheme like some of your brethren in SLC did with Bonneville Pacific Corporation. The CFO of that scam was elevated to General Authority as a reward for keeping his mouth shut and not involving other prominent church members when the s--t hit the fan.

Posted by: Meso | January 17, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

Shoe bottoms - as they walk the right path to Jesus. Should I go back and point out your misspellings and typos too?

Posted by: Meso | January 17, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Um, I think the sole thing was a joke, Meso. Just thought I'd point that out.

Posted by: Familiar Ex-Mormon Story | January 17, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm assuming that Nephite is a parody by an ex-Mormon of an unthinking LDS bishop.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 17, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey WBF,

You might be right about Nephite...nobody talks like that anymore, not even Mormons. Repent, repent, repent.

Posted by: Meso | January 17, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Meso wrote:

"You might be right about Nephite...nobody talks like that anymore, not even Mormons. Repent, repent, repent."

Or be struck down by God. That's some good old-time Brigham Young-style preaching for you.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 17, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

For the Washington Post - there are plenty of personal attacks, hate speech and inapropriate comments in this blog. I'll bookmark this page for future use.

Anti-mormons, will you please stand up...

Sandra Tanner, Ed Decker, Floyd McElveen, and all the rest.

No matter how hard you try, no matter how many weak and uninformed people are taken in with your lies and distortions......

You have your names included in the Book of Mormon already.

"...stir them up to anger against that which is good...."
"..hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.."
"And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the rock, receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall.
2 Nephi 29

"....for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.....And you that will not partake of the goodness of God, and respect the words of the Jews, and also my words, and the words which shall proceed forth out of the mouth of the Lamb of God, behold I bid you an everlasting farewell, for these words shall condemn you at the last day."
2 Nephi 33

Doubters cannot stop the work of the Lord.


Posted by: plenty of hate speech here WP | January 17, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

The last poster is seemingly a religious fanatic who makes a blanket statement calling the "non-faith promoting posters" people who "lie and distort".

The poster says "there are plenty of personal attacks, hate speech and inapropriate comments in this blog." Then ironically begins naming people in personal attacks, while promoting hate to all of the "non-Mormon" posters.

In addition, instead of giving examples, this religious nut uses scriptural references from the Book of Mormon to back up his/her point, while unknowingly demonstrating the circular reasoning of his/her entire post.

This is almost laughable.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 17, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow, WBF, and we thought Nephite's post was a riot...these guys should seriously consider looking into some serious medications. Either that or maybe reduce their intake of same.

Posted by: Meso | January 17, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Nope you can't stop the work of the Lord and the Book of Mormon is true. Look I'll use a quote from 2 Nephi 33 (in the Book of Mormon) to prove it. Circular reasoning at it's funniest.

Thanks for making my day. LOL!

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 17, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Plenty o' Hate Speech said:

"Sandra Tanner, Ed Decker, Floyd McElveen, and all the rest.

No matter how hard you try, no matter how many weak and uninformed people are taken in with your lies and distortions......

You have your names included in the Book of Mormon already. "

Ed Decker's name is in the Book of Mormon? Wow, I heard that there had been some changes to the Book of Mormon, but that's pretty remarkable.

Posted by: WestBerkeleyFlats | January 17, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

No one can disprove the principles, values, and ordinances which are necessary for becoming a joint heir
with Christ. (Would that all people had the hope and desire to follow the church which knows of these things written in the Holy Bible...)

If you sit back and ask yourself the following questions,
you can 'know in your heart' that there is another way.

-were your ordinances received through the priesthood of God?

-what did Christ do with his resurrected body? If he overcame death, why wouldn't he still have his body today? (If he was just a spirit, then he would be on equal ground with Satan....and the LDS faith is made fun of for actually believing Christ still has his body today?)

-what does being a joint-heir mean? (Many references to this are in the New Testament which were taught by Christ and His apostles.)

