October Surprise? An Interview with NewNameNoah About His Mormon Temple Videos

UPDATE: See my followup post here.

I came across a link today — with the words “Mitt Romney actually believes this!” — for a YouTube video entitled “Behind the Veil: Never-Before-Seen Videos of Secret Mormon Temple Rituals.”  Since this was framed by the linker as an attack on Romney, I watched the video.  As a scholar of religion, I found it fascinating.  As a person of faith, I found it morally objectionable that these sacred ceremonies were surreptitiously recorded and broadcast and mocked.

A still image from the video.

Sometimes I choose not to write about certain things because I don’t want to bring them more attention.  In this case, the video is going viral, having reached half a million views.  Richard Dawkins linked his followers to it.  I suspect this story will only grow.  So I sought out the filmmaker.  I’ve always believed in the intelligence and good will of my readership.  I’ve not been afraid for them to hear from atheists or Neo-Pagans, trusting that they have the discernment to make their own judgments.  So I’m trusting my readers to be discerning here, as I let Noah speak for himself and tell us why he made the videos.

Tomorrow I will publish my own opinion on these films, and why I think they transgress important moral boundaries.  But today I’m just going to publish an interview with the maker of the film.  By his own account, “Noah” lives near Salt Lake City.  He would prefer to remain anonymous (“Noah” is the new name that was given to him in a temple ceremony) because, he says, “these videos are not about me.  They aren’t even about Mitt Romney.  They are simply accurate visual aids that I have made available to anyone that wishes to investigate Mormonism that wants to know what the Mormon missionaries refuse to tell them.”  Noah declined to say what he did for a living, but said he was open to answering any other questions.  I sent him a set of questions, and present them (very slightly edited for length and flow) here.  I underlined an important part:

Are you surprised by the response you’re seeing?  The video is going viral in the midst of the campaign season.  Campaigns are always worried about an “October Surprise.”  Are there more videos to come?  

I’m surprised that MOST major media seems to be afraid of openly and honestly discussing Mormonism.  They attacked President Obama for remarks made by Rev. Wright, probably because they knew that Wright’s comments were inflammatory and unlikely to accurately reflect the personal beliefs and opinions of President Obama.  However, Mitt Romney really does participate in and believe the cult-like Mormon temple rituals.  I have PERSONALLY seen Mitt Romney raise his arm to the square and swear to consecrate everything he has or ever will have to the Mormon church and for “…the establishment of Zion on earth.”  Anyone who knew what that actually meant would likely NEVER put a Mormon in the White House.  It is nothing short of a worldwide theocracy headed by the Mormon Church.  I have Mitt Romney on video in full color participating in these Freemason inspired, occult like rituals and I may very well have an “October Surprise” of my own.  

I haven’t posted all of my footage and there are still secret temple ceremonies that have yet to be exposed.  They will be exposed soon. 

What’s your motivation in recording and posting these secret rituals? 

I was born and raised in the Mormon church.  My motivation is education.  I was gobsmacked in 1987 when, at the age of 19, I went through the Mormon temple for the first time.  It was NOTHING like what I had grown up with and it was VERY frightening.  Back then we had to pantomime our own murders in several ways as we swore to “never reveal” the details of the temple.  I watched as my own mother pantomimed slitting her own throat and acted out the motion of disemboweling herself.  This is “the only true church of God on earth”?  Pardon me for saying so, but if that’s true, God is a real nut job.

What’s your backstory? 

I was born in the 1960′s, baptized in the 1970′s, served a full-time mission in the 1980′s and was a paid employee of the Mormon Church (ironically in the Security Department) for a period of time in the 1990′s.  I discovered it wasn’t true in the Fall of 2001 and resigned my membership in 2002.  I knew when I resigned that one day I would get the temple rituals on video so others would have more information before being gobsmacked themselves.  About 6 years ago I started the ball rolling that would eventually roll into a perfect strike against the cult of Mormonism.  The pen is mightier than the sword but the hidden camera trumps all.

It will not escape anyone’s attention that these were posted shortly before the final presidential debate, and just as some of the early voting polls are open. Are you allied with any political group, or receiving funds or encouragement from any political group? 

I voted for Independents (Ross Perot in 1992), Republicans (Bush/Quayle in 1988 and Bush/Cheney in 2000) and Democrats (Kerry/Edwards in 2004 and Obama/Biden in 2008).  I WISH I had some organized groups helping me financially.  I’ll be lucky if I ever break even on this project, let alone MAKE money.  I have heard NOTHING from any organized political groups.  Heck, I can’t even get Roseanne Barr to return my Tweets.

The text in the video cites Romney’s great-grandfather and his multiple wives.  Are you out to embarrass Mitt Romney or undermine his candidacy?

I would love to embarrass Romney.  His promise to obey the Mormon “Law of Consecration” disqualifies him for the White House, in my opinion.

Do you belong to another religious tradition now? 

I do not belong to any organized religion. I generally don’t discuss my religious beliefs but I will say that I do not identify myself as atheist or agnostic.

Many people would challenge the morality of recording these videos without permission, publishing them without permission, and mocking a faith community’s sacred ceremonies.  How do you feel about that?  You do appeal for money on your Facebook page.  Do you have a financial interest here in sensationalizing the Mormon secrets?

It’s unlikely I’ll ever break even, let alone MAKE money.  Information should be free.  I am simply providing information.  My wife would be elated if it didn’t cost ME hundreds of dollars to do so.  As for my project being some sort of moral travesty, I would ask if it is “moral” to blindside teenage boys and girls with oaths to consecrate 100% of their “time and talents” and everything they have or ever will have to ANY organization without some sort of advance warning.  Mormons have “Temple preparation” classes that teach you virtually NOTHING about the rituals and oaths you are asked to submit to in the temple.

The Mormon Church lost their right to question the morality of others when they intervened in the Prop 8 fiasco in California.  Why didn’t their “Prophet” see in advance that the millions of dollars spent by the Mormon faithful would be a waste because the whole horrible law would be shut down by the courts eventually.  Imagine all the good the Mormon church could have done with the nearly FIVE BILLION DOLLARS they recently spent on a shopping mall/condo complex in downtown Salt Lake City.  What I did was no different than an undercover cop infiltrating organized crime.

I infiltrated and all I did was report my finding.  In color.  On YouTube.

Some of the text seems spun pretty hard against Mormons.  You say, for instance, that the tradition of secrecy comes from the days of polygamy, when Mormons had to keep secret their illegal polygamous marriages.  But many religious traditions have secrets.  It seemed to me like a gratuitous way of bringing polygamy into the conversation.  Are you out to educate and inform, or out to convince people to share your disdain for Mormonism? 

I am out to educate.  The disdain for Mormonism typically follows naturally.

Baptism for the dead, as I understand it, is performed as a means of making salvation available to those who died without having an opportunity to respond to the full truth.  From the Mormon perspective, then, it’s an act of compassion.  Yet you emphasize that they do this without the permission of the families of the deceased, and you seem to imply that there’s something spooky or nefarious about this.  What are your views?

Mormons have complete disdain for the beliefs of others.  The Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price (two of the four recognized cannon of scripture in Mormonism) refer to ALL non-Mormon faiths collectively as “The church of the devil” and a “great and abominable whore of the earth” and ALL other religious leaders are “corrupt.” Until 1990 the Mormon temple endowment ceremony included a Protestant minister, complete with clergy collar, depicted as a hireling of Satan.  It is official Mormon doctrine that ONLY those who accept Mormon teachings in their entirety will go to the Celestial Kingdom to live with God. (“God” being the polygamist exalted man-god known as Elohim.  He lives near “Kolob,” which has been referred to as both a star and as a planet.)

Note: Come back tomorrow — please subscribe via RSS, Facebook or Twitter — to hear my own thoughts.  I told Noah from the start that I had serious ethical misgivings with his actions, but I appreciate that he took the time to respond to my questions and tell us more about his background and motives.  

UPDATE: See my followup post here.

 

About Timothy Dalrymple

Timothy Dalrymple was raised in non-denominational evangelical congregations in California. The son and grandson of ministers, as a young boy he spent far too many hours each night staring at the ceiling and pondering the afterlife.
 
In all his work he seeks a better understanding of why people do, and do not, come to faith, and researches and teaches in religion and science, faith and reason, theology and philosophy, the origins of atheism, Christology, and the religious transformations of suffering

  • Dan

    An interesting interview. Noah seems like he has an axe to grind here. But even if he does, that does not mean he is untruthful.

    I do think he will be disappointed on Nov. 7. From what I’ve seen I can’t really agree with the religious beliefs of either candidate. I could not have either one as a Bible study teacher or pastor. Now wheather one or the other can serve effectively as the President of the US is what concerns me. The weirdness of secret relogious rites do not really affect if one can successfully get our national debt under control or address foreign affairs.

    I don’t think the videos will derail Romney’s campaign. Perhaps if they came out in the primaries. You did a good job asking about the ethics of Noah’s actions and intent. His answers were about what I expected.

    • http://www.newnamenoah.com Noah B.

      No “Ax to grind” here. I’m just exposing a cult and if that happens to damage Mitt’s chances of winning, all the better. Hello?!?! Did you watch the video??

      • Jim

        You certainly do seem to cut your own path when it comes to selecting what you think is truthful and what you think is a lie. You act and rationalize like Ed Decker, with the Godmakers… he was pushed out for and (until he tried to be a pastor in other churches) was somewhat proud of his being unfaithful to his wife and family and ued the expose’ to justify his behaviors.

        Your characterizations are pretty far over the top in terms of the spin / slant / angst you pile on top of the video. Why are you afraid of coming out? Do you still want to attend the temple after lying to the bishop about your state of mind and your commitment?

        You claim to not be a member of organized religion… implying that you are a believer in God… but you have no trouble with the ends justifying the means – you had to have lied to many people, repeatedly to do what you did. Now that a large group of people can’t trust you, who else should wonder?

        These ceremonies have been publicized before, several times, the latest being Mr. Decker’s IRS curtailed crusade. So your timing and your rhetoric would seem to indicate a chance to hurt someone because you disagree with him and to hurt a comunity because they are beneath your contempt.

        Who will be next to fail to match up to your standards… your wife? Your publisher? Your friends? Who will you turn on and consume after lying to them because it was convenient to your needs? While some people may find this curious, the idea of consecrating time and talents to God is noeither new or radical… it is a common conception in most of Christianity, whether explicitly or implicitly stated.

        What is new – for you – is the venom, the thinly veiled loathing that can only come from a serious wound to your heart that you are now compensating for in increasingly – by your account – over time destructive and sociopathic ways. Now that the Mormons have failed to meet your standards, you will hurt them as much as you can. Interesting confession for the casual onlookers, devastating for you.

        Whatever you choose to do about the Mormon church, you need to repent and turn away from the narcissistic disdain for others that is consuming your personality. Your behavior is so far out of the norm it is frankly frightening. Your excuses and rationalizations are borderline disordered and you will not enjoy the rest of your ife if you can’t come to grips with these issues.

        Pleasechange your heart soon. A life – even the life of a liar, cheat, thief of honor and goodness – is valuable and precious. Be a different person soon.

        • Lily E.

          You sure are projecting A LOT onto Noah. Sheesh. Are you a member of the church? Noah was a Mormon, and he knows (as many of us do) the heartache and destruction that cult can unleash on an individual and a family. His motives and reasoning for exposing that are his own, but I’m pretty sure it’s not psychopathy that’s pushing him toward it. But keep demonizing him, if it makes you feel better.

      • c matt

        Well, I don’t get your inconsistency on bashing the Mormons for polygamy, but then also claiming that anti-ssm laws are evil. Assuming everyone involved consents, what difference does it make to you if two guys want to get married or one guy and three girls? Why is one good in your book, but the other is not?

      • Doug Shaffer

        A wise man once said of Apostates, “Not content to leave the church, they cannot leave the church alone.” Making fun of religious rites is not new. Someone could make fun of Catholic rites, of Jewish rites (hey, Circumcision is full of alll kinds of ridiculing possibilities). Transusbantiation, religions clothing of Nuns, Priests, Rabbis, Muslims. You name it. It’s all Religious Bigotry and Offensive. Want to make fun of Moses leading 60,000 people on dry land through the Red Sea? I have no problem with Romeny being a believing and faithful Mormon. At least they have some moral compass to go by rather than a mirror that our current Narcissistic Incompetent President goes by, and the corrupt Chicago Machine. It’s not going to work. THere are still a majority of good decent people in America and a lot of them have awakened in the last couple of weeks to see what a Fraud Obama and his syncophants are.

      • Doug Shaffer

        You are an a**hole.

      • Adam Baum

        “No “Ax to grind” here. I’m just exposing a cult and if that happens to damage Mitt’s chances of winning, all the better. Hello?!?! Did you watch the video??”

        It seems fairly obvious as an self-professed Obama voter, you most certainly have an ax to grind.

      • leslie

        Noah, I am so saddened by your attempts to expose what I hold sacred. Why would you do something like this? And what in the world are you talking about when you say your mom acts out slitting her throat? What do you have to gain from this? I am sorry if you feel anger or hurt, but why cause the hurt of so many others? How does that make you feel better?

  • Agent99SP

    You said:
    “As a person of faith, I found it morally objectionable that these sacred ceremonies were surreptitiously recorded and broadcast and mocked.”

    But this is what the Bible says:
    “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.” Ephesians 5:8-13

    Again, verse 11: Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather EXPOSE them.

    As a Christian, I have no moral objections to NewNameNoah EXPOSING the Mormon Church’s unfruitful works of darkness and bringing them into the light so others won’t be deceived by them. The Mormon Church is a pagan cult which uses the name of Jesus Christ to lure people into separation from the true God, and ultimately eternal damnation. They will be more severely judged for using the name of Christ to do it.

    It really is appalling how people, claiming to follow Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, are so full of compromise and rationalization about Mormonism so they can sooth their consciences about voting for a member in high standing of an agressive and power-hungry cult to defeat the current President. Obama is terrible, but its like they are selling their inheritance for a mess of pottage. Do we trust God or don’t we?

  • NewNameMosiah

    As a former Mormon Christian, I personally am grateful to NewNameNoah for making this video. After suffering 40 years in this cult (and it IS a cult in EVERY sense of the word), I hope that folks will pay close attention. Thank you, NewNameNoah, for making the sacrifice in getting this information out there.

