LDS Apostle Explains the Purpose of Life

Dallin H. OaksThe official web site of the LDS Church has posted a transcript of the interview Apostle Dallin H. Oaks gave to Helen Whitney, maker of the PBS documentary “The Mormons” which aired earlier this year. Mr. Oaks told Ms. Whitney,

“Before the close of his ministry, in Illinois, Joseph Smith put together the significance of what he had taught about the nature of God and the nature and destiny of man. He preached a great sermon not long before he was murdered that God was a glorified Man, glorified beyond our comprehension, (still incomprehensible in many ways), but a glorified, resurrected, physical Being, and it is the destiny of His children upon this earth, upon the conditions He has proscribed, to grow into that status themselves. That was a big idea, a challenging idea. It followed from the First Vision, and it was taught by Joseph Smith, and it is the explanation of many things that Mormons do — the whole theology of Mormonism.”

The sermon of which Mr. Oaks spoke is the King Follet Discourse. The teaching Mr. Oaks referred to, in Joseph Smith’s words, is this:

“God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens. That is the great secret…

“…it is necessary that we should understand the character and being of God, and how he came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity, I will refute that idea, and will take away and do away the vail, so that you may see.

“These are incomprehensible ideas to some; but they are simple. It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus Christ himself did;…

“Here, then, is eternal life–to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you,–namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one,–from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.”

When Helen Whitney interviewed Apostle Oaks she asked if these teachings were the “core” of Mormon theology. Mr. Oaks replied,

“That is the purpose of the life of men and women on this earth: to pursue their eternal destiny. Eternal means Godlike and to become like God. One of the succeeding prophets said: ‘As man is, God once was. And as God is, man may become.’ That is an extremely challenging idea… it explains the purpose of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is to put people’s feet on the pathway to a glorified existence in the life to come…”

Thus, according to Mormon theology, the purpose of life is for men and women to become Gods, just like all Gods have done before, just like the “only wise and true God” of Mormonism has done.

This is consistent with teachings from other LDS sources. The August 2006 issue of Ensign magazine included an article titled “The Purpose of Life.” It said,

“We cannot understand the purpose of this mortal life–why we are here–unless we first understand who we are, where we came from, and what our eternal destiny is. These truths, found in the scriptures and restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith, teach us that we are literal spirit children of God, that we lived with Him in a premortal existence, and that we have within us the seeds of godhood, the potential to become like Him.” (64)

Achieving a Celestial Marriage Student ManualAn LDS Church Student Manual, Achieving a Celestial Marriage, explains these Mormon beliefs this way:

“…God is an exalted man who once lived on an earth and underwent experiences of mortality… The progression of our Father in heaven to godhood, or exaltation, was strictly in accordance with eternal principles,… GOD WAS ONCE A MORTAL MAN… He Experienced Conditions Similar to Our Own and Advanced Step by Step… GOD IS NOW AN EXALTED MAN… MEN ARE GODS IN EMBRYO… We Have the Potential to Become Like Our Heavenly Parents… We will become gods and have jurisdiction over worlds, and these worlds will be peopled by our offspring… our Father in heaven was once a man as we are now, capable of physical death. By obedience to eternal gospel principles, he progressed from one stage of life to another until he attained the state that we call exaltation or godhood. In such a condition, he and our mother in heaven were empowered to give birth to spirit children whose potential was equal to that of their heavenly parents. We are those spirit children.” (copyright 1976 Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 129-132. Capitals retained from the original.)

So to summarize, according to Mormonism, the purpose of life for men and women is to achieve Godhood — the same type of Godhood Heavenly Father has achieved. The purpose of the LDS Church is to “put people’s feet on the pathway” to Godhood. This is the core of Mormon theology.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Afterlife, God the Father, Jesus Christ, King Follett Discourse, Lorenzo Snow. Bookmark the permalink.

86 Responses to LDS Apostle Explains the Purpose of Life

  1. inhimdependent_lds says:

    Rick, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. But i will hold to my opinion that your concern may have to be more with RickB than anything else. but thats just my opinion.

  2. Burt T. says:

    If one is truly going to research something it should be comprehensive. Why use one quote from Brigham Young that makes it appear he believes Adam and God are the same, while ignoring numerous other quotes which show the exact opposite.