-what does the requirement to 'overcome' all things
mean? Yes, this is a requirement - you earn your place in one of the kingdoms of heaven/ or hell, if you so choose to go there - it's your option - compliments of your free-agency.

-does my church teach of revelation (the other comforter which Jesus promised to send)?

Christ had to overcome all things and the stories in the New Testament are full of his trials and His works of righteousness. He came to earth to show us the way that we also could find our way back to him.

**All you have to ask yourself is:

-will the pathway that an anti-mormon walks, bring me back to Christ? (speaking here of those who spend their lifetime preaching against the truths of the gospel).

-will reading anti-mormon literature (the 'researched' literature....) bring me closer to Christ? Just what are those 'golden nuggets' of truth that are revealed that Christ himself taught and that an anti-mormon knows to be true? (Insert laughter here, because an anti-mormon only preaches lies, distortions, misrepresentations....)

-will believing in Christ be all that is necessary to be saved? Or should I fill my life with good works, the proper baptism, overcoming all things - the same sorts of things that Christ himself did and taught within a church which has the authority to act in the name of Christ?

-is there any record of Christ appearing to a prophet in my church today (as in times of old)? Would Jesus have a prophet in each individual church with varying doctrines/theology?

-can my sins be forgiven on my deathbed, even though my life was filled with sin?

-are babies and all those who died before accepting Christ lost forever?

-though early Christians were persecuted (some even to death), would there be a similar pattern today? Would Christ's church and those of his church be persecuted today?

-is it really necessary to have a living prophet today?
(Considering many Christians believe in the 'timeline' of the Bible, would Christ have a spokesman on the earth/apostles who would teach and testify of the 'reality' of the risen Lord before His 2nd coming?)

***If there is anyone here that is totally confused from the above posts/teachings/misrepresentations/lies......which came from those who actually make a great living off of denigrating the LDS faith,

go to: www.lds.org and get the real truth about what
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches.

This really isn't too difficult to understand, but those who have a contentious spirit come from 'he who is full of contention'......remember the fallen angel?


All the anti's do is criticize, find fault where they can,
and basically grovel in the mud. They are not of Christ for
they do not preach of Him. Christ's people are known by their fruits and LDS faithful are known around the world for their wonderful fruits.

On the other side we can easily see the fruits of an anti-mormon. They are very apparent in all the write-ups above.

The Washington Post has lost my respect.

Posted by: will an anti-mormon path lead me to Christ? | January 18, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"No one can disprove the principles, values, and ordinances which are necessary for becoming a joint heir
with Christ...Christ's people are known by their fruits and LDS faithful are known around the world for their wonderful fruits."
- Posted by: will an anti-mormon path lead me to Christ? | January 18, 2008 01:23 PM

Right, look at many of the LDS faithful's statements above, where you will find insults, name calling, derogatory innuendo, and holier-than-thou preachy verbiage calling people to worship THEIR God, attend THEIR church, and read THEIR scriptures.

The last Mormon poster says: "This really isn't too difficult to understand, but those who have a contentious spirit come from 'he who is full of contention'......remember the fallen angel?"

It's ironic that right after that paragraph the person becomes contentious and begins attacking "antis". In addition, it seems very presumptious of the last poster to insinuate people even need Christ to be saved. I can be a good husband, father, son, and neighbor, yet if I don't accept their version of Christ...I cannot be saved.

Posted by: Elder George Carlin | January 18, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Don't waste your breath, folks. The three musketeers have their swords drawn, ready to defend themselves to the death.

But I think this thread is pretty much dwindling to a close. Not with a bang, but a whimper.

