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Journalists urged to allow Mormons to define themselves

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  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Dec. 8, 2011 5:17 p.m.

    "Define us by who we are and by our central beliefs rather than who we are not or by obscure or irrelevant beliefs," Michael R. Otterson, managing director of public affairs for the LDS Church, said during a Thursday morning session of a conference called, "Politics and Religion: Getting it Right in 2012."

    Why? What does this even mean? Who gets to decide if a belief is obscure or irrelevant? Heck if it is a BELIEF, how could it be irrelevant? Does it go both ways ... that Mormons won't focus on "obscure or irrelevant beliefs" of others, particularly political candidates, but instead focus on their central beliefs? If I was Mormon, do I get to ignore the church's irrelevant beliefs? And do I get to decide if a belief is irrelevant, such as alcohol consumption? You really cannot have your cake and eat it too here.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 5:25 p.m.

    Look at the governments of the nations of the earth. When Marxists dictatorships rule, freedom to worship is stopped, penalized and restricted.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    If you want to bring religion to the table, if you want the moment to be a 'mormon moment', then suck it up. Journalists will do what they do. Otherwise, leave religion out of it, and you can define yourselves. It's not pretty, but that's the crowd you're looking to run with.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 5:33 p.m.

    "Define us by who we are and by our central beliefs rather than who we are not or by obscure or irrelevant beliefs," - Article

    Ok.

    *'LDS Church's in-kind donations to Prop. 8 total $190K' - By Lynn Arave - By Dsnews - 02/03/09

    'Proposition 8 was a ballot measure in California last November that changed the state constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and eliminated same-sex couples' right to marry.'

    But...I thought Mormons were Christian?

    While they were spreading the 'I am Mormon' campaign?

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 5:44 p.m.

    Everyone is capable of understanding this basic principle- that our personal feelings, beliefs, motivations, and comprehensions are our own. The idea that any of these characteristics can be defined or even understood by someone else other than ourselves or our creator is false.

    As this is such a basic human principle, something we understand even in childhood, the distinguishing factor between those who choose to adhere to this truth and those who do not is ignorance. This now leads us away from the principle and to how it is applied.

    Those who define anyone identifying as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the membership as a whole, or the church itself- other than how the Church or its membership would want to be defined, are doing us a disservice; according to the most basic principle I previously outlined, such persons are doing so knowingly. Is this less than hostility? Is this not an intentional attack on other human beings and what is most valuable and precious, even our own beliefs and conscious thoughts?

    The Articles of Faith and Book of Mormon offer an accurate understanding of what we maintain as our beliefs.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 5:47 p.m.

    Hopefully voters will do a little homework and not just trust whatever any particular journalist expresses as "fact." None of us are perfect, yet some would be better at politics and running the country than others, just like some are better at being doctors, carpenters, car salesmen or policemen. Vote for the person you feel would do the best job for the country, as well as for you, not just who might be thrust upon you by others.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 6:25 p.m.

    @Pagan

    The LDS church has no reason to apologize for those values that it holds sacred and defends. You disagree. That's your prerogative. The LDS church also spends millions giving aid to those throughout the world that are suffering from the effects of natural and man made calamities. You may disagree with that too. But that is the LDS church's prerogative and I'm sure they make no apologies for that either.

    Mormons seem to be pretty Christian to me.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Dec. 8, 2011 6:59 p.m.

    @ Pagan | 5:33 p.m. Dec. 8, 2011

    Pagan, there will soon come a day when you will see that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraging it's members to work with all their might, as well as their money, to support Proposition 8 was indeed the most Christ-like thing to do.

    Yes, you will see....

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Dec. 8, 2011 7:05 p.m.

    @ Hutterite | 5:29 p.m. Dec. 8, 2011

    Hutterite -

    1st of all, neither the LDS church, nor any of it's members, asked the mainstream media to turn anything into a "Mormon moment". That is what the liberal, generally anti-religion mainstream media has chosen to call the large quantity of stories they write/highlight in today's culture due to the number of high-profile Latter-day Saints (Mormons) currently involved in American politics. If you want to blame anyone for this on-going "Mormon moment", blame the media since they're the ones responsible for it.

    2nd, get a clue. There is absolutely nothing wrong with an individual, or an organization of any kind, even a church, wanting to be correctly understood.

    Would YOU like it if I constantly mischaracterized you and your family to the whole world and refused to allow you the opportunity to refute the falsehoods I would say?

    Didn't think so....

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 7:24 p.m.

    @The Caravan Moves On
    "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraging it's members to work with all their might, as well as their money, to support Proposition 8 was indeed the most Christ-like thing to do."

    If I understand LDS belief correctly, the Constitution is supposed to be upheld by its American members. Considering that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, that would seem to put things at cross-purposes. Prop 8 caused a lot of my friends to go from neutral views of the church to strongly negative. It was a contributing factor (along with members just outright condemning my political views, whether it be institute instructors, home teaching companions, home teachers, or others) to my eventually leaving the church. I don't believe violating the Constitution by attacking a group of people who actually want to make a hopefully lifelong commitment to each other helps anything. It certainly doesn't help protect marriage. I'm really not sure how it's even Christ-like since honestly I don't think Jesus was in the business of forcing people to do things a certain way; he tended to prefer showing what was right.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 8:02 p.m.

    atl134,

    "the Constitution is supposed to be upheld by its American members."

    The constitution isn't supposed to do anything, it's a document. This statement is best phrased as this... "Americans are supposed to uphold their constitution". I disagree with this statement. I believe that we MAKE our constitution. In fact, that isn't a belief. That's a fact. And so far, the vast majority of this country seem to believe that the words 'gay marriage' aren't found within the constitution. Oh wait, that one isn't a belief either. It's a fact.

    Now, the equality premise and supreme court precedents have been argued as well and I have several arguments regarding these points also. The point is, we all have opinions on the interpretation of the document that WE ordain. But ultimately, we can amend that constitution right and left, all at once, or piece by piece. And until someone restrains my arms, silences my voice, and abuses my freedom- I am within my rights not to RECOGNIZE something.

    Courts invalidating any votes based on conservative interpretation of the constitution is NOT democratic. Eventually people will stop this entitlement/Marxist equality to protect freedom. Tyranny can only survive so long.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    Dec. 8, 2011 8:04 p.m.

    Jonathan Eddy | 6:25 p.m. Dec. 8, 2011
    "The LDS church also spends millions giving aid to those throughout the world that are suffering from the effects of natural and man made calamities. You may disagree with that too. But that is the LDS church's prerogative and I'm sure they make no apologies for that either.
    Mormons seem to be pretty Christian to me."

    @Jonathan Eddy, why do you attribue giving to Christianity. Christians don't have a corner on this market. As a matter of fact, Christians are in the minority in this world. There are billions of people in this world who give to others during calamities.

