Spencer Dixon was once a Mormon bishop responsible to the church, but soon he may be required to report as a sex offender.

The one-time Mormon bishop allegedly molested a 13-year-old girl in a Salt Lake City church library. He is reported to have fondled the girl’s breasts and buttocks and is now charged with “first-degree felony aggravated sexual abuse of a child,” according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.

The Mormon Church has had serious problems concerning sexual abuse in recent years and has been sued regarding its handling of such matters. According to the plaintiffs the church did not take proper action when leaders were confronted with such situations. Essentially, plaintiffs said that church officials didn’t keep their flock safe from sexual predators.

After former Bishop Dixon was arrested a church spokesman said, “The church condemns abuse of any kind and expects the highest moral and ethical conduct by its leaders.”

Let’s hope so. But it seems that Mormon leaders may have failed their faithful in the past.

Tom Green has five wives and 33 children. But they will have to visit or write to the polygamist in prison for at least the next four years. A Utah judge has sent Green to prison for having sex with a minor child.

Green’s former child bride of 13 now 30, tearfully testified on her husband’s behalf. But neither her tears nor seven children fathered by Green swayed the court, as reported by Reuters.

The judge said, “We should do everything possible to protect children.” And the prosecutor added, “A 37-year-old man having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl is never justified.”

There are thousands of polygamists living in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Most are gathered in cult-like submission beneath patriarchal leaders, such as Rulon Jeffs. But it is unlikely someone like Jeffs, who has 19 wives and fathered more than 60 children will ever find himself in a courtroom. It seems Mr. Green has become the designated “poster boy” for polygamy.

Green, unlike most polygamists, is not historically tied to the practice. Instead, he is a self-styled practitioner and seemingly as much a sexual predator as a religionist.

But many polygamists are carrying on family traditions that go back more than a century. They consider themselves “Mormon fundamentalists,” which means they believe that their lifestyle expresses the original and fundamental teachings of their faith first established by Joseph Smith and carried forward by Brigham Young. Both men were polygamists. Smith allegedly had 42 wives and it is said Young had 50. The Mormon Church did not officially end polygamy until 1890, as a prerequisite for Utah to achieve statehood.

This history leaves many Mormons ambivalent about polygamy, though persistent polygamists are an embarrassment to the church that is very image conscious. However, women and children often suffer through polygamy and it’s taxpayers who frequently pick up the bill to support their large families and essentially subsidize the practice, through public welfare and assistance programs.

It is doubtful polygamy will end abruptly anytime soon. The prosecution of polygamist gadfly Tom Green, though justified, seems more like a “show trial” than the beginning of the end for polygamist abuses. But it is good to know that there is one less pedophile on the streets.

The Mormon Church (LDS) wants to buy property in Pennsylvania, which they claim is where church founder Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon. A spokesperson for the church said this site might eventually be included in a “Mormon Heritage Tour,” reports the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Other locations the LDS Church has focused upon in recent years include Smith’s hometown of Palmyra, New York, Kirtland, Ohio where he built his first temple and Nauvoo, Illinois, which was a Mormon city ruled over by Smith until his death.

The LDS has poured considerable cash into such ventures and in Nauvoo this has generated some controversy. It seems that LDS Inc., ever pragmatic and business-like, has come up with a string of tourist destinations it can promote to the faithful.

Mormon families may now pack up the kids and tour “Mormon World” for their vacation, instead of going to Disneyland or some other secular site. This might ultimately create a significant stream of additional income for the church besides its expected regular tithes.

In a move that one devoted Mormon calls “definitely inspired” the Utah based church has decided to renovate two floors in a Manhattan building once used by a health club for racquet ball, to create its new NYC temple, reported the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Mormons use temples for secret ceremonies, sacraments and the baptism of the dead.

The six-story building is located across the street from the Lincoln Center in the heart of Manhattan. Soon Mormons will be able to watch a concert, and then stand in for their favorite deceased composer in a baptism across the street. Parking will be available in the basement.

It’s hard to say who is crazier, Rev. Moon, the founder of the Unification Church, or his political and religious cronies, which include former President George Bush Sr., evangelist Rev. Jerry Falwell and Senator Orin Hatch.

Last month Moon announced himself as “Savior, Messiah and King of Kings of all humanity.” He actually splashed this across newspapers throughout America in full-page ads. Apparently heaven had a convention and unanimously decided this, and somehow Moon got the meeting minutes and felt obliged to share the details.

The ads in Utah papers alone, home of long-time Moon friend Orin Hatch, cost more than $7,000. But of course that’s chump change for this billionaire, who built a religious empire on the backs of “brainwashed” street vendors once called “Moonies.”

Moon owns the Washington Times, which loses millions of dollars every year. But that newspaper, along with his more recent purchase of UPI, gives him juice in the capital and affords him a certain cache to court politicians inside the beltway. Prominent leaders and members of Congress attend his staged events, which are sponsored by one Moon controlled entity or another.

That Moon now 82, is a self-deluded possibly crazy old man, is not the point. Even his historical title of “cult leader” seems to pale next to a simple question more pertinent for most Americans. Why do these respected leaders pay so much attention to the would-be savior from Korea?

How can Jerry Falwell, a born-again Christian, suffer a false messiah? Rev. Falwell routinely condemns others for seemingly lesser sins, but he has never publicly condemned Moon. Instead he has posed with him for pictures, even though Moon says Jesus didn’t accomplish his mission. The Baptist minister has taken Moon’s money to shore up his own interests.

And how can Orin Hatch, a devout Mormon, put up with a man who sees himself as more important than Joseph Smith? It seems Senator Hatch imagines that Moon has been “persecuted,” like his Mormons ancestors who fled from unhappy circumstances in Illinois and eventually settled in Utah.

But then comes former President George Bush Sr. who has received millions of dollars from Moon for speeches. Obviously, he doesn’t need the money. What is he thinking? Or is this just an example of greed?

Who is really deluded?