New Atheist Billboard: ‘Shame on Mormonism’

The final Presidential debate takes place tomorrow night in Boca Raton, Florida and there will be a new billboard awaiting Mitt Romney and his entourage:

The billboard, put up by American Atheists, aims to educate the public about two of the lesser-known aspects of the Mormon faith: First, that black people were forbidden from entering the priesthood until 1978; second, that sexually-active gay people are still banned from the church altogether.

According to AA’s press release:

Dave Silverman, President of American Atheists stated, “The American population is woefully unaware of the implications of a Mormon president because nobody is discussing the issue. Mormonism is a non-Abrahamic religion that has already used its money and might to impose its beliefs on the non-Mormon citizens of California.”

“We need to know if Mr. Romney supports these and other discriminatory actions of his church, for which he evangelized when it was still overtly racist, and to which he continues to donate millions of dollars. It’s a fair statement to say that all American citizens should be wary of a president who once proselytized, to Christians and Atheists alike, for a living,” Mr. Silverman said.

[Managing Director Amanda] Knief continued, “When President Kennedy was running for office, the American public demanded to know whether his first loyalty was to his Catholic church or his country, and he answered, in no uncertain terms, that he stood by this country and supported the separation of religion and government. All we are asking is that Mr. Romney address the same issue — as president, will he give his first priority to the U.S. Constitution or the Book of Mormon?

Unlike their other billboards, this one will be featured on a mobile ad truck, which will drive around Lynn University (the site of the debate) tonight and then follow the Romney campaign on the road for the next few days.

Romney was asked about the Mormon Ban on Blacks on Meet the Press back in late 2007. This is how he answered Tim Russert‘s questions at the time:

In short, Romney said he was happy the change happened (he “literally wept”), but refused to admit the Church was wrong up until that point. Way to be a leader.

When it comes to the exclusion of non-abstinent LGBT people from the church, Romney doesn’t appear to have any problem with it.

Considering how much criticism American Atheists received for their last set of political billboards, I’m curious how this one will be taken: As a legitimate attack on faith or as a petty attempt to grasp at straws in the last weeks before the election.

***Update***: A Mormon spokesperson has responded to the ad by… completely missing the point:

“People are surely free to disagree with us on the facts,” Dale Jones, a church spokesman, wrote in an e-mail to CNN. “This group seems not to know that there have been black members of the Church since our earliest history, and there are many faithful gay members of the Church today.”

“This group” absolutely knows that. The ad says, albeit in fine print, that American Atheists is referring to blacks in the priesthood and gay people who are sexually-active. American Atheists is right and the Mormon spokesperson is either purposely misleading the public or too ashamed to admit the truth.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Lutz Biedinger

    the less people they allow in the better.

  • EllieMurasaki

    The people asking Kennedy to defend the assertion that it’s possible to both be Catholic and lead the US were being jerks and the people asking Romney basically the same question are being jerks. Please please please make all your attacks on Romney be on Romney’s voting record, statements of political belief, and planned policies.

    Consider it enlightened self-interest. Atheist presidential candidates shouldn’t have to defend the assertion that it’s possible to both be atheist and lead the US, either.

  • gadlaw

    It amazes me just how much information that is out there is ignored. This information about not allowing Black people in their ‘Priesthood’ until 1978 and the ban on Gay people in their religion has been out there forever. The television show ‘House’ had a black Mormon doctor for a season and the running joke involved there being a Black Mormon in the first place. The status of Gay People in organized religion hasn’t changed either. Again, just how much actual knowledge is out there that is ignored just fascinates me. 

  • Martinrc

    It isn’t about him being a Mormon Ellie, its about him not talking against the bigotry in the Mormon church as shown on that ad.  There are black people and homosexual people, they deserve to know Romney’s stance, and he has publicly stated in the first debate, that he turns to his religion regarding his policies, so in essence, his religion has everything to do with how he would run the country if he became POTUS.

  • Stev84

    Mr. Deity recently did a great bit on Mormon racism and how integral it is to their theology:

  • C Peterson

    It is a reasonable question to ask any candidate for public office who has made any issue of his religion if he can keep it separate from his public policy. Nobody is being a jerk to ask that question- indeed, it is irresponsible if the question isn’t asked.

    Atheists have nothing to defend because their beliefs don’t stand in potential conflict with the First Amendment in the same way that theists do- although no atheist candidate should have a problem making the promise that they will uphold the First Amendment.

  • Lightthecorner


    American Atheists!

    You get five stars, the blue ribbon, the gold medal, and the last Oreo!

  • Godlesspanther

    In most cases I would completely agree with you.

    In this case Romney is a fucking Mormon.

    Case closed.

  • The Vicar

    Well, it’s a nice sign, but given what we know of people’s behavior, I think this really translates into “hey, Republicans: Mormonism is the religion for you!”, and I’m not sure that’s really a good thing at this point in time.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Would you appreciate it if someone said they weren’t even going to consider a candidate’s policies and actions and political beliefs because the candidate believes in no gods?

    There are lots and lots of reasons to oppose Romney. His religion isn’t one of them. And where his religion affects his policies and political beliefs in ways that hurt other people, the problem is the hurting people, not the religion. Case in point, the problem with Romney and homosexuality is that he doesn’t support marriage equality et al, not that he’s a Mormon and Mormons oppose marriage equality et al.

  • chicago dyke, Blonde

    sorry, i can’t agree. the cult of moroni is pretty extreme, and i don’t want a religious extremist leading my government. sorry, but i don’t. i wouldn’t care of that extremist were an extreme fundamentalist muslim, christian, jew or hindu. it’s the extremism that matters. by definition, these people put their religious beliefs first, and their duty to perform a job second. they want to insert their own particular religious views into not only everything they do, but everything we all do. they are intolerant of not only atheists, but people of different faiths. they have dangerous, fantasy-based beliefs about things like global war and the end of life for all on this planet as we know it. they propagate misogyny and ignorance at the expense of women, and science. no, he’s the one who wears his magic underwear on his sleeve, so to speak, and who can’t even say something as simple and direct as “my church’s leadership was wrong to exclude blacks from leadership.” leadership FAIL. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    Criticize these people for their misogyny. Criticize them for their ignorance. Criticize them for their racism. But unless you’re planning to strike the ‘no religious test for public office’ language from the US Constitution, don’t criticize them for their religion.

  • Patricia Ramirez

    Frankly, it boggles the mind that more attention hasn’t been paid to the fundamentals of mormonism by the mainstream media, considering the fact that Mitt is now closing in on the highest office in the land.  I know that Obama is not actually Muslim, contrary to right wing conspiracy theories, but look at the attacks he has endured based on people SAYING he is.  Why are Romney’s religious beliefs off limits when it comes to public and media scrutiny?  I live in Utah, and it is a virtual mormon theocracy.  Anyone who thinks Mitt wouldn’t push for the same thing on a national level, in the event he is elected, is deluding themselves.  

  • trivialknot

     I think being part of an organization that actively fights for cause X gives it more weight than if you just believed in cause X.

  • Sara

    My question would be if Romney/Ryan would be willing to fulfill their lawful duties as guardians of the Constitution and protect the 1st Amendment rights of atheists (not to mention the 14th Amendment rights of gays and lesbians) just as assuredly as he would protect the 1st Amendment rights of Christians and the 14th Amendment rights of heterosexuals.  He has already effectually stated that he doesn’t care about the 14th Amendment as it applies to homosexuals (he referred the issue back to the 10th Amendment).  And I have very little confidence that he would care at all for my 1st Amendment rights.  

  • trivialknot

     On the other hand, notice that the Mormon church’s reply isn’t, “Yeah, and we’re right too!”, but to defend themselves and distract from the truth.

  • chicago dyke, Blonde

    their religion is the reason for  their sexism, racism, etc. they admit as much. these things go together, because they choose to put them together. therefore, i hold them to the standard they want to be judged by. the day a religious extremist says, “my religion is a private matter and i won’t discuss it,” neither will i and i will judge them wholly on the basis of their record/policy. which of course will still be racist, sexist, etc. 

    i am not the one inserting religion into political discourse. they are. they are making themselves fair game for criticism from people like me. it’s not a “religious test,” it’s a fair question about if they can do their job and treat all americans fairly and equally. by their own admission, they can’t. don’t expect me to shut up about that, esp about the ones who are trying to kill me, as a homosexual. literally want us dead. 

  • Annie

     I think as soon as a political figure brings up his or her religious beliefs while on the job, it is fair game… and I consider anyone who ends a speech or press release with “God bless America” as breaching this separation.  Obama should be accountable too, but I think he has been more forthright about his religious beliefs, and he’s under the umbrella of Christian privilege because most Americans are very familiar with Christianity.

  • Dawn Forsythe

    I am an atheist, and I am also an ex-communicated Mormon who left the church because of their views on blacks. My experience, however, is that Mormons today are no more racist than other Christians. I blogged about it here.

  • Andrew B.

     I’m sorry, but you couldn’t be more obtuse.  The lack of a religious litmus test means that no candidate shall be disqualified for RUNNING for political office.  It doesn’t mean that voters can’t reject him because of his religious belief.  Those are two different things.  You’re just confused.

  • IndyFitz

    Nicely said!

  • IndyFitz

    True enough, but ignoring facts is pretty much what religious folks tend to do all the time, so no real surprise there.

  • Paceride

    Frankly it’s not their racism thatworries me, it’s their White Horse Prophecy.

