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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Murray, UT

Nothing to see here people. There are no problems with the Book of Mormon or Book of Abraham. They are both perfectly true. Just read about them on Wikipedia if you're curious.

Springville, UT

@Serenity - Tom Philips has not been excommunicated. He is a current, though inactive member. He no longer believes in the church teachings because no one inside the church could answer his questions. When he told his family that he no longer believed, he was shunned by his wife and kids. He has been disowned and is divorced. From what I understand, he is a good man who feels the church is doing harm to people and families.

American Fork, USA, UT

President Monson is one of the most honest men that live on the face of this earth at this time! Trust me this man would not still or thief from any one! He has no need to! He loves his Heavenly Father and would do nothing to offend Him! The lucer of this world is only temporal and has no importance and he knows this! So if you think he wants to still from any one you better do you're research just a little better if you think that he would do something like that! Tithing goes to pay for building of temples, church buildings, and other things not to someones pocket! If you think that it goes to someones pocket you better look a little harder!

Tooele, UT

I will be interested to see how this case proceeds.

Based about the comments Thomas Phillip's has made in other news articles, he talks as though he has already won the case and that in a month from now, the LDS Church will implode.

But Mr. Phillip's better not be so sure of himself. Assuming this case actually goes to court, there are what I feel to be reasonable arguments to be made in defense of LDS teachings and beliefs which Mr. Phillip's claims are fraudulent. Unlike the anonymous world of the Internet, one can not go into a court of law and attack a group of people then refuse to listen to the other side. Each side must be given the opportunity to present their case.

And while we're on the subject of fraud, when will many of those who have made lots of money writing books and producing videos which have twisted and distorted LDS teachings come forward and admit their fraud?

Tooele, UT


You said - "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."

You know what? That might very well happen, in which case those who brought forward this case might get what they weren't expecting. And if this case ends up turning in one way or the other favorably towards President Monson and the LDS Church, then those who brought forth this case will truly not get what they expected.

Stafford, VA

While there is nothing to "hide," there is no way any church official -- or anybody else -- should legitimize this outrage in any way. This is about precedent; and we don't need to threaten basic freedoms by setting precedents of setting them aside because "there is nothing to hide."

What SHOULD happen is, at minimum, the magistrate who issued this be publicly censured, disbarred, and unbenched. On both sides of the Atlantic, the "Black Robes" who preside in our courts have too much power. By reinterpreting the word "interpret," they can interpret anything they want -- can call light darkness and good evil -- and do anything they want.

Murrieta, CA

Tom Phillips is not an ex-Mormon.

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

I don't know how British law operates, but in my thinking the flip side of the government's push of religion from the public square to avoid picking sides in sectarian entanglements requires it to leave faith claims alone. And from a practical standpoint, I don't see how to prove the intent element of fraud when it comes to the list of religious claims or interpretations cited. This is clearly a stunt from a group that thrives off of creating negative publicity against Mormonism (indeed, I find fraudulent the claims of its own website to "neutrality" in offering only "facts" and not spin about the LDS church).

Virginia Beach, Va

I can see a time coming very soon in Europe where Church's must open their books to the public. The majority of Europe does not go to church with the exception of muslims. Most of England's churches sit empty. Do not be surprised if they enact laws that reflect that view.

Potsdam, 00

My guess : A smart move by the church, as always, will smooth the poison and then missionary work goes forward better than ever. The scream at the rising church is a necessary of our time, the church will get stronger as Christ did during his ministry.

I imagine the Pope and Prophet walking along on the aisle of common Good in front of TV and a surprised atheist world.

Somewhere in Time, UT


One of the biggest mistakes that people make is to state that the Book of Abraham is taken from the papyri that turned up in the museum in New York. It is not. This is misinformation or disinformation that has, unfortunately, hurt the testimony of many people. The Book of Abraham was taken from a much larger papyri (at least 40 feet long)that was burned in the Chicago fire in the nineteenth century. That is a fact as attested to by many of witnesses.

However, new discoveries about Egyptian writing, which are happening almost weekly, are now verifying the accuracy of the facsimiles and Joseph Smith's translation of them.

It's really important to be accurate and keep up on the latest information before making statements.

