If proper Mormon baptism is an absolute prerequisite for divine forgiveness, Christians are deluded and have never had a sin forgiven by God

In The Religious Educator, Mark D. Woodbury, director of the Reno Nevada Institute of Religion, writes:

The good news is that there is repentance. Repentance is a great gift from God; indeed, the scriptures teach us that Christ “hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance. And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!” (D&C 18:12–13). But it is only through our entering into a covenant with God through baptism that repentance becomes truly effective. Many times in scripture the prophets and the Savior Himself use the phrase “baptized unto repentance. (See Matthew 3:11; Mosiah 26:22; Alma 5:62; 6:2; 7:14; 8:10; 9:27; 48:19; 49:30; Helaman 3:24; 5:17; 5:19; 3 Nephi 1:23; 7:24, 26; Moroni 8:11; D&C 35:5.) Alma, for example, taught, “Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness” (Alma 7:14).

Alma makes two points clear, the first being that forgiveness of sins does not come simply through repentance alone but that baptism is also necessary. Second, he shows that it is not the waters of baptism that cleanse us but rather the Lamb of God. Nephi clarifies that the remission of sins comes “by fire and by the Holy Ghost” (2 Nephi 31:17). Thus, we are cleansed from our sins only when the Holy Ghost places the stamp of approval upon us.

President Brigham Young taught: “Has water, in itself, any virtue to wash away sin? Certainly not; but the Lord says, ‘If the sinner will repent of his sins, and go down into the waters of baptism, and there be buried in the likeness of being put into the earth and buried, and again be delivered from the water, in the likeness of being born—if in the sincerity of his heart he will do this, his sins shall be washed away.’ Will the water of itself wash them away? No; but keeping the commandments [p.72] of God will cleanse away the stain of sin.” (Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses (Liverpool: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854–86), 2:4.)

Our sins, therefore, are remitted by the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost following our repentance and baptism by water. Continued repentance is then available only to those who have entered into a covenant with the Lord through the Aaronic Priesthood ordinance of baptism. Since the fruits of repentance (forgiveness and cleansing) are available only through the administration of the Aaronic Priesthood, the Aaronic Priesthood “holds the keys of . . . the gospel of repentance” (D&C 13:1; see also Joseph Smith—History 1:69).

If one agrees with Mr. Woodbury, some interesting implications arise. Non-Mormons have never had God forgive even one of their sins. Mormons are the only people on earth currently receiving forgiveness of sins. In other words, Christians are deluded in thinking they are right with God.

No one has the right to call themselves a Christian if they have not had all their sins forgiven, let alone if they have not had any sins forgiven. Instead of oozing the gushy sentiment of “we are both Christians who love Jesus and experience the grace of divine forgiveness”, Mormons should be forthrightly telling evangelicals the honest truth about our condition. We have never been forgiven by God. Not even once. Not ever.

I remember being at the first “National Student Dialogue Conference” in a discussion between Mormons and evangelicals at a round table. I told a sweet Mormon woman about my experience of receiving the total forgiveness of sins as a free gift, of embracing the realistic view of repentance that the Bible speaks of. I spoke of how this forgiveness liberated me to love people in a way I had never before done. She smiled and said she was happy for me. She said she was glad that I had experienced God’s grace and love and she thanked me for bearing my testimony of how God had forgive me for my sins.

Later, the Miracle of Forgiveness came up. I contrasted my view of repentance with Spencer W. Kimball’s overwhelming, burdening six-step process of the permanent, successful, comprehensive, perfect repentance which brings forgiveness. Since she sided with Kimball’s view, I informed her that I had not yet perfectly and permanently and comprehensively abandoned the sinful habits from the urges of my mind (which, according to Kimball, indicates you have not yet been forgiven). I asked her, “Since I have not yet fulfilled Mormonism’s absolutely prerequisite steps required for forgiveness, am I wrong to believe I have had all my sins forgiven?” She nodded. “Then why did you tell me you were happy for me?” She sheepishly smiled and shrugged her shoulders.

I find this very offensive. If you think I’m deluded and deceived into thinking all my sins have been forgiven, don’t patronize me by commending and celebrating my testimony of God having forgiven my sins. Tell me the truth. Tell me that while it is good that I seek forgiveness, I have yet to receive what I think I have already received.

Do Mormons really love evangelicals? If so, then why aren’t we hearing more of the clear truth about our true condition? If completing Spencer Kimball’s six-step prerequisite process for receiving forgiveness isn’t enough—if being properly baptized by the proper Mormon authorities is absolutely prerequisite to the forgiveness of sins before God—then shouldn’t a Mormon be a good doctor and tell me what real condition I’m in? If no non-Mormon has ever been forgiven by God for any sin (having not received proper baptism), then isn’t it unloving to lock hands with us and try to sing Kumbaya? If Mormons love evangelicals, then should they really be engaging evangelicals in quasi-ecumenical kissing contests, celebrating some superficial common ground of believing in a Jesus that has yet to even absolve us of one thing?

Remember, your best friends are the ones who tell you the most vital truth.

Depending on Romans 4:4-8 and the real blessedness of having been forgiven,

Aaron

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144 Responses to If proper Mormon baptism is an absolute prerequisite for divine forgiveness, Christians are deluded and have never had a sin forgiven by God

  1. jackg says:

    Once again, the Mormons challenge biblical truth with “prophets” without testing them against God’s revealed Word. When this happens, the Bible is relegated to something secondary and only good if it works with new revelation. Unfortunatley, it is almost impossible to reason with Mormons because they cling to a folk theology that is based on stories and questionable spiritual experiences. They don’t understand that they deny the power of Jesus Christ to save, the power of God to save His creation on His merits and not on anything we could ever do for ourselves. This is how God decided to save us–despite our works of filthy rags that could only doom us to an eternity of hell. Again, Mormons want to try and create answers to questions that nobody knows because they can’t stomach a sovereign God who can destroy us if He so chose to, but instead offers grace through the blood of Jesus Christ on Calvary. Discussions about baptism for the dead are really on the periphery of the ultimate truth that we are saved because of what Jesus did for us. The NT is replete with this message, but Mormons have been taught false doctrine by men they defend tooth and nail despite the truth shared with them about the free gift of salvation. Until they realize that our works reflect Christ in us and are our response to His grace in our lives, and that they serve as evidence of our faith in Jesus Christ, Mormons will continue to be in bondage to a religion that puts heavy burdens on them. It is a sad state of affairs; fortunately, God never sleeps, and He continually works to redeem all humanity–even if we don’t understand or fathom how He does it.

  2. Andrea says:

    FOF said “Another person grows up and lives a life totally outside of any knowledge of Christ, but lives completely and honestly in line with his conscience.” You then go on to say that person is “brought up to speed, or taught, in the spirit world.”

    My rebuttal to this also answers BornAgainMormon’s question “What about those people that never had a chance?”
    This is addressed exactly in Romans 2:12-16, please read it. This is why baptism for the dead is NOT needed.

  3. Arthur Sido says:

    FoF,

    “Ultimately, each man is backed up to the wall of faith and must either reject or accept the Book of Mormon and latter day revelation. A person can spend their whole life arguing against the book without ever really swallowing their pride and humbly reading it, getting on their knees in submissive pleading for guidance. That is the only means of receiving that knowledge. Otherwise, a person will never really, really know.”

