Hey, Who Are You Calling a Cult?

The LDS Church is less of a cult than many of the religions that accuse it of being one.

GloryBound

05/19/2012 08:33:21 PM

BlackJebus, If you have read your Bible like you say you have, you would of read that it says Jesus was God and man. He is the Word. In the beginning was the Word.

Seanski

05/12/2012 02:25:32 PM

Neanderthal huh? Very nice

BlackJebus

02/05/2012 10:32:23 PM

Number one: the issue was whether or not mormons were a cult not polytheists. So you missed the first point like a true neanderthal. Secondly, in all four of the Gospels when Jesus was baptized the holy spirit descended in the bodily form of a dove and God spoke saying "This is my Son in whom I am well pleased." God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost manifest themselves at the same place and time. This is why we believe that God is the creator of the universe but the holy ghost and Jesus are seperate entities. Jesus is seen as Gods only son but hes not God he is seen as an exhalted being. Who helped as evidenced in scripture to create the universe. If you insist on misrepresenting mormon beliefs at least have the intellect to quote scripture and having any knowledge of LDS scripturewould help. So again you need to do research into this matter because youclearly havent. Thats not my opinion, its a fact. I should know I am a member and I have read the bible, book of mormon, doctrine and covenants and the pearl of great price.

remimsslc

11/12/2011 11:14:31 AM

I've enjoyed your sci-fi/fantasy novels very much over the years, as well as your columns and this blog on your faith. I am not LDS, but I do not presume to label a faith that is held so sincerely, and with such positive impact on society, as a "cult." When the next life comes, I suspect all of us will have surprises. I've blogged about this a bit myself, if you are willing to allow the link: http://blog.beliefnet.com/preacherskid/2011/10/mitt-romney-isnt-a-christian-betcha-jesus-loves-him-rev-jefress.html

bgc

02/15/2011 11:05:49 AM

Call me what you want, I know who I am. I know what I think and just how I arrived at my station. People who attack are insecure. People who posture as "Oh, the Mormons are really nice people but..." are of the same ilk. I would rather enjoy life than hammer someone's religion. http://benzriskybusiness.blogspot.com/

lds.examiner

01/09/2011 09:55:42 PM

Great article. Whenever someone tells you Mormonism (or any religion) is a cult, your first action should be to question why the individual feels compelled to tell you that? What is their motivation? There is envy among religious denominations. We saw it in the Bible. The Pharisees and scribes were envious of Jesus and the apostles. After all they went to the schools and studied religion. They were learned men who were being confounded by a carpenter's son and some fishermen who had power to heal the sick, cast out demons, and bring the Holy Spirit into the lives of their followers. The Pharisees and scribes couldn't compete, so they had to resort to defamation, slander, false witness, and twisting scripture to make people disbelieve what was happening right in front of them. When someone tells you Mormonism is a cult, ask them what their motivation is. Are they not secure in their own faith? Do they think that Mormons are some kind of threat? Do they not trust in God enough to believe that he can and will answer a prayer to find out if the Book of Mormon is true? A Mormon will simply tell you what he believes it and how you can know for yourself. He will preach a positive gospel message and leave you to choose for yourself. We're content to leave it in the Lord's hands and trust that you will have the good sense to follow your heart.

Neanderthal75

01/06/2011 05:52:46 PM

The answer is simple and straight forward, based upon the contextual and doctrinal evidence provided by the LDS Church itself: the LDS Church and its members are Neo-Pagans, as they are Polytheists. By biblical definition they are NOT a Christian organization, despite have the name of Jesus in the title of their Church, based upon their Polytheistic doctrines. This is not my personal opinion, it is fact: Mormons believe in the existence of many gods. Mormons believe that they too can/will become gods/goddesses of their own planet, which they will rule. These are the facts folks, whether you like them or not. Cheers.

Uneva

10/21/2010 12:08:34 AM

I've read through about two-thirds of the comments here, to date, and see an awful lot of speculation...from all sides. What a waste of hot air! The absolute truth is promised to each and every person who sincerely desires to find it. All they need do is humbly study our Heavenly Father's Word, go to Him in fervent prayer, and request that the truth be made known to them. The Holy Spirit, spoken of in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, will testify, to each and every individual who sincerely wants to know, the truth of each book. He cannot testify otherwise. If what you're studying is false, He will testify so. If it's true, He'll let you know. That is one of His purposes, as a member of the Godhead. Speculation is just an unnecessary door for confusion...a tool of the devil. ...I was born LDS, but didn't take the Church's teachings seriously till I was almost 30. At that time, I humbly studied, and took my questions to God. I didn't seek for or get my answer from my Bishop, a teacher, a friend or family member. It came, as promised, from the Holy Spirit...an unmistakeable assurance of the truth I was seeking. I didn't need to look any further. Nor does anyone else.

Chad31

10/18/2010 06:36:04 PM

I hate to say this to you, Shredder, but you're pretty much just plain wrong. If anything, your argument would be the straw-man, because you take our doctrines, misrepresent them, and then act like this twisted version of us that you yourself have created is our whole argument. Pot calling the kettle black indeed.

walrus78

04/05/2010 03:48:10 PM

Shredder Shredder Shredder..what was the reasoning behind your name choice? An ill start, I apologize, but you don't seem the reasonable type anyways... "Cults are characterized by claimed revisions (usually by means of novel revelation) to the defining doctrines of the parent religion under which they develop, if any" Joseph Smith didn't claim to revise, he RESTORED. LDS faith cannot be traced to a "parent religion" unless you say Christianity, in general, is a parent religion. In RESTORING one replaces what was lost, shines up that which was tarnished, and brings to light that which was in the dark. It's no surprise then that what has been RESTORED is foreign to present Christian faiths...given its a RESTORATION. As for additional comparison to the early Christian Church, the LDS faith has the closest literal organization of any other faith. We have prophets, 12 apostles, teachers, priests, the laying on of hands, the bestowing of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the quorom of Seventies (who assisted the apostles when things got too busy), continual revelation for guidance, fellowship and on and on. Trace back the "convictions" of Joseph Smith and you'll find men offended by his message seeking revenge...if i'm remembering correctly, he never WAS convicted of anything...imprisoned? Yes..but his rights were violated in the process cause they could imprison him no other way. An allusion to anybody? Paul perhaps? The other many saints who died innocently? Why? Because the natural man is an enemy to God, and the Word of God is sharp and pains the soul of the guilty. Prophecy...promises given of the Lord through him, are still dependant on the people to whom the promise is given. If, then. Failed promises, or prophecies, were forewarned to fail if the people didn't repent. They didn't. Last but not least..nay..the greatest in fact. The Book of Mormon. Since it's printing theories have sprung up by the hundreds of how or why its false. After more than 150yrs, it still stands..not only stands but each falsehood theory prooved wrong has just added additional weight to its truthfulness. Its from a Jewish sect? HA! Yet the writting nuances exactly reflect Semitic structure and diction. Millions of people inhabited the jungles of Central america!?!? The forest couldn't support the food needed!!! Yet recent archeological finds include a Tierra Preta that is a man made blend of soil, bones, charcoal and pottery that is the most fertile soil on earth..so fertile, that one can plant crops all year around for 100's of years without it needing to rest the soil. Scientists are baffled. With said soil, the area could easily support millions. Yet nothing is so powerful as is reading the Book of Mormon for yourself..you'll bow down on your knees before Christ, at some point, and have to admit that they ARE his words...why procrastinate the day of your repentance?

fairlds

02/04/2010 05:49:36 PM

Good article. See www.fairlds.org for scholarly responses to criticisms of Mormon beliefs.

james_brown

01/12/2010 11:17:08 AM

Well - I'm convinced. The Mormons are less a cult than the Jim Jones group. Way to go Mormons. Its logic like this that allowed me to escape this 'less a cult' so many years ago. Way to go again Mormons.

shredder

12/08/2009 08:54:50 AM

Mr. Card's entire argument is a straw man. He has failed to accurately represent the reason why Christians regard Mormonism as a cult. In the parlance of comparative religions, belief systems are loosely divided among four categories: religions, denominations, sects and cults. Cults are characterized by claimed revisions (usually by means of novel revelation) to the defining doctrines of the parent religion under which they develop, if any. Every major religion has its denominations, sects and cults. Christianity is no different. Mormonism absolutely meets this criteria with its doctrines of an exalted corporeal "Heavenly Father" and goddess mothers living in outer space, its Jesus-Satan brotherhood, novel preisthoods, revived Babylonian initiation rites, etc. NONE of these things was ever any part of the Christian faith that Mormons claim to have "restored". Furthermore, Joseph Smith was a twice-convicted occult con artist who bilked his own followers out of their meager coinage with flimsy magic-rock-in-the-hat tricks and a phony bank fraud scheme. None of Smith's predictive "prophecies" ever came to pass and the "scriptures" he produced are proven hoaxes - not one word of which can be shown to have been correctly translated from their alleged source documents. The man even re-wrote the Bible (known as the "Inspired" translation) and invneted whole passages to suit his apparently delusional fantasies.

luani

08/24/2009 06:57:43 AM

cool story! I found this website LDS Blend at www.ldsblend.com Does anyone have any info on this site? I was thinking of joining. It looks pretty cool.

anthropos

06/14/2009 09:17:23 AM

It's really sad how many people see Mormons as a lightning rod for their own anxieties. the fact of the matter is LDS has the same basis of all religions. people are moved by the connection they feel to God in it. As one trained in the historical method, I will tell you that there is no scholarly basis for anyone's denomination to be considered truer than any other. As a person, I have found Mormons to be among the most genuinely thoughtful and nice people I have met, and though I have no interest in converting I 100% support those who do. Cheers, Mormpns.

blueskunk12

05/28/2009 05:40:21 AM

I'm newly studying with the Mormons, and am very confused. Mormons keep saying they're the True Church, and Christianity restored, just like the Jehovah's Witnesses I studied with, who proved to be wrong. Now I'm giving the Latter Day Saints a chance. I've been struggling with the Book of Mormon for weeks. It's just not clicking with me. Sometimes it repeats what I've read in the Bible. Sometimes the Book of Mormon seems to be repeating itself over and over, page after page. And sometimes it seems to contradict the Bible. One thing I've read in the Bible is that they drank alcohol. In John 2:1–11, Jesus turned water into wine. In 1 Tim. 5:23, Paul tells Timothy, "Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses." Even our Lord Jesus drank. Matt. 11:19 says that the Son of Man came eating and drinking; that they [those who were against Him] called Him a 'glutton and a drunkard'. So to me it seems that we should do what the Bible says, and "not be addicted to wine" (1 Tim. 3:8), to "not get drunk on wine" (Eph. 5:18), and "not given to drunkenness" (Titus 1:7). Personally, I don't like alcohol, don't like how I feel when I'm drunk (and afterward!), and don't see any reason for me to destroy what brain cells I have with alcohol. But what I keep seeing is that the Mormons, rather than believe what the Bible says, seem to believe something far different. I don't understand what Joseph Smith has to do with anything. I thought you were the Church of Jesus Christ, and would believe and teach about Him. But so far, all I hear and see leads me to believe that Mormons belong to the Church of Joseph Smith.

newmormom2008

03/02/2009 03:29:50 PM

I Believe In Christ, You did an excellent job of answering the person's questions. I just want to let you know that. The more people know and understand about the church the better. I believe that this website is a great plave for people to understand different religions and hopefully with people that doubt our religion, when there are a couple of people that can explain it to them then maybe they will understand better. Awesome job and way to do God's Work.

newmormom2008

03/02/2009 03:25:25 PM

IBelieveinChrist, Maybe I can help you with the hot drinks. Joesph Smith got a revelation from God. Basically going back to the bible saying how are body is a temple. Coffee, alcohol, tea all affect the natural rythem of out body therefor they encourage us not to drink it but then it goes back onto free agency. It is all in what we believe in. However we are allowed to drink herbal tea. Maybe that helps a little.

