'Bizarre' British summons roundly criticized by legal experts, religious freedom advocates

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  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    This is stupid because nobody can make you pay tithing. It is up to you and it is your decision and choice, that simple.

  • Laura Arroyo Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    A man who still uses his priesthood to forthput should not make such claims before a judge.

    In other words:

    You still believe; how can you claim that another does not?

  • sukiyhtaky us, CA
    Feb. 25, 2014 9:35 p.m.

    Last time I checked, DB is still selling books by Paul Dunn. Most of his 'faith building' stories were lies and yet the church still allows them to be sold. Isn't that condoning fraud if not the actual act of it all for the sake of making money?

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Feb. 17, 2014 3:12 p.m.

    This whole story has just made me facepalm from day one. For all the reasons listed in this article though, I knew that it was ridiculous and would go nowhere. Shame on the UK justice system for trying to give crass anti-religious bigotry a voice in a court of law.

  • Shushannah Kendal, Cumbria
    Feb. 16, 2014 1:40 p.m.

    President Monson doesn't see 1p of the money that is paid into the church by its members... neither does any other member, unless they are in need of assistance from the welfare funds, which are paid from fast offerings, not tithing.
    I sustain President Monson as Prophet, Seer and Revelator, and as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I also sustain all other church leaders as designated at this moment in time, in their respective positions and callings.

  • Fuzz Springville, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 6:02 p.m.

    Confirmation bias (the spirit) does not confirm truth.
    Truth confirms truth.

  • Marie Ferguson Glenning Valley, Australia, NSW
    Feb. 10, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    The Bible says to pay tithes. I pay tithes. Nothing will stop that. I love the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, and other scriptures that we have. I know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God, and I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true and living Church on the earth. My testimony is based on what the Spirit has confirmed to me, not on DNA, unseen papyri, unseen plates or anything else anybody wants to bring up.
    I received a strong witness before I was baptised 31 years ago, that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God, and that what he brought forth for us was also true. I know that God knows that I know it and I could never deny it. If anybody is not happy with the church, leave it and leave it alone. You cannot change the course of it, no unhallowed hand can stop this work. Love the Church, love President Monson and whomever will follow as Prophet. It is the Spirit that works through us and confirms to us the truthfulness of the Gospel. And nothing else is needed.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    MiP wrote:

    "I still hold out hope that Mr. Phillips will see the error of his ways and repent."

    He did repent. That is why he is doing this.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Feb. 10, 2014 1:11 a.m.

    I still hold out hope that Mr. Phillips will see the error of his ways and repent.

    Also, this story reminded me: Abinadi really tore it up in court!

  • BCA Murrieta, CA
    Feb. 9, 2014 3:39 p.m.

    Tasha says- "Yes he is (an ex-mormon). He's not excommunicated yet (that I'm aware of) but he is definitely an ex-mormon in that he doesn't believe and doesn't largely affiliate with the church (summoning monson to court definitely doesn't count). "

    You may certainly call a member of the church who doesn't attend or believe an ex-Mormon if you want to. That just isn't the definition that is generally accepted. The church has 15 million members, more than half of whom do not attend, worldwide. I don't think the church is going to start saying there are 7 million members. Do you?

  • Piper Scio, OR
    Feb. 8, 2014 8:16 p.m.

    This is just another reason why Scotland should break away from the United Kingdom. If you know of any Scots who can vote in the September 18th, 2014 referendum for independence, please encourage them to vote for common sense. Per capita the church has more member is Scotland than the rest of the UK. FREEDOM!

  • comments and stuff spanish fork, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    story, likely you never heard before. read it. not specifically abt tithing, but abt honesty re. $.

    i love this story
    read Acts 4:31 thru 5:11
    i love the bible

  • comments and stuff spanish fork, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 2:04 p.m.

    bishop and stake president in separate private interviews w/ candidate ask 20+ questions re. faith, belief, church leaders, honesty, word of wisdom, scriptures, sexual purity, morally, ethica, upright, etc. "money" is never mentioned; "full & honest tithing" is. candidate answers according to his/her own interpretation. simple questions soliciting simple clear answers

    positive answers results in a recommend; a "no" may require clarification, possible encouragement to repent or other action the candidate should take to become worthy. decision to issue or not is based on candidate answers of yes-no.

    one of final questions is "do you consider yourself worthy to enter the House of the Lord?" a "yes" answer produces a recommend. "no" or "i'm not sure" results in an explain yourself. i often wonder if i "am wothy".

    bishop makes his decision ON THE SPOT according to answers received from candidate. candidate makes appt with stake presidency - process is repeated with decision made on the spot. bishop & stake presidency don't discuss the request nor the answers. each decision is based according to answers the candidate has declared abt him/herself.

  • comments and stuff spanish fork, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    simplified versions

    church says 1/10 of "increase"
    church does not define "increase"; candidate does. candidate is asked, "are you an honest & full tithe donor?" the answer is donor's interpretation of "increase" and "honest-full"

    bishop doesn't know person's salary/gross/net/increase, or $ figure nor sources. i receive $ from taxable & nontaxable vestments + SocSec. i pay 1/10th of the sum total of those numbers, rounded up to the next $1. my conscience says pay on everything received - "increase": i didn't have it moments ago and now i do. it's all tithed. that is just me

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 8, 2014 1:25 p.m.

    Considering the appearance of Sharon, there are clearly non-Lehites mentioned in the Book of Mormon. A close reading will also show that the only way to population could be as large as the Jacob/Sharon episode requires is the incorporation of new peoples. John L. Sorenson's writings give much light on this topic.

    I however hold that President Monson should not appear. It would give a horrible precedent both to using the courts to persecute religious leaders and using them to harass and limit the uses of time by religious leaders.