Posted by: Familiar Ex-Mormon Story | January 19, 2008 2:46 AM | Report abuse

Yes this thread has finally wound down. So what have we learned? Many Mormon faithful has borne testimony to the truthfulness of their holy texts and many of the non-believers have vented their displeasures and cast the church in a not so wholesome light. The pro-Mormon position was articulated best by Lacrima, in his capacity as apologist for the Mormon Church. He explained to us that horses meant any quadruped (deer?) to the ancient peoples in the Book of Mormon and that chariots meant sleds. He also told us that the dark skin curse of the Lamanites was not racism but simply a class distinction and a matter of their getting too much sun from working outdoors. He said that, in his world travels, he sees it all the time in regards to the social strata of those who labor outdoors as compared to those who work inside.

He also took the position of 'limited geography' that intellectuals of his church have adopted (because of DNA analysis to the contrary) to explain away long held beliefs by many Mormon faithful that the American Indians are descendants of Hebrew immigrants. He claims that a small area in Central America is the spot where events chronicled in Mormon scriptures took place. What he does not explain is how much of that history supposedly took place in upstate New York where nearly two and a half million ancient inhabitants were said to have died in epic battles on the Hill Camorah, the same place where his church has erected a large edifice. Nor does he explain how Mormon founder, Joseph Smith, was able to dig up golden plates left by those inhabitants in New York, when those events supposedly happened in Central America. Lacrima's explanations left many of us scratching our heads or simply chuckling.

Although it appears that while many Evangelicals and other sects participated in this discussion, the most articulate stance seems to have come from former Mormons, who, like hornswoggled followers of other cults, vented their rage at being duped for so long by this one. These folks seemed well versed in Mormon scripture and came back with well thought out responses to Lacrima's claims.

It also appears to many of us that Mitt Romney, in his quest for the presidency, may have been better served to disavow his membership in this quirky religion, as many wonder how someone stupid enough to believe in this cult could possibly have the mental capacity to rule this nation.


Posted by: Observer | January 19, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

What we have learned is that a group of people who have left the Church have used this blog as a forum to vent their anger at members of their families and the LDS Church--whatever actually caused that anger remains largely unknown; to justify their actions in leaving the Church; to repeat accusations brought up by ex-Mormons since the 1830's until the present and to level some new ones; to ridicule and denigrate all religion and one in particular; to make light of the faith of other people; to show their own inability to look beyond their argument.

We've also learned that Mormons feel obligated to defend themselves against attacks by these people and have done so on this blog, sometimes in a logical way, sometimes in a passionate way, sometimes in a clear and calm way, sometimes in a sarcastic way. Apologetics? In some cases, but apologetics is an old and respected branch of Christianity practiced for centuries. It simply means defending or providing proof of the truth.

It is unfortunate that LDS people are still having to deal with the old lies, rumors, half-truths, unprovable generalizations, and anti-Mormon mudslinging that has been perpetrated here on this blog. Some of what has been brought up may actually be worth discussing, but serious non-Mormon scholars don't talk this way. They examine questions that may even be similar to those brought up here, but the whole attitude, tone and discussion are very different. Sensible people discuss things sensibly.

So, what we've really learned is that among a certain class of people, religious discussions can still be very polemic, emotional and bitter. What has changed in the 2000 years since Christ lived? Apparently not much.

Posted by: Familiar Ex-Mormon Story | January 20, 2008 5:11 AM | Report abuse

Observer,

Your observations show the limits of your abilities. If you'll go back and read the posts, you will find that deer and sleds were both mentioned by Meso, one of the least intellectually able of the posters on this site.

I gave two clear linguistic examples (Greek and German) of the word "horse" being applied to another large quadraped that no modern would think of as a horse, and mentioned that, although wheeled toys have been found in ancient America, no wheeled vehicles have been found, i.e., the chariots remain a valid question.

Likewise, I did not say that the limited geography theory arose in response to the DNA question, merely that the limited geography of the Book of Mormon meant that the DNA question is not as devastating to the BoM as many of you think. The limited geography theory itself has been discussed in the Church since the beginning of the 20th century. It first appeared in official publications of the Church in the late '30s

The fact that some Mormons believe certain things about the BoM does not mean that those things are true. It is, however, to your advantage to pick the ideas that strike you as most rediculous and somehow require Mormons to explain them. That makes for cute debaters' points, but, in fact, the majority of the posters on this site, including unfortunately many Church members, are profoundly ignorant of both Church history and doctrine.

