Mormon apostle criticized for anti-Catholic remarks

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M. Russell Ballard speaking in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2014

(YouTube Screenshot)

M. Russell Ballard speaking in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2014

M. Russell Ballard speaking in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2014

M. Russell Ballard speaking in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2014

A snippet of a speech by LDS Apostle M. Russell Ballard began making the rounds of the Internet yesterday, even though the original comments were made at a young adult devotional in Buenos Aires in February 2014.

In particular, Elder Ballard’s remarks about Roman Catholics not knowing God, Jesus, or the Holy Ghost have raised hackles among Mormons and non-Mormons alike.

The entire hour-long speech is available on YouTube here; Elder Ballard’s comments about Catholics begin around the 59 minute mark.

Most people don’t know where they came from. They don’t know why they’re here, and they don’t know where they’re going.

And if they have a Catholic background, they don’t know who God is. They don’t know who the Savior is; nor do they know who the Holy Ghost is.

And we know who they are because Joseph knelt in the presence of the Father and the Son, and our Father introduced the Savior to him in these words: “Joseph, this is my beloved son. Hear him.” A boy, who then was nurtured and trained by the Savior of the world to restore the fullness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth.

Elder Ballard then goes on to present Joseph Smith’s sterling apostolic creds—essentially out Catholicking the Catholics in the matter of ecclesiastical authority. Joseph was ordained by Peter, James, and John, who laid their hands on Joseph’s head.

The good news is that the thirty-second clip that’s available on TubeChop is the only example in Elder Ballard’s entire hour-long speech of any disparaging remarks about members of other churches. (Though in other news, some listeners will likely object to the strong mandate he gives the young men in his audience to “GET MARRIED!” and start having babies ASAP, even if they can’t afford it.)

The bad news—and it is discouraging—is that his remarks about Catholicism represent a regrettable step backwards in Mormon attitudes toward other faiths.

In recent years, Mormon leaders’ rhetoric about other Christian faiths has been of the supersessionist variety: as President Hinckley put it in 1998, “Let me say that we appreciate the truth in all churches and the good which they do. We say to the people, in effect, you bring with you all the good that you have, and then let us see if we can add to it. That is the spirit of this work. That is the essence of our missionary service.”

In Hinckley’s approach, other faiths are not laboring in ignorance or darkness. Their adherents are good people who enjoy the light of truth. Mormonism can add even more goodness to that (the supersessionist element) and another level of divine fulfillment—but the seeds of truth were already there.

Supersessionism is still elevating ourselves above others, and we could have a long and fruitful discussion about whether that’s even helpful. But the supersessionist approach is a darn sight more sensitive than what Elder Ballard seems to suggest here, which is that Catholics have no knowledge and nothing to offer to Latter-day Saints, who already “know” all the truth we need.

So let me testify right now of the beauty of Catholicism. I have learned as much about God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit from Catholic thinkers as I have from LDS ones, and I am grateful for the truths that have been born from 2,000 years of Catholic wisdom and history.

As a child and teenager, I learned about the Lord from our Catholic neighbors down the street, who were surrogate parents to me. When I went away to college, the mother prayed the rosary every day for her three children—and for me.

Today I am happy to see my daughter enjoying the privilege of a loving, rigorous, and justice-oriented Marianist education.

I would not be the Christian I am slowly becoming without the writings of James Martin, Joan Chittister, and Thomas Merton; the music of John Michael Talbot; or the respite of several meaningful retreats at the Abbey of Gethsemani.

These are just a few of the gifts Catholicism has brought into my life. To say that Catholics “don’t know who God is. They don’t know who the Savior is; nor do they know who the Holy Ghost is” is simply untrue—and unworthy.

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  • Ken Dahl

    Of course one of the reasons non-Mormons (and non-tithing Mormons) aren’t allowed into the LDS temples is to keep certain things “sacred.” Such as the moment in the endowment ceremony when those there for instruction are taught that Mormonism is the only true religion and all other religions are a product of Satan’s ministers.

    And let’s not even revisit late Mormon apostle Bruce R. McConkie’s long-held campaign platform identifying the Roman Catholic Church as the Church of the Devil.

    The LDS hierarchy and PR machine are masters of lip service.

  • Joseph

    The goal with reporting should not be to position one religion over another, or to criticize.
    Isn’t there enough of that already going on in the sectarian world?

