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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. Pipe-Dreamer

    Same ol same ol line of crapola coming from the ilks of pandermania; all wanting to chip away at a closet Christian's awakening moments of visionary works! Blame the crippled emotionalists for theirs is most abundant and in need of castration!

    April 7, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you wrongly assume that anyone who doesn't believe in an imaginary being is emotionally crippled. that shows how limited your imagination is.

      try thinking for yourself, you won't regret it.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • YeahOk

      I seriously think you swallowed to much bong water.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Bootyfunk, wrote on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 10:35 pm, stating, "you wrongly assume that anyone who doesn't believe in an imaginary being is emotionally crippled. that shows how limited your imagination is. try thinking for yourself, you won't regret it."

      Where in my Word have I ever said, "an imaginary being"? Just because the ilk like you are so hellbent to reprioritize God to being but an illusion is a fruitless aspiration unworthy of being discussed and propogated without you instilling words of witt that befuddles the learned and taught by God's principalities in covetousness' creeds. I will not waste my time praying for your louseness,,,,,,,,,, May your days be ever full of it!

      April 7, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      i urge you not to waste time praying at all. go out and do something with your life instead. you'll be a better person for it. for instance, i volunteer one sunday a month with a project that feeds the homeless. a much better way to help people than going to cult meetings or praying to invisible friends for help.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • YeahOk

      "an imaginary being"?

      Well, it does seem to fit the bill.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      YeahOk said to me saying, "I seriously think you swallowed to much bong water."

      Sorry YeahOk, I don't own any bong pipes. :-(

      April 7, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  2. Joe

    One thing you'll never see on a LDS church nor temple is a cross.

    April 7, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • YeahOk

      Why is the cross such an important sign of faith?

      April 7, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      because it's an instrument of torture and death. and christianity is just a death cult, pretending to eat flesh and drink blood.

      “If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago,
      Catholic school children would be wearing
      little electric chairs around their necks
      instead of crosses.”

      - Lenny Bruce

      April 7, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Brian

      Reason for no cross... Mormons don't condone idolatry. It's the Atonement of Christ Mormon's revere, not the Crucifixion.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  3. Bootyfunk

    For 150 years The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints (commonly known as the "Mormon Church" or "The LDS Church", or, better, The Mormon Faith), denied it's Holy Priesthood and the higher ordinances of Mormon Temples to people of Hamitic (black African) lineage; with only a few exceptions. The reason given for 150 years by Church leaders was that black Africans are the descendants of Cain, the firstborn son of Adam and Eve, and Cain was cursed with a denial of the Priesthood upon himself and his descendants until the slain Abel was resurrected, had children, and all of his descendants were granted the Priesthood first; because Cain had killed Abel in an attempt to retrieve his lost birthright (lost because of an unworthy sacrifice offering) to Abel. For 150 years this was put forth as official Church doctrine and policy. A few exceptions to this rule were made. Elijah Abel, an early black Mormon who was a personal friend and adopted brother to the Prophet Joseph Smith, and his male descendants were ordained to the Priesthood. Also, Walker Lewis, a black Mormon living in Lowell, Massachusetts, was ordained to the Priesthood, but he never joined the Saints in Utah.

    In June of 1978, LDS Church President Spencer W. Kimball received a Revelation from the LORD whereby the Priesthood-ban (as it had become known) was lifted; allowing worthy black men (of Hamitic lineage) to be ordained, and allowing Hamite members of the Church the higher (most important) ordinances in Mormon Temples.

    that right, until 1978, blacks were not allowed to be priests. yep, 13 years after blacks were won the right to vote. it an embarrassing fact for mormons today, which is why they try to deny/avoid it.

    April 7, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.[37]

      You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind....Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race-that they should be the "servant of servants;" and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree. How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof.[38]

      Brigham Young

      April 7, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Jason

      It is true that there were a few African American men early on in the church who held the priesthood.... laters others didn't. The reasons for this are not entirely clear. Perhaps the LDS people themselves were not yet ready of this degree of inclusinveness.... Regardless, in 1978, this "ban" was lifted.

