Wow….check out this link to an amazingly candid Newsweek article on the LDS church. I don’t believe I’ve ever read a mainstream magazine article on the LDS Church that has so much tough, yet factual detail.  For the average member of the church, this might be a bit shocking. 

What do you think?

https://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9630255/site/newsweek/

 P.S.  Thanks to Tom for sharing!!!

33 Comments

  1. NFlanders October 10, 2005 at 12:10 pm

    I thought it did a good job of presenting the hard facts about Mormon history in a succinct way. It was a pretty informative for such a short article.

  2. Me October 10, 2005 at 1:31 pm

    I was not surprised (or dismayed) by anything in the article. There were some points that could have been clearer (one glaring error in the podcast stating that the LDS Church was founded 200 years ago), but otherwise the article was pretty straightforward.

  3. Janeille October 10, 2005 at 4:02 pm

    I think that this article was a little soft. I live in Idaho just above LDS Headquarters (Salt Lake City Utah) and am immursed in this religion daily. Although I am a spiritual person, I do not adhere to a religion, and from my perspective the Mormon church is more of a social organization than that which teaches spirituality. Few people realize that the church Mormons go to each Sunday is divided up by neighborhood, they are not given a choice, and families from lower income neighborhoods do not have the ability to worship with those from wealthier area’s. As for non-Mormons in the community, we are shut out, unless they are trying to recuit us! I am familiar with many Christian and non Christian religions in the area and I know that most all of them are reaching out to those in need, whatever that need may be, regardless of neighborhood, skin color, age, sexual orientation, or any other superficiality, while the Mormons walk past on thier way to tithe. I am not attacking Mormon’s on a personal level, I am just saying that from my outsider perspective the church is not as rosy as it may appear. And while this image may be projected in marketing (yes, the LDS market themselves), the group as a whole could use a little defrosting,and a lot of demistifying, (ask your mormon neighbor about the secret ceremonies and baptisms that take place at the temple.)

  4. glen October 10, 2005 at 5:08 pm

    Janeille is the one that needs to defrost. What is your beef with the mormons. I live and work around a lot of them and they are all very friendly. Sure some of them are a little weird but who cares? Most of them are normal and there are weird people in every religion. Some of the best people I’ve ever met. Peace out.

  5. tony October 10, 2005 at 5:10 pm

    Janeille…..please.

  6. Lynne October 10, 2005 at 5:23 pm

    Shocking? Not so! I am a bit surprised at the even-handedness of the article, though. I expected bias and distortion. The bias was in Janeille’s letter, above. It was interesting to see my ancestor’s picture in the article–he was baptizing some Indians in a creek. I am amused that non-LDS writers always focus on polygamy. Can’t you people find anything else to write about the church?

  7. Matt October 10, 2005 at 5:54 pm

    Every Mormon out there could say they love Jesus. I am not going to doubt they feel something for him. I’m not in a position to tell people how to feel. The problem is they base their following and teaching’s on something completely false. There is absolutely no record of anything in the Book of Mormon being factual. DNA would prove the religion to be false in any other court today located outside of the Wasatch Front if tested. There is no living prophet. The Bible clearly states it. Look up in the Bible who the angel of light is. This religion isn’t Christian at all. If I offended anyone, that’s ok….maybe it’ll get some people looking towards Christ. Salvation isn’t based on good works…you can’t earn your way to heaven (the Bible also clearly states this as well).

  8. Ben S. October 10, 2005 at 6:02 pm

    Wow. What informed and nuanced comments.

    Matt, among other things, Mormons aren’t trying to earn their way to heaven, and DNA also happens to disprove the idea that the earth is 6,000 years old and everyone comes from Noah…

  9. tiffany October 10, 2005 at 6:07 pm

    Unfortunatley for Matt, he like so many misunderstand a key point of LDS doctrine. We in no way believe you can “earn” your way into heaven. It is only through the grace of Christ we can be saved. We believe NO MAN can save himself. It is only through Christ. That is why the Book of Mormon was given to us by God, to convince man of the Savior and his role in our salvation. I’m sure any Mormon out there would be happy to sit down and explain this misconception to him thorougly if he were willing to listen.

