South Park "All About Mormons" episode - aired November 2003 - reviewed by Deconstructor
In response to Gordon B. Hinckley ordering members to make church fun again.
It sounds so good, but it has two problems:
1. You assume members have interests outside the Church.
2.You assume that the activities wouldn't turn into snoozefests anyway. Here's what would happen:
|Cut the block to two hours.||Add two hours for a choir practice and committee meetings.|
|Encourage potlucks after church.||Funeral potatoes and Jell-O.|
|Eliminate splits with the missionaries.||Missionaries ramp up "Set a Date" program instead.|
|Encourage the members to form bowling teams.||Members take over local alleys, open and close with a prayer and hymn - soon no one else comes.|
|Quilting club.||All the quilts have Book of Mormon themes. They get sent to Salt Lake and wind up in the Church Art Museum.|
|Book reading club.||You'll reread all of the Work and the Glory, the latest yawner from Joseph Fielding McConkie, and the very controversial Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites (Part 10) where Garth discovers his real feelings for Jim, who promptly smites him with Coriantumr's sword.|
|Cooking club.||How to grind your wheat and prepare for nuclear disaster.|
|Bridge club.||Never gonna happen. Face cards are of the devil.|
Here is the church,
Here's its new steeple,
Make it look Christian,
Fool all the people.
Close the doors,
Hear them say,
"Do it for show
And maybe they'll pay." - 07/10/2003 - Steve Benson
Lucky for you!
Now your wardhouse can be characterized with so many other mormon buildings in the new church architectural style:
Clunky Mormon Cinderblock Nouveau with Totally Mis-Matched Shiny White Colonial Steeple - 07/10/2003 - Kim
There must just be millions of people living in those boxcars in the desert who are primed and ready to join the church, but they just can't shake off those satan-inspired anti mormons who are telling them that mormons aren't Christian.
Now, they can look at the building and they'll have an epiphany--like Constantine seeing the cross in the clouds, and they'll know...beyond a shadow of a doubt...that this is the true Christian church. Pretty soon they'll be having to build a new building to accommodate everyone!
Seriously, my dad's comment about things like the steeples, changing the visitor center to Biblical instead of BOM crap, changing the TV ads to "Call for your free copy of the KJV Bible" instead of the BOM, etc. is this:
The church isn't mainstreaming, it's "Maturing"!
Okay, Dad, now about that opportunity to make a million bucks distributing pre-ground wheat that I was telling you about... - 07/10/2003 - Marilyn
My theory on why chapels built back in the 1980s with the "steel tube" spires have been retro-fitted with a New England style steeple:
During the court battle with the Boston Temple, the church went to great lengths to prove there is symbolism behind a steeple. (The local governing body in Boston would not approve a tall steeple). Once the steeple was approved and placed on the Bostone Temple after it's dedication, then came the "new steeples" for stake centers and chaples that did not have one. In other words, spending thousands of dollars for steeples would increase their arguement the next time the subject of a too tall steeple comes up in a legal arguement. They will be able to illustrate the symbolisim and importance for a steeple on a building. It was promoted by an attorney, not inspiration. - 06/20/2004 - from sllimlgid
(Editor's Note: This long but intriguing story continues after you click the link at the end of this paragraph) Let me explain how the Mormon Church is going to be mainstreamed. The same way that Jews are being mainstreamed and the same way my family is being mainstreamed. Over half of American Jewish kids are now in inter-denominational families where only one parent is of Jewish heritage. Most do not convert but do keep sort of a remembrance and honor to their Jewishness in their life. My family is a bit more complex.
The following case study of Edelman's PR work for the LDS Church was emailed to a colleague of mine by an Edelman staffer in response to questions about what exactly Edelman does for the Church. For an in depth view of how a world class PR firm conducts its analysis, click on this pdf file: The LDS Church Media Analysis
In 1995 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) retained Edelman to assist with ongoing media relations, reputation management and public affairs. In this relationship that spans more that six years, Edelman has supported the Church’s 150th anniversary of the pioneers’ trek into the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, addressed misconceptions about the Church and its beliefs and positioned the Church as a defender of traditional family values.
Our first strategy to achieve these consisted of a series of bridge building meetings where Edelman began opening doors with influencers in the U.S. who shape and manage public opinion. Over the last six years, Edelman has arranged a series of meetings with elite decision makers who the Church had previously been unable to establish any sort of relationship.
Using the global knowledge of Edelman’s Vice Chairman International, Michael Deaver, we were able to secure meetings with former Vice President Al Gore, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Elizabeth Dole and William Bennett among others. Other meetings assisted in a favorable profile piece on 60 Minutes and consistent positive coverage in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times and The Washington Post.
The 1,300-mile Pioneer Trek re-enactment for the 150th anniversary was the biggest event the Church has ever undertaken, and Edelman’s two-year planning effort resulted in countless placements including a Time cover story, front page features in both The Washington Post and New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, “CBS This Morning” and “The Today Show.” All network evening news shows covered the event. To reach key international audiences, Edelman recruited reporters from Japan and Korea to hike the trail and they delivered first-ever print and broadcast coverage of the Church in those countries.
During the sesquicentennial, Edelman provided global media support and assisted in an event at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum. Edelman also expanded its program to Europe where the Church is seeking to elevate its communications activities. Through Edelman offices in London, Madrid, Brussels and Frankfurt, we developed a media strategy for strengthening the Church’s reputation in areas where the Church is viewed with skepticism.
Edelman also worked with the Church to maximize its internal communications. We leveraged existing Church publications and other mediums to mobilize the more than 11 million members worldwide. This network ensured that the 60 Minutes profile was one of the most viewed segments of the year, while the Time and U.S News & World Report cover stories we were the magazines’ top five sellers for the year. Through new internal communication we were also able to drive the sales of the Church president Gordon B. Hinckley’s book, published by Random House, Inc.
Reputation management continues to be a priority for the Church and Edelman helped retool the entire Church communications apparatus. We developed a proactive, Web-based crisis preparation and response program. In order to make the press materials more appealing to mainstream and elite audiences, Edelman updated and reworked the text and graphics of the press materials. Using these materials, as well as an updated Church image we were able to position President Hinckley as mainstream; now mentioned as one of the most admired men in America.
Edelman has assisted the Church when needed on Washington issues, such as same sex marriage legislation. As part of our public affairs effort, we promoted the LDS welfare program as a potential model for Hill reformers reviewing the U.S. system in the mid-90’s. We also promoted positive messages with Hill audiences in a series of forums, mailings and in-person visits.
