Comments about ‘Salt Lake last in Bible study? No way, LDS Church says’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 30 2014 6:40 p.m. MST

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Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Flashback – “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”

By almost any measurement of morality (not to be confused with religious belief) we could conceive of, including those you cite, society is better off today than at any time in history. The world is a far more harmonious and less tribal (i.e., our tribe good, all others bad) than it’s ever been.

The only reason it may not seem like it is our media (which is built on fear & sensationalism). If everyone in, say, the Roman Empire days had a TV with our modern media reporting on every horrible deed committed by their fellow man, people would have been utterly paralyzed with terror.

So perhaps the “end times” are still far off (assuming they are not accelerated by religious zealots and their lust for the Apocalypse). That is perhaps our biggest danger we face today…

Danbury, CT


Can you provide us with a reference the "research" you referenced?

Let me say I learn from non LDS perspectives about the Bible (e.g. the story on Ravi Zacharias about the Eastern meaning of the Prodigal son requesting his inheritance). But I'm sure they could learn a few things from us as well. Why all this rancor and debate? I think God is displeased when we bicker over banalities RE the Scriptures. What God doesn't like is division and hate.

Plus...in the end what matters is how we LIVE the scriptures, not how much we know. If we "know" and don't "do" we're in big trouble.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

We all love and quote the "lists" that important sounding organizations come up with even though their methodologies are often ludicrous.

A few years ago there was a list of the "most depressed States in the Union" and then a few weeks later a list of the "happiest States in the Union." Somehow Utah managed to be at the top of both lists. Apparently anyone can "prove" anything they want and make a list the nation's newspapers will publish. I'm certain, that given the right criteria, I could conclusively show that Utah is actually the most liquored-up State of the Union.

Come to think of it, I may do just that. Watch this space...

Unreconstructed Reb
Chantilly, VA

The Scientist -

“Not only does the research support my experience that overall, evangelicals surpass Mormons in Bible knowledge and study,”

Except that the comments call the “research” methodology into question, point out the potential for missing or biased data, and cite contrary information as counter evidence. Surely a scientist would investigate the methodological strength underlying this survey andexamining alternative explanations for its findings.

“but my personal experience in Bible study with many evangelicals has always involved MUCH more in-depth study... in the original languages!”

I’ve known many Mormons who are fluent in Hebrew and/or Koine Greek. I know others who are conversant in the fields of higher and lower biblical criticisms. I fail to see how your anecdotal experience is privileged over mine.

“Poor Mormons' pride gets hurt when someone is shown to "outrighteous" them?”

Nonsense. I don’t feel “outrighteoused” if someone else studies the Bible more than I do. I resent the implication that it doesn’t have a place in my faith.

“That in and of itself is telling.”

Your hostility and need to spin anything associated with Mormonism is equally telling.

BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

The results of this study seem to be a Red Heering. This DN article hints that the Methodology used seems based on usage of a specific type of Bible software and not on just reading the Bible per se. I've read about this survey elsewhere and it notes that the most religous folks seem to be in Tennesee. In plain terms, this is analogous to linking the use of MAC-based computers to PC literacy where the MS universe is simply ignored.

If the Des News Staff were to simply call the Publisher/Editor/Author of the article and ask for the methodology used in the Study, I think that would clarify things AND cool off alot of Hot-under-the-Collar Des News readers.


There are people, and I tend to agree with them, who believe that study of the Bible that begins and ends with the uncritical belief that the Bible is the word of a god and reliable history is not really Bible study at all.

For instance, from a careful, serious study of the Bible it would be rational and reasonable to conclude that Judaism has been right about Jesus and the New Testament and Christianity for 2000 years... Jesus is not really a fulfillment of messianic Hebrew prophecy, the Gospels are not literal history from eye-witnesses to Jesus, and Christianity and Christian theology are not really consistent with either continuation or fulfillment of Judaism or Hebrew thought or scripture.

From my own observation and experience, I wouldn't be surprised if Utah is last in Bible study.

Salt Lake City, UT

Okay, the American Bible Study one has SLC 87th out of 100. That one is based on (click the link on this article and look at the small print on the map) telephone and online interviews. Also it says that this is the percentage of respondents who reported reading the bible within the past 7 days AND chose "agree strongly" to the question about accuracy of the Bible. Let's consider both of these.

For the former, this survey was done over a "7 year period ending August 2013". I've seen several comments about studying the Old Testament every week, but that's not true every year. So for LDS members contacted in one of the BoM years, for instance, you might start getting some no's about weekly study.

