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Survey: U.S. Mormons feel discrimination, hope
The Mormon temple at church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.
January 12th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Survey: U.S. Mormons feel discrimination, hope

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – Nearly half of American Mormons say they face a lot of discrimination in the United States, though most also say that acceptance of their religion is on the rise, according to a major survey released Thursday.

The survey also found that a large majority of American Mormons think their countrymen are uninformed about their religion and don’t see Mormons as part of mainstream society, even as most Mormons also say the country is ready for a Mormon president.

“The survey creates a mixed picture for how Mormons see themselves,” said Greg Smith, senior researcher with the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, which conducted the study. “On the one hand, many tell us they’re misunderstood and often discriminated against, recognizing the challenges of acceptance.

“But Mormons also seem to think that things are changing, that more Americans are coming to see Mormonism as mainstream,” he said.

The survey comes amid what has been called a “Mormon moment.”

Two of the Republican presidential candidates – Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman – attend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The religion has also cropped up in big ways in popular culture, from the hit Broadway play “Book of Mormon” to the recent HBO series “Big Love,” about a fundamentalist Mormon family.

Mormons constitute about 2% of the American population.

The Pew survey found that 46% of American Mormons say they face a lot of discrimination in the U.S. today, while six in 10 say their fellow Americans as a whole are uninformed about the LDS Church.

Two-thirds of Mormons say their fellow citizens do not view Mormonism as part of mainstream American society.

At the same time, 63% of Mormons say Americans are “becoming more likely to see Mormonism as part of mainstream society,” in the words of the survey report, while 56% say the country is ready for a Mormon president.

There are some surprising parallels between how Mormons feel about their place in American society and how Muslims do, according to an earlier Pew survey.

"We do see a remarkable degree of similarity about what it's like to be a minority in society," Smith said. "They are under no illusions" about how the broader public currently feels about them, and know their religions are not widely understood, but they remain optimistic at heart, he said.

They recognize the challenges, "but both groups are relentlessly positive about their future in the United States," said Luis Lugo, the director of the Pew Forum.

As Romney’s and Huntsman’s ability to win evangelical votes in the approaching South Carolina presidential primary has become a major question in the presidential campaign, the Pew survey finds that half of Mormons believe that evangelical Christians are unfriendly toward them.

In fact, Mormon and evangelical political opinions match closely on almost everything except immigration, the survey found. (Mormons are much more likely than evangelicals or the U.S. population overall to see immigrants as making a positive contribution to society, said David Campbell of the University of Notre Dame, who helped advise the Pew Forum on the survey.)

Mormons also subscribe to key tenets of mainstream Christianity, despite the sense many evangelicals have that Mormons are not Christians. Previous Pew surveys show that about half of white evangelicals say Mormonism is not a Christian faith.

"Nearly all Mormons say they believe Jesus rose from the dead and that Mormonism is a Christian religion," Smith said.

But the Mormon-evangelical divide is not simply one of theology, a leading evangelical said.

"Evangelicals are - famously or infamously, depending on your perspective - very evangelistic," said Richard Land  of the Southern Baptist Convention. "And so Mormons are out there going door-to-door trying to convince folks  to become Mormons, and evangelicals are out there going door-to-door trying to convince people to become evangelicals."

By comparison, most Mormons said that Americans who are not religious are either neutral or friendly toward them.

Mormons and evangelicals are politically similar, the survey found, with three-quarters of Mormons saying they identify with or lean toward the Republican Party.

And the survey showed that Mormons are more devout in their faith than evangelicals, who are more devout that the public at large.

Three-quarters of Mormons report attending religious services at least weekly, while eight in 10 pray daily and give 10% of their income to their church.

The Pew Forum says the nationwide survey, conducted in October and November, constitutes the biggest survey of American Mormons conducted by an organization that’s not connected to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Pew surveyed 1,019 self-identified Mormons for the project.

CNN's Richard Allen Greene and Emma Lacey-Bordeaux contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Mormonism • Politics • Polls

soundoff (1,639 Responses)
  1. jnstrm

    For those LDS/LDS-friendly who may feel that research is, somehow, at odds with LDS teaching, please consider D&C 88:118: “And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, EVEN BY STUDY and also by faith”.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  2. Abinadi

    You know, it really is not necessary to do all the name calling, the profanity and crudity, and the hypocrisy (Most who accuse the Mormons of things such as bigotry, etc. are guilty of it themselves). If you have a sincere question about our beliefs or things we do, I am sure you will find it all very logical if you allow us to explain it to you. Just ask here or go to mormon.org for people who will talk to you one on one. Mormonism is a very logical religion. If ministers and pastors rail against it, they are just trying to save their donation income. You can think for your self, can't you?

    January 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • jnstrm

      For balance, if you're going to research the LDS websites:

      go to http://www.exmormon.org

      for balance and make your own decisions.

      January 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  3. jnstrm

    Again, to seekers of the truth about mormonism: DO THE RESEARCH. For LDS members: do so at your own risk. What you will discover will lead you to a loss of everything you've known to be true.

