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LUCKY SEVERSON, correspondent: Off they go, two-by-two, in search of converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—the Mormons. You know some of them. Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman was a missionary in Taiwan. Mitt Romney served a mission in France. Since the time of its first modern-day prophet Joseph Smith about 180 years ago, Mormons have sent over a million missionaries throughout the world.

STEVEN ALLEN: It is an international church.

SEVERSON: In fact, you have more members outside of the country than inside?

ALLEN: Si.

Steve Allen

SEVERSON: Steve Allen is the managing director of the church’s missionary department, which has seen a huge increase in the number of missionaries in just over a year.

ALLEN: We had 58, 500 missionaries in October of 2012. We’ve shot up to over 80,000, almost 82,000 today serving.

SEVERSON: There’s a reason for this growth spurt of Mormon missionaries. The church’s president and current prophet, Thomas S. Monson, announced last year that young men would now be eligible to go on missions when they are 18 instead of 19, and young women could serve when they turn 19 instead of 21.

ALLEN: God is hastening his work. He’s speeding it up. We have a sense that there’s an urgency about spreading the message of the gospel across the world. I think it would be very safe to say that this was inspired from heaven.

SEVERSON: The number of baptisms per missionary has declined in recent years. Allen says it’s because of two factors. One is that missionaries spend more time to make sure new converts stay converted. The other is:

ALLEN: I know that the world’s becoming a tougher and tougher place and that the level of what we would refer to as wickedness is growing tremendously.

Mormon girl

SEVERSON: This is the church’s main missionary training center in Provo, Utah. There are 14 other training schools throughout the world teaching 55 different languages. This is a class in mandarin. The female missionaries are referred to as Sister. After spending 9 weeks learning Mandarin, Sister Rolhfing is going to Taiwan.

SISTER ROLHFING: I’ve always planned to go on a mission since I was a little girl, so with the age change it just really made it more convenient to get to go a year earlier.

SEVERSON: Women in the church are not allowed to hold the priesthood. The young men are. They’re given the rank of Elder, which becomes their first name throughout the mission. Elder Russell is going to Canada.

(to Elder Russell): Why are you learning Mandarin if you’re going to Canada?

ELDER RUSSELL: I guess there’s a sizable population up there. I mean, everyone deserves to hear our message, so we’ll go worldwide wherever they are.

SEVERSON: This group is leaving soon for Ukraine. First, they had to be considered worthy of serving a mission.

LDS MISSIONARY: We submit our papers, which is just a kind of resume, and then the brethren, the quorum of the 12, they sit down and they pray about it and they look at our picture, and they decide through inspiration where we should serve our mission.

ALLEN: Missions are all about self-discipline. There’s an enormous amount of self-discipline out there. No TV, no Internet per se. They call home twice a year on Mother’s Day and Christmas Day. They communicate by email with their families once a week, and they work hard. It is hard, hard work—12-hour, 14-hour days.

SEVERSON: In this small community in Mexico you’ll find Elder Lopez from Pahrump, Nevada, a convert, and Elder French from Utah walking about 15 miles each day spreading the Gospel to anyone who will listen. Each and every morning, for up to four hours they’re studying the Gospel. Families from the U.S. are asked to pay $400 a month. These two worked to help pay for their missions.

Elder French

ELDER FRENCH: We always have to wake up at 6:30, we have like four alarms just to make sure—

SEVERSON: No sleeping in?

ELDER FRENCH: No sleeping in. If our companion tries to sleep in, we pour cold water on him.

SEVERSON: Seriously?

ELDER FRENCH: That’s what I'd do.

CARL PRATT: The week before they show up here they’re going around in flip-flops and gym shorts and t shirts. And here they’re all in white shirts and ties.

SEVERSON: Carl Pratt is president of the church’s missionary training center in Mexico City. In his professional life he’s a lawyer. The language school here is extensive and can handle up to 1200 students. Outside the campus is a world alien to many young missionaries. Cultures in this part of the world are steeped in Catholic tradition. Elder Alex Fortie from South Weber, Utah will be serving in Little Rock, Arkansas on a Spanish-speaking mission. [Editor's note: The name and hometown of this person were corrected in the transcript after the story aired.]

(speaking to Elder Fortie): Is this something you always wanted to do?

ELDER FORTIE: Nope. It’s not.

SEVERSON: So why are you here?

ELDER FORTIE: Because the idea of having an empty seat in heaven troubles me.

SEVERSON: Sister Waymith is from Sweet, Idaho.

SISTER WAYMITH: I decided to come on a mission because if it wasn’t for missionaries I probably wouldn’t be here, because my dad is a convert.

SEVERSON: Sister Brunsdale is fresh out of high school.

SISTER BRUNSDALE: Last year, right after the announcement I was like oh no, that means I can go, and then I was like oh wait, that means I can go, and I got super excited, and I got an answer from God that this is what I’m supposed to do.

SEVERSON: Sister Brunsdale is among many here learning Spanish only to go back to the U.S. to proselytize Latino residents. The church is devoting a good deal of attention to Spanish-speaking populations, even when they’re in pockets in the U.S.

(speaking to Steve Allen): Are there any countries in particular that you’re really zeroing in on, you’d really like to make some inroads?

ALLEN: Yeah, the United States of America, North America. We’d like to make more inroads here.

SEVERSON: Inroads like the church has made south of the border. Mexico, in particular, has been fertile ground for Mormon missionaries.

PRATT: We went from 50,000 members in 1963 to 1.3 million now.

SEVERSON: Although the fundamental message of the Mormon Church has changed little over the years, what has changed is the packaging. Not that many years ago, prospective converts heard more about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Today it’s first and foremost about Jesus Christ, which is an easier sell to other Christians, like all the Catholics here in Mexico.

Dana Call

DANA CALL: The Mexican people are very warm, very receptive.

SEVERSON: Dana Call, a farmer by trade, is president of the Mexico City North mission. He’s in charge of 146 missionaries, like Sister Martinez, a third-year medical student from the Dominican Republic, and Sister Sandoval from Mexico, who was studying to be a civil engineer. She says her mom was afraid when she heard she was going to the dangerous big city, but sometimes it seems to her that people are more afraid of her.

SISTER SANDOVAL (speaking through translator): Some people, when they see us they run to the other side of the road. Others want to know more.

SEVERSON: On this day they’re visiting a member who needs help cleaning her house, also part of their calling. On their way here they knocked on some doors, something that is not that common anymore.

