Quantcast
Faith

Q&A: Evangelical leader Richard Land shares views on LDS Church, threats to religious liberty, other issues

Comments

Return To Article
  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 4:17 p.m.

    "They want their behavior affirmed as normal and healthy, and they want anyone who disagrees with that for whatever reason to be ostracized to the level of Klansmen"

    This guy is downright offensive. Way to alienate me as a member by inviting this guy to town.

  • michael.jensen369 Lethbridge, 00
    Sept. 6, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    This guy is awesome!

  • onceuponatime Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    Churches appear afraid to say anything the left would disagree with leads me to believe that we no longer have free exercise of religion, make no mistake it is not conservatives that are against religious freedom. There are things conservatives get wrong, but they don't try and make bakers, cake makers and photographers do things they don't want to. There are many who want to force conservatives to think and act as they command. They are quick to judge, are narrow minded and try to destroy those who are different from them. We need to get someone with integrity back in the White House to put an end to the creeping tyrrany of those who hate conservatives.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 5:32 p.m.

    Secularists believe in religious freedom... that's why Americans generally support the secularists (rather than Mubarak, Morsi, or the military) in Egypt for instance.

  • steeleute Sandy, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 5:38 p.m.

    It is refreshing for me to see someone with strong Southern Baptist roots be able to meet and talk to LDS church leaders eye-to-eye in a civil matter. I served my mission in Georgia and the Baptists there were extremely anti-mormon.

  • steeleute Sandy, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 5:46 p.m.

    He was also spot on with his LGBT comment.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 6:02 p.m.

    Religious people should be free to be as hateful and spiteful as they want to be, regardless of how baseless it might be, I'll grant you that. No one should be forcing them to do what they don't want to. After that, they can crawl in their respective holes and hide, because society is moving on, and they're not bringing anything to the table as religion to prove why society should not move on without them.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Sept. 6, 2013 6:13 p.m.

    "...(members of the) LDS Church have to get used to the fact that the majority of evangelicals are not going to accept them...."

    Nothing new here. It's prophecy.

  • michael.jensen369 Lethbridge, 00
    Sept. 6, 2013 7:16 p.m.

    @Hutterite

    Because all religious people are that way? I've come across this over and over and over, that people who support things like gay marriage and abortion tend to consistently whitewash and stereotype religious people who are against gay marriage and abortion. Not all of them do it, but enough have to lead me to believe that tolerance often really isn't what they practice, it's just what they preach. I've been called brainwashed and had my beliefs about traditional marriage likened to backwards fanatic extremism. Is that tolerance? Nope. Is it even going to help you get what you want? Nope. It's bigotry. Is there hypocrisy among religious people? Yes. Is there hypocrisy among non-religious people? Yes. Can we still get along without there being a slugfest every time a sensitive and important issue comes up? Yes. It works both ways.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 6, 2013 9:06 p.m.

    “The secularists are out to circumscribe our constitutional rights.”

    Nonsense!

    Us secularists are out to ensure your constitutional rights and to do everything in our power to ensure we never live in a theocracy.

    So which do you want sir – the country our Deist (agnostic and highly suspicious of organized religion) founders envisioned or the theocracy you and many on the Right prefer. You can’t have both and please stop conflating the two.

    Another provocative quote – “It (religious freedom) could become a partisan political issue. If it does ... it will be one of the two political parties’ fault.”

    It already is sir… and it’s the party I strongly suspect you vote for every time.

    And another – “Let’s be very clear, the gay and lesbian and transgender folks don’t want to live and let live.”

    I think this little gem of backwards logic and hypocrisy speaks for itself…

    One more – “I find this to be a more self-absorbed generation.”

    Than baby boomers?!! Oh please…

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 9:42 p.m.

    Reading this story and reading stories about the current Pope, I can't help but notice the difference in tone between the two. One seems much more loving and Christ-like than the other.

  • TN Cougar Johnson City, TN
    Sept. 6, 2013 10:24 p.m.

    This guy is spot on.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Sept. 6, 2013 10:52 p.m.

    I appreciate this guy's forthright approach to what are huge relevant issues today. He is using his head and his heart, and is not afraid to speak the truth. Thank you, Pastor Land.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Sept. 6, 2013 10:53 p.m.

    Separation of church and state is a conveniently "misunderstood" concept - especially to secularists.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Sept. 6, 2013 11:03 p.m.

    Just think, what a terrible life it would if either group were in control of the world.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 11:22 p.m.

    If you really believe religious freedom is under attack, you better petition for the release of Warren Jeffs, after all he was just doing what he thought God commanded.

    Or is it only religious freedom when its your religion?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 7, 2013 1:17 a.m.

    "Richard Land, one of the most prominent leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention, received two reprimands today over "racially charged" comments he made on the Trayvon Martin shooting and over plagiarism charges regarding a recent program on his radio show Richard Land Live!, which has been canceled as a result. The trustee executive committee of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, where Land serves as president, issued the reprimands today after conducting an investigation on comments made by Land during a March 31 broadcast."
    (Christian Post 2012)

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Sept. 7, 2013 4:14 a.m.