    • LMA

      It’s silly to say “cult in every sense of the word,” when the only relevant meaning of the word seems to be “a religion that I want to disparage.” I’m a Mormon convert, having been raised, baptized and taught from my youth in evangelical churches and having later, as a young adult, abandoning faith in favor of atheism. What NewName exemplifies is not religious difference, but hate. Pure, nasty, spiteful, vicious hate. It drips from every response he gives to questions in the interview. If you think about the chronology, he went to the Temple (freely participating in the ordinances he now despises) and then served a mission, speaking to others about the benefits of God’s plan. It was not until sometime later – and notice that he reveals no details – that he decides to turn his attention to his corrosive smears.
      I don’t know what happened in his case specifically, of course, but there are other examples that help identify a pattern. Something happened that led him to anger and resentment. His response was to lash out. You can see – you can feel – that what he wants to do is to HURT his former church and his former co-religionists. The whole point of publishing the video is to lash out in the most hurtful way he can imagine, and to continue to do so.
      I won’t even try to claim that Temple ordinances sit well with Western cultural predispositions about what religious ceremony should look like. NewName’s whole argument is simply, “Look at that! Isn’t is weird?’ Well, lots of things might seem weird if there weren’t a cultural framework for it. Golly, gee, them thar Catholic fellers think that the wine and the wafer turn into a human body that they … eat! Isn’t that weird? Now let’s talk about sharia … well, OK, maybe not. But, still, isn’t that weird???
      But the point of the Temple is that we enter into covenants with God. If there is an objection to that (other than the whole atheistic, flying spaghetti monster schtick) I can’t imagine what it is. NewName purports to be offended that Mormons covenant to dedicate their lives to God – I thought all Christians do that, no? NewName claims that Mormons seek to establish a theocracy – and on that point, I just say he lies.
      Then we have very self-righteous, self-proclaimed Christians who have other reasons and other grounds on which to disparage and caricature my faith. That saddens me, because I now know that I loved the beautiful gospel messages about the Savior that I was taught as a child and youth in Baptist and Evangelical churches. I hate to see fellow Christians feel the need to attack, disparage, distort and even lie. They should read, again, the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians, which teaches us that even a pure knowledge of doctrine is meaningless without love. And, honestly, they lack a pure knowledge of the scriptures by a country mile. I tell them truthfully that Mormons are all saved according to the doctrine of salvation I was taught, in which salvation comes from acknowledging sin and in giving our lives over to the redeeming grace of Jesus, the son of God.

      • NewNameMosiah

        How does NewNameNoah promote hate? His video accurately reflects what goes on inside of the Mormon temple. Do I disparage Mormism? Absolutely. I endured much emotional, psychological and spiritual abuse that nearly destroyed my life. That said, I love Mormons as people. My parents and siblings are still members of the Church.

        I also will stand my belief that it is both a theological and sociological cult. There are many sociological aspects we can examine to determine if a group fits the criteria of a “cult,” but one of the easiest models to use in evaluating cult mind-control is given by Steven Hassan in his book Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves, published in 2000 by Freedom of Mind Press, Somerville MA.

        In chapter two, he gives four basic components of mind control, which form the acronym BITE. Google the BITE Model for more information.

        This model was based primarily on Robert Lifton’s work but also draws from research from Margaret Singer and many others. It doesn’t target any group in particular and can be applied to ANY group be they religious, political, secular, etc. It just doesn’t matter.

        • LMA

          OK then Google Margaret Singer. Says here she sued the APA when they rejected her paper as not empirically supported, and then she lost the suit.

          It’s nice that you love your mommy and daddy. That doesn’t have much to do with whether this Mike Norton fellow is motivated by hatred and malice. I stand by what I said: his malice is evident in his words and behavior.

          In your case, you regard yourself as a victim of “emotional, psychological and spiritual abuse that nearly destroyed [your] life.” So, in the embrace of your sense of victimization, do you also devote untold hours of your life to vengeance, to getting back at them, to hurting those who hurt you, in the most direct and hurtful way you can imagine, as Norton does? I don’t know, of course, it’s just a question. In his case, I think that the obsessiveness, the monomania, is cult-like, regardless of what some junk-science people may say.

  • http://middletree.blogspot.com James Williams

    I would be surprised if these videos change a single person’s vote. As a Christian who’s been hearing about Mormonism for decades, the videos only confirm rumors I have already heard. As a voter, I’m going to vote for the person who I happen to agree with on economic policy. For many voters, replace “economic policy” with “abortion” or “gay rights” or several other possible phrases. The religious beliefs of the candidate will be far down the list of priorities.

  • Andrew

    There are extremely important and far reaching reasons why the highly secretive Mormon Temple Ceremonies and Rituals should be shown openly to the American public. The Mormon Church believes that all obedient Mormons, who regularly attend the secret Mormon Temple Ceremonies, will be the ONLY members of the human family on earth who will be allowed into Heaven. They also believe that obedient Temple Endowed Mormons will receive their Exaltation and become Gods and Goddesses in Heaven in Celestial families, with the rest of the non-mormon human family remaining single and resigned to being their ministering servants.

    But before these promises of Eternal Exaltation in Heaven are realised, Mormons, including Mitt Romney and his wife, dress in their white robes of priesthood power and authority and kneel at the altars of Mormon Temples every day. Here they swear Oaths of strict obedience that they will Consecrate themselves, their time, talents, even in sacrificing their own lives if necessary, to the Mormon Church and for the establishment of Zion on earth- (this being a theocratic government led and administered by Mormons). The whole hidden reason and the intended purpose of all aspects of Mormon Temple Ceremony rituals is to Exalt its members and to Endow and empower them with Elohim’s (God‘s) priesthood power, having authority over the rest of the non-mormon human race, and eventually receiving their Exaltation and becoming Gods in Heaven.

    They also make various secret Signs and Tokens (Passwords) throughout these Temple Ceremonies, that they believe allows them in their next life, to pass by the angels who act as sentinels guarding the way to God.

    As recently as 1990, secret Penalties (Blood Oaths) were also included as part of the Temple Ceremony, which were associated with each of the Signs and Tokens. This is where participants had to promise with various blood oaths directed at different parts of their body, to never reveal each of the Temple Tokens or their lives would be taken. Mitt Romney and his wife, long serving members, would also have taken an active part in participating in these Temple Blood Oaths prior to that time.

    All of the above is just part of the strict Mormon Temple doctrine that all Temple Endowed Mormons, including Mitt Romney, must adhere to and actively obey, every single day of their mortal lives.

    Mormon doctrine also includes numerous passages of currently read Mormon scriptures, which state clearly, yet unashamedly, that a black person’s skin is a direct curse from God for previous sins. Past Mormon Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, along with similar racist statements from other Mormon leaders, implied that if a black member stays faithful and obedient to the Mormon Church, their skin would eventually become “white and delightsome“. Up until 1978, all black members were not allowed to hold the Mormon Priesthood, and consequently, were refused entry into the Mormon Temples. Which meant, according to Mormon doctrine, they would also be barred from entering Heaven, as the Celestial Room in Mormon Temples represent God’s Heavenly Kingdom.

    For the very first time, amazing undercover video footage has captured in full, an actual highly secretive Mormon Temple Ceremony that was performed only recently within a very real Mormon Temple in Utah:-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VrsFEiTpsQ&feature=g-all-u

    Take a long hard look at what Mitt Romney, his wife, and all other obedient Temple Endowed Mormons are intensely focused on, when dressed in their white robes, they kneel with raised hands at Altars, swearing Oaths of strict obedience to their Mormon Church and its hidden and ultimate desire for a Mormon Theocratic Government on earth.

    Disturbingly, in my opinion, even Mormon children as young as 12 years old are ushered into the Temples in large groups, to be used in the Temple Baptismal Rituals for the Dead. The children each take their turn to be baptised for deceased non-mormons, which may amount to as many as 20-30 dead baptisms per child. The children must sit in rows quietly and patiently for anything up to 4 hours before they are summoned to complete their quota of baptisms. Many of the children, especially young females, dislike and feel distinctly uncomfortable about taking part in these Temple baptisms for the dead, but feel they have no choice being compelled to attend by their parents.

    These very revealing and genuine undercover videos taken recently in a Mormon Temple in Utah, expose to an unsuspecting American public for the very first time, the dangerous and worrying reality of the hidden agenda of Mormonism, that unfolds relentlessly on a daily basis behind closed Temple doors.

    The American voting public absolutely deserve to know and indeed, to be made fully aware regarding these Temple rituals and the church’s hidden desire for a Mormon administered theocratic government. Please remember that all temple endowed members swear with an Oath never to divulge, or to tell anyone about these Oaths for fear of God‘s (Elohim‘s) wrath, as the fear of an angry and vengeful Mormon God also plays an important factor in the culture of Mormon Temple worship.

    Complete honesty and transparency is paramount concerning all of Mitt Romney‘s secret Temple rituals, then allow the American voting public to decide for themselves regarding his closely guarded Temple secrets, with all of these deliberately hidden facts made freely available to them. I believe it is vitally important for everyone to take time to view this genuine and revealing video of a full Temple Ceremony and then decide for themselves in a free and open manner. The precious and God given freedoms that we all enjoy in our democratic society that embraces all people alike, could soon be under a very real and serious threat if the hidden side of Mormon temple worship continues to be ignored and to go unchallenged.

    • Steven Tomer

      Wow, there are a lot of inaccuracies here. Truly an ax to grind. The one that really stood out for me was:

      “The children must sit in rows quietly and patiently for anything up to 4 hours before they are summoned to complete their quota of baptisms. Many of the children, especially young females, dislike and feel distinctly uncomfortable about taking part in these Temple baptisms for the dead, but feel they have no choice being compelled to attend by their parents.”

      4 Hours? Where did this come from? I’ve never seen anything like this, and even on a busy day. If I had to wait more than half an hour, I’d come back another time. Parents don’t force their children to attend, although it is encouraged.

      How is a baptism uncomfortable? I don’t understand. Other than a reference of the name for whom you are participating, the baptism is identical to that performed at any of the churches worldwide. These are open to the public, come and see them for yourself. I doubt you can find the ordinance anything but beautiful.

      There is no hidden agenda. The temple ceremonies, out of any kind of context, would seem peculiar. No doubt. If covenanting to live a pure life, to serve others, to be chaste, and to consecrate our blessings to others seems dangerous, I’m not sure what kind of common ground we could find for a conversation. Temples are not open for the public for three reasons. 1) We consider them to be the House of the Lord, a true holy place. 2) Disruptions – those not of our faith who are not participating in the ceremonies would be disruptive to the service. 3) Understanding – without the background knowledge of what and why we do what we do, there is no context, no understanding. What we consider sacred, others mock. Didn’t Jesus proscribe casting pearls before swine? What did he mean?

      Temple worship is not mandatory – it is a sacrifice of time and energy. It is about bettering yourself, as well as helping others who have passed on. There is absolutely nothing dangerous or worrying about it. Try to understand, or if you cannot, leave alone.

      “The whole hidden reason and the intended purpose of all aspects of Mormon Temple Ceremony rituals is to Exalt its members and to Endow and empower them with Elohim’s (God‘s) priesthood power, having authority over the rest of the non-mormon human race, and eventually receiving their Exaltation and becoming Gods in Heaven.”

      This is so misguided as to be laughable. The purpose is to be redeemed through Christ and become like Him, not to gain power and authority over others. We are taught that that is Satan’s plan, not Christ’s. We turn no one away – each has the ability to seek Christ and to join us. In no way does that make us better than anyone else, and we certainly do not seek to elevate ourselves above others. We are taught to love everyone.

    • Ashley Moats

      I agree with Steven. So many inaccuracies, but there was one that Steven didn’t touch on that I’d like to. For example, you said, “Temple Endowed Mormons will receive their Exaltation and become Gods and Goddesses in Heaven in Celestial families, with the rest of the non-mormon human family remaining single and resigned to being their ministering servants.”
      This could not be further from the truth. LDS members believe that when we pass we are all judged according to our actions in front of Christ and he will decide our eternal lives based on our actions, not our faith. There is no where in our religion where we state that Temple Endowed members will receive a higher glory than a non-LDS associated Christian and they will absolutely not be our servants. Let me repeat that, we do not believe that anyone will be our servants in the after life.

      • Lily E.

        Oh, you don’t even know enough about your own religion. That’s… sweet.

        “Do the women, when they pray, remember their husbands?… Do you uphold your husband before God as your lord? ‘What!–my husband to be my lord?’ I ask, Can you get into the celestial kingdom without him? Have any of you been there? You will remember that you never got into the celestial kingdom [during the temple ceremony] without the aid of your husband. If you did, it was because your husband was away, and some one had to act proxy for him. No woman will get into the celestial kingdom, except her husband receives her, if she is worthy to have a husband; and if not, somebody will receive her as a servant.” (LDS Apostle Erastus Snow preached the following on Sunday, Oct. 4, 1857, Journal of Discourses, vol.5, p.291)

        You can say that it’s outdated doctrine- but then why are children pushed to graduate, go on a mission and get married? Thomas Monson said, not very long ago, that the young adults needed to stop putting off marriage and children. Indeed, I was taught all about the 3 levels of glory, and the 3 levels IN the highest level of glory. In order to reach the 3rd level of the celestial kingdom, you MUST be married and have children. This was doctrine I was personally taught in the Mormon church up until 2009, when I stopped attending. You cannot inherit your own planet and populate it if you’re not married!

    • LMA

      The racial stuff in that post is all false too.

  • Eric Larson

    And yet, anyone who wants can go to the Library of Congress and get them, as they are copyrighted, published works, even if closely held. There’s nothing but personal agenda here, and nothing secret; only pearls cast in the mud.

  • Martha Golden

    “I could not have either one as my Bible teacher or pastor.”

    That may be true, but Mitt Romney had pledged to give all to his church. I’m not saying this will happen, but what if Thomas Monson told him to go to war with Iran. Mitt would be obligated to do it. He wouldn’t just come out and try to do it, they would manipulate the world until it was done. That is what cults do and what the Mormon church does, and Mitt Romney has pledged his allegiance to that.

    There is no fear of outside pressure like that for Obama. Obama is his own man. Mitt Romney is property of the Mormon church. That is why he lies so much, they are taught to lie to get people to join their church.

    I think this video is showing this danger to the world. So that people will be aware that they are not voting in Mitt Romney, they are voting in the Mormon church along with all the weird rituals. One nation (world) under Thomas Monson.

    • http://byzantium.wordpress.com Kullervo

      This actually undermines the otherwise legitimate point you are trying to make because it is exaggerated to absurdity.

    • LMA

      Bigots said the exact same thing about John F. Kennedy. You really need to grow up.