    So when a person does read the BoM cover to cover (as I have) and prayed about it (as I have) and have found it false (as I have), where does that leave us. You will find that many people on here are fo-mo’s and have read the whole thing, yet when we compare it to the Bible it is found to be false and contradictory to God’s Word. Your heart and your feelings are fallible, as are mine. the only source of ultimate authority is not logic, reason, feelings but the Word of God. When you look at what mormonism teaches and compare it to what the Bible teaches, you will find it to be a different gospel preaching a different Christ. So you must either reject the Bible or reject mormonism because they cannot be reconcilled.

  4. Robyn says:

    The LDS church teaches that we are saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. Nothing we could do could even be a smidgen good enough to qualify us for salvation. Christ has asked some things of us. We must have faith in Him, repent and be baptized. To repent we must offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Jesus always stands with arms open to lift us up, but we must come unto Him. The following is a quote from an LDS leader. President Joseph Fielding Smith said:

    “So Paul taught these people—who thought that they could be saved by some power that was within them, or by observing the law of Moses—he pointed out to them the fact that if it were not for the mission of Jesus Christ, if it were not for this great atoning sacrifice, they could not be redeemed. And therefore it was by the grace of God that they are saved, not by any work on their part, for they were absolutely helpless. Paul was absolutely right.

    “And on the other hand, James taught just as the Lord taught, just as Paul had taught in other scripture, that it is our duty, of necessity, to labor, to strive in diligence, and faith, keeping the commandments of the Lord, if we would obtain that inheritance which is promised to the faithful. …

    “So it is easy to understand that we must accept the mission of Jesus Christ. We must believe that it is through his grace that we are saved, that he performed for us that labor which we were unable to perform for ourselves, and did for us those things which were essential to our salvation, which were beyond our power; and also that we are under the commandment and the necessity of performing the labors that are required of us as set forth in the commandments known as the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie

    Thus, we can with Paul fervently exclaim that “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” cont.

  5. Robyn says:

    “We should continue to stress the importance of obedience, of repentance, of faith, and strive with all our hearts to demonstrate good works in our lives. But we should never lose sight of the great overriding fact of the grace of God and the wholly central part it plays in our atonement and salvation.
    Moroni, in the closing words of the Book of Mormon, teaches the relationship between the grace of Christ and the need for our righteous efforts. “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
    “And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.” (Moro. 10:32–33.)
    This seems very consistent with the Bible. I know that there are many FoMo’s who did not understand the doctrine and for their own reasons left the church. And it is true, as in any church, there are members who don’t have faith, don’t follow the Savior. We each have to find true faith ourselves, personally. Being baptized and having faith must be done, but we still have to repent throughout our lives. If we don’t, we show that our faith is empty, just lip service.

  6. Berean says:

    Robyn,

    I like the quotes. Unfortuantely again, Mormon leaders are contradicting themselves:

    “One of the untrue doctrines found in modern Christendom is the concept that man gain salvation by grace alone and without obedience. Immortality is a free gift and comes without works or righteousness of any sort; all men will come forth in the resurrection because of the atoning sacrifice of Christ. SALVATION IN THE CELESTIAL KINGDOM OF GOD, HOWEVER, IS NOT SALVATION BY GRACE ALONE. [Emphasis mine] (Mormon Doctrine, p.671)

    How about this one from Joseph F. Smith:

    “NO SALVATION WITHOUT ACCEPTING JOSEPH SMITH. No man can reject that testimony without accepting most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (Doctrine of Salvation, Vol.1, pp.189-190)

    How about this one:

    “Salvation grows automatically out of the resurrection, and the coming forth in the resurrection constitutes the receipt of whatever degree of salvation HAS BEEN EARNED.” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:196)

    You gotta earn it? No salvation without Joseph Smith? The celestial is a different standard? Where is the grace?

    Look closely at Moroni 10:32. You get Christ’s grace after you have denied yourselves of all ungodliness. Have you done that? If not, then Christ’s grace isn’t sufficient for you. Your whole eternity hangs on two letters “IF”.

    2 Nephi 25:23 compared to Ephesians 2:8-9 is not the same thing. Have you done “after all you can do”? If not, Christ’s grace isn’t sufficient for you.

    “The phrase ‘after all we can do’ teaches that effort is required on our part to receive of the Lord’s grace and be made worthy to dwell with him.” (True to the Faith, p.77).

    Now compare that with Titus 3:5 – “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us”

    Salvation is a gift. You can’t earn it. Nothing you could do would ever purchase it. Your righteousness is as filthy rags (Isa 64:6; Rom 3:10,12,20; Gal 3:10).

  7. BornagainMormon says:

    Berean,
    I was in no way offended. I was simply clarifying that what I said was not what you said I said.
    To all,
    Let me just remind everyone why I brought the topic of baptism up. I believe there are true Christians in all Christian religions. I believe that a true Christian is a person who has come to know Christ as their personal Savior and recognizes they are wholly dependent on Him for salvation. I know many of you do not believe that Mormons believe this, but I am a Mormon and I do. While reading the New Testament I had a very personal experience which confirmed the importance of baptism to my soul. In my search for a church which both sustained my belief in Christ and provided an opportunity for baptism, I studied the doctrines of many churches. In this search I found that most Christian religions fell within two categories. They either believed that baptism was good but not essential, or they believed that it was essential- even if it meant some people would go to hell without ever having had the opportunity to hear the gospel. (By the way Berean, this is what I was referring to when I said “alternative stances”) Both of these presented problems for me. (For a more in depth explanation, refer to my four part post in this section.)
    As a result of this dilemma, I looked more closely at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where I found the doctrine of baptism for the dead. The doctrine answered my questions.

    Let me just share a few of my thoughts on baptism that I hope will clarify some things. First of all, salvation does not come from baptism. Salvation comes from the Lord Jesus Christ through his atonement. I believe that baptism is a procedural element that was instituted by Christ to maintain order within the church, because the Lord’s house is a house of order. Conversion comes through coming to know Christ as our Savior. Baptism is the step which Christ has asked us to take as evidence of our inward conversion. (cont.)

  8. BornagainMormon says:

    (cont.)
    I believe Christ chose baptism because it was an expression that even the weakest of the weak could accomplish. It is not a vain work, because there is no personal glory in it- even the lowliest soul can accomplish it if he/she has the desire to do so. I believe this was done intentionally to take pride out of the picture. By requiring this expression, it provided an orderly procedure for entry within the church.
    I believe it is similar to getting an education. Learning is the heart and soul of the process. Receiving the diploma is just a formality, but a necessary one to maintain order.
    I think this relates to many of the posts. Baptism and Baptism for the dead fulfill the requirement instituted by the Savior. It is part of maintaining order. It is not the meat just like the diploma is not the meat. As with education, someone with the right knowledge without a diploma is just as capable of accomplishing the task as someone with a diploma. Unlike education, Christ has prepared a way to ensure that everyone with the knowledge will have an opportunity to get the “diploma.” In the mean time, those without the “diploma” are just as capable of the same things as those with “diplomas.” In fact, as with education, those without the “diploma” may actually be more capable than those with “diplomas” depending on the honesty of the education. I realize this is an imperfect analogy, but I think it has value.
    Although baptism is not the sole key to salvation, it is a sign of Christ’s church. I believe most if not all who are on this sight are true Christians. I am not worried about your eternal salvation, because I believe your hearts are right with the Lord. I am simply trying to share what I believe are signs of the His church. I suppose that makes me “trying to make it about the church instead of Christ,” but for me, after I found Christ, I felt a need to understand the words he spoke about baptism.

