Salt Lake last in Bible study? No way, LDS Church says

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  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Feb. 10, 2014 8:37 p.m.

    While it's extremely easy to anticipate how an article like this could be used as anti-Mormon fodder, it's worth pointing out that, contrary to Time magazine's assumptions, Salt Lake City itself is not "heavily Mormon" at all. Most of the Church's membership in Utah lives in the suburbs OUTSIDE of the city, whereas the city itself has been taken over by people who, to put it gently, do not make God or religion a major part of their lives. So, it's not at all surprising that the city would rank so low on such a listing, on top of the fact that BibleGateway's survey obviously ignores people who use paper scriptures, scriptures from sources other than themselves (such as, or Gospel Library), and any scriptures besides the Bible.

    There are lies, there are dang lies, and then there are statistics.

  • FairfaxBuddha Fairfax, VA
    Feb. 2, 2014 6:14 p.m.

    Frankly, this article is ridiculous as how questions are phrased can alter the outcome of the answers. Anyone who lives near Washington, DC (80)knows that Hagerstown, MD, though a suburb, is not any different and certainly is not representative of the rest of the suburbs surrounding DC.

  • grip Meridian, ID
    Feb. 1, 2014 8:30 p.m.

    Not only is the Book of Mormon another testament of Christ, it also testifies that "the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true." (This refers to the Bible.) I believe the Bible to be a true record as stated and read it several times on most days. I find the scriptures are very readable on my iPad. My scriptures are indexed to refer to all of the Standard Words of the LDS Church. It is wonderful to be able to cross reference all scripture to increase my understanding and respect for as much of God's word as has been revealed.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 11:59 a.m.

    An America that worships movies and media and the university and politics and the Super Bowl is not reading Peter and Paul.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Feb. 1, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    "hyperbolic hubris and boastful blather."

    What's the matter, Scientist? Getting upset when people call you out for posting precisely the above?

  • SuziQ Springville, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    All I have to say is that you need to consider the source. I'm not sure why we even care about the results since active LDS people do spend a lot of time studying the gospel of Jesus from a variety of sources, including the Bible. However, if the survey was really only Salt Lake City, I'm not sure how many active LDS people were included in the survey.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    RE: Dana the Barbarian "How can anyone who studies the Bible regularly believe in the Trinity?"

    The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one=(*heis) these three agree as one=(*en)(1John 5:7,8 KJV & JST). 3 persons one God, "one in substance”E.g... … and the express image of his person=(substance/hypostasis G# 5287). Hebrews 1:3”.

    RE: Twin Lights, The LDS have a better understanding of the OT and how it relates to the NT.?
    N.T. Luke 23:43=[44 JST],where the Savior on the cross says to the thief, "Today shalt thou be with me in “paradise".

    The Prophet explains there is nothing in the original word in Greek from which this was taken that signifies paradise; but it was ,This day shalt thou be with me in the world of spirits . (Mormon Doctrine p. 555).

    The word "paradise" is not found in the O.T. per(Mormon Encyclopedia & Dictionary). Wrong,

    The word "paradise" is found several times in the O.T. . The LORD(Jehovah) God planted a garden(paradeisos, G# 3857) eastward in Eden;(Gen 2:8 LXX).

    … God walking in the garden (paradeisos,...(Gen 3:8 LXX).

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 4:36 a.m.

    Of course, Offended Mormons will object and criticize the methodology and assumptions of any study that shows them not to be the more righteous and "peculiar" people they feel god has called them to be.

    But just do some basic math:

    Other Christians typically hold weekly Bible study in addition to their Sabbath worship and Sunday School, as well as daily scripture reading from the Bible. They study the 1,189 chapters of the Bible year in and year out.

    Mormons focus on studying the OT and NT only every fourth year, with prophetic preference given to reading the Book of Mormon as personal scripture study. In addition to the 1,189 chapters of the Bible, they must spread their attention and study over another 239 chapters of the Book of Mormon, plus more than 138 Sections of the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.

    In light of such hard facts, I find any assertions by Mormons that they read and study the Bible more than other Christians to be hyperbolic hubris and boastful blather.

  • Dana the Barbarian Merced, CA
    Feb. 1, 2014 2:20 a.m.

    mdp Bountiful, utah wrote:

    "How can anyone who studies the Bible regularly believe in the Trinity?"

    How can anyone who reads and studies the Book of Mormon not believe in the Trinity?

    First read 2 Nephi 31:21 and Alma 11:44 Now, look at Mosiah 15:1-5, which reads, "And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people. And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son--The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and the Son--And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth. And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people."

  • Dana the Barbarian Merced, CA
    Feb. 1, 2014 1:51 a.m.

