Is the LDS Gospel false?

Mormons speak the same vocabulary as Christians; but for many words, they use a different dictionary. One of those words is “Gospel” (as in “the Gospel of Christ”). It wasn’t until after I became a Christian that I realized that the word “gospel” has a different meaning in Christianity. This enticed me to dig into God’s Word so I could learn the true meaning.

To begin learning God’s truths, I did many intensive Bible studies by starting with what I was familiar with: my LDS KJV Dictionary and Topical Guide. Then I compared my findings with a Christian Dictionary and Topical guide. I was surprised to find that the definition of “Gospel” in both the LDS and Christian dictionaries means “the good news”. But the stark difference was found when I compared what the “good news” was according to each gospel!

What is the “good news” of the Gospel of Christ according to Mormonism? The LDS dictionary states: “The word gospel means good news. The good news is that Jesus Christ has made a perfect atonement for mankind that will redeem all mankind from the grave and reward each individual according to his/her works.” This definition is explained further in the Book of Mormon, which, according to Mormonism, contains the fulness of the Gospel:

“Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil” (3 Nephi 27)

According to the Christ found in the Book of Mormon, he came into the world to be lifted up on the cross; so that every person could be judged by their works! The “good news” of the LDS gospel is that once every person receives the free gift of resurrection, they will have the privilege of standing before God on Judgment Day. The “good news” of the LDS gospel is that the outcome of this judgment determines each person’s eternal destination. The Third Article of faith reads:

“We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” The “good news” of the LDS Gospel is that each individual person can be saved by obedience to its laws and ordinances.

Many Christians are flabbergasted to hear this definition. They can’t understand how anyone could possibly think that this would be good news. On the contrary, they see the doctrine of man being judged as he deserves as “horrible” news! Christians know that no one will be found worthy enough to live eternally with Heavenly Father. They see clearly in God’s Word that every person falls short of doing all that God commands.

But the reason Mormons aren’t concerned, is because LDS prophets have changed God’s Word! They have lowered God’s demands and changed His stated consequences for disobedience!!! They claim that the obedience required does not have to be perfect—even though Christ declared differently (Matthew 5:48). They claim that all that is necessary to gain eternal life is our best effort, even though there is not one single Bible passage that supports this! They claim that on Judgment Day each person will be graded upon a curve, even though Christ taught that each and every any sin is reprehensible to God; each and every sin receives the exact same consequence.

LDS leaders falsely claim that only a handful of people will spend eternity in the same domain as Satan. They teach that even those who never come to faith in Jesus will spend eternity in a glorious Kingdom of Heaven, but the Bible claims they “shall be punished with everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).

What is the “good news” of the Gospel of Christ according to Christianity and the Bible? Ungers—a Christian Bible dictionary gives this definition for the word “gospel”:

“The good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as provided by our Lord and preached by His disciples (1 Cor. 15:1-4). The gospel then is full and free deliverance from sin on the basis of simple faith in Jesus Christ, the vicarious sin-Bearer (Eph. 2:8-10).”

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 testifies: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

How does this definition differ from the one found in Mormonism? The difference is seen in what Christ’s gospel accomplished for us and why. The Bible claims that the gospel “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16). Christ’s Gospel saves all who believe in it! The reason we are saved is because Christ’s blood forgave all of our sins, which reconciled us to our Heavenly Father. In fact, as long as we do not move away from the hope of the gospel, we are “holy and unblameable” in God’s sight!! (Colossians 1:20-23.) We are declared perfect in God’s sight because Jesus was perfectly obedient for us, in our place! We obey Christ’s gospel simply by believing in it (Romans 10: 16-17).

“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. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9)

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198 Comments

  1. geoff456 said,

    July 23, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    LDSW,

    Just who has lowered standards??? As cited by KO, she claims that anyone that is ONCE saved is STILL saved, even if they stray.

    Seems like IF that is indeed what you believe, then the standards do not exist!

    Hey, and wouldn’t the church that ACTUALLY requires someone to DO something have the HIGHEST standard??

    ~Geoff

  2. rblandjr said,

    July 23, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    I have found it to be very difficult to get them to state clearly what they believe. I find myself asking a lot of questions and their answers are not always clear. I have several LDS resources that I try to use when I am conversing with my daughter-in- law. She loves to discuss this subject and has her on Blog, Mormon postum. I appreciate your site.

  3. osbornekristen said,

    July 23, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    In reference to:
    “As cited by KO, she claims that anyone that is ONCE saved is STILL saved, even if they stray.”

    Since LDS doctrine teaches that all men are “saved” because of the atonement….then how can one “lose his salvation” if he never knew he had it anyway? I mean, this doctrine does teach that men never have to accept Christ and follow Him to receive “salvation”……so how could one’s waywardness cause him to lose it if they have been wayward all along? This makes No sense at all. I guess this is why you keep referring to the whole ignorance is bliss thing…..which is crazy……what is the point of missionaries? Still, LDS doctrine teaches that even those who reject Christ on earth will still be “saved” but will just be in a lower kingdom……unless they come to their senses and accept Mormonism in the afterlife…….right?

    So, a person who is saved but becomes a prodigal….say in college….would lose his salvation?……while the college student who was never saved would be a-okay just dying having been wayward all along? This is not what the Bible teaches.

    What is your take on the story of the prodigal son in Luke? Why did the FAther run out to meet him and throw him a party. Why did Jesus tell of the brother being upset that his brother received such undeserved blessings upon his return…..yet the Father says that this is right? Why was the wayward son not rejected or put in a lower position in his Father’s house when he returned after his unrighteous life style? Why would Jesus tell a story like this if this is not a true illustration of the Father’s love for us and a picture of how He will NEVER reject us or take away our place at His table no matter WHAT we do!

    I’m tired of your references to Christians lowering their standards…..it is annoying! Especially since you condem us in most of your posts and say some pretty nasty things. You sound just like the Pharisees! For the last time, Christians LIVE for Christ because we LOVE Him and our deepest desire is to conform ourselves to the likeness of Christ! We love him and WANT to honor Him with our lives because of what He has already done for us!! But, our righteous deeds and good works will NEVER make us perfect…….which is what God requires. Though we strive to be like Christ, we will never be sinless…….thus, the need for unmerited grace! Grace is not an excuse to go out and sin. But, once we accept Christ we are SEALED to Him! It is just like adoption. Once you adopt a child, they are yours FOREVER!! You can’t give them back or cut them loose! Would you get rid of your adopted son or daughter because the screwed up, were rebelious or even refused to speak to you for a time? Of course not! You would desire he/she to love you, honor you and respect you……..his/her bad decisions would sadden and maybe even anger you (and you might have to punish them in some way)……..but his/her mistakes would not cause you to disown them because he/she is your child FOREVER!!

    Eternal Security Verses:
    “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”
    John 10:27-28

    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
    1 Peter 1:3-5

    “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
    Romans 8:38-39

    “Who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”
    2 Corinthians 1:22

    “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
    Ephesians 1:13

    (No, these are NOT KJV, but I am tired of posting verses in a translation that belonged to Shakespeare……this is the 21st Century…..God’s word never changes but American English does!)

  4. catzgalore said,

    July 24, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Rblandjr,
    What I have found is that the church’s teachings have changed- although they vehemently deny that–so it is difficult to figure out what people believe. I do not think that most Mormons KNOW what their church used to teach, and they really don’t care.
    And the main thing is pray!! I will pray for you too.
    Catz

  5. geoff456 said,

    July 24, 2009 at 9:19 am

    KO,

    You said:”Since LDS doctrine teaches that all men are “saved”

    Could you cite the source of this teaching? It is false, by the way.

    I can’t even continue reading your post with this glaring error.

    ~Geoff

    Oh, and happy Pioneer day!

  6. catzgalore said,

    July 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Geoff, you are quite silly. If I quit reading your posts with “glaring errors” then I wouldn’t read any of them. :)

    I THINK, from my reading, that only the most horrible ones go to hell. But as long as you aren’t horrible, you won’t go to hell. What is the true LDS teaching?

  7. catzgalore said,

    July 24, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    LDS definition from lds.org:

    Hell

    Latter-day revelations speak of hell in at least two ways. First, it is another name for spirit prison, a temporary place in the postmortal world for those who died without a knowledge of the truth or those who were disobedient in mortality. Second, it is the permanent location of Satan and his followers and the sons of perdition, who are not redeemed by the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
    Spirit prison is a temporary state in which spirits will be taught the gospel and have the opportunity to repent and accept ordinances of salvation that are performed for them in temples (see D&C 138:30–35). Those who accept the gospel may dwell in paradise until the Resurrection. After they are resurrected and judged, they will receive the degree of glory of which they are worthy. Those who choose not to repent but who are not sons of perdition will remain in spirit prison until the end of the Millennium, when they will be freed from hell and punishment and be resurrected to a telestial glory (see D&C 76:81–85).

    Those who are not redeemed by the Atonement are in outer darkness, which is the dwelling place of the devil, his angels, and the sons of perdition (see D&C 29:36–38; 76:28–33). Sons of perdition are those who receive “no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come—having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame” (D&C 76:34-35; see also D&C 76:31–33, 36–37). Such individuals will not inherit a place in any kingdom of glory; for them the conditions of hell remain (see D&C 76:38; 88:24, 32).

  8. catzgalore said,

    July 24, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Oh, and your own Articles of Faith say–
    3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

    So when we read that, what are we supposed to think? That there is a hidden meaning?

  9. osbornekristen said,

    July 24, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    From LDS.org………….”Salvation from Physical Death. All people eventually die. But through the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, all people will be resurrected—saved from physical death. Paul testified, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). In this sense, everyone is saved, regardless of choices made during this life. This is a free gift from the Savior to all human beings.”

    Now can you please go back and answer my other questions or do you just continue to cry…..”False Teachings!” when there are no sensible answers to the questions I propose?

  10. rblandjr said,

    July 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Catz,

    Thanks.
    I find spending more time talking to the Lord about my LDS family and friends is what is most important. I do have a good relationship with them. My son and daughter-in-law have given me three wonderful grandchildren.

    Geoff,

    Please help me understand the LDS doctrine of Salvation.

    For you to spend eternity in the presence of Heavenly Father what needs to take place?

    When you die will you spend eternity in Heavenly Fathers presence?

    What happens if your were to Apostasize and leave the LDS church, what would be your eternal destination?

    Now when I die since I haven’t been baptized by someone who holds the LDS priesthood and I am not a member of the LDS church and I have not received any of the endoments. But I have received Christ as my personal Savior by grace through faith. I have followed the Lord in beleivers baptism, joined the local church,served in teaching and other volunteer positions. I graduated with a degree in Bible and Christian ministry, raised three children whom I personally led to Christ. I have had my times where I wasn’t walking as close to the Lord as I should have.

    Using this example, according to the LDS church where would I spend eternity?

    I appreciate you taking time to answer these questions which are extremely important to everyone.

    Richard

  11. shematwater said,

    July 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    First, let us actually consider what is taught by both sides before we start attacking each other.

    Christians: Once you are saved you are guarunteed a place in heaven where you will live with everyone else who was saved. Once you have been saved nothing you do can take that from you.

    Mormons: Once you are saved you are not guarunteed anything. It is still possible for a person to fall, and if you have been saved you can fall farther than a person who has not been saved. If you do make it into Heaven then your works will determine at what glory, thus those who work righteously will not be forced to mingle with those who have worked evil. Thus, a true salvation is gained by those who have worked righteously and enter into the Celestial Glory.

    Now, if we take the very simple explanation of the Christians it becomes fairly clear that, although good works are prefered, since they are not required there are no real standards that one is held to. Thus, as long as I have been saved, although it is advised against, I can do anyhting I want without risk of punishment.

    Now, according the LDS explanation, once I am saved I still have great work to do or I will loose my salvation. Thus it becomes evident that if I do not do all I can I will suffer the punishment of wicked, and thus my motivation for doing good is much stronger. Thus there is a higher standard that I am held to.

    This is simple Logic. For the LDS true salvation can only come if you are exaulted in the Celestial Kingdom. Many will receive a partial salvation, but few will receive a full salvation.
    This is what Geoff meant when he said you described a false teaching, and he was accurate.

    RBLANDERJR

    Any doctrine that I have authority to teach you I will teach in a very clear manner. So, ask any question you want (but be prepared for any answer) and the same goes for anyone else who would like to ask.

    Now on a last note, concerning the Prodical son. Yes, the Father did through a party and slew the fatted calf, however, he never promised the younger son a new inheritance, for he had lost it. He even told the eldest, rejoice that your brother is home, but all I have is still yours, I have not given it to him. This is what the older Brother was complaining about. Not the party, but teh fear that what was justly his would be taken and given to one who was unworthy, and the Father told him that it wouldn’t happen. Just thought I would mention it.

  12. christiangirl19 said,

    July 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Geoff,
    You seem quite confident that you know who should and shouldn’t go to hell. Shouldn’t we leave that up to God? For a member of a church that is supposed to be about love and compassion, you seem to be quick to condemn.

    You responded to LDSW’s post that because Christians believe once one has accepted Christ, one will always be saved, we have lowered our standards. This is not true. Here is why:

    God demands perfection. He will only let perfect people in to be with him in Heaven. However, no human lives up to this standard- we have all sinned. Some people have committed seemingly “worse” sins than others (which is a whole other discussion, and I know you disagree with me that all sin is equal), but the point is that we have all done it. However, Jesus came to earth, lived a PERFECT life, and died a horrible death. As a result, imperfect humans are able to ask Jesus to be their saviour, thereby acknowledging that he is the only one that could live a perfect life, and they are unable to achieve it on their own. By doing that, God sees us as perfect when we stand before him (ie he sees Jesus’ perfect life, rather than our imperfect one).

    I believe LDSW’s point about how Mormons lowered the standard is that Jesus’ death is not what allows you to get in to Heaven, according to your beliefs. It allows you to get the opportunity to prove yourself worthy- thereby lowering God’s standard from perfection to “really good, you sure did some good things, even though you are still a sinner.”

    In other words: for Christians, God still demands perfection. Jesus is the only one who could be perfect, so he takes our place. For Mormons, God demands you try your best.

    Does that difference make sense?

    Welcome to rblandjr!

  13. geoff456 said,

    July 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    KO and Catz,

    Ok, now we have something to go on.

    Salvation from physical death and salvation as Christians view it are 2 different things. Jesus Christ saved us in 2 different ways. First, the “free” gift of resurrection. All men will be resurrected meaning that since Jesus broke the bands of physical death we will ALL be reunited with our spirits at some point. Next, the gift of salvation or eternal life is conditional upon things we do. It is NOT a “free gift”, but was “freely given”. As you quoted from our articles of faith :” We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by OBEDIENCE to the LAWS and ORDINANCES of the Gospel. ” This means just what it says: We must be baptized (ordinance), receive the Holy Ghost (ordinance), have faith and believe (that is in the Bible) and repent (also in the Bible) and endure to the end (also in the Bible). THIS is what we would consider to be “salvation”.
    EVERYONE will be resurrected, but we, like the Bible says in John 17:12, believe that the only ones to “burn in hell” will be the sons of perdition. Everyone else will be assigned to a place according to their “glory” or their obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel and according to how they lived their life here on earth. (1 Corinthians 15:40 As a matter of fact this whole chapter is a great example of how the restored Gospel and the Bible go hand in hand.)
    We believe that it is important to be “doers” of the word, not just “hearers”, actually we believe it is CRUCIAL.
    and YES, we believe that one can lose his inheritance. If someone is casual in the way he lives his life, sins and doesn’t repent, etc, he can lose his inheritance. We do not believe that qualifies him for burning in hell. He simply gets the “mansion” prepared for someone like him.
    Exaltation is probably closer to what Christians think “salvation” is.
    We believe that Exaltation is living with God and our Savior (who have bodies and are real, exalted men) and having the chance to progress.

    So, what did we learn here?? ” We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” It means just what it says.

    now, i am off to our Pioneer day party! have a good one!

    ~geoff

  14. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    July 24, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Well said christiangirl,

    Thanks for explaining my point so well. I don’t have the gift of writing, so sometimes I leave out the important points. Thnanks

  15. osbornekristen said,

    July 24, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Shem,

    Your explanantion of why the prodigal son’s brother was upset is not correct. Jesus was trying to make a point……one that you and members of your church do not understand. The brother was upset because…..while his brother was away partying (probably drinking coffee and tea) and living in sin outside of his Father’s will…..he was living righteously with his Father. He was upset because even though his brother was so sinful, when he returned to the Father…..they were once again equals in the Father’s home. The prodigal’s sin did not place him at a lower level in the Father’s house. The brother felt that this was not fair. He had done “all of the right things” while his brother was wayward.

    This story is TOTALLY a picture of GRACE. The Father is God and the prodigal is us. The brother might be described as a Mormon or a Pharisee……who believes that acceptance into the Father’s house is conditional and based upon effort, good works, level of perfection, doing all of the right things, etc. The brother thinks as the LDS religion teaches…..that there are different levels in the Father’s kingdom (house)……those who are the most righteous and are closer to perfection get the best seat in the house.

    However, Jesus uses this parable to illustrate that the wayward son NEVER lost his place in his Father’s house and was made an equal to his brother when he returned. GRACE is not conditional. It is not determined by what we do. Again, we try to live to please our Father……not because if we screw up he will place us in a lower kingdom or make us a servant in his own house…….but because we desire to worship, honor and serve him out of LOVE!!

    Shem, you’ve really got this story all wrong. It is ALL about GRACE! Why can’t you accept that! You could never do anything to make the Father love you any less or be righteous enough to make Him love you anymore…..Jesus died for you…so you could have the GIFT of unmerited grace…..you can’t ask for more love than that!

  16. geoff456 said,

    July 24, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    CG19,

    Yes, I believe God will decide who goes to heaven and who doesn’t. It is called the judgment. We will all be there! (when did I presume to know who was going and who wasn’t?? i just quoted scripture)

    My Father in Heaven is a just God. He is NOT demanding. He sent His Son to die and suffer for my sins so that IF I REPENT I do not have to suffer and die for my sins.

    My Father in Heaven does NOT give commandments that I COULD NOT possibly do. That would be “guile”. He is NOT full of guile.

    My Father in Heaven sent His Son to be an example to me. So that as I pattern my life after the Savior’s life (including baptism, attaining the priesthood, etc) I can be happy. I can become perfect even as He is. I can have HIS spirit to be with me.

    It would be a lie if God commanded me to do something knowing full well that it could not be accomplished. A lie and a cruelty.

    My Father in Heaven is not cruel.

    ~Geoff

    Oh, and LDSW…I have never known you not to make your point! I may not always agree with you, but you do just fine. :)

  17. rblandjr said,

    July 24, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Geoff and Shematwater

    You probably know my daughter-in-law amanda b. She is the awesome lady married to my son that gave me three beautiful grandchildren.

    I hope you had a wonderful party celebrating Pioneer Day. I know the importance of history and its affect upon our daily lives. I try to convey that to my students as I teach them World History.
    My goal is to always speak in love with respect. If I step out of line please do not be afraid to tell me.

    So you are guaranteed nothing. You must continually work to be accepted into the Celestial kingdom. Now you do not have to answer this, but it seems to me that this is a very heavy burden to carry on a daily basis.

    According to LDS doctrine in the state I am in where do you think I will spend eternity? Your answer will not embarss me because I know you will give it in love.

    I appreciate the time and thought you put into explaining the LDS doctrine of Salvation.

    Christiangirl,

    I agree with LDSW concerning your answer explain her comments. You did a great job.

    I understand that my salvation cost heaven its very best, Jesus Christ. He paid in full for redemption. That is the most precious gift far beyond measure. Since I have received this precious gift there is a debt of love that I owe. My desire is to thank him and praise him with my life each and everyday. “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all”

  18. geoff456 said,

    July 25, 2009 at 8:53 am

    RBL….,

    Thank heavens it isn’t MY job to judge who goes where! I would not want that responsibility. All I know is what I read in the scriptures. Take a look at Hebrews 3:14. It tells us there that we must DO something to be partakers with Christ. We must be steadfast until the end! I do not find anywhere in the scriptures where it GUARANTEES us eternal life WITHOUT any effort on our part. Jesus Christ paid the price, now it is up to us to do our part…..JUST LIKE HE HAS “COMMANDED” US.
    Sometimes I get the feeling that the Christians that blog here DO NOT understand the “blessings” of obedience. You all want to say you are obedient as a show of gratitude. all well and good, but obedience brings blessings!! I am obedient because I love the Lord! I love being “His”…I love being close to Him and having His Spirit to be with me. I love the “light” I enjoy when I am obedient. LDS people understand that repentance is a life long task,AND a daily occurance…not a one time event! As I bring my life in line with the Savior’s example, I am being STEADFAST! Steadfast=day after day after day….not ONCE.
    Paul said we need to “work out our own salvation”. How much clearer could he be??
    Living the Gospel takes EFFORT! There are no guarantees because you proclaim belief ONCE in your life!

    ….and no, I don’t know Amanda. I always think it is funny that non-LDS think ALL LDS people know each other……but I probably do know her mother’s 2nd cousin’s son-in-law!! :)

    ~Geoff

    PS My points above are ALL supported by scripture IN THE BIBLE!!

    PSS..if Amanda is indeed an LDS lady, you are very blessed to have a member of the Church in your family..especially raising your grandchildren. I speak from experience on that point!

  19. catzgalore said,

    July 25, 2009 at 9:08 am

    rblandjr,
    Thank you for the reminder of speaking in love. I get passionate about the Lord, and I let my human emotions (anger mainly!!) take over. I start thinking they are being obtuse on purpose, and get angry at how they cannot see what a “normal” person would see (such as the difference between “damming” and damning”) or how they change the words so they don’t look wrong (not admitting that the doctrine of the church has changed, but will agree it has morphed) when the reality is that Satan has blinded their eyes. The most important thing for me to pray is that God would have mercy on them.

    Latterdaysaintwoman, Kristen, and other Christians,

    I read something this morning. I can’t really explain the “lightbulb moment” and maybe most of you (Christians) have already had this moment. I hadn’t.
    Matthew chapter 9
    10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”

    12On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I was a sick sinner. I need Jesus. Without His grace and mercy, I would be dead. Jesus came to me with mercy and love and picked me up from death. He showed me that no matter how good I try to be, I will always fall short of perfection. He also showed me that Jesus paid the price for my sins and I could NEVER repay fully what that cost Him. My desire, like rblandjr, is to thank Him and praise Him every day!

    So maybe those people who think they can do it on their own will never hear the call. In the case of Geoff and Shem, maybe we are spitting in the wind as it were.

    I don’t begin to understand salvation from God’s point of view, why He chooses some and not others, why he would condemn some to hell. I read in the Old Testament, and sometimes He would have His people wipe out whole groups of people, even women and children! I certainly don’t understand that! (please, Geoff and Shem, don’t try to explain!)

    I’ve been praying about my participation here on this blog. It isn’t about Geoff, or Shem. They have already committed themselves to the mormon church. What they are doing is helping us understand the mindset of a mormon. It has been really good!

    It would be tough, because we (Christians) are digging at the soft underbelly of their faith. It would be impossible not to see the differences, and of course it would feel like attack, and since they can’t refute it they resort to personal attack. I understand that and sympathize. I feel like that myself sometimes when I can’t give an answer. I know it’s there but sometimes I just don’t know how to document it.

    It would be such a temptation to focus on the “similarities” and not the differences and leave it at that. Coexist somehow. But PART of the gospel is not the gospel at all. And the “gospel” their church presents is offensive to me!

    I am asking that you pray for me (you Christians) that God would speak His truth through me and that I would not just speak my own human emotions. It is hard when being attacked! I know I am here for a reason that I don’t always understand. I will pray for you as well.

    Catz

  20. catzgalore said,

    July 25, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Shem.. you said…

    “Christians: Once you are saved you are guarunteed a place in heaven where you will live with everyone else who was saved. Once you have been saved nothing you do can take that from you.”

    That isn’t the whole story, when you say it like that it sounds just WRONG even though the words are true!

    There’s nothing I can do that will make God love me less! Isn’t that a glorious thing? It doesn’t take away my desire to be the best I can, it inspires me! I know I can never be perfect; Jesus is perfect in my place! But it certainly doesn’t mean well now I am going to go out and murder freely now that my sins are forgiven. If someone feels that way, maybe they weren’t saved in the first place! If they don’t desire to follow the Lord, then that proves they weren’t saved! God proves His salvation by giving us the desire to live for Him.

    Isn’t loving someone when they don’t expect a reward? I love God because He first loved me; whatever I do is in response to that, not because I expect anything further. If He chooses to reward me, that is good. If I get no further reward, it would not stop me from loving Him.

    And the reward is to be with Him forever!! When He comes back, all eyes will be on HIM not on each other. My reward is not to be with my family; just being with the Lord is enough. Not that I would MIND being with my family, but it isn’t my foremost thought. God only knows what’s ahead, and I don’t. Some Christians believe that they will know each other in Heaven, some do not. That’s not the goal for ME; because I don’t think it’s clear. If I were the one in charge I would certainly want to know my family, to see my Grandma, to rejoice forever with them. What you believe about Heaven isn’t the big issue, it’s what you believe about Jesus.

  21. geoff456 said,

    July 25, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    catz,

    kindly name ONE attack.

    ~geoff

  22. osbornekristen said,

    July 25, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I will certainly pray for you Catz! Pray for me as well…please! Today at the pool, I watched my mother-in-law prepare/study to teach her 7 year-old class at church tomorrow. My brother-in-law asked her what she was studying to teach and she wouldn’t comment. It all makes me so sad!! She is so convinced that she is right……..when sadly, she’s got it all wrong. It is even sadder to think about the little ones who are getting the wrong message of Jesus.

    It is SO hard for me to not say anything or question her beliefs. She was singing a Mormon song to my kids the other day….which upset me slightly because the lyrics made references to things outside of Christian doctrine. My humaness gets the best of me too! I am so emotional about it all! Let’s be prayer warriors together! I think praying that the Holy Spirit will fill our loved ones hearts’ with truth is the only was these folks will ever discover the reality of God’s grace.

    I try not to be condescending or hateful but when I hear people refering to my Savior as an “Exalted Man ” or saying that God has to work within the laws of nature it is hard for me to be silent! GOD is THE LAW OF NATURE!! He has NO power above Him……no one to answer to. He could destroy everything in the universe if he chose…..at any moment. I can’t stand to listen to folks put Him in a box and try rationalize his power. Okay, enough……I must do laundry now!

  23. shematwater said,

    July 25, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    CHRISTIAN GIRL

    Your explanation has done nothing to actually contradict what I said. You have standards, yes. But since Christ step in you are not held to them. Look at what you said and you should see this.
    Let me outline it briefly.

    I cannot be perfect. God demands perfection. So, God sent Christ to be perfect for me. Thus, because Christ was perfect, I don’t have to be.

    This is what you said, and is the same thing that I said. Yes the standard is there, but you are not held to that standard because of Christ.

    Now, if you know anything about LDS doctrine you would know that God does demand perfection of all of us, just like with the Christians. Also, just like Christians, it is through the atonement of Christ that we are made perfect. The difference is that with Christians you don’t have to do anything and you will be made perfect, while with the LDS we are required to do the best we can before we are made perfect. Thus, the standard is still there, but we are being held to it, while you are not.

    OSBORNE

    I got your point about this parable, and have to disagree with you on what you said. My point is that, even though he was welcomed back into the house, he was not made equal to the other son.
    Luke 15: 31-32 “And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”

    What does this mean, “all that I have is thine?” the Father is not saying that the two are made equal. He is saying that his love for them is equal, and that all should rejoice at the redemtion of the one, but he has still but the faithful son over his house. He never promises anything to the younger. The two are not made equal.

    RBLANDJR

    I was trying to be simple in my post, but let me explain a little more.
    When you receive of the saving ordinances (baptism and the Holy Ghost), as long as you are not blotted out of the Book of Life (which takes some real effort by the way) you are guarunteed a place in the Terrestial Kingdom. Having received those ordinances prevents you from being thrust down into the Telestial Kingdom or Outer Darkness.
    To be guarunteed the Celestial Kingdom you must live righteously. This means a continual effort to obey all of God’s commands. Now, this level requires the worthy partaking of the sacrement each week. If you die unworthy of this Ordinance you have no Guaruntee of the Celestial Kingdom.
    Once you have reached the appropriate age you must also partake of the Endowment ordinance to be guarunteed the Celestial Kingdom.
    To be Guarunteed Exaultation one must be married and sealed in the Temple. However, this still does not Guaruntee Exaltation.
    However, it is possible to have your exaltation Guarunteed. This is called “having your calling and election made sure” or the “more sure word of prophecy” and is spoken of by Peter in his epistles. One you have received this promise you are then guarunteed an exaltation, for at that point God knows that you will exsercise all your power to follow his commands. One must do a great work and endure many trials before they gain this promise however, which is why I put it in the way I did.
    (Examples of men in the Bible who gained this promise: Abraham, when he offered Isaac; Job, after his tribulatio; The eleven who remained Faithful to Christ)

    As to this being a burden, I have never found it to be so. In fact, I have found this to be a great relief. If gives confidence to my mind and heart. It also makes the final reward that much sweeter, for the greatest prize is the hardest to win.
    The only burden I have fealt in my life comes from my sin. With this I have a promise that I can be rid of it. As I follow this, as I strive for this promise that burden is made lighter. The harder I laybor the easier it becomes.

    As to where you would be, as I don’t have a full knowledge of your life, I really can’t say. We have been told not to judge. However, from what I know to be true, I would say that if you died today you would end up in the Terrestial Kingdom. I can’t say at what degree in that Kingdom, but that would be my Guess. I can say that if you have not been baptized by the proper authority you will not be allowed into the Celestial Kingdom under any cercumstances.

  24. christiangirl19 said,

    July 25, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    LDSW and rblandjr – thanks for the encouragement. LDSW, I find all of your posts to be well-written and full of sincerity. I am glad I could help get your point across.

    Shem,
    I think it is hard to compare what we have to do, because “Heaven” to me is not the same as “Heaven” to you, especially if you believe most people do go to the Terrestrial Heaven (and the Celestial one is the one worth striving for). Also, even if I were to strive for perfection, it would fail because I have already sinned. You see, all humans are born as sinners; it is within all of us from the moment of conception. So even if I were to live a perfect life from now until when I die, my previous sins already stain me, and even my best effort would be in vain.

    As catz said, that doesn’t mean we’ll go out and sin on purpose because nothing can change our salvation (my pastor just did a sermon series on this- unfortunately some people do have that attitude towards sin, but it’s not the right attitude to have), but it does mean when we do sin, we will be forgiven.

    You are right, I know that I do not have to lead a perfect life. It is impossible to do that, even if I were to try. This did not surprise God when humans sinned; his plan already included sending Jesus to earth.

    Maybe it a matter of semantics, but I am still held to the standard of perfection (as are all humans). Only those who have accepted Jesus as Saviour are seen as perfect. God looks at me and knows that I am a sinner, but he also knows that I have accepted Jesus, meaning that all of my sins are paid for. Because they are paid for, I am now without sin (ie perfect).

    While it seems as if you believe most people are at least admitted to the lower heaven, I believe that those who have not accepted Jesus are not accepted to Heaven at all. God sees them as the sinner they are, and the price for those sins is death (Hell).

    To summarize, God looks at us and knows we are all sinners; however, it is a matter of whether they have been paid for or not. A Christian’s sins will have been paid for, because he accepted Jesus’ death as the only way he could pay for his sins. A non-christian’s sins will not have been paid for, because he failed to accept Jesus.

    Does that make any more sense? I am not sure another way to explain it.

  25. catzgalore said,

    July 25, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Geoff, let’s not get into the “attack” thing again– we’ve been over that already.

    You said you were taking a break from us. It won’t be nearly as interesting. :)
    Now we will see if you stay away any longer than I did.
    Catz

  26. rblandjr said,

    July 25, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Shem,

    Thanks for taking the time to explain your position according to official LDS Doctrine. There seems to me that their are a lot of “hoops that you must jump through “to be guarnteed a place in His, Celestial Kingdom. You stated that,

    ” The only burden I have fealt in my life comes from my sin. With this I have a promise that I can be rid of it. As I follow this, as I strive for this promise that burden is made lighter. The harder I laybor the easier it becomes.”

    What is the promise you are referring to that enables you to get rid of your sin? Please give me the references so I can look them up.

    Could you explain to me the doctrine of repentance according to LDS faith.Please quote your references so I can look them up.

    I appreciate your patience with me.

    Thank You

  27. christiangirl19 said,

    July 25, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Alright, I have been thinking about this standards thing, and here is the best illustration I can come up with (it’s somewhat cheesy, but I think it gets the point across):

    Say you want to buy a shirt, and it costs $20. You look in your wallet, and you only have $15. (You have no visa, mastercard, debit….)

    For the Christian, $15 is $5 short of the full price. However, someone comes along and says “Hey, I’ll buy that shirt for you” and he pays the $20. All you have to do is accept that gift- knowing there is no way you can pay him back (and he doesn’t even ask for the $15 you did have), and he’s the only one that could have bought the shirt. In the eyes of the shopowner, the shirt cost $20- it doesn’t matter who paid it, all that matters is it was paid and now you have your shirt.
    —-> This is how it is with Jesus. He paid the price for our sins, and God sees us as the ones who paid, presuming that we accepted this free gift.

    However, a Mormon now wants to buy that same $20 shirt, and he also only has $15. In this case, the shopowner says that $15 is pretty close to what the real price of the shirt is, so sure, you can have it for the $15.
    —> Do you see how this is lowering the standard? In this silly example, the $20 was “perfection”, but because your “$15″ was fairly close and it was everything you had, it was given to you anyway?

  28. geoff456 said,

    July 26, 2009 at 8:28 am

    I can’t stay away with all these “glaring errors” still floating around! :)

    CG…

    You can make up any parable you want to illustrate YOUR beliefs….but YOU ARE DEAD WRONG on OUR beliefs!

    How is this:

    A LDS person wants to buy the shirt but has only 15. The Lord comes along and says: You have done ALL that I asked you to do, here is the extra $5 you need.
    Since the Lord made the WHOLE thing possible, the Lord gets the credit.

    Now, that is also NOT a complete picture of what we believe, but for the purpose of YOUR parable it will have to do.

    WE KNOW we cannot “buy” our way to heaven. We are ONLY doing what the LORD asked us to do: OBEY!!

    When we do ALL we can do to obtain perfection (as he has commanded us to do) then we know that HE WILL MAKE UP THE REST!!

    And who is the guy who is giving the discount on the shirt?? where does he fit in?

    There is NO lowering of standards. Our church teaches that we must do OUR PART. That is scriptural and that is truth. You might be able to pull a couple of scriptures out that say “just believe” (but that is an action, too) but the majority of scriptures in the Bible that deal with salvation talk about DOING SOMETHING!!

    ~Geoff

  29. geoff456 said,

    July 26, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    KO,

    I wanted to comment on this :

    “I try not to be condescending or hateful but when I hear people refering to my Savior as an “Exalted Man ” or saying that God has to work within the laws of nature it is hard for me to be silent! GOD is THE LAW OF NATURE!! He has NO power above Him……no one to answer to. He could destroy everything in the universe if he chose…..at any moment. I can’t stand to listen to folks put Him in a box and try rationalize his power.”

