British judge hears arguments in case LDS Church calls 'mischief'

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  • JM Lehi, UT
    March 22, 2014 2:20 a.m.

    TomP might fit better with haters of the past, but he's not unique. He uses bogus claims to try to jail prophets etc. and to take millions from charitable LDS. He prophesies that he'll bring all LDS down, perhaps hoping others will fall for the same old hate-promoting rumors? He claims he is doing ALL this FOR those that he seeks to harm, but I think he's completely aware that he is dishonest and knows even the best of anti-mormon claims are simple fallacious repeats, and that the evidence indicates the BofA is translated correctly (including the facs (does Doc believe the BofA now that he knows that and since Whitmer and Harris etc. made it clear that the plates, Moroni, etc were VERY REAL? :)
    And overwhelming evidence also indicates that the BofM is ancient, historical, etc. And Native Americans are related to Levites, Jews, etc. (peoples of the Middle East)in MANY detailed ways (impossible to be just chance), including: religion, DNA, etc.
    So, what's he thinking? Probably nothing.

  • janesmith123 Portland, OR
    March 20, 2014 7:10 a.m.

    The case was rejected. The judge said it never should have made it to court.

  • Kronk Blackfoot, ID
    March 19, 2014 8:04 p.m.

    Most of these posts are arguing the truth or non-truth of the Church. Interesting discussion, but it misses the point of the lawsuit. At its most basic level, it is about frededom of religion. Do I have a right to believe in a religion that most people don't believe in? Do I have a right to voluntarily pay tithing (a practice as old as the Old Testament)? If I feel I am being defrauded by voluntarily paying tithing, my first recourse should be to decide to stop paying it. No bishop or stake president, in my many decades of paying tithing, has ever taken the slightest step toward "verifying" that I am telling the truth. I say I pay a full tithing, they say OK, and there is not the least bit of arm-twisting or verification. Oh, and not a penny of that tithing goes to those bishops or stake presidents. They also pay, same as I do. Some may not like this, but it does not constitute fraud.

  • GreatScot Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 19, 2014 5:44 p.m.

    It would seem we have a straw man argument here. Assume that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham from fragments found at the New York Museum and Church archives and then show that they don't match what he wrote. The amount of papyri that Joseph Smith had was voluminous. The Book of Abraham is short. The fragments would represent only a tiny portion of the original record.

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    March 19, 2014 12:04 p.m.

    1.96 -

    Your argument is that since the %15 doesn't contain the book of Abraham, then the remaining %85 must contain it? Remember, the %15 we do have is not what Joseph Smith said it was. All of his 'translations' on the figures and the rituals were wrong. If they were wrong, why would you assume that the rest is right? That, my friend, is poor logic.


    It us a small, obscure church like many others in the world. Nothing more. Your opinion that it is true doesn't change the reality that it isn't. David whitmer and Martin Harris later said that they saw the plates in spirit... in a field they had to pray to see the plates... Meanwhile the plates were still sitting in Joseph's house while they were in the field praying to see them... It doesn't add up

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    March 19, 2014 7:06 a.m.

    @DocHolliday - "I tasted it for many years ... it isn't real. It is in the minds of those who believe it."

    When a person begins to reject what the Holy Ghost has testified to him, he forgets the reality of his former spiritual experiences.

    Matthew 13:12 "For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath."

    Alma 26:21 "21 And now behold, my brethren, what natural man is there that knoweth these things? I say unto you, there is none that knoweth these things, save it be the penitent."

    I believe you that you tasted it for years, and that you have lost that sense of taste and are no longer conscious of your spirit within you.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    March 18, 2014 8:57 p.m.


    I never said we had a monopoly on truth. But having been raised in another religion, I did not find therein the spiritual power present here.

  • anotherview SLO, CA
    March 18, 2014 7:53 p.m.

    The reality of the gospel of (insert anything here) is learned via the spiritual and in the trenches serving.

    The world is full of people who believe in (insert the name of any religion, Christian or not, here) with all their heart. It seems incredibly naive and shallow for people here to think they are the only ones with a monopoly on the truth. The lack of humility is astonishing.

  • tyndale1 Pullman, WA
    March 18, 2014 7:10 p.m.

    Ordinarily people might think funds that go to tithing end up in the leaders pockets, but Tom knows pockets are not padded by contributions to tithing and other funds. The LDS are unique that way. Tom is just looking to hurt the church any way he can. What he will discover is that he is adding another life to the incredible MORMON MOMENT that has been thriving since before the election and before the BofM Musical. Members will think him and he will become a sad, bitter man.

    The Church does not require obedience to tithing. I know of several people who are happy to be members but who do not pay tithing. They can still attend weekly Sunday services and do all of the same things allowed in any other denomination in the world. But the temple is a different place than any other religion has access to. It requires a higher standard if the person wants admittance. That is just another reason tithing is voluntary.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    March 18, 2014 7:07 p.m.


    I am no historian, but I am fairly familiar with the "facts" that get slung around on this and other LDS related boards. Further, I was not raised in the church so I came at the gospel with a critical eye.

    There are good answers for most (though not necessarily all) of the issues raised. I assume you are familiar with Fair Mormon.

    In the end, the Holy Ghost is something I can't ignore. Again, the power of the gospel is found in prayer and in service.