  • Amakudari

    There’s something really missing in the LDS’s statement as well: the unique role of the priesthood in Mormonism. It’s not like the priesthood requires a lifetime of aesthetic dedication; it’s the norm for the men of the household. Denying someone the priesthood effectively denies lay believers (or what most religions would consider lay believers) a host of other privileges.

    This wasn’t just hypothetical, indirect discrimination for black men who didn’t necessarily want to be priests. It impacted all of them directly from age 12 onward. (And then there’s women, but I digress.)

  • JohnnieCanuck

    The White Horse prophecy refers to ‘saving the US Constitution’. There’s two ways of looking at that. One is to protect the existing clauses from amendment or to reassert them in their existing form. Two would be to make needed amendments. As to which action would be the proper one in a given circumstance, that would depend on which side of the argument one stood.

    If a Christian/Mormon majority wanted to ‘protect’ Americans from homosexuals, they could amend the constitution to remove their right to equality. That would get spun as saving America and the Constitution.

    As it is, Romney has not stood up for marriage equality under the 14th amendment and presumably supported Prop 8. Certainly his tithes were part of the revenue pool used by the Tabernacle. To me, that means he puts his religion ahead of the constitution.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    Agreed. If only they could be convinced to reject converts and practise celibacy, the whole problem would be solved.

  • DougI

    The Mormon church spent millions to on Prop 8 to ban gay marriage.  Not exactly a gay friendly group.   Thanks to Brigham Young Utah was the only territory, west of the Mississippi, and north of the Missouri compromise, to legalize slavery.  BY, was also the one who demanded that Blacks not be allowed into the priesthood.

    Yeah, Mormon history is a shameful one.  You’d think that these prophets, who speak directly to god, wouldn’t be changing their tune.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    Most American voters poll as rejecting an otherwise qualified atheist for any political office.

    As is their right. Nothing illegal about that and no way to enforce it, given a secret ballot.

    The religious test only means that candidates cannot be excluded from running by enacting a law.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    Whoever pays the piper calls the tune. In other words, they seek to maximise revenue, whatever it takes.

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    The Billboard itself does NOT in any way say that Mormon people are racists. 

    Rather, it points out that the official church regulations were indeed explicitly racist, until 1978.

    There is a subtle but hugely-important difference there.

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    I “tip my hat” to the American Atheists for putting in the time/effort/money to once again openly criticize religious teachings that so desperately need to be openly criticized. 

    Billboards like this keep breaking the taboo which would otherwise protect religious organizations from being held to answer for their wrongdoings.

  • C Peterson

    It seems perfectly reasonable to me that a person who is sincerely religious should have strong reservations about voting for an atheist.

    Similarly, it seems perfectly reasonable that a person who doesn’t believe in gods, and sees religious practice as a symptom of an irrational mind, should have strong reservations about voting for such a theist.

    Romney’s religion is absolutely grounds for somebody to oppose him.

  • C Peterson

    There’s absolutely nothing in the Constitution that bars anybody from using any criteria they choose to decide whom to vote, or not to vote for.

  • Runne Karill

    I moved to Utah about 3 months ago. It’s scary how much power the church has over the government here. The town I live in (Cedar City) is 90% Mormon. I don’t know how long I can stay in such a conservative, religious town. I’ll probably end up in Salt Lake, mainly because the church has quite a bit less power there.

  • Triangle Dimes

     I don’t think all religions can be weighed equally. For example, Scientology. Anyway, the more you know about Mormonism, how it works, and what it demands of it’s people… Itt is troubling. I think Catholicism has many levels and shades. You will meet all sorts of Catholics out there. Mormons, on the other hand, seem to me to be much more strict, which I think owes to the fact that it is a relatively new religion, and so the con is much more obvious. Like Scientology, we can trace the history of the man who started it and can smell his dirty laundry. Since every other one is buried in the past and is much easier to polish, it is easier for people to believe passively.

  • Georgina

    On the other hand, I don’t see many mormons blowing up religious buildings, murdering those who leave the faith or sending rockets into Israel.

    Having grown up in an Islamic ominated society, Obama has soaked up the tenents of Islam, whether he claims to be a muslim or aChristian is irrelevant.

    The ideology – not the religion – is important. And Obama is 100% islamic ideology. 

  • Tom Streetman

    You missed the entire point. The problem people had with Kennedy was that would he allow the pope to exercise control over him as a Catholic. Would Mitt allow the Mormon prophet to control and guide his policies? Atheists don’t have a higher power or head of religion that supposedly holds power over members of that faith.

  • AxeGrrl

    It is a reasonable question to ask any candidate for public office who has made any issue of his religion if he can keep it separate from his public policy. Nobody is being a jerk to ask that question- indeed, it is irresponsible if the question isn’t asked.

    Can this be a sticky around here, please?

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong or inappropriate about asking questions about a candidate’s faith/worldview if it affects/informs how he/she would run the country.

  • RobertoTheChi

    Their religion IS the reason for these antiquated beliefs.

  • Msironen

    Yep, darn Obama and his DADT-repealing, gay marriage-supporting, islamic ideology ways!

  • Eric M Boucher

    Hawaii is an Islamic Dominated Society?  Interesting, I’ve never been, I always thought it was all about grass skirts and surfing but I supposed I will have to change my mental image to burkas and beards.

  • Silverbear Heart

    Objections to Mormonism has come
    also from the Christian Community, given the conduct of the Romney family and
    members of the Skousen family it is no wonder people question Mormonism.

    Exposing Romney an interview with Debbie McCord-Skousen – on
    Jeenyus Corner

    Harassment by active Mormon Church members and people
    getting ready to leave the Mormon Church exacerbated the abuses inflected.  Scott Romney, Ronna Romney McDaniel the
    daughter of G. Scott Romney, Mitt’s Michigan Financial bundler David T. Fischer,
    along with active Mormon Church, 
    Skousens, are discussed on the blog are discussed on the blog and during
    the interview.

    It is hard put to say Mormon’s believe in family values when
    this is how they behave. 

  • matt

     Care to provide some evidence with those claims?

  • DiligentDave

    The billboard is misleading on blacks. The LDS Church is correct on asserting that there have been black members of their church since near the very beginning of the (LDS) Church. 

    And, you might add that the LDS Church also discriminates against others engaged in sexual immorality, including fornicators, adulterers, child molesters, and also those who otherwise abuse spouse, children, etc.

  • DiligentDave

    We’re not Shakers. Never will be. So no worry on this.

  • DiligentDave

    I also live in Utah, and it is NOT a ‘virtual theocracy’.

    And Patricia, contrary to your claim, “Why are Romney’s religious beliefs off limits when it comes to public and media scrutiny?” They have long been very much under public and media scrutiny. The point is, what is “good for the goose is good for the gander”. Your claim that Obama is NOT Muslim is ludicrous. He observes and respects Muslim “law” and custom far more than he does Christian tradition, from the burying of Osama bin Laden, to White House  observances of Muslim ‘holy days’ vs observance of Christian ‘holidays’.

  • DiligentDave

    Rather, Runne, the members of the (LDS) Church, SINCE THEY ARE THE MAJORITY THERE, have political power, because, duh, as you pointed out, they are the demographic majority. What, would you deny the majority it’s voice?

  • DiligentDave

    Utah legalized slavery? You’ve got to be kidding. Mormons, many from anti-slavery New England, were chased out of Missouri for being anti-slavery. Next you’ll claim, as the Encylopaedia Britannica, for years, that Joseph Smith died by hanging (he was. rather, shot to death by a mob).

  • DiligentDave

    Prejudice by Mormons? Lightthecorner, if atheist, shows his out and out prejudice in his/her comment above.

  • Shelama

    Yet the strangest Mormon beliefs are not even uniquely Mormon:  the Bible is the word of a god (or God), whether or not translated correctly, Adam & Eve and the Garden, Noah’s Flood virgin birth, walking on water, empty tombs, bloody Jesus sacrifice for sin, and Jesus as a Jewish savior-messiah, etc.

    Mormonism just goes to show that anybody who can believe that stuff can believe anything.

    (btw, AA is wrong: Mormonism IS an Abrahamic religion and, not only that, it’s a Christianity)

  • LB

    because we are a Republic, not a Democracy of majority rule.

  • LB

    Oh don’t worry about Bin Laden, you can just dead dunk him the next time youre at temple and set him to rest the “right” way ;)

  • NoDoubtAboutIt

    Too bad there were survivors.  America would be a much better place if there hadn’t been.

  • LB

    well good thing Joseph Smith was just a con man and not a prophet of God. White Horse has no power except that the Mormons are going to feel insufferably smug for four years if their man gets elected.  And when their Mormon moment is over they will continue to recede into obscurity where they belong.

  • DiligentDave

    Mormons are taught to hate the sin, but love the sinner.

    We are all sinners. While we try to extend love to all, that does not mean we can support sin. ALL sexual relations outside of marriage between a man and a woman is considered to be sin. We didn’t originate that. God did.

    I have a brother-in-law who is a practicing homosexual. I love him. I hate his sin. 

    But, even Isaiah, the ancient prophet pointed out, “They (homosexuals) reward themselves with evil”.

    Ultimately, it is not what I believe or do that hurts ‘gays’, etc, it is what they do that hurts them.

    Romney has always been for protecting the rights of all Americans, including gays. However, this does not mean that he agrees with their lifestyle. Nor should anyone be forced to accept such lifestyles as good, normal, etc.