    An 1852 quote by Brigham Young shows that he taught God was not Adam: “What resemblance did our father Adam bear to his God, when he placed him in the Garden of Eden?” (JD 6:317-318)

    1860: “we cannot avert the consequences of the fall as it is called, of Adam, which came through his transgressing certain words or laws given to him by his Father and God.” (JD 9:104)

    1862: “Adam was as conversant with his Father who placed him upon the earth as we are conversant with our earthly parents. The Father frequently came to visit his son Adam, and talked and walked with him.” (as quoted by Bruce Richardson in Let No Man Deceive You pg.7)

    All of these are quotes by Brigham Young. Remember to look at both sides.

  3. Geoff J says:

    Rick b: Can anyone honestly say, I know of one person who has never heard the name of Jesus

    Let me guess… you live in North America don’t you?

    Well what about all those billions of Hindus and Muslims who live on the Asian continent? How many of them do you know?

    The fatal flaw in evangelical theology in my opinion is that it has no answer for how those people could reasonably expect to avoid being tortured forever in hell. But what real chance does Jesus give them to be saved by evangelical standards? Zero in many/most of their cases.

    For that reason I think evangelical theology ought to be rejected. Why choose to believe in such a cruel and sadistic version of Jesus? There are other Christian theologies that view Jesus as being actually merciful after all. I think the LDS version is the best of all of course, but even if you will never accept that I recommend other forms of Protestantism at least…

    So I think that 95% number is quite accurate. Most of the world throughout history has no chance of being “saved” by the painfully narrow definition of that word used in evangelical theology. Your theologians and thinkers seem to me to usually shrug and basically say “Oh well, sucks to be them. At least we’re in. Ain’t God gracious?”

  4. rick b says:

    Geoff, I have friends who are in the Iraq war right now, I have been told by them, Many Muslims are coming to Christ and their are solid Churchs that are over their teaching the word of God.

    Are news media does a good job of not telling people that stuff. Some stories I am told are, Muslims are having dreams and visions of God visting them and telling them to talk to the believers and then they are getting saved. We are living in the last days and God is clearly reaching out to get others to come to him as Lord and Savior.

    Here is a link to a Christian witnessing to Muslims website, People are trying to reach out to everyone. http://www.muslimministry.com
    Rick b

  5. Falcon says:

    Geoff & Inde
    Here’s the deal guys…….as I see it, based on what you’ve told me, Mormonism and what I would term orthodox Christianity, aren’t even distant cousins. But one is right and one is wrong. Straight-up. Not even any wiggle room for compromise. It’s not like we can have a discussion about infant baptism or transubstantiation or the like because there is absolutely nothing within Mormonism that even slightly resembles the Christian faith I know. The whole focal point of Mormonism, as you have clarified here, is exhaltation to godhood. Specifically, you will become a god….not just in character, but in essence. Your wife will be a goddess and you will rule your own planet. You reject the Creeds of the Christian faith. In fact, I sense a real hostility to the creeds and doctrines. That’s pretty much the conclusion I’ve come to. Quite a gamble guys. Not one I’d be willing to take.

  6. Geoff J says:

    Falcon: But one is right and one is wrong. Straight-up.

    We can certainly agree on that point.

    Specifically, you will become a god….not just in character, but in essence.

    Nope. You are importing ideas that none of us has stated here. I would say Mormonism teaches that humanity, as children (not pets) of God, are already divine in essence and always have been. We are working toward godly characters with the gracious assistance of our loving Heavenly Father.

    Your wife will be a goddess and you will rule your own planet.

    Nope, you are putting words in my mouth again. As I read our scriptures, I think they state that godhood/exaltation means becoming one with the Godhead. The scriptures refer to the Godhead (however large the extended Godhead may be) as the “one God”. So any future planets, like all past planets, will be ruled by the “one God”; not by some totally separated and independent “gods” who are not one with each other.

    (Yes Falcon, I realize this will likely go way over your head like most of the other clarifications I have given; but I give it anyway for the benefit of those who might be reading along and will be able to understand what I’m saying.)

    You reject the Creeds of the Christian faith.

