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Total Articles: 19
The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints, or LDS Church, or Mormon Church.
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The LDS Church And Nepotism
Monday, Mar 7, 2005, at 08:00 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
One of the aspects of the church that has its foundations in culture rather than doctrine, is the nepotistic nature of the community.

As the daughter of inactive parents it is something that I never 'benefitted'!!! from. It wouldn't have lead me to inactivity, but it certainly didn't make my time in the church an enjoyable experience on many occassions.

I could never square up nepotism with God's supposed community, and as such I see no difference between the communities insided the church and outside, in fact many of the communities outside show more love to the outsiders than less.

To explain my position with some examples. The SP's son was well aware that his position as bishop was due pretty much entirely to his fathers position, and he knew that as soon as his father was released, he would be too. (He was absolutely right!!). I could add a dozen other examples to this list.

In a way, I understood it. Parents are out to 'feather the caps' of their own children. A kind of 'familial selfishness' occurs where they protect and encourage their own.

I wonder if anyone else has experience of nepotism in this way?

And whether they feel the church is any more or less nepotistic than outside communities?
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Psychologists Apologize For Criticizing LDS Church
Monday, Aug 22, 2005, at 07:10 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
After months of communication with two Utah psychologists and their local professional organization, the American Psychological Association has formally apologized for negative characterizations about the LDS Church.

Meeting this week in Washington, D.C., the APA's formal convention program contains an apology for statements made in last year's program regarding The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its missionary program.

The statements were printed in reference to a documentary film that was shown during that convention, titled, "Get the Fire." The film followed a pair of LDS missionaries in Europe and included interviews with former missionaries who had left the LDS Church after returning from their missions.

http://www.religionnewsblog.com/12047...
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LDS Church Lobbying On Taxes
Thursday, Sep 1, 2005, at 09:38 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
The LDS Church has been lobbying selected members of the state's Tax Reform Task Force, reiterating the church's stance that charitable deductions on state income taxes be retained.

Several legislators who spoke with church lobbyists and attorneys said they saw nothing improper with the contacts. "If they had not called me (to ask for a meeting), I would have called them," said task force co-chairman Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo.

Other legislators, however, not only worry that the process could be a breech of separation of church and state but that church leaders might be expecting special consideration from member legislators.

Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, contacted by the Deseret Morning News, said he came away from a meeting a week ago with three church officials, including LDS Church registered lobbyist William Evans, "a little confused. While it was not directly said, I came away with the distinct impression that this was an outreach by a lobbyist that was not done in a vacuum but with the approval of the First Presidency," the three-member governing body of the 12-million member church.

Hughes, an active LDS Church member, said the charitable deduction "was not (portrayed as) a spiritual litmus test." But the tone of the discussion caused him concern. "The communication that I came away with is that there isn't a line of demarkation between the administrative and the spiritual eye in trying to make the best decisions for the church," Hughes said.

Evans did not return telephone calls Wednesday seeking comment. Church spokesman Dale Bills, who did not sit in on the meetings, issued the following statement Wednesday night: "As have many charitable organizations, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has consistently made known its strong support of state tax deductions for charitable giving. The church has shared its long-standing position with the public and elected officials.

"The church joins with most charitable organizations in the belief that our community is best served by providing tax incentives for the support of charitable activities. All such organizations play a vital role in providing for society's poor and needy, education and the arts, and in meeting other important social needs."

The church does not oppose a flat rate income tax per se, leaders have said. But a true flat rate income tax has no deductions, including no deduction for charitable giving, which the church wants maintained in Utah.

The task force is to recommend tax changes to the 2006 Legislature. More than 80 percent of the 104 part-time legislators are members of the LDS Church.

Word that the newspaper was calling task force members about church lobbying is apparently altering meeting plans. Rep. John Dougall, R-Highland, who was to meet Wednesday with Evans in the church offices, said he received a call at 8 a.m. postponing the meeting indefinitely.

"I would prefer (church officials) testify in an open public meeting," Dougall said, noting that a private meeting also scheduled Wednesday at the Capitol with several House members and church leaders was canceled last week. Dougall said he was told that LDS Church lobbyists prefer to talk with legislators individually, not as a group. Evans then scheduled but then later canceled a private meeting with just Dougall.

Another legislator, who asked that his name not be used, said, "It seems (church lobbyists) want to pick off those who favor a flat rate tax one by one."

Bramble and Senate President John Valentine, R-Orem, who have spoken individually with Evans and other LDS Church lobbyists about the charitable deduction, both said at no time did discussions carry any religious implications.

It was clear "that this (deduction) was not a point of ecclesiastic loyalty," said Bramble, who has served in several appointed church lay leadership positions over the years.

"There was no talk of anything like that (religious overtones) – not even a veiled threat," Valentine said.

Dougall and Hughes both said their support for a true flat rate income tax has not waned. Various studies have shown that a low-rate, flat rate tax – adjusted not to harm poor citizens – would save many Utahns on their taxes, both those who regularly contribute to charities and churches and those who don't, Hughes said. In addition, at least one study has shown contributions to charities did not suffer in a state that did away with charitable deductions.

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. said he still favors a "flatter" income tax, one that doesn't keep the traditional deductions, like charitable giving and home mortgages. Huntsman said that in September he'll start traveling the state, listening to what Utahns have to say on tax reform while selling the idea that now is the time to grab real tax reform in the state. Huntsman, whose late grandfather, Elder David B. Haight, was a member of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve, has also met with church leaders about the flat rate income tax. The governor's office has declined to give details.

In a task force meeting several months ago, Hughes made the motion to draft a true flat rate tax bill, with no deductions. That bill will be on the next agenda, Bramble said.

http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,600160145,00.html
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Nepotism Is Alive And Well In The Mormon Church Authorities
Thursday, Sep 15, 2005, at 07:09 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
Take a look at the 2004 info from the main lds site. Is Mormonism a living example of nepotism. So much for inspiration! More info that I didn't know when I was a member!

The First Presidency
Gordon B. Hinckley : -1st cousin of Joseph B Wirthlin
-1st cousin of Richard B Wirthlin
-nephew of former apostle Arza A Hinckley
-1st cousin, once removed of wife of Neal A. Maxwell
-1st cousin, twice removed of John H Groberg
-3rd cousin, once removed of James E Faust
wife: Marjorie Pay Hinckley -she is not related to any General Authorities

Thomas S. Monson : -2nd cousin, once removed of Graham W Doxey
-3rd cousin, once removed of wife of M Russell Ballard
-3rd cousin, once removed of Spencer J Condie
wife: Frances Beverly Johnson Monson -she is not related to any General Authorities

James E. Faust : -1st cousin, twice removed of former apostle Richard R Lyman
-3rd cousin of former seventy's president Marion D Hanks
-3rd cousin once removed of Gordon B Hinckley
-3rd cousin once removed of former seventy's president S Dilworth Young
-3rd cousin twice removed of former LDS president George Alber Smith
-great grand nephew of former apostle Spencer W Kimball
-2nd great grandson of former apostle Amasa M Lyman
wife: Ruth Wright Faust -she is related to four General Authorities

