Mormon Devotion

“Could an atheist be a statesman? A Mormon?” **

The above headline caught my attention the other day. [**Note: The original headline quoted here has since been rewritten.] Of course, the author meant–and subsequently addressed–the question of whether a Mormon, or an Atheist, could be a statesman, but the headline could also be understood to wonder whether an Atheist could be a statesman – or whether an Atheist could be a Mormon. Interesting question.

In order to be baptized a member in the Mormon Church, a person must participate in a pre-baptism interview and satisfactorily answer six questions, two of which have to do with what the candidate believes:

“1. Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior and Redeemer of the World?

“2. Do you believe that the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Do you believe that [current Church President] is a prophet of God? What does this mean to you?” (Handbook 1 [LDS Church Handbook of Instructions], 2010, p. 144)

The remaining four questions in the interview are conduct-related. They deal with questions of repentance, past behavior, one’s intention to live “gospel standards,” and one’s willingness to covenant with God to take the name of Christ and keep His commandments throughout life.

It is unlikely that an Atheist would be able to pass the Mormon baptism interview – or even want to. But what about someone who joined the Mormon Church with faith, only to later loose that faith?

According to the dictionary, “apostasy” is, as you probably know, “the abandonment or renunciation of a religious belief.” In Mormonism, apostasy is grounds for disciplinary action. In fact, a Disciplinary Council is “mandatory” when the transgression involves apostasy. So it would seem that an Atheist could not be a Mormon. But as is often the case, the definition the Church applies to this word turns out to be different than what we might think.

The LDS Church Handbook defines “apostasy” in this way:

“As used here, apostasy refers to members who:

“1. Repeatedly act in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its leaders.

“2. Persist in teaching as Church doctrine information that is not Church doctrine after they have been corrected by their bishop or higher authority.

3. Continue to follow the teachings of apostate sects (such as those that advocate plural marriage) after being corrected by their bishop or a higher authority.

4. Formally join another church and advocate its teachings.” (ibid., p. 57)

So the key is not what one believes, but what one does and/or teaches. We talked about this here at Mormon Coffee a few years ago when Lyndon Lamborn lost his faith in Mormonism and talked about it. At his Disciplinary Council meeting in 2007 he was told,

“It is one thing for you to believe, you are certainly welcome to believe what you would like, but when you start to take those things to other members of the church and persuade them not to follow the commands of the prophets, requires church discipline.”

Mr. Lamborn was excommunicated. Though he was not involved with any other church, he “advocated” things that could have ended up damaging the faith of other Mormons. Therefore, his excommunication was in keeping with the Mormon Church’s policy:

“Priesthood leaders must take disciplinary action against apostates to protect Church members…Total inactivity in the Church or attending another church does not constitute apostasy. However, if a member formally joins another church and advocates its teachings, excommunication or name removal may be necessary if formal membership in the other church is not ended after counseling and encouragement.” (p. 57)

So, back to the headline and the question it unwittingly asked: Could an Atheist be a Mormon? Yes, certainly, under certain conditions (i.e., silence).

Though the LDS Church likes to present a unified front to the world when it comes to faith, the spiritual devotion of Mormon membership ranges across a wide spectrum. Mormons may be true blue, signed, sealed and delivered; or confused followers of the true Christ who have temporarily lost their way; or people who don’t know – or care – if there even is a God. Some are people who are doubting and scared, some are burned out after years of trying to be worthy, some feel so betrayed by the LDS Church that they have given up on God altogether.

Can a Mormon be an Atheist? Yes, and sadly, some undoubtedly are. But Christians have Good News to share with every LDS Church member. Whether true blue or totally done with God, Christ the Lord still calls:

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

 

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in LDS Church, Mormon Culture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Mormon Devotion

  1. Brian says:

    Dear Sharon,

    I love that hymn you’ve shared here. What an interesting article. You’ve observed how LDS people run a wide spectrum; some who enthusiastically believes the LDS religion, others who are Christians who mistakenly thought it was just another denomination.

    I thought the LDS description of apostasy was quite illustrative. Each of its four points describes man’s relationship to man. Nothing about man’s relationship to God. Almost as if its writer had confused (or equated?) the two.

    My prayer for the LDS people would be in short, to look at the object of their belief, and turn from it. What is this object? It is, simply, the self.

