The initial story was posted on The Millenial Star, but it points to an even more detailed account posted on The Backordered Life. Incorporating information from some of the comments posted on both sites, we get this picture. The First Presidency of the Church became concerned about fellow church members’ judgments of Senator Reid’s personal worthiness. They thought that if members could just hear his testimony, they would lay off the vitriol in that regard, though they may well continue to disagree with his politics. So they prevailed upon a local Stake Presidency in Nevada to invite Senator Reid to speak at a fireside. The subject of his address was to be "Why I Believe" The entire content of his message - which has been delivered several times at other stake gatherings - was the story of his conversion to Mormonism and his desire to share his love for God and his faith with his family, something he rarely gets to do in public.
That was it. Absolutely nothing political was planned. On that evening, it would be Brother Reid, not Senator Reid. But that didn't placate a number of politically conservative Mormons who confused political worthiness with spiritual worthiness. What happened next? The story from The Backordered Life:
As soon as word got out that Senator Reid (or might I remind my fellow Latter-day "Saints", Brother Reid) was speaking in our stake, the e-mails and phone calls began pouring in. Furious complaints about the "political" nature of this presentation. Righteous indignation over the Senator's politics. Messages, threats, that if he were permitted to speak, members of my church would heckle him from the audience. Would load signs into their pickups with the words "Mormons Against Harry Reid" painted on them, and park the trucks outside the chapel.
One man said, "If I see Harry Reid in the temple, I'm going to hit him." Another told our stake president, "Harry Reid is the most evil man on the earth, and you and your counselors are next."
There were even people weighing in from out of state. One woman called from St. George, Utah; my husband took the call, and she gave him a message for our stake president: "You're a wicked man for allowing this to happen." The outcry was so virulent, they cancelled the fireside. For security reasons. The man was fearful for the safety of his family.
Fearful! Of his fellow Mormons!
What we should really be fearful of is this spirit that spawned this outbreak of contention and acrimony. I have no doubt that there was a similar reaction among Latter-day Saints in southern Utah in 1857, prior to the Mountain Meadows Massacre. While I'm not suggesting that Harry Reid would have actually been harmed, a similar spirit of vigilantism preceded the 1857 massacre.
Of course, the attitude by many progressive Latter-day Saints towards Glenn Beck is not much better, although I don't believe Glenn Beck has been forced to cancel any firesides. Nevertheless, it serves as a lesson to all of us Latter-day Saints that, regardless of political persuasion, we are to leave our politics outside the chapel before we walk in. Can't do it, you say? Fine...then don't show up at all until you can do it. We don't expect perfection...but we can't afford dissension. Dissent all you want OUTSIDE the Church environment. But don't do it at church.