May 12th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

With or without Romney, D.C. a surprising Mormon stronghold

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Alexandria, Virginia (CNN) – A few hundred Mormons filed into a chapel just outside the Washington Beltway one recent Sunday to hear a somewhat unusual presentation: an Obama administration official recounting his conversion to Mormonism.

“I have never in my life had a more powerful experience than that spiritual moment when the spirit of Christ testified to me that the Book of Mormon is true,” Larry Echo Hawk told the audience, which stretched back through the spacious sanctuary and into a gymnasium in the rear.

Echo Hawk’s tear-stained testimonial stands out for a couple of reasons: The White House normally doesn’t dispatch senior staff to bare their souls, and Mormons hew heavily Republican. It’s not every day a top Democrat speaks from a pulpit owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

And yet the presentation by Echo Hawk, then head of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, is also a perfect symbol of a phenomenon that could culminate in Mitt Romney’s arrival at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next year: The nation’s capital has become a Mormon stronghold, with Latter-day Saints playing a big and growing role in the Washington establishment.

The well-dressed crowd gathered for Echo Hawk’s speech was dotted with examples of inside-the-beltway Mormon power.

In one pew sits a Mormon stake president – a regional Mormon leader – who came to Washington to write speeches for Ronald Reagan and now runs a lobbying firm downtown.

Behind him in the elegant but plain sanctuary – Mormon chapels are designed with an eye toward functionality and economy – is a retired executive secretary of the U.S. Supreme Court.

A few pews further back, the special assistant to the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan sits next to a local Mormon bishop who came to Washington to work for Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and now leads a congressionally chartered foundation.

Mitt Romney, who would be the first Mormon president if elected, is the son of a Cabinet secretary under Richard Nixon.

“In a Republican administration, there will be even more Mormons here,” whispers the bishop, Lewis Larsen, pointing out prominent Washingtonians around the chapel. “Every Republican administration just loads up with them.”

Regardless of which party controls the White House, Mormonism in Washington has been growing for decades.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

When Larsen arrived in Washington in the early ’80s, there were a just handful of Mormon meetinghouses in northern Virginia, where he lives. Today, there are more than 25, each housing three separate congregations, or wards, as they’re known in the LDS Church.

“There’s been an absolute explosion in Mormon growth inside the beltway,” Larsen says before slipping out of the pew to crank the air conditioning for the swelling crowd.

The LDS Church says there are 13,000 active members within a 10-mile radius of Washington, though the area’s Mormon temple serves a much larger population – 148,000 Latter-day Saints, stretching from parts of South Carolina to New Jersey.

Signs of the local Mormon population boom transcend the walls of the temple and meetinghouses.

Crystal City, a Virginia neighborhood just across the Potomac River from Washington, has become so popular with young Mormons that it’s known as “Little Provo,” after the Utah city that’s home to church-owned Brigham Young University.

Congress now counts 15 Mormon members, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. That means the 2% of the country that’s Mormon is slightly overrepresented on Capitol Hill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, is the highest-placed elected Mormon in Washington.

Even many Latter-day Saints joke about Washington’s “Mormon mafia” – referring to the number of well-placed LDS Church members across town – though they cringe at the thought of being seen as part of some cabal. (Echo Hawk, for his part, left the Obama administration a few weeks after his chapel presentation for a job in the LDS Church hierarchy).

“No one talks about Washington being an Episcopalian stronghold or a Jewish stronghold,” says Richard Bushman, a Mormon scholar at Columbia University. Talk of “Mormon Washington,” he says, “represents a kind of surprise that people who were thought of as provincial have turned up in sophisticated power positions.”

Bushman and other experts note that, despite Mormons’ growing political power, the official church mostly steers clear of politics. It’s hard to point to federal legislation or a White House initiative that bears distinctly Mormon fingerprints, while it’s easy to do the same for other faiths.

For example, the White House’s recent “compromise” on a rule that would have required religious groups to fund contraception for employees was mostly a reaction to pressure from Roman Catholic bishops.

Nonetheless, Mormon success in Washington is a testament to distinctly Mormon values, shedding light into the heart of one of America’s fastest-growing religions.

And though the official church is mostly apolitical, most rank-and-file Mormons have linked arms with the GOP. Romney’s own political evolution mirrors that trend.

Such forces help explain why Mormons’ beltway power is poised to grow even stronger in coming years, whether or not Romney wins the White House.

‘A ton of Mormon contacts’

For many Washington Mormons, religion plays a key role in explaining why they’re here.

Larsen, who sports a brown comb-over and tortoise shell glasses, arrived in Washington in the early 1980s as an intern for Hatch, also a Mormon.

He landed the internship courtesy of Brigham Young University, his alma mater. The Mormon school owns a four-story dorm on Pennsylvania Avenue, not too far from the White House, which houses 120 student interns each year. It’s the school’s largest such program in the nation.

“Part of our church’s tradition is to be connected with civic life, to make our communities better,” says BYU’s Scott Dunaway, who helps place students on Capitol Hill, at the Smithsonian and other Washington institutions. “We don’t believe in being reclusive.”

It’s a perfect characterization of Larsen. He grew up in Provo, in the shadow of BYU, and wanted to prove he could make it outside of Utah.

“Kids growing up in the LDS Church have been told, ‘Go ye out in the world and preach the gospel of Christ - don’t be afraid to be an example,’ ” Larsen said, sitting in the glass-doored conference room of the foundation he runs on K Street.

“So we are on our missions, converting people to Christianity,” he continued. “And coming to Washington, for me and probably for a lot of people, came out of that interest. We see it as our career, but also we’re going out to preach the word of Christ.”

For Larsen, that usually means correcting misinformation about Mormonism or explaining Mormon beliefs and practices – you really don’t drink coffee, ever? – over lunch with co-workers or at business functions, rather than on-the-job proselytizing.

He learned about integrating work and faith from Hatch. He was initially shocked to discover that the senator prays in his office each morning. Larsen and Hatch developed what the bishop calls a “father-son” relationship, with the intern rising up through the ranks to become Hatch’s chief Washington fundraiser.

“We would go on trips, and I’d quiz him on the plane: Why did the church do this? Why didn’t the church do this?” Larsen said. “He was like a tutor to me.”

