Friday, October 22, 2010

Harry Reid Bold Claim: I Prevented World Wide Depression

Harry Reid is making quite a bold claim by  telling Ed Schultz on last night that he had had prevented a world wide economic depression:
 "We were at the top and we've fallen very hard. So people have been hurting, and I understand that, and it doesn't give them comfort or solace for me to tell them, you know, but for me we'd be in a worldwide depression. They want to know what I've done for them, and that's why it's important for me, any chance I get, to say that my number one job is to create jobs." 
That's quite a claim Harry.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vatican Declares Homer SImpson A True Catholic


Apparently , the Vatican is a big fan of the Simpsons television show since it frequently deals with religious issues frequently. But the Vatican's love for the show isn't new. It praised the television program last year:
Last December, as the television series celebrated its 20th anniversary, the paper said that "the relationship between man and God" is one of its most important themes and that it often mirrored the "religious and spiritual confusion of our times"
However, L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's daily broadsheet, has now gone one step further and declared Homer Simpson a good Catholic: 
"Few people know it, and he does everything he can to hide it, but it is true: Homer J Simpson is a Catholic," insists L'Osservatore Romano.
 What television character do you think the LDS Church would identify as a True Mormon?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Harry Reid Debates Sharron Angle And Loses


The consensus on the debate between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle is that Harry Reid lost the debate. The best line from the debate comes from Sharron Angle as seen in the video above. She tells Mr. Reid to "Man up!" which seems to be an effective and catchy phrase female politicians are using these days. 
Even in the after the debate, Harry Reid continues to perform poorly. One of the issues that Angle and Reid clashed on was Harry Reid's statement about the U.S. losing the war in Iraq. Harry is claiming that Sharon Angle is lying about what the Mormon senator said  about the United States losing the War in Iraq. Unfortunately for Harry, YouTube refudiates the Mormon Senator's claim since it clearly shows that he said the War in Iraq is lost.
My prediction is that Harry Reid will be dethroned in the Nevada elections. He doesn't have much time to save himself since early voting starts tomorrow.  
Good luck, Harry!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rumor In China: Freedom of Speech Coming Soon?

It might be a coincidence. It might not be. The proverbial wall might be coming down in China soon.
Just shortly after the LDS Church announces that it is expanding in to mainland China, former Chinese government officials are demanding that the practice of censorship end in China: 
Almost two dozen former Chinese Communist Party officials and academics have signed a petition demanding that government censorship in China be dismantled in favor of the freedom-of-speech rights enshrined in the national constitution.
The open Internet letter surfaced just days after jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize and shortly before the ruling Communist Party’s central committee convenes for meetings that some observers expect to include discussion of political reform.
“We hope they will take action,” said Zhong Peizhang, a signatory who headed the news bureau of the government’s Central Propaganda Department from 1982 to 1986. “As it says in the letter: to cancel censorship in favor of a system of legal responsibility.”
The letter is seeking to appeal to the Communist leaders desires to see China's catch up with the with the modern world:
In one section, the letter says that China’s censorship system is “315 years behind England and 129 years behind France.” Farther down, it says bluntly, “Our propaganda organs have a horrid reputation within the party and in society.”
The people of China have been fighting for freedom for a very long time. The most famous example is the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest. However, if freedom comes, it will come quietly. And it might come as China finds a way to allow the Church to operate in China without it being in a legal limbo:
The Chinese government recognizes only five religious groups: Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, Muslim and Taoists (the only native Chinese faith, the others all were imported).
Mormonism, which did not break off from other forms of Christianity but rather claims to be the restoration of Jesus’ original church, does not fit into any of those groups.
“As religions have become more and more common in China and as religion is more freely practiced, government officials are left with this straitjacket of categories,” Hyer said. “They don’t know what to do. Are they going to create a new category?”
Regardless of how China decides to categorize the Church, allowing the Church to regularize its operations in China is step towards freedom of speech in China since the freedom of religion requires people have the right to express their religious beliefs. The LDS Church already has a temple in China in Hong Kong and it has expatriate branches in China. And while the Church doesn't have any missionaries in China, it sends Chinese speaking missionaries to other parts of the world and converts Chinese citizens living abroad. Moreover, some people have taken it upon themselves to share the gospel online in Chinese. And as more Chinese people join the Church in other parts of the world, it will have an impact on the Chinese government at home. 
With China permitting the Church to expand into China, maybe freedom of speech will come to China sooner than we think. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Study Finds Mormons Know The Most About Christianity

