LDS apostle discusses pre-1990 Mormon temple death penalties

British reporter John Sweeney made a documentary about Mormonism that aired on BBC on Tuesday (3/27/12. See film clip below). According to The Guardian, before the documentary aired, representatives of the Mormon Church hand-delivered a letter to BBC2 “complaining about The Mormon Candidate.” The Guardian reports,

“The letter complained about an interview which Sweeney conducted with Mormon apostle Elder Jeffrey Holland, which the church claims was ‘an ambush’ according to a BBC source.

“Sweeney, who once had a very public spat with the Church of Scientology over two Panorama programmes he has made, disputes these claims, insisting that Elder Holland was fully briefed about who he was and what he wanted to talk about.”

Jeffrey Holland is normally quite poised and confident as a representative of the Mormon Church. However, it does seem that John Sweeney’s interview caused the Mormon apostle a good bit of consternation–and this for good reason.

Mr. Sweeney asked Jeffrey Holland about the blood oaths (specifically throat-slitting) that Mormons used to swear to in the pre-1990 temple endowment ceremony. Mr. Holland first denied that Mitt Romney would have sworn such an oath when he went through the temple. Mr. Holland said, “That’s not true. We do not have penalties in the temple.” But when Mr. Sweeney pressed the issue, Mr. Holland admitted, “We used to.”

Yet upon further questioning Mr. Holland insisted that the oath Mitt Romney (and presumably other Mormons) made in which he agreed to have his throat slit was not about keeping the temple ceremony secret, but rather “that he would not tell anyone about his personal pledge to the Lord.”

Continuing, Mr. Holland explained that evangelicals, Roman Catholics, indeed, “anyone who has a relationship to God has made a pledge of some kind to God. There’d be some kind of loyalty to God or what kind of God is that?”

Mr. Holland asked a good question. What kind of god is it that requires followers to agree to have their throats slit if they tell “anyone about [their] personal pledge to the Lord?” Having been an evangelical for 33 years, talking and walking with God daily, I have never made a promise to God—or been asked to make a promise to God—that carries with it a death penalty to be exercised upon my failure to honor that pledge. In fact, rather than see me die for my failure to honor God, God Himself has died in my place!

What kind of god is the Mormon god? He’s definitely not my God.

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.
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45 Responses to LDS apostle discusses pre-1990 Mormon temple death penalties

  1. TJayT says:

    I’m afraid I don’t know enough about the pre 1990 temple ordinances to add anything intelligent to that part of the discussion. I will say that I didn’t think Elder Holland’s remarks where dodgy, and I thought he handled himself well in a tough interview.

    Guess the brain washing runs deep in this one ;)

  2. Mike R says:

    TjayT, I discovered many years ago while researching Mormonism that this behavior
    by their leaders of denying or dodging certain of their doctrines/practices when
    confronted by non-Mormons . What’s it like following these men who like Apostle
    in the above interview has to be less than forthright when asked certain questions?
    Why submit to these men ? Do you actually feel you need them to get to Heaven ?
    I’d appreciate your comments on this . Thanks .

  3. TJayT says:

    Mike,

    Like I said in the comment above, I didn’t see Elder Holland’s answer here as denying or dodging. It sounded to me like he first wanted to get the point across that we no longer have this in our Temples (something the interviewer didn’t make clear in his question) and then moved on to talk about the past.

    I haven’t seen the full documentary yet, though I hope to in the next few days.

  4. falcon says:

    Holland dribbled a foul ball off the end of his bat on his first swing and then tried again. It was obvious that he tried the “everybody does it” explanation to try and make the throat slitting and bowel dissection gestures seem natural and normal.
    Having been raised Catholic, I went through all sorts of rituals but was never asked to do anything even remotely similar to the pre-1990 Mormon temple rituals.
    I remember renouncing the devil and all his works at my first communion and becoming a “soldier for Christ” during confirmation. The bishop gave us all a little tap on the cheek to signify that we must be prepared to take abuse for the sake of Our Lord and possibly even die as a Christian (for the faith).
    It’s kind of ironic that Mormons claim all this ancient and true wisdom and then see fit to change it. The reason the temple ritual got changed is because the rituals became widely known and Mormon women were uncomfortable with the ceremony.
    The point of the ceremony is to scare the day-lights out of people and indoctrinate them into the secret order. The whole ritual will play with a person’s mind.
    Back to Holland; he seems like a decent sort of man who would like to down-play the whole subject and move on to deeper truths……….because you know there’s SOOOOO much more to the restored gospel besides these dramatic things that outsiders neither understanding nor can appreciate. It’s all really super deep and spiritual and if you’re not at that (spiritual) level, you can’t possibly appreciate it.
    Bottom line is that Joseph Smith lifted the temple rituals after becoming a Free Mason. There’s nothing holy, sacred or ancient about them. It’s just more cult indoctrination.

