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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. biologixco

    Imagine if...
    If the LDS has 137 temples already, and they are going to build 29 more.
    Thats 166 temples.
    Lets imagine that each temple, like that beauty shown here, costs between $10 and $20 million dollars.
    Maybe closer to $10mil in the places you can get away with slave labor.
    So, 166 temples would cost between $1.5 and $3 billion dollars. BILLION!
    Where does all that money come from?
    And wouldn't that go a long long way toward helping others not as fortunate as you?
    Imagine.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • JAFZ

      I would just like to clarify what else The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers in terms of service, from the News/Media website you can read, " In addition to small, personal acts of service, Mormons give large, organized assistance to areas in need. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated more than $1 billion in cash and material assistance to 167 different countries in need of humanitarian aid since it started keeping track in 1985. It sent an airlift of tents, tarps, diapers and other supplies to the areas of Chile hit by the February 2010 earthquake, and two planes with over 80,000 pounds each of food and emergency resources to Haiti in January 2010 due to their catastrophic earthquake. The local, national and international organization of the church allows it to coordinate relief efforts quickly so that food, supplies and workers can arrive when they are needed most.

      The Church does not discriminate based on religious affiliation, ethnicity or nationality. We offer hope and the potential for a life that transcends disease, poverty and despair. It’s all part of God’s plan that we bear each other’s burdens and act as His hands on earth. The Church’s welfare program also helps people in need locally by offering temporary assistance in the form of food, clothing and in the search for employment. Recipients are given the opportunity to work, if possible, in exchange for this assistance."
      This doesn't include the almost 10,000 humanitarian aid missionaries, donations of wheelchairs, measle vaccinations, developing clean water, etc. Might we all find joy in service to others.

      April 11, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Get Real

      biologixco,

      For you, as a Christian...

      They're rubber, you're glue
      Everything you say about them
      Sticks to you.

      ONE example, from over 2000 Christian mega-churches in the U.S.:

      Joel Osteen and his Lakewood Church: In 2008 Lakewood had a $70 million budget, up from $50 million in 2005.

      Lakewood leased the former Compaq center from the city of Houston in 2004 for 60 years, paying $13 million in cash for the first 30 years rent. Then they threw $95 million more in on top of that to try to make the 650,000 square foot building feel like an intimate church. There is wall-to-wall carpet beneath the 14,000 seats. The largest of three jumbotron screens is 32 feet by 18 feet. Twin waterfalls book-end a stage that rises and falls before a circling gold globe and a pulpit.

      http://www.forbes.com/2009/06/26/americas-biggest-megachurches-business-megachurches.html - this article is 4 years old, so undoubtedly the $$ figures are much higher now.

      April 11, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • KCArrowhead

      Imagine if you read, understood, and practiced the 10th commandment...

      April 11, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Dave

      You hit the nail right on the head.
      How can they afford to build this cadillac of a monstrosity on the backs of their members?
      Gaudy, that thing is.

      April 12, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • dcsouthgw

      That's nothing compared to Soloman's temple. All of that money could have gone to needy Israelites, but God commanded it built because houses of worship are needed. There were 7 churches that we know if in the NT, so we know God likes congregations...why do you assume that congregating in worship is bad?

      April 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  2. biologixco

    Wow! What a nice temple!
    The LDS mormon church must be doing pretty well for itself.
    Our little congregation has fallen on hard times.
    Mormon brother, our modest little Baptist Church has a leaky roof.
    Surely you could help a brother out?
    Brother can you spare a dime?

    April 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Juan Figuroa

      As a matter of fact, the LDS (Mormon) church has helped to rebuild a number of churches for people of other denominations. It's the Christian thing to do.

      April 11, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • just sayin REAL ONE

      Juan Figuroa

      As a matter of fact, the LDS (Mormon) church has helped to rebuild a number of churches for people of other denominations. It's the Christian thing to do.

      Noble of Mormons considering they are not Christians. Their acts will not get them in heaven. God Bless

      April 11, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Juan Figuroa

      Thank you, REAL, for demonstrating loving Christian behavior. Sigh.

      April 11, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Dave

      Be a cold day on Planet Kolob before the LDS would give a Baptist church a DIME!

      April 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • heguido

      Sorry for you, but is happening all around the world...

      April 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • heguido

      For instance, in 1999 LDS neighbors gathered to build a new chapel for The First Southern Baptist Church of Bountiful. You can ask Bill Cameron, chairman of the deacons.
      And yes, they were wearing the magic undies you are obsessed with.

      April 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • heguido

      http://www.deseretnews.com/article/723020/Building-ties.html

      April 11, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • KCArrowhead

      I wouldn't bother with facts. Haters are going to hate, regardless of them. But not all Protestant Christians feel the same. May God remove that hate and fill your hearts with His love.

