Missionaries, missionaries…all over the world

Note: The following satire is based on the announcement made in the fall General Conference that the missionary age was moved down to 18 for males and 19 for females. The conversation among the Mormon Church’s General Authorities that you are about to read is a fictional discussion based on the actual declining convert-rate percentages. For example, in 1990, the church had more than 330,000 converts, growing that year at a 4.5% clip. From 1991-1997, the church grew between 3 to 4% a year, and from 1998 to 2007, 2 to 3% a year.  Since 2008, it has fallen to just around 2% a year. And whereas the church was baptizing more than 300,000 converts per year between 1990 and 1999, it has never hit the magical 300,000 number in any year during the 21st century. In addition, if the convert rate could somehow be attributed to missionaries, then there were 7.5 converts per missionary (CPM) in 1990, between 6-7 CPM between 1991-1996, and between 5-6 CPM between 1997-1999. Since 2000, however, the number averages about 5 CPM. And missionary numbers peaked between 2000-2002 when there were 60,000+ missionaries, with just 51,736 on record as of 2009.

Because of these dismal numbers, something in Salt Lake City had to change. Let’s listen in on a conversation the elders had in the Salt Lake Temple on July 19, 2012.

Apostle Holland: Gosh, why can’t our church grow like we once did? Look, we’re a hit on Broadway. The “I’m a Mormon” campaign is on billboards all over the country. And we have a Mormon presidential candidate. Why aren’t we growing faster?”

Apostle Oaks: He’s right, gentlemen. We’re riding a tide here and need to take advantage of the situation. Anyone have any ideas on what we can do?

Apostle Andersen: Oh, I think I know the problem. It’s those darn antis on the Internet.

Apostle Perry: Neil, you’re the youngest apostle. Please wait your turn. Gentlemen, I think it’s those darn antis on the Internet.

Apostle Packer: Thanks, Tom, what an astute observation! Let’s see, what should we do? Make it illegal to take any of their newspapers? That sounds like a strategy.

Apostle Holland: Boyd, it won’t work. We tried that in Brigham City.

Apostle Packer: Shoot, how about we hack their websites?

Apostle Holland: No, no, no, cooler heads should prevail. I think I have the answer. How about we announce at Conference how sinful it would be to look at their websites? Put the guilt trip on them, you know. That’s good for lots of mileage.

Apostle Oaks. Nice job, Jeff. That’s why we have you talk to the media members. Let’s just come up with the copy and then have Q give the speech in October.

Apostle Holland: Great. Secretary, please write this down: “Some have immersed themselves in internet materials that magnify, exaggerate, and in some cases invent shortcomings of early church leaders. Then they draw incorrect conclusions that can affect testimony. Any who have made these choices can repent and be spiritually renewed.”

Apostle Packer: I love it, let’s make them repent for their spiritually pornographic ways! Guilt goes a long way.

President Monson: Fine, fine, fine.

Apostle Oaks: Dieter, it looks like you want to say something.

First Presidency Counselor Uchtdorf: Ahh, yes, this reminds me of a time when I was a pilot for Lufthansa Airlines. I was flying one afternoon…

Apostle Oaks: Thanks, Dieter, for the insight, but we’ve heard this story before. What else do we need to do to get our numbers up? Yes, Neil, question?

Apostle Andersen: Can you tell me why Boyd and Henry are playing paper/rocks/scissors?

Apostle Oaks: Oh, never mind them. There are rumors that President Monson may be feeling ill, but that’s not the case, is it, Tom?

President Monson: Fine, fine, fine.

Apostle Oaks: So, does anybody have any other ideas?
Apostle Cook: How about we get more female missionaries? They’re killing the boys when it comes to the conversion rates. Yet they’re not going on missions because the RMs are marrying them before they have a chance to go abroad… Get it? Go a broad.

Apostle Holland: Save it for comedy night. But boys, he’s right. I say, let’s make the girls become official sisters at 19 and the boys wait for their missions until 21. We’ll do better all the way around.

