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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. Jack Daniels

    This is a great organization! With real people.

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

    April 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • heguido

      in my experience, in the great majority of the cases when someone leaves the Church and begin to attack it, they never tell the real reason why they left. Many times have to do with immorality issues. I'm not saying this is the case, since i don't know this guy, and the Church never tells the reasons why someone is excommunicated, in order to give the person the oportunity to repent.
      Anyway, I don't see the point of making this video...

      April 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Jack Daniels

      You're amazing guido....this guy in the video seems like a good fellow, he doesn't put your church down; all he says is how happy he is now that he's not a mormon and he even served a mormon mission. Yet you attack him, not knowing him, you JUDGE him, questioning his morality or any other fault you can pick out of him.
      Non-Mormons be VERY aware that most people that I've know that have left the mormon church is because of how judgmental and mean members are. heguido is a PERFECT example. Thanks man!

      April 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • David Nelson

      One thing is almost as certain as night following day: Mormons generally attack the messenger. Sounds a little like Scientology, well a lot like it. Small wonder L Ron Hubbard is so often compared to Joseph Smith. Most people who don't know much about Mormonism assume it is a particulary strict Christian denomination. The people who have studied it or have been in it and left know its doctrines couldn't possibly be inspired by God because it is so out of harmony with the Bible. True Believing Mormons usually tell people that people who leave didn't really understand Mormonism or that they had an axe to grind, but the exact opposite is so often truth. People who leave are led out by Holy Spirit which gave them the courage to leave. That is, once they come to the understanding that the Holy Spirit is not one's own feelings or the proverbial burning in the bosom.

      April 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • heguido

      I don't see video campaigns about people who left Rotary Club... Why?
      C'mon, let's be serious. There is a purpose on this people to film and distribute this videos.
      There is people who leave the church, and that`s it... cool for them, cool for us. It happens. Not often, but it does.
      But when they go attacking the church, almost certainly there is something they are not talking about. I've seen it in numerous cases, when I knew what was behind. As I said, the Church never tells the reasons when they know it, so is a "pic-nic" for this bitter people to attack the Church as a way of revenge... when they only needed repentance.
      Call me whatever you want. There are million of people who can testify that mormonism is awesome!
      Ask one.

      April 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Jenny

      heguido...you seem to be a rather paranoid person. It's almost like you think there's some conspiracy against the mormon church just because people have nothing else to do. Yet, in these videos, these are real people talking about feeling good because they have lost their faith in the mormon cult, but they still have a faith in themselves and a higher power. I don't think the rotary club is a good example, you might want to try harder than that.

      April 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  2. David Nelson

    The supposedly super faithful New World Hebrew characters in Smith's book never mentioned Passover, the Day of Atonement, the system of weights and measures God meticulously prescribed for offerings, and only on 2 occasions God's Holy Sabbath. Smith had them build a Temple in 2nd Nephi and then yet he forgot to EVER mention it again in the BOM. Smith was an obvious fraud and the people never existed in America. This is truth, so why would you call it hate?

    April 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • heguido

      The Nephites had the brass plates, wich included all the teachings of Moses. They also knew that we will had them in the Bible in this days. What would be the point of writting them again?
      BTW: There are temples mentioned in different parts of the Book of Mormon. Mosiah, and 3 Nephi come to mind.

      April 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • pastmorm

      So true David. There's s series of lectures put out by this fellow on the study of the accuracy of the BOM and the beginnings of the mormon church. The entire series uses only facts, science and DNA evidence. It's not a matter of "faith" or testimony....believing that Native Americans are actually descendants of the Jews isn't going to make them Jews (which mormons believe and science has since proven WRONG).

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPnu0bx3oWg&w=640&h=390]

      April 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • David Nelson

      You say the plates contained all the ceremonial law, yet the BOM does not! Did the Book of Mormon not come from the plates? How did the people know the law? Did they know someone somewhere had it? Your argument is something like this: "The Pope has a copy of the Bible somewhere, let's just listen to him." Why were not the people in Smith's book given copies of this vitally important information. Their very salvation depended upon it! If they were, abundant evidence would then exist to be found by archaeologists, but you probably know full well that the Book of Mormon never really happened.

      Interestingly the time line for Christ's ministry is present in the crucial 70 week (490 year prophecy of Daniel), that was part of the critical 2300 year prophecy given to Daniel. But Smith's people left well before Babylonian captivity. Yet the timeline prophecies of Daniel are absent from the BOM. Yet the Nephites were supposed to be the people God chose to preserve his word? If the Smith characters were God's true people, why were not the Nephites given this crucial information? Remember that Jesus himself pointed his disciples back to Daniel's writings!