    So we read what he says in Utah, I wonder what he says in Alabama? I've found the typical "born again" to be much different than this gentleman.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 5:42 a.m.

    Darrel,

    Do you fail to see the difference between raping a child, vs teaching a child to avoid sexual promiscuity, abortion, gay relations, and to ascribe to the 10 commandments?

    Do you fail to see the difference between what Jeffs was teaching and did, and what Thomas S. Monson or this evangelical leader is teaching?

    Just curious.

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 5:59 a.m.

    I doubt that any of the above commenters know more about the First Amendment than the author:

    “The great enemy of the salvation of man, in my opinion, never invented a more effectual means of extirpating Christianity from the world than by persuading mankind that it was improper to read the Bible at schools. The Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life… It should be read in our schools in preference to all other books from its containing the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public temporal happiness.”
    Fisher Ames (author of the First Amendment)

    “Why should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impresses in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind”
    John Adams

  • Mark from Montana Aurora, CO
    Sept. 7, 2013 6:23 a.m.

    @Maggie

    "They want their behavior affirmed as normal and healthy, and they want anyone who disagrees with that for whatever reason to be ostracized to the level of Klansmen"

    I thought this was the most insightful thing he said. He clarified perfectly what I have been struggling to put into words. When you are attacked for disagreeing with the actions of another as violently as happens today, it is not normal behavior. It reminds me of how extremist muslims act when they perceive someone speaking badly of Mohammad.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 6:34 a.m.

    Personal thought.

    I feel the real feelings of the right wing evangelical community came out when Mitt Romney ran for President of the United States.

    It is true the majority of them refer to us as "Cultists". We support them "blindly" politically.

    Go figure.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Sept. 7, 2013 6:56 a.m.

    @ Hutterite:
    "[non]Religious people should [also] be free to be as hateful and spiteful as they want to be, regardless of how baseless it might be."

  • sthomaslewis Corvallis, OR
    Sept. 7, 2013 7:06 a.m.

    I am concerned that the LDS, as a rule, are quite unconcerned about the Constitution and freedom. We need to emphasize 1 Samuel 8, Mosiah 29, and D&C 134 more often in church. I realize that church meetings should not be used to endorse or criticize candidates or those holding political office, because we are a 501(c)3 organization. However, freedom and free agency are also an integral part of our religion.

  • ute alumni paradise, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 7:34 a.m.

    Darrel,
    Huh? He is a convicted child abuser.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 7, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    Secular simply means things and activities that aren't religious. You can believe what you choose, you can worship what you choose, however if and when you engage in the secular world (the economy, public schools, the government)you don't have the right, constitutional or other to impose your religious beliefs on those who don't believe as you do. You simply don't have the right to offer a public service then exclude some from that service because of some belief you have.

    Said differently, secularism is a separation of church and state, and where this guy blatantly came out and said Mormons will never be accepted, and at least one poster talked about the hatred some in the south have for Mormons, I would think secularism might be a principle you would endorse.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Sept. 7, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    My issue is with the right's assertion that God forbids homosexuality. The actual fact is that most homosexuals are born that way. Homosexuality has been observed in animals from dogs, cattle and sheep to dolphins. The LDS position on the subject is about right when they refer to same-gender attraction.

    Ask yourself the question: "If my church decided that heterosexuality were a sin, could I become gay?". Didn't think so. The LDS and Catholic position (newly minted my Pope Francis) that so long as gays abstain from sex, they are not sinning. So a gay person is condemned to live in celibacy.

    As for contamination, do you really think that you as a fully wired heterosexual could be forced to become gay? Nah.

    I feel for gays and understand why they want to be able to marry and be free from persecution. Marriage as a social contract, having the legal rights a spouses, seems ok to me. But I'm opposed to the government forcing a religious institution to marry gays if it is against their dogma. Let them find a church that will marry them. Episcopal for one.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    Richard Lands distinguished education should have included the meaning of the word cult - "devotion to a person or thing" is from 1829. Cult. An organized group of people, religious or not, with whom you disagree. [Rawson]
    Using the dictionary definition of cult, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Marxism, Keynesianism of any other set of beliefs with whom you disagree is a cult. Generally it is used for its pejorative value and represents the users ignorance, bias or inability to articulate.

  • Tyler Ray Taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    "The greatest advantage an American child can have today is to be born into a home with a mother and a father who are married to each other and who stay married to each other. It trumps race, it trumps ethnicity, it trumps religion ... it trumps everything.

  • donn layton, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    RE: Owl, Using the dictionary definition occult. secret or esoteric ,i.e.,

    The evidence of Joseph Smith's close connection to occultism and Freemasonry. Masonry's influence on Mormonism and Joseph Smith has been noted by a number of historians. Some of the areas impacted by Masonic lore and ritual include the Book of Mormon, Joseph's personal life, and the LDS temple ceremony.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    @ BrentBot: Where did you get your information that Fisher Ames was the author of the First Amendment?

    Nothing I have read about him indicates such and everything I have read about the First Amendment places it squarely on Madison and Jefferson.

    One thing I do know about Fisher Ames is that he was in favor of a much stronger Federal government.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 7, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    3rd try
    Revised--deleted LDS polygamy part

    I can agree with Land on one point:
    "A lot of young people have been driven away by what they perceive as hypocrisy in the church, and there is a lot of it."

