Mormons Rock

October 16, 2007

How I became a Mormon!

Filed under: faith,LDS,life,love,Mormons — by steffielynn @ 4:18 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This is my story in a nutshell.  There is sooooo much to it, but I will save details for a later date.  I had posted this on Jay’s blog, and I did not realize I had not posted my conversion story on my blog!  So here it is!

My first interaction with the Mormon church was through by best friend in 2nd grade. She was Mormon and I was Lutheran. My parents did not seem to have much of an issue at this time with the Mormon religion. I spent a lot of time with my little friend and her family. I remember her family being so close, it was obvious that they loved each other very much and they always included me and made me feel loved as well. My family was extremely disfunctional. There was always a lot of yelling and not a whole lot of love.

For 2 years everything was fine and Dandy. Around the beginning of 4th grade I came home from school and my parents sat me down to have a talk. They informed me that a lady from our church had a son that was stolen by the Mormons. They told me it was a bad cult, and they didn’t want me to be stolen, so I was no longer allowed to be Sierra’s friend. This was totally confusing, scary and devastating. I pictured Sierra’s family throwing me in a van and stealing me away to some far off place and never seeing my family again. Of course at this age I did as my parents asked. They even sent me to school with a bible and a scripture in revelations. I was really sad that I couldn’t be her friend anymore. I asked my parents a lot of questions as to why. They told me that Mormons believed they Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Joseph Smith the founder was a liar and a cheater and they believe in magic underwear. They also explained to me that they believed in a different God and Jesus and that Mormons will go to hell when they die and burn for eternity. This did not sound like a good thing, so I stopped asking questions and stayed as far away from her as I could.

When I went to High school I met a few more of these Mormons, and even though I tried to stay away it was a little more difficult. I had a few on my cheerleading squad my senior year and one of them became my very good friend. I tried not to get too close to her, but she was so sweet and fun It became impossible. I never asked any questions about her church, but she would always invite me to her activities, and of course I didn’t want to burn in hell with her so I declined. During High School, I remember only two people who were there for me, and they both happened to be Mormon. I remember asking my mom why Mormons, who were such good people, would go to hell. She told me again that they believed in a false Jesus and that they were a cult.

So eight years later who knocks on the door, but 2 Mormon missionaries. I, at this time, decided to find out from an actual Mormon what exactly they believed.

Our first lesson began with me asking a thousand questions. I told them that I believed in a different Jesus and that they believed in the wrong one and that they were going to burn in hell if they didn’t except the “real” one. I went over with them all the things my parents had taught me. They were kind and they listened. I asked them to tell me what they believed and back it up with scripture, which they did.

Every time they would leave they asked if I would pray and ask if it was true for myself…which I did not do. I told my family I was having Mormon missionaries coming over and they FREAKED! They told me to stop having discussions because I would be brainwashed. They also started sending me info about the church. I went against the influence of my family and continued my discussions.  I read as much as I could on the LDS church. Most of it was against the church. The only positive stuff I read about the church was given to me by the missionaries. I read about Joseph Smith and polygamy, I read about the Mountain Meadows massacre, I read about their disbelief in the Trinity and how they believed they would become gods of their own planets. I became very conflicted. What the missionaries were teaching me made sense to me. I read and I read and I read. I became more and more confused. I wrestled with this issue for a long time. I did not want to join the LDS church, I most certainly did not want to burn in Hell. I was so confused and in need of an answer. I got on my knees and I started crying. I cried and poured my heart out to the Lord. I looked up and asked Him is this YOUR church, I fell to my knees broken, lost and confused, as soon as I asked this question I felt peace like I had never known.  It was a physical and mental change.  My burdens were lifted,  All the guilt and the sorrow and sadness was gone.  I called the missionaries and informed them that I wanted to be baptized.

The hardest thing for me to get over was the fear of burning in Hell for eternity. I would have thought it impossible to get over. But it was not me who took that fear away. The fear left me when I prayed. And even though I hear it all the time from both family and people I randomly encounter, I just smile inside and remember that I once, was just like them.

My family is extremely upset. They are worried about my soul. But I know that this Gospel is indeed true. I know that my Father in Heaven answered my prayers and healed my heart. There are many people out there who believe as I once did, and as my family still does. Many people (both members and nonmembers) cannot get over some of the history of the church and that is understandable. But I knew all these things when I joined. As weird as it may seem, all the history is frivolous, compared to the change that occurred in my heart. I know that throughout church history mistakes have been made.  Joseph Smith was a man. I don’t worship Joseph Smith. I worship my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ and I cannot imagine where I would be without the Gospel in my life!

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254 Comments »

  1. One question….
    If all of these dead Mormons now are gods ruling thier own planets where are the planets?
    There should be millions of planets out there in the unverse right now, all inhabitable, with a Dead Mormon as a God and millions of inhabitants.
    And why , with all of our intensive searching for one “inhabitable” planet in this universe, we have not come across even one worth living on?

    Comment by bgraef — October 16, 2007 @ 5:28 am |Reply

  2. That is an awesome testimony! It’s funny how things turn out if you are sincere and diligent in investigating and praying about the Church.

    Like me, you knew the history of the Church, you went into things without a hardened heart, you asked the RIGHT questions in faith not wavering and you received an answer for yourself.

    Comment by ldspad — October 16, 2007 @ 5:47 am |Reply

  3. I don’t know if you actually want an answer to your question, and if your question is sincere. At any rate, I cannot answer your question because i do not have that knowledge. All that I know is that the heavens are without number.

    As for mormons becoming gods, well that is something that many who are not LDS do not understand. Here is what our prophet Gorden B. Hinkley has said about this :

    “the whole design of the gospel is to lead us onward and upward to greater achievement, even, eventually, godhood. This great possibility was enunciated by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the King Follet sermon and emphasized by president Snow…Our enemies have criticized us for believing in this. Our reply is that this lofty concept in no way diminishes God the Eternal Father. He is the Almighty. He is the Creator and Governor of the universe. He is the greatest of all and will always be so. But just as any earthly father wishes for his sons and daughters every success in life, so I believe our Father in Heaven wishes for His children that they might approach Him in stature and stand beside Him resplendent in godly strength and wisdom.”

    Comment by steffielynn — October 16, 2007 @ 6:10 am |Reply

  4. ldspad
    yes we have such similar stories! Isn’t it amazing!!!!!!! :)

    Thank you for your nice comment!

    Comment by steffielynn — October 16, 2007 @ 6:21 am |Reply

  5. Godhood, eventually?
    Where are all these inhabited planets, with dead earthling Mormons who have ascended to deity, ruling them ?
    Why cant we locate them with our powerful telescopes and contact them with our radio signals?

    Comment by bgraef — October 16, 2007 @ 7:04 am |Reply

  6. You do realize that science has only scratched the surface of our own universe. It was not long ago that people thought the world was flat. But I again I do not know the answer to your question.

    Comment by steffielynn — October 16, 2007 @ 11:06 am |Reply

  7. Steffie

    you said “As for mormons becoming gods, well that is something that many who are not LDS do not understand. Here is what our prophet Gorden B. Hinkley has said about this ”

    Gordon B. Hinckley as quoted in Time Magazine, Aug 4, 1997:

    Q: Just another related question that comes up is the statements in the King Follett discourse by the Prophet.

    Hinckley: Yeah

    Q: … about that, God the Father was once a man as we were. This is something that Christian writers are always addressing. 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. [emphasis added]

    It seems that he doesn’t know either .. Do you understand it then ?

    Comment by Elder Joseph — October 16, 2007 @ 2:12 pm |Reply

  8. No, I don’t. I won’t know until i’m before God. I know that He wants me to inherit His kingdoms, I know He wants this for ALL His children. What exactly we are or become in heaven is a mystery to me. And that is ok with me. I know I will be with Him again and that is all I focus on.

    Also it’s ok for a prophet to not understand something and to not know all the answers, he is only human!

    Comment by steffielynn — October 16, 2007 @ 2:33 pm |Reply

  9. Ok, how do Mormons explain all of Christs words on Hell and how to avoid it?
    He never taught “progression” towards eventual Godhood in multiple next lives.
    He solemnly warned that people will be going there, that it is a place of eternal misery, that people who do end up there become “instant evangelists” and want to come back to warn thier living loved ones to avoid this horrible place.
    And that thier is no escape, it is a wretched place of thirst, gnashing of teeth.
    He also claimed to have the Keys to Hell, that people will be tossed into this lake of fire, that the torment is unceasing.
    How can you Mormons explain away every thing that Christ taught about Hell, and then boldly claim to represent HIM and his faith?
    Luke 16 23-31,Revelation 1:18,20:15

    Comment by bgraef — October 16, 2007 @ 2:53 pm |Reply

  10. Actually we do believe in hell, we commonly refer to it as “outer darkness” but it’s the same thing.

    I don’t know how to explain it well so I googled it and here is a great discription from wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outer_darkness

    “in modern Latter-day Saint vernacular, outer darkness usually refers to an eternal state of punishment.[3] Very few people who have lived on the earth will be consigned to this state, but Latter-day Saint scripture suggests that at least Cain will be present.[4] Other mortals who during their lifetime become sons of perdition—those who commit the unpardonable sin—will be consigned to outer darkness.[5] It is taught that the unpardonable sin is committed by those who “den[y] the Son after the Father has revealed him”.[6] However, the vast majority of residents of outer darkness will be the “devil and his angels … the third part of the hosts of heaven” who in the pre-existence followed Lucifer and never received a mortal body.[7] The residents of outer darkness are the only children of God that will not receive one of three kingdoms of glory at the Last Judgment. Sons of perdition will remain in outer darkness and suffer for eternity with Satan. This state shares some similarities with certain Christian views of hell.”

    we also believe in three degrees of Glory (Cor 15:40-42) I will probably make a post about that but to learn more for now you can go here http://www.lds.org/portal/site/LDSOrg/menuitem.3933737ad2ff28132eb22a86942826a0/?locale=0&sourceId=d1ef9daac5d98010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=bbd508f54922d010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD and click on “additional information!

    Comment by steffielynn — October 16, 2007 @ 3:55 pm |Reply

  11. I don’t know if I made it clear that if you go to outer darkness you can not attain any glory. You stay there for eternity.

    Comment by steffielynn — October 16, 2007 @ 3:57 pm |Reply

  12. I admire your integrity to do what you feel is right, even without the support from family.

    Are you aware of http://www.ldsblogs.org? There are a lot of good LDS based blogs out there. There seem to be a lot of people interacting on your blogging that don’t like the church very much.

    I hope we can all do what we feel is right, regardless of what some might say.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — October 16, 2007 @ 4:37 pm |Reply

  13. steffie

    you said “. What exactly we are or become in heaven is a mystery to me.”

    Its not that big of a mystery in the church . Past prophets have revealed a polygamous order of mormon men/Gods having multiple wives and procreating billions of children for their own worlds ?

    This is who they think God is now from the conversations I’ve had ….

    You’ll be one of many wives to a God man .. and if your husband becomes a born again Christian, then the church will find someone else to seal you to :)

    Comment by Elder Joseph — October 16, 2007 @ 4:59 pm |Reply

  14. Thanks eric, I was not aware of the lds blogs. I’m pretty new to the whole blogging thing. There do seem to be a lot of people who don’t agree with the church on here. But I don’t mind as long as they are respectful. I was once like them, I didn’t like the church much either, but it was only because I did not know what the church and it’s members really believed. I looked to non LDS sources and my non LDS parents and believed what they told me.

    I will probably stay here, at least for a while, it IS quite draining going in circles!

    My hope is that I can be a source for them to find out what the church really teaches and what we as LDS really believe. That is my hope anyway :) The gospel has changed my life and I pray that everyone will find what I have found!!!!!!!!

    Comment by steffielynn — October 16, 2007 @ 5:02 pm |Reply

  15. I’m confident that my husband will stay and continue being a righteous man. Infact I have no doubt.

    There are probably church leaders who do understand what I do not. I have knowledge that my family is eternal and that we will be together forever. That knowledge is enough for me :)

    Comment by steffielynn — October 16, 2007 @ 5:06 pm |Reply

  16. Steffielynn,
    I believe your heart is in the right place. However, please let me offer you a Biblical perspective on how to test “truth”. Here’s a short lesson a friend of mine wrote which I think is as good as I could say it:

    EVALUATING TRUTH – BY FEELINGS OR THE BIBLICAL WAY?

    Mormon missionaries and members will ask you to pray about the Book of Mormon. The favorite references are:

    If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)

    And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Moroni 10:4)

    Frequently they quote these with the implication that the person praying needed only to invest minimal effort in reading and studying the Book of Mormon and rely upon prayer to validate the book. But The reader must be very cautious in using these verses. James 1: 5 says if you lack wisdom, not if you require knowledge. In most cases wisdom is the proper use of knowledge. There is a big difference between wisdom and knowledge. There are several Greek words for various types of knowledge and none were used in James 1:5. The Greek word for wisdom (Sophia) was used. In Moroni 10:4 the assumption is the Book of Mormon is true and you are praying to confirm it, and if you obtain a negative answer you must not have asked with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ. But this is not the way the Bible tests truth. The Bible warns us about following paths that seem correct but that lead to fatal error:

    There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

    In addition the Bible is very clear we should use our intellect, our brains in evaluating religious teachings:.

    Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (I Thessalonians 5:2 1)

    Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (I John 4: 1)

    How do we prove all things and try the spirits? We compare it to what God has already said in the Bible. We should do what the people in Berea did to evaluate the Apostle Paul’s teachings:

    And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:10-11)

    Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

    And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:17)

    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

    Feelings are just one of the ways God confirms his truth for us, but feelings need to be tested against God’s word, keeping in mind that God will never contradict what he has already said.
    Are there some things we should not pray about? If you had a sexual urge would you pray to find out if you should satisfy it with a prostitute? If you quickly needed a large supply of money would you ask God if you should go rob a bank? If a voice in your head told you to murder someone would this mean you should? Of course not. The answer is a clear no! God has already spoken on these things in his Word (the Holy Bible), so we should not tempt him by asking for a personal answer. It is already clear how we should handle these types of issues. in the same way we should not automatically pray about the Book of Mormon. We should test the Book of Mormon, and the other LDS Scriptures, the Biblical way.
    (end of lesson)

    For a brief look at how we (LDS and non-LDS Christians) used to believe the same attributes of God, and when and how that changed, see http://www.WeUsedToAgree.com

    I pray this will be received in the same way in which it is presented — in the hope that, just as in the early days of the LDS Church, we will be able to worship the same God and follow the same Jesus Christ, even if in different denominations of the same church.

    Your servant, and His, Tom Jones

    Comment by Tom Jones — October 16, 2007 @ 5:32 pm |Reply

  17. How do Mormons explain Christs teaching on marriage in Matthew 22:30?

    Comment by bgraef — October 16, 2007 @ 5:51 pm |Reply

  18. Tom, you are so kind! I appreciate that! It is rare to find someone who disagrees with LDS beliefs, and is kind and loving about it! Others should follow after your example!

    So here is my thought on your comment. I was raised in a Christian church. I knew a few things about the bible before I joined the LDS church. What always troubled me is how so many people could translate the bible so many different ways. I was taught many things, and yet I hardly understood any of it.

    My personal belief is that the bible is inspired, and it holds many answers. But I also believe that it does not hold ALL the answers. I do infact trust my heart and my feelings. At the same time I use common sense and my brain. I must admit that I am not the most knowledgable person in the world. There are many things I do not understand. But what I do understand is what God gave me when I knelt and I poured out my heart. He gave me a gift. He gave me knowledge of things that I could not understand on my own, things I could not understand by reading and studying alone. Please do not get me wrong. I think it is important to study the scriptures, but it is also EXTREMLY important to pray and ask for help. He really WILL give it to us.

    P.s I will check out your link, thanks!

    Comment by steffielynn — October 16, 2007 @ 6:19 pm |Reply

  19. Bgraef here is a talk given by David H. Yarn, Jr., emeritus professor of philosophy and instructor of religion, Brigham Young University.

    ‘Inasmuch as Latter-day Saints believe in marriage for eternity, how do we explain Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 22:29–30? These two verses are part of a larger context which commences with verse 23, as follows:

    “The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,

    “Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

    “Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother:

    “Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.

    “And last of all the woman died also.

    “Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.

    “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

    “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (Matt. 22:23–30.)

    To understand these verses, we need to understand the context in which the Sadducees asked their question and the context in which Jesus answered it.

    First, it should be emphasized that this is a hypothetical situation presented to the Lord by the Sadducees, who, as the scripture itself asserts, did not even believe in the resurrection. They were simply doing what both they and the Pharisees so often did—asking the Lord questions simply to bait him, to see if they could catch him contradicting what Moses, the great Lawgiver, had said.

    The question itself was based upon the teachings of Moses: “If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.” (Matt. 22:24; see also Deut. 25:5–10.) In the hypothetical case suggested by the Sadducees, in which seven brothers each had been married to a woman in turn, the question was, “In the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven?”

    According to Dummelow’s A Commentary on The Holy Bible, “The point raised by the Sadducees was often debated by the Jewish doctors, who decided that a ‘woman who married two husbands in this world is restored to the first in the next.’ ” (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1927, p. 698.) Most Jews at the time believed in a material resurrection, and so the question had some importance to them. (Ibid.)

    On the other hand, although the Sadducees didn’t believe in the resurrection, they were more than happy to use it to try to “bring Jesus into contempt and ridicule with the multitude by asking Him a question which they thought He could not answer.” (Ibid., p. 697.)

    But Jesus did answer them, and he began with a mild rebuke: “Ye do err,” he said, “not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Consider the handicap the Sadducees had placed upon themselves. They did not really understand the scriptures—and probably had no wish to do so on this point. They were steeped in false doctrine, and without the gift of the Holy Ghost had no access to the revelatory power of the Spirit. The Savior’s answer, therefore, was not a full doctrinal explanation of the doctrine of eternal marriage. Instead, he quickly defused their argument and then testified of the resurrection using the scriptures that the Sadducees held most sacred.

    The Savior effectively dismissed their question on marriage by stating that “in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” In that way, the Savior turned to the more fundamental issue of the Sadducee’s disbelief in resurrection. Of the resurrection, the Savior bore certain testimony:

    “But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,

    “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matt. 22:31–32.)

    At this point, the Sadducees were silenced. In Mark’s account of the episode, the Lord adds, “Ye therefore do greatly err.” (Mark 12:27.) The Savior had made their error painfully clear by referring to the Law—Exodus 6:3 [Ex. 6:3]—for support. The Law was considered by all Jews, Sadducees included, as the highest authority in the canon of scripture. They couldn’t very well argue with the scriptures they held in highest esteem.

    What, then, do we make of the Savior’s statement that “in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage?”

    First, we see that it was made in response to an attempt by the Sadducees to trap the Lord. Consequently, it would not have been the Lord’s final word on the subject. Why should the Lord scatter pearls before them that they would only trample underfoot? (See Matt. 7:6.) They were no more prepared to listen to a discourse on eternal marriage than they were prepared to accept the reality of the resurrection.

    Second, the Lord did not say there would be no people in the married state in the resurrection, but that there would be no marriages made in the resurrection.

    Third, we must be clear about the “they” who are neither marrying nor being given in marriage. The context of the scriptures just cited suggests a generic rather than a specific meaning. Simply put, that means no marriages are made in the resurrection. The Lord was warning the Sadducees. They were Jews of the day who had rejected him and therefore had no access to the higher ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood. How could these men, whom Jesus had called a “generation of vipers” (Matt. 3:7), qualify for the highest blessings of the celestial kingdom?

    What the Savior declared of the Sadducees who would later have part in his death is hardly applicable to his Saints who, through the ordinances of the priesthood and their righteousness, qualify for exaltation in the celestial kingdom, which the Lord equates with eternal marriage. (See D&C 132:19–24.)

    The Savior made statements on other occasions that support the idea of eternal marriage. To the Pharisees, who at least believed in the resurrection, he said: “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

    “And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

    “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matt. 19:4–7; italics added.)

    The marriage of Adam and Eve, performed prior to the Fall, was certainly done in an eternal context (see Gen. 2:18–24), and the authority to bind on earth and in heaven was given to Peter and the other Apostles. (See Matt. 16:19; Matt. 18:18.)

    Although this authority was lost with the priesthood through apostasy, it has been restored in our day. The Lord’s promise is that those marriages performed by his authority and “sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood” (D&C 132:19) shall endure forever.
    And here is the link http://www.fairlds.org/apol/ai130.html

    Thanks and I hope this helps answer your question

    Steff

    Comment by steffielynn — October 16, 2007 @ 6:30 pm |Reply

  20. Steffie

    That was just a long winded excuse to brush away Jesus’s words like the LDS do with alot of the bible and his teachings …

    He quotes
    “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matt. 19:4–7; italics added.)

    Why was Joseph Smith putting assunder many marriages by taking his followers wives ?

    And notice jesus says Twain flesh , one of each male and female and not polygamous twains …

    Its clear to me that Joseph Smith got caught in Adultery with Fanny Alger and his excuse was a ‘revelation’ to do this … How convenient to get a revelation to have sex with his young housemaids …

    The same with when he needed a quick buck .He got a revelation to form a bank which would swallow all the others up and lost his members money while he rode away a bankrupt in the middle of the night ….

    The same when he got a revelation to sell the copyright of the Book Of Mormon in Canada hoping for $8,000 ….from his stone in a hat .It would have set him up financially for life , but it failed ….

    Same when he got revelation in D&C that his followers should provide whatever he needs (wives included) and build him a house and that he shouldn’t go to work either !!

    D&C43:13
    D&C41:7
    D&C24:9

    also a boarding house where he applied for a licence to sell alcohol ! :)

    D&C124:56

    Comment by Elder Joseph — October 16, 2007 @ 7:29 pm |Reply

  21. Steph,
    you are amazing! I love your story and your testimony!

    Comment by Sierra — November 8, 2007 @ 10:12 pm |Reply

  22. She is amazing. No one else could put with all of us clowns.

    Comment by Bishop Rick — November 8, 2007 @ 11:10 pm |Reply

  23. Stephanie,
    I really enjoyed reading about your conversion and thank you for sharing your testimony. I was impressed by your story.

    Comment by Zach (Sierra's brother) — November 12, 2007 @ 3:46 pm |Reply

  24. Sierra and Zach

    I think the world of you and your family. You were such good examples of what a truely wonderful loving family is! I think about that all the time! I hope that my little family can be as awesome!

    It’s weird, (for those reading this sierra is the little girl from my story) …but what is crazy is that right after posting my conversion story on Mormons Talk (jay’s blog) Sierra contacted me on myspace! So amazing! And I am so happy to be back in touch! :)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 12, 2007 @ 6:13 pm |Reply

  25. Steffielynn,

    You should have listened to your parents – they were right. Not necessarily about being friends with someone of a different religion, but about converting to that religion, as what they taught you about it is true.

    Tom Jones’ post to you was well done, and is true. Your response to it is the typical Mormon response – no meat to it, just more philosophical thoughts on “feelings” that you have. You completely overlook what was clearly said to you. And the article you gave on marriage – was ridiculous. As EJ said, it completely overlooked Jesus’ teachings on it, and instead just put the “Mormon spin” on it, as is the LDS policy.

    Steffielynn, many of us hope you will reconsider. You’re ignoring all the facts which are right in front of you, and instead believing in the lie.

    Comment by Brad — November 12, 2007 @ 7:00 pm |Reply

  26. Stephanie,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have touched my heart and feel strengthened by your testimony. I can also say that I know that the gospel is true and our Heavely Father will bless your family for all eternity.
    Thanks again,
    Telia

    Comment by Telia (Sierra and Zach's Sister) — November 12, 2007 @ 7:33 pm |Reply

  27. Stephanie,

    Wow, I’m super amazed at your conversion story, it’s amazing how much change can come into your life through one great decision. The gospel has blessed MY life so much and I know that all the peace and happiness that I have in my life come through living the gospel. It’s wonderful to have the basic priciples of the gospel, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. All the deep doctrines of the church that people ask about are really hard to answer if they don’t have the basic principles of the church. I think you are a great example and I’m soo excited that you have the church in your life.