Edelman continues to provide global media support for the thousands of LDS missionaries in Europe, who do not enjoy the same access to potential converts in Europe as in other parts of the world. We have heightened the U.S. program to include targeting key cities and a national feature outreach program that highlights the Church’s welfare efforts, genealogy research program and their involvement in local communities. This included launching the Church’s genealogy Web site, FamilySearch.org.
Currently Edelman is working with the Church on the increased media scrutiny due to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Beyond this project, day-to-day media relations, reputation management and public affairs are ongoing.
These quotes are taken from leaders in the Christian movement. The words "Christian and Christianity have been subsituted with the words "Mormon and Mormonism" and a suggested LDS General Authority or celebrity is listed as a "substitute" source of the quote. This may send chills up and down your spine rather than that warm burning in your bosom.
1) "Ladies and gentlemen, Mormon-Christianity offers the only viable, reasonable, definitive answer to the questions of 'Where did I come from?' 'Why am I here?' 'Where am I going?' 'Does life have any meaningful purpose?' " DeLay said. " Only Mormon-Christianity offers a way to understand that physical and moral border. Only Mormon-Christianity offers a comprehensive worldview that covers all areas of life and thought, every aspect of creation. Only Mormon-Christianity offers a way to live in response to the realities that we find in this world -- only Mormon-Christianity." --House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) at the First Baptist Church of Pearland, TX., on April 12, 2002 or Bruce R. McConkie in his last sermon at General Conference
2) "We are talking about Mormon-Christianizing America. We are talking about the Gospel in a political context." --Paul Weyrich, founder and president of the Free Congress Foundation or Mitt Romney in a secret meeting with Orrin Hatch and Gordon Hinckley planning Romney's run for Oval Office.
3) "We must never allow our children to forget that this is a Mormon-Christian nation. We must take back what is rightfully ours." --Jerry Falwell, Old Time Gospel Hour or Gayle Rudzicka while lobbying the Utah State Legislature.
4) "We are approaching a time when Mormon-Christians, especially, may have to declare the social contract between Enlightenment rationalists and Biblical believers - which formed the basis of the constitution written at our nation's founding - null and void". --Cal Thomas, Washington Times, October 23, 1996 or Jack Anderson, Mormon columist with the Washington Post
5) "I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good . . . Our goal is a Mormon-Christian nation. We have a Book of Momron-Biblical duty; we are called on by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism." --Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, The News Sentinel, (Ft. Wayne, IN.), 8/16/93 or Boyd K Packer in a new General Authority training meeting
6) "Nobody has the right to worship on this planet any other God than Jehovah. And therefore the state does not have the responsibility to defend anybody's pseudo-right to worship an idol." --Rev. Joseph Morecraft, Chalcedon Presbyterian Church, "Biblical Role of Civil Government" speech given 8/31/93 at Biblical Worldview and Christian Education Conference or Bruce R. McConkie at a General Priesthood meeting
7) "The Book of Mormon-Bible is the inerrant word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc." --Jerry Falwell, Finding Inner Peace and Strength or Merrill Bateman, outgoing president of BYU at a Tuesday devotional in Provo, Utah
8) "The long-term goal of Mormon-Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant -- baptism and holy communion and LDS temple endowment -- must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel." -- Gary North - Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism, Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989, p. 87 or Cleon Skousen speaking at LDS law enforcement officers national convention in the upper room of the Salt Lake LDS temple
9) "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God." --George Bush Sr. to a reporter August 27, 1988, while serving as vice-president and running for President. (Mr Bush refused to apologize for his remarks later.) or Boyd K Packer off the record after his comments about gays, lesbians, feminists and intellectuals beings enemies of the Church
10) "One day, I hope in the next ten years, I trust that we will have more Mormon-Christian day schools than there are public schools. I hope I will live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again, and Mormon-Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!" --Jerry Falwell, America Can Be Saved, 1979 (Falwell's position has not changed. On the contrary, he's become more strident. There is now a compound around his church in Virginia, a compound that has cradle to grave amenities -- groceries, schools, shops, a college, etc. Very cultish enclave environment. Falwell recently encouraged fundamentalists to sell everything they own to take their kids out of public school and put them into fundie schools.) or Neal A. Maxwell, while serving as Church Commission of Education
11) "AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals." --Jerry Falwell or Boyd K Packer commenting on the Gay Pride parade in Salt Lake City, Utah
12) "We don't have to protect the environment; the Second Coming is at hand." --James Watt (former Secretary of the Interior) or James E Faust speaking to the BYU Science faculty
13) "When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Mormon-Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. 'What do you mean?' the media challenged me. 'You're not going to bring atheists into the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe the Mormon-Judeo-Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?' My simple answer is, 'Yes, they are.'" --Pat Robertson, The New World Order, 1991 or Orrin Hatch during his failed run for the Oval Office
14) "There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world. How can there be peace when drunkards, drug dealers, communists, atheists, New Age worshipers of Satan, secular humanists, oppressive dictators (ed.: look who's talking, Pat), greedy money changers, revolutionary assassins, adulterers, and homosexuals are on top?" --Pat Robertson, The New World Order, p.227 or Boyd K Packer addressing LDS Church security forces
15) "Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the Mormon-Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Mormon-Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history." --Interview with Molly Ivins, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, September 14, 1993 or Gordon Hinckley being interviewed by Larry King (Can you say "delusion," boys and girls? How about "persecution complex," kids? Wanna try "cognitive dissonance"?Let's try "false siege mentality," OK? How 'bout "pure D bullshit?" Yes, Pat, worse than the Kurds. Worse than the Jews. Of course, you're so abused. Worse than the Gypsies, or the Cambodians, or the Chinese under Mao. You now control the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, two justices on the Supreme Court, the President, most state legislatures and governors, school curricula across the country, etc. No one dares speak out against you lest he or she be deemed un-hireable and/or un-electable. Yes, you're SO abused.)
