71 Comments

A Mormon Mistake

Mormons believe that Jesus is Jehovah, (the LORD in most versions of the Old Testament). I would certainly agree with them on that. Since that is the case, it becomes very easy to refute most of what they believe about Jesus.

Those who adhere to the teachings of Mormonism believe Jesus hasn’t always existed. But Psalm 90:2, referring to Jehovah, says, “…even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” They say you should only pray to the Father, but throughout the Old Testament, people prayed to Jehovah (Genesis 25:21 says, “Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.”)

Latter-day Saints also believe at least three gods exist: The Father is a god called Elohim, the Holy Spirit is a god, and Jesus is a god. According to the Bible, however, before Jehovah there was no God formed, nor will there be after Him (Isaiah 43:10).

Clearly, whoever came up with the concept that the Father is Elohim and Jesus is Jehovah had zero knowledge of Hebrew. Elohim is the Hebrew word for God, and Jehovah is God’s name (Psalm 83:18). There are dozens of verses that claim Jehovah is Elohim. Deuteronomy 4:35 says, “Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD [Jehovah] he is God [Elohim]; there is none else beside him.”

Furthermore, a belief in three separate gods makes mincemeat out of the first of the Ten Commandments. The first commandment (Exodus 20:3) says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Jehovah wrote that with His finger in stone. If that is Jesus speaking, as the second god, is it blasphemy for Him to say that we should have no gods before Him? What about the Father? If it’s the Father speaking, why is Jesus worshipped by the angels (Hebrews 1:6)? Aren’t the angels obligated to obey the Ten Commandments?

Mormons would like us to believe that the Bible is corrupted, and Joseph Smith was able to restore the truth. They have to believe the Bible is corrupted, because if it weren’t, the LDS church would cease to exist. Here’s a chicken or egg question for you: Did Mormonism come about because Joseph Smith thought the Bible was corrupt, or did he teach the Bible was corrupt because he came up with Mormonism?

While there are so many misconceptions about the Trinity, it is the concept that makes sense out of the entire Bible. All of the non-Trinitarian ideas-including those of the Mormons-fall apart when viewed through a Scriptural lens.

71 comments on “A Mormon Mistake

  1. Good article. And I hate to nit pick but, because most Mormons who read this blog would discount everything in it because of one error, I’d like to call your attention to something which I hope you’ll correct. You wrote “the Holy Spirit is a God” according to Mormonism. Actually, the Holy Spirit is more like the influence of God, rather than a God itself, similar to what the JWs believe. The “Holy Ghost” is the third God for this earth.

  2. I, on the other hand, love to nitpick–particularly when it deals with people mischaracterizing my faith. Contrary to Mr. Jones’ assertion, LDS scripture teaches that the Holy Spirit is a personage; and, as one of member of the Godhead, God. (see D&C 20:28, 130:22, 2 Nephi 31:21)

    Your comments about “Mormons believe” miss the mark. It’s easy to claim something about what Mormons believe; but something else to demonstrate that such belief is what official doctrine affirms. There is no teaching in LDS scripture that Jesus hasn’t always existed; so, your proofs to the contrary are really hollow. Equally so your claim [t]hat “they say you should only pray to the Father.” The Book of Mormon gives an account of people properly praying to Christ. (see 3 Nephi 19:22)

    I find it interesting and misleading for you not to capitalize the word “God” in explaining what you think Mormons believe about the Trinity. In over 2000 references to either the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit in LDS scripture, the term is always capitalized. Is not your reluctance to do the same a misrepresentation of what we really believe?

    Again, LDS theology doesn’t teach that the Father’s name is Elohim. It is merely a convention to aid in differentiating between members of the Godhead. Jehovah or Elohim have been used and can be used to refer to any member of the Trinity. However, there is good evidence that this convention mirrors ancient usage. For example, Margaret Barker writes, “This comprehensive treatment does not, however, distinguish between the two different words for God and therefore ignores a crucial distinction. There are those called sons of El Elyon, sons of El or Elohim, all clearly heavenly beings, and there are those called sons of Yahweh or the Holy One who are human. This distinction is important for at least two reasons; Yahweh was one of the sons of El Elyon; and Jesus in the Gospels was described as a Son of El Elyon, God Most High.” (see The Great Angel A Study of Israel’s Second God p.4).

    Contexually, Isaiah 43 isn’t a problem for LDS theology. The question isn’t whether or not God “knows” something, but whether or not he acknowledges something. God is omniscient; yet, he says that in the day of judgment, “and then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: Obviously, that doesn’t mean that he didn’t know of these people, it means that he did not acknowledge them for what they professed to be. Similarly, in Isaiah, the Lord challenges the people to bring forth their gods of gold and silver and wood, and he challenges them to demonstrate any truth: “Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.” In the next passage, he points out that the children of Israel are his witnesses and they can know and understand that there is no other God but him. Certainly God knew that the people had made their own gods, but he does not acknowledge them as gods. “I know not any” is the same context as “I never knew you.”

    Similarly, your claim that “Mormons would like us to believe that the Bible is corrupted” doesn’t hold water. Are you not aware that the KJV of the Bible is part of the LDS canon but that the Joseph Smith translation is not? If someone were to affirm that the “Bible is corrupt” in any LDS teaching setting he would be rebuked for false doctrine.

    I agree with you that there are many misconceptions about the Trinity—but your efforts to explain the LDS perception should begin from a more accurate perspective.

  3. Alma,

    Of course, when you state that “There is no teaching in LDS scripture that Jesus hasn’t always existed,” you could explain that what you mean is that the stuff that Jesus was created from existed before Jesus was created. That God the Father (Elohim) organized Jesus from matter that wast “eternal.” That, likewise, the universe we live in was not created out of nothing (ex nihilo), but rather that Elohim “organized” stuff that already existed into what we now see.

    As far as LDS teaching on the separateness of the Holy Spirit from the Holy Ghost–from the “Lectures on Faith”, from the original 1835 edition of the “Doctrine and Covenants”:

    Q. How many personages are there in the Godhead?
    A. Two: the Father and the Son.
    Q. How do you prove that there are two personages in the Godhead?
    A. By the Scriptures… (Lectures on Faith, Lecture 5, p.5255)

    Oddly enough, this section was removed in the revised edition of D&C. I wonder why?

    Apostle John Widtsoe said, in “Evidences and Reconciliation“–”The Holy Ghost, sometimes called the comforter, is the third member of the Godhead, and is a personage distinct from the Holy Spirit. As a personage, the Holy Ghost cannot any more than the Father and Son be everywhere present in person” (p. 76).

    Concerning the LDS mistrust of the Bible–it comes straight out of 1st Nephi 13:26-27—

    26 And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away. 27 And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men.

    Article of Faith #8–We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.

    As far as your take on Isaiah 43—you said, “In the next passage, he points out that the children of Israel are his witnesses and they can know and understand that there is no other God but him.

    Does that mean you reject the LDS “Godhead” that is made up of three “Gods”?

  4. Alma,

    I appreciate your efforts at correcting my representation of Mormon doctrine. I strive to accurately portray what Mormons believe, and I will look into the things you mentioned.

    However, you ignored the questions I asked in the post. If we are to worship only the Lord God (Matthew 4:10, 1st and 2nd commandments), why is Jesus worshipped? When Yahweh says that you shall have no other gods before me, do you believe that is Jesus or the Father speaking? Regardless of which one you choose to have given that commandment, you’re left with a dilemma.

    What about Deuteronomy 4:35 saying that Yahweh is Elohim? How do you interpret that?

    Thanks for your comment.

    Bill

  5. Fourpointer:

    You don’t need to counter what I “could explain,” just what I have explained. Whether or not Jesus was “created” from eternal elements isn’t the point I made—and isn’t LDS doctrine. I wrote that there is no LDS scripture, that teaches that Jesus hasn’t always existed. Absent such a scripture, you’re only dealing with speculation rather than actual Mormon doctrine.

    Obviously, that passage you cited from the Lectures on Faith was in error—that’s one reason why it was decommissioned. The fact that no one knows who wrote it is another good reason.

    Widtsoe claimed that the Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead, just as I claimed. His comment that the Holy Spirit was a different personage is mistaken—perhaps due to the fact that English was not his native language.

    When you claim an “LDS mistrust of the Bible” you merely project your own mistaken perception about Mormonism on to us. The fact that we believe that it is neither perfect nor complete does not mean that we believe it is either corrupted or untrustworthy. Your citation of the 8th Article of Faith is almost amusing. I have never encountered an Evangelical Christian who was willing to accept a Bible translation that he knew was incorrect; yet all them also claim to trust the Bible. Why do you assert that we “mistrust” the Bible for having precisely the same perspective? Or, are you willing to accept any translation of the Bible regardless of its fidelity to the ancient languages?

    No, I don’t reject the LDS Godhead that is composed of three Gods—any more than I reject logic or mathematics.

  6. Bill:

    “If we are to worship only the Lord [thy] God (Matthew 4:10, 1st and 2nd commandments), why is Jesus worshipped?”

    Because Jesus is the Lord our God—as is the Father. Jesus is the One who gave the commandment to have no other God’s before Him. But this isn’t a dilemma because the Son is the representative of the Father. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” (John 13:20.)

    Elohim is merely a Hebrew word for “God” or “gods” depending on the context. When God said, “I am the Lord (Yahweh), thy God (Elohim), or the scripture says, Yahweh is Elohim, it’s saying that He is God. It really isn’t that problematic.

  7. The fact that we believe that it is neither perfect nor complete does not mean that we believe it is either corrupted or untrustworthy.

    Alma, if something is not perfect, it is, by default and by definition, corrupted. I could bring out a whole slew of quotes from Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, etc to show you that many LDS leaders (prophets, apostles, elders, etc) despised the Bible. If you want me to, I will put them up for you.

    As far as “no LDS Scripture that teaches that Jesus hasn’t always existed,” don’t forget that LDS scripture is not limited to the BOM, D&C, and PGP. The words of the living prophets (as well as the First Presidency) are also Scripture, as are LDS teaching manuals, Gospel Principles, and publications like Ensign.

    Obviously, that passage you cited from the Lectures on Faith was in error—that’s one reason why it was decommissioned. The fact that no one knows who wrote it is another good reason.

    So why was it included in the first place? If the D&C was a “revelation of God,” and was given directly to Joseph Smith, why did he include the Lectures? The reason it was removed was because of Joseph Smith’s ever-changing doctrine, which the Lectures contradicted (and which led to the nearly 4000 changes to “the most perfect book ever written”).

    His comment that the Holy Spirit was a different personage is mistaken—perhaps due to the fact that English was not his native language.

    Sounds like an excuse. So does that mean we shouldn’t trust anything he says? And if it does contain that error, why does Bookcraft (a branch of Deseret Books) still publish it?

    Now,as far as the word “Elohim,” it is a plural in that form. The singular would be “El” (and not “Eloah” as Joseph Smith erroneously claimed in one of his speeches). Your explanation of the contradictions involved in how the LDS defines worshipping the Father and Christ is also faulty. We worship Christ not because He “represents” the Father, but because He is God. He is not “another God” or merely a “representative,” but He is fully God, just as the Father and the Holy Spirit.

  8. Alma,

    If you believe in three Gods, and that Jesus said that you shall have no other gods before Him, why would you insist on disobeying His command by worshipping the other Gods?