    • Pragmatic Conservative

      Please provide any evidence that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ever influenced, or attempted to influence Mr. Romney’s policies when he was governor of Massachusetts. Or his father’s policies when he was governor of Michigan. Or Harry Reid’s policies as the U.S. Senate Majority Leader. Shall I go on? There is no basis in fact for any of these claims that Romney will be unduly influenced by his church leadership. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a long standing policy of abstaining from political arguments (just as they have with the presidential race), unless such issues drift into the realm of morality or could result in direct negative consequences to the Church (as in the Proposition 8 issue). Those, on both political extremes, who make accusations of undue influence are either intentionally lying, or simply too bigoted (against Mormons in particular, or religion in general) to want to see the truth.

      • Diane

        Pragmatic
        You asked,”Please provide any evidence that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ever influenced, or attempted to influence Mr. Romney’s policies when he was governor of Massachusetts.’

        Well, since you asked, In the 1963 Civil Rights legislation, the Church thru a Ga by the name of George Stapley attempted to get mitt’s father to vote against civil rights. He used church letterhead, and in Brother(I use the term loosely) Stapley’ began his letter by saying,”There are a few us here who are worried about how you are thinking about the up coming Civil rights Bill

        In his own words Stapley tried to tell George that terrible things would happen to him if he voted favorably, the wording in his letter was quite vitriolic, but, it also stated that the church wanted to keep African Americans in their place and not help them. He suggested that we(white people) should send them back to Africa.

        Now to answer your question Has the Leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints put out press releases stating that members are free to choose whatever political party they wish to support. Absolutely, but, don’t be naive or condescending to assert that the Church doesn’t try to assert its influence into secular society it does, I’ve had several friends tell me that they were called in their Bishops office and asked to contribute money for Prop 8.

        Indeed, in my own Branch, I’ve sat thru many a sacrament meeting and listened to my home teacher give talk, after talk saying how if we didn’t vote for Romney, or Republican we were not faithful, It was done in front of leadership (in the presence of a SP) and no one got up to refute what was being said.
        I know your going to say this is garbage, this what I expect from “defenders of the faith,” you much rather see people like New name or myself as crazy people, But, you know what for a church which drills telling the truth above all else, they (leadership ) sure as heck do a lot of lying and covering up , had I known half the crap(not just polygamy) I would have never joined. I don’t feel as if I was gob sucked, I was just plain out and out lied to about everything

    • Moe

      “Obama is his own man.”

      Valerie Jarrett called. She wants a word with you. Said it was important.

    • c matt

      but what if Thomas Monson told him to go to war with Iran. Mitt would be obligated to do it. He wouldn’t just come out and try to do it, they would manipulate the world until it was done. That is what cults do and what the Mormon church does, and Mitt Romney has pledged his allegiance to that.

      How is that any different from any political party or special interest group? Just try and see what the teacher’s union would do to you if you tried to tie teacher’s pay to academic performance. If “manipulation” is your standard for determining cult status, then there are all sorts of cults throughout our government.

    • leslie

      Thomas S. Monson is not going to tell Mitt Romney what to do. Mitt Romney is not the property of the LDS church. Just listen to yourself. You are being ridiculous.

  • James Coats

    Tim,

    As a Christian, why do you have a problem if something satanic is mocked?

    James

    • http://byzantium.wordpress.com Kullervo

      Because as a human being, we should have a problem if things other human beings hold sacred are mocked. It’s not a sin against Satan, it’s a sin against your fellow children of God. You can criticize Mormonism and hold the church accountable for its false beliefs without mocking and belittling.

      • Agent99SP

        Not all human beings are children of God. They are His creation made in His Image but He does not claim every one as His child. Only those united to Christ are His children by adoption.
        Romans 8:14-16
        New King James Version (NKJV)
        14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
        Ephesians 1:4-6
        New King James Version (NKJV)
        4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

        • http://byzantium.wordpress.com Kullervo

          Who is your neighbor?

        • David Naas

          “Not all human beings are children of God.”
          Thank you, John Calvin… your post reminds me that the Devil can quote Scripture for his own purposes.

          • Agent99SP

            What do you think those scriptures mean? And what scripture will you quote to assert that all human beings are “children of God.” I assure you that I am Christ’s and not the devil’s. You just don’t like what God’s word says about as is so consistently the case with unbelivers.

        • LMA

          We are all children of God. Ps. 82:6 (“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High”); Matt. 5:48 (“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”); Matt. 6:9 (“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name”); Acts 17: 28-29 (“For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art …”); Hebrews 12:9 (“Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?”).

          • Agent99SP

            All of these statements were directed not to humanity at large but to God’s covenant people. Context is everything.

          • LMA

            Agent99SP, you CLAIM that none of those statements were directed to humanity at large, but there is actually no context which supports your statements. I mean, yes, the passage in Psalms is spoken to the Hebrews, but there is nothing that limits the statement to “[o]nly those united to Christ” as you have asserted. The statements in Matthew were addressed to a general audience. The quoted statement from Acts 17 is compelling; it refers to our creation (“For in Him we live, and move, and have our being”) by way of reaffirming what poets have said (referring back to the passage from Psalms, perhaps) that “we are also His offspring.” See, I believe in the literal truth of the Bible, it’s too bad you don’t. The passage from Hebrews is even stronger by analogizing God to our natural fathers as “the Father of spirits.” You really can’t read that as metaphor or as limited to some spirits but not others. See, I believe in the literal truth of the Bible, it’s too bad you don’t.

    • Robb

      I think it is a good thing to get these videos out, and while they may be offensive to Mormons, I do not think they are offensive to believers in general.

      The difference I feel is that Christianity has nothing to hide—there are no secret doctrines that are harmful and you don’t discover until you have been in the church for years or decades. I think it is great that we live in this age where “you can’t stop the signal” and all hidden information will come out in the end because Christianity has nothing to hide.

      On the other hand, I truly think Mormonism is very harmful because the whole thing is built on this bait and switch and I would much prefer these secret beliefs be outed so that anyone who is truly interested in their religion has a fair opportunity to see what they truly believe before they get into it.

      The Mormons can claim to be disrespected by this, but I think in actuality they are just ashamed of their beliefs about becoming gods and plural marriages and spirit babies, etc. They need to be honest and openly embrace what they actually believe just like Christianity and not try to hide what they believe like Scientology does with all the Lord Xenu stuff.

      • LMA

        Robb, you feel that Christianity has nothing to hide. Huh. Tell that to first century Christians who were hunted and killed for their beliefs. Tell that to Christians in the old Soviet Union, whose faith was mocked and suppressed. Tell that, today, to Christians in some Islamic countries, to whom anything but worship in secret risks their lives.

        But you think, well, sure but what does that have to do with today? The answer is that today, there are people like you who are only too happy to mock and smear and point fingers. “I think in actuality they are just ashamed of their beliefs about becoming gods and plural marriages and spirit babies, etc.” So, what if people aren’t “ashamed” but prefer not to lay precious, sacred matters out there for drooling mental defectives to poke fun.

        I don’t know where you attend church, but imagine that someone smuggled a camera into a meeting of your church’s deacon board or equivalent in which a pastor’s sexual misconduct was being discussed, and then published the video on the Internet. Might we say, well, serves you right, because the rest of us have nothing to hide? Imagine someone secretly videoed a pre-marital counseling session in which the pastor spoke frankly about sexual issues in marriage, and did so in a very self-conscious way that might lend itself to childish humor. Might we say, well, serves you right, because the rest of us have nothing to hide? What if someone secretly taped a communion service, making sure to get closeups of some of the communicants and then mocked them with captions speculating on whether they were partaking unworthily. Might we say, well, serves you right, because the rest of us have nothing to hide?

        Just so you’re clear, there are NO secret doctrines. You’re just wrong about that. There are sacred ordinances (rites) that represent covenants made with God. It is a sense of sacredness, not secrecy, that leads us to want to avoid public display. Matt. 6:6. That an a sense that this is a minority religion and the world is full of absolute jerks like you.

        • Robb

          I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and anyone else who holds different spiritual beliefs than I do. I would never mock someone who sincerely believes what the Mormon church teaches. What I am concerned about is the secrecy with which these certain doctrines and rituals are held from prospective converts and children.
          Your church requires a huge investment before these things are revealed, and many young adults and converts are completely surprised when first learning of these beliefs.
          Note the thought-process of this young Mormon teenager who posted the video on Facebook: http://i.imgur.com/JGqLq.jpg
          The cat is out of the bag. These rites are now publicly available for anyone to see because of the internet. Today’s Mormon youth are now a Google search away from seeing all there is to see in the Mormon church. To try to put the cat back in the bag and pretend that there are not irreconcilable doctrinal differences between Mormonism and the rest of mainstream Christianity is to further alienate you from potential converts and your children.
          I think the only way the LDS church can survive the age of the internet is to openly accept the great differences in doctrine and practice from the rest of Christianity. While you say there are no secret doctrines, the public is shocked to find out what you actually believe because of the LDS church’s tendency to deny or use wiggle-words to continue to misinform the public about how different Mormonism actually is.
          To address your point about the videotaping, there is no ritual within mainstream Christianity that you could film that would shock the public the way this video does for your church. All mainstream Christian rites are openly acknowledged and able to be observed by the public. You speak of countries without freedom of religion—yes, religious minorities gather in secret there, but their practices and beliefs are not shocking because they are still normative rites that the rest of the mainstream Christian world also does. There is no government-sponsored persecution in the United States—why does the Mormon church not openly practice there then?
          Also, your analogy to a counseling session is strange. What you say about filming private meetings applies to every religion and even secular organizations. Again, there is no ritual or ceremony within mainstream Christianity that can shock the way this video does in bringing to light the normative practices of the LDS church.
          Again, nothing but respect for any believer of any religion—just be honest about your beliefs and practices to people considering involvement in your church.

          • LMA

            Sir, the public is only shocked when what we believe is maliciously distorted. The Church denies no facts. What you call “wiggle words” may simply be efforts to explain our beliefs in terms that fit more comfortably next to cultural predispositions. I notice that when antagonists like yourself want to speak of “how different Mormonism actually is,” they will go out of their way not to mention the many ways in which our beliefs or practices are the same, similar or equivalent to those that are more common, and hence more commonly accepted, in Western society. If you can’t understand the difference between secret and sacred, then I can’t help you.

            You say, “To address your point about the videotaping, there is no ritual within mainstream Christianity that you could film that would shock the public the way this video does for your church.” Well, yes, of course. That’s the point. I take it you agree with me that it would be ethically objectionable to film without permission people engaged in a Communion service for purposes of mocking them on YouTube. But, you say, well, it wouldn’t “shock” people that the Communion service was held. That is because, don’t you see, the shock value is in the oddity, the weirdness, the inconsistency with culturally based expectations and stereotypes. “They’re different! They’re odd. They’re the Other.”

            It takes a very spiritual and loving person to look past culturally predetermined expectations and see what is fundamental. Clearly you aren’t that person. The people in the Temple ceremony are dedicating their lives to God and to obedience to Him. WHAT EXACTLY IS YOUR OBJECTION TO THAT, BIGOT? What is your problem with giving yourself over to Christ, and putting Him in charge of your life? What is your problem with being a “covenant people,” meaning a group of God’s children who seek to enter into covenants with Him? Jer. 31:31-34; Eph. 2:12-13; Heb. 12:24.

            But you say that we try to “pretend that there are not irreconcilable doctrinal differences between Mormonism and the rest of mainstream Christianity.” So, that’s false. What we do is emphasize the similarities and commonalities that we share with “the rest of maintstream Christianity,” even as we of course acknowledge – and celebrate! – significant differences. Difference such as a greater fidelity to the teachings of the Bible, willingness to find and follow the Lord’s will for this dispensation of time, a greater fidelity to the Lord’s calls to diligence, spirituality, sacrifice and aid to the poor and weary.

            And we celebrate temples and temple ordinances. Absolutely we do. I’m not embarrassed by them in the slightest, only concerned about mocking judgments of the ignorant and derisive such as yourself. Sir, through sealing ordinances in the temple, I know that my wife and my children and their children are sealed to us for time and all eternity. You will want to mock and argue, but to me that is an incredible blessing and comfort. I cherish that promise. I know it not available to me through your “mainstream” Christianity, but only though the priesthood of the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews ch. 7) and the keys left with the apostles (Matt. 16:19; Matt. 18:18). I agree that you know nothing of these things, but … they’re in the Bible, so you should. Don’t you think?

          • Robb

            I agree that the Mormon church denies no facts, but the face it chooses to show to the outside world is not an accurate representation of its true beliefs. Where on mormon.org can I learn about exaltation? Where on mormon.org can I learn that Elohim was once a man or learn about the relationship between Elohim, Jehovah, and the Holy Ghost? The way the church presents itself is deliberately intended to be as close to mainstream Christianity as possible, such that a congregant does not learn about these differences until they are already socially/financially intertwined with the church. This is not healthy—it is properly called a bait and switch.

            Your analogy about filming a mainstream Christian ceremony again falls short. Filming a Communion service is boring, not because it is so commonplace, but because it is open and it always has been open to outside observation. The Mormon temple ceremonies are not shocking because they are unfamiliar but because they stand in stark contrast to the way the Mormon church represents itself in public.

            I’m sorry that you have resorted to calling me names. I do not mock or look down on anyone who has different spiritual beliefs, including Mormons. I have no objection to people practicing their religion in whatever way seems best to them. I do not look down on you or think the ceremonies you participate in are silly and nor do I think that you should have any reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed, now that everything has been made public.

            My only concern and desire is that the Mormon church honestly represent itself to the public, which it currently does not, seeing that all of these out-of-mainstream doctrines which no Mormon here denies, are not clearly taught to prospective converts. The video is generating controversy because it stands in contrast to how the Church represents itself to the outside culture and people do not like to feel they have been tricked. In my opinion, the healthiest thing the Church can do right now is lay everything on the table “this is what we believe… this is what we do in the Temple” so everyone can move on and choose to believe or not.

          • LMA

            So, again, you don’t get the distinction between sacred and secret. *shrug* I called you a bigot because you made assertions that were bigoted. You deny you were taking advantage of unfamiliarity to mock another religion, but that’s what you were doing. If you repent of that now, then well and good.

      • LMA

        Robb, you feel that Christianity has nothing to hide. Huh. Tell that to first century Christians who were hunted and killed for their beliefs. Tell that to Christians in the old Soviet Union, whose faith was mocked and suppressed. Tell that, today, to Christians in some Islamic countries, to whom anything but worship in secret risks their lives.

        But you think, well, sure but what does that have to do with today? The answer is that today, there are people like you who are only too happy to mock and smear and point fingers. “I think in actuality they are just ashamed of their beliefs about becoming gods and plural marriages and spirit babies, etc.” So, what if people aren’t “ashamed” but prefer not to lay precious, sacred matters out there for drooling mental defectives to poke fun.

