June 21, 2015
Pastor Reed Lessing
(St Michael Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, IN)
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As the Rome Italy Temple and visitors’ center advance toward completion, a major benchmark has occurred within the visitors’ center — the installation of the marble statue of the resurrected Christ. It is an exact replica of the original Christus statue produced by Bertel Thorvaldsen in Italy before its placement in Denmark in the early 1800s.
Also included in the Rome Temple Visitors’ Center are marble statue replicas of the original Twelve Apostles. The statues were digitally measured and fashioned to be precisely the same as the originals, and the marble was taken from the original Michelangelo cave in Carrera, Italy, before arriving in Rome.
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False Apostles part 6
In two high-profile segments, one on ABC’s World News Tonight and the
other on ABC’s Nightline Friday, reporter Dan Harris spent nine
minutes telling about the LDS Church, including reports on the new
Draper Temple and interviews with Elder M. Russell Ballard and Elder
Quentin L. Cook.
In a 30-second piece on ABC World News Tonight Harris focused briefly on temples, baptism for the dead, families and Proposition 8. The eight minute and 30 second “Faith Matters” piece on Nightline begins with this:
“Ever since the first Mormon temple was built more than 150 years ago, they have been the subject of speculation and suspicion. The temples are imposing structures where private and sacred rituals are performed, and where outsiders are almost never welcomed.”
Harris asks Elder Ballard why the media was invited to Salt Lake City and an open house for the new Draper Temple:
“We want to be understood, not misunderstood,” Elder Ballard, “and people are defining us in the wrong way. They’re defining us without having the facts.”
Harris’ narrative overviewed recent high-profiles stories about the church including Mitt Romney’s presidential bid, support of Proposition 8, and confusion with polygamists. Then, Harris talks about the temple, including the Celestial Room and baptistry. Harris then points out the church’s conflict with Jews over posthumous baptism of Holocaust victims.
When talking about the church history of persecution, Harris confronted Elders Ballard and Cook about why the church appears to be discriminating against gays and lesbians.
“We were for marriage between a man and a woman because that is the issue that will protect the future of this country and this civilization,” Elder Cook told Harris. “It’s for the protection of the 5,000-year history of marriage being between a man and a woman.”
For the most part, the story was balanced and fair and able to demystify some aspects of temple worship. Viewers were able to better understand the role of apostles, temples and families. There was also unprecedented video of a sacrament meeting service. The length of coverage represents an eternity in broadcast news where most stories run 30 seconds.
Ironically, while ABC reported about the church attempting to clear up misunderstanding, the report still muddied facts for viewers and may perpetuate stereotypes.
For example, the story continued to frame Mormons with words like “secrecy,” “suspicion,” “mystery,” and a headline “Mormon temple revealed.” Journalists just can’t seem to let this image go even in the face of openness and access. The report highlighted the fact that the church wouldn’t allow ABC cameras into the temple. ABC also reported that this was unprecedented and “rare” access to a temple open house, when the fact is it has been long tradition to hold open temple houses which have included access to the media and public. The access to two apostles, however, is rare.
The story still muddied the waters on the polygamists vs. LDS confusion. While Harris did a pretty good job of delineating the difference between polygamists groups and the LDS Church, the introduction to the Nightline segment, Martin Bashir spoke about the raid at the FLDS compound inTexas as if that group was part of the LDS Church.
And Harris said that “fundamentalist Mormons” are part of a breakaway sect of the “mainstream church.” The church continues to contend there is no such thing as fundamentalist Mormons, while fundamentalists continue to assert their right to use the moniker. If polygamist are excommunicated from the “mainstream church” how can
they still be associated with it?
According to ABC, other high-profile journalists were invited to Salt Lake City and temple open house. A search of the Internet don’t show other stories from those journalists, but stayed tuned.
The Associated Press reported the following story beginning with the following:
“The towering granite temples of the Mormon church are something of a religious mystery for those who can’t go in: Are the majestic buildings topped by golden angels sacred or secret?
‘We would say they are sacred, not secret,” Quentin L. Cook of the church governing body the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said during a small tour for media of a new suburban Salt Lake City temple on Thursday.
As Cook explains, the sacred nature of temples is tied to what happens inside: Draped in white, worthy Mormons receive religious teachings and perform ceremonies designed to help them secure an eternal place for themselves and for others by proxy in heaven.”
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ABBI – Acts of the Apostles II – Week 12 – Part 1
Brother Jonathan D. Judy
Antioch Baptist Church
In this episode, an all-star panel reviews a recently leaked presentation created by the quorum of the twelve apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The presentation is entitled “Area Business Weekends,” is dated December 8, 2015, and lays out the process for local LDS stakes and areas to request special training meetings from the LDS quorum of the 12 (e.g., Boise Rescue, Elder Ballard’s Young Single Adult stake in Utah County).
Within the presentation the LDS Q12 reveals its view on the external causes for people leaving the LDS church, which explicitly name individuals such as John Dehlin, Denver Snuffer, and Robert Norman, along with other broader trends, movements, and ideas such as secularism, Ordain Women, support for same-sex marriage (entitled “Disagree with current policies”), chastity, pornography, lack of commitment, failure to observe the sabbath, those fascinated with the “last days/end of world” (i.e., Preppers/Julie Rowe), “false prophets,” and anyone who feels they need “something more” from the church.
In no instance does the Quorum of the 12 demonstrate introspection as to what they or the church might be doing to contribute to disaffection from the Mormon church.
Today’s panel includes Dr. Gina Colvin (A Thoughtful Faith Podcast and KiwiMormon), Lindsay Hansen Park (Sunstone), Pastor John Hamer (Toronto Community of Christ), Jesse Stay, and Ryan McKnight (Mormon Leaks).
During the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, the leadership called two new apostles.
Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit at Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church of Indianapolis. March 2015 liturgy.
Hosted by Darlene Greenlee
Guests: Pastor Aaron Burke of Radiant Church of Tampa and Dr. Mike Higgins of Hope Children’s Home
This program is produced by Darlene Greenlee for CTN. Show number: BF 479 HD CC Aired 6-14-17
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Christian Television Network produced and recorded this program in Clearwater, Florida.
Interview with Apostles James and Nyjah Newton of Lawton, OK
The oldest Greek Orthodox Church in all of the Americas in New Orleans, LA.