Theologian questions how ex-Mormon bishop’s daughter casts church in book

Political commentator and former Mormon bishop’s daughter Tricia Erickson has engaged in discussions on television and in social media about … Continued

Political commentator and former Mormon bishop’s daughter Tricia Erickson has engaged in discussions on television and in social media about her concerns of her former church as well as the possiblity of a Romney presidency. She is the author of Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters and earlier this year, USA Today Magazine ran an excerpt from her chapter on secret temple ceremonies.

The following is a professor’s response to Erickson’s work:

Tricia Erickson’s writing betrays a knowledge of Mormonism that is so shallow, so juvenile, that one is forced to wonder how this kind of thing is legal. I’m disappointed that a respected publisher such as Thomas Nelson (of which WestBow Press is a subsidiary) would not have exercised an ounce of professional caution, even a pinch of scholarly effort before publishing something that is so out of touch with reality that it ought to be downright embarrassing.

I have taught LDS theology and history for 40 years, 30 of those at Brigham Young University. Let me briefly explain what Mormons really do believe in regard to some of Erickson’s more “colorful” conclusions and warnings.

View Photo Gallery: The Republican presidential candidate’s decades as a bishop and stake president demonstrate an assurance with the church, a confidence in his authority and a deep spirituality.

1. Latter-day Saints believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ (see Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 11:14-18; Alma 7:10). Anything you may have heard to the contrary is inaccurate and does not represent the doctrine of the church.

2. Mormons believe that the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to enable men and women to mature and develop toward spiritual wholeness (through the atoning work of Christ and by the power of His Spirit); to gradually partake of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25); and to become as Christ is (Matthew 5:48; 1 John 3:1-2). These concepts are biblical, were declared by the early Christian church fathers, and are a part of Eastern Orthodoxy today. They certainly should not be foreign to any person who knows anything about the Christian faith. Mormons seek to be transformed spiritually here, in this life, so that they and their families can dwell with God in heaven forever. Notions of creating planets or governing universes are folklore and not a part of the doctrine of the church.

3. Latter-day Saints believe that all men and women are created equal, that God is no respecter of persons, and that He invites all to come unto Him, black and white, male and female (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 26:33). That some Mormons in the past may have said or done things that could now be construed as racist is unfortunate; we are taught to be better than that. But those actions were probably no more racist than any other religious body during the 19th or 20th centuries. That is no excuse for unchristian behavior, only a reminder to us of the need to put things into historical perspective.

4. Latter-day Saints in the United States feel a deep love for their country and that God had a hand in the formation of this land. While some would identify such an attitude as nationalistic, we believe it represents a healthy patriotism. Further, a Latter-day Saint’s highest loyalty and deepest allegiance are to God. Allegiance to country is secondary. I would suppose that such is also the case with every believing and practicing Baptist, Roman Catholic, Jew, or Muslim; God must come first in their spiritual lives. It requires a real stretch to suggest that such persons are divided in their loyalties or that they are seeking to serve two masters.

5. Mormons covenant with God in the temple to be Christ-like, to be charitable and giving, to be chaste and moral, and to devote themselves wholeheartedly to the establishment of God’s kingdom. Please note: no one is put to death for violating those covenants. No one’s life is threatened or taken if they should forsake the faith and become a bitter enemy of the cause. Thomas Nelson Publishers would have been well advised to consult the history: there is not a single instance in LDS history where the church or its leaders was responsible for the death of the disobedient or disloyal. In fact, our book of Doctrine and Covenants states: “We do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or . . . to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, or to inflict any physical punishment upon them” (Doctrine and Covenants, section 134, verse 10.) That standard has been in effect since it was written in 1835.

Every American is absolutely free to make up his or her own mind in this political season and to vote for whomever they believe to be the best candidates. My sincere hope is that we would weigh the merits of the candidates in terms of their experience and background as leaders in government or business. Let’s focus on what matters.

View Photo Gallery: “The Mormon story is a quintessentially American tale,” writes On Faith columnist Lisa Miller.

Robert L. Millet is a professor of ancient scripture and emeritus dean of religious education at Brigham Young University. His latest book is “Coming to Know Jesus.”

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  • SamSmith2233

    Remind me why Brigham Young couldn’t join Frederick Douglas in the abolition movement. Or why Martin Luther King’s contemporary, Mormon president Harold B. Lee blocked the ordination of Black men prior to 1978. You would think that God’s prophets could have found their way to the right side of history more quickly. Frederick Douglas and Martin Luther King, Jr. were able to figure it out.

