Wow.......lot's of passion here.......just what we need to get conservatives
elected in 2012............keep up the good work.
To Renrut: I was very puzzled by the "secrets" Bloom mentioned. Did
he mean the temple rites? Werent they broadcast on national TV in the series
Big Love? Can't the temple rites be read on the internet? Was the
the Big Love expose was so startling that the national psyche has suppressed the
memory? Or maybe it was so anti-climactic (except for those who have
spiritually prepared for it) that it was forgotten. Again, Bloom
was deceptive to imply that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has
concealed secrets. The Church does not share them outside the temple, but they
are not concealed.I, for one, have not wanted to watch the Big Love
episode, or look up on the internet to see if the rites are correctly portrayed.
They are sacred, and only in the temple am I prepared to comprehend their
significance, one tiny step at a time. I love the sacred things of the temple,
and they make me want to be a better person for God, family, friends, and world.
Bloom's an old style right-winger who in his heart would only let those with
property vote. An elitist's elitest...
Your essay is a biased rejoinder.You have selectively omitted
Professor Bloom's most telling observation: "There are other secrets also,
not tellable by the Mormon Church..." "That aspects of the religion of
a devout president should be concealed from all but 2 percent of us ... merits
pondering." I have pondered Romney and concluded that he will be guided by
those secret things as his most fundamental values yet he is keeping them from
us. In Romney we won't know what we are getting. As long as he is not
forthcoming he won't be trustworthy, at least to me.
@ Jiggle$3-4 per member? That's a drop in the bucket for some
members and about a week's earnings for others. Yes the Church is spending a big
hunk of money on a mall. Look how many people it has employed building it, how
many people will be employed running it and how many people of every religion-
not just LDS, or with no religious affiliation, will enjoy beautiful downtown
Salt Lake City because of it. It is basically a gift to the city and the state-
free of charge to anyone who wants to enjoy it. In the mean time, despite the
whinings of the naysayers the Church will continue on a happily steady pace of
helping people in need all around the world. And don't forget to factor in the
missionaries around the world who offer help and service that isn't on any
accounting sheet. @UtahBlue I don't believe any church member
minds our beliefs being scrutinized and discussed if portrayed accurately. Mr.
Bloom is twisting the truth and putting out a false picture. That's unfortunate
and annoying. But no matter. It will ultimately kick the Church up the stairs
rather than down.
All these things came up when JFK ran and was dubbed the Pope's candidate. That
he silenced that by buying protestant West Virginia has escaped Professor
Bloom's memeory. JFK, who I liked as a president, had no interest in religion.
In fact he was quite a pagan. If Sen Reid was a conservative Republican Las
Vegas and Nevada would remian just as they are. Neither Reid nor any alternative
is going to change Nevada. He wouldn't last very long. To think Gov Romney is
going to Mormonize fun loving, half stewed, law hating Americans would make good
material for Saturday Night Live.The president of the US does have great power,
but not as much as the powers that elect him. Gov Romney was elected in a
liberal, Catholic state.Home of the Kennedys. Mark that, Professor Bloom.
gcrobmd, yours is a classic case of one missing the forest for the trees.
I think Skull and Bones is scarier...
Harold Blooms article is disappointing for trying to deceive. A favorite tactic
of LDS critics is to unearth some obscure and ancient quote and claim it
represents secret ambitions of the Church. His quote by Orson Pratt has never
been taught in my lifetime. Why didnt Bloom provide a reference? What was the
context of the quote? Why would the church search out such quotes and repudiate
them? Very pertinent to Blooms topic is D&C 134. Why did he
not quote it? Verse 7 is most appropriate and authoritative. "We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil
government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in
its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens,
denied."How one religion relates to another religion is a
specific case of the general principle here stated. Sadly, the specific case on
Josephs mind 176 years ago is still very pertinent today.
I am too stupid to know if he was insulting me or complimenting me. I am not offended at all. Folks have said worse things about my religion from
inside and out. So, is he blasting what he sees as a push toward
money and power from a position of educational arrogancy? I am not saying he is
wrong. I don't look at it that way, but he is entitled to his opinion and I am
entitled to understand where his point of view originates from...an educational
system that puts secular education above all other pursuits. Anyone who looks
at faith from a scientific point of view will always find holes in the critical
thinking of the faithful. I also find it amusing that someone
working at Harvard with its $500 billion dollar endownment would accuse anyone
of being focused on money and power without accepting the fact that his
institution is based upon that same principle. I hope he also tells Harvard to
gives its' money to the poor and to help the needy.
Read an edited version on Associated Baptist Press, where they focused on the
comparison between Baptists and Mormons (Bloom saying baptists are proudly
stupid, and LDS are educated, both similar to gnostics, etc) Seems Bloom doesn't
understand much about LDS of Baptists.... LDS are closer to original
Christianity than any other faith I know of. The doctrines of Deification
(gods), Temples etc were central to ancient mainstream Christianity, and have
continued in Christ's restored Church...
I suppose a question we all could ask, is the Mormon Church materialistic? And
if so, how does that translate into power? Open questions, for sure, and
something to consider. It's clear that our legislature is dominated by Mormons,
and as we have seen with redistricting and many other issues, Mormon politicians
aren't any more enlightened than those of other faiths, and I doubt they're any
more corrupt. So maybe Bloom is right in that sense, that Mormons, as a group,
are simply mainstream. The one danger here is to stereotype individual Mormons.
Romney and Huntsman are very different men regardless of their faith.
"The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's difficult to
determine whether or not they are genuine." - Abraham LincolnJust thought that I would put that in there for Pagan.
@Vanka: "When Bloom was praising the LDS Church and founder, Deseret News
published an article on it, and members were virtually gloating! Now the same
Professor Bloom elaborates on what he meant, and it is a scathing critique or
Mormonism, so members attack Dr. Bloom!"Huh? Would you have
members praise condemnation and condemn praises?@Jared: "His
praise of Joseph Smith is not a scathing critique of Mormonism; his praise of
Joseph Smith is just that - praise of Joseph Smith."No. no. His
praise of Joseph Smith is a disguised condemnation. He's calling Smith a
religious genius meaning he fooled alotta people into believing he actually
communicated with God.
Professor Bloom gets some things right, but boy, when he's wrong, he's really
wrong. It's a shame he is looking through a "glass darkly" or he
would have found a truer picture of the LDS church. I would not vote for anyone
just because they are LDS; I look at their character and their track record
before deciding how I will vote. The only time we'll have a theocracy is when
Jesus Christ himself returns and runs things. And I 'm totally down with that!
jsf | 6:02 p.m. Nov. 16, 2011 Centerville, UT The UO and
Socialism are not the same. You can't argue for it without denying the rights of
the individual. ================= Agreed - UO and
Socialism are not the same.UO is more Marxist/Communist, less
Socialist.UO you relinquish your ownership of everything - including your
property, time, and talents (i.e., work) to the Church.Think:
Consecration; i.e., "Everything with which the Lord has blessed you...and
MAY bless you (i.e., future tense)"100% Collective In
Socialism -- personal property and Companies are still privately owned - think
Canada, England, Japan, Germany.Rationalizing what something IS or
ISN'T just to satisfy Glenn Beck's warped take on it is simply lying to
yourself.Be honest with all mankind, including yourself.
Stop the persecution complex folks. Palin had her church and beliefs
discussed. Obama his. Every candidate goes through this. Can an evangelical
be president? Can someone have an out there preacher and be president? Every
candidate has had to go through this. Reporters are paid to find
stories, uncover controversy, create headlines, and shock people. If you read
up on early American politics, it went on then. This is absolutely nothing new
nor unique to Romney. Stop being so sensitive.
I find it vastly amusing to watch the aqirming of those who resent how the LDS
church spends its money.I wonder how much any of them gave to the
Yalies, always babbling and never coming to a knowledge of the truth. Let's see,
most of the bankers in power on wall street have helped our country implode and
rigged the system. The last four presidents have been from Yale and under their
leadership we are circling the drain. Frankly I will take someone from a non
mainstream religion or someone from a community college. Any more of the vast
intelligence of the ivy leaguers will finish us off.
"In a socialist system the people own and control the means of production
and distribution through democratically controlled public agencies,
cooperatives, or other collective groups." American Socialist PartyThat sounds incredibly theoretical. Is that really feasible with the
elitist mentality of a few and the blind allegence of many? "Socialism is... the taking of ownership and control by the state, by
force," "You've defined Communism, a variant of
socialism." No communism just advocates violent revolution. Socialism just
takes control by legislature, an over extended reach. The state still has to
take control regardless of the minority's objections. Thus personal liberty is
quashed for the sake of the "people".Do you really believe
the allocation of goods and services will be equal when a group in California by
democratic vote can demand any or all of Utah's resources? If you say that could
never happen, then you are saying it really is not a true democracy, and someone
at some level is imposing an oppressive force to prevent it. A dictator, a
ruling class, not a utopian socialist community. The UO and Socialism are not
the same. You can't argue for it without denying the rights of the individual.
And we thought the election of JFK ended religious bigotry in presidential
elections.Typical liberal - assault without giving sources.What about the Marxist theocracy sitting in the Oval Office now?I
suppose Bloom, is one of the chief committee members.
Professor Bloom might well ask his parent institution why all of wealth and
power. Yale would answer that in order to fulfill their mission they require a
certain amount of both. Skeptics and others disagree with the LDS church mission
which is their right, but it is the LDS church's right to pursue their
appointment. Living "successfully" in the world was not the reason
that Jesus taught his doctrine.
re: jsf | 1:02 p.m. Nov. 16, 2011 Centerville, UT Arguing
about semantics is semantics. "The UO as envisioned by the
bretheren was a voluntary choice"As envisioned? That sounds
incredibly theoretical. Is that really feasible with the herd mentality that is
so prevelant here in Zion?"Socialism is... the taking of
ownership and control by the state, by force," You've defined
Communism, a variant of socialism.
Wow. I just read Bloom's actual NYTimes article - whatever respect I may have
had for him vanished with that reading. He has a great vocabulary and can build
a wonderful sentence, but since the content of those sentences regarding
"Mormonism" are so very flawed as to fact, what he has written is
essentially worthless. I mean, if you're going to argue something,
you should at least get the facts straight. For me, he can have absolutely no
insight into Mormonism unless and until he does this.For sure, I now
question everything else he has ever written about. Too bad for him.