    Absolutely. They were completely man-made inventions that were concocted centuries after the apostles died and they lead good people to believe awful and ridiculous things about God (like that he plans to send all Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Catholics, Mormons, secularists, etc. to be burned forever in hell while planning to party down eternally forever with the chosen few evangelicals).

  7. Falcon says:

    Geoff,
    OK, I get it! I don’t believe it. But I get it! And as you’ve noted, what you believe runs contrary to orthodox Christian belief. Now I wonder why that is? I’ll stick with the original.
    Oh, and by the way, I like the way you do condescension. This is way fun!

  8. Geoff J says:

    Hehe.

    Well if it makes you feel better Falcon, I didn’t really believe you couldn’t understand what I was saying. I suspected you were just saying that for rhetorical effect so I played along.

    Since Mormonism completely rejects the creeds of what you refer to as “orthodox Christianity” and I think of as simply creedal Christianity; and since Mormonism preaches that it is the restoration of original Christianity complete with prophets and apostles; we will simply have to agree to disagree on which is closer to “the original”.

  9. rick b says:

    Geoff says

    As I read our scriptures, I think they state that godhood/exaltation means becoming one with the Godhead.

    you think? you think what, what if your thinking is wrong, everyone thinks things, you give people like falcon a hard time for thinking what you believe is wrong. instead of saying I think, how about say, here is chapter and verse to back up what I am saying. Or is asking for solid scripture evidence on my part lousy wishful thinking? Rick b

  10. Geoff J says:

    Rick, I already quoted John 17 about our potential oneness with God. What is your point beyond that? Would you like me to point to modern scriptures that say we are children of God and can inherit “all that the Father hath”? I can do that too if you really want. But since you don’t accept those as scriptures I don’t really see the point.

    I am not sure what your angle is on that last comment. You think evangelical theology isn’t a crock. What if your thinking on that is wrong? We already acknowledge a difference of opinions here, so what does your comment add to the dialogue?

  11. rick b says:

    Geoff, when You quoted John 17, your correct, I dont agree that He was saying we are one, with the idea we will be like God or a god. I believe when He was saying they may be one He was talking about Unity of the Church and our beliefes.

    The division of minor things has caused many to turn away from the truth of the Gospel. I also dont buy your view for these Scriptual reasons,

    John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

    How can He say, the only true God if we will be Gods?

    Then we read in many, many places in the book of Isaiah that their is ONLY ONE GOD, and GOD KNOWS OF NO OTHER gods.

    Isa 43:10 Ye [are] my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I [am] he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

    Here is something your Prophet Brigham young said

    In the book Discourses of BY pg 194 1925 edition also found in JOD vol 1 pg 237 a person ask’s BY a question.

    I ask you, brother B, how I must believe the Bible, and how shall you and every other follower of the Lord Jesus Christ believe it? BY reply’s with. “Brother Mormon, how do you believe it?” I believe it just as it is. I do not believe in putting any man’s interpretation upon it, whatever, unless it should be directed by the Lord himself in some way. I do not believe we need interpreters and expounders of the Scriptures, to wrest them from there literal, plain, simple meaning.

    I take at face value that the writers meant what they said and said what they meant, like this scripture for example, LDS feel everyone is a Child of God, what does the Bible say?

    John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:

    only those who recive him are children of God.

  12. Jeff says:

    Burt T.,

    Well dang. You just made an argument against your own past prophet, Mr. Young.

    BY goes off saying that Adam is our father and God, and then later says things to refute the idea.

    Let me go back to my analogy. If I say “The color of the dog is blue.” in lets say 2001. And then in 2007 I say “The color of the dog is yellow”. That would pop up a red flag for you wouldn’t it? After all, what I say you are supposed to take as 100% coming from the Lord’s mouthpiece. So now what color is the dog? Then, one of my successors, President Kimball comes out and says that the dog is not blue and that what I spoke of was false doctrine.

    Ensign, “Our Own Liahona”, by President Spencer W. Kimball, Nov. 1976, p.77:

    “We warn you against the dissemination of doctrines which are not according to the scriptures and which are alleged to have been taught by some of the General Authorities of past generations. Such, for instance, is the Adam-God theory. We denounce that theory and hope that everyone will be cautioned against this and other kinds of false doctrine.”