  • loodakriss

    Thank you Bro. Millet for that well-constructed explanation of our beliefs. I have read excerpts from Tricia Erickson’s book and was floored by the inaccuracies of her temple experience. Her publisher should have done his due diligence in fact checking before putting it to print.

  • fkratzor1

    I listened to in interfaith conference from Florida which included Dr. Millet on a panel and who was answering report’s questions regarding aspects of the Mormon belief system. Someone mentioned the “King Follett sermon” which I remembered reading in Woodruff’s journal. So I read it again.

    How many converts do you believe your church would make if this sermon was the first thing they read? My guess is they’de be running for the hills. And I seriosly wonder how long it takes for those new to Mormonism to finally believe it themselves?

    Richard Packham’s home page describes religious organizations that have been termed “cults”. From what I’ve read, it appears that the Mormon belief system could be classified that way.

  • mguymon

    Well said, Dr. Millet. Though your column isn’t meant to advocate for Mitt Romney, it does help to make the case that we are a pluralistic society that can benefit from people from many faiths as our political leaders, including members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or Mormon Church). A person’s particular faith is not so critical as whether they are a person of honesty, integrity, goodness and intelligence. The more I hear about Mitt Romney’s private life as someone who truly believes in loving and serving those around him (not to “get credit” but simply because “it’s the right thing to do”), the more I look forward to his service as a public leader.

  • sarakei

    Very good article.

  • dcdinnell

    Guess you don’t know much about history – – Probably for the same reasons the Civil Rights movement did not occure until the 1960s, culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1964… Historians know that the “Act” didn’t change centuries-old bigotry, prejudice, and segregation (voluntary and involuntary) overnight… In fact, it was not until 1995 [that’s right, 1995] that the Southern Baptist Convention officially renounced its “racist roots” and denounced racism and apologized for its past defense of slavery.

  • dcdinnell

    fkratzor1 – – – I could show you so many weird writings by Evangelical, Protestant, and Catholic scholars… does that make it doctrine??? If you went by what they have to say as doctrine, you would probably deem yourself a “cult”… however, you do have those who are considered well educated and who have spent years in faith related studies – –

    Fuller Theological Seminary (largest evangelical graduate theological school in the world) President Richard J. Mouw stated, “…I have studied and taught about cults for many years. I have also spent the last dozen years meeting with Mormons — scholars and church leaders — to engage in lengthy theological discussions. These dialogues have included several other prominent evangelical Christian leaders… Based on these conversations and my own careful study, I do not believe Mormonism is a cult… I have also learned that in some matters we are not quite as far apart as I once thought… … I find Mormons to be more Christ-centered… Those of us who have made the effort to engage Mormons in friendly and sustained give-and-take conversations have come to see them as good citizens whose life of faith often exhibits qualities that are worthy of the Christian label…” – Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2011

    Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention stated, “…yes, most Mormons are socially and culturally Christian, but not theologically.” [Main differences being the Trinity, theosis, ongoing revelation/other scriptures.]

    Franklin Graham, the son of prominent evangelist Billy Graham, states: “…I’m just saying most Christians would not recognize Mormonism,” Graham said. “Of course, they believe in Jesus Christ, but they have a lot of other things they believe in too that we don’t accept theologically…

    2012 – Writing in the First Things blog site, Stephen H. Webb, a Christian professor of religion and philosophy at Wabash College since 1988, who has studied Mormonism extensively as part of his academic study of theology, say

  • R0B34U

    This is a disingenuous smear piece, washed by the PR department of the LDS church. It completely misrepresents the deeper beliefs of Mormonism in an effort to make the religion appear to be more mainstream.

  • SDKnewbie

    Bravo Sierra! There is no such thing as “deeper beliefs of Mormonism” and any claim to such only lives in the minds of religious bigotry. Don’t you get it that when someone looks at what Mormons actually believe/practice that you only destroy what little credibility you had to begin with?

  • tweedmeister

    In addition to my previous comments I’d like to add more about the personality cult that is Mormonism: One of Mormonism’s basic tenets is believing in God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. One does believe in Jesus and the atonement. However, this is where all similarities to Christianity end. Mormon Jesus does not save by faith. In Mormonism one must jump through endless hoops and over countless hurdles in order to gain salvation, which is never quite attainable. It’s the carrot on a stick. One must always do more, be more, and above all pay more. All salvation in Mormonism is dependent on one’s payment of 10% of gross pay (some bishops ask to see your earnings statement and tax forms). Without the 10% your are forbidden to enter the LDS temple and perform “endowments,” which Mormons believe are necessary for salvation. And if you are banned from the temple, you are also not allowed more simple things, like being in the wedding party when your child or sibling married. Mormonism can be an unusually cruel religion.