    To all those who are bragging about how much more they know the Bible than Mainstream Christians because of some experience on their mission, the same can be said about many Mormons in Utah. I once tried to discuss some verses I found disturbing in the Book of Mormon to a Sister missionary at Temple Square, and along the discussion found out she had never once even read the Book of Mormon. Not all believers are equal in their devotion, no matter what faith you are. I know I have sent away many a LDS missionary dazed and confused about what was in their own D&C and Book of Mormon. So don't pat yourself too much on the back there.

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    Jan. 31, 2014 7:23 p.m.

    OK, enough people have commented on how absurd this "study" is. I'll just quote the numbers from the Barna Research Group (July 9, 2001), which showed that barely half of all Protestant adults (54%) read the Bible during a typical week, yet that Mormons are more likely to read the Bible during a week than are Protestants. See the numbers for yourselves (Denomination: %Attend Church/%Read Bible):

    Catholics: 48/23; Episcopal: 30/30; Lutheran (any type): 43/32; Methodist (any) 49/43; Presbyterian (any): 49/48; Adventist: 47/49; Church of Christ: 58/53; Baptist (any type): 50/55; Assembly of God: 69/66; Christian non-denominational: 61/66; Latter-Day Saints: 71/67; Pentecostal Foursquare: 66/75

    So as you can see for yourself, Latter-day Saints, except for the Pentecostals, are the most Bible-reading denomination there is. Read it for yourself at Barna's website.

  • Big Joe V Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Jan. 31, 2014 5:40 p.m.

    It depends on what you consider Bible study? If quoting the same half dozen saved by grace verses over and over again and disregarding the rest of the book constitutes Bible study, then you'll got us beat.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 5:09 p.m.

    The bigger question isn't who spends more time studying the Bible, but who more closely follows the golden rule and has a better more basic understanding without false traditions of culture clouding what is said in the Bible.

    If you for example believe that God is all powerful and all loving yet will consign a person to hell if they don't accept Jesus as their savior in this life time, then your conception of God is not only illogical, but you make God out to be a greater monster than Ossama Bin Ladin. You may spend lots of time reading the Bible, but you show a basic lack of understanding.

    Those in the Bible belt I imagine spend more time studying the Bible than most people in Utah, but for all this time they spend they have a gross misunderstanding of the Bible.

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    Jan. 31, 2014 4:22 p.m.

    It seems like efforts to develop ecclesiastical relationships with the 'bible study' institutions providing the grist for Time's mill are pretty futile. Nothing new. Same as the burned over district in upstate NY in the early 19th century.

  • Gregorio Norco, CA
    Jan. 31, 2014 3:30 p.m.

    We believe the Bible to be the word of God. PERIOD.We read it daily or close to it with the standard works. We are a Bible teaching people no matter where or what city we live in. There are probably more churches with the name of Jesus Christ in Salt Lake County than anywhere else in the nation.

  • Morrison ,
    Jan. 31, 2014 2:41 p.m.

    One thing that has not been said in the comments is the difference between how evangelials and Mormons view the Bible. For evangelicals, it is the source of their authority. For Mormons, it is scripture, but not the basis of authority in the Church. Along with other theological disagreements, that has always rankled evangelicals and I sense this view coming through here in how this survey was presented.

    I suppose one good result of this for believers is to help ask the question of whether we are taking the Bible seriously enough in our own personal study. There are some dry stretches, but most of it is moving and powerful...

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 2:37 p.m.


    Have you read the various Bibles published in just the English language alone? It is easy for translators of the Bible to use new or different words and therefore new or different meanings can be assigned to the truth the Bible teaches. That is why the LDS Church just decided to stick with the good old King James Version and its traditional English language. That also is why we need modern day revelation, so people won't modernize scripture to suit their needs. And that is why I believe God would never leave us alone to just try to understand scripture without revelation. Even if people translate it from its origional languages, to English, Spanish, or German, ect. there is still some interpretation needed due to words not always having a same cross language meaning. Modern day revelation. That will assure the correct understanding of scripture. Regardless of what language it is read in. The Book of Mormon has been translated into something like 60 different languages.

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    Jan. 31, 2014 1:45 p.m.

    I doubt it,The Deseret news posts an article a minute about the bible or something religious.

  • ddfalck Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 1:10 p.m.

    This article literally made me laugh out load. For a second, I actually felt a little bit guilty for mocking someone else's beliefs (or studies, as the case may be). But then it occurred to me that I am clearly too biblically illiterate to experience such a strongly biblically prescribed emotion.

  • dLange Los Gatos, CA
    Jan. 31, 2014 12:52 p.m.