        I don’t know where you attend church, but imagine that someone smuggled a camera into a meeting of your church’s deacon board or equivalent in which a pastor’s sexual misconduct was being discussed, and then published the video on the Internet. Might we say, well, serves you right, because the rest of us have nothing to hide? Imagine someone secretly videoed a pre-marital counseling session in which the pastor spoke frankly about sexual issues in marriage, and did so in a very self-conscious way that might lend itself to childish humor. Might we say, well, serves you right, because the rest of us have nothing to hide? What if someone secretly taped a communion service, making sure to get closeups of some of the communicants and then mocked them with captions speculating on whether they were partaking unworthily. Might we say, well, serves you right, because the rest of us have nothing to hide?

        Just so you’re clear, there are NO secret doctrines. You’re just wrong about that. There are sacred ordinances (rites) that represent covenants made with God. It is a sense of sacredness, not secrecy, that leads us to want to avoid public display. Matt. 6:6. That and a sense that this is a minority religion and the world is full of absolute jerks like you.

    • Pragmatic Conservative

      Just so that I understand, James, your view is that Satan wants us to abstain from sexual immorality and mind-altering substances that increase the likelihood of behaving immorally, not take the name of God in vain, donate our time and resources toward helping the less fortunate, be hardworking and industrious, respectful of our fellow man, acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Savior and the Son of God, and in all other ways keep all the Commandments? These are all teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If this is what Satan wants us to do, just what do you believe God wants?

      • Agent99SP

        Mormonism is a works-based occultic religion that illegitimately uses the name of Jesus Christ. The LDS religion teaches a false Christ. Nothing of how they define and describe Mormon Jesus comes close to an accurate resemblance of the true Jesus Christ who is revealed in the Bible and by the Holy Spirit. Mormonism appropriates much of the terminology of Christianity, Judaism and the Bible but gives them completely different meanings.

        Just ask me about who Mormon Jesus is compared to the true Jesus Christ or ask me about the old covenant temple system compared to the Masonic/occultic practices in the Mormon temple. I’d be glad to explain the difference between Biblical Levitical and Melchizedek priesthoods and the ones practiced in Mormonism.

        Its just unbelievable that Mormon’s aspire to become “gods.” Don’t you realize that wanting to become a god is the heart of the sin nature?!!! It’s the temptation held out by Satan before Adam and Eve…one which Satan himself aspires to. It is the greatest idolotry and offense before the One, True God of all Eternity.

        “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
        ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6

        This religion seeks to distort Christianity and direct people away from the true Christ with a false one…which is of the spirit of anti-Christ. So yes, you as a Mormon, are under the power of Satan.

        You need not remain that way, however. Read your Bible…its inerrant, and not just “insofar as its translated correctly.” You will see that it does not support the teaching of Joseph Smith or the Mormon hierarchy. You will see that you, because of your sins, are alienated from the one True Eternal and Holy God who created all things. You will find that the wages of sin are death, not just physical death, but eternal conscious punishment. You will also find that the Righteous One, the True Israelite, Jesus Christ, God the Son of the Trinity became a man, lived a perfect, sinless life, and died a substitutionary atoning death for sinners on a cross. You will see that He rose again on the third day and that he conquered sin and death. You will find out that anyone who confesses to God that they are a sinner and receives Jesus Christ by faith as his or her Savior WILL receive the forgiveness of their sins as He paid the sin debt to God the Just Judge. Further, you will discover that not only are ALL your sins forgiven, but God, has declared you righteous – in an instant – because he has credited Christ’s righteousness to the repentant sinner’s account. In this, you will become free, forgiven and live forever with Him as His child IF you turn away from those worthless things and seek Him, the true Christ, while you can.

        This is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The true gospel is NOT the enslavement and bondage of the Mormon religion. You won’t get your own planet, but then you won’t want one.

        “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28, 29

        • LMA

          You write, “Its just unbelievable that Mormon’s aspire to become ‘gods.’” No, it means accepting the truth of Romans 8, which teaches that we may be joint heirs of the Father with Christ. I do not know why you wish to limit God’s power, but I believe that it is unlimited. You think that He intended His children to have limits placed upon their potential, but you have no scriptural basis for saying that … and it would be an odd thing for a omnipotent Father to do. Why would He impose such limits on potential? 1 Cor. 2:9 says, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” And yet, somehow YOU purport to know what God HASN’T prepared. I wonder why? The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church declares, “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.” Now, I suspect you’re not Catholic, but if you want to make nasty statements about Mormons on this issue, you can darn will include our Catholic friends too. C.S. Lewis (heard of him?) wrote, It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship.” I guess he was all wet, too, huh? He also wrote, “The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were ‘gods’ and He is going to make good His words. ” Boy, what a heathen sinner that C.S. Lewis was, huh?

          FYI, Mormons believe in salvation by grace through the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God. Mormons don’t expect “their own planet,” that’s just stuff you cultists come up with to try to fool people.

        • Donald Gene Taylor

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWdd6_ZxX8c
          Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.
          Agent 66, you are a Trinitarian, arriving on the scene more 325 years after the fact. I’m not going to denigrate your beliefs, although its not difficult. You act like Mormons are late-comers to the doctrine of Christ; my friend, we are 1st Century Christians, and find may similarities with pre-rabbinic Judaism. You don’t want to go toe-to-toe with Mormon scholars who are well versed in doctrine; because your positions and understanding of the scriptures are all Trinitarian; which is fine, but you’re drinking the sacred water way down at the end of the river. Honestly, we don’t spend a lot time wrestling doctrine with one such as you — what’s the point — you know everything, and you are CERTAIN of your positions. And yet, I expect you know very little of the teachings of the 1st century or of the practices (rituals) from that era. Are you aware of the huge libraries that have been found since 1948? Actual texts from the 1st century. The Dead Sea Scrolls? The Nag Hammadi library? You are probably not into this stuff. But we are, because when we read what 1st century Christinas actually believed (not 4th century Christinas) — and there you find Mormonism. So don’t get so high and mighty in your authoritative statements about the real Jesus. Eventually everything will come to light. You won’t find that Mormons are ashamed of our doctrine. We can defend everything, even now, based on normative scriptures; and the 1st century texts help a lot, by showing that 4th century Christians have a lot of history to review before summarily excommunicating members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We know who we are; and we know the real Jesus.

  • NMH

    Just checked out a few of the videos and I’m not they’re much of a surprise, nor do I think they’ll impact the elections to any significant degree. The problem is he’s clearly got an axe to grind, and his tone is generally mean-spirited and snarky. He slides a few ugly comments in about various other groups along the way, which is pretty telling.

    His entire approach makes me wonder what he’d have to say about Catholic sacraments. Nothing good, I imagine. I’m sure he thinks Catholics are as nutty as Mormons and would have no problem desecrating the Host just for a few hits on youtube.

    There’s a serious way to expose what one believes are dangerous beliefs and practices, but this ain’t it. Pretending to take oaths and make vows in place regarded as sacred by adherents to a particular faith just so you can present a snarky, smirky “reveal” on your youtube channel is ethically questionable. It’s also just plain juvenile. His responses to the comments on youtube are also pretty idiotic. Until he approaches his subject respectfully, does some serious and balanced research, and presents it in a more scholarly manner, he’s just another guy with a chip on his shoulder, too much time on his hands, and an internet connection.

    • LMA

      It’s worse than just ethically questionable. It is intended to hurt. It is intended to smear. It is intended to profane.

  • http://byzantium.wordpress.com Kullervo

    I don’t think that there is a good reason to publicize videos of Mormons’ most sacred ceremonies. That is the product of a salacious and voyeuristic internet-driven pop culture where no boundaries are respected, and I think that’s sad.

    That said–I think that the oaths that Mitt Romney has sworn are crucially relevant. When Kennedy ran for president, he was pushed to answer the “Catholic question,” and he did, unambiguously. Kennedy made it clear that, should he be elected, his loyalty would be to the American people and not to Rome.

    Kennedy was under presumptive suspicion of divided loyalty merely on the basis of being Catholic. Romney, on the other hand, has sworn binding, sacred and eternal oaths to dedicate his entire life to the service of the Mormon church. Why are we not asking him the “Mormon question?”

    Mitt Romney believes that Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet of God with special access to direct revelation for the entire world. And we are talking about electing him to be the leader of the free world, arguably the most powerful political leader in the world. Why are we not asking him to be clear and unambiguous about where his loyalties will lie if he is elected? Why is this apparently not important?

    I’m not saying that Romney is disqualified from the presidency because of his Mormonism. I am saying that, before any American is willing to vote for him, Romney should be made to give a straight answer about his loyalty, because he has religious beliefs and has made sacred oaths that certainly make it look like his loyalty could be compromised.

    • Reese

      Is this a real question?

      Tell me this: Why can’t we use 65 years of his life in the public and private sector to judge whether he is beholden to Mormon interests at the expense of the people or institutions he was supposed to be serving. Do you have any evidence that during his time at Bain, when he ran for Senate, when he worked for the Olympics, when he was governor of MA, or when he was running for President for the better part of the last decade that he subverted his loyalty to those causes in favor of the Mormon church? Because surely there would be something, right?

      I mean, this is a gaffe-laden, mistake prone man who can’t even get through a fundraiser without stating that he doesn’t need to concern himself with 47% of voters. But you’re postulating that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, he has been so secretive in his loyalty to his church (even when he took political positions that were out of line with the official LDS position) that there exists no evidence of this latent conspiratorial Mormon loyalty?

      I’m willing to admit that there are Mormons who I would not vote for, and the reasons for not voting for them would have everything to do with how they practiced their faith (which, presumably, stems from their core beliefs about their faith). But I’m not willing to entertain the notion that any person in Mitt Romney’s position is that kind of Mormon. Do you seriously think he has some sort of hidden loyalty to the church that would undermine his loyalty to the office to which he might be elected? The strongest loyalty Mitt has is not to carrying out the bidding of the LDS church; his strongest loyalty is to his own political fortunes.

      • http://byzantium.wordpress.com Kullervo

        I don’t think his loyalty to the Mormon church is hidden or latent at all. He is a believing, temple-endowed Mormon who has sworn sacred and eternal oaths and made covenants to consecrate all of his time, talents and posessions to building up the Mormon Church.

        And his prior record doesn;t tell us everything, because during his career up until now he hasn’t been the most powerful political leader in the world.

        If you are absolutely confident that Thomas S. Monson will never pick up the phone to call President Romney, or that if he does, that President Romney will never take Monson’s call, or if he does, that Monson–who Romney ostensibly believes is the living prophet of God–will never exert any influence over Romney, then by all means, feel free to dismiss my question out of hand.

        But I think such confidence would be extremely foolhardy. The Church has definitely shown its willingness to exert all the pressure it can bring to bear in political matters when it wants to. You may have agreed with California’s Proposition 8, but I have no confidence that a Church leadership that was willing to go to those lengths would simply refrain from calling up a faithful, believing Mormon President.

        Simply put, too much is at stake. People need to understand the ramifications of Romney’s faith, and Romney needs to go on the record clearly and unambiguously. I am not necessarily saying that Monson would try to influence President Romney. But he could. And Monson’s relationship to Mormon believers is not the same as the relationship between most ecclesiastical leaders and their flock.

        The American people made Kennedy answer the question. In my mind, Mormonism is much riskier than Catholicism in this regard. So why are we giving Romney a pass?

        • Matt

          Well, a few things:

          First Romney has gone on the record. I recommend that you go back and reread his speech about religion from 2007. He has unequivocally said that he does not believe the authority of the church extends to temporal government and that if there was ever a conflict between his allegiance to his church and his oath of office, he would resign.

          Second, you have mischaracterized the oath Mr. Romney has made. It is not to the Mormon church, it is to build the Kingdom of God on the earth. It is true that, for Mormons, the Mormon church is a large and important part of that Kingdom, but they are not one and the same. For example, in my opinion, the Kingdom certainly also encompasses all people everywhere who striving to do His work.

          Finally, the Mormon church has long had a position of politically neutrality as to parties and individual politicians and the separation of church authority and governmental authority is enshrined in its theology. It has only ever gotten involve in politics to encourage and mobilize its members to support traditional Christian values or to oppose what it views as contrary values (e.g. gay marriage, gambling, prostitution, pornography). The leaders of the Mormon church would never have to call Mr. Romney about such things because they are values he already holds.

        • Sheldon

          As Mormons, “we believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” (see the LDS church’s twelfth Article of Faith). And while I can appreciate the concern that President Monson would approach President Romney to say “God says you need to do x, y, and z.”, it’s just not the pattern of how it works. Government is a necessary (if not unavoidable) component of this life. I don’t doubt that God weeps when He sees the despotic governments of the world oppressing His children. But He, in His infinite wisdom, allows us to exercise agency and choice in this life. The church does not dictate to Harry Reid, Jason Chaffetz, Mitt Romney, nor any other political officer, (member or non-member) the things they need to do in their respective positions. They are left alone to act within the dictates of their own conscience. The church takes a hands-off approach. That’s not to say they don’t raise their voice of concern over certain moral issues, but even then it is in a general way, not in a way that requires anyone in office to act in one way or another. I think the fact that there are and have been members of the church in various positions that span the political spectrum is proof of that. When has the church ever told Harry Reid what he must do, or Governor Romney, etc., etc. It is that way now, and it will ever be so if Romney is elected President. I have no doubt that Romney is a prayerful man who will seek divine guidance, but I don’t believe God would ever inspire him to do anything that would be harmful to His children, especially if doing so would endanger their agency in this life.

  • Robb

    I think it is a good thing to get these videos out, and while they may be offensive to Mormons, I do not think they are offensive to believers in general.

    The difference I feel is that Christianity has nothing to hide—there are no secret doctrines that are harmful and you don’t discover until you have been in the church for years or decades. I think it is great that we live in this age where “you can’t stop the signal” and all hidden information will come out in the end because Christianity has nothing to hide.

    On the other hand, I truly think Mormonism is very harmful because the whole thing is built on this bait and switch and I would much prefer these secret beliefs be outed so that anyone who is truly interested in their religion has a fair opportunity to see what they truly believe before they get into it.

    The Mormons can claim to be disrespected by this, but I think in actuality they are just ashamed of their beliefs about becoming gods and plural marriages and spirit babies, etc. They need to be honest and openly embrace what they actually believe just like Christianity and not try to hide what they believe like Scientology does with all the Lord Xenu stuff.

  • Dan

    “what if Thomas Monson told him to go to war with Iran. Mitt would be obligated to do it.”