The Quorum of the Twelve
Boyd K. Packer : -3rd cousin of wife of C Max Caldwell
wife: Donna Edith Smith Packer
-3rd great granddaughter of apostle Luke S Johnson

L. Tom Perry : -nephew of former seventy's president Alma Sonne
-4th cousin once removed of Earl C Tingey
-4th cousin of wife of Richard C Edgley
wife: Barbara Taylor Dayton Perry
-2nd great grand dau of LDS President John Taylor

David B. Haight : -1st cousin once removed of wife of John C Carmack
-2nd cousin once removed of H Verlan Andersen former seventy
-3rd cousin of wife of John E Fowler
-3rd cousin of F Arthur Kay former seventy
wife: Ruby Mildred Olson Haight -she is not related to any General Authorities

Neal A. Maxwell : -first cousin twice removed of O Leslie Stone,former seventy
-wife: Colleen Fern Hinckley Maxwell
-1st cousin once removed from Gordon B Hinckley
-related to four other General Authorities

Russell M. Nelson : -4th cousin of Rulon G Craven
wife: Dantzel White Nelson
-she is not related to any General Authorities

Dallin H. Oaks : -2nd great grand nephew of Martin Harris Book of Mormon witness
1st wife: June Dixon - deceased (relatedness information forthcoming) 2nd wife: Kristen Meredith McMain - married 08/25/2000 - (relatedness info forthcoming)

M. Russell Ballard : -nephew of former patriarch Joseph F Smith
-grandson of former apostle Melvin J Ballard and Hyrum M Smith
-grand nephew of former LDS president Joseph Fielding Smith
-3rd cousin of emeritus patriarch Elder G Smith
-great grandson of LDS president Joseph F Smith
-2nd great grandson of presiding patriarch Hyrum Smith
-3rd great grandson of presiding patriarch Joseph Smith, Sr
wife: Barbara Bowen Ballard
-she is related to five General Authorities

Joseph B. Wirthlin : -son of former presiding bishop Joseph L Wirthlin
-brother of Richard B Wirthlin
-1st cousin of Gordon B Hinckley
wife: Elisa Young Rogers Wirthlin
-she is related to fourteen General Authorities

Richard G. Scott : -related to no General Authorities wife: deceased, was related to six General Authorities

Robert D. Hales : -3rd cousin of Carlos E Asay
-3rd cousin of Glenn L Pace
-3rd cousin once removed of Earl C Tingey
-4th cousin to six General Authorities
wife: Mary Elene Crandall Hales
-she is related to three General Authorities

Jeffrey R. Holland : -2nd,3rd cousin or grand nephew to nine General Authorities
wife: Patricia Terry Holland
-she is related to one General Authority

Henry B. Eyring : -1st,2nd or 3rd cousin to eight General Authorities or their wives
wife: Kathleen Johnson Eyring
-she is related to three General Authorities
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Can I Sue The Church?
Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006, at 07:15 AM
Original Author(s): Richard Packham
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-

Once the eyes open, and the once-faithful Mormon realizes that the church is a fraud, it's natural to think back about how stupid you were, and what you have lost in time and money. Every new ex-Mormon is going to ask, "Can I sue them?" After all, they cheated me, they took ten percent of my income, they duped me, they ruined my life and caused me untold anguish, and that's WRONG!

I am frequently asked, "Can I sue the church? Can I get a refund of my tithing? Didn't the church commit fraud, extortion? Can we file a class action suit?"

The answer to the question "Can I sue?" is, of course, "Yes, you can sue." But the more important question is, "If I sue, will I win?"

DISCLAIMER
The following should not be relied upon as a definitive statement of the law. Your situation may differ, and you should obtain legal counsel only from your own attorney. The writer, although a retired attorney, is not presently authorized or licensed to give legal advice. The writer is speaking as a lay person only, and only in reference to the laws in the United States.
There are several possible legal theories under which one could sue the Mormon church for a refund of tithing. In my opinion, none of them would be successful. There are perhaps very limited situations for which one could successfully sue for other damages.

FRAUD

Although the fraud laws in each state differ slightly, generally fraud consists of the following elements, every one of which must be proven by the plaintiff:

  1. The defendant made certain representations to the plaintiff, presenting them as facts;
  2. In so doing, the defendant intended the plaintiff to believe the representations;
  3. In so doing, the defendant intended the plaintiff to part with something of value;
  4. The representations made by the defendant were false;
  5. The defendant knew, at the time of making the representations, that they were false;
  6. The plaintiff, relying on those representations, parted with something of value;
  7. The plaintiff, in so relying, was acting reasonably;
  8. The plaintiff suffered damage as a result.

The exmormon plaintiff suing the church and its representatives would have no problem, I think, in establishing 1, 2, 3 (perhaps), 6, and 8. But I think there would be serious problems in establishing 4, 5 and 7.

The problem with 4 is in the reluctance of the courts to decide on the truth or falsity of any religious belief. You would have to limit your allegations to the factual claims or historical claims of the church. But did you join the church because of its factual claims? The church attorney would probably be able to get you to admit that it was not the facts, but the religious claims, and no court would decide that any religious claim is false.

It would be even more difficult to establish point 5. How would one prove that Hinckley, or the missionary who converted you, knew that the church's claims were false? You certainly could not get them to make such an admission on the witness stand, primarily because they probably believe that the claims are true.

If you tried to establish that the church leaders must know it's false because of certain facts which you can prove, which make it obvious to any ninny that the church is a hoax, then you have shot yourself in the foot when it comes to point 7. You would have to admit that you did not take the trouble to investigate these fantastic claims, even though the libraries are full of anti-Mormon books. You would have to make a jury believe that it was reasonable for you to hand over ten percent of your annual increase based on a New York confidence man's story that he had been visited by an angel.

Yes, I think that the church defrauded us all. But I don't think we could make the case in court.

EXTORTION

Extortion in modern American law is obtaining something wrongfully by threat. It is a crime. Some former Mormons feel that they were pressured by the teaching that they would be separated from their families, that they would go to hell, that they would not gain eternal exaltation, etc., and that it was this fear that prompted them to part with their tithing money.

But the missionaries did not threaten you, nor did your bishop, to get you to part with your tithing, any more than the insurance salesman threatened you when he warned you that your family would be destitute when you die if you didn't buy his policy.

You would also have the problem of proving that it was perfectly reasonable for you to believe that the threats were real, that is, you really would not become a god if you didn't obey them and give them your money.

EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

The infliction of emotional distress is grounds for a lawsuit in most jurisdictions. However, it is strictly limited to the intentional infliction of emotional distress. That is, the plaintiff must prove that the actions of the defendant were motivated by the desire to cause emotional suffering in the defendant. I cannot see how any former Mormon could prove that the missionaries or the church leaders had that intention.

CLASS ACTIONS

A class action is not a separate legal theory, but just a special procedure to enable a group of people with similar complaints to sue a single defendant. A fundamental requirement is that the members of the class must have pretty much the same case against the defendant. A class action would have difficulties establishing the class, I think. Not all exmormons joined for the same reasons. Not all were told the same things. Not all examined the church's claims to the same extent.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

Attorneys who would be willing to invest the time and effort to sue the LDS church for a contingency fee (no win, no fee) would be hard to find, I would think. The church has a large, well-financed legal department, and any lawsuit for a refund of tithing would bring out the big guns and the big money, because the case could set a precedent. Do you think the church would hesitate to spend five million dollars to fight such a suit? Either you or your attorney will have to be prepared to spend a similar amount.