  10. Jeff October 10, 2005 at 6:38 pm

    Yikes, Matt! I heard the same line almost verbatim from people passing out what I thought was Mormon literature when I attended some events at the Winter Olympics in Utah in 2002. First off, I was surprised because I had heard the Mormons weren’t going to push religion at the Olympics. I glanced at the pamphlet as I walked away and when I found out it was slamming the Mormon religion I went back to the guy who handed it to me and asked him why he would do that. He kind of went into auto-pilot mode and told me a lot of what you just wrote. The Mormons I know are pretty exceptional people. I would call them Christian. Somebody needs to change the script!

  11. Holden October 10, 2005 at 6:40 pm

    Since the LDS church teaches that the purpose of mortality was to come to Earth and be tested spiritually, it is obvious, Matt, that God would not cause there to be any confirming factual evidence of the divinity of the Book of Mormon. We believe that God works by faith. Not any of the 12 million LDS faithful around the world believe in the church because of physical evidence, but of the confirming witness from the Holy Ghost, which nobody, who has ever felt it, can deny. I’ve never born my testimony on a Newsweek blog before, but there you go. That is why we believe, whether there is factual evidence for something or not. This was not meant to be derogatory at all, but I hope that you would have a change of heart, and perhaps take time to read the Book of Mormon and see how it changes your life.

  12. Tracy October 10, 2005 at 6:53 pm

    I found the article interesting in saying Mormons are Christians. I know many Mormons are good people and I have absolutely nothing against them. The Mormon theology/doctrine, however, is not at all a Christian belief. Here are some examples:
    1) The article says that Joseph Smith saw God & Jesus and they had substanance. This, according to The Bible in John 4:24 Jesus says: “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth”. Lu8ke 24:39 tells us that spirit does not have flesh and bones.

    2) The Mormon Church does not believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ. The Mormon Church actually believes that Mary had a ‘sexual union’ with Heavenly Father

    3) The Mormon Church teaches God was “once a man like us;… God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp.345-346) This writing also goes on to say the Mormon Heavenly Father has a body like that of a human male. He is the organizer of the matter of this world, but He did not create everything from nothing. His power is great but limited. His knowledge is great but growing. Because He has a body, He is necessarily localized in space. He is also changing from a man to a god. He is a contingent being, since His existence is derived from another, greater being. And finally, although He is the chief god of this world, He is only one of many gods among many worlds. The Holy Bible tells us God created everything that exists from nothing…see Genesis 1:1.
    God’s power is unlimited…see Pslams 68:34-35; 1 Cor. 6:14
    God’s knowledge is complete…see 1 John 3;20
    God is eternal…see Revelation 1:4, 8
    God does not change…see Mal. 3:6
    God is the only mecessary being who exists anywhere. He is the only God of the only world …see Eph. 4:6

    4) Have you ever wondered why you cannot find the book of Mormon in a Christian book store and you can only buy the book of Mormon in a Mormon library?

    5) Mormons do Baptism for the dead. This is not supported by the Bible OR the book of Mormon.

    There is much more if one wanted to deeply study the differences between the Christian church and the Mormon church. Again, I am not putting down the Mormon church I am simply pointing out factual differences between the Mormon church and basic Christian theology. I hope each of you who read this will seriously take a look at what I am saying. Good night.

  13. A Christian October 10, 2005 at 7:07 pm

    Matt, you happened to post your opinion on a Mormon site……..so surely you do not think your words would get very far !! The history of Joseph Smith, his behavior, actions, and claims tell all the story anyone needs to read. David Koresh is the modern prophet of our “news” age. Let this be, what people will believe they will believe. But, I can agree with you on one point, the Bible that most Christian religions follow teaches nothing close to what Joseph Smith said and lived.

  14. Jeff October 10, 2005 at 7:16 pm

    Thanks, Tracy. I found the pamphlet given to me at the 2002 Olympics. It quotes the same scriptures and makes the same arguments. Kind of a deja vu thing.

