Joseph Smith as a Passport into God’s Presence

“[E]very man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are — I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent” (Journal of Discourses 7:238. See also Search These Commandments, 1984, pg. 133).

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35 Responses to Joseph Smith as a Passport into God’s Presence

  1. falcon says:

    Yea right! Old Joe is going to stamp your passport into the Celestial Kingdom. I suppose if you’re a Mormon that’s true. The problem is that the Celestial Kingdom of Joseph Smith isn’t the heaven spoken of in the Bible. It is the domain of the spiritual forces opposed to the living God. So the way this Mormon deal works is that we have the Mormon god who progressed to being a god from being a man, we have the Mormon Jesus who is a spirit child of the Mormon man/god and his goddess wife and then also became human by a physical sexual act between the Mormon god who used to be Adam by the way, and Mary……..and then we have Joseph Smith. The way to the Mormon father, it would seem, is through Joseph Smith.
    The Bible teaches that the way to the Father is through Jesus Christ. I think I’ll go with the Bible and Jesus. By-the-way, a friend of mine recently sat in a “seekers” class at a Mormon ward and asked the very wise elderly teacher; “I’ve received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and believe that I have eternal life through His sacrifice on the Cross. I attend a Baptist Church. So what does the Mormon church have to offer me.” The response from the teacher? He said “The Mormon church has nothing to offer you.” I guess the teacher didn’t get Brigham Young’s memo!

  2. SteveH says:

    Falcon,

    As always, you simply do not know what you are talking about. None of your assertions regarding LDS doctrine are correct.

    You state:
    “The problem is that the Celestial Kingdom of Joseph Smith isn’t the heaven spoken of in the Bible.”
    The Celestial Kingdom ( the third heaven Heaven) is referred to by the Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 12:2).

    You state that Jesus “became human by a physical sexual act between the Mormon god who used to be Adam by the way, and Mary”
    This simply is not LDS doctrine yet you misrepresent it as such.

    The proper term is investigators’ class not “seekers” class.

    The veracity of your “friend’s” statement is highly dubious. It is highly doubtful that a teacher of an LDS investigator class would say ““The Mormon church has nothing to offer you.” That is simply not credible at all.

  3. faithoffathers says:

    “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matt 19:28

    “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” Matt 10:40

    I do not understand why this is seen as controversial. It is simply an extension of the question of whether Joseph is a prophet. If he is, then it is quite biblical for us to conclude that those who do not accept him do not accept Christ. Those who do not accept Christ’s servants do not accept Him.

    If Christ restored His gospel in preparation for His second coming, it would be sort of a no-brainer that those who do not accept what Christ restored and those through whom He did the restoring would not receive the blessings of the Father and Son.

    Given the assumption that Joseph was a prophet, where am I wrong? It is pretty straight forward.

    fof

  4. falcon says:

    The term “third heaven” has nothing to do with a supposed “Celestial” kingdom………look it up! Oh I forgot, Mormons make it up as they go along. If it happened a long time ago, it doesn’t count any more anyway. It can’t be quoted, examined or criticized. Besides if it’s Mormon doctrine and not in the Bible, it was left out by the big conspiracy.

    The term “seekers” denotes who was in the class. Investigators/seekers big deal point! If you want the whole story, Berean can fill you in on the particulars. He’s the one that posed the question and got that response.

    Bringham Young was a Mormon prophet. When he spoke, he spoke as an oracle of the Mormon god. He did say that the Mormon god had sexual relations with Mary and he did teach that adam was god. Mormons can’t have it both ways. Either the Mormon prophet speaks for the Mormon god or he doesn’t. There’s no blue sky speculation or wiggle room where the Mormon prophet is concerned except in the minds of Mormons who most often are clueless about what really counts in terms of Mormon doctrine. The important thing is that the Mormon got a “feeling” and that makes everything true…..except when Brigham Young or one of the prophets taught something that’s totally dumb……

  5. mrgermit says:

    FoF: great to hear from you, hope all is well with you during these (economically speaking) troubling times.

    Those who do not accept Christ’s servants do not accept Him.

    As one of the main themes of Matt 10, this is almost right…..better would be “those who do not accept CHRIST, will not accept HIS servants either.” This is a theme repeated throughout the gospels as well.

    let me think on Matt.10 and get back into this…..or piggyback onto Gundecks comments later …… 🙂

    GERMIT

    I would say as an aside, that ONE verse in a 42 verse chapter seems to mean that thw whole “prophet” thing is overdone….it’s the rejection part that Jesus seems to be underlining….and the judging verses above don’t mention prophets at all

  6. SteveH says:

    Falcon,

    As always, you simply do not know what you are talking about. The Adam/God theory is not LDS doctrine nor is the notion that Mary was not a virgin.