A recent study conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life tested to see how much Americans know about their own religion and the religion of others. They asked thirty two questions that tested a wide range religious subjects such as famous historical religious people, core tenets of different faiths and how much people understood the Bible. What the Pew Forum found is good news for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 
In terms of overall knowledge about religion, Mormons come in third while Jews come in second place and agnostics as well as atheists come in first place.
However, the most surprising part of this study is how well members of the LDS faith knew about Christianity in comparison to other Christian faiths. Mormons scored the highest when it came to answering questions about Christianity and the Bible by getting 7.9 out of 12 right on average. Stephen Prothero, a professor of religion at Boston University and an advisor on the survey made this comment about how well Mormons know about the Bible: 
"He said he found it significant that Mormons, who are not considered Christians by many fundamentalists, showed greater knowledge of the Bible than evangelical Christians."
It is good to know that Mormons, who claim to be part of the Christian faith, have the highest knowledge about the Christian tradition. I think the significance of this finding is that Mormons do take the label "Christian" very seriously and that we really are dedicated to the Bible. When we say we're Christians, we mean it. And studies back it up. In fact, as I pointed out in earlier blog posting, there was a study conducted in 2001 by the The Barna Group, a pro-Christian research firm found that Mormons are more likely to read the Bible during the week than are Protestants or Catholics. These studies, as well as other studies, show that Mormons score high on every measure of Christianity whether its Church attendance, knowledge of the Bible, how often we read the Bible and our belief in God and His Son. At some point, Christians of other faiths must realize that we really are Christians despite the doctrinal disagreements we may have.
The Pew Form study found that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints take the study of our own religion very seriously. What the study found that Mormons, out of the different faiths involved in this research, are the most dedicated to learning about their own faith.
"Mormons, black Protestants and white evangelicals are the most frequent readers of materials about religion. Fully half of all Mormons (51%) and roughly three-in-ten white evangelicals (30%) and black Protestants (29%) report that they read books or go online to learn about their own religion at least once a week. Only a small fraction of all religiously affiliated Americans – 6% of the general public and no more than 8% of any religious group – say they read books (other than Scripture) or visit websites to learn about religions other than their own at least once a week.
Nearly half of Americans who are affiliated with a religion (48%) say they “seldom” or “never” read books (other than Scripture) or visit websites about their own religion, and 70% say they seldom or never read books or visit websites about other religions."
I think this also ties in with why Mormons are so knowledgeable about our faith and why we score so well on questions about Christianity. Not only are we encouraged to read our scriptures daily, but we are encourage to engage in personal study in reading the words of our religious leaders and reading up on Church history as well as doctrine. That includes comparative studies as we learn about other Christian faiths in conjunction with learning about our own. 
The study revealed some clues about what made people more knowledgeable about other people's faiths. They found that education was the greatest factor in influencing how much a person know about religion. The Pew Forum also found that religious activity was also a significant factor: 
"Other factors linked with religious knowledge include reading Scripture at least once a week and talking about religion with friends and family. People who say they frequently talk about religion with friends and family get an average of roughly two more questions right than those who say they rarely or never discuss religion. People with the highest levels of religious commitment – those who say that they attend worship services at least once a week and that religion is very important in their lives – generally demonstrate higher levels of religious knowledge than those with medium or low religious commitment. Having regularly attended religious education classes or participated in a youth group as a child adds more than two questions to the average number answered correctly, compared with those who seldom or never participated in such activities." 
The conclusion I draw from this is that The LDS Church does a great job in helping is members be religiously literate and knowledgeable about religion whether it be our own faith or the faith of others. The emphasis on getting  an education and   participating in Church activities such as attending Sunday services, going to the temple, serving full time missions, having Family Home Evening, personal and family scripture study, going to early morning seminary, and institute all contribute to helping us enrich our religious life on a personal level. It helps us improve spiritually and intellectually. 
What are your thoughts on this study? 

UPDATE 9.29.10: I fixed some links and added a quote for this blog story.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Leaving Your Faith Can Be Detrimental To Your Health

An interesting study is claiming that losing your religion could be bad for your health. Christopher Scheitle, senior research assistant, in sociology at Penn State asked an interesting question: 
"Previous research showed some association between belonging to a religious group and positive health outcomes," Scheitle said. "We became interested in what would happen to your health if you left a religious group. Would people demonstrate any negative health outcomes?"
Before I share the results of the study,  the subjects of the study is almost as interesting as the results itself and the conclusion is almost so obvious that a research study of this kind isn't required. But its nice to have science confirm the obvious. Researchers were studying the health effects of those who left a "strict religion." What religions did they classify as a strict religion? They were looking at people who had left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or Jehovah's Witnesses who are known for being an exclusive faith with rigid codes dietary, social, moral and physical standards.
As a result, this study should be of interest to the LDS Community regardless if they are in the community or have left it. 
What did the study find? Here are the results: 
"About 40 percent of members of strict religious groups reported they were in excellent health, according to the study. However, only 25 percent of members in those groups who switched to another religion reported they were in excellent health. The percentage of the strict religious group members who dropped out of religion completely and said their health was excellent fell to 20 percent. The difference between switchers and non-switchers, in reference to health, is statistically significant for the strict groups.
The study also indicated that people who were raised and remained in strict religious groups were more likely to report they were in better health than people affiliated with other religious groups."
The reasons for why people who left the LDS Church or Jehovah's Witnesses is pretty obvious if you think about it. Leaving a group that promotes a healthy lifestyle and strong social bonds may result in a reduction in one's health. Of course, its possible that that might not be true if someone replaces one healthy lifestyle for another. However, having poor health might be a cause for leaving the Church as well since unhealthy people may find it harder to find enjoyment in a organization that follows a strict health lifestyle. 
For those of you who are in or out of the LDS Church, do you agree with the findings of this study?
 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Study: Keeping Sabbath Day Makes Women Happier

A recent study has found that women are more happier when they are keeping the Sabbath. The study, conducted by Researchers from DePaul University in Chicago and Ben-Gurion University 
followed church attendance and levels of happiness among Americans living in states that had repealed so-called blue laws, which once required most retailers to stay closed on Sundays.
The researchers found that allowing stores to open on Sundays was linked with a decline in church attendance among white women, which led to a subsequent decline in happiness. Among black women, the repeal of the blue laws had no measurable effect, although that may be because the sample size was too small to draw any statistically meaningful conclusions.
Notably, the finding was true only for women. For men, the repeal of blue laws didn’t seem to influence church attendance or levels of happiness.
Since the repeal of blue laws, women are about 17 percent less likely to report being “pretty happy,” and more likely to report being “not happy,” according to the study, which is still awaiting final publication.
“People know there is a correlation between religiosity and happiness, but there’s not conclusive evidence that there is a causal effect,’’ said William Sander, professor of economics at DePaul. “Our paper tends to provide more conclusive evidence that religiosity among women does affect happiness.’’
The study is surprising in someways and not so in other ways. Studies have shown that women tend to be more religious than men. However, what is surprising, to me at least, is that not keeping the Sabbath only affects the happiness of women and not men. I would have assumed it would have affected the happiness of both genders.
Several possible reasons for why women are more unhappier when they're not keeping the sabbath are that children are more likely to get in trouble because they're hanging out at malls, women started to work on Sundays after the repeal of Sunday Blue laws or that it allows women to shop on Sundays:
Or it may simply be that the lure of shopping is more powerful than the desire to attend church, even though it brings less happiness.
“Shopping is kind of addictive, and even though it doesn’t make people happy, they’re doing it and they don’t return to church as much because of that,’’ Dr. Sander said. “There is instant gratification from shopping compared to the benefits of church, which may occur over a longer period of time.’’
None of the explanations seem satisfactory to me. They could equally apply to men. Does anyone have a better explanation for why women are not as happy as men when they're not keeping the Sabbath? 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The LDS Church Expanding Into Mainland China

