To Idaho Coug: Now you understand why I have constantly stood with the
testimony I have that the beliefs and knowledge. Some try to put it all in a
little nutshell. Remember that President David O McKay prior to his death in
the upper room of the Salt Lake Temple stated: "Only now am I beginning to
understand the ordinances of the Temple." Prophets are not infallable
though some would make them out to be. Some have very strong opinions and some
very strong inclinations as to what is right and wrong. Still they are men who
do make mistakes, say things out of context or even get it partially wrong.
Joseph Smith has said that he received many revelations he was not permitted to
write or tell about. He wasn't the right Prophet to bring that forth. We study
the teachings of the Prophets just as we study the teachings of the Prophets of
Old. As Nephi states we liken the scriptures unto ourselves. What was said
over the pulpit 150 years ago has little concern for what is said today but
their teachings has eternal perpectives.
%JoeJoe & Idaho Coug: I feel you have put the concern of having to accept
and believing in the core values of Mormonism in easy to understand percpective.
But what normal mind could or would totally believe all those things without
some question or doubt. They are almost as difficult to believe as other
church's believe in transubstantiation of the aeucharist. The worlds greatest
minds have done many of their great works and writings because of their doubts
and questions. Even more fanatic are those who not only believe, but think and
claim that they do know; and try to infuence others to accept that they do
know.. I believe too many of these kind of people in the world make for a very
dangerous place. Perhaps the Mormon church should ease up a little on the know
requirement. I remember hearing one time that the church is a hospital for the
sick and not a museum for the saints.
Idaho Coug: Exactly! I'm glad you get this. Because I really feel there is lots
of room in the LDS Church for things that aren't core doctrine related.Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Meat-Eater, Vegetarian, Tree-Hugger, and
yes, I suppose even Tea-party-ers... :) are all welcome... no worries.
Marginal points of doctrine are really left up to members to figure out on their
own, and I love that.So I'm with Mr. Card. I really don't think
there are different "flavors" of Mormonism. You either believe in the
core doctrines or you don't. That doesn't mean after that there isn't huge
variety in the ideas and philosophies we all hold about politics, etc. I
cherish the core doctrine unity we have and equally cherish the diversity we
have after that.
JoJoe - you (and this article) have made me think hard about something. Just how
long can someone doubt some of the core fundamental aspects of Mormonism and
still attend and hang on to the idea that they are more than just Mormon in
name?For example, just how long can someone hang to their identity
of an active Mormon if they doubt the First Vision, the restoration of the
Priesthood, the truthfullness (including historicity) of the Book of Mormon, the
truthfullness of other modern scripture (PofGP, D&C), the reality of a
living Prophet who communicates God's will - basically that Joseph Smith
restored the true Church and Gospel?There are some things that even
the most active, supportive members can disagree over. But it is tough to doubt
the things I listed above and remain in the Church in any real, spiritual,
healthy way outside of just being there for social aspects.So maybe
I am a flip-flopper myself. I regularly criticize people here who seem very
rigid in what a Mormon should believe. But in reality, it is extremely tough to
be an active Mormon without believing at least the core aspects of our faith.
Idaho Coug: "..fortunately the leadership recognizes that many members are
in and go through different stages of belief and that it can be a lifelong
process..."Of course! You misunderstand, truly. I think all
members fall into this boat, I certainly do. The point is, every
member has at least some foundational beliefs and made commitment that
identifies them as LDS. In Mr. Huntsman's case he grew up in the Church and
served a mission.So the real issue, Mr. Card covers perfectly in his
article. Is Mr. Huntsman truly having a crisis of faith and wondering,
"Gosh, I'm so bewildered, I really don't know if I'm Mormon or not? I just
can't figure it out? I might, or I might not be?!!" Or does he know
exactly where he stands, and for political gain, not being forthright about what
he believes. The latter seems far, far more likely, and that's what people are
uptight about.This is not about a troubled soul trying to figure out
his faith, which we all are, certainly. This is about a man denying his faith
for political expediency.