    Please do not be so arrogant and presumptuous as to espouse LDS doctrine when it is clear that you have no clue as what actually constitutes LDS doctrine.

  7. Berean says:

    It appears that Steve H is in denial and that is understandable. Most Mormons are in denial about the non-popular teachings of the LDS Church. My problem is with Mormons who do know, but deliberately state the opposite all for the sake of damage control for the institution at Temple Square. As Jim Spencer so eloquently states to Mormons who are in denial or ignorant of what their church teaches: “If ignorance was bliss, you’d be a very happy person.”

    First, the subject of the clip above has other honorable mentions in LDS writings. Here are a few more:

    “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.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, 10th LDS President, Doctrines of Salvation, Volume 1, page 189-190)

    “If all things are to be restored, and if the dispensation of the fullness of times is made up of, and is a uniting of, all dispensations, with their keys and powers, since the days of Adam, then those who held the keys of these various dispensations would have to confer them upon the head of one who stands at the head of the last dispensation, and the prophet Joseph Smith is that one.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.3, p.97)

    “If I can pass brother Joseph, I shall stand a good chance for passing Peter, Jesus, the Prophets, Moses, Abraham, and all back to Father Adam, and be pretty sure of receiving his approbation…If we can pass the sentinel Joseph the Prophet, we shall go into the celestial kingdom, and not a man can injure us. If he says, ‘God bless you, come along here’; if we will live so that Joseph will justify us, and say, ‘Here am I, brethren,’ we shall pass every sentinel.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol.4, pp.271-272)

    “If we ask who will stand at the head of the resurrection in this last dispensation, the answer is – Joseph Smith, Junior, the Prophet of God. He is the man who will be resurrected and receive the keys of the resurrection, and he will seal this authority upon others, and they will hunt up their friends and resurrect them.” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, page 116).

    Much could be said about this, but I understand the word limit for each post. Point is: Brigham Young’s line as stated in the clip above isn’t isolated. It was elaborated on in other writings by him and by other people after him. None of it lines up with Holy Scripture – the Bible.

    Berean
    nobleberean@cox.net

  8. Berean says:

    Steve H,

    As Falcon mentioned me in the example given above I want to state the events that he mentioned in his post. I was the one who he was referring to. I had been attending an investigators/new convert class (Gospel Essentials) at the ward down the street from me for three weeks. The teacher of the class had changed after week 1 so the new teacher was an 80 year-old man who didn’t like questions being asked in his class. I went there to ask questions and I made that point very clear to the bishop who met me at the door of the sanctuary and asked why I was there. I also stated that I was a visitor and wanted clarification from the leadership on what I had been reading in the institute manuals because the Mormon missionaries had not been honest with me in the past. I was welcomed there!

    At week three in the class I realized that I was only going to be able to ask a question at the beginning of the class when we introduced ourselves. I said this:

    “My name is —- ——, I’m not a member of this church. I attend a Baptist church so I thank you for allowing me to be a part of this class for the past three weeks. I have read the LDS standard works and I have a question. What can the LDS Church offer me when the Bible says that I have eternal life right now in Jesus Christ? What can you offer me that I don’t have already right now?”

    The teacher of the class said, “Nothing…nothing can be offered to you outside of Jesus Christ.”

    I have asked the same thing to missionaries before. I asked an elderly missionary male the same question: “I have eternal life in Jesus Christ right now. I know it because the Bible says it. What can the LDS Church give me that I don’t already have?” I got the same answer: “Nothing”. I replied, “If that is the case, then what do I need you for?” He said, “You don’t”. The young boys with him just raised their eyebrows in apparent shock.

    There was an interchange that took place after the class and that is another story. Suffice to say, I wasn’t welcome back for making that statement of having the confidence and for asking a question. How can a Mormon claim to have the fruits of the spirit (joy), when they don’t know if they have eternal life or not? That is the big difference between Mormonism and Christianity. We have joy because of what is told to us in God’s Word – the Bible! Mormons are working for it and trying to merit it. They don’t know if they have it or not. I’ve never met a Mormon who has answered “yes” to that question. (Let me know if you want the references).

    Berean
    nobleberean@cox.net

  9. Berean says:

    In reference to 2 Corinthians 12:2, our Mormon friends like to point to this verse as validation of the expanded view/opinion of what Joseph Smith believed and taught in D&C 76; 137:1. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t measure up.

    First, in 2 Corinthians 12:2 the word “celestial” is not mentioned. I’m sure our Mormon friends will cross-reference 1 Corinthians 15:40-41. Somehow this doesn’t help the Mormon cause we don’t have any mention of the telestial kingdom in this text. The text in 1 Corinthians is talking about resurrection – not different levels of heaven that one can obtain. The context is resurrection – 1 Corinthians 15:42.