    Love, Sheila

    Comment by Sheila Capell (Mark Stacy's Little sister) — November 13, 2007 @ 12:51 am |Reply

  28. Awwwww, you guys are so sweet, thank you for your comments! It seems we are having a little reunion! I love it! :)

    The Gospel has changed my life! I know, with all my heart and soul, that the gospel has been restored, that my family IS eternal and that Mormons ROCK! :)

    I love my Heavenly Father and I love my Savior Jesus Christ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by steffielynn — November 13, 2007 @ 4:32 am |Reply

  29. It seems that I never posted to this post. I love steffielynn’s conversion story – it was her story that allowed me to share my story. Steph has impacted my life and has been an inspiration for me – THANKS STEPH – YOU ROCK.

    http://ronsjourney.wordpress.com/

    Comment by Ron — November 13, 2007 @ 1:28 pm |Reply

  30. I don’t mean to break up this cozy club on here but it seems that Lamenites might not be actually Israelites anymore !
    goodness this is breaking news :)
    Will you still be sharing conversion stories when its announced that the Book Of Mormon is being thrown out too ? :)
    lol

    Comment by elder joseph — November 13, 2007 @ 4:41 pm |Reply

  31. EJ,

    You can’t break up the club, cause we all get it, I wish you did :( And Jay already broke the news… This doesn’t change anything in my heart, I still know, and I continue to pray that you will too :)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 13, 2007 @ 5:57 pm |Reply

  32. EJ, nothing will change her mind. Probably best to just let her be. She’s given in to the full brainwashing package, and checked reasoning at the door. Even in light of revisions to the BOM, still no dice.

    It’s amazing, and unfortunate, but true.

    Comment by Brad — November 13, 2007 @ 7:03 pm |Reply

  33. Steffie

    I pray that you can free your mind of the LDS Hijacking of the name of Jesius Christ and come back to the biblical Jesus and not the polygamy commanding one of Joseph Smith’s imagination in D&C …

    The bible did say that Satan can transform himself into an Angel Of Light to mislead many ….

    Not that I’m a biblical expert or anything … but Steffie believes in it with all her heart .

    :)

    Comment by elder joseph — November 13, 2007 @ 8:27 pm |Reply

  34. Yep, i’m totally brainwashed, I’m basically a zombie.

    Brad, if you were really trying to “save” me or any other LDS people you wouldn’t be so rude!

    EJ
    How can you slam a someone for their beliefs, when you don’t even know what you believe!?!

    I know in my heart it’s true. If you two have a problem with that is is YOUR problem! I perfectly happy and I have joy in my heart! :) (probably because of the brain washing)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 14, 2007 @ 12:14 am |Reply

  35. Steffie

    I am curious, when the Missionaries told you about the Book of Mormon 2 years ago were you told it was a record of ancient america specifically the American Indian? if not what were you told?

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 14, 2007 @ 12:33 am |Reply

  36. I was told the book of mormon was a ancient record translated by Josph Smith. I was not specifically told that the american indians were Lamanites. I was actually told they were more likely from south America. When speaking of the Americas they seemed to be speaking of the area of South america, mexico, and the USA.

    Comment by steffielynn — November 14, 2007 @ 2:06 am |Reply

  37. EJ,

    The newest change to the Introduction page doesn’t eliminate the possibility of the existence of Lamanites (if it did the Church would not have made the change). It is possible that the population of Lamanites was very small at the time Asians started to cross the land bridge and therefore Lamanite DNA may have been “diluted” by the massive wave of Asian DNA. If this is what happened you would not expect to see Israelite DNA among Native Americans. Since this theory has been around at least since the beginning of the 20th century amongst Mormon scholars (i.e. limited geography of the BOM) and well before the advent of DNA technology, I am willing to accept the possibility it could be accurate.

    What is great about this is that in the future this hypothesis may be able to be tested. Now that the church has committed itself to the theory (Something they have been unwilling to do until now) it will be interesting to see what happens in the future. If this theory were disproved I don’t see how the Church could survive.

    Comment by Jay — November 14, 2007 @ 2:47 am |Reply

  38. Jay

    Basically they are diluting it to the point it can’t be disproved, THey are basically saying that there is no evidence DNA archeology or otherwise but it just doesn’t matter anymore. Like my belief that there is a Tea Pot orbiting the sun you can’t disprove that either.

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 14, 2007 @ 6:27 am |Reply

  39. Jay,

    A couple of problems:

    1. The Asians started crossing the land bridge, and traveled to the west coast of the Americas in boats, 10s of thousands of years before any Israelites were supposed to have landed. They actually had time to overrun the land prior to Lehi’s journey, but yet they are never mentioned in the BoM.

    2. There is an African tribe that practices the Jewish religion. They claimed Jewish ancestry from over 1000 years ago. DNA samples were taken from consenting tribe members and matched against modern Jewish DNA and Jewish markers were indeed found in their DNA. This is a black tribe that had plenty of time for dilution to occur, but yet the markers were still there. The same markers that are NOT there in Native American DNA.

    Comment by Bishop Rick — November 14, 2007 @ 6:51 am |Reply

  40. Okay here is a interesting thought, just consider it that’s all I ask.

    Paul H Dunn wrote stories that were false – I along with many other Members received and felt the spirit when hearing those stories – The Spirit is supposed to testify and bare witness to the “Truth” These stories were not true.

    Many Mormon missionaries and Mormon tourists have visited Mayan and Incan ruins in Central and South America and have talked about the spiritual witness they received regarding the Lamanites and the Book of Mormon, another example of the “Mormon” spirit bearing witness of the Church, but based on another untruth. The list of this type of example is long.

    If we are going to place so much on these witnesses of the Spirit in fact as spoken in here to the extent that they are more reliable than “Empirical Evidence” Don’t you have to ask yourself, what this witness of the spirit actually is? Could it be an emotional response to many things? Maybe even work with a therapist to really understand it and yourself? Explore what co-dependency really is and how it works in life and relationships?

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 14, 2007 @ 4:05 pm |Reply

  41. Steffie, if I were “nicer” as you might term it, it wouldn’t change your mind. Several on here have been “nicer” with the same arguments, and it hasn’t convinced you. You can’t take any high road here.

    You’re lost.

    Comment by Brad — November 14, 2007 @ 5:10 pm |Reply

  42. If this theory were disproved I don’t see how the Church could survive.

    Yes, to reasonable, logical folks, that would be a correct statement. However, Jay, to those who “know it in their heart to be true”, and will believe DESPITE any evidence to the contrary, I doubt it will change their minds.

    Thus you see the danger in this “faith” they have, right?

    Comment by Brad — November 14, 2007 @ 5:12 pm |Reply

  43. No CoventryRM, Stop!!! You’re asking them to admit they could be wrong!!! How can you possibly do such a thing?? :)

    Comment by Brad — November 14, 2007 @ 5:14 pm |Reply

  44. I think you should do the same though.
    I can agree with some of your points, I showed with the topic concerning the age of the earth you ignore evidence and facts or make them up just as they do. You just have a different motivation, and Mormonism is just so much easier to disprove than Christianity as a whole.

    You talk about the Bible and Christ as if there is no controversy there. The evidence that those things are made up is much stronger than any evidence disputing the age of the Earth. On some points I totally agree with you, when you talk about the physical evidence against the B of M.

    When you put your Christ myth as being more valid than their Christ myth it makes no sense as it is all based on Faith despite of the Empirical evidence to the contrary. You are no different.

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 14, 2007 @ 5:37 pm |Reply

  45. Brad, I think you are forgetting the purpose of my blog, This blog was created to share my beliefs and to listen to others beliefs, we can go in circles all day long and the outcome is always the same. I enjoy hearing what others believe, I do NOT enjoy being patronized BECAUSE of my beliefs. I believe the LDS church is true, and you don’t. Ok, you are not convincing me otherwise, and I am not convincing you. At the end of the day my beliefs are only strenghtened by people like you. :)

    ALSO I happen to enjoy speaking to NICE people who are respectful, So if you don’t like this about me YOU don’t have to comment here!

    Comment by steffielynn — November 14, 2007 @ 5:37 pm |Reply

  46. Right Conventry RM, He calls me illogical, but his views are faith based and just as “ILLOGICAL” as mine. He agrees with you when it is convenient for him. How can someone of faith put down another person because of their faith? That is what I would consider “illlogical” :)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 14, 2007 @ 5:41 pm |Reply

  47. Steffie

    I agree with you! It should be the Christians united against the Atheist :) Not fighting among themselves! The

    Core of Christian faith is believe in Christ – Mormons do.

    Then from there basically the golden rule, so there you go!

    I am going make an inspired prophecy, if there is a God and Christ did indeed die for the sins of the world and was resurrected.

    MORMONS ARE SAVED!!!!!!!

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 14, 2007 @ 6:04 pm |Reply

  48. Yipee!!!! :)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 14, 2007 @ 6:07 pm |Reply

  49. CoventryRM, at this point, you are now the one assuming that what you hear is true, and ignoring any other evidence to the contrary. The Bible is, and can be, empirically proven. You have to be willing to look at the evidence objectively, and admit you could be wrong about what you know.

    You approach it from a “science is right, period” basis, while I do not. So you can’t say your way is better, it’s different completely.

    If you don’t think there’s overwhelming evidence for Christianity, Jesus and the Bible, you’ve either not tried to look very hard, or you’ve ignored what you’ve found.

    Comment by Brad — November 14, 2007 @ 6:28 pm |Reply

  50. Right Conventry RM, He calls me illogical, but his views are faith based and just as “ILLOGICAL” as mine. He agrees with you when it is convenient for him. How can someone of faith put down another person because of their faith? That is what I would consider “illlogical”

    No, my views are faith AND logic AND evidence based, not JUST faith-based. Huge difference there, Steffielynn, and in no way illogical. I don’t agree “when convenient”, I agree when the statement warrants agreement.

    As to your question – b/c all “faith” is not the same. If it were the same, then there’d be no question, but the fact that it’s not makes us different. I don’t think you truly realize that, or you ignore it.

    I’m not putting you down, I’m saying that you’re beliefs don’t hold up in light of all Scripture, b/c they don’t. Has nothing to do with you personally, as a person, but has to do with the basis for your beliefs, which are nothing more than feelings. Feeling-based religious beliefs – now THAT’S illogical.

    Comment by Brad — November 14, 2007 @ 6:31 pm |Reply

  51. And CRM, with your #47 statement, you have just shown how little you truly know about the Christian faith, as I suspected. To even think that we worship the same Christ, shows you have no concept of the nature of Jesus as described in the Bible, vs. as described in Mormonism. The fact that you lump Mormons in as “just other Christians” further demonstrates it.

    Comment by Brad — November 14, 2007 @ 6:33 pm |Reply

  52. Jay

    In Post 37 you say the church has committed itself to the Limited Geography Theory …

    This church had seemingly committed itself to Polygamy before and climbed back out of it ( Thankfully ) although it still likes to keep it as doctrine , maybe to appease the inhouse polygamists and because of the church’s origins ,( and maybe even reluctantly ? )

    This church had seemingly committed itself to the fate of the Blacks and who they are and why and climbed back out of that too hopefully ( Thankfully ).

    This church commits to nothing in reality except that its always true even when its wrong .

    I’m sure if yopu lok at the history of the church then its obvious they all thought they were in the last days etc and yet the church has had to evolve since then.

    In the years ahead the Limited Geography Theory will probably be replaced by another one and there will be a No3 Hill Cumorah .I couldn’t hang around as a fully commited member unless I enjoyed the comical aspect of it all ..

    I think Mormonism seem to bring me the greatest hope in my religious search and yet the Biggest Disillusionment soon after .

    Now I’m able to just go with the latest findings and don’t need to defend any faith which makes for an easier life ! :)

    I’ve come to respect science and scientists far more now.

    Comment by elder joseph — November 14, 2007 @ 6:47 pm |Reply

  53. Brad, you’re right — Latter-day Saints believe in a different Jesus than you do, assuming that you are an Evangelical creedalist.

    Latter-day Saints believe in Jesus Christ as described in the New Testament and do not accept the Jesus Christ described in the extra-biblical Trinitarian creeds. So, there you have it — a different Jesus.

    It is wonderful to read the New Testament without feeling obligated to force its words into categories and definitions created in an extra-biblical creed. The Jesus that is found in the New Testament is the literal Son of God, the Savior of the World. Latter-day Saints have always believed this and held firmly to the words and teachings of the New Testament.

    Comment by john f. — November 14, 2007 @ 6:47 pm |Reply

  54. Actually I doubt very seriously that you have even come close to studying both sides as extensively as I have. You should never make assumptions. I have lived life as a Mormon, a Christian and Atheist. You are the one that clearly operates in the world of ignorance! You have yet to produce a link or article that supports anything you say accept for you OWN persoanl interpretation of the Bible.

    I would rather be a Mormon than a Moron.

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 14, 2007 @ 6:48 pm |Reply

  55. Brad,
    See, the beautiful thing about the Mormon religion is that we can throw away the Bible and the Book of Mormon and any other ancient scripture and still have a religion. Modern revelation. We believe that God still speaks to living prophets and that He speaks to us personally. We don’t need a committee of people with political motives to decide which writings from which followers of Christ to include in a book (the Bible) to determine God’s will for us. We just go straight to the source. Could your religion exist (thoeretically of course) if all the bibles in the world were burned? It’s a good thing for you that the Catholics did such a good job of preserving it because if they had lost it you’d be in a heap of trouble.

    See, what you’re advocating is that for someone to be ‘saved’ they need to have enough intelligence to be able to read and understand scripture. Yes, that’s a nice thing to be able to do but we believe that God wants even those without education to be able to know truth. Everyone has access to God, even the illiterate.

    Comment by Rusty — November 14, 2007 @ 7:01 pm |Reply

  56. Brad,
    Basically, what you are saying is that people who don’t agree with the interpretation of the Bible that you happen to believe in are going to be sent to an eternity of torment in Hell by a loving God. Good luck with that.

    Steffie, you rock! I admire both your testimony and your patience with trolls.

    Comment by John C. — November 14, 2007 @ 7:12 pm |Reply

  57. Where are you super awesome Mormons comming from??!!!! You all just made my day! :) Thank you for your support and your comments!

    Coventry RM, What can I say, your comment made me laugh, but I have to be fair and tell you to be nice too!

    Comment by steffielynn — November 14, 2007 @ 7:24 pm |Reply

  58. Steffielynn,
    Go to ldsblogs.org and there are lots of them there.

    Comment by Rusty — November 14, 2007 @ 7:30 pm |Reply

  59. We are legion! ;)

    Comment by John C. — November 14, 2007 @ 7:32 pm |Reply

  60. Rick,
    Where can I find the story about the Africans that had Israelite DNA?

    Comment by Jay — November 14, 2007 @ 7:41 pm |Reply

  61. Brad,

    There are many reasonable and logical people in the LDS faith and they still keep attending.

    EJ,
    You may be right that the Church could come up with another theory if limited geography is disproved somehow in the future. The introduction they just changed is not canonized scripture so changing it again in 50 or 100 or 1000 years would not be out of the question. Currently though, I don’t know how you could be a believing LDS member and not hold to the limited geography theory, unless you don’t care or don’t want to think about it. I know there are many members in this boat which I think is sad.

    I don’t know that you can say that the Church backed out of polygamy. Yes, the Church doesn’t “require” it, but they do still believe in it whole heartedly. Many LDS women I’ve talked to would be willing to live it if they were asked.

    Comment by Jay — November 14, 2007 @ 8:03 pm |Reply

  62. Steffie

    I knew I would get in trouble for that, but I am sorry most intelligent Mormons and Christians alike accept certain scientific fact, they may admit not to understand how it relates to Gods plan and their faith but allow it to be a mystery and maintain their faith anyway believing that some day there will be an explanation. It may be harsh to say and offensive but the truth is that you would have to be a complete ignoramus to actually believe that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old. I know there are a lot of people that think that but from my experience and research they are predominantly living in those areas where there is a Southern Baptist Church on every corner and many homes are still flying the confederate flag.

    Comment by conventryRM — November 14, 2007 @ 8:08 pm |Reply

  63. Ah, John F., yet another person who doesn’t understand what happened at the creeds. The doctrine of the Trinity wasn’t INVENTED there, it was AFFIRMED there. You do understand the difference, right? Where do you think the idea of the Trinity (which they affirmed) came from? From their readings of the Bible, and the beliefs in the Trinity, dating back to Jesus’ time.

    You are right, though – we do believe in a different Jesus. Mormons believe in one contrived by Joseph Smith, while Christians believe in the Jesus of the Bible.

    Comment by Brad — November 14, 2007 @ 8:34 pm |Reply

  64. Actually I doubt very seriously that you have even come close to studying both sides as extensively as I have. You should never make assumptions.

    What basis do you have for that statement? And you tell ME not to make assumptions? Pot, meet kettle…

    I have lived life as a Mormon, a Christian and Atheist.

    Nope, I don’t think so. 1 John 2:19 says that if you were one of us (a Christian), then you never would have left us. The fact that you’ve been all 3 (as you say), means that you were never a true Christian to begin with. Sorry, the Bible’s words.

    You are the one that clearly operates in the world of ignorance! You have yet to produce a link or article that supports anything you say accept for you OWN persoanl interpretation of the Bible.

    CRM, you wouldn’t care what I produced, you’d call it hogwash anyway. You have volitional objections, which logic can’t overcome. That’s your issue, not mine.

    I would rather be a Mormon than a Moron.

    Six of one, half dozen of the other.

    Comment by Brad — November 14, 2007 @ 8:38 pm |Reply

  65. See, the beautiful thing about the Mormon religion is that we can throw away the Bible and the Book of Mormon and any other ancient scripture and still have a religion. Modern revelation. We believe that God still speaks to living prophets and that He speaks to us personally. We don’t need a committee of people with political motives to decide which writings from which followers of Christ to include in a book (the Bible) to determine God’s will for us. We just go straight to the source. Could your religion exist (thoeretically of course) if all the bibles in the world were burned? It’s a good thing for you that the Catholics did such a good job of preserving it because if they had lost it you’d be in a heap of trouble.

    The bad thing about the Mormon religion is that you wouldn’t care if you threw away the Bible or BOM or not, b/c you believe so much in the men who supposedly receive this revelation. Completely scary. You HAVE a committee of people who decide things – it’s your Quorum. Could Christianity exist if all the Bibles in the world burned? Absolutely, b/c God is the basis.

    See, what you’re advocating is that for someone to be ’saved’ they need to have enough intelligence to be able to read and understand scripture. Yes, that’s a nice thing to be able to do but we believe that God wants even those without education to be able to know truth. Everyone has access to God, even the illiterate.

    I’ve never said that at all. But nice try.

    Comment by Brad — November 14, 2007 @ 8:42 pm |Reply

  66. Basically, what you are saying is that people who don’t agree with the interpretation of the Bible that you happen to believe in are going to be sent to an eternity of torment in Hell by a loving God. Good luck with that.

    No John, what I’m saying is that without a belief in the Jesus of the Bible as your Lord and Savior (which is NOT the Jesus that Mormons believe in – or Muslims, or JW’s, or Hindus, or Buddhists, etc…), God says that He won’t let you into Heaven. It has nothing to do with what “I” say – but God has told us what He will do in His Word.

    As Christ said “You are in error b/c you do not understand the Scriptures.”

    Comment by Brad — November 14, 2007 @ 8:44 pm |Reply

  67. CoventryRM,

    Science will be your demise, it appears. You can give all the scientific answers to God when you appear before judgment, but they won’t work. I’m just telling you.

    Comment by Brad — November 14, 2007 @ 8:47 pm |Reply

  68. Jay,

    Still waiting on your reply to my long post, that you were working on. Have you posted it, or decided not to?

    Just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss it. Yours is about the only opinion on here who seems like they are even remotely willing to investigate actual truth.

    Comment by Brad — November 14, 2007 @ 8:48 pm |Reply

  69. Brad, the Trinity’s not in the Bible.

    Again, you are right that in worshipping one-substance-as-God, Evangelical creedalists worship a different Jesus than the one described in the New Testament, who is the Son of God and Savior of the world, and in whom Latter-day Saints have faith.

    I sense that you sincerely believe that you would have concluded, sua sponte, that homoousios-is-God even if the creeds never existed. How can you be sure that the only reason you see homoousios in the New Testament is not because of the a priori assumptions that your Evangelical creedalist worldview has given you? At any rate, this observer is skeptical that you would have found homoousis in the New Testament absent the Council of Nicæa and the artifice of Greek philosophy overlaying the Gospel that informed the course of that Council and its constituent politician-Bishops.

    Comment by john f. — November 14, 2007 @ 8:56 pm |Reply

  70. Brad,
    Silly, silly Brad. Your position is that only through the Bible can we find Truth. To know what the Bible contains we have to either read it or have someone read it to us (and this doesn’t even count the need for contextual knowledge that you mention above). This requires 1) a Bible and 2) literacy. I’m afraid that there are billions who have come and gone without access to one or both of those things. According to you none of these people can have access to the truth. Poor suckers.

    Comment by Rusty — November 14, 2007 @ 8:59 pm |Reply

  71. Stephanie,

    I don’t know if I want to step into this blog-turned-forum, but I DO want to say that I admire your testimony and, as was stated previously, “your patience with trolls”…Thanks for being uplifting in the face of a lot of negative criticism from both sides of the discussion. And maybe I will step in just a little…

    Of the discussion of knowledge of truth, I would ask a simple question of how do you know truth, if you do not know it in your heart? I argue that knowing it your heart is far more important than understanding it in your mind. For example, the creation. I study physics and some of the creation makes sense to me, however the larger parts are things that I still do not understand and have no possibility of explaining to someone who might try and argue or criticize my view. That does not change my knowledge, though. I know that Christ under the direction of the Father created not only this earth, but “all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him…” (Col 1:16) I know that the words of Isaiah ring true “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things,…he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power;” (Isa 40:26) The list goes on much farther and deeper than this. To know that these things are true is far more important to me than to understand the how. That will come with time and diligent study, and personal revelation.

    Of course we seek diligently to understand the methods and truth concerning the laws of the universe, but they are of far less value than the truth of the laws of God, and his true gospel on the earth. The wise man will not say to God, I have enough of your truth, give me no more…but rather he will understand that “the word of the LORD [is] unto them precept upon precept, …line upon line…” (Isa 28:13) and he will seek to build upon that good store of truth which he has laid up for himself. This goes for all people, regardless of church membership.

    I would disagree slightly with Rusty in that I feel like we would fail as a people if we did not have the Scriptures to turn to, because Personal Revelation is even more important than having Modern Revelation. The words of modern prophets are dynamic and speak to us in modern day rather than an ancient people, but the words of the scriptures help even the prophets themselves to receive that Personal Revelation which is the foundation of the Gospel. It is the foundation of my testimony of the Gospel, also the reason Stephanie joined the Church of Jesus Christ, and even the foundation of any Christians testimony of Christ. You cannot argue logically that Christ lives, even if an old book says so, even if you like the way the book reads, or appears to be authentic, even if you know of a study that proves Abraham was a real man… You can only know that Christ lives by the Revelation of the Spirit of God to your heart. And after that, your testimony of such can only be founded in the “fleshy tables of the heart” (2 Cor 3:3), not in an academic paper or in some commentary you wrote on the Bible.

    Stephanie, I hope I did not add to the pollution of your blog. Your sweet testimony is still the most important thing here, and rightfully sits on top. The rest is just the ramblings of those who strain at a gnat. Thank you again for sharing that testimony with us.

    Comment by Arthur William Brown — November 14, 2007 @ 10:01 pm |Reply

  72. Brad, the Trinity’s not in the Bible.

    And no evidence would convince you otherwise, so why bother with you, John?

    Again, you are right that in worshipping one-substance-as-God, Evangelical creedalists worship a different Jesus than the one described in the New Testament, who is the Son of God and Savior of the world, and in whom Latter-day Saints have faith.

    Yes, we worship different Jesus’, that’s for sure. You believe you have the right one, as do I. One of us is wrong, and each thinks the other is. We’ll find out, but for one of us it will be too late.