    The problem was the way that they defined "Bible Mindedness" in the study. It was synonymous with "uneducated". There may be some LDS, that take the Bible literally, but most believe in science also. We believe that the Bible is literal when meant to be literal, and figurative, and metaphoric, when meant to be so. Therefore, we are not considered "Bible Minded" as far as the study was concerned.

  • Jeff29 Draper, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 12:31 p.m.

    Did anyone actually read the article?

    It plainly says, "BibleGateway's rankings were based solely on how often people in a region used its own Bible-searching software". So what their conclusions should have been is that "residents of Salt Lake City use our software less than anyone else". The article then goes on to point out that most members of the LDS Church use the tools at It's shocking to me that anyone is actually taking this "research" seriously.

    This just in... Microsoft reports that San Francisco is the least tech savvy city in America ("rankings based solely on how often people in the region used its own internet-search software, Bing"). I'm sure Google would have nothing to say about that...

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Jan. 31, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    Cities with large populations of Catholics are also marked Godless.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Jan. 31, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    Does it really matter ?

    Do members of the Church need such an approval ?

    Read this comment : Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

    Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

    Who is talking here ? It is the same Lord talking to Nephi as did to Paul or Peter !
    Can we handle such comparison ? We cannot and should not devide the Lord !

    How can a member of the Church of Jesus Christ read the BM and not the Bible ?
    It is just impossible !

  • MoNoMoInUT Davis County, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 12:07 p.m.

    Wow!. This is one time SLC should take the ranking and run with it! Have you seriously read what is in the Bible?? I would be proud to say I dodn't read it as much!

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Jan. 31, 2014 11:49 a.m.


    I have many friends who are quite active in their respective churches (Christian, but non-LDS) where they have teaching and leadership roles. In general I know the bible at least as well as they do.

    My kids who attended seminary tend to know the bible at least as well as their friends who are similarly active in the other churches. This was true in the Northeast as well.

    Overall, I find LDS familiarity with the NT to be about on par with similarly active non-LDS Christians. However, I think the LDS have a better understanding of the OT and how it relates to the NT.

    Just my own observations.

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 31, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    Well maybe it shows that in Salt Lake City they dont believe in Fairy Tales!

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    Okay, the American Bible Study one has SLC 87th out of 100. That one is based on (click the link on this article and look at the small print on the map) telephone and online interviews. Also it says that this is the percentage of respondents who reported reading the bible within the past 7 days AND chose "agree strongly" to the question about accuracy of the Bible. Let's consider both of these.

    For the former, this survey was done over a "7 year period ending August 2013". I've seen several comments about studying the Old Testament every week, but that's not true every year. So for LDS members contacted in one of the BoM years, for instance, you might start getting some no's about weekly study.

    The latter because of that LDS belief in scriptures being correct "as far as they're translated correctly". I suspect that a lot of LDS members are choosing "Agree" instead of "Strongly Agree" to the question of Bible accuracy because of that.

    End result is they got a rate of 19% for Salt Lake City. So, knowing all that, this isn't as surprising as it was at first glance.

  • Shelama SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    There are people, and I tend to agree with them, who believe that study of the Bible that begins and ends with the uncritical belief that the Bible is the word of a god and reliable history is not really Bible study at all.

    For instance, from a careful, serious study of the Bible it would be rational and reasonable to conclude that Judaism has been right about Jesus and the New Testament and Christianity for 2000 years... Jesus is not really a fulfillment of messianic Hebrew prophecy, the Gospels are not literal history from eye-witnesses to Jesus, and Christianity and Christian theology are not really consistent with either continuation or fulfillment of Judaism or Hebrew thought or scripture.

    From my own observation and experience, I wouldn't be surprised if Utah is last in Bible study.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 31, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    The results of this study seem to be a Red Heering. This DN article hints that the Methodology used seems based on usage of a specific type of Bible software and not on just reading the Bible per se. I've read about this survey elsewhere and it notes that the most religous folks seem to be in Tennesee. In plain terms, this is analogous to linking the use of MAC-based computers to PC literacy where the MS universe is simply ignored.

    If the Des News Staff were to simply call the Publisher/Editor/Author of the article and ask for the methodology used in the Study, I think that would clarify things AND cool off alot of Hot-under-the-Collar Des News readers.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Jan. 31, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    The Scientist -

    “Not only does the research support my experience that overall, evangelicals surpass Mormons in Bible knowledge and study,”

    Except that the comments call the “research” methodology into question, point out the potential for missing or biased data, and cite contrary information as counter evidence. Surely a scientist would investigate the methodological strength underlying this survey andexamining alternative explanations for its findings.

    “but my personal experience in Bible study with many evangelicals has always involved MUCH more in-depth study... in the original languages!”

    I’ve known many Mormons who are fluent in Hebrew and/or Koine Greek. I know others who are conversant in the fields of higher and lower biblical criticisms. I fail to see how your anecdotal experience is privileged over mine.

