LDS Fraud Case: The Law and Undeniability

LDS Fraud Case: The Law and Undeniability

Fraud-ActOn February 4th it was made public that Mormon President and Prophet Thomas Spencer Monson was summoned to court in the UK to answer charges of Fraud. Various commentators and authorities have had much to say on the likelihood of the case seeing more than a few seconds of life before being soundly extinguished. This post is aimed at examining some aspects of the 2006 Fraud law that the case is filed under and attempts to provide an explanation for why it may have staying power.

Fraud Act of 2006

The text of the law under which the claim is issued is available on the official UK government website. Only time will tell how it is actually applied to this case. Since most legal commentators have expressed incredulity that a case against a religion could get as far as this one has,  it may be instructive to examine the text of the law to determine how the case has gotten to the point that it has.

What Constitutes Fraud?

FraudSection 1 of the law establishes that a person is guilty of fraud if they are in breach of any of three separate types of fraud. The type which appears to most closely apply to the case is that described in Section 2 – Fraud by False Representation. If we turn to this section, it lays out in clear language the details of the crime. It starts by describing the crime in general terms:

(1) A person is in breach of this section if he—

(a) dishonestly makes a false representation, and

(b) intends, by making the representation—

(i) to make a gain for himself or another, or

(ii) to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.

(“Section 2.1” Fraud Act of 2006)

Intent to make a gain

First, lets examine the item in Section 2.1.b which speaks to the intention of making gain as the motivation for false representation. If it is established that a false representation was made, it has to be shown that the intention of making that false representation was to get gain for the Church. In a post attributed to Tom Phillips (the main personality behind the charges) this aspect of the case is explained as follows:

“If the Mormon Church admitted its religious statements were untrue, many people would not pay tithing; hence, creating a significant reduction in income for the Mormon Church.

As a personal example, Phillips says that in his personal conversion to Mormonism, false statements were made to him by Mormon Church missionaries, including that God had spoken to Joseph Smith. Nonetheless, Phillips initially believed this and other Mormon Church claims to be true, joined the Mormon Church and commenced paying tithing. When he discovered that these religious statements made by the Mormon Church were not true, he discontinued paying tithing–as many others have done, as well.

A case where such a phenomenon has occurred involves another church which today operates under the name of the Community of Christ (originally known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or RLDS]. When the RLDS admitted that it had made untrue religious statements, it experienced loss of both membership and tithing income. The Mormon Church knows that if it (the Mormon Church) acknowledges that it, too, has made untrue religious statements, it would suffer the same financial repercussions as experienced by RLDS.”
(“Details of Criminal Fraud Case Against Monson” Tom Phillips, Steve Benson. exmormon.org)

Essentially, it is acknowledged that if the Church’s claims are untrue, then people would stop paying tithing. The practical example of Tom Phillips and other exmormons who no longer pay tithing once they discover what they believe to be fraud is cited as well of the experience of other churches who have acknowledged prior false claims and seen a subsequent loss of membership and donations. Thereby it is established that if shown to have been making false claims, the church has a potential motive of retaining members who are willing to continue to pay tithing – to get gain.

False Representation

Next, Section 2.1.a states that a person is guilty of fraud by misrepresentation if he “dishonestly makes a false representation.” It then becomes important to define what exactly constitutes a false representation. that is where Section 2.2 come in:

(2) A representation is false if—

(a) it is untrue or misleading, and

(b) the person making it knows that it is, or might be, untrue or misleading.

(“Section 2.2” Fraud Act of 2006)

This section is the critical section in the fraud case against Monson. As we will see in  subsequent posts on this case – there are 2 separate aspects of each of the seven claims that must be established in order for the case to succeed.

The first is that the representation must actually be untrue or misleading. That two letter word “or” is likely to play a big part in the case. As we will see, some of the charges such as the Book of Abraham translation, may be demonstrably shown to be false. In other charges, the church may be able to introduce enough uncertainty to avoid labeling some claims as patently false, but it will be much harder to say that the church has not been misleading. See the later post on the method of translating the Gold Plates for the most obvious example.

Secondly, and this is the most important part of the case, it must be shown that, regarding a particular claim, Monson “knows that it is, or might be, untrue or misleading” Again, a key aspect of the law is contained in the short phrase “or might be.” This totally changes the burden of proof placed upon the person accused of making a false representation.

The prosecutor doesn’t have to prove the claims are false, they simply have to show that there is enough evidence to demonstrate that they might be false. Think about that.

Prior to this phrasing in this law, most people would never think to bring a fraud case against a religion because it could be argued that the leaders making the claims believed the claims to be true. Since belief is subjective, it cannot be a standard for conviction in a case of fraud. This law changes that whole landscape. Essentially, if the leader making the claim has been exposed to any information that could reasonably call into question the truthfulness of a claim, and they continued to make the claim as unequivocally true, then they may be committing fraud even if they believe the claim to be true themselves. The fact that they now know that there is reason to believe that it might not be true and yet still make the claim as true is a violation of the law.

BYU – Bringing You Undeniability

Bringing-You-Undeniability

Bringing You Undeniability since 1875

Consider that the President of the Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is also the owner of several academic institutions. Over the past decades each of these institutions have done rigorous in-depth study of almost every tangible or factual claim that has ever been found in revealed scripture or made by prior leaders of the church.  The motivation has been to try to find material evidence which supports the historicity of the Book of Mormon, Book of Abraham or other Mormon assertions of tangible fact. Their findings are recorded in the theses, dissertations and publications of the faculty and graduates. If any of this research has ever called any aspect of the Churches tangible claims of historical fact into question or even simply found no supporting evidence after exhaustive research (hello departments of archeology, biology, church history and doctrine and ancient scripture), then the threshold of “might be untrue” has been breached.  Tangible claims subject to such fruitless study may now be said have questionable truth based on scientific and objective investigation. As leader of the Church and owner of the Schools, President Monson can be reasonably expected to have been informed of any findings which bear upon the truthfulness of the claims of the church.

Because of its academic and scientific endeavors, BYU might very well stand for “Bringing You Undeniability” when it comes to leaders attempting to plead ignorance of objective evidence against a claim’s truthfulness.

Even if you don’t think Monson himself would necessarily have been made known, other church officials who have served as presidents of BYU, heads of departments or other academic posts would certainly know – but can Monson be held accountable for false representations made by official underlings?

Proxy Convictions – for and in behalf of….

Monson is the only individual currently named in the summons, but a careful review of Section 12 of the fraud act adds some complexity to the matter:

12. Liability of company officers for offences by company

(1) Subsection (2) applies if an offence under this Act is committed by a body corporate.

(2) If the offence is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of

(a) a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate, or

(b) a person who was purporting to act in any such capacity,

he (as well as the body corporate) is guilty of the offence and liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

(3) If the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members, subsection (2) applies in relation to the acts and defaults of a member in connection with his functions of management as if he were a director of the body corporate.

(“Section 12” Fraud Act of 2006)

So if a member, with consent of a director such as the corporate sole (Monson), acts in an official capacity for a corporation and makes false representations, the corporation is said to have been party to the fraud. Since Monson is the corporation sole of the Church and by definition the only member of the corporation, then he is the ultimate party  at guilt for any claims of fraud that are proven.

Proxy convictions – Finding Monson guilty for and in behalf of… one of these other guys.

Note that the member who makes the claim is guilty as well as the body corporate. This may explain why Tom Phillips has indicated that other names may be added to the case as it progresses:

“Mormon Church president Thomas S. Monson and the Mormon Church’s Corporation of the President (COP) are the initial defendants in this Court filing. Plans are to eventually expand the case beyond Monson as Mormon Church president (i.e., the Corporate Sole), by bringing charges against the entire high command of the Mormon Church- comprised of the First Presidency and the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.”
(“Details of Criminal Fraud Case Against Monson” Tom Phillips, Steve Benson. exmormon.org)

That courtroom may get very crowded very quickly.

Conclusion

The UK 2006 Fraud Law was designed to have more teeth to cover fraudulent activities that were proliferating on the internet and in the modern era. In doing so, the expanded language has opened up the scope of potential fraud to include claims from religious entities that cross the bounds from the metaphysical into the real world of objective truth. This case will be test of this application of the law. If a religion acquires funds from a system of tithing which is established under threat of eternal consequences or bodily harm, as the Mormon Church does, then those claims of truth may enter the realm of actual fraud under this law. When such a church undertakes to institutionally combine religious study with rigorous scientific academic study, they leave themselves little if any wiggle room to plead ignorance of contradictions that may call the truthfulness of certain claims into question. BYU itself may be the gun with which the church shoots itself in the foot.

(Over the next few posts, I will cover each of the seven charges individually and examine how they might meet the criteria of fraud laid out above – stay tuned!)

 

  • mark

    If you didn’t pay tithing you were going to burn. It had a threat after this life.

    • Jennifer

      The threat is also in mortality. In order to enter the temple for activities such as the wedding of your child one must be a full tithe payer. That equals a membership level within the organization contingent upon payment of a certain amount of one’s income.

      • LindaSDF

        Just as paying tithing is totally voluntary, so is getting married in the temple.
        If marrying in the temple is going to cause hurt feelings among family members, then the family should talk these things over.
        (Which is really not a problem in the UK, since, as far as I know, one must marry civilly in order for the marriage to be legal).

        • joan

          The word ‘Voluntary’ doesn’t work in this context. sorry.
          If you are coerced and/or trained, emotionally and/or intellectually manipulated through various missionary tactics to believe that tithing or marrying in the temple is a commandment to attain God’s presence in a Celestial kingdom, then obedience is the key word – not the word ‘voluntary’. As the temple ritual states that you will GIVE up of your time, talents, etc, for the building of the lds organization. You HAVE to give it up as an ‘obedience’ act – not as a voluntary act if you believe what they are teaching you is true – due to fear of not gaining the stated rewards. There is no way to talk these things over with family because some of these items are secret and mormons are instructed NOT to discuss them outside of the temple in relation to temple rituals and commandments.

          • LindaSDF

            one does not have to marry in the temple, they can marry in the chapel or anywhere else, and go to the temple in a year and be sealed.

            >>If you are coerced and/or trained, emotionally and/or intellectually manipulated through various missionary tactics to believe that tithing or marrying in the temple is a commandment to attain God’s presence in a Celestial kingdom, then obedience is the key word – not the word ‘voluntary’<<

            First, This was in response to Jennifer's post, that it is tithing that keeps people out of hte temple.
            If it is ONLY tithing that's keeping someone out of the temple, and they are a member of the church, and their child is getting married in the temple, and if they want to be there, then they should just pay their tithing! It's that simple!
            If they are NOT a member of the church, then it's a LOT more than tithing that's keeping them from the temple.

            Second, what are these "various missionary tactics" that "emotionally and/or itellectually manipulate(d)" anyone to marry in the temple, no matter the feelings of their family? I mean, you make it sound like the missionaries lock you in a room without light, food or water for days on end, until you are sufficiently programmed!

            There is NOTHING, NO THING taught in our church that one MUST marry in the temple, no matter the feelings of their family.
            Yes, they are strongly encouraged to marry in the temple.
            But, if they marry in the temple and the parents are upset, it's not the church's fault. What we have is a failure to communicate.

    • Mark C

      The ‘burning’ has been taught as happening in mortality as well. It refers to (or has been taught to refer to) the burning of the wicked at the 2nd coming. If you pay your tithing, then you won’t burn at the 2nd coming. If you don’t, you just might burn.

      • https://www.facebook.com/david.wills.98 David Wills

        Maybe you won’t burn, but it doesn’t say a rock won’t fall on you and squash you flat :)

      • http://gogsmembers.wordpress.com JediMormon

        The “burning” for not paying tithing was just speculation by some of the members. No quote exists to validate that speculation.

        • Charity Smith

          It’s in the D&C!
          Doctrine & covenants 64
          23 “Behold, now it is called atoday until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.

          24 For after today cometh the burning—this is speaking after the manner of the Lord—for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon.”