@JKayDS Because faith and religion is so influencial in society I
feel that it must be scrutinized. I cannot accept a religion as being good that
cannot hold up to that scrutiny. A churches finances should be open and honest
if they have nothing to hide. As mostly tax-exempt entities they should have to
justify that tax-exempt status to the public at large. Open records would
confirm they are deserving of their tax-exempt status in all areas of operation.
Just assuming they are honest in their financial dealings doesn't mean there
should be no accountibility to either the members or the public....so yes....in
my opinion....the Church should be obligated by law to open up its records
because of its tax-exempt status. Any organization under a tax-free umbrella
should be scrutized and made accountible. Why should the tax payers be held
accountible for paying taxes, but the tax-exempt entities not be?Most churches and denominations today are big businesses with vast financial
holdings in television networks, real estate and stocks and are far from the
traditional church in which tax-exempt status were in less need of being
questioned or checked.
I have read all of these comments..some were in my opinion good, some
demeaning, many off topic, some just anti, and some were just down right
stupid.I am getting REALLY tired of "Prop 8" being brought into
nearly EVERY article the DN publishes. We UNDERSTAND that you are upset..
that you do not like the way the LDS members represented their own personal
beliefs and that the church donated some time and money for it's defeat.Well guess what???We have the RIGHT to our opinions the same as you
do!We have the right as Americans to vote OUR conscience and not how YOU
tell us to.The church has the right to keep its fiances the way it chooses
to. If the LDS people as a whole get uptight about it then let them deal with
it.. Quit telling us how we should handle our leadership.. .it is not your
business!I have more faith in the American people as a whole to think that
Romney could ever get away with running the country as the church. The
government would not let him.And, what the church does with it money is it
No Wally It is not a semantic difference. They have as their basis a major
fundamental difference. The UO as envisioned by the bretheren was a voluntary
choice to concecrate ones property to the church, who in return gave the donor a
stewardship to run the property as he saw fit. After meeting the needs of his
family he could donate the excess to the church storehouse. Socialism is
the taking of ownership and control by the state, by force, of the means of
production. Including the property and the individuals. The state by force
takes the production and then allows the individual an allowance determined by
the state. The fundamental difference is freedom of choice. We call it
liberty, hardly the same thing semantically.
anyone else getting tired of this? we are talking about who should be the next
president of the united states, not who is the next pope or lds prophet.
re:skeptic"learn how to better live successfully in the world
of different people"What??? So are you suggesting the LDS
church should try to be like most other churches and just accommodate everything
and anything?The TRUE church isn't influenced by opinion and in fact opinion has
no power in determining truth. As I read the New Testament I see The Savior
making it very clear there is only ONE way to his fathers kingdom - not 100
different ways. The LDS church has standards that are not open for compromise.
The reason? The Church makes the claim very clearly that this is the Church of
Jesus Christ and not the church of man. You can believe that or not but don't
expect the Church to abandon its foundational beliefs just to be more popular
with secular - godless- society .
The idea that the church would influence national policy through Romney is as
laughable as the idea that the First Presidencies call for civility in politics
has had any impact on people like Glenn Beck, who spew hate and fear over the
airwaves. What makes people think the church would have any more control over
Romney than they do have over Beck.Romney will do what he needs to
@Counter IntelligenceDeseret News didn't post one of my 4 posts
lending support. You insisting I'm wrong doesn't support that I am wrong. Your
evidence that I'm wrong is what? Accusations of playing the victim doesn't
support any valid argument. In Jan. 2006, from the Church PR
department, (Deseret News Publishing Company): Edgley said, "that since
1984, the LDS Church has donated nearly $750 million in cash and goods to people
in need in more than 150 countries." That averages to $37.5 mil per year or
about $3-$4 per Mormon member went to the poor. The total of $750 million in 22
years spent in cash and goods to people in need is only a FOURTH of what the
church is spending on a mall they're building in Salt Lake City. "Thoughtful saints might wonder whether the church should spend more of
its assets on programs that benefit the membership rather than further enriching
an already huge financial base." P 119, Mormon America , Richard Ostling"The wealth moves generally in the form of building projects and
not, as one might expect, in welfare from congregations in the United States to
congregations overseas." P. 126, Mormon America , Richard Ostling
I surprised by Bloom! I thought him a much deeper thinker. What he refers to
as the 'emancipation of selfishness' is what Adam Smith would call 'Capitalism'
and free markets. A free man or a slave can be greedy. I prefer to live under
a system that allows all to have a chance to be greedy or giving, rather than a
system where only the rich are given that chance.
Romney's financial statements, to the degree they are available, demonstrate
Professor Bloom's observations.Each year, the Romneys give
considerable donations to non-profit organizations, with the Mormon Church being
the largest recipient. Over the past several years, the Romneys have given over
$4.8 million to the Mormon Church, with an additional over a half million given
to the Mormon-Church owned Brigham Young University.In his last
failed run for the GOP nomination, it was discovered that Romney's investment
portfolio included significant ownership in companies that did business with
Iran and other companies engaged in stem cell research, which Romney opposed.
Since then, Romney sold off such investments just as he changed his lawn care
service because "I'm running for office, for Pete's sake, I can't have
illegals."Romney is clearly a politician who operates on
expediency not principle, and is aimed at obtaining and maintaining political
power and "exposure" on behalf of his religion.
re: jsf | 3:13 p.m. Nov. 15, 2011 "No, brethren, socialism is
not the United Order..." It doesn't matter how UO or socialism
is administered or executed. Its a semantic difference"...the
Lord will somehow quicken our understanding of the differences between socialism
and the United Order and give us a vivid awareness of the awful portent of those
differences."Or, you can do some research for yourself and let
reason and logic take you where it may.@ JerryLungaard | 9:59 a.m.
Nov. 16, 2011Agreed. I guess Matt 22:21 & John 18:36 are
relevant and valid.
Funny that he compares us to other christian churches regarding money. When was
the last tome you went to sacrament and had a plate passed around and were urged
to put all you have in it soo you wouldn't be publicly humiliated by church
leaders? When is the last time president Monson got on a stage and asked for
money so he could "heal" someone? how much does it cost for
missionaries to teach your neighbors?
@donn"Once it leaves their hand and is given to a member of the
Bishopric, it is no longer their money. It becomes the LDS Church's money to be
used as it sees fit."That is a curious comment. Why is it
curious to me? Well let me sub-out a few words...Once it leaves their hand
and is given to the IRS, it is no longer their money. It becomes the
government's money to be used as it sees fit.I'm pretty sure we all
agree that having given money to the gov't, we are rather entitled to know what
it is they spend it on. Yet for some reason, it seems that the common view here
is that for any member to question what the church spends its money on is
For all of you out there raging about the LDS Church finances, why not consider
the U.S. Governments lack of fiscal responsibility. A good "money man
Mormon" like Romney might just be what the whole country needs for fiscal
responsiblilty at the highest level. Well, the 2nd highest level anyway.
I just want everyone to see the big differentiator here. We have a wealth of
information regarding the original foundation of Christ's primitive church. Our
prime example never set about to establish banks, insurance companies, and media
outlets. He never organized the saints to build great and spacious buildings. He
never attempted to beautify downtown Jerusalem with obscene amounts of money.His life was spent serving the poor, healing the sick, administering to
the spiritually ill. On the topic of generating wealth he said, "But store
up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and
where thieves do not break in and steal."To the wealthy man he
said,"If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give
the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow
me."What happened to Christ's original church? 2+ billion spent
on a mall to beautify downtown SLC? It's time to cast out the money changers in
Professor Bloom is articulating a valid concern regarding LDS Dominionism: the
idea that the LDS Church is ordained and chosen by God to "fill the whole
earth" and the current ecclesiastical authority will become the political,
social, and economic authority to usher in and rule "the
millennium".A disproportionate number of Mormons arrive at the
higher levels of the CIA, FBI, military intelligence, armed forces, and all
levels of city, state, and federal governments, including the Senate, Congress,
Cabinet, and White House Staff. They give the impression of being sincere and
loyal citizens, but most of the general population is unaware of the secret
(sacred?) and "prophetic" ambition of The Brethren. So we lull
ourselves into a false sense of security: What could be better than having such
patriots as these serving in strategic areas of government and national
security?Unfortunately, as we have noticed, the real truth lies
hidden beneath the seemingly ideal image of patriotism presented by Mormons in
public service. In fact their very presence in responsible government positions,
particularly in agencies dealing with national security, raises some extremely
grave questions that are only made more poignant by the prospect of a Mormon
Bill in Nebraska, For members to want a qualifing range as to how it is spent is
really not *THEIR business. Once it leaves their hand and is given to a member
of the Bishopric, it is no longer their money. It becomes the LDS Church's money
to be used as it sees fit.The Polynesian Cultural Center was forced to pay
the IRS in 1983 for their income on their profits. The IRS claimed the center
had accumulated more than 10 million in profits, some which had been sent to the
Corporation of the LDS Church. In 1997 according to a Time report the PCC had
annual revenues of $ 40 Million.*They should, they only let you know
what they want you to know. My Church publishes their financial status
For me, this really is very simple. Religion can inspire us to focus on loving
and serving others or it can inspire us to focus on what I personally believe to
be the inconsequential - what we wear, believe, think, eat, drink, read, etc.
In other words it can inspire us to be very inward focused or very
outward focused. This is true of all religions. But my experience is as a
lifelong LDS and we all see it within Mormonism.Some aspects of
Mormonism inspire service to the poor, needy and general increased love and
concern for our families and neighbors. It is that aspect of Mormonism that I
love.Another aspect encourages us to focus and worry about the
trivial - whether we should drink coffee or tea, what undergarments we wear,
literally thousands of hours spent sitting listening to recycled lessons,
repetitive temple rituals, studying church material, etc etc. My
point is that the church unfortunately requires members to spend literally
thousands upon thousands of hours engaged in what I see as absolutely irrelevant
at the end of the day. I wish the vast majority of LDS member time was instead
spent on tangible acts of love/service.
