On 25 October 2018 an email arrived. Sent by a person who said his name was Rev. Dr. Karl-Heinz Kuhlmann, he revealed he was staying at the Piula Theological College out there at Anoama’a.
In his letter, Dr.Karl-Heinz Kuhlmann, said in verbatim:
“Dear Sir: Walking in the streets of Apia I saw some young men, one by one, dressed neatly and wearing on their shirts, the sign to be identified as missionaries of the LDS (Later Day Saints) ’Church’.
“I asked them what they were here for. They said they are bringing the true Gospel of Jesus who loves all mankind.”
“When I said that this Gospel is already here, they replied: No, the churches here do not know the right one; only we, the LDS have it, and therefore we must do this.”
“When I told them about their strange history they would not believe it. I then praised their personal commitment but for a false matter they left.”
“Now my concern (is): How for goodness sake does the LDS dare to make proselytises in a country which is under the Christian God, and took the preamble of the Constitution into it thus making it look as if it’s a constitutional rank.”
Dr.Karl-Heinz Kuhlmann went on to say: “The LDS is not a Christian Church as they deny central Christian creeds. They are not members of the World Council of Churches but a cult.”
“How then do they fit into ‘Christian principles and Samoan Custom and tradition?’ In fact they break the Constitution! Religious freedom is not covered by such activities the LDS is practicing.”
“The Rev. Dr.Karl-Heinz Kuhlmann,
“Visiting Professor from Germany.”
The next day, when his letter was not responded to, he emailed back saying: “Concerning my Letter to the Editor yesterday. I’m staying with the Piula Theological College.”
“The Rev. Dr. Karl-Heinz Kuhlmann.”
In response, the writer emailed Dr. Karl-Heinz Kuhlmann, saying to him: “Talofa Dr-Kuhlmann,”
“I’ve received your letter.”
“I thought (your letter) would be just right for the Sunday edition of the Samoa Observer, since yours is a very relevant topic for discussion here in Samoa on Sunday, when most people go to church.”
“Thank you,” I said.
Dr. Karl-Heinz Kuhlmann did not respond.
Still, as I’m now thinking about Dr. Karl-Heinz Kuhlmann’s claim that the LDS is not a Christian Church, nor is it a member of the World Council of Churches, since it’s just a cult, right now I’m aware that my mind is zooming backwards in time, to when around six million Jews were murdered by the Nazi regime in Germany during the Second World War.
Indeed, the story is that between 1941 and 1945, the Nazis sought to eradicate the entire Jewish community of Europe. It was when victims were murdered by death squads, or were transported to death camps during the Holocaust, which was mainly in Eastern Europe in places such as Poland and Ukraine.
As for the term Holocaust, it referred mainly to the orchestrated murder of groups targeted by the Nazi regime including Romanians, Soviet Prisoners of War and civilians, Polish civilians, homosexuals, socialists, communists, trades unionists, disabled people, Freemasons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Nazis did not act alone. Countries which were occupied by the Nazis during the Second World War, such as Lithuania and the Ukraine, assisted the perpetrators.
And yet, here in Samoa in October 2018, Dr. Karl-Heinz Kuhlmann is spreading the word, saying: “The LDS is not a Christian Church as they deny central Christian creeds. They are not members of the World Council of Churches but it’s a cult.
“How then do they fit into ‘Christian principles and Samoan Custom and tradition?’ In fact, they break the Constitution! Religious freedom is not covered by such activities the LDS is practicing.”
The truth is that the depravity of war in Germany, where six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust would have made it quite impossible, for those who were living there then to know what the truth truly looked like.
As for the LDS Church, it was formally organised by Joseph Smith on April 6, 1830, in western New York. Initial converts were drawn to the church in part because of the newly published Book of Mormon, a self-described chronicle of indigenous American prophets that Smith said, he’d translated from golden plates.
Later, the LDS Church’s headquarters were located in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States.
Thirteen years, in May 1843, four men were sent to be missionaries, in the islands of the Pacific. That was when two missionaries were also sent from Hawaii to establish the Church in Samoa.
They were Kimo Pelia and Samuela Manoa; they laboured faithfully for nearly twenty years, isolated from the strength and support of the Church back there, in the United States of America.
Pelia and Samuela baptised some in Tutuila, American Samoa. Later, after Elder Joseph H. Dean and his wife, Florence Ridges Dean arrived, the mission was formally organised on 17 June 1888.
By1891, the mission in Samoa was developing steadily; along the way its headquarters were established right here in Apia, the capital of Western Samoa.
And so, how then is it possible that after all these years, they are still feeling at home with those “Christian principles, Samoan Customs and Traditions” right here in Samoa today?’
Ask Dr. Karl-Heinz Kuhlmann.
He should know.
Have a peaceful Sunday Samoa, God bless.
Note: Some of the quotes in this editorial were taken from Pacific.lds.org, CCCS.org.ws, The Holocaust Explained.