A CASE STUDY IN
For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit,
which without cause they have digged for my soul
What follows in this chapter is not offered as proof of persecution. Rather it is intended to demonstrate that misinformation and distorted imagery are customarily and deliberately employed to prepare the minds of some Christian congregations in order to manipulate them into a state where they are prepared to hold and act upon the opinions they have embraced simply by trusting the sources of these opinions without requiring themselves to undertake independent objective study of the subject. That such misinformation is insidiously, perhaps unconscious of its true nature, is disseminated, and is received in good faith but unquestioned, will become evident. The most disturbing disclosure is that intelligent and educated people will accept the most bizarre and nonsensical 'facts' without question. This willingness is fundamental to the spread of lies and distortions in a persecutory context.
An overseas student of the former Huddersfield Polytechnic College, now the University of Huddersfield, attended an Anglican church in his native country. He found British Anglican worship too dreary and uninviting. However, he found a Huddersfield Elim Pentecostal Church as lively and as fellowshipping as had been his former congregation in Singapore. He reported conversations and meetings of groups at the church in which the notion that Mormons were not Christians was continually expressed.
Because of his personal knowledge of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints he did not agree with his fellows, which caused him no small discomfort. He had discovered a cultus which was basically hostile, and which held and disseminated false ideas about Mormonism. Members of the congregation were encouraged to do the same without serious independent inquiry.
The primary proposition was developed that anti-Mormonism was a norm in that Pentecostal Church and that this could be demonstrated by survey. Interviews were conducted in order to establish a base-line of Pentecostal beliefs practices and attitudes and a questionnaire prepared by the author that was intended to:
a. Construct an average member profile.
b. Check for proximity to, or deviation, from Pentecostal orthodoxy.
c. Reveal the presence of anti-Mormon attitudes with opportunities for respondents to express their reasons for holding such attitudes.
Only material which falls under 'c' will be dealt with in this volume, since that alone addresses the discussion of persecution through the construction and dissemination of false imagery. Four interviews were conducted.
The first interview was with a Pentecostal minister within Anglicanism. He provided information about the history and development of the Pentecostal movement, suggested suitable reference books and provided other information.
The second interview was with Pastor Peter Hannam of the Elim Pentecostal Church, whose congregation I suirveyed. Peter kindly furnished information regarding the history and growth of the Pentecostal movement. He also supplied information concerning the congregation (whose pastor he had been for past thirteen years) which helped to broaden the writer's understanding of Pentecostalism. He suggested changes to the form of some questions which were gratefully adopted.
The third interview was with Pastor Vincent R.M. Nelson of the Church of God Fellowship, Huddersfield, who aided the writer to appreciate the variety of forms within the Pentecostal movement.
The fourth interview was conducted on the telephone with a Pentecostal respondent who had been kind enough to provide a telephone number and offer further information if needed.
What is Pentecostalism? The last quarter of the nineteenth century witnessed the rise of evangelism in the established churches. This appears to have been an extension of the "Holiness Movement" of Methodists who followed John Wesley's teaching on individual perfection. In many quarters, particularly in Great Britain, the new enthusiasm was viewed with grave suspicion, and many doubts were volubly and, at times vigorously, expressed as to its appropriateness in the context of Christian worship. The result was that those who sought the Pentecostal experience were isolated from the mainstream churches who were often openly hostile to the new movement, many considering it heretical.
Many churches claim to be Pentecostal. The term itself has gained the meaning that members of the congregations of various sects or denominations have received the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:1-4). The act of conversion to Christ as Saviour must be followed by the outpouring of the Holy Ghost which is proved by the recipient speaking in unknown tongues.
The "Pentecostal experience" has surfaced in the traditional historic churches from time to time, but orthodox hostility to the growth and establishment of the Pentecostal Movement has moved this "experience" out of the historic churches sectarianizing, even cultifying it into a new "Church". The separation and hostility encouraged Pentecostalists to look upon themselves as the "chosen" - specially recognized by God through the endowment of the Holy Ghost - specifically "set apart" from other Christians. This "uniqueness" led them to adopt an attitude towards historic Christianity which still forms part of the Pentecostal mind-set and views traditional churches as not having the sign of God's approval and seal of salvation, which is Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Pentecostals have long been criticised for being "over-emotional", a reference to the behaviour of some of those as the Holy Ghost fell upon them.
