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Today’s Guest: Hugh Hewitt, Author of "A Mormon in the White House?: 10 Things Every American Should Know about Mitt Romney"

Posted by truthtalklive on May 14, 2007

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70 Responses to “Today’s Guest: Hugh Hewitt, Author of "A Mormon in the White House?: 10 Things Every American Should Know about Mitt Romney"”

  1. Anonymous said

    Romney has every right to run.
    The public has every right to vote for him.
    I would fight to defend his right to believe what he believes.

    But Christians have every right–and ,indeed, the duty–to expose Mormonism as a polytheistic religion founded by a deceiver. It teaches 3 separate gods, does not support the Trinity, says that “jesus” and Lucifer were brothers, says that men can become gods, makes claims of peoples, civilizations and languages THAT NEVER EXISTED.

    It is a false religion and can be proven to be so easily. It is not Christianity.

    I defend Mormons rights. In turn, (at least for now) I have the right to proclaim the Truth of historic Christianity and the falsehood on Mormonism !

  2. Gene said

    I am starting to lean toward supporting Romney. How would evangelicals feel about him if he chose a Christian as his running mate? Could a Romney/Rice ticket beat a Hillary/Obama ticket? We don’t seem to have a Christian in the race who can win. Why don’t we set ourselves up for an evangelical president down the road?

  3. Brad said

    I don’t yet know enough about him to give a solid opinion on his morals. However, from first glance and given what I do know about Mormons in general, I would say that his morals probably line up pretty well with conservatives, on matters such as abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, etc…

    But, that still doesn’t negate the fact that he is a practicing Mormon. And as a Christian, I know that is wrong. And other Christians do (or at least should), as well.

    My struggle is with whether to vote for him, despite his Mormon beliefs. Do we vote for a Republican candidate who realistically has no chance, but is a Christian who will uphold Christian values (i.e. Ron Paul)? Or do you choose the “best of the rest”, voting for the one candidate of the 3 or 4 who realistically have a chance, who best matches up morally? That is my dilemma.

    Hewitt hasn’t done much for me. How about some Biblical guidance, rather than just opinions? I’m not real concerned with what Hewitt thinks as a person. And I missed the show yesterday, so I’m not exactly sure what was said. If there WAS Biblical guidance given, could someone repost it here? If it was just Hewitt’s opinions about stuff, could those also be posted.

    Many have said they don’t think it’s “fair” to be asking Romney about his faith as a basis for voting, including Romney himself. I disagree. To me, it’s one of the most important questions I ask, and the fact that he has side-stepped many of the questions, referring them to the Mormon hierarchy in general, doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy. The questions won’t go away in the minds of many Christians.

  4. Anonymous said

    There are other candidates that are more truly conservative and understand a christian worldview.
    I will not vote for Romney in the primaries but if he is the ticket then I will vote for a conservative mormon rather than a liberal atheist.

  5. Anonymous said

    So who are the liberal atheists running for president? I am not aware of any.

  6. Amanda said

    Realizing that this blog is intended to be more political than religious (I too am concerned that without a Condie Rice on the ticket, Mitt would not have a chance)I cannot leave this blog forever without restating my question of how you feel the Book of Mormon doesn’t square with the Bible? That’s a huge claim, and it should be substantiated with evidence. Brad, you’re welcome to respond.

    Also, much in the past has been made about the first commenton this blog which contains the statement that the LDS religion says that “men can become gods.” I must share with you a quote from CS Lewis, who, as you know, was not a “Mormon.” Yet by the Spirit of God after his conversion, he came to believe many of the things we do. He said (without recrimination):

    “The command “Be ye perfect” is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we’re “gods” and He is going to made good His words.If we let Him–for we can prevent Him, if we choose–He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said. (“Mere Christianity,” p. 160)

  7. Brad said

    “I cannot leave this blog forever without restating my question of how you feel the Book of Mormon doesn’t square with the Bible? That’s a huge claim, and it should be substantiated with evidence. Brad, you’re welcome to respond.” (Amanda)

    Goodness sakes, Amanda, this has been CLEARLY demonstrated in a different topic over the past few weeks. The evidence is there – you simply choose to overlook and not believe it. I can’t help what you do with the evidence, I can only present it and then pray that you will heed what you have seen.

    “Also, much in the past has been made about the first commenton this blog which contains the statement that the LDS religion says that “men can become gods.” I must share with you a quote from CS Lewis, who, as you know, was not a “Mormon.” Yet by the Spirit of God after his conversion, he came to believe many of the things we do.” (Amanda)

    I am certainly no scholar on what CS Lewis said regarding Christianity, I’ll be the first to admit that. However, what I do know is that there is one key difference between anything CS Lewis may have said about Christianity, compared to anything one of your “prophets” has said about Mormonism. CS Lewis isn’t regarded as, and never claimed to be, any kind of official spokesman for the Christian faith. He spoke about what he believed and about how he interpreted the Bible, and as Christians, we aren’t obligated to believe the same as him.

    However, that is not the case with your “prophets.” From the Mormon.org website: “Throughout time, God has given His servants, the prophets, the authority to act in His name. This is called the Priesthood. Jesus Christ gave the priesthood to His original Twelve Apostles, and they directed the work of His Church after Jesus ascended to heaven. After the Apostles were killed, the priesthood gradually disappeared from the earth. In 1829, Joseph Smith received the restored priesthood authority to organize Christ’s Church. John the Baptist appeared and conferred upon Joseph Smith and his associate Oliver Cowdery the Aaronic Priesthood (the lesser priesthood. This priesthood includes the authority to baptize and is named for Aaron in the Old Testament of the Bible), which includes the authority to perform the ordinance of baptism. Later, Peter, James, and John (three of Christ’s original Apostles) appeared and conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood (the higher or greater priesthood. It is named for Melchizedek in the Old Testament of the Bible, who was a righteous high priest and king. It includes the authority to preside over the Church and to preform all ordinances, including giving the gift of the Holy Ghost) upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, restoring the same authority given to Christ’s Apostles anciently. In 1830, with this priesthood authority, the same Church of Jesus Christ that existed centuries ago was organized and restored to the earth by Joseph Smith.

    A living prophet—the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—is the authorized successor to Joseph Smith. He and the present Apostles (one sent forth to serve as a special witness of Jesus Christ. There are fifteen Apostles living on the earth today. They make up the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church) trace their authority to Jesus Christ in an unbroken chain of ordinations through Joseph Smith.”

    That is the high position that your church has given to certain men, and that is why their words are received as revelation by the Mormons, b/c they are supposedly ordained by God for their positions. That is why I, like many Christians, can look at and critique their words, b/c your own church says this about them. So it would stand to reason that if they are ordained by God, and still receiving direct revelation from God at times, then what they say should be a reflection of God’s instructions. Thus, if what they say DOESN’T mesh with the Bible, then we obviously have a point of contention, many of which have been outlined previously.

    They can’t be played off by saying it’s not official, b/c by definition of what your President and Apostles are, it would have to be official.

    CS Lewis, or any other person, for that matter, doesn’t hold that weight for Christians, b/c we don’t elevate any single person to a leadership status. God is our God, and the Bible is His sole written message to us – there is no other needed.

  8. Amanda said

    “God is our God, and the Bible is His sole written message to us – there is no other needed.”(Brad)

    I wish that were the case, Brad, but from our correstpondence, I get the message loud and clear that the Bible is your God, not the One who breathed it into the minds of His prophets. I also get the message that you have never read the Book of Mormon except for excerpts pulled from malicious literature about the church. Your and my conversations were totally centered on Biblical references, not Book of Mormon references (which is the most important evidence of its –and the Bible’s–truthfulness, along with the Holy Ghost which can accompany their reading). You and others have insisted upon creating doctrine from member’s opinions–often not even the prophet’s opinions, and also non-Mormon’s interpretations of the opinions and what they mean– instead of sticking to the scriptures and revelations of our prophets given when they are speaking to the Church collectively. (Is a prophet not entitled to his opinion just as you are?) Here is “Mormonism” 101: In our church, doctrine was and would be accepted by hearing a revelation read at General Conference and accepting it through common consent as a worldwide congregation. It is those revelations by which we are bound. Those are what we should be talking about, not whether or not “God had a physical union with Mary.” Pu–lease! (I don’t believe that was your topic idea, but we would have gotten around to it eventually.)

    Now that the controversial, sensational “pot shots” and mudslinging are behind us, it would be nice if someone actually wanted to know what we believe and teach in the Church. If the Church were as it has been protrayed on this blog, no one would be converting to the church these days–no one with a brain, that is; and those who are afraid of losing their members to the Chruch wouldn’t be giving it the attention they do. There wouldn’t be shows on “saving the Mormons” either because we wouldn’t be considered a threat to other congregations. Don’t you think that if someone were baptized into the LDS Church who was “deceived” (your opinion), he or she would quickly wise up and come immediately back to the Baptists or whichever denomination of which they had been members? (They sometimes do when they don’t study and learn and are semi-active in the faith.) If we didn’t believe and study the Bible, those people would also return to another church, knowing that we couldn’t be of God. Yet there are graduate students of other church seminaries doing studies on how many members they’ve lost to “the Mormons.” (I ‘ve been interviewed about it myself and collected numbers and administered surveys for them to be of service.)

    The fact is, when someone takes the missionary discussions, they either come unto Christ and are “born of water and the Spirit” or they become stronger in their own churches–if they were at least ocassionally church-going people to begin with. Statistics have proven this, and so there is nothing to fear or to despise. It is a positive experience. Masses of people could actually be preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ instead of the gospel of “anti-Mormonism”–or diverting their energy to do both.

    One person who is decieved in any direction is too many.

    I wouldn’t care so much except for the souls who are honest in heart who are searching for truth and think that they are receiving the a correct picture of the truth about the Church from others when they are not.

    I do wish that Stu and his station manager would consider us as nonthreatening for one night and allow their audience to hear what Mormonism is all about from the genuine source instead of all the filtered words of ill will and judgment which should be reserved for only God. “Mormons” are an asset to any community, as those who know us understand, and do in reality care a great deal about all of our brothers and sisters, no matter which religion they are.

    I’m leaving town for 3 days, so it will be Monday before I read any responses.

    Thank you, Brad, for responding. I’m as weary as you must be over the water under the bridge, but I haven’t set the agenda–only responded to it as a rule. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is exciting, and so I love to get into scripture–from both sources. I would love to talk doctrine instead of rumors and accusations, but I realize also that I don’t have the time it may take to respond adequately to all of your perceived doctrinal difference, but if you took any topic from the Bible and held it beside information on it given in the BOM, it would be apparent that Joseph Smith did not create, steal, or “invent” the book. This is not the place for such an exercise, however, and realizing our separate goals, I suppose little could be accomplished.

    Thanks anyway,

    Amanda

  9. Brad said

    Amanda,

    Anything that an “Apostle” or “President” or “Prophet” said in relation to Mormonism, if it is written down, IS AND SHOULD BE fair game in relation to what Mormons believe. In other words, if Smith or Young or McConkie et al said it, then it SHOULD be a reflection of the teachings and beliefs of the Mormon church. Think of it this way – if the Mormon church believes these men are “Apostles” or “Prophets”, called by God to lead the “true church” on Earth, then wouldn’t it make sense that what these men say should reflect what God also believes about the church, and what Mormons themselves should believe about the church? If that answer is “no”, then how can you consider them “Apostles” or “Prophets”? If the answer is “yes”, then you can’t say their words can’t be criticized, b/c they are being criticized b/c of the place these men hold in your church!! You can’t have both scenarios be true.

    “…if you took any topic from the Bible and held it beside information on it given in the BOM, it would be apparent that Joseph Smith did not create, steal, or “invent” the book.” (Amanda)

    OK, let’s play.

    Where was Jesus born? According to the Bible it was Bethlehem, but according to the BOM (Alma 7:10), it was Jerusalem. Different.

    At Jesus’ crucifixion, how long was it dark for? According to the Bible it was 3 hours, but according to the BOM (Helaman 14:20,27; 3 Nephi 8:3) it was 3 days. Different.

    When did the name “Christian” first come into use? According to the Bible it was approx. 40 AD (Acts 11:26), but according to the BOM (Alma 46:13,15) it was used in approx. 73 BC, over 100 years earlier. Different.

    Are we saved by grace, works or a combination of the two? According to the Bible, we are saved SOLELY by grace (Eph. 2:8-9), but according to the BOM, “it is by grace that we are saved, AFTER all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23, emphasis mine; incidentally, McConkie affirms this in Mormon Doctrine, 669-671). Different.

    Is dark skin a curse? According to the Bible, it’s not, as we’re all equal in God’s sight (Gal. 3:28), but according to the BOM, dark skin is a curse (Alma 3:6-9; 2 Nephi 5:21-24; 3 Nephi 2:14-16; if you then say that further revelation from God to a prophet means this isn’t valid, then the Bible also refutes that, b/c it says that God is not like a man who changes his mind, so that won’t work). Different.

    What do the maps in the back of most Bibles show? In most Bibles, they show the placenames, locations and areas where the Biblical references are, so you can follow along and see in modern day maps where these are. In the BOM, these maps…wait, there are no maps. Why is that? Why wouldn’t a BOM reader want to follow along in similar fashion to a Bible reader? Further, if a BOM reader DID want to follow along, can they? Please direct us to the maps for all the numerous placenames and locations mentioned in the BOM.

    We can go on and on. Amanda, I’m sorry, but it is extremely evident even by just a cursory look at the evidence that there are differences, that the Bible and the BOM most definitely DO NOT line up with each other.

  10. Amanda said

    Haven’t left yet.

    To clarify to Brad: I quoted C.S. Lewis, significantly, not because I felt he represented all of Christendom any more than you do, Brad, but because you would never question the fact that he is a Christian because he believed that principle.

    I would love to “play” with you and the Book of Mormon;nor have I any prejudices against the deaf — except when they are deaf by choice. I answered at least three of those questions you posed earlier, and play is just no fun with a partner who has ears to hear but doesn’t use them.

    I will say that the issue about a curse on black skin was limited to that time because God didn’t want the Lamanites, who were then wicked, to have the Priesthood; and He didn’t want the daughters of his people marrying those without the Priesthood–like the daughters of Adam did. Later, the Lamanites became more righteous than the Nephites, and they did join the Church of God and receive the Priesthood. The color change was to make these two groups of people not feel comfortable intermarrying–but only at that time. ON a similar plain, our God who “never changes His mind,” decided AFTER the death of His Only Begotten Son to take the gospel to the Gentiles, including Samaritans. It wasn’t a matter of His changing His mind; it was a matter of His Divine timing. Today interracial marriage is no biggie, and the Priesthood is now available to all according to God’s timing. (I answered that one before too.)

    As you can read in the Bible, circumscision was introduced as an “everlasting covenant” by God (Gen. 17:7, 10,11,13), yet when did that end? After Christ’s resurrection and after the Apostles finally got on the same page. (There is always more to learn about the God we worship–like what He means by “everlasting.”)

    Maps (now this is suspect since you know as well as I that the original books of the Bible on parchment and scrolls didn’t come with all those maps that man later added.) The record we have of the ancient Americas is the original record, and the maps are in the message. They are so good that some today feel they have found the land of Bountiful in Guatemala. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day our editions did have a map of where we think it is until it’s proven without a doubt. And we’re back to the beginning. Don’t you think it would have been appropriate to re-read our former emails before responding? If we were to continue, I would go back and read all of the one or two you wrote that I didn’t have time to resond to in full.

    I take your response to mean that you really don’t want to have a serious discussion about the Book of Mormon, and that’s not a surprise. As fun as the details are to discuss, you managed to avoid the meat or message of the book–which is centered on Christ and His doctrine. My reward for my efforts with you in this exchange will just be to go find someone who really does have genuine questions about the church and wants to know the answers badly enough to keep his or her attention focused as we discuss religion on a two way street. I don’t blame you for getting weary–I am sort of wordy!

    You’re all right, Brad. A word to the wise, though: There are other productive ways to serve the Lord aside from telling those with testimonies from God that those testimonies do not exist and that the Book of Mormon isn’t true. God can do His own work, and He will use the Bible, the stick of Judah, in doing it “as one in thine hand with the “stick of Joseph in Ephraim’s hand,” the Book of Mormon. And truly, “What God doeth, it shall be Forever!”

    OH, and I didn’t say the prophets opinions weren’t usually correct; I said that usually those with malintent twist and turn them into meaning things they weren’t intended to or try to turn them into doctrine that just isn’t held by the Church. The Adam God theory, for example, is another farce that is laughable. Anything to avoid the real issues and make a man an “offender for a word”–to make us look ridiculous…but as I said, God can do His own work.

    Later,
    Amanda

  11. EliasViking said

    I think Hugh Hewitt did a good job of explaining the qualifications of Romney. He is qualified and I believe much more so than any Liberal Democrat. Most all Liberal Democrats support Abortion and the Gay agenda. Many of them support the “barbaric Procedure” of Partial birth abortion. The Liberal Democrats right now are trying to over turn the PBA ban that was just passed weeks ago. Many of them flip flopped on the war in Iraq. Mainly because if it were to succeed Bush’s Popularity would have been very high and there chances would have been very low to get back in power. Early on in the Iraq war, there were some journalist’s in the main stream media that admitted wanting to see more of our soldiers die in Iraq because they wanted Bush and his policy to fail.
    Many Liberal Democrats are totally ignorant of what it takes to turn a nation into a Free and Lawful society. It took us many, many decades if not a Century in America to work out our freedom and stabilize our nation.
    The main problem as I see it is simple. THE DEMOCRATS WERE/ARE OUT OF POWER AND TO GET BACK THEIR POWER THEY HAVE TO MAKE BUSH AND REPUBLACANS LOOK BAD. This is why you hardly ever or never hear about the good things about Bush and what he has done since President Bush sent our troops into the Middle East. Some of the those good are a better Judicial System, Civil Liberties, Freedom for women to vote and be educated, freedom to vote. Christians were freed to worship openly according to the dictates of their conscious in Baghdad. Good things happened in the North with the Kurds who have enjoyed new prosperity, freedom and tourism. Some of the Kurds not only like President Bush they Love him for what his has done. But do you ever hear about it? No. You just hear about the body count in Baghdad, over and over and over again.
    In closing: Regarding ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and PBS – A half truth is a whole lie.

  12. Anonymous said

    Get a grip. Bush didn’t need any help to make himself look bad.