The grocery clerk at the twelve or less check out, noticed that the customer had
loaded more than twelve items onto the check out table. The clerk asked,"
You must have graduated from Yale or MIT", to which the customer asked,
"Why do you ask?, to which the clerk replied,"Either you can't read or
you can't add".It is sad that so many have opinions about the LDS Church
without any substance to their accusations. Sure, the church has its problems
with some of its members, but the good that is has brought into the lives of
many, far out weighs the negative. Many people cite negative things about the
church that they have heard from others. It would be nice if they had the
courage to investigate the church and find out for themselves, what is true and
what is false. They make claims without fully understanding the gospel as a
whole. We are now in the last dispensation as recorded by Paul in the epistle
to the Ephesians, Chap 1, Verse 10, "That in the dispensation of the
fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both
which are in heaven...
Historian Bushman makes a distinction between the radical Mormonism
(collectivist) of the 19th century and the Repubican, at times,
hyperconservatism of Mormonism's present. Bushman speculates that the radical
version might return. I surely hope so. Could Romney or Huntsman help make
this happen? What a welcome ride that would be. I could quit feeling like a
freak at the ward.
Bloom is wonderfully accurate and astute in ascribing religious genius to Joseph
Smith in the creation of his Mormonism. But Bloom misses the boat in the
nonsense warning of a Mormon theocracy under a Romney presidency. I personally
prefer the candidacy and the Mormonism of Huntsman, but a Mormon US theocracy is
never going to happen regardless if Romney is elected. There's no way that the
excessive Utah Mormon theocractic influence will not be an issue in a the
national election. Even if elected, Romney, or any Mormon, would be powerless to
affect anything like a Mormon theocracy.
I was saddened to read Prof. Bloom's NY Times opinion piece as I have long been
an admirer of his. As in many exposes about Mormons, there is some truth but
also many exaggerations and an abundance of un-sourced opinion. Of necessity,
Mormons are seasoned veterans when it comes to enduring misconceptions portrayed
by the media and do our best to set things right. But a voice such as Mr.
Bloom's is hard to fight against. Should Romney be the nominee, we will no doubt
see even more stinging, paranoid commentary than this from many highly respected
men and women. We best grow a tough skin and live our religion.
@Chachi: "Being a Yale academic luminary doesn't mean you can state your
opinions as simple facts."Those who criticize the LDS Church
seem to always state opinions as facts regardless of educational background.
And they seem to lose all sense of dignity and begin to wallow in degrees of
vileness as they do go.@One of Vai's Cousins: "He is right
about the fact that today's LDS Church is VERY different from the early LDS
Church of JS, BY and JT."If you want differences from the
original, try comparing the original Christian Church as defined in the Bible to
what we see today in Christianity.@ClarkHippo: "As for the
church's 'closed financial records' what is the real motivation of those who
want the church to open up everything to the public?"Answer:
To have more detail of church conduct for more criticism of same.
It always amuses me at how many people are intoxicated with wanting to know the
finances of the LDS church. The non-members are just being busy-bodies with the
ex-mo's just being bitter that "the church tricked them into paying tithes
and offerings"!It wouldn't matter if the business arm of the
church's finances were open to the world. The same complainers would still
complain.The non-business arm of the church's finances are donations
and once the money is given over then what's the worry? Do people really think
that their funds are being misspent?Where the funds go is clearly
stated and I don't know one LDS member who is concerned with it once the money
is donated. I'm sure LDS Lib and the like would want to know but no one else.No one has detailed why the LDS church shouldn't have money on hand nor
that what they are doing with it is wrong. Many have already stated how many
jobs are created by the City Creek project. I thought that was a good thing. Why don't all the busy-bodies just take care of their own finances and
@ Bebyebe,So Utah is a theocracy? WOW when did that happen? Last time I
lived in Farmington, There was a state consitution, elected governement. And
Utah was part of the Union. you know the United states. And they followed the US
costitution. Could you please site the date that a theocracy took over was there
a coup? And if you don't like it there move itis just that simple unless the
"theocracy" is holding you there against your will?
As one who has long admired Professor Bloom as a first rate scholar, I wish he
had not been so miss the mark, silly, in his recent criticism of the Mormon
church and its leaders. Certainly that church is rich in money derived from
tithes and contributions from its members, however, because it spends all its
money and rescources in helping and contributing where ever needed - it is a
powerful influence for good. One may well argue that Mormon riches and power =
resources honorably gained and spent!
The problem with some of the other Christian denominations is that they are only
responsible for their OWN congregation. In other words, what is donated is only
for that congregation not the whole church. You will never find all that the
SOuthern Baptist bring in because they really don't know. The same with the
Lutherans or any other congregation. Now for the LDS Church the whole amount
goes to Salt Lake City to the Church headquarters. Semi-annually an internal
audit is done in each Stake. The report is then reported to the headquarters in
SLC. Each year as a member you meet with the Bishop to go over your donations.
Every bit of your donations are spent as you intended it to be. Tithing pays
for most Church activities. The other donations, Ward Missionary efforts,
General Missionary efforts, humanitarian, fast offerings and etc., regulated.
The leadership will come out and tell you if tithing funds are used for
something or not. We have been told that NO TITHING funds were used in building
the City Creek Mall. These audits are then reported on in the April conference
I think we are going to see a lot of social evolution within the LDS movement in
the coming year. A good number of both outsiders and life-time insiders are
going to discover new perspectives about church history and the probability that
the official beliefs and worldview are literal.I think this social
evolution of the LDS movement will be good for everybody. Hopefully we will end
up as a more rational and less judgemental, fearful nation of citizens.
@ Mike Richards | 5:34 p.m. Nov. 14, 2011 "particularly when a
religion tells the world that God is dissatisfied with all other religions. That
tends to cause people to take sides." What!? Organized religion
being divisive?Seriously, here is what gets me. If, in 1820, all
religions were flawed then why start another?
I wanted to address a few thoughts but decided to just comment by saying this
article is way off regarding the LDS church that I happen to be a member of.
I find it appalling how little people really know about what Mormons believe.
How are we to trust the "experts" or media on Islam which is centered
halfway around the world and mostly speaks another language?As for
the "money" issue, the church teaches frugality, saving, staying out
of debt and it self-funds. Of COURSE it has money!! And outside of moral issues
ie. Prop 8, it is the least involved in politics of most large groups of its
size, especially churches. There is just a ton of ignorance being
tossed around here - by Bloom (who btw has NEVER read the B of M) and the other
so-called experts who have weighed in on this blog who supposedly know
everything about the church.
"For members to want a qualifing range as to how it is spent is really not
THEIR business."Bill,The same is true of other
congregations all over the USA. The big difference is that the majority of
Christian organizations out there provide a statement to their followers. It
details every cent that was spent by their church. Why does the LDS church
differ on this point to most Christian churches? Is there something to hide? Why
not make the finances of the Mormon church public? I'm sure that the
Mormon church has done so much good in the world. They've provided the figure on
Katrina that you've mentioned here. Why is the remainder so secret? Why not let
your light so shine before the world that they might see your good works and
glorify God in heaven?
Mormonism and theology have gone hand in hand since the early days. True the LDS
Church has learned by sad experience over it's history to be less overt in it's
building of Zion and the Kingdom of God on earth (the Church). Turns out that in
the past this got the Church in Dutch with it's neighbors.An
under-current of theocracy however remains in the LDS Church despite the fact
the Church has departed from it's roots in many ways. But then similar ideas are
common to a lot of other Christian groups that maintain fundamentalist beliefs.
Mormons don't have a monopoly on the ideas of America being a Christian nation
or of letting ones beliefs drive their politics. I can however see
reasons people might worry that Romney as a Mormon might have a theocracy in
mind. 1) the history of Mormonism, 2) the religions Millennialist
ideas/teachings that promote theocracy 3) the authoritarianism within Mormonism
and 4) near absolute obedience to leaders and consecration to the Church by
members. But then they should be worried about other candidates similarly
fundamentalist and committed as well. Are Mormons the only ones that take these
Yes,Joggle your last comment is correct it can be ESTIMATED and yes the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is weathly. However, everything that I
said is absolutely true. What the LDS Church takes in as far as tithing is
concerned can be estimated but that doesn't mean it is correct. The reason for
that is because the LDS Church membership is higher outside of the United
States. Many are in third world countries but it is to be noted that some these
countries fast offerings are covering some of the Wards/Branchs in the United
States as well as where they are. The membership of the LDS Church gives freely
of its donations. For members to want a qualifing range as to how it is spent
is really not THEIR business. Once it leaves their hand and is given to a
member of the Bishopric, it is no longer their money. It becomes the LDS
Church's money to be used as it sees fit. As I noted earlier the amount of
money given for humanitarian needs around the world is awesome. Thirteen
million was given for Katrina alone.
David O McKay was employed by the LDS Church for his entire adult life. When he
died, he owned a home free and clear that was valued at $500,000 in 1970. This
was not his total net worth.Adjusted for today's values that would
be the equivalent of $2,810,000.00 (using the Consumer Price index/ most
conservative estimate). How could this be possible on a meager stipend?
To all who addressed me:True LDS believers will generally never
consider that the church is not what it claims to be. They have already
concluded that the church is true and any contradictory evidence must be wrong,
and they try to "back into" an explanation (any explanation) so as not
to upset their faith. Many LDS believers, upon hearing of some adverse claim
against Mormonism, will say it is a lie or misinformation when in fact it may
not really be. Or they will simply ignore it believing that there must be some
other explanation - one that will support their faith. A non-LDS person is quite
easily able to find LDS sources to support statements made on this board. My
statements are supported by an LDS site. If you want to refute my statements
based on my argument you are welcome to do that, but remember....my statements
are supported by members of your church who are pro-LDS. The main difference
between them and the LDS commentators here is that they at least try to address
strong arguments supporting both sides.Fact is the LDS Churches
assets can be estimated and it is obviously very wealthy.
Mr. Bloom's comments ring deep. Well stated Mr. Bloom!