  5. spartacus says:

    First –

    “In fact, rather than see me die for my failure to honor God, God Himself has died in my place!”

    Sharon! Woooo! Sharon! Good On Ya! Go-Sharon! Go-Sharon! Wooooooooooo! And Amen!!!
    Woo!

    Second,

    I could go along with TJayT and say that Holland was simply describing the current oaths. That may be the case. So that he then admitted about the pre-90 oaths after he understood that the interviewer meant Romney’s oaths were pre-90. But he obviously didn’t simply say “we used to have those but we don’t now”. Instead he denies outright. This seems to obviously indicate Holland’s wish to not deal with the actual death-oath the interviewer makes clear he IS talking about.

    I’m kinda shocked Holland talked about it at all.

    But then he tries to sweep it away with his “everybody does oaths” remark. Which is also an obvious ploy since the interviewer isn’t interested in oaths but DEATH-oaths.

    So just taking the content of the video does seem to be clearly denial and sweeping under the rug.

    If you add the long history of the current Apostles/Prophets denials and omissions, it becomes clearer that this is just another example of standard practice for them.

    The interviewer doesn’t mention this, but anyone who knows anything about these “restored” ordinances should be appalled that they were changed at all.

    If it was restored, but then changed, isn’t it corrupted?
    Are not plain and precious things lost?
    Is this not a CLEAR instance of the Prophet/Apostles/Entire Church Leadership leading the members ASTRAY?!!?!??!?!?

    How can this be denied?

  6. falcon says:

    spartacus,
    You forgot the Mormon escape clause; “progressive revelation”. Jehovah Witnesses have an escape clause that’s got it’s own phrase; “We have more light now.” The other little ditty that Mormons use is, “milk before meat”. This means a recruit has to be indoctrinated slowly because if you expose them to it all at once, they’ll jump ship. Recruits are prepped to expect the greatest spiritual experience of their lives when they go through these rituals. In fact, many come out confused, bewildered, shocked and totally turned off.
    I don’t know what Holland expected to be asked about? Was it food storage maybe? The weird stuff about Mormonism is known and they’re going to be asked about it. I don’t know why they just don’t give-up the weasel act and answer in a straight forward manner. Richard Packam has a video on YouTube that shows the ritual replete with the costume which is worn.
    We’ve had several presidents who were Free Masons and went through these rituals. How does brotherhood in the lodge grease the skids for members in every day life? I would guess that a gesture or a flash of the ring can go far in gaining influence and favor.
    What does it all mean to Romney as far as the Mormon rituals go? That’s the real question.

  7. Kate says:

    falcon,
    Thanks for posting the You Tube video by Richard Packham. I’m confused, shocked, and totally turned off. I have read about the temple stuff, but actually watching it all somehow shows it for what it really is. How sad that people are wasting hours upon hours in these dead works. Where is Jesus in any of this? Where is the Saving Grace or the Blood of Christ which Saves us? Why do we need all these hand shakes, grips, oaths, pieces of clothing? Where did Jesus ever say this is what we need to get to Heaven? NONE of this is anywhere in the Bible.

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

    I often wonder how people can get so far off track when the teachings of Jesus are right there in black and white.

  8. falcon says:

