Talk:The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/Archive 11

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Request for comments: what key doctrines or distinctions are missing from this article.

A short time ago there was no mention of Mormon missionaries in this article, but that has been corrected. Since I brought that topic up a little while ago however, I have been thinking about what major doctrines or distinctions from other groups this article should cover which it doesn't already.

The only thing that comes to my mind is the Church's view of the fall of Adam, which seems like a major difference from other churches to me. Perhaps we should add it somewhere to the article? A sentence or a paragraph at most seems sufficient to me.

Anyway, if anyone thinks of anything else please chime in here. --Lethargy 23:50, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

I think it depends on what you consider major beliefs. The fall of Adam is covered in the 2nd article of faith, as is the nature of god in the 1st and 3rd. It is tempting to use the Articles of Faith to be a primary source, but I think this is a bad idea as something like the New Jerusalem is a bit obscure, and Temples are not mentioned at all. I think its pretty complete as it stands. But the nature of God needs to be reduced, and the First principals section is really too long. I don't know that we need to compare to mainstream Christianity in this article. There is an article for that. In other words, let the other articles explain things that better fit in them: Plural Marriage, Temples, Priesthood offices, etc. Bytebear 06:23, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

I think the article should mention anything distinctive, but most things should be mentioned only very briefly, as Bytebear stated, there are articles for most of these topics. It's a challenge, since nobody will ever agree which LDS doctrines are most important and notable. But the purpose of this article, I think, is to point readers in the direction of doctrinal articles on every notable topic of LDS doctrine. So I think the best outline would be something in which every element of LDS doctrine and practice would have a place. I don't know what that is, though. Maybe the following is a start (this is not a heading outline):

  • Metaphysics
    • Preexistence
    • Plan of salvation
    • Nature of the godhead
    • Resurrection, body, and spirit
  • Eschatology
    • Millenium
    • Kingdom of God
    • Survivalism/year's supply
  • Theology of gender and family
    • Eternal families
    • Gender roles
    • Polygamy
  • Ordinances
    • Open ordinances
    • Temple ordinances
    • Ordinances for the dead
  • Participation outside of worship
    • Missionary work
    • Family history
    • Church callings
    • Home teaching/visiting teaching
    • Family home evenings
  • Lifestyle code
    • Word of Wisdom
    • Chastity, modesty
    • Tithing
    • Abortion and family planning
    • LGBT issues
  • Priesthood
    • Lay clergy
    • Requirements for admission to the priesthood
      • Worthiness requirement
      • Exclusion of women
    • Priesthood hierarchy
      • Continuous revelation
      • Lines of authority
      • Sustaining of leaders
      • Obedience to leaders

COGDEN 08:29, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

You brought up one I forgot about: the Church's position on abortion. I have seen protesters and websites complaining about the Church's position on abortion, so perhaps it deserves a small place in the article as well. --Lethargy 22:10, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
The outline looks like a good synopsis. I would recommend changing the wording to be less full of LDS jargon, specifically I would change the Metaphysics section to be:
    • Nature of God
    • Nature of man
    • Purpose of life
or something similar. For example, under Purpose of life, you would discuss the plan of salvation (including the pre-exisitance), with a see also header to those articles. Bytebear 23:24, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

keep the title. the way it is. the church of jesuschrist of the latter days saints. if we change the name we will limited the information. but if you keep the way it is, is allow to put more information about the church and it is easy to search under their name instead guessing which one is the title. chao

I like that outline. Shall I get started on a reorganization? -uriah923(talk) 22:19, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

The unique and defining doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that Joseph Smith, Jr. and his successors received and continue to receive binding revelation from God in the same way that Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Peter and other biblical prophets did. All other doctrines, especially the more interesting ones are a byproduct of this. The current content says very little about JS, I think that the beliefs and practices section should lead with this.

How about this outline?

  • The Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr.
    • First Vision
    • other defining revelations thru JS? WoW? Keys restored at Kirtland temple? New and Everlasting covenant? Baptism for the dead? There were some recent conference talks that hit on JS major contributions, probably need to review those.
  • Metaphysics
    • Nature of God
    • Nature of Man (Preexistence, potential)
    • Purpose of Life (Plan of salvation)
    • Resurrection, body, and spirit
  • Priesthood
    • Lay clergy
    • Requirements for admission to the priesthood
      • Worthiness requirement
      • Exclusion of women
    • Priesthood hierarchy
      • Continuous Revelation
        • Savior’s visit to the spirits of the dead
        • The Family: a Proclamation to the World
      • Lines of authority
      • Sustaining of leaders
      • Obedience to leaders
  • Eschatology
    • Millenium
    • Kingdom of God
    • Survivalism/year's supply
  • Theology of gender and family
    • Eternal families
    • Gender roles
    • Polygamy
  • Ordinances
    • Open ordinances
    • Temple ordinances
    • Ordinances for the dead
  • Participation outside of worship
    • Missionary work
    • Family history
    • Church callings
    • Home teaching/visiting teaching
    • Family home evenings
  • Lifestyle code
    • Word of Wisdom
    • Chastity, modesty
    • Tithing
    • Abortion and family planning
    • LGBT issues

Key changes from outline above are addition of JS, movement of priesthood section right after metaphysics, addition of a two examples of continuous revelation. Ideally, each bullet point would have a reference to LDS scripture and / or a recent conference talk. BTW, does anyone know how to link directly to conference talks on, is that even allowed? Also, what is "LGPT issues"? 74s181 12:49, 2 January 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74s181 (talkcontribs) 12:49, 2 January 2007

LGBT stands for "Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Trans-gender" wrp103 (Bill Pringle) 16:23, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I think the Joseph Smith section should be covered in a brief history section. WoW is covered in Lifestyle, Keys of Priesthood and polygamy in history. Baptism for the Dead in Temples. There are so many LDS offshoot articles, that this article should be a very general overview, so I would avoid putting a lot of detail here. If the details can be elaborated in other articles, use those. A full section on Smith seems excessive (despite his importance). Many historians see Brigham Young as being just as important if not more so to the modern church, and he is barely mentioned. Bytebear 19:07, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Joseph Smith, Jr. is part of the history of the church but his divine calling as the prophet of the restoration is also a key doctrine, you can't be LDS without believing this. It is a question in both the baptism and temple recommend interviews. I added some references and reworded an existing paragraph to add the section on Joseph Smith, Jr. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 74s181 (talkcontribs) 17:32, 7 January 2007 (UTC).

Opening paragraph

I beg you, Trödel, please don't make us go through the same discussion that you can read on this page. We had an agreement, there is no reason to change the text to a more controversial solution. --Martin C. 17:09, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Actually it is you who introduced the non-neutral language, I merely restored the neutral version after your edit. All objective measures include CJC under the "Christianity" label - polls of religious identity, governmental statistics, books on religions, etc. --Trödel 17:34, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but that is simply untrue. The LDS church is considered non-Christian by an overwhelming majority of Christian churches, you cannot just say their opinion doesn't matter. Polls of religious identity? Of course every LDS member thinks the church is Christian, but why should only their opinion matter? Govermental statistics? Which goverment, what statistics? Books on religions - which books? You cannot say that every book on religion classifies the LDS church as Christian. Definition of NPOV: don't give predominance to either view, simply say who thinks what. That's exactly what I did. --Martin C. 17:46, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Adding: please read the conversation on this very page, including yourself and others who didn't object to (and some actually praised) the solution back then. Simply changing the text to something not agreed upon when nobody's watching and then calling it "a stable situation" is quite absurd. You cannot say "LDS church is Christian" is neutral while "LDS members view the church as Christian" is not. You stated that the "claim of non-Christianity" (that is, the majority opinion) is already dealt in the article - which means that the opening paragraph says that this view is wrong. That's not NPOV. --Martin C. 17:50, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
One last point: it seems that when you said the situation "has been stable for some time", that meant exactly 12 days - after an anonymous edit. --Martin C. 18:15, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
If I did, I was wrong see #COTM proposal for my support that this article should be overhauled. --Trödel 18:16, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
If you have anything to answer, please do it here on the talk page and refrain from reverting. I can make my point once more, this time really clearly: We cannot make the article say X if X is highly controversial, even if we personally agree with X. We can only tell that group P believes X and group Q believes non-X. We cannot make the encyclopedia side with either party. --Martin C. 18:25, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
If you opine that "members believe that..." is not encyclopedic tone, then make it better - "the church teaches that...." or "the official LDS doctrine is that..." or whatever, but whatever you do, don't make the text present the LDS opinion as a fact. That's simply not neutral. Actually, I can do it for you. --Martin C. 18:30, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
But in this case X is not highly controversial. But only controversial amongst a certain group of people. Furthermore it is not a widely held schalarly position. --Trödel 19:39, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
That's like saying that, say, the role of the pope as the God-ordained successor of Peter is "only controversial amongst a certain group of people" - that is, amongst all Christians except Catholics (and in that case, the certain group comprises less than half of self-described Christendom; in this case, some 95 %). You are also incorrect in stating that considering non-trinitarians non-Christians is "not a widely held schalarly [sic] position" - in fact, it is the dominating stance among theologians in the world we live in. You see, we cannot exclude confessional stances from affecting the encyclopedic formulation only when they disagree with us - the LDS stance is just as confessional as the trinitarian. --Martin C. 19:56, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi Martin C. I changed a paragraph in the Trinity section because the corresponding reference didn't fit. It read "An opinion held by the Catholic church, Orthodox church, and most Protestant churches...." and I changed it to "An opinion held by many Christian denominations..." The reference does not state the official position of the Catholic or Orthodox church. If we want it to read the other way, there needs to be an appropriate reference, preferrably an official statement by the Catholic and/or Orthodox church. Sylverdin 19:50, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank you Sylverdin. I'll get back to this. --Martin C. 19:56, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Sylverdin, why is "most" a weasel word in your view? --Martin C. 21:46, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
It's listed under Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words#Examples. --Masamage 21:48, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Alongside with many, which is a synonym for the suggested much in this case. But most is more precise in this case than much - and it's even verifiable (Catholics alone comprise more than 50 % of Christians, add Orthodoxy and mainstream Protestantism to that). --Martin C. 22:04, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

The NPOV issue aside, there is an accuracy issue here. The official position of various Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Episcopal groups that have actually taken a position on this subject (most churches have no official position) is that Mormonism is not part of the historical, apostolic tradition of Christianity. I don't personally know of any mainstream Christian church out there that has officially taken the more extreme position that Mormonism is not any form of Christianity. COGDEN 19:59, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Rather than explain here, I attempted a rewrite of the first two paragraphs that I hope will be more accurately and neutrally. I urge comments here rather than continued reversion as I changed it in a way, I hope, that would avoid this issue. --Trödel 20:16, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm fine with the current revision, thank you. (I don't quite see why you were unhappy with my version, though; in my view, "view" is more neutral than "claim", so actually the current revision seems to be less favourable to Mormons than the previous one was.) --Martin C. 20:39, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Martin C. I looked at the references you have for the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church's stands on Mormons not being Christian. The reference for the catholic church only states that the baptisms are invalid, not that the LDS church isn't Christian. Therefore it shouldn't be used as a reference in this case. The Orthodox reference is the same, validity of baptism being the issue. In addition, it does not even mention the LDS church. Neither reference states that the respective church sees Mormons as non christians. Therefore, I still don't think that the references are adequate to justify what you have stated as fact. I'm not disuputing it as a fact, just urging you to find better fitting references before making changes. If references can't be found, I suggest leaving out the section. Sylverdin 22:39, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Sylverdin, we are talking about churches with a very strict view about what makes you a Christian: a valid baptism. Do I have to underline that in the article? -Martin C. 22:50, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
It might be good to do that, yes. On the other hand, maybe we're beating this to death. I would suggest wait and see what other users suggest before changing anything. I'm only one user and haven't worked on this article alot, so I'm not up to speed on what is being done to make it better. I'd wait for more input from other users who are far more knowledgeable than I; I'm sure it would help to come to a common concensus. Sylverdin 22:55, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps I'll just reformulate what's already in the section; actually the underlining was part of my original idea, but I kind of failed to formulate it properly. Let's then wait and see (which is BTW a very good advice, thank you). --Martin C. 22:57, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Most Christians say other Christians are not "real" Christains. Only the Catholics are Christian to Catholics, same with Prodistants. I would argue that Mormons are more Christian, as they accept other Christian views as Christian, even if they go against their teachings.

Removing paragraph

I know I am risking making some people very unhappy - but the more I think about it the more I wonder - why do we even need to include this at all in the article - We should be tryign to explain what the church is and what it believes. There are other articles that compare the beliefs to other religions --Trödel 23:08, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

That's very true, come to think of it. If "Christian" is a word that means so many different things to different people, it's only complicating things unnecessarily to use it, and we should leave it out entirely. --Masamage 23:10, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
I do believe that the article should at least mention and link to other articles that deal with the controversies. But I agree that the headline "Nature of God" wasn't the best place to deal with this one. Certainly leaving it out is better than the very weasel-worded "some Christians believe..." that it used to have. --Martin C. 23:27, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
I like your edit. Looks good. --Masamage 00:09, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree. There is a link to Mormonism and Christianity under the Growth into an international church section. Sylverdin 23:57, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
I am not sure I agree that this needs to be said in the Nature of God section. In the different catholicism articles I have read they mostly just articulate the belief of the group - and then have a section on how they broke apart with other catholic traditions. I think we should do the same here - will copyedit the recent change - but still think it is completely unnecessary. --Trödel 03:40, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Much vs. most considering the LDS church as non-Christian

Please. When I cite my sources and give reasons for what I write, I'm get told that this is not the place for such an extensive explanation. When I don't, my text gets reverted because it's unverified and POV. Please decide which solution you want; you cannot keep a factually incorrect clause ("Much of Christianity views Mormonism...", should be "most") in the article. --Martin C. 17:15, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

I think Martin C. is correct. Most Christians do think Mormons are non-Christian, or a heretical sect. When a denomination like Roman Catholicism says that their baptism is invalid, and they also believe that baptism is the rite of entry into the Church (meaning Christianity in the broadest sense that Roman Catholicism understands it), that is enough to conclude that it thinks Mormons are not Christian. As an aside, I don't know why Mormons seek to claim legitimacy or approval from the ones they consider apostates. But regarding recent edits, Martin did provide full sources, which were removed, and then even the basic claim was reverted for lack of sources. We need to do better than this. Wesley 17:46, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
The problem is that this article isn't about what other people think of the church. This is a controversy that should be handled on other pages and mentioned in the controversy section. --Trödel 19:04, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
The first cite only indicated that the Catholic church doesn't recognize Mormon baptisms, nothing more. It certainly doesn't support the claim of "most Christians..." which constitutes original research. The second cite provided is an orthodox wiki which can hardly be treated as a reliable source. Even if cites are provided which would fully support the assertion that most other religions don't recognize Mormon baptisms and don't regard Mormons as Christians, the Mormons certainly regard themselves as Christians, so other views are only relevant in a "Other Views of Mormonism" section or possibly in a "Criticism" section, definitely not in a section about the church's international growth. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 19:12, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
It sounds like we should just keep the "Mormons see themselves as Christians" phrasing and move all discussion of what others think into the Controversy section. There it'll actually be relevant. --Masamage 19:16, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
If I might chime in, "Much of Christianity views Mormonism as...." is not gramatically correct, it should be "most", followed by "Christians"; a religion itself cannot view anything as it doesn't have physical eyes, only the adherants can see. Homestarmy 19:20, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

LOL, good point. I think the phrase "Some Christians view..." might work well. It makes no attempt to quantify numbers that probably can't be verified anyway. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 19:23, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

I tried just removing any quantifiable hint in the phrase - since we aren't ever going to find a sample/poll of all Christians which would give us an accurate number. Still don't like the phrasing though, so have at it. WBardwin 19:25, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
"Some definitions of the word 'Christian' include Mormonism, while others do not"? --Masamage 19:36, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

I've replaced the much-edited text with the phrase "...some Christians view...". This seems to be accurate and grammatically correct. Given that we provide a link to Mormonism and Christianity, it seems sufficient.

Another risky edit - I just reworded this entire section to make it more neutral and avoid the issue being debated. --Trödel 20:26, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Heh. I was reluctant to alter that much of the text myslef, but your boldness paid off. I would support Trödel's current version as the most neutral and concise phrasing yet. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 20:42, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
I see nothing wrong with the current version - it's more neutral than what it used to be. As Doc Tropics said, the opinion about Mormons being non-Christian would properly belong to an "Other views of Mormonism" section, which would have "See also: Criticism of Mormonism, Mormonism and Christianity" at the beginning. Let me add: it is very risky to consistently exclude any text that states what the documented opinion of churches (representing a majority of Christians) is. --Martin C. 08:02, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
thx for the kind comments - I was bracing for "you suck" type stuff :) --Trödel 17:55, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
Of course not, we're here for teamwork and not for competition or antagonism. Non-information is better than information that is very easily perceived in an incorrect way. I'll get back to this matter, but seeing how long the article already is, I expect a major cleanup in the future anyway. --Martin C. 22:05, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I realize things have calmed down recently, but I'm sure it will come up again. How about the definition of Christian that Jesus Christ gave in John 13:34-35?

