June 24th, 2011
02:11 PM ET

Explain it to me: Mormonism

With two Mormons running for the Republican presidential nomination and a play riffing on the religion tearing up Broadway, the country appears to be having a Mormon moment.

Here are 10 facts about Mormonism. What other questions do you have about the faith?

1. The official name of the Mormon church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

2. Mormons consider themselves Christian but their beliefs and practices differ from traditional Christianity in key ways, including belief in sacred texts outside the Bible and practices like posthumous proxy baptism and wearing special undergarments.

3. There are about 14 million Mormons today, with more than half living outside the United States.

4.  The Mormon religion was founded in upstate New York in 1830, when Joseph Smith published a translation of writings he said he found and translated from Egyptian-style hieroglyphics into English.  That's the Book of Mormon, which believers say consists of writings produced by ancient American civilizations.

5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has outlawed polygamy since 1890.

6. Early Mormons faced intense persecution, so church headquarters relocated from New York to Missouri to Illinois in rapid succession. Joseph Smith was killed by a mob in Illinois. His successor, Brigham Young, led early Mormons to the Great Salt Lake in what's now Utah, where church headquarters remains.

7. Mormon men are expected to perform two years of missionary work beginning when they're 19 years old. Women can also do missionary work when they turn 21, but there is less pressure to do so.

8. Famous Mormons include J.W. Marriott, founder of the hotel chain, Glenn Beck and Gladys Knight, a convert.

9. Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney represent different generations of Mormonism that have related pretty differently to American culture.

10. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is running some major ad campaigns to take advantage of burgeoning interest in the religion.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mormonism

soundoff (3,741 Responses)
  1. Phil

    Harry Reid, who gets good press from CNN, is also a Mormon. Why not ask him?

    June 25, 2011 at 9:10 am |
  2. hmm

    Have you ever met a Mormon? They're nice people. Let em believe what they want! They aren't killing anyone... lol.

    June 25, 2011 at 8:30 am |
    • thisisforhatemail

      ...anymore. Or so we think. Try reading "Under The Banner of Heaven."

      June 25, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  3. Rocco P

    Jesus never told His followers that His church would be restored in the "latter days", but rather warned them to be on guard against false prophets who will arise in "the latter days". The LDS church clearly fits the bill – another god ( a human who BECAME a god, via progression), polytheistic (believes in the existence of many gods), another Jesus (who, in Mormonism is the literal brother of Lucifer). The LDS church is a freemason sect, complete with many of the same secret rites, clothed in the disguise of a Christian church. The apostle Paul warned that even Satan can clothe himself as an angel of light. I know many nice, clean-cut Mormons – but also nice, clean-cut Hindus, Buddhists, Muzzlims and atheists as well. Being nice doesn't make a deception true!

    June 25, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • John

      I could clarify all of your misunderstandings, but a blog is obviously not the place to have a meaningful religious debate. It's OK to be wrong, but please don't try to 'save' others before you understand the issues yourself.

      June 25, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      @ Rocco P
      Couldn't have said it any better!

      On the contrary, Rocco's post displays well balanced understanding, NOT misunderstanding. And what makes you think he's trying to save anyone? He is just speaking the facts, nothing else!

      June 25, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Todd

      PRISM 1234, seeing as you accept misunderstandings as fact, I will clarify Rocco P's falsehoods which John (wisely) chose not to do.


      In fact, Christ never used the term "the latter days", so to apply quotations to that phrase and reference Christ as the speaker is fallacious. He did use the term "the last day", but context clearly instructs us that this refers to the day after death, resurrection and jusdgement, not the "latter days", a term more commonly used in the Old Testament. However, the apostles did use the phrase "the last days", in reference to these latter days; unfortunately for Rocco, it supports all claims of Mormonism:

      Acts 2:17 "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams"

      Meanwhile, Hosea 3:4-5 infers a long apostacy and a restoration in the latter days – "For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days."

      Yes, Christ warned about false prophets, but Rocco P and most others like yourself who cite this warning assume wrongly that ALL men claiming to be prophets in the latter days MUST be false prophets. This is not only a logical error, but a gross manipulation of God's word and a sin.

      Christ gave a much more stern and ominous warning to those who reject (and in Joseph Smith's case, murder) TRUE prophets:

      Matthew 23:29-24 – "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
      30And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
      31Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
      32Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
      33Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
      34Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar."


      Rocco clearly does not even begin to grasp the concept of eternal progression, partly because he leaves out very vital steps. Particularly, you exclude our doctrine of a pre-mortal existence, a doctrine thoroughly supported by the Bible yet exclusively believed by Mormons. God did not start out human, but every Christian DOES believe God BECAME human. Why "Christians" truncate our doctrine to confuse their own followers is beyond me.


      The name "Lucifer" occurs only once in the Bible, and while most Christians, including Mormons, believe this is the name of Satan, scholars are divided over whether this name refers to Satan or to a human king. Let's view it in context: Isaiah 14:12 – "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!"

      Wait a second, so Christians also believe that Lucifer was once a heavenly being? But not just heavenly, heaven royalty! That's a shocker! At least we agree on this point of doctrine now that we've read it.


      This is not at all true, but let's discuss it. Freemasonry does not purport to be a religion, but rather a brotherhood of religious people. Many Christians have been Freemasons. Freemasonry claims ancient origins dating back to the Temple of Solomon. Mormons claim God has restored original temple rights. It is thus only logical that Mormonism and Masonry should have parallels. Freemason rituals are not religious, but rather social, and non-denominational, in nature. Christians, Jews, Muslims and other religious groups have representation in Freemason lodges. Mormon rituals on the other hand are deeply religious and full of symbolism specific to the Gospel of Christ.


      Being nice does not make a deception true, but according to your logic, being nice definitely makes a truth false!

      June 26, 2011 at 2:52 am |
    • Todd

      Darn, all my quotes of Rocco P came up blank. Simply take each of his claims in order and apply each of my points accordingly.