newmormom2008

03/02/2009 03:08:03 PM

Jackpowers, Are you a mormon? If not you don't the real beliefs of mormonism. I am a new convert to the church. I was baptized in NOV '08. In the bible there are a lot fo things that we as mormons believe in that other denominations believe in as well its just they dont express it and care about it as much as we do. I was like you while I was learning about the church. I was working with missionaries that come from Utah and I had the same feelings you did. I then had the oppurtunity to visit a temple and actually learn about Joesph Smith. When I left the temple that night I knew in my heart that everything I learned I would find out if its true through prayer. I went home that night and prayed and 4 months later I was baptized. We also dont believe in the " Father, Son & Holy Spirit" as 3 gods. We believe they are 3 seperate beings. The father is one who made the earth, the son is Jesus who everyone knows and the holy spirit is the spirit that you get when you are baptized and promise to keep the covenants made by the lord. And on your remark on the afterlife,what is it that you think is bizarre? I actually think its pretty cool. I am 23 yrs old and before I joined the church I was scared to die and afterwards I am now not scared a

KimberlyGrace

02/03/2009 04:45:41 PM

Joseph Smith married around 27 other women while living in Nauvoo Illinois, a town her started. 10 of the women he married were already married to other men. Joseph Smith used his followers to camapaign for him as President of the United States. He also set up a theodemocracy declaring himself as King of the Kingdom of G-d. ? That's a heresy..

languagefan

01/14/2009 02:13:54 AM

jackpowers, Your statements of what Mormons believe display a rather superficial, even incorrect view of what's taught by the Book of Mormon, so I'm not sure how you're in a position to comment on whether or not it contains errors. In any case, Mormons don't themselves ever use the word "heresy" to describe others' beliefs. I think that is the sort of bullying that Orson Scott Card was referring to in his opinion piece. It is used to attack, just as the word "cult" is. I know that Paul referred to heresies, but one of the times he does so is when he talks about being condemned for heresy by some of the leaders of the Jews. If Paul was condemned for heresy because he believed the truth, then we Mormons are in good company.

jackpowers

01/09/2009 12:24:28 AM

The Book of Mormon is filled with error. Joseph Smith was a false prophet. Perhaps Mormonism isn't a cult . But there's NO WAY it's not heresy. Mormons teach that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three SEPERATE GODS! Not even close to the New Testament teaching. And their view of the afterlife? Bizarre and completely unbiblical.

IBelieveinChrist

05/27/2008 10:53:08 AM

Radley, maybe I can help answer your questions. What I know as the reason we are asked not to drink tea or coffee is because of revelation given to a prophet, Joseph Smith, that lists strong hot drinks as being "not for the body" - which tea and coffee are interpreted to be, as well as alcohol. The revelation is commonly known as the Word of Wisdom and included other instructions r/t diet.

IBelieveinChrist

05/27/2008 10:52:54 AM

The Lord wants us to be able to make decisions unaffected by substances that might alter our thinking and our inhibitions, and our spirits to overcome the "natural man" or our bodily appetites & passions (hence avoiding addictive substances). However, I'm sure you're aware of the high rates of addiction and obesity in North America today. The counsel or attitude of the world would be have what you want, have as much as you want, and have it now. I think it is only in recent decades that chocolate has become so available and so overly consumed that people are actually becoming addicted.

IBelieveinChrist

05/27/2008 10:52:30 AM

I am suggesting the attitude, 'Everything in moderation'. If someone finds they have been consuming so much chocolate that they cannot get through the day without a piece of it, it would be best for them to overcome that habit by 'withdrawing' to a point where they can eat chocolate only every now and then and not feel a slave to it. Virtually anything can become a vice if we allow ourselves to rely on it.

IBelieveinChrist

05/27/2008 10:52:16 AM

To your question regarding free agency: Think of society. There is government. There is law. There is our ability to choose to obey the law, or break it, and then there are consequences – inclusion in society or removal from it and rehabilitation. Please don’t carry my analogy too far – I am only saying that the Lord gives us conditions and commandments (law) and the opportunity to choose to accept and follow or not.

IBelieveinChrist

05/27/2008 10:52:02 AM

If we have truth before us and we do not choose to accept and follow it, then the consequence is not being included as His. The idea is not, “Do whatever you want and it will always be good.” It is, “There is some good and some bad out there – some things will make you happy and some won’t. I will help you know which are good, but you may choose for yourself.” It is as simple as a kindergarten teacher telling her students that if they follow the class rules they can have a treat at the end of class, with the added benefit of having a good, safe time during class. If the child really wants the treat, or simply believes the rules are good and help him treat others with respect, he will accept and follow them.

IBelieveinChrist

05/27/2008 10:51:45 AM

If he or she doesn’t recognize a good thing and rejects the rules, choosing to follow their own path, they may or may not have a good time, may or may not hurt themselves and others, and will not get the treat at the end of class – which will likely disappoint the teacher and consequently themselves. If the child continues, he or she may need to be removed from class, and may not be able to move on in the curriculum. Does this help you?

IBelieveinChrist

05/27/2008 02:08:39 AM

One other thing we are often wrongly accused of is using our belief in teachings from the Bible to prove we are Christians - which there are two things wrong with. One is, that I still don't understand how anyone can argue that we don't have a firm faith in Christ. We are so beyond that conversation. The second is, that the Book of Mormon contains Christ's teachings, so while we do believe in the Bible, we wouldn't need it solely to prove that we are Christians. If you have never read the Book of Mormon and have been given false information about it, it absolutely contains Christ's teachings.

IBelieveinChrist

05/27/2008 02:08:29 AM

I think it is obvious why people refer to the LDS as Mormons, or to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as "Mormonism" - even members of our church call it that, but it's not correct and is disrespectful. Mormon was a prophet and compiled the records other prophets had kept over the years, which is why it was simply called, The Book of Mormon. It is not his church, it is Christ's church (read, not Joseph Smith's church, either).

IBelieveinChrist

05/27/2008 01:49:57 AM

People get confused about this. One church saying, "We believe this - if you do not, then you are not really what you say you are," does not make it so. Me being a Christian is me having a belief in following Christ and allowing His Atonement to work in my life. My church is the organization He put in place to support my faith and belief in Him and what He taught.

IBelieveinChrist

05/27/2008 01:49:43 AM

I'm reading pc24's comment and wondering what church he/she belongs to - it appears that they are assuming their church and Christianity are one and the same? For example, Catholicism and Christianity are not the same thing. One is a church, and one is a belief. There are several forms of Christianity - all are "traditional" but some have just had more attention or more followers. (Think of Christmas - how can you say that something is traditional when it is celebrated in so many different ways and under so many different names? The "tradition" belongs to the group who practice it. If you are calling what your church teaches you "traditional Christianity", it is your tradition r/t what you believe, and only that. It is not a stamp on the rest of the world.

Radley

11/21/2007 09:18:51 AM

I am desperately trying to understand the beliefs and ways of the Mormon Church but have to admit that there are some things which I simply cannot. For example, why do you not drink tea or coffee?? I understand that you do not drink Alcohol or take any other addictive substances, however not drinking tea or coffee seems an odd one. If it is because it contains caffeine and this can be an addictive substance then why allow your followers to eat and drink chocolate, which also contains caffeine?? This seems quite contradictory does it not. Also a big part of me not being able to appreciate these 'rules' is that the church refers often to God allowing us free will, yet does the Mormon church not state that unless you agree to give up these things then you will not be allowed to be Baptised? Why can she not have both, that seems unfair. That is like she is being told what she can and cannot do if she wished to be a Mormon, in other words she has no Free Will if she wishes to go ahead and be baptised?

Holly3278

06/18/2007 12:09:31 PM

Excellent article! I thoroughly enjoyed it. It proves without a doubt that Mormonism is not a cult. Mormonism is Jesus' church restored on the earth. It is not a cult. Praise God!

SeattleSuz

09/15/2006 05:56:20 PM

Very good article. As an inactive member of the church for over 10 years, I still relate to some of the teachings and still cherish my active family. However, being married to a Catholic with a martyr for a mother has really made me realize that people use the word "cult" so easily. My husband realized that his mother made him AFRAID of the Mormon church by calling it a cult and telling him that he was going to "get sucked in" if he went. When my mum invited me and him to come to church and watch her choir perform on Easter and he happened to tell his mother, you would have thought he had sacrificed a lamb or something. She was TERRIFIED that something was going to happen, and for what reason? Because someone along the line told her that Mormonism is a cult. Ridiculous. But there are many many people out there who think that. And IMO, it's just a matter of educating them.

kano32413

09/03/2006 05:24:53 PM

sweetnspicey1 Would you really like to know where all the money is going ? I'll tell you that's simple... It's going to people who need it... The temple out here in Texas fixed up my home after the hurricane at no cost to me as well as many other non members... I am joining now and I have seen many great things these people do for others with the churches money... If one temple or member has a problem it becomes every ones problem... Cults normally won't help those out side of their church... Let alone a whole neighborhood or other churches... They don't even pass a collection plate... You give freely and are not feeling bad if you don't have any money to give like a lot of churches that pass an offering plate and people look at you funny when you put nothing in... If it's a "cult" then I am proud that me and my family are becoming members of this cult...

Greatergood

06/10/2006 01:02:51 PM

Actually the original definition for cult is one that exactly fits the group of people that followed Christ during his ministry: his disciples - the guys that wrote the New Testament upon which all Christianity is based. In all the original definitions there was nothing regarding corruption nor extortion nor blind obedience. In the Oxford Universal Dictionary dated 1955 it says: 1- Worship (from 'Cultus', the Latin word for worship), 2- A particular form of religious worship, especially in its external rites and ceremonies (such as baptism, anointings, etc.), 3) Devotion to a particular person or thing, now especially as paid by a body of professed adherents. Note that the payment mentioned above is a payment of devotion, not money. So go ahead, associate me with the original apostolic church by belonging calling my church "a cult". Let's just not alter the original definition. ;)

LoveLaughter18

03/26/2006 10:14:46 PM

I am not a mormon. I grew up around them since every member of my extended family is a saint. I chose to right a paper about the religion last semester for school. I gained a new appriation for the religion in the process. While my beleifs are not that of the church. I see the religion as one based on rightousness, purity and morality. I've heard people call it a cult. I dont agree. God bless Erin

tawsha

10/18/2005 02:17:21 PM

Very well said Mr. Card. I to would not be in the Church if it was a cult. I left the church as a teen and made the conscious decision to stay a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latterday Saints. People who call us a cult do not understand our religion nor do they actually care.

sweetnspicey1

09/09/2005 03:35:59 PM

Perhaps if mormons wish to shed the image of a cult, the leaders should be honest with the public. First, Let scientists analyze 'sacred' documents and artifacts as the catholic church has done with the shroud of Jesus. Next, Let news channels such as NBC describe their experiences in morman temples and churches, without placing numerous restrictions on the news crew. Lastly, show us where the money goes as non-profit org.'s have been doing for years. Non members see a handful of super rich mormon leaders in Utah living the easy life. Also, whats up with all of the lawyers the mormon church keeps on retainer???

BillThinks4Himself

07/08/2005 01:06:47 AM

There's a group called Jews for Judaism that has a great essay on their site, discussing the traits that legitimately raise the "cult" issue for any religious group. They include: --exclusivist claims to truth; --deceptive marketing practices; --isolation from outsiders; --overstimulation from insiders; --special emphasis on leaders; --pressure to conform; --threats of expulsion; --extravagant claims; --twisted meanings of common words; --emphasis on special experience over common sense; --secret doctrines and practices.