  • DiligentDave

    The so-called ‘White Horse Prophecy’ has long been considered as very dubious by both the LDS Church and most of it’s members.

  • Herkermer

    Mormons worldwide: 14 million
    Roman Catholics worldwide: About 1 billion
    The Mormon and Catholic positions on homosexual behavior are about the same. So why is American Atheists singling out the Mormons? Either because they’re bullies who pick on the little guy, or because the real motivation is to swing the election.

  • Herkermer

    You really think Obama is in the White House praying toward Mecca five times a day? You really think he studies the Koran and worships in a mosque? I’ll tell you one thing: if Obama were a Muslim, he’d probably be a lot more conservative.

  • DiligentDave

    Both neo-Pharisees (conservatives) and neo-Sadducees (liberals) are afraid that a “Mitt the Mormon” presidency will implicitly legitimize ‘Mormonism’ as a religion. Why, even Billy Graham’s website within the past week delisted ‘Mormonism’ as a cult, after Graham met with Mitt Romney.

    I am a ‘Mormon’, which means that I am a member of “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. Most ‘Mormons’ or ‘Latter-Day Saints’ as we mostly call ourselves (a ‘saint’ is simply a member of the ‘LDS Church’), are fairly normal people. They strive like other people to try to do good, keep God’s commandments, and do right by their fellowmen. We have our sins and our shortcomings. We try to repent, that is, to improve our performance in regards to how we feel God wants us to do right both to ourselves and to others.

    We believe and try to follow the “Golden Rule” (“do unto others”) much more than in the “rule of gold” (riches and money, etc).

    We allow all to believe in what, whom and how they choose. We don’t feel anyone should be compelled against their own conscience in matters of belief. We ask that others do the same.

    My aunt, a very staunch atheist, was eulogized at her funeral last Saturday. All but one of my seven siblings, and myself, were in attendance. My siblings and I are all active, believing LDS Church members. But we respect the alternate beliefs (or disbeliefs) of our late aunt and some of her children, though we strongly disagree with them.

    Generally, though, I have observed over my life, that these relatives who are atheists have been far more likely to persecute, mock, and disparage us (believers in God) than we have been of them. But then, I have also found that other so-called Christians have been equally or greater persecutors of Mormons and Mormonism than perhaps even atheists are or have been.

    I rightfully fear what all of you have done, do, and may yet likely do to both Mormons and our church. There are many wolves. There are few sheep.

  • DiligentDave

    I think you mean “detract from the truth”, though I disagree with your statement.

  • Herkermer

    If you define anyone who’s ever been convicted of a crime as a “con man,” then Jesus Christ would be a con man too.
    If you mean that Joseph Smith preached a false religion and is therefore a con man, then your argument is circular: Mormonism is obviously false, since its founder was a con man.
    Joseph Smith was a con man, since he preached a false religion.

  • Herkermer

    The “White Horse Prophecy” is apocryphal, and the Mormon/LDS Church has officially said that it is not Mormon doctrine.

  • DiligentDave

    So, Dawn, did they excommunicate you because you left the (LDS) Church, or did you leave the (LDS) Church because they excommunicated you? (Usually, if you formally leave the (LDS) Church, they don’t need to excommunicate you, since you’ve done it yourself. On the other hand, if they excommunicate you, you don’t have to leave the (LDS) Church, they’ve done it for you.

  • Herkermer

    You’re sounding like a jihadist–or a member of the mob that shot Joseph Smith.

  • Herkermer

    You want to see a church that’s all about making money? Go look at the televangelists and megachurch pastors who drive fancy cars and live in mansions. The LDS Church doesn’t pay its pastors. Even its highest leaders don’t live in mansions or drive fancy cars. So how is it all about the money?

  • Herkermer

    Answer: No, Romney has explicitly said that he would not take orders from his church leaders on political matters.

  • Herkermer

    Actually, the LDS Church didn’t directly donate to the Prop 8 campaign, except for things like paying travel expenses for Mormon leaders to meet with Catholic leaders and so forth. It encouraged its members to donate, and many of them did on their own.

  • Herkermer

    For what?
    For making themselves the arbiters of what counts as the Abrahamic tradition?
    For discouraging religions from reforming by making it clear that former errors will not be forgiven?
    For attacking Romney over his church’s position on homosexual behavior while ignoring the fact that Joe Biden belongs to a church with an identical position?
    For giving the false impression that no blacks were allowed in the Mormon church until 1978?

  • Herkermer

    Move to a city that’s 90% anything and that anything will have a lot of power.

  • Fa

    Dave, you may find this interesting:

  • Herkermer

    Atheism is a belief system, too. Let’s look at what has been done under the banner of atheist ideologies:
    • The Holocaust
    • Communism
    • The planned starvation of 5 million Ukrainians under Stalin
    • Eugenics

  • RowanVT

     So Obama cancelled easter and christmas and I wasn’t told? Le SHOCK! He’s trying to make friendly overtures to show that he is not full of hatred? MUST make him muslim then. Oh wait… don’t they also do things for jewish holidays as well? He’s a muslim jew? But wait, he’s also waging a war on religion, so he’s an atheist muslim jew? Man, I’m confused now.

  • RowanVT

     We’re not here to eat you. But we’re also not going to wrap you in wool and coddle you.

    I watched that Mormon endowment ceremony video. The entire thing. It was painful and incredibly absurd. And there were parts about it that made me very very angry. For starters: God sending Satan into the garden specifically to tempt, basically giving him a job, and then punishing him for the job God sent him to do. This shows a capricious deity and such a deity cannot be benevolent. More angry making though was making women wear a veil in order to participate in that group prayer.  I shouldn’t have to explain how wrong that is.

  • Guest

     The LDS church doesn’t pay it’s bishops (the mormon church does not have pastors) because they are not true theologians, and they are appointed, not hired. They aren’t true “pastors” at all, they are individuals who have been good tithers and have been active in the LDS church for a period of time. Pastors have received an education in theology, mormon bishops haven’t. And, if you’re talking about the Quorum of the Twelve or any other mormon around that level, they do indeed have a lot of money.

  • RowanVT

     Hate the sin, love the sinner is something that is almost impossible to actually do. And even if you manage to do it… does it look any different to the person on the receiving end?

    If you love your brother-in-law, but ever tell him that he is immoral, that he is wrong, that he is going to hell, that he is abnormal… On his end, how is that any different from expressing hate for *him*?

    “Oh no, I love you but think you’re a terrible person!” doesn’t work. Your actions and words are all he is going to know. He can’t feel what you feel so if you say you love him in one breath, but then go and try to deny him happiness, a fulfilling relationship, and his entire sexual identity he’s going to think you are a liar about loving him. And rightfully so.

  • Armand Winter

     Why do the Evangelicals want to put an anti-christ into the white house?

    The mormons claim to be Jews… every one is a Jew in happy mormon theology, Mormons descended from Ephraim, Native Americans from Manasseh, everybody except maybe black people.

    I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews and are not, but are the Synagogue of Satan. – Revelations 2:9

  • diligentdave

    Known murderers are not typically baptized. 

  • HughInAz

    Ignorant idiot.

  • Adamcbradford

    Dawn please see

  • diligentdave

    Rowan, I first drove through your beautiful state for the first time in my life a month ago. (I’m supposing you’re a Vermonter, by your moniker). Of course, also coming from there, your state’s reputation for atheistic pro-LGBT people precedes you (not so beautiful).

    For a claimed Christian, he goes so much out of his way to honor, and not offend Muslims, while his dismissal of long held White House Christian observances makes one suppose he probably still is the Muslim he once was.

    Jewish? He doesn’t seem to care that much for Israel, so little danger there. And his lack of regard for human life (like his strong pro-abortion stance) makes one think he is, yes, also a likely agnostic or atheist, too (though perhaps a closeted one).

    No wonder you’re confused, Obama does appear to be most of these, and you’re from Vermont!

  • Herkermer

    You’re avoiding the issue: The LDS Church doesn’t pay its ecclesiastical leaders, so how can it be about the money?

  • diligentdave

    You did? That is suppose to be only available to people who are both worthy to enter the temple, and also are prepared to understand temple symbolism. If you are not an LDS Church member, and/or are not worthy to enter the temple, you will never understand it, unless/until you are and do.

    I would attempt to tell you more on this, but it probably would not help you.

  • diligentdave

    Interesting, yes, but not totally credible.

  • diligentdave

    You obviously don’t know me nor my relationship with my brother-in-law. In so many ways he is a very good person. He is very generous. And what I said about hating the sin but loving the sinner is true, in practice as well as in concept.

    You totally mistated both what I think and also what I say and do in regard to him.

    Your prejudice is too evident.

  • tksinclair

    You are off the wall…who told you that?  That Obama observes Muslim law?  A viral email put out by the GOP?  Or do you have some inside info the rest of the world is not privy too?  Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?  Making a statement with NOTHING to back it up? No proof?  NOTHING….Get rid of the SPAM email and base  your information on FACTS.  If you don’t have FACT (PROOF) then what basis do you have to make such a ludicrous statement?  IT just makes you look so ridiculous.

  • tksinclair

    Gee Dave..where are you getting this information?  Just give me ONE SOURCE to back up this claim?  That has proof?  A photo…a tape recording?  Come on..anything??? Other than just more GOP paranoia and bull!