      June 26, 2011 at 2:55 am |
    • Rocco P

      Ohhh Todd - your "explanation" is just a bunch of misinformation.
      1) The quote you used (Acts 2:17) to back up your claim that Jesus would restore His church in the last days is deceptively torn out of context. The Apostle Peter inspired by the Holy spirit says in the previous verse 16: "This (Pentecost) is what the prophet Joel was referring to", that was the fulfillment, not the freemason sect started by Joseph Smith in the 1800's

      2) The Holy scripture do not teach that eternal God started out as a mere human being as Mormonism claims. I quote your false prohet Joseph Smith: "God himself was ONCE AS WE ARE NOW, and IS AN EXALTED MAN... I am going to tell you how God CAME TO BE God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea... He was ONCE A MAN LIKE US; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth."
      In contrast the Bible teaches that "For I the Lord do not change.. . " Malachi 3:6 He is not a Being in progression - what is perfect does not need to progress. Also no God existed before Him and none will be formed or "progress into a god" after Him (Isaiah 43:10). God is not an exalted man/human being, even though for a short time he humbled Himself and became a man to become our Savior. The concept of Mormonism is gross polytheistic error.

      3) Joseph Smith isn't a murdered martyr - he was killed in an attempted jail break with his guns blazing.

      4) Jesus is the "only begotten son of God" (John 3:16) He was not one of many children and brother of Satan/Lucifer as Mormonism claims. Jesus is the only true Son - eternal, perfect, sinless, creator and not created etc. Through Him we can BECOME children of God by receiving Christ (John 1:12,13) - humans can then BECOME children of God BY ADOPTION (Romans 8:15) - even though we aren't eternal and sinless as the true, only begotten Son is.

      June 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Sam J

      If you don't want to like Mormons or what they believe, you're not going to be convinced by any sort of logical argument. Arguments against the Church range from half-truths to outright lies coming from the mouths of those who are too ignorant to even try to listen to any sort of answer. God doesn't need us to address every petty argument against His Church. Faithful people will be converted through prayer and faith, not through angry comments on the internet.

      June 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Brian

      Just your comment that "Joseph Smith ... was killed in an attempted jail break with his guns blazing." shows how you lie and deceive. Smith wasn't attempting to escape, at least not until a hundred or so men came with their own guns blazing. Don't you realize that when you make such obviously false and outrageous claims, it just detracts from anything you say that may be true. Of course, I have yet to hear you speak a single truth, so...

      June 26, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Todd

      Rocco, you do not understand our doctrine. God was once a man. You believe that if you are Christian. Mormons do not believe God started out as a human. Mortality is an intermediate stage in our existence, not a beginning. Humans did not start out as humans, so to assert that we believe God started out as human is completely ignorat. Learn our doctrine. Pray about it. And stop trying to justify your unbelief.

      June 26, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • knn

      One last scripture on the apostasy / restoration: 2 Thessalonians 2:2-3 "That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ (second coming) is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first."

      Thus the need for a restoration and God the Father's answer to Joseph Smith's prayer that he join no existing church. The true church of Christ was not on the earth. It is now.

      June 27, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • knn

      The "only begotten" refers to only begotten in the flesh. All humanity has a common spiritual Father in Heaven who is God. Jesus was his only son begotton of flesh and blood.

      June 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  4. Kay

    This article smacks of religious bigotry (where oh where is the tolerance to diversity??).............perhaps the author should try to explain the mulit armed gods in Hindu or the 72 virgins in Islam........frankly, I don't care what religion a person is unless it impinges on my rights and thus far Mormons have been quietly going about their business in the "pursuit of happiness." Until Mormons start strapping bombs to themselves and blowing up buildings I really don't care what they believe. To each his own. Perhaps others on this thread should take note.

    June 25, 2011 at 7:57 am |
    • wesmanlv

      unless of course you look at the role they played in prop 8 in california -a position that stripped many american citizens of their established civil rights. and just to be clear -how do we know that tomorrows aim at removing civil rights might not include you?

      June 25, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • Todd

      Wesmanlv would have us believe that an unknown future rhetorical implausibility is sufficient grounds for bigotry.

      June 26, 2011 at 2:57 am |
  5. emanym

    The mormon church was founded by a narcissistic, power-hungry pedophile who took on many wives before his own wife knew about the "celestial marriage" revelation. Give me a break. Families stay in because the mormon church is like no other church. It's very difficult to leave – especially once you've been to the temple. And to NOT be married in the temple is shameful. It's built on lies. Gee, I wonder why Utah holds the record for people on anti-depressants and young male suicides.

    June 25, 2011 at 7:32 am |
    • John

      Please love people, regardless of what you believe about their beliefs. All this hate and bigotry is only going to harm yourself. I guess it's good that people are trying to 'save' each other, but we'd all be happier if we worry about saving ourselves and practice tolerance.

      June 25, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • C.

      you split your infinitive. You inserted the word "not" between an infinitive phrase. Just thought you ought to know your grammar if you wanted to be taken so seriously about your knowledge about Joseph Smith (which is specious at best).

      June 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Brian

      Mormons do not shun. Leaving the church is as easy as stop going to church. Anti-Mormons like to talk about how the church inflates it's membership numbers as people are "leaving in droves' Well, which is it? Is it that it's so hard to leave that you can't escape? or is it that people are leaving in droves. You really can't have both.

      June 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Utah ranks 15th, not first, in suicides – behind Alaska, Montana, New Mexico, Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado, West Virginia, Arizona, Oregon, Kentucky, Idaho, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Maine. When you consider that all of these are states with smaller populations, in rural areas – or that 8 of the Top 10 are in the West – any correlation Mormonism and suicide is a leap, at best.