Now, as the head of a foundation that educates teachers about the U.S. Constitution, the bishop helps other young Mormons with job leads and introductions. Larsen was appointed to the role by Hatch and the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Much of Washington’s Mormon professional network is still anchored by BYU, which operates a handful of big, well-connected alumni groups with major Washington chapters. The most prominent is BYU’s Management Society, a global organization whose biggest chapter is in Washington.

At the chapter’s recent alumni dinner, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was the guest of honor. She has strong ties to the Mormon community and has hired Mormons as top aides. Says Larsen: “Condi’s got a ton of Mormon contacts.”

Patrice Pederson also knows how to work a Rolodex. A lifelong political activist, she moved from Utah to Washington last year and soon tapped into BYU’s local network.

Pederson served as the U.S.-based campaign manager for Yeah Samake, a Mormon running for president in the West African nation of Mali.

Samake traveled frequently to the U.S. to raise money and build political support, so Pederson enlisted the help of BYU’s Management Society and other groups to host events for the candidate.

Both in Washington and across the U.S., many Mormons are watching his candidacy.

“Members of the church on Capital Hill were anxious to introduce the candidate to other members of Congress,” says Pederson, sipping an herbal tea (Mormons eschew black leaf teas) in a strip mall Starbucks near her apartment in Alexandria, Virginia.

“It’s cool to have a member of the church running for president in Africa.”

Beyond making connections, many Washington Mormons say the LDS Church provides an ideal proving ground for careers here.

Unlike most churches, it has no professional clergy; from the bishop to the organist, each role is filled by everyday Mormons, most of whom have other day jobs. As a result, Mormons take church leadership roles at an early age, speaking publicly at Sunday services almost as soon they learn to talk.

“My kids grew up in the church, and we get together for three hours on Sundays, and each member needs to get up and speak,” says U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. “By the time they graduate, they have all these speaking assignments that other teenagers just don’t have.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, says Mormonism provides ideal training for aspiring politicians.

“For those who grow up in the Mormon church, they are taught skills that allow them to be successful in a tough city like Washington,” says Chaffetz, who converted to Mormonism shortly after college.

Young Mormons also hone leadership skills by serving missions away from home. The missions last from one and half to two years and happen when Mormons are in their late teens and early 20s and often include intensive foreign language training.

“Young Mormons are more formidable in public settings and international settings than others,” says Terryl Givens, a Mormon scholar at the University of Richmond. “Normally you would have to acquire more age and work experience before you feel comfortable and useful at NGOs and think tanks.”

Chaffetz, whose son is serving a mission in Ghana, says the experience is the perfect preparation for political careers.

“They learn rejection early on,” he says. “If you’re going to be in politics, that’s a pretty good attribute.”

Christina Tomlinson served her mission in nonexotic Fresno, California. But working with the Laotian community there, she acquired the foreign language skills that landed her first internship at the U.S. State Department.

“I look back at that and it’s nothing but divine providence,” Tomlinson says one night at an office building-turned-chapel in Crystal City, after a weekly discussion about Mormon teachings. “I would have never made those choices.”

When she arrived at her foreign service orientation in the late 1990s, Tomlinson was surprised to find that a half-dozen of her State Department colleagues were also Mormon. The thriving LDS community at State even runs its own e-mail list server so Latter-day Saints can find each other wherever in the world they’re stationed.

Like former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who used the Mandarin language skills acquired through a Mormon mission to Taiwan to help secure his job as President Barack Obama’s previous ambassador to China, Tomlinson leveraged her mission to get ahead at State, where she now serves as special assistant to the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“I’m basically the chief of staff for the president’s representative charged with implementing U.S. foreign policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan,” she e-mailed on a recent plane ride back from the region.

Language skills acquired on a Mormon mission helped Christina Tomlinson get her start at the State Department.

At the point of a bayonet

Like many Mormons, Tomlinson says her professional life is driven by a faith-based patriotism that sounds old-fashioned to modern ears: “I just really wanted to serve my country.”

But that distinctly Mormon patriotism was hard-won. From their very beginning, Mormons had tried to forge a special relationship with Washington. And for decades, they failed.

Joseph Smith, who founded Mormonism in the 1830s, petitioned the U.S. government to protect his fledgling religious community from the violent persecution it was experiencing, even meeting repeatedly with President Martin Van Buren.

But Washington refused, provoking Smith – who Mormons consider their founding prophet – to run for president himself in 1844. He was assassinated by an anti-Mormon mob in Illinois well before Election Day.

In the face of such attacks, Mormons fled west, to the territory that’s now Utah. But they continued to seek ties with Washington, dispatching representatives to the capital to lobby for statehood.

Congress refused to grant it. Instead, Uncle Sam disincorporated the LDS Church and sent the U.S. Army to police Mormon territory.

In the eyes of Washington, Latter-day Saints were flouting federal law by practicing polygamy. The feds saw the LDS Church as an undemocratic rival government that threatened Washington’s power.

Joseph Smith, Mormonism’s founding prophet, ran for president in 1844 but was killed before Election Day.

Mormons would eventually ban polygamy, paving the way for Utah statehood in 1896. But Congress nonetheless refused to seat the new state’s Mormon senator, who also served as a top church official.

For four years, the U.S. Senate held hearings to grill U.S. Sen. Reed Smoot and other church leaders, alleging that Mormons continued to practice polygamy despite promises to the contrary.

“The political trial was as much a galvanizing cultural moment as was Watergate,” says Kathleen Flake, a scholar of Mormonism at Vanderbilt University in Tenneessee.

When Smoot was eventually seated – after the LDS Church took further steps to stamp out polygamy – he managed to become a Washington powerbroker. He would chair the Senate Finance Committee and act as a presidential adviser.

“He was Mr. Republican,” says Flake. “For a while there, he was the Republican Party.”

Smoot’s unflagging pursuit of legitimacy in Washington, despite the city’s bias against him and his faith, symbolizes what many call a uniquely Mormon appreciation for American civic life. It helps explain the Mormon fascination with Washington to this day.

It may seen counterintuitive, but Mormons’ early exposure to persecution at the hands of other Americans – aided, Mormons say, by the U.S. government – wound up strengthening their patriotic streak.

In the face of attacks, Mormons clung to the U.S. Constitution and its unprecedented guarantee of religious freedom. They distinguished between the document and those charged with implementing it.

