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The Debate Between Christians and Mormons Continues…

Posted by truthtalklive on May 10, 2007

The original post and comments live in the archives on the blog. Click on April, 2007 in the bottom right corner. We are trying to line up a show with a few of the people commenting here. All identities will be protected. Stay tuned. We’ve recevied several requests to keep this discussion on the front page of the blog, so here you go.

Original post:
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Today’s Guest: Mitt Romney
Tuesday, April 24th and Wednesday, April 25th shows
Question: Should a Christian vote for a Mormon for President?

CLICK HERE for a link to the original comments if you would like to continue posting comments there.

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55 Responses to “The Debate Between Christians and Mormons Continues…”

  1. Anonymous said

    God the father is NOT a man

    “He is NOT a man like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court.”
    (Job 9:32)

  2. Anonymous said

    help reach Mormons for Christ:

    Utah Partnership for Christ

    http://www.upfc.org

  3. Anonymous said

    help reach Mormons for Christ:

    Utah Partnership for Christ

    http://www.upfc.org

  4. Anonymous said

    Help reach fundamentalists for Reason:

    http://www.infidels.org/

  5. warrior said

    Where did Amanda & Brad go? I wish they would go on the air on Stu’s show and debate.

  6. Brad said

    We’re here, Warrior, and I have agreed to go on air, as has Brett, but Amanda is as yet unwilling, due to the fact that she believes we would be very biased against her and the Mormon religion.

  7. Where did all these comments come from? I had no idea you folks didn’t know that the debate was over. 🙂 Peter was a good example in that he, as a solid “Mormon,” answered some of Brad’s favorite but mostly futile questions–and one really honest one, then bore his honest, humble,unshakeable testimony –which cannot be proven, disproven, or given to anyone else anymore than the wise virgin’s oil can be poured into the foolish virgin’s lamps–and then he exited. That’s the ideal.

    Look at poor Dan. He is so steeped in anti-Mormon literature that he probably couldn’t feel the spirit of revelation regarding the Restoration now if it hit him on the head. On one hand, I do feel sorry for him, but on the other, I’m glad he has found Christ. That’s progress. If he didn’t know Christ through both the Bible and the Book of Mormon as a “Mormon,” he couldn’t have had a testimony born of the Spirit to begin with. There are genuine answers to every point he brought up (and I would love to address them to someone who is the least bit open or seeking truth at this point), but as we saw in previous posts, it is futile to try to teach someone so certain that they already have the truth–forget eye witnesses, forget personal experiences; forget actual history and multiple journals recording miraculous events as they really occurred, and everything the Church actually teaches. If you can find anything from the 1800’s written on paper that seems to contradict the Bible or what is taught now by the Church, take it by itself, in or out of context, and it is worth more to them than the teachings of the living prophets and the standard works that have been held by the Church since its conception in defining beliefs of the Church. No one is more certain of what he believes than he who is determined to misconstrue anything presented to the contrary! Like the false teaching of evolution, this “created” version of Mormonism has become so entrenched in “Christian” (and I use that term loosely) tradition that it is almost ridiculous to even challenge it. It is held sacrosanct by those who worship at its altar, the altar of prejudice.

    All I can do is ask: If The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is false, why is God still leading thousands to it each year? Why does He give unshakeable witnesses of it’s truthfulness by the power of the Holy Ghost to those who seek and are willing, even determined, to prove it for themselves through prayer, scripture and following the words of Christ? And why do I walk into the Church each Sunday and feel His presence which puts away all the silliness on this website and speaks joy to my soul? Why do I have no doctrinal qualms or confusion about the nature of the Godhead and worship a God that I know through both scripture and revelation instead of a God of my imagination and contriving, one I cannot even explain in logical terms? Why do I understand the Bible so much more now that I have the inspiration in the Book of Mormon from ancient prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants from a modern day prophet who learned these things from angels and from conversations with Jesus Christ Himself? Why does the Old Testament make so much more sense to me now that I have the Book of Mormon which lays out OT prophecy in no uncertain terms and which leads me back to the Bible with increased testimony of its truthfulness? Never, Dan, in my 30 years in the church have I ever heard the Bible called “unreliable.” Only incomplete. And finally, why does God so graciously answer my prayers on a regular basis? He does not respond to evil. I attribute all of my spirituality today as coming through the avenue of the Church which brought me to my kness to find God Himself, His Son Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon, and which church to join.

    All of your quotes pulled from anti-Mormon literature–some originally misquoted and many misleading–cannot compete with revelation from God. I pray that you may utilize the greatest resource in the world regarding this great work, and that is God Himself through Prayer itself. Do a scripture search on prayer, and the Holy Ghost in the Bible, and you will recognize the false accusations taught on this blog and know that God wants you to know Him–and the truthfulness of all things– through personal revelation of the Holy Ghost, as well as through the words of the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

    Blue, thank you for your kind words, and thank you for weighing in. While Brad thinks I won’t go on the air with him because of the prejudice against my beliefs, it is actually because of all the things I have mentioned before, including the fact that I can’t think of one righteous purpose to be accomplished under those conditions unless there would be a “Get to Know the Mormon’s” show beforehand. That is the only way to insure that we NOT spend all of our time talking about accusations, slander, and Mormon mythology instead of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in between commercials.

    I know this is probably a dead blog by now, but I was surprised to see it still going and had to jump in one more time! No longer do I intend to respond to every hole you want to shoot through the bucket of truth, however.It is a neverending adventure distracting me from those who really do want to know about the Church.

  8. Warrior said

    I doubt this debate will go away until The Lord returns in all His Glory. The the real Truth will be revealed. I for one, feel much safer putting all my faith and trust in the Bible and the Lord Jesus, not a man named Joseph Smith and a fictional piece of literature. Our job as Christians is to lead as many people as we can to the true Jesus. Not Jesus, the western.

  9. Warrior,

    I would never ask you to put your faith in Joseph Smith or any piece of literature–including the Bible–unless the Lord God led you to do so. Many people are not prepared for either the Bible or the Book of Mormon until the Lord has prepared them Himself through life’s experiences. But…if you knew Jesus as your personal Savior, and were open to His promptings, and His Spirit led you to investigate sincerely the Book of Mormon, and the Spirit of God told you in your heart and MIND that it was true, would you not regard Joseph Smith then as you do Paul, James and John or any of the other authors of the Bible? No one is satisfied with a “faulty parachute.” We’re talking direct answer to prayer, from God to man, here.

    Amanda

    PS Saying, “God wouldn’t prompt me to do that” is not a sufficient answer because I and millions of others have had this experience–many after having read and studied the Bible all their lives. Saying that some of Joseph’s prophecies not coming to pass disqualifies him as a true prophet to begin with is also evading the question because you have had only prejudiced, often false or at best incomplete and acusatory information to consider.

  10. Warrior said

    I admire your perseverence, Amanda. It’s obvious you’re quite knowledgable on this subject and willing to stand up for what you believe in. However, I feel as most on this blog that you’re just incredibly misguided. It’s OK to agree to disagree. Good luck and we’ll be praying for you.

  11. Warrior:

    You said: “It’s okay to disagree.” True enough. We will never agree on doctrine unless one of us has a conversion of the spirit and attitude. I even espouse myself the saying, “It’s okay to disagree, but not to be disagreeable.” (Sorry, Brad–I did push that one at times.)

    However: It is not okay for one Bible-believing Christian to bear false witness against another Bible- believing Christian or to say they do not hold to the Bible just because they interpret parts of it differently–as do many Protestant denominations themselves. In the 1980’s, the National Conference of Christians and Jews for 3 months investigated the claims of people like yourselves in Mesa, Arizona who embraced and showed in their churches the movie, “The Godmakers” about the “Mormon” faith. Why was it investigated? Because contention and hard feelings were being stirred up between the Mormons and those who were falsely portraying their religion. The conclusions of the NCCJ about the film? “It is akin to religious pornography.” This blog and even the radio channel 830 AM, as excellent as the station is in teaching the messages and principles of the Bible upon which we ALL agree in a Christlike manner, reflects the same old uninspired prejudices against the Church (and accuses us of telling “lies” in occasional commercials and in comments by certain ministers at times as well as in programs like “TTL” and “The Bible Answerman.” I will close with some of the comments from the NCCJ. Why is this important? Because whenever you and others display the same old prejudices and disinformation about my religion which is beautiful to its members, you are inadvertently stirring up contention and needless ill will against a people who view you with only Chrislike love. Even I understand why there are so many misunderstandings out there and am willing to work with anyone who is sincere in their heart and desire to understand the religion (ackbunton@hotmail.com).

    NCCJ: “Religious freedom is not the right to condemn, impugn, ridicule, or attack the beliefs of others. The responsible exercise of religious freedom includes…a tolerance for the differences between and among all faiths. The National Conference is particularly concerned with the growing number of attacks on religious beliefs and practices by a number of groups and individuals within our society. Such attacks, that utilize false or misleading information that is intended to promote religious bigotry, are acts of intolerance and prejudice that, in the past, we have often seen used against Jews, Catholics, Muslims, and many others. This kind of behavior needs to be identified and condemned for what it is: religious intolerance and blatant bigotry.”

    “The Godmakers” (and I would add most all of your films and books since-Amanda’s note) does not, in our opinion, fairly protray the Mormon Church, Mormon belief, or Mormon history. It makes extensive use of half-truths, faulty generalizations, erroneous interpretations, and sensationalizm. It is not reflective of the genuine spirit of the Moromon faith. It appears to us to be a basically unfair and untruthful presentation of what Mormons really believe and practice.”

    “The Godmakers 11 carries the odious scent of unreasoning prejudice. Let the public beware…Frank discussion of the truth of claims of different faiths is a legitimate avenue of inter-religious dialogue. But base appeals to fear and hatred have no place in such efforts, and must be condemned wherever they are encountered.”

    They go on to say that the films do not accurately refelct what people know of their Mormon neighbors. Truly, the best way to see the truth is to get to know your Mormon neighbors.

    I know that a few of you have, from the outward appearance, tried very hard to “appear” objective; but saying one is “praying for the Mormons” in no way compensates for unChristian (dishonest or ignorant) accusations, implications,and conveying false or semi-false information- no matter how long it’s been around-as if it were the truth, and implying that their is some sort of dangerous “Mormon conspiracy” fraught with lies to sucker in unsuspecting “would be ” Christians.

    Brad was right to refer you to LDS.org for accurate information about the Church. It’s a beginning, anyway, and you can go to the Church library and access every Conference talk (which we hold as being current instruction from God to all people in these latter days) in the Ensign magazine.

    I don’t mind if you disagree. I just want to make sure you know WHAT you’re disagreeing WITH.

  12. Brad said

    “No one is more certain of what he believes than he who is determined to misconstrue anything presented to the contrary!” (Amanda)

    I disagree. I think you are taking “disagreement” and calling it “misconstruing”, which are 2 different things. I can disagree with you (and Mormonism) without misconstruing either – and I do. I know you have said before that even evangelical Christians don’t all agree on things – and you’re right, we don’t. Ask 10 “evangelicals” something, you may get 10 different answers. But in my experience, it’s not that different in Mormonism, either (for which there does exist various sects). Ask 10 “Mormons” a question, and you may also get 10 different answers, as well.

    “All I can do is ask: If The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is false, why is God still leading thousands to it each year?” (Amanda)

    Amanda, do you believe the same thing about Islam, or Buddhism, or Hinduism, or Jehovah’s Witnesses, or evangelical Christianity? Because thousands come to these religions each year, as well. The implied reasoning behind your question is that Mormonism can’t be false, or else thousands wouldn’t be led to it each year. Couldn’t I say the same about the above religions, thus they must also be true? I don’t think that line of reasoning will hold water. People are fooled all the time, b/c Satan is a deceiver, seeking whom he may devour.

    “Why do I walk into the Church each Sunday and feel His presence which puts away all the silliness on this website and speaks joy to my soul?” (Amanda)

    I can go to the beach and feel God’s presence and have joy in my soul – doesn’t mean the ocean saves me. It has nothing to do with where you are.

    Why do I have no doctrinal qualms or confusion about the nature of the Godhead and worship a God that I know through both scripture and revelation instead of a God of my imagination and contriving, one I cannot even explain in logical terms? Why do I understand the Bible so much more now that I have the inspiration in the Book of Mormon from ancient prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants from a modern day prophet who learned these things from angels and from conversations with Jesus Christ Himself? Why does the Old Testament make so much more sense to me now that I have the Book of Mormon which lays out OT prophecy in no uncertain terms and which leads me back to the Bible with increased testimony of its truthfulness?” (Amanda)

    See my earlier comment about being deceived, and Satan being the best deceiver.

    “Never…in my 30 years in the church have I ever heard the Bible called unreliable. Only incomplete.”

    Never have I heard it called incomplete, except by a Mormon. Nowhere in Scripture do we get the impression that the Bible is not all we need to have salvation. Nowhere.

    “All of your quotes pulled from anti-Mormon literature–some originally misquoted and many misleading–cannot compete with revelation from God. I pray that you may utilize the greatest resource in the world regarding this great work, and that is God Himself through Prayer itself. Do a scripture search on prayer, and the Holy Ghost in the Bible, and you will recognize the false accusations taught on this blog and know that God wants you to know Him–and the truthfulness of all things– through personal revelation of the Holy Ghost, as well as through the words of the Bible and the Book of Mormon.” (Amanda)

    Nowhere in the Bible are we told to look to any other book or revelation to see what God has to say to us, only to look to Scripture for our answers and pray to God for His will. Nowhere.

    “While Brad thinks I won’t go on the air with him because of the prejudice against my beliefs, it is actually because of all the things I have mentioned before, including the fact that I can’t think of one righteous purpose to be accomplished under those conditions unless there would be a “Get to Know the Mormon’s” show beforehand. That is the only way to insure that we NOT spend all of our time talking about accusations, slander, and Mormon mythology instead of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in between commercials.” (Amanda)

    Any type of show you were to have ahead of time would not sway the minds of those who know better. It would only sway the minds of those who DON’T know better, which we would attempt to minister to in the subsequent show.

    The Gospel is so simple, and salvation is so simple. There are no rituals we must go through, no baptisms for the dead, no levels of heaven, no special garments, nothing – all we must do is trust in the Triune God who sent His Son Jesus to die for us. Our works earn us nothing as far as our salvation, and aren’t required for it. I (and many others) pray that you come to realize this to be true.

  13. Brad said

    “Saying that some of Joseph’s prophecies not coming to pass disqualifies him as a true prophet to begin with is also evading the question because you have had only prejudiced, often false or at best incomplete and acusatory information to consider.” (Amanda)

    How is that evading the question? It is presenting facts, placing them upon the Biblical template of how to determine if a prophet is false or not, and seeing the answer. If Smith prophesied about anything and it turned out to not be true, then by Biblical definition (see Deuteronomy, for example), he is a false prophet. As God doesn’t lie (Titus 1:2), then he would not have told us anything false. Thus if the prophet was false, and God wouldn’t tell us anything false, then God didn’t tell us anything through that false prophet. It’s a simple, logical, Biblical process to follow. And it totally blows a hole in Mormonism, that Mormons are unwilling to concede, due to the spiritual blindness (see 2 Corinthians) that they have.

    Amanda, you come off sounding like a “conspiracist”, like someone who thinks that everyone who says anything negative about the church has conspired to invent a bunch of facts that simply aren’t true. Do you really think that? Do you really believe that all Christians who speak out against Mormonism don’t know at all what they’re talking about, that we all have just really bad information? It’s just not true.

  14. Brad said

    “[Warrior] said: ‘It’s okay to disagree.’ True enough. We will never agree on doctrine unless one of us has a conversion of the spirit and attitude. I even espouse myself the saying, ‘It’s okay to disagree, but not to be disagreeable.’ (Sorry, Brad–I did push that one at times.)” (Amanda)

    Actually, Warrior said that “it’s okay to agree to disagree”, another thing entirely. Just wanted to be sure about that. Other than that, I agree with your points.

    “However: It is not okay for one Bible-believing Christian to bear false witness against another Bible- believing Christian or to say they do not hold to the Bible just because they interpret parts of it differently–as do many Protestant denominations themselves.” (Amanda)

    This is only true, depending on what is being interpreted differently. This DOES NOT mean that just b/c you say you’re a Christian, I can’t say that you’re not, based on what you believe. Here’s some Scripture on the matter:

    2 Cor. 11:3-4 “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.” In other words, Paul is writing to them to keep this from happening to them, b/c they would just sit and not do anything about it, which he is not advocating.

    Rev. 2:2-3 “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.” Same with the Ephesian church, they would put up with unsound doctrine.

    2 Cor. 11:12-15 “And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 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.” More from Paul on not doing nothing.

    Titus 3:9 “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” I agree, if we’re talking about trivial or non-essential doctrine, then yes, it is unprofitable to argue. But if we’re talking about core beliefs – the method of salvation, nature of God/Jesus/Holy Spirit, etc… – then we have a duty to stand for what the Bible says.

    I have never seen the “Godmakers” movie, and probably won’t, I have no reason to. So I can’t speak to any claims about anything related to that. I do know that the NCCJ (which has kept the intials, but changed its name to National Conference for Community & Justice) is essentially an ecumenical group, basically promoting that we all just get along, in so many words. Not shocking that they would condemn something that they felt didn’t promote that ideal.

    “I know that a few of you have, from the outward appearance, tried very hard to “appear” objective; but saying one is “praying for the Mormons” in no way compensates for unChristian (dishonest or ignorant) accusations, implications,and conveying false or semi-false information- no matter how long it’s been around-as if it were the truth, and implying that their is some sort of dangerous “Mormon conspiracy” fraught with lies to sucker in unsuspecting “would be ” Christians.” (Amanda)

    Nothing I’ve said has been untrue. You simply choose to believe that it’s not the case, and you interpret Scripture incorrectly to support your views. It’s honestly that simple.

    “I don’t mind if you disagree. I just want to make sure you know WHAT you’re disagreeing WITH.” (Amanda)

    I do – and I’m trying to make sure others do, as well.