    January 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      I've seen your "truth." It consists of less-inspiring facts, facts taken out of context, wild distortions and exaggerations and outright lies. Mormonism isn't for everybody. It's not a lifestyle that appeals to all, but there are a lot of decent, hardworking, good neighbors who are LDS – and they don't deserve to be libeled by zealots.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • jnstrm

      @ Bill,

      If mormonism is true, then it should be able to withstand some scrutiny, yes? If not, perhaps it isn't 'true.' And, if it isn't 'true,' then it's false, isn't it? 99% of the truth, infused with 1% of a lie is still a lie, isn't it?

      BTW, it isn't 'my' truth, if that was your inference. And, I don't think I said anything about any people; I just suggested researching the basis of mormonism from a factual perspective, not just from mormon websites. Vilifying me - or any other writer - won't change the facts of what is.

      SEE: exmormon.org. These are the (former) LDS members to whom you refer in your reply.

      January 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Abinadi

      jnstrm, I wouldn't check out an exmormon website about anything. Exmormons are usually people who have been excommunicated from the church for some very serious things, more often than not morality problems. Not wanting to take the responsiblity, they blame everything on the church, kind of like the criminial blaming his victim for what he did, hardly an objective place to get information. I usually don't respond to their posts because I know they are miserable and I pity them. They are people who have given up everything important – spouse, family, friends, their personal salvation, their relationship with God, over a single reckless act!

      January 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • jnstrm

      Abinadi; closing your eyes to another perspective because you've prejudged? Interesting. So . . . what you're saying is that you will ONLY read information that comes from the LDS hierarchy and academia? No bias there, certainly.

      OK, so you don't want to go to a website maintained by "miserable" people (most of whom, if you'd read the site, are far happier now than they've ever been!), do the research at a local library/library of Congress, etc. You might want to start with how many revivals there were in or near Palmyra, NY, when Joseph Smith said he was given divine revelation. The answer to that should start your journey to the truth.

      Good luck to you!

      January 17, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  4. Johnny Crappleseed

    Seems we have a huge group of molly coddling liberal pus sys here today.

    January 16, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  5. DUMBAtheiStS

    And one more thing, Mongoloids are born that way too but it don't make them normal.

    January 16, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • .....

      BIGOT!!!!

      January 16, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • _____

      report abuse on this bigot's posts

      January 16, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • DUMBAtheiStS

      To all

      FYI..I was referring to people with Down Syndrome when I used the term "mongoloids" NOT the subhuman specie.

      Sorry if I confused some of you here with the ambigous terminilogy that I used. My bad!

      January 17, 2012 at 2:35 am |
    • DUMBAtheiStS

      *Humans sub-species* here I go again, HUH!

      January 17, 2012 at 2:38 am |
  6. Yolanda Weiner

    THe only thing I dont like about mormons is all the doo doo eating they do. Their breath stinks.

    January 16, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      Yolanda, you had a chance to say something worth saying. Instead, you blew it on a slur.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  7. yoyo

    MOST mormon's believe they are Christians??? oh my hanna, when I was 8 years old (cause that is a general age of understanding your choices... NEVER younger 🙂 I was asked if I believed in Jesus Christ and told to be honest, to not answer for my parents or anyone BUT me... everyone is asked this! No secret! So... .to be a true member of the Church- you MUST admit that you are a Christian... Stats nulled.
    The Book of Mormon BRINGS people to Christ, it is another Testament of Jesus Christ.... the Book of Mormon itself does not bring salvation, nor does the Bible. Salvation comes through the atonement for all... all must die and all must live again, if we follow Christ then we will treat others with kindness "For a new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you"- if you can even come close to the LOVE that Christ has to all... then you can understand that the greater that love grows- the greater your sincere desire to follow him and keep His commandments... if you simply believe but don't LOVE Him and His example- good luck standing in His presence.... simply- you won't.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:40 am |
    • yoyo

      actually... everything you do in the 'Mormon' Church is based upon a belief in Jesus Christ... anyone who is baptized ( I am tired and missed my explanation) can not be unless they sincerely believe in Jesus Christ... and so on... We really really LIKE him a lot.... we even named our CHURCH after him... so to say- MOST mormons believe they are Christians... made me laugh a bit.

      Evangelicals?... we LIKE them... we really like that that movement came to be! Freedom of religion... pretty awesome. We don't really spend much time being haters... we spend countless hours in Church, throughout the week talking about being nice to people, being positive, helping others...... if a person stood on our podium (which we all get too... rarely does the bishop talk for an hour... if ever – CHURCH is three!!!) and went off on baptists... they'd feel a nice little tap from a sweet Bishop and a request to sit down, cause that's not Christlike...

      We take care of each other and we like our freedom to talk about controlling ourselves... we do. Sue me.

      January 16, 2012 at 5:50 am |
    • Mirosal

      You do NOT need the bible, or any other 'religious' text, to justify love. But, no greater tools have ever been invented to justifying someone's hatred. Don't remember whose quote that is, but it rings true.

