[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Kudos for Mormon story and some more historyYour article on the 50th anniversary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Korea (“Celebrating a faith over a half century,” Aug. 4) by reporter Kim Soe-jung was extremely well written. I heartily congratulate her.
There were a few factual errors stated by some of those quoted in the article that need correction.
The fundamental belief of the Church is that Jesus Christ in the Son of God and the Savior of mankind and that salvation only comes through believing and obeying Him. We do not “regard the Book of Mormon as the final orthodoxy.”
We believe and love the Bible and that it is the word of God, an ancient religious history of the Jews, and a witness or testimony of Jesus Christ.
We also believe the Book of Mormon and that it is also the word of God, a religious history of some of the inhabitants of the American continents, and another witness or testimony that Jesus is the Christ.
It does not replace the Bible; we regard them both together as scripture.
We do believe that God still speaks to living prophets on the earth today, but that belief is not “counter to the Bible” but in full conformity with its teachings and message.
Polygamy was practiced in the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because God commanded it in a revelation to Joseph Smith, the first prophet and president of the Church.
It was discontinued in 1896 because God so commanded through revelation to the then living prophet.
Polygamy has not been practiced in the Church for over 100 years. The Church in Korea has never practiced it.
The so-called “fundamentalists” who practice polygamy in the United States are not and, in almost all cases, never have been members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As Elder Ko Won-yong said in the article, if any member of the church is found to be practicing it, he or she is excommunicated.
The church believes in building strong and loving marriages and families, and that was part of church President Gordon B. Hinckley’s message at our conference here.
Our 50-year anniversary activities were exciting, uplifting and fun.
We thank all in the community who participated with us in them, and again congratulate the JoongAng Daily’s Kim Soe-jung for an outstanding news report.
by Richard Y. Farnsworth