    Would it surprise you to know that Jesus Christ was a Man?? He referred to himself as a MAN. Exalted is a way of saying Holy or Heavenly. Do you deny that he is 1. a man, and 2. Holy? Why be offended at that?

    And I did not say that Heavenly Father HAD to work within the laws of nature. I said He DID work within the laws of nature, because as you have so astutely pointed out, HE CREATED THE LAWS OF NATURE. We are in complete agreement! Why be offended??

    Life is too short to get so worked up! Why not invite Grandma over to share her faith with your family? Why not give her some credit for her love of the Lord? Look for the good in her life. Honestly, she isn’t going to burn in hell, and you will be a good example to your children, who surely love her. I have had to work hard to keep my kids from looking upon their non-LDS grandparents and cousins as fatally “different” . As a result, they are friends, stick up for one another and are a part of each other’s livesregardless of religious difference.

    just a bit of advice from an old guy!

    ~Geoff

  30. christiangirl19 said,

    July 26, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Geoff,

    I know my example was cheesy, but it was a fairly good way to show the differences. I was only going based on what you and Shem had said about your beliefs, so please excuse me for the GLARING ERRORS.

    Alright, so the modification is in your case, Jesus comes along and you spend your $15, while he pays the remaining $5.

    My point to explaining the difference was to show how the standards have lowered- can you not see it? When God only pays $5 to you, he is only paying 25%! You’re paying the majority of it (ie. earning your way). This standard is lowered, because that 75% you did is okay, God accepts that as enough, even though you were missing 25%. This takes so much of the glory away from God, and completely minimizes what Jesus has done.

    When you die, he says “That person was not perfect, but he was 75% perfect- alright, I’ll make up the 25%.” The standard is lowered from 100% perfect to 75% perfect!

    As the Christians, we were expected to pay the full $20. God did not give us any sort of loan, because we had done what we could- because although $15 is on its way to the full price, it is not there! It is not enough! He needs us to pay 100% (or be 100% perfect). However- we can’t! That is why Jesus came in, because he could provide 100%. It wasn’t a matter of him only making up 25%- it was a matter of him making up it ALL!

    As to this mystery guy giving selling the shirt- I saw him as God letting people in to Heaven or not.

  31. catzgalore said,

    July 26, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Geoff and Shem….
    I really try to see what we have in common. We both love our families! I am part of my children’s and grandchildren’s lives. I love them to pieces! I am the best Mom and Grandma I can be. You are the best dad and grandpa you can be as well. (Geoff you said you were old, didn’t you say you were a grandpa?)

    As far as our religious beliefs, I don’t think we have common ground at all. It may seem like we are 78% similar, but without the key pieces, it is 0%.

    It is hard to focus on the similarities when I won’t look to the Book of Mormon for revelation. When your church was founded, Smith taught that all churches were in apostasy. Why would you wish to associate with those of us who are apostate? For generations, mormon people have been taught that they are the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth. Some have been taught that they are the only truly happy people on the planet!

    It is no wonder we get so worked up (both sides). It is an insult to say that we don’t believe the truth (on both sides) We don’t serve the same God, and we don’t think the other is right. The words are the same, but they don’t mean the same thing. Our discussions are endless. NOT faith promoting, do you think?

    Maybe you were right to think we ought to take a break. Enough trying to compare. I won’t reply to doctrinal things that either of you say any more. Enough is enough.

    Just some thoughts from an old lady.

  32. shematwater said,

    July 26, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    CHRISTIANGIRL

    Geoff did a great job correcting your parable, and I hope you actual learn from it.

    KRISTIN

    If God can do anything please explain my example that I gave on another thread. Here it is again.

    God can do anything: Can God make a rock so big that he could not move it?
    Explain how he could and I will conceed to you on this point.

    RBLANDJR

    I have a hard time giving references. These are things I have been taught my entire life and they fill my mind at all times. I am not completely sure as to what references to give, but I can explain the concepts.

    First, the promise I speak of is the Atonement of Christ, which makes it possible for me to cast off my burdens (sin). Christ has said “come unto me all ye who laybor and are heavy laden and I shall give you rest.” This is the promise.
    In Alma 33: 23 we are told “And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree, springing up in you unto everlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye ewill. Amen.”

    The best illustration I know of for this promise is the Parable of the Mediator. Here is a link to the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjRTuBaLaLI)
    This is the promise I have, and I really know of no other way to explain it.

    As to Repentance, this is what makes me worthy of the mercy of Christ. Again, I find it difficult to give references. The book “The Miracle of Forgiveness” has been written to give a full explanation of this. However, I will try to give a briefer and simpler one.

    In it’s simplest concept repentance is a covenant between a man and God that the man will no more commit sin, and that God will bless him for it.
    Now, repentance is not a one time thing, but a process of Faith.

    We read in D&C 58: 43 “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will aconfess them and bforsake them.”

    Now, what causes a man to truly forsake his sins? Repentance is the process, but what is the motivation? There is another video, called “Godly Sorrow” that I would recommend, as it illustraits it nicely.

    At this time I am at a loss for words. For another illustration I would read the story of Alma in the Book of Mormon (Mosiah 27: 24-31, Alma 36: 5-24). There is also a great talk by Ezra Taft Benson that addresses the subject. http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=474727cd3f37b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD.

    I find I cannot say anything else at this time. If you wish me to say more please ask and I will try, but this will do for now. I will try and post later.

  33. rblandjr said,

    July 26, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    I want to thank each of you for your explanations. I will read those and compare your refernces and works you cite from with the Bible.So I am going to take sometime to do that before I reply. Again I want to thank you for the time you have taken to reply to my questions.

    The reason I mentioned my daughter-in- law is because she has commented on articles and posts on the Mormon Coffee Blog. I recognized some of your names. I understand that you probably haven’t met, just conversed online. I enjoy face to face conversation because I can get to know that person better rather this online blogging.

    Thanks,

    Richard

  34. osbornekristen said,

    July 26, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Geoff,
    In reference to Jesus being an Exalted Man:
    I was referring to the fact that your church teaches that God and Jesus earned their positions through eternal progression. Is this not a true statement? Your church leaders sure thought so. This is completely contradictory to biblical scripture and some Mormon scripture as well.

    Jesus was simply GOD in the flesh……Immanuel “God with us.” He did NOT become God through right decisions or by living a holy life on earth. He has always been FULLY GOD. To say that he is an “exalted man” is to say that His position as a human increased or gained status from a lesser, lower one. But, He has always been God. Sure he was a man here on earth…..but he was COMPLETELY and INTIRELY God from the beginning.

    By obedience and devotion to the truth he [Jesus] attained that pinnacle of intelligence which ranked him as a God, as the Lord Omnipotent, while yet in his pre-existent state.” —Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 129

    ……..Jesus DID NOT BECOME God……..He has always been God. He has not progressed to this “exalted state” through his own efforts.

    Smith says the same thing about the Father……..that he was once like us.
    God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man… I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person , image, and very form as a man.” —Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345

    D&C 130:22; “The Father has a body of flesh, and bones as tangible as man’s” Articles of Faith: “We believe in a God who is Himself progressive…whose perfection consists in eternal advancement…”
    Gospel Through the Ages, pg. 104; “President Joseph F. Smith declared that “God himself is an exalted man, perfected, enthroned and supreme”. Elder Orson Hyde, a member of the Quorom of the Twelve said: “Remember that God our Heavenly Father was perhaps once a child, and mortal like we are, and rose step by step in the scale of progress, in the school of advancement…”

    “He is our Father–the Father of our spirits, and was once a man in mortal flesh as we are, and is now an exalted being. . . . God has once been a finite being; . . . ” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, p. 333)

    ……..God CANNOT become anymore advanced or perfect than He already is! He is COMPLETELY HOLY and does NOT change!

    “Hosea 11:9 says; “…For I am God and not man, the Holy One in the midst of thee…” Then Malachai 3:6 says; “For I am the LORD, I change not…”

    Even the Book of Mormon agrees, Mormon 8:18; “For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity”.

    You can say what you want Geoff/Shem but your leaders have said that God was once man and that he gained his rank through a process of progression that led to exaltation.
    “As man is,God once was; As God is,Man may become(Mormon Prophet Lorenzo Snow quoted in LDS Church News, Jan. 16, 1983, p. 14)”

    This is blasphemy. It is not Biblical. It is a GLARING ERROR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is what I meant by saying that it upsets me to hear you say that Jesus is an exalted “man.”

    I also want to comment about “having Grandma come over and share her faith.” Geoff, tonight my toddler sat at her kitchen table and asked me to open my m-l-law’s Ensign mag which was still in the plastic. I told him no, but she came and opened it and let him flip through it. He said, “Look mommy, it is Jesus! And, who is that with Jesus?” It was a picture of Jesus, The Father, Moroni and Smith with his golden plates. He pointed to the pic of The Father and wanted me to tell him who it was. Since the bible plainly tells that no one has ever seen the Father and that He is a Spirit……I was not going to tell my child, “Oh that is a pic of God.” He also wanted to know who that man in the woods was. You don’t wanna know what I wanted to tell him. But, I simply turned the page. I WANTED to say a lot, but out of respect I changed the subject.

    It is NOT okay for her to allow him to be exposed to this against my wishes. It is NOT okay for my little child to be confused about the truth. What if your non-LDS family members were to tell your tiny grandchildren about the Christian faith……such as unmerited grace=salvation or that the B of Mormon is false? Would that be okay with you? I doubt it!

  35. shematwater said,

    July 27, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    RBLANDJR

    When you return I would like to say a few more words about repentance. When I was last posting my mind was not in a proper state to address the subject, which is why I was unable to do so. I have since contemplated the subject, and I have compiled a list of various aspects of the principle, and give a comparrison of the Bible to the other standard scriptures of the LDS faith. When you want me to give them I will be happy to do so.

    OSBORNE

    Personally, I read in the Bible that Christ is an Exalted man, that he progressed to that state, and that we can do the same.

    Acts 5: 29-32 “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.”

    Notice here that God EXALTED Jesus to be a Prince and Savior AFTER he was raised from the dead.

    Hebrews 12: 2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

    Again, AFTER his mortal life he is set on the Right Hand of God. Also notice that he had to ENDURE the trials of the cross.

    Thus, from the Bible we learn that it was after his mortal ministry that Christ was exalted. I do not say he was not God before this, only that he was not yet exalted. There is a difference.

    As to the Father also being exalted, Christ said in John 5: 19-20 “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.”

    Thus we know that the Father must have also lived a mortal life, for the Son (Christ) could not have done so unless he saw the Father do so. Following this, if Christ was only exalted after his mortal life, the same must also be true of the Father. Thus the Bible fully supports the doctrine of progression.

    As to us becoming like the Father, are we not heirs to his kingdom, and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8: 17), meaning we will receive everything that he does, including exaltation and godhood.
    Also, does not Paul say to the Philipians “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” (2: 5-6). As we are all in the image of God, it is not robbery to strive to be like him.

    I do not give these things to persuade you, as I know that will not happen here. I give them because I am tired of the continual use of the phrase “Not Biblical.” As shown, what we believe is in the Bible, and therefore it is Biblical. You may not believe it, but it is there. (This is why I love having additional scripture.)

  36. osbornekristen said,

    July 27, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    No Shem, you will not persuade me. In fact, it seems that your former prophet Hinckley couldn’t be persuaded either.

    Question: “Is this the teaching of the church today, that God the Father was once a man like we are?”
    Hinckley: “I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it. I haven’t heard it discussed for a long time in public discourse. I don’t know. I don’t know all the circumstances under which that statement was made. I understand the philosophical background behind it. But I don’t know a lot about it and I don’t know that others know a lot about it.”
    – Interviewing Gordon B. Hinckley, Time Magazine, Aug 4, 1997

    Question: “Don’t Mormons believe that God was once a man?”
    Hinckley: “I wouldn’t say that. There was a little couplet coined, “As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become.” Now that’s more of a couplet than anything else.”

    Hmm….????????? According to lds.org:

    “We can always trust the living prophets. Their teachings reflect the will of the Lord, who declared: “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38).”

    “Our greatest safety lies in strictly following the word of the Lord given through His prophets, particularly the current President of the Church. The Lord warns that those who ignore the words of the living prophets will fall (see D&C 1:14–16). He promises great blessings to those who follow the President of the Church:”

    Does LDS doctrine change or not? Do you believe the prophet or not? Was Hinckley correct or not?

  37. onlyjesus3 said,

    July 27, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    shematwater you wrote: “The difference is that with Christians you don’t have to do anything and you will be made perfect, while with the LDS we are required to do the best we can before we are made perfect. Thus, the standard is still there, but we are being held to it, while you are not.”

    I’m sorry shemat but your belief is incorrect and unbiblical. What I always fail to see is how LDS don’t see that the true Christian belief exalts God to the Glorious saviour that He is while the LDS god makes him little more than a loans officer with all the really important work is done by the person seeking salvation.

    Christians are made perfect by God – not their own effort – so that none can boast. LDS earn high degrees of glory by their own efforts (which is a false belief anyway but I am just contrasting beliefs). I feel so sorry for my mormon friend who is never sure where he will spend eternity and is constantly talking outloud about the possibilities and coming up with new things to atone for all his sins. The thing is – he is going through physical acts ie. trying to correct years of anger – but cannot attain this – by his own admission – because he lacks the power of God within him which he doesn’t see.

    You are not being held to God’s standard in your beliefs or to a “higher standard” because your belief that you can effect your own salvation is false. You are being held to a man-made standard which is impossible to attain because without God’s spirit dwelling inside one – one cannot truly become more Christ-like.

    I think the root of this false belief comes from the mormon belief of the war in heaven and God rejecting satan’s plan because giving satan the glory wouldn’t be good for people – that the best was for people to earn it for themselves. What a sad lie the enemy has deceived alot of well-being and sincere people into.

  38. geoff456 said,

    July 27, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    KO,

    how would you even begin to explain the trinity?? it is FAR more complicated than a “picture” of Heavenly Father.

    I can just imagine a little child wanting to know: how come Jesus prayed to himself, but addressed his prayer to “Father”.
    how come Jesus ascended to heaven to be with Heavenly Father, but it was really just a part of himself??
    why did Jesus tell us He was made in the “express” image of Heavenly Father when Heavenly Father supposedly looks like a “cloud”, or a triangle (as the guys on another Christian blog explain it) .

    Too confusing for me! I guess that is why i NEVER believed it when I was a denominational Christian!!

    ~Geoff

  39. shematwater said,

    July 28, 2009 at 9:00 am

    OSBORNE

    I agree with everything that President Hinckly said, which really doesn’t matter because he has said nothing that I have not said. Read those quotes again. What does he actually say.
    1. It has not been taught in public discourse for some time.
    2. It is not emphasised.
    3. He does not know the circumstances around the teaching of the doctrine.
    4. He does not understand the idea, and doubts that anybody really does.

    I have said nothing to contradict any of these points. It is not a part of public discourses, and hasn’t been for some time. It is not emphasised by the leaders of the church. The exact circumstances that existed when it was first taught are not really understood by anyone today, and no one really understands all the implications and philosophies that come from the doctrine.

    He never said it wasn’t true, nor did he say it isn’t found in the Bible.

  40. osbornekristen said,

    July 28, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Shem: “Thus we know that the Father must have also lived a mortal life, for the Son (Christ) could not have done so unless he saw the Father do so.”

    Question from Time mag: “Don’t Mormons believe that God was once a man?”
    Hinckley: “I wouldn’t say that.

    Hincklely says Mormons don’t believe this. You said that you do. Either he is mistaken or you are.

  41. geoff456 said,

    July 28, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Explaining a Gospel “mystery” to a casual observer would be very difficult. It is akin to “casting pearls before swine”.

    The Bible teaches that milk comes before meat. This subject is very definitely meat.

    To someone who doesn’t understand the VERY basic principles of the doctrine of the Gospel, this would be hopeless.

    President Hinckley was above all a gentleman. He wouldn’t make anyone feel “dumb” for asking a question that was too deep .

    ~Geoff

  42. shematwater said,

    July 28, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    OSBORNE

    Again, that is not what President Hinckley said. Read it all again. What he said was that we do not teach it, not that we do not believe it. The question was about what we teach. His answer was a beautiful evation of a tricky subject, and nothing more.

    JESUSONLY

    Again withe the “Unbiblical.” The real problem is that it is in the Bible. It is all through the Bible. Just a few examples, read Matthew 25, the parables of the Ten Virgins, the Talents, and the Sheep and Goats. What do all these have in common? In all of them the people had faith. For the virgins their faith is shown in the fact that they were waiting for the Bridegroom and expected to be at the supper. For the talents it is shown in the fact that the one feared his master and expected a reward for keeping the money safe. It is shown in the goats when they question their fate.
    They all had faith. So why were they rejected? Because they had not done what was required of them. The five virgins had not prepared themselves. The man had not taken his talent to the market. The Goats had not helped those in need. They all believed, but only those who had done their part were excepted.

    Another example is when Christ teaches that “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7: 21) Notice that it is those who DO that are admitted into heaven, not those that simply BELIEVE.
    Christ continues “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
    Notice that they did all these things because they believed on him, but what they did was wrong, and thus they work iniquity and are rejected. Their faith does not save them.

    The accusation that the LDS have in some way deminished God is simply false. We have given him greater honor and glory than any other Christian sect.
    After all, to a Christian (and correct me if I am wrong) the reason God created man was so he could have a different species praise him, as he had gotten tired of the angels. (More accurately, the angels were in his presence, while man wasn’t, so man’s praise in more valuable, for they praise him without actually knowing his glory first hand.) By this the only purpose there is to God’s existance is to be praised and worshiped.
    To the LDS, God created the Earth to make it possible for us to progress to be like him. His work, or purpose, is to bring as many of us as possible to be like him. His glory is increased with each of his children that is glorified as a god with him. To us God is not just some being who created us to satisfy his need to be praised. To us he is a loving Father who has laid out the path by which we can become like him.

    Which God is more worthy of glory and honor? Which one deserves our praise and service? The Being whose only purpose to build himself up? Or the Father whose purpose is our happiness?

  43. onlyjesus3 said,

    July 28, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    shematwater – you wrote:

    “After all, to a Christian (and correct me if I am wrong) the reason God created man was so he could have a different species praise him, as he had gotten tired of the angels. (More accurately, the angels were in his presence, while man wasn’t, so man’s praise in more valuable, for they praise him without actually knowing his glory first hand.) By this the only purpose there is to God’s existance is to be praised and worshiped.”

    I’m sorry but there is no truth in what you wrote here and I’m not sure where you got these disrespecful ideas about God. My spirit recoils within me when I read those phrases as they ring so much like how satan would speak of God.
    No where in the bible is this view of God taught – in fact in Rev 4-7 there is a long passage describing who is in heaven with God – Twenty-four elders (chapter 4, verse 4).Four living creatures (chapter 4, verse 6), whose descriptions are similar to the cherubim by God’s throne in Ezekiel chapter 10.A “strong angel” (chapter 5, verse 2).Jesus Christ (chapter 5, verses 5-10 obviously refers to Jesus).Tens of thousands of angels (chapter 5, verse 11).The souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held” (chapter 6, verses 9-11). It is clear that these are human martyrs who died for the cause of Christianity (and also clear that more will be joining them).A great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” (chapter 7, verses 9 and 10).
    This is who is in heaven with God.

    No where is the bible does it say the sole reason we were created was to praise God – believers just want to because He is worthy to be praised and we are grateful for what He has done for us.

    This LDS view of a “more worthy God” – apart from being offensive to most Christians is interesting. The Christian God gave His only son to die that we might live and come into relationship with Him after we screwed things up in the Garden of Eden and becamse separated from Him by sin. He gives us a second chance. Note again – satan was kicked out of heaven with his followers for trying to be like or as God – the LDS church teaches that you can progress and be like God.
    The LDS say the true Christian God doesn’t want the best for His people and is selfish – what better lie to invent to keep people – already rebellious in their hearts towards Him anyway as the bible teaches – away from knowing the truth.

    God’t only purpose is NOT to build Himself up and nowhere does the bible say this. He is not willing that any should perish – but they do through their own sin and refusal to follow Him. He wants the best for us and since He created us He knows what this best is.

    A man-made belief system in which people can become Gods made sound cool but it is not of God.

  44. geoff456 said,

    July 28, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    shem,
    great job! that was a great post.

    Through out the ENTIRE Bible the “obedience” theme reigns supreme. The Old Testament is BUILT on covenants and obedience to those covenants. If God is the same yesterday, today and forever, then why would anything be different today??
    Jesus taught us to FOLLOW Him, to DO what He did, to LOVE as He loved.
    There was a reason for this!
    Why would the Apostles and teachers of the day spend SO MUCH time teaching obedience and “works” if they were not needed?

    IT IS SO CLEAR THAT THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST REQUIRES EFFORT! (not screaming, just emphasising)

    Say what you want, but the truth is the truth! God expects EFFORT from His children. Salvation is NOT free. It was bought and paid for by our Savior and He did it because 1. He was OBEDIENT to His Father (not as I wilt but as Thou wilt) and 2. He loved us and He knew this was the ONLY way.

    ~Geoff

  45. geoff456 said,

    July 28, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    JesusOnly3,

    you said:

    “The Christian God gave His only son to die that we might live and come into relationship with Him after we screwed things up in the Garden of Eden and becamse separated from Him by sin.”

    Here is my question to you: How did I mess things up in the Garden of Eden when I wasn’t there? Were you there? Did YOU mess things up?

    You said:

    “satan was kicked out of heaven with his followers for trying to be like or as God ”

    My question for you:
    would you be able to give me a reference about this?? How was Satan trying to be like God?

    You said:

    ” but they do through their own sin and refusal to follow Him.”

    My question to you: What happens to the people who DO NOT know Him and never had the chance to know Him? (like the millions of Muslims)

    thanks,
    Geoff

  46. onlyjesus3 said,

    July 28, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    shematwater – you also wrote:

    “They all had faith. So why were they rejected? Because they had not done what was required of them.” and “Another example is when Christ teaches that “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7: 21) Notice that it is those who DO that are admitted into heaven, not those that simply BELIEVE.
    Christ continues “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
    Notice that they did all these things because they believed on him, but what they did was wrong, and thus they work iniquity and are rejected. Their faith does not save them.”

    The reason that these people were rejected was not for why you say – it was because their faith or belief was falsely placed in a false belief system or God. Because of this their acts and good works were garbage because the only starting place with God is to accept Jesus’ finished work on the cross by faith alone. The works etc. come later as the Holy Spirit moves inside of us causing spiritual growth and from our own desire to do loving things for God.

    A person can say they worship Jesus but if He is not the biblical Jesus then it doesn’t matter what name they use – it’s worthless. A person can stand in the marketplace and preach until he is hoarse about Jesus and God and all sorts of spiritual sounding things but if his heart is not right before God – if he has not accepted by faith the finished work of our substitute Jesus on the cross – his words are worthless.

    These scriptures mean what I just wrote above and not how you are using them. They are a reminder to true believers not to trust people just because they use the same words as we do – there has to be a common ground in belief about Jesus and if there isn’t – they are false teachers and believe in a false Jesus and so should not be followed.

    “he that doeth the will of my Father” starts with believing in Christ’s finished work on the cross – this is the ultimate “will of the Father”. The works etc follow and having nothing to do with salvation except as evidence of a regenerated heart in Christ. But ONLY if the person first accepts the finished work on the cross by FAITH ALONE.

    This belief is contrary to what the world teaches. The world teaches that you get ahead by your own merit. God says you are saved thru HIS efforts. The bible also says that these words in 1 Corintians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

  47. onlyjesus3 said,

    July 28, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Geoff – you wrote: “Jesus taught us to FOLLOW Him, to DO what He did, to LOVE as He loved.” and “IT IS SO CLEAR THAT THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST REQUIRES EFFORT! “.

    Yes! all that is true – no one would dispute this and if you think they are then you are misunderstanding what we are saying. We are supposed to do all this and often being a Christian is alot of work because it involves giving up things we want because we want to obey God – being reviled for following God and not the world – doing works and toiling in obscurity for the Lord and not glory…the list is endless. I don’t however feel dismayed about all this because I choose to do so willingly – there’s no other way to be happy but to trust and obey Jesus.

    And you are right – Salvation was bought and paid for by Jesus and He did so for the reasons you wrote. Absolutely. What you are wrong about tho is “SALVATION IS FREE FOR US IF WE BUT TAKE IT” – that’s the wonderful truth of the true gospel and unbelievable to the average person as I stated in my previous post.

  48. osbornekristen said,

    July 28, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    First,
    I am so totally tired of you guys acting like we (Christians) are condemning you and attacking you. We are simply stating the biblical truth as we see it. You are attempting to do the same thing. Again, I have NEVER, EVER said what will happen to you when you die……other than the fact that I think that, if you have truly accepted Christ as your Savior, you will be suprised to see that his grace was enough and all the non-temple card holders who are in the Father’s presence.

    You, on the other hand, have told me that I “WILL answer for it all!” You even said that maybe I could play the ignorance card.

    ” Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. You will meet him someday. You will be horrified as all the obnoxious things you have written about him flash before your eyes. You will squirm and feel deep shame. You WILL answer for it all. Hopefully you can play the ignorance card. Good luck.”

    On another occasion, you wished me luck in death and said that I will need it.

    Good LUCK!! YOU are going to need it!! Your coke-drinking mother in law is MILES ahead of you and you don’t even know it!

    Also, by placing me in the terrestial kingdom, you are seperating me from my Father for eternity. For a Christian, that is hell. You have also said that my father-in-law will be dumped and my husband and his brother will be dumped as well…….for leaving the church.

    How is this not attacking my salvation……my religious confictions…..even my heart?? You have been quite hateful and condescending in your attitude. What is the difference in you pointing to the mistruths you find in Christianity? Don’t play the pitty-party,I know LDS is the true church because we are always picked on card! Do you know how often evangelical Christians are made fun of in the media? I dare say that there are A LOT more occasions of the liberal media poking fun of Christianity than Mormonism.

    I think it is ridiculous that you think my two year old should be told that the God of the Bible appeared to Smith when the Bible says that this cannot be. According to Smith’s translation, only a priesthood holder can see God. Unfortunately, Smith wasn’t a priesthood holder when he say the Father face to face. Again, if I were to tell your grandchild that we never lived in Heaven, that God is a Spirit, or that there is a hell……..how would you feel?? Would that be okay with you. My mother-in-law probably is intimidated by me and my husband…….probably because we have much greater biblical knowledge than she does. She also know that I would ask questions about LDS that she cannot answer based on biblical scripture. My husband and I pray for her nightly as we do you. We long to see the Spirit of Truth infiltrate your hearts so you will be overwhelmed by the love and grace of God.

  49. onlyjesus3 said,

    July 28, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Geoff456 – you asked “Here is my question to you: How did I mess things up in the Garden of Eden when I wasn’t there? Were you there? Did YOU mess things up?”

    I was refering to Adam’s fall and how it affects us all. How we are now all born into sin and separated from God because of his sin and how we need to come to God thru Jesus to enjoy fellowship and life with Him. Romans 5:12 ” Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” I know the mormons don’t believe this is true but it is nevertheless as stated in the bible.

    You also asked: ” “satan was kicked out of heaven with his followers for trying to be like or as God ”

    My question for you:
    would you be able to give me a reference about this?? How was Satan trying to be like God?”

    Sure. Here is the passage I was thinking of: Isaiah 14:12-15 “12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

    13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

    14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

    15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

    Verse 13 states clearly – Lucifer (satan) wanted to be higher than God and so he was cast down into hell with the other angels who felt the same way. That is why Christians find the mormon doctrine of becoming gods/eternal progression so abhorant – this was the very same sin that got satan kicked out of heaven by God – showing that this whole idea of godhood and people is an idea from ancient times – from satan himself.

    You also asked this question: “What happens to the people who DO NOT know Him and never had the chance to know Him? (like the millions of Muslims)”
    The best passage to read on this subject is this one in Romans 1:18-20: ” 18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

    19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

    20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”

    There are for sure people that have never heard about Jesus on the cross because they are living in remote places. These verses speak to that – God has made Himself evident in the world He created so that there is no excuse not to believe in Him.I know you are going then to turn to baptism for the dead but God clearly states that He has left evidence for all to find. Many are too caught up in the things of this world or not interested in looking for Him. He says though that “You will find me when you seek for Me with all your heart”. Someone who wants to find the true God will find Him.

  50. christiangirl19 said,

    July 28, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Shem,
    A little context on the verses from the Bible that you use to support your points would be a lot more helpful- reading the entire passage is essential to getting the whole idea of what is being said.

    Shem’s Post #42-
    I know Geoff has talked about kids and grandkids he has, although I am not sure if you have or not Shem. Assuming you do have kids, did you have them for the sole reason that they would grow up to be adults like you are? A human being isn’t usually “glorified” or praised for having many kids (just look at how “Octomom” and her 14 kids have been looked upon!). My point of that is this:
    Yes, it brings God huge joy when a sinner repents, and I am sure he loves nothing more than when his creation praises him- but I disagree that we were created for the purpose of progressing to become gods ourselves, which therefore brings God more honour.

    Geoff’s post #45-
    Adam and Eve’s sin (eating the forbidden fruit) is known as the “original sin”- before this, they were without sin. However, by disobeying God and eating the fruit, they introduced sin into the world. Think of it as a genetic disease that is passed down to each subsequent generation. No, onlyjesus3, you Geoff, KO, or any of us were not in the Garden of Eden. However, we are human, meaning we have inherited the sinful nature.

    Here is the reference for Satan trying to be like God:
    Isaiah 14:12-13: “ How you are fallen from heaven,
    O Lucifer,[a] son of the morning!
    How you are cut down to the ground,
    You who weakened the nations!
    13 For you have said in your heart:

    ‘ I will ascend into heaven,
    I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
    I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
    On the farthest sides of the north”

    It seems pretty straightforward that he wanted to be equal (or even above) God, and was punished for this. Here is another passage explaining what happened to him:

    Revelation 12:7-9: “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them[a] in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

    I believe that if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Saviour, you will spend eternity in hell. It’s harsh, but it’s the truth. You mentioned muslims and others who have not heard this news. Well, there are missionairies all over the world trying to share the news of Jesus, for that very reason. I also believe God can reveal himself in other ways to people- dreams, through nature, etc.

  51. shematwater said,

    July 29, 2009 at 8:38 am

    First, my description of the purpose of God as taught by Christians comes from conversations I have had with Christians where they have told me exactly what I have said. God created the angels who praised him. Then, he realised they only praised him because they knew him personally, so he created man who would not know him personally, so that he could have a beeter praise. This is what people have told me directly.

    Now, if this is wrong, please explain what God’s purpose was. Why did he create the Earth? Why did he create man? What is the purpose of it all?

    As to the whole works thing, no one ever claimed that Christians do not put some emphasis on them. However, as they are not required you cannot claim they are in any way necessary, or in any way effect your salvation. This is the real point. To Christians it is a prefered way of Life, to the LDS it is a required way of life.

    Now, I will not make any more comments on the scriptures I gave. My point was not to convince I am right, but that what I believe is in the Bible. Interpret however you want, but allow me the same curtesy. This is how I see these parable. In all truth, I do not believe these parables include regular Christians. These parables are about the church of christ, and I don’t believe that includes anyone except the LDS. So, these parables are speaking to the members of the LDS church, warning against a lack of good works.
    But this is again only one interpretation. It is a lagitimate one, one that can be easily seen in the text. However, it is not the only one.

    As to “Original Sin,” I have to disagree with the way your are interpreting scriptures again. First, in no way am I guilty of eating the forbidden fruit. It would not be just to punish me for that act, and God is perfectly just. However, Adam never forced me to commit any of the sins I did commit, and so he cannot be punished for my acts. The way that Christians interpret original sin makes Adam the sole guilty party, and thus the only one punishable by the laws of Justice, thus I would not need a savior. However, since I do need a savior Adam’s transgression can not be the cause of my sin. This is simple logic.
    Now, as to the Romans quote, I agree with it completely. By his act death and sin came into the world. This is because it was that act that made it possible for all of us to be born into the world. However, we are still free and indepentant agents, and nothing that Adam did can make me do anything I don’t chose to do. The only part of “Original Sin” that has any real basis in logic is the physical death, which Christ did freely save all men from.

    CHRISTIANGIRL

    Yes, I have three children. All of them are very young right now. I have many reasons for having children. One is that we have been commanded to “Multiply and replenish the earth” and I want to obey all God’s commands. Second, they are my spirit brothers and sisters, and I want as many of them as possible to have the chance to be born into physical bodies so that they may progress to be like our Heavenly Father. Thirdly, I love kids.

    Now, these are my reasons for having children. And these are likely the reason our Heavenly Father had children. But what I was talking about was not why we have children, but why we raise them in the way we do. I teach my children the Gospel. I plan to educate them, and send them to good schools. I plan to keep them healthy and active. Why do I do all this? It is not so that they can thank me later, but so that they can become strong, healthy, and wise adults, thus being able to have children of their own.

    I have always seen this mortal life as us leaving home for college. God have paid our way because he wants us to earn that degree and become strong, contructive members of society.

    As to many children being an honor, I am speaking of eternal laws, not the costoms of a wicked and evil society of men. The woman who had eight children should be praised for her decission, and the entire community in which she lives should be giving her all the assistance she needs. However, we live in a time of evil, where good is called evil and evil good.

    It says in Proverbs 17: 6 “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.”
    Take this to mean what you want, but to mean it means exactly what I said. I am the youngest of 14 children. All of us love and honor our father. What we know is in large part from him, and we defer to him for advice in all matters. He has always been one to brag about his family, and glories that he now has over 70 grandchildren. Out of the 14 of his children all are married, and all but one sealed in the Temple. Of his sons, five of us served missions, and two of our sisters did. All this is an honor to our father, and all our children will carry his name in honor to their children. We glory in him, and he glories in his grandchildren.
    This is how it is supposed to be, and how it is taught in the LDS church. This is the reason for the command to “Honor thy father and thy mother.” This is the best way to fulfill that command.

    If this is the way to honor our father in the flesh, then surely this would be the way for us to honor the Father of our spirits.

    Now, as to Satan wanting to be like God, I think you misunderstand what the LDS teach. Satan did not want to be like God, he wanted to be God, to take the Father’s place. No where is it taught that we could ever take his place. He will always be our Father and nothing will change that. We do not want to be God, we want to be like God. There is a great difference. Thus, we have not commited the sin that Satan did in heaven.

    On one last comment, concerning the idea that God is everywhere so no one really has an excuse not to believe, just like to say that this is completely illogical. First, while there is evidence in all things, all it shows is that there is a God, but not who he is. Just as a building shows you that there is a architect, but does not tell you who the architect is. Yes, all men should know there is a God, but unless they are taught who that God is they will have no idea (which is what has lead to all the wonderful mythologies we have). So, if salvation only comes from faith in Jesus, and a person is never taught who Jesus is, how can they have faith and be saved.

    Now, Christiangirl does a little better at explaining this, especially through he reference to dreams. But this still does not cover everyone. Missionaries can do only so much, and not many people are granted such dreams. So, the question remains, what happens to those who have not been taught? What happens to all those who lived in the America’s before Christians arrived?

    (Since baptism for the dead was already mentioned I think most know how the LDS address this question. I would also direct those who think that this life is it to 1 Peter 3: 19-20, and ask what you make of the reference to the spirits in prison, considering these were those who lived in the days of Noah.)