Given Observer's own clearly limited understanding of Mormonism, I'm not sure how he can tell that the exMormon response was so clever. It struck me as rather naive. What I will say about the exMormons is that their dialogue is less tinged by paranoia than that of the born agains.

It is clear, as Familiar implies, that there is little attempt in these postings to actually come to an understanding of Mormonism by either antis or exes. The attempt, rather, is to portray the Church as a bigoted, corrupt, and somehow conspiritorial delusion. This is mere propaganda.

For those of my coreligionists who are bothered by sites like these or who have had their interest aroused, keep in mind that the Church has become the subject of much serious academic comment by members and nom-members alike; that there is a whole world of interesting, intelligent discussion by people who, unlike the posters on this site, know the Church and its doctrines.

In the end, however, it is not the discussions that will keep the Church alive, but the power of the Restored Gospel to bless lives. I am a skeptic by nature, but have seen and experienced the blessings of the Gospel in my own life and the lives of my family members,and in the lives of thousands of people in many different countries.

Last, Observer states that belief in Mormonism is the result of stupidity and somehow implies diminished intellectual capacity. If he, or any of the other antis or exes posting on this site, have accomplished anything in life that is close to what Romney has done, I would be curious to read the details.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 20, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

It appears the comments have finaly slowed to a stop after almost two weeks and over 600 posts. As I said at the National Press Club, easterners don't understand the Mormon Church and the pretend Slueth proved her ignorance by dismissing me and my honest, well-researched book. Mary Ann doesn't get it.
Nearly all the issues discussed on this blog are noted in my book with humor insight and integrity. The men at FARMS, whom I call the FARMS boys, cannot defend the Mormon Church because it is founded on falsehoods and perpetuated by the old Mormon practice of "Lying for the Lord." Their last stand is to defend the fictitious BoM, but it is a creation of Joseph Smith - one of America's greatest historical con men.
I will sign of with a quote from my book. "Behold, the mighty warrior,Mormon, standing stately in his chariot,rides into battle pulled by a squealing pig."

Posted by: Michael Moody, author of Mitt,Set our poeple free | January 20, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Lacrima,

I didn't see any response to Observer in response to the conundrum of the gold plates being found in New York and the contention that so many folks had perished there in epic battles. You 'limited geography' theorists are saying all the events in your book took place in Central America. Do you suppose when it came time to do battle with each other, these folks packed up their deer and pulled their sleds north to upstate NY to slaughter each other?

You have never addressed the Book of Abraham translation either. How is it possible for your founder to decifer that parchment into something completely different than what modern day Egyptologists did?

Sadly, it seems that your 14 yrs. of highter education have left you nothing more than a well versed, educated idiot. Shame.

Posted by: Meso | January 20, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

To see what some of the survivors of that cult are saying...http://www.postmormon.org/exp_e/

Posted by: Observer | January 20, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Meso,

It has proven impossible to explain anything in terms simple enough for you to understand. Suffice it to say that if you understood the limited geography proposal, you would see that your conumdrum no longer exists.

As to the Book of Abraham, I did mention it somewhere above, leaving it an open question that I don't have the knowledge to discuss, nor you the intelligence to comprehend.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 21, 2008 3:20 AM | Report abuse

Why is it to many times the loser of a debate has to get angry and start calling everyone who disaggress with then all kind of very nasty names?

Posted by: Entertained | January 21, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

This Lacrima guy sounds a lot like Tom Cruise in his latest Scientology rantings that have sprung up on U-tube. Lacrima chastises those who would question his intelligence and subsequently his knowledge of Mormonism, even calling his own church members "profoundly ignorant".
Apparently some of Lacrima's profoundly ignorant fellow church members still believe the colloquial renditions of Mormonism that are still being preached from the pulpit and not the updated version that the apologists have invented to explain the inconsistencies of Mormon scriptures.