      January 16, 2012 at 5:52 am |
    • yoyo

      Oh... and levels... there are levels everywhere.. on stairs... in sports... and that's bad?... it's pretty dang smart to me! I'm glad I start out in 1st grade not 5th!

      The Atonement... We believe that all are save from physical death (permanent separation- aka- resurrection). It's the most tolerant view of the afterlife and logical... than any other religion I've ever studied. We MAY talk about avoiding actions and thoughts here and there... but we DON"T teach hate (see above- that WOULD happen if someone was saying anything hateful on a podium), 'hat the sin not the sinner' applies seriously, so we think something is a sin that you don't..... then we tell the person we are talking to- what- research it and find their own answers for themselves... yep. I am encouraged to QUESTION why I am told Christ would want me to do something... if I find that answer and agree- I am accountable. Pretty nice.

      January 16, 2012 at 5:58 am |
    • yoyo

      To some CNN is their religion... text is a powerful form of communication, God uses it, it's awesome. Sometimes Prophets see in the future and want to help us to they write it down, then they see people twisting their words for control and murder and say- don't rewrite what I wrote please.... don't add to what I wrote... please, then it still happened, but they asked nicely.... I LOVE that they wrote things down. Religion is good.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:02 am |
    • Mirosal

      How would someone KNOW what 'christ' wants? Do they talk to 'him'? Converse with 'him? The guy's been dead for 2000 years now. Might as well ask my great-great grandparents what THEY want .. I'd get the same answer... the sound .. of silence.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:05 am |
    • Mirosal

      I think it was Susan B. Anthony who said something like "I don't trust anyone who speaks for 'god', because I have found that what 'god' wants and what THEY want are remarkably similar".

      January 16, 2012 at 6:07 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      "text is a powerful form of communication, God uses it"

      Really? Your fairy tale doesn't use text...man used text. You obviously have no clue as to the history of your buybull or you wouldn't spew such a fallacy. It is well noted that man wrote the bubyull and that it was written by 40 some off men who never met one another but all have one thing in common-god to spoke to each of the them in their minds on an individual basis...that's not a god nor is it proof of one. In the real world we call hearing voices mental illness, in your world we call it religion...one in the same!!

      January 16, 2012 at 6:19 am |
    • jnstrm

      "Mormons also subscribe to key tenets of mainstream Christianity." Absolutely, unequivocally untrue. 'Mainstream' Christianity holds to a triune God – ONE BEING, THREE DISTINCT forms. The mormon religion does not.

      To anyone who seeks the truth about mormonism - DO THE RESEARCH. Try exmormon.org - a website of FORMER MORMONS who share their stories.

      To the mormons reading this: only be afraid of those who would tell you NOT to do the research . . . your own leadership.

      January 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  8. MattL

    You know who gets the most discrimination in this context? Those who choose no religion, atheists and those of similar beliefs (or lack of them). We are the ones shunned by hordes of religious zealots and left out of much government religious equal exposure. Sure you religious people get a national day of prayer, and religious official holidays, but what do we get? Where is the day honoring those who choose no religion?

    January 16, 2012 at 3:50 am |
    • TmalT

      Are you saying that you are required to work during Christmas Holidays?

      January 16, 2012 at 4:09 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      As much as there are no official holidays in the name of Atheism or other disbelief(s), we all get the same days off as those who do celebrate the christian holidays. As an Atheist myself, we don't use those days to celebrate the christian meaning, we use them to be with family and take advantage of how little time we get with them given our busy lives. We don't get holidays in the name of non-belief because if we did, they would need to start considering us a religion and we do not want that (or at least most of us don't).

      January 16, 2012 at 5:47 am |
    • Facts Reveal

      If you don't use those days to celebrate the christian meaning, it's absolutely your choice. But it doesn't take away your equal right for such holidays.

      Should there be holiday for non-belief and we have equal right for a vacation, we surely welcome it with open arms. But we would not celebrate it the way non-believers should. But rather use them to be with family and take advantage of how little time we get with them given our not so busy lives.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • TmalT

      "We don't get holidays in the name of non-belief because if we did, they would need to start considering us a religion and we do not want that (or at least most of us don't)."

      @Truth Prevails

      Would you mind sharing such thoughts with MattL? It might help him ease his pain of feeling discriminated and left out.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Facts: Good point. Could you see the uproar if this ever happened? The christards would launch an all out war (not that that would surprise anyone).

      January 16, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @TmalT: No matter what your belief, discrimination is going to be part of it and if Matt feels discriminated against, this is his issue. No-one forces us to celebrate christian holidays as Atheists.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      Atheists and agnostics do get a lot of grief for failing to believe what others believe. It's the same dynamic as the hatred against Mormons. It's one thing to disagree with someone over points of doctrine; it's quite another to become hostile over it.

      Many people are still living in the Middle Ages.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  9. Anvil of Reality

    Is there a single religion this world with members that DON'T view themselves as oppressed in some way?

    January 16, 2012 at 3:06 am |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      Mine. It doesn't have a name so you can't rail against it.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  10. myklds

    The Church and the Bible neither hate nor condemn gays but the act thereof.

