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Mormon Media Observer: Time for journalists to look more deeply at the 'countercult' movement

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  • NightTrader Colonia, Yap, FSM
    July 25, 2011 8:16 a.m.

    I wish your article would make a difference in journalism's portrayal of Mormonism... but I doubt it will.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    July 25, 2011 8:22 a.m.

    I agree with Lane Williams that the word "cult" should have no place in any conversation regarding Mormonism. Similarly the non-Christian label is lazy and uninformed.

    I see a need for greater transparency both from non-Mormons who often exaggerate in order to criticize the Church as well as Mormons who often minimize in order to defend the Church. We can't criticize the way others describe us in order to create negative perceptions if we go to similar lengths in order to create positive perceptions.

    I think Mormons simply need to openly say here is what we believe. It may be different than what you believe but here is why we believe what we do. And here is the way we live our lives because of what we believe.

    Too often we lay out a very minimal, mainstream, apologetic description of LDS beliefs that can make us look like we play with facts as much as those criticizing the Church do.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    July 25, 2011 8:48 a.m.

    Christ's followers have always been accused of all manner of evil falsely, and have been called much worse than a "cult" but I agree that the name has become a form of bigotry and those using it should probably try something else.

  • gizmo33 St. George, Utah
    July 25, 2011 8:51 a.m.

    as long as there are people on this planet there are going to be those that attack and critisize what they dont know or dont understand and they will constantly refer to Mormanism as a cult and that will never change. we were at the town square yesterday when we over heard a conversation from a group of people and they refered to Mormanism as a cult.-- my opinion is I think its ignorant and uncalled for Im not LDS I have no use for religion but alot of my friends are LDS and it just disgusts me to no end that the LDS people get the negativity they do just for the simple reason people have no idea what is going on so they attack and crtisize what they dont understand. the sad part is this article will not change anything. alot of the so called Mormon haters all beleive that there is no differance between LDS and FLDS if they would take time to understand LDS people they would a great group of people.

  • gizmo33 St. George, Utah
    July 25, 2011 8:56 a.m.

    the last line should of read-- they would find a GREAT group of people

  • Well Read SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 25, 2011 9:02 a.m.

    It is easy to see why the term cult is used by other religious groups. They are afraid of the success of the Mormon Church. They do not realize that the LDS Church is the only church that has authority from God. They are sincere in their beliefs and are unaware that Satan is using them to try and stop God's work on the earth. Satan will use any means and methods he can to try and stop the work of God. He has since Adam and Eve and will until the second coming of the Savior.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    July 25, 2011 9:15 a.m.

    First - Is it not a fair statement to say "many Christians consider Mormonism a cult"? I think that accurately reflects many-a-Christian sentiment.

    Second - Why would Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, or any of the others waste their time exploring the "counter-cult" activities against Mormonism? Naturally the topic interests the Mormon author, but he unreasonably expects that disinterested others should engage Mormon issues.

    Third - We also should try and establish the basis for the "cult" label. Is it just whole cloth fabrication derived from competitive mud-slinging, or is there more to it than that? The fact is, Mormons place an inordinate amount loyalty into leadership veneration. It is for this reason they are often accused of "worshipping" Joseph Smith, or other leaders. Another case in which we squabble over words, when the idea is that Church leaders are held in higher esteem than what occurs in other social/institutional spheres. This observation hearkens to the leader worship of other groups whose cult title is less disputed. Another observation is Mormon temple ceremonies that are secret and sometimes quite disturbing, as reported by first time temple goers.

    The best course would be to just ignore the issue altogether.

  • Petra Sanpete County, UT
    July 25, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    I just have to laugh at the ignorance this counter-cult movement displays whenever it talks about LDS beliefs. If you've ever read any of their tracts (and you're LDS with some understanding of doctrine), you understand.

    The sad part is that ALL of their misunderstandings, and even valid concerns have been answered by LDS apologists for decades. That these folks never even read the LDS answers is telling.

    It would be good if their scholars were to actually engage the LDS scholars in an honest scholarly discussion. (They do this by responding to each others' published articles with fact and source.) There are, in fact, honest differences in our beliefs, and genuine concerns the evangelicals have that could be discussed with intelligence and respect. There could be authentic learning that might take place, maybe not belief on their part, but at least understanding of what we DO believe (as opposed to what they THINK we believe).

    Instead, they call names as if they were eight years old and refuse to engage in civil discourse. That the journalists in this country don't call them out on this is just wrong.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2011 9:33 a.m.

    The only ones that can get rid of the cult label are us. The vast majority of non-LDS who know practicing LDS well would not call us a cult. They see us as normal families with normal challenges who do normal things and try to be good parents, raise good families, be honest, generous, charitable, etc... It's up to us, especially those who live "in the mission field", to reach out to others and get to know non-LDS. They should join civic groups and take a more high profile position in their communities and let their light so shine.

    Ward/stake public affairs officials need to be more pro-active. Wards/Stakes need to be more involved with the community. I've seen stakes solicit Nativity Scene displays and display them for the public to see. RM's returning from foreign missions should go to schools and offer to speak to foreign language and government classes.

    Ignorance breeds fear. The counter-cult movement lives off of fear. If the public can know more about Mormons and Mormonism, they wouldn't fear it. I've been asked whether we LDS believe in Jesus. No wonder people believe that we are a cult.

  • Trueman Draper, Utah
    July 25, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    Its folks like Well Read and his posting in my opinion who strengthens the Christians belief that mormans are indeed a cult, which is supported by his comments that they are the true and only church who have authority from God. Yeah, keep thinking that way, and fanning the fire. And Let's see the worlds population currently is 7 billion and the USA about 320 Million and live members in mormon church equal, well you do the math. Oh, and when doing the math, include all those dead non-mormons who after death were baptized.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    July 25, 2011 9:46 a.m.

    Since the church never spends any time or capital in attacking other religions, this will never change.

    I personally think that evangelicals don't have a leg to stand on historically, and I call them on it every time. I remind them that their belief in the Trinty (as espoused in the Nicean Creed) is exactly the same as the Catholics. Therefore their religion is in error because the Catholics started the whole thing. I also like to point out that the dictionary definition of a cult is basically a belief system or set of beliefs based on the teachings of one person. That makes every religion, including theirs, a cult by definition. So I don't see the big deal. Walter Martin's book has been debunked so many times it's not good for anything. Education is the key.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    July 25, 2011 9:49 a.m.

    If the word "cult" is offensive to Mormons, imagine how offensive "sin" is to homosexuals.

  • Whos Life RU Living? Ogden, UT
    July 25, 2011 9:51 a.m.

    Is the KKK a cult? They are christian are they not? What is the definition of cult that we are implying?

  • Petra Sanpete County, UT
    July 25, 2011 9:52 a.m.

    'mormoncowboy":

    First - the idea that the Mormon Church is a "cult" came directly from the evangelical movement. Other than the Southern Baptist Church (which is actually mostly a part of the evangelical movement) , most other Protestant churches could care less. Most members of those churches had never even thought much about LDS, until it was something they heard from the evangelicals, or read in the papers by journalists too lazy to research beyond those evangelical tracts.