    I would like to know WHY and for what purpose LDS Church leaders requested/invited Richard Land to meet with them.

    Richard Land is an extremely polarizing and divisive figure--who was disciplined by his own organization for things he recently said and did.

    This just underscores troubling tunnel vision about who we should be reaching out to.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 7, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    @Tom in CA – “Separation of church and state is a conveniently "misunderstood" concept - especially to secularists.”

    You got the first part right…

    Think of this way – all the arguments the Religious Right uses to inject religion into the public arena could be used with equal effectiveness by, say, Muslims in Dearborn MI to enact Sharia Law.

    The best insurance against any degree of theocratic public authority is the “wall of separation” envisioned by Jefferson, and it is also the best guarantee that your own religious practices will never be interfered with.

    Trust the genius of this prescient Founder, and recall Kennedy’s quip about him when hosting a White House dinner for a group of Nobel Prize winners.

    “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

  • bw00ds Tucson, AZ
    Sept. 7, 2013 10:54 a.m.

    Richard Land is a breath of fresh air.

  • bw00ds Tucson, AZ
    Sept. 7, 2013 11:01 a.m.

    @Truthseeker, if you truly are one, here's what he was reprimanded for concerning Trayvon Martin:

    "Instead of letting the legal process take its independent course, race mongers are anointing themselves judge, jury, and executioners," Land said. "The rule of law is being assaulted by racial demagogues, and it's disgusting, and it should stop."

    Land also stated a black man is "statistically more likely to do you harm than a white man."

    I haven't researched the validity of his last statement, but his first one certainly doesn't sound "racially charged" to me. What he said was the truth. I don't know why he had to apologize for the statements.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Sept. 7, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    If only people would learn to keep their religion and hate to themselves then maybe God could find a place on earth.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    Blue Husky : heterosexuals sin and have since the beginning of time, so your question is..what is the word, interesting. Prophets already say that heterosexuals sin. We just need to stop sinning. The one question the gay community always asks is, "Who would choose this lifestyle?" Well, that question infers that community is not happy. People can choose happiness. Do what makes you happy. If you are unhappy, you can change or choose not to change. Animals don't take their own life, so there is a big difference between us and animals.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 12:06 p.m.

    It strengthens my faith in the future to know there are good, intelligent and spiritual giants amongst us like Pastor Land. Kudos to our LDS Church leaders for inviting this great Church leader to meet with them. Kudos to DSN for printing his insightful and correct observations about so many important things. His views on religious freedom and homosexual behavior are right on target and very refreshing!. As he says the gay community doesn't want to live and let live, they apparently want to force us to abandon our beliefs in biblical and spiritual teachings. We need to stand up strong for religious freedom and respectfully disagree with the gay community and not allow ourselves to be bullied by them.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 7, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    re:bw00ds
    Lands comments were akin to "pot calling the kettle black."

    "Land said. "This is being done to try to gin up the black vote for an African-American president who is in deep, deep, deep trouble for re-election and who knows that he cannot win re-election without getting the 95 percent of blacks who voted for him in 2008 to come back out and show they are going to vote for him again.

    "Land said those using race to polarize the electorate are "playing with fire, and people are going to get hurt."

    "This situation is getting out of hand," Land said. "There is going to be violence. When there is violence it's going to be Jesse Jackson's fault. It's going to be Al Sharpton's fault. It's going to be Louis Farrakhan's fault, and to a certain degree it's going to be President Obama's fault."
    (Associated Baptist Press)

    Statistically, overwhelmingly people are most likely to be killed by someone of their own race. Blacks are most likely to be killed by another black person, whites are most likely to be killed by another white person.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    It's ageist my better judgement to comment on this but since religion is what you do religiously, hear goes. Morals are Intentions and Manners. Manners is to be consider-it and appreciative. So to have good morals you need to have good intentions and good manners.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 12:39 p.m.

    This guy is awesome! He is smart, articulate, knows the battle he faces, and is unafraid. On top of that he is open-minded, shown by his willingness to meet with a traditional enemy. He isn't caving on his beliefs, but he is looking for the common ground. What a refreshing view!

    No wonder the anti-religious posters here, and the liberal secularist groups nation wide, are trying to take him down. It is actually really funny to watch them froth and flail against well stated truths they can't lie their way out of.

    Go Dr Land!

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Sept. 7, 2013 1:48 p.m.

    @skeptic: Religious people weren't the ones who tired to hound other people out of their jobs for supporting Proposition 8 in California. Similarly, they aren't the ones who shout "bigot" or 'homophobe" at anyone whose perspective is different from theirs, or who force their morals over on small business owners. Since the "politically correct" crowd never defines hate, I am forced to conclude that "Hatred" simply means any opinion that they don't happen to like.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Sept. 7, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    Mr. Land says that the term "cult" does not apply to the LDS Church. So far so good. But he goes on to say that The Mormons have to accept that a lot of evangelicals are not going to accept them as fellow Christians. that's not much better than being called a cult. It seems to me Mr. Land could do a lot about this if he wanted to, so what is he doing?