    I think his message is intended to emphasize that a proper understanding of Diety is required to be able to follow their example more fully.

  • Larry

    The whole point of proselytizing is to denigrate the existing faith of a given group in order to advertise for the new faith being peddled. They are competing for numbers with each other.

    Sects playing nice with each other is more of a concession to modern pluralism than religious thinking. No religion accommodates other beliefs. One avoids sectarian attacks because of practical concerns of having to share space with others.

  • Charles Randall Paul

    Thanks, Jana, for you piece on this important subject.

    I do wish someone in the audience in 2014 had asked Elder Ballard, “Do you mean a practicing Catholic (without converting to Mormonism) simply can’t have the Holy Ghost (a member of the Godhead) or The Spirit of Christ (another member of the Godhead) speak to him or her the truth of who God is? Are you saying God just won’t tell anyone but a good Mormon who God is? Please clarify that.”

    If this had been asked, I think Elder Ballard would have backed up somewhat, and given a much more nuanced response . . . The LDS community is just coming to term with the richness of its doctrine in Alma 29 about the various ways God reveals who he is to different cultures.

    Randall

  • JenK

    A year or so ago, a GA spoke at our Stake Conference & said something very similar to Elder Ballard’s remarks. He said, “The Spirit of the Lord does not exist in ANY other church except for ours – the Mormon church.” What a terribly pompous, presumptuous thing to say.

    Also – I believe an apostle proclaimed in GC that families WON’T be together forever unless they’re sealed by exclusive Mormon ritual. (Is God’s default position really separation? Are we sure about that?)

    The overarching sense I get is that older generations don’t have an aversion to exclusivity and elitism – but younger generations are repulsed by it. That 99.9% of all humans who’ve ever lived have never heard of Mormonism make these claims even more ludicrous. I don’t think older generations see how condescending and repugnant these claims are.

    Can we stop the fear-mongering & othering? I find his preface (paraphrase),”the world is increasingly filthy & ugly” – to be divisive and not necessarily…

  • Ben in oakland

    Frankly, I don’t understand what the problem is. The Catholics say that they have the one true faith. The Mormons say they have the one true faith. The baptists say that they have the one true faith. For that matter, the Muslims say that they have the one true faith.

    You can claim youre worshiping the same God, but that seems unlikely, given the different backstory for each of these different faiths. And that doesn’t even get to the question of the Seventh-day Adventists and the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    What Elder Ballard is articulating is what each and every one of you has always claimed. YOU HAVE THE ONE TRUE FAITH. all of the rest are shams.

    Interestingly enough, there is one place, and only one place, that conservative religionists can all meet and agree: gay people are icky and bad and deserve everything you can do to them under color of law.

    One would almost think that your doctrinal wet dreams have nothing to do with faith at all.

  • Mormonthought

    I am a Mormon with a Catholic Education. I don’t think he should have said they do not know God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. He should have said that their understanding and experience with the Godhead is different than ours. One must be careful when saying the word “know”. I am LDS so I think he meant they do not know them theologically or spiritually as we do, but to say do not know them sounds like he is calling them ignorant and dumb. It verges on being polemic.

  • ben in oakland

    BTW, that was a generic you, not YOU personally.

  • allen

    So what the Apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ said is untrue and unworthy? On what authority do you declare such? Article after article you attack the Restored Church. You attack the Church you claim to love. Now I’m sure there are some things written or uttered by general authorities, past and present, that I don’t fully agree with. But I don’t go out of my way to trash them. I believe you know what Elder Ballard was talking about. You know he was referring to God the Father who has an eternal body of flesh and bone. The literal Father of our spirits Whose work an glory is to bring about our Eternal Life, to be like Him. He was speaking of our Savior Whose marvelous Atonement makes our potential exaltation possible. To gain complete access to that Atonement one must abide by the laws and ordinances of the Restored Gospel. The Holy Ghost can be felt by all who seek righteousness but the Gift of the Holy Ghost and it’s satisfying power is only found in this Church.