Mormon scripture goes so far as to describe the U.S. Constitution as divinely inspired, establishing a unique environment in which Mormonism could emerge.

“Mormons are superpatriots,” says Columbia University’s Bushman. “Joseph Smith said that if the government was doing its job as laid out in the Constitution, it would protect Mormons from their enemies.”

Mormons began to shed their Utah-only siege mentality and fanned out in the early part of the 20th century. Their patriotic streak, which translated into military enlistments and applications for government jobs, led many to Washington.

That wave included J. Willard Marriott, the hotel chain founder, who launched his business career by opening an A&W root beer stand here. He would go on to forge the kind of deep political connections that would help make Willard “Mitt” Romney his namesake.

Washington’s Mormon community got another boost in the 1950s when President Dwight Eisenhower appointed a top church official, Ezra Taft Benson, as his agriculture secretary.

“Mormons took it as a sign of maybe, just maybe, we’re being accepted,” says Flake. “It signified a cultural acceptance of Mormonism. People thought Mormons believed weird things, but also that they were self-reliant, moral and good neighbors.”

As Mormons became more accepted, they became more upwardly mobile, landing in parts of the country that could sustain careers in commerce, academia and government - another reason Washington was a big draw.

By the time there were enough Mormons in the eastern U.S. to justify the construction of the first Mormon temple east of the Mississippi River, the church chose a site just outside Washington.

The temple opened in 1974, shortly after another high-profile Mormon – George Romney, Mitt’s father – left his post as Richard Nixon’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

“The Washington temple served as a symbol of the triumphant return of Mormonism to the east,” says Givens, the University of Richmond professor. “Mormons left from the point of a bayonet in the 1800s and the temple is this gigantic symbol that says ‘We’re back – and we’re back in the nation’s capital.’ ”

The Mormon temple outside Washington was the first such temple built east of the Mississippi River.

Unlike Mormon meetinghouses, where members meet for Sunday worship, temples are grander buildings reserved for certain rites, such as proxy baptisms for the dead.

To this day, the first monument many Washington visitors see isn’t a federal landmark. It’s the massive Mormon temple, its Georgian marble towers and gold-leafed spires looming above the trees on the Washington Beltway like an otherworldly castle.

The temple houses a J. Willard Marriott-financed mural of Jesus Christ’s second coming, which features a picture of the Washington temple itself in the background.

“Are you implying that the millennium will begin in Washington?” a temple visitor once asked Marriott, referring to Jesus’ return.

Replied Marriott: “What better place is there?”

Good at organizing

These days, the Mormon impulse toward Washington is often as much political as patriotic.

Patrice Pederson - the campaign manager for the Mormon running for president in Mali - made her first foray into politics at 15, hopping the bus from her home in the suburbs of Salt Lake City into town to intern with a Republican candidate for the U.S. House.

“I remember that when Bill Clinton was elected, I wore all black to school that day,” says Pederson, who was in junior high at the time. “I was mourning the death of liberty.”

When then-Vice President Al Gore visited Utah, Pederson protested his speech with a homemade poster that said “Blood, Guts & Gore – Healthcare’94.” (She can’t recall the poster’s exact meaning).

Pederson’s activism as a “total hardcore right-winger” continued into her 20s. She put off college at BYU to start a “pro-family” advocacy group aimed at lobbying foreign governments and the United Nations. The work brought her to Washington so frequently that she decided to relocate last year: “I had more friends here than in Utah.”

Pederson’s path to D.C. speaks to the growing Mormon/Republican alliance since the 1960s, driven largely by the emergence of social issues such as abortion and gay marriage and the rise of the Christian Right.

“In the 1950s and ’60s, Utah became Republican,” says Bushman. “It’s partly about being anti-communist, but it’s also a response to the 1960s and the decay of old-fashioned moral virtues. It’s an anti-1960s movement, and the Republicans seemed to be the party of old-fashioned virtues.”

Pederson’s roommate, Kodie Ruzicka, grew up squarely in that movement, with her mom heading the Utah chapter of Eagle Forum, a conservative Christian group founded by rightwing icon Phyllis Schlafly.

In the 1970s, when the Catholic Schlafly led a successful grassroots campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have made gender-based discrimination unconstitutional, she enlisted the help of Mormons.

To its opponents, including the LDS Church, the ERA was the work of radical feminists who wanted to upend traditional gender roles.

Much of Schlafly’s organizing was among evangelicals, and “given the sometimes hostile evangelical line on Mormons, [Schlafly’s] Mormon outreach was kind of revolutionary,” says Ruzicka, who now works at the Justice Department. “But we’re good at organizing, and we have a lot of useful structures for it, so that was useful to her.”

Today, Mormons head Eagle Forum chapters across the West, including California, Arizona and Nevada, as well as Utah.

Bridge-building between Mormons and the conservative movement helps explain the Reagan administration’s push to hire many Mormons into the White House - which further cemented the alliance. That bond continues to lure Mormons to D.C.

Ruzicka, for one, continued in the political footsteps of her mother, arriving in Washington in her mid-20s to lead a nonprofit that promotes safe haven laws, which allow young mothers to legally abandon young children at fire stations.

Beyond hot-button social issues, U.S. Rep. Chaffetz says the Mormon faith engenders support for limited government.

“The church is very adamant about personal responsibility, and for people to voluntarily participate in service,” the Utah Republican says. “There’s this feeling that service is not something that should be mandated by government.”

The LDS Church, for its part, insists it is politically neutral and that it avoids pressuring Mormon elected officials to tow a church line. “The church’s mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to elect politicians,” the church’s website says.

Mormon experts say the church’s support for a relatively strict separation of church and state is born of the U.S. government’s refusal to help Mormons in the face of early persecution.

And after being accused of setting up a rival government around the turn of the last century, the church is loath to be seen giving marching orders to LDS politicians.

The church did, however, play a leading role in passing Prop 8, California’s gay marriage ban, in 2008. Church officials called it a moral cause, not a political one.

Plenty of critics disagree. But neither Mormon bishops nor church officials are known to lead the kind of church-based legislative lobbying efforts that Catholic bishops or evangelical leaders do.

Mitt Romney himself embodies the reluctance of Mormon politicians to connect their religion and their public policy positions, in contrast to politicians of other faiths.