  15. Brad,

    You may not have seen or read “The Godmakers,” but everything you say, and particularly the spirit in which you say it, has it’s origin in that work. Even that “work” was not original but had its origin in one or two books from the late 1800’s and some fairly repetitive ones in the 1900’s. Often they quote each other and don’t bother to look up the original sources they are disclaiming. The only reason your preaching against Mormonism seems and feels like conspiracy to me is that it is based upon what the NCCJ found–half truths, sensationalism, misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Your interpretations are no different from those in almost every outdated anti-Mormon book I’ve read although I realize you like to consider yourself knowledgeable about the subject. Your credibility among anyone who has genuine, not superficial, firsthand knowledge about the Church would be more than highly suspect, and most people who have seriously investigated the church and read its standard works would not entertain your complaints.

    All of your biblical quotes which you think are targeted at the LDS Church can be used by our missionaries with full integrity since the original Apostles understood and had the fulness of the gospel too–which was soon diluted by Greek influence and the 29 theological church councils held in order to come up with the doctrines on the nature of the Godhead that you still believe today–the background for the Trinity as you know it.

    When it comes to the doctrine of Jesus Christ, if you ask 10 Mormons a question, you will get the same answer, unlike any other denomination I’m aware of. If you ask them the “loaded,” sensational, pharisaic questions of anti-Mormonism, you may get 10 different answers. If one day you should come to understand that our doctrine evolves around our Savior, Jesus Christ, and is backed up by the Bible, your questions could become genuine and lose their “conspiratorical” and insulting ring. Then we will be happy to answer them straightforwardly, and our answers will not be fodder for religious games and battles. Our core beliefs about salvation and the nature of God are biblical although it did take a Restoration to bring some things to light that have been hard to understand by many religions and denominations.

    Lastly, I did not say that any of Joseph’s prophecies didn’t come to pass; you did. I’m saying that you cannot use your incomplete and distorted knowledge of Joseph’s prophecies and of their fulfillment (and even of prophecy in the Bible–“for all its worth”) to claim that his calling as a prophet is not worth praying about.

    John 16:8 tells us that the Spirit of truth will “guide us into all truth”…and “shew us things to come”…and in Acts 1:2, that it will “give commandments” unto the apostles. (If there are living Apostles today, would the Spirit (He) not be doing the same?) He sheds the love of God in our hearts (Rom.5:5), and in 1 Cor. 2:11, we are told the Spirit “searcheth all things.” “No man can say… Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost,” and “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…we are saved by the …renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5), and the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us (Heb. 10:15) It testifies, teaches, and fills us with power (Michah 3:8) and then there is the verse again in James 1:5 which, as you know, says that if you lack wisdom, you should “ask of God, and it shall be given” you.

    Does the guidance of the Holy Ghost apply to the Book of Mormon? “Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good.” 1 Thes. 5:21–I know it does as I know that the Spirit will tell us in no uncertain terms if Joseph Smith was a prophet, but we have to be reading the right thing–the Book of Mormon at the time, as well as the Bible.

    If Joseph Smith was called as a latter-day prophet, Brad, then your interpretations of the Bible are not “written in stone.” Some scripture is self evident; many of the wonderful principles and moral stories are, but some scripture is not self evident although it was to the apostles of old who knew the answers, but not all of them since Jesus before His crucifixion said, “I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” (John 16:12) The Bible, as you noted indicates that Satan can play havoc with man’s knowledge and understanding–usually through men, so I give him credit for the discrepancies that foster so many Christian religions today.

    You and I must agree to disagree that Joseph was a prophet of God, but I have paid the price to receive a testimony; and both the Apostle Peter and I would refuse, in this day, to stand idly by while others lie about our faith and the valiant human tools through whom God brings His work to pass in preparation for the Second Coming. I do think I’ve made my point, and since I’m leaving town for two weeks, it would be a good time to wish you well and wish you a love of God and your fellow man that will help you to seek to “obtain” the words of the Mormons before you seek to “teach” or “preach” them.

  16. Brad said

    “The only reason your preaching against Mormonism seems and feels like conspiracy to me is that it is based upon what the NCCJ found–half truths, sensationalism, misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Your interpretations are no different from those in almost every outdated anti-Mormon book I’ve read although I realize you like to consider yourself knowledgeable about the subject. Your credibility among anyone who has genuine, not superficial, firsthand knowledge about the Church would be more than highly suspect, and most people who have seriously investigated the church and read its standard works would not entertain your complaints.” (Amanda)

    Gee, Amanda, are there any non-Mormons who DO know anything correct about Mormonism? Or all we ALL just mis-informed? What I say is no different than what, say, Sandra Tanner says (the great-great-granddaughter of Brigham Young). She was in the church her whole life, until she realized it was not true. Is she mis-informed, as well? Come on, Amanda, the conspiracy theory line really isn’t working.

    “All of your biblical quotes which you think are targeted at the LDS Church can be used by our missionaries with full integrity since the original Apostles understood and had the fulness of the gospel too–which was soon diluted by Greek influence and the 29 theological church councils held in order to come up with the doctrines on the nature of the Godhead that you still believe today–the background for the Trinity as you know it.” (Amanda)

    Ah yes, the councils, which all Mormons LOVE to bring up to evangelicals, saying that all we believe is based on the councils. They didn’t “come up” with the doctrine on the Trinity, among other things – they “affirmed” existing doctrines that were already in place. They didn’t “invent” anything at these councils – belief in the Trinitarian view was as far back as the Gospels and the Apostles. The councils served to make them official – not to derive them from thin air. The background for the Trinity as I know it is the Bible, nothing else.

    “When it comes to the doctrine of Jesus Christ, if you ask 10 Mormons a question, you will get the same answer, unlike any other denomination I’m aware of.” (Amanda)

    Really? Just the other day I asked a Mormon if I could experience the fullnes of heaven, the best it had to offer, if I stayed a non-Mormon. His answer was “yes.” Do you believe that as well, Amanda?

    “If you ask them the “loaded,” sensational, pharisaic questions of anti-Mormonism, you may get 10 different answers.” (Amanda)

    Right – so it has to do with how the question is phrased. I see…

    “If one day you should come to understand that our doctrine evolves around our Savior, Jesus Christ, and is backed up by the Bible, your questions could become genuine and lose their “conspiratorical” and insulting ring.” (Amanda)

    Won’t happen. I know your doctrine doesn’t, so my questions won’t change.

    “Our core beliefs about salvation and the nature of God are biblical although it did take a Restoration to bring some things to light that have been hard to understand by many religions and denominations.” (Amanda)

    Yep, there’s always a “but” or an “if” or an “although” or some sort of caveat with Mormonism, isn’t there?

    “Lastly, I did not say that any of Joseph’s prophecies didn’t come to pass; you did. I’m saying that you cannot use your incomplete and distorted knowledge of Joseph’s prophecies and of their fulfillment (and even of prophecy in the Bible–”for all its worth”) to claim that his calling as a prophet is not worth praying about.” (Amanda)

    Sure I can. If he made a prophecy (and many of them are written down for all to see), and it didn’t come true (which many didn’t), I can most definitely say he’s false. And I do.

    “John 16:8 tells us that the Spirit of truth will “guide us into all truth”…and “shew us things to come”…and in Acts 1:2, that it will “give commandments” unto the apostles. (If there are living Apostles today, would the Spirit (He) not be doing the same?) He sheds the love of God in our hearts (Rom.5:5), and in 1 Cor. 2:11, we are told the Spirit “searcheth all things.” “No man can say… Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost,” and “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…we are saved by the …renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5), and the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us (Heb. 10:15) It testifies, teaches, and fills us with power (Michah 3:8) and then there is the verse again in James 1:5 which, as you know, says that if you lack wisdom, you should “ask of God, and it shall be given” you.” (Amanda)

    Ah, more Scriptural misinterpretation. For example, as I’ve shown clearly before, James 1:5 doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with wisdom in all matters, when you look at the clear context. It relates specifically to asking for wisdom in light of the trials in your life, to help you to deal with them. Doesn’t have anything at all to do with asking for wisdom as to whether Mormonism is correct, or not.

    “Does the guidance of the Holy Ghost apply to the Book of Mormon? “Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good.” 1 Thes. 5:21–I know it does as I know that the Spirit will tell us in no uncertain terms if Joseph Smith was a prophet, but we have to be reading the right thing–the Book of Mormon at the time, as well as the Bible.” (Amanda)

    There’s that keyword “but” again – “BUT we have to be reading the right thing-the Book of Mormon at the time…” So many criteria…

    “If Joseph Smith was called as a latter-day prophet, Brad, then your interpretations of the Bible are not ‘written in stone.'” (Amanda)

    You’re right – but since he wasn’t, then my interpretations are.

    “…and both the Apostle Peter and I would refuse, in this day, to stand idly by while others lie about our faith and the valiant human tools through whom God brings His work to pass in preparation for the Second Coming.” (Amanda)

    Wow – now you are acting like the Apostle Peter? Nobody is lying about Mormonism here, Amanda – it’s all true, just really bad news for anyone who has placed there hope and faith in it. Heck, even according to Mormonism, I’ll STILL get into heaven, so even if I’m wrong, there’s not even a penalty for me! But if you’re wrong about what YOU believe, well…that’s a different story. You better be more than 100% sure, because the penalty for being wrong for me is none, but the penalty for you being wrong is eternity in hell.

    I do think I’ve made my point, and since I’m leaving town for two weeks, it would be a good time to wish you well and wish you a love of God and your fellow man that will help you to seek to “obtain” the words of the Mormons before you seek to “teach” or “preach” them.

  17. Brad,

    Joseph Smith once said that man could learn more by looking into the heavens under the influence of the Holy Ghost for 5 minutes than he could by a lifetime of study and experience here. A man or woman can also learn more by spending a moment enlightened by the Holy Ghost than he can by spending hours reading the Bible without it. One can certainly learn more about the Holy Ghost by personal experience with it than by reading about it in the Bible. This seems to be a great missing link in our communications. The Holy Ghost, and our following its promptings, is that oil in the lamps of the wise virgins to which I’ve been referring.

    This is the 2nd time you have mentioned Sandra Tanner. While I have never in my 30 years in the Church heard that she was related to Brigham Young in the least, I am well aware of her. In the film The God Makers, she and hubby Jerald were introduced as former Mormons who have “established an international reputation for ther supposedly accurate and thorough research.” Their attack on the Church is mostly focused on differences between various historical accounts of early LDS Church events and on changes to LDS scriptures. I’ve heard of them for years and never once have they been called anything but enemies of the Church. She is known for saying “The Church has too many secrets to hide to come out in open opposition to her book, “Mormonism–Shadow or Reality.” In truth, the Church leadership will never comment on anti claims or arguments because expending resources and energy in that way would detract from the Church’s objective to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Tanners use this policy to their advantage, sowing doubt in the hearts of those who are unawre of the Church’s policy. In the God Makers, she points to Mormon texts about the Prophet Joseph’s first vision that appear contradictory. (Who, exactly, appeared to him in the Sacred Grove?) In one section called “Source of Confusion” that deals with the first vision, the Tanners blatantly edit various statements by early Church leaders and splice them together to make them appear to say something they do not, deceitfully connecting them to serve her purposes. (So much for scholarship.) This is a common practice for them.

    One Tanner critic, cited in an article entitled “Career Apostates,” has said it best:

    “Jerald and Sandra Tanner have read widely enough in the sources of LDS history to provide that larger perspective, but they do not. Although the most conscientious and honest researcher can overlook pertinent sources of information, the repeated omissions of evidence by the Tanners suggest an intentional avoidance of sources that modify or refute their caustic interpretation of Mormon history.”

    A non-Mormon scholar, Lawrence Foster, assiciate prof. of American history at the Georgia Institute of Technology) who has spent many hears of intensive work on Mormonism and its history says this:

    “The Tanners have repeatedly assumed a holier-than-thou stance, refusing to be fair in applying the same debate standard of absolute rectitude which they demand of Mormonism to their own actions, writings, and beliefs…The Tanners seem to be playing a skillful shell game in which the premises for judgment are conveniently shifted so that the conclusion is always the same–negative.”

    According to Richard I. Winwood in, “Take Heed That Ye Be Not Deceived:”

    Jerald and Sandra…are career anti-Mormons–that is, slandering the Church is how they make their living. They have published numerous writings based on their “impeccably accurate” research and on the research of other associates, which even a nonscholarly review reveals as biased, misinterpreted, and imaginatively distorted.”

    The sad thing, Brad, is that they are probably the most accurate sources you and your friends on 830 AM have consulted about the Church–which explains a lot. They’ve trained many people well.

    I have no animosity toward them but would not want to be in their shoes come Judgment Day. And you evidently place your faith in them yet would never pray to God about the Book of Mormon? (Don’t pray about the Book of Mormon–that’s how we getcha!) Just kidding! I wish you would, of course.

    Off to VA. now! 🙂

    Amanda

  18. PS Of course, there are many who are not Mormons who know a good deal about the Church (Not quite enough though or they’d be members :); however, the ones who dislike us and call us liars or talk down to us like we don’t know our own religion are invariably the ones educated by people like the Tanners and others, people who have been drinking the cool aid! bigtime!
    🙂
    See ya!

  19. Brad said

    “Joseph Smith once said that man could learn more by looking into the heavens under the influence of the Holy Ghost for 5 minutes than he could by a lifetime of study and experience here. A man or woman can also learn more by spending a moment enlightened by the Holy Ghost than he can by spending hours reading the Bible without it. One can certainly learn more about the Holy Ghost by personal experience with it than by reading about it in the Bible. This seems to be a great missing link in our communications. The Holy Ghost, and our following its promptings, is that oil in the lamps of the wise virgins to which I’ve been referring.” (Amanda)

    Amanda, one would get the impression from reading what you wrote that we only need the Holy Spirit, no instruction from the Bible or anything else, which is far less important. Do you believe this to be true? As to the “oil in the lamps of the wise virgins”, that is a parable in Matthew 25 – there is no basis for concluding that the “oil” represents the Holy Spirit. It could mean a number of things, not just that. You can’t interpret Scripture to say what you’d LIKE it to say – you have to let it say what it does, and in this case, we can’t ascribe anything in particular to the “oil.”

    “This is the 2nd time you have mentioned Sandra Tanner. While I have never in my 30 years in the Church heard that she was related to Brigham Young in the least, I am well aware of her.” (Amanda)

    Really? That’s amazing, since it is quoted virtually EVERYWHERE she is mentioned (her website, other websites that talk about her, including FAIRLDS, etc…). And it’s not disputed.

    “In the film The God Makers, she and hubby Jerald were introduced as former Mormons who have “established an international reputation for ther supposedly accurate and thorough research.” Their attack on the Church is mostly focused on differences between various historical accounts of early LDS Church events and on changes to LDS scriptures.” (Amanda)

    Like I said, I’ve never seen that film, so I can’t speak to it. I do know that the Tanners have been critics of Ed Decker (who made the film), saying that he has made misrepresentations of Mormonism within the film. And Decker’s former partner, Dick Baer, has also distanced himself. So I wouldn’t use a GodMakers reference to discredit them, since they themselves are critical of the producer of that film.

    “I’ve heard of them for years and never once have they been called anything but enemies of the Church.” (Amanda)

    As former members, with familial ties to important church leaders, who are now speaking out against the church? I’m shocked they’d be called “enemies” by the LDS…

    “She is known for saying “The Church has too many secrets to hide to come out in open opposition to her book, “Mormonism–Shadow or Reality.” In truth, the Church leadership will never comment on anti claims or arguments because expending resources and energy in that way would detract from the Church’s objective to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Tanners use this policy to their advantage, sowing doubt in the hearts of those who are unawre of the Church’s policy. In the God Makers, she points to Mormon texts about the Prophet Joseph’s first vision that appear contradictory. (Who, exactly, appeared to him in the Sacred Grove?) In one section called “Source of Confusion” that deals with the first vision, the Tanners blatantly edit various statements by early Church leaders and splice them together to make them appear to say something they do not, deceitfully connecting them to serve her purposes. (So much for scholarship.) This is a common practice for them.” (Amanda)

    As I said, I can’t comment on anything in that movie, b/c I haven’t seen it. As to her supposed tactics, I can’t really speak to those either, b/c I have neither the facts to go on nor any personal knowledge of her to know if she’d do that or not.

    “One Tanner critic, cited in an article entitled “Career Apostates,” has said it best: ‘Jerald and Sandra Tanner have read widely enough in the sources of LDS history to provide that larger perspective, but they do not. Although the most conscientious and honest researcher can overlook pertinent sources of information, the repeated omissions of evidence by the Tanners suggest an intentional avoidance of sources that modify or refute their caustic interpretation of Mormon history.'” (Amanda)

    What? A critic who does not speak favorably of them? I’m shocked…

    “A non-Mormon scholar, Lawrence Foster, assiciate prof. of American history at the Georgia Institute of Technology) who has spent many hears of intensive work on Mormonism and its history says this: ‘The Tanners have repeatedly assumed a holier-than-thou stance, refusing to be fair in applying the same debate standard of absolute rectitude which they demand of Mormonism to their own actions, writings, and beliefs…The Tanners seem to be playing a skillful shell game in which the premises for judgment are conveniently shifted so that the conclusion is always the same–negative.'” (Amanda)

    What? Another critic who also doesn’t speak favorably of them? Again, total shock…

    “According to Richard I. Winwood in, “Take Heed That Ye Be Not Deceived:” ‘Jerald and Sandra…are career anti-Mormons–that is, slandering the Church is how they make their living. They have published numerous writings based on their “impeccably accurate” research and on the research of other associates, which even a nonscholarly review reveals as biased, misinterpreted, and imaginatively distorted.'” (Amanda)

    What? A Mormon who criticizes them? My goodness…

    Seriously, Amanda, you quoting critics of the Tanners to show that people disagree with them is no more evidence than me quoting believers of the Tanners to show that people agree with them. If these people have a bad understanding of the LDS church, what would that say about what they were taught when they WERE in the church? I believe they are truthful about what they say, and that the Mormon church doesn’t like it, that’s all.

    “I have no animosity toward them but would not want to be in their shoes come Judgment Day.” (Amanda)

    You won’t be – you’ll be in your own shoes, as I will be in mine. So it doesn’t matter what the Tanners have done, only what you have done or I have done.