LindaLDS

06/03/2005 06:02:41 AM

UUgreeenfrog, usually, when an evangelical or mainstream Christian uses the word "cult", they are actually saying "group I don't like and don't believe, that I want others to fear and hate as much as I do". In fact, a group that they want them to fear and hate so much that they don't want others to even TRY to understand from any other POV than thier own spiritual leader's POV. The pastor of that church doesn't want their sheep talking to any Mormons, or U/U or JW or any other "cult" member, for fear that they might get "sucked into" our "cult". They don't want to lo$e their preciou$e member$. If you get my drift. But then, you gotta ask yourself, who is REALLY doing the brainwashing?

UUGreenfrog

05/26/2005 01:09:34 PM

I don't find myself agreeing with Card on much - but I will have to support him on this one. The term "cult" is totally worthless becaue it has become a "skunk word" (Anything that gets sprayed with it stinks.) Card says, " . . . Mormons may well be the most stubborn, independent-minded group of people ever assembled as a religious community." I'm a Unitarian Universalist. We've been called a "cult" by those who don't like our approach to religion . . . but I think we've got the LDS beat in terms of stubbornness and independence! Frog.

LindaLDS

05/25/2005 09:33:55 AM

diggerchick, Sacred garments are just that, SACRED. Just as Jews have their sacred clothing. And our temple ceremonies are also SACRED, not secret. You might think they are secret, since we do not talk of them outside the temple, but we simply do not talk of them because one does not talk of the truly sacred to those who do not understand. But this does not make us a cult. We do not hide our temples. We do not keep people from the temple, we try to get as many of our members to the temple as possible. What, to you, makes a cult?

LindaLDS

05/25/2005 09:33:23 AM

diggerchick, first of all, what is wrong with plural marriage? It is CERTAINLY much better than adultery. I fully believe that Congress outlawed polygamy because those men did not want to have to make honest women of all their mistresses and the children they were siring. The Mormons were certainly making them look bad by MARRYING their women and taking FULL responsibility for their families, financially, emotionally, and spiritually. Those "fundamentalist Mormons" today are NOT what plural marriage is supposed to be about. It's NOT about marrying CHILDREN or anything like that.

LindaLDS

05/25/2005 09:19:46 AM

pc24, true Christianity, to me, is to follow the two greatest commandments, as Christ gave them: to love the Lord God with all thy might mind, strength and heart, and to love thy neighbor as thyself. To accept Christ as your Saviour. This is what makes a Christian. Just because a church does not believe EXACTLY like your church does does NOT make that church a PSEUDO-Christian church. Just because we do not interpret the Bible exactly like you do does not mean our doctrine is outside Biblical Christianity. You say that doctrinally, our church is not Christian, but in reality, what it is is that our church is doctrinally just DIFFERENT from your church, and in order for you to feel secure that YOUR church is the MOST Christian, you must put OUR church down as NOT CHristian. You secretly fear our church, therefore, you must put it down as not Christian.

LindaLDS

05/25/2005 09:14:28 AM

Also, Celtic rebirth, Spencer W. Kimball passed away about 20 years ago, and he was not a wealthy man. He made his living as an insurance salesman. He might have received a living stipend from the church, but he was NOT wealthy, my any means.

LindaLDS

05/25/2005 09:13:14 AM

Dear Celtic Rebirth, First of all, what, to you, is a cult? Second, what to you is a Christian? The Dictionary defines a Christian as a follower of Jesus Christ. This is what we are. There is nothing in either the dictionary, OR the Bible, about having to believe in any creeds or traditions of the Catholic church in order to make one a christian, or to keep a church from being labeled a cult. Have you ever read the Book of Mormon? If you have, then you would know that if you damn the Book of Mormon, you also damn the Bible, since BOTH are testaments of Jesus CHRIST being our Lord and Saviour, the only BEGOTTEN Son of God. So, the only reason I can think of that you would label us a "cult" is that we do not believe as you do, and you fear and hate us, and want others to fear and hate us, also, without even checking to see what we believe, and why we believe it. This, to me, is not only unfair, but very un-Christ-like.

witnessofjesus

02/14/2005 03:54:52 PM

The foregoing items attest to the fact that our present Bible does not contain all of the word of the Lord that he gave to his people in former times, and remind us that the Bible, in its present form, is rather incomplete. Matthew’s reference to a prophecy that Jesus would be a Nazarene (Matt. 2: 23) is interesting when it is considered that our present O.T. seems to have no statement as such.

witnessofjesus

02/14/2005 03:52:57 PM

an epistle to the Church at Laodicea (Col. 4: 16); and some prophecies of Enoch, known to Jude (Jude 1: 14). To these rather clear references to inspired writings other than our current Bible may be added another list that has allusions to writings that may or may not be contained within our present text, but may perhaps be known by a different title; for example, the book of the covenant (Ex. 24: 7), which may or may not be included in the current book of Exodus; the manner of the kingdom, written by Samuel (1 Sam. 10: 25); the rest of the acts of Uzziah written by Isaiah (2 Chr. 26: 22).

witnessofjesus

02/14/2005 03:52:29 PM

Sometimes called missing scripture, they consist of at least the following: book of the Wars of the Lord (Num. 21: 14); book of Jasher (Josh. 10: 13; 2 Sam. 1: 18); book of the acts of Solomon (1 Kgs. 11: 41); book of Samuel the seer (1 Chr. 29: 29); book of Gad the seer (1 Chr. 29: 29); book of Nathan the prophet (1 Chr. 29: 29; 2 Chr. 9: 29); prophecy of Ahijah (2 Chr. 9: 29); visions of Iddo the seer (2 Chr. 9: 29; 2 Chr. 12: 15; 2 Chr. 13: 22); book of Shemaiah (2 Chr. 12: 15); book of Jehu (2 Chr. 20: 34); sayings of the seers (2 Chr. 33: 19); an epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, earlier than our present 1 Corinthians (1 Cor. 5: 9); possibly an earlier epistle to the Ephesians (Eph. 3: 3);

witnessofjesus

02/14/2005 03:44:54 PM

Most Christian groups critize Mormons for our lack of belief in the Bible as the 'sole authority for faith and doctrine', which is true. We do not accept the Bible as our final authority in all matters of faith and practice. We do believe it to be the word of God, 'as far as it is translated correctly', but we also believe it to be incomplete in it's content. A fact to which the Bible itself gives witness...notice the following: The so-called lost books of the Bible are those documents that are mentioned in the Bible in such a way that it is evident they are considered authentic and valuable, but that are not found in the Bible today.

pc24

02/02/2005 10:18:13 AM

Regarding Mormonism, I prefer to think of the LDS Church as Counterfeit Chrisitianity rather than a "cult." I think the word cult, while doctrinally applicable to the LDS Church, perhaps brings with it a negative connotation, i.e. Jim Jones, David Korest, Marshall Applewhite, etc... However, doctrinally, Mormonism claims to be true Christianity but denies the historic fundamental doctrines of Christianity. They deny the Trinity, their doctrine of revelation is outside of biblical Christianity, their view of the atonement is vastly different than Christianity, their doctrine of salvation is completely different than biblical Christianity, the LDS Church says it is the only true church on earth. Not to mention all of the major doctrinal contradictions from LDS Prophets and their own Scriptures. I have no problem with Latter-day Saints, they are fine people, but doctrinally the LDS church is not Christian.

pc24

02/02/2005 10:10:21 AM

Heretic for Christ, Actually, the Watchtower Society has a very contradictory Christology. They deny the doctrine of the Trinity saying that Christ is not co-equal with God while at the same time saying Christ is a mighty god, but not the Almighty God while at the same time saying Jesus is just a perfect man who was Michael the Archangel in Heaven before coming to Earth. They also deny the bodily resurrection of Christ and have a completely different view of His atonement than historic biblical Christianity. Hence, doctrinally while claiming to be Christian and in fact the only true church on earth they deviate from fundamental Christian doctrine and are thus outside of biblical Christianity.

CelticRebirth

01/10/2005 08:33:31 PM

Mormonism must be a cult because I can't see how it could possibly be called a part of Christianity. Oh yes, they wheel out the Bible to sucker in the potential converts, but they read the Book of Mormon. Mormons do not ascribe to any of the confessional creeds (Apostles, Nicaean, Athanasian) nor do they believe in substitutionary atonement or the uniqueness of Christ. What really makes them a cult though, is their willingness to follow the leader mindlessly without ever examining their beliefs in light of rea-world experience. The only difference between Spencer Kimball and David Koresh is that Koresh didn't have a huge fortune buffering him from harm.

Heretic_for_Christ

12/06/2004 07:44:49 AM

Witnessofjesus. I am not a member of Jehovah's Witnesses, but I have read their literature and had long talks with their representatives, and I stand by what I said. They accept Jesus as divine, but NOT co-equal with God the father; that is exactly what I meant by their rejection of trinitarian doctrine. Note that they translate John 1:1 as "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was a god." Unlike other translations, their New World Bible inserts the article "a" in the last phrase, indicating that the Word (Jesus) was with God the father and was also a god--but not co-equal with God the father. As for mindless devotion, yes, the Witnesses blindly accept the teachings of their literature just as trinitarian Christians blindly accept their own churches' doctrines, and Christians in general blindly accept the notion of scriptural inerrancy; but my definition of a cult is mindless obedience to a charismatic leader.

witnessofjesus

12/05/2004 11:41:29 AM

Hopefully this has been of some help to you, I almost became a baptized convert to JW's back in the mid-1990s, but God saved me from that and I now possess a strong testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ as given to us by His prophet, even Joseph Smith, Jr. I know now that God lives, that His Son, Jesus Christ lives and that They have given to us, the Plan of Happiness, that will guide us to our home again. I bear record of these things in the most sacred Name of Jesus Christ, Amen. P.S. I have a very LARGE library of Jehovah's Witnesses books and booklets and pamphlets...let me know if you have any further questions regarding them and their beliefs.

witnessofjesus

12/05/2004 11:41:04 AM

You also mentioned 'mindless devotion' to a leader, well, for the six million JW's throughout the world, my uncle being one of them, they do indeed-for the most part- give mindless devotion to whatever the WatchTower Society says the Scriptures mean, they are not allowed in public to offer private interpretations of the words of God- whatever their magazine says it means, that can be the only explanation for it in their eyes- now that's more like a cult if you ask me. They are not allowed to read any religious literature unless it's published by the WatchTower Bible and Tract Society...now that's INFORMATION control- a very powerful tool used by true cults to keep their members under their 'mind control.'

witnessofjesus

12/05/2004 11:40:27 AM

Dear Heretic for Christ, I'm someone who is investigating the LDS church, but I noticed that you said something regarding the JWs' that simply is not so. You said,"Jehovah's Witnesses are most definitely Christian in that they believe absolutely in the divinity of Jesus; but as they reject trinitarian doctrine, they have been accused of being a cult forever." Jehovah's Witnesses most certainly DENY the divinity of Jesus Christ, he was only a perfect man to them, nothing more. Here is an exert from one of their books concerning their teaching about Jesus Christ- Trinity: Is Jehovah a Trinity—three persons in one God? No! Jehovah, the Father, is "the only true God." (John 17:3; Mark 12:29) Jesus is His firstborn Son, and he is subject to God. (1 Corinthians 11:3) The Father is greater than the Son. (John 14:28) The holy spirit is not a person; it is God's active force.—Genesis 1:2; Acts 2:18.

JesseLDS

11/30/2004 06:22:59 PM

I can't remember if I posted this or not and I'm not going to scan through all those pages to look. Dictionary.com has six different definitions under the word cult. Going by the definitions listed, can any church be excluded?

Heretic_for_Christ

11/29/2004 09:43:58 PM

Let's see. Incense... candles.... sanctus bell... wafers and wine transubstantiated into body and blood.... No, I don't think rituals make a cult. Almost every religion carries a lot of ritualistic baggage.

diggerchick

11/29/2004 02:07:59 PM

So the polygamy double-standard, the sacred garments and freemasonesque secret ceremonies do not a cult make?

