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April 7th, 2012
08:48 AM ET

Taking a rare tour of a Mormon temple

By Eric Marrapodi and Brian Todd, CNN

Kansas City, Missouri (CNN) – Elder William Walker slipped white booties over his black wing-tip shoes and instructed his guests to do the same as he led them into the newest Mormon temple in the world.

This day was the first chance the public had to see inside the sacred space for the area’s 49,000 Mormons, and it was also one of the last.

On May 6, when Thomas S. Monson, the head of the 14 million member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, dedicates this temple, the doors will close forever to the public. The church said it expects as many as 100,000 visitors in Kansas City before the temple will be closed to the public.

After that, only temple-recommended Mormons will be able to walk through the heavy wooden and stained-glass doors.

“This is a sacred space, set apart place for only those who are devout followers of the faith,” Walker said.

For Mormons, temples serve as places of contemplation, instruction and worship experiences, like weddings and posthumous baptisms.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The 67-year-old Walker is the executive director of the Temple Department, and he is the point man for the church’s 137 temples.

Walker is a top official in the LDS church as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and he reports directly to Monson. The Canadian-born hockey fanatic has been a lifelong member of the church. He graduated from Brigham Young University, served a Mormon mission to Japan and spent time in the private sector working in securities and investment banking before being called to serve the church full-time in 2002.

Kansas City’s temple is the latest to open. The church has announced it will build 29 temples across five continents. Construction is under way in Paris and Rome, and temples are planned for Peru and South Africa.

“We’re building temples where the church is grown and have a concentration of members,” he said.

Outside the new Mormon temple in Kansas City, Missouri.

Inside the temple the required first stop is the Recommend Desk. After the dedication, only Mormons who have a recommend card are able to enter and participate in worship. The personalized cards are given by local church leaders to adherents who profess to be living in accordance with church teachings.

As he explained the process, Walker reached into his wallet, pushed his Utah driver’s license aside and pulled out his recommend card, which was endorsed by Monson, his bishop. Walker said his credit-card-sized recommend card, like all others, is only good for two years.

CNN was invited by church officials to tour the temple with Walker before its dedication. The church denied CNN's request to film inside the space, saying it was against church policy. The LDS church provided still images after the tour, which accurately depicted key parts of the temple. In a rare move, CNN was permitted to film inside the front of the temple at the Recommend Desk, but no farther.

"It's not about secret. It's about sacred,” Walker said after the tour, making what the church sees as a key distinction. “We feel that it's a very sacred and special place and therefore it is reserved for those worship functions and those ordinances that take place in the temple. It's not about secret."

Walker said the policy is not unlike that for Shinto shrines in Japan, where he served his mission.

But it's a thin line between sacred and secret. Public tours of the temple are only available when they are first built or undergo massive renovations. After that, outsiders and Mormons who are not temple recommended are kept out, even from wedding ceremonies.

In the sealing room, where eternal weddings take place, Walker points out the altar at the center of the room. The bride and groom kneel facing each other and the officiant stands off to the side. The room is richly decorated with Swarovski crystal chandeliers and massive gilded mirrors on either side of the room, and Walker raves about the design on the white carpet, carefully explaining how local artisans cut the meticulous pattern by hand.

Despite the grand size of the building, each room is small: This is the biggest of the three sealing rooms, and its capacity is just 49 people.

Guests are welcome at Sunday worship at one of the church’s 18,000 meeting houses, Walker is quick to note. The temple, he observes, “is a sacred, special place that’s unique. There are only 137 of these temples in all the world.”

The temple also contains a gleaming baptismal font. Though it’s a point of pride for Mormons, it has been controversial elsewhere. A church ceremony called “proxy baptisms” by Mormons includes posthumous baptisms of Jews, some of whom have protested the practice.

The baptismal font at the newest Mormon temple.

However, in Mormon doctrine, baptism is essential for salvation. While converts to the faith are baptized in services at local wards, the weekly meeting place for services open to the public, proxy baptisms take place only in the temple and in private.

The proxy baptisms are supposed to be for Mormons’ ancestors who were not of the faith. Walker said the baptism serves as an invitation to accept Mormonism as an avenue into heaven.