          It’s so amazing to me how many members REALLY do NOT know what the church is all about. It’s so complicated and overwhelming. This is why the bible teaches us to find the SIMPLICITY of Jesus Christ. It’s fairly obvious that Joseph Smith started out believing things should be simple, but he went quite crazy with power and began adding new things as he went along. You may love the church, but it is NOT a church of truth. And the bible tells us Jesus is TRUTH.
          Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris all left Joseph Smiths fraudulent church because they KNEW it was not true. And JS wrote that they were liars, but still the church prints their names as witnesses of the BoM. I’m sorry, but the lds church is proven to be full of fraud. God is real and Jesus is TRUTH. Please search & find the truth before you encourage anyone else to follow the teachings of the lds church. It’s carnal and distracting from the simplicity of Jesus Christ. The regular bible has enuff information to save us. But even it is a blessing NOT a necessity, the bible apostles never had a book. They simply taught Cnrist & him crucified and allowed God to work thru them & make himself known by His power.

        • Delia Smithers

          Jedi – you clearly, like so many “active & believing” Mormons, do not know your scriptures from a hole in the ground. It’s no wonder the organization doesn’t focus on so-called “scriptures” like D&C which boldly claim these consequences for not paying tithing. The Q15 are beginning to realize their predecessors have painted the current leadership into a corner and their old Jedi mind tricks aren’t working on today’s population who actually investigate, study, and THINK about what’s factual vs. fiction.

    • Treb

      WOW, so many points being missed. Tithing is voluntary. You will receive blessings by paying Tithing to help build up the kingdom of God on Earth no matter which religion you belong too..
      If you do not believe in the Church then don’t pay it. We all have our FREE AGENCY. Why do we blame someone else for our choices that we choose??? Why would you want to enter the Temple if you don’t believe in the Teachings of Christ as outlined in the Church or any Church. All religion’s have religious laws to live by. Wake up People. Love your neighbor.

      • Jennifer

        A lot of people would like to see loved ones get married – that’s a major reason peopke would want to enter the temple. Attending this important event is held as ransom contingent upon the payment of money to a corporation.

      • http://www.theskewedreview.com Matthew

        Being “unworthy” to enter the temple is also a stigma in the LDS culture. Being the one sibling, parent, child, cousin, etc., who can’t enter the temple suddenly makes you the one who is “unworthy” to be in God’s house, thereby making you look “unclean” among the “worthy.” This divides families and communities and ruins lives. You either pay your tithing or you are ostracized. I speak from experience.

        • sarah

          Pretty dramatic and annoying comment! I love how you all blame tithing and/or people for your limitations within the church. It would be wonderful if we had a little more faith and let our personal relationship with god affect us more than man.

          • Jennifer

            But, this isn’t about a personal relationship with God. This concerns paying money to a corporation in order to achieve a membership level allowing one to participate in normal family activities (namely, weddings). It is also about the ostracism that accompanies the nonpayment of income to the corporation. God isn’t anywhere in the equation. Men, a business, peer pressure, and the desire for normal family interaction are the factors.

        • http://gogsmembers.wordpress.com JediMormon

          “You either pay your tithing or you are ostracized. I speak from experience.”

          You must have had a bad ward, dude. I’ve never seen anyone ostracized for not paying tithing. No one is supposed know who is and who isn’t paying except the Bishop and financial clerk anyway. You make it sound as if the names of the “dirty no-good low-down sinning cheap-skates” (sarcasm intended) are announced from the pulpit.

          Such is not the case.

          • https://www.facebook.com/david.o.mcgrath Dave McGrath

            They’ll know when you don’t show up for your daughter’s temple wedding, now won’t they?

      • http://twitter.com/yanquetino Mark Larsen (@yanquetino)

        Yeah, and because “we all have our free agency,” Bernie Madoff can’t be blamed for investors’ “choices,” right?

      • angela tomlin

        LDS missionaries ask investigators to pray and ask for these things:
        1. Was Joseph Smith a true prophet of god?
        2. Is the book of Mormon another testament for Jesus Christ, translated from gold plates which were given to him from the Angel Moroni?
        (The film shown to investigators back in the 70s was Mans search for Happiness, and the literature is positive. I could speculate and say the majority of investigators are searching for something “more” to life, like sponges, ready to soak up the lessons the missionaries are teaching).Only a fool wouldn’t accept the message and want to be a part of this eternal family.
        3. Once you receive the answer to questions 1 and 2 (or even If you don’t) you are baptised.
        If the true history of the church was taught, there would still be those willing to join because the church has evolved into a good, wholesome family orientated organisation , with good morals hasn’t it?
        BUT finding out that it’s all one big lie, is devastating especially when they have lived and breathed church principles to gain eternal salvation, and all its glory.
        Treb, it’s impossible to explain to a Mormon like yourself, that this is not about blaming someone else for the choices made, but about being deceived, about paying an honest tithe in return for the rewards promised if you live by church principles, you do not have to be mega intelligent to see that the rewards of eternal salvation are null and void if the contract you enter into is false.
        Only a fool would sign a contract without reading the small print, unfortunately for the church it didn’t provide the small print at the start, wouldn’t you require compensation for paying a policy that holds no value, because this is what it’s like for the hurt, angry, good and faithful that have the misfortune of finding and reading the small print, and realising that it should be made a lot bigger and after careful reading you then have your free agency to choose whether you enter the waters of baptism.

        • LindaSDF

          >> but about being deceived, about paying an honest tithe in return for the rewards promised if you live by church principles, you do not have to be mega intelligent to see that the rewards of eternal salvation are null and void if the contract you enter into is false.<<
          The only "rewards" promised are blessings, and eternal life, and then only if you live ALL the principles and ordinances of the gospel, not just tithing.
          It's still all a matter of faith.
          There is no "small print".

      • Savage

        You are correct Treb. Too many people are trying to escape the consequences of exercising their God given freedom to choose.

    • Doc Holliday

      I don’t know about your experience, but when I was in the church I tried to get a line about who was going to the ‘outer darkness’ and never could. There is virtually no one that cannot make it to Celestial Heaven–it may take forever, but everyone can make it. I really don’t recall anyone being threatened with ‘burning.’

      Having no ‘hell’ is one of the greatest things about being a mormon… /sarcasm

    • https://www.facebook.com/Hope4AllU Mike Jensen

      Burn? There is no Mormon Doctrine that states anyone will burn…..anywhere…..any time….any place. What an ignorant statement. And no, I am not Mormon. I am educated.

      • Nathan

        Actually, having been a devout Mormon in the past (including a Temple Ordinance Worker at the age of 21), there is Mormon doctrine that teaches that you will be burnt. We were routinely taught this in church lessons and in seminary/institute. We used to call tithing our “Fire Insurance”.

      • http://gravatar.com/timcharper Tim Harper

        You may be educated, but not on this point.

        Here it is, seen plain as day, on LDS.org: http://screencast.com/t/1iLGAims

        (link: https://www.lds.org/manual/family-home-evening-resource-book/lesson-ideas/tithing?lang=eng)

        “Tithing = Fire insurance” was a strong LDS cultural meme in Utah while I was active in the church (1982-2012)

  • Tina

    Need to omit apostrophe in “Because of it’s endeavors…”

  • Matt

    Tom Phillips is a visionary … irony

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  • Morgnomore

    Thank you for clearly expounding some of the intricacies of this momentous case. Beautiful, simply beautiful! I eagerly await your next dispatch.

    I attended LDS church today with my spouse, and there was no mention of this fraud case by ANYONE. The implications of this ultimate conviction will sneak up on the members of this church like a tsunami. The exodus of members over the past several years should have signaled a sea change, much like the receding tide warns of a tsunami wave. The destruction will sweep them away, both spiritually and physically. Sadly, those of us who have ascended the paths of truth will have a broad and sweeping view of the mayhem below. We will beckon them to higher ground, but most will not heed our call.

    I take solace knowing great minds such as yourself are active in this cause.
    Thank you again.

  • Debbie

    All of this is true. I stand horrified now as I think of all the years my children were growing up and my sweet, brainwashed mother followed my young children around making sure they knew if they did not pay tithing, Christ would be coming back soon and they would be burned to a stubble. Myself, a indoctrinated, brainwashed Mormon backed her up. This is horrible emotional abuse that was done to us and Mormonism taught us to teach (abuse) our children in this way. If there are no laws to stop this fraud of the worst, most harmful kind–such laws need to be put in place. Hopefully, LDS, Inc will answer for the harm they have caused and the lives and money they have stolen.

    • cody

      You are very humorous in your response to this humorous article. Let me guess, Debbie, you are divorced and now single and sad with your life so you now blame the LDS church? Debbie, guess what other churches preaches the law of tithe? guess who commanded the law of tithe in the Bible? ;) just remember to study for your self before believing anything, especially any anti material. I am saddened to hear about your hatred feelings towards your mother and the way she raised you and your siblings. I hope your heart will be softened and you can forgive her someday.

      • Thinker of Thoughts

        Please see the article on Cheer vs Fear in LDS tithing. I disagree with your characterization.

        • Spencer

          I don’t think even an LDS member would back Cody’s response up, I certainly wouldn’t.

      • Doc Holliday

        Is there a ‘mormon playbook’ or something? A set of pre-written responses that automatically makes the person solely responsible for their own situation… Your post came right out of it and has been repeated ad infinitum by mormons…

      • Jennifer

        I am assuming that Cody’s response was meant to be an ironic example of emotional abuse heaped on people who leave the LDS church.

      • http://karliandgarrett.wordpress.com gschwanke

        Cody, Debbie is serious. The article is serious. It is you who is being disingenuous. You resort to ad hominem attacks because there is nothing empirical or otherwise to substantiate your vacuous Mormon beliefs. There is simply no need for this kind of fallacious subterfuge.

      • http://Golden Martha

        The mormon church is the only church I know of that equates praying tithing with salvation. Can you prove your statement with documentation on any other church that requires tithing as proof of worthiness. Also why doesn’t the church disclose where the money goes? Seems like fraud to me. I guess my statement over all these years that the mormon church is the biggest ponzi scam is going to court. Yea!!

    • https://www.facebook.com/Hope4AllU Mike Jensen

      again, there is no Mormon doctrine that states anyone will burn. How do you justify making such statements, or should I say, LIES?

      • Justin

        I find it odd that you claim to be “educated” as I have seen, and yet you have done so little research.
        The Mormon church calls into its core doctrines the “correctly translated” portions of the Bible. Therefore, one can reasonably assume that unless a segment was “re-translated” by Joe Smith, it is a true scripture.
        Read the following passages from the KJV Bible and tell me that the Mormon church does not state that anyone will burn:
        Matt 5:22, 18:9, Mark 9:43 (I particularly like this one), James 3:6.
        But, certainly, I have seen the argument many times that the words of the Bible are trumped by those of Joseph Smith and other early prophets. Even using this asinine reasoning, one cannot escape the unavoidable damnation of their own books. Read D&C 76:44, which can only further prove the point being made here.
        I suggest you actually do research before claiming that you have done it. I have this problem with Mormons (which you claim not to be) that I have with you; they say they have studied and understand their doctrine, and yet very rarely can they back up their statements with facts.

        • Delia Smithers

          I think the only one that got burned here is Mike Jenson – ouch, eh Mike? :)

      • Thinker of Thoughts

        Mike – read my article on Tithing: Cheer vs Fear

        http://thoughtsonthingsandstuff.com/lds-tithing-cheer-vs-fear/

        In it you will find this quote from an ensign article by Marion G Romney:

        “Now, second, the payment of tithing is worthwhile as fire insurance. Through his prophets the Lord has told us that incident to his second coming, which we are now anticipating, there will be a great conflagration. Malachi thus refers to it in connection with his pronouncement about tithes and offerings. He said: ”For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” (Marion G. Romney “The Blessings of an Honest Tithe” Lds.org)

        • Nathan

          Yep, Fire Insurance. Exactly what I was taught all through seminary and institute. My parents even went so far as to try and persuade me to pay tithing on any gift money received (eg from birthdays/christmas)

      • Adam

        Doctrine and Covenants 64:23-24:
        23 Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.