Regarding socialism and united order Marion G. Romney said, No, brethren,
socialism is not the United Order. He goes on to explain, under the united
order men consecrate their goods to the church and in exchange are given
stewardship to the property to manage as they see fit. Under socialism the
property is forcibly taken and controlled by the state. He ends his talk with
the following prayer, "And now in line with these remarks for three things
I pray: (1) That the Lord will somehow quicken our understanding of the
differences between socialism and the United Order and give us a vivid awareness
of the awful portent of those differences.(2) That we will develop the
understanding, the desire, and the courage born of the Spirit, to eschew
socialism and to support and sustain, in the manner revealed and as interpreted
by the Lord, those just and holy principles embodied in the Constitution of the
United States for the protection of all flesh, in the exercise of their
God-given agency.So please do not try to justify your socialist agenda,
with church membership.
@Clarkhippo"You don't hear LDS Church leaders go on TV and say
misleading and inflammatory things about Rick Perry, Herman Cain or Michele
Bachman. You don't have squads of LDS people following around journalists or
cartoon producers who write or say negative things about the church. "I'm not so sure that that makes the LDS church an easy target though. I
think putting yourself out there makes you an easier target, like the Westboro
Baptist Church, or Jeffress. The LDS church seems to have had, in my opinion,
its most grief thrown towards it when it is most actively out there (Prop 8 on
the national level, and to some extent locally with the immigration bill). "It cuts both ways I suppose. "Basically."Socialism - United Order (Sorry, but two are different. In the United
Order, people still own their own property)"People own their
own property in Germany, France, Sweden, Norway...@sashabill"People who complain about the Mormon money behind the Proposition 8
campaign seem to have no problem with Unitarian and other religious liberal
involvement in the No on 8 campaign."That's why I noted the
disproportionate involvement, THAT is what separates the LDS from the others.
@Charles You denigrate everyone who doesn't believe just like you.
Your posts are angry and vitriolic.Your anger, hate and
envy of your fellowman is easily understood considering you could not possibly
be convicted of what you claim to be.
No mystery why church critics always attack machine-gun style. They hide the
baselessness of their criticism in numbers that cannot be possibly be debunked
in few words.The superiorly intelligent professor has condescended
to inform the world that the Mormon desire for truth is somehow a bad thing? If
only I could scrape all this evil zealous knowledge out of my head.Latter day Saints learn from their leaders, but MOSTLY from scripture, from
their neighbors at church, and from personal prayer. They obey nothing without
gaining a personal testimony of it first.Romney has no more power in
the church than the local church librarian.Church leaders gain nothing
personally when the Church makes more money. Extra money for the church merely
means more buildings in which to serve God and more welfare with which to serve
Gods children. Sorry if that is a problem for some people.
The great thing about sheep is that they never question the shepherd. Most
members of Christian denominations receive a full accounting detailing where
every last shekel is spent. There's no doubt that the LDS church could do the
same. People on this board want to claim that General Authorities are given a
meager stipend. I'd personally feel quite sheepish making the same claim when
the actual numbers have never been provided.
Hmm Big danger with Romney but no danger with right-wing wacko christian
conservative or left-wing wacko Stalinist progressive.
I have read lots of comments regarding the so-called attack on SSM here and on
other sites claiming "the Mormons" are behind all the attacks. Whether
this is true or not, is of no consequence to me, but what I want to point out is
that the SSM are the pot calling the kettle black. They are the ones who started
pushing their agenda to change what marriage has been since the start of this
country (one man and one woman). No one was opposed to anyone's desire to be in
a SS relationship. It was their business, but the SSM were the ones who openly
came out in attack against traditional marriage and are the ones trying to push
their beliefs on us. Do not be deceived on this matter, they will not stop
until they change the constitution or get a new one to pursue this agenda.
@Joggle, if the church financial records are hidden then how can you even assume
to know they are even close to that figure you are stating? I find it humorous
when people say the church doesn't let members know what the financial
statements are, but yet they throw out a figure stating how much we give in
tithes and offerings. I guess it's OK to throw out a dollar figure and say
"we assume" it's such and such amount in the millions. Then we can
assume it can also be such and such amount in the thousands, right?
Leave it to Pagan to make every article possible about Prop 8 and a chance to
smear the LDS and true conservatives. 'Three GOP Presidential
Candidates Sign Pledge To Investigate LGBT Community' - Stephen D. Foster Jr. -
Addicting Info - 08/16/11One of the signatures to the 'pledge'...was by Mitt Romney. If the LBGT community have done nothing
illegal, unethical, underhanded, decietfully, abused the public trust,
manipulated the media, and lied to the American public, they should have no
qualms about being subject to investigation.When the truth is told
the gay community has not been honest and forthright about their actions,
history, methods and objecitves, and most people have no idea of what takes
place in the underground gay culture and their agenda. Read Madsen
& Kirk for a good primer
JoggleLet me quote you "Billions invested in business when it
could be helping others." Just who do you think those businesses are
helping? To those who seem to think wealth and the church don't
mix, let me remind you that the church position hasn't changed. The leaders
frequently warn the Saints not to use credit or overextend themselves. That
some do and get into financial trouble does not speak to the truth of the
church, only to the human failings we all have.
@Dear LDS Lib: Sir, I wish there was a way to contact you so we could have a
conversation about all of these things you angrily post each day. Sadly, the
Dnews doesn't allow that function.You denigrate Utah Mormons for
having big homes and driving Escalades and tell them they have let go of the
iron rod.I'm did not grow up in Utah but have lived here for a
decade or so and have a different take than you. Mormons in every state have
bought big homes and drive Escalades. It's nothing unique to Utah Mormons.However, what is unique to Utah Mormons are people like you. Utah
Mormons like you have a reputation throughout the US with people like me. You
sleep on your rameumpton and denigrate everyone who doesn't believe just like
you. Your posts are angry, vitriolic and factually incorrect.Your
posts regarding church doctrine are usually not true while telling others they
live in the large and spacious building.Sir, your anger, hate and
envy of your fellowman is astonishing considering you claim to be an active
LDS.I'd love to be your home teacher to help you take your beam out.
@atl34. People who complain about the Mormon money behind the Proposition 8
campaign seem to have no problem with Unitarian and other religious liberal
involvement in the No on 8 campaign. As a Mormon and former Unitarian I find
this rather amusing, not to mention blatantly hypocritical. If the Mormons had
put their effort and money toward the No on 8 campaign, I venture to say that
nobody would be complaining about tax exemptions or separation of church and
state.As for me, I am proud to say that some of the "Mormon
money" in that effort came right out of my pocket.
@skeptic-Are you serious? I hope you are teasing with your comment about Mormons
learning from Mr. Bloom. We are not perfect by any means, but we are striving
to live the teachings of Christ and His example. I don't know if Mr. Bloom even
covered that or is even trying to do that himself because I have never heard of
him until today. I think we will just continue to follow what Christ told us to
'It is no surprise that the LDS Church, and Mitt Romney since he is a the
frontrunner and LDS, are being attacked by the left like harold Bloom.' -
Carrick | 6:30 a.m. Nov. 15, 2011 Reply: *'Rick Perry
backer decries Mitt Romney, Mormons' - By Jamshid Ghazi Askar, Deseret News -
10/08/11 "(Robert) Jeffress described Romney's Mormon faith as a
'cult' 'What I don't understand is why you just don't leave
it be?' - Dadof5sons | 10:02 p.m. Nov. 14, 2011 1995:
The LDS church donated $400,000 against civil unions in Hawaii in. The Baehr vs.
Lewin case. It was through the Hawaiis Future Today (HFT) group.
2008: *'LDS Church's in-kind donations to Prop. 8 total $190K' - By
Lynn Arave - By Dsnews - 02/03/09 'Proposition 8 was a ballot
measure in California last November that changed the state constitution to
restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and eliminated
same-sex couples' right to marry.' 2011: *'Three GOP
Presidential Candidates Sign Pledge To Investigate LGBT Community' - Stephen D.
Foster Jr. - Addicting Info - 08/16/11 One of the signatures
to the 'pledge'... was by Mitt Romney.
@Clark HippoWell....since Jesus is the main focus of the Church
perhaps this applies....Christ taught that one should sell all that one has and
give it to the poor. While that's not totally practical, why couldn't the church
sell its non-church assets and help the poor? Does the church really have need
of anything other than meeting houses, temples, MTCs, family history centers,
visitor centers and EMPLOYMENT center? The humanitarian funds, missionary funds,
etc. could all be covered by tithing. The church should keep enough funds
invested to keep it sound, but billions invested in businesses, when it could be
helping others, is probably not really the way Jesus would have intended his
church to be run."Thoughtful saints might wonder whether the
church should spend more of its assets on programs that benefit the membership
rather than further enriching an already huge financial base." P_119,
Mormon America, Richard Ostling"The wealth moves generally in
the form of building projects and not, as one might expect, in welfare from
congregations in the United States to congregations overseas." Page_126
Mormon America_Richard_Ostling If a Church has nothing to hide, why
not be open and honest about its financial dealings?
Skeptic,I do not know many of the church members you describe. Some
like that surely exist. But in over 35 years in the church I have met precious
few for whom wealth was an overriding goal.I have known bishops and
stake presidents, temple and mission presidents. Most are middle class. Some
do better than that and a few do worse. All are generally focused much more on
their families and church service than on wealth. Inasmuch as any of them do
value material wealth, it is because of what it can do for their families and
others. Several of the wealthiest in my wards have been very generous (I know
that having served with them, not because they advertised it).And
no, you can't take it with you. No doubt about that.
Joggle:A considerable sum donated by members in the Fast Offering category
goes to keeping members afloat in tough times for housing, food, medicine, car
repairs, etc. Almost no overhead is involved. Building expenses include
construction and operation (utilities, satellite connection, phones, copiers,
computers, maintenance, and more. Temples cost even more so. The church has made
an amazing effort to build more temples close to the members so that they may
attend more frequently.When the church builds a building, it pays cash. No
waste on paying interest for mortgages. The church also runs employment
offices, food storage facilities, and social service agencies, prints books and
magazines.The missionary effort, with missionary training centers, mission
offices, printing costs for the Book of Mormon, translation services also is
considerable.The church also sends aid for disaster relief to many
nations.All of this and more goes to blessing us members and those who
join, as well as many other people. The church is the best steward of money I've
ever seen. Far better that the U.S. government, for sure, and any other
government or labor union or charity.
