Comments about ‘'Bizarre' British summons roundly criticized by legal experts, religious freedom advocates’

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Published: Thursday, Feb. 6 2014 7:15 p.m. MST

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Apocalypse please
Bluffdale, UT

What are the specifics of the summons?

Peripheral Visionary
WASHINGTON, DC

From a legal perspective, proving fraud requires establishing that the individuals making the material statements in question know them to be false. The simple problem with bringing allegations of fraud against religious leaders is that they believe the statements they have made to be true, and all their behavior supports that.

A separate problem is that there needs to be a direct connection between the statements made and the loss to the alleged victim(s). The donation of tithing or other church offerings is not for any purpose connected to the statements made; that is, the donation of the tithing was not for the purpose of translating the Book of Mormon, so the reality of the plates or the accuracy of the translation is not material to the donation of tithing.

The tithing statement clearly states that "the Church provides no goods or services in consideration, in whole or in part, for the contribution detailed below; but only intangible religious benefits." I would be interested in hearing the legal argument establishing that the religious benefits in question have not been received.

Twardy
Folsom, CA

Who cares, it's stupid, doesn't need any more attention than it already got.

Fuzz
Springville, UT

Summons states that LDS Corp (Headed by Thomas Monson) knowingly uses false statements to entice its members into paying tithing. This is the reason it is listed as Fraud. The tithing issue differs from other religions because the LDS church uses tithing as a determining factor in one's worthiness, and withholds blessings like a Temple Recommend to those who are not full tithe payers.

ElizaAldous
Utah County, UT

The time that Christ's church is doing the most good in the world is the time Satan works the hardest to attack us. He must be desperate if he's resorting to such absurd measures.

Fuzz
Springville, UT

This is not Satan. Satan cannot issue a summons. Satan can't do anything. He does not have a body or power over anything.

U-tar
Woodland Hills, UT

Seems like the axe grinders can't ever get their axe's sharp enough, they just keep on grinding.

Sports Are Great
Salt Lake City, UT

Red Corvette

Who said Monson fears anything?

Mormonmeuk
London, 00

If the Church has not been deliberately misrepresenting facts "to make a gain for himself or another" it could be the perfect opportunity for the Prophet to stand out and show the World that the Everlasting Truths of the L.D.S. Gospel are really true.

I've no idea how it works in the USA, but English Judges don't tend to issue International summons's without a solid case and at least some convincing evidence. The lines between Religious protections are also not quite so clear cut here. The Church of Scientology was successfully sued in France quite recently.

FT
salt lake city, UT

Leave the church and President Monson alone. They're not hurting anyone.

ThinksIThink
SEATTLE, WA

One allegation is that the Church teaches the Book of Abraham is a literal translation of some Egyptian papyri. Why is this misrepresenting a fact? Isn't this just a religious belief?

oragami
St. George, UT

I don't think this is a religious freedom issue. No one is challenging the right of any believer to make claims that can not be verified objectively (those based purely on faith). What is being challenged are claims of a factual nature. Claims that are presented as fact can be falsified, the the plaintiff claims they have been. The plaintiff claims that Monson knows this, or should have known, and yet continued to make these claims in the pursuit of money.

It is a very unusual case (use "bizarre" if you prefer), but it is not an attack on religious freedom.

oragami
St. George, UT

@FT

Actually, the Church and Monson, if they are committing fraud, are hurting people on a daily basis. Don't you think so?

Serenity
Manti, UT

It's probably true that the British Court sees President Monson and the church defrauding the public - as presented by an excommunicated, disgruntled ex-Mormon. His views, as much as they have no validity with the Mormon Church or the LDS general populace, may have some validity in the eyes of a British Magistrate who has no knowledge of the Gospel. Perhaps they have no knowledge of the Bible where tithing is a requirement and not paying it is said to be robbing God. Tithing money is not spent on any personal gains for President Monson or any one person. It is sacred money and is considered as such, used to build up the Kingdom of God and spreading the Gospel. No one person makes any money with sacred tithing offerings as they belong to God. So why don't the Brits issue a summons to bring God to court? They might as well.

oragami
St. George, UT

@Thinksithink

The church teaches that the Book of Abraham is a literal translation of some ancient papyri that were written by the hand of Abraham. These papyri have been examined by both LDS and non-LDS Egyptologists and both groups have indicated clearly that the scrolls are funerary texts that have nothing to do with Abraham or anything mentioned in LDS scripture and thus the Book of Abraham cannot have been translated from the papyri as Joseph Smith and the chruch claims.

Vladhagen
Salt Lake City, UT

D and C 24:17 And whosoever shall go to law with thee shall be cursed by the law.
Joseph Smith was sued all the time by people trying to make a point about their hatred for JsJr. I wonder what would happen if President Monson went and defended his case with some attorneys from the firm of Oaks, Cook, and Christofferson.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

There are no inconsistencies, everything is 100% true and remember to pay tithing before paying bills. You'll be totally blessed.

ThinksIThink
SEATTLE, WA

@oragami,

Respectfully, I'm pretty sure if experts had determined that the Book of Abraham was not translated from the Egyptian papyri it would be common knowledge.

Further, if you read the introduction to the Book of Abraham it says right there that it is "A translation of some ancient Records, that have fallen into our hands from the catacombs of Egypt; the writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon Papyrus."

That seems quite clear to me.

michael.jensen369
Lethbridge, 00

@oragami

From the FAIRmormon website: "So let’s start with the relationship of the Book of Abraham to the Joseph Smith Papyri. There are three different points of view here. One, that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham from the papyri that we have. Almost no one really believes this. But to hear the critics tell it this is the official position of the church. It’s not. Nor do most members of the church subscribe to this so far as I can tell. So, it’s a strawman. The second one is that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham from papyri that we do not currently have and this is the position that most accords with the historical evidence. And the third one is that Joseph Smith received the Book of Abraham strictly by revelation and it did not come from the papyri at all. This position seems to be popular among Latter-day Saints but seems to have no historical evidence to support it."

michael.jensen369
Lethbridge, 00

I serve as the financial clerk in my ward, so I deal with all of the ward's expenses and income every week. I'll tell you this, to tamper with Church funds, as far as I know, is the quickest way to get excommunicated. The bi-annual audits, the having two brethren take the money to the deposit box, the paperwork and digital records, says that accountability is taken very seriously, when it comes to donations from members. So that's first. Second, no one here, or in the article has ever actually examined the character of President Monson in their insinuations. You find out the character of a man by talking to his friends, not to his enemies. President Monson is widely respected among every faith group and religious organization in the Salt Lake City area. Read about his life, listen to him speak, study what the common themes among his messages are. This is a man who is trying he best to serve God and his fellow man. Read what his colleagues in the Quorum of the Twelve have to say about him. And finally, it's President Monson. Not Monson. President Monson.

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