    (And please stop with the “not biblical” reference. Osborne said it right with “biblical truth as we see it.” It is only how you see it. It is not the only interpretation possible, and therefore our interpretation is just as Biblical.)

  52. rblandjr said,

    July 29, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Christiangirl19,

    I beleive you addressed the comments quite well. You used the verses that stated emphatically that we inherited a sin nature from our first parents and prove that by our individual sins. You stated clearly from scripture that Satan desired to be like God and was thrown out of heaven.In John 6 Jesus performs the feeding the five thousand. The next day the crowd follows him to get fed again (6:26-27) ”

    Now in 6:28 the crowd asks this question, “…What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?”

    Jesus answers in V. 29″ This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

    The theme of receiving the gift of Salvation by Gods grace through faith alone is throughout the whole Bible. You can only do one of two things with a gift. You can recieve it or reject it, when you say that is a “work” you miss the simple lesson. You can not work for a gift. Grace can only be recieved by us or rejected. Grace only becomes ours as we recieve the gift. In John 1:12-13 scripture states, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” In this passage he is speaking of our regeneration or spiritual birth. That we receive not due to something we have worked for, not by our wills, but from God. The only part I play in physical birth is being born, which is not a work on my part.

    In Jn 3:3 Jesus says, “…Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Spiritual Birth. Nicodemus is confused and thinks he is referring to physical birth. Jesus corrects him. Jn3:5 ” I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

    “When Jesus is talks about being “born of water” here, the most likely interpretation of this is that he is referring to spiritual cleansing from sin, which Ezekiel prophesied when he said, ” I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirt I will put withing you” (Ezek. 36 : 25-26). Hwere the water symbolizes spiritual cleansing from sin, just as the new heart and new spirit speak of the new spiritual life that God will give. Ezekiel is prophesying that God will give an internal cleansing from the pollution of sin in the heart at the same time as he awakens new spiritual lilfe withing his people. This fact Jesus assumes that Nicodemus should have understood this truth (Are you a teacher of Israqel, and yet you do not understand this?” [Jn 3:10], togetyher with the fact that throughout the conversation Jesus is talking about intensely spiritual concerns,…” Systematic Theology, Grudeum.

    Jesus emphasis is on a spiritual birth that we receive, not an action or work that we do such as baptism.” He is empasizing that it is from above. It is a choice we make, to recieve this free gift of grace or reject the gift. In Gal. Paul says that if we seeked to be justified(declared righteous before God) by works or the law then we have fallen from grace. We are trusting works not his grace. The root of salvation or the means is faith alone in Christs finished work. When that happens God sees us as in Christ with his righteousness on our accounts. But our sanctification is an ongoing process that the spirit of God helps us to work out of our life so that men may see our good works and glorify God. My desire is to please him because he has given me this wonderful gift. It is a debt of love out of my gratitude. I am a servant(doulous), bond slave of Christ. I will share a list of verses in my next post. I tried to limit this to discussion to just a few points.
    I have enjoyed reading the posts I have missed.
    Thanks,
    Richard

  53. geoff456 said,

    July 29, 2009 at 9:49 am

    KO,

    I flipped through my Ensign and could not find the picture you described. Were you, by chance, referring to the inside cover? That picture actually was a painting of 4 prophets….Isaiah, Ezekial, Moroni and Joseph.

    Sorry if I have been a little snarky. I do believe that ALL of us will “answer” for things we have done on earth. It may take you that long to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope not. I would wish for you the fulness of the everlasting Gospel and the peace it brings!
    Don’t be so hard on grandma…

    ~Geoff

    PS. did your husband officially have his name removed from LDS church records? Did his father?

    CG19,

    thanks for your last post. What happens to the millions of people who lived and died without ever hearing of Jesus Christ and having the opportunity for baptism……you do believe that baptism is essential for salvation, right?

  54. catzgalore said,

    July 29, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    I’m kind of going for the last sentence.

    Before you can have a real discussion about baptism, you must define “salvation”.

    It isn’t the same thing for all of you. What are you talking about when you define “salvation”?

  55. shematwater said,

    July 30, 2009 at 8:33 am

    RTBLANDJR

    Personally, the quote of being born again I see as a direct reference to Baptism (born of water). Even in the Prophecy you site the reference is to water, so can you say that this interpretation does not follow the text.

    I will agree that Grace is all through the Bible, and that in no way can we gain salvation without it. However, the need for works is also in the Bible, at least as much as Grace, if not more.

    Now, Christiangirl gave a little parable, but I would like to expand on that parable.

    We are all in debt to the Father. We donot need to break it all down as to why, but let us say we owe him $20 million dollars. Now even with a potential salary of $100 thousand dollars a year it would take 200 years to pay it all off, and we have only about 100.
    With this, according to Christians (and the logic is there) Christ has promised to pay our entire debt, so if we do nothing, or even if we go farther into debt, it doesn’t matter because he will cover it. Yes, if we love him we will pay as much as possible, but he doesn’t require that.

    To the LDS, however, Christ has promised that whatever we pay he will match in payment plus 50%. Thus, we need only pay $8 million, and he will match that with another $8 million plus another $4 million, thus our debt would be paid. However, if we slack off and pay only $5 million, he will also pay only $7.5 million, thus our debt will not be paid and we will be thrown into the laybor prisons (hell) to finish paying our debt. On the other side, if a person worked hard enough and managed to pay $10 million, Christ would also pay $15 million, thus the man has a little extra.
    Following this, a person who just pays enough so that Christ can finish paying the debt does not have the funds to get himself a mansion in the Father’s kingdom, and thus enters as a servant to a mansion (angel). However, a person who does all he can and pays the full $10 million on his own (maximum for $100K for 100 years), he has the extra $5 million for aquiring a mansion in which he will live, and be above the servants (thus be a god). Those who do not pay enough to allow Christ to cover the rest will spend time in the laybor prisons (hell) until the debt is fully paid (working at minimum wage-$7.5/hr-that would take 500 years) at which time they will be released and enter the kingdom as city workers.

    While this is does seem to trivialize the whole concept, it does a very decent job of explaining the basics of the LDS belief. Analize it closely. Without the grace of Christ the most we could hope for is to pay off half our debt, then be cast into the laybor prisons for 652 years, and finally come out to be city workers (or, in doctrinal terms, spend a thousand or so years in hell and then enter the Telestial kingdom). It is only through the grace of Christ that we can gain any hope of paying our debts, and thus gain a true salvation. We must except this gift as it is freely given, just like you say. However, even the grace of Christ will not save us in our sins (debt). It will only save us from our sins (debt).

    CATZ

    Here are the definitions of Salvation according to the LDS

    1. The resurrection of the dead. This is salvation from the first death and is given to all men born on this earth regardless of person work or worthiness.

    2. Admitance into heaven. This is entering one of the three Kingdoms of Glory. This is given to all men born on this Earth, except those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit. While there are many who will not gain this emidiately, most will eventually be admitted into at least the lowest kingdom.

    3. Living in the presence of the Father. This would indicate a resurrection to a Celestial glory, for that is where the Father dwells.

    4. Exaltation. This is to become a god like our Father and take our place beside Christ in the next Grand Counsel of Heaven.

    Here are the four basic uses for the term Salvation in LDS doctrine.

    Now, the dictionary gives the following.
    1. the act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc.
    2. the state of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc.
    3. a source, cause, or means of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc.
    4. Theology. deliverance from the power and penalty of sin; redemption.

    Is this enough of a clarification to continue the discussion.

  56. catzgalore said,

    July 30, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Shem, you said…

    With this, according to Christians (and the logic is there) Christ has promised to pay our entire debt, so if we do nothing, or even if we go farther into debt, it doesn’t matter because he will cover it. Yes, if we love him we will pay as much as possible, but he doesn’t require that.

    If you really think that Christians (at least the ones on this blog) really believe this way, you haven’t been listening at all. You accuse us of twisting YOUR beliefs; you have twisted OUR beliefs. I’ve said it over and over again and I am not going to get into any more discussions. Someone else try.

    But thank you for doing a good job spelling out the Mormon definition of Salvation.

  57. christiangirl19 said,

    July 30, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Shem,
    Thank you for the more in-depth parable. I really do feel like I have a better understand of where you are coming from now. You did a good job with that.

    Here is my question: how do you know what amount you owe? In your example, you said if you owe $20 million, then you paying $8 million ensures that you will have enough once God contributes. However, the $20 million was clearly only used to show your point (especially since you don’t financially give God money to get in to Heaven!). I guess my question is, how do you know when you’ve accomplished your “$8 million?” Can you ever be certain that you have done enough?

    As a Christian, I am positive that I can never do enough. I am equally as positive that Jesus has done enough for me. I do not stress each day about whether my good outweighed my bad, or if my good was good enough, etc. I suppose that might give some the idea that they can do whatever they want now, and go further in to debt as you said, but I personally choose not to live my life that way.

    Geoff,
    I do not personally believe that baptism is required for salvation. My belief goes like this: You accept Jesus as your saviour and sincerely repent from your sins. Once a person does this, he is guaranteed a place in Heaven with God. I do, however, believe that God commanded us to be baptized, and that comes next (AFTER you’ve accepted Jesus). I have always been taught that is an external sign of what is going on inside you- by being baptized, your are declaring to the world (or at least those that are there!) that you have chosen to become a Christian.

    Baptism is much like a wedding ring. You do not need to wear a wedding ring to be married; however, the ring symbolizes the commitment you made to your spouse. Similarly, you don’t need baptism to be guaranteed (Christian) salvation; however, it symbolizes the decision you have made. That’s the best comparison I can think of.

    So, to answer your question, yes there are many, many people who will not have been baptized, but no, I do not think that necessarily dooms them to hell. Back to the missionary thing, there are also tons of places that are unable to be reached by missionairies (I’m thinking of tribes in an isolated, secluded area, for instance). For that, I really have no answer. I have to trust that God will find a way to make himself known to them, so they at least have the opportunity to hear about him.

  58. christiangirl19 said,

    July 30, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Just a ps-
    Thanks for the thoughts on the spiritual birth, Rblandjr. Some of the OT prophecies are really interesting to look back on like that, and see how Jesus fulfilled them all.

  59. rblandjr said,

    July 30, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Shem,

    Thanks for your example. But I think you miss the point that Jesus was trying to make in that passage in John 3.

    The phrase, “Born again” in v.3 literally means “born from above”. It is spiritual. Jesus answered a question that Nicodemus does not even ask. He read Nicodemus’ heart and came to the very core of his problem, i.e. the need for spiritual transformation or regeneration produced by the Holy Spirit. new birth is an act of God whereby eternal lise is imparted to the believer ( 2Cor. 5:17; Titus 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:3; 1Jn. 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:14,18; John 1:12,13.)

    Since Nicodemus was a teacher he would have understood the rabbinical method of using figurative language to teach spiritual truth, and he was merely picking up Jesus’ symbolism.

    In 3:5 Jesus referred not to literal water here but to the need for “cleansing”(e.g., Ezek. 36:24-27). When water is used figuratively in the OT, it habitually refers to renewal or spiritual cleansing, especially when used in conjunction with “spirit” (Num.19:17-19; Ps.51:9,10; Is.3215; 44:3-5; 55:1-3; Jer. 2:13; Joel 2:28,29) Thus, Jesus made reference to spiritual washing or purification of the soul, accomplished by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God at the moment of salvation(cf. Eph. 5:26; Titus 3:5), required for belonging to His Kingdom. What part do we play in our physical birth? Nothing. When God transforms us spiritually by his Spirit through the truth of his word we are then and there regenerated or “born from above”

    If you understand water to be literal and refers to baptism then that goes against the point that Christ is trying to make and that it is a spiritual birth from God.
    Why would he mention a physical act( that may be good in the sense that it is a visible sign to the world of what has happened within a believers heart, I died figuratively with Christ and arose with him.) when he is telling Nicodemus that it is a heavenly birth that is accomplished through the Spirit of God taking the truth of the Word of God to regenerate them.

    When I came to Christ, He took my sin which was figuratively nailed to his cross, I recieved his righetousness placed on my account. When God sees me he sees that the account is paid in full. With the blood of his dear Son.

    John 1:12,13 states that, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, NOT OF BLOOD, NOR OF THE WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, BUT OF GOD” I hope that I was able to clear the point that Jesus Christ was trying to make to Nicodemus is that it is a spiritual birth by the Spirit that brings us regeneration. Now when that is accomplised then begins the sanctifying process where God is making me more like Christ. That is a day by day walk with him. I am saved to serve him that I might be a light to a dying world that is dead in their trespasses and sin. What an awesome responsibility and calling. 2 Tim. 4:2

    Thanks

  60. catzgalore said,

    July 31, 2009 at 9:15 am

    I sure sounded grumpy yesterday. :( sorry.
    Good discussion. I agree about baptism. The wedding ring is a good comparison.
    Shem you said something…
    The woman who had eight children should be praised for her decission, and the entire community in which she lives should be giving her all the assistance she needs. However, we live in a time of evil, where good is called evil and evil good.

    It says in Proverbs 17: 6 “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.”

    I have 7 children myself, and a good friend has 12. Not all Christians agree, but I always felt that I should have whatever children that God gave me.
    And that proverb I had hanging on my wall for a long time (where did it go when I moved??)

    So see, there’s a similarity. Not a doctrinal one, though. Mostly in our society we are PUNISHED for having lots of children, scorned, teased, and yes, asked if we are Mormon. LOL

  61. shematwater said,

    July 31, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    CATZ

    I know you do not personally believe this, but the logic of the doctrine allows this. If it is only faith that is required to gain admittance into heaven then it follows that works are not required. This is all I have said.
    Now, I still hold to the logic that if works cannot get you into heaven than they cannot keep you out. If your bad works bring punishment, and your good works bring you nothing than God is no longer Just, which is something that I cannot accept, and you should not accept either. Thus, what i have said is the only truly logical conclusion to the doctrine.
    I am glad you are intelligent enough to not believe it, but regardless you cannot recensile the doctrine in a logical manner.

    CHRISTIALGIRL

    As to the amount we owe, I really can’t put a figure on it. I used the figures in the parable because they were easy to work with and illustrated the point.
    Now, I do think you can gain a knowledge that you have repaid this debt. It is outlined in 2 Peter Chapter one. After his greeting he states, starting in verse 5: “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
    6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
    7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
    8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
    10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

    Here is the way to progress to the knowledge that you have not only paid your debt, but have done all you can and will be seated in a mansion in heaven, a God to rule over angels. See the process that is laid out. See how that after you have faith you must continually add to it to be guarunteed this propmise, or as it is put in verse 19, this more sure word of prophecy.
    (I did outline this either in this thread or the one right before it, but I don’t think I gave this reference.)

    RBLANDJR

    I understand your interpretation, but I will not agree that it is the only possible interpretation, nor will I agree that it is the right one.

    First, Christ mentions being born again, both of the water and of teh spirit. Why would he mention both if they both refered to the sam thing? Why not just say to be born of God? It would have been less confussing.
    Second, I also believe what John the Baptist said “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matthew 3: 11- See also John 1: 26-33; Mark 1: 8; Luke 3: 16; Acts 1: 5; Acts 11: 16)
    Thus, the baptism of Water is what cleanses us from our sins (repentance) and then comes the baptism of the Holy Spirit. With the way Jesus describes being born again (of water and spirit) and what John the Baptist says concerning baptism, the interpretation I have given is just as logical as yours.
    Also, in Mark 16: 16 we read that “He that abelieveth and is bbaptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be cdamned.” This seems clear that Baptism is not just a voluntary symbol of faith, but a required action.
    In Luke 7: 30 the Pharasees “rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.”
    Acts 10: 40 the people are commanded to be baptised.
    In Acts 22: 16 we read of Paul telling his convertion, and how he was commanded to be baptized.
    In 1 Peter 3: 21 we are told that it is baptism that saves us.

    With all this, for me to say that being born of Water refers to baptism is not altering the messege of God, but seeing a connection between all the teachings we read in the New Testiment.

  62. catzgalore said,

    July 31, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Shem said…
    With this, according to Christians (and the logic is there) Christ has promised to pay our entire debt, so if we do nothing, or even if we go farther into debt, it doesn’t matter because he will cover it. Yes, if we love him we will pay as much as possible, but he doesn’t require that.

    The logic you use is human logic (well you are human!). If we wish to do nothing, and we are just going to go our own way and not care, then we have no faith! You know as well as I that faith without works is dead. It has been said over and over… but I know that unless God opens your eyes and ears, you cannot see or hear. So that’s what I pray, that God will do just that.

    Sometimes as Christians we struggle. We feel like we are not doing enough somehow. I think that feeling is not from the Lord! We can always do more– we always fall short! God sees our struggles!! The bottom line is this: I don’t have to prove ANYTHING to Him, He knows my heart, He knows my mind. I can’t lie to Him, I might try but I am only lying to myself. I am transparent before Him; I could never hide anything from Him. He has chosen me. Me!! It is incredible. His love is incredible. He knows I am not good enough. He saved me anyway! He will complete His work in me and I can trust Him for that. It certainly doesn’t make me want to go out and sin. I pray daily that God would use me to love someone with His love. I pray that God would show me those nudges and let me know where I can help where I don’t see it with my human eyes. And that He would show me my sin, so that I can repent. Not so that He will save me (He already has) or get me to the highest heaven or the shiniest reward… but because I love Him,and I don’t want anything to come beween us.

    Logic doesn’t get us anywhere. Logic makes us focus on percentages, and scales. We try to make all the pieces fit just right… There’s plenty I don’t understand. That’s okay with me.

    from one of my favorite songs by Twila Paris:

    Sometimes my little heart can’t understand
    What’s in Your will, what’s in Your plan.
    So many times I’m tempted to ask You why,
    But I can never forget it for long.
    Lord, what You do could not be wrong.
    So I believe You, even when I must cry.
    Do I trust You, Lord?
    Does the river flow?
    Do I trust You, Lord?
    Does the north wind blow?
    You can see my heart,
    You can read my mind,
    And You got to know
    That I would rather die
    Than to lose my faith in the One I love…

    I will trust You, Lord, when I don’t know why.
    I will trust You, Lord, till the day I die.
    I will trust You, Lord, when I’m blind with pain!
    You were God before, and You’ll never change.
    I will trust You.
    I will trust You.
    I will trust You, Lord.
    I will trust You.

    It doesn’t mean we don’t care how we live, we care a lot! The truth is, Shem, not all “Christians” are the Lord’s either! Just because you have the name means nothing. If you find a “Christian” out carousing (whatever you mean by that, LOL) maybe he doesn’t know the Lord! It isn’t for ME to judge; but if I don’t recognize the spirit in someone then I wonder.

    Forgive me when I get worked up. It grieves me when my crabbiness and impatience hangs out there…But I love the Lord. I want you to see the Lord I see, the One who effectually saves and doesn’t leave it up to us to try to be good enough when He knows we can’t be. The one who saves us in our sin (when we don’t deserve it at all!) All the “doctrine” discussions mean nothing without faith from the Lord. I want you to be overwhelmed with the love that He has given. But only God can show you.

    Our works certainly can’t get us into Heaven. They can’t keep us out either. The only door to Heaven is through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. That is all.

    I will be away for awhile. But I am continually praying for those who participate in this blog.

  63. rblandjr said,

    August 2, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Everyone,
    Let me thank each your for your comments, for sharing your heart. I do not take that lightly. Because each of you seems to be the type of person that takes what you believe seriously. I also know it takes a lot of time to read and write the comments. I appreciate LDSW for putting up her blog which takes a lot of time to write the articles and administer the site. You can see the desire of your heart in each of the articles. Thank you.
    I want to share a short testimony that will relate to our discussion on the Gospel.
    As a 20 year old young man I was invited to visit a relative. They were about to head out to the mission field. Now why would a young man with no interest in religion decide to visit these religious nuts? Because they showed me the love of Christ. They weren’t judgmental of my life, my words or my appearance. Their light drew me and I wanted to know what was different in their lives. They seemed happy. On the third night the Lord put me and my Uncle one on one. He went through the scriptures and showed me who I was, a sinner in need of a Savior who loved me and died for me and rose again. I had heard this in church and at camps but never acted on the gospel call. But on the night of Sept. 17, 1977 I bowed my head and my heart asking Christ to forgive my sin, to come into my heart and life and be my Lord and Savior. I told him I wasn’t worth a plug nickel but I knew he loved me and died for me. I thanked him for saving me. When I sat up from that prayer I realized I was clean. The guilt of sin was gone and his peace flooded my heart as if someone had turned on a light that was shining out of me. I called my parents and grandparents and told them what Christ had done in my life. The next day was Sunday and I couldn’t wait to go to Church. And you know what, I could understand what they were talking about. I was like a sponge absorbing the water of the word. That afternoon I went to visit some friends at a birthday party at the lake. They couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t cursing like I used to, when we ate I told them what had happened to me the night before. That night at church the Pastor had a time for praises and prayer requests. Well the Holy Spirit was telling me to share what had happened to me with the church. I raised my hand and said I want to thank the Lord for coming into my heart and saving me. My relatives and their Pastor discipled me over the next two weeks. I went to a class with the Pastor and was taught about following the Lord in believer’s baptism. Two weeks from the day I was saved I followed the Lord in believer’s baptism. That night I shared with my younger brother what Christ had done in my life and he was saved. That has been many years ago, the Lord has been so wonderful allowing me to have a part in his ministry.
    Shem
    I will limit my discussion to the last verses that you mention in your previous post. You did a good job covering the LDS teaching of baptismal regeneration.
    1 Peter 3:20, 21
    The water in v 20 is not what saved Noah and his family. The water pictured Gods judgment on sinful man. They had been rescued in spite of the water not because of the water. Water was the agent of Gods judgment not the means of salvation. In v.21 the KJ says, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”
    In the NT, an antitype is an earthly expression of a spiritual reality. It indicates a symbol, picture, or pattern of some spiritual truth. Peter is teaching that the fact that 8 people were in an ark and went through the whole judgment, and yet were unharmed, is analogous to the Christian’s experience in salvation by being in Christ, the ark of one’s salvation. Peter is not all referring to water baptism here, but rather a figurative immersion into union with Christ as an ark of safety from the judgment of God. The resurrection of Christ demonstrates God’s acceptance of Christ’s substitutionary death for the sins of those who believe (Acts 2:30, 31; Rom. 1:4). Judgment fell on Christ just as the judgment of the flood waters fell on the ark. The believer who is in Christ is thus in the ark of safety that will sail over the waters of judgment into eternal glory (Rom.6:1-4) To be sure he is not misunderstood; Peter clearly says he is not speaking of water baptism. In the flood, they were kept out of water while those who went into the water were destroyed. Being in the ark and thus saved from God’s judgment on the world prefigures being in Christ and thus saved from eternal damnation. What saves a person plagued by sin and a guilty conscience is not some external rite, but the agreement with God to get in the ark of safety, the Lord Jesus, by faith in His death and resurrection (Rom. 10:9,10; Heb. 9:14)
    Thanks

  64. shematwater said,

    August 3, 2009 at 11:29 am

    CATZ

    From what you say you do not accept the idea of the meritless gift through faith. Can’t you see that the stated doctrine does not agree with what you are saying?

    I agree with everything you have said, except that it agrees with the stated doctrine of the Christian world. It is as I said before, you teach a salvation by faith, but when you are questioned you say that your faith only equals your works. Thus faith + grace = salvation; works = faith; so that works + Grace equals salvation.

    You deny that works have any part of your salvation, but than say that if you have not the works you have not the faith. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot require works to show your faith and yet deny works when it comes to salvation. Either works are required or they are not.

    However, you always have the standby response of “God’s thoughts arenot our thoughts.” You don’t want to consider these things, and thus you simply say that you can’t ever understand them, so why try.
    God’s thoughts are not ours for two reasons. He knows everything, thus when he judges he has all the circumstances open to his view. He knows the effect parents have had on children, or the community had, and is able to justly concider these things when passing judgement. We are not, for we cannot see into the hearts of men, nor do we know all contingencies surrounding a situation.
    Also, God is no longer mortal. His thoughts dwell on an eteral plain, where nothing ends or begins. We live in mortality, where everything begins and ends. We do not have the experience in our memory to fully grasp the eternal worlds.
    However, God has declared our understanding to be equal to his, not in quantity, but in quality. For when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit they became like gods, knowing Good and Evil, and we have inherited that power of reason. Thus, my logic is the same as God’s, and all men can come to an understanding of all the things of God dealing with this earth. Indeed, he has said “Ask and ye shall receive.” He would not have promised this if we could not understand the answer.

  65. shematwater said,

    August 3, 2009 at 11:39 am

    RBLANDJR

    As touching 2 Peter 3: 21, when did I say the figure mentioned was the water. I only said that Baptism saves us, as stated in this verse. This would include both the water and the spirit baptism.
    The figure, as far as I can tell, speaks to the number of people saved, which was eight. Otherwise, what is the purpose of mentioning the number? There was a reason for emphasizing the number of people saved from the flood. It is the figure by which baptism saves.
    Now to say that you must be baptised eight times is rediculous, as Christ (who fulfilled all righteousness) was only baptized once. Thus, the figure cannot refer to the number of baptism. It also cannot refer to the types of baptism. as there is only two (water and spirit). So, what is it a reference to.
    I believe this is a reference to the age at which baptism becomes required. Eight is the number of days old a male child was at circumsition, but John tells us that their “sins are forgiven” them “for his name’s sake,” (1 John 2:12)
    so I cannot believe that a child so young requires baptism. Thus the eight must refere to years (for decades or centuries are far to long a time).

    So, my interpretation of these verses is that when a person reaches the age of eight years they have become accountable for their actions. No longer will the Atonement cover them without repentance. Thus, baptism becomes necessary for salvation for all those who are eight years or older (the like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us).

  66. catzgalore said,

    August 4, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Shem said: “From what you say you do not accept the idea of the meritless gift through faith. Can’t you see that the stated doctrine does not agree with what you are saying?

    SIGH. My question. If you don’t see my works, how do you know I have faith? My works don’t save me AT ALL. My works are not a condition of my salvation, merely the RESULT of Jesus’ work in me.

    Someone plants a seed. If no plant grows, the seed must not have been planted, or was a dead seed. How do you know there was actually a living, growing seed planted if a plant does not grow? The seed is God’s, the growth is God’s, the harvest is God’s.

    I am praying that God lets you see this truth.

  67. rblandjr said,

    August 4, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Shem,

    I appreciate your answers. That verse was given by you at the end of several verses that you gave to teach baptismal regeneration. And by your final sentence you used these verses to teach this.
    Your statement, “baptism becomes necessary for salvation for all those who are eight years or older (the like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us.)

    So you were using these verses as a proof text along with the others.

    First off, God is not a man that he should lie,… Num. 23:19.
    I do not want to get sidetracked on the age of accountablility. When you use 8 from v. 20 and take it out of context to apply to the age of accountability there is no warrant from this in these or any other verses in the Bible. That is eisegesis, reading into scripture. Scripture speaks for itself, we are to search the scripture to see if these things are so.

    Peter himself tell us this is not baptism.1 Peter 3:21. He says, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us…: Look closely at the next phrase that he uses to clarify what he meant, “…(not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) He says this is not a washing away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer or a pledge of a good conscience toward God. Peter says a person plagued by sin and a guilty conscience is saved by agreeing to get in the ark of safety, the LORD JESUS CHRIST, by FAITH in HIS DEATH and RESURRECTION.

    Now let us go back to the other verses you used.

    The symbolism of John’s baptism had its root in OT purification rituals. Baptism had long been administered to Gentile proselytes coming into Judaism. The baptism of John thus powerfully and dramatically symbolized repentance.
    Jews accepting John’s baptism were admitting they had been as Gentiles and needed to become the people of God genuinely, inwardly. The people were repenting in anticipation of the Messiah’s arrival. The meaning of John’s baptism differs somewhat from Christian baptism (Acts. 18:25). Baptism did not produce repentance but was a result. John rebuked the Pharisees because they were coming to be baptized but he said they must bring the fruits worthy of repentance. They had not repented and this was confirmed by a lack of fruit produced in their lives. Repentance itself is not a work, but works are its inevitable fruit. Repentance and faith are inextricably linked in Scripture. Repentance means turning from one’s sin, and faith is turning to God (1 Thess. 1:9). They are like opposite sides of the same coin. That is why both are linked to conversion (Mk 1:15; Acts 3:19-21). What John demanded to see were “fruits” of repentance? But repentance itself is no more a “work” than faith is, (2 Tim. 2:25) “…if God will perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.”
    Now concerning Christ, John saw his baptism as completely inappropriate for the One he knew was the spotless Lamb of God (John 1:29). Christ was here identifying himself with sinners. Even though he himself never sinned. He will ultimately bear their sins: His perfect righteousness will be imputed to them (2 Cor. 5:21). This act of baptism was necessary part of the righteousness he secured for sinners. This event pictured his death, burial and resurrection. Prefigured the significance of Christian baptism. All three persons of the Trinity were present confirming to men his mission. Mark 16:16 Does not teach that baptism saves since the last are condemned for unbelief, not for not being baptized.

    Salvation is by grace through faith alone in the finished work of Christ.
    Jn. 5:24; Acts 13:38,39; Rom. 3:21-28; 5:1; 8:3; 10:3,4; Gal. 2:14-21;3:1-29; 5:4-6; Phil.3:8,9.
    Justification is not by the law or works. Job 9:2,3,20; Ps. 130:3;143:2; Rom.3:10,19-20,28; 4:14,15; James 2:10; Is. 64:6; Rom. 4:4-8; 9:31,32;11;1-5; Eph. 2:8,9; Titus 3:4-5
    Justification is by faith. Gen 15:6: Rom 4:5; Isa 53:11

    The Gospel is good News. I was wallowing in the mire of sin, my own by nature from Adam and by my actions. God the Son came down to earth to be our Savior and die on the cross in our place. I could not climb up out of the hole he came to me and lifted me up when I cried out to Him to save me. He was my only hope. He lifted me up out of that miry pit and set my feet upon Him the rock. That I not only am standing upon but hid in Christ. When God the Father sees me He sees His Son.Ps. 40:1-4

    (Eph. 2:1-10) I am dead in sin. A dead man can do nothing. I need life. That was given to me by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ. Now that I have been saved by grace through faith and am a new creation in Christ then he has created me to walk in good works because I am now alive in Christ and walk by the power of His Holy Spirt. I cannot be perfect, he is my perfection.
    When I look at your process of repentance and forgiveness it is an utter impossibility for any of one to go to the Celestial Kingdom. Only God and his angels will be there if it depends on our complete repentance and forsaking of all our sin and being perfect. No man but the the God man Jesus Christ has ever done that. What a miserable place to have hope and yet trade that for an, if I am perfect then I will be with the Father in his kingdom. Thank God for Christ and resting in His finished work. That is my prayer for all to come to that place of Grace where will shall see his face for all eternity in that heavenly place. Praise His Name.

    Richard

  68. geoff456 said,

    August 5, 2009 at 8:32 am

    CATZ,

    Why would the Savior “command” us to obey, if obedience is merely the RESULT of Jesus’ work in me?

    ~Geoff

  69. geoff456 said,

    August 5, 2009 at 11:07 am

    CATZ,

    You assume too much. You assume that we believe our works will save us.
    That is false. We believe that obedience to the laws of the Gospel qualify us for Grace. We are commanded to obey! Why would the Lord command us if it was a natural result of conversion? Because we are human and He knows better. Obedience opens up the windows of heaven in our behalf. When we obey and keep our covenants we have power over the adversary (the devil).

    The purpose of this earth life is for us to become perfect like Him. Not to hide behind His example, but to BE PERFECT. Each commandment helps us to grow and progress. Like Paul says, “we must WORK OUT OUR OWN salvation.” When we do these things and keep the commandments, we qualify for His help. The Savior atoned for the sins of the world. He requires our faith and belief in Him in order for this to be “activated” in our life.
    Obedience is a SIGN of faith…..arguably it is also a SHOW of faith, too, but it is FIRST AND FOREMOST a sign of faith. (as your “seed” analogy so perfectly illustrates…..nothing “grows” without faith!)

    ~Geoff

  70. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 5, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Geoff,

    Whether you claim your works save you or qualify you to gain salvation or forgiveness, your works must come first. Before you are granted forgiveness and salvation you have to do the works. When you commit a sin, you must do the works before you can be forgiven for that sin. Your works, or, (if you want to use the current popular word of Mormon prophets–your qualifying), comes before the “gift” of forgiveness is granted.

    The Bible claims that forgiveness and salvation are granted first, before any works are done. Through faith and solely through faith, I was guaranteed eternal life. The Apostle Paul, testified:

    Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13

    Paul has told us many many times in his writings that salvation comes through faith alone. Here, he is not telling us something that contradicts his previous words. Instead, he is telling the Philippians to work out what they already have–their salvation. They are to do this as they live the rest of their lives, with fear and trembling. Not because their salvation hangs in the balance of their works (as it does for Mormons). Paul tells us why in the very next passage! Notice he starts it with the word “For”. This follows the previous thought. Because it is GOD who does the works through you, His will and His good pleasure are worked out in your life.

    We can know for sure that Paul is not telling the Philippians that in fear and trembling that they have to do the works to qualify for salvation. Remember, Paul had already told the Ephesians:

    8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

    Not by works, lest any man should boast! Believers are new creatures, created in Christ Jesus to do the works that God has before ordained that He will do through us. It isn’t us who do the works. We don’t even do the qualifying. It is all God!!

    Through faith and solely through faith, I was forgiven for all of my sins: past, present and future. all praise and glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! “Sola fide

    The doctrine of sola fide or “by faith alone” asserts God’s pardon for guilty sinners is granted to and received through faith or belief alone, to the exclusion of all human efforts or works.”

  71. geoff456 said,

    August 6, 2009 at 6:59 am

    LDSW

    why do you deny that “faith” takes effort?? and I said, “we qualify for Grace”, not salvation.

    ~Geoff

  72. shematwater said,

    August 6, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    LDSWOMAN

    I have to disagree with you that Faith has to come first. Look at the story of Naaman. He had no faith, but was willing to do the work required of him (after much pressure) and was healed. After his works he gained the faith, and swore only to pray to the God of Isreal.
    Also, look at all the miracles done by Christ and tell me one that did not require some work on the part of the recipient. There are few, and these only occured when Christ was trying to teach the people.

    Faith is required, for all things are done by faith. However, the belief held by most Christians, that you can’t do the works until you have the faith, is simply wrong, for work builds faith.
    The LDS do not teach works first, nor do we teach faith first. We simply teach that both are required, and what ever order you happen to aquire them in doesn’t really matter. Thus, if your works have built your faith (as I know has happened with many people) or your faith has improved your works it doesn’t matter, as long as you have both.

    As to what Paul said to the Philipians, I think you do not have the correct understanding. Why do we need to work something out if we already have it. That is like telling a person to figure out how to build a set of shelve after you have already given him the finished product. What is there to work out if you already are guarunteed salvation?
    Now, the ending of this verse where he says “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do his good pleasure,” speaks directly to the LDS doctrine of works. It is the grace of God that works in us, giving us the power to both desire and to do the good works he has degreed. Paul is telling the Phillipians they must work for their salvation, because now they have the power to do it.
    Even in Ephesians this is what he is saying. That we have been given the power to walk in the good works that we have been created to walk in. It is through his grace we have this power, and it is through our faith that we have his grace.
    However, even though we have the power to walk in these good works does not guaruntee that we will, and this is the reason that we are to “Work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling.”

