The Mormon Apostle Dallin Oaks recently gave a talk, “A Witness to God,” at BYU-Idaho devotional [1, 2]. I learned of it was through an interesting panel discussion on the Mormon Expositor podcast, which prompted my own reading (after 2 minutes of trying to watch). 
Here is my outline of his talk, interpreted through the lens of a pigeonholed “anti-Christ.” Yes, sadly, I am now a bone fide Christian bogeymen courtesy of the apostle John as reconstituted by the apostle Dallin.
I. Welcome all Christian-like Mormons.
- You too are fundamentalist Christians (So get ready to join forces with them).
II. The true threats to the fabric of your beings are atheists and secular humanists.
- Atheists are the true anti-Christs (not those whorish apostate Christian sects).
- They want to replace our true absolute morality with unbridled moral relativism (even though they have done much good in the world).
- By glorifying reason they subvert the wisdom of God (most of which we admittedly don’t comprehend).
- The “Great and Abominable Church” is no longer the collection of whorish apostate Christian sects. It’s everything atheists and secular humanists associate with (and I’ve got a single New Testament verse to prove it).
III. Here’s what you got to do.
- Ramp up the god-talk through your private prayers and greetings (particularly with Christmas and sympathy cards).
- Ramp up your god-talk in public settings (like public schools and town meetings).
- Demand your “free exercise of religion” (which means imposing ours on others using our collective political influence).
- Let us us join forces with the Christian right to battle the anti-Christ (and stop gay marriage).
So, what’s going on here?
I’ve recently noticed Mormon leaders making Christian right-sounding noises. Perhaps it’s been going on for a while – but Oaks was sure trumpeting it here. Feels like the transformation is almost complete.
It’s interesting to see an “apostle” of “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth”(D&C 130) sidling up to the sects whose clerics were used to represent the devil not so many years ago . Indeed, this was the whole point of Oaks redefining the “great and abominable church” in terms of atheists/secularists. Pretty clever move – very strategic. But his “making a deal with the devil” seems like an act of desperation and weakness.
While there are relatively few overt atheists in the US, they do dominate the intellectual landscape and are winning arguments that play by the rules of reason and evidence . In that regard, think Oaks and other conservative Christian leaders are justifiably scared – and, perhaps, suffering from beaten egos.
Indeed, despite the massive herds they can so easily persuade to fall in behind them, they don’t get much respect at the “grown-ups” tables – unless they can deliver votes. And this is because they are not growing up. Their dogmatic views are stuck in the information-poor past. They bring nothing new or useful to broader conversations about the future – their “spiritual method” of producing “knowledge” is good for little more than confirming ancient dogma and buying up properties. And it doesn’t take much surface scratching to reveal that their lip-flapping is mostly about preserving the narrowly circumscribed interests of their own oligarchies .
And so, Falwell-esque bombasticisms is all Oaks can muster as he seeks to make – or pretend to make – Mormonism into just another fundamentalist Christian bubble . The strategy seems to be to find shelter and support in their frothy midst.
Bubbles of the world unite!
 The video: https://video.byui.edu/media/Dallin+H.+Oaks+%22Witnesses+of+God%22/0_n6vr7aeb
 The transcript: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/witnesses-of-god
 The Mormon temple endowment ritual used to portray the devil dressed up like a 19th century Christian cleric.
 We should keep in mind that many religious people are secularists with respect to how the public and government institutions of a pluralistic democratic society should be run.
 For Mormons, democracy and the U.S. Constitution are provisional, serving to protect the the institution until the time when the priesthood can take the reigns of a true theocracy.
 I count the acceptance of Biblical literalism through the added support of its exclusive scripture (e.g. the Book of Mormon and Book of Moses confirm the Tower of Babel and the Flood as historical) as a defining feature of Fundamentalism.
 One commenter used the wagon train analogy: “Mormonism is once again circling the wagons and holding their head low.” Yes, and I would add that their strategy is to first paint their own wagons to look more like the more dominant Christian Right wagons and then find an inconspicuous safe spot among them. (See http://mormonexpositor.com/66-responding-to-witnesses-of-god-by-dallin-oaks/)