  • Truthseeker2 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
    Sept. 7, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    "Good will" between Southern Baptist and LDS leaders is only going to go so far. LDS missionaries are working hard to convert So. Baptists (and others) to the LDS Church.

    Obama's March 2012 response to a reporter's question about Trayvon Martin (which Land responded to) is too long to post. Obama (in part) stated, "And I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together -- federal, state and local -- to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened....."

    "I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen. And that means that examine the laws and the context for what happened, as well as the specifics of the incident.
    But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon. And I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and that we're going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened."

  • bribri86 Phoenix, AZ
    Sept. 7, 2013 3:32 p.m.

    Why do we live in a society where so many people feel it's all or nothing? We can live in a society that we have Judeo-Christian values governing the people. Religious liberty, under the protection of Judeo-Christian values. In other words, religious freedom until you rape little girls (Darrel that's why Jeff's in jail, regardless of who he said told him to do it), blow up people (Islam), or perform other atrocities. Get rid of religious law and we fall to survival of the fittest which means murder, stealing, and doing what ever anyone wants to do to someone because they are stronger. Law protects the weak. The Law came from Judeo-Christian values. The weak want to remove the law, they will remove their protection.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 3:48 p.m.

    Non acceptance of immoral behavior is not hate. Attempting to force others to accept immoral behavior against their conscience is not tolerance. Failure to understand that same-sex attraction is very real to a small percentage of human beings is unrighteous judgment and counter factual. The gay community ultimately must face the fact that most Christians and other folks with moral underpinnings simply will not come to believe that immoral behavior is acceptable now or in the future. It is what it is.

  • ray vaughn Ogden, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 4:22 p.m.

    Mr. Lamb condems some LGBT people for not allowing live and let live attitude. Yet he condems others who do not adhere to his viewpoint on what is proper. A true live and let live attitude would encourage people to be in a healthy loving relationship. It would condemm laws that forbid others from enjoying all of the benefits enjoyed by others it would condemm discrimination based on sexual orientation. It would encourage all family relationships. Believe me, I have traveled throughout the Baaptist Bible belt anf the evengical Christians do not believe Mormons are true Christians.

  • Californian#1@94131 San Francisco, CA
    Sept. 7, 2013 4:26 p.m.

    -- "Reading this story and reading stories about the current Pope, I can't help but notice the difference in tone between the two. One seems much more loving and Christ-like than the other." --

    Christ-like?

    Who said, "Think not that I am come to set peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother"?

    Who went to the temple and "cast out all them that bought and sold…and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers"?

    How loving and Christ-like was that?

    Just as children need parents who both love and chastise them, we humans need both "loving and Christ-like" and "stern and Christ-like." We need God to love us always but get our attention when we mess up. We need inspired people of God like both Pope Francis and Pastor Land. At times, we need one approach more than the other when the other is clearly not being heard or heeded – and that is not Pastor Land's fault.

  • pd ,
    Sept. 7, 2013 4:27 p.m.

    Wonder why so few young people are interested in "religion" these days? Throwbacks like Richard Land are a pretty good reason.

    What is the LDS leadership thinking? Close associations with Catholics, of all people, on "social issues", and now Richard Land? This is not progress, brethren. This is moving backwards. The Catholic hierarchy has zero credibility and so does Richard Land.

  • @Charles not from utah, 00
    Sept. 7, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    @1aggie says quoting the article, "They want their behavior affirmed as normal and healthy, and they want anyone who disagrees with that for whatever reason to be ostracized to the level of Klansmen"

    This guy is downright offensive. Way to alienate me as a member by inviting this guy to town."

    His comment is spot on and true. What's offensive about his comment? How is he wrong in his assertion? One only has to read the "civil" comments allowed on the Dnews threads to know that name-calling is the preferred method of communicating by those who support homosexuality as something normal, equal and embraceable.

    It's not, nor should it ever be embraced. Homosexuality should be shunned at every corner known to man.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    We are instructed as Christians to walk "with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love".

    This guy is the opposite of what we are taught and chumming up to him is a big mistake. It really feels like the train has gone off the tracks lately.

  • @Charles not from utah, 00
    Sept. 7, 2013 4:45 p.m.

    @truthseeker: re your 12:10 post today. Which part of Land's comments is incorrect? I find them to be spot on.

    and as someone else has mentioned, you really aren't for truthseeking since you turn away so many truths for your own opinion.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Sept. 7, 2013 5:11 p.m.

    There is no merit in visiting a Christian community and telling them with polite words and a smiling face that they are not Christian, which is what Land believes. Neither is saying "I don't believe you're an 'alcoholic', but you drink too much." So his refusal to call the LDS Church a 'cult' is little comfort. His is a very condescending visit to Utah.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Sept. 7, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    Article quote: "Deseret News: How would you characterize Mormon/evangelical relations today? Land: ....... To some degree (members of the) LDS Church have to get used to the fact that the majority of evangelicals are not going to accept them within the framework of orthodox, Apostles' Creed Christianity. And I think that evangelicals have got to accept the fact that the LDS Church is a tremendous ally and fellow combatant against the things that are the most threatening to us in America."