    Let me give a brief outline of the three basic effects of teh Grace of God as taught by LDS doctrine.

    1. The Knowledge of Good and Evil. It is by the grace of God (or as we call this particular effect-the Light of Christ) that we know what is good and what isn’t. As the hymn says “Brightly beams our Father’s mercy from his lighthouse evermore.” He is there to tell us when we have done something wrong. This is given to all men, and is generally known as the conscience.

    2. Power to resist evil. Without the grace of God our mortal minds would not be able to resist the temptations of Satan. This is what Paul meant when he said “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.” He is saying that the mortal body does not want to follow the laws of God, even though his intelligence does.

    3. Salvation in heaven (any of the three kingdoms). This is what James spoke to when he said “For whosoever shall keep the awhole law, and yet boffend in one point, he is cguilty of all.” Without his Grace we are judged by the Law without mercy. With the Grace of God we are still judged by the Law, but mercy now holds sway, and if we have acted on the knowledge and power given to us by the Grace of God, then the Mercy of God will allow that Grace to claim us.

  73. osbornekristen said,

    August 6, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Geoff,
    Whatever happened to “childlike faith?” Christ, himself, said that only those with faith like a child shall enter His kingdom. How can saving faith require such effort if this is so?

    Mark 10:15″Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” KJV

    “I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” NLV

    And yes, I agree……..we must qualify for grace:
    1. We must be human beings (not angels or demons)
    2. We MUST accept this GIFT of grace as a FINISHED WORK……we do this by asking Christ to be the Lord of our life and believing that His work on the cross is enough. The Holy Spirit then comes to reside in our hearts.

    You can’t do works to qualify for grace. You can repent ALL you want, but this does NOTHING to qualify you for the perfection God requires. You ARE still guilty without Christ. You can NEVER do enough or be enough to qualify for this gift. IT IS FREE!!!!! ALL you have to do is seek and you shall find…..knock and the door will be opened for you. Obey what Christ said throughtout the NT…..BELIEVE…….BELIEVE…….BELIEVE!!!

    GRACE=Salvation. Yes, one must accept the gift of grace…..but once this has happened it =salvation. It is a finished work…….done……complete! I am still praying that you will understand this Gospel truth!!

  74. shematwater said,

    August 6, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    RBLANDJR

    I understand what you are saying, but I disagree with it.
    Just a simple question first, does my explanation of the verse from 2 Peter make sense?
    Second, if what I say is not true, and the figure in verse 21 refers to the ark, why mention that it was eight souls saved?
    I do not read into the scriptures what is not there, I only try to make sense of what is there. As I said, because of the way the number of people is mentioned it seems inportant. Why mention it if it had nothing to do with what he was speaking about.

    As to what John said and the rest. When speaking to the pharisees he said “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance” indicating that the fruits came before the repentance. They needed to do something to prepare themselves before they could truly repent. John also told them “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance.” This, wish the previous reference, would indicate that Baptism is the ordinance by which Repentance is accomplished. The Pharisees did not have the fruits (or works) that qualified them for repentance, and thus John refused to baptize them “unto repentance.” (Matthew 3: 7, 11)
    Your reference to Acts 18: 25 does not indicate a change in the ordinance of Baptism. This verse states “This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.” To know what is menat by this I would reference Matthew 3: 11 were John says “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” Thus, Apollos in the 18th chapter of Acts had the baptism of John, or the Baptism of water unto repentance, but he did not have the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Apostles would later send men to administer this baptism.
    As to why Christ was baptized, it was for the reason he said “to fulfill all righteousness.” What did he mean by this? it seems plain enough that he meant that if he was not baptized he would not fulfill all righteousness, and thus he would not have lived a perfect life.

  75. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 6, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Geoff,

    Sorry, I thought you said you had to qualify for salvation. Could you please show me a Bible passage that supports the LDS teaching that a person has to qualify for God’s grace?

    Coming to Faith, conversion, takes no effort on the part of the receiver. When the Holy Spirit brought me to faith, it happened in an instant. Christ testified that the very moment a person is brought to faith by the Holy Spirit, they are crossed over from spiritual death to spiritual life (John 5:24).

    Jesus taught that through faith, believers are born-again (John 3). The very moment I believed, I received the 100% forgiveness of all my sins. The forgiveness of those sins had already been won for me at the cross, but the Apostle Peter revealed that I received them through belief (Acts 10:43).

    Christ also testified that in that instant through faith, I gained eternal life (John 3:15-18, Apostle John in 3:36).

    After that moment, my faith will grow. It does take effort to feed my faith. I feed my faith through hearing and studying God’s Word. I exercise my faith through serving God, obeying His commandments and doing all the works that God had planned for me to do since He created the foundations of the world. But, any good that I do, is always merely God working through me.

  76. geoff456 said,

    August 6, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    LDSW,

    doesn’t belief take effort? I have read your blog for a while now, and you talk about hours and hours of research! didn’t that take effort? how does one believe?? it takes effort. faith takes effort, enduring to the end takes effort.

    geoff

  77. geoff456 said,

    August 6, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    LDSW,

    to make it a little plainer: if we are saved by grace THROUGH faith and faith without WORKS is dead, then we need Works to keep our faith alive, and faith to attain the grace…….so, Works + Faith = saved by grace.

    so, can you see why we believe that they are both necessary?
    come on…..just agree that we have a point! (i am not trying to re-convert you)

    ~Geoff

  78. geoff456 said,

    August 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    KO,

    just because it is a childlike doesn’t mean it doesn’t take effort. The Lord was referring to their unwavering, innocent belief. they do not question or have an agenda. they have pure hearts.

    No effort, huh??
    you said: knock….that requires effort (it means prayer to me, on-my-knees, serious, think-of-nothing else prayer)

    you said: obey….that requires effort (choosing to do what is right, repenting when i goof, repeat, repeat, repeat and endure to the end)

    you said: believe…that requires effort. (reading and studying to KNOW the word of God so that I CAN obey it)

    and IF someone can “fall from grace” then doesn’t that mean it took effort to get the grace in the first place??? how do you UN-qualify yourself if you didn’t have to QUALIFY yourself to begin with?

    I think the Lord wants anxiously engaged followers. Not spiritual couch potatoes who just sit back and enjoy the “gift” .

    over and over the Savior taught us to DO! no one has YET given me an answer to this question: why did the Apostles and Savior teach the people what to do and how to live IF it was going to be a NATURAL RESULT anyway?
    that doesn’t make a lick of sense.

    the Lord said John the Baptist was “more” than a prophet. Well, John preached baptism by immersion. Do you guys believe it?? no. (it is just like a wedding ring)

    John also preached repentance, as did the Lord and His Apostles. Do you guys do it?? nope, it is just a one time event.

    The Savior taught that His Church would be built on Apostles and Prophets. Do you guys believe it?? nope, it has come and gone and who cares?

    I could go on, but Vonnie would actually like to spend some time with me this evening (believe it or not).

    The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is here upon the earth. You guys are lucky enough to have relatives with this truth. It is a matter of faith. Do you have the faith? I don’t know! We can always hope.

    ~Geoff

  79. rblandjr said,

    August 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Shem,

    Help me to understand the LDS Gospel. Jesus paid for your sin and you have to pay him back. He overcame death for you with the atonement, thus buying more time for you to pay off your debt. Jesus was your example to show you how it was done. So Jesus’ role in the plan of salvation is he is a big brother or a strong partner. He had his part and we have our part.With the majority of the stress being placed upon us. You have to become perfect before his grace becomes effectual in your life. The process of repentance seems virtually impossible to completely repent and forsake all your sin. My understanding is that this must all be done by you to receive exaltation, godhood. In my humble understanding it seems like the LDS Gospel is not good news. You have to pay your sin debt. Whereas the Bible teaches that our sin debt was paid in full. He forgave us all our sinc, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us he took it away, nailing it ot the cross. Col. 2:13,14 Please understand that I am not belittling your faith. But the gospel is Good news of sins being paid in full by Christ.

    Richard

  80. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 7, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Geoff,

    You wrote:

    to make it a little plainer: if we are saved by grace THROUGH faith and faith without WORKS is dead, then we need Works to keep our faith alive, and faith to attain the grace…….so, Works + Faith = saved by grace. so, can you see why we believe that they are both necessary?

    What? I certainly don’t understand how those words made it plainer.

    We don’t need works to keep our faith alive (although if we don’t do any works that means we are dead), we simply need to feed our faith. It’s like this. Before a person is brought to faith by the Holy Spirit, that person is spiritually dead. As Jesus told Nicodemus, a person must be born again. The very instant that person is born again, they cross over from being spiritually dead to being alive spiritually (John 5:24).

    Just like when a baby is born and that physical life needs to be fed to stay alive, so it is with a spiritual life. The “food” for a spiritual life is the Word of God. As long as the spiritual newborn hears/reads God’s Word, he will stay alive spiritually. So, all those hours and hours I spend in the Bible studying topic after topic do more for me than just learning what God wants to teach me. That time in God’s Word is also what keeps me alive spiritually. Yes, that takes effort on my part, but that isn’t what saves me, I have already been saved. I have already received forgiveness for all of my sins, and I have eternal life–guaranteed! I received all these gifts from God, before I did anything. This fact is what truly motivates me to serve my Lord. I have been given so much that I live my life serving Him who died for me.

    I think what is confusing for you is that you have a false LDS teaching in your head about faith and conversion. LDS prophets claim that “faith” itself is a work, and that conversion is something that does not happen in an instant–it takes a lifetime. (Using the illustration of being “born-again” for conversion, according to Mormon prophets there are lots of Mormons who are taking their whole life simply in the labor of birthing.) But God’s Word tells us that Faith is a gift from God and conversion does happen in an instant. You are either spiritually alive or spiritually dead. You either have complete forgiveness of all of your sins, or you have not received forgiveness for any sins. You are either a resident of heaven or a resident of hell. The very moment you are brought to faith by the Holy Spirit, you receive all of God’s eternal blessings–forgiveness, righteousness and eternal life.

    Now as I have mentioned before, if you turn to Jesus’ story about the parable of the sower of the seed, a person can loose their faith. Once you are brought to faith you do have responsibilities, it is very important to immerse yourself into God’s Word. If you want to know how to do good works, simply feed your faith by reading God’s Words and the works will flow from you. It is God working through you that you do anything, It is like Jesus said, you are the branch and He is the vine–apart from Him you can do nothing!

    Hope this helps explain it.

  81. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Geoff,

    You asked:

    over and over the Savior taught us to DO! no one has YET given me an answer to this question: why did the Apostles and Savior teach the people what to do and how to live IF it was going to be a NATURAL RESULT anyway?
    that doesn’t make a lick of sense.

    Wow, you misunderstand us if you think we are saying that we just naturally don’t sin! Yikes, please don’t get that impression. Both Christians and unbelievers sin. But unbelievers can’t do even one single thing to please God. Everything they do is sinful in God’s sight, even if it is something that looks good to mankind. (Hebrews 11:6)

    God gave His laws, His commandments, both for unbelievers and believers. His reasoning for giving His laws to unbelievers is different than for believers. (If you wish to read more indepth about this, go to my February 11th post titled “Why Did Heavenly Father Give us Commandments“.) For unbelievers, His commands were given to convict them of just how sinful they are. His law for unbelievers is like a mirror. When you look into God’s laws and see that you cannot follow His commands like He asks, you should see that you are completely sinful. By the deeds of the law no flesh is justified, it gives us a knowledge of our sin (Romans 3:19-20). If you don’t see how utterly sinful you are, then either you don’t know what God truly demands from you or, you don’t honestly look at yourself and see that you are a horribly sinful human being. By the law comes the knowledge of sin (Romans 7:7-8).

    For unbelievers, God’s law is a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ. (Galatians 3:21-24) That means that when you see how utterly sinful you are, you will give up on trying to qualify for God’s forgiveness and simply trust that Christ has already won it for you. When you turn to Jesus, you know that you could not gain forgiveness through your works. You realize that forgiveness was won with His blood.

    Now, as a believer, the law has a different purpose. You don’t have to keep God’s commands to gain something for yourself, like forgiveness or eternal life. God’s law is like a curb that keeps you in His pathway. The book of Romans does such a beautiful job of explaining all of this. In Chapter 7 after explaining that God’s purpose of the law was to bring unbelievers to Christ, Paul claims “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law.” He goes on to explain how, as a believer, God’s laws tell us what sin is.

    But then, towards the end of the Chapter, Paul confesses how he does the things he hates and doesn’t do the things he knows are right. The reason is that as a believer, sin remains. It doesn’t reign, but it remains. (For unbelievers sin reigns and they have no control.) But Paul, when he reads God’s laws and knows how far short he falls from meeting God’s demands, exclaims; “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Believers, when reading God’s laws and seeing their own sinfulness, turn immediately in thankfulness to Jesus, their Savior!!!!!!

    Believers have the Holy Ghost living inside of them and, getting back to the point of this comment and your question, for believers, God gave us his commands so we can know what God desires from us. What comes naturally is that our nature has been changed. Our desire to serve God has its own driver living inside of us. The difference between how I live now and when I was LDS is that now, anything that I do that is good, isn’t me that does it, its God living in me.

    Whenever I read a General Conference Ensign it feels, overall, like a “self Help” conference. Mormons are to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and must use their own energy and drive. Christians have this new energy force living inside of them. It’s hard to explain it if you haven’t experienced both lives. Anyway, hope this helps.

  82. osbornekristen said,

    August 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Geoff,
    Quick and simple…….

    Yes, I think the Lord wants all of his followers to be baptized as a symbol of their conversion. It does NOTHING to save us however. Jesus was still God before and after his baptism. It was a symbol…..it did not change his destiny, his holiness, his Godhood, his pefection….etc.

    No, I do NOT think baptism has to be by immersion or done in a specific place or by one who claims to hold a priesthood resevered only for Christ Himself. I was sprinkled as an infant……..it was simply a SYMBOL that my parents promised to raise me to know the Lord. I DO NOT think infant baptism is necessary or a REAL baptism because I had not yet become a Christian. I did NOT have my own children baptized in this manner…just dedicated. I,myself, was sprinkled as a young person after I was saved because that is the way my church chose to do it. My current church baptizes by immersion, sprinkling……whatever one wants. It is just a symbol……one I think makes God very happy……but NOT necessary for salvation. It is an outward sign…….. everything that is necessary for salvation happens on the inside.

    I DO NOT think that repentance has anything to do with salvation. Salvation is recognizing that you ARE a sinner and accepting God’s FREE gift of Grace. Repentance comes later. Until we have the holy Spirit living within us we don’t even know what to be sorry for.
    Romans 6:26-27 “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. ”

    Of course, as Christians part of prayer is repentance……but it does not SAVE us……or “keep” us saved We are already saved. NOTHING can seperate us from Christ!!! Our salvation is kept safe for us BY GOD. It is NOT kept or unkept by us.
    1Peter 1:4-“To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you”

    No, my relative does NOT have the answers. The Bible does……in it ALONE shall I trust. My HOPE is in HIM alone.

    Again, I serve the Lord……..not because I am trying to EARN a reward……simply because I trust that what He says is best…..I LOVE Him and want to Honor him……and I want to be a wonderful example to my children……and I want others to see Him in me so they will know Him too. You are NO better a person than I am……..we ARE all guilty without Christ standing in our place. But, frankly, I am and have been quite the “goody-goody.” But, my good behavior and works will get me no closer to God than I already am in terms of my eternal life. However, I choose the “goody-goody” title with pride because I LOVE my King and want HIS BEST for my life!!!

  83. geoff456 said,

    August 8, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Ok, KO,

    you first.

    you said: The Bible does(have the answers)……in it ALONE shall I trust.

    yet you ALSO say that baptism is NOT necessary! It is CLEAR in the Bible that being “born of the water” is necessary! It is CLEAR in the Bible that baptism is ESSENTIAL to salvation! (Mark 16:16).

    So, explain how you can pick and choose what you will adhere to.

    Do you REALLY trust the Bible??

    ~Geoff

  84. geoff456 said,

    August 8, 2009 at 8:02 am

    LDSW,

    Gee, I thought that WAS pretty plain!

    If faith without works is dead……Faith – works = dead, then it follows that
    works with faith or Works + Faith = alive.

    If we need Works to keep our Faith alive, then works are ESSENTIAL!

    pretty simple!

    I know you like to say that God is not logical….but I beg to differ. He didn’t put us down here to be blind robots. He has asked us to stretch a little, to do as Paul said, “to work out our own salvation”!!

    God is logical and His laws are not mysterious, but straightforward. He is without guile. He says what He means. I can’t understand why Denominational Christians try to make things so complicated!
    The answers are in the Bible….and in the Book of Mormon and the other standard works.

    you all deny the power! (just like the Lord told Joseph!)

    ~Geoff

  85. geoff456 said,

    August 8, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Oh and KO,

    you never answered my questions in post 53.

    geoff

  86. osbornekristen said,

    August 8, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Geoff,
    This is one of the many problems I have with the LDS church. You cannot look at one verse…….you must compare and weigh it to the entire Gospel. Your church has the knack for taking 1 verse or part of a verse and creating a doctrine from it without looking at it in light of the entire NT. I have often noted on lds.org, when attempting to explain a doctrinal issue, that they often only use one Bible verse and then the other proof texts come from Mormon literature. I will be glad to prove this so if necessary.

    Please notice that Mark 16:16 declares that “he that believeth not” shall be damned, NOT “he that is not baptized.” The same should be applied to Romans 10:9,10…
    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9,10

    Paul said in 1st Corinthians 1:17…
    “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”

    Often we see Jesus in the Bible speaking to people alone, such as the Samaritan woman in John 4, and Nicodemus in John 3 at midnight. Jesus never mentioned Baptism. Salvation is by FAITH…”Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” -Romans 5:1
    “And he found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” -Philippians 3:9

    It is the Work of God that SAVES not the work of man. Baptism is the Work of man. It is unecessary. You can be dunked for me by proxy if you want….all you will do is get yourself very wet! My ticket has already been bought and paid for. It is waiting for me…….it will NEVER change……NEVER decay. ALL my hope is in Christ not in myself or ANY work I could ever do. Baptism is a positive thing…..something that God desires but it does not equal or unequal salvation!! I am SO Glad that I don’t have a doubt in my mind where I will go if I died at this very moment!!! Can you REALLY say the same thing? How perfect and righteous have you been today…….this week……this month……..this year?? Is it good enough? Do you have even a little bit of fear or doubt??

    Post 53—I wrote a very LONG post but decided not to send it. I got a little carried away. Yes, I believe the picture must have been of the 4 “prophets.” It was on the inside cover. When my son asked if it was Jesus my m-in-law said that it was …..so I assumed that it was so. I really think that she thought it was.

    But honestly, would it be okay with you if I shared my Christian beliefs with your young grandchildren? Would you want me to sing songs to them that expressed the belief that we are saved by grace alone?? I don’t think so. So, can you see why I don’t want my toddlers to learn about the LDS religion at this age?? Of course, I will explain things as they get older, but right now I just want them to know the basics about Jesus, Heaven, Salvation, God’s Love, etc. Because LDS and Christian basics are VERY different, it is NOT appropriate to try to explain things at this point. She should respect that and most of the time she does a good job!

  87. geoff456 said,

    August 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    KO,

    Why isn’t one verse good enough?? Those were nearly the first words Christ said after His resurrection. Must have been important to Him!

    He that BELIEVES will be baptised!! It is an ordinance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ….it is NOT an ordinance of man. Jesus Christ Himself was baptised to “fulfill all righteousness”. That means to fulfill the law, to fulfill a commandment.

    You are just flat wrong on this one, sister!

    Paul had the Melchizedek priesthood….his priesthood assignment was different than John the Baptist. John had the Aaronic priesthood which is designated to preach repentance and baptism. Paul had the “higher” priesthood, the priesthood that presides, preaches the Gospel and has the power to confer the Holy Ghost.

    And didn’t Christ tell Nicodemus he must be born of the WATER and of the SPIRIT?? That is the same as saying you must be baptised with water and with fire (the Holy Ghost). He VERY DEFINITELY told Nicodemus to be baptised!!!
    The Samaritan Woman was also told that Christ was a prophet, the Messiah and that HE had the living water that would save her from thirsting again. Obviously she knew that a Prophet and a Messiah were to be FOLLOWED. The example that Jesus set by being baptised Himself has been lost on you!
    We are told MANY times to “follow Him”, do as He has done! That, along with ONE PUNY verse in Mark is enough for most folks!

    re: my advice to be “nice” grandma. How could it hurt to let your children know that grandma loves the Lord? And since we do believe in grace, I wouldn’t object one bit if you sang my kids a song about grace. I doubt there is a song in the whole primary songbook that would offend you. We love the Lord and sing about that Love. Actually things must be picking up in the denominational Christian world….the only song I ever sang as a denom child was “Jesus Loves Me”. ….pretty slim pickins’ back in those days!
    You are right that you have the right to decide what your kids hear…..but, i could just picture you slamming that Ensign shut like it contained something really foul…and having the kiddies think Grandma is a perp.

    I also wanted to make a little comment about our assurance of where we go when we die. Yes, I DO know where I am going when I die. I know my heart, I know how I have lived my life and I know that the Lord’s Grace is sufficient for me. IF i endure to the end and keep the commandments til I die, then my outcome is assured.

    I would like to know how you are so sure…especially since you could still “fall from grace” like is mentioned in the New Testament. And in Matthew 10:22 we are cautioned to stay faithful lest we fail to endure to the end. This tells me that your “salvation” is not as sure as you might think….at least without some effort on your part.

    anyway, have a nice sabbath!

    ~Geoff

  88. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 9, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    KO,

    Geoff wrote: “How could it hurt to let your children know that grandma loves the Lord? And since we do believe in grace, I wouldn’t object one bit if you sang my kids a song about grace. I doubt there is a song in the whole primary songbook that would offend you.

    I have a feeling Geoff is wrong with that statement. I would never allow my young children to sing this song that I learned as a child, from the Primary songbook:

    I am a child of God,
 And he has sent me here,
 Has given me an earthly home With parents kind and dear. [Chorus]
    Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, Help me find the way.
    Teach me all that I must do To live with him someday.

    Don’t teach your child that there is anything that he or she must do to live with God one day. If that child believes what has been taught, then he or she will not live with God–not for even one day!

    The Bible is very clear–the only way to gain eternal life is through faith alone. Adding even one of your works to Christ’s robe of righteousness makes you unclean. And, no unclean person can dwell in God’s presence (Ephesians 5:5).

    I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21)

  89. osbornekristen said,

    August 9, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Geoff,

    You said “Paul had the Melchizedek priesthood….his priesthood assignment was different than John the Baptist. John had the Aaronic priesthood which is designated to preach repentance and baptism. Paul had the “higher” priesthood, the priesthood that presides, preaches the Gospel and has the power to confer the Holy Ghost.”

    Where do you get that Paul held the Melchizedek priesthood???????? The Bible DOES NOT say this. This is a FALSE Mormon Teaching. Seriously, I want verses.

    Second, the fact that you only learned “Jesus Loves Me” as a child proves my point that it is ALMOST ALWAYS folks who DID NOT grow up being taught about Jesus and learning the word of God as children who convert to Mormonism. Folks who have grown up with a relationship with Christ and who studied the Bible and whose parents made it a priority to teach them about God’s love, mercy and grace, showed them what GRACE means by the way they lived their lives, and read them the Bible and sung them Christian songs about God’s saving grace……don’t buy into LDS lies because they can easily see through the false teachings and realize how unbiblical they are!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My tiny toddlers know TONS of Christian songs…….most of which are songs that I grew up singing as well. I can think of LOTS and LOTS of Christian songs right now that I KNOW completely go against Mormon theology. You really CAN’T listen to Christian radio and by into the LDS view of salvation. I can list many, many songs that prove this point. Sadly, you must have grown up in a home that did not make the Jesus of the BIBLE a priority.

    Speaking of “Jesus Loves Me”, did you learn these verses of it as a child “Jesus loves me when I’m bad….though it makes Him very sad” or “Jesus loves me He who died, Heaven’s gates to open wide….He will wash away my sin….let the little child come in.”
    Even this song explains that God NEVER “dumps” us when we are bad and says that it is His death that makes it possible for us to go to Heaven.”

    Lay off the Grandma thing already. I DID NOT slam the Ensign shut. I try to avoid conflict…but I WILL always teach my children the TRUTH….even if that means hurting someone’s feelings.

    Finally, No! I don’t think that you, yourself Geoff, can look at just one verse. What about Ephesians 2:8 “ 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
    What about;
    John 3:16 that says “whosoever believeth in Him” will not perish but have everlasting life. ….it does not say ALL men will have everlasting life. He goes on to say……….18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

    And……..
    John 11:25-26 “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”

    John 3:36 36He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him”

    John 5:24 24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

    Do you believe just one of these verses it “good enough?” Apparently, not. Luckily, the NT is full of this SAME message of faith=salvation. I could list verse after verse.

    By the way, these are just a few LDS songs that I wouldn’t want sung to my little ones:
    Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice – #21
    Families Can Be Together Forever – #300
    If You Could Hie to Kolob – #284
    An Angel Came to Joseph Smith – #86a
    Latter-day Prophets – #134
    Search, Ponder, and Pray – #109
    The Eighth Article of Faith – #127 etc, etc, etc,

  90. geoff456 said,

    August 9, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    LDSW and KO,

    oops, i guess i am a little rusty on my primary songs!! heaven forbid you teach your child that they are children of God!! talk abut filth! talk about heresy! talk about the hellish nature of the LDS religion!! better cover the kiddie’s ears!!! :) :) :)

    KO<
    You are wrong about my upbringing….it was the church i went to that was lame. The Gospel as taught by the LDS church rang true to my heart from the first moment i heard it. I didn't get baptized immediately, but it remained the only thing that felt right and true and good. when i returned to it (after searching and searching and going to denom after denom….who incidentally all teach different doctrines)….it was like coming home! I am grateful each and every day that i have the TRUE gospel!

    Everyone one of your quoted verses mention "belief" and or "faith"…..well, in Mark 16:16, belief is TIED to baptism. It is an ordinance from God….whether you like it or not.

    Paul was an apostle. Apostles were high priests. "High Priest" is an office in the Melchizedek priesthood. any kind of "ordination" is referring to the priesthood. Your understanding that Jesus is the only High Priest is false.

    ~Geoff

  91. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 10, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Geoff,

    You have actually said something that I agree with!!!

    You wrote:

    If i endure to the end and keep the commandments til I die, then my outcome is assured.”

  92. catzgalore said,

    August 10, 2009 at 9:02 am

    My grandson (5) is so proud that he knows all the primary songs (lds)

    I googled “if you could hie to Kolob” because I have never heard of the song about Kolob, near where God’s body supposedly lives…

    1. If you could hie to Kolob In the twinkling of an eye,
    And then continue onward With that same speed to fly,
    Do you think that you could ever, Through all eternity,
    Find out the generation Where Gods began to be?

    Over and over again in scripture is the “I AM” , the ONLY GOD. This one little lds church doctrine in this song, there are many gods, is enough to convince me of the heresy of mormonism. I need no other proof.

    Another old hymn of the Faith:

    My faith has found a resting place,
    Not in device nor creed;
    I trust the Everliving One,
    His wounds for me shall plead.

    Enough for me that Jesus saves,
    This ends my fear and doubt;
    A sinful soul, I come to Him,
    He’ll never cast me out.

    My heart is leaning on the Word,
    The written Word of God,
    Salvation by my Savior’s name,
    Salvation through His blood.

    My great Physician heals the sick,
    The lost He came to save;
    For me His precious blood He shed,
    For me His life He gave.

    Refrain:
    I need no other argument,
    I need no other plea;
    It is enough that Jesus died,
    And that He died for me.

    Lidie H. Edmunds, 19th Century

    AMEN!!!

  93. shematwater said,

    August 10, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    First, it seems that Geoff is caught in a pointless debate, and I would suggest that he get out of it.

    Second, to CATZ

    Concerning the references to One God in the Bible, I would like to say a few things.

    First, there are only two such references in the Old Testiment (that I can find). Isaiah 43: 10, which is easily explained by verse 11 and its reference to one savior (as I have shown on a previous thread). Then there is Malachi 2: 10, which speaks first to “One Father” and thus can also easily be shown to speak to that specific and unique figure.

    In the New Testiment, when Christ speaks of “One God” he is refering to the Father. Other’s who speak of one God either mention some part of Christ’s roll as savior (also unique) when refering to him, or they leave this out, indicating a reference to the Father.

    The two greatest passages though are Ephesians 4: 6 “There is one body, and one Spirit … One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
    Thus, the Spirit and the Lord (Jesus) and made separate from God (Father).

    The second passage is in 1 Timothy 2: 5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”
    Again Christ and the Father are made separate.

    Then there are the references to the Godhead in Acts 17: 29; Romans 1: 20; and Colossians 2: 9. What does Godhead mean but “Head of the Gods.” Thus, if the Father holds the Godhead, as well as Christ (as is indicated in the three references given) then there must be other gods that they are over.

    Thus, the idea of many gods in not foreign to the doctrine taught in the Bible.

  94. shematwater said,

    August 10, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    RBLANDJR

    While my parable did a great job at illustrating the basic concept, it still does not touch on every detail. Read my post (#72) where I give the three basic effects of the Grace of God. Looking at these I will now add more detail to my parable so that you may understand.

    We owe the Father the debt. While we have the potential to make up to 100,000 a year (meaning we can do that much work) we do not have the training. Thus, not only does Christ match our payments plus fifty percent, it is through him that we learn how to even earn what is needed. Now, once we have the training (which is freely given to all men) we must also find employment with one able to pay us. Again, it is Christ who comes and hires us, giving us the job we need to earn enough to repay our debt.

    In this way, everything we do, or are able to do, is through the Grace of God. It is not by our works, as we would not have works if it was not for his grace. Without his grace we would not even know what is good and what is bad. We would not have the power to fulfill righteousness.

    As to the requirements, I think you are putting to much pressure on us, more than even we do. What God truly requires is the unfailing willingness to serve him in all things. Yes, we will make mistakes. However, if our every effort is put towards following him he will grant us exaltation.

    Now, I know I spoke of having your calling and election made sure as the way to know you have made it, and this is true. However, I do believe that many who do not gain this promise will still gain exaltation.

    Now, as to this being good news, when it is all taken into account it is great news, the best I have ever heard. Consider the differences in the Christian and LDS news. (and correct me if I am wrong-telling me what the real doctrine is).

    Good news for Christians: If you believe, you will be saved in heaven where you will spend eternity worshiping Christ. Nothing you do can make it any worse for you as it is basically a free ride for the Faithful (and please don’t harp on this again, and no one has yet been able to prove this wrong). While people do disagree on whether or not we will recognize each other, they all agree that there will be no family relations.

    Good news for LDS: If you believe, you will be saved in Heaven where you will spend eternity serving the gods. Once there nothing can make it worse for you. However, with a little extra effort in this life you can go there and be with your family in an eternal relationship, and your family and posterity with never end. If you don’t put in this effort you will still know each other, but will not have the family relation.

    Notice that the LDS church promises the same thing as other Christians as the reward for the same thing. But we give a greater news to those willing to do their part.

    The Christian doctrine is good news in that you don’t have to work, the LDS gospel is good news in that you will receive the greatest blessings. Me, I prefer the blessings to the no work.

  95. geoff456 said,

    August 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    catz,

    nice song….there is not one thing in it that i don’t agree with.

    did you read the rest of “if i could hie to kolob“? It is a neat song.

    i am curious if you disagree with the Catholics and jews as much as you do with LDS people. Are they all going to burn in hell with us?

    you have the advantage over KO….she will probably outlive her LDS relative and there will be no one to do the temple work for her…but YOU have younger generations who are LDS and they will probably outlive you! LUCKY YOU!! (oh, yeah…you don’t believe in luck)

    ~Geoff

  96. catzgalore said,

    August 10, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Shem

    Notice that the LDS church promises the same thing as other Christians as the reward for the same thing. But we give a greater news to those willing to do their part.”

    You too are in an endless debate. Just think about it, you’ll figure it out.

    The LDS church’s greater news- we can serve the gods??? I thought you get to BE a god with your own world, or don’t they teach that any more?

    How can the mormon church remotely be considered Christian? You don’t serve the same God. I serve the God of the Bible. You serve “the gods”. I don’t wish to serve any other god than the True God.

    Geoff,
    I don’t believe in luck. You are right!!
    I did read the rest of that song. When it starts off with kolob, it loses me. I do think about the vastness of the universe- and I love Psalm 139.

    I don’t even believe all Mormons will burn in hell. Only God knows that and I don’t pretend to. I am sure we will all be surprised. I think we who are with Jesus will be so overwhelmed by His Glory that not much else will matter.

    Do some research! Look carefully at what has changed in the mormon church over the years. See what your prophets said! Don’t cover your ears and say, I’m not listening, I’m not listening!!!

    Creepy thought that someone will do “temple work” for me. Maybe my relatives will be out of the church by then. I don’t suppose that anyone asks permission. It won’t matter anyway, it won’t mean anything. I’ll be dead. I won’t care, and God won’t think I joined the mormon church.

    Oh, and I don’t think you have to be a relative any more.

  97. osbornekristen said,

    August 10, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    First, Shem said”

    While people do disagree on whether or not we will recognize each other, they all agree that there will be no family relations.

    Wow! Talk about twisting words and telling us what “we believe!” This is TOTALLY FALSE!! Something that we Christians NEVER said or believe!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We have said that we believe that the Bible says that the marriage relationship is for this earth only……..(the sexual realtionship and having children). Of course I believe that we will recognize, live with, worship with, love and enjoy all of the wonders of our Heavenly home with our loved ones!!! We will be TOGETHER FOREVER!!!!!!!!!! But, it will not be because of some earthly sealing ceremony……it will be because of the blood of Jesus. My husband, my parents, my grandparents, my brother, (and someday my children) have ALL accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior……..this is why we will be together FOREVER with Christ……not because of some man-made ceremony that loses its promise of forever if one of the members slips up.

    Come on! How many times have you accused us of misunderstanding and twisting your beliefs……..I think this one takes the cake on your part.

    Geoff,

    The fact that you think that all of this FALSE ceremonial mumbo-jumbo is required to have eternal life just proves that you have really missed the gospel message all together. There is NO work required for salvation……especially work done by someone else. That concept is ridiculous anyway. I’m glad I can completely depend on Jesus and not some crazy, man-made schemes.

  98. rblandjr said,

    August 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Shem,

    I appreciate you taking the time to explain your points.I hope you are not getting frustrated and angry with me? I believe that this is the most important thing and if we get this wrong then we will spend an eternity in outer darkness. I say this out of love not out of any arrogance or pride.

    If you don’t mind let us look at Luke 18:10-14 concerning the pharisee and the tax collecter.

    10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but l beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

    Which man did Christ declare justified, righteous and exalted?
    THE TAX COLLECTOR

    Was he truly repentant?
    Christ said yes

    When was this man declared righteous/justifed/exalted?
    When he prayed for God to be merciful to him a sinner.