People laugh at the idea of Mormons "getting their own planet" as if
it's some kind of starter kit. Many people, even today, think of heaven as a
place where we will all just sit and play harps and sing songs for eternity,
worlds without end. I have no singing talent to speak of (as my wife can
testify), and no harp-playing or other musical ability whatsoever. So if I have
any choice in the matter I'll take the planet, thank you very much!
To Joggle:It is obvious that you really don't know much of how the
church works. First of the magazines the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints produces can be obtained for basically less than $1.00 an issue. Yet it
is printed and produced by the Church. Manuals and other items are basically
given to each Ward/Branch at basically no cost to them. Yet again these are all
produced by the Church. If you cared to research you will find that the LDS
Church has spent quite a bit of money on humanitarian aide that comes close to
billions of dollars in response to hurricanes, storms, earthquakes, tsumanis and
other natural disasters. What you fail to understand that each temple built
costs approximately 2-5 million dollars. These are built with out any mortgages
or loans being created. In fact, everything the LDS builds is bought and paid
for long before it is finished. Again, until you honestly knows what is done
you have no where to talk. Each ward and branch is given a budget each quarter.
The so called wealth and such is way off base.
If Bloom is referring to the church in the 1840s then he is missing vital,
scriptural commandments that Romney would violate to this day if he put faith
above the law:Articles of Faith 1:1212 We believe in being
subject to kings, residents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying,
honoring, and sustaining the law.Doctrine and Covenants 134:33
We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and
magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer
the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of
the people if a republic, or the will of the sovereign.
Accusations that the LDS Church would rule the country through a Romney
presidency is just downright paranoid nonsense. It is as bad as many of the tin
foil hat conspiracies that get passed around in chain emails.Following such ridiculous accusations brings the critics out in droves along
with high-fives and celebrations. And these critics wonder why we
Latter-Day Saints don't bother with their logic and points of view.
As the financial books of the church are not subject to inspection by the
members or anyone, no one can detail what exactly the church spends its money on
and how much of what they take in each year is spent running the church and how
much is invested in non-church assets. Given the enormous revenues the church
takes in each year, estimated at $6_billion, it's seems quite apparent that they
cannot spend anywhere close to that on an annual basis in building expenses and
the other items. The welfare-related expenses are likely very small in
comparison to the income - based on the public expenditures listed in church
magazines. Imagine if you had a corporation where the business model was to have
your customers give you 10% of their income every year, and all you primarily
had to provide in return were the buildings to meet in, a few social programs
and some speeches made periodically by the owners. The church hardly spends any
of its money on humanitarian aid or charity. It appears that less than 1% of its
revenues goes to really help the needy. Where does it all go? I suspect power
and greed applies!
RE: iron&clay ,The first vision of JS of the Father introducing his Son has
a precedent in Acts chapter 7 where Stephen the martyr exclaims seeing a vision
of the Son on the right hand of the Father. This is a Hebrew
Idiom." That being a figure of speech much like, "he's my right hand
man."Exodus 15:6 is an example of this idiom. We know God does not
have a right hand! And we also know God did not literally "dash in
pieces" the army of Pharaoh. This is a figurative example of God's power
and strength giving the victory. We know God is Spirit, John 4:24, who is
everywhere, Ps. 139:7-10, Jer. 23:24. No one has ever seen God, but the one and
only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has
made him known. (John 1:18 NIV)@ Mansions* for the faithful,it could
literally be interpreted that worlds without number are being organized from
matter that is eternal for the habitation . Wrong,Mansions(*Monē,3438)a staying,to make an (one's) abode.
@Recovering Mormon 10:28 I've read few comments on here which would
disagree that Mormonism has changed and evolved from Joseph Smith's time to now.
But why is that such a controversial point for some people? The world is
certainly different now than it was from the 19th century. Is that a bad thing?
The Lord knows the end from the beginning. He knows what the right
time is to change and adapt to the changes in the world.@One of
Vai's Cousins 9:58You said, "A 2 billion dollar mall and closed
financial records do not help..."Whenever people attack the LDS
Church for its downtown project, I can't help but ask, why is putting people to
work, improving downtown Salt Lake considered unChristian? Are all the people
who are working downtown better off trying to find other work, especially during
a recession? What happened to the idea of, "Give a man a fish,
you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime?"
As for the church's "closed financial records" what is
the real motivation of those who want the church to open up everything to the
Bloom points out that the LDS Church has never repudiated an arcane quote from
Orson Pratt that appears to advocate an LDS theocracy. Why should it? Simply
put, when read in context, it is clear that the quote speaks only about
governing a church, the Kingdom of God, making the point that a church governed
by men rather than God lacks His authority. The following statements, however,
represent the established LDS view of religious liberty and civil government.
They are 2 of our 13 Articles of Faith, considered scriptural canon, and are
memorized by Mormon children everywhere: We claim the privilege of worshiping
Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men
the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may; and We
believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in
obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. These are far more relevant to the
discussion. Bloom could have presented them in his piece.
Bloom writes that Mormons believe they can earn godhead through their own
efforts, hoping to join the plurality of gods, or that Mormons each hope to get
a planet all his own. Why does he think it necessary to regurgitate these old
mischaracterizations commonly thrown in the faces of Mormons by those
brainwashed to hate them? Blooms distortions of our beliefs sound as bigoted and
offensive to me as the mocking a Jew might get from an atheist claiming they
believe donkeys can talk. Is this how God wants us to love one another?
When I see the wild and unsubstantiated derisions and accusations made against
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that invariably appear in the
readers comments of news and opinion articles about it, I can understand. To put
it politely, the misinformed lead the misinformed. The same old anti-Mormon
talking points that had their origins in the more than 100 year-old recruitment
tracts of the Klu Klux Klan are still with us today.But when
intelligent people like Harold Bloom opine with comments on a similar level,
those who know the facts are perplexed. If Bloom is going to pass judgment on
the state of the LDS Church today, he should study it, not what others say about
it. His superficial view of the current leadership of the LDS Church
is useless just biased speculation. Did Bloom bother to get to know any of
them? Why the accusations of greed? Where is the substance to his arguments? Why
doesnt he accompany President Thomas S. Monson at work for a week and then write
about that? President Monson is well into his 80s. That should be easy, right?
@Charles, It seems that recognizing many Mormons true god is the gold in their
pocket has really hit a sore spot. But,it seems that the truth would be if
Mormons really believed the teachings of JS and the BOM and really knew the
things they say that they know to be true, then their lives would be much more
about spiritual values and less about material well being. It is said that you
can't take it with you; or is there some Mormon twist to that where indeed you
I had the distinct priviledge of sitting in Dr. Bloom's New Haven home one day
and sharing my testimony of Joseph Smith with the Yale Professor. My companion
and I tracted into him one day in 1997 while serving as missionaries in New
Haven, CT. I was completely shocked during our door-step introduction when Dr.
Bloom told me he had met personally met with Thomas Monson in Salt Lake City in
1991. Dr. Bloom invited us into his living room and we had a very interesting
30-minute conversation. He told me he was convinced Joseph Smith could not have
written the Book of Mormon; the book was too complex to have been written by a
farm boy. I jumped at the opportunity to share my testimony of the boy Prophet
and told him I knew the book to be divine. Dr. Bloom was very respectful of my
beliefs. He thanked us for our visit and we went along our way. Maybe one
I think we really get confused between Mormon Culture and Mormon Doctrine. They
should be clearly seperate, but unfortunately manytimes they merge in unintended
ways.For example, how many times have we seen someone beleive that
their calling is some kind of religious validation of how spiritual they are
compared with their peers. Heck, how often do we see members beleive in self
superiourity over their non-member counter parts simply by virtue in their
membership in the church. That they are somehow the "elect". Any yet some of the most spiritual people I know serve in the most
humble of callings. And I haveequally seen those who actively try to promote
themselves into desired or prestigous callings.Personal pride and
the need to self validate exist in every organization. It does not mean that is
the organizations role or goal. People have a way of messing up even the most
well intended of organizations.
LDS Liberal:Are judging the righteousness of the folks in Alpine, etc.?
Worry about the beam in your own eye.I live in a stake with many wealthy
LDS (BTW, I'm not wealthy)in big houses (many with large families) and am in a
position to see how often and generously they bless the lives of others,
especially the less fortunate, with their wealth. It is very faith-promoting.And, BTW, the United Order was not socialism. It was freely entered into and
freely left, without the compulsion necessary to impose socialism.
ThinksIThink: Do you realize that the LDS church has critict the BOM and made
changes to it, are you saying the church no longer believes.
@Ranch 7:22Speaking for myself, as a Latter-day Saint, I may not
always agree with your opinion or the opinion of people like Pagan, but I do
respect what you have to say.Because the LDS Church has taken a
position on certain issues, and because the vast majority of Utah lawmakers are
LDS, I totally understand my faith is going to face some criticism and even some
hostility.I feel so grateful to live in a country where we can have
discussions like this without killing each other in the street. @LDS
Liberal 9:30You said - I know a few people who would take issue with
some of your definitions.Tolerance (Sorry, but the Democratic Party
hardly has a monopoly on this one) Inclusion (recent misleading
attacks on the LDS Church by Lawrence O'Donnell and Bill Maher leave this one up
in the air)Socialism - United Order (Sorry, but two are different.
In the United Order, people still own their own property)Free Speech
(Then why are some liberals wanting to regulate Fox News, conservative talk and
what is said on college campuses?)Free religion (As long as they
shut up and stay invisible)
Professor Bloom loved the courage and originality of early LDS leaders and
theology. I think he saw it as progressively losing it's courage and uniqueness
following the manifesto.He is right about the fact that today's LDS
Church is VERY different from the early LDS Church of JS, BY and JT. For modern
Mormons, that difference is a very good thing as we would not have a fraction of
the membership we do today or very likely would long since have become extinct
as a church had we not changed as drastically as we did.But the fact
remains that LDS doctrine, beliefs, practices, policies, and culture has changed
a great deal. Most Mormons attribute that to the wisdom and inspiration of
modern day Prophets. I personally have struggled with a "restoration"
of truth that is actually dramatically different today than when it was
originally restored under JS. But I do agree with many comments that
the Church is not money or power hungry. A 2 billion dollar mall and closed
financial records do not help that argument but I see the Church as much more
pragmatic, business savvy and modern than money and power hungry.