    Martha, not to sound too critical but, is this your first Presidential election? Anytime a conservative runs for the POTUS the left cries, “Warmonger!” Remember how Reagan was accused of trying to bring about Armageddon? Remember the accusations against Bush I, Bush II? As I live in my bunker, trying to survive the nuclear winter, it seems that attempting to start WWIII or IV is a bit more complicated than just getting marching orders from Thomas Monson. If you remember the decision to go to war with Iraq came about after quite a bit of UN interaction, forming an international coalition, Congressional debate and approval, etc.

    In the end, according to most of the polling and talking heads on the major networks, Romney will not win the presidency and so this is all moot (at least regarding the 2012 election).

  • Matt

    Tim,

    As a Mormon, and as a frequent reader of you blog, let me express my appreciation for your respectful candor with respect to Mormon issues. Christianity (and Mormonism) has come a long way from the dark days of its sectarian past, and we have a fair bit to go yet. But I truly believe we are making progress in communicating in Christian ways with each other and I thank you for being part of that movement.

    There will be many of my coreligionists who will choose to take offense at the actions of newnamenoah. That is natural for people whose religious beliefs are mocked, I guess. But all of this has been known for a long time to anyone who wanted to know, and it was inevitable in this information age that such a video would eventually find its way into the public sphere. Personally, I welcome it. If nothing else, it disproves the more outlandish speculations about what is going on in Mormon temples.

    That said, the fact that this man insists on keeping his own identity secret tells me all I need to know about his claims to being a champion of truth. In my view, he misrepresents Mormon beliefs in his editorial comments in the video–sometimes he is simply wrong, but more often he just doesn’t bother to tell the whole truth–if he ever knew it. I would urge people who feel the need to view the video to ignore his comments and judge for themselves what these symbolic rituals are about. For me, they are a reminder of my commitment to “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1) And if Mitt Romney has committed to use his time, talents and means to further the Kingdom of God, how is that different than any other Christian?

  • Philip Wilson

    I find it interesting that there has been no mention of the White Horse prophesy.

    • Nayajja

      Why is that interesting? The church leaders disavowed that counterfeit in 1918.

      • Agent99SP

        Really???…then what’s this all about:

        http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/whitehorseprophecy.htm

        • Deputy

          WHO CARES! Look the idea that the entire constitution will “hang by a thread” and the LDS church will step in to save the constitution, is some how bad?

          As a member of the LDS church I would appreciate it if say, the Catholic church, or Evangelicals, or “GASP” the Atheists would step in to save the constitution. All people in this country deserve to have it and if the LDS church feels so strongly in it to step in to save it, even if they have to do it alone, is a positive thing in my mind.

  • Andrew

    Maybe the public need to be made aware of the culture of fear and suspicion that permeates throughout the membership of the Mormon Church. If a member decides after much prayerful thought and deliberation, that the church is indeed not the Lord’s only true church on earth as it arrogantly claims to be, and decides to leave and then, in a free and open society gives the reasons why he or she came to this decision and then feels so concerned that he feels he needs to warn the wider public about the hidden dangers and implications of a Mormon ever becoming President, then I consider that a courageous thing to do. Why? Because the Mormon church through its priesthood quorums will proceed to put pressure and make biased judgments in the vicious church courts about that individual. Even the person’s own family members will begin to shun them or even leave them. God and the Mormon church always comes first with obedient members even before your own loved ones. These victims will also be labelled with a word that strikes psychological fear in all Mormons, “Apostate”, which is akin to being compared to a leper in Mormon culture. This or other equally distasteful reasons could be the reason why the man is very reluctant to reveal his identity. The Mormon Church and certain members of its priesthood brethren can become aggressively arrogant and threatening with anyone who dares to speak out about the hidden agendas that exists within the church, especially at Temple level.
    Please be a little more sympathetic to the many members who have gone through hell and undergone open suspicion and discrimination for only wanting to release themselves from the psychological and mental onslaught they have endured, during what may have been a lengthy indoctrination in the Mormon church.

    • Matt

      Andrew, you are, of course entitled to your own opinion, and you may have had personal experiences that have led you to believe your assertions to be true. All I can say is that it does not match my experience. I have never seen or heard of a church court being convened involving someone who simply decides he or she does not want to be a member any more. What would be the point?

      Nor have I ever seen a family shun a family member who decides he or she doesn’t wish to be a member of the Mormon Church. I have heard of this happening on occasion, but if it has it goes directly against what the church teaches. Far more often, I have seen some who leave the church distance themselves from their family. This was the case with one of my own sisters who has since realized that we don’t have to agree about everything to love and support one another. Anyway, in my experience, such disagreements and there consequences don’t seem to me to play out materially differently than a whole host of other disagreements family members have about emotionally charged issues.

      Finally, the most pressure I have ever seen exerted against an individual that has chosen to leave the church by priesthood quorums is the occasional visit by a member of the church, usually bearing baked goods, and inquiring how the person is doing. Perhaps every once in while someone will even dare to ask if the individual is interested in coming back to church. I can see how this might be irritating, but it certainly doesn’t seem to me to qualify as the type of psychological warfare your post makes it out to be. After all, I get irritating uninvited visitors that ring my doorbell all the time, and they almost never leave me with a tasty snack for my trouble.

      Like I said, I don’t know what your personal experiences have been, and you are entitled to your own opinion. But in my experience your post is an unfair one as it relates to the vast majority of Mormons I have ever known.

    • aaron

      Bull****. My brother left the church. Nobody in our family is shunning him.

    • c matt

      These victims will also be labelled with a word that strikes psychological fear in all Mormons, “Apostate”,

      Honestly, if you no longer believe the Mormon Church to be what it claims, then why would you care what they call you? In fact, I would think you would welcome the label “Apostate”. It is like the “post-death” baptisms – if you don’t believe them, then it is just so much silliness.

    • Deputy

      Wow what a load of crap! Here let me enlighten you about my church.

      Establishing Proper Priorities

      How we use our time and keep our lives in balance is fundamental to how we will perform our family duties and our Church service. Discipline yourself to follow the prophet’s counsel on how you prioritize the use of your time.

      Your Eternal Companion

      Begin by discussing with your eternal companion how much time you need together to strengthen your marriage, to demonstrate the love you have for each other. That is your first priority.
      The Church is to help individuals and families come unto Christ and obtain eternal life. Eternal life is God’s greatest gift to His children, and it is obtained only through a family relationship. This relationship must start with the union between husband and wife, which is sacred to the Lord and is something not to be trifled with. The marriage covenant is essential for the Lord’s plan and is the purpose for which He created the heavens and the earth. In all periods of history, He has given His divine law to safeguard and protect the holy union between husband and wife.

      Your Children

      Second, consider the spiritual needs of your children. How much time is necessary to be certain you are being close to them? It is your responsibility as fathers and mothers to provide adequate time to teach them, for the most important instruction children will ever receive should come from their parents. We need to be familiar with what the Church is teaching our children so that we can be in harmony with that teaching in our instructions to each child. For example, the pamphlet For the Strength of Youth, quoting the proclamation on the family, gives young people this counsel about families:

      “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”4

      The pamphlet continues:

      “Being part of a family is a great blessing. Your family can provide you with companionship and happiness, help you learn correct principles in a loving atmosphere, and help you prepare for eternal life. Not all families are the same, but each is important in Heavenly Father’s plan.
      “Do your part to build a happy home. Be cheerful, helpful, and considerate of others. Many problems in the home are created because family members speak and act selfishly or unkindly. Concern yourself with the needs of other family members. Seek to be a peacemaker rather than to tease, fight, and quarrel. Remember that the family is the most sacred unit of the Church.”5

      Providing for Your Family

      Our third priority is to provide for our family units. Again from the proclamation on the family:
      “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.”6
      We need to maintain good skills to be gainfully employed. In a changing world, we must keep up-to-date, or our skills will become obsolete. Even though we are busy in Church assignments, we should not pass up opportunities to increase our development and improve the welfare of our families. This requires that we invest adequate time and thought to preparing for the future.
      This counsel applies to the sisters as well as the brethren. Although the responsibility to provide for the family belongs primarily to fathers, the proclamation indicates that “disability, death, or other circumstances”7 may also require you sisters to use and develop your skills to provide for your families.

      Church Service

      Fourth in our priority is our commitment to the time we spend in Church activities. Active Latter-day Saint families value their Church time and make choices in their family life to make room for it.
      Leaders need to be especially sensitive to different family situations when they extend calls and create expectations. Families with young children where both parents have demanding calls that take them out of the home are the most likely to feel that Church activities interfere with their family life. Church leaders can help by acknowledging and validating members’ efforts to balance Church service with their family responsibilities.

      If you need to know more try to ask a member of the church, visit the websites of the church and not people and websites dedicated to slanderous information. Mormon.org and lds.org are a good start.

      Because doesn’t it make sense to get information from the source. I don’t go to a Toyota dealer and ask about information regarding Ford or Chevy. Likewise if I want to know about the Catholic doctrine I don’t go ask a Protestant. So don’t go around to learn about the LDS church by asking Pastors and bitter x-members that would love nothing more than to see you view the LDS church as they do.

  • Greg

    Tim, I went through this so called temple ceremony aged 19. It was awful. I was in the Salt Lake Temple having flown in especially from the UK. Everything that you have been told by newnamenoah is correct. I also had to take out blood oaths and watch others do so. It is not Christian and I believe people have a right to know the truth.
    The ritual has been changed and is not so blood curdling now. It was even more graphic in Smiths time.
    We must remember that God conveniently speaks to Mormon prophets when the civil rights of the people is demanded. As in polygamy and the dreadful racism with blacks and the priesthood ban against them which changed in 1978.
    I’m glad this man has revealed this.
    Good luck to him.
    Christ is the way.
    He is the true “church”.

  • themormongod

    Newnamenoah’s real name is Mike Norton. He doesn’t have romney in the temple.

  • Bob Wiley

    As scary as this video might seem, the possible re-election of Mr. Obama is scarier still. If folks want to get frightened by religious crazies, then there is much in the Muslim world that makes any threat from Mormonism like being ambushed by cotton balls.

  • John Dawson

    “newnamenoah” or “noah” or what ever he chooses to go by is actually Mike Norton of South Ogden Utah. He is no longer a member but dupes apathetic members with temple recommends into lending them to him for the purpose of recording these videos. His behavior is both morally reprehensible and illegal. The temple videos are copy-written and he is filming people without their permission. If you see yourself in a video report it to youtube so that the videos cam be taken down.

  • Jake

    I’m a multi-generation Mormon from what we often refer to as “pioneer stock”. I’m an ordained Elder, endowed and married in the temple, and a former temple worker. I’m former believer because the truth claims of Mormonism don’t stand up to simple historical or scientific examination. The problem is that Mitt IS A BELIEVER and as such MITT BELIEVES THAT THERE IS A PROPHET RECEIVING REVELATIONS IN SALT LAKE CITY. It’s strange to imagine that the American public is willing to put their trust in the revelations of the Mormon church in such a manner.

  • Minorkle

    Noah’s motive is to support the Gay Agenda. He needs to be honest about that.

  • deerjerkydave

    I’m a Latter-day Saint who regularly attends the temple. Like ancient temples, LDS temples perform symbolic ordinances wherein visitors make covenants with God to keep His commandments. In return God promises forgiveness and exaltation. We see this played throughout the Bible, particularly in the Abrahamic covenant. I’m not sure why or how this is controversial, but it is sacred to Latter-day Saints.

    The so-called “secrets” of the LDS Temple have been public knowledge for decades, so they’re not exactly secrets. But they are sacred to Latter-day Saints and respect from others is all that we ask. Ironically, the only real secret in all of this is the identity of the person who illegally recorded these videos.

    • Agent99SP

      There wasn’t a temple at the time of Abram/Abraham. God made the covenant with him and Abram believed God.

      “And he (Abram) believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:6

      The tabernacle/temple and the sacrificial system was instituted under the Mosaic covenant.

      Oh…and Abraham is in the presence of the true Jesus Christ now as a redeemed sinner. He’s not an exalted god ruling his own planet.

      • Deputy

        You make it sound like Abraham was just laying down in a field and BAM! “Here is a covenant that I the Lord make with you.” Abraham was a true believer, and he was asked to SACRIFICE as in KILL his son Isaac. If that isn’t a test of Abraham’s conviction I don’t know what is….wait…wasn’t there a story about Mormons being asked to give everything up for God if asked.

        That sounds pretty similar to the test that Abraham had to make. True it wasn’t done in a Temple of the Lord, but wasn’t that ground sacred. Did Abraham build and alter? Did Moses have to climb to the top of a mountain to receive the ten commandments?

        A Temple seems to be the more efficient way of giving a covenant to His children, rather than having them all go out to a mountain top and build a stone altar.

        As for the Temple and the Tabernacle, they are similar but not the same thing. They were each built for the building up of the church (spiritually and temporally). What God asks of His church from the time of Abraham to the time after Christ isn’t all the same either.

        So for you to imply that because the modern day Temples of God are not the same as the Temples or the tabernacle the Jews built, BEFORE CHRIST, proves your ignorance.

  • Brian

    Did anyone who commented here consider the beliefs of the Mormo faith with regard to the Constitution of the United States? Mormons don’t only believe that the Constitution is a divinly inspired document, but also belive that the men who wrote it and entacted it into law where forordained to be born at that time so they could assist in the creation of a nation where religious tolerance could be ensured as well as all other rights under the constitution a unaliebale, God-given rights. The Mormons believe in AND UNDERSTAND the Constitution and its importance maybe more than any other religion on the earth.

  • Brian
  • http://www.fairlds.org mormonfool

    A similar line of attack (that religious commitments made in a Mormon temple some how makes one unfit for office) was leveled in the Congressional hearing prior to seating the first Mormon senator, Reid Smoot in 1907. Luckily people saw past this religious bigotry and many Latter-day Saints have served with distinction in Congress and within the executive branch. Shame on this fellow for dishonestly violating the sanctity of sacred space used by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and reviving the religious bigotry of a century ago.

  • http://latterdaylies.blogspot.co.uk/ ElderJoseph

    Reply to John Dawson

    ” “newnamenoah” or “noah” or what ever he chooses to go by is actually Mike Norton of South Ogden Utah”

    If thats the case then thanks to NewnameNoah for his prior podcasts. They helped me see through the lies I was being told when investigating theLDS church/cult. The LDS cult is such a lying organisation. It has to lie to recruit otherwise no one would join except maybe a few mentally ill who wouldn’t know better and do join anyway.

    • LMA

      Um, I joined the Church and am not mentally ill. In fact, there are good odds that I’m brighter, better educated, and more successfully employed than you. Just sayin’. I wouldn’t mention that if it weren’t for your nasty “mentally ill” crack.