    You are doing exactly what you have been trained to do: demonize the opposition.

    Fundamentalists are truly the danger to the world.

  13. Brad said

    Amanda,

    All that is ever done is a side-stepping of the issues. You can’t deny that there are differences between the Bible and the BOM. The words are there in black and white.

    I do respect that you are fully sold out for your faith. I do believe that you know you need a Savior (as I do), and that you believe you have found Him, as I do. I’m not questioning that. Where you and I disagree (and it’s a big disagreement) is on what we’ve each found. You believe you’ve found the one true church that God re-established through Joseph Smith, and I believe I’ve found what has been around all along. You believe in a God who has a Son (Jesus), as well as the Holy Spirit, as I do. But I believe that Father, Son and Spirit are 3 separate persons of the same God, while you believe they are 3 separate gods. That is a HUGE difference between what we believe. I believe that the Bible is the only source of God-inspired Scripture that Christians have. You have 4 books you hold that way (well, at least 2, of course depending on the Bible “insofar as it’s translated correctly”; not sure how POGP and D&C are viewed as “God-inspired” or not). You believe we can become gods just like God, based on things we do here on Earth, but I believe that we have hope of going to heaven to be with God, not to become a god. You believe there is hope after death for people to change what happens to them, while I believe that after death all opportunities have passed.

    We have significant differences, Amanda; there’s no getting around that. But it doesn’t mean I hate you – on the contrary, I pray for you. I know some think that is insulting, b/c they would say they don’t need it b/c they’ve already found salvation. But from my point, you haven’t, b/c it is a salvation that doesn’t mesh with the Bible alone, Amanda.

    I would love to talk about these things with you in person, to show just how deceptive the Mormon church has been since its existence. I understand if you may not want to, and that’s OK – I can still continue to pray, right?

  14. Amanda said

    Hello, Brad,

    I’m back in town, and I just read your restatement of our differences, which I appreciate because it shows me where I have not been clear. You were correct in some areas but not in others. May I leave some additions to your understanding? Whether you accept them or not is your choice, of course. I can only tell you truth from my perspective and from the Bible and Book of Mormon as I perceive them literally. “Insofar as the Bible is interpreted correctly” for me is usually, though not in every case, the same as you might claim in that I resort to the original Greek at times.)

    “3 separate persons of the same God” vs. “3 separate gods.” (Brad)

    That would be for me, 3 separate “G”ods whose relationship is clearly spelled out in John 17:17-23, where Jesus asks that “we, (his children) might be sanctified (made Christlike) through “thy truth: thy word is truth…(v.21-23) “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”

    This seems crystal clear to me that “as Jesus is in us,” God is in Jesus (v.21), meaning not that “we” are Jesus as we become “one in Him”, but that we have access to Him through His Spirit, just as He has access to the “Father in Him” through the Spirit. 3 individuals, technically but only called one God or Godhead — in mind and purpose and attributes. Gen. 1:26 and 3:22, Luke 1:32, John 14:28, Luke 1:32,matt. 28:19, John 5:19 Luke 20:17, Acts 2:33, Acts 7:55, Acts 17:29, 1 Jn. 5:7–plus many other scriptures all make more sense to me as a result of this understanding. Very biblical, even without the Book of Mormon which is no more specific than the Bible on this fact.)

    “You believe we can become gods just like God…”(Brad)

    Not “just like God.” We do not claim to become members of a Godhead or a Trinity. Perhaps “gods” with a little g, meaning only that we are spiritual children of a Heavenly Father who happens to be God and who gave us spiritual bodies (created us spiritually in His image before we were created temporally in His image). If your father was a doctor, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for you to grow up to be a doctor. Our Father in Heaven created us in His image spiritually too, and so it is not a surprise that He has asked us to care about and be involved in the work He does–“bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of His children” by sharing the gospel and teaching each other how to live as He has instructed so that we can truly become sanctified as Jesus said He was sanctified. “When He comes, we shall be like Him…” (Heb. 2:11) “If a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Gal. 4:7), “Till we all come…unto a perfect man” (Eph. 4:13), 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.” Matt. 22:42-45 clarifies this distinction of Father and Son, and Jesus in John 10:34-35 mentions men being called “gods” in Psalms–Nor was he talking about “judges” in this instance–in the same way that we would use it today if we were to refer to this principle.

    Some think a physical body is a limiting thing, and yet Satan has no power other than to convince us to do his will so that we can accomplish his agenda through our bodies. When Jesus cast the evil spirits out of one man, they wanted to go into the body of pigs rather than to be without a body. God the Father’s body is glorious and perfected and so much more powerful than man’s, it is incomprehensible.

    “You believe there is hope after death for people to change what happens to them” (Brad)

    Not quite…we believe that those who didn’t have the opportunity to hear about or receive Jesus in this life will have that opportunity in the spirit world. Thus…1 Peter 3:18…”For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. ”

    This is talking about the rebellious souls who were killed by the flood being taught the gospel in “spirit prison” (a form of what you would call “hell” for the wicked after their death, just as the thief on the cross would be with the Savior in the “world of spirits” (the Greek translation of what we read as “paradise”) and taught the gospel after his crucifixion.
    1 Peter 4:6 says virtually the same thing: “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”
    I realize that you interpret these scriptures differently, but to me, it is consistent with the actions of a just and loving God who has said that “in his house there are many mansions” and revealed the 3 degrees of glory in these latter days. Again, a biblical interpretation although different from yours.

    We do believe that this time in our existence will determine where we will spend eternity, and even those rebellious souls in the spirit world from the days of Noah will not be able to live with God the Father and His Son in the highest kingdom after they have bowed their kness and confessed that Jesus is Lord.(Yet you know the Bible says ALL will one day bow and confess this knowledge.)

    The last thing I want to point out addresses the issue of salvation. Just as people for centuries have debated the scriptures from Paul and James over works and faith as if they were conflicting (they aren’t, of course); the Book of Mormon has scriptures that could be seen as conflicting but aren’t as well although mockers try to make them so when lining them up with the Bible. You’ve heard –and many like to quote, “… it is by grace we are saved,” after all we can do.” This indeed could sound confusing, but Mormons know that it doesn’t mean that it takes an atonement plus then our own works to save us. We put this into the context with the following BOM scriptures–ones you never see quoted in the literature you read about the church, unless you happened to read the Book of Mormon:

    “Even so I would that ye whould remember…the greatness of God, and your own nothingness…and humble yourselves even in the dapths of humility.”(Mosiah 4:11)

    “For behold, are we not all beggars?” (Mosiah 4:19)

    “I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you one moment to another–I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants. (Mosiah 2:21)

    “Wherefore, all mankind were in a lost and in a fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer.” (1 Nephi 10:6)

    “Behhold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered. (2 Nephi 2:7)

    “And save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them. (2 Nephi 9:42)

    “And it shall come to pass that the lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of man shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. (2 Nephi 12:11)

    “For I am unworthy to glory of myself.” (Mosiah 21:5)

    “And were it not for the interposition of their all-wise Creator,…they must unavoidably remain in bondage until now.” (Mosiah 29:19)

    “And now, because ye are compelled to be humble blessed are ye; for a man sometimes, if he is compelled to be humble, seeketh repentance; and now surely, whosoever repenteth shall find mercy.” (Alma 32:13)

    I could go on and on about scriptures dealing with God’s grace, but this gives you a flavor. Two more quotes are worthy to share about God and prophets according to latter-day leaders:

    Joseph Smith: “God hath not revealed any thing to Joseph, but what he will make known unto the Twelve and even the least Saint may know all things as fas as he is able to bear them.”

    Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

    I say that every member of the Church, independent and irrespective of any position that he may hold, is entitled to get revelation from the Holy Ghost (not FOR the Church but for him or herself); he is entitled to entertain angels; he is entitled to view the visions of eternity…”

    And finally, Moroni 7:37-38, 41:

    “…it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto me; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain. For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name: wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.”

    v. 41……”ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.”

    Brad, I have read too many books about the early history of the Church by those who lived through it–eye witness to the miracles which brought it forth and preserved it to be moved by any accounting you could give me in person of the history of my church from a nonmember whose mind is affected by anti-Mormon literature, but I appreciate your offer. If I could see any good coming from it, I would, you can be sure. You’re welcome to pray for me and others, however; and if you are sincere, and your relationship with God is a two way communication, our paths will eventually cross again. I have also prayed for you, and I have faith that God will lead you in His own way and time. You are in Good Hands, and I am content to leave you there.

    Amanda

  15. Brad said

    “That would be for me, 3 separate “G”ods whose relationship is clearly spelled out in John 17:17-23…This seems crystal clear to me that “as Jesus is in us,” God is in Jesus (v.21), meaning not that “we” are Jesus as we become “one in Him”, but that we have access to Him through His Spirit, just as He has access to the “Father in Him” through the Spirit. 3 individuals, technically but only called one God or Godhead — in mind and purpose and attributes. Gen. 1:26 and 3:22, Luke 1:32, John 14:28, Luke 1:32,matt. 28:19, John 5:19 Luke 20:17, Acts 2:33, Acts 7:55, Acts 17:29, 1 Jn. 5:7–plus many other scriptures all make more sense to me as a result of this understanding. Very biblical, even without the Book of Mormon which is no more specific than the Bible on this fact.” (Amanda)

    Again, Amanda, as I’ve shown before, you have to interpret the Bible in light of the ENTIRE Bible, not just specific verses, otherwise the entire Bible would be contradictory in parts. What about the following verses, which I’ve given before as evidence:

    #1 The Father is God (1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:17, Isaiah 64:8)

    #2 The Son is God (John 1:1-3; John 20:28; John 10:30; Hebrews 1:8)

    #3 The Spirit is God (Job 33:4; Job 26:13; Acts 5:3,4)

    ……….. but………….

    #4 There is only ONE God (Deut 4:35;Deut 6:4; II Sam 7:22; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 44:8; Mark 12:32; Gal 3:20; 1 Tim 2:5)

    This is in line with the ENTIRE Bible, not just specific parts. You say the Bible isn’t any more specific on this than the BOM; however, the Bible is VERY specific on this, for those who are not pre-disposed to believe a different teaching and interpret the Bible through the lens of that teaching. It is crystal clear that there is but ONE GOD in 3 PERSONS, but not different gods (capital or lowercase g, however you wish to frame it). To teach different is not simply to interpret the Bible “differently”, it is to interpret the Bible “incorrectly.”

    “Not quite…we believe that those who didn’t have the opportunity to hear about or receive Jesus in this life will have that opportunity in the spirit world. Thus…1 Peter 3:18…”For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. ”

    This is talking about the rebellious souls who were killed by the flood being taught the gospel in “spirit prison” (a form of what you would call “hell” for the wicked after their death, just as the thief on the cross would be with the Savior in the “world of spirits” (the Greek translation of what we read as “paradise”) and taught the gospel after his crucifixion.
    1 Peter 4:6 says virtually the same thing: “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”
    I realize that you interpret these scriptures differently, but to me, it is consistent with the actions of a just and loving God who has said that “in his house there are many mansions” and revealed the 3 degrees of glory in these latter days. Again, a biblical interpretation although different from yours.” (Amanda)

    Again, Amanda, more misinterpretation based upon the views of your church. You are assuming that 1 Peter 3:18 means what you say it means, but how do you know? The way to tell is does it line up with the rest of the teachings of Scripture? No, it doesn’t. The Scripture seems to say that Christ preached to someone about something, but I don’t believe, based on the text, that it was a salvation message to those in hell, but rather a victory message to them, proclaiming victory over death, Hell and the cross. A good commentary on this can be found here:

    http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/sg60-37.htm

    As to 1 Peter 4:6, notice the wording: “For for this cause WAS the gospel preached also to them that are dead…” You’re assuming this means that it was preached to them AFTER they were physically dead, but the text fits more appropriately with the gospel having been preached to them IN THE PAST, when they were physically alive, though they are NOW dead. Doesn’t hold water using your, or the LDS church’s, interpretation, with the rest of Scripture, and it must be evaluated in that light.

    Again, a “biblical” interpretation doesn’t mean that you’ve made an interpretation of a Bible verse, but that you have interpreted the verse CORRECTLY in light of the ENTIRE Bible, not just that verse. Doesn’t matter what we WANT the verse to say, or whether it fits with our VIEW of God, or not; it only matters what the verse means in the entire context of Scripture.

    “We do believe that this time in our existence will determine where we will spend eternity, and even those rebellious souls in the spirit world from the days of Noah will not be able to live with God the Father and His Son in the highest kingdom after they have bowed their kness and confessed that Jesus is Lord.(Yet you know the Bible says ALL will one day bow and confess this knowledge.)” (Amanda)

    Yes, the Bible does say all will eventually confess; James 2:19 says that “even the demons believe, and shudder.” Problem is, though they KNOW of God, and know His power, they don’t acknowledge Him as Lord. One day, at Judgment, everyone WILL know that God is what He says, and has always said, He is, but at that point, it will be too late for those who didn’t make the profession while alive. This doesn’t allow any room for anyone to come to a saving knowledge AFTER they have died. Also, look at Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” This leaves NO ROOM to say there are those who haven’t had a chance – all people, in some way revealed to them by God, have had opportunity for salvation. The key is whether they choose to accept the free gift or not.

    “The last thing I want to point out addresses the issue of salvation. Just as people for centuries have debated the scriptures from Paul and James over works and faith as if they were conflicting (they aren’t, of course); the Book of Mormon has scriptures that could be seen as conflicting but aren’t as well although mockers try to make them so when lining them up with the Bible. You’ve heard –and many like to quote, “… it is by grace we are saved,” after all we can do.” This indeed could sound confusing, but Mormons know that it doesn’t mean that it takes an atonement plus then our own works to save us.” (Amanda)

    Really? You may want to double-check with the LDS church on this one, b/c there are too many internal inconsistencies. What about Moroni 8:25 “And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins.” What brings remission of sins, according to this? Works, the fulfilling the commandments. Amanda, for as many Scriptures as you can present that say you DON’T believe in works-based salvation, I can show you just as many that show you REALLY do. Christians believe that works SHOW that a person HAS BEEN truly saved, evidenced by those good works. LDS believes that the good works are NECESSARY for salvation, that they (as well as baptism, prayer, etc…) are actually PART of what saves you, and not just faith alone. It’s a completely different concept, and one that is NOT found in Scripture.

    “…if you are sincere, and your relationship with God is a two way communication, our paths will eventually cross again.” (Amanda)

    Amanda, again, I want to make sure that you and other believers or non-believers are clear – after we die, if our beliefs remain unchanged, our paths will NOT cross, as I will not be a part of the Great White throne judgment that you will be, based upon the beliefs you currently hold. I know you don’t believe that, but based on the Bible, all evidence is to the contrary. I will continue to pray for you, and for your mind to be changed and open to the TRUE gospel, the Bible and its message alone.

  16. Anonymous said

    BRAD its brett please email me at brettmsnr@yahoo.com along with amanda im trying to get things organized for the show.thanks with the love of christ thats in me brett.

  17. moderator said

    When you folks are ready to talk to Stu about going on the air feel free to let me know via a post and I will be glad to get him involved, unless you want to go straight to him. Thanks

  18. Can’t help but notice, folks, that you put Brad’s responses and not my last response up here to reflect the nature of this blog–which is to try to tidily dismiss “Mormonism” with what would seem to be biblical explanation. Unfortunately, Brad’s sweeping statements about what ALL of the Bible says are not accurate, especially when you use the original Greek and the many other Bible verses that are dismissed in order to sustain his particular interpretation of the nature of the Godhead and salvation, works, and grace. It would take so much time and room to discuss this and the issues we’ve already supposedly addressed in a thorough manner that it would exceed the purpose and scope of this website.

    For these reasons, I will cease and desist, leaving with you my testimony as a born and bred Presbyterian (my husband was Baptist) convert to the LDS Church, that the LDS Church is not only biblical, it is Spirit–filled, and that I cannot help but wonder why, if you receive joy from your faith and doctrine, you are so busy slandering others and trying to define their faith–inaccurately, I might add. It makes me doubt the credibility of your other shows. This was not the way of the Savior of the Bible who came to give life and to give it more abundantly. He came not to judge, but to lift, educate, and edify–all of which the Latter-day Saints are committed to doing. Many of the shows broadcast on the 830 channel are uplifting, and I love them. This blog exchange, however, has only opened important questions that need to be addressed and held many misleading statements about my faith. I realize that some denominations are afraid of losing members to our missionaries, but it has been demonstrated that those who take the discussions or read the Book of Mormon, who are not converted, become more committed to their own faith. Truly, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Do not be afraid to discuss the gospel as we really teach it instead of the sensational “cool aid” spin that you substitute for your listening audience. (Yes, I’M A Fox News fan.) The only parts Brad shared that were accurate were the quotes from the LDS.org website. Stick to those, and you’ll not offend God or man.

    I wish God’s continued blessings upon the things you do that are honest and virtuous, however, and in accordance with His will.

    Amanda

  19. What does “your comment is awaiting moderation” mean, please?

    Amanda

  20. Brad said

    Moderator, where are the rest of the comments? It seems that some got lost between the transfer from the old site to the new one, and it seems to have happened on many posts!!

  21. Brad said

    Amanda, as it relates to your comments not showing up (and your feeling that it was to make sure they weren’t seen), I don’t believe that’s the case, since there are several comments, including some of mine, that are also not showing up. My guess is that some of them perhaps got “lost” in the transfer to the new site, or are maybe still being transferred. You’ll also see I asked a question as to what happened. So, chill out a little on that one 🙂

    As to ANYTHING else I have said regarding Mormonism or the Bible, it’s ALL true. I have invited you to discuss anything you wish, and each time have responded with Scripture to refute it. If you’d like to go down the pathway of examining original Greek (or Hebrew, for that matter), I’m ready, as I know about that as well. The meanings and interpretations that the LDS church gives to certain Scriptures cannot be supported, either by context or by original language, so I welcome the opportunity to discuss that with you. NOTHING concerning the Mormon church has been mis-represented. The Mormon church is itself misleading, claiming everything it does, claiming that it is the “true” church and that God revealed more to Joseph Smith in the modern age. One only has to look at the evidence, not the “feelings”, but the evidence, for both Mormonism and Christianity to see which one holds water.