    So what do we do.. do we write off what I said simply and clearly as an “oops!”, or is that something that we should be concerned about. Me, a prophet of God, leading my people astray, which I and other presidents before/after me told you I would never do.

    Is this important to your salvation whether you believe it or not? nah, probably not, but what does that say about me?

  13. rick b says:

    Although many Mormons do not view other LDS writings as official Scripture (for example, The Seer or The Journal of Discourses), it should be remembered that many of these writings consist of the words of very prominent leaders in the Mormon Church. As such individuals commanded great respect they were certainly influential over the rank and file. Their statements must have carried some weight. Mormon leaders in prominent positions, like Brigham Young, Orson Pratt, and Bruce R. McConkie, influenced those who looked to them for leadership. The words of these early LDS leaders did not just go out into a vacuum, they went the hearts and minds of the Mormon people and were incorporated into their beliefs.

    It would also seem that many Mormon leaders have tended to view their words as carrying a great deal of weight. For example, regarding the sermons of Brigham Young in the Journal of Discourses it is interesting to look at some of Young’s words himself as to how he viewed what was contained in the Discourses:

    I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them to the celestial kingdom, as I know the road to my office…I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. (Journal of Discourses, vol.13.p.95. Also see vol.13.p.264).

    Rick b

  14. Geoff J says:

    rick b: I dont agree that He was saying we are one, with the idea we will be like God or a god.

    Ok, Well if it makes you feel better I can assure that I am not surprised to hear our opinions differ on this issue. You are certainly free to disagree with me on this.

    As for the one God issue, it appears that most of my points in this thread eluded you since that is what I have been addressing repeatedly here. Oh well — I tried to be clear, I really did.

  15. rick b says:

    Geoff said

    As for the one God issue, it appears that most of my points in this thread eluded you since that is what I have been addressing repeatedly here.

    Honestly, I must have missed something here, LDS teach they will or can be gods someday, the Bible teaches their is only one God and their will never be any other gods period. and what you said, unless I misunderstood something here, your saying you agree, their is and will be only one God. If that is true, your denying what Mormonism teaches.

    What did I miss? Rick b

  16. Geoff J says:

    Sigh.

    You missed the point of the vast majority of my comments here I’m afraid. Perhaps you could go reread them…

  17. Falcon says:

    Hay Rick,
    I’ve been having some good natured banter with Mr. Geoff and this is what I learned from him.

    ….humanity, as children (not pets) of God, are already divine in essence and always have been.

    We are working toward godly characters with the gracious assistance of our loving heavenly Father.

    Mr. Geoff further says that “…..we are going to become one with the Godhead.”

    Geoff adds….So any future planets, like all past planets, will be ruled by the “one God” not by some totally separated and independent “gods” who are not one with each other.

    Now this is the deal, I don’t know if my buddy Geoff is freelancing here or if this is what Mormon’s teach/believe.

    So there it is. Mormons get to say what they believe. I choose not to believe it, going instead with what the Apostles taught originally instead. I just can’t find any of Geoff’s stuff anywhere from the Book of Acts to Revelation which is where the Apostles were operating. I like Geoff though. He’s sincere and honest but misguided (got you Geoff).

  18. rick b says:

    Falcon, Check this topic out from my blog, I think you will really like it. http://mormonismreviewed.blogspot.com/2006/01/bruce-r-mcconkies-challange.html

    It’s shows a list of Mormon Doctrine not taught in the Book of Mormon and shows How Bruce Mc teaches that the Book of Mormon it clarifes Mormon Doctrine in the Bible. In reality, that is what LDS teach but I show it’s simply not their.

    Falcon, after you read it, pleaseshare your thoughts. Rick b

  19. Falcon says:

    Thank you Rick.
    I like it. It has merit, it’s logical and is based on evidence. However I’ve learned that people generally believe something because they want to despite evidence to the contrary. But in the words of The X Files “The truth is out there.”