  • tksinclair

    First Dave..this is the kind of thing I’m talking about when I say PROOF…okay?  As one example:


    Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:182:

    Brethern and sisters, our friends wish to know our feelings towards the Government. I answer, they are first rate, and we will prove it too, as you will see if you only live long enough, for that we shall live to prove it is certain; and when the Constitution of the United States hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, they will have to call for the “Mormon” Elders to save it from utter destruction; and they will step forth and do it.

  • Antinomian

    And the true religion is?

    Joseph Smith was a small time “con-man” and treasure diviner before he hit the big time with the long con of religion.

  • Lucy

    Atheist ideology?  Can you point to a specific set of beliefs or ideologies which would create the desire in people to cause the extermination of millions of fellow humans?  It seems as if anytime there is a discussion involving religion, or lack of a particular belief, people invariably bring up Stalin, Hitler, Mao, etc.  Wasn’t the driving motivation that of greed, power and control over other humans within a totalitarian framework?  Some work on your part may be required.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen statements made by the mostly non-religious members of say, the National Academy of Sciences wanting to destroy the lives of their fellow travelers on our small planet.  Religious extremists, on the other hand, seem to have little problem creating hell on earth in the name of their belief.

  • Antinomian

    It’s because we love the sinner but hate the sin..

    See how that works….

    As far as atheists discouraging the reform of religions, the christians have had 2000 years and yet they spread lies  and brainwash the weak to hold their wealth and power in society. And while most christians, at least in the west, don’t burn heretic’s, what is happening in Africa among the fundamentalist  christians is at least financed and given permission by the deafning silence of their supporters in the west.

    Joe Biden clearly, in the debate said his religious beliefs do not influence
    his governmental policies. Romney has no such claim or statement.

  • Ibis3

    And of course we take him at his word because he’s so well known for his honesty and integrity.

  • Antinomian

    I grew up in the RLDS church Dave and I have to tell you that what your or their gods deem worthy isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit.

    Call me a bigot if you like but let me tell you that the six months I spent working in Salt Lake City told me everything I need to know about Mormons in general.

  • Antinomian

    Straight from the mouth of Bringem Young..

    Nice persecution complex Dave. Any bigger and we could install a soccer field.

  • Antinomian

    The prophet says so and Bringem Young told him…

  • Antinomian

    I knew the subject of this given blog would bring a deluge of stupid, but only the religious fundamentalists could make it biblical in proportion..

  • prollynotmo

    Not only were black people not allowed to hold the priesthood, they were not allowed in the Mormon temples, and therefore not allowed into Mormon Heaven. Brigham Young and other Presidents of the church said that the only way a black person would get into heaven would be as a slave for a righteous member.

    it was believed and arguably is still believed, that Black people were born sinners bearing the mark of Cain, which is why they were subject by the Lord to slavery (Jesus and all of the old testament not only  condones, but encourages Slavery.)

  • diligentdave

    What “wrongdoings” are you alluding to? If “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” is indeed “God’s one and only true church”, as it claims, then argue with God as to why it was not until 1978 that the LDS Church again allowed blacks to hold the priesthood? (I have my guesses, but that’s all they are). If it is not, then we are merely another false religion, and so what does it then matter? If you don’t even believe in God, then our church should be considered by you to be as false as all of them. And so, why should you even care?

    There are many beliefs atheists have that IMO are false, and many I see as being ludicrously so.

    Attending a Unitarian Church funeral of my atheist aunt last Saturday, it was interesting to me to see how many laughable things they hold to. But, unless and until they start to harm me and the church I belong to, I’ll let them do their thing, unmolested, and unaffected by me.

    However, they have NOT done so in respect to me and my religion.

    As Pontius Pilate and Herod became friends in colluding to crucify Christ, so neo-Sadducees, such as many/most of you are, would/are doing likewise in regards to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (i.e., “Mormons”) in this day, with your many of the neo-Pharisees of this day. A mutual enemy (Mormons)  makes you both mutual friends.

  • diligentdave

    No. Mormons who smoke, drink, mess around, etc, are called “Jack Mormons”. Some years ago, a friend of mine, a Muslim from Syria, called himself a “Jack Muslim”.

    Some “Jack Mormons” may not keep the commandments, but otherwise may still be somewhat loyal to the (LDS) Church. Same can be true for some Muslims.

  • diligentdave

    The Obama White House itself reported that Osama bin Ladin was buried at sea. Photos of bin Laden shown dead were shown. But no photo evidently of him being dropped into the ocean. 

    Apparently you don’t watch the news very closely!

  • diligentdave

    LOL (hardly).

  • diligentdave

    I just visited for the first time the Kirtland Temple, which the RLDS Church (now, of course, The Community of Christ) owns. Had some good conversation with an older gentleman, “Bill”, with whom I first began speaking with in the book store in the visitors’ center there. He was very cordial. He also took me, my oldest (married) daughter, and her three little children on a tour of the temple.

    There were a few things he alluded to, and that I read in the (RLDS) literature I strongly disagree with. But, there has been much in the way of collaboration between both the LDS and (old RLDS, now ‘Community of Christ’) churches in the past few decades. Many good people in both. Sorry you have bitter grapes about your “work” in Salt Lake City. Did you “work” as an RLDS missionary in Utah then, or what?

    Your allusion to “a bucket of warm spit” sounds like you’re extremely bitter about some experience/s. Sorry you feel the way you do. Don’t have a clue as to what those experiences were. “Worthy” before God can mean different things under different degrees of scrutiny. I have some problems with some of my fellow saints, sometimes, too. And, they may have some, also, with me. What is most important, however, is how God views us! He is the final arbiter, the final judge of all.

    Also sounds as if you left the RLDS Church, perhaps. 

  • diligentdave

    So, as RLDS, I gather you were squarely set against what I believe they use to call us (LDS ‘Mormons’) “Brighamites” — or — would you call them in your ‘oh so clever’ play on words, “Bring-em Young-ites”? You were taught to be gainst our 19th century practice of plural marriage, apparently. Guess you’d fault Abraham, Jacob (Israel), and even Moses on this point. And don’t forget the prophet Hosea. They were all polygamists.

    In fact, Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins, I personally believe, is an allusion to 10 would be brides coming to meet the bridegroom (their soon to be husband – for ALL of them). Hence, even Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world,  alluded to “the principle” of plural marriage, as Abraham “the friend of God” practiced!

    My atheistic aunt was spoken of, in her funeral just this past Saturday, too, to be very much against “plural marriage”, as supposedly was my “atheistic uncle” (her brother). However, both practiced their own forms of “plural marriage”. Marrying, divorcing, marrying again. My aunt was in two such “marriages”, my uncle in three. Whereas my LDS mother, was married to but one man only during her life. None of my seven siblings have been married but once, with no divorces, as is true also for me.

    But, I am grateful that that “principle” (plural marriage) was practiced in the LDS Church for a half century or so in the 19th century. I’m a descendant of 2nd wives in two ancestral lines. Without what was then called “the principle” (of plural marriage), I wouldn’t be here.

    On the neo-Pharisee and neo-Sadducee comparisons, if the shoe fits, they all should wear it! And, I strongly suggest, indeed it does! The “complex” you should be more concerned is the one “they” are in. It’s called “the great and spacious building”!

  • Unification Board

    “This group” absolutely knows that. The ad says, albeit in fine print, that American Atheists is referring to blacks in the priesthood and gay people who are sexually-active. 
    “fine print”, as in “basically invisible print that nobody will ever make out on a moving vehicle”. Which is, of course, the point — to be misleading on the readable part of the bill, while leaving a cowardly “out” when people call them out on their dishonesty.

  • diligentdave

    Andrew B is absolutely correct. Neo-Pharisees and Neo-Sadducees see this loophole, and are perfectly willing themselves to go through it, and to induce all their fellow Neo-Pharisees (conservatives) and Neo-Sadducees (liberals) to do likewise.

    Isn’t it great, that “devil” truly IS in the DETAILS!?! What the U.S. Constitution may forbid, prejudice and bigotry can overcome! See how “Christian” these people are? They are different from their 1st century Jewish counterparts ONLY IN NAME!

  • diligentdave

    I do. I strongly disagree with Romney on several points. But, his record as Governor of Massachussetts was strong. Even the Black Female Democrat who worked under him when he was governor in a senior cabinet position, thought it was unusual when he asked for the list of campaign promises he made, and then went on to fulfill EVERY ONE!

    He did what he said he would do with the Salt Lake Winter Olympics. 

    And, companies he helped, and investors in Bain Capital, were by-and-large very pleased with how he helped them!

    Compare this to Obama’s record, and you have TWO VERY DIFFERENT records. Obama’s has been one of “promise them anything” and delivery on very little!

  • Silentbob

    Atheism is not a belief system, it is the lack a particular belief system. Atheists are simply people who don’t believe in the existence of gods.

    You could equally say that all these things were done by people who didn’t believe in leprechauns. But it would be a silly observation. What matters is what people do believe in, not what they don’t believe in.

  • diligentdave

    Amakudari, your profile says you’re an atheist. Hence, you don’t even believe there is a god (let alone a God). Ergo, you don’t believe religion can/will do as promised, I must needs suppose. Hence, if our (Mormon) religion is no more “true” or valid than any of the other (by implication, false) religions, WHAT ‘PRIVILEGES’ are you claiming blacks were denied prior to 1978?

    I’ll be interested in your reply!

  • Auroraleigh

    No God allowed. (* Ever)
    Shame on atheism.

  • trivialknot

     Nope, distract, as in red herrings.  I’m not the least impressed that there are black and gay Mormons.  Asserting that there are gay and black Mormons is to distract from the truth that Mormonism isn’t kind to those groups.