That reluctance also appears to be born of anxiety over Americans’ lingering questions and doubts about Mormonism. When Pew asked Americans last year what word they associated with the Mormon faith, the most common response was “cult.”

In recent weeks, Romney’s newfound position as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has produced a mix of excitement and worry among Mormons. That’s especially true in Washington, where politically savvy Latter-day Saints send out frequent e-mail round-ups of Mormon media coverage to their LDS networks.

“A lot of us know it’s ultimately a good thing, but it’s hard to feel like it’s a good thing because so much of the publicity is about things you wouldn’t talk about in polite company, like my underwear,” says Pederson, referring to the enduring fascination with Mormon undergarments.

Like many conservatives, Pederson is suspicious of Romney.

“I don’t like his waffling, to put it gently, on life and family issues,” she says. “But if it comes down to Romney versus Obama, hand me the pom-poms. I’ll be president of the Romney-Is-the-Best-We-Can-Come-Up-With-for-President Club.”

For now, Pederson is working with the National Right to Life Committee’s political action committee to raise money for the Romney effort, even as she makes up her mind about how actively she wants to promote his candidacy.

Some of her calculus is about weighing political reality against her conservative idealism. And some of it is about her next professional move. It’s a very Washington place to be.

- Video by CNN photojournalist Jeremy Moorhead

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • DC • Jon Huntsman • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (3,419 Responses)
  1. silas

    America ! wake up from your slumber! Open your eyes and see this deception for what it is. Mormonism is an offshoot of freemasonry and the devil seats at the helm of this Lie. Resist this evil !

    May 15, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  2. Mormon magical underwear


    May 15, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  3. loveroftruth

    I love it every time I see comment sections like this.
    A positive article comes out about the Mormon church, and the anti-Mormons freak out like my 2 year old son throwing a temper tantrum.

    It lets me know I found Christ's true faith. The anti-Mormon voices on here sound just like the Sadducees and the Pharisees when talking about Christ. Then as time continued, like the rest of the world talking about Christ's apostles. The true church has always been persecuted.

    Satan is trying his hardest to stop it from going forward today, just as he did in Christ's day.

    I would strongly be doubting my faith if you guys weren't so vocal on here. The Bible said the true believers would face persecution. Thanks for fulfilling his prophecies.

    I have actually had several opportunities to share more about my faith because of boards like this. People see things on here and know I am Mormon. It starts conversations. I am then able to invite them to come and see for themselves what the truth really is. Once they attend a meeting and get to know more members, they see what lies most of the anti's comments on these boards are and can make their own decision on the truth of the matter.

    Thanks again and keep up the good work.

    May 15, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • nikki21

      I see the magical underwear has possesed you or your brainwashed,I feel sorry for you...

      May 15, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  4. peter

    bill–what you need to do is reject the cursed christ of joeseph smith-The fact is the bom is not the word of God and your prophet joeseph smith was a liar and deciever from the beginning-In hell is your prophet along with his christ invention

    May 15, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Bill

      Actually, people really just need to reject all the garbage coming from your mouth.

      May 15, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • peter

      bill –the garbage and excrement is the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ.

      May 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • NotSuprisedbyBIGOTS

      There goes that little guy Peter again...... doesn't have a clue what he's talking about but we are all sure of one thing – he doesn't have a CLUE what the Gospel of Christ is all about. His ignorance is alarming and everyone on this blog can tell you are a total BIGOT. You profess to believe in "CHRIST" but ignore his basic teachings – wow..... we all feel sorry for your little tantrums you post as facts. Wake up, dude – you are about as close to what Satan teaches as anyone I know. What a sorry little man!

      May 16, 2012 at 2:56 am |
  5. Abinadi

    18 My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.
    19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”
    20 He again (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith—History, Joseph Smith—History 1)

    Christendom has apostacized from the truth! No man will ever see the kingdom of God who is too proud to admit he is wrong!

    May 15, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • peter

      Christendom has not apostatized from the truth–You sir are decieved by the cursed prophet joeseph smith and his false cursed jesus christ–Joeseph smith was a liar and a deciever from the beggining-Cursed is his christ as is the spririt from which he wrote

      May 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Abinadi

      1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
      2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
      3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
      4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. (New Testament, John, Chapter 10)

      Peter, Christ was speaking of You, because you are that unauthorized thief and robber who is trying to enter the sheepfold over the back fence instead of the way that Christ intended, through his authorized and ordained prophet. You have no authority. You are an impostor!

      May 15, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • peter

      Abin–cursed is your prophet and the christ he worte and preached about–mormons are cursed even to the 7th generation

      May 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Mormon magical underwear

      Keep believing in your false god that lives on planet kolob,keep praying and wearing your magical mormon magical skidmarked underwear lol.Keep worshiping the moslester,rapist,Joesoph Smith.Keep that magical book of mormon close to your heart right next to your skidmarked magical undies lol.You mormons are a wacko cult worshiping molesters and space aliens lol,I BET IF YOU WASH YOUR MAGICAL UNDERWEAR AND GET THE SKIDMARKS OUT YOUR POWERS WOULD DISAPPEAR ROFLL<KOLOB, MAGIC UNDERWEAR,BOOK OF MORSCAM<JOESOPH THE MOLESTER<LOL YOU CANT MAKE STUFF UP THIS FUNNY YOU CULTISTS ARE MESSED UP JUST LIKE ROMNEY AND HIS SKIDMARKED MAGIC UNDIES ROFLLLLLL

      May 15, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Bill


      Looking at your typing in that last comment, I can imagine you stomping up and down screaming like a little child who didn't get it's way. Someone needs to take a valium and focus on their own life a little more. All the stress and worry about what others believe makes one to think you must not be that secure in your own beliefs.

      May 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • NotSuprisedbyBIGOTS

      Here is that little man, peter again. Dude you look like a complete idiot on this blog – oh well, that is what ignorance does to someone that is also filled with such hatred. What a life you must lead.

      May 16, 2012 at 2:58 am |
  6. Tim Rigney

    GREAT! 🙂

    Too bad D.C. has a relatively insignificant number of Electoral Votes.