Gilbert, AZ

The papyri you refer to are not the ones that the Book of Abraham came from. When Joseph Smith acquired the Egyptian artifacts, there were a large scroll, a small scroll and a group of fragments of papyri. The Book of Abraham came from the small scroll. The papyri that you refer to are the fragments. We currently do not know where the large and small scrolls are. Last known, they were in the possetion of Lucy Mack Smith in Nauvoo. After her death, we don't know where they went. The fragments were in the possetion of Emma Smith and from there ended up in the possetion of the Chicago museums which turned them over to the LDS Church. You are right, though, that the Church did verify that they contain funerary writings amont other things. Also, there is no claim that the writings were written by Abraham's hand; the small scroll was a copy of the Book of Abraham held in a private library of a noble of ancient Egypt - that is, it wasn't the actual handwriting of Abraham, just a copy of what Abraham wrote.

Katy, TX

There is no one in the Church that forces anyone to pay tithing. However it is a commandment to pay 10% of your income to tithing. Total free agency in compliance, just like any of the 10 Commandments. The church does have many buildings they consider extremely holy and want to keep it holy by allowing members that are following commandments to enter. Those buildings are Temples, the Holy of Holy's. The worship buildings, or their churches, are open to anyone who wants to enter. So this mans suit is totally baseless. If you want to give you give, if not you don't. No repercussions except being able to enter the holiest of places on earth. You can't blame the religion for wanting to keep those buildings holy and pure.

Fremont, NE

So many non-believers... so few believers! Always interesting to read the reasons that some use to "prove" their points. But then it is a free world (in some places) and they are entitled to their opinions. How about summoning the Pope to explain "his" beliefs! Pretty bizarre, huh?

Kearns, UT

As with most of the snide comments on this board, and you know who you are, this is an incredibly stupid court case with no basis in fact. If some ex-Mormon got disgruntled, oh shucks. Tithing is how the Lord funds his church. You don't pay, so what? You don't go to the temple. I could see if the church acted like some of these TV preachers, soliciting funds that lots of times goes into the preachers pocket. But we dont. Every year I go to the Bishop and make accounting. That is between me and him. So I'm not losing any sleep over it.

It would be fun to see President Monson in court shredding this magistrate into (figuratively) little tiny pieces. He'd be very nice while doing it, but he'd do it. That won't ever happem.

I see this magistrate losing his job.

I too have been a finance clerk in my ward. I can guarantee that the funds donated to the church are very well accounted for.

1.96 Standard Deviations

The article states, "District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe summoned President Monson [...] to answer allegations by a former church member that the faith teaches false doctrines for the purpose of securing financial contributions from members of the church."

Oh great, an ex-bishop & ex-stake president turned Korihor (SL Trib had more detail on the former member). These allegations are just like what Korihor accused Alma and the priests of in Alma 30:27,31:

"27 And thus ye lead away this people after the foolish traditions of your fathers, and according to your own desires; and ye keep them down, even as it were in bondage, that ye may glut yourselves with the labors of their hands, that they durst not look up with boldness, and that they durst not enjoy their rights and privileges.

31 And he [Korihor] did rise up in great swelling words before Alma, and did revile against the priests and teachers, accusing them of leading away the people after the silly traditions of their fathers, for the sake of glutting on the labors of the people."

I love the Book of Mormon! It lets us know these kind of evil tactics are just being repeated again in our day!

Goshen, UT

It never seems to amaze me how the Judicial system on either side of the pond
will stoop to new lows in persecution of church dogma. I guess the British court leaders have noting better to do than waste their time on this.

liberty or ...?
Ogden, UT

Thankyou Cats for the actual history on the subject of the book of Abraham. The book of Abraham was contained on a 40' papyri scroll that existance was confirmed by numerous witnesses including the prophets own nephew.It is also historical fact that Joseph Smith's family sold them with the preserved egyptian mummies to a museum in chicago which later was destroyed by fire. Anti-Mormons always try to lump the other surviving scrolls and similair existing ones in to disprove the book of Abraham regardless that the record in question was DESTROYED. For an explanation on the other papyri I suggest people check out Hugh Nibleys work on the Joseph Smith Papyri it is really insightfull and shows that even the ancient egyptians had preserved some elements in the gospel and grafted them into their own pagan theology.

Springville, UT

So, why did it take this paper two days to report this news? I agree it is a bizarre episode. President Monson should never appear. I'm sure top level lawyers in England will be working to suppress this, rightfully so. Funny thing is, any religion could be subject to such an attack.

Australia, 00

What a positively ridiculous thing to have happen for any world leader of any religion. I bet they wouldn't do this to the Pope or any other leader of a religious organization! A waste of taxpayers time, money and talent.

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