Explainer: How and why do Mormons baptize the dead?

At the temple, Walker took his visitors through the process as it is supposed to work.

The font rests on 12 oxen, which he said represent the tribes of Israel.

Adherents change into white gowns he jokingly referred to as "jumpsuits," provided by the temple. A male priest leads the proxy into the waist-high water, gives the blessing and the name of the ancestor, then the proxy is lowered into the water, fully immersed, then brought up to the surface. The desk next to the font has a small monitor and a light. That person's job is to record the act for the church's central database.

When the temple begins operation, Walker said, this is a scene that will play out “hundreds of times a day.”

But some Mormons have used the church’s extensive genealogy database to baptize others who are not Mormon ancestors, such as the murdered Jewish reporter Daniel Pearl and holocaust victims like Anne Frank. It’s a practice that has outraged Jewish leaders.

“When people violate the church policy of doing baptisms for those who our leaders have said we’re not going to do that, they’re acting on their own in contradiction of church policy,” he said. “We’re unhappy about that. We love our Jewish friends. We don’t want to offend them or anyone else by our religious practices.”

“We’re sorry. We live by our word and when we say we’re going to do something, we’re going to try and do it,” Walker said.

He promised disciplinary action.

“We’re now tracking those who’ve done this contrary to church policy and we’re going to shut down their access to the church’s database, Family Search, so they can’t do this.”

He acknowledges interest in proxy baptisms, and other Mormon practices, has spiked thanks to Mormon Mitt Romney’s run for president.

While the church takes no position on party politics nor allows its officials to endorse candidates, Walker can see some good coming out of Romney's run for the White House.

“I think it’s perfectly understandable people who are considering him would want to know more about the church he espouses,” he said. “In many ways it may be a good thing that people will want to know more. Maybe some of the old ideas about the church that have persisted in American culture can change.”

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.


soundoff (4,366 Responses)
  1. Diana

    I wouldn't take a tour of a mormon "temple" to save my life. Even if someone were to pay me. As an ex-mormon, I can attest that mormonism is a cult. Their practices are contrary to Scripture. For example, no where in the Holy Bible is it said that Jesus and satan are brothers, but that's what the mormons believe. In Scripture we're told to worship only ONE God. But the mormons believe that each of them can become gods and create their own planets. Shall I go on? I urge everyone who is a mormon to leave that cult, accept Christ as your Lord and Savior and join a true Bible-believing church. For those who are thinking of joining, Don't! I have way too many bad memories of that bunch. I'm not kidding.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Red

      Christianity is a cult.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Guest

      @Diana-It's good to see someone saw the light, and got the hell out!

      April 7, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Accuracy

      Diana, which church did you eventually join?

      April 7, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Bob

      Thanks Diana, I know you are telling the truth. God bless you!

      April 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • moorenlv

      The Church of Jesus!

      April 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Diana

      "Guest" – I too am glad I got the heck out of there. To "Accuracy" I want to say that I am a member of the Wesleyan church, which is Protestant.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Kebos

      And I encourage everyone to go one step further and rid oneself of Christianity, in fact, all religion. Their narrow-minded thinking has no place in our world. Christianity plays itself as the kinder, gentler religion but that is only because more extreme religions have the world's attention. But it was not always that way and it will not be that way forever.

      Religion Poisons Everything.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Diana

      To "Bob" – Thank you! God bless you too!

      April 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Diana,,,,,,,,

      Aren't all churches built by mankind nothing but falsehoods when regarding the TRUE CHURCH?

      April 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Accuracy

      Diana, how is protestantism not a cult? Weren't the followers of Jesus considered to be of the cult of Jesus? Is it just time that makes a religion not a cult anymore? Will Mormons be non-cult to you in 50 years? Were the Masons a cult? Is Judaism a cult? Catholic church a cult? What about the faiths in China, India?

      April 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Matt

      @ Accuracy:
      To me, it is the secrecy that separates cults from churches. The Mormon "Church" I went to very obviously did not want to answer questions until I was safely in the fold. I believe that's why a lot of newer members think Mormons don't believe in the things they are accused of – because they haven't been let in on it yet. Also, keeping their rites secret is their right as a private organization, but I think you'll find that cults generall shut the public out, while churches generally welcome the public to their services with open arms.