    May 15, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  7. Sharmon

    Do you see how easy it is to fall for anything. People are inspired by smoothsayers. This is exactly what Jesus warns us about. I have absolutely one message the cross that Jesus carried and hung for our sins. Our sins were nail in death and paid in full.
    "America's fastest growing religion." Another sad day for Christian. Weep and cry the day of the Lord is coming as thief in the night. You will not be able to escape his wrath. Confess your sins, receive Jesus, be baptised and receive the holy spirit! Put away your idols and acknowledge God Almighty. We should be ashame for allowing this to happen. Power is at the base of this great evil. There is one coming whom God raised from the dead. Out of his mouth proceeds a two edge sword. Repent for the day of the Lord is near.

    May 15, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • peter

      sharmon–i voted for santorum in the primaries and will be sitting out the gen election–i never have nor will vote for obama for obvious reasons but im not going to vote for a mormon–

      May 15, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Bill

      Typical bigot.

      May 15, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • peter

      bill–i i have bigotry towards your cursed prophet and your cursed jesus christ–I reject the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ as does christendom

      May 15, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Bill

      As I said : Typical bigot.

      Funny how many on here claiming to be "on the high road" are from their examples and words on here, are about as far from showing a Christlike example or following the Bible's words as you can get.

      Do you need a few scriptures to refresh your memory of how you should act towards others, including your enemies?

      May 15, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • NotSuprisedbyBIGOTS

      You won't vote for a Mormon? They you ARE voting for OBAMA. How can you be such an idiot!?!?

      May 16, 2012 at 2:59 am |
    • peter

      notsuprisedbybigots–sitting out the gen election obviously means i won't be voting at all

      May 16, 2012 at 3:12 am |
  8. Joe

    Mormons you can spin it all you want and lie about what your teaching say but we know better,your spin and lies mean nothing,quit trying to act like you are not a cult and you are the same as normal christians because you are not.You people are twisted cultists and of course you will deny everything,of course you will portray yourselves as normal,sorry but we dont believe your lies lies lies,if you were normal then why didnt you just go to a normal chrch? why change the religion and worship false gods?,because you are cultists period,quit lying and admit it .

    May 15, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Bill

      Funny, I bet the Catholic church said those same exact words to all of the reformers when they started changing things and starting their own religions. Hmmm.

      May 15, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  9. Abinadi

    My turn to ask a question. Hebrews 4: 5 and 6, as well as John 15: 16 clearly teaches that a man must be called of God and given authority to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances.  This authority clearly must come from apostles and prophets as taught in Ephesians chapter 2.  The protestants apostacized from the Catholic church.  So, where does a baptist or evangelical minister's authority to preach come from?

    May 15, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • peter

      abin–reject the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ as the word of God and call it for what it is–a cursed lie–and than we can talk about christedom–until than your christ is cursed forever and ever

      May 15, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Abinadi

      That was not really an answer, Peter, just answer the question!

      May 15, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • quick answer

      The Holy Spirit calls people into ministry. There are prophets even in the protestant churches who identifies who has been called to preach the Gospel. Just because a person does not agree on the same things that Catholics do does not mean they are not a part of the church that Jesus created.

      May 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • peter

      I don't have to defend christedom or the four gospels of the bible–I am saying, as is christedom that your cursed prophet and his book of mormon is a lie–That your jesus christ is a lie and a curse--your religion has nothing to do with christianity at all

      May 15, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Abinadi

      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is based on the teachings of Christ and the New Testament. Christ founded his church on apostles and prophets. Ephesians 2 states: "19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
      20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;"
      Apostles and prophets are absolutely essential because they hold the keys to the priesthood. If the apostles all die, the authority is lost along with revelation; we no longer know the mind and will of God and Christ is no longer the "chief cornerstone". False teachers and priests arise and we are "carried about with every wind of doctrine". Paul taught in Ephesians 4: "11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
      12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
      13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
      14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;"
      Without apostles and prophets we cannot come to a "unity of the faith" nor be perfected in Christ. Without a prophet who speaks authoritatively the will of God, only confusion can reign as people argue what God meant and uninspired men tamper with the holy scriptures!
      January 27, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse | Reply

      May 15, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • peter

      abin–Cursed is your christ and your prophet

      May 15, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • NotSuprisedbyBIGOTS

      Peter – you can't even answer a simple question. Shows how lame your little posts are. C'mon, dude... answer the question.... apparently you are on repeat – spewing some rather lame blather....

      May 16, 2012 at 3:00 am |
  10. Joe

    Mormons worship a false god,they are a cult with a bunch of weirdos like johovas wintesses cult or heavens gate cult

    May 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Joe, It is the Protestants and Catholics who have changed the true doctrine about the nature of God! A good example is the Nicene creed. The Nicene Creed is nowhere in the Bible. It was totally fabricated by Constantine and his council of pagans, Capadocians, Nicenes, Gnostics, Arians, Apolinarians, Greek mystics and others who had an agenda. Constantine didn't know any doctrine. He just wanted peace in his empire from all the factions who were fighting over doctrine. He just settled for the first thing that the majority could agree with. The sad thing is that there were probably people there who knew the truth, but couldn't prevail over all the other factions – doctrine by committee! Paul would not have approved of the mess christianity is in. He said, "5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism," (Ephesians 4) Obviously, there can not be more than one true church or more than one true doctrine. The question is, which one? We invite all to visit mormon.org for the answer. Christ taught the true doctrine of the Godhead when he suffered himself to be baptized by John. In Luke 3:21,22 we read, "21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
      22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased."
      This is the true doctrine of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost which was taught by the Bible – that the Father and Son are two separate beings.  Funny, the smartest religious leaders have been reading the Bible for 2000 years but it took a 14 year old boy to point out the obvious!

      May 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • peter

      Abin-your cursed prophet joeseph smith who wrote the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ in the 1800s is not true. Cursed is the jesus christ in the book of mormon. Cursed is the hand and spirit that wrote the book of mormon.
      Bottomline is the book of mormon is either the word of God or it is not. Mormons are cursed to the 7th generation. abin i hope one day you reject the evil religion of mormonism, the religion of your ancestors someday

      May 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Peter,, you have been deceived by, let me guess, a minister who gets money from you and doesn't want to lose his livelyhood.  Ron Hubbard was overheard to say that if he wanted to make an easy million dollars, he would start a church, and that is exactly what he eventually did!  Your minister is in it for the money!  The true Church of Jesus Christ doesn't sell the Lord's gospel for money.  That is what is called priest craft.  The clergy in the Church of Jesus Christ are unpaid and only motivated by a sincere desire to serve.  The young men and women who are our missionaries are the same way.  They serve at great sacrifices, often giving up college savings or lucrative sports and entertainment contracts so they can bring you the truth.  Don't be doofed by the "grievous wolves" who "make war with the saints" and fight against God.  I urge you to go to mormon.org where kind, dedicated, unpaid missionaries will answer any questions you have.

