Stand for Something!

I love what Shawn is doing over at Heart of the Matter and would recommend it ten times over. He does a great job with callers, obviously does a lot of preparation, teaches loads of history, forthrightly engages LDS culture and beliefs and teachings, and preaches the gospel of the Bible. The show is a lot of fun and I always love seeing a new clip posted by testskriftene on Youtube.

A criticism Shawn McCraney has received from the rest of the countercult community (I say “rest of” because he is one of us! :-] ) was over his controversial suggestion that some born-again ex-Mormons (in spirit) stay on the rolls and keep participating in the LDS Church. The good intent behind the suggestion is to revolutionize the Mormon religion from the inside-out. There are multiple problems with this suggestion, one of which is the command in 1 Corinthians 5 not to participate in table-fellowship with idolaters. Shawn’s message of grace and transformation and truth to Mormons is even more clear with clarion calls to “abandon ship“, so videos like this are encouraging.

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48 Responses to Stand for Something!

  1. Rick B says:

    I was on that blog the Mormon hater show, thankfully now done. That guy kept bringing up Shawn, can you provide a link so we can read this guys story, prior to the blog I have never heard of him, Thanks. Rick b

  2. setfree says:

    it’s actually somewhat difficult to get your name off.
    my good friend took the discussions, got baptized, and a couple of months later, decided he wanted out. Though he twice went to the bishop and said he wanted his name off, nothing happen.
    The third time, he said, in essence “what’s the hold up”
    to which the bishop replied… “well, i thought i’d hold off for a while, to see if you changed your mind”
    it gets a lot harder than that. the church tried very hard to hold on to the names of my parents’ children who were under age 18 at the time my parents asked to be excommunicated. they had to threaten with a law suit.
    i think there are some on-line form-letters to get you started…

  3. Enki says:

    I imagine that the LDS church would like people to “abandon ship” as well if you don’t believe in the core teachings. What is the purpose of attending services if you don’t believe? Its a waste of time for everyone. Trying to teach something different at church activities is probably just more likely to just cause annoyance than anything else. Probably not the most productive way to engage mormons.

  4. JesusFreek says:

    Aaron,

    Shawn McCraney, as a former Mormon, understands how difficult it is for some to leave the LDS church. I believe that people can be born again and sit in the LDS pew with their family. It is not an immediate walk out the door for all people. How can we know the hearts of everbody in the LDS building?

    I have first hand friends that are attempting to lead their spouses out of the church hoping that God will use them to change their family’s hearts. One born-again woman with multiple children (and a father as a bishop) has been told that she must stay in the faith or face divorce and the loss of her family. If she leaves the LDS faith what choice does she have? Abandon her husband (that she loves dearly) and break up her family, or patiently pray and lead her family out of the LDS faith?

    I strongly disagree with MRM’s public admonition of Alathea Ministies/Shawn McCraney. The book review of Shawn’s book, by Bill McKeever, should be removed from your website.

    I formerly supported MRM with minimal financial contributions, but until you learn to treat our Brothers-in-Christ (especially Shawn) with more respect I will no longer support MRM and instead send my support to Alathea Ministries.

  5. JesusFreek says:

    One correction. It appears the book review is by Eric Johnson not Bill McKeever as I stated. Sorry about that.

  6. Okie says:

    Aaron, when you say table-fellowship with idolaters, just exactly WHAT do you mean?

  7. Enki says:

    JesusFreak,
    Wow, that sounds like such a horrible situation. I can’t imagine sitting through LDS church services for the sake of keeping a family together, how tough that must be.

    I have left the LDS church, and I feel abandoned by my family. I must admit that it must be difficult for my parents as all of their children are either inactive or have converted to something else. They have their grandchildren who are apparently active, my nephew is a deacon now. My sister sent a photo of him recently wearing a metalica t-shirt, and I just said…ok, this doesn’t seem fitting. but thats my judgement. My sister is wiccan, but apparently she doesn’t mind him participating in Mormon church services. My mother doesn’t like her wiccan faith, but tolerates it.

    So, what do christians do when their children or other family members leave christianity, and convert to something else? say mormonism?

  8. JesusFreek, I’m sorry you take exception, but that it is emotionally and relationally hard and tragically consequential to leave Mormonism doesn’t make it right to stay (particularly when staying under the pretension of being just another Mormon participant), although we can have a LOT of mercy and patience on people who are in transition. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:2-3,

    But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing.