    “And you evidently place your faith in them yet would never pray to God about the Book of Mormon?” (Amanda)

    I don’t place my faith in them, my faith is in Jesus Christ as my Savior. But I do believe what they say, and trust that it is true. And I wouldn’t pray to God about the BOM – nowhere in the Bible am I told to do that about any other supposed revelation from God. I am told to consult Scripture, and after logically doing that, I can definitively say that Mormonism is false.

  20. Brad said

    “Of course, there are many who are not Mormons who know a good deal about the Church (Not quite enough though or they’d be members :); however, the ones who dislike us and call us liars or talk down to us like we don’t know our own religion are invariably the ones educated by people like the Tanners and others, people who have been drinking the cool aid! bigtime” (Amanda)

    Nice. So the non-Mormons who speak out and call a false religion a false religion are all misguided and have been educated by the Tanners or those like them? And of course, we’re all in a big conspiracy, right? And you think WE’RE drinking the koolaid? Come on, Amanda, read over your writings and just look at them – it’s always “if they’re against us, they’re all misguided and “in on it” – or else they just don’t know enough about the church or they’d join.” You’ve GOT to be kidding!

  21. Anonymous said

    I guess my perspective does seem strange to you, and I cannot say that I am not perhaps too passionately defensive about the Church. When I was 3 years old and my mother read to me the story of the crucifixion in a child’s gospel book, I felt the same protective feelings about the Savior. I wished I had been there to “deck” those who abused and murdered Him, and I feel no differently about His restored Church and its leaders in the latter days. Such passion must be controlled and moderated, and I do a great job with people who do not specialize in misrepresenting my Church as a false church.

    As a person simply learning about the church, as yet unconverted, in 1976, I recognized yellow journalism and extreme bias when I read it, and it was the same stuff you and Sandra Turner espouse. Criticizing those whose yellow journalism is more obvious and stidently apparent is no stamp of accuracy for their own subtle accusations. You should read a critique of her books by anyone very familiar with the Church.

    Brad, are you telling me that you believe the Bible is more important than a member of the Godhead? You folks are always telling me that the Spirit is God–as is the Father and the Son. This, all Mormons believe as well. Yes, I would say that God, or a member of the Godhead, is more important than the Bible which has been handled and translated by imperfect men down through the ages. If the Bible were universally destroyed tomorrow, God would send more revelation and the same testimony. How? Through a living prophet. That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel that the Bible is inspired and extremely important. Prophets of God wrote the books in it when “breathed upon by the Holy Ghost,” the Spirit. Without living prophets, there would be no Bible. Jesus said there would be false prophets, but He never said there would never be another prophet. In fact, He showed us how to discern them: by their fruits ye shall know them. Our job is to discern the true ones from the imposters, and how do we do that? By the power of the Holy Ghost. All the words of the Bible, while requiring a true prophet to be in harmony with them, have not been suficient in bringing the children who love God into one faith, one baptism, as the Bible requires in order to lead us in becoming Christlike according to Eph. 4.

    It’s amazing to me that you see no need to pray about something as important as the Book of Mormon (275,000 words) which was obtained through angelic ministration and remarkably translated by the power of God in two months, complete with three eye witnesses to the plates and then 8 other witnesses to add collaborating testimony. Hearing and knowing those things are not proof in and of themselves, of course, but I think they make it worth the time to read and even to pray about the subject. If Mormons didn’t evidence something special in their lives, it wouldn’t be worth the effort perhaps, but in fact, the majority of sincere Mormons do. Do you search the Bible to see if you should pray if your parents get cancer? If you should pray over a new job? If you have an important decision to make? When the Bible says the Spirit guides us into all truth, that is a blanket commission to pray over anything that we feel is worth it or are led to pray for! Why? Because God is your Heavenly Father (Jesus said so in the Bible), and He is concerned about you and me and all of our choices. He will not make them all for us, but He does give us–through the Bible and other avenues involving our senses, mind, and abilities, the power to make them on our own. ( I understand that you have made yours regarding the Church; I got that message. However… in the Book of Mormon, God promises us that we will know the truthfulness of it through the Holy Ghost if we meet His criteria of asking, receiving the words He has already given us in the Bible and what we have read by the ancient American prophets as well and are sincere in the asking. He’s never failed to answer someone sincere enough to comply with His instructions–but many who refuse to pay the price either take your road, one unfortunately that involves hostility, spoken or unspoken, or have come close enough to have respect for the “fruits” of the Church in the manner of the Savior’s discourse on the true and living vine.

    Last Sunday, a man whose wife has been a member for 20 years was finally baptized. His comment before the congregation? “I wish my wife had pushed me a little harder through the years to join because I could have felt this way the entire time.”

    I really DO NOT mean to imply that everyone who comes into genuine contact with the Church and leaves it alone is in any way deficient–my dear college roommate did (parental pressure won out in the end), and I know and love many who have known a little and left it alone, but all of them are sincere Christians who would never fight against or slander another Church unless it threatened life, limb, property or soul. The reason you do is because you and others like you have decided the Church is a fraud and issues lies and cover ups. As long as you presume to play God in this judgmental way, you will always find people like me who will not sit by and allow you to go unchallenged. If you learned the fulness of the Gospel in the way the Savior would want you to–by obtaining your information through direct sources unfiltered, unspun by anti’s (would you want to learn of Christ through the Pharisees or from Pilate or Judas?), you would not be a believer in every negative word spoken in the “spin zone” about “Mormondom”, and most of all, you would have no ill will towards the Church and your brothers and sisters in Christ. As Peter implied, your saying we’re not no more changes the truth than your saying the sun doesn’t shine impedes its light from shining upon you.

    Amanda

  22. Brad said

    “You should read a critique of [Sandra Tanner’s] books by anyone very familiar with the Church.” (Amanda)

    Gee, I wonder what the critique would say? That the book is “false, misleading and dangerous?” That wouldn’t be shocking, considering it’s coming from a Mormon source, now would it?

    “Brad, are you telling me that you believe the Bible is more important than a member of the Godhead?” (Amanda)

    No, I’m saying that it is the wall upon which we can throw all of our notions and thoughts to see if they stick or not. God has left us with this definitive work – His own Word – that we are to use to decipher truth and His will for our lives. That is not to say that the Holy Spirit isn’t with us, that He doesn’t help us in our lives. But God also knew, and still knows, that our thoughts and hearts are wickedly deceitful (gee, this is only the 17th time I’ve stated this), and accordingly Scripture tells us to rely on SCRIPTURE to know what is right.

    “You folks are always telling me that the Spirit is God–as is the Father and the Son. This, all Mormons believe as well.” (Amanda)

    But you don’t, Amanda. How many “gods” are there, right now, in existence? I would love it if you would answer that question for me. Also, do you believe that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all the same God (1 God, manifested in 3 persons)?

    “Yes, I would say that God, or a member of the Godhead, is more important than the Bible which has been handled and translated by imperfect men down through the ages. If the Bible were universally destroyed tomorrow, God would send more revelation and the same testimony. How? Through a living prophet.” (Amanda)

    What basis do you have for this? Nowhere is this found in the Bible. God has given us all we need in His Word, and He is all powerful and will ensure that His Word endures forever. We have no need for a prophet.

    “That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel that the Bible is inspired and extremely important. Prophets of God wrote the books in it when “breathed upon by the Holy Ghost,” the Spirit. Without living prophets, there would be no Bible.” (Amanda)

    Yes, the Bible was written by men as they were inspired by God (through the Holy Spirit), that is true. But without living prophets, we could still have the Bible. Without God, there would be no Bible. Let’s not make the prophets out to be anything they’re not.

    “Jesus said there would be false prophets, but He never said there would never be another prophet. In fact, He showed us how to discern them: by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Amanda)

    Yes, but define fruit as it is used in Scripture. It can’t just be “moral”, b/c there are many moral people who aren’t Christians. It can’t just be that they proclaim to speak from God, b/c you have to TEST what they say in light of Scripture, to make sure it matches up with what God has ALREADY told us. So the key to the “fruit” is knowing what to look for. If a “prophet” is exhibiting “fruit” that does not coincide with the Bible’s teachings, he’s still false. Enter the Mormon church. By virtue of the fact that they do not hold to some of the core teachings of the Bible, and by virtue of the fact that the prophets lead the church, then that makes the prophets false. Easy.

    “Our job is to discern the true ones from the imposters, and how do we do that? By the power of the Holy Ghost. All the words of the Bible, while requiring a true prophet to be in harmony with them, have not been suficient in bringing the children who love God into one faith, one baptism, as the Bible requires in order to lead us in becoming Christlike according to Eph. 4.” (Amanda)

    I think Scripture is more than sufficient in accomplishing what it needs to. Why? B/c the Bible says so in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Thoroughly equipped, that’s what the Bible makes us. Sounds pretty sufficient to me. And how are we supposed to discern what is correct? By examining the Scriptures, as Paul states in Acts 17:11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Not by a feeling we get (which, remember what the Bible said about our hearts being deceitfully wicked), but by God’s Word.

    “It’s amazing to me that you see no need to pray about something as important as the Book of Mormon (275,000 words)” (Amanda)

    Doesn’t really matter how many words it has in it, does it, Amanda?

    “…which was obtained through angelic ministration and remarkably translated by the power of God in two months, complete with three eye witnesses to the plates and then 8 other witnesses to add collaborating testimony.” (Amanda)

    Combine that with no archaeological, historical or linguistic evidence, throw in the many revisions to the BOM, mix it with changing doctrine, add in a founder who was a convicted criminal and died in a gun battle in a jail, and you’ve got a real hum-dinger of a story, don’t you? Who said it was “angelic ministration”? Smith. Who translated it? Smith. Other than the witnesses (who given all the other ridiculous stuff about Mormonism and their relationship to Joseph Smith are hardly believable), has anyone seen these magical golden plates? Nope. Yeah, I’d sure want to build my eternal future on this one, Amanda.

    “Hearing and knowing those things are not proof in and of themselves, of course” (Amanda)

    Now there’s a statement I can 100% agree with!

    “…but I think they make it worth the time to read and even to pray about the subject.” (Amanda)

    I could pray about the Land of Oz to see if it really exists too, but I know it doesn’t. Incidentally, there’s as much proof that the Land of Oz exists as there is proof that the places in the BOM existed, too.

    “Do you search the Bible to see if you should pray if your parents get cancer? If you should pray over a new job? If you have an important decision to make? When the Bible says the Spirit guides us into all truth, that is a blanket commission to pray over anything that we feel is worth it or are led to pray for!” (Amanda)

    I already know I should pray b/c the Bible tells me to, in many places. The Holy Spirit does guide us, that is true; but nowhere are we told to stop using the Bible and rely simply on direction from the Holy Spirit and the feelings we think we’re receiving. That’s how people can get misled.

    “…in the Book of Mormon, God promises us that we will know the truthfulness of it through the Holy Ghost if we meet His criteria of asking, receiving the words He has already given us in the Bible and what we have read by the ancient American prophets as well and are sincere in the asking.” (Amanda)

    If, if, if, and more if. So many criteria. More relying on feelings, rather than Scripture. It never fails.

    “The reason you do is because you and others like you have decided the Church is a fraud and issues lies and cover ups. As long as you presume to play God in this judgmental way, you will always find people like me who will not sit by and allow you to go unchallenged.” (Amanda)

    Correct – I do believe that the church has misled many (of which you also have been misled), which is unfortunate. Nobody is “playing” God – we are given clear means in Scripture to determine if what is said is truth, and since Mormonism doesn’t hold to Scripture, it’s not hard to say that it’s not from God. I welcome the fact that you challenge it – it at least gets the issues out in the open.

    “If you learned the fulness of the Gospel in the way the Savior would want you to–by obtaining your information through direct sources unfiltered, unspun by anti’s (would you want to learn of Christ through the Pharisees or from Pilate or Judas?), you would not be a believer in every negative word spoken in the “spin zone” about “Mormondom”, and most of all, you would have no ill will towards the Church and your brothers and sisters in Christ.” (Amanda)

    Ah yes, more conspiracy theories again – we’re all “anti’s” in the “spin zone” about “Mormondom.” Yep, that’s it. It’s one big, gigantic, far-reaching conspiracy. You caught us. I don’t hate you or have ill will towards you or anyone else in the church, Amanda – I feel sorry for you that you have been misled, that the wool has been pulled over your eyes for so long that you are now blinded to the truth. It truly saddens me.

  23. Anonymous said

    “Ah yes, more conspiracy theories again – we’re all “anti’s” in the “spin zone” about ‘Mormondom.'” (Brad)

    Brad, in Jesus’ day, the “Christians” (a nickname at the time) would have been met with the same mockery and impenetrable disbelief by anti-Christs as you hurl at me as a Mormon. I’m afraid you may one day see how closely you represent them in spirit, “thinking you do God a favor.”

    The long and short of it is this: I’m a Mormon; you’re not. If you were accurately representing the Church and our beliefs IN THE LEAST, I would not be writing you, sir. Your agenda, like some others, is based entirely upon the fact that you believe and claim that Joseph Smith could not have been who he claimed to be, and so your conclusions and “evidences” and even interpretation of the Bible must of necessity be slanted to support your foredrawn conclusion.

    You said some time ago that you wouldn’t stoop to taking “pot shots,” that you wouldn’t respond further to that kind of communication, but in reality your entire take on my faith has been one long “pot shot” worthy of no other name–not to mention that the quality of your last 3 emails has degenrated to nothing but juvenile gesturing and repetition of the slander you thrive upon.

    From my last post: “If the Bible were universally destroyed tomorrow, God would send more revelation and the same testimony. How? Through a living prophet.” (Amanda)

    Brad’s response: “What basis do you have for this? Nowhere is this found in the Bible. God has given us all we need in His Word, and He is all powerful and will ensure that His Word endures forever.”

    Of course, God has and will continue to preserve the Bible, and its contents are essential for us to have. That is not the issue here. You continue to overlook that the Bible is a collection of books that did not exist as an entity until long after the Resurrection, and so comments like “nowhere in the Bible…” are irrelevant when it comes to praying about other scripture. The Bible doesn’t even speak of itself as a complete entity in any way except each author for his own book, such as at the end of Revelation. I think the point is that God is certainly able to open His mouth once more to usher in the “restitution of all things” when the words given by the mouth of God’s holy prophets shall be restored and the “times of refreshing” come rushing in.

    My basis for that hypothetical of God’s behavior is simply based upon the Bible itself: As Dr. Phil says, “The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior,” and since God has chosen to administer His word to us through living prophets throughout biblical history, He would most likely do the same should the need arise in the future. Should the need arise for more guidance (as it has already) through misinterpretation and personal “spin” on His doctrine, and a blasphemous society wreaking havoc on families and God’s moral law, in preparation for the Second Coming, He could similarly restore the same church He established through His Son and the Apostles in the meridian of time. I testify to you and to the world that He has done this. In Amos 3, I believe, He said through a living prophet, “Surely the Lord God shall do nothing save He shall reveal it unto His servants the prophets.” (I’m in Virginia and haven’t the time to look that one up.) I assume you take God at His word.

    Brad said: “Nowhere are we told to stop using the Bible and rely simply on direction from the Holy Spirit and the feelings we think we’re receiving.”

    And you haven’t been told that by the Mormons either. This comment alone simply shows your inexperience with the Church and real Mormons, Brad. The Spirit wouldn’t even witness to our minds and hearts if the word received didn’t jive with the biblical word. Humility–as in being teachable–and faith are required however.

    Brad asks: “How many “gods” are there, right now, in existence? I would love it if you would answer that question for me. Also, do you believe that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all the same God (1 God, manifested in 3 persons)?”

    The only correct answer I can give you on that one is, “There is only one God with whom we have to do.” That God is Jesus Christ. If you read the Bible and particularly John 16 and 17, however, you know that Jesus came to bodily represent the Father, and a huge portion of His mission, one which He spoke satisfaction about in John 17, was to convey the Father to His chosen disciples (and through them to us,) “except Judas that prophecy might be fulfilled,” by giving them the words of the Father in order to sanctify them through truth and allowing them to receive their own personal witness from God the Father, that He was sent by and from the Father. If they had limited His acceptable words to the Old Testament books, which constituted their Bible of the day, as you do to the Bible in general, they never would have accepted either Him or the Father). Even so, He told them He “had much to say unto them, but they could not bear it now.” (John 16) He honored the Father so much that we are to pray directly unto the Father and “ask” in the name of Jesus.

    The Father is God; Jesus is God; the Holy Ghost is God; that’s three individuals, but they are so much one in spirit, purpose, power, omniscience, and attributes that they are and can be called ONE GOD. (The
    Greek word referring to God in parts of Genesis during the creation is plural, and Yes, I do consider myself monotheistic. (It matters not to me if you disagree.) All other talking points in your head were worn out in the beginning of our correspondence and not relevant to a discussion of the Godhead or Trinity.

    From what you have previously said, Brad, you do not actually believe in “1 God, manifested in 3 persons–that’s actually what WE believe,” (Your semantics and explanations would indicate that you believe simply in “Three “manifestations,” not persons, of 1 God,”); there is not a huge difference in our statement that there are 3 persons, as indicated in the Bible, which make up one God or Godhead in the oneness described in John 17, the intercessory prayer. They are ONE GOD to us as you claim they are to you.

    Since we’ve both repeated ourselves many times and are back again to topics we have already hashed through and misconstrued at least once or twice and still not managed to evidence accuracy or understanding in our feedback to one another, it’s time to quit–once again.

    Brett was right. He refuses to argue about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he does so because it is uncomely and unChristian. I’m taking my hat out of the ring, but again, if anyone is sincerely looking for knowledge about the Church, my email is ackbunton@hotmail.com. Otherwise, find a Book of Mormon and read it prayerfully or visit http://www.Mormon.com or LDS.org.

    Amanda

    Amanda

  24. johnny t said

    I’m sorry, but this quote is ridiculous, “He refuses to argue about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he does so because it is uncomely and unChristian.” What do you base that off of? How is it un-Christian to stand up for what you believe? You’re in dangerous territory. I will pray for you.

  25. Anonymous said

    Johnny T., the key word was “argue” which is not to be confused with “standing up for what you believe.” Contention has no part in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and if you are a praying man, you probably already know this in your heart.