    I sense that you sincerely believe that you would have concluded, sua sponte, that homoousios-is-God even if the creeds never existed. How can you be sure that the only reason you see homoousios in the New Testament is not because of the a priori assumptions that your Evangelical creedalist worldview has given you? At any rate, this observer is skeptical that you would have found homoousis in the New Testament absent the Council of Nicæa and the artifice of Greek philosophy overlaying the Gospel that informed the course of that Council and its constituent politician-Bishops.

    John, you can talk in whatever words give you comfort, to try and support your position. Fancy words don’t show any more knowledge than layman’s English, just a hint. You haven’t used the fancy words before now – methinks you’re just trying to show off, but yes, that’s just my opinion.

    How can YOU be sure that the only reason you DON’T see homoousios in the NT is b/c of the a priori assumptions YOU take from your LDS worldview? Isn’t it the same?

    Comment by Brad — November 14, 2007 @ 10:15 pm |Reply

  73. Rusty, as I’ve explained to you, more than once, in small words, that’s not what I said, nor what I believe. You clearly refuse to believe, or are unable to comprehend, what I’m saying.

    I’m done with you – there’s no use.

    Comment by Brad — November 14, 2007 @ 10:17 pm |Reply

  74. Brad,
    If I’ve misunderstood your position on how to know God’s will then I appologize. From your comments above you seemed to communicate that we can learn God’s will only through the Bible. If you are saying there is another way to know His will then either I missed it or you haven’t yet explained it. If you aren’t totally “done” with me I’d be curious to know how else we can know God’s will.

    And along those lines, I’m curious, how do you know that the Bible is true?

    Comment by Rusty — November 14, 2007 @ 10:43 pm |Reply

  75. How can YOU be sure that the only reason you DON’T see homoousios in the NT is b/c of the a priori assumptions YOU take from your LDS worldview? Isn’t it the same?

    One difference is that homoousios isn’t in the New Testament, so, no, it’s not the same.

    Comment by john f. — November 14, 2007 @ 10:52 pm |Reply

  76. You haven’t used the fancy words before now – methinks you’re just trying to show off, but yes, that’s just my opinion.

    You mean in the one comment I left before the one you claim contains fancy words?

    Comment by john f. — November 14, 2007 @ 10:55 pm |Reply

  77. Wow Arthur! What a thoughtful comment!

    See people this is why I love Mormons, they are kind and thoughtful, even when in disagreement, they are always so respectful! Mormons really do ROCK!

    (And I think a lot of you non LDS with these qualities rock too!)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 14, 2007 @ 10:55 pm |Reply

  78. Brad,
    “Mormons believe in one contrived by Joseph Smith, while Christians believe in the Jesus of the Bible.”

    Demonstrate this. Please demonstrate that the Jesus Christ of the Mormons is abiblical. Please demonstrate this instead of asserting it to be so.

    Comment by John C. — November 14, 2007 @ 11:02 pm |Reply

  79. There seems to be a debate on the Trinity here ….. no surprises .

    To john f.

    the bible tells us :

    The Father is God .
    Jesus is God.
    The Holy Ghost is God.
    There is only one God.

    So here is the ‘trinity ‘ if you like but not the word ‘trinity’ …

    Arthur William Brown
    said ” I know that Christ under the direction of the Father created not only this earth, but “all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him…” (Col 1:16)”

    But Mormons don’t believe in Creation , they believe in organisation from what is already there in the Universe or wherever .According to Mormons God or the other Zillions of Gods before him can’t create anything but just organise ?

    Comment by elder joseph — November 14, 2007 @ 11:11 pm |Reply

  80. Steffielynn, this is the first time I’ve visited your blog, and I was touched by your testimony. Thanks for sharing it.

    It would seem that a bunch of evangelicals and/or anti-mormons have infested your comments, unfortunately. As an admin of another site, let me recommend to you that you close the post to commenting and let things simmer down, until such time as productive and Spirit-inducing discussion can return. You’ll be glad you did.

    Comment by Steve Evans — November 14, 2007 @ 11:20 pm |Reply

  81. I just want to agree with the commenter above: steffie, you rock!

    Comment by CS Eric — November 14, 2007 @ 11:20 pm |Reply

  82. Beautiful, steffielynn, both your conversion story and your amazing ability to keep your temper and respond cordially to some extremely uncordial visitors — I don’t have your patience and would have kicked ‘em off my blog long ago. I admire you.

    Come visit the lds blogs for rest and support when you need a reminder of how many brothers and sisters stand shoulder to shoulder with you.

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — November 15, 2007 @ 12:03 am |Reply

  83. Steffie, it’s amazing how many people talk right past each other and don’t even try to understand. Unfortunately, sometimes that describes Mormons, as well, but I always am saddened by the vitriol that comes out the woodwork whenever this type of “discussion” arises. It is SO un-Christian.

    I was raised in the Church, but I have studied comparative religion at Harvard Divinity School – and I have a specific view on all of this. Fwiw, I will try to give you the abbreviated version here:

    1) Very little of what other Christians teach is incorrect in a significant way – based on what they envision as their ultimate reward. As they say, their goal is to live in the presence of Jesus forever – single and able to bask in his glory. That is exactly what we teach they will receive in the Terrestrial Kingdom. In that “big picture” framework, it’s hard to argue that they are wrong.

    2) If you read JSH 1:19 very carefully and look up each adjective used to describe apostate Christianity, the normal interpretations are WAY off. (“Corrupt” means “impure”; “professors” does not mean “ministers/preachers”; “creeds” does not mean “all teachings”; etc.) It is quite clear if you parse that verse that the message Joseph received was not what every non-Mormon assumes, nor is it what too many Mormons assume.

    3) The kicker: When you take out the bitter diatribes against Mormonism and simply ask what it takes to be saved, we are saved by their own definitions. When Mormonism enters the picture, they have to add disclaimers in order to qualify it so that we are excluded.

    4) When you read the standard publications aimed at their own members, it is hard sometimes to distinguish between the middle ground stuff they encourage of their own members and the stuff you would hear in your own ward. We even sing some of the same worship songs.

    5) Summary: They will get exactly what they say they want; we will get at least what they say they want, according to their own standards; there is no eternal harm in believing in more and striving to live a Christ-like life. Even if it all turns out to be nothing more than mythological symbolism, it produces exactly the type of people Jesus asked us to try to become. In the end, “By their fruits ye shall know them” – and, frankly, I love the fruits I see in the lives of those with whom I worship.

    Hang in there, girl. Part of standing as a witness of God at all times and in all places is putting up with garbage like this. Just don’t let it sour you on the general goodness of the mainstream Christian population. The vast majority really are good people, living the best lives they know how to live.

    Comment by Ray — November 15, 2007 @ 12:05 am |Reply

  84. EJ,
    Yes, by believing that God organizes rather than creates ex nihilo we are still able to uphold principles of science.

    Comment by Rusty — November 15, 2007 @ 12:31 am |Reply

  85. “You believe you have the right one, as do I. One of us is wrong, and each thinks the other is. We’ll find out, but for one of us it will be too late.”

    Interesting comment Brad. Apparently obscure philosophical knowledge is now a prerequisite for getting into heaven.

    A lot of Evangelicals are going to be in trouble then, because [news flash] about a third of them are actually modalists. You don’t even require of YOUR OWN PEOPLE the sort of doctrinal purity tests you shovel on Mormons.

    But really, the whole doctrinal test for salvation is a bit of artificial nonsense to me. You don’t go to hell for being honestly mistaken about complex trinitarian formulas. Even your own scholars can’t explain the trinity in a way that makes more than half a lick of sense. So I guess, by your standards, you’re all going to hell too.

    See you there.

    Comment by Seth R. — November 15, 2007 @ 1:28 am |Reply

  86. Steffielynn,

    I just saw this; thanks for a fantastic post. Your story is wonderful.

    Dan Ellsworth

    Comment by Dan Ellsworth — November 15, 2007 @ 1:39 am |Reply

  87. Not worried Brad. The probability of any of you actually picking the right God or Church with so many to choose from is that most of you the wrong God, if there even is one, or way of believing and from what I have read of the scriptures the punishment for believing in the WRONG church or God is much greater than not believing at all.

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 15, 2007 @ 2:18 am |Reply

  88. Steffie:

    Love your blog. Hope you get a chance to hang out in the ‘nacle now and then!

    Comment by mcquinn — November 15, 2007 @ 2:30 am |Reply

  89. My two cents on some of the subjects mentioned here:

    Steffie–Congratulations! The change that has come to your heart is evidence of the power of the atonement working in your life. It is the “mighty change” Alma talks about in Alma 5. There is no sweeter feeling; it is, as Alma also says, “the song of redeeming love.”

    Others: The creedal notion of the trinity creates at least two fundamental problems. First, it renders much of the four gospels nonsensical. Jesus’ prayers, for instance, are difficult to understand if, in fact, he is also–literally and physically–God the Father. Similarly, statements such as “not my will, but thine” are particularly strange if Jesus and the Father are, physically and eternally, the same person. A creedal Christian might respond by pointing out that this is, in fact, mysterious, even incomprehensible, but that this should not surprise us since God, after all, cannot be known. This assertion, however, runs counter both to the general gestalt of Christ’s Gospel as well as to his explicit teaching that “this is life eternal, to know God.” Christ invites, even commands, us to become acquainted with both Him and His Father. A foundational creed which teaches the opposite of that invitation is foreign to the Jesus of the New Tetament.

    On a different note, while it is certainly true that anyone who studies Mormonism for very long will soon discover a number of thorny realities which can cause consternation and concern–what about DNA and the Book of Mormon? and how about Joseph Smith’s character? and what’s all this about polygamy?–it is not true that this casts Mormonism’s validity into serious question. Mormonism, after all, stands alone among the world’s major religions because Mormonism’s foundational stories are fully exposed to the withering glare of the rational age–we can at best read a few scant parchments written by Christ’s contemporaries, but we have libraries filled with the commentaries of Joseph’s kin and neighbors as well as the words of Joseph himself. This exposure subjects the foundations of Mormonism to an incredible amount of scrutiny and, not surprisingly, we learn when we study the origins of the Mormon Church that all those involved in its founding were human, that they made mistakes and sometimes even taught strange things, and that, in the end, the whole event was a bit messy and sometimes surprising and strange.

    So what?

    There is no doubt that all reality is messy and that the same would have been true of the early apostles and Biblical prophets (indeed, even the scant record we have suggests as much) but life’s messiness, as well as that of the Gospel, is beside the point. The point is the transformational power of the Atonement, which Steffie is experiencing and which, as she points out in her post and her comments, is profound, sublime, and undeniable.

    Comment by tyler — November 15, 2007 @ 3:44 am |Reply

  90. Very sweet, Steffilynn!
    I too love being a Mormon. I love what it has done for me and my family. I love the hugeness of it, the possibilities. I love Joseph and his Restorationist theology. I love the temple and the scriptures.
    I love knowing God’s plan for me and that He loved me enough to send his Son.
    Mormons really do rock!

    Comment by C Jones — November 15, 2007 @ 4:06 am |Reply

  91. I really don’t know what to say, except thank you all for your comments and support!!! I had no idea there were so many Mormons out there in the blogging world! :)

    As for kicking people off, well I can’t do that, not just yet. I have been kicked off sights before, for being Mormon, and I would hate to do that to others. Some of the people on here were invited, others pop up randomly and try to pick a fight. I may have to clean up soon, because some are missing the purpose of my blog.

    My hope is that people will see Mormons in a different light. I once thought like Brad, although not so rude, but I did have the same beliefs. If just one person will read this and will inquire about the church, or change their view that the LDS are crazy cult members then I will be one happy mormon chic! I realize that Brad will probably not be this person, BUT I have faith, and I pray every night that Brad and others like him will soften their heart.

    It’s so nice to know that there are such amazing members out there, willing to take a moment to defend a fellow Latter Day Saint! I love you all, and I hope you keep on comming back!!!!!

    I will definetly try to visit, the “nacle” now that I know it exists! I’m pretty new to the blogging thing so i’m still trying to find my way :)

    It’s an amazing and wonderful thing (the gospel) and I am passionate about it and so very thankful for it. It has changed my life, more then I could ever even begin to explain. Tyler mentioned Alma, in a comment above, He is my favorite, because I can really relate to him! A mighty change really has occured in my heart!

    Again thank you ALL you have strengthened me!!!!!!!!!

    Steff :)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 15, 2007 @ 5:23 am |Reply

  92. B:
    The Bible is true because the Bible says so.
    Any other interpretation is wrong.

    C:
    How do you know this?

    B:
    Because the Bible says so.
    Its not me saying so, its God saying so.

    C:
    Where does God Say this?

    B:
    In the Bible
    The Bible is God’s word.

    C:
    How do you know the Bible is God’s word?

    B:
    Because God tells us.

    C:
    Where does God tell us this?

    B:
    In the Bible.

    C:
    But how do you know the Bible is true?

    B:
    The Bible is true because the Bible says so.
    Any other interpretation is wrong.

    C:
    How do know thi…oh never mind.

    Comment by Bishop Rick — November 15, 2007 @ 5:34 am |Reply

  93. Steffielynn — I thoroughly enjoyed reading your conversion story. I too am a convert from evangelicalism, although (without going into detail now) my story is quite a bit different than yours.

    One thing I noticed as a young adult was that many of the things I had been taught — such as the traditional view of the Trinity and that those who died never having heard of Jesus were doomed to burn in hell — simply didn’t have Biblical support. Once I started looking into the Church, somewhat late in life, I found that it was teaching much of what I already believed. And time and time again I would find Biblical support for LDS teachings.

    I joined the Church about a decade ago and haven’t regretted it one bit. Sure, I can find plenty to criticize, but I can also see God working through the organization He established despite all of us in it who are imperfect.

    Hang in there, Steffielynn, and keep up the good work.

    Comment by Eric — November 15, 2007 @ 5:45 am |Reply

  94. Wonderful post.

    So sorry about the trolls.

    Comment by Silus Grok — November 15, 2007 @ 5:48 am |Reply

  95. Oh, Steffi, there are indeed a lot of us out here in blogworld. You can try the aggregator others have mentioned, ldsblogs.org, to find many of us who are offering support here.

    Your patience with trolls is unreal- you are a good woman!

    I’m a convert too, of only a few years. I relate to the joy you feel in being a part of this- thanks for sharing your testimony, and keep up the good work.

    Comment by tracy m — November 15, 2007 @ 6:19 am |Reply

  96. Steffielyn,

    If you’d like some Mormon defenses to the attacks you are getting on this thread (DNA, polygamy, and who knows what else) you can just google “FAIR wiki”

    It’s Mormon apologetics website that deals with these topics in easy-to-read articles.

    Of course, I’d caution about getting too wrapped up in apologetics at the expense of the pure joy of living the Gospel. It’s a good resource for those who have some nagging questions. But I can think of more uplifting ways to spend an afternoon.

    By the way, fabulous conversion story.

    Comment by Seth R. — November 15, 2007 @ 7:39 am |Reply

  97. Steffielynn, thanks for this beautiful post. Many others here have mentioned that there are a lot of Mormon blogs out there. I would encourage you to go visit them.

    It seems pretty clear to me that you have done what Jesus asks us to do: go to the Father with humility and faith in Christ and ask Him what is the truth. And the Father has answered you by giving you peace and the tolerance to overcome all kinds of people coming on your blog to try to tear down your faith! Don’t be discouraged — most people will respect your decision because it is heartfelt and guided by the Spirit.

    Steffielynn, there are many of us out there who are willing to give you support and love. Go forward in faith.

    Comment by Geoff B — November 15, 2007 @ 10:43 am |Reply

  98. Rusty, your question is too broad, and takes us on too many rabbit trails. You have to narrow the field of vision, and start small.

    Do you believe God inspired the Bible? If so, why? If not, why?

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 2:07 pm |Reply

  99. John C.,

    Christ of the Bible is different than Christ of Mormonism, b/c of the nature that Mormons attribute to Him. Do you believe that Jesus Christ IS God (not just one in purpose, but 2nd Person of the Trinity, God the Son)? Are you monotheistic, or polytheistic, or henotheistic?

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 2:09 pm |Reply

  100. It would seem that a bunch of evangelicals and/or anti-mormons have infested your comments, unfortunately. As an admin of another site, let me recommend to you that you close the post to commenting and let things simmer down, until such time as productive and Spirit-inducing discussion can return. You’ll be glad you did.

    That’s right, SL – tuck and run when the going gets tough. Great advice from a real trooper.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 2:11 pm |Reply

  101. Excellent questions, Brad. But I would like to withhold my ideas about God, the Godhead, and the Trinity for the moment because I am still asking you about yours and yours remain undefined. After all, you suggest that you are the one with the true understanding of the Bible. So are you a monotheist, a polytheist, or a henotheist? Also, can you define your own belief in the trinity? Finally, where in the Bible do you find support for your beliefs?

    Comment by John C. — November 15, 2007 @ 2:28 pm |Reply

  102. PS. to Brad, don’t judge others editorial policing policies until you have a blog of your own.

    Comment by John C. — November 15, 2007 @ 2:29 pm |Reply

  103. 1) Very little of what other Christians teach is incorrect in a significant way – based on what they envision as their ultimate reward. As they say, their goal is to live in the presence of Jesus forever – single and able to bask in his glory. That is exactly what we teach they will receive in the Terrestrial Kingdom. In that “big picture” framework, it’s hard to argue that they are wrong.

    Completely wrong, and highly ignorant of Scripture. Personally, I could care less where you were educated. Just b/c you went to a liberal college’s Divinity school doesn’t mean anything at all. You viewed this in light of the “Church” you say you were raised in, so that’s not a shocker. Christians (as opposed to Mormons, who AREN’T Christians) believe in a single Heaven (not “levels”) that is the ultimate hope of their salvation. It is NOT a reward for any works, b/c we can’t do anything of ourselves to get there. It is not a “goal” to live in Jesus’ presence forever; it is something that Christians are assured of, once they place their faith in Christ. There is no Telestial/Terrestrial/Celestial kingdoms – there is simply Heaven, or Hell. You’re right, it would be hard to argue that’s wrong, b/c the Bible clearly supports it, and clearly does NOT support the Mormon view. So much for Harvard Divinity.

    2) If you read JSH 1:19 very carefully and look up each adjective used to describe apostate Christianity, the normal interpretations are WAY off. (”Corrupt” means “impure”; “professors” does not mean “ministers/preachers”; “creeds” does not mean “all teachings”; etc.) It is quite clear if you parse that verse that the message Joseph received was not what every non-Mormon assumes, nor is it what too many Mormons assume.

    Not sure what “JSH 1:19″ is, but it doesn’t sound like part of the Bible, thus if it’s not, I lend it no creedence, b/c if it’s Mormon writings, I don’t even take them into account as being remotely correct. They’re from the mind of men, not inspired by God.

    3) The kicker: When you take out the bitter diatribes against Mormonism and simply ask what it takes to be saved, we are saved by their own definitions. When Mormonism enters the picture, they have to add disclaimers in order to qualify it so that we are excluded.

    Absolutely not. According to how Christians are saved, we are saved when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, who is both God and the Son of God (not one in purpose, but part of the Holy Trinity described throughout the Bible), and realize that no matter what we do, we cannot do anything to merit our salvation, but accept the free gift of grace. Mormons do not put their faith in Christ, who is both God and the Son of God (part of the Holy Trinity) – they put their faith in a Jesus who is simply one in purpose with God, one of many gods. This is NOT the Biblical definition of God or Christ, nor does it even describe who He is. There are no disclaimers necessary – Mormonism disqualifies itself on its face, b/c of its beliefs. It doesn’t take Christians to disqualify you, you do that based on what you believe in yourself.

    4) When you read the standard publications aimed at their own members, it is hard sometimes to distinguish between the middle ground stuff they encourage of their own members and the stuff you would hear in your own ward. We even sing some of the same worship songs.

    Are there some similarities? Probably. Are there moral common grounds? Sure. Does that make us equal doctrinally, or eternally? Nope.

    5) Summary: They will get exactly what they say they want; we will get at least what they say they want, according to their own standards; there is no eternal harm in believing in more and striving to live a Christ-like life. Even if it all turns out to be nothing more than mythological symbolism, it produces exactly the type of people Jesus asked us to try to become. In the end, “By their fruits ye shall know them” – and, frankly, I love the fruits I see in the lives of those with whom I worship.

    Real summary: True Christians will get exactly what they have been promised by God (eternity in Heaven); all others (this includes Mormons, among many others, unfortunately) will get exactly what THEY have been promised by God (eternity apart from God, in hell). No, it is not bad to strive to live a Christ-like life. But you still must be sure that you are even worshiping the correct Christ, not a man-made version invented by a man who was disenchanted with the churches of his day.

    Hang in there, girl. Part of standing as a witness of God at all times and in all places is putting up with garbage like this. Just don’t let it sour you on the general goodness of the mainstream Christian population. The vast majority really are good people, living the best lives they know how to live.

    Pep talk aside, he’s right. I put up with “garbage like this” all the time. Doesn’t shake what I know to be true, but I do try to warn others about what I know they believe, which isn’t true.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 2:48 pm |Reply

  104. Interesting comment Brad. Apparently obscure philosophical knowledge is now a prerequisite for getting into heaven.

    No, but you at least have to have the correct Jesus in mind!

    A lot of Evangelicals are going to be in trouble then, because [news flash] about a third of them are actually modalists. You don’t even require of YOUR OWN PEOPLE the sort of doctrinal purity tests you shovel on Mormons.

    I agree with you about a lot of “Evangelicals” being in trouble – I don’t doubt that for a second. B/c there’s a big difference between a relationship with God, and simply knowledge of God. There’s no “test” that’s required of anybody, Seth, but faith in Jesus. But that’s the kicker – who is the Jesus you have faith in?

    But really, the whole doctrinal test for salvation is a bit of artificial nonsense to me. You don’t go to hell for being honestly mistaken about complex trinitarian formulas. Even your own scholars can’t explain the trinity in a way that makes more than half a lick of sense. So I guess, by your standards, you’re all going to hell too.

    See you there.

    I agree, you don’t go to hell for that. We make the Trinity too hard. Know why? B/c we try to explain and rationalize it, rather than just accept it b/c it’s there in the Bible. We inherently try to bring an understanding of God down to our level of knowledge capability, and I think God laughs at us. Look at the verses in the Bible which show the Trinity, and just accept them. The problem comes when we, as humans, try to make sense of and rationalize them according to our own dictates, rather than just say “it’s true, b/c God said it in His Word.” Again, it boils down to human pride, and human sin. That’s the problem.

    I will be there; I do hope to see you there, as well.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 2:54 pm |Reply

  105. Steffielyn.

    What a beautiful testimony! Thanks for sharing it and even more, being strong enough to defend it so honestly. As a fellow convert who dealt with many objections, I know how tough it is to hold it together when others think they know your heart better than you do. I hope we’ll see you around the bloggernacle!

    Comment by Melissa DM — November 15, 2007 @ 2:55 pm |Reply

  106. Not worried Brad. The probability of any of you actually picking the right God or Church with so many to choose from is that most of you the wrong God, if there even is one, or way of believing and from what I have read of the scriptures the punishment for believing in the WRONG church or God is much greater than not believing at all.

    What do you think the probability is that God DIDN’T create the Earth, that it just “came together” perfectly, in a way that can sustain life? How high do you think that probability is? Do some research on that.

    There are not “many” gods to choose from. There is one God, and people choose to believe in Him, or not. You have a lot of people’s derivations on what they think He is, or what they want Him to be, but that doesn’t mean that what they believe in exists, only that they have it wrong. There is only one God.

    And if you think that believing in nothing is better than believing incorrectly, you need to hope you’re right, b/c you have just bet your life on that.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 2:58 pm |Reply

  107. Brad,
    I realize that my response was not fair above. I am, I believe, a tentative henotheist. maybe.

    Of course, I believe such belief is completely compatible with the Bible. So there is that.

    Please, what do you believe and why?

    Comment by John C. — November 15, 2007 @ 3:08 pm |Reply

  108. Welcome, and great conversion story. Thanks for sharing that.

    And you are far, far more patient with trolls than I ever would be; I have trouble engaging in conversation with people who are uninterested in conversing.