    If you are finished discussing, then I am OK with that. Should you wish to continue, I am OK with that. I still challenge you to come on the show – if Mormonism was so easily supportable and defendable, then it shouldn’t be a problem, no matter the audience. It just so happens that a good bit of the audience is Christian, not Mormon, and won’t agree with you. There is MUCH more to the LDS church than just what is on their website. Mormons, for some reason, don’t like to talk about all the special ceremonies and rituals, or will claim that others just don’t “understand” them or don’t know the “true” meaning of them. That’s not true – many Christians can just see right through it for what it is: a man-made religion that is not of God, cannot be supported by proper and thorough interpretation of the Bible, and for which credible evidence that is extra-Biblical does NOT exist.

    Amanda, I continue to pray for you, as I do for all those who have been mislead by the Mormon faith. I will continue to speak to them, even though they may not be saved, so that others who may read the conversations who may not know the difference will not be mislead down a path that does not lead to God.

  22. moderator said

    Yes, unfortunately there were some issues with some of the comments being transferred when we imported everything into the new platform. We have a few people looking into it, but the outlook is not good. That’s what happens when you’re dealing with technology sometimes. We’re working on it.

  23. warrior said

    I think they got the comments issue fixed, it appears. Amanda & Brad – Go On The Air!!!

  24. Again, Brad, you talk to me as if I were a naive fifteen year old who knows nothing of God or my religion and was led blindfolded into the church. If your take on my church were true, and if your take on scriptural verses were indisputable, neither I nor anyone else would be members, and you wouldn’t be afraid of losing so many members to my church. I’m aware of all “rituals” or ceremonies that are offered in the church, and they are all simply Christ-centered, sacred covenants that we make with God. People of course wouldn’t understand them unless they had been to the temples themselves. Your smugness about your refutation of Mormon beliefs through scripture is entirely unwarranted. I could never sit you down and take the time to show you what you would need to see through scripture, primarily because you have not believed or properly responded to the indisputable scriptures I have already given you. You failed to respond to most of them at all, and I didn’t have time to do the subjects justice with all that was going on in my life. (Like my dad dying, you know.) Secondly, judging from our correspondence so far, it would be a waste of time. Thirdly, if I did, you would still deny the truth of it and never admit your error because their is always an intellectual or some way to explain things away. There is, as Solomon says, nothing new under the sun with anti-Mormons.

    I have told you many times that I am not a spokesperson for the church and have not the authority to represent the Church on the radio alone. I have access to those that could, however, try to educate the public about my religion with me; but I have not seen evidence that it would be worth anyone’s time –especially ours.

    Thanks, anyway,

    Amanda

  25. PS If it will help you folks understand why I can remain so committed and strong in testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when you feel you have done your best to show me the “errors of my ways” through the Bible, and that I must just be “stubborn,” please accept this analogy:

    It’s like I’m on a train riding to Maine. I hear the wind blowing and my hair is flying as I look out a window. I hear the roar of the train and the whistle blowing. Then Brad and others who have visited the Baptist Religious Book Store come along and tell me that not only am I not on a train, but if I am, it is not moving at all!

    Latter-day scripture tells us of men preferring to walk in darkness in the mid-day sun. I know I have come into the light. I believe you have the light of the Bible and the testimony of the Savior too–which we have in common, but please don’t ask me to turn off the brighter lights that have added so much to my life.

    Sincerely,

    Amanda

  26. Anonymous said

    “Again, Brad, you talk to me as if I were a naive fifteen year old who knows nothing of God or my religion and was led blindfolded into the church. If your take on my church were true, and if your take on scriptural verses were indisputable, neither I nor anyone else would be members, and you wouldn’t be afraid of losing so many members to my church.” (Amanda)

    I believe you know much about your religion and about the god that it follows (which you also follow). I don’t doubt that, nor do I doubt your sincerity in your beliefs. However, I do believe that you have been misled by your church. Your point that if I’m right about my take on your church and the interpretation of the Scriptures we have discussed that there would be no Mormon members, by inference, would have to mean that all people are naturally inclined to follow the truth. If that were the case, then why are there Buddhists, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, atheists, agnostics and the like? Under your argument, if I’m right about what I believe, then there would be none of them, either – but there clearly are. Just because there is absolute truth doesn’t mean all people will accept or believe it. Isn’t that free will (or “agency”, as the LDS church likes to call it)?

    “Your smugness about your refutation of Mormon beliefs through scripture is entirely unwarranted. I could never sit you down and take the time to show you what you would need to see through scripture, primarily because you have not believed or properly responded to the indisputable scriptures I have already given you.” (Amanda)

    Indisputable? Indisputable? Where? You have given nothing but misinterpretation of Scriptures in the Bible, that have either been linguistically incorrect, contextually incorrect, or both. You are correct when you say I have not believed YOUR INTERPRETATION of the Scriptures you have given me, though I believe in the Scriptures in their proper translation. None of the Scripture interpretations you have given make sense SOLELY in light of the Bible – they all require an understanding already shaped by other Mormon texts, else there is no way anyone would interpret them the way you do. The interpretations I gave are all valid solely in light of the Bible – there is no other text required. That is the difference between our religions.

    “You failed to respond to most of them at all, and I didn’t have time to do the subjects justice with all that was going on in my life. (Like my dad dying, you know.) Secondly, judging from our correspondence so far, it would be a waste of time. Thirdly, if I did, you would still deny the truth of it and never admit your error because their is always an intellectual or some way to explain things away. There is, as Solomon says, nothing new under the sun with anti-Mormons.” (Amanda)

    I responded to the majority of them, and definitely the ones that were pertinent to any discussions we have had. As I mentioned, I am truly sorry for the loss of your father. As to “denying the truth”, there is no error to admit, the interpretations I have mentioned and hold to are not erroneous, they are based on sound Biblical doctrine. And Solomon never mentioned anything about “anti-Mormons”, just so you know.

    “I have told you many times that I am not a spokesperson for the church and have not the authority to represent the Church on the radio alone. I have access to those that could, however, try to educate the public about my religion with me; but I have not seen evidence that it would be worth anyone’s time –especially ours.” (Amanda)

    Nor am I any kind of official spokesperson for any “church”. I am a Christian, on equal footing with all other Bible-believing (only) Christians, no better and no worse. The “church” doesn’t require anything special to be a spokesperson for anything – I can speak to what I know, and what I know is the truth of Christ and the gospel as given to us in the Bible. That’s another big difference between Christianity and Mormonism – the significance of men and their “positions” vs. the significance of Jesus Christ. There is nobody in Christianity who is any better than any other. For if one is a true Christian, then Billy Graham, John MacArthur or the Pope have no closer standing to God than that person, because we are all one in Christ Jesus. Christ has not given any “official” position or “spokesperson” capacity to anyone in the church. Yes, churches have pastors and deacons and elders, but they are no higher to God and if their heart is right, they would not claim to be. In your church, Hinckley, Monson or Faust should have no more “official” position than anyone else. The fact that the Mormon church has elevated certain men to high positions is further evidence of its deception.

  27. Brad said

    Sorry, the above was from me, just forgot to fill in my name, Amanda.

  28. Brad said

    “It’s like I’m on a train riding to Maine. I hear the wind blowing and my hair is flying as I look out a window. I hear the roar of the train and the whistle blowing. Then Brad and others who have visited the Baptist Religious Book Store come along and tell me that not only am I not on a train, but if I am, it is not moving at all!” (Amanda)

    That pre-supposes that you have actual evidence of being on a train. Here’s my analogy: It’s like Amanda and I are both on a train, riding through the Northeast. There’s no doubt we’re both on the train. I have a GPS that tells me we’re in New Hampshire, without question. Amanda looks at the GPS, but isn’t fully convinced that we’re in New Hampshire, especially since it’s so close to Maine. All the evidence points to the fact that we’re definitely in New Hampshire. The GPS reading, signs along the rail that say New Hampshire, and a stop along the way where we ask someone who lives there, who tells us we’re in New Hampshire. But Amanda still isn’t convinced. She sits next to a male passenger who tells her that he also believes they are in Maine, which she likes, because it affirms her belief. He says he used to have doubts as to where he was when he rode the train as well, and he tells her the best thing to do is to ignore what the GPS says, ignore the rail signs, and ignore the person who actually told her it was New Hampshire, and to just pray that the answer to where she is be revealed to her, and it will be. She does, and believes that the answer she gets is that she truly is in Maine, which the man affirms as being correct.

    You see, in this story, the train represents our search for God. The GPS represents the Bible. New Hampshire represents Christianity, and Maine represents Mormonism. The male passenger represents Joseph Smith. The rail signs represent other evidence of Christianity (archaeological, geographical, historical, etc…). The New Hampshire resident represents other Christians who witness about Jesus. The instructions from the man and the process of “praying” for the true location represents the Mormon church’s belief that one needs to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal things to you. As you can see from the above analogy, it doesn’t matter what you feel, or what other passengers on the train tell you. If you’re in New Hampshire, it doesn’t matter what your feelings are – you’re still in New Hampshire.

    “Latter-day scripture tells us of men preferring to walk in darkness in the mid-day sun. I know I have come into the light. I believe you have the light of the Bible and the testimony of the Savior too–which we have in common, but please don’t ask me to turn off the brighter lights that have added so much to my life.” (Amanda)

    I don’t put any stock at all into “latter-day scripture”, b/c it is NOT inspired by God. There is no proof for it being of God, at all. There are no brighter lights that anyone has – they are deceptions put into place by men who wished to not accept God on His terms.

    Amanda, I pray that you will realize you’re in Maine, and need to be in New Hampshire.

  29. Brad,

    It seems you never tire of telling me what I believe, what I think and what I really mean, just as you never tire of misinterpreting church beliefs and of thinking you have the only Christian interpretation of scripture. All religions–all you mentioned at any rate, have portions of truth. Only God, however, could (and did) reveal the correct interpretation of the scriptures that divide most of Christendom–even Baptists (Freewill, Temple Baptists, Four Square Baptists, Southern Baptists, etc.)Only God could, and did, restore the church as it existed in Jesus’ day and put to rest contention over his gospel.

    One thing, and perhaps only one thing, you said is noteworthy–your speculation about one Christian thinking he is better than another. NO LDS prophet or bishop or counselor thinks he is better than a ward librarian or nursery leader, but when God (not man) calls him or her to a position in the church (an unpaid position, I might add), he or she is humble enough to accept, knowing that God will sustain him or her in that calling through personal revelation. A woman who serves for 3 years as a Relief Society President over the largest worldwide woman’s organization, could easily then be released to be a teacher of Primary children in her own congregation. A bishop of a congregation, after around 5 years, might be released and called to teach 15 year old boys in Sunday School. You, on the other hand, by condemning Mormons to your version of “hell,” have already declared your superiority and your wisdom and pride as a Christian, elevating yourself in your own eyes among all God-loving and Christian people in many Christian congregations.

    Let’s say your wife goes out of town and writes you an instructional letter out of love one week. Then the following week she writes you another instuctional “love letter” about what needs to be further done in the home and with the children while she is out of town. If you leave the second letter unopened, and you act only upon the first letter’s instructions, you are likely to have some misunderstandings and make some mistakes along the way (especially if your well-meaning friends are telling you “what she really meant by that first letter, and many of them disagree with certain statements she made.”) Your results and the results of your stewardship may be lacking when she returns. God tells each of us how scripture applies to our lives through personal revelation of the Holy Ghost as we read, but only a prophet or apostle can instruct the entire Church of Jesus Christ as a body through inspiration and revelation, as well-meaning and willing as others may be to do so. It’s a matter of appointment and organization, as King Saul found out after he offered the sacrifice himself instead of waiting for the Lord’s prophet to do so. In the Lord’s church, we each have our responsibilities, and to try to do another’s job for him is an insulting encroachment. (I notice you don’t criticize Moses or Joshua or Abraham ,etc., for accepting their appointments as prophets of God and daring to carry them out with God’s support.) Yet you talk as if it were impossible for God to talk with man directly once more in the same manner that He did every time He communicated with man throughout history. I worship the God of the Bible who worked through His Son, Jesus Christ, angels and prophets, apostles and miracles–and the Holy Ghost. You don’t. Which one of us believes in the Bible?

    Amanda

  30. Brad said

    “It seems you never tire of telling me what I believe, what I think and what I really mean, just as you never tire of misinterpreting church beliefs and of thinking you have the only Christian interpretation of scripture.” (Amanda)

    I know a lot about the Mormon church, Amanda, more than you think. Mormons aren’t the only people who know about and have studied about the Mormon church. There are things that Mormons don’t even know about the Mormon church, b/c they haven’t delved deep enough to know. There is only ONE correct interpretation of Scripture – that which God intended us to understand when we properly study the Bible. 2 people can look at a single Scripture differently, but that doesn’t make them both correct – God intended 1 meaning. Remember, He is not a God of confusion, so it’s not going to be “open for interpretation” however we feel.

    “All religions–all you mentioned at any rate, have portions of truth. Only God, however, could (and did) reveal the correct interpretation of the scriptures that divide most of Christendom–even Baptists (Freewill, Temple Baptists, Four Square Baptists, Southern Baptists, etc.)Only God could, and did, restore the church as it existed in Jesus’ day and put to rest contention over his gospel.” (Amanda)

    All religions may have some good moral points to them, but ALL of them don’t contain some truth. There may be good moral teachings that many religions adhere to, but they’re not based in the Bible, they’re based on someone’s desire to have a religion. That’s not truth. God gave us the Bible – His inspired Word – for us to understand the gospel and get just a glimpse of His glory. But God did NOT give us any kind of interpretation – He didn’t give that to ANYONE. This requires diligent study of the Bible in its original languages, in context, and in conjunction with others. You have to realize, different things set different religions, or even different sects within the same religion, apart. Some things are major or doctrinal (such as the nature of God/Jesus/Holy Spirit, the understanding of the Trinity, what is required for salvation, etc…) – these are things that separate religions such as Christianity and Mormonism. Some things are minor or non-essential (such as speaking in tongues, women pastors, etc…) – these are usually things that separate sects within a religion. God didn’t send us any sort of “help” guide to interpret the Bible; He only sent the Bible. But we have the ability to study, the ability to pray for guidance, and the ability to talk to others to come to a proper understanding of what the Bible means. But just b/c someone comes to what they THINK is the correct interpretation, doesn’t mean it IS the correct interpretation. Mormons DO NOT have anything additionally provided by God in order to interpret Scripture or that establishes the “true” church. That is a lie from Joseph Smith, perpetuated by the string of successive prophets and apostles. There is simply no Biblical basis for it. At all.

    “…when God (not man) calls him or her to a position in the church (an unpaid position, I might add), he or she is humble enough to accept, knowing that God will sustain him or her in that calling through personal revelation.” (Amanda)

    Unpaid, really? That’s what most Mormons would have us believe, but it’s not completely true. The LDS Church boasts of not having a paid clergy, and many of them believe that when a man receives a salary from a particular group it compromises his integrity. Even though their leaders on the local level receive no pay for their services, this is NOT true of their top leadership. Hinckley himself has said “What of the Mormon clergy? …There is no paid or professional ministry. Thirty-nine general officers and the presidents of missions are given living allowances.” From the Encyclopedia of Mormonism comes this: “Because the Church has no professional clergy, it is administered at every level through LAY PARTICIPATION AND LEADERSHIP, and officials other than the General Authorities contribute their time and talents without remuneration. …Because the General Authorities are obliged to leave their regular employment for full-time Church service, they receive a modest living allowance provided from income on Church investments.” Ah, so they DO pay the most “important” people, those who make it their full-time job. In addition, the president is also supplied with a home. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Aug. 27, 1994, p. E1, the president of the LDS Church lives in a “downtown condominium, the official residence of church presidents.” In the Salt Lake Tribune, Dec. 8, 1988, it says “the $1.2 million condominium at 40 N. State that is home to the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be exempt from property taxes, Salt Lake County commissioners ruled Tuesday.” So, not only does the president and other “leaders” get “living expenses”, undefined so far, but the president also lives in a $1.2M home given to him that is tax-free! Since there is no accounting to the membership of church funds, Mormons are left to wonder at the distinction between “living expenses” and “salary.” They are never informed as to the amount of the “modest living allowance” given to their top leaders. In the Wall Street Journal, Nov. 9, 1983, the salary given to a Seventy (second tier of LDS General Authorities, lower than an Apostle) was reported to be $40,000. Obviously, with inflation this salary would be much higher today. If housing is factored in (as in the case of the president of the church) the salary would be quite substantial. So if a Seventy received $40k in 1983, what would the 12, or the president, receive, considering it’s now 25 years later and they are higher in tier than a Seventy? Unpaid? Not really. And I’m OK with church workers being paid – my Baptist church pays our minister well. What I don’t like is paying them extravagantly, or making the claim that all Mormons are volunteers, when in fact that is NOT the case.

    “You, on the other hand, by condemning Mormons to your version of ‘hell’, have already declared your superiority and your wisdom and pride as a Christian, elevating yourself in your own eyes among all God-loving and Christian people in many Christian congregations.” (Amanda)

    No, Amanda, I haven’t condemned anyone. But I have said where those who do not believe in Jesus Christ and salvation as depicted in the Bible will end up for their eternal destination, and that is hell; that is according to God, not according to me. That doesn’t declare my superiority, it declares my salvation. I have no pride, for I have nothing to be prideful about. I am grateful for my salvation, a free gift from God for which I don’t have to work. I am not a level “higher” than anyone, for my relationship with God is my own. But I know I have a true relationship with God and Jesus, as they are described in the Bible, and not with a different personage as shown in Mormonism.

    “Let’s say your wife goes out of town and writes you an instructional letter out of love one week. Then the following week she writes you another instuctional “love letter” about what needs to be further done in the home and with the children while she is out of town. If you leave the second letter unopened, and you act only upon the first letter’s instructions, you are likely to have some misunderstandings and make some mistakes along the way (especially if your well-meaning friends are telling you “what she really meant by that first letter, and many of them disagree with certain statements she made.”) Your results and the results of your stewardship may be lacking when she returns.” (Amanda)

    I realize you are equating the 2nd letter to Mormonism, and the 1st letter to the Bible. However, my wife is not perfect or all-knowing, while God is. He gave us everything we need as Christians to follow Him in His original Word – the Bible. There is nothing else needed. To say He did not give us everything required means He would have made a mistake, and we know that doesn’t happen, b/c that would infringe on His omnipotence and omniscience.