    We can’t play God. We have to take the road God has put before us and make the right decisions, and trust that God is working everything together for good for those who love him, for those who have been called (Romans 8:28). Since we can’t play God, ex-Mormon Christians shouldn’t pretend like they’re still Mormons or deceptively stay in the LDS Church to change it from the inside-out. Also, Christians shouldn’t pretend they’re not evangelizing Mormons when they really are (as in certain dialogs where Christians pretend to dialog merely for the sake of increased mutual understanding and tolerance and civility). We should be up front about our intentions. Deception is rarely warranted in Christian ethics, and it seems very clear to me that it is not warranted in the context of continued religious table-fellowship.

    Okie asked, “Aaron, when you say table-fellowship with idolaters, just exactly WHAT do you mean?”

    By idolaters I mean those that don’t generally worship God in spirit and in truth, especially those that acquiesce to a religious tradition where the nature of God is deeply distorted.

    In 1 Corinthians 5 it prohibits religious fellowship with idolaters, which for the early Christians included the meeting of the religious community, teaching and preaching, practice of spiritual gifts for mutual edification in the body of Christ, and the Lord’s supper, all with the assumption of shared religious beliefs and goals and values (unless you’re a visitor, like 1 Corinthians 14 mentions), not to mention a shared Spirit in the same Jesus Christ. When an ex-Mormon Christian (in heart) intentionally remains active within the Mormon church-experience to subvert the Mormon religion, it is based on pretension. I realize that some may continue attending with their spouse, etc., as a non-Mormon visitor (and explicitly so), and I’m not criticizing that. And I realize that some slowly transition out because of emotional and relational difficulty, and that we should be gentle and patient with such people, but the clarion call should be to abandon ship and never to act with anything less than full integrity.

    I know that’s hard to hear for those aching and for those who feel trapped, but Jesus was a lot more than radical than MRM in his radical calls to discipleship. Sell everything you have, hate your Mom and Dad, don’t look back, forgo your father’s funeral, take up your cross, deny yourself, and follow Jesus. I haven’t lived this myself with full integrity, but I know that I should.

    Grace and peace in Christ, I love you guys,

    Aaron

  9. FIGJAM says:

    I left the Mormon “church” in early ’09. If anyone wants to know how, or the easiest way to “abandon ship”, please feel free to contact me. It is time to put fear aside … whether this fear resides in family life (often times generations deep), financial instability, or wherewithal, I pray that all current Mormons will embark on a crusade of truth! Remove your name from record, don’t be excommunicated on the “case” that you’ve found fundamental truths in Christianity. The LDS “religion” is a plague on humanity, one that confuses moral-ism for religion and spirituality. Do not give this business, this corporation the honor of excommunicating you on account of scientific validity and Biblical backing.

  10. setfree says:

    I want to touch on a part of this issue that hasn’t yet been touched on…
    and that is, loss of friends

    When my folks first left the church, they considered moving out of town (as it is a small mainly-Mormon town). But they didn’t; they chose to stand as a witness, and be a sore thumb to the community.

    They did have people stop talking to them, but what was terrific is that the process “sifted” their “friends” group, only keeping the real ones.

    Where my folks used to walk to church, the building only being a block away, since accepting Christ they have to drive 45 minutes to a Christian gathering. But they have dear friends there now, more dear to them than they ever had as Mormons. People who love Jesus above all, and don’t feel the need to compare and back-stab to feel like they will make it to heaven.

    Personally, my life has changed for the better it ways I didn’t even hope were possible before I left. Of course, I’m not just talking about leaving the church, but about leaving the church FOR JESUS. Just leaving may be very liberating, but you’ll never find true freedom until you accept Christ…

  11. setfree says:

    I think it bears repeating that what happened when my parents left the church… that is, that the local church authorities told people not to talk to them, inspired a couple of people to look into the church, and investigate why they would say that. These people dug into their Bibles and came to know the Lord, and are out evangelizing to Mormons now as well. So you just never know what taking the step to leave the church will do.

    It’s like a pebble thrown into a pond. One little move causes a couple others, which cause more and more, and after many years, the trickle down effect of your leaving the church may have had widespread impact, and changed many lives for the better. Praise the LORD!

  12. jackg says:

    I just want to say that I am really saddened by those who have left Mormonism at the cost of ostracism. However, not all Mormons respond in such a negative way. I still have people in the LDS Church that I am very close to. They’re praying for me, and I’m praying for them. The love we share we still share. Perhaps I am more blessed in this area than others. I just wanted to share this out of respect for those in my life who have treated me with love and respect after my departure from their faith.

    Blessings…

  13. falcon says:

    Good to hear from the exMormon posters. I know absolutely nothing about this topic from an experiential stance. I have never felt all of the relationship and economic pressures that can come to bear on someone leaving a group. I might say however, that I think it would be very difficult for me, having come to a realization of who God is and what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is, to stay in an organization that’s doctrine runs very much contrary to God’s Word.
    But it’s a process I’m sure and people have to have their own time line. I certainly wouldn’t give anyone in this situation any advice but I would give them a lot of support.

