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.