16) "They have kept us in submission because they have talked about separation of church and state. There is no such thing in the Constitution. It's a lie of the Left, and we're not going to take it anymore." --Pat Robertson on the separation of Church and State, on November 14, 1993, during an address to the American Center for Law and Justice or Cleon Skousen speaking at his Freemen Institute in Provo, Utah
17) "A Supreme Court ruling is not law." ..." A Supreme Court ruling is not the Law of the United States. The law of the United Sates is the Constitution, treaties made in accordance with the Constitution, and laws duly enacted by the Congress and signed by the president. And any of those things I would uphold totally with all of my strength, whether I agreed with them or not." . . . "I am bound by the laws of the United States and all 50 states . . . [but] I am not bound by any case or any court to which I myself am not a party . . . I don't think the Congress of the United States is subservient to the courts . . . They can ignore a Supreme Court ruling if they so choose." -- Pat Robertson, June 1986, when speaking before a group of writers from the Washington Post. or Gordon B. Hinckley commenting about the Supreme Court ruling on the Main Street Plaza case
19) "The public education movement has also been an anti-Mormon-Christian movement... We can change education in America if you put Mormnon-Christian principles in and Mormon-Christian pedagogy in. In three years, you would totally revolutionize education in America." --Pat Robertson, The 700 Club, September 27, 1993 or Richard Eyring to the Utah PTA convention
20) (Robertson or Boyd K Packer in 1985 speaking on genocide in the Book of Mormon-Bible): "God told the Israelites to kill them all -- men, women and children, to destroy them. And that seems to be a terrible thing to do. Is it? Or isn't it?"
21) "We are to make Book of Mormon-Bible-obeying disciples of anybody that gets in our way." --Well known Christian Reconstructionist Jay Grimstead, February 1987 or Neal A. Maxwell speaking to retired LDS CIA agents convention in Salt Lake City, Utah
22) "We need a legal strategy which protects the rights of those of us who hold Mormon-Christian convictions which will afford us the opportunity to contend once again for the mind of this culture." --Keith A. Fournier, of Pat Robertson's ACLJ, in an ACLJ brochure entitled (are you ready for this?) "Religious Cleansing" or Elder L. Ron Hubbard, newly sustained member of the First Quorum of the Seventy 23) "America is under the judgment of God. And if we are ever going to rebuild this country, it must be under God's law. Our goal must be simple: We must have a Mormon Christian nation built on God's law, on the Ten Commandments. No apologies." --Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, in an address to "Cities of Refuge" campaign, Willoughby Hills, OH, July, 1993 or George P. Lee speaking at the Jackson County Temple Builder's Union organizing meeting
24) "When the Morman-Christian majority takes over this country, there will be no satanic churches, no more free distribution of pornography, no more talk of rights for homosexuals. After the Mormon-Christian majority takes control, pluralism will be seen as immoral and evil and the state will not permit anybody the right to practice evil." --Gary Potter, president of Catholics for Christian Political Action or Boyd K. Packer promoting his pamphlet, "For Young Men Only" on a early morning infommercial on KSL-TV
25) "If you're not a born-again Mormon-Christian, you're a failure as a human being." --Jerry Falwell or Ezra Taft Benson speaking in General Priesthood meeting
Please note that the self-proclaimed prophet "Emanuel" has far more in common with Joseph Smith than he does with Gordon Hinckley. Well, at least in this life anyway.
By the way, what happens if I "Know" this latest version is the true prophet of Heavenly Father. You might say I'm crazy. But then, which model of morality do TBM's point to as THEIR beacon to the Celestial Kingdon. - 03/28/2003 - Kenneth Tone
I'm really hoping that the media attention regarding the happy return of Elizabeth Smart will alert the general population of the evils of the mormon organization. - 03/15/2003 - anon
Like old office equipment, the mormon church has become obsolete, funny to look at and embarassing to endorse.
For example, in the 50's all typewriters whether manual or electric had the letters of the alphabet on fixed arms, that rotated and hit a cloth ribbon to mark the paper. IBM, stealing the technology of Smith Corona, enters the business world with the greatest invention of the century, the selectric typewriter. It has everything, an element (font ball) that can be changed so you can personalize correspondance, a carbon ribbon in a easy to replace cartridge, sleek looks, an expensive service contract, etc. Then as with all technology, it is replaced by Personal Computers and word processing programs. Now the business world has infinitely different choices for communication, add to that the internet and e-mail, so there you go.
Well, who wants an IBM, even the new improved Selectric II with memory?
The mormon church is forever stuck in the pleasant past. Its doctrine placates reality, its leadership controls to maintain, its history is questionable and its future is bleak.
Just like the IBM selectric, the mormon church has not progress beyond its own limitations. Believers are limited to the beliefs (elements) that haven't changed in 183 years, the rules (carbon ribbons) repress investigation of knowledge (oh yeah, you can get black ones now), the monetary and time costs are enormous (service contract) and the expressions of individual thought and desires are stiffled (who needs word processing when you can type with a proven selectric II).
The IBM salesmen and women (mormon missionaries) are hard pressed to go door to door selling the beast.
As I "testify" in the name of learning "revelation that is deletion is suffication, non answers are questions and intimidation is slavery."
If there are any out there monitoring this site, here's some advice to pass along to the boss.
Notice that sometimes people will post questions here about LDS doctrine, history and policy. Often the ones asking these questions have been members most of their lives but still don't know the answers.
There's also a lot of pseudo-doctrine floating around in LDS culture, often perpetrated by bishops, stake presidents, seminary and institute teachers, BYU instructors and even general authorities "speaking only as men." Yet the brethren seem to make no effort to clear up the confusion or to purge the church of heterodox beliefs.
Why not? It would be fairly easy to do. You have the forums and the organizational channels to spread orthodoxy. For example, there could be a single page in each Ensign entitled "The Following Things are Not Doctrine or Policy." Or, at general conference, one of the many addresses by the brethren could be dedicated to clearing up erroneous beliefs.
Mormons are proud to claim a living prophet to guide them. But if you've been snooping around here for any length of time, you can see that the Lord's spokesman has been silent or ambiguous on a number of topics, from the spiritual to the practical, for which the members seek guidance. Again, it seems the church has the wherewithall to address these questions clearly and publicly, even if the answer is that the church takes no position on a particular matter, and that it's up to the individual to seek the answer for himself. Surely, though, if the Lord has opinions on ear piercings and facial hair, he has opinions on a number of other less mundane issues.
Supposedly, the Lord's house is a house of order, but there's a lot of sloppy information being passed around in its halls and classrooms. Could it really be as I've suspected, though? Is it more important that members be loyal to the organization than to believe correct things?
This brings to mind an amusing issue for me. The Ensign has carried a feature titled "I Have A Question" for decades. The questions used to be responded to by Joseph Fielding Smith, when it was the old Improvement Era. Smith, of course, was an apostle, official church historian, and respected among Mormons as a knowledgeable theologian. His answers were compiled and published in the five-volume set "Answers to Gospel Questions." The idea being, that JFS' responses were pitched as being accurate and authoritative.