Good for Mr. Card for lauding taking a stand. I truly do hope Mr. Huntsman takes
the Moroni challange and prays to know if the Book of Mormon is true (if he
hasn't already), assuming this response was genuine and not politically
motivated. What's more, I hope that those of us who have received an answer
stick by our convictions.Revelations 3:15-16 "I know thy works,
that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then
because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my
Brahmabull: "Just exactly what are the 'core doctrines' that you say are a
'must believe' in order for you to be mormon?" -- This is pretty easy to
answer if you are a serious questioner. The author, Mr. Card, if you read the
original article has a good take on this. If you want to be sarcastic and list
fringe doctrines to make a point, fine, but core doctrine are fairly easy to
outline.Absolutely everybody has the right to believe what they want
to believe. Nobody in the LDS Church is going to ram anything down your throat.
But this isn't the Unitarian Church. You don't believe in the LDS Godhead? You
don't believe Joseph restored the Gospel? You don't believe we have a living
prophet? You don't believe the Book of Mormon is the Word of God? You start
creating "your brand" of Mormonism and you aren't going to find
yourself in the Church for very long. Do you really think otherwise??!!
Let's pretend Huntsman was not being politically expedient.So, he
has doubts?He knows what he needs to do.Let's pretend he
was being politically expedient.Houston, we have a problem...
@Independent WomanI guess I just don't see a controversy with LDS people
being Democrat. Sure there are significantly less Democrats than Republicans in
the LDS church but who cares? I've never witnessed anyone being looked down
upon because they are Democrat. I think people blow it up cause they want to
make it an issue, they want to create controversy. I know LDS Democrats and
*gasp* I think they are good members.
Jojoe - again I see why people who are unsure of their testimony end up leaving
the church, it is because of comments made from people like you. You claim
Huntsman threw his faith under the bus. How can you say he threw his faith under
the bus? All he said is "tough to define" that is it. I guess being
honest with himself has come at a huge price. I guess he should have just lied
and said he is a full active mormon, right? He didn't slander mormonism, he
didn't mention it's shady and edited history. He didnt attack the so-called
"core doctrines" that change with the wind. So because he was being
honest about his current beliefs, that is throwing his faith under the bus? Boy,
I think some mormons really have their head in the sand. I know for the most
part mormons are good people. There are a few though that make you wonder what
their motives are - christ or themselves. I don't think the christian thing to
do is to condemn anybody else for their PERSONAL beliefs. After all we all have
different beliefs, even within the same religion.
Jojoe - Just exactly what are the "core doctrines" that you say are a
"must believe" in order for you to be mormon? Polygamy? Adam-god
doctrine? The original word of wisdom(which allowed the use of beer)? You seem to think that one must have absolute knowledge to be a member of the
church. I guarantee you that NOBODY has absolute knowledge that it is true. You
may believe it with everything in you, but nobody knows. So lighten up and let
each INDIVIDUAL decide what they believe and what they do not. Each person has
their own way of relating with god. I, for one, am not a robot who accepts
things blindly with no outside research of my own. That would be foolish.Doctor - I like your comment because it proves just how inconsistant
mormon doctrine and theology really is. If core doctrines (polygamy, and men
becoming gods, adam-god) can be taught, accepted and then dismissed by future
prophets then it defeats the purpose of a prophet. Many mormons will use the
"current prophet is the only one that counts" defense. If that is the
case, then we have no doctrine, they don't teach doctrine anymore.
To Belching Cow, I believe LDS Liberal was being a little tongue-in-cheek with
his comments. However, I came from a long line of Democrats, and
know how that very idea is treated by the Republican Mormon majority in Utah.
LDS Liberal wasn't far from the truth there. If you're a Mormon you're supposed
to be a Republican. It's not asked in the temple recommend interview-yet, but it
is almost harder to say "I'm a Democrat" than "I know the Church
is true." And there was a time when Church members were mainly Democrats.
