Mormons rule on the Web

Go to Google and type “church.”  (Go ahead.  We’ll wait.)  How close to the top of results was Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (a.k.a., the Mormons)?  Now try a search for another word like “Friend.”  Or “Old Testament.”  Note how the Mormons keep coming up towards the top of the search.  (For that matter, note how often they come up in the Google ads on this blog!  I suspect this post will attract a lot of them!)

This phenomenon is noted in a Washington Post article by Michelle Boorstein, who writes about the Mormon PR machine and the way it makes use of the internet:

In the age of the Internet, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has found a way to dominate what is arguably today’s most important information source: the search engine.

It’s all about Mormons controlling their own image, church officials say. They’ve been doing that for a century or more. And now, with two of their own vying for the Republican nomination in the 2012 presidential race, and a Broadway hit and reality television generating huge interest in the denomination, much is at stake. . . .

They have always stood apart in the religious world when it comes to marketing. Savvy and aggressive, they were among the first to have a public relations shop, run public-service announcements and have a 1-800 number. The church at one time changed its logo to highlight the words “Jesus Christ,” then shifted to “Mormon” and even tried to trademark the word once it became better known. . . .
Image experts and researchers who study how people search the Web have been impressed by the church’s powerful use of the Internet. The site lds.org is the most-visited of any faith group, and Mormon church-wide conferences sometimes rank at the top of Twitter while they’re underway.

The Mormons also are the subject of publications and conference lectures for techies who specialize in the complex business of online searching, called “SEO” or “search engine optimization.”

These SEO experts debate how the church has managed to dominate the search engine box.

“They have infused SEO into their culture,” said Justin Briggs, a consultant who wrote a well-read blog post called “Breaking Down the Mormon SEO Strategy.”The church has run multiple campaigns to educate its flock about the power of search engines, and it produces high-quality information on spiritual topics such as the New Testament, Briggs said.While the details of the church’s Web strategy are proprietary, outside experts agree that the Mormons’ success is a combination of investment, focus and an unusually tight faith community. Adherents almost always attend their assigned local church, check in with official church announcements and zap anything written about Mormons around their very own blogosphere, called the Bloggernacle.

Some SEO experts say the church and grass-roots groups of members also conduct “link-building campaigns,” rallying lots of people to click on a link, and thereby raising its placement in search-engine results.

LDS officials declined to comment on the church’s specific SEO plan, but some of its strategy is laid out on a site set up to help church members become more SEO-savvy. It asks members to help boost traffic to a different site about church teachings on self-reliance, which covers a variety of topics, such as the importance of keeping a three-month supply of food and water, creative ways to find a job and adoption services for people considering abortion.

The SEO advice site says the church is trying to snag Google users who type in general terms, such as “employment” and “debt management.” Among other things, it recommends that people write articles that can include LDS links.

But the Web has not been the sole focus of the Mormons’ image strategy. Last year, the church launched a marketing campaign called “I’m a Mormon,” using television ads, taxi and subway signs, and billboards to introduce people from a range of backgrounds as Mormons.

via Mormons using the Web to control their own image – The Washington Post.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • WebMonk

    I tested this and I had to type all the way out to “church of j” before Google pulled up any results for Mormons.

    That part of this post is hype and fluff.

    The rest of it … meh. Much better and more savvy people (and groups with much deeper pockets than the Mormon church) are constantly trying to snag those extremely important initial Google search results.

    That, combined with Google’s continual efforts to make sure the most relevant results come up as part of the main search results pretty much guarantees that someone looking for “employment” isn’t going to get a LDS church result. Unless, of course, the LDS starts a major employment business.

  • WebMonk

    I tested this and I had to type all the way out to “church of j” before Google pulled up any results for Mormons.

    That part of this post is hype and fluff.

    The rest of it … meh. Much better and more savvy people (and groups with much deeper pockets than the Mormon church) are constantly trying to snag those extremely important initial Google search results.

    That, combined with Google’s continual efforts to make sure the most relevant results come up as part of the main search results pretty much guarantees that someone looking for “employment” isn’t going to get a LDS church result. Unless, of course, the LDS starts a major employment business.

  • WebMonk

    Oh, and I haven’t seen any Mormon ads on here yet. I’ve only refreshed a couple times. I’ll check it out throughout the day.

  • WebMonk

    Oh, and I haven’t seen any Mormon ads on here yet. I’ve only refreshed a couple times. I’ll check it out throughout the day.

  • WebMonk

    Whoops, the ads on the side didn’t take long. The first four refreshes only got SEO-style results, but I have just found one that’s definitely Mormon.

    Mormons, Are You Worthy?
    What You Should Know to Return to Heavenly Father & Have Eternal Life

  • WebMonk

    Whoops, the ads on the side didn’t take long. The first four refreshes only got SEO-style results, but I have just found one that’s definitely Mormon.

    Mormons, Are You Worthy?
    What You Should Know to Return to Heavenly Father & Have Eternal Life

  • WebMonk

    Oh, and here’s a bit of fun if anyone really gets a burr up their posterior about this. You can click on those ads and get Dr. Veith a bit of revenue (well, perhaps, depending on how his ad agreement is set up – I haven’t checked their standard for a couple years now) and cost the LDS money. They pay Google extra for every click on their ad (at least that was how Google ran their ad pricing a year or two ago).

    I had a customer/friend who had about $500 dollars for online advertising prepared for a year. Her site got a bunch of ad clicks and ran through her $500 in about a week. On the plus side, she did notice the extra business.

    Anyway, clicking on those links will cost the LDS money. I know several high school kids who have made it their hobby to cost a particular group (not LDS) money by spam-clicking their ads wherever they find them. I doubt it costs the advertiser enough money to notice, but it entertains the students.

  • WebMonk

    Oh, and here’s a bit of fun if anyone really gets a burr up their posterior about this. You can click on those ads and get Dr. Veith a bit of revenue (well, perhaps, depending on how his ad agreement is set up – I haven’t checked their standard for a couple years now) and cost the LDS money. They pay Google extra for every click on their ad (at least that was how Google ran their ad pricing a year or two ago).

    I had a customer/friend who had about $500 dollars for online advertising prepared for a year. Her site got a bunch of ad clicks and ran through her $500 in about a week. On the plus side, she did notice the extra business.

    Anyway, clicking on those links will cost the LDS money. I know several high school kids who have made it their hobby to cost a particular group (not LDS) money by spam-clicking their ads wherever they find them. I doubt it costs the advertiser enough money to notice, but it entertains the students.

  • fws

    Imagine a time when the Mormons become the dominant religion in the usa. And they start using their power to surpress those who say that the Mormons are not christian.

    They are pro family, anti abortion, anti gay and all about clean living. And they are , for sure, satanic. So .. the culture war people would love them, and at the same time…..

    So how are we voting and combatting gays and abortion in a way that we don’t set precidents that would put us christians in a bad situation should a group like the mormons ever take on real power and make us the target rather than the gays and abortionists?

  • fws

    Imagine a time when the Mormons become the dominant religion in the usa. And they start using their power to surpress those who say that the Mormons are not christian.

    They are pro family, anti abortion, anti gay and all about clean living. And they are , for sure, satanic. So .. the culture war people would love them, and at the same time…..