But these days, the questions in the current Ensigns are being responded to by all sorts of Mormons--institute instructors, Sunday School teachers, etc.----but NOT by general authorities, as one would think they should be. And the feature carries the disclaimer that "Answers are for general information, and are not to be considered as official church doctrine."
It's as though general authorities are afraid to respond to questions in their "official" capacities, for fear that their remarks will be criticized or contradicted in the future. So they allow "unauthoritative" underlings to respond to the questions, and if the church's stance on certain doctrines or policies changes in the future, then church leaders can simply disavow those responses in the Ensign because they weren't "official church doctrine."
The end result being that it is church leaders themselves who are responsible for the perpetuation of "Mormon urban doctrines," by allowing "unauthorized" underlings to answer doctrinal or policy questions that the GAs should be answering themselves. It's really just a way for the GAs to protect their "inspired" images: If they don't answer any questions, they can't utter any incorrect answers. If anybody says anything that turns out to be incorrect or disavowed in the future, let it be the underlings, so the GAs' "prophethood" can be preserved. Of course, they are smart in doing this, because so much of what JFS wrote in his day has been rejected or discredited. The current GAs probably feel that the less they say of any substance, the less they can say that will be proven wrong in the future.
Someone was pointing out the strange basis for Mormons supporting a book like "how wide the divide". Imagine Christians trying to pander to pagans by saying their viewpoints are practically the same, by drawing as many similarities as possible, ignoring the fatal irreconcilable differences, mask or deny past criticisms Christians made against paganism, and trying to destroy any dividing line between them.
Yet this is exactly what Mormons attempt!
Why not take it a step further with: "How Wide The Divide 2! Reconciling the Pagans" The explosive sequel to the original, HWTD2 will feature the same setup as the original, except now its a pagan professor and FARMS reviewer discussing the differences between their religions, or lack thereof. Taking after the original, the pagan professor will be well versed in paganism, but will be clueless as to what Mormonism is really about.
The fork-tongued FARMS reviewer of choice will sadly not be Robinson, as his own personal viewpoints are far too radical to fit with either pagans or even mormons(but he did a fine job in trying to dupe Christians into Mormonism). Luckily, a more mainstream reviewer will suit, since differences between mormonism and paganism for once are practically identical without a lot of spin doctoring and Clinton-esque wordplay (which is why Robinson was sent in the first place). The main tricks of the dialogue will be trying to downplay or deny the accusations that Mormons actually claim to be Christian!
In the end, our savvy FARMS boy will suggest that since mormons and pagans share pretty much the same beliefs(which, for once, is true) that pagans might as well join the Mormon church and strengthen their wonderful congregation from gathering back their lost sheep.
Watch out for many more sequels:
How wide the divide 3: Mormonism and Buddism
How wide the divide 4: Mormonism and Islam
How wide the divide 5: Mormonism and witchcraft
How wide the divide 666: Mormonism and Satanism-Reconciled at last!
Mormonism is notable for the fact the doctrinal correctness is not only secondary, but often meaningless, when it comes to getting more members to join the church.
I think LDS trying to become mainline is the best thing that could happen. Look how well it worked for the mainline denominations that tried to fit in with the world and "blend in." The results are less members, less money and less influence.
Is it working, look at the statistics, LDS is loosing growth rate, active members, and influence. Shoot they can't even control what happens in their own temple square anymore. Keep it up guys, you do more than any anti could do to reduce the impact of Mormonism. - 11/29/2002 - from NSEWanswers
Since, I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and also a Seminary teacher for it( all for free), allow me to help you see the error in your comments.
Let's see how "open-minded" and open to truth you are. Will this be printed on your web-site? Will you apologize for trying to injure a Church which does a multitude of good in this world each day? No.
1) The church JUST showed commercials about the Book of Mormon is California's Central Valley. So, you lied there.
2) If what the Prophet Brigham Young was saying about wives or a wife was true, why wouldn't the Church change the wording, so as to not confuse its members, or others, about where the church stands today on the doctrine of Polygamy? So, you couldn't see the rationale of doing that...hmmm.
3) Did Joseph F. Smith divorce his wives, or did he divorce them? If they divorced him, maybe they did not like being a second or third wife---that was their choice. If Joseph F. Smith divorced them, perhaps, they were causing spiritual strife in his household. Those teaching manuals are to teach doctrines of salvation, not to account for every bit of personal history of the prophet's life. I can read that on my own---probably on your webiste.
4) Most people don't know where Cumorah is, but they know where Palmyra, New York is...it just makes sense to change the name, so more people will have a better geographical reference.
5) Are you white? Isn't it the easier race to belong to? It is for me! To be white is quite delightsome! Wouldn't it be harder for you if you were let's say, African, Mexican, or Middle Eastern? If the phrase "white and delightsome" would cause people to disregard the sacred truths of the Book of Mormon, because they did not like or understand that phrase, TAKE IT OUT! To God "it mattereth not", so long as his children grow in truth.
6) I went to the temple before and after the changes in wording. The wording was the only thing that changed, not the significance or the meaning of the ceremonies. God also is practical. This also made temple trips not take as long.
7) I don't remember any of those "strange words" that you mention were in the temple ceremony. They very well could have been in it. But again, the fact that they were taken out and the fact that I don't remember them, means they were not necessary to give the Saints the important meaning of ceremony. God is smart. Isn't he?
8) There are many students, who attend BYU, who are not LDS, and therefore would not understand Lamanite Generation. Plus, who cares if BYU ( a university) changes a name...big deal. Really, now you are splitting hairs.
9) I have read FARMS articles many times and have found MANY articles on FACTS found by SECULAR archeologists which back up facts from the BOOK of MORMON. Do you even research before you write these articles?
10) What does your church teach its youth? You say the MORMONADS ( by the way every one I know still refers to them as that---I found this site by typing that name in the search-engine :) ) are a "constant reminder of someone else's ideas of appropriate behavior " ( that sounds like something a juvenile would say to their parents). What do your youth pamphlets have in them? Just scripture? The reason the name was changed to remove the word MORMON was because, WE as Latter-day Saints, DO NOT consider ourselves MORMONS, even though we sometimes refer to ourselves as such, just because it is a short quick name. That nickname was given to us by those who persecuted us. We are trying to emphasize that we are LDS or Latter-day Saints not MORMONS.
11) The Church was the Church of Jesus Christ in the earliest beginnings of the gospel on earth. Whose Church is it? The Church of Jesus Christ. " Of Latter-day Saints" was tacked on in the early history of the Church as a matter of practicality, incase another church was The Church of Jesus Christ. All members know we are first and foremost The Church of Jesus Christ.