  • Angie dolline Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 8:04 p.m.

    Well, looks like a slow news day today. If you haven't noticed, someone spoke about this at the fall General conference. Someone didn't listen.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 8:24 p.m.

    @a voice of reason
    "Courts invalidating any votes based on conservative interpretation of the constitution is NOT democratic"

    Establishing something unconstitutional even with majority rule is something the courts have a duty of striking down.

    "And so far, the vast majority of this country seem to believe that the words 'gay marriage' aren't found within the constitution."

    Marriage isn't even in the constitution, but an equal protections clause is.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Dec. 8, 2011 8:31 p.m.

    I've got to think that the Mormon heirarchy is loving this. No matter what you think about the LDS Church, they are getting more press than their own ad campaign. Free advertising; you can't beat that!

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 8:34 p.m.

    @VoR;

    Neither is the word "marriage" found in the Constitution. Here are some words that ARE found though:

    Article. IV.
    Section. 1.

    Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. ...

    Section. 2.

    The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

    ---

    This CLEARLY states that ALL Citizens are entitled to ALL Privileges of Citizens of this Country. It also clearly states that Public Documents from ANY state are to be recognized in EVERY state (i.e. marriage licenses; including those for glbt couples).

    These words ARE found in our Constitution.

    The thing is, Mormons want to define themselves, and they want to write their own history. Sadly, they want to write only the pretty pieces and leave out all the ugly step-sisters that are part and parcel to their history.

    And those "obscure" beliefs are a part of the doctrines and therefore ARE worth using in the definition of what Mormonism is about. Absolutely. Own it or decannonize it.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 8:48 p.m.

    atl134,

    The constitution does not state anything about protecting equality.

    "Nor shall any State deprive... any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    Equal protection OF THE LAWS does not mean "government treats everyone and every act as equal". If it did, there wouldn't be a minimum wage, there would be one wage for every person. We would all have to get the same exact thing from the government. This is the marxist equality I refer to. This is what liberals are pushing. And quite literally, I have just shown how it is NOT found in our constitution.

    Equal protection OF THE LAW means that whatever law we write applies to everyone. Being that the constitution doesn't define marriage, recognize marriage, or anything of the like... a state may pass a law that defines marriage however it wants, and that law must apply to everyone. Right now, I can't marry a man all the same as every other man in my state. I have no more freedoms protected the state of Utah than any other male. This means that the State of Utah has satisfied our national constitution and every last right it lists for protection.

  • JO2 Wetumpka, AL
    Dec. 8, 2011 8:52 p.m.

    The argument that journalists should refer to Mormons as "Christian" is based on how wide we should draw the circle of inclusiveness around the term "Christian." For journalists, this circle should be fairly wide and include just about any group that identifies itself with Jesus Christ.
    For religious groups, this argument is a bit different... Many religious groups draw a much smaller circle of inclusiveness. Many Baptists for instance do no consider Catholics to be truly "Christian" because they draw their circle of inclusiveness based on a certain idea of the basis for individual salvation. To expect these groups to define Mormons, and many others, as "Christian" is a no-win scenario.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 9:05 p.m.

    @ Ms Molli

    "Jonathan Eddy, why do you attribue giving to Christianity. Christians don't have a corner on this market."

    and.......your point?

    "As a matter of fact, Christians are in the minority in this world. There are billions of people in this world who give to others during calamities."

    again......your point?

    You are somehow twisting words and completely going off track. Someone questioned the spending habits of the Mormon church (Prop 8)and somehow intimated that the church was spending money on non Christian-like causes. I never said "only Christians are giving and nobody else does". Let's please try to stay on subject.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 8, 2011 9:24 p.m.

    The problem with asking Mormons to define themselves is that Mormonism and the LDS church is in constant change. What was preached yesterday is not what is preached today and it will still be different tomorrow, what history and scripture is not changed is down played or not acknowledged. It is not easy to define or understand; and if one has a fair understanding of its entirety then it is hard to believe.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    Dec. 8, 2011 9:26 p.m.

    To: atl134 | 7:24 p.m. Dec. 8, 2011 Salt Lake City, UT - If you are going to bring the Bible into this discussion, then you know what Christ said regarding gay/lesbian relationships/marriage. I am not LDS nor do I necessarily support their position on everything. When you make a statement and use the Bible to back something up, be sure and mention what was exactly said.
    To: Pagan | 5:33 p.m. Dec. 8, 2011 Salt Lake City, UT - same old argument I have seen 100 times. To some Prop 8 is a moral issue and to some it is an equality issue. All churches have a right to make a statement regarding moral issues they perceive. All groups and individuals have the right to make a statement regarding civil issues they perceive. That is why this issue is now in the courts. Be sure and understand both sides when joining the discussion.

  • Freedom-In-Danger WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 9:43 p.m.

    "Own it or decannonize it."

    Ranch- In telling us how to interpret our own cannon, you have only shown that you either didn't understand the article or you chose to ignore it. To make such a demand on an article about Brother Otterson challenging that very practice is quite something.

    The practice of defining Mormon beliefs or the interpretations thereof is best left up to the faithful members of the church. If you want to understand the doctrine of the LDS Church, let others explain it for you.

    First, you failed to include the very real doctrine of ongoing revelation. Just because we said one thing then and what seems to be another now, does not mean that the previous belief is negated, invalid, or even conflicting by our understanding of the two beliefs.

    Second, the United States constitution did not protect gay marriage when it was written. It didn't even protect half of what we allow on our streets today back then. So please understand that while the constitution was made for a moral and righteous people, so was our scriptural cannon. In 50 years those words will seem even more hypocritical; but WE changed, not doctrine.

  • Phranc SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 9:51 p.m.

    lets try this a third time Dn "moderators." maybe the LDS church should show the same type of behaviors towards others that they are asking from the press. its funny that the LDS church and DN are so quick to take offense but think nothing of causing it.

  • Mr. Bean Salt Lake, UTah
    Dec. 8, 2011 10:03 p.m.

    @atl134:

    "Marriage isn't even in the constitution, but an equal protections clause is."

    If you're saying the equal protection clause applies to homosexual marriage you may have a problem. Everyone, including homosexuals can marry anyone they wish... as long as the person is of the opposite sex.

    Further, if you think the equal protection clause should allow homosexual marriage then, by rights, it should also allow all other conceivable combinations of marriage such as polygamy, cousins marrying, siblings marrying, fathers to daughters, mothers to sons, etc, etc, etc. You don't wanna go there, do you?

    --------------------

    @atl134:

    "Marriage isn't even in the constitution, but an equal protections clause is."

    And so is the Supremacy Clause... which tells us that federal law supersedes state law where there are disparities. The 'Defense of Marriage Act' (one man to one woman) is a federal law.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 10:19 p.m.

