The Mormons' True Great Trek Has Been To Social Acceptance And
A $30 Billion Church Empire
Salt Lake City, Utah, on a block known informally as Welfare Square,
stands a 15-barreled silo filled with wheat: 19 million lbs., enough
to feed a small city for six months. At the foot of the silo stands
a man--a bishop with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--trying
to explain why the wheat must not be moved, sold or given away.
Around the corner is something called the bishop's storehouse.
It is filled with goods whose sole purpose is to be given away.
On its shelves, Deseret-brand laundry soaps manufactured by the
Mormon Church nestle next to Deseret-brand canned peaches from the
Mormon cannery in Boise, Idaho. Nearby are Deseret tuna from the
church's plant in San Diego, beans from its farms in Idaho, Deseret
peanut butter and Deseret pudding. There is no mystery to these
goods: they are all part of the huge Mormon welfare system, perhaps
the largest nonpublic venture of its kind in the country. They will
be taken away by grateful recipients, replaced, and the replacements
will be taken away.
But the grain in the silo goes nowhere. The bishop, whose name
is Kevin Nield, is trying to explain why. "It's a reserve," he is
saying. "In case there is a time of need."
What sort of time of need?
"Oh, if things got bad enough so that the normal systems of distribution
didn't work." Huh? "The point is, if those other systems broke down,
the church would still be able to care for the poor and needy."
What he means, although he won't come out and say it, is that
although the grain might be broken out in case of a truly bad recession,
its root purpose is as a reserve to tide people over in the tough
days just before the Second Coming.
"Of course," says the bishop, "we rotate it every once in a while."
For more than a century, the members of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints suffered because their vision of themselves
and the universe was different from those of the people around them.
Their tormentors portrayed them as a nation within a nation, radical
communalists who threatened the economic order and polygamists out
to destroy the American family. Attacked in print, and physically
by mobs, some 30,000 were forced to flee their dream city of Nauvoo,
Ill., in 1846. Led by their assassinated founder's successor, they
set out on a thousand-mile trek westward derided by nonbelievers
as being as absurd as their faith.
This year their circumstances could not be more changed. Last
Tuesday, 150 years to the week after their forefathers, 200 exultant
and sunburned Latter-day Saints reached Salt Lake City, having re-enacted
the grueling great trek. Their arrival at the spot where, according
to legend, Brigham Young announced, "This is the right place" was
cheered in person by a crowd of 50,000--and observed approvingly
by millions. The copious and burnished national media attention
merely ratified a long-standing truth: that although the Mormon
faith remains unique, the land in which it was born has come to
accept--no, to lionize--its adherents as paragons of the national
spirit. It was in the 1950s, says historian Jan Shipps, that the
Mormons went from being "vilified" to being "venerated," and their
combination of family orientation, clean-cut optimism, honesty and
pleasant aggressiveness seems increasingly in demand. Fifteen Mormon
Senators and Representatives currently trek the halls of Congress.
Mormon author and consultant Stephen R. Covey bottled parts of the
ethos in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which
has been on best-seller lists for five years. The FBI and CIA, drawn
by a seemingly incorruptible rectitude, have instituted Mormon-recruitment
The Mormon Church is by far the most numerically successful creed
born on American soil and one of the fastest growing anywhere. Its
U.S. membership of 4.8 million is the seventh largest in the country,
while its hefty 4.7% annual American growth rate is nearly doubled
abroad, where there are already 4.9 million adherents. Gordon B.
Hinckley, the church's President--and its current Prophet--is engaged
in massive foreign construction, spending billions to erect 350
church-size meetinghouses a year and adding 15 cathedral-size temples
to the existing 50. University of Washington sociologist Rodney
Stark projects that in about 83 years, worldwide Mormon membership
should reach 260 million.
The church's material triumphs rival even its evangelical advances.
With unusual cooperation from the Latter-day Saints hierarchy (which
provided some financial figures and a rare look at church businesses),
TIME has been able to quantify the church's extraordinary financial
vibrancy. Its current assets total a minimum of $30 billion. If
it were a corporation, its estimated $5.9 billion in annual gross
income would place it midway through the FORTUNE 500, a little below
Union Carbide and the Paine Webber Group but bigger than Nike and
the Gap. And as long as corporate rankings are being bandied about,
the church would make any list of the most admired: for straight
dealing, company spirit, contributions to charity (even the non-Mormon
kind) and a fiscal probity among its powerful leaders that would
satisfy any shareholder group, if there were one.
