E-mail from this morning's show on Mormons
Thanks for having me on your program this morning. I do a lot of interviews and I must say, it was pleasure being on your show. You asked some great questions. If there is anything else I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Should a Mormon challenge the statements I made, I have listed the quotations I used (as many as I can remember) below. Please feel free to pass them on. If there are any I overlooked, let me know.
“Should you ask why we differ from other Christians, as they are called, it is simply because they are not Christians as the New Testament defines Christianity” (Brigham Young, July 8, 1863, Journal of Discourses, 10:230).
“One by one, the Apostles were killed. Because of the persecution, surviving Apostles could not meet to choose and ordain men to replace those who were dead. Eventually, local priesthood leaders were the only ones who had authority to direct the scattered branches of the Church. The perfect organization of the Church no longer existed, and confusion resulted. More and more error crept into Church doctrine, and soon the destruction was complete. The period of time when the true Church no longer existed on earth is called the Great Apostasy” (Gospel Principles, p.105, emphasis theirs).
“We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.345; also cited in Gospel Principles, p.305).
"Our Father in heaven, according to the Prophet, had a Father, and since there has been a condition of this kind through all eternity, each Father had a Father, until we come to a stop where we cannot go further, because of our limited capacity to understand” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 2:47).
"In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ.’ “No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages." (Gordon Hinckley as cited in Church News, June 20, 1998, p.7).
“As a church we have critics, many of them. They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is some substance to what they say” (Gordon Hinckley, “We look to Christ,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 2002, p.90).
“Mormonism be it true or false, holds out to men the greatest inducements that the human mind can grasp… It teaches men that they can become divine, that man is God in embryo, that God was once man in mortality, and that the only difference between Gods, angels and men is a difference in education and development. Is such a religion to be sneered at? It teaches that the worlds on high, the stars that glitter in the blue vault of heaven, are kingdoms of God, that they were once earths like this, that they have been redeemed and glorified by the same laws, the same principles that are applied to this planet, and by which it will ascend to a perfected and glorified state. It teaches that these worlds are peopled with human beings, God's sons and daughters, and that every husband and father, may become an Adam, and every wife and mother an Eve, to some future planet” (Orson F. Whitney, Collected Discourses 4:336-337, June 9, 1895).
“Temple garments, garments of the holy priesthood, symbolical of the robes of righteousness with which the saints must clothe themselves if they are to gain eternal life. Both literally and figuratively, to defile one's garments is to disobey the Lord's law, and to keep one's garments (Rev. 16:15) is to keep the commandments and qualify for the robes of righteousness that clothe celestial beings” (Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:455-456).
“Temple garments afford protection. I am sure one could go to extreme in worshiping the cloth of which the garment is made, but one could also go to the other extreme. Though generally I think our protection is a mental, spiritual, moral one, yet I am convinced that there could be and undoubtedly have been many cases where there has been, through faith, an actual physical protection, so we must not minimize that possibility” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.539).
“Let me give you a definition in brief. Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p.416. Also cited in Ensign, “The Doctrine of Temple Work,” October 2003, p.60).
“Through living proxies who stand in behalf of the dead, the same ordinances are available to those who have passed from mortality. In the spirit world they then are free to accept or reject those earthly ordinances performed for them, including baptism, marriage, and the sealing of family relationships. There must be no compulsion in the work of the Lord, but there must be opportunity” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Be Thou an Example, p.131).
"Logic and reason would certainly suggest that if we have a Father in Heaven, we have a Mother in Heaven. That doctrine rests well with me. However, in light of the instruction we have received from the Lord Himself, I regard it as inappropriate for anyone in the Church to pray to our Mother in Heaven." (Gordon Hinckley, "Daughters of God," Ensign (Conference Edition), November 1991, p.100. Also cited in The Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p.257).
“Implicit in the Christian verity that all men are the spirit children of an Eternal Father is the usually unspoken truth that they are also the offspring of an Eternal Mother. An exalted and glorified Man of Holiness (Moses 6:57) could not be a Father unless a Woman of like glory, perfection, and holiness was associated with him as a Mother. The begetting of children makes a man a father and a woman a mother whether we are dealing with man in his mortal or immortal state” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 516).
Pat, to be quite candid, this is one of the biggest reasons why a Romney presidency concerns me. As you have clearly seen, many Mormons would like nothing better than to silence all of their critics. They always want their people leading the discussion. I can’t begin to count how many times I have been accused of hatred and bigotry simply for quoting what LDS leaders have written or said. To my knowledge I have never heard Romney disparage the right to criticize; however, I can only hope that he does not share the same opinions as many of your Mormon listeners have shared. I love the First Amendment too much to see our nation turn into a southern extension of Canada.