    Second, what is Paul talking about in 2 Corinthians 12:2? Twice he said, “I cannot tell”. If he doesn’t know or he is unsure of exactly what happened, then to speculate is only that and the Mormons would be well advised to leave it alone. We do know this when we follow the rule of good scholarship of biblical study: unclear verses need to be clarified by more clear texts. We can do that when we look at what the Bible very clearly teaches about heaven (singular). (This is a study in itself). Nowhere in the Bible does it teach about man earning or obtaining different degrees of glory. We know that this so-called revelation from Joseph Smith is false because it contradicts what the apostles and Christ Himself taught on the subject. God cannot lie and will tell us the whole story from the beginning.

    Third, what could possibly be meant by the term “third heaven”? It’s really quite simple. We have three heavens right now.

    1. Atmospheric – that is the sky right above your head.
    2. Celestial – space
    3. Believer’s heaven – where those that have died have gone to be with the Lord (2 Cor 5:8).

    When you look up on a nice day you see a blue sky with clouds. You don’t see the dark outer space that is above it containing all the planets. At nighttime you see into space, but it’s only a limited view. You are still within the limits of the sky above. For those that have gone into space I have not heard any reports of anyone seeing the heavenly abode of the Father where believers reside. This is a spiritual realm that is not able to be seen with our eyes. We can’t see hell, heaven, angels or demonic spirits. This is a spiritual realm and we are prevented from seeing some aspects of it unless God allows it for a purpose and the Bible gives many examples of a person’s eyes being able to see into this spiritual realm.

    On a side note, I was in Deseret Books last weekend and saw a book about Kolob called “The Kolob Theorem”. In this book they jump through “hoops of fire” to try to validate with pictures where Kolob is in space. Somehow NASA seems to be “in the dark” about this. Honestly, our Mormon friends, if you want to plead to the world in having them call you “Christians”, then please keep this book under wraps. You’re not helping your cause with this kind of wacky stuff.

    Berean
    nobleberean@cox.net

  10. Ralph says:

    There is a little known scripture in the Bible in Acts 17:10-12

    “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.”

    Who did these people go to when they were learning about Jesus and deciding if He was The Christ? The ‘scriptures’ – this would have been Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc. Without these prophets they (and we) would not have the scriptures. Without ACCEPTING these prophets they (and we) would not have eternal life and not be able to gain heaven. The same goes with modern prophets – we need to accept them and their words/teachings or we will not be able to go to the Celestial Kingdom. This is why we need JS ‘endorsement’ – he will recognise whether or not we have accepted his words from God. Jesus as the final judge will also know this and will judge us on our acceptance of JS words/teachings.

    Now I know you all don’t believe that JS was a prophet of God, and that is your prerogotive. However, if (and you know my stance so I’m only saying this ‘if’ for your benefit) he was a prophet, then you do need to accept that what he has taught was from God, because if you don’t it will be to your own damnation.

    BTW I’m getting a little deja vous with that PLUM shirt.

  11. Berean says:

    Well, Ralph, I know the Mormons call anything other than the celestial kingdom damnation. However, in the Mormon scheme of things it’s really a good deal for the Christians if Mormonism is true – which it’s not. Anyway, in the Mormon view of things in regards to the degrees of glory I am headed for the terrestrial as defined in D&C 76 which must be an incredibly great place when compared to the telestial kingdom. The D&C Student Manual states:

    “The [Doctrines and Covenants] explains clearly that the lowest glory to which is assigned is so glorious as to be beyond the understanding of man. It is a doctrine fundamental in Mormonism that the meanest sinner, in the final judgement, will receive a glory which is beyond human understanding, which is so great that we are unable to describe it adequately. Those who do well will receive an even more glorious place.” (page 166)

    I know, you’ve given me your analogy of damnation being a buffet table and me not being able to eat the desserts. It’s okay. What would I lose out on? I won’t be able to have my own planet and have endless celestial sex with my goddess wives in plural marriage. I won’t be able to be a god and have my spirit children pray and worship me. Some of this seems like a hassel to me. One wife is a full-time job. All those spirit children – the crying of millions of babies? No thanks. Yeah, the endless celestial sex would be great. I won’t lie to you there. But, there’s always a price to pay for that – drama between the wives on who is next in line, the bickering, cat fighting, etc., I’m sure I’d get use to celibacy in short order. It would be like being in the military again and off on deployment. After a few months of being gone you forget all about it. I was given salt-peter at one point and sex never entered my mind for a very long time after I swallowed the pill. Maybe they’ll dish that out in the terrestrial. I’ve always got one card I can play: I know the secret handshakes. My brother is an ex-Freemason and an ex-Mormon sealed the deal for me in showing them to me. I can always use his endowment name. I’ll shake the Mormon god’s hand four different ways, use somebody else’s name and then I’m in. I’ll have to find out what your new planet is called and come pay a visit. Maybe I’ll steal one of your wives to take back to the terrestrial with me, eh? You wouldn’t mind sparing just one now would you? The Mormon judgement will be over so what will I have to lose? I can’t be sent to the telestial.