Granted it was decades ago, but it did happen.As far as Card is
concerned, I believe that he has explained his opinion very well, but as has
been said, it is only his opinion. I personally know many cultural Mormons and
many people who have their doubts. I, for one. have had numerous questions, but
I don't vocalize many of them. I do, however, put myself firmly in the Mormon
JoJoe said, "I agree with his bold statements. There are no cultural
Mormons... those who define themselves as such aren't Mormon, sorry... you
either believe the core doctrines or you don't, simple as that."Thankfully, you will never hear a comment like that from the Prophet or a GA
today. The Church knows that at very best half of the announced 13 million
actively participate. A comment like that would weed active, participating
Mormons down to the 2 million range. I'm sure some members would be fine with
that but fortunately the leadership recognizes that many members are in and go
through different stages of belief and that it can be a lifelong process for
some. Of course comments on blogs and in local ward meetings often differ from
what we hear from SLC leadership - myself included.
@LDS Liberal"Good read,but you do realize letting Utah Mormons
know you are a Democrat atuomatically makes you a Jack-mormon.Political
affiliation takes presidence over any personal religous conviction, faith or
conduct of ones character here in Utah."Are you really LDS? I
have my doubts cause you don't seem to know much about LDS people. I personally
don't know a single LDS person who considers Democrats Jack-mormons. And I know
a ton of LDS people. I also don't know a single LDS person where political
affiliation takes presidence over personal religious conviction. Kind of
strange that my experience as an LDS person is so different from yours. BTW, very nice article Mr. Card.
To Just-a-fan,Being from Utah, I understand your comments. However,
the world outside of Utah is very different and especially in the south it is
polar opposite. There are some people who would not hire Mormons based on the
lies and prejudices that are here. Not all people here are that way, but many
are. In Utah (and surrounding states) people are surrounded by Mormons and thus
cannot believe the lies that are spread. But in the south, lies abound and they
are very ignorant about Mormons. I never would have believed it if I hadn't
lived here for a long time. This makes our duty here much more important to live
in such a way as to let people see clearly who we are.
A true "flip-flopper" will change his position based on the room he's
in. It will change multiple times, or play word games to keep his answers
vague. I heard about someone who addressed a group in Detroit tell them he
drove big American vehicles. The next week he addressed an environmental group
who asked about the SUV he drove, and he responded that it wasn't registered to
him and he didn't use it much. That's flip-flopping.In politics,
there is a lot of give and take, negotiation and trading that go on, especially
at higher levels of government, in order for a politician to get his most
important objectives done. Sometimes they have to trade something for it. If
Huntsman is trading his faith for broader political support, I have a problem
with that. I don't live in Utah, and I don't follow politics there
closely, so I don't know how Huntsman has been portraying his beliefs. It
sounds like Card has the impression Huntsman has been giving the impression of
being a firm believer, and now comes out saying he really isn't. That shows
lack of integrity.
So Card doesn't get hired because he's a Mormon? Not buying that one. Perhaps he
is not hired due to other, more realistic reasons, like some people actually do
not like him nor his work. I agreed with a lot of this article but come on,
black listed in education for being a Mormon? There are Mormons teaching hi
great schools like Yale who are Mormon. I find such a comment pretty arrogant
and perhaps that's what is turning people off. It does me. Card is an
exceptional writer and I even think a good guy to have out there representing
Mormons, but seriously, look around at how many Mormons work in colleges in
areas where they too have influences on people and I think it will show Card is
way off on that idea.
Donn, There is nothing wrong with a politian changing their position, as long as
they don't deny the change or previous stance. Your quote from Romney's
September Iowa debate show Romney's integrity about his change in position. This
is not a falt, and infact shows growth and insight.