I've never heard an active member of the LDS Church accept criticism from
someone regarding the truth of the Book of Mormon. The only time a person is
willing to accept such criticism is when they no longer believe.
In other words, Bloom thinks the church has betrayed the original vision of
Joseph Smith....============ Agreed--Mormons
in 1844:ToleranceInclusionEnvironmentalismSocialism - United OrderWomens Right (prior to Womens Suffrage)Universal Welfare ProgramsFree SpeechFree Religion (who, where,
what they may)Sustaining VoteLiberal concepts then -- Liberal
concepts now.Then drive through Herriman, Saratoga Springs or
Alpine, and look at all the McMansions and Cadillac Escalades...Utah
Mormons have let go of the rod, and are turning more and more toward the "Large and Spacious Building" and "fine appearal".
So let me get this straight, The Mormons are to be feared, yet the members of
Reverend Wrights church are to be elected? Sure!
%Flashback, You state of others that they are: "Ever learning but never
able to come to the truth." Is it possible that perhaps you maybe never
learning and never recognizing the truth. Something to think about. Especially
in esoteric matters of religion where no one knows. So is it better to just
think you know and close your mind, or maybe keep an open mind concerning others
and questions to which there are no true answers yet known to man.
@ Ranch,Really? so how has the church persononly targeted you! Did
they come along and burn your home to the ground? Harrass you at work till you
lost your job? Does the church tear down your personal Ideas publicly by naming
you? What I see is a bitter person who might have once been a member of the
church but could not abide the rules. That is fine if you don't like it please
leave and leave the church alone. How ever from History those who leave the
church are the most bitter and can never let go and are left to themselves to
fight against the pricks. I really feel sorry for you. I hope and pray you can
find peace in your heart. I real do.
I have read many of Professor Bloom's books. He has a way with words,is adept at
"tagging" and collects information via the post card route. He has,
for instance, his various contacts, expert who supply him with the general ideas
and activities of any group. Many books about Mormonism have been written that
way by scholars venturing outside their field. G.B.Shaw might also be regarded
as a friend of the Church, but he too saw it, ultimately, as endandering itself
with an ambition to replace secular authority.As we see, this attitude still
remains. As one who views himself as a moderate liberal( i.e. I do not oppose
new highways because of a frog pond or bird nest)I will vote for Gov Romney if
he is nominated( The many conservatives in my Church are going to face the fact
that this nomination will be opposed by Republican conservatives)
It is ironic that Bloom and many other university and media elites who see
things in literature, science, culture and life that others of us don't see, are
blind to the most important things that the poor and humble see so clearly.
(Only poor, middle class and humble are being baptized into this church---rare
for a rich person to convert) In his piece, he is critical of a quote by Orson
Pratt, which quote might very well have been given by the Apostle Paul who was
against living by 614 commandments and emphasized keeping the gospel simple and
focused on faith; of course Paul and Peter obeyed Roman law as Pratt followed
the constitution. It is true, however, that when it comes to redefining the
institution of marriage and justifying it with language in the constitution, we
will follow the Bible over the constitution.
After reading all the posts, I think the third one from Counter-Intelligence
said it best. "substitute the word Jews......" I wonder
if Mr. Bloom would be as worried if it were Harry Reid we were talking about?
Power and money is ok as long as it is protected by the christian shield. Hmm.. maybe I should play along and be a christian.
A classic example of, "Ever learning but never able to come to the
Dadof5sons | 10:02 p.m. Nov. 14, 2011 Montesano, WA @ Pegan,It
amazes me that you want nothing to do with The LDS faith in any way shape or
form. I can respect that. What I don't understand is why you just don't leave it
be? You want nothing to do with it but you are always harping on a church that
you don't want to belong to. That is a oxymoron. I have no desider to belong to
any other church and I never harp on them. Nor does any one else that I know of.
seems to me your frustrated with something you just can't let go of. ====Because your church has gone on the attack of people like
Pagan and myself.Why don't we leave your church alone? Because it
won't leave US alone.When the LDS Church and its members learn to
mind their own business and let others live their lives without LDS
interference, then we'll stop commenting on your organization.Live
and let live. Until then, don't expect to be allowed to attack others with
I have been plenty critical of the church, especially involving the church
representing as truth many issues that are patently incorrect. However, this
"conspiracy" nonsense is simply too much, the idea that an LDS
candidate can't think for himself. Silly comments like
"Mormonism's allegiance to elite power and money" and the desire to
perpetuate a Mormon theocracy is tantamount to seeing black helicopters over SLC
controlled by the brethren with robotic foot soldiers created in the catacombs
below the temple ready to be unleashed against the world as soon as Romney
To Dadof5sons:You don't live here under a theocracy. You would
understand Pagan more if you did.
Maybe most of you should step outside the box, take a long hard look at
yourselves and ask the question "who am I, who are we"? Take a hard
enough look and you'll be surprised at the answer.
It is no surprise that the LDS Church, and Mitt Romney since he is a the
frontrunner and LDS, are being attacked by the left like harold Bloom. Great
emphasis has been placed on the attacks from the religious right but the left
will probably be even worse.This is discussed in Brignhurst and
Foster, The Mormon Quest for the Presidency: From Joseph Smith to Mitt Romney
and Jon Huntsman (2011). It is well worth reading.
The first vision of Joseph Smith of the Father introducing his Son has a
precedent in Acts chapter 7 where Stephen the martyr exclaims seeing a vision of
the Son on the right hand of the Father. When Jesus tells his disciples
that he is going to prepare mansions for the faithful, it could literally be
interpreted that worlds without number are being organized from matter that is
eternal for the habitation of the meek who will inherit the earth and earths.
@Terry 10:53You said - "Why is the LDS church the only religion
where it is OK to be a bigot and put religion into politics where it does not
belong?"Because we're an easy target. You don't see Latter-day
Saints holding offensive picket signs in front of other churches. You don't hear
LDS Church leaders go on TV and say misleading and inflammatory things about
Rick Perry, Herman Cain or Michele Bachman. You don't have squads of LDS people
following around journalists or cartoon producers who write or say negative
things about the church. People come after us because they know
we're not going to come back at them in the same way.@atl134
11:07You said, "Do you expect people to tolerate what they
consider to be intolerance?"Of course not and this is why so
many LDS people vote Republican. They see the immorality which is continually
advocated by the left and they won't tolerate it. It cuts both ways I suppose.
Twenty years ago Professor Bloom wrote about Mormons in his book, The American
Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation. In his chapters about
Mormonism, his admiration of Joseph Smith is extraordinary, and he thinks very
well of Brigham Young and even calls John Taylor "heroic." It was
fun, for those of us faithful LDS who read the book, to hear him say such things
when so many other intellectuals sneered and trashed, but reading on we then
found that somehow Wilford Woodruff fails Bloom--he doesn't quite make it clear
how, but it maybe has something to do with the Manifesto--and he has no respect
for any subsequent prophet up to the present time. Bloom is not
ignorant--it's an ignorant thing to say of such a vastly educated man. But he
is a kind of Jeremiah in an ivory tower, and has little love for the modern
world and seemingly for anyone who manages to navigate it peaceably. Having
been once lured into cultural/intellectual arrogance, I feel a little sorry for
him, despite his great riches of knowledge.Wake up, Ebenezer Bloom!
Don't be so miserly! It's Christmas Morning!
@Monsieur le prof"Unfortunately, it was the latter who received
the brunt of the liberal left's tirade and anger. "That is due
to the fact that half of the contributions to the pro-prop 8 side came from LDS
members and around 3/4 of the volunteer hours on the pro-prop 8 side came from
LDS members despite being 2% of californians. If any other church had that
disproportionate iinvolvement they would be the ones criticized. Simple as that.
The end result is that a lot of people went from having a neutral or
leans-positive view of the church to having a negative one. Some members got
tired of dealing with the attacks on their faith from fellow members, just
because they disagreed on the matter. Some eventually left the church over it.
One can notice that the church was not nearly as involved in Maine's referendum
on gay marriage one year later. "So much for their
"tolerance" of others. "Do you expect people to
tolerate what they consider to be intolerance?
So why does some anti-mormon professor get any stage at all for his bigoted
views? How many athiests, anti-catholics or anti-protestants from right off the
street get front page opinion articles bashing on the religion of past
candidates when it has nothing to do with how good of a political leader those
men were? Why is the LDS church the only religion where it is OK
to be a bigot and put religion into politics where it does not belong? Lets
keep the election focused on candidates track record, education and skills at
leading the country and turning the economy around! I have not seen a more
articulate, well spoken and proven candidate than Romney for this task in over
A rather bold and courageous article to be published in the Deseret News which
on the whole does attempt to provide some balanced reporting, but seems to tilt
against the Church itself. Not an article one would typical expect in the
Deseret News. It's nice to know that the Deseret News isn't adverse to
providing a diversity of news, pertinent to the election of next year's
The professor is right. The chuch has pumped much energy and many dollars into
an absolute mainstream image in the quest for religious, and ultimately
political, influence and power.
We need to remember that this is just the opinion of one man who is as
unfamiliar with the original teachings of Jesus Christ as he is of those
restored teachings in our time, not unlike a majority of Christians today. Very
few people actually know what their churches believe, nor do they care. Most
believe that "all roads lead to Rome," and so it doesn't really matter
which church one attends.As for Prop. 8 in California, it was
actually the Catholic church leaders who invited the LDS to aid them in their
fight against it. Unfortunately, it was the latter who received the brunt of the
liberal left's tirade and anger. So much for their "tolerance" of
others. Skeptic's bias merely refects the opinion and ignorance of
Mr. Bloom. The kindness and service of the LDS church leaders, coupled with the
generosity and charity of the church itself, are the fruits of true Christian
theology. And I think that a desire for education is probably a good thing,
I dont see how Mormon leadership is striving for money and power. Where does
their money go? It doesnt appear to go toward multi million dollar salaries as
many other "christian" churches do. They pay their bills and dont go
into debt so is that what the authoer is referring to? They build a lot of
buildings and temples so is that a bad thing?Would Mormons really be
better christians if they didnt strive so hard for education and well paying
jobs? IF they didnt teach their children to be self reliant?People
experiencing materialism and craving (some times coveting) money and materials
like others might have, is not unique to Mormons. Everyone deals with this in
their lives to one degree or another.
