Mormons Rock

January 7, 2008

Why Mormons ARE Christian, AND why I love them so stinkin much.

Let’s define Christian.  It’s simple, and so many people try to complicate it. 

A Christian is a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ.  A Christian is loving, kind, humble, charitable, or in other words Christ like. 

I have been having the most interesting (which is the nicest word I can come up with) conversation on another blog.  http://healtheland.wordpress.com/2007/12/13/the-purpose-driven-campaign-mike-huckabee-shows-his-true-colors-by-apologizing-to-mormon-mitt-romney/ 

There are a few good people on the blog, and then there are the most hateful folks I have ever encountered.  And I have met some pretty awful people.  They call themselves “Christian” and yet they lack the qualities of true Christians.  They twist LDS beliefs, and then when an LDS person comes to defend their faith they call us liars.   They judge, and then justify their actions by saying it’s ok to judge NON Christians. 

This is why I LOVE Mormons.  I have never heard hateful things about any other person or religion come from ANYBODY’S mouth.  They are the kindest most loving people I have ever met.  They even love those who hate them.  You Mormons out there are such amazing examples.  Thank you all for being so flippin wonderful. 

So many people try to bring up the “you joined because you felt accepted and they befriended you”.  Which is not true, I did not know ONE member when I joined.  I joined because I prayed, and my prayer was answered.  BUT, the LDS people have shown me a glimpse of My Heavenly Father, and His Son because of their loving examples!

The intent of these hateful people is to tear us down and deceive others.  But the only thing they have succeeded in, is reminding me how grateful I am for the Gospel, and how grateful I am for the awesome Mormons in my life, and those that I will meet in the future.

To all those who are hateful and judgemental, I feel so sorry for you, my heart goes out to you, I hope one day you open your heart and see the truth, and you will be blessed with happiness, peace, and love!

My love to you all!  YOU MORMONS ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

About these ads

107 Comments »

  1. I doubt any from the blog mentioned will come here, but I’m going to invite them anyways.

    Comment by steffielynn — January 7, 2008 @ 9:58 pm |Reply

  2. Steffie, I have shared many experiences like the ones you describe in this thread, but I have to say . . .

    There are Mormons who also act in an un-Christian manner – particularly when they are responding to criticism. I agree that the Restored Gospel changes lives and character, but it is hard for some to accept that when they know Mormons who are not good examples of Christ.

    Other than that point, I agree completely. It’s not what you claim to believe that makes you a Christian (as the Bible says very clearly); it’s whether you actually “come follow (Him).” I have a really hard time understanding why that is so hard to see, since it is stated so many times by Jesus, Himself, and so many different apostles in the in Bible.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 7, 2008 @ 10:50 pm |Reply

  3. I have not personally run into any mormons that talk like that. But if they do then they are not acting like they should. But anyways, I thank you for your comment, because going back and forth with such mean people was sad.

    Comment by steffielynn — January 7, 2008 @ 10:54 pm |Reply

  4. Ray, do these people baffle you? How can anyone be so hateful, and call themselves “Christian”? One guy in particular reminds me so much of my step father. I get nasty bad flashbacks of growing up in a hate filled home.

    Comment by steffielynn — January 7, 2008 @ 10:57 pm |Reply

  5. steffielynn,

    I stumbled on your blog. I would like to entreat you to consider three points:
    1) A christian is not a description of outward behavior, but rather an inward and undetectable relationship, which manifests itself in certain positive behaviors and beliefs (fruit).
    2) We do not become Christians by joining a church/religion, or by espousing a system of beliefs, or by emulating a method of behaviour/attitude. We become a Christian by:
    a)believing
    b)repenting of dead works (see the beginning of Heb 6)
    c)putting our faith in Him, and asking Him to be Lord of our life (meaning total submission)
    3) The LDS church espouses critical doctrines that are unbiblical (as does the Catholic church, I am not beating up on mormons). I would have to ask a mormon who calls themselves a christian and says they love Christ to look at the word of God, and contrast that with the teachings of the LDS (or Catholic or Jehovah’s Witness) church. If they are serious about Christ, they will be serious about the word. Once they get to the word, if they see the conflict, I would challenge them to seek the Lord’s will on whether He really wants them to continue in that religious structure.

    There… not too vitriolic I hope.

    Blessings,
    –alifeofprayer

    P.S.. I just got done reading part of your exchange with those folks. Ouch. While I admit I really don’t have any particularly warm feelings to the LDS Church as an *organization*, I regret the attitude and the lack of love my brothers (actual or supposed, I do no not know them) showed to you.

    Comment by alifeofprayer — January 7, 2008 @ 11:03 pm |Reply

  6. I try hard not to judge these people, since I don’t have any idea what forces caused their attitudes. I am not close to perfect in this regard, but the following statement from Jesus rings in these conversations:

    43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
    44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
    45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
    46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
    47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
    (Matthew 5:43-47, especially verse 46)

    I have said for a long time that the true measure of your commitment to Christ is NOT how you treat those who agree with you but rather how you treat those who disagree with you. Again, I am nowhere close to perfect in this regard, but I am trying to be poor in spirit in this regard.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 7, 2008 @ 11:18 pm |Reply

  7. One more point:

    The biggest reason I admire you and what you do is that you have been able to take such vile crap and not respond in kind. When I first advised you to consider taking administrative measures here it was out of concern for what constant exposure to such vitriol might do to you. It’s hard to remain clean while being deluged with filth. It became clear to me, however, that you have an amazing ability to return love to those who slander and insult.

    You have been an inspiration, and you were one of the catalysts for my own New Year’s Resolution.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 7, 2008 @ 11:22 pm |Reply

  8. alifeofprayer, I agree with everything you wrote in your comment about how to define a Christian. I hope you will understand that what you wrote is what is said in just about every Mormon meeting I have attended for over 40 years.

    That’s what is so frustrating about these types of conversations about whether Mormons are Christians. ALL Christian denominations disagree about some points of theology / doctrine; that’s why there are so many denominations. All of us, however, have a deep conviction that Jesus is the Savior and Redeemer of the world, that we are lost and fallen without His grace, that our works mean nothing without His atoning sacrifice, that if works are not fruits of the Spirit’s influence in our lives then they are “dead” to us, etc. We agree on SO much more than most people realize – and most criticism of how we view Jesus simply are incorrect.

    Sure, there are some “weird” statements in our past, but how is that any different than Martin Luther claiming that The Epistle of James is not real scripture,for example? Why is the standard so different for us?

    Comment by raydegraw — January 8, 2008 @ 12:41 am |Reply

  9. “Sure, there are some “weird” statements in our past, but how is that any different than Martin Luther claiming that The Epistle of James is not real scripture, for example? Why is the standard so different for us?”

    Ray

    You know the answer to this. Martin Luther never claimed anything close to the the LDS church claims – Living prophets that talk to God. Seeing and being visited by God, If you want to be held to the same standard, I am sure the majority of Christian denominations would not be taking exception if the LDS church was just disagreeing about points of theology but you know as well as I, that is not even close to what the LDS church is doing. They are claiming to be the one and only true church with authority from God and receiving direct revelation from God including much of the ““weird” statements in our past,”

    Comment by coventryrm — January 8, 2008 @ 1:06 am |Reply

  10. coventry, I understand that answer. I’m not questioning that specific point. What I’m saying is that there is a double standard when it comes to Mormonism. Let me try to make it a little clearer:

    Someone calls us un-Christian for not accepting the Bible (as canonized in the 4th Century AD) as inerrant. They say that the Bible is the word of God – straight from God’s mouth to the prophets’ ears to the page. Then, in the same breath, they accept as Christian someone who says that an entire book in the Bible is not inspired of God. (Martin Luther and James) They quote Revelations (completely out of context in my opinion) to castigate us for adding to the canon, but they don’t castigate Luther for taking away from the canon. That’s a double standard.

    I do not judge others by what they profess to believe, particularly if they profess to accept Jesus as Lord and God. I try not to judge them (act as judge concerning the condition of their soul) at all, since that also is something Jesus commanded we not do. I disagree strongly with much of what other Christians believe, but I would NEVER take that disagreement and condemn someone to Hell because of it. *****I have been commanded by Jesus Christ not to do that.***** I have been commanded to let their fruits inform my decision.

    I know that the fruits of our early Mormon prophets, especially, might lead people to dismiss them, but I also know that most Biblical prophets also would fail under the type of criticism that is used to condemn modern prophets. That’s the double standard I oppose.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 8, 2008 @ 2:02 am |Reply

  11. It’s the same concept as claiming that an angel visiting Joseph Smith is ludicrous and unbelievable while simultaneously accepting all of the angelic visitations of the Bible as perfectly believable. That’s a double standard.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 8, 2008 @ 2:06 am |Reply

  12. alifeofprayer, thank you for your comment.

    There are differences in what we believe, BUT are those differences going to keep anyone from our Fathers love? Will He send people to Hell for not knowing everything perfectly?

    I appreciate your comment, and what you stated is basically what our articles of faith state, (especially # 3 and 4) there are 13 of them, and I think we pretty much can define our (LDS) beliefs by them…

    The Articles of Faith are as follows:
    1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

    2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

    3. We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

    4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

    6.We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

    7.We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

    8.We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

    9.We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

    10.We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

    11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

    12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

    13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul–We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

    Comment by steffielynn — January 8, 2008 @ 3:32 am |Reply

  13. Ray

    I 100% agree with your comment on #11.

    I don’t agree with that it is a double standard in #10. Every other Christian reformer such as Martin Luther only claimed at best to be inspired and was just trying to make the best sense out of what writings and information they had available. LDS claim a higher standard, so yes I believe it is fair to hold them to that higher standard. I don’t think it is a double standard at if you have take into consideration what either man was claiming to be.

    You also know I agree with you that I find it ludicrous when Christians tell other Christians (Mormons) that they aren’t Christians and are going to hell.

    Comment by coventryrm — January 8, 2008 @ 3:47 am |Reply

  14. I have come across scads of mormons who say cruel things about other religions. I think it’s just easier to write people off as bad when they attack you and that’s why people do it instead of trying to love. You are impressive in your capacity to love in spite of nasty comments and attacks.
    I don’t think anyone is lesser in God’s eyes because they don’t believe what we do, so I don’t agree with people who feel that way. I also have a hard time taking people seriously who claim that someone will go straight to hell because they never had a chance to hear about Christ. That just doesn’t jive with the just and merciful God I know. My dearest friends include a Unitarian, a Catholic, a Pagan, and an Evangelical. Some of the most rewarding and enlightening conversations about religion have come from them. To write them off because they don’t attend the same church as me would be shallow, silly, and a great loss to me.

    Comment by momommy — January 8, 2008 @ 4:12 am |Reply

  15. coventry, I think we are saying the same thing, basically – and I appreciate your ability to discuss these things without resorting to shouting and name calling.

    I want to hold myself to a higher standard; I don’t want to hold others to a higher standard than that to which I hold myself. That’s my central point. If I let myself do or say or believe something, I don’t want to tell others they can’t do or say or believe that same something. If I can’t live it, I don’t want to insist that someone else lives it.

    Again, at heart, I believe Jesus meant it when He said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” There are many Mormons who don’t live that principle very well, and I don’t live it perfectly, but at least our theology and core doctrines don’t force us to become judges of others’ eternal reward/punishment.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 8, 2008 @ 5:00 am |Reply

  16. “We do not become Christians by joining a church/religion, or by espousing a system of beliefs, or by emulating a method of behaviour/attitude. We become a Christian by:
    a)believing
    b)repenting of dead works (see the beginning of Heb 6)
    c)putting our faith in Him, and asking Him to be Lord of our life (meaning total submission)”

    “The LDS church espouses critical doctrines that are unbiblical (as does the Catholic church, I am not beating up on mormons). I would have to ask a mormon who calls themselves a christian and says they love Christ to look at the word of God, and contrast that with the teachings of the LDS (or Catholic or Jehovah’s Witness) church. If they are serious about Christ, they will be serious about the word. Once they get to the word, if they see the conflict, I would challenge them to seek the Lord’s will on whether He really wants them to continue in that religious structure.”

    Hmm. Any else see the inherent conflict in these two statements? On the one hand, you become Christian, not through a system of beliefs, but through belief in Christ, repentance and faith. But then Mormons aren’t Christians because lifeofprayer disagrees with our system of beliefs, which is, of course, a belief in Christ, repentance and faith.

    I’m fine with these people defining us as “not Christian,” because the way they define Christian either (1) makes no sense (sorry lifeofprayer) or (2) includes beliefs like “the sinner’s prayer” or the nicene creed which are found nowhere in scripture. And then they accuse us of adding to the Bible. Kudos to you Steff, for putting up with them.

    Comment by mcquinn — January 8, 2008 @ 10:15 am |Reply

  17. Steffie ,
    you said

    “This is why I LOVE Mormons. I have never heard hateful things about any other person or religion come from ANYBODY’S mouth. They are the kindest most loving people I have ever met. They even love those who hate them.”

    Brigham Young (Mormonism’s Second President)

    “When the light came to me I saw that all the so-called Christian world was grovelling in darkness” (Journal of Discourses 5:73).

    “The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God” (Journal of Discourses 8:171).

    “With a regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world” (Journal of Discourses 8:199).

    “Should you ask why we differ from other Christians, as they are called, it is simply because they are not Christians as the New Testament defines Christianity” (Journal of Discourses 10:230).

    “The religion of God embraces every fact that exists in all the wide arena of nature, while the religions of men consist of theory devoid of fact, or of any true principle of guidance; hence the professing Christian world are like a ship upon a boisterous ocean without rudder, compass, or pilot, and are tossed hither and thither by every wind of doctrine” (Journal of Discourses 10:265).

    “… the time came when Paganism was engrafted into Christianity, and at last Christianity was converted into Paganism rather than converting the Pagans” (Journal of Discourses 22:44).

    “Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in HELL The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and kicked on to the earth” (Journal of Discourses 6:176).

    John Taylor (Mormonism’s 3rd President)

    “We talk about Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense …the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century” (Journal of Discourses 6:167).
    “What! Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast.” (Journal of Discourses 6:25).

    “What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing …Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest of fools; they know neither God nor the things of God” (Journal of Discourses 13:225).

    Comment by elderjoseph — January 8, 2008 @ 1:23 pm |Reply

  18. These are the words of your own church leaders .Please think twice incase you feel a desire to ‘obliterate them’ .

    They are not my words :)

    Here are a few more

    Orson Pratt (Mormon Apostle)
    “Q. After the Church of Christ fled from the earth to heaven, what was left?
    “A. A set of wicked Apostates, murderers, and idolaters, who …left to follow the wicked imaginations of their own corrupt hearts, and to build up churches by human authority…” (The Seer, pg.205).
    “…all other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God; and any person who receives Baptism or the Lord’s supper from their hands highly offend God, for he looks upon them as the most corrupt of all people …The only persons among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who have authority from Jesus Christ to administer any gospel ordinance are those called and authorized among the Latter-day Saints” (The Seer, pg. 255).
    “This class of men, calling themselves Christian, uniting with the various forms of the pagan religion, adopting many of their ceremonies and institutions, became very popular, and finally some of the pagans embraced Christianity and were placed, as it were, upon the throne, and what they termed Christianity became very popular indeed. How long has this order of things existed, this dreadful apostasy, this class of people that pronounced themselves Zion, or Christians, without any of the characteristics of Zion? It has existed for some sixteen or seventeen centuries. It has spread itself and grown and gone into the four quarters of the earth. It is the great ecclesiastical power that is spoken of by the revelator John, and called by him the most corrupt and most wicked of all the powers of the earth, under the name of spiritual Babylon, or in other words Babel, which signifies confusion. This great and corrupt power is also represented by John as presenting a golden cup to the nations, full of all manner of filthiness and abominations” (Journal of Discourses 14:346).
    “This great apostasy commenced about the close of the first century of the Christian era, and it has been waxing worse and worse from then until now” (Journal of Discourses 18:44).
    “But as there has been no Christian Church on the earth for a great many centuries past, until the present century, the people have lost sight of the pattern that God has given according to which the Christian Church should be established, and they have denominated a great variety of people Christian Churches, because they profess to be …But there has been a long apostasy, during which the nations have been cursed with apostate churches in great abundance, and they are represented in the revelations of St. John as a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast, having a golden cup in her hand, full of filthiness and abominations, full of the wine of the wrath of her fornication; that in her forehead there was a name written – `Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots'” (Journal of Discourses 18:172).
    “Who is Babylon? I have already explained that Babylon is a great power that should be in the earth under the name of a church, a woman – that generally represents a church – full of blasphemy …These churches are scattered over the wide face of the earth, and this is called Babylon. Another angel is to follow the one that brings the Gospel, after it has been sufficiently preached, and proclaim the downfall of this great and corrupt power in the earth” (Journal of Discourses 18:179).
    “The worshipers of Baal were far more consistent than apostate Christendom; for they had a faint hope that Baal would hear and answer them; but modern divines have no expectation that their God will say anything to them or to their followers. Baal’s followers cried from morning until evening for him to give unto them a miraculous manifestation, in the presence of Elijah; but to even expect a supernatural manifestation or revelation now is considered, by modern religionists, as the greatest absurdity. Baal’s worshipers, therefore, with all their absurdities, approached nearer the religion of heaven, in some of their expectations, than those who falsely call themselves Christians” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, No. 1 (1850), pp.12-13).
    “We have already proved in the previous numbers of this series that immediately after the first century the whole earth became corrupted by the great “Mother of Harlots,” that apostasy and wickedness succeeded Christianity, that for the want of new revelation, all legal succession to the apostleship was discontinued that the gifts and powers of the Holy Spirit ceased and that the Church was no longer to be found on the earth: this being the case, all nations must have been destitute of the everlasting gospel for many generations – not destitute of its history as it was once preached and enjoyed but destitute of its blessings, of its powers, of its gifts, of its priesthood, of its ordinances administered by legal authority” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, No.6 (1851), pg.82).
    Heber C. Kimball (First Counselor to Brigham Young)
    “Christians – those poor, miserable priests Brother Brigham was speaking about – some of them are the biggest whoremasters there are on the earth …” (Journal of Discourses 5:89).
    George Q. Cannon (Counselor to presidents Young, Taylor, Woodruff and Snow)
    “I do not wish to say anything in relation to other forms of religion; I do not know that it is necessary that I should do so; but no thinking man can admit that Christianity so-called – I call it a false Christianity, untrue to its name – satisfies the wants of humanity at the present time. It is not a religion that satisfies” (Journal of Discourses 24:185).
    “After the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, there were only two churches upon the earth. They were known respectively as the Church of the Lamb of God and Babylon. The various organizations which are called churches throughout Christendom, though differing in their creeds and organizations, have one common origin. They all belong to Babylon” (Gospel Truth, pg.324).