    Second - Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee are all evangelicals. They are ignorantly steeped in the idea that LDS belong to a cult and they spend LOTS of time talking about this, regarding potential LDS candidates. (Look at some of Huckabee's comments about Romney and LDS beliefs in 2008.)

    Third - while it may be perceived by others that LDS worship our leaders, in fact we worship Jesus Christ. We respect our leaders. And, concerning the temple, ancient rites may seem odd, but they are not "disturbing." If you are LDS, you know that nothing goes on there that is immoral, harmful or painful. We learn about Earth's ecclesiastical history and we make promises to be good people in God's sight. Period.

  • gramma b Orem, UT
    July 25, 2011 10:15 a.m.

    The anti-Mormon arguments raised by these people are so stupid that they have to resort to ad hominem.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 25, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    Are the FLDS considered a cult? They are simply living the religion of Brigham Young.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    July 25, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    RE: Well Read
    "It is easy to see why the term cult is used by other religious groups. They are afraid of the success of the Mormon Church. They do not realize that the LDS Church is the only church that has authority from God. They are sincere in their beliefs and are unaware that Satan is using them to try and stop God's work on the earth. Satan will use any means and methods he can to try and stop the work of God. He has since Adam and Eve and will until the second coming of the Savior."

    Quotes like that leave a REALLY bad taste in the mouths of Evangelicals and other Christians. It is a passive aggressive statement, that allows you to say I'm right you are wrong, I'm doing GOD's work you are falling under Satan's power. If you truly believe this than others will never stop defending their own churches, which means attacking Mormons.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    July 25, 2011 10:56 a.m.

    To Petra - If Bachman, Palin, and Huckabee spend LOTS of time talking about the Mormons being a cult, there would certainly be many examples of that, so let's hear some. The DN makes hay out of every conceivable slight against Mormons, whether real or imagined, so I don't think they're letting any of it slip past their readership. Outside of one very brief comment about Mormons believing Jesus and Satan are brothers, from Huckabee, and some follow-up backpedaling, I don't recall hearing anything at all from any of them about Mormons, for good or bad.

    What are you talking about, because to me it seems like an awfully big chip on your shoulder.

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    July 25, 2011 11:02 a.m.

    When your leader says only wear one earring and your women immediately remove any excess earrings it gives the appearance of blind following. The fact that you have to resign in writing and have it accepted or the church hounds you (personal experience)also creates incorrect appearances. I know thhe LDS church is not a cult. But it is controlling. So roll with it.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    July 25, 2011 11:06 a.m.

    I believe that when our good evangelical friends use the word "cult", they are thinking "different". Different in a negative way, but still, different.

    As we note the various definitions of the word cult, the LDS Church does not fit any of them. If one would only do a little investigation of the Church, they would find that it is a fairly large (13,000,000 members), well organized organization, which is world-wide in its scope, and is Christ centered based on the scriptures. It incorporates most main-stream Christian doctrines, except those that are not consistent with the scriptures. However, it has so much more, including prophets and apostles who receive revelation from our Father in Heaven. This one thing seems to concern people, as they tend to not believe in latter-day revelation, or at least do not understand it. They tend to worry that if a Mormon were elected as president, he would be influenced by the Church. This could not be further from the truth. Even among our church leaders, there are both Democrats and Republicans. The Church encourages its members to vote, but does not tell them how or for whom to vote.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    July 25, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    To Ernest T. Bass: The LDS Church was founded by one who was not a member of any religion or sect, thus it was not a "break-off" of any religion, which is one of the definitions of a "cult". As to whether the FLDS is a cult, you decide!

  • Mary E Petty Sandy, UT
    July 25, 2011 11:33 a.m.

    At one time or another, all religious sects have been maligned, marginalized, and denigrated. No matter, we are commanded to: "Love one another, Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you - Come Follow Me." More of this would bear the fruit and testimony of Jesus Christ that is the result of true religion.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 25, 2011 11:36 a.m.

    LDS4/Kirk said, The counter-cult movement lives off of fear. If the public can know more about Mormons and Mormonism, they wouldn't fear it. No fear, speaking the truth in love,
    The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, together with the vast majority of Christian denominations in the United States, do not regard the Mormon church as a Christian church, also The Catholic Church: Mormonism is a non-Christian religion(Catholic answers).

    Christians believe the Trinity; Which at one time JS taught.
    The doctrine of Christ, and the only true doctrine of the Father, and the Son ,and the Holy Ghost, which is one God(2Nephi 31:21)
    1 John 5:7(JST & KJV). For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are ONE (one,eis= #1,1520). Jn 17( One,en 1722 )is a oneness of purpose,true. Two different Greek Word.
    The Changng world of Mormonism,in 1834 it was voted on to change the name to The Church of LDS, notice the Lords name was omitted. IN 1838 JS changed the name to the present

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    July 25, 2011 11:42 a.m.

    To Doctor: Our leader taught that one "set" of earrings would be prudent, but more than that, he felt, was offensive to our Heavenly Father. Yes, many took off their extra earrings (some did not and still have not), but it was not by blind obedience. They took them off willingly, in order to show reverence to our Heavenly Father, which principle was taught by President Hinckley, who as a leader is trying to teach the church membership to live righteous lives and learn to please our Heavenly Father.

  • SnowCanyonDad SANTA CLARA, UT
    July 25, 2011 11:47 a.m.

    I would like to think those of us that are LDS would be a little more thick skinned and let the "cult" stigma roll of our backs. Those who are determined to call "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," a cult, are, perhaps mixing the pure, and perfect teachings of Jesus Christ with the ever so present "Mormon Culture." There are those in the LDS Church, who are trying to be perfect and, in lacking doing so, feel they need to take Christ's teachings and live them to the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law. Forgoing one of the Saviors, imperatives of "Be of Good Cheer." This means, in my opinion, is to be happy where you ar planted. If I, as a faithful LDS member, need to take offense at some silly word, and get my knickers in a knot, then maybe I should look at my life and ask myself,am I of good cheer? Now start attacking my Church on some other misfounded information, then the glove come off.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    July 25, 2011 12:07 p.m.

    Petra:

    Much of the cult talk came at the turn of the century around around Utah's isolation periods. Movies like the 1922 "Trapped by The Mormons" went along way to reinforce the cult lable in ways that weren't clearly sectarian, so I'm not certain that the "cult" label came from the evangelicals, but that is beside the point. Whether you like it or not, for many Christians, the Mormon culture is percieved in the same way as other well recognized cults, whose leaders spoke directly for God. Part of what is missing is the fact that earlier allegations connected Mormonism to the occult, due to some of the astrological theology, paganistic cross-over (lent from the wide-spread anti-masonry fervor), and the esoteric practices espoused by early Church leaders - such as divining rods, seer stones, etc.

    The only statement political statement from the politicians you mentioned was Huckabee's slight jab about Jesus and Satan being brothers. We do believe this more or less btw, we just didn't like how Huckabee stated it.