  • Laura

    Wow, what that church leader said truly saddens me. I have taken many things from other faiths that I believe have added to my own spirituality, and I prize them greatly. The fact is, if the spirit didn’t rest with other faiths in any form, as that GA suggested, then frankly no one would really feel inspired to join any of those faiths. SOME measure of the Spirit resides in pretty much all religions. I am an avid “cathedral collector,” visiting as many as I can, and I can’t even count the number of times I have been moved to tears by being there. The Spirit is absolutely there.

    I love the Gospel, I truly do. But sometimes things that lurk in our church culture really bother me, and this is a BIG one for me. I get the idea that we wish to lead people to our own faith, out of a strong desire to see the best things for them eternally. However, to place ourselves so far above all other religions is sheer arrogance, and it is not in keeping with our gospel.

  • What’s funny is that most LDS that I’ve had conversations with will deny left and right that they denigrate other religions like Ballard does here. And let’s be honest, what he said is articulated in lesson after lesson in church and CES. The only thing done differently here is that it was published or broadcast so that non members could watch and see what Mormons say among themselves all the time. Your Hinckley example articulates what Mormons say in public. Ballard here articulates what Mormons day among themselves.

  • Paul J Elliott

    We should not be surprised by Ballard’s anti-Catholic bigotry. He realizes that every Mormon claim to the truth has been seriously eroded in the last few years. It is a major reason I returned to the Catholic faith after years in the LDS Church.

  • Jane

    Seems a shame that every word the Apostles utter these days is parsed. They’re not perfect, and I wouldn’t want them to be. They’re humbles servants doing their best–which is pretty darn good. I listen to them every day while I walk. I can’t even begin to say what a blessing they are in my life. What precious teachings we have at our fingertips!

    But I do agree with you Jana. One only has to read Catholic writing to know how deeply they understand and revere Jesus Christ. I’ve most definitely felt the Spirit while reading various Catholic writers over the years.

  • Dan

    Mormonism is based on a myth, (alleged “first vision”)

  • Dan

    To quote from the bom is no different as quoting from the book of Santa, they both are fiction

  • Dan

    The mormon holy spirit is another son of the alleged couple in mormon heaven , mormons call this heretical/blasphemous doctrine “celestial parents”…talking about knowing god, are you kidding me!

  • Dan

    Allen, by the few remarks you made about the mormon god…you should be able to give me chapter verse from your canonized “scriptures” the teaching/doctrine about a man that gets married becomes the mormon god…(and that is NOT the God of the Bible.)..I can give you 1000 + verses from the Bible that declares a Triune Everlasting God.has always existed as the only True God of the whole universe…so, Just give me one Chapter Verse from your scriptures that the mormon god was once a man and becomes a god ( aka celestial parents)

  • Dan

    Bingo! Dad…scream

  • Steve

    Which version of the alleged first vision? There are at least 4 of them and the details of the one canonized in the LDS scriptures wasn’t heard of by his family, the Whitmers or anyone else close to him in the early days.

  • JKC

    To be fair, Elder Ballard probably thinks, if he is like most Mormons, that the Catholic view of the Trinity is that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all one person. Saying that they don’t know the three persons of the Godhead is probably just an inelegant way of saying they don’t know the truth about the nature of the Godhead. Of course, the irony is that modalism is not the Trinity, and Catholics would likely agree that someone who is deceived by the heresy of modalism does not know the true nature of the Trinity.

  • MarktheMormon

    I am surprised at your response. If anyone is in a position to determine whether another belief system has any hope of comprehending the Lord, it would be one of the Lord’s special witnesses. Certainly the ancient apostle Peter would be able to make that call, then why not a modern day apostle? I understand your desire not to be offensive, but trying to be politically correct is not always possible when dealing with truth and error. The fact is that God created man in God’s image. From the creeds of Catholicism, we are given to understand that catholic doctrine does not interpret that passage literally. The passage they do interpret literally is that God is a Spirit (as in, that is all He is), that he does not possess a physical body. Without that understanding, it is impossible to comprehend His nature and His relationship to man, nor is it possible to exercise the faith that is required to return to His presence after this life.

  • Wilfried

    t’s a little indigenous to critique a Mormon leader who simply confirmed that Catholics do not “know” the Godhead as Mormons do, and who said this in a 15 second remark to a limited audience in 2014.
    And then say nothing about what the Catholic Church constantly proclaims to a worldwide audience about the practices and beliefs of Mormonism, such as “Mormon theology is blasphemous, polytheistic, and cannot be considered on par with the theology of other Christian groups.”
    http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/what-does-the-catholic-church-say-about-the-practices-and-beliefs-of-mormonism
    Search in the same site what other things Catholics have to say about Mormons. You will not find anything like that on Catholicism on lds.org.