  14. Mike R says:

    I echo want Falcon just said.I too have so
    little experience with ex-LDS. I can offer
    support.
    Years ago I helped facilitate an ex-JW support
    group.I will say that the shunning an ex-JW
    goes through for leaving “God’s Organization”
    is a terrible thing for them to endure, and I’m
    sure many ex-LDs know how that feels.

    Jesus heals.

  15. Enki says:

    Hello everyone, This evening I discovered that there really is a real difference between mormons and christians. Mormons really do play the victim card, and they use it to avoid difficult questions, avoid taking responsibility, and try to make it seem like they are just innocent victims, and your a monster for disagreeing with anything.

    I found that christians may not always know the answer, to difficult questions, but they don’t seem to play the victim card. I was accuse of being axxx-mormon on another webpage, and was threatened with being banned from the blog. I probably have been difficult here at times also, but I have never been threatened with a ban. I was also accused to being rude. I will have to take some time away from the blog and review that sometime later to see for myself if I had been rude. I would like to read a link about the victim psychology of mormonism to understand it better, if you guys have one. Especially in reference to the term axxx-mormon.

    Another question is this. What are the rules for dividing scripture into chapter and verse? What is that process called? Its sometimes applied to other historical documents, and legal documents, and I am interested in doing a project related to this. Thank you!

  16. falcon says:

    Enki,
    When I first read your post I was thinking “OOOO, Enki has been labeled a triple X”. Not a bad way maybe to characterize an exmormon however. There could be a different number of Xs applied in relationship to how strongly the exmormon felt about his/her former religion. A triple “X” would be quite a label to earn.
    I’m not sure I understand your question about “dividing scripture into chapter and verse.” The Bible’s chapter divisions were created in the early 1200s by a lecturer at the University of Paris. The current verse divisions were not fully developed until 1551.
    “Hermeneutics” is the science and art of Biblical interpretation. It is a science because it is guided by rules within a system; and it is an art because the application of the rules is by skill, and not by mechanical imitation. The primary and basic need of hermeneutics is to ascertain what God has said in Sacred Scripture; to determine the meaning of the Word of God.
    Justice cannot be done to a book of the Bible till it has been determined who wrote the book, when it was written, if its contents are authentic, and if the book is a literary unit or not. Once that has been accomplished than “exegesis” begins. The study of the cannon determines the inspired books; the study of the text determines the wording of the books; the study of historical criticism gives the framework of the books; hermeneutics gives the rules for the interpretation of the books; “exegesis” is the application of the rules to the books; and the result is Biblical theology.
    Mormons would prefer to not have to apply such discipline to the study of the scriptures. It’s a lot easier to say simply, “I prayed and God revealed thus and such to me.” It sounds very spiritual and can’t be questioned. That’s how Joseph Smith operated along with a magic rock and some other dubious means and Mormons are stuck with such beauties as the BoM, the BoA, and a corrupted form of the King James Bible

  17. Ward says:

    I have enjoyed learning from you folk — the stories are way too brief. Thanks for sharing.

    Enki – I have appreciated your contributions over the months. You are wandering all around the universe, and ask lots of questions, and read in many diverse arenas. You are naturally skeptical, but also open. I haven’t read your comments on the other blog, but I have not seen you be rude here. It is easy, once one becomes defensive, to start labeling another’s perspective in negative terms. So, contending dialogue and discussion become attacking. Assertion and directness become rudeness. Some of your posts may have made me uncomfortable…no, that is blaming you for my response. I have responded to some of your posts by finding myself becoming uncomfortable, but I have decided that you have the freedom here to wander around a topic just like the rest of us. Thanks for being here.

  18. Enki says:

    Ward,
    Thank you for your input and your respect. I especially appreciate that you take responsibility for your own feelings. I think that is a very, very good trait.

  19. Enki says:

    Falcon,
    Thank for sharing you knowledge, that will give me a great place to start, and find more information. I often wondered how scripture was divided. I have seen bible editions without the verses, that totally had a different effect. What would be interesting is to have a copy which sort of looks like the media it was written on.

  20. liv4jc says:

    ENKIIHAVENEVERFOUNDYOUTOBERUDEINANYOFYOURPOSTINGSONMORMONCOFFEEINFACTISEEAPERSONWHOISVERYCURIOUSANDLOOKINGHIGHANDLOWANDINEVERYNOOKANDCRANNYFORTHETRUTHIPRAYTHATWHATYOURFINDHEREANDELSWHERELEADSYOUTOJESUSCHRISTWHOISTHEWAYTHETRUTHANDTHELIFE

    Enki, that’s pretty hard to read, isn’t it. Did you know that not only did the Bible not originally contain chapter and verse, but the original manuscripts were also written in what is called unctual text, which was all capital letters without spaces or punctuation?