  15. Tracy October 10, 2005 at 7:21 pm

    This didn’t come from a pamphlet. It came from an indepth study I have done on Mormonism. I’m not trying to convert anyone from one to another, simply stating what is factual and easy to find in the Mormon literature and Christian literature. I actually didn’t realize I had posted on a Mormon website. It is not my intent to offend anyone but I do hope it creates at a minimum a thought process and questioning of one’s beliefs. I got to this page from MSNBC.com ‘blog’.

  16. Pappy October 10, 2005 at 7:23 pm

    That you would compare Joseph Smith to David Koresh is highly baffling, and almost offensive to me. Koresh claimed that he himself was God, the creator of heaven and earth. I also believe he was a madman under the power of the devil, so please take a little more care in what you say.

  17. Jeff October 10, 2005 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks again, Tracy. I also didn’t know this was a Mormon website. I’m pretty sure it’s not. BTW, have you published your research? If so, when? It’s possible the people who wrote the 2002 pamphlet borrowed your arguments without citing you as their source.

  18. Tracy October 10, 2005 at 7:43 pm

    Jeff the address listed on my browser is https://mormonstories.org and the ‘Comment from Christian’ said it is a mormon website.

    My information comes from a study published by Lifeway Press. This information did not originate from me but from an indepth study I taught that came from the Lifeway Study.

  19. Someone October 10, 2005 at 7:48 pm

    Tracy, just a few things I’d like to point out…
    1)Gen 5:1 states: “God created man, in the likeness of God made he him.”
    Philip 3:21: “Who shall achange• our bvile• body, cthat it may be fashioned like unto his glorious dbody, according to the working whereby he is able even to esubdue• all things unto himself.”
    there are about a dozen or so more references within the bible to God having a body.
    3) Um, that’s actually contradictory to what LDS believe.
    See:Matt 19:26, Mark 10:27, Luke 1:37, Luke 18:27, Matt 28:18, 2 Kgs. 6: 16; 2 Chr. 32: 7-8; Job 42: 2; Isa. 52: 10; Matt. 17: 20; Matt. 21: 21; Mark 9: 23; John 11: 43; 1 Ne. 22: 10; Jacob 4: 6; W of M 1: 17; Alma 17: 3; Ether 12: 30; D&C 45: 8; D&C 133: 3; Moses 1: 4; Moses 1: 20, etc, etc. We believe God is Almighty
    4)If you a are suggesting Mormons are not Christian, please consider the following dictionary definiton of a Christian.
    1.Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus. 2.Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus’s teachings. 3. Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike. 4. Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents. 5.Showing a loving concern for others; humane. I cannot see how it is possible to call Mormons non-Christian
    5)Actually Baptism for the Dead are called for in both the Bible and the BoM.
    1 Cor. 15: 29 what shall they do which are baptized for the dead.
    D&C 124: 29 baptized for those who are dead.
    D&C 127: 5 in relation to the baptism for your dead.
    D&C 128: 1 baptism for the dead.
    D&C 138: 33 vicarious baptism for the remission.
    John 3: 1-10; John 5: 25-29.

  20. Someone October 10, 2005 at 7:52 pm

    Oops, sorry just noticed – I forgot to take out the footnote references in Philip 3:21: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself

  21. ryan October 10, 2005 at 7:52 pm

    I am not going to respond to all of the untrue statements made about the LDS religion by Matt and Tracy. I just want to say to all of you that really want to know what the mormons believe to not trust what someone that is not a member of the church that says what we believe. Ask a mormon what they believe. Or more importantly, Read the Book of Mormon and ask God for yourself if it is true or not. When God answers your prayers in the affirmative and you are ready to listen then we can discuss things.

  22. Jeff October 10, 2005 at 8:12 pm

    Thanks, Tracy. I also got to it from the MSN blog.