      April 11, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Dave

      Thats right. Mormoons ignore the facts and they do it often.
      Makes their little charade so much easier to foist upon Americans

      April 12, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • dcsouthgw

      So we should never build a new church or temple until all of the other churches from other christian churches are leak proof? What about other religions, wait I already saw your comments to the muslim who quoted from the quran, so that's a no go. Would your baptist church even take money from us...you clearly think we are a cult and maybe our money is tainted? PS. If it is leaking due to a natural disaster, chances are some of the emergency supplies your parritioners used to get back on their feet came from Salt Lake. Sorry to hear about your roof though.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • TSB8C

      I am a Mormon and have participated in numerous projects to help rebuild, repair or otherwise work on churches of other faiths. The small Baptist church down the street from my own was damaged in 2008 from a hurricane and we spent a lot of time and provided the materials ourselves from church money to do repairs. Scouts from church psonsored troops have done service projects at other churches in my area. This is standard practice, not some once-in-a-while fluke for marketing purposes.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  3. biologixco

    Load the dog atop the car!
    Planet Kolob ain't too far...
    Poor little pooch on top the roof,
    That's why mormons are so aloof!
    Like my little Romney spoof?
    Google: Planet Kolob and magic underwear (no foolin'!) for more info.
    Just say NO to MITT ROMNEY 2012

    April 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Juan Figuroa

      Why not "spoof" Romney and his sons for saving a dog (and a family) when that family's boat overturned? You don't get far when you revile good people. Travelling dogs belong in crates. Fools who allow their dogs to flop around the car unrestrained are engaging in riskier behavior than those who text while driving.

      April 11, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Dave

      biologixco, that was so funny I spit my beer on my computer screen when I read it.
      You are pizzing them off.
      Keep up the good work!

      April 12, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • Dave

      That's just absolutely hilarious! (snicker)

      April 12, 2012 at 2:11 am |
  4. Muneef

    To believe in GOD unseen...
    --–
    This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah -2:2

    Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them,2:3

    And who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].2:4

    Those are upon [right] guidance from their Lord, and it is those who are the successful. 2:5
    ---–

    And We had already given Moses and Aaron the criterion and a light and a reminder for the righteous 21:48

    Who fear their Lord unseen, while they are of the Hour apprehensive. 21:49

    And this [Qur'an] is a blessed message which We have sent down. Then are you with it unacquainted? 21:50

    --–
    And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And if a heavily laden soul calls [another] to [carry some of] its load, nothing of it will be carried, even if he should be a close relative. You can only warn those who fear their Lord unseen and have established prayer. And whoever purifies himself only purifies himself for [the benefit of] his soul. And to Allah is the [final] destination. 35:18
    --

    You can only warn one who follows the message and fears the Most Merciful unseen. So give him good tidings of forgiveness and noble reward. 36:11
    --–

    We have already sent Our messengers with clear evidences and sent down with them the Scripture and the balance that the people may maintain [their affairs] in justice. And We sent down iron, wherein is great military might and benefits for the people, and so that Allah may make evident those who support Him and His messengers unseen. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might. 57:25
    --–

    Indeed, those who fear their Lord unseen will have forgiveness and great reward. 67:12

    April 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • biologixco

      Give it up Muneef.
      The Bible is the only Word of God.
      It pre-dates the quran by centuries.
      And in that Book we find:
      John 17:3 — And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
      Now where do you find Mohammed or Joseph Smith or L Ron Hubbard in that Book>>>?
      You dont! Give it up, islam is as much a cult as mormonism

      April 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Serenity

      Muneef, thank you for sharing your beliefs in the Quo'ran. I know that this is sacred to you. I respect and honor your opinion. Christian (Mormon) beliefs are alike in a lot of things. I think the main difference is that we believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin as stated in the Quo'ran, but that He is the literal Son of God, and that He is our God. He is above the prophets and is Divine. He, in union with the Father created this earth and the universes, worlds without end. We believe that He died for us for the remission of our sins and had risen from the dead, ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. He will come to judge the living and the dead at the end of days. Jesus Christ is a God of love. He tells us to forgive our enemies as we would be forgiven. The Book of Mormon says the same thing. It compliments the Bible and in no way contridicts it. It is another testimony of Jesus Christ. Peace, my brother. Live long

      April 11, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Dave

      Serenity, you spent one too many days in that big Planet Kolob brainwashing machine.
      Time for DEprogramming!

      April 11, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Muneef

      Serenity.
      Thank you and I respect your belief although we obviously in dispute about it in reference to our Holy Books... But I can say that I love Jesus like I love all the Prophets of GOD (saw)...although I agree with you that he was not like any other Prophets of GOD with the way he was created and the abilities he was given..