34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

As a LDS, I love Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. One on one I am usually able to find common ground with any of the above. I suspect that Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc. view LDS as Christians, but I agree that given the strong feelings on the matter some sort of distinction needs to be made. The defining issue is the Nicene creed. LDS are often called 'Mormons', personally I think the labels 'Mormon Christians' and 'Nicene Christians' work, but Nicene Christians don't like to have their Christianity qualified in that way. Well, for that matter, neither do I, but I can live with it. 74s181 11:56, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

If you are truly looking for a NPOV of what it means to be Christian, then please use the dictionary's definition of a Christian, rather than what other religions consider to be Christian. From we find the definition as being:

Chris·tian /ˈkrɪstʃən/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kris-chuhn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –adjective 1. of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith. 2. of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ: Spain is a Christian country. 3. of or pertaining to Christians: many Christian deaths in the Crusades. 4. exhibiting a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ; Christlike: She displayed true Christian charity. 5. decent; respectable: They gave him a good Christian burial. 6. human; not brutal; humane: Such behavior isn't Christian. –noun 7. a person who believes in Jesus Christ; adherent of Christianity. 8. a person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ: He died like a true Christian. 9. a member of any of certain Protestant churches, as the Disciples of Christ and the Plymouth Brethren. 10. the hero of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. 11. a male given name.

Obviously definitions 10 and 11 can be excluded when considering whether a religion is considered "Christian" or not. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, have a religion that is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, try to live Christlike lives, are generally decent and respectable, humane people, who believe in Jesus Christ, and tries to live their lives according the the teachings of Jesus Christ. The way I read it, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are Christians.Web Woman 18:13, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

The Apostle/witness issue

I've just seen the whole issue about apostles being "spiritual witnesses" and "witnesses of the Living Christ" and have to agree with Trodel. It does seem a bit POV and "Mormon" to include an additional description of the office. If a casual reader wishes to know more about the office, he/she will click on the link. I would definitely support a removal of that phrase from the article. Pahoran513 23:53, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Just added the "spiritual witnesses" as an alternative phrase, but have no real preference. Most readers probably won't think about Apostle as an office or function, as they are understood in the LDS church, however. WBardwin 03:24, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure that it is still the appropriate term though. Witnesses of Christ is better, but POV. I'll try to think of another term. Pahoran513 03:04, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

LDS church involvement in editing?

This poster User talk: is (apparantly) posting from an official LDS location; if someone from the INTELLECTUAL RESERVE INC. is indeed editing then we must surmise that this is definite LDS POV. Where do we go from here? POV is not allowed under Wikipedia policy, no matter who is presenting it. I have a screenshot of the whois report if anyone wants me to post it here. Duke53 | Talk 02:47, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

The "NPOV" policy does not mean that "POV is not allowed". It's impossible to have no point of view, unless one's mind is void of all thought. Points of view that are properly attributed can be included. In this case, as long as it's made clear when we're dealing with an official LDS position it's ok. -GTBacchus(talk) 02:50, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
It is POV when the editor is deleting (without comment) anything that the LDS church does not want on these pages. Check the editing history of that editor and let me know what you believe they are attempting to do. It is pretty obvious to me. Duke53 | Talk 02:58, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I wasn't disagreeing with that. I was just pointing out (a) the phrase "POV is not allowed" is incorrect, and (b) that presenting a church POV as a church POV is perfectly cool. I'm not challenging your conclusions about this editor. -GTBacchus(talk) 03:12, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Okay, maybe it is a POV vandal from the LDS church (I just looked at the edit history and agree with you), but we can't know if it is from a directive from the Church. It may just be a random employee doing the editing, the same as if he removed the content at home. However I'm not sure that this is the appropriate forum to discuss this. And how do you know it is from an LDS IP address? I'm honestly curious, not criticizing in the least. Let's not make an issue out of this--let's treat the IP the same as a regular user who makes the same edits. Pahoran513 03:17, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

See whois report --Trödel 14:27, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm comfortable that that was a well-meaning but unofficial church member. As for "Where do we go from here?" the answer is simple: just revert it every time it happens. No big deal. --Masamage 03:18, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
"just revert it every time it happens" We could also ask for a block of that address, which is done every day at Wikipedia. Their position does not make them any better than anybody else at Wikipedia. Duke53 | Talk 04:15, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
"And how do you know it is from an LDS IP address"? > > >
Opps - guess you already have shown the IP address - but is the arrow really needed - this kind of condenscension - rather than just providing a link to a whois search from your prefered provider is what permeates all your discussions on LDS topics and is getting rather tiresome. --Trödel 14:28, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Maybe a BIGGER arrow was needed, since you 'missed' seeing it before you went to the trouble of posting a duplicate. I am getting pretty sick of your 'criticisms' ... you worry about your posts, I'll worry about mine. Duke53 | Talk 14:44, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
How am I supposed to miss something that wasn't there, see the diff that I ws reviewing. Perhaps if you went to the trouble to learn more about how Wikipedia works and the traditions here instead of using them as a sledghammer to get your way (e.g. posting warnings to user talk pages over content disputes, unnessarily requesting page/image protection, requesting mediation anytime you can't find a way to compromise [and not having any editor willing to mediate is telling], not trying to learn how diffs work[even after I tried to carefully explain them to you]) - my remarks regarding those traditions wouldn't rub you the wrong way. --Trödel 15:09, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
"See whois report --Trödel 14:27, 22 November 2006" The image was there when you posted your link (hint:check time stamps); not my fault if you 'were' editing from an older 'diff'. I know how Wikipedia works in this case ... should you know the same? Duke53 | Talk 19:08, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Agreed that I should have checked to see if someone had provided a link already (but wait - now that I have looked at it - it isn't a link but an image that is unverifiable - no link to the source of the image either here or on the image's page). However, I should have resisted any comment about your motives. --Trödel 19:37, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Blocks are only given if the individual persists after being warned. They have been warned; they have not persisted. Again, nothing to worry about. --Masamage 04:29, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I realize that they haven't persisted after the warnings, but you said "just revert it every time it happens", as if we were to continue just reverting them. 11 edits (most of which were simply deleting content) in just over half an hour should be pretty close to the limit for patience for anyone. Duke53 | Talk 04:51, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I see your point. Yes, if they get back on it they should be warned maybe once more and then submitted for a block. 11 edits is pushing it, but if their momentum was really up, they may just not have seen our warnings until they finished; I try to give the benefit of a doubt. In any case, let's hope they're finished. --Masamage 05:01, 22 November 2006 (UTC)


one thing i'm a little confused about. isn't the new Jerusalem supplsed to be located within jackson county? the article seems to imply that they are in 2 seperate locations. Javawizard 23:49, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

My understanding is that there will be Jerusalem and new Jerusalem. wrp103 (Bill Pringle) 04:05, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Women and the Priesthood

I'm not convinced that women were given the priesthood. I'm more inclined to believe they thought they could exercise some priesthood power. I'm away on a business trip and won't be home until this weekend, but I recall reading in a book containing various writings of Mormon women, including one passage where an early prominent women (Eliza Snow maybe?) felt she was able to exercise the priesthood through the temple ordinances. I will look when I get home to come up with the reference, unless somebody beats me to it. I also recall hearing that women frequently were set apart to perform blessings, but I'm not sure I ever found a source to confirm that. wrp103 (Bill Pringle) 04:04, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

- Women are given the Priesthood to do temple work only. It is not the same Priesthood given to the men. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Generally it is the same priesthood D&C 107:1-5. It is an appendage to the Melch Priesthood just like any office in the priesthood like Bishop, EQ Pres, etc; however I know of no reliable source for doctrine that descibes how the priesthood operates in the temple for Women (i.e. by what way do they administer in ordinances). --Trödel 17:54, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
When recently asked, "Will there ever be women priests in the Mormon church"? Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the church, said in The Boston Globe: "Insofar as I can see, no. The women have their place.... they have a voice in determining policy and doing many things in the church. I haven't found any complaint among our women. I'm sure there are a few, a handful somewhere who may be disaffected for one reason or another, but I've never seen any evidence of it."[1] Duke53 | Talk 18:09, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
and...--Trödel 18:46, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
and ... what ? Duke53 | Talk 20:04, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

To Bill and anon - Married women hold the priesthood jointly with their husbands; ie endowed women hold priesthood (or are annointed and in some cases ordained as priestesses), but they are not ordained, nor hold keys nor have authorization to act in directing church affairs as part of the priesthood. However, up until the middle of last century, women were allowed to stand in on baby blessings, pray over the sick, place anointed oil on the sick (but not perform the anointing ordinance) and more. I think President Hinckley's quote is good and accurate - those who understand the workings of the priesthood and church doctrine don't have an issue with it (and statistics I've seen support this, per discussions elsewhere. Roles are different, and they do hold eternal priesthood, yet they are not active as priesthood leaders in this life. The doctrines are clear, and no man can be exalted without his spouse's priesthood. The priesthood was not perfectly orgazined until the women portions were via the relief societty, according ot SMith. Women have to have a role in priesthood, however, most outside the church and many within the church don't take time to read the basic teachings on this in such works as Priesthood and church Government and Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and as such misunderstand it. However, the quote is supported by stats on the matter. -Visorstuff 21:02, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I think the whole "women and the priesthood" section should be removed. It is too "fringe" and not indicative of the history nor the teachings of the churchIsaac Crumm 04:52, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Should this be removed?

At the end of the "Worship Services" section is this:

Women usually attend wearing a bikini or other revealing swimsuit, while men wear slacks with or without a shirt. Children are also expected to come to church meetings wearing casual clothing.

It seems "out of place" (?) and probably incorrect. Someone with editing experience might want to correct it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 13:14, December 14, 2006 (UTC)

I don't see that in the article. It only talks about normal church-clothes. Guess someone already fixed it. --Masamage 08:06, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Don't forget one of the main rules of wikipedia. Fix whatever seems totally incorrect and be bold. Telepheedian 17:30, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Controversies section

I realize it is by-and-large a hopeless cause for this article to be anything other than what the mob-rule of LDS folk wants it to be, but don't you think it is a little ridiculous to have nothing but Wikilinks in the controversies section? CyberAnth 18:17, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

This was done with a lot of discussion, and primarily because if we introduce even a paragraph, it soon becomes bloated and added with every arguement and counter arguement under the sun. It's just too much information to have here, and adding even one point opens the flood gates. Certainly we can discuss again, but please review the archives. Bytebear 19:34, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
"Too much" according to who? When there are as many controversies as there is, one would expect the section to at least include a bulleted list of the major ones. But then, that is not "faith promoting", is it, which is the core argument beneath the euphemisms in the arguments for exclusion, right? And adding counter arguments is not even the purpose of "criticisms" section, is it? CyberAnth 19:43, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
It used to be a big section, but the decision was made to simplify as the section became so large as to warrant its own article. At the same time the article was spun out, there was a wikipedia movement to cut down on duplicate material from article to article, and in most cases entire sections of articles were relegated to a single link - as has survived in this article. That's the context, it wasn't purposeful to censor any criticism. I agree we should add it back in, however, I'd still keep the links so folks can read the larger articles on the various topics.
As a side note and comparison, Exmormon editors relegated any discussion of Mormon/Latter-day Saint views at the Exmormon article to an doctrirally and historically incorrect [paragraphs]. Mormon editors who tried to correct were told that in an article about Exmormons, Mormons shouldn't have a say as to certain aspects of content that are positive toward the church. I disagree with this view in any article - and think that controversies and criticisms is a natural part of any article. Cyberanth, add it in, as it probably should be there...or at least a bit of explanations as to why we are pointing people to other articles.... -Visorstuff 20:00, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

By the way, I do disagree with a bulleted list - as this article is in much better status and I believe that bulleted lists in most cases decreases an article's readability. And it would simply duplicate an already long Controversies regarding The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints article. Context is always better than lists. And I do agree that rebuttals from Mormon apologists are not wise, but the wording should reflect the differences between disagreements and misunderstandings. -Visorstuff 20:06, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

I will note that there is a consensus on some articles that "Controversies/Criticisms" should not be their own heading and woven into the article. I think some felt that a "See Also" was not prominant enough for the links so the heading stands, and the compromise was met. Bytebear 20:11, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

A date in history

I was looking back at some old edits and thought you'd all be interested to read an early, early version of this article. Very interesting how far we've come. -Visorstuff 00:19, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Being concise

I just made a bunch of changes in an effort to get this article to a more managable size - and removed only 4kb from 75kb to 71kb. I think further efforts need to be made in this area even if it means more summarization and the creation of additional articles. --Trödel 23:15, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

The culture section could be condensed a lot with a brief mention of the various programs of the church. Also the Education section duplicates some info on Institute which could be condensed as well. Bytebear 07:08, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I think the word "metaphysics" ought to be replaced with something else, actually it should probably just be removed altogether, it doesn't really fit very well.Isaac Crumm 04:53, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Works for me. There are only two subsection under it which could easily go under Beiefs with no problem. Bytebear 04:58, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Martyrdom of Joseph Smith is not POV

An anonymous user ( changed "Joseph Smith led the church until he was killed in 1844" to "Joseph Smith led the church until he was martyred in 1844". He also 'signed' the begining of the article.

Wrp103 reverted the change, with the comment "rv - bad POV edit". I agree that signing the article was a mistake, but I had also been considering changing "killed" to "martyred", I think it is appropriate.

The word "martyred" is not POV by any definition I can find. says "One who chooses to suffer death rather than renounce religious principles. One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle." Wikipedia says: "In the Christian context, a martyr is an innocent person who, without seeking death (suicide being seen as sinful), is murdered or put to death for his or her religious faith or convictions." Joseph Smith made the ultimate sacrifice to seal his testimony.

So I changed it back to martyred and added a reference to D&C 135. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 74s181 (talkcontribs) 02:04, 12 January 2007 (UTC).

You added a reference that is not of a neutral point of view. Besselfunctions 02:30, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, not a great reference, but an acceptable word according to the dictionary definitions quoted. --Masamage 02:56, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

The reference to D&C 135 uses the term "martyrdom" but I didn't add it to prove that Joseph Smith was a martyr. The intent is to provide an eyewitness account of the event, the majority of statements in the reference are facts about the event which I don't believe are disputed by anyone (who, what, where, when, how, why). Sprinkled among these undisputed facts are some pretty strong opinions about Joseph Smith, but D&C 135 is not Wikipedia, it is a reference being cited in Wikipedia. As with any reference, the reader will have to decide for himself what he thinks about it.74s181 11:59, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I hope I have come up with a workable compromise. I changed the term back to "killed", and then mention that members consider him martyred in the footnote. I notice that the same changes have been made for several other pages (a number of times for some pages). What do people think? Can we settle on that approach? wrp103 (Bill Pringle) 15:19, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I think you are using "killed" in order to avoid POV arguments with other editors. But by definition (as shown above) Smith was a martyr. With that said, it is actually POV to say "Mormons claim Smith was Martyred". Keep that in mind when compromising. Bytebear 18:45, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Folks there are multiple issues here. Words and phrases used to describe his death could include: Killed, Murdered, Martyred, Died in a gunfight, Assassinated, Died in a revenge killing, Manslaughtered, Lynched by a mob, Causualty of a riot, Died in armed conflict with a militia and more. Wikipedia assigns POV to many of these terms.