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    March 18, 2014 3:27 p.m.


    I tasted it for many years... it isn't real. It is in the minds of those who believe it.


    You are right. The facts are meaningless if you ignore them. And ignoring them is the only way one could continue to believe in it after discovering these 'facts'.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    March 18, 2014 1:52 p.m.

    The reality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is learned via the spiritual and in the trenches serving.

    Otherwise, the "facts" can become sterile and meaningless.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    March 18, 2014 1:36 p.m.

    @DocHolliday: "... those who don't believe spend more time researching facts ..."

    I think it could more accurately be described as "researching allegations from limited facts." Spiritual things cannot be examined accurately physical tools. Your spirit has to experience it. It is like trying to determine flavor using the sense of touch.

    I take every chance to examine the facts about the restored gospel, but I don't ignore chances to "taste" it for myself on a daily basis.

  • Kaladin Greeley, CO
    March 18, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    It is amusing that those who do not believe spend so much of their time researching the church.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 17, 2014 12:57 p.m.


    I am aware of all of this. I think you you (likely) know the LDS responses.

    I was just asking a simple question about your prior post on the thief and what you think it means for him to go to paradise. I noted that there is some variance on this subject in non-LDS Christian sites on the web.

    Just looking for that one answer.

  • donn layton, UT
    March 17, 2014 12:39 p.m.

    Twin lights, (Abraham 1:16) my name is *Jehovah…=poor KJV translation(s/b YHWH). See Tetagrammaton.
    Jer. 16:21…my name is The LORD*(YHWH).Isaiah 43:3… I am the LORD(YHWH) your God=(elohim).

    Joseph Smith said,“Eloheim is from the word Eloi, God is singular number; and by adding the word heim ,it renders it Gods.” ( H of C, 1844),Wrong.

    In Hebrew the form of the word Elohim, with the ending -im, which normally indicates a masculine plural, however with Elohim the construction is usually grammatically SINGULAR, (i.e. it governs a singular verb or adjective) when referring to the Hebrew God, but grammatically plural (i.e. taking a plural verb or adjective) when used of pagan divinities (Psalms 96:5; 97:7).#430 Strong’s Hebrew concordance translates Elohim to God in the (KJV)

    Abraham 3:26=(Jude 1:6 KJV) …kept not their first estate= (*achre, Grk 746) but left their own habitation,….*first place, rule, authority, Poor KJV translation, i.e…

    (Jude 1:6 NIV) “… did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home…”. Fallen angels(devils) Nothing to do with Ante-mortal being.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    March 17, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    I am surprised that people are impressed because the plaintiff was once a Stake President. I'm sure most Stake Presidents recognize their own shortcomings and weaknesses. When faith fades, so does much of the spiritual knowledge that once was precious.

    I do not think that Judas was a credible witness in his last days.

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    March 17, 2014 10:42 a.m.


    Nice to see that the 'believe or else' mentality is alive and well.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 17, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    Oh by the way all you nay-sayers. Remember what happened to Korihor. I agree with MormonUte.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 17, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    Charlie 8, "many consider this extortion". Yea, and so what? You don't have to play ball if you don't want to. Tithing, last I looked was voluntary. I want to stay in God's good graces so I pay, happily I might add. I have received some tangible blessings as a result of paying tithing. Obviously, you haven't read Malachai in a while. I believe tithing is talked about there in Chapter 3. There are other places in the Old and New Testament that mention it.

    Frankly, I don't care what other churches teach or say. They can believe what I want and I'll believe what I want and we'll see in the after live who was right.

    Southpark says it is the Mormons. Mr. Bean says it is the Jews.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    March 17, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    "new research by Egyptologists shows that Joseph Smith's translation of the facsimiles that are depicted in the Book of Abraham was also correct."

    Fact: Absolutely no non-Mormon Egyptologists agree or ever have agreed with Joseph Smith’s interpretations of the existing papyri or facsimiles, nor do they agree with any LDS apologists' reasoning.

    Dr. Robert Ritner, Professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago, is probably the most prominent Egyptologist to have ever examined the BOA papyri in depth. And every single non-LDS Egyptologist that has ever examined the papyri or facsimiles since 1856 has essentially come to the same agreement with the basic translations of Professor Ritner.

    Professor Ritner is not a critic of the church...he is a scholar. He has this, however, to say about LDS apologists Michael Rhodes and John Gee's attempts to defend the existing papyri and facsimile interpretations:

    "Such interpretations are uninspired fantasies and are defended only with the forfeiture of scholarly judgment and credibility."

  • Sqweebie Salt Lake City, UT
    March 17, 2014 12:59 a.m.

    if he felt that the teachings of the church were wrong - no one forced him to pay tything. No one forced him to except the calling as stake president. He could have not paid tything and then he propably never would have been called to be stake president.

    It could be that his suing the church is his way of getting money for his time, effort and the tything that he gave the church.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    March 16, 2014 11:43 p.m.