    Comment by Sam B. — November 15, 2007 @ 3:08 pm |Reply

  109. The creedal notion of the trinity creates at least two fundamental problems. First, it renders much of the four gospels nonsensical. Jesus’ prayers, for instance, are difficult to understand if, in fact, he is also–literally and physically–God the Father. Similarly, statements such as “not my will, but thine” are particularly strange if Jesus and the Father are, physically and eternally, the same person.

    There are no problems created by such a belief. First, the Trinity is not a creedal notion; it was affirmed by the creeds, but not derived by the creeds or invented at the creeds. Do a little homework on that one. Second, it in no way renders the gospels nonsensical. What those who think that way forget (such as yourself) is that Christ was ON EARTH, thus he had a dual nature – fully God, yet fully man. As man, he was subject to His Father God in Heaven. Yet, He was still fully God. When He says “not my will, but thine”, this fits PERFECTLY within the confines of Christ’s dual nature. Christ struggled with His death on the cross, b/c He was human. Yet He knew this was God’s will, and He knew He would do it. There’s no “problems” here at all.

    A creedal Christian might respond by pointing out that this is, in fact, mysterious, even incomprehensible, but that this should not surprise us since God, after all, cannot be known. This assertion, however, runs counter both to the general gestalt of Christ’s Gospel as well as to his explicit teaching that “this is life eternal, to know God.” Christ invites, even commands, us to become acquainted with both Him and His Father. A foundational creed which teaches the opposite of that invitation is foreign to the Jesus of the New Tetament.

    It doesn’t take a “creedal” anything to understand this. Mormons are so caught up on “creeds” that it has truly become a stumbling block for them, one they need to overcome. The Bible is clear, we cannot know everything about God, for His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts (Isaiah, Romans, etc…) If you disagree, and have found some way to know everything about God, please let the rest of us know. This IN NO WAY runs counter to anything in the Bible, especially not “this is life eternal, to know God.” Define the word “know” in that verse. Do you think it means to understand everything perfectly about Him? If so, then nobody would be able to go to Heaven, b/c nobody has that perfect knowledge. Are we to strive to seek and know more about God? Yes – but that doesn’t mean for a second we’ll understand all of Him!

    On a different note, while it is certainly true that anyone who studies Mormonism for very long will soon discover a number of thorny realities which can cause consternation and concern–what about DNA and the Book of Mormon? and how about Joseph Smith’s character? and what’s all this about polygamy?–it is not true that this casts Mormonism’s validity into serious question.

    Really? So the person who heard DIRECTLY from God – Smith himself – was mistaken when he put certain things in the BOM? Was his hearing bad? Did he forget what he was told, took a 50/50 shot at it, and guessed wrong? Are you kidding? This is known as “headinsanditis.”

    Mormonism, after all, stands alone among the world’s major religions because Mormonism’s foundational stories are fully exposed to the withering glare of the rational age–we can at best read a few scant parchments written by Christ’s contemporaries, but we have libraries filled with the commentaries of Joseph’s kin and neighbors as well as the words of Joseph himself.

    Are these the same “words” that he got wrong in the BOM, aforementioned? And now you’re relying on those words from “Joseph himself” and his “kin” to back up your story that Mormonism is true? Wow.

    This exposure subjects the foundations of Mormonism to an incredible amount of scrutiny and, not surprisingly, we learn when we study the origins of the Mormon Church that all those involved in its founding were human, that they made mistakes and sometimes even taught strange things, and that, in the end, the whole event was a bit messy and sometimes surprising and strange.

    This is the first statement I can agree with. Too bad you didn’t stop here, rationally reason that b/c of this that Mormonism is crap, and change your mind. Instead, we continue…

    So what?

    There is no doubt that all reality is messy and that the same would have been true of the early apostles and Biblical prophets (indeed, even the scant record we have suggests as much) but life’s messiness, as well as that of the Gospel, is beside the point. The point is the transformational power of the Atonement, which Steffie is experiencing and which, as she points out in her post and her comments, is profound, sublime, and undeniable.

    And this is where Mormons, such as you do above, attempt to just “sweep under the rug” all that is controversial, proven wrong and fraudulent about the Mormon church, and say it’s just all about the Atonement. Problem is, your church is based on what Smith said, so it can’t just be neatly swept under the rug like that. You actually have to take some medicine for that “headinsanditis”, and cure the problem. If not, you’re sick for your whole life. What in the Bible has been shown to be untrue, or later revised, like the LDS have done with their writings? Nothing.

    C’mon, put some more thought into it, and really try to understand what you’re saying. The problems can’t just go away on their own.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 3:15 pm |Reply

  110. BR,

    Do you NOT believe the Bible is God’s Word? If so, why? If not, why?

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 3:17 pm |Reply

  111. If you’d like some Mormon defenses to the attacks you are getting on this thread (DNA, polygamy, and who knows what else) you can just google “FAIR wiki”

    It’s Mormon apologetics website that deals with these topics in easy-to-read articles.

    Yes, go to the FAIR website and read those. B/c THOSE have NEVER been able to be picked apart by those with just a cursory understanding of Biblical interpretation. But when written from a Mormon worldview to try to substantiate Mormonism, what would you expect? Problem is, few Mormons have a good understanding of the Bible, they’re more concerned with having a good understanding of Mormonism. That’s a huge problem.

    Of course, I’d caution about getting too wrapped up in apologetics at the expense of the pure joy of living the Gospel. It’s a good resource for those who have some nagging questions. But I can think of more uplifting ways to spend an afternoon.

    Case in point. Thank you.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 3:20 pm |Reply

  112. Excellent questions, Brad. But I would like to withhold my ideas about God, the Godhead, and the Trinity for the moment because I am still asking you about yours and yours remain undefined. After all, you suggest that you are the one with the true understanding of the Bible. So are you a monotheist, a polytheist, or a henotheist? Also, can you define your own belief in the trinity? Finally, where in the Bible do you find support for your beliefs?

    No, I suggest that I hold to a proper interpretation of the Bible, along with many, many others. I alone am not the source of truth, God (revealed through His Word) is. Let’s be real clear on that, since you and others love to take things out of context.

    I am definitely a monotheist, without question.

    The Trinity is one God in 3 Persons (blessed Trinity – you know, like the song :) )

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

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

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

    ……….. but………….

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

    Now to your beliefs. Same questions you asked me. It’s only fair, now that I’ve put mine out there for you, right?

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 3:25 pm |Reply

  113. don’t judge others editorial policing policies until you have a blog of your own.

    John C., my question was to the basis for their policy. I could honestly care less what they do, it’s just funny how the “cut bait and run” seemed to be the advice from one. When the going gets tough, it seems like the tough up and left, for that one.

    It’s online, for goodness’ sake. Grow some skin.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 3:28 pm |Reply

  114. Brad,
    Dude, you have a lot of spare time. Just noticing.

    Comment by Sam B. — November 15, 2007 @ 3:40 pm |Reply

  115. “#1 The Father is God (1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:17, Isaiah 64:8)

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

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

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

    Good stuff, Brad. Let’s take a look at it.

    1 Peter 1:2 (this link highlights 2 & 3)
    This passage appears to reference either Peter or Christ (it isn’t clear in the English and I don’t have access to the Greek at the moment (also, assuming that Peter is the author of the epistle)). In it, God (the Father) appears to have made the elect person (Peter or Christ) elect by means of the Spirit and the blood of Christ (so, I am going to go with Peter on this one). So, while this does identify God as the Father, it also identifies Christ and the Spirit as being somehow different (perhaps appendages to God).

    2 Peter 1:17 (this link includes 16-18)
    In this passage, Peter again seems to be discussing God the Father as separate from Christ (assuming, of course, that Peter is the author of the epistle). He is recounting his experience with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration. Christ is standing there with him and the voice of God the Father speaks from Heaven. I am not sure how this proves your Trinity point except to note that God is sometimes called the Father, which we would agree with.

    Isa 64:8 (this link)
    Isaiah, in this passage (assuming that Isaiah is the author), is asking God to not turn away from wicked Israel, because he is Israel’s father. He isn’t making a statement about anyone outside of Israel (at least, it isn’t apparent in that context). It is a very pretty verse in the KJV though. Quite moving. I don’t see how this proves any point that you are making though.

    Comment by John C. — November 15, 2007 @ 3:43 pm |Reply

  116. Brad:

    Perhaps you didn’t notice the problem in your #112:

    (1) The Father is God
    (2) The Son is God
    (3) The Father is not identical to the Son
    (4) There is only one God

    Here is the problem. Acceptance of any three of these premises logically entails the denial of the fourth, e.g, .if the Father is God, the Son is God and the Son is not the Father, then there is more than one God (that 1, 2 and 3). Go ahead, just count them. On the other hand, if the Father is God, the Son is not identical to the Father, and there is only one God (that’s 1, 3 and 4) then the Son is not God. You can figure out the rest I suppose.

    I point out this very fundamental lesson in counting to 3 to you because you claim that your belief in God is based on both logic and the bible. Well, I suggest that it is based on neither.

    Thank you for sharing Steffie Lynn. I was inspired by your story.

    Comment by Blake — November 15, 2007 @ 3:56 pm |Reply

  117. Brad, the purpose of that comment is not to “cut and run”, what he is meaning is that the if the conversation is not fruitful, and all you are getting is attacked, then it becomes silly to go on. I understand his reasoning, it’s just that at this point I am not ready to delete anyone. It is not that things have become “tough”, Your points actually make no sense to me, they made no sense to me when I believed as you do. Nothing you can say will change what I know, I know the truth.

    On my other post I asked you:

    “You say you have the correct interpretation of the BIBLE, so where do you get this interpretation? Where can I find it?”

    YOU said:

    “SL, this continues to demonstrate your ignorance (or willful desire to try to not understand).
    You have to define what section of verses in the Bible you want to be interpreted. You can’t “find” it anywhere.”

    You call me ignorant, because I do not understand your reasoning. I WANT to understand, But I do not understand because you are not making it clear.

    If I wanted to join YOUR group, how would I be able to find the “correct” interpretation that YOU have? I’m speaking of the ENTIRE bible, not sections, and if I can not find this correct interpretation that YOU have then how can I be saved?????

    Comment by steffielynn — November 15, 2007 @ 4:01 pm |Reply

  118. “#2 The Son is God (John 1:1-3; John 20:28; John 10:30; Hebrews 1:8)”

    1 John 1:1-3 (this link)
    This doesn’t even mention God, by that term, nor does it call Christ or the Son God. It talks about the Father and the Son as separate people though. So, I am not sure how this is relevant. I don’t think you meant John 1:1-3, since that doesn’t mention Christ or the Son at all. Please explain.

    John 20:28 (this link marks verses 26-29)
    I am not sure that using Thomas spontaneously declaration of devotion to Christ is appropriate to use as a lynchpin for your identification of Christ as the Son or as God (although Thomas does call Christ that). In any case, this certainly doesn’t prove that The Son as God as the Son is never mentioned in this passage.

    John 10:30 (this link highlights 27-30)
    In English, the meaning is ambiguous. If Christ and the Father are meant to be understood as one in essence, then how does one give something to oneself? One in purpose makes more sense. There is a possibility that the Greek is clearer in intent (my Greek is spotty). Is there is difference in form in Greek when the concept of one in essence/being and one in purpose is used? In this case, you do have Christ referring God as his Father (of course, if you go by the Isaiah reference cited, we all get to do that). It doesn’t necessarily imply that he is a Son any differently than we are. He certainly doesn’t claim to be a God here, rather the Son of God (which would be enough in a post-Maccabaean Jewish society to get some people stoned by some people).

    Hebrews 1:8 (no highlights this time because the whole chapter is immediately relevant)
    In this passage, the author notes that God the Father is speaking to his Son. So, once again, the plain reading is of two separate entities. In it, the Son appears to be established as a God by the Father (and certainly better than angels). So, this supports the Trinity how exactly?

    Comment by John C. — November 15, 2007 @ 4:01 pm |Reply

  119. That’s a beautiful story. I’m sorry there are people who use it as grounds for attacking you.

    Comment by dakwegmo — November 15, 2007 @ 4:05 pm |Reply

  120. Thanks for sharing that really great conversion story! Ignore the trolls as much as possible.

    Comment by Bandanamom — November 15, 2007 @ 4:22 pm |Reply

  121. “#3 The Spirit is God (Job 33:4; Job 26:13; Acts 5:3,4)”

    Job 33:4 (highlighted 1-5)
    In this passage, Elihu, someone who God eventually says doesn’t understand him, claims the Spirit of God made him and God’s breath gave him life. This does not appear to be a reference to the creation described in Genesis 1, but rather a reference to the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2-3. In that passage, God brings Adam to life by breathing the breath of life into him (breath and spirit are often considered synonymous in OT writing). With that in mind, I am not sure that this unambiguously means what you believe it means. Young Elihu’s boasting of having the wisdom of the ages may not want to be what you base your theological understanding of God upon.

    Job 26:13 (highlighted 7-14)
    In this passage Job accuses Bildad of pretending to speak for God, when God is much greater than Bildad. Important to our study is, of course, the preposition “by” at the beginning of verse 13, demonstrating that the work of creation described in the chapter was done by God’s spirit, which is probably an extension of him, and which does not say that a spirit did it. I am making an assumption in this, which is that Job is referring to God (Yahweh) here and not some other deity, as the text in question never mentions God by name.

    Acts 5:3-4 (highlight the first 11 verses so you get the whole story)
    In Acts 5:3, Peter asks why Ananias chose to lie to the Holy Ghost. In Acts 5:4, Peter asks why Ananias chose to lie to God. It is an interesting parallel, probably (but not necessarily) that the Holy Ghost was considered divine. However, it certainly gives no explanation regarding the nature of the Holy Ghost’s divinity and there is nothing here to indicate that the Trinity is being addressed.

    Comment by John C. — November 15, 2007 @ 4:23 pm |Reply

  122. “#4 There is only ONE God (Deut 4:35;Deut 6:4; II Sam 7:22; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 44:8; Mark 12:32; Gal 3:20; 1 Tim 2:5)”

    Deut 4:35 (highlighted 33-40)
    So, in this passage, the history of the people of Israel is laid out. In particular, Yahweh notes that no other people have been blessed as his people have been blessed. Therefore, his people are to have no other gods. In the verse in question, in Hebrew, the passage reads that Yahweh is Elohim, there is no other. While modern Christians would tend to read this as an affirmation of the trinity, in the politics of the day it appears to be an assertion that the God known as Elohim to the fathers of the people of Israel is the God known today as Yahweh. Two names for one God. That appears to be what is at stake. This isn’t a passage that is directly relevant to a notion of the Trinity.

    Deut 6:4 (a href=”http://scriptures.lds.org/en/deut/6/4#4″>hightlighted here)
    This is the famous Shema. The KJV translation differs from the original Hebrew. The KJV says “The Lord, our God, is one Lord”; the Hebrew says “The Lord is our God, The Lord is one.” Again, it isn’t clear from context what is meant by one, but this is often taken as a declaration of Monotheism. Which is fine. Post-exilic Jews (unlike modern creedal Christians) do appear to have been monotheists. Of course, other passages in Deuteronomy (especially in the Greek translation) support the idea that pre-exilic Israelites were henotheistic. So, there is that.

    Actually, I am going to stop there for now because I am out of time. In every case so far, but one or two, Brad’s interpretation of these verses appears to be acontextual and an attempt to read into the Biblical text ideas that come from outside the Biblical text. He has yet to demonstrate that any of his ideas are genuinely and unambiguously biblical or that he interprets the Bible in a way that is logically or rationally superior to the way Mormons interpret it. Also, he is clearly using a book to get his arguments, because I am assuming that if he was using his own arguments they wouldn’t be so weak and tangential.

    Finally, Brad, Blake is right. No matter what creedal Christians like to say about themselves, they are not monotheists. They do not worship one God. Any Jew or Muslim would be happy to explain to you what monotheism is and how modern creedal Christianity fails to do that. Calling yourself a monotheist when you are not a monotheist fails to make you a monotheist. Just so you know.

    Comment by John C. — November 15, 2007 @ 4:42 pm |Reply

  123. Thanks for posting your conversion story! It’s truly inspiring. I always love hearing how people have come to the gospel.

    Comment by Keri Brooks — November 15, 2007 @ 5:11 pm |Reply

  124. I am so sorry your personal faith experience is being trampled on. People shouldn’t treat others so carelessly no matter what faith they are. Your prayers and the change in your heart and the happiness in your life are treasures and I’m just sorry that people are so into their “online debate mode” that they aren’t respecting you and a real person with a real story.

    Hang in there. I’m so glad you have found peace and happiness from Christ.

    Comment by cchrissyy — November 15, 2007 @ 5:14 pm |Reply

  125. 1 Peter 1:2
    This passage appears to reference either Peter or Christ (it isn’t clear in the English and I don’t have access to the Greek at the moment (also, assuming that Peter is the author of the epistle)). In it, God (the Father) appears to have made the elect person (Peter or Christ) elect by means of the Spirit and the blood of Christ (so, I am going to go with Peter on this one). So, while this does identify God as the Father, it also identifies Christ and the Spirit as being somehow different (perhaps appendages to God).

    Honestly, will it matter what I say? You won’t believe it anyway, will you? You read into it too much. This verse says that the Father is God (I would say the “elect” refers to those scattered, when you look at the construct and who the letter’s written TO, but that’s irrelevant to this conversation).

    2 Peter 1:17
    In this passage, Peter again seems to be discussing God the Father as separate from Christ (assuming, of course, that Peter is the author of the epistle). He is recounting his experience with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration. Christ is standing there with him and the voice of God the Father speaks from Heaven. I am not sure how this proves your Trinity point except to note that God is sometimes called the Father, which we would agree with.

    This verse shows that the Father is God. Simple.

    Isa 64:8
    Isaiah, in this passage (assuming that Isaiah is the author), is asking God to not turn away from wicked Israel, because he is Israel’s father. He isn’t making a statement about anyone outside of Israel (at least, it isn’t apparent in that context). It is a very pretty verse in the KJV though. Quite moving. I don’t see how this proves any point that you are making though.

    Still shows that the Father is God.

    These verses don’t say the Father is “a” God, but God.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 5:19 pm |Reply

  126. Steffiielynn, thanks for your beautiful and strong testimony! You are wonderful. Please ban those nasty trolls! Loveand hugs, meems

    Comment by meems — November 15, 2007 @ 5:26 pm |Reply

  127. Perhaps you didn’t notice the problem in your #112:

    (1) The Father is God
    (2) The Son is God
    (3) The Father is not identical to the Son
    (4) There is only one God

    Blake, try to keep up. This isn’t what my #112 said – this is what YOU have written. My #1, #2 and #4 are correct, but my #3 said the Holy Spirit is God, not that “the Father is not identical to the Son.” If you’re going to quote me, then quote me directly – it’s not fair to twist it.

    Here is the problem. Acceptance of any three of these premises logically entails the denial of the fourth, e.g, .if the Father is God, the Son is God and the Son is not the Father, then there is more than one God (that 1, 2 and 3). Go ahead, just count them. On the other hand, if the Father is God, the Son is not identical to the Father, and there is only one God (that’s 1, 3 and 4) then the Son is not God. You can figure out the rest I suppose.

    As I’ve said numerous times before Blake (but which I’m inclined to think you don’t understand), you’re trying to take YOUR limited human understanding to what can be true, and make it applicable to God. What gives you the right to do that? Further, why do you even think you have the ability to do so? The Bible clearly shows that #1, #2, #3 and #4 are correct – just look at the Scriptures. What YOU have problems believing, is how it is logically possible (according to our human minds) for this to be the case. We can APPREhend the notion of the Trinity, but I don’t believe we can ever fully COMPREhend the notion. It’s when we try as humans (and fail, everytime) to do so, that we get into trouble, and we “logically” declare it not true. That’s what you’ve done.

    I point out this very fundamental lesson in counting to 3 to you because you claim that your belief in God is based on both logic and the bible. Well, I suggest that it is based on neither.

    It has nothing to do with counting to 3, Blake, but I’m glad you do know how. And yes, my belief in God is based on logic, the Bible and faith. Where logic has to stop (such as our understanding of the Trinity, though it is spelled out for us in Scripture), faith in what the Bible SAYS takes over. If you don’t believe it, that is something that I can’t help.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 5:28 pm |Reply

  128. These verses don’t say the Father is “a” God, but God.

    THAT’S your defense? Because it doesn’t include an “a”? Wow, so it comes down to that. I didn’t realize our position was THIS strong.

    Comment by Rusty — November 15, 2007 @ 5:30 pm |Reply

  129. Nothing you can say will change what I know.

    I don’t doubt that, trust me.

    You call me ignorant, because I do not understand your reasoning. I WANT to understand, But I do not understand because you are not making it clear.

    What isn’t clear, SL? You are asking too general a question. You need to be specific. If I say “interpret it”, but don’t define “it” narrowly enough, how can anyone “interpret” it? YOU need to define “it” more narrowly than just “the Bible.”

    If I wanted to join YOUR group, how would I be able to find the “correct” interpretation that YOU have? I’m speaking of the ENTIRE bible, not sections, and if I can not find this correct interpretation that YOU have then how can I be saved?????

    I don’t have a “group.” There’s no formal, set class you take, no seminar, no certification. You just have to be able to study and interpret. I have been taught how to do it, and I have also learned on my own (from various methods) how to do it. Bottom line – if the interpretation you come up doesn’t hold up in light of the entire Bible, it’s wrong. So lots of times you end up “backing in”, if you will, to the correct interpretation, by figuring out what a passage DOESN’T say, first.

    You make it WAY too hard, SL. But know this, Scripture interpretation comes from more than just a “feeling” that you’re right. That’s for sure.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 5:35 pm |Reply

  130. Steffi,

    First, congratulations. In joining the church, you made the right decision. That’s my opinion.

    Second, you’ve had a lot of barbs and arrows slung your way, some well-intentioned and some not exactly Christ-like. It comes with the territory. You are in good company. Very rarely are God’s “people” (in any era) in the majority.

    Third, remember the demise of the church has been predicted from the day it was organized (indeed, even before). Every few years a new “smoking gun” emerges that many latch onto as the dagger in the heart of Mormonism that will finally do it in.

    Fourth, emotions and reason. Both are important in our testimonies. Faith based soley on emotion tends to be as a leaf blown by the wind, hither and yon. Reason alone would deny the need for faith. Faith is the first principle of the gospel, and for a very good reason. (See, I used faith and reason in the same sentence!). As you study and grow in the gospel, the faith and emotions that led to your baptism, will mature and develop to give you comfort and strength during those inevitable times when faith is tested. Remember Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail, even Christ on the cross crying out for His Father.

    All the best,

    John

    Comment by John — November 15, 2007 @ 5:41 pm |Reply

  131. John C.,

    Yes, it appears my point about you not believing it even I give the references IS true, just as I thought. If that’s the case, then why even ask for the references? If you weren’t going to believe it anyway, aren’t you just wasting time?

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

    1 John 1:1-3
    This doesn’t even mention God, by that term, nor does it call Christ or the Son God. It talks about the Father and the Son as separate people though. So, I am not sure how this is relevant. I don’t think you meant John 1:1-3, since that doesn’t mention Christ or the Son at all. Please explain.

    No, it did mean John 1:1-3. Who do you think the “Word” mentioned there is, John, honestly? “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This is probably one of the easiest passages to point to, to show this concept. If you say anything other than Jesus the Son, then you are not truly being honest with yourself. Even the Mormon church knows that this is in clear reference to Jesus.

    John 20:28
    I am not sure that using Thomas spontaneously declaration of devotion to Christ is appropriate to use as a lynchpin for your identification of Christ as the Son or as God (although Thomas does call Christ that). In any case, this certainly doesn’t prove that The Son as God as the Son is never mentioned in this passage.

    What are you missing? Jesus appeared to Thomas, b/c he needed further proof. He saw Jesus, saw the wounds, and immediately proclaimed “My Lord and my God.” That would have been blasphemy in those days to have equated anyone to God, UNLESS you believed that you were actually talking to God (why do you think they wanted to kill him – see John 8:58, for example). The Son is God.

