Fair above all virgins

In the recently released movie titled, The Nativity Story, viewers are given a glimpse at what life was probably like for Mary and Joseph after it was learned that the espoused Mary is pregnant. Though I’ve heard pastors and theologians discuss the social ramifications of such a predicament, I can’t recall any film that does so. Since the Christmas story is recounted in only a minimal amount of New Testament paragraphs, some artistic license naturally comes into play; but the film does utilize quite a bit of scripture and there is no doubt that the Christ-child is “God made into flesh.”Peggy Fletcher Stack offers some interesting insight on the LDS view of the mother of Jesus in her recent piece in the Salt Lake Tribune titled “Something about Mary.” She notes that,

“Mormons will drag Mary out of the shadows of their faith again this season and plop her into the annual Nativity scene,”

but for most of the year, she says,

“Mary is largely tucked away — respected for her submissiveness, admired for her faithfulness, but largely invisible.”

Stack goes on to explain,

They do, however, believe she was a virgin when she conceived Jesus in her womb. The Book of Mormon, which Latter-day Saints believe was written some 600 years before Jesus’ birth, predicts the Messiah will be born in Jerusalem of a “precious and chosen vessel.” She would be “the most beautiful and fair above all other virgins,” the LDS scripture says.

Most Mormons choose to stop there. However, Stack goes on to say,

But Mormons also believe that God has a body and that Jesus was his literal son. Early LDS leaders including Brigham Young speculated that Jesus was created in much the same way as every other child — in the marriage bed. But only one partner was human.

There is no denying that several LDS leaders taught that God the Father physically impregnated Mary. In an official LDS Church manual, sixth Mormon President Joseph F. Smith taught:

Now, we are told that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God in the flesh. Well, now for the benefit of the older ones, how are children begotten? I answer just as Jesus Christ was begotten of his father. The difference between Jesus Christ and other men is this: Our fathers in the flesh are mortal men, who are subject unto death: but the Father of Jesus Christ in the flesh is the God of Heaven. (Family Home Evening Manual, 1972, 125)


The same manual carried the above illustration showing the figure of a man, woman, and child. On page 126 LDS parents are told they should use this to explain to their children “how Jesus was the only begotten Son of God.” Daddy plus Mommy equals you; Heavenly Father plus Mary equals Jesus.

The above comments raise an interesting question, “How can a Mormon reconcile the notion that Mary “was a virgin when she conceived in her womb,” and also believe LDS leaders who taught that Jesus “was created in much the same way as every other child — in the marriage bed.” Certainly these statements are mutually exclusive.

Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie obviously felt he had the solution when he wrote:

For our present purposes, suffice it to say that our Lord was born of a virgin, which is fitting and proper, and also natural, since the Father of the Child was an immortal Being. (The Promised Messiah, 466)

Traditionally, the definition of a virgin is a person who has never had sexual intercourse, and this is the definition historically held by Christians when it comes to Mary’s conception. However, in order to defend the teachings of LDS leaders, McConkie is compelled to redefine this term. I find such an explanation to be very disturbing. I can only hope that Mormons are equally disturbed.

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30 Responses to Fair above all virgins

  1. inhimdependent_lds says:

    No, Mormons are not disturbed by this- we have nothing to be disturbed about. The only thing amiss here is some of our critics distortion and missunderstanding of our views on the matter- perpetuated by those who enjoy the “witch-hunt” and look at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for no purpose other than to determine where to land the best blow.

    Jesus was born of a virgin, period. Virgin means no sexual intercourse. period. The word virgin has not been redefined here- that claim is an extrapolation of our critics. At the same time Jesus was conceived and born in the very same “natural” way that we are.

    Here is what this means. If Jesus was really a human being, a man in the flesh, he had 46 chromosomes in his DNA, a double helix of 23 chromosomes each- just like everybody else does. 23 of those chromosomes came from his mortal mother Mary.

    The question that needs to be asked is where did the other strand of 23 chromosomes come from?

    Obviously, the other 23 chromosomes came from God the Father.

    Exactly HOW this happened we do not know- but we do know that it was a divine miracle faciliated by the Holy Ghost in a way that does not violate Marys virginity. It is in this way that Jesus was naturally conceived just like the rest of us as opposed to some “hocus-pocus” notion born out of the manmade philosophical constructs created by the post-biblical councils and creeds. Jesus conception was in this way just like ours except for one set of His chromosomes was from God the Father and both sets of our chromosomes are from mortal beings.

    This is a good example of critics seeking to reduce our thinking to bullet points- wielded more for their shock value than anything of real substance. There is a big difference between playing “connect the dots” beween various quotes of LDS leaders and pocessing the sort of spiritual maturity necessary for genuine understanding.

    Critics who are disturbed by this issue wrestle more with themselves and their own distortions than they do with anything LDS.

    Though our critics may sometimes get carried away in the swirl of their own whirlwind it is really just the old “tempest in a teacup” routine. Round and round and round it goes while the real and genuine LDS perspective continues steadily onward completely outside of the tiny teacup.

  2. Anonymous says:

    inhimdependent_lds wrote: “Exactly HOW this happened we do not know”

    Perhaps he/she can help me with this. McConkie said, “There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events, for he is the Son of God, and that designation means what it says” (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pg.742).

    How do you define the words normal and natural?

    When McConkie writes: “There is no need to spiritualize away the plain meaning of the scriptures. There is nothing figurative or hidden or beyond comprehension in our Lord’s coming into mortality. He is the Son of God in the same sense and way that we are the sons of mortal fathers. It is just that simple” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, pg.468).

    Are you not doing just that? Do you really believe you are a son of God in the same sense and way that Jesus is? If so, please explain to me what “the ONLY begotten means” in the context of LDS thinking.I know how I got here, and it wasn’t the result of a virgin birth.

  3. Aaron Shafovaloff says:

    inhimdependent_lds,

    You said, “Jesus was born of a virgin, period. Virgin means no sexual intercourse. period.”

    I would agree that “virgin” means “no sexual intercourse”. But you are taking a more definitive position than many LDS take today. FAIR, for instance, won’t go so far as to preclude some sort of sexual intercourse. Their position?

    “[T]he LDS Church simply has no official position concerning the mechanics of how the Son was begotten of the Father and conceived in Mary’s womb.” (>>)

    If the church offered some sort of position that “virgin” means “no sexual intercourse”, FAIR of all groups some gladly run to it and use it. But they don’t, because they have none.

  4. inhimdependent_lds says:

    Question: If Jesus was really a man he had 46 chromosomes- a double helix of 23 chromosomes each. 23 of those chromosomes came from his mortal mother Mary.

    Where did the other 23 chromosomes come from?

  5. Anonymous says:

    inhimdependent_lds asks, “Where did the other 23 chromosomes come from?”

    My answer: “Exactly HOW this happened we do not know- but we do know that it was a divine miracle facilitated by the Holy Ghost in a way that does not violate Mary’s virginity.” Sound familiar?

    Keep in mind that it is your leaders who explained “what happened” far beyond what you (or the Bible) originally said.

    Now, please be so kind as to respond to my question. How do you define McConkie’s use of the words “normal” and “natural” when it comes to Jesus’ conception?

    While we are on this subject, perhaps you can also explain what Heber C. Kimball meant when he said, “…I will say that I was naturally begotten; so was my father, also my Saviour Jesus Christ. According to the Scriptures, he is the first begotten of his father in the flesh, and there was nothing unnatural about it” (Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses 8:211).

  6. jer1414 says:

    inhimdependent-lds said
    “We do know that it was a divine miracle facilitated by the Holy Ghost in a way that does not violate Marys virginity.” Several other Mormons have said Jesus was begotten by the Holy Ghost. But I was confused when I read former Prophet Ezra Taft Benson say in his book “Come Unto Christ” (published by Deseret Book, which is owned by the LDS Church) on page 4, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was sired by that same Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father. Jesus was not the son of Joseph, nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost. He is the Son of the Eternal Father!”. Here it states that Jesus was “not” begotten by the Holy Ghost.

    Brigham Young stated “he is the only begotten of the Father, which could not be if the Father did not actually beget him in person. (Journal of Discourses, 1:237-238, July 24, 1853) He goes further to state in 11:268 on 8/19/1866 that “Mary the wife of Joseph had another husband… The very babe that was cradled in the manger, was begotten, not by Joseph, the husband of Mary, but by another Being. Do you inquire by whom? He was begotten by God our heavenly Father.”

    There is so much clear and plain authoritative teaching regarding this, that it is hard to ignore.