      One thing I’ve noticed about people like you and Mike Norton: there is irony in your claim that members of our faith are cultists. I thought about that while attending General Conference earlier this month, walking with my family (having traveled some distance by air to attend, renting a car, booking hotel rooms, all the things that well established folks might do) past disheveled men carrying signs while shouting at the Mormon passersby. I thought to myself, “So, WHICH of us is in the cult?”

      It is very cult-like behavior to devote so much time to attacking other people’s faith and to act out about it in such abnormal ways.

  • Temple worker

    The idea that all Mormons have the same perceptions about God, the temple, the constitution, and prophets is absurd. You will never get two people together from any religious tradition who mentally picture the exact same Jesus or have identical images and understandings of other religious symbols/doctrines. Our religious journeys are intimate, between us and God, not between us and someone of another faith who decides that we are (for example) a Satanic cult while they are in a position to mock. It should be a human responsibility to reverence the sacred territory of others, and not to presume that we understand any other person’s religious journey well enough to belittle it. I am in the Mormon temple weekly and feel a spirt of peace and even revelation there. Such feelings can’t be counterfeited. I claim the temple as my own sacred space, and ask others to respect that–regardless of their own experience with it or their perceptions of it.

    • Andrew

      Dear Temple worker, with respect please relate to us what all the Symbolism, Washings, Anointings, Oaths, Signs, Tokens, Penalties (1990), the robes of the priesthood, emblems on the Temple coat of skins (clue) and on the veil of the Temple all actually mean in all of its symbolic detail. Are you allowed to discuss this with each other in the Temple or outside? If not, why not. Do you in any productive detail discuss this with temple colleagues to make some sense out of it. Please feel free to impart your priesthood wisdom to all the gentiles here. I believe that Nephi, in 1 Nephi 6, stated quite strongly that genealogy (the Mormon church invests $Billions in Temple construction and genealogical research) was, in his prophetic opinion, of no worth to the children of men.

      • Matt

        I’ll take a crack on this one, because it is really rather easy. All of the symbols in the temple are intended to point us to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins and our commitment as his disciples to take up our cross and follow him. It is all very nefarious.

      • Deputy

        You can do the research on this one because it would take along time to really answer every symbol in, on, and surrounding temples and the priesthood. This link goes to the LDS scriptures and if you go to the study helps and play around with it you can research most if not all topics you would like to know about.
        http://www.lds.org/scriptures/?lang=eng

  • Joel

    For those of you that worry about Romney taking marching orders from Salt Lake, let me put your minds at rest. Romney is counting on a large percentage of the Evagelical voters to help get him elected, most of which consider the Mormon Church non-Christian, but will still hold their noses and vote for him anyway just to get Obama out. Romney can’t afford to do anything that would even remotely appear that he is favoring the Mormon church or giving them power to influence US policy now or during his presidency, because he is going to need all those evangelicals to vote for him again for his second term.
    Regardless of what oaths they make in their temple, there are many active Mormons, both Republican and Democrat, in high position of government who manage to keep their politics separate from their religion. Romney did this as Governor and he can do it as president.

  • Sean Masterson

    As a former member and non-believer of the LDS Church…I find it quite offensive that another former member would hate their former religion so much that they felt the need to splash online the LDS churches most sacred rituals.

    It’s one thing to come to the reasonalbe conclution that Mormonism is not what it claims to be and simply move on with your life…and quite another to drag through the mud and out of contect all that your former friends and neighbors hold sacred.
    I understand your pain at learning that Mormonism was not what it claimed it was…but certainly this is not a healthy way to move forward with your life.
    As an exmormon…I feel sorry that you felt the need to go in this direction. You give all exmormon’s a bad name.

  • JR

    Hey Mike Norton and article author – Why no mention of Harry Reid, the leader of the U.S. Senate who controls every law to be sent to the president’s desk, who also visits the temple frequently along with just about every member of his family. Has Harry shown that he is building a theocracy based on Mormonism? Did his Mormonism hurt his chances reaching Majority Leader status? Has the record of every public office holder over the last CENTURY proved that Mormons have an agenda to turn America into a theocracy?

  • Steve

    Consecration:
    A man seeking goodly pearls… when he found one of great price gave ALL that he had to buy it;
    he that loveth father or mother… son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
    for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also;
    the kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field… when a man hath found… selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field;
    if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

    Being a Christian has always required being willing to give our all to follow Him – even to our death, if required. Nothing new here.

    As for establishing Zion, yes, people are asked to consecrate their efforts to prepare the earth to receive it’s Lord, who WILL rule over it as a king (theocracy). However, the LDS church is preparing people’s HEARTS to receive the King of Kings when He comes in His glory to reign.

    I have to question the honesty and integrity of a person who has clearly made promises to not reveal what he once believed to be sacred rites. I understand if those rites were asking him to kill someone or commit other heinous acts. However, the temple covenants require simply devotion to God, His laws, and to ones’ spouse and brothers and sisters (all of humanity). By definition, the maker of these movies is deceitful and dishonest. He absolutely broke solemn promises that he made completely of his own free will. If at any time he hadn’t wanted to make such promises he could have dismissed himself. This man is very dishonest.

  • Marcelo Silva

    I’m a brazilian mormon used to see catholic and umbada’s rituals. Perfectly commun and inserted at the Brazilian culture, but could be judged as “weird”, or “works of darkness” by some of posters above.
    I wonder if Noah also considered the jewish temple ritual as a “work of darkeness”, once they were:
    a) Secret
    B) Only jews (indeed Levites) could take part on it
    c) Used the same robes of the Mormons temple ritual
    d) etc.
    The problem with this kind of person (NOAH) is that they are unable to realize that any “other religion’s beliefs” could be seen as weird, He lacks empathy. E.g.:
    1) Hindus demonizing christians because they performed a “canibalistic ritual” where they eat the body and drink the body of his god .
    2) Christians mock xintoists because they put food at their relatives graves (could the dead ones drink or eat…)
    3) Christian put flowers at their relatives graves (could the dead ones smell…)

    Att.

  • amber

    Would you consider starting an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit.com to get more exposure on this topic?

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson

    The result of Mormons living their beliefs, including the covenants to live a Christian life that they reaffirm in the temples, is that they are the most willing to give of any American denomination to aid others, not just their own fellow church members (see a recent research report by the University of Pennsylvania). Rather than being exclusive, Mormons believe that ALL mankind can eventually be saved in some degree of heaven (See Doctrine & Covenants Section 76). Mormons reject the idea (taught by many Evangelical christians) that people outside of their church, or outside Christianity, are doomed to burn in hell for eternity, or be extinguished. In detailed surveys conducted by social scientists like tyhe authors of the book American Grace, the Mormons have the most positive attitude toward people in other denominations, even though many people in those denominations have negative attitudes toward Mormons.

    Mormons have at least as much education as other Americans, and are slightly overrepresented in Academia as professors. The general correlation for Mormons is that the more education they have, the more committed they are to their faith.

    Mormons have no career clergy. No one can make a career of being a Mormon pastor. The leaders of each congregation are parttime unpaid volunteers who sewrve for about 5 years and then relinquish their authority and are replaced by other members of the same congregation. Most of the people called to one of the few full time leadership positions for the church as a whole have succeeded in their former careers, in professions like law, medicine, academia, engineering, and business. They are NOT professional clergy with divinity degrees.

    Mormons have been model citizens. They serve in local, state and federal government, and in the military. There are currently 12 Mormons in Congress, from states including Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, California, and American Samoa. In the past other Mormons have been elected as members of congress or governors in Oregon, Oklahoma, Florida, Michigan, Colorado, and Massachusetts. Mormons have been selected by presidents of both parties to serve in senior Federal leadership positions, heading the departments of Agriculture, Treasury, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the US Coast Guard. They have been US ambassadors to the UN and to China, Mexico, Norway and other nations.

    If Mitt Romney got a phone call purporting to be from the president of the church that advised him on domestic or foreign policy, Romney would know it is a fake. The Church stays out of those issues. It only makes statements on public policy that directly affect matters or religion and morality. And it emphasizes that it does not take sides in any partisan election, and that the Church does not allow anyone to use its buildings or its membership lists to conduct political campaigns.

    The “political” aspect of Zion is something that will only happen when Jesus Christ comes again. Until then, the duty of Mormons is made clear in the Articles of Faith: to obey the law and the legal government of your own nation. Mormons are taught to believe in the importance of freedomo and inidividual conscience for all people. The notion that Mormons might try to conduct some kind of coup d’etat is hilarious. Only paranoids like Mr. Noah could even say that with a straight face.

    • Andrew

      Don’t believe any of this nonsene. The Mormon church take in approx $10 Billion dollars in Tithing Donations each year from their obedient members. But as the Mormon Church, when pressed, reluctantly admits, not one cent of that money goes towards helping the poor and needy in the world. It goes towards their vast multi-billion dollar building and maintenance programme of luxury Temples, Shopping Malls, luxury apartments, hotels, salaries (expenses), Universities, luxury office blocks and other investments in the USA and overseas.
      Only Humanitarian Aid and Fast Offerings go towards these good charitable causes, but that amounts to LESS than 1% of total church annual income.
      The Mormon church should hang their heads in utter shame for deceiving their own members and the US taxman that they qualify as a religious charity. Even regulated businesses give more money to charity per capita than the Mormon Corporation of Corporations.

      • Ashley Moats

        I’ve been reading through this blog, and I’ve been frequently seeing your name come up , Andrew throwing outlandish posts about the LDS religion. You clearly have some kind of vendetta outlined in each of your posts and it makes what you say hardly credible with such a clear bias. As for your statement about the LDS funding, like your other statements, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Let me just remind you, tithing is for the purpose of building temples and meeting houses. Fast Offering is for donations to impoverished members and other non-LDS humanitarian associations. I am not sure where you were given the idea that the church builds apartment buildings? That is completely false and the church does not associate with any external business association not regarding the Church. Also, Brigham Young University is not funded by tuition and alumni donations. Please do your research before you post information that is clearly inaccurate.

        • Ashley Moats

          Excuse me, I meant Brigham Young University IS only funded by tuition and alumni donations.

      • Matt

        I’m sorry Andrew, but you are just wrong. Tithing is not used for the Church’s business holdings. It is used for the building and maintenance of infrastructure for the benefit of its members (like church buildings, temples and universities) and for funding the programs of the various congregations all over the world. These, too, are charitable causes and they provide an immeasurable benefit to people, including the poor and needy by enabling strong stable congregations and programs where they can receive the love and support we all need. To pretend that no tithing is used for charitable purposes is to ignore the direct benefit to members of the church, even in the poorest countries in the world, and the vast amount of time that is given by members of the Mormon church facilitated by these congregations and programs.

        In addition to that, the church uses various other offerings to directly provide food, clothing, shelter, education and other necessities for the poor and needy throughout the world. Your 1% figure is a distortion any way you look at it, but particularly because you are including all of the income of private businesses in which the Church owns an interest as Church income. That is just bad accounting.

        I have no idea what your beef with the Mormon church is, but if this is it, then you have been mislead.

      • Deputy

        Nonsense! Look the idea that the LDS church tithing money doesn’t help the poor or the needy is crazy. It does fund some of what you said it does, but included in there are the funds that go directly down to the local ward level. Those wards then allocate the funds in the most appropriate ways they see fit. This includes feeding people, helping with bills that people might be struggling with. It also helps the members fund projects to better their communities.

        So yeah the tithing isn’t directly spent from the top and given to aid people. It is given to the local level so they can then use those funds to help people.

  • Fr. John W. Morris

    As an Eastern Orthodox Christian, I do not consider Mormonism Christian. It was founded by Joseph Smith who was a con man who used religion for power and profit. However, Mormons have a right to practice their religion. However, I do not think that a man’s religious beliefs are relevant to the question of whether or not he should be elected President. I do not see how Romney’s Mormon beliefs will effect how he governs our country. As Eastern Orthodox, I also belong to a minority religion. Orthodox are almost never listed in the listing of major American religions. For that reason as much as I disagree with Mormonism, I have a certain sympathy for the right of Mormons and all other minority religions to religious freedom. I do not agree with Obama’s religion either, the United Church of Christ, which is ultra liberal and supports the Social Gospel and Liberation Theology. I have never had the opportunity to vote for a member of my Church for President, and probably never will. Therefore, I vote for the candidate with which I disagree the lest. In this case, it is definitely Romney, because I believe that Obama has been a horrible President.

  • Steve

    Regarding keeping sacred things being kept sacred:
    “Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.” – Jesus
    “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.” – Jehovah to Isaiah
    without a parable spake he not unto them…. linked to the next verse… I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
    Also, interesting to note that the people mocked him soon after the parables saying, “isn’t this the carpenter’s son? etc.”
    “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine” – Jesus
    “Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.” – Jesus
    ” I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” – Paul to Corinthian believers
    Ezekiel saw a vision of waters flowing from the House of the Lord… first, waters were to the ankles, then the knees, then the loins, finally so deep and swift that they were waters to swim in.

    My point?

    The temple ceremonies are kept sacred to avoid mockery. They are performed as an inner devotion to draw nearer to God – not as a performance for the world.

    The temple ceremonies are filled with symbolism so that people can learn at their own individual pace and maturity. Patrons of the temples rarely ever discuss the meanings and lessons they learn through the symbolism and words, because these a things that are revealed by the Holy Spirit when a person is ready. Read the words of the Savior above: that seeing the see not and hearing they hear not – this in relation to “secrets” not revealed since the beginning.

    Plenty of references in scripture to people receiving what they’re able to bear and receiving more only after proving faithful – “he who hath ears to hear, let him hear!”

    A p.s. regarding consecration: Read Acts 4:31-37. Also regarding the symbolism of the sacredness of keeping covenants holy: Read Acts 5:1-11. Ananias and his wife entered into this consecration of their own free will, as Peter points out. However, having made the covenant and attempting to receive the benefits without keeping their own end of the bargain – God took their lives.

  • http://wendybrownart.com Wendy Brown

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned yet, since I don’t have time to read the other comments, but I must say I am not surprised. We were told last spring that if Mitt Romney was nominated and if Obama were to be losing, this would be the result. Those ceremonies that to me are sacred and extremely spiritual would be splashed across the internet as a way to demonize Romney. I don’t believe President Obama has encouraged this, at least I hope not. Sad to say, there have always been those who make a mock of sacred things. The one thing that can’t be mocked though, is the Spirit that attends those who make and keep sacred covenants in our Temples. We are a blessed people, and we feel that we must share our blessings with others. Christ said that you could know His followers by their fruits. Tell me, whose fruit is more pure, he who gives a third of his income to charity, that is 22% more than tithe, or he who violates covenants and oaths and hatefully despoils that which he knows others hold sacred? How sad and small is the spirit of this man who calls himself Noah.

