Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mormon Church issues sinister threat to world's media

The following is a letter from Elder Lance B. Wickman, General Counsel of the Church to publishers of major newspapers, TV stations and magazines. It was sent out on Tuesday, June 24, 2008.

Recent events have focused the media spotlight on a polygamous sect near San Angelo, Texas, calling itself the “Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” As you probably know, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has absolutely no affiliation with this polygamous sect. Decades ago, the founders of that sect rejected the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were excommunicated, and then started their own religion. To the best of our knowledge, no one at the Texas compound has ever been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Unfortunately, however, some of the media coverage of the recent events in Texas has caused members of the public to confuse the doctrines and members of that group and our church. We have received numerous inquiries from confused members of the public who, by listening to less than careful media reports, have come to a grave misunderstanding about our respective doctrines and faith. Based on these media reports many have erroneously concluded that there is some affiliation between the two – or even worse, that they are one and the same.

Over the years, in a careful effort to distinguish itself, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has gone to significant lengths to protect its rights in the name of the church and related matters. Specifically, we have obtained registrations for the name “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” “Mormon,” “Book of Mormon” and related trade and service marks from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and corresponding agencies in a significant number of foreign countries.

We are confident that you are committed to avoiding misleading statements that cause unwarranted confusion and that may disparage or infringe the intellectual property rights discussed above. Accordingly, we respectfully request the following:

  1. As reflected in the AP Style Guide, we ask that you and your organization refrain from referring to members of that polygamous sect as “fundamentalist Mormons” or “fundamentalist” members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  2. We ask that, when reporting about this Texas-based polygamous sect or any other polygamous group, you avoid either explicitly or implicitly any inference that these groups are affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  3. On those occasions when it may be necessary in your reporting to refer to the historical practice of plural marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that you make very clear that the Church does not condone the practice of polygamy and that it has been forbidden in the Church for over one hundred years. Moreover, we absolutely condemn arranged or forced “marriages” of underage girls to anyone under any circumstances.

Stated simply, we would like to be known and recognized for whom we are and what we believe, and not be inaccurately associated with beliefs and practices that we condemn in the strongest terms. We would be grateful if you could circulate or copy this letter to your editorial staff and to your legal counsel.

We thank you for your consideration of these important matters.

Sincerely,

Lance B. Wickman

General Counsel

(EDITOR: Here is some free, without prejudice, 'counsel to Lance B. Wickman and the Mormon Church:

Don't issue threats to the entire media of the world, lest people mistake you as a clown and the organisation that you work for as an organisation made up of clowns.)

19 comments:

Going Global said...

I don't see the implied threat?

Roger said...

I am shocked by the blogger/editor's postscript! I can see NO THREATS WHATSOEVER in the letter from the Mormon elders. The postscript could stir up controversy or even inter-religious hatred where there need be none! Shame!

Matt said...

Roger, I am a journalist and have been so for 30 years.

Believe me, I know a threat when I see one.

Matt said...

Going Global, this is the threatening part:

We would be grateful if you could circulate or copy this letter to your editorial staff and to your legal counsel.

It implies that if you publish an stories linking Mormons with the polygamous Fundamentalist Mormon sect in Texas the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) that you will need to inform your legal counsel.

Why add that? Because the threat is that they will sue you and your paper/broadcast station.

David said...

Ha. I think you're reading too much into the Church's statement. I think it's a good idea for lawyers to review the differences between the Church and the sect since it would be libel to report that they are one and the same. It'd be a disregard for the facts and misleading to the public. I know I don't want people confusing me, as a member of the Church, with the members of the FLDS! The Church has taken the responsibility, as it should, to protect it's members from potential false accusations arising out of ignorance or carelessness.

Matt said...

David. Thanks for your comment.

You can trust me on this point. Whenever someone says: "Pass this on to your lawyer" they mean it as a threat.

There are two things that link the LDS to the FLDS. They both believe that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were prophets of god and that god ordered polygamy to be practised.

David said...

Yes but the major difference between the Church and the sect is that polygamy was revoked in 1890 and the FLDS dissented and chose not to follow the new prophecies. So, no, we're not the same church because they left. They are not Mormons.

Nephi Mormon said...

To tell you the truth, I'm surprised Salt Lake has not sued these anti-mormon Christian organizations several times by now. If these same "christain" organizations were going after jews or muslims they would have the ACLU, NAACP and ADL all over them. Mormons are easy targets, that's why people like to go after them so much. I have a feeling the days at taking free swipes at the LDS church will soon come to an end though. Prejudice against any faith or denomination doesn't go over to well with real Americans.

JohnLester said...

David said...

Yes but the major difference between the Church and the sect is that polygamy was revoked in 1890 and the FLDS dissented and chose not to follow the new prophecies. So, no, we're not the same church because they left. They are not Mormons.