  • Rae M. Bountiful , UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 12:43 p.m.

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

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 8, 2014 12:32 p.m.

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

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

  • Helmigr Brighton, CO
    Feb. 8, 2014 12:27 p.m.

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

  • Rae M. Bountiful , UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 12:28 p.m.

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

  • HeresAThought Queen Creek, AZ
    Feb. 8, 2014 12:20 p.m.

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

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 11:43 a.m.


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

  • LibbyScott Orem, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 10:34 a.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • baddog Cedar Rapids, IA
    Feb. 8, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    Many interesting comments here.

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

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

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Feb. 8, 2014 9:10 a.m.

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

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

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

  • Gwen54 San Diego, CA
    Feb. 8, 2014 9:01 a.m.

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

  • BASavage Orem, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 8:55 a.m.

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

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

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 8:00 a.m.

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

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

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 7:30 a.m.

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

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

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

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

  • cley nottingham, 00
    Feb. 8, 2014 6:26 a.m.

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

  • kolob1 sandy, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 6:07 a.m.

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

  • Broc9 Council Bluffs, IA
    Feb. 8, 2014 12:35 a.m.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Broc9 Council Bluffs, IA
    Feb. 8, 2014 12:34 a.m.

    Ok, Friends --

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

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

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

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

  • haloueen Washington, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 12:14 a.m.

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

  • haloueen Washington, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 12:11 a.m.

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

  • CaPnK Katy, TX
    Feb. 7, 2014 11:48 p.m.


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

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

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

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

    Love you dwayne regarless.

  • Jaime Lee Bonberger Houston, TX
    Feb. 7, 2014 10:48 p.m.

    Already there were the preceding Jaredites that occupied the land. And the unknown but nearby Mulekites were contemporaries to Lehi.

    Lehi's posterity would be protected from the knowledge of other nations. This could only happen if a party arrived from a foreign nation, and then returned home to report to its leaders who could then send more and more settlers, armies, etc, but history records no such interchange that would represent coming to this 'knowledge of other nations'.

    The Book of Mormon doesn't even call the Nephites or Lamanites 'nations' but 'people'. Only at the end in Moroni 8 are the Nephites referred to as a nation, then again as a people as if to clarify.

    A good read on this topic comes from John L. Sorensen: When Lehi's Party Arrived in the Land, Did They Find Others There?

    And the old introduction says 'principal' ancestors. The first definition of the adjective 'principal' in Websters is 'most important'. It says nothing about numerical representation. The new wording 'among' could mean 99% or 1%, which is all you can really draw from the text of the Book of Mormon.

  • BCA Murrieta, CA
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:56 p.m.

    "@ BCA - Murrieta, CA "Tom Phillips is not an ex-Mormon."
    Uh, you might want to read the article again:
    Article quote: "The allegations were made by a former Mormon, Thomas Phillips,..."
    You're welcome."

    Thanks for the attempted clarification. However, the reason I wrote that Tom Phillips is not an ex-Mormon is because the article has it wrong and I was trying to clarify. I follow Tom's internet postings and have listened to podcasts. He is currently still a member. No matter what the article says.

  • Jaime Lee Bonberger Houston, TX
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:49 p.m.

    To ThinksIThink, oragami, and others

    Please see the post of Cats at that sheds light on the Book of Abraham. John Gee in A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri also does a good job of clarifying.

    There were actually 4 sets of papyri and, it appears, only one was used for the Book of Abraham. This papyri roll was preserved by Joseph Smith, while some of the rest were cut up and displayed in frames. It is these cut pieces that the Church recovered from the New York Museum. The contemporary (1840s) physical description of the papyri of the Book of Abraham differs sharply from these recovered cutouts.

    After the death of Joseph Smith, the whole collection was split up with the majority, most likely including the Abraham scroll, going to a museum in Chicago that was burned down in the great Chicago fire. It is presumed that the rest of the collection is what we have recovered today. Only one of the original three facsimiles is in that collection.

    Also interesting is that many of the previously unknown details about the traditions of Abraham revealed in the Book of Abraham have since been confirmed by subsequently discovered ancient texts.

  • Ultramom Spanish Fork, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:46 p.m.

    A wise man once said "The disturbance caused by "The BOA" papyrus has more or less subsided. Dr. Nibley effectively deflected the criticism at its height, time has done the rest. His Improvement Era articles satisfied the unsophisticated minds of the general church population; the faux pas was laid to rest. Those who remember the controversy will choose never to speak of it again. History will be whitewashed, new generations of Mormons will never become aware of it. Eventually it will be forgotten, just like Brigham's Adam God Theory.

    The church has learned that if issues such as "The BOA" or Lamanites are allowed to quietly retire, they gradually sort themselves out, dissipate. The less the leaders say about these controversies, the easier the transition. They have an enormous base of believers. If an uncomfortable issue arises, there is no end of fanatical believers willing to step forward and defend god or do anything to support his kingdom. They believe their stalwart defense will be counted to them as righteousness. It is always better for the "spin" to originate with them; then if it turns out to be stupid, it cannot be laid at the feet of the leadership."

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 7:07 p.m.

    Religion cannot be proven or disproven in a court of law. Neither can evolution, creationism or many other controversial topics.

  • Russell Spencer Boise, ID
    Feb. 7, 2014 5:11 p.m.


    Verse9 relates an if-then promise. If righteous, then keep the land/dwell in safety forever. The Book of Mormon makes clear the people didn't keep their "if" portion of that promise.

    You equate "this land" with the whole American continent. That seems simplistic. Lehi's party arrived roughly contemporaneously with Mulek's, who arrived in time to meet Coriantumr, a Jaredite (another nation) whose people had dwelt *somewhere* in the Americas.

