FBI recovers rare first-edition of the Book of Mormon
The FBI recovered a stolen first-edition of the Book of Mormon.
June 14th, 2012
04:15 PM ET

FBI recovers rare first-edition of the Book of Mormon

By Carol Cratty, CNN

(CNN)–Law enforcement agents have recovered a rare first-edition copy of the Book of Mormon that was reported stolen from a Mesa, Arizona, bookstore in late May.

The FBI announced Thursday the religious book, first published in 1830 in New York, was located two days ago in Herndon, Virginia, and a suspect was arrested.

The Book of Mormon is considered scripture by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, on par with the Bible.

Jay Michael Linford, 48, is awaiting extradition to Arizona, where he faces charges of theft and trafficking in stolen property.

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According to a court affidavit, the owner of the Arizona bookstore - identified only as Witness 1 - reported the theft to the Mesa Police Department on May 28.

The bookstore owner told police she had been in business with Linford, who brokered the sale of pages of the rare book on her behalf.

The woman said their business relationship had ended but Linford knew she kept the first-edition in a locked fireproof box in a file cabinet and had access to it around the time she believes it was stolen. According to the affidavit, Witness 1 said Linford had a key to the box and to the location where the book could be found.

The bookstore owner told police once she realized the book was missing - along with its fireproof box - she contacted Linford and he "denied having the book or having any knowledge of its location."

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The affidavit says the bookstore owner also reached out to people who buy and sell rare books to alert them that the book had been stolen.

A Texas man identified as Witness 2 replied that he recently had bought two pages of a Book of Mormon from Linford for $7,500 and that Linford said the book was owned by a family in North Carolina. The pages were shipped to the Texas man, who later determined they did come from the Arizona woman's first-edition.

The FBI's Art Theft unit and other agents investigated and found the book after locating the suspect staying with an acquaintance in Virginia, the affidavit said.

The FBI would not estimate how much this edition of the Book of Mormon might be worth. The Arizona bookstore owner placed the value at $100,000. However, the Mesa Police Department consulted experts who gave an estimate of $40,000 because pages had been taken out of the book and sold.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Books • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mormonism

soundoff (2,069 Responses)
  1. Evelyn Connaway

    And on second thought, God the Supreme Power – had no religion!

    July 14, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • David

      I do not believe our Heavenly Father speaks to individuals who are intolerant with other's beliefs. Personally, those who spend their time spreading hate and rumers (especially when they do not understand) end up becoming those who don't recognize miracles when they are right in front of them. I promise you, that if you let go of pride, find a quiet place and kneel and ask the Lord for guidance, he will absolutely help you find truth, and happiness! 🙂

      Try reading the Book, "Visual Testaments" by Tom Cryer if you are ever looking for some non-biased truth written by an LDS man who served a mission with the Hopi Nation.


      September 13, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
  2. Evelyn Connaway

    What a bunch of weird people. Last time I talked to the Supreme Power, he said, they are all a bunch of false prophets and
    teachers, out to make money off of a bunch of his ignorant children. Read the history on all religions back to their beginning, they were cruel, controlling and greedy – a bunch of bloodsuckers. If you are going to believe, just take the first laws of the
    land – The Ten Commandments, that should take care of you.

    July 14, 2012 at 2:14 am |
  3. Charliek Morringo

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    July 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  4. MilitaryAF

    1. Funny that a book so centrally important to the LDS was stolen from a common book-store. The LDS church usually buys such artifacts & locks them up in a vault beneath the Salt Lake City temple.
    2. You'll find the Bible, Torah, and Koran in the Smithsonian Museum, but they won't accept a copy of the Book of MO, because it has been deemed factually incorrect.

    June 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  5. Captain Moroni

    Joseph Smith and his family were persecuted for saying that he saw God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ and testified of the Gold plates that the Book of Mormon is based on. He ultimately was killed for saying the things he saw and never once did he deny any of it. Do you think if he was lying and people hunting down their family and killing other members of church that he would confess his lie before others get hurt or killed? He never did and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

    June 22, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • Histruth

      It's funny someone that was killed for supposedly saying they saw God in which the bible says no one has seen God and lived. If Joseph Smith was a martyr how come he had a gun on him and killed a couple people and injured a couple?