  9. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Berean,
    Actually Moroni’s 1st step is “come unto Christ”. His first words. That is how you get it. Step 1 Come unto Him 2)Be perfected in Him 3)Deny yourself. Please state the scripture accurately.

    Also, the quotes you provide are all emphasizing one thing. Grace and Works are necessary for exaltation.

    As far as JS. You cannot reject any prophet and gain salvation. Wouldn’t that be your sentiment to the Jew? The OT prophets are not enough. You must accept the NT prophets also. That is not some unique Mormon doctrine.

    The main problem that is always present with Biblical debates is evident from this discussion.

    Berean: Filthy rags, no righteous , no good with scripture to back it up. But what about these

    Berean quotes Paul who says “there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

    But then Paul also says 1 Tim 6:18 “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
    19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

    Two conflicting doctrines. Are we good? Can we do good? Without modern scriptures and revelation his comments seem to contardict each other. We are just chasing our tails here.

  10. BornagainMormon says:

    germit,
    Thank you for your honest thoughts. In response to your statement, “You seem to think that the ev. christian God is harsh and restrictive, or moreso than what/whom you have found in the LDS faith.” I do not believe that most evangelicals believe in this type of God, but I do believe that the doctrine is incomplete leaving the impression that God is either very harsh or inconsistent. I realize that you believe these stances are on the fringe of Christianity, but I don’t understand how you justify this. I don’t mean to be ignorant, but your explanation as well as many others seem to be very consistent with the stance that although baptism is a good thing, it is optional. I believe that many Christians reach this conclusion simply because they don’t believe in a harsh God, and making baptism essential- without the concept of baptism for the dead- is inconsistent with a merciful God. I realize not everyone feels as strongly about baptism as I do, and I believe because of baptism for the dead, in the end, it will all take care of itself. But for me, these things answered my questions about Christs teachings on baptism.

  11. Berean says:

    Defender,

    Since you have taken on the nickname of B.H. Roberts (Defender of the Faith) and seem knowledgeable in the LDS religion, I would like for you to further explain each step in Moroni 10:32 and how Mormons accomplish that:

    1. “Come unto Christ”?
    2. “Be perfected in Him”?
    3. “Deny yourselves of all ungodliness”?

    By the way you left out step 4 in your post and that is:

    4. “Then is his grace sufficient for you”

    I stated it accurately. You have three things you have to do before you can get Christ’s grace. Step 2&3 are impossible without having the grace first because you can’t do that on your own. How are you going to perfect yourselves and deny yourself of all ungodliness? Have you done these two things? If you haven’t, then Christ’s grace isn’t sufficient for you.

    My salvation is not contingent on any prophet whether it be one from the OT or the NT. I personally don’t care for Jonah and he is one of the last ones I’ll be getting in line in heaven to meet. The difference between Mormonism and Christianity on this issue is that we accept all of our prophets that are mentioned in the Bible and you will never hear a Christian say:

    “Well, that was Noah’s/Abraham’s/Isaac’s/Matthew’s/Paul’s OPINION and not authoritative for me.”

    I hear Mormons throwing this around all the time with their prophets and apostles when they come across something they said or taught that they personally don’t like. Mormons love to bash Christians for our liberty in Christ, but in this case the Mormons have more liberty than us in how they dismiss the teachings of their former prophets they don’t like. We stand on everything our prophets and apostles have taught as recorded in the Bible. When are Mormons going to stand firm on everything that Brigham Young taught (Adam-god, denial of the virgin birth, blood atonement, etc.)?

    Christianity is salvation by grace, justification by faith alone apart from any of our unworthy works. The Bible is clear.

  12. Robyn says:

    Underlying many of the quotes from LDS leaders is the understanding that Christ made it possible for us to be saved. Do you believe that someone who says they believe in Christ and have accepted Him as their Savior and goes on to a life of immorality and sinning without ever stopping, knowing it is wrong, are they saved? They know they are breaking the commandments, don’t seem to be showing much faith in Christ. But will they be saved despite these decisions they made? We believe that salvation comes through the grace of Christ, with obedience to the things He asks. His grace is essential, resurrection is a free gift, but He asks some things of us in order to benefit from his atonement. Faith, repentance, baptism, a broken heart and a contrite spirit, valiance in your faith in Him.
    If JS was truly the Lord’s mouthpiece to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ, then believing in what he taught is important. If you don’t accept Christ’s teachings through His prophets, then, are you truly accepting Him?
    Underlying the quote about “whatever salvation has been earned” is the belief that we could never be saved without Jesus, but we also must follow His requirements(faith,repentance,etc)
    I read all of those scriptures you sited, Berean. I can see how you believe what you do. The context with which these things were said is important. In those days they had been living the performances of the law of Moses for many years. The law of Moses pointed to Jesus Christ. Christ fulfilled that law and now faith in Christ, not the works of the law, was needed. I’d imagine it was hard for people to believe that back then. But the works of the law never were sufficient to save, as many of them believed, but faith as Abraham had, when he with faith accepted what was told him, that his wife would bare a child in her old age, spoken of in Romans. The true gospel as taught by the LDS is consistent, when studied with sincere prayer.

  13. germit says:

    BornAgain: I think you’re reading too much into what I said, I am not justifying either of the two extreme positions that I posted, only explaining that they are out there, and apparantly you seemed to be needlessly constraining yourself to these two as far as what ev. christians believe. To say that baptism is not necessary for salvation is not at all the same as saying it is no big deal, or even to say that it is not necessary in general. God wants it done, why else would HE have put it in scripture, but it is GOD , not GERMIT, who gave us clear word on what is and is not required for salvation. I didn’t write the book or set the rules. Your complaint, really, is not even about baptism, as much as it is about what is required for salvation. If you want to make baptism a requirement, go ahead, that is a little ironic, because YOU are the one pushing for a less restrictive God. HMMMM. The ev. christian position will never make much sense to you as long as you insist on DOING SOMETHING to gain your salvation, we’re back to the grace thing. Thanks for the posts.
    To Robyn: if JS was who he said he was, then no, I don’t think I’d be accepting Jesus . The same could be said in the context of SunYungMoon, David Koresh, etc.etc If any one of these “prophets” were genuine, then I guess I’m in big trouble. I don’t lose a lot of sleep over it , there is so much going against your case: not the least of which is waiting for you over at the other thread; you’ve got me a little puzzled with the above: if Christ fulfilled the law, and now it’s faith in Christ that is the big deal (sounds good to me), why the push to RESTORE the FAITH OF THE ANCIENTS. Didn’t JS mean ‘restore the faith of ancient Israel, as far back as Adam’?? Didn’t Adam worship in a temple similar to yours and do the ordinances like you do them?? Just what do YOU mean by a ‘resored faith” ??? History’s not so bad, it’ll just hurt for a sec. DOF: Come unto Christ with empty hands of faith, and we find rest.

