Mormonism still raising questions among Americans, in New York Times forum

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  • crunchem Cedar City, Utah
    Feb. 13, 2012 8:24 a.m.

    "No, this is not the reason evangelicals have a problem with mormonism. It is... Mormons insistance now that they be called Christians, when Joseph Smith did not want to be identified as, or with, Christians."

    Huh? Yeah, having a vision of Christ and telling the world that He told him to re-establish His church, yeah, that could be described as "not wanting to be identified as Christian" Too funny.

  • canyonlands PANGUITCH, UT
    Feb. 9, 2012 6:42 p.m.

    "The real issue for many evangelicals is Mormonism's remarkable success and rapid expansion,"

    No, this is not the reason evangelicals have a problem with mormonism. It is the false doctrine, and the mormons insistance now that they be called Christians, when Joseph Smith did not want to be identified as, or with, Christians.

    Evangelicals have issues with the mormon DOCTRINE.

    As has been widely reported recently, mormonism isn't doing as well as they want people to think. They claim 14M members, when in fact there are only 4-5M practicing, active members. Turns out mormons account for less than 2% of the population.

    Why on earth would evangelicals be worried about the growth of the mormon church?

  • cstott Lehi, UT
    Feb. 7, 2012 3:53 p.m.

    Bring it on people of the world!!! The more truth you know, the more you will want to belong!!

  • newintown WOODS CROSS, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 5:15 p.m.

    @no fit in SG:

    The fact that Romney supported issues in Massachussetts as governor which were in opposition to his personal beliefs, because the citizens there favored them, shows that he is quite capable of fulfilling his oath of office without pandering only to his chosen religion. Wish the same could be true of POTUS Obama.

    Problem there is that we don't know for sure to whom Obama is beholden, only that he doesn't answer to the people of the US.

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    Feb. 6, 2012 2:04 p.m.

    As a LDS woman, I have as much say in the leadership of the Relief Society (women's organization) as I do in who will be called as Bishop. It is not a matter of asking everyone in the ward (parish, congregation) who they would like to have serve in that position. The bishop (priest, reverend) prays about who could and would serve in that position, calls that women in to inquire if she would be willing to spend 30-40 extra hours a week organizing the women of the ward, visiting those in need, making visiting teaching assignments, systematically visiting all of the sisters in the ward, reporting their needs to the bishop and other leaders of the ward (both male and female), filling out orders for some families to visit the bishop's storehouse (welfare) and countless other jobs. And for this service she will receive.....blessings and satisfaction of a job well done. Yes, several times a year, I will be asked if I can support her in her calling. If, indeed, I cannot, I have the right to visit with the bishop and discuss it.
    Why oh why, does the 'world' think that we LDS women have no authority, no power over our own lives, are brow beaten by the men in our lives and that we must cower in a corner because we CHOSE to become expert at such things as gardening, quilting, raising well-bred and happy children, sewing, PTA, teaching, farming, leading scout troops, being compassionate, playing in our local city orchestras, and a myriad of other things. Some LDS women are CEOs of organizations, but not all even want that. And believe it or not ALL of these opportunities bring joy and happiness in a world that is ill-prepared to provide that.....
    PS paying tithing and humanitarian and educational funds is something that we willingly do because others are in need. NO ONE orders it. Thanks for the opportunity to explain a few things.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 2:04 p.m.


    So, by our spreading the gospel to be available to anyone looking for it on any corner of the Earth, by our building multiple temples on every continent, by our making a name for ourselves as being honest and true to our word, as being genuine people who hold to their beliefs so that the entire world will have a truthful example of what our belief system supports and proclaims- by all of that we aren't a world religion? World doesn't mean percentages. Alaska has a population of .7 million while New York has nearly 20 million. Alaska is a much bigger state. Our calling ourselves a "world religion" or even a large religion may not be representative of the size.

    In case you didn't know- we have beliefs about proclaiming the truth to every corner of the Earth, beliefs about being great examples, and beliefs about being as much as a global influence for good as we can. By our understanding of "world religion" and by the example I gave you- it is a highly accurate and truthful statement.