On appeal, you would have the entire nation's churches filing amicus briefs in support of the Mormon church's position, because their disgruntled members are thinking about their former donations, too.

SEXUAL ABUSE

The one area where the church has been sued successfully a number of times is when a member of the church molested a child, and the local church authorities learned of it but did nothing more than satisfy themselves that the culprit had repented, usually without reporting the matter to the civil law enforcement authorities (as is usually required by law). Few of these cases have actually gone to trial. The church has settled most of them out of court, perhaps because the church wished to avoid the negative publicity, and by settling it could insist in the settlement agreement that the specifics of the charges and the terms of the settlement be kept secret.

If you believe you might have grounds for such a lawsuit against the church, you would be wise to consult an attorney who has experience with such lawsuits against the church. Contact The Mormon Alliance, Salt Lake City, telephone 801-467-1617, for assistance, or e-mail Lavina Anderson, who is one of the former Mormons who operate this clearing-house for Mormon sexual abuse. Another contact, who has worked in the prosecution of abuse cases, is Linda Walker. See her Child Protection Project webpage, or e-mail her.

NAME REMOVAL

The church was also sued in 1985 for refusal to allow a member in good standing to resign membership without undergoing a church trial and excommunication. The church settled that suit out of court to avoid trial, and as a result it now allows members to resign without excommunicating them. If your local authorities insist on excommunicating you, rather than simply accepting your resignation, suggest that they call the church legal department in Salt Lake City for instructions.

CONCLUSION

I'm sorry I sound so pessimistic. We must finally admit that we were fools, and the law was not intended to protect fools from their own stupidity.

I would appreciate hearing from others who may have legal training. If any of you discuss this with your attorneys, I would like to hear what they say.

Comments? Write:andnbsp; packham@teleport.com

andcopy;andnbsp; 1999 Richard Packham andnbsp;andnbsp; Permission granted to reproduce for non-commercial purposes, provided text is not changed and this copyright notice is included

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LDS Instruction Manual: Church Requires Sinners To Suffer
Monday, Mar 27, 2006, at 07:41 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
Did you ever get the impression from a church leader that they wanted you to suffer before accepting your repentance?

Apparently the church has given some church leaders instructions on how to make repenters suffer for their sins.

Here's a former MTC Branch President, explaining the tactics he was told to use...

"[In the MTC] branch presidents were counseled to follow up belated confessions with a series of probing personal questions. They were expected to determine, for example, when the transgression first occurred (before the missionary was interviewed for his call, or after; before he was set apart, or after; before going through the temple, or after); the nature and extent of the transgression; and if the transgression was sexual, the sex and marital status of the partner, if the partner had children, if pregnancy occurred, if an abortion was performed, the number of times the transgression occurred, and the number of different partners."

"Finally, at the end of each month, all branch presidents were to categorize the confessions they'd heard according to transgression, ranging from fornication/adultery, homosexuality, oral sex, masturbation, petting, abortion, and bestiality to stealing, and alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse. These numbers were totaled on a special form and turned in to the mission presidency where they would be aggregated and sent to Church headquarters for further study. "There is no repentance without suffering," the branch presidents were instructed in their Branch President's Handbook. "You do your greatest service when you require the sinner to suffer.""
- Elder Gary James Bergera, "What You Leave Behind: My Six Years at the MTC," (Dialog 21:1/51 Spring 1988).

This falls in line with what a living church apostle Dallin H. Oaks explained to BYU students in 1990...

"President Spencer W. Kimball, who gave such comprehensive teachings on repentance and forgiveness, said that personal suffering "is a very important part of repentance." One has not begun to repent until he has suffered intensely for his sins. "If a person hasn't suffered, he hasn't repented. . . . He has got to go through a change in his system whereby he suffers and then forgiveness is a possibility."

"President Kimball said, "Very frequently people think they have repented and are worthy of forgiveness when all they have done is to express sorrow or regret at the unfortunate happening." There is a big difference between the "godly sorrow [that] worketh repentance," which involves personal suffering, and the easy and relatively painless sorrow for being caught or the misplaced sorrow Mormon described as "the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin."

"All of our personal experience confirms the fact that we must endure personal suffering in the process of repentance--and for serious transgressions that suffering can be severe and prolonged. I believe that every one of us who is truly honest with himself recognizes the truth of this principle. We have felt it in our own lives, and we have seen it in the lives of others. This month's Ensign (August 1990) contains an anonymous article describing such an experience. Under the title "Yearning to Return," a repenting transgressor who was excommunicated describes his personal feelings: "tearful hours," "misery," "wishing to be covered by a million mountains," "crushed by the shame," "dark blackness," "unbearable pain," and "anguish. . . as wide as eternity."

"Why is it necessary for us to suffer on the way to repentance for serious transgressions? We often think of the results of repentance as simply cleansing us from sin. But that is an incomplete view of the matter."
- Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, Sin and Suffering, August 05, 1990

This is also taught in a Gospel Doctrine lesson...

"There are those who have falsely supposed that Christ's suffering supplants suffering on the part of those who repent. This simply is not the case. There is no repentance without suffering. What the present text means is that the repentant soul will not have to suffer "even as" the Savior suffered. But it does not mean that they will not have to suffer. Nor should it be supposed that their suffering is confined to the natural consequences of their actions. In addition to those consequences, he or she must experience the anguish associated with true repentance. President Spencer W. Kimball said of personal suffering that it "is a very important part of repentance. One has not begun to repent until he has suffered intensely for his sins. . . . If a person hasn't suffered, he hasn't repented. . . . He has got to go through a change in his system whereby he suffers and then forgiveness is a possibility."
- Gospel Doctrine Manual, DandC Lesson 2

The church has many ways of making people suffer for their sins. As described by the former MTC Branch President, an effective technique is asking probing personal questions during confessions.

But do these tactics really help people overcome mistakes, or are there other reasons the Mormon Church treats people like this?
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How is Correlation bad?
Thursday, May 11, 2006, at 08:07 AM
Original Author(s): Fh451
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
I'm sure this is something that people could go on about for hours. "Correlation" is the corporatization of the church. It may be a fine way to run a business, but a rather poor way for people to feel connected to a local organization. But the church is big business, so maybe it was inevitable if it was to survive. Henry Moyle, back in the late 50s / 60s nearly bankrupted the church with his expansion and building boom that was not backed up with the membership growth necessary to support it. So people like N Eldon Tanner came along with their business savvy and implemented controls on the finances and physical facilities of the church. That was the beginning (as I understand it) of the "cookie cutter" architecture that is employed by most LDS buildings. No wherever you go, you will see similar floor plans, decorations, furniture, carpets, pictures on the walls, etc. This is a great way to run a hotel chain, but not so great for a church.