        24 For after today cometh the burning—this is speaking after the manner of the Lord—for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon.

        Now please stop saying Mormons don’t believe paying tithing is necessary to be confident of not being burned at the Second Coming.

        • Brian Deane

          Adam. When god speaks in scripture, men often err, hence we have just a few different christian traditions from one book? If I had one penny for each different version of ‘the truth’ said with uttermost conviction?
          Fire is used many times over in scripture? When the holy ghost is spoken of in these terms, does it mean we will all burn from within – literally and die? I don’t know if you read your sceptres, but for me, you need to read them if you are going to quote from them, because the meanings are often understood better through a process of relating one to another. Also, the process of revelation is not to be ignored, for example in understanding Isaiah, it can’t just be all an ‘intellectual’ process. You give me the impression you are diving in to grab what you want to make your point completely oblivious to this, like you would a news paper article? You are dealing with God here not man?
          Having said all this, for sure, you need to pay your tithing, there is a warning here, no doubt, a warning completely consistent throughout scripture – prophet warns, people either listen or ‘know better’ and later pay the consequences. whatever ‘burn’ is taken to mean in the literal sense, ‘they will be as stubble’ sounds painful, it sounds like your voice will count for little, you may be run over in some way? All this and worst has happened in scripture as man kind ignored the word – Noah, the destruction of several cities?
          Does God mean what he says? Do you want to take e the chance? Whatever you decide, you knew this, you were warned of it, fair?
          Consider this too. Amos 3:7. god speaks to mankind through His prophets. If God needs to speak to us today, who then will He speak to us through if not His prophets? Who else has them? How many church actually have them?
          Mormons are the Church of Christ today. mormon is purely a nick name given by virtue of the book of mormon. the church of Christ today, should mean a modern Isaiah, Moses or Elijah. If you were around in the days of Moses, would you listen or would you ignore him, however great or small your understanding?
          Many of these posts are so scathing, the amount of time people are putting into it. It tells me only one thing, it is worth being scathing about, that is because it has something which people just can’t settle with and in some cases so badly want to put down, but that isn’t going to succeed ever. You need to find the truth, with your head for sure, by reading the scriptures, not just mormonthink or whatever and then by getting on your knees. The world is full of people who jump on bandwagons, they contribute little. My plea to you is, if you are wrapped in cynicism towards the ‘mormons’, get on your knees and find out for real.

          Thanks,

          Brian.

      • faz

        Mike- heres some doctrine;
        Doctrine & covenants 64
        23 “Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.

    • Steve

      Debbie if you really tortured your kids in that manner you need to repent. No one in the Church ever taught you that. Certainly it is not taught in any of the officially taught manuals from Church headquarters. I am sorry you crossed the line.

  • Brian Deane

    This is nuts for me. The law of tithing (and through it intention to get material gain) appear to be at the crux of this action. The law of tithing is amazingly being taken here as a mormon law, when infact it is a law throughout christendom, routed firmly in the book of Malachi, the old testament.
    Whether one christian church follows it or not is incidental upon their form of belief, the fact is, the law exists in scripture, upon which, I might add, whose principles, the UK legal system are founded ironically? So if any church is to practice christianity, it should also practice tithing?
    God states that faith must come first, it is a founding principle in following god. Not ‘proof’ first and then follow me if you still think so…this is not faith, where is the faith in that? Religion is not about science or ‘proof’ as such to our intellectual understanding alone. no one could prove Jesus to be the son of God, but how many followed him. About deception, should the whole of christianity not be being sued for claiming a man was raised from the dead when our scientists would firmly affirm this is nonsense. So I put it to the legal minds here, or opponents of the church, based on the fact that millions of people have and do follow religion and see acknowledged tangible scientific benefit from it, how can science think it can rear it’s head and claim it is untrue, when clearly much evidence in it’s followers wellbeing stands as a testament to the fact that is not the case?
    The book of Abraham writings have been cited here. Are they any more likely to be false from a pure scientific or archeological stand point than a man raising himself from the dead?
    The problem ere is, that man’s understanding assumes it is the authority, when compared to God’s command, it immediately has limits. what is the use of anything if it doesn’t bring benefit? Science chops and changes with every new theory in so far as it appears to bear out right? Following the basic ten commandments would eradicate society of most of it’s ills and empty the courts. Which is the more right by the test it’s benefit? So how can you seek to judge any religious system in terms of one strand of science or line of man’s enquiry alone?
    The law of tithing is there, like any other law, to help build man’s faith and bring him closer to his heavenly home through obedience, this is what it is about, the financial aspect is secondary. Any religion can be argued to be ‘misleading’ if you take that stance that unless it can be proved true intellectually, it is misleading, therefore the argument is stupid, since, if nothing else it would seek to strip the world of religion including the ten commandments, our sense of right and wrong which is born out of of them and the basis of our judicial system in the process.
    Much of scripture is derived from prophecy. The LDS church is founded on prophets and still is. This is where man talks to god. in the scientific / archeological world, there is no proof of this. Scripture comes through prophecy and writings and both. Who is to say between them where does the pendulum swing. Archeologists / scientists / church opponents seem to mis this point.
    The church has no fraud to own up to.Because it can’t be proven objectively or intellectually, or because some may doubt the validity of the book of Abraham, the Book of Mormon, the bible or any of it’s cannon states the obvious, it states that man can’t prove God. that is why this case is ridiculous. All church members believe emphatically in the truth of the church, so there is no concocted deception or fraud and if BYU acknowledge that any aspect or book might not stand up to proof in the archeological community as it stands, in the same way man cannot prove resurrection, it doesn’t disprove it either, it proves we don’t know everything, right? neither does science, neither does archeology. So no deception.
    I would have thought also, there is an argument to say that tithing funds actually all benefit only people the world over, members of the church and not members of the church. the church is group of people, not it’s buildings? Nor it’s top brass? it is the whole group of people, particularly in mormonism, a system in which everybody takes part to lesser or greater degrees.
    Bodily harm? Pray tell? Access to the temple – includes not simply a fee as you assert, but obedience to many commandments. I guess just like being a lawyer or anyone who can practice at a higher level, you first have to observe the laws of the practice / game if you like, then perform at a reasonable accepted level. The law of tithing is but one law. If other christian churches don’t operate it, then for me , they miss some of the bible. Look at it another way, if God wants it observed, should the church ignore Him and drop it because a disgruntled ex member goes to court and claims the religion is wrong, or fraud?

    • The Hopeful

      In 1978, L. Ron Hubbard was convicted in absentia by French authorities of engaging in fraud, fined 35,000 French Francs and sentenced to four years in prison.[4] The head of the French Church of Scientology was convicted at the same trial and given a suspended one-year prison sentence.

      Your not the only religion to have been accused of fraud.

    • http://gravatar.com/robertbridgstock robertbridgstock

      We have been misled and lied to over decades, about ALL the facts, regarding the restoration, doctrines and church history. You say tithing is biblically based and seem therefore to say it is sacrosanct… so was the law of stoning to death a person who worked on the Sabbath day. Are you suggesting, that if someone were stoned in the present day for working on a Sunday, that the perpetrator doing the stoning, should not be summoned to a court to answer for his crime of murder – because it originated from the bible? You say that tithing is only one law (as if it has been unfairly picked on) but refusal to obey any ONE major rule (tithing is probably the highest after immorality) prevents entrance (baptism) into the Church, as well as entrance into the exclusive temple club, where essential ordinances for our eternal salvation await us. Failure to pay tithing meant we would be placing ourselves in eternal jeopardy and keeping that law meant avoiding being burnt at the coming of Christ, as well as material and spiritual blessings if we complied. As those bringing the summons have expressed; they have no problem with the principle of tithing being paid by members to the LDS Church IF the full truth was explained prior to them joining the Faith… that is their free choice, BUT THE FULL TRUTH WAS NOT, NOR EVER HAS BEEN TAUGHT TO CONVERTS, NOR LIFE-LONG ADULT MEMBERS! And the Church know very well that IF it revealed ALL at the early conversion stage then the baptismal rate would drop by 90%. That would be catastrophic. It would mean the financial empire of Mormonism would start to crumble. I believe Brian, you live in naiveté.

    • Rose

      Brian – I think you need to research the origins of the Bible. No theologian at any respectable university in the UK would have you take it literally. Some say it needs a health warning. Because of the comments like being burnt if not paying Tithing. You wouldn’t be having blood transfusions or eating shell fish either if you took the Bible literally. If you got married to a divorced women you would be committing adultery. I could go on. Yes, there are some great inspiring stories but literally the word of God. Unlikely. Rather mans interpretation of what the word of God is. That does not mean that Jesus did not exist and some of his teachings are included in it. Yes they are. I am a confirmed Anglican. But we Anglicans know the problems with the Bible as do the Catholics. Our churches dealt with these problems form 1900 onward. Both faith traditions have admitted Adam and Eve never existed too. Most Christian religions do not operate tithing and neither did the LDS in the beginning stages the way it is practised today. Here’s one example of the problems with taking the Bible literally. The virgin birth most scholars agree never happened. The writings of Paul – written about 30 years after Christ died – never included it. When the documents were translated from one book to another the word ALMA in one language meant young women, in the other virgin. Theologians call it the ‘virgin birth tradition’ knowing that the evidence says it never happened. Yet it isn’t publicly discussed – just privately known. We don’t have any of the original source documents for the Bible. Taking tithing as a literal commandment from God would not stand up in any land if you look at scholarly research about the Bible. I think this all comes down to one thing. Is it more likely that Joseph Smith was a cult leader, or a Prophet of God? Born in the age of enlightenment when religions were popping up in America all the time. Look at the evidence and make your choice. In the Christian world Mormonism is seen as heresy. We don’t recognise it as a Christian faith and pray that you will all be free from it in time so you can have the wonderful real message Jesus taught. Grace – the gift is given of eternal life for nothing. No rules and regulations. No work. It’s a message of love – not guilt and fear. And if you choose not to believe at all we also feel you are okay. No God would want to not have any of his children home. Fear and damnation are not a feature of mainstream Christianity now. Only fundamentalist Christianity which we also see as dangerous and bad for people’s spiritual and emotional well being. All the best with your studies. Rose

      • Brian Deane

        Rose, thankyou for your reply which I just noticed. On a lighter note, this is so much more enjoyable than Facebook!
        Rose, I read with horror respectfully how your learned have dismantled aspects of the bible you can’t prove scientifically or can shed some doubt over through the study of language at the time.
        It takes me right to the Nicene creed when God lost his body and became a spirit? Jesus and God were somehow deemed to be the same entity despite consistent references in the bible from Jesus about ‘my father’, was he talking to himself?
        The point I am making here, is learned men for me are not always guided by God, hence because we are men and women, we should put our trust in God, not other mortals, however clever.
        I have heard the arguments about ‘by grace we are saved’, of course, but I do not concur that simply means we don’t have to ‘do’ also, hence perform, simply because the Saviour said ‘come follow me’. For me, I don’t need a lengthy argument, it is common sense. a true follower is a ‘do er’. Just as God is a ‘do er’ for us, we too need to be a ‘do er’ for Him as it is largely us, He works through?

        With respect, whilst I encourage your acts of faith and any common ground we may share, it is you who are not whole christian to me, not us, as your followers state for me. I find this ignorant, unnecessary and arrogant frankly. How can you be christian, when you pick and choose out of the bible what you believe according to the ‘informed’? Christ never taught such for me, He did not need to ask ‘the informed’ to form His view or doctrine? Equally, did Moses have his intellectual entourage? This is hapless for me, none christian and begs a question what else don’t you believe in? God speaks through his chosen servants for precisely these reasons, Amos 3:7, otherwise surely we will be tossed about from one learned opinion to another? Schism?