    Comment by elderjoseph — January 8, 2008 @ 1:28 pm |Reply

  19. Steffie

    from The Articles of faith

    12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

    13. We believe in being honest,

    Why didn’t the church follow it them .Why were they being Jailled for polygamy if they believed in following Article Of Faith 12 ?

    Why did Joseph Smith and all the Innner circle of secret polygamists have a conspire to and decieve all the rest of the members and the public by denying they were polygamists through the church newspapers and in public talks if they believed in following Article Of Faith 13 ?

    Both these are a lie in themselves at the time they were written.

    Church Leaders Lying
    Here is where the policy of lying through church newspapers to the church members and the public started. ……………………

    TIMES AND SEASONS.
    CITY OF NAUVOO,
    THURSDAY, SEPT. 1, 1842.
    PERSECUTION OF THE PROPHETS.
    Inasmuch as the public mind has been unjustly abused through the fallacy of Dr. Bennett’s letters, we make an extract on the subject of marriage, showing the rule of the church on this important matter. The extract is from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and is the only rule allowed by the church.
    “All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church, should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband.”

    Joseph Smith The Editor is even quoting the Doctrine and Covenants section 101( 1835 edition) which says : Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. John C Bennett was telling the truth about the secret polygamy being practiced.

    And again One Month later .This time they are saying that it’s all John C Bennett’s own secret wife system .This is a lie also. Just look how they are denying and lying about Polygamy to their own ordinary church members. How awful .Look at the words I have highlighted in Bold, The lying is shocking and even worse, many of the Church Leaders signed their Testimonies to the ‘Truthfulness’ of this 

    TIMES AND SEASONS
    “TRUTH WILL PREVAIL.”
    VOL. III. NO. 23.] NAUVOO, ILLINOIS, OCT. 1, 1842.
    All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church, should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. ……………………………………………….We have given the above rule of marriage as the only one practiced in this church, to show that Dr. J. C. Bennett’s “secret wife system” is a matter of his own manufacture; and further to disabuse the public ear, and shew [show] that the said Bennett and his misanthropic friend Origen Bachelor, are perpetrating a foul and infamous slander upon an innocent people, and need but be known to be hated and despise. In support of this position, we present the following certificates:-
    We the undersigned members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and residents of the city of Nauvoo, persons of families do hereby certify and declare that we know of no other rule or system of marriage than the one published from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and we give this certificate to show that Dr. J. C. Bennett’s “secret wife system” is a creature of his own make as we know of no such society in this place nor never did.

    S. Bennett, N. K. Whitney, ( Bishop Whitney Knew about Polygamy –He already gave his daughter to Joseph Smith in polygamy 15 months ago )
    George Miller, Albert Pettey,
    Alpheus Cutler, Elias Higbee,
    Reynolds Cahoon, John Taylor, ( Taylor Knew about Polygamy )
    Wilson Law, E. Robinson, Aaron Johnson.
    W. Woodruff, ( Woodruff Knew about Polygamy )

    We the undersigned members of the ladies’ relief society, and married females do certify and declare that we know of no system of marriage being practised [practiced] in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints save the one contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and we give this certificate to the public to show that J. C. Bennett’s “secret wife system” is a disclosure of his own make.

    Emma Smith, President,
    Elizabeth Ann Whitney, Counsellor [Counselor], ( Knew of Polygamy )
    Sarah M. Cleveland, Counsellor [Counselor], ( one of Joseph Smiths polygamous wives)
    Eliza R. Snow, Secretary, ( married Joseph Smith just 4 Months earlier on 29th June 1842)
    Mary C. Miller, Catharine Pettey,
    Lois Cutler, Sarah Higbee,
    Thirza Cahoon, Phebe Woodruff
    Ann Hunter, Leonora Taylor,
    Jane Law, Sarah Hillman,
    Sophia R. Marks, Rosannah Marks,
    Polly Z. Johnson, Angeline Robinson,
    Abigail Works.

    Its bad that those who knew about Polygamy were signing their names in this Testimony saying their was no such thing being practiced in The Church .Its bad also for those who signed this Testimony and didn’t know it was false. They were lied to in the most despicable way.
    This next quote below is just two weeks later.Here Joseph Smith republishes a revelation which says I command thee, that thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. This was printed October 15th 1842 and Joseph Smith had already married 9 already married women by this time ( His followers wives). So much for the commandment about coveting your neighbour’s wife.

    TIMES AND SEASONS
    “TRUTH WILL PREVAIL.”
    VOL. III. NO. 24.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILLINOIS, OCT. 15 1842. [WHOLE NO. 60.
    HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
    A commandment of God and not of man to Martin Harris, given (Manchester, New York, March 1830,) by him who is eternal………………. And again: I command thee, that thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. Nor seek thy neighbor’s life. And again: I command thee, that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the book of Mormon, which contains the truth and the word of God, which is my word to the Gentile, that soon it may go to the Jew, of whom the Lamanites are a remnant, that they may believe the gospel, and look not for a Messiah to come who has already come.
    And it continues . The following was written by Hyrum Smith and he had at least 5 wives when he wrote this ( all married one year earlier in 1843). Notice what he says “ for there is no such doctrine taught here; neither is there any such thing practiced here “The lying is still going very strong.  saying that there is no such doctrine of many wives , taught or practiced in the church  and anyone teaching it faces a High Council meeting and discipline ? Well Joseph Smith and his secret inner circle were teaching it to the women they fancied.

    TIMES AND SEASONS.
    March 15, 1844, (Vol.5, No.6, p.474)

    To the brethren of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, living on China Creek, in Hancock County, Greeting: Whereas brother Richard Hewitt has called on me to-day, to know my views concerning some doctrines that are preached in your place, and states to me that some of your elders say, that a man having a certain priesthood, may have as many wives as he pleases, and that doctrine is taught here: I say unto you that that man teaches false doctrine, for there is no such doctrine taught here; neither is there any such thing practiced here, and any man that is found teaching privately or publicly any such doctrine, is culpable, and will stand a chance to be brought before the High Council, and lose his license and membership also: therefore he had better beware what he is about.

    Now Two Months later The Prophet Joseph Smith lies in Public ( to his own church members ) .

    “Address of the Prophet—His Testimony Against the Dissenters at Nauvoo.’’ (Sunday, May 26, 1844)
    It’s also printed in The History of the Church Vol. 6, p. 408-412 .
    “What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one.I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers. I labored with these apostates myself until I was out of all manner of patience;”

    He had at least 33 wives by this time , many teenage girls and 11 wives of other Husbands (Exodus 20:17 …… thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife….. ) . But the lying did not stop there .The Leaders ( Joseph Smith’s Inner Circle ) continued practicing it all secretly from ordinary church members  and continued to lie about in Church Newspapers . How would you have felt at the time as a church member to be lied to in this way? This is what was happening to young female converts , they were not told the truth .Can you imagine travelling all the way from England to Nauvoo USA after hearing the missionaries talk about Jesus Christ and salvation etc and then to face Polygamy when they arrived and in secret .What a nightmare .There was one brave young Woman from England called Martha Brotherton , she refused Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and came back to England to warn other girls about what was going on. I read that Joseph Smith was denying her claims in public and criticising her for lying (but it was him lying ) .

    Joseph Smith and his followers had the Nauvoo Expositor Newspaper Press burnt down because they were exposing the secretly polygamy and lying to church members .The newspaper was started by one of his 1st Presidency Councillors William Law and other members who were angered by Joseph Smiths secretly polygamy, lying and practice of taking other men’s wives .Joseph Smith even approached Jane Law for sex/marriage( William Laws wife ) and many other men’s wives.
    Even after all this, the Leaders still continued to lie to church members and the public .They were even quoting their own Doctrine and Covenants Section 101 against polygamy. After all who would suspect they were lying if their own scripture was against it also.This is a massive deception and conspiracy ( I don’t see this kind of thing in the New Testament ).

    One year after Joseph Smith’s death and the lies still continue and such arrogant lying, it must have been convincing for the church members after all they could trust their church leaders couldn’t they? They wouldn’t be led astray ?Articles of faith – We believe in being Honest ?
    TIMES AND SEASONS.

    Vol. 6, pg. 894 (May 1, 1845)
    The Latter-day Saints are charged by their enemies, with the blackest crimes. Treason, murder, theft, polygamy, and adultery, are among the many crimes laid to their charge.-The press reiterates and gives publicity to these charges. Under these circumstances, it is but right, that they should be heard in their defence [defense]. I shall, therefore, in this communication, briefly examine and refute a few of the charges, for it would need a legion of writers to answer all the lies told about us.
    Most of the stories against the Mormons have been propagated by apostates and traitors, (who have generally been cut off from the church for their crimes.) They publish their lies, and straightway they are believed, and hawked about as awful disclosures, and received by community with trembling and holy horror. Sidney Rigdon, I see by the papers, has made an exposition of Mormonism, charging Joseph Smith and the Mormons with polygamy, &c. It does not require a very sagacious mind to fathom Mr. Rigdon’s motive for so doing. Soon after the murder of the Smiths, he declared in a pvblic [public] address in Nauvoo that Joseph Smith died approved of God-that the Latter-day Saints were a blessed people, &c. His tone is now changed, and why? Because he sought to be presiding elder, and on account of his corruption, was rejected. On the 10th of September, last, he was tried before the church and excommunicated as a schismatic. If he knew such enormities to exist among the Mormons, why did he call them a blessed people, and endeavor to place himself at the head of their church? Mr. Rigdon’s spiritual wife system was never known till it was hatched by John C. Bennett who was cut off from the church for seduction.
    As to the charge of polygamy, I will quote from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, which is the subscribed faith of the church and is strictly enforced. Article Marriage, sec. 91, par. 4, says, “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have BUT ONE WIFE, and one woman but one husband except in case of death when either is at liberty to marry again.” Sec. 13, par. 7. Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart and shall cleave unto her and NONE ELSE.” In ancient days the church was troubled with traitors, and always will be till God cleanses the earth, and restores the government of his Son. Paul says he was in perils among false brethren; again he says, “know this that, in the last days perilous times shall come, for men shall be TRAITORS, FALSE ACCUSERS, INCONTINENT, fierce despiser of those that are good.” No wonder then that apostates rage, or that the fnlness [fullness] of truth revealed again should bring a storm of persecution.

    Once again they are quoting their own Doctrine and Covenants Section 101 which says “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have BUT ONE WIFE, and one woman but one husband except in case of death when either is at liberty to marry again.”

    Did you notice this part also , it says “They publish their lies,” but who is publishing the lies really ?? It was the Church Prophets and Apostles. Here is John Taylor lying now after a trip in Europe ( Boulugne-surmer France ) lying in Public talks , denying polygamy .He then printed it in a tract also   its absolutely breathtaking the arrogance and lying .
    Three Nights’ Public Discussion…, published by John Taylor, Liverpool 1850.

    We are accused here of polygamy, and actions the most indelicate, obscene, and disgusting, such that none but a corrupt and depraved heart could have contrived. These things are too outrageous to admit of belief; therefore…

    I shall content myself to reading our views of chastity and marriage, from a work published by us, containing some of the articles of our Faith. “Doctrine and Covenants,” page 330,

    “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have BUT ONE WIFE, and one woman but one husband except in case of death when either is at liberty to marry again.”

    Once again he is quoting the church’s own Doctrine and Covenants which says “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have BUT ONE WIFE, and one woman but one husband except in case of death when either is at liberty to marry again.” It must have been a favourite Scripture !
    He had 11 wives in addition to his first wife at this time …….This section condemning polygamy was published in all the Doctrine and Covenants versions of 1844,1852 and 1866 …… it was removed in the 1876 edition.

    And here we have Hyrum Brown cut off from the church for preaching polygamy and other false and corrupt doctrines ! Notice how Joseph And Hyrum , both practicing secret Polygamists call polygamy a false and corrupt doctrine .

    TIMES AND SEASONS.
    CITY OF NAUVOO,
    THURSDAY FEBRUARY 1, 1844.
    NOTICE.
    As we have lately been credibly informed, that an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter-day Saints, by the name of Hyram Brown, has been preaching polygamy, and other false and corrupt doctrines, in the county of Lapeer, state of Michigan.
    This is to notify him and the Church in general, that he has been cut off from the church, for his iniquity; and he is further notified to appear at the Special Conference, on the 6th of April next, to make answer to these charges.
    JOSEPH SMITH.
    HYRUM SMITH.
    Presidents of said church.

    Comment by elderjoseph — January 8, 2008 @ 1:37 pm |Reply

  20. Steffie

    A quick note

    Yes I love Mormons too why shouldn’t I ?

    But should I love the practice of deception on the part of the early Church Leaders ? I think it would be cruel to try to have me believe that this was commanded from a loving God and that they were under the guidance of Jesus Christ all the time during this period, especially since we know the character of Jesus from The new testament and what he taught.

    Comment by elderjoseph — January 8, 2008 @ 1:40 pm |Reply

  21. Steffie

    You said

    “I have never heard hateful things about any other person or religion come from ANYBODY’S mouth. They are the kindest most loving people I have ever met. ”

    What about all the mormons who went in The Temple to be endowned and saw Satan doing a deal with a church minister to teach us all Satans religion in return for money ?

    It was removed in 1990 .

    Comment by elderjoseph — January 8, 2008 @ 1:48 pm |Reply

  22. raydegraw:
    You know, I really hate getting into doctrinal/religious arguments with folks :)
    I feel its a waste of my time personally and not really what’s on the Father’s heart.
    Re: Martin Luther, I think he was having trouble sorting out and harmonizing what James was saying vs. what Paul said. There is no conflict, though, because we know that Paul was speaking of the nature of faith, while James spoke of the quality and testing of our faith (that’s how the whole book starts out.) I do not know the context of Luther’s statement concerning the book of James, but it sounds like he goofed on that one.
    Also (to comment on another comment of yours), the canonization of the bible in the Nth century doesn’t mean it was written then, of course. It was just a group which used discernment to determine which books were reliable, and which were not. I have a basic faith that the bible I hold in my hand (not literally at the moment ;) is the authoritative word of God.

    coventryrm:
    Okay, let me say it again… I have no desire to get into a doctrinal argument… but I felt I must say that Revelation says the “testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.” In that sense (whether you’re a cessationist or not, which I am not) we’re all “living prophets that talk to God.”
    The critical difference is that when someone speaks a prophetic word to me, I receive the prophecy as “edification, exhortation, and comfort.” (1cor 14:3), and not as the authoritative word of God. *That* is the bible, and everything else that I read or hear is judged/discerned by the bible. Also, when I am spending a nice quiet time with the Lord, and I’m writing things stuff down in my journal, that journal has to be evaluated based on the word, and it does not become the book of alifeofprayer :)
    So I’m not actually disagreeing with you, but I wanted to refine that point. There’s a difference between being an NT prophet (whether phanerosis (manifestation of prophecy, 1cor 12), charisma (gift of prophecy, rom 12) or doma (prophetic leader, eph 4) and setting out to write a whole new bible.

    steffielynn:
    Whether we go to heaven or hell is obviously determined by our relationship with Him, not our doctrines, per se.
    I think that fundamentally if I were in a church, and I began to see things which appeared to be unbiblical, and I researched the issue in the word, and tried to seek counsel from church leadership… if it got to the point where I simply could not reconcile the churches teaching to the word, I would have to leave. This is my advice everyone (not just Mormons, JW’s, Catholics, etc.)
    I looked through your articles of faith. Some are very biblical and common to most churches, but some are particular to Mormonism, and unbiblical.

    mcquinn:
    My first point was the definition of a christian… my second point was pertaining to following and obeying the leadership of the Lord when one is faced with that situation. I’m not saying someone is lost just because they go to an LDS church, I am saying that they need to obey the Lord as they grow in the knowledge of the word.

    Blessings,
    alifeofprayer

    Comment by alifeofprayer — January 8, 2008 @ 11:54 pm |Reply

  23. alifeofprayer, I have only one question, and I mean it sincerely – without any disrespect. I really do want to know your answer, since I don’t want to incorrectly stereotype.

    If I, as a devout follower of Christ, accept Him and my nothingness without His grace – and if I pray for guidance – and if I study the Bible diligently – and if I try to model my life to be the fruits of the Spirit working in me – and if I pray continually for God to direct my life through His Spirit – and if I do everything else that would indicate I truly am a sincere, believing Christian – and if my efforts lead me to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is salvation and eternal life with God possible for me?