    The means of salvation/justification is by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ. ”God be merciful to me a sinner

    Col. 2:13-14 states, ” And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumciaion of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwritting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross:

    James’ goal is to distinguish true faith from false faith. He addresses what saving faith is and how we can recognize it, not how it saves. He shows that true faith produces works, which then become visible evidences of faith’s invisible presence. He is talking about how true faith reveals itself becomes apparent from v. 18 “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do“. James then cites the example of how Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son “made perfect” his faith. James is not saying Abraham’s faith was not true faith until he was willing to sacrifice Isaac can be seen from the very next verse. There James quotes Gen. 15:6 which says Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. But God spoke those words, before Isaac was even born. Before Abraham did anything he had saving faith. His willingness to sacrifice Isaac came after his faith. it was a fruit and not the root of his faith, thus serving as a visible evidence of his invisible faith. In that sense, his faith was made complete, “completed in the sense that an apple tree is completed when it produces what god intended and created it to produce, apples”.

    Paul states in Rom. 4:3-6 “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    Heb 10: 14- “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever then that are sanctified.

    Christ paid the debt in full. He nailed my sin to his cross. He blotted them out and forgave me.

    Correct me if I am wrong but before Christs grace becomes activated or effectual you must “do all you can do“. Moroni 10:32 ” Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.”

    These verses state that you must do all you can first. You must “deny yourselves of all ungodliness: and love God with all your might mind and strength before his grace becomes effectual. If that is your scripture then it is saying you have to be perfect, denying all ungodliness before Christs grace can even begin to help you. None of us can do that. What a burden.

    Please understand that I am no better than any man or woman, I am like that tax collector. A sinner in need of a Savior, who throws himself on his mercy asking to be forgiven. Knowing that Jesus died for my sins and rose again. I have peace and joy because of that. Nothing I did could ever merit this wonderful forgiveness I have received. My prayer is that all come to know that peace and forgiveness from the Savior. Praise his name.

    Richard

  99. geoff456 said,

    August 11, 2009 at 8:11 am

    KO,

    actually you take the cake! most denominational Christians DO NOT believe that family relationships and “love” will transcend the grave. YOU speak for your own beliefs, but I have done lots of research into this…and have family background to back me up. My dad’s family was Mennonite….they don’t. I personally asked a Methodist, Presbyterian and Nazerene and they don’t. Maybe it is the more Evangelical groups that believe it….but it is NOT a common belief among Christians.

    Christians are those that follow Christ. And we qualify there. We seek to keep His commandments, to DO all that he asks us to do (including baptism by immersion…sorry had to add that).

    ~Geoff

  100. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 11, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Geoff,

    What???? You wrote to KO:

    “actually you take the cake! most denominational Christians DO NOT believe that family relationships and “love” will transcend the grave. YOU speak for your own beliefs, but I have done lots of research into this…and have family background to back me up. My dad’s family was Mennonite….they don’t. I personally asked a Methodist, Presbyterian and Nazerene and they don’t. Maybe it is the more Evangelical groups that believe it….but it is NOT a common belief among Christians.”

    You must not talk to many Christians!!!! Only Mormons believe that Christians think they won’t be with their loved ones and family members eternally; or even know that these people were their family members on earth! And the only reasons Mormons believe this is because they are told that this is what Christians believe—by their very own leaders.

    When I discovered this truth; that Christians do believe that they will spend eternal life with other family members who are Christian, I got angry. I was angry because I had been lied to and misled all my life. I believe this lie is one of Satan’s tools that keeps Mormons in this false faith. He is miserable and he certainly doesn’t want anyone else to experience the joy of eternal life.

    Now I understand how you could have converted to Mormonism.

    This is why Jesus told us to beware of false prophets! If we do not test their words, we will be without excuse on Judgment Day!

  101. geoff456 said,

    August 11, 2009 at 10:55 am

    LDSW,

    then why are these PEOPLE telling me this?? It is because this what THEY are taught. I did NOT get this from LDS people…..my dad told me this as a child. His parents told him…i doubt they even KNEW LDS people!

    KO,
    This illustrates EXACTLY what I mean when I say that not all Christian Churches or denominations believe the same ESSENTIAL doctrines. I was very confused as I tried to navigate all the different religions. thank HEAVENS I found the true gospel!

    have a good one!

    ~Geoff

  102. geoff456 said,

    August 11, 2009 at 11:13 am

    KO,

    oh, and listen to the WHOLE video. It actually de-bunks MANY of your theories…..not saying that the guy is right, mind you, but I am saying that YOUR interpretation of the bible is NOT the (only) interpretation held by other Christian denominations.

    ~Geoff

  103. shematwater said,

    August 11, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    OSBORNEKRISTEN

    From what you say there is still no family relation. You are all just a group of friends who remember the relations you once had. When I speak of family relations I speak directly to the marriage of Husband and Wife as one Flesh, to them having children, to the Father being the head of the family. This you directly admit that you do not believe in, and thus what I said was correct, as I never denied that some do believe we will know each other.

    However, I would also point out that this is a rather recent belief, as it was not taught in the Middle Ages.

    LDSWOMAN

    Where did you learn from. According to the LDS every person will know every other person in heaven. We will not only remember our families here, but we will have the memory of all our spirit brothers and sisters from our premortal life.
    However, from your wording you may also be trying to say tha only Mormons believe that Christians believe this, which is again untrue. I would say that from all the Christians I have spoken to personally it is about evenly devided as to how many believe we will know each other and how many don’t.

    Please clarify your meaning, as it was somewhat fague.

  104. shematwater said,

    August 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    RBLANDJR

    Most everything you say I do believe, and I think that is the biggest problem between the LDS and other Christians.

    First, the Pharisee and the Tax Collector: Yes it is the Tax Collector who is justified, who is truly humble. However, the Pharisee also had faith.

    I like the way you put it when speaking of James. The idea of Saving Faith rather than just faith. It actually explains it very well, but it is not generally spoken of by most Christians in this way.
    Also, if Saving Faith produces the works, than not having the works means you don’t have Saving Faith, and thus without the works you are not saved. I understand what you are saying, and I agree with it. However the logical conclusion is that works are needed to prove your faith, which most Christians do not believe. There are many who believe that regardless of what your works are, if you believe you are saved (savlation inspite of works).
    Now, I think that what you believe in regards to faith and works is basically the same as the LDS church. However, when Christians teach that it is salvation by faith, and do not mention that works proves your faith, they mislead many. The LDS point a higher emphasis of works than other Christians so that there is no misunderstanding.

    As to the verses in Nephi, I think you misunderstand what is being spoken of here.
    First, when a prophet speaks of salvation, in general they are speakingof the Celestial Kingdom.
    Second, recall the three functions of Grace I listed. Our knowledge of what to do is a free gift through the Grace of God. The power to act in righteousness is a free gift to the faithful. Once we have been given these gifts then we must act on them, or do all we can do, to receive the final reward of Grace.
    Grace is in effect from the moment we are born. Once we accept Christ its power in our lives increases. Then, if we have done all we can with the power given us, it will lift us to exaltation. The saving power of Grace comes after all we can do, but grace itself comes long before then.

  105. catzgalore said,

    August 11, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    It doesn’t bother me that other Christians believe differently. To me, there is only ONE essential: Do you believe that Jesus died to pay for ALL of your sins and there is NOTHING you do to earn that salvation? Of course I don’t guarantee anyone’s salvation, not my call. ;)

    And my goal is NOT to spend eternity with my family, much as I desire that. My greatest desire is to spend eternity with Jesus, my Savior…

    And I suspect, Geoff, that you would say you believe that Jesus died for all your sins. Your works are icing on the cake as it were. Find out if that is the historical teaching of your church. Maybe that doesn’t matter to you, I don’t know. It just seems to me that if some of your past prophets taught differently that might bother you.

    No not all Christians believe the same. We are not saved by what we believe– good thing, because NOBODY except the Lord has it all RIGHT.

  106. rblandjr said,

    August 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Shem,
    Thank you for taking all this time to explain your position. I appreciate your patience. But I want you to know that I am motivated and burdened by Gods Spirit and His word to share the love of Christ. I don’t care about winning an argument. What shall it profit a man if a gain the whole world and lose his soul.

    An individual is justified before God by faith in the finished work of Christ. The result is eternal life with Heavenly Father) My works has nothing to do with earning or keeping my salvation. The works are just the fruit of salvation not the means of my salvation.

    I left off one verse in that passage, v. 9 which I used on another blog and was accused of being arrogant. Which was not my intent.

    v. 9 sums up the intent of the parable. “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

    This parable is rich with truth about the doctrine of justificatiion by faith alone. It illustrates perfectly how a sinner who is utterly devoid of personal righteousness may be declared righteous before God instantaneously through an act of repentant faith. The parable is addressed to Pharisees who trusted their own righteousness(vv.10,11) Such confidence in ones righteousness is a damning hope(cf.Rom. 10:3;Phil3:9), because human righteousness–even the righteousness of the most fastidious Pharisee—falls short of the divine standard ( Matt. 5:48). Scripture consistently teaches that sinners are justified when God’s perfect righteousness is imputed to their account(2Cor. 5:21) and it was only on that basis that this tax collector ( or anyone else) could be saved.( Eternal Life with Heavenly Father)

    You cannot earn the highest place in the CK if yu are not perfect(Matt.5:48)’
    “…and if ye shall deny yourself of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strenth, then is his grace sufficient.

    Shem,
    I was saved at 20 and called to preach. I studied and trained for the ministry. I was and am active in ministry. I do it as an avocation. It is a burden of my heart. I have failed the Lord at times. But if I had to be perfect and deny all ungodliness and love God with all my being to Live eternally with my heavenly Father. Then you can forget it. Though I have served him, there is no way I could ever do this. No one is capable of this. We are all sinners and only Christs sacrifice on the Cross being imputed to my life by faith in Him alone. No works, no continual striving, repentance, no anything will suffice.

    Paul says in Phil. 3:9 “And be found in him not having my own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by Faith.

    I think Christ was saying in that Parable to the Pharisees, Don’t trust your work to justify/exalt you. Trust me and my finished work on the Cross by grace through faith.

    When I speak of biblicaly salvation that doesn’t mean being resurrected from the dead. It means that my name is written in the Lambs book of life and i will spend eternity with my Heavenly Father because of Christs finished work on the cross. Anything other than this is not acceptable with our Heavenly Father. I am not trying to be mean just clear on what I was saying.

    I hope you understand my burden is for all to come to Christ trusting in his finished work on the cross by faith alone to redeem and save them.
    That is my prayer. Amen

  107. osbornekristen said,

    August 11, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Geoff,

    You are TOTALLY, 100% percent WRONG about Christians not believing that they will know, love, and be with their loved ones in heaven!! REALLY!! Why would we teach our children about the Lord and witness to our friends and loved ones if we thought that we wouldn’t be together in Heaven?

    Not to be mean, but I don’t think that you can depend on the things you “learned” from your family since they must not have spent much time teaching you God’s word or the truth of God’s grace anyway. Again, it appears to be those who didn’t grow up with parents who made the truth of scripture a priority who are able to be deceived by the LDS religion. ( No offense to those of you with LDS kids….this is just my personal finding). And, just because someone calls themselves a Methodist, Presbyterian or Nazerene doesn’t mean that they know the word of God or are a Christian.

    I grew up Methodist and my parents and a set of my grandparents are Methodist……..they TOTALLY believe that we will be togther FOREVER in heaven!!!!!! When I got married, I got my mom a painting of a Mansion with the scripture verse from John 14:2 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” I signed the card, I hope your mansion is next to mine!!….your FOREVER daughter!! My mom and I ALWAYS sign our cards this way…..Your Forever Mommy/forever daughter!

    My children and I talk about what we might do together in Heaven all the time…they come up with some funny stuff! My son wants to take lots of train rides together with Jesus driving, and my daughter always makes sure to add that her grandparents will get to ride the train too!

    I spent my teenage years in a Baptist Church and attended a Baptist college……they too believe that ALL followers of Christ will be together FOREVER and know and celebrate the joys of Heaven with their families! Seriously, you have been misinformed!!!

    A great Christian Children’s book on this subject is Someday Heaven by Larry Libby! It is based on scripture and explains the Christian belief of Heaven on a child’s level. There is a whole chapter in this book about “Will I Know my Grandpa in Heaven.” It explains that no one will be more excited about our arrival in Heaven than our loved ones. It even talks about going fishing with your grandpa………except he won’t be sick or feeble anymore!

    Of course there are some denominations that I don’t fully agree with anyway………and I don’t know what their beliefs on heaven even are. I don’t have any clue about Nazerenes of Mennonites……..these are not popular denominations in my part of the world. Are they even protestant religions???????

    I can speak for Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians, Lutherians and Evangelical Christians. We ALL believe that those who accept Christ will be in heaven togethet with their families!! You’re dad might have believed something false…….but I don’t think I’d place my bets on his understanding of the true gospel…….even you haven’t!!

    I have NO idea what Heaven will totally be like and neither do you……even though your prophets have made a lot of “claims”!! I just know that we will live FOREVER with Christ and that’s all that matters to me!! What is the fascination with the whole sexual relationship anyway? Trust me, I’m all for that with my hubby…….but that is the last thing that comes to mind when I think of heaven!!

    Baptism is NOT required for SALVATION…….and yes, there are Christians who believe that it is……they are WRONG too!!! There are also KJV only Christians and Christians who think communion has to be done every Sunday and Christians that are against cutting their hair and wearing makeup….I am NOT one of them. Thankfully, these are matters of denominational traditions……not relationship with Christ issues.

    How much water gets on your head HAS NOTHING to do with anything.
    ARE you even sure that you got immersed enough??? Maybe you’d better line someone up to be rebaptized for you just incase. I, on the other hand, am focused on my personal relationship with Christ. I have done what Christ asked…..I have accepted him in faith, I have been baptized to show that I am ALREADY a Christian. Baptism is a symbol…..not an means of saving!

  108. osbornekristen said,

    August 11, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Geoff

    I have to laugh about the website and video you posted. Do you realize the the Restored Church of God is considered a cult? When I goggled the name of the church……all I got was articles about it being a cult! They ARE NOT a Christian church! Its leader is nuts! These guys are WAY OFF base! It’s too bad that David Koresh or Jim Jones aren’t around to ask what Christians believe!

    Seriously, do a little more research next time before you claim these ideas as Christian! Read this article on the guy who did the video you posted. http://www.exitsupportnetwork.com/artcls/Pack.htm

  109. catzgalore said,

    August 11, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    A reinforcement of what I have said before; don’t follow a church, follow the LORD. Men will lead you astray. Especially if they are saying their way is the only one. A pretty sure indication of a cult.

  110. geoff456 said,

    August 12, 2009 at 7:48 am

    wow,

    talk about luck! out of all the denominational Christians in the world that I could blog with…I got the 3 that KNOW EVERYTHING!

    they know more than the average Christian on the street, the average Pastor at a Church, than any family member and can re-write scripture to suit themselves! what a deal!

    The trouble is: you are wrong! LOL

    ~your friendly, neighborhood Mormon,
    Geoff

  111. catzgalore said,

    August 12, 2009 at 11:16 am

    LOL Geoff, you aren’t friendly, nor are you in my neighborhood.

    The more I know, the more I know I don’t know, Geoff. Every day I am amazed that the Lord loves me. Every day I thank Him for His mercy and grace. Every day I know that God is bigger than my human brain can fathom.

    So if you don’t like us, maybe you should blog somewhere else? Or is this your church calling?

    And you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

  112. shematwater said,

    August 12, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    RBLANDJR

    I have to disagree with you concerning the Parable, but I do not wish to get into that right now.

    what I will say is that it seems you are contradicting yourself, even though I know you do not see it that way. You said that Saving Grace produces the works, but that those sames works have no bearing on our salvation. It is an illogical conclusion. You can believe that it is our faith that saves us, but is Saving Faith produces works than not having those works means you do not have saving faith. Thus the works, while not the actual criteria, are the evidence of the faith. this comes down to the basic equation I gave earlier: Faith = Salvation, Faith = Works, thus Works = Salvation.
    To make it fit a little more Faith + Works = Saving Faith and Saving Faith = Salvation.
    This is what you said when you spoke of the passage in James 2. And now you say that works cannot be part of it. Thus you are saying the Faith = Salvation, thus you are agreeing with those who say it is inspite of works.

    Now this may be what you originally intended, but it is not the logic of what you said.

    As to men being perfect, I have to discagree with you. I believe it is possible to become perfect, and in this life. I believe I mentioned that I believe Abraham was perfect (proving it in offering up Isaac), as well as Job. Now, I do not believe any man can be perfect his entire life. That was only possible for Christ. We have all sinned in the past, but we can all reach a point where we will never sin again, and we can reach this point only through the Grace of Christ.
    We do not need to reach this point in this life, however, which is what you seem to imply. In this life we need only do all we can to reach this point, and then the Grace of God will lift us in the next life. To go into all the details of what I beleive and what was taught by Joseph Smith and other prophets would take to long. To make it simple, those who did all they could in this life will be exalted. However, if they were not made perfect in this life they will have to become perfect in the next, thus they will be at a disadvantage compared to those who were made perfect in this life.

    GEOFF

    I love the way you put this. However, I would be careful, as there are verying beliefs within the LDS church. Of course, on these points we have no actual teaching, so it is understandable, but still.

    CATZ

    What we are saying is exactly what the early leaders, as well as the ancient prophets, have taught from the time of Adam. I am sorry that you have been deceived by cunning men, but please do not try and argue that we have changed our beliefs as it is completely false.

  113. geoff456 said,

    August 12, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    actually i am very friendly! :)

    I just love debating you ladies! this is my “fun”, not my calling!

    let’s see….honey…..ok, how about this: You ladies are charming, lovely examples of Christendom and I wish you the very best blessings that fall from heaven…..there, how’s that? ( I am sincere, you know!)

    FRIENDLY, “neighborly” Geoff

  114. rblandjr said,

    August 12, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Shem,

    I did not contradict myself, if I did that was not what I intended to do. Let me try to make clearer for you so you won’t misunderstand what I am saying.

    James is dealing with the outward fruit of a saved/justified individual.

    See there are two types of faith. True and False. The false faith which may be just mental assent to the facts but it hasn’t penetrated the heart and brought about real salvation.

    True salvatiion is the result Of God drawing a person to Christ, bringing about repentance and faith where a man crys out for mercy. Right then and there a person is justified(declared righteous by God)and only God can see this invisble faith.

    Now all that man can see is the outward things. So a man does not know if that person was saved just because he prayed a prayer. When the man see’s changes in the life of that individual then he knows something has happened. This is the work that james was talking about.

    The example I gave from Abraham in Gen. 15:6. Lets look at that passage in Gen. 15.

    God promises Abram that he will have a son. That his seed would number the stars. Now what was Abrahams response to Gods word,(promise)?

    V.6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” Right then and there Abram was justified and made righteous in Gods eyes.

    Now probably 10 to 15 years or so later in Gen. 22 Abraham carries Isaac to Mt. Moriah to offer him up. So for that 10 to 15 years God had considered Abraham justified.

    Now could man see that change in Abram’s heart? No

    It was later as a result of salvation that works or fruit was seen by man to prove he was saved. Now this work occured later, so it wasn’t the means of his salvation.
    In other words before Abraham did any work he had saving faith.In Gen15;6 God said his faith was credited to him as righteousness. Now that was in Gods eyes.
    Years later the work of offering Isaac occured.
    “The work of offering Isaac was the FRUIT and NOT the ROOT of His FAITH.
    THIS SERVED AS A VISIBLE EVIDENCE OF HIS INVISIBLE FAITH.

    First comes the Root (Gen.15:6), God declares him righteous which is his invisble faith that man cannot see.

    Now that root grows into a tree and then produces fruit(Gen.22) which is the visible evidence of that faith that took. What a man can see as evidence of Abrahams faith, which initially took place much earlier in Gen. 15:6.

    I hope I made that clear in what I meant. Sometimes my written communication isn’t clear. I am a teacher and a preacher so I am more comfortable with the spoken word. Please understand I was not trying to mislead or give you a hard time. Thanks for your honesty and patience with me.

  115. catzgalore said,

    August 12, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Yes, they have changed from the early days. Don’t you believe in continuing revelations?

  116. rblandjr said,

    August 13, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Shem,

    Wanted to clear up what I meant by saying according to LDS doctrine you have to be perfect, deny all ungodliness, love God perfectly before his grace can become effectual or activated in your lives.

    For example, take look at how forgiveness becomes complete or effectual.

    The Miracle of Forgiveness, President Spencer W. Kimball

    Page 150: The first step is the turning point at which the sinner consciously recognizes his sin. This is the awakening…
    Page163: There is one crucial test of repentance. This is abandonment of the sin…
    Pages 164-165: “Trying is Not Sufficient. Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin… It is normal for children to try. They fall and get up numerous times before they can be certain of their footing. But adults, who have gone through these learning periods, must determine what they will do, then proceed to do it. To “try” is weak. To “do the best I can” is not strong…
    Page 170: Those who feel that they can sin and be forgiven and then return to sin and be forgiven again and again must straighten out their thinking. Each previously forgiven sin is added to the new one and the whole gets to be a heavy load.”…
    Page 193: Restitution Always Part of Repentance…
    Page 201-202: Keeping God’s Commandments Brings Forgiveness. In His preface to modern revelation, the Lord outlined what is one of the most difficult requirements in true repentance. For some it is the hardest part of repentance, because it puts one on guard for the remainder of his life. The Lord says: …I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven. (D&C 1:31-32. Italics added.) This scripture is most precise. First, one repents. Having gained that ground he then must live the commandments of the Lord to retain his vantage point. This is necessary to secure complete forgiveness.”

    The point I was trying to make was that for LDS to receive forgiveness he must thoroughly repent, make restitution, forsake sin and live the commandments before he or she can secure complete forgiveness.

    That seems utterly impossible in this life. And if we do not get it right in this life then all thats waiting for us is Outer darkness.

    The only thing I am certain of is that I am a great sinner and Chist is a great Savior who paid in full my debt. He has forgiven me as he has promised in his word.

    Hallelujah for the Cross, for sins forgiven , his presence daily and a home in eternity with the Father all because of his great grace.

  117. geoff456 said,

    August 13, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Richard,

    Yep, you totally described the proper way to repent.

    Do YOU think that if a man is “saved” and commits adultery he should 1. stop commiting adultery, 2. not repeat it, and 3. mop up his mess with his wife, family and/or the family of his “mistress”? Or should he just “try” to stop…..and IS he still saved if he doesn’t “repent”??

    ~Geoff

  118. onlyjesus3 said,

    August 14, 2009 at 8:48 am

    geoff456 – Re: Your Post #113: I see upon your conversion to mormonism you have gotten the arrogant mormon priest personna down pat in your dealings with women.

    I do not think you realize the significance of this post but I would guess that the Christians on this post do. For you – this blog is your “fun” and not a calling. I have thought that several of you mormons on this and on Mark’s blog see things this way and you proved it to me. The difference between we Christians who are posting and yourself is that we care about where you and other mormons will spend eternity. That is why we endure the insults and anger – because if you continue in the mormon church you will find after your death that you will face an eternity without God – in outer darkness. We care about this. For us this is not “fun” – debating mormons and trying to catch them up on every little error they make.

    I would suggest, my friend, that you take some time and really read what they write to you because when you stand before God in the afterlife – having heard this truth and rejected it now – He will cast you aside saying “I never knew you”.

  119. shematwater said,

    August 15, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    RBLANDJR

    What you said to clarify your point is a repeat of what you originally said, and is the exact same thing that is taught by the LDS church concerning works. When we have faith the grace of God rests on us, giving us the power to produce the works which are the evidence that keeps our faith alive. There is really no difference.
    However, having said this, would you agree that if a person does not show this outward evidence that they can still be saved, that they still have this Saving Faith? From your explanation the only logical answer has to be no, and that is my point.
    Yes, it is our faith that brings our salvation, and it is the measure of our faith that we will be judge on, but the evidence of our faith is our works, and if we have no evidence how are we to prove we ever had faith.
    Also, do you believe it possible for a person to have this saving faith and then lose it through transgression? This I do believe and this is why we speak of works in such an emphasized way.
    You used the idea of faith being a tree that sprouts forth to good works. Didn’t Christ say that “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” (Matthew 7: 19)
    So, my point is that without the good works, which is the fruit of faith, a persons faith availeth nothing, and this is what the Bible teaches. Thus, to teach only salvation through faith is misleading, which is why the LDS church does not teach it.

    As to being perfect, and repentance. All that you quote is true, but repentance is not always the forsaking of all sin at the same time. I have struggled with verious sins in my past. Some I have repented of and have not fallen back into such acts. Others I still struggle with, and I am therefore still repenting of them. However, when it says “after all we can do” it means that we must repent as fully as possible of sins. When it says that to “do your best” is not strong it means that to say you have done your best and give up is not strong. A man who says he has done his best and can now stop trying is deceiving himself and trying to cheat the justice and mercy of God, for while you are yet alive you can still do more.
    No, we may not fully repent of all sins, but if we keep working, never faltering in our struggle to repent, we will still receive the Exaltation, and we finish our journey to perfection in the next life. If we simply give up ans say we have done all we can we will not have the chance to gain perfection in the next life, for the grace of God will not be with us there.

    CATZ

    Please back up your theory, as I have yet to see anyone show anything that has ever changed.

    ONLYJESUS

    We are on this sight for more reasons than just for the fun of it. However, we would not be here if it wasn’t fun. I have been called as a Hometeacher. That is my calling. I have also been called as a husband and father. I have also been given the three great commissions that define the LDS church (preach the gospel, strengthen the saints, redeem the dead). These are what I am called to do. I have never been called to enter online blogs and discussions concerning the true faith (and I doubt anyone in the LDS church has). Thus, this is not my calling, nor Geoff’s, but a fun activity that we engage in that just happens to be part of the first great commission: spread the gospel. If this was not enjoyable for us we would stop posting and go out into the world more where we are more likely to find those with a truly open mind and heart.

  120. geoff456 said,

    August 15, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    OJ3…..(i don’t believe in using the Saviors name so casually, even if it is your “handle”.. oh wait, that sounds like my mormon priest personna taking over again.)

    i am so glad you care about me and my eternal life. thanks, bud…or are you a woman? anywhoo, keep trying to pursuade us that you are the kind, good Christian just out to save souls.

    I believe, I believe, I believe…

    geoff

    PS that WAS supposed to be sarcastic.

  121. onlyjesus3 said,

    August 15, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    geoff456 – onlyjesus3 is not my “handle” – it is a statement of my beliefs – to publically state that I trust in “only Jesus” for my salvation, my hope, my life.
    I do detect a superior attitude in your post – that you would not “use the Saviour’s name so casually” as if because you belong to “the true church” you somehow revere Jesus more than I do. What you don’t understand I think about true Believers in Christ is the real intimacy that we have with Jesus. He is not only my saviour but my best friend, my constant companion, the one I talk to continually.

    That you feel using his name is too casual is to me a real indicator that you do not clearly understand who you could be in Christ. I find the mormon church creates a barrier between Jesus and the people. How? It all comes back to whether or not a person trusts soley in Jesus’ finished work on the cross – if you don’t really understand why He came to earth in the first place – you cannot know him intimately. Just because a person calls Jesus “the saviour” doesn’t mean that they know him. Also all those man-made temple rituals create a mystique around God tht doesn’t need to be there and stands in the way of people really knowing the true God. We are not to be afraid of using or speaking His name – it’s not disrespectful to call on the name of the Lord or refer to Him in conversation. To the Christian – He is not a lofty God “out there” somewhere – He is our Lord who dwells within our hearts.

    I wonder why you find it so difficult to believe that I would be here only because I care about you and other mormon’s eternal life?

  122. catzgalore said,

    August 16, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Shem,
    Find someone in your own church that is elderly and ask them what they taught as missionaries.

  123. geoff456 said,

    August 17, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    OJ3,

    I was not being “holier than thou”…i was simply explaining why i have shortened your name for blogging purposes. I DO however think it is akin to taking the name of the Lord in vain to so casually use His name as your blog “handle”…lower case to boot! I am entitled to my opinion.
    since you know nothing about the temple, I think it is interesting that you would “trash” it and then have the nerve to tell me that “mormons” don’t know why the Lord came to earth. THAT was actually laugh-out-loud funny and insulting all at once!

    Funny how after you insult me , you wonder why I don’t believe that you are here to “save” me.

    I am glad you have a relationship with Jesus. I do too. Our Church has His name, we covenant to do His will. We are baptised in His name. It IS all about Jesus far as “mormons” are concerned. kindly do not tell me what I believe and what my church teaches as YOU DO NOT KNOW SQUAT…..sorry to get a little firm there! :)

    ~Geoff

  124. onlyjesus3 said,

    August 17, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Geoff:

    I find it interesting that for you – someone who proclaims “only jesus” is offensive to them. What about “jesus lover” would that offend you also? There is nothing wrong with taking a stand for Christ in a user name – you think Jesus cares if I use a lower-case letter more than if I honour Him in my life and beliefs? That’s just foolishness.. Myself and other Christians find your whole belief system offensive to the Lord – and I know this will inflame you – but any group that claims Jesus is satan’s spirit brother offends me – Jesus is no family member of the devil! Any group that claims they have to help in their own salvation offends me as it trivializes the suffering and sacrifice of Christ on the cross and cheapens and insults the grace of God. I notice that mormons here don’t refer to Jesus as Christ or “the Christ” – why is that? Is it too Holy of a name? Wanting to be Gods is offensive and also akin to what satan wanted so why would I choose to follow a belief system based on satan’s lies? Many, many more things I could list that offend me about your church. It’s why I do not post daily etc. because I can only stomache so much blasphemy against the Lord. I realize that there is alot of deception and blindness to the truth of biblical things but oft times seeing that stuff written out sickens me so much that I have to take a break from here and from Mark’s blog. I just cannot see how you don’t see how much less your system views Jesus than the true biblical picture but then deception blinds one to the truth.

    So what if your church uses Jesus’ name – it means nothing. Nothing. Even the demons know His name. It means nothing if you use His name but change everything true about Him around into a warped gospel. Many follow a false Christ yet call on His name – the bible speaks to this truth. You may baptise in His name but that also means nothing if you don’t understand who He is and why He came to earth.

    How do you know what I know about your church? It’s always the same – if a person doesn’t agree with mormon doctrine then we “don’t understand”. Maybe it’s that we DO understand and we see it as false because we know and have studied the bible well and thus don’t believe a lie because we know the truth.

    How do you know my background with mormons – I’ve never said anything either way. Maybe I used to be a mormon and left or maybe I was dating a mormon and learnt it all or maybe I have studied it for years – you are making assumptions about me without knowing anything.What if I once was a stake president but left because I realized I was teaching and following a lie – would my views have more credibility with you if I told you who I was?

    That’s foolish saying I don’t know anything about the temple ceremonies also – the whole world can view them online either thru transcripts or actual footage shot in the temples. Even my mormon friend admits that – he doesn’t like it but he knows it’s out there and if you don’t know that then you need to take your head out of the sand and engage your brain. The whole world knows more than many within the mormon church because they are allowed to view what they want. Any group that restricts their members from finding out what they want to know is dangerous. I can read what I want and do. I can also tell what is false about a thing and what is true.

    Read the Journal of Discourses and you will see how much things have changed from the very beginning. Oh that’s right…you can’t. All faithful members had to return their copies a few years back…mmm I wonder why? Fortunately you can still read them online at the BYU library link. That is where you will see how much your religion has changed over the years and how much has been covered up and how the leaders have deceived the decent, average people. Go look……………………

  125. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 18, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Geoff, In speaking about repentance, you asked Richard:

    “Do YOU think that if a man is “saved” and commits adultery he should 1. stop commiting adultery, 2. not repeat it, and 3. mop up his mess with his wife, family and/or the family of his “mistress”? Or should he just “try” to stop…..and IS he still saved if he doesn’t “repent”??”

    I have found that humans like to point fingers at people who commit sins that they personally don’t struggle with. As Richard already mentioned, there are some sins that are easier to abandon than others. I am sure that YOU personally have not committed adultery against your wife, or you would not have used this sin as an example. However, I can guarantee that there are thousands and thousands of true Christian men who commit the sin of adultery at least once a day. In fact, I’ll bet there are many hundreds of thousand Mormon men who commit the sin of adultery every single day of their life, and yet they are sincerely trying to stop. Many, many men are addicted to pornography. Jesus explained to us that lusting after a woman is the same as committing adultery:
    Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Mt 5:27-28)

    Now, obviously you don’t ever lust after any women except your wife, so this sin wouldn’t be hard for you to abandon. But, what about the sin of pride, arrogance, or being un-kind? What about envy, anger or bitterness? How many times do you struggle at keeping the speed limit? Whenever you break a law, you are committing a sin. Or, how about the sins of omission, the type of sins that Jesus mentions as the reason He sends people to spend eternity in hell with Satan? (Matthew 25) How well are you doing at praying ceaselessly, or visiting those in prison or the sick? What about not worrying? How well are you doing at repenting of these kinds of sins and never committing them again?

    That is what Richard meant. No one can completely abandon sin. There might be a few that each person doesn’t struggle with, but in general, we sin ALL the time. If a person were to honestly see how many times they sin each day they would be abhorred. That is what God sees when He sees an unbeliever because unbelievers have rejected Christ’s offer of full pardon.

    Believers have received Christ’s forgiveness and live in a continual state of repentance. Repentance is a change of mind. When a true believer repents, he acknowledges his sin and turns to God in sackcloth. He feels sorrow that he has sinned against his glorious God once again. But, in gratitude for being forgiven, he leaves his guilt at the Cross where that sin was covered by the blood of Jesus and forgiven. The repentant sinner knows he already has forgiveness, but he turns to his God in repentance again and again and again and again. He hates disappointing his God once again but, once again, is thankful for forgiveness. THAT is true repentance.

  126. geoff456 said,

    August 18, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    OJ3

    feel better now? most people do feel better after they puke up poison. :)

    Your errors are numerous. But one GLARING error (like that KO and Catz?)
    is the one about “films taken INSIDE the temple”. The temple ceremonies YOU have seen online are NOT taken inside a temple. They are poorly done re-enactments made by evil people. You could watch those online a hundred times or MORE and STILL not have a CLUE what the temple is about.

    Your “hatred” for the Church and our beliefs convinces me more than ever that you are NOT sincere in your desire to convert Mormons.

    Nice try, though. By your “fruits” I know you and what you really are.

    ~geoff

    No one had to “turn in” their Journals of Discourses”. more lies. more sensationalism. boy that old girlfriend must have burned you bad!

    and yes, i (my opinion) feel the same way about all “handles” that involve the Savior’s name. It is disrespectful. period.

  127. geoff456 said,

    August 18, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    LDSW,

    you need to re-read the conversation between richard and me. I don’t think you are addressing the same topic. I chose ONE specific sin. I asked 3 questions. You didn’t answer one of them…..

    Geoff

  128. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 18, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Geoff,

    These three questions?

    “Do YOU think that if a man is “saved” and commits adultery he should
    1. stop commiting adultery,
    2. not repeat it, and
    3. mop up his mess with his wife, family and/or the family of his “mistress”? Or should he just “try” to stop…..and IS he still saved if he doesn’t “repent”??”

    Answers:
    1. Yes, he should stop committing adultery
    2. Yes, he should not repeat the sin again
    3. Yes, he should try and mop up his mess with his wife and family, but it probably won’t help. The earthly consequences of committing adultery will more than likely cost him his family.