        Tithing – how did you come to drop this from your practice – ‘Will a man rob God’? Is this the language of an optional extra? I think not? Also, if you recognise Abraham, did he not pay tithing also? No theologian in the UK would take it seriously? Perhaps we shouldn’t be taking theologians too seriously? I guess do you accept this as part of the bible and then if so, do you trust that / God or the theologians? I refute your argument about whether it would stand up or not, it is mentioned in not just one, but several instances, it clearly existed, therefore on what basis should not be ignored?

        Blood transfusions – the great Jehovah witness confusion for me.
        A commandment given from moses to the unruly children of Israel, strangely taken to be relevant to us all today? I don’t accept the validity of this, but I do think if we drank blood and worshipped golden calves, prophets would warn similarly as did moses, because it would be relevant? (I can’t remember the scripture in the NT they tie it to). The lesson here I guess, where theologians /mankind may stumble – God speaks sometimes to us all for continuous circumstances, i.e., ‘do not kill’, and if needed also sometimes addresses specific concerns, like this blood issue, or like the marking on doors to avoid a destroying angel? It doesn’t mean we should all mark our doors continually? Why do we allow ourselves to get so confused in such matters?

        Shell fish – I have to admit, I am not aware of this issue.

        Marrying a divorcee – This seems very harsh. I think we are fortunate having a prophet who has enquired over this. We do not encourage divorce, but it happens and people have to go on.
        It is a great point, I don’t know enough to take this up with you biblically. I will try and see what I can find on it.

        Adam and Eve. Yes I learnt from Catholic friends they do not subscribe to the account in the bible, this would presumably also mean the genealogies hence? Again, what authority do you claim to knock swathes of bible? Very concerning, but all prophesied for me.
        It seems you are intellectuals who believe in a kind of tradition?
        We accept Adam and Eve very much and do not need any confirmation from theologian’s views (which will change?). I guess this is why, we need prophets today, to guide and in some instances to re affirm. If Moses were around today, would you ask him about Adam and Eve, or would you believe the theologians? That is a question for you Rose respectfully.

        Tithing and LDS church – The LDS church claims to be the true church of Christ restored to the earth, no less than. Was everything restored at once? No. It came ‘layer upon layer, line upon line, here a little, there a little’ So I agree, tithing was not paid at first, along with many other restored truths for us. It is a great story how tithing came about in this restored church. In simple terms it came through revelation through a prophet, completely consistent with the process of prophets revealing in times ancient. Amos 3:7. The scriptures therefore are alive for us today as they always was, including the operation of Prophets, evangelists, teachers et. all as mentioned in the new testament.

        The virgin birth – Is this catagoric evidence you feel or theologians chewing the cud between one option and then another? Muslims also accept the virgin birth as well as Christendom I believe interestingly. Again, I find your beliefs disturbing and built on the philosophies of men only. Learned men, who could be argued to be se counterparts were the Pharisees of old in effect? I agree, listen of course to what ‘the experts say’, they have their role, but i don’t see that that should in anyway determine the doctrine of a church?
        That has to be left to God who works in and through His authorised servants?
        If you have any articles on this, I would be interested to hear the arguments. Of course you realise that this attacks the whole ethos of Christ being ‘The only Begotten’? That is pretty fundamental Rose? Was Jesus therefore just a good man, is He our saviour, where does it end for you?
        I don’t wish this to come across as an attack on your beliefs, but as you have questioned some of mine (which is fine) and furthermore suggested what they amount to, Do you mind if I ask you, to illustrate my concerns with where you stand?
        Can I ask you Rose, is it not your faith which accepts homosexual clergy? Is this biblically sound? In essence who do you claim is guiding your church / your beliefs? Are your beliefs not just trying to append themselves to popular opinion, dismissing the bible where it doesn’t fit the modern world’s view and so on? If so, for me this is nothing to do with Christianity? sorry. Can you see my point?

        I thankyou for you views Rose and your encouragement.
        I don’t feel though, respectfully, you have it all right and certainly have issues with any group who accept the bible on the basis of what certain learned men say, deeming myself and members of my church ‘none christian’. I am sorry, but I think that is arrogant, maybe born out of ignorance and wrong and hope you can take a closer look at LDS members in the future, what we do and believe as followers of christ before you close the door on that question.
        As a last note on that, we love your efforts, everyone’s efforts towards God and forgive you for any attacks or slurs on our religion, but accept these will happen, particularly in these latter days we believe we are in. I would say, despite our doctrinal, historic practicing differences, let us remember the second greatest commandment christ gave us, ‘to love one another’ and let that be the true christian spirit, so that, as he said, ‘By their fruits ye shall know them’.

        As I shared with Robert, for me, you don’t just become an olympic athlete by accepting you will become one and believing solely, it takes application too? Tithing of which is one aspect.

        My best to you,

        Brian.

        • Rose

          Brain – thanks for your comments. I would respectfully request that you do some theological and historical study on the origins of the Bible. By thy fruits you will know them. I involve myself in charity work across my community. The cost of my work – if paid – would indeed be greater than the financial amount required for tithing. I partake in the gift I give which benefits people of all religions and faiths. I feel this is much more beneficial than giving money to a religion like the LDS which as an onlooker like myself appears to have a Corporate portfolio a blue chip company would kill for. Brian, from the outside your religion respectfully looks like a business. It is the second richest only to the Catholic church. I simply see tithing as revenue stream from where I am standing. I think the LDS people are some of the kindest, hardworking and sincere I have ever met but it has broken my heart to see widows give money to an organisation which uses it to invest in shopping malls and beef farming. The thing I find the most concerning is that your attendees don’t even know this is the case when I share it with them. I am sure there is much good in your faith Brain, but Jesus and Beef farming, white shirts, suits, Presidents, etc. When I attended the LDS I simply found it un Holy. It felt like a sales conference where the church was the product. My wonderful saviour hardly got a mention. If you have been brought up LDS you will be so conditioned you will simply not notice it. From the outside it just appears creepy and cultish. I don’t want to offend, but that’s how it appears. Again, I am sure you are a great guy. And I appreciate sincere in your faith. My critique is not of you, rather the institution that you defend. The problem is with the LDS is it appears to be your identity too. Any critique is taken personally. I know the Anglican church has faults but it is good to its people. It does not take all their time and 10 percent of their income. All the very best Brian, I am glad you are enjoying the debate. Nothing you say offends me. I hope my honesty does not offend you. Warm wishes, Rose

        • http://mormonitemusings.wordpress.com grindael

          It takes me right to the Nicene creed when God lost his body and became a spirit?

          This is simply ignorance. The Bible teaches that God is a Spirit, and that was taught by the Apostles and the Early Church Fathers long before the Council of Nicaea. Perhaps, before you go pointing the finger at who was teaching that God was a Spirit, you should read what Joseph Smith taught:

          There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power overall things…They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power: possessing all perfection and fulness: The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made, or fashioned like unto man, or being in the form and likeness of man, or, rather, man was formed after his likeness, and in his image;–he is also the express image and likeness of the personage of the Father: possessing all the fulness of the Father, or, the same fulness with the Father; being begotten of him, and was ordained from before the foundation of the world to be a propitiation for the sins of all those who should believe on his name, and is called the Son because of the flesh.” (Lectures on Faith, 5:2, emphasis mine)

          In 1835 Smith wasn’t even teaching that the “Holy Ghost” was a personage at all, it was simply the “mind of God”.

          In 1832, Mormons agreed with the Trinity Doctrine:

          “The Scriptures discover not only matters of importance, but of the greatest depth and mysteriousness. There are many wonderful things in the law of God, things we may admire, but are never able to comprehend. Such are the eternal purposes and decrees of God, THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY, the incarnation of the Son of God, and the manner of the operation of the Spirit of God upon the souls of men, which are all things of great weight and moment for us to understand and believe that they are, and yet may be unsearchable to our reason, as to the particular manner of them.” (The Evening And Morning Star, Vol. I, INDEPENDENCE, MO. JULY, 1832. No. 2. page 12, emphasis mine) For more, see, http://blog.mrm.org/2011/06/what-happened-to-the-trinity-in-mormonism/

          Tithing is a Mormon regulation left over from the Law of Moses, and is no longer necessary under the New Covenant. It was instituted in Mormonism because of unrighteousness, (Mormons could not live the higher law of “Consecration”). But actually it was because the “saints” refused to pay Smith a salary. Mormons don’t live by the law of the Spirit, they live by regulations, which, according to Paul, kill the Spirit.

          • Brian Deane

            God created man, in the likeness of God made he him: Gen. 5:1 .
            in the image of God made he man: Gen. 9:6 .
            Lord went his way, as soon as he had left communing: Gen. 18:33 .
            I have seen God face to face: Gen. 32:30 .
            they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet: Ex. 24:10 .
            written with the finger of God: Ex. 31:18 . ( Deut. 9:10 . )
            Lord spake unto Moses face to face: Ex. 33:11 .
            thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen: Ex. 33:23 .
            D+C:130:22 – The Father has a body.

            Grindael,

            Thanks for your reply.
            I left some scriptural references above which we hold to show that the bible does indeed teach that God the Father has a body, we being formed in the image of it.
            A spirit has no form.
            Your Joseph Smith quote for me does appear to dance around this talking about the father being a personage of spirit, glory and power – all of which He of course has. The article I note does not say He is without a body, but I can understand reading it where you may find argument, however, rather than source one article only, look to the scriptures. Plain and simple from the prophet Joseph Smith the Father has a body – D+C 130:22. Please also bear in mind, no Mormons hold to the fact that from the first day of Joseph’s prophethood, all truths were revealed to him in an instant. Therefore, opponents of the church can remind mormons that there was a time when leaders chewed and smoked tobacco – perfectly true.
            Also, was Joseph consistently a prophet in the hands of God from the start?
            No, he had to rest a season. We hold the church to be the church of God, no less, no more, it is the Church of Jesus Christ, not the church of Joseph Smith or any other leader past or present. Anyone in the church knows that the miracle of it is how God works through simple men and women who being human, can of course err.

            Tithing is a mormon regulation?
            Then all I can ask, is what was Abraham paying Melchizedek?
            Why such a scripture as that in Malachi?
            What new covenant does away with tithing, show me where tithing is extinguished, or might it not be that certain decision makers you hold to be God’s servants took it upon themselves to deem such? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has a living prophet, meaning that if any such law was deemed no longer valid, we would know, but since neither scripture nor the will of God as revealed unto man through His authorised prophets (Amos 3:7 – this is how He reveals His will), then it holds for us and we invite you to ask yourself do you follow the scriptures on this or theologians views on them? If you follow theologians views, in light of Amos 3:7, what authority from God do such educated men have to determine His doctrine?
            The word of the Lord is important that we should not take away from it. Tithing was instituted way back, for us this is still God’s way – very much so.

            Latter Day Saints were asked to live a higher law, I absolutely agree, but were unable to honour it sufficiently. We call this the Law of Consecration. For me, the principle of milk before meet holds true consistently in God’s dealings with men.
            In the old testament, the Israelites were given a basic set of rules and doctrines, later came the saviour with His new doctrines and covenants which built on the old (one step at a time). To the children of Israel ‘ you are not ready for your promised land – ok you wait (or go back a step) until you are? in some ways, God deals with men, like we would our children. Such a step back when the people weren’t ready seems about right.

            The Saints refused to pay Smith a salary – give me a break?
            I guess, that will be the assertion of opponents of our church, all I would say is, Joseph Smith did not have an easy life, I am sure if His motives were material gain as your comment suggests at least in part, he may have wanted to rethink his strategies as his life began to be more and more threatened by opponents who for reasons that for me I would like to see explained, hated him to the point they pulled him out of house infront of his children and tarred and feathered him and threatened him – why?. What kind of people were they to do such a thing and actually, it still continues. Why do some people have a kind of hate towards Mormons. Am I right?
            Joseph Smith died an insulting and horrible death for what – for not conforming to the will of his critics? Killed by an unlawful mob.

