Talk:The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/Archive 13

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Omission of Racism

There will never be any mention of LDS's historical racism because it will always be Mormons willing to spend more time to edit it out of the article than anyone else adding it.--Paraphelion (talk) 16:57, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree, I've tried to add information on the Church's doctrines re: race several times and had them removed by over-zealous mormon editors every time. And that includes things that weren't even "criticism" or history, but current mormon doctrine on Race.
Consider the following quote from the Book of Mormon:

[20] Wherefore, the word of the Lord was fulfilled which he spake unto me, saying that: Inasmuch as they will not hearken unto thy words they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And behold, they were cut off from his presence. [21] And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. [22] And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities. [23] And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done. [24] And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey. Second Nephi, Ch. 5, verses 20-24.

Notice the caveat in verse 22, “save they shall repent of their iniquities”, implying that if they do repent of their “iniquities” (and what sort of iniquities, I wonder, could possibly be encoded in someone’s skin color?) the Lamanites and their Descendants (native americans, according to mormon doctrine) will become White. This isn't just idle speculation, Joseph Smith confirmed this interpretation himself multiple times. Here's one quote from him on the topic.

For instance, the descendants of Cain cannot cast off their skin of blackness, at once, and immediately, although every soul of them should repent, obey the Gospel, and do right from this day forward. . . . Cain and his posterity must wear the mark, which God put upon them; and his white friends may wash the race of Cain with fuller’s soap every day, they cannot wash away God’s mark; The Lamanites, through transgression, became a loathsome, ignorant and filthy people, and were cursed with a skin of darkness … yet, they have the promise, if they will believe, and work righteousness, that not many generations shall pass away before they shall become a white and delightsome people; but it will take some time to accomplish this at best” The Latter-Day Saints Millennial Star, vol. 14, p. 418

Spencer W. Kimbal, another mormon Prophet, confirmed that this was still curent doctrine as of 1960 when he wrote in his General Conference Report of October, 1960, which was published in Improvement Era, December 1960, pp 922-923:

I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today…. The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised. In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos, five were darker but equally delightsome The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation.

At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter were present, the little member girl–sixteen–sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents–on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather….These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated.

Not only has everything on this topic been censored from this page, when I tried to create a separate page on Race in Mormon doctrine it was immediately deleted by someone who asserted the topic had already been covered in a page on black people in the mormon church, even though issues like the ones I've just outlined are completely separate from the church's past prohibitions against black people holding the priesthood. To start with, this stuff is CURRENT doctrine and was not affected or repudiated by the 1978 declaration. Nothing the church has published since has altered this stand or doctrine and no attempt has been made to 'reframe' the verses from the book of mormon to lend themselves to an alternate interpretation. As a former mormon I heard this same doctrine preached as recently as the 1990's (when I quite the church in disgust). I repeat, this is CURRENT doctrine, not just a historical curiosity.
I could go on, but if folks can't get the point by now it's because they're bias's won't let them. Wikipedia's failure to deal with this sort of censorship in a meaningful way undermines the credibility of the entire project. Anarchocelt (talk) 07:34, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Also - I should say that this type of thing doesn't belong in a segregated "criticism" section. It's basic information about the church. The mormon prophets and leaders who came up with these doctrines didn't intend them as criticism, they were intended as doctrine and presented as God's word. They should be presented in that light, not as though they somehow originated as "criticism" of the church from the outside. Anarchocelt (talk) 07:36, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
With Mitt Romney's rise to national prominence, I have done quite a bit of research on the Mormons here at Wiki and I am also a bit disturbed at the apparent POV whitewashing that is done by LDS monitors. There is not one word of direct criticism about Joseph Smith in his article, and this article is pretty rosy as well. KyuzoGator (talk) 19:32, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, where did the criticism section go? Even Mother Theresa has a criticism section on Wikipedia. DJ Clayworth (talk) 19:36, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
The criticism section may have been moved to Criticism of the Latter Day Saint movement. There is a link in the church article to the criticism article. Alanraywiki (talk) 19:46, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
Not anymore she doesn't. There are links to criticism of Mother Theresa.--Paraphelion (talk) 12:27, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

I always find these types of comments interesting. First of all, this article is not Joseph Smith, but the LDS church. The Joseph Smith article talks about polygamy, Kirkland Safety Society failure, his arrest in 1826, his multiple legal problems, and is called an outright fraud. Exactly what criticism where you looking for? Generally I find that editors that makes theses complaints are really desirous of having a negative article and are not looking for something that is written from a neutral perspective. If you are seeking negative articles, please just google Smith's name and you will be supplies with several anti-Mormon web sites that will not have one iota of positive information about Smith or the LDS church.

I haven't washed in days, and I don't plan on starting now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:08, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

In comparing this article with the Catholic Church article I think you will find this article has much more criticism found within it. I also prefer having a single criticism section where all criticism can be grouped, but I think you will find criticism spread throughout the article is desired by the majority of editors. If you want to change it, I would support such an action. In closing, I would gladly compare LDS article to the articles of any other church on Wikipedia and I am confident the balance found in them will be superior to every other church. You might want to do some comparing before leveling the accusations again. What we seek most is neutrality and reporting facts; we do not take a position. --Storm Rider (talk) 23:40, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

I think there are two "criticism" issues. One is the historical fact of criticism, which could be a separate section under its own heading. The second is the pros and cons of any particular LDS practice or doctrine. That type of thing is best dealt with as it arises in the article, so that both positions are presented at the same place and in the same context. Since this is a summary article, however, there isn't much room for more than bare facts. Most of the analysis, pro or con, will be found in any of the numerous other LDS-related articles. We do, however, need to make sure that we cover all the relevant facts, even the church's embarrassing moments if they are sufficiently pertinent. The article actually does mention the former ban on blacks in the priesthood. COGDEN 01:29, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
One thing I personally do not like is the fact that the LDS movement pages are inconsistent with Criticism pages. For example, the fundamentalist group has a substantial section on its page about criticisms of the organization. Yet 2/3 of the criticism to be found on the Criticism of the LDS movement page is about the LDS Church itself. Yet there is not even room for a small section here? Either this page is wrong or the fundamentalist page is, but either way right now it is totally inconsistent. I suggest either creating a small section here (because the content is relevant and a lot of neutral people probably look for it) or moving the section on the fundamentalist page to the criticism page for consistency. Either way its my two cents...Jcg5029 (talk) 22:00, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that out. We've been trying to get the Criticism page up to Wikipedia standards. Someone needs to either reference the Fundamentalist page on the Criticism page (indicating that most criticisms are found on the main article) or snip the criticisms from the main article and include them on the criticisms page. --TrustTruth (talk) 22:20, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
You suggest "... creating a small [criticism] section here ....". That was done about a week ago; it is at the bottom of the article and contains a historical overview of the criticisms, with a link to the Criticism article. Noleander (talk) 22:56, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
I find your response interesting as well. I did not mention Smith at all, and that you did implies that you feel that any criticism you are willing to admit as valid is limited only to this "Smith" character and none to the organization itself.--Paraphelion (talk) 12:27, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
You didn't. KyuzoGator did. In otherwords, it was mentioned before he put his comment. --Javawizard (talk) 21:33, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Which is irrelevant because he was replying to me, or either he did not format his reply correctly.--Paraphelion (talk) 05:00, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

I find it interesting that enemies of THE CHURCH harp on "racism," when in fact there has NEVER been any sort of proscription against ANYONE, regardless of race or color, joining with THE CHURCH. The only proscription was against those of African descent holding priesthood office. The Southern Baptists, on the other hand, held to strict segregation until the middle of the 20th Century. Roman Catholicism did not ordain Negroes to their priesthood until the late 19th Century. And finally, no one but a descendant of Aaron was allowed to hold any sort of priesthood before the time of Joseph Smith. So "racism" is a convenient straw-man for enemies of THE CHURCH, period. That's the only real "controversy" here. B. Polhemus (talk) 14:29, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I hate to argue semantics, but "racism" itself is an NPOV issue. I agree with you in that I don't understand why anyone would object to mentioning the LDS ban on priesthood given to those of African decent and the 1978 lifting of that ban. Any informed reader knows that racial segregation and privileging certain individuals on the basis of race was common in the US through the middle of the 20th Century. 1978 was a little late, but as you said, African-Americans (few as they may have been) weren't quite as segregated in the LDS Church as in others.
I don't really even understand why this would need to be in a criticism section. Racial descrimination is bad, but LDS racial views are really just a relevant part of the Church's history that I think readers would want information on. The same with Plural Marriage. Why can't we just state historical facts and leave the ethical judgements to a more apropriate forum. Personally, I don't understand criticism sections on Wikipedia. Can't we just write "fact1, 2, and 3" w/o saying "fact1=pro, fact2=con, fact3=con?"

Sorry I guess that was more of a comment on this entire discussion more than a reply to your post specifically. Dayleyj (talk) 15:29, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

With all of these attacks on the LDS religion from anti-mormonists, I can see why so many people can get their facts mixed up with their fiction. First of all, the LDS church is not racist, nor does it practice polygamy. However, for all of you "orthodox" christians and catholics who are reading this from your high horse, please try to explain the biblical reference to such practices as polygamy, and racism. Like in deuteronomy chapter seven, and how many wives did Jacob have again. I just think that we should get out of these religious/political debates, and get back to writing the facts.

potential NPOV issue

We have to ensure that the article does not present Mormon doctrine as encyclopedic fact either directly or indirectly. This could happen even if all the editors are editing in good faith and with no intention to blend Mormon doctrine terminology/Mormon articles of faith with secular encyclopedia terminology. I do not know if there is a major npov issue at this point but there are certainly a few areas of concern to me so I am hoping we can all work together to create an even better article. It's obvious that many LDS members are servicing the article and that is a great thing, but to me it seems that some of the choices of words in the article present LDS doctrine as if it is objective encyclopedic description. For example, the article was stating that LDS believes in the old and new testaments in so far as it was a "correct" translation (meaning the Joseph Smith translation); so the article was presenting the Joseph Smith translation as being the "correct" translation. In other words, using the terms "correct translation" and "Joseph Smith translation" as if they are synonymous may be true for LDS but it is also quite obviously not NPOV. I just changed that reference to make it clearer to a non-LDS member how LDS members view the old and new testaments. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 13:06, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

I reverted your edit because it is a misstatement of LDS doctrine. LDS doctrine is as it was stated. We do not hold the Joseph Smith translation as a "perfect" translation. You seem to be unaware of the great amount of scholarship that demonstrates the many obvious mistranslations of the Bible. Read Bart D. Ehrman or L. Michael White (neither is LDS) on early Christianity, the battle for scripture, and misquoting Jesus. The fact that LDS believe the Bible has been mistranslated is hardly unique and modern day scholarship has proven the validity of the claim of Joseph Smith.
Your edits make one think that you have a very specific agenda and it is not to produce a neutral article. --Storm Rider (talk) 15:43, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Storm, the word in the article is "correct" not "perfect" and I am not thinking you have an agenda so you should not think that about me either. Do you hold the Joseph Smith translation is the "correct" translation referred to in the sentence? If not, what is the correct translation? Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 20:17, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
As the LDS church chooses to use the King James translation in its scriptures, with the JST as notes for study, I would have to disagree with your most recent edit. It is only occasionally that the JST is used/cited in group study, conference addresses or other church functions. So, we could say the the "JST is a more correct translation, referenced by church members" or something to that effect. WBardwin (talk) 20:30, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
If there was a real committment to the JST it would be the Bible of choice for the LDS church regardless of the fact that it is owned by the Community of Christ (old RLDS church). LDS do believe that certain verses were clarified by Joseph Smith and those scriptures are viewed as a better translation, but WBardin has pointed out the most significant point, the KJV is "the" accepted Bible of the LDS church. Your edits are no accurate and misrepresent fact. I am curious that since you are so misinformed about these simple things, what is your motivation for editing a subject that you so obviously are deficient in knowledge and/or understanding. When it sounds and talks like a duck; it is usually a duck. --Storm Rider (talk) 23:01, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
It seems we are getting somewhere maybe, both Storm and WBardwin are saying that certain verses were clarified by Joseph Smith's translation and are viewed by LDS as better or more correct. Could we compromise on some way to include that within this sentence: "Latter-day Saints believe in the divine authority of the Old Testament and New Testament as far as they are translated correctly."? I'd suggest "Latter-day Saints believe in the divine authority of the Old Testament and New Testament where compatible with the Joseph Smith translation of the two Testaments."? or "Latter-day Saints believe in the divine authority of the Old Testament and New Testament when Joseph Smith's clarifications/corrections are included."? Another option is just to leave out the sentence altogether. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 05:24, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Why don't we just put "as far as [they are] translated correctly" in quotes, since it is a quote from the Articles of Faith? This entirely resolves the problem since if it is a quote there is no concern of POV since it is explicitly quoting church teachings; further, it is explained in greater detail later in the article who want to know more. Really, such a basic issue in the lead paragraphs shouldn't have to be the subject of such tortured and convoluted language. Sometimes, if you just quote what the source says, it simplifies things. I've made my suggested change. The level of discussion and debate here seems appropriate for The Book of Mormon and the King James Bible or Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, but it's a bit silly for a lead paragraph of an article about a church organization. Snocrates 05:31, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

That sounds like a fine solution to me. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 05:55, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks to Snocrates. Not to be pushy but I notice that the article of faith #8 says "We believe the [B]ible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God." That seems to give the BoM the same status as the Bible and if that's the case, should the article not be reworded to reflect that?
Would this be acceptable: "Latter-day Saints believe in the divine authority of the Book of Mormon and the Bible, including the Old Testament and New Testament, "as far as it is translated correctly"[4] Latter-day Saints also have two additional books in their scriptural canon: the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price." Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 14:09, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
This seems to be essentially the same as the current wording, except for the order. — Val42 (talk) 15:40, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree the difference is not great but might be more of a correction. If I understand the articles of faith I just read, the Book of Mormon is put on the same level as the Bible as being the "word of God" whereas the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price are not on that same level. Are there any objections to this slight change in order proposed 2 edits up? Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 19:12, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
All four volumes (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) are considered scripture. The later two had been published when the Articles of Faith were written, so I don't know all four weren't included them. Separating these additional volumes of scripture into different sentences seems to lessen their scriptural status. — Val42 (talk) 00:06, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
POGP was not accepted as scripture when the Articles of Faith were written. It was not even compiled in its current format until long after Joseph Smith, who wrote the AofF, was dead. I don't think the AofF are necessarily the "last word" on how the LDS Church views its works scripture — the church has always had an "open canon" and things have been added since Smith's death; I merely used the AofF as a reference in this case to resolve the problem in describing how the LDS Church views the Bible, which I think is still consistent with the Article of Faith. Snocrates 01:56, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I still think that there is too much separation between the Bible and the other volumes of scripture. — Val42 (talk) 02:55, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Val42. What about: Latter-day Saints believe in the divine authority of the KJV Bible "as far as it is translated correctly"[4], the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.? This is 1 sentence, fewer words and all inclusive.Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 10:28, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
That sentence is misleading. It should make clear that the church uses the KJV as the preferred English translation, but is not opposed to other translations, and certainly the KJV does not cover foreign language translations. What about the preferred Spanish version, for example. Bytebear (talk) 01:33, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

(new indent) I agree with Byte; there is a commitment to the KJV in English, but it certainly is not the case in other langugages. In addition, the church does not disallow the use of other biblical translations it simply has a preference in the English speaking world for the KJV. --Storm Rider (talk) 01:52, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Also, the details should be discussed in the body, not the intro. please stop adding details already covered in the body. Honestly, it should only be covered in the Standard Works article. Bytebear (talk) 04:52, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I would agree to deleting all of the details in the second paragraph as they are all covered in the body. The details in the 3rd. and 4th. paragraphs are too important to most non-LDS readers not to mention in the intro and to exclude them from the intro would only appear to be an attempt to bury the more unusual aspects of the church. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 05:16, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
So the very confused issue really is that the writer of the "as far as it is translated correctly" was trying to stay with the actual LDS doctrine by quoting Smith directly. The LDS position as I understand it is that the Bible is scripture, but has been mistranslated over the centuries and so there are certain points on which the LDS Church does not agree with certain verses in commonly read versions of the Bible because they were mistranslated, but it still takes the work in general as scripture. I don't think Smith in that quote was refering directly to his or any other specific version of the Bible.