    I read the passage in context. Lehi was from Canaan, a land roughly the size of New Jersey, which had been overrun by many nations--Egyptians, Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians, etc.--depriving Israel of an inheritance. "This land" need not be continental for Lehi's children to preserve an inheritance.

    Your opinions of "what the Church taught" are just that. Quotes since the 1830s state that the Book of Mormon gives an account of the ancient inhabitants of this land. It does. Many in the 1830s thought those "inhabitants" referred to the mound-builders; maybe they did. But certainly no one thought the mound-builders were the Americas' ONLY ancient inhabitants. I know of no teaching that Lehi was the ONLY ancestor of the Native Americans.

  • SLCPorter SLC, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 4:40 p.m.

    @origami. I have read the Book of Abraham and I have felt the spirit testify to me that it is true. So I don't care if the source of that book is a common funerary text as the anti-Mormoms say, or translated from the scrolls as Joseph Smith says in the introduction. If it makes me feel a burning in the bosom it is a true book and of God. Scientific evidence cannot be used to prove whether something comes from God, only the spirit can do that. So they should leave President Monson alone.

  • flower47 Romford, Essex
    Feb. 7, 2014 3:38 p.m.

    We've got some weird old magistrates in this country. The only people who will benefit from this farce will, as usual, be the lawyers. Send Jeffrey R Holland!! He'll sort them out!! :)

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Feb. 7, 2014 3:13 p.m.

    @ sharrona - layton, UT
    RE: Northern Lights, yes, here we go again.

    "(Reed Smoot)After years of hearings, the remaining charges of the opposition included:
    That church leaders were still practicing(illegally) plural marriage. Apostles John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley were still performing plural marriages in Mexico and Canada, though Taylor was later excommunicated for the practice.

    That the church was exerting too much influence on Utah politics.
    That members were required to take oaths in the temples to seek revenge on the United States. (See: oath of vengeance)"

    You DO realize that you did NOT address the main point that 'Northern Lights' refuted, right?

    You said that Pres. Smith claimed to receive no "revelation".

    Yet 'Northern Lights' clearly pointed out that was taken out of context and even provided you the page number of the document that proved Pres. Smith did in fact believe he had received "revelation".

    And yet you did not acknowledge that refutation.

    Why not?

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Feb. 7, 2014 3:08 p.m.

    @ Northern Lights - Arco, ID "Sharrona, yes, here we go again.......anyone who argues your particular point has probably stopped on page 483 of the record of the Smooth hearings without proceeding on to page 484 where President Smith stated that he has had "impressions of the spirit" upon his mind "very frequently." To many LDS, that is a common form of revelation. I don't expect he could have expanded on that thought given the hostile nature of the hearing."

    Thank you for posting this. I distinctly remember a former missionary comnpanion telling me this "I have never received a revelation" claim. He loved trying to rile me and would tell me stuff like this all the time. Sadly (but not much of a surprise, looking back on it) he was later excommunicated.

    My testimony?

    Still here and growing stronger.

    Thanks again for refuting this falsehood about Pres. Smith.

  • rickallen81 Kirkland, WA
    Feb. 7, 2014 3:00 p.m.

    So many of these comments assert knowledge of fact by means of belief. You can't make something true by believing it. You can testify that you believe it is true, but when facts contradict your inner conviction, I cannot believe that some part of you recognizes that you've lied to yourself in order to avoid facing what could be a hard truth to swallow.

    Fact does not need equivocation nor does it need a backstory or context. When a church has to say "this doesn't prove or disprove" or "these quotes are taken out of context" it's to protect a narrative that they do not want questioned.

    "Science is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned."

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Feb. 7, 2014 2:43 p.m.

    @ BCA - Murrieta, CA "Tom Phillips is not an ex-Mormon."

    Uh, you might want to read the article again:

    Article quote: "The allegations were made by a former Mormon, Thomas Phillips,..."

    You're welcome.

  • G Blake West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." - Matthew 7:20
    That scripture alone exonerates the leadership of the LDS church, the church itself, and it's teachings, in my opinion. I'm pleased to see the general consensus is that this charge should never have even seen the light of day, since this is plainly a false charge from a disaffected ex-LDS fellow with an axe to grind; but at some point such a ludicrous charge might manage to gain political momentum somewhere.
    Ideally, God's children wouldn't allow themselves to become so prideful, rebellious, and hard-hearted, but the scriptures show us that it has happened repeatedly in every civilization. If the secular anti-religionists do reach such a critical mass that they could force such an action through a court, I'm grateful to know that no court or law anywhere would be able to find sufficient evidence to give credence to such charges.
    But that would be no victory. The only sinless one to ever walk this earth was convicted in such a way.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Feb. 7, 2014 2:35 p.m.

    @ Fuzz - Springville, UT - "This is not Satan. Satan cannot issue a summons. Satan can't do anything. He does not have a body or power over anything."

    No, it isn't "Satan" hiself that filed the paperwork that got this lawsuit/summons rolling, but he surely is the impetus/driving force behind it all.

    On a different note, all I had to read was "former (LDS) member" and I saw all I needed to know.

    It is no coincidence that the Book of Mormon has a passage of scripture in it which describes how a group of people, after having received the light of Christ and then having decided to leave the gospel of Jesus Christ, that when later on shown the error of their choice, that only ONE returned.

    To those who know, that is a warning of massive, massive proportions.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 7, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    I would love for President Monson to attend.

    I would love to know where President Monson said those 'exact words'. A lot of these aren't even LDS actual beliefs. Especially the part about the BOA and literal translations.

