In reply to the chapter, “A Fascinating Question”
Page 15, line 31
“Joining had been easy . . . getting out was something else.”
The undocumented statement is from an anonymous and disgruntled former LDS member. This statement is misleading. Converts must show a willingness to pay one-tenth of their income; abstain from alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee; observe the Sabbath; attend meetings; live chaste lives; keep the ten commandments; and so on. This to many is not “easy.”
All any member has to do to have his name removed from the LDS Church is write a letter. (This was discussed in relation to page II, line 24.) Most LDS bishops would try to change a person’s mind who wrote such a letter, because LDS leaders are very reluctant to excommunicate.
Page 15, lines 33-36
“What they had thought was genuine love . . . turned to a severing of relationships and false accusations.”
What false accusations? What relationships? No explanation, detail or documentation is given. “There are thousands of other people just like Jim and Judy,” the authors generalize, giving no source for such a claim. Most divorces are fraught with severing of relationships and false accusations, in or out of the church. A few who leave the LDS church do have negative experiences with family and friends, but this is often due to their fanatical zeal.
Tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints would give testimony of the love and peace they found in the LDS Church, but the book ignores this.
Page 17, line 24
“There have been death threats against some of those who have dared to show the film [The God Makers].”
By whom? Where? Why not be specific? Why not document this? This is something the authors should take to court. Ironically, on the opposite page the heading “Documenting the Evidence” is used, in reference to the book’s own accusations.
Page 19, line 17
“[LDS] Church members take more non-barbiturate sedatives, tranquilizers, antidepressants, stimulants, pep pills, heroin, cocaine and LSD than nonMormons. “
If this generalization is true why not give a reference? The authors claim this information comes from The Denver Post, which doesn’t document it either.
I was told by Attorney Arthur M. Wood that when he asked the Denver Post authors to document this statement they claimed they obtained the material from Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton, The Mormon Experience, p. 287. However, on that page it says, “There are to our knowledge no adequate figures indicating consumption of such products [marijuana, LSD, and other drugs] by Mormons.” The Denver Post authors (whom The God Makers’ authors quote) did not quote their source accurately.
Page 19, line 24
“Utah’s divorce rate has always been higher than the national average.”
In a Salt Lake County survey only one in ten temple marriages ended in divorce, far better than the one in two to one in three national average. (See Spencer W. Kimball, Marriage and Divorce, p. 3.)
Other missing statistics: The Utah marriage rate is above the national average. Utah’s murder and robbery rates are about one-half the national rate. Utah’s rates for rape, aggravated assault, burglary and auto theft are significantly below the national rate.
Utah is first in the nation in the number of adults who have attended college and eighth in the nation in college graduates.
Utah is tied with Colorado for first place in years of education completed: 12.8. Only two states have higher literacy rates than Utah! Most of the foregoing statistics are from Statistical Abstract of the United States, Department of Commerce, 104 Edition; Utah in Demographic Perspective: Regional and National Contrasts.
See further statistics in “Overview” section XII.
Page 19, line 29
The book says that seven out of ten of the babies born to Utah teen-age mothers are conceived out of wedlock, implying that promiscuity is rampant.
Where is the documentation? How does this compare to other states? Are those teen-age mothers from LDS homes?
Actually Utah’s illegitimate birth rate is 77.3 per 1,000 live births versus a 202.8 U.S. average.
“One of every fifteen babies [in Utah] is born to an unmarried woman; nationally, one of every five has an unmarried mother” (Deseret News, April 5, 1984, p. 4A). The gonorrhea rate in Utah is fifth lowest in the nation. The syphilis rate is third lowest. Utah year after year has the lowest or next to lowest abortion rates in the country (Ibid). Utah also has one of the lowest AIDS rates in the nation. Authorities agree these are significant indications of a lower promiscuity rate.
Page 20, line 15
Although seemingly diversified, all pagans are united in their antagonism against biblical Christianity.
The authors lump all non-Christians into the “pagan” category, but the following facts seem to contradict the authors’ statement. Some Hindus accept Christ in a measure, as do Moslems and other non-Christians. There are even some “Jews for Christ.” It’s true that some of these groups may accept Christ only to a limited degree, but they certainly are not all antagonistic. (See page 12, line 24 for previous discussion.)