    It's sad AND bizarre that someone would be hateful enough to try to distract Pres. Monson from serving and making the world a better place. I'm sure Thomas doesn't have a chance, unless the Judge or Magistrate is incredibly anti-mormon, but he (Thomas, reportedly a founder of an anti-mormon group that actually pretends NOT to be antagonistic...and many of them leave their names on record, perhaps so they can claim to be members, or Brothers & Sisters or??) might think that he has a chance if he sticks with trying to bully President Monson, since Pres. Monson spends his time serving and not worrying about the silliness that is anti-mormonism.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    March 16, 2014 9:06 p.m.

    Archeology and translation of documents from the middle east ("Bible Lands") are agreed upon by Catholics, Christians, Jews and Atheists who have training in the respective languages and disciplines.

    All the Mormon Church has to do is find some respected non-Mormon archeologists and linguists who agree with the Church position on the Book of Abraham. If it is a real translation, then it isn't a matter of faith, the historicity of the text can be confirmed by study.

    The same can be said of the Book of Mormon. Either it is a historical text that can be confirmed by scholars regardless of their religious views or it isn't.

    Producing a handful of respected experts to settle the matter in a British court should be a slam dunk win for the Church.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 16, 2014 7:47 p.m.


    I agree. Nuns do great work. But I did not realize you were Catholic.

    As to paradise. Are you saying the thief went to the Garden of Eden?

    I searched a few non-LDS christian sites. There is a bit of variance on what paradise consists of.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 16, 2014 7:04 p.m.

    Many writers have pointed out that representations can have multiple meanings.

    On the issue of tithing. None of these attacks address tithing at all. None of the attacks relate in any clear way to tithing.

    This is just a naked attempt by the self-serving apostates involved to get more publicity, and has no relevance to law at all. This is the most disturbing misuse of legal procedures I have seen in a long time, and a text-book case of using the law to persecute others.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 16, 2014 6:53 p.m.

    Reputable Egyptologists will point out that we do not know what text Joseph Smith was translating from, and that most of the papyri was destroyed. Before we get to that point, one would have to demonstrate an actual connection between belief in the Book of Abraham and paying tithing.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 16, 2014 6:50 p.m.

    This is a horrible case and hopefully will get rejected very soon. It violates all aspects of freedom.

    The oddest part is the connection between the doctrines and tithing is so weak that the claim of fraud would never hold up.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    March 16, 2014 6:04 p.m.

    MormonUte you are absolutely correct. Even if Jesus Christ came down to many of the critics and told them that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true and living Church upon the Earth, that the Book of Mormon is True, that Joseph Smith is a prophet the same individuals would deny it because they would ultimately deny the Christ himself.

    The problem with this is that the Lord, Jesus Christ, has said this through his modern day prophets and through the revelations given to them. As many know apostates are the largest, most vocal group against the Church as has been cited in the scriptures over and over again.

    Laman and Lemuel saw and heard an angel yet they fell away. Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris all state they saw and angel and handled the gold plates yet all three fell away saying Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet. Yet in the end Oliver and Martin would return and die in full fellowship of the Church. David would die but even on his death bed never deny his testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

  • MormonUte Centerville, UT
    March 16, 2014 4:31 p.m.

    It is interesting to read these comments. I have read the Book of Mormon over 30 times. It has completely transformed my life. Spiritual things are discerned spiritually, and God provides evidence when and how he sees fit. What if this lawsuit had occurred in say 1850, when Joseph Smith had claimed that tobacco was not good for the body? Today we all know the dangers of tobacco. Joseph Smith knew that in 1833. If they had successfully sued the Church in 1850 would they have had to pay them back over 100 years later when science confirmed what the Church already knew? Someday we will all have the answers, probably not in this life. If the gold plates and the Egyptian papyri were both on display at the Church History Museum, do you really think that would change people's minds? I don't. We all have to come to the Lord on his terms, not our own. He is no respecter of persons.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    March 16, 2014 4:03 p.m.


    Who told you this? You've missed out on a lot of research! Joseph Smith nailed so many bulls-eyes when it came to the translation -- especially the facsimiles.

    Do a Youtube search for "The Three Facsimile Translations Wrong? Book of Abraham Challenge 3." It should be the first result and the clip is 5 minutes 23 seconds long. The video was published on April 2, 2013. I just wanted to post this to re-confirm what ClarkHippo said.

    Watch it and be amazed!


    It makes no sense to make this assumption. You essentially said, "Since 15% isn't the Book of Abraham, the other 85% isn't either." What? Very poor logic. I would have expected a lot better argument from you.

    Witnesses and Joseph Smith indicate the Book of Abraham came from the longer of the scrolls -- which scroll was eventually destroyed in the Chicago fire. It makes no sense to say the Book of Abraham is a sham since the other 15% of fragments discovered were not the Book of Abraham. You're talking oranges and apples. The Book of Abraham was on the other 85%!

    Critics always omit this -- they love to twist the truth and deceive.

  • donn layton, UT
    March 16, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    @Twin Lights, “most of them will work in the church they love until they die.” True,
    Catholic "nuns",1 Cor 7:34, " unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world — how she can please her husband." They serve the Lord.

    i.e… Some Nuns the dedicate their lives to caring for the sick, poor. During the Vietnam war they were running orphanages in villages and feeding the poor and in harms way. In NKP Thailand 1970 they came through our perimeter(AF infantry) to feed the starving Laotian Montagnards.