    Kate,
    It’s called ignorance……..and I don’t mean that in an insulting way.
    Why would someone raised in the Mormon church, taught that it was the “one true church”, even question it?
    The questioning comes when a person observes something that’s inconsistent with the “one true church” paradigm.
    Take your situation for example. Something caused you to seriously question a thing or two that you had been taught in Mormonism. Once the questioning started, my guess is that your belief that the Salt Lake City Mormon church was the “one true church” was seriously challenged.
    At that point you had a choice. You could just stuff it all and say “Oh well, it will all come out in the end.” or you could say “This information draws into serious question whether or not the LDS church is true.”
    By contrast, the question should be, “Is Jesus true?” What an answer will entail is examination of the nature of God and specifically Jesus. The really curious person takes a look at the debate that raged during the first four hundred years of the church and the eight or so different theological positions being argued.
    Now for the really curious, read the writings of the anti-Nicene (anti doesn’t mean they were against it) fathers of the Church. I’ve never slogged through it all but have read some. Andy Watson bought all the volumes and I think he may have made it through it all.
    One of the things Andy would tell you is how incredibly deep these guys were. They were explaining things for which there was no vocabulary.
    I have a book here (I’ve read most of). It’s title is “Early Christian Doctrines” by J.N.D. Kelly. It is, as the pull quote states, “…….a clear, precise and up-to-date account of the early history of Christian doctrine.”

  9. falcon says:

    cont.
    Now I can hear the Mormon voices coming forth saying, “These men were not prophets of God?” Now how would Mormons know that? On the day of Pentecost, the believers in Jesus were baptized in the Holy Spirit. These folks walked with Jesus and when they had subsequent “revelations”, it was the real deal.
    They took great effort to get it right when it came to Jesus and they instructed others. Paul writes continually about the gospel and warns those to whom he’s writing not to tolerate false doctrine. He repeats the words “sound doctrine” over and over again.
    There were always attempts to subvert the teachings of the apostles especially when it comes to the person and work of Jesus Christ. But Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church and that when the Spirit of Truth came, He would lead the disciples into all truth.
    The number one truth is that Jesus is the incarnation of God. He is the visible representation of the invisible Father.
    Can you see why the devil would raise up false prophets to teach something else?
    I think you can see from the video that for some reason, Mormon leaders are ashamed of what they believe. They go to great lengths to hide, explain away or obfuscate what Mormonism teaches and practices. Doesn’t sound like they are convinced that their church is “true”.
    That’s the problem with trying to defend an institution; a system.
    As Christians we hold to the belief that Jesus is God incarnate. He is true. We place our faith on Him not some religious system invented by false prophets. When the fire comes, the Mormon institution will not stand. The dead works of Mormonism will be consumed.

  10. Thanks for your kind enthusiasm, Spartacus! ;>) We serve such an awesome God, don’t we?

  11. setfree says:

    I kinda feel bad for Holland. Is he just the current fall-guy, the one who can speak unofficially for the church on this issue today?

    Terrific call, Sharon. Great comparison.

  12. Mike R says:

    Spartacus said, ” If you add the long history of the current apostles/prophets
    denials and omissions, it becomes clearer that this is just another example of
    standard practice for them.”

    That sums it up rather well . Is this what the true church of Jesus Christ is today?
    A billion dollar corporation run by officials who rule with unquestioned authority
    and warn their followers that to reject their counsel is to reject God ? These men
    create Temples where secret rituals are considered as part of the gospel of Jesus
    Christ, and yet testimony from some attendees have revealed an uncomfortable
    feeling, a shock at parts of these rituals . So officials silently altered those parts of the
    rituals . News reports of these changes are accompanied with testimony of how
    those who leaked these changes to non-members were threatened with disciplinary
    action . This is Jesus’ Church ??? For those who desire to be forgiven by God and want
    to receive eternal life was all preached by those apostles that Jesus authorized
    to spread His gospel , and these men were faithful to that commission . That gospel
    these men preached is readily available today as it was 1900 years ago. It was
    sufficient to save those then and to save anyone today and it stands in stark contrast
    to the so-called gospel of would be apostles today who’ve added secret rituals to it .
    For many Mormons the behavior of their leaders has opened their eyes to considering
    the simple message to Jesus in the New Testament , and dismissing the elaborate
    “gospel” they’re been detoured into embracing . May God help them in their transition.

  13. Mike R says:

    Setfree, good to hear from you again . You are missed !

  14. Rae says:

    Hi y’all!!! Your favorite lurker has returned.

    Falcon–
    Normally I don’t come down all spelling or grammer “nazi” on a post, but I think something you said above may need some clarification, given the mindset of a poster or two. :)

    In your 12:39 post of today, you refered to the writings of the “anti”-Nicene church fathers. I think you meant “ante” as in before, prior too, etc. Like Antebellum–before the war, or ante-diluvium–before the Flood. Ante-Nicene refers to the period of time before the First Council of Nicaea in 325.