    There are a number of textual variants due to questions about where the verse should be punctuated, which also makes minor changes to the meaning of a sentence by removing or adding a clause.

    Take for example John 1:3 and 4. The NET Bible online (www.net.bible.org), a resource I cannot say enough good things about, adds this text critical note about the verses that is too long to post here, but you can read it here http://net.bible.org/bible.php?book=Joh&chapter=1#n7

    I don’t personally feel that separating the text into chapter and verse changes the meaning of text, except where we subjectively change it in our minds due to what we feel are separate ideas because of breaks in sentences, etc. We can ignore those divisions, or remove them entirely if we want to with modern word processing.

    The best thing we can learn from the openness of Christian scholarship in regards to textual criticism is that they feel that Bible is still reliable even with the copying errors, etc., and the Christian gospel has not been changed by those variants. In contrast, the LDS church has gone to great pains to hide the changes to Mormon “scriptures”, proving that the changes that were made were made with the purpose of deceiving the faithful.

  21. subgenius says:

    liv4jc
    sinsce the original manuscripts are long gone and the need to insert vowels occurred and various and often politically motivated translations have occurred, why do you state:
    “..they FEEL that the Bible is still reliable”?
    What possible information do you have to offer that would justify your claim?…or do you just FEEL that its right?
    Is this not where we argue the true meaning of the original commandment against “stealing”?
    This is not an issue of grammatics, as you would short-sight it, but rather at times it is a question of context, definition, and translation.
    Which is why ultimately the Spirit discerns and not the University…but i often forget that the Ev often relies on the Gospel according to the state Board of Regents.

  22. falcon says:

    Mormons are not Biblical scholars. In fact I don’t think they even have any sort of intention to get it right, but rather to try and extract some meaning from the Biblical text (no matter how tortured) to support their aberrant and heretical views. They would much rather rely on “revelation” in which anything can work in any way a person wants it to.
    Look, these are people who rely on a “scripture” produced by a guy with a magic rock. Case closed!

  23. liv4jc says:

    I think I just figured out who Sub might be. He’s one of three people. Bart Ehrman, Richard Dawkins, or Christopher Hitchens. Sub, this really is not the thread for this, so maybe we should take it somewhere else, but I’ll give you a short answer, which I have given before. If you require photocopy quality evidence of the first writings of the biblical documents then you cannot even trust the “revelation” you get from reading what we currently possess. You might as well get your theology from a Nancy Drew mystery novel (but make sure you get the printer’s manuscript before trusting even that) or as Falcon suggested, throw a rock in a hat. If we need to possess original documents to know what was written then we cannot believe any historical account, because all we have are copies of everything ancient, and even not-so-ancient. Taking your approach I should doubt Israel was ever even a nation. I should doubt there was a Palestine, or a Jesus, or a Roman Empire because all we have are copies of ancient writings.

    What we do possess however, are the original writings of JS and his contemporaries, and we can track the doctrinal changes and the lies to prove that the Smithian corporation purposely hides the truth from its members. When said member finds out that they were mentally abused and lied to for months, years, or decades, they often abandon all faith (based partly upon the smithian lie that the BoM is true and the Bible is corrupt) because they were deceived by men who took it upon themselves to lie in the name of God to impress men. My point was that Bible translators don’t hide the reality of textual problems or variants, while the Smithian church does.

    You should take a bulldozer to the pile of junk in your own backyard before you admonish me to trim the roses around my front porch.

    I’ll be in the repentance corner.

  24. subgenius says:

    in response to my pointed post above i get the following 2 responses:

    from falcon
    “They would much rather rely on “revelation” in which anything can work in any way a person wants it to.”

    from liv4jc
    “If you require photocopy quality evidence of the first writings of the biblical documents then you cannot even trust the “revelation” you get from reading what we currently possess”

    funny how the Ev are united in their disdain of Mormons but seem to have different views on “revelation” from reading the scriptures.
    Thanks to both of you for finally illustrating my point…now, that was a ‘revelation’!

    As for doctrinal changes through the LDS church and ts writings, i believe the Ev has also stated in their own arguments, that these are not significant changes and have little bearing on the Word…they are usually contextual aspects of the church. Those that are more dramatic, like the church’s previous policies with blacks, have been remedied through “revelation” and the LDS church is not the only one to experience this blemish.

    Again, thanks for the “revelation” in reading both of your posts.

  25. liv4jc says:

    Sub, don’t try to pretend that your language about the “Spirit discerning” is not a veiled reference to “revelation” that you get from reading a certain passage. “I have testimony from the Holy Ghost” that such and such a passage means this or that, even though it is taken completely out of context and interpreted with cult eisegesis.