Heretic_for_Christ

11/27/2004 09:17:08 AM

LDS is a cult only if you define cult as a group whose theology differs from that of the dominant church doctrine. By that definition, every religion except trinitarian Christianity is a cult. Jehovah's Witnesses are most definitely Christian in that they believe absolutely in the divinity of Jesus; but as they reject trinitarian doctrine, they have been accused of being a cult forever. I think the real point is that cults are characterized by mindless devotion to a charismatic leader, and dogmatic religions are characterized by mindless devotion to the idea of scriptural inerrancy. It is the mindlessness that is scary, not the doctrinal differences.

windbender

11/26/2004 10:46:49 AM

Bravo88 - Again, to be clear on my statement: "Mormon cultism is almost as valid as Jesus cultism - which is to say, not very." I repeat - NOT very.

windbender

11/26/2004 10:43:25 AM

Bravo88 - I'm afraid you're going to have to leave Torah cultism off of the list, though I understand your very good point. Jews don't think you have to be a Jew to lead a worthy life, nor do they believe anyone else is expected to obey the 613 Commandments set forth in the Torah. Just thought I'd throw that in. You might be interested to know too, that our rabbis are the modern Pharisees and result from the movement and tradition started about twenty-two hundred years ago wherein it is held that Torah study and education should be available to all. While the Christian New Testament does a first rate job of character assissination, it might be worth remembering that Christianity today stems from a thousand year history of keeping its documents out of the hands of the masses of the faithful. Judaism has always sought to educate while, often, the perpetuation of ignorance has been seen by others as a means of control. Similarly, that control is what cults are all about.

Bravo88

11/24/2004 05:49:47 PM

If you are going to talk about Jesus cultism (which is incorrect) then I suppose the field is open to discuss Torah cultism, mystic cultism etc. Of course you may consider Jesus as the leader of a cult if you must but undeniably that view doesn't square with scripture nor with my own experience of Christianity. What is so sad is when people have truth so near to them and they reject it out of hand because it is "offensive" to them. The Pharisees and scribes did so and many more these days continue to do so, following their own desires and appetites.

windbender

11/24/2004 12:07:03 PM

Mormon cultism is almost as valid as Jesus cultism - which is to say, not very. Both groups proffer the notion that, in order to be accpted, all you have to do is accept their teachings. In that regard, they're just about the same as every other group that wants converts and actively seeks them out. Similarly, in the shared opinion that all other faiths fail to see with the clarity with which they see, they are again identical. You can't tell the players without a scorecard and it seems that many can't tell the good guys from the bad guys without dogma.

JesseLDS

11/19/2004 02:46:31 PM

From dictionary.com, under cult: A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader. The followers of such a religion or sect. A system or community of religious worship and ritual. The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious ceremony and ritual. A usually nonscientific method or regimen claimed by its originator to have exclusive or exceptional power in curing a particular disease. Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing. The object of such devotion. An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest. It seems there are characterists here that would apply to most religions. Picking and choosing words here and there to fit a personal view is hardly objective.

ruldstoo

06/10/2004 04:37:01 PM

I'm glad that Morman is our nick name. The church of Jesus Christ of L.D.S. is our real name. I think His name should be on His church.

acolytejohn

03/09/2004 03:38:42 PM

Church of Jesus Christ latter day saints.I say its Christain.Christ=Christ-ain

religionsmajorWU

12/11/2003 04:39:27 PM

I'm not Mormon. I don't agree with Mormonism at all. I view it as a separate religion that grew from Christianity just as Christianity grew from Judaism. But it's not a cult. It's a real religion and should be treated as such.

ManateeClaw3

10/24/2003 03:43:28 AM

Hi all. Interesting debate. In response to Jedi's working definition of cult = Exclusivism... Many branches of Christianity do make exclusive claims for Christianity being the "true path" if not "the only way," which sometimes causes anxiety. I'm not sure to what extent other religions make exclusive claims, but by your definition do you believe that any claim to exclusivism makes a religion a cult? I think that exclusivism can raise certain problems, but also that a "cult" requires a maximum of control and a minimum of room to disagree and still be within the group. Surely there are negative aspects of exclusivism. However, I believe that for me, the term "cult/cultish" applies not to groups who say there is a necessity to adhere to one or two major beliefs, or even to the presence of cliquishness/snobbishness towards those perceived to be "outside." but rather, total submission to the leaders/authorities' every suggestion, enforceable somehow? ...I'm gonna have to look the term up. :)

jediknightwannabe

08/25/2003 04:47:14 AM

In general, any group that makes a claim to be the sole provider of the truth and that all claims made elsewhere are erroneous are deemed cults. Groups that are regarded as "secularizing" their followers, such as creating their own subcultures and ritualistic patterns are called cults. Mormon doctrines are frequently connected to those of Freemasonry which is already the subject of centuries of conspiracy-theories regarding its secretive practices. Claiming to be a prophet who is arrived on earth to bring about or restore God's kingdom (or a similar metaphor) has been a practice of conmen for centuries. It is not hard to see why the beliefs of Latter Day Saints are often under fire.

tomgschermuly

07/28/2003 01:42:17 PM

(Part 3) How about the Western Churches? Here, the situation is about the same as the Eastern Separated Churches. So, the Protestants, the Anglicans, the SSPX, the SSPV, the Old Catholics, and the Polish National Church are all in the same boat with the Nestorians and the Copts. The only thing that's left, that I can see, is the Lord Himself designating an authorized representative to speak in His Name (i.e., a prophet) precisely to restore what apparently was lost. This is exactly what Joseph Smith claimed; and as near as I can tell, the only way I know of to maintain my faith in Jesus is to bow to the Church which He apparenly restored through Joseph Smith. Just my $0.02. Tom

tomgschermuly

07/28/2003 01:36:25 PM

(Part 2) The next most obvious candidate for "Christ's Church on earth" is Eastern Orthodoxy. But here we run into other problems: there is no Scriptural warrant for the operation of the Pentarchy; none for the office of Ecumenical Patriarch (or, for that matter, the principal of primus inter pares with respect to the Pope,)and every single idea which both the East and the West reject as heresy had its start...in the East...the realm of Eastern Orthodoxy. What then? The Eastern Separated Churches? (You know...the Copts, the Nestorians, etc.) They are precisely groups that left (...take your pick, either will do...) Eastern Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism. So, either Orthodoxy/Catholicism is right, in which case these groups are at least schismatic, or they are wrong, in which case, the Eastern Separated Churches could not gain priestly authority from them, as they would not have had it to give.

tomgschermuly

07/28/2003 01:29:08 PM

Just to throw in my $0.02, as a new convert: Not only is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints genuine Christianity, it is, IMHO, the only way to sustain the necessarily-incredible claim that Jesus of Nazareth is God in the flesh. Some explanation is in order; in fact, this is the journey that I went through to arrive at the Church. The Roman Catholic communion is certainly the biggest body of Christendom out there, and I still hold it in high esteem. But it cannot sustain its claim to be infallible by the grace of God; the teachings have changed too often, and not in a uniformly "developmental" fashion. The Catholic Church has frequently contradicted itself, and precisely on doctrinal issues.

aimeesclan

07/20/2003 03:23:49 PM

Oops I meant cult not culture in that first sentence.

aimeesclan

07/20/2003 03:21:47 PM

You know when sects of religion label each other with names like culture it is very childish. It is like they can't be mature enough to realize they can't make mormons convert to their way of thinking on valid grounds and so they resort to name calling. It really makes me chuckle to see people calling mormonism a cult when every important religious name in history would have qualified just as well for that name as Joseph and his followers supposedly did or do. Religion requires a little strangeness to make it religion!

COMALiteJ

07/17/2003 02:29:17 AM

Actually, God (through John the Revelator) did say that He was going to send at least two more Prophets — the Two Witnesses of Revelation Chapter 11 (first paragraph which ends with verse 14). They are specifically said to "prophesy" in verse 3, their time on Earth is called "the days of their prophecy" in verse 6, and they are specifically called "these two prophets" in verse 10. So much for the idea that John the Baptist, or Jesus Christ, was to be the last true prophet.

LindaLDS

05/24/2003 11:56:56 AM

LoveChristandRosary, yes, Christ's death on the cross is what saves us from our sins. However, without His resurrection from death, His death on the cross would mean nothing to us, since it would be (to us) just another man with a Messiah complex being put to death for it. The crucifixtion was one of the most heinous and torturous forms of death. Most men who were crucified took days to die. The only reason the thieves next to Christ had their legs broken is cause the next day was a Sabbath day, and they wanted them to die before sunset. They would have done the same for Christ had He not already died. This is the reason we do not put crosses or crucifixes in our chapels or wear them on necklaces. It would be like wearing a gun or a hangman's noose, or having one put in a promenent place in your church.

LindaLDS

05/24/2003 11:51:44 AM

Russ Haney, I can see how you can see that God never said that He WOULD send any more prophets. But that is really arguing from silence, since the Bible also never says that He will never send any more prophets to us. Have you ever read the Book of Mormon, cover to cover, not to find it's faults, but to see if it is indeed the word of God, like we say it is?

LindaLDS

05/24/2003 11:49:16 AM

Joseph Smith was not a petty criminal, there are no court transcripts that say that he was convicted of any crime. Especially when he was 14 years old, the age he was when he first saw the Father and the Son appear to him. The Bible says that many men saw God face to face and lived to tell the tale. How are they any better than Joseph Smith?

LindaLDS

05/24/2003 11:46:12 AM

haneyr, do you believe that if you go out and murder someone and then ask forgiveness, that Christ will forgive you? Now, if He does forgive you, then you go out and murder someone else, and ask for forgiveness, will He forgive you again? What if you cheat on your spouse, over and over again? What if you continually lie about people? Christians (those who have accepted Christ as their Saviour) are not perfect and are not above sinning willfully over and over again.

LindaLDS

05/24/2003 11:43:37 AM

hanyr says "His words He tells us that there is no way we originally came from Heaven and there would come a day of judgement for all." I don't see how you see this just in John chapter 3. Jesus tells Nicodemus that we must be born again. That we must be born of water and the spirit. When we are born into mortality, we are born of water and then our spirit enters our bodies. There are verses in the Bible that talk about the spirit coming from God, and He being the Father of our Spirits. So, I don't see how you got all this from John 3. Also, what secrecy and deception are you talking about? Yes, not everyone will go to heaven. Most people WILL be in one of the three kingdoms, however. For many of them, hell will be knowing what they could have had but threw away by their stubborness.

LindaLDS

05/24/2003 11:32:59 AM

haneyr says "This pretty much negates the foolishness of being able to buy or barter a dead persons way to heaven if they hadn't accepted Jesus while alive.** Even those who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ or even had the opportunity to accept? Are those people just plain out of luck then? And don't give me that "Those people are judged under a different law" because that just tells me that you are wrong when you say that the ONLY way to get into heaven is thru Jesus Christ, since these people are going to be judged worthy to enter heaven even never knowing Jesus Christ. You can't have it both ways. Either those who have never heard the gospel and never had the opportunity to accept Christ go to hell, or they have another chance after they die, like we preach that they do, thru vicarious baptism.

acolytejohn

03/01/2003 03:56:37 AM

crucifixes mormons do respect the cross but enjoy the life of Christ I would like to think of all the great he did while on earth alive

acolytejohn

03/01/2003 03:54:57 AM

culture=cult meaning the pepole all religions are culture yes even Christains

lsmith7

11/23/2002 12:54:34 AM

People have various definitions and interpretations of the word "cult." The word means different things depending upon what group we are in. To the Mormon, the word is a religious epithet used to ostracize and oppress those who believe differently. To a Fundamentalist, the word is a warning label used to dissuade the faithful from accepting false doctrine. Is "Mormonism" a cult? Let's go to Webster's dictionary: 1.formal religious veneration, worship-YES 2. a system of religious beliefs and ritual-YES 3. a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious-YES 4. a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator-YES (if you consider man's fallen nature a disease) 5. a usually small group of people characterized by great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book)-YES. Oh, by the way, all of Christianity can be considered a cult in this context. Is it false doctrine? That's a whole other discussion.