    @,It stands or falls on, Joseph Smith taught that the thief on the cross was to be with Jesus Christ "in the world of spirits" (he did not say paradise or heaven). Encyclopedia of Mormonism. Wrong,
    "Today shalt thou be with me in “*paradise”. (Luke 23:43 NIV, NET)i.e...
    The LORD(YHWH) God planted a garden(paradeisos, G# 3857) eastward in Eden;(Gen 2:8 LXX). … God walking in the garden (paradeisos,...(Gen 3:8 LXX)..

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    March 16, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    Why have only 51 posts on this subject made it throughout the moderators?

    If you want some real perspective on this issue, I suggest you investigate "Studies of the Book of Mormon", written by LDS General Authority B.H. Roberts (1857–1933) at the beginning of the 20th century, which concerns the validity of the Book of Mormon.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    March 16, 2014 11:33 a.m.


    So let me recap... The book of Abraham scrolls are missing... The golden plates from which the book of Mormon was translated are missing. Do you see a trend here? It is too convenient that both items that could prove authenticity are... missing.

    Clark hippo

    I have read the book of Mormon over 10 times... it reads like 19th century, not like 600 b.c. writings. There is a reason for that - it wasn't translated, it was written.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 16, 2014 8:25 a.m.


    You have completely bought the bridge.

  • Charlie8 Albany, NY
    March 16, 2014 6:36 a.m.

    To Twin Lights, Re: "A criminal case against the Queen of England would be interesting". Why do people try to compare this case to prosecuting the Queen or suing the Anglican Church. The Church of England (CofE) does not require it's communicants to believe in a virgin birth or literal resurrection (Bishop of Durham-David Jenkins) to enter the "Celestial Kingdom" and any baptized Christian from any church can go to the CofE alter for communion (sacrament) "It is the LORD"S table and not our own". No one is required to give 10% of their gross income in the CofE to receive ordinance for entrance into Kingdom of heaven, thus no fraud for money.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    March 16, 2014 4:17 a.m.


    Kerry Muelestein is a professor of ancient scripture at BYU, as well as an Egyptologist. There are a series of YouTube videos in which Professor Muelenstein gives clear, reasoned answers concerning the Book of Abraham. They can be found on the FAIR Mormon YouTube channel and each video is only a few minutes long. One specific video I would point is entitled, "The Three Facsimiles Translated Wrong? Book of Abraham Challenge 3"

    No doubt some people will say, "Well he works at BYU so he's biased." To which I say, okay, so if he's biased you can watch the videos and easily find the holes in his arguments, correct?


    Your explanation about the Book of Mormon sounds almost as if you have never read it. Yes, there are many scriptures from Isiah and Matthew which are also found in the Book of Mormon, but to dismiss the remainder of the Book of Mormon is to dismiss a whole lot of amazing, wonderful words. Here are just a few examples - 2nd Nephi 4, 31, 33; Jacob 2 and 3; Enos; Mosiah 2-4 Alma 32 and 34. Ether 12.

  • Neanderthal Phoenix, AZ
    March 16, 2014 1:24 a.m.

    "Many consider this extortion."

    How can it be considered extortion when no one is required to do any of it?

    @Twin Lights:
    I suppose she could let the case proceed and then claim sovereign immunity."

    She could also put plaintiff in the Tower of London and have an executioner, perhaps a descendent of the executioner that dispatched Queen Mary, have at him.

    "Why would one assume that if %15 of the papyrus has nothing to do with the book of Abraham, then the other %85 does have relevance to it? That makes no sense. Odds are if %15 of the papyrus have nothing to do with the book of Abraham then the rest doesn't either. The book of Abraham is nothing more then an extension of the book of Mormon - which quotes the bible and adds in a few things here and there... It isn't scripture."

    Ar you kidding? The mummy was Abraham, himself. Prove otherwise. 4 standard deviations.

    If you wanna take issue with scripture do it to the Old Testament.

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    March 16, 2014 12:51 a.m.

    @Average Human Being:
    "If the church is found guilty, it could have a huge impact on the church financially and regionally..."

    It would also have a huge impact on the Church of England which is the country's national religion.

    "I think every group that is non profit should have to open their books for public scrutiny."

    So, when will you be opening your books?

    "I believe they know that the several items mentioned in the lawsuit are not true like the book of Abraham was not translated from Egyptian funerary texts..."

    How can they know that? They weren't there when it was written. If the plaintiff wants to sue someone he should go after the author... who is dead.

    "The guy bringing the case is pursuing the LDS Church as a corporation, not a religion."

    The LDS Church is a religion, not a corporation. The Corporate entity is the first presidency which limits personal liability... just like any corporate business.

    "He claims Mormon missionaries are 'salesmen' knowingly selling a fraudulent product."

    Missionaries can't be salesmen... they're self supporting receiving no pay or benefits from the Church.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    March 16, 2014 12:35 a.m.

    Re: ". . . there is no credible explanation for the disconnect in the book of Abraham and the papyrus."

    Saying it don't make it so.

    The statement simply ignores or dismisses the research and ruminations of a number of scholars and apologists, including Gee, Hauglid, Brown, Muhlestein, Rhodes, Smoot, Tvedtnes and others.

    It is intended to suggest that we poor, benighted Mormons steadfastly and unjustifiably reject some universally-accepted consensus or "proof" that the Book of Abraham and the Prophet Joseph are demonstrably fraudulent.