    As far as the State Board of Regents comment, I don’t go to church with any of the others who post here, and it is most likely that we attend different donominations, but our gospel is the same because we “discern” it from the fully understandable plain language of the Bible, which we fully trust as the Word of God. It is your church that requires its members to live in lock-step-obedience to ideology that is plainly denied by the very writings you claim as one of your standard works: the Bible. This requires mass intellectual and spritual dishonesty of the members to retain the cult mentality and identity within the cult. This is why Smithians-turned-Christian should separate themselves from the cult. It is the only honest course of action.

  26. subgenius says:

    liv4jc
    the issue has always been that lo the many denominations may also “discern” from different Bibles, with translations which can sway…which so many Ev accuse the LDS of, so it must be true!

    “This requires mass intellectual and spritual dishonesty of the members” <– a more uninformed comment i have yet to see…so disappointing for someone who claims to liv4jc.
    I have never seen, heard, read, or been made to "feel" that i am required to live in "lock-step"…exactly where do you get your facts from?

  27. liv4jc says:

    Sub, have you ever read the book 1984? When a doctrine, such as plural marriage, is given as eternal truth and an everlasting covenant from the prophet one day, and the next denied…

    Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter. Therefore, aprepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same. For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye be damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory. For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world. And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God. And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this gpower (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

    Your prophet lied, and yet you believe. Lock-step. Dishonesty.

  28. Enki says:

    Liv4jc,
    Thats very interesting, but I appologize if its taken the discussion away from the current topic.

    Its funny, I opened the link ‘abandon ship’. When I saw the mailing address I envisioned administrators and clerks shifting through piles and piles of letters. Making this request or that. I wonder if they have paid mailroom clerks or volunteers, or maybe ‘set apart’ someone for the job as a church calling. I hope that they actually pay someone to sift through this stuff. And certainly for someone to update files and databases. There are probably enough committed folks who would willingly do this.

    I used to have a job in the mailroom for an insurance company. Man is that ever mundane work. In the prepaid mailers would often be things which had little to do with insurance claims or questionaires etc… Tracts having to do with Jesus and being born again etc. would be very, very common. Most of the times the clerks would just toss them, but someones some of them had very interesting images which drew some attention. One clerk would make fun of them while reading them aloud. The official workplace policy was not to do something like that, but he always seemed to get away with that.

    I am sure mormon administrative offices get all kinds of interesting things, if the insurance company received religious tracts, I am sure mormon offices get them. I am sure they save a sample of tract for their records, and toss any duplicates. Its one of the things I generally never think about in relationship to religious organizations. From what I understand the LDS church has an archive of tracts and other materials critical of mormonism.

  29. Enki says:

    Setfree,
    “it’s actually somewhat difficult to get your name off.”

    For me it wasn’t. When I was living in California, I got a letter out of the blue from the LDS church. I was so suprised, because I hadn’t attended for around 10 years, and I certainly didn’t leave any forwarding addresses. Perhaps my parents forwarded my address or they might have used some service to find me.

    In any case I got some letter introducing the name of the local bishop, and the address of the chapel. It was an invitation to attend church services, and to meet the bishop. My memory is really poor on the events,because it meant so little. I think I ignored the letter and just tossed it.

    I got a second letter stating that my name has been removed and that I was excommunicated. I think I mailed it back with a note saying that it didn’t mean much because I wasn’t interested in membership. I actually have a prety vague memory about his. If I had gotten this letter 20 years earlier it would have really freaked me out, but it didn’t phase me a bit. That sort of thing really has power only if one still believes it, and willing turns over power to someone else.

    I feel so happy to know the truth reguarding organized religious bodies. They only have as much power as you give them. Reporting to authorities for approval, instruction, discipline etc…only hampers true spiritual developement.

    Ultimately everyone is accountable for how they relate to what they know to be true. Turning over this accountability is ‘easier’ in someways because most things are spelled out for you, and most cases it doesn’t require much thought. Finding out spiritual truths on your own can be more difficult, but I think its worth the difficulty.

  30. falcon says:

    When Mormons wise-up and realize there’s no Biblical, historical, linguistic and/or DNA evidence to support that for which they had some strong religious feelings, they have a couple of choices available to them. They can deny the evidence or rationalize it accepting the shallow and weak arguments Mormonism provides. Their decision to leave will depend on how much cognitive dissonance they can tolerate.
    With the numbers of practicing Mormons eroding daily, it appears that staying in the Mormon church is more painful than leaving. While leaving isn’t easy, the resulting freedom from religious control and having to constantly defend the undefensible reinforces the decision to leave. Breathing the fresh air of freedom gives new life to the exiting Mormon. I’ve read enough exit stories to know that after a time, the bitterness and anger dissipates and the exMormon finds their new life not only rewarding but truly “their” life.