Well, it appears that mr card is passing judgment. What right does he or anyone
have to determine whether or not someone has lost their faith. Perhaps the
alleged offender's faith has stretched beyond the box of Moronism? Truth does
not exist within the confines of Mormon doctrine. If he is referring to
Huntsman, again, I don't belief Mr. Card has the right to do so. Naturally, he
has his opinion, but that's all it is...his opinion. He should keep it closer
to his vest. Let us, the voters, decide; don't make the decision for us. It is
unfortunate that when a member of the flock moves in another direction than the
whole, that the whole appears to be more critical and move further away from the
accused than to continue loving that individual.
Great article by Mr. Card. Excellent points.I agree with his bold
statements. There are no cultural Mormons... those who define themselves as
such aren't Mormon, sorry... you either believe the core doctrines or you don't,
simple as that.Be a Democrat-leftwing-nut. Be a Tea-party-psycho. Be
a meat-eating cowboy or a tree-hugging vegan. Drink Coke... fine. But you
DON'T deny the faith.I applaud Mr. Card for his integrity and
willingness to stand by his faith no matter what the cost. I don't care for
Romney's politics either, but deeply admire him for his willingness to stand by
his faith and loved his speech on the topic. Mr. Huntsman's willingness to throw
his faith under the bus for political gain is so dishonorable... I actually
really feel sorry for him and fear for him.
Ajperky said,Romney has not "flip flopped" on abortion. He has always
been pro-life personally? Wrong, he has"flip flopped" changed his
position.Its true that both Huckabee and Romney oppose
abortion--now. But Huckabee was pro-life while he was governor. Romney, not so
much. Dont take our word for it. Heres Romney at a September debate in Iowa: I
never said I was pro-choice, but my position was effectively pro-choice. Ive
said that time and time again. Ive changed my position.We dont begrudge
Romney the right to change his mind, and hes been open about the fact that his
position has changed. But many Iowa voters may still be unaware of that, and
this ad implies that . Source Ad Watch of 2007 campaign ad, The Record Dec 13,
Bold article, however------ the truth is there were varying degrees even 150
years ago: some chewed tobacco, some had tempers, few read the Book of Mormon
in early LDS history, few were rich, most were poor, few were educated and some
owned nothing----and we all know there are varying degrees of worthiness going
back since the beginning of time. If we are a missionary-believing faith, and
we are, then we open the doors to all---and Huntsman's approach may be more
similiar to the Apostle Paul than Brother Card's. Since both major political
parties, in my view, will both soon accept gay marriage (to appease under 30
vote), LDS people will not be dividing themselves as much, politically, in the
future. We will soon be one again.
LDS Lib: As LDS, we WILL vote for the republicans until the republican party
stops actually representing us, just as has occurred with the democrat party.
Ronald Reagan said it best, "I didn't leave the democrat party, it left
me". Please read Zell Miller's book, "A national party no more"
and familiarize yourself with the democrat party of today.
Good read, but you do realize letting Utah Mormons know you are a Democrat
atuomatically makes you a Jack-mormon.Political affiliation takes
presidence over any personal religous conviction, faith or conduct of ones
character here in Utah.They will always vote for the "R",
So what exactly are Card's points here, because he seems to be all over the
place. Is Huntsman just selling out because it is politically expedient? Is that
really what he is trying to suggest? "Yes, please take my soul Satan on
condition that I get at least four years as POTUS". My guess is that
Huntsman really doesn't believe, yet he is trying to delicately balance that
against his Mormon family, friends, and peers. Is it because he is trying to
manipulate, or just be diplomatic? Apparently Card has this one figured out. I
wonder though, if Huntsman had taken a stand, as Card demands, and cited
objection to the Church, challenging the authority of leaders, their involvement
in Prop 8, the absurdity of their history, etc - would Card have written a
different article commending Huntsmans integrity? My guess it no, he would have
written a scathing rebuke suggesting that Huntsman should have been more
diplomatic and less vocal on his objections. Huntsman is in a catch-22 with
Mormons.When I hear Huntsman remarks "it's tough to
define", I hear him saying "I'd rather not discuss it".
yarrlydarb, of course you and Card are both welcome to your opinions. Didn't I
say that explicitly in my comment?I simply have a problem with
Card's authoritative pronouncement that "there are no cultural
Mormons". My disagreement is based on the fact that I know several people
who in fact describe themselves that way. Perhaps you dispute the term or deny
their existence, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.This is my
point of view, not a pronouncement. I not only expect your disagreement, but in
fact welcome it. Life would be so boring if we all agreed on everything.