    He should not just TRY to stop, he should stop. Yet, I have found in my life of sins, that there are many things I SHOULD do and I try and try but fail. He might sincerely try and yet repeat the sin. If he truly has faith (and only God knows that), tries, and yet repeats the sin, he is still forgiven by God. His sin of adultery will have earthly consequences–he will probably loose his wife and his family. However, if he truly has faith he has forgiveness. If the person blatantly keeps committing the sin of adultery, that means he doesn’t really have faith.

    Now, what about the same questions for a Mormon, using Jesus’ interpretation of adultery:

    “Do YOU think that if a man commits adultery by lusting after a woman he saw on TV, or lusting after women he is viewing when he looks at pornography, or lusting after the scantily clad woman he saw walking down the street or at the Mall, he should

    1. stop commiting adultery,
    2. not repeat it, and
    3. mop up his mess with his wife, family and/or the family of the woman he lusted after? Or should he just “try” to stop…..and is he still “unforgiven” if he doesn’t completely “repent” and abandon his sin for the entire remainder of his life? What if he truly tries NOT to sin, but repeats his sin daily?

    Or, since God has the exact same eternal consequence for ANY sin, what about a different scenario? Since “Geoff” doesn’t seem to be tempted by the sin of adultery, what if you really aren’t a Geoff, but an “Elizabeth”. What if you tell a lie. Should you:

    1. stop committing lies, even white lies, or even lies you consider are ones you commit for the Lord,
    2. never repeat it, and
    3. mop up your mess with whoever you told a lie to or about and with your Savior who paid for that sin, and with Heavenly Father? Or should you just “try” to stop…..and IF you still commit a lie between now and the time you die, does that mean you really weren’t repentant the first time you repented? Does that mean that every time you tell an untruth, your former sins return?

  129. rblandjr said,

    August 18, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Geoff,

    The point I was making in my last post was that no one can completely abandon sin. According to LDS doctrine they are not forgiven. I did not say that we shouldn’t ask God for forgiveness of our sinful actions and thoughts.

    To even imply that I was approving of sin and or not asking God for forgiveness was wrong.

    It is what we all do on a daily basis.

    In fact the Apostle Paul in Romans 6 laments his sinful desires and actions that he continues to do that he battles with on a daily basis.

    You would think that one of the Apostles who God used mightily to take the message throughout the known world. Who also wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit much of the NT. If He could say that he was the “chief of sinners”, deserving of condemnation and judgment yet thankful for justification by Grace through faith in the finished work of Christ.

    Now his life before Christ which was considered by himself and others one of the most righteous pharisees. He obeyed the Law and was zealous of good works which he was trusting in to make it to heaven.

    But what did he say in Phil. 3:4-9

    “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews, as touching the law, a Pharisee: Concerning zeal, persecuting the church: touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. BUT WHAT THINGS WERE GAIN TO ME, THOSE I COUNTED LOSS FOR CHRIST. YEA DOUBTLESS, AND I COUNT ALL THINGS BUT LOSS FOR THE EXCELLENCY OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST JESUS MY LORD: FOR WHOM I HAVE SUFFERED THE LOSS OF ALL THINGS, AND DO COUNT THEM BUT DUNG, THAT I MAY WIN CHRIST, AND BE FOUND IN HIM, NOT HAVING MINE OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHICH IS OF THE LAW, BUT THAT WHICH IS THROUGH THE FAITH OF CHRIST, THE RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS OF GOD BY FAITH.”

    I can say that I am no Apostle Paul or for that matter anyone else. He admitted that he couldn’t abandon his sin and trust his righteous works to earn or merit Gods reward of eternal life. He says that in Rom 6 and also in the passage I quoted.

    How could you or I, or for that matter anyone think that they would be able to accomplish what the Apostle Paul could not?

    “Not my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

  130. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 19, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Richard,

    Wow! Thanks for explaining it so beautifully. Amen and Amen.

  131. geoff456 said,

    August 19, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Richard and LDSW,

    I part ways with you WHEN you want to say we CANNOT stop sinning. I think we can. I think that sinning is voluntary! I do not think that we would have been put on earth to fail. We are commanded to be perfect. Why would the Lord give us a commandment that we could not BEGIN to fulfill. Am I perfect? no, but I can work on it daily. Richard was trying to say that the LDS definition of repentance was flawed…but then explains it almost exactly the same.
    What about the people of Enoch? Did they not acheive something close to perfection to be translated?

    ~Geoff

  132. rblandjr said,

    August 19, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Geoff,

    My only point was that we are flawed. We are sinners by nature,by thought, word and deed.

    If the Apostle Paul couldn’t stop sinning completely then how can you or I or for that matter anyone else accomplish this. You see I don’t have to be perfect to be saved. In fact Jesus called the sin sick to repentance. That is why he died on Calvary.

    Can I share a poem that I wrote that talks about our Savior and what He has accomplished for us.
    Unfailing Love

    To be the focus of Christ’s love, that He would come from Heaven above.
    To pay our debt on Calvary, so we from sin might be set free.
    Our hearts were deep so deep in sin, such misery such pain within.
    Impossible it seemed to me, to be delivered and set free.
    So suddenly there came to me, a light so bright I could not see.
    And then a sound so sweet to hear, spoke deep withing and calmed my fear. It was the Lord Gods only Son, He spoke to me the victories won.
    So as I bowed my heart to pray, He made me His on that bright day.
    And then a flood of peace and rest which filled my soull and I was blessed. How could this be to one like me, unfailing love had captured me.
    My soul took wings and soacred on high. It seemed to reach beyond the sky. This wondrous grace from God above, embraced me in unfailing love.
    And then a song that filled my soul, of praise to God that made me whole.
    A message of this love and grace will always shine upon my face.
    And that is why I’ll ever sing of love Divine that rescued me.
    Unfailing love this song of grace, has won for me that Heavenly place.
    Much greater thatn that land above will be the One who gave such love.
    And of this love and grace will sing, to glorify our Lord and King.
    Unto the Lamb, we lift our praise, to tell of mercy, love and grace.
    Unfailing love will be our theme, to sing throughout eternity.
    To sing throughout eternity of Christ’s unfailing love for me.
    Oh what glory that will be, to praise the Lamb eternally.

  133. onlyjesus3 said,

    August 19, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Geoff456 – if sinning is voluntary and can be stopped – why have you not stopped?

  134. catzgalore said,

    August 19, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    If sinning is voluntary, then why do we need a savior at all?

    If sinning is voluntary, why do you sin at all?

  135. shematwater said,

    August 21, 2009 at 9:44 am

    CATZ

    I have spoken to many, and the funny thing is that no member I have spoken too (even those who lived back in the real early 1900’s) say that anything has changed. In fact they speak to the great harmony between now and then, emphasizing that nothing has changed.
    This is the reason I am asking you, since you seem to have more knowledge on the subject than any member I have ever talked to.

    As to your last comment, sin is voluntary, but the temptation of sin is too great for the mortal body to resist. Christ was never fully mortal, as he had an immortal Father, thus he had the strength in himself to resist all temptation. We do not, and thus we need help.

    OJ3

    I do have to agree with Geoff. One should not use the name of deity to frequently, and this is emphasized when you realize that such was punishable by death under the Law of Moses. (Leviticus 24: 16)

    This does not mean that we do not take his name on us, or that he is the only way to gain salvation. This simply means that when speaking of him we should use his titles more and his name less. Thus we call him the Christ, or the Messiah, or savior, or the Son. These are appropriate terms, but the use of his actual name is to be limited to sacred ceremonies and the occasional mention for clarification.

    RBLANDJR

    I understand your point, but the LDS do not teach that you cannot give up all sin. As I said, Abraham was one who succeeded in this life in abondoning sin (demonstrated by his willingness to sacrifice Isaac. Job also, as he never faltered in his faith through all his trials. From more modern revelation we know that Adam, Noah, Enoch, Moses, Isaac, and Jacob as well as Peter, James and John all did this. From the Book of Mormon we know of Alma the Younger, as well as Nephi who lived when Christ visited, as well as the three Nephites who remained all reached this point.

    The Bible does not say that we cannot become perfect, it says that we are not perfect. There is a great difference. We have all sinned in the past, thus we are not perfect. However, we can reach a point after which we will never sin again, thus we can become perfect. When you realize these two truths it becomes obvious that we will always have the stain of sin in our lives, for it is in our past, but we can be clean from the stain in the future. This is what we believe.

    As to Grace and faith and works, as I said before, the doctrine taught by most Christians, and even explained by those on these threads, is very misleading, and is therefore dangerous. You teach that salvation is a free gift and no matter what we do our works play no part in receiving it, only our faith. This idea does nothing to promote righteous living. It promotes laziness and idolness, drawing men into sin. Well it was described in the Book of Mormon “Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us. And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. (2 Nephi 18: 7-8)
    However, you realize this, and so you also teach, though more as a side note, that true faith will bring forth the works. You deny works, claiming that faith alone will save, but then say that faith without works cannot save.
    Salvation is either by faith or by works or by both. You cannot be saved by faith without works if it is your works that proves your faith.

    After reading the comments made I think that you and the LDS actually agree on this basic doctrine, but for some reason you cannot accept that we have the same belief, and must make it out to be different, either by confusing your own words or misrepresenting the LDS doctrine.

    Tell me if you agree with these basic statements.
    1. If Christ had not fulfilled the atonement we would all be condemned to eternity in Hell with Satan.
    2. The atoning Blood of Christ has conquered the grave so that all will be resurrected.
    3. The atoning blood of Christ has conquered death so that all may enter the Kingdom of God.

    Sorry if I sound a little rude or arrogant, or angry. I do not mean too. I am still waiting for someone to correct me on what I have said concerning the Christian doctrine on this matter, as no one has.

  136. catzgalore said,

    August 21, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Well…. Shem,
    If it is no longer taught that it is a requirement to have more than one wife to reach the celestial heaven, and some even teach that single people will be there, and Brigham Young said you won’t be there unless you have more than one wife, isn’t that change?

    And, as I said, when I was in high school I clearly remember being taught (by a Mormon) that there were men living on the moon. I remember how excited they were that humans were going there and would find them– and guess what they were not there. Now that teaching is discounted. Isn’t that change?

    And, if your teachings have not changed, do you still believe that Adam is God? Or the blood atonement? Is your goal for Heaven to be a god, with many wives, and hundreds of spirit children, to be like heavenly father and have a world of your own? How is that (having a continually evolving eternal family and being a god) like what the Mormon church portrays (having an eternal family, the one you have established on earth)?

    oh…. but there is this little disclaimer…

    We believe that when the Prophet, the head of our church, says something that is definitely wrong he was not being inspired at that time. He was only speaking as a man. We believe that the newer Prophets can override the older Prophets. We believe we have a prophet on earth today even though he never prophecies anything.
    Reference: Ezra Taft Benson ’14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophets’ pgs 1-16, 1980:
    “Beware of those who would pit the dead prophets against the living prophets, for the living prophets always take precedence.”

    It is so horribly sad that you cannot see the deception.

    It has all been said before, Shem. We can argue about it all day. Some of what the church teaches is correct. There is a lot the same. Really! And we COULD focus on what is the same and agree to disagree on the rest; The thing is, that 24.? percent (whatever you said) is really important!

    Note my wording changes.
    1. If Christ had not died and provided that sacrifice on the cross, we would all be condemned.
    2. The atoning Blood of Christ has conquered the grave so that BELIEVERS will be resurrected.
    3. The atoning blood of Christ has conquered death so BELIEVERS may enter the Kingdom of God.

    In reality, everyone will be resurrected in a sense, but some will spend eternity in hell because they did not accept the gift of faith. I always think of the resurrection in a positive sense, because I surely wouldn’t look forward to eternity in hell.

  137. onlyjesus3 said,

    August 21, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    shematwater – your comments about disliking the use of Jesus’ name only serve to show how distant you are from Jesus. We Christians love the name of Jesus because he is our Savior who gave His life on the cross for us – we do not shy from using it because we have an intimate relationship with Him. We sing often of this:

    “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
    There’s just something about that name
    Master, Savior, Jesus
    Like the fragrance after the rain
    Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
    Let all heaven and earth proclaim
    Kings and kingdoms shall all pass away
    But there’s something about that name.” by Bill Gaither

    and this one:

    “In the very thought of Jesus His presence can be found
    He’s as close as the mention of His name
    There is never any distance between my Lord and me
    He’s as close as the mention of His name
    He’s as close as the mention of His name
    Jesus, Jesus
    He’s as close as the mention of His name
    Jesus, Jesus
    In my hour of struggle so many times I’ve found
    He’s as close as the mention of His name
    Just to breathe the name of Jesus can turn everything around
    He’s as close as the mention of His name” by Gordon Jenson

    We are not supposed to hold Jesus at arm’s length and indeed – when he dwells in my heart – it’s impossible.

  138. osbornekristen said,

    August 22, 2009 at 9:27 am

    I agree OJ3. It makes me so sad that LDS believe that talking about and to Jesus has to be SO FORMAL. What a FRIEND we have in Jesus! What a miracle it is we can call upon his name and speak to and about the Creator of the Universe in such an intimate, personal way! We don’t call our loved ones Mr. or Mrs. We call them by name! I’m so thankful for the relationship we are able to have with our Savior!

  139. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 22, 2009 at 9:55 am

    KO and onlyjesus,

    I wanted to say something in defense of most LDS members about the formal or informal use of Jesus’ name. What you are hearing from whoever uses the “geoff456″ handle and Shem is not typical for LDS members, or, at least ones I have spoken with. While many LDS members don’t understand the intimate relationship that they can have with Jesus, I have never before seen anyone who is offended by informally using His name.

    For other LDS who are reading this, does anyone else feel the same as what is being portrayed by “geoff456″ and Shem as Mormon thinking?

    To onlyjesus3,
    I LOVE your handle. It shows your love for Jesus and your dependence upon Him for everything!!

  140. onlyjesus3 said,

    August 22, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    LDSW – Thankyou for your post. I had found it odd to encounter that opposition from those two LDS posters. My LDS friend uses the name of Jesus and had never mentioned this to me. What he HAS mentioned to me is that he has noticed that I have a much closer relationship with God than he does and indeed most of the men in his (mormon) church do. I’ve told him I am not unique or special (except that we are all special in our own way of course) – that many Christians I know have this close a walk with God but he persists in seeing it as something special that I have.

    My relationship with Jesus IS special but it’s not anything that anyone else can’t avail themselves of. And I sure wish he would especially…he’s been robbed by the mormon church, betrayed, people don’t call him anymore since he got sick but he still persists that these people are God’s representatives on earth. These things have happened in many cities he’s attended but he still holds on fast saying if he is wrong then he will find out in heaven. As I’ve told him tho (to no avail) he won’t have a chance there…he has to accept Jesus NOW while he is alive or face an eternity without God in hell/outer darkness.

  141. onlyjesus3 said,

    August 22, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    osbornekristen – I was thinking that same thing – that we don’t call our wives and husbands and friends by formal titles – in fact the closest most loved to us we often shorten them to indicate affection.
    It is not uncommon for my friends and self to call God “Papa” because He is the best father anyone could ever have. I don’t want ANYTHING to come between Him and me ever. I like the closeness I have with God and how I can say or tell Him anything and He still loves me. Formality just keeps a wall between Him and me and I don’t need that nor is it something He wants from us.
    I’m not lazy or disrespectful nor do I take His grace lightly or think I can sin and do what I want cuz I ‘m saved – it would not occur to me to think this way as someone earlier indicated.

    I’m not following God to “get” something from Him.

  142. osbornekristen said,

    August 22, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Sorry if I placed all LDS in the same boat in my post. Personally, I have never heard any Mormon friend or family member simply use the name Jesus when speaking about religion matters or in prayers……except to close them with “In thy son’s name we pray..etc”

    While I pray and talk to Jesus using the same language I would with any loved one, the prayers I have heard them speak are always so FORMAL…using words like “THEE, THINE, THOU etc.” I am not saying that it is wrong to use formal words……it is just not necessary. I feel like it makes the relationship seem stiff instead of intimate and personal. Of course I revere and want to honor Him, but I believe that He desires us to communicate with Him VERY personally. Since I personally don’t speak Shakespearen English, I don’t think He expects me to talk to Him that way.

    When I teach my children about our world, I speak in terms of “Jesus made the grass, trees, etc.” We talk about Jesus loving us, talking with Jesus, praising Jesus etc. I try to explain that Jesus is God’s son…..and that He, himself is God……but this is hard to explain to little ones. I only hear Mormons speak of “Heavenly Father.” Other than singing “Jesus Loves Me,” or when referring to the “atonement”, I haven’t heard the name Jesus mentioned very often……if at all.

    But, this is just my own experience and I realize that not all LDS people speak or word things in the same way.

  143. shematwater said,

    August 24, 2009 at 11:47 am

    OJ3 and others

    I do not use his name informally because of my relationship with him. Just as I do not use my earthly father’s name informally. I do not call my father David unless I need to to clarify who I am speaking about. This is because I love and respect him. I also never call my teachers by their first name, or those who are my elders. My teachers I call by their title (mr., professor, doctor, ect.) regardless of how close I am too them. My elders I also call Mr, or Mrs, or in the church Brother and Sister. I do this out of Respect for them and because of my relation to them.
    If I give this amount of respect to the earthly leaders, should I not give at least this same level to my God. Now, I do call my Father dad, and when I was younger daddy, but only when speaking to him directly, not when speaking of him. So, when it comes to Christ, I will call him by his name only when clarifying of whom I speak, or when speaking directly to him, or at certain times of worship where his name is appropriate for use (such as in hymns). However, I will not use it informally in general conversation. To do so shows a lack of respect for his exalted station and was forbidden by the third commandment given to Christ. The Jews even lost the knowledge of how to pernounce his name because they held it in such regard. While I do not think we need be this extreme, I do think we should be careful as to how we use it, and should refrain from using it whenever possible.

  144. shematwater said,

    August 24, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    CATZ

    This thread is getting quite lengthy and the computers I have access to are having a hard time dealing with it, so I have tried to be as brief as possible in answer your last post (though I seem to have failed).

    A REQUIREMENT TO HAVE MORE THAN ONE WIFE TO REACH THE CELESTIAL HEAVEN: This has never been taught and never will be taught. It is a false idea spread by ignorant or evil designing men. Brigham Young taught that one must accept the practice, not that every man had to have multiple wives. In fact, in the Book of Jacob chapter 2 it states “Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none…For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.” (verse 27, 30).
    This spells it out perfectly. When it is necessary for the Lord to carry out his purposes he will command us to take multiple wives, but unless the command is given we are to have only one. The command was given to the early saints, but was not given to us today. There is no change in the doctrine.

    MEN LIVING ON THE MOON: You know, there are some who even believe that Cain (the guy who killed Abel) is Big Foot and is wondering around North America.
    Please reference things that were actual doctrine, not Mormon Myths.

    ADAM IS GOD: Again, a lie fabricated by evil men that is now being circulated by the ignorant. It was never taught and never will be. What is taught is that when the Earth is Celestialized Adam will govern it, but he will do so under the direction of Jesus Christ, who is under the Direction of the Father. Adam is the god of this Earth, simply because Christ is the God of all Earths created by the Father, and thus Adam is his second in command for this earth.

    BLOOD ATONEMENT: I am betting you don’t even know what this doctrine is. First, it is still doctrine and has never been changed. The simple meaning of the doctrine is a sanction of capital punishment. It was had at the time of Noah (Genesis 9: 6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.) It was also taught in the Law of Moses. It is a capital punishment for certain sins, and is only to be practiced when the church also has Civil power (such as in ancient Israel). It is still a doctrine of the church and always will be.

    HAVING A CONTINUALLY EVOLVING ETERNAL FAMILY AND BEING A GOD / HAVING AN ETERNAL FAMILY, THE ONE YOU HAVE ESTABLISHED ON EARTH: Again, nothing has changed, as both these ideas are correct. We will be gods, having an ever increasing family of spirit children that we will guide to godhood. However, that family will be the one we have on this Earth. My wife now will be the wife I have as a god and will be the mother of my spirit children. By brothers and sisters will still be my brothers and sisters, and their spirit children will be my spirit nieces and nephews.

    As to the disclaimer you quote, you misunderstand the meaning. President Benson is speaking of direct commands, meaning “do this” or “don’t do that.” An example of this is Plural Marriage. Earlier prophets gave the command, but modern prophets have told us not to live this. We are to abide by the modern prophet in the commands they give, but the doctrine they teach will always conform to the doctrine taught by the early leaders.

    So, you have not yet been able to show an actual change in doctrine. If you want you can list a few more, and I will be happy to show the error in what you think we believe.

  145. onlyjesus3 said,

    August 24, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    A REQUIREMENT TO HAVE MORE THAN ONE WIFE TO REACH THE CELESTIAL HEAVEN: My understanding is that Section 132 of Doctrine and Covenants supports plural marriage –
    “61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else. 62 And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. 63 But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified. 64 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law. 65 Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. 66 And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you, hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen.

    I cut and paste this right off the LDS website copy of D & C so I would assume that this is still official scripture/doctrines. Does this not say it’s OK for a man to have more than one wife?

    MEN LIVING ON THE MOON: this reference comes from Joseph Smith’s prophecy that there were men – Quakers – living on the moon. This is referenced from the Young Women’s Journal, Vol.3, p.263, Joseph Smith is quoted as stating that there were men and women living on the moon.
    This is the link to that publication on the BYU site:

    http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=%2FYWJ&CISOPTR=11790&REC=3&CISOBOX=men+on+the+moon

    You have to save the document to actually read it – when you do you will read this short paragraph:
    “THE INHABITANTS OF THE MOON
    Astronomers and philosophers have, from time almost immemorial until very recently, asserted that the moon was uninhabited, that it had no atmosphere etc. But recent discoveries, through the means of powerful telescopes, have given scientists a doubt or two upon the old theory. Nearly all the great discoveries of men in the last half of the century have, in one way or another, either directly or indirectly, contributed to prove that Joseph Smith is a Prophet. As far back as 1837, I know that he said that the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do – that they live generally near to the age of 1000 years. He described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style.”

    You may not believe it nor does the LDS church teach it but it is found in an official Mormon magazine of the time and quoting Joseph Smith. I put this here so that you see we do not make this stuff up – there is no need to – it’s all documented if you know how to find it. The average Mormon doesn’t look tho because they are taught that only evil people and liars say this stuff but there is no denying this is from the LDS church via BYU and NOT from anti-mormons. I find it so so sad that so many good people are deluded and brainwashed into not looking into this stuff themselves.

    ADAM IS GOD: I found this Wiki article informative: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam%E2%80%93God_theory

  146. catzgalore said,

    August 25, 2009 at 8:06 am

    So…
    What is taught may change, but “the doctrine” never changes. It is the same as in the time of Israel.
    Any time a “prophet” says something that doesn’t jive with doctrine (whatever that is), he was not speaking as a prophet, only as a man.
    The teachings of past “prophets” can be called correct or incorrect by the living “prophets”. At the time it is said, it is the truth and must be followed. If the church wants to teach something different (such as allowing blacks the priesthood) it can, as long as there is a new revelation. A teaching can be suspended and taught as only for a time and not always (such as polygamy); or maybe it will be ok again in the future.

    Polygamy was taught and practice by Joseph Smith. You know that.
    from the lds.org site– look at the A-Z thing at the top and look at the entry for “polygamy” to see what your church president Gordon Hinckley said about it…
    More recently, President Gordon B. Hinckley has reiterated that plural marriage is “against the law of God. Even in countries where civil or religious law allows [the practice of a man having more than one wife], the Church teaches that marriage must be monogamous and does not accept into its membership those practicing plural marriage” (“What Are People Asking about Us?” Ensign, Nov. 1998, 72). This is taken from your approved lds.org site.

    None of these changes in teachings are changes in doctrine.

    All historical things not “authorized” by the lds church are false lies spread by evil men. The people who leave the lds church are liars and don’t remember things correctly or spread lies specifically designed to destroy the church.

    Am I getting this right?

    As for blood atonement, yes I know what it is. It was originally said by Joseph Smith that there were sins that the blood of Jesus couldn’t cover and you should ask to be killed so your sin could be forgiven. The church doesn’t teach it today, but Brigham Young also taught and practiced it.

    I can only speak for myself. I have read a LOT on the lds site and from publications of the past and the present. Yes I have also read things from the “liars and evil people” who have left the church; but I have looked at their mormon scripture references and read them for myself. I have listened to mormon missionaries– my son was one!!. I have even prayed that God would show me truth.

    I see very much conflict from the past to the present as far as what has been taught in the church. How can both be true? You continually say that doctrine hasn’t changed, but you sure have a different view of what doctrine is.

    You refute the things I say, but they are things said by your own prophets.

  147. shematwater said,

    August 25, 2009 at 11:10 am

    OJ3 and CATZ

    Section 132 soes say that Plural Marriage is okay (when approved by those who have authority) but it does not say it is required, which is what you are claiming.
    Today plural Marriage is against the Law of God, just as it was in the days of Jacob among the Nephites. However, it was part of the Law in the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as Moses, and Joseph Smith. The Laws of God can change without altering the eternal truths which he works through. The Bible is full of times when the laws of God changed. God commanded “Thou shalt not kill” but commanded Abraham to offer Isaac and Saul to wipe out entire nations. He commanded the ancients to offer up animals as sacrifice, but us to offer up our hearts. God changes his commands when it is necessary to fulfill his work. this is why we have modern Prophets, to tell us when the commands of God change to fit the times we live in. But we refer to all the prophets of every age to learn the truths of eternity.

    As to Men on the Moon, I have read the quote you gave, but it truly proves nothing. It does not quote Joseph Smith. It only tells of the memory of something he said 60 years earlier. Could the person’s memory me off? it is a distinct possibility. Now, I will not say that Joseph Smith did not make a comment along those lines, but if he did it sounds more like his wonderful sarcasm that he used to shut down discussions that had no point. If there was a debate on the subject among the brothren and Joseph was asked to clarify he would have likely answered in this way just to end the debate.
    Add to this the other error in the given article concerning the Lost Ten Tribes being in the North Pole (as we know they settled in Northern Europe) it seems obvious that the author of this article was mislead, or believed things that were not intended to be taken seriously.
    You want to actually have any real proof that this was ever doctrine find the quote referenced, or some other general authority stating it as doctrine (and please give actual quotes, not stories concerning the memory of a quote).

    Now, Catz, the claim that Brigham Young ever practiced Blood Atonement is one of the greatest slanders spread by the evil men seeking to destroy this great work. As I said, Blood Atonement can only be practiced when the church holds Civil power as in the days of Moses. It is still a true doctrine, and is still believed by all those who know the words of the prophets, but it has never been practiced in our day, and will never be practiced until the church is again the civil authority in the word after the second coming.

    As to Adam God, I have read the article sited and find it to have a glaring error in the second paragraph where it tries to explain what Brigham Young taught. It says he taught that Adam “had been resurrected and achieved godhood on another planet.” This was never taught by Brigham Young. Yes it was taught that he had a Celestial Body while in the Garden, but this was his first body, one created by the Father. It was not the same as a ressurected body because it could be effected by the Forbidden Fruit. The idea that President Young taught this comes from his statement that Adam was originally created in a Celestial Body and that he came to this Earth with Eve, one of his wives. It is a false understanding of this quote.
    Adam was created from the dust of an Earth (not this Earth) and he came to this Earth with Eve to live in the Garden. His body at that time was Celestial and immortal (or Unmortal for clarification). This unmortal body, though it could not be harmed in its present state, was subject to the effects of the Fordidden fruit which altered it to a Mortal Body. Once death claimed the mortal body then comes the ressurection into an immortal body, one that cannot be changed by any means (not even the forbidden fruit). Adam did not raise to godhood on another Planet. He was not ressurected and then made mortal again.
    As to the other quotes of Adam being our “Father and our God,” these are also true. He is our Father because he is the mortal Father of the entire human race. He is our God because he will be the leader of this planet, acting under the direction of Christ (who is the ruler of all the worlds created by the Father). He is the god we will have more direct interaction with.
    As to our Heavenly “the same character that was in the Garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven,” is it not recorded in Genesis that God walked with Adam in the Garden? (Genesis 3: 8) In fact Adam is never spoken of as walking in the Garden, only God. While I do not claim that he moved by other means, the Reference by Brigham Young seems to indicate that he is speaking of the figure that is said to have walked in the Garden, which was not said of Adam. Thus, the figure refered to is not Adam, but the God to who Adam spoke.

    Now, in closing I would like to say that I have no doubt you have read much. The problem is that you did not read with understanding. You read what the interpretation given by someone, then read the reference searching for that interpretation. You also fail to consider all the words and doctrine together, for while one sentence may seem to imply something, it is only when taken with all doctrine that the real meaning of the words can be understood. This is what you fail to do, and thus you do not come to a true understanding of LDS doctrine.

  148. osbornekristen said,

    August 25, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    How convient for Smith that Plural Marriage just so happened to be “okayed” for his time here on earth. How nice for him. How not so nice for those men whose wives were seceretly married to him and for those fathers who underage daughters were married to him as well. How nice for Emma.
    How nice it is of you, Shem to make excuses for Smith’s lust for other women and his coveting of other mens’ wives.

    Seriously, if plural marriage is NOT a requirment for Heaven……..then why was there ever a need to practice it. What was the point? As far as plural marriage in OT times, that wasn’t some revelation from God.

    Moses’ law said, the king “shall not multiply horses to himself… Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold” (Deuteronomy 17:16-17).

  149. catzgalore said,

    August 25, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I agree, Kristen, it WAS quite convenient for Smith and those others that practiced it!
    Shem,
    I am not telling you what you believe or what your church teaches. This is stuff from the past and of course since they are not living prophets it does not matter to you. This kind of thing is why I cannot embrace the lds church. Church truth changes! You can never be sure of what truth is, you must consult your current prophet to find out what is true now!

    You say it isn’t essential to have more than one wife, but that is not what your prophets have taught. Find out for yourself. Look carefully at your answers and see the rationalization that you have to do to excuse the comments of your leaders! Think about the twisting of words that you must do to make what is taught the truth– and think about how your church doesn’t encourage you to seek these things out but only believe the current leaders and forget the past ones. But how could this be true then and not true now?

    The only men who become Gods, even Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy. Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, p. 269 (Brigham Young)

    Why do we believe in and practice polygamy? Because the Lord introduced it to His servants in a revelation to Joseph Smith, and the Lord’s servants have always practiced it. And is that religion popular in heaven? It is the only popular religion there, for this is the religion of Abraham, and unless we do the works of Abraham, we are not Abraham’s seed and heirs according to promise. Journal of Discourses, Vol. 9, p. 322 (Brigham Young)

    I bear my testimony that plural marriage is as true as any principle that has been revealed from the heavens. I bear my testimony that it is a necessity, and that the Church of Christ in its fulness never existed without it. Where you have the eternity of marriage, you are bound to have plural marriage, BOUND TO; and it is one of the marks of the Church of Jesus Christ in its sealing ordinances. Journal of Discourses, Vol 25, p. 21 (George Teasdale)

    the following is from Orson Pratt (Statement when Section 132 was presented to the body of the Church on August 28-29, 1852, Millennial Star suppl., Vol. 15):

    It is well known in the congregation before me, that the Latter-Day Saints have embraced the doctrine of a plurality of wives as part of their religious faith. But, says the objector, we cannot see how this doctrine can be embraced as a matter of religion and faith… In reply, we will show that it is incorporated as part of our religion and necessary for our exaltation to the fulness of the Lord’s glory in the eternal world.

    It isn’t what I say that will convince you, it is the power of the Lord alone. I pray that you begin to see the truth– and start to think for yourself.

  150. shematwater said,

    August 26, 2009 at 9:29 am

    KRISTEN and CATZ

    Yes, it is convenient, because God is a very convenient God and will only require that which you are able to do. The Gospel as taught by Christ was taught to ancient Israel, but because they lacked faith it was taken and they were given the lesser Law of Moses. This was convenient, for if the Lord had not done this they all would have been condemned by the Higher Law which they were no able to obey at that time. (See the begining of Hebrews 5)

    In the same way Plural Marriage has been discontinued, because the People of this nation are unable to accept it. Thus to spare the church from further persecution and give it the power it needed to fulfill the great work it had the practice was discontinued, just as it was in the time of Jacob, as I have said.

    As to the quotes you give, Brigham Young, in the sermon from Page 269 volume 11 of the Journal of Discourses makes this statement “that if you desire with all your hearts to obtain the blessings which Abraham obtained, you will be polygamists at least in your faith.” Notice the end of this says that the requirement is faith that it is an eternal Law, but not that you must practice it personally. All that is required is that you accept it with everything else, for it is an Eternal Law. However, if it is too difficult for you to live it that is okay, for God will never require more than you are able to give. The statement that you must enter into Polygamy means the same thing. Acceptance of the covenant, and a willingness to take additional wives if commanded is what is meant by entering into polygamy. You can say anything you like, but the requirement is to accept the doctrine and be willing to live the practice if commanded, but if you are not commanded you can still be exalted as a God.
    Next quote, Vol. 9, p. 322, again mentions nothing of required multiple wives. It really speaks to the same thing that the first one did.
    Vol. 25, p. 21, again he never says that all men must have more than one wife. He says that doctrine of Plural Marriage will exist in the true church of God, and he is right. He does not say that it will openly be practiced, only that it will exist. Even today, while we do not take multiple wives in this life, there are many men (even some of the Apostles) who have been sealed to more than one wife and will have them in Exaltation. We still have the principle of plural marriage, which is what Brother Teasdale says is necessary.
    Your last quote, from Orson Pratt, agrees very well with all that I have said. It is part of our religion, and without it there is no exaltation, but that still does not mean it is required of all.

    Now that I have gone through your list of evidence, and shown you the true meaning in the words, let me explain the logic of the doctrine, and why it cannot be required.
    1: it is commanded that we are not to marry outside the covenant (or the church). In the early years of the church there were a lot more women than men, thus to make it possible for all woman to be married it was necessary for some man to take multiple wives.
    2: God wants all his children to born into good homes, preferable one that has the true gospel so that they will be raised with the best chance at exaltation. It is a fact of nature that a man with three wives will likely have more children than a man with one (or like Brigham Young with his 17 wives and 56 children). Thus to fulfill the promise made to many spirits before they were born that they would be born in the covenant men must take multiple wives.
    3: though I cannot find the actual quote, Joseph Smith did teach that there would be more women in heaven than there are men. Thus if marriage is required for exaltation there must be some men with multiple wives for all the worthy women to receive those blessings (it is simply just).
    With this last point I would also point out that there isn’t going to be ten women for every man. It will be closer to 2 to 1. Now, since Brigham Young had over twenty wives, and Joseph Smith about the same, there just won’t be enough woman for all men to have more than one wife. For this reason, requiring such would not be just. Since God is perfectly just it means that he cannot require it.

    (On an ending note, Joseph Smith never married any woman who already had a husband. These claims are false. They are founded on the truth that he did marry widow and woman who were divorced. There were men who tried to do what Joseph is accused of, and they were excommunicated for it.)

  151. catzgalore said,

    August 26, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Why is the mormon meaning of a passage different than the meaning in regular English?