    So how are we voting and combatting gays and abortion in a way that we don’t set precidents that would put us christians in a bad situation should a group like the mormons ever take on real power and make us the target rather than the gays and abortionists?

  • Tom Hering

    Huh. I’ve never seen a Google ad on this site (or elsewhere), much less a Mormon Google ad. Even turning off Adblock Plus and allowing pop-up windows in Firefox doesn’t make them show up. So the Mormon “rule” of the internet – or at least my part of it – is a bit underwhelming.

  • Tom Hering

    Huh. I’ve never seen a Google ad on this site (or elsewhere), much less a Mormon Google ad. Even turning off Adblock Plus and allowing pop-up windows in Firefox doesn’t make them show up. So the Mormon “rule” of the internet – or at least my part of it – is a bit underwhelming.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom – mine show up on the right-hand side under a big bulldog. There are some Amazon links for Dr. Veith’s books and one for New Reformation Press and a book by Rod Rosenbladt. The Google searches come below that and look like newspaper adverts. I didn’t get any changes after refreshing and my “Church” reference is for the Restored Church of God – an unusual outfit, but not usual unusuality of the LDS. I also get a couple of SEO sites, one for “Religious Studies Online” and another from Google on advertising online.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom – mine show up on the right-hand side under a big bulldog. There are some Amazon links for Dr. Veith’s books and one for New Reformation Press and a book by Rod Rosenbladt. The Google searches come below that and look like newspaper adverts. I didn’t get any changes after refreshing and my “Church” reference is for the Restored Church of God – an unusual outfit, but not usual unusuality of the LDS. I also get a couple of SEO sites, one for “Religious Studies Online” and another from Google on advertising online.

  • r.matson

    No sign of GoogleAds here either.
    @fws–
    You seem to be appalled by the notion of Mormons being called Christians. Why? Don’t they believe in Jesus Christ and preach from the Bible? What evidence can you offer–other than your word only–that Mormons are “for sure” satanic? And what makes you think that the Mormon church would target other faiths rather than targeting new converts?

  • r.matson

    No sign of GoogleAds here either.
    @fws–
    You seem to be appalled by the notion of Mormons being called Christians. Why? Don’t they believe in Jesus Christ and preach from the Bible? What evidence can you offer–other than your word only–that Mormons are “for sure” satanic? And what makes you think that the Mormon church would target other faiths rather than targeting new converts?

  • WebMonk

    r.matson – no they aren’t Christians, at least not if they hew to the official teachings of the Mormon church. They don’t believe that Jesus Christ is actually God, but rather is spirit brother to an untold host of other children of God, including Lucifer. They don’t believe that Jesus is God, eternal and uncreated. They have also taken on several other sources as divinely inspired scripture beyond the Bible – Book of Mormon, for the most famous.

    Those (and many, many more things) pretty much knock them outside even the more generous definitions of Christianity.

    They use a lot of the same terminology as Christians, but they are far outside Christianity.

  • WebMonk

    r.matson – no they aren’t Christians, at least not if they hew to the official teachings of the Mormon church. They don’t believe that Jesus Christ is actually God, but rather is spirit brother to an untold host of other children of God, including Lucifer. They don’t believe that Jesus is God, eternal and uncreated. They have also taken on several other sources as divinely inspired scripture beyond the Bible – Book of Mormon, for the most famous.

    Those (and many, many more things) pretty much knock them outside even the more generous definitions of Christianity.

    They use a lot of the same terminology as Christians, but they are far outside Christianity.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @ 5

    paranoid much?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @ 5

    paranoid much?

  • Kirk

    My only Mormon related ad on this page is for the Book of Mormon Broadway play. Oh Google, how do you know!?!?!

  • Kirk

    My only Mormon related ad on this page is for the Book of Mormon Broadway play. Oh Google, how do you know!?!?!

  • Kirk

    @fws

    What makes you believe that Mormons would be for suppressing speech? Every interaction I’ve ever had with a Mormon has been quite pleasant. In many ways, I think Christians could learn a lot from Mormons in how to interact with the world.

    Plus, Mormons believe the Constitution, and presumably the Bill of Rights, is divinely inspired. So I’m not super worried about the great Mormon machine persecuting me. I’m also not worried about them becoming the dominant religion in America, but that’s another story.

  • Kirk

    @fws

    What makes you believe that Mormons would be for suppressing speech? Every interaction I’ve ever had with a Mormon has been quite pleasant. In many ways, I think Christians could learn a lot from Mormons in how to interact with the world.

    Plus, Mormons believe the Constitution, and presumably the Bill of Rights, is divinely inspired. So I’m not super worried about the great Mormon machine persecuting me. I’m also not worried about them becoming the dominant religion in America, but that’s another story.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I typed in “church” they were number 3 after church’s chicken and a wikipedia article. Hmm.
    Proof that Mormons aren’t Christian? within a 50 mile radius of my house there are 4 Mormon Temples. Now go read what the old Testament says of temples and how many are allowed, Leviticus 17 is a great place to start, then see what Jesus has to say about that in John chapter 4 where not only does he affirm that there was only one temple allowed, but then negates the need for temples all together because he is the temple.
    See I had this conversation with a lady the other day who said they should be considered christians because they call themselves Christian, and then because they supposedly do such great works. However Christ is the one who gets to decide who he is, and define what a christian is, and when you call yourself a Christian, and then deny that Christ is who he says he is, well then I retain the right to say you are evil and satanic. Satan is after all the father of lies.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I typed in “church” they were number 3 after church’s chicken and a wikipedia article. Hmm.
    Proof that Mormons aren’t Christian? within a 50 mile radius of my house there are 4 Mormon Temples. Now go read what the old Testament says of temples and how many are allowed, Leviticus 17 is a great place to start, then see what Jesus has to say about that in John chapter 4 where not only does he affirm that there was only one temple allowed, but then negates the need for temples all together because he is the temple.
    See I had this conversation with a lady the other day who said they should be considered christians because they call themselves Christian, and then because they supposedly do such great works. However Christ is the one who gets to decide who he is, and define what a christian is, and when you call yourself a Christian, and then deny that Christ is who he says he is, well then I retain the right to say you are evil and satanic. Satan is after all the father of lies.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Growing up in an area with a large Mormon population, I have never known a time when their organization wasn’t advertising at me. As in so many other spheres where I’m marketed at, I’ve learned to tune out the ads when I’m aware of what they are selling, or grow in bitterness whenever their cleverness makes me hang on til the end of the ad to find out who’s really behind the lies. Talk about major bait and switch!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Growing up in an area with a large Mormon population, I have never known a time when their organization wasn’t advertising at me. As in so many other spheres where I’m marketed at, I’ve learned to tune out the ads when I’m aware of what they are selling, or grow in bitterness whenever their cleverness makes me hang on til the end of the ad to find out who’s really behind the lies. Talk about major bait and switch!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Kirk,
    fws has lived in Utah, he knows of what he speaks. You show with your naivete concerning the LDS, that you have not lived here. I’ve had many wonderful conversations and even friendships with Mormons. on the other hand a short time in Utah exposes how they control this state and the media here in, and what lengths they will go to suppress free speech concerning them. For instance they all but shut down the “Light House Ministry” run by a former LDS couple, the Tanners, just before the 2002 Olympics.
    For more on their media spin and suppression of truth and free speech, google “The Mormon Murders” or “The White Salamander” or Mark Hoffmann, and marvel at the conspiracy that started all because they wanted to suppress truth and were so willing to do so they didn’t bother see if the documents were forged or not.
    This is a machine, and quite an incredible one. and No, I do not want to see one of theirs in the Oval Office. I’ve seen what they do with other “sacred texts” and what they mean by believing in them. They don’t believe the Bible, they don’t believe the Book of Mormon, the pearl of Great Price, the Doctrine and Covenants, they believe their prophet, and profit for that matter.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Kirk,
    fws has lived in Utah, he knows of what he speaks. You show with your naivete concerning the LDS, that you have not lived here. I’ve had many wonderful conversations and even friendships with Mormons. on the other hand a short time in Utah exposes how they control this state and the media here in, and what lengths they will go to suppress free speech concerning them. For instance they all but shut down the “Light House Ministry” run by a former LDS couple, the Tanners, just before the 2002 Olympics.
    For more on their media spin and suppression of truth and free speech, google “The Mormon Murders” or “The White Salamander” or Mark Hoffmann, and marvel at the conspiracy that started all because they wanted to suppress truth and were so willing to do so they didn’t bother see if the documents were forged or not.
    This is a machine, and quite an incredible one. and No, I do not want to see one of theirs in the Oval Office. I’ve seen what they do with other “sacred texts” and what they mean by believing in them. They don’t believe the Bible, they don’t believe the Book of Mormon, the pearl of Great Price, the Doctrine and Covenants, they believe their prophet, and profit for that matter.