PRATT: Well, no, we don’t talk about door-to-door, although missionaries are certainly free to do that, but we talk about contacting on the streets, and we talk about mostly working through the members. That the members would invite their friends to visit with the missionaries.

SEVERSON: It was a member that referred Elders Lopez and French to this meeting with a potential convert.

ELDER FRENCH: We talk to members. We ask people—if we’re going to the store to buy something we ask the clerk at the store, we ask the person working there, who do you know that needs help in their life in this moment? Who do you know that could benefit from having a little more of Jesus Christ our Savior in their lives? And they tell us.

SEVERSON: The Mormons, like many churches, have seen active members stray from their congregations. Shoring up the wayward is now part of a missionary’s job.

CALL: President Monson calls it “the rescue”: go and get and find those who have strayed and bring them back.

SEVERSON: Since 1970, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has grown from three million to over 15 million members worldwide, and these young men are determined to add to that number.

Mormon Missionary Expansion

The number of people in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is going up steadily as a result of lower age limits for both men and women who want to serve as missionaries.

  • Shane Westwood

    Nicely done PBS. I served a mission in Toronto, Ontario and absolutely loved the hard work – but love the people I met even more. Canadians are rad!

  • The Truth 1962

    View of the Hebrews, by Ethan Smith was written 7 years before the Book of Mormon, and is very similar. Also, still waiting for any “proof” of actual events, peoples, wars, languages, coinage, animals, and metal that are listed in the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith said that there are men living on the moon who dress like Quakers and live to be nearly 1000 years old. Since he was wrong about the moon, is it safe to trust him regarding the way to Heaven?

  • Mindy Lundgreen

    Mormon Missionary Expansion… Correction needed – Elder Riffle from Fresno, is actually Elder Alex Fortie from South Weber, Utah going to Arkansas. Any way to correct that mistake????

  • Brian Ash

    Very similar? Give me a break. The comparison between Ethan Smith’s book and The Book of Mormon is laughable. Also, your quote about the moon is hearsay and was likely mentioned by one of his critics.

  • Anna

    I am sure they are faithful and excited over their cause. But, I do not believe in any religion going out and trying to convert people. If a person has doubts and questions concerning his beliefs and ideas, he can go exploring on his own and decide what is for him (as I did). But, to go out and pester people with your beliefs is completely wrong.

  • Efrain

    I was a missionary and I try not to pester people and bother them with my beliefs, I agree 100% with what you said. I tried to help those that had questions and doubts to explore by themselves. I never converted anybody. I only gave them the tools to find for themselves and they did what they thought it was best for them. Our purpose is to serve. I apologize if we have bothered you in the past and we have failed to serve or aid you.

  • Tree of Knowledge

    Yes, Ethan Smith’s book is not as significant as people like to make out, though it was problematic enough to cause B. H. Roberts to question the historicity of the Book of Mormon. The anachronisms in the Book of Mormon, on the other hand, are extremely problematic, as is the question of the genetic ancestry of the native American peoples. The so-called translation process is also an area of concern, considering the use of a Seer stone is deeply rooted in the practices of the occult. There is literally no evidence in support of the truth claims surrounding the origins and authenticity of the Book of Mormon. However, and by all means, if you wish to continue to place stock in that belief, do so. But do not expect the rest of us to buy into it – especially when there is a significant lack of evidence.

    It is also difficult to prove that Joseph Smith said that men were living on the moon, but Brigham Young certainly taught it – as did many of the early Mormon leaders: “Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon?… when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant pf their fathers. So it is in regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain. It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized.” (Brigham Young, July 24, 1870, Journal of Discourses, 13:271)

    There are numerous issues associated with early Mormonism, which is why the LDS church is currently experiencing a mass exodus of its members, Unfortunately for the church, truth will out.

  • Lehi

    “Great Surprise”—Native Americans Have West Eurasian Origins, National Geographic, November 20, 2013

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/11/131120-science-native-american-people-migration-siberia-genetics/

    Nearly one-third of Native American genes come from west Eurasian people linked to the Middle East and Europe, rather than entirely from East Asians as previously thought, according to a newly sequenced genome.

    The Book of Mormon gives the account of Lehi and his family leaving Jerusalem (the Middle East) and traveling to the Americas to establish a civilization.

  • Lehi

    Nearly one-third of Native American genes come from west Eurasian people linked to the Middle East and Europe, rather than entirely from East Asians as previously thought, according to a newly sequenced genome.

    The Book of Mormon gives the account of Lehi and his family leaving Jerusalem (the Middle East) and traveling to the Americas to establish a civilization.

    “Great Surprise”—Native Americans Have West Eurasian Origins, National Geographic, November 20, 2013
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/11/131120-science-native-american-people-migration-siberia-genetics/

  • The Truth 1962

    I was referring to: (The Young Woman’s Journal, Vol. 3, pages 263-264. See reprint in Mormonism –Shadow or Reality? by Jerald and Sandra Tanner, page 4.) for the moon statement.

  • The Truth 1962

    If God was inspiring the translation process of the Book of Mormon, why were 4,000 changes necessary? And: Mormon Article of Faith #8: “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.” Why do you only add the phrase, “as far as it is translated correctly” to describe the Bible and not after the book of Mormon when in fact there are far more translating errors in the Book of Mormon than the Bible?

  • Brian Ash

    Honest inquiries about some of the topics you bring up are
    to be expected by honest people who search for the truth. However, you seem to be less concerned about the truth as you are with spreading false ideas.

    First, the mass exodus you speak of is non-existent.

    Here are growth numbers in years 1992, 2002, and 2012
    respectively.

    Stakes: 1,919 – 2,602 – 3,005

    Missions: 276 – 335 – 347

    Wards/Branches: 20,081 – 26,143 – 29,014

    Members: 8.4M – 11.7M – 14.7M

    That is clear growth. Are many members inactive? Yes.
    However, the church continues to grow. The increased number of wards and branches is evidence of that. There are minimum requirements to keep a ward running, such as active members who are holders of the priesthood, tithe payers, etc. Yet wards continue to grow in number. No matter which way you spin it, there is no mass exodus of members occurring, unless you want to count your wishful thinking as evidence.

    Now that you have admitted that Ethan Smith’s book is not as
    significant as your original comment led us to believe and have admitted that it is difficult to prove that Joseph Smith said that men were living on the moon, let’s look at Brigham Young’s “teachings” about the moon.