    I ask this, because your answer to Steffie seems to say, “I won’t judge, but if I were you I would leave because of what will happen to you if you don’t.” If that is not what you meant, I apologize. Sincerely.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 9, 2008 @ 12:23 am |Reply

  24. Also, again, I agree with every doctrinal point you have made so far, so I am happy we aren’t arguing about beliefs. I will do it in someone’s defense or when I feel my beliefs are badly misrepresented, as those who blog here know (*grin*), but I actually don’t enjoy it.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 9, 2008 @ 12:26 am |Reply

  25. I think I already answered the whole premise of this post… Jesus Christ is just a name we live in an age where words have been destroyed. Jesus Christ can mean just about anything to anyone today, and merely saying that you believe in him is not enough. Saying he is the Son of God is not enough either unless you define what that is correctly also…

    Ray,
    Steph posted my final response to you about the canon in our last discussion…

    You said ” know that the fruits of our early Mormon prophets, especially, might lead people to dismiss them, but I also know that most Biblical prophets also would fail under the type of criticism that is used to condemn modern prophets.”
    Yes the Biblical Prophets were just sinners saved by grace… But they did not utter false prophecies and waste time speculating about such High and Holy truths as the nature of God only to back off later and say “hey we didn’t REALLY mean that!”.
    Concerning Martin Luther, he only doubted the inspiration of those books when he was first beginning to question Rome… That was not the finality of his teachings concerning scripture.
    “Again, at heart, I believe Jesus meant it when He said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”” Yes but he also went onto say that once you have removed the log from your own eye you can remove the stick from your brothers eye. The truth is important, it is not up for grabs no matter what our pragmatic society says. Judging is certainly wrong, but discerning isn’t. John exhorts believers many times in his books to “test” the spirits and discern.

    Mcquinn,
    “includes beliefs like “the sinner’s prayer” or the nicene creed which are found nowhere in scripture. ” The “sinner’s prayer” is stupid, and was invented by a bunch of heretical pelagians (Finney and friends) who didn’t understand that regeneration precedes faith and that one is born again by making a decision… Therefore if we “push” people along in their decision we can “help” God save souls. The Nicene creed is not in the Bible but it accurately reflects its teachings and those of the apostles…

    Comment by colinsamul — January 9, 2008 @ 2:50 am |Reply

  26. Colin, you are right; we have discussed this already, and we have expressed our disagreement. We interpret a lot of things differently. I don’t condemn you to Hell because of those differences, since I believe you are a sincere follower of Christ; You do condemn me, since you don’t believe I know and follow Christ. I’m fine with that, frankly, since I know there is no changing each of our views. At this point, arguing about it is pointless.

    I do have one question, though, about your last response.

    Please define what you mean by “one is born again by making a decision”.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 9, 2008 @ 3:31 am |Reply

  27. Steffie

    ALL LIES AND YOU KNOW IT AND i KNOW YOU KNOW IT ! HAHAHAH

    from The Articles of faith

    12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

    13. We believe in being honest,
    Why didn’t the church follow it them .Why were they being Jailled for polygamy if they believed in following Article Of Faith 12 ?

    Why did Joseph Smith and all the Innner circle of secret polygamists have a conspire to and decieve all the rest of the members and the public by denying they were polygamists through the church newspapers and in public talks if they believed in following Article Of Faith 13 ?

    Both these are a lie in themselves at the time they were written.
    Church Leaders Lying

    Here is where the policy of lying through church newspapers to the church members and the public started. ……………………

    TIMES AND SEASONS.
    CITY OF NAUVOO,
    THURSDAY, SEPT. 1, 1842.
    PERSECUTION OF THE PROPHETS.
    Inasmuch as the public mind has been unjustly abused through the fallacy of Dr. Bennett’s letters, we make an extract on the subject of marriage, showing the rule of the church on this important matter. The extract is from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and is the only rule allowed by the church.

    “All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church, should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband.”

    Joseph Smith The Editor is even quoting the Doctrine and Covenants section 101( 1835 edition) which says : Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. John C Bennett was telling the truth about the secret polygamy being practiced.

    And again One Month later .This time they are saying that it’s all John C Bennett’s own secret wife system .This is a lie also. Just look how they are denying and lying about Polygamy to their own ordinary church members. How awful .Look at the words I have highlighted in Bold, The lying is shocking and even worse, many of the Church Leaders signed their Testimonies to the ‘Truthfulness’ of this

    TIMES AND SEASONS
    “TRUTH WILL PREVAIL.”
    VOL. III. NO. 23.] NAUVOO, ILLINOIS, OCT. 1, 1842.
    All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church, should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. ……………………………………………….We have given the above rule of marriage as the only one practiced in this church, to show that Dr. J. C. Bennett’s “secret wife system” is a matter of his own manufacture; and further to disabuse the public ear, and shew [show] that the said Bennett and his misanthropic friend Origen Bachelor, are perpetrating a foul and infamous slander upon an innocent people, and need but be known to be hated and despise. In support of this position, we present the following certificates:-

    We the undersigned members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and residents of the city of Nauvoo, persons of families do hereby certify and declare that we know of no other rule or system of marriage than the one published from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and we give this certificate to show that Dr. J. C. Bennett’s “secret wife system” is a creature of his own make as we know of no such society in this place nor never did.
    S. Bennett, N. K. Whitney, ( Bishop Whitney Knew about Polygamy –He already gave his daughter to Joseph Smith in polygamy 15 months ago )
    George Miller, Albert Pettey,
    Alpheus Cutler, Elias Higbee,
    Reynolds Cahoon, John Taylor, ( Taylor Knew about Polygamy )
    Wilson Law, E. Robinson, Aaron Johnson.
    W. Woodruff, ( Woodruff Knew about Polygamy )
    We the undersigned members of the ladies’ relief society, and married females do certify and declare that we know of no system of marriage being practised [practiced] in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints save the one contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and we give this certificate to the public to show that J. C. Bennett’s “secret wife system” is a disclosure of his own make.
    Emma Smith, President,
    Elizabeth Ann Whitney, Counsellor [Counselor], ( Knew of Polygamy )
    Sarah M. Cleveland, Counsellor [Counselor], ( one of Joseph Smiths polygamous wives)
    Eliza R. Snow, Secretary, ( married Joseph Smith just 4 Months earlier on 29th June 1842)
    Mary C. Miller, Catharine Pettey,
    Lois Cutler, Sarah Higbee,
    Thirza Cahoon, Phebe Woodruff
    Ann Hunter, Leonora Taylor,
    Jane Law, Sarah Hillman,
    Sophia R. Marks, Rosannah Marks,
    Polly Z. Johnson, Angeline Robinson,
    Abigail Works.

    Its bad that those who knew about Polygamy were signing their names in this Testimony saying their was no such thing being practiced in The Church .Its bad also for those who signed this Testimony and didn’t know it was false. They were lied to in the most despicable way.
    This next quote below is just two weeks later.Here Joseph Smith republishes a revelation which says I command thee, that thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. This was printed October 15th 1842 and Joseph Smith had already married 9 already married women by this time ( His followers wives). So much for the commandment about coveting your neighbour’s wife.

    TIMES AND SEASONS
    “TRUTH WILL PREVAIL.”
    VOL. III. NO. 24.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILLINOIS, OCT. 15 1842. [WHOLE NO. 60.
    HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.

    A commandment of God and not of man to Martin Harris, given (Manchester, New York, March 1830,) by him who is eternal………………. And again: I command thee, that thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. Nor seek thy neighbor’s life. And again: I command thee, that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the book of Mormon, which contains the truth and the word of God, which is my word to the Gentile, that soon it may go to the Jew, of whom the Lamanites are a remnant, that they may believe the gospel, and look not for a Messiah to come who has already come.
    And it continues . The following was written by Hyrum Smith and he had at least 5 wives when he wrote this ( all married one year earlier in 1843). Notice what he says “ for there is no such doctrine taught here; neither is there any such thing practiced here “The lying saying that there is no such doctrine of manyis still going very strong. and anyone teaching it faces a Highwives , taught or practiced in the church Council meeting and discipline ? Well Joseph Smith and his secret inner circle were teaching it to the women they fancied.

    TIMES AND SEASONS.
    March 15, 1844, (Vol.5, No.6, p.474)
    To the brethren of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, living on China Creek, in Hancock County, Greeting: Whereas brother Richard Hewitt has called on me to-day, to know my views concerning some doctrines that are preached in your place, and states to me that some of your elders say, that a man having a certain priesthood, may have as many wives as he pleases, and that doctrine is taught here: I say unto you that that man teaches false doctrine, for there is no such doctrine taught here; neither is there any such thing practiced here, and any man that is found teaching privately or publicly any such doctrine, is culpable, and will stand a chance to be brought before the High Council, and lose his license and membership also: therefore he had better beware what he is about.

    Now Two Months later The Prophet Joseph Smith lies in Public ( to his own church members ) .

    “Address of the Prophet—His Testimony Against the Dissenters at Nauvoo.’’ (Sunday, May 26, 1844)

    It’s also printed in The History of the Church Vol. 6, p. 408-412 .

    “What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one.I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers. I labored with these apostates myself until I was out of all manner of patience;”

    He had at least 33 wives by this time , many teenage girls and 11 wives of other Husbands (Exodus 20:17 …… thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife….. ) . But the lying did not stop there .The Leaders ( Joseph Smith’s Inner Circle ) andcontinued practicing it all secretly from ordinary church members continued to lie about in Church Newspapers . How would you have felt at the time as a church member to be lied to in this way? This is what was happening to young female converts , they were not told the truth .Can you imagine travelling all the way from England to Nauvoo USA after hearing the missionaries talk about Jesus Christ and salvation etc and then to face Polygamy when they arrived and in secret .What a nightmare .There was one brave young Woman from England called Martha Brotherton , she refused Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and came back to England to warn other girls about what was going on. I read that Joseph Smith was denying her claims in public and criticising her for lying (but it was him lying ) .

    Joseph Smith and his followers had the Nauvoo Expositor Newspaper Press burnt down because they were exposing the secretly polygamy and lying to church members .The newspaper was started by one of his 1st Presidency Councillors William Law and other members who were angered by Joseph Smiths secretly polygamy, lying and practice of taking other men’s wives .Joseph Smith even approached Jane Law for sex/marriage( William Laws wife ) and many other men’s wives.
    Even after all this, the Leaders still continued to lie to church members and the public .They were even quoting their own Doctrine and Covenants Section 101 against polygamy. After all who would suspect they were lying if their own scripture was against it also.This is a massive deception and conspiracy ( I don’t see this kind of thing in the New Testament ).

    One year after Joseph Smith’s death and the lies still continue and such arrogant lying, it must have been convincing for the church members after all they could trust their church leaders couldn’t they? They wouldn’t be led astray ?Articles of faith – We believe in being Honest ?

    TIMES AND SEASONS.
    Vol. 6, pg. 894 (May 1, 1845)

    The Latter-day Saints are charged by their enemies, with the blackest crimes. Treason, murder, theft, polygamy, and adultery, are among the many crimes laid to their charge.-The press reiterates and gives publicity to these charges. Under these circumstances, it is but right, that they should be heard in their defence [defense]. I shall, therefore, in this communication, briefly examine and refute a few of the charges, for it would need a legion of writers to answer all the lies told about us.
    Most of the stories against the Mormons have been propagated by apostates and traitors, (who have generally been cut off from the church for their crimes.) They publish their lies, and straightway they are believed, and hawked about as awful disclosures, and received by community with trembling and holy horror. Sidney Rigdon, I see by the papers, has made an exposition of Mormonism, charging Joseph Smith and the Mormons with polygamy, &c. It does not require a very sagacious mind to fathom Mr. Rigdon’s motive for so doing. Soon after the murder of the Smiths, he declared in a pvblic [public] address in Nauvoo that Joseph Smith died approved of God-that the Latter-day Saints were a blessed people, &c. His tone is now changed, and why? Because he sought to be presiding elder, and on account of his corruption, was rejected. On the 10th of September, last, he was tried before the church and excommunicated as a schismatic. If he knew such enormities to exist among the Mormons, why did he call them a blessed people, and endeavor to place himself at the head of their church? Mr. Rigdon’s spiritual wife system was never known till it was hatched by John C. Bennett who was cut off from the church for seduction.

    As to the charge of polygamy, I will quote from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, which is the subscribed faith of the church and is strictly enforced. Article Marriage, sec. 91, par. 4, says, “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have BUT ONE WIFE, and one woman but one husband except in case of death when either is at liberty to marry again.” Sec. 13, par. 7. Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart and shall cleave unto her and NONE ELSE.” In ancient days the church was troubled with traitors, and always will be till God cleanses the earth, and restores the government of his Son. Paul says he was in perils among false brethren; again he says, “know this that, in the last days perilous times shall come, for men shall be TRAITORS, FALSE ACCUSERS, INCONTINENT, fierce despiser of those that are good.” No wonder then that apostates rage, or that the fnlness [fullness] of truth revealed again should bring a storm of persecution.

    Once again they are quoting their own Doctrine and Covenants Section 101 which says “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have BUT ONE WIFE, and one woman but one husband except in case of death when either is at liberty to marry again.”

    Did you notice this part also , it says “They publish their lies,” but who is publishing the lies really ?? It was the Church Prophets and Apostles. Here is John Taylor lying now after a trip in Europe ( Boulugne-surmer France ) lying in its Public talks , denying polygamy .He then printed it in a tract also absolutely breathtaking the arrogance and lying .

    Three Nights’ Public Discussion…, published by John Taylor, Liverpool 1850.
    We are accused here of polygamy, and actions the most indelicate, obscene, and disgusting, such that none but a corrupt and depraved heart could have contrived. These things are too outrageous to admit of belief; therefore…
    I shall content myself to reading our views of chastity and marriage, from a work published by us, containing some of the articles of our Faith. “Doctrine and Covenants,” page 330,

    “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have BUT ONE WIFE, and one woman but one husband except in case of death when either is at liberty to marry again.”
    Once again he is quoting the church’s own Doctrine and Covenants which says “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have BUT ONE WIFE, and one woman but one husband except in case of death when either is at liberty to marry again.” It must have been a favourite Scripture !

    He had 11 wives in addition to his first wife at this time …….This section condemning polygamy was published in all the Doctrine and Covenants versions of 1844,1852 and 1866 …… it was removed in the 1876 edition.

    And here we have Hyrum Brown cut off from the church for preaching polygamy and other false and corrupt doctrines ! Notice how Joseph And Hyrum , both practicing secret Polygamists call polygamy a false and corrupt doctrine .

    TIMES AND SEASONS.
    CITY OF NAUVOO,
    THURSDAY FEBRUARY 1, 1844.
    NOTICE.
    As we have lately been credibly informed, that an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter-day Saints, by the name of Hyram Brown, has been preaching polygamy, and other false and corrupt doctrines, in the county of Lapeer, state of Michigan.
    This is to notify him and the Church in general, that he has been cut off from the church, for his iniquity; and he is further notified to appear at the Special Conference, on the 6th of April next, to make answer to these charges.
    JOSEPH SMITH.
    HYRUM SMITH.
    Presidents of said church.

    Comment by elderjoseph — January 9, 2008 @ 4:46 pm |Reply

  28. ej, I’ve read every quote you provided and more. Frankly, there is a very simple way to read them by parsing very carefully what was said without prior assumption, but providing it here won’t change your mind one bit – and providing it here won’t change my mind one bit. It will just spiral into more name-calling and personal attacks.

    We all know you believe the early leaders were liars and over-sexed rogues. You have made that perfectly clear. Your own hyperbolic comments interwoven among the quotes above show that without any question. (and your own comments include obvious exaggerations.) I am not going to engage in that type of fight. I simply don’t care enough to repeat it over and over and over again, knowing neither of us will change our minds.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 9, 2008 @ 9:59 pm |Reply

  29. raydegraw:
    Not exactly. My statements were not a judgment, but more of a pleading. If you are really a lover of God and the Lord Jesus, if you take the bible seriously… then go deep! Get to know the Lord Jesus by the Spirit who speaks of Him. Get to know the Bible front and back, and read it with an *open heart*. Dive into the knowledge of God, and don’t let your soul lay in the yoke of man-made religion. That’s my personal opinion of LDS doctrine, but I am asking you to make your own… by the word (bible) and by the Spirit.

    I was in a certain denomination when I first got saved ten years ago (I won’t name it, because I love them, even though there were serious flaws). I got saved and was full of life and on fire for the PERSON of JESUS. I was in love with Him, and I wanted to know Him. Fast forward about a year after my initial salvation, and I was dead and dry, and didn’t really even care about going to church most of the time. What happened?

    There was a lot of different dynamics, not the least my own innate sinfulness. This church preached Christ according to the word (for the most part), but there was something else… a dryness and a film of religiosity. Many people weren’t living IN Christ, weren’t encountering His heart, they were just going through the motions, and that mentality eventually settled upon me. I was going through the motions and I just didn’t even care. The mentality of “faith means that you won’t ever see feel or hear anything from God, you just have to believe and tough through a weary and seemingly meaningless life.” Let me tell you something, that is a doctrine of demons. It is not to say that if you didn’t feel anything in the last day you’re not saved and you can do whatever you want. We have to have faith through the dry times. It IS to say, however, that if we go through an entire week without encountering the heart of God through worship and the word (and not just singing songs, or just having a neat little bible study, but *encountering* His heart, and hearing from Him on a heart level), we have got to stop and make some changes. We have to find a stopping place and go and seek Him until we hear from Him, and are refreshed by Him.

    At this point, you might be saying, “Man, I’m sorry you were in a suffocating religious environment like that, but I am really quite free at my church, it isn’t at all like that.” Listen, I was giving that as one example of what living under the doctrines of man and a man-made religious system is like. Anything manufactured by man with religious purposes is bondage and idolatry. Again, these are not words of judgment and anger, but admonishment and sobriety. We all have to deal with issues of idolatry in our own heart, and unfortunately, sometimes in the church we go to as well.

    Flee man’s religion. I’m saying this to everybody. Flee it. Seek the heart of God. Know Him. Seek Him out, His will, His ways.

    I’ve got more on my heart, but I don’t want to be verbose. I hope to get a chance to dialogue more with you/y’all.