The general point is a good one. It would be wildly inapropriate to say something like "When we all lived in Heaven before we came to earth..." where it is made to seem that Church doctrine is encyclopedic fact, no matter the beliefs of the editor. We just need to be careful of that, and I'm sure everone agrees to that point.Dayleyj (talk) 15:46, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I think that non-LDS writers should stop spreading their POV here when it is not necessary. I really don't think that it is appropriate for someone who is not LDS and has absolutely no clue or understanding about the LDS church to try to tell an LDS person what they believe. There is no need to change wording around the scriptural beliefs when they already express what the people of the LDS church believe. If you are going to try to spread your anti-mormonism, please go to another website that cares, or just keep your POV to yourself. As for the JST. The LDS people beleive the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. Meaning that whatever parts, or messages that were left intact after the centuries of mistranslations and ommisions, are the word of God. The JST is just exerpts that have been taken out of the Bible over the years. Key parts that were lost, and now have been more fully restored to what the Bible origianlly was. The Book of Mormon however was compiled and translated by the power of God in direct revelation to his prophets on the Earth. Think of it in this way. If an article was added to this site, and then all kinds of people from all over the world just starting vandalising and adding POV to it and taking away from what it originaly was, then only parts of what were left would still be that same article from which we started. Now say that someone then came along and tried to restore the article to what it origianly was then we would have the metaphorical JST. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fizzos98 (talkcontribs) 15:45, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree. I would just like to reiterate, however, that the JST is not complete as a separate translation of the Bible. That which the Community of Christ calls the Inspired Version of the Bible is just the translations Joseph Smith made correlated into the rest of the King James Version of the Bible. Joseph died before he could complete the translation, therefore the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints accepts the King James Version of the Bible as the most correct translation available when coupled with those portions of the JST that the Community of Christ has graciously allowed us to have. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 03:01, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Joseph Smith actually did the translation though. He didn't just go through the Bible and say "this is wrong and that's wrong." He translated from copies he had in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and German. Can anyone back me up on this? I'm going to go look for the source as I can't provide it right now, but should that be included? I think it would help make the article sound more neutral, as right now it is easy for someone to assume that he just went through the Bible and "fixed" what he disagreed with. Qomolangma (talk) 20:08, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

the planet Kolob

I noticed in one of the links referred to in this discussion a reference to the planet Kolob as the place where God lives. I see there is a Kolob article which includes the statement "the idea of Kolob has had an influence in the theology and culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" but I do not see any mention of Kolob within this primary article about the church. Is it mentioned in this article somewhere? Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 13:19, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

I think that statement is overstating the influence of Kolob. Many Mormons probably do not even know about it. It's biggest influence is the use in the hymn, "If You Could Hie to Kolob" using the word as symbol of the eternal expance of God. Other than this hymn, and the countless anti-Mormon parodies of the term, it isn't an infuence. In fact it is probably much more infuential on anti-Mormon mockery than anything within the church. Bytebear (talk) 19:05, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, the article for the hymn "If You Could Hie to Kolob" was just merged with Kolob, since the hymn was unanimously (by those who commented there) deemed to be not notable enough for its own article. Kolob itself is probably no better than a third-grade peripheral issue in Mormonism; one that is definitely relevant to Mormon cosmology, but not to an article about a church organization.
I think part of the problem is the editor is confusing the LDS Church and Mormonism. From my perspective, they are quite different things. Snocrates 05:43, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I think this is a great pointDayleyj (talk) 15:46, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Really, I think that we must realize the article is an overview. Not every singe detail and belief of the 'Mormon' or 'LDS' chruch can be crammed into this article. ~ Bella Swan 21:49, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
No, it is not possible to cram everything into this high-level article. But typical Wiki readers are often curious about the unusual aspects of the LDS faith (just look at all the "20 questions about Mormonism" on CNN, etc). All the editors suggesting that the curious topics be excluded are LDS church members, so there is some potential (not to say deliberate) bias there. One could interpret the LDS editing practices as POV: hiding embarrassing aspects of their own faith. An argument could be made that the main article should include topics of interest to the non-LDS community, even if not of interest to LDS faithful. So, we can at least see where Mr.granevans2 is coming from. Noleander (talk) 22:00, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
It may mislead the reader about the very information they are interested in if we try to compress complex doctrine into a single sentence. The current approach of having links to where the topics can be presented in a more balanced and scholarly way appears to be preferable. Alanraywiki (talk) 22:50, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
And who decides what is "unusual" and what is not? If that's not a POV standard of deciding what to include and what to exclude, I don't know what is. And I am not an LDS Church member, FYI. Snocrates 01:57, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, whether or not we do put Kolab in the article, there is still an entire article written about Kolob, so not putting it in this article because of importance doesn't mean anyone's trying to hide it. We can't say that belivers of the church are trying to hide aspects about their religon because they're not including everything about their religon in one article, and we must realize that some minor details have to be left out. ~ Bella Swan 02:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks to Noleander for expressing pretty much exactly where I am coming from. I also think it's not reasonable to argue there's no room in the article for a brief mention of Kolob (with a link to Kolob) because it is certainly of more interest and importance to general encyclopedia readers than who the church's financial accountants are and there is room in the article for that. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 10:55, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I said this above, and Snocrates has mentioned it a few times, but this is an article about the LDS Church. The finances for an organization which would rank high on the Fortune 500 is a fundamental topic. Kolob, is not. It's important to Mormon cosmology, which is linked from here, but it's of marginal importance to the organization headquartered at 50 E. North Temple, Salt Lake City. Mormonism is a different topic from the church. Cool Hand Luke 11:28, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Totally agree, so I guess I should go to the Mormon Cosmology talk page to mention that Kolob in The Book of Abraham is a star nearest to where God lives, not a planet.Dayleyj (talk) 15:46, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Their is no place called Kolab you must be teribly mistaken and in response to snotcrates mormonism and LDS IS the same thing Scoutshook (talk) 20:14, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Article good but getting a bit big. How can we streamline?

This article currently has about 55 kb of readable prose, which is on the big side. Looking toward eventual FA status, we need to consider streamlining it a bit. I know this is hard, since there is so much material to squeeze into the article, but I think some of the sections could be made more concise and minimal. Some sections, like the history section, need to be fairly large to adequately cover the material. Other sections, however, have bloat here and there that could be cut out. Also, what does everybody think about creating a "beliefs and practices" subarticle? That section seems to sort of overwhelm the rest of the article, but it is fairly self-contained. This would allow us more room and flexibility in dealing with the more structural aspects of the church. COGDEN 22:32, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

I just reviewed the article, and I agree that it is a bit long. However, I think that "beliefs and practices" are going to be what most people are going to be coming here for. The other sections are really too small to break off into separate articles. I think that the only option is to find a way to trim this article, or live with it the size that it is. If the consensus goes with trimming, I would certainly be willing to help.
BTW, why isn't "Sacred texts and other publications" in "beliefs and practices"? — Val42 (talk) 00:49, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
I moved the sacred texts section to the beliefs section; I am not I like the location within the section; thoughts? --Storm Rider (talk) 07:43, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I always compare this article to the Roman Catholic Church article, which is now 121 KB long in total. I still suggest we emulate their formatting in general. Thoughts? --Storm Rider (talk) 07:37, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree that this page should emulate the Roman Catholic Church article. Jcg5029 (talk) 20:46, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

JST is an altered revision: not simply a "translation"

Even LDS call the JST a "revision". I think it is misleading to call it a "translation" in this article when it clearly is an altered version which is exclusive to LDS. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 05:04, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree that "translation" is misleading to the efforts of Smith to clarify the Bible, but it is also inaccurate to say that it is exclusive to the LDS Church. In fact the Community of Christ (RLDS) have canonized Smith's writings and have their Bible printed with the full text. The LDS Church has not canonized Smith's annotations and alterations and they only appear as footnotes. The one exception is the Book of Moses, canonized in the Pearl of Great Price. Bytebear (talk) 06:07, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, I did not realize that LDS has not cannonized Smith's annotations and alterations. I suppose the question is whether it's reasonable to say that most LDS members believe the Bible has divine authority without the Smith changes? What do you think? Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 14:58, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
It is correct to say that the LDS Church holds the authors of the books of the Bible as inspired by God and their words are divine. With or without Smiths commentary, that fact does not change. The correctness of the Bible is not a subject exclusive to the LDS Church, and certainly others have pointed out flaws in the text. The church simply attributes those flaws to the faults of men, and not God. Bytebear (talk) 18:42, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

POV Issue

There is a couple problems with this statement: "This priesthood has only recently been restored to the earth at the turn of the 19th century and is now found within the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [3]" 1. This is a POV statement as only the LDS church believes it and it is not necessarily true to any extent and therefore needs to be removed based solely on that. 2. D&C are being used to substantiate this claim. This however is controversial because the D&C should not be used to substantiate claims of the LDS church because you can't support POV statements through the use of scripture. There are very few other church's that use the D&C and most church's find them to be erroneous so using it to substantiate statements is POV. Scripture cannot be used to substantiate claims. JRN (talk) 16:16, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

The topic is about the LDS church, which would include their doctrines, beliefs, culture, etc. The sentence can be written in such a way to ensure that readers are aware that it is a belief, but given the topic and the number of times that has been emphasized it may be redundant. The objective is to write in an neutral manner at all times.
The use of the D&C is an appropriate book to substantiate the beliefs of the LDS church. When dealing with topics of faith, it is the faith of the group that is being studied; not what other people think about the faith. The majority of the world is not Christian; should we not use the Bible in any topics on Christianity because the majority of the world is not Christian? You have to remember the topic. A reference by an LDS theologian interpreting the scripture would also be helpful if the verse is not clear. --Storm Rider (talk) 18:09, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I didn't say that you can't use D&C, I just said it should not be a major source used to substantiate claims. I could find both Biblical and Book of Mormon scriptures that I feel say that the LDS church is wrong, but it's my interpretation and can't use scripture to reference in that way. I understand the need for the use of D&C when giving tenants of faith, but it should not be used to substantiate opinions. Such as "the true priesthood rests with the LDS church". A citation from the D&C to cite that means nothing because it's open to interpretation and many would even disagree the validity of that interpretation. I agree that it is not what people think about the faith that is important so then why would a reference by an LDS theologian be any better. You said yourself that it's not important what people think, or are you only referring to what non-LDS people think? I just think there is a fine line to walk when using scriptures in articles, and I think it the line is crossed a little too often in this article. I don't want to start a fight, I just want to try and better this page. JRN (talk) 13:33, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

"Mormons are christians" Stated without justification

Wow! What a bunch of dross (something that is base, trivial, or inferior). Did you READ the article? I did not read evangelical, Born Again, southern baptist, or any other protestant church. I did read a belief in Jesus Christ his resurrection, the atonement, belief in God the Eternal Father, and in the Holy Ghost. Hmmm. Sounds like everything that the early new testament christians(FOLLOWERS of Jesus Christ) believed. Just because this church doesn't have your bumper sticker doesn't mean that you can define what THEY believe. Wow, protestants aren't the only ones who read and believe the New Testament. Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it. --WaltFrost (talk) 03:31, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

This is a clear case of POV; Christianity is not an absolutely concrete category, and refers to a collection of beliefs that some people believe the Mormons do not share. I will say this again: I am not a bigot. I am not stating that Mormons are not christians, nor do I wish to insult anyone's beliefs. I merely ask that this be justified with cited facts, and all sides of the argument presented. I have begun to see the laziness with which many wikipedia articles are put together, and am simply doing what I can to clean things up. Cheers! "I am become death, destroyer of worlds"- Oppenheimer (talk) 21:52, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

I moved your edit to the bottom; when making a new section on a discussion page always enter it on the bottom of the page. Wikipedia typically uses a chronological order making it easier for other editors to catch up on recent comments.
I have added independent references, which was needed as you pointed out. Wikipedia does not take sides and references are always needed. When discusing religions it is appropriate to primarily allow the religion to present itself. After they have done so it is acceptable to discuss how other people view the religion. You might also want to review the Christianity article which also includes the LDS church and other groups within the restorationist movement as Christian. --Storm Rider (talk) 23:05, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
What I would like to know is why you think that this is untrue. Don't change what others have written just because you believe a different way, Wikipedia is based on facts. If you compare our belief with the definition of Christian, you will find that not saying they are Christians is "without justification." unless you can prove otherwise, it stays. Jukilum (talk) 17:56, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
The fact is a very small minority of religious people would call Mormons non-Christian. If we are talking numbers, Muslims, Hindus,Budhists would all consider Mormonism a part of Christianity, as does every single non-religious or non-bias religious categorizational group. If we are simply talking number, your view is very much a minority. Bytebear (talk) 18:57, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Jukilum, your post is confusing. I have already provided references that state the LDS church is Christian. I think that suffices in this regard. This does not mean there are not individual groups that feel otherwise, but that is something that should that should be cited on their respective church articles. Definition of Christian is also interesting. Do you have one that Jesus would recognize? How about one that is based upon what the Bible says? The definition of Christian that you are using would disallow Jesus Christ and all of the early apostles being listed as Christians. Your definition is based upon 4th century beliefs that did not exist as a "doctrine" until then. I will be interested in seeing what you find the scriptures say about being a Christian. --Storm Rider (talk) 22:24, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
"Christianity" is usually defined as a belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior. No other doctrine, such as the Trinity, Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday, Sacrament, Baptism method, or anything else should be considered when determining whether an individual or religion is Christian. Useight (talk) 23:41, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

This is an interesting topic. My friend and coworker is a Born Again Christian. When he uses the word Christian what he really means is anyone that has a similar set of beliefs. Merriam-Webster recognizes that this definition is way too narrow and simply states that a Christian is anyone who believes in Jesus Christ and his teachings. This is definitely a more comprehensive and complete definition. When different denominations want to include groups that have similar beliefs they needs to be specific (ie Protestants, Catholics, Born Agains etc) Christianity is a much larger group of those who believe in Christ. Many Protestants need to revisit the words they use and be more specific. Protestants should be excited that there are more people who love and worship the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ taught in John 15:8 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. Christ taught that the two great commandments are to love God and our neighbor. The bottom line is whether we spend our lives in the service of others or ourselves. A true Christian is manifest in the Good Samaritan. The Pharisees didn't get it. They thought if they read the scriptures and told everyone that they were saved and holy that they would return to God. Unfortunately they rejected him. Actions speak louder than words. Show me a kind humble man or woman who serves others and you have found the beginnings of a true Christian. Thanks.--John Freestone (talk) 05:41, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't think "Christian" means following the two great commandments, I think that's "being a nice person". defines Christian as "a person who believes in Jesus Christ; adherent of Christianity". I don't think anything else is relevant. The second paragraph and third paragraphs of the article clearly state that Mormons are Christians. Useight (talk) 06:53, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
It is interesting to review the Christian article; it basically says the same things as have been stated above. However, it also states that churches create their own definitions of Christian. These definitions are used to differentiate between themselves and other Christian churches, sects, cults, etc.
This conversation comes up often by those people who have read anti-Mormon literature that often make this silly accusation. It is always important to ask what definition is being used to identify a "Christian". Once that is done it is easy to demonstrate that the definition being used is not based upon Jesus Christ, the Bible, or any of the original apostles. More importantly, it would be difficult to apply the same definition to any of these individuals because they fail to meet the definitions being created and used. --Storm Rider (talk) 07:58, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, the question that was asked of me has pretty much been answered, so I am just posting here again so that you know that I wouldn't have backed away.Jukilum (talk) 18:40, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