    @Mr. Bean
    "Everyone, including homosexuals can marry anyone they wish... as long as the person is of the opposite sex."

    Once upon a time everyone could marry anyone they wished... as long as the person was of the opposite sex and same race.

    "Further, if you think the equal protection clause should allow homosexual marriage then, by rights, it should also allow all other conceivable combinations of marriage such as polygamy, cousins marrying, siblings marrying, fathers to daughters, mothers to sons, etc, etc, etc. You don't wanna go there, do you?"

    You sound like someone who opposed interracial marriage. Making one thing legal does not require making everything else legal.

    "And so is the Supremacy Clause... which tells us that federal law supersedes state law where there are disparities. The 'Defense of Marriage Act' (one man to one woman) is a federal law. "

    Supremacy clause is what threw out prop 8 due to the federal constitution. As for DOMA... incidentally that's also in the courts and I think was ruled unconstitutional in new york.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 10:23 p.m.

    so it strikes me that the same people calling on the news industry to refer to the lds church as Christian are the same people alway rallying against this same type of political correctness when it comes to any other group under the sun.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Dec. 8, 2011 10:27 p.m.

    @ atl134 | 7:24 p.m. Dec. 8, 2011

    Whoa! Hold your horses, amigo!

    You are assuming that Prop 8 goes against LDS doctrines because Latter-day Saints are supposed to uphold the Constitution and that Prop 8 is "un-Constitutional".

    "Houston, we have a problem here", and I think I just found it.

    No, atl134, Prop 8 is most definitely NOT "un-Constitutional".

    Got any other tough questions for me?

  • wrz Salt Lake, UTah
    Dec. 8, 2011 10:32 p.m.

    @skeptic:

    "The problem with asking Mormons to define themselves is that Mormonism and the LDS church is in constant change."

    All churches change over time. The Mormon Church is probably the church that changes its doctrine the least among all churches.

    "What was preached yesterday is not what is preached today and it will still be different tomorrow..."

    I think you might be talking about the Christian Holy Bible... where it describes, for instance, about stoning sinners... then later to only love them.

    "...what history and scripture is not changed is down played or not acknowledged. It is not easy to define or understand; and if one has a fair understanding of its entirety then it is hard to believe."

    You need to try to understand what Paul of the Christian Bible meant when he said: 'for now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face...' 1 Cor 13:12

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 11:00 p.m.

    Amazing thread.

    For a Church spokeman to ask journalists to allow the Church to define themselves turns into a discussion of Prop 8 in California, where, by-the-way, several Churches, including the Catholics were against Prop 8. For some reason, it was OK for all the other Churches and for the voters themselves to be against it, but heck, the Mormons saw to it that it was defeated. What strong political influence they must wield in that State, so as to "undo" the US Constitution.

    Then there's all the "false, damning and changed or ignored doctrine" that believers just sweep under the rug. That's an amazing point of view, too, since that "justifies" leaving the Church, forever to condemn it and everyone that embraces it.

    On both counts.......Give me a break.

  • Mr. Bean Salt Lake, UTah
    Dec. 8, 2011 11:31 p.m.

    @atl134:

    "Once upon a time everyone could marry anyone they wished... as long as the person was of the opposite sex and same race."

    Race marriage ban was tossed based on equal protection... However, barring same sex marriage does not violate equal protection since no one is barred from marriage. DOMA documents marriage definition.

    "You sound like someone who opposed interracial marriage. Making one thing legal does not require making everything else legal."

    If you're going to legally define marriage to include men marrying men and women marrying women you have opened the door for all aberrations and combination of marriage. And I'm confident there will be people coming forth demanding such aberrations.

    "Supremacy clause is what threw out prop 8 due to the federal constitution."

    Wrong. There's no federal homosexual marriage law to apply supremacy to. In fact DOMA is the guide to which supremacy is to be applied.

    "As for DOMA... incidentally that's also in the courts and I think was ruled unconstitutional in new york."

    Wrong. New york courts have no jurisdiction in the matter. I think any repeal of DOMA effort died in the US Congress.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 1:08 a.m.

    @The Caravan Moves on
    "Prop 8 is most definitely NOT "un-Constitutional"."

    Send that argument to the Prop 8 legal defense team because they were utterly humiliated in that court case where Prop 8 was declared unconstitutional.

    @wrz
    "The Mormon Church is probably the church that changes its doctrine the least among all churches."

    You have nothing backing that up at all do you?

    @toosmartforyou
    "For some reason, it was OK for all the other Churches and for the voters themselves to be against it, but heck, the Mormons saw to it that it was defeated."

    LDS members donated 50% of funds and 75% of volunteer hours to the Prop 8 side while being 2% of CA's population. Disproportionate amounts of work are what attract the disproportionate blame.

    @Mr. Bean
    "Race marriage ban tossed based on equal protection... barring same sex marriage does not... since no one is barred from marriage."

    Racial marriage bans didn't bar anyone from marriage either.

    "Wrong. There's no federal homosexual marriage law to apply supremacy to."

    The Constitution is supreme; that's what threw Prop 8 out.

    DOMA was thrown out in federal court; Boehner railed against Obama for not defending it in appeal, remember?

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Dec. 9, 2011 5:49 a.m.

    FreedominDanger writes

    "The practice of defining Mormon beliefs or the interpretations thereof is best left up to the faithful members of the church."

    Seems reasonable, on the face.

    However, I have seen convoluted answers to very strait-forward questions to church leaders.

    Even on today's DN there is a disagreement even among LDS as to whether a "planet" is possible in the afterlife.

    The question of whether God was once a man was "sidestepped" in a Time interview.
    The idea that man may become a God virtually never answered in terms that one can understand.

    You don't get the option of answering based on how you want to be viewed or gloss over teachings that make you uncomfortable with those outside the faith.

    The concept of Milk before Meat, depending on how it is handled, can be seen as untruthful.

    So, if you want to "define yourselves" be truthful, forthcoming and consistent.

    Otherwise, people will look elsewhere for answers.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 9, 2011 7:32 a.m.

    @WTZ:
    I appreciate the valid points you present however, it is difficult to reconcile the changes with the notion that god and his word is never changing; so why would Mormon doctrine on god was man and man may become god change, presthood holder requirements, plural marriage, temple rituals, etc, etc. It seems much of it has to do with politics more than religion or god. Therefore, a Mormon of yesterday will have a different view of the church than a Mormon of today. What is one to believe. Does god and his word change with man's world and time. Who is god and who is man. It is much like the capricious Greek gods of mythology.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    atl134

    You should know by now that you lose an argument when you denegrate the person by playing the race card i.e. Mr. Bean. So "You Lose".

    I think the "Articles of Faith" answers all any outsider needs to know about the LDS belief. We as members should be handing out the cards by the thousands in the coming year.