    Look, please understand that we shine the light on these issues because of a concern for people holding a belief system that is not based on truth – in just the same way Mormon Missionaries go door to door in attempts to proselytize Gentiles / apostates because they believe their religion is “right” and the “only true” one – which inherently means others are wrong. Just as we don’t call them “anti-Christian” for doing so, we are not “anti” either when we believe what we do to be true and want to share that with others.

    Please stop and think for a moment. If we truly were against Mormons / “[filtered profanity or slur]”, why would we share information in the hope that they would embrace the truth of Jesus Christ? Wouldn’t the more hateful thing be to simply smile and watch them walk down the path to destruction? Jesus didn’t just nod at the religious of His day and say “whatever works for you” – no, He openly rebuked them and pointed out the errors of their ways. Would you call Him “anti” Pharisee? Anti-anything? All of us who believe in Jesus were at one time on the broad path that leads to destruction. And by God’s grace and through His love, we have been shown the errors of our ways and rescued from that path, and have experienced regeneration and renewal through faith in Jesus Christ. Our only desire is to share that with you.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Let me jump in. First, it is plain to see what you all are trying to say about the LDS Religion. Let me clarify the entire matter by saying this:

    Normal and natural are referring to the pregnancy of the child, not the act of conception. The method by which he was concieved, in that an egg inside of Mary was fertilized and then produced Jesus was “normal and natural.” God did not come down and have sex with Mary. If he did, we will all know when we die. But as for the teachings of the LDS Church, Jesus was concieved by the power of the Holy Ghost… which is what inhimindependent_lds was saying. Thus he used the words it was a divine miracle faciliated by the Holy Ghost, not BY the Holy Ghost. There is a distinct difference. So then, Mary gave birth in a normal and natrual way to Jesus. There is no reading between the lines. There is no hidden agenda. There is no “POOF – here’s Jesus” theory of how he came into the world.

    Jer1414 said There is so much clear and plain authoritative teaching regarding this, that it is hard to ignore. You are correct. Stop reading between the lines and using your own interpretations and you will understand it as I have explained it above.

    Bill, you said Do you really believe you are a son of God in the same sense and way that Jesus is? If so, please explain to me what “the ONLY begotten means” in the context of LDS thinking.I know how I got here, and it wasn’t the result of a virgin birth.

    The answer is no. Jesus was the ONLY begotten of the Father. However, even though we were begotten of our earthly parents, we are still children of God, all of us.

    Romans 8
    16
    The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
    17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    Finally, Jer1414 says: All of us who believe in Jesus were at one time on the broad path that leads to destruction. And by God’s grace and through His love, we have been shown the errors of our ways and rescued from that path, and have experienced regeneration and renewal through faith in Jesus Christ. Our only desire is to share that with you.

    The problem is, that we, each of us, believe the other is on that same path still. We understand your desire. But there is one difference. Jesus was never spiteful in his desire to share, as is demonstrated on these blogs. Not to mention, he never got caught up in the insignificant issues that were not specific to the salvation of man. I am not saying these topics are not important, but how will knowing whether or not God actually had sex with Mary or not pertain to my salvation? If you are truly concerned about me and my salvation, you should be preaching what Jesus commanded to be preached and not nit picking about supposed inconsitancies you weild for their shock value than anything of real substance. There is a big difference between playing “connect the dots” beween various quotes of LDS leaders and pocessing the sort of spiritual maturity necessary for genuine understanding.

    Matt 28
    18
    And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ALl power is given unto me in heaven and earth.
    19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:

    So, if Our only desire is to share that with you is truly what you mean, then teach as Jesus Christ said to teach, and not seek things to stir up contention. Someone then might take your desire serious instead of seeing you as smug in your empty confessions of the heart. For you “honoureth [Jesus] with your lips, but [your] heart if far from [Him].” You know in your heart you are just trying to bash. You do not have the true intention of wanting to share anything but contention.

  8. inhimdependent_lds says:

    Bill,

    Bill Mckeever’s comments: ———— My answer: “Exactly HOW this happened we do not know- but we do know that it was a divine miracle facilitated by the Holy Ghost in a way that does not violate Mary’s virginity.” Sound familiar? ————

    Yes Bill, that does sound familiar. But it sounds like a familiar response to a question that I have not asked. It might be helpful to consider a bit more carefully the difference between “WHERE” and “HOW”

    Asking “WHERE” the other 23 chromosomes came from is not the same as asking “HOW” they got there. Can you see the difference? “HOW” they got there has to do with the “mechanics” of the conception. “WHERE” they came from has to do with determining who the father of Jesus is. Big difference!

    It is the “HOW” part that is the “mystery” and the “divine miracle” that was facilitated by the Holy Ghost and that we just don’t know much about. It is a miracle!

    But the fact that the other 23 chromosomes were actually there is not a mystery because Jesus was human. The issue of “WHERE” they came from is a separate issue from “how” and is not a mystery- at least not to LDS Christians it isn’t. The issue of “where” the other 23 chromosomes came from gets down to the very root of the little diagram or illustration chart that you presented in your original post. Who was the Father of Jesus?

    So again I ask you: If Jesus was really a man he had 46 chromosomes- a double helix of 23 chromosomes each. 23 of those chromosomes came from his mortal mother Mary. Where did the other 23 chromosomes come from?

    Did they come from Joseph? Did they come from someone else? Or did they come from God the Father?

  9. jer1414 says:

    I’m still confused.. when Orson Pratt said, “the Father and Mother of Jesus, according to the flesh, must have been associated together in the capacity of Husband and Wife; … God was the first husband to her, it may be that He only gave her to be the wife of Joseph while in this mortal state, and that He intended after the resurrection to again take her as one of his own wives to raise up immortal spirits in eternity” (The Seer, Orson Pratt, p. 158), he meant they just traded chromosomes?

    Bill asked what “only begotten” means and Chuck said we are all (spirit) children of God, though begotten by earthly parents. Although Chuck further quoted scripture, I still don’t understand what “only begotten” is taught to mean today.. But this leads me to ask, and these are honest questions as I’d like to understand this from the Mormon point of view, so please don’t read anything into it…
    But if we are all God’s children (embryonic gods), why did Jesus have to die?

    I liked Chucks quote from Matt. 15:8-9 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'” Do you think the people thought He was being contentious when He said this?

    Chuck has accused this blog of being spiteful – What exactly leads you to determine the motivation of others? He also said “There is a big difference between playing “connect the dots” between various quotes of LDS leaders and possessing the sort of spiritual maturity necessary for genuine understanding”. Are you saying only you (and those of your religion) possess the kind of “spiritual maturity necessary for genuine understanding”?

    Wow, Chuck you have claimed to know not only my motivation, but my intentions and what is in my heart – “smug” ? “empty confessions” ?
    “you know in your heart you are just trying to bash” ?
    “you do not have the true intention of wanting to share anything but contention” ?

    Can you help me understand how you are able to possess such knowledge that only God possesses, and with specific examples, what has lead you to these conclusions?

  10. inhimdependent_lds says:

    jer1414’scomments: ——— But if we are all God’s children (embryonic gods), why did Jesus have to die? ———

    Because of the “Fall” we inherited a sin nature. With the Fall sin entered into the world and “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. This sin creates a vast gap between God and man that man cannot overcome on his own. A sacrifice had to be made to reconcile our fallen selves to God. If Jesus had not atoned for our sins we would not be able to be resurrected and would remain forever in our sins separated from God. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ we are able to be “at one” with God again.

    This is a concept i am sure you have heard of before.

  11. jer1414 says:

    Thank you inhimdependent for your comments. Yes I am familiar with the concepts you speak of, but my question is, from an lds perspective, why do embryonic gods sin? I may be wrong, but I didn’t think lds taught that we “inherited” sin. If Jesus could be sinless even though tempted (and thus had no need of a sacrifice / savior), why can’t we overcome on our own too? Thanks for helping me understand this point…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Jer1414 said I still don’t understand what “only begotten” is taught to mean today

    This means that only Jesus Christ was “sired” by God the Father. He was begotten of the Father, the only being on earth that was begotten by the Father. We are all still his children, but we are begotten of our parents, not by God the Father. We obtained our bodies from our parents here on earth, Jesus obtained his body from Mary and God the Father.

    You asked If Jesus could be sinless even though tempted (and thus had no need of a sacrifice / savior), why can’t we overcome on our own too?

    Because we are not Gods. We can only become such as we have the right to be heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;.(Romans 8:17) Jesus Christ was perfect, he is God. We are all susceptible to sin. Thus the need for a saviour. But we are given powers of God. Take creation for example. We all have been blessed with the ability to create life. That power is granted to us by God. A power that we share with him.

    You also said what has lead you to these conclusions? speaking of the conclusions I have drawn about the comments on this blog.