    <b?John 10:30
    In English, the meaning is ambiguous. If Christ and the Father are meant to be understood as one in essence, then how does one give something to oneself? One in purpose makes more sense. There is a possibility that the Greek is clearer in intent (my Greek is spotty). Is there is difference in form in Greek when the concept of one in essence/being and one in purpose is used? In this case, you do have Christ referring God as his Father (of course, if you go by the Isaiah reference cited, we all get to do that). It doesn’t necessarily imply that he is a Son any differently than we are. He certainly doesn’t claim to be a God here, rather the Son of God (which would be enough in a post-Maccabaean Jewish society to get some people stoned by some people).

    If the Father is God (as we’ve shown), and if Jesus says “I and the Father are One”, as He does here, then this is also stating that “I am God.” You make it so difficult, in your need to show it doesn’t say this.

    Hebrews 1:8
    In this passage, the author notes that God the Father is speaking to his Son. So, once again, the plain reading is of two separate entities. In it, the Son appears to be established as a God by the Father (and certainly better than angels). So, this supports the Trinity how exactly?

    Nowhere here does it say “a” God, rather “God.” Big difference. Here, Jesus the Son is God. It’s simple, but you make it hard.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 5:46 pm |Reply

  132. I would take Brads position here on the Trinity .

    Despite many ways I was trying to understand who Jesus was when studying with JW’s , Christadelphians etc it was clear to me that by straying away from the Trinity they just brought more problems and questions .. and its the same with Mormons ….

    Its simple , 3 persons are the One God and Not 3 Gods as in Mormonism ..

    Jesus didn’t pray to himself , he prayed to the Father .
    Jesus is God just like the Father is God just like the Holy Ghost is God …

    Jesus was God manifest in the flesh .Mormons also believed similar .Its in the book Of Mormon , just look at the Testimony of The Three Witnesses .

    …. In one Sunday School class it was said ‘God came down in flesh ‘ later in Elders Quorom it was said ‘A’ God came down in flesh !

    Mormons don’t know themselves .

    Joseph Smith came up with The newer Theology later on in POGP.

    If he had lived longer I’ve no doubt he would have come up with even more radical things .As it is no Mormon prophet since has come up with anything except blunders or dismantling what Joseph Smith taught.

    Bruce McConkie should have been a prophet too if you ask me . He was good at blunders.

    Comment by elder joseph — November 15, 2007 @ 5:48 pm |Reply

  133. Brad:

    I wasn’t quoting you, I was giving premises that you clearly must accept based on what you have written. Which of the premises will reject? My argument is obviously logically valid. You obviously accept all of the premises. So to remain rational, you must either show where the argument goes wrong (it clearly doesn’t) or you must reject one of the premises (which you also cannot do).

    You attempt to escape the obvious. First, you claim to base your position on both logic and scripture. Now you complain that our puny human minds cannot grasp the issue – so I guess now you will admit that you’re willing to throw out logic because it won’t fit your beliefs? I believe we can confidently say that your belief in God (along with Elder Joseph) here founders on the simple issue of counting to three.

    Look, the Trinity as you express it is not a mystery, it is a logical mess — as you all but admit. Now that you claim to base your belief on scripture and that you cannot comprehend your view of God using logic, perhaps you could point to a scripture that uses the term “substance” to refer to the unity of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost? Really, it isn’t a mystery, it is as simple as counting to 3.

    Now for the kicker — it is remarkable that you would come here and tell Mormons that they have an irrational and unbiblical view. Of course the Mormons have a rational view — there are three persons each of whom are fully divine. Three persons who are gods in this sense is just three gods. However, you fail to acknowledge that Mormons recognize the wonderful indwelling unity of these three divine persons and always act and think as one — and in this sense are but one God. It is rational. It is scriptural. Your belief, on the other hand, I once again suggest is neither.

    Comment by Blake — November 15, 2007 @ 6:09 pm |Reply

  134. It would be an interesting experiment to have someone not familiar with Christianity in any way (perhaps a Buddhist or Atheist or even a child not reared in a Christian home) and have them read the Bible, or at least the New Testament, and see whether they read it as three gods or one god. This way it’s a pure reading of the text without the influence of any creeds or otherwise interpretations.

    I’m guessing that if this experiment happened the person would probably be a little confused but passages such as Christ praying to the Father would clear it right up. But that’s just an assumption, that’s why it’d be great to see the experiment.

    Comment by Rusty — November 15, 2007 @ 6:14 pm |Reply

  135. Great testimony! The power of prayer is amazing. What’s hard is having to wade through the muck and grime afterwards (which some of these comments seem to embody) and remember the answer you’ve previously received. The Spirit’s influence can often be easy to forget, which is why I think we’re counseled throughout the Book of Mormon to remember.

    So when the enemy is combined, and when the opposition is at its greatest, just try to remember that peaceful feeling you had, and you’ll be fine. I really enjoyed your story and wish you the best of luck!

    Comment by Connor — November 15, 2007 @ 6:16 pm |Reply

  136. Brad,
    So your argument is essentially that your reading is the best fit with the whole of the Bible? Because what if I disagree? What makes you the best interpreter (or privy to the best interpretation) of Biblical texts? You can pull out verses that support you; John C. can pull out verses that support him. As best I can tell, however, you ultimately base your belief on a plain reading of scripture which requires, in certain circumstances, that you ignore or stretch some scriptures to conform to your worldview.

    There’s nothing wrong with this, per se; the wrongness is supposing that your reading is self-evident and anyone else’s is wrong. At least, that’s the wrongness unless and until you can provide some reason why I should care how you read the text. Have you done graduate work in ancient languages? Has God spoken to your heart and told you you are right? Do most of your friends think, and tell you, that you’re a pretty bright guy? Have you devote thousands, if not tens of thousands, of hours to study?

    steffielynne seems to be saying that she has received a message from God. John C. has pretty good academic training. I’m a high-powered attorney, so I tend to assume I’m right. What’s your excuse?

    Comment by Sam B. — November 15, 2007 @ 6:17 pm |Reply

  137. No problem, John, I can see you won’t believe regardless, but I’ll finish out, nonetheless, then I’ll stop, as it’s pointless.

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

    Job 33:4 (highlighted 1-5)
    In this passage, Elihu, someone who God eventually says doesn’t understand him, claims the Spirit of God made him and God’s breath gave him life. This does not appear to be a reference to the creation described in Genesis 1, but rather a reference to the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2-3. In that passage, God brings Adam to life by breathing the breath of life into him (breath and spirit are often considered synonymous in OT writing). With that in mind, I am not sure that this unambiguously means what you believe it means. Young Elihu’s boasting of having the wisdom of the ages may not want to be what you base your theological understanding of God upon.

    This has nothing at all to do with Elihu – smoke and mirrors for you. This has to do with the Spirit being God, seen in creation.

    Job 26:13
    In this passage Job accuses Bildad of pretending to speak for God, when God is much greater than Bildad. Important to our study is, of course, the preposition “by” at the beginning of verse 13, demonstrating that the work of creation described in the chapter was done by God’s spirit, which is probably an extension of him, and which does not say that a spirit did it. I am making an assumption in this, which is that Job is referring to God (Yahweh) here and not some other deity, as the text in question never mentions God by name.

    Too much thinking and assumptions, John – read the Scripture for what it is. Spirit is God.

    Acts 5:3-4
    In Acts 5:3, Peter asks why Ananias chose to lie to the Holy Ghost. In Acts 5:4, Peter asks why Ananias chose to lie to God. It is an interesting parallel, probably (but not necessarily) that the Holy Ghost was considered divine. However, it certainly gives no explanation regarding the nature of the Holy Ghost’s divinity and there is nothing here to indicate that the Trinity is being addressed.

    They lied to the same – Holy Spirit is God.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 6:21 pm |Reply

  138. Thanks guys this discussion really validated some of my beliefs. :)

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 15, 2007 @ 6:26 pm |Reply

  139. “#4 There is only ONE God (Deut 4:35;Deut 6:4; II Sam 7:22; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 44:8; Mark 12:32; Gal 3:20; 1 Tim 2:5)”

    Deut 4:35 (highlighted 33-40)
    So, in this passage, the history of the people of Israel is laid out. In particular, Yahweh notes that no other people have been blessed as his people have been blessed. Therefore, his people are to have no other gods. In the verse in question, in Hebrew, the passage reads that Yahweh is Elohim, there is no other. While modern Christians would tend to read this as an affirmation of the trinity, in the politics of the day it appears to be an assertion that the God known as Elohim to the fathers of the people of Israel is the God known today as Yahweh. Two names for one God. That appears to be what is at stake. This isn’t a passage that is directly relevant to a notion of the Trinity.

    Read it for what it says, John – there is one God.

    Deut 6:4 (a href=”http://scriptures.lds.org/en/deut/6/4#4″>hightlighted here)
    This is the famous Shema. The KJV translation differs from the original Hebrew. The KJV says “The Lord, our God, is one Lord”; the Hebrew says “The Lord is our God, The Lord is one.” Again, it isn’t clear from context what is meant by one, but this is often taken as a declaration of Monotheism. Which is fine. Post-exilic Jews (unlike modern creedal Christians) do appear to have been monotheists. Of course, other passages in Deuteronomy (especially in the Greek translation) support the idea that pre-exilic Israelites were henotheistic. So, there is that.

    Read it for what it says, John – there is one God.

    Actually, I am going to stop there for now because I am out of time. In every case so far, but one or two, Brad’s interpretation of these verses appears to be acontextual and an attempt to read into the Biblical text ideas that come from outside the Biblical text. He has yet to demonstrate that any of his ideas are genuinely and unambiguously biblical or that he interprets the Bible in a way that is logically or rationally superior to the way Mormons interpret it. Also, he is clearly using a book to get his arguments, because I am assuming that if he was using his own arguments they wouldn’t be so weak and tangential.

    Nice assumptions, John, not unlike any you’ve made so far. As I said, I knew when presented you would not believe them, yet you clamored to be presented with them, so I did. Your interpretations are incorrect. You are free to believe what you wish, and I know you will. I can rest easy knowing I’ve done my best to convince you otherwise, and that I’ve told you that what you believe is wrong. The rest is between you and God.

    Finally, Brad, Blake is right. No matter what creedal Christians like to say about themselves, they are not monotheists. They do not worship one God. Any Jew or Muslim would be happy to explain to you what monotheism is and how modern creedal Christianity fails to do that. Calling yourself a monotheist when you are not a monotheist fails to make you a monotheist. Just so you know.

    Blake can’t even state the facts correctly – that’s about all I can say in regards to Blake. I am a strict monotheist, and I know that is correct. You STILL try to bring God into your human mind, John, and you simply can’t do it, no matter how smart you are (or think you are). It will never work.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 6:27 pm |Reply

  140. THAT’S your defense? Because it doesn’t include an “a”? Wow, so it comes down to that. I didn’t realize our position was THIS strong.

    Rusty, short of calling you an idiot, I’ll just say you’re extremely misguided and ill-informed. Yes, that’s nicer.

    If you knew a lot about Scripture, and about how people twist Scripture, you would know that “a” can mean a world of difference in the Bible. Put an “a” in John 1:1, and you have an entirely different meaning than if you don’t have the “a.” That’s what the Jehovah’s Witnesses do, if you didn’t know, and their belief doesn’t match either of ours.

    Your position is pathetically weak, as is your reasoning.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 6:29 pm |Reply

  141. Blake,

    I can’t hold back. You are an idiot. You’ve done what I said you do (again). And you don’t realize that you can’t think on God’s level. It’s to your demise, Blake.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 6:33 pm |Reply

  142. Sam B.,

    It’s that I know how to read the Bible. Steffielynn doesn’t, and relies on her feelings. John relies on his education. You rely on being a “high powered attorney” (big whoop).

    I rely on reading the Bible properly. You ought to try it. All 3 of you.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 6:36 pm |Reply

  143. Just posting so Brad can’t own the recent post list with just one more post.

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 15, 2007 @ 6:38 pm |Reply

  144. “That’s right, SL – tuck and run when the going gets tough. Great advice from a real trooper.”

    “No problem, John, I can see you won’t believe regardless, but I’ll finish out, nonetheless, then I’ll stop, as it’s pointless.”

    “Read it for what it says, John – there is one God.”

    “Blake, I can’t hold back. You are an idiot.”

    Now who is “tucking and running” Brad? Hmmm?

    It’s becoming increasingly obvious that you’ve got nothing, and are now resorting to petty insults accompanied by stubborn assertions that the scriptures are “plain” even though several commenters have demonstrated that they are not. And you accuse us of being head-in-the-sand?

    Your lack of self-awareness is absolutely breathtaking.

    Comment by Seth R. — November 15, 2007 @ 7:09 pm |Reply

  145. Although born in the Church, I had to have my own conversion about a decade and a half ago. Here’s a summary of my story:

    My sins and the trusts I’d broken resulted in me deciding that I didn’t deserve to live: I longed for suicide’s release. Only my testimony of the plan of salvation kept me from killing myself because I knew I would continue with the same suffering — and have the suicide’s guilt added to it.

    I finally dropped my pride enough to ask my bishop for help. My local leaders had spoken clearly about what are the gospel standards and I expected chastisement, discipline, and rejection. I was surprised at the help my bishop offered, after the carping I’d done about him and the ward. I then spent several hours explaining my sins in detail to my stake president. At the end of my confessions, I was ready for the rebuffs that I expected. Instead, he hugged me and told me he loved me! That was when my heart broke – to have him love me after I’d just taken him through the details of how unlovable I was. I wept all the way home as I then felt God’s love, for the first time, wash through and bring to life my heart. Then I had to deal with my stake president and God loving me – which I not only hadn’t earned, but also had done much to dis-earn. A passage with personal significance for me now is: A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them (Ezk 36:26-27). God gave me a new heart that night.

    My wonder increased through the half-day disciplinary council. At its conclusion, I listened with interest as my stake president explained to me that they felt inspired only to disfellowship me because I would need the gift of the Holy Ghost on the journey I now would have. My life since has been a continuous confirmation of this need and of that merciful inspiration. At the end of the disciplinary council, my stake president, each of his counselors, and most of the high council hugged me and assured me of their support. They delivered it: at first I had weekly meetings with the stake president, later with his counselor that he assigned to me. The counselor was kind and helpful every time, but I could see that he also grew in grace as he got past what I sensed originally was his disgust at my sins. I’ve had regular visits of real support with my stake presidents and bishops since.

    I finally accepted love but as I realized and felt the pains I’d caused others, I would be angry and bitter with myself for hurting them. After several years, I asked my stake president what more I needed to do on the path to recovering full Church blessings. His answer surprised me, “You need to forgive yourself.” There seemed to be some cosmic injustice to forgiving myself and moving on when the people I’d hurt still were in pain. This took me to the atonement again because I then realized that Christ’s atonement is available at any time to heal anyone, regardless of the spiritual accounting we may try to keep. I also realized how selfish I’d been in asking God and everyone but me to do what I had not done: to forgive my sins against them. I learned that this self-forgiveness is very different from never feeling remorse in that healing requires two necessary steps: first, feel bad enough to change; and then – in God’s grace – feel good as the “new man” born from repentance effective because of Christ’s atonement. That freed me to accept not only love, but also the joy that comes with it. I now echo Alma’s words in that my joy is as great as was my pain (Alma 36:20).

    I like the description by President Romney of what happened to me, “It would appear that membership in the Church and conversion are not necessarily synonymous. Being converted, as we are here using the term, and having a testimony are not necessarily the same either. A testimony comes when the Holy Ghost gives the earnest seeker a witness of truth. A moving testimony vitalizes faith; that is, it induces repentance and obedience to the commandments. Conversion, on the other hand, is the fruit of, or the reward for, repentance and obedience. […] [Someone] may be assured of it when by the power of the Holy Spirit his soul is healed. When this occurs, he will recognize it by the way he feels, for he will feel as the people of Benjamin felt when they received remission of sins. The record says, ‘. . . the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience…. ‘(Mosiah 4:3.)” (GenCon 10/1963).

    I love that description of having your soul healed by the power of the Holy Ghost because it expresses how I feel – healed. I later found this summary of my experiences from sin, to forgiveness, to receiving God’s love, to hope of exaltation, And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God. (Moroni 8:26).

    (I recommend pp. 115-125 of “Believing Christ” for an explanation of how the atonement can make us not just guilty-but-forgiven but innocent again).

    This journey has shown me a side of the Church that many, fortunately, do not see: the love, compassion, healing, and help that come once a sinner seeks to repent. I only received encouragement to work to return to the temple and to pursue exaltation. To feel finally in my heart, not just know from Spirit-born testimony, the reality of that opportunity is a source of daily wonder for me. I now know and rejoice that Christ’s atonement does open all God’s blessings to me. This is overwhelming for me, who had decided that I did not deserve to live any longer. All joy in my life after that decision has been a gift of grace.

    I’m much different now:
    • With my stony heart, I didn’t feel compassion. I was judgmental in an effort to prove I was better than others and thus acceptable. With the continuing superabundant love I feel from God, I’m much like Lehi in that now all I want to do is share this delicious fruit with others. As I love others, the Spirit continues to assure me that I even can walk with confidence before God! (D&C 121:45). Now I help victims, other sinners, beggars, stranded motorists — just look for ways to help.
    • I only saw duties, checklists, and mechanical obedience to earn a reward. Now I don’t worry about the rewards I may earn because I earned death. Grace opened the door to life, then joy, and possibly exaltation. Jesus literally is the light and life for me. I later was surprised to learn that it’s harmful to measure ourselves now against a standard God will apply later, in the Judgment. He only asks for what we can do now, with the promise that more will be added as we seek to follow Him (back to 2 Nephi 25:23). This time without formal Church callings has freed me from checklisting and given me time to learn spontaneous service (D&C 58:26-28).
    I lost my old fascination with mysteries, historical challenges, debates, and empirical evidences. They’re somewhat interesting intellectually but spending a lot of time on them that could be used to help people now seems to be a symptom of someone who lacks sufficiency trying to prove what he doubts. My answer anymore is “Hey, God gave me a new heart, he healed my soul, and I have this nagging sense of well-being. I know this and I’m no longer interested in doubting what I do not know.” Having tasted the infinite healing power of the atonement and having the Spirit open new understandings of the heart to me, the debates that used to fascinate me now seem like lesser lights preoccupied with lesser subjects. Far better to ask what we can learn about God and ourselves from an issue than to wonder whether He got this one right. Even cases in which the Church, leaders, members, or anyone else may be late or err don’t concern me anymore because they do not affect the healing I enjoy and that others can have. I’ve learned that God’s love truly is the most joyous to the soul (1 Nephi 11:22-23) and that lesser issues don’t take it from me.
    • I now feel intimacy and know the difference between it and physical affection. This is a new world for me. My marriage had some affection but my heart was so bound up that I couldn’t understand, let alone develop, intimacy with someone else. My relationship now is the opposite: we have deep intimacy in sharing dreams and fears and faith and pains and hopes and love, but our affection is moderated by the bounds of propriety. Not understanding the difference between intimacy and affection before, I confused one for the other and this was a source of trouble.
    • I’m sentimental. I weep at pains of others, stories of distress relieved, and poignant movies. It’s difficult for me to abide suffering by someone else. This is the opposite of who I was: before, my own pains were all I felt. Now that I feel saved from justice by grace, I have little care for my own pains but I can’t abide suffering by others, especially those for whom I care deeply. I’m susceptible to becoming overcome by emotion in real or fictional situations that feature a rapprochement of estranged people or an unexpected outpouring of love. Both of these show love relieving suffering, which is what saved me. Having caused such pain in others, I feel relief in seeing others relieved.

    I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell. (2 Nephi 33:6)

    ———————————–

    See also:

    These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things… (John 14:25-26)
    I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth… (John 16:12-13
    – The Bible says that Jesus taught that we are to learn all truth through the Holy Ghost.

    But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor 2:14)
    – The Bible says that Paul taught that natural man cannot know spritual truth: it only can be known by the Spirit. Some of the anti-mormon comments here are examples of Paul’s explanation that the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness without spiritual confirmation.

    28 And according as I have commanded you thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been.
    29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
    30 Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.
    (3 Nephi 11:28-30)
    – Jesus taught that contention is not of God, but of the devil. I believe that even if an LDS “wins” an argument, Satan wins because the argument — instead of testifying — loses the Spirit. This blocks conversion and gives an experience to the non-LDS with the Church *without the Spirit to confirm its truthfulness*. They may walk away believing that the Spirit won’t confirm these truths because we just blocked that confirmation from happening.

    This is not to ignore Paul’s counsel,
    14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
    15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
    16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be shamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
    17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

    – We have an answer but, IMHO, that answer is our spiritual witness, not something that in effect tells the Holy Ghost, “step aside, I’ll handle this one.” Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Pro 3:5)

    Comment by manaen — November 15, 2007 @ 7:17 pm |Reply

  146. Brad, if you relied on the Bible properly you’d act with a little longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. Instead you’ve been getting frustrated with people and have been engaging in petty bickering. As a Christian I implore you to give up these feelings of anger which are leading you to insult others and belittle rather than let your testimony of Jesus speak for itself.

    Comment by Steve Evans — November 15, 2007 @ 7:31 pm |Reply

  147. Brad,
    I have explained why I doubt your interpretation, as you asked. If you have a relevant counter-argument that is biblical or reliant on something other than your personal authority, please put it forward.

    Comment by John C. — November 15, 2007 @ 8:21 pm |Reply

  148. Brad: Perhaps your so-called christian church forgot to tell you that calling others names and bearing false witness isn’t Christian. I’m amused that you have the gall to call me an idiot when in fact you have demonstrated that you cannot even deal with a very simple argument of very simple logical structure.

    Perhaps you don’t know what a “strict monotheist” really is. You accept the Trinity. There are three divine persons. These three divine persons are each call “God” in the scriptures. That’s not strict monotheism. Jews and Muslims are strict monotheists — they don’t accept the existence of more than divine person. You do.

    As others have noticed, it is becoming increasingly obvious that you lack both the sense to engage in respectable dialog and the talent to engage the arguments about the biblical records that you rely upon.

    Here’s what made me laugh: “you don’t realize that you cannot think on God’s level.” That of course would be rather serious if I weren’t engaging in a very basic statement of logical argumentation. The implication of your assertion is that while I cannot think on God’s level, somehow you can. In fact, you don’t need even human logic because in your arrogance you presume to tell me what God’s level allows and what it doesn’t. I suppose the irony of your self-defeating position is lost on you.

    Comment by Blake — November 15, 2007 @ 8:30 pm |Reply

  149. That is beautiful, manaen. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    Comment by Ray — November 15, 2007 @ 8:45 pm |Reply

  150. [...] here we are today with the internets full of Evangelicals telling me what I believe and my spirit of contention has been re-awakened. Discussing [...]

    Pingback by Nine Moons » Blog Archive : I Love A Good Christ-Like Argument » I Love A Good Christ-Like Argument — November 15, 2007 @ 8:54 pm |Reply

  151. No Blake, the implication is not that I can think on God’s level – the reality is that I know I can’t, and don’t try to. That’s my point about comprehending the Trinity. I’m OK with you not understanding that point, just as you have not understood my point about monotheism. I AM a strict monotheist. That there is 1 God, in 3 Persons. That still leaves me with just 1 God, which is monotheistic. It’s the 3 Persons that trips you up, b/c as I’ve said before, and still say now, you’re trying to reason it with man’s logic, which won’t work.

    John C., no amount of comeback will satisfy you. I’ve presented what I believe are clear Scriptures, that I believe the Mormon church takes out of context to try to prove its case. Simple as that.

    Seth, several commentators haven’t “demonstrated” anything, other than that they have a different viewpoint than I do about those Scriptures. They no more conclusively prove it, anymore than what I have said conclusively proves it to you.

    Steve Evans, once you say that about your fellow Mormons, and chastise them as well, I might listen. Until then, your opinion has no value to me.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 9:12 pm |Reply

  152. Brad,
    those were scriptures that you provided (out of context) to prove your point. Just so that we are clear.

    Comment by John C. — November 15, 2007 @ 9:24 pm |Reply

  153. “I AM a strict monotheist. That there is 1 God, in 3 Persons. That still leaves me with just 1 God, which is monotheistic. It’s the 3 Persons that trips you up, b/c as I’ve said before, and still say now, you’re trying to reason it with man’s logic, which won’t work.”