Some of the side-effects of this were loss of local control over budgeting. There used to be a local ward budget contribution people were asked to contribute in addition to the normal tithing and fast offerings. This was discontinued and all operating funds came from Salt Lake. But it also meant that they told the local wards how and for what money was to be used. Thus, some of the "fun" things some of us remember from our youth were discontinued or scaled back. Like "Road Shows" and ward "Bizarres" and stake-wide play productions and other community-building activities. There simply wasn't any money to do it. Many lament the loss of these activities which made the church seem like more of a community than a corporation.

The correlation committee also spread its umbrella over other organizations that were previously independant (at least to some degree). The Relief Society, Sunday School, and YM/YW organizations were brought under direct supervision of this committee. All lesson manuals had to be approved for content by the committee. The RS and PH use the exact same manual. All Sunday School classes use the exact same manual. The least common denominator for the lessons has effectively thinned down the content to such an extent that long time adult members are pretty much bored to tears now. But anywhere you go in the world, you will find the same lesson taught on the same Sunday.
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An Experiment In "Visitors Welcome"
Friday, Jun 9, 2006, at 08:31 AM
Original Author(s): Surviving In Utah
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
Being bored last Sunday, I decided to experiment with the truth of the Mormon slogan found on every chapel, "Visitors Welcome." For my experiment, I ensured that I was dressed in Levi's and polo shirt with sandals. Here is the results

Upon entering, I was asked by a young man (18-25) if I needed help.

Me - I was just driving by and saw your church and decided that I would like to know more about your religion. I noticed the welcome sign and just came in.

Young Man - Oh, that is great, let me find someone who can answer any questions you might have.

Young man brings older gentleman (50-60) to me and informs me that Brother XX is the High Priest Group leader.

Me - I don't know exactly what that means but I assume that being a leader Brother XX can answer my questions.

Older Man - Are you a member of the Church?

Me - No, I just moved here from Illinois (lie) and decided to investigate the local churches around my house.

Older Man - Oh, where do you live?

Me - I just bought a house in Draper.

Older Man - Why are you here at this chapel, weren't there Mormon chapels closer to your house? (This chapel is the one on 9th East and 3300 South.

Me - Yeah, I noticed that but I didn't like how any of the others looked architecturally and I really like how your chapel looks.

Older Man - I realize this but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has boundaries for each building and you really need to go to the one by your house. If you tell me your address, I can find out what Ward you are suppose to attend.

Me - No, I really would rather attend this church if I decide to go to church. I feel that the look of the building is important to my worshiping god.

The older gentleman was now joined by another older gentleman (Second Counselor in the Bishopric).

Second Counselor - Hi, what is your name (extending hand)?

Me - Well, I don't really feel like letting you know right now, since I am only here to visit.

The older gentleman explains to the Second Counselor that I am visiting and looking for a church to attend and that I am not a member of the church. At this, Second Counselor gets real excited and wants to have me come to his home. Older gentleman then explains to the Second Counselor that I live in Draper and have mistakenly visited this chapel because I like the looks of the building. Second Counselor's excitement disappears and he explains to me that I need to attend a chapel close to my house.

Me - I really don't like the look of the other buildings. If I attend a church I want to go to one that has a building with character. Somewhere where it looks like god would be.

Second Counselor - That might be fine for now, however when you join our church, you will be required to attend the building that is in your house's boundaries.

Me - I don't know that I am really interested in joining your church, I just wanted to visit it and see if I like what the preacher says.

Older Man - We don't have preachers

Second Counselor - We have a lay ministry and the church member teach to lessons.

Me - NO PREACHERS? How do you know that the sermon is going to be any good? I mean, I know when I do presentations, I can really suck at it.

Second Counselor - Well, we don't have a preacher. But why don't you let me find out who is the Bishop in you area and give him a call and tell him you are coming? I would also suggest that on your way to the chapel in Draper, you might want to stop at your house and change into a suit if you have one. This is how we show god that we respect him and want to worship him.

At this point I was getting even more bored with my Sunday and said that would be nice I he could get me the phone number and I would call the Bishop. Second Counselor get me the number and asks for my name, address and phone number so he can give them to the Bishop in my area. To escape, I give fake name, address and phone number.

Strange Sunday.
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Why Would The LDS Church Suddenly Downgrade The Search Features For Its On-Line Scriptures?
Tuesday, Aug 1, 2006, at 07:02 AM
Original Author(s): Craigc
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
About two weeks ago, the LDS Church downgraded its on-line scripture search feature located at this link:

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/contents

The new search engine is far inferior to the previous one. The new search engine no longer gives the number of counts for a given word or phrase. This is important because frequently used words and phrases can be used as indicators of authorship. For example, just a month ago, when you wanted to count the number of times that the phrase "it came to pass" is used in The Book of Mormon, you could type that phrase into the search window, and you would get a count of the number of occurrences of that phrase. In the 1830 version of the Book of Mormon, the phrase "it came to pass" occurs 5.6 times per 1000 words (1,402 appearances in 251,204 words).

Why would anyone want to know how many times the phrase "it came to pass" is used in The Book of Mormon? Because several eyewitnesses indicated that Solomon Spalding used that phrase at high frequency when he was writing Manuscript Found - the document that allegedly served as the basic storyline for The Book of Mormon. Here are some of the eyewitness statements indicating that "it came to pass" is likely a good marker for Spalding authorship:

John Spalding said of his brother Solomon: "I well remember that he wrote in the old style, and commenced about every sentence with 'and it came to pass,' or 'now it came to pass,' the same as in the Book of Mormon" (Howe 1834, 280).

Henry Lake said about Spalding, "I well recollect telling Mr. Spalding, that the so frequent use of the words 'And it came to pass,' 'Now it came to pass' rendered it ridiculous" (Howe 1834, 282).

Abner Jackson said that when the Book of Mormon "was brought to Conneaut and read there in public, old Esq. Wright heard it, and exclaimed, 'Old Come to Pass has come to life again'" (Davis, Scales, and Cowdrey 1977, 64).

In 1882 Joseph Miller wrote: "The words 'Moreover,' 'And it came to pass,' occurred so often that the boys about the village called him 'Old Came to Pass'" (Davis, Scales, and Cowdrey 1977, 72).

The above quotes suggest that the frequency of use of the phrase "it came to pass" can give us some idea which chapters received significant Spalding input.

When you type in "it came to pass" now, the search engine returns the number of verses containing one or more occurrences of that phrase. This makes it much more time-consuming to figure out the number of usages of this phrase (or any other phrase, for that matter) in each chapter of the book.

Another example is the phrase "children of men". This phrase appears to be a good marker for Rigdon. See: http://mormonstudies.com/criddle/rigdon.htm#19

Also interesting is what now happens with simple word searches. Before two weeks ago, you could easily determine how many times the word "it" or "as" or "all" or "be", or any other frequently used word was used. Now, when you search for the word "It" (or other frequently used words), you receive the following message:

"The word IT is not a significant word and was not used in the search • Use significant words that are not common."

The above instructions to the user are important because frequently used noncontextual words can also be used as markers for authorship.