      June 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • polemicist

      Joseph Smith was killed for destroying a printing press which exposed his polygamy and infuriated the non-Mormons in that community.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Captain Moroni

      Good grief, where do both of you get your information?

      June 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Wow

      There is probably no doubt that Joseph Smith saw angels that resembled God and Jesus. I cant disprove that he saw angels. Lucifer was a very beautiful angel and great at half-truths. The real issue comes down to how to tell the difference between the Jesus in the old and new testament to the Jesus of the latter day saint belief. It can also come down literally to faith. A Mormon has to have faith that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus and everything that is written in the book of mormon and the other books that go along with it.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • max

      Moses did see God. Moses later goes to say, I spoke to God like a man would speak to his friend"

      June 22, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • merritt olsen

      @max: God appeared as a burning bush...He never saw God directly..

      July 2, 2012 at 4:40 am |
    • Michael Lee

      Joseph Lee also saw a Dancing Banana

      the Banana man told him of great wonder and mystery 🙂

      i tease, then again, the mormon story is not any more farfetched than your typical christian

      July 6, 2012 at 7:26 am |
  6. Peteyroo

    Finding this first edition is kinda like finding a Commodore64 in attic, n'est-ce pas?

    June 22, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  7. jalek

    If it's a living revelation, this book is outdated anyway.
    Version control people.

    June 21, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • AirPacific

      @ jalek
      A sacrad promise in the Book Of Mormon was meant for people like you and I. LDS.ORG.

      June 22, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  8. Maybe I'm a bad guy

    So if someone wants people to leave them alone about what they believe. Why go after a Mormon or a Christian? Kinda looks like they're just looking for a fight?

    June 21, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      I'm spoiling for a fight Bad Boy. Have your mom drive you over here, so we can step outside and settle it mano a mano. Set down your Care Bears lunch box and your Pokeman cards. Have your mom wipe your nose, so I don't get snot all over my fists of fury. En garde!

      June 22, 2012 at 1:45 am |
  9. SoFunny

    Ariel, are you high, I love your fantasy story. Your just like the Mormans, they do not care of anyother relegion except their own. They have a condenceding attidude toward Christian, and I am not buying into them. I just will not vote at all in this election!

    June 21, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Gast

      I'm not condescending towards people of other faiths. I do condescend, however, towards people who spell poorly.

      June 21, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      I'm happy that you're not voting. Now take an English class. You should have finished third grade, my friend.

      June 22, 2012 at 1:36 am |
  10. Ariel


    On June 3nd I received a message in my email box that read, ‘I have chosen you’. When I opened the email and read it my thoughts were upon what God was speaking into my heart. Opening the door for Him to bring that forth meant closing the door to her understanding of the words ‘I have chosen you’ laid out in her email. The response I received back after replying to her email clearly stated she was not willing to close that door for believing in her heart that God opened it through something He spoke unto her when she read one of the letters posted on my website http://www.theresurrection.ca.

    Knowing God had called me to pray for this lady who had liver cancer; I emailed her again. I gave her my phone number and asked her to please set aside trying to fulfil what she heard from God, and to allow Him to bring forth in her life what He had set in my heart.

    The following day (June 4th) I received a phone call from her. She lives on the Ivory Coast. Her dialect, shortness of breath, and persistent coughing made it difficult for me to hear and understand what she was saying. Before I was able to communicate with her, the phone went dead. When she called back, I asked her to send me an email with her phone number and told her that I would call her as soon as I received it. When it showed up in my email a few minutes later I returned her call. It was quite evident that she was anxious to speak with me. Seeing her state of anxiety I asked her to relax, that I needed for her to calm down, and told her that if we got cut of I would call her right back.