First Presidency Counselor Eyring: No, that’s too extreme, but I see your point. Yes, let’s have the girls come out at 19. This way, they won’t have enough of an opportunity to get married first. We’ll get more ladies out there. Besides, it’s hard for potential converts to say no to our females for fear of making them cry. Thus, we boost our numbers and our membership rolls go up. But wait. Let’s just have the boys go out at 18. This way both boys and girls will be out at the same time of life. Voila. We’re in the money…er, we’re in the numbers.

Apostle Oaks: The only question: How will this affect the BYU Cougar football team?

President Monson: Go Utes.

Apostle Andersen: Sir, I’ve run the numbers. High school graduates will go straight to the mission field instead of having to wait a year. They come back at 20, with four years of eligibility. As fifth-year seniors at the age of 25, they will be older than the average NFL rookie. And if any of our missionaries are good college prospects, we’ll give them Provo assignments so they can hit the weight room on Mondays. And then maybe we will have a chance against the U!

Apostle Oaks: Secretary, please note that what has just been stated was my personal analysis, for the record.

Apostle Perry: So, boy missionaries at 18, girls at 19. Let’s just hope those male RMs are still interested in the female RMs when they get back or we may have to start letting girls go to the temple right out of high school to marry them.

First Presidency Counselor Uchtdorf: This reminds me of the time when I was an airline pilot…

First Presidency Counselor Eyring: Thanks Dieter, we heard that story too. Gentlemen, bring on the youth! Let’s grow this church.

Apostle Holland: Isn’t it time for lunch?

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43 Responses to Missionaries, missionaries…all over the world

  1. spartacus says:

    Thanks for the chuckles Eric.

    Related to this is a statement I read on an LDS discussion board that said that the primary or most often given reason for the 21 year old limit on women was to actually “discourage” them from becoming missionaries. I’m taking this LDS’ word for it, but no one has contradicted him on that thread. I would love to see the citations for those reasons.

    Anyone really think an organization that attempts to discourage women from their full opportunity or effort to fulfill the Great Commission is the True Church of Jesus Christ (the one who gave the Commission)???

  2. parkman says:

    “Anyone really think an organization that attempts to discourage women from their full opportunity or effort to fulfill the Great Commission is the True Church of Jesus Christ (the one who gave the Commission)???”
    Do you also think that a nonLDS church that “represses” women the same way is a non-Christian church?

  3. Rick B says:

    Eric,
    What’s really funny, or sad about this is. I was reading on some other topics Mormons claiming James tells us to pray about truth. Now James does not say pray about truth, but for wisdom if we lack it. Wisdom and truth are not the same thing, but since the Mormons don’t care, I guess I dont either.

    So anyway, using LDS ideas, I prayed about the truthfulness of this topic and guess what, God said it is true, here you are thinking your funny when it fact it really happened. How bout that.

    So despite lack of evidence or logic, what you said is true, how do I know it is?. I prayed about it and God told me it was.

  4. Mike R says:

    If convert numbers continue to drop these men will change some things . I’m guessing that
    it will be a less stringent type of religious lifestyle like less restrictions on gaining access
    to the Temple, or more modifications to the temple garment etc . One thing for sure will
    have to happen and that is for some of those “unique” doctrines once openly preached
    by recent past Mormon leadership will have to be dumped , this has been happening for
    some time now but new alibi’s will have be created to appease the membership . Also, it
    takes a ton of money to efficiently run the church , and less members means less revenue .
    All this can happen and it will affect the lives of the Mormon people . My prayer is for
    these good people to come to realize that in their desire to serve God they’ve been detoured
    into a religious system created by men who claim to be apostles . This is’nt a new problem—
    Rev. 2:2 ; Matt 24:11 . God help the Mormon people to take the time to ponder their
    situation and then seek God’s assistance in helping them through the transition out of
    the detour and back on the right road .

  5. juliusjammer says:

    When I heard that the age had been lowered the first thought that came into my head was, this is an attempt to gain members and has nothing to do with any revelation. It is funny how damage control turns into convenient changes in the church’s policy and doctrine.

  6. spartacus says:

    Parkman said:

    Do you also think that a nonLDS church that “represses” women the same way is a non-Christian church?