    All kidding aside, if Christianity is right – which we are – it’s not a good deal for the Mormons because there are no degrees of glory. It’s off to the lake of fire for the deceived Mormons and you won’t be able to blame it on Joseph Smith either. He’ll be right there with you. It’s eternal. Read all about it in Matthew 25:40; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10-15. Joseph Smith was a real wise guy in his view of hell when he said this:

    “I see no faults in the Church, and therefore let me be resurrected with the Saints, whether I ascend to heaven or descend to hell, or go to any other place. And if we go to hell, we will turn the devils out of doors and make a heaven out of it.” (History of the Church, Vol.5, page 517).

    Somehow I don’t see Joseph throwing Satan out of anywhere. Satan is much more powerful than ole’ Joe. Sadly, Joseph Smith was trying to be a comedian when he said this, but the real consequences of what he is and will continue to suffer he could not imagine. You’re still drawing breath so don’t make the same mistake he did.

    P.S. I didn’t sentence Joseph Smith to hell. He condemned himself in what he taught about God that was false and not in line with Holy Scripture – the Bible. Matthew 12:37.

    Berean
    nobleberean@cox.net

  12. David says:

    The problem I see is this. In the BY quote that is given, no mention is made of any other prophets. Not Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist or even Mormon prophets like Alma or Kimball. Joseph appears (key word there) to have a special seat in the afterlife. His arbitration is part of the decision on where one spends eternity. When have Christians or Jews ever said this about a mere prophet? It seems outside the role of a prophet to grant or not grant absolution, a “certificate”, to the masses that cross over to the other side.

    If one wants to state that in a round about way acceptance of certain prophets is indirectly an acceptance (or rejection of) God, then yeah I could agree with Mormons on that. However, that does not seem to be the case here. From the quotes given, Joseph Smith seems to have a role that is greater than the rest of the prophets.

  13. Ralph says:

    David,

    If you look at the full quote from BY it says that all from the cessation of the Priesthood until the end of time. This means from the start of the great apostacy until the second coming. These are all the people who JS had stewardship over, so no one else before then need to accept him as a prophet (although those who worship the true God and know His prophets will accept him anyway). The same goes with Moses, all who he had stewardship over will have to accept him as a prophet and get his ‘stamp of approval’, where as since we are of a different time we do not. But we still need to accept them as prophets. As Jesus taught – man cannot live on bread alone but by ALL the words of God. These words come from the prophets and the scriptures – and if JS was a prophet then we must live by all his words as well.

  14. falcon says:

    A couple of things I’ve noticed since I’ve been a regular out here on Mormon Coffee for these last 18 months or so is that Mormonism is saddled with a religion based largely on revelation (new and improved ones none-the-less) and feelings. Somebody in the big tall buildings in Salt Lake City gets a revelation and feels good about it (interpreting that feeling as confirmation from the Mormon god) and bammo they’ve got themselves a whole new and improved religion. This is advertised by our Mormon friends as one of the fine features and benefits of Mormonism. They just keep getting more stuff from the Mormon god. Now the problem is, these new and improved revelations are often at odds with the old ones. What’s a Mormon to think? Well they don’t have to think, just trust the boys in the big tall buildings.
    So we’ve got the prophet Young emptying the contents of his mind when he teaches about adam-god and god the father and Mary having sexual relations and of course our current topic, getting your ticket punched by Joe Smith to make it into the big show out there on Kolob. Well given the Mormon standards for prophets, Brigham baby got one of his three proclamations to stand the test of Mormon time. Pretty good I’d say for a Mormon prophet. Revelations and feelings, revelations and feelings what a wondorous recipe for the truth.

  15. mobaby says:

    In all honesty, I have always felt that this assertion that Joseph Smith holds the keys to heaven is one of the most absurd concepts. I am really not trying to be offensive to the Mormons who post here, it’s just my honest thought on the matter. I think the keys that Joseph Smith holds to heaven are just as valid as the keys he once held to his banking system – in other words a complete bankrupt fraud. His phony keys to heaven ploy in the pursuit of multiple exploits with women, blackmailing followers with the threat of banishment from heaven if they did not ‘ahem’ submit reveals much about the emptiness of his soul and his lack of regard for the true God of heaven.