    This is a cop out. This is saying, “I know that it just doesn’t make sense, but I need it to make sense, I am just going to say it makes sense.” That’s fine (there are plenty of Mormon thoughts that meet this criteria), but admit it. There is nothing rational about belief in the Trinity. It is an idea taken on faith, which is always influenced by emotion.

    Comment by John C. — November 15, 2007 @ 9:28 pm |Reply

  154. Manaen, what a sad, wonderful, happy, inspiring story!!! Thank you for sharing it with me!!!!!!

    I wish i could keep up with all the comments, but my kids are home from school and we have so much to do right now, so I made a post for ALL of you.

    http://mormonsrock.wordpress.com/2007/11/15/to-all-you-super-awesome-mormons/

    PLEASE READ IT!

    And tonight I will read all of your comments!!!!!!!!

    Comment by steffielynn — November 15, 2007 @ 9:38 pm |Reply

  155. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the Church of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, the Redeemer of the world. I’m sure I could say plenty more, but it isn’t needed. Sometimes the simplest of testimonies is the best.

    Comment by Daniel — November 15, 2007 @ 9:48 pm |Reply

  156. Those were scriptures that you provided (out of context) to prove your point. Just so that we are clear.

    Actually, John, they were perfectly in context, you just twist them to mean what you need them to say to support Mormonism. Of course, you think I do the same for Christianity’s sake, so this is going nowhere, obviously.

    This is a cop out. This is saying, “I know that it just doesn’t make sense, but I need it to make sense, I am just going to say it makes sense.” That’s fine (there are plenty of Mormon thoughts that meet this criteria), but admit it. There is nothing rational about belief in the Trinity. It is an idea taken on faith, which is always influenced by emotion.

    Not a cop out at all. It isn’t me who needs it to make sense, it’s the people who say “it doesn’t make sense to me so it can’t be true”, who need it to make sense. That’s not me – that’s Mormonism. It isn’t “irrational” to see what God has said in Scripture, not completely be able to fathom it b/c He is greater than us, but rely on faith that it is what it is.

    Comment by Brad — November 15, 2007 @ 10:14 pm |Reply

  157. Frankly, chastising myself as well, I only will add what I did on another thread:

    Trolls need to be fed. Ignore it and it will go away and find fresh meat elsewhere.

    Comment by Ray — November 15, 2007 @ 11:00 pm |Reply

  158. Brad: Your take on 1 God in three persons makes no sense. Look at what you affirmed in # 112:

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

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

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

    Now I believe that you also affirm that:

    (4) The Father is neither the Son nor the Holy Ghost.

    (5) The Son is neither the Father nor the Holy Ghost

    (6) The Holy Ghost is neither the Father nor the Son.

    Now count how many there are. There are 1 Father who is God, one Son who is God and on Spirit who is God. Now as anyone who can count to three can see, there re three quite distinct divine persons (since they are not identical) and thus there are three Gods. That’s not strict monotheism. Your view is incoherent.

    Further, let me mention what you ignored. LDS believe in one God in the sense that these three divine persons, each of whom is called “God” in scripture (as you note) are one God in the sense that they indwell in each other, all know and do the same things and agree in one. Anything beyond that is incoherent nonsense and not biblical.

    I would also note that I am still waiting for anything scriptural to justify the assertion that these three are “one in substance” as you affirm. Just so you know, persons are substances. Three persons = three substances.

    Comment by Blake — November 15, 2007 @ 11:03 pm |Reply

  159. Steffielynn, great testimony. Hang in there.

    Brad,

    Let’s assume for a moment that you and I really do worship a different God. Yours created me out of nothing to sing praises to Him forever, and bask in His reflected glory, as poor sinful creatures only saved because of his whim.

    Mine, as a loving father, wants to give me everything that He has, and elevate me to His level, to be like Him, and provided me with the means to do so.

    Which is more worthy of my worship?

    Comment by kevinf — November 15, 2007 @ 11:07 pm |Reply

  160. Brad,

    You said

    “Actually, John, they were perfectly in context, you just twist them to mean what you need them to say to support Mormonism. Of course, you think I do the same for Christianity’s sake, so this is going nowhere, obviously.”

    This is where interpretation comes in, did he twist them or does he have a DIFFERENT interpretation? Which is exactly why I want to know where you get yours from.

    I obviously believe the LDS interpretation is the “correct” interpretation, and I can even tell you were to find it!

    I am enjoying this discussion, and I am so glad there are more knowledgable people on here then I!!!!! :)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 15, 2007 @ 11:11 pm |Reply

  161. How come I get in trouble for calling a Brad a Moron and they can call him a troll?

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 15, 2007 @ 11:18 pm |Reply

  162. CRM,

    Because Moron is a subjective term, but Brad by his actions has verified his trollish street creds?

    Comment by kevinf — November 15, 2007 @ 11:28 pm |Reply

  163. Coventry, “Troll” is a statement of action describing what Brad does. “Moron” questions his mental capacity.

    Yeah, steffie, since Coventry is correct, why did he get in trouble? *grin*

    Comment by Ray — November 15, 2007 @ 11:29 pm |Reply

  164. Wow. This is just amazing. As I scroll through, I’m warmed through at the people I know (and who I “know” online) jumping in and offering support and love to someone under attack.

    So many of you… Steve Evans, Ray, MCQ, Meems, kevinf, John C, Rusty, Connor, cchrissyy, Seth, Ardis Parshall, Blake, manaen… It underscores my testimony that this church is absolutely where I want to be.

    Steffie- so many of these people are giants, not just in word, but in deed as well. Welcome to the fold.

    Comment by tracy m — November 16, 2007 @ 12:28 am |Reply

  165. I found you through Tracy M’s blog, and WOW. What a story, and what a woman. Thank you for sharing!

    Comment by Julie — November 16, 2007 @ 1:08 am |Reply

  166. I am from Tracy M’s blog too. I don’t know what to say, except you are AMAZING. I was raised in the church but didn’t gain a testimony/become active until almost 2 years ago. I am so impressed with you. You are awesome. I wish I could say something more intelligent but alas. Anyway, keep on keepin’ on and if you don’t mind I’d like to link to your blog.

    Comment by onekrisis — November 16, 2007 @ 1:28 am |Reply

  167. Thank you! And of COURSE you can link here! :)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 16, 2007 @ 1:33 am |Reply

  168. “Actually, John, they were perfectly in context, you just twist them to mean what you need them to say to support Mormonism. Of course, you think I do the same for Christianity’s sake, so this is going nowhere, obviously.”

    Brad,
    Don’t insult me and don’t lie. I gave plenty of context for every verse (much more than you gave actually). You may not like the questions I asked and you may not like how I said that you had not considered the context, but I did give context. Please do not accuse me of not doing my homework. I take that sort of accusation very seriously.

    Comment by John C. — November 16, 2007 @ 2:02 am |Reply

  169. My dear friend Tracy led me here. I think that you have shown a wonderful example of grace under pressure. You haven’t let the angry words here get to you and the world would be a better place if we all followed your lead(me especially!). Usually people react in such an ugly and strong way since they realize we can be happy without their idea of how to believe, and it can be disheartening that they don’t understand the joy we feel.
    I find it beautiful and wonderful that all of us have slightly different versions of the same conversion story, peace and truthfulness spoke to our hearts and our minds. My life has become infinitely better since it became Christ centered and I’m happy that yours has too.
    I don’t think anyone ever said it would be easy, and it sounds as though your family has made it more of a struggle for you. But I am positive it’s because they love you and want the best for you, surely something to be thankful for, even if they don’t yet understand your happiness.
    I too felt no trepidation knowing the history of the Church. I just remember sitting in the temple and feeling as though I was finally at home. From that moment there has been nothing that can dissuade me. Thank you for reminding us what’s really important, beyond the intellectual arguments and ‘personal’ interpretations, there is only the love of Christ.
    I’m bookmarking you!!

    Comment by mo mommy — November 16, 2007 @ 2:12 am |Reply

  170. Wow Steffie you are PATIENT to say the least! I’m always surprised at how much energy people will put into arguing against the LDS faith… really… live and let live folks. Seriously.

    Comment by Becky — November 16, 2007 @ 2:21 am |Reply

  171. So glad I came across your site, steffie. Your story is a beautiful and personal one and I am glad you chose to share it. I was one of those mormon kids in high school who at numerous times had friends who one day were “not allowed” to be my friend anymore because their parents found out I was Mormon. Ugh, it was so painful and so hard for me to understand. I still can barely write about it without tearing up.

    I just wish that everyone could act in more loving and Christlike ways no matter what our different beliefs are. The rudeness, anger and hate seems so pointless when we in fact all have so much to learn and share with each other. Hope to see you around the bloggernacle more.

    Comment by tftcarrie — November 16, 2007 @ 2:37 am |Reply

  172. You’re awesome, girl! I converted in 1996 – I can’t believe it has been that long. I think your testimony is wonderful. There is a great Kimball lesson this week about personal revelation that you should really read. Keep up your awesome faith!

    Comment by Bridget — November 16, 2007 @ 4:36 am |Reply

  173. Rusty said: It would be an interesting experiment to have someone not familiar with Christianity in any way (perhaps a Buddhist or Atheist or even a child not reared in a Christian home) and have them read the Bible, or at least the New Testament, and see whether they read it as three gods or one god. This way it’s a pure reading of the text without the influence of any creeds or otherwise interpretations.

    I think that a casual reader of the New Testament who had no preconceived notions would come to the conclusion that there is one God (the Father) and one Lord/Son (Jesus), separate beings who are an awfully lot alike, along with some other divine beings including the Holy Spirit and the angels.

    I believe that the concept of a three-person godhead is in the New Testament, but I’m not sure it would be obvious to the first-time reader.

    And I agree with John C.’s analysis of the verses that Brad used. John C. has a lot more patience than I do (or he saw some personal value in studying those verses, knowing he wouldn’t persuade anyone). I learned in another forum not to waste my time with Brad, and so I won’t. Ultimately, his argument is, “My interpretation of the Bible is right because I say it is.” His arguments are a classical example of begging the question, and it’s pointless to argue against a logical fallacy when the person using it refuses to acknowledge it as such.

    Comment by Eric — November 16, 2007 @ 5:42 am |Reply

  174. Steffie, welcome to the Gospel. As you can read it is the best decision you’ll ever make and the most controversial. The Lord will bless you untold. Always cling to that testimony and He won’t disappoint.

    Comment by chronicler — November 16, 2007 @ 6:21 am |Reply

  175. I made this post in “Believe in Christ” as part of a discussion there. I think it may get buried because of all the activity on this blog. So I am posting it here as well.

    “To me manaen’s story is both sad and tragic. The fact that the Church and his up bringing could make him feels so desperate to the point of suicide. The fact that he felt so worthless and pained is not a testament to truth. It is a testament to how powerful a tool such as indoctrination is. I have known Members that have actually attempted suicide for the same reasons. It is tragic that they could be broken down to that level. What is really tragic is they turn back to that same abuse just as a battered wife does when she goes back to her abusive husband, she really believes she deserved it. It is very dysfunctional and unhealthy. The Churches I love you is no different than the husband professing his love after the abuse. Of course the Church received him with open arms, he gave them the power to punish and have control, you only see the ugly side and the rejection when you actually leave and they know you are truly done. Yet the door is always open conditionally!

    I hesitated to post this as I worried about coming across insensitive but this story saddened me deeply. I am glad that Manaen did not harm himself and currently feels good and has confidence and love for self I just hope that the growth continues. Leaving the Church is extremely hard and is emotionally painful; I know it was for me. I am just glad I hadn’t committed serious sins as the guilt would have probably stopped my process of self discovery and awareness, such a wonderful freeing experience. Some times things have to get worse before they get better but in the end it is well worth it. It is hard not to share with others, but if in doing so I have offended or come across insensitive that is not my intent. I just want everyone to have what I have. I guess that makes us the same in that regard.”

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 16, 2007 @ 7:42 am |Reply

  176. re 129, Brad wrote You just have to be able to study and interpret.

    It seems like with this you are saying that in order to formulate the “correct” interpretation of the Bible, which is the only thing that can save anyone, one has to be able to study and interpret.

    As Rusty pointed out much earlier in this discussion, this means that God created billions of human beings for the sole purpose of their destruction and eternal torture in hell. This conclusion follows from your position, Brad, because throughout the history of this earth, billions of people have lived and died without the ability to read and study the Bible as presently consituted (which is not the same as the Bible as first canonized by the Catholic Church, which contained such books as the Shepherd of Hermas). These people were born, lived, and died without ever pledging allegiance to One in Three, Three in One, one substance, or the Triune God, or even to the Jesus Christ described in the New Testament.

    Comment by john f. — November 16, 2007 @ 10:31 am |Reply

  177. re # 109, Brad wrote What in the Bible has been shown to be untrue, or later revised, like the LDS have done with their writings? Nothing.

    This is simply a joke. Brad’s ignorance of the history and development of the Bible is astounding considering his insistence that it alone saves people.

    Comment by john f. — November 16, 2007 @ 10:46 am |Reply

  178. re # 112: on Brad’s 4-point syllogism which he claims is the only thing that saves people.

    To summarize, what Brad is saying is that the Jewish prophets wrote, in various verses of scripture, that there is one God, as opposed to the pantheon of pagan gods worshipped by the surrounding culture. Then the New Testament came around complicating things by talking about the Messiah, the Son of God, and then the Son of God was talking about the Holy Spirit who would remain with the saints as a comforter once the Son of God ascended to be with Heavenly Father again.

    So the syllogism Brad sets up in 112 and to which Evangelical creedalists always revert in these discussions becomes necessary — absolutely essential — for salvation. The Bible, however, never says that Heavenly Father, his Son, Jesus Christ, and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, are one in substance. “Homoousios”, or “same substance”, is a philosophical construct invented by people after revelatory guidance through living Apostles had disappeared from the earth following the death of the Apostles. Then that philosophical construct, which itself is based in Neo-platonic philosophy, was affirmed in the creeds and elevated to a tool of exclusion of who could consider themselves believers in the Messiah. Much later, American Evangelical creedalists like Brad have gone much further and proclaimed that only those who can read and study Bibles as printed within the last couple of hundred years get to be saved.

    The irony is that the philosophical abstraction that results in “one substance” as a solution to the problem of getting the Old Testament and New Testament to agree with each other is exactly the type of rationalization and reasoning that Brad criticizes here and claims is the reason that Latter-day Saints do not accept the Trinity to the extent that it requires a belief in “one substance” (of course, Latter-day Saints believe in the Trinity to the extent that it is compatible with the doctrine of the Godhead, in other words, in every sense except “one substance”).

    Comment by john f. — November 16, 2007 @ 11:36 am |Reply

  179. Wow Steph, I can’t believe how this post has taken off. I was following links this morning and I came across a couple of people that had posted to one or more of your posts. It is amazing !!!!! Do you have any idea how many people are being touched my your kind words. Steph you rock,,,
    You already know how you have touched my life and that of my family. http://ronsjourney.wordpress.com/
    Thanks Steph for sharing and being you.

    Comment by Ron — November 16, 2007 @ 1:36 pm |Reply

  180. Brad: Your take on 1 God in three persons makes no sense. Look at what you affirmed in # 112:

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

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

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

    Now I believe that you also affirm that:

    (4) The Father is neither the Son nor the Holy Ghost.

    (5) The Son is neither the Father nor the Holy Ghost

    (6) The Holy Ghost is neither the Father nor the Son.

    Now count how many there are. There are 1 Father who is God, one Son who is God and on Spirit who is God. Now as anyone who can count to three can see, there re three quite distinct divine persons (since they are not identical) and thus there are three Gods. That’s not strict monotheism. Your view is incoherent.

    Further, let me mention what you ignored. LDS believe in one God in the sense that these three divine persons, each of whom is called “God” in scripture (as you note) are one God in the sense that they indwell in each other, all know and do the same things and agree in one. Anything beyond that is incoherent nonsense and not biblical.

    I would also note that I am still waiting for anything scriptural to justify the assertion that these three are “one in substance” as you affirm. Just so you know, persons are substances. Three persons = three substances.

    Except, of course, Blake, you forgot to mention my original #4, which was that there is only ONE God. That’s what ties it all in together. You always seem to leave a convenient piece of the story out, when trying to refute this. Your #’s 4-6, I would agree with, in that they are all different Persons, but still one God. Which gets back to your main reason for not being able to accept this, which I’ve addressed before – it doesn’t make sense to you, therefore it can’t be true, right? As I’ve said many times, you’re bringing attributes of God to your level to try to make them work, which will never work.

    Comment by Brad — November 16, 2007 @ 1:47 pm |Reply

  181. Let’s assume for a moment that you and I really do worship a different God. Yours created me out of nothing to sing praises to Him forever, and bask in His reflected glory, as poor sinful creatures only saved because of his whim.

    Mine, as a loving father, wants to give me everything that He has, and elevate me to His level, to be like Him, and provided me with the means to do so.

    Which is more worthy of my worship?

    Wrong question, Kevin. What you should ask is “which of these is the God modeled in the Bible?” Then you ask yourself “am I willing to accept that, and worship God?” If your answer is yes, then you do it; if it’s no, then you don’t.

    GOD is worthy of our worship, not b/c of what He’s done or hasn’t done, but b/c He is GOD. That’s really all the reason we need; everything else is just gravy.

    Comment by Brad — November 16, 2007 @ 1:50 pm |Reply

  182. Brad,
    You have not proven that your idea of God is based on the Bible. In fact, thus far you have failed spectacularly at that.

    Comment by John C. — November 16, 2007 @ 1:52 pm |Reply

  183. Coventry, “Troll” is a statement of action describing what Brad does. “Moron” questions his mental capacity.

    Yeah, steffie, since Coventry is correct, why did he get in trouble? *grin*

    Steffie, this doesn’t bother me, but I did just want to point out to you that it’s not just me who can be perceived as “rude” – your Mormon friends do it as well. Doesn’t bother me, but just want to make sure you see both sides. People always get braver in a crowd of like-mindedness.

    Comment by Brad — November 16, 2007 @ 1:53 pm |Reply

  184. Don’t insult me and don’t lie. I gave plenty of context for every verse (much more than you gave actually). You may not like the questions I asked and you may not like how I said that you had not considered the context, but I did give context. Please do not accuse me of not doing my homework. I take that sort of accusation very seriously.

    Did the feelings get hurt, John? Grow up. There’s no insult and no lie. You gave context, as did I. I disagree with yours, you disagree with mine. You operate under the assumption that yours is correct, so do I. You may not like the questions I ask, or the answers I give, or how I say it, but I did answer them the way I believe. For anything you can accuse me of, I can accuse you of something just as equal. Stop acting like your 4, and be a man. People question me, my feelings don’t get hurt, it’s part of life. The same has (and will) happen to you – get used to it. I think your interpretations are crap, and based upon a Mormon worldview. That’s my opinion. Yours may vary.

    Comment by Brad — November 16, 2007 @ 1:57 pm |Reply

  185. ***FINAL WORD***

    I’ll say this and bow out. You are welcome to respond if it makes you feel better, but your responses will neither be read nor responded to.

    As is normally the case in a blog where the “feeding frenzy” begins to take place, where one or 2 people attack, then their friends see the attack, and they come to join in, b/c strength is always in numbers, it’s funny to watch this take off. And as is usually the case, the person who is the enemy (me, which is fine) has his words turned around, to where people are attributing ideas to him that he never even said, in their haste to join in and continue the verbal barrage. It’s absolutely comical to watch.

    From my point of view, although somewhat comical to see all the people try to assemble their arguments, it’s also extremely sad from an eternal point of view, b/c I know each and every one of you TRULY believe that you will be in Heaven, that you may hopefully progress to become a god, and that you believe Mormonism is true with all your heart. And for that I’m truly sorry. It’s hard to watch. Yes, the response is always “well, if you truly cared that much for us, why do you berate our religion and tell us we’re going to hell?” B/c the Bible says that there is a hell, and beliefs such as Mormonism don’t lead to heaven, unfortunately. Is that my “opinion”, my “interpretation”? Yes, but it is based on the Bible. Do you believe it? No. Did I expect you would believe it after I started talking? No, but that doesn’t keep me from telling people that their beliefs are dead (and I mean that) wrong.

    Many of you (John F, in particular) are too smart for your own good. You have tried to theorize and make sense of everything, to the point that you have literally out-thought the gospel, and made it into something it’s not. God doesn’t need us to be smart, he needs us to be broken, to realize that we of ourselves can do nothing to merit salvation or our place in Heaven. Smart has nothing to do with it.

    And some of you are not smart enough for your own good. You haven’t truly thought about what you believe, why you believe it, or investigated enough about the claims (false as they are) of your own religion. It’s hard to say which is worse, being too smart or not smart enough, but they’re both leading to the same place – hell.

    You don’t like what I say, and that’s fine. It wasn’t meant for you to like. But it’s truth, whether you choose to accept it or not. And just as the Bible says, we will ALL be judged before a holy and righteous God some day, and some will say “but look at everything we did”, and God will say “depart from me, I never knew you.” And only at that time, will you realize that what you believed in, what you thought to be true, truly was not, and you will have all eternity to be separated from God, to be tormented and think about your decision. What a truly, truly horrible fate awaits. I know most or all of this is like talking to a rock, b/c you’re not listening. But I wanted to make sure you knew it.

    Again, you won’t see my comments on this blog again – this is my last word. I don’t know you personally, but do continue to pray, as do many, that all who do not TRULY know Jesus as their Savior will turn from their ways, and acknowledge Him for who He is – God.

    Comment by Brad — November 16, 2007 @ 2:15 pm |Reply

  186. Brad, I’m sorry you are feeling like you are the enemy, or that you are being attacked. But If you will read through your comments, you are the one who came here with your fists cocked and ready to fight. You came here with insults, and made unfair accusations.

    All the people here commenting are commenting in defense of something they love and hold dear, something that you are trampling on.

    Your arguments are based on your opinion that you hold this correct interpretation, and ours are wrong. You believe in God because you are afraid of Hell. You think we will all end up in hell for not believing this correct interpretation. I think that is so sad!

    We believe in God because we love Him and we know that He is loving, amazing and wonderful. I hope you will one day know what we know, that your Father loves you and wants you to be with Him because you are His child. I hope you will feel His love and love Him and worship Him because He is so wonderful, not because You fear Hell!

    One more thing, you mentioned that some here are too smart, and some not smart enough (I know you are refering to me :) and that’s ok) But don’t you see that all of God’s children are different. We all have special gifts and talents. Some are brilliant, and some (like me) are not, this does not mean we should not all be saved because of our level of understanding. I think that what God wants is for each and everyone of us to have a personal relationship with Him, He does not require us to have a perfect knowledge of Him. If He did none of us would make it to heaven!

    I hope and pray that your heart will be softened and that you will feel the love of your Heavenly Father, and I know that we will one say meet in a much better place :)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 16, 2007 @ 3:48 pm |Reply

  187. Steff you rock!!! So happy to hear your story.

    As far as the rest of the discussion and arguing in your comments. They just make me sad, ON BOTH SIDES OFTHE ARGUMENT.

    Because of Brad’s beliefs he’s tried to share that with you, of course trying to beat you and other over the head with the bible is probably not the best approach to do it. I do believe he is genuine in his beliefs though. For anyone to criticize them is wrong. That goes for EVERYONE else, mormon or not.

    As mormons we “claim the privelege of worshipping the Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

    How about we live up to that. It makes me so sad to see people bashing each others beliefs. We all believe something different. Arguing, accusing and belittling each other is NOT in anyway Christian, that means EVERYONE’S version of Christian.

    To Brad, It seems I believe in the same Jesus you do. I dont’ know anything about creeds, trinities, monotheistic, neo.. whatever was referenced above by others I do believe this though.
    “Absolutely not. According to how Christians are saved, we are saved when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, who is both God and the Son of God (not one in purpose, but part of the Holy Trinity described throughout the Bible), and realize that no matter what we do, we cannot do anything to merit our salvation, but accept the free gift of grace.”