    Translation: "The majority of us non-Mormons will accept Mormons' EFFORTS at fighting evil alongside us but we will not accept YOU as equals."

    Did he just say that?

    He sure did. Read it again yourself.

    What to do? What do do?....

    Well, being angry and hurt over it won't help at all so I guess the thing to do is be like Nephi and "frankly forgive" him like Nepghi "frankly forgave" his own murderous brothers.

    Sure would be nice if non-LDS Christians accepted us as Christians lock, stock and barrel like we accept them as Christians.

    Sigh....

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Sept. 7, 2013 5:56 p.m.

    @ BlueHusky - Mission Viejo, CA - "My issue is with the right's assertion that God forbids homosexuality."

    Uhhh....BlueHusky, that's because God DOES forbid homosexuality....

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 5:58 p.m.

    @ Californian#1: Matthew 22:37 "Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    @ BrentBot: “Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. We have solved the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws." Thomas Jefferson, Speech to the Virginia Baptists, 1808

  • ray vaughn Ogden, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 6:30 p.m.

    Reading Pastor Lands comments in the story remind me of what Ghandi said. "I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians, for your Christians are so unlike your Christ".

  • michael.jensen369 Lethbridge, 00
    Sept. 7, 2013 6:39 p.m.

    @pd,

    Wouldn't you think that they would pray about such a potentially divisive action? And wouldn't you think that the Lord would answer those prayers when they sincerely seek it? I know that this can seem bold by my writing this, but I believe that it needs to be said, for everybody's sake. The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve always act in unity, whenever and wherever they act. The question here is the same question that members of the church could ask about the church's support of proposition 8, or any other stance that the church makes on any pertinent moral issue. The question isn't "Is this really the right thing to do?" The question is "Is Thomas S. Monson a prophet? Are the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve apostles, seers, and revelators?" And the answer to that question is the same answer to "Was Joseph Smith a prophet of God?" I can understand that it will come under scrutiny, and be misunderstood and misread. But this isn't the "LDS leadership's" church. It's the Lord's church, and He is the one who directs it.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 6:50 p.m.

    If Mormons aren't Christen why are they the first church to answer the call for help whever it is needed.

  • Truthseeker2 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
    Sept. 7, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    re:@Charles
    Which part of Land's comments is incorrect?

    "n African-American president who is in deep, deep, deep trouble for re-election"

    Obama was never in "deep, deep, deep, trouble for re-election. Furthermore, in March 2012, not a single poll had Romney ahead of Obama. Even conservative-leaning polls, Fox had him up by 4, and Rasmussen had him up by 3.

    Land: "those using race to polarize the electorate" "gin up the black vote"
    Is Land a mind reader? Are you? We can use the same "mind-reading" techniques about Land's statements to believe Land was taking the opportunity to "gin" up the conservative vote can't we?

    Land: " "There is going to be violence." "people are going to get hurt."

    Fox News: "Demonstrators from coast-to-coast boisterously -- yet for the most part peacefully."

    Land was not "spot-on" according to the available facts.
    You provided no facts.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 9:40 p.m.

    RE:The Caravan Moves On, The majority of evangelicals are not going to accept them within the framework of orthodox, Apostles' Creed. i.e,#3.He was conceived by the power of the “Holy Spirit” and born of the Virgin Mary.

    The Virgin Birth. The “pale” of Christianity believes the birth of Jesus was a unique miracle by the Holy Spirit/Ghost, same Greek word(Pneuma).

    This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about, His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. (Mt 1:18 NIV,ASV,ESV).

    But (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 547)Christ was begotten by an immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers.

    ”They tell us that the BoM states that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost. I challenge that statement. The BoM teaches No Such Thing! Neither does the Bible!”( Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 11:08 p.m.

    @ Darrel

    How to answer that one?
    Does anybody take anyone fro Eagle Mountain seriously?

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    Sept. 8, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    You have to give Land and others kudos for removing all the blatant hate literature they once sold from the SBC web site. I doubt they have changed their thinking about us Mormons but at least they are not quite as blatant as they once were - in public anyway.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Sept. 8, 2013 12:47 p.m.

    Mormons would do better to stand up for what they are rather than trying to down play their differences from other Christians. They are two very different religions and unless one or the other caves they will never coexist in harmony.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    @Charles

    if you cannot see what could possibly be wrong with Land saying that ALL gay people "want anyone who disagrees with that for whatever reason to be ostracized to the level of Klansmen" then I can't help you.

    Land has demonstrated by this comment and many comments and actions over the years that he is anything but good, meek, benevolent, or long suffering. in short, he does not posses the characteristics of a good religious leader. I don't know why so many people in our church can be so blind to the obvious.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 1:24 p.m.

    michael.jensen369
    The question here is the same question that members of the church could ask about the church's support of proposition 8, or any other stance that the church makes on any pertinent moral issue. The question isn't "Is this really the right thing to do?" The question is "Is Thomas S. Monson a prophet? Are the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve apostles, seers, and revelators?"