      April 12, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  5. huckleberryhoney

    If you're going to criticize the LDS church, or any church, first you need to look into it's beliefs and teachings with an open mind and an open heart. Read the 13 Articles of Faith, talk to some Mormons, ask them your questions. If you characterize and judge the teachings and the people after reading secondhand information with a bias already in place, rather than going straight to the source, you are perpetuating your ignorance and doing yourself a disservice. The church teaches good values, emphasizes family, and although they are most certainly not perfect, has some of the most goodhearted, kind people as it's followers. The temple is a sacred place where one must be spiritually ready and qualified to enter, because we consider it the house of the Lord. No one is forcing our beliefs upon you, and Missionaries are trying to share our teachings, not shove it down your throats and hold your mouth closed until you swallow. We are not a cult, we choose to follow the teachings of the Church. For a country who prides itself on religious tolerance and open-mindnedness, I am shocked to see people badmouthing a church that they don't necessarily fully understand. If you don't agree with us, that is fine, but keep it to yourself.

    And in case you want a legitimate source of the basic principles of the LDS doctrine...

    The 13 Articles of Faith:

    http://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/a-of-f/1?lang=eng

    April 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Whatever

      With religious tolerance or the freedom of religion there is also a nice little piece named "freedom of speech". Don't hurt yourself pondering that one.

      April 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Serenity

      Huckleberryhoney, don't listen to or even read the posts of these people like Zip, Whatever, biloxico or how you spell his post name. These people are like the ones who you can find around temple square at conference time. They are the empty barrells who make a lot of noise but make no sense. They are like demons who thrive on half lies, who deny Jesus Christ and his teachings to promote their own agenda. They tell out and out lies, and we know who is the father of lies. Best to stay away from them. If you read their posts, you can feel the evil spirit which surrounds them and as for me, I hate that feeling. So I don't usually read their posts. I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the Head of my Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

      April 11, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • huckleberryhoney

      Whatever, yes I believe in freedom of speech, but not to bring other people or ideas down. Free speech, although a right, is a gift, one that should be used to do good and advocate for things, not used in conjunction with ignorance and to put others down. That's like saying bullies have a right to say whatever they want; although technically they do, does that make it okay?

      April 12, 2012 at 1:26 am |
  6. Muneef

    It is not about how old or new...it is more about which one is more realistic and more accurate...any way we have the same dispute when it comes to comparing the old and new Bibles in compression to the Quran...

    April 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Juan Figuroa

      That's a fine standard. And it's one Mormons and their fellow Christians around the world would likewise embrace.

      April 11, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  7. heguido

    God already declared all his word in one book. Anything new is blasphemous.
    There's not been a prophet for a long time, so there can be no more prophets.
    Your leader was crazy.
    You believe in a man who was killed because he was a criminal.
    Our religion is old. Your cult is new. So, yours is wrong.
    You don't believe in the same God than the rest of us.
    The early members of your cult were persecuted by the justice, so, they were criminals.
    (Arguments of a first century pharisee against the new cult mockingly called "christianism")

    April 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • KCArrowhead

      amen

      April 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • just sayin

      "God already declared all his word in one book. Anything new is blasphemous."
      > correction

      Man already declared all his word in one book. Anything new is blasphemous.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • just sayin

      fraud

      April 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Sowhat

      So don't believe in it then. It is none of your concern if someone else chooses to believe it.

      April 11, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • biologixco

      Tell us where planet Kolob and the Magical Underwear come in

      April 11, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Cindy

      Mosiah 16:15: "Teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father."

      The Book of Mormon is but an affirmation of the reality and divinity of the Savior.

      April 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • truth

      F#@K Jesus

      April 11, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Richard

      I challenge you to find any scripture in the Bible that says that all scripture is in the Bible. Good luck! The word Bible is not in the Bible, and when it refers to scriptures, it is talking about the Old Testament, since the New Testament didn't yet exist. But what did exist all through the Bible was modern revelation. Why would God change his ways? He hasn't, and real Biblical Christianity means we do things they way they did them in Bible times: the church receives revelation through prophets! I have heard people try to twist a few scriptures to mean there will not ever be any more prophets, but they have to do a lot of twisting. And don't tell me Jesus was the last prophet, since obviously Peter and John gave prophecies after Christ resurrected.

      April 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • dcsouthgw

      Amen Richard. The scripture most commonly refered to is in Revelations and just says that man shouldn't add to or take away from the words of this book. It never says that God can't call a new prophet or that He can't add more revelations. In fact the bibles is a collection of writings from many prophets, but from a small area of the world. Is the assumption then that God only spoke to people in that area of the world? Would he not call prophets to declare repentance in other parts of the globe, or are they not as important as the nation of Israel? Aren't their words, the revelation they received just as valuable as the bible? Is not all revelation equal?