            Mormons don’t live by the law of the spirit, they live by regulations –

            Grindael, how qualified re you to make that assertion?
            I accept the observation that the Church of jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint is very structured, that within it, the commandments are in many ways stricter than other faiths who hold to be christian and so if you are a basic bible follower you may perceive mormons as having a religion filled with rules. I can see that. But I can also see how amongst many other churches there is a lack of direction, clarity, or even belief where as Rose pointed out, whole sections of the bible are not even believed in in some churches. There has to be order and whether certain people intervened with the bible and twisted, turned, under emphasised elements of doctrine, if this is the case, (which I suggest it is), you must see that God, will want to put it right. For me, there are a whole host of things from the bible it seems other churches and followers simply let glide over them as if they don’t mean anything anymore, which for me would not be there in the first place if they did not have meaning. Some bad work went on historically to bring such a situation about, but it was all prophesied to come. So how does God put it right, as He says he will in Amos 3:7. Through living and dead prophets? So of course the Church of Jesus Christ will have firmer more defined doctrine perhaps which will appear like many more rules etc. This is my simple explanation to your point.I guess in a similar way, I can hear rabbis complaining about this new religion of Christ where you actually have to go in water and be baptised – ‘but we never did that before?’
            But interesting on that, because not all believers today get baptised by servants of God with authority to do so? If I am right, something Christ did, even Christ had to do, some of us have decided isn’t important? Pause for thought?

            Mormons don’t live by the spirit –

            If any criticism were to come, I wouldn’t have expected that one.
            Revelation, which comes through the spirit is what our church mainly runs on.
            If you took that away, it would go adrift before long for sure. Why? Because key figures would arise in their own camps and want things more their own way, just like in politics, then you might get disagreement and even worst ‘schism’.
            The only way order is kept is for God to be revealing truth not just to the leaders, but also to all those. You feel this beyond doubt at certain points. It is so important to us that we have testimony meetings where individuals take to the pulpit usually driven by the spirit to testify of the truth they know only though a witness of the spirit. Revelation guides every decision in leadership right from our prophet to the sunday school teacher. I could share many examples in my own life of how I have been led by the spirit in making decisions, in standing against the odds, in allsorts of situations and this is just me. I think your statement is an incredible one and for you to know it is true, you would have to be God, to look inside of every latter day saint to see if it is so. But I tell you it is not so. Respectfully, you are quite wrong and i don’t think I would be typing this actually if you were right.
            Please come to one of our testimony meetings or just to church before you publicly brand us not spiritual?

            Thanks,

            Brian.

        • http://mormonitemusings.wordpress.com grindael

          Adam and Eve. Yes I learnt from Catholic friends they do not subscribe to the account in the bible, this would presumably also mean the genealogies hence? Again, what authority do you claim to knock swathes of bible? Very concerning, but all prophesied for me.
          It seems you are intellectuals who believe in a kind of tradition?

          We accept Adam and Eve very much and do not need any confirmation from theologian’s views (which will change?). I guess this is why, we need prophets today, to guide and in some instances to re affirm. If Moses were around today, would you ask him about Adam and Eve, or would you believe the theologians?

          I guess you are not aware that Brigham Young did this?

          “You believe Adam was made of the dust of this earth. This I do not believe…I have publicly declared that I do not believe that portion of the Bible as the Christian world do. I never did, and I never want to. What is the reason I do not? Because I have come to understanding, and banished from my mind all the baby stories my mother taught me when I was a child” (Journal of Discourses, vol.2, p.6).

          The Adam & Eve that modern Mormons accept, is nothing like the Adam & Eve that Brigham Young taught about. He taught that Adam was the Father of Spirits, and Eve your “Heavenly Mother”.

        • Brian Deane

          This is a reply to Rose beneath.
          Rose, thankyou to you too for your reply which I enjoyed reading and am grateful for, this is a useful, frank and good debate for me on what is always emotive – the question of one person’s beliefs versus another in essence. For me, since the days of my youth, it has always fascinated me. Exactly what you talk about, I have found too when visiting other people’s churches, as you put it, a kind of creepiness.
          If I may be honest and write my feelings as a child in effect. I went to C of E and catholic churches for funerals, for church parade occasionally, this was pre evangelical era. For me, as an LDS, I found them often ‘stiff’, hollow, cold and impersonal. One man in robes stood at the front with the voice of a polished orator delivering his talk, often using what sounds like a bizzar
          tactic in verbally emphasising points to my feeling to make up for the spirit, that respectfully, I could feel next to none of. I loved the architecture, the craft in the building, the Englishness and some of the hymns, which as an Englishman, I could appreciate, but whilst I could feel a good sentiment at times, I did not feel I stood in God’s house nor did I feel the spirit, as we identify. Sometimes when I got outside, people would light up a cigarette, go to the pub, or go home. Sometimes a social club would be directly next to the church, none of this equated to my understanding of godliness and whilst I pick on the pub goers, they seemed to have no concept of keeping the sabbath holy. These are some of my impressions of other churches I went to as a youth and more importantly, how I felt.. Since then, I shared accommodation with a catholic, I have C of E friends, baptist friends, Jehovah’s witness friends, seventh day adventists friends. i have been in many of their churches and have come to accept that whilst their religious practices may look bizzar to me at times, I can see the good in the people and have indeed at times in my life benefited from their good, their charity, so please understand me, I may not agree with them in all respects, but I respect more than their theology or worship, the people they become.
          About LDS. I agree with your observations in many ways, the church certainly does and can appear corporate at times and for those not used to this as I have been growing up, I fully appreciate your point of view. If I had my way, I would be happier sitting cross legged on the floor holding hands with my brothers and sisters, dressed in whatever we feel to dress in. That might be my personal preference, but one thing I have learned as an LDS, is that it is the Lord’s church, not mine. The suits, the dresses etc. simply mean that we put on our best to be with the Lord, I think it is an outward symbol. It does not purport to make us any holier than anybody walking in through the door at all and should not. The way i understand it, the Lord loves us al of course, but He also wants us to be obedient and to conform in some ways I guess to outwardly reflect the inner cleanliness we are trying to live. For me though, I care not whether a man wares his suit or a woolly pull over, i care more what how he is inside.
          Tithing and church investment. i am not shocked to hear that our church invests money. Is there anything in scripture to say it shouldn’t? Think about all those lovely old buildings in the UK that crumble and have leaking roofs, that often have been sold off turning into bingo halls then becoming a symbol not of godliness in their setting but maybe of how godliness has declined as they now house quite different functions? I think that is sad, but it tells me, congregations have dwindled and also there are insufficient funds? Something isn’t right?
          For any organisation, even God’s on the earth today, for me, it has to be able to sustain itself, it’s needs, it’s impending growth, it’s missionary work etc etc. it should also be independent and un harm able from men who would conspire to roll it over. So, if you put all that together, how can it achieve this without having a strong financial capability along with a strong spiritual capability. For me, every Latter day saint is encouraged to be as independent from the whiles and wares of the world as possible for our own preservation, but also so that in times of need, we can help others out of love for then. I don’t see that the church should be any different? And the church does get involved diverting help (which costs) in practically every human disaster of significant scale, though doesn’t make a song and dance about it.
          Jesus Christ against beef farms may appear a bizzar juxtaposition, but Jesus Christ saying ‘build your house upon a rock’ goes a little bit closer if you consider that part of that rock in today’s world needs to be a financial one. As prophesied in Daniel, the church will fill the whole earth, it has to have the means to do this.
          The church shares it’s genealogical resources freely, it will have missionaries tend your garden if you are a needy widow, it will have a welfare program be administered to you by one of it’s bishop’s if you are needy and with the flock, it may help with your education needs if you are in a third world country and need some help. It may look outwardly like it is a money making machine, but if that is the case, there would be a few fat cats at the top with no one else ever seeing any of the benefit, but that is not the case.
          Lastly, on that, God always provides a way for His work to be done, including paying tithing. I myself have had to pay this, when I could barely afford a tin of beans and bread to eat, but i have known that He will bless me through it and beyond it and he has. He has for me, because He is the God of ‘keep my word’. He promises to do so in Malachi, abundantly and He does bless us. Paying tithing is actually a privilege, because it gives me a direct way of sacrificing something for the Lord and to be perfectly honest, if for any reason any men misused any of those funds including the widows contribution, I wouldn’t want to be them. but i really don’t think that is the case.
          Rose, sorry if I am being heavily ‘wordy’ here. I am proud to be an Englishman and proud of many great traditions we have and when it comes to people who believe in God back home, I know how challenging it is in the UK in today’s world to live a principle centred life and stand up for Christ’s teachings and the bible we have. I am encouraged by the example and acts of Godly kindness i see from people of all faiths and their sincerity too. Beyond our religious differences, are differences of practice, God, i believe indeed does know us for our fruits, the true fruits of our hearts.
          I want to thankyou for your kind words to me. I want to also leave with you one thought. That is, that when jesus arrived in israel, might it not have seemed odd, to those around what He was doing and preaching compared to what they were used to? ‘Come follow me’ or ‘come follow my prophets’, before and we would ague after. God and prophets have demanded many things of mankind at different times, usually for different reasons. The world we live in today poses lots of the same challenges, but in different ways. The battle isn’t so much against the sword today as it is things like debt and financial governance, pornography and it;s attack on the family, divorce, what we consider acceptable in society, finding God’s word. You may agree with me, the winds are truly blowing in today’s world. God’s church on the earth therefore needs to be sufficiently strong in all regards as do we individually and in our families. Tithing is paid in part, so that God’s blessings can roll forth as promised in Malachi, if for no other reason, because we need it. You either believe that scripture for me, or you rationalise it away. for me, I believe in the bible so far as it is translated correctly. I believe therefore in the words of Malachi here, I would not therefore expect God’s true church to omit this commandment. ‘Will a man rob god’?
          I sustain my leaders as chosen to administer the affairs of God in their capacities which goes all the way up to our prophets and apostles. I have met one and in no way got any incline whatsoever that he could be cheating people out of money. He could not be and do what he does if that was the case.
          I think to Rose, you need to look deeper beyond the veneer you see, as do I, when i go, because me too, i am not a shirt and tie man when it comes down to it.

    • http://none Wendell

      True, that all/most Christian churches teach tithing. What sets Mormonism apart is the fact that Mormons cannot participate in all aspects of Mormonism unless they pay tithing. They cannot even be baptized unless they promise to pay.
      Mormons are threatened with Eternal damnation and loss of their eternal families if they fail to pay a f u l l tithe.
      To Christians the Tithe is considered a “FREE WILL OFFERING”–as it should be, even in Mormonism.

  • The Hopeful

    BRIAN DEANE,

    This article which I got from MormonThink has been produced primarily by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are interested in the historical accuracy of the church and how it is being taught to its members and portrayed in the media. better displays the issues addressed within the claim of fraud.

    “This article by Meridian Magazine introduces the new edition of the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History manual for seminary students. The new manual includes a discussion of several sensitive topics in church history. These include such things as the various accounts of the First Vision story, Mountain Meadow Massacre and polygamy.
    Unfortunately, the lesson manuals don’t address many of the most serious problems of each issue. They often only bring up one or two minor critics’s problems of each issue and ignore the hardest-to-explain problems.

    For example, the Book of Abraham section only brings up one issue which is that the papyri only date to about 100 BC vs the time of Abraham at 2000 B.C. BOA pg 524-527 (go to unit 31, lesson 152)

    The lesson manual doesn’t say anything that addresses the real problem with the BOA which is that Egyptologists state that Joseph Smith’s translations of the facsimiles and papyri are completely wrong.
    The manual sums up the BOA problems with a simple:
    Although we do not know the exact method Joseph Smith used to translate the writings, we do know that he translated the book of Abraham by the gift and power of God.

    The lesson also has a major contradiction. On page 525 it says:
    The Prophet Joseph Smith never claimed the papyri were indeed the writings of Abraham.

    Yet, on the same page right it states:
    In a statement dated 5 July 1835, Joseph Smith, declaring the importance of these ancient Egyptian writings, recorded: ‘I commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics, and much to our joy found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham.