    KJK
    This logic contradicts what the prophets have taught regarding infallibility. Joseph Fielding Smith & Harold B. Lee both taught that if they taught things contrary to the scriptures, that we are to hold to scripture and reject the prophet's words. Joseph Smith strongly condemned the idea of following leaders simply because of their position. Supporting 8 violated 1 Cor. 10:29 & D&C 134:4. We were wrong to support it. Devout LDS can condemn 8 while still supporting the Brethren as prophets, seers and revelators.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 1:34 p.m.

    I appreciate Dr. Land's efforts to dissuade others from calling LDS "cultists". We
    get that label due to our rejection of the Athanasian Trinity and a closed canon,
    amongst other things. I find the gap between those accepting Calvin's TULIP and
    those rejecting it, to be much wider theologically. Evangelicals state that they
    agree on the essentials and are free to differ on minor things. Fine. We LDS do
    the same. But the question of whether one can be saved or whether their fate is
    sealed, as Calvinists teach, can no way be considered a minor theological point.

    1 Tim. 2:4, 1 Jn. 2:2 specifically reject Calvinism by stating that God wants all
    mankind to be saved and that the atonement was meant for the whole world and not
    just the "elect".

    How can Christians who reject Calvinism consider Calvinists as Christians but deny us the same?

  • AZguy Phoenix, AZ
    Sept. 8, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    Very well spoken answers. I was impressed with that interview.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Sept. 8, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    "The secularists are out to circumscribe our constitutional rights."

    This charge is pure unmitigated scare tactic bunk. The truth is that religious evangelicals would like to end once and for all that part of the First Amendment which prohibits congress from passing any law "respecting an establishment of religion". And if they should succeed, what do you think would happen to minority "establishments of religion" who don't subscribe to trinitarian or conservative Christian views? Mormons, Jews, Muslims, ought not to be so quick to jump in bed with those that express such fears. They just might be those who should really be feared.

  • ChristopherBlackwell Deming, NM
    Sept. 8, 2013 4:06 p.m.

    I cannot respect a religious leader that tells out and out lies as he has done in this very article.Evangelicals have a very bad record of trying to force their particular beliefs on other, in our public schools and in government. When they are stopped from abusing others religious belief then they cry that they are being denied their religious freedom. So we must constantly protect our religious freedoms from them 24 hours a day every day.. As I have said I cannot respect any religious leader that lies, and Richard Land is one of them that does daily.

  • ChristopherBlackwell Deming, NM
    Sept. 8, 2013 8:34 p.m.

    BrentBot,

    I see that you are suggesting that we push the Bible on al kids regardless of what they believe or don't believe. Sorry but have a little thing called religious freedom and that does not include giving Christians a special right to push their religion on others.

  • Texas_Reader College Station, TX
    Sept. 8, 2013 8:56 p.m.

    Dr. Land is a nice man. I met him when Gov. Romney spoke at Texas A&M in 2007. He seems like a genuinely good person. But I cannot help but take his comment about Mormonism being a "fourth Abrahamic religion" as a back-handed compliment in at least the following sense: he says Mormons need to accept that we will never be accepted as part of mainstream Christianity, and then he explains that we are an Abrahamic religion in the same way Islam is. Of course Mormonism is an Abrahamic religion, and we're proud to claim Abraham as part of our heritage. But unlike Islam, Mormonism clearly teaches that Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God, the divine Savior and Redeemer of the world, and the only name under heaven whereby salvation comes. To act as if Mormonism is no closer to creedal Christianity than Islam represents a fundamental misunderstanding of Mormonism and its central teachings and tenets.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 8:23 a.m.

    RE: lds4gaymarriage, Calvinists as Christians but deny us the same?

    1Timothy 2:4,God desires all men to be saved. *Martin Luther,” God may desire the salvation of all men but had chosen to forgo those desires for a higher, hidden purpose. If the salvation of all men was his overriding priority, he could prevent Satan from blinding the eyes of the unconverted so that more would believe. He would work toward softening the heart of all men.”
    *Satan is a creature, he is subject to the Lord.

    1John2:2, is not explaining the intent of the atonement but is only repeating some basic Christian truths. In the early church, many Jews found it hard to believe that God would save the Gentiles. This verse addresses this problem, reminding us that the one who saves the Jews is the same one who saves the Gentiles. Jesus is the propitiation for both Jew and Gentile. The passage says nothing in favor of Him dying for every individual on earth.

    John tells us there is only one way of salvation. If anyone will be redeemed, he will be redeemed through Jesus, the only Savior (John 14:6).

  • laVerl 09 St Johns, AZ
    Sept. 9, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    I applaud the LDS Church for inviting Dr. Land, Dr. Land for accepting and Matthew for his interview questions. Cooperation for improvement is an admirable venture and I think they are doing just that.

  • michael.jensen369 Lethbridge, 00
    Sept. 9, 2013 4:42 p.m.

    @lds4gaymarriage
    Nothing you wrote refuted what I said. This is the Lord's Church, and He is the one who directs it. Nothing you wrote refuted what I said. So how do we know whether they speak the truth or not? How do we know whether they make inspired decisions or not? Listen to them speak, and read what they have said or written. Read about their lives. Ask God is they are truly authorized to speak for Him, and ask Him if they are truly His servants. They are not perfect, but we can know for ourselves when they are inspired, or when they are speaking for themselves. Gay marriage is doctrinally at odds with God's truth. Gay marriage cannot lead to procreation, or to the creation of a family. This church is all about family, and the next life is all about family. Exaltation(for which temple marriage is required) is all about family.