    When we spoke, it was very clear that she thought I didn’t appreciate what she was trying to accomplish. There was something she wanted to do for me, and believed in her heart that God had asked her to do it, and desperately wanted to do it before going in for surgery on Friday June 8th. After listening to her, I told that there was a difference between what God asked her to do and His instruction to me, and that I needed to be obedient unto God, and to seek Him in prayer to fulfil in her life what He had set in my heart. I could tell she was moved by that through her response. The moment she surrendered doing what she felt God asked her to do, and began seeking God to fulfil what He had set in my heart, God’s Spirit entered into her, and through allowing me to feel His presence upon her He guided me in prayer for her.

    I didn’t tell her what God had set upon my heart when I read her email. God had called me to seek Him to bring forth what He had set upon my heart. Stella needed to see God fulfil what He had set in my heart; my call was to seek Him to bring that forth, and through His Spirit in the midst of the situation I was able to testify of Christ through asking God to open Stella’s understanding of His Son by giving her peace and strength. The feeling I got through her emails and through speaking with her was that she felt she wouldn’t survive the surgery; that is not what I felt.

    Later that day God spoke unto me through a Scripture that I emailed to Stella. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint, Isaiah 40:31.

    The following morning she called me, June 5th. She said she read the Scripture I sent her, and that God had spoken unto her through it, and asked me if I would pray for her. Feeling God’s presence upon her, I asked Him to guide me, and then sought Him for her by asking Him to reveal His Son unto her by giving her divine peace and strength; this was my supplication every time I prayed over the phone for her. She called me later that same day towards evening time. She was deeply moved by the experience she was having with God, as was I. She wanted to know if I would pray for her again. After I prayed, she told me that she was having a problem with her email; that she was unable to log on to it. Seeing her frustration, I felt it was best not to deal with it at that time, and told her I felt she needed to get some rest, that I wanted her to focus on what God was going, and that I would call her in the morning and help her with her email, and that if we couldn’t figure it out I would lead her through setting up a new account. She was content with that, and then we said goodnight.
    The following morning we resolved the issue, and then we spent some time before God in prayer. She spoke about an appointment she had with her doctor at the hospital that day, at which point I asked her for the name of the hospital and for her doctor’s name along with the phone number to the hospital. After giving me that information I asked her to inform her doctor that I would be calling him after her surgery on Friday, and to send me an email when she got home from her appointment.

    She called me around 5 pm; her breathing very heavy, I knew something was wrong. After telling me that she was still at the hospital, and that her doctor wouldn’t allow her to home, I asked her if there was any way I could speak with her doctor. It was evident that he was nearby because I heard her calling for him. Seconds later I heard her asking him if he could speak with me. When he came on the phone I introduced myself, and then asked him to give me an update on Stella. I didn’t have a good understanding of her condition until then. He told me that she was much weaker from when he last saw her which was Monday June 4th, and that he was keeping her in the hospital hoping with medication she would be strong enough to for her surgery that he had scheduled for Friday June 8th. After speaking with him, I spoke with Stella, and before saying goodbye we spent some time before God in prayer. I told her that I would keep in touch with her doctor, and asked her to give him permission to speak with me.

    When I called the hospital the following day the news wasn’t good. Stella had slipped into a comma throughout the night, and the doctor had to cancel her surgery. It was a difficult day for me, and I spent most of in prayer seeking God to fulfil in her life what He set in my heart.

    When I called the hospital the following day I received the same news; I spent that day and evening in prayer before God. When I called the hospital the following day her doctor informed that her condition was very serious and that she was not responding to the medication her had given her. .

    Sunday June 10th I received a call from her doctor. He wanted to know if I could help by sending money so he could purchase blood and medications for her. There is a shortage of blood on the Ivory Coast. People are dying every day because of it, and the hospitals are purchasing blood from neighbouring countries to help save lives. Many people die because the hospitals don’t have the funds to purchase the blood needed to save lives, most of those dying are young children. You can read about this tragic situation by going to Google and typing in the following ‘is there a shortage of blood in Cote D’Ivoire’.