  16. David says:

    Ralph,

    But do we need the “certificate” of John the Baptist or Kimball? That is different than believing his words. One must believe the words/writings of all true prophets but these men of God do not determine whether I can get into heaven of not? I understand the concept of a dispensation or epoch, but I cannot see in any time where this language can legitimately used of a prophet.

    Also, I am not so sure this is LDS scripture. Yes, it was from Brigham Young but so was Adam-God. Was he speaking as a prophet when he said it? So, what if Ensign magazine and other LDS sources repeated it. Are those (or are they not) scripture too?

  17. falcon says:

    This concept of Joseph Smith punching the ticket to heaven would be right up there with something as absurd as Catholics teaching that Mary the mother of Jesus having to give the OK to get into heaven…….which they don’t teach BTW. But just process that thought for a moment. For we Christians, it’s really difficult to understand that someone would buy any of Joseph Smith’s claims and Brigham Young(?)……please help me! And how does the Mormon know Young’s teaching is true? Who knows? Maybe that’s another one of those things that the so initiated can “feel” is true.
    My friend Berean has pointed out to me that Mormonism preIllinois was a totally different program. In fact, the Community of Christ sect of Mormonism more accurately reflects original Mormonism than does the Utah LDS of Brigham Young. Joeseph Smith went a little nuts in Illinois. That’s where we see him starting to claim his neighbor’s wives and seducing adolecent girls. That’s where he preached his King Follett discourse of man to god progression and managed to destroy the printing press of a man calling him into account. Post Illinois Brigham Young took over and that’s where we get more goofiness like Joseph Smith holding the keys to the Celestial Kingdom of Mormonism. This one true church claim of Utah LDS is even bogus in the world of Mormonism. Joseph Smith’s son and Joseph Smith’s wife Emma didn’t even join Brigham Young’s little clam bake out by the Great Salt Lake.

  18. Woo hoo, people are actually using the comment rating system!

  19. DaveyMike says:

    falcon said:
    “”This concept of Joseph Smith punching the ticket to heaven would be right up there with something as absurd as Catholics teaching that Mary the mother of Jesus having to give the OK to get into heaven…….which they don’t teach BTW”

    Actually, one of the messages to come out of the miracles at Fatima and Lourdes is that Mary is a partner in salvation. In a French publication that I picked up as an LDS missionary in France the statement is made:

    “Elle (Marie) est aussi la co-rédemptrice, la co-salvatrice.”

    Mary is considered the co-redeemer and co-savior by those who revere these apparitions.

    I was researching this because while teaching the First Vision I was often challenged whether other “visions” in history–such as Fatima and Lourdes–were authentic. As a young and ignorant missionary (most of us were dumb and not necessarily deceptive), I could only say that it depended on what was revealed in the event. If it conflicted with scripture, then it was not of God. Only now, do I see the irony as it relates to Joseph Smith.

  20. falcon says:

    Davey-Mike,
    Actually I did know that but stayed away from it because I wasn’t quite sure of the finer points of the doctrine. I’m an exCatholic and grew-up on all of the Mary appearances. But her being coredemtrist with Christ wasn’t something I heard about until my adult exCatholic years…..I believe it was something I picked up from Walter Martin.
    Of course the Catholics of my era were taught to pray to Mary, the saints, whoever. It was their job to carry the request to the Father. Of course the Bible tells us there is “One” mediator and that’s Jesus. It doesn’t get any better than that. That Joseph Smith is going to stamp somebody’s hand is really laughable. That’s the problem with Mormonism, among other things. The folks have to keep striving and never know their status before God. In Christinaity, it’s a done deal. It’s all about Jesus and what He did to redeem us. Our trust and confidence are in Him and not ourselves. I know what I am a part from Christ……a miserable lost sinner with no hope. In Christ, I have the assurance of my salvation. The transformed life I live is in thanks for what He did for me. I perform because I am accepted by God……….I don’t perform to get accepted by God.

  21. Amanda says:

    Falcon,

    Are the 10 commandments irrelevant to you? Are those just an outline on stone written by HIS hands that was a simple sentiment, ‘I perform because I am accepted by God, I don’t perform to get accepted by God’?

    Christ came to fulfill the law of Moses- the need for a sacrifice–but even in the law of Moses, those who gave sacrifices were still asked to do something–and accepting Christ IS A SACRIFICE OF OUR WILL! We sacrifice our will on a daily basis if we are REALLY accepting Him as our Savior. Anything less is not an offering unto the Lord:

    Romans 15: 15,16

    This passage is clearly denoting an acceptable offering is required. In the OT, the concept of offerings is CLEAR symbolism of the restored gospel with Jesus Christ as our Savior. He offered Himself, which fulfilled the law of Moses, and in return for His Grace–He asks us to make offerings unto Him in RIGHTEOUSNESS:

    3Nephi 9:
    19 And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.
    20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.

