Blogalogue

Blogalogue


Bio: Dr. Albert Mohler

posted by bnet

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is also Professor of Christian Theology at Southern Seminary. His writings include work in “Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment,” “Here We Stand: A Call From Confessing Evangelicals,” and “The Coming Evangelical Crisis.”



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Joshua A.

posted June 30, 2007 at 3:13 am


Dr. Mohler excellent representation. I look forward to joining the ranks of your undergrad at Boyce Bible College. Even further I am excited to be emptied to this world and filled by our Savior Jesus Christ. I continue to pray for you and our calling to defend the True Gospel in apologetics. I urge Christians who read this to defend True Christianity, and to pray for people who are lead astray by false teachings that the Bible warns us about. The very same Bible that the mormons claim is the ‘complete Gospel of Christ’ why then is the book of mormon called ‘Another testament of Jesus Christ’. Why do we need that if they themselves claim the Bible to be complete? Why do we need any of the books they claim to.. the book of mormon, the pearl of great price, or doctrines and covenants?



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MJ

posted June 30, 2007 at 5:06 am


I don’t think Dr. Mohler believes that Catholics or Eastern Orthodox are real Christians either.



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Peter

posted June 30, 2007 at 11:41 am


I like Albert Mohler too. He’s got a great wealth of historical knowledge behind him. My only problem with him is that he rarely refers to texts in the Bible. If you look at his post here, no texts were referred to, if you look on his blog I would be surprised if even five of his entries quote the Scriptures.
I know that he knows the Scriptures; I love his preaching and enjoy his Bible studies, but his writing and radio program are by and large far too devoid of the actual texts of the Bible.
But like I said, I really like this man. Praise God he’s the one here standing up for the Trinity.



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Julianne Wiley

posted June 30, 2007 at 1:01 pm


“Christianity is rightly defined in terms of ‘traditional Christian orthodoxy,” he says. “Thus, we have an objective standard by which to define what is and is not Christian.”
I’m another one who has a high affection and respect for Albert Mohler. But — as a Catholic married to an Orthodox — I must say I ~extra and specially appreciate him when he defines Christianity in terms of Catholic Orthodoxy.



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Robert Decell

posted June 30, 2007 at 11:41 pm


John says that if all the teachings of Christ were recorded it would take volumes to contain them. Obviously the bible does not contain all christ taught. Mormons claim to have recieved a little more of the good word. Why is this viewed with such great contempt? Could it have something to do with why religionist of Christ’s day reacted so harshly?
It is amazing that the church that compiled the bible is the church protestants rebelled against and view as satanic.



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Ray T

posted July 2, 2007 at 1:52 pm


I enjoy reading blogs where people become passonate about an issue. As a gay man I am happier when gays are not the target of this passon. But realisticly I know there will be truce between the evanglicals and mormons , you have more in common that you all like to think. What you all need is a common enemy. And thats were we come in , the enemy, who want to steal away your children and bring down the Christian society. Maybe you will use the Muslims first before you come to us again. We will soon find out, it is really very predictable.



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Val Zdilla

posted July 2, 2007 at 3:56 pm


Again the entire concept of “great apostasty” is false. There is an unbroken line from the time of Christ until now. Both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches are examples. While there are valid disagreements of the current structures of these traditional churches, they were the one undivided Christian church that witnessed the Christ experienced and wrote of it and taught it to thier sucsessors. The church Fathers, who were taught and knew the actual apostles and many of them were the early bishops continued the unbroken tradition. If there was a “great apostasy” someone whould have recorded it in history. It seems odd that with the great records of other historic events of the time, nothing is written about the end and demise of the Christian church.



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Ralph E. Zecco

posted July 3, 2007 at 9:12 am


The definition of a Christian was first seen in Antioch (Acts 11:16) where we were first called Christians. It was the one we followed, both in faith and teachings. For a Mormon (LDS) to be a Christian, they first must deny that Christ had a spiritual brother (Satan) and deny that teaching by Joseph Smith. This would in turn make him a False Prophet by Deuteronomy 13:1-5;18:22. And this would destroy the LDS (Mormon) Church’s foundation.
Therefore since they do follow a “different” Jesus then Christians, (John 1:1-15;10:30;1 John 5:7 (AV)), they are not Christians (Galatians 1:6-10). Simple. (All verses are referenced in the KJV.)



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SutterLori

posted July 3, 2007 at 1:19 pm


I think that the Mormons have some wonderful ways of taking care of their own people and of spreading the Gospel. No doubt their faith is heartfelt. My hesitancy in believing that this is a “true” form of Christianity is that the Book of Morman refers to many places that have never been discovered. Yet anyone who has visited the holy land can testify that thousands of the biblical sites mentioned in the bible still remain. We have hard physical evidence that supports the bible. What is troublesome to me is that why aren’t there any archeaological finds to support these supposed cities in the book of mormon?



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Louis Liljedahl

posted July 3, 2007 at 2:23 pm


It is preposterous for BeliefNet to have chosen Prof. Mohler to make the call as to who is and who is not a Christian.
He and his accomplices decided a couple of decades ago that even a substantial number of his own faculty at SWBTS were not Christians, even though they have given their lives to teaching the Gospel, and many other Southern Baptists do not agree with Dr. Mohler’s teaching as to who is a Christian.
Naturally Dr. Mohler would doubt that American Baptists are Christian, as well as Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, UCCs, and CofCs. Certainly he would exclude Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, Coptics, Antiochians, Monophysites, and just about everybody outside of the Old South. Mormons wouldn’t stand a chance.
Followers of the CJC of the LDS follow a strange theology and a bizarre scripture that makes my head spin. Even so, I love them, and I admire their devotion to God and following a a pious life. I’m not concerned whether it is the Angel Gabriel or the Angel Moroni who welcomes them into the Pearly Gates.



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Ed Peterson

posted July 3, 2007 at 5:47 pm


It is important to realize, like so many other religions, Mormonism is a works based religion. For the adherent of the Mormon faith, the only way to the highest heaven is based upon works, not the blood of Jesus Christ.
For me, it is a matter of hermeneutics; a person must decide what rules of interpretation to apply and when to apply those principles. For the Christian this involves Scripture and other sources, i.e. historical writings, writings of the church fathers, the background, or Isagogical analysis of Scripture. Cleary, Scripture teaches basic Orthodox teachings. These are the same teachings the Mormon church denies.
As such, the Mormons take for granted the veracity of extra biblical information which often conflicts with the basic teachings of the Bible. Their hermeneutical principles have become clouded with these other teachings; subsequently, the Mormon doctrine is heterodoxical.



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Anonymous

posted July 3, 2007 at 7:44 pm


The previous statement is entirely not true. Mormons believe that they are saved by grace and there is no other way but through Jesus Christ. But, just as the Bible teaches, we are judged according to our works. Saved by grace after all we do. To day otherwise denies the deep and strong faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ acknowledged by every last Latter-day Saint.
Hermeneutics are find and dandy, and they have their place, but when Jesus came, he was called a blasphemer for disagreeing with the hermeneutical principles of his day, just as Mormons are being called today.



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CARVIE ERWIN

posted July 4, 2007 at 11:21 am


RE: Debate about faith. Thanks for standing up to domonatiolism. I’ d like you to take an even stronger position regarding the Lords Church…. The one true Church, The Church of Christ !!!! Established on the Day of Pentecost, in Jeresalem, AD 33, as stated in Matthew, chapter 16, verse 18.
the Church of Christ is the Bride of Christ, and he only has one Bride, even as He wants his followers to have only one. This is especially true regarding Elders and Deacons in The Lords Church.
Thanks,
CE.



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Anonymous

posted July 4, 2007 at 9:55 pm


Every religion is founded by hope and inspiration. Mormans R Christen cause the purpose of the sect is humbly attempting live in the gloryus spirit of JC



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Joe

posted July 5, 2007 at 11:42 am


ANYONE who doesn’t think the church of jesus christ and the latter day saints is a christian church is a idiot. Did his mail order school give him permision to call him self a professor or has he actually taken theology courses. Every time one of you jokers trys to justify thier stupidity with gods word you add to gods word. The bible clearly siad not to add to or take away from gods word. I feel sorry for every student you’ve ever taught.



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Tip

posted July 5, 2007 at 12:26 pm


It is painfully obvious to me that the above posting, using the terms, “idiot” and “stupid”, not only needs to go back to school to take spelling lessons, but also needs to find out what the LDS church is all about. Jesus Christ did not have a brother named Satin as the LDS church would have us believe and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Read on my friend and your I will be opened.



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Jessica

posted July 5, 2007 at 12:35 pm


I became a Christian while being raised by devout mormon parents. My father was a high priest…my mother served as relief society president. And I served as the president of our ward’s youth organization. Dubbed as “special” and “spiritual”, I was often asked to give “talks” during weekly services. Monday nights were reserved for our Family Home Evenings, and we concluded each day on our knees in prayer. But it was not until I was 8 years old that I heard the true gospel for the first time when I attended a neighborhood Christian church with a friend. For the first time, I heard a preacher describe my internal struggle with sin perfectly. For the first time, I heard someone describe the sin nature that accompanies each physical birth, and its need for redemption. For the first time, my eyes recognized the cross as the point of origin, where sin dies and new life begins…not a weapon of destruction (which is the perception of mormons whose confused theology denegrates the cross as a weapon used to kill rather than the instrument of salvation.) And finally, I heard the divinity of Christ exalted as the One and Only Way of salvation… Not one of many gods…nor the created son of one of many gods…but the One true God over the heavens and earth through whom all things were made. At 18, I abandoned mormonism, following the Lord’s lead to a Bible Study. After nine years of intense study, God’s Word succeeded in peeling away the scar tissue of deceit, grafting in the truth found only in the Bible.
Do I hate mormons? No, they are not the enemy. I remember what it felt like to be ostracized and abused by many well-intentioned Christians.
Would I vote for a mormon president, who met the qualifications and was a “good” man? Absolutely not… A man caught in such a gruesome web of spiritual deception could not possibly lead a country-in-crisis with God’s strength and discernment. A man who believes that he will one day become a god of his own world will not lead under the yoke and in submission to the God of this universe. Remember Jesus’ words to those deceived by appearances, “Woe to you… You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean…” Matt. 23:27
Do not lower your defenses against this seemingly harmless, peace-loving cult… Heed the warning…”And no wonder, for satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness…” 2 Cor. 11:14-15



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Tip

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:59 pm


your faith and discernment is awesome Jessica. God has richly blessed you.I could not have said it better in a thousand years. With your permission, I shall take this testimoney and share it with many. Tip



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Stuart

posted July 5, 2007 at 4:45 pm


Jessica…well spoken. I am sure that after your years of Bible Study, you are able to explain the context of the 2 Cor. scripture you cited, correct? What was it about? I think any religion could use that scripture to support the idea that another’s belief was misguided or incorrect. What makes it certain that your use of it is correct?
I am glad that you are happier now; however, your own comments make it doubtful that you, like many in their own religions, had little or no knowledge of their own doctrine. The cross is not looked upon as a weapon by Mormons. However, the bible teaches, esp. Isaiah, that it is not merely the cross that brings salvation. Had Christ not resurrected, all mankind would damned.
Like many, I imagine you forgot the passage in the Bible (Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34) where Christ tells the unbelieving Jews that they are gods. For that comment alone, the jews attempted to kill Christ. maybe you should be careful when you criticize a man because of his belief in the actual words of Jesus Christ.
For other previous Comments:
Why may there be a need for other books? Well I hope that we get some more help somewhere. The Bible teaches that it is Eternal Life to know the Father and His Son. Sadly, by the various creeds that exist, i dont think that there is presently a source of such knowledge. Also, what about the “other sheep?” Are we to assume that Christ failed to do what he said he would do, or that those people would not hear and write the words of Christ like the Apostles and other followers did?
Re: Faith and Works
Mormons do not believe that works alone saves them. Read the Book of Mormon or listen to Mormon Prophets to learn that one. Also, Mormons do not believe that faith alone will “save” them. For one reason, that goes contrary to the Bible…see the book of James. Christ also taught that one must be baptized in His name…that seems like a work. And if some beleive that baptism is not essential, then why did Christ get baptized to fulfill ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS?



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Jessica

posted July 5, 2007 at 5:59 pm


Thank you, Tip. May Christ be exalted and God glorified through the testimony of His great faithfulness.
Hi Stuart,
You are very articulate, and I sincerely appreciate your exhortation to explain the context of Scripture when quoting a verse. As I often lament, every heresy ever introduced has sprung from the abuse of Scripture. Scripture must always be interpreted within the context of its entire canon.
With that said, let me clarify my use of 1 Cor. 11:14-15 by placing it in the context of Paul’s warning to the Corinthians. False teachers had arrived in Corinth, and they were undermining Paul’s gospel message of salvation by grace through faith alone in Christ. Corinth was not unique in its challenges. Countless “religions” have since tried to add to the requirements of the gospel. As Paul said in 1 Cor. 11:3-4,13-15 “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough… For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” In context, do you find my previous position undermined? I’ve always wondered about the “angel of light” Joseph Smith supposedly conferred with as he received the golden plates.
mormonism has quite simply added to the gospel that Paul preached. With contextual consideration in mind, I might add Paul’s additional curse of anyone introducing a new “gospel” in Galatians 1:9, “If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned.” Gal. 1:9
Having been duly chastened to remain in context, I would hope mormons using the book of James to support their belief in a works-based gospel would do the same. The book of James was written to people already belonging to the church, not to unbelievers. (See his reference to “my brothers” in James 1:2.) Although it is true that genuine faith will never stand alone apart from works, the entire counsel of Scripture makes it clear that salvation is by grace through faith alone in Christ.
One final observation… Be careful in your assumption that anyone who opposes mormonism is not fully informed. I was raised in a devout mormon home until age 18, and my beloved father was still clinging to his beliefs when he took his life 3 years ago. He and I spent countless hours, year after year, discussing the deepest doctrines of mormonism. He rarely went anywhere without his 4-in-1. In the end, its fruit proved as plastic as the man-centered doctrine he espoused.
God bless…



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Travis

posted July 6, 2007 at 12:56 pm


As a Christian (who is not a Mormon), I am primarily concerned with the truth claims of the LDS that are historically, archaeologically, and geographically incompatible with the facts.
I would encourage anyone interested in in learning about the differences between historical Christianity and the claims of the LDS to investigate the facts for themselves.
Here is a good place to start: http://www.lhvm.org/vid_bible_med.htm



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David Chiu

posted July 6, 2007 at 1:37 pm


I once encountered an elderly fellow in Taipei, Taiwan — he asked this question of me (an ordained ministered of the Lord Jesus Christ):
“How can you claim that ‘God so loved the world’ when you deny everlasting life to those who fail to ‘believeth in Him'”.
He really thought it was a telling point that there seemed to be a contradiction between universal love and conditional salvation!!
God really does love all of us perfectly, and no matter when or where we may have been born, He will grant us a full and fair opportunity to earn salvation as defined by the Lord in John 3:15.
Not matter how much we do, it is ultimately grace that saves — I thank God that He invites all.
Some may doubt God’s omnipotence, thinking that grace will not cover those who (as Mormons) accept Jesus as their personal Savior, the promised Messiah, and Lord.
I’m thankful to trust that He is not so limited.



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David Chiu

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:07 pm


Travis —
That PBS special on the Mormons had a telling quote from some guy who was a real doubter, something like:
“… there is no more archaeological etc. evidence for the Book of Mormon, than there is for the historical verifiability of Jesus.”
What are accepted as “facts” is ever evolving, especially in science, as well as history.
As I said above, contradiction is often in the eye of the beholder.



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Dan

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:57 pm


This whole argument is basically the same as arecheologists picking over dead bones and old implements. If you asked 5 of them to give you an anlyisis of what they have found, you would probably have some significant differences between their results. Aruguing over biblical passages will only yield the same problem.
Except in times of apostacy, God has always clarified his doctrine through prophets. Doctrine was never established by a vote, much less a vote tainted by politics like the nicene creed. God always reveals himself to man through prophets such as Joseph Smith and Abraham. He continued to do so though Peter and the Aposltles until they were killed. A Bishop of Rome is not a Prophet or an Apostle. Bishops do not lead the whole chuch.
They were all confused about doctrine after the Apostles were gone. They settled a few of their differences thought a very nasty, argumnetative, political process, that would make our congressional hearings seem civilized.
I find the Pharisaical attitude of the “leaders” of the remnants of the christian church very disheartening. They deliberately innoculate their followers agianst hearing anything additional that God has to say. I can testify though the power of the Holy Ghost that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. The Lord told Joseph regarding the leaders of the Chrsitian denominations of his day, that “They draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” It is as if God is trying speak and they are saying “Hey, be quiet I’m talking here.” Fortunately, despite their best efforts, God has spoken throug prophets once again.
I sincerely hope that these “leaders” will someday soften their hearts to hear the words of their Saviour. We don’t need “blind guides” in these times, we need God’s guidence given through his prophets. Adherence to a doctrine that has no Apostalic authority shouldn’t be a division to those who belive in Christ.



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Theophile

posted July 6, 2007 at 7:16 pm


I can only agree with Dan here. My post here may not be as detailed or as thought out as my previous post, but suffice it to say, as Hugh Nibley decreed, “the Scriptures are a labyrinth of a thousand passages.” (to paraphrase)
Hence the importance of a Prophet. Nevertheless, I can’t see this discussion (between Card and Mohler) going anywhere. If someone is going to listen to LDS missionaries, then they probably don’t really care what Albert Mohler (or Orson Scott Card, for that matter) has to say about it. Neither Mohler nor Card is going to change his mind about the subject (any time soon, that is — perhaps in the afterlife one or the other will find himself in a rather startling situation), and I think it is apparent that we, as readers, are equally resolute on the matter. So, fun as it is to interact, I don’t think anyone here will be able to convince many (if any) Mormons that they aren’t Christians, or any non-Mormon Christians that Mormons are Christians.
Not even Living Hope Ministries, but I appreciate the gesture all the same, Travis. To elaborate on something Joseph Smith once said, if Christianity by and large finds us in error, it shows that they care about us if they are earnestly seeking the salvation of our souls. Misguided love, but love all the same. We see through a glass darkly, and we can’t blame everyone who bumps into us… anyway, I’m done for now.



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Travis

posted July 7, 2007 at 9:11 am


That is another huge mis interpretation: The Nicean Creed was not something new in the early church. It was ultimately a solidification of what was already considered to be the orthidoxy of the church. Early creeds (Nicea, Constantinople, Calcedon, etc) were established to route out heresy – not to substantiate a belief that had not been previously held by the church at large.
I agree that God had previously worked through prophets. Does He still? No…and I believe that His Word makes it obvious that we will not receive any new revelation. However, for those who believe that Joseph Smith was, in deed, a prophet, there is something that separates him from prophets in the Bible – and that is historical accuracy. Joseph Smith wrote of an America that never existed. A work of fiction, if you will.
The Bible, in contrast, was a book that is used to this day to help scientists locate ancient cities, landmarks, and battlefields. Such claims cannot be made about the Book of Mormon.
Christianity as a full-worldview is the only worldview that completely makes sense – with history, science (real science), morality, philosophy, etc. Mormonism falls short intellectually…
…and again, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to watch this documentary: http://www.lhvm.org/vid_bible_med.htm



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Dan

posted July 7, 2007 at 1:44 pm


Travis,
Commonly held certianly doesn’t mean Apostalic Doctrine. It is also a simple fact that post-biblical chrisitianity was highly ifluenced by neo-platonism and gnostisism (sp?). The “early creeds” were bully pulpits not revelation from God. By the time these creeds came about, post biblical christianity had floundered around for so long that it would be pure “intellectual” (to use your word) fallacy to conclude any purity of doctrine in them. The creeds were a political means to bring the differing factions to consensus. Since you have such great intellect I’m sure you can understand that consensus,or even compromise in this case, does not equal truth.
I have to admit that I really hate the word “intellectual”, especially in its use as an attempted trump card. It amounts to very little more than a kid saying, “because I said so”. The word is so overused, that I’m not sure it has much use in the English language any more.
The history of the Americas is very much an open book. We know almost nothing about it in comparison to European and Middle Eastern history. Their civilizations were completely decimated by disease before europeans arrived. The Book of Mormon civilization died out about 600 AD. It is not surpising that there is no evidence of them. You should remember that the city of Troy and the Trojan War were widely considered mythical before someone actually found the city in the last century.
Do you use the same “intellecual” approach to the ressurected Christ?
I’m sorry if I sound angry. I’m not really angry or suprised. I have definately heard it all before. I just get a little exasperated with wide held assumption that all Mormons must be the dumbest people on earth. According to all of you, we must not have a single brain cell between all 11,000,000 of us. It aslo continually astounds me how much effort other christian religions put into trying to refute our faith with fallacies and outright lies (I’m not putting you in this category).
I actually tend to think that I’m a pretty smart fellow, but my faith in Christ has absolutely nothing to do with that. It has more to do with humble prayer and searching of the scriptures. It has everything to do with the conformation of the Holy Ghost.



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Jessica

posted July 7, 2007 at 5:19 pm


For the record, as a follow-up to my previous posts… I was a mormon when I became a Christian. I did not turn away from one church to another… I turned away from a false gospel to the genuine gospel as prescribed by the unique authority of the New Testament apostles. Jesus is not limited by our association to a particular denomination. mormonism did not save me…nor did Christianity. Christ saved me, by His grace. He alone is the Author and Perfector of my faith.
The Bible is not difficult to interpret when read under the authority of the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not say that He would send more men to write more books so that we could understand His ways. He said, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:13)
Christ is my Prophet, Priest and King. I do not need an interpreter apart from the Holy Spirit who reveals the unchanging truth about God as recorded by the Bible. The gospel is beautiful in its simplicity, yet the riches of Christ are infinitely glorious.
The morning before the eve that my father took his life, two mormon missionaries happen to knock on my door to ask if I was interested in hearing about the restored church on earth. Restored? Or recreated…by men who refuse the authority of the uncompromising, unchanging Word of God. Following their visit (and my father’s subsequent suicide), I finally succeeded in having my name removed from the mormon membership roles. I was informed that I was no longer considered baptized and my blessings had been removed, as well.
Praise God for His gift of grace that will never be dictated by religion. As a new creation, I cannot become what has been crucified and buried in Christ. I am eternally a child of God… No man has the power to snatch me from His hand. And as a mormon “apostate” I rejoice in the truth that has set me free to enter the Holy Presence of my God and King. This I testify to you in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.



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Dan

posted July 7, 2007 at 5:37 pm


OK. “Jessica”. I’m glad that you have a great belief in Christ. However it is perfectly clear from the New and Old Testaments that the Lord’s system has always included performances and ordinances performed by men given authority by Christ. You would have to ignore a good portion of the Bible not to see that clearly.



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Jessica

posted July 7, 2007 at 6:48 pm


That’s what I used to think, Dan, until I spent 3 solid years studying the Old Testament. You see, every ordinance and ceremony performed by the OT priests served a single purpose…to remind God’s people of the promised coming of the the Messiah. Every drop of blood spilt on the temple altar cried…He is coming, He is coming. Each unblemished lamb sacrificed pointed towards the coming of the Lamb of God and His blood atonement. When Jesus came, He completely fulfilled the ceremonial law, and when His work was done on the cross, He SAT DOWN because He was finished. The moment that Christ gave up His Spirit on the cross, the curtain in the temple that kept His people from entering into the Holy of Holies was torn in two, from top to bottom. And it was not by accident that the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70. The New Covenant had been ushered in and Christ had become the ultimate High Priest, Prophet and King. He alone had the qualifications to enter into the priesthood of the order of Melchizedek. Never again would God’s people have to seek the intervention of men to enter into the glory of the Father. Christ’s blood sacrifice will eternally provide the ticket into glory for everyone who believes…no matter the denomination. Do you really believe that when I get to the gate, Jesus will turn me away because of a letter stating that my temple blessings had been taken away from me? Is that consistent with the character of our Holy God of unfailing promises and power? Joseph Smith may have been well-intentioned…I don’t know. But he is no replacement for Jesus Christ. And any attempt to reinstitute the OT law after its fulfillment in Christ mocks my Father God and His Son who died to set us free. Why would you want to go back to a time when men played God when the One and Only True God is now in our midst through faith in Christ?



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Dan

posted July 7, 2007 at 8:00 pm


I really don’t see that this discussion will go anywhere, but why did Peter command the people who had been “pricked in their hearts” to “Repent and be baptised every one of you”? Even a cursory reading of the Bible shows that ordinances were still an important part of the early Christian church. See Baptism, and the Sacrament in particular. I believe, although I could be wrong here, that the Apostles still attended the temple after Jesus’ death.
We certainly don’t perform sacrifices anymore, so I don’t see any point to your agument there. Your comments about the reason the temple was destroyed are pure conjecture. The temple in Jerusalem, had been destroyed a few time before that. What did it mean then?
Your comments about an end to the preisthood are pure conjecture and obviously false considering the early history of the Christian Church. Preisthood was obviously part of that institution, and the distant decendants of that church still believe that they hold preisthood authority.
Good luck to you anyway.



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Gordon Calmeyer

posted July 7, 2007 at 8:11 pm


Mormonism is not Christian? ask the question what is the mormon view of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit, original sin and salvation, mormons are very good people, in many ways more gracious than many evangelical christians but the topic is, is the mormon church a Chritian church???? and on at least three of the points above it is not.



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sloagm

posted July 7, 2007 at 9:19 pm


Dan, you are a gentleman and a scholar. Jessica, what a tragedy to have to go through, it is obvious that you have been comforted by the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope that he continues to help strengthen you as you live with such difficult and deeply emotional experiences.
Truly, “…with his stripes we are healed” Isaiah 53
“And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” Alma 7:11-12.
I pray that he may continue to comfort you in your afflictions.
Paul’s condemnations of a new gospel are accurate! The Church of Jesus Christ of LDS preaches the good news of Jesus Christ and him Crucified! We do not teach some other gospel (good news) e.g. that Joseph Smith or Malachi, or Moroni, or Amos, or Abraham, or Enoch, or Moroni or Mormon died for our sins! Indeed, we preach that Christ was, is, and always will be the Son of the Living God, the Father of Heaven and earth and all things that in them are, that Christ ransomed us from death and hell and that Christ has bought us with his blood, and because he has bought us he requires us to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” It is not that the work saves us, it is Christ that saves us, but Christ decided somewhere along the way that we are to be “doers of the word and not hearers only” in order to merit his all encompassing and eternal sacrifice. Or another way to put it, our works testify of our faith, but at the end of the day it is the Savior and only Him that saves, hence the term Savior.
Onto another topic:
The Bible, as it stands today, came from a collection of texts decided upon by the “early church fathers.” Where did that term come from “early church fathers” anyway? It is certainly not canonical. The origins of the scrolls and letters which came to be known as “the Bible” were, of course, not all the letters the apostles wrote to the saints (saints were, and are, members of Christ’s church, as opposed to today’s idea of saints as beatified liaisons between God and man), nor can it be assumed that these few letters and narratives contain all God’s words to man.
So another important question then: Is it enough to have the Bible? Well, what do we mean by enough?
The real question should be why anyone seeking after truth would say “is this enough?” Are the Bible and Book of Mormon enough? What about the Bible, BOM, D&C, and PoGP? Is that enough? The real question should be: what must I do to receive more of God’s word than I already have? It is evident that all of these books do not contain all of God’s words to man…ergo seekers after truth should NEVER stop and say: I have enough. We should never have enough of God’s word. The gospel of Jesus Christ is inexhaustible!
Can you imagine that conversation with God? Sorry, I’m good down here, I don’t need anymore right now, I’ll just keep what I’ve got.
The assumption by many protestants and catholics that the everly overused citation from the Revelation of John (you know, the “add to or take away from” part) refers to the entire text of the Bible or New Testament makes me sigh with exasperation. Why? Because it becomes painfully obvious that the person I’m talking to doesn’t even have an understanding of how the Bible was created!
There wasn’t a Vulgate, or a King James, or a Revised Standard, or a Good News! There weren’t printing presses! There were scrolls…piles and piles of scrolls! So the notion that John was the compiler of the original Bible and then wrote that phrase as an epilogue to the NT has sadly cut off many minds from even accepting the possibility of further revelation from heaven.
But even more sadly, while it cut off many people’s hopes of more revelation from heaven, what it didn’t stop was the eventual amalgam of paganism and the remnants of Christianity under Constantine and the “early church fathers.”
I’ll close with a quote from Roger Williams, the founder of the Baptist Church in America, which church he later left as he observed the following:
“There is no regularly constituted church of Christ on earth, nor any person qualified to administer any church ordinances; nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking. (Picturesque America, p. 502.)



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Joy

posted July 7, 2007 at 9:24 pm


I’ve read all of the comments, and I have learned a lot from many of you. Collectively and individually God loves us with an everlasting love. One day, we will all be together. The important thing is to be tolerant of each other until Christ helps us to see all truth clearly. In the meantime, we all have a lot to do for the Lord—there is the hungry to feed, the poor to clothe, the people in prison to be taught and on and on—all things that give us entrance into the Kingdom (Matthew 25, I believe)I do believe we are saved by Grace, but doing the lord’s work is just a by-product of that salvation. We need to stop spending so much money on ourselves when our world brothers and sisters are hungry and suffering. I’ve loved this discussion that we have been allowed to do on BeliefNet. Jessica, my heart goes out to you.



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Jessica

posted July 7, 2007 at 11:38 pm


You all are very kind, and I appreciate your encouragement. I am so thankful, Dan, that I don’t have to rely on luck in this world. ;>) Rather, I have witnessed God’s power manifested in my weakness and brokenness, and He truly has proven His faithfulness as “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Baptism is a wonderful celebration of new life, symbolizing our identification with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. I am thankful that Jesus modeled baptism for us so that we would know how to consummate our marriage to Him. And the Sacrament reminds us of our utter dependence on His blood and broken body which was given on our behalf. I am not sure that I understand their relevance to the temple ordinances, unless something has changed since my family’s final visit to the temple in Alberta, Canada many years ago.
And the early Apostles did not continue their teaching or administration of temple ordinances. Circumcision was a big topic that clarified their position regarding ordinances. The Apostles, including Paul, had quite a heated debate. Many of the Jewish Christians were struggling to embrace grace, which called for them to abandon their Jewish “traditions”…anything that they were depending on apart from Christ for right standing before God.
But Paul refused to compromise by allowing anyone to legislate or “add to” the gospel. They all ended up agreeing that even circumcision was now obsolete. It had been an external symbol that set the Jews apart as God’s chosen nation. But now that Christ had come, there was no longer a chosen ethnic nation who could depend on outward symbols to set them apart. The playing field was leveled. Entrance into God’s kingdom came through faith in the life and work of God’s Son. Period. Galatians clarifies the teachings regarding the place of ordinances in the New Testament church better than I can.
Why do so many think that their own argument is strengthened by undermining the Bible? Only the Bible has withstood the test of time. One of the things I find so amazing about the Bible is that it was written over a period of 1500 years by 40 different authors in 3 different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek), and yet God’s story of redemption pulses from start to finish, never missing a beat. And it not only records prophecy given…but prophecy fulfilled… perfectly… all pointing to the coming of the Messiah. And just as God inspired the writer’s of the Bible, He also inspired its canonization. With a completed testimony of Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection…and the gospel of grace clarified through the teachings of Paul and the other apostles…nothing else needed to be said. The canon was closed.
Hebrew 1:1-2 affirms, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe.” (Note that Jesus was present during the creation of the universe…heaven and earth… He was not a created angel, such as the rebellious Lucifer.)
Finally, in regard to it being just speculation that the curtain in the temple was torn at Christ’s death to symbolize the end of the temple era…the gospel of Matthew records, “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He gave up His spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to botton. The earth shook and the rocks split.” (27:51) Just coincidence?
And Jesus Himself prophesied of the temples destruction in A.D. 70. Matthew 24:1-2 records, “Jesus left the temple and was walking away when His disciples came up to Him to call His attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” He asked. I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” I visited Jerusalem in January, and I saw the rubble from the original temple still lying abandoned and ignored. Not a stone was left unturned in A.D. 70, just as Christ prophesied. And in regards to a new temple in the future, the apostle John wrote in Revelation (in regards to the new Jerusalem) “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” (Rev. 21:22)
By the way…if you are even still reading at this point… My dad may have taken his life (and you will be pleased to know that he never relinquished his mormon beliefs) I still believe with all my heart that he is with the Lord. Praise God that the gospel is simple enough for a child to believe! No religion on earth can ever steal away its power for salvation… How I wish that he had lived a more Christ-centered life that offered him a hope larger than himself. What a tragic loss… He was one of the kindest men I have ever known, and I still love him dearly.
May God be glorified, in Christ’s Name, Amen.



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Dan

posted July 8, 2007 at 12:20 am


Thank you Jessica.
I am aware of all these things aside from the scripture in Revelations about there being no Temple in the new Jerusalem. If true, it doesn’t say anything about temples in general. The new Jerusalem certainly isn’t here yet.
That the Apostles decided that circumcision was no longer necessary is only another part of the Mosaic law that was no longer necessary. It doesn’t give any indication on the importance of ordinances in general.
Laws and ordinances such as baptism and the sacrament are tied to the priesthood. You can’t have one without the other.
Without being rude or disrespectful, it amazes me the lengths you have gone to convice yourself against the church with all the conjecture about scriptures with uncertain meaning. Perhaps you should ask yourself why you have done that.
However, I am glad for the common ground that we do have. Jesus as our savior and redeemer is and always will be the most important thing.



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Jessica

posted July 8, 2007 at 12:56 am


I do not find you rude or disrespectful, Dan. My father and I left no stone unturned in our discussions, and we still managed to love each other to the end. And I know from experience that unless the Lord gives a man/woman ears to hear the truth, no amount of logic will suffice. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44)
But it is by no accident that this discussion has taken place. To whomever the Lord is stirring through this forum, may you follow the voice of the Shepherd to safe pasture. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)
May the Lord bless and keep you all…



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Silly Interloper

posted July 8, 2007 at 2:55 am


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sloagm

posted July 8, 2007 at 10:51 am


Jessica: Responding to your comments, which are clearly pointed at my explanation of the origins of the Bible.
1. “Why do so many think that their own argument is strengthened by undermining the Bible?” One can have a strong testimony of the veracity of the scriptural record and still realize that over the course of thousands of years of being translated (or misused) through many languages by many scribes during periods of extreme religious upheval, even religious supression and politicking, even a time where Martin Luther stated that Christianity had been lost from the earth, one can realize that all the plain and precious truths of the Bible may have been altered by good intentioned or bad intentioned men. That does not destroy my faith in Christ, but in the weaknesses of men, and in a belief that the Bible we have today contains all that God would have us know concerning His work.
2. “Only the Bible has withstood the test of time. One of the things I find so amazing about the Bible is that it was written over a period of 1500 years by 40 different authors in 3 different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek), and yet God’s story of redemption pulses from start to finish, never missing a beat. And it not only records prophecy given…but prophecy fulfilled… perfectly… all pointing to the coming of the Messiah.”
What is your basis of understanding that the Bible has withstood the test of time? I know the words in the Bible are true, but when there are discrepancies in translation between the Wycliffe Bible and the German Luther bible, or the Hebrew Bible or the Greek Bible, which do you have a propensity to believe? If you haven’t studied the various versions in different languages, I would urge you to do so just to open your eyes to how certain passages have been translated…and re-translated with new and different meanings in each successive translation.
3. “And just as God inspired the writer’s of the Bible, He also inspired its canonization. With a completed testimony of Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection…and the gospel of grace clarified through the teachings of Paul and the other apostles…nothing else needed to be said. The canon was closed.”
Wow, that is quite an assertion. Considering that Paul’s letters were to different congregations throughout the church don’t you think he may have had other things to say to them? What about the teachings of Barnabas, Mark, Philip, Stephen, Andrew or James…the other James? Or Paul’s teachings in Cappadocia, Cilicia, Lycia, Phyrgia or Syria? Or what about the books accepted as canonical by the Catholic Church but are rejected by most protestant denominations like the Tobit, Baruch, Ecclesiasticus, or the books of the Maccabees? OR what about the Acts of PAul, Jubilees, Enoch, and 3rd Corinthians? Luther himself (not sure why) questioned the veracity of the Book of James, Jude, Hebrews, and Revelation. I don’t question their veracity, but neither do I believe the canon is closed. Luther didn’t either.
None of these questions hinders my faith in Christ, but it is relatively easy to see that the question of what is canon and what is not remains unsettled and quite relativistic amongst protestant, catholic, and orthodox “traditions.” The Church of Jesus Christ of LDS is not hindered by such a notion. Indeed the church declares it simply:
1. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
2. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.