      Also as part of this discussion, it is important to discuss the fact that Mormons are staunchly anti-slavery, and in fact were murdered and driving from Missouri by the thousands in the 1800's because they refused to condone slavery. As always.... there is frequently "more to the story."

      April 7, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      staunchly anti-slavery? are you nuts. guess you didn't read the whole post. young said:

      "Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race-that they should be the "servant of servants;" and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree."

      they SUPPORTED slavery, just like the rest of the christians.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Dave

      "they SUPPORTED slavery, just like the rest of the christians."

      Just like the rest of the Christians? So what religion do you think those who opposed slavery were?

      April 7, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  4. not chosen

    Happy Easter!
    GOOD NEWS and BAD NEWS

    first the good news......Jesus has returned to earth

    now, the bad news.......he is not planning on visiting Salt Lake

    April 7, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      tell him not to come to my city either, pls. no more crazy cult leaders, pls.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • YeahOk

      He can come to my city, as long as he promises to do that walking on water thing. That would be so totally awesome.

      I can do without the zombie thing though.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • ignorance

      And more good news! Jesus is not visiting you either!

      April 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  5. Pilgrim1

    Proof positive that Mormon's aren't Christian!

    April 7, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Michael

      Right, because Christians don't believe in temples!

      Oh, wait, except for Jesus.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Pilgrim1

      It only takes one look at the calf sticking out of the "baptismal font" in the photo above to prove to every Christian out there that Mormon's are not Christian. Simple and straightforward!

      April 7, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Jason

      Pilgrim... the baptisimal font in the temples today are patterned after that anciently in the temple of Solomon... you might want to go back and read your Bible... complete with description of the basin of water being on the backs of twelve oxen, etc..... pretty interesting stuff.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • TO30

      That's not a calf. It's an ox. There are 12 of them and they represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Someone didn't actually read the article or know anything about Mormons.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  6. Saber

    Mormons? I think that word is spelled with too many "M's"! Salt Lake City, UT is the promised land? Hmm a salt lake, and a salt flat, the surrounding soil is not good for any type of agriculture because its too SALTY! And t Saint Buck Jones, Joe Smith, Joe Johnson, or who-ever said, "Hey this is the spot!" Really, 7 Wives? I can barely afford the one I have! But 7! Like I said, spelled with too many "M's"! The only redeeming factor about that area is Wendover! At least you can go there and watch the Bonneville Land Speed Records! Now that's Cool! Nuff Said!

    April 7, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Andrew

      Maybe I should find some golden tablets in my backyard....

      April 7, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • mark

      And yet, the early saints wer able to make that desert bloom.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @mark

      proof?

      April 7, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Lyman Wight

      It was Brigham Young, in July of 1847. Joseph Smith had been murdered three years prior. The Mormons were driven out of fertile settlements in Missouri and Illinois, so they deliberately chose, or as they would have it, God chose for them, an apparently barren land that no one else would want. It worked out all right for them, as their system of irrigation made the desert soil productive. This was, in every case within the Great Basin, at elevations at least slightly higher than the salt flats immediately surrounding the Great Salt Lake.

      April 9, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  7. RBSG

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

    You forgot the part about the secret handshakes, the secret names, and...the special underwear.

    Should change its name to the Mormasons.

    April 7, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • db

      Obviously you know little about either group. Educate yourself before making yourself look stupid.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  8. Pipe-Dreamer

    I am in love with the perceptions of God no matter others' disgruntaling natures. Such disgruntalisms are for the challenged to ever gather together and gestate upon the Godly believers of the Gospel and nits' teachings. Bark at me if you must. I am not afraid of being mocked and made fun of by those of you that have yet to really realy understand God, His Sons and Daughters of Wisdoms' ways. We, together are a lot all racing thru the Celestial Cosmos upon a rock that meanders along in an orbital velocity beyond the comprehensions of many folks. God's courts of judgments will have their day with all of us, believers or not! Scoff if you must! You have the right here and now to so do!