The LDS Church has formally established a relationship with China in which the Church as well as its members will have greater freedom in operating and worshiping in the most populous country in the world. This is a huge breakthrough for the LDS Church. KSL is reporting that the the two parties have chosen to call the expansion of religious freedom for Mormons in China a "regularizing" of Church activity in that country:
While the Church makes it clear its agreement with Chinese leaders does not mean LDS missionaries will go to China, it appears there will now be fewer restrictions for members of the Church who live in China as they practice their faith. 
At a meeting held Aug. 24 at LDS Church headquarters, the First Presidency met with a senior official of the People's Republic of China. Together they established a relationship, which the Church expects will lead to "regularizing the activities of the Church in China." 
"The Church deeply appreciates the courtesy of the Chinese leadership in opening up a way to better define how the Church and its members can proceed with daily activities, all in harmony with Chinese law," LDS Church spokesman Michael Otterson said Monday 
Both sides agreed to publicly acknowledge the meeting. LDS members with connections to China believe the announcement is a major breakthrough for the LDS Church.
 What does regularizing of Church activity mean in China? The LDS newsroom has the answer:
“It is important to understand what the term regularizing means, and what it does not mean,” Church spokesman Michael Otterson said. “It does not mean that we anticipate sending missionaries to China. That issue is not even under consideration.
“The Church deeply appreciates the courtesy of the Chinese leadership in opening up a way to better define how the Church and its members can proceed with daily activities, all in harmony with Chinese law.”
Otterson said that many details need to be worked out in further discussions with Chinese officials but that the pending developments were the result of 30 years of building mutual trust with the Chinese.
“They have become thoroughly familiar with us through numerous contacts, and they have seen how we and our members operate in China. They know that we are people of our word when it comes to respecting Chinese law and cultural expectations,” he said.
What is interesting is that the Church claims that John Huntsman played no role in the discussion and that no other U.S. government official were involved in the discussion. While John Huntsman may not have had any official role in making this historic agreement happen, I think the Chinese government were impressed with him as a person who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that it may have had some bearing on their decision to regularize Church activity in China.
Regardless, the Lord does work in amazing ways to get countries to open up to the Gospel.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Visalia 2nd Ward Bishop Shot During Church


The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that a tragic event has occurred today in Visila, California on Tulare Avenue where a Bishop Clay Sannar of the Visalia 2nd Ward was killed by a gunman during Church: 
"Bishop Clay Sannar, 42, was shot in his office during a break between scheduled Sunday services, officials said.
Several people were in the area, police said, but it’s unknown whether there are eyewitnesses to the 12:30 p.m. shooting of Sannar. The first service at the church ended at noon and the second was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., church officials said.
The suspected shooter was shot by police minutes later. The suspect’s condition has not been released, but a Tulare County Coroner’s Office vehicle was at the scene.
Sannar was general manager at the Soil Basics fertilizer company in Visalia, according to the company’s website. He was the father of six children, a church spokesman said Sunday."
The Fresno Bee is reporting that there are no known connections between the suspect and the victim:
"Ralph Jordan, a church leader, said it appears the suspect didn't know Sannar. "The suspect is not a member of the church," he added.
Jordan said the man "asked for the leader of the church," and then shot Sannar. Jordan said the shooting occurred between the morning and evening services, so there weren't many people on the church campus at the time.
Police chief Colleen Mestas said the suspect drove away from the church and called police about 1:04 p.m., telling officers he had shot the bishop and where he could be found. Officers located him at Burrel Avenue and Divisadero Street and they exchanged gunfire, Mestas said. Officers fired on him multiple times, hitting the suspect. He was taken to Kaweah Delta Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead."
Mormonism Unveiled suggest that there may be a possible motive for the shooting but it is highly unlikely: 
"In reviewing comments posted to the various media outlets, there has been concern expressed about the possibility that this bishop may have been politically targeted. First, the shooter didn't ask for the bishop by name; the shooter merely asked for "the president or bishop". Second, I've now learned that Clay Sannar contributed $1,500 in support of California Proposition 8, but that was two years ago and it would seem like that's no longer an issue. Until we find out more about the shooter, this should remain speculative only."
 If more details emerge, we'll post it as an update.

UPDATE (8.30.10): The shooter has been identified as Kenneth James Ward of Modesto California. No motive has been developed yet.

UPDATE #2: The brother of the shooter is claiming that Kenneth James Ward was an ex-Mormon who had psychiatric issues: 
"The brother of the man police say shot a church leader Sunday says his brother was mentally ill and felt wronged by The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints – a church he was a member of in the 1980s.
Mike Ward, the younger brother of Kenneth Ward, 47, says his brother took their grandfather's handgun and shot lay Bishop Clay Sannar because Ward felt that that a Bishop, not Sannar, had wronged him in 1988."
UPDATE #3: A fund has been set up to help the Sonnar Family. You may donate here.

UPDATE #4 (8.31.10): The LDS Church has confirmed that the shooter, Kenneth James Ward, was an former member of their Church. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mormons Don't Think Too Highly Of Obama

The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting on a recent poll conducted by the Gallup group concerning Barak Obama's approval ratings among religious groups shows that Mormons are not too thrilled with the current president:
A Gallup survey released Friday shows only 24 percent of LDS faithful approve of the president’s job performance, down from 43 percent a year ago. Mormons have consistently given Obama his lowest ratings among religious groups, according to Gallup polls dating to the beginning of his presidency.
The slide of support among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is more pronounced than with Catholics, Protestants, Jews and other religious believers in America, the poll shows.
Muslims have consistently offered the president the highest approval rating of any religious group, now at 78 percent, down from 83 percent a year ago, while half of Catholics polled backed the president.
About 43 percent of Protestants and other Christian faithful gave Obama a positive approval rating.
The reason for why members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints give Obama the lowest approval rating among is due to the fact that they are the most conservative religious group in America. Another reason is that much of Obama's policies run counter to the LDS beliefs of personal accountability,  independence and self reliance. This may account for why Mormons such as Glenn Beck and Mitt Romney are some of the most vocal critics of the Obama Administration. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Voice From The Dust: Don't Vote For Harry Reid