    Problems:
    1)You didn’t claim that the LDS church is NOT “repressing”, so you seem to be in agreement that the LDS Church does “discourage” women from being missionaries. Oh, and I didn’t use the word “represses” – you did. Not only does this indicate that you agree that the LDS Church discourages, but that you feel guilty about it and so use the word “represses” either as a moment-of-truth slip or an overly defensive response(out of guilt).

    2)My post to which you were responding with this question mentions nothing about the “Christian” status of the LDS Church. I didn’t question whether or not the LDS Church is “Christian”, but I DID question whether it’s the “True church of Jesus Christ”. And that’s funny, parkman, because your equating “not the True church of Jesus Christ” to “not Christian” would indicate that you believe anyone outside of the True church of Jesus Christ is not Christian. Given that you are LDS, this would mean that you believe that the LDS Church is the True church of Jesus Christ and so anyone not a member of the LDS Church is not Christian. While I believe many LDS are, ultimately, of this opinion, it would put all your posts about traditional Christians calling LDS “not Christian” into a particularly bad light.

    Answer:
    No, I would not call a non-LDS church “not Christian” because they suppressed women from being missionaries.But I would be next-to-certain that they were not the “one true church of Jesus Christ”, either.

    Hint:
    Parkman your posts often conflate the non-LDS person’s problem with the “one true church” claim and your own problem with any one particular Christian church being true=two different categories.

  7. spartacus says:

    May God bless you with what you really need, parkman, in the Holy Name of Jesus, Amen.

  8. falcon says:

    You know I did some quick mental math with the conversion rate and if “5″ is the average that MM “convert” someone, that’s pretty miserable for two years effort. Then if you figure that two-thirds of LDS are inactive, we get down to about “2″ that stick with it. So that works out to about “1″ per year. And then figure that 50% of RM go inactive and the LDS church would do well to shut down the effort.
    The LDS church would probably do better if they targeted the inactive members and try to jump-start their commitment. I don’t know. Would the inactives be better prospects than the cold calls? Ah maybe not!
    None-the-less the change in age that kids can go out and knock on doors was changed for a reason not spiritual in nature I’m sure. Who’s going to baby-sit these kids? I think it’s going to be more trouble than solution for whatever problem in the LDS church prompted (the change).

  9. parkman says:

    “Parkman your posts often conflate the non-LDS person’s problem with the “one true church” claim and your own problem with any one particular Christian church being true=two different categories.”
    I found, and still find, that the many different and often opposing teachings of the different churches/religions (or whatever you are calling them now) of what you folks call “the Body of Christ” to be an indication that it is wrong. To make matters worse, I find that those who teach against the LDS Church are slow in teaching what they believe is the one true way to God. Moreover, do not give me the garbage that everyone is responsible for getting it right. That idea is why your “Body of Christ” is so confusing.

    “May God bless you with what you really need, parkman, in the Holy Name of Jesus, Amen.”
    Thank- you!

  10. Ironman1995 says:

    Parkman, id rather belong to any other church , because most never ever claim to be THE ONLY TRUE CHURCH, and as a former Bishop once said ” you dont know what you dont know “

  11. falcon says:

    Parkman wrote:
    “I found, and still find, that the many different and often opposing teachings of the different churches/religions (or whatever you are calling them now) of what you folks call “the Body of Christ” to be an indication that it is wrong.”
    We’ve been through this with you countless times but here we go again.
    Could you please tell me why there are 70-100 different Mormon groups all claiming to have the Mormon revelation and a prophet who is the true-blue, real dude who is hearing from the Mormon god? Even your own denomination can’t agree within itself, from generation to generation what the doctrine is.
    All orthodox Christian denominations agree on the essentials of Christianity.
    And:
    “…….do not give me the garbage that everyone is responsible for getting it right. That idea is why your “Body of Christ” is so confusing.”

    I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. But just to hazard a guess, aren’t you the people who are big time into “agency”? So what are you so confused about. I’d be more than happy to explain things to you.

  12. spartacus says:

    Parkman said:

    I found, and still find, that the many different and often opposing teachings of the different churches/religions (or whatever you are calling them now) of what you folks call “the Body of Christ” to be an indication that it is wrong.