    I understand this man was hurt, he was summarily dismissed as State President, his wife divorced him and his children have distance themselves from him. He is left with nothing but his anger and regrets.
    The LDS Church needs to do a better job with their leadership. They need to get them counseling when they are released from high governing callings. They need to help smoother their transition, so they don't have to fill the "power void" with dark hobbies. They need to be taught that simply because everyone doesn't hang on their every word anymore, that doesn't mean they are of no worth.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Feb. 7, 2014 2:23 p.m.

    @ CED

    There is no such thing as any original script from the BM or Abraham.
    If Joseph Sm. would live today still, he could reproduce any scripture of ancient time by means of the Urim and Thummim. Why ? Because everything that was recorded by Prophets on earth would have been recorded in heaven as well.

    If you have taken care of receiving a faithful testimony regarding the words of Moroni or Abraham then you may be sure in having received the priviledge of knowing that such records are kept in heaven.

    After that we may find small beams of light in research that assures us, we are on the right track.

    It does not say the Land was preserved exclusively for Lehi, it says , if it so be that they shall keep his commandments.

    All Holy Books, such as Abraham or Book of Lehi are sacred to the reader, they are kept within the laws and bounderies of faith to benefit those of faith only.
    If you seek no faithful road toward your Redeemer, it will be kept from you on purpose.

  • Ced Conroe, TX
    Feb. 7, 2014 1:54 p.m.

    You can't un teach what the church taught. It taught, and is also backed up in previous versions of the BOM, that the Lamenites were the principle ancestors of native American tribes. In addition, in Second Nephi Ch1 vs8-9 it says "8 And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be akept as yet from the knowledge of other bnations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance.

    9 Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a apromise, that binasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall cprosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall dkeep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their einheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever."

    How is this not stating clearly that the land was preserved for Lehi, and that no one else was there?

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    Someone once said:

    "It is easier to fool a man than to convince a man he has been fooled."

    Many have been fooled to be sure, but convincing them they have is fruitless. They have to see it themselves.

  • Ced Conroe, TX
    Feb. 7, 2014 1:18 p.m.

    What am I supposed to think? You say that the Book of Abraham is not a direct translation of the papyri that the church has in its possession. You claim that the papyri were destroyed in the Great Chicago fire. I did a lot of reading about that fire, but the church put out pictures of the papyri, and made the claim that they were the ones that Joseph translated. They look exactly like the pics that are represented in the Book of Abraham. It stands to reason that these were indeed the papyri that Joseph claimed to translate. The problem is that these are funerary texts from ancient Egypt and not from the hand of Abraham. In fact they are way younger than Abraham. I am confused.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 7, 2014 1:13 p.m.


    I hope you are wrong.

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 7, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    >> I think it's a great opportunity for the Prophet and the church to step forward with full transparency and confirm once and for all that the church is true.

    The best way to stand up to hostile anti-Mormons is simply to deny them the audience they seek. Don't argue with them. Don't give them a public platform. Contention isn't the Lord's way of preaching the gospel.

  • Mormonmeuk London, 00
    Feb. 7, 2014 1:07 p.m.

    @RedWings "an extremist, atheistic judge in a small court in England"

    Actually No. Elizabeth Roscoe is not some two bit judge from the outer boons. She is a very highly respected District Judge at Westminster Magistrates Court in London. Not a "small court in England" BTW.

    She has overseen a number of very high profile cases there, including police corruption and those of the ringleaders of the London riots. She would not sign a summons without a reasonable case with suitable evidence being presented.

    UK Law: "The court must not ‘sign off on’ and issue a summons that would amount to an abuse of the court’s process (R (Mayor of Newham) v Stratford Magistrates’ Court [2004] EWHC 2506 (Admin)) or is simply vexatious."

    I've not found mention anywhere of District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe's religious affiliation. Perhaps you know something we don't?

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    No, it's just ridiculous, and Thomas Monson is outside the jurisdiction of a foreign court.

    Nowadays all bets are off; we see absurd and unreasonable litigations all the time, here and perhaps it is starting up in British courts too.

    If Britain is true to its traditions though nothing will come of this: LDS missionary work has always been legal there. One bishop sought to arrest some Mormon missionaries in the 1800's but he could not get anyone to carry it out. A bill was brought in parliament to outlaw proselyting by Mormon missionaries and it was overwhelmingly defeated.

    I am amazed that this was taken seriously. Perhaps the judge was just weird; it happens.

  • grahlpr SÃo Paulo, Brazil, 00
    Feb. 7, 2014 12:25 p.m.

    I support Pres. Thomas S. Monson as a true prophet of God, as well as Joseph Smith. Faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints pay tithing not because Pres. Monson tells them to, but because it is a law of God. In my 53 years as a member of the Church I have received the many blessings promised by the Lord to those who comply with this sacred law.To the dissenters we say: we love you and pray for you. Please set aside your grudges, repent and come back to the fold of Christ while there is still time!

  • DoctorV Springville, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    Interesting that they didn't mention Mr. Phillips is the managing editor of mormonthink dot com, a prominent ex-mormon website describing many of the historical and other issues he has included as part of the suit. There is other interesting information about him personally and the extent of his prior involvement with the church, as well. He was more than a former bishop and stake president.

  • Commenter88 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 7, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    There are specific tests for determining fraud. One is that it includes a transaction, not a voluntary donation. Not only are religious beliefs protected (making it basically state-sponsored religious persecution), but it also doesn't meet the most simple of prima facie requirements. It might be that the LDS church has good grounds for filing a civil lawsuit itself for harassment and abuse of process.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Feb. 7, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    If the crux of the summons is that Pres. Monson encourages the payment of tithing to a church that he knows is false, I suggest that this can be proved or disproved by a simple question: "Has Pres. Monson personally paid tithing?" If he has paid tithing throughout his life, which I believe to be the case, then obviously he believes the church is true. The fraud charge stands refuted.

