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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. David Nelson

    Here is one remarkable Oath from the Temple Endowment Ceremony from 1931

    LAW OF VENGEANCE

    "You and each of you do solemnly promise and vow that you will pray,
    and never cease to pray, and never cease to importune high heaven to
    avenge the blood of the prophets on this nation, and that you will
    teach this to your children and your children's children unto the
    third and fourth generation."

    "All bow your heads and say yes."

    The ceremony also equates protestant preachers with Lucifer. And this was about 4 generations ago. Did the Oath fade away? Mormonism has a history that would shock many if researched..

    This is an example of why Jesus said we should not take oaths. And why Jesus said he did nothing in secret. How could anyone consider this christian? This is just one embarrassing example ot where the false prophets of Mormonism led their followers. A full transcript is available on the follwing link. It shows a bizarrely twisted account of Adam, Eve, Elohim, and Lucifer.

    http://packham.n4m.org/endow31.htm

    PS. Brigham Young once said. “The devil told the truth about godhead. I do not blame mother Eve. I would not have her miss eating the forbidden fruit for anything. Through the gift of sin humanity can achieve godhood.” Gift of Sin????

    April 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Holly in CA

      This man does not speak the truth. This is slander and lies.

      April 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Bella34

      No Holly, what YOU'RE saying is a lie. What David is saying is an exact word for word example of what was said in the Mormon Temples up to 1990 before the Blood Oath was removed from the temple ritual.
      Why do you keep accusing people of slander and lies and yet you have nothing to back up your accusations????

      April 26, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Holly in CA

      The endowment ceremony is not written down and is not discussed outside of the temple. Recording devices are not allowed inside the temple, neither are pens and paper. There is no way to record the ceremony. So, if someone claims to have knowledge of the exact words of the temple ceremony they are lying, especially if they claim it's from the 1930's, before tape recorders could have been smuggled into the temple, which I'm suspect has happened in later years. I attend the temple frequently and have done so for many many years so I am very familiar with the words of the temple and what goes on there. What David Nelson writes are lies. His information is false. His source? Who knows, probably some ex-Mormon with an ax to grind. In fact that person grinding the ax just might be David Nelson himself.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:08 am |
  2. fpstudio123

    @Jackbv...you wanted stats

    In 2010 alone the Mormon Church provided relief to people in 119 disasters in 58 countries.

    From 2002-2010 the Mormon church helped 7.5 million people in 3rd world countries gain access to clean water.

    Since 2002 the Mormon church has provided newborn training to over 193,000 world health care workers, a program called "Helping Babies Breathe".

    Since 2003 the Mormon church has helped over 550,000 people with blindness and vision impairment to see better.

    Since 2002 the Mormon church has given over 415,000 wheelchairs to people in developing countries.

    Through Mormon financial contributions, 59,000 church volunteers supported immunization campaigns in Africa.

    April 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • David Nelson

      And Shriner Freemasons provide free medical care for children. It doesn't make them any less of a cult. My church does disaster relief worldwide and has hospitals all over the world and is truly a worldwide church with churches in almost every country on earth. That is great, but it is not the thing that makes our docrines true. I remembered watching a news report how a famous Columbian drug dealer built many schools and parks for people in Columbia, but it didn't make drug trafficking a good thing. None of what you have listed above proves anything doctrinally. It doesn't make Adam into God. It doesn't do away with the horrible statements the phoney prophets of your church said about black people. It doesn't mean men will become Gods with their own planets and receive worship. It doesn't undo the fact the Jospeh Smith was a wife stealing polygamist. You can gloss over these things, but you can't hide them. Not any more.

      April 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Bella34

      fpstudio...those are GREAT numbers! Where did they come from? I can pull some pretty incredible numbers out of my *ss as well if I wanted to make my church look good....

      April 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  3. Alisha

    I thank CNN because I hope religion becomes a big issue in the election. Romney's faith makes many people very happy, turns them from addictions, bad choices and brings a lot of balance to their lives. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints produces excellent families, service minded youth, dedicated parents and civic leaders all working to make our world a better place. UCLA's study on The Spiritual Life of College Students demonstrates that young members of Romney's faith are committed, caring people who know what they believe and live it as well: http://spirituality.ucla.edu/

    Congratulations to Ann and Mitt Romney for their life examples and for raising an excellent and successful Christ centered family!

