UTAH IS VERY DEPRESSING....
- From: Sword of Laban <mormoninfo@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 20:29:35 -0800 (PST)
Group targets LDS women
December 2, 2009
REXBURG -- A large media campaign involving billboards and mass
mailings has been launched in eastern Idaho. Its goal is to draw women
away from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The "Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons" campaign was started by
the Truth in Love Ministry in Nampa, and its focus is on "witnessing
to Mormons" and showing them the "truth of God's words" through
This week a billboard was placed at the intersection of Yellowstone
Highway and Seventh South in Rexburg showing a woman holding her head
next to the words "Feeling Worthy?" The billboard also gives the
campaign Web site, HisHealingNow.com.
The "Feeling Worthy?" message "targets a foundational fact of
Mormonism, the need for all Mormons to achieve worthiness in order to
receive eternal life," according to campaign literature.
The campaign says God's truth is "the concept of free and full
forgiveness through Christ" rather than the "earned forgiveness taught
"There is an important difference between LDS teachings and
conservative Christianity," said Pastor Mark Cares, president of the
Truth in Love Ministry. "The aim of the campaign is to talk about the
great message of forgiveness in the bible that is obscured by LDS
Campaign literature focuses heavily on Mormon "stress points."
"Mormons are under a significant amount of stress because of all the
commandments they need to uphold and all the duties they need to
perform in order to be worthy to receive God's blessings -- including
his forgiveness," it says.
"The teachings of Mormonism cause people to despair because they have
so much to do," said Cares.
Cares preaches that God's forgiveness and blessings are available to
everyone for free if they simply accept the "good news of God," that
"we are already perfect and worthy in God's sight."
So the question is, are Mormon women actually plagued with guilt and
stress because of their religion or is this campaign simply another
form of anti-Mormonism?
The Speaking the Truth in Love campaign is different from many anti-
Mormon groups in that most typically seek to argue or dispute facts
regarding Mormon history or doctrine.
Instead of resorting to "Bible bashing," the Truth in Love campaign
seeks to fellowship and love Mormons into accepting their views that
Mormonism will lead to "eternal death" rather than "eternal life."
One reason for the change in tactic may be because of recent
scientific studies by Mental Health America and Express Scripts, a
national drug distribution company. The report ranks Utah as the most
depressed state in the country and shows that Utah residents are
prescribed antidepressant drugs at twice the national average.
Researchers have drawn conclusions that the large LDS population was
partially to blame for the high levels of depression in the state.
But these statistics have their critics.
Brigham Young University sociologist Sherrie Mills Johnson recently
did a comparative study of more than 3,000 non-LDS women and two
national surveys of more than 2,000 LDS women.
According to Johnson, "to date, no conclusive evidence has been
presented that proves that LDS women are more depressed or take more
anti-depressants than other women."
Johnson stands by the "most significant finding of her study," that
"increased religiosity predicted increased life satisfaction and
Local psychologists agree with those findings.
According to Reed Stoddard, the director of the Brigham Young
University-Idaho Counseling Center, feelings of guilt, being
overburdened and stress are issues that they deal with frequently, but
he says there not necessarily caused by religion.
"Properly understood, our religion does not contribute to depression
or anxiety," said Stoddard. "In fact, the church can be helpful in
overcoming stress and depression."
Local LDS leaders and LDS religion professors agreed with this
sentiment, and most said that the LDS faith is very liberating in its
"The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is fundamentally liberating,"
said Phillip Allred, a member of the BYU-Idaho Religion Department.
"By definition it offers salvation from guilt, sin and weakness -- but
he (Christ) provides those on his own terms. He requires our
allegiance, our loyalty and our faithful obedience to his commandments
and ordinances because they help qualify us to receive the highest
manifestations of his grace."
Allred suggested a May 2007 address to LDS women given by James E.
Faust, a deceased member of the First Presidency of the LDS Church, to
further explain the LDS Church's stance on personal self-worth and
The address is titled "The Value of Self-Esteem."
"There are many whose self-esteem has been so devastated by the loss
of loved ones, by divorce, or by other personal misfortunes," said
Faust during the address. "Some carry an extra burden of guilt from
grievous sins. Transgression is so devastating to self-esteem. After
transgression so often comes rationalization and even lying. This is
what makes justice so violent to the offender. Fortunately we have the
great principle of repentance whereby sins that are 'as scarlet' can
become 'white as snow.' I am grateful for this principle and pray no
one will hesitate to find the peace that comes from repentance."
LDS Area Seventy Robert Chambers, who represents the LDS Church in
southeastern Idaho, had no comment on the Truth in Love Ministry
campaign partially because he had not heard of the group.
In addition to the billboard in Rexburg, two "Feeling Worthy?"
billboards have been placed in Idaho Falls and another two in
Pocatello. They are slated to remain standing for at least three
Cares said that the biggest thing he wants to stress is that "we
aren't against the Mormon people -- our focus is against the Mormon
teachings," and "bringing as many Mormons as possible to heaven."
For more information about Cares or his campaign, visit
HisHealingNow.com or truthinloveministry.net.
- Prev by Date: When you look at the world
- Next by Date: Roman Catholics- The Episcopal Church Wants YOU!
- Previous by thread: When you look at the world
- Next by thread: Roman Catholics- The Episcopal Church Wants YOU!