    Problem: The Body of Christ is not made up of churches, but believers (TBMs if you will). Get that, and you will be much closer to understanding the problem of the conflating I referred to.

    Parkman:
    To make matters worse, I find that those who teach against the LDS Church are slow in teaching what they believe is the one true way to God.

    Correction: I don’t know how you could miss it. And yet that you are missing it is the real problem. I’m pretty sure you have heard Christians say Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life and a personal relationship of acceptance and trust of Jesus is as Savior and Lord is all that is needed.

    P:
    Moreover, do not give me the garbage that everyone is responsible for getting it right. That idea is why your “Body of Christ” is so confusing.

    Problem: The LDS Church states that each member has to come to their own witness; why, then, would this be “garbage” to you? “Everyone is responsible for getting it right [through the witness, guidance, and power of the Holy Spirit]” is not so different from LDS getting a witness and understanding through the Holy Ghost.

    Part 2 below…

  13. spartacus says:

    Parkman,

    The fact is that Christians have to discern truth by relying on the Holy Spirit and all of God’s Revelation (natural, historical, scriptural, modern teachings) just as LDS say they discern truth by relying on the Holy Spirit’s confirmation of God’s Revelation through Official LDS channels. There’s a multiplicity of sources in each that can lead to confusion.

    In LDS you have a large number of prophets not all revealing, and certainly not all teaching, the same things. In Christianity, you have a very large number of sources not all teaching the same things and, more accurately, certainly not EXACTLY the same things.

    In LDS you have the 70-100 different groups, previously mentioned by falcon, all claiming SOLE authority through Joseph Smith rendering all the other groups impotent, ineffectual, not fully saving/exalting. In Christianity, except for several extremes groups and certainly many more extreme individuals, the belief differences do not exclude the truth or effectiveness of the other groups.

    One of the reasons for this last point (that the majority of diversity in Christianity does not claim exclusivity) is because traditional Christians believe that Jesus is all you need, that God does all the saving and what LDS call “exalting”, that once you accept Jesus as your savior, you are in Him and in His Righteousness and so justified and fully redeemed in the eyes of the Father – saved. So whether you are a Protestant or Pentecostal, Methodist or Baptist, you are saved by your relationship with Christ. This is what also allows even those parts that have issues with each other, (Protestants and Catholics toward each other) and even traditional Christians toward Mormons, to believe that the other is saved despite their organizational affiliation.

    It’s only your affiliation with Jesus that really matters.

  14. spartacus says:

    As for the piece, if the age change was made in concern for dwindling convert numbers and thus dwindling growth overall. I wonder how long family size will be officially advocated as solely up to the discretion of the free agents? Of course “official” policy and popular policy are two different things, or at leas they can be made two different things in the future if need arises…

  15. parkman says:

    “In Christianity, except for several extremes groups and certainly many more extreme individuals, the belief differences do not exclude the truth or effectiveness of the other groups.”

    Which is the truth, or are these only minor differences?
    All will be saved
    Some will be saved
    God has already decided who will be saved

  16. falcon says:

    Parkman,
    I think spartacus did an excellent job of explaining the spiritual dynamics of how believers in Jesus relate to the Father regardless of their religious affiliation.
    The bottom line is a person’s relationship with Jesus through faith in Him and His finished work on the cross.
    You seem really hung-up on the idea that there is this one man in the world, a prophet, chosen by God to set all things straight. Now even a heretical, aberrant cult like Mormonism with its long line of “prophets” has not been able to set things straight. Here’s a great article from one of my favorite websites that cites the differences between two distinct Mormon groups.
    http://www.mrm.org/rlds
    For example:
    “The LDS Church teaches that God is a glorified, exalted human being and that there was a time in history when God was not God. The CofC espuses a deity who was eternally God and “independent of any external or prior cause”
    “The LDS Church teaches that there is a myriad of Gods on various worlds. The LDS Godhead is tri-theistic, or composed of three separate and distinct Gods, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. According to its official website, the CofC states, “We affirm the Trinity – God who is a community of three person. All things that exist owe their being to God: mystery beyond understanding and love beyond imagination. This God alone is worthy of our worship.”
    Utah Mormons believe that in order to become a God, the faithful member must participate in esoteric temple “endowment” ceremonies. The Mormons only allow “worthy” members to enter their temples and participate in its rituals. ……The CofC “rejects the whole system of temple rituals, secret names, signs, oaths, and handshakes which the Church in Utah proclaims are essential to the ultimate salvation of man.”