    Brigham Young is clearly expressing an opinion. There is
    absolutely no evidence that he is making a prophetic declaration concerning the moon. The leaders of the church make it quite clear when they are authoritatively speaking—Young did no such thing. He goes out of his way to indicate that it is what he “thinks,” and he asks the congregation to ask themselves what they “think.” He also mentions that he would want to know if an idea he has is false. That is not something Young would say if he were
    convinced he must be right due to his prophetic calling. The context of his remarks is that new ideas and truths are often mocked or rejected by those who cling to older ideas. Your dishonest attempt at discrediting the church is nothing new. Those opposed to the church often cite early leaders’ obscure statements of opinion and remove all contexts. However, I hope you come to realize how dishonest it is, if you haven’t already.

    Your question on the genetic ancestry of Native American peoples is highly complex, so I won’t tackle it here. This site tackles the issue: http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/publications/dna-and-the-book-of-mormon-johnson

    I also want to point out that there are evidences of the authenticity of The Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith’s calling as a prophet. However, LDS members don’t focus on them, and critics of the church ignore them, so we rarely hear about them. Here are a few off the top of my head – the discovery of Nahom (NHM) in the Americas (a city mentioned in The Book of Mormon), the miraculous and impossible way in which Joseph Smith filled in missing pieces of facsimiles from the book of Abraham which later turned out to be accurate, etc.I realize that reasonable people will have opposing arguments with regards to Nahom, facsimiles, and other issues. Our understanding of the world is constantly changing. Some issues that once served as obstacles to accepting the Book of Mormon have already been removed, such as questioning the mention of horses in the Book of Mormon. Scientists now accept the likelihood of an early species of horses existing in the early Americas. Lehi’s post about about the origins of the Native Americans is another example of this change in our understanding of the world.

  • Brian Ash

    Because they aren’t translating errors

  • Tharon Chandler

    TC Say’s, i think this is great they are
    talking ‘ethics’ and i Must point out the largest question we have today
    is Doctors living in a big Castle-House while the Payment rides on the
    backs and the Butts of their potential ‘Patients’ (and the tax-payers).

  • Anonymous
  • Tree of Knowledge

    I didn’t make the Ethan Smith comment. You might want to check who you are responding to in the future. I simply responded to your comment.

    The fact that you have used all of those topics as evidence is indeed a worrying spectacle. You really do need to check your facts. All of that has been disproved, over and over and over again. Joseph Smith was a con man, plain and simple.

  • Brian Ash

    You’re right, I should have looked at who I was responding to, but that doesn’t change my arguments.

    You only think they have been disproved because you are unwilling to look at both sides of the argument. Plain and simple.

    I think you have shown already that you are the one who is not interested in facts. You just tried to discredit the LDS church by referring to an obscure statement of opinion that has no basis in church doctrine or prophecy, and you did so by completely ignoring the context of the statement. You also claimed that a mass exodus is occurring in the church, when data clearly shows that the opposite is true. So don’t pretend that you are interested at all in facts. In your first two arguments, you already lost all credibility. You are the con man – not Joseph Smith.

  • adam

    and thats from somebody who said that somebody else heard him say that. at the time 200 yrs ago to some people that wasnt such an outragious thought, IF again the somebody that heard somebody that heard mr smith say that was right. so the fact taht thats obviously wrong means he didnt say that. if he did then that was his personal opinion. not Gods opinion. that wasnt a prophecy. how do we know? because its wrong.

  • Aaran

    The purpose of your comment?

  • Aaran

    The purpose of LDS missionaries are not to “convert” and “baptize” everyone. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ. Not everyone throughout the world is as confident and faithful as you might be. So as ambassadors of our Savior, we follow the commandment from Jesus Christ Himself telling us to go out and preach His gospel. We serve missions to share the good news of Christ’s gospel to those who need it, and to serve everyone come in contact with. Why? Because that is what Christ wants us to do. If you choose not to, then that is totally your decision. No missionary will force you to accept or hear the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. But it’s true, and beautiful and deserves to be a part of everyone’s lives because of the happiness and joy we all receive from it.

  • http://www.economicbluprinciples.blogspot.com/ Wacoan

    The other day, I sat down at a local fast food restaurant to enjoy a burger, a good one with cheese, onions, peppers and such. A man sitting by me began a conversation in which he identified himself as a member of X church. He asked me what church I attended and I said the Mormon church. His next comment was that the Book of Mormon was false because it had 5,000 changes.

    He did not tell me why it was great to be a member of X church or invite me to a meeting. He told me my beliefs were wrong! That is a great way to introduce a gospel discussion and invite the Spirit.

    I happen to know a little about the subject, and I do mean a little. Most of the changes were to correct spelling and grammatical errors. Imagine that. Men out on the frontier with little education made spelling and grammatical errors.

    I wonder how many changes there are between the King James Version of the Bible and the Wyclif Bible or between the King James Version and the New American Standard Revised Bible. More than 5,000? Wikipedia lists 96 versions of the Bible in English. Why does the Catholic Bible have more books than the Protestant Bible? Maybe you should rephrase your question about more translating errors in the Bible than the Book of Mormon.

  • dblock0511

    Typical reply, from a true Mormon, who doesn’t want to be challenged by anyone outside the church The problem with lowering the missionary ages for both male and females is this: They are not mature and they don’t know enough about church history and are not teaching the Whole Truth, meaning the good bad and the ugly. And when you do question people on the subjects of like say racism its Members are taught to say,” The church is perfect, but the members aren’t and quite honestly, I’ve herd that response with each and every hard topic that members don’t want to address and that is not good enough

  • dbllcok0511

    Also, with regard to the the mass exodus of members leaving the church, It is true, we will never know the full number because during conference the church gives a full accounting in terms of statistics with regard to Baptisms, they even break this category down into families who are baptizing their own children or families, and they give a separate accounting for member conversion, The only statistic that the church does not provide during conference is how many people have left(simply gone inactive) and to put it further how many people have actually gone the extra step and had their names fully removed from the records of the church. I find this troubling since the church is always harping on truth. But, the leaders and its members have a peculiar way of interpreting what truth is in my opinion

  • Brian Ash

    First off, I don’t mind being challenged on my faith. However, I do mind when people blatantly twist reality in order to discredit the church, like Tree of Knowledge has been doing. I just showed pretty clearly
    that he was blatantly twisting the truth. However, I do know that there are
    legitimate questions that may be raised about the church, and I am happy to
    discuss those questions with reasonable people.

    Second, I have never been “taught” to say anything about racism in regards to the church. But let’s talk about racism in the church. Mormons were heavily persecuted in the early days of the church in Missouri
    because of the anti-slavery position held by a majority of church members. In 1833, Joseph Smith recorded, “…it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.” In the summer of 1833, W.W. Phelps published an article in the church’s newspaper, seeming to invite free black people into the state to become Mormons, wrote “in connection with the wonderful events of this age, much is doing towards abolishing slavery…” This article spurred outrage and the Mormons were violently expelled from Jackson County, Missouri five months later.