    It is by the nature of the questioning prior to my comments. It is contensious in content and nature. The attempt to twist our doctrine and beliefs into something it’s not. And even after we clarify the points of Doctrine, it continues. That is what makes me draw my conclusions. You attempt to force on us your definition of what our belief is, even though it is not, and then attempt to tell us it’s because your only desire is to share.

    Let me share the definition of smug: Exhibiting or feeling great or offensive satisfaction with oneself or with one’s situation; self-righteously complacent

    This is descriptive of the comments made in this blog. If your desire is to share, then share your beliefs. (Or did you not read the end of my post?) The only thing I see coming from the opposition to the beliefs of the LDS Church, is opposition and content. Not one post from those contending the mormon beliefs share their own beliefs. They simply attack and continue the line of questioning of the LDS Beliefs. You call this a desire to share? You call this concern for people holding a belief system that is not based on truth? Well… I call it smug. You provide no alternative beliefs, no truth, nothing but attacks. Therfore, my claim stands, empty confessions of the heart, smug, drawing close to God with your lips, but in your heart far from him. If you cared, you would focus on the truths that you have to share, not everything you find wrong with someone. Afterall, is that how you try to make friends, by saying stuff like, “You know, those clothes really do not look very good on you. I am just sharing because I care about you. You should consider changing.”

    If you did not see it this way, then consider this my desire to share with you the same truth.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Chuck says,

    “This means that only Jesus Christ was ‘sired’ by God the Father. He was begotten of the Father, the only being on earth that was begotten by the Father. We are all still his children, but we are begotten of our parents, not by God the Father. We obtained our bodies from our parents here on earth, Jesus obtained his body from Mary and God the Father.”

    Ezra Taft Benson liked to use the term “sire.” He also taught:

    “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense.”

    inhimdependent_lds do you believe this? Do you believe that when Benson uses the phrase “most literal sense” that this implies a virgin birth?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Chuck said Take creation for example. We all have been blessed with the ability to create life. That power is granted to us by God. A power that we share with him.

    God created our bodies to procreate, we of our selves simply cannot speak things into creation like God. Also we dont have power to create through sex either, some people cannot have kids no matter how hard they try.

    lastry it takes two, a man and a women, one with out the other and no kids. rick b

  15. inhimdependent_lds says:

    Jer1414,

    Jer1414’s comments: ——————– “…. but my question is, from an lds perspective, why do embryonic gods sin?” ——————–

    The reason we sin is because the state of mortality in which we currently exist comes complete with what we call the “natural man” which is an enemy to God- as well as the work of the adversary who diligently seeks to rob Gods children of their divine birthright.

    Jer1414’s comments: ——————– “…. I may be wrong, but I didn’t think lds taught that we “inherited” sin. —————-

    You will notice, if you re-read my comments, that I did not say that we inherit “sin”. What I said was that we inherited a “sin nature”. There is a difference. We do not subscribe to the doctrine of “original sin”. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression. But the scriptures teach us that ALL have sinned- all but Jesus Christ of course.

    Jer1414’s comments: ——————– If Jesus could be sinless even though tempted (and thus had no need of a sacrifice / savior), why can’t we overcome on our own too? —————-

    The reason why Jesus could do this and we cant is because Jesus is the first born of the Father and the only begotten Son of God in the Flesh. Because Jesus is the only begotten Son of God in the flesh Jesus carried within him a divine parentage that we, having been born of mortal parents, do not possess. Jesus was able to do things that you and I cannot do- such as lay down his life and take it up again. Jesus is God- we are not. It is only in and through Jesus Christ and his atonement that any of us will ever be “joint heirs” with Christ.

    Jesus lived a sinless life. We on the other hand are absolutely helpless and completely dependent upon the work of Jesus Christ and his atonement in order to be reconciled with God.

    These are again very simple and basic elements that i am sure you are already aware of.


    Jer1414, for what its worth i am not intending to stick around here for very long. I intend to reply to Bill’s comments some and see where that leads but beyond that i dont know that i have much interest in going on and on about things here. So please understand if i am not very responsive to future inquiries.

    In Christ,

    -Tad

  16. Anonymous says:

    Chuck Said The only thing I see coming from the opposition to the beliefs of the LDS Church, is opposition and content. Not one post from those contending the mormon beliefs share their own beliefs. They simply attack and continue the line of questioning of the LDS Beliefs. You call this a desire to share? You call this concern for people holding a belief system that is not based on truth?

    Chuck, You said something very close to this on my blog. I answered you. I think it is sad you say this again here, So I guess I will reply but with a little more depth.

    First off, Like I said on my blog, I have a topic called (What I rick b believe). That clearly lays out what I believe as a follower of Christ.

    Then We/I do answer questions that LDS ask. We/I also state the Differences between our beliefes, the fact we give the differencs is an answer to what We/I believe.

    When I say (WE), I am not speaking for anyone but myself, I simply say (WE) because I notice they do reply as I am saying.

    Then as to your question of I only Attack your beliefe, I must say that the Bible tells me a list off things.
    One is to Search the Scriptures Acts 17:11.

    And
    Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

    and
    2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

    Tts 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

    Tts 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

    These are things the Bible tells us to do. I am doing this, if you feel I am wrong and these verse Do not apply to you, then who do they apply to?

    These various blogs and websites are not set up to tell people what we believe only and nothing else, they are set up to expose mormonism for the false religion it is.

    Even paul said in Gal 1:8-9 if any man preaches another Gospel, let him be accursed. Mormonism is another Gospel and we share with people the differences that LDS either wont share or simply dont share. The Bible is very clear the torment in the lake of fire and the doom of the false prophets/teachers and liars that awaits, We/I dont want people to go to the lake of fire and be tormented forever, that is why we share the Gospel.

    Then as I said before, LDS teach me or tell me and others what I believe is wrong, but if I tell LDS your wrong, you get mad. LDS tell me what I believe is wrong simply by saying you have the True Church and my Church and Bible is corrput, so simply bby default I am wrong and you are right, How is this different that me telling you, you are wrong?

    Let me Give an example of what I believe is LDS deception.

    If I were to say, I believe Jesus Christ is the only Son Of God, who Died on the Cross for our Sins, The LDS would say, I agree with that, theirfore we have the Same Gospel.

    Yet you know as well as I do, You believe Jesus is one of many Gods, LDS deny the trinity. LDS believe the Atonment took place in the Garden when Jesus sweated great drops of blood. LDS believe Jesus and lucifer are brothers.

    Yet while LDS believe this, they never openly admit these things. And It is my Job to tell people what the LDS seem to not openly admit.

    You can say what you want, But I cannot recall ever talking with a mormon missionary who openly admited unless pressed for info, that they Use the JST of the Bible, Or they never knock on my door and say, we dont fully trust the Bible to be translated correctly.

    Why is it you guys are not openly speaking of what you believe. It takes Websites and blogs to point out these things that LDS believe, then after we point this out you get mad.

    I am still waiting for a reply from Epage, who claims this site posts lies and untruths. Honestly I dont expect to ever see her again. Sadly Chuck, you will rebuke us for problems you believe we are comminting, Yet Since Epage claims to be an LDS member and Publiky stated this Blog posts lies and Half truths, Not one mormon has rebuked her. Why is it she onenly lies about us and no LDS member says boo to her, We post Quotes from your Offical LDS teachings and you jump on our cases.

    At the very least, even if we dont agree Eye To Eye, you and other LDS should be at least honest enough to rebuke your own. You can clearly read where She accused this blog of lies. If you believe the Bible as you say you do, then use the verses that speak about rebuking and correcting and correct your own. Rick B

  17. Anonymous says:

    Bill said Do you believe that when Benson uses the phrase “most literal sense” that this implies a virgin birth? Bill I am not sure what you are trying to say? Do you disagree that it was a Virgin birth and are you trying to get me to say that the LDS Church doesn’t believe it was a virgin birth? If that is what you are trying to do, give up. The “most literal sense” means that God the Father is LITERALLY the father of Jesus Christ. You can read anything you want into it, but it does not change the meaning for me.

    Rick said Also we dont have power to create. So what you are saying is you deny that the power we have been given to create life does not come from God? If so, then where do you believe it comes from?

    Rick also said These are things the Bible tells us to do. I am doing this, if you feel I am wrong and these verse Do not apply to you, then who do they apply to?

    I agree that the scriptures you quote apply to everyone. Everyone that does not believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But remember, he is referring to the preaching of the Gospel. Do you even understand what that means? You say that is why we share the Gospel. I have yet to see any preaching of the Gospel come from you, Rick. Let me correct that, I have yet to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ being preached by you. You do well at preaching “A” gospel, but it is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Finding fault with someone because of their beliefs is not preaching the Gospel. Telling someone they are a false religion and believe in a false god is not preaching the Gospel.