    “Poor Mormons' pride gets hurt when someone is shown to "outrighteous" them?”

    Nonsense. I don’t feel “outrighteoused” if someone else studies the Bible more than I do. I resent the implication that it doesn’t have a place in my faith.

    “That in and of itself is telling.”

    Your hostility and need to spin anything associated with Mormonism is equally telling.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Jan. 31, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    We all love and quote the "lists" that important sounding organizations come up with even though their methodologies are often ludicrous.

    A few years ago there was a list of the "most depressed States in the Union" and then a few weeks later a list of the "happiest States in the Union." Somehow Utah managed to be at the top of both lists. Apparently anyone can "prove" anything they want and make a list the nation's newspapers will publish. I'm certain, that given the right criteria, I could conclusively show that Utah is actually the most liquored-up State of the Union.

    Come to think of it, I may do just that. Watch this space...

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Jan. 31, 2014 10:30 a.m.


    Can you provide us with a reference the "research" you referenced?

    Let me say I learn from non LDS perspectives about the Bible (e.g. the story on Ravi Zacharias about the Eastern meaning of the Prodigal son requesting his inheritance). But I'm sure they could learn a few things from us as well. Why all this rancor and debate? I think God is displeased when we bicker over banalities RE the Scriptures. What God doesn't like is division and hate. the end what matters is how we LIVE the scriptures, not how much we know. If we "know" and don't "do" we're in big trouble.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 31, 2014 10:19 a.m.

    @Flashback – “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”

    By almost any measurement of morality (not to be confused with religious belief) we could conceive of, including those you cite, society is better off today than at any time in history. The world is a far more harmonious and less tribal (i.e., our tribe good, all others bad) than it’s ever been.

    The only reason it may not seem like it is our media (which is built on fear & sensationalism). If everyone in, say, the Roman Empire days had a TV with our modern media reporting on every horrible deed committed by their fellow man, people would have been utterly paralyzed with terror.

    So perhaps the “end times” are still far off (assuming they are not accelerated by religious zealots and their lust for the Apocalypse). That is perhaps our biggest danger we face today…

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Jan. 31, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    article-"But BibleGateway's rankings were based solely on how often people in a region used its own Bible-searching software."

    We have our own Bible-searching 'software'-- so sorry, no need for yours.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    Well the one result has the obvious explanation of LDS members using the LDS scripture site (heck, I'm not a member but still use it if I want to look something up in the Bible since I like that site). Can't think of a particularly logical example for the other survey leading to skewed results though.

  • laVerl 09 St Johns, AZ
    Jan. 31, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    The Bible, to most Protestants, is the New Testament and Psalms. I believe the numbers would be different if they had separated the questions on Old and New Testament reading.
    I remember a statement from my statistics professor--"Statistics don't lie but statisticians lie a lot."

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    I have read that passage numerous times but normally concluded my focus after verse 5. Thanks for posting verses 6 and 7, particularly verse 7, "Ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." That says it all.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    RE: happy2bhereLDS Church publishes its own King James Bible.

    Did you know? We have accurate well- preserved Copies of the original text. There are some 5,500 early N.T. MS, and they contain all or nearly all of the original text . The original text can be reconstructed 99% accuracy. There is a distinction between the text and the truth of the text. While we have 99% of the original text, 100% of the truth comes through.

    Over 26,000 N.T. quotes from the(2nd c) disciples of the apostles and early church fathers can reconstruct the N.T. except 12 verses.
    John 7:53-8:11, is not contained in the earliest and best MSS and not an original part of the Gospel of John. . B. M. Metzger ” VS 3Nephi 14:5, 5b & D&C 42:25a.

    RE: The Caravan Moves On, no anti-Mormon bias?

    JS,"Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors" (T. of P.J.S., p. 327). LDS Mark E. Peterson said, "Many insertions were made, some of them 'slanted' for selfish purposes, while at times deliberate falsifications and fabrications were perpetrated" (As Translated Correctly, p. 4)

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    Not only does the research support my experience that overall, evangelicals surpass Mormons in Bible knowledge and study, but my personal experience in Bible study with many evangelicals has always involved MUCH more in-depth study... in the original languages!

    Poor Mormons' pride gets hurt when someone is shown to "outrighteous" them?

    That in and of itself is telling.

  • Tom Johnson Spanish Fork, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 9:26 a.m.

    In the 2010 Pew Forum Survey of Religious Knowledge, including knowledge of the Bible, Mormons had the highest number of correct answers, ahead of Jews, Evangelical Protestants, and Catholics.