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Jessica

posted July 8, 2007 at 1:40 pm


I do agree with you, Sloagm, that the Bible’s inerrancy applies to the autographa (as astutely defined by the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy). To the degree that modern translations reflect the original autographa, the Bible we read today is inerrant and its canon complete. The Bible itself warns against altering the text or adding to the canon of Scripture. God superimposed His will over its canonization, and He has guarded its testimony of Christ since its inception.
It’s interesting that the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has provided further evidence that our modern transcripts have proven identical to the original scrolls that have been recovered. If you ever have the opportunity to travel to Israel, don’t miss visiting the Qumran. It offers a fascinating peek into the work of God in preserving His Word.
And further, in regards to it being the only document to withstand the test of time, it has been determined that the Old Testament canon was closed by 300 B.C. and the New Testament canon was officially completed by A.D. 367. And the unaltered prophecies of God declared in the Old Testament (prior to the life of Christ) were completely fulfilled in the most minute details through the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ as recorded in the New Testament. God’s unique fingerprints are all over both the Old and New Testaments. One contains the life of Christ concealed, the other the life of Christ revealed. The Old points forward, the New points backwards. They speak in unison and complement each other perfectly. No other book compares. No other books are needed.
That is not to say that there were not other books written during the period of the early church. But the Apostles did not find them worthy to be included in the canon. So why would we argue their worth now?
And you are correct in your assertion that a study of Scripture in the original languages is enriching, but not necessary for understanding God’s message of redemption. Otherwise, God’s truth would be secluded on a top shelf for only the educated and elite. Luther recognized this potential danger and its apparent fruit born through the Catholic church. So he devoted his life to translating the Bible from its original language into the language of us common folk. The Holy Spirit has been faithful to keep God’s truth within reach, and He continues to lead seekers to the truth, just as Christ promised.
Your assertion that you believe the Bible, but that it is not enough, proves that you do not accept its account. The Bible itself warns against altering its content or adding to its canon. But what motive would anyone have to study the Bible if it could not be trusted? We would need more books offering new truth. The standards would have to be altered with each generation. I am deeply offended that the early mormon church sought to exclude blacks from the “priesthood” and that the sanctity of marriage was redefined and maligned with the teaching of polygamy. And in order to avoid cheap (yet valid) shots at the church, I will not even go into the beliefs of gods on other planets. Yes, I know that many of these truths have now been discarded in the church’s effort to build greater credibility in the modern world. But ever evolving doctrine does not reflect the unchanging nature and truth of God.
The Bible has never had to apologize for its teaching. It is a plumb line of truth that set the everlasting standard for God’s people. Salvation for all through faith in the work and life of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. When Jesus said, “It is finished!” He meant it. End of story.
But I can tell that you have put a lot of thought into your position, Sloagm, and I commend you for that. God bless…



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sloagm

posted July 8, 2007 at 9:34 pm


Jessica: I appreciate your thoughtfulness as well. But I have to respectfully disagree with your notion that the Apostles had anything to do with the compilation of the Bible. As such, the idea that the apostles decreed what was and wasn’t canonical is simply untrue (see discussion below).
Beginning with some Old Testament prophets which are not included in our current Bible: The words of Nathan, Samuel the Seer, Jasher, and the Kings of Israel. It is the prophet Ezra who compiled many parts of the Old Testament into aramaic after the Babylonian captivity, and by seeing multiple citations and references by other biblical prophets it is evident that not all the words of God’s prophets are in Ezra’s aramaic abridgement.
Later translations (targums) into aramaic began the preverbial muddying of the doctrinal waters through the slow evolution by some translators and scholars of the aramaic texts into new interpretations of scripture. E.g. the Hebrew version of Exodus 24:10 states “And they saw the God of Israel.” But the Aramaic version changes it from an anthropomorphic vision to a more ethereal version that reads: “And they saw the glory of the God of Israel.” Hence the seeds of the rejection of Jesus Christ began to be planted. The idea of God in an actual physical body became foreign, even blasphemous, to them. (The aramaic text is entirely seperate from the Septuagint of Alexandria.)
To the apostles, the scriptures were the Old Testament. One missionary, Apollos, “mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures (the Old Testament) that Jesus was Christ.” Acts 18:28.
The texts from Qumran are extremely important to LDS scholars, who have been avid contributors of Scroll research, including the Discovery Channel Documentary “The Dead Sea Scrolls: Voices from the Desert.” I have never been to Qumran, but I’ve seen the Isaiah texts. They are truly remarkable. Although they agree generally with later copies, there are also important points of difference, enough to arouse some belief that variant pristine texts once existed. This is from the The Cambridge History of the Bible, Vol. 1, pp. 162–63.
For Bible scholars there is major uncertainty today about what constituted the “New Word” for the early Christians and how accurate and complete our modern-day version of it really is.
The truth is, the records we have (though accepted as scripture and priceless in what they give us) are not totally satisfactory as a complete record. While the four testimonies that bear witness of Christ’s life do so with power, there are many details of his life that are missing. E.g. in Mark’s story only thirty-one days are accounted for. Furthermore, it has been said that all of the sayings attributed directly to Jesus in the New Testament can be read in just 1/2 hour. When one considers the many sermons, and evidence of the length of those sermons, it’s obvious that we only have a very small portion of his teachings.
But perhaps the most conspicuous gap in the New Testament accounts is the period after the Lord’s resurrection. We know that at that time he spent forty days with his Apostles-forty days in which his word was expanded upon. How vital these teachings and instructions must have been! Yet they’re almost totally missing from our current NT.
In spite of these challenges, the New Testament text is still priceless! Although not always accurate as translated (Article of Faith 8), this record alone (among the records we have) has the honor of recouting the mortal life and mission of Jesus Christ.
After the Gospels and Luke’s account of the Acts of the Apostles, much of the New Testament consists of letters. Having so much of the New Testament in letter form has been both a strength and a problem for Christianity.
In much of the Christian world the letters have been made to assume a role for which they were never fully intended. The Gospels as we have them focus on the life of Christ and those teachings that bear witness that he was and is the Christ, and on his teachings about how man ought to live. They do not contain a complete presentation of the full range of gospel doctrines and principles. Generally, therefore, Christian sects have obtained many of their doctrines from the epistles. But the epistles, though they contain doctrine, do so in patches and pieces. Most of them were written in response to specific needs and questions arising in specific geographical areas of the early Church.
Furthermore, they often contained items of unequal importance, making it difficult to determine which passages are statements of doctrine and which are counsel on temporary, immediate problems the Saints faced. The biggest problem is that in the process of answering specific questions, a great deal of information needed for full understanding was left out, apparently because those to whom the letters were directed were already familiar with the basic principles involved. Thus, many things were only alluded to, such as baptism for the dead and the roles of the various priesthood leaders. It is this “partial explanation only” that has caused confusion for later readers. In fact, it could be argued that this lack of doctrinal clarity in what remained as part of the canonized scripture is partially responsible for many of the later divisions among Christian sects.
Anyway, we grieve for the parts that have been lost, but we can still rejoice in what we have in the NT record. Even fragments of the Gospels are precious for what they contain.
It should be obvious that all the writings which now make up the New Testament did not jump into leather-bound books. As with the Old Testament, the process was slow and piecemeal. Each part was written separately, and those who were fortunate enough to privately own any scriptures probably, like Paul, would have had separate parchments or scrolls.
Precisely what was accepted as authoritative by the early Christians is uncertain. Just as the early Christians accepted far more Hebrew records than appear in our current Old Testament, so these church members drew upon a body of Christian literature far more extensive than that contained in our current New Testament.
By the end of the second century a.d., “most” Christians accepted a list of certain books as authoritative, called them the New Testament, and read them in services along with the Septuagint. Furthermore, they began to appear in book-like collections of manuscript sheets rather than on scrolls.
Into the third century, enemies of the early christians began targeting the scriptures and attempted to steal or burn scriptural manuscripts, preventing the Saints from reading the words of Christ and the apostles. This period of persecution was ended under Constantine, who publicly promoted the use of the scriptures, and ordered special copies to be made for public reading.
But the wider acceptance of the scriptures had an unexpected consequence. The wealthy sought very fine and elegant copies—not to be read, but for display. In fact, some church leaders found it necessary to reprove the rich for not reading their expensive copies and to remind them that in comparison many of the poor showed more faithfulness by sharing and reading the few scriptures they’d been able to copy for themselves by hand.
But in addition, for growing numbers of Christians the biblical records began to take on an aura of abnormal sanctity, becoming an object of superstition and even being used as a magic charm. Many found it easier to revere its pages than to try to understand them.
It was by the fourth century that what precisely was “official scripture” was finally decided. Athanasius, the bishop of Alexandria, publicly listed as authoritative scripture the twenty-seven books we have in our present New Testament. Some books whose authority scholars had questioned were included on this list, such as the books of James, Hebrews, 2 Peter, and 2 and 3 John. Other books that had been held dear by some early Christians were not on the list, including the Epistle of Barnabas, the Didache, 1 Clement, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the Shepherd of Hermas.
The list which Athanasius drew up was debated and then accepted as canonical by the majority of those church leaders present at the councils of Laodicea, Hippo, and Carthage. At the Council of Carthage, after much disagreement on certain books, they ratified as New Testament canon these same twenty-seven books and decreed that none besides these should be read in the churches as divine scripture.
It should be pointed out that the questions of canonicity taken up in these councils (especially the councils at Hippo and Carthage) pertained to Old and New Testament scriptures. Some scriptures of the Old Testament which were not in the Hebrew Bible but were in the Septuagint were accepted as canon by these councils, although there had also been prior disagreements about their worth. These became the Apocrypha, which are still today a part of the Catholic scriptural body.
But in addition to these writings which were passed on, there were others that were not. Apocalyptic/prophetic writings were most often cast aside, like the book of Enoch. It is ironic that these writings, which had been rejected by Pharisaic Judaism but accepted as precious by the first Christians, were in time also rejected by later Christians.
In conclusion, it is the LDS belief that all of this turmoil and tumult of opinion is the reason that prophets are always sought after to teach the word. After Christ’s death, apostles functioned as the leadership of the church of Jesus Christ. We can also clearly see that when an apostle died, a new apostle was called. Unfortunately the apostles were killed in such rapid succession on their travels (calling an apostle likely required that all members of the quorum be present) that the apostolic authority was lost.
As for the other issues you specfically bring up about the LDS church (I thought you might head there eventually), that is for another post at another time.
At any rate, I have never posted this much in response to one person before, so I must think you are either pretty important or I’m developing a blog dependency…I’ll stick with the first reason. :)



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Dan

posted July 8, 2007 at 11:29 pm


The turn of this conversation is all very sadly predictable.
Jessica:
I read the whole book of Revelation last night, including the reference to there being no temple in the New Jerusalem. This city you are talking about decends from heaven after all the 7 seals have been opened and the millenium is complete. It really has no bearing on our time. All it says to me is that there would be no purpose for a temple, becuase Christ himself is among us so that basically the whole earth will be God’s temple at that time.
If anything, the fact that the Angel showed John that there was no temple necessary in that city becuase Jesus is there points to the fact that is indeed necessary otherwise.
For the rest of you out there that may be observing this exchange I would like to breifly address what Jessica calls “cheap but valid shots” against the Church. First of all, no truths have ever been “discarded” by the church. I would like to briefly address each one.
Blacks and the Priesthood:
I was three years old when the revelation was received to give all worthy males the priesthood, so I don’t recall what the atmosphere was like back then. I know most people, including my father, anticipated and looked forward to the time when this would be announced. With some exceptions, the people of the church welcomed the announcement.
I would be very hesitant to say this policy was ever actually doctrine. It was never included in a revelation in the Doctrine and Covenatnts. The leaders of the church’s understanding of scripture grows and changes over time. For example,the church recently changed the way that the quorums of the Seventy were organized to be more closely aligned with the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants. God teaches us “line upon line precept upon precept”. I think that this policy (not Doctrine), was based on the leaders of the church’s best understnding of the scriptures at the time. Spencer W. Kimball earnestly sought the lord’s will on this. He and the rest of the Quorum of the Twelve received an answer, and the policy was changed. I for one, am very glad.
Please note that something very similar happend in the New Testament, when Peter received a revelation to allow the Gentiles to receive the gospel.
Polygamy:
Polygamy was practiced in the early days of the Church. It was revealed as a doctrine by Joseph Smith. The revelation basically says, if the lord gives it his blessing, it can be done. The Book of Mormon actually teaches that Polygamy is undesireable to the Lord and is only allowed when the lord commands it. The Lord allowed it through his prophet Joseph Smith. Wilford Woodruff (the fourth prophet of the Church) ended the practice. My Great Great Grandfather had four wives. From the stories that have been passed down, I don’t think any of them really loved the practice, but they were good people.
No truth was changed. The doctrines are still there to be read in the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.
God’s on Other Planets:
I’m not sure how to start with this one. The phrasing that Jessica uses makes it sound like Aliens or something :). I don’t want to delve into it too much, because it would take way to long. God revealed through Joseph Smith that we existed as Spirits or Angels before we came to this earth. God presented his plan of Salvation to us. We were to come to earth to receive a body and be tested. If we live worthily we can return to our Father in Heaven. Because we are the offspring of God, as Paul pointed out, we have the potential to be like him. In other words, we can become Gods ourselves. I think this is one of the most beautiful parts of the restored Gospel, and one of the most often mocked. Once again, no truth has been changed. It’s all still there.
I didn’t mention this so it could be mocked again. I just want the others out there to understand what is beind said about us in it’s true context.
I would also mention, that not every statment made by a leader of the church is considered doctrine. Every book I have ever read that was written by a leader of the church has a diclaimer in the front stating this. People who wish to slander us, often use obscure and usually out of context, statements by leaders of the church. I would only ask that you read some of the comments by our evangelical friends with this in mind.



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Jessica

posted July 9, 2007 at 1:28 am


God is honored through your diligence, Sloagm. And I find that my own faith is strengthened and refined through intelligent discussion. So I appreciate your dialogue…
In God’s divine wisdom, He chose to record some of Scripture in the form of letters to the Church. He also included the narratives and parables of the Gospels, and the visionary text of Revelation. Lots of poetry and powerful imagery adds dimension and life to His account.
The Bible obviously does not record the entire life of Christ. It was never intended to function as a history book, but as a testimony pointing to the divine Person and work of Christ. If the Lord’s intent had been to record the entire New Testament history, He would have done so and it would have been as freely offered as His grace, not reserved for a select audience or denomination. We can be confident that what God chose to reveal is sufficient for the salvation of His people.
We are reminded that the human authors of the Bible were mere pens in the hand of God. The written words of Scripture constitute what is divinely inspired, not the writers. The men were simply the instruments God chose to make His Word known.
God is the Author of Scripture. Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed…” The original word for “God-breathed” is “theopneustos” which is made up of three elements of Greek. One is “theos” meaning God, the second is “pneus” which means breath or spirit (pneumonia) and “tos” is the little suffix. All squeezed together, we get “theopneustos” which means that every writing of Scripture is the result of the pneumas of God. This is the only time in Scripture that the word “theopneustos” is used, and it is used to define the nature of Scripture which is God’s very breath captured on parchment.
The process by which our omnipotent, sovereign God breathed life into Scripture through the human authors resulted in the autographa, the original manuscript, which was the exact Word of God…written exactly as God wanted to communicate it.
A high view of God recognizes His sovereignty that oversaw both the writing and compilation of Scripture, and has protected its truth through the ages. I know that the 66 books that are included in the Bible are the result of God’s divine design…not because I trust the men who were used to write and compile them…but because I trust in the sovereign power of God to oversee the entire process from start to finish.
If God had wanted us to know Jesus’ exact whereabouts after His resurrection, He would have breathed that information onto parchment, as well. But it did not suit His purposes to do so. God never makes mistakes. We can be sure that God has never once said, “Ooops, I forgot to include that…”
In warning the Church about future imposters, Peter said in 2 Peter 1:20, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
Once the full revelation of Christ was signed, sealed and delivered, the canon was closed and its plumb line of truth has remained the only constant in our ever-evolving culture. With much of what I have said, you agree. We find our common ground in the Bible. Yet your confidence rests not in the teachings of the Bible. Rather, you undermine the Bible in order to justify the need for additional revelation.
When I was a little teenage girl entering puberty, an adult man told me that he had received a new revelation from God that I would become one of his future wives. Another man with seven children said that the Lord had created a special bond between us for the purpose of satisfying his physical needs. (Fortunately, God used my mother to intervene and protect me from further revelations.)
But a few years later, my own father received a new revelation from God. He said that because our family was so blessed, enjoying a unique bond of love and sweet fellowship, the Lord had advised him to bring another woman with children into our home to share in our prosperity. He and my mother had been best friends since childhood. Her heart was crushed. She sent him packing, but six months later, received him back into our home, a repentant, but broken man.
Within a decade, God plucked my entire family from the deception of mormonism, except for my dad. Eventually, his temple garments would fail to protect him from the noose he placed around his own neck. I have since discovered that there is a high rate of suicide among people of mormon faith.
Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them… A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matt. 7:15-20
Mormonism does not result in the glorification of God, but in the glorification of men. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, the modern day “prophets.” I cannot count the number of times that I stood before our ward and gave the standard testimony, “I bear my testimony that I know the church is true. That Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the book of mormon is true.” Not once was I taught to glorify Christ as my Savior and the unique Son of God. You know this is true…
When man is exalted, God is not pleased. In Isaiah 42:8, He said, “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.”
Today, I bear witness to you that Jesus Christ is not a god, He is God, the One and Only, and the Savior of all who profess His Name. His blood alone has the power to save, and He does not discriminate by denomination. A man must bow before Him, or perish. It’s that simple. “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever!” Romans 11:36



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sloagm

posted July 9, 2007 at 10:12 am


Jessica: Thank you for being so candid with your experiences. As you share them my heart aches for you and makes me realize the hurt you have experienced at the hands of wicked men. What is also evident is that whomever you are speaking of, they could not be members of the church of Jesus Christ of LDS, unless they were living secretly or deceptively without the knowledge of church leaders. Anyone doing that would be promply excommunicated, and if you were under age, reported to the police. I have seen it happen so I knkow that it happens. Nevertheless, I empathize with your revulsion at the advances of these seriously depraved men.
The fruits of the men you speak of are evident in their actions. Unfortunately many of the individual actions of wicked men spill over into a general belief of the church as a whole. It is illogical to do so, but it is natural. I must vehemently disagree or allow you to generalize the experience you had to the body of the church. We cannot, in a discussion of comparative religion, use the worst experiences of one church with the best experiences of another, it is unfair and subjective, but I understand your misgivings. I’d be pretty opinionated too.
I don’t know who taught what to you or who bore testimony of what to you. The Leaders of the LDS church are special witnesses of Jesus Christ, the first and the last, the Alpha and Omega, the Word from the beginning, He who was with the Father from the beginning, the Creator of the heavens and the earth.
I will not continue debating our points of the Bible. Our tenet explains that God will do his own work, but he let’s men make mistakes, screw up, choose good or evil, after all, he has given that freedom to choose as our first gift. If we didn’t have the ability to choose evil, we would not need the redeeming power of the Savior, which makes His sacrifice even more powerful for me. The loss of plain and precious truths from early scripture was foreseen by God. Just as Adam partaking of the fruit in the Garden was foreseen by God before it happened…
A similar experience in Joseph Smith’s time: Martin Harris asked to take the first 116 pages of Book of Mormon manuscript to his wife to show them to her. The pages were subsequently “stolen” from her bedroom (she was not very partial to Martin Harris’s association with Joseph Smith). God knew this would happen, but he let it happen anyway. He refused to allow Joseph Smith to retranslate those 116 pages, so we are missing 116 pages of the Book of Mormon that we could have had, but don’t. These things do not thwart the works of God. Everything has a purpose, and it is God’s purpose. What we have in the Bible is what God has given, I agree, and that is why the Book of Mormon, to me, is so important, and fits in so perfectly. I believe it is just as much a part of God’s plan as the Bible is. Together they are the stick of Judah (Bible) and the stick of Joseph (Book of Mormon) as propesied by Ezekiel.
My heart goes out to you and the sadness you have experienced in your life. Keep leaning on the arm of your Savior, He will never let you fall. You know that! Keep reading your scriptures for they contain the words of Christ. I know that God does not discriminate by denomination either, he will allow all men to accept him in this life, or those that have never had the opportunity, in the world to come, for all are alike unto God.
I know that Christ did the will of the only one and true God, and that Christ is the Son of God. The idea that we worship multiple gods or believe in other deities is false, utterly false! We worship God our Father, we know of no other gods, nor do we claim to, nor should we. The idea of becoming equal with God is FALSE! A member of the church that believes that because God wishes His children to receive “all that [He] hath” makes us equal with God, is wrong. We will never be equal with Him. He is our Father, and we owe everything and always will owe everything we have, or will have, to Him. That will never change…ever. God is our Father, we lived with him before we came to earth. Christ is our Savior, he was our Savior from the beginning and always will be our Savior. We will be eternally grateful to Christ for his sacrifice. Christ is also the only begotten Son in the flesh. We don’t teach anything depraved about his conception, we know nothing about it other than the scriptural record. We worship no man save Jesus Christ, especially not a prophet. We may have strong feelings for our modern day prophets because of their position as prophets and special witnesses of Christ, but they are in need of the atonement of Christ as much as you or I.
I would hope that with your diligent study of the Biblical prophets you could find a place for reading, at some point, the words of the prophets of the Book of Mormon as well. I would never ask you to go back to a place that has obviously given you so much pain in the past. God is infinitely more cognizant of how to comfort you that you or I am, so I trust that He will continue to take your burdens as you allow Him. But I would leave you with this quote from the departing words of the prophet Nephi shortly before he died around 540 B.C., found in the 33rd chapter of 2nd Nephi.
1 And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I amighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.
2 But behold, there are many that harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, that it hath no place in them; wherefore, they cast many things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught.
3 But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry.
4 And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal.
5 And it speaketh harshly against sin, according to the plainness of the truth; wherefore, no man will be angry at the words which I have written save he shall be of the spirit of the devil.
6 I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.
7 I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment-seat.
8 I have charity for the Jew—I say Jew, because I mean them from whence I came.
9 I also have charity for the Gentiles. But behold, for none of these can I hope except they shall be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the strait path which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation.
10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.
11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.
12 And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day.
13 And now, my beloved brethren, all those who are of the house of Israel, and all ye ends of the earth, I speak unto you as the voice of one crying from the dust: Farewell until that great day shall come.



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Jessica

posted July 9, 2007 at 11:45 am


I appreciate your words of heartfelt encouragement, Sloagm. And I realized that by sharing my personal experiences, my position would be undermined in your eyes. But you misunderstand my motives. I am no victim in need of comfort. God has already healed those old wounds, and even greater, has used them for His glory. Nothing has been wasted. The words of Joseph (son of Jacob) come to mind, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20 I only share the sinister core hidden within the decorative shell, which intellectual discussion would choose to ignore.
May the Lord bless and keep you…



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Dan

posted July 9, 2007 at 12:11 pm


Thank you Sloagm. Your patience and typing speed far exceed my own.
I’m going to bow out now with one final note.
It is a common and shameful practice of Evangelical Christians who hate the LDS church to pose as disillusioned former members. They do this in an attempt to shake those who are weak in the faith. I’m afraid that I believe “Jessica” falls into this category. I have suspected this from her very first post one of the other threads. With each additional post I have grown more certain of this. The formulaic responses, inconsistency in the progressively more fantastical story and lack of understanding of some pretty basic LDS stuff lead me to this conclusion.
“Jessica”, I ask your forgiveness if I am wrong.
I offer sincere best wishes to all of you. I often wonder if this kind of discussion bears any fruit at all. I wonder if discussing sacred doctrines with those who despise them is actually wrong. I know that it makes my heart sick to see sacred and beautiful truths smeared by those who really don’t care if they are true or not. Sloagms patient expouning of history the scriptures was very well done. I hope that you will note that not one of them was logically or spiritually refuted. I hope that I also defended the church well in my own way.
If you would really like to know about our Church and its beliefs, I plead with you to be careful what source you look to. There are indeed a lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing out there. Read the Book of Mormon and take the question directly to the Lord. He will answer you in your heart and in your mind.



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Danny

posted July 9, 2007 at 12:13 pm


Thank you Jessica. You have encouraged me in laying down my strivings and relying solely on the blood of Christ.
Rock of Ages



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Dan

posted July 9, 2007 at 12:53 pm


I would also like to note that I don’t want to paint all Evangelicals with the same brush. My previous post probably made it sound that way. I apologize.
I suspect that we will be working together a lot in the coming years as the world grows more wicked.
OK. Now I’m really done. :)



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Jessica

posted July 9, 2007 at 12:58 pm


I do forgive you, Dan…for I do have a thorough understanding of the doctrine of mormonism. But I have long determined that it is much more fruitful to proclaim the truth than attempt to untangle the intricate web of mormon deception. My pursuit is to exalt Christ and expose evil.
May your admirable zeal be redirected, from defending a church to glorifying its Savior. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” (Galatians 2:20-21)
Simply to the cross I cling…



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sloagm

posted July 9, 2007 at 3:08 pm


Jessica, after suffering through such sadness your perspective is amazing. I am awed by your optimism, which has come as you let the Savior heal you. Dan, I just can’t believe that Jessica would be dishonest about such a sensitive subject, and I don’t believe it. After all, I have the benefit of trusting her at face value…or “blog handle” value anyway. It is unfortunate that you have encountered people like that in your “virtual” life.
For what its worth, and at this point I don’t think it’s worth much, I (and I likely speak for Dan too) do not call protestants or catholics non-christians. I think they are great and wonderful people! I think there are many that have strong testimonies of Christ. I only wish to defend my own testimony of Christ to those that would claim that I am entangled in the “intricate web of mormon deception.” All I can say is: please don’t. I’d be happy to discuss whatever you want to any time, but these are things I really hold dear and as I empathize with your past sufferings, please empathize with mine as someone that feels attacked by people who should be my friends.
To those who struggle, I would hope that we could stand with Jessica and her friends as a city that is set on hilla . And to those that seek our collective or individual downfall I would hope that we could stand with a common front, and defend one another to the end.
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. (Helaman 5:12)
Peace out…



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Jessica

posted July 9, 2007 at 3:42 pm


You have a pure heart, Sloagm, and I appreciate your defense, although honestly, it never occurred to me that “Dan” was insinuating that my name is not “Jessica” and that my story was contrived, until I read your subsequent post. Deceitfulness always catches me by surprise. I suppose that I am much too naive for this arena…
For the record… The Tyler, Texas ward can check their archives. A young girl named, Jessica, spoke at the opening of their new building on Shiloh Road.
God bless, gentlemen…



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Dan

posted July 9, 2007 at 3:45 pm


Sloagm:
Your more peacable approach is probably better than mine. Thank you. Although you will notice that she did not deny it.
A parting Scripture:
James 2:17-26
17 Even so faith, if it hath not bworks, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is bjustified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Now I’m really really done. :-)



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Dan

posted July 9, 2007 at 3:59 pm


Once again, if I am wrong then I ask your forgiveness. I have been wrong before.



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sloagm

posted July 9, 2007 at 4:36 pm


Jessica: I’m from Alberta, Canada. Lethbridge to be exact. Were you visiting someone in Alberta when you went up there with your family all the way from Texas? Are you from there? If so what town? I’m just wondering if we know some of the same people. Likely not since you said that you spoke at the dedication of your church building in Tyler, Texas as a young girl.
But you said that you went to the temple in Alberta with your family. My wife and I were married in the Cardston temple, so I was wondering what you may have been doing all the way up in the Great White North. I’m always looking to talk to fellow Canadians down here. I’m still getting acclimatized to the weather in the Carolinas…



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Jessica

posted July 9, 2007 at 6:00 pm


My father was a crop duster in North Dakota before moving us to Texas where he became a professional pilot for a private oil company. One of the perks was that the company allowed us to occasionally join him on trips to fun places. We often caught flights to the north to see my relatives who still lived in Tioga and Drayton. And on one of those trips, we went all the way to the temple in Alberta. I still remember driving through the beautiful countryside where the wild mountain goats (at least I think they were goats, maybe sheep) would come right up to the car and eat out of our hands.
Because my father did not want to raise us in the city of Houston, we moved to the East Texas countryside near Tyler, which is where I grew up. He commuted in his own planes to Houston where he flew out of Hobby Airport. I now live with my husband and three teenage daughters in the Dallas area.
And although it is probably unwise to use real identities on this type of forum, my name is Jessica. (I’m sorry to have to tell you, Dan…but you were wrong… Keep in mind, Dan, you and I are not enemies. It is our doctrines that are incompatible.)
My heart is deeply burdened for all mormons because I know what you believe and why you believe it. I know that you see Christians as adversaries used by the enemy to strike blows against the “true church”. You might be amazed to discover how rarely mormonism is even discussed amongst evangelicals.
But after years of prayer and study, I know (with unshakable, Spirit-filled conviction) that mormonism is false. What makes it so dangerous in its deception is that there are shreds of truth which give it a ring of credibility.
I suspect, Sloagm, that you have found a personal relationship with Christ through the Spirit’s enlightenment, leading you to discover and focus on truth about Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Your faith is not invested fully in the church, but in Christ. You do not exercise blind faith. Men have disappointed you too many times. You have concerns that the church has become man-centered rather than Christ-centered, and you know that is a shaky foundation.
Christ will not compromise his deity for the sake of unity. He was, is, and always will be One of the three Persons of the Trinity. Jesus is not a created being, like Lucifer. He is eternal and equal with the Father, although serving a different function. It is by faith we are saved, and it is through continued faithfulness that we will one day be rewarded, which is what James explained to the early Church.
There are no other populated worlds beyond the world in which we live…no other gods ruling over other planets… Men do not become gods of their own worlds in the afterlife because they have progressed from precept to precept in this life.
Our purpose in this world is not about self-progression, but Christ-glorification. We were created for His glory…and to that end, all believers will one day stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account.
I long for the day that we will all stand on the same grassy knoll, worshiping at the feet of our Savior. But complete surrender to Christ, not progression in knowledge, is the key to glorification… the privilege of spending eternity, worshipping the Lamb who will dwell in our midst as our Lord and King. And I do believe that His return is drawing very near…
My prayer is that Jesus will clarify to you truth from fiction. If you belong to Him, You will recognize His voice. Follow Him, wherever He leads. It is often in brokenness that His glory shines the brightest. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3
God bless…



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Dan

posted July 9, 2007 at 6:06 pm


That’s OK. If I’m wrong I’m wrong. The fact that you are who I thought you weren’t doesn’t change any of the discussion we had. :-)



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Dan

posted July 9, 2007 at 6:39 pm


If this is indeed the end of the conversation, then I believe it has ended on the correct note. Both sides are trying to make an appeal to the spirit. If we both really do that, I’m sure we’ll all end up on the right side of things.
I’m not remotely satisfied by any of your posts, and you clearly are not by mine, but it has been fruitful and faith building in my own life. Please be assured that I know that I would never be saved by my own efforts. I sometimes thing that the whole faith vs. works thing is an argument more about semantics than substance. The only real way Faith is manifest through works and obediance.
Anyway. I’m starting again. I must stop now!! I really don’t have time for this. :-)



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sloagm

posted July 9, 2007 at 6:51 pm


Jessica: There are both sheep and goats but the ones that come up to your car are sheep. Glad you liked the area, it is beautiful and I miss it immensely sometimes.
This has been a great experience and I appreciate your convictions Jessica. I absolutely do not consider you the enemy of the “true church.” I don’t think you would find a single criticism of yours or any church on the LDS Church website, or in any of our curriculum. That is not what we are about at all. Though some members may take it upon themselves to do so.
Christ knows your heart, and he knows my heart. When and where we accept all that He has for us will be for Him to judge in his infinite mercy and goodness. God blesses His children as much as they will let Him, no matter what religion they belong to, that is what a loving parent does.
Thankfully, we don’t have to determine what blessings each one of us gets. I think, as siblings often are, we would be much too hard on each other, and it takes the wisdom of a kind and gentle, even perfect parent to gently reprimand us and tell us to be nicer to our sisters and brothers. When we do, He blesses us even more.



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GB

posted July 9, 2007 at 8:56 pm


Jessica you said “He is eternal and equal with the Father, although serving a different function.”
Just curious but how do you resolve your statement with
John 14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
And
John 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
And
John 13:16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
I am no math scholar but “greater than” is mutually exclusive to “equal”.
Other than that, I appreciate you concern for the welfare of my soul. If it is as you say that “It is by faith we are saved, and it is through continued faithfulness that we will one day be rewarded, which is what James explained to the early Church” then you can rest at ease. For we faithful mormons will do just fine under that criteria, as will you.



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Jessica

posted July 10, 2007 at 1:19 am


I absolutely agree with you, GB. A glorified man has no power to save…but the glorified Son of God has the power to save all who believe in Him, regardless of denomination.
Just a bit of algebra…
If A=B and B=C, then A=C
If the Father = God
and God = Jesus
Then Father = Jesus.
Both are equally and eternally God, but serve different functions within the Trinity. And in their different functions, the Father certainly takes the lead and the Son submits to His Will.
To clarify further in regards to Three Persons, One God:
The Father is God.
Jesus is God.
The Holy Spirit is God.
But,
The Father is not Jesus.
Jesus is not the Father.
The Holy Spirit is not either…
Three Persons…One God…Equally, Eternally Divine…Serving Different Functions
—————————–
I hear your heart, Sloagm…and your gentle reprimand. God bless…
And by the way, Dan… Your zeal makes me smile. I grew up on a farm (yes, it is true…) And we used to invite the young missionaries out to our place to relax and spend time with our family. They weren’t supposed to ride horses, but we never told on them. We used to have lots of fun watching those young Utah boys bounce up and down in the saddle. :>)
I don’t know how old you are, but your intensity has a sincere ring to it that reminds me of those young men.
May we all set our hearts of the glory of the Son until we behold Him face to face… He is coming!



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sloagm

posted July 10, 2007 at 8:07 am


Jessica, that’s interesting. Your definition of God is pretty much what the LDS church teaches: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost. We call it the Godhead, and they are three distinct personages as you said: the Father is not Jesus, Jesus is not the Father, the Holy Ghost is not either.
We do believe that God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are “One” as the scriptures state. But this, as you point out, is not a metaphysical identity, it is a perfect oneness of purpose. Perfect.
In terms of equality. Our belief is that Jesus is God, in all that that definition encompasses in terms of divinity and perfection, he is perfect and glorious. But Christ sits at the right hand (literally) of the Father, Christ is our advocate with the Father. Christ stated that all glory be given to the Father, so Christ defers all glory and honor to the Father, for He always did the Father’s will and fulfilled the Father’s eternal purposes when he came to earth.
We do not believe that this negates the gloriousness of God the Son, we believe that Christ is the head of our church (even the head of the corner), for it is His church called after His name, but we pray, as Christ taught us, directly to the Father…our Father, in the name of Christ.
Our understanding is that we pray to the Father, but as the perfect Father, He answers our prayers and leads through Christ and the Holy Ghost. Christ, in turn, leads and directs His work on earth through prophets and apostles. Families are (ideally) led and guided by Fathers and mothers, the earthly, and most important method that God uses for our nurture and blessing.
We show gratitude and humility to both the Father, for He is God of all, and the Son, for He accomplished all the works that His Father has had him do, and it is only through Christ that we are saved. All are God, members of the Godhead (you say Trinity), but all are separate and distinct, perfect, glorious, loving, just, merciful, omnipotent, omniscient.
I’m glad you explained that so clearly. I was under a very different impression of your beliefs regarding the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.



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Jessica

posted July 10, 2007 at 9:58 am


I was taught growing up that Christians believed that Father, Son and Holy Spirit were all one Person which obviously did not line up with Scripture. What a wonderful discovery to find out differently… We do believe in One God, Three Persons…
However…
Do you believe that Jesus is just as divine, just as holy, just as supreme, just as “without sin” as the Father? Or do you believe that Jesus was once a created being who lived on earth, progressing from precept to precept, until achieving divinity?
And one step beyond that…do you believe that the Father was once created as well?
Finally, do you believe that there are other Godheads of other universes?



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Dan

posted July 10, 2007 at 11:14 am


I’m afraid that I will be 32 tomorrow.
As for my zeal. I have always loved dicsussing the gospel. I generally don’t do message boards where something is being debated. I get to emotionally involved and end up wasting a ton of time on the internet. :-)



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sloagm

posted July 10, 2007 at 11:58 am


Indeed we do believe that Jesus is just as divine, just as holy, just as “without sin” as the Father. On the supremacy point, I return to the fact that Jesus always did the will of His Father, and turned all glory to His Father. However, His supremacy as God and as a member of the Godhead are without question.
There was a man at the time of the tower of Babel who was commanded by the Lord to build barges for him and his family. The barges were commanded to be windowless, and he approached the Lord with the problem of lighting the interior of the barges. The man moltened 16 smooth stones and asked the Lord to touch the stones with His finger to cause them to give light in the barges. This is his account of seeing God (Jesus Christ) before He came to earth:
6 And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one with his finger. And the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was as the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood; and the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with fear.
7 And the Lord saw that the brother of Jared had fallen to the earth; and the Lord said unto him: Arise, why hast thou fallen?
8 And he saith unto the Lord: I saw the finger of the Lord, and I feared lest he should smite me; for I knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood.
9 And the Lord said unto him: Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood; and never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it not so ye could not have seen my finger. Sawest thou more than this?
10 And he answered: Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me.
11 And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak?
12 And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.
13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.
14 Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.
15 And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.
16 Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.
So we do believe that Christ was the God of the OT, and was with the Father from the beginning. When he came to earth He lived a life without sin, otherwise He would not have had the capacity to atone for the sins of all men, and women. It was His divinity that allowed Him to break the bands of death, to choose to die, and take up His life again.
While on earth I believe He had the capacity to sin as any of us do. His divine perfection is that He never did…ever. Without the capacity to sin, not sinning is no great feat, because there is no choice, there is no morality in it. But while in the flesh, He chose the right at every instance. He was tempted and had the option presented to give in, but never did. Just as He was Master before he came to earth, He was Master in the flesh, and is Master eternally.
We believe that we all come from the presence of God our Father, that He is the Father of our spirits that were created before we came to earth. We believe that we, as His children, progressed to the point that he wanted to send us to earth for the next step in our lives.
At that time, we believe that Christ was still with the Father and in all respects, God, and our eldest brother. When or how he came to that status is not taught, but we know that Christ created the heavens and the earth upon which we live under the direction of God the Father long before He came to earth.
The other questions you ask, thankfully, do not play into my faith in Christ. The origins of the existence of God the Father, and other universes do not really pertain to me or my faith in what Christ has done for me personally.
The account of Moses as he talked with God about how the world was created.
30 And it came to pass that Moses called upon God, saying: Tell me, I pray thee, why these things are so, and by what thou madest them?
31 And behold, the glory of the Lord was upon Moses, so that Moses stood in the presence of God, and talked with him face to face. And the Lord God said unto Moses: For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me.
32 And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth.
I think the most important thing we need to remember is that there are things that, in the wisdom of God, remain with Him. I know that I worship only one God and His Son who was with Him from the beginning.
On your other questions:
1. Do I believe God was created? I don’t know that the church has an official teaching on that subject. I know that church leaders have spoken about it in the past, but I don’t think that the church has anything official on the subject, which leads me to believe that it isn’t a core doctrine, otherwise it would be much more front and center to our faith.
2. Godheads of other Universes? I don’t know anything about that, nor would I really care at this point. It might be fun to discuss, but knowing that would not change my complete reliance on the Savior Jesus Christ and the fact that His teachings and sacrifice are the center of my faith.



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Jessica

posted July 10, 2007 at 4:44 pm


You are giving me a very official version of the doctrine, which reflects what I trust that you truly believe, Sloagm. As I had posted previously, I have discerned your faith in the essential truths of the gospel (which is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…).
However, I dare to disagree that the question as to whether God is a created being is as unessential to your core doctrines as you suggest. (And I tremble to think how important that question is to God Himself who is jealous for His glory.) It is not a doctrine presented in the missionary lessons, to be sure. But it is a natural corollary of the mormon “plan of salvation.”
And I do not intend to be condescending when I mention other Godheads of other planets. The mormon doctrine does teach that the ultimate purpose of man is to progress from precept to precept until attaining perfection. The inheritance of those who succeed are kingdoms beyond our known heaven and earth, which become populated worlds just as earth was populated through the offspring of Adam and Eve.
“As man is, God once was. As God is, man will become.”
The idea of the pre-existence is very dear to the heart of your faith. You believe that we existed prior to the creation of “this” world, and that we lived in the very presence of God. You believe that when we are born, we are born in a perfect state of being. If my memory serves me correctly, one of the articles of faith goes something like “We believe that man will be punished for his own sins, and not for Adam’s transgressions.”
Therefore, you do not believe in original sin. You do not believe that we are born with a fallen sin nature inherited from our father Adam (in the flesh) that is enslaved to sin (as Paul teaches in Romans) and is in immediate need of redemption. You believe that we are basically good people, and at birth, we are as perfect as the divine until contaminated by the world’s influence.
You believe that Jesus is the source of forgiveness that God provided so that we can be forgiven of our sins (which requires an ongoing sin-by-sin process of confession and repentance) allowing us to regain and maintain our original sinless state of being.
So those who were children of God in the pre-existence providentially come to faith in the one true church in order to participate in the ordinances of the temple, sealing their marriages and families for eternity, and regaining their divine nature in the process. And thus begins the path to the divine. (Of course, once man eventually inherits his own world to populate, it reasons that polygamy may need to be reinstituted in order to facilitate the populating of a new world.)
Does it not strike you that these doctrines center around man’s exaltation?
Such doctrines appeal to the pride nature of man who from the beginning has desired to become like God. That was the original ploy of satan in the garden who began by questioning the integrity of God’s Word, “Did God really say…” (Gen 3:1) satan always tries to undermine God’s Word, turning His periods (.) into question marks (?). If Eve had not allowed a talking serpent to distract her, she might have remembered God’s clearly stated warning, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Gen 2:17)
Then satan appealed to their basic desires, the same desire he himself experienced before being cast from God’s presence (yes, evangelicals acknowledge that satan was a created angel who rebelled against the throne of God and was cast down to earth. That is not unique to mormonism. But unlike mormonism, we believe that Jesus was never an angel on the same plane as lucifer. Jesus was, is and always will be God.)
Next, satan blatantly denied God’s authority. He told Eve, “You will not surely die…For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4-5) The father of lies is the founder of the doctrine that man has the potential of becoming like God.
satan succeeded in convincing Eve that she did not need to take God’s Word literally. he said, “You will not surely die…” and she believed him. She ate the forbidden fruit and we all know what happened next. She and Adam did not become like gods. Instead, just as God had warned, they died. Adam and Eve died, and their children died…people have been dying ever since. A daily reminder that God’s Word is to be taken seriously…it is everlasting…and true.
Adam and Eve did not sacrifice immortality in an honorable quest for wisdom, as mormonism suggests. They defied God and died… Death entered the world, and we have all been dying since then. We are all born under the curse of death (spiritual and physical)… And it is only through Christ that we are redeemed from death and receive new life.
This new life is eternal, but not divine… The Holy Ghost/Spirit comes to dwell in us, but that does not make us gods. Christ came to this earth, but that did not change earth into heaven. When God’s Spirit dwells in us, He is divine and we are blessed with His indwelling Presence. He is our Comforter, Teacher…God with us. And He teaches us how to live in order to glorify God.
We were not created for the purpose of becoming gods, but glorifying God…Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We were created for God-glorification, not self-exaltation.
Although our doctrines appear similar, these are some of the incompatible differences. Doctrines that exalt man and twist God’s precious truths into lies have nothing to do with Who He is and His plan of eternal salvation.