    In reality, though, it's such anti-Mormon assertions that constitute the actual fraud.

    While it's clear that the facsimiles appended to the Book of Abraham as illustrations, primarily by W.W. Phelps, are very similar to other known instances of the Book of the Dead and the Document of Breathings made by Isis, it is not at all clear that they have any relation or relevance to the text of the Book of Abraham.

    The validity of the Book of Abraham remains as much a matter of faith to Mormons as does "M" Theory to physicists [some of whom are also be Mormons].

    March 15, 2014 11:07 p.m.


    I don't think you looked deeply enough into the issue. One of the missing artifacts is a complete and separate roll of papyrus, not a piece of the fragments that remain. What's left has never been thought to be any part of what became the Book of Abraham except in the minds of critics.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    March 15, 2014 10:43 p.m.

    1.96 Standard Deviations

    Why would one assume that if %15 of the papyrus has nothing to do with the book of Abraham, then the other %85 does have relevance to it? That makes no sense. Odds are if %15 of the papyrus have nothing to do with the book of Abraham then the rest doesn't either. The book of Abraham is nothing more then an extension of the book of Mormon - which quotes the bible and adds in a few things here and there... It isn't scripture.

  • Laura Arroyo Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2014 10:00 p.m.

    To DoloresCruz1982,

    Well, yes, the labels are wrong...but it would also be pertinent to note that it would have been considered "uncouth" to suggest that Abraham was getting the priesthood from a female in the 1800s. Still is. Therefore...Pharaoh, and Prince of Pharaoh must be male...despite...uh, other indicators.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 15, 2014 9:58 p.m.

    To those who think that the top leadership of the church are disingenuous. Please think about what most do prior becoming apostles.

    They give 15-20 hours (maybe more) weekly to the church for free as Bishops, Stake Presidents, etc. They do this all at their own expense and with NO clear path toward ever making the leap to become a general authority.

    If they do become general authorities, they then travel constantly and their time is hardly their own. Then, and only then - after years of sacrifice, a very few of them will become apostles. Then, they travel more.

    Note that most had careers prior to becoming general authorities that were very lucrative. Most would have done much better by just having stayed in their chosen careers and then retired in ease. As it is, most of them will work in the church they love until they die.

    If you believe the gospel of not true, fine. But understand that these men believe it to be true. Their actions make zero sense otherwise.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 15, 2014 9:46 p.m.

    The Pope is understood by Catholics to be The Vicar of Christ and to be infallible regarding doctrine/teachings. Will the next step be taking the Pope to court (after all, some of those changes in Vatican II still don't sit well with some)? Of course he has diplomatic immunity as the head of Vatican City.

    A criminal case against the Queen of England would be interesting. As the sovereign of England and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, she would essentially be prosecuting herself. I suppose she could let the case proceed and then claim sovereign immunity.

    I would guess that there are a lot of philosophers that might take a drubbing from the courts as well.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    March 15, 2014 9:32 p.m.


    It isn't a court case against god, it is a court case against the Mormon church.

    I don't believe the theology the Mormons teach, but I used to. At the time I decided to give my money to them. Now that I know it isn't true, I don't give them my money anymore. This is a ridiculous lawsuit - if you can sue the Mormon church for fraud then you could sue every church for the same thing. No church can prove that it is true, and I don't believe that any of them are. But people believe they are and therefore give their money.


    By the way - there is no credible explanation for the disconnect in the book of Abraham and the papyrus. Most of the time, the most simple explanation is the most plausible. In this case the most simple explanation in the disconnect is that the papyrus has nothing to do with the book of Abraham. It isn't his book, and it isn't scripture.

  • DoloresCruz1982 BOULDER, CO
    March 15, 2014 4:52 p.m.

    Even if there happens to be another 2 miles of lost papyrus that the Book of Abraham could have come from, all we have to deal with are the facsimiles printed in the Pearl of Great Price. And we know enough about the ancient Egyptian language to know that the facsimiles and the English text have no relationship, and that the labels on the facsimiles are wrong.

    There is NO "new research" showing that anything Joseph Smith produced was translated correctly. None. Nada. Zero. Why are some people saying this?

  • Charlie8 Albany, NY
    March 15, 2014 4:38 p.m.

    Re: "Second, 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. ", which edition are you talking about as being the "most correct"? Is it the first edition, or the one we currently use, because the Trinity is different in both editions!

  • lindasdf Columbus, OH
    March 15, 2014 4:20 p.m.

    >>Thomas Phillips just isn't any "disaffected member." He's a former Stake President.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    March 15, 2014 4:19 p.m.

    It is bizarre that anyone would be so hateful that they would try to pull President Monson away from serving millions of people and making the world a better place. I would gladly go in his place, it would be nice to help the anti-mormon leader (Thomas Phillips) see (even more) the vanity of his claims against the Church of Jesus Christ. I'm sure he's only picking on President Monson because Phillips knows Pres. Monson spends his time in service and not on studying the silliness of anti-mormon bigotry, so Phillips probably thinks he has a chance, but he really doesn't, unless he has found an anti-mormon magistrate.

  • lindasdf Columbus, OH
    March 15, 2014 4:18 p.m.