"Killed" is what is the most neutral - the fact is that he was killed. "Murdered" is appropriate, as there was a murder trial. Assasinated is appropriate, as he was a presidential candidate. "Martyr" could be debated as he fought back, and we don't know all of the reasons for the killing. Was it political due to his presidency bid? (he is listed in some books as the first presidential candidate in the US that was "assasinated") was it over slavery? Polygamy? Religion? Revenge? Mobocracy due to power struggles, militial tribunals, destruction of press, mayoral policies, church organization, secrecy, changes to masonic ritual, and the legality of killing mormons in missouri and more have all been cited as reasons why people hated him and would want to kill him. So to say he was only martyred is a mistake, as he was also assasinated, murdered, tortured and nearly beheaded. Let's let Death of Joseph Smith, Jr. sort out those issues, and keep it simple in this article. It should read kill here and perhaps a link to the sub-article explaining these arguments. Lets just keep it simple, as his death can become quite complex depending on the readers point of view. -Visorstuff 19:01, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree that discussion of alternate viewpoints should remain on the Death of Joseph Smith, Jr. page, but I think this article should use the word "martyred" because that is the most accurate and concise description of what happened. "Killed" may be less offensive to some people, but "martyred" is more accurate. One may be killed by being gored by an ox, run over by a wagon, shot for cheating at cards, etc. Joseph Smith was killed for his religious beliefs, therefore he was martyred. Assassinated is less accurate, although he was a politician for a short time, most people are not even aware that he was a US presidential candidate. His entire life revolved around his role as founder and leader of the Mormon church.
Visorstuff said: "...'Martyr' could be debated as he fought back..." Well, Joseph Smith went to Carthage voluntarily, " a lamb to the slaughter..." but he did fire a few shots with a pepper-box revolver after attackers started firing into the jail. However, there is nothing in the dictionary definition of 'martyr' that says a martyr has to meekly accept his fate. In fact, the Wikipedia martyr article includes those who voluntarily surrender their lives actively attacking others in the name of a religous cause.
Visorstuff said: "...'Killed' is what is the most neutral..." I disagree. "Died" would be the most neutral, but it isn't accurate. We could say: "Joseph Smith led the church until his death in 1844." This is factually correct, but doesn't convey as much information as "killed", which doesn't convey as much information as "martyred". We could also say "...until he died in prison in 1844..." Not exactly correct. "...until he was shot while attempting to escape from prison in 1844..." Whoa, completely factual but also completely wrong. How about "...until he was killed by an armed group who disagreed with his religious teachings..." Accurate, but kind of long, might still be offensive, and by the way, isn't that what 'martyred' means? "...until his death in 1844..." would be definitely be less offensive to some "historic" Christians. Is that the goal? To sacrifice brevity or accuracy in order to avoid offense?
Bytebear seems to be suggesting that maybe the concern is that martyr is a loaded word and if it is used here it will attract all sorts of trouble.
Bottom line, if Joseph Smith doesn't fit the definition of martyr, who does? And if he was a martyr, why can't we say so? 74s181 04:43, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
I do think it will attract those who will claim it is POV, but those same people will claim that calling Mormons "Christian" is POV, so I don't give it as much weight as you may thing. I do think we need to be clear as to the usage and that it is valid to say "martyr" and leave little or no room to argue the contrary. I did say that it is definitly POV to say that Mormons claim he was martyred as it isn't just mormons. at the very least the footnot should say "Smith was martyred" stated as a fact. Bytebear 07:27, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

I have changed it back to 'martyred'. I made a similar change to the Death of Joseph Smith, Jr. page and added a section for opposing viewpoints. 'Classification of Joseph Smith, Jr. as a martyr'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74s181 (talkcontribs) 15:27, 14 January 2007

I'm not sure why, but Bytebear changed GutenMorning's "death" edit back to "martyrdom", then changed it again to "death" two hours later. There are two sentences right next to each other that could use a form of 'martyr':

"In 1844, after a conflict with an antagonistic newspaper over Smith's alleged practice of "spiritual wifery", Smith and his brother Hyrum were arrested, taken to Carthage, Illinois, and then both of them were killed by a mob on June 27, 1844.
In the aftermath of the death of Joseph Smith Jr. and his brother Hyrum, his presumed successor,[4] several church leaders campaigned to lead the church, a time known as the Succession Crisis."

Saying "...both of them were martyred by a mob..." doesn't sound right to me, unfortunately my last class in english composition was 30+ years in the past and I wasn't paying much attention.

Using a form of 'martyr' in the second sentence as in "..aftermath of the martyrdom..." sounds better than "...martyred by a mob..." in the first sentence but still seems a bit clumsy.

I think one of these needs to use the more descriptive "martyr" terminology, it is more accurate and I think we agreed it was NPOV.74s181 13:53, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

I happened to be 'driving by' and changed it back to "martyrdom", because I didn't see any disagreeing discussion here since my last posting in February. 74s181 02:16, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Native American's and Israelites

a recent edit added several paragraphs on the origins of Native Americans. It does seem like a worthy belief to mention, but his edits are extremely POV and somewhat inaccurate. Can someone come up with something more neutral (and shorter) as it really belongs either in Controversies article, or in the Book of Mormon article. Bytebear 07:38, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree it it too long for this page, and doesn't belong at the begining of the beliefs section, this is not a core belief. I rearranged the intro a bit, created a couple of new sections and moved this material to those sections until someone who has the time can check other LDSproject pages for duplicate material and reorganize / summarize these sections. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 74s181 (talkcontribs) 14:40, 15 January 2007 (UTC).
I was wondering if I could change something. The section says "...Not only is this view not based on archaeological research (it is rooted in speculation about the origins of Native Americans current in the early 19th Century), DNA testing proves that the two groups are not related..." I wanted to change it to: "This view not based on archaeological research, instead coming from the text of the Book of Mormon (which, if written by Joseph Smith, could have its roots in speculation about the origins of Native Americans current in the early 19th Century). DNA testing proves that the two groups are not related..." The way it is currently written, it doesn't allow for the possibility of the Book of Mormon being anything but fiction. The way I have it written allows for the possibility of it being true in as non POV a way I can think of. Just wanted to ask before doing, as this seems to be a touchy page, and I don't want to get banned, seeing as though (I think) I share an IP adress with everybody in my dorm complex. 04:48, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't think you will get banned for reducing POV, best thing to do is to register as a user, that separates your identity from your IP address, if people don't like something you do then they can leave feedback on your talk page.
This whole section along with the text following 'America as Promised Land' was inserted at the top of the 'Beliefs and practices' section a couple of days ago by an anonymous editor. It was moved to the end of the section, split up, edited, etc. I agree that the controversy is better covered in the Genetics and the Book of Mormon, I didn't know that article existed before today.
So I'm removing most of the text and replacing it with a statement that there is a controversy, linked to the genetics article. Since the main topic of Mormon belief about native americans is more of a Book of Mormon topic, I've changed the main article link to point to the Book of Mormon.74s181 12:14, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Growth in size of the article and Lingo

Unfortunately the size of the article is going in the opposite direction it needs to. The article has grown 6% since January 4th when I last attempted to consolidate items and move details to sub articles. Additionally, the introduction is full of CJC lingo and no longer reads neutrally (imho). Finally, Joseph Smith has replaced Smith contrary to the style guide. --Trödel 03:49, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

It sounds like you are saying that first usage of a proper name should be the full name and subsequent usage should be a shorter form. I think this makes sense but I couldn't find any statements supporting this in the link you provided. I followed the link to the style guide, eventually found the Wikipedia:Proper names link, followed it. There is a section on Personal names, it says " is best to use a recognizable form for an article title... The most complete name (with titles) should appear at the beginning of the article..." but it doesn't say that a shorter version of the name should be used within the article.
I see two problems contributing to the size of the article.
1. There are some fairly lengthy sections that do not have a 'see also' or 'main' tag, referencing another article with more detail. (Ordinances, Non-canonical publications, Temple worship, first three sections under Church organization and leadership)
2. Some sections that do reference another article with more detail have too much detail. (Early history, Establishment in Utah, Purpose of Life, Theology of family and gender, Priesthood, Worship services, General Conference, Church Educational System)
I think #1 can be dealt with by creating stub articles. The problem with #2 is NPOV. One wants to say something about the subject, but as soon as you do, the 'anti' folks want to have their say, and it escalates from there. I'm not sure how to prevent that without offending. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 74s181 (talkcontribs) 16:11, 21 January 2007 (UTC).

Sorry for pointing to the wrong page, it is at Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies)#Subsequent uses of names. I agree with both these suggestions. One can introduce complex topics concisely and still be neutral. The key is that one should accurately describe the church and its teachings without commenting on whether they are right or wrong. This edit attempts to do just that in explaining the Plan of Salvation. Here is another example on the politically charged family/same-sex marriage issue. Sorry to use my own edits but I know them best :) --Trödel 02:17, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Mountain Meadows Massacre

Why is it that references to a highly documented event in the history of the early mormon church in Utah is continually removed from the article? If there is to be a section about the History of the church, and this article is to be unbiased rather than the evangelical tool of the Mormon church, as it appears to be, then the entire history MUST be presented, NOT just the good, but the bad as well. This bears fully on the history of the church, and should not be removed.Mountain Meadows Massacre. I am not suggesting the entire story be rehashed but a brief sentence ought to be in the article with a link to the well verified and supported wiki entry on the subject.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I'm pretty sure no one disagrees. Your link is badly formatted, but that's the only problem I see. --Masamage 16:44, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh, looks like someone does, and they have a good reason. It is a really long article already. --Masamage 18:58, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

See discussion immediately above this one. There is no room in this article for detail on any topic, positive or negative, history included. Most sections give a very high level overview and refer to another article. That is why there is a separate History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints article, which does mention the Mountain Meadows massacre. The goal right now is to move material from this article to other articles, not to add more info to this article. Only the most significant, high-level events or info should be in this article.

Although the Mountain Meadows massacre (which, as you can see, has its own article) was a horrible attrocity, it was an act of individuals, not an official act of the Church, at least there doesn't appear to be any evidence that it was ordered or condoned by Brigham Young or any other senior church official. Compare this to the Mormon War which was an official act against the church by various government officials, up to and including Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs. Many of the Mormon War attrocities and their connection to government officials are well documented in various eye witness accounts in documents that still exist today, along with the original Extermination Order signed by the governor himself. This long string of events only gets half of a sentence in this article. 74s181 05:39, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I should point out that according to Will Bagley, who wrote the book "Blood of Prohets: The Mountain Meadow Massacre", he presents evidence that Brigham Young did in fact give the "kill orders" for the Fauncher Party massacre. He also provides clear evidence that Mormons participated in the massacre, for which only John D. Lee was held resposible and executed. He draws from a recovered Mormon diary, that Fawn Brodie (the current expert on the massacre, and LDS member) did not have or know about when she wrote her book. 20:00, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Dude, check your facts. Fawn Brodie is not "the current expert on the massacre"; she has been dead for 26 years. Moreover, she was anything but an "LDS member" most of her adult life.-- 20:26, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Juanita Brooks was the LDS historian dealing with MMM. Please note that Bagley's book has not been particularly well received by historians, LDS or not -- many concerns about his level of speculation in the book, and his use of the facts available (which are, and have always been, limted). Please note tht activity in the article, as of May 2007, has turned quite ugly and POV. WBardwin 17:40, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Edits by GutenMorning

A new user, GutenMorning made a number of edits, most of which were reverted. None of the edits had an edit summary. One of the edits was a section from Church History about the death of Joseph Smith. The edit summary of the revert called it "obviously vandalism", but I disagree.

I agree that the addition probably should not have been added as part of the article, but could have very easily gone into a footnote. I realize that this page gets vandalized on a regular basis, and I'm as guilty as the next one at summarily reverting edits. But (IMHO) we should also remember to take it easy on the new editors. We were all newbies at some point. wrp103 (Bill Pringle) 04:53, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Blacks and Mormonism

A recent edit by was reverted on the grounds of POV push:

The Book of Mormon never actually countenanced any form of curse-based discrimination. It stated that the Lord "denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile". (2 Nephi 26:33). In fact, prejudice against people of dark skin was condemned:

O my brethren, I fear that unless ye shall repent of your sins that their skins will be whiter than yours, when ye shall be brought with them before the throne of God. Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, which is the word of God, that ye revile no more against them because of the darkness of their skins; neither shall ye revile against them because of their filthiness..." (Jacob 3:8-9).

Although there is some POV, it balances out an equally (IMHO) POV edit that talks about the Nephite/Lamanite skin color in the Book of Mormon, which is off-topic, since the section is really about African-Americans not getting the priesthood for a while.

It seems to me that we should either add this back in w/o the POV comments, or remove the off-topic paragraphs about skin color in the Book of Mormon.

Thoughts? wrp103 (Bill Pringle) 18:54, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the above. Note that the Blacks and Mormonism article gives all of the same details. The intrinsic symbolism of "white" as a symbol of purity and being washed "white through the blood of the Lamb" can't be adequately explained in a brief summary article such as this, so why mislead and confuse the reader? Reiddp 07:09, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

No Criticism?

is there any criticism of Mormon beliefs and practices? why was it not included on the page? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:18, 15 February 2007 (UTC).

Because there are two other articles already about that. --Masamage 19:24, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Thank you. Can anyone shed more light on the allegations that they teach that some people will live on their own planets or something along those lines. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The relevant discussion of that on WP can be found at Theosis#Deification in Mormonism and in the article that section links to. The basic idea you're probably thinking of is that the church teaches that there is opportunity for people to become "as Heavenly Father is," continue progressing forever, create their own worlds, and have their own spirit children. --Masamage 08:18, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I find this article way below Wiki standards. The POV is severely in question. How can there be no mention at all of scientific objections in regards to archeology and genetics, except to a link to a separate article? I would expect an article on the books of Daniel or Jonah to include questions as to their authenticity, and articles on the books on the Gospels bring up historical criticism and questions of authorship. Why is the Mormon religion so special that it doesn't include scientific objections? Why suddenly is basic science relegated to a sub-article?-Abdul Muhib —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Abdul Muhib (talkcontribs) 06:05, 1 May 2007.

The topic is the LDS church; not the Book of Mormon. This article is more akin to Roman Catholic church than the books of Jonah or Daniel. In comparing the two you will find far more criticism in this article than in it or any other church's main article. I suspect this has more to do with your personal beliefs than the quality of the article. It is not surprising to me that the criticism section of Islam consists of nine sentences with references to three articles. The truth is in that with only a few minutes of research you will find a plethora of articles that are critical of the church and there is not a single article that exists that does not contain its own criticism of the church, its doctrine, theology, beliefs, or people. SPECIAL??? only it that it leads in criticism. Please do some more research and you will find this to be a far more accurate position than the one you have presented. --Storm Rider (talk) 06:20, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
The reason there is no criticism is, there's no praise or apologetics either (or at least there shouldn't be), because this is a summary article and very long one at that, with all the necessary summary factual information. There just isn't room for either criticism or praise here. That's for the sub-articles. COGDEN 07:10, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Opening Up the Opening Again, Sorry!

I haven't been around in a while. I don't really like the direction the opening paragraphs have gone. It seems we have moved backwards compared to the clarity and professionalism of the introduction around a year ago. Here is how it read April 17, 2006:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the "LDS Church" or the "Mormon Church", is the largest and most well-known denomination within the Latter Day Saint movement (a form of Restorationism). The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Latter-day Saints regard Jesus Christ as the head of their church and count themselves as Christians, but do not consider themselves part of the Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant traditions. Rather, they believe the church to be the restoration of the original church established by Jesus Christ on Earth.

Compare that to the current:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a church with American origins that claims to be the restoration of the original Christian church founded by Jesus during his earthly ministry.

Sometimes referred to as the LDS Church or the Mormon Church, the church teaches that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1820 and called him to be a prophet and to restore His Church on the earth, including essential elements that were lost from Christianity between Paul's death and the First Council of Nicaea. These elements included scriptures previously unknown to western civilization, the calling of Twelve Apostles as special witnesses of Christ's divinity, and the restoration of priesthood authority. The Church was organized by Joseph Smith and five others in Fayette, New York on April 6, 1830, shortly after the first publication of the Book of Mormon.

An international organization with a majority of worldwide members living outside of the United States, the LDS Church has its world headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, where 96-year-old Gordon B. Hinckley serves as its 15th President and is considered to be the world's modern prophet and earthly voice for Jesus Christ. The church sends tens of thousands of male and female missionaries throughout the world, and in 2005 reported a worldwide membership of over 12.5 million.

I don't know, maybe everyone likes it better the new way? But I doubt it. Some of the changes were largely due to a crusade to stamp out any "consider themselves Christian" language on the part of one or two sensitive LDS. Since the discussion ultimately ruled out the word "Christian" it was determined to give a summary of the beliefs instead. Hopefully that discussion has cooled off and they can now see the error of their ways and we can put that back in. And then there's a year's worth of the natural drift that occurs with multiple authors constantly editing.

Anyway, is there anyone besides me that thinks the 2006 version is better? Novel-Technology 07:39, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I vote for the 2006 version. Bytebear 22:31, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
As do I, but I think the 2006 version can be improved, as well. I made an edit, including the most basic information that I think people who know nothing or little about the church would like to know, which would give them a reason to read the entire article. If I were a Martian reading the 2007 version, I'd be bored and befuddled. After reading the 2006 version, I'd be saying "so what?". Maybe my edit is a step toward a "third way". COGDEN 23:31, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

From my comments on the much vs most "Christian" talking points, I will add this here.

"If you are truly looking for a NPOV of what it means to be Christian, then please use the dictionary's definition of a Christian, rather than what other religions consider to be Christian. From we find the definition as being:

Chris·tian /ˈkrɪstʃən/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kris-chuhn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –adjective 1. of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith. 2. of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ: Spain is a Christian country. 3. of or pertaining to Christians: many Christian deaths in the Crusades. 4. exhibiting a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ; Christlike: She displayed true Christian charity. 5. decent; respectable: They gave him a good Christian burial. 6. human; not brutal; humane: Such behavior isn't Christian. –noun 7. a person who believes in Jesus Christ; adherent of Christianity. 8. a person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ: He died like a true Christian. 9. a member of any of certain Protestant churches, as the Disciples of Christ and the Plymouth Brethren. 10. the hero of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. 11. a male given name.

Obviously definitions 10 and 11 can be excluded when considering whether a religion is considered "Christian" or not. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, have a religion that is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, try to live Christlike lives, are generally decent and respectable, humane people, who believe in Jesus Christ, and tries to live their lives according the the teachings of Jesus Christ. The way I read it, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are Christians.Web Woman 18:13, 31 January 2007 (UTC)"

Instead of qualifying that they "consider themsleves Christian", would it not be more appropriate to call them a Christian religion as per the definition? Web Woman 15:10, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

No, it wouldn't. Novel-Technology 15:16, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

The problem with using this definition to prove that Mormons are Christian is that the Christ of the Mormons is a completely different person, both in nature and in his teachings, from the Christ of other religions. Mormons believe that Christs' teachings were lost or corrupted until the revelations of Joseph Smith; while the other religions that call themselves Christian follow these supposedly corrupted teachings. Mormons do not believe that Jesus Christ was True God and True Man, while this is a fundamental teaching of the other religions that call themselves Christian. The Catholic and Protestant sects of Christianity disagree vehemently over fundamental aspects of theology, but have in common a definite core belief set (of which C.S. Lewis' _Mere Christianity_ is one attempt to codify) and a set of documents (most books of the bible) which they agree to be uncorrupt and reliable. Mormons do not hold to this core belief set and hold the Bible to be corrupt. This is why most Catholics and Protestants can be relied upon to stop arguing with each other just long enough to assert in unison that the Mormons are not of their religion. This has nothing to do with whether or not Mormons are humane or virtuous not.