    “God tells each of us how scripture applies to our lives through personal revelation of the Holy Ghost as we read, but only a prophet or apostle can instruct the entire Church of Jesus Christ as a body through inspiration and revelation, as well-meaning and willing as others may be to do so.” (Amanda)

    A prophet or apostle has NO MORE KNOWLEDGE of anything than any other human on earth, as we all have equal standing before God, and we all have the same basis (the Bible) by which to understand God.

    “It’s a matter of appointment and organization, as King Saul found out after he offered the sacrifice himself instead of waiting for the Lord’s prophet to do so. In the Lord’s church, we each have our responsibilities, and to try to do another’s job for him is an insulting encroachment. (I notice you don’t criticize Moses or Joshua or Abraham ,etc., for accepting their appointments as prophets of God and daring to carry them out with God’s support.)” (Amanda)

    Of course I don’t criticize them, why would I? GOD HIMSELF told them they would be prophets, they didn’t have some appointment from someone else or they weren’t simply the oldest person in the pack (the most senior person being the successor president, in Mormon hierarchy). We have record of God speaking to them in the Bible, and we know the Bible is true. The only record we have of God speaking to Smith is Smith’s record himself, which can’t be verified by anyone. It’s a total sham, Amanda, from a confused, power-hungry 24 year old.

    “Yet you talk as if it were impossible for God to talk with man directly once more in the same manner that He did every time He communicated with man throughout history. I worship the God of the Bible who worked through His Son, Jesus Christ, angels and prophets, apostles and miracles–and the Holy Ghost. You don’t. Which one of us believes in the Bible?” (Amanda)

    I don’t believe that God talks with us like that anymore. I don’t believe for a second that God appeared to Joseph Smith. I believe Smith WANTED that to happen so bad that he said it did. God has given us His Word (the Bible) and the Holy Spirit, and that is all we need. There is no further revealed gospel or “true church” – if we believe in Jesus and God and Holy Spirit as described plainly in the Bible, and only the Bible, and put our faith in them for our salvation and not rely on our works, then ALL those who do that are part of the “church.”

    Amanda, I know you believe you do, but you do NOT worship the God of the Bible, b/c the attributes of the God you worship are DIFFERENT than the God of the Bible. The same goes for the Jesus that you worship, and the Holy Spirit that you worship. I wish it were different, but that is not a decision that I have to understand and make – it is yours to make. And I pray that you do.

  31. Brad,

    You have told me nothing new “under the sun” in any of your emails. A wealthy lay member of the church even donated a personal jet to carry President Hinckley around the world in his ministries. And your point is? I can differentiate between needs and wants–as do the brethren. The money saved by the church by not having to pay bishops, stake presidents, Relief Society Board members and presidencies, and on down to me, a Gospel Doctrine Teacher is enough to say we have “no paid ministry” or a lay clergy. By the way, fulltime people in the Educational System of the Church in Salt Lake City and in facilities maintenance around the world get a small stipend as well. No one works for the Church to get rich, however, and some would be jobless without those “jobs.” All of the Brethren prove their devotion to God all day every day through more than lip service and emails and part-time commitments, and none of their needs are “hidden.” These men (except for converts later in life) have already served two-year full-time missions for the church without pay in their youth, and often one or two or even three 18 month (or less) missions in their older age with their spouses. They have tithed all of their lives, and God has often blessed them temporally, so their tithing is significant. The Church even chooses Non Mormons to balance the checkbook of the entire church. All of the effort and service that occurs within the church is born of one thing–testimony borne of the Holy Ghost that the work is true; and converts like me are the “lifeblood” of the church.

    I truly hope that you engage in worthier pursuits someday, Brad, and that you realize you can use your life to do God’s work–even while you are apart from the “marvelous work and a wonder” that God is performing Himself today within the Church and about which your bickering and accusations will fall like drops of water and shatter ineffectually as the Church rolls forth in the latter days with Christ at the helm. Search the scriptures in which “you think you have salvation,” for they are those that testify of our Savior AND his latter-day work. You already have all the tools you need–if you believe in the contents of the Bible and in prayer.

    “Of course I don’t criticize them (OT prophets), why would I? GOD HIMSELF told them they would be prophets,” (Brad)

    You’re missing the point, Brad, and that is the point of faith. Joseph Smith, after exercising faith, was called as a prophet by the First Vision, then by an angel who instructed him in how to bring forth the Book of Mormon and later establish the Church–what greater way to call a person as a living prophet? It’s easy for you to believe that the OT prophets were indeed prophets because if you accept the Bible, you accept them automatically. If you didn’t have knowledge from a Higer Source that the Bible is true other than from historical artifacts of evidence and the book itself, you still wouldn’t know that God called these men as prophets just because it said so. The people of Old Testament times didn’t have a nice, concise Bible but a few books of it–and not even that in the beginning; nor had they been told by God that these men were prophets. They had to listen, read, ask of God (pray) and feel the witness of the Spirit of their veracity just as we do today in the Restored church. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that President Hinckley is, because I exercised faith enough to read the BOM and to ask of God in faith. I received my answer, and I place it above any knowledge I ever gained by book reading in my entire life before that time. Now that I know the Book of Mormon is of God, I can accept Lehi and Nephi, Jacob, etc. as prophets as well as the prophets of the Bible. In the next life, I can sit down with Moses and Abraham and Joseph Smith and all of those who gave so much to know and to follow their words, and I can know that we have that much in common. We exercised faith, proved the word of God through opening ourselves to receive unshakeable personal revelation, and tried to magnify the callings God gave each of us WITH HIS HELP, whether that calling be as a prophet, a nursery leader, a community leader, or a politician–it is the same, worthy of eternal life with God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ. But having been “saved” by the grace of Christ, it is not just my spiritual knowledge that He is Christ which will determine the quality of my destiny in the kingdom but how I valued my knowledge of Him and His Gospel and what I did with it in this life.

    Amanda

  32. Brad said

    Amanda, my point about the salaries for upper-level LDS leaders related to your earlier statement, as follows: “NO LDS prophet or bishop or counselor thinks he is better than a ward librarian or nursery leader, but when God (not man) calls him or her to a position in the church (an unpaid position, I might add)…” All I am saying is that it is an inaccurate statement to say unpaid for everyone, b/c that’s not true. I don’t want anyone to get the picture that the Mormon leaders are doing this solely for God without reimbursement, b/c they’re not. That’s all.

    “I truly hope that you engage in worthier pursuits someday, Brad” (Amanda)

    I think this is a worthy pursuit. I assume you do as well, since you have participated, or else you, who has repeatedly talked about this being a waste of time, would be “wasting your time.”

    “…and that you realize you can use your life to do God’s work–even while you are apart from the ‘marvelous work and a wonder’ that God is performing Himself today within the Church and about which your bickering and accusations will fall like drops of water and shatter ineffectually as the Church rolls forth in the latter days with Christ at the helm.” (Amanda)

    I praise God every day that I AM NOT a part of what you call “a marvelous work and a wonder”, for it means I am truly saved by the God of the Bible, through his Son Jesus, who was FULLY God and FULLY man at once. I have debated with you in a logical, respectful manner (as have you, for the most part), and have made no accusations that were not soundly backed up by the Bible itself. The LDS church is rolling forth, that is for sure; however, Christ of the Bible is not at the helm, for you do not worship the Christ of the Bible in the fullness of His Deity.

    “Search the scriptures in which ‘you think you have salvation,’ for they are those that testify of our Savior AND his latter-day work. You already have all the tools you need–if you believe in the contents of the Bible and in prayer.”

    The Bible testifies not a single time about anything regarding the LDS, except when it says that in the latter days there will be false teachers (of course, that would not just be Mormons, but all other religions which do not acknowledge Christ as Savior). Any ridiculous reference that the LDS church tries to use to say the Bible is speaking about the BOM (i.e. Ezekiel) can clearly be seen as desperately trying to read something into Scripture that simply does not exist, either actually or in context. And I find it amazing that you say I “already have all the tools I need…the Bible and…prayer.” Really? While I believe that most assuredly, the LDS church (including you) do not, else there would be no need for BOM, D&C, POGP, prophets, apostles, etc… I do agree that the Bible and prayer are all I need to come to Christ, most definitely. The LDS church does not.

    “You’re missing the point, Brad, and that is the point of faith. Joseph Smith, after exercising faith, was called as a prophet by the First Vision, then by an angel who instructed him in how to bring forth the Book of Mormon and later establish the Church–what greater way to call a person as a living prophet?” (Amanda)

    Sure, if that’s really what happened, which you operate under the positive assumption. But since there is NO PROOF that it even happened, NO PROOF of the golden plates, NO PROOF of the people or places in the BOM, then it is not a logical leap to NOT believe in it.

    “It’s easy for you to believe that the OT prophets were indeed prophets because if you accept the Bible, you accept them automatically. If you didn’t have knowledge from a Higer Source that the Bible is true other than from historical artifacts of evidence and the book itself, you still wouldn’t know that God called these men as prophets just because it said so.” (Amanda)

    Sure I would. If the Bible is true, then what it says is true. And while it does take faith to believe the Bible, it can be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt using means other than faith, tangible means which many people need in order to believe. So, I could believe on either basis that the Bible is true, and still come to the same conclusion that the prophets were called of God.

    “The people of Old Testament times didn’t have a nice, concise Bible but a few books of it–and not even that in the beginning; nor had they been told by God that these men were prophets. They had to listen, read, ask of God (pray) and feel the witness of the Spirit of their veracity just as we do today in the Restored church. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that President Hinckley is, because I exercised faith enough to read the BOM and to ask of God in faith.” (Amanda)

    Yes, they trusted on faith back then, moreso than we do today, I would say. But widespread cults were not the norm back then, either, and death was much more common for heresy under their laws back then, so you wouldn’t have had the LDS church existing back then, else it would have been shot down and its followers more than likely killed for their beliefs. We don’t know what others did to be comfortable with the fact that Moses, Abraham, etc… said they were prophets. So it is impossible to suppose what they did. The Holy Spirit, although in existence in OT times, was not the widespread resource back then that he is in NT times, so it is a presupposition to say they relied on the witness of the Holy Spirit. And you just proved my point. The only way you know about Joseph Smith is the BOM, for which there exists no credible evidence for its claims. The Bible says nary a word about Joseph Smith or Mormons, so it is impossible to rely on it alone to prove the Mormon viewpoint.

    Amanda, the facts haven’t changed. You can provide no proof for Mormonism, b/c it doesn’t exist, and you have not provided any on this forum. You cannot refute the Bible, b/c it is well proven and the LDS church itself acknowledges it is God-inspired (though you place limits on that, as far as it being “correctly translated”). I wish it were different, Amanda, but the truth of the Bible says that unless you accept Jesus (not just anyone’s definition, but the Bible’s clear depiction of Him) as Savior, you will NOT enter the kingdom of Heaven. It makes me sad – to see that so many are being misled, and they don’t know it. And I find it amazing that you, a Gospel Doctrine Teacher, do not feel empowered enough or feel allowed by your church to come onto the show and discuss things. It would seem that you should be well equipped enough to discuss Mormon doctrine, as a Doctrine Teacher, but I guess that’s just another one of the peculiarities of the LDS church.

    Still praying for you, though.

  33. Brad,

    For someone who claims to know and love the Bible, you are surprisingly oblivious to the messages of the parables and lessons of Jesus. He spoke of the sower who went forth to sow; some seeds fell by the way side. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up and choked them. The seeds of truth of the restored gospel are constantly choked (distorted, twisted, born false witness against) by people like you who are entrenched in the thorns of anti-Mormonism. What I have learned from my experience with you and from my Savior’s parable is that He would much prefer me to sow my seeds in even slightly more fertile ground. You have made your choice; nothing will be accomplished by my talking with you anywhere.

    I see you with some compassion because you have traveled so far down this dirty, dusty road that your heart is hardened.I tend to think that if I don’t reach out to you with truth, who will? And if I can help my Heavenly Father turn you around in any way, I am willing to try. After all,what true Christian would be willing to bear false witness against their Christian neighbors? Even so, I have always known from my own conversion that it is not myself or any missionary who does the converting but the Spirit of God, and an individual’s preparation to receive of God and Divine timing has everything to do with it. I should have learned quickly, however, that thorns and rocks just will not yield and soften enough to be turned around by my personal truth and testimony or my love for and belief in the Bible and the BOM. Only God can humble a man with such “hardening of the arteries.” As He has said in the latter days, there will come a time when the missionaries will be recalled, and He will preach His own sermons through natural consequences. Such a time has come here for me. I can only commit you to Him and continue on my joyful “trainride.”

    “The saddest words of man or men are these few words: what might have been.”

    I am empowered by the gospel. All who are honest in heart are empowered by it as well; but my seeds from now on will be saved for those who have a chance to hear His voice and give place to His Spirit in their hearts. Such a one who prays and reads the Book of Mormon can feel the Spirit of God within its pages alongside the Bible’s –if he reads with HONEST INTENT,purity of heart, and faith that God will reveal truth unto him.

    But.. by the way, the prophets are paid not “for their work for God” but for simply for their cost of living. Also, my Jesus was fully God and fully man as well, so I’m not sure what your point was there. My continuing to talk with you is not a virtue on my part. It must be simply from pride since I could sense your spiritual intent (or lack therof) from the beginning. Your

    “Yes, they trusted on faith back then, moreso than we do today, I would say. But widespread cults were not the norm back then, either.” (Brad)
    You deceive yourself here because there was a process of Hellenization occuring even then in the letters of the Apostles to the churches–and false tales and fables trying to creep into the church. (This is why without living prophets and apostles tlo keep them on track, churches cannot remain pure and free of the teachings of man. Some of your interpretations of scripture are evidence of this.)And many of us–in and out of the Church– are living by just as much faith today as was required then. I could give you so much more in the way of Bible verses and accurate history, but you have shown that to be a waste of time, so I stopped any in–depth look at scritpure quite a few emails ago. Your knowledge of Christianity and your own religious history seems about as great as your knowledge of Mormonism.

    One of the purposes of parables was to protect those who were not ready to receive. (“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”) My going into depth with any scritpural exegesis would do you no favors, Brad. It would only harden your heart more since you are committed to dig in your heels. God will help you to learn truth about this subject and His doctrine in His (and your) own time and way.

    I do appreciate the opportunity to talk about the Gospel at all. It can be addictive, but it’s only a virtue and a good addiction when some good can come to pass.

    Thanks,

    Amanda

  34. Brad said

    “For someone who claims to know and love the Bible, you are surprisingly oblivious to the messages of the parables and lessons of Jesus. He spoke of the sower who went forth to sow; some seeds fell by the way side. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up and choked them. The seeds of truth of the restored gospel are constantly choked (distorted, twisted, born false witness against) by people like you who are entrenched in the thorns of anti-Mormonism. What I have learned from my experience with you and from my Savior’s parable is that He would much prefer me to sow my seeds in even slightly more fertile ground. You have made your choice; nothing will be accomplished by my talking with you anywhere.” (Amanda)

    I’m not oblivious to it, Amanda, I just know better. Mormons have a serious issue when it comes to reading the Bible “for all it’s worth”, as Hank Hanegraaf would say. You interpret Scripture not in light of what it would have meant to those it was addressed to, but in light of what you need it to mean to fit into your worldview. Do you really think that Jesus’ parables meant what you think they do? Obviously, your answer would be yes, but you must realize that you’re interpreting Scripture through the lens of Mormonism, rather than through the lens of Scripture. Nobody who had never read the BOM would come to the same interpretation, so it is ONLY b/c of the BOM that you reach that conclusion. If there’s no basis for the BOM, then your interpretations cannot be correct. Which always leads us back to the question that you love to dodge: what evidence is there for the BOM being correct? What evidence that we can tangibly go to and say “you know what, based on these facts, it certainly appears that the BOM is a truly inspired book of Scripture?” The truth is, there is none. Mormons like to skirt around it b/c they just say “oh, well, you’re not inclined to believe anyhow, so why share?” I’m truly asking you for evidence – real, hard, tangible, proveable evidence – that the BOM is real. It exists for the Bible. Where is it for the BOM? If it’s only in your heart and mind, then you have been deceived, b/c the heart is desperately wicked, and has deceived you.

    “I see you with some compassion because you have traveled so far down this dirty, dusty road that your heart is hardened.I tend to think that if I don’t reach out to you with truth, who will? And if I can help my Heavenly Father turn you around in any way, I am willing to try.” (Amanda)

    Yep, that’s it, I’m lost 🙂 I hold firmly to Jesus Christ as my Savior, part of the trinity of God/Jesus/Holy Spirit (1 single true God in 3 Persons, as taught in Scripture), and the belief that faith in Christ alone has saved me, and I do not sway from that belief. I hold to the Bible as the inspired, infallible Word of God, and belief in it not just through faith, but also through the numerous evidences that abound for it, which nobody has ever been able to disprove. You hold to a different view of the nature of God, a different outlook on Scripture and in fact other supposedly “inspired” scriptures, and believe in them through faith only, since there is NO PROOF, either in existence or that you have been able to offer, that they are inspired by God. But I’m the one that’s lost…OK, thanks for clearing that up for all of us.

    “Such a one who prays and reads the Book of Mormon can feel the Spirit of God within its pages alongside the Bible’s –if he reads with HONEST INTENT,purity of heart, and faith that God will reveal truth unto him.” (Amanda)

    For all the readers, what this really means is to read it already having believed that it must be true, and you will then have the feeling that it’s true. Problem is, the Bible instructs us to test what we learn, not by our feelings, but through the Bible, to see if it holds to the instructions of God. This means reading it objectively first, and then checking what it teaches to the Bible to see if they mesh. If they don’t, then you don’t discard the Bible, you discard the other. And to all those reading, the BOM and the Bible DO NOT MESH with each other, so the BOM must be discarded. It’s pretty simple really, when you look at actual evidence, but remember the LDS church wants you to go on feelings, b/c those can’t be disproven.

    “But.. by the way, the prophets are paid not “for their work for God” but for simply for their cost of living.” (Amanda)

    Any idea how much they get paid, Amanda? I mean, I know housing is more expensive out west, but $1.2M for a condo? They’re getting paid for their job – it’s pretty clear. They don’t work elsewhere, so the church is their job, and they’re getting paid for it. I’m not against it – Christian churches do the same thing. What I’m against is the insistence that they’re not really getting paid for a job (which they are), and the level that they’re getting paid (which in any respect would be excessive to cover living expenses for the average person). Let’s call it what it is.