    April 7, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      and you have the right to avoid facing the truth. yay ignorance!

      April 7, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • YeahOk

      Gotta love people who believe so strongly about things with zero proof, but "seems to fit the bill".

      Hey detective, we have a dead body here, do you think that Pipe-Dreamer did it? Yeah, that seems to fit the bill. Guilty!

      April 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  9. maggotfist

    WOW,...that picture of the guy cackling really sums it up for a looney fringe group of a larger looney concept.
    Religion- such a crazy concept.

    April 7, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      i was thinking the same thing. if there was a thought bubble on this guy, it would say:
      "woohoo! i'm rich! keep coming, you non-thinking sheep! keep giving me your money! woohoo!"

      April 7, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • mb

      Im glad you're the say all end all in the matter. Thanks for clearing that up for me. opinions are like butt holes, everyone has one and they all stink. oh, next time you have a bad picture taken of you give me a call so I can make fun of you

      April 7, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • mark

      It would probably surprise you that Elder Walker, like all who serve in LDS church positions, receives not a dime for his service.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Michael

      That's right. Happiness is a sure-fire indicator of craziness.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @mark

      apparently it would surprise you more to find out how much money he's scammed off his sheep followers.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  10. PhilaVarsity

    Jason, if I believe that Salvation is only though Christ and believe i the Book of Mormon can I say that I (and my followers) are LDS?

    April 7, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you can both say you are members of a cult.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • david esmay

      You can say what ever you want, bs is bs, is bs.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • PhilaVarsity

      neither of you are Mormons. I want to hear from them.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Jason

      Latter-Day Saint usually means one who has been baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I would not refer to you as a "Latter-day Saint" unless you were a member of the church.

      I would be happy to call you a Christian. I would be happy to call you a Christian who believes in the Book of Mormon. I would even be happy to call you a non-LDS Mormon.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • ShellBell

      PhilaVarsity, being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is more than just believing in the plan of Salvation and believing that the Book of Mormon is companion scripture to the Bible. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that there are ordinances that are necessary for Salvation. The first principles and ordinances of the gospel are first, faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, second repentance, third baptism by immersion for the remission of sin, and fourth laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost (4th Article of Faith). We believe that to be a member of the church that we need to be baptized and confirmed a member of the church by priesthood authority. When these ordinances are done with the proper priesthood authority than you are a member of the church. To learn more, go to Mormon.org.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • CraigW

      I'm 43 years old, and have been a member of the church for only 4 years. I grew up as a Lutheran, had a girlfriend that was Jehovas Witness; so I've seen the other side of things when it comes to religion. I always remembered the negative thoughts I once had about the LDS, and the missionaries coming to my door. My previous employers are members of the church, and always invited me to services on Sunday. It took a very bad accident for me to humble myself enough to listen to them. After listening to them, I began to understand that "Hey, thats what I've always believed." I'm still learning, and have been to the temple. It is a beautiful experience. Most of all... I know with my faith I can say that when the end comes; I will be better off with having my faith that God is my creator, than going forward in disbelief and denial and only come to find out then that there is a God to answer to.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Lyman Wight

      I have to disagree with Jason here. I think that anyone who believes in the Book of Mormon has a claim to the name "Latter-day Saint." The LDS Church as based in Salt Lake City accounts for the vast majority of LDS. However, there are apparently a couple of hundred thousand members of the "Community of Christ," formerly known as the "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." More recently, there are the "Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," and The New Organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; in each case conservative break-offs from the "Community of Christ." Much older is the church set up by William Bickerton in the wake of his disagreement with Brigham Young, namely the "Church of Jesus Christ," although about 90 years it, too, used the name "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." All of these organizations have good people within them and by all appearances sincere leaders. That is arguably not true of the polygamous groups, most if not all of which also like to use the "Latter-day Saint" name. But the total membership of all these splinters does not amount to more than about 3% of membership total of the Church headquartered in Salt Lake City.