  • voiceofreason1234 SANDY, TX
    Feb. 7, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    We are living in CRAZY times.

  • Commenter88 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 7, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    Let's stop and think about this for a second. This is a serious misstep by the British government, and serious missteps always present good opportunities. I say turn into the skid. The English (not British) have great animus for religion in general. I say Pres. Monson seriously consider showing up for the hearing. Then use the British legal levers and best British representation to show how religious bigotry is not only profoundly irrational, illogical, and fallacious, but also abusive and oppressive.

    It's time that knee-jerk religious bigotry had a mirror held up to itself in a legal forum, and this is a great opportunity.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 11:49 a.m.

    Well, I fully expect this Magistrate to next summon the Queen of England to her court and answer the same kind of charges. After all, the Queen is the head of the Church of England. Just think how much fun they'd have over there by hauling the Queen in.

  • Russell Spencer Boise, ID
    Feb. 7, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    Recent studies in Y-Chromosomal DNA haplogroups are also of some interest. The founding American Y-haplogroups (so far--Y-chromosomal decoding is at its beginning phases) are Q, C, and R--specifically R-M173. Q appears East Asian, as does C (though some suggest C MAY originate in Arabia, its migration at least tends eastward). R-M173, however, is not found in East Asia (at all). It is West Eurasian, most common to Europe, significant in the Central Asian steppes, and also found in the Near East. Who brought it to America? Who knows? But the old, tired theory, espoused by Phillips and others like him, that the founding of the Americas came from some monolithic migratory wave from East Asia is what modern genetic research falsifies. That research does not, however, falsify the Book of Mormon.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Feb. 7, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    Thanks to DN for providing links.

    Now I am searching the sources and do agree it is a big help for me to gain additional insides. That people of all kind of faith need explanations is clear, question remains, can they proceed to have answers beyond that what someone has taught them ?

    That is the teaching of this church, you may receive if you knock and willing to prepare your heart for spiritual insides to the matter.

    As far as I know, claims of the anti-BM or anti-BA are of thin margin since what comes first, a testimony of God or some educated logic of the Mind ?

    If Lehi is guilty of fraud, or Abraham of deception, then I am willing to think it over again. But for what I know, there is more truth in what they said, then what you read.

    The church is no fraud, since it is built on Christ, who is no fraud.
    Christ did not tell me to be aware of the church of Jesus Christ but of it's people.

    This is the testimony, after all we have heard, that He lives !

    Feb. 7, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    What starts on the extremes becomes the norm. This case involves a bitter ex-Mormon and an extremist, atheistic judge in a small court in England. However, in another 15 - 20 years it could easily become common place for religion to be hauled into court by atheists. The current trend in the world, and the US, is moving toward the destruction of our most basic freedom - freedom of religion.

    Disagreeing with someone does not negate their beliefs. The left does not understand this, and they will become what they have always feared - dogmatic tyrants.

  • Russell Spencer Boise, ID
    Feb. 7, 2014 11:23 a.m.

    Maybe we should put Phillips on the defensive.

    He claims DNA disproves the Book of Mormon. It doesn't. His argument rests on faulty assumptions (that, per Book of Mormon, Tribe Lehi is the unique founding group for ALL indigenous Americans; in fact it teaches that a remnant of Tribe Lehi would be found AMONG the indigenous Americans--significant difference) and relies on outdated evidence (a common feature of anti-Mormon polemics).

    A basic primer: The founding mtDNA haplogroups in the Americas are ABCD (all East Asian) and X--specifically X2, which originated in the Levant (the Galilean Druze, a DNA refugium, have all the various strands of X2). The American strand of X2 is almost uniformly X2a (with a little X2g), so the population that introduced X2 likely started out small (larger groups have more genetic diversity).

    So mtDNA evidence suggests that a small group of people migrated to the Americas from the Near East at some point in time after the founding of the various X2 strands. When after? We don't know. Whether that small group of people was Tribe Lehi, we don't know. But the evidence certainly doesn't "disprove" that belief either.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Feb. 7, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    So many comments focusing on the church's truth claims. That's a complete sideshow to the central issue.

    To prove fraud, the plaintiff will have to show that President Monson obtained money from claims which he personally believed to be false.

    Yeah, right. Good luck with that.

  • rickallen81 Kirkland, WA
    Feb. 7, 2014 11:04 a.m.


    Someone's account that they did something and writing it down does not make fact. I could no less claim "I invented cold fusion. I wrote it down right here." and expect people to believe me. Evaluate that statement against testable, repeatable methods of establishing whether a translation is correct. Many people even before the Rosetta Stone discovery could translate Egyptian characters so the language and its translation is a known science. Smith's translations do not match the Egyptian characters in Abraham at all. So, in short, it IS common knowledge that was not translated from Egyptian as Smith claimed.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    RE: Northern Lights, yes, here we go again.

    (Reed Smoot)After years of hearings, the remaining charges of the opposition included:
    That church leaders were still practicing(illegally) plural marriage. Apostles John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley were still performing plural marriages in Mexico and Canada, though Taylor was later excommunicated for the practice.

    That the church was exerting too much influence on Utah politics.
    That members were required to take oaths in the temples to seek revenge on the United States. (See: oath of vengeance)

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    Religious freedom doesn't cover fraud. That is what the man is suing for: Fraud.