    • Andrew

      Mitt Romney gives 10% of his income to a vast business corporation – his Mormon Church. Not one cent of his Tithing donations goes towards helping the poor and needy in the world. And he knows it. You, dear sister, may not be aware of this as good obedient Mormons are told by their leaders to never question or look into the financial administration of church donations. But this is the reality. Less than 1% of Mormon donations, Humanitarian Aid, Fast Offerings go towards alleviating distress – and that’s LESS than 1% of total church income. An utterly
      disgraceful situation and one that should be made public for all the world to see. The Mormon church as a charitable organisation is a total fraud with the poor decent deluded members their foot soldiers.

      • http://wendybrownart.com Wendy Brown

        Where is the documentation for your assertions? You spout percentages, did they come from a legitimate sorce that we can all access, or are they suppositions? My husband has bee a Bishop for fourteen years now, going on his fifteenth. Every week he sends a number of food orders to the storehouse, every week he counsels with those down on their luck and pays rents, power bills and medical expenses for those in need. Our Stake was given $100,000 from Salt Lake to distribute to worthy charities of our choosing in the area. We gave some to NFP like battered women’s shelters and food pantries last year. Multiply that amount by the number of Stakes. I think perhaps the frauds are elsewhere in these posts.

      • Dan Clayton

        Andrew this is simply wrong. Look up the last dozen world disasters and identify when the mormons arrived and the scale of their support. It rivals the Red Cross I am happy to say

      • Matt

        This is false. See my response to your same assertion above.

  • Paul

    Sadly, “Noah,” like some other
    people, failed to actually listen to the words when he went through the temple in days gone by. Neither he nor anyone else he ever saw in the temple was ever threatened with death for revealing temple information. Nor was anyone ever suggesting that there would be any physical punishment at all, either self-inflicted or by the Church or any agent of the Church, for the dishonesty and deceit that he engaged in to produce these videos. People who are full of anger, fear, and hate will hear what they want to hear and remember what they want to remember. “Noah” needs to actually read the words that were spoken to him in the temple many years ago. He has it exactly backwards.

  • David Naas

    As an American, I find myself ashamed of and embarassed for all of the “good Christians”, ex-Mormon or merely “evangelical”, who have seen fit to proclaim all their bigotgry and hate in the comments section above. Folks, if you are “Christians”, I want nothing to do with you! Your manners and morals are execrable. Fortunately, I already know that being a real Christian doesn’t involve hate, no matter what excuse you all have for indulging in it.

    • Deputy

      Thank you for being a true example of what it means to be a Christian. I am a mormon a member of the LDS church. I also believe in Christ so am a christian. And Christ would never look at another to belittle or slander them. He would condemn the act but not the actor of it. I don’t expect everyone to believe the same as me, but you don’t have to be a jerk about it. Live and let live, if you want to be Catholic, Protestant, Muslim or whatever be the best one you can be.

  • David Naas

    Oh yes, and shame on all of you vouyers. You may not regard these things as Sacred, but obviously, some people do. You wouldn’t like anyone using the pages of the Bible for toilet paper, would you? Why, then, do you feel free to do the same sort of thing?

  • Bill

    Tim,
    Thanks for your respectful approach. I look forward to your observations.
    I have participated in Mormon temple ceremonies as time and travel have allowed for 30 years. I participate for several reasons, including the spiritual renewal I always feel, and for the opportunity to provide a service for someone else.
    Others among my family and friends do not all share the same feelings towards the LDS Church or our temple rituals. That is fine–I suspect that God is far more patient with us than we are with ourselves or each other.
    There is nothing in the ceremonies or in the teachings we learn in the temple that I interpret as an invitation or justification to be exclusive or judgemental towards others who have not opted to make these same covenants with God.
    Also, the same LDS Church that presents these ceremonies and covenants to faithful members also states as doctrine that we “believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” And, “we claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege….” (From LDS Articles of Faith, #’s 12 and 11, respectively)
    As we make these covenants with God, we can also keep in mind the direction from the Lord to “render.. unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things which are God’s.” (Matt 22:21)
    Just one person’s experience–I don’t get or understand all of the symbolism of the ceremonies. But I do leave feeling closer to God, more at peace, and with gratitude and a desire to keep trying.

  • Ed

    As someone who has argued theology, strenuously and at length, with numbers of Mormons — meaning that I don’t believe as they do — at the end of the day I can still put that all aside and respect my Mormon friends who have proven themselves to be good neighbors and good citizens. And as much as I may disagree with Mormon theology, I’d rather take my chances with a trustworthy, well-respected man who happens to be a Mormon as President than, well, what we have now…

  • http://www.ldsendowment.org/ msouth

    If anyone would actually like to hear a believing member’s take on the endowment, there is a guy that has discussed it pretty openly. As he points out, there is very, very little that you are explicitly sworn to secrecy about, and he doesn’t discuss that, but those things are very minor compared to the substance of the material.

    His site is http://www.ldsendowment.org/ . It’s probably about as good a source as you’re going to get if you want an open statement about what a thinking, believing Mormon’s ideas are about these ceremonies.

  • Keith Crosby

    Are we forgetting that Mormonism is a cult. Its teaching is false. Its founders were corrupt. It’s polytheistic/henotheistic doctrine is, to put it charitably, odd. Noah clearly has an ax to grind. His timing and expressed motivation is, to put it very charitably, suspect. Nevertheless, it is what it is. And the Masonic suicide ritual (miming disembowelment and cutting the throat) is a very real part of the program. It’s sad. But they have a different Christ, a different God the Father, and a different Holy Spirit—-and a different eternal destination. Timothy, I appreciate your questions as they were pointed and necessary. But Mormonism is a sham. It is a cult. And we should grieve for those enslaved in Mormonism.

    • LMA

      Oh, OK. Name calling. Well, that effectively ends the discussion. Once you slap a label on someone, he or she might as well crawl away and die, huh?

    • Deputy

      As an active Mormon I have something to say. You say that I have a DIFFERENT CHRIST and DIFFERENT GOD THE FATHER than you. I believe in the Christ who is the ONLY begotten of the Father, born to the virgin Mary. The same Christ that died on the cross for me, so that I overcome sin. What Christ do you believe in?

  • Cordelia

    I myself find Mormonism intellectually untenable – but has anyone reflected how fortunate we are that there are no “Mormon extremists” ready to riot, rape, and murder over this ugly little film?

  • Dan Clayton

    As a 39 year old Mormon, I am shocked and disgusted by the efforts of this misguided individual. However, he reminds me of many people I have worked with as a member of a Mormon Bishopric. I understand his diversion from the Mormon faith but and he has obviously shown some proof of video. If he was shocked when he went to the temple it was only because he never really understood it. It was a social club for him. Let’s go back to the earliest recorded temples on earth.
    TEMPLES
    1. They were instituted in the Bible by Moses. It was a way to provide a place for individuals who were trying hard to live commandments in a pure way to draw closer to God. God is perfect and pure and can not abide in a place of sin, so only those who seek purity and his will can together feel his presence and peace
    2. Their purposes is not to conquer some earthly kingdom. When Christ came to Earth the Jews largely rejected him because they were expecting a political leader not a spiritual one. Christ threw the moneychangers out of the temple because they were making it filthy with their physical lucre. Neither Romney nor Harry Reid want to take of the world in a physical way. We seek only to be aligned spiritually with the will of God subjecting our physical goods and skills to extending his love for his children. Subjecting the lucre of the world to the spiritual mission of Gods love.

    It is hard to describe the feeling of dreed I have for this individual His characterization of the temple is quite inaccurate and I would imigine arrises out of guilt knowing he was in a place for which he was not qualified to be. Because, I have followed a spiritual path and found that everything related to the temple lifts me. It reminds me that self is not king, and that there is good I need to do n the world. It reminds me that purity in desire and channeling appetites in the way God directs brings a happiness undescribable. It is a promise of spiritual inspiration I need desperately to understand my children and their needs of me. It bring a spirit into my life that has made me bold at work and filled my mind with innovation. I have solved problems other could not. I have built a picture in my mind that created a more effective healthcare operation. I know it came from God and his inspiration made available through my efforts to qualify for temple attendence and to go often to partake of that spirit.

  • Scott Cisney

    I am a Mormon, have been my entire life. I went on an LDS mission, graduated from BYU, etc. I no longer believe in Mormonism, but attend to keep peace within my family. The video presented, if anyone wants to watch it, is REAL. The posting of it is inappropriate, in my opinion. However, a general, serious, and controlled discussion of Mitt’s belief’s is certainly justified in light of the very, very, different beliefs he has and the legitimate questions relating to how those beliefs will affect his decisions as president is warrented. I live in Utah and it is certainly true that the LDS church leadership DOES insert itself REGULARLY into Utah political affairs. I have no reasosn to believe that they would not try to do this if Mitt were elected. They would do it discreetly hoping to be detected. Personally I do NOT trust the leadership I think they have their own agendas and it may well be in opposition to the greater good of the country. I guess you all have to decide on your own how much this matters. It is NOT trivial.

  • Scott Cisney

    I am a Mormon, have been my entire life. I went on an LDS mission, graduated from BYU, etc. I no longer believe in Mormonism, but attend to keep peace within my family. The video presented, if anyone wants to watch it, is REAL. The posting of it is inappropriate, in my opinion. However, a general, serious, and controlled discussion of Mitt’s belief’s is certainly justified in light of the very, very, different beliefs he has and the legitimate questions relating to how those beliefs will affect his decisions as president is warrented. I live in Utah and it is certainly true that the LDS church leadership DOES insert itself REGULARLY into Utah political affairs. I have no reasosn to believe that they would not try to do this if Mitt were elected. They would do it discreetly hoping not to be detected. Personally I do NOT trust the leadership I think they have their own agendas and it may well be in opposition to the greater good of the country. I guess you all have to decide on your own how much this matters. It is NOT trivial.

  • Steven Tomer

    ” Less than 1% of Mormon donations, Humanitarian Aid, Fast Offerings go towards alleviating distress – and that’s LESS than 1% of total church income.”

    This is patently false. Fast Offerings are essentially an emergency fund for those who have immediate financial hardship. The vast welfare program, which is used for those with more long term needs, is paid for through tithing. That is a sizeable chunk, and WAY more than 1%.

    Tithing is also used to build and maintain temples and church houses throughout the world.

    • Sean Masterson

      Actually the 1% figure is sadly correct. On the churches own websight at LDS.org, the church proudly anounced that it donated less than $2.00 per member per year to humanitarian aid. Once its critics began to point out the stinginess of this number…it was quietly removed from the websight. to be fair the church was only highlighting its cash humanitarian donations and not its material donations. But I would dare say taht most LDS membes would be shocked to see just how little its church actually donates to humanitarian aid.
      While I doubt anyone here will accept me as a reliable source…but I personally saw the LDS websight both prior to and after this information was removed.

      • Matt

        No, the 1% number is not correct. It suffers from flaws in both the numerator and the denominator. As you have pointed out, that $2.00 per member figure is only cash humanitarian aid donations and does not include in kind donations, and as you haven’t mentioned, it doesn’t account for many other aspects of the church’s vast welfare system. It, in fact, dramatically underrepresents the Mormon church’s charitable activities. But it also dramatically overrepresents the Mormon church’s income, including income of private businesses in which the church owns an interest.

        Claiming that direct cash humanitarian aid donations is the best way to measure the church’s charitable impact is, in my view, grossly flawed.

  • PaulfromNoVa

    I am particularly troubled by the notion that millions of LDS members are working for a candidate they look upon as Neo, The One, He Who Fulfills the Prophesy, and that the candidate himself may see himself in the same light, and view his moribund campaign’s turnaround as directly dispensed by the Hand of God. I could be for Romney or against him, and I’d have the same concern. Please think about that before responding in a quick-twitch reaction. And, full disclosure, I’m an atheist and am generally happy to stand aside from religious conversations online – Voltaire: “I may not agree….but will fight to the death for your right to believe it”… etc. – but here the stakes are the fate of a nation. Just think.

    • JohnH

      millions of LDS? really? Exactly how many LDS do you think are working for Mitt Romney? The leader of the senate is Mormon do you think he is working for Mitt Romney or believes any of false statements you have made?

      I assume you are talking about the fabled white horse prophecy that may or may not have ever been real and may or may not have said anything similar to what people claim it says and which virtually no Mormons believe in anything similar to what is claimed? You think that there are “millions” of Mormons that believe that Mitt Romney fulfills that prophecy? I would be surprised if you could find more then a handful that actually believe that.

    • Sean Masterson

      As a former very activbe believing Mormon…I can tell you in all honesty that I have never heard of some “neo” equivilent prophacy where some lone Mormon is supposed to sweep in and save the day. There was a so called white horse prophacy which said that the Elders of the church would save the constitution…but Mitt’s candidacy does not meet that mark. I seriously don’t not believe that you ahve anything to fear from a Romney presidency that you wouldn’t otherwise fear from any rebublican presidency. In other words if you generally vote republican…you’ll be safe.

  • Scott Cisney

    OK, lots of things are being said, and they need some correcting.

    Tithing, is on a weekly basis, the vast majority of funds collected by the Mormon church. I was a ward clerk for several years and know something about this. Fast Offerings generally are collected once a month and make up a very small part of the overall amount of monies donated. I would guess at a number like <5%. "Humanitarian Funds" (another donation category) is also small and probably less than the number I gave for fast offerings. It is true that tithing would NOT be viewed by most people as "charitable giving" as it simply builds churches, temples, sustains BYU, church seminaries, etc. Apparently some money is siphoned off and invested, as noted the LDS church just completed a multi billion dollar high end shopping mall in downtown Salt Lake. They have many other properties and business investments worldwide (luxury condos in Ohau, for instance). The notion that Mormons (or "LDS") people are giving 10% to charity is not exactly true when the true nature and use of the donated funds is examined critically, in my opinion.

    • Matt

      To justify your opinion, please tell us why donating money for building churches and other church infrastructure is not “charitable giving.” I would think that “most people” would actually find that to be a preposterous statement.

      Tithing is not “siphoned off and invested” as you claim. The Church’s for profit holdings are independent of tithing donations.

      • Scott Cisney

        It is my opinion only. I believe charitable giving is that which is given to charities that help the poor, the naked, the sick, and the afflicted (wow, those may be biblical words!). Building structures of worship is a sign of devotion and faith but not helping those in need.

        • Matt

          What do you think the purpose of those buildings is? It’s a bit like saying that all the money spent on government infrastructure does not count as government spending.