      June 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Todd

      People like to point to the statistic regarding anti-depressant usage in Utah, yet they are drawing a presumptuous conclusion. Anti-depressant usage indicates the reception of professional psychiatric treatment. It does not indicate the level of depression in a population which is almost impossible to measure unless all depressed people seek professional treatment. Since many people experiencing depression choose to self medicate with alcohol and drugs, the more appropriate conclusion to the statistic is a positive one: Utah's low usage of alcohol and drugs among Mormons leads to responsible treatment of depression.

      June 26, 2011 at 3:03 am |
    • Fred Barrett

      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not at all difficult to leave. This is just one of the untruths that have been spead abut by the enemies of Jesus Christ. I LEFT THE CHURCH for 13 years afterward I began my study of religion in general. After that study that continues today it became so clear that all of these untruths in this church contained in this exchange are totally false. Even at this time if I were to chose to disassociate myself from the church I would not be harrassed or bothered by anyone one in the church once they become aware of my choice to leave. Most of those who think this way that is that the members of the church are prisoners do not understand what latter-day saints believe. In the articles of faith if you read them you would discover that we believe that all men (male & female) have the right to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. We reserve that right to ourselves as well.

      June 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  6. Tami

    Here is the bottom line! We are taught to love our families, love our neighbors, keep our bodies clean and pure. Be good people! I once told someone badgering me about my religion, If we get to the other side and lets say our religion was not the true and correct church of our Savior, then what have we lost. We still lived good lives and loved our families, so I will get what some of you believe your getting. But if our religion is the correct religion of our Savior then we will get so much more! So to me it is a win-win situation! Once Christ walked on this earth preaching his Gospel and he was crucified. Need I say more!

    June 25, 2011 at 3:32 am |
    • Tay Tay

      I'm really just curious....what is the best parts about being a Mormon? Is it the celestial kingdom that sounds so appealing? Just wanting more information from Mormons. And what is the "so much more" that you'll get by inheriting the celestial kingdom exactly. How does it differ from Heaven as taught in the Bible?

      June 25, 2011 at 3:55 am |
    • i wonder

      Tami, "...so I will get what some of you believe your getting."

      Not if one of the more jealous and vengeful gods is the real one... like Allah, for instance. You will be out of it if any of those other folks are right and you are wrong.

      June 25, 2011 at 4:09 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      What if they were all the same God? I mean it is the age old thought that Muslims, Jews and Christians are all looking too the same God and that it is those on the extremes that want to separate and say that Allah and God are not the same. Maybe it is and has always been the same God for many religions around the world.

      June 25, 2011 at 4:20 am |
    • Muneef

      Jesus s.a.w will be your savior if you had believed in him no as God nor as Son of God but rather as a Prophet and Messenger of God to you to light your path of darkness.

      Muhammed s.a.w will be our savior if we had believed in him as Prophet & Messenger of God sent to us to light our path..
      But those who took them as idols to worship beside God then those will have no savior for them.

      June 25, 2011 at 4:41 am |
    • Brian

      @Tay Tay

      The appeal of Mormonism is that it makes you a better person. It makes you happier, and more caring. It changes your countenance. In the words of a former church leader, "We try to make bad men good, and good men better." The doctrine and beliefs when actually studied make far more sense, and fit better with the Bible than any other church's teachings. Just the way the Mormons use the term "saint" is in accordance with the way the Bible uses the term, and not with the way Christianity thinks of it. Also, Mormons don't teach the Trinity (a non-Biblical term) but use the term Godhead (which is in the Bible). The more you learn the true beliefs of Mormons, and compare them to the Bible, the stronger your faith that Joseph Smith had some pretty amazing insights.

      June 25, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      The real appeal of Mormonism is that it's about action, not creeds. By claiming to be a prophet, Joseph Smith did claim the authority to explain certain scriptural mysteries in ways more authoritative than a scholar writing a commentary, so Mormons do think they have answers to a lot of age-old questions. They do feel their theology fills in a lot of gaps. But the strength of Mormonism is not in its theology but in practice. Mormonism is a way of life. It's an instant oatmeal recipe for creating a tight-knit community, where people go to church, not to listen to a paid preacher but to carry some part of the load and serve one another. Mormons take turns doing all of the local jobs. They visit each other the way a preacher would look in on families in the congregation. Today's Sunday school teacher could be tomorrow's bishop, and vice versa. Mormons are really big on family but the local congregation or ward is like an extended family. The moment you become a Mormon, you inherit a few hundred friends. Mormons help each other move in and out. They help each other get jobs. Their kids play together and they share common values. Even when somebody runs into a wall – theologically – or gets their feelings hurt, it's hard to pull away because Mormonism is a very social religion.

      June 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Tay Tay

      Thanks Brian and Bill for your insights!

      June 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Chasm

      I just wanted to show my appreciation to Tay Ray for your willingness to ask a question and listen to the answer regardless of if it is something you believe or not and not attack those that hold those answers as their beliefs. That to me is one of the greatest examples of what being an American is about, the freedom of religion.
      Many people seem to forget that this country was founded by many groups if people who all came from somewhere for one reason or another. Among these reasons a major one was freedom of religion, or the ability to practice your faith or belief without fear of attack or the need to answer for those beliefs provide they fall with in the law. As much as I could defend my religion to others that have proven themselves ignorant, I don't need to because I like many in this discussion am an American and that is enough to allow me the honor of practicing any faith I would like. Along with that it gives me the pleasure to know others of different faiths with out the need to attack them for their beliefs because they are also American and afforded the same honor as I, to practice their faith. So as a challenge to those who feel the need to attack the religious beliefs of others including but not limited to Mormons, Catholics, Hindus, Muslims, Taoists, Jewish, Aggnostics, Athiest, or whatever, the next time you feel the need to attack a belief system maybe you should stop and think how you would feel if someone attacked you for your beliefs, then maybe take a second and listen to the person that you attacked and actually learn what they believe instead of listening to the assumptions of others. Maybe then this world would be just slightly better from the reduction of hate mongering and continued misunderstandings. Have a nice day and believe what you will with out fear and allow others the same courtesy.

