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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Katy, TX


So if you really believe that, then you must also indict all the Christian leaders, even Muslims and Jews. They all believe in the law of tithe.

But why stop there? What about all of our political leaders that steal your money, waste it and give it to those that want to take it from you.

I can't speak of other denominations, but I am sure on the whole they are good in using tithes to build their church and help those that need it. I know the LDS are not obsconding monies for personal gain. LDS church is one of the most humanitarian in the world. In major world catastrophes they are the ones to provide the necessities to get people back on their feet, regardless of their beliefs or whether they ever gave a penny as a tithe.

I can't believe that people are so filled with hate in their hearts to try to sully this basic ancient principle.

Love you dwayne regarless.

Washington, UT

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I feel privileged to pay my tithing. I want to contribute to the building of temples and meetinghouses. I want to have a part in building up the Lord's Kingdom here on earth. I am grateful to belong to such an organization that accomplishes so much good in the world. President Thomas S. Monson is a righteous man who has freely donated so much of his life in doing the Lord's work.

Washington, UT

Have you ever wondered why people who become dis-enchanted with The Church simply cannot leave it alone? Interesting!

Council Bluffs, IA

Ok, Friends --

The JSP [Joseph Smith Papyrus] that was translated by the University of Chicago, School of Oriental Studies is NOT the source of the Book of Abraham. I have read it. I have translated it.

It is a "Book of Breathings," type II. No two breathings texts are exactly alike. So -- For those who claim that this text is not the source of BoA, you are right!

But -- The church has not said the JSP is the source of the BoA. Yes, many members believe that it is. But -- it ain't [sorry to be so redundant].

The text that Joseph had at his source material was undoubtedly a copy of a copy of a copy [etc]… and the JSP source was probably destroyed in the Chicago fire. It is my understanding [perhaps incorrect] that Lewis Bidamon sold the Egyptian materials formerly in the possession of Lucy Mack Smith.

Council Bluffs, IA

PS: Now -- the Facsimilies which are printed in the PGP. They were from a different scroll, and they were placed on display in the Nauvoo temple. Although there is a remarkable correlation between some aspects of the facsimiles and what Joseph had to say about them, they are NOT part of BoA.

Think about this: If Joseph had one of the BoM plates, would he display it publicly? Think what we know of the protection of the plates…

If the facsimiles were the source of BoA, sacred scripture, would Joseph casually display them in a public building?

Heres a brief summary --
> The "source" scroll for BoA is nowhere to be found, probably burned during Chicago fire
> The existing JSP is a funerary papyrus [Breathings, Type II]
> The size/condition of the existing JSP does not match the [limited] descriptions of the BoA source papyrus
> The facsimiles are not the source for BoA -- No one of authority has claimed they are [including Joseph]

Those who claim that JSP "proves" Joseph, subsequently the church, fraudulent… are either deliberately bearing false witness or they are mis-led by others who are bearing false witness.

sandy, UT

Just what is a religious liberty advocate? In today's parlance it is a person or a group that needs government advocacy and laws to promote it's faith. Any religion or religious group that needs government intervention and support to promote it's faith is not a religious organization in the first place. It has transformed itself into an institution as corrupt and complex as the government itself. It has lost it's way from the very basis of religion, FAITH.

nottingham, 00

Its all very sad and I hope nothing comes of it.

layton, UT

RE: Dan Maloy, My main points were Honesty and Loyalty:

1. President Joseph F. Smith In 1904 was questioned in the senate for Mormon senator Reed Smoot. Polygamy continued despite His word to stop. Yet,

In 1906, sixth LDS President Joseph F. Smith "pleaded guilty before Judge M. L. Rictchie in the District Court Friday to the charge of cohabitating with four women in addition to his lawful wife." He was fined $300, the maximum allowed.

2. That members were required to take oaths in the temples to seek revenge on the United States. (See: oath of vengeance)

Pleasant Grove, UT

Courts are particularly ill-suited to be the arbiters of religious belief and doctrine. There is probably not a religion on the entire planet that hasn't had disaffected members and opponents take issue with the factual basis for their teachings. The better solution is to withdraw from the membership of a church if you can't accept their teachings, or just don't join it in the first place. Unlike Islamic countries, the civilized nations of the world don't impose criminal or civil penalties for apostasy, and one can freely leave a religion, criticize it and argue against it without need to involve the legal system.

This case reminds me of the divorce cases we'd occasionally see during my years as a paralegal, where the goal gradually changed from dividing the assets and ending the relationship to seeing how much harm one party could do to the other.

Orem, UT

I read the summons and its crazy. It would be interesting to see the Church sends a British Barrister or Lawyer who is an active member (there are many in Britain who are) to answer the summons. Could turn into a missionary moment.