Donald Gee, who was a leading Pentecostal minister and chronicler, admits that many mistakes were made in the early days of British Pentecostalism, and that there were "scenes of undisputable fanaticism" which led to an adverse press. Gee describes the persecution:
It may well cause surprise that a Revival which seemed to possess so many scriptural features, and to be the answer to so many prayers, should have rapidly become the object of the most violent attacks from some of the most spiritual sections and leaders of the Christian Church. The less spiritual ones either heard nothing of it, or treated it with disdain and held aloof...Fear was inculcated through garbled reports of what actually transpired in Pentecostal meetings. The press naturally concentrated on anything spectacular or unusual, and this gave to those whose only impressions were gained by reading the newspapers, a very twisted idea of the actual facts. Unfortunately those religious agencies that unreservedly lent themselves to opposition to the Movement lost no opportunity of exploiting anything that could promote fear or dislike...Among more select circles of spiritual Christians there began to be much talk of "counterfeits" until there were those who bitterly condemned the whole Movement as Satanic.
Harper glosses over the hatred and persecution saying instead that Christians "largely ignored or rejected" the movement. But there were major forces at work which underscore Harper's somewhat less than full attention. It is from the hostility that was directed towards those involved in Pentecostalism that what had begun as a phenomenon within the historic churches moved outside those churches, with many of their members following and organizing themselves in a distinct manner. The drawing-away of members from other churches was regarded as "sheep-stealing".
The Pentecostal response to these charges was often framed in intemperate and inflammatory language which helped polarise the antagonists further.
Initially the only pre-requisite for Pentecostalism was that its adherents must experience a powerful spiritual experience. The distinctive Pentecostal doctrine owes much to the fundamentalist movement which was an outgrowth of the Methodist Holiness Movement. The common springboard which propelled many into the Pentecostal movement was an increased acceptance of Modernism by Protestants, particularly by those were rising in wealth, which bought higher education, the handmaiden of the brand of Modernism promulgated by such as the Anglican Churchmen's Union. This settled for a scientific explanation of the universe rather than the Biblical one. The poor were denied access to the new thought through their lack of education and were uncomfortable with the obvious division between themselves and their rich and educated fellow church-goers. Their lack of education kept them faithful to modes of religious thought rooted in a traditional conservative interpretation of the Bible. They felt rather than thought their way through religion, (which still holds true for modern Pentecostalists). They held fast to the principles described by the 1895 Niagara Conferences which were restated in the 1910 publication of "THE FUNDAMENTALS: A TESTIMONY TO THE TRUTH".
Fundamentalism purposed to reinforce Biblical explanations of the natural world against the onslaught of Modernism. It summarised its position by the "five points of fundamentalism", which are:
- That the Bible is without error of any kind.
- That Jesus was born uniquely of a virgin.
- That the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was to redeem men from their sins
- That the Resurrection was physical historic event.
- That the Second Coming of Christ would be an historic event.
In course of time, the historic Protestant churches have given ground on each of these points. One result of this has been to highlight the tensions generated between liberal Protestant denominations and conservative Fundamentalists.
The Pentecostal Movement is largely a reflexive action against cold Protestant services on one side, and Christian opposition to baptism in the Holy Spirit and general condemnation of 'enthusiasm' on the other. Those in the Holiness and Pentecostal movements see themselves as the restoration of the Apostolic Church of Christ effected by their redefinition of and their commitment to Primitive practice, and in their self-appointed role as the sole recipients of spiritual truth, they see themselves as those upon whom God has uniquely placed the mark of his approval - Holy Spirit Baptism.
George Jeffreys formed the "Evangelistic Band" and the "Elim Pentecostal Alliance". From its origins as a movement despised by traditional Christian Churches, the Elim movement has outgrown the derision with which Christians once regarded it and has developed into a respectable denomination with around 400 congregations in the British Isles. Its ministry is firmly male dominated but the questionnaire responses indicate that this position is under substantial pressure from congregations that increasingly reflect current societal pressures for equality of the sexes.
In spite of what must now be considered a respectable pedigree of Christian orientation, and having made a significant contribution in leading people to Christ, it is remarkable that many Christian commentators and historians omit reference to Pentecostalism. It may be that Pentecostals' estimation of increasing understanding between their own denominations and the historic churches are premature and over-sanguine.
A hundred and thirty questionnaires were delivered to the Huddersfield Elim Pentecostal church. A hundred and twelve were taken up and twenty-seven completed and returned. The returned sample represents 21% of the membership. Each Sunday around three hundred persons attend one or other of the services. The member to non-member ratio of returned forms is 23:4, which represents 19.8% of members whether attending services or not, and 2.2% of weekly attending non-members. It is felt that this is a reasonable sample. Nineteen of the respondents have above average educational qualifications.