    Here is one of those 10 things more clearly defined by the Book of Mormon than the Bible. When Jesus visited the Nephites after his crusifixtion, this is what he said:

    3 Nephi 27
    13
    Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.
    14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—
    15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.
    16 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.
    17 And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father.
    18 And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words.
    19 And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.
    20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.
    21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;
    22 Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

    That is preaching the Gospel. Teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not bashing on another religion. Yet you say, in error, These are things the Bible tells us to do. I am doing this. You are not doing this. You are teaching the things YOU want to teach. Not what Christ has said we should teach.

    This is why you won’t find missionaries knocking on your door to teach you about mistranslations in the bible, of lucifer being the brother of Jesus Christ, or whether or not Mary had a virgin birth and what Pres. Benson means by “most literal sence”, or symbolism, etc. They start with the basic principles of the Gospel: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost. They talk about the authority of God to perform these ordinances. They talk about keeping the commandments and keeping yourself as free from sin as possible, and relying upon the atonement and the resurrection to do the rest.

    So when you say I cannot recall ever talking with a mormon missionary who openly admited unless pressed for info, that they Use the JST of the Bible, Or they never knock on my door and say, we dont fully trust the Bible to be translated correctly, you are right. Because they are doing what Jesus Christ commands all of us to do. To preach HIS Gospel, not something we feel we need to preach, or to prove to another religion.

    So when you say after we point this out you get mad. You are focusing on the right emotion but the wrong reason. I could care less that you point out what we believe, or whether or not you think it is in error, but don’t call that “Preaching the Gospel.” That is clearly not what it is. That is what ‘s so frustrating. That is why it sounds so smug as I have stated before. You are NOT preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You are calling into question a religion you do not believe in and claiming that Jesus Christ has told you to do so. That is why you draw close with your lips (because you speak of God and the scriptures), but in your heart you are far from him (because you interpret them for your benefit and to use how YOU see fit not going what Jesus commandeed to actually do.)

  18. Anonymous says:

    Chuck, The verses you quote from Nephi DO NOT ANSWER MY QUESTION. I knew they would not and I know no LDS can really give a true honest answer. Read what I wrote, I clearly stated that any verses you provide cannot be something found in the Bible already.

    Bruce made it very clear, He said that the Teaching in the BoM will CLARIFY the Doctrines found in the Bible. Your verses do not clarify anything, here is a list of verse from the bible that say the same thing your verses said, the Verses I provide are not word for word and they are found in various books of the Bible.

    Again give me something that clarifys doctrins, Example, if the Bible teaches on Baptism, which it does, Give me chapter and verse from the BoM, that gives a greater clarity to the issue of baptism. So when I read the verse from the BoM, I can go WOW That really makes me understand my need for baptism better than what the Bible teaches, and if it copies the Bible and simply mirrors the bible verse that does not clarify only copies it.

    Here are my verses.
    Jhn 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

    Jhn 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.

    Jhn 12:33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.

    Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

    Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

    Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

    Then on my blog, I do preach the Gospel, you simply either ignore what I write or your blind to it. I have told you on my blog and this blog, LDS ask me questions about my believe in the Gospel, and you have asked some your self about what I believe.

    I also told you I did a topic about what I believe. I notice you ignore the my thought about LDS rebuking lying LDS members. And you also Claim things like Jesus and lucifer are minor issues that will simply side track people. No these are major Doctrinal issues of great importance. Does the Bible teach Jesus and Lucifer are Brothers. No but I know you believe they do. I showed you verses from the Bible on my blog that YOU asked for about the Orgin of lucifer.

    It states lucifer was a created angel, I showed in depth verses on my blog about the trinity, So If Jesus is God and the trinity is real then Jesus was not a created being, theirfore Lucifer who was a created being cannot be the Brother of Jesus. So yes these have been covered and are very important. Rick b

  19. Anonymous says:

    Chuck, I almost forgot, You said about the teaching of your various believfes like the JST or Lucifer brother issue not being openly spoken of Because they are doing what Jesus Christ commands all of us to do. To preach HIS Gospel, not something we feel we need to preach, or to prove to another religion.

    Dont forget Chuck, your Church does feel these issues are matters of Doctrine. Examples, Bruce Mc wrote the Book Mormon Doctrine, which covers these things in depth, Please dont simply dismiss him as Nothing, He was a teacher top some degree held in very high esteem. Something I dont see is you writing books and having them Published.

    Gospel through the Ages, my milton hunter covers that issue, What about JS and his boot Teaching of the Prophet, I could give other examples of Books that cover these various topics, So your chuch does value these teachings more than you seem to admit.

    Then you said Rick said Also we dont have power to create. So what you are saying is you deny that the power we have been given to create life does not come from God? If so, then where do you believe it comes from?

    I believe you ignore what I write or simply dont agree but wont admit that.

    I stated God has power from himself to create out of nothing, God can simply speak things into existence, We cannot. When we have children, we do not simply create kids out of nothing, all the DNA mateial is in us, it is not us creating out of nothing, then as I said, it takes two people a man and a women, two men cannot or two women cannot.

    God did not use anyone or need any one, very big difference. we do no CREATE, WE PROCREATE. yes God gave us this abitly, but we were given and encoded with thia abitly, God simply has the power in him. Rick b

  20. Anonymous says:

    Let me first address your (Ricks) most recent posting. You said we do no CREATE, WE PROCREATE. Maybe it is how you define procreate. Maybe you only see it as producing offspring. That is ok. My definition includes that, but also it means to create. Thus pro – create. It is a power given to us by God. Don’t confuse procreation with conception, which is the ACT of procreation.

    Do you even realize that you are arguing for the sake of arguing? Or do you really subscribe to diminishing the powers and gifts of God?

    Rick, you are running in circles. You said I clearly stated that any verses you provide cannot be something found in the Bible already. To which, if you read the original post, I stated is a testimony that the Book of Mormon is in fact true. That it does not teach anything contrary to the bible. Then you said that was not the original intent of what you meant. You then proceeded to say bring forth just 10 topics of your choice, compare them to the Bible and show me how they are a more accurate display of the Gospel. So which is it? If it’s the first, then conversation is over. You are right and it stands as a testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon. If it is the second, continue reading.

    In speaking about diffrent points of Doctrine, Rick, you said your Church does feel these issues are matters of Doctrine. Please pay close attention to my words. I did not say those things were not Doctrine, I said they are not part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Please do not confuse the two.

    The Gospel is considered Doctrine. However, not all Doctrine is considered the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is specific points of Doctrine that are regarded as of prime importance, specifically those points of doctrine that pertain to the salvation of man. For example, Satan once lived in heaven, as a child of God, our brother and the brother of Jesus Christ. He fell from heaven: Doctrine… NOT Gospel. Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world so that we can all return to our Father in Heaven: Doctrine… AND Gospel.

    If you would read the scriptures I quoted, Jesus clarifies His Gospel. The reason it is more clear is because it is 1) spoken by Jesus himself AND 2) all contained within the same set of consecutive verses, thus not requiring the gathering and compilation of scripture. Not to mention the personal interpretations that could be interjected. He was specific, to the point, and indicated that this IS His Gospel.

    Clarity has nothing to do with WOW! I didn’t know that before. Clarity has to do with giving meaning that is free from confusion and ambiguity. This is what you asked for, “a more accurate display of the Gospel” to use your own words. That is what the Book of Mormon provides. The verses you provide are similar in content, but they are not all spoken by the mouth of Jesus (as in the Book of Mormon), they are not all in consecutive verses, and no where does Jesus say, “This is my Gospel” as it does in the Book of Mormon. That is why the Book of Mormon DOES clarify the Gospel of Jesus Christ better than the Bible.

    To help you better understand the clarity, here are the 9 points of His Gospel as he declared them from the verses I quoted in my prior posting:

    1. Jesus’ submission to the will of the Father (3 Nephi 27:13)
    2. The Atonement (3 Nephi 27:14)
    3. Resurrection (3 Nephi 27:14–15)
    4. Judgment (3 Nephi 27:14–15)
    5. Repentance (3 Nephi 27:16, 19–20)
    6. Baptism (3 Nephi 27:16, 20)
    7. Faith in Jesus Christ (3 Nephi 27:19)
    8. The gift of the Holy Ghost (3 Nephi 27:20)
    9. Enduring to the end (3 Nephi 27:16–17, 19)

    This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what we are commanded to teach as missionaries. That is why they do not get into the geneaology of Satan and Christ, etc.