    If people have a problem with the LDS Church believing it is "the truth", then ask if they think their religion or belief system is true. If "yes" then that's the same as us. If "no" then ask why they bother with it.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    Same sex relationships can never be defined as marriage. Marriage is called a 'holy state of matrimony' because it is.

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Dec. 9, 2011 8:43 a.m.

    That is everyone dream!! To define oneself the way we see ourself and hope that everyone else believes it. How others see us is usually a more accurate description. If we think others aren't seeing us as who we really are, then we need to change something about ourself. This is true for individuals and organizations.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 8:51 a.m.

    'I think any repeal of DOMA effort died in the US Congress.' - Mr. Bean | 11:31 p.m. Dec. 8, 2011

    Reply:

    'The Constitution is supreme; that's what threw Prop 8 out.
    DOMA was thrown out in federal court; Boehner railed against Obama for not defending it in appeal, remember?' - atl134 | 1:08 a.m. Dec. 9, 2011

    *'Judge's Prop. 8 ruling upheld' - By Lisa Leff - AP - Published by DSNews - 06/14/11

    ruling that struck down California's same-sex marriage ban...'

    *'Gay marriage wins rulings in pair of federal challenges' - By Denise Lavoie - AP - Published by DSNews - 07/08/10

    '...in favor of gay couples' rights in two separate challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, a 1996 law that the Obama administration has argued for repealing. (sic)
    'The state had argued the law denied benefits such as Medicaid to gay married couples in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions have been legal since 2004.'

    Prop 8 was ruled down due to judge Walkers 136 page report. It was validated by the 9th circut court.

    DOMA factually prevents Medicare and adoption rights married couples enjoy.

    As such, it fails as well.

  • Freedom-In-Danger WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    Skeptic: I have a few answers that in fact reconcile the doctrine that God is unchanging, and our practices changing.

    The first doctrine you referenced has not changed. It is one of our core beliefs. It is also in the D&C and the FAIR apologetic group has a great article on this doctrine found in the Bible.

    God's priesthood, ordinances, and any other doctrine have never changed. We as a people change. Just as a parent may allow one child to do something, and restrict another. Did the parent or their doctrines change? No, but their children are different with different needs and sometimes different rules that satisfy the SAME parental desires or moralities.

    JoeBlow: the existence of disagreement does not invalidate my claim. However, 'line upon line' and 'everyone being imperfect' invalidate each claim used to contend with me.

    "You don't get the option of answering based on how you want to be viewed"

    Actually I GET, or rather have the option to not even answer. Your skepticism does not take away my freedom. Personal doubt is one thing. Pinning yourself against us (criticism and skepticism) is another, it very literally counters the principle of peace.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Dec. 9, 2011 9:03 a.m.

    Antagonists on this comments board are saying that the LDS church and it's members are somehow being unfair by wanting to "define themselves" but they are missing the point.

    If what we (Latter-day Saint members) are saying about ourselves is false, then, yes, we deserve criticism.

    However....

    if what we are doing is merely trying to present truth, ie, "the way things REALLY are", then we deserve no criticism at all. None. And neither would you if you were in the same situation.

    All we are trying to do is to present things as they really are: that is, we believe in Jesus Christ and we try as best as we can to be a moral and upstanding people and, last, we generally succeed at that.

    If you refuse to see what is blatantly obvious, whine about sour grapes to your hearts content....

  • Freedom-In-Danger WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    Kami: Have you ever seen the film "A Birth of A Nation"? That's a film in which people outside a group define the other group. By your own standard, the film accurately portrayed blacks in America.

    The burden of proof in logic always rests with the accuser. This is the most logical sound system. This is the very reason why our constitution maintains that we are innocent until proven guilty.

    Statements about another person hold no ground unless proven. I am NOT required to state my beliefs, defend them, argue them, even speak them aloud to ANYONE in this free country. I am not REQUIRED to do anything. If you make a claim against us, it stands to reason that YOU be the one to provide some sort of rational explanation as for why. Until that happens, my beliefs are mine and they can only be explained BY ME.

    Everyone: The anti-LDS comments on here preach only judgement and contention. Heaven forbid we preach diplomacy and peace!

    So many of these comments are nothing but a constant pushing and provoking. To seek out and WANT to fight with other human beings about what they believe... how truly sad!

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Dec. 9, 2011 9:35 a.m.

    Freedom-In-Danger | 9:13 a.m. Dec. 9, 2011
    "Kami: Have you ever seen the film "A Birth of A Nation"? That's a film in which people outside a group define the other group. By your own standard, the film accurately portrayed blacks in America.
    The burden of proof in logic always rests with the accuser. This is the most logical sound system. This is the very reason why our constitution maintains that we are innocent until proven guilty."

    I understand the martyr complex, believe me, I see it all the time on the boards. But as far as I know no one on the boards is talking about accusations. It is a matter of opinions, "This is how I see you". Ones self-image is rarely in line with how others perceive you. If you aren't happy with how others perceive you, then first take a good look in the mirror and see if they may be right. If they aren't right, then it is YOU that needs to make the change to help correct their perceptions.

  • LDS Revelations Sandy, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 10:25 a.m.

    "In other news Congress claims the right to set it's own approval ratings."

    I understand why the LDS Church wants to control what's being said about it. Like any other muti-nationals, the SLC Church has it's own PR interests. It wants to be seen in the best possible light. Fine. No one else is obliged to adopt this prime directive, however. For me free speech is the rule and truth the goal.

    Certainly the LDS Church has every right to define itself as it wishes and it has spent huge amounts of money doing that. But there's no guarantee people will buy what the Church is selling and for good reason. History has shown that organizations including the LDS Church are biased and sometimes dishonest in representing themselves. Turns out, the milk before meat approach often leads to omitting key facts.

    In the end I think Elder Hugh B Brown said it best:
    "We should, of course, respect the opinions of others, but we should also be unafraid to dissent if we are informed. Thoughts and expressions compete in the marketplace of thought, and in that competition truth emerges triumphant. Only error fears freedom of expression"

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    I'm a Mormon.

  • cstott Lehi, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 10:41 a.m.

    Is as simple as this... if a journalist wanted to do a story about you, would you want them to talk to YOU about who you are or get the information from your enemies or people who know very little about you.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 10:48 a.m.

    I'm a Christian.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    To those who say the church changes all the time, read the Bible and see the changes between the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament only one family and one nation had the truth; in the New Testament, it is opened to all who will live by faith (and faith comes by hearing the word of God: Romans 10:17) Today the church doesn't change much; it is society that is changing so rapidly due to technology and innovation------- poor nations are becoming rich and rich nations are becoming poor-- right before our very eyes. Poor people accept the truth, rich people struggle with the truth. It has always been that way.

  • ego Laie, HI
    Dec. 9, 2011 11:45 a.m.