    As for Temple worship, that's debatable, but contrary to your assertion many first timers use the word "disturbed" to describe their experience. Think pre-1990's.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    July 25, 2011 12:13 p.m.

    With all the important issues in our world nowadays, and the LDS have a rule earrings?
    Maybe that "rule" and similar "major rules", cause the world to have questions about LDS Church and their priorities.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    July 25, 2011 12:14 p.m.

    sharrona,

    I would like you to know that the word "Saint" in the New Testament, which name began during the time of the Apostle Paul, was adopted as a name for the gentile converts. A Saint is a follower of Christ. Therefore, The Church of the Latter Day Saints included, by intent, the name Christ. That was the intent and meaning of that name. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith later that the name should be The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. No big deal here. The fact remains that Joseph Smith was a prophet and received many revelations. The different names the church was known by doesn't make any difference as to the truthfulness of the church. Each person has to decide that on his own and can know through study and prayer and the Holy Ghost.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    July 25, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    Rather than so much complaining by Mormons of being called a cult, perhaps it would help if Mormons would give reason and fact as to why they believe they are not a cult. On the surface (that part that the missionaries like to show) Mormons appear understandable and normal, but when one digs into the religion and church history there are many peculiarities that appear to be of a cult nature. Are Mormons saying like with polygamy, they were once polygmist but now they don't practice it, and that they were once a cult but now they are main stream. It is all very confusing.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2011 12:42 p.m.

    @panamadesnews
    "but it was not by blind obedience. They took them off willingly"

    How can you tell if it's willing or blind obedience? I think it's extremely difficult to tell a difference between the two because you can't really know what is going through someone's mind. I'm sure there are plenty of people who blindly obey, and then plenty of people who thought it over and decided to take them out. Since we're not going to see a prophetic command to jump off a bridge... it's going to be hard to separate the two categories. Probably what makes the "blind obedience" card so easy to play.

  • Independent Woman West Jordan, UT
    July 25, 2011 12:45 p.m.

    It's all just a sign of the times.

  • duck Saint George, UT
    July 25, 2011 12:53 p.m.

    I couldn't agree more. I once listened to a radio show in which a respected Catholic priest, I believe from Notre Dame U., said even the Catholic Church was called a "cult" by its adversaries, in its infancy. He made the point that the term "cult" was a derogatory term often used by bigoted people to slam a church they object to. So, anything that mainstream religions can do to encourage greater toleration between churches and reduce criticism would make our country a nicer place in which to live. And, politicians, journalists, and religionists should lead out in that effort. I for one, will not vote for any candidate who slams another person's religion--and that means calling it a cult.

  • Carson Provo, UT
    July 25, 2011 1:05 p.m.

    Be Fair Look At Both Sides Of The Coin!

    John Taylor, the third President of the Mormon Church, said Christianity is of the Devil.
    "Myself and hundreds of the Elders around me have seen its [Christianity] pomp, parade, and glory; and what is it?  It is a sounding brass and a tinkling symbol; it is as corrupt as hell; and the Devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 167).

    Brigham Young stated: "Should you ask why we differ from other Christians, as they are called, it is simply because they are not Christians as the New Testament defines Christianity" (Journal of Discourses, 10:230);

    The Christian God is the Mormons Devil. (Journal of Discourses,Volume 5 Page 331)

    The Christian God is the Mormons Devil. (Journal of Discourses,Volume 5 Page 331)
    John Taylor

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2011 2:02 p.m.

    We all know the comic strip B.C. One of the main caveman characters is Wiley. Wiley wrote his own dictionary giving unique definitions to various words. One word he defined was "cult". He defined it as "the church down the street from yours".

    I think we LDS should use that quote, with accrediting Wiley, when others accuse us of being a cult. It's humorous and makes people think and shows our accusers as being narrow minded. Try it out.

    SnowCanyonDad
    I would like to think those of us that are LDS would be a little more thick skinned and let the "cult" stigma roll of our backs.
    LDS4
    The term targets a non-LDS audience to poison the well against missionaries and LDS candidates and job seekers. Just because we ignore it doesn't mean that others will as well.

    duck
    I couldn't agree more. I once listened to a radio show in which a respected Catholic priest, I believe from Notre Dame U., said even the Catholic Church was called a "cult" by its adversaries,
    LDS4
    Many counter-cult ministries still call the Catholic Church as a cult and there are ministries that focus exclusively on Catholics.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2011 2:07 p.m.

    "I believe from Notre Dame U., said even the Catholic Church was called a "cult" by its adversaries, in its infancy. "

    In its infancy? Heck, a sizable percentage of people today consider the Catholic church a cult or the pope an anti-christ.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    July 25, 2011 2:09 p.m.

    Many Protestant Christians select a congregation based on the personal charisma of the pastor, whose income is a function of donations made in response to his (or her) personal following. That seems to me a lot more like "worshipping a man" than the situation in Mormon congregations, where all the leaders work for free, supporting themselves with regular jobs, and people attend a congregation based on where they live, not changing wards because of a personal attachment to a bishop. For that matter, bishops don't even deliver sermons on most Sundays; the sermons are given by various members of the congregation.

    The LDS Church system specifically decreases the opportunity for anyone to build a personal following or to profit from it. It is a structure that works AGAINST a cult-like following of a pastor, unlike so many Protestant churches whose success or failure is driven by a particular pastor's ability to inspire personal loyalty and make financial donations. That personal loyalty often leads to schisms in Protestant congregations, which is why there are so many of them.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    July 25, 2011 2:23 p.m.

    As to the issue of obedience to the teachings of LDS prophets, based on belief in their entitlement to receive revelation, I frankly see little difference from the obedience given to the statements of various Protestant ministers, who claim for their statements the authority of the Bible as the "infallible" Word of God. Those ministers assert their interpretations of the Bible as being authoritative and binding on their followers, based on the authority of "preserved" revelation in the Bible, as distinct from "fresh" revelation directly from God which LDS leaders will sometimes invoke (in addition to the words of the same Bible).

    On the other hand, the Roman Catholic Church claims that the positions developed in Church councils over the centuries are authoritative because they were inspired by the Holy Ghost, and are therefore of equal authority with the Bible. Whichever their faith, Christians of all kinds make significant sacrifices in obedience to what they understand is the will of God. Any sincere Christian should admire that, not attack other Christians over disagreements on what is a manifestation of God's will.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 25, 2011 2:40 p.m.

    panamadesnes: Most LDS I know believe the FLDS are a cult, with Jeffs at it's head.
    As I said, the FLDS are much closer to Mormonism of the 1800s and up to about 1920 than the current LDS church is.
    So, are the FLDS a cult? You decide.

  • JesusisLord1 KAYSVILLE, UT
    July 25, 2011 3:21 p.m.

    The biggest problem that exists with Mormonism is that it doesn't show itself as Christian...The nature of God is completely different from biblical christianity. Christians don't believe in many gods, and great grandparent gods, and endless other gods..They don't believe that there God is a "regional manager" god..They believe that their God is the God over all the universe, meaning everything seen and unseen.The billions and billions of galaxies in the universe..That's one of the main issues..Secondly Christianity believes that Jesus is God period..We believe that there is One God that shows itself as God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit..