    Just some food for thought. :)

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Feb. 6, 2012 12:19 p.m.

    The Mormons are (a) wealthy, (b) have lots of money behind the scenes, and (c) have their hands into a lot of things, therefore (d) there MUST be something sinister going on. This sounds like the same worn out canard that has been thrown at Jews for centuries.

    As for separation of church and state, I don't hear any such complaints about the National Council of Churches (which has been mixing religion with liberal politics for decades). Similarly, those who complain about Mormon involvement in the Proposition 8 campaign voiced no such concern with Unitarian and other liberal religious involvement in the No on 8 campaign. As a Mormon and former Unitarian I find this rather amusing, not to mention blatantly hypocritical.

  • johnnylingo62 Gray, TN
    Feb. 6, 2012 9:08 a.m.

    I see Lehi's and Nephi's vision of the Tree of Life more and more today. The "Tall and Spacious Building" that floats in the air without any foundation, full of well-dressed and sophisticated people laughing and pointing fingers at those congregating around the Tree of Life (Love of God) and beckoning/taunting them to come and join them in their grand building and give up their family goal, to ridicule and embarrass the followers of good -- because those in the building don't understand, are unwilling to expend their energy to find the path and taste of the fruit themselves...
    Also similar to the Sower of Seeds in the New Testament.. some seeds fall on rocky ground, some in shallow soil, and wither away, but some seeds find good soil and are nourished and take root and florish....
    God will force no man to heaven...

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 7:49 a.m.

    I never thought I'd see Senator Reid being in Congress as a good thing, but I do think he is a good example to point to when outsiders think all Mormons are just right-wing Republicans and would rule that way. And by the way, I never heard any fear from anyone about the Senate Majority Leader being Mormon. So, in the end, this is mostly about politics, not religion. Romney, by the way, is being accused by some conservatives as being too liberal. Good news though is that in the Florida primary, Romney got a lot more of the Christian vote than he did in S.C. And Florida is a much more important state to win in the general election, so I'm rather hopeful that this worry about a Mormon theocracy in the White House will fade in the coming months.

  • dotp POTEAU, OK
    Feb. 5, 2012 8:33 p.m.

    @TruthSeeker-- I have to disagree with your assumption. I am the Relief Society president for our local branch (Relief Society is the women's organization in the LDS church) and as the president I was given the obligation and freedom to choose the sisters who serve in our presidency with me. The presidency consists of a president, a first counselor (over education) and a second counselor (over home and family enrichment). I as well as the women responsible for our Young Women's organization and our Primary organization are included in the decision-making process of our local branch. Our opinions and requests are encouraged and often utilized. What you don't understand is that we have all the "power" we want. "Power" is not part of our religion and it should not be part of ANY religion. Kindness and gentle persuasion are far more effective tools to accomplish the work of the church. Authoritarian attitudes have no place in our religion.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 5, 2012 8:32 p.m.

    @ Rifleman, being everywhere does not yet make it a world religion. It's not there yet. And I guess you don't get the "wink-wink" thing, and if you don't think there is intervention, you are surely naive and are not paying attention to current events.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Feb. 5, 2012 8:30 p.m.

    Article quote: "Romney especially struggled among born-again/evangelical Christians who threw most of their support behind a thrice-married Catholic rather than back Romney..."

    Actually, that quote is factually incorrect.

    Here's how it SHOULD read:

    "Romney especially struggled among born-again/evangelical Christians who threw most of their support behind a thrice-married Catholic and an admitted serial adulterer rather than back Romney..."

    So, South Carolina voters prefer someone who can't keep the most sacred of vows over a moral, scandal-free person who happens to be a Mormon.

    But, hey, there's nooooo discrimination or bigotry against members of the LDS church.

    No sir-eeeee!.....

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Feb. 5, 2012 7:45 p.m.