    I am sorry to inform you, but the verses you provide although point to similar doctrines, do not provide the same clarity. The closest the bible comes to having this information in consecutive verses is in Hebrews 6:1-3. But even then, not all of the points of His Gospel are provided there in.

  21. inhimdependent_lds says:

    Bill McKeever’s comments: —————– “Ezra Taft Benson liked to use the term “sire.” He also taught: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense.” inhimdependent_lds do you believe this? Do you believe that when Benson uses the phrase “most literal sense” that this implies a virgin birth?” —————–

    Bill,

    There are two things that come to mind when I read your question that I feel led to comment on.

    The first comment that I would like to make about your question is this. I have learned through sad experience to be somewhat leery and guarded when an [filtered profanity or slur] or critic of the LDS church asks me to tell them what an LDS leader meant in one specific comment when I have absolutely no idea where the comment came from, what the said leader may or may not have said directly before or after making the said comment, or to whom the said leader was speaking, or when the said leader was speaking, or in what context the said leader was speaking or without knowing a whole host of other factors that might shed insight into the genuine views of the said leader and the comment in question. I have been burned too many times by those too eager to make one “an offender for a word”.

    My second comment is this. Assuming, on good faith, that there is no hidden context or spin or additional information to this comment that is not already completely self-evident by the way you have presented it here these would be my honest comments on it as brother Bensen’s comment stands here by itself.

    Here is the comment and your question repeated again for convenience:


    Bensen’s comment: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense.”

    Bill McKeever’s question: “Do you believe that when Benson uses the phrase “most literal sense” that this implies a virgin birth?”

    In my most honest and personal opinion when I read this comment by Bensen as you have presented it here I do not see anything implied about the “mechanics” of Jesus birth one way or the other. I do not see the issue touched on in one way or the other at all in that sentence. It seems to me to be a non-issue as to “HOW” Jesus was conceived. The sentence is a proclamation that Jesus is the Son of God in the “most literal sense” but does not say anything about his conception. Can you see the difference? I will try to elaborate.

    In my opinion, what this comment is intending by using the language of “most literal sense” is to make a crystal clear distinction that when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Son of God we do not mean that Jesus was Gods Son in any sense that is not “most literal”. For example, when we say that Jesus is the Son of God we do NOT mean he is the Son of God “metaphorically”, or just “conceptually”, or that the language of “Son of God” is just creative language used to describe an “abstract concept”, or “philosophical idea” or that the language of Jesus being Gods Son is only supposed to be understood in a “theoretical” sense. I see brother Bensen’s comment as striving to make clear here that when we as LDS Christians use the language of “Son” we really do mean “Son” in the way we generally use the word. As in “Father and Son”. That means “Father” and “Son” in the same way that you yourself could be a Father or a Son. That is the “most literal sense” I see expressed here- and it is this “literalness” that this comment is going out of its way to distinguish. But i do not see any indication one way or another in this comment as to “HOW” this happened or any reference to the methodology used to accomplish such ends. There isn’t anything here about conception. I do not really think that is a concern reflected in this comment, or that Bensen was even thinking about “conception” when he made the comment. Again, my comments are based on reading this one sentence all by itself.

    As LDS Christians we most certainly understand Jesus Christ to be the Son of God in the “most literal sense.” Jesus is literally the Son of God- period.

    Frankly speaking I cannot think of anything much more obvious and fundamental to the Christian faith than to believe Jesus Christ to be the “literal” Son of God. LDS Christians would be shocked to learn that evangelical Christians somehow believed that someone other than God the Father was the “literal” Father of Jesus. Who else could it have been other than God the Father!? Are you sure we are really in disagreement here?

    Are you really going to make an argument that Jesus is somehow NOT “literally” the Son of God?! I confess to being curious to hear how you would make such a claim. If you come to me with some sort of argument claiming that Jesus was somehow NOT the Son of God in a “literal” sense I am going to start to have serious questions about whether or not YOU can be considered genuinely Christian!!!

    To claim that Jesus is the Son of God in the “most literal sense” seems to me to be a most simple, obvious and basic claim of the Christian faith. This is all really very, very simple. Jesus is Gods Son-period. God the Father is Jesus Father- period. This is not a philosophical concept, this is not just metaphorical speech, this is not just allegory or a conceptual analogy. It is very, very real and most literal. Jesus and God are Father and Son- two separate and distinct beings- period. There is a clear and undeniable love relationship between the two. The Father loves the Son. The Son loves the Father. This is not God having a love relationship with himself- it is God having a love relationship with his literal Son. There are two separate wills involved here. The will of the Son and the will of the Father. Jesus out of love for the Father subordinated his own will to that of the Father in an act of perfect obedience. In this way Jesus’ will was swallowed up in the will of the Father through a conscience choice by Jesus Christ to do so. Just as Jesus submitted His will to the Father we too are to follow Jesus example and submit our wills to the Father and Jesus Christ who while separate and distinct “beings” are at the same time “one” in will, purpose and intent. Jesus is literally the Son of God- period.

    How in the world can you even begin to make a claim that Jesus was not the Son of God in a most literal sense??- I don’t get it. What other possible alternative could you have Bill? Was Jesus the Son of God only in a theoretical sense? Was Jesus the Son of God only in a conceptual sense? When you say Jesus was the Son of God do you mean that this is just a philosophical idea?- and not a literal Sonship? When you say Jesus is the Son of God do you mean this only metaphorically? What other alternative are you suggesting other than a “literal” sonship?

    There is no way one can draw strictly from scriptural data any other conclusion other than Jesus Christ was literally the Son of God in a very real way.

    The only way one could possibly come to some sort of conclusion that Jesus was NOT the Son of God in a “most literal sense” would be if one were to first accept the manmade philosophical constructs formulated by the post-biblical councils and creeds and then work backwards to reinterpret the language of scripture through this philosophical construct. Yet this is EXACTLY what sectarian or “orthodox” Christianity does. Orthodoxy manufactured manmade philosophical constructs in a post-biblical environment that serve as a lens through which the language of scripture is re-interpreted. To LDS Christians this seems to us like the tail of human reasoning wagging the dog of Scripture.

    These philosophical constructs changed God from our literal Father into an abstract construct of mans own making. This is why the creeds are “an abomination” in His sight. The philosophical constructs of the creeds have replaced the plain and simple truths of our real relation to God as our literal Father with a human philosophical construct of mans own making.

    While even little children and the vast majority of lay persons will immediately acknowledge Jesus as the “literal” Son of God, (that is of course the first and foremost most obvious first reading of scripture) those heavily steeped in the philosophical constructs of orthodoxy are caught up in a conceptual paradigm that any sort of “literalness” causes a problem for.

    My sense is that one of the reasons Bensen chooses to use the language of “most literal sense” in this statement at all is to make sure he differentiates the LDS view from these manmade philosophical constructs of orthodoxy. However, in my opinion I do not think that the issue of “conception” or the mechanics of conception are even on the mind of brother Bensen when he made this comment. At least that is the best I can tell based on looking at this one sentence alone.

    Perhaps you are extrapolating from your own assumption that just because this comment is emphasizing the fact that Jesus is the Son of God in a “most literal sense” that the ONLY way such a literal reality could be manifest would be through some sort of ”mechanics” that does not allow for a “virgin birth”. Let us remind ourselves that that is just your personal assumption. As I have already tried to demonstrate and is already well attested to there are ways that the “literal” son ship of Jesus was accomplished that do not violate Mary’s virginity. For example by the overshadowing of the power of the Holy Ghost. That is the whole “miracle” part- remember? God does work miracles.

    My sense is that you may be straining so hard to try to see a problem here that the more plain and obvious has become obscured to you. The phrase “choking on a gnat and swallowing a camel” comes to mind here.

    This is not too surprising really and is in my opinion something that happens a lot with critics of the LDS church. In my opinion such a condition is an inevitable natural by-product of spending too much time whirling round and round in the tiny tea-cup of self-made distortion that is [filtered profanity or slur] or “counter-cult” culture. I believe you have taken your preconceived “heresy” of what LDS Christians believe and are trying to project it into this one sentence- and have basically done the same thing in your original post on the subject. I see this happening in several other places on this thread as well.

    You have been spooked!- and it is no wonder. Constantly stirring the tiny tea-cup must be a dizzying affair. It is not hard to understand how one could get confused. As LDS we spend our entire lives studying the restored gospel and still never know everything there is to know about it- so we do not expect outsiders to be experts on what we believe. Whatever your intentions are Bill- they are not for me to judge. You seem like a good man and I choose to believe that your motives are good and noble. But lets not kid ourselves into thinking that that in and of itself means that you somehow have the sort of spiritual competency and insight into the genuine LDS perspective needed to be able to critique it in a way that authentically touches the LDS view or the LDS perspective and how we see things.