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Dan

posted July 10, 2007 at 5:03 pm


You’ve got it mostly right, but there are some definite add ins there, that are not part of our doctrine. Maybe I will have time later. For example we were all God’s children in the pre-existance, not just those who ended up in the church.
Belief that the Fall was part of God’s wisdom certainly isn’t unique to the LDS church either.
Sorry for not expounding. I’m trying to limit myself to short posts.



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Dan

posted July 10, 2007 at 5:20 pm


Man I have bad spelling!



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GB

posted July 10, 2007 at 5:20 pm


Jessica: Such doctrines appeal to the pride nature of man who from the beginning has desired to become like God.
GB: That is interesting. To become like our Heavenly Father, who is perfectly humble, appeals to our pride. So our pride will lead us to be perfectly humble?
Jessica: Next, satan blatantly denied God’s authority. He told Eve, “You will not surely die…For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4-5) The father of lies is the founder of the doctrine that man has the potential of becoming like God.
GB: No, satan did what he does quite often. He covered his lie with a statement of truth. Gen 3: 22 ¶ And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Jessica: We were not created for the purpose of becoming gods, but glorifying God…Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
GB: They are not mutually exclusive. One adds glory to God by becoming like him.
As an aside satan sought to become God and displace the Father by using his own plan. Mormons work to become like Jesus by using His plan. Very big difference.



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sloagm

posted July 10, 2007 at 6:41 pm


Hi Jessica: I think you got a lot of it right. We do believe that the fall of Adam introduced death into the world. In God’s eternal wisdom, our belief is that the fall was part of God’s plan. Nevertheless it was a transgression of law and upon that act occurring, we required a Savior.
We absolutely believe that everyone requires the sacrifice of the Savior immediately upon coming into this world, and that everyone is redeemed through the Savior’s death and ressurrection. However, while we do believe that everyone that arrives on earth immediately requires the Savior, we also believe that we are punished for our own sins. These are two separate, but eternal purposes for which Christ suffered and died for us.
We believe that Christ’s sacrifice redeems everyone from the consequences of the fall…namely death. But we also believe that beyond that, God only punishes sin, so we are only judged to the extent of the knowledge that we have. E.g. little children are redeemed from the consequences of the fall through Christ, but they are nevertheless sinless and innocent and have no need of repentance…BUT they still need Christ’s sacrifice. Indeed we believe the following:
19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. (Mosiah 3:19)
We do not believe that becoming like Christ, and like His Father is self-exalting, it is exactly what they have commanded us to do. Indeed it is supremely humbling to me. And I can’t do it without their help. My tendency, when I think about it, is to fall to my knees in gratitude for everything He would do for me, who am less than the dust of the earth. And yet He knows me personally, infinitely better than I know myself.
I a previous post I explained that no matter what we do in the eternities, it will never negate our eternal need for the Savior’s sacrifice here and now. We can never escape it. He has bought us eternally with His blood, and that will never change. No matter what mansions God has in store for us, no matter whether he makes us “ruler over many things.” It will always be His gift to us. We will never get away from it, nor will we want to. We aren’t trying to escape from under Christ’s thumb, or pay back a debt to which we will someday be released, we will praise His name forever and try to come ever closer to Him. It will be perfect love in perfect unity. It is a feeling of perfect joy, that we cannot even understand right now.
Whatever He has in store for us. We will continue to be instruments in His hands. Whatever work that is, it will be His work that He will allow us to participate in.
God allows us to participate in bringing His children to earth and attempt to raise and nurture them as he would have us do, but it is His work in which we participate. Likewise, if God has a work for us to do in the eternities it remains His work. Anytime that we do His will it exalts Him, so whatever work He has us do, we will gladly do it, and bring glory to His name. That is the greatest form of worship that I can think of.



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Dan

posted July 10, 2007 at 10:51 pm


Jessica you said: Therefore, you do not believe in original sin. You do not believe that we are born with a fallen sin nature inherited from our father Adam (in the flesh) that is enslaved to sin (as Paul teaches in Romans) and is in immediate need of redemption. You believe that we are basically good people, and at birth, we are as perfect as the divine until contaminated by the world’s influence.
Me: this deserves some clarification. It’s true that we don’t believe in the idea of Original Sin. All of the Article of Faith is saying is that we are punished only for the sins we commit. We believe that children are born innocent (meaning they haven’t yet commited a sin). That is a long way from as “perfect as the divine”. From the time we enter this world we are prone to all sorts of sin and mischief as the scripture Sloagm quotes pointed out. Children although they are born fallen in the flesh, are not capapble of commiting sin, because they have no understanding of sin. That is why we don’t baptise until what we call the age of accountablity at age 8. See Moroni Chaper 8 http://scriptures.lds.org/en/moro/8
I’m curious what you do about orginal sin in little children. If I have read your posts correctlty you don’t see baptism as a necessary ordinance.



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Jessica

posted July 10, 2007 at 10:58 pm


First, Dan I want to apologize for imagining that you were a young missionary. We have both discovered the danger of relying on first impressions, haven’t we? Have a blessed birthday tomorrow…
GB…There is a difference between desiring to bear the fruit of the Spirit in Christ-likeness…and desiring to become God. I used “like God” because of satan’s use of the term in Genesis. satan was not suggesting to Eve that she would become godly in a God-honoring way. he was suggesting that she could become powerful and sovereign and perfectly wise like God.
There is definitely a difference between surrendering to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives in order to glorify Christ through godly living (Christ-likeness)…and striving to become gods ourselves in the sense of power and purpose (i.e. populating and reigning over your own world.) One leads to a greater measure of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (the fruit of the Spirit). The other leads to rebellion against God. Obviously satan had the latter in mind when he confronted Eve in the garden, as it resulted in his own expulsion from God’s presence.
The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) is not borne through effort, but through surrender. As we surrender to the Holy Spirit, He transforms us from the inside out, sanctifying us (making us holy as God is holy). God’s power working in us and through us enables us to begin to live godly lives that glorify our Savior. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. (John 15:5) “‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit’ says the Lord.” (Zech. 4:6)
Dan, you said, “Belief that the Fall was part of God’s wisdom certainly isn’t unique to the LDS church either.” Any person, church, denomination that teaches that the Fall was part of God’s wisdom is speaking heresy. satan instigated the episode in the garden. God is not the author of sin.
Finally…Sloagm, my brother in Christ… There is a difference between God having foreknowledge of the Fall…and it being His “plan.” Rethink that… It was one of the first light bulbs that went on for me. God always has a better plan than we would ever choose for ourselves. His best would have resulted in our perfect wisdom, including the knowledge of good and evil, without having to experience sin.
God has perfect knowledge, even of evil, yet He has never experienced sin. That would have been His best for His children. Unfortunately, the flesh of Adam and Eve won over their trust in the perfect love and provision of their Divine Father. Bound by our fallen nature, we naturally follow the path of our father Adam, until through faith, Christ redeems us and sets us free to once again enter into fellowship with our Father God.
Also, your belief that Christ died for the entire world…blanket redemption…denies the necessity of personal faith, and the existence of hell…both clearly taught in the New Testament. Of course, mormonism addresses this obvious inconsistency with the Bible by recreating the notion of heaven…three kingdoms instead of one. It’s a race to the top through good works. And hell is reserved for the apostates (which according to mormonism, would include me.)
I daresay, though, that you are an exception amongst many of your peers (no offense to Dan and GB)…and proof that the gospel is not bound by denomination. Your desire to worship the Lamb, now and in the eternal, reveals the condition of your heart. God led me, as a mormon, to focus on the Christ-centered doctrine and my heart grew increasingly committed to His glory as He met me in times of brokenness.
I watched and listened with great concern as pride became the controlling force amongst many of my mormon peers, who in the absence of a personal, living relationship with Christ, turned their admiration inward and outward, rarely upwards.
As an experiment, during your next fast and testimony service, count the number of times you hear the Name of Christ mentioned as the object of worship in testimonies shared. How many times do you hear the words redemption, blood, and the cross… And if Christ is not the object of each testmony, what is? “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:21)



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Terry

posted July 11, 2007 at 2:13 am


Interesting reading, all. Too much to be able to comment on in one post, so I’ll confine myself to a comment Jessica made in her last post.
The LDS understanding of the atonement does not deniy the the necessesity of personal faith or the existance of hell, both of which LDS believe strongly in. Christ’s atonement is conditional, available to all who repent and accept him as their Savior. In that sense, it truly is a “blanket redemption” because it is made available to all.
A race to the top through good works? There may be some LDS who think that way (although in my 50+ years in the chruch, I’ve met darn few of them), for most LDS I’ve ever known, good works are done because of their love of God and a desire to help others. Good works is not what gets a person to heaven. If that were the case, the attonement would have been unnecessary. That said, good works does provide proof of our true faith. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt 5:16) If we do good works for our own glory, those works will become as “filthy rags”. If we do good works for God’s glory, then our heart is on the path God wants it on.
I’ve appreciated Jessica’s comments, though I have not been surprised that she thinks she knows more about LDS doctrine and beliefs than LDS do. It’s a common but incorrect assumption amoung those who take it upon themselves to educate us poor, deceived Mormons about the error of our ways.



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Terry

posted July 11, 2007 at 8:41 am


Jessica states: “However, I dare to disagree that the question as to whether God is a created being is as unessential to your core doctrines as you suggest.”
Interesting situation we have here. The question is whether or not God is a created being. Sloagm points out, correctly so, that the church has no official doctrine on the matter, and therefore, the question is not essential to our (LDS) core beliefs. Well stated on sloagm’s part.
On the other side, we have Jessica disagreeing, and to prove her point, using the “as man is, God once was…” etc. quote.
A common tatic with the self-appointed judges of Mormon beliefs and doctrine is to use quotes from early church leaders and present those quotes as official doctrine. (Or argue that the quote qualifies as official doctrine based solely on the fact that a church leader uttered it.) The truth is, whether or not God was a created being is NOT essential to LDS core beliefs. I personally don’t beleive that he was created. He has always existed.



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sloagm

posted July 11, 2007 at 8:48 am


Jessica: Thanks again for your kind words. You are right when you said that God’s spirit works on people regardless of denomination. That applies to people within the LDS faith too. God is not a respecter of persons. He loves us all equally and blesses us whenever we allow Him to.
The Savior was chosen from the beginning. Long before the fall, Christ became our Savior. Hence, we believe that the fall was an extremely important part of the plan of God. Without the fall there would be no need of a Savior, and the Savior was chosen from the beginning, even before the world was created.
We do not think that you are an apostate that will be cast down to hell. How can you think that? We believe that God is infinitely merciful to all His children, His judgements are just. You are living a very good life, you have a testimony of the Savior. God knows your desires. You are good. Most people on earth are good people. After all, they are God’s children. However, they have to overcome the tendencies of the flesh as I stated through Mosiah 3:19.
As for Christ experiencing sin. He never sinned, but He experienced, vicariously, every single sickness, infirmity, sin, evil that man has, or ever will undertake. He did so vicariously for us.
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
14 Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.
The fall of Adam was a necessary part of the plan of God. This is what we believe. 2 Nephi 2:22
22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
25 Adam fell that men might be; and men care, that they might have joy.
This is our belief. Nevertheless, we still do not think you are lost to God. That is completely contrary to our idea of the perfect justice and mercy of God.
The pride of the members of your ward? Well, considering that you left the church before you were out of young womens, I can understand that you may have seen some pride amongst the young women. But let me tell you, you haven’t seen pride until you have served with some of the people I’ve known in the church.
But I can also say that I have served with some of the kindest, most generous, loving, thoughtful, grateful, and humble people too. That’s just how it goes Jessica. We’re all human…no better or worse than the next guy. We’re doing our best. We try and do what Christ would have us do, and sometimes we don’t live up to it. When we don’t, we try to change and do better and give up more of our prideful ways.
All Christ asks is that we keep trying. We’re not all at the same point of maturity in the gospel. God doesn’t expect us all to be at the same point even at the end of our lives. For Christ rewards the laborers in his vineyard the same, regardless of when they arrive. We just keep plugging away and relying on Christ to take our yoke upon him. That is our hope. That is your hope too. And it is my greatest hope that we meet Christ one day, unashamed, and washed clean, with our families and loved ones. That means you too Jessica…



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sloagm

posted July 11, 2007 at 9:05 am


I believe that I mispoke when I said that Christ experienced all our sins. The scripture states that he experienced the suffering for all our sins. So there is a distinction there on the sin front. But he did suffer “for” our sins.
…nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people. (alma 7:12)
So while I was correct in saying that he suffered the infirmities of His people, I don’t believe he suffered the satiating naturalistic sensations that succumbing to sin provides to the natural man. Rather, he suffered the consequences of sin, the suffering for sin.
Either way, I can’t pretend to comprehend even the slightest amount of what he bore.



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sloagm

posted July 11, 2007 at 9:26 am


I also misquoted one word from 2 Nephi 2:25…it should say:
Adam fell that men might be; and men “are,” that they might have joy.



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Jessica

posted July 11, 2007 at 10:05 am


Thank you, Sloagm. God has shown me in a very special (unique) way where your heart is. He plants us in His vineyard wherever it suits His ultimate purposes, doesn’t He? His ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours…and yet He stoops to make Himself known.
Before my final sign-off… My brother reminded me yesterday that my grandfather (a non-mormon) actually helped to build the temple in Alberta. (Harry Chester…yes, Dan, that was really his name…God bless him.) You have a beautiful home there in Alberta, but nothing compared to the glory that awaits us when Christ comes for His own.
Pride is no respector of religions, either, is it? Just reading some of the disrespectful banter going on between men/women (on both sides) claiming to know Christ speaks for itself. It’s very sad…
My father made some (serious) mistakes, but he was much kinder than most of the Christians/Mormons I have met. His unconditional love prepared my heart for the love of my Savior and Father God. And that kind of love covers a multitude of sins… In many ways, he was my hero, which my mother used to repeatedly warn me about. (Men do make very poor gods…) In the final days of his life, after my mom’s early death, he spent a lot of time alone. But every Sunday morning, he would get up and serve himself the Sacrament. And bless his heart, his shorts were never quite long enough to cover his garments. How I loved him…
Our dialogue has been comforting to me… He and I used to explore our faith much like you and I have on this forum…respectfully but firmly. I never budged…and neither did he. But we loved just as firmly.
I have a wonderful husband and beautiful daughters who love the Lord with breathless passion. The are presently on a construction mission trip in Colorado, building a Christian retreat center in the mountains for severely wounded veterans returning from the war.
I stayed behind this trip, as my classes at Dallas Seminary are quite challenging and the reading load is heavy. How did I end up in seminary? I have no idea… My pursuit of God has led to some very interesting places. For the past three years, I taught a weekly Bible study class of 350+ women. Not once did I mention mormonism from the pulpit.
Keep the faith, Sloagm. Exalt the name of Christ and warn your brothers who have lost their love and respect for the Word of God. I promise to do the same. And I have no doubt that we will one day gather around the same throne to sing…in one accord…the praises of our King. He is worthy…
And by the way, I am still not voting for Romney… ;>)
In the love and light of Christ, Jessica Taylor



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sloagm

posted July 11, 2007 at 10:50 am


Thanks Jessica…my name is Garret.
…and thanks to the eloquent responses from Dan, Terry, GB, Danny and yes, even the comic relief from the Silly Interloper.



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Jeff

posted July 11, 2007 at 11:40 am


Dr Mohler,
Thank you for proclaiming the truth. I admire you and cannot think of any one else in this day in time that I would want to argue this other than you. Thank you for not waivering. I pray that many can see the truth and the Holy Spirit will work in their hearts and bring them to saving faith.
Jeff
Charleston, SC



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Darlene Bailey

posted July 11, 2007 at 5:37 pm


It surprises me a great deal that Mr. Mohler addresses the issue of “orthodox” Christianity as the basis of belief. Being a Southern Baptist myself, it saddens me to hear him refer to “men’s writings of orthodoxy”. Unless I overlooked it, he didn’t once mention THE BIBLE AS THE SOLE SOURCE OF OUR DOCTRINE AND BELIEF. HE NEVER QUOTED SCRIPTURE AND SHARE WHY MORMONISM IS WRONG according to GOD’S WORD; AND THUS DOES NOT BRING OUT THAT MORMOMISM IS WRONG BECAUSE IT DOES NOT FOLLOW WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES.
The Southern Baptist’s don’t have all the truth, nor does any other Chrisitan faith – THE BIBLE IS OUR SOLE SOURCE OF FAITH AND BELIEF. May God help us all if we can’t quote the Bible and show why we believe what we do. The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit and pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. It is through the preaching of the Word of God that the Holy Spirit opens hearts and convicts men/women of their sin and need of being forgiven through the precious blood of Jesus – that it is not “religion” nor any “good works” that we do, but because God sent His only begotten son into the world (He was God in the flesh) to live a perfect life and offer His life as a sacrifice for your sin and mine. Until we recognize we are sinners, that Jesus is who He claims to be and that His shed blood (Heb 9) alone cleanses any of us from sin, Because He rose again and is seated at the Father’s right hand, His blood ever avails to cleanse us and present us before Him faultless – His resurrection clearly revealed His Father’s acceptance of His sacrifice and we now can receive His life – the Holy Spirit comes into our life and we are born again – He gives us a new heart that new desires and enables us to please Him. Unless we are born again of His Spirit and receive His life as our only hope of acceptance before a Holy and Righteous God, we are lost eternally. God is SOVEREIGN AND HE HAS ELECTED SOME OF US BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD – WHEN we respond to these truths BY HIS GRACE – He grants us the ability to turn from our sin and gives us His Spirit so we are justified in His sight. Sanctification is the process He uses to change our daily habits and choices through growing in the knowledge of all that it means to follow Him – without holiness no man shall see the Lord. No man is righteous in God’s sight, we ALL HAVE SINNED AND COME SHORT OF HIS GLORY. But praise God even though the wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 3:23 & Rom 6:23. This is just a small part of the truths that He enables us to understand so that we can become all that He has ordained we should be. I praise Him every day for His grace and mercy in choosing me to be His child.
Amen
Darlene Bailey
JOHN MAC ARTHUR would have shown directly from the Bible why Mormonism is wrong – why didn’t Mr. Mohler do this?



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Terry

posted July 11, 2007 at 5:55 pm


John MacArthur would have been wrong.



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GB

posted July 12, 2007 at 12:05 am


Darlene,
I didn’t find anything in your second paragraph that I disagreed with.
I found many things in your first paragraph that are wrong and expose your ignorance of Mormon theology.
However, Peace in Christ to you
GB



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Kathleen Bateman

posted July 15, 2007 at 10:22 am


I “like” the way Dr. Mohler refuses to capitalize the word “Mormon” or capitalize the title, Book of Mormon, as if to put our religion down some way…I have only to read the first paragraph he wrote, but already he has shown himself to be illiterate of the LDS religion when he says that the Mormons claim the Bible to “hold the complete gospel of Jesus Christ.” All he needs to do is read the Mormon Articles of Faith wherein it is proclaimed that “we believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.” Anybody knows who has studied ancient scripture or watched anything pertaining to the Bible on the History Channel, knows that the compilation of the writers and the books of the Bible was very sporadic, and put in by current rulers to further their goals and aspirations among their people. And many were deleted….All one has to do is study the Mormon religion to find that the majority of the Baptists are basically afraid to find out the truth….they might have to stop their smoking and their drinking, and their “Mormon Bashing.”



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Lori Daniel

posted July 15, 2007 at 6:16 pm


Kathleen, I would like to know where you get your information regarding “knows that the compilation of the writers and the books of the Bible was very sporadic”. What reference can you quote so that I might investigate this statement? The King James version of the Bible is the most accurate and complete version that has been translated from two major sources, the Hebrew writings, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and from Greek writings.
Those that wrote the books of the Bible, wrote them for the sole purpose of revealing God to man. They not written just for the Jews, but for all people. They was no books put into the Bible to further anyone goals or aspirations. The word of God is the Bible. God makes it clear that all that needs to be known by man is within these books that are the Bible.
I think that Mormons need to take a step back and look at the Book of Abraham. Joseph Smith was proven not to have translated the scrolls from which he claims the Book of Abraham were taken. In his journal he claims over and over again that he translated from them. The Mormon church claims that he was inspired by God to write the Book of Abraham and merely used the scrolls as a guideline. Yet in his own had he declares that he translated from the scrolls.
When I was a Mormon, I was fast to defend the church. I left the church not because of the doctrine that was taught, but because of the different treatment between the men and women in the church. It was not until I had been out of the church for sometime, that I decided to investigate the teachings of the church.
I have read many books by Mormons and non-Mormons; I have studied the church history and read many of the prophets journals. The one thing that stands out most for me is the character of Joseph Smith. Going back to court documents from the time of Joseph Smith, his dealings with other people and with the law are very eye opening. People can say what they want about him, but the court documents do not lie. To know if this man was a true prophet we must look at his past dealings, and at the time of him writing the BofM, with others. His claims to be a prophet of God are hard to believe, since his actions do not prove this out.
I know that Mormons are good people, trying to live a good life. I have nothing against them. What I have the problem with is the deceit that the chruch leaders continue to pass along to the public, claiming that Jesus Christ is the head of the church. Any temple going Mormon knows that we are taught that we must get past, so to speak, Joseph Smith to enter heaven. So now Joseph Smith has been exualted to the same position as Jesus.
Romans 3:22-28 We are made right in God’s sight when we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins and we all can be saved in the same way no matter who we are or what we have done. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us. Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our aquittal is not based on our good deeds. It is based on our faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.
No man’s approval is needed nor accepted, to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. No man can call us forth to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Our salvation is based solely on our faith in Christ as our savior.



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GB

posted July 15, 2007 at 7:03 pm


Lori: What reference can you quote so that I might investigate this statement?
GB: That is a very good question Lori.
Lori:The King James version of the Bible is the most accurate and complete version that has been translated from two major sources, the Hebrew writings, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and from Greek writings.
GB: What reference can you quote so that I might investigate this statement? BTW how were the dead sea scrolls used in the translation of the KJV in the early 1600’s, when they were only discovered recently relatively speaking?
Lori:. . . God makes it clear that all that needs to be known by man is within these books that are the Bible.
GB: What reference can you quote so that I might investigate this statement?
Lori:I think that Mormons need to take a step back and look at the Book of Abraham. Joseph Smith was proven not to have translated the scrolls from which he claims the Book of Abraham were taken. In his journal he claims over and over again that he translated from them. The Mormon church claims that he was inspired by God to write the Book of Abraham and merely used the scrolls as a guideline. Yet in his own had he declares that he translated from the scrolls.
GB: What reference can you quote so that I might investigate this statement? Have you investigated the “Mormon” response to such allegations?
Lori: I left the church not because of the doctrine that was taught, but because of the different treatment between the men and women in the church.
GB: If you think the “Mormon” church is bad, you should check out what the Bible says about what women should say and do in church. And what about that long hair thing in the Bible? This statement makes me wonder if you were a feminazi. If you didn’t leave because of doctrine did you leave because of sin?
Lori:It was not until I had been out of the church for sometime, that I decided to investigate the teachings of the church.
GB: From the best anti-mormons sources no doubt. If you were no longer associated with it why did you investigate it? Is it your pride that won’t let move on?
Lori:I have read many books by Mormons and non-Mormons; I have studied the church history and read many of the prophets journals.
GB: Therefore YOUR statements here cannot be questioned for bias and inaccuracy. /sarcasm off
Lori:The one thing that stands out most for me is the character of Joseph Smith. Going back to court documents from the time of Joseph Smith, his dealings with other people and with the law are very eye opening. People can say what they want about him, but the court documents do not lie. To know if this man was a true prophet we must look at his past dealings, and at the time of him writing the BofM, with others. His claims to be a prophet of God are hard to believe, since his actions do not prove this out.
GB: What reference can you quote so that I might investigate this statement?
Lori:I know that Mormons are good people, trying to live a good life. I have nothing against them.
GB: Why do I find that hard to believe?
Lori:What I have the problem with is the deceit that the chruch leaders continue to pass along to the public, claiming that Jesus Christ is the head of the church. Any temple going Mormon knows that we are taught that we must get past, so to speak, Joseph Smith to enter heaven. So now Joseph Smith has been exualted to the same position as Jesus.
GB: What reference can you quote so that I might investigate this statement? From this statement it is obvious that you have NEVER been through the temple. It puts into question your character. Are you another anti-mormon like “LDS Boy” who lies about what mormons believe?
Lori:. . . .. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.
GB: Ah, more of the CHEAP grace stuff. If this is true then Mormons are saved so what is your beef?
Lori:No man’s approval is needed nor accepted, to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. No man can call us forth to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Our salvation is based solely on our faith in Christ as our savior.
GB: Well at least you got that part right.



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Lori Daniel

posted July 16, 2007 at 11:56 am


GB, I sense you are a hostle person, who does not want to hear the truth. Ok, no problem. I will give you reference to all that I have stated eariler posts. By the way, as a Mormon you should know, that we are not to be so proud. I know what I went through in the church. You do not. If you are so strong in your faith of the church, then as Present Kimball , you do not have to defend the church to anyone. Yes, I have read his books. Surprised? I am not a Mormon hater, how can I be when I have members of my family still in the church and I live in Utah. Yes, my neighbors are my friends and they are Mormon. Surprised? Not all ex-Mormons are bad, we seek the truth and we find it in many books, Mormon and non-Mormon.
We leave our minds open to what we are taught. I know for that many Mormons take the prophets words as the words of God. I know that they are taught not to question his decision. Now, the church won’t say this, but for those of us that did question, we were told to pray about it and then accept it.
I am only asking current Mormons to keep their minds open and to question all things, the history of the church, Joseph Smith, etc.
By the way the scrolls that J.S. translated from were found in a New York museum in 1966. They were bought by the Church in 1967. They were translated at that time and found not to be the Book of Abraham but a burial prayer for a priest. You can find this information on any web site, if you simply search for it. By the way, the church now claims that he didn’t translate, he just used the scrolls for reference, yet he does state in his own journal that he translated them. You can find his journal on any Mormon site.



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GB

posted July 16, 2007 at 12:59 pm


Lori: I sense you are a hostle person, who does not want to hear the truth. Ok, no problem.
GB: You sense wrong.
Lori: I will give you reference to all that I have stated eariler posts.
GB: I patiently await.
Lori: By the way, as a Mormon you should know, that we are not to be so proud. I know what I went through in the church. You do not. If you are so strong in your faith of the church, then as Present Kimball , you do not have to defend the church to anyone. Yes, I have read his books. Surprised? I am not a Mormon hater, how can I be when I have members of my family still in the church and I live in Utah. Yes, my neighbors are my friends and they are Mormon. Surprised? Not all ex-Mormons are bad, we seek the truth and we find it in many books, Mormon and non-Mormon.
GB: Is there a point to those statements?
Lori: We leave our minds open to what we are taught. I know for that many Mormons take the prophets words as the words of God.
GB: Is there a point to those statements?
Lori: I know that they are taught not to question his decision.
GB: This is where you are wrong, again. The church has never wanted its members to follow blindly. It and its scriptures have always insisted that all people can know the truth for themselves.
Lori: Now, the church won’t say this, but for those of us that did question, we were told to pray about it and then accept it.
GB: Another one of your naked assertions. Can you provide a reference for this?
Lori: I am only asking current Mormons to keep their minds open and to question all things, the history of the church, Joseph Smith, etc.
GB: As if we haven’t already done so. Apparently you think we are all closed minded idiots. And that if we will just open our minds we will see things the way you do. Well sorry, the church will continue to grow and strengthen an there is nothing you can do about it. Your efforts here will only help.
Lori: By the way the scrolls that J.S. translated from were found in a New York museum in 1966. They were bought by the Church in 1967. They were translated at that time and found not to be the Book of Abraham but a burial prayer for a priest. You can find this information on any web site, if you simply search for it. By the way, the church now claims that he didn’t translate, he just used the scrolls for reference, yet he does state in his own journal that he translated them. You can find his journal on any Mormon site.
GB: What reputable references can you provide so that I might investigate these statements? What evidence do you have that these were “the scrolls that J.S. translated”?



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B

posted July 16, 2007 at 2:28 pm


Lori, please get your facts straight. Example:
“The King James version of the Bible is the most accurate and complete version that has been translated from two major sources, the Hebrew writings, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and from Greek writings.”
The Dead Sea Scrolls were not found at the time of King James, and as such could not possibly have been used in the translation. Honestly, how can we believe anything you say if you get such obvious facts wrong?



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B

posted July 16, 2007 at 2:35 pm


Another point:
“Any temple going Mormon knows that we are taught that we must get past, so to speak, Joseph Smith to enter heaven. So now Joseph Smith has been exualted to the same position as Jesus.”
Joseph Smith’s name is not mentioned once in the temple. Again, Lori gets her info from anti-Mormon sources and not from first hand experience. She is so easily exposed it is laughable.



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sloagm

posted July 16, 2007 at 2:43 pm


I am not going to get back into this blog, I have already said entirely too much in previous back and forth discussions with Jessica. And I consider her a real friend at this point, simply because we were able to communicate so well after a few clumsy first attempts.
The scrolls found in 1966 were highly anticipated to repudiate Joseph Smith’s claims that he translated the Book of Abraham directly. Unfortunately the scrolls found in the Metropolitan Museum did not do that.
Rather, the scrolls found were fragments, of from one to three scrolls owned by Joseph Smith. There is evidence that there were up to eight or more scrolls in the original set. One of the facsimiles is in the set that was found, and the interpretation of the facsimile is different that the one Joseph Smith translated.
The scrolls date to the time of Christ, not the time of Abraham. So the scrolls and their meanings and translations, are by someone possibly thousands of years after Abraham. To the extent that this interpretation is inaccurate, or to the extent that we do not have the complete set of scrolls, OR BOTH, any modern refutations of Joseph Smith’s translations are also woefully incomplete.
So, in short, scholars are dealing with “fragments” of a “translation” of an “abridgement.” Not the strongest legs on which to place such strong scholarly assertions.
On the LDS side, we are claiming that Joseph Smith, in a pre-Rosetta stone period, translated the papyri by revelation and inspiration. Joseph had neither source material or education to rationally/academically translate by any modern means. At the outset, then, the question is a question of faith.
The fact that Lori doesn’t believe it is one thing, and that’s fine. The fact that Lori doesn’t believe it based on circumstantial evidence from “fragments” of “translations” of possible abridgements of possible source material is another…but the idea that the LDS have no basis upon which to believe Joseph Smith’s translation and that we are being duped is a very big leap based on very little evidence.
We have the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants, which, if linguistically studied has shown to have some intricate examples of Hebrew dualistic poetry. None of which Joseph Smith would have understood, or been familiar with. Neither would he, presumably, have had the sheer mental capacity to create the multitude of writing styles that the Book of Mormon contains. All created in such an extremely short period of time…I could go on.
So while we rely on faith, that faith goes back to some of the other works of translation or transcription that Joseph Smith produced upon which we can rely, through testimony, tangibility and witness from the Holy Ghost, to believe that he was truthful about Abraham.
Lori, on the other hand, doesn’t really have much besides her passion, and strong faith in some very piecemeal scholarship.



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John H Emmett

posted July 16, 2007 at 6:25 pm


Why all the commotion about Mormons? Why all the energy spent by so many on such a trivial subject? Who cares what Mormons believe? Who cares what anyone believes? Until your “god” steps forward to clear up and clean up the masses of religions and the resulting hatred, bigotry, killings and anger religion causes, it is silly to attack Mormons. They ought to be able to believe what they believe without the attacks. Your god must know that Mormons, Catholics and a few other faiths do much more humanitarian good in this world than groups of your nature will ever do.



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Raymond Takashi Swenson

posted July 16, 2007 at 7:53 pm


Dr. Mohler and others who have commented in his support appears to be very concerned that “Mormons” are somehow violating their trademark in the label “Christian”. The ultimate question is, exactly how did he or the others acquire exclusive ownership of that trademark?
The fact is that Southern Baptists are several generations of development and sectarian division from the original Church that was established by Jesus Christ and then led by Peter and the other apostles. While Catholics, Orthodox and Anglicans claim they have authority in succession from those apostles, Southern Baptists assert that they do not need a genealogy of authority, but can assert authority based on being believers in the Bible. How do they establish this doctrine? Through the Bible (it’s sort of recursive and begs the question).
But based on that criterion, the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who study the Bible just as much as most Southern Baptists, have just as much “authority” as any Southern Baptist.
The underlying assumption of Dr. Mohler that his church has authority to assert ownership of the trademark of “Christian” is simply not supported by anything except a self-serving assertion that they get authority from the Bible–but it is by definition a non-exclusive authority.
Furthermore, the concentration of Dr. Mohler on the post-Biblical creeds as a criterion for the use of the trademark of “Christian” contradicts the reliance upon the Bible for authority. The various creeds are not part of the Bible, and are not even usually found bound in with the Bible, except in whatever footnotes or end notes might be added to a particular edition, and have no more status as biblical than any other footnote “added” by men. The creeds are by their own definition not part of the authority-granting Bible, so subscribing to the creeds gives the Southern Baptists no more authority than they have otherwise.
I have no doubt Dr. Mohler sincerely believes his own view of Christianity is correct and correctly interprets the Bible. However, I am pretty sure he also believes that the interpretation of the same Bible by the Catholic, various Orthodox, and many other Protestant churches (especially those more liberal denominations) are incorrect, and therefore that those churches lack Biblical authority. Thus, whether he chooses to include them under the trademark “Christian” is totally up to him; they don’t have any say in the matter. He may generously apply the trademark to them, but he clearly does not think they own the trademark and are entitled to control the use of it (especially since they might think the Southern Baptists are off the beam in interpreting the Bible and in their assertion that succession to the apostles is of no significance in church authority).
My personal view is that “Christian” is a generic term, one that is in the “public domain” in a legal sense, and one which no one has legal authority to claim ownership of. Any person can assert that the term should or should not apply to himself or his own organization, but there is no legal or rational basis for any individual or church to claim the right to include or exclude anyone else from using that trademark.
Dr. Mohler certainly is in a position to persuade many of his co-religionists to his view of the use of the term “Christian”, but he really has no authority that anyone, Mormon or not, is required to accede to under either law or rationality. A Catholic or Orthodox person might happen to agree with his views, but they would not do so on the grounds that Mohler or his church is authoritative for them. and whether any particular set of persons or organizations wants to appropriate a generic term and assert some kind of joint ownership is no more authoritative than a single person or organizations claiming it.
The term “Christian” has a life of its own as word in English, with equivalents in other languages. No individual or church or even government has a right to define it. It is defined by the discourse of its usage, as it is agreed on by users to communicate a concept. Words that are not created by a single person or entity are not “owned” as a trademark, whose use can only be legally made with the owner’s permission. As the Bible points out, “Christian” was a term (in its Greek version) that was coined not by the Church or its apostles but rather by people outside the Church. Use of the term was asserted by many organizations as Christianity split into various factions, some of which are still around. At one point each one asserted exclusive right to the trademark, but it is way too late for anyone to successfully assert ownership now. That is especially true for an organization like the Baptists that, in the most charitable version, did not exist until over a thousand years after Christ.
As a generic term, “Christian” is a word that Dr. Mohler is free to claim applies to his church, but it is not something he can deny to other churches or persons. It is a bit self-serving to claim exclusive rights to a generic term, because it justifies for them missionary work to people who already claim to be “Christian” but which are denied that trademark by Southern Baptists. While there are certainly differences, as well as commonalities, between Baptists and Mormons, the basic fact is that neither has any legal right to deny to the other the use of the appellation “Christian”. Each denomination’s internal beliefs about where it stands vis a vis authority from God is not something is can force anyone else to accede to. It is a matter of voluntary agreement. But denial of the use of the trademark “Christian” by anyone else is not something they can assert.
Thus, to make the claim that they have the right to deny use of the term by someone else is made either in ignorance of the basic facts of language and law, or really boils down to nothing more than “You are not me, or like me”. Which we all knew to begin with. To assert that one’s own unsupported claim to own the trademark is authoritative is fundamentally dishonest.
What Dr. Mohler asserts specifically is that the LDS Church does not fall into the historical or theological or socio-religious category of “traditional Christian orthodoxy”. But that just amounts to talking about a subcategory that is less than the whole. All shredded wheats are cerals, but not all cereals are shredded wheat. Dr. Mohler has said Mormons are not shredded wheat cereal, but that does not mean they are no cereals. To in any way drop the qualifiers and specifiers and say “traditional orthodox Christians” = “all Christians” is logically invalid, and intellectually dishonest. Besides, the “traditional orthodox” category includes many churches with doctrines which Dr. Mohler would individually label as invalid and perhaps non-Christian. I assume he rejects Eastern Orthodox doctrines of deification, or theosis, which have a strong resemblance to Mormon beliefs about the nature of salvation constituting becoming like God in many aspects of being. Is that doctrine non-Christian? If so, is the entire Greek Orthodox Chruch and its brothers non-Christian? If churches can disagree on fundamental doctrines about the nature of salvation but still be “Christian”, then his reason for excluding Mormons from the label “Christian” become totally arbitrary preferences.
The bottom line: Dr. Mohler lacks authority to restrict the use of the generic term “Christian”. He can make all sorts of arbitrary categories within “Christian” but he cannot deny to Latter-day Saints the use of the term for their own church and beliefs. To assert otherwise is lacking in logic and integrity and respect for both the free and unrestrained use of language and the development of the law of mankind, which gives exclusive use of trademarks only under strict conditions which could never be satisfied by Baptists.