  31. Enki says:

    Falcon,
    “With the numbers of practicing Mormons eroding daily”

    Is there any evidence of serious decline in membership, contributions, church attendence? What are the figures. From what I have seen the church makes it look like everything is fine, membership is up, new chapels and temples being built etc… Are the areas of growth in developing nations that don’t have much access to information? I don’t know which information is correct. In any case, does it really matter as far as determining if its true or not?

  32. falcon says:

    Enki,
    Numbers have absolutely nothing to do with truth. But it does tell us that there is something brewing when only about one-third of those on the rolls are actually active. Also, I’ve heard that within the last few years the number of people hired to process resignations has increased from two to ten. The word is that the number of returning missionaries that eventually go inactive is around fifty percent. I’d have to dig to source this, but I’m sure one of our other posters might have their fingers on the data.
    It would probably be a good time to post the following presentation that can be accessed on YouTube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECjddl-jpwY&feature=related

    When you get there type Lyndon Lamborn in the search box.
    While all of it is good, part 3 is particularly applicable to our discussion here. I believe some of what I’ve referenced is presented also.

  33. subgenius says:

    === MODERATED ===

    The moderator issued a level 1 yellow card on this comment.

    === MODERATED ===

  34. grindael says:

    Subgenius,

    No one that I know as a Christian worships Paul, and no one I know has said anything like what BY said about Smith, that all would have to get his ok to get into the celestial kingdom. That is worshipping someone. We (Christians) take the writings of Paul as part of a whole, the Bible being the complete word.

    I don’t know why you keep harping on this sub. Our gospel is built on the Rock of Jesus, not on sand. His simple teachings are what we incorporate into our lives, not some nonsensical gnostic-like doctrines that have nothing to do with salvation.

    We do not deny personal revelation, and do not limit ourselves to the teachings of one man or group of men. Christians can be considered a cult, as all religions fall under that def, but Smithians fall under this sub def: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents.

    The evidence shows that smithism differs radically from Christianity, always has always will. No matter how much the current ‘prophets’ try to sanitize it, you can’t change that. smith condems himself out of his own mouth and actions.

    Smith is the one who claimed he had the truth and defied – yes defied the world to prove he did not. I think we all know who had the ego problem here. I am sorry you are on his bandwagon, but your fingerpointing and trying to twist what we believe into what you believe (i.e. that we worship Paul) is both tragic and wrong. We dont sing praise songs to Paul in Church but Smithians do about smith.

    The only step for Mormons is the one I took. Look at the facts, come to the conclusion that smith was a fraud, go to Jesus, admit your a sinner, accept HIM and HIM alone in your life as your Saviour, be baptized and keep the faith. That is the simplicity of Christianity and all you need.

    Hope this helps you, but ultimately only God can.

  35. grindael says:

    As to the topic, when I left the Mormon Church I had to turn my back on all of it, all friends, family and everything. It was difficult, but ultimately Aaron is correct and his post hits the heart of it.

    I would not advocate this course of action without a lot of prayer, because I did it in a spirit of despair at God much to my detriment. It is only years later I saw the guiding hand of God in my life, which led me back into a loving relationship with HIM.

    We owe a lot to our families and friends, but ultimately we are responsible for our own salvation and HAVE to place the burden of what we do in God’s hands. He loves them as much as he loves us, and our faith in HIM and our prayers will produce positive results for all, believe me, I’ve seen it work.

    I advocate whatever it takes to get out of the cult, trusting in God to take care of the rest. A strong course of Bible reading and prayer really helps, for He loves HIS children and will not abandon us if we come to HIM. He heals all wounds, lifts up all, and justifies our faith in Him and Him alone.

    Thanks to all who prayed for me recently, I am healing nicely, and am grateful for my life and the Lord Jesus, the Captain of my Salvation.

  36. setfree says:

    Wow, such terrific, quotable comments out here!

    “I feel so happy to know the truth reguarding organized religious bodies. They only have as much power as you give them. Reporting to authorities for approval, instruction, discipline etc…only hampers true spiritual developement.

    Ultimately everyone is accountable for how they relate to what they know to be true. Turning over this accountability is ‘easier’ in someways because most things are spelled out for you, and most cases it doesn’t require much thought. Finding out spiritual truths on your own can be more difficult, but I think its worth the difficulty.”

    “We owe a lot to our families and friends, but ultimately we are responsible for our own salvation and HAVE to place the burden of what we do in God’s hands. He loves them as much as he loves us, and our faith in HIM and our prayers will produce positive results for all, believe me, I’ve seen it work.