    April 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Jackbv

      Alisha, could you please provide all of the statistics that you just listed about the happiest families, community serving youth, etc coming from the Mormon church? You sound like a billboard Hitler might have put up for recruiting his Hitler youth: No reasoning, just expounding upon your megalomania and filled with your self-righteous indignation toward Non-Mormons. That kind of banter doesn't attract people, it pushes them away.

      April 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • David Nelson

      And Talk about how Mormons are shunned when they wake up and leave the cult. Talk about how Mormon superiors often fire Mormons when they wake up realize that they are in a cult. Talk about how Mormon preferential hire each other. A great example was the FBI office in Los Angeles. It had so many Mormons in it that it got successfully sued because Mormons weren't promoting non-Mormons. Talk about how Utah is a major center for marketing scams. Talk about how Brigham Young taught that Adam was God. Talk about the teaching that black skin is a curse from God etc, etc., etc.

      If Mitt seems a bit plastic and not all that relatable it is likely because Mormonism is a very big facade. If Mitt left his Mormonism behind, I would vote for him, but he won't so I won't. it is a matter of principle.

      April 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Holly in CA

      @Jackbv...here's an example: this Saturday in San Diego Mormon families will participate in a massive "San Diego Community Helping Hands" project involving other Christian churches throughout the county. Usually this is an annual Mormon project, but this year the church has reached out to the interfaith community to make this a community event. visit http://www.SDhelpinghands.org

      April 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Jackbv

      Holly, of course the Mormons are participating with the Christians...you Mormons are doing ANYTHING to try to prove to America that you're Christians, but you're not. You're a cult. And why do you always have to BRAG about everything you do for other people????

      April 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  4. fpstudio123

    In the temple, Mormons are taught, they make covenants, and are promised blessings. They receive ordinances that enable them to return to the presence of God. Mormons are taught about the purpose of life, the mission and atonement of Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father's plan for His children. Mormons gain a glimpse of what it is like to live in His presence as they feel the peaceful atmosphere of the temple.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Sal

      In the Mormon Temple, Mormons are taught "covenants" that prepare them for Godhood. Mormons believe that they will become gods after this life, with their spouse, on a planet of their own making. They believe that God was once a mortal man on a planet somewhere out in space and that he himself worked his way up to Godhood. Do you want a President in the White House that believes he will become a God???? Mormonism is not a monotheistic religion if they believe there are more gods "out there," whether they worship these "Gods" or not.

      April 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • David Nelson

      http://packham.n4m.org/endow31.htm

      From a 1931 Temple Endowment Ceremony

      LAW OF VENGEANCE

      "You and each of you do solemnly promise and vow that you will pray,
      and never cease to pray, and never cease to importune high heaven to
      avenge the blood of the prophets on this nation, and that you will
      teach this to your children and your children's children unto the
      third and fourth generation."

      "All bow your heads and say yes."

      That is some strange legacy Mormonism was passing down. I strongly encourage all to read the strange creation mythology weaved into the biblical account. It seems that they believe Elohim created a strange secretive Masonic like priesthood. This is anything but Christian.

      April 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  5. Kat34

    Here are some very Troubling Quotes from the Second Prophet (leader) of the Mormon Church

    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 26, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  6. Holly in CA

    Mormon.org

    This is where you will find truthful information regarding temples in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are a lot of people mud slinging on this site. They are sending out misinformation, slander, and lies. For correct information you should go right to the source above.

    April 26, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • pastmorm

      Holly get over it. You're trying to brainwash people with your own propaganda website while you tell them that any other site is wrong. What a hypocrite!!!