    >>The LDS church requires obedience to the law of tithing (10% gross income) and regular annual interviews with the Bishop (and Stake President) to verify obedience to tithing and other laws before being found worthy for a temple recommend to receive the ordinances necessary for the Celestial Kingdom/ Kingdom of Heaven. Many consider this extortion.

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    March 15, 2014 4:10 p.m.

    I think everyone is missing the point. The Church has been sued before on similar grounds and the plaintiffs always lose; surely the plaintiff in this case knows this. But winning such a court case isn't really the goal of such critics. They're far more interested in bringing attention to their cause and slandering the Church than they are in winning a legal case. If this plaintiff wins, it's just icing on the cake; but win or lose, he's still been given a public stage on which to attack the Church.

    What he doesn't realize is that the Church isn't worried about him. It will litigate the case, sure, but the Lord's work will just roll on no matter what. Anti-Mormon critics like this plaintiff are always forgotten over the years while prophets and apostles go on helping to inspire and change lives by the thousands and are fondly remembered and loved by millions for years to come after they're gone.

    People like this plaintiff really need to find something more constructive to do with their lives.

  • lindasdf Columbus, OH
    March 15, 2014 4:03 p.m.

    Virginia Beach, Va
    I think every group that is non profit should have to open their books for public scrutiny.

    If it's not your money, then why would you even care? If some greedy pastor wants to rob little old women, that's not my problem. He will have to pay at some point.

  • michael.jensen369 Lethbridge, 00
    March 15, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    I've spent the last few weeks studying what the critics say about the Church, with their claims against the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, Joesph Smith and the like. I've studied what they say, then I've studied what FAIR says and what the historical record says. This is what I've found. In most cases, the critics don't present the whole truth. They twist it, take many things out of context, and graft 21st century amoral perspectives onto 19th century men and women. I watched one anti video where one guy basically said:"We Mormons just need to admit that we've been lied to and stop coming up with plausible answers" To that I laughed. There may be room for doubt, but there is far more room for faith. God lives. Joseph Smith was a prophet. And the Book of Mormon is true. Personally I think the 2900+ stake presidents who are still faithful to be more compelling than a few apostates who want nothing other than to destroy the Church, no matter what ecclesiastical positions they may have held.

  • Charlie8 Albany, NY
    March 15, 2014 2:54 p.m.

    Yes, Ernest T. Bass, as we quoted as LDS Missionaries in the 80's (don't know if it is still quoted in discussions today) "Only if you are unafraid of truth can you find it", and, "The truth shall set you free!"

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 15, 2014 1:45 p.m.

    This lawsuit is nonsense. Every religion has things in it that are not provable and even things that are not true. (Don't put your trust in the arm of flesh). If religions are going to get sued for untruths or false doctrines, they all ought to get sued.

  • scotchipman Lehi, UT
    March 15, 2014 1:19 p.m.

    15% of the papyri is more than enough to see that the Book of Abraham translation is not correct. Do a google search for "The Lost Book of Abraham documentary" for a eye opening look into the Book of Abraham.

    John Gee is a Mormon opologist and his interpretation of the papyri is his opinion. There is still not one egyptologist in the world with no ties to the Mormon church that thinks any part of the papyri translation into the Book of Abraham is correct.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 15, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    I did the Google search and read the materials suggested by scotchipman above. Very interesting and informative. Although the "Corporation Sole" form of organization has some advantages, it seems to have left the head of the corporation open to this kind of (fraud) claim in the UK.

    It sounds like the Church is arguing that they can claim what they want about anything because it is all "belief" and none is claimed to be "fact", while the plaintiff is arguing that aside from subjective claims regarding belief, objectively verifiable claims (i.e., that Joseph Smith translated the BofM from golden plates rather than using stones in a hat) that the corporation (sole) knows is false are being made to induce people to join the Church and pay tithing.

    The judge is set to rule regarding whether the proceedings will continue on March 20th.

  • Laura Arroyo Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2014 10:31 a.m.

    Well, bizarre is kind of an interesting word. In the United can mean "odd, extravagant, or eccentric in style or mode"...or "involving sensational contrasts or incongruities" (Merriam Webster) but in's a little different. There it means "Strange, Suspicious or Unnatural" (Cambridge Dictionaries). So, there it's got a slightly different, and very pertinent meaning. The same with "mischief". It is very difficult to find words that are not just mutually intelligible...but actually retain the same subtext "across the pond". That's what they're trying to do. So, it's not as stupid as it seems. I think that "mischief" is actually a very good translation for what is going on. Having spent some time in Europe many, many years ago...I understand first hand how the meanings change and even retain some of the "European" definitions in my own language. Some words are even reversed in meaning...which I think is actually a cultural slight...if when two groups were interacting they didn't like each other very well. It's funny. Language is...funny. And by that I mean, language is strange...odd. But not, in most cases, suspicious or unnatural.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    March 15, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    Sunstoned: What you fail to mention is that all of the papyri is actually available. All they need to do is have one of the apologist like Peterson and it is all over for the plaintiff. This is all about theology and it is disgraceful that any court would go this far. It shows the attempt by Satan to stop the work of the Lord. However, it will continue and in the end The Book of Abraham will be found as true.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    March 15, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    The most bizarre part is the fact that a judge is even listening to this absurd rant.