  17. falcon says:

    ……..So the Utah based Mormon denomination is now going to send younger teenagers out to spread this aberrant gospel message that is a confused mess. It’s no wonder when these kids run into someone who actually has a handle on Mormonism, it’s history and ever changing doctrine, that they give the deer in the head lights stare. And is it any wonder that half of them go inactive after completing a two year mission?
    My friend Andy Watson has had numerous encounters with Mormons of every stripe including the MM and his account of how baffled they look when he hauls out documentation from the LDS church sources regarding what they don’t know, are priceless.
    Just Brigham Young alone is a treasure trove of inane and stupid pronouncements that the Utah based church would love to keep buried.
    So if our buddy Parkman thinks he’s involved with a religious organization that has as its head a man/prophet who’s hearing directly from the Mormon god, he may as well put on a tinfoil hat and stand outside at night because in the end it’s about the same.

  18. falcon says:

    When these Mormon missionaries go out to spread their view of the “restored” gospel, which version of the Bible do they carry?
    Mormons like to make the false claim that the reason the Bible doesn’t contain any Mormonism is because of a dastardly plot that left it out. So if they use this corrupt Bible to make their case, what version do they use?
    My understanding is that Joseph Smith made a vain attempt to try and rewrite the Bible. I believe it is called the Joseph Smith Translation of the King James Version. How did Smith do this? Did he use his magic rock like he did when he translated the Reformed Egyptian language from the gold plates (which incidentally weren’t even present during the process). Did he have access to the texts that were available at the time?
    What version of the Bible does the Community of Christ Mormon group use?
    Maybe someone can help me out on this. I’d also like to know what version of the BoM these various Mormon sects use. Why is that important? It’s important because different versions of the BoM, for example, reflect a different “restored” gospel doctrine.
    This idea that there is some grand master sitting in a tall building in a big chair who can straighten any of this out is a grand joke. Mormonism is a confused mess.
    So these missionaries, as young as 18, are going to go out and try and preach some version of some restored gospel that is confused and without merit.
    What a waste of time!

  19. Rick B says:

    Spartacus and the rest of us have answered parkman many times over, then this was said to parkman,

    “In Christianity, except for several extremes groups and certainly many more extreme individuals, the belief differences do not exclude the truth or effectiveness of the other groups.”

    Parkman then said

    Which is the truth, or are these only minor differences?
    All will be saved
    Some will be saved
    God has already decided who will be saved

    So as is typical parkman style, he does not answer anything, only asks more questions, and you wonder why we dont take you serious.

    Now if you must ask the questions, will all be saved, or only some, then you never read your Bible, since the Bible gives the answer. Then even according to your Mormon belief, Not all will be saved, so why ask that question?

  20. TJayT says:

    Personally I think the artical could have been made a little funnier with some ex-mormon input to get more cultural zingers into it. Still the President Uchtdorf lines where pretty funny, and it did a good job of getting the intended message across.

    Three out of five stars from me.

  21. Kate says:

    “Apostle Cook: How about we get more female missionaries? They’re killing the boys when it comes to the conversion rates. Yet they’re not going on missions because the RMs are marrying them before they have a chance to go abroad… Get it? Go a broad.”

    Hahahaha! This part cracked me up! Thanks for the laugh Eric! Sad thing is, I know a lot of LDS girls who “went a broad” before graduating High School hahahaha!

  22. falcon says:

    I was sort of curious about what “Scripture” the CoC Mormon sect used. So I looked it up.

    http://www.cofchrist.org/Worship11-12/intro.asp
    The site notes:

    Unless otherwise noted, Bible scripture verses are from the NRSV:
    The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.