  • JesusisLord1 KAYSVILLE, UT
    July 25, 2011 3:24 p.m.

    Christians believe the words of Jesus that God the Father is Spirit not a human being..Christians follow the gospel of grace and faith not a gospel of law and works..Christians don't believe in physical temples to worship God, but since He rented the veil in the temple after Christ was killed on the cross, He now dwells in our temple as the Holy Spirit enters in..Christians believe the holy word is innerant not only believable if it's translated correctly...Christians believe in the blood of Jesus and what he did for us on the cross...Christians believe that it's not religion that saves you but Jesus alone..Christians believe that Jesus is the only "High Priest", there are no other priest except Him that we go to...This is some of the differences..God Bless..

  • Kdee SLC, UT
    July 25, 2011 3:33 p.m.

    Perhaps the DesNews should first worry about their own journalistic integrity before worrying so much about that of others.

    A recent example: using secondary sources to argue that the ACLU is trying to get porn in prisons instead of doing the necessary research to see what the lawsuit is really about.

    I know it is really scary to look at public records and check with the justice department about the facts, but if they are unwilling to put forth any effort, why should they be surprised that other journalists use the same shortcuts.

  • Mr_IT LAKE FOREST, CA
    July 25, 2011 3:45 p.m.

    Hey no problem at all!

    Mormons can start, and lead by example, by cleaning their own house via no longer claiming that FLDS as well as unorthodox splinter groups - like the Lafferty Brothers and Brian David Mitchell - were/are cults and/or cult leaders.

    The problem, as Steven Hassan says so well, is that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck . . .

    So yes Lane, there ARE such things known as "cults" in this world. And if a group's behavior matches criteria established by Social Sciences (like the BITE model) then it's a ....

    Sorry.

    Sorry kid!

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    July 25, 2011 4:13 p.m.

    Next tome you go to F&T meeting count white shirts vs color shirts. There is no "rule" on white shirts but its funny what groupthink can pressure you to do to conform.

  • essay Redwood Valley, CA
    July 25, 2011 4:15 p.m.

    Cult smult. Although it might bring up images of Jim Jones or the Branch Davidians at Waco (and hence derogatory) - the truth is that the actual definition of cults would fit exactly the make-up of the early Christians. The Romans and Jews of the time looked at Christians as a "cult" - just as secularists and Evangeticals do Mormons today.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    July 25, 2011 5:02 p.m.

    Maybe this has already been said, but any argument evamngelicals can make for the proposition that MOrmonism is a "cult" can only be a circular argment, because they define Christianity self-referentially in the first place, so the term "cuylt" just means "too different from us."

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    July 25, 2011 5:19 p.m.

    Hey Doc, I haven't worn a white shirt or tie to church in years. But I know what you mean.

  • whatnext Clearfield, Utah
    July 25, 2011 6:04 p.m.

    My understanding of what a christian is is an individual that follows the example of Christ, that believes he is the Son of God, that he atoned for the sins of all mankind if they will have faith in him and keep his commandments. An individual who lives his teachings such as loving God with all his or her might, mind, and strength and by treating your fellow man like you would want to be treated. If that is what makes a true christian, then Latter Day Saints (Mormons) most defintally qualify.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    July 25, 2011 6:28 p.m.

    A cult, properly speaking, is an organized religious body - particularly the pattern of rituals, practices, and ordinances associated with that body. By this definition, Catholics, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, Sikhs, Bahai's, Shintoists, and any number of other religious denominations qualify as cults.

    For me, I rejected the theology of the anti-Mormon fundamentalist evangelists long before I became a Mormon. The fundamentalists' continual degrading, belittling, and bashing of the individual, coupled with liberal doses of unexplained guilt, alienated me as an American and as a human being. Their concept of justice -wherein we are asked to blindly accept guilt for the transgression of Adam - contradicts the American concept of justice, under which we have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. LDS theology affirms the ultimate worth and divine potential of the individual - something right wing Protestant theology fails to do.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    July 25, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    What a complex. The dnews has had four of these stories and has come to no conclusion to dispell the argument. The commentors on the articles make it even worse. Just stop already and let it drop. If you are comfortable with yourself, who cares what others think. This is a non story unless you are feeling guilting about being a member of a cult.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    July 25, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    How arrogant to say we wear white shirts to appease a group-think mentality. Many people understand the symbolism of wearing a white shirt to a meeting where we're renewing a covenant that cleanses us each week, and wear it respectfully, intentionally, and as a preferred choice. Many of the youth don't wear white shirts out of group-think at all, but because their parents encourage and sometimes require them to convey that symbolism, especially when participating in the delivery of those sacred emblems. I don't suppose you think Catholic altar boys wear robes out of a group-think mentality.

    People wear ties out of respect for the worship occasion, although some haven't matured enough to understand that outward appearance is an expression of the inward commitment. If God was physically present and visible, I'd bet most people who wear their nonconformity in dress and grooming as a badge of honor would clean up for the occasion. There's no reason to apologize or feel embarrassed that we still feel our worship service is worthy of the respect and honor we convey through wearing our "Sunday best."

  • Jimmymac WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    July 25, 2011 7:12 p.m.

    It makes me laugh to hear evangelicals calling mormons a cult. I think that any fundamentalist of any stripe that thinks in terms of absolute truths is a cultist whether they are mormons, evangelical protestants, catholics, muslims, hard core right wingers or hard core left wingers. To think that you possess the absolute truth because of some book that you revere is arrogant at best and cultish at worst. It breeds distrust and intolerance of others and a good example is this article in Worldmag, but any Morman who belived that there way or beliefs are the only way or truth would fit into exactly the same catagory as the evangelicals decrying mormonism.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2011 7:40 p.m.

    Cult is used as word with negative meaning. It is generally applied to kool-aid drinking groups that commit mass suicide, etc.

    Funny how people call the LDS Church "haters, bigots, tyrants" and so on... yet they are the ones applying labels of hate... a hateful act in and of itself.

    But only perfect people cast stones, right?

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2011 8:11 p.m.

    JesusisLord1
    ...We believe that there is One God that shows itself as God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit..

    LDS4
    But the Father is the God of Christ. How are they equal? They have different natures (Christ is physical). LDS don't believe in the Greek philosophy on which the Athanasian Trinity. 1 Tim. 1:6,7.

    JesusisLord1
    Christians believe the holy word is innerant not only believable if it's translated correctly...

    LDS4
    Sorry, but there are SEVERAL verses in the Bible (OT/OT, NT/NT, OT/NT) that contradict that even Norm Geisler, Howe, Haley and other apologists can't explain away. There are also a number of verses that contradict themselves when differing translations are used. I'd be MORE than happy to share a few if you'd like.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2011 9:31 p.m.

    lds4gaymarriage:

    you state, "LDS don't believe in the Greek philosophy on which the Athanasian Trinity."

