Los Angeles Mensa Discusses Temples and Family History Centers

Remember when I was asked to speak to Mensa in the Los Angeles area about topics related to Mormonism?

Last year, I wrote about that experience and posted recordings from that presentation to this website. Well, that talk was such a success that they asked me to come back and speak to them again, and rather than trying to cover the entire playing field like I did the year before, this time I focused on temples and family history, which is something I barely mentioned in the talk from 2006.

The talk, incidentally, took place on Saturday, February 17, 2007 in Los Angeles. Shortly before that, Simon Wiesenthal's name had appeared in the IGI, and was subsequently removed, and I used that event as a springboard for the presentation I gave.

Before I go much further, I should reiterate that Mensa does not endorse The Exmormon Foundation, and officially holds no opinions, and that neither Mensa nor the Foundation is responsible for my remarks at the Mensa gathering. I am solely responsible for what I said there.

Once again, I recorded the whole presentation. The recording of the main presentation is available here:

I also have a recording of the question and answer period which followed, which lasts for about 45 minutes. That recording isn't on this website, so if you're anxious to hear it, please contact me directly.

While preparing and presenting this talk, I felt that it was important to respect the beliefs of our Mormon believing friends and family members by not revealing keywords, signs and tokens, although I did mention that the purpose of the endowment is to present those things to participants so that they can pass by the angels who stand as sentinels in heaven. I mention this so that you'll know in advance the level of detail that you'll get from this recording. I don't want you to be surprised, listening to this talk, that I don't spell out the keywords, signs and tokens, in case that's what you were expecting, because that wasn't my intent.

A number of web addresses were mentioned in that presentation. For reference, here they are again:

  • The article “Mormons ‘baptize’ Simon Wiesenthal” was at at the time I gave the presentation, but I don't see it there now.
  • “Mormons remove Wiesenthal from baptism database” by K. Connie Kang appeared in the Los Angeles Times on December 19, 2006; however, now that it's been archived, you have to register to read it.
  • “Wiesenthal's name is off LDS database” by Elaine Jarvik and Wendy Leonard appeared in the Deseret News on the same day.
  • “The Mormon/Jewish Controversy: What Really Happened” by Gary Mokotoff appears on and is fascinating reading and highly recommended.
  • One member of the audience asked me for Richard Packham's article on the growth statistics of the Mormon Church. I wasn't expecting that to come up during the presentation, so I didn't have it readily at hand, but it's available at
  • Like I say, I didn't go into much detail about the content of the endowment, although I mentioned that people who are interested in those details can find them on the Internet. One such source is at

I also briefly presented a number of web addresses in my PowerPoint slides:

As before, I welcome questions, comments and corrections regarding anything I had to say in that recording. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you'll let me know what you thought of it.

Brian Madsen