    “The Book of Mormon, Revised Authorized Version, published by Community of Christ, Herald Publishing House, sometimes known as the “1966 edition.”

    “Holy Scriptures, “Inspired Version” (IV), a Bible revision by Joseph Smith Jr., published since 1867 by authority of the Board of Publication of Community of Christ through its publishing division, Herald Publishing House.”

    I wonder if folks know which Mormon group holds the copyright for the “IV”, the revision of the Bible which that great prophet Joseph Smith Jr. conjured up? It’s not the Utah bunch nor any of the other various Mormon sects.
    Notice that they use the 1966 version of the BoM. Which version does the Utah church use?

    So when the Mormon missionaries are sent out by the Utah sect, which of the Mormon “scriptures” do they carry? My guess is that they aren’t carrying the Joseph Smith Jr. “inspired” version of the Bible. I’m guessing that they aren’t carrying around the original version of the BoM.
    So these boys and girls are not really equipped to present the restored gospel of Mormonism. Do they have the original “Book of Commandments” later morphed into the D&C. The morphed version caused a split in the original Mormon sect.
    What good is it for the Utah bunch to claim to be the one true church with the one true prophet when what they have is not the original religion as founded?

  23. parkman says:

    ““In Christianity, except for several extremes groups and certainly many more extreme individuals, the belief differences do not exclude the truth or effectiveness of the other groups.”
    “Spartacus and the rest of us have answered parkman many times over, then this was said to parkman,

    “In Christianity, except for several extremes groups and certainly many more extreme individuals, the belief differences do not exclude the truth or effectiveness of the other groups.”

    Parkman then said

    Which is the truth, or are these only minor differences?
    All will be saved
    Some will be saved
    God has already decided who will be saved

    So as is typical parkman style, he does not answer anything, only asks more questions, and you wonder why we dont take you serious.

    Now if you must ask the questions, will all be saved, or only some, then you never read your Bible, since the Bible gives the answer.”
    You seem unwilling to put yourself on the line as to which of the many Catholic/Protestant group’s teachings is correct. EACH OF THESE UNDERSTANDINGS OF THE BIBLE IS PRESENTED BY SOME NONE LDS GROUP THAT SAYS IT IS CHRISTIAN AND ONLY FOLLOWING THE BIBLE. ARE YOU TEACHING THAT THEY ARE ALL TRUE?

    “I think spartacus did an excellent job of explaining the spiritual dynamics of how believers in Jesus relate to the Father regardless of their religious affiliation.
    The bottom line is a person’s relationship with Jesus through faith in Him and His finished work on the cross.”

    You almost started to answer my question, BUT instead of answering it, you went back to telling me why my religion is wrong. Please tell me why the opposing teaching I spoke of are compatible with your way of think about God’s teachings.

  24. parkman says:

    “Notice that they use the 1966 version of the BoM. Which version does the Utah church use?”

    It is like the American flag, we can use any one we want.
    I have a copy of the 1830 publication of the Book of Mormon, and still use it from time to time. Since I grew up with a Red Letter addition of the KJV Bible, I find the open format a little hard to follow.

  25. falcon says:

    Parkman,
    I generally have no clue what you’re talking about. That hasn’t changed with your last post. We’ve all been patient with you trying to answers your questions. I think we may have to go back to ignoring you again.

  26. spartacus says:

    Parkman=

    Which is the truth, or are these only minor differences?
    All will be saved
    Some will be saved
    God has already decided who will be saved

    &

    You seem unwilling to put yourself on the line as to which of the many Catholic/Protestant group’s teachings is correct. EACH OF THESE UNDERSTANDINGS OF THE BIBLE IS PRESENTED BY SOME NONE LDS GROUP THAT SAYS IT IS CHRISTIAN AND ONLY FOLLOWING THE BIBLE. ARE YOU TEACHING THAT THEY ARE ALL TRUE?

    Problem:

    Parkman,I told you the difference in the relation between Christian churches is that none of them believe the others cannot lead you to true and full salvation.But you come up with your three example beliefs that have nothing to do with a belief about other non-LDS/JW Christian church’s effectiveness.