      In Alma 30:3 Smith writes ""the people did observe to keep the commandments of the Lord; and they were strict in observing the ordinances of God, according to the law of Moses, for they were taught to keep the law of Moses until it should be fulfilled." Obviously Smith had no understanding of the ordinances God gave to Moses. So he couldn't possibly have his characters discussing any particulars about the ceremonial law. Smith had to hide his own lack of knowledge. Surely God could have brought him up to speed, don't ya think?

      Mormonism is a Babylonian New Age religion, right down to the idea that men can become Gods. The Harlot in Revelation is said to have many daughters, but mercifully God sent an angel to say to the world "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and ye receive not her plagues. For her sins have reached up to heaven." Saying that a man can become God is blasphemy and demotes God to equality with man, casting down the heavenly sanctuary where it is trodden under foot be men. It's as if the Mormon church is somewhat patterned like the Catholic church which is the Mother of Harlots. Each has men claiming perogatives that belong to Christ alone. The Roman Church claims it can forgive sins. And Bishop Sheen even once said priests were miniature Christs. Many popes have said they fill the place of God. And interestingly Gordon B Hinckley, at the Utah Winter Olympics called himself the Mormon Pope. The Mormon Church has many males claiming the Melchesedek priesthood though it now belongs to Christ alone and is not a fleshly priesthood (see the Book of Hebrews.). The blasphemies of both systems are so similar. The time to come out of false systems such as the one Smith created grows shorter as each day passes. Yet, Christ is not willing that any should be lost, but as you know God has given man free agency, the choice is yours.

      April 22, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  3. ?

    Brigham Young, one of the founders of the mormon church, had 55 wives. Some of the women were still married to their first husbands. Mr. Young wound up divorcing many of these women. 55 wives. And the largest university in Utah is named after him. Curious.

    April 22, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • David Nelson

      Smith also claimed Adam was God.

      April 22, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  4. David Nelson

    For any who still are having doubts about the Mormon system you are now in, I whole heartedly suggest you go to Utah Lighthouse Ministries and check out an article written by Sandra Tanner. Covering Up The Black Hole in the Book of Mormon. It utterly demolishes the idea that Joseph Smith's story of 'Herbrews' leaving Jerusalem and coming to America has any validity. You will see how the people he invented could not have possibly have been faithful Hebrews! Look for issues 72 and 74.

    April 22, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  5. Mike

    Religion is a mental illness.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  6. WillieLove

    Mark 3:29
    But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.

    April 22, 2012 at 2:49 am |
  7. WillieLove

    Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
    12:7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, THOU SHALT PRESERVE THEM FROM THIS GENERATION FOR EVER.

    April 22, 2012 at 2:44 am |
  8. WillieLove

    2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that NO prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
    1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were MOVED by the Holy Ghost.

    April 22, 2012 at 2:43 am |
  9. WillieLove

    Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall ADD unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    22:19 And if any man shall TAKE AWAY from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
    Proverbs 30:6 ADD thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

    April 22, 2012 at 2:42 am |
  10. WillieLove

    saiah 43:10 ...before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
    Isaiah 44:6 ...I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

    Isaiah 44:8 ...Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

    Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me...

    Isaiah 45:6 ...there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.

    Isaiah 45:21 ...there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

    Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

    Isaiah 46:9 ...I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

    Deuteronomy 32:39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

    April 22, 2012 at 2:41 am |
  11. WillieLove

    Romans 1:22-23 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things

    April 22, 2012 at 2:39 am |
  12. WillieLove

    I have the opportunity
    to become a god

    April 22, 2012 at 2:38 am |
    • I wonder

      What is a god?

      Why would you want to be one?

      April 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  13. VQP

    The bigger the pile of miss-information about anything... the more inclined I am to ask myself... why so much hatred? Why so many lies spread about a faith or a people? Seems the humble followers of Christ, are the ones being perceuted the most! I'm just saying...

    April 22, 2012 at 2:10 am |
  14. Reflections

    These LDS (Mormon) Temples are certainly beautiful and as a House of the Lord, no expense is spared and no corners cut. I've been to a couple different open houses and was stunned at the beauty and workmanship.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  15. True

    As a Latter-day Saint (Mormon), here are just a few of my favorite scriptures from the Book of Mormon about Jesus Christ.

    "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins" (2 Nephi 25:26).

    "And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent" (Mosiah 3:17).

    "Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness" (Alma 7:14).

    "Behold, I [Mormon] am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life" (3 Nephi 5:13).

    "Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning" (3 Nephi 11:10-11).

    April 22, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  16. ?

    Would any of our Mormon friends like to tell the people why the church abandoned Polygamy??? You do it, so no one can be accused of fabricating things. Oh. And tell the truth.

