Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What Would You Do?

When we were recently staying in a hotel in Orlando (for the Ligonier Conference), we came across something that is becoming all too familiar. One of our kids opened a drawer and found a Gideon's bible, a local phone book, and a Book of Mormon. I love the bible, am indifferent about the phone book, and despise the Book of Mormon.

Let me be clear: the Book of Mormon is false teaching of a false gospel. It is devious because it pretends to tell a continuing story of Jesus Christ. In fact, it twists and distorts the beautiful truths we find in the bible.

I decided to take the Book of Mormon. I ended up tossing it in the trash when I got home. I didn't want anyone to stumble across it in the hotel, read it, and be misled. I'm glad I tossed it and would do it again.

After disposing of the Book of Mormon, I told several people about it. After giving my actions some thought, one person (who is a Christian) lovingly confronted me about what I did. This person told me that in his/her opinion I should not have taken the Book of Mormon. This person said that in taking the book, I am giving the message to others that it is acceptable to take things that do not belong to me.

I explained that I took the Book of Mormon in order to keep others from being misled. I also reminded this person that the Book of Mormon is false teaching. Despite these reasons, this person still said that I shouldn't have taken it because it justifies stealing.

The conversation was pleasant enough and there are no hard feelings. However, we certainly have a difference of opinion on this issue.

So, what would you do? If you were in a hotel and found a Book of Mormon in a drawer, would you remove it and dispose of it, or would you leave it there? Why?


Jason_73 said...

Um, I'd think I would leave it. Mostly, because we put ourselves then on a slippery slope with what we should and shouldn't take.

Maybe instead one could leave a small/large note/commentary in the book of Mormonexplaining the true gospel?

David Rogers said...

1. Just curious, was the hotel in which you stayed, by any chance, a part of the Marriott chain? If so, it is little surprise they have the Book of Mormon in the rooms...


2. From what I remember, the Gideons encourage people to keep the Bibles they place in hotel rooms, if they so desire. Was there a similar message regarding the Book of Mormon in your hotel? If so, it seems to me you were in your full right to take the Book of Mormon and "dispose of it appropriately."

3. I do remember one time, however, when I was in the country of Malta with an Operation Mobilization team distributing the Epistle of Romans in Maltese door-to-door, and, as we observed, the local Catholic priest was following behind us, several homes back, taking the Epistles of Romans back from the people, and, I imagine, "disposing of them appropriately." I can tell you from experience, this sort of thing feels a little different when you put the shoe on the other foot.

In your situation, though, would I have done the same thing you did? Probably.

Eric said...


Thanks for your input. I'll have to keep your idea in mind.

A monkey wrench in the works is whether or not the Mormons want their book to be taken. If they do, then I'm happy to do so.

Eric said...


It was a Marriott. I couldn't get your link to work. What is the significance of Marriott?

I was wondering if the Mormons want people to take their book. I'm assuming so. I gladly obliged.

Fascinating that you were on the other end of this scenario. That must have been discouraging.

As for this situation, I guess we must remember that we have the truth and the Book of Mormon is lies. I'd get rid of it again (but, this is a somewhat difficult, sticky issue).

David Rogers said...


The Marriott family, who founded Marriott, are Mormons. Try Googling "Marriott Mormon," and see what comes up.

David Rogers said...

Try this link:


Here is a relevant quote:

"The Marriotts do not confine their missionary work to the Washington area. A Book of Mormon is placed in every Marriott Hotel room, which now number 50,000 throughout the United States and in Cairo, Egypt; Athens, Greece; Amman, Jordan; Kuwait; Acapulco, Mexico; Amsterdam; Panama; and Barbados. Guests are encouraged to keep those scriptures, and letters from grateful converts have been received at company headquarters."

Eric said...


Wow. That explains a lot. Thanks.


Scott said...

I have been avoiding Marriott for years for this reason - but it is not easy they are huge. Courtyard, Residence Inn, etc. and then there are other chains that have reported ties with the online/in-room porn industry. So I guess buy a camper - then ya gotta park it somewhere... uhhhgggggh! Brother Scott ><>

jessica_auner said...

I've only seen one in a hotel so far (maybe we don't stay in a lot of Marriotts or maybe because we just don't get out much) but I took it and then trashed it. I don't think of it as stealing I think of it along the same lines as if there were a piece of glass in the hotel that a small child could get a hold of. Both are potentually life threatening IMHO.

Norma Hill - aka penandpapermama said...

I suppose you could take a page from the story of the Princess and the Pea - and tuck it between the mattresses. Then the next uncomfortable guest might toss it for you...

Okay, maybe not....

Tough decision.

Eric said...


That's a pretty good comparison. I like it.

Eric said...


I'll have to think about that. It is a tough decision - but I'll still toss the next one I see.

Pastor Pants said...

If David's quote is right and you are allowed to keep it then you are entitled to take it and toss it. No moral issue at all.