    I hope everybody have a bit of common sense to spot the difference.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • HellBent

      It's a bit hard when the church supposedly condemns divorce, but doesn't actively try to legislate against it. The hypocrisy is a bit too much to swallow.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • Hadesknees

      Just when the church became a law making body?

      January 16, 2012 at 4:04 am |
    • Mirosal

      They might set policy inside of their 4 walls, but once they set foot outside of it, welcome to the world of secular, civil law.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:26 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      The church has no right to hate the act of anything...it is simply not the business of them or anyone what an individual does. If it causes no harm to another person, than who cares? The act of being ho.mo.se.xual is not a crime...it is as natural as being het.ero.se.xual (science has proven this over and over again...it's just too bad the church can't get it through their bronze aged skulls).

      January 16, 2012 at 6:11 am |
    • Facts Reveal

      What branch of Science that proves that it's natural that fencing and cymbals played in bed?

      Do you have been in Anatomy and Reproductive health class?

      January 16, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ FActs .. do you have been in an English language class yet? If you're not hearing cymbals crash when you're in bed with someone, you're not doing it right!! 😉

      January 16, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Facts Reveal: What? The APA has studied ho.mo.se.xuality has stated a person is born that way, it is not a choice they make!

      January 16, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Mirosal: Get on facebook...I don't wanna be there listening to the drones of 'poor me'...I get enough of that here.

      January 16, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • DUMBAtheiStS

      If the inability to control an unusual s.exual urge is considered normal, there should be no maniac ra.pists behind bars.

      January 16, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • Mirosal

      Sorry m'lady no can do right now. I'm ataying late and won't get to go home until noon my time (central). No facebook on work computer, and we had to peti'tion just to get CNN and weather dot com on this thing.

      January 16, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @DumbTheist: How is it unusual? There is a major difference between ra.pe and ho.mo.se.xuality...ra.pe being the fact that one is forced into a se.xual act, ho.mo.se.xuality is consenting people. Are you saying that hom.o.se.xuals should be incarcerated?

      January 16, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Mirosal: coolio, I'll catch up with you later today. 🙂

      January 16, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • Facts Reveal

      @Mirosal

      You maybe right, but it should crashed by the (fencing) sword. But if it caused by another cymbal, it must be crazy.

      January 16, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • Mirosal

      If I have interpreted your an.alogy correctly, along with your atrocious English, I think it's safe to bet you are a ho'mo'phobe

      January 16, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • DUMBAtheiStS

      @LiePrevails

      How can it be usual? I've been in an Anatomy class before and I've learned there that buttholes should be for sh!t and if you want something for d!ck you must go to its neighbor.

      January 16, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @DumbTheist: Anatomy class is not se.x ed class Moron!!! The professionals who have studied this have clearly stated that it is normal...whether your church agrees or not does not matter. What would you do if your child told you he/she was attracted to someone of the same se.x? Would you disown him/her? What does it matter to you if someone is ho.mo.se.xual? How exactly does it affect you directly? I have plenty of gay/lesbian friends who are quite happy...they don't judge people based on thir se.xual orientation and should be given the same respect. I will trust professionals who have studied this subject before I trust a christard who has only studied a buybull.

      January 16, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @DumbTheist: You are a bigot...now I'm aware that your buybull teaches you that bigotry is a sin...so you need to pray to your sky daddy for forgiveness...lol. This world is based on the laws of the land, not the crap the buybull thinks applies and when being ho.mo.se.xual becomes a criminal offense then you can judge people on it, until then keep your bigoted opinion on a matter that you are uneducated about to yourself.

      January 16, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Facts Reveal

      All I can say is that, I have a lots of gay friends. I eat, drink and laugh with them. And as long as mutual respect is kept and maintained, definitely there's no problem.

      But to tell you honestly, that sometimes they really just can't get hold of themselves specially when they're drunk. That's why sometimes I chose to shun from them.

      I don't think that I'm a gay hater but their uncontrolled actions little by little made me become one.

      January 16, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Facts: You get that behavior with hetero.se.xuals also....it just bothers people more to see guy-guy or girl-girl kissing or acting out because it doesn't appeal to the average person...my best if gay and I've made it quite clear that as much as I respect his choice, I do not wish to see him making a public display of his affection to his partner, just as he doesn't wish to see me makign that same display with my husband. I think somethings are better left for privacy...it is one thing to hold hands but a completely different thing to act like teenagers with raging hor.mones.

      January 16, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • DUMBAtheiStS

      Sorry folks but there's nowhere in my vocabulary that says, honesty when hurts is synonymous to bigotry.

      Just a piece of advice, when you want proof to back you up. Se.x education is not the answer. Try Anthropology or any branch of Social Science.

      Going back in Anatomy, there are reasons why every parts of our body are put in their respective places. Maybe being gay is maybe not a choice but we should keep in our minds that our head is placed in the top most part.

      Mind over matter still applies here. If you want to justify your actions, you must undergo an operation. But not s.ex transplant but......butthole transfer.

      Ask the surgeon to transfer it your butthole on your forehead.