  20. Alex D. says:

    [This hasn't been said yet (as far as I recall from reading the posts/replies here on this blog); however, even if it has been said, it deserves repeating (and possibly some action taken by the moderation to get this publicized as a guideline for posting on this blog)]:

    I think it should come as a general rule on this blog that TANGIBLE EVIDENCE (IE in-context quotes from reliable/authoritative sources that may be accessed today) should ALWAYS be given in support of one’s position whenever one declares his/her belief(s).

    For example, I’m not talking about moments where one might say “I believe that Jesus became an exalted being” — that is simply an OPINION. What I AM trying to prevent here, however, are posts which speak with authority, such as “Jesus became an exalted being.” Catch my drift?

    This should prevent those who are unfamiliar with the opinions being presented on this blog with DIRECT SOURCES which they, in turn, may be able to study. (In other words, the one speaking will be absolved from the notion that he/she is pulling these ideas out of thin air).

  21. Alex D. says:

    *typo in the last paragraph — “prevent” should be replaced with “provide”*

  22. Falcon says:

    Alex,
    Good post! I would agree. The problem with discussions involving religion is that the beliefs being expressed tend (often) to be deeply felt and emotions tend to trump logic. We also have the challenge as to whether or not to accept a source (that is being cited)as credible. But at least if a source is cited the reader knows where the information is coming from. And if someone says, this is what I “think”, we know it’s an opinion. I’m retired (kind of) but I’ve been teaching college courses at a local state university. When my students write something for me I tell them “cite your source”. When I’m lecturing I’ll say “This is my opinion. You can have one too.” I do this so they clearly understand that when I’m on one of my rants, they are free to say I’m nuts (which I frequently am). So good reminder Alex.

  23. rick b says:

    Geoff keeps saying that the Christian God will damn 95 percent of all humans to hell. I told him, if you know of anyone that has never heard of Jesus, preach the Gospel to them and then they will be without excuse. He did not like that. Well Check this out. This question is number 47 in the question and answer section on this website.

    The August 2000 issue of the Ensign magazine said: “The [LDS] Church has sought to respect Islamic laws and traditions that prohibit conversion of Muslims to other faiths by adopting a policy of nonproselyting in Islamic countries of the Middle East.” (page 52)

    How does this policy correspond to the Bible’s Great Commission wherein Jesus Christ commanded His followers to preach the Gospel and make disciples in all nations? (Matthew 28:19)

    Sadly a few LDS posted the responce to this question that, if the Muslim goverment wont allow them to preach, then they will abide by the laws. So Geoff, the LDS wont preach the Gospel, but yet your worried Non believers will go to hell, Well if your so worried, get out their and tell them.

    [Comment trimmed by moderator] …read

    Eze 33:11 Say unto them, [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

    This verse would make God a liar, if your view is correct. Rick b

  24. Geoff J says:

    Geoff keeps saying that the Christian God will damn 95 percent of all humans to hell.

    No I haven’t, I’ve said the evangelical God does this — not the Christian God. I’ve said that evangelical theology has a grotesquely warped view of the real merciful and loving and gracious God in heaven as described in the Bible.

    if you know of anyone that has never heard of Jesus, preach the Gospel to them and then they will be without excuse

    Rick, once again you are really not getting it. In evangelical theology which of these groups will be avoid being resurrected just to be tortured forever in an eternal hell based on their beliefs: Muslims, Hindus, Bhuddists, Atheists, Agnostic secularists, Mormons, Catholics, Jews, Eastern Orthodox Catholics. On your view, what percentage of people who live and die holding those belief systems won’t get the forever torture chamber from this version of Jesus you preach?

    According to this link I’d estimate that there are at most a couple hundred million self-professed evangelical Christians in the world today. Considering there are about 6.6 billion people on the earth today, even if there are 330 million self-identifying evangelicals alive and 100% of them are actually saved from the eternal torture chamber by your narrow definition, that would mean that 5% of the people are saved and 95% are going to be resurrected so they can be sent off to be tortured and burned forever in your theology.

    Where are my numbers going wrong here?

    LDS doctrine teaches of a Jesus who has mercy on the other 95% of people too. The evangelical version of Jesus is more like the Bad Shepherd than the Good Shepherd in my opinion. He callously leaves the nineteen lambs to be mauled by the wolves while he coddles the one. I seriously can’t understand how a thinking Christian could believe in that version of Jesus.