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    Jan. 31, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    I'am still waiting for anyone in my own area that can go toe to toe with me on the bible. Most recently a Jehovah Witness and a Creationist indicated they knew their scriptures, but only to back down. There are several in my own ward who are far more knowlegable than I'am. If you consider the Seminary Program, you would have to know the article did'nt do any fact checking.

  • mdp Bountiful, utah
    Jan. 31, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    Reading and studying are two different things. How can anyone who studies the Bible regularly believe in the Trinity? It is never mentioned or implied, and disproved every time Jesus talks about his father, his mission, or the creation.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    Just read 2 Timothy 3. 1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

    2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

    3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

    4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

    5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

    6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly awomen laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

    7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    My family are currently reading the New Testament.

  • Abbygirl East Carbon, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    I read my scriptures every night unless I am out of town. I read them aloud to my husband, Over the years that I have been back to the church which is about 16..I have read the Book of Mormon at least 14 times,, just finished it again about a month ago! It truly is what brought me back to the church! I had been inactive off and on for decades, had read the first three books multiple times but never finished it. It was during one of those inactive times that I promised to read a chapter a day to Father in heaven.. by the time I was done I was active again and have never stopped reading the scriptures. When I do miss a night I feel uncomfortable. For me it is a must! As far as this poll.. I believe we the LDS read them a lot more than the poll says we do!

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    I actually would not be surprised to learn that the authors of this study believe, without having checked, that Mormons only read the Book of Mormon and never read the Bible. They probably do not realize that the LDS Church publishes its own King James Bible, to be included with the other standard works. Wouldn't surprise me at all.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    Does this study actually say that there are more Bible readers in places like San Francisco or Seattle than Salt Lake City? I wonder how a state by state study would come out, rather than just a city by city? Plus of course, as has been mentioned, the LDS Church has a lot more scripture to study than other Christian Churches. And, as a missionary, I too had some experiences with informing Christians of scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments that they were not aware of.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    Reading, understanding, practicing and believing all must have a different interpretation in Utah Mormon religion.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    Everything in the bible literally happened.

    Jan. 31, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    Don't be stupid....Time Mag. has their agenda and that agenda is spot on with the accusation that Utah is not bible conscience. My suggestion is for Utah to keep reading the bible and not Time Mag. They probably had huge sale increase because of the article....don't be stupid in what they are trying to do.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:37 a.m.


    Sadly you are right that churches in the past (and present) tend to bring on divisions. Exhibit 1: this article which focuses on that which (supposedly) divides us.

    However, is it really religion per se that does this or just human nature?? Look at the world around us outside the US where conflict exists and you will find it transcends religious issues. Atheists like to point out all the religious conflict and ignore that the greatest wars of all time (e.g. the last century) had very little or nothing to do with religion. Take away religion and you would still have hatred, poverty, crime and yes, even war.

    I find good in all kinds of people - believer and non believer alike. I think the so-called leaders of nations, religions and various factions like to create fear and hatred as a primary way of gathering and activating adherents. Nothing more. Could be any ideology they use. If it is done for a power motive, it is always wrong.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    Article quote: "The LDS Church's blog post also questioned the methodology of the rankings produced by, which had Salt Lake City 100th on its list — dead last."

    Dead last?


    Nope, no anti-Mormon bias there.

  • lovelyorchid taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    For some of us who think quoting the bible is a spectacular feat, has to remember the anti christ knew the bible just as well as the Christians. Also, it does not mean that you are a better person. The bible thumpers and so called religious people have and (still is ) destroying this world. Please do not get me wrong there are some true believers out there and really do have a spiritual connection with the Most High. I do not think that it really matters who is first or last.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    In the spirit of truth in advertising I think it is high time Christians change their moniker to more accurately represent what many of them are – Biblians.

    And for many Biblians (especially the fundamentalists and literalists) their religious devotion looks every bit as idolatrous as those Jesus and the OT prophets railed against.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    Church. It's always about the stats.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:19 a.m.

    "Why does the "Christian" community in America always bring on the biggest fight against one of their staunches allies in the defense of Christ throughout the world."

    It would appear that you are onto something. Look at history. This is not an isolated incident.

    Religion typically does much to divide.

  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    A survey based on who uses their software? You might as well say that if evangelicals (or any other group) don't comment on this DN article they don't care about the Bible. How absurd!

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Jan. 31, 2014 7:57 a.m.

    It made sense when Time was listed as the publisher.

    What's beautiful about things like this is that it really tells you up front the efficacy of who's doing what. If people released a study that listed the "most western United States cities" and put Tucson in last, you'd know there's something really wrong with the study. This is much the same case; any study or review that suggests that Salt Lake is inactive in reading the Bible is exactly the same kind of nonsense levied against the Church during the restoration. They'd might as well write an artcle suggesting that we'll use a space ship to go to a planet full of lizard people.

    Honestly, atheists don't like us because we're Christian and read the Bible, and Christians don't like us because we're not Christian, we also read other stuff, and we believe things in the Bible that they don't believe. People didn't like us because we practiced polygyny, and as people riot to changing marriage, there are increasing numbers of them today who don't like us because we don't condone polygamy!

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 31, 2014 7:53 a.m.

    The Pharisees were Bible scholars so evidently it takes more than just reading the Bible to find the truth.

  • Digomart Evansville, IN
    Jan. 31, 2014 7:46 a.m.

    If the ranking is based on how often users access Gateway Bible study aids (which IS a very good, extensive resource), then it is a no-brainer that SLC comes in last. It is not a site Mormons would tend to use, even if they are studying the Bible at exceptionally high rates. It would be like measuring internet use on a computer based how often a person uses Internet Explorer while ignoring those who use Safari or Firefox.

  • Commonman HENDERSON, NV
    Jan. 31, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    This morning I read Malachi chapter 4, and thus finished reading the Old Testament again. I will now start on the New Testament again. I read at least one Chapter of the Book of Mormon each day and one Chapter of one of the other standard works of the LDS Church each day. (These include the three already mentioned as well as the Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. I laughed when I saw the surveys.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 7:28 a.m.

    Scientist, you ought to get your facts right. Mark 321 was absolutely correct. I found many dusty Bibles in my mission experience. I also found some that did have good knowlege, but no better than many Mormons that I know. I'll put my knowlege of the Bible up against any Born Again Bible Thumper any time. In fact I had that opportunity many times to use that knowlege on my mission to Texas, and my knowlege has increased over the years. No brag, just fact.

    This poll is a load of manure, obviously. Unless they checked the area between 2nd North to 13th South and from 5th E to the mountains.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Jan. 31, 2014 7:07 a.m.

    "...for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the questions by an appeal to the Bible." J.Smith. We used to call it "Bible bashing" in my missionary days and nothing ever came of it, except ill feelings.

  • Casey See FLOWER MOUND, TX
    Jan. 31, 2014 6:58 a.m.

    Another issue I have with this study, It only assumes that Christians and Jews are God Fearing. The question asked was, do you reay the Bible or Torah weekly or daily? So for those who are Muslim that read the Koran (Quaran or any other spelling you want to use), they have to answer no, but that doesn't mean that they are Godless people. The same could be said for a number of other religions.

    A very biases poll in that it looks at spirituality can only occur via one method, their view point.

  • Lilljemalm Gilbert, AZ
    Jan. 31, 2014 6:59 a.m.

    My personal experience has always been that athiests never read the Bible and that evangelical protestants only read specific verses that they often misunderstand or misinterpret to fit their own agendas. The only real in depth Bible conversations I've had have been with Mormons and Catholic priests.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 6:58 a.m.

    It's plosable possible. I can only speak for my self, it's been years since I read any scriptures.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 6:55 a.m.

    I grew up in the LDS church and we never read the bible at home. Never.

    I read it for Seminary class, just like I read the BOM and D&C.

    Even with the push from Seminary, most of the kids didn't bother to read the books. It was the same in my ward; everyone knew the basic scriptures quoted regularly, but nobody really ever read the whole book.

  • LittleStream Carson City, NV
    Jan. 31, 2014 6:49 a.m.

    Well, these studies really missed the mark! Most LDS do use to read scriptures on line because of also needing Book of Mormon and D & C scriptures. I help prepare a Sunday School lesson for my disabled grandson every Sunday so I know this. I agree with one of the other commenters, when discussing scripture with a non member I usually know more about the scriptures than they do, because of the daily scripture study and Sunday School. Bogus research I believe. And I'm a little from the old school, I love reading my scriptures from my quad, when I can hear the pages softly rustle as I turn them.

  • happymomto9 Saratoga Springs, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 6:46 a.m.

    as a 20+ year convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints i find myself disappointed sometimes at the little time I spend in the Bible. I do read daily (or at least try to) and i find that i delve into other scriptures more often (Book of Mormon primarily)
    if the question were posed who reads "scriptures" more, the results would probably been much different!

  • surfgun Cardiff By The Sea, CA
    Jan. 31, 2014 6:39 a.m.

    The magazine industry has greatly suffered since the advent of the internet. Quite frankly, most people do not subscribe to the old school magazines of the past. The printed media is on it's way out. Their investigative reporters have no budget for travel, interviews and are probably paid dismal salaries. Hence, the poor job of investigation and relying on less than credible sources for their information. There seems to be a complete lack of due diligence, fact checking and honest journalism. If there was ever a Bible reading people, it is the people of Utah.

  • scwoz gambier, oh
    Jan. 31, 2014 6:24 a.m.