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Lori Daniel

posted July 18, 2007 at 12:29 pm


B
I have corrected this by saying that they confirm what is written in the Bible.
Under another blog on this web site.



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Lori Daniel

posted July 18, 2007 at 12:35 pm


B
Statements from the church leaders with references so that you can verify them and not think that I made it up. So as you see, Joseph Smith may not be mentioned, but here is proof that you Mormons must pass by him first. How odd, since Chist made it very clear in
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
So where did the church leaders get the idea that Mormons must pass J.S. to enter Heaven? And how can it be that “there is no salvation without accepting J.S.”?
If we get our salvation, we shall have to pass by the Prophet Joseph Smith; if we enter our glory, it will be through the authority he has received. We cannot get around him. ”
– 1988 Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide, p. 142, Apostle George Q. Cannon quoted
[There is] “no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth…no man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God”
– Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p.190
“No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith…every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are… [Joseph Smith] reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Many will exclaim—”Oh, that is very disagreeable! It is preposterous! We cannot bear the thought!” But it is true.”
– Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p.289-91
In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ.’ ‘No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.'”
– Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, LDS Church News, June 20, 1998, p.7



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GB

posted July 18, 2007 at 1:53 pm


Lori: Statements from the church leaders with references so that you can verify them and not think that I made it up.
GB: Why would I think you make things up?
Lori: So as you see, Joseph Smith may not be mentioned, but here is proof that you Mormons must pass by him first.
GB: So when you said that Joseph Smith is mentioned, you were making that up. So again why would I think you make things up?
Lori: How odd, since Chist made it very clear in
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
So where did the church leaders get the idea that Mormons must pass J.S. to enter Heaven? And how can it be that “there is no salvation without accepting J.S.”?
If we get our salvation, we shall have to pass by the Prophet Joseph Smith; if we enter our glory, it will be through the authority he has received. We cannot get around him. ”
– 1988 Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide, p. 142, Apostle George Q. Cannon quoted
[There is] “no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth…no man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God”
– Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p.190
GB: I would have to say, that those statements are true. Without the work of Joseph Smith the authority of God would not have been restored. Without that authority, the saving ordinances like baptism could not be performed. Without baptism we cannot enter the Kingdom of God. So says Jesus in the Bible.
Lori: “No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith…every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are… [Joseph Smith] reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Many will exclaim—”Oh, that is very disagreeable! It is preposterous! We cannot bear the thought!” But it is true.”
– Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p.289-91
GB: There you go again quoting the Journal of Discourses. If you are what you say you are then you would know that the Journal of Discourse is not official LDS canon and is not a reliable source for official LDS doctrine.
Lori: In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ.’ ‘No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.'”
– Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, LDS Church News, June 20, 1998, p.7
GB: I notice he used the phrase “traditional Christ” not Biblical Christ. Since the traditional Christ is not the same as the Biblical Christ his statement is accurate.



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Ben Abrams

posted July 24, 2007 at 10:09 pm


Dear Dr Albert Mohler:
Why is it that Some Southern Baptists don’t believe that baptism is important?
In “Draper: Baptisms, young ministers’ involvement are cause for concern”, Jun 16, 2004, By Chris Turner in the online version Of “Baptist’s Press.”
“James T. Draper Jr., president of LifeWay Christian Resources,” stated, “Draper expressed concerns about a fourth consecutive year of decline in baptisms as reported in the SBC’s Annual Church Profile totals and the need to involve younger ministers in leadership across the convention.”
“Draper believes there is “a lack of urgency” within Southern Baptist churches to baptize.”I’ve heard from a number of people across our denomination who say professions of faith are good enough,” he said. “They are not teaching the importance of publicly identifying with Jesus through baptism, and they’re ignoring His command to baptize His followers. Or look at it this way: Perhaps the main reason for the decline in baptisms is that our denomination is simply failing to reach people for Christ.”
If you don’t consider the LDS Christian, why can some of these churches associated with the SBC be called “Christian” when they deny or minimized a very basic Christian teaching of baptism?
Sincerely;
Ben Abrams



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nowandlater

posted August 1, 2007 at 3:14 am


LDS “Gods” as Monarchic Monotheism: Blake Ostler
LDS “Gods” as Monarchic MonotheismBlake Oster’s writings explain that what some theologians take for multiple “Gods” in LDS thought are Monotheistic, in a form which he calls “Monarchic Monotheism”. It is made up of a “council of the gods”, all of whom are clearly completely subordinate to the Most-High God.He began teaching this in Volume one of his “Exploring Mormon Thought”, which has been used in graduate philosophy courses at BYU for some years. Love and Thanks, Steve St. ClairHere is the section on this subject:=====================================Subordinate “Gods”The very term “God” has seemed to include in it the notions of supremacy and perfection. Nevertheless, “God” or “Gods” is found in the Hebrew scriptures referring to beings that are not supreme. For example, there are divinities who are inferior or subordinate or divinities only by per­mission of the head God. Such divinities were felt to have religious power and authority, but only by participation or permission from the higher God. In the Hebrew scripture, a member of El’s court, angels and possibly gods of foreign nations are called gods in this sense. The various mediat­ing principles and half-personified divine attributes found in the Hebrew writings such as debar or the divine word or Wisdom, would belong to this class. In the New Testament, “the Word,” and “the Mediator,” are also used in this sense in the Epistles of Paul and the Gospel of John. In such passages, Christ is viewed as a subordinate being even though he is consid­ered as divine and meriting worship.However, Mormons refer to subordinate “gods” in two senses pri­marily. First, Mormons speak of the gods in the “council of the gods before the world was.” Thus, the Father is referred to as ruling in “the council of Eternal God of all other gods” (D&C 121:32); and the book of Abraham states that “the gods organized and formed the heaven and the earth” (Abraham 4:1). This use of the word “gods” is essentially equiva­lent to the Old Testament usage that refers to Yahweh or to Yahweh Elohim planning with and ruling over a council of gods who are subordinate to him. As Hans-Joachim Kraus observed:In the heavenly world Yahweh, enthroned as God and king, is sur- rounded by powers who honor, praise and serve him. Israel borrowed from the Canaanite-Syrian world the well-attested concept of a pan- theon of gods and godlike beings who surround the supreme God, the ruler and monarch. In Psalm 29:1-2 the bene elohim (“sons of God”) give honor to Yahweh. They are subordinate heavenly beings stripped of theirpower, who are totally dependent on Yahweh and no longer possess any independent divine nature. In Job and the Psalter, powers of this sort are called bene elohim, elim, or qedushim (“sons of God,” “gods,” and “holy •ones,” Job I:6ff; Ps. 58:1; • 8:5; 86:8). But Yahweh alone is the highest God CElyon) and king. . . . In Psalm 82 we have a clear example of the idea of a “council of gods.”. . . “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holdsjudgment:’ The “high- est god” is the judge. The gods (elohim) are his attendants. They are wit- nesses in the forum which Yahweh rules alone, and in which he possesses judicial authority. We might term the cheduth-el “Yahweh’s heavenly court.” All of the gods and powers of the people are in his service.In later volumes of his multi-volume work, Blake Ostler will demonstrate conclusively that the beliefs of First-Temple Judaism (the Old Testament period), Second-Temple Judaism, the New Testament period, and early Christianity continue to clearly describe God or the Godhead in identical terms.Here is an excerpt from his chapter on Second Temple Judaism:============================Monotheism and the Hierarchy of Divine Beings in Second Temple JudaismThe view that there was a hierarchy of divine beings, with the one God as the Most High accompanied by a principal divine agent second only in authority to God surrounded by a court of divine beings who serve in the Holy of Holies in the highest heaven was universal in Second Temple Judaism – the Judaism that gave rise to Christianity. The council of gods continued in this form throughout the period that gave rise to Christianity. Monotheism was not threatened by the view that there are numerous divine beings and even those who are called “gods” because it was understood that the Most High was the one God. Moreover, it was commonly believed that the divine glory could be shared by exalted humans. Indeed, it was a very common belief that humans could ascend to the throne of God and be transformed glory for glory into the same divine status as the heavenly beings by participating in the rites of washing, anointing and investiture preparatory to officiating as a priest and king in the heavenly Temple where God resides.15.1 Jewish Views of the Hierarchy of Divine Beings. Was Second Temple Judaism characterized by the same view of God that was prominent in pre-exilic texts of a head God presiding in the council of the sons of God? On the one hand, there are those who maintain that Second Temple Judaism is characterized by the same view of God(s) that prevailed in the pre-exilic Israel and that I have argued continued even in Second Isaiah and the exile. Notwithstanding language that poetically exaggerates the difference between the gods and Yahweh by asserting that they are nothing and that Yahweh will not even recognize their existence, the notion of the council of Yahweh continued throughout this period. The point at which we leave Israelite monarchical monotheism is thus the very place where we can start to elucidate the beliefs of Second Temple Jews. Larry Hurtado summarizes the evidence regarding Second Temple “Jewish monotheism” as follows:I propose that Jewish monotheism can be taken as constituting a distinctive version of the commonly-attested belief structure described by Nilsson as involving a “high god” who presides over other deities. The God of Israel presides over a court of heavenly beings who are likened to him (as is reflected in, e.g., the OT term for them “sons of God”). In pagan versions, too, the high god can be described as father and source of the other divine beings, and as utterly superior to them. In this sense, Jewish (and Christian) monotheism, whatever its distinctives, shows its historical links with the larger religious environment of the ancient world. There are distinctives of the Jewish version, however, both in beliefs and, even more emphatically in religious practice. As Nilsson has shown, in pagan versions often the high god is posited but not really known. Indeed, in some cases (particularly in Greek philosophical traditions), it is emphasized that the high god cannot be known. Accordingly, often one does not expect to relate directly to the high god or address this deity directly in worship or petition. In Greco-Roman Jewish belief, however, the high god is known as the God of Israel, whose ways and nature are revealed in the Scriptures of Israel.John Collins observed: “By nearly all accounts, at the end of the first century C.E. strict monotheism had long been one of the pillars of Judaism.” However, he quickly corrects this mis-perception: “Jewish monotheism, which gave birth to the Christian movement, was not as clear-cut and simple as is generally believed. Several kinds of quasi-divine figures appear in Jewish texts from the Hellenistic period that seem to call for some qualifications of the idea of monotheism.”2 Peter Hayman reached a similar conclusion: “It is hardly ever appropriate to use the term monotheism to describe the Jewish idea of God. From the book of Daniel on, nearly every variety of Judaism maintained the pattern of the sup
reme God plus his vice­regent/vizier…. Needless to say, this situation left many Jews confused, especially about the identity of the number two in the hierarchy.” A similar view, which I propose to defend here, is elucidated by Adela Yarbro Collins. Collins maintains that there may have been some who in fact had a “strict” view of monotheism in Second Temple Judaism, but there was a good deal of diversity in thought. The view that there was only one God who had a fulness of divinity, but that there were also other beings who possessed divinity on a continuum of divinity, with some divine beings have a greater fulness of divinity and others less, was prominent in Second Temple Judaism. Adela Collins stated:An abstract and strictly monotheistic theology was not, however, shared by all Jewish groups in the first century C.E.. Philo and the Wisdom of Solomon solved the philosophical problem, raised by Greek philosophy, of how a transcendent god could create and interact with the material world by positing an intermediary being, Wisdom or the Logos, whom Philo could describe as “a second god.” The Community of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a Palestinian Jewish ultra-observant group which favored the Hebrew language, could speak of a plurality of ‘gods’ (V X – ’elim). Not only that, but the biblical divine name ‘Elohim’, which is equivalent to the generic Hebrew word for ‘god’ (‘th – El), is attributed to an angel in the fragmentary Melchizedek scroll. The evidence implies that the strict monotheism of the Deuteronomic literature had already been ‘stretched’ or even ignored in much of the literature of Second Temple Judaism. Many Jews of that period evidently did not conceive of God as absolutely unique in a metaphysical sense. Instead, they seem to have placed the deity at the top of a pyramid, so to speak, of divine beings who were the agents of God in creating, sustaining and interacting with all things.==========================Here is an excerpt his chapter on the New Testament, in which he demonstrates that the relationship between the Father and the Son were seen as a continuation of the “Monarchic Monotheistic” approach:============================The Relation of Father and the Son:Christological Monarchic Monotheism in the New TestamentThe titles and roles attributed to Christ are given content and function within the culture of honor and shame. Although Christ is divine he is not identical to the one God, the Father. He is given a status of honor by God as the sole mediator through whom all must approach God as patron and king because he completed his mission of redemption that had been assigned to him by the Father. Jesus Christ is thus honored with the highest honor that God as patron and king of the universe can bestow upon him – status at his own right hand as God’s Son and heir to all that God has and is, including receiving the Name that is above all other names. He is recognized as God’s chief agent whose will is one with God’s will and Christ’s acts are honored as the acts of God Himself. God shares his glory and honor with Christ so that Christ is the sole means of salvation as the mediator/broker of relationship with God. Because Christ is the heir to the throne, God actually honors Christ by sharing the kingship and rule of the universe with Christ. Because Christ is the mediator/broker of the covenant relationship that Israel had been elected to in prior times, the only way to approach God is through Christ. Thus, early Christians honored the Father by honoring Christ. Such honor is shown by worshiping the Father through adoration of Christ, and praying to the Father and performing saving rituals such as baptism in the name of Christ. Because Christ is the only mediator/broker of the covenant relationship with the Father, it is necessary to recognize Christ as “the Lord” acclaimed by the one God.Perhaps the most prominent feature of Christian scriptural interpretation of the relation of the Father to the Son is the practice of identifying Old Testament scriptures that refer to two divine beings – and even two distinct heavenly figures who are both referred to as “God” in Hebrews and the gospel of John. It is a practice that is present throughout the New Testament and became prominent even in later Christian scriptural arguments as demonstrated by Justin Martyr.16.1 Acts 2:30-36: Christ as Lord at God’s Right Hand. The imagery and language of monarchy and enthronement were the focus of the earliest Christian declarations of Christ’s relation to the one God. We see this intense belief in the exaltation and enthronement of Jesus in the Christian reliance on the declaration of Psalm 110:1-2 that Christ had been exalted and honored to sit enthroned at the right hand of God as “Lord”:30.But since [King David] was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn an oath to him, that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne;31. He foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld, nor did his flesh see corruption.32. God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses.33. Exalted at the right hand of God, he received the promise of the holy Spirit from the Father and poured it forth, as you [both] see and hear.34. For David did not go up into heaven: but he himself said:Ps. 110 ‘The Lord said to my Lord,“Sit at my right hand,35. until I make your enemies your footstool.”’36. Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus Christ whom you crucified.. (Acts. 2:30-36 NAB)In this remarkable passage we have an echo of the belief of the earliest Christians stated and summarized publicly for the first time after the resurrection. Jesus is the Messiah as the descendant of David. God the Father has vindicated Jesus’s claim to be king through the resurrection which culminated in the Father’s exalting him and placing him on a throne at His own right hand. It is of the utmost importance to note that in exalting Christ as his co-regent and newly coronated king of Israel, the Father has also given Jesus Christ an honorific title that alluded to God’s own name – the name “Lord.” Whenever the word YHWH appeared in the Old Testament Hebrew texts, the text was read aloud by substituting “Adonai,” the Hebrew honorific title meaning “Lord.” The Greek translation known as the Septuagint or LXX translated both YHWH and Adonai as Kyrios (Aramaic Merah), meaning “Lord.” For those in the audience listening to this claim, they could only have understood that Jesus was coronated at his resurrection with the greatest honor that can be bestowed on a person – the honor of being made an heir and given the name of the benefactor and king. “Lord” functions in the dual capacity having connotations both as a title of honor and also as sharing the divine name because Christ has been declared to be God’s heir and son. In the context of the covenant with David, those present heard a claim that Jesus is the heir to the throne of David and can be called “Lord” because of this inheritance. However, they also would have heard more – Christ shares the divine glory because he shares the divine name behind the title “Lord,” Adonai (Aramaic merah). Christ is recognized as a king and “Lord” second only to God because he is enthroned on his right hand – the place of the co-regent or vizier to the king.1 To be placed at the right hand of the patron king was the highest honor that could be bestowed upon a member of the kingdom. However, Christ is not merely the vizier or co-regent; he is the heir to the throne and recipient of the divine name “Lord&#8
221; – the one who now reigns with God. The Father is not abdicating the throne of heaven to his son as a successor heir; rather, he is sharing the co-rule of heavens and earth with Jesus Christ.This allusion to Psalm 110 is all the more remarkable because its use appears to be utterly unique in the literature of Second Temple Judaism. However, Psalm 110 is the Old Testament text most often cited throughout the New Testament and which was used by virtually all early Christian writers in the first 100 years to explain the status of Jesus and his relation to the Father.3 The interest that Psalm 110 held for the earliest disciples of Christ was that it declared Christ at once to be an heir to the throne of David and also raises him to the right hand of the throne of God. However, it also served the Christian message because it referred to two “Lords” whereby the Lord God honored another as “Lord” by bestowing on Christ the very honorific title by which God referred to himself. The notion suggested by Bauckham that allusions to Psalm 110 envision Christ on the very throne of God misrepresents Christ’s status. Christ is not seated on the throne of God; rather, Christ is divine vizier exalted by God to sit at his right hand.4 Bauckham misses the fact that Psalm 110 was used by Christians precisely because Yahweh, “the Lord,” exalts another as “my Lord.” It is the very fact that two distinct figures are referred to that made it amenable to Christian exegesis.



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Chief1989

posted August 2, 2007 at 2:29 pm


nowandlater,
David also said, speaking to God the Father, ‘nor will you let your Holy One see decay’, speaking of Jesus.
Peter, when Jesus calmed the storm, said, “Lord, depart from me, for I am an evil man!”
Thomas, upon putting his finger and hand into the nail prints and spear wound on Jesus, fell at His feet and said, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus, speaking in Matthew 7, said “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Clearly, the title Lord is applied to both the Father and the Son. It is not meant to say that YHWH called any other being in the universe ‘Lord’. Also, Moses included this call to the Israelites “Hear O Israel, the Lord, the Lord they God is one”
Also, here are other scriptures that point to there being no other gods in the universe:
Deut 4:35 – You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.
Isaiah 43: 10-13 – 10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after me.
11 I, even I, am the LORD,
and apart from me there is no savior.
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.
13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
When I act, who can reverse it?”
Isaiah 45:5 – I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me,
Isaiah 45: 18-19 – 18 For this is what the LORD says—
he who created the heavens,
he is God;
he who fashioned and made the earth,
he founded it;
he did not create it to be empty,
but formed it to be inhabited—
he says:
“I am the LORD,
and there is no other.
19 I have not spoken in secret,
from somewhere in a land of darkness;
I have not said to Jacob’s descendants,
‘Seek me in vain.’
I, the LORD, speak the truth;
I declare what is right.
Deut 4:39 – Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.
Deut 6: 13-15 – 13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.
What does Moses mean by ‘do not follow other gods’? Are there other gods out there? Clearly, the answer is no. Those gods were made of ‘wood and stone’, and God mocked them, saying to the Israelites in Jeremiah 2: 25-28
25Do not run until your feet are bare
and your throat is dry.
But you said, ‘It’s no use!
I love foreign gods,
and I must go after them.’
26 “As a thief is disgraced when he is caught,
so the house of Israel is disgraced—
they, their kings and their officials,
their priests and their prophets.
27 They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’
and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’
They have turned their backs to me
and not their faces;
yet when they are in trouble, they say,
‘Come and save us!’
28 Where then are the gods you made for yourselves?
Let them come if they can save you
when you are in trouble!
For you have as many gods
as you have towns, O Judah.
That is what Moses means by worshipping other gods, gods of wood and stone that cannot save anyone. Nowhere in scripture is there a ‘council of the gods.’ And regarding Psalm 82, here is Matthew Henry’s commentary on it:
“An exhortation to judges.
Magistrates are the mighty in authority for the public good. Magistrates are the ministers of God’s providence, for keeping up order and peace, and particularly in punishing evil-doers, and protecting those that do well. Good princes and good judges, who mean well, are under Divine direction; and bad ones, who mean ill, are under Divine restraint. The authority of God is to be submitted to, in those governors whom his providence places over us. But when justice is turned from what is
right, no good can be expected. The evil actions of public persons are public mischiefs. (Ps 82:6-8)”
Psalm 82 is not talking about heavenly gods, but earthly magistrates and judges who administer God’s justice.



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GB

posted August 2, 2007 at 3:53 pm


Chief,
Psalms 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
Jesus quotes this verse in John.
John 10:31 Then the Jews took up astones again to stone him.
32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
Why did Jesus use this verse to explain why it wasn’t blasphemy to make Himself God, if it is only talking about “earthly magistrates and judges”?



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Chief1989

posted August 3, 2007 at 5:15 pm


GB,
Out of my whole post you pull out Psalm 82:6?
GB: Why did Jesus use this verse to explain why it wasn’t blasphemy to make Himself God, if it is only talking about “earthly magistrates and judges”?
Me: How do you ‘make yourself God’? Generally in 2 ways. People say scientists or doctors ‘play God’ in trying to create things that are not or were not meant to be created, and making decisions with regard to life or death. The other, and the one the Jews would understand certainly, since a part of their history is characterized as ‘a time of the Judges’, is to make oneself a judge over others and having the authority to make judgments.
Here is what Wesley says about this verse:
Verse 6
Have said – I have given you my name and power to rule your people in my stead. All – Not only the rulers of Israel, but of all other nations. Children – Representing my person, and bearing both my name and authority.
What did the Jews say only God could do? Forgive sins. Earlier in John 10, Jesus said He would give His sheep eternal life, representing God’s person, and bearing His name and authority. Verses 25-30 read:
25Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, 26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.”
Other verses that speak to this point:
Exodus 4: 14-17
14 Then the LORD’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it.”
Exodus 7:1
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.
Exodus 22:28
28Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.
Psalm 138:1
1 I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise.
——————-
Who are the “gods” David speaks of in this verse? Here is Charles Spurgeon’s commentary:
“Before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. Why should these idols rob Jehovah of his praises? The Psalmist will not for a moment suspend his songs because there are images before him, and their foolish worshippers might not approve of his music. I believe David referred to the false gods of the neighbouring nations, and the deities of the surviving Canaanites. He was not pleased that such gods were set up; but he intended to express at once his contempt of them, and his own absorption in the worship of the living Jehovah by continuing most earnestly to sing wherever he might be. It would be paying these dead idols too much respect to cease singing because they were perched aloft. In these days when new religions are daily excogitated, and new gods are set up, it is well to know how to act. Bitterness is forbidden, and controversy is apt to advertise the heresy; the very best method is to go on personally worshipping the Lord with unvarying zeal, singing with heart and voice his royal praises. Do they deny the Divinity of our Lord? Let us the more fervently adore him. Do they despise the atonement? Let us the more constantly proclaim it. Had half the time spent in councils and controversies been given to praising the Lord, the church would have been far sounder and stronger than she is at this day. The Hallelujah Legion will win the day. Praising and singing are our armour against the idolatries of heresy, our comfort under the depression caused by insolent attacks upon the truth, and our weapons for defending the gospel. Faith when displayed in cheerful courage, has about it a sacred contagion: others learn to believe in the Most High when they see his servant.”
GB, what is the ultimate judgment a man can make? I believe it is whether someone else lives or dies. That is why Jesus is speaking to the people in this manner. He had just said, “I and the Father are one,” making himself equal with the Father. To the Jews it was blasphemy, so they made the judgment of death for themselves and picked up stones to kill Him.



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Chief1989

posted August 3, 2007 at 5:34 pm


Further Commentary on John 10
From the People’s New Testament:
Verses 34-36. Is it not written in your law. In Psa. 82. I said, Ye are gods? It was there addressed to judges. Christ’s argument is: If your law calls judges gods, why should I be held guilty of blasphemy for saying that I am the Son of God? Sanctified. Set apart.
————————-
From the Fourfold Gospel:
10:33 The Jews answered him, For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God
1. For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. But the Jews insisted upon judging him by his “words” without in any way taking his life into account. Jesus urged that a divine claim was made good by a divine life, but they replied that a divine claim issuing from a human body was blasphemy.
10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law1, I said, ye are gods2?
1. Is it not written in your law. The whole Old Testament not infrequently is thus designated as the “law”.
2. I said, Ye are gods? See Psalms 82:6.
10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came1 (and the scripture cannot be broken)2, If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came.
1. Since the civil rulers of a land are ordained of God (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Samuel 24:6,7), they were regarded as God’s delegates or ministers, and as such the inspired Psalmist addresses them, calling them gods. Compare Exodus 22:28. The expression “word of God” is equivalent to “commission from God”. Compare Luke 3:2, where John was commissioned.
2. (And the scripture cannot be broken). The Jews regarded the Scripture as final authority. Jesus asserted this view by stating that the Scripture could not be broken; that is, could not be undone or set aside. We may regard Jesus as here ratifying their view, since he elsewhere concurred in it. See Matthew 5:19.
10:36 say ye of him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world1, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am [the] Son of God?
1. Say ye of him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world,
Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am [the] Son of God? If it was not blasphemy to call those gods who so remotely represented the Deity, how much less did Christ blaspheme in taking unto himself a title to which he had a better right than they, even in the subordinate sense of being a mere messenger.
10:37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not1.
John 10:37,38
1. If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. Having set aside their false judgment which was based upon his mere words, Jesus again bids them to consider his works or manner of life.
———————-
Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible
VII. Christ’s reply to their accusation of him (for such their vindication of themselves was), and his making good those claims which they imputed to him as blasphemous (John 10:34, &c.), where he proves himself to be no blasphemer, by two arguments:–
1. By an argument taken from God’s word. He appeals to what was written in their law, that is, in the Old Testament; whoever opposes Christ, he is sure to have the scripture on his side. It is written (Psalms 82:6), I have said, You are gods. It is an argument a minore ad majus–from the less to the greater. If they were gods, much more am I. Observe,
(1.) How he explains the text (John 10:35): He called them gods to whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken. The word of God’s commission came to them, appointing them to their offices, as judges, and therefore they are called gods, Exodus 22:28. To some the word of God came immediately, as to Moses; to others in the way of an instituted ordinance. Magistracy is a divine institution; and magistrates are God’s delegates, and therefore the scripture calleth them gods; and we are sure that the scripture cannot be broken, or broken in upon, or found fault with. Every word of God is right; the very style and language of scripture are unexceptionable, and not to be corrected, Matthew 5:18.
———————–
I think you get the idea. Paul in Romans 13 tells us:
Submission to the Authorities
1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.
—————-
What Jesus was telling his opponents is if you yourselves are called “gods” in the Law because of the authority given to you to judge in the name of the Lord, why are you trying to kill me for calling myself the Son of God? Are you not being hypocrites and ignorant of the very Law of which you are accusing Me of blasphemy? In no way is Jesus here in John 10, or David in Psalm 82, referring to other deities living elsewhere in the universe. These verses in no way contradict God when He says in Isaiah 43:
Isaiah 43: 10-13 – 10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after me.
Amen and amen



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GB

posted August 6, 2007 at 4:04 pm


Chief: That is why I believe in it’s (the Bible) infallibility. Not only because of the great amount of evidence, both physical and spiritual, that testifies to its truthfulness, but also because if parts of it can’t be trusted, then we, as Paul says, are to be pitied above all men, because it rests on the doctrine that from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 that it is the true Word of God. If you can take parts of it out as being wrong or corrupted, or believe that parts are lies, then the whole thing should be thrown out and we should all become Buddhists or secular humanists. Posted by: Chief1989 | August 3, 2007 2:26 PM on another thread.
GB: Psalms 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
John 10:31 Then the Jews took up astones again to stone him.
32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
So what you are saying is that the Bible doesn’t mean what is says. So much for being “infallible”.



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Kathleen Hamilton

posted September 10, 2007 at 2:11 pm


How many people out there are aware of the true author of the book of Mormon? His name is Solomon Spaulding, who died before publishing his fictional account. Joseph Smith came across his manuscript and made a few changes to it, and called it the Book of Mormon.



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted September 11, 2007 at 10:46 am


Kathleen, this has already been debunked.
Greg



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John

posted September 14, 2007 at 3:42 pm


The bible CANNOT dictate what God can do. It is obsurd. Anyone who has read the bible and studied its translations, know that it is impossible to be infallible. If God wants to speak to someone today…He can. If God wants to make a new law…He can. If God wants to proclaim truth and denounce heresy…He can. If God wanted to end the world right now…He can. Nobody can tell God what to do, and what you’ve said is that the Bible tells God what to do. I’ll take my luck with trusting God, following God, listening to God, keeping His instructions, no matter what my opinion or economical status is. Because in the end, it doesn’t matter what I think salvation is, what you think salvation is, or what I want salvation to be so desperately bad, it matters what salvation actually is, in its 100% entirety. And Preachers don’t want that.



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OCS

posted October 11, 2007 at 2:13 am


Dr. Mohler; i thank you for “going there” in this debate. i am sure you probably knew the outcome before even starting. As good as a Christian can be to his fellow man, is to try to make them question their following an obviously false prophet. But like many others that have gone before and after smith, i am afraid it will go on and on. It was all predicted and is happening.
i will try to keep a good heart for the Lord in that i pray for these maddning cult followers who blasphemy the Lords name and try to put themselves on the same level as God Himself. Satan was cast out for that very thing, and as you know, they have the audacity to claim he was Jesus’ brother. This whole spun lie from a 15 year old farm boy who was poor and uneducated, but they choose to believe the lies and say it makes sense. i cannot help but wonder if the appeal is thinking that they themselves will achieve godhood. It reminds me kind of osama bin laden and his martyrs who get 20 virgins for killing infadels. He recently claimed that if we all switch over to islam, the war will end.
i have been through a comparitively rough life compared to many my age. i accepted the Lord in 5th grade, sitting at a piano and i cried that night thinking about what Christ had done for me. That he loved me that much. i was raised in an abusive home, physically, emotionally and verbally, and then married a man who was the same way. i eventually walked in on him in bed with someone else. i have lost many people i have loved at lots of ages. i am married, going on 18 years, and had 2 daughters. My youngest baby just died 6 days after her 13th birhtday of brain cancer. When she was just 8 years old she almost died being impaled on a wrought iron fence, and i prayed to God to let me keep her just a little longer. Because i love the Lord and trust in Him, i have gotten through all these horrible tragedies, and i have a stronger faith than ever. i believe He answered my prayer to get to keep my daughter longer, until she was 13.
i know the Lord, He called me to Him at a young age, and both my girls accepted the Lord when they were young. My youngest who just passed always said, she wanted a family meeting place in her room in heaven. She had pure faith in Jesus and His word. i know i will be with her again, and i cannot wait to climb onto my Heavenly Fathers lap and hug Him and say “i am home, ABBA, i am home.”
i am a Christian and accept that i am a sinner that can be saved through the blood Christ shed in my place. i do not claim to be perfect or that because i am a Christian i no longer sin. My desire to sin is the opposite, and i feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit when i do sin. And i repent. The hardest part is to forgive myself and love myself as Christ does. He sees value in me as a child of His, and He still wants me.
Maybe that is part of the phsyce behind Mormons, they cannot believe that God would love them simply because He really does. They somehow have to be perfect, and perfect enough to become like a god.
God will be their judge, not us. My anger is in defending Jesus against their lies and the fact that they try to mislead others.
It is time for me to now be still. Thank You again, OCS (on Christs Side)



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted October 11, 2007 at 10:45 am


OCS, did God create Satan?
> This whole spun lie from a 15 year old farm boy who was poor and
> uneducated, but they choose to believe the lies and say it makes sense.
And you would deny the Holy Ghost by refusing the simple challenge of reading the BOM and asking with a sincere, penitent heart of its truthfulness. As I said before, you are getting bogged down in details when you should be opening your heart to the Spirit.
> “i am home, ABBA, i am home.”
Our Heaven Father is not Swedish. ;)
> Maybe that is part of the phsyce behind Mormons, they cannot believe
> that God would love them simply because He really does.
We DO believe He loves all of us.
> They somehow have to be perfect,
No. The mere attempt is enough.
> and perfect enough to become like a god.
That is for our Heavenly Father to decide.
> God will be their judge, not us.
True, but judge us you do anyway.
> My anger is in defending Jesus against their lies and the fact that
> they try to mislead others.
We tell no lies; we want all to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. You have believed the same for decades. It is part of who you are. Too be found wrong now would be humiliating. But I ask you in all sincerity to put down your pride. Take the BOM challenge.
Greg



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OCS

posted October 11, 2007 at 5:01 pm


Greg;
Mark 14:36, Romans 8:15 Galatians4:6
For Your Information, (just in case you really are ignorant of this)
ABBA is a form or calling God Daddy, Father. A more endearing form of calling Him Father.
i am sure your god will pat you on the back for your being so nice about things.
There are a few of you Mormons that are just plain ugly to another human being.



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted October 11, 2007 at 5:54 pm


I’ll repeat the question:
OCS, did God create Satan?
> I am sure your god will pat you on the back for your being so nice
> about things. There are a few of you Mormons that are just plain ugly
> to another human being.
Uh, how was I being ugly or not nice?



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OCS

posted October 11, 2007 at 10:31 pm


okay Greg, i will bite; yes, God did create Satan, But Jesus was one with Him. and so was the Holy spirit.
Satan was not Jesus’ brother, but he was an angel that wanted to be a god, or rather, be god.
Greg, if i am correct you are a grandpa. what if your grandchild decided not to be a mormon anymore becuase they thought it was blasphemy. would you choose your belief and not wonder about their concern for you, or would you throw them away?
i am not here to judge, and forgive me if i have seemed to. i didn’t notice the wink you put in at the end of ABBA. i am assuming you did know what i meant, but it still is not funny. When it comes to life and being so hard, and keeping your faith throughout so many trials, why wouldn’t one want to climb into their Father’s lap and snuggle and say “I am home daddy”?
Here is the rub as far as i am concerned since you now know way more about me than i ever meant to disclose. i believe Mormonism is a false religion, decieving many, and i joined this blog by choice. And just as others have spent time trying to make others see, it is not for my own glory or being right or wrong. It is because we are supposed to care for each other as ourselves. If i see someone in danger, i am certainly not going to stand by. What matters is that I feel someone is being mislead. Let God and Jesus decide, meaning that if you worship Jesus as all has been said, it will be up to God and Jesus to judge your heart. i think maybe the question is not a good one. Maybe the post would have been better to be not so definative in an answer, but more about opinion. i don’t want to be accused of calling someone non- Christian, i am not equipped to judge that. all i can say, is that by my understanding, Mormons go way outside the lines of anything, anywhere i have ever heard, and i feel it is blasphemy. Is it really in God’s eyes? i don’t know. It is not up to me.
i believe the Bible to be the Holy Word of God. His message to us. It definately is quoted to say something different than what most Christians have understood it to mean.
i am getting very tired with this blog. It is going nowhere, and i have seen over and over again displays of accusations not founded, by LDS, and have found them offending. i never see one of them apologizing for their behavior being offensive (except for Mike with the story about the man with Cancer) and i just don’t see it as Christian. To Me, Christian is to try to mimick how and what Christ taught us to be.
Instead of the focus being on what Orthodox Christianity should be called or recognized as, maybe it should be about what do we call Mormons and their position in what life really means. And what God will do with them?



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted October 15, 2007 at 12:42 pm


> Satan was not Jesus’ brother, but he was an angel that wanted to be a
> god, or rather, be god.
Cool! What are the scriptures that support this?
So you’ll call the LDS religion blasphemy, but won’t go as far as it call it non-Christian. Um, okay.
If you were to read the BOM and pray about its truthfulness with sincerity and contriteness, this debate would disappear. But in your pride, you would deny the Holy Ghost the power to testify to you.



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Ruth

posted October 16, 2007 at 5:22 pm


OK, this is kind of random, but if Dr. Mohler has so much influence in the Christian community, why did they choose Orson Scott Card (no disrespect intended toward Card)? I mean, Card is a writer of fictional books. Even though he seems very knowledgeable about his church, shouldn’t Dr. Mohler debate with someone in the higher ranks of the church establishment? Like one of the authorities of the lds church?



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Ruth

posted October 16, 2007 at 5:53 pm


I’m fifteen, and LDS. I respect OCS’s opinion. I agree that some of the things that have been posted have been rude and not Christ-like; however, I still believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I also believe that most other churches are correct in some of their beliefs. I am also saddened by some of the rude comments that have been posted.
Here is an excerpt from an interview with Joseph Smith, the founder of our church:
The Articles of Faith
1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
11 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.
12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
Joseph Smith



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Ruth's mom

posted October 16, 2007 at 6:02 pm


In reference to Article of Faith #8:
We believe the King James Version of the Bible to be more correct than other translations.



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OCS

posted October 21, 2007 at 11:40 pm


Ruth, and Ruth’s Mom; You are both Gems! OCS



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OCS

posted October 21, 2007 at 11:41 pm


Greg; Where does it say in the Holy Bible that Jesus and Satan were brothers?



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Anonymous

posted October 22, 2007 at 10:21 am


OCS, Where does it say in the Holy Bible that Jesus and Satan were NOT brothers?



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted October 22, 2007 at 12:28 pm


OCS, answer my question and I’ll answer yours.



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OCS

posted October 26, 2007 at 2:08 am


Greg; The Holy Bible has no references to Jesus and Satan being brothers. Please tell me where you are getting your scriptural reference from, so we can discuss this issue of belief by the LDS.
The Jehovah Witness’ believe that Jesus was the Archangel Michael. What is your take on their doctrinal beliefs? No offense, just curious.
I feel that your answer is a dangerous and irresponsible way to answer a question that is very valid if LDS doctrine is to be believed. There is a lot of LDS doctrine not in the Holy Word, and yet the arguement is that LDS is correct based on the fact that a doctrine is not in the Holy word.
By claiming that something is not in the Holy Bible might make it true, opens the door to a lot of false doctrine. It could mean anything is true. God gave us direction to know for sure whether or not something is true or not. i feel it is redundant to keep repeating the same scripture verses over and over again, only to end up at the same headlock.
All i can say is that if you are serious about the Holy Word of God Himself, you would not respond with a backhanded answer, such as, “where does it say they were not brothers?” i am positive that other LDS bloggers would cringe at the lack of doctinal support in your response.
i can only say, not to be on the same level, where did Jesus say that He and Satan WERE brothers, and that satan displeased his father to the point of banishing him from home? Remember the Prodigal son story? If Mormons believe that Jesus was God’s only begotten son, then who was Satan, if he was Christ’s brother? Did God have one son created one way, and one son created another?



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GB

posted October 26, 2007 at 11:15 am


OCS,
If you look more closely you will see that it wasn’t Greg that asked you “Where does it say in the Holy Bible that Jesus and Satan were NOT brothers?”
It was an anonymous poster.