    Thus why you got responses reporting misdirecting and confusion about your posts.

    Your question about a belief about the percentage of saved is irrelevant to the point that traditional Christian churches see ultimate authority in Christ alone and the work of saving done ultimately and efficiently by Christ alone(whatever the non-LDS church is that He may be working through).

    This is in opposition to the LDS church’s and other LDS groups’/religions’ claims to exclusivity for “full” salvation or exaltation.

    So,as I originally said, BOTH LDS “religions” and Christian “religions”(as you like to use the term) have multiple sources that DO CAUSE CONFUSION.So it’s meaningless to point out the confusion of Christianity-let alone claim that it’s particularly damaging-when the LDS groups cause confusion from the very beginning. The LDS confusion begins not at the list of beliefs level, but the authority level. Christians do not have this problem because they know who has the authority.

    “For…Christ is the head of the church”-Eph 5:23

    Not the mouth, but the Head/Brain “speaks” to and moves the body where It judges it to go.

  27. falcon says:

    spartacus,
    You are a brave man……….and extremely patient I might add!
    It is fascinating getting inside the thinking of these cultists. The stream of thought, while baffling, is instructive. I think we can see clearly how it’s the power of the Holy Spirit, not our well meaning intentions or well structured presentations that brings these folks to salvation.
    I’ve often said, the more I do this the more I think Calvin had a lot of valid points.

  28. parkman says:

    “I generally have no clue what you’re talking about. That hasn’t changed with your last post.”
    You spend a lot of time diverting attention to your lack of answers by having people look at how dumb you want people to think I am.

    “We’ve all been patient with you trying to answers your questions.”
    Then you tell everyone what a good guy you are, and still you sidestep the question.

  29. parkman says:

    “All will be saved Some will be saved God has already decided who will be saved”
    “Parkman,I told you the difference in the relation between Christian churches is that none of them believe the others cannot lead you to true and full salvation.”

    Let me get this straight, you say that all the above teachings are true.
    You are also saying that if I would accept your definition of the trinity, and say that God will let you believe whatever you want to believe, I would also be what you call a Christian.

    “Your question about a belief about the percentage of saved is irrelevant to the point that traditional Christian churches see ultimate authority in Christ alone and the work of saving done ultimately and efficiently by Christ alone…”
    I asked nothing about a percentage of anything, I am trying to get you to describe the few rules that you think are required for a person to be a true Christian. So far, I get from you that I must believe the Bible is the only word of God and it does not matter how I interpret God’s teachings, as long as I let you believe what you think He is saying.

    “it’s meaningless to point out the confusion of Christianity-let alone claim that it’s particularly damaging…”; “The LDS confusion begins not at the list of beliefs level, but the authority level.”, “Christians do not have this problem because they know who has the authority.”
    I agree with your partial definition of Christianity. Traditional Christianity has a very confusing set of conflicting teachings. It is the reason I started looking to see which “traditional” Christian teaching is correct. They cannot all be true and from the

  30. Kate says:

    parkman,
    You say you have a 1830 edition of the BoM? I have a couple of scriptures you should compare with your current addition.

    1 Nephi 11:18 (1830 edition)
    “And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh”

    1 Nephi 11:21 (1830 edition)
    “And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father!…”

    1 Nephi 13:40 (1830 edition)
    “…and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world…”

    I bring this up because you have a problem with the Holy Trinity. Joseph Smith started out with the ” trinitarian” belief in God and then 14 years later came up with the god you worship today. There are other places in the BoM that confirm the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one God. Look at the testimony of the 3 witnesses, it’s in there. Also in Alma.

  31. spartacus says:

    falcon, Thanks for the encouragement, it was timely just before parkman’s post.What a post!

    Parkman:

    Let me get this straight, you say that all the above teachings are true.
    You are also saying that if I would accept your definition of the trinity, and say that God will let you believe whatever you want to believe, I would also be what you call a Christian.

    Problem:

    I did not say one of those things, parkman,not one.

    Parkman:
    I asked nothing about a percentage of anything, I am trying to get you to describe the few rules that you think are required for a person to be a true Christian. So far, I get from you that I must believe the Bible is the only word of God and it does not matter how I interpret God’s teachings, as long as I let you believe what you think He is saying.