    Where is forgiveness of sins? It is found in one’s conduct; the self.
    Where is truth? It is found in one’s feelings; the self.
    Where is righteousness? It is found in one’s choices; the self.
    Where is eternal life? It is found in one’s eternal family; a collection of selves.

    In Jeremiah, the Bible tells us what is really found in the self: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (17:9)

    So, if not self, where?

    Where is forgiveness of sins? “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

    Where is truth? It is found in God’s testimony about himself in his word, the Bible (John 17:17).

    Where is righteousness? It is found in Jesus Christ. His perfect life, freely imputed to all who believe (Romans c. 3 & 4).

    Where is eternal life? Jesus Christ said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life” (John 6:47–48).

  2. Kate says:

    There is nothing worse to a Mormon than an apostate. I have participated on one other blog and there is a Mormon apologist affiliated with FAIR who also participates, he loves to call me an apostate, thinking that this is just so offensive to me. What I find interesting is that in Mormonism (I’m talking about all 200 sects) they each consider the others as apostate from true Mormonism. The FLDS consider the LDS apostate for dumping the commanded practice of polygamy. Section 132 of the D&C is still in the LDS canon. Why aren’t they practicing it? Aren’t they apostate from the real teachings of Joseph Smith, actually the teachings of the first 5 prophets of Mormonism. The LDS consider the FLDS and former RLDS apostate because they didn’t follow the same path as they did. LDS members are considered apostate ONLY if they share their beliefs with others. To be honest, I didn’t realize that I had so much room for my own beliefs while a Mormon. I was taught from teaching manuals published by the LDS church. I believed what was in those and also what the prophet said at general conference. I didn’t know that I had the freedom to believe anything I wanted so long as I didn’t share it with anyone. When did this become the norm??? I love Brian’s comment. Mormonism is all about “self.” It is so true.

  3. falcon says:

    Mormonism teaches that the Christian church went into apostasy with the death of the apostles and that the gospel was lost and then via Joseph Smith the original true blue “gospel” got restored. The problem is that there’s no record that what passes for Salt Lake City Mormonism ever existed in the first century Church. It can’t be found in the Bible or in any of the writings of the Church Fathers.
    A couple years back, Andy Watson engaged one of the Mormon posters in a several week off-line dialogue challenging the Mormon regarding the Mormon church’s slogan regarding the Council of Nicea. We all know the slogan. Like all Mormon slogans it’s one of those nice little ditties that’s meant to broad brush a topic with the idea that the individual Mormon isn’t going to bother to really check into the LDS church’s claim.
    The claim is that at the Council the Emperior Constantine made up the doctrine of the nature of God i.e. Triune God and it was articulated in a creed. Andy walked the MP back through time via the writings of the Church Fathers and proved to the MP that the doctrine of the nature of God was clearly written about back in the second century. It wasn’t an invention of Nicea.
    The MP really had no where to go but to admit that the LDS church was wrong in its assertion. So Andy’s point to him of course was, “The LDS church is lying about this.” It made not a dent in the MP despite the fact that the LDS church is suppose to be right, true and perfect.
    Mormons wouldn’t even qualify as apostate Christians, they are that far off the bubble when it comes to the basics of the Christian faith. They can’t prove that what they practice and believe (it’s always changing anyway) was original Christianity. In effect, Mormonism via Joseph Smith is childish. The members are satisfied with simplistic explanations and what I call “all better now blankies” that they can wrap themselves in when reality pokes it’s head into their dream world.
    I don’t know why these folks don’t spend a little time in study and get a grip on what history actually says rather than simply except the LDS church’s claim of apostasy. The Bible tells us that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was delivered once and for all. We have the paper trail. We have a historical record and perspective.
    Becoming familiar with this will make a Mormon feel bad about Mormonism and the LDS church so we know that it won’t be given much credence as feelings are everything with this group.