      April 9, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Lyman Wight

      Reply to Craig W - thanks for your comment. Your perspective is what is missing from much of this argument: the fact that everything that the Church teaches is beautiful and positive. Everyone I know who has made a sincere effort to live by its standards who has not been better for the experience.

      April 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  11. Pipe-Dreamer

    Bootyfunk wrote on Saturday April 7, 2012 at 9:05 pm, stating under my posting stating, "sounds like you need to take some basic science classes. the world is 6k years old? that has been proven false by a number of scientific disciplines. you really think there were never any such thing as dinosaurs and that "god" just magicked up their bones to test us? if you believe that, go get a frontal lobotomy – you're not using your brain anyway."

    Nowhere in any of my posts have I ever said this earthened world is 6,000 years old!!! You must be mixing me up with Christendoms' lollygaggers who don't know a quark from an electron! I am a firmed believer that Creation needs a Creator and God seems to fit the bill. As for Creation today's scientists cannot fathom the very innumerable amounts of universes within this Cosmos of dimensional relatives. On the other hand, todays' timeline regrading particle physics was thought about thousands of years ago by Greek and Roman philosophers. The only things that changed from then till now are the names.

    April 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • YeahOk

      "I am a firmed believer that Creation needs a Creator and God seems to fit the bill."

      Ahhhh, I see. No proof, but why the hell not believe. Sounds good to me.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "seems to fit the bill" LOL.

      we should conduct scientific research that way:
      "should we go ahead with the experiment? nah, i'll just take a guess that it's magic."
      that's just lazy. use your brain, follow reason and logic and you get the truth, not by guessing. and really? it fits the bill? really? evolution doesn't provide a much more satisfying and realistic explanation for the diversity of life on this planet? the mountains of evidence that back up evolution means nothing to you? take an anthropology class.

      and i apologize if you are not a Creationist. thought you said you were. Creationists believe the world is 6k years old. if you are not a Creationist and just the regular run-of-the-mill christian, then you still believe in ridiculousness – that the world was created through magic. so at the end of the day, not sure it matters.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Proof of God is not for the weak in mind's eyes. My faith in there being a God of Creation will not need to be attested to nor strewn by low flying tentacles needing to be cut off from God's Holiness! I am a closet Christian and abhor many of mankind's churches for their indignations regarding the TRUE CHURCH which is all of Life's bodies! You of little to no Faith are as wolves all ready to pounce upon the strong wills of the most high God the Father of Creation and His Sons who begat all creation from Creation's aftermath!

      April 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the faithless pounce on ignorance. if you believe in god, whether you go to church or not, you are ignorant.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • YeahOk

      The earth is flat? Yeah, that seems right. Earth is flat – Fact!

      Heavier objects fall faster than lighter objects? Yeah, that seems right. Heavier objects fall faster – Fact!

      "the TRUE CHURCH which is all of Life's bodies! " Hmmmm? Tough call.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Bootyfunk,,,, Laugh about the bill if you must but someone is gonna have to pay for it! Maybe you, maybe not. The principalities of Godliness does ever bemoan the indignascious leaving entrails of the scroundrels footwork of meaningless dribble. People of your stature are the unwilling and one can only hope for your sakes that God will be merciful and send your soul back to His Holy Spirit to do the works of the challenged.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • YeahOk

      "Laugh about the bill if you must"

      Oh, we will. That was a pathetic argument. Fail.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      if i go to heaven, i'll miss all my friends.

