The text of my talk is available here. Because Andrew’s drawing didn’t come through, you’ll have to watch his pen closely. The video was supposed to be about 30 minutes, but we really went about 46 minutes.
After watching the video, one BYU student responded online with the following:
I get a knot in my stomach any time Aaron is talking. The bottom line is man is not perfect, but God is. If there are any imperfections they are of man not of God. You talk about these different kinds of mormonism but there’s really only one and that’s what has been laid out in the Book of Mormon and our living oracles. The different ways Mormons choose to live their religion is not a reflection of how God intended for us to live it. We aren’t all perfect but you shouldn’t be judging us for it. I don’t understand this fascination Aaron has with Mormons. I think I just need to understand his intent. While his intent may be innocent the way in which he carries out his intent is not. Please tell me what your TRUE intention of constantly questioning and undermining the Mormon religion is.
I also wanted to apologize for Andrew saying that Thomas S. Monson is not always right, because he is our prophet and if Andrew really had faith that God would not lead us astray, he would know that President Monson speaks by the word of God and everything he says is true.
I responded with:
Andrew was specifically referring to what Monson said here:
“Let us make our homes sanctuaries of righteousness, places of prayer, and abodes of love that we might merit the blessings that can come only from our Heavenly Father… How might we merit this promise [spoken of in Ezekiel 36]? What will qualify us to receive this blessing?” – Thomas S Monson, “To Learn, to Do, to Be”, October 2008 Conference
As Andrew understands the BofM, this seems to contradict the passages which speak on relying on the merits of Christ alone.
Other quotes brought up from Conference in the video are found here:
I would agree with you that a true prophet would never lead their people astray on such an important issue as grace, especially in an influential context like General Conference.
Perhaps the knot is the convicting work of the Holy Spirit? In any case, it feels bad to have one’s religion challenged, I understand that.
I got the labels of “humanistic Mormonism” and “redemptive Mormonism” from Mormons, not evangelicals, discussing different kinds of Mormon theology. You can read more about it here:
My intent has been very explicit in my writings, and it was even mentioned in the video: to evangelize and promote the truth, both positively and negatively. I also just like people and I like making friends. Andrew and I get a long well because of the way we’re able to interact with each other without pretending like we’re someone we’re not.
Grace and peace in Christ,
I don’t sense a true kinship when I watch that video. I sense a lot of faking going on. You are friends on the surface so that you can “discuss” each others religion but other than that, there’s nothing there. You even said you wouldn’t ever want your daughter to date a Mormon. If you were really friends who respected each other, don’t you think you would love for your daughter to date a Mormon because you respect them so highly? Even if Mormons came up with the different kinds of mormonism, that’s not our core doctrine and shouldn’t even be discussed as such. Like I said, man is imperfect but God is not. I’m getting into a bible bashing spirit though and am going to stop. I would really just appreciate it if you stopped questioning us and our religion and dealt with your own. If you really have questions, take them to our First Presidency. They are the ones to talk to. Maybe you can call in when President Monson is on Larry King and ask your questions.
To which I replied:
Maybe we have very different understandings of what constitutes authentic friends and kinship (and even dating). If I love my daughter, and I think I do, I will want the best for her, but what’s best for her is to do God’s will. I view dating as a precursor to marriage. Marrying a Mormon would not be God’s will, because we do not believe we share the same God or gospel. On a related note, Spencer Kimball has a whole section discouraging interfaith marriage in “The Miracle of Forgiveness”. He agrees in principle over inter-faith marriage not being God’s will.
In front of a camera one feels the need to be presentational, so yeah, I’m probably not acting exactly like I would off-camera, but Andrew and I are not interacting over hidden motives. In fact the first time Andrew and I meant I assertively evangelized him for over an hour. He knows my agenda. And I know Andrew’s agenda: to promote a more historical reading of the Book of Mormon’s view of Christ and salvation. Take care.
Andrew chimed in and re-asserted his allegiance to Thomas Monson as a prophet:
If I may say one thing (and it may seem contradictory, and i dont know how to reconcile that for you). I do sustain Thomas S Monson as God’s prophet, and at the same time i think he’s mistaken on a few points. after we stopped filming i mentioned Gordon B Hinckley’s book, “Standing for Something” the one about the 10 principles. he mentioned a story in there of a palestinian cabbie who said the US never took over another country or imposed its will on another country. my first reaction to that was, “well bro Gordon doesnt know what he’s talking about.” it didnt change my opinion of him as a prophet. its something similar here with Pres Monson. i dont think he knows everything doctrinally, but that doesnt mean hes not God’s prophet.
The next roundtable’s topic will be on hell. Would any Mormon here like to participate?