Harry Reid is in the reelection fight of his life. A recently deceased LDS woman, speaking from the dust, has encouraged Nevadans not to vote for Senator Reid. The Las Vegas Review Journal tells the story
"Election 2010 has just heard from a member of the Silent Majority.
You know, from a deceased person.
Chances are good you never met Charlotte McCourt during her 84 years, but I’m willing to bet you’ll be hearing about her in the coming days now that her obituary has taken Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to task. It’s the kind of small story that has the potential to ricochet like a bullet through the campaign showdown between incumbent Reid and Republican challenger Sharron Angle.
Not because McCourt, who died July 8 after a long illness, was a political player or business powerbroker, but precisely because she was neither of those things. She was a homemaker, proud mother and grand mother and wife of 67 years to Patrick McCourt.
And she was at one time a loyal supporter of Harry Reid.
Her obituary, printed in Tuesday’s Review-Journal, reads in part, “We believe that Mom would say she was mortified to have taken a large role in the election of Harry Reid to U.S. Congress. Let the record show Charlotte was displeased with his work. Please, in lieu of flowers, vote for another more worthy candidate.”
Ouch.
McCourt was born Dec. 25 in Wellington, Utah and was a 40-year Nevada resident. She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Perhaps by coincidence, Reid’s re-election hangs in no small part on his ability to encourage conservative and religious Democrats to support him. He is also a member of the LDS faith."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Is Reid Campaign Hiding Its Activities To Evade Campaign Finance Laws?

Harry Reid's campaign and the Nevada State Democratic Party appear to be playing games with federal campaign finance laws as to expenditures to maintain and promote the fake "TheRealSharronAngle.com" website.
That fake website was launched by the Reid campaign, as a press release from the Reid Campaign made clear, Reid Campaign Re-Launches Sharron Angle's Campaign Website:


As reported by Politico, the original Disclaimer at the bottom of the fake website stated that it was paid for by the Reid campaign.

The Reid campaign was forced to take down the fake website because the Reid campaign was misleading the public, and also obtaining names and contact information on Angle supporters under false pretenses.

After the fake website was taken down, the web address "TheRealSharronAngle.com" was re-directed to a cheesy website supposedly run by the Nevada State Democratic Party (see below), titled "Sharon Angle's Underground Bunker."

The Reid campaign then scrubbed the fake website, and re-launched it in a manner which was less deceptive, including eliminating the forms for Angle supporters to provide names and e-mail addresses and to sign up to volunteer.

But an interesting thing happened after the Reid campaign scrubbed the fake Angle website.

Now, the Disclaimer at the bottom claims that the website has no connection to the Reid campaign: "PAID FOR BY THE NEVADA STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. NOT AUTHORIZED BY ANY CANDIDATE OR CANDIDATE'S COMMITTEE."


But clearly this Disclaimer is not true. The fake website was a creation of the Reid campaign, and continues to be run by the Reid campaign even after the scrubbed version was re-launched (emphasis mine):
"While we disagree with the assertions in Angle’s “cease and desist” letter, we took the website down temporarily to make it more clear that the intent is solely to point out how far Sharron Angle is running from her own embarrassing record,” said Reid campaign manager Brandon Hall. “We are not attempting to deceive anyone. Unfortunately, that point was lost on Angle’s campaign as evidenced by the threat of legal action to get her own website taken down. We made minor changes to address her frivolous concerns and now hope the new Sharron Angle can now focus on explaining why the old Sharron Angle’s views are so unacceptable."
So if the Reid campaign launched and then re-launched the fake Angle website, and controls the content, why does the Disclaimer now claim no connection to the Reid campaign?

The answer almost certainly lies in the campaign finance laws, which limit how much money (or valuable goods or services) a state campaign committee can donate to or coordinate with a candidate's campaign.

By claiming the fake Angle website has no connection to or coordination with the Reid campaign, the Nevada State Democratic Party would not have to include such expenditures towards their limits, allowing it to spend more money to help the Reid campaign.

Here is how the Congressional Research Service summarizes the law (emphasis mine):
Federal campaign finance law provides political parties with three major options for providing financial support to House, Senate, and presidential candidates: (1) direct contributions, (2) coordinated expenditures, and (3) independent expenditures. With direct contributions, parties give money (or in the case of in-kind contributions, financially valuable services) to individual campaigns, but such contributions are subject to strict limits; most party committees are limited to direct contributions of $5,000 per candidate, per election....

Coordinated expenditures allow parties (notwithstanding other provisions in the law regulating contributions to campaigns) to buy goods or services on behalf of a campaign, and to discuss those expenditures with the campaign. Candidates may request that parties make coordinated expenditures, and may request specific purchases, but parties may not give this money directly to campaigns. Because parties are the spending agents, they (not candidates) report their coordinated expenditures to the FEC. Coordinated party expenditures are subject to limits based on office sought, state, and voting-age population (VAP). Exact amounts are determined by formula.
(Per the CRS, the Citizens United case has not changed the these expenditure limits.)

It is unclear how the Nevada State Democratic Party will report the costs associated with the fake Angle website.  The Disclaimer at the bottom of the fake Angle website indicates, however, that the Party plans on claiming that the expenditures are neither directly to nor coordinated with the Reid campaign, a clearly false factual assertion.

One has to wonder how many other activities by the Nevada State Democratic Party really are being controlled by the Reid campaign, and therefore should count towards the spending limits.  For example, the "Sharron Angle's Underground Bunker" website has the same disclaimer as the fake Angle website; is the
Reid campaign really behind that other website as well?

I have a strong suspicion that Kelly Steele, the person tasked by the Reid campaign to "vaporize" Reid's political opponents, is behind the "Sharron Angle's Underground Bunker" website. 

On June 23, after I posted a negative analysis of the Reid campaign strategy, the Twitter accounts of both Steele and Angle's Bunker signed up to follow me at precisely the same minute.  It would be an amazing coincidence if Steele and the person behing the other website acted at precisely the same minute.

If the Reid campaign wants to issue a denial that it has any connection to the Sharron Angle's Underground Bunker website, I would be happy to post that denial as an update.  If there is a connection, the Reid campaign should come clean.

What is clear is that by now claiming the fake Angle website has no connection to and is not coordinated with the Reid campaign, the Reid campaign is playing games with the federal campaign finance laws. 