      July 9, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  7. Muneef

    Just was watching the intentional terrorist conference which is running live now on Aljazeera Live...I came upon the word of Mr.Ahmadi Mahmoud Nagad..whom I really respect his personality...
    It was fine hearing him complaining about the terrorist acts and how that they are financed and supported by Europeans and Americans.

    Next to him is the Afghani President Mr.H.Karazai who as well complained the West and their Private Companies Creating Terror,Wars and Distructions for personal gains..

    Now comes the President of Iraq who complains such Terrorists acts that is made to benefits those under the wings of the West..

    Followed by Pakistani President and the Sudan President well well it seems you made a lot of trouble in the World and left your self no friend but you still complain while we are who suffer,so how is that?

    Better you catch up to watch same running now unless you are not allowed to ,to remain blind?         

    June 25, 2011 at 3:25 am |
    • Muneef

      60 countries joined this conference in Tehran,Iran.

      June 25, 2011 at 3:27 am |
    • Minjae Lee

      I wonder if this could be more off-topic than it already is?

      June 25, 2011 at 4:54 am |
    • Muneef


      It could be far from the subject but some how connected meaning that maybe it is about time that the West has religious rulers in order these Middle Eastern countries can have confidence and belief in the words of religious rulers since as it seems the secular regimes do not keep their words but rather politicians ruling by lies and false promises...! Besides by having religious rulers in the West will mean the possibility that those in the West and in the East reach some religious understanding bringing up respects to each others and peace...

      But as it seems that secular ones had allowed immigrations of multi cultures and religions or beliefs to weaken the Christian Religious ones for being dominant in the West which am sure that it became a minority now after the inward immigrations if compared to it's size before inward immigrations.... For that reason only we find now the ruling powers are in the hands of secular non religious ones... The conference above stated that the secular regimes in the West had used the indifference between religions,branches,doctrines by creating "Fitnah" said to be harder than killing...because you get all those with Fitnah to fight among them selves...beside establishing and supporting terrorist groups to get the area unstable far from investment and development environment that has caused the mass immigration of the capital heads,professions and skilled labour hands from their countries to the west and be treated as garbage at countries that they do not belong to whether as culture,race or religion....
      That's all and thanks for asking....bye and peace2all.

      June 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  8. Derp

    Yeah, but how do magnets work?

    June 25, 2011 at 3:24 am |
    • jim

      Yours is the most important (and most interesting) question on this page!

      June 25, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • magnet

      u jelly?

      June 25, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  9. A

    I keep hearing all this talk about magic underpants – who were the magic bean people?

    June 25, 2011 at 3:12 am |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      Religions use clothing as a prop, a costume or a reminder of someone's authority or someone's devotion to the cause. Yarmulkes and prayer shawls help remind Jews that what they are doing is sacred. Catholic priests wear collars. Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists have their use of clothing as a way of telling themselves or others that they are engaged in something special. In the West, many Christians wear crosses around their neck, as a show of their religious faith.

      Mormons do it a little differently. When they go to church, they dress up, which is way of showing respect. It's also a way of reminding themselves that what they're doing is important. When they go to the temple, they dress up some more. Temple garb is white and involves some more clothing that depicts the importance of temple worship. It gets the individual worshipper into the mood or spirit of the temple.

      Returning from the temple, Mormons wear a special undergarment – essentially undies but with a few marks sewn in to remind them of the commitments and covenants they have made in the temple. Temple garments aren't magical; they won't stop a bullet or prevent a kidney stone. They're just undies but they're undies with a few marks sewn in to remind the wearer that he or she is special, that he or she believes in a certain way of life, etc.

      People who thrive on being rude to Mormons love to show their disrespect by referring to "magic underwear," but the only magic I can see is the miracle that such comments don't provoke a punch in the face.

      June 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  10. Andrew

    Very poor article. First, "upstate NY" should read "Western NY" (everyone living in Palmyra probably cringed when they read "upstate.)" As others have said, Joseph Smith probably hallucinated, and there's pretty good evidence he was also a con man. Moreover, the fact that the LDS outlawed polygamy totally glosses over the fact that polygamy was accepted and in some respects expected in the early days of the church! What a thing for the article to miss. Many Mormons still practice polygamy. YES, they ARE still Mormons despite the fact the LDS says they are not. That's like the Vactican telling a Catholic s/he is not a Catholic because of his or her birth control use. Just insane. Also, the expectation to do missionairy work is condescending and simply annoying.

    June 25, 2011 at 2:31 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>"Also, the expectation to do missionary work is condescending and simply annoying." Why is this annoying to you?

      June 25, 2011 at 2:44 am |
    • Brian

      What are you talking about? Modern polygamists have never belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If a Mormon is found to be practicing polygamy, they are excommunicated. If a Catholic is excommunicated for practicing birth control then they are no longer Catholic. And if one splinters off of Catholicism because they don't like Vatican II or maybe because they want a divorce (as in Anglicanism) then they are no longer Catholic.

      Here's the simple truth. Mormons see polygamy the same way Jews view animal sacrifice. Although once practiced, and theoretically part of the doctrine and dogma of the religion, it is simply not a part of the modern religion.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:45 am |
    • Andrew

      Brian – 100 or so years ago IS modern. We're only talking of a handful of generations removed here. AND – again – I never said modern polygamists belonged to the LDS. I said they were MORMON – despite the fact the LDS continually says they are NOT Mormon. The LDS does not "own" Mormonism but they sure as hell try to own it. Just like the Vatican tries to own Catholicism. You can argue they do until you're blue in the face – you're wrong. And millions upon millions of Catholics would still say they're Catholic even if the Vatican said they were not. The FDS and LDS all came from the same place – they just disagree. If the Vatican claimed Protestants are not Christian, they don't have that right. They don't own Christianity.