    It is very difficult for pastors to let the Mormons define themselves....when the pastor does not define the mormons for his flock he looses a portion of his income.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    Mr.Bean
    If you're saying the equal protection clause applies to homosexual marriage you may have a problem. Everyone, including homosexuals can marry anyone they wish... as long as the person is of the opposite sex.

    LDS4
    (The year is 1960) Everyone.. can marry anyone they wish... as long as the person is of the same race. The law treats everyone equally, No race has more rights than another....oh, the same applies to using your own raceâs drinking fountains.

    MB
    Further, if you think the equal protection clause should allow homosexual marriage then, by rights, it should also allow all other conceivable combinations of marriage such as polygamy, cousins marrying, siblings marrying, fathers to daughters, mothers to sons, etc, etc, etc. You don't wanna go there, do you?

    LDS4
    Thereâs nothing objectively wrong with polygamy between consenting adults. We did it! Regarding relatives marrying, other than the ick factor, whatâs objectively wrong is no kids are produced? Even if kids are produced, how is this objectively different than allowing people with Sickle Cell, Tay-Sachs, Cystic Fibrosis, dwarfism, or any other genetic disease to marry and have kids? Should those be banned from marrying too?

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    Dec. 9, 2011 12:18 p.m.

    atl134
    Have you ever heard of Baker v Nelson? it is in fact the SCOTUS case that is precedent in sane sex marriage law and was decided by the same court that decided Loving v Virgina. It says that same sex marriage IS NOT covered by the constitution and that states DO have the right to deny same sex couples the right to marriage. When everything goes through the courts it will have to be held up against that decision before the SCOTUS. As the SCOTUS has said that same sex marriage is not covered by the Constitution ultimately THEY must either overturn Baker v Nelson before the claim can be fully made that same sex marriage bans are unconstitutional.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Dec. 9, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    skeptic brings up a point that basically says the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints changed its DOCTRINE in polgamy, priesthood and temple ordinances. What he fails to understand is that each of these which we have argued before were not DOCTRINE but practices. Practices do change but doctrine does not. The Doctrine of polgamy is still in force as many know by temple ordinances. The priesthood was extended to all worthy male members of the LDS Church which opened the priesthood to blacks. Temple ordinances have changed in some regard with certain aspects REMOVED from the ordinance itsel.

    The doctrine of the ordinances, of the priesthood and polgamy have not changed. We do not practice polgamy at this time and such it is sinful to do so until it is reinstituted by the Lord to do so. That will not happen as long as the law of the land doesn't allow it but may very well happen after the millienium begins.

    So basically the basic doctrines of the LDS Church has not changed since the were implemented by Joseph Smith. As for the Honor Code, that is a practice that can change and does change.

  • ennayr Papillion, NE
    Dec. 9, 2011 12:36 p.m.

    Maybe I'm reading the article wrong but it seems that the only thing they are trying to say here is to talk to a Mormon if you want to know what they believe. You don't go to a Ford dealer to ask questions about a Chevy. Sadly the media does this with many groups, and individuals. They misrepresent all the time. If you want to know about a group or individuals beliefs and ideas then go to the source.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 12:47 p.m.

    @ alt134

    '@toosmartforyou
    "For some reason, it was OK for all the other Churches and for the voters themselves to be against it, but heck, the Mormons saw to it that it was defeated."

    LDS members donated 50% of funds and 75% of volunteer hours to the Prop 8 side while being 2% of CA's population. Disproportionate amounts of work are what attract the disproportionate blame.'

    -------

    So it's ok to "assign blame" to those whose views are different than yours, especially if they worked harder on the issue than you. What a crock!! It's really more an agenda the press embraces, to tell the truth, my friend.

    How many "illegal immigrants" are allowed to vote in California on an issue---what is "their proportion of the population?"

    Why are you discounting the actual votes that were cast? Don't they really count or is it because your point-of-view failed? (Al Gore would love to use your logic.)

    And lastly, why is this issue being raised again ad infinitum when it has nothing to do with the article?

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    "Define us by who we are and by our central beliefs rather than who we are not or by obscure or irrelevant beliefs,"

    My beliefs in Kolob or Adam-ondi-Ahman are obscure and donât affect my daily life. If I want to tell people about me, I wonât bring these up because they donât convey who I really am. I will focus on Christ, being moral, charitable, etc.... When journalists and detractors focus on the obscure, it is usually to spread heat rather than light. Focusing on the obscure is like the blind man holding the elephantâs trunk and telling everyone how his description is accurate and unbiased.

    The Caravan Moves On
    Pagan, there will soon come a day when you will see that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraging it's members to work with all their might, as well as their money, to support Proposition 8 was indeed the most Christ-like thing to do.

    LDS4
    1 Cor. 10:29 says just the opposite.

    AVOR
    Courts invalidating any votes based on conservative interpretation of the constitution is NOT democratic.
    LDS4
    Without courts guarding our rights, democracy is simply organized mob rule.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Dec. 9, 2011 1:23 p.m.

    Am I misunderstanding this thread, or are there a lot of people arguing against allowing Mormons to define themselves? Is it true that some of the arguments against our defining ourselves include the idea that we are all liars, so we can't be trusted to define ourselves? Since when did our support of Prop. 8 cause us to lose the right to speak for ourselves? And why would someone who has renounced the Church and its faithful members have the right to define us?

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    Dec. 9, 2011 1:54 p.m.

    Pagan said, "Prop 8 was ruled down due to judge Walkers 136 page report. It was validated by the 9th circut court."

    Actually, no, the 9th Circut has not validated Judge Walker's ruling. I believe the matter is still before the 3 judge panel, unless I missed something and gays all over California failed to celebrate this "validation."

    And, as someone else posted, the US Supreme Court has already ruled in Baker v. Nelson that same sex marriage is not a 14th amendment issue. It is interesting that Judge Walker ignored that ruling all together. But I doubt the 9th circuit will ignore it.

  • kevlaur APO, AE
    Dec. 9, 2011 2:01 p.m.

    The LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is NONE else. Duet 4:35 // Thou shalt have no other gods before me. ... Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. Ex 20:3,5 // I am the LORD, and there is none else ... There is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. Isaiah 44:8 // I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me. Isaiah 45:5,6 // I am God, and there is none else: I am God, and there is none like me. Isaiah 46:9 // But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him. 1 Cor 8:6 //
    If you think are going to become a god some day - you are saying God is a liar.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 2:10 p.m.

    '(Pagan) Actually, no, the 9th Circut has not validated Judge Walker's ruling. I believe the matter is still before the 3 judge panel...' - Fred Vader | 1:54 p.m. Dec. 9, 2011

    You are correct.

    I apologize.

    Judge Walkers ruling WAS upheld by a federal judge and NOT the 9th circut.