  • Sean Masterson

    I stand corrected…the church has reposted the informatin at http://ldscharities.org/bc/ldscharities/content/english/articles/why-we-help/pdf/2011%20Humanitarian%20Summary.pdf It clearly states that they have donated 1.4 billion dollars in the last 26 years; an average of 54 million per year or about $3.85 per member per year

    • Sean Masterson

      Their websight also states that this is 1.4 billion is in cash and material donations.

  • Phil

    This is “over the top” stupidity and is a hallmark of a sick, depraved society that is rapidly losing its ability to respect the sacred beliefs of others, or to respect others in general. I think this “Noah” character, who hides behind a mask, is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing who knows very well he has nothing good to contribute, so gets his kicks out of stirring up conflict and controversy as a way to help him feel better about himself. He seems intent on trying to hurt others rather than contribute to society in a meaningful way. All he’s going to do is hurt himself more than anyone else, by damaging his ability to have any kind of a spiritual life, or have any sensitivity to higher, more noble thoughts and actions.

  • Steven Tomer

    Sean,
    You’re focused on this one number… Cash Humanitarian Aid. This is such a small percentage of the whole, but you point only to this one number and say “Wow, they’re stingy and not charitable!” Unbelievable.

    You completely ignored the welfare program in its entirety. That is where the main focus of the church’s effort to help the poor goes, and indeed where most of the resources are spent. Your number is a straw man.

    The church donates tons of goods and services IN KIND. I have participated in many efforts (e.g. humanitarian supplies), where the members purchase the goods, assemble kits (or quilts, or whatever…) and send them to those in need. None of this carries a specific dollar amount, so there really is no number to report.

    The welfare program’s help is mostly given out through goods, not through cash. We develop infrastructure (ranches, farms, orchards, factories, etc.) to create these goods, to give them to the poor. The vast majority of the labor used to work this infrastructure is donated time. I myself have picked vegetables at farms, screwed lids on thousands of jars of applesauce, bagged pasta with my own time for food that was developed on church-owned infrastructure, which is all to be given to the poor without price. Assigning monetary value to this is unhelpful (we’re not selling it), and ridiculing the church as being stingy is a gross error.

    • Sean Masterson

      The 1.4 Billion donated in cash and materials over the past 26 years is only in humanitarian aid. It is true that the church also has a vast welfare system funded through both tithing and fast offerings doations. to the best of my knowledge the church has never released the numbers on these donations. Their books have been closed to the public since the mid 1950′s.

      The $3.85 per member per year average in humanitarian aid stands

  • Doll

    From what I have seen of NewNameNoah (Mike Norton) he appears to have some serious mental problems. Someone who would break the law and videotape others against their consent during a religious service deserves to be censured–not promoted by a thoughtful blog like this.
    As a young woman in my early 20s I went through the temple–It was one of the most cherished spiritual experiences of my life. I felt completely prepared , and the temple has been a great source of inspiriation throughout my entire life. I’m sorry that Mike Norton had a bad experience, however, it does not justify this type of vitriol. On top of it all, Norton was once employed by the Mormons–way to bite the hand that fed you. WOW. Why would this blog give this person a platform?

  • Bobby B.

    Guess what folks, if Obama was leading by +5% we’d not be having this conversation.

  • trevor hayward

    For people who are having a hard time evaluating this church and its place in the world….Take note that in order to have a chance of getting to the highest kindgdom of heaven, a human being has to make a vow that he/she will give his/her LIFE to that church, if necessary. If your mind works at all, you should be able to make a fair evaluation of this “church’s” merit.

    • Steve

      I think the vow is to build up the kingdom of God.

      Also, I would ask, don’t all true Christian believers understand that they’re expected to give their all to serving Christ – even their life if required?

      What kind of watered-down religion do you follow Trevor? Apparently, the religion of yourself. Do whatever suits you and disregard anything that doesn’t suit your present desires.

  • Scott Cisney

    The article, and the comments, seem to be focusing on the Mormon temple ceremony (the “endowment ceremony” to be specific) and on peripheral issues like Mormon tithes, etc.

    I will not comment on the state of mind of “Newnamenoah”. I will say this, his state of mind is irrelevant to an assessment of the issues here.

    The video in fact does show a Mormon temple ceremony. In fact Mormons (who get “endowed”) DO make a “covenant” to give their all (money, time, etc.) to their church–to “build it up”. Now this might be an “issue” for some out there. In Mormon culture this is actually taken pretty seriously and literally. Being a Mormon is not “part of your life” it “IS your life”. I don’t really think non-Mormons in general know that. Many of you may be Catholic, for instance. That probably means attending Mass a couple times a year. Many of you might be evangelical Christians, that might mean “accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour”. But then you have the “rest of your life” (job, marriage, etc.). It doesn’t work that way for Mormons. Their week is full of scripture reading, prayer, youth meetings in the mid-week, temple visits, etc. Young Mormon men go on two year missons–and pay for it on their own (usually).

    So when I said earlier that politics in Utah is deeply interwoven with the Mormon leadership in Utah I meant it. They have, and do, weight in and heavily influence the Utah governor and legislature on a whole range of issues (alcohol selling issues for instance).

    If Mitt is the president, and is contemplating a something involving drug policy or the defense of marriage act or even types of responses to aggression in the Middle East it would not be that weird to imagine him getting a call from a Mormon apostle, telling him what he should do—from his leaders. It might be on a matter relating to the charitable status of churches, it could be anything.

    If this kind of influence over an individual bothers you, consider yourself warned–by me. If this kind of influence is not important to you, well then continue on your merry way.

    • Matt

      This is simply not true. I have live in Utah for much of my life and the Mormon church simply doesn’t act this way. Scott, I challenge you to name one time an LDS apostle has ever called any elected official to tell them what to do. You can’t because it doesn’t happen. It doesn’t even happen in Utah. Even here, the church rarely speaks out on matters of public policy except on a very few topics it deems to be critical to its Christian values–and the states sometimes bizarre alcohol laws are not one of them. You can claim otherwise all you want, but it is just not true.

      • Sean Masterson

        Matt with all due respect…you need to read your newspaper…the Utah legislature is made up of 90% Active LDS members who meet with church officials regarding any legislation that may be of concern with or impact the church in Utah

        Having said that I’m still voting for Mitt

        • Matt

          Even if that were true, LDS legislators reaching out to LDS church officials for their position is not the same as the LDS church dictating public policy or telling elected officials what to do. And I still maintain that the number of bills the LDS church expresses any opinion on is very small, especially considering their position in the Utah economy and culture.

      • trevor hayward

        There are numberous examples of mormon politicans being directed by mormon leadership. The documentation is easy to find. The only thing more pathetic than LDS church is LDS apologetics.

        • Matt

          If it is so easy to find, why haven’t you provided any? Is it because you are an Obama shill who doesn’t know what he is talking about but just wants to get in on the whisper campaign?

        • JR

          True, the LDS church has encouraged members of their church in congress to support certain moral/religious legislation, just as it encouraged the general church membership to reach congress on the same. What you fail to acknowledge is that there are some who don’t listen — the most famous example being Senator Harry Reid on the gay marriage vote — and he or anyone who exercises their own free will are still considered faithful members of the church.

      • Scott Cisney

        You can google this and probably find it, but Mitt Romney’s father was called by Delbert L. Stapley to urge him to not pubically support the civil rights act. There’s one. The relaxation of some of the weird Utah liquor laws have drawn statements and phone calls to/from Utah state legislators and the LDS church. Of course the biggest most recent example of gigantic meddling is the prop. 8 fiasco in California where something like 70% of the money came from the LDS church or it’s members and most of the volunteers were Mormons. There are youtube videos of Oaks and other general authorities speaking on this issue. But the best article of recent date is the article where D. Michael Quinn outlined interefence in politics by Mormon general authorities. I read this about a week or so ago, google that one. To me this is not even arguable. The Mormon church does in fact seek to influence political leaders on many issues, not all of which are “moral issues”. Quinn brings up one I personally remember….the church came out in the early 80s against the potential basing mode for the MX (Peacekeeper) missile in which is was proposed to base it in “rail garrisons” in Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah.

        QED.

        • Matt

          Scott, that is a good try. The church does indeed make its position known on a few issues, but that does not mean that it applies pressure on elected officials to vote accordingly, and nothing you have cited demonstrates otherwise.

          The letter from Stapley was not the official LDS position on the Civil Rights Act. While the leadership of the church was deeply divided at the time on the priesthood ban itself, pronouncements from church leaders were clear that discrimination against blacks in employment, housing, etc. was wrong. Besides those pronouncements the LDS church took no official position, as is its custom regarding most legislation, and allowed members to decide the issue for themselves.

          The LDS church has taken no position on Utah liquor laws.

          I couldn’t find the Quinn article you referenced, but if you provide a link I would be happy to look at it.

          Surprising that perhaps the biggest land owner in the state would not want nuclear missiles based in Utah. In any event, just because they opposed it does not show that they put pressure on elected officials to vote against their consciences.

          So your argument still comes down to the fact that you didn’t like how the LDS church acted in connection with Prop 8, which is one of those traditional Christian public morals questions which you would expect churches to take a position on. (And you are again wrong: the LDS church contributed very little if any money–the money came from citizens who supported the proposition.)

          • Scott Cisney

            I didn’t have a dog in the fight on prop. 8. If I were a protestant living in America and looking at a man running for the presidency who was a Catholic I wouldn’t have much worry about that man taking orders from somebody in Rome, thousands of miles and an ocean away. I mean has the Catholic church taken a position on the basing mode of the MX missile? No. But the Mormon CHURCH did. Delbert L. Stapley wrote to George Romney telling him not to support the civil rights act, AS A GENERAL AUTHORITY of the Mormon church. He didn’t write him because they were drinking buddies sharing an opinion on which beer is better. Really, read Quinn’s article, it is only a week or so old. I don’t want to offend you, I’m just saying you are wrong about the LDS church not getting pretty deeply wound up in politics and telling people what to do. To say otherwise just means you haven’t looked into this issue with an unbiased eye. You can believe in the Mormon church, think it’s the greatest thing in the world, but what ever else you think about them one thing they do do is meddle in politics. Is that good or bad? Well that is up to the person looking from the outside in. I say it is a hinderance to the independence of the person on the inside, in this case Mitt Romney. They really can’t be their own man. And Mitt has plenty of trouble being his own man. He gets whipped around by the tea bag wing of his party pretty good. If the poor guy could be himself alot more of us may actually find out he isn’t that extreme and we might actually like him.

          • Matt

            Well, Scott, we will just have to agree to disagree. You have provided a handful of examples over half a century of instances in which you claim the LDS church got involved in politics. After reviewing those cases, it turns out that in some, even in those few examples you have been able to gather, the church wasn’t involved, and none of them support either of your theses: that the church is especially meddlesome in politics or that the LDS church’s very limited past involvement in politics should raise a concern about Mitt Romney’s political independence.

            They just don’t.

            At least you are forthright about your actual motivations. I can understand why a liberal would want to reelect Obama. But I will be voting based on the two mens’ resumes. Choosing Obama, it seems to me, would be kind of like hiring a historian as your accountant. Why would I ever do that when I can hire an accountant?

  • Stevo

    Mike Norton of South Ogden, Utah (No Name Noah) says the Mormon Church is weird. Yet, he’s the one who claims to have made CROP CIRCLES in Logan!!! No lie — google the Deseret News article “Origin of crop circles still under question.” NO BRAIN NOAH is part of the Cult of Crop Circles. And Bad video production! But in all honesty New Name may have mental problems.
    I mean look he’s been divorced, remarried, can’t hold a steady job. To me he shows all the classic signs of someone who is taking out his own failures on his former church, which happens to be the former church of his ex-wife.

  • Doug Shaffer

    Hey Folks. Favorite Democrat, Harry Reid, is a MORMON. I’m pretty sure that he’s attended the temple and participated in religious rites. I know for a fact that his family members have. So then tell me why it’s not a problem for some of you religiously bigoted far left atheistic types for Harry Reid, but somehow all of a sudden, it’s somehow an issue for Mitt Romney? Hipocrites, all. Grow up.

  • Dan

    I am coming to this discussion late. I’m not sure anyone is still reading these comments. In any case I thought I would shed some perspective as a temple attending Mormon myself. There are two things I would like to address, and will hold back the rest.

    First, the pantomimed violent gestures were very obviously spiritual metaphors and nothing more. They were consistent with antiquated culture from whence these rituals came. As a Christian (setting aside my Mormon faith for a second here), I would have a far harder time accepting the complete slaughter of man, woman, child & livestock ordered by God himself to His People upon the Canaanites than I would some metaphoric gestures reminding me of spiritual penalties should I reveal His secrets.

    Secondly, I would address the reason “Noah” believes these rituals disqualifies Governor Mitt Romney. It is this point that prompted me to take the time to respond here. Consecrating one’s time, talents and all worldly possessions to God (or even, as we believe, His Earthly Organization) most definitely should not concern voters. If anything, it should encourage them.

    This consecration or dedication is nothing more than a pledge to match the greatest commandment: “…love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” If you follow this commandment than what would prevent one from consecrating all their time, talents, or possessions? If you believed the church you attended was in fact God’s Church, wouldn’t you?

    The reason one may be concerned with this and Governor Romney would be some unreasonable fear that the Mormon Prophet would be able to issue commands to him. This is the same fear that was used against President Kennedy with the Pope. It wasn’t true then and it isn’t true now. First of all, these personal covenants are completely 100% voluntary. They are not forced upon anyone. In fact, you are free to decline the covenant in private at the time you are asked to make them. I have known those that have then later went back again to accept them. Nothing is forced upon anyone. Mitt Romney will not be under anyone’s thumb besides the American people. Secondly, it is also Mormon doctrine to follow the laws of the Land.

    It is not intellectually honest to correlate this personal dedication of one’s time, talents and possessions as a disqualification for public office. It is about as honest as taking these videos in fact.

    If anything, one should be encouraged that a man such as Governor Mitt Romney has dedicated himself to God. I believe he has said he would not take the President’s salary should he be elected. He is clearly a man who puts God before himself as I would encourage any good person of faith to do. Wouldn’t you?

  • Johson Parker

    Through a simple whois search of the public name domain registration search, you will find nonamenoah is actually, Mike Norton 4615 Porter Avenue, Ogden UT. He is making these video for money and is why he has created the special captions to bring the huge swell of viewers. Hitting the emotional button for many, he claims to have more video but has produced nothing. His only motivation is money, view if you would like but do not give this fraud any money. This coward has never even shown his face, despite an illegal entrance into the mormon temple and filming the face of many who were unaware of his doing. Such a coward with a serious hatred for all. He will probably respond with some all knowing ex-mormon but in reality he never understood the church in all of his years as a member. The story is the tale of one who could never fit in with any group. Please don’t give this fraud any of your money.


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