      April 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  8. Dave

    It's an interesting cult.

    April 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  9. daniel

    Bob, the sitting room is beautiful, but remember JESUS CHRIST was born in a stable. Remember where it reads, HE CAME TO HIS OWN AND THEY KNEW HIM NOT. We are supposed to give God our Best from our hearts not the lavish things that make us feel good to sit and meditate when we are commanded to HUMBLE ourselves on our knees to pray and lift our hands to worship the al mighty God.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • heguido

      Remember the question: "Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?"

      April 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • KCArrowhead

      I believe there are appropriate times and places to reflect on our Savior's humble beginnings while here on earth. I also believe there are appropriate times and places to reflect on the glory where he now resides.

      There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven... Ecc 3:1

      April 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Juan Figuroa

      The Mormon church has an amazing welfare system that feeds the hungry, rebuilds homes, helps widows and orphans, and in every other way follows Christ's commandment to care for the needy. Having, in addition to that welfare system, quiet and lovely sacred spaces to meditate and contemplate and seek God's will is to be admired.

      April 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Paul

      Have you studied the Holy of Holys, or the Temple of Solomon.... then you will understand better why we build such lavish temples. "Only the best for the Lord" -Joseph Smith

      April 12, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  10. daniel

    Yes it gets borring to hear the same routines, yet all mormons need to stop and read the real living word of God, you know the one that is inspired from God to the Prophets, and is called Bilbe, not the make your own book and leader and go by there rules. The HOLY BIBLE is what every one should be reading and stop idolatrating men and turn to the real God Jesus Christ who paid the price of your and my sins. That is all we need. THE THRUTH DOES NOT HURT YOU IT JUST MAKES YOU UNCOMFTRABLE AND SETS MANY FREE......... MAKE A RELATION SHIP WITH CHRIST NOT MENS DOINGS IN FOLLOWING THEM, TEMPLES ARE MADE TO WORSHIP NOT PICK WHOS BETTER, IN THE EYES OF THE LORD WE ARE ALL THE SAME THEREFORE WHY DO WE TRY TO CHOOSE THE ABOVE EACH OTHER RATHER THAN GET TOGETHER. OBIDIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE SAYS THE LORD...........................

    April 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Sowhat

      LDS do study the bible. They alternate years in studying it in Sunday School.

      April 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Cindy

      LDS do study the Bible (A LOT) – and through the Book of Mormon we are reminded that it came from the Jews. Christ said that He had "other sheep" of his fold that He would bring. Why not? Is there not more than one nation, one group who would hear Him? OF course. He himself said so.

      April 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Steve

      Daniel,

      Please go to http://www.mormonnewsroom.org and look at the Mormonism 101 FAQ, Infographic. It clearly states Mormons believe in and study the Bible...the King James Version to be exact.

      April 11, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  11. bob

    The sitting room in the video (in green, cream, and gold) is lovely.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  12. daniel

    false ,false, false, doctrine. Stop Lying, that is one of Jehova GOD Commandments, also Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. All dead People have no hear, or say. We are no one to Baptise any dead person. They had there opportunity to accept christ while alive and not after death. Where does it say in the BIBLE that we are to do so. All yuo need is to accept JESUS CHRIST as your LORD and Saviour no one goes to the Father But thru Jesus and he is no the God of the dead but of the living everything that breaths let him praise the Lord.... false doctrine, false doctrine, false doctrine.......

    April 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • lily

      Easy....

      "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?" (1 Cor. 15:29)

      Guess what? It IS in the Bible! Obviously 1st century Christians did it, why doesn't your faith do it? :)

      April 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Carol

      I feel so sorry for you.

      April 11, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • wYo8

      Daniel Tell us what happens to all those people who have lived and died without the oppertunity to here about Jesus Christ and his gospel. Is God a respector of people and therefore will not allow these people into his Kingdom. I don't think he is a respector of people and has prepared a way for these people to not only hear the gospel of Jesus Christ but to recieve those sacrad ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost which the bible talks about and people of the New Testament eagerly wanted. As for scripture refernces about preaching the Gospel to the dead and bapistims of the dead read the Bible ! Cor. 15: 29 read the whole chapter and 1 Peter : 3: 18-20 and chapter 4: 6. So open your mind and heart to the whisperings of the holy ghost as you read these and the bible or did jesus do away with the holy ghost. Just some food for thought

      April 11, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Cindy

      Mosiah 16:15: "Teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the Very Eternal Father."
      What is false about that?

      April 11, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Richard

      You say they had there (sic – their) chance. Are you sure? Do you think it just might be possible that there have been people who have not even heard of Christ in their lifetimes? At least in some countries. And of course, even those that did might not have had the opportunity to receive proper baptism, by proper authority...