    “Also, my Jesus was fully God and fully man as well, so I’m not sure what your point was there.” (Amanda)

    Wrong. You don’t believe he was fully God, as God is God, or else you’d have a Trinitarian belief, which you don’t. You believe he was fully “a” God, but not the same as God. If you say different, then it’s Trinitarian, and if you’re Trinitarian, then you’re not Mormon.

    “You deceive yourself here because there was a process of Hellenization occuring even then in the letters of the Apostles to the churches–and false tales and fables trying to creep into the church. (This is why without living prophets and apostles tlo keep them on track, churches cannot remain pure and free of the teachings of man. Some of your interpretations of scripture are evidence of this.)” (Amanda)

    Yes, but not of Mormonism, and not as widespread as they are now, due in part to the size of the population and the makeup of the population. And you’re saying that for churches to remain pure and free of the teachings of man, we must have living prophets and apostles (which are men, right?) to lead us? So MAN leads the church to keep the church free from MAN’S teachings? Hmmm…

    “And many of us–in and out of the Church– are living by just as much faith today as was required then. I could give you so much more in the way of Bible verses and accurate history, but you have shown that to be a waste of time, so I stopped any in–depth look at scritpure quite a few emails ago. Your knowledge of Christianity and your own religious history seems about as great as your knowledge of Mormonism.” (Amanda)

    Yep, that’s it, Amanda, I’m Biblically illiterate 🙂 Sounds like sour grapes to me.

    “One of the purposes of parables was to protect those who were not ready to receive. (”He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”) My going into depth with any scritpural exegesis would do you no favors, Brad. It would only harden your heart more since you are committed to dig in your heels. God will help you to learn truth about this subject and His doctrine in His (and your) own time and way.” (Amanda)

    Yep, more Biblical illiteracy 🙂

    Amanda, please feel free to throw whatever Scripture you wish at me. I would say that since you haven’t proven the BOM to be factual or God-inspired yet, and since you believe the Bible anyway (as do I), then let’s stick to the Bible to discuss. At the point that you’ve convinced me that the BOM is true, then we can start with that book. You’ve thrown Scripture at me already, which I’ve refuted with Scripture and explanations right back. I will not say anything about your overall understanding of Scripture (as you have of mine), b/c I don’t know your overall understanding, but I can definitively say that your understanding of the Scriptures you’ve used from the Bible so far is grossly incorrect. Not sure if you came to those conclusions yourself or if someone told you the explanations, but they’re wrong, in all facets.

  35. Woops! I think I hit a nerve, Brad, and I’m sorry if my letter provoked you. For all of your responses, I can only say: so you think, but it’s just not so.

    God is the one Who proves in each man or woman’s heart that the Book of Mormon is true and of Himself.
    How? By the witness of that Spirit whose ways the Bible says are foolishness unto man until he is born of the Spirit. Once you have rejected the possibility that God will and can prove the BOM to be true personally, you’ve pretty much sunk your boat anyway. I could never even want to give you more evidence than what you can get from God Himself.

    Yet, my proof of the BOM, aside from the direct answer from God in my heart and mind, is the change that it has wrought in the hearts of myself and millions, the spiritual power and closeness to God it brings, and significantly, the peace and the greater understanding of the Bible that it brings. The knowledge of the doctrine of Christ and the wiles and ways of Satan are more proof. For one to read it and deny these things would be like singing the Star Spangled Banner and saying, “It’s not the least bit patriotic. Give me evidence that it is patriotic.” I would then have to spell out the entire history of its origin and the origin of our country. (It would take too long to convince a nonbeliever that it was patriotic.) Not to have even read or sung the Star Spangled Banner and to declare firmly, “it isn’t patriotic and you can’t prove that it is” is even more ridiculous. We have a saying in the Church that it is not the Book of Mormon that is on trial; it is each individual who reads it. I can only say, “Amen!” There is so much I could tell you, but I haven’t the time, and neither have you, and just read what I have been saying about that in former emails.

    Brad said:
    “Problem is, the Bible instructs us to test what we learn, not by our feelings, but through the Bible, to see if it holds to the instructions of God.” Really? Where in the entire Bible do you see that? Nowhere, since each book was written individually and only certain OT books could even be referred to in the NT books. The Bible does show the importance of listening to a prophet or apostle when one is on the earth, however, and the only way you can prove that one is, is through prayer. The false ones are pretty easy to spot, but to prove a real one? Well, that takes faith in God. Again, if you had been in Abraham’s shoes, you would not have lifted the knife against your son at God’s request because you wouldn’t have listened and recognized His voice or honored such an instruction as possibly being from the God you knew from the scriptures.

    Brad, if you were familiar with personal revelation, you would know that when we read the Bible, we should “apply it unto ourselves.” (This, Nephi teaches us in the BOM.) This is what I often do as I read the Bible and when I need personal instruction. Again, you cannot say my interpretations are wrong because they are personal to me. It doesn’t mean I am not aware of historical or biblical framework of their origin and what Jesus was saying to those to whom He was talking. He, however, talks to me today through those parables according to the knowledge He gives me through all of his scriptures and through my experiences. From your scriptural responses, I can only say that in my never-to-be-humble (Dr. Laura) opinion, you haven’t read the Bible “for all its worth.” In a few cases, neither has our friend Hank. That doesn’t mean I think I know it all either, but I am humble enough to ask God to teach me, and He usually does if I’m willing to read and ponder. When taking an open book test on the Bible, however, it is so much better when you have commentary from the Author, and that would be the Book of Mormon and the other standard works of the Church. I cannot fault Hank for not having that anymore than I can fault you.

    “So MAN leads the church to keep the church free from MAN’S teachings? Hmmm…” (Brad humming)

    If I’m not mistaken, when God does something, He does it Right! This is the way God always led His church–when His church WAS upon the earth. He called a living prophet and gave that prophet His words directly. Why should He forever change His ways just to suit your human expectations? When Jesus established the church upon the earth, it was perfect. It it once more perfect–not the individuals of which it consists, but in the instructions and organization and Priesthood.

    Time for bed.
    Goodnight,

    Amanda

  36. Brad said

    Yet more empty talk, backed up by absolutely nothing except your feelings. This is my point, Amanda – what evidence do you have? You say that I can’t say your interpretations are wrong b/c they’re personal to you. That’s relativism at it’s finest. Can we say that Hinduism is wrong, b/c it feels right to those who believe in it? What about Buddhism, or Islam, or atheism? Those are personal to those who believe in them. Can we say they’re wrong? Or do you believe all religions are right to those who believe in them? Just because it’s “right for you” doesn’t mean it’s absolutely right.

    So again I ask, what proof do you have for the BOM? If it’s just your feelings, you’re hanging by a thread that will eventually unravel, and by the time you know it’s unraveled, it’s too late to fix it.

  37. I think the whole point of faith is that there are things about your belief in God and Christ that can’t be “proven” to the satisfaction of the human mind. God designed it this way so that man would have to approach Him to learn. “God stands revealed or He forever remains unknown.”

    The proofs I just gave you are by far the most important truths there are. Would the Bible be any less true if you had not one artifact to prove it? What you prove or don’t prove is not a blessing to your soul unless the proof comes from God. You would just argue that it didn’t exist. If you reread all the letters I’ve written you, they do contain “evidences” of the sort you claim to want. None are indisputable because even Satan can appear as an angel, and you could explain it away–not to my satisfaction, but to yours.

    I would dearly love to further revisit all of the places we have been scripturally (it’s where I live and love, but you would not accept anything I say). This is what was happening with the Bible long before God appeared to Joseph Smith, and this is why God saw fit to bring forth the Book of Mormon to put all contention to rest. Is this not the greatest evidence in and of itself? There are no contentions within the Lord’s church over doctrine. There are not doctrinal conservatives, moderates, or liberals. We have it all before our eyes “in one hand.” I rejoice and find great peace in that fact. And the beautiful thing is, the “scriptural slums” are taken out each of us, one heart and one mind at a time. All this process requires is fertile ground to work in.

    PS When I said you knew as much about Christian history, etc. as you do about Mormonism, I really thought your reply would simply be “thank you.” If you had a sense of humor, that’s what it would have been. 😉

    Amanda

  38. Brad said

    “I think the whole point of faith is that there are things about your belief in God and Christ that can’t be “proven” to the satisfaction of the human mind. God designed it this way so that man would have to approach Him to learn.” (Amanda)

    I agree with this – there are things that cannot be proven to or understood by humans, because our minds are finite, while God is infinite. Creation, eternity, Trinity, predestination/freewill – these are things that exist, but we simply cannot wrap our minds around them. However, that does not mean that ALL things concerning God can’t be known or proven to humans, only that SOME things are that way.

    “Would the Bible be any less true if you had not one artifact to prove it? What you prove or don’t prove is not a blessing to your soul unless the proof comes from God. You would just argue that it didn’t exist. If you reread all the letters I’ve written you, they do contain “evidences” of the sort you claim to want. None are indisputable because even Satan can appear as an angel, and you could explain it away–not to my satisfaction, but to yours.” (Amanda)

    No, the Bible is true regardless of any proof. But the fact that there IS proof for it (and incidentally, none for the BOM) makes it all the easier for skeptics to wrap their minds around it. Indirectly, all proof does come from God, since God created all things. I do argue that proof for the BOM doesn’t exist, b/c it doesn’t stand the test that proof for the Bible does. Your prior emails don’t contain ANY evidences that pass the test, b/c they can all be easily disproved with a cursory knowledge of Scripture, the original languages and in the proper context, which I showed with the passages you presented already. The only reason it can’t be explained away “to your satisfaction” is b/c you cannot see past the blinders you have on from the LDS church to see that the evidence really isn’t there!

    “I would dearly love to further revisit all of the places we have been scripturally (it’s where I live and love, but you would not accept anything I say). This is what was happening with the Bible long before God appeared to Joseph Smith, and this is why God saw fit to bring forth the Book of Mormon to put all contention to rest. Is this not the greatest evidence in and of itself?” (Amanda)

    So the BOM is the tool provided by God to bring everything back in line, right? And it put all contentions to rest? If that is the case, then why doesn’t it mesh with the Bible, as I have already show it doesn’t (along with countless other people)? Was God deliberately trying to be deceptive. Your reasoning is circular – “the greatest evidence [of the BOM] in and of itself” is that it has stopped contention? Are you kidding? You would really have to see it from outside your point of view to see how ridiculous that actually sounds.

    “There are no contentions within the Lord’s church over doctrine. There are not doctrinal conservatives, moderates, or liberals. We have it all before our eyes “in one hand.” I rejoice and find great peace in that fact. And the beautiful thing is, the “scriptural slums” are taken out each of us, one heart and one mind at a time. All this process requires is fertile ground to work in.” (Amanda)

    No contentions over doctrine? Throughout the history of the LDS church, there have been disagreements and changes over your own beliefs, and your scriptures have in fact been re-written to reflect changes. You can’t pick up a copy of the BOM today that is the same as a copy of the original due to all the changes. And I’m not talking just a different translation, I’m talking different words and meanings altogether. Not true with the Bible – it says the same thing today that it did originally. Did God change his mind (like a man)? The Bible says he doesn’t do that. But He would have had to in order for the BOM to be inspired (all the versions of it). Just doesn’t line up.

    Sorry, Amanda, but you’re not convincing anyone, and we’re not relying on feelings here, but evidence. And Mormonism has none.

  39. Brad, whose emails have you been reading, anyway? Not mine, certainly. Yours is the broken record technique: say it often enough and someone is bound to believe it. True, but that “someone” isn’t a Mormon with a testimony. Horses and cement have little to do with scripture, original language, or context. One by one, arguments against contents in the Book of Mormon have been shot down, and when the Book of Mormon has been around as long as the Bible has, THEN you can talk to me about evidence. (Only a man bases so much “faith” on physical evidence as you do.)

    “why doesn’t it (the BOM) mesh with the Bible?” Over 12 million people can tell you it more than “meshes.” Why? Because it has the same author–God. In fact, anyone who has read it SERIOUSLY can tell you it does, and those who can’t admit it is of God continue to come up with wistful explanations to explain its origin since those provided thus far are just silly.

    “Throughout the history of the LDS church, there have been disagreements and changes over your own beliefs, and your scriptures have in fact been re-written to reflect changes.” (Brad)

    As the teens say today: “What are you smokin’, Brad?” 🙂
    There have been no doctrinal changes or contentions whatsoever. “Pure and delightsome” instead of “white and delightsome” is not a doctrinal change, and that’s the only one of substance that I am aware of besides “enemies” instead of “armies.” The huge majority of them are punctuation. I dunno, though, “punctuation” just might be doctrine to you. The changes were made because of printing errors, and at some point, they went back to the handwritten copy that was found and then to the first printed edition on which Joseph Smith had written corrections to printer’s errors in the margins. Again, smoke screens for your malintent toward “Mormons.” Some members I know have copies of the originals and are quite thankful to have them.

    “that does not mean that ALL things concerning God can’t be known or proven to humans, only that SOME things are that way.” (Brad)

    I agree with this. Spiritual truths can be proven and known, proven to man by God. The Book of Mormon is one of those things. So is the restored Church. So is the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith, and so is the nature of the Godhead, or Trinity, as you like to call it. There is more absolute truth to know than you might imagine, and one doesn’t have to dig up bones and buildings to receive it.

    I have to give it to you on being emphatic, Brad. Even if you don’t have the facts, you do state them emphatically. That’s admirable. One of the creeds that I too live by came from a Scottish sign that used to be over a church in Scotland:

    Whatever Thou Art: Act Well The Part

    Amanda

  40. Moderator (not Stu) said

    I really think we could have a healthy debate on the air. We could mutually agree to stay on the doctrinal issues and to not take any personal jabs at each other. Also, we could agree to not take any calls for a specific time period in order to give both sides egual time to debate. I think it would be very interesting to a lot of people, Mormons and Christians. I would argue that there are people from each faith who could learn from this.

  41. Warrior said

    Ahem…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/02/us/02religion.html

  42. To the Moderator:

    Since Mormons are Christians, they have no need to hear such a debate.

    Thank you very much for the opportunity, and I know that Stu would be civil on the show, but I have already laid out the condidtions under which I would consider appearing. Also, when someone is not listening to me or taking my beliefs seriously, I tend to get more and more sarcastic and give in to dishing out those “jabs” you speak of. Result? I have less of the Spirit of Christ–which is what theological discussions and memberships in churches are all about.

    I believe this debate is over.

    Amanda

  43. Warrior said

    I can’t speak for Brad, but my guess is that he would gladly go on a Mormon talk show with a Mormon host that had Mormon listeners…if such a show existed. The Moderator is right about this being very interesting and probably educational for Christians and Mormons who don’t know what each other believes. Sad that you guys can’t make it happen on the air. I think the Moderator is alluding to the conditions you’re referring to, Amanda.

  44. To warrior:

    I know “Mormons.” Brad couldn’t have a safer, easier format than to go on a Mormon talk show. These people are full of the love of Christ and full of charity. Unfortunately, I’ve heard quite a few so-called “Christian talk” shows on “anti-Mormon stations” (stations who teach falsehoods about the Church) who have Mormons on, and have yet to have felt the Spirit of Christ among those who sponser them and “debate” with them.

    You guys know my conditions.

    Amanda

  45. Brad said

    I believe Amanda is correct when she says the debate is over. Though an on-air debate never took place. Given Stu’s normal format, I think it is safe to say that he is willing to bend over backwards to accomodate what he can as far as Amanda’s “demands”, offering to stay on doctrinal issues and even not take calls for a while to keep the debate going. But if she doesn’t want to come on, she doesn’t want to come on.

    At the end of the day, I can rest assured that I have done everything, within my power, to try and convince Amanda of the error of her thinking and belief in the Mormon church. The rest is between her and God – not the one she believes in, but the one true God. And I can rest easier knowing that I have presented what I can, and that it was turned away. So when Judgment Day comes, when all will acknowledge Jesus as Lord and many will be disappointed and realize, too late, the error of their thinking, I know I did what I could in obedience to Scripture.

    Amanda, I do feel so sorry for you, as you have been mislead, and you have been presented with numerous evidences of it, and have continued to hold to the lie you believe in. I will pray that others will continue to minister to you and present you with the Gospel truth, that you may listen and accept it.

  46. peter said

    I don’t believe that anything would be gained by an on-air or this ongoing blog debate. As a long time Truth Talk Live listener, I learned many years ago that it is fruitless to try to convince any devout Evangelical, through a debate, that Mormonism is true, just as it would be fruitless to try to convince any devout Mormon that they aren’t Christians.

    Where I have a problem with debates such as these, both on the air or in a blog, is that so many half truths and distortions are told about the Mormon Church.

    Just look at Brads comment on the 16th, detailing a number of “proofs” against the Book of Mormon. While a wet-behind-the-ears 19 year old Mormon Missionary may not know how to respond to those questions, 30 seconds of research into Mormon Apologetics would expain the context behind them. For example, saying that the Book of Mormon is disproven by the phrase “at Jerusalem” is virtually the same argument that the Pharisees used when they complained that Jesus couldn’t be the Messiah because he came from Galilee, when everybody knows that the Mesiah would come from Bethlehem. I don’t expect anyone to adopt the Book of Mormon as scripture just because this “fallacy” is explainable, but I would expect that a knowledgeable Evangelical Christian wouldn’t reveal his/her own ignorance by using it.

    As Richard Mouw stated, “We’ve often seriously misrepresented the beliefs and practices of members of the LDS faith.” He went on to say, “It’s a terrible thing to bear false witness. … We’ve told you what you believe without first asking you.”

    To get to the question that Hugh Hewett brought up, namely should a Evangelical Christian vote for a Mormon for president, anyone has the right to vote for or against anyone for any reason. However, I hope that everyone reading recognizes that if religious litmus test can be used, so long as the religion is a “wacky cult” that there are many out there who would consider Evangelical Christianity just as offensive to their belief system as Evangelicals think about Mormonism. The entire Main Street Media thinks that Evangelicals are a bunch of wacky, snake-handling, hicks who are out to crush the Left’s “enlightened” views with a Bible in one hand and an assault rifle in the other.

    If you think having President Hillary would be good for America because she claims to be a Protestant, then go ahead and either vote for her, or abstain from voting and let her win by default, but remember, Evangelical Christians would have had no better friend in the White House than Mitt Romney.