Nine of the respondents either have bachelor degrees or were undergraduates in an institute of higher education at the time of the survey. Two respondents hold non-graduate teaching qualifications. Therefore 40.7% of respondents have degree-level education which is an unusually high percentage of persons having taken higher education in a congregation. Only those questions from the questionnaire which bear upon our immediate subject are considered here. It may be that information from other questions is included in the discussions inasmuch as it is pertinent to the subject.
QUESTION 15. DO YOU KNOW ANY MORMONS?
This is the first of the questions which are intended to demonstrate attitudes to Mormonism. It is intended to reveal familiarity or unfamiliarity with members of the Latter-day Saint Church.
2 did not answer 7.4%
10 answered "Yes" 37.0%
15 answered "No" 55.5%
The evidence is that slightly more than one third of the respondents knew members of the Latter-day Saint Church. The question does not explore the level of that relationship, but subsequent answers demonstrate that they are all superficial.
QUESTION 16. HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MORMONS?
3 answered "enough" (which is not capable of calibration but shows evidence either of some knowledge unless it was meant sarcastically.)
3 "enough" 11.1%
8 "nothing" 29.6%
10 "a little" 37.0%
2 "a fair amount" 7.4%
2 "a lot" 7.4%
1 "an expert amount" 3.7%
The responses indicate that 77.7% have little or no knowledge about Mormonism and that only 11.1% claim either to know a lot or have an expert amount of knowledge, although their depth of knowledge has not been scientifically calibrated and may, therefore, only be considered to have the value of self-estimates containing both quantitative and qualitative errors.
These indicators of the knowledge of Mormonism have value when we consider the attitudes held by the respondents, for they will show whether their understanding of Mormonism is based on knowledge or prejudice. It is unrealistic to expect to 'know' anything substantial about a religion when one is unacquainted with any of the practitioners of that system.
QUESTION 17. ARE MORMONS CHRISTIANS?
1 answered "Yes" 3.7%
23 answered "No" 85.1%
3 answered that it depended on the personal beliefs of the individual Mormon 11.1%
This shows that whilst 29.6% admitted knowing "nothing" about Mormonism, it did not prevent them from denying Christian status to Latter-day Saints, which is an early indicator of negative prejudice.
QUESTION 18. HOW CAN A MORMON BE SAVED?
23 answered that Mormons should accept Jesus Christ. 85.1%
(1 of the above added that they should then fellowship with a Pentecostal Church).
3 did not respond to this question. 11.1%
1 answered that belief in Jesus Christ as Saviour as taught in the Mormon Church was sufficient 3. 7%
The answers showed very little variation from the major themes of "repenting" and "accepting Jesus Christ", demonstrating that 85.1% of respondents believe that Mormons do not accept Jesus Christ as the divine Son of God.
QUESTION 19. WHAT ARE THE SOURCES OF YOUR INFORMATION ABOUT MORMONS?
4 gave no source 14.8%
4 Mormon missionaries 14.8%
4 the Mormon Church 14.8%
7 official LDS literature 25.9%
3 members of the LDS Church 11.1%
4 ex-Mormons 14.8%
7 the Huddersfield Pentecostal Church 25.9%
11 anti-Mormon literature 40.7%
1 other unspecified anti-Mormon material 3.7%
Some respondents claimed more than one source of information. However, their information was not tested or quantified, so that the extent of the information is not known. Based upon responses to related questions it would not appear to be extensive in the majority of cases.
QUESTION 20. HAVE YOU READ THE BOOK OF MORMON?
6 "Yes" 22.2%
21 "No" 77.7%
QUESTION 21. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF IT? [The Book of Mormon]
The opinions of those who have read it:
•"Re-cycled biblical material"
•"Valuable and Christian"
•"Biblical plagiarism, imaginative writing"
•"interesting but unreliable"
The opinions of those who have not read it:
•"Of the Devil"
QUESTION 22. HOW DO YOU REGARD JOSEPH SMITH?
Nineteen respondents answered this question (70.3%). The responses are:
•"False prophet (7)"
•"Sincere but wrong"
•"A fraud and a cheat"
•"Bastard - an agent of deceit used by the Devil"
•"Deluded by visitations from fallen angels"
8 did not respond 29.6%
7 a false prophet 25.9%
2 fraudulent or deceitful 7.4%
10 passively wrong or deceived 37.0%
QUESTION 23. HOW CAN A MORMON ENTER HEAVEN?