  • WebMonk

    Bror – you’ve lost me.

    Your decision as to whether or not Mormons are Christians is based on the fact that they name their meeting locations “temples”?

    I’ve seen “Temple” in the name of Baptist, Methodist, Anglican, and several non-denoms. I just did some Googling and found quite a few “Lutheran Temple” churches.

    You’re a lot more familiar with Mormon doctrines than I. Is there something about the name they use that has specific meaning?

    The closest Mormon building to me doesn’t use the word Temple in its title, and I’ve seen other Mormon edifices that don’t use the word “Temple”, so I always figured the use of “Temple” in their names was more a Mormon culture thing rather than a deep theological statement.

  • WebMonk

    Bror – you’ve lost me.

    Your decision as to whether or not Mormons are Christians is based on the fact that they name their meeting locations “temples”?

    I’ve seen “Temple” in the name of Baptist, Methodist, Anglican, and several non-denoms. I just did some Googling and found quite a few “Lutheran Temple” churches.

    You’re a lot more familiar with Mormon doctrines than I. Is there something about the name they use that has specific meaning?

    The closest Mormon building to me doesn’t use the word Temple in its title, and I’ve seen other Mormon edifices that don’t use the word “Temple”, so I always figured the use of “Temple” in their names was more a Mormon culture thing rather than a deep theological statement.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    for what its worth, I was taught from a very young age by my Christian mother to never call a Mormon place a “Church”. I still think that was very wise teaching on her part.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    for what its worth, I was taught from a very young age by my Christian mother to never call a Mormon place a “Church”. I still think that was very wise teaching on her part.

  • Jonathan

    My google results were pretty much as Dr. Veith suggested.

    The “church” search turned up LDS first, followed by, oddly enough, LCMS.org.

    Must be a lot of LCMS SEO-savvy types out there. Maybe some left-over Ablazers.

  • Jonathan

    My google results were pretty much as Dr. Veith suggested.

    The “church” search turned up LDS first, followed by, oddly enough, LCMS.org.

    Must be a lot of LCMS SEO-savvy types out there. Maybe some left-over Ablazers.

  • WebMonk

    A lot of the result set from Google is based on your history with them and your IP’s location. They try to tailor their search results to match what you want based off their knowledge of you.

    If you live in Hawaii (or at least your computer seems to be there) your results will be different than if you are in North Dakota. If you are logged in as a Google user, they will have a wide selection of preferences about you that will color the results you get from them.

  • WebMonk

    A lot of the result set from Google is based on your history with them and your IP’s location. They try to tailor their search results to match what you want based off their knowledge of you.

    If you live in Hawaii (or at least your computer seems to be there) your results will be different than if you are in North Dakota. If you are logged in as a Google user, they will have a wide selection of preferences about you that will color the results you get from them.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Webmonk,
    Mormon’s have “Stake Houses” (Over 40 of them in my community,) and then they have Temples. Temples are different in Mormon theology. Anyone can go to a Stake house, they even invite non mormons to “stake Dinners” where there are rarely any steaks. It is confusing when asking for a steak house in Utah.
    Mormon’s teach their own that these temples are like the ones of the Old Testament. Only good Mormon’s can go to the Temple, where you can do special rites that work your way up the glory chain to the highest exultation where you too can become a God. This requires that you quit drinking coffee, no smoking or drinking, and your “bishop” looks over your taxes to make sure you have tithed. this is where you have to go to be “sealed” to your spouse, and where there are baptisms for the dead among other things, “temple work” they call it, “the highest form of worship”…
    So yes, the temples are different than say Temple Baptist, or even the few Lutheran congregations that have named themselves after the temple. By Temple Mormon’s actually mean temple.
    It is funny though, they say that these are somehow connected to the Old Testament worship which required a temple. Yet there are no stock yards to be seen for miles around, and no smoke billowing out. They are more in line, with Masonic Temples.
    I hope that clears it up a little for you Webmonk. Sorry, but this is Mormon 101 stuff here. I tend to think those talking to mormons or about mormons know it. I forget that not everyone is as inundated with this junk as I am.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Webmonk,
    Mormon’s have “Stake Houses” (Over 40 of them in my community,) and then they have Temples. Temples are different in Mormon theology. Anyone can go to a Stake house, they even invite non mormons to “stake Dinners” where there are rarely any steaks. It is confusing when asking for a steak house in Utah.
    Mormon’s teach their own that these temples are like the ones of the Old Testament. Only good Mormon’s can go to the Temple, where you can do special rites that work your way up the glory chain to the highest exultation where you too can become a God. This requires that you quit drinking coffee, no smoking or drinking, and your “bishop” looks over your taxes to make sure you have tithed. this is where you have to go to be “sealed” to your spouse, and where there are baptisms for the dead among other things, “temple work” they call it, “the highest form of worship”…
    So yes, the temples are different than say Temple Baptist, or even the few Lutheran congregations that have named themselves after the temple. By Temple Mormon’s actually mean temple.
    It is funny though, they say that these are somehow connected to the Old Testament worship which required a temple. Yet there are no stock yards to be seen for miles around, and no smoke billowing out. They are more in line, with Masonic Temples.
    I hope that clears it up a little for you Webmonk. Sorry, but this is Mormon 101 stuff here. I tend to think those talking to mormons or about mormons know it. I forget that not everyone is as inundated with this junk as I am.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Here your go Webmonk,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_%28Latter_Day_Saints%29