  47. Brad said

    Does “30 seconds of research into Mormon Apologetics” explain them all? Remember, those were only a VERY FEW of the NUMEROUS differences, both doctrinally and verbally. Of course, it’s hard to figure out which version we’re looking at of the BOM – the original version or the current version (you know, since it’s “changed”, shall we say, over the years, mostly due to “new revelation”)?

    All Mormons cry that half-truths and distortions are always being told about them. Yet when presented with factual evidence from Scripture that clearly decries what they believe, they always hide behind the old “the Holy Ghost told me so” mantra. That’s great, but that’s not the Biblical test for determining truth. See Acts 17.

    Perhaps you would like to take your 30 seconds of Mormon Apologetics and apply them to all the other arguments that have appeared, not just on this thread, but also on the MUCH LONGER thread on this blog, as well.

    Amanda, must be nice to have some reinforcements here, finally 🙂

  48. peter said

    No, of course you can’t defend all of Mormonism with 30 seconds of research. But an initial 30 seconds of reasearch might show you that many of the tired old rehashed anti-mormon arguments do have logical explanations.

    Going back to the example I gave, lets imagine that you are a follow of Jesus of Nazareth living in Judea in 31 AD. And a Jewish scribe comes up to you and tells you that Jesus can’t be the Messiah because he came from Galilee and the Scriptures state that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem. You calmly explain that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and did in fact fulfill that prophecy. And then the next day, you come across the same scribe, preaching to a group of Jews about how Jesus can’t be the Messiah because he comes from Nazareth. You object, stating that you clearly showed him how Jesus did come from Bethlehem. He either ignores you, or states that he has read a book once about Jesus that shows that his Mother COULDN’T have been in Bethlehem that day because she was already 9 months pregnant and it is rediculous to think that a 9 month pregnant woman would travel to Bethlehem just to pay taxes.

    What are we to think of this scribe? Why would he keep going back to such an easily disproven argument. Is it because he really believes it, or is it because it is the easiest, quickest way to try to disuade a group who is unfamiliar with Jesus’ history.

    Thats what happens with these online and on-air debates: Two 19 year old missionaries come on the air, having been told by Stu that they could spread their message to thousands. Stu has a professional anti-mormon on the line as well who shows the missionaries that Joseph Smith couldn’t be a prophet because he prophesied that Jesus would return in 1891. A caller (me) points out that Joseph Smith never said such a thing. If you read the entire quote, instead of … just… sections.. that.. you want to read, what Joseph said was that IF he lived to be 85 he would see the Second Coming, but that he himself didn’t believe that he would. Lets leave the IF out and the second part of the quote. The professional anti-mormon, who has the quote in front of him, ignores the actual statement, ignores the context, and repeats the claim. He must be either deaf, stupid, or willfully ignorant.

    There are REAL differences between Mormonism and Evangelical Christianity. What I would love to see sometime is an discusson of why Mormons believe what they believe, not a rehash of the same, already-explained, sensational arguments that excite a crowd, but have little to do with what my faith is.

  49. Brad said

    “What are we to think of this scribe? Why would he keep going back to such an easily disproven argument. Is it because he really believes it, or is it because it is the easiest, quickest way to try to disuade a group who is unfamiliar with Jesus’ history.” (Peter)

    Well, let’s look at the Scriptures, and see what they say:

    Matthew 2:1 “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea…”

    Luke 2:4-7 “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

    Alma 7:10 “And behold, he shall be aborn of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.”

    Well, it appears we have 2 “Bethlehems” (from the Bible) and a “Jerusalem” (BOM). Now, if the Scripture clearly says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and if the scribe in your “example” kept saying otherwise to try and say Jesus couldn’t be the Messiah, I’d give him no credibility, b/c Scripture clearly says otherwise. He’d be trying to make an argument to prove his point that can’t be based on Scripture, b/c Scripture doesn’t agree with his point. But that’s exactly what I’m saying – the BOM doesn’t line up with Scripture. It clearly says Jerusalem, when it should have said Bethlehem. I’m not using this solely to prove any doctrinal issues, only to show that there are indeed differences of key facts between the Bible and BOM. If the BOM is supposed to be inspired by God, then why would it have that wrong? Why not just say Bethlehem, to insure consistency with the Bible? You can’t whisk that one away.

    “Stu has a professional anti-mormon on the line…” (Peter)

    Sorry, I just have to laugh when I read this term – “professional anti-mormon.” I envision people in long black trench coats who walk around, trying to slay as many Mormons as they can! But I guess you can call me anti-Mormon – I’m anti-anything that doesn’t hold to the Biblical view of God!

    “…as well who shows the missionaries that Joseph Smith couldn’t be a prophet because he prophesied that Jesus would return in 1891. A caller (me) points out that Joseph Smith never said such a thing. If you read the entire quote, instead of … just… sections.. that.. you want to read, what Joseph said was that IF he lived to be 85 he would see the Second Coming, but that he himself didn’t believe that he would. Lets leave the IF out and the second part of the quote. The professional anti-mormon, who has the quote in front of him, ignores the actual statement, ignores the context, and repeats the claim. He must be either deaf, stupid, or willfully ignorant.” (Peter)

    Actually, what was actually preached by Smith can’t be known, as there was no written transcript (from Smith) of his sermon that day, and all we have are notes from those who were there. So it’s hard to tell exactly what he said. Nevertheless, you can’t use this disputed piece of material to say he never gave a false prophecy, as there are literally HUNDREDS of other prophecies he gave that have not been fulfilled when they were supposed to. He was loose at the mouth, and speaking as he did about prophecy, when they weren’t fulfilled, what do you expect people to think of that? Mormons call anti-Mormons irrational, but which is the group that believes in a leader with failed and false prophecies?

    “There are REAL differences between Mormonism and Evangelical Christianity. What I would love to see sometime is an discusson of why Mormons believe what they believe, not a rehash of the same, already-explained, sensational arguments that excite a crowd, but have little to do with what my faith is.” (Peter)

    So would many others, which is why, numerous times, Amanda has been invited on the show. But we always have the same response: “it’s biased already”, “it wouldn’t do any good”, “I’m not authorized to speak about the church”, etc… Christians don’t misunderstand the Mormon faith – they just don’t buy it.

  50. peter said

    1) I don’t think I was referring to you as a professional anti-mormon. In the specific example I gave (of an actual program from a couple of years ago) Stu did have a couple of missionaries on, and he had a person on the phone line who runs an anti-mormon ministry in Utah. And I did call in to refute his point. He was going to answer me, but of course we cut to a commercial instead.

    2) I kept hoping you would take the 30 seconds to find out why the Book of Mormon has the phrase “at Jerusalem.” But since you aren’t willing to do so, in this part of the Book of Mormon, the people being preached to about Jesus lived 500 years and 4000 miles removed from the the Holy Land. Now, I know my anscestors came from England and Germany, but I don’t know the name of every village in the area. The people were asking “Will the messiah be born here where we are?” The answer was “No, he won’t be born here, he will be born at Jerusalem, which is the land of our forefathers.” In context, it is perfectly understandable that they would use a location that they could relate to. Like you, I’m not using this solely to prove any doctrinal issues, only to show that there a simple explanation of this “discrepancy.”

    I would assume that you believe in the concept of Sola Scriptura, that the Bible is complete and infallable. If so, there is no reason for you to accept any other scripture as valid. I just can’t understand why anyone knowledgable in the Scriptures would use such a weak argument to disprove the Book of Mormon.

    3) If there are, as you say, hundreds of other prophecies that [Joseph Smith] gave that have not been fulfilled, why do opponents of Mormonism always run to this one. It is easy to see from the text (if you don’t leave it out with elipses) that he wasn’t making the prophecy that the afore-mentioned anti-mormon claimed he was making. Again, I can’t understand why anyone with any knowedge of Mormonism would argue from such a weak position.

    3) “Christians don’t misunderstand the Mormon faith – they just don’t buy it” (Brad)
    Unfortunately, I don’t believe that this is true. In a recent survey of South Carolinians, 44% believe that Mormons continue to practice polygamy and 21% didn’t know. Thats 65% that misunderstand the Mormon faith.

    27 percent believe that Mormons worship Joseph Smith, and 45% don’t know. That’s 72% that misunderstand the Mormon faith.

    And 70% don’t know that Mormons do accept the Bible as scripture.

    75% didn’t know if Mormons are Christians.

    Just so you know where I stand, I accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I know that I am a sinner, and as such cannot qualify for the Kingdom of God, regardless of any acts that I perform. It is only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ that I am washed clean of my sins. I thank my Heavenly Father on my knees every day that He allowed His Son, to suffer, bleed and die for me. 75% of people may not consider that to be Christian enough for them, but I know that it is Christian enough for me.

  51. Anonymous said

    Hallelujah! My computer’s been down, and this is the best thing I’ve seen in awhile. Peter obviously knows from whence he speaks. I just want to say that as Peter clearly showed, it would take more words than I have time to write and more denials a false propoganda from Brad than I care to read to “straighten him out.” Not only that, but he has not accepted one thing that I have said–even when it was born of personal experience and clear observation for 30 years–even the stuff that should be indisputable from an eye witness. Is this the basis for an “on-air” conversation?

    Peter, I hope you will continue to shed some light in Brad’s evangelical life–if you have the heart and spirit for it. If Brad were sincere and functioning with brain AND spirit, his responses would deserve the greater light and knowledge of which they are a part. One simple reading of “Bibilical Mormonism” would make all of Brad’s so-called scriptural “evidences” disappear, but I would have to write it one chapter at a time, revisiting all the scriptures he has taken out of context, and who has time for that? I feel that it would only make him more accountable for “preaching another gospel” than that which is in the Bible–not a great blessing in preparation for that Judgment Day he speaks of.

    Also, Peter, you are fresh and evidently not “jaded” from contact with anti-Mormons. I admire your “cool.” (My computer breaking down for a few days was a great blessing.)

    You were an unexpected light on this website. Thanks–even if you write nothing else.

    Amanda

  52. Brad said

    “I don’t think I was referring to you as a professional anti-mormon. In the specific example I gave (of an actual program from a couple of years ago) Stu did have a couple of missionaries on, and he had a person on the phone line who runs an anti-mormon ministry in Utah. And I did call in to refute his point. He was going to answer me, but of course we cut to a commercial instead.” (Peter)

    That’s OK – I don’t mind being referred to as that, if that’s what Mormons wish to call me. I suppose Sandra Tanner would be labeled a professional anti-Mormon, but it’s hard to refute what she says, having spent so much time in the church, knowing its inner workings, being the great-great-granddaughter of Brigham Young, etc…

    “I kept hoping you would take the 30 seconds to find out why the Book of Mormon has the phrase ‘at Jerusalem.’ But since you aren’t willing to do so, in this part of the Book of Mormon, the people being preached to about Jesus lived 500 years and 4000 miles removed from the the Holy Land. Now, I know my anscestors came from England and Germany, but I don’t know the name of every village in the area. The people were asking ‘Will the messiah be born here where we are?’ The answer was ‘No, he won’t be born here, he will be born at Jerusalem, which is the land of our forefathers.’ In context, it is perfectly understandable that they would use a location that they could relate to. Like you, I’m not using this solely to prove any doctrinal issues, only to show that there a simple explanation of this ‘discrepancy.'” (Peter)

    Of course, to believe that the people group being preached to is correct you would have to believe that the BOM is correct, which I don’t. While I’m not saying your explanation COULDN’T be possible, what I am saying is that if the BOM is inspired, why wouldn’t it just say Bethlehem? Couldn’t it have said “Bethlehem, near Jerusalem”, to be both completely accurate while still giving a place to associate? Isn’t that equally plausible? B/c under your scenario, God isn’t being very descriptive of the place, while in the Bible He is perfectly descriptive. Doesn’t make sense. But, again, has nothing to do with doctrine, only the accuracy and inspiration of the BOM.

    “I would assume that you believe in the concept of Sola Scriptura, that the Bible is complete and infallable. If so, there is no reason for you to accept any other scripture as valid. I just can’t understand why anyone knowledgable in the Scriptures would use such a weak argument to disprove the Book of Mormon.” (Peter)

    You are correct, I do hold that the Bible is complete and infallible, and as such do not accept any other scripture as valid. And if that were the only argument available to disprove Mormonism or the BOM, you might have a point, but it’s not, there are numerous others. This is only one of them.

    “If there are, as you say, hundreds of other prophecies that [Joseph Smith] gave that have not been fulfilled, why do opponents of Mormonism always run to this one. It is easy to see from the text (if you don’t leave it out with elipses) that he wasn’t making the prophecy that the afore-mentioned anti-mormon claimed he was making. Again, I can’t understand why anyone with any knowedge of Mormonism would argue from such a weak position.” (Peter)

    They don’t always run to this one. Some do, and some have many others. Seems like your stuck on this particular example as being the only thing that non-Mormons use, when it’s not. And it’s not easy to see from the text what is being said, as I said before. There is no actual written text of exactly what Joseph Smith wrote, b/c it wasn’t written, it was said. So we only have written text of what others heard, and can’t know for certain whether that matches up exactly to what Smith meant or said. So before you so quickly dismiss it, ask yourself this: why would Smith even be talking about Christ’s second coming and giving even the notion that it may occur during any kind of specified time period, which would automatically open him up for criticism?

    “Unfortunately, I don’t believe that this is true [that Christians don’t misunderstand the Mormon faith, that they just don’t buy it]. In a recent survey of South Carolinians, 44% believe that Mormons continue to practice polygamy and 21% didn’t know. Thats 65% that misunderstand the Mormon faith.” (Peter)

    Well, Peter, let’s examine this particular poll, shall we? Here’s what the questions and responses were:

    “The sample of 600 respondents (a margin of error of ±4.1 percentage points) was read four statements (each of which is false) and asked whether they believed it was true or false:

    44% of South Carolinians believe ‘Mormons practice polygamy.’ (Polygamy was banned by the Mormon Church in 1890.) Those who did not know whether the polygamy statement was true or false constituted 21%; the total misunderstood factor: 65%

    27% believe ‘Mormons worship Joseph Smith’ and another 45% aren’t sure. (As Davis put it, ‘Mormons worship Jesus Christ. Period. We no more worship Joseph Smith than the early Christians worshipped Peter.’). The total misunderstood factor: 72%

    50% believe that ‘Mormons do not believe the Bible but have the Book of Mormon instead.’ Another 20% could not label that statement as either true or false. (Mormons embrace the Bible as holy scripture along with the Book of Mormon.). Total misunderstood factor: 70%

    25% believe ‘Mormons are not Christians’ and an additional 50% cannot say. (Mormons claim to follow original New Testament Christianity.) Total misunderstood factor: 75%

    Let’s see, this is a wide-reaching poll, with a whopping 600 people interviewed (of course, we don’t know the base from which they were drawn, age, etc…). The reader of the article is told that “each of [the four statements] is false”, so the article is either written from the bias of one who believes they are, or quoting the people who put together the poll, who also believe they are, though an examination can say different. How about polygamy? Although it was “officially” banned in 1890, there are still fundamentalist sects who still practice it, believing that it holds to the original doctrine taught by the early church. And what about once Mormons reach heaven? What then? Will there be polygamy in heaven? Could be interesting… The question on its face is misleading, b/c there ARE some sects of Mormonism that still practice it, whether the official church position says they shouldn’t or not. Probably a better question, one that we could truly have gauged meaningful answers from, is “is the official Mormon position against polygamy?” That would have given a much clearer picture than the vague question that was asked. What about worshiping Joseph Smith? While I don’t believe that he is worshiped, per se, he is held in extremely high regard, similar to that of Mary in the Catholic church, and ANY prophet’s words are viewed as being from God. Smith himself viewed himself as extremely important. And I’m not sure it’s appropriate to say that the percentage who says they’re “not sure” can be labeled as misunderstood (whether they actually do or not, based on the opinions of the pollster), b/c they are not giving their opinion, so they aren’t misunderstanding it, rather they are saying they don’t have an understanding of it. There’s a big difference.

    The Bible/BOM question is pretty vague, as well. While they acknowledge the Bible (of course, only “insofar as it’s translated correctly”), they do not hold it as the sole source of Scripture, and they don’t claim to have the BOM instead, but rather the BOM also. Neither a “true” or “false” answer is technically correct for this question, so any answer would technically have been a misunderstanding, based on what they actually believe. This would have been better separated into 2 more clear questions, such as “do Mormons acknowledge the Bible alone as Scripture” (false) and “do Mormons acknowledge the BOM as scripture” (true). It’s a totally poorly worded question. And the last question? Please. How vague can you be? You’d first have to define Christianity, for which you ask 10 people and you’ll get 12 answers! Look at the explanation provided: “Mormons CLAIM to follow original NT Christianity.” Sure, but a CLAIM isn’t good enough – either you do or you don’t, and based on the Bible, they do not adhere to doctrine clearly found in Scripture! This isn’t even a question you can ask in a true/false format, b/c too much is open to interpretation. And then to base results on those findings, and say that 75% misunderstood? Misunderstood the poorly worded question, maybe!

    And let’s look at WHO actually conducted the poll. From the article (key points I have put in CAPS): “GARY LAWRENCE, a Stanford-trained Republican pollster Davis commissioned to conduct the poll, said, ‘While some people will see 23% lining up on the pro-Mormon side and the same percentage on the anti-Mormon side and argue whether that ratio shouldn’t be more like 3:1 or 4:1, don’t ignore the 42% who admit they do not know enough about Romney’s religion to make a judgment as yet. They could be the key to the election.’ LAWRENCE, ALSO A MORMON LIKE DAVIS, painted a scenario how Romney could win the South Carolina primary. ‘The more Mitch Davis’ 527 can put people at ease about Romney’s religion – perhaps in similar ways that Kennedy reassured voters about his Catholicism in 1960 – then Romney’s positions and values, intelligence, speaking ability and other attractive traits will be more salient in their decision and should provide him a good share of that 42% who are withholding judgment about his religion.’ But Lawrence says it’s still a long way from here to there. He asked the Republicans in the sample (258) to imagine that they have decided to vote for either Rudy Giuliani or John McCain, and further to imagine that Mitt Romney were not a Mormon, and then decide whether to switch to Romney or stay with their original vote. About 9% said they would switch to Romney if he were not a Mormon. While only a hypothetical and not a perfect question in the real world, it indicates that the religion factor could be enough for Romney to lose an election if it were held today. But it also says there are voters in the state who would like to judge and vote for Romney on traits other than his religious affiliation if given enough information. DAVIS SUMMARIZES: ‘Republican Christians have rarely had a candidate whose values and lifestyle more closely mirror their own. Mitt Romney is clean and smart and sober and chaste. THERE’S JUST THIS LITTLE ISSUE OF RELIGIOUS MISUNDERSTANDING TO OVERCOME. IF WE DO OUR JOB RIGHT, THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME A CANDIDATE’S MORMONISM IS AN ISSUE.’” What? A poll showing Mormons are “misunderstood”, with ambiguous, poorly-worded questions, paid for and conducted by Mormons for the purposes of furthering a Mormon cause? I’m shocked. Could it really be true? As you can see, I’d take everything in this poll with a grain of salt. I’m not saying this is the only poll ever to be biased about it’s purpose, questions or results – Christian groups do this as well. But I know more take the results from those polls seriously than I do this one. This is WAY MORE than just a “little issue of religious misunderstanding to overcome.” There’s a lot more at stake than that.