    *'Judge's Prop. 8 ruling upheld' - By Lisa Leff - AP - Published by DSNews - 06/14/11

    '...Chief U.S. District Judge (sic) said former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker had no obligation to divulge whether he wanted to marry his same-sex partner before he declared last year that voter-approved Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.

    "The presumption that Judge Walker, by virtue of being in a same-sex relationship, had a desire to be married that rendered him incapable of making an impartial decision, is as warrantless as the presumption that a female judge is incapable of being impartial in a case in which women seek legal relief," Ware wrote.' - Article

    So, judge Walkers ruling struck down Prop 8 and NOW is before the 9th circut, as far as I am aware.

    After that, I believe it is the Supreme Court.

    Feel free to double check me.

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    Dec. 9, 2011 3:28 p.m.

    Pagan
    Lets change a couple of facts and see if you still think the judge should have been allowed to sit on the case.
    Fact one lets change same sex marriage to racial discrimination.
    Fact two lets change judge Walker from being gay to being a member of the KKK.
    Now should a KKK member be permitted to sit on a case about racial discrimination? I say NO because his mind is made up before he ever enters the court room. So what is the difference of a gay judge over a same sex marriage case? His mind is made up before he enters the court room. It does not matter what the existing statutes say, this is why Walker did not address Baker v Nelson the case that set the precedent for same sex marriage in the US.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    FV
    And, as someone else posted, the US Supreme Court has already ruled in Baker v. Nelson that same sex marriage is not a 14th amendment issue. It is interesting that Judge Walker ignored that ruling all together. But I doubt the 9th circuit will ignore it.

    LDS4
    The Baker decision is from 1972, just a few years after the Loving decision allowing mixed race marriages. It even pre-dates the ERA effort. America has come a long way in the past 40 years regarding the recognition of human rights.

    Judge Walker's ruling will allow the current Court to revisit the issue and review the logic the original court used in its ruling. The Court has to have a case brought to it. it can't, on its own, decide to revisit past decisions.

  • Freedom-In-Danger WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 5:04 p.m.

    kevlaur,

    We don't call God a liar. We worship Him. We follow His commandments. We preach His restored Gospel.

    We've only restored this-

    Genesis 1:26 "Let us make man in our image"

    Psalm 82:1 "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods."

    Psalm 82:6 "Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High."

    John 10:34 "Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?"

    Acts 17:29 "we are the offspring of God"

    John 17:22 "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one"

    Romans 8:17 "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."

    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."

    Philip 3:21 "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body"

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 5:37 p.m.

    I am not a mormon and dang proud about that. It does not define me as a person but wanted everyone to to know....

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Dec. 9, 2011 6:21 p.m.

    Re:Freedom-In-Danger, " Let Us make man in Our Image image and our likeness (Genesis 1:26)So God created man in his Own(spiritual) Image of God created he him Male and Female(Genesis 1:27). If there were more than one God it would read in Their image. The Trinity in the O.T..

    Psalm 82:1 "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. ",Psalm 82:6 "Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.", John 10:34 "Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, *Ye are gods?"
    Answered by James Talmage . Divinely Appointed judges Called gods, Psalm 82:6, judges(Men) invested by appointment are called gods. Jesus the Christ p. 501. * Ye are gods, present tense not even Mormons believe they are gods right, now.

    Acts 17:29 "we are the offspring of God" Acts 17:28, for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring. Creation is dependant on God for its very existence.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Dec. 9, 2011 7:49 p.m.

    "Define us by who we are and by our central beliefs rather than who we are not or by obscure or irrelevant beliefs,"

    These obscure and irrelevant beliefs are just as important as the central beliefs, because as it is written in 2nd John 1:9: "whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God." These obscure and irrelevant beliefs are heresies, and more and more people throughout this nation are finding this out.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Dec. 9, 2011 8:05 p.m.

    Sharrona: I hate to say this to you but OUR is plural meaning more than one. If it was to read the way you want it to read it would say MY. Their, our and them, GODS are plural. This is plain and simple english. Therefore, when it says in our image refers to more than one individual. Taken by the LDS meaning this would be God the Father, and then the Son. Did you know that Jesus means Jehovah.

    Again image is exactly that. Image. It is the same as me or you looking in the mirror. We see our image. Notice how I used we (plural) and our (plural).

    In your reasoning, Christ has given up his resurrected body which he showed to the twelve apostles after he was resurrected. Therefore, it is safe to say that we too will be resurrected where our SPIRIT will be rejoined with our body.

    In another reasoning, you stated God spoke and showed himself to Paul on the road to Damascus. This too is incorrect because Paul upon seeing the light requested who are you. He was answered by I am Jesus Christ who thou prosecutest.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 9, 2011 8:05 p.m.

    @WTZ

    Has the Mormon church changed its doctrine on who is a gentile. I had read that the Mormon believe was that all non-Mormons are gentiles, and of course this would include the Jews who are non-Mormon. But now other Mormon posters are stating that is not true. So we know who are the Mormons, but who are the gentiles. I hope you can explain, I would like to know the correct answer. THX.

  • wrz Salt Lake, UTah
    Dec. 9, 2011 10:41 p.m.

    @ClarkKent:

    "Who gets to decide if a belief is obscure or irrelevant? Heck if it is a BELIEF, how could it be irrelevant?"

    Some beliefs carry much more weight than others. For example, the church's prohibition against adultery is very serious. Yet obeying the LDS's 'Word of Wisdom' about imbibing probably carries way less weight in terms of relevancy.

    "And do I get to decide if a belief is irrelevant, such as alcohol consumption?"

    You can... and I doubt the church would notice. An ecclesiastical leader may suggest you may wish to abstain, and for a number of reasons including, keeping your family intact.

    @Utter Nonsense 5:25 p.m.:

    "The Mormon church is the only one that claims to be led by a prophet that speaks to God."

    I think almost all churches have leaders (prophets, etc.) that speak to God.

    "Therefore, the doctrine should not change unless God was wrong in the first place."

    The Bible message changed from the Old to the New Testament. Was the God of the OT wrong?

    @skeptic:

    "Has the Mormon church changed its doctrine on who is a gentile."

    How should I know what a Gentile is?

  • kevlaur APO, AE
    Dec. 9, 2011 11:50 p.m.

    Freedom from danger,
    You 'worship' in the vain hope that someday a whole planet of people will worship you.
    Genesis states 'image.' The 'our' is referring to the tri-une God. Read the entire chapter of Psalm 82 and tell me what you think is meant by 'gods' in this chapter.
    Remove the veil from your eyes - Christ is the one true God; there are no others.

  • Gramajane OAKLEY, ID
    Dec. 10, 2011 7:53 a.m.