    And the LDS Church doesn't believe in gay marriage either.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2011 9:40 p.m.

    I thought Mormons viewed themselves 'in the world, but not of the world.'

    Now, they're upset that someone uses the term 'cult' for their faith?

    Dosen't that mean they're 'in' the world?

  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    July 25, 2011 9:41 p.m.

    @ DSB: Catholic alter boys dress in robes because that is what they are required to wear.

    The point Doctor was making is that there is no such rule in the Mormon Church. Your explanation does a much better job of proving his point than arguing against it.

    @ A voice of Reason: Hmm - you know, I don't recall ever hearing Evangelicals refer to Mormons as "haters, bigots, tyrants" - although Evangelicals are the people that I hear refer to the Mormon Church as a cult. Nor have I ever seen one of your posts where you rant about "haters, bigots, tyrants" on threads about Evangelicals. Perhaps you could point me in the proper direction to back up your statements - or perhaps you just have a persecution complex.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    July 25, 2011 9:49 p.m.

    To Idaho Coug and Doctor: The white shirt and tie is the uniform of the priesthood. If either of you have ever heard General Conference, especially the Priesthood Session you will hear quite often that worthy male members of the Priesthood SHOULD wear white shirts and ties to Church. It isn't a requirement at any time but it is something that SHOULD be followed. Why, because as mentioned by many of the Leaders of the Church it is the uniform of the priesthood. That is the only reason. Also, if you check with many of the Bishoprics and Stake Presidencies you will find that if a youngman fails to wear a white shirt and tie, he generally will not be allowed to pass the sacrament. Again, not a requirement but for every action, their is a consequence. Maybe Idaho Coug you should quit being rebellious and follow what President Uchtdorf had to say during the last General Conference during the Sunday Morning Session. Oh, that is right he was only speaking his opinion, not revelation.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 25, 2011 10:11 p.m.

    Panamadesnews: I would like you to know that the word "Saint" in the NT, which name began during the time of the Apostle Paul. Wrong, Saint early 12c., sanctus(Latin ) Holy. from the Greek word (hagios) also meaning Holy. Spiritus Santus(Holy Spirit/Ghost).

    LDS/Kirk,1 Tim. 1:6,7,Cults; Questioning authority is considered gross disloyalty and spiritual rebellion. One of the reasons I left the church is the Bishop told me to read the KJV only,no one in my ward(stake) could read Greek except me.

    A Marvelous Work and Wonder evidence against the BoM.
    Therefore behold I will proceed to remove this people, and I will remove them: and I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will hide the understanding of the prudent. (Is 29:14 Septuagint))
    I will Destroy the wisdom of the wise ,and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent(1 Corinthians 1:19)
    Paul is quoting from the Septuagint. .
    A paraphrase gives a good view of Isaiahs prophecy. Therefore I will take awesome vengeance on these hypocrites, and make their wisest counselors as fools. (Is 29:14 LB). Fulfilled in that they(Jews) rejected Christ.

  • HappyLDSUte PROVO, UT
    July 25, 2011 11:02 p.m.

    @JesusisLord1
    Within the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:8, 2 Nephi 31:19, 2 Nephi 10:24, 2 Nephi 25:23, Jacob 4:7, Alma 22:14 Alma 24:10, Helaman 14:13 Ether 12:27, and Moroni 6:4 all basically say the same thing: that we are saved by the grace and merits of Christ and Christ alone. Without His Atonement, we believe all mankind would perish, be servants of the devil and be lost forever. We believe that if "works save us", it is not our works, but His. Living the Gospel of Christ- Faith in The Almighty God, Repentence through Faith in Jesus Christ, Baptism, and any good done to others in our lives was never a work of any man. Also, we believe Temples aren't the only places to worship, just places set aside to dedicate to feeling the Spirit of the Lord as much as possible and make specific covenants we believe should only be made within God's Holy Temple. But as far as worship, we believe prayer is the most basic form of worship and can be done anywhere, anytime. I hope this clears things up. Mark 9:40:-)

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    July 25, 2011 11:07 p.m.

    To JesusisLord1 - you think that you believe in the biblical Jesus, but Mormons don't? Just off the top of my head, the King James Bible relates the following:

    1. Jesus prayed to another being he called Father.
    2. Jesus, the Father, and Holy Ghost were all present at Jesus' baptism, each in different form.
    3. Jesus said not to call him "good" as that only applied to the Father.
    4. Jesus said repeatedly that he was obedient to his Father.
    5. On the cross, Jesus grieved that the Father had forsaken him.
    6. Jesus prayed that his followers might be "one" as he and the Father were "one." Are all followers to be joined in any other way but in unity, love, and purpose?

    Isn't is more correct that your interpretation (or rather, the Nicean Creed's interpretation) of the biblical Jesus is different than ours? Our side merely lost the Nicean Council debate.

    BTW, I also believe in faith, grace, our body as a temple for the Holy Ghost, the blood of Christ and what he did for me on the cross, and that there is no other name under the heavens whereby man may be saved.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2011 12:10 a.m.

    To Sorry Charlie!

    Evangelicals are CERTAINLY not the only group to have labeled the LDS Church as a cult, or called us haters, bigots, or so on. Nor does that mean that all Evangelical use such language or have those views.

    However, my term was very generalized and for a reason.

    -

    Those who fight the LDS church, using terms designed to have a negative impact on how people view the Church, or in some cases- simply to fight the church.

    The point? Using hateful words to describe someone, REGARDLESS of who you are, what cause you are a part of, or what religion you are... hate is hate. And using such words to describe us goes against what the people using such terms are preaching that they believe in.

  • cougpower West Jordan, UT
    July 26, 2011 7:36 a.m.

    To 'Utter Nonsense' re: 'If the shoe fits, wear it':

    Is it 'utter nonsense' that the Mormon Churchs mission to the world is to--
    - proclaim a church in these most perilous times, as similar fashion to His ancient Church--with Apostles and a living Prophet at its head?
    - announce that its "authority" as divine, just as it was anciently?
    - believe in the immortality of the soul?
    - worship God not only a Sabbath (but wholly advocates doing so--24/7)?
    - believe in a "Messiah" who not only WILL come in the near future, but who already has come, who atoned for the world's sins as prophesied anciently and in modern times?
    - reinstate temple-building, and to ensure (seal) families eternal continuity?
    - that a church today actually strives to express its magnanimous love for humanity by delivering 'Christian' service via spirit of service and volunteerism in devastated areas and regions of the world--i.e. millions of tons of goods, commodities, and humanitarian service for decades?
    - Preach, teach and testify to the world that Jesus IS The Christ, and that He lives, and affects our lives and destiny in the profound, above manner?
    So, whats nonsensical?

  • JesusisLord1 KAYSVILLE, UT
    July 26, 2011 8:17 a.m.

    DSB, if you believe that faith and grace saves you which Christians do to, then tell me why do you believe "in grace after all you can do"? That my friend is not complete grace...And if you believe the new covenant of the blood that we are redeemed of all sin, how does your faith say, believing Jesus is not enough, we must DODODODO, in order to get in the highest kingdom and then continue to become a god? This is not the gospel of Jesus Christ, a gospel of faith and grace, you have a gospel of law and works..Sorry, need to see what the new covenant is all about...It's freedom in Christ, not bondage to a corporation or institution...