    Psalms 51: 16,17

    So basically, He requires humility, which compels obedience. Those are His requirements for the gift of Grace. And it is still a gift, because no matter what we do, it will always fall short of the eternal price He has paid for our souls–His desire is to TEACH us principles of righteousness–He does not save us IN our sins…He saves us FROM our sins–which requires the offering of our wills to Him THROUGH our actions.

  22. Amanda says:

    Upon further reflection, I find myself bothered more and more by Falcon’s statement because it completely contradicts this scripture:

    Matthew 10: 39

    “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

    compare that scripture with his statement:

    ‘I perform because I am accepted by God, I don’t perform to get accepted by God’

    The contradictions are stunning! You obey FIRST, then you find His Grace–not the other way around.

    Consider this verse as well: Hebrews 11:6

    Falcon is saying, ‘hey God, I’m waiting for miracles before I have Faith”‘ So you perform AFTER Grace? Don’t you accept that in order to receive Grace, you must FIRST accept Christ–this is ‘performing’ an action, is it not? And if there isn’t ANYTHING necessary before the gift of Grace is given, then you don’t agree with your own statement.

    The simple truth is that faith precedes the miracle/reward from God…not the other way around.

    1 Samuel 24: 19
    2 Samuel 22:21
    Proverbs 11: 18
    Jeremiah 31:16
    Revelation 2:10
    James 1:12
    Luke 23:41 (there are hundreds more)

  23. Lautensack says:

    Amanda,
    I am just wondering how you understand Hebrews 11:6 in light of Romans 8:7-8, would coming to faith in God not be an act that pleased God?

    Lautensack

  24. falcon says:

    I believe one of our friends is talking about salvation according to the Mormon gospel. I’m not talking about Mormonism, I’m talking about Christianity. Mormonism has its own god, who by the way, used to be a man, their own jesus, their own spirit and of course their own plan of salvation. Mormonism has its own view of the nature of man and finally a totally different outcome after we die. So within the context of progression to godhood, the Mormon salvation program of works makes perfect sense, but not in the context of the Christian Gospel where there is one eternal and everlasting God. Mormonism is a different Gospel. So when a Mormon begins to discuss the grace/works paradigm, he/she is doing it within a context that is not Christian in its orientation.
    So in the context of the Christian Gospel we rejoice in the words….”But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” Paul also writes, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we we who died to sin still live in it?” Paul goes on to say that we should no longer present our bodies of instruments of sin but that we should present our bodies as instruments of righteousness. So the trasformation that takes place in our lives, comes about as a result of the salvation God has provided for us. Again, I perform because I’m accepted, not I’m accepted because I perform.
    People who are stuck in a works righteousness form of religion, really have a difficult time wraping their brains around a concept wherby God accepts us as we are based on our acceptance of the gift He is offering us. A works righteousness orientation is good for religious leaders because it keeps the faithful believer in a continual state of flux. Now I agreee, if I was in the godmaker program, I’d be striving and doing everything I could to become a god. A Mormon woman, for example, who’s married to a slacker is in a tough situation. Her whole future rests on hubby getting down with the struggle to become a god. He’s the dude that’s got the whole future of the family in his hands. If he can make the grade they all get to reside in the Celestial Kingdom, have their own planets and worlds to rule and here’s the good part, people will pray to, worship and adore them for eternity.
    That’s a whole different gospel and a whole different outcome. That’s not the Christian Gospel. It’s the gospel according to Joseph Smith, who in the end (according to Mormonism) gets to decide which Mormon man has made the grade. So if our Mormon friends want to discuss grace/works and salvation, they need to start thinking like Christians or else we really don’t have the basis for a discussion here. They’re talking about the Mormon gospel. We’re talking about the Christian Gospel. They’re different.

  25. falcon says:

    We get a pretty narrow view of Mormonism presented by the Mormons who show-up here. There’s this claim of a restored gospel with it’s ever changing hard to define edicts, proclamations and revelations. It’s quite interesting to study the post Illinois history of Mormonism and reference the various sects of the religion and examine their view of the Mormon “truth”. I would suggest folks might want to take a look at “A Synopsis of the Chruch of Christ and Practices as Compared to Other Latter Day Saints Churches” by William A. Sheldon. Go to:

    http://www.bible.ca/mor-church-of-christ-temple-lot-mormons-1830.htm

    So when Utah Mormons want to argue with us regarding the Christian Gospel vs. the restored gospel, they need to start with the other forms of Mormonism that are competing with them for the title of the true restored Mormon gospel. Seems these other folks have a pretty good claim on the Mormon truth especially since Joseph Smith Jr.’s son Joesph the III and Joe Jr.’s wife Emma belonged to the Community of Christ sect of Mormonism. Very interesting stuff! I think these other groups would give a big “What?” to the Utah Mormon’s claim that Joseph Smith had to give the green light before they would make it into heaven.