    Maybe this will help -- a basic diet belief would be to eat more fruits n veggies in season, whole grains and to eat meat sparingly. But a peripheral diet belief might be that chewing gum is not part of a healthy diet.
    --- will it make any huge difference if one chews gum even quite often? Not likely - right? But what if one refruses to eat any veggies but eats all overprocessed products like Twinkes, white balloon bread and mega meat-- I sure think so!

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Dec. 10, 2011 8:21 a.m.

    Re: Bill in Nebraska, Did you know that Jesus means Jehovah?

    The spelling Jehovah appeared first during the 1762-1769 editing of the KJV Bible. The transcription Jehovah is nothing but a misunderstanding by Christian translators of Jewish reading traditions." JS saw the KJV not Jesus. Google Tetragrammaton. YHWH Before Abraham, I(Ego) Am(eimi).

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.(John 1:1,14). God became man, not man became God. See (Mosiah 7:27)explains the pre- incarnation of Jesus(Virgin Birth).

    God[is]spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.(John 4:24) And The Holy Ghost/Spirit,same Greek word(Pneuma) .
    So prior to the incarnation all 3 persons of the Trinity were spirit. Therefore,Image (Eikon G. 1504)1. used of the Moral likeness of renewed men to God.
    (Paul)My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me(Acts 22:9 NIV) You need a modern translation.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 10, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    kevlaur,

    You stated, "You 'worship' in the vain hope that..."

    1) That's a pretty wild claim, isn't it? To say that another human being believes something out of pure selfish motivation. I know without any doubt that God has commanded us not to judge each other.

    2) Joseph Smith so well outlined in the Lectures on Faith- that thing which is most desirable to the righteous- even what is the very root of all faith is to know that we are clean, righteous, and ultimately most accepted (my wording) to our Father in Heaven. That He is pleased with us.

    3) The truth is that God has an eternal plan for us. We are indeed His children. We are His family. The body's of the righteous will be made like His someday. The righteous will return to Him, to be like Him. ALL of this is in the Bible. Our belief in those exact words is not a lie. Rejecting the word of God is the only lie here, which is a lie to ones self.

    4) The ACTUAL doctrine outlined in the King Follett Discourse is that we only glory IN ORDER to eternally glorify our God.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 10, 2011 3:40 p.m.

    In Mormon related literature there are references to the modern use of Mormons viewing non-Mormons as gentiles. It seems there is a difference of interprtation of what a gentile is in Mormon speak. It appears not everyone understands the church's religious believes in the same way when explaining them to others. One expained that for Mormons a gentile is everyone who is not a Mormon and that is why Jesus was baptisted by proxy in the Mormon temple. Is this correct.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Dec. 10, 2011 4:34 p.m.

    @ skeptic: Where do you get this stuff? Calling non-Mormons "Gentiles" is an old slang convention. It is not and never was a doctrine. Mormons themselves often laugh at the irony of calling Jews "Gentiles." As slang, it probably still exists in some heavily Mormon places, but it is hardly universal. The baptism of Jesus Christ was well documented; if He were ever baptized for the dead in a Mormon temple it would have to be regarded as a silly mistake.

    @ kevlaur: Of course Latter-day Saints believe that through the atonement of Christ they can become gods. It's in the Doctrine and Covenants for the whole world to see. We believe that the doctrine is present in the Bible. You clearly disagree with us about it. You probably wouldn't be comfortable being a Mormon. We prefer to define those doctrines ourselves, however. If you grew up to be like your Daddy, would that negate him or validate him? We think it validates Him and brings glory to His name.

    We believe in the divinity of Christ. Someone must have misinformed you on that one.

    @Michigander: Our core belief is Christ as Savior. I don't think that's heresy.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Dec. 10, 2011 9:10 p.m.

    Sharrona: First off you didn't answer my question. You bypassed it entirely in dismissing Joseph Smith. Again the question: Did you know that Jesus in Hebrew means Jehovah?

    Skeptic: Whoever told you that someone was proxy for Jesus in a LDS Temple is a liar. You will find that the LDS Church teaches that Jesus went in search of John the Baptist as he was the only righteous High Priest of the Aaronic Priesthood that could baptize him. John the Baptist was a Levi. This is well documented in the Bible of his baptism. This is well taught in every single Gospel Doctrine discussion I have ever attended in the past 50 years.

    Gentiles refers to all that are not Jews. Most members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints were at one time Gentiles themselves. Once baptized into the LDS Church that are adopted into the House of Israel which is the twelve tribes of Israel. You will find that the tribe of Judah and part of the tribe of Benjamin are know as the Jews. All the other tribes are Hebrews but NOT Jews. In another thread I explained this as best I could.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 10, 2011 10:10 p.m.

    Otterson is right. The coverage of the Church by the media should give members of the Church a chance to explain what they believe. This is generally done. There are exceptions, such as Bloom's piece that used a quote from Orson Pratt as somewhow representing Church policy. I am not convinced the quote was meant to apply to politics, but I had never heard it before, so it is clearly not the teaching of the Church on the matter.

    The Church has made thousands of statements on its view on how members should involve in politics, and these are what the media should turn to.

    Reading the Book of Mormon is the best way to get to the truth.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 10, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    JO2,
    Yet any journalist who denied the Christianity of Catholics would be denounced for a long time.

    Part of the problem is that the Evangelical Christians have decided to use "Christian" as the specific denominator of their own sub-group of Christianity.

    The problem is more complexed because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worships Christ, emphasizes bringing all to him and doing all things in his name.

  • Robbie512 PROVO, UT
    Dec. 10, 2011 10:18 p.m.

    "Define us by who we are and by our central beliefs rather than who we are not or by obscure or irrelevant beliefs."

    This makes no sense to me. Ive always heard that we shouldnt judge the Church by its members, because people arent perfect, so why define us by who we are? Isn't the true mark of the Church the doctrine. And if the doctrine is perfect, why are we apologizing for it? Arent obscure or irrelevant beliefs just as true as the rest? It reminds me of the Mormonad with the ice cream and the bug: if part of its bad, throw it all out. Apologizing for some of our beliefs is sending the same message, and we shouldn't do it.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 10, 2011 10:22 p.m.

    The notion that God ordained the establishment of the constitution in no way implies he endorsed all its contents of that changing it is wrong. Any person who has seriously studied the US constitution will argue that its strongest point is the amedment system, which is both diffifult yet doable.

    That said, it is also beyond reasonable to try to argue that Latter-day Saints should hold to a view of the constitution that has been rejected by the Supreme Court on the very rare occasions when it has specifically ruled on the matter. This becomes more true since many supreme court decision have directly contradicted themselves.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 10, 2011 10:34 p.m.

    God speaks to man in his own language. This means that the ritual used to convey teachs has to change as the culture of the people recieving the ritual changes.

    On the totally unrelated issue of marriages, the argument that at one point marriage was limited by race is over-broad. The earliest marriage laws did not include race. Limits on marriage by race were imposed at specific times in the 1670s or so. Beyond this I live in a state that never limited marriage by race, and there are many other states like this.