    Amanda

  26. Brad said

    Amanda,

    You can’t even answer the simple question I stated about the number of “gods” in a yes/no fashion. This is typical of Mormonism, they will try to talk with deep meaning around a question, so it looks like they’re answering it, but they really avoid the question entirely. I will take your answer as a “no”, b/c that’s what you said, in so many words. Either there’s ONE God – period – or there’s not; none of this “one god with whom we have to do” stuff.

    So you’re monotheistic, you say? Do you believe that you will become a god when you get to heaven? Do you believe that others before you, good Mormons (Smith, Young, McConkie, etc…) have gone to heaven and become gods? B/c if you answer “no”, then you are denying a part of the faith you believe in; if you answer “yes”, then you are no longer polytheistic. Which is it? Or will you attempt to skirt your way around this question, too, claiming something like it has no relevance to anything?

    I stand up for the gospel of Jesus Christ against those who wish to change it, and especially against those who claim they believe the same but espouse different beliefs entirely (i.e. Mormons). Jude tells us to “earnerstly contend for the faith”, which I believe I do.

    Amanda, if Mormonism and Christianity are so similar in belief, as you would have us believe, then what else does Mormonism offer to save me that Christianity doesn’t already have? If they’re so similar, then why would anyone need Mormonism – why not just Christianity?

    And if there is any difference between us, then why not just say the difference, why always the fight to try to claim to be just like Christianity?

  27. Mike Sears said

    Great questions Brad. They deserve a straight answer.

  28. Anonymous said

    Brad said: “Amanda, if Mormonism and Christianity are so similar in belief, as you would have us believe, then what else does Mormonism offer to save me that Christianity doesn’t already have? If they’re so similar, then why would anyone need Mormonism – why not just Christianity?”

    This is actually a very good question, Brad. Kudos to you! (If only I could spell kudos.)

    First, if you’ve read the Articles of Faith, you know the main differences are that we have continuing revelation (through a living prophet), and we also believe that with priesthood authority, man may receive baptism and then the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands–which is another source of continuing revelation.

    Without a living prophet and those called by God, would mankind have even been saved- even the 8 souls on the ark in the day of the Flood? Would the infiltrations of false doctrine and misunderstandings that were trying to creep into the ancient church have been “checked” in the days of the Apostles without their guidance, visits and letters? Would Joseph of Egypt been able to save his family and many others in the day of famine? While I can certainly see the hand of God preparing all of his children outside the Church who take his word seriously in many ways today, would sincere individuals be prepared for the Second Coming and the rough times preceding it as quickly without a living prophet? So much as the “world” follows the words of the living prophets, they have been blessed also. I have seen this through the years through the advance of food storage and of holding family home evenings weekly. I remember when Dr. James Dobson, whom I love, started promoting a weekly family night, and his Focus on the Family magazine in the early 1980’s had an article referencing a religion with “false prophets” who advocated this, and wasn’t it a good idea? It cannot be refuted that the Church is a leavening effect in the world–not the false image portrayed of it, but the principles it teaches in this day of a vicious assault on the family. I don’t care what people think of us as long as they are living according to God’s inspiration–at least that which they are prepared to receive, whether it be from the Bible, the Spirit of truth, or the leavening affect of the Church’s teachings.
    The Church also offeres leadership opportunities and callings that bring out hidden talents as we try to magnify them, and they prepare youth from age 3 on to be leaders, not just followers as they live the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Not all of us are meant to be “leaders,” but we get opportunities to grow and develop, blossom, as far as the Lord would have us.) How does all this pertain to salvation, as was the point of your question? Jesus said the Truth is light and we are sanctified by the truths of the words of the Father–read John 17:17 again. Clearly, we feel that the Church teaches the words of the Father as the ancients had it that sanctify us, accomplishing the mission of the Church laid out in Eph. 4:12–“the perfecting of the saints, the work of the ministry, the edifying of the body of Christ till we all come in the unity of the faith , and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” (The church has the capacity to do this. I notice those like James Dobson and others promoting some of the same prinicples. The only thing lacking there is the Priesthood which gives man the authority to act in the name of God. With the Priesthood, as Jesus said, men can bind things on earth and in heaven and “loosen” things here and in eternity. (Matt.16:19)By this power, husbands, wives, and families can be bound together for eternity.

    We develop the gift that is within us (2 Tim. 4:14)–the Holy Ghost which will lead us, once “saved” toward exhaltation, helping us stay on the safe side of mortality as we listen to a prophet’s voice and follow it because He speaks the messsages God would give to us right here and now. We will not turn to the right or to the left toward the distractions of the world if we do so, and we will better identify the devious plans and enticements of Satan. I realize that you can do this in large part through through the Bible too; but since I believe the Church adds to my knoweldge of the gospel, I feel well-equipped to deal with mortality.

    Brad, I wonder of God the Father Himself would give you all the “yes,no” answers you require for your questions. I could envision Him saying, “Sit down son,or daughter, and let us reason together.” Because you have some genuine misunderstandings and assumptions about the Church and our beliefs, and your mind is way past judgment on the subject, you are not equipped to “reason” with a “Mormon.” Yet you will never understand how our beliefs coincide with the Bible until you do.

    My inclination to “is there only one God” would be to say unequivocably, “YES!” But if I said that, then you would tell me what you think I really believe in very unflattering and uncompromising terms but conveying a false message. So…I explained it to you in terms I hoped you would understand before you gave me the follow up rebuttle–which was your whole purpose for asking me the question. (I was unsuccessful.)

    I can understand how one might believe Jesus to be the one and only God because it was He who as Jehovah in Isaiah said, “Beside me there is no other God.” He was and is the only God who has ever communicated directly to man (with a few notable exceptions when the Father introduced Him as His “beloved Son with whom He was well pleased.”) Beside Him is no other Savior, and He is “the only name under heaven and earth by which we may be saved.” Yet His father is God the Father, but you know that, don’t you? The Holy Ghost is God as well. I realize that you may have a different take on the Godhead, but you can never prove that mine is not biblical.

    If you asked Jesus if man could become a god, He might say, ” In the law of Moses, it was written ‘ye are gods.” If God in Psalms 82:6, called his mortal sons who acted as judges upon the earth “gods,” why would it be blasphemous for man, who to begin with is the spirit child of God, who is converted, saved, and exalted in this life to return to his Father in eternal glory, the glory of the sun, a recipient of all that the Father and Jesus have (including the quality of life that they have–eternal life), to be called a “god.” After all, a son of a doctor who grows up to be a doctor and is taught to do what his father does, would also be called a doctor. We have within us the embronic capacity to become to some degree like our Father in Heaven, as Jesus acknowledged by calling him our Father, giving us many gifts of the Spirit, and admonishing us to “be ye perfect, or complete” as our Father in Heaven. THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS BECOMING A MEMBER OF THE GODHEAD, WHICH MANY CONFUSE IN OUR DOCTRINE. God will always be our God and Father and Jesus will always be our Saviour and God as well. Only Satan had illusions of becoming greater than God and having His glory–and then some.

    When we are promised in Rom. 8:17 that we will be heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, and told in Acts 17:29 that we are the “offspring of God” (meaning spirit offspring), that “when he shall appear, we shall be like him,(1 Jn. 3:2)” and that “him that overcometh will …sit with me in my throne (Rev. 3:21),” referring to an exalted man as a “god” should not be such an affront to ones spiritual sensibilities. We presume no powers that God is not willing to bestow upon us, but when one ponders the miracles that He has promised can be accomplished here upon the earth through mere mortals in his name– through the priesthood and through faith–healing, raising from the dead if need be, pronouncing spiritual blessings of all manner in God’s name through his power, removing mountains (Matt.17:20) and rebuking evil spirits in faith, the term “god” is put in a more realistic perspective and seems just as appropriate as calling men who act as judges on earth “gods.”

    So you see, we do not claim to be, nor want to be “just like Christianity” (I could have remained in the denomination of my birth in that case; we claim to be Christians. Why? Because we take Christ and the Father at their word, have taken upon us His name at baptism, and because Jesus is our Lord and Redeemer; the Bible is His word; He has spoken to man once more through the Book of Mormon and established the same true and living church of Christ that Jesus did in His ministry, founded upon prophets and apostles. Anyone who accepts, worships, follows and believes in Christ is worthy of the name Christian.

    About “contention” vs. “contending for the faith:”

    If you taught your personal beliefs about the Bible and about Jesus and the Gospel as you know it with valiancy and testimony, Brad, you would be “contending for the faith.”

    If a humble Christian were to approach me and say, “May I ask you some questions? This is what I understand from the scriptures; what is your belief about that? Or even, “I heard that Joseph Smith said such and such”; “What did he mean by that?” Or, even the direct approach; “Do you worship Joseph Smith?” not smugly assuming to already know the answer and having already passed judgment upon it, waiting (hoping?) for me to fall into a “gotcha” oppportunity — THAT would be “contending for the faith” in a Christlike way. If Chrsitians cannot show basic respect for their fellowman and their feelings for their religion which is precious to them, then they are not reflecting the love of Christ–nor knowledge of Him. The only reason you don’t, I believe, is that you have judged us a deceivers from the getgo–and there is nothing I can do about that but try to share with you the truth. I do not expect you to agree or receive what I believe as truth on the spot, but I do expect a Christian to respect that it is my belief and that I believe with all my heart that it is in concordance with the Bible. It is only your job, as someone hoping to convert a Mormon to Christianity, not to fight afaint the Church but to present your beliefs from the Bible and see if the Spirit will work backward with me to erase the truths that have added so much to my light and knowledge and understanding of the Bible. The Spirit will do His own work–if it is indeed God’s work.

    Instead, people who spread contention, often called “anti’s,” reveal themselves as such immediately, by pretending to “ask” questions (that are “loaded”), preferring to teach ME what I really believe, based upon false, incomplete, or distorted knowledge from sources with an agenda against the Church. They accuse the Church of lying and deceiving, contrary to the knowledge and experience of those who are a part of the Church. Such an approach is contentious and slanderous by nature to those who know that there are two sides to this issue.

    What does God say about contention?

    1) Only by pride cometh contention. (Prov.13:10)
    2) Fool’s lips enter into contention. (Prov.18:6)
    I’ve done this on this blog myself!
    3) Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out.
    (Prov. 22:10) Did I mention that “anti’s” also love
    to scorn or make fun of our beliefs?
    4) But if any man seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. (Worthy of note.)
    And here’s one you have quoted to me:
    5) But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. (Titus 3:10) To a “Mormon,” some of the questions you have asked and the spirit in which you have asked them would fit the first criteria, some not; contention over genealogies and whose contains the most “important” individuals or whose is the longest–if that occurred within the Church– would also be foolish; and “stivings about the law” can easily be paralleled to arguing over the doctrine of Christ in a sarcastic and confrontive manner–which we both, I’m afraid, have done. )

    Please read this letter with a desire to understand where I am coming from. I’ve said these things before, but from your questions, perhaps I said them before you got on the blog.

    Amanda

  29. Anonymous said

    Amanda said, “It is only your job, as someone hoping to convert a Mormon to Christianity…” Obviously, this was meant to read, “…to your brand of Christianity–your carbon copy.” And I was in a hurry and misspelled “fight against”, typed in “stiving” for “striving.” Hope that’s all the major goofs.

    Amanda

  30. Brad said

    “First, if you’ve read the Articles of Faith, you know the main differences are that we have continuing revelation (through a living prophet), and we also believe that with priesthood authority, man may receive baptism and then the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands–which is another source of continuing revelation.” (Amanda)

    Of course, this would only be applicable to salvation if one BELIEVED that continuing revelation, baptism and therefore the gift of the HS (which actually comes AFTER salvation, so it’s moot to this point) were necessary for salvation. Since they Bible shows they aren’t, I assume it’s safe to say that Mormonism does? If not, then that’s not a difference relevant to salvation.

    “Without a living prophet and those called by God, would mankind have even been saved?” (Amanda)

    Which proves my point – that you DON’T believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone. This is what I’ve been saying all along – you believe that things OTHER than faith are necessary to save you. Look at the importance you place on the “living prophets”.

    “I have seen this through the years through the advance of food storage and of holding family home evenings weekly.” (Amanda)

    Food storage? What does that have to do with anything? Not sure about that reference…

    “It cannot be refuted that the Church is a leavening effect in the world–not the false image portrayed of it, but the principles it teaches in this day of a vicious assault on the family.” (Amanda)

    Sure it can be refuted. You’re trying to say that the LDS church is helping to keep sin in check – for which there is no proof. Sin will happen, LDS church or not, and only the repentance of man towards God will help to lessen the sin in the world. Unfortunately, God is different than that espoused by Mormonism. And what about the Jehovah’s Witnesses? They’re pretty moral, as well, yet they don’t believe as you or I? Do you consider them “leavening”, as well? Would you consider Christianity “leavening”, too?

    “The Church also offeres leadership opportunities and callings that bring out hidden talents as we try to magnify them, and they prepare youth from age 3 on to be leaders, not just followers as they live the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Amanda)

    But this doesn’t have anything to do with salvation – this is only discipling those AFTER salvation (or at least the salvation you think you have). Still not necessary for salvation.

    “How does all this pertain to salvation, as was the point of your question? (Amanda)

    Finally.

    “Jesus said the Truth is light and we are sanctified by the truths of the words of the Father–read John 17:17 again. Clearly, we feel that the Church teaches the words of the Father as the ancients had it that sanctify us, accomplishing the mission of the Church laid out in Eph. 4:12–”the perfecting of the saints, the work of the ministry, the edifying of the body of Christ till we all come in the unity of the faith , and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” (The church has the capacity to do this. I notice those like James Dobson and others promoting some of the same prinicples. The only thing lacking there is the Priesthood which gives man the authority to act in the name of God. With the Priesthood, as Jesus said, men can bind things on earth and in heaven and “loosen” things here and in eternity. (Matt.16:19)By this power, husbands, wives, and families can be bound together for eternity.

    We develop the gift that is within us (2 Tim. 4:14)–the Holy Ghost which will lead us, once “saved” toward exhaltation, helping us stay on the safe side of mortality as we listen to a prophet’s voice and follow it because He speaks the messsages God would give to us right here and now. We will not turn to the right or to the left toward the distractions of the world if we do so, and we will better identify the devious plans and enticements of Satan. I realize that you can do this in large part through through the Bible too; but since I believe the Church adds to my knoweldge of the gospel, I feel well-equipped to deal with mortality.” (Amanda)

    Amanda, what you have are a bunch of big words and heavy ideas that have been drilled into your head by Mormon leadership, NONE of which have ANYTHING to do with salvation. The Bible is SO SIMPLE in it’s message about salvation, and what is required – repent of your sins, acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior, and ask Him in your heart through faith. THAT’S IT!!!! There are no other big words or ideas that we have to follow. IT’S SO SIMPLE – I don’t understand why Mormonism has tried to make it so hard, so many rules and regulations and ordinances and procedures to follow, that simply aren’t in the Bible as necessary for salvation. If you could step outside of your own thoughts, and see just how muddy and over-complicated everything you just said in the above paragraph is, it might shock you.

    “Brad, I wonder of God the Father Himself would give you all the “yes,no” answers you require for your questions. I could envision Him saying, ‘Sit down son,or daughter, and let us reason together.'” (Amanda)

    I don’t know what he’d tell me, honestly, if I were to be able to ask Him in person. But I do know what He said through His Word in Scripture, and it’s summarized pretty well in Eph. 2:8-9 “For it is by GRACE you have been saved, THROUGH FAITH, and this not of yourselves. It is a gift from God, NOT BY WORKS, lest any man should boast.” Do you know what that means? It means we don’t have to spend our whole lives trying to earn or keep or ensure our salvation, b/c we can have it and be assured of it immediately, if we will only call on the name of the Lord. The Bible is pretty “yes/no” on this subject.

    “Because you have some genuine misunderstandings and assumptions about the Church and our beliefs, and your mind is way past judgment on the subject, you are not equipped to “reason” with a “Mormon.” Yet you will never understand how our beliefs coincide with the Bible until you do.” (Amanda)

    No, but I do have some “genuine” disagreements with the church, and yes, there is no more judgment to be made b/c I have already seen what the Bible says vs. what the LDS church says, and the LDS church is just plain wrong!

    “My inclination to “is there only one God” would be to say unequivocably, “YES!” (Amanda)

    Great! I’m glad to hear it. Now, would you mind telling all your local church leaders that you believe it is impossible for any of you to become gods, since you believe there’s only one? Would you also mind letting them know that you believe in the Trinity, since that’s the only way there can be 1 God in 3 persons? Let me know how that goes, and if your leaders agree with you.

    “But if I said that, then you would tell me what you think I really believe in very unflattering and uncompromising terms but conveying a false message. So…I explained it to you in terms I hoped you would understand before you gave me the follow up rebuttle–which was your whole purpose for asking me the question. (I was unsuccessful.)” (Amanda)

    I’m glad you say you believe it. Just let me know how those statements to your church leadership go, which are, of coursed, based upon your “unequivocal” yes statement.

    “I can understand how one might believe Jesus to be the one and only God because it was He who as Jehovah in Isaiah said, “Beside me there is no other God.” He was and is the only God who has ever communicated directly to man (with a few notable exceptions when the Father introduced Him as His “beloved Son with whom He was well pleased.”) Beside Him is no other Savior, and He is “the only name under heaven and earth by which we may be saved.” Yet His father is God the Father, but you know that, don’t you? The Holy Ghost is God as well. I realize that you may have a different take on the Godhead, but you can never prove that mine is not biblical.” (Amanda)

    And here’s where the definition differences come into play, where the word games begin, b/c Mormonism doesn’t work without them. God “was and is the only God” PERIOD – not just the “only God who has ever communicated directly to man”, b/c that implies that there are other gods who HAVEN’T communicated directly with man, doesn’t it? And it’s not good enough to say that “beside Him is no other Savior”, b/c that implies there’s no other Saviors, but possibly other gods”, doesn’t it?

    Can you say this – “there is only 1 God – period – and He has been the only one who has ever existed, and will be the only one who will ever exist, and He is our Savior.” Can you say that, and mean that?