  14. Andrea says:

    Robyn quoted, “We should … strive with all our hearts to demonstrate good works in our lives. But we should never lose sight of the great overriding fact of the grace of God and the wholly central part it plays in our atonement and salvation.”

    I think it’s about priorities. He cautions to not “lose sight” of God’s grace because too often Mormons do focus on their works more than Jesus and His work on the cross. If one truly loves and has a heart for Christ, they do not have to “strive to demonstrate good works” –it will be wholly evident. When one has a heart full for God, good works spill out because it cannot be contained. Christians do not see “this great atoning sacrifice”, we see THE greatest sacrifice EVER. It is not a “great overriding fact” it is THE FOCUS, the only way by which we are saved.

    BornAgainMormon said, “They either believed that baptism was good but not essential, or they believed that it was essential- even if it meant some people would go to hell without ever having had the opportunity to hear the gospel.”
    Anyone who believes the latter is in direct contradiction of the Bible. Romans 2:12-16. If one dies without ever hearing of Christ, they are judged by their hearts and their adherence to the Law.

    “As a result of this dilemma, I looked more closely at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where I found the doctrine of baptism for the dead. The doctrine answered my questions.” The answer to your question is found in Romans 2. What you need to do is find a church that follows this and Mormonism does not, evidenced by the fact that they too believe baptism is necessary to gain anything other than the telestial kingdom. What you said about baptism is correct, it is a sign of Christ’s church, of our inward conversion. Therefore, one could still be saved and not be baptized -in that same vein, if one hasn’t heard of Christ it isn’t necessary for them to be baptized to receive salvation.

  15. Andrea says:

    Robyn also said, “Do you believe that someone who says they believe in Christ and have accepted Him as their Savior and goes on to a life of immorality and sinning without ever stopping, knowing it is wrong, are they saved? They know they are breaking the commandments, don’t seem to be showing much faith in Christ.” I cannot know someone’s heart. If one professes to believe in Christ but continues sinning, I do not know if they are being willfully rebellious or cannot help themselves. My father-in-law was an alcoholic, it is what killed him. But I believe he is with the Lord because he absolutely loved Jesus and God and His Word. I do know the circumstances that drove him to drinking and I don’t fault him for it -it was too much for him to bear. That doesn’t excuse him from his addiction, but it is not for me to judge where his heart lay; by his other actions, he demonstrated his belief in Christ and the grace of God.

    Romans 6:8-18 addresses this topic.
    12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,
    13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
    16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
    17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
    18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

    If one continually willfully sins without caring, without confession and a repentant heart, they do not have Christ in their heart and are slaves to the devil.

  16. Arthur Sido says:

    DoF,

    “Berean quotes Paul who says “there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

    But then Paul also says 1 Tim 6:18 “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
    19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

    Two conflicting doctrines. Are we good? Can we do good? Without modern scriptures and revelation his comments seem to contardict each other. We are just chasing our tails here.”

    Not at all. Does Christianity teach that men never do good works? Not at all, but it does teach that without being regenerate, being born-again the works we do can do nothing to save us. You are mixing doing good for one another (which even atheists can do) with saving perfection. Lots of people feed the poor, help old ladies across the street,etc. Those works are good things to do, and in fact many of the good works we see each other doing are the RESULTS of being saved, but you cannot be saved by doing them. You have the cart before the horse. Christ should save me because of all the works I have done? No, I should do works for His glory because He has saved me. Reread the New Testament without the mo-goggles and you will find that it is Christ who saved us, not part of the way, not as a helping hand but once and for all, completely. There is no such thing as partial propitiation.

    Context, context, context. You can’t just do a word search for “good”, you need to read what the context is. We should do good works, but not because we are saved by them or even that we demonstrate our righteousness but rather out of gratitude for the salvation graciously granted us by the sacrifice Christ made on the cross, not to make salvation possible for anyone who can do enough works and learn secret handshakes but to make it sure for His sheep.

  17. Robyn says:

    I agree with Andrea that only God knows the heart of a person as they commit sin. I feel the Savior will be very understanding of human frailty at the judgement. Andrea said”I think it’s about priorities. He cautions to not “lose sight” of God’s grace because too often Mormons do focus on their works more than Jesus and His work on the cross. If one truly loves and has a heart for Christ, they do not have to “strive to demonstrate good works” –it will be wholly evident.” I would agree that often Mormons do not do everything they should do. Maybe other Christians are perfect, but we Mormon style Christians know that we each must come to Christ on our own, as we grow spiritually. The fact is that we believe in the New Testament Jesus. The differences in the heart of our beliefs are not as strange as you all like to think. Jesus is what our church is all about. We know that Jesus is the only way to be saved and we strive to follow Him. It is laughable that anyone would put Joseph Smith in a group with Koresh, etc. You really know very little about his character, his commitment to God, and how much he was loved by those who knew him. His accomplishments are unbelievable, yet documented. I read a book recently by a non-LDS writer, published in about 1933. The title was Joseph Smith American Prophet. It was a good, and accurate book. I was amazed that someone, not a member of the LDS church, would take just historical facts and write a fair appraisal of Joseph. There is much historically accurate information about Joseph Smith. I recommend you learn truth, not misunderstandings and innuendo. I know that there is tons of anti Mormon stuff out there. Why? Any I have read is simply not true and certainly not inspired by a good source. As a lifelong Mormon, I know what this church is about.

  18. Pingback: Mormon Coffee » A biblical definition of “Christian”

  19. germit says:

    ROBYN: thanks for posting here, I know it can feel like herding rabid, soggy, menopausal cats. I will personall own “soggy” from the list: thanks to Gustav. ‘it is laughable that anyone would put JS in the same list as Koresh….’ well of course it is, to you. And if I told Oprah that her dear prophet of the ages, Eckhart Tolle, was not the real deal, she would laugh out loud. I could go on, you get the point: all these ‘chosen ones’ have their followers who find it laughable that their esteemed one should be in ‘false prophets’ list. Look at it this way: you could just as easily make up such a list, maybe with Warren Jeffs on it, and HIS followers would say, “oh, that’s just laughable..”. We can agree that JS accomplished A LOT during his 38 yrs of life. And his life was history changing and could EASILY be made into a hollywood blockbuster. We can also agree that many people, then and now, loved him dearly. They sacrificed EVERYTHING for the LDS message. As to his character, well, even though I never met the man, I’ve read histories, eye witness accounts, and JS’ own writings, so I think I’m not without a basis for decision there (there’s always room for more accurate information, granted). In fact it is his CHARACTER that should shout out ‘false prophet’, but I won’t pull that thread of the sweater here. MANY fo-mo’s did just that, when they were just faithful ‘mo’s’, and “uh-oh….”. I recently bought (for $4, praise the living GOD) Lucy Mack Smith’s history of her beloved son, Joe. Do you have an opinion of that history, or any others??? Blessings on all covered in the blood of the Lamb. GERMIT

  20. Robyn says:

    You know that when Jesus was here on earth He was hated by many. The majority did not believe Him. They liked their traditions and He didn’t fit their idea of the Messiah. They called Him blasphemus, and said He was of the devil. They were not people who recognized Truth when it was staring them in the face. After Jesus was killed His gospel was changed. Over time, people thought up their own ideas of how things should be done. That doesn’t work. God’s church must be run by Him, revealing His will to those He chooses to teach others. Obviously men just don’t have all of the answers, God does. He knows everything, we know nothing in comparison. I see the hand of the Lord in so many ways in this church. The doctrine, the organization, and the ordinances. It is my witness that this is His work. It is beautiful and it is rolling forward to bless the world. Any faults in the LDS church are the results of mistakes by members, who have human frailties. You won’t find better men than the leaders of the LDS church. They are men of God. They are apostles and prophets. I am thankful for the many ways the Lord has blessed my life and taught me much through His church. Jesus Christ leads this work.