12) I already explained why we do not want to be referred to as MORMONS.
13)Hinckley does not deny the doctrine of " as man is God once was, and as God is man is capable of becoming" ( I beleive this whole-heartedly). However, he does not bother tackling that sacred doctrine on interviews which will be editted and cast before an audience, some of which might be "swines". I saw the interview with Tom Brokaw, when the subject of polygamy was brought up, Hinckley did brush it aside...AND WHY NOT? Why waste his television time talking about a doctrine the Church does not practice today? There is always someone who gets confused when it is talked about by Church Leadership. By the way, as a woman, I am all for polygamy, should it ever be practiced again. Abraham did it and wasn't he just grand!
14) Who is Martin Tanner? Obviously someone only apostates and rejectors of truth and light listen to. I have been a member many years, and I have never heard that man's name. That being said, I hope he is enjoying Siberia.
15) Isn't the Church in'spire'd? If you were wanting someone to KNOW you are Christian, which many people don't think we are ( the Church of Jesus Christ...hmmm...funny how that happened), wouldn't you want to let them have NOT DOUBT by having your buildings reflect this? Especially, if people from around the world, who might have heard the rumors of these "strange Mormons", were going to be visiting your city and possibly your church buildings?
16) When was the last time you heard Hinkley speak? I was just at a temple dedication where he mentioned Joseph Smith a great deal! Do you ever listen to General Conference? ( It is broadcast ALL OVER THE WORLD held every six months---you can rewatch it at LDS.org) Listen to the Conference, you will get your fill of testimonies that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and the key of the restoration of the true gospel in these latter days. YOU ARE NOT ASKED IF YOU HAVE A TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH SMITH, SO YOU CAN GET A TEMPLE RECOMMEND!!!! THERE IS NOTHING ABOUT HIM IN THE INTERVIEW!!! Have you ever been in one? Call a Bishop. He'll tell you what the questions are.
17) I just looked at my copy of the Testimony of the Apostles regarding Jesus Christ. How many people own a BOOK OF MORMON, or even know what it is? If you wanted the WORLD at large to know your feelings about the Savior of the World, even the Son of God, Jesus Christ, wouldn't you refer to the most read and published book on the face of the earth, THE BIBLE? Again, you underestimate practicality!
18)Brigham Young would have LOVED for all people to walk the temple grounds, HAD THEY NOT WANTED TO PERSECUTE THE SAINTS during his time! So, don't say he is rolling over in his grave about the wall at the Salt Lake Temple being torn down. He is loving that the Church is known world-wide (despite its persecution) and hundreds of thousands of people visit Temple Square each year. There is nothing SECRET about the temple ceremony...IT IS SACRED. Join the true church, live the gospel, and you too can receive of its blessings.
19) My father could not see me married. My husband's grandparents could not see him married. Isn't the church nice to want to explain why couples feel strong enough about entering the temple, that they would even risk hurting or alienating family and friends? ( There have been people who have become Christian < not just in our church> who have given up friends and family> Wouldn't it have been great for their family and friends to have had a plush building to have gone to, which would have explained the gospel and Jesus Christ? ) I love the Church. All are welcome to attend the temple, who are worthy. The standards are higher than many of the worlds', but Christ has asked us to be NO LESS than perfect And guess who decides if you are worthy...YOU DO. You evaluate yourself during those interviews.
20) Again, the world, at large, does not understand or even know about the BOOK OF MORMON. It is much easier to proceed in teaching the gospel from "common ground" when people attend Visitor's Centers. It just makes sense.
21) How do you know that LDS ministers have never said " Let Us Pray"? How many LDS meetings have you attended, in which parts of the country, and for how many years?
22) Why not employ people outside your religion? I will wager that there will be converts due to Hinckley's wise decision. Yes, the LDS church does spend money to spread the word of God. Why not use all the wealth and resources you have to let the world know how they can have a personal relationship with their Creator, and have joy and happiness as they live the teachings of the Savior. What is so evil about this?
Why would anyone would waste their time condemning and lampooning religion? Why don't you focus on the doctrines of the Savior you profess to follow, instead of focusing on "the fastest growing Church on the planet"? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will NEVER be gone from the face of the earth. Watch, wait, and witness.
The Church will continue to grow, and though its members may be persecuted, lied about, and taunted ( isn't that what the Jews did to Jesus?); the Church WILL grow until it completely covers the face of the earth.
There will be those who fall prey to your lies, half-truths, and hatefulness. This has been foretold.
I have investigated EVERY mainstream religion there is on the earth today. NONE of them allow for the discussion and openess the LDS church does. This is a lie.
The authors of the above information have obviously taken their prattle from resentful angry ugly people, not from true and faithful members of the church. How sad.
It is easy to "dig up dirt" and lampoon any religion or person, when all you look for is the bad.
The Church is perfect. The people in it aren't. The Church is perfect. The prophets were simply men of God, doing his will, and giving all they had including their lives, if necessary, for the cause of building Zion.
Was Abraham perfect? How about Moses? How about Adam? Are you perfect?
Did writing what you did make you feel love for your "neighbor"? Did you grow closer to the Savior? Did you feel the Spirit of God or the Spirit of contention moving you to write what you did?
I came by this website by accident. I will show it to my children, as an example of the lies men, who esteem themselves to be followers of Christ, spread about the true Church, without ever having gotten on their knees to ask if it is true and without researching properly. Until we meet at the Judgment Bar of God. Farewell!
God, someone unscrew her head and let out the pressure because she obviously can't hear herself talk. I really hope that she is mentally ill, on top of being mormon, because she is sick. I am so tired of people who can't see the ugly face of racism and homophobia. - 11/24/2002 - delightedly white (not)
LOLOL GOD I love it when TBMs (True Believing Mormons) open their mouths. Let them rave on that men may know them mad.
Lady, no one threw me out. I was a Bishop and a Stake President until I saw all the lies the Church tries to hide . . . and that is the least of its problems. - 11/24/2002 - sonoflds
What's really sad is one of the last lines. Where she states that she is going to show her children this and tell them about the "lies". A new generation of Nazis. - 11/24/2002 - Jack
She is racist scum. What an evil blot on Mormonism she is. - 11/24/2002 - Matt
Are you SURE this wasn't written by Gayle Ruzicka? Honest to God, it sounds like a case study of bipolar (manic-depressive) illness. Talk about delusions of grandeur and tangential thought! - 11/24/2002 - Pt. Loma
I'd like to see MRI scans of this woman's head from birth to now. A few decades of mormon gymnastics has turned what was most likely a normal brain into a pot of mush. - 11/24/2002 - Cheryl
Hey!! I didn't know my wife taught seminary!!! Best Wishes!! - 11/24/2002 - Bob
Tanner, of course, is the Church's foremost apologist. His show is "Religion Today," on ksl radio (and ksl.com) on the Sunday nights when the NFL isn't playing.