  • brokenclay Chandler, AZ
    Sept. 9, 2013 5:02 p.m.

    Great article!

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:28 p.m.

    Terrible article!

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 6:24 a.m.

    @michael.jensen369
    "Nothing you wrote refuted what I said. So how do we know whether they speak the truth or not?" Sorry, but it does. As was pointed out, if the prophets teach something contrary to sustained scripture, we are to reject that prophet's teaching. PERIOD. If they receive a revelation that contradicts scripture, it must be sustained by Common Consent. That's how the Priesthood ban and OD-1 became official. It's how D&C 137 & 138 became official in 1975. The prophets do not get a blank check to do whatever they want. There is an order to things and it must be followed. In the case of Prop. 8 that you brought up, the prophet's call was contrary to scripture and should have been rejected by the membership. If the prophets present such a doctrine for a sustaining vote, or one that the scriptures don't address, then we as members must pray about it and receive confirmation before accepting it or rejecting it when a Common Consent vote is taken.

    Being wrong doesn't make them false prophets, it makes them human and reinforces the need for scripture study so that errors, like Prop. 8, can be avoided.

  • southern son SHARPSBURG, MD
    Sept. 10, 2013 7:32 a.m.

    I was invited to the 2004 Protag Conf. to preeent one of my paintings (One Nation Under God)to Cheif Justice (Alabama)Roy Moore at a gathering of the leading Evangelicals from around the US. This included Phyllis Schafly,Alan Keyes,etc. I was the only Mormon boy there.When I presented the work to Judge Moore, it was more of a testimony and establishing a common ground. Recieved a standing ovation! A wonderful experience and we all had a very spiritual experience together for 2 days. Lots of questions were asked about our faith and a lot of misconceptions were able to be eliminated.Brother Hatch(not able to attend),made a call in to the conference from DC and that too was also recieved very well.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    @1aggie

    "This guy is downright offensive. Way to alienate me as a member by inviting this guy to town."

    Why? Is it because you lack faith? Is it because you wish to confirm exactly what he said? You realize that is exactly what you did don't you? You have no tolerance for his opinion and the fact is he is correct about it, you helped confirm it.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    So, Kevin J Kirkham, i guess Moses got it wrong with the 10 Commandments. They were new scripture and they were not sustained by common consent. What a curious system.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    sharrona
    [RE] 1Timothy 2:4,*Martin Luther,"God may desire the salvation of all men but had chosen to forgo those desires for a higher, hidden purpose. If the salvation of all men was his overriding priority, he could prevent Satan from blinding the eyes of the unconverted .."
    LDS4
    You're missing my point. If Calvinism is true, most of humanity are destined to Hell without any possibility of salvation. Their fate is sealed. A loving God wouldn't create people just to send them to Hell..unless some "higher, hidden purpose" is revealed. I can't think of anything that would justify such unjust cruelty.

    sharrona
    1John2:2, is not explaining the intent of the atonement but is only repeating some basic Christian truths. In the early church, many Jews found it hard to believe that God would save the Gentiles. This verse addresses this problem, reminding us that the one who saves the Jews is the same one who saves the Gentiles. Jesus is the propitiation for both Jew and Gentile. The passage says nothing in favor of Him dying for every individual on earth.
    LDS4
    The KJV, NIV, NASB, NRSV and the Greek clearly state otherwise.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:57 a.m.

    @Wastintime "So, Kevin J Kirkham, i guess Moses got it wrong with the 10 Commandments. They were new scripture and they were not sustained by common consent. What a curious system."

    KJK Since there was no sustained/official scripture at the time, nor any knowledge of Common Consent, Moses couldn't like those principles unto himself. As the Gospel has been revealed, line upon line, precept upon precept, the way we do things changed. Today, per the D&C, everything is to be done by Common Consent. Moses didn't have the D&C. The prophet isn't the emperor. There are rules he must follow and if he doesn't, we must reject his actions. The prophets have been clear on that. Sorry

  • Filo Doughboy Bakersfield, CA
    Sept. 10, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    If Land really used "language to communicate", he would have clarified the other 6 (Webster) definitions of a cult. His assertion of Mormonism simply being a "fourth Abrahamic religion" is obtuse and incorrect. Only two posts in 85 here are any more astute of the linguistic defintions.

    As a 6th generation Mormon, born and raised for 35 years, I know my LDS heritage and doctrines- old and new. As a Born-Again Christian for the past 30, I know how deep the differences. Until 1890, LDS were "loud and proud" about our distinctiveness. Per many, that was our failing, as the saints did not move quietly into any eastern community. We even built our own beautiful Nauvoo so we could live our distinctive lifestyle openly. Pre-1890 LDS have more in common with the gay community in that respect.