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OCS

posted October 27, 2007 at 10:24 pm


GB; you are Mormon, what is your answer. i just was reading without looking at who sent it, so i apologize. i guess everything is under the microscope. Does it really matter who asked that question? It is a Mormon belief, correct?
What is the difference between a fundamentalist Mormon, and a Mormon anyway? My neighbor said there is a big difference. Can someone explain? OCS



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OCS

posted October 28, 2007 at 8:54 pm


With regard to the question, “Where does it say in the Holy Bible that Jesus and Satan were brothers?”
You present this topic as if somehow Jesus and satan cannot be brothers in any sense, and that so believing would make one a heretic.
Thus the opposing question “Where does it say in the Holy Bible that Jesus and Satan were NOT brothers?”
Almost always when someone presents the LDS understanding of the spiritual relationship we all have to each other by the statement that “Jesus and satan were brothers” they do so to try and shock (in a negative way) people.
When one understands the true relationship between Jesus and satan it really isn’t that big of a deal. Does it diminish the Divinity of Jesus Christ? No!! Does it improve satan’s position? No!!
Mike has presented a very good explanation of the pre-mortal existence in the “Let’s call Mormons ’Nontraditional Christians’” thread with some explanation of the brotherhood of all mankind. You could read that and then come back with your questions.
As far as your question “What is the difference between a fundamentalist Mormon, and a Mormon anyway?”
“Fundamentalist” is a term used by groups that have apostatized from the LDS church who practice polygamy.
Yes there is a big difference. They believe the fundamental principle of the restoration is polygamy, where as the LDS believe that the fundamental principle is revelation.



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GB

posted October 28, 2007 at 10:44 pm


Sorry, that last post of 8:54pm is from me. I’m used to a format from another site where you have to fill in a subject line that has the same placement as the name box here.
GB
P.S. the post from Mike that I mentioned was posted within the last couple of days so you don’t have to search back very far.



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OCS

posted October 30, 2007 at 1:53 am


GB; Satan was an angel, created by God, and thought he could be like God, and look what it got him. he was cast out with one third of the angels. Angels were created being by God too. They are not on the same level as us. Maybe higher when we are in our human form, but not in our next body, where we will not be able to die or get sick. angels don’t either, it is clearly stated in the bible that Jesus said we would be as the angels. Not that we would become angels. When Christ said this, in the text he was speaking, he was answering the pharisees and saducees, and saying there would be no marriage in heaven. That heaven is not like here on earth. Our relationships are not the same. We all know each other, but not as husband and wife, or child and parent. i believe we know each other, but not in the same capacity.
Going back to the Satan and Jesus thing, It does not say that they were brothers anywhere. And that said, THAT statement is not heretical. It would be more heretical to say they were brothers. Don’t you think that Christ may have said that if it was true? i believe in the three years of Christ’s ministry, He told us what we needed to know. The rest is faith.
As far as the apostacy of the Mormon Church; since it itself has apostated i think that throws the statement under the bus about other churches apostating themselves and in so doing are not to be followed. It is no longer a valid argument about a church being True.
The bottom line is that there has been no success in proving the LDS beliefs true. i have not seen so much disagreement since talk of Jehovah witnesses (who’s big arguement is about God’s name being mispronounced (it actually should be Yaweh if you want to get down to tacks)and that being the main reason that traditional belief is not to be believed) JW’s believe that Jesus was actually the archangel Michael, and the founder of their church believed Christ came in the 20’s, and again it was a man who actually did rather well during his lifetime. He left a big pink mansion, and about 20 sports cars in the year 1929 to his church, including money originally collected by the church to host all the elders of Christianity, (Moses, elijah, elishah, Paul and others) he had imported trees and plants from the middle east so they would be comfortable. It is pretty outlandish. And yet, there are faithful followers.
To me, it is man that has changed up Christianity and what God wanted conveyed to all of us.
i find it odd that JW’s son’t believe in blood transfusions, but drive cars and go to the Dr. for other things.
Mormon Doctorines have similar pastels to that. They may not be as extreme in one way, and in another they are.
Anyway, i have heard good blogs both ways, but i appreciated Ys’s blogs the most as he seemed to grasp Christianity and the difference in Mormonism.
OCS



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted October 30, 2007 at 11:10 am


OCS, this was the original question that was asked. It remains unanswered.
OCS:
> Satan was not Jesus’ brother, but he was an angel that wanted to be a
> god, or rather, be god.
Greg:
> Cool! What are the scriptures that support this?
Continuing:
> Angels were created being by God too.
Yes.
> They are not on the same level as us.
I think Mike has shown conclusively that they ARE us.
> i believe in the three years of Christ’s ministry, He told us what we
> needed to know. The rest is faith.
Do/did we need to know that Christ and Satan were brothers (we are their brothers and sisters, too!)? Does it matter to salvation?
> As far as the apostacy of the Mormon Church; since it itself has
> apostated
It has not. How is it that you make this wild assertion?
> i think that throws the statement under the bus about other churches
> apostating themselves and in so doing are not to be followed. It is
> no longer a valid argument about a church being True.
A faulty conclusion from a fault premise.
> The bottom line is that there has been no success in proving the LDS
> beliefs true.
Of course there has. The Holy Ghost himself has witnessed to me of their truth.
> i have not seen so much disagreement since talk of Jehovah witnesses

> It is pretty outlandish. And yet, there are faithful followers.

> To me, it is man that has changed up Christianity and what God wanted
> conveyed to all of us.
No, it is God himself who has restored the plain and precious things that men have removed from his Holy Word.
> i find it odd that JW’s son’t believe in blood transfusions, but
> drive cars and go to the Dr. for other things.
> Mormon Doctorines have similar pastels to that. They may not be as
> extreme in one way, and in another they are.
Guilt by a perceived similarity? A red herring.
> Anyway, i have heard good blogs both ways, but i appreciated Ys’s
> blogs the most as he seemed to grasp Christianity and the difference
> in Mormonism.
In other words, you agree with what YS said. Understandable, but I think most of us here understand the difference between Traditional Orthodox Christianity and the LDS faith.



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GB

posted October 30, 2007 at 12:42 pm


OSC,
You obviously didn’t read Mikes post that I told you about. Are you afraid that his presentation will BLOW your arguments away?



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tangopapa

posted November 4, 2007 at 10:13 pm


Gregory; you want to tell me where the scriptures that support that Jesus and Satan WERE brothers?
i have never read that statement anywhere in any scripture.
GB: Maybe that would blow away YOUR arguements! You think?
Don’t throw questions back in the face of a traditional Christian, if you want to be taken seriously. Show where you get the verses that contain any reference to a start that God lives on, that Satan and Jesus were brothers, that there is marriage in heaven, that we were created before we were born, i could go on and on.
There is scripture that supports everything that Christians’ believe, because scripture is where it all comes from.
Mormonism on the other hand, believe what one man, (boy) said happened to him. The put Smith in High esteem as a truth teller. And boy, did he come up with some doosey’s if you ask me.
Throw scripture around if you must, you only make yourselves look bad.



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted November 5, 2007 at 12:12 pm


> Gregory; you want to tell me where the scriptures that support that
> Jesus and Satan WERE brothers?
That was the question that was asked of me by OCS. At the time, I was awaiting an answer from him and said that my answer would follow his. Thus it remains.
> Don’t throw questions back in the face of a traditional Christian, if
> you want to be taken seriously. Show where you get the verses that
> contain any reference to a start that God lives on, that Satan and
> Jesus were brothers, that there is marriage in heaven, that we were
> created before we were born, i could go on and on.
I think Mike has done a wonderful job finding just such verses and pointing them out in this discussion.
> Mormonism on the other hand, believe what one man, (boy) said
> happened to him. The put Smith in High esteem as a truth teller. And
> boy, did he come up with some doosey’s if you ask me.
We believe him because the Holy Ghost has witnessed to us of the truth he spoke.



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted November 5, 2007 at 12:14 pm


> Gregory; you want to tell me where the scriptures that support that
> Jesus and Satan WERE brothers?
That was the question that was asked of me by OCS. At the time, I was awaiting an answer from him and said that my answer would follow his. Thus it remains.
> Don’t throw questions back in the face of a traditional Christian, if
> you want to be taken seriously. Show where you get the verses that
> contain any reference to a start that God lives on, that Satan and
> Jesus were brothers, that there is marriage in heaven, that we were
> created before we were born, i could go on and on.
I think Mike has done a wonderful job finding just such verses and pointing them out in this discussion.
> Mormonism on the other hand, believe what one man, (boy) said
> happened to him. The put Smith in High esteem as a truth teller. And
> boy, did he come up with some doosey’s if you ask me.
We believe him because the Holy Ghost has witnessed to us of the truth he spoke.



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richard

posted November 6, 2007 at 3:08 pm


i agree with the southern baptist, i do beleive that mormonism is a cult. whats the matter isnt the bible enough. why do you need to go adding to the scripture dont you know that the bible is a done deal. it says in the back of the bible that those who add to this book of prophecy will be added to the plauges describned in it, and those who take away from this book of prophecy, that there share in the tree of life will be taken away. the book of mormon is therefore clearly adding to gods already finished word, and thus cannot be proven as true christian scripture but indatead man made scripture. trust me my sister is mormon, i know these thinngs.



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted November 6, 2007 at 3:53 pm


> i do beleive that mormonism is a cult
What does it mean to you when you say the mormonism is a cult?
> whats the matter isnt the bible enough
Not according to God.
> why do you need to go adding to the scripture dont you know that the
> bible is a done deal.
God felt/feels the need to add to scripture, as is his right.
> it says in the back of the bible that those who add to this book of
> prophecy will be added to the plauges describned in it, and those who
> take away from this book of prophecy, that there share in the tree of
> life will be taken away.
1. Deuteronomy 4:2 says virtually the same thing. Would you have us throw out the New Testament, too, as well as the remainder of the Old Testament?
2. Which book is it referring to? The Bible wasn’t assembled until hundreds of years after Revelations was written and it wasn’t even the last book written.
3. It doesn’t say “those who take away …”, it says “if any MAN shall take away …” So men aren’t to add to scripture, but God is still free to do so.
> the book of mormon is therefore clearly adding to gods already
> finished word
The Old Testament was finished, too. Do you not believe in the New Testament?
> and thus cannot be proven as true christian scripture but indatead
> man made scripture
A faulty conclusion from a faulty premise.
> trust me my sister is mormon,
I am personally a member of the LDS faith. Your refutation of the Book of Mormon wouldn’t pass muster with grade-school members of our church.
> i know these thinngs
No, quite obviously, you don’t.



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TooMuch

posted November 6, 2007 at 4:25 pm


richard,
You are obviously an infant in your own knowledge of the Bible…otherwise, you would know your accusations to be specious…study the Bible until you really now it…then come to these discussions and we might have a productive conversation, until then…”it is better to be thought a fool, than to write something down and remove all doubt.!



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anonymouse:)

posted November 7, 2007 at 2:36 am


Too Much and Gregory; ahhhh, now it is YOU who are both being snide in your remarks to the newcomer.
Gregory; God told Paul “My grace is sufficient for you”
Do you thing the Bible, which is His word is NOT enough?
The comments about grade school Mormonism, makes a good point about a taught, steady lesson that does not change. i helped teach Sunday School in my own church ( and no, that does not mean i am a woman) and we always taught the lesson, and talked about it after wards. We never said it could only be interpreted one way, but encouraged a seeking of one, to find the truth to himself.
Mormonism does follow a cult like standing in that the respnses are seemingly robotic. They cannot be truthfull unless plugged into Mormon Belief. Many Christians can follow divisions of the true Christian Church without the fear of being called, or made to believe to be a radical Christian, or a “born again” stated in derogatory terms.
bleieve me, it is handed down both ways.
Without a church of men, telling you the absolute answer, do you believe you really follow the Holy Ghost? or do you believe you follow how men have percieved the Holy Word?
The traditional orthodox religions believe you can only speak to God throug a priest. A Born again believes that because Christ died on the cross, it tore the veil that seperated us from God, and we don’t need someone to talk for us. we can speak directly to God Himself. So maybe a good thing to do wouold be to pray to God and Jesus and ask for his guidance and anything blasphemous, concerning His word. i kow i have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, in guidance, and also conviction.
No one can tell me i misread, and i got it wrong.
My question or challenge is this, How can i be right, but a Mormon be wrong? We both believe we are right. i love the



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TooMuch

posted November 7, 2007 at 4:42 pm


Anonymouse:),
I’m sorry, but I just can’t follow your logic here…
In one thread you say all you need do for salvation is “believe Jesus died on the Cross, accept His gift of salvation”…it’s that simple.
But then you rant and rave how Mormons, all who claim that Jesus died on the Cross and have accepted His gift of salvation…will not be saved; they are a cult…
You claim a Jesus who has a body, but puts it on and takes it off like a shower robe.
You claim a simple salvation, but then state that most Christians can follow “divisions of the true chruch.”
In fact, anonymous:) it is exactly because of people like you that a “Restoration of the True Gospel of Jesus Christ” was necessary…You and most of the other TOC’s have validated for all to read that this Restoration was necessary since you had combobalated the truth so much, who can believe anything of what you claim…Trinity (not three but one); Rapture (not biblical, but accepted by you nonetheless); Old and New Testament prophets, but none today…I wish you could recognize the absurdity of your statements…



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anonymouse:)

posted November 8, 2007 at 12:58 am


Too Much; Let me remind YOU that you are thinking from a Mormon mind, not an unfiltered and clear thought process. You have been “loaded” and feel you are ready for any and all.
You call my statements absurd. Well, they are from 1800 years after Christ and however many years before He actually came (sorry, i don’t have the exact number for you) that i base my statements on. unfortunately, you don’t believe in the test of time. You have made fun of Christ, who IS God, but in Man, and claim by your statements that He can create the world, but not put on or take off a body as a robe. Well, why not? What about all of the miracles He performed? Did turning Water into Wine for His first miracle mean anything to you? It was for a Wedding. Not exactly life or death. Why do you think He chose that miracle to perform? Was it becuase His mother pulled Him aside and said in so many words (You can fix this You know). Jesus even told His mother, “It is not the time” and yet, He turned water into wine. Do you believe that, but not that He can be in human form and not the next? Jesus conquered death! When you claim you can too, i will have more respect for your blasphemous statements to my Lord and Saviour.
My statements that you call absurd, are believed by the majority, and yet you sound as if Smith (where your whole belief started from) had it right. Why is that i wonder? Is it because it makes more sense to you that what you stated above? It makes more sense to you in your finite mind that God, who created the whole world and universe, could not be three and one at the same time? Who are you to now stand up in defense of someone like Smith and say, “That doesn’t make sense in my human mind, but three different personages does, so that MUST be right!” You acuse TOC’s as “discombobalating” the truth (as if you have it) and it is why it all got out of whack to begin with (my words in description of your verbage).
Do you like peanut M&M’s? Ever notice that although each single one is a single bite of candy, there is three parts to it? There is a peanut inside, chocolate in the middle, and a hard outer shell? Like an egg? How can it be that one little candy be three in one?
What if the dimensions we move through were only 2? Like all we could do was side to side, not up and down? Everything would be flat, and that is all we would know. But life and dimension is not like that, in fact there is a lot of dimensions we may not even really understand. Like Time. We move in more than one or two dimensions.
What if Columbus would have been afraid of falling off the edge of the earth? Instead he found the world was round after all, just as it appeared to be by looking at the night sky.
i believe that part of a roadblock of many Mormons is the need for all to make sense. What if a hundred years from now, mankind learns how to move at the speed of light? If that happens, do you know what it could mean? Can you wrap your mind around it? Let me know what you think life would be like if that happened. Nothing biblical, just what life would be like if we could move at the speed of light. And put the answer on this blog. There is a reason i ask. i will let you know when you answer.
Until then, you really need to remember all your bible verses that could contradict, not just agree with, Mormonism. As a true Christian, you should never just accept that you have all the answers. And you should definately not judge someone as going to hell or likewise. Like you did on another page of these blogs towards a man. Do you really feel like you are that all knowing, and that you could not possibly be wrong about what you believe? So right in fact, that you put him down for leaving the “bretheren” and you cannot even pray for his soul, as if he is condemned forever? what if YOU are the one that is wrong? Would you want someone to pray for you? Kind of like what your religion does for others in their stead, after they have passed, so they have a chance at salvation?
Tell me Mormon’s don’t resemble a cult.



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TooMuch

posted November 8, 2007 at 11:37 am


Anonymous:),
It would be nice to keep this all in one thread rather than chasing all over these threads to answer your mostly absurd assertions…
Anyway, I do like much of your reasoning…it is helpful for me to see some of the “why” of your thinking about the Bible, God, etc.
I don’t have time right now to address All your statements, but will state this about the “traitor”…
I don’t recall condemning him to hell!? I do recall suggesting he rethink his position and repent…quite different from your assertion. If you lived in the Days of Jesus and knew Judas and witnesses his betrayal…would you call him to repentance in hopes that he would change? gotta go…
cheers



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OCS

posted November 9, 2007 at 12:54 am


Too Much; How can you compare a man to Judas Iscariot that betrayed Christ to death for coin?
Do you feel that this man did something that bad by leaving the Mormon Church?



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted November 9, 2007 at 12:16 pm


> Too Much; Let me remind YOU that you are thinking from a Mormon mind,
> not an unfiltered and clear thought process.
Ridiculous and rude.
> You have been “loaded” and feel you are ready for any and all.
The witness of the Holy Ghost is a powerful thing.
> You call my statements absurd. Well, they are from 1800 years after
> Christ and however many years before He actually came (sorry, i don’t
> have the exact number for you) that i base my statements on.
> unfortunately, you don’t believe in the test of time.
Sorry, but time doesn’t create truth. This is an example of the logical fallacy called “Appeal to Tradition”.
> You have made fun of Christ,
I can’t see where he has done this.
> who IS God, but in Man, and claim by your statements that He can
> create the world, but not put on or take off a body as a robe.
Uh, he made no such claim.
> Well, why not? What about all of the miracles He performed? Did
> turning Water into Wine for His first miracle mean anything to you?
> It was for a Wedding. Not exactly life or death. Why do you think He
> chose that miracle to perform? Was it becuase His mother pulled Him
> aside and said in so many words (You can fix this You know). Jesus
> even told His mother, “It is not the time” and yet, He turned water
> into wine. Do you believe that, but not that He can be in human form
> and not the next?
Meaningless, since TooMuch didn’t make the claim you said he did.
> Jesus conquered death! When you claim you can too, i will have more
> respect for your blasphemous statements to my Lord and Saviour.
Sorry, no blasphemy here.
> My statements that you call absurd, are believed by the majority,
An example of the logical fallacy “Argumentum Ad Populum”.
> and yet you sound as if Smith (where your whole belief started from)
> had it right. Why is that i wonder?
Because the Holy Ghost has witness unto me (and I presume to TooMuch, as well) of its truth.
> Is it because it makes more sense to you that what you stated above?
No, it’s because of the reason I just gave.
> It makes more sense to you in your finite mind that God, who created
> the whole world and universe, could not be three and one at the same
> time?
Not so much a “could not” as an “is not”. The Bible doesn’t support the trinity.
> Who are you to now stand up in defense of someone like Smith and say,
> “That doesn’t make sense in my human mind, but three different
> personages does, so that MUST be right!”
You sound as if he has been making a logical deduction instead of listening the the spirit.
> You acuse TOC’s as “discombobalating” the truth (as if you have it)
> and it is why it all got out of whack to begin with (my words in
> description of your verbage).
Uh…
> Do you like peanut M&M’s?
*I* do. I don’t know about TooMuch.
> Ever notice that although each single one is a single bite of candy,
> there is three parts to it? There is a peanut inside, chocolate in
> the middle, and a hard outer shell? Like an egg? How can it be that
> one little candy be three in one?
Is your argument that since other things can be composed of separate substances, that this proves the trinity? This is the logical fallacy known as “Faulty Analogy”.
> What if the dimensions we move through were only 2? Like all we could
> do was side to side, not up and down? Everything would be flat, and
> that is all we would know. But life and dimension is not like that,
> in fact there is a lot of dimensions we may not even really
> understand. Like Time. We move in more than one or two dimensions.
L. Ron, is that you?
> What if Columbus would have been afraid of falling off the edge of
> the earth? Instead he found the world was round after all, just as it
> appeared to be by looking at the night sky.
Uh…
> i believe that part of a roadblock of many Mormons is the need for
> all to make sense.
You believe incorrectly, then. I don’t need for all to make sense. I hearken unto the Holy Spirit.
> What if a hundred years from now, mankind learns how to move at the
> speed of light? If that happens, do you know what it could mean? Can
> you wrap your mind around it?
I think you have set the record for the number of red herrings and logical fallacies in a single post.
> Let me know what you think life would be like if that happened.
> Nothing biblical, just what life would be like if we could move at
> the speed of light. And put the answer on this blog. There is a
> reason i ask. i will let you know when you answer.
Since his guess would be nothing more than a guess, what does it matter? And to tantalize us with your “reason” is intellectually dishonest.
> Until then, you really need to remember all your bible verses that
> could contradict, not just agree with, Mormonism.
That would be hard, since there aren’t any.
> As a true Christian, you should never just accept that you have all
> the answers.
I am a true Christian and I accept that I will never have all of the answers. I don’t think any Mormon would claim otherwise.
> And you should definately not judge someone as going to hell or
> likewise.
Good, and we haven’t.
> Like you did on another page of these blogs towards a man.
Please point this out.
> Do you really feel like you are that all knowing,
No, see above.
> and that you could not possibly be wrong about what you believe?
*I* am not wrong about what I believe because of the witness of the Holy Ghost, whose power you discount at every turn.
> So right in fact, that you put him down for leaving the “bretheren”
> and you cannot even pray for his soul, as if he is condemned forever?
> what if YOU are the one that is wrong?
We do not wonder if our beliefs are right or wrong. Do you wonder about yours? Just curious.
> Would you want someone to pray for you? Kind of like what your
> religion does for others in their stead, after they have passed, so
> they have a chance at salvation?
There is no need to answer a question based on a faulty premise.
> Tell me Mormon’s don’t resemble a cult.
TOCs love to throw around the word cult. Heh.



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TooMuch

posted November 9, 2007 at 5:46 pm


Greg,
Thanks…I needed that hearty laugh…it’s been a long week!
It thrills me inside to know that despite distance or numbers…LDS are consistently united in Doctrine and understanding of even the simple truths found in scripture…just one more testament of restored truth is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
TooMuch a.k.a. “QuickFix”



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GB

posted November 10, 2007 at 10:55 pm


Greg,
You rock!!!



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OCS

posted November 11, 2007 at 8:55 pm


Okay Greg; you asked for it.
The first and foremost problem i have with what you believe (not you personally) is that Smith translated an Egyptian Papryus the wrong way. 150 years after the fact, in the New York Metropolitan Museum, it is there, and you can check on it. Mormon Egyptians and non- Mormon Egytians, agree that it was “The Book of Breathings” which is an egyptian death schroll that has nothing to do with Abraham, but which the Book of Abraham in one of Mormonism’s divinely inspired translations was written. There are many false teachings of what Smith’s so called Prophecies declared verses, and yet one mormon has the uneducated nerve to say he didn’t believe “the experts” anyway. How is that? How can a Mormon be so hard headed to say that profesional egyptian translators, mormon and non, are wrong in their translating the papryus?
Also, have quoted Smiths end, and his prophesy about his end, and how it did not match up. He was a false prophet in more ways than one. If you want to know, look on the other pages. If i have to jump around, you do too. Others can know the truth by looking for themselves. There is too many questions. Mostly all i read is rebuttals of the Mormon belief, not many things being a rebuttal of Christ. Which would be contradictory since Mormons want to be seen as Christian. There would be no other reason for this blog. Mormon faith wants to be seen as correct, and all other beliefs false. Ultimately it is left up to the person reading. Whether they would bet on eternal salvation through Christ, or Joseph Smith, becuase it is obvious that they both believed different things.
Gregory: Tell me how God could tell Moses in Exodus 33:20 “But, He said, “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
What do you think God meant by saying that to Moses? Moses was blessed in that he was able to have a dialouge with God, person to person. But he did not see God’s face, only His back. God’s own words were, no man sees me and lives.
How is it then that Smith saw the face of God and Jesus. Jesus was a man, transformed into a man to be with us before He could walk this earth among men. You balk at the very God of the universe, and you are okay with it. Don’t you worry you are following a man who said things that didn’t come to pass? Don’t you worry that Smith changed the word of God, in a literal way? That is what i do not understand.
One big difference in Mormons and Christians is that a true Christian and follower of God, and God incarnate as Jesus, would wish that a fellow human being, created by God and given a spirit at birth, would want them to be saved. Mormons almost seem to rejoice (see above) at what they believe to be someone elses downfall. Not that the person is doomed, because from what i have learned from the Mormons on these pages is that we are all saved in some sense, so it is all okay. When it is not by a Christian standard. God Sent His Son to save us. If we all lived by Mormon standards, then Jesus would not have needed to come, and would not have.
Why are all of you so hard headed? Don’t you see where you could be following someone false? No Mormon will even acknowledge that Smith by Biblical standards was probably wrong. It is all a big arguement.
The one thing i do notice above all else; you all seem to respond with the same verses. Why is that? i have found myself in the last 2 months looking up the same verses over and over, and not getting how it is you understand them that way. But i did notice the pattern. i think you are all programmed, as stated above, to respond the same way, to the very same issues. That is what is so hard to believe. on one page i was responded to with me getting the verse wrong, and what came of it was this; The verse was written two different ways. So how could that be? The dates were different too. Since Mormons believe that God’s word can change, and Christians don’t, there is a problem. If every 10 years Mormon’s books change with what they say, then how is anything to be believed?
Again to all my friends on this blog, i really do respect, as has been shown to me, how strong your belief is. I do not mean to do anything but point out what i feel is a serious misunderstanding in a man against God’s words.
The only thing i can do as a person with my own beliefs is point out where i see a problem with understanding. I use The Holy Bible as my guide though. I have witnessed over and over, a verbage different in meaning and understanding in these blogs.
i would hope that anyone reading these blogs would question both sides, and see what comes out truthful.
I feel that the Bible substantiates what it says, That God Said it, and it always follows through. there is no change. There is no difference that sticks.
Make sense? THANKS TO ALL THE MORMONS ON THESE BLOGS!



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted November 12, 2007 at 11:25 am


> Okay Greg; you asked for it.
> The first and foremost problem i have with what you believe (not you
> personally) is that Smith translated an Egyptian Papryus the wrong way.
GB responded to this on another thread.
> Whether they would bet on eternal salvation through Christ, or Joseph
> Smith, becuase it is obvious that they both believed different things.
No, the LDS church teaches salvation through Christ, not Joseph Smith.
> Gregory: Tell me how God could tell Moses in Exodus 33:20 “But, He
> said, “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
> You balk at the very God of the universe,
No.
> Don’t you worry you are following a man who said things that didn’t
> come to pass?
All of his prophecies came true or still can.
> Don’t you worry that Smith changed the word of God, in a literal way?
No, he quite simple didn’t.
> One big difference in Mormons and Christians is that a true Christian
> and follower of God, and God incarnate as Jesus, would wish that a
> fellow human being, created by God and given a spirit at birth, would
> want them to be saved.
Mormons also want all men to be saved. You are trying to manufacture a difference where there is none.
> Mormons almost seem to rejoice (see above) at what they believe to be
> someone elses downfall.
No.
> Not that the person is doomed, because from what i have learned from
> the Mormons on these pages is that we are all saved in some sense, so
> it is all okay. When it is not by a Christian standard.
???
> God Sent His Son to save us.
Yes!
> If we all lived by Mormon standards, then Jesus would not have needed
> to come, and would not have.
Your “logic” doesn’t follow.
> Why are all of you so hard headed? Don’t you see where you could be
> following someone false?
We, quite simply, could not. The witness of the Holy Ghost is a powerful thing.
> No Mormon will even acknowledge that Smith by Biblical standards was
> probably wrong. It is all a big arguement.
Our faith is sound, Christ-centered, and Holy Ghost-affirmed. Take the Mormon challenge. Your soul will thank you.
> The one thing i do notice above all else; you all seem to respond
> with the same verses. Why is that?
You’d have to be more specific.
> i have found myself in the last 2 months looking up the same verses
> over and over,
That’s a shame.
> and not getting how it is you understand them that way.
The Holy Spirit. You discount his power at every turn.
> But i did notice the pattern. i think you are all programmed, as
> stated above, to respond the same way, to the very same issues.
That good old Mormon brainwashing, eh? I have been a member of the LDS faith for less time then I was a good old-fashioned TOC.
> That is what is so hard to believe.
I find the whole brainwashing thing hard to believe, too!
> on one page i was responded to with me getting the verse wrong,
> and what came of it was this; The verse was written two different
> ways. So how could that be? The dates were different too. Since
> Mormons believe that God’s word can change,
No.
> and Christians don’t, there is a problem.
The only problem is your misstatement of the above.
> If every 10 years Mormon’s books change with what they say, then how
> is anything to be believed?
Because they don’t. How is anything to be believed? By the witness of the Holy Ghost.
> Again to all my friends on this blog, i really do respect, as has
> been shown to me, how strong your belief is.
You’ve claimed respect, but shown little. People will judge you for your actions, not your words.
> I do not mean to do anything but point out what i feel is a serious
> misunderstanding in a man against God’s words.
Until you stop denying the Holy Spirit his power, you will continue to misunderstand.
> The only thing i can do as a person with my own beliefs is point out
> where i see a problem with understanding. I use The Holy Bible as my
> guide though. I have witnessed over and over, a verbage different in
> meaning and understanding in these blogs.
Ask of God what the truth is, as is the Biblical pattern.
> i would hope that anyone reading these blogs would question both
> sides, and see what comes out truthful.
Absolutely!
> I feel that the Bible substantiates what it says, That God Said it,
> and it always follows through. there is no change. There is no
> difference that sticks.
k.
> Make sense?
We cannot prove the BOM to be true, but God can through the witness of the Holy Ghost.



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OCS

posted November 17, 2007 at 1:30 am


Gregory; do you ever consider Yourself, or the book of Mormon to be wrong? You are following a belief that has no logic, 1800 years after Chritianity, which Mormonism disputes.
Look, i have nothing against Mormons, as humans. What i do have an issue with is people like Smith that lead good people astray.
NO one will know for sure until we step over, agreed? But i believe in the holy bible because of all the men who wrote it, and how they all seem to coaberate each other, and how Christ was testified to by men He chose at random. Since they said they understood their teacher, i believe they knew Him in a way that was meant to start Christianity. I believe He was crucified because of how radical His teachings were, but what the others didn’t understand, and as Christians we have the ability to, is that He came to fulfill what was prophesied. Just think about the wise men and their faith in finding Christ knowing that Herod would kill Him if he knew who the King of Kings is. That is who you speak against, Jesus, The King of Kings. You say His own Father changed His mind, and constantly changes His mind, which is contradictory to what the Bible says.
Why would a Mormon follow the Bible at all if it is true that Mormons believe the Bible to be corrupt teachings of an apostate church?



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GB

posted November 19, 2007 at 10:30 am


OCS,
Do you ever consider Yourself wrong? You are following a belief that has no logic, 1600 years after Catholicism, which Protestants dispute.
OCS: You say His own Father changed His mind, and constantly changes His mind,. . .
GB: You keep saying that we keep saying stuff that we haven’t said. Why don’t you stop your rhetoric and start reading our posts carefully.
Mike addressed on another thread. recently. I suspect you read it there and couldn’t formulate a coherent response. (Of course coherency isn’t your strong point.) God changes practices but not principles. For examples of this just read the Bible.
OCS: . . . which is contradictory to what the Bible says.
GB: Only in your confused mental state.
OCS: Why would a Mormon follow the Bible at all if it is true that Mormons believe the Bible to be corrupt teachings of an apostate church?
GB: Because as usual, what you say we believe is inaccurate. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. We don’t believe it to be “corrupt teachings of an apostate church”.
The “corrupt teachings” would be the “Creeds” that came after the departure of the Apostles.
What ever it is you are inhaling is clouding your ability to think.



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted November 19, 2007 at 11:16 am


> Gregory; do you ever consider Yourself, or the book of Mormon to be
> wrong?
Nope!
> You are following a belief that has no logic,
I disagree.
> 1800 years after Chritianity,
1800 years is a red herring.
> which Mormonism disputes.
Of course it doesn’t. Mormonism IS Christianity.
> Look, i have nothing against Mormons, as humans. What i do have an
> issue with is people like Smith that lead good people astray.
He didn’t.
> NO one will know for sure until we step over, agreed?
I disagree wholeheartedly! I know for absolute certainty that both the Bible and the LDS scriptures are true. You would, too, if you had the witness of the Holy Ghost.
> That is who you speak against, Jesus, The King of Kings.
No, quite the opposite. Jesus Christ is the author of my religion.
> You say His own Father changed His mind, and constantly changes His
> mind, which is contradictory to what the Bible says.
No, it isn’t. And it isn’t correct to term it a “change of mind”. Do we still fall under the law of Moses? Did God “change his mind” about that?
> Why would a Mormon follow the Bible at all if it is true that Mormons
> believe the Bible to be corrupt teachings of an apostate church?
Nobody here has ever called it corrupt.



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Mike

posted November 20, 2007 at 2:45 pm


All one needs to do is to draw up a comparison between Joseph Smith Jr and Mohammed.
They both created new religions that at first implied a link to Christianity (or Christ) and then used some weak arguments to attack the Christian religion.
They both incorporate the Christian Bible figures and then add more to them and alter facts about their life.
They both enjoyed enormous political benefits from their new religions.
They both took on many wives (some young and some old; including a controversially young girl).
They both made prophecies that didn’t come true.
Finally, they both lead a great number of people (good or bad) astray.



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GB

posted November 20, 2007 at 3:57 pm


Mike: All one needs to do is to draw up a comparison between Joseph Smith Jr and Mohammed.
GB: Well, let’s see if you get it right.
Mike: They both created new religions that at first implied a link to Christianity (or Christ) . . . .
GB: False, I can’t speak for Mohammad but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints doesn’t just imply a link to Christianity (or Christ) it expresses a link to Christ and His Church. Christ is linked to the Church by revelation and it is His Church though once lost now Restored.
Mike: . . . and then used some weak arguments to attack the Christian religion.
GB: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints doesn’t “attack the Christian religion” it is the restoration of the Christian religion.
Mike: They both incorporate the Christian Bible figures and then add more to them and alter facts about their life.
GB: I can’t speak for Mohammad but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints hasn’t changed the Bible (we us the King James Version) so therefore it hasn’t added figures to it nor has it altered facts about their lives.
Mike: They both enjoyed enormous political benefits from their new religions.
GB: I can’t speak for Mohammad but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints hasn’t enjoyed enormous political benefits. In fact due to lack of “political benefits” members of the church were driven at gun point from both Missouri and Illinois and Joseph Smith was murdered. So much for your statement.
Mike: They both took on many wives (some young and some old; including a controversially young girl).
GB: I can’t speak for Mohammad but the so called controversial young girl that was SEALED to Joseph Smith was not controversially young for the times. In the early 1800s it was very common for girls of her age to marry.
Mike: They both made prophecies that didn’t come true.
GB: I can’t speak for Mohammad but Joseph Smiths prophecies have either come to pass or they will come to pass and you can’t prove otherwise. I notice that you provide no support for your statement.
Make: Finally, they both lead a great number of people (good or bad) astray.
GB: I can’t speak for Mohammad but Joseph Smith being a true prophet of the living God didn’t lead anyone astray.
So NO, you didn’t get it right.



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Mike

posted November 20, 2007 at 5:21 pm


First, take a deep breath.
Let’s go over the points:
1. Whether Mormonism has an implied link or a real one is really subjective. Just because you have a real link, it doesn’t make it so. Muslims also revere Jesus Christ.
2. Saying that Christianity needed Joseph Smith to “restore” it is a real attack on the religion. Islam also claims to restore the message of God, which was supposedly lost with Christian and Jews.
3. Exactly my point, you have the true Biblical figures from KJV Bible. In addition you also have the ones in the Book of Mormon, which I am not sure where they came from.
4. Having this whole Church structure is a political gain. Being called a prophet is a political gain. Commanding all these people and having them obey your every words is a political gain. Having such clout as to influence the politics of the US is a political gain.
5. I see you have no argument against the many wives point. I also accept your argument about her age relative to her environment. By the way, this is the same argument Muslims make. A prophet should be above any social issues in his/her environment.
6. Any one can make a “prophecy” that can be generic enough or far enough in the future that it can’t be disproved. Or make a prophecy that falls within his power to fulfill. Although Joseph Smith Jr. wasn’t always careful enough. Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophecies_of_Joseph_Smith%2C_Jr.
He made prophecies about the end of times among other things that we already know is false.



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted November 20, 2007 at 6:18 pm


Mike, you *do* realize that the similarities (whether real or not) between Mohammad and Joseph Smith are a red herring. Trying to imply that Smith is a false prophet because you perceive parallels to another false prophet is disingenuous and invalid.
1. The fact is, Jesus Christ is the author of the LDS religion.
2. Joseph Smith restored true Christianity because it had apostated, as foretold in the Bible.
3. Your ignorance is not proof against the text.
4. Political gain is a red herring.
5. They both took on many wives. k.
6. You say Smith wasn’t always careful enough and he made prophecies that we know are false. I challenge you to find a single one.



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Mike

posted November 20, 2007 at 6:33 pm


The following text is provided without comment for your reading pleasure. I am waiting for the symbolism explanation.
The Coming of the Lord
President Smith then stated that the meeting had been called, because God had commanded it; and it was made known to him by vision and by the Holy Spirit. . . . it was the will of God that they should be ordained to the ministry and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, for the coming of the Lord, which was nigh — even fifty six years should wind up the scene. (History of the Church, Vol. 2, page 182).
This prophecy was spoken by Joseph Smith in 1835, and recorded by Oliver Cowdery. The fifty-six years were passed by 1891.
David W. Patten to go on a mission
Verily, thus saith the Lord: It is wisdom in my servant David W. Patten, that he settle up all his business as soon as he possibly can, and make a disposition of his merchandise, that he may perform a mission unto me next spring, in company with others, even twelve including himself, to testify of my name and bear glad tidings unto the world. (Doctrine & Covenants 114:1)
This prophecy was made on April 17, 1838. David W. Patten died in October of 1838 and thus never went on a mission the following spring.