Yet the Latter-day Saints remain sensitive about their "otherness"--more
so, in fact, than most outsiders can imagine. Most church members
laughed off Dennis Rodman's crack about "f_____ Mormons" during
the N.B.A. championships. But the subsequent quasi apology by Rodman's
coach Phil Jackson that his player hadn't known they were "some
kind of a cult or sect" deeply upset both hierarchy and membership.
Perhaps, however, they should learn to relax. Historian Leonard
J. Arrington says the church, along with the values it represents,
"has played a role, and continues to play a role, in the economic
and social development of the West--and indeed, because of the spread
of Mormons everywhere, of the nation as a whole." And in a country
where religious unanimity is ever less important but material achievement
remains the earthly manifestation of virtue, their creed may never
face rejection again.
The top beef ranch in the world is not the King Ranch in Texas.
It is the Deseret Cattle & Citrus Ranch outside Orlando, Fla. It
covers 312,000 acres; its value as real estate alone is estimated
at $858 million. It is owned entirely by the Mormons. The largest
producer of nuts in America, AgReserves, Inc., in Salt Lake City,
is Mormon-owned. So are the Bonneville International Corp., the
country's 14th largest radio chain, and the Beneficial Life Insurance
Co., with assets of $1.6 billion. There are richer churches than
the one based in Salt Lake City: Roman Catholic holdings dwarf Mormon
wealth. But the Catholic Church has 45 times as many members. There
is no major church in the U.S. as active as the Latter-day Saints
in economic life, nor, per capita, as successful at it.
The first divergence between Mormon economics and that of other
denominations is the tithe. Most churches take in the greater part
of their income through donations. Very few, however, impose a compulsory
10% income tax on their members. Tithes are collected locally, with
much of the money passed on informally to local lay leaders at Sunday
services. "By Monday," says Elbert Peck, editor of Sunstone,
an independent Mormon magazine, the church authorities in Salt Lake
City "know every cent that's been collected and have made sure the
money is deposited in banks." There is a lot to deposit. Last year
$5.2 billion in tithes flowed into Salt Lake City, $4.9 billion
of which came from American Mormons. By contrast, the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America, with a comparable U.S. membership, receives
$1.7 billion a year in contributions. So great is the tithe flow
that scholars have suggested it constitutes practically the intermountain
states' only local counterbalance in an economy otherwise dominated
by capital from the East and West coasts.
The true Mormon difference, however, lies in what the LDS church
does with that money. Most denominations spend on staff, charity
and the building and maintenance of churches; leaders will invest
a certain amount--in the case of the Evangelical Lutherans, $152
million--as a pension fund, usually through mutual funds or a conservative
stock portfolio. The philosophy is minimalist, as Lutheran pastor
Mark Moller-Gunderson explains: "Our stewardship is not such that
we grow the church through business ventures."
The Mormons are stewards of a different stripe. Their charitable
spending and temple building are prodigious. But where other churches
spend most of what they receive in a given year, the Latter-day
Saints employ vast amounts of money in investments that TIME estimates
to be at least $6 billion strong. Even more unusual, most of this
money is not in bonds or stock in other peoples' companies but is
invested directly in church-owned, for-profit concerns, the largest
of which are in agribusiness, media, insurance, travel and real
estate. Deseret Management Corp., the company through which the
church holds almost all its commercial assets, is one of the largest
owners of farm and ranchland in the country, including 49 for-profit
parcels in addition to the Deseret Ranch. Besides the Bonneville
International chain and Beneficial Life, the church owns a 52% holding
in ZCMI, Utah's largest department-store chain. (For a more complete
list, see chart.) All told, TIME estimates that the Latter-day Saints
farmland and financial investments total some $11 billion, and that
the church's nontithe income from its investments exceeds $600 million.