Still that summons should have never been issued. Here in the States the Judge would be put on judicial review.

San Diego, CA

I'm shocked that there are still members of the church who believe the Book of Abraham was actually translated from the papyrus that Joseph Smith purchased. Even the church now states that it wasn't and they call the Book of Abraham "inspired scripture" and say that Joseph received it through divine revelation. Keep up folks! The papyrus was NOT burned in the Chicago fire...the church has it and it even has writings and notes on it written by Joseph Smith. That is not even debatable anymore.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

Some of the charges (per the UK's The Telegraph):

"Among teachings it singles out as suspect are the assertion that the Book of Mormon was 'translated from ancient gold plates by Joseph Smith [and] is the most correct book on Earth and is an ancient historical record' and that the Mormons’ Book of Abraham, was translated from Egyptian papyri by Joseph Smith.

Other beliefs cited include the assertion that 'Native Americans are descended from an Israelite family which left Jerusalem in 600 BC' and that 'all humans alive today are descended from just two people who lived approximately 6,000 years ago.'"

Cedar Rapids, IA

Many interesting comments here.

Regarding the use of tithing for good: My family and I just returned from the central Peru area. In some of the poorest (or seemingly poorest) cities, we saw beautiful chapels as a shining light to the community. We saw LDS missionaries sharing the gospel.

A general authority told us Peru is growing rapidly. Satan (for those who believe and for those who don't) does all he can to thwart such progress. He's trying in England. Be prepared for other trials in the future as time grows short.

Orem, UT

Anyone else noticing how biased this article is? I mean, its title alone is:

"'Bizarre' British summons roundly criticized ... ".

"Bizarre" is so biased a term that you rarely see it to describe a judge's decision. Bizarre is not typically a fair description of an issue having two sides.

Also, it certainly is not being roundly criticized, unless you only select from a small group of critics. So that part is only accurate if one keeps blinders on.

Would we as Mormons react with similar positivity towards this type of tactic if the title were used to advocate something we don't like? For example, how would we feel if an article about Mormons were titled, e.g. "Bizarre Mormons roundly criticized..."?

Let's consider following the Golden Rule. Let's definitely not use in our Mormon sanctioned news sources the same tactics we criticize when used by anti-Mormons.

Provo, UT


Agreed. Why is it that they don't just go away and forget about it if things were so TERRIBLE for them?

Queen Creek, AZ

I pay tithing to obey a commandment I sincerely believe in, and not by coercion, flattery, trickery or any other subtle device man can conceive. I want to be worthy to enter the temple to finally have the ordinances and sealing performed that I've desired for years. No one can take away the love I feel from giving freely of my substance back into the hands from which it came-The Lord's. I love Him, and I love our president.

Rae M.
Bountiful , UT

President Monson, as prophet, of a Church utilizing voluntary tithing donations to give supplies and aid at disasters worldwide and otherwise, feeds, clothes, & immunizes many world citizens who'd have to go without.
Furthermore: we are to obtain our own testimony that paying tithing will bless our own lives. If we don't want to donate, we can choose not to.
If President Monson is called to trial for his testimony, none can dispute his testimony. The Holy Ghost testifies only in our minds and hearts. While scientific theories are adopted, later to be replaced by others.
Man possibly wasn't on this earth before Adam. Before that, this earth could've been part of another planet, explaining the age of fossils 20,000+ years old. Anyway, I say no one knows for sure how old fossils are, unless they themselves have kept track of them all those years.
Limited evidence of Lamanite ancestors means nothing. In fact, there is growing evidence of Caucasian people on the American continent thousands of years ago.
If this issue is pursued, it will probably, as historically, give the church wider positive recognition.

Brighton, CO

Pres. Monson and the Church will stand on their own merits as always. The British are not unfamiliar with the Latter-Day-Saints and while I admit to not knowing the legal system in Britain, I suspect that there is an element which compels the Justice to let the plaintiff be heard. That Pres. Monson was called to appear might also be a formality. Personally, I think he should go, it' a great missionary opportunity. While we might be shocked, we've know these sorts of things were going to happen (and accelerate) in the last days.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

The accusations do not even add up. The connection between the Book of Abraham and tithing is not proved.

This is a ridiculous attempt at grandstanding. It is also a sad comment on the lack of religious freedom in England.

Rae M.
Bountiful , UT

Who knows whether Phillips is a former, or current member? Some articles claim one thing, others make a different claim. Based on the reliability of the claims, maybe Phillips didn't do any more than become inactive.
And by now, who knows he hasn't been excommunicated in the time since this first came out? Or repented? Just sayin'.

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