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.”
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Please visit mormon.org or Lds.org if you have sincere questions about the faith. Thank you.
All religions, including Christians, have outrageous/fantastic beliefs. So what? If it puts one in a nice social group that takes care of each other and promotes service to others and good citizenship it can be very beneficial. I'd take Romney's religion any day over a Reverend Wright Christian with Mu slim roots.
Stop calling it a "religion", it's not. It's a cult.
Islam is a religion, Buddhism is a religion, Christianity is a religion. Cults like mormonism and scientology are not.
CNN seems to be engaged in carefully veiled religious demagoguery and hate politics, not journalism. It seems like CNN is running lots of Mormon features lately. Could it be to subtly remind voters, hey this Republican Mitt Romney is not like us, he follows this religion which is very different, even weird, so you should oppose him, for his religious beliefs. Am I wrong? Then look at the photo. Would CNN run an unflattering photo like that of a Muslim cleric in a story about Islam? Of course not.
CNN wants thousands of people to read its articles. And by the posts/hits here, it looks like they've succeeded. People like their own religion and then condemn others for their beliefs. We went through this with Kennedy and Catholicism in the 60s. Lieberman not too long ago. We are going to do it with a woman running for President. We are doing it now with someone who happens to not be of the Protestant/Evangelical tradition but a Mormon faith experience. Would Americans elect a Muslim, a Jew, a woman, a non-believer? We seem to angle our elections for moderal evangelical/protestants as they capture a majority. What happens when a Hispanic Catholic runs? A Buddhist from Los Angeles? A Mason from Virginia? A Deist from Virginia? A secularist? CNN ought to host a panel of scholars to talk about this interesting feature. Politics are changing. Obama proved that. H. Clinton came close. Will Romney break another barrier or will people like those posting here disqualify him for the faith experience he has adhered to? What if he truly can correct our economy? Will our bigotry have eroded us even further?
The reaction is because Mormonism is NOT a religion. Americans' know that. It's a cult founded by a pedophile.
I was part of that cult for 8 years and believe anyone who is deeply involved in it is not mentally sound. That includes Mittens, "the cultist mormon", Romney.
It's incredible how quick some are to attack what they don't understand. A couple responses: One, Mormons are Christian as we fully accept the literal Bible as the Word of God and Christ as our only means of salvation. We do not base our beliefs on the Creeds written hundreds of years after the Bible, we go to the source itself. That is where many of the ideological differences come from. Two, if you really want to understand what we believe, such as how we believe the Book of Mormon confirms doctrines taught in the Bible and strengthens our faith, please go to mormon.org. The site is really well put together and can answer all of your questions (live chat included). Have a great day :)
Chris, Mormons aren't Christians. The Mormon Church teaches that Jesus and Satan were both sons of God and that the God of this world, who is normally called Elohim, is one among many Gods. Either of those two beliefs would mark Mormons as non-Christian, let alone both. Non-Christian isn't an insult, by the way.
Chris F. I don't need to go to a web site to learn about the cult of mormon. I was a member of the church for 8 years and left due to their poor treatment of all minorities and women. It's a fact that are more gay closeted self-loathing mormons than I can count. Mittens Romney is a cultist.
Chris, I used to be a mormon and I praise God that I left that cult! It teaches so many things that are contrary to Scripture. Where in the Bible does it say that God is married? I know that mormons believe that as I used to be one. Where in the Bible does it say that our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, is the brother of satan? Nowhere!
Where does it say that we can all become gods and create our own planets? Nowhere! Scripture tell us in Deuteronomy 4:35 (King James) "Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him."
I urge you to please leave that cult, become a true believer in Christ and join a Bible-believing church before it's too late! Please!
Steve in MA. In the book of John, Christ definied Christians this way: "By this shall all men know ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." All of the other "criteria" you try to add are not "Biblical."
Sorry, Jason, I'd have to say that while that is a mark of a Christian, or follower of Christ, it is not a definition. Meaning that it is necessary, but not sufficient. You need to get into dogma or doctrines such as the doctrine of the Trinity to properly define Christians versus non-Christian groups.