    I love Millet’s comment, “That some Mormons in the past may have said or done things that could now be construed as racist is unfortunate; we are taught to be better than that.” “Some Mormons” included all the leadership from Joseph Smith to present, even if some of the present have quit saying the racist things. The Book of Mormon and the easily debunked Book of Abraham both teach in no uncertain terms that dark-skinned people are inferior to whites. LDS leaders used to preach often and in crisp terms that Blacks were the “seed of Cain” and were being punished for the sins of their fathers.

    Also, Millet should watch what he says about “…there is not a single instance in LDS history where the church or its leaders was responsible for the death of the disobedient or disloyal.” This is just too easy for someone to research. Mormon leaders routinely punished the disloyal, even by death. Up until 1990 we still promised ourselves a bloo

  • tweedmeister

    My original comment, not posted:

    Robert Millet is best explained as a Mormon professional whose whole profession depends on his speaking for Mormonism. He is an apologetic and a shill for the church. He dare never speak a word against it or he will be sacked from his job. It would be better that someone else to speak for Mormonism, someone whose profession doesn’t depend on the church.

    I was the same “rank” as Mitt Romney for most of my adult life. That is to say, I held the LDS priesthood of “high priest,” which allowed me to officiate in all things Mormon. I did not serve as a stake president, but served in a host of other so-called “callings” of the LDS church until I resigned my membership at age 59 back in 2009.

    I cannot speak for Erickson’s book, but it is easy to see the context of her book by the title alone, the reference to Romney serving two masters. She rrefers to the temple endowment ceremony, which is a form of secret Craft Lodge Freemasonry induction that Mormons believe necessary for salvation. In that ceremony one must make the covenant to the Law of Consecration. One promises to give everything which one “has been blessed with or may be blessed with”–one’s money, home, car, time, talents, and even influence–to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon church) and for the building up of Zion (another name used for the Mormon church), should they ever ask for it. Should a US president be in this compromising situation in which, should they ask for it, the LDS church would call upon him to use his influence in their favor?

    Millet is a good shill for Mormonism. According to his comments above, womeny are created equal to men, and all races are the same. He discounts that the church has so far not owned up to 148 years of blatant and superficial racism, and that women in the church today are still denied simple and basic allowances given to the men. Utah holds the unusual postion of being first in the nation for anti-depressiion and anxi

  • fkratzor1

    The King Follett sermon wasn’t delivered by a religious “scholar”. It was delivered by your own Prophet of God Joseph Smith in front of 20,000 faithful. Do you really think it was delivered to have no impact. Why was it recorded by many different people? How long does your church wait until it teaches it to the newbies?

    I don’t care if Richard J. Mouw believes Mormonism isn’t a cult. He’s an evangelical who was on the panel with Dr. Millet in Florida. They are friends and trying to bridge the “gaps” that exist.

    It’s moreabout the elements of this belief system that is a concern. See Richard Packham’s Home page for this list under “what is new”.

    All one has to do is read the comments of all the people expressing their pain on recovery from Mormon boards to decide if it’s a cult or not. Why do all the support groups exist?

  • sbrian

    As Tweedmeister suggests, unfortunately Mr. Millet is playing the role that FLDS followers currenty play for Warren Jeffs: covering for a seriously flawed cult leader. LDS members need to “choose the right” and “stand for something,” rather than blindly covering for a seriously flawed founding leader who lived completely contrary to their most sacred moral commitments.Among many other things Joseph Smith: 1) illegally “married” over 30 women (1/3rd of whom were married to other men and another 1/3rd of whom were teenagers), all while lying to the world in God’s name that he only had one wife: 2) taught that people of African descent were given the “curse of Cain” and therefore could not receive the Mormon priesthood or be married in Mormon Temples; 3) taught that American Indians were dark skinned because of wickedness and could become “white and delightsome” if they became righteous; 4) put a special rock in his hat in order to dictate a new book of “scripture” (the Book of Mormon) which describes a vast, imaginary Israelite civilization in the Americas (the rock he used was the same he had used previously to look for buried treasure); 5) taught that all other Christian sects were inspired by the devil, and that only his church was the one and true religion; 6) taught that all people would need to eventually be baptized as Mormons to be with God in the afterlife. When will the LDS Church have the integrity to disavow the very serious flaws and immorality of this man?