>>>False information. Here is true information:


Yes but the major difference between the FLDS and the apostate LDS sect is that polygamy was falsely revoked in 1890 and the FLDS dissented and chose not to follow the false prophecies. So, no, we're not the same church because we left. We, the LDS, are not Mormons.

David said...

Who are you to say that it was falsely revoked?

Matt said...

He has every right to his view, David.

Play nicely.

JohnLester said...

I am a prophet.

Of God.

And I say it was falsely revoked.

And I am correct.

And if you say otherwise, you are wrong.

Furthermore, less than 1 year prior to the issuance of his TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN manifesto, Woodruff, in writing, stated in absolute terms that neither he nor God would EVER permit this "Eternal Principle" to be eliminated from the Mormon church.

I guess "ever" and "never" meant less than 12 months.

Oops.

The LDS is so full of BS its eyes are brown.

I love the LDS church, by the way.

Enough to tell it the TRUTH.

It's been apostate since its 7th President, just as Young and Taylor publicly prophesied.

Now, I know Mormon history far better than you do, sonny, so run along now and start studying and stop listening so much to your apostate "Priesthood leaders."

JohnLester said...

And Matt's absolutely correct, of COURSE that is a

BLATANT

legal threat.

That's what the LDS has been primarily since 1890.

Priestcraft.

Religion primarily for MONEY, and not for TRUTH.

REAL PROPHETS DO NOT CAPITULATE SIMPLY BECAUSE THE US ARMY IS STATIONED ON THE BORDER THREATENING TO DESTROY THE LDS CHURCH IF THEY DON'T GIVE UP POLYGYNY.

Real prophets say, hey, c'mon over and fight with God and his angels.

Good luck.

Read Acts 5:29. The Apostle Peter said that if it comes down to having to obey GOD or MEN, you choose GOD every time.

Woodruff obeyed MAN. It direct defiance to the man from whom Joseph Smith received his Priesthood.

Any other questions?

David said...

I apologize. What I meant to say was how can johnlester say that what he wrote is "true information" when the Manifesto by Wilford Woodruff clearly revokes polygamy BY REVELATION? Meaning that the LDS are following the commandments and the FLDS are following an outdated prophecy that they refused to follow after the 1890 declaration forbidding plural marriages. One of the things that all Mormons must be obedient to is the Law of the Land. We are a Church that knows it must follow the laws and have adapted to the laws of this country. The FLDS refuse to follow the laws, refuse to follow the revelations post-1890, and refuse to follow the Church that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ themselves restored here. They ARE NOT Mormons. It is uneducated and unfounded comments and ideas such as johnlester's that keep the rumor mills and anti-Mormons in a frenzy. I believe everyone in this country would be more tolerant and accepting of the LDS Church if facts were presented and not ignorant views on something that one knows nothing about.

Matt said...

Thank you for your explanation, David.

Though as I have mentioned when I was a Mormon I was taught that Polygamy was suspended rather than revoked and that it would be re-introduced, eventually.

JohnLester said...

I apologize. What I meant to say was how can johnlester say that what he wrote is "true information" when the Manifesto by Wilford Woodruff clearly revokes polygamy BY REVELATION?

>>>You mean the TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN REVELATION? Cite me one other Scripture in any one of the 3 major Mormon works OR the Bible that starts off TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN?

2. It didn't concern Woodruff that much since there is substantial evidence that in 1897, at the age of 90, 7 years AFTER the Manifesto was issued, that he took a BRAND NEW plural wife (the Manifesto permitted men to continue living with their plural wives but prohibited, according to Woodruff, not God, from taking any more--I guess nobody knew better than Woodruff what a crock the Manifesto was).

3. As I've stated previously, IN WRITING, Woodruff is recorded LESS THAN ONE YEAR PRIOR to issuing the Manifesto as saying that the LDS would NEVER give up the "eternal principle" of plural marriage.

4. And then the US army showed up and a "revelation" of 'extreme convenience' "arrived."

Excuse me while I find a barf bag...back to you:

Meaning that the LDS are following the commandments and the FLDS are following an outdated prophecy

>>>No they're not. The LDS church is APOSTATE. Which is *exactly* what BOTH Presidents Young and Taylor prophesied would happen. Namely that the people would eventually give up the practice of plural marriage and apostasize. Taylor was so specific that he said that the church would be in full blown apostasy by the 7th President. Very precisely, the lat President that personally knew Joseph Smith was the 6th President JFS, and he was the last one to personally practice plural marriage. Prophecy fulfilled. Back to you:

that they refused to follow after the 1890 declaration forbidding plural marriages.