    Do you realize that if you’re wrong about this, you’re an idolater, and you will not have anyone but a false non-existent god to atone for your sins. Besides rejecting the one true God, you’ll give an account for every lie you’ve ever told, and every lustful and hateful thought you’ve ever had, and you’ll spend eternity in hell. You’re betting your eternity on the reliability of Joseph Smith. Are you sure you want to do that?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  9. Bill, didn’t Alma tell you that the Son is the representation of the father? Or did you miss that part?

  10. Adrianne,

    Alma said, “No, I don’t reject the LDS Godhead that is composed of three Gods…”

    If Mormons believe in three gods, the question I asked remains unanswered by you and Alma.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  11. I have to jump in here to clear up something.

    Alma said, “Similarly, your claim that ‘Mormons would like us to believe that the Bible is corrupted’ doesn’t hold water. Are you not aware that the KJV of the Bible is part of the LDS canon but that the Joseph Smith translation is not? If someone were to affirm that the ‘Bible is corrupt’ in any LDS teaching setting he would be rebuked for false doctrine.”

    If you claimed otherwise in early Mormon history you’d actually be the one rebuked. It seems that your organization’s prophets didn’t hold such a high view of the Bible as the new Mormonism does. Here are some of their views.

    - The Pilgrim

  12. We believe that the Bible is the word of God. but we believe that as it was passed down, evil men changed things in it that were originally there. Joseph Smith restored what was lost. This does not mean that we believe the Bible to be lesser than the other scriptures. We use it just as much as we do the Book of Mormon in church and study. We just believe that Joseph Smith restored what had been taken out and changed. Do you not believe that man could take something sacred and holy and change little things in it to mislead people? You may say that Joseph Smith changed things just to manipulate it more into what he wanted “his” church to believe, but no matter how much you say it, it is just not true.

    And as Alma said, there is no Joseph Smith Translation version of the bible. We use the King James Version. We have footnotes, however, to see what had been changed and what it actually is meant to be.
    I don’t expect you to believe this to be divine power given to him by God to fulfill God’s plan. If I were not a member, it would sound strange and too coincidental to me. That is why I am thankful that I have prayed about it with an open mind and an open heart, and received my own witness of the truth.

  13. I would love it if Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Edwards were alive today to refute mormonism. On my site I got bombarded by two mormons and the lies they speak just get downright annoying. Twisting of Scripture, Twisting of the early church fathers and the list goes on. So frustrating.

    Grace and Peace

  14. Adrianne,

    As far as your comment that “And as Alma said, there is no Joseph Smith Translation version of the bible,” you are aware of the “Inspired Version” or “Joseph Smith Translation,” are you not?

  15. Fourpointer, you wrote: “I could bring out a whole slew of quotes from Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, etc to show you that many LDS leaders (prophets, apostles, elders, etc) despised the Bible. If you want me to, I will put them up for you.” Okay, you’re on. Unless you have your own personal definition of “despised” I’d like to see one quote stating that an LDS leader “despised” the Bible. You claim to have access to a “slew” of such quotes. Let’s see one. BTW, they need to be better than those offered by Pilgrim below. As is standard with many of our critics they revise a word or two so that it sounds nefarious; or, they take it out its context. The first two are simple statements of fact: the 8th Article of Faith already discussed and Joseph Smith’s claim that “ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors” don’t indicate that he despised the Bible—those are facts. How else would you explain the fact that no two manuscripts of the New Testament are the same? If there were some perfect original, the mere existence of variants demonstrate that it is no longer perfect.

    However, continuing with comments from “What Mormonism really teaches about the Bible,” it carelessly misquotes History of the Church as saying, “The scriptures are a mixture of very strange doctrines to the Christian world.” The actual quote isn’t a criticism of the Bible, but rather of the Christian world’s inability to understand the Bible. Rather than referring to “the scriptures” Joseph Smith actually said, “These scriptures are a mixture of very strange doctrines to the Chrisian world, who are blindly led by the blind.” What a difference there is in authentic quotes!

    The fourth quote doesn’t convey anything different than the first two; but the fifth does a disservice to Brigham Young’s perception of the Bible by not quoting his estimation of the Bible. He was concerned that Orson Pratt’s comments about the history of the Bible might have caused Mormons to disregard it. In that same discourse, he said: “but the Bible is good enough just as it is, it will answer it very well when I was preaching in the world.”

    As far as “no LDS Scripture that teaches that Jesus hasn’t always existed,” don’t forget that LDS scripture is not limited to the BOM, D&C, and PGP. The words of the living prophets (as well as the First Presidency) are also Scripture, as are LDS teaching manuals, Gospel Principles, and publications like Ensign.

    That’s just plain nonsense. We have a canon of scripture as defined by Mormons, not by our critics. When the Church decides to add to its canon, it will be done publicly just has it has always been done in the past: by a public vote.

    If the D&C was a “revelation of God,” and was given directly to Joseph Smith, why did he include the Lectures?

    He didn’t include them. The 1835 D&C was compiled by a committee and no one ever claimed that the Lectures on Faith were revelations. They appeared in a separate section and never had the status of canon.

    The reason it was removed was because of Joseph Smith’s ever-changing doctrine, which the Lectures contradicted (and which led to the nearly 4000 changes to “the most perfect book ever written”).

    More nonsense. It would be refreshing if you could accurately cite Joseph Smith’s statements. There’s a big difference between the “most correct” book as stated by Joseph Smith and the “most perfect book” as falsely attributed by you. (see TPJS p. 194.)

    Now,as far as the word “Elohim,” it is a plural in that form. The singular would be “El” (and not “Eloah” as Joseph Smith erroneously claimed in one of his speeches).

    Again, I’d be fascinated if you could provide a source for Joseph Smith ever having said that in “one of his speeches” as you falsely assert. However, lacking such a citation, why should I believe that you’re correct in your assertion that it is not the plural of “Eloah” when both Hebrew dictionaries I have—well respected sources at that–Brown-Driver-Briggs’ and Strong’s–say that elohim is the plural of eloah? I imagine that given that you haven’t done very well at citing Mormon sources, I shouldn’t be surprised that you don’t do any better with scholarly sources either.

    Your explanation of the contradictions involved in how the LDS defines worshipping the Father and Christ is also faulty. We worship Christ not because He “represents” the Father, but because He is God. He is not “another God” or merely a “representative,” but He is fully God, just as the Father and the Holy Spirit.

    You really need to re-read what I wrote. I certainly didn’t say Christ was “merely” a “representative.” I have always affirmed that Christ is God as stated on the title page of the Book of Mormon: “…that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD” (caps in original.)

    Alma

  16. Bill, you asked, “You’re betting your eternity on the reliability of Joseph Smith. Are you sure you want to do that?”

    Absolutely.

    Alma

  17. Amen Alma. I wish I were more eloquent with words like you.

  18. Alma,

    I truly feel for you and all others who are willing to bet eternity on the reliability of a mere man. If it was not enough that the man gave false prophecies thus showing that he was a false prophet according to the Scriptures, it is enough that he (Joseph Smith) did NOT die for your sins, nor could he atone for you in any way.

    He could not even atone for his own, and if the record stands based on his lies, heresy, false teaching, and lack of clear testimony in the FINISHED work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, then I am afraid that the Scriptures are clear where Joseph Smith is today – and it is NOT heaven enjoying celestial sex learning to be a god of his own planet with the multitude of women he coerced into sham marriages!

    http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/m/y/myfaithh.htm

    My faith has found a resting place,
    Not in device or creed;
    I trust the ever living One,
    His wounds for me shall plead.

    Refrain

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

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

    Refrain

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

    Refrain

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

    Refrain

    Alma, I am afraid for any who are willing to bet their eternal destiny on that which is not clearly stated in the Word of God (The Holy Bible). It behooves all humans to fall in awe and fear of the One Triune God Who will cast into eternal hell all who attempt to gain entrance into heaven by any way other than by GRACE through FAITH ALONE in Jesus Christ as the ONLY begotten Son of God, who is very God of very God.

    The Desert Pastor

  19. Dear Alma:

    I am going to be very cautious in what I am about to say here . . . you are either grossly mistaken or you willfully lied! I hope the former is the case.

    You allege in reference to me, “As is standard with many of our critics they revise a word or two so that it sounds nefarious; or, they take it out its context.” Be very careful Alma, in the context of your quote you are accusing me of “revising” a word or two and that is a terrible thing to accuse anyone of if it’s not true.

    I have the very source (published by Deseret Books) from which I quoted in my hands. When you said the word “these” was replaced with the word “the” I thought to myself, “Oh, no, did I type the wrong word in there?” So I quickly reached for my History of the Church volume 6 and turned to page 478 to verify (and correct if I had).

    Guess what? It read just as I had typed it! “THE scriptures are a mixture of very strange doctrines to the Christian world, who are blindly led by the blind.” What a difference there is in authentic quotes, indeed!

    Unless you have a revised (read: changed, altered) edition of History of the Church volume 6, you were not honest in your comment and that is shameful.

    Furthermore, I looked at the context again to assure it was in context (something all LDS love to accuse like a broken record without ever examining the specific quote . . . it’s indoctrination at its finest). And guess what? The quote is in perfect context. Even if you were to change the word from “the” to “these” it wouldn’t change the context.

    Let me be up front with you, Alma. Contrary to what you’ve probably been conditioned to believe, not everyone who questions/challenges/opposes LDS is an ex-Mormon or one who hates Mormons and will stop at nothing to make them look bad.

    In fact, I have deleted comments left by people who were just being insulting to Mormons. I do not tolerate that because it’s not only foolish, it’s counterproductive to what I am doing because it causes LDS to think everyone who challenges them is like that and it creates an atmosphere where LDS can play the victim with greater ease.

    I love Mormons and care about them. I know this is not what you’re used to hearing by LDS leadership but it’s true. In fact, I can honestly stand here and say that I have never met a Mormon I didn’t like! Every one I’ve met I have enjoyed their company. I do not hate Mormons and it is not hate that drives me, it is love. Love for their very souls.

    It’s my concern for them that prompted me to begin collecting the organization’s early writings and literature (thanks e-bay) and studying what its leaders actually taught, said, and believed as opposed to just taking what their current spin doctors and apologists say they said.

    And it is for this reason that I do not and will not ever lie to make LDS look bad. There is such a mountain-sized cornucopia of problems and errors in LDS that I do not need to alter words or quote LDS leaders out of context to make a case. This is why I always cite the source and location every time I quote LDS so the reader doesn’t have to just take my word for it, they can read the actual quote in its entirety and in its context.

    If I make an error in my quoting of LDS I will surely fix it, but do not accuse me of tinkering with LDS quotes or taking their words out of context. This is bearing false witness against me.

    Sincerely,
    - The Pilgrim

  20. Alma,

    I noticed you stated, “I have always affirmed that Christ is God as stated on the title page of the Book of Mormon: “…that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD” (caps in original.)”

    I would like to clarify just to make sure that I am not misunderstanding your definition or that of your Book of Mormon. Does this mean that you as a Mormon believe that Jesus Christ is the ONLY BEGOTTEN Son of God? Do you believe that He is eternally the Son of God as well as being GOD Himself? Do you believe that He is NOT one of many gods, and that as the ONLY BEGOTTEN Son of God He cannot be the spirit brother of Satan/Lucifer/etc.? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is truly eternal or that He only came into some form of existence through the spiritual union of “Father God” and Mary?

    Thanks in advance for clarifying these points up for us.

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    I also would like to reiterate what Pilgrim notes above. My wife and I have spent a large amount of time with Mormons throughout the west particularly throughout central and southern Utah. We always enjoyed our time with them, and found them to be very hospitable even in times of personal difficulty. The one thing that always saddened me was that we were rarely ever able to share the truth of Scripture because of the inordinate amount of preconditioning by church leaders to distrust any who were not led by the LDS hierarchy.

    As I have read the recent comments, I wonder how some of the definitions have so radically changed over the past years from what other Mormon friends have shared with me in regards to what they believe. They may have found it awkward to share exactly what they believed in some areas, but I rarely ever found them trying to take evangelical or fundamental definitions and assimilate them in order to sound more “Christian” such as what I am reading more and more of now.

    This is why I am asking the questions that I am. I want to see whether the definitions are true or are they a sad cover-up.

    The Desert Pastor

  21. If you believe that we are so hospitable, kind and enjoyable, then why would you believe that we are damned to hell? Didn’t Jesus Christ atone for my sins too?

  22. Adrianne,

    Even somebody as nice and sweet as Mother Teresa of Calcutta was has no guarantee of salvation by being hospitable, kind, and enjoyable to be around. Mother Teresa by her own testimony towards the very last days of her life was placing faith in Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. That misplaced faith on her part (just as it was with John Paul II) sent both of them to a Christ-less eternity.

    John 3:36 says, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

    John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    You see, Adrianne, sadly there are millions around the world who have been duped into believing that being a “good, moral person” and following “the golden rule” is enough to weigh the balances in your favour on the final Day of Judgment. However, the Bible is very clear that ONLY those who believe (not merely an intellectual assent) with the heart unto salvation shall be saved.

    Neither you or anybody else is damned to hell because of your good works or lack thereof. Every person in the world who does NOT come by grace through faith ALONE in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary will be damned because of their unbelief in the truth of Scripture.

    Romans 10:9, 10, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

    Another lie of the evil one (Satan – who was NOT a spirit brother of Jesus Christ) is that all people are children of God. This is not true. The Scriptures testify that only those who belong to God and have come to Him through Jesus Christ ALONE (John 14:6) are His children.

    As for the atonement of Jesus Christ, the truth is that there is room at the foot of the cross for all who will come in humble repentance of their sin, and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ recognizing Him as God (not one of many spirit gods), recognizing that He alone (not based on any good works) can save a person from the wicked, depravity of their own heart, and give them ETERNAL LIFE. This is a promise of the Word of God by a God who cannot lie.

    For now, I will conclude by saying, if Jesus Christ atoned for your sins Adrianne, then why must you (or anybody else) follow a religion that demands strict obedience to a code of laws and principles? If a person does not follow those laws or commands, there is no guarantee of salvation for them and you (and anybody else) will never fully know according to LDS teachings that when you lay your head down at night on your pillow whether you are 100% (with absolutely zero doubts) that you will be welcomed into heaven.

    Praying that the truth of Scripture will be known,
    The Desert Pastor

  23. Pilgrim:

    I apologize. You are correct that your citation of DHC was not modified and I was in error in claiming that it was. I typed in a couple of search words in a database and got a hit for Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith on page 374. It references the same quote as you but starts out as “These Scriptures” rather than “The scriptures.” I assumed that it was the same in the DHC and was wrong.

    However, the passage still doesn’t have anything to do with Joseph Smith’s perception of the Bible (What Mormons Really Teach About The Bible). It references Joseph Smith’s estimation of what the Christian world rather than the Mormon world’s perception of the Bible. The other quotations legitimately express our perception that the Bible is vastly different that that of Protestants (except for the BY cite which I also believe mischaracterizes his position.)

    Alma

    _________________________________________________________________

    Adrianna,

    If those who claim we are going to hell are strict Calvinists, then they do not believe that Jesus atoned for your or my sins; but only for the elect’s sins. It’s the third element of TULIP which postulates a “limited atonement.”

    Alma

  24. Alma:

    Well at least we agree that LDS and Christians view the Scriptures entirely different. It’s refreshing when LDS admit there are differences (rather big ones) between our faiths.

    Now this only leaves three possible options:

    1. LDS is right and we are wrong.
    2. We are right and LDS is wrong.
    3. We are both wrong.

    Because what LDS and Christians believe is in such stark opposition to one another, there’s no way we can be worshipping the same God and following the same gospel.

    I actually long for the days when LDS were proud of the distinctions that separated us.

    And I accept your apologies with no ill feelings. I was hoping that you had just been mistaken. This is why I cite the exact location where I retrieved the quote.

    Sincerely,
    - The Pilgrim

  25. I knew Mormons were not Christians, but I’ve never seen them admit so clearly that they believe in a works-based salvation.

    If you are a born-again child of God, saved by grace, though faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have been entrusted with a great treasure. What is this treasure? It’s the Gospel message! “But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.” (I Thessalonians 2:4)

    We have a responsibility to be keepers of, and stewards over, this treasure. That means we are to protect it, and put it to work, spreading it around, and causing it to multiply. “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:” (I Timothy 6:20)

    In our finite minds we might wonder why Almighty God would ever entrust something as important as the Gospel into the care of the frail and faulty care-takers we so often are. However, God in His wisdom decided that such an arrangement best serves His glory. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (II Corinthians 4:7)

    In Christ’s parable of the faithful and the unfaithful servants found in Luke 19:15-19, we see that all the servants were given a treasure. The ones who recognized the importance of this treasure were rewarded. We must never fail to recognize the significance of working for Christ. We do not work for our salvation, but as faithful stewards, we certainly ought to work because of it.

  26. Truly, truly sad, when you see people such as Alma and Adrienne say they are comfortable staking their eternal destiny on the claims of Joseph Smith.

    Adrienne, you mentioned that you have a KJV that has “footnotes” that help you to see “what had been changed and what it is actually meant to be.” I’d like to ask you a question – have you investigated any of the “footnotes” to see if the changes that are claimed conform to any of the ancient manuscript evidence we have for the Bible? If one were to truly study the Bible, one would find that there is manuscript evidence for virtually every written word. That being the case, it would be odd why “footnotes” would be needed in your KJV, to explain any changes, when we have Bibles that conform to the manuscript evidence. Any thoughts on that?

    Additionally, you mention that you “have prayed about it with an open mind and an open heart, and received my own witness of the truth.” I’d like to ask you a question on that front, as well:

    How do you know the answer you received was REALLY from God? For I have also prayed to have confirmation for what I believe as well, and I have also received it from God, yet I believe entirely different from you. If we believe so differently (and we do), yet we both claim to have received “proof” from God through prayer and receiving a divine witness from the Spirit, how do we know which of us is right, without going in a circular argument?

    Thanks.

  27. Alma,

    Before I begin, I need to make one correction: When I said that Joseph Smith claimed that Elohim is the plural of Eloah: It was actually McKonkie that said that, so I satnd corrected there.

    Now, as far as LDS canon, you said, “That’s just plain nonsense. We have a canon of scripture as defined by Mormons, not by our critics. When the Church decides to add to its canon, it will be done publicly just has it has always been done in the past: by a public vote.

    That makes it sound like LDS doctrine is canonized by means of a popularity contest–the accusation most Mormons level at us Christians about why we believe what we do about the canonicity of Scripture. That the New Testament was compiled by a bunch of Constantine’s friends who marched in lock step with him. It would appear, by your comment, that the LDS canon is no more inspired than LDS claim our Bible is. LDS claim that parts were added to/taken from the Bible, yet the very same thing happened to the BOM and D&C with no claims of “contradiction” or “cover-up” or anything else by LDS.

    As far as the quotes from Mormon leaders that Pilgrim posted–Jospeh Smith’s contentions (abour careless transcribers and the one about “important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible”) do indeed imply an attitude that the Bible has been corrupted. The fact that he invented the BOM to “restore plain and precious truths” betrays an attitude that he did not rust the Bible, and had to add to it. And besides, just because there may be many translations (some of them not as good as others), that does not mean that the Greek and Hebrew texts were “corrupted” as Smith claimed.

  28. Brad, I am not here to prove anything to you. I only came here to stand up as a Mormon and defend what I truly believe. That being said, it’s true that we could only go in a circular argument. I believe what I believe and you believe what you believe. Neither of us are willing to be swayed.
    Thanks, Alma, for explaining that to me. :-)

  29. Fourpointer, you wrote:

    That makes it sound like LDS doctrine is canonized by means of a popularity contest–the accusation most Mormons level at us Christians about why we believe what we do about the canonicity of Scripture.

    Well, that isn’t the way it works. The vote of the members to canonize additional scripture is a public declaration asked for by the prophet who indicates that it is the will of God that we should canonize a particular writing. We affirm his request by a public vote and it then becomes part of the canon. There is no counter proposal or competing claim. This occurs rarely; but is a public declaration of the confines of the canon. It keeps heretics from within the Church and critics from without from identifying comments that may not be inspired as Church doctrine.

    It would appear, by your comment, that the LDS canon is no more inspired than LDS claim our Bible is.

    You’re absolutely correct—but remember–we believe that the Bible is inspired: it’s one of the four books of inspired scripture in our canon.

    LDS claim that parts were added to/taken from the Bible, yet the very same thing happened to the BOM and D&C with no claims of “contradiction” or “cover-up” or anything else by LDS.

    I’m not aware of Mormons claiming that the compilation of the Bible constituted a “cover-up” or a “contradiction.” We just don’t believe it’s consistent to conclude that the canon is closed simply because one book cautioned against adding to the word of God long before someone decided to add that part to the word of God.

    I see some significant backpedaling on your part. While you did correct the source of your comment from Joseph Smith to Bruce R. McConkie, you were silent about why I should accept your assertion over the definitions of Hebrew dictionaries. Do you still claim that McConkie and Brown-Driver-Briggs’ are in error that elohim is plural for eloah?

    You also claimed to have proof that LDS leaders “despised” the Bible, but now you merely indicate that it’s implied they didn’t trust the Bible. The only passage of those posted by Pilgrim that uses “corrupted” to refer to the Bible—rather than copyists–came from Orson Pratt’s publication The Seer. Given that that is the only publication ever denounced by proclamation of the First Presidency and 12 Apostles of the LDS Church—including Pratt himself–(but widely cited by critics of Mormonism as what Mormons really teach) lt hardly could be considered as representative of LDS leaders. it had been “corrupted.”
    Using your definition of “corrupted” as “not perfect” I would agree with you if that’s what you’re saying our perspective is. That’s a legitimate dictionary definition: “altered from the original or correct form or version.” But another definition of “corrupt” is “spoiled or rotten.” That certainly is not the position of LDS leaders—now or ever. One of the recommend questions from 1857 asked, “Do you speak against your brethren, or against any principle taught in the Bible?” Even though the LDS perception is different than that of a typical Evangelical, the claim that Joseph Smith or other LDS leaders didn’t “[t]rust” Bible is bogus.

    [J]ust because there may be many translations (some of them not as good as others), that does not mean that the Greek and Hebrew texts were “corrupted” as Smith claimed.

    I don’t think you’re being consistent. If the Greek or Hebrew manuscripts aren’t perfect copies of the originals, by your definition they are “corrupted.”

    Alma, if something is not perfect, it is, by default and by definition, corrupted.

    Isn’t that what you wrote to me?

  30. Adrianne,

    Great defense of your faith.

    Thanks.

  31. Dear Alma:

    Something troubling has been glossed over and neglected; something I didn’t even catch right away.

    When you thought I had changed one word of Joseph Smith’s quote about the Scriptures (“these” for “the“) you credited that to me being a critic of LDS who sought to purposely distort what JS had said to ultimately make LDS look bad.

    However, when you realized that two LDS sources had the same quote and the one I was citing said “the” and the one you found said “these,” you were gracious enough to acknowledge the error.

    So this brings up a very large problem: The error!

    When you thought I changed “these” to “the” and that it changed the whole context of the quote and it made Joseph Smith look like he had an issue with the Bible, then how do you get around that both are LDS produced? Does this mean one made JS seem favorable toward the Bible and one didn’t? At the time when you thought I misquoted him it did!

    Your source (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith) was in your opinion the correct quote whereas my source (History of the Church v. 6) was in your opinion incorrect . . . even believed to be tampered with! So if the entire context of his quote is damaged by the difference between “the” and “these” how do you defend the fact that these two LDS publications have both?

    Why does LDS get a pass when they’re the ones who actually altered the text?

    Furthermore, of greater concern are the drastic changes to the Book of Mormon where we’re not talking about “the” and “these” but we’re talking about several words added to change the entire meaning of a passage?

    I think to be fair if you’re going to come down on those who you think have altered the text to make LDS look bad, then it should only be right that you look with an equally critical eye at the Book of Mormon’s 3,913 documented changes, corrections, alterations, additions, and subtractions.

    - The Pilgrim

  32. Brad,
    I have come here and stated what I belive as a mormon, which is that God created a plan for His children to come to Earth and become like Him, which will only be possible through the atoneing sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son. That is what I believe, and I have stated that several times. I do not need to stay here any longer and argue with anyone. I have talked with Pilgrim and a few others, and generally, they have been very kind in stating their own beliefs while I have stated mine, so I do not see a point in further conversing with someone like you all of a sudden who comes out extremely rude.

  33. Adrianne,

    I asked for your answers to 2 fairly simple questions. You punted, and I commented on that fact. I’m sorry you see that as rude.

    It is your option to not discuss. But I stick to my 1st statement.

  34. Brad-
    Your questions feel more like challenges, and I don’t want that to be the reason I answer. If you truly want to know what I believe, you can go up and look through my comments. I have also posted things on other discussion boards as well if you would like to look through those as well.

  35. Pilgrim:

    I was too quick to jump on the change that I noticed because I’ve seen lots of instances of people manufacturing quotes for arguments against Mormonism. I noticed the change and assumed it was the same tactic and I ran with it. I should have taken more time to see if it really changed the context. Either way, the quotation doesn’t reflect anything about what Joseph Smith thought about the Bible.

    In the 1844 discourse from which this was taken, he referenced 57 biblical passages as evidence that what he taught was according “to the law and to the testimony.” In the midst of that discourse he said, “The scriptures are a mixture of very strange doctrines to the Christian world, who are blindly led by the blind.” Honestly, do you think that phrase indicates that he thought the Bible was a mixture of strange doctrines to him or to his detractors?

    The compiler of TPJS was Joseph Fielding Smith, who also was an editor of the History of the Church. Unfortunately, he and other editors weren’t trained historians in a late 20th century paradigm. The source of the quote was taken from handwritten notes and fleshed out by the editors who tried to make the text more readable—often by discussing with those who were there at the time. Evidently, Joseph Fielding Smith felt that Joseph Smith’s comments referred to the scriptures he had been citing (referring to plurality of gods, and heavenly kingdoms) and so he concluded that original notes “the Scrip.” should read “These Scriptures.”

    Why do LDS get a pass when they’re the ones who actually altered the text? I give them a pass because I don’t believe the changes were made with the desire to manipulate but rather to elucidate.

    Okay, let’s look with a critical eye at the changes to the Book of Mormon. You say 3,913 but depending on how you count changes, I get over 20,000 (including punctuation.) I’m quite familiar with all of the changes and I don’t see the problem that you do with the revisions that Joseph Smith and others have made. Joseph Smith never claimed that the work was perfect and the LDS paradigm of scripture specifically disallows such a concept. The changes of “Benjamin” to “Mosiah” and “eternal father” to “Son of the Eternal Father” are really inconsequential and there was good reason for them. I personally believe that if someone could have pointed out to Matthew that he wrote “Jeremy” instead of “Zechariah” that he would have been happy to have revised it.

    I don’t see why you think those changes are “of greater concern” because you don’t believe the Book of Mormon. I do believe in the Book of Mormon, and the changes don’t bother me at all.

    Alma

  36. Adrianne,

    I’m not asking WHAT you believe – you’re a Mormon, I know what you believe. I’m asking YOU as an individual WHY you believe it, and asking you to expound on some areas. I asked 2 simple questions.

    Again, your right to choose not to answer. But punts are telling.

  37. Alma,

    I suppose I owe a retraction of part of my statements previous to my last (9/20, 7:41 am). I must admit I wrote in haste, and it showed. 99 times out of 100 I am pretty careful to cite where I found something, and only write what I am absolutely sure about. I cannot say I did that with that response. Also, I was unaware of the use of the word Eloah. My bad.

    That said, “despise” was not the best word to use concerning Joseph Smith’s attitude toward the Bible–although he certainly thought it was corrupted (altered, etc) enough that he felt the need to add the BOM.

    Speaking of which, I’m rather intrigued by your statement that “The changes of ‘Benjamin’ to ‘Mosiah’ and ‘eternal father’ to ‘Son of the Eternal Father’ are really inconsequential and there was good reason for them.” It is indeed consequential if the text is changed from “eternal father” to “Son of the eternal father.” In one instance, the speaker is saying that Jesus is the eternal father, while in the other instance it says that Jesus is NOT the Father. Besides, let’s examine how the BOM was “translated”:

    I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man.”

    Now this raises a couple of questions: (One), if it was truly God showing Joseph, word for word, what to write, then was God wrong in what He showed Joseph? Or, (Two), did God not see what Oliver Cowdery (Or Martin Harris, or Emma Smith [whoever the scribe happened to be that day]) was writing? Did God not protect what He had done through Joseph? Did He allow “Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests [to commit] many errors?”

    The LDS church claims things were “removed from the gospel of the Lamb,” and this caused it to be corrupted. Yet things were apparently added to or taken from the BOM, and it is still more correct than the Bible. I’m not sure I understand why the LDS claim that we cannot fully trust the Bible because of the “plain and precious truths” which were allegedly removed, yet they still believe the BOM even with all of its changes. And by admitting that so many changes were made to the BOM, doesn’t that make it corrupted?

  38. Haha, Brad, whatever. Say what you want. Ive told you, I am tired of arguing with people.

  39. Dear Alma:

    Thank you for your comment.

    What I understand that you’re saying is this:

    If I had altered the text by changing the first word of the quote in question, then I would be a critic who deliberately manipulated the quote to tarnish Joseph Smith and make LDS look bad.

    If LDS altered the text by changing the first word of the quote in question, then they would have done it to “elucidate” the quote.

    If, (when you thought I had changed the first word), it made LDS look bad, how then can the same changing of the same word in the same quote now be all right because LDS did it?

    This doesn’t seem like an honest assessment nor a fair handling of this issue.

    - The Pilgrim

  40. Four square, you wrote: That said, “despise” was not the best word to use concerning Joseph Smith’s attitude toward the Bible–

    Which was the entire reason for my challenging your premise. If you had simply claimed that Joseph Smith believed and taught that the Bible wasn’t perfect, I wouldn’t have disagreed. However you now add this non-sequitur:

    although he certainly thought it was corrupted (altered, etc) enough that he felt the need to add the BOM.

    That just doesn’t follow—any more than the idea that Joshua thought the first 5 books of Moses were corrupted and he felt the need to add his book, or that John thought that Matthew was altered enough that he needed to add his gospel. The purpose of the Book of Mormon is not to revise or replace the Bible. Its title page claims it was written by the command of God to convince all people that Jesus is the Christ. None of that has anything to do with whether or not the Bible is imperfect or infallible.

    Speaking of which, I’m rather intrigued by your statement that “The changes of ‘Benjamin’ to ‘Mosiah’ and ‘eternal father’ to ‘Son of the Eternal Father’ are really inconsequential and there was good reason for them.” It is indeed consequential if the text is changed from “eternal father” to “Son of the eternal father.” In one instance, the speaker is saying that Jesus is the eternal father, while in the other instance it says that Jesus is NOT the Father.

    That might be true in a vacuum, but not when you look at the consistent message throughout the Book of Mormon. Jesus is referred to in several other passages as “the Father” and even the “Eternal Father” (see the last sentence of Mosiah 16). The changes are inconsequential because either is correct.

    Besides, let’s examine how the BOM was “translated”:

    The problem with that quote, foursq. (from David Whitmer) is that it’s only an assumption by someone who never translated. When Joseph Smith was asked to explain how the translation process worked, he said that God didn’t intend for that information to be divulged. Besides, it contradicts the evidence of the manuscripts. There were lots of misspellings in the manuscript, and Joseph Smith spent a great deal of time over the next 12 years editing the text. And none of those changes conveys a change of doctrine. There are enough first hand accounts of people present during the translation that demonstrate this account is a romanticized recollection decades after the fact.

    Now this raises a couple of questions: (One), if it was truly God showing Joseph, word for word, what to write, then was God wrong in what He showed Joseph? Or, (Two), did God not see what Oliver Cowdery (Or Martin Harris, or Emma Smith [whoever the scribe happened to be that day]) was writing? Did God not protect what He had done through Joseph? Did He allow “Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests [to commit] many errors?”

    Your questions are based on the premise that the explanation of the process of translation was accurate. It isn’t.

    I’m not sure I understand why the LDS claim that we cannot fully trust the Bible because of the “plain and precious truths” which were allegedly removed, yet they still believe the BOM even with all of its changes. And by admitting that so many changes were made to the BOM, doesn’t that make it corrupted?

    The problem is that you begin from a mistaken assumption. It isn’t and it hasn’t been Mormons who claim you can’t trust the Bible. While we fully admit that it isn’t the sum of God’s revelation and that careless and uninspired scribes have committed many errors, it’s still the Word of God. It seems to me that the real problem lies in your inability to perceive how we really view the Bible. It isn’t really a big admission to recognize that there have been changes to the BoM; but we know what those changes are, and we believe thatthey were made by an inspired prophet. Still, manuscript evidence demonstrates that errors occurred even though they were very careful. The fact of the matter is that we don’t believe in any inerrant text whether it’s the Bible or the Book of Mormon.

  41. Thanks for proving my point, Adrienne.

  42. Alma,

    The name is FourPOINTER. Get it right or get banned.

    So what you’re saying is that one of the Three Witnesses to the BOM was a liar? Here’s another quote from Witmer,

    “I, as well as all of my father’s family, Smith’s wife, Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris, were present during the translation…He [Joseph Smith] did not use the plates in translation” (Interview given to Kansas City Journal, June 5, 1881, reprinted in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Journal of History, vol. 8, (1910), pp. 299-300.)

    Was Emma Smith lying when she said, in an interview with her son Joseph Smith III,

    “In writing for your father I frequently wrote day after day, often sitting at the table close by him, he sitting with his face buried in his hat, with the stone in it, and dictating hour after hour with nothing between us” (History of the RLDS Church, 8 vols. (Independence, Missouri: Herald House, 1951), “Last Testimony of Sister Emma [Smith Bidamon],” 3:356.)

    Michael Morse (Emma Smith’s brother-in-law):

    “When Joseph was translating the Book of Mormon [I] had occasion more than once to go into his immediate presence, and saw him engaged at his work of translation. The mode of procedure consisted in Joseph’s placing the Seer Stone in the crown of a hat, then putting his face into the hat, so as to entirely cover his face, resting his elbows upon his knees, and then dictating word after word, while the scribes — Emma, John Whitmer, O. Cowdery, or some other wrote it down” (W.W. Blair interview with Michael Morse, Saints’ Herald, vol. 26, no. 12 (June 15, 1879), pp. 190-91.)

    Joseph Smith’s brother William:

    “The manner in which this was done was by looking into the Urim and Thummim, which was placed in a hat to exclude the light, (the plates lying near by
    covered up)
    , and reading off the translation, which appeared in the stone by the power of God” (“A New Witness for Christ in America,” Francis W. Kirkham, 2:417.)

    Whether these people were “translators” or “observers,” facts is facts. These people saw what they saw. The LDS system can try and spin it any way they want, but the facts don’t change.

  43. Brad-
    What point have I proved? That I don’t want to argue with someone like you who can’t even spell my name right? Who would rather have contention and argue with me than just accept the fact that I have said all I wanted to say? My gosh, what is your problem? You have your faith and I have mine. That’s what it comes down to, and any more arguing about what I believe is just a waste of my time when you will only argue with me. You can see what I believe from reading my previous posts. Stop trying to pick a fight with me.

  44. Fourpointer, I apologize, for some reason I had a different name in my head. I intended no offense.

    Alma

  45. If I had altered the text by changing the first word of the quote in question, then I would be a critic who deliberately manipulated the quote to tarnish Joseph Smith and make LDS look bad. If LDS altered the text by changing the first word of the quote in question, then they would have done it to “elucidate” the quote.

    As I see it, it’s a matter of perspective–ascertained by understanding the reason the sources were prepared. Your purpose in citing the passage was polemic, while the compiler of TPJS produced the account for an entirely different audience and reason. I’ve seen quite a few critics of Mormonism modify a word here and there because the actual quote didn’t quite sound as bad. That’s what Fourpointer did above by placing in quotes “the most perfect book ever written.”

    There is no such quote by an LDS leader. The actual quote is “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book. (DHC 4:461.) Of course “perfect” makes a better target than “correct” so the word get substituted—but still in quotes.

    My initial, knee jerk reaction was based on a long history of people manufacturing bogus quotes. So, as I stated before, I overreacted because I incorrectly assumed it had been manipulated; and, I hadn’t noticed how little difference “These” and “The” made to the quotation. In retrospect, the word change doesn’t change the meaning of the quote so it’s irrelevant.

    If, (when you thought I had changed the first word), it made LDS look bad, how then can the same changing of the same word in the same quote now be all right because LDS did it? This doesn’t seem like an honest assessment nor a fair handling of this issue.

    Well, Pilgrim, I assess things differently depending upon the context and so do other people. I once provided a quote from the NIV responding to a criticism of our belief in theosis. My correspondent called me a liar because he had the quote and knew it was bogus. The problem was, his was a later, revised version and mine was an “original.” When he realized that, his attitude toward the revision changed 180 degrees. He didn’t think the translators or publishers were dishonest; and as far as he was concerned, it was an innocent revision. How would you assess such a change in the NIV? The same as my assessment of JFS’s version or differently?

    Alma

  46. So what you’re saying is that one of the Three Witnesses to the BOM was a liar? Here’s another quote from Witmer,

    No, I’m saying that he was giving his opinion and that he was in error. The problem with these recollections are they are at least 50 years after the fact, and not one of those who offered an explanation was ever in a position to explain how the translation worked because none of them ever experienced it. The only two people who claimed to have translated with the Urim and Thummim (or seer stone) were Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and they never explained it. As I indicated above, when Joseph Smith was asked to explain it he refused. Those who were present for the translation can testify only to what they saw occur. They saw Joseph Smith with his face in his hat, but none of them saw what Joseph Smith saw. When they offer what they think he saw, they enter into the realm of speculation and opinion.

    They offered their opinions because they didn’t like the fact that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery edited the Book of Mormon. They retained a fairly Protestant view of scripture which Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery and Mormons in general reject.

    I’m very familiar with all the quotes you provided. Of those, only William Smith claimed that the text was given to Joseph Smith to simply read. That explanation, together with David Whitmer’s, contradict Joseph Smith’s repeated assertion that he translated the text through the gift of God.

    Whether these people were “translators” or “observers,” facts is facts. These people saw what they saw.

    That’s precisely my point. They can only testify to what they saw, not what they think Joseph Smith saw.

  47. No problem, AdriAnne.

    Just remember, you’ve been given the opportunity to discuss the REAL way to Heaven. When you come before Almighty God, you will not be able to say you didn’t have a chance, for you did, and you forsook it.

    My conscience is clear, and duty fulfilled.

  48. Brad,
    When I stand before God, I will be able to tell Him that I never denied the Holy Ghost which bears witness of the truth to my soul.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnX66fN91-0&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LxjzU6apHo

    For anyone wanting to watch, these are some very powerful testimonies.

  49. Adrianne,

    What makes you think that you (or anyone else) would be given any opportunity to speak to the Triune One True and Living God when you stand before Him in final judgment? Why should you be allowed to do anything but stand in silence and listen to Him righteously pronounce His perfect judgment upon you?

    Or alternatively if you were to stand before the Triune One True and Living God and He were to ask you the question: “Why should I allow you to enter into the glory of my kingdom?” what would be your response?

    In Christ,
    CD

  50. Coram Deo:
    Wow, you know those are actually some incredible things I hadn’t thought of before. What WOULD I say if He asked me how I felt about the life that I lived. I don’t know. I know that I think every day, “If I died today, would I feel worthy to stand before God and be judged?” But I have never thought about what I would say if He asked me why I should be able to enter into His kingdom. I don’t think that I could say that I lived a righteous life, and did my best and am therefore worthy of His kingdom. I would not feel worthy enough to say that to my Maker who is so perfect and glorious. So in answer to your last question, I truly do not know what I would say. Perhaps I would say that I lived the best that I could, but I know that it is not enough, and I would ask that He have mercy on me for my weaknesses. However, I do not have a script in my mind. I guess it’s something I’m going to have to ponder on.

    As per your first question: what I meant was that I will know in my heart that I did not deny His Holy Spirit. I know that I will be able to stand before God and not have to worry because I denied The Holy Ghost.

    I honestly don’t know how that will exactly be to stand before Him and be judged. I don’t know if He will ask me questions, or have me say anything at all. All I can do is prepare myself daily to stand before Him and be judged by Him. I know that I should have nothing to fear if I am daily trying to live my best in all that I do. And if I fall, (for I will fall… I do it all the time as I am not perfect) I can repent, thanks to the Savior’s atonement.
    But when I stand before God, no matter how much good I tried to do, and no matter if I repented for every sin I ever commited, I know that I WILL fall down on my knees for He is my Creator and my God, and His glory is infinite and perfect. All that I am and all that I could ever hope to be is ONLY because of His love for me.
    :-) Adrianne

    I am also curious as to what YOU would say if The One True and Living God were to ask you why you should be allowed to enter into His kingdom.

    Adrianne

  51. Adrianne,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I believe that your response is sincere and heartfelt and I appreciate your candor.

    I’m thrilled that you’ve asked me what I would say if the Triune One True and Living God were to ask me why I should be allowed to enter into His kingdom. This is absolutely the most important question that anyone could ever ask, and I tremble with fear and joy at the prospect of answering your question in truth and love because when it comes to this matter, the subject of salvation, we are treading on holy ground.

    I pray that you’ll receive my response in the spirit in which it is intended which is all humility, earnestness, and compassion for the trajectory and destination of your eternal soul.

    May I begin with just a little background before giving you my answer? First we as fallen sinful creatures must realize that we are separated from our perfect, righteous and absolutely holy Creator. Sinful human beings have no intrinsic right in and of ourselves to stand before the Infinite Creator and Judge of all existence in any fashion other than utter condemnation.

    In other words our sin utterly and completely separates us from God. There is nothing that God has seen, does see, or will ever see in us that is loveable, desirable, or good. We are wholly corrupted and offensive to His very nature. Human beings are sinners because we sin, rather we sin because we’re sinners. To put it another way what we DO (sin) is merely the outward working and manifestation of what we ARE (sinners). Just as surely as we are born human beings we are born sinners. Sinning comes as naturally and effortlessly for us as breathing, or the beating of our hearts.

    “Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12)

    As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:10)

    “That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit… [Therefore,] you must be born again” (John 3:6-7)

    What does this mean? I believe that you would agree that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13), therefore He cannot lie, therefore we can trust that what the Holy Bible teaches us is correct and true since it is “Spirit breathed”.

    Since we can and must believe that the Holy Bible is true then we must seriously consider what it has to say about how sinful man is to be reconciled to his absolutely perfect, righteous, holy Creator who hates sin which thing cannot abide in his presence, nor will he allow any sin to enter his kingdom. The Holy Bible also teaches us that without the shedding of blood there is no remission (forgiveness) for sin (Hebrews 9:22).

    We know from the Bible that Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God who was slain on the cross as a sacrifice thereby making atonement for sin for all those who would be saved (born again) by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Him alone.

    “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

    Romans 11:6 teaches us that sinful human beings cannot attain unto or apprehend righteous standing before the Triune One True and Living God through any effort of their own whatsoever. If we were able to earn, attain unto, or apprehend righteousness through our own efforts then the Holy Bible would be proven false and the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth would be proven a liar, because it would mean that the GIFT was the result of works, meaning that some could boast, but we know this could never be the case because the Holy Bible is the Word of God.

    And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (Romans 11:6)

    “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20)

    Knowing these truths from the Holy Bible I’m confronted by my utter inability to please God with anything that I am able to do in and of myself. What then? How can I have any hope of being made clean? What can I do? The Biblical answer is that I can do nothing because salvation and forgiveness of sins are all the work of Jesus Christ on the cruel cross of Calvary. He did it all. He took my place. He bore may sin and my punishment as a perfect, sinless sacrifice in my place. There’s no way I can add anything to the finished work of the cross, He has done it all, He alone is worthy of all glory and praise and worship for His unspeakable GIFT to me!

    He saved me despite my absolute utter sinful unworthiness because if His infinite mercy, grace, pity and love towards me, a helpless, hopeless, wretched lump of sin!

    So what would I say if the Triune One True and Living God were to ask me why I should be allowed to enter into His kingdom?

    My only claim to heaven is the Lord Jesus Christ alone because of what He did for me. He took my place. He took the punishment and wrath I deserve. He bore His Heavenly Father’s holy wrath against my sin because He loved me and gave me His glorious heavenly robe of righteousness in place of my filthy and worthless rags of sin. I’m found in Him and He has paid my debt of sin in full and therefore my sin was judged on the cross. The Bible teaches that the “wages of sin is death” and Jesus Christ took my placed and died my death on the cross. I am crucified in Christ and now I live in Him, being made a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

    What would I say if the Triune One True and Living God were to ask me why I should be allowed to enter into His kingdom?

    The only answer that could possibly satisfy such a question is an answer that is all of Christ and none of me so I must declare “THE ONLY RIGHT I HAVE TO HEAVEN IS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO DIED FOR ME! HE ALONE IS MY HOPE OF GLORY!”

    Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

    Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16)

    Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Galatians 3:3)

    Thanks for asking.

    In Christ,
    CD

  52. Coram Deo-
    Thank you for your answer. It was very heartfelt as well. I have a question though. You say that there is nothing that God can look on us as loveable or good. So does that mean that you never do anything good? You never serve God? In my faith, we would call what you just did serving your fellow man and therefore serving God. Is that not looked upon by God as an act of righteousness? I guess I’m just a little confused. In my religion, we believe that we are naturally sinful creatures. And we believe that no matter how much good we do, we will never be completely worthy without Christ’s atonement. We believe that the atonement is there for when we make mistakes, which is so often. We believe that our purpose in life is to become like God which means we must strive to live righteously. The atonement is there, though, because that is the only possible way to become completely perfect. We can’t become like God without a way to repent of our mistakes and try again.

    You spoke a little bit about being born again. As for what I believe on baptism, it is said quite well in this article. If you would like to read it, it’s wonderful. http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=f318118dd536c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=09598d00422fe01OVgnVCM100000176f620a____&hideNav=1

    Thank you for your answer.

    Adrianne

  53. Adrianne,

    According to the Bible there is no one who is righteous, no not one. Therefore if no one is righteous then it follows that no one can perform righteous works. Isaiah well says that all men’s works of righteousness are as filthy rags before the Lord.

    What this means is that sinful creatures are utterly unable in and of themselves to do any good whatsoever, and by “good” I mean truly righteous and perfect works that are pleasing to God. Everything we do is corrupted by our sin nature.

    Only the Christ in us, when we become new creatures in Christ (i.e. are born again), has righteous standing before an absolutely perfect Creator. Remember that His standard is absolute sinless perfection and since only Christ met this standard then we are only found to be truly righteous in Him, as His possession.

    I don’t believe that we can ever become like the Triune One True and Living God because He says repeatedly in the Bible that there is none like Him, and that no god was formed before Him, nor will any god be formed after Him. He even says that He knows of no other gods. Our Creator is absolutely perfect in knowledge (omniscient) which means there is nothing that was, is, or ever could be that He does not know perfectly which means He would be a liar if gods were formed before or after Him. I don’t believe that He’s a liar.

    True repentance is a wonderful thing, but true repentance serves to drive us to our knees in sorrow, anguish, and contrition over our sinful unworthiness and causes us to cling ever more tightly to Christ, our only hope of righteousness. In the light of scripture sin is much, much worse than a simple “mistake”. Each and every time we sin we literally heap condemnation upon ourselves and apart from Christ we are slaves to sin. We can do nothing but sin. We are hopelessly in chains to our lusts, desires, and evil motives and apart from Christ even if we try to do something “good” or “moral” it ends up being from a wrong and sinful motivation (for example our motivation may be to try to earn or attain to some merit or good standing before God which is in itself sinful according to the Bible).

    Anything that we would ever want or desire to add to Christ’s finished work is an offense because we can’t improve upon finished perfection. We can’t and should never think that we can do more than Christ already did on the cross, or else we become guilty of telling Him that His gift was insufficient and that our human efforts help to complete or fill up some incomplete, inadequate, or unfinished works of righteousness in addition to His finished work on the cross. Such thinking is to make Jesus a liar and I don’t believe that He’s a liar.

    In Him,
    CD

  54. Coram Deo-
    First of all, you said, “I don’t believe that we can ever become like the Triune One True and Living God because He says repeatedly in the Bible that there is none like Him, and that no god was formed before Him, nor will any god be formed after Him. He even says that He knows of no other gods.” Could you give me some scripture references on that?
    Second of all, when I try to live righteously, and repent of my sins, I am NOT trying to add to or do more than what Christ did for me by atoneing for my sins. I am just trying to live my life in accordance to the things I believe. I am just trying to become LIKE Christ, and by relying on His atonement when I make mistakes, I can do that. I know that when I die, I will not be worthy to enter God’s kingdom. That is why Jesus is my mediator. He atoned for my sins, so He knows me very well and can look upon my heart and all that I tried my best to do.

    Genesis 1:27

    -Adrianne

  55. Alma,

    I accept your apology. It’s easy to get names mixed up from time to time, isn’t it?

    Those who were present for the translation can testify only to what they saw occur. They saw Joseph Smith with his face in his hat, but none of them saw what Joseph Smith saw. When they offer what they think he saw, they enter into the realm of speculation and opinion.

    But these people all say almost the same thing. They all saw Joseph put a stone in a hat–rather than using the Urim and Thummim as he so often claimed. They all heard him dictate to his scribe. They all saw the scribe write what Joseph dictated. There’s not a whole lot of wiggle room there. If Joseph translated “by the power of God” with the Urim and Thummim–then why the stone in a hat?

    Of those, only William Smith claimed that the text was given to Joseph Smith to simply read. That explanation, together with David Whitmer’s, contradict Joseph Smith’s repeated assertion that he translated the text through the gift of God.

    Maybe William Smith’s and David Witmer’s accounts are closer to the truth.

  56. It’s easy to get names mixed up from time to time, isn’t it?

    It is; especially when they’re handles rather than names.

    But these people all say almost the same thing. They all saw Joseph put a stone in a hat–rather than using the Urim and Thummim as he so often claimed.

    The term “Urim and Thummim” was used interchangeably to refer to either the stones set in a silver bow or to the seer stone Joseph Smith used. Even though the term is plural Joseph Smith often used it to refer to singular objects as in saying that the earth will eventually become a Urim and Thummim. I think it’s pretty obvious that Joseph Smith used the seer stone rather than the Urim and Thummim about the time that Martin Harris stopped being his scribe.

    They all heard him dictate to his scribe. They all saw the scribe write what Joseph dictated. There’s not a whole lot of wiggle room there. If Joseph translated “by the power of God” with the Urim and Thummim–then why the stone in a hat?

    Most people who commented on that fact claimed it was a matter of convenience But that doesn’t negate the “power of God” any more than the apostle’s use of handkerchiefs and aprons negated the power of God.

    Maybe William Smith’s and David Witmer’s accounts are closer to the truth.

    I would find them more credible had they volunteered this information 40 years earlier when Joseph Smith or Oliver Cowdery were alive and could have weighed in on the matter. If Joseph Smith claimed that the actual process wasn’t to be revealed, I don’t see what would have changed 50 years later except the fact that Joseph Smith couldn’t gainsay their opinions.

  57. Hi Adrianne,

    Thanks again for your responses. You said:
    First of all, you said, “I don’t believe that we can ever become like the Triune One True and Living God because He says repeatedly in the Bible that there is none like Him, and that no god was formed before Him, nor will any god be formed after Him. He even says that He knows of no other gods.” Could you give me some scripture references on that?

    Absolutely!

    I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. (Revelation 22:13)

    Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. (Isaiah 44:6)

    Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. (Isaiah 44:8)

    I think it’s very important to point out that you and I believe in fundamentally different divine beings therefore when I speak of “God” and you speak of “God” we’re talking about two utterly different and diametrically opposed conceptions of the Heavenly Father.

    For example the God of Bible believing, Spirit filled, born-again Christians is uncreated, He is the unique and only Triune One True and Living God in all of existence without beginning or end. He is eternal, invisible, and utterly incomprehensible. There was never a time when He wasn’t God, in fact He created time. Nothing exists that He did not create and He has always been and always will be immutably the same, without change or progression. He is the great I AM.

    The Triune One True and Living God is the originator of everything (the Creator) and is the very source of the existence of all things, yet He is infinitely greater than all His creation and in fact cannot be contained by it and is unlimited by both time and space.

    The God of Mormonism on the other hand “entered into” godhood or “became” a god at some point and therefore has not eternally been “God”, but progressed to godhood through a process of change. Additionally the Mormon God is not invisible since Joseph Smith claimed to have seen and spoken to him face to face.

    By this comparison we can clearly see that the LDS doctrine of a God who is finite (wasn’t always God but became God at a point) and has a physical body of flesh and bone who used to be a man who is the brother of the devil who with his goddess wife came from another planet is not the same being as the God revealed in His only authoritative Word which is uniquely contained within the Holy Bible who is worshipped and claimed by Bible believing Christians. This becomes very critical because if we are found to be worshipping and believing in another god than the God of the Holy Bible then we are lost in our sins and trespasses and found to be idolaters which thing the One True and Living God hates.

    And again you said:
    Second of all, when I try to live righteously, and repent of my sins, I am NOT trying to add to or do more than what Christ did for me by atoneing for my sins. I am just trying to live my life in accordance to the things I believe. I am just trying to become LIKE Christ, and by relying on His atonement when I make mistakes, I can do that.

    I’ll admit that I’m probably misunderstanding or misinterpreting your meaning here, so please forgive me if I err as I try to walk through your statement. Based on your prior comments and what I understand of LDS teaching I think we also mean different things when we think and speak of Christ’s atonement.

    According to the Holy Bible Christ’s atoning work occurred on the cross (Acts 20:28, Ephesians 2:16, Colossians 1:20; Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:22; 1 Corinthians 2:2). There are no references whatsoever in the Holy Bible to any atoning work in Gethsemane, although it is clear that the Lord Jesus Christ agonized greatly in prayer to the point that he sweat blood as He prepared for the crucifixion to come. Jesus Christ bore the sins of those who would believe on Him alone by grace alone through faith alone on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). It was His shedding of blood and death that atoned for sin (Ephesians 2:16).

    I believe that Mormonism teaches a plurality of gods instead of agreeing with the teaching of the Holy Bible which declares that there is only One True and Living God.

    And finally you said:
    I know that when I die, I will not be worthy to enter God’s kingdom. That is why Jesus is my mediator. He atoned for my sins, so He knows me very well and can look upon my heart and all that I tried my best to do.

    Christians don’t believe that they are worthy in and of themselves to enter God’s kingdom when they die, but they have faith that it is Christ’s righteousness, His worthiness imputed to them that the Heavenly Father looks upon when He looks at them. Christians believe that Christ’s imputed righteousness gives us right standing before the infinite Creator and Judge of the universe, being reconciled unto Him by Christ’s perfect and finished work upon the cross and nothing else. It’s all of Christ and all of grace.

    Christians believe that the God of the Holy Bible sets a standard of absolute sinless perfection for anyone who would enter into His kingdom and that no human being ever qualifies in and of themselves apart from being found in Christ who alone lived a perfect, sinless life that fully satisfied His Heavenly Father.

    Apart from being miraculously born-again of the Spirit by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone sinful humans are hopeless and helpless and doomed to eternal separation from our Creator. Apart from being found in Christ sinful humans will be judged for their wicked works done in the flesh – by which no one can be found righteous – meriting eternal punishment in hell.

    In Christ,
    CD

  58. http://www.lds.org/move/index.html?type=conference&event=178&lang=english

    go here, click additional videos, and scroll to “The Good Samaritan”

    Such an incredible video. You can’t watch it and not feel the Spirit. We must strive daily to live our lives in this way. “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all they strength and with all thine mind. and thy neighbor as thyself.”

    This do and thou shalt live.
    :-)

    The restoration video is also excellent if you want a real look at what we see of our Prophet Joseph Smith

  59. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all they strength and with all thine mind. and thy neighbor as thyself.”

    This do and thou shalt live.

    This is a true statement and serious demands from God, Adrianne. Do you keep these commands perfectly and without fail? I don’t. I can’t because I’m a sinner. I fail so often that I’ve realized that I simply can’t keep these commands for even one day, not even one hour, because these are demands for absolute sinless perfection. This is God’s standard, perfection.

    Apart from being found in Jesus Christ (the real Jesus of the Holy Bible) those who fail to keep these commands perfectly are found to be guilty before the Triune One True and Living God and therefore will be damned to eternal conscious torments in hell fire forever and ever.

    These commands terrify me because I know I can’t keep them at all. Yet I’m thrilled and humbled to know that Jesus Christ my Savior kept these commands perfectly, and that after His perfect life He died a perfect death so that those who come to Him by grace alone, through faith alone and trust in Him alone will be saved, miraculously born-again of the Holy Spirit. Keeping the law perfectly is a work, it’s works righteousness, but in the Holy Bible we’re taught that salvation is a gift that no one can earn and that all our works are as filthy rags before the glorious Lord God Almighty.

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8)

    In Christ,
    CD

  60. Coram Deo-
    I never said we must be perfect. But just as the Good Samaritan did, we should take opportunities that come our way to love our neighbor. Do you, because you cannot perfectly live your life, just give up and not try at all to love your neighbor? I do not. I try daily to do all that I can to be a loving neighbor, and to love my God. It’s all a part of attaining eternal perfection, and yes, becoming like God, because we were created in His image.
    I know that I have not been deceived. How can I be deceived when I know all that I am taught? I have learned of the gospel, and I have also learned of the opposing side as well; the side that strives daily to tell how mormons are deceived. I currently live in Utah, but have not always. I grew up in a place where my best friends were atheists, baptists, presbytarian, and even born again christians. Each time I shared with them my testimony, they shared with me the things that they believe of my religion. I KNOW what I believe, and I am not deceived. That God would damn me to hell for striving daily to be like Him is unfathomable to me, for He is a God of mercy. That God would damn me to hell for believing that He has created a plan for His children to become like Him is unthinkable to me. That God would damn me to hell for believing that His son, Jesus Christ, is my brother who atoned for my sins is incomprehensible. That God would damn me to hell for daily recognizing that there is nothing that does not exist, has not existed, and will not exist without Him is truly false in my mind.
    I have seen and heard both sides of the coin. I have listened to people explain why I am wrong, and I have listened to people explain why this is right, and I know the difference. The church is true, and I am thankful for it, for it is through it that I know who I am, and my great potential.
    May God forgive me for my imperfect words, and my imperfect life, and know that I strive daily to be better than I was the day before. I will continue to live in this way, knowing that my purpose is to become like God, for I was created in His own image.

    Nehemiah 6:3

    3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

  61. Adrianne,

    You have in your own words examined the words that I and others have shared with you and the words of Joseph Smith and the LDS and after examination you have chosen to follow teachings that are absolutely contrary to the teachings of the Holy Bible, even though you claim to believe that the Holy Bible is true and inspired scripture.

    You also must surely acknowledge by now that the God that I and other Bible believing born-again Christians trust is an utterly, completely, and altogether different Being than the deity that you and other Mormons trust. To put it bluntly we believe in different “Gods”.

    Since there is only one True and Living God and there is only one truth about Him you and I can’t both be trusting in real truth while holding to opposite views, therefore one of us has been deceived by the father of lies the devil and must be punished in conscious torments in hell for rejecting the revealed truth of God in favor of a lie.

    This brings out the reality that either I and other Bible believing born-again Christians (in fact the entire history of the Christian church all the way back to the original 12 apostles) are wrong (false, untrue) or else the you and the Mormon church are wrong (false, untrue).

    Brigham Young said: “I say to the whole world, receive truth, no matter who presents it to you. Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.”

    Are members of the LDS organization still willing stand behind and accept this challenge, or has the offer been rescinded?

    The LDS organization demonstrably teaches numerous doctrines that are completely contrary to the teachings of the Holy Bible. The LDS organization teaches a different gospel, a different Christ, and in point of fact a completely different religion than the one true and pure religion which is uniquely presented in the Holy Bible alone, therefore Mormonism stands over and against Biblical Christianity as a competing (yet false) religious system.

    True Bible believing, born again, Spirit filled Christians have a heart for the lost. This is because of the spirit that the One True and Living God has graciously placed within us – we are made new creatures in Christ. We love and grieve for and reach for the lost because we fully recognize and deeply sympathize with the truth that we were once among those who are perishing. “But for the grace of God there go I” is an oft repeated refrain.

    We were idolaters.

    We were murderers.

    We were slanderers.

    We were blasphemers.

    We were damned.

    But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:4-9)

    This is why we reach out to Mormons with the truth in love, because we were just like them – we were also once blinded by the Prince of this world. Certainly it may not have been Mormonism per se for each of us, but the wicked one can (and frequently does) employ false human religions based on works-righteousness morality just as easily as he can (and frequently does) use debauchery and open sin an rebellion to ensnare his victims.

    But perhaps the self righteous and moral religious person is in an even worse spiritual condition than the outright debauched sinner because the debauched sinner has nothing in which he trusts. He’s acutely aware of his situation and the of the fact that he’s turned his back on God. He angrily shakes his puny fist in the face of the Almighty openly rebuking, reviling and rejecting Him.

    Oh but consider the wretched estate of the self righteous and moral religious man! He has placed his trust in his religion to save him. He trusts in his religion’s practices and precepts and rules and his faithfulness to his religion’s practices and precepts and rules to save him from the judgment to come. Wittingly or unwittingly he is trusting in himself that he is righteous, earning merit or good standing before his god for his works of righteousness. According to the Holy Bible this is idolatry and is abomination on an infinite scale! Any transgression against an infinite being (The One True and Living God of the Holy Bible) is an infinite offense worthy of infinite punishment for which a finite being (a human being) could never repay in an eternity of eternities!

    Mormons trust in their personal testimonies that they are “true”. They trust in their feelings, perhaps a “burning in the bosom”, that they have a “witness” from the “Holy Spirit” of the veracity of their feelings. But as the Bible rightly says the heart is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9) and therefore we are commanded by scripture to test the spirits (1 John 4:1). Of course the only way to test the truth claims of others, or the feelings of our hearts is to compare those truth claims and feelings to the absolute standard of truth which is the Holy Bible – the One True and Living God’s only truth and self revelation of Himself.

    But I too have a testimony:

    I have a testimony that there is only One True and Living God, the infinite Creator and Judge of the universe who is totally unique and that He is the only God in all existence and that He will righteously judge the lost (all those who fail to come by grace alone through faith alone to the real Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible alone) to eternal damnation in torments in hellfire. I have a testimony that Joseph Smith was a false prophet and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a false religion that teaches a soul damning false gospel that leads its adherents’ lost souls to certain and horrible judgment in an eternal and fiery hell where they will be consciously tormented in flames forever and ever. The Holy Spirit bears witness to truth of my testimony in my heart. My testimony is in direct conflict with the testimony of Mormons and because of my testimony I desire to reach out to the lost, such as Mormons, in truth and love.

    Truth exists. The absolute, objective truth of the One True and Living can be known by His creation, mankind. The truth of the One True and Living God exists and remains true even if every human being were to deny and reject it because God is true to Himself. Man isn’t allowed to define God’s truth, God defines God’s truth and man will either bow and submit to it or be crushed and judged by it. As a moral agent created in God’s image man is 100% responsible to God’s truth and God’s truth is contained uniquely within the 66 books of the Holy Bible.

    Unlike our subjective ever changing feelings, and Joseph Smith’s myriad false prophecies and doctrines of demons, and the unbiblical false teachings of the LDS which have continually morphed and evolved over time God’s Holy Word – His truth as contained uniquely within the Holy Bible – never changes:

    “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

    “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35)

    The unchanging Word of God as contained uniquely within the Holy Bible remains forever and is the only basis and singularly firm foundation for true faith. The Holy Bible is the absolute and singular standard against which ALL truth claims must be measured. Would the real Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth (John 16) EVER give a testimony that is in conflict with what He has inspired to be written in the scriptures? God forbid! The Holy Spirit is absolutely consistent because He is the Spirit of Truth! Therefore if anyone were to claim to have received a testimony from the Holy Spirit that was in conflict with or contradictory to scripture (the Holy Bible) then we can be absolutely certain that whatever spirit it was that “testified” to the truth of an unbiblical falsehood IT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN THE SPIRIT OF GOD!

    If Joseph Smith taught things in the religion of the Latter-Day saints that contradicts the Holy Bible (which he did), and if the Holy Spirit inspired the Holy Bible (which He did) then we can be conclusively and absolutely certain of the objective truth that Joseph Smith was not a prophet of the real One True and Living God. Furthermore we can be equally certain that the real Holy Spirit, because He is the Spirit of Truth, would never give anyone a testimony that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of the One True and Living God.

    In Christ,
    CD

  62. CD:
    Look, I am getting very tired of you throwing the same things at me. I have told you that I do not believe in your faith. You say I don’t believe in the Bible, I say I do. You may throw scriptures at me that say that I am contradicting it, I say you are reading those scriptures differently, and no matter how much you say that I am the one deceived, I know that I am not. My point in coming here was not to be swayed by you. It was to be a representation of the Mormon faith and say that what you say are lies, for I go to this church every sunday, I study it, I know what those like you say about it, and I know that you are incorrect. It is as simple as that. I stand FIRM in my belief. I will continue my way and am no longer visit this website as I have learned of your hypocrisy. You boast of yourself by saying, in essence, that you are headed for Heaven and I am headed for hell, yet you say that Mormons are prideful in their beliefs for believing that we have a divine purpose in life. And what gives you the right to tell me I am going to hell when you cannot even be without sin for a whole hour? Is that not the place of the one who Created me? Am I not forgiven of my sins by my mericiful Savior? You did not atone for my sins. He did.
    I will no longer respond. I am going to go my way, standing strong in my faith, knowing what I believe.
    This is not weakness. This is true CHRISTIAN courage.
    Thank you for your time.
    Adrianne

  63. Dear Alma:

    After much contemplation I have decided to cease debating with you on this particular issue. The reason being is due to two statements you made in this comment on September 25th regarding the Book of Mormon that Joseph Smith claimed was “the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” You said:

    “Okay, let’s look with a critical eye at the changes to the Book of Mormon. You say 3,913 but depending on how you count changes, I get over 20,000 (including punctuation.) I’m quite familiar with all of the changes and I don’t see the problem that you do with the revisions that Joseph Smith and others have made.”

    And from the same comment regarding D&C:

    “The changes of ‘Benjamin’ to ‘Mosiah’ and ‘eternal father’ to ‘Son of the Eternal Father’ are really inconsequential and there was good reason for them.”

    This completely demonstrates that no matter what evidence there is that proves the Book of Mormon (and other writings) as a concoction of Joseph Smith and not a divine product (and there’s tons of this evidence available for review) you will not accept this and continue to trust LDS in spite of it all. This is unreasonable and intellectually dishonest (like the whole “the” and “these” double standard).

    My decision is not based on any anger, dislike, or lack of concern for your eternal soul. It is merely based on not desiring to spin my wheels with someone who refuses to weigh the facts reasonably. If it smells, sounds, feels, and looks like a duck, it’s not a platypus.

    It’s as if someone claims that there’s no such thing as the “ocean.” So I take them to the sandy beach and they stand there with their back to the ocean still holding onto their “faith” that it doesn’t exist. And while they hear the waves, smell the salty air, feel the cold water lap over their feet, and even see the body of water behind them reflected in my sunglasses, they still say “I have no problem with all these facts, I know it does not exist.”

    At this point what more can I or anyone else do?

    If you are aware of all the errors, falsehoods, problems, lies, deceptions, constantly changing doctrines, and other issues within LDS and you are still comfortable with it all, then what more can I do? The saying is true that there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

    I do not leave this discussion happy or with any type of joy or gloat. Conversely, I leave with a heavy heart because I grieve for you and others within LDS. There is nothing more that I can do than present the facts and to continue to pray that you and others will come to know the truth.

    Sincerely and respectfully,
    - The Pilgrim

    Never speculate about Church Doctrine.
    Gospel Principles
    Page 2
    1997

    When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done.
    Ward Teachers Message Improvement Era
    Deseret News, Church Section Page 354
    Page 5 1945
    May 26, 1945

    But if you are told by your leader to do a thing, do it. None of your business whether it is right or wrong.
    Herber C. Kimball
    Journal of Discourses
    Volume 6 Page 32
    1857

  64. Adrianne,

    I’m sorry that you’ve chosen to end our dialogue here and I can truly say that I am grieved in my spirit over your decision.

    I know that my words are only the words of a poor, wretched, miserable lump of sin and that they have no power at all, but it remains my sincere and enduring prayer that my God, the Triune One True and Living God, the Infinite Creator and Judge of the universe would from His boundless oceans of mercy, pity, and love reach out with His everlasting arms and touch you with His grace, miraculously regenerating your spirit and translating you from spiritual death unto life, giving you eyes to see and ears to hear His glorious truth by His sovereign power alone.

    I rest my hope for you, now as always, in Him and Him alone, because true Biblical salvation is all of grace and all of Christ.

    In Christ,
    CD

  65. I think your comments were interesting and quite typical. It’s not uncommon to see a critic of Mormonism encounter a comment he obviously doesn’t understand and announce that the discussion is over “because now we have all the proof necessary that Mormonism is a delusion.” I don’t buy it.

    I find it more likely that you have been able to think about the ramifications of changing the text of scripture and realize that the ground is too dangerous to walk upon. You suggested that we look at some of the changes in the Book of Mormon and I thought it was a great idea. Perhaps you expected me to give up and agree with you that a change or even thousands of changes to the text were fatal to my world view. When I replied instead that I thought they were irrelevant, I got two responses from you: 1) silence 2) 12 days later a conclusion that I’m too dishonest to engage further.

    I do find it surprising that you didn’t come back at me and give reasons why changes to the text were proof of fraud, but rather than do so, you end the discussion indicating that your case has been proved (“completely demonstrated”).

    Mormonism rejects the idea of inerrant text that has been produced by mortal man. You obviously disagree; but when you project that mistaken perception on to Mormonism, don’t be surprised when we reject it as nonsense. You haven’t demonstrated that Mormonism is fraudulent; all you’ve done is demonstrated that Mormons don’t share your perception of scripture. Good grief, the title page of the Book of Mormon grants the possibility of mistakes in its text. If there are mistakes, what is the problem with correcting them when they’re discovered?

    You make additional unwarranted assumptions by claiming I’m comfortable with or aware of “falsehoods, lies, deceptions, and constantly changing doctrines.” You haven’t demonstrated any and your assertion is false.

    You ended your message with three rather typical canards. Implied by you is the idea that Mormons aren’t able to think on their own. However, each passage deserves comment. The first from Gospel Principles is instruction given to Church teachers. They’re cautioned against “speculating” on Church doctrine. Since there are several meanings for the word speculate, I really doubt it was used in the sense of “meditating” or “pondering upon” since Mormons are regularly encouraged to do that. My dictionary further defines speculate as “to take to be true on the basis of insufficient evidence” or “to review something idly or casually and often inconclusively.” Church teachers should not instruct from a speculative perspective—especially idly or casually.

    Your last quote comes from the Journal of Discourses where Heber C. Kimball is reported to have said, “And when you are taking a position, if you do not know that you are right, do not take it—I mean independently. But if you are told by your leader to do a thing, do it. None of your business whether it is right or wrong, You will get water, if you dig away.”

    He continues by noting that some people in the church were reluctant to follow instructions unless they first received a personal revelation regarding that instruction. I would say that this counsel was not intended to encourage someone to do something he knew to be wrong—the sentence before it makes that clear: “if you do not know that you are right, do not take it.” It was intended for someone who thought he needed a vision before he would act on counsel from his pastor or other Church leaders.

    You also posted the ever famous Ward Teacher’s message from 1945. A local non-LDS minister took offense at the passage you quote and wrote to George Albert Smith, the LDS President at the time, and asked if that really represented LDS thought. Smith replied that the article was a source of embarrassment to Church leaders and he opposed it. He expressed dismay that it had escaped the notice of editors, writing: “I am pleased to assure you that you are right in your attitude that the passage quoted does not express the true position of the Church. Even to imply that members of the Church are not to do their own thinking is grossly to misrepresent the true ideal of the Church, …”

    Yet, with such an emphatic statement having been published for many years, it’s presented by individuals such as you as though it accurately portrayed our position.

    In conclusion, I also find it interesting that when I realized I had made a mistake and apologized, you replied, “And I accept your apologies with no ill feelings.” However, each time you wrote back you mentioned it and indicated that there were indeed, hard feelings. It’s too bad.

  66. Hi Alma,

    I think The Pilgrim has said his piece. May I ask you a question?

    If I had lived my entire life as an utterly debauched, debased and depraved man who in my every waking moment thought of nothing and acted upon nothing but my most base, carnal and selfish desires, being as absolutely wicked and utterly evil as I possibly knew to be, cursing God and worshipping myself – and in the course of events I happened to be fatally struck by a speeding vehicle directly in front of you, with no one else around, and as the driver sped away with my final blood choked breaths with only minutes left to live, if I asked you what I needed to do before I died in order to go to heaven and enter into God’s presence eternally forgiven, what would you tell me?

    In Christ,
    CD

  67. Coram Deo:

    I would tell you: “Listen to the Mormon missionaries when they preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to you in the spirit world.”

  68. Thanks Alma,

    Could you explain how your how your response can be reconciled with Hebrews 9:27? And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

    Thanks again,
    CD

  69. Wow, Alma. You waited until I decided to not further this discussion with you to turn it up a notch—even going so far as to imply that the reason I gave for ceasing the futile discussion was a lie. I assure you that the reason I chose to stop debating with you was the very reason I provided.

    As to your thinly-veiled jab about my extended length of time for a response, I’m not quite sure what you were trying to imply there, but please know that I wanted to take a little time to consider and pray about the issue before responding. I also did not want to distract from the discussion between Coram Deo and Adrianne. In addition to that it has also been a busy time at work, a hectic time at home, and we just suffered the loss of a family member due to death. So please refrain from suggesting some ulterior motive behind the delay and the departure and just accept the reasons I gave; I have no reason to lie to you.

    As to forgiving you and not having ill will toward you, it’s true. I have forgiven you and I do not have any ill will toward you—none whatsoever. This does not mean, however, that the blazingly obvious double standard you applied should now be forgotten and ignored. It still stands as a testament to an LDS apologist’s application of a double standard, his lack of consistency in his argument, and his willingness to bend whatever logic and reason necessary to defend his organization.

    As to the departure itself, I thought I explained myself rather succinctly in the previous post.

    The point when I realized this discussion was in vain was when you conceded that you have no problem with the thousands of corrections made to the “most correct” book on earth that also supposedly contains the “fullness of the gospel.” It was at that point that I decided that I was simply wasting time, spinning wheels, rowing in circles, and casting pearls.

    You see, Alma, this blog has numerous posts that deal with Mormonism (like here and here). And this blog will continue to deal with the errors, lies, deceptions, cover-ups, false teachings, and heretical doctrines that come forth from that organization. I personally don’t expect that most Mormons such as yourself will ever throw off the shackles of LDS by anything we say here on DefCon directly (since delusion is undoubtedly a strong narcotic), but there are two other groups that these posts do help.

    One group is composed of those simply curious about what LDS really believes and what LDS won’t tell them. The other group is comprised of the many Mormons out there who are struggling with their faith, who are tired of the weak excuses for the obvious and insurmountable problems LDS has, and who have looked at the problems of LDS from an objective standpoint. They have applied reasonable standards of logic and found LDS has too many holes in the dam to be plugged with simple “put it on a shelf” bubble gum. They are seeking the truth but are too afraid to mention their doubts to others in LDS for obvious reasons. So at blogs like this they can see both sides of the debate.

    I don’t expect to pull you from the deception, (although if it happened I would greatly rejoice with you), but I do expect that the information shared here (coupled with the cornucopia of excuses LDS apologists attempt to provide in the comments) speaks for itself. Most people can see through the smoke and mirrors and if we can help people check out the true LDS organization for themselves I am certain that the majority will come away seeing LDS for what it really is. I view the work we do here as less a cure for those trapped in LDS and more an inoculation for those who have not been seduced yet by its polished and revised image, its Christian facade, and its endearing historic nostalgia.

    I strongly believe that the two greatest sources of damage to the LDS organization come from the early LDS history and writings of its leaders, and the other comes from those who feverishly contort facts to attempt to defend it. It seems that everyone who examines the evidence can see it . . . everyone that is except for those who have been conditioned and indoctrinated to believe that the emperor is actually wearing clothes.

    So again, the discussion on this thread has been more than revealing for those who want the truth (minus the spin), and I see no benefit in continuing the debate with someone who—while standing ankle deep in the ocean—can still deny the ocean’s existence.

    Sincerely,
    - The Pilgrim

  70. Dear Coram Deo:

    As you’re laying there bleeding to death asking Alma what you needed to do to find favor with God, he tells you to:

    “Listen to the Mormon missionaries when they preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to you in the spirit world.”

    Is it me or did Alma completely avoid and dodge your simple question?

    It’s not an isolated incident, Coram, I asked this exact question of a Mormon named Keith back in July (see the interesting exchange here) and not only did he too refuse to answer this question, but he went so far as to erect smoke and mirrors accusing me of asking a “trick question,” claiming I wouldn’t be able to understand his answer anyway, and suggesting the more important issue is whether or not living prophets exist.

    He also gave me some mind-numbing false “comfort” (think “peace and safety”) by suggesting that I don’t need to worry about my sins because in spite of Hebrews 9:27, Mormonism will provide me another chance after I die (like what Alma said). Can you hear the hiss of the serpent?

    I think that Keith and Alma’s response (or lack thereof) speaks volumes as to the hopelessness offered by LDS, and reveals more about the LDS organization than you and I could ever hope to expose.

    - The Pilgrim

  71. Exactly Pilgrim! It also hasn’t escaped my notice that the simple follow up question I asked in response to Alma’s demonstrably unbiblical reply still remains unanswered to date:

    Thanks Alma,

    Could you explain how your how your response can be reconciled with Hebrews 9:27? And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

    Thanks again,
    CD

    Sadly I’ve long since gotten used to these “drive-by” types that want to swoop in, take up absurdly unbiblical positions, and then vanish once their arguments are challenged in the light of infallible scripture.

    Same old, same old…there really is nothing new under the sun. I just pray that some dear readers are receiving Biblical truth from these otherwise seemingly fruitless exchanges.

    May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!

    In Him,
    CD

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