EXCLUSIVEInside the bitter fight between the Mormons and small town America: Church accused of ‘bullying’ picturesque hamlets into letting them build towering temples

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When the rural neighborhood of Lone Mountain, Nevada, stood up to the might of the Mormon church, they may have anticipated an explosive argument.

But not literally.

‘We’ve had people setting off fireworks,’ says resident Erin LeDoe. ‘It was a neighbor who lives up against the mountain. They were setting off what were basically large cannons, right outside her backyard.’

Those behind the pyrotechnics are thought to be supporters of a planned Mormon mega temple – and members of the church itself.

Their target was a local woman who had fiercely opposed it, along with many of her neighbors, on the grounds that the proposed 216-foot tall building would dwarf their homes and destroy their peaceful idyll.

Despite its name, Lone Mountain is just one of several rural areas across America taking on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), commonly referred to as the Mormon church, over its plans to plant ‘humongous’ temples in the heart of their communities.

Residents claim the proposals ride roughshod over local planning rules, designed to preserve the character of these unique settlements.

Yet simply by defending their land, locals have ignited the ire of their religious neighbors, who have labeled opponents as ‘bigots’ and threatened to sue those who resist.

And while the church flexes its legal muscle, it mobilizes its members by issuing rallying cries to descend on town halls from far and wide in a bid to show their projects have mass support.

Ecclesiastical leaders say the size of these temples is ‘essential’ to their religious practice – and therefore protected by law.

But many of their own members have poured scorn on these arguments, while others have suggested it is merely a cynical ploy to bolster the church’s vast real estate portfolio.

As neighbor is pitted against neighbor, DailyMail.com lifts the lid on a land grab that has turned toxic.

Content retrieved from: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13490269/mormon-church-suing-small-towns-mega-temples.html.

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