The Next Church Handbook Change: Tithing and Affinity Fraud

widows mite

Shawn Merriman was a devoted family man, a diligent Mormon bishop, and, ultimately, a convicted fraudster. Dubbed the “Mormon Madoff”, Merriman, a self-described hedge-fund manager, ran a Ponzi scheme that swindled dozens of his friends and acquaintances, and even his own mother, out of millions of dollars. He used his ill-gotten gains to finance a luxurious lifestyle, purchasing Rembrandt prints, antique cars, and sports memorabilia. In March 2009, finding that he could no longer maintain his el … [Read more...]

Mormon Church Responds to Bundy-led Oregon Occupation

Obligitory Mormon Institution Image (Wikimedia commons)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has now officially condemned the actions of a group of armed militiamen in Oregon, led by Ammon Bundy--a Mormon--and fueled by right-wing ideology, mixed with a unique brand of Mormonstyle American exceptionalism. Here's the statement: While the disagreement occurring in Oregon about the use of federal lands is not a Church matter, Church leaders strongly condemn the armed seizure of the facility and are deeply troubled by the reports that those … [Read more...]

No, Mormon Women do not Oppose Female Ordination, and Here’s Why That Matters

When the topic of ordaining Mormon women comes up, one of the most common responses from top Church leadership as well as more orthodox members is that Mormon women are, in an overwhelming majority, against being ordained. Personally, I've heard a number of reasons for being against ordination, ranging from pseudo-science theories about female vs. male brains (theories about the brain that have been debunked), to insulting complaints that men would slack off if they weren't the only people o … [Read more...]

What Keeps Mormonism Ticking

Wikimedia Commons

We Mormons aren't no. 1 at everything, but in at least one way we rise above the rest:That's right. Mormons win at being highly involved in their religious community. This chart, which is a visualization of data from the the Pew Research Center's recent "Religious Landscape Study" via Pew's Fact Tank, shows that: Among Mormons, 67% have a high level of engagement, while a comparable share of Jehovah’s Witnesses (64%) are highly involved. Indeed, these two groups have the highest level of inv … [Read more...]

Polygamy and the New LDS Policy: Two Thoughts

Wikimedia Commons. Alterations by Cody Ray Shafer.

 MichaelMany, including Elder Christofferson, have noted that the LDS Church’s new policy toward gay couples and their children is a carbon copy of the Church’s policy toward polygamous families, on the books since the 1920s. (If you’re curious, see Ardis Parshall’s post about it.) Most of these people have focused on how the Church is applying the old policy (re: polygamy) to a new situation (gay marriage).But there’s another arrow of influence. The Church is turning the attitud … [Read more...]

Mistakes in Mormonism; or Why the Church Handbook isn’t Doctrine

First Presidency and the Twelve, circa 1898 (Wikimedia Commons).

By Gary AshcroftLet me preface my comments with a few statements. I am Mormon. I’ve been one for my entire life. I believe that the Gospel is true and that it can bring us happiness. I also believe that the Church is led by a prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and that he speaks for God. I am proud of my membership in the Church and wish in no way to disparage it, abandon it, or equivocate as to my beliefs.That being said, I also recognize that the Church and the Gospel are not the same. The G … [Read more...]

What This Policy Shift Means To LGBT Mormons Like Me

“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven,” – Matthew 19:4

I have struggled to comprehend my thoughts on the recent announcement by the LDS church concerning new policy changes in Handbook 1. There is an ever growing list of reasons why this policy change is both confusing and heartbreaking.As a young man I spent many Sundays contemplating my future, both temporal and beyond. I grew up seeing the joy on a child’s face as they’re baptized before their brothers and sisters. I grew up seeing the smiles of new parents as they bless their newborn before t … [Read more...]

I Won’t Go to Church Unless Everyone is Welcome

Charles Lock Eastlake, "Christ Blessing Little Children," (Wikimedia commons).

There is a lot yet to be said about the Church's recent policy changes to Handbook 1 regarding the children of LGBT parents. A few writers here at Peculiar People are still processing this, and our perspectives and opinions are as varied as the church membership itself. This policy doesn't directly affect me, but it does people I know and love. I don't want to distract from their stories, but I thought this was as good a time as any to air out my issues with the Church's position.When it … [Read more...]


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