It would be interesting to know who decided to downgrade the on-line search features. This is likely no accident.
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A List Of How The Mormon Church Has Gone Mainstream
Tuesday, Aug 1, 2006, at 07:16 AM
Original Author(s): Jubeyjane
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
Examples of Mormon Mainstreaming:
  • Church stopped the BoM TV ads, and replaced them with ads offering the King James Version of the Bible
  • Church changed all the quotes in the Brigham Young lesson manual from "wives" to "wife"
  • Church-wide Joseph F. Smith lesson manual removes all mention of this prophet's many plural wives and divorces
  • Church changing some (but not all yet) references to the "Cumorah Pageant" to "Palmyra Pageant"
  • Church quietly removed term "White and Delightsome" from Book of Mormon
  • Church removed strange words from temple endowment like "Barak Ale," "Pay Lay Ale," "Beelzebub," etc..
  • Church's other extensive April 1990 changes to the temple endowment ceremony to make it more "politically correct" by removing the blood oaths, five points of fellowship, and the Protestant preacher in the pay of Beelzebub (Satan).
  • Church dropped the "Lamanite Generation" name at BYU and renamed it "Living Legends"
  • Church morphed the FARMS organization into some broad ancient scripture thing that does not really involve the Book of Mormon.
  • Church changed the name of the "Mormon ads" in the New Era to "New Era Posters." These are those photos with "inspirational" sayings appropriate for cutting out and using for a constant reminder of someone else's ideas of appropriate behavior.
  • All Church letterhead, news releases and announcements refer to the church as "The Church of Jesus Christ."
  • Church's world-wide announcement that insists the media never refer to the church as the "Mormon Church."
  • Hinckley's public denials of long-held controversial Mormon beliefs that God was once a man and that polygamy was a doctrine
  • The church is undertaking the enormous task of removing the original contemporary steeple things on the front lawns of all the ward houses and purchasing very expensive, Christian-looking steeples to sit atop the ward houses.
  • Recent talks by Church President Hinckley avoid mention of Joseph Smith. As one example, on June 24, 2001, Hinckley spoke to the members in San Antonio, TX and elaborated on a belief in the restoration, but did not refer to Joseph Smith. In the same talk, he did not include a testimony in Joseph Smith among the list of things that make you worthy to go the temple. He listed every other requirement mentioned in the worthiness interview, but skipped over all references to Joseph Smith.
  • Church proclamation "The Living Christ:-Testimony of Apostles" avoids references from Mormon scripture. All scriptural quotes are from the Bible or carefully selected copies of Bible verses from phrases in the DandC. The proclamation fails to use any references from the Book of Mormon, the Church's "Other Testament of Jesus Christ."
  • Unprecedented access to the Salt Lake Temple: the Church tore down the wall in front of the Salt Lake Temple and opened the entire temple grounds to the public. Tourists can now walk right up the temple steps and all around the temple. This gives the impression that the Church is open and nothing secret goes on inside the temple. Brigham Young is rolling in his grave over this change.
  • The Church spent millions on a new temple guest building next to the Salt Lake Temple. The main purpose of the new building is to serve as a waiting area for wedding guests not allowed in the temple, which includes all non-members and less-active members. While missing the wedding, unworthy guests now wait in the new plush building and view pictures, magazines and videos explaining the importance of temples. The Church hopes the new facility makes unworthy guests feel more a part of the temple experience and less bitter about not being able to participate in the ceremony.
  • The Church is completely remodeling the two visitor centers on temple square, removing all the Book of Mormon exhibits and replacing them with theatres to show church films about the family. The South visitor center has already been redone.
  • Gone are the "talking head" Book of Mormon theatres, fake plates, temple baptistery font and Mormon persecution exhibits.
  • Monson started a televised Church devotional in the tabernacle by taking the pulpit and saying "Let us Pray" before bowing his head. This mainstream Christian phrase to begin a church service is completely new to Mormon culture.
  • Blacks are now allowed to have the same "blessings" as white members and are now seen as a new source of victims err.. Members to sustain the whole growth myth..
  • Washing and anointing ceremony was changed so that no actual touching of the parts mentioned occurs. Also, patrons are not naked under the shield anymore
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Why Did The Church Keep Changing It's Name?
Monday, Sep 11, 2006, at 07:00 AM
Original Author(s): Grey Matter
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
Why did the church keep changing it's name?

1. My church – 1828

2. The Church of Christ – 1829

3. The Church of Christ - 1830 (when church incorporated)

4. The Church of the latter-day Saints – 1834

5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – 1838

Will it change again?
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How The Church Handled A Sexual Abuse Situation, Church Courts, And The Church Legally Fighting To Hide Their Reasoning
Thursday, Sep 14, 2006, at 06:38 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
ANE DOE, ET AL., Respondents, v. THE CORPORATION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, ET AL., Petitioners. COURT OF APPEALS OF WASHINGTON, DIVISION ONE

June 1, 2004, Filed CASE HISTORY: Reconsideration denied by Doe v. Corp. of President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 2004 Wash. App. (Wash. Ct. App., July 15, 2004) Review denied by [Tom] v. Corp. of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 153 Wn.2d 1025, 110 P.3d 213, 2005 Wash. (Wash., Mar. 29, 2005)

OVERVIEW: The trial court ordered the church to disclose the report of church disciplinary action (RCDA) for a church member, who abused his two stepdaughters after respondents' had filed a tort action. In analyzing whether the clergy-penitent privilege protected the stepfather's RCDA from disclosure, the trial court found that the clergy-penitent privilege did not apply because the church failed to establish that all participants in the disciplinary proceeding were "regularly licensed or ordained" clergy. On appeal the court reversed, concluding that based on church doctrine, the participants in the stepfather's disciplinary proceeding were ordained clergy, Wash. Rev. Code §§ 5.60.060(3), 26.44.020(11). It was undisputed that the stepfather's stake disciplinary counsel was conducted in accordance with church doctrine and under the church doctrine the participants in the stepfather's disciplinary council were ordained clergy members. Thus, his RCDA was protected by the clergy-penitent privilege and could notbe produced.

OUTCOME: The court reversed the order and remanded for entry of an order denying the motion to direct the church to produce the RCDA.

--------------(The following is the reasoning the courts did not make the church produce that RCDA report, but it is a sad and interesting read. Be glad you are out of that pedophile protecting church. Also, it would appear that the church cares more about its image then helpless child victims of sexual abuse. It is an educational insight on what one can expect from the church, how the church and their "called of God" leaders behave.)

SUMMARY: Two stepdaughers who had been sexually abused by their stepfather sought damages from the church for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The stepfather confessed the sexual abuse first to a church bishop and then to a disciplinary council that included church members who were ordained for purposes of serving on the council. The council prepared a report of church disciplinary action and sent it to church headquarters. The stepdaughters alleged that the church bishops and other church officials breached a statutory duty and a duty of reasonable care by failing to report the stepfather's sexual abuse.

Superior Court: The Superior Court for King County, No. 02-2-04105-1, Richard McDermott, J., on June 10, 2003, ordered the church to produce the disciplinary report on the stepfather.

Court of Appeals: Holding that the report of church disciplinary action was protected from disclosure by the clergy-penitent privilege, the court reverses the trial court's order and remands the case for further proceedings.