@ Pegan,It amazes me that you want nothing to do with The LDS faith in any
way shape or form. I can respect that. What I don't understand is why you just
don't leave it be? You want nothing to do with it but you are always harping on
a church that you don't want to belong to. That is a oxymoron. I have no desider
to belong to any other church and I never harp on them. Nor does any one else
that I know of. seems to me your frustrated with something you just can't let go
Ignorance dressed in fancy words is still ignorance.
Bloom's attacks on Southern Baptists also reflect a reinforcement of
misinterpretation of their actions and beliefs. This is the type of writting
that divides and disunites people.Bloom has done a disservice to
both electoral goodwill and to the understanding of what various religions
believe. Academics may claim they have a cosmopolitianism that encompasses
everyone, but in fact they have a narrow disdain for anyone who actually
believes religion has real meaning and power.Bloom should spend some
time learning about the Church's welfare program, digging wells in Africa and
the Ezra Taft Benson's institute attempts to improve living conditions in many
nations before he spouts off on things he knows absolutely nothing about.
The Church has made it imminently clear it is not sponsoring any political
candidate. Blooms' implications otherwise is just wrong.Bloom just does not understand Thomas S. Monson. President Monson is a man
who cares about people and relationships, not money and power. For Bloom to
claim otherwise is ludicrous. He knows nothing of Thomas S. Monson and betrays
an ignorance of the subject. In fact, it seems that he knows so little of
President Monson his attack is motivated by the Church not agreeing with his own
political goals. This is as likely to be because the Church actually avoids
making statements on most political issues, as opposed to it taking any position
that Bloom openly disagrees with.Bloom in his focus on this world
forgets that the function of religion is to point us to a better life hereafter.
This means that religions have to seek ways to share their message boradly, and
this generally requires avoiding too many political entanglements.Bloom may speak in high language, but he does not know politics if he thinks
Romney is sponsored by the Church.
Utter Nonsense, Since the PBS special about Mormons was in no way made or
produced by THe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints your claim that
Bloom was touted by the Church as non-biased just does not make any sense.Bloom is a literary theorist, so I do not expect him to be able to
understand easily what motivates people to do what they do. That is at the
heart of his baseless calling of other people Plutocrats.The Church
organizes resources in many ways to the benefit of mankind. The Perpetual
Education Fund among many other things just does not fit Bloom's baseless
Bloom clearly has no understnading of the leadership of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thomas S. Monson, Boyd K. Packer and Dallin H.
Oaks are no plutocrats.The leaders of the Church are not men who
spent their adult lives in poverty, although Presidents Monson and Packer were
clearly not raised in wealth, and President Uchtdorf was raised in poverty, but
from both an ideological and realistic perspective these men are not
plutocrats.Bloom is mouthing off about things he knows nothing
about.Zealot is an attack term almost as bad as cult. I am not sure
what constitutes zealotry, but it is clearly a gratuitous attack that more
reflects negative energy than any level of thinking.
Respect Dr. Bloom a lot, but he is not correct that "Salt Lake City
sponsors Mr. Romney's candidacy". And, I'm sorry, but anybody who
receives a paycheck is after money and power---what is wrong with that? Money
and power mean you are not pushed around as much. Anything wrong with that?? I
think it was Pres. Hinckley who, in a general conference talk said, that we, as
a church, are not money producers, but money consumers-----the church spends the
money it receives. Apparently, Dr. Bloom prefers a church that is kicked
around, pushed around and in deep poverty. He prefers poverty-stricken
churches that can't help others out in disaster. Dr. Bloom should worry more
about Bernie Madoff than Salt Lake City.
Non-Mormons living in Utah will agree whole-heartedly with the article. This is
how you are judged whether you agree with it or not.
'...they (Mormons) may learn how to better live successfully in the world of
different people.' - skeptic | 6:15 p.m. Nov. 14, 2011 Well said! However, as evidenced by commentors on this board: '@Pagan
BLAH, BLAH, Blah, blah....zzzzzzz - Eichendorff | 5:03 p.m. Nov. 14,
2011 And the moderators who allow such rhetoric as part of 'civil
discourse'... Some people, do not WANT to learn how to live with
different people. My comments are far, far, from insulting to
specific persons or things. But people in this state never seem to
run out of their 'loving and acceptance' by telling me to leave this state. Or
that I 'live in my own country.' I give not one, not two but THREE
examples of theocracy, and I'M the person who is not tolerant? I try
NOT to focus on Mitt Romney's faith. Rather his actions. UNLIKE
some, whom Mormons trip over themselves to support. Like: *'Fox News host: Romney not Christian' - By Hal Boyd, Deseret News -
07/17/11 *'Rick Perry backer decries Mitt Romney, Mormons' - By
Jamshid Ghazi Askar, Deseret News - 10/08/11 " (Robert)
Jeffress described Romney's Mormon faith as a 'cult,'....
Ugh...Prof. Bloom, please stop airing your ignorance. Being a Yale academic
luminary doesn't mean you can state your opinions as simple facts. And these
opinions are embarrassingly uninformed. Referring to non-Mormons as
"Gentiles"? That usage largely fell out of the Mormon vernacular 50
years ago.Mormons believe they can have "their own
planet"? A popular thing for second-rate anti-Mormons to repeat, but not
based in any actual Mormon beliefs, scriptures, or teachings.And
although there is much more that is wrong with Bloom's article, the primary
problem is his attitude that his particular cynical viewpoint is demonstrably,
indisputably true--at least, among smart people like himself.
All about money and power? Does Bloom realize that the General Authorities of
the Church live by very simple means? They don't have huge houses or have fast
cars or private jets. So how can it be all about money and power? This is the
problem with research. Research is so one-sided. I hardly find people nowadays
do adequate research. If you want to learn to play golf do you ask a basketball
player only? Now the basketball player may play golf, he even might be pretty
good at it, but you won't get much out of it. The problem is many think they are
an expert in golf after that. You really want to know golf you ask a
professional golf player. My point is Bloom needs to research church from the
inside out and not the outside in, but this is the problem in regards to
research of the LDS Church. Everybody asks everybody else but the church or
members of the church. President Monson would have no problem showing Bloom how
the church operates its money and maybe he'll see how unlavishly the General
Authorities live there lives.
I read the article by Bloom. Reminds me of that old tale of two guys at an
opera. After an hour of so, Ollie gets up to leave. His companion pulls him back
into his seat, saying, "Sit down. It ain't over til the fat lady
sings." Bloom says he spent a few years looking at religion in the west,
but he sure didn't see my church. Like Ollie, he was in the theater, but neither
saw nor heard the opera. Had he paid attention, he would not now look as
ill-informed as he is condescending. A list of his howlers might start with his
allegation that Romney's campaign is sponsored by the church leadership, then go
on to examine the idea that Romney is or ever was high in the leadership of the
church. Unfortunately, his intended audience has three strikes against them:1) They mistake good writing for accuracy. 2) They think a secular
education qualifies one to understand -- and even judge-- religion. 3)
They assume one of their own actually knows about "fly-over
country."Sadly, no comments section allowed to the underlying article
by NYT, so his silliness goes unchallenged there.
I'm more worried about Romney and his Globalist theocracy which will prove to be
very destructive to this nation. Just look at what Obama is doing to it now. The
constituion is just a dirty word now. People draw near it with their words but
their hearts are far from it. It's a joke when Republicans claim
they want smaller government because only Pauls track record proves he is the
only candidate capable of following through on that.
Funny that he singles out Romney as dangerous for a potential theocracy.... I
think Perry and Cain have been just as, if not more so, "religious" in
their campaign as Romney has. (Bachman by far the worst as far as lack of
separation of church & state!)
What I find amusing about Bloom's column, along with similar columns in regards
to the LDS Church is they appear to contradict the many messages I read on
Facebook, YouTube and other Internet sites about the upcoming demise of the LDS
Church.Among the quotes I have read include the following:"The Mormon Church is bleeding members.""The
Internet has stopped the Mormon Church dead in its tracks.""The Mormon PR machine no longer works.""Mormon's
are fighting hard to get into poor, third world countries because they can no
longer baptize educated people with access to the Internet." So
which is it? Is the Mormon Church on the verge of becoming a major influence in
American political and social culture, or is it on the verge of total collapse?
Article quote from Mr. Bloom: "....is indistinguishable from the secular
plutocratic oligarchs who exercise power in our supposed democracy,"Wow.Any guy who writes like that is the poster-child of
those who are "ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the
Romney is not helping the Church gain money or power, folks. Bloom's goof is
that he believes a few wealthy Church leaders "sponsor" Romney, to use
his word. All political parties are represented in Church leadership. Easily
accessible are the names of contributors to political campaigns. Let Mr. Bloom
show us the sponsorship! Take a look at what money Church leaders give to
candidates. Either the prophets and apostles are not rich men, or they are not
using their means to sponsor Romney. So much for Bloom's fears of an oligarchy,
or plutocracy, venting its will through a presidential candidate.
Sorry folks --- I'm not as smart as you guys. I had to look some words up.Oligarchy: Government by a few. Guess this is true. Christ is
the head of the church.Plutocratic: Government run by the rich.Seems this one is false.Last time I checked, the LDS church had a lay
ministry. There are some employees (maintenance folks, temple/church civil
engineers/designers, etc.). The Apostles and Seventy receive only a modest
living allowance --- period.
In a presidential campaign where increasing religious influence in the political
world is seen as a positive force by conservative, evangelical Christians, it
would only follow that Romney would incorporate his LDS religious beliefs in
policy just as Perry wants to utilize his Southern Baptist beliefs in an
administration he would lead. It's all about breaking down the separation
between church and state with regard to setting policy.So who cares
if it is an LDS influence, an evangelical Christian influence, or a
fundamentalist Christian influence as long as it's a "Christian"
influence? The Republican base should be theoretically happy with any of these.
Except the evangelicals and fundamentalists recognize Mormons as belonging to a
rogue sect of questionable Christian origin.When religion moves out
of the church, synagogue, temple, or mosque, care must be exercised because not
everyone agrees with the various teachings being moved onto the social stage.