LoveChristandRosary

11/17/2002 07:39:17 PM

Thanks Kingboy.

Kingboy

11/05/2002 02:35:55 AM

That would be the 11th AoF. Sorry, it's late

Kingboy

11/05/2002 02:35:18 AM

By the way, that was in the September 1996 issue of the "The New Era." Again, Latter Day Saints, try not to forget the Fourth Article of Faith. (For for complete documentation of the Articles of faith, see www.mormon.org and click on: The Church > Basic Beliefs > Summary of beliefs

Kingboy

11/05/2002 02:28:07 AM

I would like to quote from Gordon B. Hinkley, current leader of the Church of Jesus Christ for a second: Even though we do not believe in using the cross as a symbol in our Church, we do not criticize others for wearing or using the cross in their religions. We should understand that the cross is significant and sacred to them. In fact, the 11th article of faith says, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” Why do I quote this? Because I feel that some people trying to "defend" this church's position are betraying this principle. Please, let's try to lay off the attacks, and be a little more sensitive. A gun? Gimme a break.

LoveChristandRosary

10/31/2002 08:52:56 PM

Hello. I'm sorry but let me continue here. Your example is not a good example. By Jesus dying the awful death he did and suffering so much, he has changed the human experience of suffering. Our suffering is no longer meaningless. Indeed it can be good when we accept the cup that God gives us just as Christ did. It gives us opportunity to practice conforming our will to God's will. There is a treasure of grace to be reflected upon when someone looks at a crucifix. But I suppose no matter what I say it will not change some opinions. Oh well.

labyrinth1986

10/30/2002 03:10:20 PM

Personally, crucifixes to me resemble death and suffering. Jesus was put on the crucifix to die for us, and he suffered so much when he had carry his own cross to where he would finally die. I don't think that if a family member was killed with a gun, his/her family would honor them with wearing a little gun or rifle around the ir neck. Would they?

LoveChristandRosary

10/27/2002 01:58:03 PM

Some seem to have a problem with crucifixes. What saves us from our sins? Christ dying on Calvary for us. Isn't this what we tell someone who asks about our faith? A crucifix reminds us of how good our Lord is to us. And he still offers his forgiveness to this day. What he accomplished then still applies now. How then, is a crucifix bad? Not only that but whenever we suffer now we can look at what our Lord suffered for us and receive comfort. I don't understand some people having anything against a crucifix. With a bit of rational thought, and not simply just repeating what the pastor said last week, etc., one should see how good a crucifix really is. Okay, I'm done. :)

wclathe

09/24/2002 07:09:23 AM

Excellent message and on the mark. Interestingly, many of the posts seem to have missed the point. They are trying to argue that Mormons are not "Christians" or that the theology is false, etc. Mr. Card is NOT attempting to argue that Mormons are 'right' or 'Christian' but that they are not a 'cult'. That is a very different argument. Well, unless you believe that if one is not 'Christian' or whose theology doesn't match your own is the definition of a 'cult' :), which many posters here seem to think. As the the definition of "homophobe", I believe Mr. Card is wrong, this is not the operational definition of the word necessarily. I have very diametrically opposed views of sexual orientation than Mr. Card, and find it unfortunate that an otherwise good article is marred by the inclusion of another issue. But that is just me.

edclinch

09/19/2002 02:59:13 PM

PS: I agree that crosses are not good symbols of Jesus, just a human and false tradition. Jesus is alive, not hanging on a pole anymore. Thank goodness He lives! emc

edclinch

09/19/2002 02:56:55 PM

We must all answer to God in Heaven ultimately, and Christ is our Advocate. For there to be no organized religion or minister in their name seems rather cruel and non-Biblical. The Book of Mormon backs up the Holy Bible in this. emc

haneyr

05/26/2002 11:48:45 AM

Part four (finally). Christ says that He is going to send us the Holy Spirit not more Prophets. In fact you all need to look at the words written in the Mormon bible links at the end of the book of Malachi. My Jesus says I answer to no one except The Father. No priest, no rabbi, no prophet, no man. Only The Father in Heaven. Finally I want to thank groups like the LDS who continue to make me search the Word of God and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit in keeping fast the faith of the fathers. Where do I stand? See John 10:22-30. I for one am proud to be part of the body of Christ and do not need to hide behind a psudonym. Russ Haney haneyr@hananet.net

haneyr

05/26/2002 11:48:03 AM

Part three. Keep reading on into Matthew 6. Here we see that the true test of a Christian heart is humbleness and faithfulness. Why do we build large monuments to us and call them churches? No where does Jesus say to build large crosses, or statues (idols?) on buildings large enough to house thousands of people? What a waste of money! Jesus didn't tell the young rich man to go home and give all his money to make a large building! Nor give it to the priests. (this goes for all denominations) Jesus is very specific in when He will return and who He will see. God is also quite specific in that no person can look at His image and live. So how is it possible for a petty criminal (backed by legal transcipts of the time, so let's be honest here and not rewrite the first of many chapters in your history books) to see both of them at the same time in person?

haneyr

05/26/2002 11:47:19 AM

Part two. Now read John 3. Not only does Christ say that we can only see the Kingdom through Him but also says not everyone will go there. So with His words He tells us that there is no way we originally came from Heaven and there would come a day of judgement for all. He also warns us against anyone who uses secrecy or deception as they are working in the dark and not the Light. Now let's look at Matthew 5. Here we see once again Jesus saying that He is the fulfillment of the Law. He goes on to tell us to be greater than the Law that governed to Jews. If we are truly His and have become 'born again', then our love for Him will be enough to keep us from sinning if we could be so strong. But we aren't and His love for us is complete in that He will always forgive us when we ask.

haneyr

05/26/2002 11:45:43 AM

Part one. To begin with you are all acting like the Pharisees. Only one thing is important and that is your salvation. I am not here to debate on what person said what and what book tries to expound on The Bible. I only have but to go to the source, Jesus Christ and his words. I have just gone through several of the 'official web site links of the Mormon church', and have this against them. If you read John 14 (not one verse or paraphrase but the whole chapter. Or better yet the whole book since the book was never originally written in chapters or verses). You will find Jesus being very explicit when He says that no one can come to Heaven except through Him. This pretty much negates the foolishness of being able to buy or barter a dead persons way to heaven if they hadn't accepted Jesus while alive.

treble273

03/28/2002 06:38:39 PM

Maybe. But prophecies aren't dependent on just the prophet. A lot of them are conditional. So just because Joseph predicted something that didn't happen, doesn't make him a false prophet. Someone else wasn't holding up their end of the bargain. If I were a prophet, I could predict that you will be rich someday. But unless you are faithful to God, or work really hard, or something, you won't be. However, if you ahd done those things, you would be. So it all depends.

Serving4Him

03/28/2002 02:52:22 PM

Did your prophet Joseph Smith ever predict something that did not happen?

treble273

03/28/2002 01:38:52 PM

Does God know what we are going to do? - Yes, becasue He knows us so well. That doesn't mean that e makes us do it. "silver platter" You are right however you say He handed Joseph Smith "golden plates" Where is the logic in that? - Yes, I am wondering that. How did you get from silver platter to golden plates? Okay, the silver platter thing, in case you didn't notice, was a figure of speech. As for the golden plates, Joseph still had to translate them and was eventually killed for it. Sounds so easy, doesn't it? "Yes, and he's also dead so stoning is irrelevant." So, you admit that you are following someone who claimed to be a prophet of God and brought forth "false words from God"? What's to say the whole mormon religion is false? - No, I did not admit that. I believe that he was a prophet. But if I am wrong, we still can't stone him. That's all I was trying to say. And what's to say the whole mormon religion is true?

treble273

03/28/2002 01:35:24 PM

So it this "spirit church" the LDS? - The spirit church, if such a thing exists, is the believers who have died and are now in spirit paradise, teaching those who did not accept Christ in their lifetimes. This is extrapolating from my belief. But it's totally speculation on my part. what if I had an angel visit me tomorrow and told me that the LDS was a cult. The angel delivered the Word of God to me therefore I guess this would be true according to your belief. - Not necessarily. Just because an angel preaches the word of God does not mean he/she is from God. The point that I was trying to make was that you cannot discount Moroni because he "preached against the Bible" - because he didn't.

Serving4Him

03/28/2002 12:08:09 PM

So it this "spirit church" the LDS? what if I had an angel visit me tomorrow and told me that the LDS was a cult. The angel delivered the Word of God to me therefore I guess this would be true according to your belief. Does God know what we are going to do? "silver platter" You are right however you say He handed Joseph Smith "golden plates" Where is the logic in that? Yes, and he's also dead so stoning is irrelevant. So, you admit that you are following someone who claimed to be a prophet of God and brought forth "false words from God"? What's to say the whole mormon religion is false?

treble273

03/28/2002 11:24:40 AM

"Jesus church exists where there are believers. Surely ther are believers in heaven." According to your beilief which heaven? They must not have been able to reach "exaltation" because according to your belief Joseph Smith was not even a twinkle in his parents eye. - Well, according to my belief no one's in "heaven" yet. So there are believers in spirit paradise. Whatever. My point was that there are people who have died who believe in Christ, so there could be a spirit church.

treble273

03/28/2002 11:21:57 AM

"I have a testimony of what God has done" So, question; Does your experince have more authority than the Word of God? - My experience came from God through His word and the Spirit. It's corroborated, if you will, by His word. "I personally believe in free will" So any man can disrupt the will of God? - No, that's the whole point. The will of God is that we should have free will and He will, for the most part, not interfere. Otherwise what kind of a test is this? "Simple Logic" The Bible says "there is a way that seem right unto man, but the end thereof is the way of death. We cannot rely on simple logic. - Oh, please. It's arguments like that that make so many people reluctant to accept Christians as rational people. God gave us our brains for many uses, one of which is to interpret scripture. He doesn't just hand everything to us on a silver patter.

treble273

03/28/2002 11:17:54 AM

"not just the Bible" So Paul knew of the book of mormon and the 2 books you guys got and was refering to them? Hardly. - Maybe not specifically, but I bet he was open to further revelation. So, question. What do you do when your prophets are wrong, the bible says to stone them. What do you do? So do you believe Joseph Smith was a prophet? - Yes, and he's also dead so stoning is irrelevant.

Serving4Him

03/28/2002 10:34:01 AM

"I personally believe in free will" So any man can disrupt the will of God? "Simple Logic" The Bible says "there is a way that seem right unto man, but the end thereof is the way of death. We cannot rely on simple logic. "Jesus church exists where there are believers. Surely ther are believers in heaven." According to your beilief which heaven? They must not have been able to reach "exaltation" because according to your belief Joseph Smith was not even a twinkle in his parents eye.

Serving4Him

03/28/2002 10:28:16 AM

"I have a testimony of what God has done" So, question; Does your experince have more authority than the Word of God?

