Ask Dr. Elia: With May 21 passing uneventfully, it's a good time to show compassion

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  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    May 26, 2011 12:43 p.m.

    Vanka is making things up in her claim that the number of compesated people has incresed. The number of members of the second quorum of the seventy declined under President Hinckley with the creation of Area Authority Seventies.

    Beyond this, President Hinckley ended almost all general authorities serving on corporate boards.

    The claim that the President of the Church or other church leaders are living high on the hog with their stipends is rubbish. President Tanner paid more in tithing before he became a general authority than he recieved as a stipend.

    The claim that only the most affluent are called as leaders is also false. Elder Holland working in education has never been among "the most affluent", and the same could be said for many others such as Elder de Hoyos. At the local level my stake president spend a part of his career working as a janitor, hardly a sign of being "the most affluent".

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    May 26, 2011 12:29 p.m.

    The advice to avoid the temptation to mock others beliefs needs to be given more often.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    May 25, 2011 12:46 p.m.


    Bless your heart, you actually believe what you wrote.

    The truth is, LDS Church leaders (apostles, prophets, etc.) receive a nice "stipend" as well as having their Church-related expenses paid in full. This "compensation" has relatively recently been extended to Mission Presidents and other "general authorities" of the LDS Church.

    More importantly, only the most affluent (wealthy) people are called to "leadership" positions. They are not required to give away their wealth. On the contrary, they continue to make money from their investments, and they are often appointed as Board members for many of the LDS Church-owned corporations. These Board positions come with generous compensation.

    As for the false prophecies of the "end of times", this was one of countless predictions of Jesus' return, end of days, apocalypse, rapture, etc. It has been going on for thousands of years, and each one is a testament to the fraud of religion.

  • sfcretdennis Nice, CA
    May 24, 2011 8:22 p.m.

    Vanka | 8:37 a.m. May 24, 2011 Just because this man but out false doctoren does not mean religion is a fraud. In our faith money paid in tithing does not go to pay are leaders a pay check. We all donate our time just like christ did, he did not get paid and nither do we. But wather a person pays their church leaders our not don't meand religion is a fraud. You have the right to believe what you want and so do thouse of us who choose to believe in God. I have had to many things happen in my lieve to not believe in God. There is a God just look around you at the univirce and this world it just did not happen there is a creator. One day we all well meet him and then hopefully you well believe then.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    May 24, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    I suppose that a person could try to be respectful toward the irrational beliefs of other groups because they, themselves, have beliefs that seem quite irrational. OR... people could choose to dump their irrational beliefs in favor of logic and reason, thus never finding themselves in the position of having to defend that which is, frankly, unfounded.
    When a person is faced with the harsh realization that they have been duped or misled, they can do one of two things: They can try to spin it in a different way that might salvage their faith; they can try to claim "that's not what we meant in the first place" (as I have heard people do recently), or they can take a hard look at their beliefs and an even harder look at the leaders from whom and literature from which those beliefs originated.
    My thoughts are not meant to incite or mock. I hope the editors will tolerate my beliefs and not reject them so immediately. But it is my belief that while tolerance is good, learning from past errors is even better.
    To each his own, but to me the choice is simple.

  • barbararidinglowe Goshen, UT
    May 24, 2011 1:19 p.m.

    I agree.

  • hc1951 Bend, OR
    May 24, 2011 11:58 a.m.

    I keep the letters "K P L" on my monitor at work, but still I find myself falling short on a daily basis in "Kindness, Patience & Love". When I have those 3 down, I'll let you know. :-(

  • dsnarr Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2011 11:24 a.m.

    Idaho Coug - as a former member of the LDS church, I think you're spot on in seeing the similarities.

  • TDuval Elk Grove, CA
    May 24, 2011 9:50 a.m.

    Great article and good reminder that we should 'judge not.'

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    May 24, 2011 9:45 a.m.

    To dsnarr - I appreciate your devotion. But your comments struck me as almost word for word what I have heard critics say about the LDS faith.

    It is so interesting how we can become so comfortable with our own beliefs and world-view while finding other's so strange and unacceptable. And all the while, our particular LDS world-view is perhaps one of the most ridiculed and laughed at that there is.

  • Kimball Bakersfield, CA
    May 24, 2011 9:14 a.m.

    The Camping caravaners have alot of faith that needs to be redirected to continuing to prepare for Christ's coming by setting an example of love, service, and teaching about Christ to those who will listen. Men don't know the time of His coming even well meaning good men like Camping. Just because He didn't come on May 21st doesn't mean He isn't coming. Live well and happily until then. Learn from mistakes that His atonement covers.

  • dsnarr Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2011 8:45 a.m.

    It's important that those of us with the ability to think rationally expose irrational fear mongering for what it is, and unapologetically so. Maybe we can prevent a few people from falling victim to lies and delusion. Harmful, untruthful words, regardless of how many people believe them, should be exposed as such.

    Harold Camping isn't giving any of his followers any of their money back. This man should be publicly labeled as a fraud and a liar, and people should be warned about him. In Brazil, as an LDS missionary, I saw how easy it was for churches to take advantage of the uneducated people living in poverty, and convince them to give what little they had to the churches. I met one man who gave his home to a church after he was promised that God would repay him double. Now he's homeless, and sleeps on the cement floor in his daughter's tiny house.

    Camping's followers should be viewed as victims, and maybe the most compassionate thing to do would be to ridicule fundamentalist beliefs so harshly that we minimize the number of future victims.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    May 24, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    It was a good reminder that religion is a fraud, that keeps people guessing and paying their money to religious "leaders" in the vain hope that someday something mysterious will actually happen.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    May 24, 2011 8:34 a.m.

    "As Latter-day Saints, we too have some peculiar and often misunderstood doctrine. We have been made fun of before (just see "The Book of Mormon" musical now playing on Broadway) and most likely will be again."

    This has been my exact thought througout the past weekend. It can be so easy for us to find other's beliefs and religious practices silly while not recognizing how others view us. I have had some interesting conversations with someone in my neighborhood who is a devout follower of Camping - although not to the point of selling off any of his possessions fortunately. But it is interesting just how silly he sees the beliefs and practices of Mormons that we hold so important and that seem so rational and logical to us.

  • kem Windham, Maine
    May 24, 2011 8:31 a.m.

    Whether the rapture happened as planned or not.. it was a good reminder to all that we don't know the day or the time but to be prepared...

  • Chickenchaser Centralia, WA
    May 24, 2011 8:08 a.m.

    Closure, or cloture . . . Better this than the perpetual and threatening second coming discourses. Start over again.

  • JaymieR Centerville, Ut
    May 24, 2011 7:35 a.m.

    I just wanted to say thank you for a thoughtful, well-written article. It echoed what I've been thinking as well.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 24, 2011 7:21 a.m.

    Some will laugh, but I think they were blessed, and learned a very valuable lesseon about life.

    Listen to the Country Song:

    "Live Like You Were Dying" ~ by Tim McGraw

    God Bless.