      and let me humor you. if there is a god, and it's the christian god, i would have questions for him. like how can you call yourself good after killing the first born children in egypt. killing children is EVIL. therefore Yahweh is evil. imagine that. someone (the pharoah) doesn't do what you want (release the Jews), so you kill everyone's first born child in that country as punishment. does that sound like the act of a benevolent god? sounds like a what an evil dictator would do. so if there is a christian god, he has a lot to answer for and i'm gonna stick it to him.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • YeahOk

      @Bootyfunk

      You know, my whole thing with that Moses thing, is why, if God wanted so badly for the Jews to be free, why didn't God just appear to the Pharaoh instead of Moses, and say look dude, the Jews are leaving now; you got a problem with that? Course he could have just said abracadabra and made them disappear, and reappear somewhere else. I think there are really a million different ways it could have been handled better.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Bootyfunk,,,,,

      "Do not tempt the LORD God of Creation and His Son's misuse of Creations' living creations." God could care less with His Sons and Daughters creations of life here upon this rock amid the mainstreams of Celestial grandness in mighty Cosmological Proportions that we will never fully see or fathom with certainty!

      April 7, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • db

      Man cannot fathom infinity but it is still there. Man cannot fathom a billion but Obama can spend a trillion, what gives.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @YeahOK

      exactly. christians have to come up with v.ague answers to hard questions like that one. "derp-d-derp, you just don't understand god." cause if we did, we'd understand how it's actually a good thing to murder children....?

      April 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • YeahOk

      "Man cannot fathom infinity but it is still there."

      You're not using that as an argument as proof of a god are you?

      April 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 7, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • YeahOk

      Bet the next child who dies from hunger after prayer for food would disagree.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      prayer is a waste of time. get up off your knees, realize you are inherently a horrible person and go outside and do something with your life. you won't regret it.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      typo, meant to say NOT an inherently evil person (as taught by christianity.)

      April 7, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • maggotfist

      "God" prefers kind Atheists over hateful Christians.
      Im not saying you are,..Im just saying Brother,-Peace.
      -An Atheist

      April 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  13. disgraceful

    I hope those here making negative and ignorant comments never produce offspring. That scares me!

    April 7, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Unfortunately, that's why Rome is against birth control.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  14. Pipe-Dreamer

    Bootyfunk wrote on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 9:16 pm @pipe-dreamer, " i challenge you to show how Humanism doesn't have a superior ethical system to that offered by christianity. christianity supports all sorts of disgusting "moral" behaviors, like killing g.a.y.s, disobedient wives and children, anyone who works on the sabbath (so kill everyone who works at the mall or a restaurant on the weekend), etc. the bible is one of the most heinous and disgusting books ever written. so compare Humanism and christianity on ethical behavior, i dare you."

    Wherein have I sided with this world's Christendoms' man-made churches? For, the TRUE Churches are our bodies and all of Life's bodies created by the Sons of God and made manifest upon this realm's celestial shores of terrestrial lands and seas and airs. God could care less about His Sons' creations falterings and flailings at each others' throats! 1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building. Even the masses who attend mankinds' churches are not wise to such a verse as this one.

    April 7, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • YeahOk

      Pipe-Dreamer has yet to provide proof of his god.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The moron has yet to prove he himself is a sentient being.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      of course, you didn't rise to the challenge. you rail Humanism, but have yet to show how Humanism is bad in any way. so again, in what way is Humanism NOT superior to christianity in its ethics. the challenge stands.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  15. ericreleasedorothy

    FACTS about the Mormons:
    1) Polygamy will be commonly practiced in the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom.
    2) Our race and nationality assignment on this earth was based upon our valiancy in the pre-existence.
    3)The "church of the devil" are all churches except the LDS church.
    4) Blacks were the least valiant in the pre-existence and, therefore, are the most inferior race with the lowest opportunities on this earth.
    5) It is against God's will to practice birth control.
    6) Righteous saints tend to be wealthy because God blesses them with prosperity.
    7) In the near future, the U.S. Government will collapse and the LDS church will be instrumental in saving it.
    8) In the near future, many LDS saints will be called to go to Missouri to build a large city called the "New Jerusalem."
    9) Some sins can only be atoned for by the taking of the perpetrator's own life.
    10)Dinosaur bones and other ancient fossils came from materials in space that were used in the construction of this planet.
    11) The prophet and apostles regularly meet in person with Jesus Christ in the temple.
    12) Natural disasters are often purposely caused by God as punishment for lack of obedience.
    13) Native American skin will become lighter when they turn to the gospel and are obedient to the commandments.
    14) Satan is in control of the water which makes it dangerous for missionaries and other saints to swim and recreate in or on water.