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    July 26, 2011 8:21 a.m.

    A voice of Reason says:
    "To Sorry Charlie!

    Using hateful words to describe someone, REGARDLESS of who you are, what cause you are a part of, or what religion you are... hate is hate. And using such words to describe us goes against what the people using such terms are preaching that they believe in. "

    ---

    Well, well, well. Here we have an excellent example of "pot/kettle" syndrome. ;}

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2011 8:42 a.m.

    A voice of Reason

    lds4gaymarriage, you state, "LDS don't believe in the Greek philosophy on which the Athanasian Trinity."

    And the LDS Church doesn't believe in gay marriage either.

    LDS4
    True. Ironic, but true. Scripture condemns the former concept and condemns our opposition to the latter. The traditional Christians need to face the scriptures condemning the former and we LDS need to face the scriptures condemning our opposition to the latter. Neither group seems willing to do that and both resort to non-canonical statements to justify their respective positions and ignore the clear word of God.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    July 26, 2011 9:01 a.m.

    "People wear ties out of respect for the worship occasion, although some haven't matured enough to understand that outward appearance is an expression of the inward commitment."

    Most of the scripture that come to my mind on this matter actually state the opposite. God, looks upon the heart while man looks upon a persons outward appearance. Those who come dressed (outwardly) in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Those who outwardly disfigure their faces so as to appear unto man to fast. The Zoramites who were judged by their peers based on the outward appearance of their poverty.

    We could go on, but this notion of business dress representing an inward commitment is completely foreign to the teachings of scripture, but entirely intrinsic to group mentality. For reasons such as these, Mormons get the labels that they get.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2011 9:02 a.m.

    sharrona - 1 Tim. 1:6,7,Cults; Questioning authority is considered gross disloyalty and spiritual rebellion. One of the reasons I left the church is the Bishop told me to read the KJV only,no one in my ward(stake) could read Greek except me.

    KJK - 2 years ago, I made an appointment with my stake president to discuss my disagreement with the Church regarding Prop.8. When I got there, the whole Stake Presidency was there. After about an hour and harsh disagreement from the 2nd Counselor, the meeting ended. I asked the Stake President if he had time for a temple recommend interview. He did and he signed my recommend.

    I received no punishment for my open opposition.

    I own nearly 20translations of the Bible...nearly 20. I own 3 different Greek NT translations and use them when teaching Gospel Doctrine and Gospel Essentials to give greater insight into passages where the KJV comes up short or is ambiguous. No bishop has ever condemned it.

    We LDS are stuck with the KJV. If we changed, we'd have to redo the BOM so the quotes from the Bible match up. We're not about to do that.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    July 26, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    Bill in Nebraska:

    And lets not forget that the "uniform" of the Priesthood takes on the image of the modern business class! This uniform does not bring everyone to the same level, and demonstrate that God is no respecter of persons, but rather borrows prestige from the dress code that distinguishes the upper classes from the lower - labor, from management, poverty, from wealth.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    July 26, 2011 9:11 a.m.

    %voice of reason, hate is hate; and truth is truth. Shakespeare said it best: a rose by any other name is still a rose.

  • Enola BOUNTIFUL, UT
    July 26, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    I don't think the modern, mainstream LDS religion is fairly classified as a cult, but I think the church sometimes acts like a cult.

    For example, at places like BYU, there is a strict code of dress and grooming that force a certain conformity of appearance. There is a central leader of the church that sometimes dictates even minor aspects of his followers lives (e.g. how many earrings to wear). There is a requirement to pay a large amount of money in order to gain access to secret/sacred information in temples. Members that leave sometimes face harmful treatment from other members and even from close family. Members are discouraged from reading information that might lead them out of the group.

    There are many more, but I don't think these things fully define Mormonism. Rather, Mormonism more and more becomes more of a mainstream religion and the extremist elements tend to fade by the wayside as time goes on.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2011 9:14 a.m.

    JesusisLord1 - DSB, if you believe that faith and grace saves you which Christians do to, then tell me why do you believe "in grace after all you can do"? That my friend is not complete grace...

    KJK - We know that James preached that "faith without works is dead" so the idea of "cheap grace" is refuted. "Cheap grace" leads to

  • Gary Moore Bountiful, UT
    July 26, 2011 9:15 a.m.

    It's time to cut the term "cult" from public dialog, period.

    This is a pejorative with no universally accepted definition, that scares people. Those who envoke it are not trying to help their audience gain an accurate understanding of the group in question, they're trying to foment fear.
    They're don't want to promote thoughtful consideration, they wish to stiffle it. To demonize the faith at hand, then move on to the next target.

    It's sad that we even need to discuss this cheap parlor trick, nevertheless the fact that so many look on a religion very differently after hearing this label makes it an matter that needs to be deal with.

  • sushirocks8 SLC, UT
    July 26, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    BIll in Nebraska

    Perhaps you should turn to the Bible to see what the garments of the priesthood are. Nowhere are white short sleeved t-shirts and distasteful ties mentioned.

  • brokenclay Scottsdale, AZ
    July 26, 2011 10:48 a.m.

    DSB said, "Our side merely lost the Nicean Council debate."

    This is absolutely correct! I've been saying that the LDS are a type of Arians for a while now. Arians were proto-Mormons, originating in the 4th century. If you study 4th century Christianity closely, you will find that Arianism actually dominated the Church for most of that century. Most of the Roman emperors during that time were Arian, as were most bishops. The much maligned Athanasius was actually exiled several times by the emperors to try to squelch orthodox Christianity. And it almost worked-- modern Christianity would be essentially Mormon.

    Trinitarians really don't take issue with most of the points that you raise, DSB. The Father, Son, and Spirit are three distinct centers of consciousness. Your critique apples to Sabellianism only (modalism-- one person performing three roles). Most Mormons misrepresent Trinitarianism as Sabellianism, as you have done.

    Reread the passage for your third point. Jesus does not say that. He asks a question, and does not mention the Father, but God.

    The Athanasian understanding of deification and union with Christ is the best way to understand John 17:21-22 (your sixth point). Not a problem for us.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    July 26, 2011 10:54 a.m.

    I would go so far as to say "cult" should never be used by journalists at all for anything. It is an attack word that in current language serves no useful function.

  • brokenclay Scottsdale, AZ
    July 26, 2011 11:07 a.m.

    Perhaps I could speak from the perspective of an evangelical on the matter of Mormonism being labeled a "cult." The term, as we evangelicals use it, is generally reserved for those groups that claim to be Christian but believe in aberrant doctrine, especially with regard to theology proper; that is, their doctrine of God.