Serving4Him

03/28/2002 10:25:55 AM

"not just the Bible" So Paul knew of the book of mormon and the 2 books you guys got and was refering to them? Hardly. So, question. What do you do when your prophets are wrong, the bible says to stone them. What do you do? So do you believe Joseph Smith was a prophet?

treble273

03/28/2002 09:11:54 AM

The New Testament contains the inspired and totally accurate witness of contemporary disciples and followers of Jesus. It alone claims to be fully inspired of God and usable for the establishment of doctrine (2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21) - Actually 2 Tim. 3:16 says that all scripture is given by God - not just the Bible. And 2 Peter merely states that scriptures aren't up for interpretation - which is why we have a prophet. Sorry, I can't find anything that says that the New Testament is the only true scripture God ever has or ever will reveal.

treble273

03/28/2002 09:07:05 AM

The Bible explicitly warns agianst adding to or detracting from its teachings (Rev. 22:18; Deut. 4:2). - Deut. 4:2 Says that we shall not diminish the word, meaning the Mosaic Law because that's what there was at the time. How many Christians practice the Mosaic Law? And how do you justify the New Testament, or the OT prophets, who clearly added on to this? As for the Rev. scripture, it wasn't a part of the Bible when written. I don't see anyone adding to John's revelation.

treble273

03/28/2002 08:52:36 AM

"possible that some of what they taught didn't get put in" You start with "possible" once agian. The Bible is God revelation of Himself to man not God trying to hide things from us. I would rather rest in what I know instead of "possible" speculations.   - Well everything is possible at this point. My point was that either of our interpretations could be correct, depending on that "possible." God has obviously not revealed everything there is to know - does this mean He's hiding something? Of course not. I rest in what I know, too - that's the foundation of my testimony. For the rest, well for me it's "possible." I may have a testimony of what God has done, but it doesn't mean I know exactly how He did it.

treble273

03/28/2002 08:48:37 AM

"How do we know what they did or didn't teach outside the Bible?" So you are telling me that God cannot perserve His Word. Hardly so! The Holy Bible, God's Word, is the complete revelation. - Just because God can preserve His word doesn't mean He always will. I personally believe in free will, which He will not interfere with. Besides, if people weren't interested in preserving His word, maybe it proved that they weren't ready for it yet. Have you ever studied the history of the bible? Sounds like you have not. May be you would find this interesting. - Can't say that I'm much of a historian, no. I probably would find it interesting. I have a friend who's a religion/history major - maybe I'll see if she has any books on it. Thanks!

treble273

03/28/2002 08:48:29 AM

"We don't have all the teachings of every apostle". State your sources on this information. How do you know? - Simple logic. All the apostles must have taught and preached. Some of them don't appear in the Bible at all, others we have only one or two letters. People weren't really interested in preserving the writings of the "christian cult."

treble273

03/28/2002 08:42:04 AM

"Jesus' church probably exists in heaven too, not just on earth" on what authority do you make such claims. You will not find that in the Bible. Jesus states He will build His church. The statement is futuristic. Is Jesus telling the truth? Of course. Is Jesus trying with hold informantion from us. Of course not. You must read then interpret the scripture in the context in which you find it. - Jesus' church exists where there are believers. Surely there are believers in heaven. This was just a side note anyway.

Serving4Him

03/27/2002 03:59:19 PM

The Truth: The Bible explicitly warns agianst adding to or detracting from its teachings (Rev. 22:18; Deut. 4:2). The New Testament contains the inspired and totally accurate witness of contemporary disciples and followers of Jesus. It alone claims to be fully inspired of God and usable for the establishment of doctrine (2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21)

Serving4Him

03/27/2002 03:53:45 PM

Joseph Smith it is said, translated the plates by the gift and power of God. (doctrine and covenants 135:3). Reformed Egyptian does not exist as a language. THe golden plates were returned to the angel Moroni after they were transcribed and Moroni returned them to heaven. The book of mormon does not contain explicit mormon doctrine. Doctrines and covenants contains the revelations of the mormon prophets 138 in number along with two declarations. Here, most of mormon doctrine can be found including the priesthood, baptism of the dead, godhood, and polygamy. The pearl of great price contains Smith's religious history, the articles of faith, the bood of Abraham and the book of Moses.

Serving4Him

03/27/2002 03:49:01 PM

Mormons believe: Mormons accept four books as scripture and the Word of God. The King James Version of the Bible is one of them but only "as far as it is translated correctly" seemingly allowing for possible questions about its authority. Joseph Smith mand over 600 "corrections" to its text. Other "standard works" are th Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants, an the pearl of great price. The Bible is missing "plain and precious parts" according to the book of mormon (1 Nephi 13:26) which the other three volumes complete. The Book of Mormon has the fullness of the gospel. an tells the story of a supposed migration of Israelites in 600 BC to the American continent. These Israelites subsequently lapsed into apostasy although their story was preserved on golden plates written in Reformed Egytptian.

Serving4Him

03/27/2002 03:43:22 PM

"possible that some of what they taught didn't get put in" You start with "possible" once agian. The Bible is God revelation of Himself to man not God trying to hide things from us. I would rather rest in what I know instead of "possible" speculations.

Serving4Him

03/27/2002 03:39:48 PM

"We don't have all the teachings of every apostle". State your sources on this information. How do you know? "How do we know what they did or didn't teach outside the Bible?" So you are telling me that God cannot perserve His Word. Hardly so! The Holy Bible, God's Word, is the complete revelation. Have you ever studied the history of the bible? Sounds like you have not. May be you would find this interesting.

Serving4Him

03/27/2002 03:34:40 PM

"Jesus' church probably exists in heaven too, not just on earth" on what authority do you make such claims. You will not find that in the Bible. Jesus states He will build His church. The statement is futuristic. Is Jesus telling the truth? Of course. Is Jesus trying with hold informantion from us. Of course not. You must read then interpret the scripture in the context in which you find it.

treble273

03/27/2002 01:13:48 PM

The true church of Jesus Christ has a ongoing presence and witness in the world since Pentecost. Jesus Christ promised that His church, truly baptized and regenerated believers, would not fail (Matt. 16:17-18). - Actually, Matt. 16:17-18 states that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church. Clearly they didn't - if they had, all teachings would have been lost and the church would never have existed again. But just because the gates didn't fully prevail doesn't mean that some truths couldn't have been lost. Also consider this - Jesus' church probably exists in heaven too, not just on earth. The marks of a true church inlcude faithfullness to the teaching of the first apostles (Acts 2:42) not the creation of new doctrines. - News flash - we don't have all the teachings of every apostle. How do we know what they did or didn't teach outside of the Bible? It's entirely possible that some of what they taught didn't get put in - so it was revealed (not created) as doctrine later.

Serving4Him

03/27/2002 09:53:44 AM

The Truth: Old and New Testament prophets were God's spokesmen. Thier words were always consistant with the Bible and pointed to God's Son, Jesus Christ. A test of genuineness for prophets was that any prediction they proclaimed would come true (Deut. 18:20-22). For example, Joseph Smith predicted that he temple of the church would be built in Independence, Mo., within his lifetime (Doctine and Covenants 84:2-5). No temple has yet been built there. New Testament prophets spoke, along with teachers, pastors, and evangelists, in evangelizing with and edifying the church (Eph. 4:11-13)

Serving4Him

03/27/2002 09:49:03 AM

What Mormons say: The president or prophet of the Church is thought to be the sole spokesman and revelator of God. Joseph Smith was the intial prophet, but each successive president holds that postion. Through him, God's will can be made known to the church. All revelations are made scripture and no Mormon can attain godhood without accepting Joseph Smith as a true prophet. The Mormon scriptures state that Latter day Saints "shalt give heed unto all his (the prophets) words and commandments... For his word ye shall recieve as if from mine (God's) own mouth (Doctrines and Covenants 21:4-5).

Serving4Him

03/27/2002 09:40:00 AM

The Truth: What does the Bible say? The true church of Jesus Christ has a ongoing presence and witness in the world since Pentecost. Jesus Christ promised that His church, truly baptized and regenerated believers, would not fail (Matt. 16:17-18)The marks of a true church inlcude faithfullness to the teaching of the first apostles (Acts 2:42) not the creation of new doctrines.

Serving4Him

03/27/2002 09:37:20 AM

The Truth: The Mormon church claims to be the only true church. In God's supposed revelation to Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ told him to join no other church for they were all wrong... thier creeds where an abomination... those professors (members) were all corrupt" (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith History 1:19). Mormons teach that after the New Testament, all churches became heretical and not true sants existed until the "LDS" was organized. Non-Mormons are thus called "Gentiles." The new revelations given to Smith, the institution of the prophet and apostles in the church, the restoration of the divine priesthoods, and the temple ceremonies make the church authentic. True salvation or exaltation is found only in the LDS Church.

treble273

03/27/2002 09:24:24 AM

What is the movements attitude toward other Bible believing, Christian groups? Do they insist you must be a member of thier group to be assured of salvation? - We believe that they have a lot of truth and are doing a lot of good with it. And no, you don't have to be Mormon to be "saved." How does the movement explain the way of salvation? Grace through Christ alone, or is it by works, church membership, or obedience to the groups leader? - Christ's grace is partnership, not a donation. So of course he asks things of us. He knows we'll be happier and learn more. Salvation, at any rate, is through grace alone. What level of salvation depends on works, church membership, and to a certain extent obeidience to the prophet, though only as far as he represents God.

treble273

03/27/2002 09:24:09 AM

Some questions to ask when you encounter unfamiliar religious movements. What is the source of the movements authority for doctrine and practice? Is it the Bible or some other books? - Both. I don't see why everyone gets so worked up about the Book of Mormon. All it has is more Christ - more of his teachings, more about his followers. Sounds really scary to me. :) But we do look to the Bible as an authority. Different interpretation does not constitute ignorance of the scripture. Does the movement clearly affirm basic historic Christian teachings? Nature of God, person and work of Christ and plan of salvation. - I think the reason people get interested in the LDS church is because it doesn't reaffirm historic Christian teachings. I can't say that I'm too broken up about it. Christianity has a horrific history.

treble273

03/27/2002 09:07:27 AM

5. Cults usually claim to possess a new and inspired written scripture that supplements or supersedes the authority of the Bible. (book of Mormon) - Actually I can't think of any that do. Most cults aren't around long enough to produce any scripture. Also, the Book of Mormon doesn't supersede the Bible. It complements it. 6. Cults usually claim to be the only true (or most true) church in the world.(LDS teaches that eternal life (exaltation)can be achieved only by being a baptized member of the LDS church.) - Umm... most religions claim to be the only true or most true. Like Christianity, for example. LDS do teach that exaltation must be achieved through certain ordinances, but salvation is given to practially everyone (there are a few exceptions).

treble273

03/27/2002 09:07:12 AM

3. Cults may adhere offically to essential Christian teachings while exhibiting other of these characteristics. - Other of the characteristics on the list? You just said that they deny or redifine Christian doctrines. So how can they adhere to them? By the way, most Christians I know adhere to essential Christian teachings. 4. Cults usually claim to be led by divinely inspired leaders. (LDS believes its president is a living prophet, seer, and revelator who can recieve direct revelation from God. - I won't deny that cults usually claim to be led by "divinely inspired" leaders. But these leaders usually isolate and exploit their followers. Cults are often located in one commune, which makes it easier for the leader to convince his followers that they should give up all their money and follow him. If you can argue that a worldwide church somehow fits this defintion, go right ahead. P.S. The Catholics claim to be led by a divinely inspired leader as well - are they a cult?

treble273

03/27/2002 09:06:56 AM

What is a cult? - Yes, I wonder this too. 1. Cults usually claim to be biblically based, Christian organizations. - Not true by any standard definition of a cult. All religions start out as cults, but progress to acceptance as a respected religion as they gain members and spread out. Surely you're not going to argue that all religions clam to be biblically based? 2. All cults deny or redefine any or all essential Christian doctrines. Like: LDS redefines the Trinity. - Again, not true. Christianity itself was origianally a cult. Also, I imagine that all the branches of Christianity that have broken off redefined "essential" doctrines, since "essential" at the time of the schism between Orthodox and Catholic and then the Reformation meant "doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church." I'm sure plenty of cults deny Christian doctrine, but if they're not "Christian" cults then who cares?