    Sorry SLO
    A lot you know about the internal workings of the LDS Church. LDS women are absolutely amazing! My mother, my wife, my daughters are all amazing! You may think you are well-informed on this topic. Guess again. It was Christ himself who selected his Apostles(all males). The world need not pretend to second-guess the LDS Church. It is after all The Church of Jesus Christ. There is far too much evidence to believe otherwise. Nor do we worry about being seen by outsiders as male authoritarian. The most important influence a woman can ever exercise is within the walls of her home. Women are doing wonderful things in many realms and domains in the world AND in the LDS Church None of which are more significant than in her home.

  • Bells42 NEW HAVEN, CT
    Feb. 5, 2012 3:48 p.m.

    Oh my gosh! This is so unbelievable. People must sit around thinking all kinds of paranoid visions of what the Mormons think and believe. For one thing...tithing...the BIBLE says 10% belongs to the LORD. Do you believe the Bible or not? Members give 10% because they faithfully believe the Bible and it is up to them whether they want to tithe or not.

    Take over the world? Because there are missionaries all over the world? Doesn't the BIBLE say to go and take the word of God to all corners of the world? Again, do you believe the Bible or not?

    Could it be that the Mormon people are different and appear strange because they actually believe and try to follow the actual teachings of the Bible?

    Men in control...again, the writers have obviously never attended a Ward or Stake correlation meeting. You will find the Mormon church produces more "Ann Romneys" that you can begin to count. I mentioned in a correlation meeting one time that I read that Mormon women were said to be dominated by men. Everybody in the room laughed so hard they were rolling in their seats.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Feb. 5, 2012 10:59 a.m.

    Many concerns about Romney are legit...
    More right wing religious decision making?
    Favoring of the wealthy in finance and tax policy?
    Less concern for the less fortunate among us?
    He speaks about foreign policy with a "hot trigger finger"?
    Women's rights?
    He is unable to answer how he will fix the problems that were initiated in the Bush years?
    Even if Romney tries, apparently his core values come from his LDs Church teachings. Can he temper or deny his beliefs in his decision making and come to a center point for the nation?
    Much of our country does question Romney on these, and other issues.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 5, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    Re: Esquire | 8:45 a.m. Feb. 5, 2012
    "If the Mormon Church wants to be a truly world religion"

    Actually the LDS Church is active in every corner of the earth where Christians are allowed to assembly.

    There is no "wink-wink" in Utah State government. We the people elect those whose beliefs most closely follow our own. Isn't that also the way it is done in Chicago?

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2012 10:03 a.m.

    Red Corvette,

    Do you believe that claim?

    Contending with another's beliefs fights truth, destroys peace, and contending literally is 'looking back'. Establishing your own experiences is one thing. This would be looking forward as you would only be looking to your beliefs. This is peaceful. Any amount of disputing or voiced disagreement is looking backwards. This contending over beliefs destroys peace. This is one of the most fundamental principles of existence. Do you deny this?

    Alma 30:40-41 - These two verses answer your claim and stand as evidence as to the only real motive behind anyone disputing or contending with the church or its members.

    All my experiences, even all of everyone else's experiences testify that this principle is true. It's the most basic principle of peace. You have all the evidences you need in the Book of Mormon to know this is true. If you accept it, fine. If you do not, fine. But going through every doctrine, highlighting things you would contend with, and trying to tell others that their own experiences are false- these things are not "looking forward" and I have proven this to you. Would you deny it even now?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 5, 2012 8:45 a.m.

    I still sense a bit of insecurity and a persecution complex on the part of Mormons.

    On the issue of male authoritarianism, it is true and a fiction to say otherwise, even though no one wants to admit it. And on separation of church and state, I think there is a lot of "wink-wink" that goes on in Utah.

    If the Mormon Church wants to be a truly world religion, it has to be more secure with itself, not be thin-skinned, and not be so closely identified with on political party, which it is.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 4, 2012 9:38 p.m.