He's included because of a point The Colonel made concerning the Church, and Mainstreaming; they are burying their big gun, so deeply that not even seminary teaches knw of him.
Either she is profoundly ignorant of cultural matters LDS (did she ever hear of KSL Newsradio 1160?), or COB's (Church Office Building) attempts to bury their best in Siberia have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. - 11/24/2002 - The Colonel
I would think her Fast & Testimony performance would be both horrifying and subversively entertaining for her ward. :-) What a nutter! - 11/24/2002 - Gail
Mormons ranting like this do more to destroy their church than anything else. I say, publish these kinds of diatribes and let people know exactly how crazy they really are.
This woman is best advertisement for how goofy the Mormon Church is. The next time someone says they are such "good people" show them this nonsense! - 11/24/2002 - SuzieQ#1
Has anyone tried to tell her the earth is really......ROUND?? - 11/24/2002 - Bob
When you are inside the church Gordon B. Hinckley becomes automatically a prophet, and if you say something (specially when you are studying at BYU) they just shut you off.
I think there is no place as anti-Christian as the LDS church, those members who defend their faith is because they are not well informed, they have ever read their Bibles.
Have you seen that small scripture where says "in the last days they will believe in myths and will construct man made temples?". There is no point with the mormons, they are anti-Christian in all their ways.
A Baptist, or a member of another group could be ignorant, or bad member, but NEVER anti-Christian, if you told them: Look, Bible says this, they would acknowledge it.
Only Mormons are smart enough as to keep their racism , and all the odd things that are NOT Christian.
I am at BYU, trusth me in this one: We can understand each other among the international community, and all of us agree that Mormons are a fiasco, just a forgery.
I repeat if you defend your LDS faith is because you are not well informed, period.
Of course if you redefine Jesus Christ as a business man,....they are the most Christian centered people of all.
At least here in Az. I've watched with quiet curiosity as cement spires in church yards have been knocked down and aluminum steeples (suspiciously New England in design) have gone up on top of the buildings. They are now noticeable from blocks away. Are these beacons for the faithful to zero in on or audacious announcements to the non-members in the neighborhood. It appears to me a desperate plea saying, "We're normal, just like you out there. See, we have traditional steeples, we aren't wierd."
___ I've been seeing the same thing in Utah. I'll bet my relative who designed at least 50 of those churches in his heyday is going to be pissed when he sees them changing his steeples! His first "revelation" was about how to design his first steeple of his first church over 40 years ago. - 06/16/2002 - 7 of 9 of the Recovery Bulletin Board
My girlfriend recently joined an orchestra at a Baptist church. They worked on a number of pieces of great variety and one was hauntingly familar to me. It was simply called an old English melody. I finally figured out where I had heard it before. Yep, it was the tune to "If You Could Hie to Kolob." So how can you mainstream by deleting hymns that were borrowed from the mainstream originally. Pretty stupid if you ask me. - 05/19/2002 - anon
I recently visited a number of websites that feature MIDI versions of well known LDS hymns. Wouldn't you know it -- "If You Could Hie to Kolob" was conspicuously NOT available on any of the sites! Now, admittedly, "Praise to the Man" (complete with the atonement verse) WAS available, but no "Kolob" song. Hmmmmm . . . musical mainstreaming? - 03/06/2002 - anon
My family goes in two directions on Sunday, to a Mormon ward and a Methodist church. The Methodists have the Mormons beat in many crucial ways. They far exceed the Mormons in the Music Department, they have a much better sports programs, nicer buildings to meet in, private grade and high schools and more social support groups and more intellectually stimulating sermons from better informed speakers on Sunday. They don't charge 10% tithing so they are way cheaper. They are ten times more Christ centered in their lessons and frankly in their daily actions.
The Mormon ward has more opportunities for service- precisely because they tend to be more of a slick amateurish image-obsessed numbers-crunching church, that they actually feel despirately in need of us. Many Mormons are so dysfunctional that just being their friends is an act of Christian service. And the Mormons in our ward think they are in some kind of cosmic contest with the Methodists over our family so the likes of you don't give us much of the usual offensive crap that might otherwise drive us away. Read further on this website and you will find hundreds who think the Mormons are all fake. So that argument cuts both ways.
I personally like the missionary program for 19 year olds, kinda like military training and I like the idea of giving money to a corporation that invests it instead of wasting it all immediately on the undeserving poor. And it seems that the Mormons might be slightly more effective in sexually repressing teenagers, which when you're darling children reach the ages of mine, is exceedingly important.
We are never going to make the world a better place until we all, Mormons and Baptists and Methodists alike (and especially Jews and Muslims), get off our high horses and start showing some genuine respect and appreciation for the accomplishments of each other. You have too causally dismissed the faith of your childhood and you are so much the less of a person for it. Your attitude reflects a profound lack of gratitude more than anything about your original Baptist church and the church you have been lead into, the Mormon church is also that much more the poorer for it.
I'd give you my E-mail address for further correspondence but the last Mormon that I called to repentance on the Internet went behind my back to a church leader, grossly distorted my suggestions and caused my family quite a bit of hassle. And it wasn't the Methodist minister that was sucked into his web of deception & lies. It ought to tell you something; that on websites like this, most of those defending the Mormon church have no hesitation in publishing their names to the world, but those hurt and critical are often so afraid of the powerful "Mormon Organization" that they usually remain anonymous. Sorry, it sounds weak but its the Truth.
Baptist & Pentacostal churches are all about _entertainment_. The better the show or rousing the speaker, the more butts in the pews. But it looks slick, because that's the only thing they do and are paid for it. I grew up in those types of churches and it's all about attracting head count and hopefully tithes to line the pastor's and deacons' pockets. I left them because it's all fake!
IMHO, if you want a cheap meal and a show, go to a dinner theater. If you want to go to a place were people are serious about learning about Christ and living their lives for Him, go to your local LDS ward.
I knew that steeples were replacing the unsightly iron rod at some lds meetinghouses. But I thought it was mainly in Utah and other western states. Steeples are now in North Texas.