The question is, what else is the Reid campaign secretly doing behind the scenes to "vaporize" Sharron Angle, and are those activities properly being accounted for in accordance with the federal campaign finance laws?
Cross-posted with updates at Legal Insurrection Blog

P.S.: Some of you readers are wondering why I'm posting this when I should be studying for the bar. I am. However, I think this is a newsworthy event of such significance that  I think  is relevant news for Mormons to hear about.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Why LDS Missionaries Are Successful In Business

CNBC has a business report about how being an LDS missionary helps Mormons become successful in business.


The reporter makes a point about the apparent lack of successful Mormon business women who have served missions. I would disagree. There are a lot of successful LDS women in business.
If you're a LDS women and want to get connected with other successful Mormon business women, I suggest joining the LDS Business Women's Association (LDSBWA) on facebook.
For a lively discussion about women who have served a mission and become successful in the business field, Mormon Feminist Housewives has an blog on the same subject.

UPDATE (7.12.10): The Financial Times has a great article about the rising success of Latter Day Saints in politics, literature and business. Its an article worth reading. 

Poll: 41% of Americans Believe Jesus Will Return By 2050

The British newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, is reporting the results of a joint poll from the Pew Research Center and Smithsonian magazine in which they asked Americans what they think will happen by 2050. One of the interesting findings was what Americans thought about the chances of the 2nd Coming occuring: 
 "41 per cent say Jesus Christ will return within the next 40 years while 46 per cent say this will definitely or probably not happen".
While there have been numerous attempts to predict the second coming of Jesus, no body really knows when it will occur. Even Joseph Smith himself didn't know when Jesus would come. Elder M. Russell Ballard makes this point clear in an Ensign article
"Can we use this scientific data to extrapolate that the Second Coming is likely to occur during the next few years, or the next decade, or the next century? Not really. I am called as one of the Apostles to be a special witness of Christ in these exciting, trying times, and I do not know when He is going to come again. As far as I know, none of my brethren in the Quorum of the Twelve or even in the First Presidency knows. And I would humbly suggest that if we do not know, then nobody knows, no matter how compelling their arguments or how reasonable their calculations. The Savior said that “of that day, and hour, no one knoweth; no, not the angels of God in heaven, but my Father only” (JST, Matt. 1:40).
I believe that when the Lord says “no one” knows, He really means that no one knows. We should be extremely wary of anyone who claims to be an exception to divine decree."
Although no one knows the exact second, minute, hour, day and year that Jesus comes, Jesus tells us that the faithful will get a general idea of when he will come just as people know that summer is near because the trees are sprouting their leaves. (see Luke 21:29-31) The scriptures are full of signs or indicators to watch for that have happened or will occur that will give us some idea of when we are upon the last days before His coming.
However, I would think that 2050 would be a good guess as to when Christ would come. 
What do you think?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A New Prop 8 Documentary & The Creative Deception It Tells About the LDS Church



There is a documentary that is being released soon to theaters nation wide called 8: The Mormon Proposition and just the trailer itself already is full of inaccuracies and deceptive editing to misinform the public about the LDS Church's role in proposition 8.
Based on the trailer alone, I can tell that this documentary is going to be about as honest as a Michael Moore film in that it employs the same deceptive editing techniques to imply a fact that isn't true. One of the easiest falsehood to catch in the trailer was the way they included clips of anti-gay protestors from other religious faiths to give the impression that they're people from the LDS Church.
I was tipped off immediately that this wasn't going to be an honest film, despite the fact that the  when I saw a well known anti-gay protester in the trailer. His name is Reuben Israel and is listed in the film's credits.

He's easy to reconize in the trailer as the big, fat bearded man in dark sunglasses screaming into the bullhorn "shame on the homosexual community!" His method of spreading his "Christian" message his by protesting and has done so in a variety of different places, including at an anti-war rally.
This isn't the only documentary that Reuben Israel has been in. He was also in another documentary called Article VI: Faith, Politics, America and can be briefly seen protesting against the LDS Church in that film's trailer. In the film itself, he openly discusses his feelings against the LDS Church.
Reuben Israel isn't a Mormon and would never be a Mormon.
He is a well known anti-Mormon who has frequently protested against the LDS Church and has even been filmed dragging the Book of Mormon on the ground. He is the California State Director for The Street Preachers' Fellowship, an organization that actively protests against the Mormon faith.
If the film is already being deceptive in the way it edits the trailer by using a well known anti-Mormon protester to give the impression that he's a Mormon protesting against gays, then I have no confidence that the rest of the film will be in any way as honest either.
This is a film that is going to make Michael Moore proud.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

LDS Church Under Fire From Opponents Of AZ SB 1070

Once it was discovered that, Sen. Russell Pearce, was the legislator behind Arizona's immigration law was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Church has come under fire from the Hispanic community
Many Latinos who view the new law as unjust and discriminatory blame not only Pearce but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That is making it hard for Mormons to proselytize to the state's 1.8 million Latinos, whom the church views as key to future growth.
When the LDS Church was contacted by the press about the Senator Pearce's endorsement of Arizona SB 1070, it gave a very surprising response:
Kim Farah, a spokeswoman for the LDS headquarters in Salt Lake City, said in an e-mail that elected officials who are Mormons do not represent the position of the church. She said the church has also not taken a position on immigration, which is "clearly the province of government."
"However, Church leaders have urged compassion and careful reflection when addressing immigration issues affecting millions of people," she said in the e-mail.
It is odd that the Church has no official position on whether or not people ought to be allowed to have citizenship papers with them. Yet the Church does have an official position on illegal immigration.

Maybe Kim Farrah, the LDS spokeswoman, should read D&C 88: 3, 5-7, D&C 98:4-8, D&C 101:77 and the Twelfth Article of Faith if she is having trouble in figuring out what the official position of the LDS Church is on illegal immigration.

The fact that the Church doesn't have an "official" position on illegal immigration despite the fact that scriptures and modern Prophets have clearly stated that obedience to the laws of the land is necessary in being a good member of the Church is odd.

Furthermore, its strange that the LDS Church requires worthy members to carry and present their temple recommend as a requirement to enter into the Temple yet they have no official position with regards to state law that requires people to carry and present their legal papers as a condition to entering the United States?

I guess the Church really doesn't have a coherent or consistent official position on illegal immigration since the religion expects people to be obedient to the commandments as given in the House of The Lord yet many illegal immigrants are given temple recommends despite the fact that sneaking into America is a form of disobedience.