    Re: Red Corvette | 8:21 p.m. Feb. 4, 2012
    "Rather we are former-Mormons showing others the way out"

    If I were for truth in any religion I wouldn't seek it from an apostate. People that find the total commitment Christianity requires don't need help in "finding the way out".

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Feb. 4, 2012 7:04 p.m.

    How funny to see "educated" people be so uninformed. If they would stop talking to each other and reinforcing their own perceptions and maybe oh, I don't know, go talk to Mormons, they would come away with their "fears" resolved and confident that Mormons are good, decent people.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Feb. 4, 2012 4:30 p.m.


    You'll always have questionable ideas about Romney, and none for BO.

    BO spends more than twice what Mitt makes in a year for one vacation without paying taxes, but you question Romney payments.

    Go figure.

  • Chachi Charlottesville, VA
    Feb. 4, 2012 4:05 p.m.

    For all the attention given to Mormonism and what it means in the context of Romney's campaign, very little effort has been made in the mainstream media to openly discuss the primary concerns and misconceptions. I would like to see an article in the New York Times or the Washington Post written by an actual expert on Mormonism (someone like Kathleen Flake, Joanna Brooks, Richard Bushman, or, if you don't trust it if it's written by a Mormon, Jan Shipps) confronting some of the common rumors about what Mormons do and don't believe: explaining garments, theosis, exaltation, priesthood, church governance, Christology, and so forth.

    In the alternative, I'd settle for journalists covering Mormonism discovering that 1) the LDS Church has PR and media relations departments they can consult, 2) it has websites you can read, and 3) there's this organization called FAIR.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2012 3:12 p.m.

    My beliefs compel everything good in my life. I love life and I am happy. I'm not ignorant, I've reasoned. I'm not blinded by anything, I'm sober. I have seen the great things my religion has done for the world, and I've seen the truth and power in this church. These things all give me reason to be happy. The entire doctrine, at it's core, of this church is calculated to always help others. If that design, to help others and be happy, is disconnected from the world- then I hope the rest the world will understand when I think their questioning my beliefs is a bit peculiar.

    If they want to learn more about the LDS Church and whether they think we believe in something good or crazy, then go for it. I'd encourage more people to be informed instead of listening to the media circus. But as for being weird, those 'beliefs in question' give me a far more grounded life, more grounded in reality, etc. than anyone I've met who followed the values the rest of the world says is right.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 4, 2012 1:22 p.m.

    Barnes sense of what is legal is very disturbing. There are no laws against religious organizations attempting to inflence public policy.

    Beyond this, Barnes is ignoring the fact that the Church does not attempt to exert pressure on elected officials directly. If this is really a concern she has, there are two other candidates in the Republican Primary that she should object to because there are documented cases of officials in their Church trying to inflence directly the votes on policy issues of members of that religion.

    Yet Barnes is raising the issue where it has no relevance. This is probably because she would be fully exposed as the anti-religion radical she is if she spoke her ideas in relation to religions that are socially acceptable.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 4, 2012 1:18 p.m.

    On the tithing percentage it should be emphasized that this was self-identified Mormons surveyed. This does not reflect many of the people who have their names on the records of the Church, and may even show up at meetings on rare occasions, but do not feel like openly saying they are Mormons.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 4, 2012 1:16 p.m.

    The use of the comparison of stakes to dioceses adds fuel to the Dentonian claim that Romney was or is a "high church official". The comparison is very weak. In a lot of ways a comparison of LDS Church Areas to Catholic dioceses would be more appropriate. They have similar membership.

    With only about 5,000 Mormons in his stake, Mitt Romney presided over fewer people than some Catholic priests do. There is one Catholic parish in Metro Detroit that has 15,000 members. LDS stakes virtually never have over 20 wards and branches. Catholic dioceses regularly have several hundred parishes. The comparison does not work.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 4, 2012 11:36 a.m.

    Re: Pagan | 7:31 p.m. Feb. 3, 2012
    "And I am not trying to say that all Mormons are extreme!"