    So it's not so much about secret rituals or blind allegiance to men (as an aside, Christian Fundamentalism, of which I am a part, is full of this kind of cultism-- hero worship. Whether Mormonism is like this I won't discuss here). We would understand Mormonism to be cultic in the same way that Arians, Gnostics, Jehovah's Witnesses, or Sabellians are cultic-- they have an aberrant, heterodox view of the Godhead. Yet all claim to be Christian, even though their beliefs are mutually exclusive with ours. Only one can be genuinely Christian.

    Most evangelicals prioritize their religion over their politics, because the true religion will outlast the U.S. into eternity. This is as it should be. A candidate's religion will always be scrutinized by evangelicals, because it will heavily influence the way a man runs the country, if he really believes as he says.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2011 12:23 p.m.

    @JesusisLord1

    "if you believe that faith and grace saves you which Christians do to, then tell me why do you believe "in grace after all you can do"?"

    Because actions are important. Does belief in God give you free reign to blow up an orphanage because hey... Christ died for you so you're going to be fine due to grace? No, of course not, you'd get a one way ticket to hell. I left the LDS church but there are some things I think they have right. One of which is this "grace after all you can do" thing because if you really believed in Christ then you would do all that you could to try and follow him (try, since we will all fall short anyway). Do you believe that grace and faith gives you a blank check to commit whatever sins you want whenever you want? I'm sure your answer is no which means you believe in the "after all you can do thing".

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    July 26, 2011 12:40 p.m.

    Enjoyable thread. So folks who wear colored shirts are "rebellious" and can't serve sacrement. When did paying tithing become a requirement to attend temple weddings? I wore many a robe as a catholic alter boy. It was part of the ceremony like your temple garments. I certainly didn't wear robes to mass. I remember one funeral i was an alter boy and we were out of incense. I told the priest and he said, "light the coals, he's dead, he won't notice." What would happen in one of your rituals if a single word was uttered wrong or some action done incorrectly?

  • Maryquilter Farmington, UT
    July 26, 2011 3:31 p.m.

    TO Well-Read: I am LDS and even I am put off by statements such as yours which leave people with the wrong impression about our faith. There are many people of other faiths who dedicate their lives to serving Jesus Christ and following the example He left for ALL of us. I am a convert of 36 years and still blow my top when I hear ignorant comments like those you made. I think you will be truly surprised by whom you share the Celestial Kingdom with, and it won't all be people who were Mormons here on earth.

    It does seem odd to me that so many conservative evangelical Christians spout off about how they won't vote for a Mormon when those LDS politicians stand for the same moral values and ideals they purport to stand behind. The comment shared in the article about evangelicals not wanting to vote for an LDS president because that would somehow validate the Mormon church; I surely don't think having John F. Kennedy in office boosted the membership of the Catholic church- give me a break!

  • OLD-GUY Central, Utah
    July 26, 2011 4:14 p.m.

    Re: Doctor @ 11:02 "When your leader says only wear one earring and your women immediately remove any excess earrings it gives the appearance of blind following. The fact that you have to resign in writing and have it accepted or the church hounds you (personal experience)also creates incorrect appearances. I know thhe LDS church is not a cult. But it is controlling. So roll with it."

    Well Doc I think you could say that type of action about politicians or movie stars too. I think you miss an important concept regarding following leaders and that is the fact that the person can make a personal decision on whether or not to follow counsel, advice, programs given by leaders. I guess some could even write a letter saying they want to wear multiple earings and don't want to be around all those people who only wear one.

    I'm sorry that the requirement to write a letter gives you such grief, but you are free to go either way. I wonder what it takes to "resign" from the United States because the leader requires me to do things (like pay taxes.)

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    July 26, 2011 5:22 p.m.

    The difference between a "cult" and a "denomination" is -- three generations.

    All religions start out as cults. The bad ones flame out quick. Those with fundamentally sound principles, and without too many sharp corners, survive to pass on the tradition to children and grandchildren. That's the only difference between a cult and a denomination -- a respectable denomination is just a cult that's mellowed. Like good Scotch, not that I'd know.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    July 26, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    To be fair to evangelicals (fairer, that is, then they typically are to us), I can understand why they are so insistent on magnifying the differences between points of their doctrine and ours. (We exaggerate the differences, too, though for different reasons, and that's another story.)

    Protestantism exists because some people decided that the Roman Catholic Church had gotten its doctrine wrong, and those errors were serious enough to affect a person's salvation -- serious enough to justify splintering Christendom, which aided in the rise of secularism and the decline of Christianity's influence generally. To them, Christian life is less important than proper Christian identity. It's less about what you become, that is, than what you believe. Which explains so much of why their people's conduct, morally speaking, is pretty much indistinguishable from that of the irreligious.

    We've got it the other way around: What you believe is important, but not as important as what it causes you to become. If you're not becoming Christlike, then what you believe isn't doing you any good. Likewise, it's possible to become Christlike even without consciously believing orthodox Christian doctrine. Catholics and Mormons accept this; many Evangelicals don't. Their loss.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 26, 2011 5:49 p.m.

    RE: Kirk/LDS4: Cults will not Question authority like the Noble Bereans(Acts 17)cchecked Saint Paul.

    The Love Chapter (1 Corinthians 13.) Charity(love)never fails( 1Cor 13:8) or Faith hope and charity(love)(1 Corinthians 13:13).

    Moroni 7:47 . "But charity(love) is the pure love of Christ . Makes no sense in the original Greek. Charity, mid-12c.,benevolence for the poor," caritas from the Latin Vulgate often used as translation of Greek, agape "love".

    In(D&C 110: 1-16) Elias and Elijah appear to JS, but in the Bible they are the same person. The KJV translators attempted to transliterate Elijah to Elias because there isnt a Greek character for the English letter J.
    To avoid confusion: NIV, NJKV, NASB and the Catholic Bible have Elijah instead of Elias in(Mt 11:14,17; Luke 1:17)

    In(D&C 84: 11-13) JS said he saw Esaias S/B Isaiah. Modern translation have Isaiah instead of Esaias, (Romans 9:27,29). Elijah the prophet was born in Tishbite and lived in the reigns of Kings Ahab and Ahaziah about 1,000 years before Abraham .

    JS was unaware of these errors.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2011 8:27 p.m.

    brokenclay
    Arians were proto-Mormons
    KJK
    Actually not. LDS, like Trinitarians, believe in homoousios. We simply disagree on the nature of that "nature".

    brokenclay
    The much maligned Athanasius was actually exiled several times by the emperors to try to squelch orthodox Christianity.
    KJK
    Arianism was strong in the East. Constantine and Athanasius were Westerners. Constantine wanted to unite the kingdom religiously and politically to prevent schisms. He favored Athanasius and forbade Arius from attending or speaking. He had to rely on supporters to speak and lobby on his behalf. The deck was stacked from the start.

    brokenclay (to DSB)
    Your critique apples to Sabellianism only (modalism-- one person performing three roles). Most Mormons misrepresent Trinitarianism as Sabellianism, as you have done.
    KJK
    Unfortunately, you are correct. Most LDS aren't versed in early church history. Trinitarians are NOT Oneness Pentacostals nor other Jesus only Monarchianists.