  23. Jarom October 10, 2005 at 8:18 pm

    Wow…all interesting and sincere. Not the insulting and mean attitudes of many of those who oppose the LDS Church here in Utah. Thank you for your sincerity and concern. I have friends and relatives who express the same feelings. We agree to disagree. However, I would like to mention that those who are so adamant about the statements in the Bible that are not allowed to be changed or altered forget that the Savior himself “changed” things or we would all still be sacrificing animals. The LDS (Latter-Day Saints, not “Mormons”) believe the Savior’s words in the Book of Mormon that he “fulfilled” the Law of Moses. The only point to be addressed is simple: either Joseph Smith did see and receive instruction from God and the Savior, or he did not. If he did not, then we indeed are nothing but tinkling brass. If he did, then it means
    there is a Plan of Salvation for this earth and for all of God’s children. And the author of that Plan will see that it is carried out.
    I remember hearing a LDS member say, shortly after I joined the church, “It is the Church that is true, not the people. People will disappoint you. The Lord will not.” I have met many humans in the LDS Church and not one of them perfect. But the doctrines, coming from the Savior through his prophets, have never failed me or the millions of others like myself who know in whom we believe.

  24. Michael October 10, 2005 at 10:16 pm

    I appreciate the comments by those who obviously doubt the veracity of Joseph Smith’s claims and those of the living Prophet’s. I am a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and therefore have seen “both sides of the fence” if you will.
    We are all children of a Heavenly Father who wants us to return to Him. The Bible clearly teaches of “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5) Joseph Smith found himself being taught different doctrines from different denominations, clearly confusing his search for truth even more. The answer was to pray with faith, nothing wavering, and hopefully receive an answer. Joseph’s example applies to all of us. God answers the prayers of the sincere heart. He did mine, and I know He will yours. What have you got to lose?

  25. Mark October 10, 2005 at 11:06 pm

    I found the article very fair and interesting. I am always very skeptical of any media source as more often than not there is noticable bias. In the case of this article I found it refreshingly balanced. As far as Joseph Smith, I am glad he was a “real” human with passions and faults and strengths and weaknesses. It gives me hope that with all of my shortcomings, if I will just keep trying to be the best person I can be, I have a chance. Joseph lived in a pretty dynamic time and was certainly subject to the influences of that period. They shaped who he was for both good and bad. I believe God uses imperfect men to do his work and he is certainly powerful enough to qualify those men for the work they must do. I’m sure Joseph spent many nights on his knees asking God for forgiveness. The gift of repentance given to us through the atonement of Christ is valid for me, you, and Joseph Smith.

  26. A Christian October 11, 2005 at 4:20 am

    Interesting discussion here……so true that all are called to profess a belief in Jesus Christ. I don’t think Tracy has “misquoted” or misunderstood anything she has stated in her comments. A “student” of intensive Bible study refers to the original manuscripts that are not in the English language. The literal meaning sometimes is misconstrued unless one knows the meaning of the original text written in that language. Paraphrasing at best, does not pickup on the meaning of what is being said in the Bible.
    A study of the original language is necessary to understand. When observed with the entire scripture setting at the given time, meanings of writtten words can take on a entirely different meaning. In my study, I have never found any meaning to scripture that calls for the baptism of the dead. As far as Joseph Smith, well enough said about him. He obviously believed he was called for some divine purpose. I have no doubt that many Mormons are very caring people and have all the attributes that Christians are called to have, however, if that is based on Joseph Smith’s life as one called to lead, I have real skepticism. Each must search for themselves the truth. I wonder why the Mormon Church has to have a BOM…..why not just use the original Bible as it was presented ?

  27. Matt October 11, 2005 at 5:14 am

    Yep….I was linked here from MSN as well. I can understand the responses I got. Fair enough. I’ve read everyone’s post in this thread and I do agree with some and other’s….well…I don’t. Yes, Mormons can be good people. I never said they couldn’t. Catholics can be too Anyone can be a good person! What I am saying is the way to Jesus Christ. The bible never lies. I know I’ll get more flack for this…the BoM is Fiction. Off topic a bit… Does the LDS church talk about Revelation and prophecy in the bible and what is going on with Israel? The U.S.A., undoubtedly the most powerful country on the planet, is not mentioned in prophecy. Nor is any country from the west (this includes Missouri). I am not trying to start a “My god is better than your god” war. If you believe what you are taught, good for you. I believe that only through asking for forgiveness, surrendering your heart fully to Jesus, believing what happened at Calvary, is the only way to him. If I’m wrong, than Jesus would be lying to me. Jesus doesn’t lie and His word will never change.