    In 1842, Smith made known his increasingly strong anti-slavery position. He declared, “it makes my blood boil within me to reflect upon the injustice, cruelty, and oppression of the rulers of the people. When will these things cease to be, and the Constitution and the laws again bear rule?” He also prophesied that the country would suffer greatly for those same iniquities.

    Many blacks were ordained to the priesthood under Joseph Smith’s direction.

    “As mayor of Nauvoo, Smith was called upon to render judgment on Anthony, a black man who had not only been selling liquor in violation of the law but had been doing it on the Sabbath. Anthony implored Joseph for leniency, stating that he needed money to buy the freedom of his child held as a slave in a southern state. Joseph said, “I am sorry, Anthony, but the law must be observed, and we will have to impose a fine.” The next day Joseph gave Anthony a fine horse to purchase the freedom of the child.”

    I realize that after Joseph’s death, blacks were not ordained to the priesthood within the church until the 70’s. I wish it were not so. I think we all wish it weren’t so, and there isn’t an excellent explanation. However, if you study the history of the church, you will find that a vast majority of church members were not racist. You will also find that the church was actually quite revolutionary back in the day when it
    came to opposing slavery.

    This also brings me back to the same point—most critics only look at one side of the coin, and fail to fully
    understand all of the elements.

  • dblock0511

    There’s that word,”Invite”, Mormons like using that word a lot. Mormons may have ‘invited’ free black slaves as you put it, but, they certainly were not given the full Priesthood, That didn’t occur, not until the Civil Rights Act of 1963.Mitt Romney’s, own grandfather father was deeply against, this policy, and penned a letter to his son Mitt’s father) saying that dire consequences would be brought upon members of the church and the community at large if African Americans were to have the same rights as White Americans

  • dblock0511

    Wocaoan

    I was a member for well over twenty years, and you want to know what, I’ve herd the same conversations. I’ve herd male missionaries get really excited when they come to meeting on Sunday and say how they Challenged a Jehovah witness because of course they have it all backwards.

  • diane

    Aaron,
    Me thinks you doth protest to much. The sole purpose of the Missionary program is not just to “invite” people to come unto Christ and to listen to the messages being taught. You ‘Invite” people with the sole intention of gaining “commitments from them to be “baptize’. If the purpose of Missions were not about baptisms, there would not be such an emphasis on how many people in any particular area get baptized now would there? I know this because my own nephew was a missionary and he even talked about the pressure of gaining at least 1 or 2 gentiles to convert a week. And just becaue something is true for you, does not mean that it is true for someone else

  • http://www.economicbluprinciples.blogspot.com/ Wacoan

    @dblock0511
    Thank you for your response and I do not doubt your experience (and here comes the but) but I am not sure that yours has the same implication as mine.

    As I read comment sections on articles about the Church, I am continually amazed at how many begin with a diatribe against the it.

    As a missionary decades ago, we first taught a lesson about the life of Jesus or Jesus restoring the Church through Joseph Smith. We did teach about the apostasy in a later lesson, but we did not detail nor dwell on any particular church. Our focus remained on what we had to offer not what other churches did not. Missionaries are taught to focus on our teachings. We publish little to no anti- Baptist, Catholic, Muslim, etc literature. Sunday School does not include lessons explaining why Church X is false.

    I, and I believe all my missionary companions, believed that our doctrine was correct and other doctrine, as it disagreed with Mormon doctrine was not. Your experience clearly captures that belief.

    My complaint was not about being proselytized, but the aggressive and negative approach Thanks again for your reply.

  • Brian Ash

    Again, there were a few who were given the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s lifetime – there is good evidence of that, but that is beside the point.

    I don’t know that your pointless rant about Mitt Romney’s grandfather is true, but for the sake of time I will just assume that it is. Big deal! So one person who in no way represented the church as a whole was racist. Is that really an argument to say that the church itself is racist? If that is your criteria, back in that time, you would have to paint nearly every organization in America racist, because no organization would have been completely free of racism. My point in showing the quotes earlier and the church’s position on slavery is to show that the church was actually pretty ahead of the times in accepting blacks and fighting against slavery. Did we eventually let prejudices creep in in terms of allowing blacks the priesthood? Yes. However, you have to look at both sides to really understand the picture. I have presented the other side.

  • Brian Ash

    Again, there were a few who were given the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s lifetime – there is good evidence of that, but that is beside the point.

    I don’t know that your pointless rant about Mitt Romney’s grandfather is true, but for the sake of time I will just assume that it is. Big deal! So one person who in no way represented the church as a whole was racist. Is that really an argument to say that the church itself is racist? If that is your criteria, back in that time, you would have to paint nearly every organization in America racist, because no organization would have been completely free of racism. My point in showing the quotes earlier and the church’s position on slavery is to show that the church was actually pretty ahead of the times in accepting blacks and fighting against slavery. Did we eventually let prejudices creep in in terms of allowing blacks the priesthood? Yes. However, you have to look at both sides to really understand the picture. I have presented the other side.

  • Brian Ash

    Again, there were a few who were given the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s lifetime – there is good evidence of that, but that is beside the point.

    I don’t know that your pointless rant about Mitt Romney’s grandfather is true, but for the sake of time I will just assume that it is. Big deal! So one person who in no way represented the church as a whole was racist. Is that really an argument to say that the church itself is racist? If that is your criteria, back in that time, you would have to paint nearly every organization in America racist, because no organization would have been completely free of racism. My point in showing the quotes earlier and the church’s position on slavery is to show that the church was actually pretty ahead of the times in accepting blacks and fighting against slavery. Did we eventually let prejudices creep in in terms of allowing blacks the priesthood? Yes. However, you have to look at both sides to really understand the picture. I have presented the other side.

  • Brian Ash

    It really isn’t that hard to figure out. Let me walk you through this. If someone has their name removed from the records of the church, they are no longer considered a member. Thus, they would not be included in the member count. But let’s just assume for the sake of argument that they keep counting people who ask to have their names removed.

    I pointed out earlier that the church also releases the number of stakes, wards, branches, etc. A ward or branch physically cannot function without a certain number of worthy priesthood holders who pay their tithing. There is a minimum requirement to be considered a ward or branch. Thus, if wards and branches are growing, you cannot possibly say that there is a mass exodus in the church. Unless of course, you have some ridiculous conspiracy theory that the leaders of the church are cooking the books.