  4. falcon says:

    Mormons have a real need to defame and impugn the folks who leave the LDS church and are considered apostates. It’s really bad if the person is well known or of some rank. I was talking to my buddy Andy Watson about a high profile Mormon who just bailed out and Andy says, “Wait, pretty soon they’ll start stories about him saying he’s a homosexual or something.”
    That’s kind of the reputation the LDS church has regarding “apostates” especially to those leavers who don’t respond to the love bombing tactics that generally follow someone’s departure from the sect.
    The other tactics are front-loaded as members are told that people leave either because they were offended or because they got tripped-up morally. It can never be that the person found that the LDS church isn’t true. The other story is that people who go apostate aren’t ever really happy there after and generally fall into serious sin.
    I guess serious sin would be watching a PG-13 movie while drinking a coke.
    I was watching the “Heart of the Matter” show once and a Mormon called in and the guy was positively whining, begging Shawn M. to come back to the LDS church. I thought that the poor dude was going to start crying or have a break-down as he was pleading with Shawn.
    Apostate Mormons are the only folks who are going to go to Mormon hell also known as outer darkness. Once a Mormon loses this fear and if they can handle the rejection of their so called Mormon friends; and sees it as part of the LDS control program, they can enter a life of freedom and enjoy being labeled a Mormon apostate.

  5. Kate says:

    Yes, I’m a Mormon apostate and all around me think I’m going to Mormon hell. What they don’t see is the true happiness that I have found in the True and Living Christ. Complete freedom in him.They don’t know him, so they can’t possibly understand. When the bishop finally got ahold of me on the phone regarding my resignation letter, the first thing out of his mouth was ” Has someone offended you?” My husband (being the quick wit that he is) said I should have told him “Yes, Joseph Smith.” Well I guess I didn’t think that fast. I live in a pretty small area and so far I haven’t heard rumors of me having an affair or doing some sort of horrible sin. I really don’t care what people say or think about it. Just think, if I lived in Brigham Young’s day, I may be subject to blood atonement! I can’t even imagine what it was like back then for people who were trapped out here in the West with no money to go anywhere. I’m sure if they apostatized they kept it to themselves! I used to fear the LDS church, now I just feel sick that I was ever a part of this fanatical cult. My hope is that more Mormons will start to research due to the ease of the internet and find the truth behind the multimillion dollar corporation. It’s going to be interesting watching this up and coming generation who have been raised on the information highway and are more logical and tolerant of others than the past generations. I think the LDS church is going to have it’s hands full.

  6. Brian says:

    That sounds difficult, Kate. Yet it is far better having left a life of fear and guilt, to that of God’s love and grace.

    Once, others declared you to be righteous (that is, worthy). But you weren’t. Now, God has declared you righteous. And others believe you aren’t.

    It is interesting. Many in Utah talk of “the Savior.” But what is their reaction towards those who tell of having been saved? I can’t but think their reaction reveals what they really believe of Jesus Christ.

    May God continue to bless you, Kate.

  7. Rick B says:

    I would like any Mormon to show me in the Bible where you must answer these questions before being baptized? Wont happen.

    Thats a Mormon made idea. Now in the article we read:
    However, if a member formally joins another church and advocates its teachings, excommunication or name removal may be necessary if formal membership in the other church is not ended after counseling and encouragement.” (p. 57)

    This bring me back to a couple of questions I have asked many times over the years and and just very recently to a person who never answered me.

    I asked, What if I dressed like a Mormon with and elder badge and went door to door but preached my gospel, would you allow that? If not why not?

    That quote answers my question. No I could not do it, that tells me LDS teach another gospel and we are not all believers as they claim.

    It also answers my question of, how come RLDS and FLDS call them selves Mormons, but the LDS tell them they are not. Thats ok for LDS to tell them they are not Mormon, But if we tell LDS they are not Christian, The LDS throw a fit and tel us we are judging them and we cannot do that.

    Funny how they can do to RLDS and FLDS what we do to them and it’s ok for them but not us. That quote answers my question though, LDS are right, the FLDS and RLDS cannot be Mormon, but then that quote tells me LDS cannot be Christian.

  8. falcon says:

    When it comes to apostate Mormons, I was wondering which subgroups will go to Mormon hell, outer darkness?
    Will those who are “inactive” but have never taken their names off the rolls of the Salt Lake City based LDS church go to outer darkness?
    Will those who formally take their names off the rolls go to outer darkness?
    Will those who are atheists but because of family or economic reasons go along with the program and don’t leave go to outer darkness?
    Will those Mormons who don’t keep the Mormon word of wisdom go to outer darkness?
    And just for added measure, will those members of the FLDS and who are reestablished to good standing after they die, go to the Celestial Kingdom and will they get to become gods and be able to rule their planetary systems along with their goddess wives? In-short, do they get to keep all of the women?
    Finally, are there any polygamists in the Salt Lake City LDS church?
    Since polygamy is still on the books of the LDS church, and since it is being practiced in the Celestial Kingdom and since the only reason it isn’t practiced is political and societal, why would they be considered apostates?
    So I guess the question of who is a Mormon apostate really comes down to what branch of Mormonism someone follows.