    With these types of superficial answers that don’t really address the critics’s issues, the next generation of seminary students that use this manual will still be unaware of the most serious problems of Church history. ”

    As for this quote typed by yourself :

    “how can science think it can rear it’s head and claim it is untrue, when clearly much evidence in it’s followers wellbeing stands as a testament to the fact that is not the case?”

    First, I wanted you to understand the true definition of science so you can better understand its nature. I have it as follows:
    sci·ence
    1. a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.
    2. systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.
    3. any of the branches of natural or physical science.
    4. systematized knowledge in general.
    5.knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.

    as you can see science is only about knowledge gained by systematic study, and if that knowledge happens to PROVE that which is that Egyptologists state that Joseph Smith’s translations of the facsimiles and papyri are completely wrong. Then by its nature it has every right to proclaim it.

    Second, if science were not around and continually pushing the boundaries of the unknown or hard questions to ask, then people would still be burned as witches at the steak, vaccines would not save millions of lives, clean water wouldn’t be the possibility it is today.

    Third, your thought process of the LDS churches followers well being standing as testament to the church being true, by that same logic Scientology is true, or even the Pastafarians are the one true way.

    Now before you get any ideas of me being a church hater, I’m not, I’m an ignorance, and arrogance hater. If your going to rant about something YOU clearly haven’t researched outside of listening to the same ill informed affirming words spoken by those around you, then expect to be given FACTS not FEELINGS

    Cheers,
    The hopeful

    • Brian Deane

      Dear Hopeful – why not use your name as I am?,

      I am not a historian, nor choose to be, so I don’t set myself up to have answers to every critic of the churches materials, beliefs and so on, but do resent your tone towards me in expressing my views in response to the tithing issue, which I entered this debate over.
      As a converted latter day saint, I also accept, my mind will not always have the benefit of an intellectual answer, but that doesn’t de rail my belief in the slightest. The reason for this is, I know, feel and use the holy spirit in my life in making decisions and finding the way forward, a gift which i am so grateful for and also more useful.
      If I were instead to spend a few weeks researching what the critics say about the mountain meadow massacre, polygamy or the book of Abraham, where would this really take me in my life, as opposed to be being better armed to fight with people like you over issues? so put simply, if I think it deserves my attention, I will go there, but I won’t centre my belief and testimony around such.

      1. As I have said previously,possibly to you even, possibly not, this claims to be the church of God, not of men. If therefore you seek to point me to inconstancies, poorly managed events, it proves men, including LDS men are capable of errors. Does LDS doctrine accept this, yes I believe it does, because man is not perfect. So what are you proving?

      2. I agree, that science / archeology has every right to study documents / manuscripts and pass comment,of course. But I also believe horses for courses.
      An archeologist / scientist is not a prophet, this is where I think you miss out.
      The answer ‘we don’t know how Joseph translated these….’ is frank and sounds right. Now of course many will jump on the church claiming it is false if they find out documents are 100 years old instead of an expected 2000 years old and it will go on and on and on and I guarantee, these things will never be provable more than likely. But you assume that your understanding, that of the ‘ists’ is paramount. Of course when i learnt mathematics, Newtons laws of motion were paramount, but then I learnt just a little about Einstein and realised how far beyond my capability a lot of this was to comprehend. Your position seems to be, if it can’t stand the test of scientific enquiry it is wrong, I think my point was, science is not ultimate knowledge, as you point out above, it is systematic approach to gaining knowledge. It is only as good as we already know or accept through as you state, observation / experimentation?
      The bottom line is here, i don’t have an answer your question, but i am trying to pull you out of this notion you appear to have that what science proves is it, verbatim?

      I may be repeating myself, but God never said,’drop faith guys’. Knowledge does not require faith. You are coming from a faithless position and therefore will not necessarily from god get all the light on the matter you could, instead you place your whole hopes on any issue on other men and their studies right?

      Because faith is necessary, God in my view deliberately creates 100 to 2000 year old paradoxes. Not only does it therefore demand faith, but it confounds the faithless? No one is meant to join the church because they can prove it is right?

      In answer to your question, I don’t have the answer, but as soon as I do, I wouldn’t hide it. Yes I also agree, what you record as written appearing a contradiction would appear to have some argument. I am just a member, I am not an historian, neither are you I assume. this is not me trying to wriggle out of this point, but is the epistle of Paul written by Paul? etc. You get my point? I don’t know my friend, i don’t have any problem you pointing such like out, but I stress, the Lord in his wisdom ‘makes the weak things strong and the string things weak’. He brings about his purposes through the weak, as He did through a farm boy and as he does everyday of every year in all the members of this church. No one is trained in any way, yet it roles forward. That means that everyone has to pick up from 0 in effect. Will there be an element of finding one’s way, of course. So if you are to go back to any moment in time remind me of what iI once said, would it be spot on? I am not sure.

      Your last point, do we thank science for stopping people burning people as witches? Was it science that stopped all that nonsense and cruelty? I would argue not. You may not agree with this, but at that time, hardly anyone could read the bible? Mankind’s enlightenment went hand in hand with a spiritual opening, beginning with the ability to read scripture as opposed to having tyrants
      terrorise people ‘in the name of god’ usurping power wrongly through a corrupt church and mis uses of doctrine, the people not being able to read scripture. Protestantism changed a lot of that? Then parliament and the route to the democracy in England we enjoy today? Science for me came along, but is no moral guide and lack of morals and understanding and greed between people brings about a lot of the worst you describe for me. science is great, but it doesn’t stop wars?

      Not sure where we are in respect of LDS church members wellbeing being evidence of the churches truth. Of course health and strength is amongst all, I agree with you, including of course scientologists. All I would say is that the church continues to grow and i believe will do, despite mounting attacks which will rage against it. In an age when many more traditional religions are on the decline, you have to ask yourself, why that is? Why is it indeed that you along with so many others on this very site are putting so much of your time into researching ‘why it is wrong’, I would say, if it is wrong, move on, if you are so sure, are you still trying to convince yourself? People can leave the church, but they often can’t leave it alone, it is either right or they want to prove it is wrong.
      Can i ask, what would you do if it is right. Suppose there was a logical, rational, scientifically provable answer to every question you have raised here, would it bring you to church and keep you there? If it did bring you back, if you had that intellectual answer, how firmly would you be rooted when another spiky prickly question came along?

      Just felt to ask and sorry i have not got answers for all of your points in full, although you may not agree, i think I have covered the more important aspects.

      I need to use less words for sure!

      • http://no Wendell

        Exactly Brian!
        Here’s a thought that might help you in the future:

        “. . . a very LONG discussion is one of the most effective veils of
        Fallacy: . . A Fallacy which when stated barely . . . would not deceive a child, may deceive half the world if diluted in a quarto volume.”
        – Richard Whately, Elements of Logic, p. 151

        • Brian Deane

          Wendell, I like your quote very much. Thankyou.

      • http://mormonitemusings.wordpress.com grindael

        “As I have said previously,possibly to you even, possibly not, this claims to be the church of God, not of men. If therefore you seek to point me to inconstancies, poorly managed events, it proves men, including LDS men are capable of errors. Does LDS doctrine accept this, yes I believe it does, because man is not perfect. So what are you proving?”

        “Poorly managed events” are not doctrine. And… Actually, Mormonism teaches that its “prophets” are infallible when it comes to revelation. because they all claim to speak by the power of the “Holy Ghost”.

        “What we get out of general conference is a build-up of our spirits as we listen to those particular principles and practices of the gospel which the Lord inspires the present leadership of the Church to bring to our attention at the time. He knows why he inspired Brother Joseph F. Merrill to give the talk he just gave. He knows why he inspired the other brethren who have talked in this conference to say what they have said. It is our high privilege to hear, through these men, WHAT THE LORD WOULD SAY IF HE WERE HERE. IF WE DO NOT AGREE WITH WHAT THEY SAY, it is because WE ARE OUT OF HARMONY WITH THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD.” (Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, October 1950, p.126, emphasis mine,)

        Even Joseph Smith said so. In a sermon preached a little over a month before he was martyred, he declared,

        “I never told you I was perfect—but there is NO ERROR in the revelations which I have taught” (The Words of Joseph Smith, ed. Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook [1980], 369).

        Smith said nothing about SPEAKING as a weak and fallible individual, on the contrary, he said there was “no error” in the revelations he received. This would include speaking as a prophet when he was teaching because Jo constantly said that “The Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy”.

        This old argument by Mormons is taken out of the context it was meant to be given in. Brigham Young on dozens and dozens of occasions did make “assertions” or give his opinion, but he always stated so when he preached. He did NOT say, for example that his teachings on Adam (that he was God) were his opinion.

        Smith also said,

        “The burdens which roll upon me are very great. My persecutors allow me no rest, and I find that in the midst of business and care the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Although I was called of my Heavenly Father to lay the foundation of this great work and kingdom in this dispensation, and testify of His revealed will to scattered Israel, I am subject to like passions as other men, like the prophets of olden times” (History of the Church, 5:516).

        But again, this has nothing to do with what he TAUGHT. If you believe that, then you can say that polygamy was taught by Jo because he was so weak in the flesh with passion that he had to invent polygamy to cover up his insatiable desire for women, as some do.

        But you won’t see any Mormons giving credence to that argument, will you? They employ a double standard with Jo, and Brigham and the rest of the Salt Lake Branch of “seers” and “revelators” that they sure don’t apply to those like Warren Jeffs, who believes what Joseph Smith taught, and is taken as a “prophet” by his followers, just like Joseph Smith.

        And most of Smith’s “persecutors” came from within his own church who rejected his “revelations” about God, polygamy, and his theocratic government that made him king over the earth.

        If Smith had had the sense to separate Church and State, he may have had less opposition to his teachings and had more time to “testify of His revealed will”.

  • http://robertbridgstock.wordpress.com robertbridgstock

    Brian, you seem to miss the whole point. Speaking as an ex-lifetime member – having joining the Church 1964 at the age of 18 and I knowing enough about ‘What’ was taught by missionaries and ‘what’ has continued to be taught and sustained as the Truth ever since; I would say none of us were told the WHOLE truth — only half truths and the trouble is, the other half was pretty shocking, as any historian know. That many members ‘believe’ and have ‘faith’ in what they have been told, is totally irrelevant! A summons has been issued by men who fully believe they have been tricked, and deceived. The evidence is bleeding obvious to them (and to me) — even if others refuse to acknowledge it.
    We have been misled and lied to over decades, about ALL the facts, regarding the restoration, doctrines and church history. You say tithing is biblically based and seem therefore to say it is sacrosanct… so was the law of stoning to death a person who worked on the Sabbath day. Are you suggesting, that if someone were stoned in the present day for working on a Sunday, that the perpetrator doing the stoning, should not be summoned to a court to answer for his crime of murder – because it originated from the bible? You say that tithing is only one law (as if it has been unfairly picked on) but refusal to obey any ONE major rule (tithing is probably the highest after immorality) prevents entrance (baptism) into the Church, as well as entrance into the exclusive temple club, where essential ordinances for our eternal salvation await us. Failure to pay tithing meant we would be placing ourselves in eternal jeopardy and keeping that law meant avoiding being burnt at the coming of Christ, as well as material and spiritual blessings if we complied. As those bringing the summons have expressed; they have no problem with the principle of tithing being paid by members to the LDS Church IF the full truth was explained prior to them joining the Faith… that is their free choice, BUT THE FULL TRUTH WAS NOT, NOR EVER HAS BEEN TAUGHT TO CONVERTS, NOR LIFE-LONG ADULT MEMBERS! And the Church know very well that IF it revealed ALL at the early conversion stage then the baptismal rate would drop by 90%. That would be catastrophic. It would mean the financial empire of Mormonism would start to crumble. I believe Brian, you live in naiveté.

  • Bruce K Edwards

    Three wise men came from the East.Three good men and true.In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established…

    • Delia Smithers

      The scriptures NEVER say how many “wise men” there were. Again, another TBM false assumption they “know” what’s going on. Is it any wonder atheists and agnostics rank 1 & 2 in biblical knowledge? I studied that book for years – anyone who’s honest with themselves who did the same could only reach the same conclusion: it’s fantasy. And don’t even get me going with the “modern” so-called scriptures – now we move into the Uber-Fantasy category with those fairy tales (BOM, BOA, D&C).