  21. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Gee Robyn…imagine being an African American and hearing this from Brigham Young…I doubt the hearer would feel “blessed” in any sense…

    “You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable, sad, low in their habits, wild, ad seemingly without the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be and the Lord put a mark on him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then other curse is pronounced upon the same race – that they would be the “servant of servants;” and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree.” Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, pages 290 291

  22. Andrea says:

    Robyn,

    As I was studying last night I came across another passage to answer your question “Do you believe that someone who says they believe in Christ and have accepted Him as their Savior and goes on to a life of immorality and sinning without ever stopping, knowing it is wrong, are they saved?” It’s in Hebrews chapter 10:

    26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, (v10 -Jesus was the final sacrifice)
    27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
    29 How much more severe a punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

    Just wanted to let you know, and to thank you for pushing me to study the Bible more diligently.

  23. germit says:

    ROBYN: you get the attention, not a lot of traffic over on the Mormon history channel, is there a pagaent in town I don’t know about?? I sure hope we haven’t scared off Soprano, Bryce, and friends (this is not GERMIT being facetious: it’s the LDS I tune in for here at MC, tho learning from the Berean boys is great too)
    There are entire phrases of your post that I agree with TOTALLY:
    ALL the stuff about Jesus and HIS audience, of course
    “After Jesus was killed, His gospel was changed..” Amen, sister, I am down with that, and so we had the Reformation 1500 yrs later,give or take. But WHAT GOSPEL WAS CHANGED, WHAT DID THAT GOSPEL LOOK LIKE?? If you are saying that the gospel that changed was the LDS gospel, then my invitation to you (you might not like this) is to step off the testimony dias and give the heathen here reason to believe that what got changed was the LDS package and program. CLUFF has started a defense, of sorts, but then again, he has 9 hrs of BYU extra credit in his pocket (which is 9 more than I have, I must confess); please play ‘wing-woman’ for you brother in arms and explain this change in the gospel from the bible and from history (I thoroughly understand that history does NOT PROVE anything, but it can still point to truth, if history is on your side; if history is NOT on your side, then make faces and pound the table)
    Your testimony IS VALUABLE, but not discuss-able because , like MINE, it is beyond refuting, it is private, subjective experience (Cluff, is that you muttering “Holy Ghost, Holy Ghost…???”) These may not be the topics on your short list, but MC is not the best forum for ‘testimony hour’. ALL FOR NOW: GERMIT

  24. Robyn says:

    Boy, you all don’t give a girl a break! Thanks, Andrea, for a kind answer and the interesting scriptures. Though I didn’t state it, the restoration was of Christ’s church, which he set up when he was living here. I’m sure some of you knew this was my meaning. I realize my feelings are not facts to you, but they are to me. It is a waste of time to try to defend my church here. I wonder if you who so rigorously put down the LDS church would have been one of the people driving women and children out of their homes in the middle of winter if you had lived in the early days of the LDS church. Good Christians, huh. The devil was very interested in tearing down the church back then, too. Most of you “anti mormons” who post on this site are sooo convinced that you are exposing some terrible, malicious church. You think you are doing good by what you pass along that you think is true about our beliefs. Your understanding of this church is completely innaccurate. Oh, sorry (that is my opinion!) The things you state as “historical fact” are often YOUR INTERPRETATION of what is written. You have obviously put in very much time trying to prove these things. I think most mainstream, committed Christians, are super good people. They live as Jesus taught. They don’t seek to tear down other’s faith, in the name of defending Christ. I do not worry about their salvation, the Lord knows their heart. You do a disservice by tearing down faith. The devil does that good enough on his own. And to “ldsstitanic,” if Brigham Young said that, he was mistaken, like many of that time period. I don’t expect an apostle or prophet to be perfect. Peter denied Christ thrice. Others of the early church leaders were totally opposed to slavery.

  25. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Robyn…I hope you haven’t found any of our comments to be a personal attack…we are VERY critical of Mormonism but not Mormons.

    I’m amazed after all the quoting of Jesus and His command to “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Now you don’t expect your apostles/prophets to be perfect? I could maybe excuse it if it was some Mormon crackpot just off on their own saying things (like Betty Eadie and her Embraced by the Light book). But this was Brigham Young!! At the time he was the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator of your church!! Yet you admit he was mistaken…I’m shocked.

    You are correct that there are Christians who don’t even know what they believe let alone what any other groups believe. Cultural Christians exist just as I’m sure cultural Mormons exist. However, the fact remains that Joseph Smith fired on us first when he declared (speaking for God of course) that none of the Christians had it right…all their professors were corrupt and their creeds were an abomination!! How’s that for not tearing down other’s faiths? Or do you think he was mistaken also? I wouldn’t admit that to your bishop…Blessings!

  26. Robyn says:

    I can understand why you don’t like the fact that the LDS church believes it is the only true church.I suppose that is like trying to tear down others faith when we say that.The difference is that the LDS church does not actively go out and try to cram their beliefs down others throats.The Olympics in Salt Lake are a good example.We did no proselyting. But when I was there at the time, Christians approached us and started making claims against our church, we didn’t agree to discuss these things, they shouted them at us. Alot of the anti Mormon stuff out there shouts the false claims about our church.We send out missionaries who knock on doors to ask if people are interested and teach if we are invited.We don’t post anti evangelical information on the internet or in books and we don’t picket Christian churches with insulting signs. We generally quietly express our beliefs. That is the way we prefer to do things. That gets back to the original article being discussed on this site. The women who did not come out and tell the Christian that his beliefs were not right was simply being respectful of his beliefs. Unless one really felt like it was the right time to tell this guy about our beliefs, we would not force our beliefs.I think this lady did what she should. Any belief in Christ is a good thing, better than not believing.We are happy to see the faith and belief of others.We just hope to get to share the additional information with them that we have about God’s plan. Joseph Smith had to teach what he was taught.He was told that the others churches had a form of Godliness but lacked the power thereof.And that the other churches drew near to Him with their lips, but their hearts were far from him. Maybe that described the churches of the day.Everyone cannot be right about religion. There are so many beliefs. What each person must do is decide if Christ’s church was restored and exists in the LDS church.I have chosen that belief.

  27. Robyn says:

    About Brigham Young- I don’t know why he said these things. He was obviouly wrong. “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.” Hmm. I have never met a perfect human being. Even a prophet is human. As I said before,even Peter who knew Jesus and was taught by Him denied Him thrice. Brigham Young was the president and prophet of our church at that time. I believe he was called of God to lead.