  9. Rick B says:

    I find it funny that many LDS tell me, All will be saved. and Hell does not exist, but then they say, not all will be saved and some will go to outer darkness.

    This raises a few questions?
    Who’s teaching these contradictory teachings?
    who correct on these teachings?
    and I thought all have a second chance after death and time to hear the gospel for one last time, and you can be baptized and be saved after your dead?

    What about (Family’s) being together forever? You cannot be together forever if your in hell.

  10. falcon says:

    I’ve been wondering why Mormon author Richard Bushman (Rough Stone Rolling) and Grant Palmer (An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins) got different treatment from the LDS Church. Palmer got disfellowshipped while Bushman remains in good standing. Both of them wrote books chronicling Mormonism and Joseph Smith but while Bushman appears to be an LDS super-dude, Palmer got the back of the LDS machine’s hand.
    Martha Beck (Leaving the Saints) and Fawn Brodie (No Man Knows My History) also met with not too friendly of a response from LDS Inc.
    Does anyone know of other authors of LDS origin that got into trouble for their apostate ways? How about Todd Compton who wrote about polygamy and who was the other guy who wrote a book about Mormonism and the magical world view.
    Anyway, being an apostate Mormon author in some cases I guess means writing a book that is true but not favorable to Mormonism.

  11. Sandi B. says:

    LOL Rick B., don’t you know only all good people will go to some form of mormon heaven (which should leave it empty since there are no good people.) I am happily an apostate as I tendered my resignation about six years ago when really got saved. I have to say, there was not much in the way of consequence for me to do this, as I live in California, but for those who live in Utah and other heavily populated mormon areas, there can be a real price to be paid for taking your name off the roles. I just feel pity for my friends who are left in the mormon church. It is sad. Jesus often said “let those who have ears to hear…” but sadly the mormon people do not even want to hear, especially those who have been raised in it from birth or a young age. I pray for my mormon friends, please hear the words of Jesus, not the words of the so called mormon “prophets.”

  12. Sandi B. says:

    Oh and to Falcon, I did not even know that Mormons claimed that the original church went into apostasy until after I was out of the chruch for 17 years and then became a Christian and spoke with a mormon attorney that I deal with in my work. This was not part of the “gospel presentation” given to me as a covert. I don’t know where that came from, but it seems to be an all too convenient explanation as to why mormonism exists.

  13. falcon says:

    Sandi B.
    That was the whole justification for Joseph Smith starting his own religion. Remember Smith said that God told him not to join any church because they were all wrong and their creeds an abomination etc.
    Then to bolster the idea of the “restored” gospel, Mormonism teaches that some scribe copying the Biblical manuscript left the Mormonism out of (the Bible). It’s the big conspiracy theory.
    Mormonism survives on this sort of nonsense because the Mormon people won’t ask the hard questions. It’s all very convenient. Did you know that UFOs were also left out of the Bible as were Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. It’s all part of the conspiracy. See critics have to prove that it wasn’t there as opposed to Mormons having to prove that it was there.

  14. Hahahaha, Falcon…
    Poor ol’ Santa. Where’s HIS modern day prophet??

    Honestly, it really does amaze me at how wide the spectrum is when it comes to Mormon members. I’ve met so many different kinds… the arrogant, religious zealot; the “jack” Mormons; and then the totally inactive. I haven’t met many ex mormons, but I live in an area where Mormons are still (mostly) the minority. I actually have a friend who got mad at her Utah-born-and-bred bro-in-law, because he was explaining to her the “gospel principles” that prove that men are superior to women. Yeah, that didn’t go over so well. I didn’t get into the whole “um, he’s probably right”, because I know she knows it. She just wants to plug her fingers in her ears and sing “lalalalala”. It’s just easier that way.
    I do feel sorry for the questioning Mormons. The ones who are pretty certain the Church isn’t all true, but are too afraid to voice their concerns. Their families will be heartbroken/angry/disappointed. That’s a lot of pressure. So I wonder how many Mormons aren’t really Mormons at all? How many just go through the motions, because they don’t know any other way to live? There’s no alternative, other than picking up and leaving. Once people come to a true knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus, I have a feeling they would find the courage. But the others that haven’t quite found Him? It’s gotta be such a helpless, monotonous feeling.