  • dcdinnell

    tweedmeister – – – I hazard to say that you may in truth be the reason your wife is frayed and overworked… as for your misrepresentation of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is not unusual for those who have left the church to disparage it in any way they can… which for those of us who converted later in life [I was born and raised Lutheran, Missouri Synod, and taught Sunday School and was youth group leader], increases my understanding… and increases my studies of gospel principles even more…

    And I think you would be better off studying the Bible more and blaming others less for your choices in life…

  • dcdinnell

    sbrian – – – just using the un-researched claims of others for your source of all truth is not thinking for yourself…. study some real history… the “mark of Cain” or “curse of Ham” came from interpretations of Bible stories and was a commonly accepted concept of the early 16th to the 19th century Christian religions of Europeans and Americans regarding people of black skin…

    …According to historical scholars, early interpretations of the Bible in Syriac Christianity combined the “curse” with the “mark”, and interpreted the curse of Cain as black skin. Some argue that this may have originated from rabbinic texts, which interpreted a passage in the Book of Genesis (“And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell”) as implying that Cain underwent a permanent change in skin color…

    The explanation that black Africans, as the “sons of Ham”, were cursed, possibly “blackened” by their sins, was advanced only sporadically during the Middle Ages, but became increasingly common during the slave trade of the 18th and 19th centuries…

    The curse of Cain was used to support a ban on ordaining blacks to most Protestant clergies until the 1960s in both the U.S. and Europe…

    Look at your Baptist churches – The split between the Northern and Southern Baptist organizations arose over slavery and the education of slaves. At the time of the split, the Southern Baptist group used the curse of Cain as a justification for slavery…

    Some 19th and 20th century Baptist ministers in the southern United States taught that there were two separate heavens; one for blacks, and one for whites. Many Protestant groups in America had supported the notion that black slavery, oppression, and African colonization was the result of God’s curse on people with black skin or people of African descent through Cain or through the curse of Ham, and some churches practiced racial segregation as late as the 1990s…

    The Civil Rights movement occurred in the 1960s, culminating in the Civil R

  • dcdinnell

    There is a lot of folklore and misinformation about black members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church of Jesus Christ has never taught that blacks are ‘inferior’ in any way, shape, or form to people of other races. When it was a very unpopular concept, Joseph Smith (1st President/prophet of the Church) said in 1842, “I have advised slaveholders to bring their slaves into a free country and set them free–educate them–and give them equal rights.” (December 16, 1833), Joseph Smith, Jr. dictated a passage in the Doctrine and Covenants stating that “it is not right that any man should be in bondage to another.”

    The first black person was baptized two years after the Church’s founding in 1830, and Mormons started to ordain black men into the priesthood the first one in 1836, even to the office of a Seventy. Which other church in America (or any other social institution in America for that matter) was putting blacks in leadership positions over whites in the late 1830s to 1840s?

    Under the direction of Brigham Young, a ban on priesthood ordinations occurred generally between 1848 and 1978. And though early in LDS Church history there had been “opinions” spoken by a few LDS church members about the “mark of Cain” or “curse of Ham” being the main reasons for skin color being black, it is not and never has been taught as LDS church doctrine.

    The church, though, has never prohibited black men and women from joining, and black members remained with the church throughout the priesthood ban. There you have it. Mormons don’t know why the restriction existed, but it doesn’t now…

    Why was Moses directed to have the priesthood restricted to Aaron and his sons in the Old Testament, with only the tribe of Levi assisting them, and without extending the priesthood to any other tribes (see Exodus 28, Leviticus 8, and Numbers 1)? We don’t know the answer to that either. Why was the gospel not preached to the Gentiles until after Peter’s vision foll

  • dcdinnell

    As for a lot of accusations against Joseph Smith about his numerous wives… most of it seems to be accusation without actual proof.

    We do not deny there was polygamy in the LDS church, just that everyone throws so many conjecture, innuendo, and false stories into the mix about Joseph Smith…

    a fact is that out of all the claims that he fathered children by “other” wives has so far been tested by DNA investigations and proven false… again, lots of accusations and stories with no proof and would not survive a court of law… though I am sure they will keep looking and making up “theories” about it…

    What we do know is that polygamy was okay in the Bible, with many prophets practicing it, Abraham, Jacob, and others… King David, the anointed of God…

    “…And Nathan [Prophet] said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom…” (2 Sam. 12:7-8)

    And which of the wives of Abraham and David was the lineage of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ???

    Around 1831, Joseph Smith believed he was commanded by God to re-institute marriage to more than one wife, but only when directed by God, and for God’s reason. Polygamy involved only about 20 [all kinds of estimates as low as 3%, but 20% is commonly accepted] percent of the LDS population.