      January 16, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • DUMBAtheiStS

      And one more thing, Mongoloids are born the way they are too but it doesn't make them normal.

      January 16, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @DumbTheist: It is bigotry regardless of what way you spin it. To spew hatred about anything that has been determined to be perfectly normal is bigotry...you need to go back to school and get an education...anatomy, once again, teaches you nothing about human se.xuality...it only teaches you about the way the body is....my 6 year old niece knows this and thus is a tremendous amount smarter than you could wish to be.

      January 16, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • DUMBAtheiStS

      Bigotry if it's the way you call it. BUT...

      "perfectly normal" REAALLLYYY?! LOL!

      Okay, thanks for the laugh.

      It's like saying Sahara Desert is in the Northpole. And Santa is selling hot chocolate in Northern Africa.

      January 16, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @DumbAtheists
      "Mongoloids are born the way they are too but it doesn't make them normal."

      They are, actually.
      The human species is divided into three distinct sub-species – Caucasoid, Ne/groid and Mogoloid (or white, black, yellow).
      The defining characteristics of each sub-species are perfectly normal.

      January 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Commenter

      Doc Vestibule,

      I hear ya'... but @Dumb was talking about the old-fashioned term for Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21) - they used to call them "mongoloids".

      January 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      The Bible is, in fact, full of scary bigotry against gays.

      "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." Leviticus 18:22

      "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." Leviticus 20:13

      "There shall be no wh*re of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel." Deuteronomy 23:18

      "1.26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
      1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
      1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
      1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
      1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
      1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
      1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." Romans 1:26-32

      "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind" 1 Corinthians 6:9

      "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For wh*remongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind . . . 1 Timothy 1:9-10

      "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Jude 1:7-8

      The Bible is not a source of tolerance and respect for gays. To rise above this hatred, one must outgrow the prejudices of an earlier time.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • DUMBAtheiStS

      Yes, commenter was right.

      My bad, sorry if I confused some of you here with the ambigous terminilogy that I used.

      @Commenter..Thanks for cleaning-up the mess dude. Wish you well.

      January 17, 2012 at 2:30 am |
  11. Dakota2000

    I don't like mormons because they are a group of hate mongers. Look at their influence on Prop 8 in California.

    We should never have let Utah into the Union. Not only are they not christian, they are unamerican.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • Jim

      Hate mongers? You just described 90% of *all* so-called "christians" in the US:

      January 16, 2012 at 2:08 am |
    • Lewtwo

      amen jim

      January 16, 2012 at 3:37 am |
    • Dakota2000

      Well, then add them to the list.

      January 16, 2012 at 3:49 am |
    • Isaac

      The amount of irony in your statement is smothering. You seem to be the one spewing the vitriolic statements.

      January 16, 2012 at 3:54 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      I'd rather deal with a Mormon than a Jehovah Witness any day. For anyone to say they are not christian is simply ludicrous...they base their beliefs off the same buybull that christards do, they just add another book to the mix of insanity.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:14 am |
  12. Abinadi

    If Paul were here today, what church would he belong to? Paul actually answered that question in 1 Corinthians 1, " 10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
    11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
    12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
    13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
    14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, abut Crispus and Gaius;
    15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name."
    It is pretty obvious that Paul would not approve of the Methodist, or the Baptist or any of the evangelical churches of the day. He said himself that he would only belong to the Church of Jesus Christ, and if he were alive today, he would belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Days.

    January 15, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Paul would be absolutely disgusted by the Mega Churches who sell the word of God and rake in millions. Ron Hubbard was heard to say that if he wanted to make a million dollars, he would start a church, and that is exactly what he eventually did. Christianity has apostatized from the truth! Jeremiah said, " 11 Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. " 13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."
      People no longer worship idols but they have replaced the idols with false churches – churches who preach watered down Christianity, churches which have no power to save them from their sins; churches that have no priesthood authority to perform the sacred ordinances, churches led by uninspired usurpers who pardon sinners in exchange for their money! Well did Christ say of them, "1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." (John 10) Of these he will say, " 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." A man or woman who is too proud to admit they are wrong and accept the truth will never see the Kingdom of God!
      22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
      23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

      January 15, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      I would not want to belong to any church that allowed Paul to tell them what to think or do.

      1. Paul thought women should be quiet in church. If they had questions, they could ask their husbands when they got home.
      2. Paul thought women should cover their heads.
      3. Paul thought women needed to be told what to do by a man, because Eve was deceived, making her dumber than Adam.
      4. Paul thought that gays deserved death and would certainly be damned.
      5. Paul believed in predestination.
      6. Paul condoned slavery.
      7. Paul believed that salvation was by grace, not works. Jesus, on the other hand, said that many would call him Lord, Lord but not be saved, not if they did not do the will of his father. Jesus said that unless one's righteousness exceeded that of his rivals, one would not be saved in the kingdom of God.