    The following day after sending the money the doctor requested, he called me to inform me that he had purchased the blood and medications Stella needed, and that she was responding to the medication. He also told me that I saved her life, and thanked me for my help. My response was that I was happy that I could help out, and that I had nothing to do with saving her life, that God was watching over her and that I deeply appreciated his calls keeping me informed of her condition.
    On June 12th I received another call from Stella’s doctor. He sounded quite cheerful on the phone; he said the person with him had something they wanted to say to me. Stella’s first words to me were ‘thank you for what you have done. I owe you my life’. Troubled by that, I told her that she owed her life unto God, that all I done was follow His instruction. The following day I spoke with both Stella and her doctor; she was improving.

    On June 14th I received a call from her doctor informing me he had rescheduled her surgery for June 15th. That night, I bowed before God, and asked Him to bring all the cancer in Stella’s body into one place, so when the doctors removed the tumor in her body all the cancer that had spread throughout her body would be in that tumor. I knew from having spoken with her doctor that the cancer had spread throughout her body. Her doctor also told me that if Stella survived the surgery, it would be an act of God, and that the risk of not doing the surgery was equally as life threatening.

    When I spoke with her doctor on June 14th I told him that I believed God was going to raise Stella up, and that she was going to bring forth a testimony of His Son for her people. After speaking with her that day, I wrote her a letter, and emailed it to the hospital requesting it be given to her in the morning before going into surgery. The letter described the difference between natural love and spiritual love and how thankful I was that God had blessed my life through bringing her into it.
    June 15th, day of surgery. When I called Stella that morning, she was reading my letter. After thanking me for sending it, she told me that she desperately wanted to see me, and then asked if I would email a picture of myself to the hospital so she could see my face before going into surgery. I told her that I would do it right away and that I would call her back when I sent it. After I set it, I called her doctor to tell him that I had emailed a picture of myself to the hospital and asked if he would give it Stella. He said he would do it immediately because he knew how desperate she was to see my face, and then thanked me for sending it.

    Shortly thereafter I called Stella; she was very excited to have received my picture. We had a very calm and relaxing conversation; she was peaceful that morning, but I could tell she didn’t believe she was going to survive her surgery. Hoping to ease her concerns I informed her that I had sent her doctor some additional money the night before in case blood was needed after her surgery, and that I wanted her to know because I didn’t want her to go into surgery worrying about not having the blood she required. (I was aware some would be required after her surgery from having spoken with her doctor who did not request that money because he didn’t think she was going to survive surgery.) Before saying goodbye to Stella that morning I told her that I believed her and I would someday meet, that I loved her, and that I wasn’t going to pray for her that morning because it was a day to praise God, and that I was going to spend that day praising Him for what He was about to do in her life that day. Before leaving the phone she told me that she loved me from the bottom of her heart; I thanked her, and told her that I would speak with her after her surgery when she was able to speak on the phone.

    At 1 pm her doctor called to inform me that she was going into surgery, and that he expected the surgery would take 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Around 4:30 pm he called me to tell me that Stella had her surgery, that she was okay, and that he would call me later. I bowed before God and thanked Him for the miracle Stella received that day, and for allowing me to be a witness to that miracle. Her doctor and I spoke again around 9 pm that evening. Seeing his amazement that she had survived the surgery I told about my prayer the night before. There was a quiver in his voice when he said these words ‘what you described to me is exactly what happened’. Before leaving the phone I prayed asking God to rain blessings upon that doctor and his family. The praise he was giving God while I prayed asking God to bless him and his family made a perfect ending to a perfect day. What an awesome God we serve, and if the shepherds in the field understood what it meant to pray and seek God for what He sets in their heart, and to allow God to fulfill what He sets in their heart, God’s sheep would be witnesses unto God, and Christ would be with man, and this world be a much different place than it is.