I re-removed the entry referring to Mormons as Christians. Simple belief in Jesus Christ does not make someone a Christian, as both the Muslim and Jewish faiths believe that Jesus was a prophet, just not the only son of God. Furthermore, the Bible states explicitly that the Trinity is a belief of the Christian faith, and Mormons do not believe in a unified Trinity, instead they believe in three separate entities, which the bible disputes: Father(John 6:27), Son(John 1:1), Holy Spirit(Acts 5:3-4). (talk) 08:30, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

The Bible is not at all clear on the nature of the Godhead (Please, note, the word "Trinity" is not in the Bible). John 17: 11, 21-22 actually supports the LDS view of the Godhead, so if you are only using the Bible (and not historical Christian views) then the traditional view of the Trinity could be seen as heretical to the Biblical texts. As to your other point, either you are ill informed or being purposefully deceptive in claiming that Mormons see Jesus just as a prophet. Both of your points fail, and badly. Bytebear (talk) 16:30, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Why should the Mormons feeling they are Christians supercede biblical fact? This isn't opinion, I mean other than Religion itself being an opinion. But if we are going to take into account what the Bible says, which should be necessary to be called a Christian, then Mormons are Christians. Because you have a PhD you think that your opinion supercedes fact? Laxinthe303 (talk) 08:35, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
And exactly how many times does the word Christian appear in the Bible? (And go back to the original text, not paraphrased versions.)
Regardless of that, they call themselves Christian. They value Jesus Christ and his teachings in ways that meet dictionary definitions of Christian. They don't view him the same way Muslims do.
Re:About not considering themselves "part of the Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant traditions." That's not a criterion for being called Christian. I know plenty of Baptists who will tell you that they're not really Protestant either because they believe John the Baptist founded their church and that they therefore did not originate out of Protest against the Catholic Church.
Re: "Because you have a PhD you think that your opinion supercedes fact?" Don't make personal attacks.
Also re: "Because you have a PhD you think that your opinion supercedes fact?" My opinion has nothing to do with this, and neither does yours.Doczilla (talk) 10:20, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and I recalled this later: I know an awful lot of people who think Catholics are not Christians. Last summer, some of my students even quoted web sites that gave their reasons why Catholics aren't Christian.Wikipedia policy on citing sources says that the sources' value is always dependent on many factors such as relevance, reliability, etc. Just because somebody somewhere has slapped together a source attacking someone else does not mean it's an appropriate source for encyclopedic citation. Doczilla (talk) 19:57, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
I changed "Mormons are Christians" to "Mormons are of the Christian tradition." I think that's fairly indisputable, given that Joseph Smith had a Protestant Bible that he read before receiving revelations, tec. Saying that some one or some group is or is not a Christian is a religious question, not a factual one. Your point about how other religions would view Mormons is valid, but my rewording allows that without starting any theological arguments. And I believe that most of the world who follows US politics is now aware (thanks to Mitt) that Mormons and some others who claim Christ have a fairly substantial disagreement on theology.

I agree that from a purely cataloging perspective, Mormons do fall under "Christianity," however, I believe to simply say that the group is "Christian" in the same way that all other Christian groups are "Christian" is glossing over the legitimate differences. One being that with the exception of the Apocrypha, the other groups share a Canon. Rubixcuban (talk) 05:54, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

I will sidestep your logic on what is a Christian and the fact that you ignored indpendent references that clearly state the LDS church is a Christian church and focus on a minor issue. Rubixcuban, you are stating that an organization can only be identified by what others say and not by what they say themselves. What other group on Wikipedia is so defined? Is the Roman Catholic church forced to say they are of the Christian tradition because there are numerous Protestant churches that say it is both nonChristian and a cult?[1][2][3] Of course not, the Roman Catholic church is known as Christian because it says it is. The opinions of others mean nothing and are not even mentioned in the Catholic article. Why should it not only be mentioned, but be the headline for the LDS church? This is highly POV, and ignores all standards of NPOV. I will revert your edit until this is finalized here; it has been done numerous times before and it appears we will have to do it again. --Storm Rider (talk) 07:14, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
You will do anything you can to make people think the Mormons are Christians. It's just not true. You have another prophet, other Scriptures, plus Jesus is not central to your belief system. Muslims believe in Jesus as a prophet, but that doesn't make them Christians. God will judge ultimately, that's my only relief. God bless you, I pray for Mormon people regularly.--Erintiransom (talk) 11:58, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Your prayers are appreciated; thank you. Erin, you are obviously misinformed about the LDS church. LDS believe that Jesus Christ was and is the only begotten Son of God the Father; born of the virgin Mary, lived a perfect life, was crucified for the sins of man, was resurrected the third day and will return. To characterize LDS beliefs that Jesus was a prophet is blatant falsehood; there is only one Lord and He is Jesus Christ. Central to LDS belief system? It would seem to be difficult to miss when the name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ? How much more central can it be? The teachings of the Book of Mormon, its purpose for being, is to declare to both Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. The only groups that define the LDS church as non-Christian are other Christian churches. What is even worse is to do so they create a definition for being can't just believe in Jesus Christ, be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but one must believe in specific doctrines that not even Jesus Christ taught or the original apostles believed. What is really being said when this term, non-Christian, is being used is that LDS are not "us" (just insert your church of preference). LDS gladly agree they are not part of 4th century Christianity. They believe in a restoration of the same church that was founded by Jesus Christ; in other words, they do not follow the doctrines of men and the churches that they have created. LDS not only pray for all people, their people respond to the Great Commission of Christ and go into all the world to preach the Gospel of Christ.
As an aside, not one person yet has shown how Jesus Christ defines his followers in the Bible and how LDS do not meet that standard. Are you going to believe the words of the Savior of the world or the teachings of man? My objective is not to offend, but I tire of this charade of accusations about being and not being Christian. --Storm Rider (talk) 14:28, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
In Mormon theology, Jesus is central, that's why it's called The Church of Jesus Christ, not The Church of Mormon or The Church of Joseph Smith. Having another prophet (or 15) is completely irrelevant to whether a religion is Christian or not. Other prophets were mentioned in the New Testament in the Book of Acts and Jesus was already dead, so what's wrong with prophets now? Useight (talk) 18:58, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Looking at this from the perspective of uniformity in the various wiki projects, Wikionary currently defines a Christian as "An individual who seeks to live his or her life according to the principles and values taught by Jesus Christ." Given that definition, practicing Mormons would have to be considered Christians. The fact that Mormons disagree with other denominations on certain principles introduced after Christ's death does not change this. If Mormons are not to be considered Christians, then the definition of a Christian given in Wikionary would have to be changed also. How exactly would you propose changing it (in a NPOV way)? RobertJWalker | Talk 16:04, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I think I am a professional football player, but since there is not a single professional football interest on the planet that agrees with me, I am either deeply in denial, intentionally obfuscating the truth, or insane. I wonder what it means that there isn't a single Christian Denomination on the planet that views the LDS as Christian? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:43, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Not a single one? Do some research. Yes some say Mormons are not "Orthodox" but orthodoxy is a subset of Christianity. Also, every single religion outside of Christianity does say Mormonism is part of Christianity, as does every secular source on the planet. This is a secular encyclopedia, and as such the secular view trumps the minority "Christian" view (which isn't universa anyway). To take your football analogy, if every other sport said you were a football player, but the NFL said you werent, but the AFL and other football leagues say you are, and even some in the NFL say you are, then you probably are. Maybe you have slight;y different rules, or wanted to start your own league, whatever. You are still a professional football player. Bytebear (talk) 19:13, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Christianity is a monotheist religion in all it's forms. Mormonism isn't. The fact that mormons believe they follow the teachings of Jesus means nothing, because so do moslems. -Duribald (talk) 17:10, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

(newindent) Duribald, that is a bit of anti-Mormon logic that has no foundation. First, Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, Savior of the World, and the Only Path that one can take to return to Heaven. Muslims do believe that Jesus was a prophet and though the Qur'an states that Jesus was the son of God; however, their definition of son stops far short of the Christian definition; the sense of only Begotten Son is not present.

What you are striving to distinguish is the difference between homoousios and homoiousios, which was not a topic until the 4th century. It has nothing to do with Jesus Christ and the gospel he preached or that of his apostles. You are using the term Christian, but are applying a definition that is not found in a typical dictionary, but rather one that meets the standards of particular churches. In this context, it is very appropriate to say that LDS have no part in 4th century Christianity, its creeds, and it councils. LDS believe those are councils of men and their doctrines the creation of men and have no basis in the Bible, the words of Jesus, or in 1st century Christianity.

I would also counsel you to be careful of repeated reverts; you should review reverting before further editing. --Storm Rider (talk) 17:45, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

To suggest that I'm making up definitions when I call christianity monotheistic is ridiculous. The article on christianity on Wikipedia, for example, starts out by saying christianity is a monotheistic religion. Christianity has always been a monotheist religion. Indeed, the non-trinitarian versions of christianity have criticised mainstream christianity for not being monotheistic enough. Unitarians, arianic christians, socinians etc. all say that the father is the only real god and that trinitarianism borders on polytheism.
LDS, on the other hand, teach that God is comprised of three distinctly different gods, united in purpose. This is nothing short of polytheism. And no, I'm neither anti-mormon, nor am I a member of any competing religious movement. I just like to get the definitions right. -Duribald (talk) 19:23, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
For the benefit of all, please see the archives of this discussion page. This issue has been rehashed almost ad nauseum in prior, archived discussions. In a nutshell, your argument's weakness is the assumption that Mormons' view of the trinity is inherently polytheistic. It is not. Take that assumption away and there's no roadblock to viewing Mormons as Christian. However, this and other questions on this topic are much more thoroughly examined in the archives. --TrustTruth (talk) 19:35, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Have you read the talk pages of the Christianity article? There are huge debates about whether you can define Christianity as "monotheistic." I suggest you go there and look at some of that debate before bringing it here. Bytebear (talk) 19:50, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
The Book of Mormon teaches there is one God: Alma 11:44, "Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil."
Jesus prayed to his Father which was in Heaven; LDS pray and worship that same God, but also recognize Jesus as the Only Begotten Son of God. This sounds like the conflict you are alluding to above, if there is only one God and Jesus is divine, which would actually make two gods, then there must be come other explanation....and Trinitarian doctrine was created. This discussionis way off base and why there are other articles that address these issues, Mormonism and Christianity, Criticism of Mormonism are just two of many.
Regardless, Restorationism is Chritianity and Mormonism has been identified as part of the restorationism and Christian. Your position is disussed else where and the positions of other churches and their feelings about Mormonism have been cited ad nauseum, but that still does not defeat the reality that Mormonism being Christian. If you would like to propose that Restorationism be declared non-Christian or that a universial definition of Christian be created and accepted by all dictionaries[4], [5] then you will have a lot of work to do.
I would also agree with you that there is considerable debate that Christianity is not monotheistic. There is considerable scholarly research that has said that neither Judaism or Christianity is monotheistic. Islam also clearly states that Christianity is not monotheistic because of the belief that Jesus is divine. You may want to consider reading L. Michael White's book From Jesus to Christianity or Bart D. Ehrman's books, Lost Christianities, and Misquoting Jesus. Neither of these scholars is LDS, but both address this concept we are discussing. History is not so clear as what mainstream Christianity presents as doctrine today and the term monotheism has many shades of meanings. Cheers. --Storm Rider (talk) 20:02, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Mormons are monotheistic, worshipping only one God. Jesus is not God Himself, neither is the Holy Ghost, they are separate, there is only one God. Useight (talk) 18:30, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
There are varying degrees of monotheism. One one end of the spectrum are the Jews (post-Exile, at least), Muslims, and Jehovah's Witnesses, who currently recognize only one god (though they still recognize minor heavenly beings like angels), while on the other end of the spectrum are Animists. In the middle somewhere are the various other flavors of Christianity besides Jehovah's Witnesses. Mormons lean toward the less monotheistic side, Catholics a little less (a faction is now considering making Mary a co-Redeemer), Protestants even less, but Trinitarianism is still a compromise on the issue of monotheism. You can't really say "X religion is monotheistic and Y religion is polytheistic," because it is a spectrum and a semantics game. COGDEN 13:47, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

This is a very strange argument. "Christian" doctrine has varried so widely over the past couple millenia that it seems anything more than a person or group calling themselves Christian and maybe some vauge requirement that they believe in some kind of special divinity for Jesus of Nazareth would be an ignorant exclusion of millions from their own professed faith. A lot of the above arguments would exclude middle-eastern Christians, Eastern Orthodoxy, some even Catholicism if I'm getting what they're saying. So I guess my point is that if a group says they're Christian, they probaby are.Dayleyj (talk) 16:08, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

It still seems that a group must believe certain things common to Christianity in order to be considered a Christian denomination. Mormonism holds almost nothing in common with any historic branch of Christianity with the notable exception that they hold the Bible to be scripture (as well as several other books I might add). Strictly speeking, mormonism can be seen as an offshoot of Christianity in much the same way that the Nation of Islam is an offshoot of Islam. While it may find it's origins in Christianity and use many of the same terms, it's doctrines are so divergent from the original religion that it cannot be safetly called the same religion. Mormonism has a tendency to hijack much of the vocabulary of christianity but with radically different meanings. This practice has proved to be very misleading to those who do not understand the various doctrines described by such terms. The mormon doctrines of God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, Scripture, Soteriology, Eschatology, Ecclessiology, Sin, and humanity are so widely divergent from any branch of Christianity that it can hardly be included even among the sects of Christianity that may diverge in the specifics or even on more than one of these topics, but not in capacity mormonism does. Mormons are by their own literature straight polytheists. They believe in an unlimited number of gods. They do not believe in the eternality of elohim (god). While mormons may hold that Jesus is divine in some sense, their definition of divinty is so divergent from Christian definitions that it can hardly be considered congruent. Jesus' atonement upon the cross does not carry significant salvific functions within the mormon religion. The doctrines of sin are convoluted and a denial of such historic concepts as original sin. The mormon version of salvation is one of achieving Godhood rather than achieving justification before God. to say that a religion should be considered Christian simply because it claims to be so, seems to be a weak argument. For instance, I could claim to be an atheist, but If I then claimed to believe in an eternal loving Creator God that sustains all life in the universe, my claim of atheistic belief would be cast into doubt. This is the same sort of divergence that exists between Mormonism and most/all branches of Christianity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:04, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