      Paul's version of Christianity is not consistent with Jesus's. Paul arrived after the death of Jesus, having never known Jesus during his lifetime, and having used his vision to redefine Christianity.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Abinadi

      So, you believe that Paul was uninspired? Paul wrote the bulk of the New Testament. You believe you know better than Paul and are a better advocate for Christ than Paul, who was an ordained apostle? My oh my, Bill, I think you should start your own church. You could call it the Church of Bill. It would certainly be a good one if you know more than Paul!

      January 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Bill, I think you are worth paying attention to, but your post would be better if you quoted scripture and gave sources.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  13. LearnTheTruth

    http://mormon.org/

    January 15, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Craig

      Excuse me if I share a lack of concern for the Mormon Church; an organization for many years that denied Blacks the opportunity to enter their special temple and refused to allow them to be married in their houses of worship.

      January 15, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      While it's true that Mormons did not ordain blacks to the priesthood for many years, their position had less to do with any animosity toward African-Americans than with making sense of their own historical situation.

      The earliest Mormons were from New England. They naturally believed that slavery was wrong. Joseph Smith, the original prophet of Mormonism, not only preached to, and baptized, free African Americans, but ordained Elijah Abel (who was black) to the priesthood.

      As Mormons were pushed from New York to Pennsylvania and then from Pennsylvania to Ohio, they spoke out on the subject of slavery. If you'll take the time to read the earliest Mormon utterances on the subject, many Mormons were publicly outspoken in their opposition to slavery.

      When the largest body of Mormons moved to Missouri, a schism broke out between the Missouri Mormons and the Ohio Mormons, who had been fleeing Ohio after a bank failure there turned Mormons into the unpopular and the unwanted (The Bank Panic of 1837 was the country's first recession, and it was caused by the policies of the Jackson administration, not the Mormons).

      When things got ugly between the Ohio Mormons and the Missouri Mormons, the Missouri Mormons turned to their Missouri neighbors and accused the Ohio Mormons of, among other things, being against slavery. While Missouri would stay out of the Civil War as a "neutral state," it was very much a slave state (which is why Dred Scott sued for his freedom). It was during this period of hostility that Mormons sought to reassure the Missourians that they were not coming in to affect slavey. Lots of changes were made in Mormon policy, including a policy of not preaching to slaves. This was the era when Mormons decided that slavery was part of God's plan and that they were opposed to the attempts, by northerners, to end slavery.

      Despite Mormon attempts to make nice with their new neighbors, the Missourians saw Mormons as a threat. Armed mobs drove the Mormons from Missouri. Even after moving north to Illinois, the Mormons found fresh enemies, though the spark that would unite such opposition would be polygamy.

      After Joseph Smith was killed, Brigham Young took over as the new Mormon leader. He set a policy of not granting the priesthood to African-Americans, a policy that was at odds with the politics of the abolitionists but one that hardly stood out among many Americans of the period, which was 13 years before the Civil War.

      Brigham Young greatly feared that the Civil War would destroy the country. He blamed it on the Republicans. He believed that while slavery was an evil, it was an evil that should not be ended through coercion. Joseph Smith had run for president on a message that included the abolitionist proposal to buy the freedom of slaves. Brigham Young justified slavery by parroting the argument that Cain had been "cursed" for murdering his brother, Abel, with a "mark." This "mark of Cain" was, to Brigham, the black skin. As Noah's grandson, Cainan, was cursed to be "a servant among servants," Brigham justified slavery as part of God's plan.

      In 1849, the U.S. went to war with Mexico. Beneath the question of who shot first, there was an abiding issue of American westward expansion – an expansion forced by the cotton boom. As Mexico had outlawed slavery, the effect of the Mexican War was the protection of this westward expansion, which was based on cotton and slavery. In an effort to be seen as patriotic Americans, Mormons joined up. There was a "Mormon Battalion." In fact, the war ended up bringing in new states and exacerbating the slavery issue.

      In the 1850s, the Union army invaded and occupied Utah, probably as a show of force to impress upon southerners what would happen if they left the Union. It was a debacle. The Mormons didn't fight back and Brigham continued to run the territory from the sidelines. In 1861, the South left the Union and the Civil War began. Brigham blamed the bloodbath, the worst in American history, on the Republicans. He continued to believe, to his dying day, that it was dangerous to plunge the country into civil war over slavery.

      After the Civil War, the same Republicans who had invaded the South – to liberate it from slavery – pushed to invade Utah (to liberate it from the Mormons). Calling polygamy "the second American slavery," the federal government made polygamy a federal crime and eventually raided Utah, imprisoning Mormon leaders. The Mormon president after Brigham, John Taylor, died in exile. His successor, Wilford Woodruff, announced the Manifesto, ending polygamous sealings in the U.S.

      Even then, polygamy went on for another 14 years in Canada and Mexico. It took the sixth Mormon leader, Joseph F. Smith, to finally end the practice in 1904. This slow ending to polygamy should give you some idea as to how long and how hard it was for Mormons to reverse a practice popularized by Brigham Young. Given Brigham's revered status, as the Mormon leader whose decision to move west had saved the Mormons from extermination, it took a lot of doing to end the practice.