      And Mark – most people find missionairies of any religion annoying. The intent is to convert someone to your religion. That's not noble despite the fact they believe it is.

      June 25, 2011 at 3:00 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>" And Mark – most people find missionaries of any religion annoying. The intent is to convert someone to your religion."

      With all respect that is you saying you know what is going on in other folks heads and their motivations. What about other folks that do works in world societies. Do you feel the same about groups such as Peace Corp?

      June 25, 2011 at 3:17 am |
    • Brian

      Furthermore, Andrew, if you were to call a member of the Community of Christ a Mormon, or implied they ever practiced polygamy, they would be greatly offended. They neither embrace the term Mormon, nor claim any doctrinal validity for polygamy.

      June 25, 2011 at 3:30 am |
    • Alltheory

      @Andrew – "If the Vatican claimed Protestants are not Christian, they don't have that right. They don't own Christianity."
      Hehe, so true, Catholics don't own Christianity – the Protestants do – right?

      June 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • knn

      Regarding Andrew's comment " Joseph Smith probably hallucinated, and there's pretty good evidence he was also a con man."

      Most con men are such to enrich themselves. Joseph was martyred defending his beliefs (not to mention mob beatings, false imprisonment, etc). It sure would have been easier for him to deny his claims...assuming they were false.

      The evidence that he was a prophet is the Book of Mormon. It can't be dismissed and has endured almost 200 years of scrutiny. If the Book of Mormon is not what it claims to be, then the Ezekiel 37 prophesy of the stick of Judah (Bible) being joined in one hand with the stick of Joseph (Book of Mormon) has yet to be fulfilled.

      June 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  11. Michael Atkisson

    The LDS believe that baptism for the dead was carried out by biblical Christians, and that the gospel of Jesus Christ, as established by Him and his apostles. has been reestablished today. Under direction of modern apostles, LDS believe that they are following the practice as was intended in biblical times. See 1 Corinthians 15:29 "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?" LDS believe that the author of this verse was making a proof for the resurrection of the dead by citing a common practice among Christians of the time of performing baptisms vicariously for ancestors. The LDS believe that this practice was done in faith of resurrection, enabling ancestors to being able to resurrect from the dead having had the ordinance of baptism being performed for them. This would make it so those who choose to accept the gospel in the afterlife to be able to follow the commandment of baptism.

    June 25, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • i wonder

      So, you don't trust that your "God" can or will take care of all of these dead people without your interference and meddling? If he has them, he can baptize them very well without you if he wishes, thank you very much.

      June 25, 2011 at 3:40 am |
    • WFP

      @i wonder "So, you don't trust that your "God" can or will take care of all of these dead people without your interference and meddling? If he has them, he can baptize them very well without you if he wishes, thank you very much."

      I know the internet isn't the perfect communication medium, but your tone suggests that you've already made up your mind about this. LDS believe that baptism is a physical ritual that has to be done on earth. God can and will take care of "these dead people" with or without LDS "interference and meddling". But as with a lot of things in the Faith, proxy baptism (described also in 1 Cor. 15:29) is a labor of love that binds generations together so that "the hearts of the children turn to their fathers" (Malachi 4).

      June 26, 2011 at 1:43 am |
    • Segev Stormlord

      We do trust that God can and has looked after these people: He has given us the commandment to perform the work for them. That sounds like he's looking after them to me; he provided the means for their work to get done even though they no longer have bodies with which to do it, themselves.

      To expect that God will not work through His followers is ludicrous. It reminds me of a parable I've heard: A man is caught in a city that has flooded, and sits on the roof of his house, the water surrounding him on all sides and keeping him from getting even to the attic below. He prays to God for help, having faith that he will be rescued. As he finishes praying, a man in a motorboat put-puts by, and offers to take this man with him to safety. "No," says the man trapped on the roof, "I have prayed to God; He will save me." And so the guy in the motorboat putts away. The man prays again, and a helicopter comes by. The rescue workers call to him to climb their rope ladder to safety. "No," calls the man, smiling beatiffically, "God will rescue me! But thanks!" And so the helicopter flies off. The man continues to pray, and pray, until the waters rise and he drowns.

      God tried to send people to help the man in response to the man's prayers, but the man refused the help because God did not reach out to do it, Himself. To say that mormons are showing a lack of faith in God when we try to help our deceased brethren get their ordinances done is to tell the boat-driver and the helicopter workers in the above tale to not even TRY to go out and save people. To do so, by your logic, is to doubt that God would save them.

      July 6, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  12. Muneef

    [43:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

    [43:1] H. M.

    [43:2] And the enlightening scripture.

    [43:3] We have rendered it an Arabic Quran, that you may understand.

    [43:4] It is preserved with us in the original master, honorable and full of wisdom.

    [43:5] Should we just ignore the fact that you have transgressed the limits?

    Inherited Traditions Condemned

    [43:22] The fact is that: they said, "We found our parents carrying on certain practices, and we are following in their footsteps."

    [43:23] Invariably, when we sent a warner to any community, the leaders of that community would say, "We found our parents following certain practices, and we will continue in their footsteps."

    [43:24] (The messenger) would say, "What if I brought to you better guidance than what you inherited from your parents?" They would say, "We are disbelievers in the message you brought."

    [43:25] Consequently, we requited them. Note the consequences for the rejectors.

    Invisible, Devilish Companions*

    [43:36] Anyone who disregards the message of the Most Gracious, we appoint a devil to be his constant companion.

    [43:37] Such companions will divert them from the path, yet make them believe that they are guided.

    [43:38] When he comes before us he will say, "Oh I wish you were as far from me as the two easts. What a miserable companion!"

    [43:39] It will not console you on that day, as transgressors, that both of you will share in the retribution.