      May 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • peter

      ron hubbard and joeseph smith were both liars and decievers–you mormons are just as sick as scientologists-two false religions–funny you mentioned ron hubbard and don't see the connection

      May 15, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Nick

      Abinadi: When anytime something is "too good to be true", it usually is. Same way, when someone tries to explain the main difference of the "trinity" as a misunderstanding thousands of religious scholars which was corrected by a 14-year, I smell a "baloney" a mile away.
      If you and your cult members agree to go to Rome and have a debate with the religious scholars and scholars from Israel, I might start to pay attention and not when you try to argue with the general public.

      May 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • NotSuprisedbyBIGOTS

      Nick and Peter – you profess to believe in the Bible? Then why don't you read .... better yet, try and understand it. I guess you believe in those stupid miracles like the loaves and the fishes.... receiving the commandments of God from a Burning Bush.....healing the leper...... and many other miracles.... do you? Or are they as dumb and a 14 year-old boy being visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ? You are about as ignorant as anyone I have ever seen..... your posts stink of BIGOTRY and misunderstandings of the Gospel of Christ. I guess YOU.... yes YOU... seem to know and put a limit on what God can do? What an arrogant pair of souls to presume such a thing. I feel very sorry for the both of you. Ignorant and void of the understanding of the Gospel of Christ. Wow – Hatred is alive and well here.....

      May 16, 2012 at 3:05 am |
    • peter

      notsuprisedbybigots–what I, nick,joe and christendom have been saying is what you already know–That your cursed prophet, your book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ is not true. Cursed is your prophet and his christ.

      Bottomline is someone is very wrong here–The book of mormon is either the word of God or it is not.

      May 16, 2012 at 3:22 am |
  11. Mormon magical underwear

    Say no to Mormon magical underwear! Say no to Joesoph Smith the con who was a molester,crook,murderer,Say no to god living in outer space on planet kolob! Say no to the book of mormon,Say no to the violence toward women and children! Say no to these wacko cultists! Mormons need to take their MORMON MAGICAL SKIDMARKED UNDERWEAR BACK TO PLANET KOLOB AND WASH THEM<THEY ARE NOT MAGICAL AND GOD IS NOT ON KOLOB<THE BIBLE IS THE HOLY BOOKI WILL NOT SUPPORT A CULT!!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • NotSuprisedbyBIGOTS

      Time to get put back into your little padded cell. What a diatribe of crap. Time for bed and your medications.....

      May 16, 2012 at 3:06 am |
  12. Primewonk

    To all the trolls on here trashing the Mormons – grow up.

    The Mormon nutters are no wackier than the Catholic nutters. Or the Baptist nutters. Or the Methodist nutters. Or the Lutheran nutters. Or the Jewish nutters. Or the Muslim Nutters. Or the Wiccan nutters. Or ...

    May 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Orwell seen it before

      They still be nutters.

      We need a nutters scale so people can get an idea how nuts their religions are.

      Religions can compete annually as to which one is the most nutter'd

      May 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  13. Snow

    can any of you good mormons tell me something about your doctrine.. how did the doctrine change about polygamy and when girls are ready for marriage? did god change his mind? or did the prophet who originally preached it was proven wrong?

    In either case what kind of god/doctrine do you follow that changes its tone at every whim? and how true is the doctrine about every other thing mentioned in it?

    and can you good christians answer why you have so much hatred for mormons when they pray to the same god as you? How are they causing you harm? how are they effecting your life that you want them branded out of the world? isn't your god supposed to be about loving others? did you forget it?

    May 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • just sayin

      The Christians Taliban and Mormons are cults. Their way or the highway to HELL! Both have their "magic" items and acts.

      May 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Conservative Christian

      Our christian god does not live on planet kolob,we do not worship the con molester Joesoph Smith,We do not use the book of mormon,they do not pray tto the same god......They perverted and twisted the religion for their own selfish purposes of control of women and children,this was Joesoph Smith way.

      May 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      1978 was a momentous year for the Latter Day Saints.
      Up until then, they had opened Temples only in the whitest of white area – Alberta, England and Switzerland.
      In '78, they opened their first Temple in a land full of "cursed" dark-skinned people, but suddenly were faced with the impossibility of maintaining a doctrine of inst/itutionalized racism while employing Brazilians to minister the Temple.
      So *poof*! Spencer Kimball and the 12 get word from God that blacks are now OK to be clergy and they conveniently can staff the cash cow temple with locals.
      Not 20 years earlier, the church's official position was ""From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it is has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Neg.roes are not ent.itled to the full blessings of the Gospel." ( George Albert Smith J. Reuben Clark, Jr. David O. McKay )
      Unfortunately, the LDS hierarchy did nothing to address the scripture that lays out what it means to be black in the first place – that black people are descendants of Cain, that they merited lesser earthly privilege because they were "fence-sitters" in the War in Heaven, and that, science and climatic factors aside, there is a link between skin color and righteousness.

      May 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Abinadi

      @Snow. You seem to be sincere so I will answer sincerely, but briefly. When polygamy started, it was not against the law. Later, the law was changed. We beleive in "honoring, sustaining, and obeying the law" (12th article of faith). Obviously, there was a conflict. We believe in continuing revelation (9th article of faith). If continuing revelation was not necesary, there would have been no need for prophets after Moses. The fact is, times change. The true gospel is always presided over a prophet to give continued guidance to God's covenant people to deal with new situations as they arise. Polygamy was ended in the same way it was received – by a prophet of God (Wilford Woodruff). Today the commandment is monogamy and we practice it just as passionately as we practiced polygamy when that was the law. You can read all the modern day commandments in our book of Doctrine and Covenants including the introduction and cancellation of polygamy.