      April 11, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Paul

      I was speaking to an Indian Engineer yesterday who is Hindu. He did not know who Jesus is. If he dies, does he go to hell? What about the milliolns of people in China and Africa and around the world in the history of the world that never even heard the word Jesus. Perhaps they were debout Buddist.. are they going to hell because they grew up in china and never were taught the teachings of Christ? Is Heavenly Father a just God? How is that fair...? He is just! Therefore, Baptism for the dead are essential to the Lords work. Read the teachings of Paul the Apostle "else why are the dead baptised, if the dead rise not at all..."

      April 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  13. Julia

    II am very confused. You build a church or temple where know is allowed to worship. Unless, you are a "CHOSEN ONE"! No one outside of the "CHOSEN" can attend any services or even walk around and admire what they have built with the money they donated to the church. Unless you are a "CHOSEN ONE" with a special card you cannot be a part of something that is supposed to be a part of your church or faith. Am I the only one who doesn't get this? Why am I having such a hard time understanding this concept? What is it that goes on inside theses temples that no one is allowed to see or to tell any outsider? If I belonged to a church that had these types of practices I would not want to be part of that group. My church does not lock its doors to the people who want to worship there. They do not require you to have a special card to attend temple. Any one you want to attend services my do so whenever they choose to do so. So please someone enlighten me as to why the Mormons’ raise money to build these huge temples, but only those selected are allowed to worship inside the walls of these buildings. am very confused. You build a church or temple where know is allowed to worship. Unless you are a "CHOSEN ONE"! Know one outside of the "CHOSEN" can attend any services or even walk around and admire what they have built with the money they donated to the church. Unless you are a "CHOSEN ONE" with a special card you cannot be a part of smething that is supposed to be a part of your church or faith. Am I the only one who doesn't get this? Why am I having such a hard time understanding this concept? What is it that goes on inside theses temples that know one is allowed to see or to tell any outsider? If I belonged to a church that had these types of practices I would not want to be part of that group. My church does not lock its doors to the people who want to worship there. They do not require you to have a special card to attend temple. Any one you wants to attend services my do so whenever they choose to do so. So please someone enlighten me as to why the Morman's raise money to build these huge temples, but only those selected are allowed to worship inside the walls of these buildings.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Scott

      The temples are not used for weekly services. Neighborhood facilities are used for those activities. The temples are only used for special ceremonies involving the most faithful. Mormonism is more hierarchical with its members than most religions as it has to since it has no ordained clergy.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Jon

      I wouldn't say only the "Chosen ones" can go. That makes it sounds like only select members of the church are chosen above other members. Everyone can qualify to enter the temple. Everyone is encouraged to go to the temple. As the article stated it is a sacred place so in order to qualify your life needs to be in accordance with the gospel teachings. The article didn't state this but youth starting at 12 yrs of age can go to the temple to perform baptisms. They as well need to get temple recommends. Its a recommend showing you are living a clean and honest life. It is you stating as a member of the church you are living the gospel and keeping the commandments.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • heguido

      As a matter of fact, we send thousend of missionaries to try teach the people how to enter to a Temple.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Serenity

      Julia, The people who can attend the temple are not the chosen ones. They are the ones who live their faith, keep the commandments, have an interview with their bishop and stake president (both of whom are like ministers only they are unpaid clergy) then if they are found worthy they get a temple recommend. Any one of us could loose our temple recommend if we fail to keep the commandments and are not faithful to the Lord. Just like Catholics, when they commit a mortal sin, they cannot receive holy communion. Faithful members of the LDS church can get temple recommends, but they, by far are not THE CHOSEN ONES. We have no such thing. All of us are required to keep the commandments of God if we expect to keep our temple recommends. If you choose to do so, you can actually get a temple recommend but it would take a lot of work on your part, just like it did for me. We do have meeting houses or churches where anyone can attend and are so very welcome there. If you went to one of our churches, even if out of curiosity, you would be so accepted and loved. There they have regular church service of which the main part is partaking of the Sacrament of the Lord. There they also give talks, usually starting with teenagers, then the adults. Any member of the ward (or parish or area for that church) can give a talk if called upon (usually weeks in advance). All our clergy are unpaid ministers. They have their own jobs in the world like plumbers, mechanics, construction workers, etc. Some are college professors or high school teachers or physicians or scientists. But their church calling is separate from their jobs. Our Church has one Head, and that is the One it's named after: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Latter day saints simply means that we are in the latter days of this world. We believe, just as many churches of today, that the end of days is coming. When it comes, no man knows but the Father, as Jesus said. I personally can hardly wait for my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ to return to this earth. His love for us is so great and the light and life He eminates is projected to the souls of those who love Him. Just a small note about Mitt Romney. Since our religious leaders are not paid (just as Jesus or the apostles weren't), Mitt Romney was doing whatever his job was when he was a bishop or stake president. One was for the church (volunteer) and the other was his own job. The only way those two had anyting to do with each other is that he had to be honest with his fellow men. In fact, that is one of the questions you are asked when you receive a temple recommend: Have you been honest with your fellow men?