    God's Messenger of the Covenant

    [43:40] Can you make the deaf hear; can you make the blind see, or those who are far astray?

    [43:41] Whether we let you die before it or not, we will surely requite them.

    [43:42] Or, we may show you (the retribution) we promised for them. We are in full control over them.

    [43:43] You shall steadfastly preach what is revealed to you; you are in the right path.

    [43:44] This is a message for you and your people; all of you will be questioned.

    [43:45] Check the messengers we sent before you: "Have we ever appointed any other gods – beside the Most Gracious – to be worshipped?"

    Jesus: Another Example

    [43:57] When the son of Mary was cited as an example, your people disregarded it.

    [43:58] They said, "Is it better to worship our gods, or to worship him?" They said this only to argue with you. Indeed, they are people who have joined the opposition.

    [43:59] He was no more than a servant whom we blessed, and we sent him as an example for the Children of Israel.

    [43:60] If we willed, we could have made you angels who colonize and reproduce on earth.

    Jesus and the End of the World*

    [43:61] He is to serve as a marker for knowing the end of the world, so you can no longer harbor any doubt about it. You shall follow Me; this is the right path.

    [43:62] Let not the devil repel you; he is your most ardent enemy.

    [43:63] When Jesus went with the proofs, he said, "I bring to you wisdom, and to clarify some of the matters in which you dispute. You shall reverence GOD and obey me.

    [43:64] "GOD is my Lord and your Lord, you shall worship Him alone. This is the right path."

    [43:65] The opponents disputed among themselves. Woe to those who transgress from the retribution of a painful day.

    [43:66] Are they waiting for the Hour (Day of Judgment) to come to them suddenly when they least expect it?

    [43:67] The close friends on that day will become enemies of one another, except for the righteous.

    They Hate The Truth

    [43:78] "We have given you the truth, but most of you hate the truth."

    [43:79] Have they schemed some scheme? We too are scheming.

    [43:80] Do they think that we do not hear their secrets and conspiracies? Yes indeed; our messengers are with them, recording.

    [43:81] Proclaim: "If the Most Gracious did have a son, I would still be the foremost worshiper."

    [43:82] Be He glorified; He is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord with the great dominion, far above their claims.

    [43:83] Let them blunder and play until they meet their day that is awaiting them.

    [43:84] He is the only One who is a deity in the heaven and a deity on earth. He is the Most Wise, the Omniscient.

    [43:85] Most Exalted is the One who possesses all sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and everything between them. With Him is the knowledge about the Hour (end of the world), and to Him you will be returned.

    [43:86] None of those whom they idolize beside Him possess any power to intercede, unless their intercession coincides with the truth, and they fully know.

    [43:87] If you asked them who created them, they would say, "GOD." Why then did they deviate?

    [43:88] It will be proclaimed: "O my Lord, these people do not believe."

    [43:89] You shall disregard them and say, "Peace;" they will surely find out.

    June 25, 2011 at 1:49 am |
  13. Tay Tay

    I haven't read all the comments, but has anyone mentioned baptisms for the dead??

    June 25, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • Brian

      Paul did in 1 Corinthians.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:48 am |
    • Tay Tay

      Yes...I was waiting for this one little verse to be brought up. Great example of how to take one verse out of context without looking at the whole chapter. I don't blame you though for that

      June 25, 2011 at 3:14 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Tay Jay.. so when your particular god does some crazy and irrational it is out of context, but another group does the same thing you find it strange?????

      June 25, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • Tay Tay

      Whatever you were trying to say makes no sense the way you worded it

      June 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Brian

      Actually, taken in context, Paul clearly does not condemn the practice, using it as evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I mean really, today, would an Evangelical say, "Jesus lives. Mormon temples are evidence of that." But that is exactly what Paul said regarding baptism for the dead and that one little verse.

      June 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      No Mormon practice is more misunderstood than Baptism for the Dead. Unlike a lot of other Christians, Mormons do not believe that those outside their faith are going to go straight to Hell. Mormons believe that a just and loving God would make a way for all of his children to receive the same opportunities.

      Truth be told, nobody has the same opportunities in this life – regardless of which sect you think has the "right answers." If you think it's Catholicism, or Protestantism or even Mormonism, there are millions, perhaps billions, who have lived and died with no real chance of hearing, let alone embracing, that particular version of Christianity.

      In many churches, those who have lived and died outside the circle of their faith were either automatically damned or their fate was handed to God. One of the great contradictions is the idea that you have to believe in Jesus to be saved, but that if you never hear of Jesus, God will simply judge you on the life you lived. If that were acceptable, there would be no need for Jesus in the first place.

      Mormons resolve this problem by believing that between death and the resurrection (with its final judgment), there is a Spirit World where the spirits of men await the resurrection. In the Spirit World, it is possible for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be preached. Those who accept the Gospel while in the Spirit World have the opportunity to embrace the faith. They do not, however, have the ability to baptize themselves.

      Mormons volunteer to do vicarious baptisms, in the temple, for the benefit of each person who has ever lived. A name is read off and the Mormon volunteer submits to a baptism in this person's name. If the Mormons are wrong, it's just an act of devotion, an act of faith expressing the Mormon view that all opportunities are afforded to all persons. If the Mormons are right, a person who accepts the Gospel in the Spirit World can claim the baptism.

      I can understand those who think such baptisms are unnecessary or even foolish, if they think Mormonism is such. I do not get the people who take offense at this, particularly since the validity of the baptisms depends on whether Mormons are right about their being a Spirit World in the first place. If nothing else, Mormons are like people of good faith, lighting a candle as a sign that they do not judge, that they hope the best for everyone who has ever lived.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  14. JDD

    "Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney represent different generations of Mormonism that have related pretty differently to American culture."

    I've heard others make this silly claim. The reality is that John Huntsman and Mitt Romney are only 13 years apart in age, and the "generational gap" in Mormonism is much less than it is in American culture at large.