    BTW Falcon, I admire you for reading these works. That’s one of those things I have an ambition to do , but never quite get around to.

  15. falcon says:

    Rae,
    Thanks for the correction. My Bad!
    I’ve read excerpts but don’t have the works. Andy Watson highly recommends them.

    I’ve made it through five of the six video portions listed above. The total is about an hour and well worth it. There is one section where I think Jeffery Holland has to discuss Joseph Smith the con man. Holland is so Mormon in his explanation. Mormons don’t quite get it that folks outside of their clan just aren’t going to accept their “faith-enhancing” answers. He’s also asked about baptism of the dead in particular the Jews.
    There’s a short clip from a woman who is a lawyer and former Mormon who talks about the “sacred” underwear. She mentions the “symbols” on the garment.

    It’s well worth the time watching the videos. I think for the Mormons all excited about Mitt Romney running for president it may be a case of “be careful what you wish for”. Mormonism is going to be exposed and I would guess not for the enhancement of the religion.

  16. falcon says:

    OK,
    So I just finished the whole program from BBC. They do an interview with a woman who was living in Boston at the time that Mitt Romney was the bishop of the church there. It would have been about twenty-five years ago. She became pregnant and was not married. She claims that Mitt counseled her to give the baby up to the church for adoption. She refused and Mitt is said to have not been real understanding concerning her plight.
    She’s in the conclusion of the program and says that Mitt’s deeply held Mormon beliefs would be too much of an influence if he were to become president. This is of course her opinion so the viewer will have to take her at her word regarding her story.
    They also interview Park Romney, Mitt’s second cousin. He looks remarkably like Mitt. He’s a former Mormon and pulls no punches concerning the religion. There is extensive discussion about the committee, the name I forget, that is charged with keeping track of former members.
    Holland pleads ignorance as does the church PR guy that is interviewed. The PR man first denies that such a committee exists and then recants and says it does exist. Holland does say that he knows of the group and they were founded to keep track of polygamists.
    Again, he goes dumb on what the activities of the group is today. Park Romney claims he has been trailed by members of the group as recently as a month before the interview. It is also said that the church employs former FBI and CIA employees who work for the committee. That sounds a little conspiratorial to me however hearing stories from former Mormons about how they have moved and home teachers and MM still find them lends credence.

  17. Kate says:

    “It is also said that the church employs former FBI and CIA employees who work for the committee.”

    CREEPY!! I wonder if this is really true? Do I have a former FBI or CIA agent digging into my life? I really don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all. In fact, I just had the new sister missionaries knocking on my door a week or so ago. This is the 4th set of missionaries they have sent since I resigned a little over a year ago. These girls could have been used car salesmen! I could not get them off of my doorstep no matter how many times I told them I was NOT interested. Even after I got rude with them they still tried to push their phone number on me just in case I changed my mind! The reason this is so upsetting to me is because in my resignation letter I specifically stated that I wanted absolutely NO CONTACT from ANYONE within the LDS church. They don’t care, I’ve had phone calls and missionaries. Now to learn that I may be followed by a committee of some sort makes me a little freaked out! Isn’t this invasion of privacy and harassment? How does one find out if this weird, creepy committee truly exists?

  18. falcon says:

    Kate,
    You would enjoy that discussion in the video with the former Mormons regarding how the church pursues former members.
    I wonder about the motives of the church. Do they think that it’s their job to save the people from going to Mormon hell? I thought Mormonism was all about “agency”? Isn’t that the word for free will in Mormonism? You could answer this better than I can, but isn’t it true that part of Utah style Mormon culture is being in everyone’s business? That is judging who’s on track and sort of monitoring the other members.
    It’s also about personal boundaries and allowing for personal choice. I imagine these folks tell stories to themselves about how they pursued person X or Y and how they finally won them over and brought the stray sheep back into the fold. It’s called “Mormon Urban Legends” and there’s a whole web site dedicated to it.
    On-the-one-hand, it might be a good opportunity for you to do some Christian evangelism with these MM. The problem is, judging from some of the Mormons who show-up here and post, they all sound and act like R2D2 from the Star Wars movies! All programed!