    I tODDed it for you.
    Notice that in the LDS The Temple was brought about to “restore” Old Testament temple worship. And that is what I was getting at. They fail on so many levels, yet even their attempt proves them to be not christian.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Here your go Webmonk,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_%28Latter_Day_Saints%29

    I tODDed it for you.
    Notice that in the LDS The Temple was brought about to “restore” Old Testament temple worship. And that is what I was getting at. They fail on so many levels, yet even their attempt proves them to be not christian.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    BTW, Webmonk,
    Do you have any idea how much money the LDS church has at it’s disposal? I’m sure there are those with more trying to do the things of which you speak. However, I would not underestimate the amount of money these guy’s have. If it were full disclosed, I’m sure it would make the Gate’s fortune look like child’s play. Seriously. They have been swindling the masses of 10 percent for a long long time.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    BTW, Webmonk,
    Do you have any idea how much money the LDS church has at it’s disposal? I’m sure there are those with more trying to do the things of which you speak. However, I would not underestimate the amount of money these guy’s have. If it were full disclosed, I’m sure it would make the Gate’s fortune look like child’s play. Seriously. They have been swindling the masses of 10 percent for a long long time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    1. Church’s Chicken,
    2. Wikipedia article about “Church,”
    3. “Church of Boston” which turns out to be a restaurant & nightclub,
    4. “Places for church near Los Alamos, NM” followed by a list of links to local churches, and then…

    5. http://www.lds.org Yep there it is.

    No LCMS churches on the first page, not even in the list in #4 above (but there is an ELCA church…)

    Just gotta love those “..and I’m a Mormon” videos with all their irrelevant horn-tooting, about what good and awesome people they are. Bandwagon appeal. See how awesome we are. See what a great family life we have. You could be one of us! Just like many modern “relevant” mega-family-life-center-churches. Just like Satan in the Garden of Eden. Same tactic: steal someone else’s sheep by enticing them with hollow promises of self-glorification. Turn them into a wolf’s dinner instead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    1. Church’s Chicken,
    2. Wikipedia article about “Church,”
    3. “Church of Boston” which turns out to be a restaurant & nightclub,
    4. “Places for church near Los Alamos, NM” followed by a list of links to local churches, and then…

    5. http://www.lds.org Yep there it is.

    No LCMS churches on the first page, not even in the list in #4 above (but there is an ELCA church…)

    Just gotta love those “..and I’m a Mormon” videos with all their irrelevant horn-tooting, about what good and awesome people they are. Bandwagon appeal. See how awesome we are. See what a great family life we have. You could be one of us! Just like many modern “relevant” mega-family-life-center-churches. Just like Satan in the Garden of Eden. Same tactic: steal someone else’s sheep by enticing them with hollow promises of self-glorification. Turn them into a wolf’s dinner instead.

  • WebMonk

    Just stuff I found online:

    A Time article from a few years back estimated the LDS holdings to be around $30 billion, which doesn’t exactly dwarf Gates’ net worth (currently around $56 billion) however, the LDS has grown around 20% in membership since the article was published in 1996, so I would put it up close to Bill Gates net worth, but still short. One can also go look at wikipedia’s page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finances_of_The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints

    Most of that is in non-liquid assets though – buildings and property. As far as income goes, they brought in around $5 billion in revenue from roughly 12 million people worldwide.* For comparison, the PCUSA has around $2 billion from just over 2 million people.

    *the majority of that was almost certainly from the roughly 4 million members in the USA at the time, but I couldn’t find any breakouts of what areas of the world generate the most income for them.

  • WebMonk

    Just stuff I found online:

    A Time article from a few years back estimated the LDS holdings to be around $30 billion, which doesn’t exactly dwarf Gates’ net worth (currently around $56 billion) however, the LDS has grown around 20% in membership since the article was published in 1996, so I would put it up close to Bill Gates net worth, but still short. One can also go look at wikipedia’s page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finances_of_The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints

    Most of that is in non-liquid assets though – buildings and property. As far as income goes, they brought in around $5 billion in revenue from roughly 12 million people worldwide.* For comparison, the PCUSA has around $2 billion from just over 2 million people.

    *the majority of that was almost certainly from the roughly 4 million members in the USA at the time, but I couldn’t find any breakouts of what areas of the world generate the most income for them.

  • Jonathan

    @19. Yup that’s my point; even though Google knows lots about me, it still picked LDS as number one result for “church” over LCMS. I also tried this search on a different machine without my profile at all, that time LCMS.org was much further down the list (near the bottom actually) but LDS was first again. So, it confirms the article.

  • Jonathan

    @19. Yup that’s my point; even though Google knows lots about me, it still picked LDS as number one result for “church” over LCMS. I also tried this search on a different machine without my profile at all, that time LCMS.org was much further down the list (near the bottom actually) but LDS was first again. So, it confirms the article.

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan, what Google “knows” about you is not what most people think of when they talk about “knowing” someone.

    They might know your search history, but individual search history is only one small part of the total picture they use, and an individual’s search history is rarely as clear as might be thought.

    I suspect that the IP location is influencing into a lot of what you’re seeing your search result. I ran a test on a computer I’ve never used before (not logged into any Google accounts either) and set it to appear from a variety of locations. From the US locations, the LDS result came up anywhere between 4th and 9th place when I searched for “church”. In Germany they didn’t come up until I had typed “church of jesus”.

    Huh, I just tried a couple different unrelated Google accounts and their results for “church of j” gave slightly different answers in the suggested search terms, even though it was from the exact same computer. For one of the accounts, it gave “church of jedi” as the fourth or fifth suggested search term. :-D

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan, what Google “knows” about you is not what most people think of when they talk about “knowing” someone.

    They might know your search history, but individual search history is only one small part of the total picture they use, and an individual’s search history is rarely as clear as might be thought.

    I suspect that the IP location is influencing into a lot of what you’re seeing your search result. I ran a test on a computer I’ve never used before (not logged into any Google accounts either) and set it to appear from a variety of locations. From the US locations, the LDS result came up anywhere between 4th and 9th place when I searched for “church”. In Germany they didn’t come up until I had typed “church of jesus”.

    Huh, I just tried a couple different unrelated Google accounts and their results for “church of j” gave slightly different answers in the suggested search terms, even though it was from the exact same computer. For one of the accounts, it gave “church of jedi” as the fourth or fifth suggested search term. :-D

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Wow Webmonk, you’ve traveled quite a bit this morning, from several U.S. Locations to Germany? Incredible. seriously, incredible, as in not credible.
    But hey in your search out there, did you happen to come up with the income from their several business ventures? Do you know how much Zion’s Bank made for them last year, as well as several credit unions, KSL their local T.V. Network. BYU and the sport’s franchises there? I could go on…. Their membership could stop giving tomorrow and they’d be solvent into the next century.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Wow Webmonk, you’ve traveled quite a bit this morning, from several U.S. Locations to Germany? Incredible. seriously, incredible, as in not credible.
    But hey in your search out there, did you happen to come up with the income from their several business ventures? Do you know how much Zion’s Bank made for them last year, as well as several credit unions, KSL their local T.V. Network. BYU and the sport’s franchises there? I could go on…. Their membership could stop giving tomorrow and they’d be solvent into the next century.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    And their membership is a bit bloated… Interesting numbers you give though, but I don’t trust them.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    And their membership is a bit bloated… Interesting numbers you give though, but I don’t trust them.