    I have spoken with Stella twice since her surgery and daily with her doctor. There is no medical insurance in her Country; she paid for her surgery prior to going into the hospital. Her doctor told me that she would be in the hospital for a month, and asked me if I could help him raise $ 3000.00 for her care, her food and the blood supplement pills she requires. When I took this need before God in prayer He spoke into my heart to use His website to raise this money required for Stella. The doctor, Stella and I each have a testimony of God that we gained though this incredible experience, but that’s not the Testimony you have just read. Hear ye what God’s Spirit is saying and seek Him in your lives for He is more than able to meet every need.

    Stella’s email is the first email I received since this website went on line. I look forward to hearing her testimony through witnessing what God is going to do for her people. Christ is the foundation upon which God’s House is built, and when we seek God to bring us into His image Christ is manifested in our lives.

    If you wish to donate to Stella’s need you can safely so by clicking on http://www.theresrrection.ca, and then clicking on enter, and that will lead you to the box that says, donate.

    In closing, may God’s Spirit rest upon all who read this Testimony, Amen.


    June 21, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      A little long-winded, don't you think. BTW Magic Dad and Wayward Son do not exist. Same goes for leprechauns and unicorns. It's all nonsense.

      June 22, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • Christina

      Dear Ariel,
      You have been scammed. Please do not continue sending this person money. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigerian_scam

      June 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • polemicist

      Christina, Ariel is probably the scammer (Stella) giving a false testimony to try and get people to give her money.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Dandy

      I marked your message as Abuse since it was abusive to my brain....

      June 22, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Richard

      It's a miracle if someone can read that entire gaggle without laughing out loud. I'll admit I lost it when I heard God had a website.

      June 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Doug

      War and Peace is actually shorter than that drivel you just posted.

      July 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  11. Bill Deacon

    I'll take the Mormon over the moron

    June 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Red

      You can have both. All in one package, actually.

      June 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  12. Peteyroo

    This is so important to me!


    June 21, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  13. Jackblac


    June 20, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Jack Sprat, do you really have to post propaganda videos?

      June 21, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Peteyroo

      I'm Santa Claus, I'm Santa Claus! Bow before me everyone, I am in a psychiatric unit being treated for megalomania and Borderline Personality Disorder. The only relief I get is by attacking EVERYONE on here! I'm a freak!

      June 21, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  14. Rodney K

    Why can't we all just get along? Oh yeah I forgot, this is religion. And just as the Muslims hate the infidel, evangelical "Christians" hate Mormons. I can't explain it, but don't take my word for it just read the last 2000+ comments. It's palpable and akin to the KKK hatred of the black man. Given that both groups' strongholds are in the American South, it wouldn't surprise me if many have a set of sheets in their closets.

    June 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Bobsoar

      mormons have white sheets in their closets? Yes, according to Brigham Young, they do...

      June 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  15. Bobsoar

    Where did brian go? Since he's so much better than all of us – mormons believe that – then I was excited to see his explanation for all the strange cult things that he does in his temples....

    June 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Mormons and mainstream Christians have equally absurd beliefs. Once again we have the pot calling the kettle black.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      I'm Peteyroo, I'm Peteyroo and I love Santa Claus! BOW to me ALL unbelievers! Worship me all who dare to think I am sane! HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!

      June 20, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • jaun es de la Marque

      @ petey so stupid I thought you were so smart , wasting you rtiem on a religion board... 🙂 🙂

      June 21, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  16. calamazoo

    Top Ten Signs You're a Christian
    10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
    9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
    8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
    7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
    6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
    5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
    4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
    3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.
    2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
    1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian.

    June 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Amen, Brother! You hit the nail on the head. I couldn't have said better myself.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Common Sense

      According to who you?

      June 21, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Fladabosco

      Brilliant and on point. Too bad you posted it to CNN. It should be the centerpiece of a FB page or it's own glorious website.

      In any case I am going to keep a copy of it.

      June 21, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • jaun es de la Marque

      the true sign of Christians is to love his enemies , to do goo to them who hate you to bless all who curse you .. these are the first things Jesus spoke of in the bible..yet the least practiced among so many of us ... I apoligize for calling Peteyroo stupid.. I should know just by his screen name him to be but a imputant child.. sorry petey.. 🙂

      June 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Maybe I'm a bad guy

      Funny, none of those things bother me.