  • RowanVT

     Exceeeeept that Obama is a Christian? If he was anything it would be a Jack Christian, not a Jack Muslim.

  • RowanVT

     Not…. *typically*?

  • RowanVT

     Tasty Tasty assumption dance! I’m a registered veterinary technician. R.V.T. My cat’s name is Rowan. RowanVT.

    I’m an atheist that lives around and am related to a bunch of fundamental evangelical people. Because these are people I live with and am related to, we try to honor and not offend each other. Am I now actually a watered down christian, and they watered down atheists?

    News flash: being nice to a group that is in some ways reasonably angry (the profiling and outspoken hatred of all muslims now common in this country) is called Politics.

    Next news flash: One cannot be Muslim AND agnostic or atheist at the same time. They are mutually exclusive. If you cannot understand that simple a concept, I don’t know what to do with you.

    Also, people are not pro-abortion. They are pro-Right-to-Woman’s-Bodily-Autonomy, also known as pro-choice. Would you like me to call you pro-Making-Women-Into-Nothing-More-Than-Walking-Incubators-to-Beings-More-Important-Than-a-Mere-Female? Because that sounds just as stupid as pro-abortion.

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    This is the crazy that is religion. 
    “We Mormons did not prevent blacks from being in leadership within the Mormon Church…. GOD did that. We just followed his orders”. 

    “It’s not us that hate gays…. it’s God that hates gays”. 

    When will you realize that the little voice in the head of your church leaders is not a god. It’s just a delusion.

  • Herkermer

    Fair points, but the assertion that there is no supreme being almost always leads to belief in certain shared ideas about the nature of existence and of the universe, to wit:

    • Human beings cease to exist at death. Our consciousness is the mere
    byproduct of the biological machines which are our bodies, not evidence
    of anything enduring within us.
    • There is no higher purpose to anything, since there is no higher power or guiding authority.
    • Suffering is pointless. It may lead to greater experience or maturity, but that is a mere result of suffering, not its purpose.
    Most atheists also believe that:
    • Our existence is a mere coincidence. If evolution made it happen naturally, well, evolution itself is dependent upon the fact that molecules interact, which might have just as well not have been the case. Why things are the way they are is a mystery, and ultimately, completely coincidental.
    • Morality is subjective. There is no ultimate arbiter of right and wrong, and so if there’s such a thing as natural law, your opinion of what that might be is just as authoritative as my opinion.

    The point is that atheists tend to share similar beliefs. Everyone intelligent has some kind of worldview, and that constitutes a belief system, whether or not God is involved.

  • Herkermer

    Name-calling is rude. Make arguments, not hateful rhetoric.

  • Herkermer

    Sure, and the ideologies were mere excuses–just like religion has been used as an excuse for atrocities. In both cases, the true motivation is usually greed, money, power, etc. But just as religion can prejudice people and make  atrocities more likely, so can it teach peace and love. And just as atheist ideologies like communism and fascism can be used to rationalize atrocities, atheism can also teach … well, I’m not sure what it can teach.

    Maybe it can teach people to ignore extremist religious rhetoric from jihadis and the like. On the other hand, it tends to teach people that there are no consequences so long as you can get away with it, since there is no God and no final judgment.

  • Herkermer

    Could you provide a source for what you attributed to Brigham Young? I know he said a lot of racist things, but I haven’t heard that one.

  • Maria

    I think what led to all of those things you’re describing is POWER. When these men reached power, they did some crazy things. Note, far more crazy things have been done in the name of religion.

  • Maria

    Well, when we elected our first Roman Catholic (JFK) people were afraid he’d mix his religion in with his powers of leadership. Imagine! The majority of people saw this as an unwanted thing! But now, I feel that more and more ignorant people WANT Mitt to incorporate his religious beliefs into the government(abortion, gays, etc.) should he be elected, and AA’s just calling bullshit basically.

  • Maria

    No, the billboard was right. Blacks weren’t allowed in LEADERSHIP, which it clearly says at the bottom, and which I can clearly see on the little jpeg photo on my computer, which means it will be more than visible on a moving bus. And of course, we all know that to enter the Mormon Kingdom of heaven, you HAVE to be a mormon leader right? Every man in the church is expected to become a mormon “bishop” (or equivalent word) at some point in his life in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. Since black men couldn’t do this (and CERTAINLY not black women) it follows to say that there was some pretty major discrimination going on!

  • Superaslhie

    no one needs to pay attention to religion. church and state are separate in this country and that is something that romney realizes. that’s why he doesn’t spend much time talking about it

  • prollynotmo

    Shall I tell you
    the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to
    the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the
    law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.
    - Brigham Young, as found in the Journal of
    Discourses 10:111 

    The thing about Blacks still being Slaves in heaven was said by Mark E. Petersen, in an address at Brigham Young, where the Presidency of the Church asked him to address Racial issues in the church, and essentially smooth them over.

    after instruction from the First Presidency, Mark E. Petersen said the following…

    Mark E. Petersen   Race Problems – As They Affect The Church, Convention of
    Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo,
    Utah, August 27, 1954

    Think of the Negro,
    cursed as to the priesthood. This Negro, who, in the pre-existence lived the
    type of life which justified the Lord in sending him to the earth in their
    lineage of Cain with a black skin, and possibly being born in darkest
    Africa–if that Negro is willing when he hears the gospel to accept it, he may
    have many of the blessings of the gospel. In spite of all he did in the
    pre-existent life, the Lord is willing, if the Negro accepts the gospel with
    real, sincere faith, and is really converted, to give him the blessings of
    baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If that Negro is faithful all his days,
    he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but
    he will get celestial glory.

  • Herkermer

    So he didn’t say whose servant they would be. Presumably, he could’ve meant they would be servants of God. But either way, it’s clear that LDS leaders have said some very racist things.

  • Ossidrider

    How many times has Adolph Hitler been baptized?

  • Ashcroftgm

    DiligentDave, you have to be kidding me. Obama is not a Muslim. Even if he was, would it matter? America is not just a Christian nation; it is a Hindu nation, a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Mormon nation, and an atheist nation. It shouldn’t matter what beliefs an individuals chooses to adhere (or not adhere) to; all that should matter is competence and policy positions. BTW, I’m a Mormon Democrat living in Salt Lake City. I find this anti-Mormon billboard contemptible and in bad taste, but I also find your unfounded assertions regarding Obama (and implied denigration of the noble religion of Islam) repugnant as well.

  • Ashcroftgm

    I agree with a lot of what you are saying, RowanVT, and I don’t want to split hairs, but the fact is that one can be an atheist Muslim, just as one can be an atheist Christian or Jew. Such individuals adhere to religious rituals simply for their cultural significance, with a sincere belief in deity not motivating such observance. Is Obama Muslim? Of course not! However, the fact remains that it is possible for an individual to be agnostic/atheist and Muslim/Christian/Jewish at the same time.

  • chester_drawers

     Your second-to-last sentence isn’t entirely true.

  • Ashcroftgm

    What’s wrong with burying Bin Laden in a manner consistent with his religious beliefs. Is there some great crime in that?

  • chester_drawers

     It can be about money in other ways. They don’t DIRECTLY pay their leaders, but they use their influence to get their leaders cushy board positions with mormon-owned companies that pay them instead. And any church that builds a mall, a MALL, and luxury condos for rich people (to keep the dirty poor people away from their precious building) really kinda reeks of “being about the money” to me.

  • chester_drawers

     Attending the weddings of their loved ones?

  • chester_drawers

     Of course you don’t think it’s a virtual theocracy- you’re under the LDS brainwa er I mean spell and so you lack the cognitive ability to see any fault in it whatsoever. I guess the Utah law that says a car dealership MUST be closed on Sunday (because an LDS car lot owner was losing business to his heathen competitors) is based on secular ideology?

  • Ashcroftgm

    Obama has held Hannukah, Ramadan, Christmas, and Diwali celebrations while in the White House. He is not anti-Christian; the White House is still bedecked in Christmas trees during the holidays, the president participates in the lighting of a giant menorah, and he also breaks the Ramadan fast with local Muslims. If he was so anti-Christian, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have allowed Joe Biden to use his rosary while they were awaiting the results of the Abottabad raid. You should also notice the fact that he has repeatedly referenced Christian scripture in his speeches, especially in those to the African-American community.

  • DiligentDave


    What matters about Obama being Muslim isn’t that he is, but that he does so many things, especially in regards to foreign diplomacy that affects where he is taking our nation. If he is, he should have declared he was, so that our nation might know. And then known how being so would inform his presidency. He didn’t, and we get a hint as to how his deception on this issue is affecting it. If one is a Muslim, and yes, there are many aspects of it that are noble, but there are aspects of it that mirror the Book of Mormon. Just as the Lamanites were, as the BoM points out, “eternal enemies” of the Nephites, so is much of Islam “eternal enemies” of Christians and Jews. I know, I had a once close Muslim friend. (He turned on and from me, and not vice versa). I believe this is one of the lessons of the BoM we should “liken unto ourselves” in regard to many (but not forcibly all) Muslims. The events of 9/11, as well as the holding of hostages in 1979, and other instances, have taught me that we must be careful in regards to many Muslims.  I saw in 1979, when the woman who became my bride attended Weber State. I saw at that institution almost to a person Iranians who decried the U.S., and yet they all wanted to remain here, while supporting the hostage taking of US diplomats and citizens by Iran. They were, on this issue, extremely duplicitous.  And yet, I have seen publicly other Muslims in the U.S. who, at least appear to me, to be extremely loyal to our nation. 