    “If you asked Jesus if man could become a god, He might say, ” In the law of Moses, it was written ‘ye are gods.” If God in Psalms 82:6, called his mortal sons who acted as judges upon the earth “gods,” why would it be blasphemous for man, who to begin with is the spirit child of God, who is converted, saved, and exalted in this life to return to his Father in eternal glory, the glory of the sun, a recipient of all that the Father and Jesus have (including the quality of life that they have–eternal life), to be called a “god.” After all, a son of a doctor who grows up to be a doctor and is taught to do what his father does, would also be called a doctor. We have within us the embronic capacity to become to some degree like our Father in Heaven, as Jesus acknowledged by calling him our Father, giving us many gifts of the Spirit, and admonishing us to “be ye perfect, or complete” as our Father in Heaven. THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS BECOMING A MEMBER OF THE GODHEAD, WHICH MANY CONFUSE IN OUR DOCTRINE. God will always be our God and Father and Jesus will always be our Saviour and God as well. Only Satan had illusions of becoming greater than God and having His glory–and then some.” (Amanda)

    We’ve been over this a hundred times – to say we can become gods, any type, is to contradict the Bible anywhere it says that there is only 1 God. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you have an incorrect understanding of the meaning and interpretation of Scripture.

    “So you see, we do not claim to be, nor want to be “just like Christianity” (I could have remained in the denomination of my birth in that case; we claim to be Christians. Why? Because we take Christ and the Father at their word, have taken upon us His name at baptism, and because Jesus is our Lord and Redeemer; the Bible is His word; He has spoken to man once more through the Book of Mormon and established the same true and living church of Christ that Jesus did in His ministry, founded upon prophets and apostles. Anyone who accepts, worships, follows and believes in Christ is worthy of the name Christian.” (Amanda)

    I wish it were true – I really do.

    “If you taught your personal beliefs about the Bible and about Jesus and the Gospel as you know it with valiancy and testimony, Brad, you would be ‘contending for the faith.'” (Amanda)

    I have already, so thank you.

    “If a humble Christian were to approach me and say, “May I ask you some questions? This is what I understand from the scriptures; what is your belief about that? Or even, “I heard that Joseph Smith said such and such”; “What did he mean by that?” Or, even the direct approach; “Do you worship Joseph Smith?” not smugly assuming to already know the answer and having already passed judgment upon it, waiting (hoping?) for me to fall into a “gotcha” oppportunity — THAT would be “contending for the faith” in a Christlike way.” (Amanda)

    According to YOUR definition, right?

    “If Christians cannot show basic respect for their fellowman and their feelings for their religion which is precious to them, then they are not reflecting the love of Christ–nor knowledge of Him.” (Amanda)

    Really? Where am I told to respect a false religion? Nowhere in Scripture. Did Jesus respect false doctrine during His ministry on Earth? Nope, he spoke against and exposed it. I do not know, and never will, respect false doctrine. I respect you as a person, and your right to your opinion, as a person, but I do NOT respect what you believe, no matter how precious it is to you, b/c it is WRONG!

    “…I do expect a Christian to respect that it is my belief and that I believe with all my heart that it is in concordance with the Bible.” (Amanda)

    Doesn’t matter what YOU expect, it matters only what God expects and what He looks at. If a white person believed “with all their heart” that they were black, would you still allow them to believe that, knowing they’re wrong? Same way with Mormonism, which simply does NOT hold to the teachings of the Bible.

    “It is only your job, as someone hoping to convert a Mormon to Christianity, not to fight afaint the Church but to present your beliefs from the Bible and see if the Spirit will work backward with me to erase the truths that have added so much to my light and knowledge and understanding of the Bible. The Spirit will do His own work–if it is indeed God’s work.” (Amanda)

    I HAVE presented my beliefs from the Bible, and I DO hope and pray that the HS will work in your life.

    “Instead, people who spread contention, often called “anti’s,” reveal themselves as such immediately, by pretending to “ask” questions (that are “loaded”), preferring to teach ME what I really believe, based upon false, incomplete, or distorted knowledge from sources with an agenda against the Church. They accuse the Church of lying and deceiving, contrary to the knowledge and experience of those who are a part of the Church. Such an approach is contentious and slanderous by nature to those who know that there are two sides to this issue.” (Amanda)

    Oh yeah, I forgot – the whole “anti” thing. Am I “anti-Mormonism”? I suppose, since it is “anti-the Bible”, which makes it “anti-God.” Am I “anti-Mormons”? No, b/c God wishes for all men to come to repentance, therefore I do as well.

    Still praying for you to realize before it is too late, Amanda.

  31. Amanda Bunton said

    “Amanda, what you have are a bunch of big words and heavy ideas that have been drilled into your head by Mormon leadership, NONE of which have ANYTHING to do with salvation.” (Brad)

    Actually, Brad, what I have is experience with conversion, salvation, my Savior and the Holy Ghost. And since Jesus said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself,” that’s the most valuable source of knowledge that one can have. Is the Bible true? Yes. How do I know? Because I have put its principles to the test. Is the Book of Mormon true? Yes. How do I know? Because I have put its principles (which are in harmony with the Bible) to the test.

    “If a white person believed “with all their heart” that they were black, would you still allow them to believe that, knowing they’re wrong?” (Brad)

    I enjoyed this one, Brad. The answer, of course, is contingent upon how good YOUR vision is. Are you seeing them for who they really are? In this case, I say I’m white and you say I’m black. Who is the one spending her life looking into the mirror? Me, I should think, and I hold that no one–not even you, Brad, knows me better than myself (besides God, whose opinion is the only one that counts besides mine.)

    “I don’t understand why Mormonism has tried to make it so hard, so many rules and regulations and ordinances and procedures to follow, that simply aren’t in the Bible as necessary for salvation.” (Brad)

    That’s not a bad question, Brad. I guess “hard” is in the eye of the beholder. My friend who was drawn away from the church by people like you now has a granddaughter out of wedlock and a daughter that doesn’t go to church at all-any church. That is what I consider HARD as a mother and grandmother. I see people on drugs, divorces galore, people voting for gay marriage because superficially it seems to follow the “same blessings for everyone” approach to what some see as Christianity. These paths seem hard and self destructive for those who know truth–real Biblical truth but even moreso, from my experience, truth as taught clearly in the LDS Church, Biblical truth, God’s truth, confirmed by latter-day revelation from the living God.

    Jesus came not only to save us from our sins, Brad, but to give us a more abundant life. The truths of the Restoration insure that if we are wise enough to follow them–just as those who follow the truths of the Bible–will have a more abundant life. From my history, however, the Church is more specific and clear in their teachings because of the latter-day revelations, and Mormon youth have tested out to navigate and escape the traps of youth with a higher percentage of success than other Christian youths. I have a great article on it I would share if I knew how to get it on this blog.

    “And it’s not good enough to say that “beside Him is no other Savior”, b/c that implies there’s no other Saviors, but possibly other gods”, doesn’t it?” (Brad)

    Brad, Brad, I wasn’t trying to set you up, but I’m afraid you have fallen into a conflict of purpose again. You see, those were not my words but Jehovah’s–“the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour” (Isaiah 43:11) I did, however, mistakenly add the word “other” since I wrote it from memory. The point is, he has just has said that before him there was no God formed (if your spirit of argument should turn against the Bible, wouldn’t you ask what He means here by “formed?” Does this imply that he had a beginning or a formation? I’m just trying to think like you do, and I don’t have that part in Greek.), neither shall there be after him.” He was the only one, the only God who did the creating of all in the heavens or earth–but under the Father’s supervision since He did only what His Father assigned Him or modeled for Him. He was our only model for a “godly” and abundant life, and the only Redeemer of all mankind. Still, I thought you believed in God the Father and God the Holy Ghost–one God in three persons, as you said in a recent post. We do. I believe His comments were addressed to us from our earthly perspective. There was no other God who was formed by man or formed from the perspecitve of mankind before Him or after Him. And there was never the possibility of another Redeemer since Christ, “verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world….” (1 Peter 1:20) Who “foreordained him?” God the Father. These are the only Gods I have any record of.
    (You didn’t respond to the fact that in Genesis and probably other places in a Greek text, the word God is plural, denoting not 3 heads on one body (since we are created in God’s image), but 3 individuals.)

    Incidentally, Brad, I would play no games pertaining to the most serious subject upon which our salvation lies. Neither does the Church leadership.

    “Where am I told to respect a false religion?” (Brad)

    Nowhere, Brad—if it is false, and if you read my words thoughtfully and listened in English class 🙂 you would have understood that the double objects in that sentence were “fellowman” and “feelings.” Have you ever heard the old saying, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar? (Not a bad parallel considering your lack of respect for those you have judged as suckers for a false religion.) Because I love my Savior and my fellowman, I am respectful to all people, even atheists, even anti-Mormons in most cases. (I take my cues from Jesus who resorted to name-calling for the hypocrites who attacked Him continually.) We often quote in my church to the teachers in Primary, but it applies to all mankind, ” People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

    If I had a child who left the church for another that I thought was false, I would be right there when I could, going to church with them, honoring them enough to learn about their religion in and from their church–not what others have written about their church– and reading ANY material they had that was powerful enough to convert them or capture their minds and souls. I would seek to understand and love them into examining my beliefs once more and comparing them. In this case, Brad, I was raised on your beliefs and the Bible, and I receive and believe it more now as a Mormon than I did as a Protestant–because of the witness of the Spirit, the Book of Mormon, and words from a latter day prophet. If I found their new religion wanting, I would continue to love them, have them in my home, and share with them in a way that would let them feel my testimony and the joy I receive from my religion. I would play the hymns of the Church and invite them to family baptisms or meetings in which we were singing in the choir or speaking from the pulpit–anything to get them into church or to expose them to the greater truth so they could compare the two religions on their own. Obviously, such children at the time of conversion to another religion, have found more to believe in, or they have found my religion wanting. The fact is, God’s religion is God’s religion, and He is the one that leads the sincere seeker of truth along their journey if they ask Him to. It is not for another to tear down that which is good from any religion, and there is only good coming from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I pray more, read the Bible more, and love my fellowman more as a Mormon than I did as a Protestant. This is why President Hinckley says to all, “Come, and bring all that you already believe in and let us add more good to it.” (Nothing real or true would be taken away.)

    When you pray about me tonight, Brad, make sure it is a two way street and that you listen to God as well as tell God what to do about me. You do listen for answers, right?

    Amanda

  32. Brad said

    Amanda, you didn’t even address probably the most important point I raised. You had said “my inclination to ‘is there only one God’ would be to say unequivocably, ‘YES!’.”

    To which I replied “Great! I’m glad to hear it. Now, would you mind telling all your local church leaders that you believe it is impossible for any of you to become gods, since you believe there’s only one? Would you also mind letting them know that you believe in the Trinity, since that’s the only way there can be 1 God in 3 persons? Let me know how that goes, and if your leaders agree with you.”

    Did you do that yet? Do you still believe that you, and those before you, can and have become gods? What did your leaders say at your church? Just curious. See, there’s no way out of this one, Amanda, b/c to say “unequivocally YES” means you are monotheistic, and the theories of being able to become gods in heaven come crashing down. And to uphold those theories, you have to say “unequivocally NO”, or else the theories don’t work. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, on this one.

  33. Amanda Bunton said

    Dear Brad,

    I have written enough on the subject for you to know the answer to your question in detail–if you choose to. Is it now fun just playing “devil’s advocate” ?

    I believe exactly what the Church teaches as I have stated according to my knowledge and 30 years of membership. We believe in ONE God–not one individual, but one Godhead in unity–Father, Son, and Holy Ghost– which is referenced by the name “Godhead” at least twice in the Bible. We accept them quite literally as they are described in the Bible–which you claim to believe, and more specifically because of the Restoration which tells us in no uncertain terms who they are.

    The rest of us can become “gods” and “goddesses”–not as members of the Godhead but in the sense that we are His children with the capacity and ability, through His grace only, to develop His qualities and use His powers which He and His Son bestow upon us by the Priesthood. I have given you ample scriptural basis as to what that means. I will also tell you, according to what I assess from latter-day revelation, that many of us won’t have to worry about that level of “becoming” at all. God is no respector of persons and leaves the opportunity to become like Him to all of His children. Many have not the faith to take God at His word.

    Our Father will give us the “cake” you mention upon the asking, receiving, and overcoming through His power. And we will surely eat it in the day of Resurrection. This much I know.

    Amanda

  34. Brad said

    “I have written enough on the subject for you to know the answer to your question in detail–if you choose to. Is it now fun just playing “devil’s advocate” ?” (Amanda)

    I’m not playing devil’s advocate – I don’t advocate anything at all for him. In fact, I’m playing advocate for the Bible and for mainline Christianity.

    “I believe exactly what the Church teaches as I have stated according to my knowledge and 30 years of membership. We believe in ONE God–not one individual, but one Godhead in unity–Father, Son, and Holy Ghost– which is referenced by the name “Godhead” at least twice in the Bible. We accept them quite literally as they are described in the Bible–which you claim to believe, and more specifically because of the Restoration which tells us in no uncertain terms who they are.” (Amanda)

    So though you don’t believe in the Trinity (as clearly laid out in the Bible – for which I also have given ample Biblical evidence), you do believe in a “Godhead”, something not described in the Bible, since it describes the Trinity. Forget the Restoration – nothing further has been revealed to us since Jesus that we need in order to be saved.

    “The rest of us can become “gods” and “goddesses”–not as members of the Godhead but in the sense that we are His children with the capacity and ability, through His grace only, to develop His qualities and use His powers which He and His Son bestow upon us by the Priesthood. I have given you ample scriptural basis as to what that means. I will also tell you, according to what I assess from latter-day revelation, that many of us won’t have to worry about that level of “becoming” at all. God is no respector of persons and leaves the opportunity to become like Him to all of His children. Many have not the faith to take God at His word.”

    Oh, I take God at His Word, alright. His Word just doesn’t say or mean what you claim it does, unfortunately. We CANNOT and WILL NOT become “gods” or “goddesses”, in either this life or in eternity, whether you think this means the godhead or something separate or not.

    It would seem you do then espouse the saying “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become”? If so, what a damning saying that is. To say we can become like God is to bring God down to a reachable level that just isn’t attributed to Him in Scripture. Shame on the Mormons – and I mean that in the strongest sense – for even espousing such a belief.

    “Our Father will give us the “cake” you mention upon the asking, receiving, and overcoming through His power. And we will surely eat it in the day of Resurrection. This much I know.” (Amanda)

    How wrong you are, Amanda, to your own detriment and to the detriment of millions of others. How very wrong you are. And I have tried my best to tell you and show you otherwise through Scripture and through these discussions. At judgment day, I can at least say that I tried my best, and not have to worry about you asking me at that point “why didn’t you tell me?” Because I have done so already.

    Be careful, Amanda, is all I can say. I know you “feel” saved, but you have believed in a religion that is NOT Biblical, and in a God that CANNOT, and HAS NOT, saved you. Be very careful – make sure you are willing to risk your eternal soul on your beliefs being 100% correct, b/c you are doing just that.

  35. “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become” If so, what a damning saying that is.” (Brad)

    I do admit Brad that “As man is, God once was…” is a pretty phenominal, even “mind-blowing” pronouncement for ANYone to hear–but it is one that man is not equipped to pass judgment upon. Do you think God told us all He knows and could ever tell us about Himself in the Bible? I sure don’t. He tells us only what is pertinent to our salvation. This piece is not; however, if there is more than what is pertinent to salvation in scripture, then it evident God felt we needed to know that too. THIS part of the statement was inspiration to Lorenzo Snow who years later was called as a prophet of God. I believe I have read that Joseph Smith said he agreed with it as well.

    The Bible reference that inspired President Lorenzo Snow’s thinking (before he was a President of the Church) in this direction is found when Jesus was accused by the Jews of saying “that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” He said, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:18,19) Lorenzo Snow was extending this verse and application to include the whole process of becoming the Savior since Jesus did only what He had seen the Father do. Truly, this would be considered “meat” as doctrine, not the milk of conversion and salvation. That’s why it’s hard to chew on.

    However, this first part of the statement is not damning, true or not, because it is not found in our scriptures or even in The Articles of Faith; nor is it a requirement pertaining to our salvation. The Bible is otherwise silent on the subject, and so is the Book of Mormon. President Snow is looked upon with great respect, and his thoughts and personal inspiration, even before being called as a prophet of God, have always been held in respect. This concept is not something that requires action on our part, and the OFFICIAL beliefs of the Church are sustained by common consentat some point. This was never put before the congregation as revelation for congregational consent-which, if it were, would mean that we are agreeing to be bound to uphod it and to act upon it in faith. That would leave to cannonization.

    So…if that part was not inpired by the Holy Ghost, you can “shame” President Snow for coming up with this one in the day of judgment; and if it was of the Holy Ghost, you can “shame” God. Either way, Lorenzo was not a prophet when he said it, and it was not cannonized in scipture or in the Doctrine and Covenants where prophetic words after Joseph Smith have been printed. It was seized upon as logical and consistent with that verse in John 5 in the day he spoke it, and it has not been officially refuted by a prophet since. It will not affect my salvation, however.

    The second part; “…as God is, man may become” is held as Gospel in the sense that the scriptures encode it. Here are a few scriptures I like to ponder that speaks to man’s potential to become like our Heavenly Father:

    Gen. 3:22 “…the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…”
    Lev. 19:2 “…be holy for I am holy…”
    Ps. 8:6 “… madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands…:”
    Ps. 82:6 “…ye are gods, and all of you area the children of the most High;”
    Ps. 8:5 “…thou hast made him a little lower than the angels;”
    Matt. 5:49 “…Be ye therefore perfect, even as you Father…”
    Acts 17:29 “…we are the offspring of God…”
    Rom. 8:17 “…heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;”
    2 Cor. 3:18 “…changed into the same image from glory to glory…
    Gal. 4:7 “…if a son, then an heir of God through Christ;
    Eph. 4:13 “…Till we all come …unto a perfect man;”
    Heb. 12:9 “…be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live;”
    1 Jn. 3:2″…when he shall appear, we shall be like him;”
    Rev. 3:21…”him that overcometh will…sit with me in my throne;”

    This is scripture from the Bible you say you accept. God said these things in the Bible, and we’re gonna stick with ’em!