Is the Mormon religion so hard for the average guy to understand that it is necessary, as in Lacrimas case, to devote years in its study to actually decipher it's meaning? Did Christ's message go out only to the intellectuals of his time who could unravel some Machiavellian meaning in his words? I think not.

It seemed to me that Meso asked some legitimate questions in his last blog but Lacrima dismissed them, suggesting that they had already been answered and that anyone with his limited mental capacity simply couldn't fathom the intricacies involved in understanding this 'complex' religion anyway. Sounds a bit too much like Scientology for my tastes.

Posted by: Observer | January 21, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Give it up, Observer. This is so dead.

Posted by: Familiar Ex-Mormon Story | January 21, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Uh, you should give it up "Familiar Ex-Mormon Story".

These science issues are very relevant to Mormonism. Without them, this is faith without any reason. I don't see why so many Mormons simply write this off as if it were no big deal.

Posted by: Disgruntled Mormon | January 21, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Ooooh. Another ex-Mormon ready to take up the sword. You go, Girl, or Guy or whatever.

Posted by: Familiar Ex-Mormon Story | January 22, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"Familiar Ex-Mormon Story":

Aren't you "taking up the sword" for Mormonism? What's wrong if someone else does it for their lack of belief in the church?

Posted by: Questioning LDS Person | January 22, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Not at all. I don't believe in swordfighting.

Posted by: Familiar Ex-Mormon Story | January 22, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

That's exactly what you're doing here, in addition to being condescending. Please don't fuel the fire, it only hurts Mormons by making us look hypocritical.

Posted by: Questioning LDS Person | January 22, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Condescending? Moi?

Lighten up.

Posted by: Familiar Ex-Mormon Story | January 22, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Practically everyone on this thread has been so doggone serious. It's amazing. It's all so life-and-death. And anyway, the thread is dead. We should just let it lie in its grave in peace. So au revoir, mes petites. (That's for all the musketeers.)

Posted by: Familiar Ex-Mormon Story | January 22, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Except for Lacrima. He knows how to joke around.

Posted by: Familiar Ex-Mormon Story | January 22, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

You're right FamExMo,

Lacrima can certainly joke around...what a riot! He oughta go on Letterman with that routine about those suntanned Lamanites (skins) doing battle against the pasty white Nephites (shirts) - pulling their sleds through the jungle with their deer or tapirs that they mistakenly called horses. Maybe Letterman could use it on a sketch called: The 10 biggest reasons why Mitt should abandon this cult.

Posted by: Meso | January 22, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Yes, well, you have one mistakenly called "joke" that you have ridden to the point of exhaustion. No wonder the thread is dead. You BORED it to death.

Posted by: Familiar Ex-Mormon Story | January 22, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Poor Meso,

You have even managed to irritate Familiar, who is much more of a gentleman than I am. Since you have the intellectual capacity of one of the simpler invertebrates, I would really advise you to post less often.

Posted by: Lacrima | January 23, 2008 1:26 AM | Report abuse

What would a post from Lacrima be without an insult?

The world will probably never know.

This guy has the debate skills of a 3rd grader.

Posted by: NYC | January 23, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Here's what pretty much clinches it for me, folks- the KJV reads the way it does, because that's how English was spoken at the time it was written; there's nothing particularly more holy about using "thou shalt not" instead of "you shall not", but like the Catholic use of Latin long after it ceased to be the language spoken by the laity, the archaic nature of it lends itself to psychologically implying a certain timeless, mystic authority. Elizabethan English is beautiful, but it struck me as far more likely that someone trying to convince others of their authenticity as a prophet in mid 19th-century America would find it a useful tool, rather than it somehow being the preferred language of angelic messengers. That idea makes as much sense as would an angel appearing to someone today, and speaking the English of Thomas Jefferson's time. As far as ol' Mitt goes, I just wouldn't vote for him, because like Huckabee, Clinton and all the rest, there's too many special-interest groups who have a huge stake in their particular Muppet being on The Big Stage... More than ever these days, to succeed at politics, you must fail as an honest human being.