The explanation for this policy of ecclesiastical entrepreneurism
lies partly in the Mormons' early experience of ostracism. Brigham
Young wrote 150 years ago that "the kingdom of God cannot rise independent
of Gentile nations until we produce, manufacture, and make every
article of use, convenience or necessity among our people." By the
time the covered wagons and handcarts had concluded their westward
roll, geographic isolation had reinforced social exclusion: the
Mormons' camp on the Great Salt Lake was 800 miles from the nearest
settlement. Says Senator Bob Bennett, whose grandfather was a President:
"In Young's day the church was the only source of accumulated capital
in the territory. If anything was built, it had to be built by the
church because no one else had any money."
In the first century of corporate Mormonism, the church's leaders
were partners, officers or directors in more than 900 Utah-area
businesses. They owned woolen mills, cotton factories, 500 local
co-ops, 150 stores and 200 miles of railroad. Moreover, when occasionally
faced with competition, they insisted that church members patronize
LDS-owned businesses. Eventually this became too much for the U.S.
Congress. In 1887 it passed the Edmunds-Tucker Act, specifically
to smash the Mormons' vertical monopolies.
But there is an additional aspect to the Mormons' spectacular
industry and frugality. Their faith, like several varieties of American
Protestantism, holds that Jesus will return to earth and begin a
thousand-year rule, this glory preceded by a period of turmoil and
chaos. During the dark years, church members understand that it
is their destiny to sustain a light to help usher in the kingdom
to come. In their preparations to do so, they shame even the most
avid of secular survivalists. Church members are advised to keep
one year's food and other supplies on hand at all times, and many
do. The wheat-filled Welfare Square grain elevator fulfills the
same principle. Of the millennium, President Hinckley says, "We
hope we're preparing for it. We hope we'll be prepared when it comes."
But Hinckley qualifies that: "We don't spend a lot of time talking
about or dreaming about the millennium to come; we've always been
a practical people dealing with the issues of life. We're doing
today's job in the best way we know how." From the beginning, the
Saints' millennial strain was modulated by a delight in the economic
nitty-gritty. Of some 112 revelations received by the first Prophet
and President of the church, Joseph Smith, 88 explicitly address
fiscal matters. And although the faithful believe the "End Times"
could begin shortly, their actual date is (to humankind) indefinite,
and certain key signs and portents have not yet manifested themselves.
Rather than wild-eyed fervor, most church moneymen project a can-do
Or, in their higher echelons, a case-hardened if amiable professionalism.
A primary reason for the church's business triumphs, says University
of Washington sociologist Stark, is that it has no career clerics,
only amateurs who have been plucked for service from successful
endeavors in other fields. (In fact, there is no ordained clergy
whatsoever: the term priest applies to all males over age 12 in
good standing in the church, and "bishops," while supervising congregations,
are part-time lay leaders.) Religious observers point out that this
creates a vacuum of theological talent in a church with a lot of
unusual theology to explain. But the benefit, notes Stark, is that
"people at the top of the Mormon church have immense experience
in the world. These guys have been around the track. Why do they
choose to invest directly? Because they are not helpless. They are
a bunch of hard-nosed businessmen." Rodney Brady, who runs Deseret
Management Corp., has a Harvard business doctorate, served as executive
vice president of pharmaceutical giant Bergen Brunswig and from
1970 to '72 was Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health,
Education and Welfare. Similar figures fill the church's upper management:
Tony Burns, a "stake president" (the rough equivalent of an archbishop),
is chairman of Miami-based Ryder Systems, the truck-rental empire.
And then there is Jon Huntsman. Currently a powerful "area authority,"
Huntsman may at some point make official church fiscal policy. But
right now he is exemplary of the Mormon gift for not only making
a buck but also spending it on others. An enthusiastic missionary
as a young man, at age 42 he was asked to serve as "mission president"
for a group of 220 young proselytizers in Washington. He took leave
from his company and moved his wife and nine children with him.
When his stint was up, they headed back to Utah, and Huntsman resumed
building the $5 billion, 10,000-employee Huntsman Chemical Corp.,
which he owns outright. Ten years ago, Huntsman shifted his company's
mission from pure profit to a three-part priority: pay off debt,
be a responsible corporate citizen and relieve human suffering.
Thus far, his company has donated $100 million of its profit to
a cancer center at the University of Utah. It has also built a concrete
plant in Armenia to house those rendered homeless by the 1988 earthquake,
and it is active in smaller charities ranging from children's hospitals
to food banks. Since the shift, says Huntsman, "we have a far greater
spirit of accomplishment and motivation. Our unity and teamwork
and corporate enthusiasm have never been higher." And he still puts
in his 15 to 20 hours a week as a lay clergyman. He concludes, "I
find it impossible to separate life and corporate involvement from
my religious convictions."