      Ending the priesthood ban would take longer. The 1890 and 1904 manifestos sparked schisms of Mormon Fundamentalists, who left the LDS Church, claiming it had sold out. This was painful and alarming to the LDS Church, setting a precedent. As the Mormon leadership later sought to become more mainstream, it would have to be careful not to upset those who would see policy changes as a sell-out. Because Brigham Young had been so adamant in his defense of slavery – and especially of his view that blacks were not to receive the priesthood until a later time – Mormon Church leaders were hesitant to cross this bridge until the right time. After Brigham, 9 successors raised the question, only to have the Church's Quorum of the 12 Apostles vote it down. It wasn't until the 10th such successor, Spencer W. Kimball, came forth with a specific revelation that the policy was reversed. The LDS Church made it through the first and second great movements in Civil Rights (in the 50s and 60s) without changing the policy. It wasn't until 1978 that the policy was finally ended.

      Unlike with polygamy, there was a belief that the old policy would end. In fact, Brigham Young, who was probably the architect of the priesthood ban, and one who defended it vigorously, repeatedly spoke of the day when the priesthood ban would be lifted. So did his successors.

      So, while the priesthood denial could be seen as a pre-Civil War policy, kept in place by a bureaucracy that remained conservative to change, it's not accurate to say it was based on a dislike for black people. You might say the Mormons were crazy to believe that God endorsed this denial of equal opportunity but it's not possible to say, with accuracy, that it was based on a hatred for African-Americans. Mormons have this baggage in their church history but it's not one based on the same sentiments as the Confederate cause or Jim Crow.

      January 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Abinadi

      My golly, Bill. That is very impressive! Do you mind if I use it as long as I give you credit?

      January 16, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  14. m

    Mormons are Joos except the believe in Jesus. It's all about rubbing each others back and making money and in the old days having as many wives as one could afford or manage.

    CULT CULT CULT CULT – just except it for what it is and move on because there is no redemption or saving grace belonging to this cult.

    January 15, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • LearnTheTruth

      http://www.youtube.com/user/MormonMessages#p/c/4E784EC0770935C0/5/fEfg-Z-TOc8

      January 15, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • cheetos

      Making Money? What leader in the LDS church makes a dime off of their service? It's all volunteer.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  15. m

    The tenets of the LDS are so far from the mainstream how could anyone understand it as other than a cult? These people are freakin weird and nothing they can say will change that perception.

    January 15, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • LearnTheTruth

      Find your happy place http://www.youtube.com/user/MormonMessages

      January 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  16. LearnTheTruth

    This is by far the EASIEST Church to understand. Start Here http://www.lds.org. Then Here. http:www.mormon.org. Don't try to complicate it.

    January 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • rickjana

      I would skip lds.org and go straight to mormon.org. Mormon.org explains the beliefs of the church for those who aren't familiar. Lds.org is a resource for church members to find lessons, sermons, etc. You can go there, but it probably won't be as straight forward as mormon.org.

      January 15, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And for the other side of things, visit EXMORMON.ORG
      "A site for those who are questioning their faith in the Mormon Church and for those who need support as they transition their lives to a normal life."

      January 16, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • jnstrm

      @LearnTheTruth and others: DO THE RESEARCH. If you're going to base your beliefs on something, let it no be propaganda. I suggest http://exmormon.org. These are stories - NOT FROM DETRACTORS, BUT FROM FORMER LDS MEMBERS THEMSELVES.

      To the LDS: if your 'religion' is TRUE, it can stand the scrutiny . . . yes? If you're AFRAID to do it, consider asking yourself WHY you would be afraid of seeking the TRUTH.

      January 16, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  17. PeopleAreStupid

    Ignorant, Naive and just plain stupid!! This is to all of you who do not understand this church. It is so very easy to understand and see the truth of it but you are too Ignorant to really do the research. Those that have just laugh at dense effort to explain the doctrine. It is one of the fastest growing religions in this country! Numbers don't lie. Maybe its you who is really missing the boat. This is why are country is getting led down the road to serfdom, because all of you stupid people who think you know what your talking about. Wake Up and get the facts!

    January 15, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Craig

      I would suggest that arguing that people are stupid is not a good step to get someone to consider the tenets of your beliefs in a rational manner.

      January 15, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  18. elleblue

    Of course Mormons feel unaccepted. They are a cult, period, there is nothing religious about them. They have a slew of rituals, but that doesn't make them a religion.

    January 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  19. NHWoman

    I don't have any problem with a Mormon president, but unlike other churches, it really is not possible to get to know their religion well. You cannot attend Mormon weddings unless you are of their faith. You cannot attend all of their services even when you join their church. When there are layers of acceptance, you can only expect limited acceptance by some people in return.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • rickjana

      Just fyi, the majority of Mormons can't even go to the temple, and of those who can, most don't go very often. The service there is identical every single time anyway, so it's really only one small service that is missing (of the hundreds that go on every year). But if you're wondering what's goes on in the LDS temple, read Genesis and Exodus. A lot. Because everything we do in the temple is in there. It's no secret. It's just sacred. For the same reason I don't talk about my intimate relation with my spouse. Not a secret. Just sacred.