      April 26, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • David Nelson

      Have the writings and speeches of "prophet" Brigham Young been disavowed? Why is the church so embarrassed by its so called prophets? How is quoting Brigham Young, one of your own prophets, considered mud slinging? It seems the mud is that of Brigham Young himself. What it shows me that even Mormons are not willing to defend the inventors of their own religion, that is what it shows me. I don't see Mormons trying to defend the indefensible. Just complaining that they FEEL persecuted. You don't have to be Mormon's. Jesus can set you free.

      April 26, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  7. ?

    Do a wiki search on Parley P. Pratt. That's Mitt Romney's great great grandfather. He was a founder of the Mormon church. He was also killed by a jealous husband. See Parley stole the man's wife and married her while she was still married. She became his 12th wife. That doesn't sound like any Christian I've ever heard of. In fact, in my church you would go straight to hell. The Mormons consider him a hero. and that's why Mormons aren't Christians.

    April 25, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  8. TJeff1776

    I am one of those so-called "brainwashed" type Mormons. I guess Paul, in the New Testiment, said it best "I am a prisoner of Jesus Christ". Yep, I am locked in....don't ya pity the likes of me. See tha rest of you in the great beyond. Advice- don't listen to these boneheads. Get off your butts and do some comparing AND don't be channeled to other sites wherein they quote others who quote others.

    April 25, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • pastmorm

      LOL! What a hypocrite! You're telling people not to check out the "other sites" but you and your fellow mormons are all telling people to go to YOUR mormon website and believe that. Nice.

      April 26, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • David Nelson

      Hmmm? Let.s consider this. People are only allowed to go one source to research Mormonism. That is practically the definition of a mind controlling cult. "Yes, master, I will go only to Mormon sites. I will believe you, and only you." How ridiculous!!!

      April 26, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  9. Kenjitheman

    You should try it out some time people. Brainwashing is the last thing they need. Other churches just say what you may want to hear. I understand that the LdS church tells it like it is. I may try it and like it. You never know.

    April 25, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  10. Mark

    Stephen Powell aka Mormon Nut Job killed his wife and then blew himself up with his two boys.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  11. ex mormon

    wow, glass stairs leading into a jacuzzi. when i was baptized i had to climb into a basin.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • bob

      they arent glass...and its not a Jacuzzi. be more repectful

      April 25, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • pastmorm

      It certainly isn't a jacuzzi! I remember doing baptisms for the dead in a VERY cold, slippery, metal basin. They guy doing the baptisms was talking so fast and dunking me equally as fast that I hardly had a chance to get a breath. Then the big white jumpers you have to wear cling you to you while you freeze and sit on a bench as the rest of the group you came with gets to go through the same thing. It certainly wasn't a sacred feeling!

      April 26, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  12. CJ

    More people need to learn to think for themselves.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  13. arrowman11

    Awesome story. Beautiful structure. I learned more at mormon.org

    April 25, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • pastmorm

      I'm sure you did arrowman. Like you've never been a mormon before. Love the integrity of you people.....

      April 26, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  14. David Nelson

    I went to LDS.org within the last hour and I can report that they hide Joseph Smith and Brigham Young away like they had some type of spiritual plague. Lots of glossy, cheery picture of families which belies the mess so often made of families by this high pressure system. I checked Utah.gov months ago and found out that Utah has a higher than average divorce rate and has had for some years now. Don't believe the well refined sales pitch folks, their Jesus is not the "traditional Jesus." Their former prophet Gordon B Hinckley even admitted it himself.

    April 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • souptwins

      Hinckley said this because he knows what most people consider to be a "traditional Jesus". Mormons don't believe God the Father, Christ, and Holy Ghost are one being, but are one in purpose and will. That makes the Mormon view different than "traditional". The rest is very much the same as other religions– Only Begotten Son, redeemer, savior, died for sin, made resurrection possible.
      I attended the LDS Temple just a few days ago and was struck that the ceremony doesn't make mention of J. Smith or B. Young either. But it does speak heavily and nearly nonstop about Jesus Christ. Hmmm Maybe we really do worship Christ and see Smith and Young as mortal prophets much like Moses and Abraham. Now there's a thought.