  26. mobaby says:

    I heard something in church today that may help clarify the Christian position on works vrs. grace. Our pastor said “No one is going to heaven because of their works -‘for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast’ – however, no one will be in heaven without works.”

    In other words, if Christ has truly transformed your life, if you are redeemed, if you have been given faith by God – your works and life will show it. If your life does not demonstrate Christ, you are not a Christian. If Jesus does not have preeminence in your life as a believer, then He is not in your life. Also, it is impossible to do works which please God without first trusting completely and solely in Jesus Christ for your salvation. It is impossible to please God apart from Christ. Only Jesus was able to live the perfect righteous and holy life, fulfilling the law, so that all who trust in Him will be saved. He then guides us into all good works and forgives us when we sin (his death on the cross was enough to pay for all my sins, past, present, and future).

    My pastors sermon can be heard here on an utterli page and there is another really good sermon on this page – Jesus, Born to Die that really explains the Christian perspective on Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. The sermons are on utterli under HopeChurchPresbyterian if you want to check it out:
    http://www.utterli.com/HopeChurchPresbyterian

  27. falcon says:

    mobaby,
    Thank you for your contribution and the link. When we talk about salvation, we first of all recognize what God did for us through Jesus. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin…….period. He was the only One qualified to do it. We can’t pay the price no matter how hard we try. We will always come-up short. Paul wrote about how the law was given after the promise as a way of illuminating our hopeless position. We can’t keep the law. But through God’s grace we can be transformed. We have been justified through Christ’s shed blood. We are being sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit in transforming our lives/behavior. And eventually we will be glorified-in the next world. Our motivation in living a transformed life is out of gratitude for what God did for us in Christ Jesus.
    Mormons have a whole different agenda, thus a different plan of salvation. Their hope is to become a god, for the males, and a goddess for the females. So they are on this quest to alter their behavior in the hope of transforming themselves into gods. It’s a real head trip when you think of it. One just full of pride.

  28. I think this thread on Joseph Smith being the “gatekeeper” (to coin a phrase) for the Mormon version of the Kingdom of God is right on the money (bang on target). I suggest an alternative (perhaps complimentary?) approach, though the outcome is the same.

    After being exposed to Mormonism for some time, I came to the conclusion that most of the posters here came to, namely; how could smart people possibly believe this? The Mormons I knew were not stupid, and they saw no internal problems with their own belief system. When I pressed them about the shifting changes in doctrine and practice in the Utah Sect, they just shrugged it off, and I could not understand why. If it wasn’t a core of central ideas that held these people together, what was it?

    I think the answer came to me when I looked again at the quintessential Mormon Icon – the family photograph showing smiling Dad in the middle, with smiling Mum (just one), surrounded by a bevy of smiling kids.

    If I can use the term without being derogatory, I realized that what I was looking at was a form of shamanism. Dad, the family shaman, was there to guide his family in this life and the next. The way Mormonism adapts this is that the family shaman gets his “endowment” or his “legitimacy” or, even, his “totem” from the LDS hierarchy and they get their “totems” from their fathers. And so the line goes all the way back to Joseph Smith.

    This, possibly, is why Mormons get so prickly when we deprecate Joseph Smith’s commission. If God did not hand Joseph his “totem”, then Joseph could not have handed it down to the church, and the church could not have handed it down to Dad, and Dad is robbed of his legitimacy as spiritual leader of the family.

    In this context, LDS leaders can say anything they like. Its not what they say that’s important, its the fact that they have been commissioned to lead the family.

    So, Joseph Smith is the true “gatekeeper”, or the ultimate holder of the keys of the Kingdom. Without him, no-one has access to the Kingdom because the heavenly commission was entrusted solely to him for him to pass on to his church.

    I don’t wish to comment on the merits of such a paradigm at present, but I welcome any comments on whether my analysis has any merit.

  29. falcon says:

    Martin,
    Double five stars to you and two fist bumps. I really enjoyed reading that. I get a little fatiqued running around the same track all the time, so when someone has something unique to offer, I really appreciate it. And I think your analysis is very good. We are, after all, dealing with a religion that has it’s basis in the magic arts of the time. Joe was into nacromancy and divination big time so I think shamanism is a good parallel or complement to Mormonism. I always say, this Mormonism is powerful dope.