  19. 4fivesolas says:

    Kate – If you watch the video they make it clear that this committee does exist – and they seem extremely uncomfortable even talking about it. So, yeah, my assumption would be that they are indeed tracking, reporting, keeping tabs on “subversives” etc. just based on their dodgy answers and also based on what some of the former Mormons said about their knowledge of this committee. This committee sounds heavy handed, especially for a religious organization, however, I don’t think they are really threatening, they are just trying to control the message as much as possible – especially since there are so many problems with the message. However, I can’t imagine my church denomination having such a committee – it’s so absurd it makes me laugh a bit just to think about such a thing.

  20. falcon says:

    4five,
    You wrote:
    “I can’t imagine my church denomination having such a committee – it’s so absurd it makes me laugh a bit just to think about such a thing.”

    That’s because you don’t belong to a cult! I know that calling Mormonism a cult is provocative however they have earned the label. “Normal” people and organizations don’t act this way. It’s abusive! Part of the cult label comes from the fact that the LDS leadership and even the rank and file can’t talk “straight”.
    It’s all smiley faces and sweetness and light on the outside. That’s one of the signs of an autocratic abusive system/organization. Everything needs to look good on the outside. The machine can never be wrong. It’s the people that are wrong but certainly not the leadership. If you find fault with the organization it’s you, because the organization is true and right.
    Thus the tracking down and pursuit of the enemies of the church which are often the former members. What was the committee called in the old days? Wasn’t it the Danites?
    Group think and paranoia is what led to the Mountain Meadows Massacre. All of the secret temple hocus pocus, the control of the members and the heavy handed way former members are dealt with, not to mention the occult foundation of the church has earned it the “cult” label.

  21. 4fivesolas says:

    falcon – I agree. At a minimum it exposes that the leadership does not have confidence in the LDS religion – it has to be controlled, it must be manipulated, they must seek out opposition and try to silence or mute their message. This is the opposite of having a simple trust that what they preach is God’s message and he will see it through, draw His children to Himself and redeem them. Christians have an understanding that God works all things together for His purposes and for the good of those who belong to Him. To me, this committee shows that Mormons don’t really believe or practice this simple trust – they are worried about the disturbing facts about Mormonism getting out, they are worried about their members being exposed to the truth.

  22. Mike R says:

    The Mormon Temple ,supposedly the most holy place on earth , the house of God,
    where the most holy, righteous, somber, glorious, sacred, true teachings are received .
    There are some other of these holy sacred spiritual truths that were once taught but
    have since been discarded besides the secret penalty oaths that Mr Holland might have
    responded to if asked. Two examples: The portrayal of christian ministers as hirelings
    of the the Devil; and also , if my memory serves me correct, Satan was once portrayed
    as having black skin . All this is part of the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by His
    “modern-day ” apostles , right ? I think the true apostles that Jesus actually did direct
    to spread His gospel saw Mormon apostles coming—2Cor 11:13; Rev.2:2 .
    God help the precious Mormon people to exchange their gospel and their apostles
    with those who taught the true gospel of salvation. Heb 7:25; 9:11-12

  23. falcon says:

    4/5
    Here’s the problem, as I keep pointing out.
    Mormonism is about the system. The system is what delivers the pay-off. If you work/do the system, you will obtain a reward. If you leave the system, you will be punished not only in this world but the next.
    The religious system is billed as perfect and it must remain so in the minds of those who are in the system. Any crack or evidence that is contrary to the “perfect” message, is to be attacked, controlled and contained.
    Mormonism must remain perfect in the minds of the members or what’s the point? The pinnacle of salvation can only be reached within the system, the members are told. The Mormon system is more important than their acknowledged god because that god and all the other gods achieved their lofty status through the system on some other planet. The system can make you a god in the minds of Mormons.
    So what exactly are the elements of this system that can turn a man into a god? First and foremost, dedication and devotion to the system and the men who run it. Absolute obedience is required.
    The hook is the righteous living (standard). That seems to make sense, right? In order to become a god, someone must first be good. If only the founder of the religion would have followed his own recipe.

  24. TJayT says:

    Falcon said, “. They do an interview with a woman who was living in Boston at the time that Mitt Romney was the bishop of the church there. It would have been about twenty-five years ago. She became pregnant and was not married. She claims that Mitt counseled her to give the baby up to the church for adoption. She refused and Mitt is said to have not been real understanding concerning her plight.”

    I remember hearing about her last election cycle (or was it at the beginning of this one? I can’t remember, it seems like he’s been running for 7 years straight). Her story is strikingly similar to my biological mother’s, and it would have been around the same time frame, and is one of the reasons she hates the Lds church. Apparently it was Lds policy to suggest strongly that single mothers give there children up for adoption. I belive it’s the same today.