      April 25, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Holly in CA

      LDS.org is the website for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

      Mormon.org is the website for those who are not Mormons but want to find out more about the church. That is the site where you'll get information regarding Joseph Smith and the formation of the Mormon church.

      April 26, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • David Nelson

      I know all about Mormonism and have rejected it as being a horrible deception that probably pleases satan, because he was the one who told Eve she could become as God and your organization has followed suit and told people they could become gods, but only with the permission of the man Joseph Smith. I know enough about Mormonism to know it is not Christian. Satan, aka Lucifer could not possibly have been brothers to Christ. Christ was and is God. Lucifer was not and wanted the worship Christ was receiving. I can't think of much of anything much less Christian than that enormous deception and you have bought it hook, line and sinker. Satan has you on the line and you are happy to hop in his boat.

      April 26, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  15. David Nelson

    This is such a beautiful presentation about Mormonism and family dynamics.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtrfKP02j6E&w=640&h=390]

    April 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • ?

      The Mormons are always bragging about being the fastest growing church. I believe that with all the scrutiny coming their way because of Romney, this is about to be reversed. To watch this video and realize that millions of people have been brainwashed into subservience is terrifying.

      April 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • David Nelson

      Heck, I never officially left the Roman Catholic Church of my youth, cuz I never chose to be baptized in the first place. It was done against my will as an infant, so I am sure even though they may count me, God knows better. Many young people are baptized into the LDS money machine overseas and then forgotten about, so who knows what the real numbers are. The LDS Church has been accused of inflating its numbers for PR purposes and they have a very poor retention rate of converts, so who knows how many of them leave everyday without officially getting off the church rolls. BTW, they are not the fastest growing church, there is at least one that has grown faster. I know because I belong to it. The Seventh Day Adventist Church.

      April 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • don't b stupid

      She makes Megan Fox look like a talented actress.
      Which religions besides the Mormons teach that families can be together forever?

      April 26, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • Kat34

      don't b stupid...(fitting username) What family in today's society wants to spend ETERNITY together? Seriously? Have you thought about how outdated that theory is? Children grow up, have their own children and so forth. They don't want to live with their great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents and all of the offspring from that union. What an INSANE idea!!

      April 26, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • David Nelson

      It is such emotional blackmail. You have to do as you are told by a group of emotional blackmailers or you will never see you family members again. Its as if they are selling group salvation. Christ judges us individually. In Heaven Jesus will dry every tear. The fact of the matter is that everyone that is saved will mourn the fact that people we all know will not be saved. He doesn't give discount plans for groups.

      April 26, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  16. biologixco

    If Joel Osteen can proclaim mormonism Christianity, then why doesn't he explain where Kolob, Magic Underwear and the Pearl of Great Price fit in. They DONT!
    Christianity can be compared to a child's toy where you bang the peg in the hole.
    Catholic, Protestant, even Baptist are all round pegs that fit in the hole.
    They are tapered slightly differently, but they all fit.
    Along comes the square peg that wont fit in the hole.
    Mormons have whittled the sharp edges of their square peg to try and MAKE it fit.
    But even a child can't be fooled by that deception.
    American voters won't be fooled either.
    Say NO to Romney2012!

    April 25, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • David Nelson

      Joel Osteen is a prosperity theology gospel teacher. He is just one in a long line of follwers of Norman Vincent Peale who wrote The Power of Positive Thinking. Peale was an admitted high ranking Freemason. Osteen has only slightly more credibility among serious Christians than Oprah Winfrey. And that is not saying much. Guys like Osteen and the Crystal Cathedral guy, Robert Schuller seem to be able to get on CNN whenever they want. They are preachers of positive thinking far more than the Gospel. Instead of a Jesus centered Church, these types including Rick Warren are create needs centered churches that really de-empasize doctrine. Small wonder Osteen has been on the New Ager Oprah's show.

      April 25, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • souptwins

      The specific doctrines may be different but that doesn't mean they can't all be Christian. It's like saying rocky road can't call itself ice cream because it's not vanilla.