It should be noted that the Muslims also claim to follow Christ, but, like Mormons, hold their own view of his nature, purpose, and teachings. Should Muslims be called Christian because they claim to follow Christ as a prophet?R.E.S.A. 19:18, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Some of your description of LDS beliefs are not accurate. For example, in what way do Mormons not believe that Jesus is true God and man? As for "Mere Christianity", at many Mormons agree with most of the points in that book. The only exception that I noticed is his chapter about family relationships continuing after death. Actually, I've seen portions of that book used in LDS Sunday School classes (especially the "rats in the basement" story)!
The Jesus that Mormons worship is the same person as He who other Christians worship. We may believe different things about him, but he is the same person. wrp103 (Bill Pringle) 19:50, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
This is totally irrelevant to the article, but here's my take:
Actually, the question of whether the Mormon Jesus is the same "person" as the traditional Christian Jesus is a silly question, since if you answer the question in the negative, you would be asserting that there are two separate Jesuses, which conflicts with Christian doctrine. The real question a "true" Christian must ask is whether or not Mormons worship the one Jesus, or whether what they "do" doesn't count as worshipping him. But if it's impossible to worship Jesus without understanding his "correct" nature, then most Catholics and Protestants aren't Christian, either, because their concept of Jesus' nature isn't that sophisticated. COGDEN 23:50, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
FYI, not that it will ever persuade your typical evangelical Bible-thumping right-winger, but Jimmy Carter, himself an evangelical, thinks Mormons are Christian. See this Newsweek article. COGDEN 01:55, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
R.E.S.A., I'm not sure where you got the idea that Mormons think that the Bible is "corrupt." That would be quite a surprise to every Mormon who is studying the New Testament in Sunday School this year (Old Testament was last year). But, getting back to the article, the facts are: 1) Mormon's consider themselves Christian, 2) They absolutely believe in the Jesus Christ of the New Testament and 3) other religions dispute their claim of being Christian. Bochica 04:58, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
"Corrupted" would be a better term. It's because of the tons of monks copying it by hand and translating it back and forth so much. Hence, Joseph Smith's translation. --Masamage 05:11, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, comparison with ancient texts indicate that the monks (and before that, the rabbis) did a pretty good job of copying. The "translated correctly" (IMHO) deals more with interpretations of the biblical text than the actual text itself. That said, there are a number of families of texts that can be identified (and I'm not just talking about the Documentary Hypothesis). As for the JST, that is more of a commentary than a true translation, and LDS classes use the text sparingly. wrp103 (Bill Pringle) 14:18, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
That is a much more accurate description. It should be pointed out that, although a "Joseph Smith Translation" (JST) exists, passages from it are used only occasionally as a study aid and it is not part of the canon of scripture of the (Salt Lake City based) LDS church. The LDS church uses the standard KJV Bible, although they have a printing of the KJV which is fully cross-referenced through footnotes to the other Mormon standard works. The KJV text itself is unaltered and is used extensively in the church. The JST footnotes are used more as an interesting comparison, and they didn't even appear in the LDS printing of the KJV until 1981. Bochica 14:30, 21 March 2007 (UTC)


I think if any mention is going to be made of Kolob, it should at least be accurate. (For what it's worth, I don't think it's appropriate to have a mention of Kolob on the page about the Church itself. Maybe on a page about Latter Day Saint theology, but not on one about the legal structure called TCOJCOLDS.)

Anyway, the Church does not teach that God the Father and Jesus Christ "live on a planet named Kolob". This is a favourite misquote of anti-Mormon types, who fail to actually report what the Book of Abraham actually says about Kolob. Please--no more statements that God lives on a planet named Kolob, 'cos we all know that no one actually teaches or believes that! SESmith 02:44, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Well said. Remember to sign your comments. ^^ --Masamage 01:48, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the reminder to sign, and I apologize for forgetting. It was not my intention to try to leave an anonymous message. SESmith 02:42, 8 March 2007 (UTC))
No worries. Everyone does it now and then. ^^ --Masamage 02:45, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
There already is an article on Kolob. Interestingly enough, Battlestar Galactica, written by a Mormon, mentions a planet called Kobol. Just a bit of trivia. Both items are trivia, and do not deserve attention in this article. Bytebear 04:56, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Nature of God - Heavenly Mother

I have a problem with the phrase "The Church teaches ..." about Heavenly Mother. Yes, her existence is implied in Gospel Principles because it talks about our heavenly parents. President Kimball mentions her during the cited talk, and she is again implied in the hymn "O My Father". IMHO those citations show that it is widely believed, but not that the church teaches. I don't recall any church lesson that teaches her existence.

Maybe I'm picking nits, but it seems to me that the article currently implies that Mormons are actively teaching others about that doctrine, when in fact, it is much more subtle. IMHO, an official doctrine of the church is a concept that all are expected to believe. If somebody has problems accepting the existence of Heavenly Mother, it will have absolutely no effect on their membership, ability to serve in leadership positions, etc.

Is it just me, or am I making sense? Thoughts? wrp103 (Bill Pringle) 04:45, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I understand what you are saying. However, Gospel Principles is the most basic Sunday School manual of the Church. Lesson 2 clearly states that there are heavenly parents (i.e. a father and a mother). This lesson is "taught" in most units of the Church at least once per year, and all new converts and recently reactivated people are encouraged to attend that class. This sounds like "teaching" to me.
Also, there has been tremendous emphasis on many levels of "teaching" in the Church on the Proclamation on the Family. Again, this document clearly and very early on states that everyone is a child of heavenly parents. Therefore, I think it's indisputable that the Church does teach it. However, perhaps the best solution would be to add a sentence that indicates that it is not focused on to a great degree in the teachings--that it is a doctrine that is taught but it is by no means dwelt upon or emphasized. SESmith 04:53, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Incidentally, wrp103 (Bill Pringle), you may be interested in working on the page on Heavenly Mother. You might have some concerns about what it says there too. SESmith 04:55, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, Gospel Principles is First-Presidency approved. (And to nit-pick, she's more than implied in O My Father: "In the heavens are parents single? No, the thought makes reason stare!")
Anyway, I do think you're right, but we have to be expressive about it. Rather than rephrasing it a la "Some members believe..." why not just be specific: "Official church materials refer to 'Heavenly Parents', implying the existence of a Heavenly Mother. Belief in such a figure is common among members, and she has also been mentioned by some church officials. No specific doctrines on the subject have been released by the church, however." --Masamage 04:57, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
I would support a change like that SESmith 05:04, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
As would I. Good idea. wrp103 (Bill Pringle) 15:07, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Another "Yes" here. Any other LDS references to "Heavenly Mother" appear to be simple speculation. WBardwin 01:22, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Wow, I'm pleasantly surprised that was received so well. :) I've worked it in. --Masamage 18:35, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
This is the way that Wikipedia is supposed to work. ;^)
SESmith, I looked at Heavenly Mother and found no problems other than the fact that it seemed pretty LDS heavy. That concept has been floating around for a long time, and IMHO the article should better reflect the variety of groups that have adopted such a belief. I added a short Asherah section. I wish I had more time (and knowledge) to work on it more. :-( wrp103 (Bill Pringle) 19:18, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Latest changes on Ordanances

The article now includes the text:

all people who have lived past the age of eight must participate in each of the saving ordinances, either in person or by proxy after they are dead.

This is not entirely true as I understand it. If a child dies at 9, are endowments performed? Since the temple rituals are not given until someone is an adult, it would be odd that a child (over the age of 8, but not yet an adult) would be endowed, and certainly not sealed to a spouse. There needs to be more distinction on age specific ordinances. Bytebear 18:24, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I think that statement represents current church doctrine. The only people excused from having each and every saving ordinance are the under-eight or mentally-under-eight crowd. Everyone else has to eventually get them all (except ordination if you are a female and, arguably, the Second anointing). COGDEN 21:03, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
In theory, maybe. But in practice? In theory, we will also practice plural marriage after death, but that is currently not practiced and denounced. The current wording implies that we perform marriages of/for our dead children. Bytebear 23:05, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Marriage/Sealing is not an essential ordinance for those who have died before they could be married, such as children, nor will it affect their exaltation. Other temple ordinances would be performed. We forget that to be exalted, marriage is required for those of us who can live the commandment, but it is not essential to become a god or an exalted being. A prime example is Christ, who was made a God prior to mortality. However, for those of us who know the law, we must obey to be exalted. there is always an exception to the rule, but we don't teach exceptions in the church, we teach the doctrine and the "general rule" [2], [3]. -Visorstuff 01:31, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Use of the symbol of the Christian cross

Under "God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost", the last part of the first paragraph, it reads "...and does not officially use the symbol of the Christian cross." This kind of implies that rather than discouraging the use of the symbol, the church simply doesn't use it. I think it would be more appropriate if it read somthing like "...and discourages the use of the symbol of the Christian cross." Sorry to make a big deal out of it, but to me, a cross is like having a picture of the car your brother died in. Shouldn't you find a nice picture of your brother instead?

It isn't a huge change, but I'm not that great at expressing myself with words, so someone else could probably do it more correctly than me. Besides that, rather than simply making the change, I wanted to have a visible reason. I also apologise if I'm doing somthing horribly wrong here...I don't edit Wikipedia very often.( 16:43, 8 April 2007 (UTC))

I don't think the church actively discourages it as a point of doctrine, so it would be disingenuous to say so. A lot of individual members feel very strongly about it, but that's a personal thing, not an official thing. --Masamage 18:57, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
The physical cross is not used by the church in it's architectural adoration, but the personal use of it is not considered a sin by any means. You will not be excommunicated or admonished for wearing a cross, but culturally, you may get some odd looks in church simply because it is not common. Bytebear 03:53, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
The above is true for North America, but in many areas of Latin America and the Philippines (and probably elsewhere as well) it's more common for Latter-day Saints to wear the cross than not. The church has taken no steps to stop this, as far as I know.SESmith 04:13, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
That's part of the reason I didn't just edit it...I wasn't sure if I was 100% correct. Anyway, I'm done pushing for this one. ( 16:12, 21 April 2007 (UTC))
Well, I live in Latin America and I have never ever seen a LDS wearing the cross... Tom@sBat 02:47, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Whereas I live in the US, and I have seen it. Go figure. I think it's mostly among converts from other Christian denominations that do use and love the cross. --Masamage 05:01, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Hmmmmm... but I suppose thay gradually stop using it as they start reinforcing their faith in the new religion... Don´t they? Tom@sBat 22:54, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
I have never heard anyone discourage wearing a cross; some do, but most don't. We do have instances where leaders of the church have answered the question why are buildings are not adorned with the cross and the answer is (essentially) we celebrate and believe in a living Jesus Christ and do not celebrate the instrument of His death. Interestingly, I was surprised to see a large cross at a gathering of saints that crossed the plains in the background of the picture. Today, I doubt you would see that, but I suspect it was not an issue in the early church. It really is a matter of personal choice. --Storm Rider (talk) 01:41, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the statement above by Storm Rider. I've never heard a church leader (local or general) say anything about the cross apart from stories about answers they gave when asked point blank about the lack of crosses in LDS buildings. I've also never heard any member in church give a sermon on the issue. I don't think it's a very live issue in the church at all. -SESmith 04:39, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

"The church emphatically promotes the idea that its central focus is Jesus."

This phrasing seems like it could be cleaned up, or at least made less ambiguous. It seems to be hinting that the church doesn't really have Jesus Christ as its central focus. Everything I've heard from the church officially (i.e., in General conference (Latter Day Saints) addresses) seems to indicate that the focus is a matter of fact, rather than idea. I was unwilling to edit this myself because of my relative inexperience with Wikipedia, but this seems like a fairly important (if small) issue. If anyone could provide proper phrasing and citation to indicate Christ's centrality as fact (or, as the case may somehow be, fiction), I'd appreciate it. -Infiniteseries 04:23, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Maybe something like "The church is emphatic about its central focus on Jesus Christ"? --Masamage 04:34, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't know. The original wording was mine, and I phrased it that way because I know from experience with the Mormonism and Christianity article that many people disagree that the church's central focus is on Jesus. First, they don't agree that the Mormon Jesus is the Jesus, and second, they don't think Jesus is brought up much in typical church services (and they might have a point there, to be perfectly honest). We need to be responsive to those who hold that viewpoint, and phrase it in a way that is NPOV. COGDEN 18:16, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I have to respectfully disagree. There are articles about the differences and criticisms of the church. Let those articles deal with the issues of which Jesus is right. The issue is "Does the LDS Church emphasize Jesus Christ?", not by how much, or as much as other churches. Does the Catholic article talk about emphasizing Mary? Certainly they do more so than LDS empahsize Joseph Smith. So, the argument becomes moot because it is an argument of degree. How much do they emphasize Jesus. Clearly LDS emphasize Jesus as the main focus of their worship, and none other. They have never changed that position from the day the Book of Mormon was published stating that the purpose is to convince mankind that Jesus is the Christ. Bytebear 18:33, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you, but not every person with a notable perspective would agree, and that's where we have to be careful about NPOV. We can't say "Jesus is the central focus of the church" consistently with NPOV. Maybe we can say "the church promotes Jesus as its central focus". That sounds pretty neutral to me. COGDEN 18:44, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
That sounds better. The wording should not imply the church is defensive about their beliefs or changing their beliefs because of criticism. I think the leadership is bewildered by such accusations more than anything. Bytebear 18:51, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Mission of the Church

I know the opening paragraphs have been finely tuned, but there is a gaping whole regarding what the church's stated mission is. It doesn't seem odd, out of place, or pov to include it, so I have placed it at the end of the opening paragraph. What do you think?--TrustTruth 17:05, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I have aways considered that scripture referring to God's mission (or, as a friend said: God's job description ;^). The church talks about the threefold mission as being proclaiming the gospel, perfecting the saints, and redeeming the dead. Granted, the scripture you quote is a good summary of those three goals. Having said that, I can see that the desire to keep the intro short might justify omitting this point.
BTW - I had a problem and tweaked the wording of the emphasis issue. I apologize for not chiming in more when it was being discussed, but ages ago I had added the comment that one of the reasons we don't concentrate on the death of Jesus was because we consider him alive and well and guiding the church. ;^) wrp103 (Bill Pringle) 17:25, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
You make a good point about the threefold mission. I noticed that a concise description of the mission of the church was missing while I was creating the breakoff article Finances of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I kept wanting to refer to the church doing certain things in accordance with its mission (or purpose), but its mission wasn't really stated anywhere. It seems like a valid (and concise), npov thing to add. --TrustTruth 19:57, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Here is probably a better summary of the mission of the church. It's from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, but I don't know the exact reference: "The mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to invite everyone to come to Christ. This includes a mandate to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people." It would be nice to have this in the article. --TrustTruth 20:09, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, of course, is not an official church publication. The only "official" mission would be Spencer Kimball's three-fold one, but I'm thinking it might need some explanation which might make it inappropriate for the introduction. For example, when we say "perfecting the saints", most people would think we're talking about Catholic saints. And nobody knows what "redeeming the dead" means who hasn't had some exposure to Mormon lingo. I also don't think we should keep the Book of Moses quote, because that's Jesus' mission, and also, "immortality" and "eternal life" are generally considered synonymous outside Mormonism. COGDEN 19:04, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Chart of Latter Day Saint movements

There is a chart showing the various schisms of the Latter Day Saint movement. It is a nice chart, but I don't think it belongs in this article. Bytebear 04:02, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I believe there is way too much deference given in Wikipedia to the splinter groups. They are not even close to the size of the LDS church. They splintered off, to be sure, but it wasn't like the great schizm in the Catholic church, where the result was two massive, competing bodies. Compared with the LDS church, those groups are barely blips on the radar screen. It may not be npov to give them so much deference. This chart is just one example of that. --TrustTruth 05:18, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
There is a lot of emphasis on the Latter Day Saint movement, which I think is actually appropriate on a lot of topics. It is better than having a separate page for Temples, for example, for every splinter group. Also, the Community of Christ has an important place in LDS history. I just think this particular article is not about the Latter Day Saint movement, but specifically about the LDS Church, so the chart is not appropriate. But it is appropriate in the main Latter Day Saint movement article, and maybe a few related articles. Bytebear 05:24, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Those are good points. From an historical perspective they do deserve deference. --TrustTruth 22:07, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately I believe that you are not giving enough weight to the other sides of the issues here. Although the LDS church has the most members of the other churches arising from the 1844 succession crisis there are still many of those groups around today. I am bothered by your imperialistic comments and suggest that you try to keep a NPOV. The LDS church believes that it is the true succession of the authority; while not wanting to argue that point, it needs to be said that there are also groups out there that have the same belief system. If your arguement that size gives weight to relevance than the only christian church that would have any right to give opinion would be the Catholic Church, because they too believe that they are the true succession of the Church that Jesus Christ set up, and their membership numbers over 1 million. Please in the future try and keep a NPOV as all sides of the issue should be presented in a fair and neutral way. The use of the word "splinter groups" and "schisms" are POV and need not be used. They are only splinter groups in the LDS POV and you need to be sure that you state that it is only a belief and not verifiable fact that they are "splinter groups" or that they are "schisms". JRN 14:17, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
If "schism" is pov you better hurry over to this article (ntm this one) and set them straight as well. ;-) Point taken though. --TrustTruth 22:07, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
JNicklow said "it needs to be said that there are also groups out there that have the same belief system." I agree. But not in this article. There are several articles about the very issue you address. It is not appropriate to mention them here. Bytebear 22:20, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Bytebear This issue I addressed was one of NPOV comments on a talk page. It had nothing to do with the tree image.
TrustTruth, I agree about schisms being a split but I disagree that calling other groups "schisms" is NPOV. I think you understood what I was saying but I just wanted to clafify.

JRN 01:56, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

My point isn't about the term or the divisions of Mormonism. My issue is that the chart (which has been re-introduced) is not appropriate to this article. It belongs in Mormonism, Latter Day Saint movement but not in any article about the LDS Church. This subject is too specific for such a broadly scoped chart. Bytebear 17:14, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Intro text

The introduction's last line says:

In recent decades, however, the church has united with traditional Christian churches in promoting humanitarian and moral causes.

I don't think humanitarian cooperation with other churches is "recent". Can I assume it is a dirivative of the idea that the church is "trying to pass itself off as Christian?" I think it's fine to say that the LDS Church has done many humanitarian endeavours with both Christians and non-Christians alike, and show some references. I know the whole "Christian" think is touchy, and I think the intro does a very good job of stepping around land mines, but this line of text seems awkward, like the only way Christian faiths accept Mormons is if they are giving money to a cause, which they would just as easily accept Jews or Hindus, etc. Bytebear 22:32, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Edit summary?

"You cannot make that claim. Other churches feel they are the 1830 church. avoid POV" [4]

It was a goofy edit and one I would have reverted too, but what is going on with this reason? --Masamage 03:00, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

First of all the church established in 1830 was the "Church of Christ" and not the LDS Church. Second, other groups claim they are the true "Church of Christ", not just LDS. So you have to be careful about claims that the LDS church was THAT church, and not just founded from THAT church. Bytebear 04:08, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
That's...weird, but at least it makes sense now. Thanks~ --Masamage 04:10, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Well I am tired so I don't know if I am making complete sense. Bytebear 04:17, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

What the differance?

First I'll start that I meet this wonderful man and the "GOD" subject came up and I was raised in a pentalcastle church and he is lds. I would like to know put in simple terms, what is the differance between these two beliefs? Please make it short and simple because I am sooooo confused. Thank you68.118.208.212 07:36, 27 April 2007 (UTC) and what are these(~) for and why four of them? 07:36, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

You can read the article Mormonism and Christianity. The tildes will sign your edit. wrp103 (Bill Pringle) (Talk) 13:27, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

I noted your inquiry on the differences between the theology and practice of Latter-day Saints and Pentecostals. Wikipedia has many articles on religious traditions, and the LDS community has been particularly active here. Many of these articles, including Mormonism and Christianity, may be of use to you. However, I believe a brief summary might give you some topics to discuss with your new friend.

Under the assumption that both of you are well versed and take an active role in your own religions, here are some things you might have in common.

  • A belief in the reality and divinity of Jesus of Nazareth.
  • A belief in the power of His sacrifice, his role as the Savior of mankind, and the possibility of eternal salvation.
  • A belief in the ethics, morals and principles which Jesus taught and which are recorded in the Holy Bible. These would include, but not be limited to, service to others, forgiveness, loyalty, honesty, and sexual chastity.
  • A belief in the power and influence of the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost.
  • A belief and commitment to a religious community and to associations based on religious beliefs.
  • A strong belief in the value of family, including marriage and the raising of children.

There are a number of religious issues which you, and others less familiar with the LDS faith, may find quite different from your own perspective. These are doctrinally based.

  • Latter-day Saints believe that the Trinity or Godhead is composed of three distinct individuals - God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. While these beings are "one" in purpose, they act as individuals. This is in great contrast to the view of the Trinity held by Catholics and by Protestants, who generally follow the original Catholic definition of the Trinity.
  • Latter-day Saints believe that their faith, doctrine, and church organization are divinely inspired and have been restored based on the original model established by Jesus Christ. Latter-day Saints do not consider themselves as a part of Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant traditions.
  • Latter-day Saints believe that communication with God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost is ongoing. Prophets, including LDS founder Joseph Smith, Jr., are chosen by God and bear his message. All individuals are encouraged to pray to God the Father in Christ's name and to seek a witness of religious and personal truths through the Holy Ghost.
  • They also believe that the priesthood, the power to act in the name of God, was restored. With this restoration came power to perform sacraments and ordinances which will have eternal value for their participants. These include baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Marriages and personal covenants performed in LDS Temples are believed to be eternal. Believing in the restoration of this priesthood power, Latter-day Saints do not recognize the sacraments and rituals of other Christian churches as valid.
  • Latter-day Saints believe that continuing revelation also allows for additional scripture. In addition to the Bible, they consider the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price as scripture. They also read, study and discuss teachings of leaders of the LDS faith, past and present.

Given these differences, you might find your friend's activities, customs and attitudes different in many ways. For example:

  • A religiously involved Mormon does not drink alcohol, use tobacco, tea and coffee or use illicit drugs. He may also chose to limit his exposure to fiction, movies and television programs which contain violence and a purient view of sexuality.
  • You may find that your friend has less free time than you might expect. In LDS congregations, active members are "called" by the lay leadership to perform useful tasks for the organization and church members. Fulfulling these tasks takes considerable amounts of time, both on the Sunday sabbath and during the week. LDS members are also encouraged to provide charitable service in their community. He may also be involved in an LDS singles organization and participate in religious study groups and social activities with that group.
  • Your friend may have close ties to his extended family and participate in many family activities. Depending on his age and circumstances, he may still live at home. Although no family is perfect, Latter-day Saints view their family as an eternal unit and generally strive for good relationships.
  • Your friend may seem frugal with his money. Latter-day Saints promote the payment of tithes and offerings. Your friend probably sets aside 10 percent of his income as a tithe and may also donate money to aid the poor in his community and support missionary and other church activities.
  • Your friend, depending upon his age and other factors, may have served an evangelical "mission" on behalf of the LDS church, which involved preaching gospel principles in some area of the world for up to two years. He may also be involved in teaching gospel principles in his local congregation or community. Given his religious commitment, he may be interested in sharing his religious views with you as well, and may encourage you to attend LDS meetings and read and study LDS scripture.

I hope you enjoy getting to know each other. Best wishes. WBardwin 08:52, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Disambig Reference

It is important to represent the movement and make sure if someone was seeking other organizations they can be found quickly. None of these organizations are obscure and it will help show other parts of the movement in a NPOV manner.Jcg5029 23:07, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit

God the Father is understood to be the father in premortal life of the spirits of all who inhabit this earth.[8] He is considered both the spirit father and natural father of Jesus with Mary, thus inheriting from the Father power over death.[9] Belief in such a figure is common among members, and she has also been mentioned in talks by church officials, as well as in the hymns of the church.

These sentences make no sense. I think that something has been inadvertently removed in the second sentence (possibly about Mary and/or the relationship of Jesus to God the Father), but I don't know enough about Mormon doctrine to reconstruct. Vgranucci 18:11, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for catching that. I've modified the paragraph to make more sense. ;^) wrp103 (Bill Pringle) (Talk) 00:27, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Holy of Holies merge

Totally not appropriate. That needs to be merged to the temples article if it's merged anywhere. --Masamage 23:40, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. -SESmith 00:38, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
There's been no discussion of it at all at Talk:Holy of Holies, so I'm going to change the merge templates around. --Masamage 01:08, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I think this merger template suggestion is malformed. It needs to be discussed on some talk page before adding the tag. I'm removing the tags, since I don't think the merger suggestion will fly anyway. There's enough material on the LDS Holy of Holies, if someone wants, for its own article. COGDEN 04:40, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
No argument here. --Masamage 04:59, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Use of Doctrine and Covenants as references

I'm questioning the abundant use of doctrine and covenants as references throughout this page. WP:A says that scriptures cannot be used as references. I understand the need for use in clarification "as in D&C ### states this" but I don't think D&C can be used to make claims as the D&C are considered scriptures. Am I correct in this assumption? JRN 21:55, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Provide specific examples of improper usage? I think each one would have to be evaluated in a case-by-case basis. -SESmith 22:14, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
An alternative can easily be found at which has abundant references on various topics, using the Topical Guide and Bible Dictionary specifically. Bytebear 22:16, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Capital "C" for church

I noticed this evening that an editor changed all the capitalized "C" in Church to small "c" church. This previous use was a proper use of the English language. I suspect that the motivation was some form of political correctness; however, it is misguided. When referrin to the Church in this article one is referring to the LDS church; it is not referring to The church. Having a capital "c" does not infer any degree of truth, or superiority to any other church, but rather refers to the topic. I may have made hasty assumptions and would like to be corrected if I am wrong; Sesmith can you please explain your edits? --Storm Rider (talk) 06:49, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree. In this case "Church" is short for "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" and should be capitalized. --Masamage 06:52, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
For one, capitalizing "Church" is just bad style in general. Captitalizating it is what you might call a "Mormonism"—common among members of the LDS Church but generally to be avoided from an encyclopedic editorial standpoint. In general academic writing about religion, "the Church" is usually never used to refer to a specific church unless you are referring to the historical Catholic Church in Europe. Other encyclopedias never capitalize "the church" in articles about the LDS Church. See, e.g., Encarta's entry on the LDS Church.
For second, refer to WP:Manual of Style (Latter Day Saints):
"Never use terms like 'The Church' or 'The Church of Jesus Christ' to refer to any specific church, in spite of the LDS Church's style guide recommending it. 'The church' is acceptable when the word 'church' is an uncapitalized common noun, but capitalized 'Church' should only be used when it is part of a longer reference to a specific church.
"This recommendation applies mainly to article text. When these terms are used as part of quotations from church leaders or members and the context is clear, they are generally permissible."
This should be self explanatory, but in case it's not .... What I believe it means is that if we refer to "LDS Church" or "Mormon Church" it is correct to capitalize, but if we just use "the church", no capitalization should be used. Interestingly, some other encyclopedias don't even capitalize "church" when referring to the "Mormon church". Again see Encarta's entry on the LDS Church.
So regardless of my own opinion about style in general, the more important second reason was that I was just followin' the current governing Style Guide. I thought I had made that relatively clear by many of my edits being annotated with "deleting Mormonisms" or similar notations, but perhaps not. Cheers, -SESmith 07:34, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
To me it is not an issue of "Mormonisms"; it is an issue of the English langugage. In English we capitalize terms in this manner to indicate that we are talking about the Subject at hand. I hope you will also want to check out the Catholic article given your penchant for stict interpretation of policies. I do not concede this issue, but you have provided policies that need to be reviewed for accurate application. Cheers. --Storm Rider (talk) 15:56, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
I read the Encarta article; besides not knowing the correct name of the Church I found this to be an excellent example of not knowing the rules of grammar and punctuation. My recommendation is not to use Encarta as an example; it is a bad one. It did seem to start by replacing the need for referring to the Church by using "Mormon church", but then went to "church". Just poor understanding of English. I wonder if they just don't teach English in schools nowdays, but that is an entirely different discussion. I will look at your other examples of policy. --Storm Rider (talk) 16:08, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
I read the manual of Style mentioned above and it actually says not to use Church; who makes these rules? I am a bit stunned that this has been written down; it is bad grammar, form, and style. It has nothing to do with the Mormon church and the rule is applied to every proper noun. Someone is bending over backwards to be politically correct. --Storm Rider (talk) 16:40, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
No, it seems to be you who is not understanding the rules of English outside of the LDS Church writing culture. It is inappropriate to capitalize "church" when it stands on its own, even when you are referring to a specific church. If you don't like Encarta, check out the Chicago Manual of Style, or a different (print) encyclopedia for that matter. It's nothing to do with political correctness. It's a matter of avoiding the unnecessary use of capitalizaion which may act to distract readers. -SESmith 00:31, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
SESMITH is correct, capitalizing basically is nothing short of POV.Jcg5029 02:53, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
While we're talking about correct usage, "POV" doesn't mean "biased", and the policy says as much. :P We want to have a point of view; it just needs to be the neutral one. And anyway, making that kind of statement about someone else's intentions is in pretty poor faith when this is obviously a technical linguistic debate. --Masamage 03:06, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Masamage and would not go so far as to claim it is a violation of NPOV to use "The Church"; I don't think the intent was to insinuate that the LDS Church is a more important church than others. It just boils down to being simply a very bad usage of the English language that is typically picked up by members of the LDS Church from the way the church tends to use capitalizations in the literature they print (i.e. way too much). I applaud the discussion being opened at the Manual of Style discussion page by Storm Rider. -SESmith 07:35, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

I reviewed the article on Manual of Style; not surprisingly the "new" recommendations were those of a single editor with no discussion. I have reverted that editor's edits and referred it to the discussion page. It will be best to discuss the issue and ensure that rules of style are used across the board and not just for a single group. You will note that another editor has made a complaint prior to my review. --Storm Rider (talk) 04:54, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

[At this point, the discussion on this issue was picked up at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (Latter Day Saints).]

Mormon denomination tree

I commented out the Mormon denomination tree graphic at the bottom of the page. This graphic shows a chart of various splits from the movement started by Joseph Smith, Jr. and is more appropriately displayed in the Latter Day Saint movement article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:36, 4 May 2007 (UTC).

The template should be legitimately found on:
Subjectively removing it from only one of the articles it relates to (in this case 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints') is highly POV, and removing it from all of them based on a limited discussion on Talk:The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would be highly irregular. I see no consensus for removing the template and so will be restoring it. If you think that the template has no value I suggest a discussion at WP:LDS, and/or a TfD so that the template is completely removed from all articles on Wikipedia. -- 22:09, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
Also see a related discussion at Talk:The Church of Jesus_Christ#Tree Link (revisit) - what's good for the goose is good for the gander -- 22:13, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Ensign pic

Anyone know what's going on with the Ensign pic? It's acting like there's a nowiki tag around it. --Masamage 22:15, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Fixed on this version of the article (diff). Not closing the image link properly on the BoM image was the cause of the symptom; the issue with this first image then influenced the Ensign image too, which _was_ formated properly. -- 00:03, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Beliefs and practices

An anon IP editor just dropped the "Articles of Faith" into the Mormonism article with a rather obnoxious demand that his edit not be deleted. The obnoxiousness of the edit summary aside, I think he makes a good point...Mormonism should describe the principles held in common among all those who are called "Mormons".

In truth, I didn't know until a month or so ago that there was more to Mormonism than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a few splinter polygamy-practicing sects. I didn't know that there were "Utah Mormons" and "Missouri Mormons". I still don't fully know what the difference is between the two.

Seems to me that the Mormonism article would be a great place to discuss the Mormonism movement which includes but is not limited to the LDS church. This article should not be allowed to monopolize the discussion of Mormonism as the real Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tends to do in the real world.

So... I would propose that we move the entire "Beliefs and practices" section into the Mormonism article and reduce the section in this article to a discussion of how the beliefs and practices of the LDS church differs from that of the common beliefs and practices shared among all Mormons.

I will eventually propose that Mormonism be the primary article and that articles on the LDS church and other Mormon churches be subsidiary articles of that article. This would require a complete rewrite of the Mormonism article which, at the moment, is a huge mess.

Now, since I've admitted to being pretty much ignorant of Mormonism, I am willing to believe that I may be totally off-the-mark in my proposal. If you think so, please feel free to explain why this is so.

--Richard 17:35, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

P.S. I also note that there is a Latter Day Saint movement article which seems to be devoted to timelines of divisions among LDS sects. Can someone explain what the difference is between the Latter Day Saint movement and Mormonism? Which one is the best candidate for being the primary article?

--Richard 17:37, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

The Latter Day Saint movement article and related project Wikipedia:WikiProject Latter Day Saint movement are at the top of a LDS related tree. The movement began with Joseph Smith, Jr. and the organization he created and led during his lifetime. However, over time, numerous schisms developed and quite a number of modern churches or religious organizations can be placed on the LDS tree. Doctrine, practices and culture differ in each of the groups. However, re your questions on use of the term Mormonism, it began as a disparaging term directed against the movement's members and many modern groups, emphatically, do not use the term Mormon or Mormonism to apply to themselves. Those terms are more generically applied to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, even though Church authorities prefer the use of the church's entire name. So, I would have to disagree with your suggestion of using Mormonism as a blanket term. Best wishes. WBardwin 06:56, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I now realize that I got it backwards and that the Latter Day Saint movement is the umbrella term and Mormonism is the more specific term. The problem that I was grappling with is that there was no place where a reader could get a list of the teachings that are in common between the LDS church and the other LDS movement churches. The best that I was able to find was Teachings of Joseph Smith, Jr.. I have put a wikilink from Latter Day Saint movement to Teachings of Joseph Smith, Jr.. This is not a very satisfying solution. I would think that a summary of the Teachings of Joseph Smith, Jr. would be put in the Latter Day Saint movement article but I want to discuss this a bit first.
In the article on Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the intro to "Beliefs and practices" says "There are also numerous articles discussing Latter Day Saint movement perspectives on various doctrinal issues, which discuss the specific doctrines of the LDS Church as part of that movement. A summary of the church's major distinctive beliefs and practices are discussed below."
So... my questions are "How do the beliefs and practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differ from the Teachings of Joseph Smith, Jr.?" and, when I read the "articles discussing Latter Day Saint movement perspectives on various doctrinal issues", am I reading about the perspective of the Latter Day Saint movement as a whole or just the perspective of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
To help put my question in context, Christianity outside the LDS movement has tended to split primarily upon doctrinal lines. As a result, division is often hard to heal because of doctrinal issues. The Roman Catholic Church maintains doctrinal conformity through centralization. The Eastern Orthodox Church is a marvel of decentralized collegiality.
In the context of the above perspective, how can we characterize the relationship of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the rest of the Latter Day Saint movement? Is the division primarily schismatic (more one of government than of doctrine) or is there a doctrinal component?
--Richard 15:31, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Convincing power of the Book of Mormon

I checked an older revision of this article. It used to say "Largely due to the convincing power of this book, which Smith said he translated by a heavenly power, the church rapidly gained a large following who viewed Smith as a prophet."

In this diff, changed it to read "Largely due to the convincing power which comes from the Lord's spirit which accompanies this book, which Smith translated by a heavenly power, the church rapidly gained a large following with Smith as a prophet like Moses, Abraham, and Isaac in Christ's church anciently."

I have reverted's edits twice. My version reads "the church rapidly gained a large following who viewed Smith as a prophet", deleting "largely due to the convincing power of this book" entirely.

I don't think we can know how convincing the Book of Mormon is/was. Oftentimes, it is the personal charisma and teaching of individuals that is convincing. People often come to Christ through the personal testimony and witness of individuals not because a book is "convincing". If this were not true, we could simply put a Bible and/or a Book of Mormon in the hands of every individual on this globe and thereby conver the world in one fell swoop. Or we could force schoolchildren to read the entire Bible and ensure their salvation forever.

I know that various LDS editors will want to raise up the Book of Mormon for glorification but this is an encyclopedia. Let's keep the text encyclopedic.

--Richard 16:45, 11 May 2007 (UTC)


There is a lot more about homosexuality than wanting to fornicate with those of your own gender. Many homosexuals in the church live their lives in complete accord with the church’s teachings. Focusing on sex misrepresents the LGBT population in the church. Also, there is no indication that the church leaders deny a homosexual orientation. They do say it is not inborn and that it could possibly be changed, but they don’t say it was chosen or that it needs to be changed. They expect the same behavior of homosexuals as heterosexuals. Almost every single condemnation of homosexual activity is accompanied with a condemnation of extramarital activities. To say the church has condemned homosexual behavior in particular is wrong.Joshuajohanson 16:50, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

I think we have to focus on homosex and homoeroticism for this article, because that's what the church focuses on. There are indeed church leaders (if not most of them) that reject the idea of LGBT identity. I recall the statements by Pres. Hinckly in which he referred to gays and lesbians as "'so-called' gays" (although he did say on another occasion that "we have gays in the church"). Dallin Oaks and Boyd Packer have clearly rejected the concept of LGBT identity. What we're left with, then, is either homosex or homoeroticism (which includes the homosexual "problems", "inclinations", "struggles", and other ex-gay terminology). If people think they have LGBT identity, they are wrong, according to current church teachings.
It's true that gay and lesbian sex are no longer officially treated differently from extramarital heterosex from a church discipline standpoint, but that doesn't mean they are treated the same for all purposes. After all, the Church Handbook of Instruction has a whole appendix on the subject. Also, the re-emergence of equal disciplinary treatment is a relatively new thing. From the 1970s to the 1990s, you could have been excommunicated for being a celibate gay or lesbian. COGDEN 18:42, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
The church doesn't deny the existence of a homosexual orientation, but counsels members "to look beyond their gender orientation."[5] Counseling people to look beyond orientation is different than saying those with a LGBT identity are wrong. They counsel against using terms like gay or lesbian to identify oneself because it conveys the message that sexual orientation is inborn or immutable, not because it doesn't exist. For example, Elder Faust stated "The false belief of inborn homosexual orientation denies to repentant souls the opportunity to change and will ultimately lead to discouragement, disappointment, and despair."[6] How can you change something that doesn't exist? He is only arguing against inborn homosexual orientation. Most medical organizations agree that orientation comes from "a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences."(Sexual Orientation and Adolescents, American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Report.) Even Elder Oaks has made abundantly clear that homosexual attractions are real, and that is the definition of a sexual orientation. So you can fight the idea that orientation is specifically inborn without denying the existence of it. BYU specifically talks about sexual orientation and makes clear it is not an honor code issue. You might be able to argue that some leaders do not recognize a LGBT identity, but that would be original research, which doesn't belong in Wikipedia and definitly, your original research WILL NOT take the place of my documented proof of Hinckley admitting there are gays in the church.
The church doesn't focus on homoeroticism. Elder Oak's talk He Heals the Heavy Laden barely even mentions it, and focuses on how the Savior can help homosexual members even if there is no sin involved. The church talks about reaching out with love to homosexual members, counsels against heterosexual marriage, talks about the orgins of homosexual attactions, fights gay activism, discusses the eternal nature of gender and multitude of other aspects besides homoeroticism. I have heard that there were some occasions where some bishops excommunicated some celibate gays in the 1970s to 1990s, but I heard they were excommunicated for apostasy because they were speaking out against the church, not for their orientation. Anyhow, that is hearsay and I see no evidence that ever happened or that the church has changed its stance at all. It is flagged in the Homosexuality and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with a fact tag. Even if that were true, wouldn't the fact that the church ex-communicated members with a homosexual orientation prove that the church recognizes that it exists? You can't say the church denies the existance of a homosexual orientation and used to ex-communicate members who have a homosexual orientation.Joshuajohanson 19:57, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
That gays and lesbians could be excommunicated from the 1970s to the 1990s was in the Church Handbook, which was amended in 1976 to allow excommunication of gays and lesbians, and then the Handbook was changed again in 1998, to the version we have today.
I don't think the fact that the church has used the term "gender orientation" (they presumably mean "sexual orientation"--"gender orientation" is something quite different) does anything to counter the church's statements (and there are several) that there is no LGBT identity. I think you misunderstand me. Whether there is gay or lesbian identity has nothing to do with how homosexuality originates. It's about whether or not it is legitimate to identify yourself as a gay or lesbian person. Clearly, the church does not recognize gay or lesbian identity. Take for example, the Ensign article in 1986 by Dallin Oaks, with the annotation: "We should note that the words homosexual, lesbian, and gay are adjectives to describe particular thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. We should refrain from using these words as nouns to identify particular conditions or specific persons. Our religious doctrine dictates this usage". And then in 2007 he said "I think it’s important for you to understand that homosexuality, which you’ve spoken of, is not a noun that describes a condition. It’s an adjective that describes feelings or behavior." And then there's Hinckley's statement in 2004 referring to people "who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians". COGDEN 11:59, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
The current version says "They are encouraged to marry a person of the opposite biological sex, so long as they can act as a functioning heterosexual in that relationship; otherwise, they must remain celibate." They are not encouraged to marry, but may if they so desire and have "shown their ability to deal with [homosexual] feelings or inclinations." Dealing with homosexual feelings is different than acting like a heterosexual. Who determines what a heterosexual is supposed to act like?
I am still having a hard time believing they ex-communicated people based solely on orientation. Look at how they treated Joseph Fielding Smith (1899-1964). I don't have the handbook. Do you have the exact wording? If it says they ex-communicated gays and lesbians, could that be interpreted to be people who have same-gender sex? You say the change didn't occur until 1998, but in 1992, they made clear "There is a distinction between immoral thoughts and feelings and participating in either immoral heterosexual or any homosexual behavior" without having to make any changes to the handbook, so that doesn't make sense, especially if you insists there is no such thing as a gay orientation.
What exactly do you mean by a gay identity? If you told the average person you were gay, they would assume you have had homosexual sex, even thought that isn't what it means. Most people incorrectly use homosexual and gay interchangeable. As you mentioned, even Hinckley used the term gay, and then called them so-called gays. Gay is such a weird word, and carries so much conatations that it is hard to distguish what someone means. In 1995, when he says we should refrain from such usage, he said the reason was "because this implies that a person is consigned by birth to a circumstance in which he or she has no choice in respect to the critically important matter of sexual behavior." The church doesn't recognize a gay identity as something inborn or immutable, and calling someone a gay would indicate that. Maybe not according to the technical definition, but to the average person it would. I think the rest of the world is still trying to understand what being gay means, so I am not surprised the church hasn't figured it out either. I don't think it should be understood as denying a homosexual orientation, because that would still be considered using the word as an adjective. Even the BYU honor code talks about sexual orientation.Joshuajohanson 08:45, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
I also questioned the comment that gays are encouraged to marry. I have never heard that before, and it doesn't really make sense to me. It makes sense for bi-sexuals, but not gays. The church clearly recognizes same-sex attraction, but they also seem to believe that a person can change. Personally, I think that is sometimes true, but I also allow for the possibility that sometimes it is "hard wired."
As an aside,the article also claims gender is established during the pre-existence. I'm not sure I have actually heard that, but I'm also aware that more and more babies are being born with both sets of sex organs, and usually the physician performing the delivery makes a decision which set to remove. It seems to me that opens up all kinds of possibilities for people being born with the wrong sex. wrp103 (Bill Pringle) (Talk) 14:26, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
"Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."[7] Intersex is a birth defect, that could be caused by a variety of things, such as androgen insensitivity syndrome or congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Birth defects don't affect your eternal nature, and most intersex people assume either a male or female identity and reject attempts to place them into a third gender (as many gay activists try to do).[8] The church also teaches that our souls have two arms, even though some are born with only one. Joshuajohanson 19:07, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Articles of faith

The church's Articles of Faith have been copied wholesale into the article several times, and I have deleted them citing Wikipedia:Don't include copies of primary sources. There's no need to copy the Articles of Faith anyway, since all the topics therein are discussed elsewhere in the article, and the Scripture section mentions them and citation to the Articles of Faith (Latter Day Saints) Wikipedia article, where a person can learn more. Moreover, the AofF has never been considered a definitive or complete statement of LDS beliefs: it's sole purpose, from the moment Smith included it in the Wentworth letter, has been to serve as a proselytizing tool, which makes it inappropriate to cite verbatim as if it were the church's creed, even if there were no Wikipedia:Don't include copies of primary sources policy. COGDEN 18:59, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Apologies for unintended reinstatement of vandalism

I seem to have gotten confused and re-instated a vandalistic edit rather than removing it as I intended. I must have gotten confused somewhere as to what's edit was doing. Somehow, I thought he was adding vandalism rather than reverting it and so I reverted him which put the vandalism back. My bad. --Richard 19:56, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Law of Chastity

Do we have to list every single type of sexual activity the church teaches against with a link on how to do it? The section itself is an example of erotic readings the church opposes. There is a reason the church isn't so graphic in its teachings, and our representation of the law of chastity should reflect the church's reverance for the subject. Otherwise, it leaves the wrong impression that the church approves of (or worse uses) such graphic speech. Also, instead of a bunch of thou shalt nots, can we have a bit more thou shalts, like let virtue garnish thy thoughts and stuff like that. Saying the church prohibits certain thoughts seems extreme. Also, there is very little information on what is allowed to happen in the bedroom of a married couple, and I don't think ambiguity on the church's position on that deserves to be on the front page.Joshuajohanson 23:32, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Where did this section come from? That comes across as TMI for a general article about the church. This article is WAY too long already -- if the detailed listing of dos and don'ts belong anywhere, it's in a subarticle.--TrustTruth 04:48, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I also think it is a bit heavy handed on homosexual issues. The church position is no different than most religious organizations. This information would be better suited in Homosexuality and Christianity or similar. Bytebear 05:06, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
I toned it down to a G-rated version of its former self, and included references to the LDS website for further readings. I left the section on homosexuality alone; others may want to do something about that. wrp103 (Bill Pringle) (Talk) 12:25, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Homosexuality in the church is an important and unique issue. This church is very different from most of Christianity in that it takes a united stance against homosexual behavior while reaching out with full acceptance of those with a homosexual orientation. Most Christian churches are split over this issue. Arguments range from one extreme of full acceptance of behavior to teaching even an orientation is sinful. Also the church's teachings on gender and family have a unique application to homosexuality. Almost every comprehensive treatment of the church talks about it, and there are so some many wild stories going around that it needs to be clarified. There are several points I think should be made clear.
  • Homosexuals must follow the same law of chastity as heterosexuals
  • Homosexual activity is considered breaking the law of chastity and are grounds for ex-communication, but they may still attend church.
  • There are homosexuals in the church that follow this law.
  • Homosexuals do not have to remain celibate nor do they have to get married as some churches teach. They may enter into a heterosexual marriage if they so choose.
  • The church is against anything that confers a legal recognition of homosexual relationships.
I have tried to convey each of these principles in as few words as possible. It is hard because many editors have to re-list every topic in the law of chastity in relationship to gays because somehow asking gays to master their thoughts is inherently different than asking heterosexuals to do so. Others claim gays aren't welcome in the church because they have a special need to fornicate that straights don't have. You can try taking it out, but people will put it back in. I don't think we need to list every single way the church opposes legal status on homosexual relationships. I think that better belongs in Homosexuality and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints#Political involvement. I think the Hinckley quote summarizes several of these points; the existence of gays in the church, the fact they must follow the same laws as heterosexuals, and they can be considered "good people." In your summaries, make sure you include all 5 of the above points.Joshuajohanson 21:22, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
The section needs to be a relatively short summary of all the important topics to be discussed in in the sub-articles. By its nature, it has to be very abbreviated, but it has to at least mention everything important to any notable faction of readers. I also think it's important to include a precise definition of the law of chastity. You're right it probably doesn't need a full list of all prohibited sex acts, but it does need to say more than that the church's law of morality is that members "avoid immorality", which is meaningless. To determine what to put in the summary, we have to ask ourselves "what would a person who knows nothing about the church (or possibly even Christianity) want to know about the topic in 60 seconds or less?" It would be important to note, for example, that the church prohibits masturbation (which I understand most Protestant (not Catholic) theologians consider healthy), and that it has equivocal teachings on contraceptives and oral and anal sex within marriage. Because Wikipedia is not censored for good taste, we don't need a "G" rating here, just accurate and complete summary information. COGDEN 09:34, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
As to the five-member list above, it it's stated as listed above, it's not neutral, and it's not quite correct. As to #1, a large faction of Mormon gays and lesbians don't consider that they are subject to the same rules as heterosexuals in the church (e.g., they can't ever express their sexuality even in marriage). As to #4, it's not quite correct: the church has no position (to which I am aware) against at least the following ways in which gay and lesbian relationships are legally recognized: palimony, rights of attorney, wills, insurance beneficiaries, and tenancy in common. A more accurate statement would be that the church opposes allowing gay, lesbian, or polygamous families to claim any of the special legal entitlements that have been extended only to families of heterosexual married spouses. COGDEN 09:34, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
I thought my comment about "avoiding any thought or activity that caused sexual arousal except between a legally man and women" pretty much covered all the bases without going into a detailed list. wrp103 (Bill Pringle) (Talk) 12:31, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
The church doesn't prohibit thought. It teaches that we all have unwanted thoughts, but we shouldn't dwell on it. Saying the church prohibits it makes it sound like the church teaches we have control over them in the first place. Fantasy is a type of thought. I like the term avoiding.Joshuajohanson 07:53, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Bill, I think your definition comes close, but I've never seen the law of chastity defined like that in church literature. Basically, the the church starts out with a prohibition on adultery and fornication (which was essentially the original definition from the temple ceremony), and then the church includes things like petting (thus, the mention of non-penetrative sex in the article), masturbation, pornography, and keeping thoughts pure, etc. Your definition is close to being comprehensive, but not quite correct, since sexual arousal is not a necessary part of breaking the law of chastity. For example, fornication breaks the law even if you weren't actually aroused for some reason, as does viewing pornography. COGDEN 17:35, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Strength of Youth and True to the Faith

I think For the Strength of Youth could be quoted on this topic. See Sexual Purity

The church teaches one is to "have [no] sexual relations before marriage, and be completely faithful to your spouse after marriage." Additionally, members are advised, "Do not date until you are at least 16 years old."[9] And, "before marriage, do not do anything to arouse the powerful emotions that must be expressed only in marriage. Do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing... Homosexual activity is a serious sin. If you find yourself struggling with same-gender attraction, seek counsel from your parents and bishop. They will help you."

True to the Faith is also the closest thing there is to a summarized "official doctrine" (outside of Gen Conf and the Scriptures) of the church on many topics. BTW, see Lavina Fielding Anderson's interesting take on this issue in the Winter 2006 issue of Dialogue. Some quotes from Chastity

"All sexual relations outside of marriage violate the law of chastity and are physically and spiritually dangerous for those who engage in them."
"Like other violations of the law of chastity, homosexual activity is a serious sin. It is contrary to the purposes of human sexuality."
"Merely refraining from sexual intercourse outside of marriage is not sufficient in the Lord’s standard of personal purity. The Lord requires a high moral standard of His disciples, including complete fidelity to one’s spouse in thought and conduct."

However see also:

"Keeping the Law of Chastity...Decide now to be chaste...Control your thoughts...Stay away from pornography...If you are single and dating, always treat your date with respect...If you are married, be faithful to your spouse in your thoughts, words, and actions...When you stay away from such circumstances, temptation gets no chance to develop."

Which implies that thoughts, although they are a "sin," aren't necessarily breaking the law of chastity in the strictest sense, but the pathway to temptation and breaking the law. How about something like:

The church teaches that members must "have [no] sexual relations before marriage, and be completely faithful to [one's] spouse after marriage." Additionally, the church expands on that topic through what it calls the law of chastity. Members are taught to be "morally clean in their thoughts, words, and actions" and to abstain from pornography.[19] Members are advised that, "before marriage, [they should] not do anything to arouse the powerful emotions that must be expressed only in marriage. Do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing... Homosexual activity is a serious sin." Marriage includes most government-recognized marital unions between a man and a woman in addition to Celestial marriages in the temple. However, common law marriage, same-sex marriage and plural marriage are not recognized.[21] The way the law of chastity has been interpretted and taught has varied somewhat according to cultural norms of the time and has included differing standards of modesty.[23] Sexual sins may result in church discipline, including a possible excommunication, in which a member loses their church membership and privileges, but may continue to attend meetings.

I would take out what is allowed in marriage as there is no official doctrine on the subject. I think this is more closely aligned with that I would call "doctrine." And it clearly outlines that the "law of chastity" tends to include a more expansive view of sexual sin, standards of conduct, and advice on prevention. --Trödel 19:44, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Surely has to be added into Category:Racism

Noting significant history of racism and racist doctrines throughout the majority of its history as is clearly apparent from content exposed at Blacks_and_the_Latter_Day_Saint_movement.NI4D 04:07, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

First of all, you are in violation of the Wikipedia:Three-revert rule. Second, all you have done is added "Racism" to dozens of articles, many of which have no mention of racism on them. Also, noting someone opinion on "negros" at a time when slavery was legal is not racism, unless you want to add Racism to every biography pre-Civil War. Knock it off. Bytebear 04:13, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Racism is a huge part of the history of this cult group and society. It is the most notoriously racist of all significant religions. A great many negro and other dark-skinned people are alive today who would have at some time in their adult life been denied priestly office in the organisation simply because of its openly proclaimed and enforced racial stigmatisation policies. Why is the identification under Category:Racism continually suppressed in denial/ignorance of some pretty plain facts and explicit historical doctrines?

I'm putting it down to a fear of facts and not confronting this serious issue with honesty.

The examination of racism in the 20th century is not complete with some coverage of these creeps and their persistence in racist snubs against the dignity and character of the negro people decades after the struggles and achievements of the US Civil Rights Movement. So please return the category descriptor to its proper place at the article footing so this project as a whole can have the most honest, thorough and comprehensive coverage on the racism issue: a goal that I'm working towards.
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
No, you don't get the point at all because you misunderstand what categories are supposed to do. The purpose of a category is to categorize articles, NOT concepts, organizations or people. Thus, even if we agree that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been racist in the past or is racist now, it is inappropriate to put this article in the [[Category:Racism]] because most of this article does not discuss racism. It is appropriate to put the Blacks_and_the_Latter_Day_Saint_movement in the category. It may even be appropriate to write an article Racism and the Latter Day Saint movement and that article would be appropriately placed in the category. However, this article does not belong in that category.
Look most "First World" countries have been and are guilty of racism as are "Second World" countries (i.e. Warsaw Pact countries). Hell, many Third World countries are guilty of racism or ethnic prejudice of one sort or another. So, this would suggest that you start a crusade to put most of the countries of the world in the category. Same is true for major multinational corporations. Most have been and are guilty of racism. Same is true of the major world religions. Perhaps less so of Buddhishm and Hinduism but I'll bet you there are incidents of racism affiliated with those religions.
To help you in your efforts, let me suggest that you keep in mind these questions "If I were writing a book or a term paper on racism, which articles would be important for me to read? Which articles would tell me what I need to know?"
--Richard 16:46, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

First black general authority

Storm rider reverted my revert of the image caption about the first (and thus far only) black general authority with an edit summary that asked "How many Asians and Latinos?". The question should be "What's the point that we are trying to make?"

We should look beyond the caption to the article text which reads "Prior to 1978, black men were barred from being ordained to the priesthood and entering the religion's temples; in 1978, church president Spencer W. Kimball announced a revelation reversing this policy. (See Blacks and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)"

Presumably, the point of the image and the caption is to underline the point that black men are now eligible for ordination to the priesthood even to point of achieving the rank of general authority.

However, in Blacks and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we learn that "In 1997, there were approximately 500,000 black members of the church (about 5% of the total membership), mostly in Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean." It is reasonable to point out that 5% of all LDS members are black but something less than 5% are general authorities. How many general authorities are there? Presumably there are more than 20. (Somebody educate me, please.)

Never mind. I found the answer. There are 100 general authorities. Only one is black. This leaves the LDS church open to the charge that he is a "token black". I'm not saying the LDS church is racist; simply that this fact could be perceived by many to support such a charge. --Richard 18:30, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Whether this is due to lingering racism or due to the fact that it takes more than 30 years to develop a class of black LDS priests to the caliber of being general authorities is in the realm of OR. We should leave that judgment up to the reader. We should neither indict the LDS church for racism nor should we exonerate it with a whitewash. Doing either violates NPOV.

--Richard 17:15, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

It is race baiting to state it the way you propose. If the story we are trying to portray is that the LDS is racist, then list the ethnic backgrounds of all the genearl authorities of the LDS church. Do we have a reference for this individual being the only black man that serves as a general authority. There are several quorums of Seventy; I expect there are many more than 100 general authorities. Are the Latinos called to serve all of strict Hispanic origin or is it a mix? How much of a mix? What are the references for any of this information.
Our collective objective is to produce a well written, encyclopedic article. We don't do that by writing innuendo or using negative tone. I have yet to see one person call God a racist for only having a single Covenant people on the face of the earth for thousands of years. Even more racist was that only a single tribe held the priesthood; talk about a racist bloke! It is all a matter of tone, and balance; almost any topic can be written from a negative position. This type of writing has been done for many topics, the Holy Eucharist and canabalism, Jews murdering Jesus; the list is endless. --Storm Rider (talk) 18:53, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

(edit conflict, inserting my response to Storm Rider above Joshuajohanson's comment)

Whoa there, hoss, calm down. First of all, this is not "my" proposed text. I didn't propose the text of the caption that are objecting to. Someone else wrote it. I'm not sure how long ago. It might have been quite a while back. The recent edit history doesn't show any edit summaries that would indicate a recent insertion. In any event, someone took it out today and I put it back. Then you took it out a second time and I decided not to edit war over it, preferring to discuss it here rather than revert back to the original version. This is known as the [WP:1RR]] rule. I try for WP:0RR but I'm not that good.
Second, racism isn't always "white vs. everybody else". AFAICT, the racism in the LDS movement has been specifically targeted towards blacks and continued long past the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement into 1978. It doesn't matter that there are many Asian and Latino general authorities. That's irrelevant. Presumably, Asians and Latinos were not proscribed from entering the priesthood prior to 1978 as blacks were. You are obfuscating the facts in favor of a POV that suggests that the LDS church has never been and is not now racist. I hold no position on whether it is now racist. However, it is clear that it once was racist towards blacks.
Yeah, and so also were the Catholics and many Protestants. However, this is an encyclopedia and we must not let sectarian pride get in the way of an objective presentation of the facts. Now, if anyone wants to cite a reliable source that explains why 1% or less of the general authorities are black then, by all means, include it in the Blacks and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I personally think there's a mix of issues here. First, how long has Africa been part of the LDS movement? How long does it take to progress from entry into the priesthood to being a general authority? 20 years, 30 years? If 30 years, then there should be a class of black priests ready to become general authorities. If 10 or 20 years, then perhaps the fact that there is only one black authority suggests that there has been some sort of institutional bias.
My point here is that it is illegitmate to extrapolate the charge that the LDS church is racist against blacks from the fact that there is only one black authority. The fact that there is only one black authority would certainly be an arrow in the quiver of those who would attack the LDS church for racism against blacks. However, without a fuller and more sophisticated analysis, it is impossible to prove the point based on this one fact.
What exactly do are you objecting to? Is it not true that he is the only black authority? If you wish balance, then add facts to balance this fact. Don't seek to achieve balance by taking away facts especially facts that are indisputable. If the fact makes an implication that you disagree with, then counter the implication.
I will ignore your attempts to pull in examples of racism in other religions as an excuse for alleged racism in the LDS church. Either it exists or it doesn't. If it does, document it. If it doesn't, document that.
--Richard 19:58, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
There are seven quorums of the seventy, but only the first two have general authorities. The other quoroms are composed of area authorities, and there are plenty of blacks there.Joshuajohanson 19:36, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Right. And so that provides support for my argument. It may very well be that some of the blacks in the other quorums of seventy may eventually become general authorities or that other blacks in lower levels of the priesthood may do so. We don't know why this hasn't happened yet. Could be racism. Might not be. Until we can quote a reliable source who has a theory, we can only present the facts.
--Richard 19:58, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Putting all this discussion of racism aside, which I think is way beyond the scope of this summary article, the way the caption now reads says that Martins was "the first general authority of African descent". This is a problem, because it somewhat misleadingly implies that there have been others. I'm changing the language "The church had a black general authority, Helvécio Martins, from 1990 to 1995." That seems neutral enough. COGDEN 17:42, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree, in general, with COGDEN. However, the Church has begun to refer to Area Authorities as "General Authorities" at times, and if you check the the list of General Authorities there are some in the African Area which have traditional African names. Additionally, there are others scattered through the other areas. Thus if one includes all the quorums of Seventy the diversity is more apparent. If you include only the 1st and 2nd quorums of Seventy and the Twelve, then the diversity is not there. However, imho, this is more a result of the nature of how callings are made (an expectation of experience at differing levels of church leadership, few first generation GAs, etc) combined with the fact that most black members have joined in the last 20 years, than the result of racism or the promotion of a "Token" black. Given that the first person living outside North America at the time of the call and the first person, in over 50 years, born outside North America, was only recently called to the Twelve, it will just take some time. --Trödel 20:32, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
That the Deseret News called area authorities general authorities is probably just a mistake. The word "general" means that they have authority over the general church body. Area authorities, however, only have authority over a particular area. I'd go by what was stated when the 3-8 quorums were created: general authorities include only the 1st and 2nd quorums. If we say that members of the Third Quorum of Seventy are general authorities, then Elijah Abel would have been the first black general authority. COGDEN 21:39, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
You're right - sometimes I forget the Church News is published independent of the Church. --Trödel 22:19, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't think his picture has much relevance anyhow. I originally put it next to the section on Blacks, since he is important in the history of blacks in the priesthood. However, the section got merged with Apostasy, restoration, and priesthood. I don't think he is that important in that more general category. I instead put in a picture of the first vision, because that is a lot more central to the restoration than Helvécio Martins. 21:51, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

How many general authorities are there?

The lead sentence of the General authority article states "a general authority is a member of a select body of approximately 100 men with administrative and ecclesiastical authority over the church". However, if you look at Section 2 "Composition and distinction from General Officers", the table suggests that there are many more general authorities (just add up the number of people in all the rows). Except User:Joshuajohanson informs us that only the first two Quorums of Seventy are general authorities. But, if each Quorum of Seventy has 70 members, then we have 140+ general authorities which contradicts the lead sentence (unless you consider 140+ to be approximately 100). In that case, would you buy this $100 bill from me for approximately 100 dollars?

Something is broken here and I don't know enough to determine how to fix it. Would somebody who does know please fix it?

--Richard 20:05, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

It is called Quorum of the Seventy because each quorum can have up to seventy members. They don't have exactly seventy members. Also, the around 100 men are current members. Helvécio Martins is actually dead, so he is no longer part of those 100 men. His picture was actually part of the section on Blacks and Mormonism, because he was a prominent figure in the history of blacks in the church. However, that section was combined with the priesthood section, and so I don't think a dead priesthood holder should be used because the section is no longer about blacks in the church.Joshuajohanson 20:43, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
At the time of the most recent general conference (April 2007) there were 105 general authorities: 3 in the First Presidency, 12 in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 3 in the Presiding Bishopric, 52 in the First Quorum of the Seventy, 28 in the Second Quorum of the Seventy, and 7 in the Presidency of the Seventy (who I believe are also members of the First Quorum of the Seventy. You were misled, Richard, by the assumption that there were 70 members of each quorum of the seventy. The number of members of those quorums fluctuates, and, as far as I can remember, have never had 70 in both quorums, at least recently -- there may have been a 70 member quorum during Joseph's Smith's time. It may be helpful to realize that 70 is seen more as a limit to the size of the quorum rather than a minimum number. That said, it is an easy assumption to make. Paul D. Anderson 20:51, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
There are also a few emeritus general authorities -- typically this is due to being unable to continue due to health reasons. Members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve are not routinely released for health reasons -- they are lifetime appointments. Paul D. Anderson 20:54, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation. Paul, would you please fix this in the General authority article so that others will not be similarly confused? --Richard 20:56, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
I added a clarifying footnote, with a reference to a source. Paul D. Anderson 21:13, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Introduction Paragraph

I noticed this paragraph ends with, "but it has cooperated with other churches in promoting humanitarian and moral causes.". I think it would be better to say, "while allowing others to worship how, where or what they may." This is a paraphrasing of the 11th article of faith and I think makes clearer what the church is about. The original sounds as if the LDS church only admits there are other faiths when they are all trying to help someone. Mynty 01:07, 13 May 2007 (UTC)mynty 5 May 2007

Hmmmmmm... That would certainly be an alternative, well thought! But, lets better wait to see what others think about it; or maby you could directly be bold and make the changes right now... It´s up yo you... Tom@sBat 01:16, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
I like the way it stands now, which describes the behavior of the church instead of a professed belief. --TrustTruth 01:43, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Payroll questions

I just transferred the following statement from the article page:

"Missionaries and missin Presidents are not paid. Missionaries' families are asked if possible to donate to a general missionary fund."

Overlooking the misspelling, does anyone have a reference that all Mission Presidents are paid? Also, Missionaries are not paid to serve missions, but are requested to save a sufficent amount prior to their missions. In addition, as stated, families and wards pay for monthly upkeep. This is different from the church paying for it. Thoughts? --Storm Rider (talk) 23:40, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

I assume you are looking for a reference that mission presidents are not paid. I have a friend who served as a mission president, and he surely wasn't paid to go. The top general authorities get a stipend, but I recall LeGrand Richards mentioning that a certain person who was called as a general authority received a stipend less than what they had been paying in tithing (and they sent the stipend back! ;^) wrp103 (Bill Pringle) (Talk) 00:50, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Mission presidents are paid (although I'm sure a few of the wealthiest ones might decline payment). That's clear from church literature (I'll try to find the best citation). Also, genereral authorities are paid, and they get other benefits, which is also clear from church literature. Church literature doesn't say how much they are paid, but some historians have done some digging in church archives and found out some of the figures. They end up doing quite well, actually (not that the money is worth the stress). See, e.g., Quinn, Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power. Information about what Hinckley is paid, and his other benefits, have also been printed in newspapers. COGDEN 17:51, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
COGDEN is right here - Mission presidents are, at a minimum, paid with free housing, free car (usually), travel expenses, etc (even if they refuse the stipend). However, unless the mission president declines, they are also paid a sufficient stipend to cover additional expenses. For many it seems small compared to their former salary, but I've been told it is not frugal. I know mission presidents (not senior missionaries - for whom selling a house is much more common) who sold their home in order to not have the mortgage during their mission, and others who had small enough mortgages, or independent sources of income to avoid selling. All my information is from original reasearch. I would say we should definately not include that they are not paid (because it is not true) and try to find a reliable source for the stipend. One comparison could be made to Seminary and Institute Teachers who were traditionally (pre mid-80s) paid very little, but whose salary has improved lately (though from what I understand not to market levels) to attract teachers. Traditionally, Mission presidents were paid very little, if at all, "salary" but had expenses (home/office/car/travel/etc) provided for them. --Trödel 19:06, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

This whole area seems a bit rife with OR. I personally know several past mission presidents and not one of them were paid to serve. What I find repugnant about the current language is that providing the use of a car is called "being paid" to serve. This is what we call "spin" and is not factual. Being paid, being on the payroll, is I will hire you to do a certain function and I will pay you a salary plus benefits. Also, attempting to classify the young men and women of the church as being "paid" is simply a falsehood. I can assure you that the Church did not pay for my mission, my son's mission, and any other person I know who served a mission. The vast majority of missionaries save, if not their entire mission cost, then a large portion of it. I am aware of some missionaries who saved lesser amounts and the majority of the funds were received from the donations of others in their home ward, but his is not the same thing as being "paid" by the church.

In addition, do we have any hard facts for this? Stating it is found in church literature is just too vague particularly when it conflicts so badly with my personal knowledge and daily life experiences. --Storm Rider (talk) 06:56, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

"Black" vs. "African"

I changed back the description of the pre-1978 policy on blacks and the priesthood to refer to "blacks", rather than "men of African descent". Actually, it was blackness that was the factor. Someone, for example, with Egyptian, Moroccan, or South African heritage (someone they might have called a "white African") could have the priesthood so long as they had no known black-skinned ancestors. Of course, this was all part of the problem the church faced in the 70s, since we know now, based on genetic evidence, that everyone has at least some African ancestry if you go back far enough, especially people whose ancestors have historically lived near black people. COGDEN 22:37, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

In the recent David O. McKay biography (David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism) it states that black-skinned people from India or Fiji were able to receive the priesthood. The key to the ban was African descent, and by that I mean traditional, sub-Saharan descent. My understanding is it was a rather specific criteria. Therefore, if the description needs to be changed, it needs to become more specific, not more general --TrustTruth 22:45, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it was't the color, it was being descended from "native" sub-Saharan Africans, who are black. Indians, Pakistanis, Fijians, Polynesians, Australian aborigines—all can be "black" (blacker than some American "blacks")—but all could be given the priesthood. It was specifically an African thing and I think the article should reflect that. "Men of black African descent" might be most specific. -SESmith 22:54, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
I think the issue is one of semantics. By "blackness", I'm not referring to skin color, I'm referring to a confluence of genetic traits typical of people in sub-Saharan Africa. The definition of black people does not include other dark-skinned people. I think "black person" is a pretty clear definition. Nobody refers to a Fijian as "black" unless they are clueless. Also, there are many very dark-skinned people of "white"-African descent , i.e., dark-skinned Arabs in the north, who are both "dark-skinned" and African, but are not black people. I think black is the best definition we have unless we want to specify that we mean "sub-Saharan", but that's getting pretty wordy. "Black African descent" is probably okay, but isn't it redundant? COGDEN 23:14, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
In the United States, your statement that "the definition of black people does not include other dark-skinned people" is probably generally true. But as it states in the article on black people, "some assert that only people of relatively recent African descent are black, while others argue that black may refer to individuals with dark skin color regardless of ethnic origin."
I live in Polynesia and it's quite common to refer to Fijians as "blacks" because many of them are much darker than most other Polynesians due to the east Indian ancestry of many Fijians. You're speaking from a (I assume) North American or European-centric view. Can't we internationalize the article for all English speakers? To my knowledge, WP is not meant to be a European- or American-centric project.
Making it clear that the policy applied to only black-skinned persons of sub-Saharan African origin may be "wordy", but at least it's accurate. -SESmith 00:10, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
By coincidence, last week I watched a video about the pre-1978 Saints in Africa, and they kept using 'black African'. I think that's by far the best term. --Masamage 00:25, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, as I stated above I think "men of black African descent" that would be ideal, as it is relatively specific and yet avoides wordiness. Was than an official church video, Masamage? -SESmith 00:29, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure, but it had a lot of Apostles in it, as well as some African bishops and such who had been members as best they could since before 1978. It was called 'Pioneers of Africa' or something like that. --Masamage 00:43, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Okay, SESmith, you've convinced me. I guess "men of black African descent" isn't redundant after all. It sounds good to me. COGDEN 01:12, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Sorry to chime in late on this discussion - I disagree with the "African" terminology, as some asians, polynesians and indians (not native americans) were kept from holding the priesthood prior to 1978 because of their race/racial features. Although it was not institutionalized as much as blacks, and it was phased out as racial stereotypes changed from 1940s-1960s, it still happened and was policy at times. And, there was even policy regarding the aaronic priestood and some races (ie maori's were only allowed to hold the aaronic priesthood for nearly 30 years, not not be ordained to be elders). I think it is safer to say "race or color" and "dark skin" and "black" and let the reader naturally assume it is blacks. The official declaration was worded a specific way for a reason, and this is merely one. -Visorstuff 01:18, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
What Visorstuff says is interesting and is certainly something to consider. I can see how the policy could be confusing for local leaders trying to apply it—I can see them having the same sorts of discussion we are having here and not knowing whether it is a skin color issue or a geographical "African" issue or a "race" issue. I guess the question is for purposes of the article is this—were these other types of restriction ever official policy from SLC, or was it just the result of local leaders who didn't fully understand the official policy or know how to implement it? I'm not at all saying you are wrong Visorstuff, and I believe what you say happened did happen, but I'm wondering if anyone out there has any way of verifying that this was official policy being implemented? All sorts of stuff happens in local pockets of the church that is against official policy (girls being ordained deacons, etc.), but that doesn't mean it's to be acknowledged by the WP article. -SESmith 01:34, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree. That doesn't sound like anything I've ever heard of the church authorizing or mandating. --Masamage 05:11, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I forgot about the earlier racial confusion. Visorstuff is right. And it was, as I understand, an official church policy as late as the 1950s, set by the First Presidency. I think that the First Presidency thought that dark skin in general was a curse, and that the only known curses were those of Cain and of Laman and Lemuel, so they figured anyone with dark skin who wasn't a "Lamanite" must have descended from Cain. Then, during the McKay administration, he became convinced that the Oceanic peoples were Lamanites (or at least members of Lost Tribes), and the focus shifted from skin color to "Hamitic" African lineage. I've got a citation here that probably covers all this, but I don't have access to it: Norman Douglas, "The Sons of Levi and the Seed of Cain: Racial Myths in Mormon Scripture and their Relevance to the Pacific Islands," Journal of Religious History 8 (1974): 90-104. COGDEN 18:09, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it was official policy/instruction and was controversial in the leadership of the church during the time. (aside)I believe it was even alluded to in the movie "the other side of heaven." But then again, my expertise is in mormon history, not pop culture).
What needs to be understood is that until the revelation to John Taylor "setting in order" the priesthood in the church, being called to the priesthood was done only by "revelation" or necessity of the individual having it for callings, ordinances, etc. Since that revelation, all worthy "ephriamites" from the age of 12 upwards were ordained to the priesthood. This revelation also set in order the seventy. From that time on, most who joined the church came to "expect" to recieve and progress in the priesthood during normal intervals of their lives. After that time, there was debate as to whether or not this revelation applied to those who were not of the tribe of ephriam. what about jews? lehites (native americans)? blacks? Asians? Indians? Muslims (or as they would have said "Mohammedeans")?
There was no clear instruction on that until president McKay's time, when he clarified and set in order the current policy that all worthy church member, who are not of negroid descent should receive the priesthood. Again, this is partially one reason to the wording of the 1978 official declaration as "without regard for race or color." I would love to get my hands on the revelation itself, but I imagine that it won't be made public for research for another 20 years.
We think of this as racial discrimination, (and yes, it turned into that) but it was more of ephriamite superiority complex (and most ephriamites, or church members prior to 1940 were fairly recently related in pedigree charts - ie, smith and young were distant cousins, etc.). I'm aware of a few folks as late as the 1960s who weren't ordained to the priesthood because tehy were from the tribe of Judah or Benjamin or another tribe of israel as stated in their patriarchal blessing. The debate was if the gospel is the responsibility for ephriam to carry and teach to others in this dispensation, why give the priesthood to those outside the line if it is not their work to do? I reckon God knows we need all the help we can get. I also think that we are in danger of taking the priesthood for granted - we recieve it by revelation - not by age, education, lineage or any other means. Until 1978, this was understood. You received it as a privilege, as a blessing, not automatically. This is well beyond racial discrimination, but it is hard for others to understand. -Visorstuff 21:43, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Thank you both—all very interesting and informative and helpful. Now I'm just going to give up on reworking the phrasing! I think Visorstuff may be right that keeping the statements in the article as general as possible probably is the safest way to go! I probably should not have meddled in the first place ....
I think you're not the only one who has wanted to see the 1978 revelation, Visorstuff, but I wonder if there even is a written document that could be said to be "the revelation". Perhaps it just came as an overwhelming impression or directive that cannot be verbalized. It's possible that revelation in the sense of putting things down on words was just the way JS did things because the church had to have the foundation of the D&C to go forward, but that subsequent church presidents have received revelation differently?? I don't suppose anyone knows for sure (outside of maybe Hinckley, Monson, Packer, and Perry, the surviving apostles who were there) and I imagine it could cause a stir if it was "revealed" that there is no written 1978 revelation. -SESmith 23:23, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

In the Hugh B. Brown biography published by his son (not the one published by Deseret Book), Brown discusses this issue. During the 60's the First Presidency and the Twelve discussed allowing blacks to be ordained to the priesthood; however, because two of the Brethren did not support the action, the church remained frozen. After their passing all worthy males were allowed to hold the priesthood. As Visor demonstrates, this is not a clearly simple issue of racisim. Personally, I believe there were individual who may have been motivated by racial prejudice parading as doctrine. I also believe there were individuals who were convinced by doctrine that priesthood was only to be given to specific tribes; that was the doctrine of God for literally centuries within the covenant people. --Storm Rider (talk) 23:51, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

You left out the juicy bit. Who were the two brethren? Brown was the last member of the 1st Pres or 12 to die before the 1978 event, and it wasn't him. The next closest deaths in time were Harold B. Lee (church president) and Joseph Fielding Smith (church president). Am I getting warm? -SESmith 00:06, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, as I understand it, there was a unanimous vote among the First Presidency (led by Brown) and the Twelve in favor of doing away with the ban, but Harold B. Lee (then President of the Twelve) was absent for the vote because he was traveling. David O. McKay wasn't involved because of age-related incapacity. When Lee found out about the vote, he called for another, arguing that the church couldn't reverse the policy without a revelation. COGDEN 01:28, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

From some of the account's I've read, Kimball was at the alter praying when he started dictating a revelation, which the brethren scrambled to write. They weren't expecting it to come at the time. Some claimed that angelic beings were present, including at least three past presidents of the church, including wilford woodruff (recognized by Legrand Richards) and possibly Jesus. The official declaration is that a revelation was receieved, it just doesn't provide the content of said revelation. OD 1 is a little different, as we do have the vision account by Woodruff, where he was shown what would happen if polygamy was not abandoned. But this is not a simple vision account, but rather a stated revelation through Kimball. See for example this quote from Adventures of a Church Historian by Leonard Arrington Pages 176-177:

On June 1, 1978, at a regular temple meeting of the general authorities, Kimball asked the members of the First Presidency and the Twelve to stay for a private conference. In a spirit of fasting and prayer, they formed a prayer circle. Kimball opened by saying he felt impressed to pray to the Lord and asked their permission to be “mouth.” He went to the altar. Those in attendance said that as he began his earnest prayer, they suddenly realized it was not Kimball’s prayer, but the Lord speaking through him. A revelation was being declared. Kimball himself realized that the words were not his but the Lord’s. During that prayer some of the Twelve - at least two have said so publicly - were transported into a celestial atmosphere, saw a divine presence and the figures of former president of the church (portraits of whom were hanging on the walls around them) smiling to indicate their approval and sanction. Others acknowledged the voice of the Lord coming, as with the prophet Elijah, "through the still, small voice." The voice of the Spirit followed their earnest search for wisdom and understanding.
At the end of the heavenly manifestation Kimball, weeping for joy, confronted the quorum members, many of them also sobbing, and asked if they sustained this heavenly instruction. Embracing, all nodded vigorously and jubilantly their sanction. There had been a startling and commanding revelation from God-an ineffable experience.
Two of the apostles present described the experience as a "day of Pentecost" similar to the one in Kirtland Temple on April 6, 1836, the day of its dedication. They saw a heavenly personage and heard heavenly music. To the temple-clothed members, the gathering, incredible and without compare, was the greatest singular event of their lives. Those I talked with wept as they spoke of it. All were certain they had witnessed a revelation from God.
I'm also aware that the angels became the focus of speculation and detracted from the 1978 revelation itself, so the brethren were instructed to clarify that the Spirit of revelation was present, and that the answer came by the power of the Holy Ghost. Kimball's biography says that he asked Elder McConkie to clarify his public statement on hearing a voice, as not everyone in the room heard it. Leave it up to Mormons to not get the real story because they look beyond the mark. Anyway, I still think we should revisit the section. -Visorstuff 00:54, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
By the way, the two brethren won't be hard to guess, as they are pointed to in nearly every anti-mormon web site that addresses this topic, and at least one was alive during the revelation. -Visorstuff 00:57, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

You guys should check out "Mormonism's Negro Policy: Social and Historical Origins." It talks about the exact circumstances under which the policy was originally created, going into a lot of detail from church documents, anti-church documents, letters, and journal entries from the time. It turns out to have done because a lot of Mormons were using their religion as a tool for abolitionism, and that kept getting them tar-and-feathered and made people think that the Mormons were going to forcibly bring up the slaves to fight against their masters. So basically the church went wheeling backwards from racial politics and told everyone not to baptise blacks at the present time. Then Joseph Smith died, without any official work having been done to figure out this policy. The book describes in detail the process of people coming up with stuff like the Curse to make sense of what, without doctrine behind it, looked like outright racism. It's a fascinating book, and was in fact published in the mid-1970s, when everyone was unhappy about the policy but before it was repealed. You should give it a look. I think it has some info we could really use. --Masamage 01:26, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

There are a lot of errors and assumptions in that book where no assumption should be made, but I would have likely made the same assumptions at the time. Feel free to add in details from Taggart, if you have a copy. If not, some of the book is provided here. I don't think there has been an exhaustive work like this on the topic since, and some author should probaby revisit. -Visorstuff 01:36, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Uh...okay. Is there a website or anything that goes over that (the errors and assumptions) in full detail? Because it seemed pretty well-sourced to me. --Masamage 01:45, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh, nevermind, I see that that link has some. Blump. --Masamage 01:47, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Please don't think i was being too critical of the book, it, like most, have errors and assumptions, but was groundbreaking for its time. I just disagree with some of its findings because we now have more information. Besides, well-sourced and accurate are two seperate things, as we all know from working on wikipedia. -Visorstuff 02:30, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
I do wish the book dealt more with the history of Black Pete and McCary - which seems to be lost to its authors. I don't think we can understand young's policy towards blacks without an understanding of these two people. -Visorstuff 02:34, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Kolob (Again)

I thought this was resolved some months ago, but...

For those who keep inserting the claim that Joseph Smith taught that God's physical body was near the planet/star/celestial body named Kolob, please provide a reference. What the canonized Book of Abraham actually says about Kolob is this:

"And the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord thy God: I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest. And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord’s time, according to the reckoning of Kolob. • • • And thus there shall be the reckoning of the time of one planet above another, until thou come nigh unto Kolob, which Kolob is after the reckoning of the Lord’s time; which Kolob is set nigh unto the throne of God, to govern all those planets which belong to the same border as that upon which thou standest. • • • If two things exist, and there be one above the other, there shall be greater things above them; therefore Kolob is the greatest of all the Kokaubeam that thou hast seen, because it is nearest unto me. • • • But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the time that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. Now I, Abraham, saw that it was after the Lord’s time, which was after the time of Kolob; for as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning."

I can see where you could interpret these statements as suggesting what you are stating, but it is by no means clear or settled that these statements are to be taken in their literal, physical sense. The article on Kolob has a good summary of the various viewpoints on this scripture.

In an introductory article such as this one, I hardly think it's appropriate to introduce something and present it as the undisputed teaching of the church when in fact it is a relatively obscure doctrinal topic, and one where the very meaning is in dispute. -SESmith 23:13, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

I think the primary citation would be McConkie's Mormon Doctrine, where Kolob was described as being nearest the "residence of God". But Smith's statement that it was nearest the "throne" of God: I don't think anyone who believes God has an actual body would suggest that God doesn't actually sit on his throne. I've added some possible wording to finesse this. COGDEN 23:41, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I found a better citation (Explanation to Facsimile 2), which says Kolob is near "the place where God resides". We can just use that language. COGDEN 23:46, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
COGDEN said: "I don't think anyone who believes God has an actual body would suggest that God doesn't actually sit on his throne." My response: Well, you failed to read the different interpretations in the Kolob article then. Here is an excerpt, which is what I'm getting at:

"... Kolob represents Jesus Christ rather than a physical object and location in this universe. The symbolic interpretation was explained by Hugh Nibley in The Temple and The Cosmos (see Kolob, time and temples). Advocates of [this] symbolic interpretation believe it harmonizes better with other Mormon beliefs, and with beliefs in the greater Christian community, as it does not require that God have a physical throne within this universe."

In other words, taking this view, God doesn't have a physical "throne" and he doesn't physically "reside" anywhere. Not everyone interprets LDS canon in the literalist way you are suggesting; where is a reference that demonstrates that it is a church teaching that god literally and physically resides near kolob? -SESmith 00:11, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
That being said, I think how you've phrased it in the article is good—not presenting the physically reside approach as something the church teaches, but that this is something that "is said". Thanks for your work, -SESmith 00:14, 15 May 2007 (UTC)