    “…you do believe in a “Godhead”, something not described in the Bible, since it describes the Trinity.” (BRAD)

    Col.2:9, 10–“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” I might add…” (ye are) buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” (v.12)

    If Jesus was only one manifestation of the one God of the “Trinity” in this statement, (which says within him dwelled ALL the fullness of the Godhead), why would he still need to pray to His Father?

    Acts 17:29 “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.”

    Would you please reference the specific scriptures addressing the term “Trinity,” Brad? Could God not have said “God,” instead of “Godhead” in these verses through his living prophets?

    “I know you “feel” saved, but you have believed in a religion that is NOT Biblical, and in a God that CANNOT, and HAS NOT, saved you.” (BRAD)

    Despite your “omniscience,” Brad (are you sure you do not believe in the deification of man?), I am surprised that you feel that my God CANNOT save me. Wouldn’t it be a shame (and impossible!) for my God to be more powerful and more caring (so caring that He gave us latter-day revelation as reassurance of it) than the God of the Bible? There is only One God who reveals Himself to man, One Savior who pays for the sins of mankind, and One God who answers prayers, upholds Priesthood blessings, grants peace,tranquility of heart, and instills a Christlike love of mankind (the gift of charity) within that heart which impels one to act in the name and for the sake of Christ.

    This “He said; she said” game is getting tedious and boring for any who might be reading, I’m sure. I’m willing to give it up if you are, but your concern about the “deification of man” is a fair one, and this answer is the best I can do.

    I warned you that I do not have the gift of brevity! 🙂

    Amanda

  36. Here is an email to me from a dear friend in the Church. I feel it’s worth sharing. She shall remain anonymous since I didn’t ask her permission to share it. It refers to faith in Christ and where good works fit into that faith and is also a commentary, I’m sure, on the Amanda/Brad exchanges.

    “It has always amazed me that common sense doesn’t have a greater rule in people’s thinking. We can volley scriptures and doctrinal differences back and forth all day long, but some common sense things are as factual as the laws of science.

    We would never whine about the fact that if you stepped off a roof, you would hit the sidewalk at the bottom. Who argues gravity? What would be the point? It is equally factual that if you truly believe something, you build your life around that belief. If I truly believe in kindness, then I am kind. My kind acts speak of my beliefs in return. Anyone can say “I believe!” but without action, where is the truth?

    It is as true as the law of gravity that my thoughts become my words, and my words become my actions, and those deeds become my regular activity–which forms my character. And if we all know this from our own experience and our every observation, how can we not agree that our destiny is tied up in that formation of character? I am becoming something as I try to be like Jesus.

    Yes, we are all flawed in our very character because of sin, and yes, the atonement of Christ ultimately saves us from our very own weaknesses, but none of that keeps us from hitting the sidewalk when we jump off of the building. Still, even with the gift of the atoning sacrifice, we must accept the gift; and that in and of itself is a condition, is it not?

    We must believe. We all agree on that. So, what is it to believe?

    I believe that if I jump off of the building, I will break something and it will hurt; and did you know, because I believe that, I never jump off?! I used to jump off things that were too high to jump off of when I was a child because my belief in the law of gravity wasn’t all that strong, but that was a long time ago. If I secretly didn’t believe or if my belief was weak, I would know it by the temptation to jump. I am never tempted because my belief is very close to knowledge.

    How do I believe in Jesus Christ? How do I know if I believe? How do I witness to others that I believe?

    The answer is too much an example of common sense to even answer.
    How can we not include obedience to the laws of Jesus Christ in our creed about Jesus Christ?

    A Raleigh, NC Mother

  37. Brad said

    Amanda,

    As to Snow & his beliefs, it doesn’t matter whether they are “official” or “cannonized” in Mormonism or not. The fact is that many, if not most, Mormons believe that statement, or are unwilling to refute it, whether it’s “official” or not, so it is considered a belief of Mormonism. And an incorrect one, at that. His “logical extension” of John 5 is not at all logical, nor an extension of the thoughts in context in that passage. At all. It is just more examples of poor scholarship and Biblical misunderstanding on the part of Mormons.

    With all your thinking the way you do about Christ, i.e. why would He have to pray to the Father if He is also God, you seem to forget the dual nature of Christ when He was on Earth. He was fully God, yet fully man – don’t ask me how, b/c the concept is beyond our knowing, but we know it to be true. Thus, as a man, He prayed to God the Father, not b/c He wasn’t also God, but b/c He was also a man. Let’s not forget that.

    As to the “common sense” email, therein lies a good bit of the problem with Mormonism. To try and use a “common sense” approach to prove the nature of God, or works-based vs. faith-based salvation, is pointless, b/c God transcends what many might think to make “common sense.” Does it make “sense” that if God is all-powerful, He would have to send His Son (also God) to die for us? Couldn’t He just have saved us without that? Couldn’t He have kept us from sinning in the first place? Does eternity make “sense”, since we can’t even wrap our minds around it? Does the fact that God has always existed make “sense”, since we only know birth by creation? Does the intermingling of man’s free will and God’s election, the fact that they are both valid and both work together, make “sense”, when it seems that it’s hard to have one with the other?

    No. A lot of it doesn’t make “sense”, b/c they are concepts that are not derived by man but by God. The lady in that email is trying to make “sense” of what she sees as being necessary to happen, b/c she can only think on that plane (being human, of course). But God sees it differently, and tells us plainly in Romans that His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. Yet we are always trying to make “sense” of them, to rationalize them and fit the concepts into the box that we define as “common sense” – but you can’t do that with God.

    And when Joseph Smith was there at that crossroads, of deciding what was “right” and what made “sense” in the midst of his confusion, he figured out what was logical and went from there. Problem is, what is logical is not always what is Biblical, and in the case of Mormonism, it’s not Biblical.

    We can end anytime you wish, Amanda. Nothing I say in the future will be different than anything I’ve already said, and I’ve already told you enough and showed you enough evidence that the Jesus Christ of the Bible and the nature of God as presented in the Bible has been shown to you, which is what I am commanded to do.

  38. Brad said: “…we are always trying to make “sense” of them, to rationalize them and fit the concepts into the box that we define as “common sense” – but you can’t do that with God.
    …and…
    And when Joseph Smith was there at that crossroads, of deciding what was “right” and what made “sense” in the midst of his confusion, he figured out what was logical and went from there. Problem is, what is logical is not always what is Biblical, and in the case of Mormonism, it’s not Biblical.”

    This the very first time that I have heard any “anti” say that Joseph was logical about anything! I should thank you in his behalf for the compliment. If Joseph were to be logical as well as dishonest, he certainly would have latched onto your Trinity concept, quite popular in his day, instead of claiming that He saw two personages and that they were in the image of man. If he were logical, he wouldn’t have “created” scripture in addition to the Bible to begin with. He would have started his own church, and that would be that. You’d have never heard of him. His opponents still can’t figure out how to portray him as both stupid and yet imaginative and genius enough to create a body of work with no conflicts with the Bible or what is known about the ancient Americas–much of it which has been discovered and learned along the way. If he were logical, would he have been stupid enough to be arrested 27 times–the last time going in of his own will to “get it all over with,” knowing he would be murdered? None of the charges stuck, by the way. Even guards who knew he was innocent “let” him escape, providing horses to enable him and his brother to do so. God would not let the man die until he had done all he was foreordained to do.

    Jesus said he was the light that came into the world, but men preferred darkness to light(John 3:19). We who love Him are the children of light (1 Thes.) In Doctrine and Covenants 88 :67 He has said–which coincides with biblical teaching…

    “And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.”

    This doesn’t mean it will happen here, of course, but it begins here. The Lord’s children of light, in or out of the Church, should not be pleased to hide behind the excuse of “God is incomprehensible.” True, many things about God and the Atonement are beyond our present understanding, but through the Holy Ghost, we are being filled with light to comprehend even the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) through the Spirit to help us comprehend what He wants us to individually about Him as we exercise our spiritual wings. Our knowledge of God increases as we study and live His word. This is undeniable to those who hve experienced the process–even outside the Church.

    The saddest thing to me, is to know that God has revealed more about Himself so that we can all know and understand him better and have more power through the gift of the Holy Ghost and the Priesthood to do so. Many of us, both in and out of the Church who are verily His children, prefer to continue to “see through a glass” more “darkly” than is necessary.

    You have “fought” valiantly for the Bible as you know it through the Christian tradition of man, Brad; I have tried imperfectly to represent, as my mind and heart understand Him, Christ Himself–His ability to communicate with us today anew– and what He has given us in the latter days to prepare for His Second Coming–which includes the Bible as written by ancient living prophets, the Book of Mormon and latter day revelation–plus whatever else God might have to say to us in the future. I identified a Church who represents Him on earth, not only in word and deed as the ones I grew up in, but also in power and authority. Miracles indeed have not ceased, according to our faith.

    Never say never, but this is all I have to say as well.

    Amanda

  39. Amanda said

    PS Brad, you have set the agenda for most of this exchange with the many things you have read in literature against the Church. It should be apparent that if biblical volleying about sensational topics were all there is to the faith, the Church would be losing members and not gaining them, and radio stations would not be having shows about “the Mormons.” The Book of Mormon stands as a second witness of God, Jesus and the Bible. It puts to rest the contention you have relied upon and tells us, once and for all, that if we wish the Lord’s blessings here and now as well as in eternity, we must obey His commandments–which is not the same thing as saying that Jesus’ atonement wasn’t sufficient for our salvation. To receive the blessings of the Atonement in our lives, however, we must turn toward Him in our words and actions–repent, as John the Baptist said preparing for Christ’s coming. This land was set aside for a people who would heed His words. As we continue to turn away from God, we will not “propsper in the land,” and it is my belief that “secret combinations” (of which the Book of Mormon speaks), will continue to humble us to rethink the issue–as in 9/11. Such was the prophecy given to the prophet Lehi in the Book of Mormon.

  40. Brad said

    I guess “never say never” was true, right Amanda?

    “It should be apparent that if biblical volleying about sensational topics were all there is to the faith, the Church would be losing members and not gaining them, and radio stations would not be having shows about ‘the Mormons.'” (Amanda)

    Gee, Amanda, what is this – the fifth time you’ve tried to use this argument, or the sixth? It just doesn’t work. You’re trying to argue that since people are talking about Mormonism so much, “volleying” back and forth, that Mormonism must be more substantial than that, or else membership would dwindle. Amanda, that argument could be made for most of the major religions in the world. Christianity is argued about daily, so is Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Atheism, etc… And they are ALL growing in numbers, daily. So does that make ALL of them correct? Well, under your argument it does, which would then have to mean that you believe ALL religions are correct. Is that the case? Because if it’s not (as I suspect it’s not), then you really need to drop that argument.

    “[The Book of Mormon] puts to rest the contention you have relied upon and tells us, once and for all, that if we wish the Lord’s blessings here and now as well as in eternity, we must obey His commandments–which is not the same thing as saying that Jesus’ atonement wasn’t sufficient for our salvation.” (Amanda)

    If the BOM TRULY put to rest all this contention, then wouldn’t this contention be put to rest? There will ALWAYS be contention, b/c there is ALWAYS sin present. No way around that one. I know you like to view the BOM as the great equalizer, of sort, but it just isn’t the case, Amanda.

    “This land was set aside for a people who would heed His words.” (Amanda)

    Please, be serious. America is insignificant in light of religion. It neither started here, nor will it end here. Many just like to think of America as “special” in light of religion, but we’re really not at all.

    “As we continue to turn away from God, we will not “propsper in the land,” and it is my belief that “secret combinations” (of which the Book of Mormon speaks), will continue to humble us to rethink the issue–as in 9/11. Such was the prophecy given to the prophet Lehi in the Book of Mormon.” (Amanda)

    Secret combinations? But heck, if it was given to a fictional prophet in a fictional book, it must be true, right, as long as you “feel” it’s been done by the Holy Spirit?

    You’re really starting to come off odd now, Amanda.

  41. Amanda said

    “You’re trying to argue that since people are talking about Mormonism so much, “volleying” back and forth, that Mormonism must be more substantial than that, or else membership would dwindle.” (Brad)

    Nope– again, Brad: I was stating that since you and I have not addressed but two of the doctrinal issues of the faith (works and the nature of God, and those incompletely), I was primarily put on the defensive to respond to every accusation,ridiculous or not, that you could think to make against the Church. This was not a discussion of the gospel of Jesus Christ or the message of the Book of Mormon. For once, I would like to have a serious discussion about the gospel and the importance of the Book of Mormon and how it verifies and expands biblical knowledge.

    “If the BOM TRULY put to rest all this contention, then wouldn’t this contention be put to rest?” (Brad)

    The Book of Mormon puts to rest all contention between those who are baptized in Christ’s name and are members of the Church. As I said in the beginning of my writings here–there are no conservative, moderate, or liberal factions warring to gain control of the Church and its course as I’ve observed and read in the papers concerning certain other churches. There will always be those who dig in to oppose contentiously whenever one claims Divine revelation. Just ask our Savior or any one of His disciples.

    “America is insignificant in light of religion.Many just like to think of America as “special” in light of religion, but we’re really not at all.”
    (Brad)

    I’m sorry, Brad, but I thought when you claimed to be a Christian, you understood the Christian heritage of America. You seem to have bought into the edited version of our history taught in the public schools. Talk to Dobson, Pat Robertson, Jay Sekulow, etc. Most Christian historians can tell you of God’s hand in the formation and preservation of our country. Most journals of the founding Fathers and their letters record such. The Book of Mormon even tells of God’s plan for bringing people to this choice land where they could practice religious freedom–remember the Pilgrims? If it weren’t for this country of religious freedom, the gospel could never have been restored in its fulness either; it barely survived as it was in the beginning. It could have flourished in no other country.

    Brad, you may have guessed by now that you are not the one I am addressing in this blog–but those sincere seekers of truth who may be reading.

    Some of us recognize that terrorists fit in the category of “secret combinations” which the Book of Mormon warns us of FOR OUR DAY. God’s protective power can be withdrawn from not only individuals but from nations when the majority of people decide to take you up on your beliefs about not needing to obey God’s commandments. It’s called letting your children experience natural consequences.

    Amanda

  42. Brad said

    “I was stating that since you and I have not addressed but two of the doctrinal issues of the faith (works and the nature of God, and those incompletely), I was primarily put on the defensive to respond to every accusation,ridiculous or not, that you could think to make against the Church.” (Amanda)

    Amanda, we’ve discussed many things, not just works and the nature of God (though those have probably been the primary topics, just not the only ones). I’m not sure how much more “completely” you want to get into it – unless by “completely” you mean you haven’t been able to convince anyone, in which case “completely” probably won’t happen. Amanda, you weren’t put on the defensive, you were asked questions that you were free to either respond or not respond to – your choice. You weren’t backed into a corner – we’re online, for goodness’ sake. And no accusation that I made was not backed up by Scripture of some sort, not just my “feelings”.

    “For once, I would like to have a serious discussion about the gospel and the importance of the Book of Mormon and how it verifies and expands biblical knowledge.” (Amanda)

    Gee, Amanda, when given that very chance to go on air and do just that, you said “no”, remember? You don’t want to have a serious discussion with someone who knows better – you want to have one with someone who is ignorant of what you believe or with someone who already believes what you believe. There’s a big difference. The BOM holds NO importance for Biblical knowledge, b/c it is NOT of God, it is of Joseph Smith. It is as Biblically relevant as Harry Potter.

    “The Book of Mormon puts to rest all contention between those who are baptized in Christ’s name and are members of the Church.” (Amanda)

    Nice red herring, there, Amanda. It stops contention among those for whom there would be no contention, due to similar beliefs. Great.

    “There will always be those who dig in to oppose contentiously whenever one claims Divine revelation. Just ask our Savior or any one of His disciples.” (Amanda)

    Sure there will be, b/c many see it as just that – a “claim”, but not a reality. Jesus gave Divine revelation, through His own words and through the Word of God, the Bible. Joseph Smith gave nothing but a book.

    “I’m sorry, Brad, but I thought when you claimed to be a Christian, you understood the Christian heritage of America. You seem to have bought into the edited version of our history taught in the public schools. Talk to Dobson, Pat Robertson, Jay Sekulow, etc. Most Christian historians can tell you of God’s hand in the formation and preservation of our country. Most journals of the founding Fathers and their letters record such.” (Amanda)

    God desires His will for ALL of those who have asked Him to be their Savior, whether from America, Spain, Greece, Poland, Russia, Africa, etc… The country doesn’t matter. The fact that God is mentioned in many of our founding documents doesn’t make America Christian – whether Americans believe in Christ (of the Bible) as their personal Lord and Savior makes us Christian. What is God’s plan for America? I don’t know. Nor does anyone else. But it certainly isn’t spoken of anywhere in Scripture that America will be saved for anything special. Anywhere. I love this country, but it doesn’t hold any more special of a place in God’s heart than any other country that has believers in it. To think otherwise is to place too much importance on America. I’m not saying God didn’t help America along – clearly there were Christians in American history, and I believe God did help and bless them, and that He helps and blesses American Christians today. Just not more specially than any other nation.

    “The Book of Mormon even tells of God’s plan for bringing people to this choice land where they could practice religious freedom–remember the Pilgrims?” (Amanda)

    Gee, it must have been hard to make a prediction that the pilgrims fulfilled, AFTER they had already come here. That’s really looking into the future for ya!

    “If it weren’t for this country of religious freedom, the gospel could never have been restored in its fulness either; it barely survived as it was in the beginning. It could have flourished in no other country.” (Amanda)

    Wow, Amanda, placing quite a bit of importance on America, aren’t we? And maybe not enough importance on God? He could have used Botswana or any other country. In fact, is not Israel special to Him? Nowhere in the BIBLE is America even mentioned. What is mentioned in the BOM is insignificant, until you can show that it was inspired by God through evidence and not just a “feeling” that can’t be proven.

    “…when the majority of people decide to take you up on your beliefs about not needing to obey God’s commandments.” (Amanda)

    I never said we didn’t need to obey God’s commandments at all – I said we don’t need to obey them AS A CONDITION of our salvation; rather, we obey them BECAUSE OF our salvation and our love for God and His free gift. Clear as crystal.

    Listen to the show today, Amanda; should be interesting. A bunch of anti’s talking about Mormonism!!