      The Lutheran Church I now belong to, has never held back any information, they have explained in excruciating detail everything that I didn't understand about what they do and why. And like most Christian churches, Lutherans are happy to welcome visitors and invite them to come again, to attend Bible studies and learn about our faith.

      April 7, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  2. TG

    Jesus said that his disciples would be "no part of the world", just as he was "no part of the world."(John 15:19) Hence, Jesus taught his disciples to be no part of the political arena, nor accepting teachings contrary to the Bible, nor to allow greed to have any "roots."

    However, the Mormon church has been greatly involved in the political field, such as Mitt Romney running for president. Or the belief that God was once a man.(Joseph Smith) Or that we can attain to being a God ourselves for Mormon prophet Lorenzo Snow (1814-1901) said: “As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may become.”

    And baptism by proxy is contrary to baptism in the Bible, for following Jesus example, a real living person who has made an informed choice can be baptized, not someone who has died.(Matt 3:16, see also Acts 8:38, 39) Those who have died must await for the resurrection from the dead during Jesus millennial reign in the near future (Rev 2013), when "all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment. "(John 5:28, 29)

    These are not in heaven, but are brought back to life on the earth, to be given an opportunity to please their heavenly Father, Jehovah God.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Not so fast, Batman

      Actually, he said to to not be "of" the world... Where any person can do so, we are to do all we can to lift, build, and help one another... If you go in to politics to do this, then you are consistent with following Christ and there is no problem with this. If you go in to politics for your own gain, to work the system, for power, greed, etc... Then you are "of" the world and are on the wrong side of Christ's teachings... Oh, and what's that one scripture about not judging???

      April 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Watch Tower

      Hey watch tower read 1 Cor. 15:29 about baptizing for the dead....oh that's right. Your leadership deleted that scripture out of your "bible" Read the KJV of the bible you'll find verse after verse your leadership has deleted. Ever read the account of Paul on the road to Damascus? Each account in the new testament. Or yet, read each account of Judas's death or read the linage of Jesus in each. Read about how many horses Saul had in the Old Testament ready it in Numbers and Kings...the bible is full of fallacies. Found a religion on a false premise and you have a false religion. Found your religion on Gods revelations you'll have the church of Jesus Chris.

      April 10, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  3. Pwayne

    The Mormon Church is a complete cult....they don't believe in the Trinity with Christ as the Second Person. Our life on this earth is our one and only opportunity to accept Christ as Savior....there is no salvation by Baptism after death. The Book of Mormon is a total work of fiction and is absolute baloney.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Kebos

      Of course it is. The one thing the Mormon church does is highlight how easily people's minds and actions can be controlled by a religion. Contrast that to Catholicism or Judaism and one can see how a religion with thousands of years of oppression and amassing wealth can become so powerful, controlling and firmly set into society.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Accuracy

      Pwayne, what religion or faith experience to you adhere to?

      April 7, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • otto

      So the Morman religion is wacky but your belief in a god sacrificing himself to himself to save humanity in the form of a loophole for rules the same god created is perfectly reasonable.

      got irony?

      April 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  4. James

    Warren Jeffs = Joseph Smith

    April 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Kebos

      = Master Manipulator & Quack

      April 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • big bob

      wasnt joseph smith a tax cheater and a drunk who did time?

      April 7, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • as;ldkj

      warren had only 24 wives. JS stole from people, printed bank notes and other federal crimes.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Diana

      Amen!

      April 7, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Accuracy

      James, I see major differences. Don't you? In a hundred years to you think Jeffs will have followers?