    Obviously convinced of the correctness of our new plural marriage revelation, we left it all behind, and Utah is what it is today because of the saint's commitment to their beliefs and leaders. But just establishing a community of faith does not rectify any group's doctrines with other religious tenets.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    @sashabill
    "Religious people weren't the ones who tired to hound other people out of their jobs for supporting Proposition 8 in California. "

    They're just the ones who fight non-discrimination ordinances so that it can still be legal to fire people if they're gay...

    @Charles
    "What's offensive about his comment?"
    "Homosexuality should be shunned at every corner known to man."

    Speaking of things that are offensive...

    @The Caravan Moves On
    "Sure would be nice if non-LDS Christians accepted us as Christians lock, stock and barrel like we accept them as Christians."

    Well... you're not fully accepting of other Christians either since you consider their baptisms to be lacking on some level. For what it's worth, even as an ex-mormon myself I consider the LDS church Christian and much like my United Methodist pastor (the church I grew up in before converting) once told me, I see no reason why being LDS would keep someone from heaven.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Sept. 10, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    The LGBT community wants freedom from speech by not allowing those opposed to their point of view the right to speak freely of behavior considered sinful. But they demand the right to speak intrusively to any member of my family, especially impressionable children, about how right LGBT behavior is while I'm tied and gagged. Yes, they have an agenda. And the political parties, and even members of the Supreme Court, are divided over this question. Liberals tend to side with granting rights to the LGBT, while at the same time, denying those same rights to those not in favor of that persuasion. I have to be ashamed that our court system is so divided and cannot see the slippery slope. Two things are coming that will further erode the family. Polygamy, and any-can-be-married-to-anybody-amy. Entire neighborhoods can all be married to each other. There is no argument used in favor of gay marriage that cannot be applied to such lunacy. Who is father and who is mother will not be defined for future generations. Father and Mother are words being legislated away. Where is my right?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 5:26 p.m.

    RE:lds4gaymarriage, If Calvinism is true, most of humanity are destined to Hell.

    “this is the highest degree of faith , to believe him merciful when he saves so few and damns so many.” Martin Luther,
    Romans 9:16,18,20,21,23,27. Verse 16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
    18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
    20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’
    21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
    23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory.
    27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel:“ Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the Remnant will be saved.

  • LovingMormons Bakersfield, CA
    Sept. 10, 2013 8:34 p.m.

    Yes, there are loving and good people in every religious strata and non-religious ones, too.
    Yes, Southern Baptists and Mormons work together on charity and disaster relief, just as do Catholic Charities, Muslim Relief, et al.

    When are the LDS going to stop trying to equate good civil work and charity with having the same religious beliefs? They know it is not true, but they say it on these posts daily. It is unnerving to see such piety in front of the knowledge that they do not accept any other priesthood or ritual as having any eternal viability.

    I grew up LDS, I taught it. I know there are mostly honest LDS. So stop equating your "good works" with your doctrines. Dr. Land knows better and should have explained the moniker of "cult" as it applies. There are the small, crazy ones ala Warren Jeffs; there are the large, scary ones, ala the Moonies. Islam started small, as did Christianity. Size has nothing to do with Biblical-believing churches. If the Nazis still ran Europe, and out-numbered everyone else, would their numbers mean they had the Truth?

    Mormonism, JWitnesses, Moonies- all have another Jesus.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 11, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    Sharrona
    Romans 9:16,18,20,21,23,27

    KJK
    God simply doesn't pick some for heaven/hell and neither group can change their fate. Acts 10:34,35 says that anyone who loves God and lives morally is acceptable to God. God wants all to be saved 1Tim.2:3-4,1Jn.2:2. There are verses about salvation given to those who "endure to the end" and others stating that some can sin so much that they can't be renewed unto repentance.

    What do those verses mean? They could refer to our earthly circumstances rather than our eternal reward. God makes some rich, poor, bond, free, tall, short, maim, whole, etc... He does this to help us learn what we need to to return to Him. We may not understand why and some may complain/question like v20 states. Sure, there are some whose righteousness/valiance in the per-existence may warrant them going to heaven, but none sent here to Earth are predestined to Hell. A loving God would instead simply destroy the souls of the non-Elect. Making them suffer eternally in Hell benefits no one. Does it glorify God or increase our love? NO!

  • Gadfly45 Swansea, 00
    Sept. 17, 2013 2:43 a.m.

    Aggressive secularism is occuring in many of the Western democracies. It became noticeable when the iron curtain came down. While the USSR was imprisoning people for their beliefs we saw the massive State interferance as evil (evil Empire etc). Now we see the State interfering with people right to exercise their beliefs as being the business of the State (quite a role reversal). Parents must have the right to bring up their children according to the dictates of their beliefs. The secularist is seeking to liken mankind to robots, deterministic machines which have no room for a heart, the tin man from the Wizard of Oz.

  • Nanny Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 6, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    As long as he's willing to let me live my religion my way, we can be friends. All of my baptist friends turn nutty at some point, saying hurtful things about the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith, but so far with this guy, so good.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 2:22 p.m.

    "Let’s be very clear, the gay and lesbian and transgender folks don’t want to live and let live."
    "... homosexual behavior is contrary to God’s will. "

    Says those who are trying to legislate how the gays and lesbians can live.

    Thankfully, the USA is not a theocracy.