    Brigham Young allowed any woman who was unhappy to divorce her husband, thus allowing women the final choice in the matter.

    Later, after much persecution by the United States government, the church leaders again sought divine guidance and then did away with plural marriage. In obedience to direction from God, Latter-day Saints followed this practice for about 50 years during the 1800s but officially ceased the practice of such marriages after 1890, though some tried to continue the practice without official church sanction.

    Currently, one would be excommunicated for pr

  • dcdinnell

    sbrian – – – guess you really don’t read much… [your quote] ” 5) taught that all other Christian sects were inspired by the devil, and that only his church was the one and true religion;”

    I have read writings by Evangelical leaders, Catholic leaders, and Protestant leaders… who have said the same things…

    Your point being??? If you really had one…

  • sbrian

    Here is Brigham Young on the “curse of Cain”:

    “Cain slew his brother . . . and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. . . . How long is that race [blacks] to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam’s children are brought up to that favourable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed “(LDS Conference, 1859, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 290).

    From Mormon scripture:

    “…the Lord shall curse the land with much heat…and there was a blackness (2) came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people.” (Moses 7:8)

    “And Enoch also beheld …the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it were the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not a place among them.” (Moses 7:22)

    “Now this king of Egypt was a descendant from the loins of Ham, and was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites by birth. From this descent sprang all the Egyptians, and thus the blood of the Canaanites was preserved in the land. The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden. When this woman discovered the land it was under water, who afterward settled her sons in it; and thus, from Ham sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land…” (Pearl of Great Price, Abraham 1:21-24, 26c)

    For background on Joseph Smith’s illegal, immoral polygamous relationships:

    Read the extremely well-documented books: “In Sacred Loneliness” and “Nauvoo Polygamy.”

    For starter

  • dcdinnell

    sbrian – – – I believe that Joseph Smith claimed to translate from an old book, not dictate a new book as your false assumption misleads one to believe… he also stated he found a Urim and Thummim in the box with the gold plates to help… maybe not so difficult to understand if one really studies the Bible….

    Smith said he had received a visitation from an angel named Moroni, who later directed him to a long-buried book, inscribed on golden plates, which contained a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas [Book of Mormon],and the visitation of Christ as well. He used the Urim and Thummim to help in translating these plates…

    The idea of sacred stones acting as revelators to believers happened in the Bible…

    The Urim and Thummim is a phrase from the Hebrew Bible associated with the Hoshen (High Priest’s breastplate), divination in general, and cleromancy in particular. Most scholars suspect that the phrase refers to specific objects or most likely “stones” that were for some reason involved in divination to determine the will of God. (Ezra 2:63, 1 Samuel 28:6, Leviticus 8:8, Numbers 27:21, Exodus 28:30, and several other scriptures) the Urim and Thummim found in Num 27: 21 – Eleazar was then high priest, and Moses was permitted by the Lord to address Him directly. But Joshua and his successors could speak to the Lord only through the mediation of the high priest and by means of the Urim and Thummim. [In ancient Israelite religion and culture, Urim and Thummim is a phrase (meaning possibly “revelation and Truth” or “Light and Perfection” or “Perfect lights”). A method for inquiring of the God of Israel that was kept part of the priestly garments. Little is truly known about the Urim and Thummim; even the name has been subjected to wildly different translations. The Rabbis understood the Urim and Thummim to be part of the Breastplate of the High Priest and that its oracular function came from light shining through the

  • sbrian

    Just a little more documentation (enough or do you want more?)

    Brigham Young:

    “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 10, page 110.)

    Joseph Fielding Smith, 10th LDS President:

    “Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race. A curse placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures. Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the privilege of Priesthood and the fullness of the blessings of the Gospel. These are the descendants of Cain. Moreover, they have been made to feel their inferiority and have been separated from the rest of mankind from the beginning…. we will also hope that blessings may eventually be given to our negro brethren, for they are our brethren-children of God-not withstanding their black covering emblematical of eternal darkness. ” The Way to Perfection, pages 101-102.

    “There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less.” (Doctrines of Salvation, p. 61)

    “Ham, through Egyptus, continued the curse which was placed upon the seed of Cain. Because of that curse this dark race was separated and isolated from all the rest of Adam’s posterity before the flood, and since that time the same condition has continued, and they have been ‘despised among all people.’ This doctrine did not originate with President Brigham Young but was taught

  • dcdinnell

    sbrian – – – – so where is your quotation of Joseph Smith teaching [your quote] “that people of African descent were given the “curse of Cain” and therefore could not receive the Mormon priesthood or be married in Mormon Temples”???