      Now, let's talk about the temple for a minute. The temple can be compared to a college in the LDS faith. Converts to the Church need to learn the principles of the Church, just as in any other church. Then they have to prove themselves of being faithful which means they keep the commandments, attend their meetings such as Sacrament Meeting, and Sunday school. If they are called to a position, like Sunday School teacher, home teacher or visiting teacher, then they should do these callings faithfully. If they are faithful for a year, then they can have an interview with the bishop (unpaid minister) and if he finds them worthy of a temple recommend, then they have an interview with the Stake President (also unpaid minister on a higher level) If he finds them worthy, then he will issue them a temple recommend which is good for two years. Then the interview process starts all over again. These interviews are inspired by the Holy Spirit, and Mormons believe that they are talking with a representative of the Lord Jesus when going to those interviews.

      So I hope I answered your questions. That's the way it is, because I have lived through it. Even though I belonged to the Church, I couldn't receive my temple recommend for many, many years because it was way too tough for me to get it. it didn't fit my lifestyle But with the help of the Lord, my Savior Jesus Christ, I finally got one and I will hang onto it as long as I live. I sincerely pray that this be so.

      Can you hear the empty, raucaus cries of the adversary in these posts? Don't let them fool you as they have their own private agenda. They claim they are of Christ, but judging from their hateful and unkind remarks, they are 180 out from Him. Ask your Father in Heaven, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to show you the truth.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Jeff

      Life isn't like little league baseball. Not everyone gets a trophy.

      April 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Paul

      study the "holy of holies" in the bible, then you will understand better

      April 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • dcsouthgw

      Amen Jon and Serenity, if you are an adult, baptized member living the mormon faith, you qualify to enter the temple. The temple recommend card is issued by your congregational leader after an interview to verify that you are living your gospel. Julia, using your logic it would be like saying colleges are elitist because they require a HS diploma or GED. It isn't meant to be exclusionary, just to make sure people are prepared to learn when they enter. No conspiracies here or down-trodden members being marginalized.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  14. Serenity

    Oh good grief, they are still at it. Don't anti-Mormons ever sleep? Well, enjoy your little Mormon bashing. This whole post is getting VERRRRY BORING.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • zip

      To the millions of Americans who are starting to learn the truth about the Mormon church, it is anything but boring. Just read a fascinating article about the connection between Glen Beck and the Mormon church. My, my, you are busy little beavers.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  15. zip

    Can one of you please explain the "White Horse Prophecy' to us? Thank you. And the reference to JFK is pertinent. JFK delivered a nationally televised address explaining to Americans what role his Catholicism would play in his presidency. Will Romney do the same thing, and will he be willing to answer some questions about the LDS?

    April 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Take it easy

      I don't know if you will get the white horse prophecy, but your best resource for accurate information on Mormons – FROM THE MORMONS – is http://www.lds.org and http://www.mormon.org. If you want to find hater websites, they can be found pretty much anywhere. If you post specific questions and I see them. I can answer them. I need to brush up on the white horse thing, I guess. It doesn't appear to be crucial doctrine, however.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • KCArrowhead

      And just as it should have been unnecessary in 1960, it should be unnecessary today. I thought we had got over a lot of the fear mongering that was prevalent back then. Evidently not in your case.

      Frankly, given the disturbing lack of family values present in our society, having a practicing Mormon (with that faith's emphasis on family) could do our country good.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • sunshine

      Mitt Romney gave his JFK-like address back in 2008. Google it.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  16. KCArrowhead

    It seems to me that most of the acrimony directed at the Mormon faith on this blog revolves around Mitt Romney. Many seem to feel that being LDS will cause him to subvert our government or our religious freedoms. Interestingly, JFK had to answer similar concerns about his Catholic faith in 1960. Obama faced accusations of being a closet Muslim with aims to enact Sharia law in 2008. While I may disagree vociferously on most of Obama's policy and ideology, I'll stick to the facts and leave the speculation to others.

    News flash for you guys: nothing ever materialized on either of these fears. Nor should it have. We are NOT a theocracy. Thank GOD for that. The only one qualified to head a theocracy is Jesus Christ. Anyone else would color his or her edicts and rulings with their own interpretations – as well as their very human flaws. Just look to the theocratic rulers of Iran, for instance.

    We are a country based on religious FREEDOM. As long as what you believe (or disbelieve for that matter) does not impinge on the rights of others, you are free to practice it. You are free to vote. You are free to run for elective office. And if you are elected, you do not have the right to tell others how to worship.

