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Is Kirk Cameron a Mormon?

April 7, 2009

While the search “i love mormons” is the top google search bringing people to my blog, I thought I would share (for your amusement) some of the other common searches that are getting people here:

“kirk cameron mormon”

“is kirk cameron mormon”

“kirk cameron mormons”

“kirk cameron lds”

“fireproof mormon”

As an fyi, Kirk Cameron is not a Mormon folks.  For a video of Kirk Cameron sharing his views on Mormonism, click here.

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179 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2009 10:00 pm

    Oh my! That is a hoot! Kirk is a “die in the wool true blue born again christian! ”

    Loved his movie.:)

    Loved the segment on the way of the master on the LDS by the way.

    Gloria

  2. April 7, 2009 10:16 pm

    I wish Kirk Cameron was a Mormon.

    Then he could be an embarrassment to Mormonism instead of being an embarrassment to us.

  3. Tom permalink
    April 7, 2009 10:22 pm

    Haha. We’ve got Marvin Payne instead. (Saturday’s Warrior). Actually, Marvin has done quite a lot of respectable work. I don’t know if we do have a Mormon equivalent. John Heder? Too mainstream, and not really an embarrassment unless you count “Blades of Glory!”.

    Uhhhh……drawing a blank here…

    I would love to see a list of celebrities or quasi-celebrities that were purported to be LDS at one time or another. It’s quite a list, I’m sure.

  4. April 7, 2009 11:13 pm

    Kirby Heyborne. Every LDS film he touches withers and dies. However, he isn’t outspokenly preachy like Cameron is.

    You do have Boyd K. Packer lined up to be your next prophet though. I don’t know if that’s embarrassing or just scary.

    There’s an entire web site for famous Mormons, but my favorite page on the site is Infamous Mormons. Ha-ha, you guys have Ted Bundy.

  5. April 7, 2009 11:18 pm

    Tom, you’re trying to come up with embarrassing Mormon celebrities and the best you can do is Marvin Payne?! 🙂 (Marvin is a super nice guy, by the way; good friends with my dad.)

    Here’s a partial list off the top o’ my head:

    –Marie Osmond
    –Stephenie Meyer
    –Super Dell
    –David Archuleta
    –Rick Schroeder
    –The Duttons (from America’s Got Talent)
    –Julie Stoffer (from the Real World: New Orleans and subsequent Real World/Road Rules Challenges on MTV)

    Whenever I watch reality TV–which I’m ashamed to admit is far too often–I like to play this little game called “Spo the Mo” (Spot the Mormon) where I assign percentages to contestants based on how likely it is that they’re Mormon. I have never been wrong.

    There are plenty of not-so-embarrassing Mormon and ex-Mormon celebrities too, like Aaron Eckhart, Amy Adams, Neil LaBute, and so on…but they’re not nearly as fun to talk about. 😀

  6. April 7, 2009 11:23 pm

    I’m pretty sure that Grant on Ghost Hunters is Mormon. He always says “flip” or “fetch” instead of the F-word when the ghosts scare him.

  7. April 7, 2009 11:27 pm

    Jack, I guess we’re just gonna have to agree to disagree here, because there is nothing embarrassing and everything glorious about both Kirk Cameron AND Kirby Heyborne.

    (Is it just me or has today been a fantastic day for discussing Ev/Mo pop culture? I’m not sure if I’ll be able to survive the excitement of it! I’ve been thinking about it ALL DAY LONG ever since we started talking about Left Behind on that other board–and thank goodness! Who likes to work anyway?)

  8. April 7, 2009 11:28 pm

    He always says “flip” or “fetch” instead of the F-word when the ghosts scare him.

    That fact in and of itself would give him at least a 72.3% chance of being Mormon.

  9. Exitmusic permalink
    April 8, 2009 12:39 am

    I keep trying to come up with some wisecrack about Kirk Cameron. But I just can’t think of anything good! He’s just too lame and boring for anything good to be said. This segment speaks for itself:

  10. April 8, 2009 3:57 am

    Wow, guys. I really like Kirk. I think he is an amazing person. I guess I have a soft spot for adoptive parents — kirk and his lovely wife have 6 kids and 4 of them are adopted, and not because they couldn’t have children but because they just really wante to reach out to the fatherless. He also has a ministry with his wife called “camp firefly” and they allow terminally ill kids and their families to come and have a vacation for free — to release them from the burdens of the therapy and hospital visits. Then there is the fact that all the $$ he made from Fireproof he donated.
    Gosh, guys this guy is really showing forth some fruit for God’s glory.
    I don’t get why people are giving this guy a bad rap.

    God bless,
    gloria

    ps. Bridget, just curious why do you think kirk is an embarrasment? I love his way of the master radio show. What don’t you agree with? I am just curious.

  11. GERMIT permalink
    April 8, 2009 1:41 pm

    Jack: thanks for the low down on “flip” and “fetch”
    1st the good news: I’m not likely to be taken for ex-Mormon

    lapsed ex-catholics, like myself, hit our thumbs with the hammer, use a stronger word, look around nervously, and then go find a cold beer…..to soak the thumb of course 🙂

    GERMIT

  12. April 8, 2009 3:23 pm

    gloria ~ I’ve always agreed that Kirk Cameron and Chelsea Noble are lovely, charitable people as far as their personal lives go. Why don’t I like Kirk Cameron otherwise?

    For starters his movies are awful. The people here may like them, but I’ll just point out that Left Behind has a 12% rating at Rotten Tomatoes and Fireproof has a 37%. The second and third Left Behind movies only got a few reviews since they were released straight to DVD, but they were all negative as well. I feel like movies about the gospel ought to be the best films in the world, not the laughing stock of the film community, but evangelical cinema is notorious for being bad.

    I also don’t care for his style of preaching and tracting. For example, his ministry runs http://www.tenthousanddollaroffer.com, which is just a juvenile site. One of my favorite film critics made fun of that site here, for good reason. This is why people make fun of Christians, because of stupid outreach sites like that.

    Finally, every time he opens his mouth in a video or interview about Mormonism, atheism or evolution, I just cringe and turn away. I can’t tell you how many times my atheist friends have linked to video clips of him just to make fun of the dumb stuff he’s said in that regard. I watched the first 9 minutes of the video Jessica linked to above, and it’s pretty standard counter-cult ministry chatter about Mormon beliefs—not horribly inaccurate, but also not covering or allowing for the diversity of LDS beliefs within the church. It’s as if Carl Mosser and Paul Owen’s paper never happened. At least the filmmakers had the good sense not to call James White “Dr.”

    So that’s why I don’t like Kirk Cameron. To each his own and all that.

  13. April 8, 2009 3:39 pm

    hi, bridget. Thanks for taking time to respond.

    I guess I’ll have to agree to disagree here…… we love the left behind series…. we have all the movies, and my mormon husband loves them so much that he asks to watch them over and over again! Kind of funny really, but hey I don’t say a word.

    did you see fireproof? What did you think?

    My husband and I saw that one… and he loved it……it reached him is a very strong way…… after the movie he just sat and watched all the credits and at the end when the movie blared ” To God the Glory” on the screen…… his eyes popped out.

    I have since purchased all the Sherwood films. Facing the giants is another favorite of my mormon husband.

    I just wanted to share how the movies Kirk is doing is reaching the lost……. in powerful ways. I really need to drop him a letter or go to his website and just let him know how he is being used by the Lord.

    God bless,
    gloria

  14. April 8, 2009 3:40 pm

    P.S. I am *not* suprised hollywood spurns the christian movies and such…… of course they would, and no atheist is going to appreciate kirk at all, that’s for sure. He’s too sold out for Jesus. 😉

    I think Jesus was pretty unpopular too with the crowds.

    Gloria

  15. April 8, 2009 4:14 pm

    I’ve seen Fireproof, hated it. My husband (who is also Mormon) has seen Left Behind and thought it was every bit as silly as it was. We both thought Left Behind 2 was a bit better, but that isn’t saying much. I haven’t seen the third one.

    While I agree that film critics have a tendency to dump hate on Christian films, I don’t think that alone counts for the poor reviews these films got. Even Christian reviewers from publications like Christianity Today sometimes give these films poor reviews. On the other hand, Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie got a 65% in spite of what I felt was some unfair anti-Christian bile from some reviewers. The Prince of Egypt got a 79%, though that was admittedly an interfaith feature intended for Christian, Jewish and Muslim audiences to enjoy. Richard Dutcher’s States of Grace, which was more of an ecumenical Christian film than a Mormon one probably reflecting that Dutcher was on his way out of Mormonism at the time, got an 82%. So there is room for well-made religious fare to do well.

    And as I recall, Jesus was horribly popular with crowds. He was frequently having to find ways to slip away from them and manage them, and some of his miracles were about faithful people who found ways of getting to Him in spite of the crowds.

    BTW, yay for Katie’s new avatar! 😉

  16. April 8, 2009 4:32 pm

    Hi, bridget.

    I meant to say jesus was horribly unpopular with the “religious” crowds. 🙂 I am thinking of the Jewish leaders ….. they didn’t like him too much as you recall, but yes with the “common” people yes, with sinner yes, with the lame and the sick yes…… but with “religionists” no.

    I hear you on movie critics — I just don’t pay any attention to them.

    God bless,
    gloria

  17. April 8, 2009 4:35 pm

    Bridget,
    Can I ask “why” did you hate fireproof?

    gloria

  18. April 8, 2009 5:28 pm

    Gloria…did you just compare Kirk Cameron to Jesus?

    Because, don’t get me wrong, I love me some Kirk Cameron, but I’m not sure even I’d go that far. 🙂

    The reason critics don’t like films like Left Behind and Fireproof is not because of hate, but because, from an artistic standpoint, they’re poorly made.

    (I will have you know that is the precise reason WHY I love them.) 😀

    Having said that, a religious film’s value is not necessarily in its artistry. The artsy-fartsy types are NEVER going to be its target audience. People who watch these movies are typically looking for a film that can uplift, reinforce values, tug at heartstrings, and provide wholesome entertainment. As such, they succeed entirely, and I can respect that they have a completely legitimate place in the market.

    Now, some films that have religious themes can be quite artful (examples are Doubt, Contact, States of Grace, Million Dollar Baby, Schindler’s List, The Boondock Saints, Passion of the Christ, Ghandi, etc.) but let’s be honest: they’re also uncomfortable; and most of the time when you’re looking for wholesome, uplifting family entertainment, you’re NOT looking for films that challenge you.

  19. April 8, 2009 5:29 pm

    Yeah, I got my Avatar to work. 🙂 I like it.

  20. April 8, 2009 6:01 pm

    Katie: I’ll add “Babette’s Feast” to that list, and one of my fave’s “The Apostle”

  21. April 8, 2009 6:03 pm

    And yeah, they should’ve gotten Mickey Rourke or Sean Pean to do the “before” fireman….and then , I dunno……stunt double ??? but Kirk ?? doesn’t work for me or my wife either….. still an OK film…..

  22. April 8, 2009 6:16 pm

    No, katie, I am most certainly not comparing Kirk to Christ. Good grief, NO.
    I was merely stating that christian movies are most likely not going to be popluar with the public. Jesus was not popular with the religionsits. That is what I was saying.
    Please excuse me if I ever ever gave the “illusion” of comparison.

    Regards,
    gloria

  23. April 8, 2009 6:18 pm

    Critics may have their opinions about Fireproof and other movies, but there are people out there who really don’t care what the critics are saying. I for one most certainly don’t base my entertainment choices on what hollywood movie critics are saying. In fact, I tend to like the movies they don’t like. 🙂

    Gloria

  24. April 8, 2009 7:14 pm

    Gloria, I commented on why I didn’t like Fireproof here.

    I don’t always agree with the critics, but generally I find that if a movie rates less than 20% at Rotten Tomatoes, it’s every bit as much of a stinker as the critics say it is. There are some movies out there which are so-bad-they’re-good, and some of them make great fodder for RiffTrax, but that wasn’t the case for me with Cameron’s films.

  25. April 8, 2009 7:25 pm

    Hey, bridget. No problem, we’re not always going to like the same things and that’s ok. That is what I love about the whole concept of grace…. we are not supposed to be carbon copies of each other….. that is one of the greatest things I love about the Christian life… when I was LDS I felt very much like I should conform to the “image” of the what the LDS beleived was a faithful wife, mother , sister, etc.

    There is much freedom in Jesus and for that I am truly grateful!

    I hope you enjoy a JOYous easter!
    gloria

  26. April 8, 2009 9:19 pm

    Anyone here read Kirk’s autobiography?

    I picked it up last year and really enjoyed it. Personally, I like him. Not because of his movies or style of preaching or anything like that. I like him because he took the high road. Here was a man making tons of money and had life layed before him. He could have done virtually anything he wanted to do. What did he choose to do? Pursue Christ. Whether you like his METHODS or not is beside the point in my opinion. He has chosen to sacrifice and live his life for Christ. He could have gone the path most other hollywood millionares do… pursue HIS OWN SELFISH DESIRES. His career has suffered GREATLY because of his choice to follow Christ and THAT is admirable IMO.

    Darrell

  27. germit permalink
    April 9, 2009 12:47 am

    Darrell : well said, and tho he’s not in my top twenty as an actor, he is setting a very good example. Go for it, Kirk.

    GERMIT

  28. MadChemist permalink
    April 9, 2009 3:25 am

    I watched the first minute, and was surprised by the initial veneer of professionalism, using the full name of the church, using church pictures that church members would be familiar with… But suddenly Kurt Cameron’s anti-“cultism” showed through. As always, Jack, I’m amazed by your ability to see through such crap, and although disappointed, I’m not surprised by Gloria’s and Jessica’s non-disapproval.

    Kurt Cameron’s a freak!

  29. April 9, 2009 3:32 am

    I guess I don’t understand the comparisons with the secular entertainment industry. I didn’t think that was the point of the movies (such as Fireproof) that are being put out by Sherwood Baptist Church. They’ve got a bunch of volunteers for all the behind the scenes stuff to try to save money in producing the movies. I thought they were doing this as a ministry. I guess I don’t put Christian movies in the same category as Hollywood movies. They have completely different purposes. Like Katie pointed out, people don’t generally like these kinds of movies for the same reasons as they like watching movies simply for the entertainment factor.

    I think using media for gospel outreach can be effective. I know one of my sister’s LDS friends was very touched by the cross scene in Fireproof. She was so excited about the movie she was inviting all her co-workers to go see it. When I initially posted the little post about the movie I thought it would be an area of common ground between LDS and Evangelicals. My sister’s LDS friend loves Kirk. Maybe it’s cuz I grew up in the eighties with a junior high school crush on the teenage star of Growing Pains… Or maybe because I admired his choice to leave Hollywood and pursue ministry after he met Christ. Can he be cheesy sometimes? Sure. Is he “successful” in the eyes of the world? Doesn’t appear to be. But in the end the Lord will judge his work, not atheists or film critics.

  30. April 9, 2009 3:56 am

    Jessica,

    I completely agree with you. Sherwood’s efforts have been tremendously blessed by The Lord. I have some Mormon friends here in my hometown who loved the movie. I know of a few couples (1 who are Mormon) who are having marriage issues and they talked about how wonderful the movie was. It gave them a conviction to seek The Lord more in their marriage.

    Those who compare a movie like Fireproof (which by and large is a Church project with amateurs and a shoe string budget) to a hollywood blockbuster are making a poor comparison. The Lord uses all kinds of tools to bring people to Him and I for one believe He is definately using Kirk Cameron and the projects of Sherwood Baptist. Keep in mind different people are reached IN DIFFERENT WAYS. What one considers cheesy and corny may to another be wonderful. We are all DIFFERENT!!

    Some LDS, who are not open to hearing the truth, are always going to take offense and dislike anyone who speaks out and says the LDS church is false. In addition, hard core atheists who are not open to hearing the Gospel are ALWAYS going to cast stones at us crazy Christians. I would never judge the value of a project like Fireproof or a ministry like Kirk’s based upon how SOME atheists or LDS react. You WILL NEVER be able to please everyone.

    Did Fireproof help to bring people to Christ? Does Kirk’s ministry help bring people to Christ? I would be willing to bet they have. I know they have both touched and helped me in ways in my life. I tell you what… if but one soul is brought to Christ due to these efforts I would count it worth it. And besides, as I mentioned in my previous comment, I for one commend Kirk for his values and willingness to give up the easy life for Christ.

    Darrell

  31. April 9, 2009 4:06 am

    Darell & All,

    I just wanted to share some really wonderful things that have occurred in my family and extended family as a result of movies like Fireproof and Facing the Giants ( another Sherwood production). First of all, my LDS husband loves both of these films — not just “likes” them – but loves them! The first time he watched facing the giants ( on DVD at home) he watched it over again! That’s how much he enjoyed it and was touched by the message…….
    Then we went to see Fireproof as a couple, and my LDS husband sat thru the entire movie and at the end of the movie, when they played the credits…. he sat thru all of that too! I was wanting to leave and he said no he just wanted to take it all in! Yeah God! At the end of the movie, very end of the credit – on the screen flashes ” To God be the Glory”…… my husband was so touched by that! You should have seen his eyes!
    We also have the Left Behind series and my husband loves them!!! He has learned so much about the rapture and even he says “if” the rapture happens I want to go too! Yeah God!
    God works in mysterious ways and yes even thru low budget cheezy films!
    I am so blessed by Sherwood’s films and hope and pray they’ll do more!

    God bless,
    gloria

  32. April 9, 2009 4:08 am

    Oops! I can’t believe I forgot to share what happend to my niece and her soon to be husband. I encouraged them to go see fireproof, as a “date” and they went, and her email back to me was “it was life changing”…. they both committed their lives to Christ!!
    Another victory!
    Just had to share these experiences — we have purchased Fireproof for our home movie collection and enjoy it immensely!

    God bless,
    gloria

  33. April 9, 2009 4:15 am

    Ever heard of Primer? It’s a sci-fi movie, not religious, but it has a 72% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and it won a Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Guess how much it cost to make?

    $7000. Less than most used cars. It does not take a big budget to make a great film, and Fireproof is bad even by small-budget, independent film standards. I honestly feel like Christian films are bad because there is no competition in this genre and Christians feel obligated to support these films, so the filmmakers don’t even try.

    Anyways, I think I’ve made my feelings on Kirk Cameron and the plight of Christian cinema clear enough, so I’ll get off my soapbox now.

  34. April 9, 2009 4:18 am

    One more thing: I strongly recommend reading Richard Dutcher’s article “Parting Words” on his departure from Mormon cinema and the Mormon church altogether. He’s chastising LDS filmmakers for making poor-quality films, but I feel exactly the same way about Christian films. Here are some excerpts:

    Film is the most powerful and most influential art form in the history of mankind. We must treat it with the reverence and the respect it demands. Very few in its entire history have cared to use it for any purpose other than to pass a few hours in harmless entertainment and to make a few bucks. Frankly, that’s what many of you have tried to do. Who can blame you? Perhaps you didn’t understand its potential.

    Look at the movies that play on the screen of the theater in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. These films are the introduction of Mormonism to hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe. Shouldn’t these be the most powerful films on the face of the earth? For whatever reason — nepotism, ignorance … who knows? — this opportunity is squandered. Why not share with visitors the beauty and power of Mormonism, rather than treating them to polite, remedial and not-so-factual recitations of Mormon History and scripture? Viewers should leave those films weak in the knees, their minds reeling, their spirits soaring. Film has the power to do that.