Growing up in Utah in the late 40s and early 50s, few questioned the influence
of LDS culture since everyone seemed to be Mormon. However, as Utah becomes
more diverse, cultural influences must make way for others who do not share the
same belief system.
I'm sure the LDS apologists and the Romney supporters will take umbrage, but
Bloom is right on several points. I especially agree with his assessment that
Joseph Smith was brilliant but that the Church has deviated from a lot of the
teachings. I often wonder if Joseph Smith would recognize or approve of some of
the drifting that has taken place. From this perspective, Bloom makes a very
@Vanka - do you even read the comments? Most just pile even more on the Mormons,
a few critique Bloom's thinking and give honest opinions of why he got it wrong,
some are introspective, and a few attack Bloom at a personal level...and that
last group so far seems to be the smallest represented on the board. So as far
as I can tell, of all the reactionary people commenting here, you seem to top
the list. Your comments in "support" of people like Dr. Bloom just
hurts their cause and does nothing to promote sincere discussion.
If we let politics trump our religion can we blame others for misconceptions?
I lived in Pennsylvania in 1990 and was in a business meeting with a gentleman
when the subject of religion came up. I was the only Mormon he had ever met.
He was an inactive Catholic.This man asked me if the Mormon Church
was just another business, just like the Catholic Church? I felt that he was
being unfair to his own church. It just so happened that the LDS church had
just changed their budgeting practices. I explained to this man that we used to
pay Tithing, Ward Budget, Building Fund, Fast offerings, etc. but that the
church leadership felt that the financial burden was too much so they eliminated
everything except tithing and fast offerings. It was a leap of faith but it
worked out.With the perpetual education fund, the church leveling
the cost of missions for all young missionaries, assisting with housing costs in
some cases for senior missionaries, the churches humanitarian efforts, church
welfare, etc. I don't see how any knowledgeable person could believe that the
church was motivated by money and power.
@ Ms MolliSo many to choose from: "No Mormon need fall into the
fundamentalist denial of evolution, because the Mormon God is not a
creator." pg 3 of the article. Although I agree with some parts of the
article. This article is, in all, a bias ed and ill informed opinion of a
religion that the author has the hubris to believe he understands while
presenting it to others as less than acceptable.I expect more from
our residents of higher education. Especially Yale, a school that was founded
by those who sought a more open understanding of the spiritual.
Vanka, Mormons seek out the good in anything. Just because Dr. Bloom has been
fair to portions of Mormonism in the past (particularly about Joseph Smith, who
he truly admires) does not mean that everything he says is correct. His praise
of Joseph Smith is not a scathing critique of Mormonism; his praise of Joseph
Smith is just that - praise of Joseph Smith. His critiques in his NYT op ed
piece are unfortunately so full of errors that it destroys the credibility of
his article (but not of all his work). I think some of what he wrote was spot-on
but much of it was simply a rehash of tired (and wrong) attacks on Mormonism.
Dr. Bloom has offered many great critiques over the years, this simply was not
one of them.
I am growing weary of every person with a column writing their opinion of the
Mormon church and Mitt Romney. I hope the country is growing weary of it as
well....for crying out loud.
Oh my Bob!I'm just waiting for the heads to explode!
And in the last days, individuals will become hauty and proudful in their self
proclaimed knowledge, stating earthly understanding to try and define Gods
nature, purpose and meaning...I guess I have just read some of it now.
It has always amazed me when I hear the all knowing and wise College Professors
who have only "Book" and theoretical experience based on years of time
in a classroom. Many of those I have dealt with in the working world have little
common sense in dealing with the realities of Society or the use of practical
thinking in solving problems. The extensive education and study has filled their
minds with knowledge without the advantage of practical application or common
sense. With all due respect to his extensive study and teaching, his opinions
exhibit a total lack of an understanding of a few basic principals.1.Faith
and living God's commandments while doing the Lords work equals prosperity.2.That prosperity is now serving millions of underprivileged Children of God
throughout the world through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Charities charities. God promised Adam and Eve he would never leave them
alone. Modern day inspiration and revelation continue to update the needs of his
children today. Professor Bloom is quick to judge followers and slow to
understand who Jesus Christ is and what he taught.The greatest education
is experience...Albert Einstein
When Bloom was praising the LDS Church and founder, Deseret News published an
article on it, and members were virtually gloating!Now the same
Professor Bloom elaborates on what he meant, and it is a scathing critique or
Mormonism, so members attack Dr. Bloom!Your opportunistic reactions
to Bloom confirm exactly what he is saying about Mormonism and Mitt Romney. So
long as it helps the Church gain money and power, you will smile upon it.Professor Bloom hit the nail on the head.
Just another strategy to get BHO re-elected.
If the Mormons will give serious thought to what Mr Bloom is making evident,
rather than just sweep it under their dogma rug, they may learn how to better
live successfully in the world of different people.
The funny thing is, I agree that too many of us LDS the (active, practicing,
believing ones) are focused on secular life and gaining wealth. Probably have to
include myself in that condemnation. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were both
worried about prosperity being the thing that brought the saints down, not
persecution.But to lay that blame at the feet of LDS leaders just
feels bizarre...I don't see or hear anything to make me think that money is
their focus, they focus on the spiritual. Do we blame Moses for the failings of
the people he helped free from bondage in Egypt? Not so much. A
teacher/leader/preacher can only do so much to sway the hearts of men.
dumprake: Yale is a well-endowed, private university. Taxpayers do not pay
Bloom's salary. That said, power and money are certainly prevalent in the Ivy
League schools. But Bloom's criticism of the LDS Church as being power- and
money-hungry is as off base as the recent article in Harper's, which makes the
same false argument.
I don't see how Monson's relentless service to widows while in his powerful 20's
constitutes an early pursuit towards leading a church towards a plutocracy. The
book of mormon itself teaches a distinct liberation theology which compels the
believer to produce a society "knit together in love". A few
examples: "Are we not all beggars?" Mosiah4, ridicule of wealthy
prideful oligarchy: Helaman 6:39-40, Annihilation of wealth classes: "And
they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor,
bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly
gift." 4Nephi1 Insightful commentary identifying true prosperity i.e.
attainment of "precious things, silk and good homely cloth." with
"not send[ing] away any who were naked, or hungry, or athirst",
"and they did not set their hearts upon riches", and "they were
liberal to all, both old/young, bond/free, male/female, out of the church or
in" Alma 1:30. The church continues to fund the PEF to avoid another great
evil illustrated in 3Nephi 6:12, "people distinguished by ranks, according
to their riches and chances for learning;"
Wow, we get our own planet? cool, i need to pay more attention in Sunday School.
Glad the author knows everything!
"Ye shall know them by their fruits". Christ taught us the method
that would unfailingly show us how to pick between people. There are
"fruits" enough for anyone who is willing to look, to tell whether
members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are following Christ
or whether they're following Christ's adversary.It's easy to get
caught up in emotions, particularly when a religion tells the world that God is
dissatisfied with all other religions. That tends to cause people to take
sides. It causes those who are prone to excusing their own failings even as
they point out the faults of others, to overlook the good as they grovel for any
fault or mistake.Look at the lives of the 14,000,000 who are
members. Compare them with any other group of 14,000,000 and see if there is
not much to be admired in the way they conduct themselves and raise their
families.Perfection is the commandment, but only one was perfect.
The rest of us are somewhere along that path, hopefully pursuing goodness as we
try to emulate Christ, our example and our leader.
@Pagan You must be living in a different country than I am as it is a violation
of the Constitution to have an 'Official Religion.' As of
'Proposition 8 was a ballot measure in California last November that changed the
state constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex
couples and eliminated same-sex couples' right to marry.'Please give
it a rest. There are a lot of religions, such as the Catholics, who were also
against same-sex couples' right to marry.
@Pagan BLAH, BLAH, Blah, blah....zzzzzzz
This should be conclusive evidence that the really smart and really education
people at places like Harvard, are some the dumbest people around. This guy
needs to get out of his office and his books a bit more. And taxpayers pay his
exorbitant salary--so who is obsessed with power and money?
What part of what he said isn't correct?
I suppose Bloom obtains money and power by writing about organisations that have
money and power. Yawn.
The world doesn't revolve around Prop 8, regardless of Pagan's views on the
subject. Those who criticise the LDS leaders are ones who know them
the least. That was true in Joseph Smith's day and it remains true today.
The ONLY time I would consider the faith of a canidate, is if the canidate,
would put those belief's ABOVE the wellfare of our country.
*'Romney: God wants US to lead, not follow' - By Steve Peoples - AP - Published
by DSNews - 10/07/11 He says God did not create America to be a nation of
followers. Also: *'GOP contenders argue on Iran' - By
Kasie Hunt - AP - Published by DSNews - 11/12/11 "If we re-elect
Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if you elect Mitt Romney,
Iran will not have a nuclear weapon," vowed the former Massachusetts
governor.' I am in NO mood for yet another war... based
on the ever popular 'Nuclear weapons' claim or 'WMD's'... that cost
us $3 trillion of your tax dollars, and over 4,000 American lives.
*'U.S. Military deaths in Iraq war at 4,473 - AP - Published by the DSNews -
*'LDS Church's in-kind donations to Prop. 8 total $190K' - By Lynn Arave - By
Dsnews - 02/03/09 'Proposition 8 was a ballot measure in California
last November that changed the state constitution to restrict the definition of
marriage to opposite-sex couples and eliminated same-sex couples' right to
marry.' *Mormon Church agrees to pay small fine for mistake that led
to late report of contributions in Prop. 8 campaign' - By Scott Taylor - By
DSnews - 06/09/10 Federal judge dismisses Summum suit against
Pleasant Grove By Dennis Romboy DSNews 06/04/10 A federal judge
has dismissed a lawsuit against the city that claim it violated the
establishment clause of the US consitution by allowing a Ten Commandments
monument by rejecting one showing the the Salt Lake-based religious sects
beliefs. The clause in the First Amendment prohibits government from adopting a
He's not the only one who believes it's all about money and power!
I think it's a real question to consider how a candidate could be influenced by
another (and not just religious leaders, that's why Bill Ayers kept getting
brought up in the last campaign), but in this case it doesn't take long to look
at the records of Romney and Huntsman and see that they're not going to be some
sort of pawn of Salt Lake City.