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GB

posted November 20, 2007 at 8:34 pm


Mike: First, take a deep breath. Let’s go over the points:
GB: Translation: Oh crap that didn’t go over like I thought it would.
Mike: In addition you also have the ones in the Book of Mormon, which I am not sure where they came from.
GB: Translation: I am to lazy to actually read the Book of Mormon to find out for myself what it really says, so I will just believe the crap from those anti-mormon web sites.
Mike: The Coming of the Lord
President Smith . . .— even fifty six years should wind up the scene. (History of the Church, Vol. 2, page 182).
This prophecy was spoken by Joseph Smith in 1835, and recorded by Oliver Cowdery. The fifty-six years were passed by 1891.
GB: Translation: I am to lazy to actually find out what constitutes a prophesy (using the Bible of course) so I will just take the word of an anti-mormon and just cut and paste from his site.
Deut. 18:20-22
18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak IN MY NAME, I will require it of him.
20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word IN MY NAME, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
Now go back and read your post very carefully. Was Joseph Smith speaking IN THE NAME OF THE LORD?
NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Therefore according to the Bible what he said is NOT a prophecy.
Besides he used the phrase “even fifty six years SHOULD wind up the scene.” He did NOT say ‘even fifty six years WILL wind up the scene’.
So, sorry that wasn’t a false prophecy. Next!
D & C 114 was not a prophecy, it was a mission call. Joseph Smith, under the inspiration of the Lord, issued a call for David Patten to go on a mission the following spring. This call by revelation is not a prophecy that David would serve a mission, but an admonition to set all his affairs in order so that he MAY perform a mission. Although Patten was killed, his affairs were in order when he died so that his family could endure his absence. This alone indicates the Lord’s foreknowledge of Patten’s death. And who knows but that Patten served that mission call on the other side of the veil?
There are several Biblical parallels to David Patten’s mission call, such as the calling of Judas as an Apostle. As one of the Twelve Apostles, Judas was promised by the Lord that he would sit on twelve thrones with the others and judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28). Judas, of his own choice (unlike David Patten) never fulfilled this promise of the Lord. This doesn’t make the Lord a false prophet in the case of Judas. Nor were the Lord and His prophet, Joseph Smith, mistaken in the case of David Patten.
So, sorry that wasn’t a false prophecy either. Strike TWO!!!
Mike, I suggest that you find more reliable sources for your material. It makes you look foolish when you haven’t done the research but take the words of anti-mormons. Be warned!!! They will embarass you every time.



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Mike

posted November 20, 2007 at 9:59 pm


Well GB. For a moment I thought this would be a coherent discussion, but unfortunately this turned into an illogical rant. God Bless you always.



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GB

posted November 20, 2007 at 11:27 pm


Mike: For a moment I thought this would be a coherent discussion, but unfortunately this turned into an illogical rant.
GB: Translation: Oh crap he is right and now I look like a fool. I better bow out of here before I make myself look worse.
Mike,
You never intended to have a coherent discussion in the first place.



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Mike

posted November 21, 2007 at 8:13 am


When you’re debating someone, you have to choose your language appropriately. I’d say from the way you RANT that you are between 14 – 22 years old. If you’re not then it is a bigger problem.
When it comes to Smith’s “prophecies”. Are we supposed to listen to him or not. Is he supposed to be inspired by God or not. What you presented was a very strange and rather convenient. When a “prophet” stands up in a meeting with elders to discuss issues of salvation of the world, I think he’d better by talking in the name of the Lord. Although in his case, I know he wasn’t.
Jesus never talked about Judah going on a mission. He was selected and called for a purpose and he fulfilled it. It wasn’t that he was killed and “God’s” plans were then altered.
Matt 19:28 interpretation is also misleading. If you also read the book of acts, you’ll know Judah was replaced with Mattias to complete the Twelve.
It seems you’re only picking one or two things to respond to. That’s alright.
Now to show you how respectful I was, I never mentioned the golden plates or reformed Egyptian or the book of Abraham.
By the way, I am Egyptian and I can read and write Ancient Egyptian. Unfortunately I can’t read or decipher Reformed Egyptian since it was made up.
Another observation, I have: if this reformed Egyptian was used for the gold plates, why weren’t it used for the book of Abraham as well?



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GB

posted November 21, 2007 at 10:47 am


Mike: I’d say from the way you RANT that you are between 14 – 22 years old. If you’re not then it is a bigger problem.
GB: So you have nothing to refute my arguments except a lame attempt at a personal attack. What does that say about your maturity?
Mike: When it comes to Smith’s “prophecies”. Are we supposed to listen to him or not.
GB: Did he speak “in the name of the Lord”? No. So were those “prophecies”? No.
I will assume that you have nothing better or you would have presented it.
Mike: Is he supposed to be inspired by God or not.
GB: Only when he claims to be inspired by God. NEWS FLASH!!! Prophets are human and not perfect. Just check the examples in the Bible.
Mike: What you presented was a very strange and rather convenient.
GB: What you presented was very weak and feeble.
Mike: When a “prophet” stands up in a meeting with elders to discuss issues of salvation of the world, I think he’d better by talking in the name of the Lord.
GB: A prophet will tell you when he is speaking in the name of the Lord. Just check the examples in the Bible.
Mike: Although in his case, I know he wasn’t.
GB: A prophet will tell you when he is speaking in the name of the Lord. According to the record you are correct. So if you know he wasn’t speaking in the name of the Lord why did you claim this was a prophecy? And if you knew it wasn’t a prophecy at all why did you claim it was a false prophecy? Were you being deceptive?
Mike: Jesus never talked about Judah going on a mission.
GB: True, but irrelevant.
Mike: He was selected and called for a purpose and he fulfilled it.
GB: You are not addressing the issue I raised. This is a red herring.
Mike: It wasn’t that he was killed and “God’s” plans were then altered.
GB: True, but irrelevant.
Mike: Matt 19:28 interpretation is also misleading. If you also read the book of acts, you’ll know Judah was replaced with Mattias to complete the Twelve.
GB: Another red herring. The replacement of the dead Judah with the living Mattias doesn’t negate the statement in Matt 19:28. It is interesting to see how you are having to contort things to try and avoid the obvious relevance.
Mike: It seems you’re only picking one or two things to respond to. That’s alright.
GB: What did I miss?
Mike: Now to show you how respectful I was, I never mentioned the golden plates or reformed Egyptian or the book of Abraham.
GB: Oh how magnanimous of you to spare me from more refutable anti-mormon drivel. Or did you just want to save yourself from further embarrassment.
Mike: By the way, I am Egyptian and I can read and write Ancient Egyptian. Unfortunately I can’t read or decipher Reformed Egyptian since it was made up.
GB: Actually it was “MODIFIED” by the Nephites. That is why it is called “reformed Egyptian”. So unless you were a Nephite or a seer I wouldn’t expect you to be able to read or decipher it.
Mike: Another observation, I have: if this reformed Egyptian was used for the gold plates, why weren’t it used for the book of Abraham as well?
GB: Different authors, different source locations, and different times.



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OCS

posted November 25, 2007 at 10:46 pm


There has never been any historical proof of a group called the nephites.
B of M. 1 Nephi 4:9 “and i saw that the blade thereof was of the most precious steel”
There is absolutely no historical evidence of steel being developed by man during the period around 592 BC. that was when this supposed verse of the book was written (592 BC)
B of M. 1 Nephi 18;12 “And it came to pass that the compass, which had been prepared”
This was supposedly the words from 600 BC. The compass is thought to have been first used around AD 1,000.
B of M Alma 13;18 Melchizedek reigned “under his father.”
Heb. 7:3 Melchizedek was “without father”.
B of M Jacob 7:27 “…Brethren, adieu.” (a French word)
The earliest development of French from Latin was about 700 AD.
B of M 3 Nephi 9:18 “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.”
Joseph Smith claimed there was no Greek or Latin upon these plates.
B of M, Alma 46:15 Believer are called Chritians in 73 BC
Believers were first called Christians at Antioch (about 42 AD)
*How could any people be called Christians before Christ walked the earth?
These are just some of the contradictions found in what Smith said. He wasn’t up against educated people back then, and there was no way to check what he said against the actual history of things. There is today though. I would hope that Mormons who read these facts, and realize that Smith translated wrong, would question all they believe was said by him as being from God, or from a “familiar spirit”
By the way, what do you think gold plates that he described would have actually weighed? Does anyone think he possibly could have carried solid gold plates? Has any Mormon ever questioned where the so called tribe of Nephites got solid gold plates to write on? Interesting that they chose gold, and God chose stone to write His commandments on.



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GB

posted November 26, 2007 at 10:24 pm


OCS: There has never been any historical proof of a group called the nephites.
GB: You mean other than the Book of Mormon record. Of course at your education level you may not understand that lack of evidence isn’t proof of absence.
OCS: B of M. 1 Nephi 4:9 “and i saw that the blade thereof was of the most precious steel”
There is absolutely no historical evidence of steel being developed by man during the period around 592 BC. that was when this supposed verse of the book was written (592 BC)
GB: The steel of the Book of Mormon is surely not modern steel, since such a metal did not exist even in Joseph Smith’s day (the Bessemer process upon which modern steel depended until 1968 was not patented until 1855).
Steel is formed from iron in one of two ways:
> quenching (hot, non-molten iron is immersed in water to harden it)
>folding (molten iron is folded and hammered to bind carbon atoms to it)
Any Mesoamerican production likely depended upon the first method, which requires lower temperatures and less sophistication. Laban’s “steel sword” is not anachronistic; Middle Eastern smiths were making steel by the tenth century B.C.
Nephi states that Laban, a powerful military official in Jerusalem around 600 B.C., possessed a sword with a blade “of the most precious steel” (1 Nephi 4:9). Many critics of the Book of Mormon have cited this passage as evidence against the Book of Mormon’s historicity, “Steel,” it is argued, “was not known to man in those days.”
Today, however, it is increasingly apparent that the practice of “steeling” iron through deliberate carburization was well known to the Near Eastern world from which the Lehi colony emerged. “It seems evident that by the beginning of the tenth century B.C. blacksmiths were intentionally steeling iron.” (Robert Maddin, James D. Muhly and Tamara S. Wheeler, “How the Iron Age Began,” Scientific American 237/4 (October 1977): 127. )
A carburized iron knife dating to the twelfth century B.C. is known from Cyprus. Ibid. The knife shows evidence of quenching. (See Tamara S. Wheeler and Robert Maddin, “Metallurgy and Ancient Man,” in The Coming Age of Iron. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1980), 121.)
In addition to this, “a site on Mt. Adir in northern Israel has yielded an iron pick in association with twelfth century pottery. One would hesitate to remove a sample from the pick for analysis, but it has been possible to test the tip for hardness. The readings averaged 38 on the Rockwell ‘C’ scale of hardness. This is a reading characteristic of modern hardened steel.” (Maddin, Muhly, and Wheeler, “How the Iron Age Began,” 127.)
Quenching and tempering, methods of steeling iron, were also known to Mediterranean blacksmiths during this period. (Ibid., 131. James D, Muhly, “How iron technology changed the ancient world” Biblical Archaeology Review (November-December 1982): In Hershall Shanks, Archaeology and the Bible: The Best of BAR (1990) 1:234.)
Archaeologists recently discovered a tempered carburized iron sword near Jericho. The sword which had a bronze haft, was one meter long and dates to the time of King Josiah, who would have been a contemporary of Lehi. (Hershall Shanks, “Antiquities Director Confronts Problems and Controversies,” Biblical Archaeology Review 12/4 (July-August 1986): 33, 35.)
Hershall Shanks recently described the find as “spectacular” since it is “the only complete sword of its size and type from this period yet discovered in Israel.” (Ibid.) Such discoveries lend a greater sense of historicity to Nephi’s passing comment in the Book of Mormon.
“Steel” in Joseph Smith’s day also referred to simply “making hard,” and not necessarily to the specific metal with which we now associate the term. This is consistent with ancient usage and conflations of metals (e.g. copper and iron among the Egyptians) modern readers now consider to be separate entities. Consider the entry from Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary of American English:
STEEL, n. [G.]
1. Iron combined with a small portion of carbon; iron refined and hardened, used in making instruments, and particularly useful as the material of edged tools. It is called in chemistry, carburet of iron; but this is more usually the denomination of plumbago.
2. Figuratively, weapons; particularly, offensive weapons, swords, spears and the like…
4. Extreme hardness; as heads or hearts of steel.
So as usual OCS is, shall we say, “smoking something”.
OCS: B of M. 1 Nephi 18;12 “And it came to pass that the compass, which had been prepared”
This was supposedly the words from 600 BC. The compass is thought to have been first used around AD 1,000.
GB: Alma explained why the director the Lord gave to Lehi was called the Liahona:
Alma 37:38…I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director — or our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass; and the Lord prepared it [1]
Believing it was called a compass because it pointed the direction for Lehi to travel is the FAULT of the modern reader, not the Book of Mormon.
As a verb, the word “compass” occurs frequently in the King James Version of the Bible; and it generally suggests the idea of surrounding or encircling something.
In a few cases (e.g. Exodus 27:5; Proverbs 8:27; Isaiah 44:13) it is used as a noun, and suggests something which encircles another thing.
A third common situation in the KJV is the use of the phrase “to fetch a compass” (e.g., Numbers 34:5; Joshua 15:3; Acts 28:13), which if not recognized as a verbal phrase could be wrongly seen as presenting “compass” as a noun.
In every case, it is clear that, at least in Jacobean England, the word was regularly treated as meaning either a round object, or something which moved in a curved fashion.
Further evidence of the archaic meaning of the word comes from a study of the rather lengthy listing for the word in the Oxford English Dictionary. It includes definition 5.b.:
“Anything circular in shape, e.g. the globe, the horizon; also, a circlet or ring.”
To use the word compass as a name for a round or curved object is well attested in both the King James Version of the Bible and the Oxford English Dictionary . The Book of Mormon refers to the Liahona as “a compass” not because it anachronistically pointed the way to travel, but because it was a round object.
So once again OCS has been intellectually lazy for not researching the topic he attempts to flog mormons with.
OCS: B of M Alma 13;18 Melchizedek reigned “under his father.”
Heb. 7:3 Melchizedek was “without father”.
GB: Well let’s see JST Heb 7:3 reads “For this Melchizedek was ordained a priest after the order of the Son of God, which order was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life. And all those who are ordained unto this priesthood are made like unto the Son of God, abiding a priest continually.
4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
So the Priesthood is without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life. Melchizedek was a man and according to 1 Cor 15: 22 (For as in Adam all die. . . .) all men die. Even Jesus Christ had a Father and a mother and a beginning of days (at His birth) and end of life (at His crucifixion). Are you trying to make Melchizedek greater than Jesus?
What ever it is you are smoking OCS, you should give it up. It has damaged your brain cells.
OCS: B of M Jacob 7:27 “…Brethren, adieu.” (a French word)
The earliest development of French from Latin was about 700 AD.
GB: There are at least three problems with the adieu argument against the Book of Mormon.
1. Critics often overlook the fact that the word adieu was not on the plates.
2. The translator of a work can use words from any language he chooses in order to convey the meaning of the text to his readers, so that even if adieu had been a foreign word (e.g., French) to Joseph Smith, there is nothing either unusual or problematic with his choosing that word in his translation.
3. Critics mistakenly think the word adieu is not an English word.
Neither English nor French was on the plates. The English Book of Mormon is a translation. This means that it is no more likely that the word adieu appeared on the plates than did the words yea, beginning, or sword. Except for proper nouns and a few other possibly transliterated nouns, no word that appears in the English version of the Book of Mormon can be said to have been on the ancient Nephite plates. Similarly, the phrase “and it came to pass” never appeared anywhere on the Nephite plates. Whatever character, word, or phrase that had been engraved on the plates was translated by Joseph Smith into what he felt was an approximate equivalent in English.
Despite the fact that the word adieu appears in the English translation of the Book of Mormon, the word adieu was certainly not known to any Book of Mormon writer, the word adieu was never used by any Book of Mormon writer, and the word adieu did not appear anywhere on the Nephite plates.
A translation can legitimately use words from many languages. The goal of a translation is to take a text written in one language and to make it understandable to someone who does not understand that language. Anyone who has had the need to translate knows that frequently there is no way to convey all of the meanings, nuances, and subtleties of the original text in the new language. Translators are free to select words and phrases that they feel best convey the original meaning and will best be understood by the readers of the translation.
For example, it would be perfectly acceptable for a translation from Japanese to English to include the non-English phrases ad hoc, hoi polloi, or savoir faire if those phrases seem to properly convey the original meaning and if the translator believes that readers will understand them.
Adieu is Joseph’s translation of a concept expressed by Jacob. Adieu implies “farewell until we meet with God,” a fitting finale to Jacob’s testimony and writing.
The appearance of non-English words (if there are any) in the Book of Mormon has absolutely no bearing on whether the Book of Mormon is authentic or whether the translation was properly done, and the presence of non-English words in the translated text would not imply that those non-English words appeared in the original text on the Nephite plates.
Adieu is an English word. There is a common misunderstanding among some critics of the Book of Mormon that the word adieu is not an English word. This is not true. The problem stems from the fact that adieu is both an English word and a French word, and most English speakers are more familiar with its use in a French context.
Adieu is a perfectly good English word that has appeared in English dictionaries, English literature, and in common English usage from long before Joseph Smith to the present. Adieu entered the English language in the 14th century. It entered from Middle French, not modern French, and it has been part of English for approximately 800 years. Adieu has been part of the English language longer than the word banquet, which is a word in modern French, but banquet entered the English language only in the 15th century. Adieu is no less English than commence, nation, psychology, Bible, vision, or any other word that can be traced back to Latin, Greek, German, French, Spanish, or any other language.
The presence of adieu is no more a challenge to the historicity and authenticity of the Book of Mormon than the 36 uses of banquet in the NIV is a challenge to the historicity and authenticity of the Bible.
Apparently all three of these concepts were beyond OCS’ ability to figure out on his own.
OCS: B of M 3 Nephi 9:18 “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.”
Joseph Smith claimed there was no Greek or Latin upon these plates.
GB: See above.
OCS: B of M, Alma 46:15 Believer are called Chritians in 73 BC
Believers were first called Christians at Antioch (about 42 AD)
*How could any people be called Christians before Christ walked the earth?
GB: See above.
OCS: These are just some of the contradictions found in what Smith said. He wasn’t up against educated people back then, and there was no way to check what he said against the actual history of things. There is today though. I would hope that Mormons who read these facts, and realize that Smith translated wrong, would question all they believe was said by him as being from God, or from a “familiar spirit”
GB: OCS, Your intellectual prowess is amazing to behold.
OCS: By the way, what do you think gold plates that he described would have actually weighed? Does anyone think he possibly could have carried solid gold plates? Has any Mormon ever questioned where the so called tribe of Nephites got solid gold plates to write on? Interesting that they chose gold, and God chose stone to write His commandments on.
GB: Although no single comprehensive description of the Book of Mormon plates has been preserved, the Prophet Joseph Smith and several people closely associated with him made various statements that include partial descriptions of the plates. When we consider all the sources together, quite a detailed picture emerges of the physical characteristics of the ancient Nephite record.
Material
“the appearance of gold” —Joseph Smith Jr., Eight Witnesses, Orson Pratt
“golden plates” —David Whitmer
“a mixture of gold and copper” —William Smith
Weight
“weighing altogether from forty to sixty lbs.” —Martin Harris
“I was permitted to lift them. . . . They weighed about sixty pounds according to the best of my judgement.” —William Smith
“I . . . judged them to have weighed about sixty pounds.” —William Smith
“They were much heavier than a stone, and very much heavier than wood. . . . As near as I could tell, about sixty pounds.” —William Smith
“I hefted the plates, and I knew from the heft that they were lead or gold.” —Martin Harris
“My daughter said, they were about as much as she could lift. They were now in the glass-box, and my wife said they were very heavy. They both lifted them.” —Martin Harris
“I moved them from place to place on the table, as it was necessary in doing my work.” —Emma Smith
Joseph’s sister Catherine, while she was dusting in the room where he had been translating, “hefted those plates [which were covered with a cloth] and found them very heavy.” —H. S. Salisbury, paraphrasing Catherine Smith Salisbury
Individual Plate Dimensions
“six inches wide by eight inches long” —Joseph Smith Jr.
“seven inches wide by eight inches in length” —Martin Harris
“seven by eight inches” —Martin Harris
“about eight inches long, seven inches wide” —David Whitmer
“Each plate was not far from seven by eight inches in width and length.” —Orson Pratt
Thickness of Each Plate
“of the thickness of plates of tin” —Martin Harris
“thin leaves of gold” —Martin Harris
“about as thick as parchment” —David Whitmer
“not quite as thick as common tin” —Orson Pratt
“[We] could raise the leaves this way (raising a few leaves of the Bible before him).” —William Smith
“They seemed to be pliable like thick paper, and would rustle with a metalic [sic] sound when the edges were moved by the thumb, as one does sometimes thumb the edges of a book.” —Emma Smith
Volume Thickness
“something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed” —Orson Pratt
“[W]hen piled one above the other, they were altogether about four inches thick.” —Martin Harris
So once again OCS has been shown to be “smoking something”. He uses the terms “solid gold plates” which is no where found in any of the first hand descriptions of the plates. Are you trying to be deceptive OCS?



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Confused

posted November 29, 2007 at 5:13 pm


So elephants are not really elephants and horses are not really horses. Also steel is not really steel. Adieu is not really French either. Neither are Christians really Christians.
Maybe the Gold plates are not really gold??
The title of this page seems to indicate a debate over a religious group, but at first glance, seems this is about a science fiction novel of some parallel universe.



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted November 29, 2007 at 6:46 pm


I am confused by you, Confused, for I don’t see anyone referring to elephants or horses.
If I had, I would proffer the following text from Michael R. Ash:
The only place that elephants are mentioned in the Book of Mormon is in Ether 9:19 in approximately 2500 B.C. Thus any elephants existing upon the American continents need not have survived past about 2400 B.C. The critics, however, assure that the “elephant is not a native of America and never was its inhabitant” (Hyde, 226). In my paper regarding the Book of Mormon’s use of the term “ horse,” I presented evidence that sometimes animals disappear without a trace even though they are attested to in written documents. I add to this evidence the observation of Dr. Nibley:
Any naturalist would assume that the elephant has been extinct in western Asia for hundreds of thousands of years, for all the evidence the creature has left of itself: it is from written history alone that we receive the assurances that large herds of elephants roamed the temperate lands of Syria and the upper Euphrates as late as the XVIII Egyptian dynasty, when the Pharaohs hunted them for sport, and that elephants were used by the war-lords of central Asia well into the Middle Ages. In late antiquity the wild variety disappeared without a trace, due perhaps to a change in world climate. (Nibley, 1980, p. 217.)
There is at least some support for the Book of Mormon’s usage of the term “elephants.” First we have traditions. Sorenson explains that some “North American Indians have recounted legends of ‘great stiff-legged beasts who could not lie down’ and of an animal with a fifth appendage, which came out of its head. Possibly, tribes transmitted through oral tradition some vague remembrance of encounters with these ‘elephants’” (Sorenson, 1985, p. 298). Other Indian stories have been preserved as well.
Strong… reproduced a Naskapi account concerning a creature called Katcheetohuskw…. “When asked to describe the Katcheetohuskw, the informants said he was very large, had a big head, large ears and teeth, and a long nose with which he hit people” (italics supplied). “His tracks in the snow were described in their stories as large and round.” (Johnson, 4.)
Even as late as 1560 “the Italian cartographer Paula de Furlani drew a map, which is preserved in the British Museum, depicting elephants in the region of the Mississippi Valley…. On the way to the New World, Columbus stopped at the Canary Islands and observed: ‘Other Canarieans also inhabit the wild regions extending from Mount Atlas through the sands of Lybia, places covered with black dust and filled with serpents and elephants’” (Cheesman, 1984, 55).
Besides the traditions, five elephant effigies have been found in ancient Mexico (Wirth, 51). Dr. Verrill, a well-known (non-Mormon) archaeologist describes one of these figures as “‘so strikingly and obviously elephantine that it cannot be explained away by any of the ordinary theories of being a conventionalized or exaggerated tapir, ant-eater or macaw. Not only does this figure show a trunk, but in addition it has the big leaf-like ears and the forward-bending knees peculiar to the elephants. Moreover, it shows a load or burden strapped upon its back. It is inconceivable that any man could have imagined a creature with the flapping ears and peculiar hind knees of an elephant, or that any human being could have conventionalized a tapir to this extent’” (ibid). In the early 1900s two stone slabs were found at a ruin in Arizona which dated to approximately 1100 A.D. These tablets contained a pictograph of an elephant (Cheesman, 1984, 144-5).
The oral traditions, written records, and artwork depicting elephants lends strong support for the claim that the elephant existed in ancient America. Even more substantial support– actual remains– have also been discovered. Today all scholars agree that mastodons and mammoths (which are unquestionably elephants to zoologists) once lived in the Americas. The dispute today is how late they lived. According to the Book of Mormon they need not have lived later than 2400 B.C. Within recent years archaeological evidence has demonstrated that the elephant could very well have survived to such a late date. Butchered mastodon bones were recently discovered at one archaeological site which dates to shortly after the time of Christ. Another site, dating to approximately 100 B.C. has yielded the remains of a mammoth, a mastodon, as well as a horse (Sorenson, 1985, pgs., 297-8).
Some scholars have suggested that the elephant (mammoth or mastodon) lived later than hitherto believed. Ludwell Johnson, in an article entitled “Men and Elephants in America” published in Scientific Monthly, wrote that “Discoveries of associations of human and proboscidean remains [Elephantine mammals, including, elephants, mammoths, and mastodons] are by no means uncommon. As of 1950, MacCowan listed no less than twenty-seven” including, as noted by Hugo Gross, a “partly burned mastodon skeleton and numerous potsherds at Alangasi, Ecuador” (Johnson, 1).
Johnson goes on to explain that “There can no longer be any doubt that man and elephant coexisted in America…. Probably it is safe to say that American Proboscidea have been extinct for a minimum of 3000 years” (Johnson, 2). If the elephants had died off at least 3000 years ago, they would still have been well within range of the Jaredite era. And as noted above, some evidence indicates that the elephant may have survived in limited numbers for centuries later.



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GB

posted November 30, 2007 at 9:40 am


Confused,
You are just a confused anti-mormon.
Posted by: GB | November 26, 2007 10:24 PM “The problem stems from the fact that adieu is both an English word and a French word,. . . ”
Posted by: Confused | November 29, 2007 5:13 PM “Adieu is not really French either.”
Just another example of anti-mormon logic and reason (or very poor reading comprehension).



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James

posted December 4, 2007 at 5:17 am


Come on people…
You do have to admit that it is rather strange that there is no clear evidence to support any of the Book of Mormons claims.
You base so much on such weak ground. The problem with attacking Mormonism isn’t trying to find SOMETHING to attack, it trying to decide what NOT to attack.
More of that “anti-mormon” woe is me stuff. That is an awefully sensitive persecution complex that you guys have. Perhaps it stems form the fact that you practice a religion that is so extremely vulnerable.
Your only real reply to any challenges offered is to make crude character assassinations and insults.
PLEASE. KEEP IT UP. YOUR MAKING OUR JOB EASIER.



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GB

posted December 4, 2007 at 1:26 pm


2 . . . I knew that I had spoken hard things against the wicked, according to the truth; and the righteous have I justified, and testified that they should be lifted up at the last day; wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.
3 And now my brethren, if ye were righteous and were willing to hearken to the truth, and give heed unto it, that ye might walk uprightly before God, then ye would not murmur because of the truth, and say: Thou speakest hard things against us.



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OCS

posted December 5, 2007 at 12:58 am


common sense is not a part of Mormon vocabulary. They don’t use any. It is sad because they are looking for God in all the wrong places.



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PA

posted December 6, 2007 at 6:08 pm


My words to James and OCS: If you guys had a clue about the truth of the Mormons, you would quickly recall your statements. Chances are you have been taught about the Mormons from the pulpit by an Anti-Mormon preacher. Just like how I would go to a Ford auto dealership to learn about Dodge products…catch my drift? Saying Mormons are vulnerable and have no common sense 100% proves you guys have NO clue of the truth about us. I lived in the Bible belt for awhile and have heard all the concerns a thousand times…and have proved them wrong a thousand times. With all due respect, do your homework, study Christ’s life from an objective point of view and then reevaluate your opinion.



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GB

posted December 6, 2007 at 6:57 pm


J H S,
Thanks for your kind words. It is true that a lot of Baptists join the LDS church and make some of the finest members. You may not know it but the LDS church maintains strict political neutrality on everything except moral issues. And this in spite of the fact that majority (but certainly not all) members are conservative.
Thanks for dropping by.
GB



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PA

posted December 6, 2007 at 8:52 pm


It’s my pleasure! I think one of the biggest things that gets under my skin is when people say things when they have no idea what they’re talking about.
I served an LDS mission in Flordia, an extention of the bible belt, and I was blown away at how similar some of the Baptist’s beliefs are to ours. I totally agree that some of our finest members use to be Baptists.
And the anti’s think were gulable! They need to look in the mirror and be a little more independent minded from their antagonistic ministers. Even if people don’t ever see eye to eye with us, people need to be Christlike about their differing opinions.



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OCS

posted December 11, 2007 at 12:45 am


UH, that is spelled gullable. Good for you, and good luck



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted December 11, 2007 at 10:54 am


Word to the wise, if the point of your post is something as pedantic as correcting a spelling error, you might just want to check if your correction is actually correct. For the record, it is not.



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James

posted December 13, 2007 at 2:39 am


GB,
Maybe if you had been studying the Bible instead of a false gospel you would have remembered these verses.
Unlike those from Nephi these Words are Holy.
(Matthew 15:17-18)
17Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
18But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
(2 Tim. 2:23-24)
23But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
(Ephesians 4:31)
31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Thank you for demonstrating how false Mormon beliefs are. You have been a wonderful aid. You demonstrate for me how the Book of Mormon clashes with the Bible.
Thank again GB



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James

posted December 13, 2007 at 2:47 am


Sorry PA, but I never said you didn’t have any common sense. I don’t slander my fellow man with crude jibes and character attacks. That would be a disservice to He whom I represent.
I will not however retract my beliefs. You assume too much when you make broad generalizations about me. I’ve had a great deal of contact with Mormons in my time, and I heard pretty much everything in your bag of tricks. I’ve even had a couple of LDS missionaries stalk my wife. So yeah, I know all about you guys. In fact, I’ve done probably enough research over the past couple of years to make it a fairly safe bet that I know more about your churches history than you do. There is a WHOLE lot of stuff your church elders don’t make you guys privy to anymore.



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Rotorhead

posted December 13, 2007 at 3:52 pm


James,
There’s that pride thing again…you presume way beyond your authority. To say you represent anyone, especially, God is to claim a very privileged status indeed. In the private sector it is called having Power of Attorney; as pertaining to Godly things it is called divine investiture…or priesthood. You have neither. It would be like you went to some five-and-dime store, bought a phony police badge then started pulling people over in their cars to issue them tickets…just reading police magazines or memorizing the police regulation handbook does not give you any authority to act…merely wanting to help is not enough.
to act in God’s name without His authority is to break one of His prime commandments…Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain…
It’s never too late to repent…until, that is…it become too late.



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James

posted December 13, 2007 at 5:14 pm


Those who believe in the True Christ have authority and are of the priesthood. I have recieved the Holy Spirit and am reborn in Him. I know that I am Saved. I have my own Testimony of the Spirit through Christ Jesus. I need nothing and no one else. He will justify me. As yet I am not perfect as no one is, but I have the all cleansing Blood of Christ, and He will Save me. Selah. May God bless you and keep you. May you come in time to know Him who died for your Salvation. You need only accept Him, and the rest will take care of itself.



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Rotorhead

posted December 13, 2007 at 5:53 pm


James,
You said on another thread, “Actual debate requires evidence and logical argument. One person needs to make a charge or statement. Then that person must substantiate that charge or statement with supporting evidence (in this case the Bible). If others disagree with that charge or statement they must address it and then they must present a logical argument substantiated with evidence in order to refute it. The side that fails to do this loses.”
Yet you have fallen into your own hypocritical trap…but then that is a normal course for the boastful and proud…
Where is your evidence (biblical) that states you can assume priesthood authority once you are “born again”?
Are you ignoring Heb 5:4 “And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.”
Again, you presume authority from God that was not given; that’s called taking the name of God in vain!
Unless you can show differently, I don’t think you have been called as was Aaron, by a higher priesthood authority (Moses) and the laying on of hands for his ordination to the priesthood…but I could be wrong.



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Rotorhead

posted December 13, 2007 at 9:56 pm


James,
PS. I’m still interested in your mythology-theology, angels and giants theories…that I’m sure you can validate with the Bible.



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OCS

posted December 14, 2007 at 11:48 pm


Rotorhead; So did you sit back and wait until when you thought was the perfect time to strike?
If you answered yes, then therein is the problem. You are about you, and proving God wrong. You need to let it go pal. Christ could use your enthusiasim and maybe that is why you are reading these posts.
Mormonism doesn’t match Christianity, and no one is lying about that. Are you okay with the idea’s if Smith’s? that who really visited him was Christ and God? Even though the Holy Word says otherwise? Don’t you think it is quite a coincidence that God KNEW there would be men that would come along and claim things as Smith claimed? Things that would lead others away from God, rather than to Him?
You cannot honestly say, by logic, if that is what you prefer, that it makes sense that our God would want a bunch of other gods to contend with that would not be able to contend? He would spit them out, and He said THAT VERY THING! You have a choice of belief, by our own free will. But are you that sure that Smith was solely for salvation, or for having cake and eating it too? He sure had it good after he made the claims he did. What do you think of that?



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GB

posted December 14, 2007 at 11:49 pm


James: Those who believe in the True Christ have authority and are of the priesthood.
GB: I sure would like to see a Biblical reference that says that. Could you provide it?



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OCS

posted December 14, 2007 at 11:53 pm


PS to Rotorhead, GB, Mike and all other Mormon bloggers as i know you will have a rebuttal rather than a civil response;
don’t dumb it down, okay? Please?



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Erik

posted December 15, 2007 at 3:17 pm


OCS
I for one am OK with Christ and God the Father visiting Joseph. I know there are verses that state that no one has seen God, but that is ridiculous. I’ll show you why.
1) Paul saw Christ after he was dead. So did everyone on the day of Pentacost, so clearly Christ can visit.
2) There are plenty of scriptural references that state that God spoke to his prophets face to face: Gen. 32: 30 I have seen God face to face.
Ex. 3: 6 Moses . . . was afraid to look upon God.
Ex. 19: 11 Lord will come down in the sight of all the people.
Ex. 24: 11 nobles of the children of Israel . . . saw God.
Ex. 33: 11 Lord spake unto Moses face to face.
Ex. 33: 20 there shall no man see me, and live.
Num. 12: 8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth.
Deut. 34: 10 Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.
Judg. 13: 22 We shall surely die, because we have seen God.
1 Kgs. 11: 9 Lord . . . had appeared unto him twice.
Job 19: 26 (Moses 5: 10) in my flesh shall I see God.
Isa. 6: 5 mine eyes have seen . . . the Lord.
Matt. 5: 8 (3 Ne. 12: 8) blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Matt. 11: 27 Father . . . to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
John 5: 37 Ye have neither heard his voice . . . nor seen his shape.
John 14: 18 not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
John 14: 21 I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Acts 7: 56 I see . . . the Son of man standing on the right hand.
Heb. 12: 14 holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
1 Jn. 3: 2 we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
Rev. 1: 17 when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.
Rev. 22: 4 they shall see his face.
John 6: 46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.
This verse in plainly clear!
There are many more as well.
3) Under your stance that God the Father and Christ are One, then everyone who saw Christ saw God. In fact what does John say “he that seeth me doth see the Father also” SO according to your own beliefs, your argument that God couldn’t have visited Joseph Smith is incorrect.
So that one verse in John has a deeper meaning that is clearly explained as one continues to read.
Erik



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Mike

posted December 18, 2007 at 12:07 pm


john 6:46 IS plainly clear. He which is of God is Jesus himself and not Joseph Smith or any other as you are implying. All of those verses you quotes are evidently taken out of context.
You are also torturing the Trinity belief with your misleading statements.
I just have one question: If Christianity was so corrupt starting from the death of the apostles, how can you accept the Bible which canon was established by that corrupt church. How can you trust those early Christians to make the right decisions on which book was legitimate and which was not.
Please be respectful. Let’s have a civilized debate about a very holy topic.



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John

posted December 18, 2007 at 12:38 pm


Are Evangelicals correct when they criticize Mormons for believing in a universal apostasy? Is it true that the Christian Church that Christ established always been on the Earth? It doesn’t seem that the following individuals thought so.
Roger Williams, pastor of the oldest Baptist Church in America at Providence, Rhode Island, refused to continue as pastor on the grounds that, “There is no regularly-constituted church on earth, nor any person authorized to administer any Church ordinance: nor can there be, until new apostles are sent by the great Head of the Church, for whose coming I am seeking.” (Picturesque America, or the Land We Live In, ed. William Cullen Bryant, New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1872, vol. 1, p. 502.)
Williams also said, “The apostasy… hath so far corrupted all, that there can be no recovery out of that apostasy until Christ shall send forth new apostles to plant churches anew.” (Underhill, Edward, “Struggles and Triumphs of Religious Liberty”, cited in William F. Anderson, “Apostasy or Succession, Which?”, pp. 238-39)
In a work prepared by seventy-three noted theologians and Bible students, we read: “…we must not expect to see the Church of Holy Scripture actually existing in its perfection on the earth. It is not to be found, thus perfect, either in the collected fragments of Christendom, or still less in any one of these fragments. . . .” (Dr. William Smith, Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1896.)
Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, prominent American Baptist clergyman and author, described the decadent condition of the Christian churches of the first half of the twentieth century in these words:
“A religious reformation is afoot, and at heart it is the endeavor to recover for our modern life the religion of Jesus as against the vast, intricate, largely inadequate and often positively false religion about Jesus. Christianity today has largely left the religion which he preached, taught and lived, and has substituted another kind of religion altogether. If Jesus should come back to now, hear the mythologies built up around hint, see the creedalism, denominationalism, sacramentalism, carried on in his name, he would certainly say, ‘If this is Christianity, I am not a Christian.'”
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, lamented that the Christian had apostatized from the gospel that Christ and the apostles had taught, had lost the spiritual gifts that they once enjoyed, and had turned heathen again with only a dead form left:
“It does not appear that these extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit were common in the church for more than two or three centuries. We seldom hear of them after that fatal period when the emperor Constantine called himself a Christian, and from a vain imagination of promoting the Christian cause thereby, heaped riches and power and honor upon Christians in general, but in particular upon the Christian clergy. From this time they almost totally ceased; very few instances of the kind were found. The cause of this was not as has been supposed because there was no more occasion for them because all the world was become Christians. This is a miserable mistake; not a twentieth part of it was then nominally Christian. The real cause of it was the love of many, almost all Christians, so called, was waxed cold. The Christians had no more of the Spirit of Christ than the other heathens. The Son of Man, when he came to examine His Church, could hardly find faith upon the earth. This was the real cause why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were no longer to be found in the Christian Church because the Christians were turned heathens again, and only had earth a dead form left.” (Wesley’s Works, vol. 7, 89:26, 27)
In the Church of England Homily Against Peril of Idolatry we read: “So that laity and clergy, learned and unlearned, all ages, sects, and degrees of men, women, and children of whole Christendom — an horrible and most dreadful thing to think — have been at once drowned in abominable idolatry; of all other vices most detested by God, and most damnable to man; and that by the space of eight hundred years and more.” The Book of Homilies dates from about the middle of the sixteenth century; and in it is thus officially affirmed that the so-called Church and the whole religious world had been utterly apostate for eight centuries or more prior to the establishment of the Church of England.
In the words of one eminent historian, “Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. The Greek mind, dying, came to a transmigrated [new] life in the theology and liturgy of the Church.” (Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, 3:595.)
Thomas Jefferson, though not a cleric in the usual sense, was a great student of Christianity. Even he acknowledged the loss of the original gospel and said that he looked forward to “the prospect of a restoration of primitive Christianity.”