  • Tom.b.

    They’re also plastering the subway cars here in NYC with advertising to drive people to their websites.

  • Tom.b.

    They’re also plastering the subway cars here in NYC with advertising to drive people to their websites.

  • Grace

    CHURCH – Presbyterian – Congregational

    FRIEND – LDS was number 12

    Old Testament – number 2

    As for this blog – there is only one ad at the very bottom “Book of Mormon Tickets”

    I don’t disagree that the LDS Church is a strong well organized group, but I do not believe they are “In the age of the Internet, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has found a way to dominate what is arguably today’s most important information source: the search engine.

    Bror makes some excellent points regarding the financial, banking and business ventures of LDS. They are very wealthy.

    I became very interested about 9 years ago as to what the Mormons actually believed, not what they ‘approve as they travel from house to house on bikes, offer on Television (the Book of Mormon) but their core beliefs. I spent about three years studying LDS doctrine, not just the approved doctrine the LDS offer.

    1. Official LDS/Mormon doctrine
    2. The Book of Mormon
    3. The books which contain the LDS/Mormon doctrine

    The article states:

    “It remains to be seen whether such views will have an impact on the presidential campaigns of Republicans Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, both Mormons.”
    From my experience, it has an enormous “impact” on the presidential election. I don’t believe Romney has a chance, anymore than he did last time around.

  • Grace

    CHURCH – Presbyterian – Congregational

    FRIEND – LDS was number 12

    Old Testament – number 2

    As for this blog – there is only one ad at the very bottom “Book of Mormon Tickets”

    I don’t disagree that the LDS Church is a strong well organized group, but I do not believe they are “In the age of the Internet, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has found a way to dominate what is arguably today’s most important information source: the search engine.

    Bror makes some excellent points regarding the financial, banking and business ventures of LDS. They are very wealthy.

    I became very interested about 9 years ago as to what the Mormons actually believed, not what they ‘approve as they travel from house to house on bikes, offer on Television (the Book of Mormon) but their core beliefs. I spent about three years studying LDS doctrine, not just the approved doctrine the LDS offer.

    1. Official LDS/Mormon doctrine
    2. The Book of Mormon
    3. The books which contain the LDS/Mormon doctrine

    The article states:

    “It remains to be seen whether such views will have an impact on the presidential campaigns of Republicans Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, both Mormons.”
    From my experience, it has an enormous “impact” on the presidential election. I don’t believe Romney has a chance, anymore than he did last time around.

  • WebMonk

    Hey bror, it’s called using a proxy server. I can make my computer seem like it’s coming from Germany, Australia, Hawaii, or wherever. I don’t actually have to physically go there.

    I hope that clears it up a little for you Bror. Sorry, but this is Computer 101 stuff here. I tend to think those talking with computers or about computers know it. I forget that not everyone is as inundated with this junk as I am.

    (sound familiar?)

    As far as their membership numbers – that’s all Google or Wikipedia-fu. Take it up with them if you think their membership numbers are squishy. They probably aren’t much squishier than LCMS numbers.

    I haven’t checked up on all those businesses, but at least some of them are public companies. For example, Zion’s Bank isn’t doing any better most other banks – lost money heavily for a couple years, but have started making profits again this year, hoping to pay off their $1.4 bn loan they got through TARP, worth about $2.7 bn.

    If you look at the Wikipedia article I linked, you can see at least a couple of your questions are addressed – the estimated $5 bn in total income includes the income from their businesses. They estimate that the business profits make up around 10% of total income for them, which would be around $500 million.

    There’s no way the entire organization could come even close to remaining operational for even a year if all their tithing suddenly stopped unless they started selling off hard assets and businesses.

  • WebMonk

    Hey bror, it’s called using a proxy server. I can make my computer seem like it’s coming from Germany, Australia, Hawaii, or wherever. I don’t actually have to physically go there.

    I hope that clears it up a little for you Bror. Sorry, but this is Computer 101 stuff here. I tend to think those talking with computers or about computers know it. I forget that not everyone is as inundated with this junk as I am.

    (sound familiar?)

    As far as their membership numbers – that’s all Google or Wikipedia-fu. Take it up with them if you think their membership numbers are squishy. They probably aren’t much squishier than LCMS numbers.

    I haven’t checked up on all those businesses, but at least some of them are public companies. For example, Zion’s Bank isn’t doing any better most other banks – lost money heavily for a couple years, but have started making profits again this year, hoping to pay off their $1.4 bn loan they got through TARP, worth about $2.7 bn.

    If you look at the Wikipedia article I linked, you can see at least a couple of your questions are addressed – the estimated $5 bn in total income includes the income from their businesses. They estimate that the business profits make up around 10% of total income for them, which would be around $500 million.

    There’s no way the entire organization could come even close to remaining operational for even a year if all their tithing suddenly stopped unless they started selling off hard assets and businesses.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Proxy program, no doubt. Of course that isn’t what you said in the first paragraph. but I figured you were using some program like that, that at least makes you think that it is appearing that your computer is coming from somewhere else, but then I figure google being the operators they have, probably know where your computer really is. even if you don’t. It’s just a guess on my part mind you.
    In anycase I’m not maintaining that the LCMS numbers aren’t squishy. But I’m betting you do not know the pain and turmoil it takes for an ex-mormon to go through the process of having his name removed from the churches membership roster, makes social security look like child’s play. Where as in the LCMS it seems pastors and elders are chomping at the bit to remove you from the roster at the first chance. Hell, I was removed while attending seminary because I hadn’t been to church in Laguna Beach for 9 months!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Proxy program, no doubt. Of course that isn’t what you said in the first paragraph. but I figured you were using some program like that, that at least makes you think that it is appearing that your computer is coming from somewhere else, but then I figure google being the operators they have, probably know where your computer really is. even if you don’t. It’s just a guess on my part mind you.
    In anycase I’m not maintaining that the LCMS numbers aren’t squishy. But I’m betting you do not know the pain and turmoil it takes for an ex-mormon to go through the process of having his name removed from the churches membership roster, makes social security look like child’s play. Where as in the LCMS it seems pastors and elders are chomping at the bit to remove you from the roster at the first chance. Hell, I was removed while attending seminary because I hadn’t been to church in Laguna Beach for 9 months!

  • SKPeterson

    Redid my search and the Catholics beat the Mormons, then the LCMS, but Church’s Chicken and an odd restaurant called the Church of Boston beat them all.

  • SKPeterson

    Redid my search and the Catholics beat the Mormons, then the LCMS, but Church’s Chicken and an odd restaurant called the Church of Boston beat them all.

  • Jon

    @33 Same order for me.
    But the Catholic site was the Wikipedia entry. The Mormon site was the actual LDS page.

  • Jon

    @33 Same order for me.
    But the Catholic site was the Wikipedia entry. The Mormon site was the actual LDS page.

  • fws

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/08/22/mormons-rule-on-the-web/#comment-124980

    Kirk @12

    Yes Kirk. Mormons are satanic. They teach their members and missionaries to lie to get converts.