    Or were you making that up???

  • sbrian

    All of the scriptures in the Pearl of Great Price were written by Joseph Smith and are the basis of the Mormon belief that the curse of Cain was black skin. Unless you’re saying that this scripture is in error (which I totally agree with). The consequence of that “curse” was no priesthood or entrance into the Mormon temples. As Joseph Fielding states above (unless he is lying, which is possible) these doctrines came from Joseph Smith. Sadly, I’m not making up this despicable, immoral doctrine.

  • dcdinnell

    sbrian – – – I would suggest you could do better in spending more time studying the Bible…. Why was Moses directed to have the priesthood restricted to Aaron and his sons in the Old Testament, with only the tribe of Levi assisting them, and without extending the priesthood to any other tribes (see Exodus 28, Leviticus 8, and Numbers 1)? We don’t know the answer to that either. Why was the gospel not preached to the Gentiles until after Peter’s vision following Christ’s resurrection (see Acts 10)? Why was Christ’s earthly ministry restricted to the Jews? There are numerous examples of restrictions against mingling with others and of sharing the gospel or parts of the gospel from groups of people in the Old and New Testaments.

    Some people understand and others do not….

    Today there are over 1 million Mormons of black African heritage worldwide. While African-Americans make up just 3 percent of Mormons in the United States, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center study, they make up 9 percent of Mormon converts… In Africa, now at just over 300,000 Latter-day Saints, church membership has grown by almost 10,000 new members per year, and they now have 3 LDS Temples there, and are building 2 more.

  • dcdinnell

    Joseph Smith did teach that all were equal in the sight of God… Joseph Smith (1st President/prophet of the Church) stated in 1842, “I have advised slaveholders to bring their slaves into a free country and set them free–educate them–and give them equal rights.” (December 16, 1833), Joseph Smith, Jr. dictated a passage in the Doctrine and Covenants [Church doctrine] stating that “it is not right that any man should be in bondage to another.”

    Joseph Smith ordained a black man to the priesthood in 1836. On February 7, 1844, Joseph Smith wrote his views as a candidate for president of the United States. The anti-slavery plank of his platform called for a gradual end to slavery by the year 1850. His plan called for the government to buy the freedom of slaves using money from the sale of public lands. He was the first white leader of an all white Christian sect to ordain a black man to the priesthood in America before the Civil War ended in 1865. One of those black men ascended to the Quorum of the Seventy and remained there until his death in the 1880s.

    Some people understand and others do not….

    Today there are over 1 million Mormons of black African heritage worldwide. While African-Americans make up just 3 percent of Mormons in the United States, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center study, they make up 9 percent of Mormon converts… In Africa, now at just over 300,000 Latter-day Saints, church membership has grown by almost 10,000 new members per year, and they now have 3 LDS Temples there, and are building 2 more.

    You can read more about the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at their official web sites: or

  • duwaynea

    Millet has done a nice job of telling the official corporate story — but, by leaving our key information, he’s guilty of lying about Mormon doctrine.
    Take, for instance, the issue of racism. Until just a few decades ago, the Mormon Church taught that Blacks could not hold the priesthood because they were from the “cursed” lineage of Cain. The justification was that those who were born through the lineage of Cain were not “valiant” in the pre-existence. Some Mormons will deny this — but they are simply lying when they do.

    Also, until a few years ago, the Mormon Church taught that the Native Americans are the “principal ancestors” of the “Lamanites.” The “Lamanites” are described in the Book of Mormon as having been “cursed” by god, with the mark of a “skin of blackness” [2 Nephi 5:21]. Furthermore, the Book of Mormon describes the Lamanites as becoming “white” when they “repented” [3 Nephi 2:12-15]. Modern Mormon prophets have suggested that Native Americans that join the Mormon Church are becoming whiter, too. [Spencer Kimball, October 1960 LDS Church Conference.] The fact that the Mormon Church has proselytized the Native Americans is a Red Herring; Mormon Doctrines about Native Americans are still racially offensive.

    The most offensive thing about Mormon racism, however, is the way the church denies its history and lies about its doctrines through apologists like Millet. It’s one thing for the church to be racist, and to teach racist doctrines — but it’s a much more offensive thing to be racist while denying the racism, and trying to cover it up with lies and distortions.

  • newspapercommenter

    dcdinnell, do you work for the LDS church? for BYU? or are you a missionary? You certainly have a lot of time to post so much information. If you don’t work for the church, are you being dishonest with your employer by posting this during work hours? Ignoring your family? If so, do you still hold a temple recommend?