    And the best...Adam wasn't really Adam to start...He was Michael, and was only given "Adam" after he was worthy enough to have his own world.
    God was once a man, and men can eventually become Gods.

    April 7, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • N&W 1000

      Get an original copy of the Book of Mormon, THAT is where you will find the racist stuff.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • mb

      Well crap! My wife is taking birth control pills and we're both mormons. I guess we're going to Hell.....OR it could be that you have noooo idea what your talking about. Seriously, your list is not correct. Oh my wife is also a minority and im white so I guess we're twice as screwed now...dang it!!!

      April 7, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • ericreleasedorothy

      Umm...I LIVE in Salt Lake City, Utah. I KNOW all about the Mormons.

      Nice try to deflect. You must not reside here.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • N&W 1000

      Joseph Smith DID promise the American Indians that their dark and loathsome skins would turn white and delightsome if they would believe the Mormon story.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      And the best...Adam wasn't really Adam to start...He was Michael, and was only given "Adam" after he was worthy enough to have his own world.

      LOL. that's the best? you're arguing about what name a made up figure that never existed had? LOL.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • ericreleasedorothy

      N&W 1000 – You are indeed correct. This was also preached to African's and African-American's up until the 1970's when a "revelation" allowed them to hold the priesthood.

      MB – either you are a troll or you don't even KNOW your OWN doctrine. Study and then respond. Thanks!

      April 7, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • ericreleasedorothy

      Bootyfunk – That was more to address the claim that Mormons are "Christians' with "Christian" beliefs.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      mormons are christians with christian beliefs. they just added a little more dribble to it.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • mb

      Ummm, I actually was born in Utah and visit frequently. I still have family there. More importantly, I actually attend Mormon church services and have the lesson manuals and im not deflecting, youre just full of crap. Its that simple. I think 14 million others will back me up on this. Nice try though

      April 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • ericreleasedorothy

      mb – It's obvious you don't know your religion or are indeed a troll.

      You mentioned "Hell." IF you were Mormon, you would know that Hell doesn't exist for Mormons. There are levels of Heaven, NO Hell, and the lowest level (7 if I remember correctly) of Heaven is the same as Hell and it is just like being here on Earth. You want to be in the highest level, which is the Celestial Kingdom, where you and your two wives are Gods of your own planet and your wives spend eternity having spirit children to populate your own world. Being in the highest level allows you to "visit" the lower levels but they can't visit you.

      Now, go read up on your own doctrine and reply when you can really discuss what you actually believe.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • ericreleasedorothy

      Bootyfunk – They aren't Christians. One of the main reasons is that they don't believe that Jesus died and atoned for our sins. Their "Jesus" is not the Christian "Jesus". Nor do they believe in the Holy Trinity.

      When they talk about the "Bible," it is Joseph Smith's "translation" of the Bible and is only to be used for reference. The next time I am at a bookstore here Salt Lake, I'll have to photograph this. I was stunned the first time I saw it.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • mb

      Sooo...let me get this straight.....you tell me I dont know my own doctorine even though ive been a Mormon my entire life and served as a full time missionary for 2 years and attended early morning seminary before highscool started every day for 4 years but because you live in Utah, you know more than me??? Whose deflecting???? Oh wait, ive been horribly brain washed and I have losg the capacity to think for myself, right? No, im just tired of d_bags like you who think they know more about my faith than I do because you read a blog or did a google search. Your list is inaccurate. there isnt a single thing on your list thats correct and unlike you, im actually qualified to say that. Again, a perfect example is the fact that im a faithful but poor Mormon in an interracial marriage whose wife takes birth control pills and unlike you, all of my claims are true.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      sorry, not true. they believe mostly the same c.r.a.p. they believe in heaven, angels, jesus, god, etc etc. christians hate that mormons are christians, but they are. look at the difference between christianity and buddhism. now that's lots of differences. look at the differences between christianity and mormonism. not much...