      April 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Red

      They both married young teenagers and proclaimed self-serving "revelations" to their followers. Warren Jeffs and the FLDS have done a good job preserving Mormonism as Joseph Smith left it.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  5. Guest

    The Christian church is a Universal Church, meaning that ALL are welcome. Christ doesn't deny anyone entrance into His church, but the Mormons do! The Mormons close off the temple and do not allow anyone who is not Mormon to enter. There is nothing sacred in that Temple, and if it was the house of Jesus, EVERYONE would be welcome, but that's not the case. Jesus Christ Himself never did this. He never turned his back on anyone. The Mormons are not Christians, because they have closed the doors and they are turning their backs on anyone who doesn't share their belief system.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Brian

      Go to one of the 18,000 normal chapels where Sunday services are. Those are also the House of the Lord.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Edward

      So I guess you couldn't get something for free and now you are upset? The Mormon Church sends millions of dollars of aid all over the world every year.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Pwayne

      Christ is the only way to heaven.....We do not insure our salvation through good works but by Grace through Faith....not of works as Mormons believe. They are leading their Congregations to hell.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Mr_Normal

      Ummmm,...
      This article really is about a non-LDS reporter who was given a tour INSIDE a real Mormon Temple.
      If you'd like to go take a tour, feel free. Offer expires after a limited time. After that, if you'd still like to go it's simple:
      1. Join the Church
      2. Live worthily

      April 7, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Diana

      This is absolutely correct. When the Lord died on the cross, the veil in the Temple was torn in half, signifying that the barrier between us and God has been broken – meaning for those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I'm an ex-mormon and never visited any of their "temples," but I have seen YouTube videos of the ceremonies they conduct, and they're, well....just wacky. I understand they're based on Masonic rites, something else everyone needs to stay away from.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • as;ldkj

      In reply to mr, normal, there are thousands of sociopaths and multi level marketers in the mormon church.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Diana

      To "Edward," who replied to "Guest" – Money cannot buy salvation. I don't care how much the mormon cult gives out......it's still a cult.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Accuracy

      Guest, do other churches have temples? Or just Mormons? I think you can walk in to a Mormon church but just not the temple. I don't think the public can get in to parts of other churches, too. I'm thinking of the Vatican.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Money-changer

      I seem to recall something about Jesus being angry and brutally chasing some out of the Temple. Try reading, sometime.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  6. blake

    There is absolutely nothing Christian about Mormonism. It is a classic cult with historical roots that would drive off any intelligent person.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • as;ldkj

      all religions are cults. tell me catholics or fundamental jews dont have crazy beliefs that would perplex any rational being

      April 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Accuracy

      Blake, what religiion or faith experience do you adhere to?

      April 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  7. 21k

    this is a religion that just a few decades ago discriminated against non-whites. and many old geezer followers in the hills still practice forcing young girls into god-sanctioned marriages. and yes, catholic priests still diddle around with kids, and on and on.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Accuracy

      21k, is the religion entirely bad? Do they do any good at all? How do you respond to some of their finer attributes? I remember they changed their position on men of African descent in the mid 1970s. Racism in America is a problem for all of us. It remains with us to this day. 2012 will see it again.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • 21k

      acc, of course they do some good. as do some atheist, jewish, muslim and other xtian groups. but in the big picture, is making a living off of others' insecurities about life and death an honorable path? is newt and callista's catholic business any different? religious leaders are all a buch of grifters in the end.

      April 7, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  8. Red

    Why are the Mormon church's finances kept a secret?

    April 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • big bob

      because it might wake up their mambers as to the enormous wealth of this cult and make them really think about what mormonism really means

      April 7, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Edward

      Why are your finances kept secret? (Or is Private a better word)

      April 7, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • big bob

      you really do have a low iq edward. i dont think red solicites money from others like the lds, or is that too hard for you to understand

      April 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Red

      @Edward, Mormons deserve to know exactly where their donated money goes, and most other churches publicly disclose their finances.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Mr_Normal

      At general Conference last weekend we had the statement read (published) by the church's accounting department. No, exact figures were not given. But all of the Church financial resources are accounted for and have been used appropriately.
      Beyond that, whose business is it?

      April 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Red

      @Mr_Normal, it's the business of the people who donate the money. Take a lesson from many other churches and charities that fully disclose their finances. Financial secrecy is a huge red flag in my book.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  9. polemicist

    Anyone else see the irony of glorifying golden calves in the Temple?

    April 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Justin

      They represent the 12 tribes of Israel, not what you are inferring.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • polemicist

      Because when I think "12 Tribes of Israel" the FIRST thing that comes to mind is when they openly defied God to His face. Kinda like the LDS religion...