And that, of course, begs the question: Just what, exactly, is
the belief underlying those convictions, the rock upon which faith
and empire are built?
Mormon theology recognizes the Christian Bible but adds three
holy books of its own. It holds that shortly after his resurrection,
Jesus Christ came to America to teach the indigenous people, who
were actually a tribe of Israel, but that Christian churches in
the Old World fell into apostasy. Then, starting in 1820, God restored
his "latter-day" religion by dispatching the angel Moroni to reveal
new Scriptures to a simple farm boy named Joseph Smith near Palmyra,
N.Y. Although the original tablets, written in what is called Reformed
Egyptian, were taken up again to heaven, Smith, who received visits
from God the father, Jesus, John the Baptist and saints Peter, James
and John, translated and published the Book of Mormon in 1830. He
continued to receive divine Scripture and revelations. One of these
was that Christ will return to reign on earth and have the headquarters
of his kingdom in a Mormon temple in Jackson County, Mo. (Over time,
the church has purchased 14,465 acres of land there.)
There is a long list of current Mormon practices foreign to Catholic
or Protestant believers. The best known revolve around rituals of
the temples, which are barred to outsiders. At "endowment" ceremonies,
initiates receive the temple garments, which they must wear beneath
their clothing for life. Marriages are "sealed," not only until
death doth part, but for eternity. And believers conduct proxy baptisms
for the dead: to assure non-Mormon ancestors of an opportunity for
salvation, current Mormons may be immersed on their behalf. The
importance of baptizing one's progenitors has led the Mormons to
amass the fullest genealogical record in the world, the microfilmed
equivalent of 7 million books of 300 pages apiece.
Members of the church celebrate the Lord's Supper with water rather
than wine or grape juice. They believe their President is a prophet
who receives new revelations from God. These can supplant older
revelations, as in the case of the church's historically most controversial
doctrine: Smith himself received God's sanctioning of polygamy in
1831, but 49 years later, the church's President announced its recision.
Similarly, an explicit policy barring black men from holding even
the lowest church offices was overturned by a new revelation in
1978, opening the way to huge missionary activity in Africa and
Mormons reject the label polytheistic pinned on them by other
Christians; they believe that humans deal with only one God. Yet
they allow for other deities presiding over other worlds. Smith
stated that God was once a humanlike being who had a wife and in
fact still has a body of "flesh and bones." Mormons also believe
that men, in a process known as deification, may become God-like.
Lorenzo Snow, an early President and Prophet, famously aphorized,
"As man is now, God once was; as God now is, man may become." Mormonism
excludes original sin, whose expiation most Christians understand
as Christ's great gift to humankind in dying on the Cross.
All this has led to some withering denominational sniping. In
1995 the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) issued national guidelines
stating that the Mormons were not "within the historic apostolic
tradition of the Christian Church." A more sharply edged report
by the Presbyterians' Utah subunit concluded that the Latter-day
Saints "must be regarded as heretical." The Mormons have responded
to such challenges by downplaying their differences with the mainstream.
In 1982 an additional subtitle appeared on the covers of all editions
of the Book of Mormon: "Another Testament of Jesus Christ." In 1995
the words Jesus Christ on the official letterhead of the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were enlarged until they were
three times the size of the rest of the text. In Salt Lake City's
Temple Square, the guides' patter, once full of proud references
to Smith, is almost entirely Christological. "We talk about Christ
a lot more than we used to," says magazine editor Peck, whose journal's
outspokenness has earned him an edgy relationship with the church.
"We want to show the converts we are Christians."
And not just the converts. In an interview with TIME, President
Hinckley seemed intent on downplaying his faith's distinctiveness.
The church's message, he explained, "is a message of Christ. Our
church is Christ-centered. He's our leader. He's our head. His name
is the name of our church." At first, Hinckley seemed to qualify
the idea that men could become gods, suggesting that "it's of course
an ideal. It's a hope for a wishful thing," but later affirmed that
"yes, of course they can." (He added that women could too, "as companions
to their husbands. They can't conceive a king without a queen.")