    Why does the "Christian" community in America always bring on the biggest fight against one of their staunches allies in the defense of Christ throughout the world. It is not the Atheist, it is not the Buddhists, not the Muslims, and it is always those who should be sharing with us in our efforts to bring Christ Like service to the population of God's children. I shouldn’t be amazed but I really am. I teach the Gospel Doctrine class and study the scriptures on a daily basis.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Jan. 31, 2014 5:59 a.m.


    I'm sorry you feel that way. Originally, the New Testament was written for and read by people who were disenfranchised and castouts of society. It spread across the Roman Empire precisely because it appealed to people of different races and classes of people. It says God is "no respecter of persons", that men should "love their wives as Christ loved the Church", and many other teachings which were revolutionary in their time for preaching that all were "children of God".

    I ask you to read it in the frame of someone in the first or second century, with all the class restrictions and divisions of that day. Even within Judaism, Paul and Peter and the other Apostles were pushing the envelope to embrace men and women of different nations.

    You use a Greek name....have you ever been to Greece or studied ancient Greek culture?? I highly recommend it.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Jan. 31, 2014 5:53 a.m.


    My experience is that Atheists are even more dogmatic and completely close-minded. I've lived in several countries where Atheism is quite strong. It is my experience that Atheists know next to nothing about the Bible. They know what's been quoted to them of a few obscure passages that support their non belief, but never, NEVER open it up to study on their own.

    So unless the Atheists in Provo where you live are avid Bible readers, I'm surprised to hear you make this claim of Atheists across the country and worldwide. There is nothing to support your claim.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 5:41 a.m.

    I've read the Bible consistently. I've discussed the Bible with Catholic Priests, Born Again Christians, Atheists, Agnostics, people in my faith etc.

    What they should have surveyed is how many people have a Bible in their home and actually read from that Bible. I can't tell you the number of times I have entered a home, with the residents explaining their love and passion for the Bible. When we sit down to read it, they have to dig it out of a closet or search the room for it. Then I cleaned off the years of layers of dust from the book to start reading. You can love something I suppose, but, you can't really love it until it's a part of your life.

  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 5:37 a.m.

    I take this as a personal reproach. Perhaps the ranking is intended as an indication that I devote entirely too much time to the reading of Deseret News. I feel shamed. In the future I will put aside the newspaper and devote more time to Bible study.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 5:38 a.m.

    So according to their study we don't read the Bible as much. Yet, when it comes to testing on Bible knowledge, Utahan's rank in the highest spot.

    So what it boils down to, it's a skewed survey. Numbers collected in this survey is as reliable as the White House unemployment numbers, green energy numbers, budget numbers, Health Care numbers, troops in Iraq numbers etc. The most important thing that was taught in statistics course, is you can skew any information that best meets your needs.

  • SSmith Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 5:29 a.m.

    Excluding Numbers and Deuteronomy, which are just odd, the real question should be: who is LIVING the Bible and especially the New Testament.

  • Wacoan Waco, TX
    Jan. 31, 2014 5:26 a.m.

    PEW writes on their findings about religious knowledge between various groups. "On questions about Christianity; including a battery of questions about the Bible; Mormons (7.9 out of 12 right on average) and white evangelical Protestants (7.3 correct on average) show the highest levels of knowledge. Jews and atheists/agnostics stand out for their knowledge of other world religions, including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism;" Atheists and agnostics answered 4.4 questions correctly about the Bible.

  • niners SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 4:17 a.m.

    If Mormons are so knowledgeable of the bible then why is it that whenever I was in Sunday school the converts always knew way more about the BOM and the bible than the born in Mormons? Born in Mormons truly know very little about their own religion, in my experience with the church, which is about 20 years...This obviously is not true in every case, but I know a lot of comment readers will know exactly what I'm talking about.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 3:59 a.m.

    rightascension said-- "Would not surprise me. The Bible gets talked about in classes -- but not read a lot from beginning to end." This is my experience. President Benson tried to get members to read the Book of Mormon more. And, to some degree some of us are doing that. However, We've got a generation, or two, since President Benson's tenure as Church president who think that the Bible is mostly incoorect (which, while some key verses are missing, by-and-large, they are few overall.

    For years, I have often spoken in my ward about our need to read the Bible much more, especially the Old Testament. I would rebrand it (as the Book of Mormon was a few years back as "Another Testament of Jesus Christ", we should refer to the "Old Testament" as the "First Testament"; "Old" sounds so 'old', musty & dusty. And, indeed, much of it's "dustiness" among us Mormons is that while we do listen to some about it in Sunday School classes, for the most part, we ignore most of it, and very few have read all the way through it even ONCE, let alone many times!