Posted by: Amused | January 25, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

So who do you find to be an honest human being? Does that mean you will just forego your right to vote? I don't know what other answer there is if you can't find ANYONE who's honest.

Posted by: Jesus for President | January 26, 2008 5:05 AM | Report abuse

JfP:
I'm not THAT unrealistic, nor do I think I have a right to complain if I don't participate- but sometimes it seems to me almost as if a "hacker" aesthetic is the new cultural norm, as in "manipulate and/or get what you can out of the existing system, while you can; people's attention spans are short, and no one will remember exactly what happened in ten years anyway." From business to politics to the media, it seems that sincere belief in change, or uncompromising ethical standards, are openly sneered at as being hopelessly naive, or seen as a "brilliant marketing strategy". Eggs have been getting broken for a long time now, and still no omelette. The Republican and the Democratic parties remind me of Pepsi and Coke, and the independents seem altogether too reactionary to be able to provide anything but bitter stalemates with the Legislative and Judiciary branches; the best I can do is vote for the candidate who presents the best combination of integrity, intelligence, and commitment.

Posted by: Amused | January 27, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Amused,

It reminds me a lot of the Senate hearings of a few years back when tobacco company execs were being grilled about the health risks of their products. To a man these corporate VP's stood up and denied any knowledge of the detrimental effects that their wares were visiting on addicted users.

This brilliant marketing strategy seems to have crept into Romney's religion as well - ethical standards be damned - the end justifies the means, deny...deny...deny. When scientific research proves you wrong, hire scientists for your side who show a willingness to convolute those data and spit out something more palatable to the least informed and more gullible of your customers.

Lacrima and his ilk will always find steady employment in their capacity as spin doctors to corporate marketing schemes, especially when their product is something in demand, be it tobacco or God.

Posted by: Observer | January 27, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Ronald Whitmer said "Come on America lets unite on our common Christian faith not be full of venom and hatred for Mormons, Catholics, Baptists, and Protestants of all denominations."

Mr. Whitmer, America does not have a common Christian faith. We are a nation of many faiths.

I hope you aren't full of venom and hatred for the faiths you didn't bother to name.

Posted by: Thomas Byner | January 28, 2008 3:46 AM | Report abuse

One question has bothered me for years.Why did Joseph Smith steal the ceremonial rituals from the Masons and use the interior designs of a Masonic temple for their designed santuaries?

Posted by: FYI | January 28, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I've often wondered why Christians borrowed pagan holidays for their celebrations of Easter and Christmas.

Posted by: Allosaur | January 28, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Or, why did Martin Luther steal a Druidic symbol--the Christmas tree--for his celebration of Christmas? That's bothered me for years, too.

Posted by: Allosaur | January 28, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Or why did the Nicene Council steal the Hindu conception of the Trilogy?

Posted by: Jesus for President | January 28, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Or why did the Catholic church use the neo-Platonist definition of God?

Posted by: Jesus for President | January 28, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Hello. . . hello. . .hello. . .hello. . .he

Posted by: Jesus for President | January 30, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

tbxvrugw sjfrviub xwbalnore sfnbyp hvqi pfxvti qotwkb

Posted by: pybsqij yklcmv | March 7, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

zwygjefma akvliwsqh jopgbq jpbczsd aulszwdn xteu rubq http://www.uxjab.uriga.com

Posted by: jmqztyd ogrjvybs | March 7, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

mafgqin msdyu
http://nursinghome.thephphost.net nursinghome

Posted by: nursinghome | August 15, 2008 6:15 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company