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  • http://Mormonthink Bryan

    I gave over $100,000 in my lifetime to the church to find out that everything I learned in Sunday School was a lie. I wish the US had a fraud law like the UK—think Tort. The LDS church is the only church that forces members to pay tithing to gain salvation. Pass the “plate” not the sign up sheet for Tithing Settlement!

    • Brian Deane

      Doc Holiday,

      ‘everything you learnt is a pack of lies’?

  • Doc Holliday

    You’re hanging your entire hat on the “might be a lie?”I know, quite a few ex-morg (I am ex) think that the gang of 12 all know their religion is a sham and they all are sitting back laughing at the rubes as the money rolls in. The likelihood this is true is very small. The gang of 12 have all convinced themselves it’s true…

    This could be considered to be ‘willful blindness.’ Which, in this instance, would be difficult to prove, objectively. We’re not talking about choosing not to ask what is in a package you’re driving across the border with. Even if it wasn’t about religious beliefs.

    I think we should be calling this what it is–A really successful attempt to associate the mormon church, specifically Monson, with the crime of fraud.

    And we should be paying attention to the relevant case law in the UK, which clearly shows that this is the only thing it will ever be.

    As an aside, even when I was in the church, I never believed any of it. I really didn’t have much choice.

  • Mario

    Hey People you could actually buy all that stuff about how Church is untrue, etc… If it weren’t for my testimony that i do have for the Book Of Mormon which is the word of God and which it testifys that Jesus is the Redeemer i could really buy all this stuff that has been said against the Church. Please do not get too hasty and judge the doctrine, God is on ur side and will tell you the truth if there is a shred of wiliness to know the truth, love you all and please please you have to believe the members that are pure in there hearts that He is the Savior. Marion Marku Albania Europe

    • Jennifer

      I believe that your testimony of Christ is sincere. And, as a fellow Christian I find it quite beautiful. However, a testimony of the atonement and teachings of Christ does not prove the LDS church corporation to be anything more than a very wealthy, international corporation wanting more funding. In fact, Christ told the wealthy young man to do what with his fortune? Give it to the poor and needy/destitute. There are quite a few exceptionally wealthy leaders of the LDS church that have yet to follow Christ’s words on that matter.

  • KennethLee Smith

    GAIN . I notice the word ” Gain” has a place in the English Law. It sure as hell is a word of interest in the criteria of determining what funds are subject to tithing in the Mormon Church. GAIN . Any GAIN is subject to tithing. ( I know this only too well.)
    So this word may be useful in this lawsuit. Gain of any kind may be fraud under the circumstances in England. I hope so. So ” gain” turns around and bites them
    in the fanny. – the Church.

  • http://gravatar.com/waterwarcrimes WaterWarCrimes

    Good luck with your case.

    The U.K. courts are organized like the Canadian courts so you will very likely bump into internal judicial corruption so always make sure to get the name of the judge and study up on his or her background especially for corrupt patterns in other cases. Be wary of Freemason Judges. It is well known that Mormonism is a form of Freemasonry. Many of the rituals are similar and so the Freemason organization will likely reach out and extend a helping to another organization.

    At the Water War Crimes Web Site http://www.waterwarcrimes.com we had a lot of fun exposing the dirty Canadian judges and then watching them die when other insiders murdered them off to cover up their crimes. Although, we were a little sad to watch how these stupid judges got sucked in and were murdered later. Some of the dead ones were not so bad that they deserved to be killed but others, like the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court who was a major pedophile, certainly deserved to die.

    • Brian Deane

      Mormanism is a form of freemasonry? this well known?

  • Linz

    I hope the truth is revealed. It is so hard being looked upon by my TBM family as a misguided lost soul and not being able to say anything. The church is so good at twisting everything in their favor. Hopefully they are caught in their lies.

  • http://monicapignotti.wordpress.com Monica Pignotti, PhD

    My reading of:
    “(2) A representation is false if—
    (a) it is untrue or misleading, and
    (b) the person making it knows that it is, or might be, untrue or misleading.”

    would lead me to understand that “might be” refers to (b) the defendant’s state of mind, not that the actual claim “might not be” true. Think about it. The courts would be flooded if your interpretation were the case!

    (a) clearly states that the claim must be shown to be untrue of misleading. For example, the claim that no man has ever landed on the moon has indeed been shown by hard evidence we have, to be untrue, but the person making it has to know it is or might be untrue. If someone, such as a conspiracy fanatic has an unwavering belief that it is true and will not even accept in their own mind the possibility that it “might be” false, the that person would not fit that criterion. And remember, there are some very highly educated people who nevertheless hold irrational beliefs with certainty. Just read some of the studies done on people who claim they are UFO abductees as an example. Education is no guarantee against sincerely holding a false belief with certainty, leaving no room in their mind that it might be false.

    • Thinker of Thoughts

      True, but the rub comes when you use those beliefs in the context of a system which induces others to pay you money. that is the crux of the issue here. People may believe all sorts of things that “might not be true” but if they lie about them, distort or conceal revealing information from a third party who they are attempting to get gain from, then it is a different matter all together.

  • Walter

    What could bite the LDS is that they claim knowledge of a historic anchor claim when the honest thing would be to admit controversy and claim belief only. A great article.

  • Elder Delaney

    Dearest members,

    Please keep in mind that the payment of tithes is always completely voluntary, which you can plainly see from my remarks given to one of our dear Latter-day Saint families who also questioned this matter:

    http://generalauthority.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/the-sacred-disposition-of-the-tithes/

    May you be blessed in abundance as you faithfully heed the words of our prophets, seers, and revelators with all obedience.

    Elder Delaney

    • Jennifer

      While it is true that tithing is not required at gunpoint (that would be by force involuntary) peer pressure, shaming, and status are extremely strong motivators in the LDS organization. It is an ingenious structure: Millions pay into the organization with the hope that their money will make them blessed and worthy in God’s view and/or because of the most important command from LDS high leadership: Obey and/or to be able to participate in LDS rituals. And, a few at the very top of the pyramid make huge amounts of income off of the empire. And, they are shielded because they keep their organization filed as a religion. It is true that maintaining such a system requires massive conditioning of membership and a highly focused message aimed at continuing the funding.

      • Jennifer

        Good points in your link, Elder Delaney. :)

        • Spencer

          Hey, Jenn,
          I know there is no other forum that I know of for me to talk with you. I don’t really think there is anything I could say that would make an impression, since you and I have an indirect familial relationship. Still, I read this and I remain impressed by the blog and I thought I would share it on the possibility that since I had nothing to do with it, maybe you would find it interesting as well.

          http://taratboyce.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/why-i-a-feminist-who-wants-the-priesthood-wont-be-at-the-ordain-women-demonstration/

          It’s not so important that you read it, I just thought it had some great thoughts and I wanted to try to improve our relationship.

          Cheers and good night, your Brother,

          Spence.

      • Brian Deane

        Can anyone asserting the prophet and his counsellors cream of the church tithing funds please substantiate such statements, otherwise could I ask you stick to facts, not fiction or here say? Thankyou.

        • ROSE

          Brian – it’s Rose back here. Sorry I haven’t replied to your long and thoughtful response. I see here you are having quite an interesting time debating. I understand from my limited research that LDS apostles become board directors of different LDS companies and are given a salary. So I think – but as I say I’m no expert – money doesn’t come directly from tithing but tithing was used to purchase the businesses in the first place. You’ll have to make up your own mind on what you think of that. You know Brian, I just think it’s great you have a faith tradition you are happy with. I like the Steve Covey video on Paradigm. I think he was Mormon? Well in all of this I think as human beings we need to stop using our reptile brains and move to our higher cortex. Not thinking about who is right and wrong, but creative solutions to show respect to one another. I believe that it is each individual’s responsibility to develop their own belief system. For some the LDS really works – it appears to for you? One size does not fit all. When I think of some of the civilisations deep in the jungle I think their beliefs are just as valid as mind. I see it as totally bonkers them sitting in a C of E without their traditional tribal instruments and Brian, I simply think of them in LDS white shirts and do quite chuckle. Their hearts are known by our maker, that’s all that really matters. Taking a religious pluralist approach (have a look at the Fifth Dimension by John Hicks) it allows all to be right based on their own perception. I actually take the view that all religion is man made. Jesus according to my research and all the theologians I’ve discussed it with never had a church. One church was set up initially by Peter but also others set up their faith traditions based on Jesus’s teachings but their churches didn’t survive. What is truth anyway? It’s all rather simplistic to think theirs one way. At the end of the day if Joseph Smith is allowed to come up with his own religion, shouldn’t everyone be able to come up with their own spirituality, belief system or religion. The problem comes when we try to control everyone else. Enjoy your faith but try and come up with a Covey third way. We all get on much better that way. Warm wishes to you.

          • Brian Deane

            hi Rose,

            Thanks for your reply, cool!
            Well, I have to begin by stating my aim is to write shorter and to give you the opportunity not to have to take a night’s rest mid my reply?
            Like what i perceive you to like, I love individuality, different belief systems, i find intriguing, especially when you see common threads, that really interests me. Growing up, to be truthful, the whole concept of organised religion did not fill me with desire, infact it still doesn’t in many ways as I hate seeing people become institutionalised regurgitating dogma of one kind or another.
            I need to say, that as a teenager, I saw a lot of this in my own church, maybe looking back, mentally, as a teenager, i saw a lot of this, together with people from other faiths arguing over who was right and it turned me off, i used to think of many of them ‘ what do you really know?’ I still think that way.
            So you may ask, how can I be a mormon, part of this world wide very organised corporate appearing church?
            The simple answer is, despite the fact I joined age three, if it wasn’t because God wanted me there, of my own will, I may have wondered off elsewhere, but if I may share this briefly, through experiences, through things that go much further beyond certain mental processes alone, you know where you need to be at times.
            As I have grown up, I see a wide variety of people there, some real thinkers, like Mr Covey, others bring something totally different, but importantly now, I can see that everybody brings something, absolutely everybody.
            You raise what I consider to be a fascinating point, truth, can it take different forms? I have to say Ii have never thought so. How can wrong be right owing to a change of context only?For me, at the simplest level, good is good and bad is bad, I think even animals can sense that in us, children certainly can. I think truth and goodness are quite intertwined. I think, like in music and any art form, there are laws, relationships, truths if you want to call them that and no matter how abstract, when notes accord to these laws they become a form of music, some of it, clearer and more obvious and easily accessed than other. Only from my own experience, do I summize that at times we get near, at times we are far and often in between.
            They basic stuff, we easily grasp, but as it gets more advanced, we realise how human we are and spiral off in all sorts of directions, basically with out God’s help, because we are human. Whilst I think people’s different views / beliefs are interesting, if they were physical, i wouldn’t build my house on them? whilst I love diversity and individuality, for me, when you consider the nature of what we are dealing with here, ‘eternal salvation’, nothing can be more important, if through love alone, you would not want your childrens safety to be probable, you would want their safety to be sure? I think therefore Eternal salvation as spoken about in the bible, should be sure, for us, for all our loved ones? This isn’t politics and a life long episode of question time for me, it should be sure if it comes from God, hence whilst I do not gravitate personally around a love for organised any group, i do so the the need for order and a sure way in this respect and I also see the need to congregate and gather in that you strengthen others and they strengthen you often.
            Would it be right to have African tribesmen following their religion one week dressed in white shirts and ties and lined up on one of our pews? For me, I think it would be interesting to see either congregation swap places for a time, that would be good. I think the day we think we have nothing left to learn from any other sincere group of believers is the day we begin to turn blind. In our church we have a living moses in effect, we have more scripture, we have 12 apostles today, e have all this as we believe, but does it all immediately make us humbler or better people? not necessarily. I am sure those tribesmen could teach us al lot too, why> because God peaks to all His children.
            Did Jesus intend a church? I guess my quick question is, were his disciples following His will? If so, then in the churches, Paul wrote to may – yes, for me.
            it goes from there. Do you accept baptism as a requirement? If so, who has authority to do it – anybody?
            I think your question on truth is important, what do you define as truth?
            As I said before, for me, because it is required for our salvation, if you accept that it has to be sure, if it has to be sure, then it can’t simply be ‘as you like it’, but as with anything from God, it will have laws, just like music. You either harmonise and make music, or it is a lesser or greater form of anarchy? ‘ I am the way, the truth, the light, no man comes unto the Father, but by me’ = Do it my way, or you don’t get there? so what is His way, did he intend churches, is there an order, are there ordinances? does there have to be the correct authority if so, and so on?
            For me, as much as I would rather sit in a filed full of daisies holding hands with a group of people i would choose to be with on a sunny sunday afternoon, Jesus never said, ‘do what you fancy’ , He said ‘Do it my way’.So what is that way and would He leave us all to mentally deliberate over it for all our days on this earth?