    As to Parker’s comments he came off pretty paranoid to me. If I remember correctly he said something like, “I know I was being followed. I can’t prove it was the church, but I’m sure it was them!”

    Ya, and the Masons and Pope are running the Illuminate and the Jews run the media. Better go buy some gold!

  25. fproy2222 says:

    falcon says: – March 31, 2012 at 12:56 pm – (Here’s the problem, as I keep pointing out.
    Mormonism is about the system)

    I need to thank you for an insight I had not recognized before. You and others have somehow focused on the means of returning to Heavenly Father, instead of keeping sight of the goal of being with Father.

    Fred

    PS. If the Danites were real and acted like your group wants people to believe, you would not be able to blog.

  26. setfree says:

    Thanks for that, Mike R. Nice to see you guys too :)

  27. 4fivesolas says:

    Fred –
    The Danites don’t exist today as far as I know – they were around early in the founding of the LDS religion. The desire to control others and the messages that get out however still exists in the Mormon religion. They don’t operate at the same level violent evil today that was exhibited in the Danites, but the goal of suppressing that which they don’t like obviously still exists. Here is a post at Mormon Coffee on the Danites: http://blog.mrm.org/2010/01/danites/

  28. spartacus says:

    fproy,

    “Jesus saith unto him, I am the WAY, the truth, and the life: no man COMETH UNTO the Father, but BY me.” (John 14:6, emphasis mine)

    I appreciate that you are beginning to post better, but either you did not write your last post well or you really do yourself a disservice by showing this type of ignorance.

    If Jesus is the WAY, and no one comes to the Father but BY Him, then which Jesus you believe in determines what way you are on and to whom you are going by that Jesus.

  29. falcon says:

    fred,
    You do the Mormon thing again when you try to put the “return to heavenly father” spin on what is really a personal goal of becoming a god.
    Saying “return to heavenly father” makes it sound more “Christian like” and allows Mormons to skirt the issue which is the quest to become a god. That’s why Mormons are accused of being dishonest. The Mormon system isn’t established merely to facilitate a happy reunion with the heavenly mother and father that begot the Mormon as a spirit baby on or near the planet Kolob. The system is there to perpetuate the never ending cycle of producing gods.
    The motivation for doing the Mormon system is to become a god just like the Mormon heavenly father and Mormon heavenly grandfather and Mormon heavenly great grand father and …………………..
    Mormons are known for not shooting straight with people but rather framing issues in acceptable language meant to deflect attention and inquiry. That’s why former members talk about how the church lied to them both by omission and commission. For example, it irritates and infuriates them that Joseph Smith is portrayed as one thing when in reality he was something totally different.
    BTW the Danites were a real group with a real history in the Mormon church. You need to get up to speed on this religion that you think is true, pure, perfect and all sweetness and light.

  30. Kate says:

    falcon,
    So I took some time to watch the entire BBC program and I am more than a little creeped out! I will say that my immediate family have not and would never shun or alienate me. The reason is because a lot of them are inactive and don’t live the religion. My Mom would NEVER treat one of us that way either, but that’s just the type of person she is. I don’t doubt for a minute that some LDS who leave are shunned and alienated. I do know a few that this has happened to. I couldn’t help but laugh at Mr. Holland throwing out the 14 million number. He forgot to mention that only about 5 million are actually active and attend his church. He also forgot to mention that of that 14 million there are many, many that have left and resigned, yet they have not been removed from that number. Lies by omission. Mr. Holland needs to make those figures public. Let us all see the true numbers. When he was asked about Romney making the death oath, it was a simple yes or no answer. He couldn’t even bring himself to be honest for a second. He also seemed upset and agitated at the questions being asked. I see that same look and demeanor from active LDS when I ask questions. As for Romney being elected President, even some of my inactive LDS family members say that if that happens, the LDS church will be running this country.

  31. fproy2222 says:

    4fivesolas;
    The Danite question is one of interest. I find the conflicting original documents to be of extra interest.

    ++++++++++

    Spartacus;
    (“Jesus saith unto him, I am the WAY, the truth, and the life: no man COMETH UNTO the Father, but BY me.” (John 14:6, emphasis mine))

    I agree with you here, we just disagree on how Jesus does it. You can see that this is one of the verses that the followers of the Trinity definition have to smash hard to fit it into their definition.