  • scotchipman Lehi, UT
    March 15, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    @Mchenry, Do a google search for "monson fraud mormonthink" for the details of the case. There is a lot of confusion, the case is NOT about religious freedom and beliefs but rather about corporate fraud. When a corporation spreads untruths for financial gain it is fraud according to the 2006 fraud act in England.

  • LittleStream Carson City, NV
    March 15, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    Prophets are used to unwarranted prosecution. Members of the LDS church from the time it was formed have had to live with persecution and the death of Joseph Smith at the hands of non-members. An Extermination order was issued. I hope this "disaffected member" remembers who he is before it is too late for him. President Monson is going to handle this in the most righteous way he knows how.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    March 15, 2014 7:41 a.m.


    The papyri that was recovered actually represents approximately less than 15% of what Joseph Smith had in his possession at the time. The other 85% was not found!

    Also, the re-discovered papyri were in poor condition and did not contain all the characteristics that early church members mentioned. For example, some of the papyri Joseph Smith had spanned the length of entire rooms, was noted as "perfectly preserved", and even had some red ink. None of these characteristics matched the papyri that was re-discovered later. Obviously, the small portion of papyri that were rediscovered would not necessarily be the Book of Abraham.

    How come whenever someone brings up this subject, especially LDS antagonists or disaffected members, they always omit these key details? It is absurd to discount Joseph Smith as the prophet, or the Book of Abraham as inspired, based on the 15% of papyri fragments that were found! Why do they always omit that 85% of the papyri was not recovered?

  • AT Elk River, MN
    March 15, 2014 7:12 a.m.

    Thomas Phillips just isn't any "disaffected member." He's a former Stake President. He's had his second anointing (he did an interview with "Mormon Stories" where he described the experience in detail). This guy has serious issues with the Church. Very interesting.

  • Charlie8 Albany, NY
    March 15, 2014 7:08 a.m.

    Hi SamL
    The difference is that with most Christian churches like Cof E, is that all you have to do is accept Christ as your Savior to be saved and all sin is equal. Money is voluntarily donated often in anonymity in these churches. The Queen does not demand money for salvation. The LDS church requires obedience to the law of tithing (10% gross income) and regular annual interviews with the Bishop (and Stake President) to verify obedience to tithing and other laws before being found worthy for a temple recommend to receive the ordinances necessary for the Celestial Kingdom/ Kingdom of Heaven. Many consider this extortion.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    March 15, 2014 6:52 a.m.

    Dear Sunstoned:

    the common mistake that detractors of the Book of Abraham make is to promote the false notion that the book was taken from the papyri that surfaced at the museum in New York a few years back. IT WAS NOT. The Book of Abraham was translated from a much larger (at least 40 feet long) papyri that was later lost in the Chicago fire. THIS IS AN INDISPUTABLE FACT!

    BTW, new research by Egyptologists shows that Joseph Smith's translation of the facsimiles that are depicted in the Book of Abraham was also correct. That is also a fact and there are respected Egyptologist who will support that. John Gee is a Yale-educated Egyptologist who proclaims this.

    There are new discoveries almost daily and you really need to get up on the latest research.

    March 15, 2014 5:49 a.m.

    Of course no reputable egyptologist would take the stand to defend the Book of Abraham, but not for the reason given by those who wish to discredit Joseph Smith with partial truths. The actual reason is that the papyrus from which it was said to have been translated was destroyed in a fire.

    Calumny: an untrue statement that is made to damage someone's reputation.

    The case is absurd and should be tossed, but given that we live in the post-rational age who knows what will happen.

  • RMartin UK, 00
    March 15, 2014 4:39 a.m.

    The case is "bizarre" for a number of legal reasons. The case was brought to the judge by a private citizen who has no right of audience to a judge (i.e. he was not a lawyer). Also, to sue somebody because you don't agree with their beliefs would be, in effect, trying to get the law to decide what is true. Also, this is not actually a "civil" case - a lawyer can ask a judge to summon an individual if someone can show they have committed a crime. However, if there was a crime committed then it should be investigated by the police. In this case the police have had no involvement. The complainant is, therefore, seeking to by-pass due legal process in order to satisfy a personal grudge using obscure and rarely used legal proceedings.

  • Give Me A Break Pullman, WA
    March 15, 2014 1:27 a.m.

    This is bizarre in the extreme. It is a quarrel about whether a church leader believes in his cause or not. Of course he believes in it. Case closed. No one can prove anything contrary. All he has to do is show his own tithing receipts. Bam! Done! And what a mistake to put standard beliefs of other Christian faiths into the indictment against a single religion.
    As for the Book of Abraham, I am still waiting for the other 30 feet of the scroll to be discovered.Until then everything is arguable. That is ALWAYS the case with the disaffected and the dissident. They NEVER close the door of possibility for faith. They can't. They should first doubt their doubts.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    March 15, 2014 1:23 a.m.

    Re: "No reputable Egyptologist would take the stand and purger [sic] himself . . . ."

    Just so's you know, ThinksIThinks post was pure snark, not actually intended as a serious suggestion.

    Like your post, it's an attempt to disingenuously suggest that there is some unanimity among people with a brain that the Book of Abraham's provenance is somehow suspect.