    April 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • VQP

      Article of Faith #12: "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

      April 22, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • heguido

      Official Declaration—1
      http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/od/1?lang=eng

      April 22, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • Jack Daniels

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ac_fLUHiBw&w=640&h=390]

      April 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  17. R Carson

    First, what is with CNN drumming up the Jewish baptism thing OVER AND OVER Gads one person made a mistake and you're bringing it up ad nauseum only perpetuates hatred towards a group of people, the majority of which are quite respectful to those around them and have done vast good in the world.

    Second, Anyone can see pictures of the insides of all the temples all the time at http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/ You can pick the one you want to look at.

    And finally, there are many here who choose to hate the LDS people, but really is my faith any "weirder" than others. Seriously! Transubstantiation – odd. Rocks have spirits, bizarre. There can't possibly be a god because I've not seen him/her/it – arrogant. How about you kindly say, "it's not my thing" (You can say no to those missionaries nicely and they'll go away) and let those of us who believe live in peace.

    April 21, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • ?

      One person made a mistake one time??? This is a common practice that has been practiced for years by thousands of people. Mitt Romney himself has done this. And when a reporter asks him about it, he will drop like a rock in the polls. Does he really think he will make it to November with no one bringing all these things up?

      April 21, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  18. sickofmomos

    Something to keep in mind when the Mormons tell you they come from a truthful, healthy, family-loving, people-accepting religion. All of the below quotes come directly from their second Prophent and Church leader as well as the founder of Salt Lake City, UT.

    Brigham Young said your own blood must atone for some sins.

    "There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 247; see also, vol. 4, p. 53-54, 219-220).

    Brigham Young said you must confess Joseph Smith as a prophet of God in order to be saved.

    "...and he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is Antichrist," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p. 312).

    Brigham Young said his discourses are as good as Scripture.

    "I say now, when they [his discourses] are copied and approved by me they are as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 264; see also p. 95).

    Brigham Young said he had never given any counsel that was wrong.

    "I am here to answer. I shall be on hand to answer when I am called upon, for all the counsel and for all the instruction that I have given to this people. If there is an Elder here, or any member of this Church, called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who can bring up the first idea, the first sentence that I have delivered to the people as counsel that is wrong, I really wish they would do it; but they cannot do it, for the simple reason that I have never given counsel that is wrong; this is the reason." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 16, p. 161).

    Brigham Young compared his sermons with scripture.

    "I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom...I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. The people have the oracles of God continually." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 95).

    Brigham Young said you are damned if you deny polygamy.

    "Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 266). Also, "The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 269).

    Brigham Young said you can't get to the highest heaven without Joseph Smith's consent.

    "...no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289).

    Brigham Young boasted.

    "What man or woman on earth, what spirit in the spirit-world can say truthfully that I ever gave a wrong word of counsel, or a word of advice that could not be sanctioned by the heavens? The success which has attended me in my presidency is owing to the blessings and mercy of the Almighty . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, p. 127).

    Brigham Young said Jesus' birth was as natural as ours.

    "The birth of the Savior was as natural as the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood–was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115).

    Brigham Young said that God the Father and Mary 'do it.'

    "When the time came that His first-born, the Saviour, should come into the world and take a tabernacle, the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 218). "The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood - was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115). Note: the late Bruce McConkie who was a member of the First Council of the Seventy stated "There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events..." (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 742).

    Brigham Young said that Jesus was not begotten by the Holy Spirit.

    "I have given you a few leading items upon this subject, but a great deal more remains to be told. Now, remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 51).

    Brigham Young taught that Adam was God.

    "Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days! about whom holy men have written and spoken - He is our Father, and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 50).

    Brigham Young made a false prophecy?

    "In the days of Joseph [Smith] it was considered a great privilege to be permitted to speak to a member of Congress, but twenty-six years will not pass away before the Elders of this Church will be as much thought of as the kings on their thrones," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 40).

    Brigham Young comments about blacks

    "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." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 290).

    "In our first settlement in Missouri, it was said by our enemies that we intended to tamper with the slaves, not that we had any idea of the kind, for such a thing never entered our minds. We knew that the children of Ham were to be the "servant of servants," and no power under heaven could hinder it, so long as the Lord would permit them to welter under the curse and those were known to be our religious views concerning them." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 172).

    "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." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110).

    Now if that last portion didn't strike you as unbelievably horrible, than imagine this....Mormons are taught to believe every word of their prophets as though they were the words of God: Unquestionable. And these are quotes from just one of their prophets.
    Now imagine the President of the USA being Mormon.....