    –alifeofprayer

    Comment by alifeofprayer — January 10, 2008 @ 12:05 am |Reply

  30. raydegraw:
    Sorry, I didn’t read your question right… so I read it again slower.
    I don’t know if I can really answer that, because I believe that the formula you’re describing will result in a null set. I honestly don’t believe that the Holy Spirit and the bible (read for itself and not with a mindset of doctrine x, y, and z (we’ve all done that before)) would lead someone to the LDS church. Sorry, I just don’t believe that, based on what I know about it (which isn’t a whole lot admittedly, but the whole thing of, “hey, here’s a new, new testament” really sets off some alarms).
    I was saved under a church that preached cessationism. I know that to be patently false. It’s not *necessarily* a matter of salvation, but of following truth. I don’t want to speak too heavily in one direction or another. I neither want to give you any false assurance of salvation, nor become an accuser of the brethren if you truly have been saved under that religious structure, which I do not know if it is or is not possible.

    A raving atheist can get up to a podium, read a passage of scripture (wanting to criticize it afterward or whatever), and an unbeliever can hear those words, be convicted of sin, repent and start a new life in Christ Jesus, all at the “preaching” of an atheist. (That does not mean, however, that said new christian should follow the atheist. ;)

    My issue is this… let us obey His leading. You won’t like it, but I say it in love… in Revelation, the Father admonishes those who are in Babylon to get out of it. He says it lovingly, but sternly, as to (His own) children. Come out of her.

    If you love the Lord and know Him, seek Him out in His word (the Bible), and heed His promptings.

    Regards,

    –alifeofprayer

    Comment by alifeofprayer — January 10, 2008 @ 12:28 am |Reply

  31. alifeofprayer, Thanks for the clarification. Just one more question:

    If I tell you I have done and am doing exactly what you ask of me, can you accept that I am not just sincere, but that I might be **correct** – even if you personally don’t think it could be true of you within my own denomination? Your words seem to indicate that you could accept that, but I’m not quite sure.

    For background purposes only, I have gone through what you describe. I have read the Bible countless times; I study it regularly; my “favorite” reading text is not the Book of Mormon, but the New Testament; I have attended Master’s and Doctorate level Comparative Religion classes; I pray regularly and try to have a prayer in my heart always; I have had spiritual experiences that simply are undeniable – not touchy-feely emotionalism, but real communion with the Spirit of God; I have see the hand of God in very real and undeniable ways – again, not emotion-based, but actually tangible evidences of His majesty and might; I have participated in the truly miraculous, through no merit of my own; I could go on and on and on, but the central point is that I have experienced and continue to experience God in my life **as a follower of Christ who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints**.

    I choose to be a member of that church because it matches what I have come to believe about the nature of God and Jesus, the Christ, and salvation and grace and fruit and the atonement and spirituality and revelation and so much more. All of that “understanding”, however, is not what makes me Christian; rather, what makes me Christian is my poor attempt to model my life after the admonitions and counsel and command and encouragement of my Lord and Redeemer – my attempt to accept the Good News of the Gospel – to have faith enough to believe and follow what He asks of me – to strive to repent and turn my life to Him, so that my spirit can be regenerated by His Spirit and I can do His works rather than mine – to allow Him to make of me what He desires me to be. My denomination does not make me a Christian, but it does help me reach for Him and try to place my life in His hands – to accept His invitation to “Come, follow me” – to cast my burdens at His feet and take His yoke upon me – etc.

    That is why it hurts my soul when others deny my sincere efforts and hold me to a standard they themselves can’t live. I would never require it of them, since I am commanded not to do so.

    When you cut through all of the commentary about Jesus and focus foremost on what He actually said – those things that He preached directly to His disciples and the people who followed Him, there are some basic characteristics that define discipleship best. They are summarized beautifully in the Sermon on the Mount, and that is how I judge my discipleship.

    Am I **becoming** more poor in spirit, more able to mourn with those that mourn, more meek, more hungering and thirsting after righteousness, more merciful, more pure in heart, more of a peacemaker, more in control of my anger and tongue, more chaste in thought and deed, more true to my promises (making them a simple “Yes” or “No”) Do I give more freely and do not revile as quickly; do I love those who revile me and seek situations of interaction with those who will do so.

    I am nowhere close to perfect (complete, whole, fully developed in Christ), but I have given my soul to God and am doing the best I can to be who He has asked me to be. I have met the requirements asked of every Christian by Christ to be able to call myself a poor, sinful, but saved Christian, and all I ask is that my discipleship not be mocked by those who profess to be accepting the same Lord who has made it possible for me. We don’t have to believe all doctrine in the exact same manner and be *identical* in our discipleship, as long as we allow all who love the Lord to be *equal* in our discipleship.

    I have not read anything from the Lord Himself that required a perfect understanding of doctrine to receive the words, “Thy faith hath made thee whole.” In the end, He has required a broken heart and a contrite spirit, with the promise that there will come a day when our natural, fallen shortcomings will be erased and we will be able to “be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (I John 3:2) That is my hope and my faith and the reason for my repentance.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 10, 2008 @ 1:07 am |Reply

  32. Steffie, You’re a Saint…in more ways than one. I still can’t understand why people persist in using your site as a forum to pontificate against us and to argue and act in such contentious ways.

    I agree with your simple and unembellished definition of what a Christian is. Why do others try to make it so complicated and then take the ball and run with it…to another field??? Christ spoke so that even the most lowly among and around Him could understand (although not all of them did), and His basic message was “Come follow me.” You’re doing that, thus LIVING as a Christian and follower of Christ should. I admire your gentle and loving spirit.

    Comment by marlajayne — January 10, 2008 @ 1:12 am |Reply

  33. alifeofprayer

    I have never understood what people mean when they say “I got saved”

    can you please explain what this means, the definition.

    Also, I appreciate that you remain respectful and kind, even though you disagree, you are rare. We label some here with the term “anti”, I hope you we do not consider you to be “anti”.

    Marlajayne, thank you for your sweet words, I have to say though that I invite the anti, i mean sometimes they randomly find me here, but I also comment on a lot of anti blogs. It drives me nuts when people twist our beliefs, and I find it necessary to defend our faith.

    Comment by steffielynn — January 10, 2008 @ 2:07 pm |Reply

  34. Interesting editing :) Would have more to say but I am in Cabo kiteboarding. Wouldn’t it have been better to leave the comments and write a retraction or explanation rather than deleting it as if it was never said?

    Comment by coventryrm — January 12, 2008 @ 2:31 am |Reply

  35. Wow Steph, this is some post – I hadn’t been here in a week and wanted to see what you posted – loved the original post, what 35 comments ago and I agree. It always amazes me that a simple post with a simple statement can get stretched out and changed by the time it gets to the bottom. Why is it that every post has to get back to polygamy – it happened over a 100 years ago – not everyone is perfect – get over it,,,,,,,,,,, mind you there are places for that discussion but not in every post – is this like a secret obsession – sorry I am not being nice. Good to see you back Steph !

    Comment by Ron — January 12, 2008 @ 5:22 pm |Reply

  36. Alifeofprayer said:

    “If you love the Lord and know Him, seek Him out in His word (the Bible), and heed His promptings.”

    Promptings? Sounds like LDS talk to me … :)

    In all seriousness, I have to agree with much of what Raydegraw said. I haven’t taken religiion classes at the postgraduate level, but I did graduate from an evangelical Christian college with quite a few classes in Biblical studies and the like before I became LDS. Like Raydegraw, I find that the New Testament (in modern translation) is my favorite section of scripture.

    Over the years, after graduating from college and all that, I just had too many questions and kept on finding that much of what I was being taught in evangelical churches simply wasn’t Biblical. Eventually, I took a serious look at the LDS church, and the more I studied it, the more I found its teachings answered my questions — and were consistent with what the Bible teaches.

    Is the LDS church perfect? No. Have its leaders, including Joseph Smith, made mistakes? Definitely, including some pretty big ones. But so did Old Testament prophets and even New Testament greats such as Peter. The more I study the Bible and the more I study the teachings of the LDS church, the more I find great richness in the Gospel.

    So I agree entirely with what Raydegraw said here:

    “I choose to be a member of that church because it matches what I have come to believe about the nature of God and Jesus, the Christ, and salvation and grace and fruit and the atonement and spirituality and revelation and so much more. All of that ‘understanding,’ however, is not what makes me Christian; rather, what makes me Christian is my poor attempt to model my life after the admonitions and counsel and command and encouragement of my Lord and Redeemer – my attempt to accept the Good News of the Gospel – to have faith enough to believe and follow what He asks of me – to strive to repent and turn my life to Him, so that my spirit can be regenerated by His Spirit and I can do His works rather than mine – to allow Him to make of me what He desires me to be. My denomination does not make me a Christian, but it does help me reach for Him and try to place my life in His hands – to accept His invitation to ‘Come, follow me’ – to cast my burdens at His feet and take His yoke upon me – etc.”

    And because Raydegraw said all that better than I could, I’ll just leave it at that. I am LDS because I have done what you (Alifeofprayer) have suggested. And it’s definitely excellent advice.

    Comment by Eric — January 13, 2008 @ 6:06 am |Reply

  37. Ron

    so you are saying that polygamy was a mistake? The answer to your question “Why is it that every post has to get back to polygamy” most likely it is as simple as, you as an LDS spreading the word as you are instructed to do, the word is we have this guy and he talks to God, we also had thes other guy that talked to God along with one that actually claims to have seen God. Now I would say that because of those claims it would actually be surprising to NOT have polygamy and the racism issues come up everytime. Either God was behind those things or your claims of Prophets iare false, which is it? LDS seem to want it both ways, as long as you feel the need to share your message of the restoration to the world you will also have to be willing to explain away over and over these things that LDS seem to get so annoyed at others for bringing up, I find this very interesting in itself.

    Comment by coventryrm — January 13, 2008 @ 4:16 pm |Reply

  38. “Either God was behind those things or your claims of Prophets are false, which is it?”

    Coventry, you are an intelligent person, so surely you must realize that it is not that easy – that cut and dried. There are a lot of variations that are possible, given how Mormons view prophets and God’s interaction with humanity.

    My take is that God was behind polygamy, but it wasn’t understood fully by Joseph Smith (as witnessed by his own words and the way it changed during his lifetime – from eternal political alliances to “normal” marriage relationships) or Brigham Young (who felt impressed to stress its importance while simultaneously allowing for the practice by only a small percentage of the membership – thus describing it in terms of a requirement for those of whom it was asked and a future possibility for those not required to participate in this life – meaning all had to “accept” it in theory, even if they didn’t have to “live” it in mortality) or John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff (who never dreamed it would be rescinded eventually). Remember, we do NOT claim prophetic infallibility OR omniscience. Adam himself said that he didn’t understand why he built the alter and offered sacrifice; he did it simply because God commanded it.

    As to the Priesthood ban, I accept Bruce R. McConkie’s statement that he and everyone before him spoke from a limited knowledge and were wrong about their reasoning. I wrote the following on another blog (http://www.timesandseasons.org/?p=4328 – 173 total comments, if you want to read them) that addressed the issue of the ban – explaining my rejection of it as “inspired” and belief that it was the product of the deeply ingrained racism of the Christian-American society in which the early leaders were raised:

    “You ask if I have implored God and received a personal witness. Yes, I have. I might be wrong, but – yes, I have. One of the strongest spiritual impressions of my life (and I have had some very strong ones), came as I served in a Stake Mission Presidency in the Deep South **after the revelation lifting the ban** – as I struggled with how to reach into the Black community and was allowed to see the continuing effects of racism on the Church where I lived (both within a small minority of members and a much larger percent of non-members, Black and White). I will never forget that impression and the lessons it taught me. I will never forget how that vision changed dramatically how I perceived this issue.

    Next, to answer your hyperbolic charge:

    1) Black men were ordained during the leadership of Joseph Smith. Nobody disputes that. Nobody.

    2) Can we agree that there has not been unanimity among the apostles and prophets on this issue?

    3) No unanimity means that apostles and prophets disagreed on this issue.

    4) Disagreement on this issue means that it is not *obvious* that the ban was God’s will, given by direct revelation. Perhaps it is not obvious that it was not God’s will, but it is not obvious that is was.

    5) Disagreement also means that I am not siding against the apostles and prophets in my belief. It simply means I am disagreeing with some and agreeing with others.

    6) It is extremely easy to read the verses that were used to justify the ban differently than they were interpreted to justify the ban. Iow, the scriptures themselves (which were the foundation for the claim that God had spoken) are *not* conclusive that God had, in fact, spoken. It is extremely easy to read the more modern scriptures (the NT and BofM) as saying that the former practice of distinction by race had ended with the ministry of Jesus.

    7) If you have not done so already, actually read the link that Eric provided. It makes many of the above points very eloquently.

    8) My mother was a secretary in Daivd O. McKay’s office. That has given me a few insights into the workings of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that are somewhat rare. Most importantly for this comment, it made it clear to me that much of the internal dissent and debate on this topic was not expressed publicly, since there was a deep and abiding belief among the brethren that airing their disagreements publicly simply was not to occur. BRM was a renegade in this regard, as were a few more who shared his view on the ban. Those who were the most vocal tended to be those who supported the ban, since the ban was the policy of the time.

    8) As I said earlier, when I am faced with two viable options, even in the face of a lack of spiritual confirmation, I *always* side with the one that appears to be in line with the preponderance of scriptural evidence and harms the fewest people. Imo, the ban as a result of human weakness and prejudice fits those criteria *far* better than seeing it as God’s will.

    9) I tend to accept the words of current prophets over the words of former prophets. I also have read enough of modern and ancient scripture to understand that God has allowed prophets and apostles to make horrible mistakes all throughout time. He sometimes steps in and announces an ideal in very clear ways, but even then He steps back and lets His prophets and other leaders live it or reject it. Therefore, the ban has no fundamental impact on my testimony – my spiritual witness of BY and JT and WW and all other prophets who upheld the ban – even as I believe is was not God’s will.

    10) My mind leans toward my current understanding, but my heart and soul is WAY beyond leaning. I know Black saints who could not hold the Priesthood and/or attend the temple prior to the lifting of the ban, and to even hint that they were less valiant in the pre-existence is simply abhorrent to my soul. Having seen their dedication, I know firsthand how much deeper and richer and fuller it was than mine and nearly all White members I knew at that same time. Frankly, I believe much of the acceptance of such a theory on a purely intellectual level is a result of not knowing intimately such people and the persecution they endured to remain true to the faith – persecution that was both blatant and subtle and which came from both outside and inside the Church.

    11) This is not an intellectual understanding for me. It is deeply spiritual one – forged over multiple decades of observing and studying the roots and continuing traces of bigotry in this country and, unfortunately, the Church.

    12) I might be wrong, notwithstanding the nature of my spiritual witness, but I would rather be wrong in my current opinion than to be wrong with the alternative. I am intelligent enough to construct a lucid and compelling justification for either view, so I have consciously chosen to follow my deeply personal, spiritual witness, my overarching belief in the messages of the scriptures and what my heart wants to believe – preferring in all ways my current position to its alternative. If I am wrong, I believe I will be better being wrong with this view than being wrong with the other one.

    At the most basic level, I return to my first paragraph. Due to my calling at the time, I believe I was given a perspective that is somewhat unique. It was burned into my soul in a way that I can neither forget nor deny. I cannot say I saw the Father crying for the hardness of the hearts of His children, but I can say that I understand that image in a way that would have been impossible without that experience. It has shaped the way I see many things over the years, and I would not trade it for the world.”

    I won’t go back and forth on this one, since both issues (polygamy and the Priesthood ban) need separate posts if they are to be discussed properly – and because those posts have been written and discussed on plenty of other blogs, like the one I linked above. If Steffie chooses to open a thread about them, fine; if not, this is my only contribution here.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 13, 2008 @ 5:15 pm |Reply

  39. Other than to say that the smiley face emoticons should have been numbers; they were not “translated correctly” when I pasted the comment here.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 13, 2008 @ 5:25 pm |Reply

  40. raydegraw:
    If you say you are walking in the truth and in the light, and you can say with Paul, “I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day,” (not necessitating absolute perfection, think Hebrews 10:22) and you are living in the light of His word, truth, in obedience and devotion to Him (only God knows the heart, we are forced to take each others’ word for it to some degree, especially in this kind of forum), and with the fruit of righteousness manifest in your life, then I have nothing else to say.
    Acts 13:43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
    Continue in the grace of God. Stay obedient the the Lord.

    steffielynn:
    “saved…” If we believe and put our trust in Christ, God will
    a) impute Christ’s righteousness to us (Romans 4:5)
    b) revolutionize our life with Christ’s resurrection power (Romans 8:11)
    c) save us from the wrath to come (Acts 17:30-31)
    There are probably a lot more bullet points, but those are the basics. Hebrews 6:1-2 is a great primer… although I think you already know these things.
    Importantly, our salvation is independent of what church we go to. Going to the right church can’t save us, going to the wrong church can’t damn us. It is a matter of obedience to Christ.
    I am not anti-Mormons (referring to individuals). I love Mormons, as I am commanded to, and I do so freely. But I am against the Mormon doctrines which are not biblical (which opens up an endless debate, so let’s not go there just right this minute), and most importantly, I’m quite against the notion of having another book of canon.

    Some questions for you guys (Mormons) :
    How do *you* define salvation? (succinctly)
    Why do you accept the Book of Mormon as canon?

    Thanks,

    –alifeofprayer

    Comment by alifeofprayer — January 14, 2008 @ 11:09 pm |Reply

  41. lifeofprayer:

    Good questions. Just my personal opinion, as a lifelong Mormon I think of salvation as being accomplished and made possible by the atonement of Christ. Through that act, we are all universally saved from physical death and redeemed from the fall of Adam. We are also given the opportunity to be saved from spiritual death (separation from God). The atonement makes it possible for us to repent from our sins, which otherwise would damn us forever. We take advantage of this second part of the atonement by believing in Christ, repenting, obeying his commandments and enduring to the end.