>>>The Bible says that those that forbid marriage are practicing, quote, DOCTRINES OF DEVILS. If you want the precise citation I'll happily find it for you. Search the keywords at crosswalk.com Back to you:

One of the things that all Mormons must be obedient to is the Law of the Land.

>>>False information. The Apostle Peter, from whom Joseph Smith directly received Priesthood, COMMANDS US to follow the LAW OF GOD when it DIFFERS from the Law of Man. Otherwise, if you were a Mormon in Nazi Germany, you would have HAD TO GAS JEWS. Back to you:

We are a Church that knows it must follow the laws and have adapted to the laws of this country.

>>>Like Presidents Young and Taylor prophesied, yes, you have become little different from the world and the gentile churches. Once you step on the JUMBO COMPROMISE SLIDE, it's hard to stop sliding. Back to you:

The FLDS refuse to follow the laws, refuse to follow the revelations post-1890,

>>>Sound EXACTLY like the Apostles who were beaten and imprisoned and in some cases killed. Sounds EXACTLY like Joseph Smith and Mormon brethren who were beaten and imprisoned and in some cases killed. Obviously, you don't want to be numbered with the righteous and face the pain of persecution. Back to you:

and refuse to follow the Church that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ themselves restored here.

>>>Priesthood and the Church are two COMPLETELY SEPARATE things. Proof: Joseph Smith received his Priesthood from the Apostle Peter SEVERAL MONTHS PRIOR to the incorporation and organization of the LDS on April 6, 1830. Priesthood has ALWAYS operated SEPARATE from The Church and ALWAYS WILL. Only when The Church is in alignment with Priesthood does the Church have ANY power. Since at least 1918, the LDS has had 0.00% Priesthood. Back to you:

They ARE NOT Mormons.

>>>Yes, I agree, LDS are NOT Mormons. By *theological definition* LDS *are* APOSTATES. Back to you:

It is uneducated and unfounded comments and ideas such as johnlester's

>>>Ad hominem attacks only further strengthen my irrefutable positions. Back to you:

that keep the rumor mills and anti-Mormons in a frenzy. I believe everyone in this country would be more tolerant and accepting of the LDS Church

>>Everyone would be more tolerant of the LDS church if it wasn't based upon a sickening facade of compromise and capitulation. The more you try to please the Protestants and the Evangelicals, the more they despise you, and rightly so. CELEBRATE YOUR UNIQUENESS! Stand UP for the principles for which Joseph Smith died and Brigham Young practically killed himself over! Back to you:

if facts were presented and not ignorant views on something that one knows nothing about.

>>>I agree. Like virtually every brainwashed LDS "Mormon" I have ever met in my life, I wish y'all would get a CLUE regarding your own history and your own doctrine and not have to have a grandson of Pentecostal Preacher who FERVENTLY believes in all Mormon Scripture and Joseph Smith as prophet to have to set you straight.

It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

Now Matt, I've been firm, but "nice" in this reply. Read the above carefully. No attacks whatsoever. No colorful language. Just hard hitting argumentation.

I hate moderated blogs. I run many myself and NEVER moderate them. Nobody is going to kill anybody here. We're separated by time and space. Most of all a journalist shouldn't run a moderated blog, in my opinion. But that's your call, Matt. I just hate them. I don't know what your goals are, but your blog would do even MUCH better if you'd just open it up. Controversy is the BEST CONTENT on the Internet.

Boredom and blase is YAWN...zzzzzzzzzzzzz...........

If we're gonna debate, let's go. Nobody doubts that you're the boss here, Matt.

I like you, Matt, because you don't like BS any more than I do.

David said...

Matt, I agree with you to an extent. It may be re-instated, it may not. God can decide if and when He wants to change th rules. Several times in the Old Testament God made it clear that it was perfectly alright, and at other times He condemned anyone participating. I think it's sad that what a lot of people (like johnlester) don't fully understand about the Church is that we believe and follow modern day prophecy. Any revelations given to President Monson would outweigh any other previous revelations whether it be from Joseph Smith, the Bible, or the BoM. It doesn't mean that Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet, but it means that God may change the commandments we must follow at any time.

JohnLester said...

No, what's sad David is what you don't understand. Even your LDS Priesthood Authority claim doesn't hold water under close examination. From your own LDS 34-year-long Director of LDS CES (Church Educational Studies) no less, Grant Palmer. See:

http://groups.google.com/group/fatherabrahamschildrentogether/browse_thread/thread/9c67aa75b985f31d#

Patriarchally yours,

John Lester

JohnLester said...

Like Grand Palmer says, you don't follow modern day prophecy as much as you do after-the-fact-retrofitting.

Joseph Smith was a prophet but the LDS has become an apostate mess compared to what its divine calling was meant to be.