Thanks for your great responses guys :) It's good to see everyone isn't trolling on this site (except for everyone calling us a cult). I spent two years of my life serving the Lord in France (I'm 21 and I just got back a few months ago). I feel confident when I say that all of the doctrines of the Mormon church are found in the Bible in some context or stated quite explicitly. It all comes down to interpretation, which many claim never happens as the doctrines were decided by post-Christ era scholars years ago. Anyone who reads the Bible is free to interpret it's words as they may, the Holy Ghost is what will confirm the truth of what you're reading to you. That why there are many Theology majors today that still persist in atheism. I'm sorry that you guys left the church, but I'm happy that you understand that everyone has the right to freedom of religion and don't feel persecuted as such. We believe that we are all literal sons and daughters of God, Christ included. Christ serves as God of this world under the direction of the Father and the Holy Ghost is witness of this truth. Christ accepted our pains and suffering to save us from a difficult world and to allow us to return to our Father in Heaven once again. Satan wished to destroy the plan so he was cast out of Heaven as you can read in Revelations 22: 16. Revelations and Isaiah are great sources for unadulterated truth that many have trouble understanding and usually skip over. This is one of the reasons we believe a living prophet is so important for the world today. He is nothing more than a man, but with him we can better understand God and our relationship with him. I love my savior Jesus Christ with all my heart and I'm sure that those who search sincerely will see this and understand why those of the LDS faith believe whole heatedly we are Christian in every way :)
Of course, Mitt Romney side-stepped Tim Russert's question. If Mitt Romney visits my neck of the woods, I would ask him point-blank why he remained a member of the mormon cult while he was aware that African-American males weren't allowed in the priesthood.
Silence implies agreement.
America will NOT have a cultist mormon as POTUS. Not ever. Once average Americans learn more about this twisted "religion", they'll either stick with Obama or stay away from voting.
I won't stick with Obama. I was stupid enough to vote for him in '08, but not again. I'm going to vote for Santorum is he's still in the race by the time my state has its primary. If he's not, then this will be my very first Presidential election I will sit out.
Don't Americans want a President who can bring about peace and prosperity, here and abroad? Seems like voters will vote their pocketbook. Are you suggesting that Americans won't elect a Jew, an atheist, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Taoist?
Mormons are called crazy for some of their beliefs yet most christians believe Moses talked to a bush and Jonah was swallowed by a whale!!!!!!!!?????? Wow.
Right buddy. Thats why Smith and the lds were run out of Nauvoo in 1840..
You have the balls to question the Bible when you blindly follow the book of mormon and its false prophecy?
"You have the balls to question the Bible"
Why yes, I do.
Come in, Planet Kolob.
Calling Planet KOLOB.
What? NO PLANET KOLOB?
Hello God. I said hello. HELLO! HEY! YO!
Hmmmmm, must be asleep or something.
Mormons are awesome!
Gee, so was Jim Jones, L Ron Hubbard and their ilk...
I know that Jesus Christ is pained by most of these comments. This is his Church. We do not believe in Christ? The name of our Church is The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints. It is not the Mormon Church or the Mormon Temple they belong to Him. Go to LDS.org to find the truth before you blasphemy Jesus Christ.
Please read numerous passages in Matthew along with Deuteronomy 18:20.
God has a special place for false prophets and their followers...
"Please read numerous passages in Matthew along with Deuteronomy 18:20."
Com'n, at least recommend some current fiction.
I used to think the Mormon Church was just goofy but now I think they are scary with all their mingling in politics and spending millions of $$ to legislate their dogma!
Love the pic of the elder – are Mormons doing that now in church? They try so hard to be seen as evangelical Christians.
They try, but America is on to their BS...