      April 7, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • ericreleasedorothy

      mb – Was that your "testimony??"

      Actually, I do feel bad for you. If you took the time to study and research your religion and history, you would see indeed that my list is correct. I can't say I'm surprised. It amazes me how many Mormon's don't know their own doctrine. Maybe that's where the whole "Milk before the meat" comes into play.

      Again, I will encourage you to study up on your beliefs before you start to try and call me out.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • ericreleasedorothy

      Bootyfunk – Agreed, there are similarities, but I think the main tenants are disparate enough to say that Mormon's aren't Christian.

      I have no issue with the religion or being Mormon. I have issues with Mormon's saying they are Christian.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • mb

      Really? we're going to go at this all night? I have to get up early tomorrow so ill make thus quick. Im not a troll, whatever that is. I know more about MY faith than you claim to. Mormons do believe in celestial, terestial and telestial degrees of glory but thats about all you got right. We do believe in Hell, its more commonly refered to as outer darkness in our faith but Hell is just not being in gods presence for eternity. to any Christian, that would be Hell. I dont have more than one wife and I dont want more than one. Id go crazy. Im tired and im going to bed and I know that nothing ive said will convince you youre wrong which is sad actually because it looks like im not the brainwashed one.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • ericreleasedorothy

      mb – just to cover point 1...

      “But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified (D&C 132:63).”

      “And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

      Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them (D&C 132:19-20).”

      That's out of the Book of Mormon – Doctrine and Covenants.

      Happy research!

      April 7, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • ericreleasedorothy

      ...and just a little more...

      "61- And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse aanother, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

      62 – And if he have aten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified."

      D & C 61 and 62

      April 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • JTL

      I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A number of the above "facts" are serious misrepresentations of our religious beliefs. Please see the official church website for correct information about church doctrine.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • ericreleasedorothy

      JTL – Those are indeed your beliefs...or has Monson changed those recently due to a "revelation" from God?

      As I have stated repeatedly, please research Mormon history and doctrine before saying what I stated isn't true.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Lyman Wight

      I have issues with a claim of authority about someone else's beliefs when the person in question cannot even spell the word "tenets" correctly, or form a proper plural. (Hint: no apostrophe is involved in the plural of Mormon or Christian.)

      I have inadequate time to address your various points, but as one example you cannot find anything in any LDS scripture to the effect that dinosaur bones were brought here from some other planet. That may very well have been the personal opinion of some Church members, but it never was adopted as doctrine. Brigham Young University maintains an extensive collection of dinosaur bones, and displays them in an appropriate scientific context. The collection is managed (and constately expanded) by astute paleontologists who are active Church members. They would laugh at your suggestion - without the slightest worry about any threat to their Church membership.

      April 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  16. Tonya

    I was raised Mormon. I stopped going to church when I got too big for my parents to force me into the car – about seventeen, I guess. I personally participated in many proxy baptisms. As a teenager, I thought It was creepy and surreal. As an adult, I still think its creepy but also incredibly offensive. I feel very sad for Mormons who truly believe in their faith (it is shoved down their throats at a very early age). My life is much better without the fear and guilt (and male dominance and money) that underscores their entire organization.

    April 7, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • disgraceful

      I feel sad for you.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Good for you, Tonya!

