Comments about ‘Mormon Media Observer: Time to end the 'secrecy' allegation against Mormons’

Return to article »

Published: Monday, Aug. 27 2012 4:00 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Peter Marlow

Thank you. Great article! You've inspired me to consider trying a new approach to sharing the gospel: "Hey, would you like to know some of the amazing 'secret' things Mormons believe?" Who could say no to that?!

American Fork, UT

Well, first there's conspicuous wealth. The mall. The ranches. The buildings. It's all there for everyone to see. Of course the church has the right to own it, and since I don't give 'em a nickel (I hope not even tax breaks) they don't owe me an explanation. But you can't help but wonder where the money came from. Then, there's the temple. Even if my daughter got married there I couldn't go. Not that worried about it, but hey, you can't be surprised people wonder. Then, and sorry to say this, but for many people the whole joseph smith story is well beyond belief. Obviously not for many, and that's fine; that's faith. But for some, wow does it make an unbelieveable read. The church has to accept that, and get over it. And the central american archaeology claims? Sorry, but they ain't helping. And then there's the polygamists; not running far enough fast enough from them doesn't help. If you want to play on the big stage, face facts. Stuff, true or not, will come out. Pouting about it won't help.

Far East USA, SC

"Brian Williams' disappointing "Rock Center" documentary"

Disappointing? Of course it would not be exactly what the LDS church would have produced.

Look. When someone delves into anything, there are several angles of the same thing.
Those various "angles" provide a more complete picture of the subject.

If one was to do research on Shaq, I would be very disappointed if Shaq was the only person interviewed. Kobe's input would add depth, as would Phil Jackson. And possibly an ex wife or his estranged father.

The church's story is out there on LDS dot org. But, certainly that does not include any controversy or baggage. And we certainly know that every religion has some.

It was a fair piece. Yes, you may have wanted to change some pieces, but, it could have been worse

Salt Lake City, Utah

Yeah - Romney using tithing as an excuse to not release his tax returns really doesn't help the situation....

Stansbury Park, Ut

I believe the church is very open. Members have always answered my questions with candor and openness. The church's good works are available for all to see, if they are just willing to look.

As to Mr Romney, his religion is of no consequence to me. His pandering to the more base elements of the party are of great concern to me. I value strong convictions and find candidates who constantly change their positions weak and disconcerting. If there truly is a "white horse prophecy" I can't believe that he is it. His business practices have caused pain to many innocent people over the years in the striving for ever higher profits. I can't find the justification for that especially considering the charity of the church. That makes me feel that Mr Romney is two-faced. Evil at work and Saintly at church don't correspond with each other and don't seem appropriate for any religion or its practitioners.

That is the issue during this election for this non-member.

Gray, TN

@Hutterite - the story is about "secrecy" and the Church is not secret and is open to all.
Concerning the "I can't go into the temple" phrase I hear so often, I just can't seem to empathize. If you want to go the temple you can, but why go into a place you're not prepared for to understand its meaning and accept the covenants that you will be asked to follow the rest of your life? You can't get into Harvard Law School unless you're prepared; you can't become an astronaut unless you're physically and mentally trained; I bet you couldn't get into an Apple Board Room Meeting unless you were a board member - even if your daughter was attending it, and I can go on.. but it's not about "exclusion" or "secrecy" and it is about "preparation". God invites everyone to enter the temple - He just wants you to prepare yourself according to the guidelines He has determined through His prophets. All the temples have an "open house" before they are dedicated - anyone can go and look and see what's inside - no secret. I hope you can attend someday.

City, Ut

What it all boils down to for stories of any kind--print, tv, whatever--is that they want viewers and readers.

They are afraid telling the real straight-up story about the "Mormons" won't get them sufficient readers and viewers, so they have to tweak it, or spice it up(with some sacred undergarments)or skew it, or hype it, or get a bunch or "experts" or non-members or disaffected members to talk at length about things they have no knowledge of.....be it the Temple, Church finances or any other hook they think will be compelling enough to get viewers and readers....

Salt Lake City, UT

Probably the thing that'll keep the secrecy charge going is the fact that members just don't talk about what goes on in the temples in any detail and the whole "sacred, not secret" thing isn't very convincing.

San Antonio, TX

I asked a Mormon about the temple ceremony and he said that it was not something he could talk about.

Me: Oh it is a secret.

Mormon: It is sacred not secret.

Me: Is it a sacred secret?

Mormon: No it is just sacred.

Me:Ask me what a secret is.

Mormon: What is a secret?

Me: I can’t tell you.


There is a lot of secrets in the Mormon church, from an outsiders perspective. Simple as that.

Mchenry, IL

The temple.

It's the marriage thing. In other countries where you need the civil service first where the public can view it without the year long ban from the temple sealing this is not an issue. You make secret stuff the rest of the world doesn't. In fact how can anyone object to the wedding if no one is allowed in?