  • rickallen81 Kirkland, WA
    Feb. 7, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    "If we have the truth, it ought not to be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed." J. Reuben Clark, a respected apostle said this. All of the statements about like "these are the latter days, persecution will mount against us" and "the church would never lie" are ignoring the fact that this case is about a search for truth. The plaintiff's argument states a list of truth claims made by the church for which they can provide proof that they are correct. I think it's a great opportunity for the Prophet and the church to step forward with full transparency and confirm once and for all that the church is true. If they cannot do that, then it would lead a reasonable person to conclude they have something to hide. If they have something to hide, what is it? Why? What does it serve? These are questions every member should grapple with. We should all be capable of enough objectivity to not only be able to rationally point out the tenets of other religions we believe illustrate their falsehood, but to objectively examine those within our own church as well.

  • Northern Lights Arco, ID
    Feb. 7, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    Sharrona, yes, here we go again.

    I don't believe that President Joseph F. Smith has anything to do about judicial showmanship in Britain. Were I a member of the British Government, I'd be just a tad embarrassed over this judge's ruling. Not good for international relations.

    Second, anyone who argues your particular point has probably stopped on page 483 of the record of the Smooth hearings without proceeding on to page 484 where President Smith stated that he has had "impressions of the spirit" upon his mind "very frequently." To many LDS, that is a common form of revelation. I don't expect he could have expanded on that thought given the hostile nature of the hearing. In the meantime, I suggest we just leave the red herrings to the whales.

  • Gwen54 San Diego, CA
    Feb. 7, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    I think that President Monson should go over and appear and stand up for what we believe. This is what we teach our youth in lessons every single week. What a great opportunity for him to be an incredible example of this. How wonderful would it be for him to stand up and bear a strong testimony and use his knowledge of all the issues listed in the summons to destroy their claims regarding the Book of Abraham, Book of Mormon DNA and so on? I hope he appears and is an example for every member of the church.

  • Happyinlife PROVO, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    No one is forced to pay tithing, but as stated in the scriptures, it is a commandment to do so. Attacking a religious leader for believing in the scriptures is truly bizarre!

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    Well, I suppose if you don't believe in a particular church then either you must believe their leaders are wrong, or that they're liars. From that perspective, it sorta does look similar to fraud in some sense. That said, religions have been rather immune from these sort of charges so nothing should come of this other than a dismissal.

  • AJC Eden, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    I know President Monson's appearing in court would set an undesirable, and maybe even dangerous, legal precedent, but I keep thinking of President Hinckley's television interview with Mike Wallace. I for one would love to see President Monson or his hand-picked emissaries,like Elders Oaks and Holland, take the witness stand and having the opportunity to explain the Plan of Happiness to the British court. This entire episode reminds me of Satan's not knowing the mind of God when Satan offered Eve the forbidden fruit. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but from an LDS standpoint, looks like a win-win to me!

  • get her done Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    Those who believe this is minor legal harassment have not read the stature that this case is based up. London has very different fraud laws. They do not protect religion as the U.S. I think this may be more than a minor problem for the church.

  • Lyle Springville, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    I think he ought to show up! It would be a great missionary opportunity.

  • Jshj Harrisville, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    I've read several articles about this, and DN was the only to omit the actual charges, and the name of the person filing them.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    to Cats

    Curious; What about the Gnostic texts found @ Nag Hammadi?

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    It doesn't look like the Great Britain is going to fullfil any prophecy of yet.

    Folks can go back to bussiness as usual, the signs of persecutions are showing first symptoms, but let us not get fanatical here.

    The fear mongering is just starting. I don't think we should listen.
    Those who are smart enough to gain knowledge, welcome to the Last Days,
    and those who want to think the fight as just started...remember peace is going to prevail and it does not cost much unless we give up.

  • AltaHawkFan Sandy, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    @redcorvette - Oh ... I don't know. What did Jesus have to fear standing before the court of his time?

    @Ernest T Bass - I'd always assumed that you confined your mocking hatred to sports topics. Good to know that it knows no bounds.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    re Vladhagen Yesterday

    They'd circle the wagons and whine that *religion is under attack*

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    RE: 1.96 Standard Deviations; Here we go again,

    President Joseph F. Smith In 1904 was questioned in the senate for Mormon senator Reed Smoot. He was questioned the three days. He admitted as a prophet, He had not received any revelations.

    President Smith also admitted to the violation of federal laws in the practice of polygamy by Church leaders, years after the Manifestos on Polygamy stopped it. since he had eleven children by five wives since 1890.

  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    Red Corvette and Origami:

    It is not about whether President Monson is "innocent." On a charge of teaching false doctrines, that is not germane. Courts have no right to decide what is true or false doctrine. Even in the often mentioned polygamy trials it was not doctrine, but actions, that were prosecuted. Collecting voluntary donations for a church is not within the jurisdiction of civil law.
    (if you want to discuss the claim of "false doctrine" three witnesses [plus eight more actually] testified on behalf of the Book of Mormon. One of them actually had to testify in court (in the 19th century) and swore under oath that though he was no longer a supporter of the Church he could not deny the truthfulness of his testimony that the Book of Mormon was divinely revealed. )

  • seotopfuel Agoura Hills, CA
    Feb. 7, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    I don't believe the court, nor the magistrates intentions are honorable. Therefore, whenever there are two gathered in the Lords Name, there he is also. However, the opposite it also true whenever there are gathered against me, there he is not. The prophet will ultimately do whatever the Lord tells him that he should do, and must sustain him, even defend him with our very own lives. This is what it means to serve God, Serve with all you have to defend the faith. Now, I know this is what is required, but the time till come soon when we will have to do just that defend. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 8:47 a.m.