    God Bless

  28. GreenEggz October 11, 2005 at 7:23 pm

    Janeille, you had some valid points, and some misconceptions too.

    I’m a convert to the church, and at times, it does seem clannish even to the point of being cliquish. Not everyone is like that though.

    Some people are natural greeters, and some people just keep to themselves and their family and circle of friends.

    It is possible for a visitor to go to an LDS church on Sunday and not be greeted by anyone, and to be totally ignored. It’s happened to me. That shouldn’t happen though.

    Sometimes Mormons get so focused on their (our) callings, assignments, to-do lists, getting the kids to church, this, that, other things, that we forget to look up and see who needs to be greeted or asked if they could be helped.

    Most of the members are so busy on Sundays, with family, callings, assignments that it’s sometimes not really a day of rest.

    With a formal missionary program in place, many Mormons feel like they don’t need to do any outreach or missionary work. They think only the full-time missionaries or “ward missionaries” should do outreach or missionary work. However, those who think that way are wrong, and they need to repent.

    One of our apostles, Elder Bednar, recently said at General Conference that members are to be missionaries at all times and in all places.

    Mormons are not perfect, and some are less perfect than others. Not all of us live up to the friendliness and neighborliness that we should.

  29. gunner October 11, 2005 at 8:45 pm

    It should be noted that the writer of the article is a BYU grad and a member from a member family.

    So her being balanced is not that surprising in that light.

  30. Irritated October 16, 2005 at 9:46 pm

    The Newsweek article provides absolutely no evidence for its assertion that the Mormon church is a “booming faith.”

    Although I have not attended the Mormon church for over 30 years, they still consider me an active member. The membership numbers that the church gives are crazy. The numbers don’t reflect who many believe actually believe in the church or attend church. The church leaves every baptized person on theirmembership list unless you fight and fight to get your name removed. What kind of crazy religion is that?

    Recently, I called the membership department in SLC and asked to have my name removed. They actually refused to remove my name from their membership list. (this is freedom of religion?) The church insisted that to get my name off, I had to send a letter with my signature. So I did. They received my letter over three months and sent me a brochure: “please come back.” I wrote again and again asked to have my name removed. No removal. Instread two men that I have never met dropped by our house to talk over the spiritual consequences of removing my name. I explained that despite their personal testimonies I wanted my name out of the church membership list for doctrinal reasons. (I have researched the church well and don’t believe that it is the only true church.) I have still not received a removal. No wonder there numbers are “booming;” the church never lets anyone out.

    I would be very interested in some accurate numbers of church membership that would reflect what the church membership actually. I doubt that it is booming and I’d challenge Newsweek to back up that claim with any evidence.

  31. Wannabe Christian October 17, 2005 at 9:02 pm

    If you believe in the Nicean Creed, that was arrived at centuries after Christ’s death not by revelation but by heated debate and authorized by Emperor Constantine, whose motives were questionable, then mormons are not Christians. :(

    It seems perfectly clear to me that God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings. When Jesus was baptized, the Bible clearly states that a voice from heaven praised Jesus, and the Holy Ghost descended from Heavens in the form of a dove. Now, almost all of the so-called Christian world claims that it’s the same being that is in all three places at once. How they can arrive at that conclusion baffles me.

  32. Ken October 18, 2005 at 2:16 pm

    Dear Wannabe Christian:
    I am a member of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints. I too believe that the Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are 3 separate beings. The Mormon view of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit is much different than most people who claim to be Christian. I too am baffled out how many Christians think of Jesus, God and the Holy Ghost are one being.

  33. jen October 19, 2005 at 11:44 am

    It seems hard for me to believe that people saw Christ saw his miracles and still did not believe He was the Son of God so why would it be suprising that people won’t accept the Book of Mormon .

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