OPIONION (What the court decides and why, but much was edited out for the sake of space):

The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a Utah religious corporation that exists to conduct temporal and legal affairs on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, an unincorporated religious association.

John Roe, an LDS Church member, sexually abused his stepdaughter J. Doe and her younger sister, R. Doe. Jane Doe was sexually abused from 1988 to 1995 and her younger sister from 1992 to 1998.

According to J. Doe, sometime in ****1995**** she met with Bishop H., the bishop of her LDS Church ward, and told him her stepfather was sexually abusing her. After this meeting, Bishop H. met with Roe(the child sexual abuser,husband) and Doe's mother. Jane Doe's mother testified that the Bishop did not inform her about Roe's abuse of her daughter. Bishop H. did not report the alleged abuse to the civil authorities.

....As the Utah Supreme Court has explained: A bishop's and stake president's duties include giving spiritual guidance and counsel to the members of the Church in their jurisdiction. They receive no formal educational training as clergymen, are not compensated by the Church, and perform their ecclesiastical duties in addition to their vocations. Scott v. Hammock, 870 P.2d 947, 949 (Utah 1994).

In 1998, in an e-mail conversation with a friend, Jane Doe disclosed that her stepfather had sexually abused her for a number of years. The friend notified the new bishop of their LDS ward, Bishop [Idiot #1]. Bishop [Idiot #1] reported the alleged abuse to the Stake President, [Idiot #2]. In January 1999, Stake President [Idiot #2] convened a stake disciplinary council to address the sexual abuse allegations against Roe and consider formal church disciplinary action.

In November **** 1998****, Roe admitted to his spouse that he had sexually abused Jane Doe. At some point before January 1999, Roe also apparently confessed to his ward bishop.(

Under LDS Church doctrine, an essential prerequisite to being saved is that an individual repent for his transgressions. When an LDS Church member is accused of a serious transgression such as sexual abuse, a stake disciplinary council must intervene and help the church member repent and reestablish a covenant with God. Formal church discipline is administered by a disciplinary council and can result in probation, disfellowshipment, or excommunication. See The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 1: Stake Presidencies and Bishoprics.....

John Roe's disciplinary council was held on Sunday January 10, 1999. Roe attended and apparently confessed in the course of the proceeding. The disciplinary council decided the appropriate discipline for Roe was disfellowshipment. LDS Church procedures require that an RCDA be prepared and sent to the Church headquarters in Utah when the discipline is disfellowshipment or excommunication. An RCDA is a summary of the disciplinary proceedings and describes the decision of the council. The LDS Church did not report Jane Doe's allegations that her stepfather sexually abused her to the civil authorities.

In January 2000, Roe's spouse learned that he had sexually abused her younger daughter, Rebecca. Roe's spouse called Child Protective Services to report the abuse. Roe was criminally charged and prosecuted for the sexual abuse of both Jane and Rebecca Doe. Roe pleaded guilty to child molestation in the first degree and was sentenced to prison.

In February 2002, Jane Doe and R. Doe's guardian ad litem, [Tom] filed a tort lawsuit against Roe and the LDS Church for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The complaint alleges that the LDS bishops and other church officials "breached both a statutorily proscribed duty and a duty of reasonable care by failing to report" Roe's sexual abuse of Jane Doe. The LDS Church answered and denied the allegations against it.

In his deposition, Roe asserted the clergy-penitent privilege and refused to answer questions about his disciplinary council proceeding. When [Tom] requested production of Roe's RCDA and RCDAs for other church members, the LDS Church objected on the grounds the RCDAs were protected from disclosure by Washington's clergy-penitent privilege statute and [Tom]'s request violated the Church's federal and state constitutional right of free exercise of religion.

In addition, the Church objected because the documents were irrelevant and violated third parties' rights to privacy........The special master concluded Roe's communications were a confession under LDS Church doctrine because the church handbook specifies that disciplinary councils are part of a process of repentance and are held "to save the souls of transgressors."The special master also concluded that the RCDA was confidential because the church handbook imposes a duty of confidentiality on all participants in LDS Church disciplinary councils.....

The LDS Church contends the trial court erred in requiring production of Roe's disciplinary proceeding RCDA because the clergy-penitent privilege applies and the court's order violates the Church's free exercise of religion under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and art. I, sec. 11 of the Wash. Const. The LDS Church argues that under its church doctrine each participant in Roe's disciplinary proceeding was an ordained clergy member. Alternatively, the LDS Church argues that all the participants were necessary for the communication to occur.....

A disciplinary council must be held when a Church member is alleged to have committed child abuse. The stake president, his two counselors, a stake clerk, and the 12-member high council are required to participate in the stake disciplinary council. In addition to these participants, Roe's council also included Roe's bishop and the stake executive secretary.

["Tom"] argues that because the high council members are ordained only for purposes of participating in stake disciplinary councils, they are not clergy. We disagree. n16 ["Tom"]'s argument ignores the Supreme Court's decision in Motherwell and too narrowly construes the court's definition of who is an ordained clergy member. According to Motherwell, whether a clergy member is an ordained clergy is determined by "ordination within one's church or religious denomination" and whether the ordained clergy member was functioning in a clerical capacity. Motherwell, 114 Wn.2d at 359-60......

Here, the parties agree that the stake president and bishop are ordained. The parties also agree that the high council and all other participants were ordained for purposes of the stake disciplinary council by the laying on of hands. According to Stake President Mitchell, who presided over Roe's council, "[f]or purposes of the disciplinary council, all 18 men are functioning in an official clerical capacity and are considered under Church doctrine to be clergy bound by sacred obligations of confidentiality." Under the LDS Church doctrine, all the participants at Roe's disciplinary proceeding were ordained clergy members functioning in a clerical capacity..........

["Tom"] argues that because the stake president, not the high council, makes the final disciplinary decision, the role of the high council at Roe's disciplinary proceedings is "perfunctory and dispensable," and the presence of the stake executive secretary was not necessary for the communication to occur.

Church doctrine mandates the attendance and participation of the high council at the stake disciplinary council in cases of alleged child abuse. The role the high council plays at disciplinary proceedings is described in the church handbook. One-half of the high council is appointed to represent the Church member. Councilors may ask questions about the Church member's alleged transgressions and present their views on discipline. The high councilors cannot veto the stake president's disciplinary decision, but the handbook encourages every effort be made to address councilors' concerns and achieve unanimity.

Under LDS Church doctrine, the stake clerk is required to attend at the direction of the stake president. The clerk prepares a summary of the stake disciplinary councils and the RCDA. The stake executive secretary is "an executive assistant to the stake president" who keeps "reference notes on matters discussed, decisions reached, and actions to be taken." Although not required by Church doctrine to attend the disciplinary council, the stake executive secretary's role is analogous to a legal secretary or other third party administrative assistant. See State v. Aquino-Cervantes, 88 Wn. App. 699, 707, 945 P.2d 767 (1997) HN13Go to the description of this Headnote.(administrative assistants are essential for the provision of legal services to occur and do not vitiate confidentiality required by the attorney-client privilege). The presence of the stake executive secretary at Roe's disciplinary council did not vitiate the confidentiality requirement of the clergy-penitent privilege.