Neatly nestled between a Church of Christ and a JW Kingdom Hall, is a cookie cutter style mormon stake center with a spanish tile roof, now sporting a gleaming white steeple. Gone is the unsightly iron rod. The steeple is as out of place on that building as a box of Bisquik in a Molly Mo kitchen.
After having lunch with two dear exmo friends, we drove to the stake center to have a closer look. There it was,gleaming in the sun for all the christian world to observe. Excuse the phrase, but it was just godawful looking.
But this is not all. Imagine our amazement when we drove around front. Lo and Behold!, a nativity scene. It's one of those contemporary wooden ones. But it's a nativity scene, right there on the lawn. I think there was a large wooden PEACE sign also. And a sign regarding a free concert on Saturday night. JS, BY, and SWK are rolling around in their graves no doubt.
I can't wait till Easter. I can see it now, a cross staked in the lawn with the words......HE IS RISEN.
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck.....it's a duck. Not in this case. They can change to make themselves LOOK like other christian churches.......but WE know better.
One of the first individuals that I met when I was transferred to Alabama was
Marcus, a born-again Christian. I was an Orthodox Mormon at the time and we had
many religious conversations. I tried to convert him and he tried to convert me
from my cultish ways to mainstream Christianity. It would have been easy to hate
him and dismiss his Faith but we had to work together every day and we both
believed in forgiveness and trying to get along with each other.
One day we made a deal, I would attend his church on Sunday morning if he would attend my church on Sunday afternoon. We were meeting in the afternoon block so the scheduling worked out nicely. We prayed together, both of us, for the Spirit to touch us and impress us which if both or neither church was true/best/right for one, neither or both of us.
First we attended his church, an independent Baptist denomination. The people were dressed causally, in shorts and pants and the atmosphere seemed rather like a picnic or a carnival. The building was over decorated and sort of funky. I'm going to win I thought. The young minister strutted in and immediately began to lead them in a hymn. I couldn't help but to notice that their music was 10 times better than ours. I rather disliked singing, but this was something I could get into and it made me feel good. His short sermon was one of the best church talks I had ever heard and I could detect not a single false doctrine. He was harmless, not the devil's servant portrayed in the old temple films, and very sincere. He was young and bright and seemed like the kind of guy I could talk to easily about any personal problems. Then they had what was remarkably similar to our testimony meeting. About 10 people immediately went to the front and talked about and bore testimony of Jesus, every single one of them. Then they had Communion which was almost identical to our Sacrament with a different prayer. Then a rousting closing hymn. The collection plate was at the back door as you left, no pressure. Marcus said most people paid by mail with a check.
We had a 30 minute break and then a very stimulating small group discussion lead by a guy like Marcus about 1st Corinthians. I never realized the controversial material right there in the Bible and they were honest about the difficulty of believing every last word of the Bible when it clearly states screwball ideas such as women should keep silent in the church, (the fundamentalist position) versus using the Bible as a general guide and ignoring the obviously wrong advise as being perhaps Paul's mistaken opinion or maybe relating to specific unstated circumstances. (Perhaps the Corinthian women were all talking continuously and not letting the men say anything.) But then you could make the Bible say whatever you wanted and not allow the Word to instruct you. Ninety minutes passed in a stimulating blaze.
Then they had the best dang lunch for only three bucks; roast beef over rice, lima beans with bacon bits, peach pie. The minister talked to me and would not argue with me about the Book of Mormon. Read it if you please, as long as it is pretty much consistent with the gospel message as recorded in the Bible, he didn't have a problem with it.
Then we went to my church. Whether Mormons are Chistians or not was a big issue for Marcus. I proudly pointed out the name of the church on the building as we walked in. Marcus was impressed with our reverence and the fact that everyone was so dressed up. He liked the cheap tacky business decor of the building. But after the opening song, he whispered: What is the matter with these people, is this a funeral or are they always this depressed? He found it odd that we had the Sacrament first, because he said that the purpose of church was to prepare your heart for the Sacrament. Then we had testimony meeting. The Bishop's testimony sounded worn out, lame, and a bit contrived to me, not for the first time. He sat down and ... silence. It lasted for a long couple minutes before some old guy got up and berated us for our lack of testimony. Then the lunatic fringe got started and said all kinds of obviously crazy things. Marcus didn't hold this against us, and assured me that the same kind of nuts attended his church but generally lacked the gumption to get up in front of everyone. Then our lovely children started getting up and chanting: I know twat the church is twue, I love my mommy and daddy... Marcus was keeping some sort of score and I asked him about it. He was keeping track of how many people said anything about Christ at all and I realized that nobody had even mentioned Christ except in the ritualistic closing. With only minutes to go, I got up to bear testimony of Christ and as I got started the Bishop stood and interrupted me and quietly asked me to cut it short.
Sunday school was a disaster. The teacher hadn't even read the lesson and asked the usual juvenile questions right out of the manual. He got little participation and refused to address even a slightly difficult question. Milk before meat. Avoid mysteries. He unfairly slapped other churches around a bit and kept any discussion to a minimum. We've got to get through these stupid questions.
Priesthood was even worse.They herded us out of the foyer like sheep. Then horrible singing. Repetitious and confused announcements. Embarassing introductions of visitor and new people. They took half of the time trying to get people to volunteer for these unnecessary service projects; moving a health single guy out of his apartment, homemaking nursery, temple assignments. They brow beat us for 10 minutes over last month's home teaching. The Elder's lesson degenerated into an argument over nothing and tempers flashed.
And no dinner after church! Marcus couldn't believe it. The missionaries made a beeline for Marcus and wanted his address and phone number. It wouldn't have surprized me if they had challenged him for baptism on the spot. They gave me a dirty look when I told them that I'd get it to them later.
As we walked out of the church I knew that we had lost the contest and lost it badly. I was without explanation as to why. Marcus looked up at the name of the church on the building and said to me: It's not the name on the outside that really counts, it's what goes on inside a church that really matters. Why don't you come back again with me next week to a pretty good Christian church that is generally based on the Bible and has the Spirit of Christ present, at least some of the time.
But I didn't. My wife wouldn't let me and I do believe that being divorced is worse than being a Mormon when there are children involved and we generally get along otherwise. One person on the face of the earth actually understands my position and ironically agrees with it. That would be Marcus. I sneek off to his church every once in awhile like some men sneek off to fornicate other women and I always leave amazed at how crummy my ward is in comparison. But to keep peace at home I sit beside my wife every week at Mormon meetings and pretend to be inspired.