    The core of their religion is that you get married for eternity in special buildings they call Temples. That is the main purpose of the temples, to do marriage ceremonies for eternity.

    Then you are on your way, by being married for eternity, to becoming, quite literally, a god and goddess and eventually you will create your own planet and populate the planet with your own spirit children who will swoop down and inhabit the bodies of newborn babies.

    By doing this you will repeat the exact same process that the God you worship , if you are mormon, went through! God by the way, lives on the planet Kolob with his many wives, and is still quite busy I was informed by my mormon buddies copulating with his wives and cranking out those spirit children. Busy, busy. Aparently God and his wives dont have televisions up there, so at night they are bored , with lots of time on their hands and.,..,

    Kirk. I am not making this stuff up. I wish I were.

    And then they lie. they present themselves as being similar to any protestant church. And if you ask them directly , often they will STILL lie. And their justification for that is that this stuff is all “higher knowledge” that the rest of us are not ready for yet.

    The real fact, of couse, is that they know they would not sucker even a lapsed presbyterian or roman catholic into this wierd stuff , without first lying and not being honest until they go to the temple after a few years and get eternally “sealed” (aka married).

    And with a religion based on teaching their members to lie, you think I am paranoid SG? I dont!

  • fws

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/08/22/mormons-rule-on-the-web/#comment-124980

    Kirk @12

    Yes Kirk. Mormons are satanic. They teach their members and missionaries to lie to get converts.

    The core of their religion is that you get married for eternity in special buildings they call Temples. That is the main purpose of the temples, to do marriage ceremonies for eternity.

    Then you are on your way, by being married for eternity, to becoming, quite literally, a god and goddess and eventually you will create your own planet and populate the planet with your own spirit children who will swoop down and inhabit the bodies of newborn babies.

    By doing this you will repeat the exact same process that the God you worship , if you are mormon, went through! God by the way, lives on the planet Kolob with his many wives, and is still quite busy I was informed by my mormon buddies copulating with his wives and cranking out those spirit children. Busy, busy. Aparently God and his wives dont have televisions up there, so at night they are bored , with lots of time on their hands and.,..,

    Kirk. I am not making this stuff up. I wish I were.

    And then they lie. they present themselves as being similar to any protestant church. And if you ask them directly , often they will STILL lie. And their justification for that is that this stuff is all “higher knowledge” that the rest of us are not ready for yet.

    The real fact, of couse, is that they know they would not sucker even a lapsed presbyterian or roman catholic into this wierd stuff , without first lying and not being honest until they go to the temple after a few years and get eternally “sealed” (aka married).

    And with a religion based on teaching their members to lie, you think I am paranoid SG? I dont!

  • Grace

    “My Father worked out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom, I shall present it to my Father, so that he may obtain kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt him in glory. He will then take a higher exaltation, and I will take his place, and thereby become exalted myself.”
    Founder Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 4, 1844,

    Joseph Smith will take the place of God?

    Scripture below disputes the claim above:

    Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. Isaiah 44:6

  • Grace

    “My Father worked out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom, I shall present it to my Father, so that he may obtain kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt him in glory. He will then take a higher exaltation, and I will take his place, and thereby become exalted myself.”
    Founder Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 4, 1844,

    Joseph Smith will take the place of God?

    Scripture below disputes the claim above:

    Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. Isaiah 44:6

  • fws

    next time you are around mormons, try to imagine them being God. or a Goddess. Visualize them that way when they are telling you how cool it is to be Mormon.

    Imagine worshipping them. Living on their own planet. having eternal sex with their multiple wives…

    Romans 1? On steroids?

  • fws

    next time you are around mormons, try to imagine them being God. or a Goddess. Visualize them that way when they are telling you how cool it is to be Mormon.

    Imagine worshipping them. Living on their own planet. having eternal sex with their multiple wives…

    Romans 1? On steroids?

  • fws

    Imagine Mitt Romney and his wife being the God and Goddess you are supposed to be worshipping….

  • fws

    Imagine Mitt Romney and his wife being the God and Goddess you are supposed to be worshipping….

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Isn’t that the devil’s greatest tool? The lie?

    I know he has plenty of them, but I think they are all tied to ‘the lie’.

    An aside: Even Islam has an official doctrine of lying (to advance Islam) called Taqiyya.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Isn’t that the devil’s greatest tool? The lie?

    I know he has plenty of them, but I think they are all tied to ‘the lie’.

    An aside: Even Islam has an official doctrine of lying (to advance Islam) called Taqiyya.

  • Grace

    fws @38

    YOU WROTE: “Imagine Mitt Romney and his wife being the God and Goddess you are supposed to be worshipping….”

    Imagine Romney and his wife believing such nonsense? That’s a better question, and one I’ve pondered since he ran for president last time. IF one believes it, what else would they believe?

  • Grace

    fws @38

    YOU WROTE: “Imagine Mitt Romney and his wife being the God and Goddess you are supposed to be worshipping….”

    Imagine Romney and his wife believing such nonsense? That’s a better question, and one I’ve pondered since he ran for president last time. IF one believes it, what else would they believe?

  • Jonathan

    Well, we Lutherans believe we are eating and drinking Jesus’ true body and blood in the Eucharist, and that in so doing it forgives our sins. We also believe the Office of the Bishop of Rome to be the Antichrist. How weird is that?

  • Jonathan

    Well, we Lutherans believe we are eating and drinking Jesus’ true body and blood in the Eucharist, and that in so doing it forgives our sins. We also believe the Office of the Bishop of Rome to be the Antichrist. How weird is that?

  • http://jesus-is-not-irrelevant.blogspot.com/ Mary Johnson

    My ex is/was a Mormon. They are pretty devoted to the religion even though the evidence of the fraud perpetuated by Joseph Smith is plain to see. They used to teach publicly that you are in fact sealed in the temple to multiple wives (as in your first/second wife dies – you are just sealed to the next one). It still happens, you just don’t get the in your face teaching like it was in the 70′s.

    The temple recommend is based solely on how well you tithe and that is not up for discussion as your Bishop ( a lay person who is “divinely called” to be a pastor for a few or many years) checks against what you make. Most young people I knew back then lied to get the recommend to be married in the temple – they had sex prior to marriage.

    When you leave or become “inactive” they do a wonderful thing called “love-bombing” you back into fellowship. I really believe it is nothing more than a money making machine that is set up to replicate a civil form of socialized govt. They do the food storage, canning, farms, disaster relief etc… The people are hard working, nice as can be and pretty genuine, but are controlled totally by their religion. Joseph Smith said that a religion that doesn’t demand everything from you can’t save you. Ask any Mormon what their week is like. Every night is structured activities (except for Mondays – called family home evening where you teach your family doctrine) at the church. Meetings run 3 hours on Sunday. You practically live at the ward or stake center.

    They are still a cult just based on their belief of the trinity. God was a man, Jesus and Satan are brothers and we are all brothers and sisters of Jesus and Satan. Those who pay tithes, are married in the temple and are faithful get to go to the celestial kingdom with their many wives and populate planets and have a son who will redeem them. And on it goes. Three levels of heaven, celestial, terrestial and telestial.