  • CertainlyTruth

    I read that book “Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters?” and it is one of the most referenced and well documented books that I have ever read. Ms. Erickson grew up in the Mormon Church as a Mormon Bishop’s daughter and she knows of what she writes. It was a brave thing for her to do because idiots like Mr. Millet, here, lie through their teeth to protect this most dangerous cult of Mormonism. I would highly recommend that everyone read this book, not only to educate yourself about Romney (in which she documented his political record in Part II and is equally as interesting as Part I on his religion), but so that we can all go the voting booth with our eyes wide open, even if you vote for Romney…you need to know what we will face in the future.

    I also learned in this book that there is an old saying in the Mormon Church, “Lying for the Lord”. This means that Mormons are allowed to lie, if it helps to protect this church/cult. Mr. Millet is, indeed, “lying for the Lord”.

    Shame on Mr. Mormon Millet!

  • CertainlyTruth

    Oh, well, you need to read this book because it explains that Mitt’s father DID NOT MARCH WITH MARTIN LUTHER KING!!! and it was a COMPLETE LIE. Mitt’s father/Romney marched on a different day in a different place in order to “say” he did as a political ploy, and it was never even confirmed or proven that he marched at all.. AGAIN, HE DID NOT EVER MARCH WITH MARTIN LUTHER KING AND HE LIED ABOUT IT.

  • dcdinnell

    I was born and raised Lutheran (Missouri Synod), taught Sunday School and was youth group leader… and yes, in Sunday School we studied the “cults”…

    Later, I converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints… and after about 39 years…

    if someone says their is such a thing as an “old saying in the Mormon Church, ‘Lying for the Lord”, they are lying, or making false accusations… such as Ms. Erickson…

  • dcdinnell

    Some Interesting Facts about Romney:
    After high school, he spent about 30 months in France as an unpaid missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and had to pay for his own room and board.
    After graduating from both Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School simultaneously, he passed the Michigan bar but never worked as an attorney.
    He was an unpaid volunteer campaign worker for his dad’s gubernatorial campaign 1 year.
    He was an unpaid intern in his dad’s governor’s office for eight years.
    In 1984, he co-founded Bain Capital a private equity investment firm.
    Under his leadership, Bain Capital, starting with one small office supply store in Massachusetts, turned it into Staples; now over 2,000 stores employing 90,000 people.
    He also worked to perform the same kinds of business miracles again and again, with companies like Domino’s Pizza, Sealy, Brookstone, Weather Channel, Burger King, Monsanto, Burlington, Warner Music Group, Dollarama, Home Depot Supply, Sports Authority, Steel Dynamics (SDI) which has since grown to become the fifth-largest U.S. producer of carbon-steel products, and many other successful companies. It is more profitable to have a company worth more than less… Yes, he could not save a few who were too deep in difficulties.
    Romney “outsourcing” has been debunked by Factcheck, Washington Post, and Yahoo News.
    He gave his entire inheritance from his father to charity.
    In 1994, he ran for Senator of Massachusetts and lost to Ted Kennedy.
    He took a 1 dollar salary while helping save the 2002 Winter Olympic Games financially.
    He was an unpaid bishop and stake president of his church for about 12 years giving voluntary service of at least 20 or more hours each week for that entire time frame.
    In 2002, he was elected Governor of the State of Massachusetts where he eliminated a 1.5 billion deficit.
    He took no salary and was the unpaid Governor of Massachusetts for four years.
    In 2008, Romney and his wife, Ann, were awarded the Becket Fund’s

  • David L Sadler

    “In Africa, now at just over 300,000 Latter-day Saints, church membership has grown by almost 10,000 new members per year, and they now have 3 LDS Temples there, and are building 2 more.”

    Do the Mormon missionaries tell the Black African converts that prior to 1978 they were not deemed worthy to enter Mormon temples because of the colour of their skin? (Of course not!)

    Seems to me the only place the Mormon church is expanding is in countries where people are less educated and have less access to the truth. Of course the existing faithful are under a huge amount of pressure to bread heavily to keep the numbers up – big Mormon families breed even bigger Mormon families. (Just take a look at Mitt Romney’s family snapshot – a prime example)

  • dcdinnell

    newspapercommenter – – – I was born and raised Lutheran (Missouri Synod), taught Sunday School and was youth group leader… and yes, in Sunday School we studied the “cults”… (and I still find it interesting to learn about other beliefs…)

    Later, I converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…

    It is 6:05 am, I have said my prayers, eaten breakfast and have been reading the daily news, and will leave for work in about an hour, after reading my scriptures with my wife and son.