    April 21, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • heguido

      Taking statements out of context, and placing "convenient" descriptions of what you are about to read. let me tell you, that's not new... at all. It exists since the very dawn of bigotry.
      It's a technic they even used against Christ himself. Do you remember? About the temple and the three days? Out of context quoting... our old friend. "Crucify him" came next.
      Doing that you could take a quantic physics lecture and conclude that the professor belongs to the KKK.
      Very useful technic for bigots, let me say.
      Brigham Young taught thousends of discourses... Somehow you always, for more than a century, quote those very same, I insist, out of context parts.
      Do you want to know what today Prophets and Apostles teach? Go to http://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2012/4?lang=eng Listen to them, and decide for your self if it is the Word of God or not. He called Prophets and Apostles today, just like He did in the days of old with Abraham, Moses, Peter, Paul... Isn't it great news?
      No matter how loud you gnash yor teeth, mormonism is awesome!

      (I do know how to copy and paste, as well...)

      April 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • ?

      Preach, my brother, preach

      April 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • sickofmomos

      Hey guido, get a copy of the Journal of Discourses. These are DIRECT quotes. They are not taken out of context. You my friend need to learn more about your church because all you've done on here is call everyone a liar for speaking against your religion when in truth they are stating facts that ANYONE can look up if they are educated.
      I think you need to get a job and get off this chat board. You're only embarrassing your church.

      April 21, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • heguido

      Post the whole discourse, then, and let people decide for themselves if it is taken out of context or not. Or even better, put a link to the complete journal of discourses! There are thousand of them, but you always quote half a dozen "cherry picked" paragraphs...
      I have the feeling that that will not happend.

      BTW, why are you so obsessed about my job, or lack of it? Maybe because many people are unemployed right now? Maybe you should vote for Romney... He seems a good guy.

      Ah, now I see you tried to " drive a wedge" using a quote about "black" people... Why don't you teach us how many slaves did the "mormons" ever had? Well, none. Even when they didn't took part in the politics of slavery/anti-slavery they were seen as obvious anti-slavery, and is one of the reasons they were persecuted, murdered, and robed.
      But of course, there are a lot of things you can't understand if you don't know where we came from, why are we on this earth, and where we will go afterwards... That knowledge puts in context a lot of this quotes.
      Talk to a missionary, or a mormon friend, and they'll be glad to explain anything you want to know about the church, and our beliefs.

      April 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • heguido

      "Mormons are taught to believe every word of their prophets as though they were the words of God"

      That's simply not true. We believe the word of the prophets when they act like prophets. They are human, have opinions on many different things, change their minds, and make mistakes. Not "every word" they say is God's will.

      Joseph Smith, himself, taught that. In the last General Conference they taught about that. You can see them online.

      April 21, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • heguido

      Just immediatly before your quote, Brigham Young said:

      "The whole object of the creation of this world is to exalt the intelligences that are placed upon it, that they may live, endure, and increase for ever and ever. We are not here to quarrel and contend about the things of this world, but we are here to subdue and beautify it. Let every man and woman worship their God with all their heart. Let them pay their devotions and sacrifices to him, the Supreme, and the Author of their existence. Do all the good you can to your fellow-creatures. You are flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone. God has created of one blood all the nations and kingdoms of men that dwell upon all the face of the earth: black, white, copper-coloured, or whatever their colour, customs, or religion, they have all sprung from the same origin; the blood of all is from the same element. Adam and Eve are the parents of all pertaining to the flesh, and I would not say that they are not also the parents of our spirits."

      That was 4 years before the Civil War... They would have kill him in some states for daring to say that.

      Please read the whole discourse. It has some very interesting teachings.

      http://www.journalofdiscourses.org/volume-7/

      April 21, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • JJ

      If we don't repent, we will suffer even as Christ did. Christ's atonement is for those who repent... so yes, our blood must atone for our own sins if we don't accept Christ and repent. Makes sense to me!

      April 22, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • Jack Daniels

      Here ya go guido...real people talking instead of someone from the church that's obviously being paid to cover up any truth that's put on this chat board.

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a989OOSOycw&w=640&h=390]

      April 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • heguido

      I'm certainly being generously paid for writing here. Not by the church, and not with money.
      Who pays you?

      April 22, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  19. been there...done that

    Check this out...according to what I was told before joining this "church", Christ will return after the last temple is build where?.....wait for it...Missouri! Guess 12/21/12 is the date.

    April 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • james

      There will be a temple built in Israel,not in Missouri and by the Jews not mormans

      April 21, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  20. bob smith

    Mormons place more trust in their "Mormon Bible (The Book of Mormon), which is not really their bible at all. They use the KJV like all other Christians -And "mainstream Christians" place ALL their trust in their KJV of the bible. The KING JAMES version...? how many versions are there anyway? And wwho gave some English king the authority to SAVE? Ya, that's where I want to place my salvation...? I can explain the Book of Mormon. I CAN NOT explain the KJV. Please see the National Geographic link below.

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/12/king-james-bible/nicolson-text

    April 21, 2012 at 6:41 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.