How the can the Church expect people to obey the commandments of God yet have no stance towards those who break the law of the land? This doesn't line up with D&C 58:21:
Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land.
One of the temple recommend questions is "Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?" How can the Church expect people to be honest if they're handing out Temple recommends to Church members who violate the law by entering the country illegally?

Sneaking into America is not only a form of disobedience but a form of dishonesty.

Hopefully, the Church will figure out what its official position is on civil obedience is.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Scientific Proof We're All Born With The Light Of Christ?

There is now evidence that babies at the age of six months old can discern the difference between good and evil. These findings might be of surprise to many people:
"An astonishing series of experiments is challenging the views of many psychologists and social scientists that human beings are born as 'blank slates' - and that our morality is shaped by our parents and experiences.
Instead, they suggest that the difference between good and bad may be hardwired into the brain at birth.
In one experiment involving puppets, babies aged six months old showed a strong preference to 'good' helpful characters - and rejected unhelpful, 'naughty' ones.
In another, they even acted as judge and jury. When asked to take away treats from a 'naughty' puppet, some babies went further - and dished out their own punishment with a smack on its head."
However, these findings might not be so surprising to LDS people since we find this gem in Moroni 7:16
The Spirit of Christ, is something that each of us is born with. As Elder Eyring explains:
"Every child of Heavenly Father born in the world is given at birth, as a free gift, the Light of Christ."
The Light of Christ, also known as the Spirit of Christ is something that secular people would call a conscience. However, Harold B. Lee affirms that this is no mere biological or evolutionary trait that each of us have:
"Every one of us has been born with that light, the light of Christ, which lightens all of us that come into the world, and it never ceases to strive with us, to warn us, to guide us, as long as we are keeping the commandments of God."
The fact that babies seem to be born with a sense of right and wrong before they are taught, socialized or conditioned into a set of values could be seen as a possible validation of the LDS belief concerning the Light of Christ we all are given from God. Yet, LDS theology has an additional explanation for why six month old babies are born with a sense of good and evil: 
"Throughout your pre-earth life, you were taught the principles and commandments that would lead to happiness, with freedom to choose to grow in intelligence and love of the truth, or not. " (Source.)
Another interesting scientific discovery that is relevant to our discussion here is that studies have shown that that all living things emits a light from within itself:
"Past research has shown that the body emits visible light, 1,000 times less intense than the levels to which our naked eyes are sensitive. In fact, virtually all living creatures emit very weak light, which is thought to be a byproduct of biochemical reactions involving free radicals."
This seems to affirm the LDS teaching all living things have the Spirit of Christ. President Boyd K. Packer teaches that:
"The Light of Christ is as universal as sunlight itself. Wherever there is human life, there is the Spirit of Christ. Every living soul is possessed of it." (Source.)
Elder Packer goes on to explain that this free gift, the Light of Christ, is not to be confused with the gift of the Holy Ghost. There is a difference between these two concepts:
"Everyone everywhere already has the Spirit of Christ, and while the Spirit of the Holy Ghost can visit anyone, the gift of the Holy Ghost is obtained “by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” (A of F 1:3), by submitting to “baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; [and the] laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost” (A of F 1:4). It is not automatically present like the Spirit of Christ is present. This gift must be conferred by one holding authority." (see A of F 1:5). (Id.)
Even though the Light of Christ and the Gift of The Holy Ghost serve the same functions, the Holy Ghost is a gift we can have with us constantly. President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:
“Every man can receive a manifestation of the Holy Ghost, even when he is out of the Church, if he is earnestly seeking for the light and for the truth. The Holy Ghost will come and give the man the testimony he is seeking, and then withdraw; and the man does not have a claim upon another visit or constant visits and manifestations from him. He may have the constant guidance of that other Spirit, the Spirit of Christ.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:42; see also Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 149.)
The Bible explains that receiving the Holy Ghost is necessary to enter into the Kingdom of God. As Jesus explains in John 3:3-7:
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."
However, Moses 6:59 indicates that receiving the Holy Ghost is literally a process of being born into God's Kingdom in the same way that blood, water and the spirit are present when a person is born. Thus, when we recieve the Holy Ghost, we are being born again with a new spirit or light within us. And just as we carried the lessons that we learned in the preexistence to Earth, we will take the lessons that we learn here to the next life. 
As a result I think its safe to say that the LDS doctrine implies that we have never been or will be born with a blank moral slate. We will always carry light and knowledge from previous states of existence to the next  phase of existence. 
Perhaps science is starting to catch up with what the Gospel has been teaching all along.  

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Holy Ghost: A False Positive?

I was sharing the gospel with my friend and trying to tell him about how the Holy Ghost can reveal truth to people.
He asks me what the Holy Ghost feels like. I tried to explain the different ways people experience the Holy Ghost.
He then says, "What if what you are feeling is just a false positive? What if its just a false positive?"
I didn't have a response to that. 
How do you explain to someone that feeling the Holy Ghost isn't a false positive?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

LDS Meeting Houses Might Be Going Green

The LDS Church might be going green by building environmentally friendly chapels. The LDS Church has unveiled a new chapel in Farmington, Utah that will have solar panels on the roof. 
Although the Church has sporadically enganged in earth friendly practices, this might be the new wave of church buildings in the future:  
The LDS Church has long used conservation practices in its buildings — deploying overhangs and verandas to reduce heat load in its structures throughout the world beginning in the 1950s, as well as using a system of several underground spring wells in the early 1970s to enhance the Church Office Building's cooling and heating system.
A meetinghouse in Susanville, Calif., has been totally heated by geothermal energy since the 1980s, and the conversion of the Vernal Tabernacle into the Vernal Temple in the mid-1990s featured reuse and recyle efforts. Based on the church's current "Heritage-T" design, the Farmington prototype has yet to be approved as a standard for the church.
"The early results are so overwhelming that it won't take long to determine where we're going on this," said Bishop Burton. "It's another step in our program to be environmentally responsible."
What are you feelings about the LDS Church's effort to create environmentally friendly and energy efficient buildings? 

2010 Elections: Predicting Which LDS Politician Stays Or Leaves Office

Here are the following predictions about the current LDS politicians who are running in the 2010 Elections.