["Tom"]claims Roe waived his right to assert the clergy-penitent privilege when he agreed to allow a prior confession to be used in his disciplinary proceeding. ["Tom"] relies on a church handbook provision governing the use of prior confessions that states: "information received in a member's confession cannot be used as evidence in a disciplinary council without the member's consent." Roe allegedly confessed to his bishop prior to the stake disciplinary council.["Tom"]argues that by agreeing to confess again to the disciplinary council, Roe waived any privilege to both his earlier confession and his confession to the disciplinary council. We conclude that Roe's consent to the use of his prior confidential confession in the disciplinary council did not constitute a waiver of Roe's right to assert the clergy-penitent privilege. The LDS Church imposes a duty of confidentiality in both circumstances. Similarly, the confidential recording and transmission of the RCDA was not a waiver. See Martin, 137 Wn.2d at 787. LDS Church procedures require preparation and transmission of an RCDA to church headquarters and maintains its confidentiality.

See also Scott v. Hammock, 133 F.R.D. 610, 619 (D.Utah 1990). In Scott, the court held that the ***Utah*** privilege statute applied to the transmission of privileged intrafaith communications from one ecclesiastical officer to another. The court reasoned that a communication from one religious authority to another within the Church hierarchy was necessary for carrying out church discipline.

["Tom"] also argues that Roe waived the privilege when he told his spouse about the sexual abuse in November 1998, prior to the January 1999 disciplinary council. This disclosure to his spouse did not waive his privilege as to the communications in his disciplinary proceeding. Roe has consistently refused to talk about the communications in the disciplinary council or the disciplinary council proceedings. And there is no evidence to the contrary....

We conclude that under LDS Church doctrine the participants in Roe's disciplinary council were ordained clergy members and Roe's RCDA is protected by the clergy-penitent privilege. We reverse the trial court's order requiring disclosure of Roe's RCDA and remand for entry of an order denying [Tom]'s motion to direct the LDS Church to produce the RCDA.



Reconsideration denied July 15, 2004.

Review denied at 153 Wn.2d 1025 (2005).
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This Is The Lords One True Corporation
Wednesday, Jul 22, 2009, at 07:54 AM
Original Author(s): Confused
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
“It might seem strange, almost slightly blasphemous, to refer to a church as a corporation, but the analogy here is simply inescapable. The Church is undeniably corporate.”

- Jeffery Kaye, “An Invisible Empire: Mormon Money in California,” New West, May 8, 1978, p. 39

“Our [Church Public Communications Department fund-raising] representatives are trained in personal grooming habits, correct deportment, proper word usage, the right kinds of voice tone for different situations, good telephone procedures, and the like. It’s almost an entire remake of the whole person once they’ve been through the whole [training] program. They are instructed to contact attorneys, certified public accountants, bank officials, and any other officials who handle the financial affairs of the elderly, well-to-do clients and tell them about the needs of our school in Provo [BYU]. You’d be surprised just how well this system works for us.”

- Interview with Scott Barnett, an assistant director for the LDS Church Development Office, January 7, 1982, and interview with James Olson, assistant legal counsel for the LDS Church Development Office, January 7, 1982, in John Heinerman and Anson Shupe, The Mormon Corporate Empire, p. 107
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Does The Church Ever Adjust For Different Cultures?
Friday, Jul 23, 2010, at 08:09 AM
Original Author(s): Cludgie
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
Short answer: No. Americans are Americans.

The church is American, and Americans depend on everyone else bending and adjusting for them. There is nothing really "international" or "world-wide" about TSCC, in my opinion. Church business in other countries, for example, is normally carried out in English because SLC depends on that. Any non-American church employee in another country can tell you that people who come in from SLC interfere with them and try to enforce Utah- and USA-centric policies on them. (Small example: I had a friend who was a church employee in Europe whose job it was to procure real estate. His Utah-based boss demanded that he get an acre of land in downtown Paris on which to build a chapel (I think--maybe it was for the never-built Paris temple). He couldn't of course, and tried in vain to explain to the guy from Utah why you can't do that. First, an acre of free land in downtown Paris probably doesn't exist. Then there are things to factor in like antiquities ordinances and aesthetics codes and stuff like that. The Utah dude kept accusing him of "not praying hard enough." Plus the Utahn used disrespectful language when talking about the French, which is an American fall-back when dealing with the French.) (Well, to be fair, Brits do it, too.)

For all the travels abroad that missionaries do, no one seems to ever bring back any lasting or substantial influence that would really convince anyone that TSCC is a "world church." Any nods to other cultures seem to always lack substance and sincerity.*

I always appreciated how some Europeans can thumb their nose at Mormonisms. I remember that German women frequently wore pants to church. They also frequently wear their bras UNDER the garment top. Italians easily skip church to be with extended family. Plus, due to protective European labor laws, a church employee doesn't necessarily have to keep a temple recommend in order to retain his or her job. I knew church employees who had left the church but still worked for it. This frustrated their Utah bosses, who wanted them fired but were not allowed to do it. So sometimes the non-Americans are able to jab back at the Americans, and the Americans hate it.

*An exception would be Polynesian cultures, it would seem to me personally. The church seems to always really like and accept Polynesian cultures, so much so that Hawaiians get away with wearing open-collar shirts and even flip-flops to church.
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Blighting The Roman Landscape. God, Those Poor Italians.
Monday, Oct 25, 2010, at 08:04 AM
Original Author(s): Cludgie
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
I just got an excited and bubbly E-mail from the wife of one of the former mission presidents in Rome during the time I lived there. They're really nice folks, of course, just royally annoying with their particular drippy form of Mormonism. Anyway, she sent pictures and everything of the artists' renditions of the temple. Then I went on-line to the "Intellectual Reserve" (i.e., corporation of the church) web site to read their declaration about the church's history in Italy. Naturally it's mostly bullshit, but here's the scary part:
"With legal recognition still stalled in Parliament in late 2009, the Church took the step of hiring a Washington, D.C., lobbyist to help push through the approval. A. Elizabeth Jones, a former high-level State Department employee and ambassador to Kazakhstan, who is now an executive vice president at APCO Worldwide, is lobbying the U.S. embassy in Italy to support the Church's application. The intesa-an Italian term referring to an "understanding" with the government-would carry certain privileges including facilitating the authorization of bishops to perform civilly recognized marriages and making the renewal of visas for missionaries easier."
On May 13, 2010, the Italian Cabinet, or Council of Ministers, approved an intesa with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, granting the Church Italy's highest status given to religions. This action elevates the legal recognition of the Church from charitable foundation to official religion. Just a few more formalities remain before the intesa becomes law."

This is why in my subject line I say "those poor Italians." You see, with the "intesa" in force, the LDS church would be able to not allow members to have a civil ceremony first that would include relatives, as in the rest of Europe. Actually, I doubt that the Italian members wouldn't stand for it, since they're used to a civil ceremony with all the family, then going to the temple for the temple so-called marriage. Still, if the parliament grants the intesa, I bet that church authorities would come down hard on Italian members to toe the line and exclude their family. If so, my guess is that there would be backlash, but that's just a guess.