    So what is this big evil conspiracy of Romney and the Mormons supposed to accomplish? Can he force the legislature to go along with him? Can he compel silence from the judiciary? We have checks and balances for very good reasons.

    Take your political axe and grind it elswhere. Don't insult our intelligence – your beef is theological and doctrinal.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • zip

      I'll grind my axe wherever I choose. And as long as the Mormon church continues to lurk in the shadows, I wll grind it in your face. My God is real. And he has my back.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • zip

      I recognized a familiar theme in your posts, and it suddenly dawned on me. You're Rex Rammell, aren't you?

      April 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • KCArrowhead

      Rex who? I have not posted on this blog prior to yesterday, after taking a tour of the new temple. I have no ulterior motives other than addressing (what appears to me) unwarrented bashing of another's faith.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Serenity

      Thank you for your kind comment KCArrowhead. You are so right. It's good to hear intelligent conversation in this very unintelligent series of posts. Unfortunately, these are the kind who go to temple square during conference time and think they are doing the work of some god (I don't know which one because my God is a loving God) and try to disrupt our conferences. They have been doing this for many years, more than I can remember, but it has never done them any good. They remind me of the demons which run loose on the earth and spew lies and half truths in the name of their god. Aren't we lucky that we know and love the Lord Jesus Christ and that He loves us so very dearly? Even on the cross, He asked His Father to forgive those who crucifed Him.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • KCArrowhead

      As I've said before, their time and energy woud be better spent on those who haven't found Christ, rather than those who worship Him differently.

      April 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • biologixco

      Could Mitt Romney be the anti-Christ?
      Will he be our next President? (NO!)
      Stay tuned tomorrow and watch "As Kolob Turns"

      April 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Serenity

      KCArrowhead: One thing for sure, their energy would be spent better in trying to find Christ. Instead they choose to incite anger with their false teachings and out and out lies. We all know who is the father of lies and they are sure doing him a huge favor. I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Isn't He wonderful?

      April 11, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • KCArrowhead

      Serenity,

      They remind me (in part) of Fred Phelps and his ilk, from my corner of the world. Hate, hate, hate, hate. Hardly preaching the message of love and redemption our Savior gave us.

      April 11, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  17. TJeff1776

    There is no record whatever that Joseph Smith married a fourteen year old OR anyone outside of one wife. BUT Jesus had multiple lies told on him SO is Joseph Smith better than the Lord. People like ZIP and Pastmorm are a dime a dozen. They quote enemies of the Mormon Church from the 1800's AND when one tries to pinpoint their quotes- its always a quote from someone who in turn re-quoted someone else. Sad part IS some of it is true....most of it NOT. BT I recommend the same thing of the above persecutors, read on and find out what is true and what is not.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  18. Gary Kearl

    A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I can say unequivocably that NOTHING which is discussed or taught during a Temple worship service is "secret." EVERY concept is openly taught and discussed by Mormon Missionaries and in regular chruch Sunday school lesions. The main purpose of Temple services is to make "covenants' (sacred promises) to follow those teachings and to create an eternal (forever) family unit. Jesus Christ said: "And I will agive unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Mat. 16:19. No other Christian church has an clear explanation for what Christ meant but this. This sealing process is what Mormon Temples are all about.

    "ZIP" an others can laugh, mock , or otherwise disparage these concepts. But at a future time ZIP will learn that this is a correct principle. Gary Kearl

    April 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  19. pastmorm

    Mr S. and anyone else reading this. I challenge you all to look up the points I've made against the mormon church. They have nothing to do with faith. They are true and disturbing. That's why mormons keep trying to change the subject, bear their testimony, put down anyone that would question them and call absolute, true evidence that can be found on the internet or in The History of the Church written by Joseph Smith, The Journal of Discourses written by Brigham Young, Mormon Doctrine, written by Bruce, R. McConkie. LOOK. IT. UP. You will find out why we cannot have a mormon for President of the USA.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HSlbuli7HM&w=640&h=390]

    April 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • pastmorm

      To be a Mormon:

      You believe in a man named Joseph Smith that declared himself a general against the American Government and then said he would create a Theocratic Monarchy with himself at its head.

      You also believe in a man named Joseph Smith that married a 14 year old girl – even though he already had plural wives – because he told the child's family they would receive instant eternal salvation if they gave her to him (Smith). (Her name was Helen Mar Kimball).

      You also believe in becoming a god after this life if you have committed to and followed all of your temple rituals sincerely and without deviance.

      You also believe that anyone that is not a mormon will NOT be allow to be with Jesus Christ or God, no matter how good they are, if they do not accept your gospel (religion) to be the only true church. For example. Mother Teresa will not be in heaven if she does not accept a posthumous baptism in the after life.