    Also while sex is clearly definable, race is not. The complexity and different standards by race in the laws in the states that did ban inter-racial marriage show this. Also, sex relates to the central purposes of marriage and the proper raising of children. They are best raised by their own biological parents, and the state has an interest in creating a climate that encorages that. Race, as a made up thing does not have such a helpful effect on matters or any relevance to marriage.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Dec. 10, 2011 11:52 p.m.

    Are we now allowing, then, the fundamentalist LDS churches the right to define themselves as Mormon?

  • awsomeron Waianae, HI
    Dec. 11, 2011 2:04 a.m.

    I agree with Clark Kent.

    A Mormon in Hawaii is vastly different then a Mormon in Utah. However that said the beliefs and the system are the same.

    We do have a system and we do things a certain way and because of that we are organized, and we Network with one another, perhaps like no other faith group does.

    Some of our differences are as mormons we don't go or not go to Church because we like or didlike the the Preacher.

    We go to Church by area and at the same time and share the building with perhaps 3 other groups. Then we change meeting times each year so everyone gets a turn.

    I can find my Church just be putting my address in the Worship with us section of the Church Web Site. Along with Maps, Directions, and Phone Numbers.

    We are not a Cult, but we do somethings that are somewhat cult like.

    The reason things are different in Hawaii is that most of the members a Not White, and we say Aloha. Some of the leaders where White Shirts, Ties, Lava Lav's and Suit Coats and Sandels. Tourist tend to get over it.

  • Kadin BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Dec. 11, 2011 8:03 a.m.

    I am proud to be a Mormon and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Its hurtful when false, incorrect information is out there about the religion I belong to. As I've heard once, if you want to find about the truth about the LDS church you ask a Mormon not a person who left the church or a person of another religon.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Dec. 11, 2011 8:33 a.m.

    Before you can begin to think about politics at all, you have to abandon the notion that there is a war between good men and bad men. ~Walter Lippmann

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Dec. 11, 2011 10:00 a.m.

    Re: Bill, Did you know that Jesus means Jehovah?

    Jesus is a Hellenized- Anglicized form of Yeshua, which means Salvation. Yeshua never heard the name Jesus in his lifetime. He was always called Yeshua, which is similar to Joshua. David Chernoff.

    they shall say to me, What is His Name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM(The Being): and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the LORD (YHWH) God (Elohim) of your fathers, the God of Abraham.(Exodus 3:13-15)see (John 8:58)

    The personal name of the God of Israel, YHWH used in the Hebrew Bible(Gods name). Every time you see LORD,all capitals,in the KJV O.T. it means (YHWH). Example, (Deut 6:4) Hear, O Israel: The LORD(YHWH) our God(Elohim), the LORD(YHWH) is One.
    From LDS revelation...we learn that Jehovah is the English form of the actual Name by which the Lord Jesus was known anciently. (Mormon Doctrine p.788)

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Dec. 11, 2011 3:44 p.m.

    To Sharrona: FIrst off "Mary and Joseph did not need to be taugh the deep significance of the name Jesus. The Hebrew root from which it is derirved Yehoshua or Jehosua, means 'Jehovah is salvation'." Elder Russell M. Nelson

    Go anywhere on the internet and look up YHWH and you will find it means Jehovah. Also Elohim is the Father, Lord is Jehovah. Therefore, you have two different names for two different individuals. The question was asked of donn at one time what did Christ do with his resurrected body. Why was it so important for the apostels to feel and see his resurrected body? Why did they have the opportunity to feel and see the marks of the nails in his feet, hands and wrist? Why was it necessary to feel of the wound in his side if he no longer has a resurrected body. Why is it important for everyone to be baptized to enter into the kingdom of God, per the Bible is everyone is going to be through his grace any way? Why is it important for us to repent and to forgive if we are saved by his grace only?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Dec. 11, 2011 9:44 p.m.

    RE: Bill, Elohim is the Father, Lord is Jehovah. Therefore, you have two different names for two different individuals.Wrong,

    Strongs H.#430 Elohim d.the(true) God. H.#3068 Yĕhovah 1.the proper name of the one true God. God is His title YHWH is his name. They are the same person.

    Mormons/Jehovah's Witnesses spell YHWH wrong as "Jehovah" is the fact that the letter "J" doesn't even exist in Hebrew, Greek..
    The spelling Jehovah appeared first during the 1762-1769 editing of the KJV Bible. The transcription Jehovah is nothing but a misunderstanding by Christian translators of Jewish reading traditions

    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.(Luke 24:39)God[is]*Spirit (John 4:24)The Father.

    Why is it important for us to repent and to forgive if we are saved by his grace only?
    If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins..(1John 1:8)

  • JasonM OREM, UT
    Dec. 12, 2011 3:57 p.m.

    Let mormons define themselves? It does seem like a nice ethic. Too bad it isn't consistent with LDS position on fundamentalist mormons, who also call themselves christians and mormons. The LDS Church has asked the media to to refrain from using the word mormon for any such groups, and to call them "polygamous sects" instead. The LDS Church has said that there is no such thing as a fundamentalist mormon or polygamous mormon - even though many thousands of sincere people define themselves by these terms.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Dec. 13, 2011 1:03 p.m.

    The question is, what is obscure, and what is relevant?

    Obscure is a little tough to define, but relevance is anything that is material to complete understanding of an issue. If the question is whether a Mormon can be a "trusted political figure", then delving into polygamy Joseph Smith history may not be relevant. If the question is gay marriage, then the Church's own political history with marriage is relevant. If the question is Mormon origins, then most of the history is relevant.

    So the question is, who should get to control the message? Well, again context is important. If the question is to just try and understand what the Mormon theological position is on things, then asking the Church is probably fine. If the question is whether things have changed, then that would probably require the Church to explain CLEARLY it's current theological position, along with the theological position stated by Church leaders throughout time in the documented history.

    Ultimately however Otterstrom is asking for too much though, if he thinks that he and the Church ought to be the final voice on all reporting on Mormonism. That's just not how it works.

  • IMAN Marlborough, MA
    Dec. 13, 2011 3:43 p.m.

    Lots of groups would like to define themselves. The NAACP,The Communist Party, The KKK, The Arian Nation, The Republicans, The Democrats, Roman Catholics to name a few. Who should or shouldn't be allowed to? What's the criteria?

  • sperk PHOENIX, AZ
    Dec. 13, 2011 9:49 p.m.

    "...it is possible to get it right if we acknowledge...the importance of going to the source..."

    What source? Conference Talks? Journal of Discourses? Or can they go to members? And what about ex members? As a former mormon, I feel my point of view is just as valid--being raised in an active family going back five generations, married in the temple to returned missionary, held several leadership callings including temple ordinance worker.