      April 7, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Accuracy

      I am not sure you want to be claiming that Mormons are idolists like those of milennia ago. Idol worship in America is alive and well today. I think we could all look at what we aspire to, what we covet, and try to avoid it. Evangelism eschews idol worship. I don't see Mormons I know being idolists. Some of the cathedrals I've been in are pretty ornate. This photo seems like a simple design.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Justin

      Symbols are what people want them to be. In Mormonism these Calves represent the 12 Tribes of Israel. If you start a church you can make them mean the Golden Calf that was being worshipped while Moses was away. The bible has several points of calves being symbolic not simply the Golden Calf of Moses people.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  10. Pipe-Dreamer

    C'Mon people,,,,,,,,, We all live in a world of manufactured and/or man-made churches that care not one iota about God's True Churches which are all Life's bodies and these bodies of life are all God's buildings!

    April 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  11. big bob

    edward ....really.....you reckon its time to lasso them chickens or fetch some water for them pigs?

    April 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Edward

      Could you be any dumber Bob. You run your mouth and never say anything of value or even reasonable meaning. If anyone is slopping the pigs, I suspect it's you.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  12. rj

    I wonder if anyone in the mainstream media will ask Romney about his great grandfather having 12 wives and THAT is why his family moved to mexico ...to escape being arrested. They will spend two months screeching about Rev Wright but they are too scared of the GOP attack machine to talk to Romney about this bizarre religion.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Merle

      5 wives, not 12. George Romney's dad had 5 wives and emmigrated to Mexico. Do you think that saying 12 makes it more scandalous or something?

      April 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Merle

      5 wives, not 12. George Romney's dad had 5 wives and emigrated to Mexico. Do you think that saying 12 makes it more scandalous or something?

      April 7, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Accuracy

      I just hope the media will give Romney the chance to explain how to put the nation back on track financially. Do you think people really care about the particulars of Obama's faith or Romney's faith when the real issue is the U.S. falling behind when it needs to be leading the world - education, economy, innovation, jobs, manufacturing, agriculture, environment, finance, peace efforts, etc. I just hope people will understand that the faith of the president is not the be all end all. It is the policies he will implement. The media needs to be honest and focus on the paramount issues of the day.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  13. Dzerres

    I recommend going to one of these open house – I did a the new, at that time, South Jordon, Utah one. I had just returned from a tour of the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. No comparison. The Mormon temple is more like a Ramada Inn – lots of small rooms carpeted in various soft colors. The only interesting thing was the locker room and that baptism fountain on top of the twelve oxen – nice hot tub but that's about it. As for that comment "While the church takes no position on party politics"? Another Mormon lie: remember Prop 8 in California? The Mormon Church spent 20 million tax-free dollars to defeat this political initiative and deny some folks their civil rights. That church has stopped growing in the US – their growth is mostly overseas in third world countries with promises of economic opportunities and hints about immigration to the US. Bunch of big phonies.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Jordan

      @Dzerres As a Mormon who served a mission in one of those "third world countries" I can confirm that the promises of economic prosperity and immigration are a lie. Those promises aren't made. Any converts to the Church are not promised any such thing.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Jenni Simonis

      Party politics are those elections, campaigns, etc. that are partisan, hence the use of the word "party". The campaign you're talking about was a ballot measure, which is not party politics.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  14. S-Hug

    The Mormon religion was invented by Joseph Smith around 1830. Comedy Central's South Park did a rather ingenious explanation of its history.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  15. O.T.

    This is veiled religious bigotry. Any coincidence that this story is featured prominently just at the time Mitt Romney is clinching the Republican nomination? It's message is "Remember, independents, these Mormons are really different from you and me . . . and maybe a little kooky too." Expect to see a lot of Mormon features on CNN between now and November. The network, after all, practically the media arm of the Obama reelection campaign.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • 21k

      i'd say keep you shirt on ot, but maybe keep your soul in is a better one for morms. ie, don't take off the special undershirt.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Dzerres

      They are different from you and me – from their funny underwear to sealing other people's dead and those silly "missions" they do to convert folks all over the world. Most of their "secret" rituals are directly lifted from established Masonic practices – nothing new there.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • O.T.

      I'm not Mormon but oppose religious bigotry spewed by those like yourself. Look at the photo. Do you ever see any unflattering photos like that when stories are extolling Democrats? Just saying, notice the pattern here, although I understand that religious bigotry is a condoned bigotry in Obama's America.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • JFK57

      The Mormon Religion is a cult. No where close to what Christ would want....

      April 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Justin

      Right JFK 57. Love your god, neighbor and family; Don't lie, steal or cheat; Practice charity; to good to those who hate you; not anything that Christ would want .... sigh ....

      April 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Edward

      JFK57 -- So now you are channeling Jesus Christ? If you know the mind of the Savior then maybe you are a prophet and now you are going to start your own religion? Is that it? You don't have a clue what the mind of Christ is.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Guest

      There is absolutely NOTHING Christan about the Mormon Churc and it's teachings, NOTHING!

      April 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • JFK57

      Newsweek did a great expose' on Mormonism a decade ago...... Smith and Young were polygamists, blacks were not allowed into the church, Christ was professed to be Satan's brother,baptism for the dead, on and on....... all stuff not found anywhere in the Bible. Then add the Book of mormon and pearls of """"""""......The Book of Revelation has something to say about adding more script to the Holy Bible and it isn't pretty.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  16. Kebos

    A sacred place for a religion founded by a fanatical lunatic. If ever there was anything more pathetic, it is this Mormon religion.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • O.T.

      Rank religious bigotry. And not much different than racial bigotry. I mean whites used to talk like this about blacks all the time.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • SurRy

      Wouldn't this be the same for every synagogue, church, etc.?

      April 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Kebos

      @OT: Do your research! jJoseph Smith was insane. Shot dead while trying to escape jail. And no, he didn't rise from the dead 3 days later like his ancient partner-in-delusin, Jesus, whose reputation benefited from lack of historical evidence to prove once and for all that he too was a quack and manipulator.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Accuracy

      Kebos, you can't think of anything more pathetic than a group of people who believe in God in their own unique way? Nothing? I fear your slippery slope. Are other faith traditions that don't meet your standard also pathetic? What about those religions in other countries, including Africa, India, East Asia? Kebos, what religion or faith experience do you adhere to?

      April 7, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  17. 21k

    warren jeffs is a mormon. all mormons must be like him. because to most xtians, all muslims are like mohammed atta. as we allow the gop to to infiltrate our government with xtian extremists, we are setting ourselves up for a holy war here. no different that what is going on in asia, the mideast, and what went on in ireland.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • willswords

      nope – Warren Jeffs is definitely not a Mormon.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • kabe

      Wrong . . . Warren Jeffs is NOT Mormon . . . Educate yourself

      April 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • 21k

      gee fellas, he's a member of the lds, same as mitt romney and the cherub in the photo, and i guess you two. own it.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Dave

      Warren Jeffs is most definitely /not/ a Mormon – look it up.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Accuracy

      Warren Jeffs is not a Mormon. Never has been, is not now, never will be. He is in a different religion. The mainstream Mormon religion, featured here by CNN, is different from Warren Jeffs' world.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • 21k

      just did dave, it says lds.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • JFK57

      Wrren Jeffs is not a mormon. He simply indulges in the same activities mormns do – multiple underage wives, false preachings, secret traditions, etc.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Brian

      Every time you post something your credibility shrinks. You haven't the faintest clue what you are talking about, do you? You should go to lds.org or mormon.org and do a little reading before continuing to bear false witness. A word to the wise...

      April 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • 21k

      why brian, are the lds members going to git me?

      April 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Jenni Simonis

      You have LDS and FLDS mixed up. He is a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church). It is a different church than the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). This story is about mainstream Mormons, which are members of the LDS Church.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • 21k

      jenni, ha-ha, the protestations by you lds folks is so much fun. as soon as a mormon of some stripe does something bad, you try to cut him loose. so using your logic, i guess you must also believe that mohammed atta is not a muslim.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • willswords

      and by your logic 21k, to be a member of any church all that it takes is for 21k to say so.

      April 7, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • 21k

      swords, i don't care if you decide to belong to a church, just don't expect others to want to pay your religious business's federal taxes, like we do now. i don't think jesus would expect that from those who do not believe in him. but you do.