    “Just so you know where I stand, I accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I know that I am a sinner, and as such cannot qualify for the Kingdom of God, regardless of any acts that I perform. It is only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ that I am washed clean of my sins. I thank my Heavenly Father on my knees every day that He allowed His Son, to suffer, bleed and die for me. 75% of people may not consider that to be Christian enough for them, but I know that it is Christian enough for me.” (Peter)

    What you say, on it’s face, appears to be the Christian answer to eternal life and salvation. But I’ll ask you the same questions I’ve asked other Mormons (including Amanda, who felt them mostly irrelevant so she didn’t answer them):

    1) Did God have a father Himself?

    2) If yes, did that father also have a father?

    3) Where did God originate?

    4) Are Jesus and Lucifer half-brothers?

    5) Are Jesus and God divinely equal?

    6) Is the Trinity (One God in 3 co-equal persons) a Biblical concept?

    7) Was Jesus God’s ONLY son?

    8) Is salvation based SOLELY on faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, or is ANYTHING else required?

    I would love to know your answers to these important questions, b/c the way you answer determines WHAT Jesus you are placing your faith in, and if it’s not the Jesus that is described clearly in the Bible, then placing your faith in the Jesus you do HAS NOT saved you!

  53. Brad said

    “Not only that, but [Brad] has not accepted one thing that I have said–even when it was born of personal experience and clear observation for 30 years–even the stuff that should be indisputable from an eye witness. Is this the basis for an “on-air” conversation?” (Amanda)

    No Amanda, I haven’t “taken your word for it”, which is essentially what you’re wanting me to do. Hence the basis of Mormonism – pray and hope for truth to be revealed. Don’t search it out through the Bible, wait for a feeling, then base it all on that. Amanda, I would no more take your word for it, than I would Billy Graham’s, b/c I’m not called to take someone’s word for it, I’m called, as are we all, to study the Scriptures (meaning the Bible ALONE, as it’s written in the Bible) to see if what we’re being told or if what we hear is true or not. Your “personal experience and clear observation” has no relevance to me or anyone, if what you are observing or have experienced does not line up with the Bible, which it doesn’t. And that wouldn’t be the basis for an on-air conversation, which you continue to duck. Heck, if you are all so concerned about the Mormons being “misunderstood”, as Peter’s post alludes to, then why NOT come on the air and explain yourself? But be prepared with more than just feelings and personal observations, b/c in Christianity, those should not be the basis. I’ve got you covered with Scripture, Amanda, even though you think you have the market cornered. 30 years means nothing if it’s not Biblically based.

    “If Brad were sincere and functioning with brain AND spirit, his responses would deserve the greater light and knowledge of which they are a part. One simple reading of ‘Bibilical Mormonism’ would make all of Brad’s so-called scriptural ‘evidences’ disappear, but I would have to write it one chapter at a time, revisiting all the scriptures he has taken out of context, and who has time for that? I feel that it would only make him more accountable for ‘preaching another gospel’ than that which is in the Bible–not a great blessing in preparation for that Judgment Day he speaks of.” (Amanda)

    You are free to reveal, or not reveal, whatever you wish. Amanda, your potshots don’t affect me. You haven’t shown a single Scripture that I’ve pointed out to be taken out of context – in fact, I have shown that the Scriptures YOU use are taken out of context! As to Judgment Day, you are welcome to your opinions. Either way, I’m not going to hell, right?

    “Also, Peter, you are fresh and evidently not ‘jaded’ from contact with anti-Mormons. I admire your ‘cool.’ (My computer breaking down for a few days was a great blessing.)” (Amanda)

    Ah yes, the dreaded “anti-Mormons” again, always doing their damage and “jading” the Mormons. 🙂

  54. peter said

    I think you are missing my point completely. I don’t know if it on purpose or not.

    I had written a long re-explanation of each these arguments, but have decided that it is a waste of time: If I’m expecting you to say “You’re right. Those anti-mormon websites where I got my arguments were taking it out of context. We should stop using these disproven arguments against the Book of Mormon because it makes us look uninformed,” I’ve probably got a very long wait ahead of me.

    I would refer you to a paper by Carl Mosser and Paul Owen presented at the 1997 Evangelical Theological Society meeting. These two evangelicals, who remain unconvinced of Mormon apologetics, however state: “In this battle the Mormons are fighting valiantly. And the evangelicals? It appears that we may be losing the battle and not knowing it.”

    They continue: “Our suggestions are as follows: First, evangelicals need to overcome inaccurate presuppositions about Mormonism. Second, evangelical counter-cultists need to refer LDS scholarship that is beyond their ability to rebut, to qualified persons. Third, evangelical academicians need to make Mormonism, or some aspects of it, an area of professional interest. Fourth, evangelical publishers need to cease publishing works that are uninformed, misleading or otherwise inadequate. Fifth, scholars in the evangelical community ought to collaborate in several books addressing the issues raised in this paper.”

    This is exactly the point I was trying to make. The arguments against the Book of Mormon that you made to Amanda fit exactly with what Mosser and Owens warn against. They may sound good to an uninformed audience who are excited to see you stick it to them Mormans , but to anyone who has actually read Mormon apologetics, you appear as uninformed as Bill Maher or Rosie O’Donnell appear when they argue against Christianity.

    As far as the important questions referenced above:

    1) As far as we are concerned, God is God, and has been from eternity to eternity. I wouldn’t be so bold as to presume that the way we understand time is the way that God understands time. So any discussions of what came “before” God are pretty much meaningless given our level of understanding.

    2) See queston #1.

    3) See queston #1

    4) LDS theology teaches that Jesus Christ is the Son of our Heavenly Father. Although He is fully God, and is worshippped as such, we subscribe to the pre-Nicean understanding of the Trinity. That he was created by the Father as His Son. As we are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father, we are all brothers and sisters. You can make it sound scandalous and sensational “Mormons believe that Jesus and Lucifer are Brothers!!! It’s almost like they worship Satan himself.” But it is a red-herring argument. What it really comes down to is that Mormons do not accept the post-biblical Creeds. Instead we follow what is (in our opionion) the original understanding of the Godhead.

    5)”Be ye therefore one, as I and the Father are one.” They are equal in that the Son carries out the will of the Father in all things. See #4 regarding the creeds.

    6) See # 4 & #5. (How many ways can you ask the same question?) A Godhead consisting of three equal members: The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, is a biblical concept. I think the post-biblical creeds are a serious distortion of the simple truths that Jesus taught.

    7) Yes. We are all called His children as He created our spirits, (see #4) however Jesus in the only Man who is the Son of God.

    🙂 Salvation comes to those who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, and there is nothing else we can do to to merit salvation. All of the physical acts that anyone can perform can’t redeem us from our sinful state. It took the infinite atonement of the one perfect sacrifice to cleanse us. I can’t possibly begin to understand how He took upon him the sins of the entire world.

    I think that accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior goes way beyond merely saying the “sinners prayer” at a revival meeting. It is an historical fact that Jesus’ died on a Cross. His death can atone for our sins. But it isn’t automatic for everyone in the world. (I don’t think you would be a universalist either) Unfortunatly some look at His sacrifice like the scapegoat of Leviticus 16 and simply plan on saying “Lord, Lord” at the judgement bar, “It doesn’t matter how I lived my life, he’s already been punished for me.” I think He will answer “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”

    We need to ask ourselves, “Have I been spiritual born of God, have I received His image in my countenance, have I experienced this mighty change in my heart?” To have faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior means more than saying words. You’ve got to have that change. To some, that comes early in life. Others, like the thief on the cross, experience that change just barely in time. But there has to be a change of heart. As one who has experienced that change, your accusations of “another Jesus” mean nothing to me. I know who He is. I know He loves me. I know He died for me. I know He lives today. I know He will come again. I know.

  55. Joel Rier said

    As a born-into-the-faith Mormon, I can tell you that it is a bunch of phooey.

  56. Brad, while you are busy responding to Peter’s answers–and pride will compell you to do no less (It’s okay, though–I have the same problem except when I meet someone who has “last word-itis” even more severely than I do!), I will give you some more scriptures from the Bible to refute or sweep away on question no. 7, as I said when you shot them to me, the only important one in the bunch.

    The notion that God demands nothing more of unrepentant sinners than the acceptance of a free gift may sound good to “Evangelicals” (is this a more pleasing choice than “anti-Mormons?”), but it is not supported by the Bible and will not result in salvation. The gospel teaches that men must “strive” to obey God’s commandments in order to be and remain saved. Even with John’s reassurance that His commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:3, and Christ’s promise that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt. 10:38), it is difficult for men to take up their cross, and follow Him (Matt. 10:38).

    Most Evangelicals teach that permanent salvation occurs before any obedience on the part of the believer, and is independent of such obedience. True faith, they say, will, or may (depending on whether one adopts the Lordship or the No-lordship gospel), impell the new believer to obedience, as Brad has indicated, but men do not have to obey God in order to be saved. In fact, they are usually told it is impossible to do so. (though Lordship teachers at least say they should persist in the effort.)

    Evangelicals have summarized the differences between us with this couplet: “The Mormon gospel is centered on man trying to obtain salvation through obedience. The Evangelical gospel is centered on what Jesus Christ has done for our salvation.” This, of course, misses the point we must point out: “What Jesus has “done for our salvation” is to make it and His grace available “through” obedience to Him.

    Brad, which of the two predominant forces that influence mankind has always taught that we do not need to obey God in order to get what we really want? Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden that she would not die if she partook of the forbidden fruit. (Gen. 5:5) The same advice will condemn all who seek salvation through a gospel that requires no obedience to the One who issued the first command to Adam and Eve.

    John told the early church: “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the begninng.” Thus it has ever been and will ever be that Satan is the promoter of any plan of salvation that offers the fruits of salvation while disclaiming the necessity of obeying God. Satan preached it from the beginning; it is this gospel that Paul condemned in Galatians 1:8-9 when he spoke : “..But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

    What is the gospel as defined by the Apostles and not the Protestant Reformation or the modern theologians? 1 Cor. 15:1-5 recaps: Christ died for our sins, and He rose from the dead on the third day. His death for sins made salvation from spiritual death possible, while His resurrection provided salvation from physical death. This Mormons also teach: ” The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” (Joseph Smith)

    Now, if the death and resurrection of Christ are the good news of first importance, Paul also had taught a gospel of second imortance as he told the Corinthians to “keep in memory what I have preached unto you. (1 Cor. 15:2) It is not enough just to comprehend the core of the Gospel. One must know how to be saved as a result of Chirst’s death and resurrection. (Like turning on the light switch. Peter instructed repentance and baptism on the day of Pentecost.)

    Before Jesus ever taught that He would die or rise from the dead, Jesus’ message was recorded as follows: “And after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the GOSPEL OF GOD, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kindom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)The metaphor given by Christ in Matt. 12:40, I believe, is the first time Jesus refers to His impending death, burial, and resurrection. The events in Mark 1 occurred well before those in Matt. 12. What then was the “gospel of God” the Savior referred to? Read verse 15: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

    Brad, a lot of our problems in communication come because of Evangelical theology which curtails the entirety of the Gospel message by the belief that the Gospel contains no laws nor ordiances requiring human obedience. You may point to Ephesians 3:1-6, but this only says that the Gentiles participate in “his promise in Christ by the gospel.” Galatians 5:1-6 is also used where Paul instructs the Galatians to “stand fast…in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” rather than pracitce circumcision, and Romans 1:16,17, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. …The just shall live by faith.” None of these scriptures suggest that the Gospel is without laws or ordiances.

    But, you might say, “if we add law again after being justified by Christ, then we are transgressing against God.” These misunderstandings stem from a failure to distinguish between law, in general, and “the Law of Moses,” which was fulfilled and canceled out by Christ’s Atonement. ( Heb. 7:18-19) Brad has already demonstrated such a lack of scriptural differentiation.

    Consider Paul’s warning in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”

    If “the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” had no laws and ordinances, there would be nothing to “obey,” as required by Peter in this passage. Clearly, there are laws and ordinances in the Gospel, or there would be no reason to identify the punishment that awaits those who “obey not the gospel.”

    In Hebrews, the writer explains that a new and greater “covenant” was intended to replace the Law of Moses. The term “covenant” is an ancient legal conept. It is “an agreement or promise to do or not to do a particular thing.” To covenant means “to enter into a formal agreement; to bind oneself in contract.” The nature of a covenant is such that the promises of one party are conditioned upon performance by the other party of the obligations they have promised. The use of this term in the Old and New Testaments confirms that God’s promise of salvation is conditioned upon man’s obedience to the Gospel.

    Please calm down now, Brad, and listen to this: The new covenant that the Lord promised in the OT IS the Gospel of the NT (Heb.9:11-15). Referring to that covenant, Hebrews 8:10 (quoting Jer. 31:33), promises:

    “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my “LAWS” into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:”

    This passage speaks of “laws.” If there were no laws in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there would be nothing to write into the minds and hearts of God’s people. Here are “mutual” promises: Men must have God’s laws in their minds (an intellectual understanding of the Gospel) and in their hearts (signifying a love for, and devotion to Him and His Gospel), if they expect to be His people and receive the benefits of having Him as their God.

    The fact that salvation is by grace (Eph. 2:8-9) does not negate the existence of laws and ordinances in the Gospel. Paul notes the relationship between the gift of God’s grace and the efficacy of law in Romans 3:31: “Do we then nullify the Law (or, “law”) through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.” It is certain that the Apostles never established the Law of Moses, so what Law is Paul referring to, if not the Law of the Gospel?

    If there were no laws in the Gospel, there would be no sin (Rom. 5:13). Sin is defined as the transgression of law in 1 John 3:4. If there were no sin, there would be no necessity to warn men against it. Christ and His Apostles wouldn’t have bothered to preach against sin, since there would be no such thing, and Satan’s temptations would be superfluous. It would be a waste of time to tempt believers into committing acts that are not sin (because they violate no laws). That the greatest call of the Bible–John the Baptist as well as Jesus Himself–is to repent proves unequivocally that the Gospel contains laws. Nothing in Paul’s teachings supports the Evangelical doctrine of salvation without obedience to law. The fact that no law is sufficient by itself to redeem men does not mean that they will be saved without law, and the fact that the Law of Moses was fulfilled and repealed does not mean that the Gospel has no laws. As Romans 3:31 stated, Paul “established” law.In fact, he explained to the Galatians exactly what law he established in Gal. 5:19-25. Here he reiterated all the teachings of Christ, both sins of commision (Gal. 5:19-21) and sins of omission (Gal. 5:22-25).

    Clearly, Brad, when the schoolmaster (the Law of Moses) was done away, (Gal. 3:24-25), God intended that men should “school themselves,” not play hooky for the rest of eternity! No longer burdened by the Law of Moses’ requirements–many added through the years by unrighteous “spiritual leaders,” Jesus taught that true liberty is exercised “through” law, not without it (John 8:31-32) “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
    Likewise, though America is considered a free country, it’s freedom comes through law, not in its absence.

    Ben Franklin, I believe, said, “the Constitution was made for a moral people; it is not fit for any other.” How is morality defined? In the behaviors of the people and their obedience to law. Think about college, Brad. At the university level, (comparable to the law of faith), we were freed from petty requirements of early schooling, but we were never freed from the necessity of passing tests and meeting the requirements for graduation. If men do not impose good work habits on themselves by putting the laws of God “into their minds, and writing them in their hearts,” they will fail the test of life, and miss the goal of salvation because they misunderstood and misused their liberty. You may not go to hell, as you referenced, but I have a feeling that not living with Heavenly Father and Jesus in their kingdom of eternal glory would be hell enough for you.

    I hope this letter sees the light of day since the last letter I put much effort into didn’t. (“Changes on the website”)

    And Brad…I’ve got many more scritpures from where these come from, and I think even you would have to admit their source! ( I wish you didn’t ignore parables though. They’re great, and you never responded to the one about the sheep and the goats, etc. on Judment Day and what differentiated them.)

    Amanda

  57. Please, Joel Rider, define “phooey.” Or maybe you should define “it” and what you referenced by “it.” You may have been born into the faith, but I sincerely doubt you “stayed where God planted you” or learned of it if you are referring to the Church.

  58. Brad said

    “The gospel teaches that men must ‘strive’ to obey God’s commandments in order to be and remain saved…Most Evangelicals teach that permanent salvation occurs before any obedience on the part of the believer, and is independent of such obedience…Evangelicals have summarized the differences between us with this couplet: ‘The Mormon gospel is centered on man trying to obtain salvation through obedience. The Evangelical gospel is centered on what Jesus Christ has done for our salvation.’ This, of course, misses the point we must point out: What Jesus has ‘done for our salvation’ is to make it and His grace available ‘through’ obedience to Him…Clearly, there are laws and ordinances in the Gospel, or there would be no reason to identify the punishment that awaits those who ‘obey not the gospel’…”. (Amanda)

    While I appreciate you going over your explanation of salvation by works again, I still refer to my prior comments (shown below). You have a complete misunderstanding of what Evangelicals actually believe, and also what the Bible teaches. Additionally, I would say you have a misunderstanding of what your own church teaches on the subject. From a prior post:

    “What about Moroni 8:25 ‘And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins.’ What brings remission of sins, according to this? Works, the fulfilling the commandments. Amanda, for as many Scriptures as you can present that say you DON’T believe in works-based salvation, I can show you just as many that show you REALLY do. Christians believe that works SHOW that a person HAS BEEN truly saved, evidenced by those good works. LDS believes that the good works are NECESSARY for salvation, that they (as well as baptism, prayer, etc…) are actually PART of what saves you, and not just faith alone. It’s a completely different concept, and one that is NOT found in Scripture.” Case in point. I’m not advocating anti-nomianism. Paul clearly decries that, when he says that we can’t go on sinning just b/c grace will cover it. I’m just saying, as the Bible clearly teaches, that our salvation is not conditional on our obedience to laws, but upon our true faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. Period.