  15. Sandi B. says:

    The saddest thing in about the mormon chruch is the utter ignorance and I mean that in the most literal sense, that is a staple of the chruch membership. As a convert to the chruch, I was ignorant of the Bible and therefore I was ignorant of the fact that I was learning about a false God and a false Jesus. Since the Bible is not taught in the church and the really abberant teachings are poo poo’ed by “the leadership”, such that it is, those in the church only learn what the church wants them to learn. Anything else is labled as anti mormon. I remember when I was up at BYU going to the general conference in SLC and truely not understanding why those people who were out there trying to preach the gospel to us when we already had the true gospel. I was ignorant and so is the majority of the chruch membership. I don’t think anybody could have told me at that time that I didn’t belong to the only true chruch and that I was on the wrong road, no matter how they tried. I see it now when I try to engage mormons now in any kind of discussion as to their beliefs. They are ignorant of the True and Living God of the Universe. Joseph Smith is their god. They sing hymns to him and speak of his sacrafice an martyrdom. They even blelieve that he will be at the judgement seat. I find it overwhelmingly sad and frustrating and yet I try to remember I was once that person and ultimately that gives me hope. May the King of All Glory and His Holy Spirit draw as many as He will of those poor lost souls out of that cult and bring them all to Him!

  16. Kate says:

    Sandi B,

    You hit it right on the head. Joseph Smith has replaced Jesus in Mormonism. I wonder how many Mormons know that he had a pistol with him at Carthage Jail. I certainly didn’t. I learned that a few years ago. They seemed to have forgotten that little detail during all of the lessons about it at church. Even worse, they forgot to mention that he shot at least 3 people, 2 of whom later died according to John Taylor who was actually there. Come to think of it, maybe they didn’t know about all of that. I live in Utah and everyone around me is LDS. How I wish I could move to another State. It’s so difficult.

    Marriedamormon,
    I’m laughing as I read your comment about your friend’s brother in law. I wonder, does your friend know that women are nothing but baby factories in the LDS church? One thing I am so shocked about in the LDS religion is that men will raise their wives from the grave and she better give him a great life here on earth or else he has the right to leave her in her grave and not call her forth to sit with him as a goddess wife on his own planet. Yes that’s right, he has the power to not call her forth (by her temple name) and then she will be a slave to someone else for all eternity. Why do women buy into this? Why do they settle for a man to call them from the grave? There is only one that can call us from the grave and I am putting my faith in him. No matter what, I know that he will call me because of my faith in him, not because I showered him with attention and did everything in my power to make him feel good about himself. I guess most women don’t know that this is a Mormon teaching. I certainly didn’t until I started researching. I’m so glad that I’m out of that lifestyle!

  17. Brian says:

    Amen, Sandi!

  18. Ralph says:

    Wow, I have to laugh at this article. We LDS have an organised church for a number of reasons – because we believe that Jesus organise one while on this earth and that He organised this one; to look after the members and their physical and spiritual welfare (which doesn’t work very well in most areas due to imperfect human beings) – are the main reasons. We invite all to come to Christ through repentance and baptism and accept all who wish to join and follow Jesus’ teachings.

    If someone decides to turn from these beliefs then they are kept as members as long as possible so that they are still provided for spiritually and taught in the correct way to try and get them to see the truth. This includes those who were born into the church and have decided not to believe anymore but still go to church because of their parents/spouse/friends/etc, or those who converted and had questions but found the answers elsewhere but were the wrong answers. They are allowed to remain as members as long as they do not teach their aberrant ideology to themselves while at church and church functions.

    Now compare this to the way your ‘church’ is. It is not organised so there are no records as to who belongs and who doesn’t. This means that if someone moves into the local church and visits a couple of times but no one notices, they can go ‘inactive’ and no one would be there to look after their spiritual welfare by going to their home and seeing if they want any fellowship or something else to help.

