Response to the Mormons

Wow, a number of Mormons have written some rather nasty things about me on the NPR site; I feel compelled to offer a bit of a response. First, nothing in the entry on the Mormon state of Deseret is incorrect. Some folks thought that my statement that Mormons only "sort of" gave up polygamy was inaccurate, but I wasn't referring to the breakaway groups that practice polygamy today. Instead, I was referring to the LDS teaching that polygamy will be practiced in heaven. Yes, the church has given up polygamy on earth, but they expect to return to the practice in the afterlife. Let me quote church president Joseph Fielding Smith who said (in Doctrines of Salvation Vol. 2 p. 67) " wives will be mine in eternity. I don't know how some other people feel, but that is a glorious thought to me." Now, it's fair to say that I can be snarky, and that abbreviating a long history into a few words can lead to misunderstandings. But you can't say I don't know anything about the LDS church. I lived in the most-Mormon city in America: Idaho Falls, Idaho (yes, the percentages are higher than Salt Lake). I've had long discussions with stake presidents. I have poured through literally thousands of pages of church history.  (And I'm not focused on anti-Mormon materials. For example, I agree with most Mormons who think The Godmakers was an unfair portrayal.) Lastly, anyone who reads my book will understand the jovial nature of the text. We're trying to have some fun here--everyone needs to lighten up. I'm a good Lutheran, but I laugh heartily listening to Garrison Keillor's spot-on ribbing of Lutheran culture. I even have a "sin boldly" coffee mug (Lutherans will get that one).
Mike Trinklein

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