  30. David says:

    Martin,

    I think great minds think alike :). I have made the observation a couple of times here at Mormon Coffee that Mormonism has a lot in common with the various Hinduisms that are out there. The universe is the closest thing to “God” in Mormonism; this is somewhat like the Brahman force. Every god that is a god became so by obedience to eternal principles. Everyman man contains a seed of this force, and the current gods were formerly men who “bloomed”. God the father learned from his father and God the Father gave/gives glory to God the Grandfather. God the Father increases his glory and possibly power (depending on the view one holds) through the increase and maturation of his spirit children. On earth, us men increase by paying homage to and obeying our spiritual superiors and those under us do the same.

    Everybody is in a state of growth and indeed there is an interconnectedness to the spiritual growth of mankind. It is all about growth and anyone or anything that caps off that growth is bad. I have often heard Mormon “hell” described as regret of what could have been. It is kinda like spiritual Amway (I am not the first to come up with that).

    My model hits more on the philosophical. What I like about your model is it very much touches on the rubber-meets-the-road of real world Mormon culture. Having a priesthood holder in the family is vital. Your model takes into account Mormonisms atheological nature. I think that the atheological nature of Mormonism stems back to its roots. Joseph Smith ended many doctrinal controversies by an appeal to new revelation. Appeals to previous revelation are not as powerful as the words of those who contain all the keys (the GA’s). Harmonizing scripture and theology were not that important to Joseph Smith and I do not think it is important to most Mormons. It is more important to have the totem or keys than to have right belief. The two are not always together. Most Mormons would probably object to this example, but Brigham Young and Adam-God demonstrates that a prophet can be as wrong as one can be and still be the key holder of his generation. Also, those who never were Mormon but were generally good people, people that God wants to let into heaven (take your pick of which level), but they still must have the ritual of baptism albeit by proxy.

  31. Gundeck says:

    Amanda,

    Did you mean this, “You obey FIRST, then you find His Grace–not the other way around”?

    “Paul lays out the ordo salutis (order of salvation) in Romans 8:30. Predestined, called, justified, glorified, you will of course note that everything listed is something that God does. The historia salutis (history of salvation) does not support your position that we receive Gods call and faith only after we are righteous. Deuteronomy 7:7, 8 for instance shows that Israel did not earn their position as God’s elect. Paul was on his way to Damascus to continue his persecution of the Church when he was called (Acts 8:1-3; 9:1-6).

    Back on the Subject of the post I would be interested to know the biblical foundation of the claim that Joseph Smith functions as a gate keep to heaven?

  32. falcon says:

    WOW! Several great posts in a row. Gundeck, my broken record mantra here is that what our Mormon friend is explaining is Mormonism. That’s the way Mormonism works. It’s all about moving along the path to godhood. My guess is our friend drives her husband like a borrowed mule to make sure the family is at the top of the Celestial pyramid. So the sequence of events in salvation will be different for those folks. We’re content, happy to be with God for eternity. Mormons want to be god. What do you think gives them the tingles?

  33. Brian says:

    Dear Berean,

    Thank you for telling us (Feb 25 post) about your experience in the LDS investigators/new convert class. While introducing yourself to the class, and explaining the spiritual blessings you have in Christ, I believe you made a powerful witness. Those who heard you may have been unaware that Jesus Christ offers eternal life freely to all who believe. Certainly, some there that day would have known in their hearts they do not have the blessings you have. I have no doubt there were some in the class who have longed for such an assurance.

    I suspect you will not be soon forgotten.

    Thank you for your witness. God bless.

  34. Martin_from_Brisbane says:

    Falcon and David,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    I’m trying not to use the term ‘shaman’ in a pejorative manner and though the links to the magic world view are evident in Joseph Smith, that’s not how many current LDS operate. ‘Shaman’ is the best, short term that I can think of to describe a person who is an ‘authorized’ or ‘commissioned’ spiritual guide with connections to the supernatural.

    My theory is that these connections cannot be made without the person of Joseph Smith and his restoration of the priesthood. The implication is that it puts Joseph at the gates of heaven.

    If we acknowledge this dimension, then it informs our dialog with LDS. I think that Ev’s start out talking to LDS from the viewpoint of the rationalist-heresy approach, which can be summed up by “what you believe is contrary to scripture, therefore I am going to tell you where you’ve got it wrong”. While I think there is value in this, it is apparent that LDS are highly resistant to this approach. Perhaps the question we should address is “is this system of commissioning (the passing of ‘spiritual’ totems to family shamans) what Christ intended for his church?”

  35. WORD FROM THE TOP (Bill McKeever):

    SteveH is no longer welcome to comment at Mormon Coffee.

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