    That's mighty generous admission and I think all intelligent level headed adults would tend to go along with your admission. Only a fool tries to tie everyone in any religion or organization with the same ribbon. Come to think of it most intelligent level headed adults don't think the good folks in San Francisco are all extreme.

    Just good common sense.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2012 10:48 a.m.

    Just remember back in the 1800's South Carolina seceded from the Union and when they voted for Gingrich, accepting his immorality, his ethics violations and his cute one liners, they spiritually seceded from the Union. They also threw out the espoused standing of the Republicans of family values, something which Newt has shown he does not espouse. I believe people can change, but I do not see Newt changing, just being coy.

    Harry Reid would have lost in Nevada, but his opponent was so stupid and her staff were absolutely clueless that when she stated Nevada should not vote for a person from the Mormon cult she lost. Why, because she failed to realize just how many LDS there are in Nevada. Had she kept her mouth shut we would not have to have Harry Reid as a sitting Senator. However, maybe it was good then we would not have another religious bigot in Congress.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 4, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    Sorry, JayTee

    Have to disagree.
    While LDS women, as do women in general, have potential power and influence, that power and influence can be and is often constrained, both inside and outside the home and church.

    Do women in the Church even decide who will be in leadership positions of the women's organizations? No

    Women are excluded from real decision and policy-making in the Church, from local levels to SLC headquarters.

  • barbara Carlsbad, CA
    Feb. 4, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    I love your screen name. Also, your comments. And, why would people be leery of others who are willing to jump out of bed at one am to help you bail your flooded basement, or take the midnight shift at watching your children while you are at the hospital with a sick one, or good works ad infinitum? Plus, other people of other faiths can take comfort in the fact that many Mormon converts drop out after a short time due to lack of commitment or understanding.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Feb. 4, 2012 9:47 a.m.

    @Sharrona: But that conviction isn't used as a weapon of condemnation or criticism. The statement isn't used to condemn Baptists and Catholics to Hell, or to deny their status as a Christian. The claim "you're not a real Christian" isn't directed by Mormons toward any Christian community. It's solely reserved for us, by others.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Feb. 4, 2012 9:25 a.m.

    Re: Moontan: But a person of firm convictions has no need to rain on anybody's parade.But,
    All their creeds were an abomination in his sight that those professors were all corrupt, JS History 1:19,

    RE: Middle of the Road, take the time to investigate It,[OK] themselves are the ones who are the "sheep."?
    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.(John 10:16)Who are the sheep(gentiles).
    Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.(Acts 28:28)
    Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, "I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding." And Isaiah boldly says, "I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."(Romans 10:19-20 NIV)Neither the Nephites nor the Laminites can meet this qualification.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Feb. 4, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    Newintown is spot on. And I find another interesting paradox: anti-Mormons who frequently visit Mormon websites. Go figure.

    I do not believe one must handle rattlesnakes to prove one's salvation, yet several churches do. Nor do I pass out in church, or speak in tongues, yet most religious television stations show exactly that. But I would never dream of making antagonistic visits to their websites.

    Sometimes a person who yells 'the sky is falling' is simply looking for affirmation that it isn't. Other times, they want assurance that it is - an "am I right?" plea.

    But a person of firm convictions has no need to rain on anybody's parade.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Feb. 4, 2012 8:37 a.m.

    The level of ignorance and misunderstanding is phenomenal. The LDS faith has been on this continent for nearly 182 years now, and those who claim it is non-Christian definitely know nothing at all about the theology. Or, they may claim it's non-Christian because it doesn't coincide perfectly what THEIR brand of Christianity--in which case, why don't they make the same assertions about the Catholics? And, I view the Priesthood as more of a matter of RESPONSIBILITY, as opposed to authority. I think most experienced and informed observers would argue that the women are the onces with the real power and influence. Also, if people act like sheep, it's because they CHOOSE to act like sheep--not because it is required by the Gospel of Salvation. You'll always have those who are looking for someone else to make all the decisions and take charge, but that doesn't include all of us.