Note the part where the church hired a lobbyist to push through the Italian approval. So typically corporate.

As most of you are aware, the church in some countries is not recognized as having authority to perform a civil legal marriage. It seems that such is the case with Italy.

If a religious ceremony is performed by a Roman Catholic priest, a separate civil ceremony is unnecessary but the priest must register the marriage with the Ufficiale di Stato Civile in order for it to be legal. Because of the special Italian requirements applicable to marriage performed by non-Roman Catholic clergymen, the latter usually insist on a prior civil ceremony before performing a religious ceremony in order to ensure the legality of the marriage.

However, I'm wondering if the church will now receive special recognition since it is now recognized as a full religion in Italy. Will it be given that authority to perform the civil legal aspect of marriages in the temple. If so, is the government of Italy fully aware of the divisive nature of the church policy that prohibits unworthy family and friends from attending a temple wedding?

From the Church News article, "With regard to the temple which will be built upon this site, it means everything to Latter-day Saints," President Monson said during his remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony. "It unites families here and in eternity."

Did Monson tell Italian authorities about it's wedding policy of exclusion? I doubt it. I also suspect that most Italian members will not be aware of this issue either until it will be too late.
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Joseph Smith's Church Was Dissolved By The US Supreme Court In 1887
Wednesday, Nov 3, 2010, at 09:09 AM
Original Author(s): Nick Humphrey
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
the church of jesus christ of latter day-saints, as founded by joseph smith ceased to exist in 1887. that's why the church is now a group of corporations such as:
  • Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (to receive and manage money and church donations)
  • Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (to acquire, hold, and dispose of real property)
http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/201...

"Back in 1887, the church found itself in a famous staring contest with the federal government, and our side blinked. The United States Congress punished us by dissolving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and seizing all of its assets, including the Salt Lake temple and all of temple square.

Whether the government actually had the authority to do all this is a question for another time, but in 1890 the Supreme Court upheld the dissolution, and the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as a legal entity, simply ceased to exist. We had to do a lot of serious butt-kissing just to get our stuff back, but there was no question that the church itself was not returning any time soon. At least not in any form Joseph Smith would have recognized. Or Jesus Christ, for that matter."

How could Jesus Christ let his church be taken away AGAIN? =)

As waterman describes on his blog, the church as a corporation is subject to the legal limitations granted to it by US law, in order for it to continue to exist it must obey the state. Jesus Christ is no longer "the head of the church" (as if he ever was anyways).

See also:

Edmunds–Tucker Act: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmunds%...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chur...
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Manchester And April 6, 1830
Tuesday, Jun 5, 2012, at 11:44 AM
Original Author(s): Joe Geisner
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
Mike Marquardt has uploaded five new files to his Mormon PDF Web Site:

http://user.xmission.com/~research/mo...

They are under the title of Joseph Smith Organized the Church of Christ in Manchester, Ontario County, New York on April 6, 1830. The five papers are named:

Church of Christ Organizational Meeting of April 6, 1830

Manuscripts and Sources on April 6, 1820

Six Revelations of April 6, 1830

Note on the Joseph Knight Jr., Statement, August 1862

Kirtland Firm printed change to Fayette

If people are unfamiliar with this subject, I would suggest reading Mike's Sunstone article first (the pdf right under these new papers), this will familiarize you with the topic.

I understand that the Church has so much invested in the Fayette site, but it seems like it would be quiet easy to be honest about the place of April 6 as Manchester and point out that Fayette was the place of the first couple of conferences. This way the Church would be historically accurate and continue to maintain the Fayette site as an extremely important place in early Church history.

The dancing done to keep Fayette as the place is quite a funny thing.
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LDS Church Sends "Membership Threatening" Letters To Members Protesting LDS Missionary Training Center Height
Monday, Jul 9, 2012, at 07:03 AM
Original Author(s): Sophocles
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
From the Herald Extra:

http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local...
After four months of fighting a proposed nine-story building at the LDS Church's Missionary Training Center in Provo, neighborhood chairman Paul Evans, who has spearheaded the opposition, buckled to pressure from the church and is bowing out.

Evans sent an explanation in an e-mail letter to Gary McGinn, director of Provo city's Community Development department. The Herald obtained a copy through a request under GRAMA, the state's open records law.

"On Monday June 25, 2012, I received an invitation from a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints ecclesiastical leader relayed from a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, the second-highest governing body of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," Evans wrote in the email. He asked that his name be removed from all documents connected to the issue."

A similar invitation has now been extended to church members in the MTC area who have objected to the proposed tall building as being incompatible with the neighborhood and a violation of promises made when the MTC was approved in the 1970s.
And they called it an "Invitation".

I like how in the article, everything hinges on whether this is a "secular" or "ecclesiastical" issue.

At first, when the homeowners write to President Monson to remind him of promises that were made when the MTC was built, the church's response is that it's a secular issue. Meaning, of course, that the church is free to play hardball, go back on its promises, whatever. It's business. Something for the lawyers to fight with the city about, not something for the prophet to lead and guide and walk beside.

This, of course, meant that the homeowners were also free to fight it. It's business, after all. Secular business.

And the church was fine with that until it began to look like it might actually lose. Then all of the sudden it became ecclesiastical.
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LDS Church Puts Out Slick PR Piece To Sustain Utah Liquor Laws Video
Thursday, Jan 23, 2014, at 07:35 AM
Original Author(s): Kingpabo
Topic: LDS CHURCH   -Link To MC Article-
Video was posted here yesterday - See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rnYl....

I teach an alcohol and drug education class a couple times a month to people who get DUIs or impaired driving or consumption of alcohol by a minor charges. I have around 300 people pass through my class every year. One thing I have learned teaching these classes is that almost no one who drinks and gets in trouble for it has any education about safe drinking habits.

This video drove me crazy, so I had to go get some additional research. I went to the Samhsa website and dug up this little gem (See: http://samhsa.gov/data/NSDUH/2k11Stat...) . Here's the skinny.

The state (and church) tries to use this type of statistic to show how awesome Utah's statistics are.

Population using alcohol in the past month at age 12 and up.

National Average: 51.79%

Utah Average: 25.38%

Wow, that's great Utah. You came in at the lowest level of drinking. You really must be a special people and state. You have a population that is scared of drinking. Cool. But it's total bullshit because it doesn't tell the real story of how alcohol is actually consumed in Utah. As an instructor for these thing I don't care if people drink. I care how they drink. This next one is much more informative about how effective alcohol laws/education are in Utah.

If you do the math to find out what percentage of drinkers in Utah are classified as binge drinkers you get a very different story.

Percentage of drinkers in the past month who binge drank at age 12 and up.

National Average: 44.13%

Utah Average: 55.83%

Congratulations Utah. You came in at the very top of the pack followed close after by the hillbillies out in West Virginia (sorry hillbillies, better luck next time). Abstinence only education increases negative outcomes for sex and it does the same for substance consumption as well. Utah has a serious problem in the drinking population and providing very little education and ridiculous laws that stigmatize casual substance use do nothing to resolve it.

TL;DR the LDS church is still full of shit and aren't using the right statistics.
 
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