New York Post columnist Maureen Callahan recently tried to explain to her readers the ecclesiastical implications for Mitt and Ann Romney and their activity in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints if the family ends up living in the White House.
cited several sources in her
column, although there is nothing officially from the LDS Church
Even if she
had just gone to the church's Newsroom website, specifically prepared as a media resource, she
might have avoided some glaring misrepresentations of LDS Church doctrine, policy, practice and procedure.
wrote: "There are 136 Mormon temples in the world, though most members worship at one of the thousands of smaller churches ... " She
erred by suggesting LDS temples and meetinghouses are functionally interchangable, going so far as to say that "there are rooms for Sunday services" in the temples - which is simply not true.
In fact, LDS temples are closed on Sundays.
On the Newsroom website Callahan would have found articles explaining Mormon worship services and the respective purposes of temples and chapels.
"Sunday services last three hours, and begin with the hour-long 'sacrament,' their version of communion, with water swapped in for wine," Callahan
"That's followed by another hour of sermons, delivered by rotating congregants, and a third hour in which men and women split up to pray and converse in small groups.
Close, but not quite, as Newsroom articles on how Mormons
worship and what to expect at an LDS
worship service would have clarified.
Callahan speculated that if Mitt Romney is elected president, he would "attend the same chapel as Harry Reid , located in a leafy, well-to-do suburb of Maryland, a 20-minute drive from Capitol Hill.
wrote about going to the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors Center
, talking to young female missionaries who "wear calf-length skirts, flat shoes and an indefatigable air of energized piety.
added: "Less than two hours after my visit - despite giving staffers only my first name and filling out no paperwork - I was startled to get a voicemail on my cell phone from someone identifying himself as a prophet, saying that he'd like to 'start interceding for your life' and asking me to call an 800 number to join a prayer circle.
blithely linked the two events, inferring that the phone call came as a result of her
visit to the visitor's center.
The Newsroom article on the LDS missionary program would have told her
that missionaries are referred to as "elder" and sister," not "prophet," and that their work has nothing to do with "interceding for your life" or organizing "prayer circles.
Third, the inaccurate descriptions of LDS worship and doctrine by Callahan
The LDS worship lifestyle is certainly a relative unknown and I wouldn't expect a nonmember to be very accurate.
But such inaccuracies, especially in the media, can give rise to inaccurate perception.
A link to Maureen Callahan's
four page article is found in the D-News article I link to and here:
Most first names, including Maureen
, are common enough that it is virtually impossible to link a first name only to a specific individual.
I sent a letter listing some of the numerous inaccuracies in the article, stating that if Ms. Callahan
would have bothered to take just a few minutes to do some research on the OFFICIAL LDS website (lds.org), that she
could have written an article that was more accurate.
My comment was that if Ms. Callahan
had utilized the Church's website, she
would have had information on the difference between a regular meetinghouse and a Temple.
talked about "Sunday Services" being held in certain rooms of the temple, some with mirrors.
I pointed out that ALL LDS temples are closed on Sundays, and that regular Sunday services are NEVER held in the temple.
And had she
exercised journalistic integrity, she
would have done just a little research and hence not made such misleading errors in her
Anyway, I probably should have just let it pass... but I get so tired of people like her
who spew forth these erroneous statements when just a few clicks of the mouse would have taken her
to accurate information for her
wrote with a tone and enough errors to make us sound weird.