    But there are those in your faith who were born to parents who believe and go to church that decide not to believe but still go because of their parents or as life goes on their friends/spouse etc. These are atheists that would be counted as believers as they are showing the outside form of believing but only to be accepted, or because it’s the only thing they know because of how they grew up. But then if they decide not to show up anymore, the only way it would be known is if the parents/friends/spouse lets everyone know that they have ‘lost’ their faith and need help. Other than that, no one would notice as there are no records kept.

    So there are atheists in both groups – LDS and ‘Traditional Christianity’. Ultimately it is Heavenly Father and Jesus who will sort the wheat from the tares and as long as we are willing to accept those who stray from the truth into the fold and teach them then there is a chance for them to be counted as wheat.

  19. Brian says:

    Hello, Ralph. Thanks for participating at this forum. It’s good to have you here.

    As I read your writings, I noticed that record-keeping is something very important to you. If accurate records aren’t kept, it is easy to loose track of people. This is certainly a valid point. You conclude by saying it is ultimately God who keeps records. This is true. In the Bible, we read of a book, the Book of Life:

    “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 11–15).

    I am grateful my name is written in God’s book (John 5:24).

  20. Hey Ralph,
    Thanks for joining in. You do make a good point in that the LDS Church keeps really great tabs on its members. We can’t go anywhere without missionaries popping up at our door, since my husband is still technically a member. Sometimes it’s nice to have people asking if we need help. Other times it’s annoying to feel like everyone wants to know your business.

    I have to respectfully disagree on the comment that athiests can be in “Traditional Christianity” as well. See, the difference between the LDS Church and our “church” is that God’s “catholic (universal) church” is made up of believers. Anyone who is a Christian and is saved is considered a part of that church. So while an athiest may attend a Christian church, he cannot be considered a Christian. One would have to worship Christ in order to have that label. Whereas in the LDS Church, anyone who is on the records is still considered Mormon, whether the leaders know their true feelings or beliefs on the church or not. They still count when active members brag about the numbers. And each local church does have records. How else would we be able to pay our tithes, be assigned to an elder (not the same definition as in lds), or become members? However, our records are just a list of names defining a church family.

    However, if you are regularly involved in a local Christian church, I find it very hard to believe that you can just disappear without anyone noticing or caring. I’ve never seen that happen before, and I’ve been at this since I was a kid. If you just go once or twice? Of course people aren’t going to remember. But this is not something unfamiliar to LDS either. Just because you’re a member doesn’t mean you’re remembered. Just yesterday my Mormon friend told me when she and her hubby lived in UT, the RS President came up every week for 2 months and introduced herself. When she told the woman they’d already met and told her their last name, the lady spouted out their address, as if she remembered the name in a book, but not the person.

    Thankfully, God doesn’t forget us.

  21. grindael says:

    The Mormon Church is not an ‘organization’ of Jesus Christ, it is a CORPORATION, which Jesus has nothing to do with. Here is an interesting article on this, for any interested: http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-corporatism-has-undermined-and.html

    Some interesting points:

    Since Jesus Christ is the head of the church, it would be incompatible for a church to petition the government for permission to exist. The church, as Paul taught, is the body of Christ. He governs it with His laws, principles, and directions. It is not subject to man’s laws. No Christian pastor in colonial times would have thought to place his church under political control.

    As the Supreme Court explained in the case of Hale v. Hinkle:

    “A corporation is a creature of the state…It receives certain special privileges and franchises and holds them subject to the laws of the state and the limitation of its charter. Its powers are limited by law. It can make no contract not authorized by its charter. Its rights to act as a corporation are only preserved to it so long as it obeys the laws of its creation. There is a reserved right in the legislature to investigate its contracts and ascertain if it has exceeded its powers” (Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43)

    “Corporate existence,” according to Roberson’s Business Law, “is a privilege granted by the sovereign upon compliance with specified conditions.”

    So that’s a problem for any church that gets a hankering to incorporate, because in the church, Jesus Christ is supposed to be the sovereign. When application is made to incorporate a church, the will of Jesus Christ becomes subordinate to the will of the state. “For a church to become a corporation,” goes the maxim, “in effect divorces the church from Christ.”

    All of this incorporating of churches is unnecessary in America anyway, because churches automatically operate in a sphere separate from the state. Governments have no jurisdiction in the church whatsoever. There is no tax advantage for a church to incorporate, as some mistakenly believe. But there is if that “Church” actually wants to operate as a business. Then it can trade its sovereignty in exchange for special privileges granted by the government.