    I accept the Book of Mormon as scripture because we have been told that it is scripture by God through his prophet Joseph Smith, and because this fact was confirmed to me personally by the Spirit of God after studying the Book of Mormon and praying to discover whether it was of God. The Book of Mormon contains a promise from God that all who prayerfully and sincerely seek to know of its truthfulness will receive an answer by the power of the Holy Ghost.

    Comment by mcquinn — January 14, 2008 @ 11:35 pm |Reply

  42. alop (hope you don’t mind the abbreviation), Thank you for the tone and substance of your response. It is refreshing to be able to talk without the rancor that usually flows when we discuss these things.

    1) Again, I agree with everything you said about salvation in your latest comment. It is independent of denomination, which very few people realize is a tenet of Mormonism. In fact, given our belief in the universal potential of the Atonement of Christ, we believe it is independent of religious affiliation in totality – IF someone truly did not have a chance to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior in mortality. We believe those judgments will be made by our Eternal Judge, Jesus, the Christ – not by we who see through a glass darkly. Allowing for salvation outside our own limited understanding is an aspect of humility and gratitude that is central to our theology. (Since there is not one of us that “deserves” salvation, we need to avoid the natural tendency to say that others “don’t deserve it”. We are commanded to love ALL and not judge ANY – in that regard, at least.)

    Ironically, we get told all the time that we believe only Mormons will be saved, while our actual theology allows for the salvation of MANY more of God’s children than the majority of Christian denominations allow. It really is one of the misconceptions that bothers me the most, since it is a HUGE moat and beam issue, in my mind.

    As succinctly as I can put it, we accept Paul’s statement in I Corin. 15 that “as in Adam ALL die, so in Christ shall ALL be made alive.” ALL of God’s children are saved from physical death and will be resurrected. ALL will be saved from the effects of the Fall – from those things that are out of their control as a result of being born into a sinful world. ALL have the opportunity (somehow, at some time) to hear the Gospel of Christ and accept it or reject it. We don’t know many details of how that will happen, but we extrapolate from some of the words of Paul and Peter that it will happen either in this life or in the Spirit World (whatever title we might give it).

    2) As to the Book of Mormon, I have read it and pondered it and prayed over it (just like the Bible) and have felt a confirmation of the Spirit. I have compared it to the word of God in the Bible and have had my witness of the Bible strengthened as a result. One of the stated purposes of the Book of Mormon is to convince the world of the truthfulness of the Bible, and it has done so for me.

    Intellectually, I also can accept it as a possibility for two reasons:

    1) God spoke to many inside the Bible where His words are not recorded in the Bible. In other words, there are multiple examples of sacred, inspired texts cited in the Bible that, if found, would be accepted (I hope) by every Christian. “Canonization” was accomplished by those who understood that they were NOT defining the totality of God’s words to His children; rather, they were reviewing what records were available to them and making decisions about validity AND import. “Canonization” has come to mean FAR more than it did originally – and I can’t accept those new artificial constraints.

    2) The Biblical pattern appears clear to me: God spoke through prophets PRIOR to the birth of Jesus – including to those outside of the HOuse of Israel; He spoke THROUGH Jesus; He spoke through prophets AFTER the death of Jesus (including new visions and visitations – like Paul’s); the resurrection didn’t stop revelation through prophets and He never said He would stop speaking through prophets. That claim was a retroactive one made LONG after the records were first recorded – and it is EXACTLY like the claim used by the Jews to reject the New Testament after nearly 400 years of official silence after Malachi. If new records are found claiming to be God’s words to ancient Polynesian prophets or Asian prophets or Icelandic prophets or African prophets – and if those records inspire people to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and allow Him and the Holy Ghost to bring forth good fruit unto Him and live humble lives of dedication as disciples – and in every way produce “Christians” – then I will accept the possibility that they are, in fact, true scriptural words of God to that people. I won’t accept them automatically, but i won’t reject them automatically either.

    I know this is longer than mcquinn’s response, but I also have been fascinated to see what I believe are the misconceptions about the Book of Mormon (both by non-Mormons AND Mormons alike) fade away one by one as new information and evidence arises. For example, from the time I first read it so many years ago, I have thought it was a record of a small minority of people in a very small geographic area – full of the same hyperbolic language that runs throughout the Bible, and is a characteristic of many ancient records. I am not bothered by former teachings that appear now to have been wrong, since those teachings aren’t teachings OF the Book of Mormon but rather teachings ABOUT the Book of Mormon – and that is an important distinction that very few people make. (Again, it is interesting to me that so many Biblical scholars understand the nature of interpretive disagreement when it comes to Biblical scholarship but are unable to grant that same flexibility to Book of Mormon scholarship – again establishing a standard for Mormons to which other Christians aren’t held.)

    Not as succinct as you probably wanted, but as succinct as I can make it and still answer the questions adequately.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 15, 2008 @ 12:53 am |Reply

  43. Man, in all of that, I forgot to define “salvation”. Here goes:

    “Resurrected, immortal existence in the presence of God.”

    Comment by raydegraw — January 15, 2008 @ 1:05 am |Reply

  44. Ok guys, I’ll have to take your responses and ponder them with bible in hand. Look for a response in the next few days, time permitting.

    I’ve already got a few responses in my head, but I want to make it a thorough study.

    raydegraw: nope, you missed succinct by about a mile ;)
    But i do appreciate your desire for precise language. I know we will have to define our terms carefully, probably beginning with the word “all,” which has theological implications depending upon context and interpretation.

    Let me ask another quick (ha!) question, what do *you* do when you have a different view on something than your church?

    Heh, did I mention that I’m *not* a theologian (or “theologician” as i like to say sometimes) or an apologist?? Just another lovesick worshipper of Jesus with *serious* faults.

    Anyway,

    Love you guys (I say it with all sincerity and in beholding the Truth),

    –alifeofprayer

    Comment by alifeofprayer — January 15, 2008 @ 2:34 am |Reply

  45. alop, I get that question a lot, and the answer drives many who are not Mormons nuts. :-)

    Mormonism has been called “non-creedal” by a lot of people, and I like that overall label – as much as I dislike most labels. There is an important application of this terminology that goes a long way toward answering your question – and I’m going to take a little longer to answer than others might. (which won’t surprise anyone)

    One of the things that drives people crazy about Mormons is that you can ask 20 Mormons a question and get at least 5 different responses – with variations in some points that really can give you 20 different answers. The reason is that the VAST majority of “answers” aren’t provided by “The Church” in an official statement. The general principle is, in Joseph Smith’s words, “Teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.” Of course, there are texts and talks/sermons and statements by leaders, but there is relatively little that requires unanimity of understanding to maintain one’s place as a “faithful” member. Even the standards to enter the temple (which are the most restrictive in the Church) deal almost completely with what one does – NOT what one professes to believe. There also is NO belief in prophetic infallibility – which means there is no requirement to hold onto what previous leaders believed and an openness to change that baffles many other Christians. We believe God allows people to understand “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little” according to their own ability to understand. It’s a very fluid and individualistic view of prophecy, revelation, canon, inspiration, etc.

    Further complicating the picture is the emphasis on the Gift of the Holy Ghost (the baptism of fire bestowed upon all after baptism by water) and its attendant personal revelation – which puts the responsibility on the individual to develop his or her own understanding of and relationship to God. This means, in a very real and powerful way, that Mormonism is an interesting mixture of centralized, full-time, hierarchical, vertical organization / correlation at the church-wide level and individualized, volunteer, amateur, horizontal organization / thought at the local and individual level. We believe in prophets and apostles who convey to us *at the meta level* what God wants His children to hear **collectively** in their specific day, but we believe it is up to us each as individuals to take that counsel and command, figure out which it is, pray for guidance as to how it applies to our own circumstances, seek the will of the Lord for those circumstances, and accept accountability on our own for the result of our choices throughout that process. In the end, while we believe the prophets will never lead us to do or accept something that will deprive us of our eternal reward, we believe that ultimately it is up to us to figure out what we believe. Of course, there are areas of broadly defined unanimous consent (Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world; we are saved by the grace of God; we are commanded to obey the commandments He has given – produce the fruits of a life truly connected to the Vine; what is recorded in the Articles of Faith; etc.), but they really are few and far between when viewed in the big picture. Mormons disagree with each other on a LOT of issues – even purely theological ones that other Christians often think of as obvious, specifically because very few things are presented as absolutes.

    So, in answer to your question, in my years in “The Church” there have been only a handful of things that I would consider to have been “official church teachings” with which I disagreed – and I am quite “liberal” by many standards and definitions. I disagreed with the Priesthood ban, as is obvious from my previous comment on that subject. I think I understand why God allowed it to be in place for so long, and that understanding helped me accept the practice even while I did not accept its rationalization. My view on homosexuality is now the same as the Church’s official statement, but that agreement only happened recently. Prior to the most recent statement, I disagreed with the standard explanation – but it wasn’t presented as immutable doctrine, so I accepted the difference. Joseph Smith was as deeply flawed as I and you and every Biblical prophet, but I believe he was a prophet – as I also would say of Brigham Young.

    In short, in all my years as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have never been told, “You MUST believe this to be a temple-attending member” and disagreed with “this”. In fact, while my own views on some things are not the “mainstream” views of perhaps the majority of members, I still have served and do serve in highly visible positions in my local congregations. Sometimes my views are accepted by my fellow worshippers; sometimes they are not. I’m fine with that, given what I said in the opening paragraphs of this comment.

    Therefore, I only can answer your question as a hypothetical. In that construct, I would say that it all depends on how core that view is – and how strongly the Church stressed it as an absolute. If it was not central to my core beliefs and was phrased as, “You MUST believe this in exactly this way,” I probably would say, “No,” and continue as a non-temple-attending member. It would take a statement, phrased like I described above, on the magnitude of “Jesus actually is not the Redeemer of the world,” or “The Father is not actually our spiritual father” to cause me to consider leaving the Church completely. In other words, I have a hard time even imagining a realistic scenario where an official teaching would be SO counter to my personal belief system that it would cause me to leave. I simply can’t imagine the Church officially demanding that I believe something that I believe would place my salvation and eventual reward in jeopardy. It truly is a hypothetical to me that has no grounding in my actual decades of experience as a member.

    If I may, what is your denominational affiliation – and how would you respond to that same question?

    Comment by raydegraw — January 15, 2008 @ 3:26 am |Reply

  46. ray:
    non-denom, I go to a very small fellowship, on the charismatic side of the spectrum, but very bible-believing and bible-grounded.

    Honestly, I would answer the question in a similar manner to you, with the difference that I would speak to my elders directly, and I’m thankful that I can not only do that, but I know each of them as good personal friends, and I’m in their personal lives and have visited their houses countless times, and have seen their personal interaction in their inner lives. I have been able to verify the I Tim 3 principles at work in their lives, which is unheard of in the church today, when you have so many slick, high-“powered” highly-payed preachers with scummy personal lives.

    “alop”… heh, I don’t mind you using it for brevity sake, although i’d probably never use it myself… it makes me think of half-done waffles or something… yech! lol

    Cheers,

    –alifeofprayer

    Comment by alifeofprayer — January 15, 2008 @ 12:54 pm |Reply

  47. Half-done waffles – now that’s a sense of humor I really like! I’ll to back to “alifeofprayer”.

    What you describe with your fellowship is very much like our individual congregations – at least the ones that aren’t large due to the need to build another meetinghouse. My ideal is no more than 150 people, including children, which means no more than about about 30 families with children and the unmarried individuals, older couples and widow(er)s. When congregations get larger than that, it is hard to know everyone personally – and it is hard for the ecclesiastical leaders (who all work full-time jobs and have families of their own) to minister to everyone properly – even with the delegated nature of our local ministries. Currently, I attend with a small group of about 30-40 people total – and the intimacy is wonderful.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 15, 2008 @ 3:23 pm |Reply

  48. If you want to be a Christian and distance yourself from the founders of your religion why not just not be a mormon and be a Christian? It doesn’t make sense! If you know the book of mormon is a sham, them why not just ditch and follow the real bible? And not all of us think that Luther is a star here, he’s no founder of our faith so he could say what he wanted, he was just a dude. We don’t say that he gets to judge people at the end of the line *nudge. If you have a zeal for God thats great, but if you also think Jesus and Satan are brothers and that every god had father (which is a logical fallucy) or that god is testing you when all the DNA of natives in North and South America is found to be from Northen Asia, you actually don’t know God at all.

    Comment by theroan — January 17, 2008 @ 9:00 pm |Reply

  49. theroan,

    You are probably going to be one of those who comes here, doesn’t even read what we write, passes judgement, and never comes back again. Even so I will respond to your comment…

    By the way, who are you directing your comment to? If me, then you do not understand my posts. I do not want to distance myself from our founders. And we call ourselves Christian, NOT to be like you, but because we are followers of Christ.

    Who said the BOM was a sham????? I believe the Book of Mormon is scripture, I believe it is a history of people who loved God and loved Christ. Have you read it for yourself???

    Alifeofprayer

    Thank you for answering my question, I don’t see many differences in what you define as saved and the LDS beliefs. The only difference (as Ray pointed out) is that Mormons do not dictate who will and will not be saved. (for a good example look at the comment from theroan, who states we “do not know God at all” ) It is up to our Heavenly Father, (to judge) and I believe He wants to save ALL His children and will provide away!

    .

    Comment by steffielynn — January 17, 2008 @ 11:38 pm |Reply

  50. You are aware of the many many problems with the LDS church and especially it’s founders right? That because there is no geographical, historical, linguistic, archeological or genetic evidence linking North and South American natives to the middle east. If thats the case, which it is because genetic fingerprinting has clearly shown that these natives share a common genetic background to peoples in the North East Asia and Mongolia, which therefore means that the Lamenites and Nephites never actually existed meaning the book of mormon is a sham and lie and the religion that came from it is a lie too. Many mormons already know this and have left mormonism for the true God as a result and you should too. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/march/14.24.html

    In his translation of the book of Abraham Joseph Smith didn’t even get one letter right, further proving he was a con man, this the man you call prophet.

    I challenge you to watch this and honestly say that the book of mormon is a book of truth.

    Comment by theroan — January 18, 2008 @ 1:33 am |Reply

  51. There always has to be someone who will spoil a very good, thoughtful discussion. Frankly, I’ll let Steffie’s answer be mine, as well.

    alifeofprayer, See why we get just a bit touchy when it comes to explaining what we believe? The vast majority of on-line responses we get are more like that last one than yours.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 18, 2008 @ 2:28 am |Reply

  52. theroan,

    God found ME. He touched my heart, He has brought me peace and happiness. Dispite my (many) flaws, He loves me anyways. I know of one God, My Father in Heaven, who loves me and whom I love more then anything and anyone.

    Comment by steffielynn — January 18, 2008 @ 2:50 am |Reply

  53. You heavenly father that has a father that has a father that has a father that has a father, does that make sense to you.

    Please just watch the video, I’m begging you.

    Romans 10:1-4 NT

    Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.

    This passage always reminds of mormons, because I see and I see it in your writing, that you love God and are excited about Him, but when it’s not based on truth it’s wasted, like this passage suggests. The Israelites Paul speaks about manage to acknowlledge God exists and be excited about Him but at the same time NOT be saved. If someone were to say “Jason (thats me) is a blond haired, 5’1” lady who likes Enya.” But in reality I’m dark haired dude who is 6’2″ and into Heavy Metal, does that person actually know me?

    Hey Ray, disprove what I’ve said in the comment before you write me off. Those statements can’t just be shrugged off. if you claim to be Christian, does it bother you that your temples are adorned with pentegrams and sun gods? http://www.answeringlds.org/images/SymbolsMineSmall.jpg

    I can provide sources each and every claim there against mormonism. You get touchy because you’re confronted with aspects of your religion that expose it’s falsehoods and you don’t know what to do about it.

    Comment by theroan — January 18, 2008 @ 3:36 am |Reply

  54. theroan, I have responded multiple times – to MUCH more sophisticated arguments than yours. Just to humor you this once, and to show how absolutely shallow and ignorant your assertions are:

    1) “You heavenly father that has a father that has a father that has a father that has a father, does that make sense to you.”

    That is NOT official Mormon doctrine. It was believed and taught by some of our early leaders, but it was NEVER the unanimous teaching of the combined apostles. It is not taught currently by our apostles. It is taken from one verse in the BIBLE, out of context, in my opinion. We have NEVER claimed prophetic infallibility, so the argument is specious on its face.

    Many Protestants (and especially evangelicals), however, DO claim Biblical infallibility – even as they do NOT follow all of the “teachings” in it – and especially in the various epistles. Moats and beams, theroan – moats and beams and kettles and pots.

    2) “If you claim to be Christian, does it bother you that your temples are adorned with pentegrams and sun gods?”

    Flat-out ludicrous – and so childish as to not need a rebuttal. I Corin. 15 describes the glory of God using the images of sun, moon and stars. The symbols you link are representations of BIBLICAL imagery of the glory of God. Let me repeat that: The sun and moon and stars on the temple are images taken from the BIBLE – where they represent IN THE BIBLE the glory of God.

    I want to say much more, but, in total seriousness, I am striving this month to focus on being more poor in spirit – which has caused me to edit this comment extensively already.