    In Christ,

    -Tad

    Bill,

    Will you be sharing your answer with us as to where the other 23 chromosomes came from? Or should I stop checking in here for that answer?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Chuck, I see no point in going on and on with you, you clearly will believe a lie up till the time you are tossed into the lake of fire as the bible teaches. I notice all the LDS avoid the ISSUE of an opely honest LDS member accusing us of lies yet providing no evidence.

    Sadly when the LDS think anyone is lying about their Church or beliefe they cry out against us and demand evidence.

    I will honestly tell you, If you were to finally say something in your next reply to me, I would not believe it was sincere, the reason I would not believe it was, is because I have had to say something in like 2-3 different replys and point it out around 6 times.

    Then I could add, BF is just as bad, Even though he did not lie, He clearly wanted me to take up sugjects other that what is posted, highjack a thread or to simply to spar with him. but when I point out we can talk at a website set up for that sole purpose, He refuses by not even mentioning it, and then accuses me of not wanting to talk.

    If you guys allow such lies to go unrebuked and do as the Bible teaches, How is it your Sure other High ranking leaders did not lie or use deception in your Church. If your so Blind or simply refuse to speak up about a simple lie that was pointed out by me, how can you be sure your not blind to bigger deceptions in your church? Rick b

  23. Anonymous says:

    Rick, honestly, I have no idea where you are even coming from. What does anything you just said have to do with my last post about the Gospel?

    How am I avoiding the issue? And please be specific, because what it appears to me is you keep changing the subject without addressing anything. Once second we are talking about creation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and then you start rambling about lying and deception.

    You said I will honestly tell you, If you were to finally say something in your next reply to me, I would not believe it was sincere… I know why. It’s because you can’t stay on point from one post to the next. You want things answered the way you believe them to be, or you calssify them as lies.

    I simply point out very clearly that you are running yourself in circles, and you came back accusing of lies. How does that resolve anything? How does that mean I am the one avoiding the topic?

    It is very clear to anyone with even minor intelligence to see that you are avoiding. You post is a smoke and mirror tactict to avoide the issue I have addressed about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When you feel trapped, you instantly shift focus to something else and then start talking about going to hell and believing lies.

    You are too difficult to understand let alone stay on topic. It’s no wonder no one can carry on an intelligent conversation with you, you jump from topic to topic so quick, no one knows where we are in the conversation. Then you accuse them for avoiding the issue.

    I understand that conversations progress to different subject matter and eventually changes topic as communication proceeds, but to go from talking about the clarification of the Gospel of Jesus Christ right to accusing us of lies yet providing no evidence carries the conversation way beyond understandable. How did you get from the clairities of the Book of Mormon to LDS Members accusations?

    I’ll tell you what Rick. You can stay on the topic of the thread we are on, or not only will I question YOUR sincerity, I will also understand you feel trapped and cannot respond with any truth because it has been revealed to you and you find it hard to accept. What you have done is typical of someone who is guilty. You shift the focus completely to something other than what is being discussed.

    How’s that for an accusation? Are you going to ask other known members on this thread to chastise me now? I have provided exactly what you have challenged me too. And now you want to change the subject. I will not be sucked in. My post on the Gospel still stands as a clarification of the Gospel as I have described it. You can no longer say that you have yet to hear of at least one instance where clarification has been provided. You avoiding the Truth does not constitute you not hearing it.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Chuck You said It is very clear to anyone with even minor intelligence to see that you are avoiding. You post is a smoke and mirror tactict to avoide the issue I have addressed about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When you feel trapped, you instantly shift focus to something else and then start talking about going to hell and believing lies.

    Chuck, As I said to you many times, I state my case, Then I allow people to think for them selves and examine what was said and the evidence provide on both sides. I dont need to use lies, the Truth is damaging enough. I will be honest with you, I never once said I have great writting skills so some confusion might occur. But I am not going to pull a Moses and say, Lord, I am not skilled in Writting so use another person.

    I am not going to pull a Jonah and run away from my minstry. I will do as Isaiah Did and say, Here I am Lord send me. I dont dodge the Issues as you say, I dont use smoke and mirrors. I honestly believe you dont like my answers so you are the one to say I avoid the issues hoping people will simply trust you with out reading for them selves.

    If anyone thinks I either Avoided something or simply missed something due to the many long replys, all they need to do is be spefic and ask, I will answer them.

    Chuck, I answered you and will not as I said before Endlessy debate you, But On this issue, I will reply yet again.

    You asked accusing us of lies yet providing no evidence carries the conversation way beyond understandable. How did you get from the clairities of the Book of Mormon to LDS Members accusations?

    I keep coming back to this because the LDS avoid rebuking one of their own like the plauge. Back in the Topic called LDS to do list

    Epage said to me (Rick)
    I am grateful that you are examining, really. As I stated earlier, I very much admire you for doing so. It does not scare us to be examined, for we have nothing to fear. All I ask is that you get the whole truth and not just tid-bits of it here and there from people who are obviously out there to smear and contort the actual teachings and beliefs of our faith.
    December 06, 2006 11:39 AM

    Chuck I know you read what she said, I know you read my many replys, asking why she said this blog posts Lies, theirfore she lied. Then when I asked her to provide evidence of this, she then dissaperd never to reply again. I asked you Chuck, and LDS in general, why is it, You accuse us of Lying in a general sence, The Books people write (Tanners) For Example, or Videos, (DNA verses the BoM) as another example.

    LDS feel these (Books or videos) are flat out lies, then they DEMAND we provide evidence for these things we say, Yet LDS members clearly accuses us of lies, when I ask for evidence, their is not only none given, but the LDS turn a blind eye, by not rebuking their own. I mentioned this with quotes from epage about 6 times and on at least two different topics, so LDS cannot say they did not know or see it.

    Then after brining this up many, many times, you play stupid and claim I am not making sence about some LDS member lying about us.

    Seriously how could you not see what I wrote, you quote a lot from me, so you read my replys. That is why I said, if all of a sudden you rebuke Epage or even speak in general about LDS lying, I will not believe you were sincere.

    You should willingly speak up with out having to be asked too. I know the LDS do not like what I write, but I must be doing something correct, I have had 4 BLOGS started about me, 2 by mormons. I did a topic about this on my blog, I suspect the other 2 were mormons. Since I wrote my article on my blog about these bogus blogs about me, three have shut down and been fully deleted, one still remains.

    Say what you want, you simply dont get people writing blogs of hate against you for speaking the truth. Rick b

  25. Anonymous says:

    Tad originally wrote that “Jesus was born of a virgin, period. Virgin means no sexual intercourse. period.” And then he proceeds to write line after line deconstructing what LDS leaders have actually said about the matter. Perhaps he would have been more honest to say “Jesus was born of a virgin, Semi colon. Virgin means no sexual intercourse. Semi colon.” The reason it is hard for me to listen to his admitted “opinion” is that none of the men that I quoted ever go to such great lengths he does to explain away their clear words. Tad says,

    “In my most honest and personal opinion when I read this comment by Bensen (sic) as you have presented it here I do not see anything implied about the ‘mechanics’ of Jesus birth one way or the other. I do not see the issue touched on in one way or the other at all in that sentence. It seems to me to be a non-issue as to ‘HOW’ Jesus was conceived. The sentence is a proclamation that Jesus is the Son of God in the “most literal sense” but does not say anything about his conception.”

    Context is everything and in such a matter as this it is imperative that we look at what other leaders have said in order to get a clearer understanding. Tad apparently chooses to ignore other comments that do specifically speak of Jesus’ conception. For example, McConkie made it very clear that this involved a normal and natural conception when he wrote: “There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, CONCEIVED and born in the NORMAL AND NATURAL course of events, for he is the Son of God, and that designation means what it says” (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pg.742).

    Surely the two Mormons responding to my original post are not completely ignorant of the fact that some Mormons do, in fact, believe that Jesus’ conception was by a sexual means. For example, former LDS bishop Robert A. Rees, writing for the Mormon publication Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, stated:

    “Mormons differ from other Christians in our literal belief that we are begotten of God spiritually and that Christ was begotten of him physically. Paul says in Acts that we are God’s offspring (17:28-29). We believe that our spiritual conception was sexual JUST AS WE BELIEVE THAT CHRIST”S MORTAL CONCEPTION WAS. Elucidating on the latter, James E. Talmage says, ‘That child to be born of Mary was begotten of Elohim the Eternal Father, not in violation of natural law, but in accordance with a higher manifestation thereof’ (1986, 81)” (Robert A. Rees, “Bearing our Crosses Gracefully: Sex and the Single Mormon,” Dialogue, Vol.24, No.4, p.99).