      April 7, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  18. Kenjitheman

    If the church was a "cult", as some people claim. Wouldnt there be more members than they actually have?. Seems like a lot of people in this country, people join cults all the time. The difference between them and the LDS church is that they don't tell it's members to drink the kool-aid to catch the UFO behind the comet. Nor do they stock pile weapons like they did at the branch davidian compound in waco, or do a mass suicide. I don't se where the LDS church and cults ome together.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • SurRy

      Do you know the definition of the word cult? All religions are cults.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Kenjitheman

      Says who? So athiests aren't cultists then? Satanists who worship the adversary aren't in a culat? Soccer hooligans can be cult then also. Dang, liberals are a cult since they band together to destroy everything that doesnt agree with them. I need to move out since every person in this country belongs to a cult.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • JFK57

      The definition of a cult is a "FalseReligion", which mormonism is. It fools people into believing it has a christian basis.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • mbal

      All religions are cults.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Accuracy

      JFK57, please identify the false religions of the world. At the same time, please identify the true religions of the world. In Christianity (assuming you are a Christian), which of the thousands of "sects" or organizations or congregations or faith experiences are true religions?

      April 7, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  19. big bob

    lol....ok edward....lol...time to go back to your trailer and have a few beers and dream about what finishing high school would have been like....lol

    April 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Edward

      Well, BB, for someone that has never seen the inside of a non-religious grade school, you talk a lot of nonsense. You have no meaningful understanding of Christianity or anything else of value.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  20. Mike P

    It aggravates me that anyone protests the Mormon practice of bapitizing the dead. All they are doing is inviting the dead to become Mormons. Evangelism is done because religious people care about other people's souls. All the baptism for the dead practice reveals is that Mormons even care about the souls of the dead. How is that a bad thing?

    April 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • SurRy

      You're kidding, right?

      April 7, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • 21k

      last i looked, you can only invite a living person to join something.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Kebos

      Because its insulting to the memory of the dead and to their living friends and relatives. But something tells me that someone like you wouldn't understand this simple concept.

      BTW, there is no soul. When a person is dead, they're dead. Nothing exists but the memories of the deceased by those still living.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Mike G

      It's not a bad thing, just a useless thing like all baptisms.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Guest

      It's bad, because they have NO right to do this! There is NO need to baptize the dead! They are dead! They're souls are still very much alive, but their physical bodies are dead. The ONLY baptism that matters, is the one you receive when you're alive. Baptism is pointless after one has died.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • azmomx3

      Well said!

      April 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Lins K

      Mike, It's a bad thing because it implies that these people are currently not in heaven because they need a route there, it implies that their faith or sacrifice wasn't good enough, and that they don't already deserve to be in "paradise". I am not aligned with any religion personally, but I can understand their outrage, I would be offended if my Grandfather was posthumously baptized, he was a wonderful person, strong in his faith, and I believe that if there is a heaven he is there and would be upset if someone else who never even knew him decided otherwise. While the intent may have been good originally, the fact that it continues after they've been asked to stop shows that they have more care for their own ends then the wishes and beliefs of others.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Dzerres

      OK, Mike P – gimme your last name and I'll have you baptized into the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (look it up). Should be OK with you – you can always turn it down.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • KC

      Thats right Dzerres you can always turn it down. Sign me up for one of those church of the flying spaghetti monster baptisms. i would be happy to have the opportunity to accept it if it turns out when I die that I needed that baptism to get into the highest degrees of spaghetti monster heaven. I don't see what difference it makes to someone of another faith, who doesn't believe that mormonism is the way to heaven whether or not their grandparents were baptized by proxy in mormon temples. also it's not the church that oks the baptizing. this is done by overzealous members who are either unaware of church policy or who don't care. This is a big church and you can't control all of the members. Besides, If people from others faiths are praying for my soul, why should I care. I would only be happy they are praying for me, not upset because they think I need to be prayed for. People need to learn to lighten up. We all get so easily offended nowadays and demand apologies over things that were not intended to offend. People need to learn to get some thicker skin and toughen up

      April 7, 2012 at 6:54 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.