I will tell you one thing. If the Mormons are "mainstreaming" I haven't noticed it. They have got a long ways to go to be anything remotely similar to a good Bible thumping fundamentalist Christian church.
President Hinckley said in conference (Oct 2001) the following:
We are not changing.
The world's perception of us is changing.
We teach the same doctrine.
We have the same organization.
What this means is that Mormons can no longer trot out the worn out argument that "we are lead by living prophets" and any wierd statement by Brigham Young or some one else has been superceeded by current promouncements.
Here's the latest version of my master list of evidences that the mormon church is changing it's image to appear more mainstream. Thanks for all the additional examples you have posted. This includes all the recent posts from this board that I felt were relevent to recent changes in the Mormon Church.
1. Church stopped the BoM TV ads, and replaced them with ads offering the King James Version of the Bible
2. Church changed all the quotes in the Brigham Young lesson manual from "wives" to "wife"
3. Church-wide Joseph F. Smith lesson manual removes all mention of this prophet's many plural wives and divorces
4. Church changing some (but not all yet) references to the "Cumorah Pageant" to "Palmyra Pageant"
5. Church quietly removed term "White and Delightsome" from Book of Mormon
6. Church removed strange words from temple endowment like "Barak Ale," "Pay Lay Ale," "Beelzebub," etc..
7. Church's other extensive April 1990 changes to the temple endowment ceremony to make it more "politically correct" by removing the blood oaths, five points of fellowship, and the Protestant preacher in the pay of Beelzebub (Satan).
8. Church dropped the "Lamanite Generation" name at BYU and renamed it "Living Legends"
9. Church morphed the FARMS organization into some broad ancient scripture thing that does not really involve the Book of Mormon.
10. Church changed the name of the "Mormonads" in the New Era to "New Era Posters." These are those photos with "inspirational" sayings appropriate for cutting out and using for a constant reminder of someone else's ideas of appropriate behavior.
11. All Church letterhead, news releases and announcements refer to the church as "The Church of Jesus Christ."
12. Church's recent world-wide announcement that insists the media never refer to the church as the "Mormon Church."
13. Hinckley's public denials of long-held controversial mormon beleifs that God was once a man and that polygamy was a doctrine
14. The Church's foremost apologist and exhorter, Martin Tanner, has beeen placed in Siberia on the ksl.com web site; he's not mentioned anywhere until you get to the INDEX, a clear indication they are trying to downplay Mormon apologetics, and distinctly Mormon faith.
15. In Utah at least, the church is undertaking the enormous task of removing the original contemporary steeple things on the front lawns of all the ward houses and purchasing very expensive, christian-looking steeples to sit atop the ward houses - just in time for the olympics.
16. Recent talks by Church President Hinckley avoid mention of Joseph Smith. As one example, on June 24, 2001, Hinckley spoke to the members in San Antonio, TX and elaborated on a belief in the restoration, but did not refer to Joseph Smith. In the same talk, he did not include a testimony in Joseph Smith among the list of things that make you worthy to go the temple. He listed every other requirment mentioned in the worthiness interview, but skipped over all references to Joseph Smith.
17. Church proclamation "The Living Christ:-Testimony of Apostles" avoids references from Mormon scripture. All scriptural quotes are from the Bible or carefully selected copies of Bible verses from phrases in the D&C. The proclamation fails to use any references from the Book of Mormon, the Church's "Other Testament of Jesus Christ."
18. Unpresidented access to the Salt Lake Temple: the Church recently tore down the wall in front of the Salt Lake Temple and opened the entire temple grounds to the public. Tourists can now walk right up the temple steps and all aorund the temple. This gives the impression that the Church is open and nothing secret goes on inside the temple. Brigham Young is rolling in his grave over this change.
19. The Church just spent millions on a new temple guest building next to the Salt Lake Temple. The main purpose of the new building is to serve as a waiting area for wedding guests not allowed in the temple, which includes all non-members and less-active members. While missing the wedding, unworthy guests now wait in the new plush building and view pictures, magazines and videos explaining the importance of temples. The Church hopes the new facility makes unworthy guests feel more a part of the temple experience and less bitter about not being able to participate in the ceremony.
20. The Church is completely remodeling the two vistor centers on temple square, removing all the Book of Mormon exhibits and replacing them with theatres to show church films about the family. The South visitor center has already been redone. Gone are the "talking head" Book of Mormon theatres, fake plates, temple baptistry font and mormon persecution exhibits. The North visitor center is currently under re-contruction, with everything but the big Chritus statue being changed. In place of the First Vision theatre there will be an exhibit on Christ's Jerusalem ministry - a first for the Church.
21. Monson started a televised Church devotional in the tabernacle recently by taking the pulpit and saying "Let us Pray" before bowing his head. This mainstream christian phrase to begin a church service is completely new to Mormon culture.
22. Hiring Edelman World Wide Public Relations specifically for the task of mainstreaming and marketing the gospel product. Hinckley specifically selected a firm with non-Mormon leadership in order to accomplish this task. He wanted a fresher and more effective PR approach than what he was getting out of his own Mormon PR staff. Ironic, that Hinckley selected a "Jewish" PR company to promote his "Mormon Christian Mainstream" PR campaign.
Michael Deaver, Vice Chairman, Edelman Worldwide Director of Corporate Affairs, Edelman Washington, D.C. who served as President Ronald Reagan's deputy chief of staff from 1981 to 1985 is the LDS Church Account client representative. He flies out to Salt Lake City monthly to meet with Dallin Oaks and Bruce Olsen, the church's main inside PR staffer.
Maybe some professional PR person could provide an educated estimate as to how much the church pays Edelman World Wide annually for their services?
It appears to be no coincidence that the chairman of the board, Daniel Edelman's wife is a close friend of Larry King, the CNN talk show host.
The famous Larry King - Gordon Hinckley TV interviews did not just happen accidentally. The same goes for the positive "Sixty Minutes" piece Mike Wallace did on Hinckley and the church several years ago. There is nothing illegal or even unethical about this behind the scenes PR work, but it sure does blur the boundary between what is actually news and what is actually a PR infommercial for the church.
Click on this link to see an official press release (pdf file format) that links most of these names together: Sea Trek Press Release
My source for this information is very close to the Edelman organization and will remain anonymous.
One very noticeable mainstreaming tendency is to refer to GBH and the rest as "President" as much as possible outside the church.
Even within the church, "Prophet" is pushed into the background except for testimony and interview. It's well known GBH doesn't prophesy... so it's not a small step.
How long before it disappears?