  • Brian Ash

    It really isn’t that hard to figure out. Let me walk you through this. If someone has their name removed from the records of the church, they are no longer considered a member. Thus, they would not be included in the member count. But let’s just assume for the sake of argument that they keep counting people who ask to have their names removed.

    I pointed out earlier that the church also releases the number of stakes, wards, branches, etc. A ward or branch physically cannot function without a certain number of worthy priesthood holders who pay their tithing. There is a minimum requirement to be considered a ward or branch. Thus, if wards and branches are growing, you cannot possibly say that there is a mass exodus in the church. Unless of course, you have some ridiculous conspiracy theory that the leaders of the church are cooking the books.

  • dblock0511

    The implications that you speak of are exactly the same, doesn’t matter about the tone. Mormons like to them of themselves ‘ as being nice and clean cut” therefore, that implication is that Mormons would never do anything mean spirited is simply false.. And While the church may not publish any “Anti literature, I can promise you that as a member for well over twenty years that when ever the subject of baptism came up their was plenty of “bashing” Almost always from those who didn’t convert from another faith and almost always from those who have never bothered to step thru the doors of another faith persuasion other than their own Mormon background. And almost always from those who didn’t read books on the subject matter that wasn’t sanctioned by the Church. And almost always the venom was towards Catholic baptism I had to defend my Catholic background to many a member, who clearly did not understand the beauty behind a Catholic baptism. Imagine calling another faith persuasion “abominable” How abominable is it to have parents stand before an alter of Christ with sponsors who will agree ti raise your child for you in the same traditions of the church that you grew up in. That’s sounds really abominable doesn’t it. I can assure you that while no one was yelling, the put downs of other faith persuasions does go on in Sunday School lessons an to say that it does not is less than honest.

  • dblock0511

    The implications that you speak of are exactly the same, doesn’t matter about the tone. Mormons like to them of themselves ‘ as being nice and clean cut” therefore, that implication is that Mormons would never do anything mean spirited is simply false.. And While the church may not publish any “Anti literature, I can promise you that as a member for well over twenty years that when ever the subject of baptism came up their was plenty of “bashing” Almost always from those who didn’t convert from another faith and almost always from those who have never bothered to step thru the doors of another faith persuasion other than their own Mormon background. And almost always from those who didn’t read books on the subject matter that wasn’t sanctioned by the Church. And almost always the venom was towards Catholic baptism I had to defend my Catholic background to many a member, who clearly did not understand the beauty behind a Catholic baptism. Imagine calling another faith persuasion “abominable” How abominable is it to have parents stand before an alter of Christ with sponsors who will agree ti raise your child for you in the same traditions of the church that you grew up in. That’s sounds really abominable doesn’t it. I can assure you that while no one was yelling, the put downs of other faith persuasions does go on in Sunday School lessons an to say that it does not is less than honest.

  • http://www.economicbluprinciples.blogspot.com/ Wacoan

    @dblock0511
    Thanks again for your polite response. My wife is a convert to the Mormon faith but not from Catholicism. She would agree in direction but not the intensity of your observations and I do believe that intensity and tone are important, not only in being civil but in being effective.
    On a personal side, as I have gotten older, I appreciate the similarities of Mormon practices and practices of other churches. Catholics baptize infants and we bless them. If I hear criticism of Catholic baptism of infants, I will point out the similarities.

  • dbloc0511

    First of All, when you start a conversation with phrases” Let me walk you thru this,” you come off as condescending and rude. Again, this is not uncommon among Mormons, particularly Mormon men who don’t like being challenged. I’m what you call an apostate, I was a member for well over twenty years, so, I don’t need for you to explain to me church history or how wards are formed.
    Secondly, The biggest exodus of church members are Males who come home from mission who are sick of the crap and the emotional and verbal abuse they took while on their mission from mission leaders on up to their Mission President.. This will only get worse because of the lowering of the age of missionaries, and you will have some who will abuse their authority and the ones who serve under them will not know how to stand up to the pressure. Secondly, the only way you can say what you are saying to be true is because the Church will not publish the numbers. Quite frankly, your not being entirely honest in this conversation, Once again, you assume that I don’t understand, You could get away with that thinking if I was never a member, or maybe if I were a new member who didn’t understand the nuances of Church Lingo and or Church politics. However, I am not a plebe, and of course I understand that once I have my name removed they are no longer consider a member, but, my point which you seem to be either missing or failing to understand, or deliberately trying to circumvent is this: The church keeps statistics on EVERYTHING ELSE and PUBLISHES these findings as a means of transparency and above all else honesty Yet, they fail in this one endeavor to advise the members of how many people have left. This is an is of honesty, Which the church fails time and time again. The main reason why Church Leaders won’t publish the statistics on members who are either inactive or have chosen to have their name removed is this. Public Relations. Everything that has to do with Anything in Church is about how the Leaders want the rest of world to view members. And to prove my point, You are defending them with out looking at the issue from a distance.

  • Brian Ash

    If you’re losing members, but you’re also gaining members and building more wards, and you end up with a NET GAIN, a mass exodus is not occurring. Period.

  • Dblock0511

    Brian,
    Once again, you are deliberately, missing and or circumventing the point. I raised and sustain every bishop, stake president, so on, and so on from President Howard W Hunter( My first conference was witnessing Howard falling down from the pulpit and the screen going black) to President Monson. The reason why I left is irrelevant to the conversation, what is relevant to this conversation is that we are not being counted and again since the Church is always harping on telling the truth, than they should not have a problem publish this finding. That way no one has to guess what the true numbers are and that way we don’t have keep having these stupid conversations. with members such as yourself(I’m not calling you stupid) who refuse to see the facts for what they are, instead of what they are not. And the fact of the matter is statistics can and are often misleading. And in this case they are simply because of the fact that member who have left are not being counted so that the rank and file members can see the whole picture, not, just what the 1st presidency wants you to see. This is not about crazy conspiracy theories as you put out their in your effort to be dismissive of discussion point. You don’t want to understand, mostly because to the rank and file membership particularly those who have members going back to the handcarts they don’t want to have the conversation because it threatens them and yourself for some reason. I wasn’t treated wit respect when I was in the church, so, I’m not counting on being treated with respect now that I’m outside the church, and for the record its been well over five years now and given the tone you’ve displayed I don’t see that changing any time soon.

  • Brian Ash

    I haven’t ignored anything you have said. I’m merely pointing out that you’re turning a very small issue into a large issue. And also pointing out that it is dishonest to claim that a mass exodus is occurring.