    I advocate whatever it takes to get out of the cult, trusting in God to take care of the rest. A strong course of Bible reading and prayer really helps, for He loves HIS children and will not abandon us if we come to HIM. He heals all wounds, lifts up all, and justifies our faith in Him and Him alone.”

    “We (Christians) take the writings of Paul as part of a whole, the Bible being the complete word….Our gospel is built on the Rock of Jesus, not on sand. His simple teachings are what we incorporate into our lives…We do not deny personal revelation, and do not limit ourselves to the teachings of one man or group of men…The only step for Mormons is the one I took. Look at the facts, come to the conclusion that smith was a fraud, go to Jesus, admit your a sinner, accept HIM and HIM alone in your life as your Saviour, be baptized and keep the faith. That is the simplicity of Christianity and all you need.

    Hope this helps you, but ultimately only God can.”

  37. falcon says:

    The apostle Paul states in Philippians 3:4-11 “…although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. But what ever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ……”
    I think all of the former Mormons who post here could make a list of the things in Mormonism they were counting on at the time that have now become “rubbish” having found Christ and the salvation that comes through faith in His finished work of the cross. The temple rituals are rubbish, the fake priesthood is rubbish and the desire and striving to become a god is rubbish. It’s all rubbish, with no value.
    A step in leaving Mormonism is learning that all of the things that a person was counting on and striving for is rubbish. Paul discovered that the beginning and end, the alpha and omega is Jesus Christ, nothing else.

  38. setfree says:

    Absolutely true, Falcon. There is no comparison

  39. subgenius says:

    Why does the Ev always insist upon the following
    ” go to Jesus, admit your a sinner, accept HIM and HIM alone in your life as your Saviour, be baptized and keep the faith.”?
    This is the begining for LDS…all of us have done this, and even perhaps done this with more zeal, emotion, and dedication than many Ev. Our church is the church of JC afterall…typical Ev ADD.
    Does the Ev really belive that Moromns have not and do not subscribe to the above? Is the Ev so misinformed that they are simply following in “lock-step”, or rather “goose-step” with the few who only desire the spread of lies and prefer hate-filled dialogue over an intelligent discourse?

  40. Ralph says:

    Subgenius,

    Falcon said “I think all of the former Mormons who post here could make a list of the things in Mormonism they were counting on at the time that have now become “rubbish” having found Christ and the salvation that comes through faith in His finished work of the cross.”

    If I remember correctly you said you came from an Ev background (so did someone called Pookachamp a few months ago). I guess you are doing the same here in making your list of ‘rubbish’ that you saw in the Ev faith while you were in it. I know Pookachamp did the same thing and he too was told that he was misrepresenting the Ev faith. But how can you misrepresent some thing that you have intimate knowledge of – Right?

    But I guess the common consent here is that the LDS members are lying (either blatently or innocently) and the ex-LDS are telling the truth. While the Ex-Evs now LDS are lying and the Evs are telling the truth.

    Grindael,

    Isn’t Jesus saying something similar to the Jews in John 5:31-45 (especially vv 45-47) about Moses? Moses will stand as the accuser of the Jews in front of God, not Jesus, according to this. Why? Because if they believed in Moses and his writings properly then they would believe in Jesus. Because they did not believe in Moses properly, Moses will stand and accuse them of this in front of God. This will stop them from entering into heaven. So the Jews in Jesus’ day have to get Moses approval to get into heaven according to Jesus.

    Same with JS. If we believe in his writings/teachings properly we will believe in Jesus and God properly. If we don’t JS will stand in front of God and accuse us of not believing properly.

  41. Mike R says:

    Sub,

    At the risk of having you accuse me of ” denying
    the love of all people”, and of having a big ego,
    also, I’ll chime in here and comment on what
    seems to be your bewilderment at what Set Free
    said namely, “go to Jesus, admit you’re a sinner’
    accept Him and Him alone as your Savior,be
    baptized and keep the faith”. Don’t mock this
    Sub as it actually hits the nail on the head.
    We all need Jesus. He is where we start, and He
    is where we end. Heb.7:25; Rev.1:8

  42. falcon says:

    It is truly pathetic that Mormons are trusting in a man with a magic rock to bring them a revelation of a gospel that turns men into gods and in the process rejects God and His plan of salvation. Contrast that with the Gospel of Jesus Christ that was revealed to Paul after his encounter with (the living Christ) on the road to Damascus and which Paul wrote extensively about. God has made it possible for all people to receive this gift of eternal life through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. To reject this for the tall tales of Joseph Smith points to the spiritual delusion Mormons are trapped in.
    When Jesus asks the Mormon, “Why should I let you into my heaven?”, their answer that “A man with a magic rock said that I could become a god” will wilt in the face of our Lord.