  25. Geoff J says:

    BTW — I put up a post a couple of weeks ago contrasting the Mormon views on grace with the evangelical views on grace. See here if you are interested.

  26. rick b says:

    Geoff, if all those groups reject Jesus as Lord and Saviour and do not know Jesus then yes they will go to hell.

    who do you think Paul is speaking of in these verses, and what exactly is this other gospel he speaks of?

    Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
    Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
    Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
    Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

    When Paul says let them be Accursed, he is saying they will be damned forever in hell. Rick b

  27. Geoff J says:

    Great. So at least we can now agree that evangelical theology has Jesus sending ~95% of all people to hell after he goes to the trouble resurrecting them.

    (Frankly, it amazes and amuses me how vigorously evangelicals will defend that horrible concept…)

  28. rick b says:

    Geoff, your blind or want to believe a lie if you openly reject the scriptures that clearly teach eternal damnation. Jesus and the apostles all spoke of it, Even God speaks about it, I see you did not even try and say what this other gospel is Paul speaks of, are you afraid to try and give scripture as to this other Gospel.

    Maybe you will admit it is one of these groups you refer to. Rick b

  29. Falcon says:

    Geoff,
    It looks like we’re closing out this section since I noticed a new article posted. For the sake of (my) closure on the primary topic I will review what I’ve learned. In Mormon theology there is a Father God and a Mother God. They procreate and have spirit children as their off spring. These spirit children eventually become human. That’s why Mormons claim to be god in essence since they have, in a sense, the spiritual DNA of the Father and Mother god. You never quite got there as I pushed you. Looking at Acts through Revelation, when the apostles were proclaiming the Gospel, this concept does not appear. It has to be coming to Mormon doctrine from an extra Biblical source.

    Lastly, I am sensing a sort of hostility towards the Christian Gospel and Jesus. I won’t say our version of Jesus. I believe that’s a technique your prophet used successfully.

    You get the last word……here.

    The Falcon

  30. Geoff J says:

    Falcon,

    We never even talked about “a Father God and a Mother God” in this discussion thread so I am not sure why that would show up in the discussion now. (We certainly didn’t discuss viviparous spirit birth here.)

    I have no hostility whatsoever to the “Christian Gospel and Jesus”. In fact, the Christian Gospel and Jesus are exactly what I believe in. I do think that evangelical theology paint a gross distortion of Jesus though — that is, I think evangelicals preach a version of Jesus that is cruel, unmerciful, unloving, and even racist as evidenced by the fact the evangelicals have no problem claiming the the vast majority of Asians and Arabs and Jews (among others) were placed in a situation on earth that virtually assures them of being sent to be tortured forever in hell after this life. If all these poor little Bhuddist peasants in the Chinese countryside are destined to burn forever in hell for not accepting Jesus in the way prescribed by evangelicals even though they are never given the opportunity to do so, who’s fault would that be? Who made them be born in that time and place to begin with? Evangelicals have no good answers to these obvious questions and as a result are stuck with a version of Jesus who is a tyrant and a bad shepherd. This seems so logically obvious that I am astounded that any thinking person would accept such doctrines. The wise thing would be to dump evangelicalism and find a Christian church that is not shackled with such an awful theology in my opinion. (I know of a good one if you are interested… (grin))

    Please feel free to take the last word on that if you’d like.

  31. rick b says:

    Geoff said

    Evangelicals have no good answers to these obvious questions and as a result are stuck with a version of Jesus who is a tyrant and a bad shepherd.

    No Geoff their are good answers, you just dont agree with them. The answer is, Jesus died for us, his shed blood on the cross will remove our stain, 1John 1:8-9.

    Your false God will not allow for death bed repentance or the forgivness of people who commit murder.

    And speaking of good answers I am still waiting for your take on Gal 1:8-9.

    Geoff said

    In fact, the Christian Gospel and Jesus are exactly what I believe in.

    Wrong,Wrong,Wrong. The LDS beliefe and LDS gospel are miles apart from what us as Christians believe.