  43. Amanda said

    “God desires His will for ALL of those who have asked Him to be their Savior.” (Brad)

    This is 100% correct. Yet the hand of God was strongly present in the founding of America explicitly so that freedom could prevail; and freedom of religion was considered the most important freedom for many who came here at that time. (It still should be although the Mormons were attacked in their infancy by those who disregarded this principle.) America was the “shot heard round the world,” largely for the purpose of being able to establish an example of a free society in which God’s existence could be freely taught. God had a purpose for this country and for our freedom. His relationship with us and our ability to express our relationship with Him and be accountable to him and not to an unrighteous government is at the center of that purpose. Those who have read the Book of Mormon understand this although “America” is not referred to by name in the book.

    “I said we don’t need to obey them AS A CONDITION of our salvation” (Brad)

    You’ve said a lot of things, Brad, but God has said differently in various places. It’s a condition only if we want to “receive” the blessings of the Atonement and our salvation. I have given you ample opportunity to show me a single scripture from the Bible where Jesus says you can knowlingly disobey Him without repenting and receive any blessing from God’s hand.

    Brad said: “You weren’t backed into a corner – we’re online, for goodness’ sake. And no accusation that I made was not backed up by Scripture of some sort, not just my “feelings”.

    We are in agreement here, and I sure have no right to whine. I was the one who dignified all of the ideas you raised by responding and who didn’t have the self control to quit when sarcasm became your driving force. I’m simply saying that this would have been an entirely different conversation with someone of a different mindset. I had a wonderful experience on a radio talk show in Raleigh. Did my friends and I convince anyone that what we were saying was true? Probably not, but that wasn’t our goal. I told you from the beginning that only God’s Spirit can convert. We may have planted a few seeds of interest that will lead others back to the scriptures and to the Book of Mormon, and that’s good enough for me. My goal is only to provide correct knowledge about the Church to people, and to show that the Bible is not ignored or foreign to us. We love and accept it quite literally. It comes first in our “quads” and is cross-referenced with the Book of Mormon and the other standard works of our faith. Your saying we do not interpret the Bible correctly is simply saying that we do not interpret it as you do. This is a fine distinction for determining whether or not another religion is “Christian.”

    Brad said:
    “It (the Book of Mormon) stops contention among those for whom there would be no contention, due to similar beliefs. Great”

    We have another saying, Brad. “When a man accepts the gospel and is converted, he ceases to be part of the problem.”

    My comment was that there is no contention in the Lord’s church–unlike the headlines I read of other denominations. The Lord said, “By this shall man know, ye are my disciples, if ye have love, one to another.” If a Mormon is not faithful or was baptized unconverted, he or she usually just fades away through lack of attendance or can turn against the church. (Some, like the Turners,” leave the Church but cannot leave it alone.” They can even make it their bread and butter.) Those are people you can truly help, Brad, for some of them have not found the Savior, and I do wish that for them.

    IN closing, I would refer you to my comments on the blog for the show to which you wanted me to listen.

    Amanda

  44. Mike Sears said

    Amanda said: “You’ve said a lot of things, Brad, but God has said differently in various places. It’s a condition only if we want to “receive” the blessings of the Atonement and our salvation. I have given you ample opportunity to show me a single scripture from the Bible where Jesus says you can knowlingly disobey Him without repenting and receive any blessing from God’s hand.”

    I don’t have much time to respond with what I know to be a plethora of scriptures that confirm all of the “Faith Alone and Belief Alone” examples. All of which I sent to you in a separate e-mail, but the most apparent example is the thief on the cross. While I am sure that he repented in his heart, there was no outward “obedience to Laws and Ordinances the Gospel” as the Mormon faith mandates for salvation. Why then would he be granted entrance into the Kingdom (which is clearly the primary blessing of atonement) if salvation is not based on Faith alone as Paul hammered so diligently in Galatians??

  45. Brad said

    “You’ve said a lot of things, Brad, but God has said differently in various places. It’s a condition only if we want to “receive” the blessings of the Atonement and our salvation. I have given you ample opportunity to show me a single scripture from the Bible where Jesus says you can knowlingly disobey Him without repenting and receive any blessing from God’s hand.” (Amanda)

    God has NEVER said, anywhere, that salvation comes from anything other than through our faith in Jesus as our Savior. By what you say above, you are most assuredly confirming what everyone else here already knows about Mormons – THAT IT IS A WORKS-BASED RELIGION!! To say it’s a “condition if we want to receive the blessings of the Atonement and our salvation”, means that UNLESS we do works as part of the condition, we won’t receive those things. Hence, you’re saying that we only receive those things BECAUSE of what we’ve done. Scripturally, that’s completely untrue. What about Ephesians 2:8-9? That section completely refutes what you just said. And if you take the Bible at it’s Word, as you say you do, then you’d have to change your mine. And no, James 2 doesn’t refute Ephesians 2, they work hand in hand – works are the evidence OF salvation, not a condition FOR salvation. 2 completely different things, and you have misunderstood in your beliefs entirely.

    “I’m simply saying that this would have been an entirely different conversation with someone of a different mindset.” (Amanda)

    Translation – with someone else who doesn’t know as much or doesn’t disagree as vehemently. I agree, if you were to discuss these things with that person, it WOULD be a much different conversation. Just like if I were to play basketball against someone 2 feet shorter than me, I could probably dominate them. Doesn’t mean much as a real game, due to the extreme disadvantage, but nonetheless, I would win.

    “We may have planted a few seeds of interest that will lead others back to the scriptures and to the Book of Mormon, and that’s good enough for me.” (Amanda)

    Perhaps. And I may have planted a few seeds of doubt in some Mormons, or at least kept some from even seeking them out, which is good enough for me.

    “My goal is only to provide correct knowledge about the Church to people, and to show that the Bible is not ignored or foreign to us. We love and accept it quite literally. It comes first in our “quads” and is cross-referenced with the Book of Mormon and the other standard works of our faith.” (Amanda)

    It may come first – but it’s interesting how you consider the BOM to be the “cornerstone” of your religion (as you quoted on a different thread). So does it REALLY come first? Nope.

    “Your saying we do not interpret the Bible correctly is simply saying that we do not interpret it as you do. This is a fine distinction for determining whether or not another religion is “Christian.” (Amanda)

    No, it’s saying that you interpret the Bible incorrectly. It is a fine distinction that determines whether Mormonism is Christian or not, but it’s pretty clear – they’re not.

    My comment was that there is no contention in the Lord’s church–unlike the headlines I read of other denominations. The Lord said, “By this shall man know, ye are my disciples, if ye have love, one to another.” (Amanda)

    What does contention have to do with anything? It’s another buzzword that Mormons are hung up on, Amanda. It is possible to have “love” for others, yet disagree with them. I love many people whom I disagree with vehemently (you being one of them), as I am called by God to love them as He loves them. Doesn’t mean I have to agree with them, or be their best friend. You’re missing the difference, here.

    “If a Mormon is not faithful or was baptized unconverted, he or she usually just fades away through lack of attendance or can turn against the church. (Some, like the Turners,” leave the Church but cannot leave it alone.” They can even make it their bread and butter.) Those are people you can truly help, Brad, for some of them have not found the Savior, and I do wish that for them.” (Amanda)

    Yep, the Turners aren’t saved b/c they left the Mormon church and now speak out against it as their life’s work. Thanks for clearing that up for all of us, Amanda. Wait – I thought the Catholic church was the one true church, b/c according to the Pope it is? Well, gee, there’s 2 separate groups now calling themselves the “true” church. How do I decide? Well, look to the Bible. I have been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, as defined in the Bible (defined DIFFERENTLY in the BOM). That assures me of my eternal salvation in heaven (one level, not 3).

  46. “What does contention have to do with anything? It’s another buzzword that Mormons are hung up on” (Brad)

    Contention is simply a sign that the church who has it going on to a notcieable scale is not the true and living church of God. Nor can the person full of contention be full of the Spirit at the same time.

    “Well, gee, there’s 2 separate groups now calling themselves the “true” church. How do I decide?” (Brad)

    I went to the Bible AND to the true and living God. He answered me through His Spirit and His word.

    The Turners may have a personal relationship with the Savior–I hope they do; but they, I believe, are guilty of knowingly deceiving people because of their selective and manipulative use of genuine Church resources. This behavior is not what I understand to be Christian.

    “Hence, you’re saying that we only receive those things BECAUSE of what we’ve done. Scripturally, that’s completely untrue. What about Ephesians 2:8-9?” (Brad)

    I have never said anything other than what the Lord says. I have given you scriptures on this before, but for anyone reading, I will give them again for they are crucial to a full understanding of the Bible.

    First, about Eph. 2:8-9…I agree with every word. It is by grace that we are saved (which we receive continually by taking our Savior at His word and following Him instead of Satan or the world). There is no power in baptism or any other “work” without the grace of God, to lead us to salvation;however, we are blessed each time we obey any of His commandments. Our spiritual endowment, intelligence, or light and truth, increases as we do so.

    Think about:

    Matt. 5:19, 20 “…whosoever therefore shall break one of the least of these commandments and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven….for except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

    How do we get “righteous? By obeying the commandments, following our Savior.

    Acts 22:16 “…arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

    Does baptism in and of itself “wash” our sins away? No, only in the sense that the Savior declares it to be so and by His grace makes it so.

    But read Matt. 3:15, 28:19, John 16:16, and then Luke 7:30–“But the Pharsees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against (for)themselves, being not baptized of him.”

    John 3:5…”Except a man be born of water..he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (yes, you addressed this before, but sufficiently? See Acts 2:38, 10:48, 22:16, and

    Titus 3:5…”…SAVED US, by the washing of regeneration (baptism)

    And then 1Peter 3:21…”The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now SAVE US (not putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Christ.” (This is what I’ve been trying to tell you. Without the resurrection and the atonement, nothing we do matters; with them, everything matters, even though salvation cannot be separated from grace, the enabling power of God.)

    Romans 6:23 “…the wages of sin is death.” (Actions matter)

    Rom. 14:23 “…whatsoever is not of faith is sin…” This applies to every action. What we do matters as does our faith.

    Hebrews 10:26 “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation…”

    James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” What we do matters if we expect blessings, even the blessing of including eternal life. It doesn’t mean that what we do has any power to save us in and of itself. This is where ythe Lords “filthy rags” excerpt comes in. Nothing we do is good in and of itself but through and with the enabling power of God, it is accounted unto us for righteousness, as were Abraham’s works.

    John 7:17…”if any man do his will, he shall know….”

    Matt. 7:21..”Not everyone that saith unto me Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom…but he that doeth the will…. “(This alone would tell me that it is a requirement to do the will of God.)

    2 Thes.1:8 “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In latter day revelation, the Lord has said He will start this process with His own house. (the Church)

    Ex. 20:6…”And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” If I want mercy, I obey.

    Gen. 4:7…”If thou doeth well, shalt thou not be accepted…”

    Add Luke 6:46… “why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say…”

    Luke 10:27,28 “…love the Lord thy God with all thy strength…(actions)…this do…and thou shalt live.” Again, the act of serving and loving and thinking of God..are not these “works” in your eyes?

    And Romans 6:16…”Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to OBEY, his servants ye are to whom ye OBEY; whther of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Sounds like I’d better obey to become more righteous. If I want to be righteous, do I have a choice but to follow the words of my Savior? If I am not righteous, relying upon His grace and glory, can I live with Him who is the King of Righteousness in Heaven eternally?

    John 8:29…”And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” (If even the Savior did not the things that pleased His Father, would the Father have been with Him always? Will He not be a stronger presence with us under the same conditions?

    John 3:21…”But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (Another reason to obey.)

    In John 15:5, Jesus says …”for without me, ye can do nothing.” That pretty much sums it up. If we are in Him, the living vine, we can “bring forth much fruit.” (Good works) In verse 6, he tells us if we do not abide in Him, we are cast forth as a branch, and … withered…cast …into the fire,…and burned. “If ye abide in me, and AND MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (Want blessings? Obey, according to God’s words within us. We will love Him whom we list to obey.)

    And finally, back to the sheep and the goats on judgment day. Very definitive.

    I think the Lord says it more powerfully than I do.

    “God has NEVER said, anywhere, that salvation comes from anything other than through our faith in Jesus as our Savior.” (Brad)

    Neither have I. All that is pleasing to God is done in faith. With faith, We do what He commands us to do. Without faith, why bother?

    “It (the Bible) may come first – but it’s interesting how you consider the BOM to be the “cornerstone” of your religion (as you quoted on a different thread). So does it REALLY come first? Nope.” (Brad)

    Actually, the Book of Mormon HAS to be the cornerstone of our religion because without it, we would be just “any other church,” not the restored church of Christ. I do not put one word of God above another; yet in our day, I do believe the Book of Mormon has the power to convert people to the Bible as well as to restore needed knowledge that was lost after the deaths of the Apostles, knowledge which removes stumbling blocks from those who had formerly discounted the Bible. They (converts) can, with both books, learn doctrine which will make them a “steady ship in the ocean.”

    The Gospel is Awesome! Truly AWESOME! My intent and desire is not to volley scripture in a “take that!” way, but I do want you to understand what we actually believe instead of what you have decided we believe.

  47. Amanda said

    Oops! Mike Sears had a good question which I didn’t even see to address.

    Faith Alone and Belief alone can be addressed simply by asking, “How do I know you believe? How do I know you have faith? By your works. WE ARE NOT SAVED BY THOSE WORKS (“BY” is the keyword there), but if we expect any blessing from God, we must be trying, however imperfectly, to follow His words. Since our efforts are imperfect and as “filthy rags,” we rely upon His merits and mercy as the Perfect One who atoned for our sins and set the perfect example. Receiving His gift of salvation by obeying and earning salvation for ourselves are two very different concepts. Only Jesus was capable of “earning” anything.

    The thief on the cross, if you look at the Greek word for paradise, was told by Jesus that he would be with him in the “world of spirits” that day. This may not be the exaltation or the eternal destiny to which he will be assigned at the Day of Judgment. There will also be teaching going on in the world of spirits so those who died without knowledge of God will have the same opportunity to be “judged as the living.” (1 Peter 3:18-20, then 1 Peter 4:6) I know that most men and women are used to interpreting this a different way, but just think about it in a literal sense and you will understand our beliefs based upon latter day revelation as well as these two scriptures in the Bible.

    Joseph Smith was shocked, however, in one of his visions, to see his older brother Alvin in the celestial kingdom (who hadn’t been baptized yet since the church wasn’t quite yet organized) and was told by God that whoever would have accepted the gospel had they lived would receive the glory to which they would have been entitled. The ordinance was performed for him later since it is an earthly ordinance and must be performed by one with Priesthood authority.

    The thief’s repentance in his heart, I believe, was genuine, and he exercised his newfound faith in his words of kindness, testimony, and moral support for the Savior. This evidenced that He had been converted and received a testimony of Christ.

    And please note: salvation is based on faith alone, but if you read all of Paul’s words, you cannot escape the fact that “faithfulness” is required to receive the blessings–which implies works. If you have faith, Paul assumes, as does the Lord from my readings, that you will be faithful, that you will not sin willfully which would be rebelling against God. One scripture cannot be at the mercy of another. They have to harmonize to reflect a correct interpretation, and sometimes higher knowledge is required to correctly understand it. (I’m NOT implying that “Mormons” have that higher knowledge about everything. There will always be more that we don’t know than that which we do, and individuals like CS Lewis have acquired as much knowledge as the entire Church in some areas of their lives.)

    To say that the Mormon faith mandates “outward obedience for salvation” leaves the door open for misunderstanding because it gives the impression that our works save us, and yet it is true that for those of us who have the opportunity to obey, we must in order to be exalted in our Father’s kingdom.

    If the Lord commands and man does not obey, whatever the reason, blessings are with-held. If I smoke cigarettes and pray at the same time for a strong body, I may likely still get cancer. I will certainly have cigarette breath and yellow finger stains. Every action has a consequence. We have the Word of Wisdom, so I know the Lord has warned me that “tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly…”(Doctrine and Covenants 89:8). I would not be morally accountable for smoking before God unless His spirit prompted me in my heart and mind that it was wrong for me (through studying the issue and talking with doctors, observing the results in those who do smoke longterm, etc.) I may still get cancer and die though. But if I know that God Himself told me through a living prophet or through His word that it was wrong and disobeyed, I have sinned against my higher knowledge and am more accountable spiritually. (It doesn’t mean I won’t be “saved,” but I will lose some spiritual blessings as well as blessings of health along the way. Brad would say this is making things hard or complicated, but I say cancer is more complicated. You can apply the same principal to premarital sex and other things.

  48. Brad said

    “Contention is simply a sign that the church who has it going on to a notcieable scale is not the true and living church of God. Nor can the person full of contention be full of the Spirit at the same time.” (Amanda)

    I disagree – b/c the “one true church” (which would refer to a belief system, not a denomination) is still made up of humans, all of whom will sin. No church is perfect and contention-free. No church. You can’t use that argument to try and elevate the LDS church, b/c it just doesn’t hold water.

    “I went to the Bible AND to the true and living God. He answered me through His Spirit and His word.” (Amanda)

    Wrong – you went to your feelings, as you were instructed to do by the BOM and the missionaries, and asked if it was true, believing that it was, and you magically received confirmation from the “Spirit” that it was. Gee, amazing, since you sincerely prayed about it and wanted to be so. It’s called self-confirmation. The Bible IN NO WAY confirms Mormonism, it in fact shows it’s not.

    “The Turners may have a personal relationship with the Savior–I hope they do; but they, I believe, are guilty of knowingly deceiving people because of their selective and manipulative use of genuine Church resources. This behavior is not what I understand to be Christian.” (Amanda)

    They don’t deceive anyone – their whole life’s work is based upon what they experienced first hand inside the Mormon church!! If it didn’t happen as they said it did, that would make them liars, I agree. But what they say happened isn’t different from other former Mormons who have also left the church, and have similar comments and stories to tell. Coincidence? I think not.