    ++++++++++++++

    falcon (You do the Mormon thing again)

    The “Mormon thing” you speak of is trying to show how folks like you do not have full knowledge of LDS history and beliefs when you repeat what some say about the Church. I have known about the danites for a long time, I first heard about them in the 70’s.
    In the 80’s I became aware of the “committee” ya”ll are so riled up about. It is not a secret, it is right out in the open for anyone to see, if they cared to learn the truth.

    ++++++++++
    As to the video, did you notice that it was not a news piece, but an opinion piece that was slanted against the Church?

    It would be fun to see if ya’ll want to list the things they got wrong about the Church [just what the announcer said, not with the opinions of the people interviewed].

    Fred

  32. falcon says:

    Kate,
    Happy you were able to devote the time to watch the entire program. I was thinking the same thing about the 14 mil claim. Two-thirds are inactive and I’ve read that half of all returning MM go inactive.

    TJay,
    I’m not given to conspiracy theories, but they can be fun and entertaining……for about three minutes. I remember when Jim McMahon was the QB for the Chicago Bears, Sports Illustrated did an article about him. I remember him talking about his time at BYU. Now he was about the least likely guy to play for BYU since he was a Catholic and really wasn’t into the behavioral expectations of the college.
    He basically said that people from BYU (I don’t know if was self-appointed students or actual officials) would follow him and sit outside his apartment spying on him and his girlfriend.
    As only Jim could put it he said something like, “Well they can kiss my a@@.” Notice that Jim has never been inducted into the BYU sports hall of fame even though the numbers he put up there were phenomenal.
    I think you’d have to admit that there is a least some element of truth in the stories regarding folks being “observed” or checked-out by either rank and file behavior police or people employed by the LDS church.
    The committee exists by Holland and the PR guy’s reluctant admission. How else do they manage to track people down without doing some investigation? It’s all pretty creepy and the alibis awfully thin.
    In his book “Beyond Mormonism”, Jim Spencer wrote about being an older student at Rick’s College. He wrote an editorial about some of the hypocrisy at the college and this was the result:

  33. falcon says:

    cont.
    “Not long afterward I got a late-night phone call at our apartment in St. Anthony. Margaretta and I had already gone to bed; it was nearly midnight. I padded out to the kitchen to answer it.
    ‘Why don’t you just knock it off, Spencer?’ came a male voice I didn’t recognize.
    ‘Who is this?’
    ‘Someone with good reason to question your loyalty to the Church. What are you doing at Ricks, anyway?’
    By this time I was getting mad.
    ‘No wonder you won’t identify yourself,’ I retorted. ‘People who make anonymous phone calls are cowards!’
    And I slammed down the receiver……That was the first of a series of strange late-night phone calls. One suggested we get out of town. All questioned my commitment as a Mormon. What I had considered a ludicrous situation in need of resolution (i.e. the subject of the editorial in the school’s newspaper) was apparently hands-off to many people.

    I think the message here is you don’t mess with the system. If you do the system will come down on you either by self-appointed guardians of the truth or official members of the church management team/committee.
    This is plain and clear the features of a cultic and abusive religious system.

  34. falcon says:

    Well I went to church again today.
    That’s two Sundays in a row and to the same church. The college students were back so the worship band had its full compliment of players back including a girl lead guitar player. Pretty cool! Same edgy music though, which I like; all focused on Jesus.
    The sermon was really good and related to the Palm Sunday theme. The pastor used as a hook, a line from the old “Get Smart” TV series. The way it would work out is that at the end of the episode there would be some accounting of Maxwell Smart’s performance. Max would always hold his thumb and index finger about an inch apart and exclaim: “I was that close!”
    When Jesus entered Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday, there was a riot. Some of the people were welcoming Him as the Messiah or King or some sort of deliverer while the religious leaders were enraged. The question of course was, “Who is this guy?”
    It’s the same question that people have to ask today, “Who is Jesus?” The Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses see Jesus as “a god”. The JWs say Jesus is the reincarnation of the Archangel Michael. Mormons say Jesus is the spirit offspring of a former man who became a god and one of his many wives who live on or near the planet Kolob. Some people say Jesus was a good man, some say He was a prophet, and still others say He was a good man with a moral message.
    Christians believe, rightly, that Jesus is God incarnate; the visible representation of the invisible God. It’s important to get Jesus right. It’s won’t be good enough to stand before God and say in Maxwell Smart fashion, “I was that close!” Being close doesn’t qualify.