    Dear ThinksIThink:

    Please refer to my earlier post. The Book of Abraham is NOT based on the Egyptian papyri fragments discovered some years ago. It was taken from a much larger roll of papyri that was later destroyed in the Chicago fire. This is an historic fact. the biggest mistake people make is to believe the false notion that the Book of Abraham was taken from those fragments. A lot of people have lost their testimonies over this false notion and it is based on a lie that is perpetrated by those who lie in wait to deceive. This is one of the biggest hoaxes of many that are used on anti-Mormon websites to try and draw people away from the Church. Please don't be fooled by it. The Book of Abraham is true.

  • Marigold Provo, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    President Monson will be fine. I feel sad for those who leave The Church, but can't leave The Church alone.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Feb. 7, 2014 8:23 a.m.


    I guess I stand corrected. Your post motivated me to research what the experts say about the Egyptian papyri and the Book of Abraham. From what I've read they say it is not a literal translation. I did find some Church information suggesting maybe it was an inspired translation. I guess I have to digest this as its not what I was taught.

  • Tasha B A Place, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    BCA - Yes he is. He's not excommunicated yet (that I'm aware of) but he is definitely an ex-mormon in that he doesn't believe and doesn't largely affiliate with the church (summoning monson to court definitely doesn't count).

    As it is, his case points are made heavily by taking only one possible way of describing faith beliefs, places these as certifiable facts to the LDS faith. Then takes only one perspective against these claims as certifiable facts as well. Then presents this as reality.....except that it's not. Reality is is there's multiple views and perspectives on just about every point he makes. His weakest, IMO are the ones that talk about the 6k yrs. There's no official stance about the age of mankind. People have consistently have different views about it.

    This won't go well for him. Although I'm sure he'll spin it somehow to his favor.

  • Twin Sister LINDON, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    Michael.jensen 369 you make excellent points and I agree with you. And, yes, everyone, it is President Monson, not Monson. Additionally, no one "forces" anyone to do anything who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of the most basic doctrines of our religion is that of agency--the God-given right for us to choose for ourselves in all of our daily decisions. Members of our church are autonomous individuals who make conscious choices based on what we want to do with regard to payment of tithes and offerings, serving in church callings, observing the Word of Wisdom, having family home evenings, praying, scripture study, dressing modestly, temple attendance and on and on. Every choice we make in life carries with it consequences--good or bad as the case may be. No one is "forced" to pay tithing. We all have a choice; therefore, no fraud was committed and there is no case.

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    Feb. 7, 2014 8:17 a.m.

    And the drip picks up it's pace. Just finished reading the Book of Revelations a few days ago. No suprise here, the persecution is expected on the Saints in the last days. The persecution will get stronger in the coming years. Build your testimonies on concrete blocks!!

  • Gemini Australia, 00
    Feb. 7, 2014 8:16 a.m.

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

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 8:09 a.m.

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

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 8:04 a.m.

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

  • silverbear Goshen, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 7:58 a.m.

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

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 7:54 a.m.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 7:40 a.m.

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

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

    I see this magistrate losing his job.

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

  • silvercloud41NE Fremont, NE
    Feb. 7, 2014 7:34 a.m.

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

  • CaPnK Katy, TX
    Feb. 7, 2014 7:29 a.m.

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

  • Lilljemalm Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 7, 2014 7:15 a.m.

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

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 6:40 a.m.


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

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

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

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Feb. 7, 2014 6:02 a.m.

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

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

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    Feb. 7, 2014 5:01 a.m.

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

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Feb. 7, 2014 4:55 a.m.

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

  • BCA Murrieta, CA
    Feb. 7, 2014 4:30 a.m.

    Tom Phillips is not an ex-Mormon.

  • Sequoya Stafford, VA
    Feb. 7, 2014 2:11 a.m.

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

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

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 1:56 a.m.


    You said - "If the Church has not been deliberately misrepresenting facts "to make a gain for himself or another" it could be the perfect opportunity for the Prophet to stand out and show the World that the Everlasting Truths of the L.D.S. Gospel are really true."

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

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 1:48 a.m.

    I will be interested to see how this case proceeds.

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

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

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

  • Moroni2783 American Fork, USA, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 1:23 a.m.

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

  • Fuzz Springville, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 12:40 a.m.

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

  • WillRoberts Murray, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 12:05 a.m.

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

  • michael.jensen369 Lethbridge, 00
    Feb. 6, 2014 11:28 p.m.

    I serve as the financial clerk in my ward, so I deal with all of the ward's expenses and income every week. I'll tell you this, to tamper with Church funds, as far as I know, is the quickest way to get excommunicated. The bi-annual audits, the having two brethren take the money to the deposit box, the paperwork and digital records, says that accountability is taken very seriously, when it comes to donations from members. So that's first. Second, no one here, or in the article has ever actually examined the character of President Monson in their insinuations. You find out the character of a man by talking to his friends, not to his enemies. President Monson is widely respected among every faith group and religious organization in the Salt Lake City area. Read about his life, listen to him speak, study what the common themes among his messages are. This is a man who is trying he best to serve God and his fellow man. Read what his colleagues in the Quorum of the Twelve have to say about him. And finally, it's President Monson. Not Monson. President Monson.

  • michael.jensen369 Lethbridge, 00
    Feb. 6, 2014 11:19 p.m.


    From the FAIRmormon website: "So let’s start with the relationship of the Book of Abraham to the Joseph Smith Papyri. There are three different points of view here. One, that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham from the papyri that we have. Almost no one really believes this. But to hear the critics tell it this is the official position of the church. It’s not. Nor do most members of the church subscribe to this so far as I can tell. So, it’s a strawman. The second one is that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham from papyri that we do not currently have and this is the position that most accords with the historical evidence. And the third one is that Joseph Smith received the Book of Abraham strictly by revelation and it did not come from the papyri at all. This position seems to be popular among Latter-day Saints but seems to have no historical evidence to support it."