  • Lauri

    https://youtu.be/UBLMjYxUGyA. U might enjoy this..it is the Mormon basics..a great talk to explain the reason Mormons are different.

  • Lauri

    To me.there seems to be a difference in how we say things determined by our purpose and audience. We as Mormons must boldly speak the belief that the LDS church is the original Church of Jesus Christ restored again. We must be comfortable saying there was a falling away or an apostasy and there still is Apostasy on the earth. If course others think differently.but we must stand by that core assertion. We are the Church of Jesus Christ. In climates of mutidenominational work… we certainly join hands to serve and work with all others…Christians, Jews, and atheists too. We say lets put our diffrrences aside to work together. But we will when it is right speak the truth with love, allowi g others to reject our stance completely. We educate and inform. We teach the truth. There is truth.. we have to be OK with that.

  • Fred M

    I see your point. I think this comment stands out as offensive mostly because these days the prophet and apostles work very hard to avoid statements which insult those of other faiths. They used to be prevalent in the church, but have now mostly been eliminated. Which I think is a good thing.

    As far as the doctrine of the Godhead goes, it’s very interesting to me how much it evolved in the early days of the church. The 1830 edition of the BofM is most definitely preaching the traditional belief of the Trinity, but by 1837 it had been edited to support the current belief (although there are many remnants of Trinity-based teachings still in the BofM). And of course, Joseph’s first account of the First Vision only mentions one personage. At some point the teaching became three unique and separate beings–but that wasn’t always the case. So I’m willing to cut Catholics some slack!

  • Danny S

    Mark,Allen, your comments suggest these “apostles” are above examination. Aside from Mormon urban legends, what puts the “special” in special witness?

  • ron

    The church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints is the true church organized by Jesus himself under the direction of his angelic apostles and his direct presence at times. Our message is unique in this respect as all churches come close on their own but ours has divine origins. This point must be understood clearly or all comparison of other religions will only be seen as “victimizing helpless people.”

    Lets be honest about it, the catholic church has and will do a tremendous amount of good in this world but it stops there. The message of jesus christs restored church is that those goods will be sealed and added the patron for eternity by divine authority.

    As an example, all religion only preforming ordinances “until death do you part” are due a measure of reward for the diligence they show to that ordinance but it has its end in death. This distinction between all religions and the true religion of Jesus Christ must be shown as we are divine children of eternal beings in…

  • ron

    Fact.

  • Mormonthought

    I agree with you. I understand you, but I am also a product of a Catholic Education. I do not think Mormons (leaders or others) communicate with Catholics very well. For example McConkie had to retract his statements about Catholics. Leaders are not infallible. I am not politically correct. I am just saying that Catholics are a huge group of people. Most Catholics are not theologians, they are holistic and not analytical. Most Catholics do not like to debate religion. If you do this they think you are just another Protestant and Mormons are not Protestants. It is easier to convert most Catholics by sharing our community with them and showing how well our church is organized not arguing about scripture.

  • Eric Facer

    “Let me say that we appreciate the truth in all churches and the good which they do. We say to the people, in effect, you bring with you all the good that you have, and then let us see if we can add to it.”

    I have often wished that President Hinckley had exhibited a little more humility by saying: “… bring with you all the good that you have and then let us see if we can add to it and if you can add to the truth we possess.”

    The notion that the Mormon Church has a monopoly on truth is both false and off-putting, surely to give offense to most prospective converts. I, for one, have discovered many valuable eternal truths in the writings of Catholic theologians and learned men and women of other faiths that have eluded their Mormon counterparts.

  • Fred Zundel

    For a balanced and more on spot take on Elder Ballard’s statements, see Dan Peterson’s response today on his Sic et Non website. Honestly, a tempest in a teapot. He nails it perfectly.

  • I don’t know that I agree with Jana Riess on this. In one way the LDS Apostle is being honest and candid about his perspective that Mormonism provides a better or truer way of knowing who God is as opposed to Catholicism. In religious diplomacy we want people to own their differences and confidence in belief and practice. At the same time we want people to do so with respect and fairness to others.