    3) Your first two assertions show an ignorance of what Mormons actually believe and teach. Your last paragraph shows that you don’t know me; it shows a willingness to judge someone you don’t know; it shows a willingness to stereotype someone based on assumptions about them that have no grounding in reality; it does not show the attributes articulated in the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus as those that true disciples strive to internalize. I believe you are sincere in your beliefs; I simply do not think your “fruits” are what Jesus has asked of His followers. That’s as honestly and humbly as I can say it.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 18, 2008 @ 5:09 am |Reply

  55. #50 – Two more quick points:

    1) There are about a gazillion very good, objective articles about DNA testing as it relates to the Americas. Your link is not comprehensive at all by comparison in its approach. (Living Hope Ministries is notorious for its over-the-top hyperbole. You really need to find a more objective source.) When you look at the Book of Mormon itself, it never claims that the dominant DNA will be from any particular source. If anything, in my opinion (and in the opinion of many Mormon scholars) the dominant DNA – again, based on the actual words of the Book of Mormon – would be from Jaredite break-off groups over the thousands of years they were on the continent(s), and the most compelling guess as to where they were from originally I have ever read (by Hugh Nibley) is the steppes of Northeast Asia and Mongolia – exactly where you say they came from. (Nibley’s work was published LONG before DNA became an issue, so it cannot be dismissed as reactionary apologist in nature. This conclusion first was expressed by Mormon leaders in the mid-1800’s – again, LONG before critics started citing DNA studies.)

    If you are going to post comments here, they need to have substance.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 18, 2008 @ 5:24 am |Reply

  56. I am in shock and aw, that there is a mormon that can actually defend themselves, its late and I can’t sleep right now, but I will return with with more sophisticated arguments.

    Comment by theroan — January 18, 2008 @ 5:46 am |Reply

  57. Firstly I’d like to thank you for your response set-up, a great way to keep things straight. Also in reference to my fruit and such, my goal is to emmulate Christ in my life and so I believe I’m showing as much grace and patience to false prophets as he would. However, we’re both gentlemen and I will, as you have been to me, act with grace and tact, and write in a way that fosters discussion and understanding.

    “moats and beams and kettles and pots.” I’m honest enough to say I have no idea what that means LOL.

    To begin before I rebut and go offensive, I have some honest questions and these are not arguments or insults. As well, correct me if I’m wrong here in anyway. It is my impression now from response 1 that ok, God the Father was the first and only God, he had spirit children, two of those spirit children were Christ and Satan who are brothers. i) what is the difference between being spirit children and being a god? ii) How did Christ get to be a god from being a spirit child? iii) If he was born a god is satan a god too? iv) If not, why? v) Does the mormon church still claim that men can become gods? vi) If so, do you see the comparison that can be made to Genesis 3:5 and is that a problem? Oh ya sorry one more, who gave birth to the spirit children and if it wasn’t god the father, where did the women come from?

    You seem to be a really smart guy and I’m sure you’ve heard these questions before, but I honestly would like to hear the answers from an intelligent mormon who is not afraid to talk about these things. I won’t write anything else til you answer for clarity’s sake.
    Jason

    Comment by theroan — January 18, 2008 @ 6:22 am |Reply

  58. I just read this over, and I want to clarify that none of this has been written with a mean or sarcastic attitude.

    Comment by theroan — January 18, 2008 @ 6:25 am |Reply

  59. theroan, I have about 2 minutes between projects right now, so I will answer tonight. Just a quick comment, accepting your statement that you are sincere and not being sarcastic:

    It appears that you recognize that the tone appears to be mean and sarcastic. Responding to #56 – there are many types of Mormons, just like there are many types of members of any other denomination. There are scholars, and simple believers, and those with deep testimonies, and those with simple faith, and those who feel the Gospel, and those who study the Gospel, and everything else imaginable. Praising me as causing “shock and awe” is a very direct back-handed slap at those who aren’t in it to be scholars but simply to try to follow Christ. Jesus focused on serving and loving and helping those you mocked in that comment.

    Just something to consider, since I do believe you are sincere. We shouldn’t mock those Jesus served the most.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 18, 2008 @ 5:53 pm |Reply

  60. It has just been my personal experience with mormons, pretty much just missionaries. That when I ask questions I typically get the old “its all about faith”. The scriptures call us to have a reason for the hope that we have so “I just know its true” may be a reason but it’s certainly not reasonable. I work in a youth group and one of our biggest things is apologetics, being able to know what you believe and at least on basic level be able to defend it. That comment, and I apologize for the tone, but this is honestly a completely unique experience for me. I keep checking to see if you’ve responded because I’m so excited to talk about this stuff. My mockery is not of the people but of the doctrine, one of my biggest short falls, even in my own church, is getting the message lost because of its delivery, please forgive me.

    Comment by theroan — January 18, 2008 @ 7:03 pm |Reply

  61. Ray

    “Coventry, you are an intelligent person, so surely you must realize that it is not that easy – that cut and dried.”

    I disagree that it is not so simple, I believe it is. I don’t think either view is a reflection of intelligence, but simply how each of us view or explain things to be consistent with our specific world view.

    My point was more that LDS should not be so quick to act so annoyed or take it as an attack or negativity that people bring up these issues regularly or act as if they are ignorant for asking, taking the position of we have answered that before so let it go. As long as you profess and make the claims and feel the need to spread your gospel you will always be challenged to answer those questions over and over again. For me it comes across that the annoyance could be a reflection or perhaps a symptom of projecting on to others the frustrations one has as result of having to come up with rationales that don’t completely satisfy ones own reason or intellect, to argue or answer these points. (After all you are the ones that believe in the Joseph Smith story and all that goes along with it)

    I have also noticed as I have been more an observer on here lately that the LDS claims of people being negative or attacking or talking over them is one in which they should take a closer look at themselves as the opposite seems to be more in line with reality.

    “Rays” initial responses to “theroan” He posted some comments making statements none of which were a personal attack on anyone here just his beliefs and opinions on “Mormonism” Ray responded right off with

    “There always has to be someone who will spoil a very good, thoughtful discussion.”

    “theroan, I have responded multiple times – to MUCH more sophisticated arguments than yours. Just to humor you this once, and to show how absolutely shallow and ignorant your assertions are:”

    After all that you feel you can take “throan” to task for giving you a backhanded compliment? I have to hand it to “throan” for the way he handled himself, he certainly could have taken exception to your initial responses and responded in kind. Then all the LDS could have started calling him a troll and cried victim.

    Ray if someone comes in here that you feel isn’t as intelligent as you; it is okay to just tell them they are being ignorant or shallow? I didn’t know that levels of intelligence were a prerequisite of commenting in here. Personally I think most of your rationales no matter how great a writer you just simply show that “smart people are very good at rationalizing things that they came to believe for non smart reasons”

    I have also struggled with the Church that you describe and present to people for sake of discussion. I have a Nephew that is also is very good at articulating and presenting a view of the Church to outsiders that I don’t believe is truly fair or accurate. You speak constantly about how everyone has so much freedom to believe and think as they want within the Church, that there is actual little official doctrine. In my observation you are right on one hand but actually take things out of context. The other day I mentioned to someone that

    “The LDS have plenty of teachings and doctrines by which the Church holds its members accountable but that there is little or no doctrine, teachings or statements in which the Church itself can held accountable for”

    You seem to use the latter argument to validate and present this very open minded Church that allows so much free thinking within this church without much doctrine. It does have doctrine and much of it but when called out on it you can’t even be totally honest with your answers, for example:
    Question
    “You heavenly father that has a father that has a father that has a father that has a father, does that make sense to you.”
    Your answer: That is NOT official Mormon doctrine. – YES IT IS –
    It is at the core of the temple ceremony the basic teachings of the church in regards to the plan of salvation all pre suppose this. If not that God has a father at least that in the future as righteous LDS people become Gods as ordained to be such in the temple and create their own worlds then at some point a God of some world will have a father that has a father etc..
    You have a Church that has gone from Leaders like Joseph Smith who claim he was talking to God directly, face to face with angels and resurrected beings, but yet he got confused and was mistaken or could only understand at a level consistent with his world view. You say you put more credence of what current leaders have to say even those these current leaders have admitted that they actually do not talk with God but receive inspiration or revelation like anyone else (all of which is open to personal interpretation) This does not make sense to me at any level. We can’t hold the past or present Church leaders accountable for things that they may teach or have taught over the pulpit as a reflection of the truthfulness of the Church, but yet you are expected to follow and heed their council.

    Comment by coventryrm — January 18, 2008 @ 7:54 pm |Reply

  62. “moats and beams and kettles and pots.” I’m honest enough to say I have no idea what that means LOL. ”

    I’m surprised that someone who calls on us to turn to the scriptures wouldn’t know such a basic scriptoral reference. I’m no master scriptorian, but I learned this one in high school. See Matthew 7:3.
    Sorry, but your failure to recognize that basic scripture really makes me wonder where you got your questions and arguments. Citing a scripture about zeal not being based on knowledge and then claiming rather complex questions as your own while being ignorant about a basic NT concept, you can see how some people might be wary about your motives.

    Comment by momommy — January 18, 2008 @ 8:06 pm |Reply

  63. Um.. so is that saying refering to the pot calling the kettle black? Thats a saying not a scripture, if he had mentioned planks, I’m all over it. But of course despiet all the other scripture I used not know that saying makes me a retard. and I thought my motives were pretty clear, mormonism is a false religion that people to hell using Christ’s name and my desire is to see everything about mormonism crumble and burn. Well at least you weren’t a dick about it ;-)

    Comment by theroan — January 18, 2008 @ 8:30 pm |Reply

  64. Well I am a retard, fast typer so that doesn’t make any sense. ah well

    Comment by theroan — January 18, 2008 @ 8:35 pm |Reply

  65. Coventry,

    It does get frustrating when people comment the same comment someone else left a month ago. We take it out on the newbie, and we really shouldn’t. They just didn’t take the time to read some posts with 200 plus comments (and I don’t blame them) :)

    I will try harder to talk to each person as an individual rather then just another same ol anti.

    I do however agree with Ray, it is a slap in the face when people comment on how illogical someone is when all they have to go on is faith. That is totally me. My faith is what keeps me going, logic (to me) is illogical. Faith and feelings make sense. But to each his own, I’m glad I have smart people on here to debate these issues! :)

    Comment by steffielynn — January 18, 2008 @ 9:00 pm |Reply

  66. I totally don’t understand your comment theroan

    Comment by steffielynn — January 18, 2008 @ 9:03 pm |Reply

  67. Which one? and you guys call me Jason

    Comment by theroan — January 18, 2008 @ 9:05 pm |Reply

  68. I guess I was of the impression that you were claiming to be here to gain understanding, but since you cleared that up….
    I just wasn’t sure if you really were who you presented youself to be. And since you aren’t here to find common ground or understanding, but to see it all crumble and burn, I take no offense at your inferring that I was a dick. Even though a smiley faced wink does make it much nicer!

    Comment by momommy — January 18, 2008 @ 9:50 pm |Reply

  69. Dude you were hardcore mean over what? not knowing the saying? Ray I’m sure is aware of the position that Christian’s have on mormon doctrine and I wouldn’t be engaging him if I didn’t care to hear the answer. Wouldn’t the mormon reaction be to try and change my mind?

    Comment by theroan — January 18, 2008 @ 10:23 pm |Reply

  70. I wasn’t trying to be hardcore mean. I honestly thought you were attempting to misrepresent yourself to goad people into arguing with you and say something you could twist or use as some sort of ammunition. I was simply pointing out some things that got my attention so I could understand your true intent, not start an argument.
    You’ve made clear that nothing that’s said to you here will change your mind. The sad truth of human nature is that we’re going to see whatever we want/expect to see. Whether that’s me seeing you as attacking or vice versa. I’m sorry it came across as it did, but I stand by the spirit with which my comments were stated, which was genuine interest in your intent.

    Comment by momommy — January 18, 2008 @ 11:35 pm |Reply

  71. Again, I have only a couple of minutes right now, so I will just make a quick point: One of the things I like most about Mormonism is the almost extreme reliance on “explaining” rather than “convincing”. I don’t go into any of these discussions trying to “convince” anyone; I really don’t. I have no expectation that my words will be so eloquent that a reader will be compelled by my genius to acknowledge that Mormonism really is the kingdom of God on earth. (That was intentional hyperbole.) All I want to do is explain my own believes and perspectives – and often point out the double standard we face in these types of discussions.

    Honestly, that’s all. It’s not my job to try to “convert” or “convince” anyone; I understand clearly that there are smarter people than I who can create more intellectually powerful justifications than I. If intellectualism is the standard, then Christianity as a whole is doomed, since much of what t teaches is illogical and impossible to defend intellectually.

    I am working on becoming more poor in spirit – more humble, but my naturally sarcastic humor still rears its ugly head all too often. When it does, the tone ends up sounding confrontational – and I sincerely apologize for that.

    I will try to get to the actual substance of Jason’s questions tonight when, hopefully, I will have some time to address them more directly.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 18, 2008 @ 11:53 pm |Reply

  72. Take your time, I have test tomorrow morning (ya saturday boourns) so have to study if I’m gonna have a chance at my promotion. Why working for the Canadian government makes us write tests to get ahead I’ll never know

    Comment by theroan — January 19, 2008 @ 1:51 am |Reply

  73. Q1) God the Father was the first and only God, he had spirit children, two of those spirit children were Christ and Satan who are brothers.

    A1) Correct, in the sense that all spirits created by God are, in the Bible, called children of God. “Brothers” means “created by the same Creator” or “of the same Father” – a familial term we use because God asked us to refer to Him as “Father”. In that sense, there really isn’t much conflict in the “brothers” issue. God, the Father, used the same term “Son” to describe Jesus as He did to describe all of us – with the exception of the upper case qualifier (Son vs. sons). There is a definite difference in emphasis and titular ascendancy, but the terminology is identical in basic nature.

    Q2) What is the difference between being spirit children and being a god?

    A2) Development. Spirit children are not “gods” any more than mortal children are “parents”. I would be happy to give a detailed scriptural explanation showing that becoming godly (or “a god”) is a central teaching of the Bible, but this is not the comment for that.

    Q3) How did Christ get to be a god from being a spirit child?

    A3) We don’t know. All we know is what we have recorded – that somehow God the Father granted Jesus the title and status of God – that He was the exception to the rule. The best estimates we have are that the Father knew Jesus had developed so much beyond what we had that He legitimately could and would act appropriately as a representative of the Father (the God of our mortal existence – the intermediary for us with the Father – our advocate with the Father – etc.) and truly deserve the designation, “God, the Son.” (“Like Father, like Son” sounds trite, but it’s the best phrase I know to answer the question.)

    An over-simplistic analogy: I have six children, whom I love dearly and equally. My oldest, however, is practically a carbon copy of me – as I am of my own father. We all don’t agree completely, so the analogy isn’t perfect, but it illustrates the Biblical descriptions we have been given. (“If you have seen me, you have seen my Father.”)

    Q4) If he was born a god is satan a god too?

    A4) No. Satan was not “born a god”. In fact, he was not “born” at all. He was created as a spirit “child” of God – again, in whatever way that happened. The name “Lucifer” literally means “the Shining One” – or, more loosely, “the One who Shined”. Other translations are “Light bringer” or “Son of the Morning”. (see Isaiah 14:12 and Luke 10:18) Each of those terms is one of honor, originally. The implication is that Lucifer was a “special” spirit of elevated status. It appears that there were two spirits of great distinction: Jesus, the humble and obedient one, and Lucifer, the proud and rebellious one. There is not a detailed explanation given in the Bible, but the implication of Isaiah and Luke (and other passages) is that Lucifer / Satan once lived in “heaven” (the presence of God) prior to the creation of the world and was cast out for trying to place himself above the Father – in Mormon terms, to take God’s glory.

    Q5) If not, why?

    A5) See A2 & A3 & A4 – It appears he rebelled and was cast out – thus “damning” his progression and putting him in open opposition to God, the Father, and God, the Son.

    Q6) Does the mormon church still claim that men can become gods?

    A6) Yes, and it bases that belief on the Bible. That belief is not taught in the Book of Mormon. Again, I will expound on that separately, if desired.

    Q7) If so, do you see the comparison that can be made to Genesis 3:5 and is that a problem?

    A7) Not a problem. That verse, and the surrounding story, bolsters our belief.

    Q8) Who gave birth to the spirit children and if it wasn’t god the father, where did the women come from?

    A8) “Gave birth to” is something we don’t say, since it is not taught that way in any scriptures. In my decades as a Mormon, I have never once heard it phrased that way. We have no idea whatsoever HOW we were created as spirit children, since that is not explained to us in any detail at all. “Created” does not necessarily mean anything remotely related to “giving birth” – and there is no official doctrine of sexual relationships (in the way that they occur here in mortality) in heaven – either prior to the creation of this world or after the resurrection. Unfortunately, that is a common misapplication – among some members and nearly all critics, but it is not doctrine. There is no doctrine whatsoever on the process of spiritual creation.

    Genesis 1:21 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” We aren’t told what that means or how He created male AND female in His image. Given the totality of the imagery and the familial terminology God, the Father, chose to describe our relationships (before our birth, during mortality AND after death), we speak of a Heavenly Mother – but there is no scriptural basis for that belief. Personally, I believe it mostly because of what the Bible says about marriage and our intended end as “one”. Frankly, I believe it is the only way to stay within the Biblical concept of heavenly family and validate women as women – to believe that gender identity has eternal meaning and that women are not simply bastardized and sub-standard men. (I understand the argument that the verse above does not state unequivocally that women were created in the image of God, but I personally reject that interpretation – given the totality of the Garden of Eden story, which, again, is for another discussion.)

    I tried to be somewhat concise, so there are a few over-simplifications, but it’s at least a start.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 19, 2008 @ 5:02 am |Reply

  74. Ray in comment 73 you left out what was actually taught by Joseph Smith himself

    Why isn’t the church honest in answering this question?

    Joseph Smith did indeed teach it, not an opinion but as the “First Principle of the Gospel”

    This is not a procedure like a temple ceremony or a changeable concept like polygamy or balck and the priesthood; this is the same as JS saying he saw God and Jesus in his first vision. Either it is or isn’t the Character of God.