    ….

    Family films? Forget that nonsense. There are so many well-behaved people of every religion on the planet who are eager and capable of producing such films. Mormons have something different, unique, vitally important to offer. Dedicate yourselves to making substantial films of elevated craft, undeniable artistry and potent themes.

    In my experience, those who wave the flag of “family films” are usually those who have discovered that they lack anything valuable to say, the talent to say it, and the ability to compete in the marketplace. They are looking for a popular cause to compensate for (and to excuse) their lack of ability.

  35. April 9, 2009 4:19 am

    Yes, I think you’ve made your feelings quite clear 🙂 I don’t think Christians feel obligated to support these films, though. You’re actually the first one I’ve met that doesn’t like them. All the Christians I know love the Sherwood films. As you said earlier- to each their own.

  36. April 9, 2009 4:34 am

    Hey, bridget. It’s ok to have your own opinion. You know I am all for people expressing opinions as long as their is no personal attacks, or mean spiritedness……. I have a hard time when someone calls someone a “freak”… to me that is just not called for . Period. How can anyone call someone a freak if they don’t even know the person? So, getting on your soapbox is all and well, as long as you aren’t being cruel, or just down right mean.

    God bless & have a great Easter!
    gloria

  37. April 9, 2009 4:35 am

    Bridget,
    I don’t know Richard Dutcher’s experience with leaving the LDS….. how was that received by the LDS leaders and such seeing he was a prominent LDS filmaker? Did he get much flack?

    Curious,
    gloria

  38. April 9, 2009 4:38 am

    Darrell,
    I have read a few articles on Kirk and his beautiful wife, and I was so touched by their lifestyle, and how they are living — sold out for Christ. He has said repeatedly his career has suffered…. but his priorities were Christ first, and he has turned down many scripts because he doesn’t want to do films that would represent the wrong image to his children.
    I for one say kuddos to kirk and his family!

    God bless,
    gloria

  39. April 9, 2009 4:57 am

    Kieth Merrill, whom I believe was the director of the church-made Legacy and The Testaments, issued a scathing response to Dutcher’s “Parting Words.” Reactions to Dutcher’s departure were mixed. Those who thought he was edgy and a closet apostate from the beginning felt vindicated, and those who liked his movies felt genuinely sad, with plenty of opinions in between. The liberal Mormon community is probably still sympathetic to him, but that ex-Mormon badge is anathema to a lot of Mormons.

    Personally, I love Dutcher and I’m eager to see where he goes from here.

    I don’t mind at all that you guys loved Fireproof and I hated it, I’m used to amicable disagreement with people, and I’m sure God can use the film despite its flaws. And don’t be too hard on MadChemist. Most people do have bad days of calling people names on the Internet, myself included. When I see Mormons making dumb attacks on evangelical Christianity, I call them morons or accuse them of having a persecution complex, so I’m not really any better. It’s hard to stay in control sometimes when you see your religion being attacked.

  40. April 9, 2009 5:16 am

    Re: Dutcher. I LOVED States of Grace. It was my favorite film of 2005–not because it was the best film of 2005, but because it spoke to me like no other film ever had. I was completely heartbroken when Dutcher left LDS cinema, because he had such a distinct voice and told stories that no one else dared to tell. I hope and pray he gets around to making his film about Joseph Smith, because I’m not sure anyone could do it like he could. (‘Course, he’d probably have gotten exed for it anyway.)

    Trouble with work like Dutcher’s is that it’s just not viable. No one, except for a handful freaks like me and I guess you, Jack, want to see stories that put their people into real-world situations–ESPECIALLY when the community is driven by evangelism like Mormons and Evangelicals. No one wants to see Elder Farrell sleep with that girl. No one wants to see Kirk Cameron’s Fireproof character continue to be a slave to p*rnography even after his conversion. No one wants to confront the challenges and problems and pain of devoted people within their faith community. After all, isn’t our message that religion is supposed to take all that away?

    So until our people get comfortable with being uncomfortable, Dutcher’s vision is a pipe dream. Because whenever these films DO get made, the artists are shunned, drummed out, excommunicated, and/or vilified, while their work remains largely unseen by the great unwashed majority.

    It’s a sad state of affairs, but it’s the way the plight of the artist in conservative, minority cultures like Mormonism–and evangelicalism too, I’d wager.

  41. April 9, 2009 5:20 am

    P.S. I remember thinking Dutcher’s farewell letter was self-indulgent, though his points duly noted, while Merrill’s response was COMPLETELY inappropriate and over the top. It’s worth noting Merrill did later apologize in The Daily Herald. I’d find the link, but I’m too lazy right now.

  42. April 9, 2009 1:39 pm

    Jack, during an odd moment (but aren’t they all ???) you might check out Franky Schaeffer’s “Addicted to Mediocrity” , a somewhat cranky but perceptive view of christians in the arts and how they appoach that enterprise. Franky is a little on the rant-fest side of things, but he has a lot of valid things to say about excellence being its own apologetic. Interesting side note: after raised by one of the more prominent Protestant thinkers of our era (two, reallly, Francis and Edith), Franky converted to Orthodoxy (Greek, I think)

    a lot of christian stuff is average because, hey, it’s done by volunteers “as unto the LORD” which is code for little real accountability…

    GERmIT

  43. MadChemist permalink
    April 9, 2009 2:05 pm

    Just a clarification. I haven’t called anyone on this blog a name. I praised one person for having some intellectual integrity (Jack). I simply said I was not surprised by the non-disapproval of two others. That is not name calling. If you would like some examples of name calling, I’d be happy to oblige {grin}. Kurt Cameron began by giving a veneer of truthfulness, and then began the skimming old-historical books to find anything he could take out of context to bash Mormonism.

    That’s not honest.
    That’s not loving.
    That’s not Christlike.

    Jack knows that, and condemns that, for which I praise her (not too much though, it’ll grow straight to her head).
    Others are deluded into believing that being deceptive about Mormons somehow glorifies God.
    You won’t win many souls with the “It’s OK to lie for God” attitude.

  44. MadChemist permalink
    April 9, 2009 2:05 pm

    At least, I haven’t called anyone on this particular post a name…

  45. April 9, 2009 2:42 pm

    Hi, Madchemist —

    You are right it’s not OK to lie for the Lord. Christians and Mormons have a very radically different view on what the Lord says. Therefore, what you may view as lying ( eg: kirk cameron’s show on the LDS) may be considered ‘truth’ to someone else. The same goes with Christians — what we may view as “truth” ( eg: the trinity or the rapture) LDS may view as a lie or false teaching. Does that make sense.
    That’s how my husband and I work things out — I know he views certain things I believe as a “lie” or “false” , and vice versa. Just because you may view something as a “lie” certainly doesn’t mean that I will and vice versa. We have differing views on what “truth” truly is, thus the division between Christians and LDS. Our views on what constitute truths are so radically different.

    With that said, I do believe we can exchange our views and differences in a courteous way – without name calling.

    Does that make sense?

    That’s the approach that my husband and I take. We share our different views of what we believe ‘truth’ is without name calling, or personal attacks

    But you indeed did call Kirk a “freak” did you not?

    That is what I am calling you on — not the fact that you don’t like Kirk. It’s the name calling , and if Kirk was to say mormons are “freaks” I would most definately call him on that one too, if I had a chance too.

    I hope that makes sense.

    I understand that you may not like Kirk because of what he has said or presented about the LDS faith – that’s understandable, considering you are LDS.

    Kind regards,
    Gloria

  46. MadChemist permalink
    April 9, 2009 3:28 pm

    Gloria.
    I meant I hadn’t called any of the people who are here names.
    If Kurt comes to defend himself, and apologizes for lying I might retract calling him a freak. But Kurt falls fully within those bunch of Evangelicals who are just find “bearing false witness against their neighbors” the Mormons, and says he’s doing it in the name of the Lord. Such people are freaks.

    The moment Kurt started saying “Mormons believe” from this book of non-canonized historybook, he began lying. It’s a lie, a lie, and lying is wrong, wrong wrong.
    Jack recognized that, and recognized Kurt was in the wrong. Ask her why it’s so very wrong.

    Gloria, and I’m totally OK willing to recognize that you have differing beliefs, and I’m willing to tolerate that. I am unwilling to tolerate people who lie about my beliefs. I’m sick and tired of that. If Jesus were here, He would not do that, yet you people (excepting Jack, of course) continue to defend lying. It’s so very wrong.

  47. April 9, 2009 3:38 pm

    MadChemist,

    I can truly see why you don’t like Kirk, really I do. I mean the guy is saying things about your faith that you don’t like. It’s understandable.

    But yet you still call him a “freak”. That’s what I don’t agree with.

    But then again, they called Jesus all kinds of names — including that he had a “devil” in Him! ( John chapter 8 gives a good account of how stinkin mad the “religionists” were with Jesus because He preaches/testified of himself)

    So, I guess I should see that your calling kirk a “freak” is a good thing….I mean Jesus did tell us /warn us that “we” would be hated by all men, despised for His name sake……..

    So I guess, MadChemist that if you want a call Kirk a “freak”… you can call me one too. 🙂

    If I am a freak I am a freak for Jesus!

    Hey, that’s not such a bad thing. 🙂

    Enjoy a lovely easter,
    gloria

  48. April 9, 2009 3:43 pm

    MC,

    I simply disagree with you. He did not lie for there was NOT ONE THING that Kirk (BTW you keep saying his name is KURT and it is KIRK) presented in the video that has not been taught in the LDS church. Now, YOU might now believe some of the things he presented and if so, all I can say is praise God.

    If you disagree, please tell me specifically what he presented that has not been taught by the LDS Church so we can discuss it.

    God Bless!!

    Darrell

  49. April 9, 2009 3:44 pm

    As for “lying” .. I agree “lying lips is an abomination before the Lord” ( Proverbs 12:22) and 6 things God hates, yea 7 are an abomination to the Lord….. and one of them is “lying lips” and another is “false witnessing”……. So yes, God sure hates lying. ( Proverbs 6:16-19)

    That is precisely the reason I left the LDS church.

    I couldn’t live a lie anymore.

    Truly, I hope you enjoy a lovely weekend,
    Gloria

  50. MadChemist permalink
    April 9, 2009 3:56 pm

    I actually did include a very specific example Darrel. Re-read post # (3:28pm?).

  51. MadChemist permalink
    April 9, 2009 4:08 pm

    Darrel, by quoting the acanonical book that he did, first thing, he automatically lied.
    He said, “Mormons believe.” and then quoted a non-canonical book that has VERY LITTLE circulation among the LDS, even among the internet LDS. So portraying anything out of books that are very minor is dishonest. I would be more honest if I persecuted you for something that Augustine wrote in his “Confessions” or Bart Ehrman in misquoting Jesus.

    All Chrsitians believe what Augustine wrote…is just as dishonest as the opening line when he quoted from a non-canonical mormon book.

    Ask Jack why she cringes when she see’s people like Kirt. It’s the standard short-bus intellectualism that many of you seem to cling to. When Carl Mosser and Paul Owen said “We Evangelicals are providing a very intellectually stupid defense against Mormonsim”, Jack had crap like this in mind. (If you don’t mind me connecting a couple of dots for those who haven’t read Mosser and Owen).

    Sorry, but short bus intellectualism arguments against Mormons only keeps short bus individuals out of Mormonism. And that’s not such a bad thing.

  52. April 9, 2009 4:20 pm

    For the record I did not see anything in the first 9 minutes of the Kirk Cameron presentation I watched which I would term a “lie.” Misrepresentation is how I would put it.

    For example, they talked about Mormons believing God has multiple wives as if that is simply a given, and indeed there were LDS leaders who taught that back in the 1800s. However, it has been years since I met a living Mormon who actually thinks God is a polygamist. The vast majority of the Mormons I know will openly admit that they are undecided on the issue, and most of them only ever speak of a single Heavenly Mother when they talk about her at all. So Kirk & co. weren’t lying, but they weren’t really being honest and fair, either.

    In any case, I wasn’t happy with that presentation. I don’t see why people like James White and Sandra Tanner are consulted as the authorities on LDS beliefs when there are folks like Robert Millet and Stephen Robinson who would probably be happy to give interviews explaining what Mormons believe. If Mormons put together a production on what evangelicals believe which involved them picking and choosing quotes selectively from evangelical leaders to make our beliefs look bad and only interviewing people like Daniel Peterson and Blake Ostler as authorities on what evangelicals believe, I’d be just as annoyed—not that I think Peterson and Ostler are the counterparts to White and Tanner, I’m just using some examples. I think our LDS neighbors deserve better, and I long for the day when evangelicals strive for accuracy and integrity in describing LDS beliefs.

  53. April 9, 2009 4:53 pm

    I don’t view saying that Mormons believe God has many wives as a lie either. Church leaders have taught (in the 1800’s) that God has many wives and although the church does not emphasize this teaching today THEY HAVE NEVER ONCE DENOUNCED IT. In addition, celestial polygamy is regularly practiced. Men can and are sealed to more than one woman (when their current spouse dies). So since they are going to have more than one wife in heaven and it has been taught that God does why would a Mormon today believe otherwise. It only makes sense. While I was LDS there were people in my ward WHO BELIEVE THIS.

    As for Millett… well, I don’t really care for him. I have found that he will stretch the truth himself. I love his explanation for “why missionaries try to convert members of other Christian faiths over to Mormonism.” Talk about a lie!! Check that one out.

    Darrell

  54. Tom permalink
    April 9, 2009 5:40 pm

    Darrell – The “you do it too” argument is the worst one ever and I’m tired of Mormons and Evangelicals using it. I have no idea what you’re talking about anyway. If Millet did lie, I say damn him and he better repent.

    I, too, think it is dishonest to say “Mormons believe….” when the source of that supposed “belief” is a non-canonical source. Most Mormons don’t even have access to such non-canonical stuff like JD. It’s not like they hand it to us free at the door and say “read this so you’ll know what we believe.”

    We don’t believe prophets of the past to be infallible (or current ones for that matter). So we aren’t forced to take every word they uttered as doctrine – especially when our only source of that utterance is a historical work that was probably the scrawling of some scribe that may have gotten it wrong anyway. If you don’t think this is a valid argument, go find a discourse of Brigham Young that has 2 records from 2 different scribes – they are quite different. I did this just the other day.

    The Church has canonized what it feels should become what “we believe.” Members of OUR church get to vote and decide if we actually believe it – Evangelicals don’t get that privilege as much as Jack wants half a vote because of her Mormon husband.

    To wit, DC section 138. The prophet delivered an address, it was presented and accepted unanimously by the Church as doctrine.

    Anything that wasn’t canonized either

    1) Wasn’t doctrine in the first place – people like Orson Pratt who were chastised for spreading some of their personal views as doctrine. Yet we Mormons suffer at the hands of “antis” still today because of Brother Orson. Sigh.

    2) Was a mistake, i.e. a fallible prophet said something incorrectly, thus misrepresenting our doctrine. It’s called a MISTAKE, people. We humans tend to have those from time to time.

    3) Wasn’t recorded properly. This is a HUGE problem with historical works such as HC, JD, TPJS, CHC, etc. etc. etc.

    If “Mormons believe” something, it can be found in our standard works, official declarations, or the words of our current prophets. Just because your canon is rigid and unchanging doesn’t mean you can force ours to be or force what a prophet supposedly said in 1860 to be canonical. It just doesn’t work that way. You get to define your canon, we get to define ours.

    The minute you try to start saying beliefs are canonical when they are not, IT IS A LIE. And Darrell, just because one or two Mormons believe something on the basis of some past statements and some historical and circumstantial details, that doesn’t make it doctrine. It just means they thought about it and came to a conclusion. Hell, it might even be true, but lots of things are true that aren’t doctrine of your church or mine. They don’t get the right to preach it as doctrine. It’s called personal revelation in that case. NOT BINDING ON THE CHURCH.

    And Jack – I’d say “misrepresentation” is dishonest and therefore a lie. If someone doesn’t know they are “misrepresenting” then I guess it’s not a lie, but they haven’t done enough research and therefore they are either ridiculously arrogant or stupid to think that they know what “Mormons believe.”

    Y’all take your pick.

    Now if you want to talk about things from our standard works and what the current prophets are teaching, we’re happy to oblige. But I don’t really care what Brigham said in 1860 unless the Church has printed it in an official publication.

  55. Tom permalink
    April 9, 2009 5:52 pm

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

    Sorry, folks, but we get to define our own doctrine. If you want the privilege of defining our doctrine, then I’m gonna have a freaking hey day with everything the early Christian fathers said.

    And yes, Jack, I just said “freaking.” Deal with it. 😉

  56. April 9, 2009 5:54 pm

    Tom said, I, too, think it is dishonest to say “Mormons believe….”

    I don’t know that the person is intentionally being dishonest, but it certainly conveys a lack of understanding. I really don’t like it when people say “Mormons believe…” Period. I hope I’ve never said that on this blog. I didn’t notice it in the video (but it sounds like it was there from the comments).

    Honestly, how can anyone judge what every individual Mormon believes? I don’t know that I’ve met two that believe the same thing. I think it is better to say “some Mormons have taught” or “the LDS church teaches” etc.

  57. Tom permalink
    April 9, 2009 5:59 pm

    For those too lazy to click the link and actually do some reading, or for those who are worried that the http://lds.org will brainwash your computer into believing LDS doctrine:

    “Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church”

    “This doctrine resides in the four “standard works” of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith. Isolated statements are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted.”

    IF SOMETHING IS DOCTRINE IT WILL BE TAUGHT BY MORE THAN ONE PROPHET AND WILL BE TAUGHT CONSISTENTLY OVER TIME BY PROPHETS OF EACH GENERATION

  58. Tom permalink
    April 9, 2009 6:04 pm

    Jessica,

    Even “the LDS Church teaches” can be incredibly misleading. What Brigham said in 1860 is NOT (necessarily) what the LDS Church teaches today.

    See my previous comment. If it’s not taught by more than one prophet, it’s probably not doctrine. And “antis” should NOT construe it as such, regardless of how they start their sentence.

    The lie is in representing something as official doctrine when it isn’t – by the standards set forth by the LDS Church – remember – WE get to define our doctrine. Not you.

    Just because Kirk Cameron or Darrell thinks it’s doctrine doesn’t mean it is. That’s where the lie comes in – when someone defines something as doctrine that the Church does not define as doctrine.

  59. Tom permalink
    April 9, 2009 6:08 pm

    Finally, even if someone says,

    “Brigham Young taught…..(something out of JD.” If the intent is to lead someone to believe that the LDS Church teaches and believes something that it doesn’t teach or believe (by our standards, not yours) then it is deceving and a LIE even if the original “Brigham said….” statement is straight out of JD.

    Have you ever dealt with a liar? They tell you things that aren’t “technically” untrue in an attempt to get you to believe the real UNSPOKEN lie. My brother is an expert at it. I love him, but he is an expert at lying in this manner.

  60. April 9, 2009 6:29 pm

    Tom,

    You stated that what brigham taught in 1860, is NOT neccessarily what the LDS church teaches today? Right?

    I agree with this statement.

    The LDS church believes in the concept of continous revelation, that is the LDS perceive that God can change policies and doctrines and revelations of the past can now become “defunct” or no longer valid for today.

    I think this is really at the heart of LDS doctrine – the concept of “continous revelation”. That’s why I think the LDS get so frustrated when Christians or anyone really states the JofD or prior prophets on a particular teaching.

    LDS today are told to focus on the teachings of the “current” prophet(s).

    Tom, do I have that right? I don’t want to misrepresent here.

    My issue with this, as a prior LDS, is that was so oooo confusing to me.
    Here me out on this one guys ok…….

    For me personaly I believe God does not change. His course is one eternal round ( hmm… where have I heard that before?) therefore, what God says equates salvation 2,000 yrs ago, should equate salvation today. God can not contradict himself. If He did , that would mean he lies, and God does not lie.

    So, for me, when I was in the LDS I found the revisions to doctrines and new revelations confusing, because they often contradicted prior teachings that were at one time considred “doctrine”.

    Does that make sense?

    I think it would be so hard to keep up with all the changing doctrines and new revelations. Especially the ones that were really pushed for many years……. plural marriage and the blacks and the priesthood for example

    I think that is why so many LDS really struggled with forsaking plural marriage and some even went as far as to start their own splinter groups. ( thinking of the FLDS here)

    I hope I am making sense.

    I think that’s why LDS may get so frustrated when we as Christians quote JofD or some prophet other than the “current” one becaus they don’t view the past ones as “valid” anymore or as valid as the words of the current prophet.

    Compare those views to what Christianity views as God’s final authoritive word — the BIBLE. That is where we derive our source of truth. So, we donm’t worry about changes and such, because it’s been written, preserved and has stood the test of time. It’s hard for us, as Christians to understand how anyone could follow the paradigm of “continuous revelations” changing…… and it’s hard for the LDS to understand why were are “closed” to anything more than the Bible.

    I have been on both sides of the fence, so I am merely sharing what my perspective is from each side. I may be wrong here. So I am not saying I am “right” just what I am percieving by my own experiences.

    Thanks all for giving me a chance to share,
    Gloria

  61. April 9, 2009 6:46 pm

    Have you ever dealt with a liar?

    Sure, I deal with myself every day. I lie. Not proud of it. But I do, and you know what? Chances are, so do the rest of us.

    Seriously, folks, can’t we cut each other some slack?

    Not everyone who disagrees with you is a liar. Heck, not even someone who refuses to budge from their point of view to consider another approach is a liar–even when confronted with seemingly irrefutable evidence to the contrary. It might make them intellectually immature and frustrating to talk to…but why must we always assume it’s malicious?

    People construct their worldview and filter out opposing arguments, because, in the vast majority of cases, it’s the only way folks can make sense of their world. God help me if every time I suffer from my own variations of self-delusion, I’m accused of intentionally lying.

  62. MadChemist permalink
    April 9, 2009 7:05 pm

    How bout this Katie.
    If Evangelicals stop making movies or youtube clips about Mormons, they lie (intentionally or unintentionally less).

    Let them make movies about themselves, and talk about themselves. Maybe if they weren’t trying to gossip about Mormons they’d be able to focus on spreading their own message. If they lie about themselves, I couldn’t give a frik. But when they lie about me, then I care.

    Then I’ll have no choice but to cut them some slack, but for right now, it really makes your team look lousy.

  63. MadChemist permalink
    April 9, 2009 7:09 pm

    Jack,
    The comment over at Junior whatever re Kaimi was not intended at you.
    Sorry for that confusion…

  64. April 9, 2009 7:30 pm

    MadChemist,
    Your point is a good one. Christians should spend more time and efforts proclaiming the goodness of our Lord , preaching the Cross. I believe the preaching of the cross can do more good than making an anti-mormon movie! I also believe the *greatest* anti-mormon book we have in our hands is the BIBLE. We would do best by teaching and preaching the Bible than making any anti books out there. No doubt about it.

    With that said, then perhaps you may take a look at what your own Church does. It sends over 50, 000 missionaires out each yeart to the homes of christians and non christians, and tells the christians that what they believe is “wrong” and that their church is “not true” and that their doctrines are false.

    When I was an LDS missionary, I spent 18 mos preaching mormonism , and to may who were already believers of Christ Jesus. I told them that their churches were false and that only the LDS church had the “whole” truth.

    I shared with them the J.Smith first vision, who proclaimed that “all their churches were wrong” and that their creeds were an “abomination” and that the professors of their faith were all corrupt, ………

    What say ye?

    Is this not what the LDS missionaries teach?

    I also recall teaching as a LDS missionary that the christian churches were all apostate.

    Was it not also true that the LDS church prior to the 1990 changes in the temple endowment showed as an agent to Lucifer a “preacher” …..

    What about these things?

    I think that the Christian faith needs to defend it’s faith. We are told to earnestly contend for the the faith. Jude :3
    That is when a non Christian sect says they are “christian” but yet do not embrace the teachings of biblical christianity, then yes, believers must be as the bereans and search the scriptures and contend for the faith.

    But I do agree that the best way we can present the message of truth is simply to share the message of Christ Crucified for our sins.

    If the LDS do not wish the Christian community to go about speaking ill about them, then they need to grant the same.

    Kind regards,
    Gloria

    ps. I applaud the LDS church’s decision to revise the temple endowment ceremony and remove the part about the “preacher” being an agent of the devil.

  65. April 9, 2009 7:33 pm

    MC,

    I’m actually a Mormon. BIC, RM, married in temple, the whole shebang. Struggling with some personal questions about my faith right now, but that’s my own journey and my ward would never know it. I am a very active Latter-day Saint.

    That’s a little beside the point, except to let you know a bit better where I’m coming from. 🙂 My point is that I think that both sides misrepresent each other. It’s no fun being misrepresented, and I don’t like it either when people say false things about the church. But it cuts both ways. I’ve heard Mormons condemn the “easy grace” of evangelicalism–and while there are certainly strains of that out there, the idea that you can be saved and then do whatever the hell you want (sorry for the swear, Jessica; edit if necessary) is just a gross misrepresentation of what most of the evangelicals I know believe.

    I’m just saying that most people are so focused on making sense of their own world that it’s just easier to put others into a little box. I do it to other people, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. That’s why I try to cut folks slack when they do it to me. 🙂

  66. April 9, 2009 7:37 pm

    “I applaud the LDS church’s decision to revise the temple endowment ceremony and remove the part about the “preacher” being an agent of the devil.”

    As do I. Unfortuantely, they still left that part in there where Satan says there will be many who are willing to preach to you for money the doctrines of men mingled with scripture… of course, referring to our preachers.

    Glass houses guys, glass houses!!

    Darrell

  67. April 9, 2009 7:43 pm

    Katie,
    I appreciate your remarks.
    I agree — I think both sides mis-represent what they “believe” the other side believes.

    I remember when I was LDS I was told that the “trinity” means father, son and spirit as one being, one body… that is simply not the truth. The trininty means “tri-une” meaning three distinct persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit as 3 distinct persons but ONE God. Kind of like the first presidency for the LDS — 3 persons “ONE” presidency.

    I believe the LDS misrepresent what Christians view as the “trinity” or Godhead.

    I also know that many Christians may have the odd idea that Mormons worship J.Smith…. I have been asked that before…. nothing is father from the truth! They revere him and praise his work ( thus, the song praise to the man) but they certainly don’t worhip him or pray to him.

    The issue I have with the LDS is that they wish to “claim” the title Christian. That is where I have issues. I believe that they are not Christians in the biblical sense of the word — because their beliefs and doctrines about the “essentials” about “who” God is, and who Jesus is are radically different then what the Bible teaches.

    I think other Christians have the same issues, and thus the reason why people like Kirk cameron and others will openly contend that.

    I love the LDS people. My husband is LDS and I sure love him.
    He is a great guy who is sincere about his beliefs. Although he is sincere I believe he is incorrect on the “essentials” of the Christian faith. He also believes I am “incorrect” because I rely about the Bible for truth and God’s word instead of “modern day revelation”. We agree to disagree. 🙂

    Overall, both camps have room for improvement.

    Sincere regards,
    gloria

  68. Tom permalink
    April 9, 2009 8:57 pm

    It was also confusing to the Jewish converts in the First Century about the law of Moses vs. the gospel and whether they should continue Mosaic observation. It was confusing when Peter all of a sudden started preaching to Gentiles. But yet God still made a CHANGE. Oh, wait, I thought He was unchangeable? Now I AM SO CONFUSED.

    God sure changed a lot in the gospel covenant. I guess He’s not really God. He even said He changed the Priesthood. GASP! Shock, horror, He contradicted Himself!

    It’s the same with polygamy and blacks and the Priesthood. God had it one way for a time for HIS own purposes and in HIS own wisdom. Then there was a reason to make a change.

    Be careful how you state that God is SO UNCHANGEABLE. Who God is and TRUTH do not change, but He has changed a lot of things pertaining to mortals. Heck, He even told some people to lie. Oooooo….that was a change too because He commanded that we not lie. Oh, and Jesus changed a lot of things in the Sermon on the Mount, too. Wow, God seems to change a lot.

    So I guess we’re all wrong because the Bible contradicts itself on the unchangeable nature of God.

  69. MadChemist permalink
    April 9, 2009 10:58 pm

    There’s a difference to both of your examples Katie and Gloria.

    Gloria, as a missionary I was very careful to not “teach people what their churches taught.” While I very clearly outlined a belief that an apostasy occured, I never told people that their church leaders were apostates (a la Jack), or that their churches were wrong. If they asked me if their church was right, I would certainly answer that I believed the Church was the only fully true church, but even then the focus was on my beliefs, and not their condemnation. This is almost certainly because the Mormon soteriology is much more merciful and grace-filled (ironically) than the Bible thumpers. I’m sorry if you wasted your mission by teaching things not doctrinally supported in the LDS church. I can understand easier how you apostatized now. While I accept what Joseph Smith from the Lord in HC (about “their churches being wrong.”), I didn’t feel that that was the best way to approach anyone. Nowhere in the scriptures, the old missionary discussions, or the new “preach my gospel” are missionaries instructed to tell others their churches are false, that was only you Gloria.

    Missionaries have been charged to take the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world. And we are to do so in a loving manner. Any missionary, past like Gloria, or present, who does so in a manner not of love was, and is not of Christ. Those who seek to Evangelize to Mormons and do so in a manner not fully within the Christlike manner of love and charity are likewise not of Christ. When Jesus talked to Peter, He told them to “Feed my lambs.” Not “Beat my lambs” which is apparently, what most Evangelicals tend to do.

    I do not listen to Mormons about Evangelical belief. I try to read your writings, and understand your interpretations of the Bible. I can still reject them without having to try and tell you what you believe and telling you I know your beliefs better than you do. I don’t have to search through Luther or Jonathan Edwards writings trying to disprove Evangelical belief wrong, I try to learn about you from you, not fellow Mormons.

  70. MadChemist permalink
    April 9, 2009 11:03 pm

    Further Gloria,
    LDS doctrine about the nature of God does not contradict the Bible.
    This has been discussed ad naseum.
    Please see Jessica’s post on “Are creedalists Christian.”
    A number of authors produce input that shows the differenced between biblical words like.

    Love, Father, Spirit.
    And creedal words like.
    incomprehensible, immpassible, coeternal, consubstantial, uncreated and so forth.
    And as for your “dissertation on the trinity.” While the current trend in Evangelicalism is to describe three persons, this has not always been so. The vast majority of lay Christians understand your trinity in terms of heretical modalism. The definition of “trinity” itself has undergone quite a bit of fluidity, and didn’t even exist until the council of Nicea. It is the conclusion of most scholars that Paul was not a good trinitarian, he didn’t understand or teach the doctrine. As such, is it really such a good idea to make “trinitiarian” the “sine qua non” of Christianity when it isn’t explictly spelled out in the Bible and took the scholars 400 years to develop it after the Bible canon was “closed?”

  71. April 9, 2009 11:43 pm

    I dunno, MadChemist, I’m pretty sure Jesus went ahead and told the Pharisees that their belief system was flat-out wrong. Didn’t He?

    I see nothing inherently uncharitable in telling people that we think they’re wrong. If someone genuinely thinks I’m going to hell as a result of my belief system, and DOESN’T say something, to me that is much less charitable. Whenever I’m proselyted to, I try to take it as a great compliment, because it means someone cares enough to spend their time and emotional energy on me.

    Now, I think people can easily fall into the trap of saying, “Because I’m right I’m BETTER,” and get all shades of nasty about it–but that’s a different story all together.

    FWIW, I’m happy you took a gentle approach with your investigators on your mission–I tried to do the same–and I think it’s generally more effective. I just think there’s a lot of value in giving people the benefit of the doubt in stuff like this and not immediately defaulting to the position that people who disagree with us are liars or hatemongers.

  72. April 10, 2009 12:29 am

    MadChemist ~ I never told people that their church leaders were apostates (a la Jack)

    Huh? I never called the LDS church leaders apostates, I called them heretics.

    The Daily Universe called them apostates, on the front page no less! I merely laughed about it.

  73. MadChemist permalink
    April 10, 2009 12:41 am

    I still like you, Jack, but this statement, however jocular was what I took umbrage to.

    “The Quorum of the Twelve Apostates”
    April 6, 2009
    I think the Daily Universe had it right the first time.

  74. germit permalink
    April 10, 2009 1:06 am

    Katie: well said above; I liked that post quite a bit.

    GERMIT

  75. April 10, 2009 2:11 am

    Hi, madchemist. I appreciate your remarks. I just wanted to post and share that when I was an LDS missionary I taught the first vision over and over and over again….. ( I served in Latin America, so lots of teaching appointments) and it is clearly outlined in the first vision account that J.Smith says that all the churches were wrong and not to join any of them. I had to tell many people their churches were wrong. Of course we never did it in a mean or cruel way. ( sister missionaries tend to be pretty soft in that area generally) But it is none the less in the missionary discussions — to teach the first vision and the first vision account clearly teaches the investigator the “churches” other than the LDS are wrong.

    I don’t think most missionaries are “in your face about it”. I truly believe LDS missionaries for the most part are sincere. But none the less they are out there trying to convert christians to “mormonism”, and in order to do that you have to teach about the lds views on the apostacy. Of course truly born again believers do not join the LDS ( that I know of ,or have met) but the LDS missionaries do have success in converting those christians who are not born again or biblically literate. At least I sure did in Latin America.

    I do hear what you are saying — but I think the misrepresentation goes both ways.

    I think I have an interesting stand on things because I *was* LDS and not just partially active, but endowed, RM, etc and am now a born again Christian, so I can see both sides where before I could only see one side. I think both camps can improve their methods in how they present message.

    I also really enjoy dialogue that is courteous, and respectful.

    We all can agree to disagree,

    With kind regards,
    gloria

  76. April 10, 2009 2:23 am

    MadChemist,
    I also agree that evangilization needs to be done with love. It was love that compelled God to send Jesus, so that whosever believes in Him would not perish…. and it was love that led jesus to calvary.
    I truly hope that I don’t ever sound like I despise the LDS. I truly do love them, don’t like their doctrines but love them as a people. I know God does too.
    That’s the premise of Pastor Mark’s book about reaching the mormon’s with love…..
    Many evangelicals need to remind themselves that in presenting their message it sure does need to be done in love.
    Thanks for reminding of us of this,
    Gloria

  77. April 10, 2009 2:25 am

    MadChemist ~ As I said on my blog, I’m not sorry for joking about the DU’s “apostates” slip-up, and if I apologized to you it would be a lie.

    If I wanted to call your leaders names (and I don’t), “apostates” wouldn’t be on the list.

  78. Tom permalink
    April 10, 2009 3:21 am

    Let’s face it – every religion thinks others are wrong so there shouldn’t be any offense taken by anyone on that.

    I’m fine with evangelicals trying to convert me. It’s them trying to force things to be LDS doctrine that aren’t doctrine (i.e. we dont’ believe Christ’s DEATH was necessary, or that we believe Adam is God) that I find dishonest – and it’s even worse when evangelicals use this tactic on someone that doesn’t know much about Mormonism. Do evangelicals honestly think God approves of misrepresenting Mormonism (intentionally or not) as a means of dissuading people from Mormonism? Do the ends REALLY justify the means? I think the fruits of dishonesty are always BAD.

    What I do find to be Christlike is how Jack describes she wants her daughter to make the decision. She talks about this in the comments on her blog post “Sacrament in an interfaith household.” She says she doesn’t want someone pulling her daughter aside and telling her “what Mormonism is really about.” Or vice versa.

    I also get offended when people of other religions take things COMPLETELY out of context, take MY words out of context, or hold Mormonism to a different standard. To wit – “God can change from pre-Mosaic to Mosaic to gospel dispensations and He can make changes within the gospel dispensation but He can’t change some things in the 19th or 20th centuries.” It’s just inconsistent and you’re holding Mormonism to a different standard. You can’t pick and choose what changes God is “allowed” to make and still be unchangeable. It’s God’s prerogative – not yours.

  79. April 10, 2009 5:00 am

    Hi, Tom. I sincerely appreciate your honesty. I love love honest dialogue.

    Since you pointed out some things about what you dislike about the tactics of evangelical outreach to the mormons ( which I agree with you on some points) I thought I would share with you from a christian perspective what makes me frustrated with some of the tools the LDS use.

    It is frustrating to me when as a prior LDS, when I am treated as if I don’t know what the heck I am talking about. I have been called names, been thrown stones and all other crap simply because I chose to leave the LDS.
    I chose to leave on my own after a long time of soul searching and praying. What bugs me is when LDS automatically assume I or others who leave must have “transgressed” or been offended, and try to tear me apart personally. Hey, I can understand their disagreement with my beliefs — but leave the person out of it. The story of the women caught in adultery is one of my favorites.

    Our Lord gave us a perfect example of “righteous judgement”. He did not condmen the woman, but told her to go and “sin no more”. Meaning he recognized her sin, but he didn’t sling mud and name call. Why can’t LDS just realize that the LDS church is not for everyone and many find something better when they leave? I had one friend email me and call me and tell me that how could I have found anything better, and that I must have been possesed by a devil! My goodness. I had said nothing to her or done anything. I don’t get it. Why can’t LDS just accept that there for some of us were are perfectly content in another Church focusing on Jesus?

    Another assumption that some LDS make of christians is that we are merely paying “lip service” when we pray and ask the Lord to save us. That is so very not true. Maybe for some, but for the majority of my christian friends I hang with — they are truly born again, and the moment they did give their life to the lord it was truly life changing. Even my husband will sometimes kid around and say “yeah all you have to do is just say “jesus save me”….. oh, that is so not true. It’s believe with our heart and confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord. It’s so much more than lip service, but a heart issue. I can’t tell you how many LDS friends of mine have actually beleive that.

    I also find it frustrating when an LDS person does not recognize that their own church doctrines are open to errors and changes. Some LDS get so bent out of show them an inconsistency in their own doctrines. For example Jacob 2, and Section 132 of the Doctrine & Covenants is clearly contradicting each other about what David and Saul did with taking many wives…… Jacob says “it’s wrong” basically and then Joseph in the D & C say it wasn’t wrong , except with the case of David and Uriah. When you point out something like that so many LDS become unglued. I don’t get it. Hey why not admit , “yeah I don’t get it either” or there are some contradictions. Honestly, it’s so apparent I think it’s blaring.

    I also can’t stand the paradigm of evanglization in the LDS church … I know they don’t call it that…… but the whole ‘commitment pattern’ has always come across to me as insincere. Making friends with someone with the motive of trying to convert them is so insincere to me What about just being a friend for being a friend. I would cringe when the missionaries wanted a list of my friends and neighbors. I just think that they use “frienship” as a tool really to “preach” and to me that’s a bit manipulative.

    As a former mormon, when I resigned, I had people from church that I didn’t even know, or had spoken to, all of a sudden take an interest. I had one person invite me to dinner thru a letter! I finally confronted these well meaning folks and asked them point blank — are you doing this because you know me and we really have things in common and you want a frienship or is this about bringing me back to the fold? Their response: We have a duty to do this. Yeah, ok, but no thanks. I would rather have a missionary or LDS just come out and say point blank: ” I am here to reconvert you, let’s talk” then pretend to want to be friends, take me to RS. enrichment night and bring over a plate of cookies.

    These are just a few things that really are frustrating for me, and many others that I know who have left the LDS church.

    Neither Christians or Mormons are without fault, and there is much improvement each camp can make.

    Just my .02,
    gloria

  80. April 10, 2009 5:05 am

    Tom,
    I also believe the fruits of dishonesty are always bad, always. That is why I left the LDS, because I couldn’t stand the dishonesty any longer. For me, it just ate at my heart and soul, and I knew in my heart of hearts I could not pass that on to my children and lie to them. I had to be honest with them, and with myself. God gave me the courage after a time of soul searching, study and prayer to say goodbye.
    He is good and faithful, and my life has changed for the good in so many wonderful & amazing ways.
    I love the LDS people, and there are many good things I learned when I was in that church, but nothing compares to the JOY I have in the Lord. I finally have the blessed assurance and security that I will see God and be in His presense one day. I never had that assurance when I was LDS.
    Sincere regards,
    gloria

  81. GERMIT permalink
    April 10, 2009 6:08 pm

    Lets put a few thots together;

    First Gloria’s:
    I do hear what you are saying — but I think the misrepresentation goes both ways.

    then TOM’s:
    or that we believe Adam is God) that I find dishonest

    so Tom, when you tell people that LDS do not teach that Adam is GOD (accurate as far as I know), do you add that it WAS taught not that long ago , by the First President, no less…. but not in the four standard works ??

    not trying to be snarky here, but as Gloria wisely noted, this misrepresentation DOES swing both ways, and to complicate matters (a lot, really ) we BOTH have an agenda that is passionate and “life or death”. In that kind of atmosphere , it is easy to accept something less than full disclosure (from BOTH sides) because the end (souls saved) ends up justifying the means (little white lies for Jeeezus)

    As Gloria noted in her post, we could all use more care in representing the other guys, this is not easy to do.

    Easter hope on all who post here
    GERMIT

  82. Tom permalink
    April 11, 2009 2:15 am

    Gloria – I have been thinking all day about your experiences. I have heard way too many stories about Mormons treating people like you were treated. I want to give it some more thought and post a proper reply because my feelings run very deep and very passionate on this topic – and much of it is directed in frustration at my fellow LDS who think it’s OK to behave in such a manner. It is unconscionable to me that someone would treat you or anyone else in a way that is clearly the antithesis of the Christ-like principles we espouse.

    Germit – If someone asks me “Does the Mormon Church teach that Adam is God?” then I am happy to respond with something like:

    “We don’t believe it or teach it. There is a statement attributed to Brigham Young recorded in Journal of Discourses that says something along those lines. However, the statement itself doesn’t even make sense and doesn’t fit with anything else Brigham ever taught, nor does it fit with anything else that other prophets have taught. Stephen Robinson talks about this in “Are Mormons Christian?” – the BYU Religion Faculty have discussed this statement at length and none of them can make heads or tails of what Brigham was even trying to say.”

    Does that make sense? Any question asked of me deserves to have the questioner informed of 1) where the idea originates, 2) the context surrounding the statement or event, and 3) why it is or isn’t Church Doctrine.

    Our approach to proselyting is – Teach the truth insofar as we understand it then invite people to seek the Holy Spirit and pray to ask God for themselves if what we teach is in fact true (not saying all follow this pattern but this is what the apostles instruct us to do). I find this approach very much in line with what the Bible teaches about how to know truth – James 1:5, 1 Cor. 12:3, 1 Cor. 2, etc. that I’ve quoted many times before.

  83. April 11, 2009 2:21 am

    I thought I would add one final note on this thread, not really related to a lot of the things being discussed. I was watching Facing the Giants a few days ago. I could tell pretty early on that it wasn’t going to be my type of movie, but decided to let it run and finish. About 1/3 of the way into it, my husband came out into the living room, and while I joked about how bad the movie was, he seemed to take an interest in it. He stayed up much later than he was wise to watching it and seemed to really get into it. I proceeded with my MST3K-style commentary, which always makes him laugh, but I could tell by the end of the movie that he was really touched by it, probably more so than he was willing to say in front of his cynical Mike-Nelson-replica of a wife.

    So who knows. Maybe God really can use cheesy, poorly-made Christian fare and I should quit being such a jerk about it.

    But I still hate Kirk Cameron.

  84. Tom permalink
    April 11, 2009 2:24 am

    Darrell,

    “Unfortuantely, they still left that part in there where Satan says there will be many who are willing to preach to you for money the doctrines of men mingled with scripture… of course, referring to our preachers.”

    You are misrepresenting this teaching. ANYONE should condemn teaching the philosophies of men mingled with scripture – LDS or not. Satan does not say many are “willing to preach to you for money…” That is simply not what is said or taught in that scene.

    Let’s go back to what Joseph said – the creeds are an abomination and their (the creeds’) professors are corrupt. We fully acknowledge that not all Christians are creedalists. I know Darrell and Gloria are not. We don’t believe being “wrong” equals being corrupt. Again, each side here thinks the other is wrong. You are only corrupt in our view of you profess the creeds which are abiblical.

  85. April 11, 2009 2:57 am

    “But I still hate Kirk Cameron.”

    Sorry friend. I really hate to burst your bubble, but based on both of your confessions of faith I believe I can confidently state that you will be spending eternity together. You better start getting used to the idea. Of course, by then you will have a changed heart and you will see how wonderful he is. 🙂

    I liked Facing the Giants. I think I actually liked it better than Fireproof. I haven’t seen the other Sherwood film Flywheel, but I should watch it sometime. I’ve heard it’s pretty good. So, you would probably hate it. 🙂

  86. April 11, 2009 3:03 am

    Tom & Darrell,

    When I went thru the temple it was in 1990, and the LDS had just made significant changes in the endowment. I went thru weeks after the changes were made — when I went thru the first time I did not get the impression at that part that satan/lucifer ( my favorite actor of both was Ballam.:) was talking about preachers — nor did I think of that at any time…. never once did I think he was “alluding” to pastors of any christian faith. I think there are other LDS out there who may think the same way I did…. that really don’t view it that way at all. It’s not specifically “laid out” in the newer endowment session…….

    So I can hear what you’re saying Tom….

    But, at the same time, it wasn’t till years later, at the time that I was really doing heavy research on the LDS and the “evolution” of the temple ceremony, did I realize what had been done in previous endowment sessions. Tom, it is true that prior to 1990, the previous endowment ceremonies did depict satan/lucifer using a christian “pastor/minister” as an agent. That was the case for many many years. So, with that said — I can see how a person who went thru with older endowment version would or may consider that part in the newer endowment as definately insuiating “pastors and preachers”.

    Does that make sense?

    I know my husband, who is LDS has a great aversion to preachers, pastors, ministers…… just doesn’t have an appreciation for them at all. I wonder if some of that doesn’t stem from the fact that he went thru his endowment in 1979, and for years was being taught that preachers were agents of satan? I am not sure, and I don’t know if he would even recognize it, it could be simply an unconscious bias towards them.

    I really do think the temple ceremony has evolved.

    I do think LDS going thru today, “may” not view that part as referrring to preachers, but they “may”. One would have to get into the mind of the person to know for sure.

    One thing is *sure* is that at that point, the movie/ceremony does not clarify exactly what that means — so it may indeed be misinterpreted by some… can you see that Tom as a possibility?

    I guess the LDS Church leaders could come out and clarify – but will they?

    Not sure about that.

    I see both of your points, and that is what I am trying to say here.

    Wishing you both a JOYous easter!!

    gloria 🙂

  87. April 11, 2009 3:09 am

    Bridget,
    Hey, I am glad to hear that your husband enjoyed fireproof. My husband, as you know is LDS, and loved it…. he was deeply touched….. deeply…… especially at the scene when he as the cross and caleb’s dad really challenges him…. that really touched dru.
    You’re right, God can use cheezy movies. 🙂

    Easter blessings to you & yours,
    gloria

  88. April 11, 2009 3:26 am

    Hi, Tom. I appreciate your concern. Really. I really don’t feel any anger towards those LDS who lack, shall I say “finesse” in how they treat those who have chosen to exit the Mormon Church. I understand that for some they may simply feel threatened by those who choose to leave and seek greener pastures. I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there as to “why” some of us do choose to leave. Many LDS, just assume the problem is “YOU” instead of perhaps admitting that there are some serious problems/inconistencies in the LDS history and doctrines that many can’t seem to make sense of or like me, I just picked up the bible, and began to read it… with NO intention of leaving the LDS and finding myself by the end of reading it saying ” Wow, this Jesus…… His grace really really is enough” and it’s enough for me.

    Tom, why can’t Latter Day Saints accept that? I had one gal from my prior ward call and laughed – laughed, when I told her “why” I had left… I told her I found something better in Christ. She couldn’t believe it. Ouch.

    I think what happens is for some LDS they may feel threatened by those who experience a radical conversion to Christ and leave…. or they just can’t begin to think that there is anything out there that could possibly be better. It doesn’t or may not even come to their mind that for many who leave, it’s not about a “sin” or some “offense” but because we genuinely found Jesus outside of the paradigm of the LDS faith.

    There are many LDS leaving right now. I . I pray with some of these folks, and let me tell you it is no easy thing to leave the LDS church. Many of them when they decide to leave are abanoned by their spouse, shunned by their extended families, and even some that I know ( women in particular) are abused both spiritually and physically. ( by their staying spouses). Somethings just not right. As I tell women who I work with who are “coming out” don’t expect it to be easy….. there is a cross to bear, and most LDS will simply not understand why you have chosen this route. I could go on, and the experiences I could share would break your heart what some endure.

    But in the end — Jesus is worth it all. He’s preparing a mansion for me as I type…. and the assurance of eternity that once lapsed me is now a certaintity. That makes it all worth it.

    Easter blessings to you & yours,
    gloria

  89. April 11, 2009 3:57 am

    Tom,

    The Temple Ceremony has been changed. As Gloria mentioned it used to be a much more direct crack on Preachers. They have now toned it down some (post 1990). Nevertheless, they are still taking a hit on preachers. Lucifer specifically says:

    “Oh, you want someone to preach to you. You want religion, do you? There will be many willing to preach to you the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture.”

    You are correct, Lucifer does not specifically say “for money” in the ceremony today. That was in the pre-1990 ceremony when Lucifer brings a preacher in and says to him:

    “If you will preach your orthodox religion to these people and convert them, I will pay you well.”

    I meshed the 2 together in my previous comment (not intentionally). Nevertheless, the crack remains although it is more subtle today.

    Happy Easter to all!! What a glorious day to celebrate. Our God is risen!!

    Darrell

  90. April 11, 2009 4:39 am

    Hallelujah!!

    Wishing Easter blessings to you darrell and all the lovely people here, both LDS and christians!

    God bless,
    gloria

    Neh. 8:10

  91. April 11, 2009 5:15 am

    Jessica ~ Sorry friend. I really hate to burst your bubble, but based on both of your confessions of faith I believe I can confidently state that you will be spending eternity together. You better start getting used to the idea. Of course, by then you will have a changed heart and you will see how wonderful he is.

    I’ll admit, Jessica, that made me smile.

  92. Tom permalink
    April 11, 2009 11:38 am

    Gloria,

    Unfortunately many people CAN’T accept the reasoning you put forward. I don’t think, as you point out, that it’s disrespectful to have a discussion about doctrine and try to “reconvert” someone to the LDS faith. But the bottom line is the 11th article of faith:

    “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.”

    Though I disagree with your current religious views, my own views tell me that I must let you choose how you worship.

    You are right – there IS everything wrong with alienation and abuse directed at people leaving the LDS faith. People aren’t perfect and they sometimes do some awful things. I’m deeply saddened when people choose to leave what I believe to be Christ’s true Church, but I’m more saddened by the un-Christlike behaviors you are describing. Fortunately, Jesus will make all right in th end, and He is DEFINITELY worth whatever crosses we endure in this world.

    Easter blessings to all. He is risen! It fills my soul with joy – I hope we all enjoy a joyous weekend!

  93. Exitmusic permalink
    April 13, 2009 11:55 pm

    Since the discussion appears to have halted, I thought I would post a short video about our Savior. This is what Mormons believe about Jesus Christ.

    An Apostle’s Easter thoughts on Christ- 1 week before Easter Sunday (4/5/09):

    God bless you all

  94. April 14, 2009 1:56 pm

    I have watched this video with Mr. Holland speaking. I am glad to see the LDS focus more on calvary then they have in the past. That is making progress.

    Regards,
    gloria

  95. Exitmusic permalink
    April 14, 2009 5:29 pm

    Gloria,
    I think reason evangelicals find our Gethsemane doctrine off-putting is not because we discount Calvary, but because we believe that the Savior’s sacrifice was not limited to it. It has never been that we emphasize Gethsemane over Calvary. Both are equally significant and necessary for our eternal salvation.

    “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it. (History of the Church, 3:30).”
    -Joseph Smith

    “Joseph [Smith] told us that Jesus was the Christ—the Mediator between God and man—and the Savior of the world. He told us that there was no other name in the heavens nor under the heavens, neither could there be, by which mankind could be saved in the presence of the Father, but by and through the name and ministry of Jesus Christ, and the atonement he made on Mount Calvary. (DNW, 22 Oct. 1862, 1).”
    -Brigham Young

    The hymn ‘Behold the Great Redeemer Die’ has always been significant to me:
    1. Behold the great Redeemer die,
    A broken law to satisfy.
    He dies a sacrifice for sin,
    He dies a sacrifice for sin,
    That man may live and glory win.

    2. While guilty men his pains deride,
    They pierce his hands and feet and side;
    And with insulting scoffs and scorns,
    And with insulting scoffs and scorns,
    They crown his head with plaited thorns.

    3. Although in agony he hung,
    No murm’ring word escaped his tongue.
    His high commission to fulfill,
    His high commission to fulfill,
    He magnified his Father’s will.

    4. “Father, from me remove this cup.
    Yet, if thou wilt, I’ll drink it up.
    I’ve done the work thou gavest me,
    I’ve done the work thou gavest me;
    Receive my spirit unto thee.”

    5. He died, and at the awful sight
    The sun in shame withdrew its light!
    Earth trembled, and all nature sighed,
    Earth trembled, and all nature sighed
    In dread response, “A God has died!”

    6. He lives—he lives. We humbly now
    Around these sacred symbols bow
    And seek, as Saints of latter days,
    And seek, as Saints of latter days,
    To do his will and live his praise.

    Text: Eliza R. Snow, 1804–1887
    Music: George Careless, 1839–1932

    In 1831 (D&C 45:51-52), the Lord spoke to Joseph Smith saying:
    “And then shall the Jews look upon me and say: What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet?
    Then shall they know that I am the Lord; for I will say unto them: these wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God.”

    Our Savior gave the gift of life, and peace and happiness through him.

  96. April 14, 2009 5:41 pm

    Hello, exit music.

    Thank you for your courteous response.

    I just wanted to say that I am familiar with that hymn….. but I can not agree with a few of the lines. For example in the first stanza it states in the last line that “man may live and glory win”. I think that I can speak for beleivers world wide and say that we are most definately not trying to win “glory”. Actually we seek to bring ‘glory ‘ to God, not to win it for ourselves.

    The last line of stanza 5 also states ” A God has died”.
    To us, as Christians it is not ” A God” but “God”. We do not believe jesus is a “God” among many gods, but truly believe there is none before Him or after Him. Isaiah 44:8, Isaiah 43:10,12,Deut. 4:35,Deut. 32:39 , 1 Sam 2:2,Joel 2:27

    Kind regards,
    Gloria

  97. Exitmusic permalink
    April 14, 2009 6:10 pm

    Thanks Gloria.
    I understand your disagreement with the lines. I’ll first say that sure, we believe that to receive the Glory of God would be the greatest of all victories. We believe that through Christ we can all receive of His glory and live with him. Eliza does not specify that we ‘win’ the glory on our own. She simply states that our reception of it would be a gain indeed. Also, she had to rhyme with sin. My point in posting this was to demonstrate how we preach the crucifixion along with Gethsemane.

    Important to note here that ‘glory’ in Mormon thought is not about the ‘high renown or honor won by notable achievements’ aspect of the word. It is more of the ‘magnificence or great beauty’ interpretation that we refer to. Both definitions have some crossover however. I would say it like this: we believe that we may be recipients of the Glory of God, only through and by the merits of Jesus Christ. Discipleship is a requirement- we must FOLLOW Jesus. But of ourselves we cannot receive glory.

    As for the ‘A God has died’ portion- If you take the Mormon understanding of the Godhead (that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are God and Gods), it is logical to believe that one of them had died.

  98. Tom permalink
    April 14, 2009 9:16 pm

    Paul talks about winning Christ. Peter says we will receive a crown of glory. John quotes the Lord as saying “to Him that overcometh I will grant to sit with me in my throne.” I don’t see what the big deal is about saying “glory win.” If we win Christ, we will receive a crown of glory and dwell with Him in glory. Besides, it’s a freaking poem and sometimes it’s hard to rhyme….

    Also, the Hebrew text of the OT repeatedly refers to “the gods.”

    If your purpose is to disagree with us on every point possible, be my guest, but don’t pretend like it’s abiblical when we say stuff that is clearly in the Biblical text.

  99. April 14, 2009 9:22 pm

    Tom,
    My point is not to “disagree with us on every point”. My point was merely to point out that most christians are not going to say ” A god” for God or ” win my glory” but rather bring glory to God. That was my point. This is a forum to discuss, is it not? I also believe that this is a forum run by a Christian, ( Jessica confesses the Christian confession) is it no? This is not an LDS site that I remember. I think this is a “safe place” to preach what Christians beliefs.

    Sincere Regards,
    Gloria

  100. April 14, 2009 10:15 pm

    “Also, the Hebrew text of the OT repeatedly refers to “the gods.””

    Ahh, but the key question here is in whqt context were these spoken of. IMO, they are something radically different from what is taught in the LDS faith.

    “I don’t see what the big deal is about saying “glory win.””

    Depends upon what one means by “winning glory”. Is the glory won because of one’s own effort? Is it glory one takes upon themself? Or, is it glory to be given to God? IMO, the works based theology of Mormonism does tend towards the self righteous use of this type of language. I remember sitting in church many a day when someone would walk in smelling of cigarette smoke. I would always look around to see how many heads turned with looks of disgust. One of my favorite sayings at that time was, “If my sins smelled I would probably smell worse than that fella.” I loved telling people that to try and get them to think. Some would agree and but some would respond with “Well, no… there are different degrees of sin and breaking the word of wisdom is right up there.”. That type of thinking means people are “taking the glory upon themselves based upon their works” by thinking they are better than another simply because they don’t smoke.

    Darrell

  101. Tom permalink
    April 14, 2009 11:13 pm

    All I’m trying to say is let’s not strain at gnats here. It seems so inconsequential to argue about Eliza’s choice of words when there is no way of knowing what she actually meant. We can’t say what words were chosen for doctrinal purposes and which were made for poetic purposes.

    This is how it comes across to me (I’m not trying to point fingers or be nasty, I’m just saying this is how it comes across):

    If I quote a protestant hymn (i.e. “I Stand All Amazed” as above) then everyone’s happy. But if I quote an LDS hymn, you go over it with a fine-toothed comb and look for single words that MIGHT mean something contrary to your view of the Bible.

    Charles Gabriel also wrote a hymn about Christ’s blood shed in Gethsemane. But I don’t hear evangelicals out there calling him a heretic and saying he doesn’t believe in the cross and that his view of Jesus is abiblical. His hymns are in just about every hymnal you can find.

    Don’t hold something to a different standard just because it’s roots are of LDS origin.

  102. April 14, 2009 11:25 pm

    Hi, Tom. For the record I have problems with other hymns that Ms. Snow wrote as well — especially the well loved LDS hymn ” Oh my father”.. as you know she does state about a “heavenly mother”. I believe Ms. Snow did believe in the doctrine of “plurality of gods”. It was taught in her day and within her inner circles she ran around with. B.Young definately believed that there were other “gods”..( on other planets mind you and only Elohim and Jehovah for this earth) . and of course there is the well love Praise to the Man where it states ” mingling with gods”. So, I do believe that there are a number of LDS hymns that do convey teachings of the LDS, and not just traditionally held beliefs about Jesus, heaven, salvation etc. These 3 hymns clearly indicate the LDS teaching of plurality of gods.
    If you are going to share a hymn that is biblically sound, then no tom you are really not going to hear any dissention from the christians here, but if someone is going to mention a LDS hymn that teaches LDS doctrines, well then yes, some of us are going to ‘raise eyebrows’.
    With all due respect & kind regards,
    gloria

  103. April 14, 2009 11:29 pm

    P.S. I am not familiar with Charles Gabriel’s hymn you mentioned. I’ll do some checking and for the record, worship and song writers of any genre of christian music can be in error with what they may write. Definately could happen. If I came across some music that I felt was not biblically sound or expounded on a false notion or idea, well yeah I most likely won’t sing it. So, I don’t disagree that some christian hymns may be “off”. I know that my pastor went thru hymnbooks and hand picked the one we currently use with the help of the worship leader – they went thru all the songs and made sure that they were doctrinally sound. I think the LDS do the same thing, they do go thru the hymns before publishing. Makes sense.
    Regards,
    gloria

  104. Tom permalink
    April 14, 2009 11:30 pm

    Gloria –

    For the record, do you have problems with Gabriel’s other hymns? Which ones?

  105. April 14, 2009 11:30 pm

    Tom,
    Would you kindly cite the hymn that charles gabriel wrote? The title, that is. Thanks so much,
    gloria

  106. April 14, 2009 11:32 pm

    Hey, tom. I am not familiar with gabriel’s hymns/ songs. I’ll have to do some checking. Being pretty new in the faith ( came out of the LDS in 2007) Christian hymns and worship music is something I am “discovering” and by the way loving! 🙂

    Regards,
    gloria

  107. Tom permalink
    April 14, 2009 11:35 pm

    “I Stand Amazed in the Presence” is the one, if I remember correctly.

    http://nethymnal.org/bio/g/a/b/gabriel_ch.htm

    There’s a better site with a list of his hymns, but I can’t find it right now.

  108. Tom permalink
    April 14, 2009 11:40 pm

    I apologize for the awful MIDI files that play on those sites – whoever developed the MIDI should face criminal charges….they are SO AWFUL

  109. Exitmusic permalink
    April 15, 2009 12:00 am

    Darrell,
    I have been around this blog for a few months now and have only recently started commenting. I have seen in multiple occasions that you tend you use your experience in the LDS church to lend ethos to your comments. Let me just say that for any Mormon that you may be trying to influence, that approach will fall on deaf ears. What I see in your comments is someone who found fault in everything he saw within the church. I know your response to that will be that you believed wholeheartedly that it was true and that leaving took several years. What I mean is that at this point you seem incapable of giving Mormons, Mormon doctrine, Mormon history, or Mormon leadership any leeway.

    Take your example of the smoker in church. There are some examples of this in my ward currently. They smell strongly of smoke and it is generally known that they smoke and are either doing what they can to stop or are simply living that way. And you know what? Nobody cares. That is not a matter that concerns me. I have only rarely heard of anyone looking down on people (as you claim to have seen so often), and if they are judging them, they are simply wrong. And that is okay. We are fallible and make mistakes, Darrell. Also, you tend to quote what ‘people would say’ when you were in the church. Who cares what people say? If they said that ‘breaking the word of wisdom is way up there,’ they were wrong! That’s it. In all of your commenting about Mormonism, you seem to enlist the amalgamate opinions of flawed people, and the controversial and even obscure comments of former church leaders.

    Whenever you say something that begins with ‘when I was in the LDS church, the people…’ I have an immediate impulse to ignore what you say because a) your narrative will ALWAYS be slanted to reflect your current theological construct and b) my experience has been so completely different than yours.

    I couldn’t care less what the members of the church do. People tend to make mistakes. I hope that God looks upon the mistakes I make with a more forgiving eye than yours.

  110. April 15, 2009 12:29 am

    Exit,

    I can understand how you feel about my comments… I really can. I shared similar feelings myself at one time. What I have come to see is that people are shaped by what they believe. The often shared idiom of “the church is perfect but the people aren’t” is backwards. The people IN THE CHURCH are shaped BY THE DOCTRINE THE CHURCH TEACHES. That is why, IMO, the state of Utah has such a high use of anti-depressants. The people in the state are effected by the legalistic teachings of the LDS Church. They can’t live up to the standards the church (basically perfection) and get depressed. THEY ARE SHAPED BY WHAT THEY BELIEVE.

    Don’t get me wrong… not everyone I knew (and continue to know) in the LDS Church was as judgemental as I described in my above comment. I had (and still have) several wonderful LDS friends… people who are sincerely delightful people. However, I did find an aweful lot of gossiping and backbiting within the LDS Church. IMO, legalism leads to this… judging other people while lifting yourself up. The thinking of “I am better than them because I don’t do ‘such and such’. While I will admit this happens in ALL churches, I can honestly say I do not see NEAR the degree of it in Christianity as I did in Mormonism. Grace is a wonderful thing because it can free the heart from the cancer of legalism and judgementalness.

    I don’t expect you to agree with me… just trying to explain where I am coming from.

    God Bless!!

    Darrell

  111. Tom permalink
    April 15, 2009 12:30 am

    I’ll admit – people in the LDS Church do things quite frequently that upset me. Deeply. I can think of many examples of arrogance and self-righteous behavior by LDS people.

    That said, the VAST MAJORITY of people I have known in the LDS Church loved me for who I am, despite my faults – even when I was working with my bishop on a regular basis to work through some things in my life. Among my fellow LDS, I feel loved and appreciated for the person I desire to become, not condemned or judged for my current faults.

    The bigger issue here, though, Exitmusic and Darrell – is that we are presumably here to discuss doctrine and teachings of the Church – not anecdotal or colloquial views and opinions of imperfect members.

    In my experience, people are people, and you’ll find that 1-2% that are judgmental and arrogant no matter where you worship. I have a friend that severely dislikes how many of her Christian friends have evangelized her. I got the impression it was both Mormons and Evangelicals but I can’t say. She is turned off to belief in Jesus at all as a result of these people’s mistakes.

  112. April 15, 2009 12:45 am

    I was just wondering…could someone say something about Kirk Cameron again?

    I’ve missed talking about him.

  113. Tom permalink
    April 15, 2009 12:46 am

    Also, Darrell, I hold to “correlation is not causation.” You can’t prove that the high depression in Utah is linked to the Church. It’s just your opinion and I’d appreciate it if you don’t go casting aspersions on the Church as a whole just because you have an opinion.

    Again, let’s stick to points of doctrine and comparing notes on how we interpret the Bible, not ad hominem attacks about how legalism in the Church brainwashes its members to be depressed or how you know a member who…(fill in the blank).

    My experience is that Mormons who “get” our doctrine of grace are quite happy and aren’t stressed that they aren’t perfect – yet they still strive to be because they believe that is what discipleship is all about – becoming like the Master.

  114. April 15, 2009 1:06 am

    Tom,

    “You can’t prove that the high depression in Utah is linked to the Church.”

    Agreed. However, when studies have been done on the state of Utah and people are asked why they are depressed, their answers have been tied back to the church and having large families (which is a result of church doctrine). It is not just I who believes this. From what I have read it is pretty much the Mormon and Non-Mormon consensus belief on why Utah is so depressed.

    “Again, let’s stick to points of doctrine and comparing notes on how we interpret the Bible, not ad hominem attacks about how legalism…”

    This is not an ad hominem attack because I am not attacking anybody. Rather, I am attacking LEGALISM. Legalism leads to judgementalism and depression. Paul actually told us this in Ephesians 2: 8 -9 when he said “not of works LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST”. The people who act the way they do ARE A VICTIM of legalism. I actually feel sorry for them.

    Darrell

  115. April 15, 2009 1:17 am

    I was just wondering…could someone say something about Kirk Cameron again?

    I’ve missed talking about him.

    Katie, LOL!

    “Show me that smile again…” 🙂

    Okay, I will give you an interesting factoid. When I posted the first random post I did on the Fireproof movie, my blog post made it to the blog links on Kirk Cameron’s Official Site! I was so excited. I thought my blog was famous! But it only lasted about a day before my post was sidelined by someone else’s more updated information…

  116. April 15, 2009 1:25 am

    I’ve been wondering if any of our LDS friends are going to take a stab at interacting with the new post and the questions therein…

  117. April 15, 2009 2:02 am

    Tom,
    I think you have a point – there will be “self righteousness” in many religious groups across all denominations, and LDS are truly not the only ones that may struggle with this in their congregrations. Hypocricy, and self righteosness are often the “fruit” of religionists. I think we would see these kinds of folks in most churches out there.
    Yucky fruit I might add.
    Kind regards,
    gloria

  118. April 15, 2009 2:09 am

    Hey guys, just a quick note of apology to anyone on this board who has felt at anytime that I was personally attacking them. I sure don’t want to come across that way at all. So please forgive if I do. I think sometimes emails is just not the best way to correspond. …. I really wish we could chat face to face with a cup of coffee ( or some pop for the LDS) and just share.
    My hope in these exchanges is that I focus on the “matter” or doctrine not on the persons or person sharing their experiences. I may have serious disagreements with LDS doctrines, but I pray and hope that I am always filled with love for the people. Again, my sincere apologies to anyone here that may feel I have personally ‘come after them’ in any way.

    Grace & peace,
    gloria

  119. April 15, 2009 2:59 am

    KIRK CAMERON HAS AN OFFICIAL SITE?!?!?!?!

    My life is now complete.

    And you are famous, Jessica. At least in my heart. 😉

  120. Tom permalink
    April 15, 2009 1:11 pm

    Darrell –

    If there are data to support your claims, then why not say so up front? Can you reference the studies that have been done so I can check them out?

    Thanks!

    Oh, and I do view it as ad hominem against the men who lead our Church. If we are legalistic, then I’m comfortable knowing that the Bible authors were also legalistic – you must follow the doctrine we preach to be saved. Isn’t that legalistic in and of itself?

    “Accept me or you are damned” is pretty legalistic. But that’s essentially what Christ says.

    So would you like to be the pot or the kettle?

  121. Tom permalink
    April 15, 2009 2:08 pm

    When I was 17-18 I found myself in a difficult situation. I had committed my life to Christ and I knew that the LDS Church was the true Church of Jesus Christ (yes, I know you disagree, but that is my conviction – you are convicted that I’m going to hell – let me have my own convictions). I was painfully aware of my sins, and there were a few specific ones that I decided I wanted out of my life.

    I went to the scriptures and found, among others, the following:

    “…I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.” 2 Ne 33:6

    “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee…” Psalms 55:22

    “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28

    I realized that only Jesus could take those sins from me. I prayed daily for the Lord to heal my soul and take my burden. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I wanted my life to be like His in every way possible. I struggled – I made a lot of mistakes along the way. I counseled with my bishop regularly to seek his assistance. I found loving reassurance that Jesus’s atonement was sufficient for my sins. I will never forget the feeling when I literally felt the Lord had taken that burden from me. In place of sorrow there was joy, in place of suffering there was peace.

    At no point in this process did I get depressed because of the teachings of my Church. On the contrary, I found verse after verse in the BofM, DC, and Bible that gave me hope that Jesus had redeemed my soul and that He would extend His grace to me, a sinful man, every day. Charles Gabriel’s words took on special meaning to me – Christ’s love is “sufficient to own, to redeem, and to JUSTIFY.” I think those are some of the sweetest words ever penned by the human hand.

    I hope that helps you understand why I am hurt when people tell me I haven’t found Jesus and that I’m not born again, and that I’m not saved.

    If others have not found Jesus in the LDS Church, I do not understand why. All I can say is I found Him there, and the Book of Mormon, Bible, and Doctrine and Covenants led me to Him and to His grace and salvation.

  122. April 15, 2009 2:51 pm

    Tom,

    You can find the information about Utah in many different places. I believe US News and Time both did reports on it.

    “Oh, and I do view it as ad hominem against the men who lead our Church.”

    Given this, pretty much everything we have talked about on this blog is ad hominem. Because the whole POINT of this blog is to discuss the errors, as we see it, of the LDS Church. By your definition of ad hominem that would mean everything we have discussed is an ad hominem attack against the leaders of your church.

    I don’t view it that way. I view what I am saying as a criticism of the doctrines of the LDS Church. I believe they are very legalistic.

    “…you must follow the doctrine we preach to be saved. Isn’t that legalistic in and of itself?”

    No, that is dogmatic NOT legalistic. By definition legalism is :the focus on a strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious code”.

    Sorry if you are taking my critcisms as ad hominem attacks against you and your leaders. Really I am simply sharing my opinion of the doctrines of the LDS Church. I found them to be extremely legalistic. For the record, there is a tendancy for Christian churches to become legalistic as well. It is something we have to watch closely because it is a cancer which can eat away at the soul.

    Darrell

  123. Tom permalink
    April 15, 2009 3:16 pm

    So are we any worse than you if that “cancer” has eroded some people’s view of the doctrine of grace, which we do teach?

    Regardless of one’s view of the role of works, being a disciple of Jesus Christ means conforming your behavior to the standard He set. Some people can miss the role of grace in that conformity. That doesn’t mean that the doctrine of grace isn’t there. It just means they misunderstand it.

    I was probably wrong in saying that your legalism criticism was ad hominem. But saying “I know members of the LDS Church who….” is definitely ad hominem when it’s used as a justification for your own criticism of the Church. Reference our doctrine all you want and talk about how you disagree, but individual members are always going to do things that are not in line with our doctrine, even if they PERCEIVE it as being in line with our doctrine. Paul had similar problems with converts who perceived things differently than they actually were. That doesn’t make Paul wrong, just those people’s perceptions.

    Show me one example of a person condemning a smoker who comes to our chapel, and I’ll show you fifty who don’t care and are happy the person is trying. Joseph F. Smith said the sweetest thing he ever smelled in a sacrament meeting was tobacco smoke because it meant the person was trying to come to Jesus.

  124. Tom permalink
    April 15, 2009 3:17 pm

    How is being born again and accepting Jesus Christ to receive salvation not a “religious code?”

  125. April 15, 2009 3:35 pm

    Tom,
    If you have truly committed your life to our Lord, then I say Hallelujah! ” Only the Lord knows whose name is in the book of the Lamb. I can not judge if you are saved or not. That is God’s call.
    I was saved when I was actively participating in the LDS church. It is possible. But I will say once I did surrender to the Lord, He did take me out of that church. My eyes were opened to see things that were not of Him, and as a result I resigned from the LDS church.
    I guess what I am trying to say is hey, if you have given your life completely to Jesus – then I say YEAH! Jesus will be the best to judge if that was done in sincerity or not. It’s not our call to make.
    Kind regards,
    gloria

  126. Tom permalink
    April 15, 2009 3:50 pm

    I am unable to find a story at either usnews.com or time.com that talks about depression in Utah, despite my best efforts at using both their own search engines and Google. This from ABC News:

    “The reason for Utah’s mass depression, however, is unknown.

    “The truth is, we don’t know why,” said Dr. Ted Wander, spokesman for the Utah Psychiatric Association.

    Neither study was broken down by gender, but nationally women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depressive disorders as men, experts told ABC News.

    Psychiatrists point to several factors that could contribute to Utah’s high levels of depression: limited mental health resources, restricted access to treatment as a result of cost, poor quality of resources and a varied list of other factors, including an underfunded educational system and a culture deeply rooted in the Mormon faith.”

    —————————————–

    Some psychologists POINT to the Mormon faith as a POSSIBLE factor, but until the variables of religion and geography are properly controlled in a research study, you can’t say it’s THE REASON for the depression.

    You can have your opinion but until you can reference a study done with proper controls, it’s all just your opinion.

  127. April 15, 2009 6:13 pm

    Tom,

    I agree with you that this is my opinion (although I am by far not the only one holding it). Please note that I never intended to communicate it as cold hard fact. That is why I said it was MY OPINION when I first shared this piece of information. I specifically said:

    “That is why, IMO, the state of Utah has such a high use of anti-depressants.”

    In the ABC news article Dr. Curtis Canning, a Logan-based psychiatrist and former president of the Utah Psychiatric Association, said something that goes right along with what I was trying to express about legalism and it’s ties, IMO, to the depression problem in Utah.

    “In Mormon culture females are supposed accept a calling. They are to be constantly smiling over their family of five. They are supposed to take supper across the street to an ill neighbor and then put up with their husband when he comes home from work and smile about it the whole time. There is this sense that Mrs. Jones down street is doing the same thing, and there is this undercurrent of competition. To be a good mother and wife, women have to put on this mask of perfection. They can’t show their tears, depression or agony. Obedience, conformity and maintaining a sense of harmony are unspoken but widely recognized behaviors, which all contribute to what he calls “the Mother of Zion syndrome.”

    You asked:

    “How is being born again and accepting Jesus Christ to receive salvation not a “religious code?””

    What I mean by religious code is a specific set of man made rules by which people are expected to live in order to garner acceptance into the group. For example, “no coffee, tea or alcohol” – “wearing white shirts to church” – “using your right hand to take the sacrament”. Or, to take some examples from our Independent Baptist friends – “women can’t wear pants to church” – “no dancing”, etc, etc. etc. Religious code is just another way of saying “a hard core set of man made rules”. I like what Beth Moore has to say about legalism…

    “The legalists list or rules is always longer than God’s list.”

    Here is a great article on legalism I found a while back…

    http://www.freefromlegalism.com/whatislegalism.htm

    I second what Gloria said. If you have truly committed your life to Christ all I can say is “Praise God!!”. Like Gloria, when I gave my life to Christ it was a wonderfully freeing experience. I asked Him to keep me in the LDS Church if it was true but if it was false to please guide me and my family out. My prayer was that I wanted to follow Him and for Him to become the pilot of my life. He guided me and my family out just a few years later. Praise God!!

    God Bless.

    Darrell

  128. Tom permalink
    April 15, 2009 8:56 pm

    Darrell and Gloria,

    Thanks for your replies. I honestly was expecting you both to say I hadn’t “really” found Jesus. I guess that’s just what I’m used to hearing – “you haven’t really found Jesus, you’re going to hell, etc.” Jessica seems unwilling to accept that I may have truly found Jesus. So, thanks again.

    Darrell-

    Dr. Canning’s is just one opinion. You’ve completely ignored the other side of the issue, Dr. Scharman’s statement:

    “”I don’t think it’s clear that there’s a crisis in Utah,” said Brent Scharman, a psychologist and the assistant commissioner of LDS Family Services, a church network that provides counseling. “You’ve got one camp that says there is more depression and another camp that says we just have more consumers.” Scharman said studies on organized religion and depression found that religious people were generally happier than nonreligious people, and that held true for Mormons.

    “It always boils down to the issue of what influence the LDS lifestyle has on the depression phenomenon,” he said. “Non-LDS and some LDS people say this is a kind of driven lifestyle and that we push too hard and smile too much. But studies show, and those living it out see, that religion is good support. It creates a positive network and helps people get through crises and deal with long-term problems.

    “Are there people who feel ‘I’m not living up to the LDS ideal,’ or ‘I’m not living up to my family’s expectations’? Absolutely, there is no question. But having done counseling outside the LDS community, I saw people there, too, who were depressed because of perfectionism,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it is any worse here than in more diverse communities.”

    ————————————

    Until you are willing to address both sides of an issue, I have little respect for the arguments you put forward. The same goes for Joseph Smith and polygamy, and a host of other issues. Non-mormons look for the historical data that would cast Joseph in a disparaging light. Every time I have looked at the historical record, I find fragmentary evidence for both sides of the issue. More compelling – some of the evidence that would exonerate Joseph is by non-LDS historians. But all I hear from people on this blog is how immoral Joseph was. Not all historians agree, and not all of those dissenters are LDS.

    I’m ok if you want to present both sides – ALL THE HISTORICAL DATA AVAILABLE – and give reasons why you side with historians who vote for the immoral Joseph. But when you only present the data that make him look immoral, it angers me because there are MANY MANY MANY people in this world that won’t take the time to examine ALL THE HISTORICAL DATA to see if those conclusions are really valid. They’ll see a statement about Joseph having immoral relations with a young girl, with a reference to Fawn Brodie and they’ll take the historian at their word without bothering to see what other historians have found on the subject, or what Joseph’s ACTUAL relation was to the woman in question.

    Bottom line – the historical record is not as unequivocal as you’d like to make it out to be. Stop acting like it is!

  129. Tom permalink
    April 15, 2009 9:03 pm

    To wit – there is at least one research study comparing Mormon women to non-Mormon women nationally. Mormon women in this survey did not have a higher rate of depression, but overall scored 10% lower on a question about self esteem:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2004-04-02-mormon-depression_x.htm

  130. April 15, 2009 9:10 pm

    Oh tom, I am surely not in the position to telling someone they are going to hell or not – that’s God’s job not mine and I am thankful I don’t carry that burden. He wishes to see not one person perish. But with that said, the Bible is clear on what the requirements of receiving eternal salvation are. If you are in agreement with those requirements – then Yeah! Many LDS, including my husband are not. He openly admits to me that Jesus’ blood and what He did is simply not enough. For my husband and many other LDS out there it’s grace + LDS ordinances = eternal life. That is very different from the gospel Christians present. So although, tom I am surely not going to be the one to cast stones at you, I will be honest and say if you are going to say “such and such” is what Jesus said, and it really isn’t.. then I will most likely step out and challenge that. I suspect you would do the same , if the table was turned concerning the LDS views, teachings etc.

    I really do sincerely hope and believe Tom that you do know, love and worship Jesus Christ. He is so very worthy of being #1 in our lives.

    Sincere Regards,
    gloria

  131. April 15, 2009 9:18 pm

    Darrell,
    Your experience is similar to mine — I really wanted the Lord in my life…. and I did pray and ask Him to guide me and lead me in truth…7 yrs later I resigend from the LDS church. During thst time God opened my eyes and revealed what ‘truth’ is and what ‘error’ is. I praise Him for the work He has done in both of our lives!

    He is so very worthy of it!
    gloria

  132. Tom permalink
    April 15, 2009 10:55 pm

    Gloria –

    “I am surely not in the position to telling someone they are going to hell or not – that’s God’s job not mine”

    I wish all evangelicals shared that sentiment!

    Darrell – I didn’t mean for my polygamy rant to sound as if it were directed at you personally. That was not my intent but my wording is not always clear. I was just using it as an example of non-Mormons cherry picking historical data. You and I have never directly discussed it.

  133. April 15, 2009 11:11 pm

    Well Tom, they should! ( evangelicals, that is!) The Bible is very clear that those that do not have their names written in the lamb’s book will be cast into the lake of fire ( the final place for the lost) . Rev.20:15
    But , at that same moment, I don’t know of any christian who has “access” to the Lamb’s book of life!!
    Like I said, as Christians we are to contend for the faith, share the message of redemption and salvation and make it clear that eternal life rests on Jesus alone. But as far as Christians “making the call” on “who” and “who not” is saved — that is simply not their call to make.

    Enjoy a lovely evening,
    gloria

  134. April 15, 2009 11:31 pm

    Tom, you said, “Jessica seems unwilling to accept that I may have truly found Jesus. So, thanks again.”

    Tom,

    I am not unwilling to accept that you may have truly found Jesus! I hope & pray that you truly have! This thread is the first time where I have seen you use the word “sufficient” when referring to Jesus’ sacrifice to pay for your sins. I have seen you use the word “essential” before so I expected that you believed (as do other LDS I know) that Jesus’ atonement was essential, but not sufficient.

    If I was wrong about my assumptions and you truly have received Jesus as your substitute and are trusting in Him alone for your salvation – Praise the Lord! 🙂 I would be more than willing to believe it and to rejoice!

    Please understand that I am becoming far too accustomed to the LDS Church presenting a “Christianized” version of their beliefs to the general public and I have had to do a little digging to figure out exactly what they mean by some of the similar terms they use. I’m sure you disagree, but that is my perspective.

    As I said in another conversation with you, I hope & pray that there are many born again LDS. My personal experience has been, though, that born again LDS become troubled by the false teachings (just as Darrell and Gloria did) so it will be interesting, as we dialogue further, to see how you resolve those things.

    I want you to know that I truly respect how you have handled some of the conversations we’ve had – especially when you’ve said you are praying about these things and you seem to be sincere in your willingness to follow where the Lord leads you, even if that means leaving the LDS church at some point. I do respect you and I desire that we would be of the same mind when it comes to matters of salvation. If you are right – that the LDS church does teach salvation by grace alone through Christ alone – I look forward to being corrected and will gladly welcome the correction!

    In Christ Alone,

    Jessica

  135. MadChemist permalink
    April 16, 2009 4:04 am

    Re, saved without ordinances.

    We do not feel it robbing Jesus of His salvific role by truly believing we have to do what He said in order to inhereit what He promises.

    Many evangelicals continue to misconstrue the Mormon viewpoint. Mormons do not in any way earn their salvation. Nor do they believe that Jesus’s atonement is insufficient to save us from our sins. We do believe that we must accept and partake of Christ’s atonement, and we believe we know how Jesus has commanded all men to partake. To partake is not to earn.

    I dbout very seriously, Gloria, that your husband would agree with your characterization of his viewpoint that “He openly admits to me that Jesus’ blood and what He did is simply not enough.”

    Unless, you’re trying to preach a gospel different than Paul preached. A false, easy, greasy, grace gospel where people merely confess with their mouth and aren’t truly committed enough to Christ to repent and allow Christ to change their behavior, and submit to a simple ordinance as a sign that you have entered into a covenant with Him.

    Bottom line, Jesus commanded the apostles to go abaptizing.
    Peter commanded the men he spoke to at Pentacost to get baptized.
    Paul was baptized as soon as he was converted.
    Paul never said baptism wasn’t necessary.
    Luther claims it wasn’t.
    Luther adds to the biblical record,.
    Evangelicals disobey Jesus, Peter, and Paul and replace their commands with Luther’s abiblical claims.
    Do you see how annoying it is when Evangelicals try and force us to believe abiblical teachings like Luther’s?

  136. April 16, 2009 1:39 pm

    “Until you are willing to address both sides of an issue, I have little respect for the arguments you put forward. The same goes for Joseph Smith and polygamy, and a host of other issues. Non-mormons look for the historical data that would cast Joseph in a disparaging light.”

    Tom,

    I am curious as to your position on the LDS Church’s tactics given the above. When presenting to investigators and in their Sunday meetings they certainly only present “one-side” of the issue and historival data. Given that, do you respect their arguments?

    MC,

    I have no problem saying Jesus commanded/taught Baptism. That being said, The Bible does NOT say baptism is necessary for entrance into Heaven (as the Mormon church teaches). The scriptures which the missionaries use to teach this position are taken completely out of context. I did a post about this topic on my blog…

    http://toughquestionsanswered.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/did-jesus-say-baptism-is-required-for-entrance-into-heaven/

    Unfortunately, the LDS Church takes the stance that not only is baptism required for Heaven but also a whole host of other things which only “they” can provide. Their formula for salvation involves much more than what The Bible teaches and, IMO, does rob Christ of His salvific power and place the glory squarely on the shoulders of the one performing the works. This leads to boasting as Paul so clearly laid out in Eph 2:8-9. In Mormonism…

    Faith in Jesus Christ + Baptism + Endowment + Endure to the end = HOPEFULLY going to the Celestial Kingdom.

    The reason I stress hopefully is under Mormon theology one can never be sure if they have done enough. Moroni 10:32 says we must deny ourselves of ALL unrighteousness before His grace is sufficient for us. I have asked the question numerous times “If you were to die today would you go to the celestial kingdom”. Most say the exact same thing… “Well, I can’t be sure. I hope I have lived worthy enough.” That is a sad because The Bible talks about approaching the throne of grace with CONFIDENCE. We can know with confidence we are accepted and are guaranteed salvation in the Kingdom of Heaven. Not because of anything WE have done but because of what He has done. There is no boasting in this position!

    Praise God!!

    God Bless.

    Darrell

  137. April 16, 2009 2:28 pm

    Darrell
    After reading your latest comment, I was reminded of my experience as an LDS. I sure “hoped” I would make it to the celestial kingdom — I hoped I would have an “eternal family”…. I most definately wanted to “make it”.. but in reality I never ever had that “assurity”.
    That blessed assurance that Jesus is mine and that I will live forever with God and have eternal life is not something I ‘hope’ for anymore…. it is something I know is guaranteed for me now! Not because of my own works — no because of the WORK of JESUS — I have the completely 100% assurance that if I was to die today I would be in heaven with my God, and will live with Him forever.
    That assurance is something I most definately did not have as an LDS.
    My husband the other day asked me “if” I wanted to have an eternal family…. I thoughtfully considered my response. I told him that most definately I wanted to live eternally with God and my loved ones! I gently explained to him how I had felt as an LDS ( always hoping I was “good enough” or faithful enough,etc) and how now, I have the absolute knowledge and assurance that I most definately will live forever with God and my loved ones in heaven — finally I understand that I will have an eternal family — that I will be forever with the family of God – His daughter and yes my children will be there because they too have accepted the gift of eternal life thru Jesus.
    That assurance, is something that gives me great joy in my life!
    And it comes solely thru the works and person of Jesus Christ!
    Gloria

  138. April 16, 2009 2:38 pm

    Hello MadChemist,
    With all due respect , my husband is definately not the only LDS who believes that the blood of Jesus is not enough to obtain eternal life and exaltation. Most LDS I know, I actually can’t think of one I personally know who thinks differently — believe that the blood of Jesus is what grants “general salvation” and the ordinances and obedience to LDS gospel covenants is what grants “exaltation”. The LDS believe in “general salvation” ( granted thru Jesus) and “exaltation” ( LDS ordinances and enduring to the end, and obedience required for that part).
    I have yet to meet an LDS personally , ( IRL) that believes the atoning blood of Jesus is sufficient to guarantee eternal life.
    If that was the case that they did believe so — there would be no need for LDS missionaries to preach the LDS gospel to Christians who have indeed been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb – they would simply preach to the unregenerated.
    Since you don’t know my husband, have never spoken to him, you really couldn’t say now what he thinks, could you?
    I have no doubt that Latter-day Saints love Jesus and beleive He died and atoned — what I also don’t doubt is that Latter-day Saints also beleive the blood of Jesus is simply not enough to guarantee eternal life — “salvation” yes ( that is a resurrected body) but not “exaltation”.
    My husband is no different in his beliefs that other LDS I have / had met thru the years.
    Sincere regards,
    gloria

  139. April 16, 2009 2:46 pm

    MadChemist,
    I would agree wtih you — it would be annoying when Evangelicals or any christian would try to “push” their views on anyone. Agreed on that.
    I too find it annoying when LDS missionaries try to “push” their views on others as well. It is a known fact that LDS missionaries go to the homes of Christians, and tell them their church is “incorrect” and that their “creeds” are wrong and that they should leave their church and join the Mormons. That is a fact. That to me is annoying.
    If Jesus truly is the WAY as the LDS proclaim – “why” would the missionaries go to the homes of believers and tell them that the WAY is not enough and that they need to join the Mormons?
    Hmm…… many christians find that fairly annoying.
    I say go and preach Jesus to the unregenerated – those that truly have not heard of Jesus and desperately need his saving grace.
    If you are going to “cry out” annoying, then you need to be willing to see how your own church’s evangelization methods can be seen as annonying to non mormons as well.

    For the record I do not preach and “easy greasy” message of grace as you alluded. What has struck my husband is how his wife has changed – and dramatically at that! That is the work of the Holy Spirit – one can not “fake” being saved — there is going to a transformation occuring and truly regenerated ( saved) people are going to show fruit. Never once have I said that the christian walk is ‘easy and greasy’ madchemist. That is simply not true. IN fact, I will say with all honesty that being a faithful and devote follower of Christ the Lord is much harder than being a Mormon. Much harder. But with that said, the JOY is more than abundant! It takes a great deal of grace to live for Jesus — grace that is not from me, but from my precious Lord.

    I pray you and other LDS may come to taste of His goodness and grace,
    gloria

  140. MadChemist permalink
    April 17, 2009 12:37 am

    Darrel:
    What you have said that the LDS church teachings is certainly not LDS doctrine, and is most certianly a misportrayal of Mormon doctrine.
    While it IS true that we teach that baptism is required to enter the kingdom of heaven, stating that there is a host of other things necessary is certainly wrong. The “Equation” that you’ve provided is as wrong as it is misguided. In science, people who pull equations out of [nothing] are looked down upon. I do not see a derivation, but rather simply an unsupported assertion, and it doesn’t match the data I’ve experienced in my life.
    No where in LDS scripture, or in LDS doctrine is it stated that receiving the Endowment is necessary enter the Celestial Kingdom. CFR (For all you non-blog-followers, this means Call For References, essentially saying, stop pulling information from you backside). I should hope, however, Darrel, that you also believe that Faith in Jesus is required to go to the Celestial kingdom, as well as enduring to the end. If you don’t believe enduring to the end is necessary, you can explain to all of us why you disagree with the BAHBLE. Quite frankly, Darrel, I take Jesus’ words as FAR more important than your own (Matt 10:22).
    End Part I (I’ve decided to try and keep individual responses shorter).

  141. MadChemist permalink
    April 17, 2009 1:18 am

    Darrell:
    Re: Assurance.
    You’re interpretation of Moroni 10:32 is not mine, nor any Mormon I’ve ever met. This interpretation seems to be very popular amongst anti-Mormons, which should tell you something…
    Because there are many Evangelicals who are unsure how to read the Book of Mormon, I’m going to include the scripture so they can read it for themselves.
    Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
    One could choose, as Darrel did, to assume that this verse prescribes a chronological order. One first ‘denies themselves of all ungodliness’ (interpreted by Darrel as a self-perfectionism), and then Christ’s grace is imparted. The problem with this very incomplete reading of this first, is that prior to denying oneself of all ungodliness, one must first:
    Come unto Christ,
    And be perfected in Him.
    By Mormon theology this means we are first justified in Christ (after coming to Him), and are then perfected in Him, by applying His power, being obedient to Him, and His commands for us to deny ourselves of all ungodliness. If one insists on a literal reading of this verse in terms of Chronology, they’ll quickly fail, because they’ll find this verse very circular.

    A, then B, then C, and D, then F. Because of F, then B. If B, then G.

    This is not a linear argument, and as arrogant westerners we are apt to either dismiss it or misinterpret it. I submit that Darrel has misinterpreted it. Out of the thousands of Mormons I’ve met and talked to, I’ve never heard this misinterpretation. Statistically, I can’t lend much credence to an interpretation formed by an outsider, a former member, who is trying to evangelize Mormons away from their faith.
    Furthermore, I would rather trust some sort of outside statistical analysis of people who were asked your religious question. I totally think you’d find no statistical difference between the cross sections of Christianity and Mormons on this matter. I would agree, however, with Darrel, that those who do not believe that such assurance is possible do not understand the Bible, and would add that they don’t understand the Book of Mormon either. One caution that I would add to Darrel, is that he may be unintentionally confusing the Mormons he asked, or they may be confusing themselves by interpreting his question to mean “Is your calling and election made sure.” Of course, I was never present in any of the conversations, but I know from my own life, that sometimes I haven’t really recognized the true questions that they meant because we generally have different conversations.

  142. MadChemist permalink
    April 17, 2009 1:20 am

    Just to be clear, I wasn’t meaning to imply that Darrel is an arrogant westerner. I meant that westerners tend to not be very accepting of anything other than linear logic. And so for the long posts.

  143. April 17, 2009 2:04 am

    MC,

    Before I respond I want to make sure I am understanding you correctly. Are you saying according to mormon theology receiving one’s endowment, either in this life or vicariously in the spirit world, is NOT required for exaltation in the celestial kingdom?

    Darrell

  144. April 17, 2009 2:14 am

    “By Mormon theology this means we are first justified in Christ (after coming to Him), and are then perfected in Him, by applying His power, being obedient to Him, and His commands for us to deny ourselves of all ungodliness. If one insists on a literal reading of this verse in terms of Chronology, they’ll quickly fail, because they’ll find this verse very circular.
    A, then B, then C, and D, then F. Because of F, then B. If B, then G.”

    Here is my question, how can you get F prior to B? That is what you are saying and it is philosophically illogical. The scripture specifically says “IF you deny yourselves of all ungodliness THEN is His grace sufficient for you.” The IF tells you what you must do to receive the THEN. Yet you are saying you receive the THEN before you do the IF. Your reasoning is a philosophical nightmare. You may say it is “western arrogance” that causes me to say this… I say it is simple logical thinking. Please tell me how someone can first get F so they can get B so they can receive C, D, and then re-receive F so they can get G… illogical. I don’t think the God who tells us to “love Him with all our hearts, MINDS and souls” would then expect us to set aside our minds and accept illogical statements as truth.

    Darrell

  145. MadChemist permalink
    April 17, 2009 2:27 am

    Gloria:
    First, ‘assurity’ is not a word.
    Second, while I am glad that you now believe you have an assurance of salvation, and I’m sad that you did not have this assurance as a LDS church member, I’d hope that you recognize that your own experience, however true for you it was, might not be the reality for anything but a slim majority of Mormons. My own experience has been much different than yours, and I don’t like the feeling that I get from many Evangelicals telling me “Mormonism must be the way that Evangelicals have always explained it to me.”
    Third, the idea of exaltation not coming through Jesus, is simply an Evangelical lie. Mormons believe that both salvation and exaltation come only through Christ’s grace, which is imparted unto us as we are obedient unto Christ. Mormons firmly believe in exaltation by grace, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t obedient to Christ in submitting to ordinances and obedience to everything Christ wants us to do.
    The difference, Gloria, is that LDS should believe that Jesus atoning blood is sufficient to guarantee eternal life, but ONLY if we accept it. That is, we don’t believe Christ can save us if we refuse to accept Him, and move closer to Him, and obey Him.
    [God] said (in the Bible) that we were “gods” and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him—for we can prevent Him, if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine. —
    C. S. Lewis,
    Also contained in Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan Company, 1952), 174-175.
    The process of salvation and exaltation is simply a two-way process. Christ provides the plan, the payment, and the first move. He then invites, commands, and expects us to follow His method. We must live by every word that God gives, and not just the part that is easily mesh-able with modern views on religion developed (read: invented) by Luther.
    Finally,
    Missinoaries are not meant to push their views on anyone. I never did, and I don’t recommend any missionaries doing so. More annoying to me, however, is when Evangelicals equate what Mormon Missionaries do with what most Evangelicals do. Mormon missionaries are supposed to explain their own beliefs and the beliefs of the Church. Missionaries are not supposed to explain what other people believe. Missionaries are taught to not talk about other’s religions, and even when they discuss Joseph Smith’s history, it is only through the context of a historical moment. That is, the purpose of sharing the Joseph Smith History isn’t to show that all other religions are corrupt and abominable, but to show that the Mormon belief that there was an apostasy, that the creeds that have been set up and that replace biblical understandings are incorrect. That is as far about talking about other religions that Missionaries are ever to go. It is one thing to say you don’t agree with Mormonism when you talk with Mormons. It is another thing to dedicate your life to spreading misinformation, false doctrines, and lies about Mormonism. Even while believing Evangelical doctrines are abiblical as well as incomplete and inaccurate, I do not spend my time explaining Evangelical thought. Rather, my expalnaition is always about my beliefs. Thus, I am not lecturing you all on what you believe, but instead I’m asking you to stop trying to tell others, being non-Mormons yourselves, what Mormons believe, because so far, there hasn’t been a single blog written by you Evangelicals that hasn’t been inaccurate. Even Jack, who’s much more honest in her transactions makes severe mistakes. All I’m asking is focus on explaining your own beliefs rather than defining Mormonism. You all suck at it.

  146. April 17, 2009 3:39 am

    MC,

    I know you will find this hard to understand but I will attempt to explain. I say what I am about to say with all the love in the world and my prayer is it will not offend you but simply give you an understanding of why I, as well as other Christians, do what we do.

    I believe Mormonism is an evil lie perpetrated in the pit of hell to lead the souls of mankind away from God. Therefore, I will do everything within my power to expose the lies to everyone I come in contact with. I believe I have a duty as a Christian to expose the lies of Mormonism and every other twisted worldview for what they are. Heresy has existed since the creation of the world and in order to confront heresy one must find it, define it and then expose it. That is why we do what we do… we must expose the Arian Heresy of Mormonism in order to reach the people who are lost within it’s grasp and lead them to Christ.

    MC, don’t try to pretend that the LDS Missionaries are not trying to do the same thing from their own perspective. They most certainly do deliver a message which says.

    1. The LDS Church is the only “true church of God” on the face of the earth
    2. All other Christian churches are apostate and lack any authority
    3. Our doctrine on the nature of God is completely wrong and is a creation from the third century

    In addition, the LDS Temple taught prior to 1990 that our ministers are servants of satan and to this day still gives a watered down version of this very message. Therefore, I would recommend stepping off of your high horse on this one. I am honest about what I believe about Mormonism and the least you can do is be honest about the message of your church.

    Further to this point, when one comes out of a lie like the LDS Church to the true joy that exists in having a real personal relationship with Jesus Christ, they want to share this joy with others OUT OF LOVE. I have a friend who came to Christ out of the LDS Church recently. Prior to coming to Christ he could not understand why all who left the church felt a need to speak out. After coming to Christ he confessed to me he now understands why. He said to me, “Now I understand why! I could never understand it before. I thought people were fighting against the church out of hatred and anger. I was wrong. The truth is it is a lie and we need to save people from it. They are all so lost and don’t even know it. They are following a lie and they need to come to the truth. I want to share it with them so they can see the joy that comes from having a personal relationship with Christ.”

    That is why we do what we do.

    God bless!!

    Darrell

  147. Tom permalink
    April 17, 2009 4:47 am

    I find great joy in my relationship with Jesus Christ. I don’t believe Satan can counterfeit the joy and peace that I feel.

  148. MadChemist permalink
    April 17, 2009 11:35 am

    Testifiying of your own beliefs is one thing Darrel. I have no problem with you trying to teach Mormons your beliefs about closed heavens, closed canon, biblical inerrancy, and so forth. I do have problems with you inaccurately, testifying about Mormon beliefs, because you continually mislead. Testify about your own beliefs, not about Mormons. Mormon missionaries do not testify about other peoples beliefs. Saying that there was an apostasy is different than expounding what about say Evangelical beliefs is apostate. One is a truth claim, the other is a tear down tactic.

  149. MadChemist permalink
    April 17, 2009 11:51 am

    Truths about Mormonism spoken by Darrel
    1. The LDS Church [teaches it] is the only “true church of God” on the face of the earth
    2. All other Christian churches any authority
    3. Our doctrine on the nature of God is [partially] wrong and is a creation from the third century

    Lies about Mormonism spoken by Darrel.
    2. All other Christian churches are apostate
    3. Our doctrine on the nature of God is completely wrong and is a creation from the third century

    See how Darrel included on full truth (point 1) and two partial truths (points 2 and 3). Not the entire viewpoint of the nature of God is wrong. It’s really only the abiblical points, and as I pointed out on one of Jessica’s previous posts, Mormons can agree with 90% of one particular creed. Therefore, 10% would be compeltely wrong. 10% does not equal completely, and if you think otherwise you should retake a math class. 10% is not a majority, nor a “completely.”

    Spreading lies about Mormonism is NOT OK Darrel.

  150. Tom permalink
    April 17, 2009 12:41 pm

    Darrell,

    You’re free to use whatever tactics you like, but most Mormons don’t respond well when people say things that just aren’t true (or are unverifiable) about our religion and history.

    If you think lying for God is ok, then go right ahead, but most Mormons recognize when you are not being honest in representing our beliefs and/or history. We recognize the attempted deceit – why would we hearken to the words of a deceiver? We’re not going to trust a deceiver to lead us to a “better” religion. Using deceit to expose a lie is like saying “two wrongs make a right.”

    You may poach a few weaker members of our Church, but those who have a deeply seated, spiritually-held belief that originates from the witness of the Holy Ghost will not respond to your tactics. We need something deeper and more profound to change our minds, and we only respond to people we feel are truly Christlike in their words and motives.

    ————————————————–

    On the idea of apostasy and apostates:

    We hold that an apostasy happened long ago. The vast majority of Christians today are not apostate because they never had the full truth from which to apostatize.

    We do believe that many teachings of modern Christianity are false. Thus, we teach the truth as we understand it and let you decide for yourselves – through prayer, etc. – whether to accept what we teach. If you don’t accept it, it’s your choice. We’ve given you the opportunity and that’s what we’re most interested in – giving everyone the opportunity to accept it.

    Saying “we believe that Christ’s Church is led by apostles ordained by Jesus Christ” does not “smear” other Churches. Sure it means we think you’re wrong, but thinking someone else is wrong is not offensive in and of itself is it?

  151. Tom permalink
    April 17, 2009 1:36 pm

    Darrell’s interpretation of Moro. 10:32 doesn’t fit the context of the book of Moroni. If you’re going to accuse me of poor hermeneutics, at least use good hermeneutics when you look at the Book of Mormon.

    Earlier in Moroni, he gives the sacramental prayers which summarize the covenant relationship with Jesus Christ. To summarize, we witness that we are WILLING to:

    1. Take upon us the name of Jesus Christ
    2. Always remember Him
    3. Keep His commandments

    It simply does not stipulate that we MUST keep ALL commandments to receive Christ’s grace. Rather, if we are willing to follow Him, we receive Christ’s grace, even if we can’t follow Him perfectly. THAT is good news, because we can never follow Him perfectly.

    In Moroni 6 we read that those who were received unto baptism were “wrought upon and cleansed by the Holy Ghost” and were taught to “[rely] ALONE upon the MERITS OF CHRIST who was THE AUTHOR AND THE FINISHER OF THEIR FAITH.” (Moro. 6:4, emphasis added)

    When we enter the covenant, we are cleansed and thereafter we rely on Christ to the end.

    So what are we to make of the statement in chapter 10?

    “If ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you…” (Moro. 10:32)

    The interpretation rests on the meaning of the word “deny.” Moroni has already taught the necessity of relying alone on Christ’s merits, so it does not makes sense for him to suddenly contradict himself and say that we must be actually living ALL the commandments BEFORE we can receive Christ’s grace.

    To deny is

    1. To state that [something] is not true
    2. To refuse to agree or accede to – (to accede is to give approval)
    3. To withhold something from
    4. To refuse to recognize or acknowledge; disown; disavow; repudiate

    (according to dictionary.com, with their 3 and 4 summarized as my 3)

    Let’s substitute:

    1. We state that ungodliness is not true
    2. We refuse to agree with or approve of ungodliness
    3. We withhold ungodliness from ourselves
    4. We disown ungodliness, we disavow ungodliness, we repudiate ungodliness

    Moroni’s context and my own personal view of grace fit best with definition 2. I refuse to agree with ungodliness. Even when I sin, I don’t agree with it. The moment we agree with sin or approve of sin we are in dangerous territory.

    I also like “We disavow ungodliness.” I think coming to Christ means disavowing ungodliness, regardless of your religion.

    To summarize, my interpretation is that we must in our hearts truly disapprove of sin and have a desire to follow Christ to receive His grace.

  152. April 17, 2009 2:09 pm

    MadChemist,
    Thanks for taking time to respond to my comments.
    I can understand that you would be upset and frustrated with people who don’t particularly see “eye to eye” with you on doctrines or even go as far as to believe that you are misled. Most LDS love their church and have sacrificed a great deal for what they believe in all sincerity is the “Gospel” .

    I am grateful we live in a nation where we all have the freedom to worship and believe . That is such a great blessing.
    You are certainly free to beleive that the LDS church presents the “truth”.
    With that said, I am certainly granted the same freedom to believe differently.

    I count it a great freedom and blessing to be able to share what I believe is the truth and what I believe are lies. You may cerainly not agree or like that, but it is a freedom that we have in this nation.

    Granted you are not going to like what folks like Darrell and I have to say here. Both darrell and I were both involved with the LDS church for enough years ( I beleive darrell was born and raised?) to know it’s teachings and beliefs. So we are not speaking in ignorance or stupidity. We are speaking from experience. Many LDS do not like that people like darrell and I and others may be sharing what we know. They want us to be quiet and go away. Don’t think that is going to happen – what do you think brother darrell? 🙂

    What I think the issue may sometimes be is that LDS like you and others here may not like that people like darrell and I have an insider’s perspective on the LDS teachings. It may bug you and even make you angry. It’s understandable. You don’t want the world to know what is really the “meat” of LDS teachings. Some of the history of the LDS church is not particularly positive. It’s understandable that you would not wish to hear anything less than positive.

    What I have shared here and on my own personal blog is the truth. You may not like it, but it’s the truth, and yes I do have the freedom praise God to speak.

    The LDS church most definately, definately teaches that there was a great apostasy, ( a whole missionary discussion is set aside to teach about this) and they most definately teach that “all creeds” and “religious professors” are corrupt and an abomination. ( look at the history of J.Smith for reference). That is the truth. That is what I taught as a missionary. Darrell is that not what you taught?

    I am sorry that you get so upset and angry at people like darrell and myself. Even to the point of telling us we “suck” ( Nice language by the way) . No matter, you are most definatley not going to get us to be quiet or go away or anything of the like. I am not intimdated.I am not going to “go away” and be quite or ‘shut up’. If I was “easily intimidated” I wouldn’t have been able to leave the LDS to begin with. I am going to continue to share the good news, and continue to warn the body of christ against false prophets in sheeps clothing.

    My heart is burdened to see the LDS to come to know and taste of the goodness of our Lord. I believe one can do this in a way that is loving, with compassion and concern but also with truth.

    You may find this hard to believe, but I pray daily for the LDS people.

    He truly does heal the blind today,
    gloria

  153. April 17, 2009 4:56 pm

    I agree with you completely Gloria. I served as a stake missionary and ward mission leader and worked closely with the missionaries. They most certainly teach the doctrine of the great apostasy and I can cite numerous leaders of the LDS Church who have taught…

    1. All other Christian Churches are apostate and lack authority
    2. The Christian doctrine of God is wrong and a creation of the 4th (I said third in my previous post… my mistake) century

    MC, I am sure you will be able to find quotes from LDS leaders which are much softer on the above points. However, for every quote you find soft peddling the issue I can find one being dogmatic about it. The fact is THE LDS CHURCH CONTRADICTS ITSELF constantly on stuff like this because one prophet will say one thing and another with say something different. It has been like this since day 1 in the LDS Church. That is one of the reasons there is so much confusion about what OFFICIAL LDS DOCTRINE IS. It is kind of funny because the LDS Church makes such a big deal about how a “modern day prophet” can clear up all the confusion yet in reality it does not appear to help much. One might even say it makes matters worse. Bottom line though… until your church comes out with an official position for the church we are left to go off of what has been published and taught in the past to discover the OFFICIAL LDS POSITION. I can back up my assertions with quotes from LDS sources and can further support it with my EXPERIENCE in the LDS Church. I served as a member of the bishopric, stake high council member, early morning seminary teacher, Elders Quorum President, ward mission leader and in several other positions. I understand LDS Doctrine and the history of the church (both the whitewashed LDS version and the unsanitized version) very well. So despite your empty assertion I am not lying.

    Now, I will freely admit the missionaries are taught to share their positions on Christianity respectfully and to try and find “common ground” to build from (BTW, the idea of finding common ground is nothing more than a sales tactic – I am in sales so I can testify to this from experience 🙂 ) Nevertheless, telling someone politely and respectfully that their beliefs are wrong IS STILL TELLING THEM THEIR BELIEFS ARE WRONG.

    I too will not go away. MC and others can obfuscate the issue as much as they want… the fact remains I will share the truth. If I share something in error please point out to me SPECIFICALLY where I am wrong and supply EVIDENCE. Simply saying it is wrong will not do… you must back up your assertion. I will then be happy to discuss it and if I am wrong I will admit as much. I am not perfect and do make mistakes!

    God Bless!!

    Darrell

  154. April 23, 2009 2:10 am

    I was just thinking about Kirk Cameron and thought I’d better throw a shout-out to him.

    YAY KIRK! GO FIGHT WIN!

    That is all.

  155. April 23, 2009 3:26 am

    Katie, You are so funny!!! I think you will be delighted to know that someone found my blog the other day by googling “Kirk Cameron is a good looking man” LOL!!! I also noticed that I got a couple of clicks from kirk-cameron.org. Yes, this post made it to Kirk’s official site! Again my blog is famous!!! Yay! /schoolgirl giggling mixed with sarcasm off

  156. April 23, 2009 4:00 am

    That. Is. AWESOME!

  157. MadChemist permalink
    April 26, 2009 4:01 pm

    Darrel,
    The onus is on you.
    No official LDS source states that all other Christian Churches are apostate.
    Many official LDS sources state that no other church has authority.
    However, this is a further half truth, by stating one truth and one lie in the same sentence. Some (ignorant) Evangelicals may be misled by this, but they don’t have to be. Just because some Evangelicals will know that Mormons don’t think anyone else has authority, they might believe Darrels half truth that we think they are all apostates. That’s simply not true, no matter how many times you say you’ll provide official proof from the LDS scriptures, you don’t and then you make yourself look like a member of the “short bus.” “Bitte alle austeigen.”

    Only the Catholic Church claims to believe in a priesthood that is transferred through an action other than “belief.” Some individual Chrisians believe they receive authority via the non-biblically stated “priesthood of all believers”, and so yes Mormons refute that claim. But refutiing PoaB does not equal calling you all apostates. Only Gloria and Darrel get that special title. Not all other Christians are apostates.

    The teachings in the standardized missionary discussions (formerly) or the current “Preach my Gospel” did no, and do not instruct missionaries to teach that every other Christian is an apostate. The teachings on the Great Apostasy are far more nuanced than that.

    Finally, all respectable scholars now admit that the doctrine of the Trinity as set down in the fourth century is most certainly a post-biblical addition. It maybe wasn’t created in the fourth century (it was only codified then), but it certainly wasn’t understood by Paul, and wasn’t even explicitly found in the Bible until the Johannine comma was added in the middle ages (see wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma_Johanneum). It would be silly to read that viewpoint onto Paul when we now have textual evidence that it wasn’t included in the texts until 1000 years after Paul lived.

  158. April 26, 2009 6:35 pm

    The Johannine Comma was definitely making appearances in the First Epistle of John by 4th century AD. Priscillian quotes it.

    It’s definitely an addition to John’s epistle, but how do you know it’s not an inspired addition? The ending of the Gospel of Mark was also an addition to the text, but most Mormons believe it to be an inspired because it’s included in the Book of Mormon. If Mormons can believe interpolations are inspired, why can’t Protestants?

    I have an exhaustive paper on the Johannine Comma and its relationship to Mormonism here.

  159. April 26, 2009 6:53 pm

    If the Johannine Comma isn’t inspired, should LDS also reject II Nephi 11:7, 31:21, III Nephi 11:27, Mosiah 15:1-4, Alma 11:26-29, 38-39, Ether 3:14, and D & C 20:27-28? They basically say the same thing. One God in three persons. That’s the Trinity.

  160. April 26, 2009 8:02 pm

    MC,

    Before we delve into a discussion about the Mormon Church’s view of Christianity, please tell me how you define the word apostate.

    Darrell

  161. MadChemist permalink
    April 26, 2009 8:24 pm

    Jack, I’m not saying it’s not inspired. But allowing an inspired addition is only something that the Mormon worldview should allow, not the Evangelical, because the Evangelical claim appears to be “Written by an apostle, in 50 AD, not changed, inerrant in every translation and copy ever since.” I’ve never heard any other Evangelical use a phrase like “Inspired addition”. I usually hear, “You can’t change the word of God, if he had meant for the phrase to be in there he would have included it.” “You can’t have the Book of Mormon! God included all truth in the Bible when it was first written, a closed book, right from the beginning.” I’m not saying you shouldn’t believe it Jack, I just wonder what Darrel, Gloria, and Jessica think to the idea of “inspired change of the biblical text.” I’m not saying you can’t, I was just under the impression that 99% of your fellow’s say you can’t.

    Re: Priscillian, Don’t you pretty much agree that even if Prescillian quoted it, it doesn’t have to be in the text? Something akin to someone quoting what is now the text of D&C 137 before 1980 when it was canonized?