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Feb. 6, 2014 11:06 p.m.


    Respectfully, I'm pretty sure if experts had determined that the Book of Abraham was not translated from the Egyptian papyri it would be common knowledge.

    Further, if you read the introduction to the Book of Abraham it says right there that it is "A translation of some ancient Records, that have fallen into our hands from the catacombs of Egypt; the writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon Papyrus."

    That seems quite clear to me.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 10:54 p.m.

    There are no inconsistencies, everything is 100% true and remember to pay tithing before paying bills. You'll be totally blessed.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 10:55 p.m.

    D and C 24:17 And whosoever shall go to law with thee shall be cursed by the law.
    Joseph Smith was sued all the time by people trying to make a point about their hatred for JsJr. I wonder what would happen if President Monson went and defended his case with some attorneys from the firm of Oaks, Cook, and Christofferson.

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 10:51 p.m.


    The church teaches that the Book of Abraham is a literal translation of some ancient papyri that were written by the hand of Abraham. These papyri have been examined by both LDS and non-LDS Egyptologists and both groups have indicated clearly that the scrolls are funerary texts that have nothing to do with Abraham or anything mentioned in LDS scripture and thus the Book of Abraham cannot have been translated from the papyri as Joseph Smith and the chruch claims.

  • Serenity Manti, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 10:51 p.m.

    It's probably true that the British Court sees President Monson and the church defrauding the public - as presented by an excommunicated, disgruntled ex-Mormon. His views, as much as they have no validity with the Mormon Church or the LDS general populace, may have some validity in the eyes of a British Magistrate who has no knowledge of the Gospel. Perhaps they have no knowledge of the Bible where tithing is a requirement and not paying it is said to be robbing God. Tithing money is not spent on any personal gains for President Monson or any one person. It is sacred money and is considered as such, used to build up the Kingdom of God and spreading the Gospel. No one person makes any money with sacred tithing offerings as they belong to God. So why don't the Brits issue a summons to bring God to court? They might as well.

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 10:42 p.m.


    Actually, the Church and Monson, if they are committing fraud, are hurting people on a daily basis. Don't you think so?

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 10:40 p.m.

    I don't think this is a religious freedom issue. No one is challenging the right of any believer to make claims that can not be verified objectively (those based purely on faith). What is being challenged are claims of a factual nature. Claims that are presented as fact can be falsified, the the plaintiff claims they have been. The plaintiff claims that Monson knows this, or should have known, and yet continued to make these claims in the pursuit of money.

    It is a very unusual case (use "bizarre" if you prefer), but it is not an attack on religious freedom.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Feb. 6, 2014 10:31 p.m.

    One allegation is that the Church teaches the Book of Abraham is a literal translation of some Egyptian papyri. Why is this misrepresenting a fact? Isn't this just a religious belief?

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 10:24 p.m.

    Leave the church and President Monson alone. They're not hurting anyone.

  • Mormonmeuk London, 00
    Feb. 6, 2014 10:13 p.m.

    If the Church has not been deliberately misrepresenting facts "to make a gain for himself or another" it could be the perfect opportunity for the Prophet to stand out and show the World that the Everlasting Truths of the L.D.S. Gospel are really true.

    I've no idea how it works in the USA, but English Judges don't tend to issue International summons's without a solid case and at least some convincing evidence. The lines between Religious protections are also not quite so clear cut here. The Church of Scientology was successfully sued in France quite recently.

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 9:51 p.m.

    Red Corvette

    Who said Monson fears anything?

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 9:48 p.m.

    Seems like the axe grinders can't ever get their axe's sharp enough, they just keep on grinding.

  • Fuzz Springville, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 9:28 p.m.

    This is not Satan. Satan cannot issue a summons. Satan can't do anything. He does not have a body or power over anything.

  • ElizaAldous Utah County, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 9:02 p.m.

    The time that Christ's church is doing the most good in the world is the time Satan works the hardest to attack us. He must be desperate if he's resorting to such absurd measures.

  • Fuzz Springville, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 8:28 p.m.

    Summons states that LDS Corp (Headed by Thomas Monson) knowingly uses false statements to entice its members into paying tithing. This is the reason it is listed as Fraud. The tithing issue differs from other religions because the LDS church uses tithing as a determining factor in one's worthiness, and withholds blessings like a Temple Recommend to those who are not full tithe payers.

  • Twardy Folsom, CA
    Feb. 6, 2014 8:19 p.m.

    Who cares, it's stupid, doesn't need any more attention than it already got.

  • Peripheral Visionary WASHINGTON, DC
    Feb. 6, 2014 7:56 p.m.

    From a legal perspective, proving fraud requires establishing that the individuals making the material statements in question know them to be false. The simple problem with bringing allegations of fraud against religious leaders is that they believe the statements they have made to be true, and all their behavior supports that.

    A separate problem is that there needs to be a direct connection between the statements made and the loss to the alleged victim(s). The donation of tithing or other church offerings is not for any purpose connected to the statements made; that is, the donation of the tithing was not for the purpose of translating the Book of Mormon, so the reality of the plates or the accuracy of the translation is not material to the donation of tithing.

    The tithing statement clearly states that "the Church provides no goods or services in consideration, in whole or in part, for the contribution detailed below; but only intangible religious benefits." I would be interested in hearing the legal argument establishing that the religious benefits in question have not been received.

  • Apocalypse please Bluffdale, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 7:49 p.m.

    What are the specifics of the summons?