We don't care what goes on, we don't need to be there. Even younger sibling members can't attend. But you ban a service prior and impose a ban on a couple from being able to do the temple service. The religion that seals dead people. And if it were about the couple if her mom can't be there his mom should not attend. After all, it's about the couple.

My parish provides fincial information at least once a year with regular updates.

Alexandria, VA

I kind of get tired of the "sacred" verses "secret" discussion and I suspect that if the members who have gone through the Temple really understood what the Temple Ceremonies were and how they related to the rest of the Church that they would be much more willing to discuss the Temple Ceremonies with outsiders, because they would have understood what they really agreed to. Too many members "circle the wagons" too often instead of being willing to discuss what is already written in books about the Temple by various Church Leaders from Brigham Young on. If the Presidents of the Church were willing to discuss the Temple Ceremonies why have we become so reluctant to follow their example? Perhaps because we have taken too little time to really understand the ceremonies and like many other parts of the Church we have reduced them to the mere repetitive.

And by the way – Brian Williams – 30 Rock was just fine and if anyone felt otherwise – in my opinion – you missed an incredible opportunity to share the Gospel.

Winchester, VA

I was visiting Cologne Germany, and like many tourists, visited the Cathedral of Cologne. As I walked with a guide telling us about the building, I noticed that there was a worship service going on at the same time in the front of the Church. How embarrassing that we were a distraction to these humble people trying to pray as we gawked and talked.

Who would want to have their solemn wedding vows interrupted by tourists? Or someone disparaging the ceremony and calling the participants names? Or asking a guide questions like why are they wearing those ceremonial clothes? No the spirit of the Temple is enhanced when people are respectful, have conversations in whispers, and wear clothes first worn in the original Tabernacle by Aaron and Moses. It is rich in symbolism and peace. It is a place to leave your worldly worries behind and commune with God. It is not a place for tourists.

Mark C
Gilbert, SC

...and don't forget that we welcome anyone and everyone into our temples--even dedicated temples! All we ask is that you leave behind a few things of the world and come in prepared and teachable. If you came to my house, I would ask you to remove muddy shoes before walking across the carpet. Likewise, all that is asked of all people to the temple is to be cleansed and purified before stepping into the living room of the Lord's House. Come one, come all!

Lake Havasu City, AZ

My ancestors were among the many that were driven out of Illinois on a Cold Winter day in January by othe people that professed to be Christians. I have been a member of this the Lord's church all my life, have been the only girl in my High School who was LDS, back in time, I was able to enjoy dances, association with great classmates, with no one making bad remarks about my beliefs. What is happening in America, is Satan getting such a good hold on Christians?

Salt Lake City, UT

There are temple ordinances (the second anointing) that the overwhelming majority of active LDS members do not know are performed inside of the temples. To boot, the net earnings of General Authorities' appointments to LDS corporate positions are not publicly disclosed, nor made available to tithe-paying members. The secrecy allegations are well-founded.

layton, UT

RE: Peter Marlow, You've inspired me to consider trying a new approach to sharing the gospel: "Hey, would you like to know some of the amazing 'secret' things Mormons believe?" Great idea,
Joseph Smith was a 32nd degree Freemason. What makes his involvement with the Masons so suspicious is the fact that the Mormon temple ceremony incorporates various sign, grips, and oaths that are almost identical word for word used by Freemasonry. As early as 1827 there was a book published called Freemasonry exposed, available to Joseph Smith.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

If Mormons aren’t secretive, how did they acquire that reputation?

Clannish was a word often used to describe Mormons in the early years in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. They saw themselves as a chosen people and their non-Mormon neighbors as gentiles. Mormon communities were close knit and sometimes voted as a bloc. In any given society, a sub-group that seems aloof, apart, or socially impenetrable is understandably regarded with suspicion and will arouse fears.

Mormons may not see themselves as secretive but they sure are selective in what they show. They regard themselves as the only ones who are qualified to explain Mormon beliefs and Mormon history. That's unfortunate. Sometimes, it takes an outside eye to detect nuances that an insider is too close to to be able to sense.

Tom in Vegas
Las Vegas, NV

I don't get it. There are no secrets.

All the secrets of the temple are just a google search away. So if there are no secrets, why do reporters insist that we faithful Latter-Day Saints share with them what we consider to be holy and sacred. It isn't knowledge they want. They can easily find out what goes on in the temple. NBC had no qualms showing our garments on national TV. I believe reporters want us to compromise our values and divulge personally what we hold sacred. Like it would give them some kind of satisfaction forcing us to share what we hold sacred. And if they can't force us, then to at least mock us for not sharing. My not talking to others about what goes on in the temple is how I show God my respect and honor Him.


There are no secrets when you Google the church. But from the missionaries, church PR, official statements, etc. it's clear they hide many controversial things from their members. That's the secret ... giving the milk before the meat.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments