The Heart of Mormonism

Townhall.com posted an article on April 15 (2012) titled, “The Truth About Mormonism.” The article is a basic rehash covering some social aspects of Mormonism that are sometimes misunderstood/misrepresented in the media. Nothing much in the article caught my attention, but as I skimmed through the comments one jumped out at me.

For longtime Mormon Coffee readers this topic might bring a yawn. But because many folks are newer readers, and others are just passing through, this is a topic (in my opinion) worth binging up from time to time.

Last week I spoke with many Mormons as I handed out literature in front of the Kansas City Mormon temple during its public open house. One criticism I heard often from the Latter-day Saints was, “We don’t stand in front of your church and hand out critical literature.” Whenever I hear this complaint, my first thought is, “In light of the missionary movements of the early Christians as chronicled in the book of Acts, why don’t you?” But I don’t usually express this out loud. I usually answer with a recounting of Joseph Smith’s First Vision, which often leaves my LDS friend in quiet contemplation.

It should come as no surprise to me after all these years, yet I’m still astounded when I hear or read something like what Townhall.com commenter philbryson wrote.

“Thank you, Mr. Smoot [the Townhall.com journalist], for a fair article not based on motives to condemn an important, rapidly growing religion. The rapid growth has stimulated a lot of opposition from the insecure. Our growth is not based on attacking other religions, but on the desire to share our beliefs with others.”

Okay. Let’s talk about Joseph Smith’s First Vision. According to Joseph Smith, in answer to a prayer, God the Father and His Son appeared to Joseph:

“My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.

“I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: ‘they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.’” (Joseph Smith—History 1:18-19)

Mr. philbryson (and others) believe that Mormonism is persecuted by “insecure” people of other faiths who are somehow less virtuous than members of the Mormon faith who would not dream of challenging or criticizing (“attacking”) other religions. Apart from the fact that challenging false religions and beliefs is biblical, the idea that Mormonism/Mormons do not criticize other churches is just plain wrong.

Mormonism’s very existence is predicated upon the LDS teaching that all non-Mormon churches are wrong; all non-Mormon creeds are an abomination before God; and all people who profess these beliefs are corrupt. That is talking about my church. That is talking about your church. That is talking about my faith and your faith. Unless, of course, you belong to “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:30), identified by the Mormon religion as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Somehow, Mormons have gotten it into their heads that Christians who stand up and say, “Wait a minute,” are “insecure” and are lashing out at the LDS Church without reason. These Mormons do not recognize the historic and ongoing LDS criticism of all other faiths that emanates from Mormonism: brought door-to-door by Mormon missionaries; declared unabashedly in LDS scripture; taught from Mormon pulpits; and proclaimed in Church magazines and manuals. As much as Mormons would like to think otherwise, LDS Church growth is “based on attacking other religions.” Mormons cannot share the heart of their religion without attacking others. It is at the very foundation–the very formation–of the Mormon Church. Those who are the targets of these flaming darts are both obligated and justified to respond with truth (Ephesians 6:14-20; Jude 1:3; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Ephesians 4:14-15).

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Great Apostasy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

112 Responses to The Heart of Mormonism

  1. falcon says:

    It is by necessity that Mormons attack other faiths. It’s the justification for Mormonism. Joseph Smith knew that to compete in the arena of religious ideas of his time he had to have an angle.
    So, like most false prophets, he declared the existing faith and Scriptures and even God as last years models in need of replacement. That’s right, the basic doctrines of the Christian church along with the Scripture from which they flow were corrupted by dastardly conniving men.
    But now Smith had arrived on the scene with a new religion, new Scripture and a new God. The Bible, according to Smith, was so messed up that he needed to correct it. So by revelation, of course, he rewrote the Bible. Revelation is a handy tool. Just think about it. Smith didn’t need the ancient manuscripts or the ability to read Greek to translate the Bible. He’d just write what he wanted and call it revelation.
    Mormons have a lot of action phrases and words. The “insecure” tactic is new to me. I don’t quite get it but it’s handy for Mormons as they talk to one another.
    I think that the psychological term “projection” could be applied here. It’s the Mormons who are insecure about their religion, and why wouldn’t they be?
    Who’d want to defend Smith and his fairy tale. Mormons are insecure because in order to defend Mormonism they have to come up with convoluted explanations, reasoning and logic that defies basic common sense. This all works when they talk with each other but when they step out into the real world they meet with a skepticism that they interpret in various ways; the most handy of course is to charge “persecution”.
    Mormon logic can’t stand-up to truth, evidence and facts.

  2. Kate says:

    Aren’t LDS missionaries attacking other faiths every single day? They do teach the first vision in one of their lessons, although as I understand it, they have down played the words. So why is their witnessing door to door not considered when they encounter people of other faiths witnessing outside of their events or buildings? In my mind it’s the same thing. It clearly annoys them, but then again it really annoys me that I resigned and asked for no contact and I get LDS missionaries over and over knocking on my door. They don’t seem to care that I’ve said leave me alone. I get so tired of hearing how the LDS church is the fastest growing, have 14 million memebers, etc. Those numbers are not accurate. Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses are growing faster and retaining more of their converts than Mormonism.

  3. Clyde6070 says:

    A belief in my religion means also a belief in who said what. Jesus said not to join any religion. Remember God said listen to Him and Jesus said not to join any religion. He went on to say that all creeds were an abomination in his sight and other things.
    Now I remember growing up that my sister told me that she and mother would cover their head when entering church. I found out later that it was a catholic habit to do this-we lived in a predominately catholic area. Now we were Methodist. Of course some church do this and some don’t. I say this because at times some religions take on some same habit that others do. When you hear what God has said about your religion I see that things happen. Either you fight or contemplate what was said.
    I am just the bearer of the news. I believe it you don’t have too but people get something from it. They change due to others. Somebody is the salt of the earth. Is it you or me or both of us?

  4. Kate says:

    Clyde,
    Did you know that Joseph Smith joined the Methodist church in 1828? He said the first vision happened in 1820. So why would he join a “religion” eight years after Jesus supposedly told him not to?

  5. falcon says:

    Clyde,
    I find this comment of yours quite interesting:

    “Jesus said not to join any religion. Remember God said listen to Him and Jesus said not to join any religion. He went on to say that all creeds were an abomination in his sight and other things.”

    You’re assuming first of all that Jesus and God the Father appeared to Joseph Smith. Kate gives the actual timeline above. So obviously Joseph Smith didn’t really get the message, right? So anyway, Jesus spoke to Joseph Smith and then God the Father said listen to Jesus, according to Mormon folklore. This is what, the last and final version of Joseph Smith’s ever changing story of the first vision?
    Notice that Smith’s accounts seem to change as his doctrine of the nature of God changed. That’s curious don’t you think? At first he’s right down the line with basic Christian doctrine regarding who God is and then later changes when he decides that he’d rather like a different god.
    What was the point of Smith’s changing the Bible? Did the original BoM and the Bible agree? We know that they both have been changed to try and line everything up to try and get a consistent story.

    Clyde,
    What if I told you that God has revealed to me that the Mormon church is false, that Joseph Smith is a false prophet, that the current prophet is a false prophet, that the BoM is false and that the Jesus that Smith said appeared to him, didn’t. And what if I told you that an examination of the evidence, confirms this revelation in my supposition?
    Now shouldn’t I do everything in my power to alert Mormons?

    As Christians, we examine the evidence and come to conclusions regarding the veracity of Smith’s claims.

  6. falcon says:

    Let’s face it. There’s just too many balls for Mormons to juggle and keep in the air at the same time. When they start dropping the balls a pretty amusing picture emerges of them bending over trying to pick some up, kicking them across the floor and finally stalking off angrily blaming the balls or the audience for the failure of their act.
    What works down at the wards and is entertaining for the rank-and-file Mormons, is really not that impressive out in the real world. After all, who can’t juggle one ball as Mormon leaders do to the amazement of the Mormon audience?
    Questioning and skepticism by outsiders are interpreted as persecution in the Mormon world.
    With Mitt Romney having all but sown up the Republican nomination for president, Mormons better fasten their seat belts for the bumpy ride. I imagine they have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads rubbing their hands together just at the thoughts of all the converts they will be gaining along with all of that tithe money flowing into the LDS coffers in SLC if the Mittster is elected president.
    With increased success by one of their members on the national political scene Mormons will have to endure endless questions, articles and scrutiny about things they’d rather bury.
    In fact Mormons may even find more members jumping ship as the rank-and-file members are exposed to information that many may not know or have ignored. This will be especially so as Mormons begin to realize what a stark contrast their is between the Christian Gospel and Joseph Smith’s invented restored gospel. There’s just too much water flowing into the sinking LDS ship.
    There’s really no way Mormon leadership can insulate members or keep them thinking like Mormons once they are exposed to the truth.

  7. Clyde6070 says:

    Falcon
    We are approaching the subject from two different perspectives. I have looked at history and found the christian church wanting. I have look at the LDS church and have come to find it suitable for me. I believe it but you don’t have to.
    Your thought on church being wrong. Yes, you can warn us but be careful of looking foolish. Do you think that the westboro church is doing the right thing. They may be right but they sure are a big turn off.

  8. falcon says:

    clyde,
    OK let’s do this again. What is the Church? The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. Who makes up the Mystical Body of Christ? It is those who are born again by the Spirit of God as a result in trusting in Jesus for eternal life. The blood of Jesus covers their sins.
    As far as I’m concerned, the Westboro church are a bunch of nuts! They made an appearance in our area and were denounced by area churches. There isn’t anyone who would go near them with a ten foot poll. Nice try though.
    So you’ve studied the Christian Church. What have you studied? What are your sources? Have you studied the history of the Church, the traditions, the basic doctrine of what is accepted as Christian?
    Now I’m curious why is Mormonism suitable for you? You really can’t pass up this opportunity to tell us clyde. I’d really like to know. What is it about Mormonism that flips your switch? I should list out some questions for you here, but I’ll just let you provide your testimony. What I’m really looking for is your rationale for believing what you do.
    Isn’t it fascinating that the former Mormons who post here have an entirely different story to tell. Take Kate for instance. She delved into Mormonism after a life time of belonging to the (Mormon) church and her conclusion is that it’s false. grindael was a Mormon of high regard and was allowed into the archives at BYU and as a result of his study left the Mormon church also. We’ve had scads of former Mormons pass by here, active members at one time, who have rejected it for faith in Christ. They obviously didn’t find Mormonism suitable for themselves.
    So let er rip clyde. You have the floor.

  9. TJayT says:

    Sharon said, “. One criticism I heard often from the Latter-day Saints was, “We don’t stand in front of your church and hand out critical literature.”

    This is actually one of my biggest pet peeves. As Kate pointed out we Lds send out missionaries in the (tens of?) thousands. To then complain when people respectfully share there beliefs (and I have no doubt Sharon was respectful) at our events just makes us sound like a bunch of whiners.

  10. falcon says:

    Actually I would welcome it if Mormons stood outside of Christian churches and handed out literature and tried to engage the congregants in conversation.
    First of all the churches would start a real awareness campaign to bring their members up to speed regarding Mormonism. What a great way to cult proof people and not allow Mormonism to fly under the radar screen.
    Secondly it would be a way of training certain members to do Christian apologetic work to Mormons. They’d be right there. The Mormons could even be invited in for coffee and donuts. What a subtle way to seduce them. Once the Mormons knocked-back a couple of cups of Colombian Supremo it would be all over.
    Then invite the Mormons into say, a Lutheran church potluck. No one can make hot dish like the Lutheran church basement ladies. If we could get them into a Catholic church to play Bingo it would be lights out, really.

  11. fproy2222 says:

    Way back in the early 70’s, while in the service, I went to an LDS meeting with a room mate. One of the speakers related the story of when a Catholic Priest was talking to Brigham Young about the two Churches. The recount of what the Catholic Priest said went something like this, “If we are correct and hold the power of the Priesthood unbroken from Peter, then your church is wrong. If like you teach, the Priesthood was lost and then restored through Joesph Smith then you Church is true and we are wrong. But the Protestants are wrong both ways, because if we are right, they are wrong; and if we are wrong, they are wrong along with us.”

    At the time I was a PROTESTant and found this disturbing. Because of this and other encounters with the LDS Church, I found a need to prove that God does not talk to his people today through Prophets.

    fred

  12. TJayT says:

    Falcon said “The Mormons could even be invited in for coffee and donuts. What a subtle way to seduce them. Once the Mormons knocked-back a couple of cups of Colombian Supremo it would be all over.”

    Mmmm, coffee…(wipes the drool from his mouth)

    You know, I think you’re actually on to something here. :)

  13. fproy2222 says:

    I guess it is the way many of you do it. At conference there are “real Christians” that sound and act like carny side show barkers.

    There is even one “Christian minister” that makes me want to stand outside your church waving a pair of boxer shorts with crosses on it.

    But we are nicer than that.

    fred

  14. falcon says:

    Actually I decaffeinated myself over thirty years ago but just lately I’ve been drinking some coffee now and then. I had forgotten how good it tastes. There are so many different blends now. I do go with the Colombian Supremo at the church I’ve been attending recently. The service really doesn’t need the stimulant since the band provides enough the way it is. I also dumped alcohol almost forty years ago when I got saved. I just decided I didn’t want to drink any more. I don’t have a problem with people who do………all things in moderation is the way I feel. “All things” qualified. For example; moderate pornography viewing? I don’t think so!
    The Word of Wisdom Mormons buy into serves a couple of purposes. First of all, it’s a not too subtle way of controlling people; just for the sake of controlling them. Second of all, it gives Mormons something to feel superior about, for no real good reason. There’s the Law of Chastity also. According to this rather straight laced young Mormon man I know (returned Missionary) one of the problems he had finding a young Mormon gal to marry had to do with their lack of interest in the “Law” while he was interested in maintaining his virtue.
    Suppressed types of environments have a way of getting the opposite effect of what they are intending.
    There are some incredible social problems within Mormonism that doesn’t match the picture projected. Legalistic religious groups who are not built on a foundation that is Jesus Christ but other things, are doomed for failure.
    There is no other foundation other than Jesus Christ. If people are close to the Lord Jesus, these issues of behavior take care of themselves.

  15. Rick B says:

    Clyde,
    You said you find the Christian churchs wanting.

    Did you know that the FLDS and the RLDS feel your LDS church feel into apostasy after your church renounced polygamy in 1890?

    Funny how you feel they and we are wrong, and they feel you are wrong. So who do we believe and why?

    We base it off of evidence, sort of like what I said to Ralph. Two Christains used the Bible and proved Paul had a shipwreck and used the Bible to find the two anchors the ship dropped. Yet you cannot use the BoM to prove the battle at the hill cumorah. Funny how we can find two little anchors in the ocean, yet you guys cannot find one single coin, sword or shield from a battle where two plus million people died.

    Where is the evidence for what you believe?

  16. Mike R says:

    So I guess the problem that so many Mormons have with those who stand outside their Temples
    and hand out literature is the act of the standing outside the Temple rather than the content of
    the literature, right ? This must be the case because Mormon authorities have never published
    literature the contents of which was critical of other beliefs . They would never do that ! So the Mormon church must be the only true church because it’s members never stand outside
    other churches . Boy, I’m glad I received that personal revelation .

  17. Clyde6070 says:

    A very good explanation of the Fall is one thing. I do need to gather my thoughts and take my time to really explain why I believe. I could put a number to it but then I would leave things out or be repetitive. Also there are things that are linked that need a better explanation than I could possibly give. Time is a problem with me also. If I do find time then I will reply. Hope it dawns on you why I am a drive by blogger.

  18. falcon says:

    clyde,
    So you have the truth but you don’t have the time to explain it? Well I guess there are more pressing matters than presenting the restored gospel; the evidence why it is true, and your personal conviction concerning it. I don’t know how long you’ve been a Mormon but I would think you’d have this all pretty well laid out in your mind by now. Can I help you out?
    Why don’t you use as an outline, the five points of the Mormon testimony. List those points with the evidence that has persuaded you that each is true.
    1. The BoM.
    2. Joseph Smith as a prophet.
    3. The Mormon church as God’s one true church.
    4. The current prophet.
    5. Jesus; who He is and what He did.

    What would also help is if you’d cite some of the points that Christians make regarding the Mormon beliefs listed above. My last request might be a little unreasonable given your time crunch so I think I and others who post here will be able to provide that.
    So what is the evidence for and against the BoM being true, Joseph Smith being a prophet, the Mormon church being God’s one and only true church, the current Mormon prophet as God’s mouthpiece to the world today, and finally the Lord Jesus Christ; His nature and work?
    You see these five points are what those folks who stand outside of Mormon functions and places are challenging. Not to be insulting, but do Mormons ever consider that what they’ve been told isn’t true? I’m not saying that Mormons are marching physically into their their temples etc. looking like characters out of “The Night of the Living Dead”, but spiritually that’s what’s happening.
    This is what the Christians who are out there see spiritually and why they are bringing information to Mormons.

  19. VWBrown says:

    There is even one “Christian minister” that makes me want to stand outside your church waving a pair of boxer shorts with crosses on it.

    But we are nicer than that.


    Oh really fred? So what did you make of the minister in the endowment ceremony ‘play’? Yep really ‘nicer’ huh – but then that was OK because it was sacred. But then your prophet considered Christianity to be the church of satan as well.

  20. Kate says:

    I don’t think the LDS missionaries or the LDS church is “nicer.” They bug the crap out of me, on my own doorstep! The last two missionaries could have been used car salesmen, I mean saleswomen. Talk about not taking no for an answer. I requested NO CONTACT in writing, sent to LDS church headquarters, and I also told my former bishop. How is sending missionaries to my house every few months being nice? Oh I’m sure Mormons would see it as being nice, sort of like love bombing, but I’m sick of it and it shows a lack of respect for my wishes. Mormons feel it’s their right to show up on doorsteps pushing their beliefs, but no one has the right to show up at church events or at LDS buildings pushing theirs. Falcon is right, Mormonism teaches it’s members they are superior and not just about the word of wisdom either.

    “There is no other foundation other than Jesus Christ. If people are close to the Lord Jesus, these issues of behavior take care of themselves.”
    AMEN.

  21. falcon says:

    I think as Christians we’re talking about how to be effective in bringing the Word of God to Mormons. Is handing out literature an effective way to win someone to Christ? What’s the payback on time and money invested? That’s one way of looking at things. So having been involved in the field of education and also sales during my work career, I’m fond of defining objectives. In-other-words what will be the results of my efforts.
    I’ve more than once wondered if I’m wasting my time posting on MC. I don’t think I make any headway with the hard-core TBMs that show up and post here, but I know they serve a purpose by their presence.
    I will occasionally ask the moderators how many daily hits we’re getting and from the numbers that are reported I’m encouraged to keep banging away on the keyboard. Actually since there’s like three Mormons in my geographical area, this is my only way of really making any possible contacts with this niche group.
    I know I rub the TBMs the wrong way by the way I write but I’m not too concerned about that. It serves a purpose also.
    Anyway, I’m going to have to tell Sharon the next time she takes one of her witnessing trips, I want to go along. Maybe we could put up signs like “as seen on Mormon Coffee”. I”d have to think up my approach. I’d prefer to do something like Peter and John did in Acts 3:6-8 but I don’t know if God would grant that!

  22. fproy2222 says:

    the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight;
    (Pearl of Great Price | Joseph Smith—History 1:19‎)‎

    I find it of intrest that ya’ll believe that your CREED is your CHURCH.

    fred

  23. Mike R says:

    Falcon, we know this is not a easy mission field, we know it is a spiritual battle , we know that
    we plant seeds that the Holy Spirit will use as He leads Mormons gently out of their false
    gospel , we know that there are many Mormons in the last few years who are becoming inactive
    having found no fulfillment in trying to consistently keep up in the complex pseudo gospel
    system that they’ve found themselves in , we know that many of these sincere people are
    looking for spiritual freedom . So this being the case we keep on going and keep on telling
    them about Jesus , even though it may get frustrating at times. This ministry is kind enough to
    allow us on here to minister to these precious people .

  24. falcon says:

    fred,
    Another one of your one line drive by shooter statements with nothing to reference it or flesh out what you’re actually talking about. I repeat that I think you’re a poser who really has no interest in dialogue because you have a limited frame of reference in regards to both Biblical Christianity and SLC style Mormonism. Someone who makes a statement like the one below could never have seriously attended a Christian church.

    “I find it of intrest that ya’ll believe that your CREED is your CHURCH.”

    Can I see the hands of the Christians in the audience who believe that the Apostle Creed or the Nicean Creed or any other “creed” is the Church. I see no hands so obviously this is just one more of some form of statement fred is using to incite the Christians here. Quite frankly, I have no idea what he’s talking about……as usual.
    Can anyone figure it out?

    I think what you better do fred is study hard to find the truth. Get a good history of the first four hundred years of the Church and delve into it.

    I’m continuing to pray for you. At this point it’s about all any of us can do (for you).

  25. Mike R says:

    Fred, I think you may have meant that your creed is your church . How’s that sound ?

  26. fproy2222 says:

    Falcon; (. Someone who makes a statement like the one below could never have seriously attended a Christian church.
    “I find it of intrest that ya’ll believe that your CREED is your CHURCH.”
    Can I see the hands of the Christians in the audience who believe that the Apostle Creed or the Nicean Creed or any other “creed” is the Church.)

    I see here one of the ways you need to improve your study habits. You took a sound bite out of what I said and then based your understanding on that sound bite instead of the whole of what was said. Try starting over with even the parts you do not want to know about.
    +++++++++++++++++++
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    Since the Lord told Joseph that the creeds of the day were wrong and ya’ll say here that that means that the Lord is saying your church is wrong, ya’ll must believe that your creed is your church.

    Unless you are just blowing what the Lord said into something it is not, and then using the untruth to prove my Church wrong.

    Which is it?

    fred

  27. Stanley2 says:

    Fred, how about 1 Nephi 14:10?
    ” And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.”

    Every Mormon I’ve spoken to says the “church of the Lamb of God” is the LDS Church….which means every other church is of the devil.

  28. Rae says:

    April 20, 2012 at 8:07 pm
    Fred said in response to Mike R:
    I see here one of the ways you need to improve your study habits. You took a sound bite out of what I said and then based your understanding on that sound bite instead of the whole of what was said.

    This is the entirety of the post that Mike was responding to.
    fproy2222 says:
    April 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm
    the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight;
    (Pearl of Great Price | Joseph Smith—History 1:19‎)‎

    I find it of intrest that ya’ll believe that your CREED is your CHURCH.

    fred

    I just had to laugh. Fred, your post was a sound bite.

    I hope the tags work. I’m not so good with html.

  29. Rae says:

    Phooey, they didn’t. Oh well. Y’all can figure it out.

    :)

  30. falcon says:

    Rae,
    You’re right! fred writes these short unrelated “sound bites” and then finds fault when that’s what we reply to. That’s typical fred. He has no mooring. He’s a ghost ship without an anchor.
    We’ve pointed this out to him several times and I’ve recently asked him to provide more information but alas, he just keeps the one-liners coming. Even at that, fred’s reasoning is so confusing and convoluted that his posts are a mish mash of debris blowing in the wind. It’s up to the person who’s posting to make their thoughts clear; not for the reader to try and figure out what’s being said.
    fred’s thinking is typical Mormon. You wonder if the Mormon wards are made up of a population of freds? No wonder these folks believe the Smith fantasy. Based on what I’ve observed here, fred would believe anything the Mormon church puts out.
    We’ll keep praying for fred.

  31. Kate says:

    fred,
    What was the reason that Joseph Smith said he went into the woods to pray? He wanted to know which “sect” was correct and which one to join. Once again, this is only ONE of many versions of this story, but I will ask you as I asked Clyde. Joseph Smith said the first vision happened in 1820 yet he joined the Methodist “sect” in 1828. Why? Did he forget that he met God the Father AND Jesus? Did he forget that Jesus told him not to join any of them because their creeds are an abomination to him? Why did he willfully defy what Jesus told him about the different sects and that he must join none of them? Please man up and answer these questions fred. For some reason you aren’t able to answer any of my questions and it doesn’t make you look very LDS.

    “Mormonism, as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND. If Joseph Smith was a deceiver, who wilfully attempted to mislead the people, then he should be exposed; his claims should be refuted, and his doctrines shown to be false, for the doctrines of an impostor cannot be made to harmonize in all particulars with divine truth. If his claims and declarations were built upon fraud and deceit, there would appear many ERRORS and CONDRADICTIONS, which would be EASY to detect. The doctrines of false teachers will not stand the test when tried by the accepted standards of measurement, the scriptures.”—Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1954, vol. 1, p. 188 6.”

  32. grindael says:

    Actually, what Smith said was this,

    “I was answered that I must join none of them, for THEY were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

    20 He again forbade me to join with any of them…”

    You can’t join a creed. Smith was speaking of churches. “They were all wrong”. In addition to being wrong their creeds were an “abomination” to Smith/his GOD. (Whatever version it was at that time).

    Teaching the Bible must have been “teaching the commandments of men”, their “professors” were all “corrupt”, and they “denied the power of God”. Mormons may not hand out leaflets in front of other churches, but they do sent out their missionaries day after day with this message. What is interesting, is that all of the things early Mormons complain about, we can apply to Mormonism today. Not one “apostle” today, claims direct visions to God, or cite visions, or speaks in tongues, or prophecies today. Two Mormon “apostles” in 2008 claimed to ABC News that they made it rain after “praying in the Temple”, but that is subjective, they offered no details or proof. Mormons today, now claim that their “prophets” taught folklore, and made it a doctrine of their church for over 140 years and can’t and won’t explain it.

    Mormonism today, is just like the what the church’s Smith rebelled against were like in 1830. Mormons today, by their own arguments only believe that certain “folklore” is binding doctrine because they voted on it.

  33. falcon says:

    grindael,
    Very good point about one generation of Mormons teaching as doctrine that which future Mormons teach as folklore. By their own admissions, Mormons are telling us that former prophets were in deed false prophets. Mormons won’t even assent to or follow the doctrines that former Mormons embraced as the oracles of God.
    Try as they may, Mormons can’t explain this away or sweep it under the rug. Only the faithful Mormons will buy this nonsense presented as air tight explanations. This is what happens when a group of people live by the mantra, “once the leaders have spoken, the thinking has been done”. Yes Mormons do out-source their thinking to a group of men who sit in a tall office building in SLC and who are totally out of touch with reality.
    This is all a pattern in Mormonism that goes back to Joseph Smith with his multiple versions of the first vision that can only be accepted by those who see them through the eyes of faith. Believing something because you want to is a totally different thing than believing something because it’s true. The fuel that keeps it going is that it makes the hardcore believing Mormon feel good and that emotional buzz is all they need to proclaim something as true.
    On the up-side, there aren’t that many Mormons who are really into the program and the magical mystery tour of the temple in comparison to the number of people the Mormon church keeps on its membership rolls.
    When the chills and thrills pass and the reality of what the Mormon church really is and how what is claimed can only be substantiated through feelings, people simply walk away.

  34. Mike R says:

    Rae, I don’t know for sure if Fred was replying to me or not since he is difficult to understand
    most of the time. One thing is for sure though and that is he seems in denial about creeds and
    “religion” . He has joined a religion that has a creed . He is resisting the Holy Ghost in his
    rationalizing about Mormonism being the true christian religion . We’re trying to steer him
    towards Jesus and His simple gospel of salvation and away from the inconsistent ” gospel truths”
    of Mormon apostles .

  35. falcon says:

    I was the fill-in preacher at one of the local Lutheran churches today and as part of the liturgy the congregation recited the Nicene Creed. I thought about the Mormons and their hissy fits over “creeds” and quite frankly I can’t figure it out. The creeds are cool. They even make me feel good. A creed is a recitation of the basic doctrines of the Christian faith; nothing more, nothing less.
    I can see why Joseph Smith went after the creeds because if he could wipe out the basic doctrines of the Christian faith, he then had a blank slate to write whatever he wanted to. The creeds have been around in one form or another since the early centuries of the Church. They were written to counteract the heretics.
    I’m guessing that the smarty pants attitude of Mormons against creeds has something to do with the Mormon idea of progressive revelation. We have all witnessed what that has resulted in. Mormonism is schizophrenic in its doctrine as a result of the faux revelation program.
    Smith was a real tool of the devil attacking God’s church. He went after the Bible, Jesus, the Father, the Holy Spirit and he made a mockery of holy matrimony. He introduced his own scripture which is so flawed that it had to be changed countless times.
    There’s really a clear line drawn for Mormons. Mormonism is just one of many false religious sects that have emerged over the centuries. The creeds reflect the thinking of the Church Fathers as they reiterated the teachings of the Apostles.
    So I enjoyed the recitation of the Nicene Creed. The only thing that would have been better is if I had been asked to wear vestments when I preached.
    That’s a joke, for those who don’t get me!

  36. fproy2222 says:

    (The creeds reflect the thinking of the Church Fathers as they reiterated the teachings of the Apostles.)

    And by putting the thinking of the Church Fathers between you and God’s word you have accepted their definitions that they used as they defined and narrowed God’s Word.

  37. falcon says:

    fred,

    As usual you give us one of your one-liners and with it you put your foot squarely into your mouth. You wrote:

    “And by putting the thinking of the Church Fathers between you and God’s word you have accepted their definitions that they used as they defined and narrowed God’s Word.”

    You clearly have absolutely no understanding or knowledge of what the Church Fathers wrote and what was the source of their thinking or the legacy they held within the unbroken link with the apostles. I’d suggest you study hard to find the truth.
    Next, isn’t ironic you make such a statement when you have put false prophets of the Mormon church between you and your understanding of the Word of God. First of all Mormons have no respect for the Word of God. Mormons down-grade it and call it a corrupted work. Joseph Smith rewrote the words of the KJV of the Bible to suit his own perverted thoughts and needs.
    Mormon prophets even lack any consistency in their own proclamations which are honored as words direct from the mouth of God in one generation and are called folklore by subsequent generations.
    These Mormon false prophets clearly stand between the Mormon people, their understanding of the Scriptures and in the final analysis, eternal life.

    Study hard fred. The truth is out there and it doesn’t exist in Mormonism.
    We’ll continue to pray for you!

  38. falcon says:

    I thought it would be interesting to post the Nicene Creed. It thrills me to the point of having a burning in the bosom to affirm these truths. The fact that this is what Joseph Smith railed against and what Mormons continue to rail against is conformation of the truth contained within the Creed. The beliefs of the Christian Church stand in stark contrast to all the heretical and aberrant religious sects that reject God.

    We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

    And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

  39. Mike R says:

    Fred, you still don’t understand about how to evaluate the claims of Mormon apostles,
    and you still resort to sound bites to “prove” your points. Notice what you are really
    offering us and compare it to what you said to Falcon above . This is what I would say to you:
    ” And by putting the thinking of Mormon apostles between you and God’s Word you have
    accepted their definitions that they used as they defined and narrowed God’s Word .”
    How’s that sound ? Again, you are in denial on what your apostles have been up to . I don’t
    blame you for trying to defend them but may you soon come to realize that you don’t need
    them . You really don’t . You’re like a lot of sincere people who have fallen for the salesmanship
    of false prophets in these last days — Matt 24:11. We’re hear to help you see that this does’nt
    mean you’re a stupid person , far from it . Your desire to follow God has simply been detoured by
    men who’ve introduced a counterfeit gospel that looks like the original, together with a smile and
    a polite demeanor they’ve convinced you to follow their teachings about Jesus and His gospel.
    But take heart , that path you’re on can change as you look into God’s Word and test these men.
    God will help you accomplish this . Why not start today ? Prayer for you is ongoing .

  40. falcon says:

    So are the creeds considered “inspired” or “revelation” on their own.
    I don’t think so.
    Any of the creeds are merely statements of what the Church believes. The creeds were answers to specific heretical teachings. The creeds were meant as a statement of faith. It’s kind of interesting to read commentary on the creeds; which take them apart line by line, concept by concept.
    It’s a real faith building experience to read about the history and consider the thinking of the Church Fathers as they battled the heretics. These folks were deep thinkers and totally dedicated to God.
    When Joseph Smith is considered along side the Church Fathers or even the early heretics for example, he stands out as an amateur vocalist who can’t sing but thinks he’s got real talent.
    The problem with Mormons is that they are ignorant. They accept what the Mormon church teaches them without considering any alternatives. To doubt and seek for truth is not consistent with religious cults. The point is to keep people dumb and following leaders, without question, who keep the truth from them.
    It’s pretty hard to see in the dark.

  41. fproy2222 says:

    {Part 1}

    Here is the account as to who lead your Church Fathers to get the Nicene Creed. Constantine the Great was a showman and got his way in the counsel.

    ++++++++

    Nicene Creed
    Following the military achievements which established him as the sole Roman emperor, and in an attempt further to solidify the empire, politically, civically, and religiously, Constantine called a council of Catholic bishops to meet at Nicaea in 325 A.D. The primary work assigned them was to adopt a creed which would settle the then politically explosive problem of Arianism — a concept that the Son had been created by the Father, was subordinate to him, and was therefore unequal as to eternity, power, and glory.

    “The Council was opened by Constantine with the greatest solemnity,” says the Catholic Encyclopedia. “The emperor waited until all the bishops had taken their seats before making his entry. He was clad in gold and covered with precious stones in the fashion of an Oriental sovereign. A chair of gold had been made ready for him, and when he had taken his place the bishops seated themselves. After he had been addressed in a hurried allocution, the emperor made an address in Latin, expressing his will that religious peace should be established.”

  42. fproy2222 says:

    {Part 2}

    The Catholic account of the council then gives this statement of the position of Constantine with reference to it: “The business of the Council having been finished, Constantine celebrated the twentieth anniversary of his accession to the empire, and invited the bishops to a splendid repast, at the end of which each of them received rich presents. Several days later the emperor commanded that a final session should be held, at which he assisted in order to exhort the bishops to work for the maintenance of peace; he commended himself to their prayers, and authorized the fathers to return to their dioceses.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. II, pp. 44-45.)

    (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], 536.)

    ++++++++
    Would someone check the Catholic Encyclopedia and insure that McConkie got it right.
    Thanks,
    fred

  43. Rick B says:

    Fred,
    Mormons who claim Christians cannot have the true church because they/we have many denominations, yet ignore the fact that LDS also have them. To me this issue of Creeds is no different.
    You can claim something is wrong with us, yet you guys have your own creeds also, they are called the Articles of Faith.

  44. Kate says:

    fred,
    Keep researching. Try and bring yourself to study outside of “LDS church approved” material. You’ll learn a lot.

    “The primary work assigned them was to adopt a creed which would settle the then politically explosive problem of Arianism — a concept that the Son had been created by the Father, was subordinate to him, and was therefore unequal as to eternity, power, and glory.”

    This was a heretical teaching that the Church Fathers were dealing with. Tell me, do you believe what the heretics were trying to teach??

  45. Rick B says:

    Fred,
    I have said this before and will say it again.
    Just because the Christian church has creeds means nothing, so what, big deal, who cares.

    When I first came to know Jesus and gave my life to Him, I never heard of or was taught any creeds.
    I went to a church where they taught the Bible, Verses by verse, chapter by chapter. They felt as Paul taught and said, I have declared the entire Gospel, My paraphrase.

    Paul Taught the entire Gospel, not sound bites or his favorite topic or whatever. He taught the entire thing.

    From the time I was saved till only a few years ago I never went to a church service where the creeds were ever mentioned or taught or anything. To this day we still dont teach them, talk about the or read them. We teach the Bible, we read the Bible.

    I only first heard of the creeds from mormons like you trying to say what I believe is false because of some creeds.

    I am only speaking for myself, no one else here on this blog. But for me, I could not list one creed that your crying about, I could care less about them, I follow Jesus and read the Bible. If the creeds have any value then great. But I could not tell you what they are. So please stop crying about creeds. I know that I am not the only person alive that feels this way. All the Christians I go to church with most likely feel as I do since if they cared about the creeds, and felt they should be taught in church, they would go to a church that teaches them.

  46. Mike R says:

    Fred, it seems you’re still in denial about joining religions , and you still don’t seem to
    understand the place that the early creeds occupied in the Christian Church . But what really
    speaks volumes is how you site one of your leaders then ask us if he was accurate in his
    use of a Catholic reference work ! Might you ponder whether your apostle McConkie
    was right when he admitted to a BYU prof that Brigham Young did in fact teach false doctrine
    with his Adam-God doctrine, yet Church curriculum has made the claim that Mormon leadership
    will never teach false doctrine . Who do we trust ?

  47. Mike R says:

    Rick, I share your sediments about the Creeds , while I do believe they’re consistent with the
    scriptures, and that they played a valuable part in the life of the early believers, still like you
    it’s the Bible that is my final authority . It’s been a tactic of some Mormons to divert the
    spotlight of evaluating their doctrines by the scriptures over to an offensive effort against
    our beliefs by attempting to make it appear that we believe the creeds instead of the scriptures.
    Fred seems to make this argument , at least that how it appears . The fact of the matter is ( and one
    that many Mormons won’t mention ) that the early creeds, the Apostle creed and the Nicene
    creed, the majority of what if taken as written , is not rejected by knowlegeable Mormons
    today. So when Joseph Smith claimed that God told him that all the creeds were an abomination
    he only proved that God never did actually say this to him. The real reason Smith said this was a
    tactic of advertising that his new church was “different” from all the other churches around him,
    otherwise he would’nt have much of an audience etc. Mormon leaders proceeded to create a
    creed for themselves. Mormons like Fred would do well to convince us that we can trust the
    claims of Mormon leaders to be trustworthy spiritual guides , and since they have advertised
    this claim since 1830 then we have a great opportunity to test their teaching track record.
    This testing is in accord with what Jesus recommended through His original apostles for us all to
    do : 1Jn 4:1; 2Jn 7-9 since false apostles are nothing new. 2Cor11:13

  48. falcon says:

    fred,
    Yea, Bruce McConkie that’s the go to guy when it comes to understanding what happened at Nicea. And now you want us to check it out to see if cousin Brucie got it right?
    I think you need to study hard to find the truth fred. Kate got it exactly right about going outside of the Mormon box to find legitimate references. You may as well put a rock in a hat and stare into it to find the truth for all the good Mormon sources will do you.
    Here, I’ll give you a couple of sources to check-out. Christian History is a good place to start because the information is straight forward and reliable. Issue 51 has as its topic: “Heresy in the Early Church”, Quarreling bishops at Nicea, Mixed motives of notorious heretics, the search for the Biblical Jesus”. Issue 85 has as the main topic: “Debating Jesus’ Divinity: The Council of Nicaea and its bitter aftermath”.

    Just so it’s understood, the emperors had a particular role, but the bishops ran the show when it came to the councils and the proceedings.
    “……the Fathers of the ecumenical councils maintained that authority was to be found through the life of the Holy Spirit in the church. Thus the final authority was God himself, mediated through the body of Christ and its interpretation of the Bible. And thus the authority of the council was derived from its fidelity to Scripture. As Orthodox historian George Florovsky observed, ‘The main , if not also the only, written manual of faith and doctrine, was in the ancient church, precisely Holy Scripture.’ (Issue 85; p. 35)
    The creeds were a reflection of what was found in the written Word of God. They were position statements and used to clearly articulate what the Church believed.

  49. fproy2222 says:

    Kate (Keep researching. Try and bring yourself to study outside of “LDS church approved” material.)
    Mike R (But what really speaks volumes is how you site one of your leaders then ask us if he was accurate in his use of a Catholic reference work)
    Falcon (Yea,BruceMcConkie that’s the goto guy when it comes to understanding what happened at Nicea. And now you want us to check it out to see if cousin Brucie gotit right?
    I think you need to study hard tofind the truth fred. Kate got it exactly right about going outside of the Mormon box to find legitimate references.)

    I already have, it is just that you would not believe me so I thought one of you should find it for ya’llselves. If ya’ll do the work you will have a better testimony about who the leader of the “Church Fathers” was. If you are willing to question them the way you question modern Prophets, you know, use the same standard on your teachers as you place on mine.
    Do you really think that God had Constantine the Great call a counsel, direct it from a gold thrown, wearing gold clothing, and paying off the Bishops with a bribe for coming to the creed Constantine wanted?

    +++++++++++++++
    RickB (From the time I was saved till only a few years ago I never went to a church service where the creeds were ever mentioned or taught or anything.To thisday we still dont teach them,talk about the or read them. We teachthe Bible, we readthe Bible.)

    Check out what the Bible says about the Godhead and do it without filtering your study through the definition of the Trinity. Even though you did not repeat the creed each week, the definition of the Trinity comes from a manmade creed.

  50. fproy2222 says:

    This is from a Church Father [Home > Fathers of the Church > Against Heresies (St. Irenaeus) > Book V, Preface]

    “For it is thus that you will both controvert them in a legitimate manner, and will be prepared to receive the proofs brought forward against them, casting away their doctrines as filth by means of the celestial faith; but following the only true and steadfast Teacher, the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who did, through His transcendent love, become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself.”
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103500.htm
    +++++++++++
    Did you notice that this Church Father disagrees with you when he teaches that Christ did all that He did so we can become like Jesus?

    fred

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