  • dblock0511

    I wouldn’t call members leaving a “small issue” Its a very big issue because that says the there’s something intrinsically wrong within the church inner workings be they a member to member issue, or an Upper leadership issue to member issue or an honesty issue. And I’m also pointing out that there are a lot more members leaving than the First Presidency would like rank and file members like yourself want to believe. I don’t need to be a math major to know that statistics don’t always show the whole story, Statistics can only show a part of the story. its just sad that regular members refuse to deal with the issue in a respectful tone. Its precisely because of that attitude why I will never step foot inside of a Mormon Church again,

  • dblock0511

    Brian,
    I hit enter before I wanted to, let me ask you this simple question, If members leaving is such a small issue, than why is it mentioned in every single Conference talk? How many conferences have we’ve been counseled to find the lost sheep. Apparently, you haven’t been listening to the counsel either.

  • Brian Ash

    I fail to see it as a big issue (in terms of the overall success of the church) because I am asking myself what would change if the number of inactives or those who left the church were revealed. The answer is very little. Since I think the negative effect would be very little, I have a hard time seeing how the lack of disclosure is a poor reflection on the leadership of the church, or that the leadership of the church is trying to hide information from its members. Might the disclosure hurt the church’s PR? Maybe a little bit in terms of being considered one of the fastest growing religions in the world. But again, if the numbers show a net gain, I can’t see the disclosure of people leaving would hurt PR that much. Like I said, there is a net gain of growth. You can’t argue that there is no net gain unless you think that the leaders are completely lying about the numbers. If you think that, I would like you to show me one piece of evidence that that is the case. I think your main concern is that they should disclose how many inactive members there are, so let me address it once again.

    If the church came out with inactive numbers for the last ten years and it showed growth in the numbers of inactives, I don’t think it would hurt the church at all. If anything, I think it would rally active members together to focus on bringing the number down. In terms of PR outside of the church… honestly, who looks at the growth numbers of the church? Members and anti-Mormons. No one else cares.

    Also, to answer your question, the general authorities talk about finding the lost sheep because we believe it is our responsibility as members to find the individual lost sheep. I don’t think that at all indicates that the GAs are worried about the overall success of the church. It also shows willingness on the leaders’ part to admit that people are leaving the church.

  • dblock0511

    Brian,
    Seriously, dude, You have got to be joking, I’ve just been talking to a friend of mine who is very active in the church. Young women Presidency, and Relief Society President are just a few of the callings that she has had. I respect her not just because of her callings or the fact that she is a lawyer by trade, but, because even though I’m no longer a member we can discuss the tough issues of the church honestly and respectfully with one another. , I’ve told her how hard your trying to convince me and others that the amount of members leaving is not only small but, inconsequential. You know what, she asked to ask you what you were putting in your Kool aid.

    And I disagree with your assessment that the GA’s are not worried about members leaving the church, that is one of the reasons why they lowered the age of missionaries in the first place. But, like everything else you’ll have a response to that to.

    Secondly, again, you give a typical Mormon response by saying that the only people who care about this stuff is Mormons and more specifically, Anti-Mormons. I am neither of those things. And I won’t let you or anyone else from your church paint me in that box just so you can feel better and superior about yourself. It is an honest question, which deserves an honest and no one not even yourself, can give a definitive answer to the question and you have been consistently dismissive with respect to answering it. This is also typical Mormon behavior that I find disturbing to say the least. Challenge everyone else’belief system, Challenge their morality and truthfulness in order to evade the tough questions that need to be answered but wont be and challenge and then their faithfulness, Well, done.

  • Brian Ash

    How have I evaded anything you have said? I just gave you specific points for why its inconsequential. We are going to have to agree to disagree here.

  • dbkock0511

    Brian,

    According to you, they are not true,but, you know what there are many, many people, within the church and outside the church who know that it is true, you just want to be in denial because as I stated earlier it threatens you. You may not want to admit it and I’m sorry for that. i’m sorry if this discussion truly hurts your feelings, but, You really need to step back and look at the whole story not just the parts that are pleasing to you. There was a reason for leaders to lower the age of missionaries, and that my friend, was to keep them busy and active with in the church. This was and is the age group that is leaving the most. You just dont want to see it and I feel badly for you. AT any rate, we will have to call this discussion a draw because you will never see the whole picture and you really, clearly don’t want to. Maybe someday, when your older and maybe a little more wiser you won’t feel so threatened.

  • dbkock0511

    Brian,

    According to you, they are not true,but, you know what there are many, many people, within the church and outside the church who know that it is true, you just want to be in denial because as I stated earlier it threatens you. You may not want to admit it and I’m sorry for that. i’m sorry if this discussion truly hurts your feelings, but, You really need to step back and look at the whole story not just the parts that are pleasing to you. There was a reason for leaders to lower the age of missionaries, and that my friend, was to keep them busy and active with in the church. This was and is the age group that is leaving the most. You just dont want to see it and I feel badly for you. AT any rate, we will have to call this discussion a draw because you will never see the whole picture and you really, clearly don’t want to. Maybe someday, when your older and maybe a little more wiser you won’t feel so threatened.

  • dbkock0511

    Brian,

    According to you, they are not true,but, you know what there are many, many people, within the church and outside the church who know that it is true, you just want to be in denial because as I stated earlier it threatens you. You may not want to admit it and I’m sorry for that. i’m sorry if this discussion truly hurts your feelings, but, You really need to step back and look at the whole story not just the parts that are pleasing to you. There was a reason for leaders to lower the age of missionaries, and that my friend, was to keep them busy and active with in the church. This was and is the age group that is leaving the most. You just dont want to see it and I feel badly for you. AT any rate, we will have to call this discussion a draw because you will never see the whole picture and you really, clearly don’t want to. Maybe someday, when your older and maybe a little more wiser you won’t feel so threatened.

  • Brian Ash

    You still haven’t answered my questions. Why is the disclosure or nondisclosure consequential? How would the disclosure change anything?

    You also haven’t addressed my main point, which is that the church is experiencing NET growth. Is it growing or not? Answer that question.

    You continue to pretend that I am the one dodging questions, but you dodge every one of my questions and fail to provide any logical reasoning behind what you are saying.

    You did bring up a new point though, that they changed the age limit because they are losing a lot of young men of that age. I think you may be right on that. So what? The church has its challenges, but it is also alive and well. You have failed to give me any evidence to the contrary.

  • Brian Ash

    You still haven’t answered my questions. Why is the disclosure or nondisclosure consequential? How would the disclosure change anything?