  28. jackg says:

    Once again, the bigger issue is that Mormonism teaches that one is justified by works and not by faith–even the dead. Christianity teaches that Jesus paid the price of our sins; He paid the ultimate penalty. That is the beauty of God’s grace: that we don’t have to die (be eternally separated from God), which is the penalty for sin. D&C 138 deals with the dilemma of the dead. Here’s vv. 58-59: “The dead who repent will be redeemed through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God. And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation.” There is nothing even remotely close this teaching throughout the totality of the Bible. The apostle Paul et al would have fought against such heretical teachings. However, what is more curious is that this doctrine of salvation for the dead goes against BOM teaching: “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors” (Alma 34:32). There is no room for salvation for the dead doctrine in light of this passage. The only thing the D&C passage looks like this passage the stress on works. Mormon doctrine is wrong on so many different levels. But, the worst thing about it is that it denies the power of Jesus Christ to save us on His own merits. Our works, once again, do not merit us salvation, but show evidence of our faith in Jesus Christ, who is the Only One with the power to save a fallen and broken humanity. We respond to God’s grace in our lives with good works as evidence of that Grace; God does not respond to our good works with grace. Mormonism is upside down and backwards in relation to biblical Christianity.

  29. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Robyn…we do finally agree on something…each person MUST decide if Christ’s church was restored. That is one of the main purposes of this site and others like it. We are examining the claims of Mormonism and it’s prophets to make our decision. So far it isn’t looking good. The total lack of historical/archeological evidence for places in the BoM just for starters.

    God had a higher standard for His prophets than you do I guess. In Deuteronomy 18:22 He said if a prophet spoke in His name and the thing didn’t come to pass…God didn’t send him. I’m still waiting to see the temple in Independence that Joseph Smith (or Jesus Christ in context) said would be built in his generation (Doctrine & Covenants Section 84).

    If the missionaries ONLY went out to call on people who had expressed an interest in the church I could believe what you say. However, we know that isn’t the case. You are right about the obnoxious methods some Christians use. Most of us are opposed to screaming at people and carrying hateful signs. That doesn’t mean we aren’t passionate about what we believe. We believe we have the same Gospel the Apostle Paul preached. The same Paul who said “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.” Galatians 1:8. That includes Native American angels named Moroni…Blessings!

  30. germit says:

    Robyn: Glad you are still posting, I’m sure there is a lot of frustration in trying to charitably represent someone (JS) and something (the LDS faith) when they are under continual attack. You are a good ambassador for your cause, invite others to join in, and or come back (that’s a clumsy hint to DOF,FOF,Bryce, and Soprano)

    “the difference is that the LDS does not actively go outand try to cram their beliefs down other people’s throats….(our) missionaries teach…if invited..”

    I applaud being civil and courteous, and I make no excuse for anyone, no matter their doctrine or theology, who has been rude to you or others. Did you catch the James White video above where he said that it was a group of CHRISTIAN ‘screetchers’ that kept him (voluntarily) from going to an LDS event?? He did NOT want to be identified with that approach, that’s what I mean. However polite, your message tears ours down (I think you see that) AS MUCH as ours does yours. THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS ARTICLE AND THREAD: YOUR MESSAGE TELLS ME (AND ALL THOSE IN THE HOMES THE MISHIES ARE GOING TO) THAT MY GOSPEL IS WORTHLESS. Note the last word ‘WORTHLESS’. Not incomplete or not quite true enough: that is patronizing, PR baloney: and I dearly want to type the stronger description if you catch my drift. Yes, lipstick lady was being respectful and courteous, but her ‘kind answer’ was FALSE, even if unintentionally false: AARONS gospel does him no good at all, it is a deception and a fraud IF the LDS message is correct. Hard to admit in polite conversation, but isn’t that the truth?? As to cramming our views,etc, I would note that you are here by invitation (and I’m very glad you have the guts and conviction to come in), and no one here is ‘cramming’ anything onto anyone (although we can be more shrill than necessary, LDS INCLUDED) Comparing my strong words here at MC with actual physical violence done to the brethren in MO ??? I’m not offended, I’ll only say you don’t me very well.

  31. germit says:

    Robyn (cont’d)
    I would HOPE that I would have been willing and eager to preach a public sermon against your guy, even in his neighborhood (legally and in order), whether I actually would have, I’ll never know.

    “Any belief in Christ is a good thing, better than not believing..”
    Do you really believe that?? What kind of ‘belief’?? Are all those who say “I believe in Jesus Christ” on equal footing, are they all REALLY saying the same thing, even if they are using the same words?? Have you read the New Age folks: Neal Donald Walsh, Debbie Ford, Eckhart Tolle, etc…?? They use this language, are they OK with God also?? You seem to be BOTH somewhat of a relativist AND a strong LDS-is-truth person at the same time… How can that be ??
    “we quietly express our beliefs…that’s the way we generally prefer to do things..”
    There is a new wave of “anti-s” on the block, if you want to give me that label: we live in a pluralistic culture, and that is a good thing, the only theocracy I want is the one Jesus will be setting up when HE is ready (the “summing up of all things in Eph 1). But I do not, I WILL NOT do ‘quietly express my beliefs’, yet not in a street screecher kind of way. If this comes across as intolerant or ‘anti’, all I can say is the two messages are completely oil and water (just as the ET new age message is oil and water to orthodoxy: there is no REAL agreement, only an illusory one) You’ve been kind in reading my Friday ramble, you are not likely to make headway in my stance, but I hope you continue to post and work for the furtherance of what you hold to be true for the benefit of those who listen in (and who knows how many souls there are who do that???) SECOND POST OVER

    Cluff, how’s the ankle bracelet fit, when do you get out of Citation jail???

  32. Andrea says:

    Quick comment before I’m out for the night.

    Sorry to pick on you Robyn :) I believe it was you who said: “The women who did not come out and tell the Christian that his beliefs were not right was simply being respectful of his beliefs.” I have to say that Christ doesn’t call us to be respectful of other’s beliefs –that idea is from modern political correctness. Christ call us to correction.

    “(JS) was told that the others churches had a form of Godliness but lacked the power thereof.”
    Sorry, but “all other churches are an abomination in my sight” does not translate to ‘they have a form of Godliness.’ It bugs me when I overhear my (Mormon) mother and brother say of my (Christian) sister and myself “well at least they have something.” Christ is not as unitarian as some believe -it doesn’t matter if we believe “something” or “at least believe in Christ”, what matters is that we believe in Him and that he is The Way, The Truth, The Life. Peace out.

  33. Robyn says:

    Jesus taught his gospel relatively quietly and peacefully. He didn’t go out of His way to make the unbelievers understand Him. He taught, and those who wanted to, listened. That is what Mormons believe is the right way.
    To clarify, this is what Joseph says he was told: I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that:“they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” I can’t apologize for what Jesus told an honest seeker after truth. Joseph was a good boy who sincerely was concerned and prayed for help, as he had read in James 1:5.

  34. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Robyn…I’m letting the “good boy” comment mostly slip by…do keep in mind he was arrested for using his seer stone to dig for buried treasure and he wasn’t very good at that either…you can see scanned copies of the court documents if you look into it.

    Relatively quietly and peacefully? Do you really believe that? He got himself crucified my friend!! Clearly he wasn’t tiptoeing through the tulips. He was most outspoken against the religious leaders who tried to burden the people with all kinds of extra commandments (ring any bells?).

