An entertaining example of anti-Mormons using the crimes of FLDS people in Texas to smear The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints comes from Gary Swank at Gary Swank is a regular writer for The Conservative Voice, a significant conservative Website with 100 contributing authors. He also writes for several other blogs. In his May 4, 2008 post on the FLDS crisis, he lumps FLDS apostasy with Latter-day Saint religion, and makes some fascinating errors in the process.

He begins by explaining why the FLDS force young girls to have babies:
The belief is that disembodied spirits float in the air. They are yearning for body housing. Therefore, every pregnancy provides a disembodied spirit with a dwelling, hence polygamy and pregnancies maximum, even exploiting too-young females.
Well, I suppose the FLDS group shares the LDS and early Christian belief of a premortal existence (see also Barry Bickmore's Restoring the Ancient Church, Chapter 3 and search for "The Pre-Existence in Early Christianity"). I'm not sure about the floating in the air part - maybe that's from some FLDS doctrine. But the term "disembodied" refers to a person who has been born and then died, leaving the soul without the body prior to the resurrection. We are only born once, so there are not disembodied spirits waiting to be born unless you're into reincarnation. We aren't and I don't think the FLDS are. "Unembodied" would be more accurate, though we just speak of spirit children of our Heavenly Father.

So yes, we think there are people who have yet to be born, and we think that having children is a wonderful thing. But we, the Latter-day Saints, do not force young girls into marriage. We actually strongly discourage dating until age 16, and strongly encourage our women to gain education. I believe the average age of marriage for LDS women is 23. Mormons tend to have large families, but it's a personal choice. Contraception is allowed. So is addictive blogging late at night.

Gary then begins the too-typical anti-Mormon smear, revealing some interesting tidbits about his anti-Mormon research:
The Texas group, Yearning for Zion Ranch, Eldorado, tallies 53 girls aged 14 to 17 who have had offspring or are pregnant.

It must be understood that the so-called legitimate group known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah believes the very same doctrine concerning disembodied spirits.

That Salt Lake City group continues to inform media that they have nothing in common with the cult. However, the facts are that their founder is the same: Joseph Smith. His theology is the same in all groups. It's just that the Salt Lake City group abides by the US law against polygamy.

Both the Salt Lake City group and the cultic communes are secret orders. The unbiblical secrets are carefully guarded.

Only those who leave the Mormons of any tangent can tell the facts they now disavow. In that way, non-Mormons come to know really what goes on.

Read "The Mormon Cult: The Truth about Mormons and Christianity" at
Wow, if we have the same beliefs and practices as the FLDS group, it kind of makes one wonder why they are treated as apostates and why their leaders many decades ago were excommunicated from the Church. Might as well blame Lutherans for the problems with some Catholic priests.

Gary Swank, the erudite Christian scholar and defender of the faith, tells us that only ex-Mormons can tell us the facts about the Church because we're a cultic secret order doing the same horrible stuff and having the same horrible doctrines as FLDS people. And to prove his point, to prove that "so-called legitimate" Mormons are a cult, he sends his readers to a truly dangerous Website:

Well, this man has certainly done his homework. In addition to his careful work on the doctrines, practices, and history of the Mormons, he has done extensive work on cults in general. This extensive work included Googling "Mormon cult" and finding that Google's #1 rated site for info on the Mormon cult is no other than the highly respected tool of truth and knowledge, No. 1 at Google? Must be good stuff. And it says it proves why Mormons are a cult. Bingo! And so he has sent hundreds of readers to this respected site where, if they take time to read and learn about the nature of the Mormon cult, they might be rescued from error and find salvation for their souls. That's my hope, anyway.

I suppose he'll change his entry right away, so enjoy it while it's up. I do have a PDF printout of the current version as a souvenir.

Update: Pastor Gary Swank's delightful article, complete with the link to, is also available at The PostChronicle, a news source that makes the following boast:
Our news staff is compelled to provide up-to-the minute news that is accurate and unbiased, and present clear-cut facts and data you can trust. Our editors are determined to ensure accurate, compelling content, and thorough, careful reporting on a wide variety of issues and events.
Ah, the joys of unbiased, accurate, fact-filled reporting, anti-Mormon style. But I will credit them for providing the link to, which, for all its flaws, is surprisingly fact-based.
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