      April 7, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Lyman Wight

      If you have a happy life now, that's fine. But at some point you may come to feel that you missed out on something better than your current freedom from "male dominance and money." Actually I don't even know what you're referring to. From my perspective, the women are the real power in the Church.... and less is said about money in LDS meetings than in most other churches. They don't even pass the plate to collect offerings.

      April 9, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  17. N&W 1000

    Some LDS missionaries once told me that the King James Version of the Bible was filled with errors, missing many plain and precious truths, etc...although they could not point our even one such error, I did have a question:

    IF it is so filled with errors, WHY do you give it away for free? WHY do you give away a CORRUPTED book????

    April 7, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • mb

      Ummmm...you obviously aren't familiar with history. Emperor constantine, council of nicea, the number if times the Bible has been translated, etc. this isnt Mormon stuff, this is historically accurate stuff. a lot of the epistles were written by the apostles chastising early Christians for worshipping differently than Christ had taught. So when the apostles and Christ were all gone there was no one around to correct those errors. After a few hundred years, a lot of the original and important truths of christianity were lost or changed. This is why mormons believe their faith is the restored version of Christs church containing all of the things that were lost or changed over centuries. We believe the king James Bible is the most correct version of the Bible since it has been translated the least ammount of times

      April 7, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  18. YeahOk

    @Pipe-Dreamer

    I'm hearing lots of claims, and zero proof. Please tell me you have something more than a book of magic.

    April 7, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      they don't. at the end of the day, "goddidit" is all they can fall back on.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  19. Peterco

    They're not called Mor(m)ons for nothing!!!!

    April 7, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Loggan44

      That kind of comment kind of indicates you are a Mor(m)on. Seriously, repect their right to believe. I am sure you have a lot bigger issues in your life that you could be working on besides calling people Morons. Peace.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Iknowyouknow

      Do you even know anything about the Mormons you ignoramus?

      April 7, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Know What

      Peterco,

      That moron 'joke' is as lame as the April Fools Day one... (and I'm not a great fan of Mormons)

      April 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      atheists respect all believers rights to believe in imaginary being. doesn't mean we can't rail you for it. in fact, i would fight for your right to be an ignorant believer. i really would. you have the right to be a moron if you want to. but religion has worn a bullet proof vest since man invented the idea of god(s). no matter what kind of evil religion does, they will cry if you criticize them for it. sowwy, no more. the bullet proof vest comes off. you now have to answer to evil like your book saying to kill g.a.y.s, disobedient wives and children, etc. the religious have had it so good, they just can't stand anyone questioning them. too bad. i question you. and so do others. society is waking up, which is why church attendance is at an all time low.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  20. N&W 1000

    Check out an original 1820 version of the Book of Mormon, they are difficult to find but worth the trouble.

    In it, you will find where Joseph Smith promised the American Indians that if they would believe the Mormon story, their dark skins would turn "White and delightsome."

    This is why the LDS Church, for many years, had such problems with racism.

    April 7, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Kevin

      When was the last time you saw a mormon in a black neighborhood begging for their 10% of earnings?

      April 7, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hmmm. I believe it was about the same time I saw just lyin actually do anything to help another human.

      That would be: never.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • blackbeard79

      Well, if we're going to assume that people and religions can't change and get smarter over time, let's just arrest all practicing Christians for the atrocities that occurred Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Salem Witch Trials. And as long as we're assuming that people literally interpret every word in their holy book, then we should also call PETA about all those ritual animal sacrifices that Christians perform before going to church.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • K Kammeyer

      I would love to find "an original 1820 version of the Book of Mormon", but there aren't any. It wasn't published until 1830, wingnut. And I DO have a copy of that edition. Compared to the differences in various Bible editions, the changes to the Book of Mormon since 1830 are pretty minimal.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Jason

      There is no 1820 version. The first publication was 1830. I believe your intepretation of many Book of Mormon passages to be flawed. I have a replica of this edition. From it we read: " he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; ... and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile."

      April 7, 2012 at 10:19 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.