  • newintown WOODS CROSS, UT
    Feb. 4, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    What an odd paradox. People call Mitt Romney a flip flopper because he seems to have changed his position on social issues from his administrative stance in Mass as governor, to a more conservative position as he runs for the POTUS.

    In reality it shows his ability to function according to his oath of office to represent his states constitution and the people he was sworn to serve, inspite of its position to his church's beliefs. still, they fear his willingness to do the same in Washington. He walks the walk, not just talks the talk.

    If you replaced the name Mormon with Muslim, Wiccan or other minority description, cries of bigotry and racism would never end. That simple test clearly highlights the bigotry which is cavalierly leveled at the Mormons while "liberal minded" evangelicals hide behind their piety.

    When Romney keeps his most important covenants, his integrity gets blasted as "wanting to take over the world". When Gingrich violates his covenants, he is hailed as progressive and forthright.

    Interesting paradox indeed.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2012 6:01 a.m.

    Feminism is a problem in our world. Few ever want to bring it up. Few dare argue with it or stand up to it. Yes, I'm happy woman are presidents of countries and moving to the top of all fields, they will solve many problems in the world and cause less wars-----HOWEVER-- there are some negative side effects. American culture takes it too far and begins to say women are good, men are bad. (Little wonder more men are becoming feminine---to please and be accepted.) Christ came to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. His Church is on the earth to do the same. All Christian churches are on the same team to stand up to secularism and media and universities.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Feb. 3, 2012 7:58 p.m.

    Yes, I understood your opinion isn't that all Mormons are extreme. Your position is very clear. But when 9/11, Jihad, etc., are mentioned, the clear implication is that some extreme Mormons may fit that level of barbarity. This I doubt. And of course I don't think Mormons are perfect beings. We'd not need Christ if we were.

    The attitude that the abominable behavior of a member of a group somehow impugns the group itself is usually a facile argument used by agnostics and atheists to attack religious belief. And only religious belief. They dare not apply that argument to any secular group, and that fact betrays their motives. An atheist robs a bank; you won't hear the national atheist group saying "well then, we are all bad."

    But if a seminary principle does something immoral, they offer it as proof that the LDS Church is a corrupting influence.

    That's just flawed thinking.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 3, 2012 7:31 p.m.

    'Pagan, extreme Mormons susceptible to 9/11-type behavior?' - Moontan | 5:42 p.m. Feb. 3, 2012

    Did you even READ my post?

    'And I am not trying to say that all Mormons are extreme!' - Pagan | 2:51 p.m. Feb. 3, 2012

    Dear lord!

    After I SPECIFY to not generalize Mormons...

    people claim I am, regardless.

    Are you trying to say that EVERY Mormon is perfect, so pure, they can do no wrong?

    **'Ex-seminary principal Michael Pratt pleads guilty in sex case' - By Sara Israelsen-Hartley, Deseret News - 06/02/10

    We both know that is not the case.

  • Middle of the Road Home Town USA, UT
    Feb. 3, 2012 7:15 p.m.

    The observation I have of those who slam the LDS Church are who essentially the ones (group) who voted in the majority in South Carolina are jealous (of Mormons)as a whole.

    Honestly, it appears that they voted against Romney instead of for Gingrich. It was so blatant that it didn't make a wrinkle in the support Romney had already gained and since. It is laughable to say the least.

    This whole idea will bear out among those that call good, evil, and evil, good.

    Those who take the word of others when it comes to putting down the LDS Church and not look for themselves nor take the time to investigate it themselves are the ones who are the "sheep."

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Feb. 3, 2012 5:55 p.m.

    Mitt Romney an upper level leader in the church? Hardly. Being a Stake President is no more than middle management. Most likely the lowest managerial position of Mitts career. IF he was an Area Authority 70 or a real 70, then he'd be in the upper level of leaders.

    The only people having questions are the stupid ones that don't bother to do research for themselves and listen to their pastor.

    Pagan, again, have an original thought. Cut and paste doesn't take any thinking.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Feb. 3, 2012 5:42 p.m.

