I too have met the Mormons (Mathew N. Schmalz, “Meet the Mormons,” November 9), but my experience has been a lesson in religious discrimination. It’s true that one will find the Mormons to be extremely polite and personable. But I discovered that deep down they believe that other faiths, especially Catholicism and Protestantism, belong to Satan. This tenet is in the Mormon book of Nephi. Because every Mormon swears an oath that the Book of Mormon is true, denying that teaching about other faiths could lead to excommunication.
Schmalz is correct: Latter-day Saints (LDS) cannot relate the “Light of Christ” within a person to external religious authority. But LDS leadership has painted itself into a corner. How can they claim that Mormons can disavow the “Satan statement” while being faithful to the Book of Mormon? It is easier for the LDS leadership to teach silence than address the problem.
Plenty of Catholics are willing to discuss Mormonism with Mormons, but it is not Catholics who reject LDS. It is the other way around: Mormons seek tolerance but offer none in return.