    Then there is the little issue of no proof of any Book of Mormon civilization in the Americas, the papyrus Joseph Smith purportedly got the Pearl of Great Price (another scripture with the Doctrine and Covenants) from said nothing but funerary text. They don’t mention in their ads or missionary meetings that the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants with the Pearl of Great Price are held in higher regard than the Bible.

    So, rather long explanation of the Mormons.

  • http://jesus-is-not-irrelevant.blogspot.com/ Mary Johnson

    My ex is/was a Mormon. They are pretty devoted to the religion even though the evidence of the fraud perpetuated by Joseph Smith is plain to see. They used to teach publicly that you are in fact sealed in the temple to multiple wives (as in your first/second wife dies – you are just sealed to the next one). It still happens, you just don’t get the in your face teaching like it was in the 70′s.

    The temple recommend is based solely on how well you tithe and that is not up for discussion as your Bishop ( a lay person who is “divinely called” to be a pastor for a few or many years) checks against what you make. Most young people I knew back then lied to get the recommend to be married in the temple – they had sex prior to marriage.

    When you leave or become “inactive” they do a wonderful thing called “love-bombing” you back into fellowship. I really believe it is nothing more than a money making machine that is set up to replicate a civil form of socialized govt. They do the food storage, canning, farms, disaster relief etc… The people are hard working, nice as can be and pretty genuine, but are controlled totally by their religion. Joseph Smith said that a religion that doesn’t demand everything from you can’t save you. Ask any Mormon what their week is like. Every night is structured activities (except for Mondays – called family home evening where you teach your family doctrine) at the church. Meetings run 3 hours on Sunday. You practically live at the ward or stake center.

    They are still a cult just based on their belief of the trinity. God was a man, Jesus and Satan are brothers and we are all brothers and sisters of Jesus and Satan. Those who pay tithes, are married in the temple and are faithful get to go to the celestial kingdom with their many wives and populate planets and have a son who will redeem them. And on it goes. Three levels of heaven, celestial, terrestial and telestial.

    Then there is the little issue of no proof of any Book of Mormon civilization in the Americas, the papyrus Joseph Smith purportedly got the Pearl of Great Price (another scripture with the Doctrine and Covenants) from said nothing but funerary text. They don’t mention in their ads or missionary meetings that the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants with the Pearl of Great Price are held in higher regard than the Bible.

    So, rather long explanation of the Mormons.

  • Grace

    “The book of Mormon is more correct than the Bible,”
    History of the Church, 4:461

    Did GOD say that the Book of Mormon was more correct than the Bible?

    “There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God,..” Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 188

    Jesus said:
    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. John 6:47

    The verse above doesn’t include Joseph Smith. He cannot obtain Salvation or everlasting life for anyone.

  • Grace

    “The book of Mormon is more correct than the Bible,”
    History of the Church, 4:461

    Did GOD say that the Book of Mormon was more correct than the Bible?

    “There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God,..” Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 188

    Jesus said:
    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. John 6:47

    The verse above doesn’t include Joseph Smith. He cannot obtain Salvation or everlasting life for anyone.

  • fws

    jonathan @ 41

    Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. I think it is pretty safe to trust what he has told us through his apostles, and , we believe that our God is anatomically correct with a body as do Mormons..

    But we dont believe we will eventually become gods and goddesses do we? unless there is something you are not telling us about yourself Jonathan….

    joseph smith and brighamn young are dust.

    I may be gay jonathan, but in Christ I know I am going to heaven .I am for sure a liar and a sinner. No better than any Mormon. But I get to cling to what God has promised me in my Baptism.

    Mormons are on the other side of the culture war . They are tghe ==and are going to that other place as long as they do not repent.
    They are raising their children to believe this stuff. Yeah. Satanic is about the right word…

  • fws

    jonathan @ 41

    Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. I think it is pretty safe to trust what he has told us through his apostles, and , we believe that our God is anatomically correct with a body as do Mormons..

    But we dont believe we will eventually become gods and goddesses do we? unless there is something you are not telling us about yourself Jonathan….

    joseph smith and brighamn young are dust.

    I may be gay jonathan, but in Christ I know I am going to heaven .I am for sure a liar and a sinner. No better than any Mormon. But I get to cling to what God has promised me in my Baptism.

    Mormons are on the other side of the culture war . They are tghe ==and are going to that other place as long as they do not repent.
    They are raising their children to believe this stuff. Yeah. Satanic is about the right word…

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    The LDS are authors and perfectors of their own faith, to borrow a phrase. I’m afraid for them.

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    The LDS are authors and perfectors of their own faith, to borrow a phrase. I’m afraid for them.

  • V. Williams

    Any of you read Under The Banner Of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer? That’s pretty much my “exposure” to Mormonism. It was eye opening, if even half of it is accurate.

  • V. Williams

    Any of you read Under The Banner Of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer? That’s pretty much my “exposure” to Mormonism. It was eye opening, if even half of it is accurate.

  • KimS

    As someone who was taken in hook, line and sinker by the Mormons in high school, I feel one of the things most to be feared by the Mormons is how successfully they attract young people who are searching for answers. They are all over the place on university and college campuses. I came within a week of joining the LDS church, but changed my mind. Their evangelization methods are well planned and they have a zeal that some evangelicals actually don’t. In my little town here, they are currently using a method whereby by attract people in through help to quit smoking.

  • KimS

    As someone who was taken in hook, line and sinker by the Mormons in high school, I feel one of the things most to be feared by the Mormons is how successfully they attract young people who are searching for answers. They are all over the place on university and college campuses. I came within a week of joining the LDS church, but changed my mind. Their evangelization methods are well planned and they have a zeal that some evangelicals actually don’t. In my little town here, they are currently using a method whereby by attract people in through help to quit smoking.

  • Jonathan

    Frank, 44, thanks for making my point from 41. People like to throw stones about the wacky stuff that Momos believe. But as you point out, what really gets them (Momos) into trouble is that they reject the true Gospel in favor of just having another ladder-climbing, DIY religiousity project. It doesn’t work to ridicule them over the wacky stuff, as they only see that as persecution that shows them they must be right. Rather, like any religiousness project, it’s better to keep asking them how they are REALLY doing with their personal project in order to drive them to despair the futility of it all. After all, even the BOM declares that unless they keep all the laws, they CAN’T be saved. (Echoes of “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees….”) So, best to ask them how THEY are doing with that. It is a law-based religion; therefore, they need to be beat over the head with the law.

  • Jonathan

    Frank, 44, thanks for making my point from 41. People like to throw stones about the wacky stuff that Momos believe. But as you point out, what really gets them (Momos) into trouble is that they reject the true Gospel in favor of just having another ladder-climbing, DIY religiousity project. It doesn’t work to ridicule them over the wacky stuff, as they only see that as persecution that shows them they must be right. Rather, like any religiousness project, it’s better to keep asking them how they are REALLY doing with their personal project in order to drive them to despair the futility of it all. After all, even the BOM declares that unless they keep all the laws, they CAN’T be saved. (Echoes of “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees….”) So, best to ask them how THEY are doing with that. It is a law-based religion; therefore, they need to be beat over the head with the law.