    You also haven’t addressed my main point, which is that the church is experiencing NET growth. Is it growing or not? Answer that question.

    You continue to pretend that I am the one dodging questions, but you dodge every one of my questions and fail to provide any logical reasoning behind what you are saying.

    You did bring up a new point though, that they changed the age limit because they are losing a lot of young men of that age. I think you may be right on that. So what? The church has its challenges, but it is also alive and well. You have failed to give me any evidence to the contrary.

  • Brian Ash

    You still haven’t answered my questions. Why is the disclosure or nondisclosure consequential? How would the disclosure change anything?

    You also haven’t addressed my main point, which is that the church is experiencing NET growth. Is it growing or not? Answer that question.

    You continue to pretend that I am the one dodging questions, but you dodge every one of my questions and fail to provide any logical reasoning behind what you are saying.

    You did bring up a new point though, that they changed the age limit because they are losing a lot of young men of that age. I think you may be right on that. So what? The church has its challenges, but it is also alive and well. You have failed to give me any evidence to the contrary.

  • dblock0511

    Brian, Again, are you being serious?Full Disclosure is always a good, its the foundation for all Truth. And you can’ have an honest conversation about important conversations without having the information. And the Church has never been good at this. From the members, that I’ve talked too, which aren’t many, because once a member leaves, they consider me to be an apostate and won’t recognize me on the street, even to say hello,but, that is of no consequence, Their behavior shows on them , not me. I know how many hows I have spent serving each and every member, that I’ve come into contact with. no matter, If you feel that I haven’t answered your question, its because I can’t intelligently answer the question without the full disclosure and accounting from Salt Lake, and you must know that what I just stated to you is is TRUE. Not only can I not estimate, but in all honesty, neither can you, That point is moot. So, you can demand to know the numbers from me and everyone else who disagrees with you on the subject all you want but, you won’t get the numbers from me or anyone else for that matter,of course I know in your mind this makes you right, when in actuality that is not the case, We will never know these numbers until full disclosure is made and that is why Disclosure on the subject is necessary. And, if its not such a big deal as you say, then why not as I stated in previous entries, just post the dang numbers, so we dont have to keep having these conversations which do nothing, but, make both sides entrenched in their own belief and does nothing to promote healing on both sides of the issue. And, I’m sorry, but Disclosure makes a big difference Big difference, because when I was a member and I raised my hand to sustain the leadership, I sustained The First Presidency of the Church and my local leadership based on Three things, the first one being 1) raising my hand actually meant that my vote counted and was not merely symbolic and 2), that the decision I made to become a member in the first place was based on the information given was truthful.(Which was not) 3) That full disclosure is just as important coming from the top down, as it does from the bottom up.

  • dblock0511

    Brian,

    I was thinking about the subject of full disclosure over night, and for you to say that it is not important in this and other subjects is simply disingenuous and I believe you know that. I don’t know about you, but, I have never sat in and or participated in any interview(Including baptism interview and Temple Recommend interview) with any priesthood holder who did not feel that it was well with in their rights to question not only the veracity but the truthfulness and any other areas of my personal life they felt they had a right to delve into. This may not be a problem for you, especially, since you are a male, You are use to questioning people and challenging people mostly because you believe that your Priesthood power give you the authority to do so(I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt by saying that I don’t think, nor do I believe that you even know you are consciously doing it ). but, when I’m being questioned by people who are not professionally trained on specific topics but, who act as if they are, I take issue with that line of questioning. Furthermore, , when the tables are turned, say, like when we question the leadership to give disclosure on subjects such as the ones we are attempting to discuss, they remain woefully silent. To me the silence speaks volumes. This is no accident on their part., Make no mistake in interpreting what I’m trying to say to you, I’m not saying this is a conspiracy by any stretch of the imagination, but, by not being open and truthful as they expect the general rank and file members to be, they set up a double standard not only for them, but for other members. And I have a big, BIG PROBLEM with that, if it works for you, fine, but, don’t say there’s not a problem when there is one because it makes it easier for you.

  • Daryl Tanner

    Naham isn’t in America but on the Spice road east of the Red Sea. It was the point that Lehi’s family turned East into the “badlands”

  • Daryl Tanner

    The missionaries are not required to Know everything and “teach the good, bad and the ugly”. They teach theGospel basics and rely on the Holy Ghost to bear witness of the restoration to the investigator.

  • Daryl Tanner

    Would you make that same argument for most of the other Christian churches who have been losing members for many years. (In another ten years the US Presbytarian church will fade away as it is down to just over two million members now) Even the Baptists lost members last year.

    “Its a very big issue because that says the there’s something intrinsically wrong within the church inner workings be they a member to member issue, or an Upper leadership issue to member issue or an honesty issue.”
    Just aking.

  • Daryl Tanner

    EVERY CHRISTIAN CHURCH HAS INACTIVE MEMBERS (even by their “lax” recording standards) !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • dblock0511

    Daryl
    Again, you are justifying the honesty issue that I keep bring up. I remember being told specifically by the missionaries that if I had questions I should pray on the matter. WEll, one can not pray honestly on a subject, when the person who has been teaching them is leaving out important information, whether it is lies of omission, or commission, a lie is a lie.

  • Cassandra Elliott

    Plain and simple—-I do not believe in missionaries. I have seen too often missionaries going and uprooting the lives, values, and customs of a people, giving them all sorts of things such as medicines and needed things, until they convert and then once they get them to convert, these missionaries leave and in the process leave these new converts struggling in their new world, having lost their past and ways and not fitting into the new regime with comfort. In Africa this is so often the truth.
    Stay at home with your religion (no matter what religion it is) and let the rest of the world live in their own religion-their own world. They do not need you.

  • curious

    dblocko511

  • Curious

    oops…sorry
    I am wondering how the church of Jesus Christ of LDS would go about collecting the statistics you request. I mean they can count how many baptisms and how many get the priesthood… stuff like that…but how can they count members who are “inactive”? What exactly does “inactive” mean (for the purpose of statistics)? Given the fact that there are so many reasons that folks may not attend church (sick, visiting relatives in another ward…personal reasons of all sorts…), simply taking roll would be useless and invasive. For those who have requested their names be removed, they could be counted. I’m not sure what use that would be. Can you help me out with that?

  • curious

    I have heard Mormons bash other religions. I have never heard it from the leadership but from others. I think they are really spiritually immature to say the least. I also think that their misbehavior does not mean that the church is not true. A persons testimony and spiritual progress is very personal. I am grateful that The Lord atoned for even the most arrogant of us. And, I am grateful that he attends to those we accidentally offend if they will turn to him.