24 Responded 88.8%
1 Mormons can not enter heaven. 3.7%
1 only by becoming Pentecostalists. 3.7%
1 by continuing in their faith. 3.7%
21 by becoming Christians.77.7%
Leaving aside the 3.7% who accepted that Mormons were heaven-bound Christians, the response shows that 85.1% believe that Mormons are not heaven-bound Christians. This is a significant percentage, especially when so little knowledge about the Latter-day Saint Church and its members is claimed by so many.
QUESTION 31. SHOULD CHRISTIANS DIRECT MINISTRY AGAINST CHURCHES THEY DON'T AGREE WITH?
6 did not answer this question. 22.2%
2 depends on circumstances. 7.8%
10 "yes" 37%
9 "no" 33.3%
Some respondees qualified their answers.
•"Inform the churches they don't agree with, then leave the Holy Spirit to do his work"
•"Show them their errors - that they worship Satan"
•"If we feel that a ministry is contrary to the Word of God"
•"If that body of people don't know Jesus Christ and sets itself up against the knowledge of God"
•"But not so much confrontationally as in loving, polite conversational sharing of the Word of God"
•"See Ephesians 4:1-16"
•"If other churches are inflicting major suffering on people or are blatantly dishonest or immoral"
•"To tell the truth"
•"Other religions should be aware of errors in their teaching"
•"I don't want them to perish"
•"As long as they are Christian!"
•"They may minister to people needs or oppose non-Christian Churches but not attack other Christians in a negative way"
•"Christians should witness to all unbelievers, although I suppose the Holy Spirit could give you a burden for one group especially"
•"Ministry should be from the Bible not against anything, however we should be warned of non-Biblical preaching etc."
•"Just be positive in preaching truth"
•"Ministry should positively proclaim Christian truth"
•"The Christian ministry should aim to preach about Christ and not knock other churches"
•"We don't want to attack them, just love and pray for them"
•"It depends what you mean by a Church. I cannot envisage that it would be right for any Church to direct ministry against another Christian Church but it may be essential to warn people against gatherings which call themselves a church yet are not Christian (Etc.)"
QUESTION 43: IS THE MORMON CHURCH A CHRISTIAN CHURCH?
2 did not respond. 7.4%
1 "yes" 3.7%
2 "don't know" 7.4%
22 "no" 81.4%
66.6% of responding members had attended the church for at least one year. The cumulative length of respondent membership is 229 years which indicates a high factor of reliability of their answers as a measure of attitudes within the particular congregation.
Responses to general questions demonstrate the divisions still markedly evident between members of the responding Church and the more traditional Christian churches. Slightly less than half, 48.1%, replied that the Holy Spirit was in the Pentecostal churches but that it was not in non-Pentecostal churches. However responses to another question showed that 74% of respondents regarded the differences between themselves and the historic churches as insignificant. These contradictions perhaps reflect the state of flux of a congregation responding to pressures from ecumenism which are felt by many of the Christian denominations from which the sample church has drawn the majority of its members.
The responses to questions about Roman Catholics show that they are largely still regarded as non-Christians. Almost 90% regarded Roman Catholics as not knowing Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
This is consistent with post-Reformation Protestant thinking, but whereas the Protestant churches fully admit Catholics as fellow-Christians, Pentecostal respondents deny to the Roman Catholic Church the ascription "Christian."
However, 59.2% believed that if anyone came to know Christ within Catholicism they would not have to leave the Roman Catholic Church.
Some responses display deep ambiguities. These may be explained by understanding that whilst accepting that Pentecostalism has a special mission in a wicked, Satan-inspired world, and perceiving other Christian churches and movements as essentially less, even "other", from themselves both in their Christianity and in their quantitative and qualitative "Truth", there is an increasing recognition of the value of humanistic principles exercised in a Godly way.
Societal concerns with global human and environmental problems are obviously not capable of being ignored and are making inroads into Pentecostal consciousness thus generating some tensions in those whose theological position has traditionally been to separate themselves from the "World". Even the traditional male domination of the Church's ministry has been given notice by the responses to question 30 in which a majority are either for or not against, women ministers.
The primary proposition of this study is that "Anti-Mormon Attitudes Are Part Of The Religio-Cultural Norm Of The Huddersfield Elim Church." Questions 15-23 and 43 were assigned to test this proposition.