    By Joseph Smith the Prophet
    President Joseph Smith delivered the following discourse before about twenty thousand Saints at the April conference of the Church, 1844, being the funeral sermon of Elder King Follett. Reported by Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, Thomas Bullock and William Clayton. This discourse was first published in the Times and Seasons of August 15, 1844:

    “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did; and I will show it from the Bible.”

    Joseph Smith taught the principle often it was no secret it was not presented as just his opinion, he taught this with just as much a surety as he claimed the first vision. As you search LDS archives you can find that it was taught before the actual King Follett discourse and after as well.

    Below is another example of a slightly different quote by Joseph and it seems there are many more.

    “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another. . . . You have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another. . . .” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-46.)”

    Regardless of what people say to outsiders of the Church in my 30 years as an active member, my experience was that MOST members do in fact believe in this concept in one degree or another, why not answer it honestly. When someone asks quote JS just like you do when you teach the story of the first vision.

    Comment by coventryrm — January 19, 2008 @ 6:45 pm |Reply

  75. Coventry, go back and read what I have written in each comment I have submitted. I have NEVER said that it hasn’t been taught; I have ALWAYS said that it was taught by various early leaders; I also have ALWAYS said that it is a belief that is based on the Bible – which is what Joseph Smith said. I made two points:

    1) I don’t see it that way.

    2) It is not taught that way now in the Church. Now, the standard answer is that we just don’t know.

    Let me phrase it this way:

    There is absolutely NOTHING in the temple ceremonies that teaches that God, the Father, was once a man like us; there is absolutely NOTHING in any interview that requires I believe it to be an active, faithful member – or even a leader – in the Church. There is a passage in the Bible that can be interpreted that way; it also can be interpreted other ways. It is a central precept of Mormonism that even prophets and apostles can be wrong about specific beliefs – that it is up to every member individually to take what is taught and pray for guidance as to how to see what it taught and, while granting extra weight to the words of the prophets and apostles, to realize they are fallible mortals just like the rest of us.

    The Church’s official statement on that point is found here:

    http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/approaching-mormon-doctrine

    That God was once a man like us is NOT a binding doctrine that defines what it means to be Mormon. It simply isn’t. That’s all I have said, so there is NOTHING dishonest in my answer.

    One last attempt:

    I understand completely if YOU believe it is a core teaching of early Mormonism. I even can accept completely that it was a core belief of Joseph Smith. By the same token, Adam-God was a core belief of Brigham Young – which the Church no longer teaches. **We do not and have NEVER taught prophetic infallibility.** This is why I occasionally get snippy and say, “I get tired of answering the same things over and over and over again.” It might drive you nuts that we can let go of previous prophetic pronouncements and still accept the ones who made the pronouncements as prophets, but that doesn’t mean it’s “dishonest”. It just means it makes no sense to you. I can accept and respect that; just don’t cast dispersions at me about honesty. I’ve never ducked any question, and I’ve never lied, and I’ve always tried to be as thorough and careful as I possible can be.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 19, 2008 @ 7:45 pm |Reply

  76. BTW, as I have said elsewhere, other Christian churches do the exact same thing with MANY pronouncements by early Christian leaders (both Biblical and post-Biblical). Iow, they accept prophets as prophets even though they don’t accept all their words as binding on them now. Why should it be any different for us?

    I understand if you can’t accept that we do that, but if you can’t accept it from us, at least reject it from others – and spend as much time telling them they are wrong as you spend telling us we are wrong. (If you already do that, then ignore that last statement.)

    Comment by raydegraw — January 19, 2008 @ 7:53 pm |Reply

  77. Basically at some point the Church could also stop teaching that Joseph was actaully visited by God then.

    Comment by coventryrm — January 19, 2008 @ 7:53 pm |Reply

  78. Others don’t make the same claims – Ray it is apples and oranges.

    Comment by coventryrm — January 19, 2008 @ 7:55 pm |Reply

  79. One more attempt to say it differently:

    You have said that you hold us to a higher standard because we “claim to be the one true church”. SO DO THE OTHER CHRISTIANS WHO CHALLENGE US. We define it as our denomination; they define it as “the body of Christ” – but they exclude anyone whose specific beliefs differ from theirs, which means IN PRACTICAL TERMS they do the exact same thing. Don’t criticize us and give them a free pass on this; we do the exact same thing – only we allow for the probability that many of them will end up exactly where we are trying to go, while they often condemn us to Hell for our doctrinal differences.

    Seriously, that is an important point that gets glossed over in the name-calling that flies around all too easily. Personally, and I understand my bias in what I am about to say, I think the tone on this blog (and most “Mormon” blogs) compared to the tone on the VAST majority of other religious blogs that “discuss” Mormonism says more than anything else could about the “Christian discipleship” of the participants.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 19, 2008 @ 8:04 pm |Reply

  80. They make the same claims about exclusivity of correctness, coventry. If they didn’t, why would they spend so much time and effort trying to change our minds? For the same reason we explain our beliefs – because we each think we are right AND THE OTHER IS WRONG. There is absolutely no difference in the basic stance.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 19, 2008 @ 8:07 pm |Reply

  81. In fact, their claim is more restrictive than ours, since we openly say that we don’t understand all truth and are open to further revelation – and even further scripture if it is discovered.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 19, 2008 @ 8:08 pm |Reply

  82. Ray

    I do agree with you and I have argued in behalf of the LDS on the Christian question. I do make the same arguments I make with LDS as Prophets with Biblical prophets my blog has a few examples, I don’t think that it adds validity to Mormonism however just puts a big question mark on the God myth as whole. The LDS is just an easier discusssion since its is fairly new by comparison and there is much more actual historical data available and it is what I am the most familiar with and the Church does make the claim of living Prophets and can and should be held to a higher standard as a result of making certain claims of revelation. Those revelations should hold up to scrutiny.

    How many times do you let someone change their story before you stop believing or put creedence to what they have to say?

    Comment by coventryrm — January 19, 2008 @ 8:09 pm |Reply

  83. I don’t know, coventry. It hasn’t happened yet. :-)

    I believe there is a God; I believe Jesus was and is the Savior and Redeemer of the world; I love the positive impact the Mormon Church has and has had in my life and in the lives of those who lives according to the GOSPEL it teaches; I love the official openness to change and progress and evolution (of doctrine and individuals) and understanding we might be getting it wrong but it’s OK just to be doing the best we can; etc.

    BTW, I have said on numerous occasions that if I weren’t Mormon, I’m not sure I could be Christian – given my abhorrence for much of what passes as Christianity these days (and over the centuries). If I wasn’t Mormon, I probably would be Buddhist – since I see a lot of cosmic similarities there. (That probably will put some over the edge, but it means I think I actually understand your struggle a little more than you think I do.)

    Comment by raydegraw — January 19, 2008 @ 8:20 pm |Reply

  84. coventry, I am headed to an appointment in a couple of minutes, but I have a sincere question – and it not a criticism AT ALL. I mean that completely. It is not a criticism. It really is a sincere question, and I would appreciate a thoughtful, slowly considered answer.

    You are following what you believe is true, based on your own experience and perception. You are actively seeking out those who disagree with you – or at least who have a different experience and perception – and trying to convince them that they are wrong, EVEN IF they are perfectly happy and content with their own lives, and EVEN IF you don’t believe their particular beliefs and perceptions will make a bit of difference in the afterlife – if there is one.

    Why is that any different than others trying to share what they believe – any different than what I do – or what Jason does – or what Brad used to do here? I understand degrees of civility and obnoxiousness, but, at the most fundamental level, why do you care what others believe – especially if they are good, kind, sincere people? Why do you feel compelled to convince them to agree with you?

    Comment by raydegraw — January 19, 2008 @ 8:34 pm |Reply

  85. Coventry, my biggest problem with the things you say here is that you keep saying the same things over and over again. At some point it’s time to move on. Your #77 is a repeat of several comments you have made before, and it isn’t any more logical now than it was then.

    Just because some members and leaders don’t accept everything Joseph said (on the principle that he was fallible and can be wrong) does not, despite what you always say, mean that they must then reject everything Joseph said on every issue. We have been down this road before, and you are still just as wrong now as you were then. It’s not an all or nothing proposition. People can be wrong about some things and still be right about others, and still be a prophet.

    BTW, no one is saying here that Joseph was absolutely wrong, just that it’s not a core teaching that we all accept. He may, in fact, be 100% correct, but we just don’t know, so we don’t teach it. Ray doesn’t believe it, but as you point out, many other Mormons do.

    “smart people are very good at rationalizing things that they came to believe for non smart reasons”

    This seems to be your mantra, Coventry, but it could also be your problem. Scrape the rust off your faith and ask yourself whether all the things that you call “rationalizations” might not just be correct explanations. Such explanations are not strictly necessary, since faith does not require them, but they prevent those with little faith from making a stumbling block out of something that need not be one.

    Comment by mcquinn — January 19, 2008 @ 11:12 pm |Reply

  86. Ray,

    I guess I’ll never have time to get back to our original dialogue, let alone keep up with what’s been happening on the blog since then (wow!) :)

    I would like to make one quick comment.
    Jesus is the Word, ever present and equal with God the Father.
    He, with the Father and Spirit, created Lucifer and everything else
    He simply cannot be a “spirit brother” with Lucifer, nor a spiritual
    child of God in the way you describe. I’m being very plain and bold
    in my speech because the Bible really doesn’t leave a lot of room
    on this one. I’d like your thoughts on it.

    Respectfully,
    –alifeofprayer

    Comment by alifeofprayer — January 20, 2008 @ 2:27 pm |Reply

  87. alifeofprayer,

    Yeah, things get crazy with multiple people commenting. :-)

    Just for clarification, are you describing the Triune three-in-one / one-in-three concept – or do you see the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as three unique Beings working in an equal trinitarian union? I can’t really respond properly without a little better understanding of what you mean.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 20, 2008 @ 7:53 pm |Reply

  88. Cool, I’ll get you answers I appreciate it.
    1) “We have NEVER claimed prophetic infallibility, so the argument is specious on its face.”

    2 Peter 1:20-21 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

    Deut 18:22 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.

    The message of a true prophet is not from himself but from God and the simple test is whether or not what he says is true or happens. The idea of a fallible yet true prophet is an oxymoron and is big reason why mormonism is false.

    2) “The symbols you link are representations of BIBLICAL imagery of the glory of God”

    Now you’re being deceptive. Maybe what you said is true, lets be real. The sun is rad, but why put a face on it? Why pitcures of hand shakes, “fellowship”, stars are cool too, why upside down? You know very well Joseph Smith was a hard-core free-mason and free masonry is a luciferian order that only seeks to glorify man, the induvidual. When you become a free mason you swear an oaths to leave God at the door of the lodge.

    3) I am aware that the crossing of natives from Asia to Alaska was already problem, the DNA thing is more solid evidence. As for your “Jaredites”. From what I can tell there are a few problem you need to deal with
    i) Nibley only states that they may have used that route, not that they were genetically different from peoples of the middle East
    ii) There are other Mormons that believe that believe that the
    “Jaredites” may have taken the same route as the Nephites or even went via the Atlantic, you view is one of many.
    iii) From what I have read, Coriantumr was the last of the Jaredites and lived shortly with the Mulekites and then died. If they were all dead then how did they intermix? even if they had intermixed maternal or paternal DNA testing would be able to identify the middle eastern link
    iv) Joseph Smith said that the Jareidtes number in the millions having cities that went from sea to sea, there is no evidence of this.

    Sorry dude, I don’t but it.

    Comment by theroan — January 21, 2008 @ 3:28 am |Reply

  89. 1) Jason, you are talking about prophesy NOT everything a prophet says. As I have said before, there are MANY things that prophets said in the Bible that we no longer believe and follow. There also are MANY things in the Bible that are allegorical – or symbolic – or cultural – or any number of non-prophetic statements, even many that are spoken as the word of God at the time. If you hold modern Mormon prophets to that standard, you must hold ancient Biblical prophets to that standard – which, I believe, is why coventry is agnostic. He understands that comparison. (Sorry, coventry, if that is not correct.)

    Also, as a follow-up to what mcquinn said, I need to make it clear that I am NOT rejecting the King Follett Discourse’s claims about God, the Father’s, past. All I’m saying is that I don’t think it’s correct, since it isn’t canonized doctrine that is binding on me as a Mormon. If I find our in the hereafter that it is correct, I will nod and say, “OK. That’s cool.”

    2) I’m not being deceptive at all. Joseph Smith NEVER instituted an oath to leave God at the door of the temple. Yes, he was a mason; but there is NO deception in how he used and we use the sun, moon and stars in our temples. They are symbols of God’s glory, and they are used that way in the Bible and in our temple. In our temples, they are NOT masonic symbols. There are many similarities between the temple ceremonies and masonry, since Joseph used much of their imagery and format, but there also are many MORE similarities between the temple ceremonies and ancient Jewish temple worship – and Catholic worship symbolism – than with masonry. The masonic similarities simply are more obvious and controversial – hence, more well-known.

    There is an excellent, concise comparison of the temple ceremonies and the Catholic mass, as well as some references to graduation ceremonies (also heavily influenced by masonry) at:

    http://www.timesandseasons.org/?p=4350

    An example of using similar symbols for different things: I would NEVER use a swastika in our day and age, due to its use in Nazi Germany, but the symbol itself is an ancient one of benediction and good luck. Thankfully, we don’t use that symbol in our temples, but if we did it would not mean we are neo-nazis. It simply would mean that we use ancient symbols.

    3) Again, the Book of Mormon itself NEVER claims to be a record of the entire inhabitants of the entire Americas. In fact, it mentions multiple times that many others will be led to the Americas by the hand of God. I have written extensively about the problems with the assumptions that early Mormons made about the Book of Mormon, and Nibley wrote some incredibly compelling analyses of the internal claims. I can’t begin to summarize this in a comment here, but I will try to hit a few highlights – again, focusing strictly on what the book actually says, not what others read into it or assumed about it given the general societal assumptions of their day.

    a) We have a VERY spotty record of ONE family, its descendants and those with whom a PORTION of that family came in contact. There is almost nothing that gives ANY information about others who might have lived on the continents – except an even spottier record that followed the Jaredite royal line, **those who remained close enough to the “capital” to remain under the control of that royal line**. When you read the Book of Ether, it is OBVIOUS that it does not even try to keep track of all the descendants of the initial group. It focuses almost exclusively on the kings and what happens to them, only including the people around them as fodder for the tales of warfare.

    b) “All the land” is a common term used in ancient scripture to mean “all the known land” or “all the land under centralized rule”. Noah’s flood is seen by MANY Biblical scholars as having been a catastrophic local flood that wiped out everyone and everything that inhabited *Noah’s world* – one that was later generalized to universal status since every culture has a similar flood narrative – since nearly all large civilizations anciently were centered near and around water. (Also, a careful reading of the chapters immediately following the flood make it crystal clear that there were other human survivors of the flood – *outside the flood area*.) Caesar’s edict that “all the world should be taxed” is obvious hyperbole; it simply meant “all HIS world” – since he was well aware of areas that were not under his control and, therefore, would not be taxed. The Jaredites easily could have numbered in the millions; they easily could have had cities that stretched from “sea to sea” (especially if the central government was located somewhere in Central America, where “sea to sea” is not that large an area); and those millions that lived in that area easily could have been rounded up and destroyed in a final, massive battle – all the while not coming close to wiping out every living human on the face of the American continents other than the Nephites and Lamanites and Mulekites of the time. Again, this is based on what the Book of Mormon actually says about them, not culturally-based assumptions made by those who read it after it was published. Coriantumr easily could have been the sole survivor of that centrally controlled empire, while millions of other descendants of the ancient Jaredite group could have been living outside the control and knowledge of the royal family. (In fact, the incontrovertible fact that the Jaredites were unaware of such a population living relatively close to them – at least within walking distance for Coriantumr – argues that they had NO CLUE WHATSOEVER if “all” the people had been gathered, but rather gathered only those of whom they were aware.) Basic population and demographic standards almost dictate that such would have been the case after what probably was well over 2,000 years.

    c) If the descendants of Lehi were a localized group, covering a relatively small area (compared to the entire continents), and if the “Lamanites” assimilated other, larger groups not specified in the Book of Mormon – like the Nephites assimilated the more numerous Mulekites (which appears almost certain, given the population descriptions included in the Book of Mormon), then their genetic footprint easily could have been diluted very, very early on.

    d) Furthermore, we have NO IDEA whatsoever what the maternal lineage was for Lehi’s children, since we have NO IDEA whatsoever Sariah’s lineage. Lehi appears to have been a traveling man who was outside the accepted authority structure of Jerusalem. He was NOT a Jew, but a descendant of Joseph (which he didn’t even know until reading the plates – which also argues that he was not a “pious” man prior to his vision, which would explain much of Laman and Lemuel’s disbelief in that vision) – as was Ishmael. He knew Egyptian fluently. There is SO much ambiguity as to both Lehi’s and Sariah’s origins that there simply is no way to tell what DNA testing would show for the family.

    e) Therefore, on its very face, DNA testing simply can’t be conclusive as to the truth or error of the Book of Mormon – **especially** if it shows that the dominant strain is from the same area where it appears the Jaredites originated. This is another case of where the testing probably invalidates the early assumptions, but it doesn’t even come close to invalidating the actual claims of the book itself.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 21, 2008 @ 4:54 am |Reply

  90. “Nibley only states that they may have used that route, not that they were genetically different from peoples of the middle East.”