  • curious

    The missionaries invite. The Holy Ghost testifies of truth. Commitments that are made are to God in consequence of having the truth confirmed to them through the power of the Holy Ghost. It is the individuals desire to act on the truth they have heard in the manner that the Lord would request of them. The missionaries purpose is to do the will of God which, as outlined in the scriptures, is to serve, to preach the gospel to every nation, and to echo Christ’s invitation to “come unto [HIM]”
    The “pressure” is to FIND those who are ready not to convince those who are not. There are people who have been praying for the Lords messengers to find them because they have not known where to look. In this there is urgency because there are so many and their suffering and or seeking is heard by the Lord.

  • Leanna

    I am glad you get such happiness and joy from your religion. I got nothing but doubt and the feelings of being blasphemous toward my G-d by calling Jesus holy and being of G-d. There is no god but G-d, and Jesus does not fit into that category of G-d. He was a man who preached to people how to live a proper Jewish faith….a man and not holy.

  • Data

    This has been stated over and over—-how when the Bible was translated into Greek, words were mis-translated and often changed a whole concept. The one that quickly comes to mind is that, when telling about Mary, mother of Jesus, the Hebrew word for ”young woman” was mis-translated as ”virgin”. Mary was not a virgin, but a young woman. Any explanation for this? Any argument about this?

  • BeBe

    Where I once lived, Mormon missionaries and Jehovah Witnesses about drove me nuts—-they came constantly. I hated to be rude, but I finally told them to get lost.

  • antiwoody2347

    I have a copy of View of the Hebrews, nothing like the Book of Mormon, wake up, sir.

  • antiwoody2347

    B.H. Roberts went through a period of time where he was having doctrinal difficulties with a number of things. He worked them out in his mind through study, prayer and getting greater humility. He may not have reconciled all his questions but he was obedient enough to get back into line with his leaders and stay firm in the faith until his death. He had plenty of other options career wise and resisted them, some with difficulty but he finally did.

  • antiwoody2347

    It is so sad to see you so full of bitterness and rebellion still after five years.

  • antiwoody2347

    It is discussed because people who quite going to any Christian church usually have starting having problems with living Christian principles, even if it is just the beginning of a troublesome pride issue like being resentful of someone else’s lack of social skills….This starts affecting their lives, families, communities and is of concern to all persons of goodwill. We are to reach out to them and help them.

  • antiwoody2347

    Important here to remember only a few years had gone by since the first Missouri state constitution submitted with application for statehood was rejected by our fed. gov. because among other things but this a biggee– they wanted NO free blacks in Missouri whatsoever…Retry and next constitution submitted/Federal laws of “Missouri Compromise” times of US history very interesting.

  • antiwoody2347

    “Getting Baptisms” is just the phrase that means that someone taught has decided to make a serious/sacred commitment to live Christian principles and how that begins is by the ordinance of baptism by immersion by an authorized servant of God… If you are taught how to maintain your car verbally but fail to go and change your oil and rotate your tires at certain points/regularly, what happens to your car? If you are how to conduct your life so as to be least miserable, not constantly shoot yourself in the foot by stupid/self defeating behavior and won’t take the first steps of basic maintenance so to speak of your own life–which for a Christian is baptism and for a car is regular oil changes/tire rotation–things won’t progress far and catastrophic failures are on the horizon. You measure mileage on a car and LDS Missions measure lessons taught and baptisms performed–there has to be a unit of measurement, that’s all., If your nephew felt “pressure” it is because he must have had some difficulty living so as to have the inspiration to find people to teach. Not that it isn’t difficult as the people one needs to find will at the same time be being distracted from being teachable.
    Truth is truth, lack of understanding for one person doesn’t mean another person won’t understand something. You can reject a true principle but one can’t escape the consequences of not living by it. For example, my mother wouldn’t quit smoking and so even though she comes from a universally extremely long lived family (mid 90′s for almost everyone) except for the 2 other smokers–she died in her sleep of hardening of the arteries at just past her 60th birthday.

  • antiwoody2347

    That is a silly thing someone passed on to you and makes your look silly! That was when all the Chapter and verse numbers where added! 4000 changes–sorry, but you really need to be embarrassed over quoting that…. As to Bible translations go look how many times Martin Luther and William Tyndale reworked and tried to improve their translations of the Bible even as inpired as hardworking as they were–when they got their hands on a better copy of a Greek or Hebrew grammar book–they reworked to improve if they could. Many Bible editions have motives MUCH less pure than seeking Truth/promulgating Truth in their publishing goals.

  • antiwoody2347

    It was the verse numbering where they are getting that garbage…not errors. Remember the printer put in all the punctutation. On the whole he did a magnificent job, too . Egbert Benson Grandin.

  • antiwoody2347

    That is the weakness of individual members and is not a canonized practice or teaching and is just bad manners–got up on wrong side of bed behavior. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Members who do that at church will eventually be counseled or even disciplined if they continue–it isn’t Christlike and may offend “one of His Little Ones”, so to speak… In some churches they do have incredibly obnoxious and organized classes with printed curricula and films, college courses at their affiliated schools et cetera against Latter-day Saints. So it does “get old” dealing with them and their lies so some LDS get ticked about it, even to the point of mentioning them by name. Just bad manners begetting bad manners. So Sorry, it happens.

  • Agni Ashwin

    I don’t know anyone contemporary who argued that Native Americans and East Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans) were very closely related; instead, the connection was made between Native Americans and peoples in Siberia and Altai regions.

  • Paul Gallo

    Thank you PBS for that fair view of our missionary service. I have been home four and a half years from my mission in Russia and received several heart-warming messages this week from people I taught and served. What joy my mission still brings me!

  • Brian Ash

    You are correct. Thanks for clarifying!

  • William R James

    So, did you convert anyone? And for how long!

  • William R James

    They certainly track who is paying their 10% tithe and who is not. That number should be good enough to show who is active and who is not.

  • ammon44

    We are simply doing what Jesus asked us to do when he said, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 28:19)
    We invite everyone to hear the gospel but we certainly do not force anyone to listen.

  • steveduncan1

    just a note about people making a mass exodus from Mormonism- (TREE) What religion re you? Protestant churches are losing in membership. That would be your religion. New churches are continuingly be constructed by the Church of Jesus Christ LDS. Who many churches did your denomination build last year? By the way, read the Book of Mormon for yourself. Not sure if you even believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God sent to Earth to die for the sins of mankind.