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    Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    The lost have to go somewhere.. sometimes they become mormons


    "The number of new members here is just utterly amazing," said Allan Barker, president of the Massachusetts temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the faith is formally known.

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    It's also a step more people are taking in the heavily Roman Catholic U.S. Northeast, where Mormon numbers have jumped 37 percent in 10 years, nearly double the religion's national growth rate of 21 percent, church data show.

    The once-isolated sect based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is now one of the world's fastest-growing and affluent religions, with 12.3 million members globally. More than half live outside the United States, including a flourishing Latin American flock.

    Like Catholicism, Mormonism offers clear-cut answers to big theological questions. In contrast, she said, American Protestantism offers greater room for spiritual debate.

    Barker, 79 and a Utah native, recalls the suspicion he faced in Boston in the early 1950s. Once, when a furniture saleswoman found she was talking to a Mormon, she turned to Barker's wife and exclaimed: "How could you live with this man?"

    "Here we are 50 years later," he said. "It's remarkable how much things have changed."

    Yes remarkable.

    For other kind words about mormons, please see...

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