  35. Mike R says:

    Falcon, that’s great you went to church . We get worship the true Jesus with those
    that also love Him, and we can encourage those who are struggling in one way or
    another —- Heb 10:25. You’re right about Jesus and how there are those today
    who have been misled into believing ” a Jesus ” that falls short of being the true Jesus
    Christ of scripture , but this is not a new problem —2Cor 11 :4 . ( to be precise , the
    Jesus promulgated by the false prophet of the Watchtower Society[JW's] is not a
    reincarnation of the Archangel Michael as much as a “recreation” of him, and you’re
    spot on with your assessment of their Jesus being a totally different Jesus than the
    Bible reveals ). One last thing , did the worship band at Church Sunday have a fiddle
    in the Band ? If so I’m comin :)

  36. falcon says:

    Mike,
    I don’t think fiddles are part of this type of band. I know catholics in our area will have polka mass. Not my form of music.

  37. Rae says:

    Falcon– Sounds like a pastor I’d like. I don’t know if I’d like the band, though. Depends on your definition of edgy. Throw a fiddle in there, and I’m with Mike, I’d be there with bells on. I like the idea of polka too, but then I’m weird. ;)

    I forgot all about today being Palm Sunday. Working weekend nights really mess you up. Anyway, I hope everyone has a blessed Holy Wek, and a joyous Easter season!

  38. Rae says:

    It mess’es’ your spelling up too. :P

    That should be Holy Week.

  39. Mike R says:

    Rae, wishing you a blessed week as well . I’m so grateful to God that the fullest of
    eternal blessings are available to me thru Jesus , and not thru a secret ritual in a man
    made temple , entrance to which is by a signed permission slip from a fellow sinner
    like me . Jesus is my Temple Recommend !

    P.S. that talk about Polka is starting to scare me

  40. Rae says:

    :D
    I really never had a chance when it came to music. My dad taught me to appreciate the 6 B’s, (Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, as weel as Bop, Bebop and Boogie, Mom was, and is Classic Country and Southern (4 part) Gospel, and as a child of the seventies, I got all that stuff too, including Disco. I’m very grateful for it all. I just don’t like the current “pop” stuff.

    I am looking forward to next Sunday morning, when I can rejoice with Creation, He is Risen, Indeed!!!

  41. TJayT says:

    Falcon,

    I enjoy a good conspiracy theory as much as the next fellow. I don’t know what direction you lean politically, but Michael Medved has a “Conspiracy Day” about once a month (on the full moon). It’s pretty dang funny to listen to no matter if your left of center or right.

    Both of your stories point to behavior that I wouldn’t condone or participate in. In both places it seems that over zealous rank and file members where doing these things. I’ll be the very first person to admit that Mormon culture has many major flaws, my wife and I talk about how much we despise it. Thankfully we live in a place where it’s not nearly as prevalent. But the actions of individuals doesn’t negate the religion. There’s bad apples everywhere.

    You where talking about the great music you got to listen to Sunday. That is someplace we can agree on. I wish the Lds would begin having things like that in our worship services. There’s a great little Baptist church out here that has good music and great sermons every Sunday evening during there “Cowboy Church”. The dinner after is always great and the people are wonderful. It’s definitely something they are getting right the we Mormons miss out on.

  42. Mike R says:

    TjayT, I think it just might be that God is drawing you to that little Baptist Church ,
    because while you may find their music interesting ( “Cowboy Church” , now you’re
    talking ! ) , it’s the content of their sermons which stress a Jesus that offers you
    salvation free of any secret Temple rituals . I’m praying for you and your wife to
    mosey down there and see what God may have for you . Have a great week .

  43. TJayT says:

    Cowboy Church is a lot of fun! The pastor is a family friends uncle. He’s an old cow hand and back country trail guide. Plenty of good stories that tie in to his Gospel message.

    I wish I could get over there more often, but between my wifes pregnancy complications and moving into our new house I haven’t even managed to go to my church once this year. Thanks for the prayers through. I’m always seeking what God may have in store for me :)

  44. Mike R says:

    TjayT, my wife and I took time today to pray for your wife and baby’s health .
    God bless your family .

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