The latter because of that LDS belief in scriptures being correct "as far as they're translated correctly". I suspect that a lot of LDS members are choosing "Agree" instead of "Strongly Agree" to the question of Bible accuracy because of that.

End result is they got a rate of 19% for Salt Lake City. So, knowing all that, this isn't as surprising as it was at first glance.

Los Angeles, CA

Well maybe it shows that in Salt Lake City they dont believe in Fairy Tales!

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY


I have many friends who are quite active in their respective churches (Christian, but non-LDS) where they have teaching and leadership roles. In general I know the bible at least as well as they do.

My kids who attended seminary tend to know the bible at least as well as their friends who are similarly active in the other churches. This was true in the Northeast as well.

Overall, I find LDS familiarity with the NT to be about on par with similarly active non-LDS Christians. However, I think the LDS have a better understanding of the OT and how it relates to the NT.

Just my own observations.

Davis County, UT

Wow!. This is one time SLC should take the ranking and run with it! Have you seriously read what is in the Bible?? I would be proud to say I dodn't read it as much!

Potsdam, 00

Does it really matter ?

Do members of the Church need such an approval ?

Read this comment : Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

Who is talking here ? It is the same Lord talking to Nephi as did to Paul or Peter !
Can we handle such comparison ? We cannot and should not devide the Lord !

How can a member of the Church of Jesus Christ read the BM and not the Bible ?
It is just impossible !

Mchenry, IL

Cities with large populations of Catholics are also marked Godless.

Draper, UT

Did anyone actually read the article?

It plainly says, "BibleGateway's rankings were based solely on how often people in a region used its own Bible-searching software". So what their conclusions should have been is that "residents of Salt Lake City use our software less than anyone else". The article then goes on to point out that most members of the LDS Church use the tools at lds.org. It's shocking to me that anyone is actually taking this "research" seriously.

This just in... Microsoft reports that San Francisco is the least tech savvy city in America ("rankings based solely on how often people in the region used its own internet-search software, Bing"). I'm sure Google would have nothing to say about that...

Los Gatos, CA

The problem was the way that they defined "Bible Mindedness" in the study. It was synonymous with "uneducated". There may be some LDS, that take the Bible literally, but most believe in science also. We believe that the Bible is literal when meant to be literal, and figurative, and metaphoric, when meant to be so. Therefore, we are not considered "Bible Minded" as far as the study was concerned.

Salt Lake City, UT

This article literally made me laugh out load. For a second, I actually felt a little bit guilty for mocking someone else's beliefs (or studies, as the case may be). But then it occurred to me that I am clearly too biblically illiterate to experience such a strongly biblically prescribed emotion.

truth in all its forms
henderson, NV

I doubt it,The Deseret news posts an article a minute about the bible or something religious.

clearfield, UT


Have you read the various Bibles published in just the English language alone? It is easy for translators of the Bible to use new or different words and therefore new or different meanings can be assigned to the truth the Bible teaches. That is why the LDS Church just decided to stick with the good old King James Version and its traditional English language. That also is why we need modern day revelation, so people won't modernize scripture to suit their needs. And that is why I believe God would never leave us alone to just try to understand scripture without revelation. Even if people translate it from its origional languages, to English, Spanish, or German, ect. there is still some interpretation needed due to words not always having a same cross language meaning. Modern day revelation. That will assure the correct understanding of scripture. Regardless of what language it is read in. The Book of Mormon has been translated into something like 60 different languages.


One thing that has not been said in the comments is the difference between how evangelials and Mormons view the Bible. For evangelicals, it is the source of their authority. For Mormons, it is scripture, but not the basis of authority in the Church. Along with other theological disagreements, that has always rankled evangelicals and I sense this view coming through here in how this survey was presented.

I suppose one good result of this for believers is to help ask the question of whether we are taking the Bible seriously enough in our own personal study. There are some dry stretches, but most of it is moving and powerful...

Norco, CA

We believe the Bible to be the word of God. PERIOD.We read it daily or close to it with the standard works. We are a Bible teaching people no matter where or what city we live in. There are probably more churches with the name of Jesus Christ in Salt Lake County than anywhere else in the nation.

Bob Pomeroy
Bisbee, AZ

It seems like efforts to develop ecclesiastical relationships with the 'bible study' institutions providing the grist for Time's mill are pretty futile. Nothing new. Same as the burned over district in upstate NY in the early 19th century.

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