      January 15, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Matt

      If you go to any church building on the front it says "Visitors Welcome." Plus there is the website mormon.org that anyone with internet can access. We missionaries all over offering to talk about the church. Consider this your personal invitation to check it out. I highly recommend it 🙂

      January 16, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Tharg

      Visitors welcome as long as they are white, straight, and male and look Mormon. No one else is really welcome.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      Most Mormon functions – including church socials, "church" meetings, priesthood meetings for the men and Relief Society meetings for the women, as well as Sunday school, Boy Scouts meetings and midweek youth meetings (called M.I.A. – for Mutual Improvement Association) are open to the public.

      The only functions you can't attend, as a non-member, are in the temple. Those are highly personal, highly private gatherings – very special occasions – such as Mormon sealings (weddings), baptisms for the dead and endowments (a kind of "second baptism" for Mormon grown-ups). The average active Mormon attends these once a month. All other meetings are open to the public.

      If you want to know what goes on in the LDS temple, there are books about it. You're not invited in because Mormons don't want to be made fun of while engaged in these sessions. There are lots of equivalents in the non-Mormon world.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  20. katone216

    If any of you are actually interested in the beliefs of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints give LDS.org a look. It can answer all of your questions. If you're just interested in picking a fight then you are barking up the wrong tree.

    January 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Matthew

      Dear LDS Church and Readers,

      Salvation does not whatsoever require Joseph Smiths Golden Tablets.

      John 3:16
      New International Version (NIV)
      16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

      Thank You

      January 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Matt

      @Matthew

      Here's what the Book of Mormon says about that:

      For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

      The Bible and Book of Mormon go well together.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • 1tonks

      Why is there a Book of Mormon, if there is the Bible that was so inspired by God and written amost before 100 AD because the people who knew Jesus and ministered with him (the Apostles) were dying? Should that not be enough? A lot of the comments I have read have failed to understand or explain validity (either through lack of knowledge of religious history or ignorance) that the Apostles are who founded the first church, Peter was the rock, and it was "universal" aka Catholic. Peter preached the Gospel of the Lord, not the Book of Mormon. I don't seem to remember Methodists, or Baptists, or evangelicals, or Mormons around during that time. All of those religions broke from and redirected and made up new laws from what the Apostles first taught much later in history. So how can you say that those religions are the one and only truth? Even Martin Luther regretted posting the 96 thesis on the Church door...

      January 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      I'd like to speak about why Mormons have the Book of Mormon. There's an assumption, above, that Mormons have the Book of Mormon because the Bible is not "enough."

      The idea of the Bible as a package, God's one single and holy book, is an invention of Protestantism. There was no Bible in the days of Jesus, though there was a Hebrew Bible, edited as a collection since the days of Ezra, who went through the scrolls after the end of the Babylonian Captivity. It's not clear exactly what books or writings were had among the various Christian churches throughout the first couple of centuries. It's clear that the Book of Revelation was written before the Gospel of John, and that there were books, referenced by New Testament writers, that were lost or failed to make the cut. There were also Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphal writings that were sorted out by the Catholic Church in fourth century.

      For most of the Middle Ages, the average person had no access to the Bible. The closest they might come was their priests, who were trained to read the Latin version of it and who opposed the attempts to translate it into the vernacular languages of each country. It was the printing press that changed everything. Martin Luther may have set off a revolution when he called the Catholic Church to task for following post-Biblical traditions, but it was the ability of any person, in the age of printing, to read the text for himself, that made the Bible the only authority accepted by Protestants.

      The importance of getting the Bible right – because Protestants identified salvation with believing the right doctrines – gave rise to a nuclear arms race of seminaries and Bible colleges, all dedicated to defending the faith. Our Ivy League schools were all Bible colleges erected as fortresses of pure ideology.

      Joseph Smith came along at a time when Americans were arguing about "which church to join." After hearing different ministers use the same Bible to reach radically different conclusions, he said he felt perplexed about whether anybody could ever be satisfied that all controversies were resolved by an appeal to the Bible. His visions began with the discovery of that famous passage in James where it says, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth liberally."

      The Book of Mormon purports to be a divinely-inspired translation of writings of ancient American prophets who also prophesied of the coming of Christ. It's the kind of story you can either accept or reject but it comes with the promise that if you'll pray about it, after reading it, you'll get a divine witness of its truth. The 14 million Mormons running around today state, with sincerity, that they have received a witness that this book is true. You can make what you want of that claim but for Mormons, the Book of Mormon is proof that God speaks to their prophet and that they can trust the organization they belong to.

      As for why we would need another book, why the Bible isn't "enough," the Mormon answer is that God has spoken in many times and many places – and that nobody has the right to limit the conversation to one time and one place. You may not believe the Mormon story of how God spoke to one of their own. You may doubt that the Book of Mormon is what it claims to be – as there's no proof to show that it is. But Mormons have every right to find inspiration in its pages.

      The real question, the one worth asking, is "What do Mormons get out of the Book of Mormon that helps them live their life?"

      January 16, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
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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.