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Reader takes issue with context, accuracy of Hydrick’s column

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What do you call a column lacking context, accuracy, meaning and takes valuable space?  An article written by Gabriel Hydrick.

I will highlight a few of his many problems in his Nov. 1 article (page A8, “An introduction to Mormons and their role in our government”). 

First, Missouri Executive Order 44 did not brand LDS members with the nickname, Mormon.  Joseph Smith, the first Mormon prophet, brought forth what Mormons believe to be an additional volume of scripture, “The Book of Mormon.”  

Non church members called them Mormons in the early 1830s, due to the book title.

Second, is there really something called the “evolution of candidates for civil service?”  A civil servant is a term to describe a government employee, like a building inspector, IRS auditor, welfare claims specialist, etc.  The term he may be searching for is “candidates for public office.”  The oddity is that Gabriel was a candidate for public office before he became a public official.  Hmmm, how was that mistake made?

Now the challenging part is to make sense of his hack job over “governments and laws as adopted by the church leaders.”   The Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) of the Church was first published in 1835. The D&C contain 138 sections.  Mormon beliefs on government and laws are presented in Section 134.  This section was included as a rebuttal to accusations against the Saints in the early 1830s.  Their enemies in Missouri and elsewhere believed the church was opposed to law and order.  The LDS was also portrayed as setting up laws in conflict with the laws of the country.  Section 134 was meant to clarify their beliefs about government and laws. 

There is much more to the story but the point is that Gabriel treats this complex topic in a simplistic and inaccurate manner.  How the “evolution of candidates” provides an opportunity to introduce the Mormon faith is a big leap of faith to me.  Pun intended.

Finally, he misrepresents the church’s beliefs on government and law by omitting three of 12 components.   

Bob Martin, Lincoln