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John

posted December 18, 2007 at 12:48 pm


Mormons claim “the original Cristainity” as taught by the Savior Jesus Christ. While “traditional Christians” hold to the interpretations of the Bible under the light of creeds established by creeds.
How can a person have eternal life, or as Jesus taught “know God and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent” if that God is unknowable, everywhere and nowhere, passionless, without body, or substance?
Mormons teach the God that Jesus Himself taught. A personal, knowable, familliar God, who is the Father of All Mankind.



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John

posted December 18, 2007 at 2:03 pm


I am Mormon Because I believe in the Restoration of Christ’s Gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
God Loves His Children. He Sent His Son to be their Redeemer and Savior. Christ taught His Gospel so that all men could recieve Him as such. Since the beginning of Bible History God called Prophets to teach the Gospel of Christ to God’s Children, but men would distort or change that message.
Adam, Moses, Abraham, Isaiah and all authors of Biblical texts were called as Jeremiah to lead God’s children (people) to the Gospel and the salvation it offered. But one by one, the Old Testament recounts the rejection of these prophets as the scripture in Amos 3 says, “God will do nothing except he revealeth his words unto his servants the Prophets.”
Today God has called a Prophet to once again cure the Doctrinal anemia that Apostasy leaves in its wake. I believe and know by prayer, and the answers that God has given me: The Church of Jesus Christ of LAtter-day Saints is the Way that the Savior Himself has prepared for us, in this day.



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Mike

posted December 18, 2007 at 2:51 pm


For one I am not sure how valuable are these persons’ opinions – especially historians and politicians for this is simply not their fields. Also most of them have criticized the state of Christendom as a pre-cursor to their own work (agreeing with their work or not is irrelevant).
Putting all of this aside for a moment, even with three posts there is no answer to my question: How do we trust that the Bible we have today is canonical if it was compiled by those corrupt church leaders.



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Mike

posted December 18, 2007 at 6:18 pm


Also I wonder why would God not reveal himself for 1800+ years between Christ’s death and Joseph Smith. This same to contradict your Amos quote “God will do nothing except he revealeth his words unto his servants the Prophets.”



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted December 18, 2007 at 7:15 pm


> Also I wonder why would God not reveal himself for 1800+ years between
> Christ’s death and Joseph Smith.
Ask Him.
> This same to contradict your Amos quote “God will do nothing except he
> revealeth his words unto his servants the Prophets.”
No, see Isaiah 29:10–14 & Ezekiel 37:15–19.



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Rotorhead

posted December 18, 2007 at 9:34 pm


Mike: “Putting all of this aside for a moment, even with three posts there is no answer to my question: How do we trust that the Bible we have today is canonical if it was compiled by those corrupt church leaders.”
Ah, now that is the question isn’t it? How indeed? May I suggest that your question has been asked since the Bible was put together…
Only a Prophet of God has His authority to “Speak” for God to the world. If the bible represents that speaking…then only a Prophet of God can answer your question of what can or can not be trusted, whether in the bible or in any other teachings…written or verbal.
“We Thank Thee O God for A Prophet…to lead us in these latter days…”



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Mike

posted December 19, 2007 at 8:46 am


but that is circular logic. Only a prophet can tell us the Bible was true and correct and only the Bible can prove he is prophet. This knocks down a central pillar in all of Christianity.



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Mike

posted December 19, 2007 at 8:48 am


Still no answer for the 1800+ void of no witness. I took your advice and asked God. He assured me he never left Himself without a witness, not even for one day.



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Rotorhead

posted December 19, 2007 at 12:10 pm


Mike,
Only TOC’s claim “…only the bible can prove he is prophet.” The LDS claim it is by the power of the Holy Ghost.
I guess that invalidates your “circular logic” theory. Modern Christianity in general would fail entirely if not for the Bible, although which version is still wide open to debate. The true Church of Jesus Christ is NOT dependent on written testimony, although it does add validity, but relies on the Holy Ghost for teaching truth…
Since we can all pray and receive answers through the power and gift of the Holy Ghost, Christ’s Spirit, and God the Father (which are one), we need not rely entirely upon the Bible, whether translated correctly or not. The Bible, as constructed by men, is a marvelous testament of Jesus Christ, His life and teachings as well as His Gospel handed down throughout the ages…but it is NOT His (Jesus’) unabridged and complete biography…nor is it His entire library of teachings and doctrine…as most TOC’s claim…it can lead the honest in heart to God, but it can not save him…nor more than a map can bring us to our destination…only point the way…Exaltation or Eternal Life with God, my friend, requires much more than paper and ink and wishful thinking…it requires 1st Acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and 2nd obedience to ALL of His commandments…not just the ones we like…becoming perfect as He is will take more than this life to accomplish…but following Christ puts us on the correct path towards perfection…and ultimately, because of Christ, perfection is possible; without Christ it would never be possible…
Again, “We Thank Thee O God For A Prophet…” “…to guide us in these Latter Days…”



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Mike

posted December 19, 2007 at 2:15 pm


I agree with you that the Bible can only show us the way. We still have to wake down that path. We still have to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We have to obey the commandments, etc. However I completely disagree with any notion reducing the value of the Bible. If the map is faulty then there is a very slim chance a destination might be reached. Your logic shows how little you value the Bible.
The Holy Spirit is inside true believers and shows him right from wrong. The problem is that you claim that the He is telling you Joseph Smith is a prophet and I hear him telling me he is not. Obviously this is harder to debate.
Again and for the third time: my question is why did God leave himself without a witness for 1800 years.



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted December 19, 2007 at 4:03 pm


> However I completely disagree with any notion reducing the value of
> the Bible.
The LDS agree with this statement.
> The problem is that you claim that the He is telling you Joseph Smith
> is a prophet and I hear him telling me he is not. Obviously this is
> harder to debate.
Has someone made this claim? Our claim is that if you read the BoM (and D&C and PoGP) and pray about them, that the Holy Ghost will witness unto you that they are indeed true. Have you done this?
> Again and for the third time: my question is why did God leave
> himself without a witness for 1800 years.
Nobody knows the mind or will of God.



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Erik

posted December 19, 2007 at 4:06 pm


Good question Mike. But maybe a better one is why he would allow millions of his children without the opportunity to hear about Christ?
I think a historical view is in order. For 1500 of those years only a few had access to the scriptures and by few I mean probably



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Mike

posted December 19, 2007 at 4:19 pm


If you are putting the Bible in doubt. If you can’t say it wasn’t corrupted, then it can’t be relied upon. It can’t be used in a decisive manner. You can’t say with certainty it contains the word of God if it may or may not have been corrupted.
You can’t tell me I have to read the Mormon literature and pray about it to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. You are telling me I have to be presupposed to it to accept it. I haven’t read the Quran either.
I accept you don’t have an answer regarding the silent God. So what about all those people that lived in this time while God was silent. Do they get punished for being Christians (traditional or whatever you call them). How cruel and unjust would that be.



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Mike

posted December 19, 2007 at 4:19 pm


If you are putting the Bible in doubt. If you can’t say it wasn’t corrupted, then it can’t be relied upon. It can’t be used in a decisive manner. You can’t say with certainty it contains the word of God if it may or may not have been corrupted.
You can’t tell me I have to read the Mormon literature and pray about it to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. You are telling me I have to be presupposed to it to accept it. I haven’t read the Quran either.
I accept you don’t have an answer regarding the silent God. So what about all those people that lived in this time while God was silent. Do they get punished for being Christians (traditional or whatever you call them). How cruel and unjust would that be.



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted December 19, 2007 at 5:11 pm


> You can’t tell me I have to read the Mormon literature and pray about
> it to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, you have to read the scriptures and pray about them in order to receive the counsel of the Holy Spirit regarding their truth.
> You are telling me I have to be presupposed to it to accept it.
Nope, just to have read them.
> I haven’t read the Quran either.
This is a red herring.
> I accept you don’t have an answer regarding the silent God.
No man does.
> So what about all those people that lived in this time while God was
> silent. Do they get punished for being Christians (traditional or
> whatever you call them).
You really do not know the LDS faith if you would ask this question. All have a chance to receive the gospel, if not in this world then in the next.
> How cruel and unjust would that be.
Indeed!



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Rotorhead

posted December 19, 2007 at 6:43 pm


Mike,
Stop talking and listen for a change…I said, it was the Spirit of God that reveals truth…whether you read it in the Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, etc. How much truth is in each of these “books” is ultimately determined by the Spirit…not by man or the most charismatic preacher of our day.
I am glad that when you read the Bible the Spirit witnesses to you of its truths…me too! But don’t confuse getting answers to one truth or many truths as encompassing ALL truth.
Joseph Smith stated that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of all Books…Not that it was inerrant. If you can step outside of your own religious bias, you would see that many of the great Christians, Luther, Calvin, Wycliff, et al, recognized this about the Bible…not perfect, but closer than any other book of their times…for bringing one to Christ.
It’s the coming to Christ that’s important…NOT the inerrancy of the Bible.
I would submit that those who hold the Bible to be inerrant and the sum total of all God wants us to have and there ain’t no more…are in essence replacing God with paper and ink…A God who was, not IS and walks a very thin line between worshiping the One True God…and idolatry (God is no longer needed, we have the Bible!).



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Rotorhead

posted December 22, 2007 at 9:49 pm


James,
Thank you…coming from you that’s perhaps one of the highest compliments I could have received…
By the way you still haven’t answered my question about the odds of Joseph Smith’s prophesy of his name being known by every kindred, tongue and people for good and evil…? To tough a nut to crack, even for a self-proclaimed intellectual like you?
I think Erik got it right with the term Juvenile…but I will try to restrain from name calling…



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Duane Hansen

posted December 23, 2007 at 1:06 am


What Is His Definition?
I can’t see where Mr. Mohler ever defines “traditional christianity” in any of this postings. Readers would be interested to see why, what and how he can support his debate position? He gives the topic but not any debate arguments.
Definitions on This Website
I assume he knows there are other areas on this website that actually compare/contrast Mormon beliefs with Traditional Christian beliefs.
Different Nuances of Beliefs/Doctrine
Many beliefs are common to the other. There are a some obvious differences (three beings vs one, who is the God of the Old Testement, Bible and Book or Mormon support, baptism by immersion, grace and works required, three degrees of glory/salvation, modern revelation to prophets just like in Moses, Abraham, Isaac dispensations…).
Common Beliefs/Doctrine
Otherwise, Christian values are common (scripture, prayer, Holy Spirit, Christ, sacrament, authority, organization, God’s love, Christs teachings, most of Paul’s writings, etc.
Who Are The Evangelical’s Authorities?
I seems like every Pastor and church teaches something a little different. There is no “authority” which makes it easy for a paster-wannabee to get a flock going if he is a good/charismis speaker/preacher.
Who Are Southern Baptists?
Are there Northern Baptists? Yankee Baptists? Are Southern Baptists the final word on the Bible? How did they form, get started as a church? Where do they get their authority? Did they form because of the slavery issue? Why do they not practice the tenants of the New Testement and have Christs organization taught in the Bible (prophets, apostles, revelation), priesthood authority, non-pay ministry, sacrament meetings, degrees of glory, temples and temple work, etc?).
CAN OR WOULD SOMEONE / MR MOHLER ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS?
Thanks!
D Hansen
Apex, NC



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freda

posted January 23, 2008 at 2:48 pm


what food do the mormon s eat any special foods



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Gregory A. Swarthout

posted January 24, 2008 at 11:48 am

QuiteSimpleReally

posted January 27, 2008 at 4:41 pm


To all who claim Mormon’s non-Christian for claiming that Latter-Day Saints believe that God was once a human being and that human beings can become gods, I’d like to clarify a bit.
The famous couplet, written by Lorenzo Snow, fifth President of The Church of Jesus Christ, states:
As man now is, God once was;
As God now is, man may become.
It has been claimed by some that this is an altogether pagan docrine htat blasphemes the majesty of God. Not all Christians have thought so, however. In the second century Saint Irenaeus, the most important Christian theologian of his time, said much the same thing as President Lorenzo Snow.
If the Word became a man,
It was so men may become gods.
Indeed, Saint Irenaeus had more than this to say on the subject of deification:
“Do we cast blame on him [God] because we were not made gods from the beginning, but were at first created merely as men, and then later as gods? Although God has adopted this course out of his pure benevolence, that no one may charge him with discrimination or stinginess, he declares, “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are sons of the Most High.”…For it was necessary at first that nature be exhibited, then after that what was mortal would be conquered and swallowed up in immortality.”
Also, Saint Clement of Alexandria wrote, “Yea, I say, the Word of God became a man so that you might learn from a man how to become a god.” Almost an exact paraphrase of Lorenzo Snow. He also said, “if one knows himself, he will know God, and knowing God will become like God…His is beauty, true beauty, for it is God, and that man becomes a god, since God wills it. So Heraclitus was right when he said, ‘Men are gods, and gods re men.'”
Still in the 2nd Century, Saint Justin Martyr insisted that in the beginning men “were made like God, free from suffering and death,” and that they are thus “deemed worthy of becoming gods and of having power to become sons of the highest.”
In the early 4th century Saint Athanasius — that tireless foe of heresy after whom the orthodox Athanasian Creed is named — also stated his belief in deification in terms very similar to those of Lorenzo Snow: “The Word was made flesh in order that we might be enabled to be mad gods…Just as the Lord, putting on the body, became a man, so also we men are both deified through his flesh, and henceforth inherit everlasting life.” On another occasion Athanasius stated, “He became man that we might be made divine.”
Finally, Saint Augustine himself, the greatest of the Christian Fathers, said: “But he himself that justifies also deifies, for by justifying he makes sons of God. For he has given them power to become the sons of God [John 1:12}. If then we have been made sons of God, we have also been made gods.”
These are all unimpeachable Christian authorities here—no pagans, no Gnostics. All five of the above writers were not just Christians, and not just orthodox Christians—they were orthodox Christian SAINTS!! Three of the five wrote within a hundred years of the period of the Apostles, and all five believed in the doctrine of deification. This doctrine was a part of historical Christianity until relatively recent times, and it is still an important doctrine in some Eastern Orthodox churches. Those who accuse the LDS of making up the doctrine, simply do not now the history of Christian doctrine.
QSR



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OCS

posted January 29, 2008 at 11:15 pm


QSR; UH, NO. John 1:12 Yet to all who recieved , to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–13Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINE:
pg. 261: One Life, One Mind, One essence:
“Which of us understandeth the Almighty Trinity? And yet which speaketh not of It, if indeed it be It? Rare is that soul which, while it speaketh of It, knows what it speaketh of. And they contend and strive, but no one without peace seeth that vision. I could wish that men would consider these three things that are in themselves. These three are far other than the Trinity; but I speak of things in which they may exercise and prove themselves, and feel how far other they be. But the three things I speak of are, To Be, to Know, and to Will. For I Am, and I Know, and I Will: I Will to Be and to Know. In these three, therfore, let him who can see how inseparable is the distinction, and yet a distinction. Surely a man hath it before him; let him look into himself, and see, and tell me. But when he discovers and can say anything of these, let him not then think that he has discovered that which is above these Unchangeable, which Is whether on account of these three there is also, where they are, a Trinity; or whether these three be in Each, so that the three belong to Each; or whether both ways at once, wondrously, simply, and yet diversely, in Itself a limit unto Itself, yet illumitable; whereby It is, and is known unto Itself, and sufficeth to Itself, unchangeably the Self-Same, by the abundant magnitude of Its Unity,–who can readily conceive? Who in any wise express it? Who in any way rashly pronounce thereon?
Proceed in thy confession, say to the Lord thy God, O my faith, Holy, Holy, Holy, O Lord my God, in Thy name have we been baptized, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, in Thy name do we baptize, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, because among us also in His Christ did God make heaven and earth, namely, the spiritual and carnal people of His Church. Yea, and our earth, before it received the ‘form of doctrine,’ was invisible and formless, and we were covered with the darkness of ignorance. For Thou correctest man for iniquity, and ‘Thy judgments are a great deep.’ But because Thy Spirit was ‘borne over the waters,’ Thy mercy forsook not our misery, and Thou saidst, ‘Let there be light,’ ‘Repent ye, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Repent ye, let there be light. And because our sould was troubled within us, we remembered Thee, O Lord, from the land of Jordan, and that mountain equal unto Thyself, but little for our sakes; and upon our being displeased with our darkness, we turned unto Thee, ‘and there was light.’ And, behold, we were sometimes darkness, but now light in the Lord. …..
QSR; to know the history of Chistian doctrine, is to quote it correctly. I don’t know where you got your info from, but it was incorrect as far as St. Augustine was concerned. He believed in the Holy Trinity. Try again?



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Bruce Bradshaw

posted February 1, 2008 at 1:28 am


I have lived in and around LDS communities for 40 years, in Idaho. The first question asked by non-Momans is always, Are Mormans Christian? The answer is very simple, Christianity, along with Judaism and Islam, claim there is only one God, the God of Abraham. Mormans beleive every Morman man has the opportunity to become a god (doctrine of Eternal Progression), in charge of his own planet. The official teaching of the LDS Church has always been that there are countless thousands upon thousands of gods.
In order to be a Christian, you have to believe in ONE God. The Mormans believe there is one god (of this Earth), but countless thousands of Morman men have progressed to become gods in their own right. This is a corner stone of Mormanism. They can not be Christians, in any sense or definition of the word on this one fact alone. Sorry, well meaning tolerant Christians.



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Erik

posted February 1, 2008 at 9:12 pm


Who really gets to decide who or what a Christian is? Has there been an establishd definition that can be found in the Bible? Does it say that you have to believe in one God? Because the New Testament is painfully clear that Christ and the Father are separate beings. If Christ is also attained Godhood, then there are at least two we have to believe in.
The essense doctrine of eternal progression is very Biblical. Are we not promised that if we are faithful we will be heirs, receive “all that my Father have” That sounds like we will receive power like unto that which He has. Why not? Wouldn’t a benevolent father bestow everything he can on an obedient child. Or do you think that God is too jealous and wants to hoard the power for Himself. Or that he is incapable to give out His power?
As a fellow Idahoan living in the East I can attest that Mormon’s are as Christian as the Jews that followed Christ 2000 years ago.



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Renate

posted February 2, 2008 at 12:21 am


The New Testament and the Old Testament – written by G-d, makes it clear that there is an “US”. “Then God said, “Let US make man in OUR image, in OUR likeness, and let them rule over the fish…” Genesis 1:26. That is just one example in the Old Testament. In the New Testament “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was WITH God, and the Word WAS God.” John 1:1, “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30. There are not three separate beings-but ONE Triune God.
God, the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit make up the Triune Godhead. We were made in His image. Flesh, Consciousness and Spirit. God is Sovereign. We will NEVER be gods. God makes the rules. Man disobeyed them. The way to God is through Jesus Christ-the “Promised One”, the Messiah. Jesus Himself states that “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7. Jesus constantly tells his disciples that He and the Father are one and the same, that he is the glory of God revealed to man. For anyone to claim to be a Christian, they have to understand and truly believe that Jesus is not only the son of God, but that He is God himself. He revealed himself to man to die in man’s stead because of Adam’s sin, thus making restitution to God for the sin. If one does not believe that Adam’s sin is imputed onto the human race, then why did Jesus Christ have to die for them or anyone else? Jesus was born to die for us. That was his sole mission on earth. The next time He appears, every knee WILL bowwhether they want to or not. He will be recognized as the Saviour of mankind, and as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. To call oneself a Christian, one has to know Christ for who He really is. He is not a brother of anyone, most especially not Lucifer. Lucifer is a created archangel who rebelled against God, by wanting to be just like God. No created being can be like God, and so Lucifer was
banished from God’s presence along with 1/2 of the heavenly host-(demons).
Angels are a different race of created beings. They are not human like us and are not made in God’s likeness as mankind is. If someone believes that Jesus is an angel (nowhere in the Bible is Jesus referred to as an angel) their understanding and belief of Jesus is incorrect. They cannot call themselves a Christian, if they do not follow the teachings of the Bible about Jesus and God. When I was a Mormon, (I no longer am), I knew that I was not a
Christian, and did not profess to be a Christian, I professed to be a Mormon, as did my fellow Mormons. For Mormons today, to call them- selves Christians, is disengeneous and wrong doctrine. BTW, I am voting for Mitt Romney in the NY Primary regardless of his faith.



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Renate

posted February 2, 2008 at 12:26 am


Correction: 1/3rd or the heavenly host.



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Erik

posted February 2, 2008 at 7:37 am


> We will NEVER be gods.
It never says that in the Bible. We will not be God, see below for definition. But he never says that he will not give His power to us, in fact he aleady did in part when he gave men the PRiesthood.
>truly believe that Jesus is not only the son of God, but that He is >God himself.
How can he be the Son of God and God himself? As you stated before, they are two separate beings. I think part of the problem is we don’t understand the meaning of the word God. To me it signifies the power to bring about man’s salvation. God the Father did this by first creating us spiritually and then providing a plan for us. Jesus is God because he sacrificed Himself for sin, and the Holy Ghost is God because he provides strength and inspiration to follow the commandments. In this way there is ONE God (ie way of salvation)
>Lucifer is a created archangel who rebelled against God, by wanting to be just like God
Nowhere in the Bible does it say that angels are some other form of being. Who are the other 2/3 then. Lucifer’s problem was that he wanted to take/steal God’s power instead of receiving it as a gift. That was his mistake as he failed to honor God and love him. It is not a reflection of the capacity to become Gods by those that follow the commandments and do as God would have us.
Angels are disembodies spirits. “they have not flesh and blood” Isn’t that the same as a spirit? Uhh Yes!! For what purpose would God create angels? Why would Lucifer fight against us if we had something that he did not, ie a body.
Renate, I’m soory that you did not feel that you were Christian, but that was a personal issue that cannot be translated to the rest of the church. We follow Christ adamantly and profess His name, we pray to the Father in His name. What we are called is of little relevance. We respond to the name Mormon and occasionally use the term because to us and others it is synonymous with Christian.



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RotorHead

posted February 3, 2008 at 2:30 pm


Renate,
I don’t mean to sound too critical or harsh, but it is arrogance and ignorance like you convey in your posting that has kept the children of God wallowing in shadow and darkness for millennia.
I suggest you go back and read your comments as though looking from the outside in and you may see what I’m referring to.
You assume WAY over your authority to so declare what does or doesn’t make one a Christian. You make it sound like God has a multi-personality disorder. Taking to oneself with the word “US” is kind of scary if you think about it. Then to “cherry pick” one or two verses that state the “Oneness” of God (which I believe to be the unity of the Godhead) and to authoritatively declare the Triune as absolute truth is to me, highly arrogant. “I’m big, you’re small, so I’m right and you’re wrong” type attitude will make no headway.



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OCS

posted February 13, 2008 at 9:54 pm


Erik: I was reading my Bible, NIV (with the study guide) and wanted to show you what is said in it concerning angels.
Hebrews 1:4; So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
[superior to the angels]. To most Jews angels were exalted beings, especially revered because they were involved in giving the law at Sinai and to the Jews, the law was God’s supreme revelation. The Dead Sea Scrolls reflect the expectation that the archangel Michael would be the supreme figure in the Messianic Kingdom. Whether the recipents of Hebrews were tempted to assign angels a place above Christ (Messiah) is not known.[ Name ]. To Jews a name stood for the full character of a person in all he was and did. The verses right after this one indicates that this name was “Son”- a name that no angel could lay claim.
This clearly shows, even without the notes, Jesus is seperate from the angels, and that He is above them. We are also created, but that is another set of verses. And I am not referring to being there, before we were here.



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RotorHead

posted February 13, 2008 at 10:12 pm


OCS,
If you read ALL of Hebrews chapter one, you will find that God the Father, a separate being, is showing the distinction of His Son Jesus Christ, a separate being, as being His “Only” Begotten Son, meaning half God and half human (mother Mary). No other human can so declare of that heritage.
Also, you might also note that God called the Angels “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Indicating a position less than that of being an heir of salvation.



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BringSenseHere

posted February 14, 2008 at 12:30 am


By the way…
If God is perfect and can not make a mistake…how do you explain Lucifer?



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OCS

posted February 22, 2008 at 11:04 pm


By the way…
If God is perfect and can not make a mistake…how do you explain Lucifer?
Posted by: BringSenseHere | February 14, 2008 12:30 AM
Boy, THAT made me cringe! I cannot believe the arrogance of that comment. Who are you to say anything about God? Do you not trust God then, is that what you are saying? That despite anything, You don’t think God is perfect? Are you an atheist by chance?



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BringSenseHere

posted February 23, 2008 at 1:42 pm


OCS,
Now don’t get your hair all in a knot here. It’s ok to question things, yes even things of God…he is not threatened by our doubts or misunderstandings in the least. He wants us to ask, search, ponder and pray that we will become enlightened by His Spirit. The dark ages and subsequent Christian Apostasy came about by fear of questioning spiritual authority and doctrines…it took many hundreds of years for some to finally rise up and do just that…think of Galileo, Luther, Calvin among others…
If you are going to profess perfection (an attribute of God) then you have to accept that what he creates is perfection. If all things were created by God then that would have to include Lucifer, right! If God knows all, then he would know Lucifer was destined for something less than perfection…so why create something that was going to be imperfect? That would deny one of his free will to choose…Lucifer was “destined” for evil? Doesn’t sound like something God would prefer to me. Just maybe there were other forces at play here that the bible missed?!



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BringSenseHere

posted February 24, 2008 at 8:50 am


OCS,
Again, you are ASSUMING the LDS are bound by your infallible bible…not so! This apparent dilemma of God’s perfection and man’s free will to choose is perfectly explainable…outside the confines of a bible that has missing elements to it due to mistranslations, omissions, etc.
God IS perfect…there is no question to this. God IS omniscient. God IS omnipotent. God IS omnipresent.
Therefore, there must be some explanation for Lucifer (the son of the morning). It is this: he was not “created” from nil, but was a spirit child of God’s who held a high place of honor until he eventually soured and desired God’s own power. He “CHOSE” to rebel (there’s that free will thing), he was not predestined as your bible interpretation would have one believe (and by the way “predestination” is a false teaching), and was subsequently cast out of heaven to the earth as a disembodied spirit (angel of darkness) who now seeks the misery & suffering of all mankind. Ultimately, he has determined his final destruction. The question remains for us however, as to our ultimate end? Do not be deceived, choose wisely. As for me, I choose Christ and His Restored Gospel of hope, life and salvation. I am forever grateful for Him and His prophet of the restoration—Joseph Smith.



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OCS

posted February 27, 2008 at 5:41 pm


By the way…
If God is perfect and can not make a mistake…how do you explain Lucifer?
Posted by: BringSenseHere | February 14, 2008 12:30 AM
Boy, THAT made me cringe! I cannot believe the arrogance of that comment. Who are you to say anything about God? Do you not trust God then, is that what you are saying? That despite anything, You don’t think God is perfect? Are you an atheist by chance?
Posted by: OCS | February 22, 2008 11:04 PM
OCS,
Now don’t get your hair all in a knot here. It’s ok to question things, yes even things of God…he is not threatened by our doubts or misunderstandings in the least. He wants us to ask, search, ponder and pray that we will become enlightened by His Spirit. The dark ages and subsequent Christian Apostasy came about by fear of questioning spiritual authority and doctrines…it took many hundreds of years for some to finally rise up and do just that…think of Galileo, Luther, Calvin among others…
Posted by: BringSenseHere | February 23, 2008 1:42 PM
OCS,
Again, you are ASSUMING the LDS are bound by your infallible bible…not so! This apparent dilemma of God’s perfection and man’s free will to choose is perfectly explainable…outside the confines of a bible that has missing elements to it due to mistranslations, omissions, etc.
Posted by: BringSenseHere | February 23, 2008 1:42 PM
God IS perfect…there is no question to this. God IS omniscient. God IS omnipotent. God IS omnipresent.
Posted by: BringSenseHere | February 24, 2008 8:50 AM
To BringSenseHere:
Will you please make some sense here? I reposted our exchange because at best you are very confused. You asserted a question, I responded in no way about LDS (although you accused me of that), I didn’t respond with anything about the Bible (although you accused me of that), and you also went into even more verbal confusion about your own question by correcting yourself and saying God Is Perfect.
I am not sure what prompted your question, and then your response to my offense by your statement.
It seems almost robotic on here at how LDS followers respond. I for one believe that ‘Joker’, who has been on the other blogs, truly was a Mormon at some point, and Stephen of course, because both of them have a lot to say that seems to match.
What fascinates me is the illogic verbage that Mormon’s tend to use. There are illogical answers to every single statement. But there is an answer to everything. You either all really have all the answers, or want everyone to think you do. Personally I would lean toward the latter.
The lack of civility on the side of the Mormon bloggers is also interesting. There seems to be so much hatred for any outside of their belief system. That is not Christian like. And, repeatedly, they get apologies from Christian bloggers because they sincerely are trying to get through to these people, to show the huge gap in ANY type of Christian teaching to this day, and their own. They accuse TOC’s in a way that makes them sound like they believe mainstream Christianity to be evil. And yet, in reality, they are truly betting their very souls that Smith was visited by God and Jesus themselves, and believe what Smith had to say about it. And every head of their church since then. They claim to have the ‘fulness’ of the gospel. They call the Bible “your Bible” in negative words, like it is not worth anything.
How can you really think you look sensible to anyone who reads your last exchange with me? It was foolish.
My opinion is that you probably are told exactly what to say, to whatever question. The questions you learn to answer and how are bible based, and for the purpose of leading others away from mainstream Christianity, but not for the purpose of salvation. It is for the purpose of growing membership in your church. You can all boast all you want about the growth of the Mormon Church, that is fine with me. I would just be aware of how messed up our world is, and the fact that so many are looking for something that will fill the void in their lives. That void should be God, salvation through Jesus. But LDS try to fill the void with membership in their church. They give little pieces of bread to satisfy the craving and a little more, and a little more. But you only get the whole piece of bread when you are baptized into their church. Then you really begin your work.
The two bloggers on here that are ex-mormons would probably agree. Maybe they are angry because of what the LDS church does insofar as leading people into believing it is all about works, and always worrying about not making it, and so on. Maybe it cannot be explained away as easily as a recent blogger who compared them to one of their ex-mormon family members.
Do you realize that what you all are doing is putting everyone in the same box? No one would be able to think for themselves if what you said was true. I find it to be so ‘self centered’ rather than ‘God centered’ no matter what you want to call it. It isn’t us against you, it is all of us against Satan, and you are letting him have a foothold when you follow these ways of seperating Christians by rules and organizations.
If Mormons want to wear temple clothes, and call it their shield, let them. But don’t try to tell someone who takes theirs off that it will lead to damnation, because salvation has nothing to do with clothes.
That, by the way, was an analogy of what I see as the big picture on these blogs, and what the LDS bloggers are trying to do here.
Why would you defend a church who ex-communicated someone over a dispute? Why would you want to try to make the person who left look crazy? Why do you care more about the Mormon aspect of it rather than the person themselves? Don’t they matter more? You conveniently boxed up these three lives, who have value, and are obviously called by God for His work, and by doing so, in so many words, are calling THEM crazy. 3 seperate people who love the Lord, but left the Mormon Church.
Does that really make sense to you?
It really is about being Mormon to you and not Christian, isn’t it?



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BringSenseHere

posted February 27, 2008 at 7:44 pm


OCS,
Poor attempt at circumlocution. You avoided entirely answering the question.
“If God is perfect and can not make a mistake…how do you explain Lucifer?”
You see, I believe God IS perfect, and did not make a mistake, because Lucifer was not “made”. But out of curiosity, I would enjoy your explanation. I understand if it is too difficult a question for you.



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OCS

posted February 28, 2008 at 12:20 am


If you were truly Christian, you would not use trivial questions that have nothing to do with Christ (such as satan being his brother, or how could God make a mistake) to try and make a fellow Christian look wrong.
That is the issue. You are foul, and a liar. I believe you are back pedaling. Who are you to question someone, like you are the teacher?
You did not pose the question as such, it was more like a statement of how I could explain God being perfect if He created someone like satan.
Mormons believe that Jesus and satan were brothers in that they are both children of God. So what do you call being created in that sense, since you seem to have the answers?
It is not that it is too difficult a question for me. I just cannot stand someone so arrogant and condescending, to call someone else stupid in different words on the same subject that is in question. Too hard to follow for you?— You don’t need to lower yourself to the place you did to redeem your mistake. I can see the ‘I didn’t make a mistake…’ part of your comment to make sure you believe in yourself. You came back with your explanations right away. It’s cool. We all make a mistake now and then. But the worse thing you could do is be prideful and arrogant. Let it go. I have been on here way longer and have heard, more or less, than you can come up with.
I am not sure why I try so hard to be civil, why I care if a mormon doesn’t. Why are you on here by the way? I think I am here to say the right thing and maybe plant a seed. You don’t seem to do anything but defend. I am not defending the same way, but more, I explain the way that theologians, experts in Greek and Hebrew, and overall translation of the Holy Word have been presented up to now, and to which you obviously have not been exposed. If you have been, you do not want to believe it because it is so contrary to what you believe.
Cults and organizations hold families hostage. They seperate families rather than bringing them together. I doubt that Christ would want that. One more thing, since you are Mormon. Jesus’ own words were that there would be no marriage in heaven. It is not like it is here on earth. I know you defend that very thing by twisting His words around. You can defend it all you want, your choice is to believe what Smith said about what happened to him, (which is totally possible and probabley made up) or you can believe what was written by more than a few of christs disciples and was meticulously transcribed through the years for accuracy.
If what your goal is, is to discredit me in my knowledge of the Lord’s word, good luck. He will always be who I pray to before I answer. I know a lot of the Holy Word. I will never claim to know it all. but I do know when something isn’t right. I disagree that it is right to teach anyone that Christ and satan were brothers. That is nowhere in the bible. where does that come from? Smith? Young? I just want to know if that is part of the fulness you all talk about?
By the way; If you want civil tone, keep it civil. I am not past going non-civil if someone is going to disrespect my own beliefs. I will be non-civil when it comes to defending Christ and the price He paid for our very souls. I would suggest you respect that, and not belittle or make fun of that sacrifice. As if you could be on the same level somehow.



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OCS

posted February 28, 2008 at 12:41 am


If you were truly Christian, you would not use trivial questions that have nothing to do with Christ (such as satan being his brother, or how could God make a mistake) to try and make a fellow Christian look wrong.
That is the issue. I believe you are back pedaling. Who are you to question someone, like you are the teacher?
You did not pose the question as such, it was more like a statement of how I could explain God being perfect if He created someone like satan.
Mormons believe that Jesus and satan were brothers in that they are both children of God. So what do you call being created in that sense, since you seem to have the answers?
It is not that it is too difficult a question for me. — You don’t need to lower yourself to the place you did to redeem your mistake. I can see the ‘I didn’t make a mistake…’ part of your comment to make sure you believe in yourself. You came back with your explanations right away. It’s cool. We all make a mistake now and then. But the worse thing you could do is be prideful and arrogant. Let it go. I have been on here way longer and have heard, more or less, than you can come up with.
I am not sure why I try so hard to be civil, why I care if a mormon doesn’t. Why are you on here by the way? I think I am here to say the right thing and maybe plant a seed. You don’t seem to do anything but defend. I am not defending the same way, but more, I explain the way that theologians, experts in Greek and Hebrew, and overall translation of the Holy Word have been presented up to now, and to which you obviously have not been exposed. If you have been, you do not want to believe it because it is so contrary to what you believe.
Cults and organizations hold families hostage. They seperate families rather than bringing them together. I doubt that Christ would want that. One more thing, since you are Mormon. Jesus’ own words were that there would be no marriage in heaven. It is not like it is here on earth. I know you defend that very thing by twisting His words around. You can defend it all you want, your choice is to believe what Smith said about what happened to him, (which is totally possible and probabley made up) or you can believe what was written by more than a few of christs disciples and was meticulously transcribed through the years for accuracy.
If what your goal is, is to discredit me in my knowledge of the Lord’s word, good luck. He will always be who I pray to before I answer. I know a lot of the Holy Word. I will never claim to know it all. but I do know when something isn’t right. I disagree that it is right to teach anyone that Christ and satan were brothers. That is nowhere in the bible. where does that come from? Smith? Young? I just want to know if that is part of the fulness you all talk about?
By the way; If you want civil tone, keep it civil. I am not past going non-civil if someone is going to disrespect my own beliefs. I will be non-civil when it comes to defending Christ and the price He paid for our very souls. I would suggest you respect that, and not belittle or make fun of that sacrifice. As if you could be on the same level somehow.



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BringSenseHere

posted February 28, 2008 at 9:05 am


OCS,
I see your “true” self has returned to this debate…I guess you can only “pretend” to be civil for so long.
The question still remains. Shouldn’t be too hard to explain without it becoming a personal attack on all that you believe.
How do you, and/or TOC’s believe Lucifer came about? Surely this has some bearing on Christianity. Even the simplest military tactics state ‘know your enemy”.
You are the one mocking LDS by saying how absurd we are for suggesting that Jesus and Satan are brothers. Then we questioned about your own beliefs on the topic you get all nasty…what’s the deal?
This time, try real hard not to take this personally and give me your best answer.



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OCS

posted February 28, 2008 at 8:29 pm


Why do you feel you deserve respect when you don’t give it out?
I am not an idiot. And I do not like to feel like I am being talked to like I am one.
If you are going to play games, do it alone. I have made my peace about believing what you want. It is your choice. I don’t feel that I need to answer the above for no other reason than you already have an answer in mind, and await the wrong answer (in your mind) so you can jump on it and look how you want.
I tire of the verbal back and forth of what you assume I mean, and what I really mean. I thought you were out of here anyway. What the heck happened? Did you change your mind?
I am not nasty to Mormons. But Mormon or not, If you are going to come across these blogs the way you have, you get what you get. Don’t mistake my being nice as a weakness.
If you want respect, be respectful. I have a feeling that is what you lack to anyone non-Mormon. The first thing you had to say—-“oh yeah, there is the old OCS”. What do you expect? for crying out loud.
I don’t think Mormons are anything but people who want to believe how they want. You however, i think, are indescribably arrogant and think you have it all figured out. Well, good for you. I guess it will be easy going for you from now on.
Maybe you should attach a list of how I CAN answer you, and how i CANNOT answer you. You seem to have it in your head how one should act, right? How dare I and all that?