      June 21, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Dandy

      Sadly..... Very very true

      June 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  17. TRENT

    Once you know something is true you can't deny it. I love everything about the LDS church and it's teachings. I find it funny how many non believers get so involved!!!!

    June 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • colins6

      It is funny.....


      June 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Why is it funny, Trent? Nonbelievers see the absurdity of Magic Dad and his Wayward Son and are obligated to say something. BTW there are no unicorns either.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Fladabosco

      As soon as you know that the unknowable is true, you need to see if you believe because you want to or because you have heard it over and over since you were an infant or if your brain is simply misfiring.

      Otherwise please label your beliefs beliefs. There are just as many – no there are many more – people who know that you what you believe is not true because it conflicts with their knowledge of the unknowable.

      June 21, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • jaun es de la Marque

      how do you know its; true Trent ?

      Now I have actual proof of Jesus' resurrection from the dead , from 2000 years back... What proof do you have about the mormon religion?

      June 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Maybe I'm a bad guy

      I am happy too. And I'll keep nodding to myself, until I'm convinced.

      June 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  18. brianscottallen1315

    I have questions for all of those who hate on well anything:
    1) To the Mormon. Is it not taught in the Doctrine and Covenants, as well as the Book of Mormon, the Bible and subsequent revelations that anger hatred and contention is not of God but of the Devil. Also that one cannot convert someone if there is such hatred and anger spewing from your keyboard?

    2) To the Christian: Where does it say in the Bible to hate your enemy to call them names and put them down for their beliefs. Since when has hatred given a true conversion of the soul? Is it not written that Christians are to love all?

    3) To the atheist: What is your reasoning in ridiculing the beliefs of another yet espousing toleration? It seems that these two actions are mutually exclusive. Further, why would you try to make someone angry with you and your position when you are trying to change their mind? Wouldn't it make far more sense to calmly and rationally explain your viewpoint and let the discussion occur from a position of civility?

    I cannot wait for your response. Also full disclosure I am a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • frominsidethefish

      Wisely said.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • colins6

      I think the reason people are lashing out at the mormon church so heavily (now) is because Romney is trying to become President of the United States of America. With Mormonisms questionable past, and many scandals(Mark Hofmann, secret temple names, blood oaths, etc) it's only reasonable that people would want to shy away from having a leader in the White House that would hand over the country to his church (White Horse Prophesy). I wouldn't say people "hate" mormons; it's more ore less a fact that we're tired of the constant attempts at conversion (commercials, articles, etc). Put yourself in a non-members shoes and think about it for a minute. It happened to JFK because he was Catholic and at that time, Catholics were NOT popular in the US.

      June 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Lisaburgess

      brian, I'm VERY excited to see your response to colin...I'd like to hear you explain to us why you do temple rituals and why you think your way (the mormon belief system) is the only way to salvation. :o)

      June 20, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Brian, let me answer as an atheist. I wouldn't care about the ridiculous beliefs of either the Mormons or the mainstream Christians except that both camps use money and politics to make laws that I must obey even though these laws are based on your religious principles. I don't want to live according to your religious beliefs!

      June 20, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      But then again, I do have a mental disability, so anything I say isn't really helpful at all. I love Santa Claus!!!!!

      June 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • jaun es de la Marque

      as Christian I already apologized to Peteyroo for calling him stupid.. 🙂 🙂

      June 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • brianscottallen1315

      Let me respond. First off let us take care of Mark Hoffman. He was not a leader of the church and therefore is not representative of the church. Would a Christian say that a KKK member was a representative of a protestant faith? That is certainly a poor assessment to make. The same goes for Mtn Meadows Massacre. That was not sanctioned by the church but was committed by members of the Church.