  • Open and honest Manchester, 00
    Jan. 31, 2014 3:51 a.m.

    1.95 million is the total number of members claimed on the Mormon Newsroom 'facts and statistics'.
    The article claims that 1.95 million Utah Mormon's are studying the Bible each Sunday.


    Activity rates in Utah run at 100%?

    Or is someone taking a little bit of...let's call it....poetic licence in his article?

  • Melanna Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 31, 2014 3:36 a.m.

    From the article, "The other study, by the American Bible Society, ranked regions based on how many people said they read the Bible in the past seven days and how accurate they consider it to be. Salt Lake City ranked 87th."

    From The Articles of Faith, "8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly;..."

    It kind of seems like "as far as it is translated correctly" would automatically bump you down a list that wants to know how accurate you think the Bible is.....

  • cambodia girl Phnom Penh, Cambodia
    Jan. 31, 2014 3:16 a.m.

    How in the world can you read the Book of Mormon without reading the Bible? The cross references are amazing and the books combined make the entire event complete! I love studying the scriptures, and that means all of them!

  • Mark321 Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 31, 2014 12:30 a.m.

    @ Scientist

    "Evangelical and other Christians far surpass Mormons in both the depth and breadth of their knowledge of the Bible."

    Not where I served my mission and I served in Atlanta Georgia in the heart of the Bible Belt. Majority of my time was in the rural areas of northern Georgia and the suburbs of Atlanta. I recall entering homes and asking them to use their Bible. They give it to me with so much dust it was obvious it was hardly ever opened. Nevertheless I used their Bible because too many times when I teach a principle using my quad or King James Bible, they'd tell me, "Well that's not in my Bible" when truthfully it was all along, but to show them that it was I used their Bible. The shock on their faces that I knew their Bible better than them was priceless at times. Even those who knew their own Bible well was surprised at our knowledge of the Bible. I did this because many thought we have a different Bible so using their own Bible debunked this thought.

  • Spoc Ogden, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 12:17 a.m.

    Accuracy is an fascinating concept for their survey since the Gateway has no less than 52 English language versions to choose from. A quick perusal of each version of the same passage left me quite confused as to the original author's intended meaning.

    Likewise, it seems just a bit arrogant to assume that if I have not used their software that I have no interest in the Bible and must be an infidel.

    Or a Vulcan American. ;-)

  • As If! Layton, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 10:24 p.m.

    I recently finished reading the whole King James Bible and I am a Mormon. Silly study. We're studying the Old Testament this year in church. I love the Bible!

  • rightascension Provo, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 10:23 p.m.

    Would not surprise me. The Bible gets talked about in classes -- but not read a lot from beginning to end.

  • IDSpud Eagle, ID
    Jan. 30, 2014 10:01 p.m.

    Beyond the explanation given in the DN article for why the numbers are skewed or incomplete, so called researchers should also take into account the fact that the LDS scriptures (Standard Works) constitute far more than just the Bible. The LDS spread their scripture reading/study out over 4 books of scripture, which includes the Bible, whereas those the LDS are being compared against use only the Bible.

  • telephos Logan, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 9:57 p.m.

    I think if anyone actually read the Bible they would stop being a Christian, especially if you are black or a woman, it is one bigoted book.

  • PP Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 9:43 p.m.

    That's funny "scientist". I have had discussions with many evangelical Christians and almost without fail I knew more about the bible than they did. I knew the history better, where to find things better and was generally more knowledgeable. And I am a very average member of the LDS church.

    I think you might "protest too much"

    And those atheist "studies". Not worth the paper they are written on.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 8:47 p.m.

    Studies show that atheists have more knowledge of scriptures and religion than do believers. As an atheist, I must say I am not surprised by the Time data. In my experience (including 30 years attending LDS meetings and listening to the lessons and comments), LDS people overall are not very literate in the Bible. Evangelical and other Christians far surpass Mormons in both the depth and breadth of their knowledge of the Bible.

  • BYR West Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 8:30 p.m.

    I wonder if this is Salt Lake City proper and NOT the Wasatch Front. If that is correct, I am not surprised.

  • BYU_Aggie Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 7:41 p.m.

    Honestly, ever since reading the Time article about Mitt Romney 6 or so years ago (before the 2008 election), I'm convinced that Time literally does not research into the LDS Church before publishing, or they actually have it out for the Mormons. I couldn't believe how many egregious errors were in that article, just about basic things (e.g. - like all members meeting in the Temple every week - with a picture of the inside of the tabernacle being displayed). It was downright ridiculous. That article about John Huntsman Jr. a few years ago wasn't much better either.

    Time is hardly a reputable journal anymore - if it ever was.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 6:59 p.m.

    America, traditionally, is not a reading nation, and that includes Time magazine.