On whether his church still holds that God the Father was once a
man, he sounded uncertain, "I don't know that we teach it. I don't
know that we emphasize it... I understand the philosophical background
behind it, but I don't know a lot about it, and I don't think others
know a lot about it."
It would be tempting to assign the Mormons' success in business
to some aspect of their theology. The absence of original sin might
be seen as allowing them to move confidently and guiltlessly forward.
But it seems more likely that both Mormonism's attractiveness to
converts and its fiscal triumphs owe more to what Hinckley terms
"sociability," an intensity of common purpose (and, some would add,
adherence to authority) uncommon in the non-Mormon business or religious
worlds. There is no other major American denomination that officially
assigns two congregation members in good standing, as Mormonism
does, to visit every household in their flock monthly. Perhaps in
consequence, no other denomination can so consistently parade the
social virtues most Americans have come around to saying they admire.
The Rev. Jeffrey Silliman, of the same Presbyterian group that made
the heresy charge, admits that Mormons "have a high moral standard
on chastity, fidelity, honesty and hard work, and that's appealing."
There are limits to Mormon sociability. In 1993 the church capped
a harsh campaign of intellectual purification against dozens of
feminists and dissidents with the excommunication of D. Michael
Quinn, a leading historian whose painstaking work documented Smith's
involvement with the occult and church leaders' misrepresentation
of some continued polygamy in the early 1900s. The current crackdown,
some analysts believe, stems from fears of loss of control as the
church becomes more international. Most think it will get worse
if, as is likely, the church's hard-line No. 3 man, Boyd Packer,
someday becomes President. Some wonder how the strict Mormon sense
of hierarchy, along with the church's male-centered, white-dominated
and abstemious nature, will play as the faith continues to spread
past the naturally conservative mountain states.
Yet it is hard to argue with Mormon uniformity when a group takes
care of its own so well. The church teaches that in hard times,
a person's first duty is to solve his or her own problems and then
ask for help from the extended family. Failing that, however, a
bishop may provide him or her with cash or coupons redeemable at
the 100 bishops' storehouse depots, with their Deseret-brand bounty.
The largesse is not infinite: the system also includes 97 employment
centers, and Mormon welfare officials report that a recipient generally
stays on the dole between 10 and 12 weeks, at an average total cash
value of $300. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the system
is its funding, which does not, as one might expect, come out of
tithes. Rather, once a month, church members are asked to go without
two meals and contribute their value to the welfare system. The
fast money is maintained and administered locally, so that each
community can care for its own disadvantaged members.
"Our whole objective," says Hinckley, "is to make bad men good
and good men better, to improve people, to give them an understanding
of their godly inheritance and of what they may become." And he
intends to do it globally. In what will undoubtedly become the hallmark
of his presidency, he is in the process of a grand expansion, the
organizational follow-up to the massive missionary work the church
has long engaged in overseas. To gather the necessary capital for
it, Hinckley has decelerated the growth of Mormon domestic investments:
although still on the increase, their pace is far below that of
previous decades, and the church has extracted itself from such
previously Mormon-heavy fields as banking, hospitals, private schools
and sugar. The church authorities have removed the tithe from the
authority of local administrators and pulled every penny of it back
to Salt Lake City for delegation by a more select and internationally
minded group of managers.
No one thinks the push abroad, and the complementary balancing
act domestically, will be easy. Says Bradley Bertoch, a venture
capitalist (and nonpracticing Mormon) who specializes in attracting
money to Utah: "The church needs to recruit adequate labor to drive
its business growth beyond the borders of the U.S. But at the same
time it has to make sure that it doesn't lose control of the home
ground. It's the same problem of resource allocation in new markets
faced by any multinational."
Will it succeed? Will the generations of young Mormon men who
have so avidly evangelized beyond the borders of their country be
followed by a fiscal juggernaut that will make the church as respected
a presence in Brazil or the Philippines as it is in Utah, Colorado
or, for that matter, America as a whole? Assessing the church's
efforts at overseas expansion, author Joel Kotkin has written that
"given the scale of the current religious revival combined with
the formidable organizational resources of the church, the Mormons
could well emerge as the next great global tribe, fulfilling, as
they believe, the prophecies of ancient and modern prophets."
Hinckley puts it another way. "We're celebrating this year the
150th anniversary of the arrival of the Mormon pioneers," he says.