    If he wanted wisdom…which James specifies…not visions in groves…all he needed to do was keep his nose in the book. Paul said it best talking to Timothy…”And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee WISE unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 3:15)

    Over and out for the day…Blessings!

  35. Jeffrey says:

    Robyn, you said “Joseph was a good boy who sincerely was concerned and prayed for help, as he had read in James 1:5.

    James 1:5 “If any of you lack WISDOM, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (capped emphasis mine)

    Tell me Robyn, do you know the difference between WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE?

    To even use that verse to support Joseph Smiths prayer is taking it far from its context. Allegedly, god gave Joseph Smith knowledge, not wisdom. Wisdom is the moral application of knowledge.

    Maybe instead of asking for knowledge, he should have asked for wisdom before he tried to pawn off the embarrassing debacle known as the Book of Abraham.

    Honest question here. Do you know about the Book of Abraham issues?

    I think Aaron was treated like a child. Its an insult to his intelligence for that woman to do the old “That’s nice dear.” It comes down to two things.

    1) Either she wasn’t confident in her doctrine enough to confront Aaron that his views on forgiveness is wrong

    or

    2) She had no sympathy or care as to if Aaron was truly forgiven or not.

    The truth hurts sometimes Robyn, and eternally it would be more painful for Aaron NOT to hear the truth she “knows” to be true, instead of the uncomfortable, yet HONEST conversation.

    I just want you to know that that uneasy feeling you have on this blog, isn’t the Holy Spirit leaving the room because of the (hostile environment), I believe it is God who has led you here and sometimes you have to have growing pains.

    I honestly have a love for you, and I understand where you are coming from. My wife was born and raised LDS, and now she has a much different perspective, and finds joy in the freedom and glory of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  36. germit says:

    To All: I’ll burn the 2cd post to restate one of the main themes of this thread: what is REALLY needed in the christian/mormon dialogue is NOT niceness and ‘being polite’ but simple HONESTY. This is not to be used as an excuse to become a vein-popping-out-of-the-head screamer. But what is changing on the landscape, and this thread and article help A LOT (GOD BLESS YOU AARON), is that christians are more and more INSISTENT upon honesty: don’t give us the cold oatmeal praise of Coke Newell’s “Latter Days”, or the mealy mouthed expressions of “mutual respect for all truth”. I’m not being belligerent or looking for a fight: the fight is already there, I refuse to walk away from it. Hopefully I “fight” with the dignity and charity of our Savior, but this is not the time for false words and false peace. If we ev. christians are wrong, show us plainly where we are wrong, and some on MC, FOF and DOF and Cluff the Incarcerated, have tried to do just that. Kudos to FOF and others who have been honest in admitting that the ‘divide’ is indeed very great, and not tried to soft sell that. I respect that. GERMIT our.

  37. Robyn says:

    Jeffrey, you seem to judge or nit pick. I can very much see how Joseph would decide to pray about this because of what it said in James 1:5. It’s not too much of a stretch. Do you think that a young boy would necessarily know the difference? Your post surprised me. I believe Joseph Smith’s story 100%. Jeffrey, I don’t know your ex-Mormon wife’s story, but I hope that someday she will reconsider. She gave up a lot. I appreciate your kindness, but I really never thought the “spirit was leaving the room because of the hostile environment”.
    So, I would like to know how Ev. Christians got the authority to baptize?
    There are so many scriptures in the New Testament that support LDS beliefs. I was just reading Romans 2:5-11. It says a lot about the grace and works question.
    What is the deal with you all thinking we poor Mormons have so much put on us, or whatever? Everything my church teaches is wonderful and has blessed my life so much. “Where much is given much is expected” we have all heard before, but it’s true. I am willing to serve the Lord with all my heart for what He has done for me.
    The advantage of having additional scripture and a living prophet is that we have some additional help in understanding the meaning of things in the Bible. Remember, when looking for understanding of scriptures, to not take certain scriptures alone. The whole Bible weaves a picture of the gospel. One scripture may sound one way until you take into consideration some additional light from another scripture in the Bible. Because of our additional resources we have more help understanding the gospel.

  38. Jeffrey says:

    Robyn, you didn’t answer my question about the Book of Abraham.

    It may seem nit-picky from your perspective but there is a big difference between God saying you will receive wisdom if you ask for it, and God saying you will receive knowledge if you ask for it.

    Whether JS knew the difference between wisdom and knowledge is irrelevant. God said He would grant wisdom to those who ask, not knowledge. So using that verse as a “God gives knowledge to those who ask for it” is deceptive.

    I think its fairly obvious you believe in JS’s story 100%. I don’t doubt you on your faith.

    The authority in the LDS church has caused you to doubt God’s Word. (i.e. as far as it is translated correctly).

    2 Timothy 4:3
    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”

    Sounds a lot like the Mormon Church. Instead of enduring sound doctrine found in God’s word, the LDS church has heaped to themselves teachers. Then they confirm those new doctrines with a burning bosom. Does it not bother you that there is no historical or archeological evidence to support your faith?

    I will let the fellow ev’s on here answer the baptismal authority question.

    Robyn “Remember, when looking for understanding of scriptures, to not take certain scriptures alone.”

    Do you still maintain your view that the way Aaron was treated by the lady is kind? and I don’t mean politically correct. There is no room for “Political Correctness” when it comes to where a soul will end up.

    Amen Sister.

  39. Robyn says:

    No historical or archeological evidence? There are both.
    And yes, the way Aaron was treated was maybe not the way he wanted, but the lady has the right to discuss something or not with whomever she chooses. Aaron didn’t know her reasons. It has nothing to do with “political correctness.” It looks as though Aaron was fully aware that she didn’t believe as he does and knew something of what she believed already.
    I do not doubt God’s word. It is a great blessing to have more of God’s word, given to a different people. It clarify’s things a lot. I do not know what you refer to about the Book of Abraham.
    The description you all give of the LDS church is skewed and COMPLETELY innaccurate. My husband was a bishop and his father taught religion at BYU. The experiences my husband had in his calling are undeniably blessings from God. There is MUCH you don’t know and you really should learn from the religion itself and judge for yourself, without the input of those who have something against it. I apologize that my contributions to this discussion are not full of information. I don’t have time to look up everything I would like to. I’m not a walking encyclopedia on LDS doctrine. I do my best. I hope some scriptorians will take up this discussion. Maybe DefenderoftheFaith or BornAgainMormon, Cluff or FaithofFathers?? Thanks for helping me understand the issues that concern you all and making me study some things.

  40. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Robyn…pray tell what historical/archeological evidences do you have that we are all ignorant of? Can you take us to Zarahemla? I have heard that the “experts” are now thinking the Hill Cumorah is in Central or South America. But that doesn’t help Joseph much who said the Hill is in New York and that’s where he found the golden plates. Not to mention because of recent DNA evidence (and common sense – Native Americans are hairless and Semitic people are furry) they are changing the front page of the BoM to say the Lamanites are “among” their ancestors. This is the most correct book on earth right? My, My…

    Completely inaccurate? The church claims Joseph Smith was martyred yet he had a gun in his hand and was blasting away when he died…thats a martyr? Check the facts and see if I’m wrong. What have we stated (usually documented from LDS resources anyone can get ahold of) that is COMPLETELY inaccurate? We strive to get our information correct. You need to give us some examples…

  41. faithoffathers says:

    I have been away a lot, but must respond to the claim that there is no historical or archeological evidence of our faith. I assume this includes the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, etc. This claim is simply not true. I invite such a discussion because, although “proof” will never truly convert a person to Christ, too often the claims of critics go without academic scrutiny.