  152. onlyjesus3 said,

    August 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Shem – in your post #150 – you are incorrect in what Hebrews 5 is stating – there is nothing in there about the Israel – are you thinking of another passage? Although your understanding of how God sees Israel is not quite correct regardless of what scripture you meant. Think of “the church” (the true believers in Christ) as a rainway line that from the start of time into the future is one straight track with no breaks. Israel is on a curved siding that diverts off the track at some point and reconnects down the line. One of the biggest lies around is that there was a total world apostacy and God withdrew from the earth and there were no true believers left in the world – it would be laughable due to so much evidence to the contrary if it were not so tragic that many, many good people are lead astray by this false belief. God said He would never leave not forsake us and this would make Him a liar if what mormons believed were true. And it’s so easily proved false as there is loads of church history and writings out there long before Joseph Smith decided to start his own church. “Pilgrim’s Progress” – one of the greatest allegories of the Christian faith was written by John Bunyan before the LDS church was founded and certainly loved God as did many saints before Him.

    You also have a wrong understanding of God – He is not a “convenient God” giving people “outs” because they can’t live up to His law – He has very high standards that are required for salvation that no person can attain without Jesus.

    You also wrote concerning polygamy “It is part of our religion, and without it there is no exaltation, but that still does not mean it is required of all.” Do you not see the illogical nature of that statement? If God required polygamy for exaltation then it would required of all for exaltation. You may twist and turn and bend words all you like but polygamy is a man-made practice not a God sanctioned one. That is an obscene statement – to think that God condones such abuse of women. It existed yes in the Old Testament as did slavery but neither were practices ordained by or of God. That is just mormon rationalization for men having multiple sexual partners.

  153. rblandjr said,

    August 26, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    The Gospel,

    The bad news is that we are sinners. Dead spiritual and we do not seek after God.

    The Good News is that He came seeking us, offering His life as a “substitutionary” sacrifice for our sins. The result is “joy unspeakable and full of glory”. Personally I do not want to argue and debate what God has declared.

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

    So simple yet a world tries to work their way to God. God will only accept the offering of his Son on the Cross for payment in full for mankinds sin problem.

    Resting in Him alone.

    Richard

  154. osbornekristen said,

    August 26, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Shem,

    Biblically, polygamy was merely tolerated by God and never commanded by Him. The mere fact that in the beginning God created just Eve for the companionship of Adam points to the monogamous relationship between a man and a woman. This is confirmed by such passages as I Corinthians 7:2 where the apostle Paul states that “every man have his own wife,” not wives. In I Timothy 3:2, monogamy was a qualification for church office, and in Matthew 19:5, even our Lord condoned monogamy when He stated “they twain (two) shall be one flesh.”

    Your argument that there were more LDS women than men during Smith’s day is not supported by the facts and is actually refuted by LDS Apostle John Widtsoe. He wrote,
    “The United States census records from 1850 to 1940, and all available Church records, uniformly show a preponderance of males in Utah, and in the Church. Indeed, the excess in Utah has usually been larger than for the whole United States, as would be expected in a pioneer state. The births within the Church obey the usual population law — a slight excess of males. Orson Pratt, writing in 1853 from direct knowledge of Utah conditions, when the excess of females was supposedly the highest, declares against the opinion that females outnumbered the males in Utah. (The Seer, p. 110) The theory that plural marriage was a consequence of a surplus of female Church members fails from lack of evidence” (Evidences and Reconciliations, p.391).

    Also, I understand that Smith had at least 11 wives who were married to LIVING men. How do you know that this is false? Oh, and Emma sure wasn’t down with all of this……..even though Joe put added a little note in his revelation that if she didn’t accept plural marriage that she would surely die. Luckily, he was wrong……..it was he that died before he could steal abybody else’s wife or daughter!

  155. shematwater said,

    August 27, 2009 at 11:22 am

    CATZ

    Words have different meanings depending on who is speaking them. Language has alway worked in this way. Go to England and see if they have the same meaning for words that we in America do. for that matter, compare the South with the North. After this compare time periods, for the meaning of words in the past are not the same as they are today.
    Example: By and By-Today this phrase indicates at a later date, some time in the future, but without a definite time frame. However, when the KJV of the bible was translated it meant immediatly, as in withon the next few seconds.
    I give the meaning to the words of the prophets that has been understood by believers since they were spoken. I teach what the intended meaning those words were, and what has been taught in this church since. What you give is the corrupt theories that have been spread by men who have no understanding in such matters.

    OJ3
    You are right. It was Hebrews 4 that I meant to reference. However, it really must begin in chapter 3. “For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his arest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
    This is Hebrews 3: 16 through Hebrews 4: 2. Unto ancient Israel was the gospel preached.

    As to the evidence that there was no apostacy, you seem to misunderstand the concept of the apostacy. It has never been taught that the knowledge of the existance of God was lost, or that men stopped trying to worship him. The apostacy means that nowhere on the Earth was there a man who held the power of God, or the priesthood, and thus the blessing of the gospel were not available. There were many great men in this era, all inspired by God, but none held the priesthood. One of my Favorite is Martin Luthor, for he understood this. In posting his list on the door he made two very great comments, which prove the apostacy true. He stated that the only required ordinaces found in the Bible were Baptism and Marriage, but that no man then living (to his knowledge) had the authority to perform them, not even himself. He knew this truth because he was a righteous man and had the Spirit of Christ poured out on him, and by it he admitted the apostacy.

    Lastly, you claim that I contradicted myself when I said that Exaltation cannot exist without Plural Marriage, but that not all were required to live it. This is not a contradiction. It is part of our religion, but I have only one wife and can still attain exaltation. Why is this? Because I believe plural marriage to be a devine practice, and I am willing to take more wives if it is required of me. Thus it is part of my Faith. If it were not I could not hope for exaltation.

    As to being a convenient God, did he not say “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be btempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10: 13) Now, he does not restrict himself on how he prepare this escape, and thus to say that he will amend the commandment to fit the generation of men to whom they are given in a perfectly lagitamate way for him to provide this escape. The men were not able to handle the full gospel at the time of Moses (see my Hebrews quote), and so he provided the means for them to bear the temptation by giving them a lesser law.

    OSBORNE

    To really see the whole picture you need to understand the times in which the scriptures you quote were given.
    As to Adam and Eve, these two were chosen to be our first parents because they had attained that great privilage as spirits. However, Brigham Young does state that Adam has more than one wife. I do not think he had more than one in mortality, but I have no doubt he has more than one now, and all his wives find it a great privilage.

    All the New Testiment quotes need to be read with the understanding that Roman was the civil power, and in most places it was illegal to have more than one wife. Where it was not illegal it was very much discouraged. Thus, to prevent any animosity between to church and the civil power this counsel was given.

    Now, I may have been wrong about the ratio in Utah (though I would like evidence of marrying age population, as the quote given seems to suggest only births). However, I am not wrong concerning the ratio in Heaven, nor am I wrong that a man with three wives can have more children than a man with one.

    As to Smith marrying people already married, please give actual evidence, not just your understanding. Marriage cirtificates are best, as well as death cirtificates for the first husband. Without these the accusation is unsupported, and thus amount to little more than slander.
    Now, I agree that Emma had problems with it, and she and Brigham Young had a long fued over the whole idea, but that is not proof for the accusation.
    (Also, the reference to her dieing was concerning the second, or spiritual death, not a physical death.)

  156. osbornekristen said,

    August 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Shem,

    In 1840 there were 5169 males and 4762 females in Hancock County, Illinois (Nauvoo being the primary population center). Counting just those persons between the ages of 15 and 40, there were 2067 men and 1828 women. 1850 Census information for Utah records 6020 males and 5310 females.

    http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/index.htm

    According to familysearch.org , Smith had quite a few more than 17 wives. Also, the evidence is there for him marrying married women. For example, Search Zina Diantha Huntington http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/AF/individual_record.asp?recid=7106574&lds=0&frompage=0

    You’ll notice that she was married to Henry Jacobs in March of 1841 and to Smith in Oct. of 1841…..only eights months later. Jacobs’ records show that he did not die until 1886. So, she was NOT a widow. Just stating the facts like you asked.

    Also, all the stuff you note about Adam and Eve and there being an excess of females in Heaven is NOT biblically based at all. These ideas are solely based on the words of your church’s “prophets.” I would NOT stake my bets on the words of men over the Word of God…….especially those of Brigham Young…….apparently he has said A LOT that the church now refutes…….it’s the truth……really.

  157. catzgalore said,

    August 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Shem, you said:
    “What you give is the corrupt theories that have been spread by men who have no understanding in such matters.”

    Are you saying Brigham Young was corrupt or had corrupt theories? Because all I did was read the quotations. They are pretty plain. I didn’t add anything at all.
    I also read in the Journal of Discourses that Brigham Young said that the Egyptian pyramids were made of adobe (mud and straw) and that the temple should be made out of adobe because it would last longer than stone. He also says that gold grows just like our hair grows. You can read it yourself, Journal of Discourses 1: 218 and 219.

    I am aware that this is not what your church teaches, obviously. But at one time Brigham Young was considered to be a PROPHET. He didn’t SAY whether he was speaking as a man or a prophet, so how can you tell?

    Shem, I am sorry– not like apologetic, but more like acknowledging how difficult this all is. The more I read what your church leaders of the past wrote, the sadder I get. I can see that to see the truth of their false prophecies/writings could be like having your whole life crumble. Even to consider another point of view would be a big threat.

    Please consider that the God of the Bible (the ONE true God, the Creator of all things) is offering you freedom, grace, mercy, and way more through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Not after all we can do, but only after what He DID.

  158. shematwater said,

    August 28, 2009 at 9:22 am

    OSBORNE

    I will conceed the population of the early church. However, I really don’t care that the other points I made are not found in the bible. As I said before, the Bible does not contain all truth, and John in the last verse of his Gospel states this as fact. Thus, I welcome all truth, regardless of the earthly source from whence in comes.

    As to the files you give for proof of Joseph’s marriages, please read the little note given at the end of every entry. I quote it here.
    “Ancestral File is a collection of genealogical information taken from Pedigree Charts and Family Group Records submitted to the Family History Department since 1978. The information has not been verified against any official records. Since the information in Ancestral File is contributed, it is the responsibility of those who use the file to verify its accuracy.”
    Thus, to use this is not proof. It is a starting point, yes, but if this is where you stop you have no more proof than when you started. These records are not verified, but are simply submitted by individuals. They are not official records, and thus can simply be the stories of people who really don’t have any records to back them up. Please find the actual records before you start claiming your slander as fact.

    CATZ

    You have not simply read the words of the prophets. You have heard romours and theories of what the LDS church teaches, then read what is referenced. I will admit that many of these quotations can seem to say what you claim, but they do not truly say it. You have approached them with a preconceived idea, and thus you see that idea in them.

    As to the last reference you give, please read it again. He was correct that the great Egyptian structures that still stand were made of straw and mud, but he was not advocating the use of this in the Temple. He simply used it as an example. The people wanted to use the cheapest material they could, as it would have been easier. He is telling them that that is not the best way to go. We should not be thinking of cost when we build a temple to our God, but of durability. As he said in other places, he wanted to build a temple that would last until the Millenium. This was his message, and the idea of using Adobe was a better one than using anything else mentioned in the sermon. He does not say that it had to be used, but that it was prefered to what others were advocating.

    As to gold growing, in a way he was right, for all elements form and decompose through the natural recycling of the earth that we know occurs. Chemists and physicists will agree that in this way all elements grow.

    There is nothing taught by Brigham Young that is not true today. The real problem is that you believe all the false romours, theories, and slanders concerning his words and so you think this is true. I realize you will never accept that you are wrong, for that would shatter your fantasy concerning the LDS church.

    I feel sorry for you that you do not know the one true and living God of the Bible, the one that wants you to become all you can be.

  159. catzgalore said,

    August 28, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I cannot believe my eyes. You believe the pyramids were built with STRAW and MUD?? Oh yes, Brigham Young taught that so it must be true. Maybe you should actually GO there so you could see the limestone! I did some research… Any adobe used was for the INNER blocks, because adobe erodes quickly! If adobe is not protected, even the rain will wash it away! The outer layers of the pyramids were hard limestone– to protect it! Of course, over the centuries the outer layers were plundered leaving coarse LIMESTONE exposed. Research it for yourself! You may have to go outside LDS literature for the truth of this.
    Shem, you are so brainwashed!!! You can’t SEE that? There is nothing taught by Brigham Young that is not true today??

    Everything that is not believable was spread by false rumors, theories and slander! Convenient answer. If it isn’t believable, then prophets were only speaking as men. Or it was false rumors.

    I pray for you, that God would give you a revelation about His true nature, and your true nature, the true reason we need a Savior.

  160. osbornekristen said,

    August 28, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Shem,

    You will refuse to accept any proof. No matter what I were to show you, you would find some loophole to dispute it. I guess you do “welcome all truth, regardless of the earthly source from whence in comes.” That is such a true statement for your church……..anything the “prophet” says goes. Unless, it is something that is disproved or makes the church look bad later. And, unfortunately, these “truths” that you speak of are NOT truths…… and the sources that give these “truths” were deceptive men whose source was not God. I feel sorry for you that you are so caught up in such a tangled web of lies.

    Ezekiel 13:9
    “And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.”

    2 Timothy 4:2-4
    “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

  161. catzgalore said,

    August 29, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Here is a bit of my fantasy about the lds church.

    The Bible is only true if it is translated correctly
    The Book of Mormon is the true story of what happened in America
    The Book of Abraham came from Egyptian papyrii
    Dead people are baptized in proxy to try to get them into heaven– they will then have a chance to change their minds and join the church posthumously
    When you “get your endowment” you must go through special ceremonies and handshakes and memorize the name that will get you into heaven
    You must be as perfect as possible and hope that you are good enough to get into heaven
    You must give 10% of your income to get into the temple
    You must wear special undergarments to protect you at all times. They protect you from harm.
    When you get married, you will have to wear something OVER your beautiful wedding dress. Your husband will be dressed in a robe and hat. Your family, if not mormons, will be excluded from the ceremony because they are not worthy.
    You are married for time and eternity, but if you mess up, you can be dumped for a more suitable partner (Geoff said he would be willing to do that and that his wife felt the same way)
    The leader of your church was married to a lot of women, including teenagers
    Truth can change by revelation of a current prophet
    You must believe the CURRENT prophet even if what he says contradicts a former prophet
    Doctrine never changes. It isn’t clear what “doctrine” is however; teachings change all the time.

    Tell me what about my fantasy is incorrect. Any ONE of them is a dealbreaker to me. There are so many red flags, Shem!

    If you leave the church, your family may shun you. Your friends too. You may feel quite lost because the church dominated your life. I can so totally understand why someone doesn’t want to leave. I can imagine if my son decided to leave that his marriage would break up. I love his in-laws; they are wonderful, loving, caring people. I know it would break their hearts.

    My heart just goes out to LDS church members. I know that many don’t believe any more and just go along with it so their lives don’t fall apart.

    And so I pray every day that God would release those that have seen the truth and that they might see the REAL JESUS.

  162. shematwater said,

    August 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    CATZ

    You complain that Brigham Young said they were made of mud and straw and than admit that it was used. Interesting. It is stated in the Bible that this is the method the Egyptians used to make bricks for building, and where Brigham Young most likely got his information. Considering that the adobe structures of the south western states are still standing after several thundred years, I think what he said makes good sense.
    What you say concerning Adobe does not seem to jive with what I have read. There is the Citadel of Arg-é Bam, the largest adobe structure in existance, that has stood since before 500 BC until an Earthquake in 2003 did considerable damage to it (a weakness of adobe).
    Now, I will conceed that the Pyramids were made of Limestone, but not for the reasons you gave. However, I will also point out, as I did before, that Brigham Young was going from the Biblical account of Israel in Egypt, and thus his statements were true as far as he knew (context). However, if you are going to try and claim that it wasn’t used in Egypt you would be wrong, and many of the buildings in Egypt that are made of adobe have lasted 3000 years or more.
    Thus, while he had an error in his information (taken from the Bible) what he taught was true. The Pyramids, as you have said, have worn away over the years (their size being the only thing that made them last this long) but the adobe structures still stand as they did thousands of years ago. Adobe was a more durable material.

    As to the Fantasy you list, most of what you say is true, though a few points are only half true. However the fantasy I was speaking of was not these things. The Fantasy I refered to was the Fantasy that the church has altered its doctrine. This is what you cannot give up.
    You are right that if I left the church there would be a great void in my life, and there is nothing that could fill it, except great evil. It is like beinging in a brightly lit room so that all is before my view, and then willingly turning the lights out and trying to find the door. I would be lost, for I would have rejected the greatest truth to have ever been taught to the human race, and nothing can replace it. (though my family would not shun me as you seem to think)

    OSBORNE

    Do you have any evidence that is real evidence? Have you ever seen anything that is actually official documents showing what you say? Have you seen the marriage licenses that would prove what you say?
    No, you haven’t, because they do not exist. You believe this to be true because it makes it easier to vilify a great man. If you can picture him as this perverted, sensual fiend it becomes easy to reject him and the great message he restored. You need no proof that he was of this character, because you want him to be.
    Joseph Smith had many wives. Many were widows whom he married for their support (sort of a business relation). Others had other husbands, who were still alive, but who had divorced. It may also true that he married a few teenage girls, but in this you are applying the standard of our day to his, for in his day it was not improper to do so, and many great men married girls as young as fifteen. Even in the modern day it happens, and as long as both parties are agreed, with parents concent, it is perfectly legal (in some states as young as twelve). My brother married his wife when she was sixteen, and there is nothing wrong with it.
    Now, there were two stories I have heard that may have given rise to such romours about him (or at least credibility to the romours. One is that Joseph did command a man to give his wife to Joseph in marriage. After several days of wrestling with this the man and his wife agreed, for they were willing to follow God in all commands (just like Abraham sacrificing Isaac). When they declared their intent to obey the prophet told them that it was not required, but that the Lord was testing them (like Abraham) and now they had their Calling and Election made sure. The whole episode ended with Joseph renewing the sealing of their marriage.
    The second story was of (I believe) Hever C. Kimbal. He had become fond of a woman who had resently moved to Nauvoo as a convert, and after a few months asked her to marry him. She became scared and insulted, for she was already married, at which point he humbly appologized. After a few inquiries were made concerning her husband it was discovered that he had left her shortly after they were married and had not contacted her since (three years). When asked Joseph Smith declared that three years with no contact was as good as a divorce, and so they were married.
    These are the things that truly happened. Never did Joseph force any woman to marry him. Never did he marry a woman who was currently married to a living husband. It was not in his character, and without the actual records and documents of such it cannot be accepted as fact.

    I will accept all truth from any earthly source, but it must be the truth, not romours. You have not shown me the truth, only romours with unsupported hearsay, thus I have no obligation to accept it as truth.

  163. rblandjr said,

    August 30, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Shem and Geoff,

    The true gospel is the good news that God saves sinners. Man is by nature sinful and separated from God with no hope of remedying that situation. But God, by His power, provided the means of man’s redemption in the death, burial and resurrection of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

    The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” But to truly comprehend how good this news is, we must first understand the bad news. As a result of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6), every part of man—his mind, will, emotions and flesh—have been corrupted by sin. Because of man’s sinful nature, he does not and cannot seek God. He has no desire to come to God and, in fact, his mind is hostile toward God (Romans 8:7). God has declared that man’s sin dooms him to an eternity in hell, separated from God. It is in hell that man pays the penalty of sin against a holy and righteous God. This would be bad news indeed if there were no remedy.

    But in the gospel, God, in His mercy, has provided that remedy, a substitute for us—Jesus Christ—who came to pay the penalty for our sin by His sacrifice on the cross. This is the essence of the gospel which Paul preached to the Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians 15:2-4, he explains the three elements of the gospel—the death, burial and resurrection of Christ on our behalf. Our old nature died with Christ on the cross and was buried with Him. Then we were resurrected with Him to a new life (Romans 6:4-8). Paul tells us to “hold firmly” to this true gospel, the only one which saves. Believing in any other gospel is to believe in vain. In Romans 1:16-17, Paul also declares that the true gospel is the “power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” by which he means that salvation is not achieved by man’s efforts, but by the grace of God through the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    Because of the Gospel, through the power of God, those who believe in Christ (Romans 10:9) are not just saved from hell. We are, in fact, given a completely new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17) with a changed heart and a new desire, will, and attitude that are manifested in good works. This is the fruit the Holy Spirit produces in us by His power. Works are never the means of salvation, but they are the proof of it (Ephesians 2:10). Those who are saved by the power of God will always show the evidence of salvation by a changed life.

    Richard

  164. osbornekristen said,

    August 30, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Shem,

    All I can say is that for you to claim that you need evidence to accept truth is an absolute contradiction to all your church stands on…….laughable actually.

    Most of the “truths” of your church come from the “claims” of human men without ANY proof or evidence at ALL to prove that they are revelations from God. Your church bases its belief system on golden plates that “disapeared”, on places that can’t be pinpointed on maps, on artifacts that have never been uncovered, on peoples whose DNA evidence proves they aren’t who Smith claimed they were, on Egyption papyri that has been translated incorrectly, on ceremonial rites stolen from other groups, on the words of men that over time have been disputed or changed, on prophecies that have not been fulfilled or were just wrong………and on man whose own wife did not even believe his need for many wives to be “truth” from God. Yet, you believe these things without question.

    You say you NEED evidence……….yet you accept a whole religious system that is based on “whatever the prophet says goes……….no evidence needed!”

    The WORD of God is the essence of truth!! Its places are found on maps, its artifacts are in museums, its writers are documented in secular historical accounts, its words do not contradict themselves, its truths NEVER change, its many civilizations are uncovered, its AUTHOR is the CREATOR of the universe…….

    …..we walk in the WORD by FAITH…….but knowing that EVERYTHING that the BIBLE says has proven to be true…….and we see the overwhelming historical evidence that concurs that it is based on actual facts.

    Many LDS scholars don’t even try to disprove the fact that Smith took married women as wives……..but simply try to say that he did not sleep with them….which contradicts the claims made by many of these women.

    Whether Smith did or did not marry married women, does not change my opinion of him. His claims about polygamy contradict scripture and ARE most certianly not supported by it.

    There is a complete absence of any Old Testament verse wherein God extols polygamy as virtuous. Yet there exists a very explicit verse warning Hebrew kings to not multiply wives because it would turn their hearts away from God (Deut. 17:17).

    Several New Testament verses direct not only Bishops/Elders to have one wife, but also enjoin each man to have his own wife (1 Tim.3:2; Titus 1:6; 1 Corinthians 7:2).

    Biblical symbolism is used to depict the church as the bride of Christ; a bride (singular), who is lovingly cared for by the Savior (Joel 2:16; John 3:29; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:24-31; Rev. 19:7; 21:2-9). This illustration is transferred over to the marital relationship between one man and one woman. Such an analogy (i.e., Christ/Church to Husband/Wife) would be rendered meaningless/invalid by polygamy.

    The results of polygamous unions in the Old Testament are decidedly negative, aggravating sins normally associated with marriage in general, and producing strife and turmoil unique to polygamy. Incessant fighting, bitterness, anger, and jealousy plagued Abraham’s two wives (Sarah and Hagar), both of whom suffered great emotional anguish, especially Hagar (Gen. 21:8-16). Jacob’s wives (Rachel and Leah), although sisters, were relationally torn by bitterness (Gen. 30:15). Friction between Elkanah’s wives (Hannah and Peninnah) caused heartbreak and anger in Hannah (1 Sam. 1:1-10). David resorted to murder to have another wife (2 Sam. 11). Solomon’s polygamy turned him into an idolater (1 Kings 11:1-8).

    Again, what was the point of polygamy in Smith’s time…….it certainly wasn’t due to the excess of women……..so why was it needed when he just happened to be the one getting the revelations? Interesting……….

  165. catzgalore said,

    August 30, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    This thread IS getting long; but don’t know quite where else to put this. I just found out that according to the mormon church, the garden of eden was in Jackson County Missouri!! I don’t think it is a faith-breaker; but Missouri doesn’t go along with ANY scientific or Biblical evidence that I am aware of. Other than Mormon history.

  166. shematwater said,

    August 31, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    RBLANDJR

    I like your post, and much of it I agree with. Thank you for stating clearly what you believe.

    OSBORNE

    First, there is plenty of evidence for teh church and Joseph Smith, but the greatest evidence is the words of the Holy Spirit spoken directly to me that it is true, and the Holy Spirit cannot lie. I need no earthly evidence when I am given devine evidence. However, when there is no devine Evidence there must be earthly evidence. This is something that people don’t seem to understand, and yet they proclaim faith. Where is the evidence of the Resurrection of Christ? Where is the evidence of the visions of John, or of any of the prophets? Where is the evidence of the Garen of Eden? You believe in these things without evidence, and yet I cannot believe in my church without evidence.
    What you say if archeologists came out with the claim that they had found the body of Christ? What did Christians say about all the stories of the Bible for the hundreds of years that the evidence you speak of was unknown. It was not until recently that Jericho was confirmed to have existed. What of the queen of Sheeba, when no such nation was known until the last century or two. What of Sodom and Ghamorah, or the ten plagues of egypt? Yes, we have teh evidence now, but much of it was unknown until the last few hundred years. Were all these Christians fools for believing without evidence?

    As I said, with devine evidence Earthly evidence is not needed, which is the basis of Faith. Where there is no devine evidence than earthly evidence is needed. Where both are had but contradict each other than devine evidence takes president. This is how faith works, and anyone who denies this has no faith.
    I believe what God has told me is true, and need nothing else. If men come and tell me that God is wrong, I will trust God more than men. However, if God has not told me what is true concerning a particular topic, then I will take the words of men, study them, and find the truth as best I can.

    As to Plural Marriage in the Bible, most of what you say is not really true. The Deuteronomy quote speaks of whoredoms, meaning the talking of more wives to satisfy physical lusts. Thus, taking multiple wives is fine, as long as your motives are correct.
    Your examples are not that accurate either. With Abraham there was strife, because Hagar tried to take Sarah’s place as teh first, or head wife. However, with Leah and Rachel all real evidence points to a fairly comfortable arrangement that satisfied all concerned, with the only real problem arrising from the fact that Rachel was barren. This is the case in the story of Elkenah and his two wives, for it expressly states that they were both given portions, but the problem was that Hannah was barren. With David and Solomon, they fell into the sin of Whoredoms, and Solomon also tried to make military alliances which God had commanded against.

    So, in general the strife came because one wife had no children, and when the Lord finally blessed them with children the problem seems to have ended (except in the case with Hagar, for which she ws cast out).
    As to the practice being sanctioned, the simple fact that it is not expressly forbidden lends support to the idea. However, I think you should read the law of near kinsman if you think the practice was condemned by God. In this law, give in Deuteronomy 25: 5-12. Notice that no man is excused from fulfilling this law because he is already married. All men were expected to fulfill this law, and it was considered a great shame to refuse to. This law is demonstrated in the story of Ruth. Thus, if a man was already married, he was approved in taking a second wife by this law. Thus, in at least one situation the practice was had, approved, and possibly required by law.

    As to the purpose of it is the 1800’s, as I said, you can have a lot more children under the law of Plural Marriage than you can other wise. thus, with all the spirit children of God still waiting to come to this earth and receive a physical body, God commanded the saints to live this law so that as many as possible could be born into the covenant with the greatest chance possible for gaining exaltation.

    A small note, in Utah it was the men who had a hard time living this practice, not the woman. The men were frequently called on to “do your duty” towards teh woman. When the government outlawed it the women defended it more than the men. In all truth, the people of this time lived rather happily and contented with this practice. Thus, to rant about the abuse to woman, or the horrid conflicts of such relations sounds silly. Yes, the practice is abused for such purposes, but when properly managed under the guidance of God it is a great thing.

    CATZ

    You just found that out.
    As to evidence, where is there any evidence of the location of the Garden of Eden in either the Bible or scientific evidence. It doesn’t exist, and so any claim as to where it was is just as good as any other, unless you have the devine guidance of God (which Joseph Smith had).

  167. catzgalore said,

    August 31, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Shem you are on dangerous ground…

    but the greatest evidence is the words of the Holy Spirit spoken directly to me that it is true, and the Holy Spirit cannot lie.

    But how do you know it is the holy spirit speaking to you, if what this spirit is saying is contrary to the Bible?

    As for plural marriage, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young most certainly didn’t have trouble with it. Yet even Smith’s “main” wife Emma had trouble with it. She hated it so much she denied it existed!

    I’ve never researched the location of the Garden of Eden, because 1) it doesn’t matter to me and 2) I doubt if anyone could actually pinpoint its location. But to definitively say it is Missouri is absurd.

  168. osbornekristen said,

    August 31, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Shem,

    Since I know without a SHADOW of a DOUBT that there are NO “spirit children” waiting to come to earth to gain physical bodies, I still don’t see the point of polygamy…..except that some men in power wanted a way to be with more than one woman.

    Christ did not need to come to earth to gain a physical body. We are created in the image of God in our mother’s womb. I am not gonna argue about this point. This LDS doctrine lacks EVIDENCE except for the “divine prophecies” created by men. For the Holy Spirit to show you truth, you must look into the Bible. Scripture is the main way the Holy Spirit guides us to truth.

    I never lived in Heaven and neither did you. Only Christ and the Angels (who are a completely different race than humans) lived in heaven before the creation of the world. Jesus NEVER spoke about us living with God prior to our earthly lives. Biblical prophets never spoke of this…….except to say that before we were even born that God knew our future. Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” This simply tells that God is ALL-KNOWING. He knows our past, present and future. We have free will……..but he knows the choices we will make.
    Everyday of our lives he has already seen. THERE IS NOOOOOOOOOOOOO reason that we would NEED to come to earth if we were already living with the FATHER! Jesus made himself human to save us! He didn’t need a physical body to “progress.” We were created in a physical body and needed a Savior to gain a new, eternal spirit so we could be made perfect and live with the Father. I am not gonna argue this point any further. Please go to Biblical scripture and sincerely pray for the Holy Spirit to show you truth……..

    Abraham totally distrusted in God’s promise that he was going to give him a son in his old age. He and Sara went about it their way instead of waiting on God to work. It cost them greatly. The Lord still did end up blessing them……..but everyone in their household suffered the consequences of not trusting God.

    Please reread the story of Jacob. Rachael and Leah were CRAZY jealous of each other! Jacob not only treated these women differently, he also treated their children differently. God felt sorry for poor Leah who was not loved ” When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, [b] for she said, “It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” Gen. 29:31
    Even the children are hurt due to Jacob’s greater love for Joseph and Benjamin…..Rachael’s children.

    This all of this polygamy, spirit children, “divine revelations” that change, etc. just makes my head spin at the craziness of it all. I am done trying to prove anything……..that is not my job……it is the Holy Spirit’s. I pray that you will use the Bible to allow the Spirit to work in your heart.

  169. catzgalore said,

    September 1, 2009 at 7:15 am

    Shem, please tell me which on my list are true and which are half true. I am honestly trying to learn. Those are things that I have found on the lds website or mormon literature. What you tell me is not always the same as what I read on the site. I am trying to figure out what mormon PEOPLE believe and not always what the CHURCH teaches; it isn’t always the same in my experience.

    Fantasy… you said “The Fantasy I refered to was the Fantasy that the church has altered its doctrine. This is what you cannot give up.”

    The problem is the definition of the word “doctrine”. In the English language, doctrine is what is taught– the teachings of the teachers in the church. If you can say that the church still teaches, for example, that men live on the moon, or that polygamy is necessary for admittance to the celestial kingdom, or that adobe is stronger than stone, or your sacred garments must be to the ankles then I would say your church doctrine has not changed. The thing is, you excuse every change and say it depends on who said it, or that the prophet was only speaking as a man, or some other statement. Your definition of “doctrine” has to be different. Otherwise, I have to say that you are totally in denial, or brainwashed!
    On the lds site, there is no definition of what “doctrine” is and it is all lumped together–“doctrine, policies, practices, and history”. In any other church it is lumped together like that and “doctrine” is kind of a statement of it all. It is obvious that the “doctrine, policies, practices, and history ” have changed over the years. Our definition of “doctrine” is different.

    As for adobe, I never thought I would be doing research on adobe! What I have found is that in the desert, it is pretty durable. However, if it rains a lot, it erodes. Research it yourself. In Young’s quote, he said that the pyramids were made of adobe, he didn’t say adobe and STONE… in fact, he said that stone decomposes faster than adobe. It all depends on the conditions. I have found it quite interesting to study this stuff. Thanks for the motivation!

    Still praying that the Lord would grant you grace and mercy.

  170. shematwater said,

    September 1, 2009 at 10:26 am

    OSBORNE

    I am done arguing with you, as it is useless. I do believe in the spirit children in a pre-earth existance. This life was needed for us all to receive physical bodies. Even though we were in the presence of God before this we were not like him, and that is what God wants.
    I find this doctrine very plainly taught in the Bible, but as you are determined to deny anything taught by the LDS church I see no reason in teaching you this truth.
    Plural Marriage is for the reason I gave, at least primarily, and I can say this with all honesty because I do believe in the pre-existance. I can also say that this is the main reason that Joseph Smith and the otehrs engaged in this practice (along with the sealing power of marriage needed for all the faithful which I spoke to earlier). You say they had other motivations, but this can only be true if you claim that they did not believe what they taught, and most scholars would disagree with this. It is abundantly evident that they all believed this, and if they did living this practice would ahve been fulfilling their religion, not a sensual desire.
    You have the arrogance to demand that all people be treated as if they knew you were right and not as if they believed differently. A man must follow his own conscious, not yours, and he will be judged by God on his own conscious.

    CATZ

    How do you know the spirit you follow is the right spirit? I follow the spirit I feel because nothing it says is truly contradicted by the Bible. I will admit that on occation there is a verse here or there that does go contrary to it, but for every verse that does there are half a dozen that support it. The Holy Spirit is the one that tells me that I don’t have to twist meaning out of words to reconcile these aparent contradictions, and teaches me which is true and which is not.
    I would point out that never does it say that the Bible is the inerrorant word of God, only that scripture is God breathed. It does not Garuantee that in translating errors would not appear, and in fact Peter worns that wicked men would wrest the scriptures to their own destruction. The Bible is the greatest witness that it is not perfect, and thus any spirit that tries to make me believe its perfect is not a spirit I want to follow.

    As to the Garden of Eden, I agree that by the accounts in the Bible it would seem to be unimportant, but I do believe it is important and will play a large part in the final events just before the second coming. As such, a knowledge of where it was is necessary for us to recognize those events.
    It is in Daniel 7 that we read of the Ancient of Days sitting in Judgement, and turning the Kingdom over to the Son of Man (Christ). This great counsel where thousands will sit to admister to and be judged of the Ancient of Days is to be held in the place called Adam-ondi-oman, there place where Adam and his descendents held their sacred meetings in the past, just north of the Garden of Eden.
    Thus, it would be nice to know where this spot was on the earth, that the saints may prepare for this great event.
    As to saying it is in Missouri, why would that be any more absurd than any other place? Also, why is it that no man can know? After all, if God wanted men to know could he not tell us?

  171. shematwater said,

    September 1, 2009 at 11:04 am

    CATZ

    The Bible is only true if it is translated correctly: The Bible is true, and is inspired of God. The King James version was prepared by God so that Joseph Smith would have what was needed for him to begin the great restoration. However, in this errors have crept in, and thus to know the full truth, and what was originally contained in the Bible, yes it needs to be translated correctly.

    The Book of Mormon is the true story of what happened in America: For the time period it covers.

    The Book of Abraham came from Egyptian papyrii: In a sense, though it was written by Abraham.