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BringSenseHere

posted February 29, 2008 at 8:07 pm


OCS,
Whoa, slow down a bit. First of all, I think you might have me confused with someone else. Second, If you can’t or won’t answer a question then why are you on this blog at all?
I would remind you that it was YOU who flipped out at the idea that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers…remember?
We have given the LDS explanation for that yet YOU refuse to give your counter when asked. How is asking a question on YOUR beliefs of a rather simple matter being disrespectful or arrogant? Unless of course you have no answer and therefore must deflect away from the topic by rambling about, who knows what.
Maybe you need to evaluate just why you are still on this blog…it appears to be “getting” to you.
Yes, my comment about the “old” OCS being back seems to be validated once again by your last ramblings…



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OCS

posted March 8, 2008 at 9:24 pm


BSH; Sorry, i had forgotten about this blog thread.
I do take offense at the thought that anyone would put Jesus and Lucifer on the same level. I understand why you do though. You do not believe that Jesus and God are the same. You believe that Jesus is the Son of God (which is true, but Jesus or ‘immanuel, meaning God with us’ is God) and Lucifer was a created Angel. This is where it all gets muddled with your belief system. You downplay the glory of God when you say that God created Jesus, as one creates a child, and then go one more step and say that since God also created the angels, and lucifer is one, then he must be a brother of Jesus as we are.
We are adopted children of Christ, seen by God through His own blood.You try to put human understanding on something infinate. You only make yourself look bad in God’s eyes. I do not believe, nor is there any biblical support (except that Mormon’s like to spin words, like jamming a puzzle piece into a spot that looks like it could fit) that angels and men are the same. Nor is Jesus and lucifer the same. Jesus came to earth as the son of God the Father, but did it occur to you that maybe the only way we could understand how our God’s deity is, is by the analogy of a son? Jesus said He was God. He said no one is saved except through Him.
If Lucifer is his brother, then we are all brothers with lucifer too. That is what you are saying, correct? and that we are really angels until we are given bodies. You believe that God created Jesus, right?
If you want me to tone it down, show me the scripture that supports these outlandish and blasphemous claims.
There has been an ex-mormon on here, trying to make people understand that part of the attraction to it all was the idea of becoming a god. Mormons will even be careful to say that Jesus is ‘a’ god.
The bible doesn’t say that Jesus is ‘a’ god. It says He is God.
Tell me how you explain away that. I have repeatedly copied the rest of the biblical verses that Mormons like to use pieces of to say that the verse in question is proof of what they believe. I find it interesting that all Mormons seem to make the same mistakes when it comes to scripture. It really is no wonder, in my mind, how Mormonism could be looked on as a cult. When millions of people say the same things, and defend the same points of contention, even when it is the first time on these blogs, it is because they are taught early on what doesn’t match and what to say about it. Just like Christians can buy guides that tell them what a Mormon is going to say at their door, and how to answer them. I don’t need any guide telling me though. I have learned plenty, and I am telling you I have yet to be convinced that Smith was not a fraud. I believe him to be a fraud of the worst kind. He had no care of following generations, and what price they would pay for choosing to believe him instead of Christ.
It is your choice though. Believe in the scriptures that were written by men who were with Jesus, and prophets who walked the earth telling of the Messiah 2,000 years before he even lived, or believe in a man, who out of nowhere came up with questionable stories, a devious past, prophesies that didn’t come to pass (which is how the bible tells us to discern a real or false prophet), a man whos own supposed witnesses left the church after they declared being there when an angel spoke to them. Don’t you find it curious that Smith went for the big guns? Not men, but God himself? He wanted to be revered as Christ was revered in his mind. When he found that he like his new found power, he declared a shortage on bodies for souls, and like the good man he was he started to have ‘relations’ with women married or not. The Mormons explain this all away as being from god and god can change his mind. But then a mormon will say in the next breath ‘are we to believe that god could be everywhere at once?’. How can anyone not born into a family that believes that way, buy into it?
If one never knew God, maybe. But there are those on here that claim to have been from other religions and chose to become Mormons. All I can think is that there had to be something missing. One knows when the Lord speaks to them. One feels the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
Everything Mormonism is based on is not biblical, but based on whether Smith was telling the truth or not. I have seen with my own eyes, transcripts from Oliver cowdry and others who were considered Smith’s witnesses to what he claimed, and how later in life, they changed their stories, and left the church, one at least forever.
How could a man, who supposedly saw an angel of God and recieved the ‘keys’ of a priesthood ever, EVER, leave over a fight with someone like Smith. wouldn’t the fact that you were blessed enough to see an angel with your own eyes and hear that you were given the restored priesthood make you forever be a servant to it?
Well, it was not the way these men ended up. I find it very disrespectful to our Lord Jesus, Our Heavenly Father, our Holy Spirit, all wrapped up into one beautiful creator who loves and cares for us so much that he sacrificed on the cross so that we may be reconciled to Him; to put men like Smith, Cowdery, Young and the rest on the same level. On a level where a church sings hymns to them. Like they saved mankind somehow from the wrong path. There is a reason that Mormons say Jesus was ‘a’ god, and He was the savior of mankind, instead of a personal savior. And I am saying as a humble, God fearing, loved child of God, that you are making a big mistake putting God on a level that you think you will achieve yourself by doing the right things. Like marriage, or works. I doubt that Mormons believe that anyone else but them is really saved. How could one according to what has been revealed on here?
I find your choice of words for your screen name an irony. Is it a cry for help? or are you helping us (meaning Christians?)
How much have you really studied your Bible without the other books that are required in your religion? the first clue that something was wrong should have been that you could only understand the Holy Bible as long as it is translated correctly. I am sure that put the first doubt in your mind. Then you are taught that the other books of your religion fulfill the rest of the story. It then becomes the ‘restored’ gospel of Christ.
when you are in a room of 1,000 people who are cheering and excited, it becomes hard not to ignore. the next thing you know, you are doing the same. If you are told over and over again that black is white, you will eventually agree. Not too many people are strong enough, and especially after spending years in a certain church, to stand on your own feet and say, ‘something isn’t right here’. And that would only happen if you knew even a little bit of the gospels.
I have issues with the majority of bloggers on these sights that are so arrogant and condescending, but only when they dish it out and then are accusatory if you act the same way back. Not that I want to lower myself to a level of ignorance, but it sometimes is the only way to make them listen. If you want to make fun of the ‘old OCS’ and that i am the same, be my guest. I have made friends with some Mormons on here and we have civil debate. I will not however, stand back and not respond to blasphemy and comments that make fun of God. If I make fun of anyone, it is Smith. I think though, it is not a laughing matter when people are mislead about what true scripture says.
One more thing, and i have said this before. Why are Mormons so hung up on the ‘creeds’? I had never even heard of them before 6 months ago. It seems though that the creeds are what Mormons see as evil and wrong. Is it what is taught by your faith as what got everything off track?
From what i have learned, the creeds were merely an organization of what Christians values were, if they were Christian. Nothing more than that. there was not weird doctrinal changes like polygamy, Smith recieving the keys of priesthood, Smith recieving disappearing golden plates with the ‘real story’ on them.
the past of Smith and his men around him was questionable at best. We all sin, he just seemed like nothing was off limits and had his own friends and family questioning his motives.



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OCS

posted March 8, 2008 at 9:50 pm


Question; who do Mormons see more value in, Jesus of the Bible, or Joseph Smiths so called work in restoring the scripture?



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BornSkeptic

posted March 9, 2008 at 12:27 am


OCS,
Joseph Smith is to Mormons as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are to the Jews…prophets of God. Ordinary men “called” of God to an extraordinary responsibility.
Jesus Christ is The Son of God.
any other questions?



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Craig Ratcliff

posted March 29, 2008 at 7:15 am


I was taught the bible by AOG here in Adelaide South Australia, I would have to say that where all Christians, but how many Christians would preach the Gospel for free, here is a true fact and sad, once asked by a biblical instructor in Victoria Australia out of 90 people who was asked this question, “How many people would be prepared to spread the word of Jesus with out the pay packet” only 30 percent put there hands up, you have to wonder some times about a persons motive to preach the word, this is one of the reasons I left AOG and joined Latter Day Saints and I do believe in Joseph Smith Jnr being a prophet, why are you so against God and his Son Jesus Christ by making these remarks, you should go to prayer or is your motive money, may the Lord forgive you for your ignorance.



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Anonymous

posted April 2, 2008 at 1:58 am


Mr. Mohler: Your ignorance about the “Mormon” faith astounds me! First of all, Mormon is not the name of the church. Mormon was the last writer of the Book of Mormon which is a history of a choice but fallen people who lived 600 years before Christ, on this Continent and “they” kept a record of their theological history which is the Book of Mormon.
The name of the Church is: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Therefore Mormons are devout Christians. In other words we are people who now live in the Latter Days of this Planet instead of Biblical times. I do hope this clears this up for you. It should not take a Rocket Scientist to understand this. If it is the Church representing Jesus the Christ the great Redeemer of us all, then obviously all of the t’s have been crossed and the i’s dotted and the Church bears the Savior’s name. What more of this subject don’t you get? Or is it just a convenience for you because you have an Agenda with the so called “Competition.” I mention this last point not with rancor but rather bluntly because obviously many of the religionists refuse to acknowledge that Mormon’s are Christians. It would seem to me that if one lacks knowledge, one should try to get some… on any important subject.
Having explained all of that, perhaps you and your Ecclesiastical contemporaries can try to give the fabricated Mormon Question a well deserved rest and perhaps find yourselves another form of recreation.
The Scriptures counsel us not to judge one another. The penalty to judging others is to receive judgment.
I leave these thoughts with you kindly and with sincere compassion as your fellow Christian and worshipper of Jehovah, The Christ, and I also invite you and your gospel contemporaries to adopt His kindliness yourself and set an example of ChristLike behavior by giving the Mormon subject a well deserved rest. Thank you!
Ruth L. Dwyer



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OCS

posted April 3, 2008 at 10:20 pm


Guess What Ruth; We all will be judged anyway.
Should a true Christian stand back and watch what they believe to be a false religion lead others astray? You didn’t address that. Why? Maybe as with all the others ‘Mormons’ on these blogs, you feel you don’t need to because Jesus is in the name of your faith.
Obviously you have studied Smith’s teachings way more than God’s word given to men. The excuse: The Word has lost it’s translation through the years. So, You would believe someone who came along early in the 1800’s as a prophet, who basically claims that men can become exalted and become gods themselves. That there are more than one ‘god’ based on scripture talking about a council.
i have read so many blogs it hurts. no one can get through, and i would advise mormons to not even be on here because you will only get grief from a Christian. Mormons are not just heretics, but blasphemers in the worst sense in that they believe a man who had the nerve and gall to compare himself to Jesus, to claim he had done as much to save mankind. What a thing to say!
Did you ever think that no other prophet of God ever spoke that way before? No prophet ever took any glory at all. Actually just the opposite.
I think that Smith is going to get what he deserves someday, but now as you are an adult and reasonable, you have a choice. You have to question what you feel is true.
So many have come on here and if you would only schroll back you would see many arguments for and against scripture on both sides.
No true Christian would want to see a fellow human being led astray, away from Jesus and His saving Grace.
It is a choice though.
In defense of Dr. Mohler, notice Ruth that he is a Dr. Scott is a science fiction writer.
One is a theologian, one is not. You could argue a lot of things. especially that god is guiding Scott. But maybe it is the other way around and God has brought you to this post to get through to you. Is He calling you out of the dark?
Only you know.



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Erik

posted April 6, 2008 at 8:42 am


OCS,
What you ave stated suprised me a bit. I just got back from an amazing session of General Conference and Elder Oaks just spoke about this very thing. As members of the church we have an obligation to our fellow brethrn to teach them the gospel of Christ; to let them know that God requires a lot, but his reward is eternal. We have the obligation to pass on correct information and dispell the lies and soften the slanderous opinions that are out there. You are entitled to your opinion, and dI definitely wouldn’t call it slanderous to be sure, but anyone who calls us a cult ought to be reproved with gentleness.
Joseph Smith did not reveal anything new, he just restored that which was lost. Everything he restored is found in the Bible! How people still can’t see it amazes me. What’s more amazing is that many are so hardened that they refuse to believe that their God, who never changes, whould continue to call prophets. The scriptures are explicitly clear, Amos and Ephesians as well as many others. Without a prophet the consistency is lost. That was the mission of the early apostles, to correct the peoples errors. Joseph never said he did more than Christ. I believe the word he used was “save Christ”, which mean other than Christ.His pronouncement to me is similiar to Paul retelling of his amazing conversion. The point being to bring people to the Gospel and thus to Christ.
It also still amazes me that people question the idea of man being exalted like it is something that God would not want or never allow. What exactly does the phaes “heir of the Father, joint heirs with Christ” mean to you? A loving Father, like we have would give verything to the child that deserved it.



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BringSenseHere

posted April 7, 2008 at 9:39 am


OCS,
Are you for real? Please tell me you jest…or I’ve lost all confidence that TOC’s, such as yourself, can ever recognize truth!
“For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Acts 28:27
I suspect you really don’t want to know the “whole” story, doing so would shake your very foundation…and you’re not ready for that.



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OCS

posted April 9, 2008 at 2:21 am


BSH, and Erik; I simply do not believe that Smith was a prophet. And since I don’t believe it, I believe in the traditional view of Christ, passed down through the Bible, with no other confusing books interfering with my belief.
I do not believe in a council of gods. I do not believe that Smith saw God and Jesus hovering above the earth seperate, telling him how to restore the truth. I do not believe that Smith and cowdery got a special visit from John the baptist. I do not believe in a star named Kolob.
The ‘Whole Story’ according to you, would not shake anything in my world. Unless you mean my curiosity. I simply believe Smith to be a false prophet and I have held up enough to the Holy Bible to know what he says and what the bible says, do not match. What is one to believe? the standard that Jesus gave us, or a man who was at best notorious, and claimed to be a prophet? I choose to believe what was written over 2000 years ago and what Jesus Himself, as God, fulfilled, rather than a man who had such a past as Smith, claiming to be a prophet, but not fulfilling at all the description of a true prophet. It is not even so much a matter of choice to me as it is that I feel Christianity is right and very different and oppostite from Mormonism. I feel the Holy Spirit in this, and so either you are wrong, or I am. But we cannot both be right.



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OCS

posted April 9, 2008 at 2:34 am


It reminds me of Scott Peterson. He claims “why would i claim to go fishing in the same exact spot that you found my wife and unborn son?”
He says this for one reason only; to make someone question the sanity of it.
A sane man who murdered his pregnant wife would not dump her body and in a body of water, and then turn around and tell police he went fishing that morning she disappeared, in the same body of water. Which just happened to lead the investigators to the same body of water she was found in with her unborn son, Conner. Circular Logic, at its’ best.
Scott Peterson thought he was smarter than the police and everyone else because he used reasoning against everyone.
What he didn’t count on was that it would not work on everyone. He was so arrogant that he thought “how could anyone not believe me?”
Anytime someone turns logic around instead of explaining their beliefs and why, is trying to turn things around, especially the question. To make the person asking, question themselves and their own thinking.
There is only one reason to do this, and for most of us in these days it isn’t going to work. If Mormon’s want to be taken for real, they need to come up with a better way of stating their own beliefs than a bunch of circular logic questions that intelligent people’s answers, are only going to anger them over in the end.



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Erik

posted April 9, 2008 at 8:14 pm


You know, that is fine that you refuse to believe what we believe. We have all been given our agency. But there is no way that your belief can be based on Biblical teachings or that Joseph Smith’s past precludes him from being a prophet. There is also no other theological or scientific proof that Smith and everything that he did can not and is not true. This has been shown time and time again on this blog. So hold to your opinions, but do not lie and say that the Bible told you so.



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BringSenseHere

posted April 10, 2008 at 12:20 am


OCS,
I concur with Erik…believe as you will…that’s your God given right! What a marvelous time we live in and what a “God Blessed” nation to be so privileged to be a part of, that we can worship who, what or how we may without fear of reprisal…
However, you’re totally in err about your Biblical judgments, but so be it…I would ask though, no demand, that you refrain from slandering perhaps the single most important person to come to earth, besides Jesus himself, Joseph Smith, by parroting lies, and distortions from anti-mormon blogs, books, etc. You should be ashamed for perpetuating and breaking one of the fundamental Christian beliefs, “Thou shalt Not Bear False Witness…” Reading your many posts do exactly that…and one day you will have to answer for it, I promise.
Have a nice night!
BSH



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ocs

posted May 20, 2008 at 11:32 pm


BSH I know it will not be me answering as a false witness. I am wondering however what you will do when you cannot find Joseph to give your secret word to.
I do not appreciate your disrespect, and arrogance in the least. You should not make promises that you are not in a postition to give.
Does that come from believing you are special, at all?
Everyone is special in God’s eyes, but those that turn on Him, and lead others astray will have a lot to answer for. I am using Biblical verse and scripture. If I were to be judged, I doubt it would be harshly since I use His Word as my armour and trust His promises (such as his word will never change).
You ignore God’s word for a man that was a gifted story teller. And you believe that somehow you have the power to be not only a god, but are the only ones authorized by God to baptize etc.
Yeah right.
Have you noticed that the majority of people stay away from Mormonism if they know anything about Christianity at all? Only people that know no different would be potential converts. And ones that leave the teachings of traditional Christianity are disillusioned by men, not Jesus. I cannot stress enough that listening to men or connecting Christianity with men is never going to work. It has to be a personal relationship with God. Not what someone else has laid out of the “way it really is”. Joseph tried to tell everyone exactly who God was. To put him on the same line in a sentence with Jesus is blasphemous as far as I am concerned.
The best I can hope is that at least I planted a seed.



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Dennis

posted May 21, 2008 at 12:07 am


OCS: BSH I know it will not be me answering as a false witness. I am wondering however what you will do when you cannot find Joseph to give your secret word to.
Dennis: This is disrespectful and bordering on the sacred. By so saying it shows you have not changed your tune and wish more to fight then have a productive discussion.
OCS: I do not appreciate your disrespect, and arrogance in the least. You should not make promises that you are not in a postition to give.
Does that come from believing you are special, at all?
Dennis: He makes promises based on the word of God. You continue to fight against Him, not us!
OCS: Everyone is special in God’s eyes, but those that turn on Him, and lead others astray will have a lot to answer for
Dennis: Then stop doing it! You cannot site one scripture withou injecting your own meaning into it instead of reading plainly what the scripture says.
OCS: I am using Biblical verse and scripture. If I were to be judged, I doubt it would be harshly since I use His Word as my armour and trust His promises (such as his word will never change).
Dennis: And what are we using, “Tom Sawyer”? The difference is that we take the scripture for what it says, while you must inject your own philosophy into it to make it say what you want it to say.
OCS: You ignore God’s word for a man that was a gifted story teller. And you believe that somehow you have the power to be not only a god, but are the only ones authorized by God to baptize etc.
Yeah right.
Dennis: More disrespect from you! Accept it or not. Joseph was a prophet of God and restored His church to its fulness in this the dispensation of the fulness of times.
OCS: Have you noticed that the majority of people stay away from Mormonism if they know anything about Christianity at all?
Dennis: And this is why the Church continues to grow by 40% every ten years. Did you know the majority of those converts are coming from the evangelical community and most are very steeped in the Bible.
OCS: Only people that know no different would be potential converts. And ones that leave the teachings of traditional Christianity are disillusioned by men, not Jesus
Dennis: More of your opinion? This is the Church of Jesus Christ, not the church of Joseph Smith. This church teaches all the word of Christ and does not leave anything out like you have been wont to do.
OCS: I cannot stress enough that listening to men or connecting Christianity with men is never going to work
Dennis: And yet the whole foundation of your belief you can trace all the way back to 1520 and Martin Luther. Or before that to the Greek philosophers. Much of Traditional Orthodox Christianity is nothing more than Greek Philosophy. This is why Christ had to restore His church.
OCS: It has to be a personal relationship with God. Not what someone else has laid out of the “way it really is”. Joseph tried to tell everyone exactly who God was. To put him on the same line in a sentence with Jesus is blasphemous as far as I am concerned.
The best I can hope is that at least I planted a seed.
Dennis: The only seeds I have seen from you are seeds of deception. You have attempted to define to knowledgeable Latter-day Saints their belief which has fallen far short and been filled with untruths and out of context quotes. Why should we believe anything that you have to say? Or why should anyone else for that matter after observing the tactics that you have employed? OCS, You know not God and you refuse to pray for knowledge from Him. So how is it that you are so wise? I will take God’s word in the matter, thank you very much!



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Erik

posted May 21, 2008 at 12:54 pm


OCS,
I take exception to the idea that only ignorants are converts. I knew plenty about traditional Christianity. More than enough to know that no one had it all together. The reason why the average faithful member of other Christian-like denominations refuses to talk to our members and missionaries is that it is indoctrinated into them that we are of the Devil. Most other denominations are fine, but not the LDS. Don’t believe it? My wife recounts of many Christian friends that went away to Bible camp and afterwards refused to talk to her because of her beliefs. I also have seen it. Talk about instilling fear which, where does that some from again.
BTW, I would like to use some of our dialogues for a future Sunday SChool lesson. I hope you are not offended.



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BringSenseHere

posted May 22, 2008 at 11:17 am


OCS,
Ahhh…good to see you haven’t abandoned this blog after all, but sad to see you’re still hardened to the things of the Spirit.
You confuse my “promise for your accountability” with arrogance. You still know NOT your own bible. Perhaps you should go back and read Matthew 12:36. Here I’ll make it easy for you…”But I say uto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” One of the damning deceptions of Satan, fully embraced by TOCs, is the concept of “once forgiven, always forgiven”. Perhaps because of that false doctrine, you don’t even believe you will have to account in a final judgement? But, I PROMISE you will.
Sorry if this disappoints you, but it’s not too late to change…yet. :)
BSH



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Shaun

posted June 22, 2008 at 5:28 pm


I think you’ve done a good job, Brother Mohler and Brother Card, at discussing and representing your beliefs. However, if I may suggest to the readers of this site a very authoritative source on Mormon Theology versus Protestant/Catholic Theology, here it is (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a descendant of the guy who started or helped start the Baptist organization):
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
We declare it is self-evident from the scriptures that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are separate persons, three divine beings.
As Elder Ballard noted earlier in this session, various crosscurrents of our times have brought increasing public attention to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Lord told the ancients this latter-day work would be “a marvellous work and a wonder,”1 and it is. But even as we invite one and all to examine closely the marvel of it, there is one thing we would not like anyone to wonder about—that is whether or not we are “Christians.”
By and large any controversy in this matter has swirled around two doctrinal issues—our view of the Godhead and our belief in the principle of continuing revelation leading to an open scriptural canon. In addressing this we do not need to be apologists for our faith, but we would like not to be misunderstood. So with a desire to increase understanding and unequivocally declare our Christianity, I speak today on the first of those two doctrinal issues just mentioned.
Our first and foremost article of faith in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”2 We believe these three divine persons constituting a single Godhead are united in purpose, in manner, in testimony, in mission. We believe Them to be filled with the same godly sense of mercy and love, justice and grace, patience, forgiveness, and redemption. I think it is accurate to say we believe They are one in every significant and eternal aspect imaginable except believing Them to be three persons combined in one substance, a Trinitarian notion never set forth in the scriptures because it is not true.
Indeed no less a source than the stalwart Harper’s Bible Dictionary records that “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the [New Testament].”3
So any criticism that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not hold the contemporary Christian view of God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost is not a comment about our commitment to Christ but rather a recognition (accurate, I might add) that our view of the Godhead breaks with post–New Testament Christian history and returns to the doctrine taught by Jesus Himself. Now, a word about that post–New Testament history might be helpful.
In the year A.D. 325 the Roman emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea to address—among other things—the growing issue of God’s alleged “trinity in unity.” What emerged from the heated contentions of churchmen, philosophers, and ecclesiastical dignitaries came to be known (after another 125 years and three more major councils)4 as the Nicene Creed, with later reformulations such as the Athanasian Creed. These various evolutions and iterations of creeds—and others to come over the centuries—declared the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to be abstract, absolute, transcendent, immanent, consubstantial, coeternal, and unknowable, without body, parts, or passions and dwelling outside space and time. In such creeds all three members are separate persons, but they are a single being, the oft-noted “mystery of the trinity.” They are three distinct persons, yet not three Gods but one. All three persons are incomprehensible, yet it is one God who is incomprehensible.
We agree with our critics on at least that point—that such a formulation for divinity is truly incomprehensible. With such a confusing definition of God being imposed upon the church, little wonder that a fourth-century monk cried out, “Woe is me! They have taken my God away from me, . . . and I know not whom to adore or to address.”5 How are we to trust, love, worship, to say nothing of strive to be like, One who is incomprehensible and unknowable? What of Jesus’s prayer to His Father in Heaven that “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent”?6
It is not our purpose to demean any person’s belief nor the doctrine of any religion. We extend to all the same respect for their doctrine that we are asking for ours. (That, too, is an article of our faith.) But if one says we are not Christians because we do not hold a fourth- or fifth-century view of the Godhead, then what of those first Christian Saints, many of whom were eyewitnesses of the living Christ, who did not hold such a view either?7
We declare it is self-evident from the scriptures that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are separate persons, three divine beings, noting such unequivocal illustrations as the Savior’s great Intercessory Prayer just mentioned, His baptism at the hands of John, the experience on the Mount of Transfiguration, and the martyrdom of Stephen—to name just four.
With these New Testament sources and more8 ringing in our ears, it may be redundant to ask what Jesus meant when He said, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.”9 On another occasion He said, “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”10 Of His antagonists He said, “[They have] . . . seen and hated both me and my Father.”11 And there is, of course, that always deferential subordination to His Father that had Jesus say, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.”12 “My father is greater than I.”13
To whom was Jesus pleading so fervently all those years, including in such anguished cries as “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me”14 and “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me”?15 To acknowledge the scriptural evidence that otherwise perfectly united members of the Godhead are nevertheless separate and distinct beings is not to be guilty of polytheism; it is, rather, part of the great revelation Jesus came to deliver concerning the nature of divine beings. Perhaps the Apostle Paul said it best: “Christ Jesus . . . being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”16
A related reason The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is excluded from the Christian category by some is because we believe, as did the ancient prophets and apostles, in an embodied—but certainly glorified—God.17 To those who criticize this scripturally based belief, I ask at least rhetorically: If the idea of an embodied God is repugnant, why are the central doctrines and singularly most distinguishing characteristics of all Christianity the Incarnation, the Atonement, and the physical Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ? If having a body is not only not needed but not desirable by Deity, why did the Redeemer of mankind redeem His body, redeeming it from the grasp of death and the grave, guaranteeing it would never again be separated from His spirit in time or eternity?18 Any who dismiss the concept of an embodied God dismiss both the mortal and the resurrected Christ. No one claiming to be a true Christian will want to do that.
Now, to anyone within the sound of my voice who has wondered regarding our Christianity, I bear this witness. I testify that Jesus Christ is the literal, living Son of our literal, living God. This Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer who, under the guidance of the Father, was the Creator of heaven and earth and all things that in them are. I bear witness that He was born of a virgin mother, that in His lifetime He performed mighty miracles observed by legions of His disciples and by His enemies as well. I testify that He had power over death because He was divine but that He willingly subjected Himself to death for our sake because for a period of time He was also mortal. I declare that in His willing submission to death He took upon Himself the sins of the world, paying an infinite price for every sorrow and sickness, every heartache and unhappiness from Adam to the end of the world. In doing so He conquered both the grave physically and hell spiritually and set the human family free. I bear witness that He was literally resurrected from the tomb and, after ascending to His Father to complete the process of that Resurrection, He appeared, repeatedly, to hundreds of disciples in the Old World and in the New. I know He is the Holy One of Israel, the Messiah who will one day come again in final glory, to reign on earth as Lord of lords and King of kings. I know that there is no other name given under heaven whereby a man can be saved and that only by relying wholly upon His merits, mercy, and everlasting grace19 can we gain eternal life.
My additional testimony regarding this resplendent doctrine is that in preparation for His millennial latter-day reign, Jesus has already come, more than once, in embodied majestic glory. In the spring of 1820, a 14-year-old boy, confused by many of these very doctrines that still confuse much of Christendom, went into a grove of trees to pray. In answer to that earnest prayer offered at such a tender age, the Father and the Son appeared as embodied, glorified beings to the boy prophet Joseph Smith. That day marked the beginning of the return of the true, New Testament gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the restoration of other prophetic truths offered from Adam down to the present day.
I testify that my witness of these things is true and that the heavens are open to all who seek the same confirmation. Through the Holy Spirit of Truth, may we all know “the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [He has] sent.”20 Then may we live Their teachings and be true Christians in deed, as well as in word, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
NOTES
1. Isaiah 29:14.
2. Articles of Faith 1:1.
3. Paul F. Achtemeier, ed. (1985), 1099; emphasis added.
4. Constantinople, A.D. 381; Ephesus, A.D. 431; Chalcedon, A.D. 451.
5. Quoted in Owen Chadwick, Western Asceticism (1958), 235.
6. John 17:3; emphasis added.
7. For a thorough discussion of this issue, see Stephen E. Robinson, Are Mormons Christian? 71–89; see also Robert Millet, Getting at the Truth (2004), 106–22.
8. See, for example, John 12:27–30; John 14:26; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 1:1–3.
9. John 5:19; see also John 14:10.
10. John 6:38.
11. John 15:24.
12. Matthew 19:17.
13. John 14:28.
14. Matthew 26:39.
15. Matthew 27:46.
16. Philippians 2:5–6.
17. See David L. Paulsen, “Early Christian Belief in a Corporeal Deity: Origen and Augustine as Reluctant Witnesses,” Harvard Theological Review, vol. 83, no. 2 (1990): 105–16; David L. Paulsen, “The Doctrine of Divine Embodiment: Restoration, Judeo-Christian, and Philosophical Perspectives,” BYU Studies, vol. 35, no. 4 (1996): 7–94; James L. Kugel, The God of Old: Inside the Lost World of the Bible (2003), xi–xii, 5–6, 104–6, 134–35; Clark Pinnock, Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God’s Openness (2001), 33–34.
18. See Romans 6:9; Alma 11:45.
19. See 1 Nephi 10:6; 2 Nephi 2:8; 31:19; Moroni 6:4; Joseph Smith Translation, Romans 3:24.
20. John 17:3.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
We invite all to inquire into the wonder of what God has said since biblical times and is saying even now.
President Monson, may I claim a moment of personal privilege?
As the first of the Brethren invited to speak following your singular message to the Church this morning, may I say something on behalf of all your Brethren of the General Authorities and indeed on behalf of all the Church.
Of the many privileges we have had in this historic conference, including participation in a solemn assembly in which we were able to stand and sustain you as prophet, seer, and revelator, I cannot help but feel that the most important privilege we have all had has been to witness personally the settling of the sacred, prophetic mantle upon your shoulders, almost as it were by the very hands of angels themselves. Those in attendance at last night’s general priesthood meeting and all who were present in the worldwide broadcast of this morning’s session have been eyewitness to this event. For all the participants, I express our gratitude for such a moment. I say that with love to President Monson and especially love to our Father in Heaven for the wonderful opportunity it has been to be “eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16), as the Apostle Peter once said.
In general conference last October, I said there were two principal reasons The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is accused, erroneously, of not being Christian. At that time I addressed one of those doctrinal issues—our scripturally based view of the Godhead. Today I would like to address the other major doctrine which characterizes our faith but which causes concern to some, namely the bold assertion that God continues to speak His word and reveal His truth, revelations which mandate an open canon of scripture.
Some Christians, in large measure because of their genuine love for the Bible, have declared that there can be no more authorized scripture beyond the Bible. In thus pronouncing the canon of revelation closed, our friends in some other faiths shut the door on divine expression that we in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hold dear: the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the ongoing guidance received by God’s anointed prophets and apostles. Imputing no ill will to those who take such a position, nevertheless we respectfully but resolutely reject such an unscriptural characterization of true Christianity.
One of the arguments often used in any defense of a closed canon is the New Testament passage recorded in Revelation 22:18: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of . . . this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.” However, there is now overwhelming consensus among virtually all biblical scholars that this verse applies only to the book of Revelation, not the whole Bible. Those scholars of our day acknowledge a number of New Testament “books” that were almost certainly written after John’s revelation on the Isle of Patmos was received. Included in this category are at least the books of Jude, the three Epistles of John, and probably the entire Gospel of John itself.1 Perhaps there are even more than these.
But there is a simpler answer as to why that passage in the final book of the current New Testament cannot apply to the whole Bible. That is because the whole Bible as we know it—one collection of texts bound in a single volume—did not exist when that verse was written. For centuries after John produced his writing, the individual books of the New Testament were in circulation singly or perhaps in combinations with a few other texts but almost never as a complete collection. Of the entire corpus of 5,366 known Greek New Testament manuscripts, only 35 contain the whole New Testament as we now know it, and 34 of those were compiled after A.D. 1000.2
The fact of the matter is that virtually every prophet of the Old and New Testament has added scripture to that received by his predecessors. If the Old Testament words of Moses were sufficient, as some could have mistakenly thought them to be,3 then why, for example, the subsequent prophecies of Isaiah or of Jeremiah, who follows him? To say nothing of Ezekiel and Daniel, of Joel, Amos, and all the rest. If one revelation to one prophet in one moment of time is sufficient for all time, what justifies these many others? What justifies them was made clear by Jehovah Himself when He said to Moses, “My works are without end, and . . . my words . . . never cease.”4
One Protestant scholar has inquired tellingly into the erroneous doctrine of a closed canon. He writes: “On what biblical or historical grounds has the inspiration of God been limited to the written documents that the church now calls its Bible? . . . If the Spirit inspired only the written documents of the first century, does that mean that the same Spirit does not speak today in the church about matters that are of significant concern?”5 We humbly ask those same questions.
Continuing revelation does not demean or discredit existing revelation. The Old Testament does not lose its value in our eyes when we are introduced to the New Testament, and the New Testament is only enhanced when we read the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. In considering the additional scripture accepted by Latter-day Saints, we might ask: Were those early Christians who for decades had access only to the primitive Gospel of Mark (generally considered the first of the New Testament Gospels to be written)—were they offended to receive the more detailed accounts set forth later by Matthew and Luke, to say nothing of the unprecedented passages and revelatory emphasis offered later yet by John? Surely they must have rejoiced that ever more convincing evidence of the divinity of Christ kept coming. And so do we rejoice.
Please do not misunderstand. We love and revere the Bible, as Elder M. Russell Ballard taught so clearly from this pulpit just one year ago.6 The Bible is the word of God. It is always identified first in our canon, our “standard works.” Indeed, it was a divinely ordained encounter with the fifth verse of the first chapter of the book of James that led Joseph Smith to his vision of the Father and the Son, which gave birth to the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our time. But even then, Joseph knew the Bible alone could not be the answer to all the religious questions he and others like him had. As he said in his own words, the ministers of his community were contending—sometimes angrily—over their doctrines. “Priest [was] contending against priest, and convert [was contending] against convert . . . in a strife of words and a contest about opinions,” he said. About the only thing these contending religions had in common was, ironically, a belief in the Bible, but, as Joseph wrote, “the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question [regarding which church was true] by an appeal to the Bible.”7 Clearly the Bible, so frequently described at that time as “common ground,” was nothing of the kind—unfortunately it was a battleground.
Thus one of the great purposes of continuing revelation through living prophets is to declare to the world through additional witnesses that the Bible is true. “This is written,” an ancient prophet said, speaking of the Book of Mormon, “for the intent that ye may believe that,” speaking of the Bible.8 In one of the earliest revelations received by Joseph Smith, the Lord said, “Behold, I do not bring [the Book of Mormon forth] to destroy [the Bible] but to build it up.”9
One other point needs to be made. Since it is clear that there were Christians long before there was a New Testament or even an accumulation of the sayings of Jesus, it cannot therefore be maintained that the Bible is what makes one a Christian. In the words of esteemed New Testament scholar N. T. Wright, “The risen Jesus, at the end of Matthew’s Gospel, does not say, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth is given to the books you are all going to write,’ but [rather] ‘All authority in heaven and on earth is given to me.’ “10 In other words, “Scripture itself points . . . away from itself and to the fact that final and true authority belongs to God himself.”11 So the scriptures are not the ultimate source of knowledge for Latter-day Saints. They are manifestations of the ultimate source. The ultimate source of knowledge and authority for a Latter-day Saint is the living God. The communication of those gifts comes from God as living, vibrant, divine revelation.12
This doctrine lies at the very heart of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and of our message to the world. It dramatizes the significance of a solemn assembly yesterday, in which we sustained Thomas S. Monson as a prophet, a seer, and a revelator. We believe in a God who is engaged in our lives, who is not silent, not absent, nor, as Elijah said of the god of the priests of Baal, is He “[on] a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be [awakened].”13 In this Church, even our young Primary children recite, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”14
In declaring new scripture and continuing revelation, we pray we will never be arrogant or insensitive. But after a sacred vision in a now sacred grove answered in the affirmative the question “Does God exist?” what Joseph Smith and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints force us to face is the next interrogative, which necessarily follows: “Does He speak?” We bring the good news that He does and that He has. With a love and affection born of our Christianity, we invite all to inquire into the wonder of what God has said since biblical times and is saying even now.
In a sense Joseph Smith and his prophetic successors in this Church answer the challenge Ralph Waldo Emerson put to the students of the Harvard Divinity School 170 years ago this coming summer. To that group of the Protestant best and brightest, the great sage of Concord pled that they teach “that God is, not was; that He speaketh, not spake.”15
I testify that the heavens are open. I testify that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God, that the Book of Mormon is truly another testament of Jesus Christ. I testify that Thomas S. Monson is God’s prophet, a modern apostle with the keys of the kingdom in his hands, a man upon whom I personally have seen the mantle fall. I testify that the presence of such authorized, prophetic voices and ongoing canonized revelations have been at the heart of the Christian message whenever the authorized ministry of Christ has been on the earth. I testify that such a ministry is on the earth again, and it is found in this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In our heartfelt devotion to Jesus of Nazareth as the very Son of God, the Savior of the world, we invite all to examine what we have received of Him, to join with us, drinking deeply at the “well of water springing up into everlasting life,”16 these constantly flowing reminders that God lives, that He loves us, and that He speaks. I express the deepest personal thanks that His works never end and His “words . . . never cease.” I bear witness of such divine loving attention and the recording of it, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.
NOTES
1. See Stephen E. Robinson, Are Mormons Christians? (1991), 46. The issue of canon is discussed on pages 45–56. Canon is defined as “an authoritative list of books accepted as Holy Scripture” (Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. [2003], “canon”).
2. See Bruce M. Metzger, Manuscripts of the Greek Bible: An Introduction to Greek Paleography (1981), 54–55; see also Are Mormons Christians? 46.
3. See Deuteronomy 4:2, for example.
4. Moses 1:4.
5. Lee M. McDonald, The Formation of the Christian Biblical Canon, rev. ed. (1995), 255–56.
6. See “The Miracle of the Holy Bible,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2007, 80–82.
7. Joseph Smith—History 1:6, 12.
8. Mormon 7:9; emphasis added.
9. D&C 10:52; see also D&C 20:11.
10. N. T. Wright, The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture (2005), xi.
11. Wright, The Last Word, 24.
12. For a full essay on this subject, see Dallin H. Oaks, “Scripture Reading and Revelation,” Ensign, Jan. 1995, 6–9.
13. 1 Kings 18:27.
14. Articles of Faith 1:9.
15. “An Address,” The Complete Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1929), 45.
16. John 4:14.



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LED bulbs

posted August 27, 2010 at 10:01 pm


Are pleased to re-visit your blog, from which I learned a lot of knowledge, and totally agree with your point of view, I hope you can be the exhibitions, once again thank you for sharing such a wonderful text. I will wait to see what’s! Thank you!i love LED bulbs very much .



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Kim

posted October 2, 2010 at 10:39 pm


The Eastern Orthodox Church is the One, Holy, Catholic (Universal), Apostolic Church biblicaly and historically built by Christ. The teachings are as ancient and right as the “Ancient of Days” – the Lord Jesus Christ the Almighty. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Almighty See Revelation 1: 8.



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lusGuirediems

posted March 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm


Hello. And Bye.



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