    “Take me to the Hill Cumorah” is a facetious request commonly heard from Book of Mormon detractors. Doing such a thing is vastly more complex than a person understands. Take the Bible for example, only 55% of sites named in the text are known today. And without contiguous name relationships in the text, only 36 of 475 sites are known with certainty. What about Mt. Sinai? There are over 20 candidate locations. Why can’t we find it? What about the migration of hundreds of thousands of people from Egypt? No evidence to date. There is no archeological evidence of Moses or an Israelite presence in Egypt.

    There are countless biblical archeology issues that are hotly debated to this day. And this after literally hundreds of years of thousands of researchers focusing on just such questions in a region where the languages and cultures have largely remained constant.

    Book of Mormon geography is extremely challenging for several reasons. First, it is a very new field with a very limited number of researchers compared to the Bible geography. How about languages- the languages in the MesoAmerican region have not only changed frequently, many are lost. The discontinuity of toponyms introduces enormous difficulty in narrowing down specific sites of interest.

    In relating such issues, I am sure some will say I am making excuses. There is enough proof to assure the plausibility of the Book of Mormon claims. But we must understand the questions and challenges in answering them, not just repeat over and over the statements of partisans without a deeper look.

  42. faithoffathers says:

    LDSSTITANIC demonstrates a misunderstanding of the questions. Experts are NOT just now suggesting that the Hill Cumorah is in Central America. In 1841 John Lloyd Stephens published volume one of his Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan, the first accessible English-language account of the Maya ruins. It was enthusiastically received by the early Mormons, who saw it both as a validation of the Book of Mormon and as a source to help understand Book of Mormon geography. An editorial reviewing this book in the Times and Seasons was written either by Joseph Smith or John Taylor. While it is true that many early Mormons believed the hill in New York was “the hill” and the “hemispheric” theory, it was never consider church understanding or doctrine. Oliver Cowdery gave it that name, not Joseph Smith. No official statement has ever been made by the church on the topic. But critics structure the debate with such assumptions, missing the mark entirely. The difference between the “hemispheric” vs. “limited” geography theories is enormous when considering the DNA issue as well.

    There is much to suggest that the Yucatan/Southern Mexico and Guatemala fit the description in the Book of Mormon. The basic geography bares striking similarities to that described in the book. And the sudden disappearance of whole civilizations in that area at roughly the same time as those described in the book also is interesting. I am confident that with time evidence will continue to accumulate supporting the Book of Mormon. I invite this discussion on this thread or another.

    By the way LDSSTITANIC, Joseph finding the plates in New York poses no problem for our claims. Moroni, the last prophet/historian in the book spent 35 years alone between the time his people were destroyed and when he buried the plates. Following trails and existing waterways, it is possible to travel from the Yucatan to New York within one year.

  43. LDSSTITANIC says:

    fof…Well Zondervan has published an Archeological Study Bible recently so I guess once again the Jews & Christians have an embrassment of riches when it comes to this topic. How long do you think it will take exactly for something concrete to turn up for the BoM?

    Secondly, I find it disingenuous that the church would maintain a Hill Cumorah visitors site in New York and hold large outdoor pageants on the site if it at the same time denied or refused to confirm that this was the actual geological location of the Hill Cumorah. Isn’t that called bearing false witness?

    Lastly, I think the problem you face in going to bat for the BoM are larger than archeology or history. Joseph was simply a sloppy fiction writer. Read Alma chapter 46 where it goes on about the true believer taking on the name of Christians in honor of the Christ who would come. Was Joseph not aware that both of those words were from the Greek language? In Hebrew the word translates to Moshiach or Messiah. Jews were very familiar of the coming of Messiah. Are we to believe that the Greeks popped over and influenced their reformed Egyptian as well?

    I think you will be procreating in the celestial lodge above (or is that the celestial kingdom? hmmm…Joseph must have borrowed that from the freemasons also) before any solid evidence is found confirming the BoM as anything more than 19th century fiction my friend…Adieu!! Joseph loved to mix up his languages didn’t he?

  44. faithoffathers, I’d invite you to check out Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition, by James K. Hoffmeier. Of course we don’t have direct archaeological evidence for every event in the Bible, but that misses the point. We have quite enough to establish a basic historical plausibility of the historical narrative of the Bible.

    With the Book of Mormon all we have is a bunch of non-official stretches and speculations and a history of peoples that don’t look like they were ever affected by Israelite culture. Linguistically, materially, culturally, etc.

    And we have a LOT of what sounds like 19th century theological controversies making their way into what is supposed to be an ancient text. It’s the kind of thing that makes one go… hrmmm.

    To say that the traditional position on the location of Hill Cumorah and the broad geography of the Book of Mormon were never “doctrine” just begs the question of what constitutes official doctrine. The Church simply has no official position on what all constitutes an official position.

    To say that the traditional position on the location of Hill Cumorah and the broad geography of the Book of Mormon were never “church understanding” is downright misleading and probably dishonest. Take a look at the story of Zelph the White Lamanite, and then consider why the currently used manual on Joseph Smith omits, with ellipses, a very small portion of the Wentworth letter in the respective chapter. Also, check out the LDS CES Student Manual for the Book of Mormon, Religion 121 & 122, p. 136. To my knowledge, it is still currently used in classes. President Marion G. Romney is directly, favorably quoted as saying,

    “My beloved brothers and sisters, I invite you to join in a prayer that while I speak you and I may both enjoy the Spirit. I will give you a lesson today that the Lord has taken great pains to bring to us… In the western part of the state of New York near Palmyra is a prominent hill known as the “hill Cumorah.” On July twenty-fifth of this year, as I stood on the crest of that hill admiring with awe the breathtaking panorama which stretched out before me on every hand, my mind reverted to the events which occurred in that vicinity some twenty-five centuries ago—events which brought to an end the great Jaredite nation… This second civilization to which I refer, the Nephites , flourished in America between 600 B.C. and A.D. 400. Their civilization came to an end for the same reason, at the same place, and in the same manner as did the Jaredites’… Now my beloved brethren and sisters everywhere, both members of the Church and nonmembers, I bear you my personal witness that I know that the things I have presented to you today are true—both those pertaining to past events and those pertaining to events yet to come.”

    Last time I checked, priesthood leaders of the church quoted in Church curriculum were a lot more authoritative than priesthood-nobodies opining via the internet.

    And let’s not forget the 1990 letter from Secretary to the First Presidency. When the Church bought land in Palmyra in the early 1900’s you better bet your last pair of breeches they had a traditional understanding of Hill Cumorah.

    But hey, if you want to join Mormon UFO experts / LDS archaeologists like Warren Aston in finding parallels between Arabia and the Book of Mormon, by all means, have at it. I bet you could even find a Bigfoot expert to help FAIR with a DVD on DNA. Oh wait, they already did that.

    Hoping you’ll see how high the stakes are,

    Aaron

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