  • Michael

    The expression “restored gospel” is problematic. Jesus said clearly, “You are Peter and upon this rock I will establish my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it”. If Jesus’ church fell into apostacy within the first 300 years after his resurrection only to be restored 1500 hears later, then Jesus word is not to be trusted. The Catholic church isn’t perfect, but it has perservered dark periods and still administers the sacraments to the faithful after a milennia. It gave the world the bible, feeds the poor, established the university system, created beautiful sacred time-honored music, art and architecture to the glory of God. The gospel was spread and continues to be spread by Jesus’ original church. No need for a restored gospel; it never left the earth.

  • Duke of Earl Grey

    Well now, Elder Ballard, if that was an offer to learn more about who the Holy Ghost is, I’ll take you up on that. As I recall, as late as 1835 the church leaders thought the Holy Ghost was not a separate personage at all, but the mind of God. So say the Lectures on Faith. They also say that you have to have a correct understanding of the character of God in order to exercise the kind of faith in God that leads to salvation. But a few years later the church was teaching that the Holy Ghost is a personage, not of flesh and bones, but of spirit.

    I once asked a seminary teacher if the Holy Ghost would ever receive a body, my aim being to understand whether he was supposed to be another spirit brother of ours. The answer was essentially, “We don’t know, and we don’t need to know.” So tell me, Elder Ballard, what specifically is the special knowledge we’re supposed to have of who the Holy Ghost is?

  • Fred

    Duke, I just heard an intriguing theory as who the Holy Ghost was by Margarert Barker at this year’s FairMormon Conference, and that is that the Holy Ghost is Mother in Heaven, all as set forth in her recent Mother of the Lord: 1! She had a number of linguistic and wide-ranging textual reasons for this conclusion, but she was quite sober in arguing for this position. The Godhead thus consists of Father, Son, and Mother. Definitely more content than normally offered.

  • tapirrider

    He said it less than a year after the first American ever became Pope. He said in the very city where Pope Francis had been born.

  • something

    Elder Ballard’s comments aren’t even a little bit surprising, but he’s reflecting the kind of ignorance that’s typical when people try talking about each other’s religions. We’re better off trying to learn more about the mystery of who God is from each other than assume that the infinite God fits nicely into the cute little box we’ve made and tied a ribbon around.

    http://americamagazine.org/print/219047

  • Kevin Black

    Yeah, you’re flunking on this one, @janareiss. Talk about “make a man an offender for a word”! Revelation to the author of the Twible: religion is not in fact about sound bites.

  • Sharee

    I think you are misinterpreting Elder Ballard’s remarks. He did not say Catholics do not know God (for that matter, none of us really do). He said they do not know who God is. I think he is referring to the eroneous trinitarian belief system of Catholics and also most protestants. His remarks were not really anti-Catholic at all.

  • Ken Dahl

    I’ll go with the first account actually narrated by Smith as published in the Joseph Smith Papers Project. Only one personage cited, nothing about praying “which church is right?”, etc.

    The canonized version of the First Vision is simply a wishful thinking rewrite of Smith’s apocryphal story.

  • Ken Dahl

    Best comment thus far. When one reads the Joseph Smith Papers (“first vision” account), and the original text of the Book of Mormon, Smith obviously believed in the trinity. The Book of Mormon, prior to textual alteration, consistently referenced all three as one.

    This great “plan of salvation” and “eternal family progression” espoused by the LDS does have a 99.99% failure rate on earth. Some plan given its alleged importance to man’s destiny!

    And once every soul who ever lived has their temple work done (as proposed by the genealogy-obsessed LDS), what becomes of their temples?

  • Shane

    The only thing erroneous is the tripe about God, Christ and the Holy Spirit being separate. The Trinity is Biblical, the LDS view per usual is unbiblical.

  • Sister Geraldine Marie, OP, RN, PHN

    Also, read the lives of the saints! All they did was show love for YHWH by doing acts of love for neighbor, including enemies!

  • Ken Dahl

    Just did a quick calculation based on a widely held belief that the total population of humanity on earth is around 108 billion people since “Adam and Eve.” It will take 10 million Mormons around a thousand years to to do temple work for everyone, assuming they each go to the temple once/month.

