As likely the whole world knows, this case was withdrawn (or in other words dismissed) last week. I have had one or two comments criticising me over not putting anything up over this, so I thought I would pull a couple of things together.
It is generally seen as a victory by the LDS faithful that this case has been withdrawn. However its interesting looking at the blog of one of the complainants Steve Bloor some of what this has achieved. (for the full post see here)
1. Beliefs should no longer be considered facts
2. Priesthood Leaders not needed to represent the Lord’s Church, instead lawyers who make pronouncements on behalf of the Church.
3. One more step to having true freedom of, & from, religion
4. Tithing is voluntary and optional
5. Catalyst For Change
Lawyers in this case insisted that tithing is optional in the Mormon Church. that is interesting to me as I have seen LDS members denying this to be the case as they all know that tithing is essential to enter the temple which is essential to exaltation. So therefore what is being said is: “tithing is optional unless Mormons actually want to be with their families forever”. This is interesting and when you think about it, and it is not really a true statement to say that tithing is optional.
The other points are picked up on more on Steve’s post. I think I ultimately agree with the thoughts of many other Christians that this may have opened a dangerous door for other faiths had it gone the full distance, however either way this has pointed out the fact that for years the Mormon church especially through its young missionaries has not been very open at all about its beliefs and history.
Is it a coincidence that the LDS church has, through various articles on their site started talking about their history and beliefs? I am not sure.
Chris Ralph one of the complainants in this case has said this:
It is most enlightening to observe how swift some are to judge matters about which they understand so very little. They do so simply because they identify with a tribe. “The Tribe” rather than “The Truth” is what matters the most to them, or so it appears.
The summonses, (one of which mentioned me as a victim), were withdrawn on Thursday 20th March due to technicalities in the legal process which need to be addressed. This has been proclaimed a massive victory, despite the fact that it says nothing concerning the truth or otherwise of the actual allegations, which, of course, have yet to be heard and tested. It is, in effect, a gagging order for the time being, and nothing more.
One would think that an organisation which proclaimed itself to be “the only true church” would be eager to demonstrate the truthfulness of that lofty claim by answering questions about its history, rather than avoiding them, but not so apparently. It is easier for those at the helm to hide behind expensive lawyers, and legal technicalities, and not have to answer anything. Their tribal newspapers then spin this somehow into a victory, and the followers rejoice.
The mantra begins: “No unhallowed hands can stop this work”, etc.
Perhaps so, but I will only say this to my friends: I have scrutinized my hands once more this morning, (I do so daily), and am able to report that they are still hallowed. The questions still require answers.
This was an opportunity for Mormon Leaders to proudly uphold their beliefs and history and they by no means took the opportunity. This reminds me of the Apostle Paul defending himself in court in Acts, proclaiming the gospel and even being met with this response.
24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” 25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. 26 For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?”[b]29 And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.”
Imagine if LDS leaders had been so bold!
I think the goal of this case is far from over. As I said on my 3rd post on the matter the goal of this site is to bring LDS people and all others to a saving faith in Christ, therefore I will not be covering this point by point, however here and there I will put some updates on about where this is going,.