The The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church I know of that is structured the same way Christ's church was. Go anywhere in the world and you will get the same lessons out of the same manuals no matter the teacher. It gets flack because it was not created the same way as other religions. We believe God called a Prophet to restore His church for the last time. Many people didn't believe in Noah, Moses, Abraham or even Jesus Christ himself. There were many who hated them and had no desire to listen to them. Why am I not surprised to read such hatred and misunderstanding exists today towards those who strive to follower Christ and believe in a Modern Prophet today. Go to lds.org. If your going to bash someone because of their faith then study up on what they teach.
Check out Deuteronomy 18:20 and read about false prophets...
Ma'am, Christian America has no need to go to lds.org to read up on the lds.
We are fully aware of what mormons stand for.
And America soundly rejects it...
Mormonism is a CUL, founded by a man who married a 14 year old girl (making him a pedophile). It is NOT a church.
"Check out Deuteronomy 18:20 and read about false prophets..."
And while you're on non-fiction, read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it's a nail bitter.
Every religion is a cult...
Biologixco, seems to me that you ought to honor the woman's request to check out her website. It seems unChristian to reject her when she is asking for your patience and understanding. Why are America's Christians exhibiting behavior toward others that Christ would reject? He was the Master of Charity. He lifted up the weary, the down trodden, the lame, the sick. I fear that your response to this Mormon who professes faith in the same Christ you claim to adhere to is not becoming of you as an adherant of the Savior. I am just suggesting that you thank her for the information and then spend some time learning about what makes her happy and content in her belief.
Not so much hate as we find the faith unbelievable as literally something that cannot be believd. You may believe and that is fine for you but the notion that anyone who does not believe your way hates you is beyonds balief. We don't spend the energy, we don't care what you believe and would just be grateful if you quit coming to our door and trying to convert us. funny I didn't know you guys did it till we moved to our new home since then we have had 4 pairs of people in about a year ringing the bell and trying to save our souls. But you are not alone the Jehova witnesses and the Southern Baptists have been putting out the effort as well.
Not true. Jehovah Witness' share the same faith and teachings worldwide. Go to any kingdom hall in the world and every one has the same Bible, literature, structure, and beliefs.
It's beyond me why to be a Mormon an hide your faith from the public is strange secret rooms an to justifie it by saying it's sacred an not secret, that bolder dash to use say it nicely. Why would you want to hide Jesus Christ or what ever name they call him our savoir. My take on it it's all about money, I wonder how many poor people are members????????????????
St. Xavier, what other organized religions take money from their adherants? What religion or faith experience do you adhere to? You suggest money as a motive for temples. What are the other possibilities? What if Mormons didn't build temples, would the church be less wealthy? That is your argument. You are asserting a Mecca position, only the Mormons have 139 Meccas instead of just one like Muslims do or Catholics.
biologixco and I are endorsing Keith Ellison for President of the United States.
Keith Ellison 2012!!
Mormonism is a cult. There is NO historical evidence for any of its claims.
The word cult in current popular usage usually refers to a new religious movement or other group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre. The word originally denoted a system of ritual practices. The word was first used in the early 17th century denoting homage paid to a divinity and derived from the French culte or Latin cultus, ‘worship’, from cult-, ‘inhabited, cultivated, worshipped,’ from the verb colere, 'care, cultivation'.
Like having 10 wives...planet kolob..etc etc...