    My assertions of Obama’s true religious adherence have much evidence, though, behind them, whether you, as a Democrat, will accept them or not. The assertions and evidence are in and of themselves, not repugnant. They are, rather, strong.

    I agree that in one way, it definitely should not matter. Just as it is in the case of Mitt Romney running for political office, it should not matter that he is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. But both neo-Pharisees (mostly Republican) and neo-Sadducees (largely Democrats) today try to thwart the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against there being a religious test by the government by requiring and enforcing one just by voters at large. I find this attempt to be very repugnant. So should you!

    B.H. Roberts, too, was a Democrat, in a time when far more of that party’s stances were not as repugnant as they are now. And I have great admiration for him. He was at odds, for a period, with the brethren on the so-called political manifesto. But he submitted to the will of the brethren. As you may know, Roberts won a bid for U.S. Congress, but was denied a seat in Congress because he was a polygamist. (Congress, in one of its rarest cases, didn’t ever reimburse him for his costs in trying to get seated). One of my great-grandfathers, too, was a Democrat, and ran for county office around 1900 in Salt Lake County.

    We can (and do, sometimes) elect Atheists for office. Like Mormons should not be required to submit to, let alone pass, some religious test, so it should be for all people of all religions. However, whatever their religion (or non-religion) is, it should be straightforwardly known, since what we believe (or don’t) influences and informs our thinking, decisions and actions. 

    This, though, should be another reason why atheists should not oppose a Mormon running for office, but should at least not fight him because he is one. If they want respect and due process for themselves, they should fight for it for others, like Mormons do.

    Obama continuously has attacked Romney on apparent incongruities in his political positions. The implication has been hypocrisy. But, Obama, too, shows great inconsistencies in many areas. And, his religious beliefs, if not affiliations, is one of these major areas that apparently greatly influences his policies.

  • DiligentDave

    Why accommodate a dead enemy? The fact that this was done is more evidence that Obama is a Muslim, and determined to follow Sharia law.

  • Herkermer

    Except that the vast majority of wealthy Mormons don’t work for the church; they work for unrelated private companies. And they pay 10% of their income to the church.
    As for the City Creek Center mall, the idea wasn’t to keep poor people away from Temple Square because they’re poor; it was to discourage urban blight and the associated crime that comes with it. There’s a lot of drug dealing in Salt Lake City, and the Church wanted its headquarters to be a safe place. Also, it’s not like the mall was a giant handout for rich people. It’s an investment, both in the city of Salt Lake and in the sense that it might yield a return. Wise management of its money is what allows the LDS Church to operate welfare and humanitarian aid programs that are second to none.

  • Herkermer

    I should also note that it’s common knowledge within Mormonism that working for the church (e.g., being a web developer for, an architect for its churches and temples, or a manager of its welfare system) pays a lot less than the equivalent public-sector jobs.

  • Angeleer8

    This is why Willard Mitt Romney is unfit to become the president of the United States!!!

  • Angeleer8

     Willard Mitt Romney made a vow to the National Organization for Marriage (madeup of Mormon and Roman Catholic leaders.) This demonstrates that his religious connections does influence his governmental policies.

  • Angeleer8

    It is impossible for the Mormon Elders to save the United States Constitution hanging from a single thread when they violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution.

  • Angeleer8

    The Mormon General Authorities live in luxury compared to the General Membership.

  • Angeleer8

    The Mormon Church craves polictical power, and polictical power is about money.

  • Angeleer8

    Willard Mitt Romney vowed to ban gay marriage. This demonstrates that he will NOT protect the rights of ALL Americans.

  • Angeleer8

    I agree that Willard Mitt Romney’s religion is absolute grounds for someone to oppose him!!! Especially since I know that the Mormon Church discriminates against gay people, and especially since I know that Willard Mitt Romney made a vow to ban gay mariage.

  • Angeleer8

    How do you know that he will not take orders from the First Presidency? I believe if the First Presidency wanted something badly and pressured Willard Mitt Romney, I think he would cave in to their pressure. The Mormon Church pressured the civil authorities of Salt Lake City to sell them Main Street Plazza and those civil authorities caved in to the Mormon Church’s pressure and sold Main Street Plazza to the Mormon Church.

  • Angeleer8

    And you might add that the Mormon Church has a double standard (one for heterosexuals and the other for homosexuals.) 

  • Angeleer8

    I agree that Willard Mitt Romney puts his religion ahead of the Constitution!!! This is why Willard Mitt Romney is NOT fit to be the president of the United States.

  • Desiree Bell-Fowlks

    That is bad as saying I like black people but I don’t like their black skin.  You can’t change being gay anymore than being black.

  • Desiree Bell-Fowlks

    Yet Romney gives money to his church that gave millions to ban marriage equality in California.

  • Desiree Bell-Fowlks

    Yay like repeal of DADT and signing in the Lily Ledbetter Act, which Romney would not have.

  • Desiree Bell-Fowlks

    Like Prop. 8 where the Mormon church threw in millions to support.

  • Desiree Bell-Fowlks

    What are you talking about?  God is allowed, just not racism, bigotry, and sexism that stems alot from religion.  Sorry for us pointing out mormonism hatred toward gays and blacks.

  • Herkermer

    Really? Have you been to their homes? Pr. Hinckley lived in an apartment building near Temple Square. Pr. Monson lives in a very modest suburban home. Those General Authorities who live in large, luxurious homes (like Jon Huntsman Sr.) have those residences because they bought them when they were employed in the public sector.

  • DiligentDave

    Zion and Sodom are not the same. There are those that are “clean” and those that are “unclean”. A host and a parasite are not compatible, since the parasite can become like a cancer that consumes and kills it’s host. Homosexuality is now not just a small parasite, but a cancer.

    Homosexuality is a sexual perversion. Heterosexuality was designed by God for a species to reproduce itself. Homosexuality is a major force in fighting against nature and against nature’s God in this regard.

    Condoning homosexuality as though it is at par, or even in the same ballpark as heterosexuality is both a perversion in religion and of nature.

    Though populations have grown greatly since WWII, it is not forcibly because people have been breeding like rabbits, but rather because they have quit dying like flies. The population boom has been due more to a health boom than to any baby booms.

    The baby boom of 1946-1964 was not so much of a “boom” (not historically, at least). That is, yes, far more babies were born then than during the prior 35 years. But the ‘post WWII baby boom’ is defined MUCH MORE by the major birth dearths that preceded it (1910-1945) and that have followed it (early/mid 1970′s to the present, and likely for some years to come)! ‘Boomers’ are like a long skinny pig inside of a boa constrictor. The pig looks so big compare to the long skinny boa constrictor both before and after the pig. But that perception is due much more to the leanness of the boa constrictor on either side of the pig.

    The ‘baby boom’, I say, was not exactly a ‘boom’ in this way. In the 20th century, the first century saw a birth rate a bit higher than that of 1946-1964. Have you ever heard of the 1900-1910 ‘baby boom’? No. Neither has anyone else. And why not? Because those numbers were a bit lower than previous decades in the US. But, again, they were still higher than the averages from 1946-1964.

    Nicholas Eberstadt, a demographer with a Phd from Harvard University, made the quote I borrowed regarding “rabbits” and “flies” above. He points to the health boom (of vaccines, anti-biotics, increased and improved nutrition, and many other healthcare advances, that have kept far more alive from infancy to old age who before these advances, would have died).

    Our reaction to the ‘Population Bomb’ book, like the book’s conclusions itself, are again both wrong and wrong-headed.

    The Great Depression of the 1930′s was probably due as much to the birth dearth that begin around 1910, plus the deaths of young men in WWI, plus the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918, plus the secularization boom of the ‘roaring twenties’, defying laws of men, like prohibition, led to also defying laws of nature’s God, like chastity, which led to fewer marriages, fewer children, and fewer families and, hence, households. This decline continued in the U.S, until 1926, when due to lack of demand, housing hit the skids. The gradual decline in housing fell off a cliff in early 1929. And that precipitous drop crashed October 29, 1929, on a Tuesday. Then, more companies went bust, and then, because interest rates fell so low, and demand resulted in so few loans, hundreds of banks closed their doors fairly permanently in 1933.

    It wasn’t WWII, but the so-called ‘baby boom’ that really got and kept us out of another economic depression for many years. That is, until 2008. Now we’re there again (remember Rahm Emmanuel—now “the Godfather of Chicago”, as Obama’s point man, saying not to let “…any crisis go to waste)?”

    Well, homosexuals, though relatively few in numbers, impact the birth dearth far greater than their numbers appear. Sure, there are many others who don’t have many, if any babies, too. So homosexuality is not the complete scapegoat for this problem. But, still, they are a HUGE part of the human sub-replacement problem, where far more old people retire than children or grandchildren have been, or are being born!

    One reason God gave the commandment to Adam and Eve, and by implication to all of their descendants, to be fruitful, to multiply and replenish the earth. Our generation (again) is learning at least the major economic pitfall in relying on man’s own wisdom, which is brought to naught.

  • chester_drawers

    I’d be able to see your point if they didn’t use less than 1% of their income on humanitarian causes.

  • Herkermer

    Actually, that 1% figure is derived from an LDS Newsroom fact sheet that listed only the amount of money donated to emergency disaster relief. Factor in the vast amount spent on non-emergency humanitarian relief such as wheelchair, clean water, and vaccination programs, plus the vast amount spent on the church welfare program, and it’s many, many times more.