    June 25, 2011 at 1:13 am |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      I like Huntsman a lot better. I think he's a more interesting choice. He's the son of a billionaire who dropped out of school to be in a rock band, who then got his G.E.D., went to the University of Utah, served a mission to Taiwan and then went to the University of Pennsylvania for grad school. He's got foreign policy experience as well as executive experience as a state governor. He's got a kind of Redford style that contrasts well against Romney's affable mask. He has no record of flip-flops. To me, the difference between the two men is palpable. I look forward to seeing the two of them hit the campaign trail. I'd like to see how Huntsman handles himself in the debates. I've never cared for Romney, who has always struck me as Nixonian. To me, Huntsman is more Kennedyesque.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  15. Starr12784

    dont be a hater...we are only human..we are from the same dirt and have the same roots...live and let live..either way,
    we all will die..so why not live the best way you know how?
    to each is their own, who are we to tell others what they should and should not do..
    live in peace, love in peace, die in peace..Rest in peace

    June 25, 2011 at 12:45 am |
  16. drjaz

    The hate and vitrol towards the mormons is nothing short of amazing. I haven't seen anything else compare. You'd think the mormons were jews and this was the inquisition. Any body can twist and sensationalize, ignore the good and spread fear of the unfamiliar to make someone else look bad. The nazis were masters at this art. When Joseph Smith was just a poor young backwoods no name kid with no prospects for the future he said that the angel told him his name would be had for good and evil all across the world. That's one prophecy these mormon haters have ensured has been absolutely and undeniably fulfilled.

    June 25, 2011 at 12:28 am |
    • Andrew

      You haven't seen worse vitriol?????? Are you KIDDING ME? Try being Jewish. Or Muslim. Or gay.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      It's more of a scoffing than an actual hatred. Only the most religiously fanatical actually hate Mormons for being Mormons. Most others simply think they're odd, or that their church is odd.

      Mormons are accepted, or becoming accepted, as part of American life, even if the Mormon Gospel still provokes snickers.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  17. Scott

    We should love God and love our neighbors. Commenters full of anger and spite certainly aren't representing God's will. As Mother Theresa said, if you spend your time judging others you won't have time to love them. Love others and judge not.

    June 25, 2011 at 12:09 am |
  18. Lance

    "Explain It To Me: Mormonism"

    Okay. Mormonism teaches that polygamy is the pattern of marriage that will be practiced in the highest level of Mormon heaven. God was once a man, and men today can become gods. Our god lives on a planet orbiting a star called Kolob. God has a body of flesh and bone. His son–Jesus Christ–is quite literally his physical son. There are handshakes, passwords, secret names and signs one must learn in Mormon temples in order to get into heaven. Mormon garments are undergarments with symbols similar to those found in freemasonry sewn into them, and they're said to protect those wearing them from physical harm.


    June 24, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • sfcanative

      You nailed it, Lance.

      June 25, 2011 at 3:23 am |
    • Tay Tay

      These are just facts. They can't be denied. They are taught in the LDS church, but not found in God's word

      June 25, 2011 at 3:26 am |
    • Minjae Lee

      @ Tay Tay – As I understand it, Tay Tay, the Mormons believe that God is still revealing His word now – so, if that claim is true then it is in God's word as they understand it. It is just not in God's word as YOU define it. Who left YOU in charge of defining God's word?

      It seems to me you believe that God stopped speaking at the death of the New Testament apostles – why did he stop? According to the Bible He spoke to mankind from the beginning of time – why did He stop? Are you going to give me that old line about the whole thing was done at that point? Can't be – there is too much confusion in Christendom. God, if He is the true God, wouldn't leave us with such a mess and expect us to get by on our own.

      June 25, 2011 at 5:53 am |
    • Tay Tay

      Of course no one left me in charge. But, I am a disciple of the Gospel. I don't get why it needed restoring. What was wrong with it? Confusion comes from people wanting to do their own thing. No, I don't think we still get revelations from God. Jesus said we wouldn't need that or apostles, or prophets after His Church was established. King James Bible
      "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Never left is all I'm saying...or that's what Christ said.

      June 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Brian

      Wait a minute. Tay Tay, are you saying that God's Word does not contain polygamy? Have you read the Old Testament?

      June 25, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      The Kolob thing is one of the dumbest "scandals" or objections I keep coming across.

      There's a Mormon scripture called The Book of Abraham, in which Abraham has a vision and sees a kind of hierarchy where this is greater than that, which is greater than some other that, which is greater than some other that – rinse, lather, repeat.

      In this vision, there's a planet nearest to the throne of God called Kolob. There's no evidence that such a planet exists. It's not even important to the Mormon way of life. It's an item in a vision in a book where Abraham has a panoramic view of the universe. Perhaps, it's just strange enough a reference to create some really great anti-Mormon material.

      For the record, nobody really knows where "Heaven" is. Once upon a time, it was up in the clouds, or up in the sky. Since the astronauts and cosmonauts have gone beyond Earth's atmosphere, it's clear that there's no "Heaven" up there. So, where is Heaven? Better yet, WHAT is it? If God is everywhere, where could Heaven be? If God exists somewhere, where could Heaven be?

      Most people yacking about Kolob have never read the source material, so they don't even know what it means. They just think it's a great rock to throw at the Mormons. But Kolob is just an item in a vision where Abraham is trying to wrap his mind around the concept of God. God, he is told, is greater than all these things. As Heavenly objects are listed by "greatness," Kolob shows up just long enough for God to be greater than it.

      I was an active Mormon for 17 years. I've been only marginally active for the last 13 years (I hate going to church; I prefer sleeping in on Sunday and thinking for myself). In all of the time I have spent – as either a missionary, a Sunday teacher or anything else, I can say that "Kolob" has come up only a handful of times, and usually in discussions regarding the Book of Abraham.