    Dead people are baptized in proxy to try to get them into heaven– they will then have a chance to change their minds and join the church posthumously: Not clearly stated. Those who had no chance in this life are given the chance in the next through the proxy work of those living. Those who had the chance can still have this proxy work done, but it will only bring them into the Terrestial Kingdom, as your first chance is your only chance to gain the Celestial Kingdom.

    When you “get your endowment” you must go through special ceremonies and handshakes and memorize the name that will get you into heaven:
    In truth, I have not yet had my endowment so I do not have first hand experience, but yes, this is essentially true. However, as to memorizing the name, this is not completely accurate. The spirit will help you remember if you are worthy, and if you are not the spirit will cause you too forget (at lest that is how I understand it).

    You must be as perfect as possible and hope that you are good enough to get into heaven: Misleading. You must do all you can, and hope does play a big part, but you can know that you are good enough. There is enough information given to us that all men should be able to know where they stand (even though not all have this confirmed by revelation). Right now, if I died, I would not make it to the Celestial Kingdom. This I know because I know the requirements of that Kingdom. However, even with this, you cannot say “I have done enough to be exalted and so I can quit now.” When you know you have fulfilled the requirements you must continue to fulfill them (endure to the end) for this is the last and final requirement.

    You must give 10% of your income to get into the temple: Yes. Of course it doesn’t have to sound so bad.

    You must wear special undergarments to protect you at all times. They protect you from harm: Only after you have received the endowment, and even then there are times when it is appropriate to remove them (such as bathing and swimming). Also, while on rare occasions they do provide physical protection, the protection spoken of is generally considered a spiritual protection.

    When you get married, you will have to wear something OVER your beautiful wedding dress. Your husband will be dressed in a robe and hat. Your family, if not mormons, will be excluded from the ceremony because they are not worthy: I have never been present at the weddings in the Temple, so again, I have no first hand experience. However, I can say a few things.
    I do not know about covering the dress. As far as I understand all that is required is that it be pure white. However, there are temple clothing that all people must dress in when they enter the temple to keep it clean and holy, and thus this could be required. I don’t know exactly what these clothes however. As to the family being excluded, no non-member is allowed in the Temple for any reason (after it has been dedicated). It is said in these cases, which is one reason we are all told to marry inside the church. However, no unclean thing can enter the presense of God, and the Temple is his house. We have actual been told to be on our best behavior there because we never know when God himself might be walking among us.
    Now, most members hold a second ceremony after the Temple ceremony for those who could not enter the Temple.
    To clear things up a little, the sealing is not the same as the marriage. If you havve already been married than you will only be sealed in the Temple. If you have not been married both services will be performed in the Temple.

    You are married for time and eternity, but if you mess up, you can be dumped for a more suitable partner (Geoff said he would be willing to do that and that his wife felt the same way): Again, you put things in a very bad way. First, I cannot be completely sure at to how all this works. From what I have read, once you are sealed the only things that can break that are Adultery, murder, and Denying the Holy Spirit. What the implications of this are I am not sure. It could very well be that as long as you are not guilty of these crimes the sealing will save you.
    The way I see it is this: If you have been sealed and then commit any sin (except the three listed) you will be delivered over to the buffetting of Satan in this life, and you will endure the Hell of spiritual death for a time, but you will still rise to an exaltation in Eternity. However, if you commit adultery the sealing is broken and your partner is free to choose another. If you commit murder you cannot rise above the Telestial Kingdom and if you Deny the Holy Spirit you forever deny yourself any place in the Kingdom of God, but are cast out as one of Satan’s angels. David was guilty of murder, and thus he lost his exaltation, and his wives have been freed from him to choose a new husband who is worthy to live with them in exaltation. Cain was the first to Deny the Spirit and thus is the prime example of one who will be cast out with Satan.
    Now, I cannot claim this is exactly how it happens, but from everything I have read this is what it sounds like to me, and we have very few records clarifying the way things work after this life is ended.

    The leader of your church was married to a lot of women, including teenagers: Yes, though in truth I cannot actual give proof of this myself. (I really don’t see the problem with it either.)

    Truth can change by revelation of a current prophet: Wrong. Commands can change, put truth in unalterable, even by God. What was true eons ago will be true eons from now. However, what God commanded 100 years ago is not always the same as what he commands to day, or 1000 years ago. This is even in the Bible. He commanded animal sacrifices from the time of Adam, but he does not command such today. He commanded circumsition from the time of Abraham, but did away with it when the gospel went to the gentiles. Any Christian who excepts that the Law of Moses is no longer followed excepts the fact that commands can and do change with the times as needed to fulfill the purposes of God. However, the underlying truth never change.

    You must believe the CURRENT prophet even if what he says contradicts a former prophet: In matters of commands, yes. In matters of truth they have never contradicted each other, so this doesn’t matter.

    Doctrine never changes. It isn’t clear what “doctrine” is however: The definition I gave of Doctrine came from me, not the church. If you use that difinition than the church has not changed its doctrine, and there are no changes of doctrine in the Bible. However, if you use the common definition of simply that which is taught than yes, the church has changed its doctrine, but than so does the Bible. As such, we either accept my explanation of things and be content that neither the LDS church nor the Bible has changed, or we must accept that both have. Either way to claim it as a strike against the LDS church you must also call it a strike against the Bible.

    Hope this clarifies.

  172. rblandjr said,

    September 1, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    All,
    I am just so thankful that the one who knows me the best loves me the most.
    That is the good news of the Gospel. “For God so loved the world that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting. What freedom we have in Christ.

  173. rblandjr said,

    September 1, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Shem and Geoff,

    Could you read thru this and tell me if this is correct about the LDS teaching of the Gospel.

    According to Mormon apostle Bruce McConkie, author of the book Mormon Doctrine, the gospel is “the plan of salvation [that] embraces all of the laws, principles, doctrines, rites, ordinances, acts, powers, authorities, and keys necessary to save and exalt men.” In other words, the whole of Mormon theology. In the Mormon gospel we see belief + repentance + baptism + laying on of hands + temple work + mission work + church ministry + tithing + ceasing from sin + abstaining from the use of intoxicants and strong drinks and tobacco and caffeine + confessing Joseph Smith as Prophet + temple marriage + baptism for the dead + genealogy research . . . the list could go on and on and on. Only upon completion of all these things may Mormons attain to the third and highest level of heaven thus achieving the ultimate goal of the Mormon gospel – godhood. (see McConkie, Mormon Doctrine 116-117; Book of Mormon [3 Nephi 27:13-21]; Doctrines of Salvation 1:268; 18:213; The 4th Article of Faith; Smith, Gospel Doctrine pg. 107; Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 3:93; 3:247; 9:312; Gospel Principles 290; Doctrine and Covenants 39:5-6; 132:19-20). In essence, Christ’s death means nothing more to a Mormon than the gaining of the ability to be resurrected so that their works may be judged.

    According to the last statement would you say that is the ultimate conclusion of the LDS Gospel.

    Paul said the Gospel was “Good News”.

    The LDS Gospel seems to lay heavy burdens on people that they where never meant to bare.

    The True Gospel brings about so many wonderful things in the believers life.
    Since God is the one that fulfilled the covenant by doing all the work for us to recieve the good news. Then He is the one who should get all the glory. My eternal life with God is dependent on Him alone. That is what the Bible teaches quite consistently and emphatically. Am I boasting, only in Christ.

    What are you resting in?

    If it isn’t in the finished work of Christ then you are resting in your work.

    To spurn Christs work on the cross for our own way is to spend an eternity spurned by God.

    Eph. 2:8,9 says by grace through faith. This is Gods Good News to all mankind.

    Resting in His grace which is being worked out of my life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Not to be saved but because I am saved. Paul said to the foolish Gal. “Are you so foolish having begun in the spirt(HOLY SPIRIT) which is regeneration. Are you made perfect(mature) by the(means) of the flesh(your own works). NO OF Course not.

    It is by the power of the Spirit.

    Christ, the Apostles and Prophets taught that man is justified by faith alone in the finished work of Christ. This is consistently taught throughout scripture.

    My prayer is that you search the new testament scriptures and look at what God says concerning salvation and eternal life.

  174. catzgalore said,

    September 1, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Thank you so much, Shem, for your answers. I appreciate that.
    Catz

  175. shematwater said,

    September 2, 2009 at 7:58 am

    RBLANDJR

    You were good up to a point, and then you make the common mistake of most Christians who deny personal work.

    First, the atonement of Christ did much more than simply provide resurrection, though I will agree it did not do everything that Christians believe it did.

    The atonement was both for physical and spiritual death. The redemption of the physical death is given to all men. This is the free gift of the Atonement. The free Gift of Grace is the knowledge of Good and Evil, which is necessary for anyone to truly be saved.

    What the Atonement does do, however, is provide the means whereby we can do what is required. If it only brought the resurrection we would all be cast into outer darkness with Satan and his angels. But, the Atonement provides the escape for us, if we do our part.
    Remember my parable that I gave. We owe the Father so much that we could not hope to repay it, and by ourselves we do not have the skill, or power, to even begin. Thus Christ has trained us (given us the knowledge of Good and Evil) and through the atonement has offered us gainful employment by which we are given the means to repay our debt. If we refuse this employment, or use our reward ourselves without paying the debt, the employment will not help us.

    Thus, through the atonement of Christ we are given the power to do the works required, and thus all our salvation, all that we hope to gain, rests on Christ and his atonement, and thus all the glory is his.

    This is what I have read in the Bible. As I said before, Christ will not save us in our sins, but he will save us from our sins. This does not deny grace or the atonement in any way. What it does deny the idea of entitlement, the doctrine that we are entitled to salvation without any effort on our part, which is the only logical conclusion when you deny personal works.

    The ultimate conclusion of the LDS doctrine is that without the Atonement of Christ no man could do the works necessary for him to gain salvation (let alone exaltation), but even with the atonement no man receives a free ride back to the Father.

  176. catzgalore said,

    September 2, 2009 at 11:29 am

    there is no free ride back to the Father– Jesus paid the fare.

    We in ourselves are not entitled to salvation– nobody deserves it at all. In our selves we cannot possibly do the good works, Jesus does them through us. Of course we are not entitled, but there is no way we can earn our way either. It is only by trusting that Jesus‘ death paid the price. And then we spend our time joyously trying to do what God asks of us, KNOWING that we will go to be with HIM!! But not because we earned our way, but because JESUS did! Logic, logic, logic you always say. I know you don’t mean it to sound negative any more than I do when I try to clarify your beliefs, but you continually say I think I get a “free ride” back to the Father. There was a cost for that “ride” and that was Jesus’ DEATH. It was not free. He gave everything to save ME. Amazing! Incredible! Unbelievable! But true.

    What is the point of “heaven” if we will not be with Jesus? That would indeed be hell.

  177. onlyjesus3 said,

    September 2, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Shem – why do you think that God’s grace means the ability to discern between good and evil? This is not the biblical meaning.

    You have a completely wrong idea about how Christians view what God has done for us. Completely. None of us feel entitled to ANYTHING that God gives us – we are as lowly worms before Him. We are GRATEFUL and praise Him for His GRACE towards us in that while we were sinners – Christ died for us. This Shem is Grace. That is why we are so grateful to Him and sing His praises.
    I realize your distorted mormon view of God makes this seem like the God of the bible is a jerk for doing it all for us and your mormon god is great for building character in you by making you work for salvation – but in the end – you are following a false god.

  178. onlyjesus3 said,

    September 2, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Shem you wrote: “no man receives a free ride back to the Father.”

    You are right about this because none of us ever lived with God before we were born and we are not born with God automatically being our Father. He becomes so when He saves us by Grace – when we repent of our sins and ask Him into our hearts – only then do we have the right to call Him Father (or Papa or Daddy – whatever people choose).
    The spirit children living with God belief is a false mormon belief and not based on fact. I suppose tho it’s required for another false doctrine of most everyone going to some form of heaven. This is just satan lying to people to lull them into a false sense of security about the afterlife. As in if we screw up here or make the wrong choice here – we have a “do-over” in heaven. What a HUGE deception!!! A fatal one! which is why we believers persist on this board even when insulted and belittled.

  179. onlyjesus3 said,

    September 2, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Shem you wrote: “The Bible is only true if it is translated correctly: The Bible is true, and is inspired of God. The King James version was prepared by God so that Joseph Smith would have what was needed for him to begin the great restoration. However, in this errors have crept in, and thus to know the full truth, and what was originally contained in the Bible, yes it needs to be translated correctly.”

    The obvious question that arises from this statement is: If the head of your church is the “Prophet, Seer and Revelator” and the voice of God on earth – why has he never translated the bible “correctly”? Even the so-called “Joseph Smith Bible” is not commonly used – only bits of it inserted as study aids – don’t you wonder why?

    I also wonder why you are not temple worthy nor taken out your endowments? Are you a new convert and it hasn’t yet been a year or is there another reason? I find this disclosure very interesting.

  180. osbornekristen said,

    September 2, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Shem,
    I am just gonna take a wild leap of faith and post this link for you…..and Geoff if he is still reading this blog. Today, I heard a great sermon on saving faith by one of my favorite pastors, Chip Ingram. He is one of the many wonderful Christian ministers that I listen to on the radio. Today, he was specifically speaking about faith that saves.

    He mentioned that in the Bible, Paul was preaching to the “Judaizers” a group who were completely consumed with the “Law” and believed that it perfectly obeying it could save them (this is the group Paul formely belonged to when he was Saul). Chip explained, too, that James was speaking to a group of people who had received enough info to believe in Christ, but were “living like hell.” Meaning, these folks really hadn’t fully trusted in Christ to save them 100% because there had been no change in their lives. The “believed” in what they had been taught about the Messiah, but they hadn’t turned their hearts over to Christ and were therefore not showing any fruits. However, it is not the fruits that do anything to “save” us……..it is having the real, deal, genuine saving faith in Christ Jesus that gives us life eternal and the desire to live for Him!

    I think Chip does a GREAT job of explaining the message of grace and giving a pretty clear picture of what we Christians believe about salvation.

    I encourage you to listen. It will help you understand what Christians believe. I pray the Holy Spirit will speak to you in the process.
    Here is the link to his podcasts. Today 9/2/09 was the one that I heard today and God put it on my heart to share it with you.

    http://www.livingontheedge.org/home/broadcasts/online_daily.php

  181. osbornekristen said,

    September 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Not judging here (as I don’t think it matters at all anyway)………but Shem, you have not been married in the temple? I thought you were married with a few kids? Why haven’t ya’ll been sealed or married in the Temple if you think this is necessary for Heaven? Just wondering.

  182. rblandjr said,

    September 2, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Shem,
    Driving home from church tonight my heart and mind went back to the bottom line of what each of our respective faiths are resting in.

    Do I trust Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God incarnate,Creator and Sustainer the one who paid my sin debt in full and so much more.

    OR

    Do I look to your Prophet Joseph Smith and trust him.

    Jesus said unless you believe that I am, ye shall die in your sins and where I am ye cannot go.

    I will trust Jesus Christ with my life, my soul and my all. Not a man.

    Because I know that Jesus Christ is the uncreated one who purchased my redemption. That means everything. I am a wretched sinner resting in his grace alone. Trusting in Him, desiring the power of God the Holy Spirit to work in my life to sanctify me(set me apart) for his special purposes. To walk in love. Everything that I do is motivated by “the love of Christ which constrains me…”. Gods love must empower me, motivate me and mold me into a loving servant. One who is changed daily.

    You see Christ cannot lie He is God.

    But if Joseph Smith the man is wrong. Then all you are resting in is a mans words and not Gods.

    I say this with a heart that is burdened for the lost. Not in pride because I am just a sinner saved by Gods amazing grace.Who is resting and walking by faith in this grace.

    Please understand my goal is not to insult your faith but to compare your Prophet with the Lord Jesus Christ who is our Prophet, Priest and King.

    Christ says come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you REST.

    Resting in His Grace Alone.
    2Tim. 4:1-3

  183. shematwater said,

    September 3, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    OJ3

    That is what the grace of God means. One cannot be saved without this knowledge, and thus, if the Grace of God is to bring Salvation it must first bring this knowledge.

    As to the Bible, Joseph Smith was called to restore all things, not the current president. There is no doctrine taught today that was not introduced by Joseph Smith. Now, we do not use the JST because it was not finished (or not copyrighted and printed). Thus, we do not have the legal authority to use any more than we use.
    Now, it is also known that many things were in the Bible that God commanded Joseph not to correct, or replace. These are truth that are to great for the modern world, and are thus denied us at this time. However, the time will come when they will be revealed, when the Bible will be returned to its original glory, and all truth be made manifest.

    As to the premortal existance, I already said I was not going to discuss that on this thread.

    CATZ

    In response to you post what you believe is a free ride. I am sorry, but if it was paid by Christ then it was not paid by you, and thus you have a free ride. You have done nothing, and thus it is free for you. This is what you believe. You can deny it by saying that Christ Paid for it, but it still does not change the doctrine.

    OSBORNE

    We have been through all this before. In truth, when fully considered, what you say is the same as what I say, though you deny it. If your faith does you no good without the change in your life, the doing of Good Works, than you have to accept that these works play a large part in the whole sceme. It is simply the logic of the idea. If you are going to deny that they play any part than you must deny that saving faith requires a change, or the doing of works.

    RBLANDJR

    There is a problem in what you say, and it is so common among Christians it is rediculous.
    I do not rely on Joseph Smith. I rely on Christ, as does every member of the LDS church. To say anything else is an outright lie.
    Now, my trust in Christ is different than yours, I grant you, but it is still in Christ.
    From all I have learned if Joseph Smith was wrong I am still going to be alright, for I do trust in Christ to do everything for that I cannot do myself. However, I will not accept that I can do nothing, and nothing in the Bible tells us that those who do all they can and rely on Christ for the rest are going to Hell. It tells us that those who rely on their works without Christ are.

  184. catzgalore said,

    September 3, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    I think it was Geoff who claimed to be married with kids and grandkids. I don’t know that Shem said anything like that. It is hard since we don’t really know the people, we just know what people want to reveal, whether it is truth or not. What I imagined in my head changed when you said you had not yet received an endowment, Shem! Now I imagine you as a teenager. Quite possibly you are a convert- how long have you been in the church?

    Thank you Kristen and Rbland for your wonderful posts.

  185. osbornekristen said,

    September 4, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Again, I encourage you to really listen to the podcast link I posted. Works do NOTHING to save us. Perfection belongs only to Jesus Christ. It is by our works that people will know that we are Christians. But, these works do nothing to earn our place in God’s Kingdom. Saving faith comes from trusting that what Jesus did is a completed work and asking him to be your Savior and Lord of your life. Works are done AFTER the saving is complete……..not before. Works come later…….but they add nothing to the saving work of the cross. You only have one life to get this right Shem………I pray that you will seek to truly understand the AMAZING GIFT of grace……..the quest for perfection is only found in the blood of JEsus…….blood that stands in our place…..to make us completely clean and acceptable in the sight of God. NOTHING but the blood of Jesus!

  186. rblandjr said,

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    I appreciate the time that each of you take to read and write your posts.

    I try to read them carefully and understand what each is trying to say.

    Thanks again to LDSW for your blog and the time it takes to research and write the articles.I can tell that you put alot of time in to this labor of love to minister to people.

    Shem,

    I hope you understand that I wasn’t trying to be ugly by my last post. My desire is to always speak the truth in love. Since that night when Christ drew me to the cross to bow before him. I know what real life is as God desires for his children. The Gospel is so simple but our Savior gave eveything that he might purchase our redemption.Do you really understand the price He paid.?

    Shem, if your prophet was wrong then everything he taught concerning the restored gospel is wrong.

    That changes everything concerning what you believe, its doctrines and their applications.

    For example, you made this statement in your last post.
    “From all I have learned if Joseph Smith was wrong I am still going to be alright, for I do trust in Christ to do everything for that I cannot do myself.”

    Lets compare a few verses in the Bible with the BOM.

    Eph. 2:8,9 “For by grace you are saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.”

    2 Nephi 25:23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and te be reconcilied to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

    If your Prophet was wrong then you will have to throw out the BOM for it cannot be trusted as another revelation of Jesus Christ.

    Your statement I quoted follows the teaching of 2 Nephi 25:23 and states that works are before grace or qualify you or make you worthy of grace.

    Then you would have to totally rethink everything you believe because it is saturated with the teachings from your Prophet.

    Just looking at those verses I compared they are diametrically opposed to one another. They are not the same.

    One places works as a qualifer for grace.

    The other says by grace through faith, not of yourselves.

    Paul states, ” But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any gospel other than we have preached unto you than that that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

    This is what God has said. We can receive it or reject the truth. My prayer is that you might prayerfully consider the truth of Gods Word and act upon that in faith trusting Christ for your eternal life. “Whosoever believes in me has eternal life.”

    Resting in His Grace

  187. catzgalore said,

    September 5, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Shem… you said
    “In response to you post what you believe is a free ride. I am sorry, but if it was paid by Christ then it was not paid by you, and thus you have a free ride. You have done nothing, and thus it is free for you. This is what you believe. You can deny it by saying that Christ Paid for it, but it still does not change the doctrine.”

    When did your “free ride” attitude become “doctrine??” It makes it sound like I am saying, well now that the price is paid I get to relax and let’s go party!! That isn’t it at all. It just sounds so derogatory and disrespectful to say it that way. I have to say it, It wasn’t FREE to Jesus. It was NOT a free ride. Free to ME… but not FREE. Even humanly speaking, if you did something worthy of the death penalty and someone else died in your place, would you think of it as a “free ride”?

    Your saying it is a free ride is kind of like my saying something like this:

    You believe that Jesus’ death wasn’t really enough to pay for your sins. You have to do your part. You can’t REALLY know if you are saved until your life is OVER. If you haven’t been good enough, you will be tossed out on your ear. If you haven’t been good enough, then you will get to spend eternity in the lower heaven without god; you won’t be able to have any spirit children or be with your family or have your own world. You will stop progressing. You will get to spend eternity thinking about how much better you could have done. But it is still heaven. Since you are already LDS, you won’t get to have a second chance like the ones who didn’t get their first chance the first time, who will have their first chance the second time because they didn’t have a first chance the first time.

    It IS what your doctrine is saying, but it is a strange way to put it. It is not said respectfully, it is said rather sarcastically. (we both do it, don’t we, because we can’t understand the other’s point of view!!!)

    Not praying that you see MY point of view, but that you can see God’s.

  188. shematwater said,

    September 8, 2009 at 8:18 am

    CATZ

    I am turning 25 in two weeks, am married, and have three children. I was born into the covenant, taking part in the sealing of my parent through birth. I was raised by them in the church, and instructed at a very early age in the truths of the gospel. There is much doctrine that I have understood since I was ten, and I have often surprised those many years my senior with my knowledge and understanding of the word of God (even when I was 12 and 13 years old). However, certain things in my life (which I will not discuss) have prevented me from fully enjoying the blessings of the Gospel, which has brought much anguish to me, my wife, and our families. Through the years I have struggled, have worked out my salvation, and through repentance I should be able to enter the Temple with my wife in December and receive all the blessing I have till now been denied.

    OSBORNE

    From what is said you can be saved without having that change in your life, for works has nothing to do with it. Thus, while they are prefered, they are not required. If you are going to claim that only those who show this change have received of the saving faith than you must agree that without the works no man can be saved. You cannot claim that this change is necessary and yety deny the works. Whether the salvation comes first or not, if the works do not come than salvation has not come. However, if works have no part than you must accept that even if the works do not come the person is still saved.

    Please state things in a simple way so that I can be sure of how you believe.

    As to the podcost, I do not have time to listen to all of it, but I think the man does go wrong on one part. He is good until he gets about half way through, and then starts giving definitions for faith as used by James in comparrison to the way Paul uses it. There is no real justification for his differing definition, except mainstream Christian doctrine, and thus I am free to disagree and still be completely Biblical.

    RBLANDJR

    Yes, if Joseph Smith was wrong I would have to drop the Book of Mormon, but this does not change the fact that I would still be saved under the Christian doctrines of Grace and salvation.

    What I think is slightly annoying is that you seem to be ignoring everything I said about Grace and how it is taught in the LDS church. Grace works first for all men, giving them the knowledge of Good and Evil. When we accept Christ as our Savior Grace works again giving us power, or as it is put in Romans 4: 6 “blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” Thus grace comes first, giving us the knowledge and the power, thus no matter how you look at it “by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” For without this grace we would not have the power to work righteously. But, if you read in verse ten Paul also says “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Thus, Grace comes first, making it possible for us to walk in the Good Works which God has foreordained to be required for our salvation. We cannot boast of ourselves, for by ourselves we have not the power to do these works. Through Grace we are given the power, and than, after we act on that power to do good works, or after all we can do, then Grace acts again to cover the rest.
    Thus, I am relying on the grace of God to tell me what is right or wrong and to give me the power to do that which is right. I am also relying on the grace of God to cover that which I am unable to do after I am given this power.
    Thus, my faith is based in the Grace of God, and only through his grace can I be saved. Thus, by the Christian doctrine, even if my understanding of God is a little bit off, the Grace of God will still save me.

  189. shematwater said,

    September 8, 2009 at 11:02 am

    CATZ

    What I said I said because you deny it while at the same time professing it. What you say concerning the LDS church (at least in the last post) is true, and in truth it is not all that badly put. But there is no contradiction in words.

    What you are saying is simply a contradiction. You claim that because Jesus paid for it you do not get it free, even though it cost you nothing. This is a contradiction.
    As to your example of a person being executed, yes it would be a free ride for that person, for they are not paying for their own acts. Now, if they were forced to chose a close friend or family member then it would not be a free ride, for it would have been their choice to kill a person they loved, thus they pay through the pain of choosing. However, you cannot even claim this, for you did not chose for Christ to die, he simply did it. Thus the burden is no longer on you, and thus you again have a free ride.
    You can claim disrespect if you want, but I am simply stating the truth in what you have professed. If it was a free gift requiring nothing from you than you have been given a free ride. That is a truth, and nothing will change it. Even if you feel guilty and do what you can because you love Christ (not saying this is bad) it is still a free ride if it is not required.

    To put things more simply, so that you may understand what I mean more fully. There is a train going to heaven. You want to get on, but do not have enough pay the fare. So Christ comes and pays it for you. Yes, there was a cost, which Christ paid. But was there a cost to you? What did you have to give up in order to get on that train? You gave nothing, thus the trip was free.

  190. catzgalore said,

    September 9, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I can’t say, “you are saved” or “you are not saved”; only God can say that. It isn’t YOU that I am questioning, it is your church. The more I read and talk to Mormons and former Mormons, the stranger it gets from my perspective. Why the sacred ceremonies? Did Jesus do that? Did He teach the secret handshake, or that we should put on our own white garments? Did He teach us that we need to wear special undergarments with symbols on them to protect us? Did Jesus say that women can only be saved if their husbands cooperate, or that you will have more than one wife in the Celestial Kingdom, or that God’s body lives on a planet? I know your church doesn’t teach a lot of stuff it used to any more and is trying to appear more mainstream, but the history is part of the church! I know it sounds like I am picking and choosing. I also know that if you go away from your church (again?) that it will turn your life upside down. I know the only way you can preserve your family is by staying in the church.

    BUT…

    If your church has NOT changed, and if your church has TRUE prophets, then you must accept what they taught! If revelation can change and no longer be truth, something’s wrong! God’s true prophecies don’t work that way! If something is in your teachings (such as you won’t be in the celestial kingdom unless you have more than one wife) then you need to follow those teachings! You need to have more than one wife, or you won’t be in the Celestial Heaven!
    If your church HAS changed, then why? Why have they gone away from the early teachings? Why have they softened the oaths in the endowment ceremony, or shortened the sleeves and legs in the sacred undergarments? Why is it now okay to only have one wife? Why don’t families have 12 children any more? Why is birth control acceptable? Don’t get hung up on that word “doctrine”. They HAVE changed! I also know that it is not okay to question. Just do it. Just follow. No questions.

    Why is “bearing your testimony” saying your CHURCH is true, and that JOSEPH SMITH was a true prophet? A CHRISTIAN’S testimony is focused on JESUS; on the TRIUNE GOD. Not on a mere human.

    You must be here on this blog for a reason. Are you questioning? I can see you are trying to understand. I am praying for you, that the Lord would reveal the falseness of the LDS church… that you don’t need ANYONE for a mediator, you can have direct access to the Lord!

    May God bless you today, and show you HIS truth.

  191. catzgalore said,

    September 9, 2009 at 10:27 am

    we were posting at the same time, Shem!

    The train. If Christ paid the fare, it was not free. Someone had to pay. If it was truly free, then no one would have had to pay anything, not even Christ.

    And as for asking a loved one, I did ask my loved one. Jesus. I asked Him to take on the cost of my sin. It breaks my heart to think I cannot do it for myself, that I cannot be perfect. So yes, I asked Him to bear the cost, knowing there is nothing I can do to ever pay Him back…even if I try my best, I will never be perfect. I am not capable of perfect obedience. So Christ did it for me.

    So it is not a free ride.

  192. onlyjesus3 said,

    September 9, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Shem you wrote: “There is a train going to heaven. You want to get on, but do not have enough pay the fare. So Christ comes and pays it for you. Yes, there was a cost, which Christ paid. But was there a cost to you? What did you have to give up in order to get on that train? You gave nothing, thus the trip was free.”

    My friend…what did I give up? I gave up everything to follow Christ – simply everything. I no longer belong to myself but belong to Christ and Christ lives inside of me. It’s like in Mark 10:21 and Luke 18:22 when Jesus told the man to give up everything and come follow Him.

    Those verses aren’t about works – they are about exactly what I am talking about – leaving everything behind you and following only Christ. I don’t have any rights anymore – I was bought with a price – 1 Cor.6:19,20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

  193. shematwater said,

    September 9, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    CATZ

    When you say you chose him, are you saying there were other options, because that is what said must be teh case for it to be considered a cost to you in the idea of a convict getting off. He must be given a selection of who was to die for him, or there is no cost.
    It is like a movie I once saw about World War II. A mother begged the Germans not to kill her two sons. So, the officer told her that one could live, and she must choose which one. This caused a great agony to her soul. However, if she had only one son and the officer told her to choose one to survive, where would be the agony.
    You say you chose Christ, but in truth that was your only option, thus there was nothing given. Of course you could ahve decided the walk, and forgo the train altogether, but tht is not an option if you wanted to get on the train. You had only one option, and thus, while you did ask him, you did not have to shose who to ask, and thus it is still a free ride.
    When I say this I am not saying that the fare was not paid, I am saying that it was not paid by you.
    By LDS doctrine the same basic scenario still applies, but we believe we are required to work on the train (like washing dishes, or delivering the food) in order to be given a place on it. Thus, while Christ still paid the fare, we are doing our part.

    OJ3

    What you say makes no sense. If no works are involved than how did you give yourself to Christ. Whether a man believes or not, if he does not have the works to back it up his faith will do nothing for him, for even the devils believe. Thus, without the works a man is no better than the devils.
    I agree that we must give ourselves to God, for he did buy us for a price. However, you seem to have a very vague and abstract idea of what it means to give your life to Christ.
    Logic and reason tell us that if we do not act our part, if we do not do the works which we were forordained to walk it, and we are still saved through the atonement, than our salvation was a free ride to heaven, for we would have done nothing to earn it.

  194. shematwater said,

    September 9, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    CATZ

    The church has not changed, and I really wish you would get that through your head. You bring up the same old idea that I have already demonstrated was not true, and never has been true (that of plural wives). You refuse to listen, prefering instead the slanders of evil or ignorant people. You will never understand the LDS church because you do not want to. Until you are willing to actually be taught concerning the truths you cannot learn them.

    As to a few of your questions, I would simply like to ask you where in the Bible it denies these things. Tell me were the Bible says not to where the garments.
    The Bible does not, nor could it, contain all the works and teachings of Christ. John tells us this in the last verse of his gospel. I am willing to accept that these things were taught by Christ, but did not make their way into the written record that later became the Bible. There are various reasons as to why they were not, but the reason doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that God, Christ in the Flesh, has spoken in these latter-days and declared them requirements of exaltation. As such, I need no other writing to tell me they are true.

  195. catzgalore said,

    September 12, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Shem, I should not be surprised that your idea of “changed” is not the same as the rest of the world’s definition…just as the church has changed so many definitions…

    There are too many former Mormons speaking out to deny that the church has changed. You would say that these are evil and ignorant men speaking lies. You may even have to call the US government evil!

    Did you know that Brigham Young introduced the following oath into the endowment ceremony in 1903?

    “You and each of you do covenant and promise that you will pray and never cease to pray to Almighty God to avenge the blood of the prophets upon this nation, and that you will teach the same to your children and to your children’s children unto the third and fourth generation.”

    It was part of the ceremony until 1927. Those are the words of the prophet. Does that mean that this may be reinstated at any time??

  196. shematwater said,

    September 14, 2009 at 9:15 am

    CATZ

    My definition of change is exactly the same as yours, and by that diffinition the Church has not changed.

    Former members may claim such, but they have been led away by the save evil and designing spirits that have deceived men from the Fall of Adam, and will continue to deceive men until Christ comes and Satan is bound.

    The doctrine of the church remain unaltered. They are the same as was taught to Adam, the same that he taught to all his righteous children until he died. They are the same believed by Enoch, who walked with God and was translated for his faith. They are same as were known to Noah and his family, the righteous to be saved in the Flood. They were known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the sons of Israel. They were know to the Ancient Prophets that followed Moses. They were taught by Christ and his Apostles in the early years. They were restored by Joseph Smith, and have been known to the Righteous since that day. They are unaltered and glorious.

    You can say anything you want. You can believe the lies that have been spread by Satan since this great work began. Nothing will alter the fact that this Church has been the same since God first revealed it, adn will remain the same throughout eternity.

    As to your little addition to the Endowment, as I said I have not yet been priviledge of partaking of that sacred covenant, and even after I am I will not discuss the particulars of it with one who has not also partaken of it.
    Having said this, I would suggest that you look at your sources again, as there is a rather glaring error in what you say (whether it is yours or the sources is for you to figure out). This error is in the fact that Brigham Young couldn’t have added this to the Endowment in 1903, because he died in 1877.

  197. catzgalore said,

    September 14, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    MY error… sorry. It was added by Brigham Young after Smith’s death. In 1903, there was a protest because a Mormon had been elected as a senator in Utah. Some thought he should be thrown out of office because he had taken the oath.

    http://www.lds-mormon.com/veilworker/oathvenge.shtml

    It was not MY little addition. It was Young’s addition.

    Here is a government page with some references if you care to research it:

    http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/bibdisplay.pl?index=s000644

    http://www.signaturebooks.com/reviews/hearings.htm

  198. shematwater said,

    September 15, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Yes, it may have been added by Brigham Young, but I called it your addition because you are the one who brought it into the conversation.

    Now, if the wording of the oath is accurate it is still not treasonous, because it does not advocate the violent overthrow of the government.

    I would also caution you against anyone professing to give you the words of the Temple Ceremonies, and especially their meaning. I will not say one way or another regarding it, for I have not been to the Temple. No one who have not worthily partaken of these ordinances should discuss them.

    My question is simple: Why would you take the word of a person who has violated their oaths over those who have not? If a person has left the church can you really be sure that they have not altered things slightly (whether knowingly or not) to fit what they now believe?

    Personally I have no problem with this oath if it did exist, as it only says to pray and nothing else. However, I would also understand why it was taken out as the vengence of God has already been poored out on those who have persecuted the saints and murdered the prophet.


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