  • nakedanthropologist

    On the contrary, Romney was a serving bishop in the Mormon faith.  His Mormonism is part of his identity and ideology – his promise to take funding away from Planned Parenthood is evidenced by that.  If I were running for president, and my atheism was questioned (and I’m positive it would be) then I would answer those questions with honesty.  Romney hasn’t.  And his voting record repeatedly flip-flops on issues.  Whethere this double-think is part of him being a type of Republican-esque Manchurian candidate or part and parcel with his religiosity should be questioned and examined.

  • Bernard_Gui

    No, Mormons do not believe anyone was born a sinner. There has never been a Mormon doctrine that blacks would not be allowed into Heaven. 

  • Bernard_Gui

    Mormons do not claim to be Jews. That is a lie. Jews are descendants of Judah.

  • prollynotmo

    except that they weren’t allowed into the celestial kingdom, as per the ban on black people entering into the Covenant of Marriage within the temple, and continuing with Receiving their endowments. With no Endowment, and no Eternal Marriage, that doesn’t allow Black people into the Celestial Kingdom.  In mormon Doctorine there are 3 kingdoms of glory and basically no hell (outer darkness reserved only for those whom deny the holy ghost, which not even Hitler has done)

    ascending order…
    Telestial Kingdom – The Holy Ghost rules this Kingdom which is reserved for murderers, thieves, and all around bad people, but it’s still better than this earth.

    Terestial Kingdom – Jesus rules this kingdom and it is Reserved for those whom were good people, but never accepted the fulness of the Gospel (LDS Church) THIS IS THE BEST PLACE BLACK PEOPLE COULD HOPE FOR BEFORE 1978.

    Celestial Kingdom – God the Father, and Jesus Christ Reside in this Kingdom, and Only baptised faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can enter. and only those whom have been married in the temple, and only those whom receive their endowments.

    no blacks, even the most faithful before 1978 could enter into the Celestial Kingdom. Fact. if you are a mormon and you don’t know this, shame on you. if you aren’t and are assuming stuff, get informed, if you are a mormon and are trying to apologize for this, you’re not doing it right.

  • Bernard_Gui

    1. Blacks are allowed in LDS leadership. There are and have been black General Authorities, bishops, and stake presidents.
    2. It is a lie to claim one has to be a “mormon leader” to enter the kingdom of Heaven. The only requirement is to be baptized and follow Christ.
    3. No man in the Mormon church is expected to be a bishop or any hold any other office in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. A bishop is like a pastor of a Protestant church, except he is not paid for his service, which usually lasts for 5 years. 
    4. Black women and men have always had the right to be baptized in the Mormon church and be members in full fellowship if they meet the standards for baptism, none of which involve race. Since 1978, all men have the privilege of holding the priesthood. 
    5. In Mormon theology, every person ever born on earth regardless of race or gender has the opportunity to be saved in the celestial kingdom of God. 

  • Bernard_Gui

    Mormons do not hate gays.

  • Annie

     Please supply citations for your claims. Thank you.

  • Bernard_Gui

    Your facts are woefully in error. If you know that, shame on you. If you are ignorant, get informed. Since you want to appear knowledgeable about things Mormon, I refer you to Doctrine and Covenants Section 131 to get up to speed on the Celestial kingdom. Your claim that no blacks before 1978 could enter the Celestial kingdom is pure fabrication on your part. God’s plan of salvation is available for every person who has ever lived on this earth.

  • Bernard_Gui

    How do American Atheists view adultery or similar betrayals of
    marriage promises? How do they view marriage?

  • Bernard_Gui

    So, what are all those elderly leaders of the Mormons doing with all that money? Yachts, cars, mansions, vacations in exotic locations, jewels, gold, professional sport franchises?  Or are they just hoarding the loot somewhere in the Utah desert? What is your evidence that they live in luxury?

  • Annie

     Atheists do not have a set way to deal with anything, as we are all different people.  Since we don’t prescribe to any faith, we don’t follow any doctrine.  Atheists, most likely, deal with marriage promises and adultery much the same way many people of faith do.  I can’t answer for other atheists, but for myself, I view marriage as a promise that my husband and I would help each other learn and grow, and that we would be there for each other to raise our child and support each other. Twenty years later, it’s still working out for us.  I can’t tell you how I would deal with adultery, as it hasn’t been an issue for me yet, and I hope it never will.  My husband is my equal and my friend, which makes things much easier for me, as a woman, than it would be in any Christian faith. 

  • Bernard_Gui

    1. Personal knowledge and friendship with black LDS leaders.
    The First Presidency and Council of 12 are appointed for life. The various groups of Seventies are temporary positions and are changed periodically. There have been several black Seventy, which are all General Authorities of the Church.

    2. From the official publication, “Gospel Essentials”:
    ***Celestial [Kingdom]
    “They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized, … that by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit.” These are they who overcome the world by their faith. They are just and true so that the Holy Ghost can seal their blessings upon them…
    Through the work we do in temples, all people who have lived on the earth can have an equal opportunity to receive the fulness of the gospel and the ordinances of salvation so they can inherit a place in the highest degree of celestial glory.***
    3. There simply is no such doctrine in the LDS church. Hard to provide a citation for that.
    4. This is probably more than you are interested in, but it is worth looking at. Check the left hand column for the history of black Mormons.
    5. See the last paragraph of the citation above from “Gospel Essentials.” This is one of the official LDS manuals for adults and youth in the LDS church.

  • Shelama

    Marriage is a relationship of love, trust, honesty, commitment and devotion. Adultery violates one or more or all of them and can be profoundly painfully and damaging. Such violation, pain and damage is abhorrent, or should be, to sentient, empathic beings totally independent of whether a god exists to stand in judgement or whether She even cares or not.

  • Bernard_Gui

    Ah…something we agree on, at last.

  • Bernard_Gui

    Nice sentiments with which I wholeheartedly agree; however, I do not agree with your assessment of Christian marriage.

  • Shelama

     I agree, that neither god nor religion is needed for ethical and moral systems and behavior.

  • Annie

     You’re right… I used too broad of a brush there.  I was thinking about many sects where women have very little say in their lives, such as Quiverfull families.

  • Bernard_Gui

    Although that is not what I was agreeing with, as you well know, I prefer this version of the idea:

    “It is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward…Men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.”

  • Shelama

     The real Jesus, of course, had a better idea but, sadly,  it was lost when he was replaced by the Christ myth. Among other things his was probably closer, first  to Torah, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” and then to the Psalmist: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and  contrite heart.”

    Part of the genius of the Christ myth is that it seductively traps a person into a false religious prison of false religious sin & guilt and then cleverly offers you escape. Including to false religious heaven with rewards. Get’em young or get’em dumb ignorant and they’ll  fall for it and then fall on their knees.  Often for life. Powerful stuff, I agree.

    There’s a reason why the only ways that people enter into Christianity are either thru childhood brainwashing or in rather profound ignorance of the Bible. Including, of course, Bernard_Gui.

    Chose not only well but excellent, thank you very much: …you shall know the truth and the truth will make you free.  And, Oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.

  • Bernard_Gui

    The world rejoices that you know the real Jesus. 

  • Shelama

    The world and Jesus both are indifferent.

  • Shelama

    Oh, btw, I neither said nor implied “ignoramus.”

    People brilliant and educated in a lot of things can still be profoundly ignorant of the Bible. And become Christian.

  • Bernard_Gui

    Not to those who know Him.

  • Bernard_Gui

    There is a third way.

  • Shelama

     It’s a huge rush, isn’t it    :  )

  • Shelama

    The third way always combines with one or both of the first two. One or the other, or both, is always present.

    It’s futile and unnecessary: “Yes, that’s true, but so what?”

    Case closed. Carry on.

  • prollynotmo

    as per the 131st section of the Doctrine and Covenants. 
    1. In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
     2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
     3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.

    So, how would it be possible for a black man, pre-1978, to enter into the highest kingdom? 1. he can’t receive the priesthood, 2. he can’t enter the temple, 3. obviously he is unable to enter into the covenant of eternal marriage.  It is not, i am not in error, you are. if you think you can just come and claim things that aren’t true and not get called out, you are mistaken.
    the racism in the church pre-1978 prevented black people from entering into the highest kingdom of heaven. not that it matters, because with the history of Joseph Smith it would be hard for anyone to believe the crazy claims proceeding from his mouth.
    but, if you were black before 1978 and prescribed to mormonism, you couldn’t even dream of entering into the highest degree of glory in the church.  Fact.

  • Bernard_Gui

    You have moved the goal post. Now you agree that pre-1978, black men could achieve the Celestial kingdom. Now let’s look at the highest degree. 

    Through the work we do in temples, all people who have lived on the earth can have an equal opportunity to receive the fulness of the gospel and the ordinances of salvation so they can inherit a place in the highest degree of celestial glory. Gospel Doctrine, chapter 46.

  • Bernard_Gui

    You wouldn’t know, would you.

  • prollynotmo

    yeah, it’s wonderful that you think that… but the fact is, the church was racist. and blacks weren’t allowed to receive the priesthood, weren’t allowed to receive endowments, and weren’t allowed to take part in eternal marriage. Doctorine in the church states that only by these precepts is a man allowed to reside with God in the afterlife. Fact. and just for kicks here are a plethora of racist quotes from Mormons Annointed men, who are supposed to have direct access to God to receive inspiration from.