    Wrong. He believed they originated from the Mongolian steppes, and his argument is multi-faceted and very compelling.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 21, 2008 @ 5:39 am |Reply

  91. 1) So where do you draw the line? So people living on the sun isn’t prophecy but having multiple wives is? You can’t just pick and choose so don’t look ridiculous. There are times when people say “the Lord says…” and when Micah is out with his buddies having fun, I see that difference. “allegorical – or symbolic – or cultural – or any number of non-prophetic statements” also true, but what about the straight up regular ones that didn’t take place? Those do exist and you can’t ignore the implications of false prophecy.
    2) Poking holes in Catholocism makes no difference to me, they are also in a bad spot theology wise ie transubstantiation. If it aint what Christ taught don’t do it. Its ok for Christians to use Hebrew stuff because that where Christianity comes from, but it makes no sense to “borrow” from free masonry, its like when someone becomes a Christian we decided to use fraternity initians on them, “welcome to God’s family, now run to the end of the street naked while drinking a beer.” But I don’t think we’ll get any where on this one, agree to disagree.
    3) “others will be led to the Americas by the hand of God” Not evidence for your case. Also the book of Mormon’s wording makes it pretty clear it’s a history of all the of west and the people in the book of mormon made the population of natives we know today. The benefit early mormons had and you have, is that is was written recently, historically speaking. If they were confused about something, they could just go to Joe’s house and ask, now he wasn’t there because he was stealing other men’s wives but you get the point. If they believed those things to be the case, time permits that it actually was.
    a/b) My point still stands though, DNA testing can still find the middle eastern link
    When it says all the land, it means all the land. Now we have a problem cuz I believe it was a world wide flood.

    It’s been fun

    Comment by theroan — January 21, 2008 @ 3:24 pm |Reply

  92. Please read my response to MCQ and Ray independent from each other as I try to respond in kind so my tone with MCQ is a bit terser than with Ray. (Having said that I don’t have a problem with MCQ but you have to deal with different people differently) :)

    First I will answer MCQ

    A: You are right since it is already logical it really can’t be more logical. It just is.

    B: Perhaps I am still just as right now as I was then and therefore it is worth repeating.

    C: I don’t have a problem my mantra forces me to take a critical and skeptical look at what I accept and believe all of which should be backed up with empirical evidence or data if none can be found then I have to question what it is I find myself believing, so there is no rust on my faith I made a conscious well informed choice to put my trust and belief into things that warrant it. There is no stumbling here just flying free of oppressive outdated dogmas that slow the advancement of human growth and progression.

    Ray

    I didn’t take your questions as criticism what so ever, they are fair questions, that I had thought about before and have been rethinking again the last day or so since you asked.

    I will answer the last part first:

    “Why is that any different than others trying to share what they believe – any different than what I do – or what Jason does – or what Brad used to do here? I understand degrees of civility and obnoxiousness, but, at the most fundamental level, why do you care what others believe – especially if they are good, kind, sincere people? Why do you feel compelled to convince them to agree with you?”

    I don’t think there is any difference. I don’t really feel compelled to convince anyone, as you have stated neither do you. I have stated on here several times that I do not have any illusions that I could change anyone’s mind especially those on here like you that comment regularly. I enjoy the debate, I have the time, and it is a topic I find thought provoking and intriguing for now, but maybe in another year I will be on a ski blog discussing which resort is better than the other, who knows. I like to give the opposing view to those that come in here asking questions or seeking or maybe the one that was like me years ago questioning and scared of what life without the church would be like. I hope my words could help that person. You hope your words will bring them back. I know from my blog stats that many more people come in and look then comment.

    To answer “why do you care what others believe” I will be cover that in my answer to the following question:

    “You are following what you believe is true, based on your own experience and perception. You are actively seeking out those who disagree with you – or at least who have a different experience and perception – and trying to convince them that they are wrong, EVEN IF they are perfectly happy and content with their own lives, and EVEN IF you don’t believe their particular beliefs and perceptions will make a bit of difference in the afterlife – if there is one. “

    I am concerned in the here and now and also for future generations I am concerned of the impact that those that allow a belief in an unsubstantiated myth dictate how they vote, govern and run their life and this country will have on the above. As a Humanitarian this causes great concern. The way to fight fanatical fundamentalism bent on using violence certainly isn’t to talk more about your own God myth. If more of the World and especially our nation looked at things from a purely Humanitarian view and based things on actual cause and effect and not be so worried what the imaginary Man in the sky thinks, I believe we would make much better decisions period. In fact it is when we have thought in those terms that we have made moral social advances, and thrown out some of what people in the past thought would please God. (Basically everything within the biblical texts that contradict the golden rule, which by the way was taught long before Jesus showed up, but there are still a few hold outs, homosexuality being one)

    We are currently fighting a war; our president constantly speaks of God and talks about fighting evil, when it is really about oil, Resistance to Stem Cell research or not having ones daughter receive the HPV vaccine, history is full of example after example were religious belief has been detrimental to human morality and advancement. We are fooling ourselves if we don’t recognize and see that it continues even now on a daily basis. Global warming may be a bigger concern to a nation of people that didn’t believe in the second coming of Christ and it really doesn’t matter because it is in God’s hands anyway.

    One a bit closer to home, I have a 22 year old daughter that just recently got married in the temple. She is an active Mormon. She had been contemplating getting her Masters, now only after being married a month her husband is talking babies. They are young their marriage will be healthier, they will be better parents as if they were to give themselves at least a couple of years to develop as individuals and nurture their relationship. Yet there is this pressure from LDS parents and peers, to start a family. My daughter wants to wait her husband doesn’t, who do you think will prevail? I see her slowly giving in, because she wants to do “What is right” is it really going to make a difference in the long run if they are two or three years older when their last child turns 18? But the positive impact of waiting could be 10 fold to both them and their future children.

    Bottom line decisions and actions based on myths and superstitions in spite of information and data and actual evidence to the contrary dumb down and hurt our society as a whole. That is why I care.

    Comment by coventryrm — January 21, 2008 @ 4:29 pm |Reply

  93. coventry, I can respect that totally. Fwiw, there is an excellent discussion of taking personal responsibility for our choices regarding having children, introduced by Pres. Hinckley saying it is totally up to each couple and the Lord, at the following site: http://www.mormonmommywars.com/?p=1038

    If you want to suggest your daughter read it (if that won’t get you killed), it might be just what she and her husband need. The women who comment there are a very good mix, including many who are quite “conservative, traditional” members. The discussion is enlightening for anyone who is getting pressure of any kind regarding children.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 21, 2008 @ 6:24 pm |Reply

  94. Jason, I can’t respect statements that are stereotypical broadsides riddled with inaccuracies and exaggerations. I took great care to be very careful about how I answered; you responded with hyperbolic generalizations filled with sarcasm and disdain and condescension.

    I am working very hard this month on becoming more poor in spirit, and I have struggled to address your comments in the manner and tone I believe I have been commanded to use. I share this now, because your last comment has tested my resolve. Unlike your sarcastic closing, I will not lie and say it’s been fun. If it really was fun for you, then that alone says more than I possibly could. I mean that sincerely, not sarcastically.

    I wish you the best, but I can’t say I will respond further. As you said, I will agree to disagree with you.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 21, 2008 @ 6:24 pm |Reply

  95. Dude it was fun, I love debate.

    Comment by theroan — January 21, 2008 @ 6:54 pm |Reply

  96. That’s the difference, Jason. I don’t view this as debate.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 21, 2008 @ 7:15 pm |Reply

  97. Coventry:

    “my mantra forces me to take a critical and skeptical look at what I accept and believe all of which should be backed up with empirical evidence or data if none can be found then I have to question what it is I find myself believing, so there is no rust on my faith”

    If your test is that you believe only what is “backed up by empirical evidence” then yes, your faith is rusty. Faith, by definition, is belief in things which are not backed up by empirical evidence. I was asking you to set aside empirical evidence and exercise some faith. I guess you are saying that you will not do that. I think that’s sad.

    Comment by mcquinn — January 21, 2008 @ 8:27 pm |Reply

  98. I think having to believe in fairies to fully appreciate and explain the wonderful mysteries and awesome nature of our world is even sadder.

    I should clarify the faith I want nothing to do with is the one by definition –

    “Faith is what you have when the presence or absence of empirical evidence doesn’t matter”

    That kind of Faith is the same that Mel Gibsons Dad has, or the Muslim that will give his life for some reward in the afterlife, or the Creationist that truly believes that the Earth is less than 10k, or those that believed the Earth was flat or that sun revolved around it, or that the garden of Eden and mans origin is in Missouri.

    The Faith I have (if you want to call it such) is more in the way of I believe the Sun will rise tomorrow, If I work hard and commit to my job I will have success. Etc…

    Comment by coventryrm — January 21, 2008 @ 9:57 pm |Reply

  99. It’s interesting how we see what we believe, isn’t it? :-)

    Frankly, my faith is somewhere in between those extremes. Here is the most relevant part of something I wrote from another blog:

    “When I entered the world of blogging, I was struck immediately by two competing forms of discussion. The vast majority of those who participate in the corner of the Bloggernacle I frequent are sincerely searching for greater understanding and increased joy. Some of them, however, seem to be stuck in a cycle of trying to understand something intellectually before they can accept it spiritually. They seem to be saying, “I will accept this once I can understand it,” rather than, “This brings me joy, so I will do my best to accept and understand it – even if that means my understanding changes periodically, or regularly, or constantly over a long period of time.” They say, “My heart wants to accept this, but my mind keeps me from accepting it,” rather than, “My heart accepts this, so I will exercise my mind diligently to try to understand what I have accepted – knowing that that process might not end completely in this life, but I will continue to accept it regardless, because it brings me joy.”

    The personal observation: I am joyful because I have chosen an outlook that brings me joy; I am at peace because I made the conscious choice from among many options. This peace and joy are not primarily intellectual. I still must exercise my mind constantly in order to understand and reconcile the issues with which I am faced daily, and I love to read the nuanced, intelligent and insightful perspectives of others, but I do so from the foundation of belief. I hear someone (anyone – inside or outside the Church) say something, and my first thought is not, “I don’t get it; it must be wrong,” but rather “How can I understand this in a way that is consistent with my understanding of the Gospel – in a way that will add to my joy?” Sometimes, what I consider to be a “full” understanding (meaning as close as I believe I will ever get to knowing fully) has taken years to achieve, and there are some questions that still sit untouched for a time while I refine my understanding of others. I’m fine with that.

    The question: Why is this?

    The answer: I know I am able to construct just about any intellectual justification I desire that will warrant just about any theological / philosophical / doctrinal construct I choose to accept. Given my ability to adapt a solid intellectual argument for whatever I desire to believe, I exercise my agency by focusing on what I desire to believe – what my heart and soul tells me it wants to believe – what brings me joy. I consider the options and make my choice. Again, since my brain is capable of justifying whatever choice I make, I pick my course (what kind of life I want to live), then I construct / adopt / assimilate the perspective that I feel will lead best to the end of that course.”

    Comment by raydegraw — January 21, 2008 @ 11:48 pm |Reply

  100. But Ray, it isn’t just what gives you joy, and what your heart wants to believe. There is an element of revelation in what you believe, and that is what is missing from Coventry’s analysis. If you receive revelation concerning the truthfulness of book or a concept, then what choice do you have but to accept it and try to conform your life to it? That is the position that I am in. Intellectual analysis and rationality cannot get you there. You must exercise faith in God and seek guidance from him and show that you are willing to accept what he tells you: then you receive revelation. It’s not a belief in fairies, Coventry, it’s a belief in the only process that can ever lead to spiritual truth.

    Comment by mcquinn — January 22, 2008 @ 2:31 am |Reply

  101. You are right, mcquinn, in that I include revelation in what brings me joy. It is a major component in that joy, since it has impacted most of the decisions that have brought me the most joy. I should have made that clear when I pasted the section here, since I was focusing in the original post on how I can trust my feelings. In that discussion, I didn’t address revelation directly.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 22, 2008 @ 3:10 am |Reply

  102. Yet I have all that, and don’t have to believe in things that are intellectually void of reason or contradict what we can know to be true from actual empirical evidence. You make the wrong assumption that I am lacking spirituality or spiritual truth. I have found all those feelings of spirituality and revelation can still be in your life without having to compromise your mind.

    Ray

    I read your article when you first showed me the link I had several thoughts on what you were saying in fact you clarified some things and validated a few of my perceptions regarding LDS culture and emotional maturity or intellegence, It will take me some time to articulate it, I am considering making it the next post on my blog so as not to belabor the subject here on Steffies blog I will let you know if and when I post it.

    Comment by coventryrm — January 22, 2008 @ 5:39 am |Reply

  103. I would appreciate that, coventry.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 22, 2008 @ 5:47 am |Reply

  104. “I have found all those feelings of spirituality and revelation can still be in your life without having to compromise your mind.”

    Ironically, coventry, that’s exactly how I feel. That, I think, is a fascinating commentary on “we see through a glass darkly” – one that too few people (of any religious persuasion or none) really understand. It’s also why I enjoy the discussions you and I have far more than many others. I don’t see the hypocrisy and double standard in your comments.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 22, 2008 @ 5:50 am |Reply

  105. raydegraw said

    “there are MANY things that prophets said in the Bible that we no longer believe and follow.”

    I would suggest that the LDS do include teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul in that.

    When I was an Investigator I was taught that Blacks are the Less valiant , God is a White man ( evidence – Joseph Smith saw him ) .These teachings from my missionaries who were ‘Set Apart’ for that responsible calling .Now I learn that , its all just speculation and guesses and opinions etc really and the church doesn’t even teach it ,and each to their own beliefs etc within Mormonism.

    I was told by other members God has lots of wives . God was once a man and God has a Father who has a Father etc but we don’t know who came first a man or a God to start the process.

    I spent two years studying and participating and it seems that I was eventually credited with some ‘Meat’ after the initial ‘milk’ which they realised I wasn’t go to be sucked into the church by.

    I guess within Mormonism that we are all entitled to our own beliefs as long as we accept the core doctrine of ‘the Church Is True ‘ irrespective of whatever was taught by so called inspired leaders who at the time most certainly would have made their Authority on those matters very clear .

    As a member of the LDS church it seems that I can believe that God was once a Carrot and even publish it as an Apostle and later on it can be discarded as my opinion if it hasn’t taken off , or society deem it unnacceptable.

    You also said “we see through a glass darkly”

    I wish Brigham Young would have adopted that atitude , he was very clear about what he was seeing .

    (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16, page 161,Brigham Young .)
    “I am here to answer. I shall be on hand to answer when I am called upon, for all the counsel and for all the instruction that I have given to this people. If there is an Elder here, or any member of this Church, called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who can bring up the first idea, the first sentence that I have delivered to the people as counsel that is wrong, I really wish they would do it; but they cannot do it, for the simple reason that I HAVE NEVER GIVEN COUNSEL THAT IS WRONG; THIS IS THE REASON.”

    JD 12:127 − p.128, Brigham Young, December 29th 1867
    WHAT MAN OR WOMAN ON THE EARTH, WHAT SPIRIT IN THE SPIRIT−WORLD CAN SAY TRUTHFULLY THAT I EVER GAVE A WRONG WORD OF COUNSEL, OR A WORD OF ADVICE THAT COULD NOT BE SANCTIONED BY THE HEAVENS?

    But Heber C Kimball says that counsel from leaders could be wrong !

    Heber C. Kimball Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 32, November 8, 1852.
    “Wake Up, Ye Elders of Israel, and live to God and none else; and learn to do as you are told, both old and young: learn to do as you are told for the future. . . IF YOU ARE TOLD BY YOUR LEADER TO DO A THING, DO IT. NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHETHER IT IS RIGHT OR WRONG .”

    JOD is good as Scripture !

    JD 13:264, Brigham Young, October 6, 1870
    that Brigham Young has said “WHEN HE SENDS FORTH HIS DISCOURSES TO THE WORLD THEY MAY CALL THEM SCRIPTURE.” I SAY NOW, WHEN THEY ARE COPIED AND APPROVED BY ME THEY ARE AS GOOD SCRIPTURE AS IS COUCHED IN THIS BIBLE, and if you want to read revelation read the sayings of him who knows the mind of God,

    JD 13:95, Brigham Young, January 2, 1870
    I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom, as I know the road to my office. It is just as plain and easy. The Lord is in our midst. He teaches the people continually. I HAVE NEVER YET PREACHED A SERMON AND SENT IT OUT TO THE CHILDREN OF MEN, THAT THEY MAY NOT CALL SCRIPTURE. LET ME HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF CORRECTING A SERMON, AND IT IS AS GOOD SCRIPTURE AS THEY DESERVE.

    so going back to your original statement

    “there are MANY things that prophets said in the Bible that we no longer believe and follow.”

    I just wonder which beliefs from The New Testament don’t Latter Day Saints believe or follow anymore ?

    Comment by elderjoseph — January 22, 2008 @ 3:52 pm |Reply

  106. ej, “We” applies to all of Christianity. That’s exactly the point I was making, not that it’s exclusive to Mormonism. What I said is that it is HYPOCRITICAL for other Christians to blast us for not continuing to accept every word of every former prophet – when we don’t teach prophetic infallibility – when they don’t accept every word of every former prophet – and they DO teach prophetic infallibility. It might drive you and coventry and others nuts, but we at least have an out-clause in our theology; Christians who criticize us for it but do the same thing don’t have that same out-clause.

    We can go around and around and around on this one, but until you reconcile that issue, it’s pointless. Coventry can do so by denying all prophetic authority as an agnostic; believing Christians don’t have that luxury.

    Comment by raydegraw — January 23, 2008 @ 12:07 am |Reply

  107. raydegraw

    I’m not sure it applies to all Christianity because Christians have their beliefs from The New Testament and not have to mix and match the old testament stuff as Mormons seem to have done .

    Old Testament teachings are unique to Mormonism because of the reintroduction of many of them including ‘prophets’.

    Christianity puts all that behind and accepts only from Jesus Christ onwards .No Prophets needed or called .It’s just man made starting with Joseph Smith who proclaimed himself as one.

    This is Mormonisms own pickle .

    See Bednars talk ! lol

    Comment by elderjoseph — January 23, 2008 @ 6:54 pm |Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Toni Theme. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: