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Is it Bad to be called LDS or Mormon?

President Nelson said calling when people say "Mormon Church" it is a victory for Satan. Is it bad to refer to ourselves as LDS or Mormon? Kurt Francom answers.

I’m excited to introduce Kurt Francom of the Leading Saints podcast. He recently changed the name of his podcast due to President Nelson’s admonition to avoid the term “Mormon.” Is that now a derogatory term, like it was in the early days of the Church?  Is this name change silly?

 

Kurt:  Well, my background, I have a marketing degree so I’m a marketer. So when I first heard of it I was like, “No! The search engine optimization and the branding, this violates every principle of marketing that there is.” But I mean, the reality is, is that every prophet has certain directions and ideas and thoughts that they’ll move forward. And you look at President Hinckley’s time as I’ve read his biography and such, the smaller temple concept came to his mind long before, decades before he was actually in that seat as the prophet. And so I think, I think the Lord massages different ideas into the minds of future prophets so that when their time comes, they can move the church in that direction. Now does our Father in Heaven really care what we call ourselves?

Well, obviously it’s in the Doctrine and Covenants. And so I don’t necessarily mind it. I mean the marketing person inside of me sort of is uncomfortable with it and I didn’t see any problem with the term Mormon or LDS, but I get what he’s trying to do and accomplish. And obviously the hardest thing to shift in this church is the culture. And he stepped up and is trying to change that culture. And I think over time we can get there, and I sort of liked the idea of instead of calling us Mormons, calling us Saints. Latter-day Saints is sometimes a little bit long, or uncomfortable, but, we’re Saints, and not Mormons and we’re part of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints and not the LDS Church. So is it silly? I mean, I’m fine with it and the more I adjust that in my vocabulary, the more I’m, I’m fine with it.

GT: Originally in the early days of the church, the Mormon was a derogatory term?

Kurt: Yeah.

GT: With president Nelson’s switch, do you see it becoming a derogatory term again?

Kurt: No, I don’t see that at all.

What do you think?  Is LDS or Mormon still a net positive term?

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LDS Succession Crisis (Part 6)

Dr. Michael Quinn is one of the foremost experts on the LDS Succession Crisis.  He says there were seven legitimate succession claims following the death of Joseph Smith.  In a previous interview, John Hamer said Sidney Rigdon was the best option according to canon law.  I’ll ask Quinn that question, and we’ll talk about some of the other candidates.

Michael:  I would disagree with John Hamer that Sidney Rigdon was the most likely. He was the first publicly proposed alternative to the Quorum of the Twelve and he was voted down by the congregation that met in August of 1844. When their choice was only Sidney Rigdon or the Quorum of the Twelve, they chose the Quorum of the Twelve to continue in the Twelve’s position in its place of having all this prior role administratively within Nauvoo, the headquarters of the church. And they rejected Sidney Rigdon. But the fact that he was the first publicly proposed doesn’t mean that either one of them was the most likely. That was the choice that the Quorum of the Twelve and Sidney Rigdon had advertised. And this had been advertised before the Twelve was even back in Nauvoo. Most of the apostles, members of the Quorum of the Twelve were in the eastern states, and there were only one or two members in Nauvoo and two of them were wounded in and the attack on Carthage Jail.

We’ll talk about several of the possibilities during the succession crisis.  Check out our conversation, and don’t forget our previous episodes with Michael!

186: Quinn on Hofmann (Quinn)

185: “The Church Makes No Distinction Between God & Mammon” (Quinn)

184: Would LDS Church Income Ever Support a Paid Ministry?(Quinn)

183: Are LDS Church Revenues really $50 Billion/Year? (Quinn)

182: Michael Quinn Discusses Deseret Hemp Company (Quinn)

John Hamer lists several people with claims of succession. Dr. Michael Quinn weighs in.
John Hamer lists several people with claims of succession. Dr. Michael Quinn weighs in.
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“The Church Makes No Distinction Between God and Mammon” (Part 4)

There are many critics of the LDS Church’s wealth.  Is the LDS Church guilty of serving God and Mammon?  I asked Dr. Michael Quinn that question, and I think you’ll be surprised by his answer.

Michael: The accusation is there, but typically it comes from people who don’t recognize that the church makes no distinction between God and Mammon. The church is a money making operation, but it plows the money into the building of the Kingdom of God on Earth, which is a Mormon phrase that most members, even disaffected ones, will recognize. A member of the church, whether former member or current member in good faith, may feel uncomfortable with this huge portfolio that involves billions of dollars a day in transactions over the computer with only one of its investment houses.

It may be [that] members of the church and devout members and certainly ex-members of the church are uncomfortable, or may be uncomfortable with the commercial real estate that produces and the commercial investments in mines and oil, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which would be fossil fuels. For people who are concerned about that. And the Church has heavily invested in fossil fuels.  Nonetheless, it’s a part of building the Kingdom of God.

We’re going to talk about the City Creek Mall.  The LDS Church paid $1.5 Billion dollars to make it.  Michael Quinn says that this enormous income allows the church to spend enormous sums of money to support LDS Church growth.  It’s not just in poor countries like South America and Africa.  Quinn says that the LDS Church has deficit spending even in rich countries like England.

Michael: In 2006, the LDS Church headquarters gave a cash supplement to the church in the United Kingdom of nearly half a billion dollars, $450,000,000 and change. And that was in one year to one of the countries in which the church has had a significant presence since 1837. It is an industrial country. It is not a third world country. Its members are generally thought of as being comfortable. This is not the case in any country. Mormons can be poor even in the United States and there are poor members of the church who live on government welfare and church welfare in the United Kingdom. Well, the tithe payers in the United Kingdom couldn’t pay all of their responsibilities, all of the building and the maintenance and the missionary work and everything else, the aid to the really poor that occurs in the United Kingdom. And so in one year the church gave nearly half a billion dollars. I mean, I don’t know the total number, but I know it’s more than 100 countries throughout the world the church is in.

In third world countries, and there are at least 50 and there could be far more than that. The church, and I have the reports to demonstrate this, is paying 90 to 95 percent of their expenses are being paid in cash from church headquarters on a year by year basis in the developing country or what in during the Cold War used to be called the third world. The church could not do this if it didn’t have billions of dollars, not only of tithing, but of commercial income from for-profit businesses, which the City Creek Mall is intended to be for.

Is it true that the City Creek Mall is subsidizing churches in poor countries?

GT: So let me ask this question. I’ll phrase it this way. Would it be accurate to say that the City Creek Mall, and maybe even Victoria’s Secret, is subsidizing some of these buildings in Nigeria?

Michael: Without question. I mean, in the book, I lay out those that I’m aware of through the Internet. And there is a remarkable openness on the Internet to the Church’s investments in a variety of areas, whether it’s land where the produce is primarily going for the welfare program. But what they can’t use for the welfare program would spoil if they didn’t sell it to the general public. And that’s for profit. So there are profits that even Deseret Ranches of Florida, which is a welfare outfit in its original definition, it’s also for-profit and it’s making millions, maybe billions.

What are your thoughts that the LDS Church is “a money making operation?”  Is the LDS Church serving God and Mammon?

This was a fun interview!  Check out our conversation….

Does the LDS Church serve God and Mammon?
Does the LDS Church serve God and Mammon?

 

Don’t forget to check out our other conversations with Dr. Michael Quinn!

184: Would LDS Church Income Ever Support a Paid Ministry?(Quinn)

183: Are LDS Church Revenues really $50 Billion/Year? (Quinn)

182: Michael Quinn Discusses Deseret Hemp Company (Quinn)