      April 25, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
      • biologixco

        Christians don't pray to Kolob and wear magic underwear, bub.
        Joseph Smith was a fraud, charlatan and false prophet

        April 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  17. Jeff

    For the people out there that have been betrayed and hurt by Mormon church, take a look at this video. It can really help to start healing.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFi_MsVKD3Q&w=640&h=390]

    April 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • biologixco

      Jeff, its bad enough to see what the mormon church has done to American families, but just imagine how all of America could be hurt by having Mitt Romney as President. Four years of Mitt is sure to leave a bad mormon taste in the mouth of America.

      April 25, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • David Nelson

      For anyone stuck in the church and needs to leave, you are not alone. There are many wonderful web sites that can give you emotional support. Many are very christian, a few tending toward atheism. You can sort through them and choose which is right for you. I know how hard it is to get the Mormon ideas out of one's head. It is sold to you as the only true church. What is far more important is to find the true Jesus of the bible then it will be so much easier to find the right church. Read the ibible with out the constant BOM cross references. Just get a simple KJV with no commentary. Let the Holy Spirit help you because the Bible is its best expositor. It may take time to find all the cross references written right into the text of the Bible itself. Then the Bible truly comes alive

      Even if you are afraid to leave because you know your Mormon boss would fire you, remember. If the LDS took away your job, your LDS friends shunned you and the prize was finally getting to know the reaL Jesus, I would say the price is incredibly cheap.

      April 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  18. Terri

    To read about the truth regarding Mormon Temples go to:

    LDS.org/church/temples

    April 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Janel

      The only truth about the Mormon temples is inside the temples after they have been dedicated and only temple recommend holding mormons can enter. Then the rituals begin....
      My Aunt and my Father are both Mormon Temple workers and I've been through the temple many times myself. The feelings are anything but peaceful and loving. You are constantly followed, watched and reprimanded for making any mistakes during the rituals. No wonder there are so many ex-mormon recovery groups.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • biologixco

      If you want the Truth about mormons?
      Have an open mind, then
      Go to exmormon.org

      April 25, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • David Nelson

      The Mormon church is the last place in the world to go to for truth about the sordid history of Mormonism. You will find the usual sales pitches trying hard to make Mormonism look like Christianity, but its not christianity no matter how much they like to use the name Jesus Christ. Even their last President in 1998, Gordon B Hinckley, said that the Mormon Jesus is not the same as the Jesus of the other churches. DYK, the supposed Mormon Jesus came to the Americas after his death and destroyed great cities, killing perhaps millions. Whatever it is they think they worship is not Jesus. Brigham Young actually said Satan was Jesus' brother. Christ was God and was worshipped and Lucifer wanted to overthrow God and was kicked out of heaven. So how could they be brothers if one is God and the other is an imposter? They can't. The LDS church has skeletons in its closet much worse than this. Saints Alive is an exellent website to go for information.

      April 25, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  19. jimtanker

    How about you stop pasting the same message on every board. Come up with an orginal thought that adds to the discussion.

    April 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • chimpo

      As soon as you admit that Mormons are brainwashed cult members. Fair trade? Sorry, just trying to do God's work.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • ?

      Here's an original thought. You are brainwashed. Seriously. This isn't a religion with some quirky beliefs. This is a cult that employs mind control techniques. You are so brainwashed you don't know you're brainwashed. Sound familar?

      April 25, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • arrowman11

      Mormon's are awesome people... by their works yea shall know them. Too many stone throwers on CNN.

      April 25, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Kat34

      arrowman...I think the very proof that so many people DO NOT like Mormons agrees with your reference, "by their works ye shall know them...."

      April 26, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  20. chimpo

    do a wikipedia search on Parley P. Pratt. He was a founder of the Mormon church and also Mitt Romney's grandfather. He was also killed for stealing another man's wife. So she could become his 12th wife. People accuse Christians of not thinking Mormons are legitimate. Why? Because they are not. Because of guys like Parley Pratt.

    April 24, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • just sayin

      While I think Romney is a fruit loop believing in a sky fairy, I don't think his father has anything to do with this.

      April 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • David Nelson

      Romney is a great, great grandson of Parley P Pratt.

      April 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.