    I don’t know about the trinity thing because well I just have never learned about it. I do know this though that no matter what I do, no matter how good I try to be, no matter how much I study, learn, serve others and try to be a good Christian I cannot be saved unless it is by the grace of Jesus.

    I also believe that some of my closest friends, WHO DO NOT BELONG TO THE SAME RELIGION, are doing the best with the knowledge they have about God and Jesus. They are good people doing the very best they can. I believe God is a just God, a fair God and a loving God and I can’t see him not extending that great love to everyone regardless of which religion they belong to.

    I know that God is omnicient (sp). He knows our hearts. I believe in the Mormon way. I am trying to be the best that I can be. And in the best I mean Christian, following Christ’s teachings. At the same time I’ve never learned about the trinity or the details of it. Do I believe God will fault me if I’m wrong knowing I’m doing my best. No, I don’t. I believe God knows my heart and knows I’m doing the best with what I feel is right. That’s why He is God and I’m not. At the same time I don’t think God who is a fair and loving God is going to condemn or hold it against my friends who haven’t learned anything about the mormon church. They are doing the best they know how too. They will get an opportunity to live with Jesus again too. That’s what they want. To live with Jesus. Because they believe that God is one isn’t that enough for them right now. Mormons believe something different, that there are 3 gods, God the father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Ghost. We also believe in 3 degrees of heaven. We believe we can live with God the Father in the highest degree of heaven. That’s what we want. Seems to me everyone gets what they want so why all the arguing?

    I believe what I believe. The best way I can show my love for my friends and others is to allow them the same thing. I will tell them about what I believe but if they choose not to believe what I believe I’m not going to start banging their heads in with scripture.

    Steff thank you so much for sharing and allowing others to voice their views as well. Your spirit is wonderful and you are a great example to many others.

    Comment by nestleknight — November 16, 2007 @ 4:04 pm |Reply

  188. I have news for all .

    JW’s just told me they are the only way to salvation through Jehovah and his official organisation chosen by Jesus in 1914 which happens to be the Watchtower Society .

    They are not spending all their lives door knocking for nothing .
    :)

    Comment by elder joseph — November 16, 2007 @ 4:14 pm |Reply

  189. Steffie

    What’s your special Gift and Talent if you are not ‘Brilliant ‘? and what does being ‘Brilliant’ mean anyway ?

    Comment by elder joseph — November 16, 2007 @ 4:16 pm |Reply

  190. To all Brad offended, sorry (especially Blake, you are not an idiot :) )

    I hope that Brad has learned that making insults will not win over any hearts. I hope he will use tact in his future comments (on other blogs of course).

    And maybe he has learned to not mess with the MORMONS!!!!!! :)

    **** and just incase Brad happens to read this, I did not yell at anybody else because they were not making personal attacks, infact I had to look up the word “troll” to make sure they were not attacking your character. Had they been I would have yelled at them too!

    The definition of a “troll” (because I thought they were smelly dirty guys who lived under a bridge) is…

    “An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who intentionally posts controversial or contrary messages in an on-line community such as an on-line discussion forum or group with the intention of baiting users into an argumentative response”

    I think this is an accurate discription of what Brad was here for. If he was to take it as an insult then he should stop doing it!

    Comment by steffielynn — November 16, 2007 @ 4:36 pm |Reply

  191. EJ

    Most churches claim to be true, that is why you have to pray and ask to know which one really is.

    My special talent EJ is putting up with people like YOU! HA ha just kidding. :)

    Well since I was not gifted with intelligence, I would say my talent is compassion. I really truly love people, and I really truly want people to have eternal happiness.

    My other talent (or gift) is passion. I have so much passion, in everything I do. I get really excited about stuff (especially the gospel)

    So those are probably my only talents. I find it funny that I don’t have real talents, like cooking, sewing, instrumental. I joined a church full of REALLY talented people, maybe I’ll learn someday :)

    And being brilliant is to be so stinkin smart that its ridiculous (that’s just my personal definition, you can quote me if you want :) )

    Comment by steffielynn — November 16, 2007 @ 4:49 pm |Reply

  192. “God doesn’t need us to be smart, he needs us to be broken, to realize that we of ourselves can do nothing to merit salvation or our place in Heaven. Smart has nothing to do with it.”

    If this is true, then Brad should have no problem in the hear after.

    Comment by Bishop Rick — November 16, 2007 @ 4:54 pm |Reply

  193. I can’t understand how anyone could believe that honest, genuine, sincere people are going to go to hell, simply because they happen to believe the wrong thing.

    I personally think that we are all going to end up in the same place regardless of our beliefs…either the ground, or in some heavenly kingdom where we can smell Steffies cookies baking.

    Comment by Bishop Rick — November 16, 2007 @ 4:58 pm |Reply

  194. Steph- This was fun! Wandered over here off of TracyM’s blog like the rest of her brood. I am a practicing Catholic who has about 70% Mormon friends. Had a neighbor who was Mormon whom I became very close with, began playing bunco, doing game nights and then they started sprouting up all around me ;) I am not now, nor ever going to become part of the Mormon Church, although it is a running joke every time new Missionaries come to town that they get a bonus prize if they convert our family! My son goes to young men’s night and we participate in a bunch of activities with the Mormon Church.

    I have the Missionaries over for dinner and I listen to everything they say with an open heart and mind. I do this because that is what I believe God would want me to do. When my best friend converted to the Mormon Church a few years ago, I cried with joy at the happiness that she was accepting into her life knowing that this is what truly made her happy. Again, doing this because that is what I know that God would want me to do. There are people in the Mormon Church that I have run into who have been very rude and judgemental. There have also been people I have run into in my own religion and in various born again religions who have treated me the same way. The difference that I have found is in their personality, not their religion.

    I have to say that I am so happy that you did not “cop out” and shut your site down. I think that some people in any religion believe that if you hear enough negativity that you will eventually turn your head. I like to think that most people, especially converts in my opinion, have such a strong feeling towards their religion that their hearts are closed so to speak, because of how full they are with their faith. That is what makes faith so wonderful!

    I had a Baptist woman once ask me if I was aware that I was teaching my children that they had a choice on their faith and that it was my responsibility to bring them up knowing their faith. I just laughed and thought how funny the ignorance some people have. I believe I am bringing my children up to accept other people’s faiths and to decide on their own, what it is they believe in their hearts. Barring some radical choices, I am just wanting them to grow up and pick a faith that makes them happy, healthy, kind, caring people with enough love in their hearts to share that with others. I feel most at home in my Church. It makes my heart smile and I feel the most close to God there. My children might find that in a Synagogue or in the Mormon Temple. Wherever they find it isn’t the issue, I just want them to find it.

    I am sorry that some people decide to treat you so negatively when you were describing your very personal and very positive experience with your faith. As a believer in God, and feeling that I have a personal relationship with Him, I can’t imagine praying and saying “Today, I really nailed it to someone for believing in You. I really got ‘em good because they are not like me. I judged them based on my opinions and beliefs instead of with the love you have asked me to have in my heart.” I have the funniest of feelings that is not something God is wanting to hear.

    Sorry this was so long, but I have no idea how to email you personally! Basically, in the end, I just want to let you know that there are people out there who believe that your testimony is wonderful and who are happy for you even though we are not LDS. A handful, but we are out here :)

    Comment by 2xaday — November 16, 2007 @ 5:24 pm |Reply

  195. RE:RMCoventry’s #175 in response to my #145,
    .
    “To me manaen’s story is both sad and tragic. The fact that the Church and his up bringing could make him feels so desperate to the point of suicide. The fact that he felt so worthless and pained is not a testament to truth. It is a testament to how powerful a tool such as indoctrination is. I have known Members that have actually attempted suicide for the same reasons. It is tragic that they could be broken down to that level. What is really tragic is they turn back to that same abuse just as a battered wife does when she goes back to her abusive husband, she really believes she deserved it. It is very dysfunctional and unhealthy. The Churches I love you is no different than the husband professing his love after the abuse. Of course the Church received him with open arms, he gave them the power to punish and have control, you only see the ugly side and the rejection when you actually leave and they know you are truly done. Yet the door is always open conditionally!
    .
    I hesitated to post this as I worried about coming across insensitive but this story saddened me deeply. I am glad that Manaen did not harm himself and currently feels good and has confidence and love for self I just hope that the growth continues. Leaving the Church is extremely hard and is emotionally painful; I know it was for me. I am just glad I hadn’t committed serious sins as the guilt would have probably stopped my process of self discovery and awareness, such a wonderful freeing experience. Some times things have to get worse before they get better but in the end it is well worth it. It is hard not to share with others, but if in doing so I have offended or come across insensitive that is not my intent. I just want everyone to have what I have. I guess that makes us the same in that regard.”

    .
    I had to read this a few times to be sure that you said what you did say. Now, it’s time for me to peel the onion a little to show how God’s grace and Christ’s atonement operate in the Church to “save a wretch like me.” Please note that this will be an adult explanation but it won’t become graphic. It will, however, test the ability of some readers to accept that Christ’s atonement is the way to freedom from *all* sins. Fortunately for me and others who commit deep sins, Christ’s church functions to help us.
    .
    It was guilt for my sins and broken trusts with people in my family that led me to consider suicide, not my upbinging in the Church, as you suggested. It is interesting that you talk about abuse, but you have it backwards: it wasn’t abuse from the Church but my abuse of people in my family that caused my feelings of despair. I have a divorce and a felony conviction as part of my legacy from what I did to them. The disgust for my sins that I first sensed in the SP counselor who worked with me sprang from his familiarity and love for my family – his children associated with mine, one my daughters I abused had babysat his children, our wives had served callings together and their friendship had grown to be independent of Church associations.
    .
    My confession and the Church’s actions were the pathway to freedom for me. I have received, to my initial surprise, an outpouring of love from the Chruch officials who have worked with me. This love has in no way smacked of conditionality but only of sorrow for what I created and a desire to help me heal. In no way has the Church tried to control me, but humble, faithful Stake Presidents (SPs), bishops, and others spent countless hours counseling me (and my family). This counsel was mostly about healing my soul and learning to live a healthy life. It only has been encouragement to grow and to find joy, not once have they condemned me. Please note in my #145 that one of the last things my SP told me before I moved to a different stake was that I needed to forgive myself. God already had and my SP held no condemnation for me, only desire that I would break free as I already was free in his heart.
    .
    This is institutionlized in the Church. Pres. Hinckley spoke about men like me near the end of his remarks in the Priesthood session of the April, 2002 General Conference:
    .
    Now I wish to mention another form of abuse that has been much publicized in the media. It is the sordid and evil abuse of children by adults, usually men. Such abuse is not new. There is evidence to indicate that it goes back through the ages. It is a most despicable and tragic and terrible thing. I regret to say that there has been some very limited expression of this monstrous evil among us. It is something that cannot be countenanced or tolerated. The Lord Himself said, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:6).
    .
    That is very strong language from the Prince of Peace, the Son of God.
    .
    I quote from our Church Handbook of Instructions: “The Church’s position is that abuse cannot be tolerated in any form. Those who abuse . . . are subject to Church discipline. They should not be given Church callings and may not have a temple recommend. Even if a person who abused a child sexually or physically receives Church discipline and is later restored to full fellowship or readmitted by baptism, leaders should not call the person to any position working with children or youth unless the First Presidency authorizes removal of the annotation of the person’s membership record.
    [manaen – is this unreasonable? I see no problem for an offender here]
    .
    “In instances of abuse, the first responsibility of the Church is to help those who have been abused and to protect those who may be vulnerable to future abuse” (Book 1: Stake Presidencies and Bishoprics [1998], 157–58).
    For a long period now we have worked on this problem. We have urged bishops, stake presidents, and others to reach out to victims, to comfort them, to strengthen them, to let them know that what happened was wrong, that the experience was not their fault, and that it need never happen again.
    .
    We have issued publications, established a telephone line where Church officers may receive counsel in handling cases, and offered professional help through LDS Family Services.
    These acts are often criminal in their nature. They are punishable under the law. Professional counselors, including lawyers and social workers, are available on this help line to advise bishops and stake presidents concerning their obligations in these circumstances. Those in other nations should call their respective Area Presidents.
    .
    Now the work of the Church is a work of salvation. I want to emphasize that. It is a work of saving souls. We desire to help both the victim
    and the offender. [manaen- this is what I received from the Church, not *anything* that would push me to suicide] Our hearts reach out to the victim, and we must act to assist him or her. Our hearts reach out to the offender, but we cannot tolerate the sin of which he may be guilty. Where there has been offense, there is a penalty. The process of the civil law will work its way. And the ecclesiastical process will work its way, often resulting in excommunication. This is both a delicate and a serious matter.
    .
    Nevertheless, we recognize, and must always recognize, that when the penalty has been paid and the demands of justice have been met, there will be a helpful and kindly hand reaching out to assist. There may be continuing restrictions, but there will also be kindness.
    .
    KINDNESS is the word for how I’ve been treated *every* time by people in Christ’s church who have worked with me. From this, I hope that you can see that this Church withheld the condemnation you said comes, even when others — likely including some the present readers – would have heaped it on. Not only did God give me a new heart the night I confessed to my SP, but all these leaders have understood this and trusted it.
    .
    Before my confession, I had not felt love for anyone else and had tried to define who I was by externals like educational degrees, professional career steps, and Church callings. The miracle of my SP telling me he loved me, after several hours of describing all the things about me that would make me unlovable, is that his *unconditional* love opened my heart to God’s love. It was the most non-controlling, unconditional, caring thing that had happened in my life for my first 50 years.
    At the moment that God gave me a new heart (Ezek 36:26-27), my yearnings for my past sins dropped and not once have they returned. This is another miracle doubted by the world. The angel who conducted Nephi in his experience of Lehi’s dream explained it: God’s love is the most joyous to the soul (1 Ne 11:23). Having tasted this most delicious genuine fruit, the false substitutes I tried immediately lost their appeal. I became like the believers in King Benjamin’s address who said that, “…because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.” (Msh 5:2)
    .
    After a while, I learned to trust that this new sense of well-being would remain. It has to this day and I now feel secure in God’s love. Elder D. Todd Christopherson explained this in GenCon 4/2004,
    .
    Most of all, you should pray to be filled with the love of Christ. This love is given to those who are true followers of Jesus Christ, who ask for it with all the energy of their heart. This love is the fruit of the tree of life, and tasting it is a major part of your conversion because once you have felt your Savior’s love for you, even the smallest part, you will feel secure, and a love for Him and for your Heavenly Father will grow within you. In your heart you will want to do what these holy beings ask of you. Go often to your closet, your secret place, your wilderness. Thank God for your blessings; ask for His help; ask Him to bestow upon you the pure love of Christ. Sometimes fasting will help.
    .
    Like noticing other cars of the same brand on the road after you just started driving one yourself, I now continually see within the Church’s teachings this freedom for weak people like me through unconditional love.
    .
    Having received this great miracle, humility and gratitude come naturally to me. Humility proves to be a pathway to joy. Losing one’s pride opens the door for God’s exalting love. My bishop asked me a few weeks after my confession and change of heart, now that I had this joy and loss of my old evil desires, how would I stay here. I found the answer in The Book of Mormon,
    .
    11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
    12 And behold, I say unto you that
    if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true. (Msh 4:11-12)
    .
    I have found that acknowledging my own nothingness before God and thanking him for his great goodness in giving us Christ’s atonement and the rest of the plan of happiness has kept fresh that wonderful moment of liberation when I first felt His love wash through me heart. As promised in this passage, it has proven the key to retaining a remission of my sins against my family.
    .
    God’s love is the most joyous to the soul and I’ve found that the second greatest source of true joy is love from others. These two loves are what the soul truly desires and when filled with these, the evil substitutes/addictions we pursue lose their value to us. Small wonder then that Christ’s two great commandments are to love God and to love one another! I now see the Church as the structure Christ gave us to provide opportunities to learn to love each other and to love God.
    .
    I could go on, and I recognize some readers will say I’ve already over-exercised that ability. I hope that what I write here is sufficient to show that rather than being a form of abuse, as you proposed, that the actions of the Church have freed me and others from the abuse that I committed. God’s love flows so freely here that I truly was surprised to read your response to my first posting.
    .
    I hope that readers will take heart that if I could find healing, peace, and joy in Christ’s restored Church, that surely they can as well.

    Comment by manaen — November 16, 2007 @ 6:05 pm |Reply

  196. Brad,
    I do not really apologize for making you feel like the enemy. Your purpose is to eradicate the faith I firmly believe and you have sought to do it by calling its adherents names. That pretty much makes you my enemy. I am sure that IRL you are a nice person, kind to puppies and children, but that really doesn’t excuse your behavior here. That said, I hope that you find (or continue to find) peace in Christ.

    Comment by John C. — November 16, 2007 @ 6:12 pm |Reply

  197. Wow 2xaday!!!! You are so rare! I wish everyone who was non LDS could be like you! An open mind is a rare quality! I am still working on mine! :)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 16, 2007 @ 6:17 pm |Reply

  198. John f, John C, Rusty, Art, Sierra, Steve Evans, CS Eric, Ardis Parshall (by the way I love your name!) Ray, Seth R. Dan Ellsworth, Mcquinn, Tyler, C.Jones, Eric, Silus Grok, Tracy M, Geoff B. Melissa DM, Sam B, Blake, dakwegmo, Bandanamom, Keri Brooks, cchrissyy, meems, John, Conner, manaen, Daniel, Kevin F, Julie, onekrisis, mo mommy, becky, tftcarrie, Bridget, chronicler, RON, nestleknight, 2xaday, cowgalutah, Heather O, Susan M, bonnevillemariner, Jettboy, Matt ladner,

    (I hope that is all of you)

    And everyone else who has read this blog in the last few days, Thank you! I have really been a little down, and you have raised my spirits!

    I appreciate the fact that you all came here in my defense and in defense of the gospel that we all hold so dear! It is just amazing, and you are all awesome! (sorry EJ I know you don’t like the “boring” stuff!)

    Anyhow, all my life I have always stood alone, I have never had anyone there to defend my honor (except my husband, I guess I should count him in :) oh and BR) Anyways, it speaks volumes about the LDS people!

    I admire all of you, and I would like to know more about you so please read this! http://mormonsrock.wordpress.com/2007/11/16/tell-us-your-story/

    Oh and are all of you interested in moving to the south? There are way to many of you in Utah, I think you should head this way, seriously!!!! There are big beautiful houses here for really cheap!!!!!!!!

    I need you ALL as neighbors!

    Comment by steffielynn — November 16, 2007 @ 7:01 pm |Reply

  199. Manaen — What an uplifting story! May God bless and richly reward you.

    Comment by Eric — November 16, 2007 @ 8:10 pm |Reply

  200. Manaen – Thank you SO much for sharing such a painful but profoundly moving portrait. It brought me to tears.

    2xaday – I hope you know how wonderful your comment was. My very first comment to steffie included the belief that the vast majority of “mainstream Christians” are good people at heart, and you have shown that beautifully. Thank you – from the depth of my soul.

    Comment by Ray — November 16, 2007 @ 8:32 pm |Reply

  201. steffielynn,
    When I have time, I’ll say a little about me. Meantime, though, my wife grew up in South Carolina, where Mormons are few are far between (although not absent). She loved being the only Mormon in her school, and the only one people knew. So it can be a nice thing.

    And, fwiw, many people outside of our faith support–or would support–your spiritual life. Many of my best friends, and all of my coworkers, aren’t LDS, but support me in my religious journeys. The people who attack you here are the minority (and I don’t see why they’ve glommed onto someone so clearly good and nice as you), and aren’t representative of the reception of Mormons at large (at least in California, New York, DC, Virginia, and other places I’ve lived).

    Comment by Sam B. — November 16, 2007 @ 10:35 pm |Reply

  202. Sam b. sadly I have come across more people like Brad in real life then on here. Since reading these comments I have begun to think that maybe for some reason i do attract these people. weird!

    So anyways are you trying to say that you WON’T be moving out here? :(

    Comment by steffielynn — November 16, 2007 @ 11:31 pm |Reply

  203. steffielynn,
    I’m afraid my wife and I just moved back to NY, so we’ll be here for a while.

    But really, honestly, and truly: there are a lot of good people, in and out of the Church, who are or would be happy for you. I don’t know why your blog has attracted attacking hordes, but there are good people everywhere. (Well, except maybe for the guy at the store today who yelled at my wife.)

    Comment by Sam B. — November 16, 2007 @ 11:42 pm |Reply

  204. I know there are good people here! I would just like to surround myself with mormons! The church is actually very strong. The members here are great! Since I joined 2 and a half years ago this is what I have seen,

    We started in a ward, that ward split and became a ward and a branch, and now that branch is a ward. I moved a few miles away and it is now out of that area. So now I attend a branch that JUST broke off (from a ward) and last month it was 44 people away from becomming a ward. This month we are only 32 people from becomming a ward!

    How amazing is that!

    anyways regardless I still want to recruit you all out here :)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 16, 2007 @ 11:48 pm |Reply

  205. Steffielynn–

    Now that the dust in settling, I hope you get back to a measure of peace–your story is beautiful, trolls notwithstanding.

    Manaen–

    I think you top my list of people I wish I could meet and interview. You remind me of Alma 5, Alma 7, 3 Nephi 17, Mosiah 3-5 and just about every other chapter that encapsulates the most beautiful, powerful, gritty, and life-changing truthes of the Gospel–”broken things to mend,” indeed.

    Comment by tyler — November 17, 2007 @ 3:20 am |Reply

  206. Thank you for sharing your story.

    You are so wonderfully patient with some of these, ahem, people.

    So happy your joined the church. You are an inspiration to many.

    Comment by hairyshoefairy — November 17, 2007 @ 3:56 am |Reply

  207. manaen,

    I just want to say thank you again for your story, and for clarifing your experience for Coventry RM. What can I say, except that you must be one incredible person! Your story is so very inspiring. It shows us that through Christ we can overcome ANYTHING. It also shows us that we can change, and through Christ’s attonement we can be forgiven and become a completely new person! What a wonderful plan! Again, THANK YOU!!!!!!!

    Tyler,

    It was so fun to have so much going on in here! I hope everyone will keep comming back, at least once in awhile!

    Hairyshoefairy,

    OH my, your name is my absolute favorite! Too cute :)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 17, 2007 @ 5:38 am |Reply

  208. steffielynn,

    I’d probably expect traffic to calm down a bit once the excitement dies down. Millenial Star and By Common Consent (two of the larger Mormon blogs) linked to you, noting that you were being picked-on, and it seems there was a good response. But hopefully, there will be enough steady traffic to balance things out a bit now that people know you’re here.

    Comment by Seth R. — November 17, 2007 @ 5:46 am |Reply

  209. WHAT!!!! I thought ya’ll were heaven sent!!!! :)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 17, 2007 @ 6:11 am |Reply

  210. Steffie, some of the long-term bloggers on those sites believe they have re-cerated heaven – so they would agree with your assessment. :-) (jk)

    Seriously, BCC is one of my favorite sites – a really good mix of highly intellectual, highly irreverent, highly spiritual and occasionally oddball discussions. T&S is another one, as is Mormon Mommy Wars. You can find each of them at the central site some of the commenters linked in their comments.

    Comment by Ray — November 17, 2007 @ 6:19 am |Reply

  211. 2xaday (Comment #194 )

    Thanks for leaving this comment for Steffie, but really for all of us members of the church who live in a world that just doesn’t know what to do with us most of the time. :)

    Comment by Bridget — November 17, 2007 @ 8:12 am |Reply

  212. Steffielynn- Welcome sister! As a convert to the LDS church, it always makes me happy to see more of Heavenly Father’s children come home to His open arms. I can understand much of your struggle with your parents not respecting or understanding your decision to join the Church. My conversion and baptism were similar to what you are currently facing, and I just wanted to leave some of my experience with you in hopes that it will help you.