    As to the rest of your comments, I have nothing else to say. You are at the point where you appear more interested in personal jabs on intelligence and study, evidenced by your repeated jabs in your posts. I don’t wish to go to that level, so I won’t respond further. You are free to feel what you wish about my knowledge, and comment as you feel appropriate, but I won’t respond to them personally.

  59. Brad said

    1) Did God have a father Himself?

    2) If yes, did that father also have a father?

    3) Where did God originate?

    4) Are Jesus and Lucifer half-brothers?

    5) Are Jesus and God divinely equal?

    6) Is the Trinity (One God in 3 co-equal persons) a Biblical concept?

    7) Was Jesus God’s ONLY son?

    Is salvation based SOLELY on faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, or is ANYTHING else required?

    “I had written a long re-explanation of each these arguments, but have decided that it is a waste of time: If I’m expecting you to say ‘You’re right. Those anti-mormon websites where I got my arguments were taking it out of context. We should stop using these disproven arguments against the Book of Mormon because it makes us look uninformed’, I’ve probably got a very long wait ahead of me.” (Peter)

    Correct, the wait will be long. And though you think that we get all these arguments solely from “anti-Mormon websites”, you ignore the possibility that people can come up with these on their own. True, I will copy and paste things from certain sites I go to, simply to save on the time of typing and writing everything. But it doesn’t mean I don’t believe it fully, or that I haven’t researched it myself. To post what I don’t believe or haven’t researched myself would be poor form, and I haven’t done that.

    “I would refer you to a paper by Carl Mosser and Paul Owen presented at the 1997 Evangelical Theological Society meeting. These two evangelicals, who remain unconvinced of Mormon apologetics, however state: ‘In this battle the Mormons are fighting valiantly. And the evangelicals? It appears that we may be losing the battle and not knowing it.’

    They continue: ‘Our suggestions are as follows: First, evangelicals need to overcome inaccurate presuppositions about Mormonism. Second, evangelical counter-cultists need to refer LDS scholarship that is beyond their ability to rebut, to qualified persons. Third, evangelical academicians need to make Mormonism, or some aspects of it, an area of professional interest. Fourth, evangelical publishers need to cease publishing works that are uninformed, misleading or otherwise inadequate. Fifth, scholars in the evangelical community ought to collaborate in several books addressing the issues raised in this paper.’

    This is exactly the point I was trying to make. The arguments against the Book of Mormon that you made to Amanda fit exactly with what Mosser and Owens warn against. They may sound good to an uninformed audience who are excited to see you stick it to them Mormans , but to anyone who has actually read Mormon apologetics, you appear as uninformed as Bill Maher or Rosie O’Donnell appear when they argue against Christianity.” (Peter)

    Nice job, Peter. But let’s also look at additional comments made by Mr. Mosser, in light of some feedback he received on their presentation. Quoting Mr. Mosser:

    “1) We say that currently evangelicals are *needlessly* losing this battle. The Mormons have an advantage only because of evangelical neglect, not because their arguments are compelling. 2) It should be obvious that we have read as much of this stuff as anyone, probably more than even most Mormons have, and we remain unconvinced. This ought to be a little troubling to the Latter-day Saint who looks to FARMS for inspiration. We have read a good chunk of their best scholarship as charitably as we can and remain unpersuaded.”

    At best, at best, you could say that perhaps the approach is bad, but you can’t use their paper to say that it “proves” anything. Mosser doesn’t believe in Mormonism (as you said, and as he alluded to), and the Mormon “advantage” is only a discredit to Evangelical effort, not a credit to Mormon validity. It hasn’t convinced them, and they were pretty open-minded. As with your statistics you quoted, another one-sided view.

    “As far as the important questions referenced above [original question in brackets]:

    1) [Did God have a father Himself?] As far as we are concerned, God is God, and has been from eternity to eternity. I wouldn’t be so bold as to presume that the way we understand time is the way that God understands time. So any discussions of what came “before” God are pretty much meaningless given our level of understanding.” (Peter)

    Yet another Mormon sidestep. It was a pretty simple yes or no question. Either you believe God had a father before Him, or you don’t. Which is it?

    “2) [If yes, did that father also have a father?] See queston #1.

    3) [Where did God originate?] See queston #1” (Peter)

    More sidestepping, just as in question #1. There are Biblical answers to these, but you are either unaware of them, or unwilling to admit them.

    “4) [Are Jesus and Lucifer half-brothers?] LDS theology teaches that Jesus Christ is the Son of our Heavenly Father. Although He is fully God, and is worshippped as such, we subscribe to the pre-Nicean understanding of the Trinity. That he was created by the Father as His Son. As we are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father, we are all brothers and sisters. You can make it sound scandalous and sensational “Mormons believe that Jesus and Lucifer are Brothers!!! It’s almost like they worship Satan himself.” But it is a red-herring argument. What it really comes down to is that Mormons do not accept the post-biblical Creeds. Instead we follow what is (in our opionion) the original understanding of the Godhead.” (Peter)

    You have too many assumptions in your answer, for which the question simply needed a yes or no. The “pre-Nicean understanding of the Trinity” was NOT that He was CREATED by the Father. For that to be true, everyone before the Nicean creed would have had to have believed that, and the Bible doesn’t teach that, erego the writers of the Bible didn’t believe it, erego there were beliefs PRIOR to the Nicean creed that were completely Trinitarian. You also assume that we are ALL “spirit children” of God, which is a Mormon teaching, not a Christian teaching. We’re not all brothers and sisters. You’re not my brother, either physically or spiritually, based on our beliefs. Jesus and Satan also believe differently (I hope you don’t dispute this one), so it would be hard for them to be spiritual brothers, as well, much less physical brothers, which is absurd. As to creeds, I could care less about them. Anyone who bases their faith on creeds, rather than the Bible, is misplacing their faith, anyway.

    “5) [Are Jesus and God divinely equal?] ‘Be ye therefore one, as I and the Father are one.” They are equal in that the Son carries out the will of the Father in all things. See #4 regarding the creeds.” (Peter)

    Gee, are we seeing a pattern of avoidance here? Another simple yes and no question. In fact all the questions, except #3, have been. Simple. What your answer really says is no, b/c the Son is subject to the Father’s will. So you DON’T believe that they are, based on your answer.

    “6) [Is the Trinity (one God in 3 co-equal persons) a Biblical concept?] See # 4 & #5. (How many ways can you ask the same question?) A Godhead consisting of three equal members: The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, is a biblical concept. I think the post-biblical creeds are a serious distortion of the simple truths that Jesus taught.” (Peter)

    So is your answer yes, or no? Simple. These aren’t trick questions, they just have simple answers.

    “7) [Was Jesus God’s ONLY Son?] Yes. We are all called His children as He created our spirits, (see #4) however Jesus in the only Man who is the Son of God.” (Peter)

    Let me rephrase. Do you believe that Jesus is God’s ONLY PHYSICAL Son, that he had no other, and will never have any other, PHYSICAL sons?

    ” [Is salvation based SOLELY on faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, or is ANYTHING else required?] Salvation comes to those who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, and there is nothing else we can do to to merit salvation. All of the physical acts that anyone can perform can’t redeem us from our sinful state. It took the infinite atonement of the one perfect sacrifice to cleanse us. I can’t possibly begin to understand how He took upon him the sins of the entire world. I think that accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior goes way beyond merely saying the “sinners prayer” at a revival meeting. It is an historical fact that Jesus’ died on a Cross. His death can atone for our sins. But it isn’t automatic for everyone in the world. (I don’t think you would be a universalist either) Unfortunatly some look at His sacrifice like the scapegoat of Leviticus 16 and simply plan on saying “Lord, Lord” at the judgement bar, “It doesn’t matter how I lived my life, he’s already been punished for me.” I think He will answer “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” We need to ask ourselves, “Have I been spiritual born of God, have I received His image in my countenance, have I experienced this mighty change in my heart?” To have faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior means more than saying words. You’ve got to have that change. To some, that comes early in life. Others, like the thief on the cross, experience that change just barely in time. But there has to be a change of heart. As one who has experienced that change, your accusations of “another Jesus” mean nothing to me. I know who He is. I know He loves me. I know He died for me. I know He lives today. I know He will come again. I know.” (Peter)

    So is your answer yes, or no? It’s not a hard question, but you have to decide one or the other, and you’re not, you’re putting conditions on it (along with Amanda, and the rest of the Mormon church).

    Just be honest and answer the questions.

  60. Your last comment is the wisest thing I’ve read that you have said, Brad, and I support it whole-heartedly. My feelings toward you and your responses have dramatically gone downhill, and while I’m not proud of that, it is a natural consequence which I should have been able to bring under control. Thank you for helping me to help myself!

    I will simply restate the “Mormon” position on works and faith as I have many times, and it is the position that Jesus himself took:

    One cannot have faith in the Savior without having faith in the Savior’s words and commandments. We cannnot have it any other way and be true disciples of Christ. Even the word “disciple” means “a FOLLOWER of any teacher or school.” This is this kind of faith that turns on the “switch” of salvation, no matter how strongly we may wish or claim otherwise. While we qualify ourselves for salvation through obedience, we know that without Jesus’perfect and complete Atonement, none of that would matter. We have an entire Bible that testifies to this effect, both Old and New Testaments, as well as the Book of Mormon.

    Man cannot dictate to God the conditions of his salvation, and I believe everything that Jesus said without picking and choosing among His commandments. If we obey the two great laws of our Savior–to love God and to love our fellowman (I’ll always be working on that one, as you notice), all the others will fall into place through God’s grace as He empowers us with His Spirit in the process of what he calls “overcoming.” Baptism opens the gateway to salvation according to the words and actions of Jesus and His Apostles, and man cannot enter into the celebration of the bridegroom in any other way when God’s authority is upon the earth. Those who are converted to Christ and are His true disciples here without this knowledge (of which there are many) will eventually receive all of the blessings they would have had if they had known of this source of authority upon the earth.

    Brad, thank you for not responding to all of the scriptures above although I would love to have heard your continued rebuttle against the words of the Bible. (It was the wise thing to do.) I apologize for my shortness of patience and recognize my need for repentance. Fortunately, I have a Savior who will forgive my shortcomings while and yet expecting me to do much better in the future. I also know He will bless you for valiancy while continuing to give you opportunities to accept the “Mormons'” right to define their own religion.

    Amanda

  61. Brad said

    “While we qualify ourselves for salvation through obedience, we know that without Jesus’perfect and complete Atonement, none of that would matter. We have an entire Bible that testifies to this effect, both Old and New Testaments, as well as the Book of Mormon.” (Amanda)

    Our obedience “qualifies” us for salvation? OK.

    “Baptism opens the gateway to salvation according to the words and actions of Jesus and His Apostles, and man cannot enter into the celebration of the bridegroom in any other way when God’s authority is upon the earth.” (Amanda)

    So baptism is also required? OK. Amanda, these are the beliefs that are sending an entire Mormon population to hell, for they believe that their faith is not enough. There’s a saying that goes: “If your FAITH hasn’t saved you, then your faith HASN’T saved you.” And that is true, not just for Mormons, but for any and all works-based religions. It is a truly unfortunate misinterpretation of Scripture.

    TO ALL CHRISTIANS OR THOSE WHO MIGHT OTHERWISE BE UNDECIDED WHO READ THIS: PLEASE DO NOT BUY INTO THE LIES OF THE MORMON CHURCH!! DO MORE THAN JUST WAIT FOR THE FEELING THAT WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD IS TRUE! EXAMINE THE BIBLE, WHICH IS WHAT WE ARE COMMANDED TO DO, TO VERIFY THE ACCURACY. NO OTHER BOOK IS NEEDED, NOR HAS GOD INSPIRED ANY OTHER BOOK!! IT SIMPLY IS NOT TRUE!!

  62. peter said

    Final Post

    “So is your answer yes, or no? It’s not a hard question,” (Brad)

    If I answer yes, does that mean that I agree with all of the underlying suppositions that come with that question? If I answer No, does that mean that I disagree with them all?

    Example: Question #4 It is often touted by those opposed to the LDS Church that Christians believe in the Jesus of the Bible, and Mormons believe in the Jesus who is the spirit brother of Satan. It honestly had never crossed my mind before that the phrase “spirit brother” would refer to individuals that believe similarly. I thought you understood enough of LDS theology and terminology to realize that when we say that we are spirit children of our Heavenly Father, it is a family relationship, not one of common motives or desires. So how could I possibly answer the question accurately? From a family realationship, the answer is YES. From a like-mindedness perspective, the answer is, of course, NO.

    I’m not sidestepping questions. WhatI don’t know, I don’t know. We know NOTHING of the nature of God before “In the beginning”. So questions 1-3 can’t be answered with anything other than “I don’t know.”
    Question 4, you are using a different definition of “brother” than I would use. Using your definition: No, they would not be brothers. Satan is the antithesis of all that God and Jesus stand for.

    Questions 5&6. Clearly we disagree on the Trinity. So did enough Christians in the 4th century that they had to convene several councils to debate and vote on it. (Were they divinely inspired to reach the right conclusion?) No side stepping here, just simple disagreement.

    Question 7 (rephrased by Brad) Yes, Jesus is the only physical son of our Heavenly Father.

    As for the final question, I expressed my testimony of the Atonement. I know that my Faith in Jesus Christ is sufficient for my salvation.


    Brad,
    I have actually enjoyed our conversation here. It seemed quite cordial until you referred to us as liars. And in spite of your assertion that I am not your brother, physically or spiritually, I hope that you will someday recognize all of God’s children as your brothers and sisters, as I consider you to be mine.

    Thank you for the time you spent on your replies.

    Peter

  63. Brad said

    “If I answer yes, does that mean that I agree with all of the underlying suppositions that come with that question? If I answer No, does that mean that I disagree with them all?” (Peter)

    It’s a simple question, Peter; they’re ALL simple, and as I explained before, ALL can be answered “yes” or “no”, except for the question about where Jesus originated. You’re making it too difficult, and trying to find a way to avoid answering the question. It’s a simple question, that just needs a simple answer.

    “Example: Question #4 [Are Jesus and Lucifer half-brothers?] It is often touted by those opposed to the LDS Church that Christians believe in the Jesus of the Bible, and Mormons believe in the Jesus who is the spirit brother of Satan. It honestly had never crossed my mind before that the phrase “spirit brother” would refer to individuals that believe similarly. I thought you understood enough of LDS theology and terminology to realize that when we say that we are spirit children of our Heavenly Father, it is a family relationship, not one of common motives or desires. So how could I possibly answer the question accurately? From a family realationship, the answer is YES. From a like-mindedness perspective, the answer is, of course, NO.” (Peter)

    Being a half-brother has nothing to do with “like-mindedness”, it has to do with family relations, so I didn’t misunderstand the question, and I do understand LDS theology and terminology enough to know that, thank you. If I were to ask if Greg Brady and Marcia Brady were half-brother and half-sister, the answer would have nothing to do with whether they were like-minded, but whether the family relationship existed that would make them half-siblings. And as you say above, your answer is “yes”, that from a family relationship, Jesus and Lucifer are half-brothers. Of course, at least you answered, others on here were unwilling to do even that. By definition, that means you believe that Jesus and Lucifer came from a common father (God). This is found NOWHERE in the Bible. I’d love for you to show me the basis for this belief.

    “I’m not sidestepping questions. WhatI don’t know, I don’t know. We know NOTHING of the nature of God before “In the beginning”. So questions 1-3 can’t be answered with anything other than “I don’t know.” (Peter)

    Really? We know that God doesn’t change, so His nature would be the same before the creation as it was after the creation. Questions 1-3 can be answered definitively by the Bible – look at Isaiah 45, the whole chapter just screams that there is ONLY ONE GOD, that there are NO OTHERS! How can that not be clear? That makes the answers to #1-3 as “No”, “No” and “He always existed; He never wasn’t.”

    “Question 4, you are using a different definition of “brother” than I would use. Using your definition: No, they would not be brothers. Satan is the antithesis of all that God and Jesus stand for.” (Peter)

    Which is it Peter – your answer “no” above, or the earlier answer “yes”? Just curious.

    “Questions 5&6. Clearly we disagree on the Trinity. So did enough Christians in the 4th century that they had to convene several councils to debate and vote on it. (Were they divinely inspired to reach the right conclusion?) No side stepping here, just simple disagreement.” (Peter)

    But my belief in the trinity is based in the Bible, not in any council decision. If I were basing it solely on any “council”, and you were able to show that to not be reliable, you would have a point. But I could care less whether a council declared the Trinity or a 6-faced monster – I’m not following a council, I’m following the Bible. And the Bible clearly depicts a Trinity, God in 3 separate, coequal, co-eternal, co-powerful persons. We do disagree, you are right – I follow the Biblical depiction of the Trinity, and Mormonism does not.

    “Question 7 (rephrased by Brad) Yes, Jesus is the only physical son of our Heavenly Father. (Peter)

    Well, we have one right, it might appear.

    “As for the final question, I expressed my testimony of the Atonement. I know that my Faith in Jesus Christ is sufficient for my salvation.” (Peter)

    But you never answered the question. I’m not asking you about your “testimony of the Atonement”, I asked you whether you believe salvation is based SOLELY on your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, or whether ANYTHING else was required. It is a simple question, again, one that can be answered “yes” or “no” – I’m just asking you what you believe.

    “I have actually enjoyed our conversation here. It seemed quite cordial until you referred to us as liars.” (Peter)

    Actually, I refered to the lies of the Mormon church, not to you as a liar. I believe that you have been misled by others within Mormonism, who themselves have been misled. I don’t believe (at least I hope) that you personally lied to me, I believe you told me what you truly believe, based on what you know and have learned in the Mormon church. I just believe that you have been misled, and now mislead others, based upon misinformation.

    “And in spite of your assertion that I am not your brother, physically or spiritually, I hope that you will someday recognize all of God’s children as your brothers and sisters, as I consider you to be mine.” (Peter)

    You can consider me anything you wish, according to what you believe. However, according to what I know to be true, and based on the Bible, you are neither my physical nor spiritual brother. I pray that you were.

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