Serving4Him

03/26/2002 11:06:56 AM

What Mormon's believe about God. God is a.. contigent being, who was at one time not God. (The Bible declares God has always been God He has no beginning and He will never end) They say He is limited in knowledge. (The Bible says that God is all knowing, all powerful) They say He is one of many Gods. (The Bible says there is only one God revealed to us in The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit) They say that God is a corporel being who physically dwells at a particualar location and is therefore not omnipresent like the biblical God. They say that God is subject to laws and principles of a universe He did not create. As you can see Christianity and the LDS are "very" different.

Serving4Him

03/26/2002 11:00:14 AM

Some questions to ask when you encounter unfamiliar religious movements. What is the source of the movements authority for doctrine and practice? Is it the Bible or some other books? Does the movement clearly affirm basic historic Christian teachings? Nature of God, person and work of Christ and plan of salvation. What is the movements attitude toward other Bible believing, Christian groups? Do they insist you must be a member of thier group to be assured of salvation? How does the movement explain the way of salvation? Grace through Christ alone, or is it by works, church membership, or obedience to the groups leader?

Serving4Him

03/26/2002 10:55:51 AM

Too All: What is a cult? 1. Cults usually claim to be biblically based, Christian organizations. 2. All cults deny or redefine any or all essential Christian doctrines. Like: LDS redefines the Trinity. 3. Cults may adhere offically to essential Christian teachings while exhibiting other of these characteristics. 4. Cults usually claim to be led by divinely inspired leaders. (LDS believes its president is a living prophet, seer, and revelator who can recieve direct revelation from God. 5. Cults usually claim to possess a new and inspired written scripture that supplements or supersedes the authority of the Bible. (book of Mormon) 6. Cults usually claim to be the only true (or most true) church in the world.(LDS teaches that eternal life (exaltation)can be achieved only by being a baptized member of the LDS church.)

TheProudDuck

03/25/2002 03:07:01 PM

Frost -- Point taken. The Bible does suggest the existence of three heavens, but you have to extrapolate in order to conclude that people get sent to more than one. But all religions extrapolate. The concept of the Trinity being one in substance is extrapolated from the Bible's suggestion that Biblical religion is supposed to be monotheistic. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, was bolder than usual in delving into the mysterious specifics of the Gospel. If he'd been smart, he would've left everything safely vague, to avoid criticism.

FrostedFlakeKid

03/23/2002 01:36:52 AM

Mr. Duck You speak of three heavens. Now this may be true and there may even be more, but there is evidence to suggest that the spirits of the dead are sent to any of them. The other heavens are places for revelations and secrets given to man by God. In a footnote found in the New American Bible it has this to say about the existence of multiple heavens: The third heaven...Paradise: ancient cosmologies depicted a multitiered universe. Jewish instertetamental literature contains much speculation about the number of heavens. Seven is the number usually mentioned, but the Testament of Levi speaks of three; God Himself dwelt in the thrid of these. Without giving us any clear picture of the cosmos Paul indicates a mental journey to a non-earthly place set apart by God in which secrets were revealed to him. There is also no evidence (in the testiment of Levi) to suggest that one would go to these heavens for commiting sins in life. The following is what my friends and I have found:

FrostedFlakeKid

03/23/2002 01:36:27 AM

2. I Levi was conceived in Haran and born there, and after that I came with my father to Shechem. And I was young, about twenty years of age, when with Simeon I wrought the vengeance on Hamor for our sister Dinah. And when we were feeding our flocks in Abel-Maul, a spirit of understanding of the Lord came upon me, and I saw all men corrupting their way, and that unrighteousness had built to itself walls, and iniquity sat upon towers; and I grieved for the race of men, and I prayed to the Lord that I might be saved. Then there fell upon me a sleep, and I beheld a high mountain: this is the mountain of Aspis in Abel-Maul. And behold, the heavens were opened, and an angel of God said to me, Levi, enter. And I entered from the first heaven into the second, and I saw there water hanging between the one and the other. And I saw a third heaven far brighter than those two, for there was in it a height without bounds. And I said to the angel, Wherefore is this?

FrostedFlakeKid

03/23/2002 01:35:46 AM

And the angel said to me, Marvel not at these, for thou shall see four other heavens brighter than these, and without comparison, when thou shall have ascended thither: because thou shalt stand near the Lord, and shalt be His minister, and shall declare His mysteries to men, and shalt proclaim concerning Him who shall redeem Israel; and by thee and Judah shall the Lord appear among men, saving in them every race of men; and of the portion of the Lord shall be thy life, and He shall be thy field and vineyard, fruits, gold, silver. 3. Hear, then, concerning the seven4 heavens. The lowest is for this cause more gloomy, in that it is near all the iniquities of men. The second hath fire, snow, ice, ready for the day of the ordinance of the Lord, in the righteous judgment of God: in it are all the spirits of the retributions for vengeance on the wicked. In the third are the hosts of the armies which are ordained for the day of judgment, to work vengeance on the spirits of deceit and of Beliar.

FrostedFlakeKid

03/23/2002 01:35:18 AM

And the heavens up to the fourth above these are holy, for in the highest of all dwelleth the Great Glory, in the holy of holies, far above all holiness. In the heaven next to it are the angels of the presence of the Lord, who minister and make propitiation to the Lord for all the ignorances of the righteous; and they offer to the Lord a reasonable sweet-smelling savour, and a bloodless offering. And in the heaven below this are the angels who bear the answers to the angels of the presence of the Lord. And in the heaven next to this are thrones, dominions, in which hymns are ever offered to God. Therefore, whenever the Lord looketh upon us, all of us are shaken; yea, the heavens, and the earth, and the abysses, are shaken at the presence of His majesty; but the sons of men, regarding not these things, sin, and provoke the Most High.

FrostedFlakeKid

03/23/2002 01:34:39 AM

4. Now, therefore, know that the Lord will execute judgment upon the sons of men; because when the rocks are rent, and the sun quenched, and the waters dried up, and the fire trembling, and all creation troubled, and the invisible spirits melting away, and the grave spoiled in the suffering of the Most High, men unbelieving will abide in their iniquity, therefore with punishment shall they be judged.

FrostedFlakeKid

03/23/2002 01:34:10 AM

Therefore the Most High hath heard thy prayer, to separate thee from iniquity, and that thou shouldest become to Him a son, and a servant, and a minister of His presence. A shining light of knowledge shalt thou shine in Jacob, and as the sun shalt thou be to all the seed of Israel. And a blessing shall be given to thee, and to all thy seed, until the Lord shall visit all the heathen in the tender mercies of His Son, even for ever. Nevertheless thy sons shall lay hands upon Him to crucify Him; and therefore have counsel and understanding been given thee, that thou mightest instruct thy sons concerning Him, because he that blesseth Him shall be blessed, but they that curse Him shall perish.

TheProudDuck

03/20/2002 09:06:01 PM

Three heavens: 2 Corinthians 12:2: "I [Paul] knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven." If there's a third heaven, isn't it logical that there would be a first and second? Deification -- Romans 8:17: "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." Christ being God, to be a "joint-heir" with Christ means that the legacy we receive is the same as He has -- which is everything His Father has, including His divine nature. Just as "joint and several liability" in law means that each defendant is equally liable for the whole damage, "joint heir" means each heir is equally entitled to the whole blessing.

FrostedFlakeKid

03/18/2002 08:13:02 PM

My first question is for Karita: What makes you so sure that there is one true Church and why is Mormonism that Church? Second, these are just for anyone, where does the belief in three heavens and the idea that man can become a god come from? Please site Biblical references if possible as I am unfimilar with the Book of Mormon.

TheProudDuck

03/18/2002 06:38:03 PM

Serving -- Not quite sure what you mean, but if you're saying that the Catholicism of the inquisitors wasn't really Christian -- they considered themselves so, and they were impeccably Trinitarian, which seems like the reason du jour for saying certain sects are Christian and Mormons aren't.

TheProudDuck

03/18/2002 06:35:57 PM

Jennieb -- Alan Bloom described the essential contribution of Mormonism to religion as "a more human God and a more divine man." Hogwash you may call it, but what in religion isn't "foolishness"? A little religious humility would go a long way, brother. Believe what you believe and allow others the same privilege. What various Mormon leaders have speculated about whether God is married probably builds on the idea that God commands us to be holy as He is holy, and that what He commands us to do (including marriage) brings our lives closer to the life He lives.

jennieb

03/18/2002 02:19:36 PM

Where do Mormons get the doctrine that God was a married man? It amazes me that people can believe such hogwash, written by who knows!

peachy983

03/17/2002 06:19:40 PM

Karita - I am so happy for you that you were able to find your way back. Serving - How dare you assume that she had to look somewhere else for a fulfillment? Do you not believe that good people occassionally make mistakes? Or maybe you believe that Christ only came for those "bad" people. We also believe that you need a personal relationship with Him, as you said. The Church is there to help us in this endeavor, and to help us understand His will.

Serving4Him

03/14/2002 09:41:50 AM

Duck: You assumtion is flawed. You assume Your claim is basically that "all" Catholic Doctrine defines Christian doctrine. Basic, fundmental, historical christian doctrine comes not from the Catholic Church but from the first church in Jeruselem. Hence, the book of Acts (suggested reading). Karita: If it is the true church why do you keep "falling away"? Is there something missing in you life that you are trying to find outside the LDS? You will find that fulfillment you are looking for in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ - not religion, or an institution. Read Rom. 10:8-13, Jn. 3:16, Jn. 14:6.

Karita

03/10/2002 06:09:32 PM

Even in my days of drinking , smoking, drugs, and fornication, MISERY, I never denyed that The Morman church was the true church. I just lost my way and it took me 6 years to realize that the lord will love you even if you do screw up . I feel a peace that I have never known, well I did know it but it was so long ago that I had forgotten it . Anyway I just want to say that I know with all my heart that there is a God , his son Jesus Christ, the holy Spirit, and Many angles wanting to help us find or way home.

Karita

03/10/2002 06:09:20 PM

First of all, I was reading what Rome had said and I am a little upset about the fact that he is claiming that We, Mormans, interpret the bible differently than Orthdaox Christians. Well First of all we read it as it is, we just read ALL of it and not bits and pieces like many other religons. I am not a perfect Morman, I have spent many years away from the church , and I am finding my way back. I know with all my heart, after 6 years of being totally lost and miserable , that The church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints, is the true church, there is no way I will ever deny that.

treble273

03/06/2002 09:55:28 AM

4. Something can be the mark of a curse and not be a curse itself. If you will recall, Cain was given a mark to protect him. We don't believe that dark skin has anything to do with misdeeds in the pre-existence. If you ask me, those with dark skin (of any type) have got to be some of the strongest spirits there are, considering how much they had/have to go through. I think God reserved some of his choicest spirits to be born with dark skin - but this is just my opinion.

treble273

03/06/2002 09:55:21 AM

FrostedFlakeKid: Thank you especially for your last post :) 1. I don't think that we know exactly how Jesus was conceived. We do believe that he's the literal son of God, but God can do all sorts of things to make that happen. 2. We don't believe that God was literally married to Mary. 3. It's true, the Bible doesn't say that Jesus was married. But does that mean it idn't happen? Also, I don't think Jesus would actually have had to be married to attain the highest level of heaven, since he's our savior and all. But he probably would have done so to "fulfill all righteousness." He was baptized for the same reason, even though he didn't need it.

FrostedFlakeKid

03/06/2002 02:45:13 AM

I was worried by the message I posted earilier and decided that I was rude in exprressing my beliefs. It was not my intention to offend anyone and I hope that I did/do not. I am sorry.

FrostedFlakeKid

03/06/2002 02:04:01 AM

Also it is plausible to believe that the historical Jesus was a man of color being a Jew of Middle-Eastern descent. This would make it difficult for him to achieve any place of status in heaven as Mormons beleive that dark skin is the mark of a curse or mis-deeds in "pre-existence" which the Bible speaks against. Anyway I did not write this to attack Mormons or their beliefs, they could after all be right and then I will look pretty stupid sitting in spirit prison, but these are just some of the things I have learned about the Mormon faith. If I am wrong please correct me.