    Which is what the President of what used to be the LDS church did in 1923.

    The fact is, the Mormon church by the 1880′s was becoming an economic force to be reckoned with. Not only was it threatening the Eastern money men, it was also threatening the peace within the church, as members of the Twelve argued constantly among themselves about -you guessed it- money.

    The Twelve Apostles were now much too busy to to go forth throughout the world and spread the good news of Christ. They had to stay home and spend all their time managing literally hundreds of church owned businesses. It was virtually impossible by this time to find where the division lay between ecclesiastical and monetary interests. Apparently God himself couldn’t help getting in on the action, as He kept coming up with hot investment tips to pass on to his servants. According to historian Michael Quinn:

    “In1870 Brigham Young publicly announced a revelation for Mormons to invest in a railroad. In 1881 John Taylor privately dictated a revelation to organize an iron company, and in 1883 another revelation to invest tithing funds in a gold mine. In the 1890′s the hierarchy gave certain men the religious ‘calling’ or obligation to invest thousands of dollars each in a sugar company.”
    This focus on the financial over the spiritual was starting to take its toll on the Church. Brigham Young, Jr. felt it had all gone too far. “There is too much time given to Corporations, stocks, bonds, policies, etc. by our leaders to please me,” he wrote in his diary, “We are in all kinds of business interests. Even the members of the Twelve represent businesses which are jealous of each other and almost ready to fight each other.”

    With only a hint of exaggeration, Daymon Smith cheekily summarizes the situation:
    “No longer members of any legally recognized religion, Mormons organized a focus group to re-brand their identity. So they called around to some California railroad lobbyists, New York ad-men, and brainstormed and out-paradigm-shifted a totally innovational re-branding of Mormonism.”
    “The Trustee thus offered bonds to Eastern bankers with the promised collateral being the Mormons themselves.”

    In the original LDS church from the time of Joseph Smith, all members were considered of equal worth. They were called “members” because in the ancient church the scriptures called them “members of the body of Christ.” All parts were of equal importance to the Lord. You know the words of Paul in 1st Corinthians 12: “The head cannot say to the feet, I have no need of you.”

    Likewise church property bought with member’s tithing was considered held in common by all the members of the church, with common consent required for the purchase or disbursement of that common property.

    But not anymore. Under the corporation sole, the head could tell the feet to go take a hike. The president of the church could do whatever the hell he wanted with the member’s money without asking permission from the members whatsoever. It’s spelled out right there in the charter. The president of the corporation needs no authorization from any mere member of the Lord’s church. No show of hands, no vote, no “all in favor please manifest.” Like the Pope, his power is absolute. He is the Sole Brother.

  22. grindael says:

    Mormons no longer are asking one to join a Church, but to be part of an entity called ‘The Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. _johnny

  23. Kate says:

    Ralph,
    You said: “If someone decides to turn from these beliefs then they are kept as members as long as possible so that they are still provided for spiritually and taught in the correct way to try and get them to see the truth.”

    Have you ever gone inactive? I’m guessing not because if you had, you would never say the things you just did. I went inactive for about 5 years, no one noticed or if they did, they didn’t care. Not that I wanted them bugging me, but the only time I was noticed was when they received my resignation letter. I couldn’t get them to leave me alone after that. Seriously? I too would rather have my name written in God’s Book of Life rather than LDS records.

    I agree with grindael, the LDS church has become nothing but a huge multimillion dollar corporation thanks to members tithing money. What makes me sick is watching one of my friends trying to feed and clothe her six kids on minimal money, struggling month after month, no help from her church (she’s a temple mormon and active) yet she makes sure to get that tithing in every month. Who is suffering? Her kids! Who cares? Not the LDS church. I have another friend who is a single mom, she’s inactive, she went to her bishop for help because she is about to be evicted from her home and he told her that the church wouldn’t help her because he was getting a bad “vibe” from her. Please don’t assume that the “church” is just so good everywhere to everyone, even the inactives, because nothing could be farther from the truth.

    Please consider this scripture:
    Matthew 19:23-24
    23Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God

    The LDS prophet and apostles are extremely rich men. Please explain to me how Thomas Monson is a multimillionaire? Hasn’t he just worked for the LDS church most of his life?

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