That's radicalman! I was under the impression that cult was short for culture,,,,,,,,,,,, MY BAD!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)
The dead do not return to the earthly life after they die, so if you believe that Jesus would return to earthly life then you have to believe what this verse states;
And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah ." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. 4:157
Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.4:158
what was Jesus calling for as told by the Quran;
They have certainly disbelieved who say, " Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers. 5:72
They have certainly disbelieved who say, " Allah is the third of three." And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment. 5:73
So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. 5:74
The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded. 5:75
Say, "Do you worship besides Allah that which holds for you no [power of] harm or benefit while it is Allah who is the Hearing, the Knowing?" 5:76
Say, "O People of the Scripture, do not exceed limits in your religion beyond the truth and do not follow the inclinations of a people who had gone astray before and misled many and have strayed from the soundness of the way." 5:77
And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'" He will say, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. 5:116
I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness. 5:117
If You should punish them – indeed they are Your servants; but if You forgive them – indeed it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. 5:118
Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, "Be," and he was. 3:59
The truth is from your Lord, so do not be among the doubters. 3:60
[The Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favor upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the Pure Spirit and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and [remember] when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you designed from clay [what was] like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission; and you healed the blind and the leper with My permission; and when you brought forth the dead with My permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from [killing] you when you came to them with clear proofs and those who disbelieved among them said, "This is not but obvious magic." 5:110
And [remember] when I inspired to the disciples, "Believe in Me and in My messenger Jesus." They said, "We have believed, so bear witness that indeed we are Muslims [in submission to Allah ]." 5:111
And We did certainly give Moses the Torah and followed up after him with messengers. And We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear proofs and supported him with the Pure Spirit. But is it [not] that every time a messenger came to you, [O Children of Israel], with what your souls did not desire, you were arrogant? And a party [of messengers] you denied and another party you killed. 2:87
Those messengers – some of them We caused to exceed others. Among them were those to whom Allah spoke, and He raised some of them in degree. And We gave Jesus, the Son of Mary, clear proofs, and We supported him with the Pure Spirit. If Allah had willed, those [generations] succeeding them would not have fought each other after the clear proofs had come to them. But they differed, and some of them believed and some of them disbelieved. And if Allah had willed, they would not have fought each other, but Allah does what He intends. 2:253
Say, "We have believed in Allah and in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Descendants, and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [submitting] to Him." 3:84
They say, "Be Jews or Christians [so] you will be guided." Say, "Rather, [we follow] the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth, and he was not of the polytheists." 2:135
Say, [O believers], "We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him." 2:136
So if they believe in the same as you believe in, then they have been [rightly] guided; but if they turn away, they are only in dissension, and Allah will be sufficient for you against them. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing. 2:37
Q/Verses about Jesus;
And We did certainly give Moses the Torah and followed up after him with messengers. And We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear proofs and supported him with the Pure Spirit. But is it [not] that every time a messenger came to you, [O Children of Israel], with what your souls did not desire, you were arrogant? And a party [of messengers] you denied and another party you killed.2:87
And they said, "Our hearts are wrapped." But, [in fact], Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so little is it that they believe.2:88
And when Jesus brought clear proofs, he said, "I have come to you with wisdom and to make clear to you some of that over which you differ, so fear Allah and obey me. 43:63
Indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This is a straight path."43:64
But the denominations from among them differed [and separated], so woe to those who have wronged from the punishment of a painful Day.43:65
And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, "O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad." But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, "This is obvious magic."61:6
And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allah untruth while he is being invited to Islam. And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.61:7
They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it.61:8
It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion, although those who associate others with Allah dislike it.61:9
O you who have believed, be supporters of Allah , as when Jesus, the son of Mary, said to the disciples, "Who are my supporters for Allah ?" The disciples said, "We are supporters of Allah ." And a faction of the Children of Israel believed and a faction disbelieved. So We supported those who believed against their enemy, and they became dominant.61:14
Just sounds like: "blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
Islam is in the same boat as scientology and the lds. One big cult.
Do you honestly think anybody is going to read a post that long?
And they said, "Our hearts are wrapped." But, [in fact], Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so little is it that they believe.2:88
Why not if you take it one at the time...I made separation between each sura...I know it is long but you guys are fast going and if I put a verse or sura each time it will be like cross words to you...thanks
let's see the holy underwear!
You don't think it was bought at Victoria's Secret or Fredrick's of Hollywood do you? Probably best to leave well alone.
When will civilizations come to the awareness that God is not within mankind's churches? When will you come to terms with the Truth about Godliness Domains? When will the prophets of today's Time understand the whereabouts of God's Buildings and reason out the Truths that are conceiled in scriptures?
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.