Orson could have written this about Hinckley's statement on Larry King, "I
don't know that we teach that."
If Huntsman is not sure about his spirituality then perhaps his time would be
better spent soul searching then running for president. He needs to figure
himself out before he tries to figure this complex country out.
You make a good point Jeff. The ramifications for declaring your absolute belief
or doubts can be different depending upon your location and circumstances. I do think there needs to be more understanding and acceptance for those
with honest doubts. It can be a very difficult experience for a member within an
active LDS family and particularly for one living in the Phoenix to S. Idaho
area. It really can be easier to say you believe and put on the happy face. The
ramifications for doing otherwise can have both personal and professional
ramifications and that should not be the case. Just as those who profess their
absolute belief should be able to do so without any negative ramifications.
I knew someone whose Evangelical Christian high school removed the works of
Orson Scott Card from the library on learning they would have Mormon students
and deciding to purge any added Mormon influences from their campus.
@ Idaho Coug: I would like to suggest respectfully that, while in Utah and
Southern Idaho it may take a certain amount of courage to admit that one has
doubts about the Church, in other parts of the world the opposite is true, and
that is what Card is suggesting. In California, now (for example), there are a
great many personal costs that can come from openly declaring allegiance to the
Church. Those who were threatened, who lost their jobs, and who had their homes
and meetinghouses vandalized after Prop 8 can attest to that.More
than once, in other parts of the world, contemporary members of the Church have
been threatened with violence because of their Church membership. Missionaries
who keep that information from their mothers would likely be willing to tell you
if you asked them.Card does not live in the Rocky Mountains, so he
has the broader picture that comes from being from somewhere else. He likely
knows from personal observation that, outside "Zion," there are few
"cultural Mormons" because there is little cultural expectation for
them to pretend to membership.
Say ... what? to you too, Saganist.How is it that you and Mr.
Rockwell get to make such definitions, but Mr. Card does not?Neither
of you make any sense ... if I may be allowed my opinion.Or am I,
too, disallowed my decisions and opinions?Such silliness.
Well said, Orson. Are you sure you don't want to run for President? I really like what you said about Romney, "a man of solid convictions,
who does not temper his core beliefs according to the prevailing political winds
(though he does change his mind about specific political issues, as all of us
should, whenever we learn better)." Romney has not "flip
flopped" on abortion. He has always been pro-life personally. No one can
say he has flopped back to being pro-abortion (I hate the term pro-choice,
because the choice was to put themselves in a position to become pregnant).
Romney is the right man to get things done in Washington. He knows how to work
with all to get positive results. Let's not let a cliche like "flip
flop" keep him from getting the job done.
I truly appreciate and respect Mr. Card's testimony and his courage to stand
behind it at all times and in all places.What I do not understand,
however, is the seeming inability for some members to respect that many other
members are simply unsure, have doubts, and are in the process of working
through what they believe. There appears to be a real line being drawn in the
sand. Either you are with us - with no questions, doubts or uncertainities
whatsoever - or you are not. Mr. Card and others speak of the
courage it takes to take a firm, open, unequivical stand for the church. And I
truly respect those who do. But, Mr. Card, people no longer ride into camp with
a gun to our heads. The reality today is that it takes more courage for a
lifelong member to admit doubt and uncertainty in our LDS culture. I
suggest that it is actually easier for a Mormon to proclaim absolute belief even
if he or she harbors real doubts than it is to acknowledge the real doubts and
uncertainties. Perhaps Mr. Huntsman is the one who has shown real courage and
I loved this article. I wholeheartedly agree. There was another article
published yesterday about Huntsmans response which argued in support of Mr.