    That's not true, of course. Scholars and knowledgeable apologists have advanced several plausible theories explaining an honest disconnect between Book of Abraham comments and that tiny surviving fraction of a much larger collection of papyri that was available to the Prophet.

    But closed minds refuse to consider anything that threatens a favored, forgone conclusion.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 15, 2014 12:12 a.m.

    The case in question is actually a criminal case, not a civil case. The guy bringing the case is pursuing the LDS Church as a corporation, not a religion. He claims Mirmon missionaries are "salesmen" knowingly selling a fraudulent product. The seven claims of fraud made in the summons are:

    First, that the Book of Abraham is a literal translation of Egyptian papyri by Joseph Smith.
    Second, 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.
    Third, that native Americans are descended from an Israelite family which left Jerusalem in 600 B.C.
    Four, Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed as martyrs in 1844 because they would not deny their testimony of the Book of Mormon.
    Five, the Illinois newspaper called Nauvoo Expositor had to be destroyed because it printed lies about Joseph Smith.
    Six, there was no death on this planet prior to 6,000 years ago.
    Seven, all humans alive today are descended from just two people who lived approximately 6,000 years ago.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 14, 2014 11:59 p.m.

    Ultimately truth will prevail.
    Unfortunately for most people around here, they don't understand that belief and truth are two very different things.
    It may take a while, but truth will prevail.

  • 2close2call Los Angeles, CA
    March 14, 2014 11:09 p.m.

    To be honest, I agree with this criminal suit. I think the LDS church and specifically the top 15 are guilty of fraud! I believe they know that the several items mentioned in the lawsuit are not true like the book of Abraham was not translated from Egyptian funerary texts, yet, they lie by omission by not being open and honest to all Mormons about it!

  • K Mchenry, IL
    March 14, 2014 10:37 p.m.

    Would be lovely if the article actually stated what he was suing about? Not just whom and whether they had anything to say about the matter? Did the author attempt to get a statement from the man bringing the suit?

  • sunstoned Payson, UT
    March 14, 2014 10:19 p.m.

    No reputable Egyptologist would take the stand and purger himself/herself by stating that the Book of Abraham is a translation from the Egyptian papyri. It is common knowledge that the papyri is a common Egyptian text, often called the book of the dead. Smith's "translation" was not even close. Even the church acknowledges

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    March 14, 2014 9:49 p.m.

    Even if the case proceeds, the Church simply puts a reputable Egyptologist on the stand to attest to the fact that the Book of Abraham was translated from the Egyptian papyri - and case closed with respect to that allegation. And so forth through each factual allegation.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    March 14, 2014 9:36 p.m.

    I think every group that is non profit should have to open their books for public scrutiny.

  • lindasdf Columbus, OH
    March 14, 2014 9:04 p.m.

    Average Human Being, you are right, but it would not be in a good way. If one can successfully sue one church for fraud, it opens the flood gates for everyone to sue a church for fraud, and that would not be good.
    Of course, it could, in England, end state-sponsered religion. I mean, if someone sued he Church of England, it could sent Her Majesty to jail, as she IS the "defender of the Faith" is she not?

  • genbug47 Hamilton, MT
    March 14, 2014 5:47 p.m.

    God never loses. And this will come out for the good of the Church in some way and will be a great learning experience for those that care. For those "disaffected" folks, it's all right, freedom of speech is in the constitution. Poor guy, he really has a burr in his saddle though.

  • Just trying Webster, UT
    March 14, 2014 4:59 p.m.

    Hi Tommy1,

    Yes it is the fraud case. It went on for over six hours today. The Church had six lawyers representing them in court. The court will eventually release a transcript. I want to see how what is being reported on blogs compares with the official transcript. A decision will be released by the court next Thursday if this continues.

  • SamL Stansbury Park, UT
    March 14, 2014 4:59 p.m.

    Seems to me, if this case were to prevail, the Queen of England would be subject to the same guilt as well. After all the Anglican Church collects funds from its parishioners based on its theological doctrine. And the Queen is the current head of the Anglican Church. 'Tis truly bizarre mischief.

  • slcdenizen t-ville, UT
    March 14, 2014 4:45 p.m.

    This case should be dismissed forthwith. To require the head of an organization to confront the public legal system regarding the sale of an alleged non-existent product is absurd. If there is anything society should protect and cherish, it's an individual's right and obligation to part with their possessions in the noble cause of furnishing a palace in the afterlife and pleasing a jealous deity. For our courts to deny an individual of that right, whether it be directed at the FSM, yahweh, or Thor, is simply unbecoming of a pluralistic society in which all of us want to live.

  • tommy1 slc, UT
    March 14, 2014 4:44 p.m.

    Is this the fraud case?

  • Average Human Being west jordan, UT
    March 14, 2014 4:26 p.m.

    Who is calling this case "bizarre"? This is actually a very serious case. If the church is found guilty, it could have a huge impact on the church financially and regionally on how they operate in England. If I was the church, I would certainly put forth my best efforts to try and defend this case instead of just writing it off as "bizarre" and "mischief".

  • Just trying Webster, UT
    March 14, 2014 3:56 p.m.

    I can't wait to read the transcripts. Six and a half hours is a long time.