    “First, about Eph. 2:8-9…I agree with every word. It is by grace that we are saved (which we receive continually by taking our Savior at His word and following Him instead of Satan or the world). There is no power in baptism or any other “work” without the grace of God, to lead us to salvation;however, we are blessed each time we obey any of His commandments. Our spiritual endowment, intelligence, or light and truth, increases as we do so.” (Amanda)

    If you agree with every word, then the discussion ought to be over. But you keep trying to prove a point that is contrary to Eph. 2:8-9, so you don’t believe it AS IT WAS INTENDED, you believe it AS THE LDS CHURCH INTERPRETS IT! Big difference. It is by grace we are saved – period. There’s nothing after that we must do. We’re not “continually” saved, or working towards our salvation – we receive it at a point in time, and that point in time is when we choose to accept God’s free gift of grace through His Son Jesus Christ. You say “there is no power in baptism or any other ‘work’ without the grace of God, to lead us to salvation.” But there is no power in baptism or any other work – period! Those are simply outward signs of an inward change that has ALREADY occurred! They don’t save you, either on their own or with God’s grace, b/c you are ALREADY saved before they occur. You can throw all the Scripture you want at it, Amanda, but you will still come up short, b/c any Scripture you throw that does NOT hold to that thinking is seriously misinterpreted, b/c it would then not make sense in light of the context of the entire Bible!

    Don’t worry – it isn’t just me, there are countless others who can see through the web of words that LDS try to weave, and see through to the core, which is salvation by works, and not by grace alone! There aren’t 2 types of salvation – one which means we’ll all live again and one which determines where we end up in Heaven – there’s only one “salvation”, and that determines where we spend eternity. And it is most assuredly NOT based AT ALL upon works, but upon God’s grace!!! Alone!!!!

    “I think the Lord says it more powerfully than I do.” (Amanda)

    He does – He also says it DIFFERENTLY than you do, which is the real key, Amanda. I’ve given you countless Scriptures, as you’ve done above, and explained all of them to show you that your stance on works, baptism and salvation just do not sync up with the Biblical views at all. You are free to choose to ignore them, as you have done, that is your right.

    Amanda, I know what you believe, and why you believe it, and the misinterpretations that get you to that point. It’s been evident over the last couple months. Mormons aren’t some big mystery that nobody understands – people just don’t agree with you.

  49. Brad said

    “Faith Alone and Belief alone can be addressed simply by asking, “How do I know you believe? How do I know you have faith? By your works. WE ARE NOT SAVED BY THOSE WORKS (”BY” is the keyword there), but if we expect any blessing from God, we must be trying, however imperfectly, to follow His words.” (Amanda)

    If that’s the case, then stop all of your temple ceremonies, and the wearing of undergarments, b/c those do nothing for anyone else, and are not found in the Bible. According to you, you will still have your salvation, so then what would you possibly be worried about? What you probably need to do is define “blessings” – does this at all refer to heaven, and/or the level you can reach?

    “Receiving His gift of salvation by obeying and earning salvation for ourselves are two very different concepts. Only Jesus was capable of “earning” anything.” (Amanda)

    We don’t “receive” salvation by obeying and doing His work – we receive it by faith through grace alone, and simply believing in who He is and what He’s done for us. We then show we have ALREADY received salvation BY our works, which is NOT the same as saying we’ve obeyed and received our salvation. It’s a complete opposite, in fact. And what did Jesus “earn”? There was nothing for Him to earn – He was already God!

    “The thief on the cross, if you look at the Greek word for paradise, was told by Jesus that he would be with him in the “world of spirits” that day. This may not be the exaltation or the eternal destiny to which he will be assigned at the Day of Judgment. There will also be teaching going on in the world of spirits so those who died without knowledge of God will have the same opportunity to be “judged as the living.” (1 Peter 3:18-20, then 1 Peter 4:6) I know that most men and women are used to interpreting this a different way, but just think about it in a literal sense and you will understand our beliefs based upon latter day revelation as well as these two scriptures in the Bible.” (Amanda)

    I know where you are getting the “world of spirits” from, Amanda, and it’s not from the Bible, nor is it from a strict translation of the Greek word. This would have been thought, by the Jews of that day, to refer to a heavenly paradise, or the place where the righteous spirits (as opposed to the evil spirits) waited until the resurrection of all souls. It is used 3 times in the NT – in Luke (as we’re discussing), in 2 Cor. (when Paul is referencing the 3rd Heaven – meaning “heaven”, not any level of heaven) and in Rev. (in reference to the paradise of God). It is NEVER in Scripture used or thought of to be a general place, where your eternal destiny hadn’t already been determined. NEVER. And yes, most people are used to interpreting 1 Peter in an entirely different way than what the Mormons do, b/c MORMONS TRANSLATE IT INCORRECTLY!!! I have already clearly showed you this many, many quotes ago, on the original Mormon thread. If we need to revisit it, we can, but your interpretation just doesn’t hold with the way the rest of Scripture speaks. We die, and then that’s it – if you hadn’t accepted by then, it’s too bad. Heb. 9:27 speaks clearly of judgment after we die (mentioning nothing of any “in-between time” to get things right), and Rom. 1:18-20 speaks clearly that EVERYONE has an opportunity, so there would not even be a NEED to have any kind of “witnessing” going on after death. Those interpretations used by Mormons just don’t hold Biblical water. At all.

    “Joseph Smith was shocked, however, in one of his visions, to see his older brother Alvin in the celestial kingdom (who hadn’t been baptized yet since the church wasn’t quite yet organized) and was told by God that whoever would have accepted the gospel had they lived would receive the glory to which they would have been entitled. The ordinance was performed for him later since it is an earthly ordinance and must be performed by one with Priesthood authority.” (Amanda)

    Of course, this is found NOWHERE in the Bible ANYWHERE, and is only held to by Mormon teachings. Why did Smith believe this? Since it wasn’t b/c God told him (since God didn’t appear to him), I can only surmise that it may have been b/c Smith WANTED it to be true, and thus made the belief that it was possible. Kind of like how the Mormon church wants people to believe in it – ask and believe that it’s true, sincerely, and you’ll receive positive confirmation.

    “And please note: salvation is based on faith alone, but if you read all of Paul’s words, you cannot escape the fact that “faithfulness” is required to receive the blessings–which implies works. If you have faith, Paul assumes, as does the Lord from my readings, that you will be faithful, that you will not sin willfully which would be rebelling against God. One scripture cannot be at the mercy of another. They have to harmonize to reflect a correct interpretation, and sometimes higher knowledge is required to correctly understand it. (I’m NOT implying that “Mormons” have that higher knowledge about everything. There will always be more that we don’t know than that which we do, and individuals like CS Lewis have acquired as much knowledge as the entire Church in some areas of their lives.)” (Amanda)

    What “blessings” would these be – do they include the higher levels of heaven by chance? I agree that if you are saved you will strive to not sin willfully. And one Scripture is never at the mercy of another, and all Scripture is in complete harmony. Problem is, Mormons claim to have that higher knowledge about much of it, as a result of God revealing it to them through their prophets. Simply untrue. And not sure what CS Lewis has to do with it – that seemed to be an odd comment, not relevant to this discussion.

    “To say that the Mormon faith mandates “outward obedience for salvation” leaves the door open for misunderstanding because it gives the impression that our works save us, and yet it is true that for those of us who have the opportunity to obey, we must in order to be exalted in our Father’s kingdom.” (Amanda)

    Bang – there it is. You just summed it up for me. You say that “yet it IS true that for those of us who have the opportunity to obey, we MUST in order TO BE EXALTED in our Father’s kingdom.” This is EXACTLY my point, Amanda – you may believe in general salvation by faith (which isn’t even salvation, just resurrection, which will happen to EVERYONE regardless of whether they believe or not), but you sure don’t believe in salvation to the highest by faith alone – THAT requires works, doesn’t it? No Scripture to support that from the Bible. We either make it to Heaven, or we don’t.

  50. Amanda said

    “We don’t “receive” salvation by obeying and doing His work – we receive it by faith through grace alone,” (Brad)

    There is nothing here to argue with, Brad. It’s true! But if your faith does not translate into faithfulness through works, it wasn’t really faith, was it? Merely an intellectual belief. And it really won’t lead you where you want to go. And why are we repeating things to each other? If I repeat something you thought you’d “cleared up for me,” it’s because I wasn’t persuaded based upon either or both scripture and personal revelation.

    There is more than one reason to obey. If you don’t agree with the scriptures I’ve given you, just say so and enumerate which ones. I personally don’t do anything to “show that I’ve already been saved,” God knows I have, and I don’t care if others “think” I’ve been saved; HOWEVER, others may see the path upon which God has led me and desire to learn more about God themselves. Gratitude is also a good reason to obey. Reality check? The scriptures I have already given you. (You don’t like to talk about those sheep and goats, I’ve noticed.)

    Many a man has been “converted” and been saved from his sins up to that point, shown good works, divorced himself from the true and living vine, and then withered away. Take Judas. Jesus washed his feet as an act of love knowing that he would betray Him, but Judas had his agency to the end. Action–consequence. Without ongoing repentance and “following,” your salvation is a short-lived thing. It’s enduring to the end that counts.(Matt.10:22, John 6:27, James 1:12, James 5:11)

    As we’ve shown before, since I believe that there are 3 kingdoms of souls in a “saved” condition after judgment day, our concpets are bound to be different, and if there weren’t additional blessings and knowledge that comes from being a Mormon, I would still be a Presbyterian! As with the scriptures from 1 Peter on judgment for the dead, you can easily overlook or misunderstand things found in the Bible. This again, shows a need for modern revelation. None of our differences matter if Joseph Smith was not a living prophet, and if I were in doubt of the truthfulness of his calling, I might agree with you on more although not all points, Brad.

    By the way, I’ll stop wearing my undergarments when you do! 🙂

    My “magic underwear” is simply a modest and comforting sign of the covenants I have made in the temple with God. Perhaps this is why temple marriages survive at a much higher rate than nonMormon marriages. We are a covenant making people. The God of the Bible is a covenant-making God, and because many of the Jews of Christ’s day did not live up to their covenants, they lost the temple and its significance along with other blessings.

    If I hadn’t received spiritual blessings in the past from attending the temple, I might stop. It is a place of purity, revelation and peace–set apart from the world–a place of spiritual rest and empowerment when attended in faith. (There’s that word again–faith.) We believe in eternal unions, not “til death do us part.” The temple wouldn’t matter either if God has not revealed himself again in these latter days. But once He does reveal Himself to you as an individual, and His fingerprints are all over this church, I will go where He says to go and do what He says to do.

    The many miraculous occurances happened before a city of eye witnesses at the Kirtland temple, the first temple members built themselves at great personal sacrifice “because God commanded it.” (I hope you’ve read about these in all of your objective studies of Mormonism.) They were a sign that the Lord was pleased, and as far as we are concerned, if He commands it, we’ll do it. Did you read about the angels that even the little children saw on the roof dressed in white? And the music that angels were singing at the time? People came running down the streets to see what was happening.

    We also do much work–baptism, eternal marriages, and eternal sealings of families– in the temple for those who cannot do it for themselves with the hope that they will or have already accept it in the spirit world. (Accept the fulness as well as Christ. There is indeed a partial judgment that occurs before one goes to the spirit world–which will make it a heaven or a hell in itself; but these are not the final kingdoms of glory.

    Jesus didn’t “earn” anything? Perhaps “earn” was not a good choice. However, He performed the Atonement by continuing to surrender His will to His Father. what do you imagine that the angel said to Him when He asked the Father to “remove this cup?” I can easily imagine him reminding Jesus that He was the only one who could perform this act, definitely a “work,” of free will in behalf of His brethren (those on all the planets that He created under the Father’s watchful eye. This, by the way, was not a common or logical thought in Joseph’s day either–that God might have created more planets with human life than the earth in another galaxy, but it is beautifully laid out in latter day scripture.)

    Jesus was indeed God before He ever came here, but only after He bore the pains and agonies and sins of all mankind did He actually become the Christ, the Redeemer, in more than just foreordained or predestined title. Maybe it isn’t the best choice of words to say He “earned” the title, but He DID what the Father asked, even when He had second thoughts; and glory be to His name forever because of it!

    All will be resurrected, Brad. You got that right. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22) And all but the “sons of perdition,” will be assigned to some degree of glory. (Many mansions) Only those in the celestial kingdom will be with both God the Father and Jesus eternally. They Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.” (D&C 76:53) And yes, they are also ones who did what the Savior said to do although imperfectly.

    I guess I’ll stick with my Savior’s example, Brad. Did He work? All the time. If He didn’t, would He have been the Savior? No, and we would all be lost.We each have callings in God’s kingdom here on earth to fill if we accept Him and His direction. Even you would not be directing so many comments to me except for the fact or reason that you yourself mentioned in one of your emails: …”for I am commanded to do so.” You must feel compelled to do so, and I think you would even say “by the Spirit.” Good works? The Spirit compells me to do them if I love my Savior. Can the Church teach anything else? If you resisted the prompting of the Spirit in one area, it would increase the likelihood that you would in other areas. When you do follow the Spirit, you are not “earning” your salvation, but if you were to continue to resist in a way that spreads to other commandments, you will find that you come to lose that motivation the Spirit brings you to live on the cutting edge of faith; and eventually, you could become as the salt that has lost it’s savor and is fit to be cast to the ground. Not in hell, but in a lesser kingdom of lesser glory. If you openly rebel against what you know by the Holy Spirit of Promise to be true, then you are a candidate for “hell.”

  51. Brad said

    It must be a nice alternative in Mormonism for there to be virtually no hell, since few go there, right? I mean, who wants to believe in hell, or that people will go there? Certainly not Smith, so why not just invent a religion where hell won’t contain all those who don’t accept Christ? Wait, that’s what he did.

    If your buzz phrase is “saved by grace, AFTER all we can do”, then tell me what the “AFTER all we can do” refers to? Because that phrase, attributed to the LDS church, says that we’re not saved until AFTER we do something, which means that we first have to work towards our salvation, and will only receive it at a later date. Is that what you believe, Amanda? Because it’s what your official church position entails.

  52. Amanda said

    “If your buzz phrase is “saved by grace, AFTER all we can do”, then tell me what the “AFTER all we can do” refers to? Because that phrase, attributed to the LDS church, says that we’re not saved until AFTER we do something, which means that we first have to work towards our salvation, and will only receive it at a later date. Is that what you believe, Amanda? Because it’s what your official church position entails.”

    Think of it this way, Brad, for this is what it really means:

    “After all we can do (After all of our feeble even if diligent efforts), it is still by grace (of Jesus Christ) that we are saved.” The wording you gave was written by ancient American prophets and is found in the Book of Mormon, but when read in context of today’s language and of the whole body of the Book of Mormon, as you say is important to do, Brad, this is clearly what it means.

    “It must be a nice alternative in Mormonism for there to be virtually no hell, since few go there, right?”

    Oh, there is plenty of hell all right: Hell in the spirit world is between death and the resurrection. It is where those who were disobedient in this mortal life and those who rejected Christ when He was offered them will abide until the last resurrection, at which time they will go on to telestial glory where the Father and Son do not live.(That would be hell for me.) Nor can they have their own eternal families in this kingdom–which would also be hell for me. In this sense the BOM speaks of spiritual death as hell. Hell, thus defined, will have an end when all the captive spirits have paid the price of their own sins (talk about excruciating) and enter into a degree of glory after their resurrection.

    Statements about an everlasting hell we interpret in context of what was revealed in D&C 19:4-12, which defines eternal and endless punishment. Secondly, the devil and his angels, including the sons of perdition, are assigned to a place (as I mentioned) spoken of as a lake of fire–a figure of eternal anguish, also known as Outer Darkness. These receive no glory whatsoever. They continue in spiritual darkness forever. (Most of this from the LDS Bible Dictionary)

    By the final resurrection, “…As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:11-12)

  53. Brad said

    OK, let’s put it this way:

    Since Mormons believe in 2 types of salvation (although Christians, only 1), general and individual, let’s ask it this way:

    For GENERAL salvation – do you receive that instantly by grace through faith alone, or over a period of time, by some other means, or what?

    For INDIVIDUAL salvation – do you receive that instantly by grace through faith alone, or over a period of time, by some other means, or what?

    “Oh, there is plenty of hell all right: Hell in the spirit world is between death and the resurrection. It is where those who were disobedient in this mortal life and those who rejected Christ when He was offered them will abide until the last resurrection, at which time they will go on to telestial glory where the Father and Son do not live.(That would be hell for me.) Nor can they have their own eternal families in this kingdom–which would also be hell for me.” (Amanda)

    Doesn’t matter what hell is “to you”, Amanda, it matters only what the Bible says it is. It is a real place, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, where those who did not accept Christ while physically living will go to after Judgment, being no chance for them to change their destination after they are dead (this according to Scripture). They don’t go to some lower part of heaven (where God isn’t, as you say – which is NOT in the Bible), and hell has nothing to do with “eternal families” – that’s a Mormon thing, not a Bible idea.

    “Hell, thus defined, will have an end when all the captive spirits have paid the price of their own sins (talk about excruciating) and enter into a degree of glory after their resurrection.” (Amanda)

    Not sure where you derive this idea from, but it certainly is not found in Scripture anywhere. Hell doesn’t end.

    “Statements about an everlasting hell we interpret in context of what was revealed in D&C 19:4-12, which defines eternal and endless punishment.” (Amanda)

    Well heck, there’s your problem, you’re interpreting it in light of the D&C, rather than the Bible!

    “Secondly, the devil and his angels, including the sons of perdition, are assigned to a place (as I mentioned) spoken of as a lake of fire–a figure of eternal anguish, also known as Outer Darkness. These receive no glory whatsoever. They continue in spiritual darkness forever. (Most of this from the LDS Bible Dictionary)” (Amanda)

    Yes, they will be there, but so will ALL those who did not accept Christ as savior while living, unfortunately. And that is the Christ as shown to us in the Bible – NOT the Christ of Mormonism or other religions.

    “By the final resurrection, “…As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:11-12)” (Amanda)

    Yes, but that doesn’t mean everyone will be saved. They will acknowledge that Christ is Lord, and that the Bible is true, but at that point, it will be too late for them. Remember the story of Abraham’s bosom, and the “great gulf fixed”? There’s nothing we can do for anyone after they have died. Nothing.

  54. kelly said

    kelly…

    […]The Debate Between Christians and Mormons Continues… « Welcome to TruthTalkLive.com![…]…

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