1. Senator Bob Bennett
 I predict LDS Senator Bob Bennett will not win despite winning an endorsement from Mitt Romney. Many people feel that his voting record reveals that he is not conservative enough. A recent poll was conducted which put him in third place behind two contenders who are seeking his seat: 
A new Salt Lake Tribune poll of Republican delegates shows Bennett running in third, behind GOP challengers Mike Lee and Tim Bridgewater. Lee logged 37 percent support in the survey, while Bridgewater came in at 20 percent, and Bennett lagged at 16 percent.
Source.   
2. Senator Harry Reid
This prediction isn't too hard to make either since I've already discussed Harry's low poll numbers. The Senate Majority Leader will not be returning back to Washington D.C. He's trailing badly behind Sue Lowden.
3. Senator Mike Crapo
Republican Senator Mike Crapo will win the 2010 election since he is doing very well in the polls despite the fact that he is facing Democrat and Republican challengers to his Senate seat. I can't find any poll numbers to back up my claim but I'm fairly confident in my prediction.
4.  Jim Matheson
Senator Jim Matheson is being challenged by a fellow democrat named Claudia Wright and is also facing three Republican, two independent and one Constitution Party challenger to the Senate seat. I predict that Jim Matheson will be reelected. Again, I have no poll numbers to support that prediction but I'm feeling pretty good about it.
If you know any other LDS politician who is up for election, please let me know and I'll add it to my list of predictions for 2010.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Book of Mormon: A Broadway Musical!?

Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of "South Park" are about to unveil a new Broadway musical in New York City next year in which it will be about the Book of Mormon. They plan to tell the history of the LDS Church through a pair of missionaries serving in Uganda.

Some Mormons are thrilled with this news: 
"I realize we believe things that are crazy and unbelievable to outsiders," says Loyd Ericson, a Mormon studying philosophy at Claremont Graduate University in Southern California. "I'm willing to laugh at my culture and beliefs."
Plus, he says, Stone and Parker are smart enough to know that a mean-spirited production isn't going to attract a big audience. After all, they have gone down the Mormon road before on their long-running television show, Ericson says, and each time the topic has been handled in a critical but affectionate manner. 
In one scene, people of diverse faiths are engulfed in hell's flames when Satan tells them, Mormons had the true religion. Another season featured a team of faith leaders, including Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad, taking on the magician David Blaine, who wants to start a religion. LDS Church founder Joseph Smith is among them, "the super friends," as the show is titled.
Then there is one entire episode, "All About the Mormons," which tells the story of a LDS kid who comes to town. He tells his new friends how the church began, a history that is spoofed as "dumb." But the boy, his parents and siblings, Ericson says, are portrayed as loving alternatives to some of the dysfunctional families around them.
The main character in Stone and Parker's 1997 feature film, "Orgazmo," was an LDS missionary who becomes a porn star but uses a stunt double in the sex scenes so he can marry his sweetheart in an LDS temple. 
"Even in that movie," Ericson says, "Mormons were seen as kind of gullible, good-natured people trying to do what's best."
I have no objections either.

When Mormon filmakers tried to go Hollywood and gave us The Book of Mormon: The Movie, it was a flop. 


However, Matt Stone and Trey Parkers just might be the guys to help the LDS Church go mainstream and get people to learn more about our faith.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gen. Petreus' Top 10 Reasons BYU Grads Make Great Soldiers

At first, I thought this was a top ten list created by David Letterman. However, General David Petreus actually came up with 10 funny reasons why Mormons make great soldiers:  
10 — They have already been on many a mission.
9 — Army chow is no problem for folks accustomed to eating green Jell-o and shredded carrots.
8 — It's not a problem if they don't know what rank someone is, they just refer to them as Brother or Sister so-and-so.
7 — They never go AWOL. They just call it being less active.
6 — They will seize any objective swiftly if you tell them refreshments will be served.
5 — They know how to make things happen. In fact if you ever need a base built quickly in a barren wasteland, stride out to where you want them to start, plant your walking stick down and say in a loud voice, "This is the place."
4 — They have innovative ideas for handling insurgents — like assigning them home teachers.
Story continues below
3 — They always have a years' supply of provisions on hand.
2 — They are the world's most reliable designated drivers.
1 — They understand how far Iraq has come over the last seven years, and they think that Iraq's old spot in the "Axis of Evil" can now be filled by the University of Utah.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mormons Are More Likely To Read The Bible During The Week Than Are Protestants or Catholics

While doing some research about a certain Bible topic, I somehow came across this gem online. Its a list of the most interesting findings of 2001 as announced by The Barna Group, a pro-Christian research firm.
1. Among adults who have been married, born again Christians and non-Christians have essentially the same probability of divorce.
2. Mormons are more likely to read the Bible during the week than are Protestants or Catholics.
3. Adults who attend charismatic or Pentecostal churches were more likely to possess biblical beliefs than were those attending other Protestant and Catholic churches.
4. By the end of the decade, 50 million Americans will seek to have their spiritual experience solely through the Internet, rather than at a church; and upwards of 100 million Americans will rely upon the Internet to deliver some aspects of their religious experience.
5. Roman Catholics represent the second-largest denominational group of born again Christians in the nation - trailing the Southern Baptists, but way ahead of Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and others
6. Although one-third of all born again adults claim to tithe their income, only 12% actually do so.
7. Just half of all home schooling parents are born again Christians.
It was nice to find this little gem.
I just finished reading the entire Bible last year.
Do you read the Bible? How often?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The True Meaning of Easter



The video nicely demonstrates how the Savior suffered for all mankind and how Christ showed himself to people on both sides of the world.