    We do not Believe God was once a man, or Jesus and Lucifer are Brothers, or the trinity is false, or that we must enter the temple to be saved. We do not believe in added scripture, like the D and C or the pearl. So no we do not have the same Gospel. if you think we do, then please use the Bible only and show me chapter and verse to support your view. Your view goes back to my topic on my blog about the Bruce Mc challange, you will never be able to show m,e what he spoke on. Rick b

  32. Geoff J says:

    rick b: The answer is, Jesus died for us, his shed blood on the cross will remove our stain, 1John 1:8-9.

    Hehe.

    No offense rick b but once again you are displaying your inability to comprehend any of my answers or arguments here. You gave a lovely “answer” and all… the problem is that it was totally unrelated to the questions I asked.

  33. rick b says:

    Geoff this is what you said

    Evangelicals have no good answers to these obvious questions and as a result are stuck with a version of Jesus who is a tyrant and a bad shepherd.

    It was not exactly a question, your point was you said Jesus was a bad sheperd, I pointed out he is not, he died for us. Yet again I see you refuse to answer the question of, what is the false Gospel Paul spoke of. I suspect if you honestly answer you will either say you dont know, or you will say it is the religions you spoke of that you feel will not go to hell.

    Then you said we pretty much believe the same thing, so I pointed out we did not. I like how you try and tell me and falcon we have no clue and misunderstand you on almost every point. I suppose if you say that enough, someone who does not read every point will simply believe you since you said it, that is a good way to try and avoid answering hard questions.

    Read this list of differences between LDS and Christians that show we do not believe the same thing.

    http://mormonismreviewed.blogspot.com/2006/08/different-gospel.html

    Then try and answer my question about Gal 1:8-9 or admit you either cannot or do not want to. Rick b

  34. Geoff J says:

    rick b,

    Ok, I admit it. I mostly ignore your comments and probably will continue to do so. Mostly because I don’t think you remotely understand most of what I say.

    But as my last comment in this thread I will simply note that Paul seems to be referring to any and all false doctrines in that epistle to the Galatians. Since I think evangelicals teach false and horrifying doctrines about God (see all my previous comments that no one seems to be able to address in the least) then Paul would be addressing your ideas about how cruel and unmerciful God is to non-evangelicals along with all other false doctrines.

    And yes, I fully realize we don’t agree on that point.

  35. Jeff says:

    I just got done with a conversation on mormon.org with a missionary. I asked him about the King Follett discourse on if it is considered offical doctrine. He said that the BoM, the Bible, the D&C’s, and the conference talks are considered as official doctrine and scripture. So I asked him if the King Follett Discourse is to be taken as opinion, and he said yes.

    So what gets me, is in the King Follett Discourse, Joseph Smith puts such emphasis on “knowing for certainty” the nature of God, and that he is now going to tell us all who He is… So after his sermon, was one just supposed to say “Oh hey, thats a nice thought, thanks for the opinion!”?

    Also if thats the case, whats with the student manual teaching the same doctrine if its not official doctrine?

    Then the missionary proceeded to use the “pray about it to find its truth” speech and quoted that nice piece of scripture.. I said thank you for the info and ended the convo… Just some musings, but if the King Follett discourse is pure opinion, why did they teach it through student manuals afterwards?

  36. dallison says:

    From the close communion with God of Genesis 2, they went to the situation described in Genesis 3:8: “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” This spiritual alienation from God became the nature of fallen man. The doctrine of the sin nature of man causes some confusion for certain people (some deny it and claim that man is born sinless). Genesis 5:1-3 may help: “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.” Simply put, human beings are born in the likeness of Adam after the fall. This means that they are born without the indwelling Holy Spirit, alienated from God, and needing to be born again (John 3:3). 1Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.” Sin is both a state (spiritual alienation from God), and an act (purposeful rebellion against God’s law). Sin is “missing the mark,” being and doing that which is con- trary to God’s standard for humankind. God is not a man and man is not a god. Read the bible (God is revealed) not as from the church you go to explains it but from the Holy spirit who gave to man to write it down. God said it and it was so.
    God has been revealed in his creation, we as Christian and Mormons act like God needs a Book to speak to his creation. Where much is given much is required. Most of you have a poor veiw of God as if He can only speaks english or Moromon or what ever grandma said you should believe. I have a personal relationship with God thourgh Jesus Christ, not by a church not by a religion.

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