  • Dominic

    The poor Mormons would not know the name of Jesus had it not been for the Catholics.
    Magic glasses?
    Golden tablets?
    Jesus in America after the Ascension?

    Okay, THAT the Catholics don’t believe. Mainly because Joe Smith was a con man who made it up.

  • Debbie

    He IS being honest, but that makes his position no less arrogant, unless the LDS church can actually fulfil the claim he’s making, which anyone with 20min research can work out that they don’t.

  • Nan

    The best would have been to just leave Catholics out of the speech entirely, specifically mentioning Catholics was unnecessary.

  • Nan

    Was this said by a Catholic Bishop, Cardinal or Pope? If that’s the case you may have a point since one of those offices may be look upon like the office of Apostle in the LDS church. I can find statements about Catholicism that are similar to the site you linked in Mormon apologetics boards.

  • To be fair, most Catholics are not taught to know God, they are taught that God is unknowable. In Mormonism, we are taught of a loving and knowable God. It sounds to me like this is what he is stating, and in that, he is correct. That said, it still wasn’t the best idea for him to point it out, especially in such a vague way.

  • Larry

    Any sect/faith which proselytizes absolutely depends on denigrating other religions in order to prop theirs up.

    After all, there is no such thing as an objective religious claim. No one religion has a monopoly on “truth”. Proselytizers must rely on emotional appeal and arguments in order to continue their work.

    Ballard’s remarks are not surprising given the compulsion of the LDS to spread through any available means. Anyone looking for converts acts this way. Arrogance and insulting nature is a feature of such faiths not a bug.

  • Garson Abuita

    Jana, I found your treatment of supersessionism to be interesting. The idea that “we’re just adding to your valid beliefs” is much tamer than supersessionism’s usual usage in Jewish-Christian relations, where it refers to the theology that Christianity has replaced Judaism, that Christians are now God’s chosen people, and that the New Testament has replaced the Old. It’s not viewed as a positive development in interfaith relations.
    Historically one might view Mormon anti-Catholicism as a natural outgrowth of its time and place, Protestant America of the mid-1800s. Seventh-day Adventism has similar roots and historically the same anti-Catholicism. (Both faiths share an emphasis on healthy eating and living, another common theme of the the mid-19th century…). The trend in interfaith discussions seems to be to say that we believe what we believe, but we’re not going to disparage anyone else. Ballard might have violated that “cardinal” rule.

  • Don Doctrinaire

    We’ve come to expect anti-Catholicism from fundamentalist cults, haven’t we?

  • Don Doctrinaire

    I guess you’ve never heard of the Eucharist; of which the Bible says “He was known to them in the breaking of the bread.”

    Catholics are connected with Christ in the most intimate of ways at every Mass.

  • Nan

    You are at best mistaken in your understanding of Catholic teaching but honestly after reading from so many Mormons and in light of Elder Ballard’s comments I see that the LDS church spends time on teaching members a false understanding of other faiths. Why the LDS church spends time in it’s Sunday meetings talking trash about other religions I’ll never understand, I never saw it in other churches.

  • Mark Hudson

    M. Russell Ballard is the best example why the LDS Church needs to set a retirement age for their apostles.

  • Bart Burk

    I’m an ex-Mormon Catholic. Since Catholics don’t believe that God is an exalted man with a physical body as Mormons do I can see where Ballard is coming from. It would have been more correct perhaps if Ballard had said Catholics don’t know God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as well as Mormons do.

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  • DL Jorgensen

    MormonThought, I appreciate your thoughts. While I am not Mormon although I have some relatives of my late Father and friends who are. They are kind, thoughtful people trying to live the Commandments. The Triune G-d (G-d the Father, G-d the Son,G-d the Holy Ghost ) is not named in the Bible explicitly, as you know. It is implied in more than a few locations. The Bible does state or imply that G-d had relations with Mary, as Mormons have as one of their basic tenets. I note you state you used to be Catholic. I not Catholic, I am a Jew. For you, an ex-Catholic, I think it would be difficult to go from believing the Eucharist is the ‘real presence’ to believing the Mormon temple ceremony (borrowing heavily from the Free Mason’s ) is the real religious experience. Lapsed Catholic’s are not a new phenomenon, but I find it interesting you left the Church every Christian acknowledges as the church created by Jesus for one created by a young man from upstate New York. G-d bless…

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