Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Distributed video takes aim at LDS beliefs

Distributed video takes aim at LDS beliefs ... Protestant groups
distribute 20,000 copies of the 50-minute film
Originally published Saturday, April 30, 2005
By Julie Pence
Times-News writer

TWIN FALLS -- Convinced they have the inside track to heaven and
Mormons don't, a mostly Protestant crowd gathered Friday evening at
the Roper Auditorium to respond to a provocative video they say proves
Mormons are mis-informed.

The video, titled "DNA vs. the Book of Mormon," was left at the
doorsteps of almost every home in the cities of Twin Falls and Jerome
earlier in the week. High school students from the Lighthouse
Christian Academy had taken the day off from school Monday to deliver
20,000 copies of the video.

Pastor Greg Fadness of the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship said his
congregation and the Calvary Chapel, North Valley Branch, as well as a
few other well-intentioned Christians paid for the videos, which were
produced by Joel Kramer, Scott Johnson and Jim Caitlin of Brigham
City, Utah.

On the 50-minute film are geneticists and archeologists who claim that
the latest scientific research proves that some information in the
Book of Mormon is not just misguided, but that it is flat wrong. The
information to which they refer has to do with the Mormon belief that
the American Indians are direct descendants of the Hebrews, and that
the Indians displeased God and hence he burned their skins dark.

Dr. Brad Hobbs, president of the Twin Falls Stake of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said he didn't consider the video
being left at almost every residence in two towns an attack on the
Mormon Church. But he did say, "I think it is ill considered."

"If you want to learn about a particular religion, you ought to ask
the members of that religion what their beliefs and doctrines are,"
Hobbs said. "You probably wouldn't go to another religion and ask them
to tell you about yet another religion."

Fadness said he realized that delivering 20,000 copies of the film
into two communities in which the largest religious group is Mormon
could be risky.

"We thought through the negative implications," Fadness said Friday.
"But we're not condemning a church, but a particular teaching. We
would hope a thinking person would question it."

Kramer said that he had no choice but to make the film and disseminate it.

It's nothing less than eternity at stake, he said.

If Mormons don't get a chance to learn about the theories in the film,
they might not be saved, Kramer said. That means one thing: that they
will wind up in Hell forever, said Kramer, who is a former Mormon.

Hobbs said the film is far from the final word on genetics and the
Book of Mormon.

"As a physician, I've spent a lot of time in science, and I know this
is a very complex issue," Hobbs said. "Theories on genetics are
numerous and very complex, so people have to be very careful about
drawing conclusions."

Hobbs said he wouldn't attend the Friday seminar but that there will
be some follow-up for church members.

"We will be arranging for our people to learn more and gain more
information about this," he said.

Fadness said he has been deluged with positive e-mails about the
video, though he admitted most of them are from non-Mormons.

Nevertheless, Fadness, who said he believes Mormons are not
Christians, justified the one-sided response he has gotten.

"If Christians are saying this is great information, they might know
LDS families or they might be related to LDS people and they can talk
to them about it," he said.

Times-News writer Julie Pence can be reached at 735-3241 or by e-mail
at jpence@magicvalley.com.

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