Of the respondents 66.7% do not know any Latter-day Saints. One third of respondents knew at least one Latter-day Saint. How well they know them was not tested but the subsequent responses indicate that in the case of those who did know one or more Mormons the associations were superficial with the exception of the respondent who had been a member of the Latter-day Saint Church for one and a half years. This respondent is the only one who understands what Mormons believe in several important areas, whereas other respondents claiming some knowledge about them show that their information is unreliable. Almost one third of respondents admitted to knowing "nothing" about Mormonism. This admitted ignorance is not reflected in the responses question 17 which asks "ARE MORMONS CHRISTIAN?", for 81.4% answer "no". If only 70.3% have any knowledge about Mormons but 81.4% say they're not Christians, how have the 11.1% overhang arrived at their conclusion?
If we take only those who claimed to know more than "a little", who are 22.2% of respondents the overhang leaps to 59.2%. What is the source of their knowledge that enables them to reach the important judgement concerning the Christian status of Mormons?
Question 19 probes the respondents' sources of information about Mormons. The figures show that the majority of respondents relied for their knowledge of Mormonism upon sources traditionally hostile to Mormonism, and this must raise a warning about the reliability of that information. Some claimed more than one source.
The percentage of individual respondents relying on unsympathetic material for their knowledge of Mormonism is 77.7% (21 respondents) which is a highly significant factor pointing to an anti-Mormon norm. The inescapable conclusion is that anti-Mormonism is part of the inventory of Pentecostalism as far as this congregation is concerned, and that it is based on ignorance and prejudice rather than on reason and knowledge.
Ex-members of any church are sometimes disgruntled, but few will deliberately lie about the doctrine and practices of the church they have left. Most of those who claim to be Christian are honest. Those who produce anti-Mormon literature, which was a source of knowledge about the Latter-day Saints for 40.7% of respondents, have their own reasons for treating Mormonism in the same way that the press and Christian leaders once treated the Pentecostal movement. With this in mind it might be expected that Pentecostalists familiar with their own history would be more circumspect and wary before accepting opinions from hostile materials merely because the missiles are aimed away from themselves.
More than a quarter of respondents (25.9%) claimed that official Mormon literature was the source of their information. One Latter-day Saint study guide says:
The first principle of the gospel is faith in Jesus Christ. When we have faith, we firmly believe he is the Saviour of the world. We accept his atonement and do all he has asked us to do. We will desire with all our hearts to keep his commandments. We centre our hearts on him and follow his perfect example.
It would be hard for a Christian of whatever denomination to find fault with that stated official Mormon position.
25.9% claimed that they had learned about Latter-day Saints at the responding church. This clearly demonstrates that ideas about Mormons not being Christian are current in that congregation, which supports the primary proposition. While 29.6% claim their information came from Mormon missionaries or from the Mormon Church itself. Brief visits by Latter-day Saint missionaries are unlikely to provide sufficient depth of understanding for anyone to make a sound judgement about the nature of Mormonism.
An isolated visit to a Mormon Church is likewise unlikely to provide sufficient information to lead to a balanced judgement of these major issues.
Questions 20 and 21 deal with the Book of Mormon. The first asks whether the respondent has read the book, and the second asks for an opinion of it. 22.2% had read it and 77.7% had not.
Ten respondents offered opinions including four people who had not read it. Clearly their opinion about a book they had not read had to come from another source, and since all four gave negative opinions it can only be concluded that their opinions arise from a negative source, and that they have permitted their judgement to be coloured without questioning the information they have absorbed.
Of those who had read it six offered their opinions. Five were negative and only one positive. The positive opinion stated that it was "valuable and Christian" and was held by a former member of the Latter-day Saint Church who was probably the only one familiar with the Book of Mormon and its contents who had not read it prejudicially.
Question 22 dealt with opinions about Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet. 70.3% responded with at least one opinion.
7 a false prophet. 25.9%
10 passively wrong. 34.0%
2 fraudulent or deceitful. 7.4%
Again the level of negative responses prompts one to enquire as to the source of knowledge. With 37%, little over a third, knowing any Latter-day Saints, and that acquaintance at best superficial, according to the available evidence; and with only 18.5% claiming to know more than "a little"; and with 85.1% out of a total of 166.5% (some had more than one source), admitting a hostile source for their information, it is hardly surprising that they do not hold better opinions of Mormons and Mormonism.