An interesting diatribe, but one wholly lacking in any understanding of the history of Christianity or the LDS church. First, let's talk about Christian. The definition accepted by all secular dictionaries states
"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."
I suggest you spend some time looking at different dictionaries with the intent of coming to a conclusion of what being a Christian is.
There are different definitions that have been created by specific Christian churches. The vast majority of the fall into the definition created by the Roman Catholic church and revolves around belief in the Trinity; that wonderful bit of doctrine created in the 4th century. The problem is that using that definition will automatically reject all of the apostles because none of them taught the doctrine of the Trinity. LDS believe it is a man made bit of belief because philosophers could not explain the divinity of Jesus Christ without it. However, it is still just man-made belief and has nothing to do with the Bible.
If we are going to start attempting to define Christianity by only those with congruent beliefs then we are going to be in for a rocky ride. Roman Catholicism is the largest Christian church by far; no other organization even begins to compare in size. Therefore, based on shear size, they will set the agenda for what is Christian and all churches that are not congruent to their beliefs, doctrines, and dogmas will be disqualified. That would mean all those great Evangelical churches that love to persecute Mormons will be called non-Christian because they are lacking is fundamental beliefs with Catholics.
The LDS church, as stated in the article, is part of the Restorationists Christian movement not because LDS say it, but because academics and objective third parties have said it. What we say is that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God; He was born of the virgin Mary, lived a perfect life, was crucified for our sins, rose on the third day, appeared again to his apostles among many others, and then returned to sit on the right hand of the Father. There is no other way to Heaven except by and through Him. That is LDS doctrine and belief. If you know of anything more important than those beliefs for qualifying to be Christian, I would be interested in finding out. I would also ask that you limit all your response to just using the Bible; it is our lingua franca and makes this conversation much simpler. --Storm Rider (talk) 05:27, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
First, I am well versed in the history of Christianity, and your argument here is an ad hominem fallacy rather than an address to my arguments. Second, My point was that The LDS have nothing in common with Christianity. It does not even fit the loose definition given above. The LDS may claim to believe the doctrines listed above, but the meanings that they give those doctrines are so wildly divergent from their usual meanings that they are frankly dishonest in their assertion. I made an analogy between the LDS and the Nation of Islam, and I feel this analogy is still true. Third, the claim that the vast majority of academics and third parties recognize mormonism as a form of Christianity is just plain false as well as being another logical fallacy. A large number of people can believe that world is flat, but it does not change the fact that it is a sphere. The strength of an argument is found in the veracity of its claims, not the number of people that believe it. Fourth, While I could certainly use the Bible to argue the fundamentals of Christian doctrine, that is not the point of this discussion. This discussion is whether or not Mormonism should be considered a part of Christianity without any note of dissent within the article itself. Since there is such hot debate on these discussion pages, it seems that such a claim should come under scrutiny and a note should be ammended to the actual article, or the offending statement should be qualified or removed altogether. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:45, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Keeping this discussion on the topic of whether the article should be able to state that LDS Church is Christian, the wikipedia article on Christianity includes a section on non-trinitarian Christianity which specifically mentions Mormons. Until that is changed, which I don't think anyone will find much backing for per the points made above and the content of that article, I think for the sake of internal consistency we have to call this discussion somewhat erroneous.

If you want to insist on removing LDS Churches from Christianity, please move that argument to the Christianity talk page. Dayleyj (talk) 18:43, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Opinions vary it is true, but it is the stupid man that insists on his opinion being correct when presented with evidence that it is in fact wrong. Wikipedia is not here to entertain the perverse opinions of the closed minded or to provide a soap box for the strongly opinionated. As an aside, my request was to use only the bible to develop a definition of Christianity. This would not be a discussion of doctrine, but rather a discussion of what did Christ request of his followers. You, being learned, should have little difficulty in finding that the requirements were few and none of them had anything to do with a belief in the Trinity or any other 4th century doctrine created by man. This conversation is at an end; happy editing. --Storm Rider (talk) 06:36, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Second Storm Rider's above comment and suggestion of closure.Dayleyj (talk) 20:14, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

As a note, recently "[during] Pope Benedict XVI's U.S. visit, which included an ecumenical prayer service attended by two LDS leaders. CNS reports this was the first time Mormons had participated in a papal prayer service." [6] Rogerdpack (talk) 02:23, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

The LDS religion is Christianity. This is made very clear, simply by looking at the name of the church. It is clled the Church of Jesus Christ o Latter-Day Saints. Therfore, there canbe no question as to whether the LDS religion is part of Christianity. A Christian is anyone who takes the name of Christ upon them, and the LDS people do this every week in their fullfillment ofthe sacrament ordinance. IF you look at the Christianity page you will see that the LDS religion is listed under "non-trinitarian" Christianity. Just because the LDS people decide to believe Christ's teachings on the subject, instead of that of a bunch of confused men who attended a Council of Nicea. The organization of the LDS curch reflects that of the biblical church of Christ's time when he was on the Earth, better even than that of the, now considered "traditional" or "orthadox" Cristianity. Add that to the belief that the LDS church's literal head is the Savior, and their really is no doubt. With all of this proof that the LDS church is Cristianity than their really should be no dispute of the matter. My paoint is that the fact that the LDS religion is Christinity, is just that FACT. Wikipedia is here to represent FACT not opinion.If their is any controversy on the matter, than you can add a link at the bottom of the page. I will probably add a good one on my own, feel free to add one also. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Infobox problem?

The leader name has been going back and forth between TBD and Monson. However, the leader name does not actually appear in the article's infobox. It goes from polity to founder. Looks like a glitch. Alanraywiki (talk) 22:04, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

The infobox was changed to reflect moderator while the Quorum of the Twelve was presiding. With the recent naming of Thomas S. Monson as president, can the infobox be changed to replace moderator with president? Thanks, Alanraywiki (talk) 19:18, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
President isn't one of the options. I changed it to leader, which is one of the options. Joshuajohanson (talk) 19:58, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for doing that. I'm a little embarrassed that it was that easy. Alanraywiki (talk) 20:07, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
No problem. I actually had to change the whole template, but other people were asking for it as well. I also threw in missionary numbers into the template. There is a spot for ministers. Would that be priesthood holders? Joshuajohanson (talk) 07:00, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Ministers might be N/A, although putting the number of bishops and branch presidents (based on number of wards and branches) may be somewhat similar as they have what I perceive to be a similar role to that of a minister. Alanraywiki (talk) 07:17, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

The infobox currently has the number of Geographical Areas as 176. What is the source of that number? I have counted the different countries listed in The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints_membership_statistics and come up with 154! 30 North America (including Caribbean), 14 South America, 20 South Pacific, 22 Asia, 30 Africa and 38 Europe. --Steve Cottrell (talk) 10:17, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Reverting edits regarding Succession of the church.


Your reverts of my edits concerns the succession of the church seem to be in direct conflict of official Church Documents, talks by Prophets and General authorities, and their authoritive newsletter known as the "Ensign". As a faithful Latter-Day Saint myself, I must ask why you desire to revert changes from the wikipedia, despite them being fully researched and backed up.

As with article policy, my sources are verifable, lead to official church documents, and talks.

If you are willing to provide a reliable source from the church that shows my statements to be in contradiction with other church teachings, I would be happy to strike a compromise outlining both views, otherwise I think by wikipedia policy, you're forced to concede the documented fact, whether it's what you've heard all your life or not. Please let me know how you feel.

Ryancwa (talk) 23:17, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

"both have separate bodies of flesh and bone"

I am new to Wikipedia. Can the phrase discribing the LDS belief "both have sepatate bodies of flesh and bone" be changed to read, "they are distinct beings each with a tangible, glorified body of flesh and bone...." The current phrasiology, although correct in one sence equivocates in another, allowing for the misunderstanding that their spirits can move into or out of their bodies as though they were separate from them as a car owner is from his car. The LDS belief is that the spirit and body of Jesus following the resurection became inseparably connected. Physical death is defined as the separation of the body and the spirit. Resurected beings cannot die physically. see Doc. & Cov. 130:22 "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us." 93:33 "Man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparatly connected, receive a fulness of joy" Book of Mormon pg. 237 Alma 11:45 "concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death...their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption" meaning no more decay or deterioration.Cesevern (talk) 22:13, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable to me. Be bold. Bytebear (talk) 04:17, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Please do so; however, I would be careful of drawing absolutes. For example, what is known as the Spirit of Christ influences all people; does that mean it is separate from the body of Christ. When we begin to draw definitive lines in areas where incomplete understanding exists we inevitably create problems for ourselves and others. --Storm Rider (talk) 04:41, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I think it can be safely said that LDS doctrine says that the resurrection permanently joins the spirit and the body, including Jesus Christ. References are easily obtained on this point, and counterpoints would be hard to find, and I would say impossible from official LDS sources. Bytebear (talk) 05:52, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Okay, D&C 84:45 and 20:37 both talk about the spirit of Jesus; that it is spirit. This gives the appearance of conflict to you statement. Also, you can find a few hundred quotes by genearl authorities that speak of this same thing.
Byte, I am not saying that we disagree, but I am saying that the definition provided above is incomplete and does not allow for some complexities. It does not define how the Spirit of Christ can continue to influence people nor does it explain the functioning of God. There are myteries there that we do not begin to understand and to state something in an absolute often causes problems and difficulties. --Storm Rider (talk) 06:13, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
"The resurrection consists in the uniting of a spirit body with a body of flesh and bones, never again to be divided."[7]. That seems cut and dry to me. Now according to D&C 130:22 "the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us." Now, that does not say that Jesus' influence cannot be felt, but he cannot "dwell in us", so doctrinally both ideas are correct. Now, to explain that in the article. Bytebear (talk) 06:20, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

New Official Church website added

Can we add an additional official Church website? It is: (talk) 22:24, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Looks like a nice link, if you can find an appropriate section for it :P Rogerdpack (talk) 03:45, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Section on The Father, The Son , and The Holy Ghost

Please Help! I have added a link intending to connect to a particular version of the Athanasian Creed found on wikisource in the Catholic Enclopedia (1913). This version of the creed uses the term "incomprehensible". Other versions of the Athanasin creed do not include that term. Somehow, when I try to make the link it does not work properly. However, when I truncate it in the browser it comes up. I think that I have not done it correctly. The ref. is

How do I make the link correctly??? Thanks in advance.Cesevern (talk) 04:10, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

That section is pretty bloated, and I see no benefit from the Prayer section. The section "Godhead" should be one paragraph and a link to Godhead (Latter Day Saints) for further information. This is not a comprehensive article. It is a general overview. Bytebear (talk) 01:45, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

My points of my Church

1. Poligamy never existed in my Church. It was started so that Joseph Smith, as well as his ideas, were taken out of the Eastern world, especially by other church leaders.

2. Joseph Smith cannot be critisized because he remained as pure as possible spiritually after the First Vision, where we learned that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are two separate people.

3. The reason the world no longer has visions is not because there is no God. It is because we no longer require his greatest works. We are now able to support ourselves with the Gospel, as well as praying to the Lord in times of need.

4. We fast on the first Sunday every month to pay a tithe to our Lord. We also pay 10% of the money we earn to continue paying our tithe. We use the money to support our church, build temples, and support missionaries in need.

5. The purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood include: Becoming converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and live his teachings, prepare to serve faithfully in priesthood callings and temple ordinances, prepare to serve an honorable full- time mission, obtain as much education as possible, prepare to become a worthy husband and father, and give proper respect to women, girls, and children.

6. The purposes of the Melchezadec is to baptize, to give blessings, and to serve faithfully in the callings of our Lord.

7. The Word of Wisdom state that if we follow it, we "shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint." It states that we should eat many grains, eat a moderate amount of fruit and vegetables, and eat meat sparingly. It also says that we should not smoke, do drugs or alcohol, or drink hot drinks, such as tea or coffee.

8. Christianity is the belief of Jesus Christ. Maany churches believe this, including ours. We are not a cult, although many view it as such. We are Christians.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:40, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I would like to point out that the above statements are not an accurate representation of the LDS Church. Useight (talk) 07:31, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Useight. See my thoughts below. Joshuajohanson (talk) 21:26, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes they are accurate. What would make you think they are not? Which ones? I am a member of the LDS church, and those ARE correct, just so you know. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:02, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Well - polygamy for one! Many of my Mormon pioneer ancestors were polygamous, with at least one couple being married by Joseph Smith, Jr. in Nauvoo. This article is about the LDS church headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. So, if "your" church does not have a history of polygamy -- which LDS sect/offshoot is "your" church? Community of Christ - formerly RLDS -- doctrine asserts that Joseph Smith was not involved in polygamy, as does several other related groups. WBardwin (talk) 01:22, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Let me first state that I am a Church member as well, so I do not rejoice in over-emphasis of criticism of Joseph Smith. However, several of the points you listed are either incomplete or inaccurate. They may indeed be "your points of YOUR Church," but they are NOT an accurate reflection of the beliefs of the LDS Church. I will list my response to each "point" in the same order you gave them. In doing so, I hope to clarify the beliefs of the LDS Church and also clear up any confusion your out-of-context or inaccurate statements might bring. With that introduction, here is clarification about what you said:
1. Your statement about polygamy not being practiced is categorically false. Joseph Smith first began teaching plural marriage in the 1830's. In the revelation now contained in the LDS D&C as Section 132, the new and everlasting covenant of marriage (including plurality of wives) is set forth and defended. I refer you to that section for study. Additionally, your second statement under your first point made no sense. You said, "It was started so that Joseph Smith, as well as his ideas, were taken out of the Eastern world, especially by other church leaders." There happen to be eyewitness accounts from persons who were taught the principle of plural marriage by Joseph Smith himself. Please do your research before stating something you believe about Church doctrine isn't true.
2. The First Vision did teach us that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are individuals. However, Joseph Smith DID NOT remain as pure as possible after the First Vision. His account of the visitation of Moroni tells us that the visit was brought about by his praying because he "felt to repent of all my sins" and that he was "guilty of levity" and had "not always acted as one who was called of God, as I was, should have." The Doctrine and Covenants contains literally hundreds of references where the Lord chastens the prophet for not doing as he should have done or acting as he should have acted. He TRIED to remain as pure as possible, but he DID NOT ALWAYS succeed. And I think we do a greater discredit to his memory by overlooking the follies that either he or the Lord pointed out than we would by acknowledging that he was just a man, imperfect and as prone to make mistakes as we all are, but that he was nevertheless a powerful instrument in the hands of God.
3. To say that the reason for "no more visions" is because "we no longer require his greater works" is pure folly. We do support ourselves by the Gospel and through praying when we need it, but to say that we no longer require His greater works is inaccurate and false doctrine. There has never been a greater need for greater works. And who are we to say the heavens are closed? Remember, a prophet doesn't have to say "Thus saith the Lord" or "I've seen the Lord, and this is what He told me to tell you" to make his words valid. D&C 1:38-39 tells us that "whether by [the Lord's voice] or by the voice of [His] servants, it is the same." So, every time the prophet speaks, he tells us what the Savior would if He were speaking instead. And how does the prophet obtain those words? Through revelations, even visions at times when such are needed. President Hinckley had the vision of smaller temples. President Joseph F. Smith saw the Celestial Kingdom. The revelation on extending the priesthood to all worthy males and the proclamations on the family and the living Christ all came about as a result of revelations, and, in a small way, visions as well. There has never been a greater need for God's greater works than now, and to say that we no longer require them is foolish and is against every tenet of Church doctrine I've come across. Try telling your statement to one of your Church leaders or ANY of the leading brethren and see if they agree with you. I can guarantee they won't.
4. You said that "we fast on the first Sunday every month to pay a tithe to our Lord. We also pay 10% of the money we earn to continue paying our tithe. We use the money to support our church, build temples, and support missionaries in need." The first "tithe" you speak of is not a tithe, it's a Fast Offering. Instead of 10% of our income, what is requested as a Fast Offering is the approximate cost of two meals. Tithing is used to "support the Church." However, the funds you talk of as "tithes" are Other Offerings, falling under Humanitarian aid, Ward, (sometimes) Stake, and General Missionary funds, the Perpetual Education Fund to help those who can't afford education, Temple Construction, and other offerings. These are NOT tithes. They are not required but requested if anyone has extra money they would like to contribute. No gospel blessing such as entering the temple is conditional upon paying into these other so-called "tithes." In fact, to call them "tithes" is erroneous.
5. You left out just enough of the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood to make what you said inaccurate. The full purposes, taken from the Church website, are as follows: "Become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and live its teachings, serve faithfully in priesthood callings, and fulfill the responsibilities of priesthood offices, give meaningful service, prepare and live worthily to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and temple ordinances, prepare to serve an honorable full-time mission, obtain as much education as possible, prepare to become a worthy husband and father, [and] give proper respect to women, girls, and children." That's slightly different from what you said.
6. I don't deny that what you said is PART of the role of Melchizedek Priesthood bearers, but that certainly isn't ALL of it. Where is your citation for stating factually that these indeed are the ONLY purposes of Melchizedek Priesthood bearers? If you have none, then you cannot speak for the Lord or His Church as to what the purposes of the Melchizedek Priesthood are.
7. Next, a word about the Word of Wisdom. It is not a "commandment" because it was not GIVEN as a commandment. It is, as it itself states, a "principle with a promise." So it's not so much a matter of "shoulds" and "should nots" but a matter of "ought to" and "ought not". You were correct in stating the blessings from following it. However, it itself outlines specific grains ONLY for specific individuals or animals: ie. "wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain." In our day, it has been clarified that ANY of these grains is okay for man to use, but when this revelation was received, these specific designations were made. It says nothing about "moderate" use of fruits and vegetables. It DOES say "every fruit in the season thereof" and makes mention of vegetable use as well. You were correct in what you said about meat, but nowadays, the use of meat has been clarified further. It does not mention smoking as such, but says that tobacco should only be used for medicinal purposes. It does not mention drugs or alcohol, just substances harmful to the body. It does say that wine should only be used for the sacrament, but nowadays water is used. And the clarification of "hot drinks" being defined as specifically tea and coffee has only come about in modern times. When the Word of Wisdom was given, it just mentioned no hot or strong drinks. But other than these points, everything else you said about the Word of Wisdom is correct.
8. We ARE Christians, and we ARE NOT a cult, and we do find much common ground with other Churches on that point. However, to say merely that "Christianity is the belief of Jesus Christ. Many churches believe this, including ours." is not enough. Christianity is the belief in the divine origin and redeeming role of Jesus Christ as our Savior and the ONLY perfect being to walk the earth. Many people have "the belief of Jesus Christ" but DO NOT believe in his divine origin or redeeming role or His perfect nature. So, you didn't go nearly far enough in what you said about Christianity.
Well, I think that's given you enough to chew on. Remember, the Church we both belong to is not YOURS or MINE, because it's Christ's. "If it be called after the name of a man, it is the church of a man, but if it is my Church, it must needs be called after my name." So this whole subject title, "MY points of MY Church" is misleading. I have the scriptures and statements from Church leaders to back up my clarification of your statements. What do you have to back up your statements? I hope you take these clarifications in the spirit in which they were given. I did not desire to offend, but to clarify so there is no confusion. I hope this has helped you understand where I'm coming from. If there are any questions about what I said, please ask me about them, and I'll try to explain it better. For now, though, this is an accurate reflection of Church doctrine and policy as far as I understand it. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 01:42, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Basic points of My Church