    John Taylor, President of the Church

    “And after the flood we are told that the curse that
    had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham’s wife, as he had
    married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? because it
    was necessary that the devil should have a representation upon the earth as
    well as God;…” Journal of Discourses, Vol. 22, page 304


    Wilford Woodruff, 4th President of the Church

    “And if any man mingle his seed with the seed of Cain
    the only way he could get rid of it or have Salvation would be to come forward
    and have his head cut off and spill his blood upon the ground- it would also
    take the life of his children.”

    (Wilford Woodruff Journal)




    Joseph Fielding Smith, 10th LDS President

    “Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because
    of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race. A curse placed upon
    him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while
    time endures. Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black
    skin and have been denied the privilege of Priesthood and the fullness of the
    blessings of the Gospel. These are the descendants of Cain. Moreover, they have
    been made to feel their inferiority and have been separated from the rest of
    mankind from the beginning…. we will also hope that blessings may eventually
    be given to our negro brethren, for they are our brethren-children of God-not
    withstanding their black covering emblematical of eternal darkness. ” The
    Way to Perfection, pages 101-102.


    “There is a reason why one man is born black and with
    other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The
    reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient,
    more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in
    all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not
    faithful received less.” (Doctrines of Salvation, p. 61)



    “I would not want you to believe that we bear any
    animosity toward the Negro. “Darkies” are wonderful people, and they
    have their place in our church.” Look magazine, October 22, 1963, page 79.


    President Brigham Young, answering a question put to him by Elder
    Lorenzo D. Young in a meeting held December 25 , 1869, in Salt Lake City, said
    that Joseph Smith had declared that the Negroes were not neutral in heaven, for
    all the spirits took sides, but the posterity of Cain are black because he
    (Cain) committed murder.” The Way to Perfection, pages 105-106.


    “That negro race, for instance, have been placed under
    restrictions because of their attitude in the world of spirits, few will doubt.
    It cannot be looked upon as just that they should be deprived of the power of
    the Priesthood without it being a punishment for some act, or acts, performed
    before they were born.” The Way to Perfection, page 43.


    “Ham, through Egyptus, continued the curse which was
    placed upon the seed of Cain. Because of that curse this dark race was
    separated and isolated from all the rest of Adam’s posterity before the flood,
    and since that time the same condition has continued, and they have been
    ‘despised among all people.’ This doctrine did not originate with President
    Brigham Young but was taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith …. we all know it is
    due to his teachings that the negro today is barred from the
    Priesthood.”   The Way to
    Perfection, pages 110-111.




    Spencer W. Kimball

    “The day of the Lamanites in nigh. For years they have
    been growing delightsome… The children in the home placement program in Utah
    are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the
    reservation…There was the doctor in a Utah city who for two years had had an
    Indian boy in his home who stated that he was some shades lighter than the
    younger brother just coming into the program from the reservation. These young
    members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. Spencer
    W. Kimball; The Improvement Era, Dec. 1960, p. 923)




    Apostle Bruce R. McConkie

    “Negroes in this life are denied the Priesthood; under
    no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty.
    (Abra. 1:20-27.) The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively
    to them… negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain
    spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple
    blessings that flow there from, but this inequality is not of man’s origin. It
    is the Lord’s doing, is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of
    the lack of Spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate.”
    (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pp. 527-528)




    Apostle Mark E. Petersen:

    “God has commanded Israel not to intermarry. To go
    against this commandment of God would be in sin. Those who willfully sin with
    their eyes open to this wrong will not be surprised to find that they will be
    separated from the presence of God in the world to come. This is spiritual


    “The reason that one would lose his blessings by
    marrying a Negro is due to the restriction placed upon them. “No person
    having the least particle of Negro blood can hold the Priesthood” (Brigham
    Young). It does not matter if they are one-sixth Negro or one-hundred and
    sixth, the curse of no Priesthood is the same. If an individual who is entitled
    to the Priesthood marries a Negro, the Lord has decreed that only spirits who
    are not eligible for the Priesthood will come to that marriage as children. To
    intermarry with a Negro is to forfeit a “Nation of Priesthood holders.


    “The discussion on civil rights, especially over the
    last 20 years, has drawn some very sharp lines. It has blinded the thinking of
    some of our own people, I believe. They have allowed their political
    affiliations to color their thinking to some extent, and then, of course, they
    have been persuaded by some of the arguments that have been put forth.We who
    teach in the Church certainly must have our feet on the ground and not to be
    led astray by the philosophies of men on this subject.


    “I think I have read enough to give you an idea of what
    the Negro is after. He is not just seeking the opportunity of sitting down in a
    cafe where white people eat. He isn’t just trying to ride on the same streetcar
    or the same Pullman car with white people. It isn’t that he just desires to go
    to the same theater as the white people. From this, and other interviews I have
    read, it appears that the Negro seeks absorption with the white race. He will
    not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage. That is his objective and
    we must face it. We must not allow our feelings to carry us away, nor must we
    feel so sorry for Negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with
    everything we have. Remember the little statement that we used to say about
    sin, ‘First we pity, then endure, then embrace’.


    “Now let’s talk about segregation again for a few
    moments. Was segregation a wrong principle? When the Lord chose the nations to
    which the spirits were to come, determining that some would be Japanese and
    some would be Chinese and some Negroes and some Americans, He engaged in an act
    of segregation.


    “When he told Enoch not preach the gospel to the
    descendants of Cain who were black, the Lord engaged in segregation. When He
    cursed the descendants of Cain as to the Priesthood, He engaged in segregation.


    “Who placed the Negroes originally in darkest Africa?
    Was it some man, or was it God? And when He placed them there, He segregated


    “The Lord segregated the people both as to blood and
    place of residence. At least in the cases of the Lamanites and the Negro we
    have the definite word of the Lord Himself that he placed a dark skin upon them
    as a curse — as a punishment and as a sign to all others. He forbade
    intermarriage with them under threat of extension of the curse. And He certainly
    segregated the descendants of Cain when He cursed the Negro as to the
    Priesthood, and drew an absolute line. You may even say He dropped an Iron
    curtain there.


    “Now we are generous with the Negro. We are willing
    that the Negro have the highest education. I would be willing to let every
    Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it. I would be willing that they
    have all the advantages they can get out of life in the world. But let them
    enjoy these things among themselves. I think the Lord segregated the Negro and
    who is man to change that segregation? It reminds me of the scripture on
    marriage, ‘what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.’ Only here
    we have the reverse of the thing – what God hath separated, let not man bring
    together again.


    “Think of the Negro, cursed as to the priesthood.This
    Negro, who, in the pre-existence lived the type of life which justified the
    Lord in sending him to the earth in their lineage of Cain with a black skin,
    and possibly being born in darkest Africa–if that Negro is willing when he
    hears the gospel to accept it, he may have many of the blessings of the gospel.
    In spite of all he did in the pre-existent life, the Lord is willing, if the
    Negro accepts the gospel with real, sincere faith, and is really converted, to
    give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If that Negro
    is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will
    go there as a servant, but he will get celestial glory.” (Apostle Mark E.
    Peterson, Race Problems – As They Affect The Church, Convention of Teachers of
    Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August
    27, 1954)



    Apostle George F. Richards 
    (spoken in conference)

    Conference Reports, CR April 1939, Second Day-Morning
    Meeting: Elder George F. Richards


    “The negro is an unfortunate man. He has been given a
    black skin….But that is as nothing compared with that greater handicap that
    he is not permitted to receive the Priesthood and the ordinances of the temple,
    necessary to prepare men and women to enter into and enjoy a fulness of glory
    in the celestial kingdom….What is the reason for this condition, we ask, and
    I find it to my satisfaction to think that as spirit children of our Eternal
    Father they were not valiant in the fight. We are told that Michael and his
    angels fought, and we understand that we stood with Christ our Lord, on the
    platform, “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.”
    I cannot conceive our Father consigning his children to a condition such as
    that of the negro race, if they had been valiant in the spirit world in that
    war in heaven. Neither could they have been a part of those who rebelled and
    were cast down, for the latter had not the privilege of tabernacling in the
    flesh. Somewhere along the line were these spirits, indifferent perhaps, and
    possibly neutral in the war. We have no definite knowledge concerning this. But
    I learn this lesson from it, brethren and sisters, and I believe we all should,
    that it does not pay in religious matters, matters that pertain to our eternal
    salvation, to be indifferent, neutral, or lukewarm.”

  • Bernard_Gui

    Warning: Document Dump. Yawn.
    Read Gospel Essentials and your questions are answered. It’s official Church doctrine. I like the quote above, “We have no definite knowledge concerning this.”

  • Diligentdave

    Hey thanks! The PEW poll on who knows the most in religion apparently IS accurate. You atheists know your stuff!

    I acquired the Journal of Courses online. Too expensive for me to buy a copy. I had never, until you posted it here, seen a reference for that quote; and the quote I had only heard or read it with a slightly vague paraphrasing of it.

    Small correction. It does note in my copy, he began by saying, “Brethren”  and NOT “Brethern”, for what it’s worth!

    Well, guess it may not be until AFTER Obama thoroughly screws up the nation in his second term. Guess the Constitution is still hanging by a rope. I’m sure you atheists will help Obama get that down to a mere thread!

    And then, perhaps, Mitt can talk Ann in a try for another run!

  • DiligentDave

    And, pray tell, how do you twist the U.S. Constitution to imply these abuses by Mormon Elders?