      Those looking to gild the lily and present Mormonism as goofy, weird or scary, love to use "Kolob" to freak people out. It's a reflection of their need to smear.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Tay Tay

      Yes, the OT contains polygamy. And animal sacrifices. And other practices that you and I both know were nailed to the cross. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm not wanting to argue. I'm not claiming to know everything

      June 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  19. tallulah13

    Perhaps I could take Mormonism seriously if those gold plates hadn't have "disappeared" before they could be seen by non-believers, or if Joseph Smith had not been a con man before deciding to found a religion. (Some might say he never left his first career.)

    Perhaps I could take Mormonism seriously if teenage boys with name tags declaring them "Elder" didn't knock on my door wanting to preach to me. I can't approve of any religion that treats women as second class citizens, or any religion that produces off-shoots that use belief to force little girls to marry old men.

    As far as I can tell, the church of latter-day saints is just a very successful cult, like scientology.

    June 24, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • Sue

      There are 11 witnesses to the plates. Their names and witness statements can be found in the front pages of the Book of Mormon,

      June 25, 2011 at 4:01 am |
    • Joe

      Several of the supposed "witnesses" listed in the front of the book of Mormon later denied what is claimed – using their names- in that fraudulent claim of support of Joseph Smith's con game.

      June 25, 2011 at 7:50 am |
    • Steve

      @Sue – Yes, and as Sam Clemens so famously said of the 11 witnesses – "I could not feel more satisfied and at rest if the entire Whitmer family had testified".

      June 25, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • tallulah13

      Yes, of course there were "witnesses". What I said was non-believers. Someone without a vested interest in their existence. You know - a neutral party.

      June 25, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Brian

      Many of those witnesses became disillusioned with Joseph Smith, and left the church, but none ever denied he was a prophet of God, or that the plates were real.

      June 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Alltheory

      @Tallulah – "Perhaps I could take Mormonism seriously if those gold plates hadn't have 'disappeared'"
      Here's a thought – maybe they're at the Smithsonian in the Ark of the Covenant beside the Ten Commandments.

      June 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Brian: not necessarily. This may not be the most neutral source, but at least it sites dates and names


      "Another significant historical point regarding the eight witnesses comes from a letter dated April 15, 1838. It was written by a former Mormon leader named Stephen Burnett. In that letter, Burnett told how he heard Martin Harris state in public that Harris never saw the plates with his natural eyes but only in vision or imagination, and the same was true for Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer. Martin Harris went on to say that the eight witnesses never actually saw the plates either, and therefore, were hesitant to sign the statement, but were persuaded to do so. "

      here a link to a transcription of the actual letter.


      June 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • SharonJS

      Hey, with that logic, I want to know where are the tablets that the ten commandments are written on? Oh, the proof is in the written word? Well, same goes for, The Book of Mormon, It doesn't matter how hard the enemies of the Church try to destroy it, it will continue to progress and grow. The true authority and organization of Christ's Church will never be taken from the earth again.

      June 26, 2011 at 2:27 am |
    • tallulah13

      Sharon: That's exactly why I'm an atheist. No proof of any god, anywhere.

      June 26, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Fred Barrett

      You are wrong on all counts Tallula but it is obvious that to attempt to explain would be futile. I believe we all progress at our own speed if you will and as we gain age and wisdom we inevetibally change our minds at various levels of age. Think about what you believe today as comparred to 10 or 20 years ago, if you are that old.

      June 27, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  20. Reality

    Mormonism – full disclosure:--------

    A business/religious cult based on Joseph Smith's hallucinations/con which has bought respectability with a $30 billion business empire, the BYU "mission matured" football team and a great choir.

    From: lds-mormon.com/time.shtml

    "The first divergence between Mormon economics and that of other denominations is the t-ithe. Most churches take in the greater part of their income through donations. Very few, however, impose a compulsory 10% income tax on their members. Ti-thes are collected locally, with much of the money pas-sed on informally to local lay leaders at Sunday services. "By Monday," says Elbert Peck, editor of Sunstone, an independent Mormon magazine, the church authorities in Salt Lake City "know every cent that's been collected and have made sure the money is deposited in banks." There is a lot to deposit. Last year $5.2 billion in t-ithes flowed into Salt Lake City, $4.9 billion of which came from American Mormons."

    "The Mormons are stewards of a different str-ipe. Their charitable spending and temple building are prodi-gious. But where other churches spend most of what they receive in a given year, the Latter-day Saints employ vast amounts of money in investments that TIME estimates to be at least $6 billion strong.

    Even more unusual, most of this money is not in bonds or stock in other peoples' companies but is invested directly in church-owned, for-profit concerns, the largest of which are in agribusiness, media, insurance, travel and real estate. Deseret Management Corp., the company through which the church holds almost all its commercial as-sets, is one of the largest owners of farm and ranchland in the country, including 49 for-profit parcels in addition to the Deseret Ranch. Besides the Bonneville International chain and Beneficial Life, the church owns a 52% holding in ZCMI, Utah's largest department-store chain.

    All told, TIME estimates that the Latter-day Saints farmland and financial investments total some $11 billion, and that the church's nont-ithe income from its investments exceeds $600 million. "

    "Members of the church celebrate the Lord's Supper with water rather than wine or gra-pe juice. They believe their President is a prophet who receives new revelations from God. These can supplant older revelations, as in the case of the church's historically most controversial doctrine: Smith himself received God's sanctioning of pol-ygamy in 1831, but 49 years later, the church's President announced its recision. Similarly, an explicit policy barring black men from holding even the lowest church offices was overturned by a new revelation in 1978, opening the way to huge missionary activity in Africa and Brazil. "

    June 24, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Brian

      Is that you Mr. Anderson? Quoting from anti-Mormon sites seems like your style. LOL

      June 25, 2011 at 2:51 am |
    • Reality

      Time Magazine's website is anti-Mormon??

      June 25, 2011 at 7:51 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.