      Now for the White Horse prophesy that is something that is condemned as a false teaching by the Prophet and Twelve Apostles. They state that Joseph did not make this prophesy ergo it is folk lore and nothing more than that. Again it is a fault of members not of the Church.

      There are no blood oaths in the mormon faith that I have seen. That information has come from those with an axe to grind against the church. Yes I have seen the sources and no they are not credible.

      Now then let us continue on to the temple worship. This worship is tied inherently to the plan of salvation. Let us explain this plan in short.

      First off we believe that man was in existence before the world was in a spirit form. We came to this earth by our choice knowing that we would face sin, temptation, trials, and loss. However, because we knew that facing these would show that we would follow God with out knowing that he was there. For in this pre-mortal existence we were in the presence of God and chose because we knew. To grow we had to choose because we had faith.

      Now according to the LDS faith Adam and Ever partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge and good and evil. Thus, they transgressed the law that God commanded that they should not eat. Because of this sin entered a world. Why? Because they came to know the difference between good and evil which they did not before. Now because sin had entered into the world so did death. Because of which we were cut off from the presence of God.

      Because God is a just God he had to place commandments which had a punishment affixed, which is eternal separation from God. This separation is the wage of sin. Therefore all who sinned could not return to God for he being perfect living in a perfect realm of perfect order could not allow something imperfect into his presence. Otherwise they should be destroyed.

      Yet God is merciful also and he sent his Son Jesus Christ to atone for the sins, pains, sicknesses and all other negative things that the fall brought, including death of the body. His sacrifice also atoned for death of the spirit or being separated from God.

      Yet God in his mercy also granted unto men a power to reveal his will as the children of men needed. This power of revelation is called the power of the Priesthood. The fullness of the priesthood was granted unto the Twelve Apostels who delegated the authority as needed to representatives of the Church they were creating. This church included limited temple rituals such as baptism for the dead, sealings, and endowments. This power was lost to the world in something known as the apostasy.

      The apostasy lasted until the time of Joseph Smith who through the grace and will of God brought back the authority through the ministering of angels. From this we received revelation of the need for temple rituals. To now only guarantee our salvation but to grant unto all those who had passed on before the opportunity to accept the gift that God has given.

      We do so not because we think that religions are all bad and must be abolished. Rather we do so because we know that God is one of order and he decides how salvation is to be reached. We believe that this is the way God wills and therefore this why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the way to God. Because he has granted the power to baptize and seal things on earth and heaven to his duly appointed servants.

      Long stroy short. We do temple work to grant the saving ordinances to those that have passed that wish to have them. It is there for the taking if the dead so wish. If not salvation is not forced upon them. However, the process for the dead it seems is more difficult than for the living because having a body helps in making choices. I personally am a bit fuzzy on the details of the reason why save that we believe a body is necessary to progress. For these reasons do we proselytize to all we can. The best and only way is to present our religion as best we can and let the person chose for themselves if they will accept it. We do not believe we can force conversion. That is not the way of Christ.

      I recognize that this can be bothersome but please note that we try to do so as peacefully as possible and we do so not to denigrate or deride others but to say here is what we have would you like the same. Does this answer your questions everyone?

      Now to bobsoar. If you read my post you would realize that I questioned no religion in question but rather the process of which these debates occur, which is often through anger and malice towards each other. I do the same in politics with Republicans and Democrats, or any other debating group. I do so not because I am Mormon but because I care about civility. It seems though you missed that point.

      June 21, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Tim

      Very well said. I too am a practicing member of the LDS chruch. It always AMAZES me how much hatered and anger are on these message boards, from all sides. Gosh could you imagine how lovely it would be if people knew the art of civil discussion. People could disagree but still be kind and loving towards one another. And the truly sad part is the minority that ruin it for each group. I'm sure the majority of Mormons, evangelical christians, atheists, etc ARE kind and respectful of others beliefs. They quietly profess their belief or lack thereof and are not critical of how others choose to belief and don't push their feelings on others. It is the minority in these groups who feels it is their duty to absolutely RAGE in slanderous discussion. Sad.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
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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.