    Others gave better objections to Trinitarianism - The Father being referred to as being the God of Christ and that the Holy Ghost is never called God. As has been stated , the problem is trying to fit the square peg of Greek philosophy into the round hole of scripture.

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    July 26, 2011 9:11 p.m.

    Old Guy-I think this is my 4th comment so I can't reply. If you want to resign from the U.S. just leave. If you want to resign from the LDS church you can't move to three different states because they forward our records. And senior missionaries have callings to track down inactives. And my wife was LDS and before we got married we agreed we wouldn't raise children LDS. Didn't matter to local ward folks.

  • coyote120 Saratoga Springs, UT
    July 26, 2011 9:47 p.m.

    Frankly, anytime you have to redefine something you are just lying to yourself. Go ahead, change the definition of a cult and while your at it redefine what a Christian is. Tell everyone that you believe all Christians are saved and then redefine it to only include yourself. While your at it, go ahead and redefine what lying is also. For me it's easy; instead of changing all those definitions, I just use a simple dictionary and decide for myself.

  • Tyler Ray Taylorsville, UT
    July 26, 2011 9:52 p.m.

    no fit in SG

    The simple things have such a profound impact in the world! The way a person dresses and how they treat their body will reflect in what they do with their body and if everyone treated their bodies as a temple as the bible says it is, we wouldn't have half the complex issues we have in this world!

  • brokenclay Scottsdale, AZ
    July 27, 2011 12:38 a.m.

    Kevin,

    Thank you for your reply and understanding regarding Sabellianism.

    1. Homoousios is not with reference to sharing only part of a nature like you and I do (we have equal kinds of human nature, but I do not share in your particular essence-- your "Kevinness." Homoousios means that the Father, Son, and Spirit share the exact IDENTICAL nature, and they each possess simultaneously that nature in its entirety. Their nature is undivided; ours is divided. If this is the case, then the LDS view is more in line with the Arian homoiousios. In summary, the orthodox term homoousios requires monotheism, which clearly excludes the LDS.

    2. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, Egypt, was actually of the Greek East. Interestingly, it was Constantine himself who sent Athanasius on the first of his five exiles. Further, it was actually Athanasius' predecessor, Alexander, who led the orthodox faction at the Nicaean Council, not Athanasius or Constantine. Constantine, later in life, had definite Arian leanings. He was baptized before his death by the leading Arian bishop, Eusebius of Nicomedia.

    3. The Spirit is God (1 Corinthians 3:16)-- surely the material Mormon father and son cannot be said to indwell a believer.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 27, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    TO: Kirk J Kirkham. Some counter cult information.

    Holy Ghost is the same Greek word(pneuma,4151)used for Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit.(1 cor 3:16 & 6:19)Check Modern translations.

    Bruce R. McConkie? "From LDS Revelation [My name is Jehovah, D&C 110:3& Abraham 2:8] however, we learn that'Jehovahis the English form of the actual name by which the Lord Jesus was known ANCIENTLY? Wrong! JS misunderstood Gods personal name.
    Google, Tetragrammaton, the PERSONAL NAME=YHWH God.

    The Greek word (agape,25) is often translated "love" in the New Testament. "agape love" is different from other types of love? Unlike our English word love, agape is not used in the Bible to refer to romantic or sexual love. Nor does it refer to close friendship or brotherly love, for which the Greek word philia[Philadelphia] is used. Nor does agape mean CHARITY, a term which the K JV translators carried over from the Latin. Agape love is unique and is distinguished by its nature and character. Agape is love which is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself. JS misunderstood the KJV translation in Moroni 7:47

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    July 27, 2011 11:37 a.m.

    brokenclay
    ..the Father, Son, and Spirit share the exact IDENTICAL nature, and they each possess simultaneously that nature in its entirety.
    KJK
    Since Christ has a physical nature and was begotten at some point and the Spirit (spokesman, advocate) is not God, the Trinity isn't logically possible.

    Brokenclay
    Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, Egypt, was actually of the Greek East...Further, it was actually Athanasius' predecessor, Alexander, who led the orthodox faction at the Nicaean Council, not Athanasius or Constantine.
    KJK
    Correct. My aging brain was wrong. Athanasius, though, WAS the pointman for the Alexandrian faction. Constantine refereed the council enforcing decorum and pushed for a consensus. Athanasius was a shrewd civil politician. Arius wasn't. Since Arius couldn't lobby the council and Constantine wanted a quick and civil solution, the result was more politically based rather than theologically.

    Brokenclay
    The Spirit is God (1 Corinthians 3:16)-- surely the material Mormon father and son cannot be said to indwell a believer.
    KJK
    This in no way says that the Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit is never called God in scripture. Square peg/ round hole.

  • brokenclay Scottsdale, AZ
    July 27, 2011 12:35 p.m.

    Kevin,

    1. I take it by your silence regarding homoousios that you agree with me now that Mormons are not such. What being "begotten" means is debatable. In any event, it is unique to the Son, because he is the ONLY begotten. For reading on the orthodox understanding of Jesus' human nature, read on the Hypostatic Union. There is no mixture between his divine and human natures. Contrary to LDS theology, before Christ's incarnation, he did not have a material human nature (John 1:14; Philippians 2:6-8; 1 Timothy 3:16). The fact that he "became flesh" presupposes that previously he was not flesh. The purpose of a temple is to be indwelled by the manifest God. The Spirit does this (1 Cor 3:16). Can the Mormon father do this? There was no answer to this point.

    2. Athanasius (a deacon) actually did very little, if anything, at the council. Only bishops were allowed to decide-- not emperors, deacons, or presbyters (Arius was a presbyter). Athanasius rose to prominence three years later after becoming bishop. Having read much of his writings, I find no political motivation whatsoever. He was compelled by his zeal for God.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 27, 2011 8:14 p.m.

    @Doctor
    "If you want to resign from the LDS church you can't move to three different states because they forward our records."

    All I had to do to resign was hand delier a letter to the stake president... and then make that request again over the phone when i was called by my home teacher because my records were still misplaced in a different ward (thanks to that massive student ward realignment a couple months ago everything was a mess record-keeping-wise). I haven't received any calls in a month so I assume it's been taken care of.

  • Skepyrrho BEVERLY HILLS, CA
    July 31, 2011 12:29 a.m.

    *sigh* It saddens me to see such encroachment or tiptoeing towards flagrant rejection of the whole separation of church and state thing, which is kind of... important, to put it lightly. Even the words used in this very article just make me shhake my head in frustrated amazement...whether "it's OK" for whoever to vote for whoever, or if "they can" vote a certain way, and above all else, the fact that religion is even a factor in people's decision-making. How about choosing based on their actions or behaviour? I shouldn't be surprised that people think "it isn't ok" to vote for someone if they're of a certain faith, but it still does. While this article at least continues to bring to the surface another facet of how voters may ignore actual issues in lieu of voting for those within their own circle, I am left hoping that the writer continues writing with further exploration and discussion on this matter, with the intention of helping people think for themselves by looking at the issues and not just the affiliations. So, bravo to you, and whilei know it is a tough battle, the more elucidation the better :)