    For any Mormon to argue that such a conclusion is merely borne in the imaginations of “[filtered profanity or slur]s” is groundless.

    Also, as Aaron S. correctly pointed out, “[T]he LDS Church simply has no official position concerning the mechanics of how the Son was begotten of the Father and conceived in Mary’s womb.” That being the case, no Mormon has any authority to insist that physical sex was NOT the means used by “Heavenly Father.” These Mormons know that, yet they continue to offer nothing more than non-authoritative opinion. On the other hand, I and others quote men in the LDS Church who do have authority to speak on such a subject, and if words have any meaning at all, their comparison of Christ’s conception and birth to that of every human are to be understood exactly as stated.

    Heber C. Kimball stated, “…I will say that I WAS NATURALLY BEGOTTEN, SO WAS MY FATHER, ALSO MY SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST. According to the Scriptures, he is the first begotten of his father in the flesh, and THERE IS NOTHING UNNATURAL ABOUT IT” (Journal of Discourses 8:211).

    NOTHING unnatural about it! NOTHING! That is the whole point. As Christians we DO believe Christ was begotten by an unnatural, albeit supernatural means. Yet, with the arrogance of a Pharisee, I am asked, “where did Jesus receive his 23 chromosomes?” How do you explain a miracle? I can’t. But if there indeed was “nothing unnatural” about this act, then are we to assume that Heavenly Father used LITERAL semen that contained the LITERAL sperm of God? If so, how did he NATURALLY transfer it into the womb of Mary in a “natural way”? Joseph Smith’s version of the Bible (JST – Matthew 2:1) claims Mary was “found with child of the Holy Ghost”? If God, in Genesis, can say, “let there be” and there was, could He not also “unnaturally” supply the necessary 23 chromosomes to ensure Jesus’ absolute humanity by any means He deems necessary? Of course He could.

    However, Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt stated,

    “God, the Father of our spirits, became the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh …The fleshly body of Jesus required a Mother as well as a Father. Therefore, the Father and Mother of Jesus, according to the flesh, must have been associated together in the capacity of Husband and Wife; hence the Virgin Mary must have, for the time being, the lawful wife of God the Father …He had a lawful right to overshadow the Virgin Mary in the capacity of a husband, and beget a Son, although she was espoused to another; for the law which He gave to govern men and women, was not intended to govern Himself, or to prescribe rules for his own conduct” (Orson Pratt, The Seer, pg.158. Also cited by B. H. Roberts, Defense of the Faith and the Saints, 2:270).

    How do husbands normally “overshadow” their wives? Does God do this any differently with “Heavenly Mother”?

    Matthew tells us that a virgin (parthenos) conceived and bore a Son. McConkie tries to side-step the issue by insisting the word virgin can still be used in an LDS context, “since the Father of the Child was an IMMORTAL Being” What an odd explanation! It should be clear to any Mormon that McConkie is implying that if the father of the child was NOT an immortal being, using the phrase virgin birth would be inappropriate. Would such an explanation even be necessary if McConkie himself did not believe Mary was physically impregnated?

    The problem is Mormons insist that Jesus is LITERALLY the Son of God. Over and over LDS leaders use the word “literal” to describe this phenomenon. To be literal is to mean in a strict sense, without exaggeration. McConkie says Mormons should not “SPIRITUALIZE AWAY THE PLAIN MEANING of the scriptures,” yet that is exactly what these and other Mormons do with the comments from their leaders. Perhaps we should find comfort in what appears to be their squeamishness with these blasphemous explanations. Perhaps there is still hope for them. Historically the term Son of God has denoted Jesus’ equality with God. It declares his unique relationship with the Father that is shared by no other. “The First Person is called the Father, not because of his relationship to his creatures, but because of his relationship to the Second Person. The Second Person is called Son, not because of any relation assumed in time, but because of his eternal relation to the First Person” (Hodge).

    In my original post I presented an illustration from the 1972 Family Home Evening manual that depicted a man “plus” a woman with lines pointing to a young girl. Below it were the words Heavenly Father + Mary with lines going to the word Jesus. I challenge any Mormon to find anything in this manual that emulates the convoluted explanation these Mormons have given. If their versions are to be accepted then I can only conclude that the 1972 manual was meant to purposely deceive both LDS parents and their children. Any child with a basic understanding of biology is left with no other conclusion than Jesus was, as Peggy Fletcher Stack reported, “created in much the same way as every other child — in the marriage bed. But only one partner was human.”

  26. Anonymous says:

    In regards to the comment “conception was sexual” does not imply “having sex with.” It clarifies that Christ was created in the womb of Mary. That an egg was fertilized and she gave birth. There is nothing in any of the information you provide, or in the doctrine of Jesus Christ [the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints], that clearly states the God the Father had sexual intercourse with Mary. And you will not find any. You use terminology such as then are we to assume in an attempt to justify your definitions. This implies that with your limited understanding and knowledge, you are attempting to pigeon hole and self interpret these phrases in a manner that allows you claim they say something that they in fact do not. Your interpretations are far from the mark Bill. I believe it was by sexual means Jesus was concieved. Mary got pregnant didn’t she? How else can one get pregnant if her sex organs are not involved? I am NOT saying that it was by the ACT OF SEXUAL INTERCOURSE that made her pregnant. Nor is that the meaning behind any of the quotes you provide.

    You said Surely the two Mormons responding to my original post are not completely ignorant of the fact that some Mormons do, in fact, believe that Jesus’ conception was by a sexual means. Quite honestly, I know of no active faithful member of the LDS Church that believes what you claim. As a matter of fact, I don’t think you know of one either. I think you are merely jumping to conclusions about things you are reading in an attempt to prove something.

    Bill, you can attempt to write mormon doctrine however you chose. But you are certainly not the authority, nor do your claims have any merit. I am not certain what your purpose is. Obviously you are trying to indicate that the doctrine of Jesus Christ is that God the Father had sex with Mary, but to what end?

    Quite frankly, the only things we know concretely from the scriptures is:
    1- Jesus is the ONLY Begotten of the Father
    2- Mary was his mother, a virgin
    3- He was concieved by the power of the Holy Ghost

    Now, you can attempt to write in your own definitions based on comments made by non-authorities and authorities of the LDS Church alike, but the meanings of their statements are not what you are claiming them to be. What’s next? Are you going to go on to say that mormons believe that adam and eve really ate watermellon? How do either of these topics pertain to salvation? Why are you so hell bent on this? Why are you making things up?

    Even after two mormons have clarified this information, you continue to push and push that we do not believe what we say we do. That our belief is what you say it is. I know you do that to attempt to “convert” people to your way of thinking. But why are you trying to tell me what I belive?

    That’s like me telling you you are not a man. You claim you are, but I continue to insist that really, although you have a mustache, you also have long hair. According to a book I read by some christian, christian males are not suppose to have long hair, so in fact you are a girl. And you know you believe that, why can’t you accept it? So many christians believe it too. So anything you say is irrelevant in the matter. You are in fact a girl.

    And yes. Your claims sound just as ridiculous.

  27. Bill McKeever says:

    Chuck uses an old Mormon diversionary tactic whereby he accuses me of telling him what he believes, when in fact my intention was to discuss what LDS leaders have actually said regarding the incarnation of Christ. What Chuck personally believes is of lesser importance to me when compared to those who have real authority in the LDS Church. If the words of these leaders have any meaning at all they certainly do not support the explanations offered by Chuck. I don’t believe for a minute that LDS leaders like McConkie and Kimball were so inept that they could not properly put their thoughts to writing. McConkie, for one, was very good at making his points very clear. Unfortunately, when Mormons like Chuck deconstruct what their leaders actually said, they only tend to bolster the stereotype that all Mormons are liars.

  28. chuck says:

    You said What Chuck personally believes is of lesser importance to me when compared to those who have real authority in the LDS Church. Why would I claim a belief different from the leaders of my church? I know, as you should know, that “every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” (Matt. 12:25)

    You also said If the words of these leaders have any meaning at all they certainly do not support the explanations offered by Chuck. That is easy to claim when it is impossible to show something that has never been said. Show us all where a leader of the LDS Church has said that God the Father had sexual intercourse with Mary. You can only show the quotes you have provided with your interpretations twisted around them.

    Bill, you can claim what you will, but I stand by my statements.
    1- Jesus is the ONLY Begotten of the Father
    2- Mary was his mother, a virgin
    3- He was concieved by the power of the Holy Ghost

    I do not employ the tatics you use to deflect truth.

    You are attempting to implay that past leaders are stating and that the LDS Church believes that Mary performed the act of sexual intercouse with God to conceive Jesus. (They why is she called a virgin?)

    I have stated, as those you quote are stating also, that conception was by the power of the Holy Ghost, and Jesus is the literal [meaning without doubt] Son of God the Father.

    First let me quote what the scriptures say about the issue:

    Alma 7:10 And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and concieve by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.

    Luke 1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
    Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

    Not to be confused that Jesus was the son of the Holy Ghost, as He was not, He was the Son of God the Father.

    Mormons believe that Jesus was concieved by the power of the Holy Ghost overshadowing Mary. There was no act of sex performed. If you are implying something different, then you are trying to tell me what I, and all mormons, believe. I am not deconstructing what past leaders have said; however, that would be a more accurate reflection of what you are attempting. I am clarifying for undertanding and attempting to prevent your misguidance and your demagogy on the issue.

    Bill, don’t get so caught up in trying to obtain facts on everything that pertains to the Gospel, that you miss the simple truths. Facts do not save. Faith does. The definition of faith means to believe in something that is true, that is hoped for, but not seen. This means you will not always have the knowledge of everything until you exercise your faith. That is whay you are “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”(2 Tim. 3:7)

    And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
    That they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
    (2 Thes. 2:11-12)

    To believe that any leader of the LDS Church, past or present, would commit to a statement that God the Father had sexual intercourse with Mary is not only ludicrous, but truly “strong delusion.”

  29. chuck says:

    Here is what some of the many leaders have said:

    The birth of Jesus Christ was not ordinary. Though he had a mortal mother, Jesus did not have a human father. Sacred scripture identifies the divine father of Jesus Christ: “He shall be born of Mary, … she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God” (Alma 7:10; italics added).

    Yes, God was the father of His fleshly tabernacle, and Mary—a mortal woman and a virgin—was His mother. He is, therefore, the only person born who rightfully deserves the title “the Only Begotten Son of God.” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Jesus Christ: Our Savior, Our God,” Ensign, Apr. 1991, 2)

    ——

    “And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God” (Alma 7:9–10).

    Now I think because of this revelation and a host of related ones that have come to us, telling us in plainness and in perfection what is involved in the doctrine of our Lord’s birth, I think we have an especial and particular obligation to stand as witnesses to the world in this day of the truth of this fact.

    The testimony of Jesus in its nature and by definition is to know by the revelations of the Holy Spirit to one’s soul that Christ is in fact the Lord; that he was born in the way he testified he was born; that he inherited from his Father the power of immortality; that he walked among men as a mortal performing the miracles, doing the ministry and the things that the prophets said he would do and that the New Testament says that he did do. (Bruce R. McConkie, “Behold the Condescension of God,” New Era, Dec. 1984, 35)

    —–

    From the time of His heaven-heralded birth there have crept into the Church heresies which are intended to dilute or undermine the pure doctrines of the gospel. These heresies are, by and large, sponsored by the philosophies of man and in many instances are advocated by so-called Christian scholars. The attempt is to make Christianity more palatable, more reasonable, and so they attempt to humanize Jesus and give natural explanations to those things which are divine. An example is Jesus’ birth. There are those who would seek to convince us that the divine birth of Christ as proclaimed in the New Testament was not a divine birth at all—nor was Mary, the virgin girl, a virgin at the time of Jesus’ conception.

    But the intent of their effort is to repudiate the divine sonship of Jesus, for on that doctrine rest all other claims of Christianity.

    I am bold to say to you, … Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was sired by that same Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father. He was not the son of Joseph, nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost. He is the Son of the Eternal Father! (Ezra Taft Benson, “Five Marks of the Divinity of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, Dec. 2001, 8)

  30. Bill McKeever says:

    I had to “Chuck”le when I read Chuck’s comment:

    “Why would I claim a belief different from the leaders of my church? I know, as you should know, that “every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” (Matt. 12:25)

    Wow. I have no idea where this guy lives, but I live in Utah, and let me tell you there are many Mormons out here who believe differently than their leaders. One of MRM’s associate researchers recently had two sister missionaries and a BYU professor at his home. The sister missionaries later told him how shocked they were to hear this professor disagreeing with what they always understood to be traditional Mormonism.

    Chuck insists that he will stand by his statements. He lists three:

    1- “Jesus is the ONLY Begotten of the Father.”
    At face value, I have no argument with this point. The question is, HOW was he begotten in the context of Mormonism? Even Chuck admits this was a literal “sireship” when he stands behind Benson’s quote from the December 2001 Ensign. Sorry, but when a farmer says his prize pig “sired” piglets in a “literal” and “normal” manner, a virgin birth does not readily come to my mind.

    2- “Mary was his mother, a virgin”
    Again, there is no argument here. However, McConkie explained that the phrase “virgin birth” was proper since the Father of Jesus was not “mortal.” Unless God physically touched Mary such an explanation would never be necessary.

    3- “He was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost”
    No argument here either. For example:

    “The Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon Him man’s nature, with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion” (The Westminster Confession 8:2).

    So once again, without defining the terms, these points mean virtually nothing unless they are defined within the context of Mormonism. I have tried to the point of exasperation to allow qualified leaders of the LDS Church to explain this for us. Unfortunately, all we get is spin from Mormons who choose to ignore the given and accepted meaning of the words these leaders purposely used. Chuck is quick to tell us what they weren’t saying, but not so quick to explain what they were saying. McConkie, however, gives us the definition of what he meant when he wrote:

    “Some words scarcely need definition… Two such words are father and son. Their meaning is known to all, and to define them is but to repeat them. Thus: A son is a son is a son, and a father is a father is a father. I am the son of my father and the father of my sons. They are my sons because they were begotten by me, were conceived by their mother, and came forth from her womb to breathe the breath of mortal life, to dwell for a time and a season among other mortal men. AND SO IT IS WITH THE ERTNAL FATHER AND THE MORTAL BIRTH OF THE ETERNAL SON. The Father is a Father is a Father; he is not a spirit essence or nothingness to which the name Father is figuratively applied. And the Son is a Son is a Son; he is not some transient emanation from a divine essence, but a literal, living offspring of an actual Father. God is the Father; Christ is the Son. The one begat the other. Mary provided the womb from which the Spirit Jehovah came forth, tabernacled in clay, as all men are, to dwell among his fellow spirits whose births were brought to pass in like manner. There is no need to spiritualize away the plain meaning of the scriptures. There is nothing figurative or hidden or beyond comprehension in our Lord’s coming into mortality. He is the Son of God in the same sense and way that we are the sons of mortal fathers. It is just that simple. Christ was born of Mary. He is the Son of God-the Only Begotten of the Father” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, pg.468).

    Still again:

    “And so, in the final analysis it is the faithful saints, those who have testimonies of the truth and divinity of this great latter-day work, who declare our Lord’s generation to the world. Their testimony is that Mary’s son is God’s Son; that he was CONCEIVED AND BEGOTTEN in the NORMAL way; that he took upon himself mortality by the natural birth processes; that he inherited the power of mortality from his mother and the power of immortality from his Father-in consequence of all of which he was able to work out the infinite and eternal atonement” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ, p.473).

    Unless McConkie felt his children were the product of a virgin birth (which he didn’t), how else are we to understand this? I am willing to take him and other LDS leaders at their word on this. Why is it that Mormons like Chuck (who insist they do not disagree with their leaders) must redefine words they have already defined? Why must they contort and mutilate the English language? Who gave these lay Mormons the right to stand in as their leaders’ prolocutor? I can only hope they too find these “literal” explanations to be just as offensive as we do. If that is the case then I rejoice! As I said, perhaps there is hope for them. However, it is clear by their equivocations that, not only do they disagree with the literal explanations given by their leaders, they also do not agree with the historic position Christians have held regarding the incarnation of Christ. So when they tell us they “believe in the virgin birth, period,” this is a lie, pure and simple.

    BYU professor Robert J. Matthew said it well when he wrote:

    “Even sharing the truth can have the effect of lying when we tell only half-truths that do not give the full picture. We can also be guilty of bearing false witness and lying if we say nothing, particularly if we allow another to reach a wrong conclusion while we hold back information that would have led to a more accurate perception. In this case it is as though an actual lie were uttered” (“Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness,” Ensign, October 1994, pg.54).

    Mormon Coffee is meant to be a forum for honest discussion. We don’t have to agree, but to better understand each other (and the issues that divide us) honesty is imperative. Chuck apparently chooses not to follow this simple guideline. We will not allow Chuck to use this forum to help build a case against him on Judgment Day.

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