      When do girls marry? Whenever they want. We are no different than the general population in this.

      May 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • ok so

      Ok.. so anyone can get a revelation that changes the basics of faith and become a prophet? ok.. gotcha..

      Hmmmmmm.. I think I am getting a revelation that you need to write a check for a million bucks to your nearest soup kitchen (not me.. not my cousin.. or yours, but a nonprofit good for others place). So, will you write the check, since I say I got the revelation?

      Either accept my word as you did of other prophets, or disprove that what I got is not a revelation from god..

      May 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Lol

      @Conservative nutjob..
      Our christian god does not live on planet kolob,
      => he lives in a place waay up there called heaven.. which is where? umm.. up there in the sky.. but not a planet..

      we do not worship the con molester Joesoph Smith,
      => Nope.. you worship a con artist called jesus (if he exists). and did you hear about mary of Magdalene..

      We do not use the book of mormon,
      => No.. you follow the book of bible..

      they do not pray tto the same god
      => jesus is not your god?......

      They perverted and twisted the religion for their own selfish purposes of control of women and children,this was Joesoph Smith way.
      => yours is not? what is that arguments about banning contraception and bunk like that other than trying to control women and children?

      Fact is, Mormons and christians are EXACTLY the same.. in their good/bad/worse ways. and the most bigoted hypocritical thing a christian can do is to scorn a mormon.

      May 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Ok, so, We believe that a man must be called of Godl to administer in the ordinances of the gospel as were Peter, James, and John on the mount of transfiguration.

      Apostles and prophets are absolutely essential because they hold the keys to the priesthood. If the apostles all die, the authority is lost along with revelation; we no longer know the mind and will of God and Christ is no longer the "chief cornerstone". False teachers and priests arise and we are "carried about with every wind of doctrine". Paul taught in Ephesians 4: "11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
      12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
      13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
      14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;"
      Without apostles and prophets we cannot come to a "unity of the faith" nor be perfected in Christ. Without a prophet who speaks authoritatively the will of God, only confusion can reign as people argue what God meant and uninspired men tamper with the holy scriptures!

      May 15, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • ok so

      @Abi.. Well, I am saying I meet the criteria you mentioned and I have received a revelation that you MUST write a check for a million bucks.. are you not believing me? why, I wonder!

      May 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Tb3Nrg

      Thanks Abinadi
      Briefly on revelation, yes anyone and everyone can and does receive revelation. But those revelations are for only those the person is in charge over. In other words, a mother or father receives revelation for the family, a Bishop for a congregation, a group leader for that group (men or women), but there is only one who receive for the church. On top of that, even when the church leader receives a revelation for the church he discusses it with his counselors for their approval first. From there the Whole church will hear about it. And even then, it’s up to each church member to discover the truth themselves rather than blindly following some guy. Sorry, the only way you’re getting your million dollar check is if the church president has the revelation, which is unlikely.

      May 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • NotSuprisedbyBIGOTS

      I guess that when Christ came and taught the Jews.... he had the exact same problem because of people worried about the CHANGE he was preaching. I guess that meant he was starting a CULT? The basic Gospel of Christ doesn't change. There are so many changes, discrepancies in the Bible that anyone reading it for purely academic reasons would think its a crazy book. Why do so many of you think you can tell God what he can and cannot do:? Quite the arrogant and dangerous stance you must be taking. Interesting to read all of the hatred and bigotry on this blog. Too bad there are so many ignorant people out there that don't have the slightest of clue what they are talking about. Pretty sad.

      May 16, 2012 at 3:11 am |
  14. Jimbo21

    Say no to the Morman magical Underwear clan!! These mormons are a cult group that worships underwear,Joesoph Smith the crook,they think god is on some weirdo planet, This does not sound very christian to me..Do yourselves a favor Mormans leave and run as fast and far away as you can from your cult church and leaders RUN, RUN,RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • LDS Richard

      Can you please name me a religion that doesn't use some form of religious dress standards for their clergy? Yeah, I didn't think so.
      First of all, how is it that Joseph Smith is a false prophet? Most of what he said has come to pass. Including, his prophecy in 1835 about the Civil War. His prophecy clearly stated that a great war would divide America, and it would start in the State of South Carolina, it would probably be about the "Slave Issue". Well, Fort Sumter was the site of the first battle of the Civil War, and it was in South Carolina. Why did we fight that war?
      Also, Joseph Smith prophesied that his name would be had for good and evil throughout the entire world. Well, you say he's evil, I say he's good. There's another one. More books have been written about Joseph Smith than George Washington. Isn't that something.
      I think that if anyone on this board wants to learn about Joseph Smith, and the LDS Church, look up some of Joseph Smith's writings. He wrote a lot.
      Here's the kicker, Joseph Smith was either a prophet, or he was not. If he was, don't you think you ought to listen to what he had to say?
      For me, well, I know he was a prophet. Were it not for him, and his testimony and visions of Jesus Christ, I would not know my Savior the way I do today. Much like Moses for the Jews, Joseph Smith was vital for the restoration of many truths that had been lost from the church during the time that Christ was on the church. Some of you say he is cursed, but I say cursed is he that has truth, but turns away from that truth and fights against the will of the Lord.

      May 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • just sayin

      Sorry but Joseph was a criminal and a fraud. He copied the Masonic Temple and rituals....They have proven through DNA his theory of people coming over here and mixing with the indians is a fraud as well...Take off the Mormon Rose colored glasses.

      May 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • LDS Richard

      @ Just Sayin,

      Where are these DNA tests? Who did them? Again, more ignorance. Don't spew facts that aren't facts.
      Also, Joseph Smith did not copy the Masonic Temple rituals. While there are some similarities between them, the LDS Temple Ordinances are much deeper, and more meaningful.
      Also, interesting that you brought this up. When the 12 Apostles were on the earth after Christ's ascension into heaven, what happened to the church? Are the books of the New Testament all the letters that they wrote? Of course not. It would be wrong of us to pretend so. Instead, what happened, because there was no authority any longer on the earth, the ways of the church, and the Lord became perverted. Truths remained, but not all of the truths remained, not to mention, there were no longer men called by Christ to preach and teach. So men were left to their own devices. Some truths were passed down generation to generation. Much like Masonic Rituals. When Joseph Smith restored, key word: RESTORED, the church, he was given authority by Christ, through Peter, James, and John, who appeared to him as angels, and gave him the same authority that they themselves were given by Christ. This either happened, or it didn't. Faith! If some of the rituals that Masons perform were handed down generation to generation, would it be all that difficult to conceive that LDS Temple Ordinances taught to Joseph Smith by Christ would be similar? Now, I've got you thinking.