    Pagan, extreme Mormons susceptible to 9/11-type behavior? Inquisition or Jihad? "etc, etc." Crazed MoTab soprano running down 5th avenue with gas cans yelling 'Monson Akbar!'?

    Highly doubtful.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    Feb. 3, 2012 5:31 p.m.

    While not of the LDS Faith, I do have several LDS members I associate with at work and a number of others who participate in recreational activities that I do. These people are as normal as one can get compared to the rest of society. I find them intelligent and can hold a conversation with anyone about any topic. I can also say that about other friends who are not LDS members. The point of the matter is that many who post on here, such as Pagan, seem to only know a certain type of member that is constantly referred to. I say move out of Utah and join the human race if you want to find LDS people who are making a difference in their occupations and communities. Your view is much to narrow of the LDS society as a whole.

  • Dee J Portland, OR
    Feb. 3, 2012 4:44 p.m.

    I welcome the public dialogue about our beliefs, practices and lifestyle. I think the best approach is to be honest, forthright, and not defensive, and remember that our actions speak louder than our words.

    But I also think that the typical misperceptions and suspicions will continue to persist. My 8th grade son told me last night that some kids at school keep saying that Mormons practice polygamy, or asking about it. When I asked how he responds, he said, "Oh, I just laugh and say, 'That's totally not true.'" He's not the least bit uncomfortable or offended when kids at school say these kinds of things, which is great and hopefully disarming. But what concerns me is that these kids are probably getting these ideas from their parents, who are too lazy to get their facts correct before sharing their opinions with their kids.

    Of course, there will continue to be people and groups that strongly disagree with us on some very significant issues, and we have to learn to either find common ground or disagree respectfully. Some disagreements may never be bridged.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 3, 2012 4:12 p.m.

    Pagan, donating 3 million dollars to charity to reduce ones' tax contribution by roughly 1 million is not a sound investment if Romney's goal was to increase the amount he himself keeps.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 3, 2012 3:57 p.m.

    'Generally, it would be like spending a dollar to save 30 cents on your taxes.' - John20000 | 3:44 p.m. Feb. 3, 2012


    $3 million dollars.

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 3, 2012 3:44 p.m.

    Benson, Hinckley, and Monson have visited the White House to speak with the President while they headed the Mormon church. If Romney was president, would he invite the prophet or would that be seen as "sheepish" behavior?

    If people want to limit the LDS church's influence on the White House, the best way would be to have a Mormon president since every possible move by the President would be scrutinized.

    Changing issues, anyone who thinks giving money to charity is a good tax strategy needs to pull out their 1040 instructions. You can only claim a small portion of your donations against your taxes. Generally, it would be like spending a dollar to save 30 cents on your taxes. Why not keep the dollar and pay 30 cents in taxes? You come out ahead 70 cents.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 3, 2012 2:51 p.m.

    'This is also good for the church, I believe, in that a dialog is happening to explain, for example, why Mitt gave $4 million to the church...' - xscribe | 1:43 p.m. Feb. 3, 2012

    While I have my own ideas about why Romney made the donations.

    **'Romney paid $3M in federal income tax in 2010' - By Stephen Braun - AP - Published by DSNews - 01/24/12

    'At the same time, Romney gave nearly $3 million to charity about half of that amount to the Mormon Church which helped LOWER his effective tax rate to a modest 14 percent...' article

    I think a more national platform for dialouge on the Mormon church is a boon.

    Having a national platform to to scrutinize your belief's may be painful...

    but it helps to disaude any of the...extreme elements from taking any undue actions.

    And I am not trying to say that all Mormons are extreme!

    But as with the good, there is bad. With any group.

    9/11, etc, etc.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Feb. 3, 2012 1:43 p.m.

    I would say these are valid questions for those not familiar with the church's practice. This is also good for the church, I believe, in that a dialog is happening to explain, for example, why Mitt gave $4 million to the church; i.e., 10 percent in tithing. I feel these questions can only help the church, not hurt it.