"From that pioneer beginning, in this desert valley where a plow
had never before broken the soil, to what you see today...this is
a story of success." It would be unwise to bet against more of the
--Reported by S.C. Gwynne and Richard N. Ostling/Salt Lake City
Kommentteja yleisöltä seuraavassa numerossa 11.8.1997
Your article on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
was very well done. I have been a Mormon all my life, attending
meetings, paying tithes and offerings, teaching children and adults
in church classes, etc. We Mormons believe that the sacrifice of
worldly goods is an important principle, requiring faith in God
as it does, but we also believe in freedom to exercise moral agency--which
means, as far as monetary contributions are concerned, each member
is free to pay or not. Your report made it seem as if Mormons are
under a great deal of pressure to pay their annual 10% tithe. I
don't think there is much pressure, other than that of individual
conscience, to pay tithes or other contributions.
BLAINE BORROWMAN Midvale, Utah
The Internal Revenue Service should study the Mormon church's use
of power and guilt to collect a 10% tithe from its members. The
IRS might find out what happens to church members who fall short
of the 10%: privileges and positions are withheld; there is no admission
to any temple; and they cannot reach the top rank of the three levels
TRACY A. BREEDING Denton, Md.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a global faith
with a message that appeals to those who seek an anchor in a world
of shifting values. However, leaders of the church were disappointed
that you created a false impression of the church's income and wealth.
Your estimates were greatly exaggerated. The church's income is
not nearly what was reported. Also the church's assets are primarily
money-consuming assets and not money-producing.
BRUCE L. OLSEN, Managing Director Public Affairs Department The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Salt Lake City, Utah
Mormonism isn't a religion; it is a corporate empire. The Kingdom
of God comes in a poor second to the riches of this church.
DON RADEMACHER Glendale, Calif.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is wealthy because
its people are basically honest, educated, industrious and unselfish.
It sends out missionaries to share what its members have with other
people. Don't mock that.
GLENN A. HANSEN Chicago
I converted to Mormonism 27 years ago; ultimately, I did not leave
the church--it left me. Many of its questionable beliefs and practices
are not revealed to converts before baptism. Like every other cult,
Mormonism gains psychological control by undermining self-trust.
Your photograph of the young celebrant with arms raised and fists
clenched says it all. Imagine trying to discuss your personal problems
with a guy like that.
NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST Salt Lake City, Utah
As a fifth-generation Latter-day Saint, I read with interest your
report on the church. It is amusing how the media are so intent
on primarily examining the financial holdings of my church. My voluntary
tithes and offerings stem from my sincere belief in the divine origins,
doctrines and destiny of this religion. The real strength of the
Mormon church can be found in what it offers mankind spiritually,
PETER W. MADSEN West Jordan, Utah
Mormons are "nice" only to people who agree with them.
I am not a Mormon, but I have countless friends who have been badly
hurt by this cultlike faith. Their crime? Daring to want a more
sophisticated intellectual life than their religion allows. After
being raised in the suffocating sweetness of family and faith, they
find themselves cast out, and although they relish their escape
and freedom, a part of them will always ache for that absolutist
belonging. Next time you write about Mormonism, look at all sides
of this unusual, politically powerful and often cruel religion.
SEAN GARDNER Santa Fe, N.M.
Ah, religion--man's answer to his spiritual hunger. Nourish the
soul, find truth, find the meaning, find God. All religions seek
to lead people through these searches to the ultimate answer. Unfortunately,
along the way many religions, including Mormonism, have fallen prey
to the "God in a box" syndrome--explanations that reduce
the infinite to what mortal minds can comprehend and, possibly,
equal. They can call this religion, but spirituality or faith, never!
NANCY SIGLER Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Your story read like a pitch for recruits to the Mormon church.
The assertion that Joseph Smith was "a simple farm boy"
who was given tablets of ancient scriptural writings that were "taken
up again to heaven" cries out for some investigative reporting.
And if God speaks directly to the Mormon leaders, why did it take
him until 1978, two decades after the start of the civil rights
movement and 115 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, to reveal
to his chosen people what most others already knew--that racism
LARS OPLAND Palmer, Alaska
Samassa 4.8.1997 numerossa artikkeli "Walking
A Mile in Their Shoes"