It is probable that those who have either no knowledge or a little knowledge of Joseph Smith, believe him to be a false prophet for no other reason than because he must be!
It appears evident that the members of this church have fallen into the trap of believing what "an enemy hath done". Their fault, if it is a fault, is believing what issues from those ministries who call themselves Christian but whose methods are redolent of less savoury propagandists.
Whilst there are differences between Mormons and Pentecostalists, as Pentecostalists have differences with mainstream churches, and whilst these are readily admitted, it should not be necessary either to believe distortions or misrepresentations, nor to disseminate them either deliberately or carelessly. There is no evidence available from the questionnaire responses which proves other than that the majority of negative opinions held by the respondees are sincerely held. They are, as one respondent said of Joseph Smith, "sincere, but wrong".
The question of whether a Mormon can be saved was answered by all who responded to the question, 88.8%, in terms which indicated that Mormons would have to believe in Jesus Christ as the divine Son of God and turn from Mormonism. Responses to question 23 supports this, for 77.7% said that to enter heaven a Mormon would have to "become" a Christian.
We referred earlier to the respondent who supplied a telephone number and an invitation to call for further information. The respondent who knows an inactive member of the Church had written that Mormons were not Christian, adding that the "basics" (of Christian belief) were:
1. Jesus Christ [is] God's Son [divinity].
2. That he came to earth as a man [Incarnation].
3. That he died on the cross as a sacrifice for man's sin [Atonement].
4. That Christ was sinless. [Perfection]
5. That he rose to heaven [Ascension].
6. That he guides people through the mission of the Holy Spirit.
The respondent was asked that since Mormons believe all these "basics" did that make them Christian? The reply was that it didn't because they also believed that men could be exalted to Godhood. Since only further information was sought and there was no intention to convince the respondent, the more extreme position which the respondent adopted in the face of evidence which controverted the original position was not defended.
The respondent then said that it was understood that the reasons Mormons did not practice the imposition of hands on female members was because they thought that to do so would make the sister pregnant. This is an incongruous interpretation of a statement made by Brigham Young in a discussion on whether the Holy Ghost was the father of Jesus. His argument against this was to the effect that if receiving the Holy Ghost was capable of making a sister pregnant, the elders would be afraid to do lay hands on them in the ordinance of confirmation. It was not his position that this would in fact happen, but an argument against the possibility.
This information was delivered by a well educated person who is considered to be a good Christian. It demonstrates how even the educated believer can be deceived into thinking that the most bizarre nonsense is true, and from one who claims to have enjoyed "wisdom" and "knowledge" as gifts of the Holy Spirit it raises interesting questions.
The historical insular nature of the Pentecostal movement has required it to develop a siege mentality in order to vindicate the belief that it alone has the "Truth". The image of the persecuted Church as the sole repository of salvic truth, sent to save those who will be saved out of a Devil-ruled wicked world is not exclusive to Pentecostalism. But these attitudes represent the majority of its members according to the evidence. 70.3% responded to question 37, "WHAT DISTINGUISHES A PENTECOSTAL CHURCH FROM A NON-PENTECOSTAL ONE?", in ways that bear this out.
Another contradiction becomes evident when responses to questions 15 - 21 and 43 are compared to responses to question 10, "What are the basic values [of your religion]?" 81.4% of respondents included terms such as "love neighbour", or "love others", or other terms which indicate treating non-Pentecostals in ways which are fair, kind, tolerant and just.
However, the "Good Samaritan" principle is not extended to Mormons by 81.4% of respondents who deny Christian status to Mormonism - a remarkable parallel. The evidence is that whilst believing in fairness and justice and love of neighbour, these admirable Christian virtues are withheld from Mormons and Mormonism because of blind prejudice.
Attempting to account for the value placed upon anti-Mormon materials and attitudes by those who once complained about "garbled reports", "very twisted ideas of the actual facts", "exploiting anything that could promote fear and dislike", and being called "counterfeit" and "satanic", by their enemies, when they disseminate the same terminology against a denomination they themselves do not understand, is difficult even under the best circumstances. The conclusion that a prejudiced anti-Mormon attitude is part of the norm of belief, and will remain so unless there is a determined effort to establish the position of Mormonism within the framework of Christian belief by the ministers and congregation of this particular Huddersfield Pentecostal church is hard to avoid.
Why Mormons are regarded in this way and treated in hostile fashion by their Christian persecutors will be dealt with in the following chapter.