            Remember of Joseph Smith, he didn’t have a great time, he got persecuted, moved from place to place, got hated, despised, locked up and finally killed for what he did. i don’t think he of himself chose to invent his own religion, no way, i certainly don’t think he concocted the book of mormon, no matter how cynical.
            As he wrote, he was partial to the methodist sect. He would of happily left it at that for an easy life given the choice I think.

            Originality has to have a divine spark. When mankind has done something different, i believe it is because mankind has been inspired – God led. the closer to Him, the closer to the source? Part of that has to be practical (involve doing), part spiritual (involve being guided). The closer we draw in these aspects, the more we discover ourselves and more about our divine nature (Covey talks about this I recall). a simple illustration – A kite is free to soar because a string keeps it up (by holding it in areas), let go of the string and it becomes a completely free spirit, for a few seconds, before it plummets to earth. Because we are human, like sheep wondering around in a field, there has to be a shepherd, an oder, string for the kite, once we grasp that concept, like the kite, we can do summersaults, twirls, you name it!

            these are some of my thoughts which I hope you don’t mind me sharing and once again fail dismally in my length.

            i do celebrate diversity and appreciate much people’s opinions and views particularly that i might learn from them. i also feel though that there are a lot of myths around today. Many people died for the things we maybe take for granted, like Tyndale and the bible, what a brave man who gave his life in pursuits of God’s business to help bring us all out of ignorance, with how much conviction?
            The pursuit of truth should matter very much to us and for me, should not just weakly stop at the common ground we do share, because there is more, much more?

    • Spencer

      Wow…seriously, wow. There are no words. (face palm)

      • ROSE

        Brain,

        What is truth? That is a philosophical question. I suggest you research that one and come up with your own conclusions. I am a teacher by trade. I think the best lessons we learn are the ones we discover ourselves. And Einstein, Plato all agree having given quotes themselves. Do we need to be baptised to be saved? It depends how you view it. Is this a ritual to represent being born again, which some need to do to feel it has really happened, but can people be born again in their hearts (spirit of the law) without needing the physical ritual? Do we as human beings make everything physical? Are matters of God not seen or physical in many cases? We know love exists but we cannot see it. In actual fact we can now. There’s some great TED talks by an anthropologist on love. When brains are scanned it can be seen. However, isn’t it amazing that before we could see it, we felt it? Our human instinct manifested itself. I don’t buy there is only one way for salvation. I think a ‘one size fits all’ simply isn’t very Deity like. I’ve researched lots of NDE and there doesn’t appear to be any religion up there other than love. Yes, people see symbols from their faiths but no one comes down (the most authentic ones) and says there is one way. I appreciate your thoughts and just would advice that faith is a journey. An exciting journey of constant discovery. I feel part of something much greater. I feel the influence of Deity constantly. But simply respect that I’m here on a need to know basis. That the mysteries of life will not to be given now. I am patient, and do everything I can in my part of the universe now to show love. I see great pain in the LDS community from believing LDS and ex/post/NOM/ LDS. I sincerely hope that a solution can be gained where neither see each other as the enemy any more. Perhaps Brian, you can show love. Seek to understand first, rather than be understood – another Covey quote. You can play your part in healing these rifts. Keep seeking, keep thinking, follow your inner wisdom. Do listen to Steve Jobs speech on TED talks it is rather wonderful.

        Best wishes for your happiness, Rose

        • Spencer

          Rose,
          I liked your quote, “Seek to understand first, rather than be understood”. It shows a lot of patience in a conversation. I like taking things slow, it’s how I work. I’m a slow learner and I like to take my time. That’s one of the reasons I like art, because you can’t rush it, it takes as long as it takes and that’s the reality of the experience.

          I will share with you a scripture I read this week that I liked because it caused me to reflect on members of other faiths.

          [Mark 9:38-41](https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/9.38-41?lang=eng#37)

          I especially liked the part “…For he that is not against us is on our part. For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.”

          I think you are absolutely right that the lord looks on the heart and not as much on our outward observances. It is we who look on the outward appearance.

          It is interesting that you open with the same statement that Pilate made in his exchange between him and Jesus in John 18:37-38, in reply to his statement “…I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.”

          As a perpetual student, for to me there are far too many things that are exciting to discover to ever stop learning, to a greater student, for that is how I see teachers, I would like to share a few thoughts that you may feel free to comment on.

          I consider that there are always parallels in what we learn. They aren’t 1:1 correlations, but there are certain loose similarities which exist in language, math, programming, logic, philosophy and even religion. One of those is it that in the world we live in there are certain truths that hold regardless wether we are aware of them or not and it is often from the consequences of not observing them that we learn about them. If that is true about our lives as they are now, is it so strange to consider that some of that might hold true for whomever God is? I mean we kind of hand him a blank check and say he can be anything, but surely he is not everything and there is something that defines what he is and what he is not…something that defines him out of obscurity and nothingness. Surely, if there was a response to a question directed toward him it should contain knowledge and not be devoid of some type of specificity if there is an exchange between 2 intelligences something must pass between them that is more than the experience, wouldn’t you think?

          I agree that faith is an incredibly personal journey and not one that should be delivered to those who would make a mockery of it. I suppose, in a way, that might be apart of why mormons and ex-mormon exchanges can turn so sour because the cuts run so deep. Both are very capable of hurting the other and both are also hurt by the separation. It is not a simple dichotomy either, there are many layers and levels to both sides, and no single situation is the same. Of course, if I understood it for what it was I would have it all figured out and probably wouldn’t be here typing to someone I hardly know.

          I wholeheartedly agree with your statement, “I think the best lessons we learn are the ones we discover ourselves.” and this is why I have said on at least one previous occasion that I hope that when we die and return to our maker that he doesn’t just tell us the answers, because it IS so fun to learn, and there are few joys more rewarding as having learned something and applied it and benefited from real understanding.

          I know this is little more than a wave across a pond, but nevertheless, it’s a wave because I saw some great thoughts in your prose.

          Sincerely,

          Spencer

          • ROSE

            Spencer – a wave back from the other side of the pond. It’s great that you are continually thinking about these issues. As human beings it is important that we continue to develop, to grow in understanding, to expand our perception. What do I know for sure? Very little apart from my love for my family (amazing husband and kids), friends, students and a Deity. In my world view, Deity cannot be defined. I don’t believe I have the processing ability to do so. The ALL, the real, the ultimate truth that cannot be defined in this human state. But we sense that fifth dimension, the existence of something greater than ourselves. Common threads. Absolutely, I think the best approach to religion is to look at the central core of all of them, What are the common denominators. Love being the think that I keep coming back to here. I think it is important to remember that we process information based on all of our own perspectives. Each of us lives in our own little bubble. I suggest you look at John Hick’s book ‘The Fifth Dimension’ quite an academic read but perhaps the best summary I’ve found on these issues. I’d also suggest that you look at the different stages of the ego – I think it’s Loevinger. Our egos prevent us from so much learning. Freeing myself from mine – certainly not there yet – is helping me develop much greater empathy for my fellow human beings. It helps to also keep me dogma free. Thank you for your thoughts, I enjoyed your thinking. And agreed with much of it. Best Rose

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  • Chris

    how can you do this to people or your self for that matter, once u have been informed of the truth Sr. Egyptologist have proven beyond any REASONABLE DOUBT that the translation of Book of Abraham is completely false, it being only claim of Smith based on actual hard evidence and found to be Fraudulent, One can only assume the Book of Mormon claims that cannot be proven are also false as well. Thats using logic, but on a Human to Human level, How can you remotely believe the Story Smith tells his followers in the 1st place Golden tablets and what not, its absurd once the man is has proven to have lied even 1 time. You ever heard that a great claim requires great evidence. Your mind must work like a 6 year old childs. its quit astonishing to tell you the truth. Unless this is simply all about money from the top to the bottom down, in which case you should be sued and stripped of everything you have, Shame on you Sr, SHAME ON YOU!!!

  • chris

    Truth= that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality. The argument above is just the type of word play you would expect from a horrible horrible consciousless human, when pointed to be outright false you go to the philisophical what is truth? are you kidding, What if we are all just an imagination or dream inside a dogs head? what if dog was spelled C.A.T. wow total misrepresentation and attempted blurring of the lines no one say s you cant preach philosophy Sr, it is the asking for money from people the guilting of money based on a condeming fear of the soul, based on provenly false claims that Sr is out right Wrong, You want to justify rape and Murder next. What is rape can it truely exist it is but a search for love that a rapist is in pursuit of and who is the victum to denign one in search of a love experience.

  • chris

    oh for christ sake lady you have your head so far up the New agers ass hole i dont think you can even see straight anymore, the entire idea of any and all religion is absurd the mormon faith is just the easiest to prove bc it is one of the newest if all the others happened a 100 ears ago we would sue them for fraud as well. get of that high horse of yours and come down fromthe clouds to join the rest of the logical universe for F sakes Rose, u sound like your on LSD not LDS, which is all good I feel connected to the Universe and everthing in it when Ive tripped myself, dont justify stealing ppls money or getting free tax exemption to obtain unfair advantage in the business market, what if you had a company that had to compete with LDS, and were unable to feed your family bc they put you out of business do to there unfair andvantage which happens by them to people everyday, as they are the 2nd richest church on the planet, that is a big company Rose a huge Company stealing from every american everyday in the Millions of dollars range and puting good HONEST people out on their ass.

  • Victor

    Be careful what You say, of the Anointed Ones of The Lord, Lest You be struck to Death, and Endless Woe!!!

  • Good Mormon Woken UP!

    If you look into the history records at BYU you will find Joseph married womean who were already married and their daughters and were caught having sexual intercourse with them.Fanny Alger was one,caught in the act by Oliver Cowdry on apon threatening to expose Smith was duely excommunicated by Smith.and you wonder why these angry husbands and fathers killed him? wake up brother,check it out if you don’t believe it!BYU!
    OR LET THE BLIND LEAD THE BLIND AND ALL FALL IN THE DITCH!

    • lindasdf

      Other than Cowdery, there is no evidence at all that Joseph SMith ever had sexual relations with any woman but his wife Emma.

      Yes, he was sealed to many women, and some men as well, but it was not a legal marriage, it was a sealing, meaning to be connected for time and all eternity.

      Yes, some of these women were already married to someone else. There are a couple of reasons for this.

      One was, that some of these husbands were not members of the church. Since the Mormons believed that one must be sealed in order to be exalted in heaven, many of the women with non-member husbands were sealed to Joseph, or one of the apostles, in order to qualify as being sealed.

      Also, some of the men who were members were called to go to foreign lands as missionaries. Since it would be a long dangerous trip, and the men would be gone for three years, these men wanted to make sure that their wives and family would be protected, so they would have their wife sealed to the prophet or an apostle, so that if anything happened to them, they would be taken care of.

      If all Joseph ever wanted was a little noogie, he could have had it simply by telling a woman that God told him that He wanted her to have sex with him. That’s what his friend John Bennett did, and why he got excommunicated.

  • Good mormon woken up!

    Bravo!

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