    The same principle can be applied to all pre-Priscillian writings which Comma advocates claim as citations of a Greek version of 1 John 5:7-8 now lost to civilization: the author may have interpreted 1 John 5:7-8 to refer to the Trinity, but that does not mean the Comma as it is known today was actually present in the text.30 Hence the evidence remains decisively against the legitimacy of the Johannine Comma.

    That works for LDS because we have a formal canonization process. But something being written in the Latin does not mean you can re-write it into the greek, beause the earliest example of the comma appearing in the Greek appeared only AFTER Erasmus didn’t include the comma in his first edition of the Textus Receptus, a Greek copy was produced (read: written) so that Erasmus included it in the Textus Receptus.

    I’m saying, it’s a thorn in your intellectual side in you accepted words like “all translations of the Bible are inerrant” and one can historically see that they are not.
    Which one is the inerrant one, the one with it, or without it?
    It can’t be both at the same time.
    I’m not saying the JC isn’t true (I’m fairly agnostic about that), what I am saying is there is a problem with calling manuscripts without it, and with it inerrant AT THE SAME TIME.

    Jessica. The LDS firmly believe the scriptural sayings about the Nature of God, we simply disagree with the post-biblical creeds that decide how they should work together. The LDS can subscribe to a Trinity belief of “One God in Three persons.” The problem is that most Evangelicals won’t let us stop there, and insist we insist that the Son is the same Substance of the Father, or even sometimes the Same Person. If all you require is “One God in three persons,” great. We have a totally new area of agreement, even if you view the person of the Father as not having a body (that’s a disagreement that’s fair).

  162. MadChemist permalink
    April 26, 2009 8:32 pm

    Darrell, I just recently read your April 17: 2:04 post.

    You were not understanding me correctly. I did not write “According to mormon theology receiving one’s endowment … isn’t required for exaltation.”

    What I wrote is “While it IS true that we teach that baptism is required to enter the kingdom of heaven, stating that there is a host of other things necessary is certainly wrong.”

    Baptism and reception of the holy Ghost is required for salvation, for entering into the Celestial kingdom, the kingdom of God. Reception of the Endowment, and committment to the principles taught in the endowment is necessary for exaltation. Those are not the same things.

    That is not an obfuscation, that is a clarification. Maybe this is why you should stick to explaining your own beliefs and not someone elses.

  163. April 26, 2009 8:57 pm

    MC,

    Thanks for clarifying yourself. I appreciate your honesty in admiting this teaching of the LDS Church.

    Sorry, but as much as you would like for me to, I will not go away. I believe God has led me out of the LDS Church to Him and has given me a calling to help lead others out of the lies of the Mormon religion.

    I appreciate your youthful vigor. When I was your age I was just as passionate about the Mormon Church. Fortunately, through the past several years The Lord has opened my eyes and I can now see the lies for what they are. I will pray for you (I am not saying this facetiously… I mean it with all my heart). God can do miracles and I pray He will help you to see the truth as well.

    God Bless!!

    Darrell

  164. April 26, 2009 9:00 pm

    MadChemist, If you don’t like the word “substance” it’s cool. Come up with something else. That’s the word that makes the most sense to me. Even your own scriptures say God the Father and Jesus Christ are the same being (see verses I referenced above). Furthermore, the Book of Mormon describes God as the “Great Spirit” (Alma 18:24-28). The LDS “one purpose” doesn’t go far enough in describing the Biblical Trinity and it contradicts other LDS scriptures.

    I’m not sure if I’ve asked you this before – do you believe Jesus Christ has always been God?

  165. April 26, 2009 9:07 pm

    “The LDS can subscribe to a Trinity belief of “One God in Three persons.””

    The problem with this LDS assertion is their belief on the nature of this “One God” does not line up with the Biblical text. Most importantly, they hold to a form of Arianism and Tri-theism by believing Jesus Christ is a spirit born son of God the Father. Jesus Christ was spirit born in the pre-mortal realm and therefore, has not always existed as God. This unbiblical teaching violates what God has told us about Himself on numerous counts.

    Darrell

  166. April 26, 2009 9:51 pm

    MadChemist ~ The inerrancy position is not that all translations of the Bible as we have them today are inerrant. The inerrancy position is that the original autographs were inerrant and that through careful translation of the extant Hebrew and Greek manuscripts combined with textual criticism, we can essentially have the text of the original autographs as they were. Mormons would usually agree with the first point (that the autographs were inerrant) and diverge on the second (that we can restore them to what they were).

    You’re correct that many evangelical Protestants live in a fantasy world where they scream about not making additions to the text of the Bible, unaware that there already have been additions, but all religions suffer from followers who fall victim to such prejudices at a popular level. Most Mormons seem to believe that the Book of Mormon is a literal translation of the gold plates and that apart from minor grammatical changes, every word in it was originally written by Nephite prophets thousands of years ago. They aren’t aware that such a view is impossible given passages such as Mormon 9:22b-24. It’s only on the Internet that I’ve encountered LDS thinkers who take a more progressive approach to Joseph Smith’s “translation” of the Book of Mormon and what that means.

    As far as Jessica, Darrell and Gloria go, when faced with interpolations in the Bible I imagine they would give you one of three answers:

    1) They would argue that the interpolations were part of the original autographs. A rather hopeless position to anyone who knows textual criticism well, but some people try.
    2) They would agree with me that the interpolations were inspired and the Bible as we have it now is exactly what God wanted us to have, interpolations and all. (Remember that the ending of the Gospel of Mark, the story about the adulteress in the Gospel of John, the verse in Luke about Jesus sweating blood which Mormons like so much, and the Johannine Comma are all suspected interpolations, among many smaller ones.)
    3) They would say that the interpolations are not inspired, but it does not matter because these interpolations do not significantly alter the message or theology of the texts and we know about them now thanks to textual criticism.

    I prefer the second view. I don’t believe God would have allowed such interpolations to become so widespread in the text if they did not teach the truth, so they are functionally inspired. If the other evangelicals want to elaborate on their positions, they’re free to do so.

  167. MadChemist permalink
    April 26, 2009 10:39 pm

    My understanding was coming from this discussion here:
    http://summatheologica.wordpress.com/2009/04/12/robinson-and-the-chicago-statement/

    While in theory I’ll agree with your #2, I’m somewhat uncomfortable with the assumption that goes into it. “God wouldn’t allow a change” because they isn’t explictly taught in the Bible. It opens up a huge can of worms for my understanding of the Evangelical viewpoint.
    Exactly how much of the wording will change before it’s now longer the Word of God?
    While we may have the (mostly) corrected versions now, that hasn’t been true for the last 20 centuries. It may be that until the 20th century a lot of the interpolations of men were being taken as the word of God. For a Mormon, this isn’t the end of the world, but for a bibolator, I would think this should cause serious problems.

    It’s good to know that there are evangelicals out there who can address this issues from their mindframe. Most Evangelicals I’ve talked to about misquoting Jesus just want to bury their heads in the sand. I’m glad you’re not one of them Jack. Suffice it to say I’ve never even considered 2 or 3 possible for Evangelicals, so you’re teaching me something new.

  168. NChristine permalink
    April 26, 2009 11:04 pm

    Hi MC and Jack,

    Such issues as the Johannine Comma bring up a topic that goes far beyond inerrancy—the topic of reality or legitimacy. The very fact that scholars have such a thing to discuss (by virtue of the fact of minor differences among the countless manuscripts) points to the fact that over 5,000 whole or partial Greek manuscripts testify to the realness of the New Testament. We are talking about reality here. To be very honest, a book that was supposedly translated from a non-existent language—from plates that cannot be produced for scholars to examine—seems a far cry from real.

  169. MadChemist permalink
    April 26, 2009 11:06 pm

    Jessica. You might think I’m just being overly precise, but it’s how I understand it. None of those verses said anything about them being the same “being.” I understand that you interpret (and maybe even have the right to interpret it) that way, but that’s not what the text actually says. I won’t use words like substance, being, because those aren’t words that Jesus used, that Paul used, James, Peter or John. Just because my society requires explaining them in terms of non-biblical words doesn’t mean I have to take part. I take all of those references as true. I, like my Evangelical friends don’t truly comprehend THEIR relationship the way that THEY do. I believe I’ve interpreted the data the best way I can, and I believe that you believe you’ve interpreted the data the best way you can, but by golly, if God was vague about it in the Bible (He didn’t announce himself to be the same Being as the Father, he didn’t declare himself the same substance of the Father, there is a vagueness about it), the least I can do is admit there are things I think really support my POV and things that are harder to deal with, but they are on BOTH SIDES. Bob Millet asks, “If I were inviting the Trinity over for dinner, how many places would I set.” I think even among Mormons there’ll be at least two answers (2 and 3) but that’s because some want to leave a chair for the Holy Spirit and some don’t. But I don’t know if you’d ever hear 1. I assume, and please correct me if I’m wrong, that all knowledgeable Evangelicals would say 1, right?

    Further, I think “great spirit” was more of a common ground language than a deep theological discussion. You start where people are at. Besides, Ammon didn’t say “only a spirit, forever lacking a physical body” yet at the same time, he was correct, because the God they were talking about, Jehovah, had not yet received His physical body, Jesus.

    FYI, almost every one of those verses you listed out, I have fully marked in my scriptures with Red, my code for the nature of God. But I do think you should look at our verses with a little more nuance. I recognize that’s hard for an Evangelical to do, but for LDS, we look at all scripture through a prophetic lens, rather than a “text that speaks for itself.” We try to look at the context, who said it, to whom, and WHY. Everything that is ever said always carries baggage, some of it recoverable, some of it unrecoverable. Sometimes prophets give more insight. So you can’t just read a text as an evangelical, because then you ascribe your own historical baggage to words, that I don’t think were ever meant to get your historical baggage. It doesn’t contradict other LDS scriptures, but it contradicts your interpretation of LDS scriptures, you know, that darn unauthoritative interperatation.

  170. MadChemist permalink
    April 26, 2009 11:25 pm

    Arianism isn’t really a good descriptor of Mormonism. Tri-theism might be more truthful (you were nice enough to not include us as polytheistic, I recognize the goodwill in that). But I do think that “Social trinitarianism’ is closer than a fully tri-theistic model, because they don’t really act independent of one-another as suggested by full-blown Tri-theism.

    Bob Millet asks in Claiming Christ: “If we were to invite the Trinity to dinner, how many place settings would I need to set? Three persons are three persons. Three persons cannot be one person, nor can I conceive how three persons can be one being.”
    To which I respond:
    But Millet should have included that he CAN understand how three persons can constitute one Godhead, on social community perfectly united in a single purpose, but with different roles, and a set order.

    Both Jessica and Darrell.
    I could take the easy way out, and say that Christ was God before the beginning of our age, before any recorded history. And although I believe that, it believe it makes more sense with the Jewish understanding of time that some of the current viewpoints in modernity re: time, that’s not the question you’re asking.

    From Claiming Christ.
    Page 61

    Clearly, both Latter-day Saints and evangelicals believe that Jesus Christ existed before the world and that he was a member of the Godhead before this world was created. He was God for centuries and millennia prior to his birth in Bethlehem, and, as LDS teachings and the prisca theologia tradition suggest, God has been at work informing and inspiring his children through the generations, leading them toward faith, all before the coming of Jesus in the flesh.
    Yes, Latter-day Saints do believe that Jesus was the firstborn spirit Son of God and that over time in a pre-mortal existence he grew to become “like unto God.” And yes, this does bring into question the extent to which Latter-day Saints believe that he was always God. But I would ask a rather simple question. To what extent does it truly matter whether Jesus was always God or at a certain point in the pre-mortal realm he became God? If in fact he was God and could be known and worshipped by the prophets, could reveal the mind of heaven to the ancient house of Israel, and could lead his covenant spokesmen and his covenant people, what difference does it really make whether he was not always God? This is not an effort to resort to Arianism or to adopt the position held by Jehovah’s Witnesses-Jesus was never a lesser divinity or a secondary form of God; when he was God, he was God. If we know that he is now one with the Father in all things-in mind, in thought, in purpose, indeed, in all things-why should it matter to us that he is in fact as the scriptures refer to him scores of times, the Son of God?
    Page 62
    Then how do we reconcile this with the New Testament teaching that Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and with the Book of Mormon itself that teaches that he is the Eternal God? Professor McDermott points out from one dictionary that eternal means “lasting forever; without beginning or end.” In fact, this is but one of the definition of eternal. What is also true is that the Hebrew word loam and the Greek word aeon may represent an era, a long period of time, a lengthy season. For Latter-day Saints, the word eternal may be used in more than an adjectival sense. The words endless and eternal are also nouns, synonyms for God himself. Notice, for example, the following from the Doctrine and Covenants:
    And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless. .
    Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment. Again, it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name’s glory.
    For behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For; behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore–Eternal punishment is God’s punishment. Endless punishment is God’s punishment. (D&C 19:6-7, 11-12, compare Moses 1:39 7.35).
    As Stephen Robinson pointed out some years ago, “In both Hebrew and Greek the words for ‘eternity’ . . . denote neither an endless …(lost word)… time nor a state outside of time, but rather ‘an age,” an ‘epic,’ ‘a long time,’ , . . even ‘a lifetime,’ or ‘a generation’–always a measurable period of time rather than endless time or timelessness. It was only in post- Biblical times and mainly under the influence of Greek philosophy that the concept of eternity (or forever) as endless time, or timelessness, or as a state outside of time replaced the original meaning of a period, or of an age.”
    All I can do is speak personally, but I affirm that my witness of Christ, as well as my ready acknowledgement of his majesty, magnificence, and infinity is no less than if I believed he had been so forevermore. For both of our faith traditions, Christ-Messiah is God. That is the message of messages, the doctrine of doctrines. My adoration or worship of him is not dependent on when or how or under what circumstances he became God. All that matters to me is that he is the Anointed One, the Promised Messiah, the Captain of my Salvation, my Lord and God

    I would also add that I believe Christ was God before creation, and God by nature not nurture.

  171. MadChemist permalink
    April 26, 2009 11:42 pm

    NChristine:
    A God that is able to protect biblical manuscripts from perversion, from the thousands of scribes who’ve copied them (according to Evangelical thought) is probably also able to give writing from a language unknown to us now. Remember, NChristine, a bit of history.
    Egyptian was an unknown language until the Rosetta stone.
    Akkadians was unknown until 50 years ago.
    There are many languages not have been spoken, and written by mankind, that are currently not known to our society. Does that mean they’ve never existed? Only if you’re an arrogant westerner. Just because you don’t know something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    I really don’t give a frik one way or another what the scholars have. My faith isn’t in human reasoning, assurance, or fear. Remember one axiom about the government, “What the government giveth, the government also taketh away.” It’s also true is religion. If you only believe something because scholars now teach it, does that mean, in 20 years you’re only going to believe what the scholars teach you, about the Bible, about sexuality, about gay marriage? Somewhere you’ve got to say God is the final authority and not man, not the academe, not the theologian, God.

  172. April 27, 2009 12:02 am

    As far as inviting the Trinity to dinner, since God is Spirit (John 4:24), nobody would be there to eat the meal with you, except for Jesus. As a human, he could show up and chow down, just as he did after his resurrection. As the infinite God of the universe, no dinner table can contain any of the divine nature. The finite cannot contain the infinite. Since the Father and Holy Spirit have not added human natures as the Son has, the best you could hope for is that they would manifest themselves physically somehow, but their manifestations would not be them, as they really are. It’s a representation, but it’s not really them.

    Darrell

  173. April 27, 2009 12:12 am

    “To what extent does it truly matter whether Jesus was always God or at a certain point in the pre-mortal realm he became God? If in fact he was God and could be known and worshipped by the prophets, could reveal the mind of heaven to the ancient house of Israel, and could lead his covenant spokesmen and his covenant people, what difference does it really make whether he was not always God?”

    It actually makes all the difference in the world if you desire to remain true to what The Bible teaches. The Bible says over and over again “there was no God before HIM, besides HIM or after HIM.” Mormonism teaches there was a time when HE did not exist as God. There was a God, The Father, who existed BEFORE HIM.

    Arianism describes Mormonism well… a Spiritually Born (I cautiously use “created” although I don’t think it does spirit birth justice) Jesus fits well within Arianism.

    Darrell

  174. Tom permalink
    April 27, 2009 2:07 pm

    Darrell-

    How do you respond to

    “In both Hebrew and Greek the words for ‘eternity’ . . . denote neither an endless …(lost word)… time nor a state outside of time, but rather ‘an age,” an ‘epic,’ ‘a long time,’ , . . even ‘a lifetime,’ or ‘a generation’–always a measurable period of time rather than endless time or timelessness. It was only in post- Biblical times and mainly under the influence of Greek philosophy that the concept of eternity (or forever) as endless time, or timelessness, or as a state outside of time replaced the original meaning of a period, or of an age.”

    If we are to understand the language of Biblical manuscripts, we have to take the context of the original language, not how we interpret the resulting English words today.

    ——

    Also, why couldn’t Jesus’s nature be divine prior to His “spirit birth” or “spiritual creation?” Remember, we believe He would have still existed as “intelligence” prior to the formation of His Spirit. I guess this would sum up my viewpoint:

    Christ’s divine intelligence added a Spiritual dimension just as His divine Spiritual dimension added a physical dimension when He was born of Mary.

    He’s still eternally divine.

  175. April 27, 2009 8:48 pm

    Tom,

    The verses I am referencing do not use the word “eternal”. They talk about how there is no God “before, after or besides” Jesus Christ. The point I am making is that a spiritually born/created Jesus violates these verses by placing a God, The Father, prior to Jesus. No matter how you define it, if something existed prior to Jesus being fully God then Jesus is not the only God that exists…. “we have a problem Houston”.

    In addition, the idea of Jesus being actualized by another being, namely The Father, creates many problems with The Biblical declaration of immutability. Jesus cannot be the immutable God if He was actualized by another being.

    As far a eternality goes, I believe the correct understanding of this word is it’s literal meaning… “no time”. The attribute of eternality of God comes directly from scripture. As you correctly pointed out The Bible declares that God “framed the ages”. In other words, He created time and space. It is only reasonable that He exists outside of time and space as a being cannot be ontologically prior to Himself… ie. a being cannot actualize themself. Therefore, God is outside of time or “eternal”.

    Darrell

  176. September 23, 2009 7:00 am

    Hi guys,

    I just wanted you all to know that I just finished reading Kirk Cameron’s autobiography Still Growing.

    Brilliant, I say. BRILLIANT!!! It actually inspired me to TiVo old episodes of Growing Pains and watch them. That Mike Seaver. What a trickster.

  177. September 24, 2009 1:06 am

    Katie,

    I agree. I read it last year and it gave me great admiration for Kirk. He is truly a wonderful God loving man.

    Darrell

  178. Pastor Steven R. Dodd permalink
    March 6, 2012 3:42 am

    Please sign and promote this on Facebook. GLAAD has a petition going around showing their anger. Let’s rally and show Kirk Christ’s love! Thank you. 

    Pastor Steven Dodd

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/m/3/Christians-Supporting-Kirk-Cameron/

  179. Anonymous LDS man permalink
    March 7, 2012 1:02 am

    Before anyone makes wrong acuzations about us. I would like to say that The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) beleive in Jesus Christ, The holy ghost, and God the father! We also live our lives in the best way we can to follow them!

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