I find a severe lack in some basic points of LDS doctrine. There are several commandments which are mentioned, but no mention whatsoever of what the LDS church considers the greatest of all commandments, of which hangs all of the laws. These are:

1) Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 2) Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself

There are several principles mentioned, but not the first principles of the gospel, which are:

  1. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
  2. Repentance

Though the threefold mention of the church is scattered throughout, I would like it clearly defined that the whole purpose the LDS church even exists is to:

  1. Perfect the Saints
  2. Redeem the dead
  3. Proclaim the gospel

To me, these are the basics, and should be prominent in the main article. Joshuajohanson (talk) 21:24, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

You are correct. --Storm Rider (talk) 21:26, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Don't forget to cite references to show that these are basic and important. DJ Clayworth (talk) 21:28, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. I have added the summary of the mission of the LDS church at the end of the history section because it was an historic declaration that has significantly focused the church's efforts in years following. However, I think it could be argued that the quote fits in the general introduction section.Cesevern (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 02:49, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Also, how on Earth did someone write the whole section on the plan of salvation without mentioning the atonement of Christ??? Joshuajohanson (talk) 23:39, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost

It's Wikipedia policy to use most common names, and the modern Holy Spirit is preferred over the archaic Holy Ghost. In general I've found that LDS don't have a preference (in which case Wikipedia prefers Holy Spirit) but let me check again. Any problems before I change it? DJ Clayworth (talk) 21:33, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Though you will find LDS more often use the term Holy Ghost, they are comfortable with both terms. The use of Holy Ghost is a hold over from the KJV of the Bible which is the bible of choice for English speaking LDS. In French we only use the equivalent of Holy Spirit (I expect the same in Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish). I don't have any problem changing it. --Storm Rider (talk) 21:40, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
It is the same in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. Joshuajohanson (talk) 22:47, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Holy Ghost is much more prominate in English usage in LDS culture. Useight (talk) 22:38, 26 March 2008 (UTC)


I removed a section on rejecting the Athanasian Creed's 'unknowable' because incomprehensible doesn't mean that (obviously because the quote used is accepted by mainstream Christians too). I assume the Athanasian Creed is rejected anyway because it's foundationally Trinitarian. DJ Clayworth (talk) 21:41, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I thought the section had value and returned it, but deleted the term unknownable. However, I do think that definitionally that unknowable is the same thing as incomprehensible. The difficulty with this area is that we are not only talking about "knowing" doctrine, but also "knowing" a belief. One can believe something with all one's heart, but that does not make it understandable. I think the admission that it is incomprehensible means that their oneness is beyond the understanding of man and thus one apprehends, but never comprehends. Does that sound acceptable? Are there changes you would prefer to see in the langugage used? --Storm Rider (talk) 22:08, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
I am OK with that language. All Christians want to know God, and even LDS who know God recognize that there is much about God that is wonderfully mysterious, and yet to be revealed. Cesevern (talk) 03:07, 27 March 2008 (UTC)


The intro says "They believe Jesus lived a sinless life, and that His suffering, the shedding of His blood, His crucifixion, His death and resurrection were sufficient to satisfy the demands of eternal justice and make an infinite atonement for the sins of all humanity.". That's all good stuff, but it is true of almost every Christian group in the world. Would the space in the intro not be better spent describing the things that make LDS distinctive? DJ Clayworth (talk) 19:49, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

The question is what is held most important by the LDS church and not the view of others and what they see as different. For example, the church is centered on Jesus Christ, but the world sees it centered on Joseph Smith because he was the first prophet of the latter days. Obviously, this confusion should be clarified for the benefit of others. You say that that "stuff" is all good, but is that stuff not the most important stuff one can know? It is without doubt that there is a lot of confusion about what the LDS church believes and what it does not believe. What do you see as missing from the intro? --Storm Rider (talk) 20:03, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Storm Rider is correct. There is a certain systemic bias that creeps into most Wikipedia articles. For Mormons viewing this article, it goes one way; for Evangelicals visiting this article, it may go another. However, since the aim of Wikipedia is to present a neutral, worldwide point of view, using the intro to describe things that make the church distinctive would be a move toward bias, not away from it. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias. --TrustTruth (talk) 21:50, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Removing non-sense

Just removed a non-sensical statement that -- probably unintionally -- asserted that people who are born into the Church leave it. If someone can makes sense of it, feel free to rewrite and revert. It was unedit-able as it stood. AuntieMormom (talk) 00:52, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with your edit, AuntieMormom. Good call. --Eustress (talk) 02:10, 6 April 2008 (UTC)


To clear up some differing opinions: "Pronouns referring to deities, or nouns (other than names) referring to any material or abstract representation of any deity, human or otherwise, do not begin with a capital letter." - WP:MOSCAPS. He, His, etc. should not be capitalized on Wikipedia. Thanks, Alanraywiki (talk) 05:25, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

"A rose by any other name is still as sweet" Shakespear Cesevern (talk) 00:01, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I do not know what school you went to, but pronouns or other parts of speech reffering to deities do begin with capital letters. It is actually gramaticly correct to capitalize these terms and therefore they should be capitalized on Wikipedia. Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fizzos98 (talkcontribs) 05:34, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
If you believe Wikipedia's current policy on (non)capitalization of pronouns referring to Deity should be changed, the proper thing to do is to discuss the matter on the relevant Wikipedia Manual of Style talk page. If (and only if) a consensus is achieved there to change the current practice, then we can capitalize the pronouns. We can't simply ignore the MOS because we disagree with it or think it's wrong. Richwales (talk) 05:30, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

On a related topic, you should review the recent conversations on Roman Catholic Church regarding the capitalization of Church. This was discussed here in the past and the decision here was the exact opposite of the decision there. You may need to look at the archives now, but it would be worth reading.--Storm Rider (talk) 06:08, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

"For other uses, see The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (disambiguation)."

The are both a grammar error here and a violation of Wikipedia pracrice. The "The" above should not be there. But it's too complex for me to fix. --Ludvikus (talk) 00:47, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

The "The" above is in the official name of the church; the name of the church is not, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This has been discussed often in the past and the current status has always been the result. --Storm Rider (talk) 00:55, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, that is the name members of the LDS Church believe the Lord gave for His Church. See Doctrine and Covenants 115:4. It would be highly inappropriate to eliminate the first "the" because it's part of the Church-recognized name for itself. This likewise applies to other LDS denominations as well. See official title listings of each denomination for proof. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 01:22, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Ludvikus does have a point about the disambiguation link, which may have been his main point. I have changed it. Please review my changes. Bytebear (talk) 01:35, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

View of history and eschatology

Just wondering if someone could add a reference to who exactly gets it and who doesn't in the second coming. [i.e. a reference for 'terrestrial and celestial people don't get it']. Thanks if anybody can. Rogerdpack (talk) 14:45, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Here are two (D&C 64: 23 and D&C 85: 3), but I don't know where they would fit in the article. — Val42 (talk) 22:40, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Contents Menu

Why is the contents menu pushed over to the right along side the "History" section?? This seems very bizarre to me, and makes it look as if the page hasn't loaded correctly or something... This is the first time I've come across it, is it used in any other articles? --Symo85 (talk) 03:51, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

That format is used relatively often. You can position the menu either to the left or right; this is obviously to the right. What it does is remove all the white space that is often found when the formating is not used on large articles. On large articles I prefer it because the contents table is so big it creates a lot of white space, makes the Table not as usable as it is here. --Storm Rider (talk) 04:02, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Technology Merge proposal

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

After lengthy discussion, the Technology article was subsequently deleted. Closing this proposal. --Descartes1979 (talk) 04:59, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

I propose we merge Technology and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints into this article, or delete it. It treats an obscure topic, and seems to be bordering on synthesis and original research. Funny how this article pops up so recently after Elder Ballards talk about using the internet to proselyte...

  • Merge or Delete --Descartes1979 (talk) 07:48, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Delete. I essentially agree with Descartes1979's assessment of the article. To me it's a clear case of WP:SYN, and it has some POV problems as Descartes has also pointed out on the article's talk page. I think an AFD should be proposed; if it survives that, then it should be somehow merged. Good Ol’factory (talk) 00:28, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Keep The topic is important and it has a criticism section.Cmmmm 20:53, 11 May 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cmmmm (talkcontribs)
    • Exactly how is it important? I disagree with you on this point, it still seems very obscure to me.--Descartes1979 (talk) 21:12, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Merge — This article doesn't look large enough to stand on its own. Also, I just checked and don't see a "criticism" section. I do see a "caution" section. — Val42 (talk) 17:07, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Keep/Merge. I made some major updates (which I hope previous voters will review) that I think elaborate on the topic enough to merit it staying—adding info about the use of technology inside the church as well as publicly. Not sure all this info could be merged effectively, now, into the main LDS Church article. --Eustress (talk) 05:30, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Some interesting edits, but in the end this topic is still way too obscure. I can't help but think, there is no article on Technology and the Catholic Church, or for that matter Technology and *insert organization name here*. Since when was the LDS church so different in its use or advocation of Technology? The only thing that appears notable to me is the stuff regarding genealogy which could easily be put into about one or two sentences in a section in this article (or another candidate). --Descartes1979 (talk) 06:11, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
      • Agreed. I'll modify my vote and move for Merge only. --Eustress (talk) 13:20, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Merge This article is too big as it is 104kb - and we should not be merging obscure topics into it. Better to merge such info into LDS Theology article, or some other article. By merging such information here we lend it a credibilty as being essential or a significant part of the churches teachings when it is nothing of the sort - just a random article that really ought to be deleted. --Trödel 02:52, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Animals merge proposal

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

The result of the discussion was Keep. I am withdrawing this proposal. --Descartes1979 (talk) 05:02, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

I propose we merge Animals in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints into this article - along the same lines as the Technology merge above - it just seems like an awful lot of treatment for such an obscure topic that could be summarized into about one or two sentences here in the main article.

  • MergeWithdrawing proposal --Descartes1979 (talk) 19:31, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Keep The topic really doesn't belong in this article. It is too fringe a concept and it's hard enough keeping fringe concepts out of the main article as it is. Bytebear (talk) 21:44, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Keep (i.e., opposed to a merge) per Bytebear. --Eustress (talk) 21:53, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Don't Merge The way that topic has been presented it just plain weird. Honestly that page is the first time I've ever seen it come up on the internet, and I frequent forums where people ask questions about Mormonism. It's not an important topic, much less an interesting one. It's simply not discussed, anymore than it would be discussed in Catholicism, Judaism, etc. Does every religion have an “animal” page as part of the main section too? I personally think the page should be deleted, or at least developed it into an Animals in Religion. The merge proposal is laughable. Dahelp (talk) 21:12, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
    • I only proposed a merge because my original proposal for delete was swiftly brushed aside. I also think the article should be deleted, but was overridden. --Descartes1979 (talk) 03:58, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose merge. Similar argument as to Technology use by CJC. However, there are some unique teachings regarding animals having some kind of spiritual existence that is analogous to our spiritual existence. Therefore, unlike with technology I don't think the info should just be deleted. However, I thought concensus was reached 2 years ago that this article should be merged into an article on unique theological implications of the teachings of CJC of LDS - I guess no one wanted to take on that broader task. In the absence of such an article it may as well stay where it is - there is absolutely no reason to merge this obscure topic into what should be an overview of the CJC - not a discussion of obscure and controversial subjects. As stated above this article is already to big. It should be half the current size; therefore, adding fringe crap that few people know about and even fewer have even given much thought to how it fits into LDS theology is completely insane. --Trödel 02:58, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
    • For those that are unfamiliar with standards for creating pages and the size guidelines, our goal should be an article that is "an appropriate length; it is long enough to provide sufficient information, depth, and analysis on its subject, without including unnecessary detail or information that would be more suitable in "sub-articles", related articles, or sister projects." See also Size guidelines and when an article should be divided, and Article development --Trödel approx 04:00, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

'Tag-teamed' by the 'swarm' (again)

Amazingly, the usual suspects ride to the rescue again. Imperative that these articles be 'sanitized' over & over. Duke53 | Talk 05:43, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

What's more amazing is that the same person shows up to push his POV over & over & over --Trödel 03:12, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
I can understand how it would appear that way to you, especially given the lack of trust that you have for LDS editors. The truth is, though, that this article has long been on my watchlist so my involvement here has nothing to do with trying to follow or annoy you. It's also the case that the edit in question is indeed not fitting for the article, on at least two grounds: Grammatically, its an awkward sentence with too many dependent clauses strung together; semantically, it is too detailed for a summary style article. It's also obvious that the juxtaposition of facts in the sentence carries the subtext of "not a real revelation but a politically expedient capitulation". That's a real point of view that some carry and there might even be a reliable source out there for that point of view—but that should be dealt with in the article about the 1890 Manifesto (if it's not already; haven't checked), and not in a summary article about the church. The first two points I tried to convey in my edit summary when I undid your edit, but perhaps I was not skillful or persuasive enough. The third point I couldn't express in an edit summary given the space constraints and any attempt to do so would come off wrong anyway, again particularly because you do not think LDS editors are capable of acting in good faith. Well, you have it now, and just so you don't misunderstand me: I think there may be a place on WP for the critical view regarding the timing of the Manifesto, but this article certainly is not that place for that kind of detail. alanyst /talk/ 13:37, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
This is already covered in two articles: 1890 Manifesto and Criticism of Mormonism. --TrustTruth (talk) 16:35, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
This is just the general silliness that occurs on religious topics. The Roman Catholic Church article has the same type of drive-by editing and then the follow up editors that are certain that something is being covered up, without reading the article as a whole, with no regard for NPOV, does it fit, or is it a repeat of something already covered.
When something is contentious and gets a lot of back-and-forth editing I choose to nip it in the bud by deleting all of it and allow it to be handled on the talk page. What I find funny is the editors who want to keep the edit war going in the article! A rather backward method, which only continues the silliness of back-and-forth editing.
The objective is to improve the article. Making a statement, polygamy stopped in 1890, and then attempting to add a reason why the action took place, the church capitulated to government pressure, without any references, is unacceptable for any article on Wikipedia. Wikipedia does not draw conclusions, experts are used to do that. Also, this type of detail is not covered in the introductory paragraph.
It would be helpful if each editor did not have a knee jerk reaction, but actually thought about the edit before continuing the silliness of allowing bad edits to remain in an article. --Storm Rider (talk) 17:15, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
It's good to see the whole gang assembled again
"... attempting to add a reason why the action took place, the church capitulated to government pressure, without any references... Erm, here's a quote from a 'prophet':"Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise." Should be a good reference, don't you think ? Duke53 | Talk 19:34, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
This is already covered -- and referenced -- in two articles (see comment above). --TrustTruth (talk) 20:17, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Membership and the summary paragraph

My recent edit in the summary paragraph was deemed too drastic by User:FyzixFighter, so lets discuss and come to a consensus.

I have a problem with categorically stating that the LDS church is the 4th largest denomination in the US - there is a lot of judgment that goes into such a statement, and it is never clear cut. The numbers used in each of the references given are the LDS church reported statistics. According to wikipedia guidelines, and just good common sense, if we are going to state what the size of the organization is, we should consult an independent source. The CUNY survey was performed very recently, and used solid statistical analysis to extrapolate the estimated number of self-identifying adherents. I don't discount the LDS church numbers, but I think we can't report them without some perspective. As such I propose that the first paragraph read as given below:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints', widely known as the LDS Church or the Mormon Church, largest and most well-known denomination originating from the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has established congregations and temples worldwide, reporting approximately 13 million members on its rolls.[1][2] An independent survey in 2001 estimated that it is the 10th largest denomination in the United States, with approximately 2,787,000 self-identifying members.[3]

Note that we are still showing the church reported numbers, plus the independent numbers. I tried to make it very NPOV and sticking to stating the facts. Please let me know what you think. (There are other independent sources on this topic - the Salt Lake Tribune published an article a few years ago on the topic that essentially agrees with the CUNY survey.) --Descartes1979 (talk) 06:04, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

The problem is that this is still comparing apples and oranges - the 13 million is total reported membership, and the CUNY reports self-identifying adults. The CUNY report is also estimate based on 50,000 respondents to a random dialing survey. However, all the intricacies of the CUNY report are handled further down in the article so NPOV is satisfied in the article. Honestly, I'm fine with the removal of the fourth largest denomination as the criteria for that designation is not exactly clear in the sentence, but I don't feel there is a need to mention the CUNY report or possible discrepancy with other surveys. The intro already bends over backwards to make it clear that this is self-reported numbers (something which is not seen on any other religious organization article). Since this is not an issue in the intro of any other religious organization article, why is it an issue here to mention the discrepancy? Is there another church article that follows the point-counterpoint pattern you are suggesting for the intro? Also, this isn't something new - it has been discussed several times on the talk page (see Talk:The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/Archive 12#Church_membership_numbers which also has links to other previous discussions) which has led to the current handling of the CUNY survey. --FyzixFighter (talk) 06:37, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't have be a comparison between the numbers, just another piece of information - it certainly isn't worded as a comparison, notice that one fact is worldwide numbers, and the other is U.S. numbers. To your point, why don't we word it like this (adding the word "adult" to clarify the survey).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints', widely known as the LDS Church or the Mormon Church, largest and most well-known denomination originating from the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has established congregations and temples worldwide, reporting approximately 13 million members on its rolls.[1][2] An independent survey in 2001 estimated that it is the 10th largest denomination in the United States, with approximately 2,787,000 self-identifying adult members.[4]

I still think this is good information in the lead paragraph. What do you think? --Descartes1979 (talk) 16:20, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
This is a rather old argument and similar to old edit proposals. It has been discussed ad nauseum in the past and I see no reason to change again. The question for me is current, reputable references. If it is a reputable reference then it stays as is; if the reference is deemed not to reputable then it should go. The question/dispute of membership numbers is not appropriate for an introduction. The dispute is already handled in the article.
It makes no sense to use old data (the CUNY report)for a church that is international in scope. Why would a US statistical analysis be appropriate for an international church? We would be comparing apples and oranges. A 2007 study of Canadian and American churches would appear to be the most current information.
As an aside, this recurring critique of LDS membership is odd. Few churches make any attempt to measure their membership in an absolutely precise manner. If you were baptized a Catholic you are Catholic until such time as the name is removed, which is rarely. They report well over 1 billion members, but there is no attack on their numbers when Western European churches are empty on Sunday. For Protestants it is just who comes to church and is accepted as a member on their rolls. Why are some of the same processes so unpalatable for the LDS church? I have always found this strange. Assuming good faith on this topic is difficult. --Storm Rider (talk) 17:51, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Respectfully I disagree with you StormRider on several points: 1) The CUNY survey is reputable is it not? If not, what about the Salt Lake Tribune? We can find a "reputable" reference if CUNY does not fit that standard. I don't think that the numbers from the Canadian and American churches study are reliable since they are clearly taken directly from the LDS church compiled statistics, which are at odds with all of the independent studies on the matter. 2) If we agree that there is a dispute on the numbers in the church, then why even include church statistics at all in the summary? 3) I was not trying to compare the two figures - as you said it would be apples to oranges. I am just adding another piece of data. Nowhere in the sentence am I saying "Look at the church numbers and they agree/disagree with independent numbers". 4) You said "If you were baptized a Catholic, you are a Catholic until such time as the name is removed" - That is completely untrue. I would wager there are millions of people that don't consider themselves affiliated with the Catholic church though they may still be on their rolls. Same with the LDS church - there are perhaps several million people that don't affiliate with the LDS church though they may still be on their rolls. Just because the church says you are a member doesn't mean you are one. You also said that there is no "attack" on the Catholic church for their numbers reporting - I hope you don't think that I am attacking the LDS church here - just trying to portray the facts of the issue. Second, when I look at the Catholic article, membership is referenced to independent sources, not the church itself.
At the end of the day if this is going to be a big deal, I can drop it - but I think we should remove the reference to the number of members since it is clearly disputed.--Descartes1979 (talk) 18:41, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
The one thing I don't like about the CUNY report is that it only polls adults. Since we know that Mormons have larger families in general than non-Mormons and that interfaith marriages are more rare for Mormons, the numbers would change if you took into account spouses and children. Bytebear (talk) 18:52, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I think you might be missing the point; I am not saying the CUNY statistical analysis is not reputable, just not applicable in an introduction. Second, the data for support of the Roman Catholic Church numbers comes from ZENIT, a Vatican City source, i.e. self-reporting. The other source was the CIA World Fact Book, which provides no support for their number of 16.99% of world population. Do you think they probably just took the Catholic Church's reported membership number or do you think they verified each and every member's degree of activity in the church? I suspect they just took the membership reported by the Catholic Church. Third, reporting the facts in an article is to be supported, but what information is in an introduction is to be concise and trying to present conflicting data is not appropriate for an introduction, but is for a section. The question is still is the Canadian and American Church group report reputable? I would say that it is; you seem to want to take issue with their methods, but are more willing to accept the CUNY report.
How many times have you seen the national news groups statistical analysis of voting to be wrong over the last ten years? How reliable are statistics for guesstimating membership in a church? You assume that because a church self-reports their membership, any church, that it is somehow less valid than a third party source. There is no group outside of a church that can identify membership more clearly than the respective church involved; all others are forced to use statistical analysis to derive an answer, which is exactly what CUNY did. Personally, I think the CUNY report is what it is and nothing more; it is no more reliable than any other statistical report that has been shown so badly wrong as demonstrated by the national networks and their political projecting. --Storm Rider (talk) 19:06, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Different methods of statistical analysis have been shown to be quite reliable when done correctly (which may not have been used in the political polls that you mention). "Guesstimating" is not an accurate description of statistics. I am no statistician by trade, but my limited training in college gives me a great deal of comfort over the methods and conclusions that such studies present. You can't blame the discrepancy on the statistics. Also, the LDS church has a history of bending the truth a bit when it comes to its public image - so it seems a little misleading to wholly rely on their own reported statistics. It is a good data point, but in line with Wikipedia guidance, a third party and independent source is always preferable for verifying facts in an article. I didn't realize that ZENIT was a Vatican City source, and I would argue that it should also be removed from the Catholic article in favor of an independent source. --Descartes1979 (talk) 19:22, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

It is highly inappropriate to make an edit when the edit is being debated; stop it. I reverted it until this is handled here and a cooperative solution is achieved. --Storm Rider (talk) 19:06, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

I apologize if I offended you, but FyzixFighter above seemed to agree with the idea of removing the membership numbers from the summary paragraph completely. Besides, making an edit like that can be a great way to float an idea to see if it is acceptable to the group - so I don't see why it is inappropriate. Did you revert because I broke perceived procedure, or because you disagree with the edit? To that end, lets discuss my proposal then - I propose we remove the membership statistics from the summary paragraph since they are disputed. What do you think? --Descartes1979 (talk) 19:14, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Please, never think that you offend me; this medium does not lend itself to personal issues easily. Also, I was not aware that this was a conversation between you and Fyzix, but rather an issue for the community given that more than you two have been participants. BTW, could you please provide the diff where Fyzix agreed to your edit? I thought I have been pretty clear; I reject the change. Membership numbers are informative to readers and appears to be used in the introductions of most other church articles. I also reject the change of adding the dispute in the introduction. Again, this is old hat, has been discussed ad nauseum in the past and is discussed in the article. --Storm Rider (talk) 19:23, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
From just a few lines above by Fyzix: "Honestly, I'm fine with the removal of the fourth largest denomination as the criteria for that designation is not exactly clear in the sentence, but I don't feel there is a need to mention the CUNY report or possible discrepancy with other surveys." Fyzix, did I misinterpret your thoughts with my edit? --Descartes1979 (talk) 19:29, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, you did misunderstand me a bit (and sorry for the delay - got to love grad school - so this comment may be moot). I would be amenable to removing the phrase " the fourth largest Christian denomination in the U.S.", but that can be referenced to the NCC's 2007 Yearbook, but I did not think we should remove all references to membership numbers in the intro. We really should look at how membership numbers are reported in the intro of other church articles, and the current intro seems to adhere to established patterns. Yes there exists a debate over the numbers but I don't think that it is hotly debated. The debate is addressed in the membership section, and that is sufficient imo. In fact, the membership section needs a little bit of clarification because we've got some references that appear to be independent of one another, but in fact one is quoting the other (the SLT quoting the CUNY survey for claim of zero net growth), and we've got one source (the SLT article) duplicated in two separate references. I think the SLT is fine as a source for the 4 millions attendance, but the zero growth comment needs to be rephrased somewhat and merged into the summary of the CUNY survey. --FyzixFighter (talk) 16:16, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

I just finished reviewing the previous discussions on this topic, and I don't see a clear consensus coming out of them. I also see a very reasonable compromise posed that we should not use the or Canadian surveys as reliable sources since they report church provided statistics. Can we at least agree that LDS church statistics are not independent and do not conform with Wikipedia guidance as a reliable source? Again, I am willing to concede on not putting other membership surveys in the summary paragraph, but perhaps as a compromise we can remove all reference to membership statistics in the lead paragraph since they are so hotly contested. --Descartes1979 (talk) 19:42, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

The LDS church has done very well in monitoring membership records compared to other churches. The only weakness is has has been the fact that many inactive members are not updated as often as needed. This is due to the fact that members themselves have the responsability to update records when they go home teaching.

That survey done does not have accurate results. Almost all members live in the western part of the united states with the majority in Utah. Phone Surveys were done all over the country with disproportions in every religion. go to to understand more. Lutherans are centrally located in the midwest. Baptists in the south and so forth. In actuality, the LDS church is going to become the 2nd largest church in the USA statistically in the next decade.

A good way to see growth is with temples. Although Mexico has high inactivity rates. 13 temples for 1 million members is a huge indicator that many members are active in the church. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:24, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Sorry to comment at the tail end of a conversation. Since there is some ambiguity in membership numbers, I might propose changing the "4th largest" to "reported as the 4th largest" The numbers are pretty close for 4th through 7th... :) Rogerdpack (talk) 03:58, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Yearbook of Canadian and American churches 2007

Does anyone have access to "Yearbook of Canadian and American churches 2007, Edited by Lindner"? This is the third party source that states the LDS Church is the 4th largest. It is published at the direction of the National Council of Churches. It has been stated this source only repeats the number of membership levels as reported by the LDS church (and all other churches) and is therefore not an acceptable source. Is this a factual representation of their process or is it otherwise. Also, are there any reputable sources that accurately monitor membership records for churches in the US. Also, if the source only uses the self-reported membership numbers of all churches are any numbers is this source of value or are they of equal value? Sort of in the liars one makes liars all kind of perspective. Lastly, is there some reason that self-reported numbers are somehow unacceptable for organizations?

This would seem to be a third party, reputable source. Can anyone shed some light? --Storm Rider (talk) 20:08, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

This is so simple to explain. The report took all of the statistics from each church and there is no way to independantly verify the data. All of the churches on the list report members even if they are active or not. The LDS church is by far one of the most accurate churches, except the Jehovah Witness, in reporting members. For example. Catholics only estimate their membership numbers. Thats understandable considering how large it is. Baptists (2nd largest) have been creating duplicate membership records for decades. Whenever a member moves into a different congregation. They just create another record for that member. This is understandable too since each congregation is completely different from one another.

The LDS church has a central membership database so it is impossible to duplicate memberships and they know exactly how many have been baptised in the church. Each congregation has clerks who update and manage the records. It is the responsibility to of them to keep it updated. Many areas do a very good job with that and others have a difficult time. This is actually a large portion of the work of the church as we go home teaching and meet with families.

Most of the other churches do not even know how many members they have and have not published statistical data in years. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:12, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

I'd say it's 3rd party and reliable, so WP:RS . Oh wait, I added the reference in the first place, so I'm probably biased :) Rogerdpack (talk) 04:00, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Not Christian

Wow! Again forgive them for they know not what they do. These people write with complete sentences, which begs the question: Can you read? Did you actually READ the article? On todays Aug 3, 2008 writing, it is actually a balanced report of what a majority of LDS people believe! Protestants aren't the only ones who love, worship, and adore Jesus Christ. LDS actually READ, love, and hold sacred the NEW TESTAMENT. Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it. --WaltFrost (talk) 03:43, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

The LDS church is not christian. The article says so, but it is wrong. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Plyhmrp (talkcontribs) 18:13, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

You have no evidence that it is not Christian. It may not be mainstream Christianity, but our beliefs and teachings about Jesus Christ make us Christian. -SpellcheckW7 (talk) 18:38, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

LDS Church is not Christian beacause it does not belive in the bible it uses the book of Mormom. Most ministers consider it a seprate religon. They also belive in pologamy which Christians do not think is right. LDS is not part of Christianity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Plyhmrp (talkcontribs) 22:59, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

A quick perusal of this article (for the Bible issue) and the polygamy article (to show that many Christians, including Martin Luther and the early anabaptists, have sanctioned polygamy in the past) should answer your concerns. --TrustTruth (talk) 23:01, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
The 8th of our 13 articles of faith states: "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God." For an excellent explanation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints perspective about and use of the Bible, I refer you to a conference talk given by Elder M. Russell Ballard, one of 15 men we sustain as a prophet, seer, and revelator. The very title of the talk, "The Miracle of the Holy Bible" should give you a clue as to what we really believe. Here's the link to the talk: The Miracle of the Holy Bible
I further challenge you to find ONE reference, just one, from one of our Church leaders stating that we do not believe in the Bible. I, along with other members of my Church, honor and revere the Bible. As a matter of fact, I am currently studying it for my personal study, and my family is currently using it for family study. If these facts coupled together do not convince you that we do believe in the Bible, I don't know what will. And the whole "Mormons aren't Christians" issue was opened earlier on on this same talk page. If you have any new light to this issue, I encourage you to post it there. Otherwise, making claims that easily can be disproved only serves to prove how desperate you are to discredit the Church and its members in the eyes of WP and in the eyes of the world. And that makes you either braver than most or just plain silly. Also, you should know that polygamy hasn't been practiced or encouraged by Church leaders or any of its members since 1890, and anyone found doing so is excommunicated. I don't have a response for what other ministers think about us because everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even if it happens to be wrong. But defining us as not being Christian based on conceptions that are only in the mind and cannot be proven only serves to demonstrate that you have no idea about what makes a true Christian. I leave this with you to reflect upon and consider as I let you know that I hold no ill will against you for your erroneously stated opinions and hope you would desire to seek out the truth before making such accusations in the future. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 02:04, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Not to offend you in any way but its not an point of view it's the truth. By the way I'm not part of LDS or mormon religon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Plyhmrp (talkcontribs) 12:06, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

And just what makes it the truth? I believe that thus far every one of your objections have been proven wrong. You could say that I'm not a person, and that it's the truth that I'm not a person, but the fact remains that regardless of what you might think, I'm still a person. Likewise, you can say members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are not Christian, and that it's the truth that they are not Christian, but you will never persuade a member of that Church to believe otherwise. The very name "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" should clue you in on the fact that we do believe in Christ. You say that we are not Christian, but so far, every shred of proof you've presented has been countered. And now we have only your statement that it's the truth. I knew right away that you were not a member of the LDS Church, because any self-respecting member of the Church would not fail to define themselves as Christian. Show me what other "proof" you have that the members of the LDS Church aren't Christian. Otherwise, it's just talk. And just further proof that you have no other proof than your own opinion. I believe I have countered all the proof you've presented up to this point beyond reasonable doubt. If you have other proof, state it. Otherwise, the essence of what you're saying is "I have nothing to back my opinion up, but I'm going to keep stating it no matter what." And that is neither concretely definitive for WP purposes or constructive in proving your point. What other proof do you have? I'd be happy to address your arguments further, if I know what they are. If you fail to state the proof behind what you claim, you are merely wasting your breath and my time.--Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 18:29, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

People, unless there is a recommendation here to improve the article this conversation is pointless for Wikipedia. Let the article speak for itself and the personal beliefs of an individual are just that, personal. We respect others to believe what they may and request the same of ourselves. Focus on the article and move on. --Storm Rider (talk) 19:16, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Amen. --TrustTruth (talk) 19:30, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
This conversation was started based on the claim of one or more editors that members of the LDS Church are not Christians and that any claim they are in the WP article is erroneous. I submit that the personal beliefs of WP editors hold little or no significance to the article in question, but at the same time, if a claim is made that members of the LDS Church are not Christian, I submit that any discussion along these lines IS germane to the issues as far as clarifying why it is both permissible and appropriate to refer to LDS adherents as Christians. While this particular conversation has taken a turn toward more personal beliefs about the issue, I submit that these are also germane to the issues, insofar as further proof is presented one way or the other. I am content to leave personal beliefs out of this issue entirely. However, when, as a WP editor but also a member of the LDS Church I come across someone who is not only calling into question the claim to Christianity of my religion but also in an indirect way casting aspersions on the claims to Christianity by individual members of the Church, I believe I have not only the right, but the duty to respond to those claims. However, inasmuch as the editor in question I was conversing with has shown NO concrete proof other than his personal opinion to back up his claims, I am willing to let the issue rest if he is. After all, it was comments by this particular editor that set the whole matter off. However, if he continues to falsely assert something he can't prove, I have no choice but to consider it my duty to correct an inaccurate perception about those of my religion. So, in essence, the closure of this issue rests entirely in the hands of the editor who started these claims in the first place. If he is willing to call off the conversation, so will I. But if he continues to make wrongful assertions and back them up with sources (accurate or not as the case may be), then I submit that it is my obligation as a WP editor and also a member of the Church to do my best to counter and/or correct such erroneously stated information. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 23:35, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Jg, I believe few topics for a LDS are more important than those that deal with Jesus Christ, that he was the Son of God, was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, bled from every pore in the Garden, was crucified, rose the third day, appeared to the disciples and many others, and then returned to the Father and currently sits on his right hand. This topic is vital to LDS. When anyone assails those beliefs it either demonstrates an extreme ignorance of LDS beliefs or complete lack of understanding of Christian history between the time of Christ and the first Council in 325 at Nicea.
Regardless, on wikipedia the discussion page is specifically for discussing the article and how to improve it. The editor in question was doing nothing of the kind. There is a time and place for all things; this is not the place an argument about anything other than the article.
Editors can still discuss these topics, but they must focus on article language itself. In reviewing the conversation this editor was not interested in improving the article nor was he interested in anything other than proclaiming his own opinion. Fortunately, this article is not about individual opinions, particularly those that are unenlightened.
As an aside, when asked these type of questions I will often ask if they can prove what a Christian is by only using the Bible. It defeats their entire position. The definitions of Christianity bandied about by most of this type of "Christian" are strictly 4th century and have nothing to do with Jesus Christ or His Church, His disciples, or anything else. More importantly, their definitions would cast out all of the original disciples and apostles because none of them reflected or fit these definitions. When there are no honest questions, no answers can be provided. S/he was only looking for a soapbox, which is not the purpose of Wikipedia. I did not seek to offend you and if I did I apologize, but it is best to focus and ignore the rest. --Storm Rider (talk) 04:14, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Here's the thing. Wikipedia is here to present FACT. The FACT that LDS is Christian is just that, a FACT. You cannot dispute FACT with your OPINION.--Fizzos98 (talk) 18:11, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Not Christian

Sorry, but I think it is perfectly acceptable to note that adherents of the church of Latter Day Saints consider themselves Christian...even though Catholics and Protestants (while recognizing each other as Christians) do not consider LDS a Christian faith. The reason is actually in the article, it's not just the following of the Book of Mormon as holy scripture, it is the fact that "It does not accept the Nicene Creed's definition of Trinity." Acceptance of the creed was established as a requirement for Christians. This is, of course, completely arbitrary to the objective observer...but it is important to note nonetheless that a discrepancy exists right? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:13, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

The definition of Christianity seems to the be the basis of your position. Individuals churches have developed a definition of Christianity that demands acceptance of the doctrine for being in communion with their respective churches. The rub comes in on who gets to define the exact definition of Christianity? Given the definition you are using, none of the early apostles would qualify, nor would any of the other early followers, nor would Jesus himself qualify. The definition did not develop until 300 years after Jesus.
A second issue is whether or not other churches think LDS is not Christian or not in communion with them. I know that has been mentioned in the past; I have not recently read this article from beginning to end. If it is not in the article, I see no reason not adding it again. It would be a good addition to the Criticism section. If this is a really significant issue, maybe it should be added on each church that has taken that position? Of course, that opens a rather large can of worms. You can imagine how churches would view other religions, other churches, etc.; that would seem to move this from encyclopedic to something else. --Storm Rider (talk) 20:48, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
From a purely categorical point of view the article states that the Church of JESUS CHRIST declares a belief and worship in Jesus Christ. Hence this faith should fall under the category of Christian, or as the word suggests a person of Christ. This topic is a waste of space and adds nothing to the betterment of the article. My vote is to summarily cast out this vile excuse for prose.

Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it. --WaltFrost (talk) 03:54, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Deletion of Technology and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Editors of this page are invited to comment at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Technology and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 06:50, 15 June 2008 (UTC)


This part of the article covers the martyrdom of Joseph Smith Jr., however I would like to suggest a clarification that this assassination was in fact a martyrdom. I would like some feedback as to how to incorporate this into the article.--Fizzos98 (talk) 18:06, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Just a heads up, many critics of the church don't consider his assassination as a martyrdom since it was provoked by the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, and since Joseph Smith also defended himself, killing several of the mob members with a pistol. I can see such an edit being controversial. --Descartes1979 (talk) 21:19, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Fizz, we have discussed that issue in the past and because the term carries a lot of emotional baggage we settled for the current terminology. He is definitely held as a martyr by the Latter Day Saint people, but they may not be enough to call him outright a martyr. Critics of Smith absolutely go rabid when anything positive is said of him, and this label just goes too far (I exaggerate here because it makes me laugh, but you get the gist of what I am saying). I suppose we can reopen it if you committed, but a change would be difficult. If anything, it could never go further than stating the LDS people believe him to have been a martyr or something similar.
As an aside, the killing of "several" members of the mob is a myth found in anti-Mormon literature. In fact, two of the people that Joseph was supposed to have killed were at the trial subsequent to his death. They were accused of his murder and found innocent; too many people to just accuse the few with charges against them. Smith did fire a gun through the door of the jail, but not a single person was documented as killed by his shots. The mere fact that Smith shot the gun makes some people feel he was not a martyr; they would say a martyr must die passively without any demonstrable effort to save their life. Think of Jesus when he said, "Thou sayest it"; there was no resistance. Some critics, like Descartes, would also say that it was provoked. I think that only holds water if it is an instantaneous result of an action. For example, you are in your local pub with your best girl and someone throws a glass of beer in your face; you immediately pull your pistol out and kill the fellow. There is no thought, or premeditation, you just react and kill him. None of that is similar to the murder of Joseph Smith. He was locked in a prison and trapped in a room. They planned their action several days after the destruction of the printing press, disguised themselves and then murdered Joseph and Hyrum in cold blood. "Provoked" is straining to find a reason that it was okay to kill someone. The emotional attachment to a printing press that had printed a single issue hardly is convincing to a neutral party. --Storm Rider (talk) 21:42, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
from the Martyr article:
In the context of church history, from the time of the persecution of early Christians in the Roman Empire, being a martyr indicates a person who is killed for maintaining his or her religious belief, knowing that this will almost certainly result in imminent death (though without intentionally seeking death). Christian martyrs sometimes declined to defend themselves at all, in what they see as a reflection of Jesus' willing sacrifice. However, the definition of martyrdom is not specifically restricted to the Christian faith.
From this statement, it seems that defending oneself is acceptable for Christian martyrs. (talk) 00:40, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

I see, however according to the definition of the term, Joseph Smith is a martyr. Therefore, this makes the fact that he is a martyr a FACT. Wikipedia is here to represent fact. Facts cannot be disputed with controversial opinion.--Fizzos98 (talk) 05:25, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree that his assassination should be labeled a martyrdom; however, I wish to point out that whether it is a fact or not is not relevant to inclusion in Wikipedia. What matters is that secondary and tertiary sources describe his death as a martyrdom, and our responsibility in creating an encyclopedia is to accurately summarize those sources in an encyclopedic manner. --Trödel 01:20, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

LDS Church criticism section

Maybe I have been gone a while from this article, but the criticism section is not established, at least not longer than a year, as I was in a lengthy discussion of the section and it was established that it would become bloat and should be removed. Perhaps we should review that discussion. Bytebear (talk) 01:24, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

It seems reasonable to include but I'm open to suggestions. --TrustTruth (talk) 01:28, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Major restructuring proposal in a related article

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A major restructuring proposal for all polygamy articles related to Mormonism has been made at Talk:Joseph Smith, Jr. and polygamy#Series and Restructuring proposal. Please visit and give your two cents. --Descartes1979 (talk) 05:22, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

PostMormon community and Blacks in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Each time the categories "PostMormon community" and "Blacks in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" have been added to the "See also" section, I have removed them because there has been no explanation given for their addition. However, I have done that twice already in the past week, and the categories were readded today. What is the relevancy and rationalization for adding these sections? Should they be included, or should we omit them? I wanted some feedback so that I didn't appear to be the "bad guy" about this situation. Can we come to some kind of consensus about this? --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 03:14, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

The history, aims, and organization of any "PostMormon community" should be developed in a separate article. Just as protestantism should be an article distinct from an article on the Catholic Church. However, it is a vague title. Accurate description or disambiguation of the link should also be included, i.e. "apostate groups", "hate groups", "splinter groups", "anti-mormons" etc. The subject of "Blacks in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" is treated at length in the article of the same name.

A "see also" link from a primary article to related articles is helpful. It is equally helpful to repeat a disclaimer about the accuracy of all Wikipedia articles. Other related articles might include each of the various ethnic groups in the church, or each nationality, or "kindred, tongue, and people". As they are created they could be linked. Because to incorporate these kinds of articles, or to fairly develop these topics within the current article would be too much. These each deserve their own article. But what I understand jgstokes to be saying is that before they get linked jgstokes would like to see the relevancy and rational for linking them plainly stated or explained. Is that correct? If so, I take a contrary view. I think that editors should be bold. They should make the link; and those editors who object to the link should state why the articles are not relevant to the primary article, or what the rational is for not linking. Articles with POV issues should be flagged, inaccuracies should be challenged, exposed, and corrected, but not censored IMOCesevern (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 04:10, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

The only reason I have removed the categories in the past is because they were included by a user with only an IP address and no explanation was given for their inclusion. If there DOES happen to be a satisfactory explanation, then I have NO objection whatsoever to their inclusion. However, if we use the rationale that any article remotely related to the subject of the article in question can be listed as an external link if editors are "bold" and feel that such links merit inclusion,we are on dangerous ground. If we take that frame of mind, where would the end be to the inclusion of external links? If we included a link to the article about "Blacks and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," then we'd have to also in the same breath submit to the inclusion of links to articles about ALL ethnic groups and the Church. Otherwise, we set ourselves up for accusations of racism. Same deal with the "Post-Mormon community" link. We'd have to start including links to articles about all sorts of Church critics and post-Mormons or set ourselves up for accusations of suppression and bias. That, to me, would seem to be counterproductive to WP purposes. Make no mistake, I'm not necessarily against or in favor of the inclusion of these categories. But when they are added without explanation, or when we take it to the extreme (as we would have to if we want to keep it on neutral ground for all concerned), then the line of demarcation has to be drawn somewhere. Otherwise, this article would be bloated with external links that, while making the content unbiased, swell it into perpetual oblivion. Again, I'm not for or against the inclusion of the external links under discussion at this time. But at the moment I fail to see the relevancy. I'm not saying they aren't relevant. I just haven't seen that they are. Boldness is well and good. But when such boldness sets us up for accusations of bias, racism, and intolerance, the line has to be drawn somewhere. Of course, if I were to be shown the relevancy, any objections I might have made had I not seen the relevancy would be quashed almost before they were voiced. At this time, I don't object to the inclusion of the categories, but fail to see how it would profit the article or how we could avoid having to go to extremes to keep the external links neutral. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 18:43, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
If by external links you mean external to Wikipedia, then perhaps some limit should be made to both favorable and critical links. But if by external links you mean other articles within Wikipedia then I think editors should link articles where there is warrant and should unlink articles where such a link would be irrelevant creating a diversion without reference back to the main article. If you feel the links are unwarranted, irrelavant, or do not reference back to the main article then simply say so, and delete the link, or look like "the bad guy", delete the link, and demand that the people making the link to give their reasons for linking. I think that a person making a link should also link back to the main article to be a complete link IMO. But take heart, looking like "the bad guy" is better than being "the bad guy". Maybe it is the guy making the link who is "the bad guy". But I neither linked nor unlinked the articles in question :) I would say that a "Rated A-Class" article should not link to articles that are flagged "the nuetrality of this article has been disputed" or to non-existant Wikipedia articlesCesevern (talk) 03:41, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Just looked at the two articles in question. It appears that the "Blacks and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" is a relevant internal link. However, it does not appear to link back to this article. The opposite is true for "PostMormon Community." In that case, the page appears irrelevant, even though it does link back to this article. I've been the "bad guy" too many times to just arbitrarily remove links I feel are irrelevant, so I won't make those changes. My main object in starting this topic was to find out if anyone either agreed or disagreed with my opinion that neither have place or relevancy as "See Also" internal links. If I can be shown the relevancy of either, my objections (such as they are) will cease entirely. However, I fail to see the relevancy at this time, and I personally think that including these two articles in the "See Also" section would only be productive to WP purposes if WP articles about other ethnic groups/criticism or praise groups were also in the "See Also" section. I have no intention of unilaterally reverting material if I'm the only one that fails to see the relevancy of it. I think we need some more feedback from other editors before a decision is made one way or the other. So, does anyone wish to comment on this issue? Am I making a big issue out of nothing? Should the internal article links under discussion be removed or allowed to stay? Is there a way to include these and articles like them without going overboard? I'm open to any comments whatsoever on these or any other issues we need to consider in relation to these internal links before a decision is made. I look forward to your input. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 01:02, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
The post-Mormon thing is up in the air for me; the Blacks article is relevant. I just looked at the Roman Catholic Church article as a comparison and they do not even have a see also section. If anything, you will find be being an advocate of treating the same type of articles in the same manner and without exception. If any of these topics are already linked in the article, there should not be a need for having them listed under "see also". Does this make sense to you?--Storm Rider (talk) 01:30, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
The PostMormon article is nothing more than an advertisement for some guy's website. There are no third party independent references on the article. That article should be deleted. ExMormon would be a more logical "see also", but I agree with Storm, a "see also" section is only to direct the reader to articles that wouldn't normally be covered in the main article but are important enough to mention. Blacks an the church is covered in the article and linked to through footnotes, so I don;t see it being needed again. I thin it would be easy enough to remove the "See Also" section altogether. Bytebear (talk) 21:44, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Place where the Church was organized

What is the justification for stating that the Church was organized in the log home of Joseph Smith Sr. on April 6, 1830, with a meeting at the Peter Whitmer farm house one week later? Every Church source I've come across states that the Church was organized in the log home of Peter Whitmer. The introduction to Section 21 of the Doctrine and Covenants states: "This revelation was given at the organization of the Church, on the date named, in the home of Peter Whitmer, Sen."

Further, during the 1980 Sesquicentennial celebration of the organization of the Church, portions of the Sunday Morning and Afternoon Sessions of the April General Conference were broadcast from where the Church originated.

During the Sunday Morning Session, President Kimball made the following statement from the Peter Whitmer farmhouse: "It is a deeply moving and wonderful experience to stand here today where the Prophet Joseph Smith stood 150 years ago...We are here, this lovely Easter morning, in the reconstructed farmhouse of Peter Whitmer, Sr. It has been faithfully restored for this occasion to bring to us anew the recollection of the all-important and significant event which occurred here a century and a half ago. In the years to come, it will be visited by good people from over the earth who will wish to stand where I stand today. In this very location on April 6, 1830, there assembled a small group to formally organize The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...On that historic Tuesday of April 6, 1830, one and a half centuries ago, six men from those assembled in this house organized the Church as a religious society...With the future before us, and sensing deeply the responsibilities and divine mission of the restored Church on this sacred occasion, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles declare to the world a proclamation. We have felt it appropriate to issue this statement from here, where the Church began." Introduction to the Proclamation (from the May 1980 Ensign, p. 51)

In that one quote is encapsulated no less than 5 references to the verifiable fact that the Church was organized in the Peter Whitmer farmhouse, NOT in any other location. See also in the same Ensign magazine p. 52, containing a proclamation about the Church and its organization and mission; p. 54, in which President Kimball again states that the Church was organized at the Peter Whitmer farmhouse; p. 60, in which then-Elder Gordon B. Hinckley of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of the organization of the Church, expressing his thanks to President Kimball for the opportunity to participate in this commemoration; and p. 62, in which Elder Boyd K. Packer makes reference to the "humble farmhouse" in which the Church was organized. There are likely other references to where the Church was organized in this Ensign, but this should give you some idea of the importance Church leaders place on the location in which the Church was restored. Every reference I have come across states clearly that it was reorganized in the Peter Whitmer farmhouse. Of course, if there are references for what is currently in the article, as long as they are cited, I have no objections to their inclusion. I think that, for now, that's enough to chew on. Thoughts? --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 18:07, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

I might rewrite the footnote to say it is generally believed to have been officially organized at the Whitmer farmhouse, though there are a few sources that say Manchester [and cite them]. Apparently there was some confusion over this in the early manuscripts, though I honestly know little about it. If the Whitmer's themselves say it was organized "at my father's house" I imagine they remembered it well :P Rogerdpack (talk) 03:25, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Secretive Nature

Im just wondering but why is'nt there any mention of LDS'S secretive nature. Near a local temple the preists have bodyguards, non mormans cannot enter the temple, there are a ton of secruity guards on the ground and finally there was grafitti around the area which the chruch haggled the police to remove. Not to be mean but does any one else think that there secretive nature should be in the criticism section? Plyhmrp (talk)Plyhmrp

Do you have a reference to "bodyguards?" I have been to several temples, and I have yet to see bodyguards or even security guards, at least no more so than at any public building. Bytebear (talk) 23:48, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I am familiar with several temples. Priests have bodyguards? What priest? There is no position of "priest" in any LDS temple. Every man that enters the temple has some position in the priesthood. Security guards? There usually people that can be called "security", but they also serve as maintenance men. The real security for LDS temples are the police that serve every other citizen when they dial 911. Can you say myth? --StormRider 05:19, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
You would need a reliable source for this allegation. My experience is that they allow me into their research section any time I wish and they are very good to non-members. Kittybrewster 09:48, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
I did read somewhere that many non-Mormons think the meeting houses are closed to outsiders mixing up temples from chapels. Perhaps we can find a reference to that and cite it. Bytebear (talk) 22:22, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Every temple that is built today can be visited before it is 'dedicated', during an event called an 'open house'. While it is operating, access is denied to all non-members. During the openhouse, the guides will answer the questions you ask about what goes on inside a temple. Consider the type of harrassment people get on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, especially during General Conference, and that would be reason enough to not let anyone in, although it isn't the reason. Anyway, we can tell you what happens in there. Nothing secret, just sacred. If you are curious, I can explain what happens in there. TAU Croesus (talk) 16:54, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
TAU, I am sure you already know, but a clarification is important for all readers. LDS temples are closed to all individuals, member or non-member, except those with a temple recommend. A temple recommend may be obtained by an interview with a member of a Bishopric followed by one with a member of a Stake Presidency. The purpose of the interview is to determine moral purity and personal faith. --StormRider 17:27, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Distinguishing characteristics

Alan, when I first saw the new edit that added baptism by immersion I was going to revert it, but upon reflection I realized that the vast majority of Christians do not baptize by immersion. In this context, IMHO, distinguishing does not mean unique, but simply different from most other Christians. The norm in Christianity is really the Catholic Church and those in communion with her. Does that make sense to you?--StormRider 19:38, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Storm, I am okay with it staying or striking it. It sounds like we had the same thoughts. I do not know what percentage of other Christians baptize by immersion . . . I just knew that some do. If it helps clarify the distinguishing features for the majority of WP readers, then I'm fine with keeping it. Thanks, Alanraywiki (talk) 19:57, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Some Protestants still baptize by immersion; however, it is still a minority of Christians that require this form of baptism to be recognized as legitimate. I guess there are two questions to answer: 1) would it be better to recognize only those beliefs that are unique to within LDS Church, and 2) should the list be expanded? I think the concept of an eternal family is fairly unique and I would guess there are others. I also can go both ways, but felt it was worth a discussion. --StormRider 23:33, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
This is just a short summary in the lead section. The more comprehensive article on distinguishing doctrines is found at Mormonism and Christianity. I wouldn't add anymore to this list. Alanraywiki (talk) 23:47, 17 September 2008 (UTC)


Considering the LDS' widespread and highly public stance on homosexuality, I think it prudent to include something about the implications of those beliefs. Just as the article judiciously states that the law of chastity precludes extramarital sexual relations in LDS youth, it ought to state that condemnation of homosexual youth has in no small way lead to teen suicide, often with a favorable reception by parents.Triptenator (talk) 04:11, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

There is an article called Homosexuality and the LDS Church. Those issues should be discussed there. Bytebear (talk) 00:26, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
"Has in no small way lead to teen suicide"? All the homosexuals I know that were raised as LDS(about 10) haven't killed themselves. Infact, they just leave the LDS church. TAU Croesus (talk) 13:43, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm still alive! Bytebear (talk) 17:56, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
This issue seems to garner some unusual banter. Trip, if you have a reputable source for what you say then use it. If not, then I suggest that you get a blog and write to your heart's content. "Favorable reception by parents"; parents who favorable receive the news that their child committed suicide is wonderfully sensationalistic. Maybe if you said, they danced on their child's grave it would catch even more attention. Or maybe, if you said they tortured their child while reading scripture...surely you can make this even more sensational. Oh, I know, when the parents did this the Mormons really showed who they were because they let their horns show and their forked tail flailed in the wind.
You might want to look at the suicide rates for homosexuals as a whole and those who are LDS and leave the junk statements to your personal blog. Cheers.--StormRider 19:10, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
While I am sure it is productive to your ends, equating Triptenator's comments with your manufactured sensationalism seems quite ridiculous given that in about 30 seconds on google, I was able to find that this topic is at least more credible than your tales of the paranormal. The Deseret News states that "Utah leads the nation in suicides among men aged 15 to 24."[8]. This blog - [9] covers the topic a bit and lists some sources. I am not necessarily supporting what Triptenator wrote, rather I am revealing you as biased, absurd and unwilling to engage in rational debate.--Paraphelion (talk) 23:35, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, I was born in the church, I have same-sex attractions, and I didn't leave the church and I didn't kill myself, nor do I have any plans of doing so, but then again I don't live in Utah where those stats are from, but neither do 86% of Mormons for that matter. I believe the church's teaching's that I am a son of God with divine potential and that wickedness never was happiness has helped me to allow Christ to take him my pains and through obedience to the gospel I have found joy that I never had before. If you would like, I can to synthesize my points from reliable sources such as these:[10][11][12][13] Joshuajohanson (talk) 23:51, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I haven't challenged any of this. I don't need you to synthesize your points or go on talking about any of this because, frankly, I don't care.--Paraphelion (talk) 01:31, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Well Parry, I was wondering when you would ride in after Trip sought your aid. What I detest is silliness posing as discussion. When Trip comes in with such irrational comments, please do not condemn others for not responding in an equally irrational manner. His edits were meant to offend the rational reader. If he or you want to wave the rainbow flag, then do so; but do not do it in a stupid manner. It offends people on all sides of the issue.
Homosexuals and their relationship to the LDS Church and to the gospel of Jesus Christ is too important a topic for it to be belittled by stupid statements. You will not that not once did anyone attempt to portray this topic as silly. Thank you for sharing your ability to repeat suicide rates in Utah. I assume you know that statistics, poorly used, can lead to fallacious conclusions. What is needed for this topic is suicides by homosexuals in Utah who are LDS. Utah does not equate to active membership in the LDS Church, nor does a suicide equate to homosexuals. As you also know, a blog is not a reputable source.
This topic has certainly not started out well. If it continues, I hope that we will only use reputable sources. If not, let's not even begin. It would be better for both of you to just start a personal blog. You can say anything you want and no one will care if it is legitimate. --StormRider 01:08, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I did not say I agree with Trip or that the information he mentions should be mentioned in the article. What I am saying is that his comment here is not on par with accusations of the paranormal nature. I did not give the source of the blog as a basis for writing an article. You seem pretty defensive for someone who claims to be so sure Trip's case is so ridiculous. Why not next time, a simple, "I think you're wrong, if you have sources please present them here"?--Paraphelion (talk) 01:31, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I would also like to say that when I first read this discussion, one of my first thoughts was, "well this is probably, at best, someone's opinion. There is already an entire article devoted to homosexuals and LDS, so I doubt anything more needs to be included here." Your inability to discuss the matter rationally and with any kind of genuine respect hurts the discussion.--Paraphelion (talk) 01:36, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
My, my, my, such hostility. Wikipedia is not the place where ideas should come to win, merely to be laid out for review. I believe I have a point of view--an opinion--as does any person who contributes to this project. I also believe that Wikipedia, as any other "democratic" institution on the web can be used to bowdlerize truly free exchanges of ideas. Opinions about the specific subjects of articles are commonly included on those pages themselves; "Controversy" is a common subheading of many Wikipedia articles, and I do not think that the LDS needs to be some kind of exception. Religious zealotry and dogma, as well as ad hominem attacks, do not prove that my ideas from 3 years ago are crazy fringe "wave the rainbow flag" "junk statements." Simply because individuals with same-sex attraction live, or don't attempt suicide, and do so in harmony with the LDS Church does not also mean that there are not individuals who do attempt suicide and do so because of a fundamental clash between personal and social identities. We all have our own dogmas and our language reflects this, but it is not valuable or in line with the purpose of this forum to toss off serious controversy that exists in the public consciousness from an article. If you’re offended, say that and put it in a talk page, like I did. Ask for citations, ask for word choice; I admit, "often with a favorable reception" was a hyperbole. But I would ask for a little respect, even where you interpret malice. We might disagree, but I don't call anyone's doctrine "irrational" or "silly."Triptenator (talk) 00:42, 30 October 2011 (UTC)