      You also believe that you must take on secret temple names, wear garments (underwear) that has secret symbols that are used in secret rituals in the temple as well as a blood oath that began in 1843, but ended in 1990 when there was a general uproar amongst non-mormons that found out about this particular ritual.

      You also believe Blacks and Native Americans were marked with dark skin for being evil in the pre-life or because they just displeased god.

      You believe that once you are a god of your own world, you with your heavenly wife will create spirit children that will then fill the earthly bodies of human on your own particular planet that you rule over...meaning that you are already (in certain terms) better than the God that created this planet.

      You do believe that Lucifer and Jesus were and are brothers.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Take it easy

      pastmorm – none of what you say has any relevance to religion. Bad mouthing a prophet and telling people what they believe is so boring that nobody will ever do it. I for one dedicated nearly a year to reading up on anti-LDS literature. Almost all of it is bogus or hearsay that enemies of the church in that day claimed as fact. Some of the things in the literature actually turned out to be true, but in context they didn't sound offensive or weird in any way at all. Did you know that it was common in the 1800s for people in New England to say Adieu or Fiancee? Fewer people today say Adieu. Not a problem. Maybe instead of such a negative campaign. Why don't you tell us what you do believe?

      April 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Take it easy

      Actually, I guess I can say this much: I wasted a year looking up anti-LDS literature to see what was true and what wasn't. On the positive, the things I cared about turned out to be positive in favor of the LDS church. I never cared to look up whether or not Smith had a 14-year old wife because I know people all over the world married at that age in those days. I honestly have no interest in opening the Journal of Discourses ever again unless I have it handy for some reason. Other than that, most of what you say falls on deaf ears. So boring it makes me sick. You may want to just tell people what you believe and use Bible scriptures to support it, or if you are no longer Christian, you may just explain how you believe aliens transplanted algae that evolved into humans.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • AW

      Wow–that video is the most ridiculous, twisted, out-of-context thing anyone could imagine. I think people are more intelligent and informed today about Mormonism than they were in the 70s, or whenever this stupid video was created.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • AW

      One more thing . . . if you really want to know what Mormon's believe, go to http://www.mormon.com.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  20. zip

    The fascinating thing about this Mormon discussion is the fact that Mormons seem to be angry about having their practices exposed, not the truthfulness of the claims. There is a "White Horse Prophecy" There is a planet Kolob. Polygamy was accepted as common practice. People of dark skin were thought to be inferior until 30 years ago, when an elder had a vision. Mormons were driven out of the East 200 years ago by Christians who thought they were cultists. A person only has to do a Google search to find out many peculiar things about the LDS. If the truth is not kind to you, perhaps you should find a new hobby.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Take it easy

      You list so many topics of discussion. I don't have time to address all of them completely. So maybe I will just touch on some. Mormons are not angry for having practices exposed, they just don't want 1) To be Misrepresented and 2) Sacred things to be disrespected. Mormons are just people. They make mistakes and get offended sometimes and then lash out. By doing so, people think most of them are this way. Not true. Just a lot that post online, maybe. Ha ha! White horse? I don't know what you are talking about. Kolob? Described as being a planet of reference that is somewhere near where the heavens are. Noted that the planet takes about 1,000 years to rotate. No other significance at all to Mormons other than a hymn with such a neat tune that asks questions like how did it all begin? So popular were the tune and questions that nobody wants it out of the hymn book while it is actually rarely ever sung or played. Polygamy? Practiced by a minority of Mormons who were commanded to by the prophet who said God told him to call these men to be polygamists. For a time, God allowed this in the Old Testament as well. There are several parallels and patterns in the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon and the history of the LDS church that line up very well. Dark skin? The Priesthood and teaching the gospel to specific groups until directed to give it to all people is another parallel. If you follow the scriptures, you would know at some period the Priesthood would go to all worthy males. Nobody knew when. I hope that does a good job to answer your questions.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • RM from Arizona

      As a returned missionary, I kind of think that what everyone here just needs to do is either find the local missionaries (can be requested from mormon.org) or read and pray about the Book of Mormon. All of your issues, no matter how petty they may seem will be resolved as you read the Book of Mormon. It's simple, and easy to do. If you want to, you can also request a free copy of the Book of Mormon on mormon.org. But, you guys have to realize that bashing doesn't ever go anywhere. So, for all the members of the LDS church, I would reccomend that if you post anything, just simply post your testimony. As for me, I know that each and every one of you have a friend that is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You would be surprised at their level of understanding. If I didn't believe whole heartedly in the Book of Mormon and it's truthfulness, I never would have been baptized into the religion 8 years ago or spent the last 2 years of my life helping people in Arizona to learn about the restored gospel. If you don't believe in it, that's fine. But please, DO NOT push your thoughts and beliefs on me. I don't want to hear it. Thank you.

      April 11, 2012 at 9:56 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.