Huntsman. I would love for the author of that article to read this one and see
how she feels then about her article and position on this matter. I for one
feel that the scriptures show us the way to act in this respect and that it is
very clear on the subject as Brother Card illustrated. Thank you Brother
Card... I have always loved your books and articles on Desert News... I think
they should put this one on the home page as they did the one from yesterday by
the girl from Provo.
Greg is saying that yes, there is such a thing as a cultural Mormon. Orson Scott
Card is welcome to his opinion, but he does not get to decide how others define
their relationship to Mormonism.
To Mr. Greg Rockwell:Say, ... what?
Thankfully, Mr. Card, you don't get to define what it MEANS to be MORMON. And
for many people, what it means to be Mormon has to do with culture, family,
heritage, etc. while (shockingly) having very little to do with literal belief
that the Church is God's one true organization on the Earth. Mr. Card, you
ought to be an intelligent enough person to realize that trying to create a
simplistic pigeonhole for how people define their complex relationships to
complex organizations is not effective, helpful, or accurate. My (politically
insignificant) relationship to Mormonism is complex and nuanced (and sometimes
difficult); I would like to extend the same privilege to Mr. Huntsman.
What if, just what if, your convictions are WRONG? What then?
Thank you Brother Card, You put in words what I have been thinking over the
past few days but couldn't articulate like you did.
Very well articulated Orson, especially after reading all the kudos Jon
Huntsman has been receiving for his very offbeat answer.
Why is it only ok to be "hot or cold, yes or no, in or out, up or
down?" Heaven forbid that anyone is ambivalent about such an important
topic as religion or anything for that matter. We already know the Lords
feelings about people who are lukewarm. It is nice that Mr. Card thinks its ok
to lose faith because in my experience most Mormons think that losing faith is
the worst/dumbest thing you could ever do. So its ok to lose faith but dont be
hostile to the church. What does it mean to be hostile to the church? Some of
the church's own history seems hostile to developing/maintaining faith. Is
talking about percieved problems with the church/BOM etc being
"hostile" to the church?I would like to say that I am a
fan of Mr. Cards fiction.
Romney a man of solid convictions, who does not temper his core beliefs
according to the prevailing political winds?Flip Flop: #1. Abortion: In
October 2002, campaigning for governorship of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney said he
would preserve and protect a womans right to choose. He now describes himself as
opposing abortion. The right to life is grounded in morality and
there can be no middle-ground especially for Christians. For you created my
inmost being you knit me together in my mothers womb, praise you because I am
fearfully and wonderful made, your works are wonderful I know that full
Absolutely beautifully put! I admire and respect what you say and am 100%
supportive of your personal stand. Without integrity, man is nothing for he
cannot be trusted when he speaks.In my opinion, one statement you
made points most clearly to your personal integrity. You said, "I'm a
Democrat myself, so I won't be voting in the Republican primaries."It's no secret that a large majority of Church members support the
Republican party, so, for a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints to state in open forum that he supports "the other
party" when addressing his words mostly to Mormons, tells me that he is
indeed a person of character and merits admiration.Thank you again
for putting into words what I believe is the essence of integrity.
It seems Mr. Card is a good man who would prefer to hear what he wants to hear
rather than listen to the truth of what another good man honestly states. Pehaps
Mr. Card dosen't fully understand the Mormon teahing of free agency and honesty
and the equal access to God's (if He is) enlightment.
Way to go Orson Scott Card. You hit it right on. Standing as a witness in all
places is the central theme in Young Womens and Relief Society. A true disciple
is a disciple all of the time. Not when it is convenient. He is devoted to the
Lord regardless of the cost. Thank you.