  43. Enki says:

    Falcon,
    Thank you for the suggestion to view the Lyndon Lamborn videos. I found them suprisingly civil on both sides. He was clear that he wasn’t comfortable remaining silent on what he knows. They were clear that he wasn’t to do that. But he could be physically present if he said only things in accord with the churches view. Logically that would mean he wasn’t welcome, even though they said he was welcome, a very strange double speak.

    The letter I recieved was so loosely worded that I didn’t know the purpose of the Bishop wanting to meet me. I thought this was just an invitation to renew regular church attendance.

    This was someone I never met prior, in a ward that I never attended. I am so glad that I didn’t go, I would not have been prepared for anything, and I am sure it would not have been civil at all. The whole thing is absurd. Excommunication on the grounds of keeping the church teaching pure isn’t fitting, as I wasn’t attending. The other purpose is to try and execute some power and authority over someone else, something I wouldn’t be interested in.

  44. Enki says:

    Falcon,
    What do you think of the mormon webpage and organization ‘Fair’? I did a search about some of the statements Lyndon Lamborn made in his departure speech. It produced a hit with fair. It seems pretty strange how far they will go to attempt to prove that glass, steel, silk,elephants etc… were in the new world prior to europeans.

    They are claiming that a mammoth is an ‘elephant’. “…the genetic make-up of the mammoth that we had here in America, was very similar to the Indian elephant. I point this out because the Indian elephant can be domesticated fairly easily…”

    I don’t know if there is any evidence that even wholly mammoths existed during bom times. Didn’t they go extinct during the last ice age? Did the BOM mention anything about ice age conditions? I am not one to say that domesticating wholly mammoths was impossible, but I just don’t picture that. If that were the case mammoth work on remins could prove or disprove that. Low sample size could be a problem, but there are dried and frozen remains to do genetic studies on.

    There is a part about another mammoth, “In this picture we see the Columbian mammoth which lived over much of North America and down through Mesoamerica. It is an elephant, even though a lot of people don’t realize this.” I don’t know if there are any samples for that.

  45. Enki says:

    Falcon,
    Doing a little more searching produced this:
    “The Columbian Mammoth was one of the last members of the American megafauna to go extinct, with the date of disappearance generally set at approximately 12,500 years ago.[1] However, several specimens have been dated to 9,000 years ago or less and one near Nashville, Tennessee was reliably dated to only about 7,800 years ago..[citation needed]”
    from wikipedia

    well, not necessarily a great source of information, as anyone can make an entry. That a citation is needed is suspect. But if its true, is the time period correct for the BOM? I kind of think not, I don’t even know when Lehi and nephi etc…could have arrived, even using the earliest time estimate.

    On another note, does anyone here understand copyright law really, really well? Has the copyright of the first edition of the BOM expired? At somepoint it can go under public domain? I think those can be renewed. Maybe this is another reason for changes in the BOM to renew editions of the BOM. I am sure that the LDS church would love people making copies on their own, except that they probably want control over its distribution.

    Can anyone reprint the bible on their own for that matter?

  46. Ward says:

    There are public domain versions of the Bible that could be reprinted without violating copyright. The King James version is available on the internet. The main problem with that is that there are not many printing resources available which could print such a large book. It could be done as a multiple volume set, but I doubt that the average Kinkos would be able to tackle the project, as well as they might raise the copyright issue, even though it is public domain.

    There are other language translations available as well. I know of an arabic version that you could find, but it is an old version that is not the current one used.

    You raise an interesting question. In theory, why would not a old edition of the BoM be public domain?

  47. Ward says:

    Enki: this reference appears to be talking exactly about your questions:
    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Talk:Book_of_Mormon

  48. Kristi says:

    You can absolutely come to know Jesus and be born again and still participate in the LDS church. Not fully though, I will say that. When I came to know Jesus, I was in the LDS church. I was a Sunday school teacher at the time and kept my position for about 6 months until the Lord started leading me out. I was fortunate that the curriculum for that period of time was the Old Testament, so I was not teaching the Book of Mormon or the D&C. I did teach the children for 6 months biblical teachings only, did not teach them any Mormon theology and kept on with other activities. Did I cringe during Sacrament meeting as I heard people preach Mormon doctrine?? Absolutely. But I firmly believe that God kept me in that position in the church for the time He did for a reason. I may never know the reason, but I was not called out of the church immediately. When I was, I left.

    So, I will say that it is very possible for a born again Christian to stay on the rolls and participate in the church. But I will meet you in the middle and say that they will not with good conscience, be able to participate in the non-Christian doctrines.

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