    People will do a lot of talking about your choice. They will say things to you that will hurt you. There will be days when you will feel like you would do anything to make them stop, and to leave you in peace. I testify to you that if you pray when these times come, you will be blessed with comfort from the Holy Ghost. He will guide you in all things if you listen to him. He will give you strength to overcome all obstacles. Keep His love in your heart always, and you will be protected.

    And I would advise you to beware of ANYONE who would ask you to destroy the faith you’ve found. Faith in the Almighty, no matter what the denomination, is a sacred thing. People who view your faith as a weed to be plucked do not have the Holy Spirit of God. If they did, they would realize that they have no authority to be His mouthpiece in chasing you away from churches that serve in His name. They would know that trying to ruin your faith in Jesus Christ is breaking his greatest commandment:

    “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye alove one another; as I have loved you, that ye also blove one another.
    By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have alove one to another.” John 13: 34-35

    People have no authority or reason to tell you that you are worshiping the wrong Jesus or the wrong God. They cannot know your faith or your heart. Only you can know and have confidence in the substance of your faith.

    As someone who knows what it’s like to be the only member in my family, the target of scorn and condemnation from almost every person I’ve ever trusted, I hope you will learn to forgive those who will hurt you too. Jesus asked “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23: 34. If you learn to do the same, you will be blessed by Heavenly Father, who has a reason for everything you will experience in the times to come. Pray to know these reasons in His time. Take comfort in the scriptures, which can comfort you any time, day or night.

    Once again, congratulations on your conversion. If you ever need anything, especially someone to listen to you, don’t be afraid to reach out.

    Love and prayers,
    Paradox

    Comment by Paradox — November 17, 2007 @ 3:38 pm |Reply

  213. Steffielynn — what a beautiful testimony.

    And you’ve shown such patience with all the “controversy” that your strong and sweet testimony brought.

    Good for you! I’m glad to see that you’ve done us all proud. ^_^

    Comment by Allanna — November 17, 2007 @ 4:19 pm |Reply

  214. “Oh and are all of you interested in moving to the south? There are way to many of you in Utah, I think you should head this way, seriously!!!! There are big beautiful houses here for really cheap!!!!!!!!

    I need you ALL as neighbors!”

    We’re all moving to Missouri soon enough!;-)

    Comment by MCQ — November 17, 2007 @ 10:39 pm |Reply

  215. “Faith in the Almighty, no matter what the denomination, is a sacred thing. People who view your faith as a weed to be plucked do not have the Holy Spirit of God.”

    Paradox, I gave the same sentiment here a few days ago but I only wish I had been able to phrase it so well. nice work!

    Comment by cchrissyy — November 18, 2007 @ 4:45 pm |Reply

  216. Yeah, Paradox is quite an amazing high school student.

    Comment by Ray — November 18, 2007 @ 9:25 pm |Reply

  217. “Faith in the Almighty, no matter what the denomination, is a sacred thing. People who view your faith as a weed to be plucked do not have the Holy Spirit of God.”

    I am confused then so when the LDS missionaries aproach someone that says they already believe in Christ or in God for that matter since Muslims believe in the same God as well as Jews, do they just shake their and hand walk away? Or look for the opportunity to pluck the weed? hmmmm

    Where does that leave Mormon Missionaries and Ward missionary programs etc.

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 19, 2007 @ 12:36 am |Reply

  218. Mormonism has always been rather fluid on theology – not meaning we just change whenever it’s convenient, but that we don’t usually hold so tightly to orthodoxy that we aren’t accepting of theological possibilities.

    Thus most Mormons aren’t likely to make too big a stink over theological differences as long as you don’t.

    For example, if an Evangelical who is really, REALLY, sold on the idea of “grace” wants to join up, we don’t really do much to try and de-program that idea. He is free to continue believing it if he wishes, and many Mormons emphasize grace as well.

    If a Muslim wished to join up and continued to believe privately that Mohammad was a true prophet, I doubt too many people in the Ward would care enough to kick him out. He might get some raised eyebrows if he tried to push the idea in Gospel Doctrine class, but I doubt anyone would care too much.

    Really, ethical living is paramount in Mormonism. If you are doing that, we don’t tend to sweat the doctrinal problems. Not usually anyway – there are some obvious limits to how far this openness can be taken.

    LDS today really do seem to be taking Gordon B. Hinckley’s maxim of “bring what truth you already have, and let us add to it” to heart. It was, actually, a very “Mormon” thing for Hinckley to say. Obviously, not all Mormons are so tolerant of new ideas, but such ideas aren’t usually going to get you in trouble with the organization end of the Church. As long as you don’t repeatedly rub people’s noses in the differences and become disruptive, we’re cool.

    Comment by Seth R. — November 19, 2007 @ 12:46 am |Reply

  219. “Elder Boyd K. Packer, The Only True Church, Ensign (CR), November 1985, p.80

    “While we cooperate with others to reach mutual objectives, we do it in our own way. We do not recognize the ordinances performed in other churches. We will not exchange baptisms, a practice which has become commonplace in the Christian world. We do not join associations of clergy or councils of churches. We keep our distance from the ecumenical movements. The restored gospel is the means by which Christians must ultimately be united.”

    So I guess what we are saying here is that the LDS faith is sacred

    Not – Faith in the Almighty, no matter what the denomination

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 19, 2007 @ 12:50 am |Reply

  220. You don’t even get how arrogant the “Add to it is” can you all really be this self unaware?

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 19, 2007 @ 12:55 am |Reply

  221. Interesting I just did some quick research on how many people have been born on the Earth since 7000 BC as of 2002, based on the 1/3 being cast out, we have at least 35 Billion evils spirits on the earth tempting us and trying to occupy our bodies. No wonder I lost my faith those are some pretty horrible odds! Based on my PB, I bet I had an even more skewed number working on me. I really just didn’t have a chance now did I.

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 19, 2007 @ 1:41 am |Reply

  222. #221 is interesting, Coventry. I can never tell if you’re being sarcastic, but that arithmetic has been done before with similar results. If it’s at all accurate, it’s a wonder any of us have a chance. Perhaps there are spirits working on the other side as well?

    Comment by mcquinn — November 19, 2007 @ 2:44 am |Reply

  223. “You don’t even get how arrogant the “Add to it is” can you all really be this self unaware?”

    Coventry, yeah we know how it sounds. Anyone who has been a missionary, as you have, knows. But what do you do about that? It’s always going to sound arrogant when you’re talking about providing to people the means to salvation. Any church sounds arrogant in this respect, if you are coming at it from the point of view that a person’s belief system is something sacred and must be respected and valued.

    If I walked into an evangelical church (and I have) and explained my beliefs, do you think they would show respect and validaton for my beliefs? Heck no, they would tell me I was on my way to hell and I need to jettison those beliefs immediately and pray the sinner’s prayer.

    It always sounds arrogant to the non-believer. That doesn’t mean it’s not correct. If someone is right, then they’re right no matter how arrogant they sound.

    Comment by mcquinn — November 19, 2007 @ 3:21 am |Reply

  224. CRM, I mean this next question sincerely, and I ask it as gently and humbly as I can. **Regardless of whether one is right or wrong**, which is more “arrogant”?

    1) What you have is valuable, and much is good and right, but we have more. (us)

    2) What you have is crap and will land you in Hell, you stupid, blind cultists. (you)

    BTW, to back up mcquinn’s comments about not sweating the small stuff, I have many beliefs about much of the small stuff that is “non-traditional” by most evaluations – and I hold a prominent stake leadership calling. I have never been given grief by any other leader in any of my callings, since my lifestyle is not in opposition to the basic principles of the Gospel taught in the Church and everyone knows how committed I am to my family, the Gospel and the Church.

    Comment by Ray — November 19, 2007 @ 4:35 am |Reply

  225. When I have ever said you will go to hell. I don’t think anyone goes to hell unless they are making their life hell then I guess they are already in it. I think you are mistaken me for Religious Fanatic.

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 19, 2007 @ 5:12 am |Reply

  226. MCQ

    I agree with you

    But the post was in response of the finger pointing of

    ““Faith in the Almighty, no matter what the denomination, is a sacred thing. People who view your faith as a weed to be plucked do not have the Holy Spirit of God.”

    Everyone thought is was well put. I was pointing out that if this is true then LDS Missionaries then “do not have the Holy Spirit of God’ It applies both ways.

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 19, 2007 @ 5:21 am |Reply

  227. CRM, I apologize. I must have read things into it that weren’t there.

    Having said that, Mormon missionaries don’t view others beliefs as “weeds that need to be plucked.” They see them as flowers that need more sunlight and water. At least, that’s how I viewed it on my mission, and that’s how every missionary with whom I have spoken over the years views it. I know there are exceptions that prove that rule, but I do believe they are exceptions.

    The “weed needing to be plucked” crowd is represented by Br*d – and I have never met a Mormon missionary who belongs to that crowd.

    Comment by Ray — November 19, 2007 @ 6:02 am |Reply

  228. I am very aware of how LDS missionaries are, CoventryRm = Coventry/Birrmingam England Return Missionary

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 19, 2007 @ 6:08 am |Reply

  229. I know what the name means. We just disagree about the perspective of most missionaries, it appears.

    Comment by Ray — November 19, 2007 @ 6:19 am |Reply

  230. I am sure Brad felt he was just doing the Lords work as well.

    I agree LDS tend to be nice and polite.

    However it still remains a fact that you are taught satan is real you think someone that doesn’t see it your way is at some level being deceived by the advesary. Besides the weed reference was interjected by an LDS, Brad might have thought he was watering and shedding some light on the flowers as well.

    I agree I thought Brad was rude but I don’t think the intent is any different just the approach.

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 19, 2007 @ 6:58 am |Reply

  231. Ray

    Change the subject here, you said something in an earlier post the leads me to believe that you do not believe in a Global Flood is that true?

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 19, 2007 @ 7:06 am |Reply

  232. CoventryRM,

    Now that you’re back, do you have any response to my #195 in answer to your #175?

    Also, if I understood the opening of your #175, you’ve used my story on “Believe in Christ.” I’m not familar with that blog/site — if you’re using my story there, are you using all my story, including my #195?

    Comment by manaen — November 19, 2007 @ 7:24 am |Reply

  233. Believe in Christ is the just another thread on this site that seemed to have died off. I posted there first with my comment but it seemed to have gotten buried so I posted it here as #175 so not need to keep the thread going in both places.

    In response all I can say is that since your first post didn’t say to what extent, or how serious the things you had done were, no mention of prison, your bullet points of how you had changed seemed more about the “Sins” invented by the Church.

    I am guilty of making assumptions and your post clearly showed me a fool to all for doing so, and didn’t think a response was necessary or a rebuttal but was willing to let you have the last word. For that I apologize.

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 19, 2007 @ 1:49 pm |Reply

  234. #233

    CoventryRM, thanks for answering about your assumptions regarding the severity of my sins.

    The main points I about which I testify, however, are:

    * Christ’s atonement opened the door to my healing.

    * My soul was healed by the Holy Ghost — a conversion — as described by Pres. Romney in his quotation cited in #145. I was given a new heart (Ezek 36:27-28) as a result of the ministering of my SP and bishop.

    * The representatives of the Church who worked with me only offered unconditional love and support, never condemnation. They walked with me and helped me get back up when I stumbled but they never tried in any way to control me.

    * Retaining the gift of the Holy Ghost has been invaluable on my journey as I’ve come not just to believe/trust in the Holy Ghost’s guidance but to rely upon it.

    * The priesthood blessings I’ve received since confessings not only brought comfort to my soul but have given me strength when I faltered and have given me guidance when I was unable to discern with my own immature ability to receive inspiration what choices to make and what to do.

    These confirm for me that this Church is in truth Christ’s and that the priesthood in it is real and from Christ. As my pioneer g-g-grandmother wrote in concluding her life’s story, “for this is what I have learned by experience.” My invitation in #232 for you to respond to my #195 was an offer for you to comment upon these points that I have proven for myself by the the changes I continue to experience.

    Do you care to respond to these?

    Comment by manaen — November 20, 2007 @ 8:36 am |Reply

  235. That is great that you found a program that could help you from harming again and can give some peace and positive outlook on yourself and to the future.

    I think there were potentially many other paths that could have brought you the same results. Mormonism is what you know and it makes sense that it would be the one that would work for you. I think it is a great thing and I only hold positive hope for you and those around you.

    I have heard similar stories told by others professing some life changing belief system many saying they found Christ, others Mohamed, Buddha etc…

    I think it would be doing their stories a disservice to say that your story makes your Church the one true Church of God.

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 20, 2007 @ 3:53 pm |Reply

  236. 235.

    Yes, there are many programs that can help offenders “from harming again and can give some peace and positive outlook.” The restored Church, however, is not a “program,” but either what it claims to be or a preposterous fraud.

    I also encountered many different paths during my non-Church counseling, including a year and a half of private sessions with a non-LDS psychologist and two years of court-ordered group therapy. As you noted, there are many paths that can lead to refraining from harming and that give some peace and positive outlook. As I talked with fervent Evangelicals, atheists, Catholics, and followers of asian beliefs, I found they were finding these benefits in their philosphies and in secular counseling.

    Some christians of other flavors shared my experience of the new heart (Ezek 36:27-28 again) God gave me. However, when I shared how I’d been helped by the power of priesthood blessings, the continuing guidance through the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the healing of my soul through the Holy Ghost (see Pres. Romney in #145), *they* all acknowledged this was more than they had. Some of them quiescently accepted this was something more and some of them (unsuccessfully) tried to explain it within the structure of their beliefs. We never argued though, because I kept the discussion on my experiences and testimony and shared with the Spirit. They recognized, to a greater or lesser degree, that it would be doing my story a disservice to say that it does not make this Church the one true Church of God.

    I invite you to re-read Alma 5. Verse 26 is one that has pecked at me from time to time, “And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?” I found that a testimony is a living thing and it can be fed, starved, or poisoned because God allows us to choose what we want. I hope you’ll choose to re-prove this for yourself. It took me 40+ years: God’s mercy gave them to me so I could have what I now have.

    I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell. (2 Nephi 33:6)

    Comment by manaen — November 20, 2007 @ 10:04 pm |Reply

  237. I am happy for you and your experience. You should be just as happy for my recovery and happiness as well.

    Comment by CoventryRM — November 20, 2007 @ 10:14 pm |Reply

  238. manaen

    I say its a preposterous fraud.

    That Alma 5. Verse 26 scripture you quote I have no confidence in it whatsoever .

    “And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?”

    I’ve seen a member use that time and time and again .It need only be applied once to a member , not every few months as it shows it meant little the first time round for that person ..
    Thats my own experience in church ….

    I don’t trust anyone claiming to have had a miraculous change of heart through religion .No disrespect to yourself and I’m happy for your experience and I hope you will prove me wrong over and over ….

    and just to get back on rusty’s response to me in 84

    84 Rusty
    “EJ,
    Yes, by believing that God organizes rather than creates ex nihilo we are still able to uphold principles of science.”

    Principles Of Science ? how does a resurrection from the dead uphold principles of science ?

    The Mormon God is useless if he is outside of science … I thought Miracles were a defying of known science ..

    CoventryRM
    I’m happy for your experience and successful recovery from Mormonism .The closest I got to your experience is with Jehovahs Witnesses as a Youth …… very similar in the mind control methods used to retain and recruit converts ….

    When Later I got my own back on them by sucessfully cracking them in discussion I always got the responses
    1 Ok which Church is true then ? or
    2 this change has changed me , i was a Gambler, Adulterer etc

    My reply to No1 was Thats not the point the point is you’re organisation is deceptive and we’ve just seen it over and over .

    To No 2 I would say , sorry to hear how stupid you have been … i’m glad you’ve learnt your lesson . :)

    Knowing that some JW’s are usually ofensive when you’ve caught them out I was tempted to say that a dog always goes back to his own vomit its in the bible somewhere as JW’s usually say they don’t cast pearls amongst swine when I have the uper hand on them in discussion .

    I don’t give symapthy out too easily anymore ….

    Steffie will be giving me a big stuffing now :(

    Why am I so afraid of her ? Its not as if she has Priesthood Authority ! :)

    Comment by elder joseph — November 20, 2007 @ 11:39 pm |Reply

  239. My heart has experienced a miraculous change! And I wish to sing His praises ALWAYS!!!!!! :)

    EJ you aren’t afraid of me, you are afraid of my experience, You are afraid that these things are true! (and they are!)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 21, 2007 @ 4:31 am |Reply

  240. #231 – Yes. I think the mythological construct is wonderful, and I have no problem with its use by anyone – nor with the extrapolations that have arisen from it. I don’t care if it actually occurred that way or not, since I like the lessons that are drawn from it.

    As a former history teacher, I think the story is “true” generically for just about every people who have ever lived in any area of the world (as representative of what all have experienced and recorded). I think the rainbow story is symbolic, not literal – and I think the (pseudo-)”scientific” justifications about the rainbow that abound in Biblical infallibility constructs are unnecessary and ludicrous.

    I believe most of what is recorded in the Bible before Moses is symbolic, mythological and allegorical – a case of recording oral and common traditions into a cohesive written history. I believe that “as far as it is translated correctly” is MUCH more expansive and encompasses MUCH more than most believers think – and, again, I have no problem with that whatsoever. It doesn’t change my perception of God or prophets or our divine inheritance in the slightest.

    That, however, is appropriate for a very different thread than this one. :-)

    Comment by Ray — November 21, 2007 @ 6:21 am |Reply

  241. ej, You are afraid of Steffie because you are a smart man. :-)

    Comment by Ray — November 21, 2007 @ 6:23 am |Reply

  242. Thank you for your lovely story. I’m sorry it bothers so many people in your life and here in the comments but I think both will come to understand and accept.

    Comment by Adam Greenwood — November 21, 2007 @ 4:02 pm |Reply

  243. Steffielynn, thank you for sharing your beautiful conversion story. I had a missionary companion who was exposed to a lot of anti material before joining the Church. She was a fun and wonderful sister to serve with in the mission field.

    Comment by Barb — November 25, 2007 @ 3:28 am |Reply

  244. Steffie, thank you for sharing a wonderful testimony.

    I only had time to read through half of the posts, but I have to address the Trinity discussion. Hopefully, I’m not repeating something said in the last 100 posts.

    Brad, have you ever considered the idea that if a being is perfect, they they will by nature be one with other perfect beings? There can be no difference of opinion among omniscient beings because they already agree and know all answers. They might even know answers to questions we associate with opinion because their knowledge is not like ours as you so astutely observe.

    Clearly there are numerous scriptures that support the notion of a trinity and the notion of separate beings. To deny the same is to deny objectivity.

    The verses that answer that question most succinctly are found in John 17. Here the savior prays that the apostles can be one just as Christ and the Father are one. How can it be more clear? Unless you believe that Jesus wants the apostles to become an incomprehensible being you must at least consider that the long argued confusing nature of the trinity is not accurate and that the truth is as simple as you argue it should be. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are united beyond our understanding, but clearly are three separate beings. Else why would our Savior compare the Godhead to the apostles in such a clear and precise manner?

    No other scripture explains the oneness of God so clearly because all the other scriptures run counter to each other, but this scripture in John explains how all the others fit together in perfect believable, understandable, simplicity.

    Comment by Heli — November 26, 2007 @ 4:59 am |Reply

  245. Great testimony! I’m sorry that your experiences with Mormons were better than that of your Christian family.
    However, I side with your parents on my views of Mormonism and I encourage you to seek the truth by asking God to give you revelation through the Holy Spirit. Either way, God bless you.

    Comment by Moses — November 27, 2007 @ 5:37 am |Reply

  246. Thanks moses

    What I have learned in the course of my life is that Mormons practice what they preach. Many are such good examples, and they act like Christ has asked us to act. They are the best Christians I know :)

    Also I asked God if this church was true, and He did confirm that is was through the Holy Spirit. This is why I have stuck around as long as I have. Almost 3 years. May not seem like a long time, but for me to commit and still be going strong for this long is HUGE. I’m a bit of a flake and have never stuck to anything for very long (except my family) But the gospel has changed me from the inside out :)

    Also Adam, Barb, and Heli…… thank you for your comments! :)

    Comment by steffielynn — November 27, 2007 @ 1:06 pm |Reply

  247. Dear Steffie,
    You are a courageous daughter of our Heavenly Father and I am so proud of you for standing up for what you believe in. It is very hard to share our beliefs with others, as we know we risk being ridiculed. It is extremely nerve wracking creating a blog and putting our personal thoughts and feelings out into the world, too, isn’t it? It is such a curious age we live in that people from all over the world can communicate so FAST! I think that as many who do not appreciate what we share, there are just as many or more who do. There will always be those who attack another person’s beliefs out of ignorance, anger or fear. This is their own personal choice and problem. The gospel of Jesus Christ is simple AND infinite. We do not have to know everything to know when something is right and true. We can believe in things we never see and can never prove. That is true faith. Be strong and continue to listen to the feelings that have guided you. The Holy Ghost is a very real force in our lives if we let him in. The scriptures promise that the spirit will “teach us ALL things”. I think some of the people posting here are allowing a different spirit to guide them, OR they think that aggravating and creating conflict is a fun game. A truly intelligent person can question all things and still remain respectful and open to new ideas.

    My personal philosophy is that our lives are a gift. We have a tiny bit of time to live and breathe on this planet, and we cannot afford to do anything else but fill it up with all the love, joy and peace we can. In the end, we will all be dead and gone. A question for all to ponder: How do we want to be remembered?

    I send you my love and support. Have a blessed day. :)

    Comment by mormonsoprano — November 27, 2007 @ 9:18 pm |Reply

  248. Oh my, Steffielynn. You must have a rock solid testimony to put up with all those haters out there. Just don’t let them get you to feeling like hate is winning. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts with the world and for defending them so valiantly.

    Comment by Nancy — November 27, 2007 @ 9:26 pm |Reply

  249. What a neat story! Thanks so much for being so uplifiting in your story, it’s always amazing to hear other stories on joining the church, I’m getting ready to leave on a mission in two weeks, and am very much hoping and praying in changing someone’s life just as yours has been! Thanks again!
    sending love

    Comment by sunshine123186 — December 4, 2007 @ 8:57 pm |Reply

  250. Missionaries are so amazing! I hope and pray that you will find lots of wonderful people! I know being a missionary is not easy. If you only find one person it will all be worth it! I am so thankful to my missionaries! Had they not knocked on the door I would still be lost!

    Comment by steffielynn — December 4, 2007 @ 10:29 pm |Reply

  251. Steff,
    Thank you for your testimony. Your conversion is the most important thing you can carry with you. Now matter what people (inside or outside) the church do or say you will always have that confimation with you. Whenever there is a question our Heavanly Father is there to answer all your prayers. That is the most important thing I have learned in my short time here. The hardest part is once you receive that knowedge, not to turn away from it. My best wishes to you and to all those who have a testimony of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Keep it up. We are making the world a better place one Christian at a time.

    Comment by badtuffstuff — December 16, 2007 @ 9:41 am |Reply

  252. Hi Steff,
    I asked God to guide me in writing to you. I felt rather strongly when I stumbled upon your blog about your conversion that He wanted me to reply.

    I am a former Mormon, you should know first of all. I believe that God wants you to read Philippians. One of my favorite passages comes from this book. Chapter 4:

    4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
    5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
    6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
    7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    My prayers are with you. Always remember that Peace of Christ which surrounded you as you surrendered to His will for your life. No matter where God leads you in the future, do not let yourself forget it.

    in Christ
    Steph

    Comment by tundramom — August 25, 2008 @ 2:45 am |Reply

  253. I think alot of the critics here are ravenous wolves to be picking on someone who is new to the LDS Faith. Why not some of those critics come check out my blog and attempt to use their fallacious arguments to attempt to reason in a logical coherent manner? I would love to discuss some of their issues in a more intellectual manner than here. Any one of you LDS Critics care to discuss with me your major issues and particular doctrinal disagreements?

    I am definitely going to link up this blog to my own. Definitely inspiring to have the opportunity to read your blog and testimony. Thank you so much.

    Comment by Timothy Berman — November 4, 2008 @ 6:33 am |Reply

  254. Timothy

    went to your link nothing there that invited or provided an opportunity to comment or ask questions

    Comment by coventryrm — November 7, 2008 @ 11:34 am |Reply


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