The Bible and The Book of Mormon contain accounts of Christ using his own body as evidence of the reality of the Resurrection. Consider the Biblical account of Christ showing Himself to His apostles after the resurrection:
Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
And he took it, and did eat before them.
 Luke 24: 39-43
There is also the account in the Book of Mormon of Christ showing His body as evidence of the resurrection:
Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole dearth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.
And when they had all gone forth and had witnessed for themselves, they did cry out with one accord, saying:
Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God! And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bible Wars

One of the well known theological disagreements between Christians and Latter Day Saints is the Book of Mormon. Revelation 22:18 is often cited by Christians as biblical "proof" that there can’t be a Book of Mormon because of the belief that nothing should be "added to" or "taken away from" the Holy Bible.
Yet, there is a Bible war among Christians over which Bible is the correct one. 
For example, there is the King James Only movement in which some Christians believe that the King James Version (KJV) is the only true version of the Bible. In fact, some even go far as to argue that only the 1611 version of the Bible is the only true Bible and that other versions of the KJV, such as the New King James Bible (NKJV), are not.
Yet, other Christians don't believe in the idea that the KJV is the only true Bible. Pastor Steve Weaver, in his criticism of the KJV only movement, said something that caught my eye:
"One of the favorite verses used by advocates of King James Onlyism is Revelation 22:18-19..."
Hmmm. I've heard Revelations 22:18-19 being used against the Book of Mormon. But this is the first I've ever seen that passage used against...the Bible.

For a Mormon, its fascinating to see debates over which particular bible translation is "adding" or "taking away" from the Bible.
Adding Or Taking Away: Bible Translations
The reason why I find this amusing is because the criteria for accepting or rejecting a book is based on Revelations 22:18-19, then critics of the Book of Mormon are unfair and intellectually dishonest. Why? Because most Christian denominations are united or are in agreement in their rejection of Book of Mormon based on the same passage of the Bible, but are not united in agreement which version of the Bible is true.
Although all Christians accept the Bible, they're just not sure which one does or doesn't "add" or "take away" from the Bible.
Looking around the Internet, its clear that the debate over the which Bible edition or translation is the correct one is quite fierce. For example, you'll find that some believe that the New American Standard Bible (NASB) is "corrupt."

Others do not like the New International Version (NIV) and believe that it is a "perversion" of the Holy Bible. There are those who believe that The New American Standard Version (NASV) is not the "true" word of God.

The Today's New International Version (TNIV) is under criticism because it attempted make the Bible gender neutral and as a result, this is a distortion of the Bible.

There are those who are just unhappy with the Message Translation.

Even translations that have been offered by different faiths are under criticism.
For example, there are some who have issues with the Jehovah's Witness translation of the Bible, the New World Translation (NWT). A Christian website wonders aloud if the New World Translation is "valid" version of the Bible while another site claims that the Jehovah's Witnesses have changed the Bible to "suit its own theological bias."
Another example would be the criticism towards Joseph Smith's treatment of the Bible. The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (now called the Community of Christ) calls it the Inspired Version of the Bible (I.V.) where as the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints call it the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (JST).

As you can see, no Bible is safe from Christian critics. 
The truth is that the Old Testament and New Testament has always been under constant revision ever since the beginning of recorded scripture. For example, the earliest known editing of the Bible comes in the form of the Documentary hypothesis which  holds that the first five books of Moses were later edited and redacted by unknown scribes or writers.

 Even Liberals and Conservatives Have Their Own Books!
Furthermore, its not just different religious groups that have their own Bible. Even people with certain political or social beliefs have their own "Bible". For example, some environmentalists have the Green Bible.

On the other side of the political spectrum, there is a small minority of conservatives who believe that the Bible has been edited with a liberal bias. As a result, the Conservative Bible Project was born because they want go back to a more politically pure Bible by making it more "conservative." Naturally, there are some Christians who aren't amused by the idea that the Bible needs to be "edited" for its proper political slant.

Even a famous politician such as president Thomas Jefferson edited his own Bible.
Adding Or Taking Away: How Many Books In The Bible?
Not all Bibles are the same. Some denominations have "extra" books in their Bibles. For example, Jeff Lindsay, an LDS apologist points out that
"the Roman Catholic Bible now has about twelve books more than the Protestant Bible, meaning that about 200 pages of text have been "subtracted" - one could say - from the Protestant Bible relative to the "traditional" Catholic Bible."(Source.)
There are other Bibles that have extra books that are not found in most European versions such as the Armenian Bible or the Ethiopic Bible.
Missing Books In The Bible: Adding Or Taking Away?
A final issue is that the Bible as we know it today may not be complete. In fact, there is a long list of non-canonical books referenced in the Bible. This means that there are books, prophecies, quotes and allusions that are not in the Bible. As a result, there is a fierce debate over missing Bible verses or how many books are in the Bible.
I came across a website created by a Christian named Dr. Paul Richardson who made this statement about the missing Books in the Bible:
 "I really wish I had these missing books. I would love to read them, wouldn't you?"
The Book of Mormon is just like the Bible. There are sacred writings mentioned in Book Of Mormon that are not found in the text. Here are a few examples: the teachings of King Benjamin, the words of Amulek and Alma. These words, along with some other writings, are missing from the Book of Mormon. 
Only God Edits The Scriptures
Only God can edit the scriptures. It is authorized under the direction of the Lord himself through prophets.  For example, King Jehoiakim had "taken away" from the scripture by burning a roll written by Jeremiah . Yet, the Lord instructed him to rewrite the words that were destroyed. (See Jeremiah 36: 27-28).

We see clearly that the King had "taken away" from the Bible, and yet, the Lord told Jeremiah to "add" to the scriptures by restoring what the King had destroyed. Not only did God have Jeremiah to restore what was lost but the Lord told him there were more things to write!

The Book of Mormon is like the Bible in which God tells His servants what to write down or what not to write down. (see  2 Ne.4: 15, 2 Ne. 29: 11-12, 3 Ne. 27: 23-24 and 3 Ne. 28: 25)

Another example can be seen when God, foreknowing that Joseph Smith would lose 116 pages of translation of the Book of Mormon, inspired Mormon to include the small plates with the other golden plates. Once Joseph Smith lost the manuscript, the Lord simply restored that which was lost by instructed Joseph to translate those small plates since it had the same period of time as contained in the lost manuscript.
Conclusion 
It is fascinating how some Christians criticize others about which Bible they are using and  yet, somehow, the Book of Mormon cannot be accepted because it is an extra scripture that violates Revelation 22:18-19
If Revelelation 22: 18-19 is the standard for which we judge the authenticity of scriptures and if the Bible can be accepted despite the various translations, editions, additions as well as subtractions, then the Book of Mormon should be accepted based on the same standard too because The Book of Mormon is just like the Bible.
Just a postscript: the dividing of the text into numbered chapters and verses as in the King James is “adding to” the Bible, as the original manuscripts do not have them. ;)