    I have 3 sons, one served in Iraq, one is working for a hospital and my youngest has multiple disabilities… and we take care of him, not the state… does this help you? And I do have a temple recommend…

  • dcdinnell

    newspapercommenter – – – I forgot… I do not work for the LDS church, do not work for BYU… however all LDS members should consider themselves as witnesses of Jesus Christ… though they may not be a full-time, volunteer, unpaid, self-supporting missionary.

  • CertainlyTruth

    I’m copying an excerpt from that book (Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters) on lyiing for the Lord:

    “Lying for the Lord!

    There is a LDS church doctrine that declares that lying is permissible and in order if the truth either implicates the church or makes it look bad in any way. In spite of the fact that this practice directly contradicts the 9th Commandment given by God not to lie, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. (Exodus 20:16 KJV)
    The ensuing trial from the Mountain Meadow Massacre was laden with deception and cover up. It is a practice of Mormons not to answer direct questions that may implicate or demean the church in any way. Mormons believe that they are not obligated to answer a specific question. In the Book of Mormon, the book of Alma records the following account in the 11th chapter verse21-22.
    21 And this Zeezrom began to question Amulek, saying: Will ye answer me a few questions which I shall ask you? Now Zeezrom was a man who was expert in the devices of the devil, that he might destroy that which was good; therefore, he said unto Amulek: Will ye answer the questions which I shall put unto you?
    22 And Amulek said unto him: Yea, if it be according to the Spirit of the Lord, which is in me; for I shall say nothing which is contrary to the Spirit of the Lord.
    This is a tactic that is taught to Mormons in order to avoid questions that may be undesirable to answer. Mormons are taught, instead, to answer questions that they believe should have been asked.”

    If you want the truth on The Mormon Church and what has been discussed here on this blog, I would strongly suggest that you read that book so I won’t have to copy excerpts here to get the truth to this group.

  • CertainlyTruth

    Look it up. Her experience is accurate. She went through the temple around 1970 and the ceremonies hav been changed up as they were “outed” for their outregeous practices. Richard Packham has the cerimonies on his website – scroll down to the 1970’s. Be careful when you opine on things you don’t know about.

  • dcdinnell

    CertainlyTruth – – – if that book is your source of all truth, then you are certainly lacking in research skills… which means you would be lacking in truth and knowledge…

    Historical context is always important… such as knowing why 12 million Christians were killed in the 30 year war fighting each other…

    After going through a great deal of being persecuted, murdered, women abused and raped, driven from their homes, having their property taken from them, the Latter-day Saints were driven from New York to Ohio to Missouri and to Illinois.

    Charges were brought against Smith [Joseph Smith already had been arrested and charged for the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor. He was found INNOCENT of all charges. He was then arrested again (illegal to do so) on the exact same charges, and found innocent again. It wasn’t until the third arrest, on the exact same charges and he submitted to incarceration in Carthage.

    In Carthage, on June 27, 1844, an armed mob of about 200 men with blackened/painted faces stormed the jail where Smith and three other Mormon prisoners were being held in an upstairs room without bars, while under the supposed protection of the state of Illinois. An eight-man guard from the Carthage Greys was assigned protection detail. They disappeared before the attack. As the mob broke into the room, Smith was hit by a ball [bullet] from the door and fell from the window. On the ground he stirred a bit. Four men fired on him and killed him.

    Two attackers who were hit by Smith’s firing, were not killed (as was first reported) but only wounded. They were alive and well at the trial. Charges were brought against five accused leaders of the mob that had killed Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and they stood trial in May 1845. The jury, which included no Mormons, acquitted the defendants.

    Eventually fleeing to Utah, it was only short time before persecution began anew, and Latter-day Saints heard the federal government was sending an army to occupy their

  • CertainlyTruth

    Oh my gosh! The Mormons slaughtered these innocent people in cold blood and now the Mormon Church has purchased the “killing fields” where they are buried.

    The heads of the Mormon Church are adept at revisionist history and “lyeing for the Lord”, and the Mormon Flocks beleive anything they are fed by the false prophets, bishops and overseers of this wicked church. The above is an example of their revisionist history. Lord help us all!

  • bw437

    How do Romney’s comments about wealth redistribution jive with Acts 4:32 through 5:11?

  • dcdinnell

    CertainlyTruth – – – guess you don’t read history, and don’t believe in judgement… which also means you probably spend little time in studying the Bible…. but you do try to your best to judge others…