FrostedFlakeKid

03/06/2002 02:03:01 AM

Mormons also believe that at the time of this conception God was literally married to Mary. Another reason for problems with the Cristianity of Mormons is the belief that to go to the highest level of heaven one must be sealed in a temple marriage, therefore Jesus must have been married, which the Bible says nothing about.

FrostedFlakeKid

03/06/2002 02:02:10 AM

I don't know if I speak for other Christians out there, but the reason I believe Mormonism to be a non-Cristian religion is the fact that their Jesus and the Jesus of other Christians is fundamentally different. These differences include that Mormons believe that Jesus is the literal son of God and was concieved in the same manner as you or I.

TheProudDuck

03/04/2002 05:02:03 PM

(cont. from below): I suppose I'm just more liberal in my religious taxonomy than you are. Then again, I tend to be liberal in religion (as opposed to politics) generally, and am skeptical of certain aspects of both Christianity in general and Mormonism in particular, especially as respects their historical claims. My view is that if a denomination describes itself as Christian, and believes that salvation comes through Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God who is both God and man, then that's enough. This definition is, in fact, just as arbitrary as yours, and might well exclude some groups that call themselves Christian. As such, I don't go about actively and openly telling people who don't meet these criteria that they aren't Christian. It's really none of my business, and I may well be wrong. (cont.)

TheProudDuck

03/04/2002 04:55:54 PM

Rome -- And if God was once a man, and has a wife, why, precisely, would this make Mormonism non-Christian? After all, the creeds don't read "We believe in one God, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent; eternal, without beginning, end, or spouse." Why is believing in a married God less Christian than believing in a brutal one -- i.e. one who demands or sanctions the burning alive of dissenters? I concede that the Mormon doctrine of "as man now is, God once was" is odd, given that Mormons also believe that God has always been God, and is without beginning or end, just as orthodox Christianity believes. Yet Mormons don't back away from the latter doctrine. It seems like a contradiction, but I suppose if God can achieve the mathematical impossibility of being three and one, the mathematical impossibility of being infinite as well as finite shouldn't be much of a problem, either. (cont. above)

fatherof4

03/02/2002 02:47:22 AM

To proud duck: Amen and Amen. Amen again just to make sure.

Rome1013

03/01/2002 06:41:05 PM

To TheProudDuck: Don't worry, I'm not easily offended. If I sounded condescending, then I apologize. In any case, this is not about "my point" or "my doctrine". I am simply pointing to the concrete fact that Mormon doctrine is fundamentally inconsistent with orthodox Christianity. One example: Do not Mormon's believe that God the Father was once a man and was exalted to Godhood and had a wife? You may know a lot more than me about many things, and you yourself may be a Christian but this is about the Mormon doctrine, institution and history. You speak of intellectual exercise but your sentimental attachment to the Mormon organization (for whatever reason) is not allowing you to see the clear distinctions of Mormonism and the Christian faith. Ultimately ProudDuck, I hope your pride won't get in the way and that you might receive the revelation of the personal and loving God of this universe in Jesus Christ and not in a man made institution. Grace and peace.

TheProudDuck

03/01/2002 03:59:59 PM

Rome -- There's really no polite way to say this, but -- who the hell elected you pope? What gives you the right to be the ultimate arbiter of orthodoxy? I try not to be offended by people kind enough to engage in discussion, but I can't help but find your post more than a little condenscending. It's probably safe to say that I know a hell of a lot more about what Mormons mean when they say "son of God" or "atonement" than you do. They mean precisely what they say. To the extent that Jesus may be a "son of God" as well as THE Son of God, the former meaning is secondary. And who are Trinitarians, whose doctrine was clearly cobbled together by philosophers seeking to avoid the otherwise obvious appearance of polytheism, to say that an idea can have meaning on multiple levels? A question: Have you ever performed the intellectual exercise of trying to construct a case for the proposition that Mormonism IS a Christian tradition, if an odd one?

Rome1013

03/01/2002 02:50:04 PM

TheProudDuck: Good of you to respond. Firstly, it seems you really haven’t spent time examining and contrasting what Mormons “MEAN” when they say ‘son of God’ or ‘atonement’ and ‘salvation’. They say the same thing but what they mean by this is totally different. It is not idolatrous to be committed to correct Biblical doctrine. Especially if it jeopardizes the integrity of the Gospel. No one excludes Mormons from the Church of Jesus Christ. They exclude themselves by interpreting the Bible, the message and person of Jesus Christ through their extra-Biblical teaching and adherence to heresy. Gnostics and Arians did the same thing and they were not Christians but Mystics attempting to justify their false teachings by trying to root it in Christ.

TheProudDuck

02/28/2002 07:00:55 PM

Rome -- The central belief of both Christianity and Mormonism is that Jesus Christ, the divine, eternal Son of God, atoned for the sins of the world. The rest, as Maimonides said, is commentary. So -- is the essence of Christianity Christ crucified, or doctrinal arcana? If the latter, haven't you made an idol of doctrine? And if the former, what possible cause can there be from excluding Mormons from the Christian club?

TheProudDuck

02/28/2002 06:58:26 PM

Serving4Him -- Flaw in your logic, old sport. Mormons, you say, aren't Christians because they "don't believe what Christians believe." So what is it that Christians believe? I assume you're not Catholic. Ergo, you likely do not believe in the intercession of the saints, transubstantiation, the Papal mandate, and salvation by grace and works combined. I also assume (maybe improperly) that you believe Catholics are Christian. You don't believe what Catholics believe. Catholics are Christian. Ergo, you don't believe what Christians believe. Ergo, under your logic, you are not a Christian.

Rome1013

02/28/2002 08:52:53 AM

The issue of what is a cult and what is not is debatable. Although I do not believe that Mormons are a cult (I have had dialogue and known Mormons personally and they do not use the psychological manipulation, and emotional abuse that cults typically use) I also do not believe that they adhere to the teachings of New Testament Christianity. In addition, I have found their teachings continue to be racist (in a children's book I once read all of the villains were dark skinned and looked savage while the good guys looked like Old Testamenet Hebrews), and mystical/gnostic in nature. They should be treated as a main stream religion because that is what they have become. But I can't understand the obsession with being called Christian when they are clearly not. It seems like they are in denial and ashamed of being "Mormon".

BlueNest27

02/27/2002 12:39:32 PM

In re: to LegionXIII's post: How about a different suggestion...on it's head: The losers get to call themselves 'Christian' and the winners all live. The early church was built on a similar phenomenon, but instead of being built on the _winners_, it was borne out of the blood of the martyrs. The early church was a legacy of dying in hopes that they would be called "Christians." How many of us would be jealous of the term "Christian" if it literally meant becoming "little Christs" in his death.

Serving4Him

02/27/2002 11:42:48 AM

Interesting: The question is: Do Mormons believe historic Christian doctrine. The Answer is no. Are they good people. The answer is yes. Are they moral people? The answer is yes. They do not beieve what Christians believe. So why call them Christians? If I wanted to be called a buddist but did not believe buddist doctrine is that okay. I mean after all I don't believe what buddist believe. Just food for thought.

LegionXIII

02/26/2002 12:27:04 PM

I say we put all the "Christian" CULTS together in one arena and have them all duke it out with each other. The winner gets to call themselves "Christians" and the losers will all be dead!

zebuhanareth

02/25/2002 10:38:06 PM

first, technically every religion is a cult (by definition). secondly, mormons will be a dangerous cult only if persecuted (ex. branch davidians). if left to their own devices i find them much less dangerous than the christian cults (ex. catholics, southern baptists, et. all). my advice is to oppose them in the political arena over their political agenda (assuming that one disagrees with it), but leave them the practice of their chosen path.

budd

02/25/2002 06:08:38 PM

OK, that's wonderful. Mormons aren't a cult. They are loving, family-oriented, industrious and honest ( and just for good measure, a little bit stubborn) people, the kind we all wish we could have for neighbors if they'd just leave us alone. Salt of the Earth. Cool. But Orson Scott Card should know, if anyone, that their theology and cosmology, even more so than most, is B-Movie science fiction.

darnay2

02/22/2002 05:39:58 PM

Wonderful article except one thing: There is no argument against homosexuality that can't be quickly and easily shot down on its own merits...or rather, lack thereof. Other than that, Card has a beautiful article here, and should do wonders toward enlightening some minds.

tmaster1

02/22/2002 03:37:55 PM

[CONTINUED FROM POST BELOW] But the reality is that almost 100% of human beings ARE bound by preconceived notions [and even that is not *all* bad, necessarily]. In my view, "enlightenment" is knowing what is real, and what isn't; knowing what is essential, and what isn't; seeing unity and the common thread in things (including "religion"); knowing when to move, and when not; knowing when to think, and when to sit quietly. In short, "enlightenment," (on this plane of existence) is knowing how to live appropriate and in balance, with ourselves, others and nature, as well as having a real connection with the Divine. Such definitions are rather inadequate, of course ["The Tao that can be explained is not the Tao"]

tmaster1

02/22/2002 03:31:52 PM

catch22, you're wrong. People do see reality through their preconceptions, however unfortunate [or simply natural] that may be. Also, enlightenment can't possibly be equated with "experiencing the world preconceptually." Are you kidding? If someone has preconceived ideas and are bound by them, then there can be no enlightenment for that person. There may exist some people who are able to experience the world devoid of their own preconceptions. And maybe that would be one requisite for enlightenment [but not the only one].

cfortunato

02/22/2002 02:30:39 PM

"He wrote to me in all innocence, a reader from a Catholic country where Mormon missionaries had only recently begun to gather congregations of believers. "I asked my priest," he said, "and he told me that Mormons are a cult." Mr. Card's opening statement doesn't make much sense. Presumably this came from a non-English-speaking country. "My priest told me that Mormons are a cult" is VERY American sounding. "Cult" is being used in its American slang sense, not its literal sense, and it's hard to imagine a priest in France or Spain or Italy using "cult" in such an obviously American manner.

catch22

02/22/2002 11:54:26 AM

"No one sees reality without passing the data through the lens of their own preconceptions." Actually this is not true. Experiencing the world preconceptually is exactly what enlightenment is in my understanding. It is not some supernatural link to the divine. It is the most natural state of mankind. This is the problem I have with dogma: that these concepts whether they be Mormon, Catholic or Buddhist are what prevent us from experiencing our life as it could be.

tmaster1

02/22/2002 11:00:54 AM

This is an excellent article! I am not a Mormon. I'm a Muslim. The article clearly explains the tricks used by those who THEMSELVES appear as cultists by attempting to ISOLATE people. I don't believe the Mormon faith, of course. But I can attest to one thing Mr. Card said: their openness. A Mormon once invited me to write an article FOR THE MORMON NEWSPAPER that explained the theory that Jesus Christ survived the crucifixion, traveled to Kashmir, lived to be 120 years old, married, had children and is dead and buried in the Roza Bal mausoleum, Kan Yar section of Srinagar, Kashmir, India. That he was not god OR the son of God (whether standard Christian interpretation or Mormon); that he was a normal human being and a prophet. This invitation was a sincere one, and the gentlemen explained to me that it was Mormon ethic to learn. Very good article!!

supergonzo

02/22/2002 09:58:15 AM

Hello? I'm having a bit of a problem w/ my computer so I hope that I'm not repeating anything said before.I think it is rather ironic that WE decide who is and isn't Christian or for that matter, does or doesn't get to heaven. Kinda like the gold ring on the merry-go-round..What pompousity and arrogance some folks have.Let's get over it!

nephi_s_courage

02/22/2002 12:49:53 AM

Amen

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