      The wisdom of their wise men shall perish, for by small things shall great things come to pass.

      (James 1:5) If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not.

      May 15, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Orwell seen it before

      LDS Richard, here to help.

      This LDS stake president gives you the DNA details you ask for. He raises the same issue with with LDS Elder Prophet Holland, you may have heard of him. Please explain or have someone at the LDS Cyber Missionary squad explain.


      May 15, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  15. Esteban Cafe

    I have 2 Mormon neighbors. I have many Evangelical neighbors with whom I attend church. I also have several neighbors who "preach" atheism. I would trade both my Evangelical and atheist neighbors for Mormons any day of the week. "By their fruits you shall know them" sets us at odds with our Evangelical assurance that it's us and only us that make it to Heaven.

    I'm curious that we do not call them Christian, yet they exhibit the most Christian-like characteristics...and God will damn them to hell for following His teachings so closely? I think we Evangelicals are going to 'evolve' over time; we'll perceive that how we live our lives is a witness of whether we have truly been Born Again, have faith or understand Grace...or are merely mouthing it.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • momoya

      Bullsh!t.. You don't have neighbors taht "preach" atheism.. You're a liar.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • peter

      esteban–you just lied to the room and thats how mormons operate–the fact is you are a mormon–you believe that the book of mormon is the word of God

      May 15, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Conservative Christian

      They are cultists! They wear mormon magical underwear,they believe god lives on planet kolob,they worship Joesoph Smith who was a con,child molester,rapist,murderer.They have the book of mormon.They commit crimes against women and children,sisterwives.......I can go on and on,they will dispute what I am saying of course of fear of being prosecuted but its true.DONT SOUND VERY CHRISTIAN TO ME DOES IT?

      May 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Christians rarely sound very "christ-like" to me. I think your beliefs are weird and idiotic, so does that mean that I get to call your religion a cult to?

      May 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Nick

      I think you are a Mormon and have neighbors who are atheists and atheists never try to preach but try to argue with you. I have atheists in our extended family, they come to church for family functions and only in very personal settings, they try to make their point.

      May 15, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  16. Adam

    Lying to yourself and your children about what you know about the nature of the universe is so hot right now.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  17. MEX Mormon

    To Lesle Wilson.

    Lesle I am with you, but I wouldn't worry about these ignorant sack of rocks. The hatred this group of people have in their harts will rot from the inside out and at that point the biblical phrase "for their fruits you shall know them" will become evident for those that recognize the truth. GB & NO WORRIES

    May 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • peter

      mex i know you are with leslie-you worship the christ of the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ written by joeseph smith-cursed is your prophet and cursed is your christ

      mex and leslie–still time for you to reject the claims of joeseph smith and his god-he was a liar and a murder from the beginning and even to this day puts people in darkness and slavery.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      "reject the claims of joeseph smith and his god-he was a liar and a murder [sic]..."

      ... so were Moses, Paul and Mohammad and the god who they trumped up.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Mormon magical underwear

      Take your skidmarked mormon magical underwear back to your god on planet kolob!!!! SAY NOT TO THE CULTS!

      May 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  18. Heather

    I just attended an Episcopalian baptism the other day and a collection bowl was passed around. People were contributing a lot of money. Where does it all go? for the building and maintenance of churches, to foreign missions, to charities, etc. Running a church takes money and if Mormons want to give 10% why would it bother you? After all, the Bible says to give ti,thing.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Heather

      This was in reply to Doc (below)

      May 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The difference is that the episcopalians won't bar you from the church if you don't contribute to the collection plate, nor do they teach that you can't get a good afterlife unless you provide the receipts to teh pastor proving the exact amount you gave.
      No $ = no afterlife is tantamount to spiritual blackmail.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Nick

      There is a difference. I am a catholic and the collection plate comes every mass (sometimes twice) and we are encouraged to give and the collection goes for maintenance and special programs (chose by the diocese). But, if I chose not to give, I am still welcome in the church and participate in all the church activities just like the ones who contribute. But, in Mormon temple, if you don't give your 10%, you are not welcome. I don't think they outcast you but pretty much the same.

      May 15, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Nick

      Also, non-Mormons cannot come to the temples during important ceremonies. It is already in the news Ann Romney's parents were not allowed in the temple when the Romneys got married though they had come down to Utah but only could participate in the wedding breakfast.

      May 15, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  19. Doc Vestibule

    "Ti.thing is an important test of our personal righteousness." President Joseph F. Smith (1838-1918) said: “By this principle it shall be known who is for the kingdom of God and who is against it. … By it it shall be known whether we are faithful or unfaithful” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 276)."

    The LDS hierarchy have always been about the money.
    To make sure congregants are paying up, each year they must go before a Bishop for a Ti.thing Settlement.
    A member is questioned in a one-on-one interview with the Bishop to ensure the member is paying a full 10%.
    Those members who are not paying a full 10% lose their temple recommendations and therefore are in serious jeopardy of losing their Celestial blessings.
    If a member cannot get into the temple, they cannot learn the secret handshake, secret password, secret "new name" and special “sealings”.
    Without these, the member will be unable to pass Joseph Smith and the angels who guard the entrance to the Celestial Kingdom.

    And where does the money go?
    According to the Deseret News Agency, the propaganda arm of the LDS, the Church has spent some $750 million internationally on charitable works between 1984 and 2006.
    They have also spent 4 times that amount (approx $3 BILLION) in ¼ of the time to build a mall in Salt Lake City.
    Mormons are told: "if a dest.itute family is faced with the decision of paying their ti.thing or eating, they should pay their t.ithing." (Lynn Robbins, General Conference, April 2005).

    May 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  20. peter

    me 1--i didn't say who the true christian is-don't put words in my mouth–i said, as all of christedom says - that mormons are not christians–they worship a false christ written and preached by your cursed prophet joeseph smith.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64
About this blog

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.