  • Grace

    Jonathan @ 48

    “But as you point out, what really gets them (Momos) into trouble is that they reject the true Gospel in favor of just having another ladder-climbing, DIY religiousity project. It doesn’t work to ridicule them over the wacky stuff, as they only see that as persecution that shows them they must be right. Rather, like any religiousness project, it’s better to keep asking them how they are REALLY doing with their personal project in order to drive them to despair the futility of it all.”

    Calling Mormons “Mamos” is nothing but a slur for those who are members of the LDS Church. I don’t know who you are, but that ‘slur is rarely used against the Mormons. Serious conversations, don’t elicit effective outcomes when one resorts to ‘name calling – even among those of us who find their beliefs to be false.

    As for “ridicule” – pointing out Mormon ‘CORE beliefs is very effective. Most people do not know what the LDS Church really believes until just before they become members.

    Jonathan, your suggestion to avoid pointing out their leaders statements, makes no sense – it is the very statements which give rise to questions,…… even those who have been members for years.

    Are you a Mormon, is that what this is about?

  • Grace

    Jonathan @ 48

    “But as you point out, what really gets them (Momos) into trouble is that they reject the true Gospel in favor of just having another ladder-climbing, DIY religiousity project. It doesn’t work to ridicule them over the wacky stuff, as they only see that as persecution that shows them they must be right. Rather, like any religiousness project, it’s better to keep asking them how they are REALLY doing with their personal project in order to drive them to despair the futility of it all.”

    Calling Mormons “Mamos” is nothing but a slur for those who are members of the LDS Church. I don’t know who you are, but that ‘slur is rarely used against the Mormons. Serious conversations, don’t elicit effective outcomes when one resorts to ‘name calling – even among those of us who find their beliefs to be false.

    As for “ridicule” – pointing out Mormon ‘CORE beliefs is very effective. Most people do not know what the LDS Church really believes until just before they become members.

    Jonathan, your suggestion to avoid pointing out their leaders statements, makes no sense – it is the very statements which give rise to questions,…… even those who have been members for years.

    Are you a Mormon, is that what this is about?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I’m guessing that most people don’t know what the LDS church really teaches until after they have become deeply mired into the organization.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I’m guessing that most people don’t know what the LDS church really teaches until after they have become deeply mired into the organization.

  • Grace

    Mike Westfall @51′

    “I’m guessing that most people don’t know what the LDS church really teaches until after they have become deeply mired into the organization.”

    BINGO

  • Grace

    Mike Westfall @51′

    “I’m guessing that most people don’t know what the LDS church really teaches until after they have become deeply mired into the organization.”

    BINGO

  • fws

    grace @ 49

    I can GUARANTEE you that jonathan, based on what he wrote in 48 is NOT a mormon! @48 sounds pretty Lutheran actually. whether he is a Lutheran or not, I dont know.

  • fws

    grace @ 49

    I can GUARANTEE you that jonathan, based on what he wrote in 48 is NOT a mormon! @48 sounds pretty Lutheran actually. whether he is a Lutheran or not, I dont know.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@49), I don’t get why Jonathan (@48) called them “Momos” (not “Mamos”, as you wrote), either, but by that same fact, nor am I sure (as you apparently are) that it’s a “slur”, either. Heck, some Mormons even get testy when you call them “Mormons”.

    You also said to Jonathan:

    As for “ridicule” – pointing out Mormon ‘CORE beliefs is very effective.

    But in saying that, you clearly missed what Jonathan was saying. Pointing out the ludicrousness of Mormon theology — particularly the sci-fi-like bits — might surprise a few Christians, turning them off. Of course, as FWS has already noted (@44), to a non-believer, the specific claims of both the Bible and the other Mormon books may very well all sound ridiculous.

    But, again, Jonathan was talking about how to talk to the Mormons themselves — how to show them the problems with their faith, and not, as you have discussed, how to demonstrate this to non-Mormons.

    Are you a Mormon, is that what this is about?

    You know, for someone who’s claimed to have studied Mormon theology as much as you have, you kind of undercut your purported expertise with statements like that. As FWS noted (@52), Jonathan’s comment (@48) makes clear he’s not a Mormon. Come on, Grace.

    Also, why do you keep putting opening single quotation marks in your comments, without their corresponding closing marks? That doesn’t make sense, either.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@49), I don’t get why Jonathan (@48) called them “Momos” (not “Mamos”, as you wrote), either, but by that same fact, nor am I sure (as you apparently are) that it’s a “slur”, either. Heck, some Mormons even get testy when you call them “Mormons”.

    You also said to Jonathan:

    As for “ridicule” – pointing out Mormon ‘CORE beliefs is very effective.

    But in saying that, you clearly missed what Jonathan was saying. Pointing out the ludicrousness of Mormon theology — particularly the sci-fi-like bits — might surprise a few Christians, turning them off. Of course, as FWS has already noted (@44), to a non-believer, the specific claims of both the Bible and the other Mormon books may very well all sound ridiculous.

    But, again, Jonathan was talking about how to talk to the Mormons themselves — how to show them the problems with their faith, and not, as you have discussed, how to demonstrate this to non-Mormons.

    Are you a Mormon, is that what this is about?

    You know, for someone who’s claimed to have studied Mormon theology as much as you have, you kind of undercut your purported expertise with statements like that. As FWS noted (@52), Jonathan’s comment (@48) makes clear he’s not a Mormon. Come on, Grace.

    Also, why do you keep putting opening single quotation marks in your comments, without their corresponding closing marks? That doesn’t make sense, either.

  • Grace

    fws @ 52


    I can GUARANTEE you that jonathan, based on what he wrote in 48 is NOT a mormon! @48 sounds pretty Lutheran actually. whether he is a Lutheran or not, I dont know.”

    Yes, I know you “dont know” – LOL

    I don’t believe you can “guarantee” anything -

  • Grace

    fws @ 52


    I can GUARANTEE you that jonathan, based on what he wrote in 48 is NOT a mormon! @48 sounds pretty Lutheran actually. whether he is a Lutheran or not, I dont know.”

    Yes, I know you “dont know” – LOL

    I don’t believe you can “guarantee” anything -

  • fws

    raising kids with teachings that head them to hell is satanic.

    I would argue that it is worse than about any other moral crime one could think of.

  • fws

    raising kids with teachings that head them to hell is satanic.

    I would argue that it is worse than about any other moral crime one could think of.

  • Jon

    During the Olympics its a well known fact that mormons suppressed free speech. They created little free speech zones where a person could protest. This quite some distance away from the mormon temple. Since when do we have zones where free speech exists?
    In another instance a person was protesting outside the mormon temple yet he was arrested (this captured on video tape) of some mormon security guards dragging him on temple grounds where he was arrested. This entire performance was captured on video and played on channel 4. This coming from a church who claims to defend the constitution.

  • Jon

    During the Olympics its a well known fact that mormons suppressed free speech. They created little free speech zones where a person could protest. This quite some distance away from the mormon temple. Since when do we have zones where free speech exists?
    In another instance a person was protesting outside the mormon temple yet he was arrested (this captured on video tape) of some mormon security guards dragging him on temple grounds where he was arrested. This entire performance was captured on video and played on channel 4. This coming from a church who claims to defend the constitution.


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