    Problem:

    I have not said anything about believing the Bible.You did mention what I summed up as a “percentage”-”all saved or some saved” is another way of describing a difference of percentage “100% or less than 100%”.

    Parkman:

    I agree with your partial definition of Christianity. Traditional Christianity has a very confusing set of conflicting teachings. It is the reason I started looking to see which “traditional” Christian teaching is correct. They cannot all be true and from the

    Problem:

    I gave no partial definition of Christianity-certainly not in the quote you gave this response to. And you have obviously missed what I HAVE said a FEW times which is that accusing Christianity of confusion is ineffective and self-damaging as the LDS denominations/”religions” also have “a confusing set of conflicting teachings.”

    For example: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church.” – one LDS denomination (guesswhich?) “The CoJCoLDS is apostate.”-multiplied by number of all other LDSdenominations.

  32. spartacus says:

    Parkman,

    It is facts as I have listed directly above that lead people to think of names. I, personally, am glad to see the absence of your previous “woe is me” epithet. Now if you could just actually read what people like myself say, and truly and honestly engage it in a manner glorifying to God, then we would really be getting somewhere.

    falcon,

    Until parkman is ready to do so, I will do what I can do and let others benefit from observing parkman and my responses to him, until God moves and parkman is moved. It’s like you say, much of what we say here in response to the LDS who post is not for the poster but for the one’s reading in the background.

    And all the glory to God! May His kingdom come in each of us as it is in Heaven, in the Name of Jesus, Amen.

  33. parkman says:

    1 of 2
    “1 Nephi 11:18 (1830 edition)
    “And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh”

    (Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 11:18) 1988
    18 And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.

    1 Nephi 11:21 (1830 edition)
    “And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father!…”

    (Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 11:21) 1988
    21 And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?

    1 Nephi 13:40 (1830 edition)
    “…and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world…”

    (Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 13:40) 1988
    40 And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.

    Joseph Smith clarified what was published in the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon, not change it to something it was not. If he were changing God’s teachings there would be other places he would have also changed the following, among others.

  34. parkman says:

    2 of 2
    If what you say he did was true, he would have also changed this, but he did not:

    (The Book of Mormon, translated by Joseph Smith, Jr. [Palmyra, N.Y.: Joseph Smith, Jr., 1830], 254.)
    And Amulek saith unto him, Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of Heaven and of Earth, and all things which in them is; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last; and he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have eternal life, and salvation cometh to none else;…

    (Book of Mormon | Alma 11:39–40) 1988
    39 And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last;
    40 And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have eternal life, and salvation cometh to none else.

  35. Kate says:

    parkman,

    First of all, Joseph Smith didn’t change anything. It was changed and put into the 1988 edition by the LDS church leaders at the time. In fact there are nearly 4,000 changes to the original BoM. If Joseph Smith were here today, what do you think he would say about all those changes to his “most correct book?”

    Look at Alma 11:26-31
    26 And Zeezrom said unto him: Thou sayest there is a true and living God?

    27 And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God.

    28 Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God?

    29 And he answered, No.

    30 Now Zeezrom said unto him again: How knowest thou these things?

    31 And he said: An angel hath made them known unto me.

    Zeezrom was told there is not more than one God. Mormonism teaches there are millions of gods.

    You just made my case with Alma 11:39-40. Read that carefully, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and earth….and he shall come into the world to redeem his people……. this is exactly what Christianity teaches. God was made flesh and dwelt among us. What about the changes to the original 1830 edition in 1 Nephi??? Adding “Son” to those completely changes the doctrine from God being the Eternal Father and Savior of the World. What about the many places in the BoM that say Father, Son and Holy Spirit which are one eternal God?? You forgot to comment on those.

  36. Rick B says:

    Parkman, You claim JS made those Changes, But I call BS on that. First off, not all LDS believe this, But some LDS do believe this and in fact teach it. The way JS translated the BoM was by sticking his face in a hat with a magic rock, then told His buddy sitting next to him a letter, if his buddy wrote it down correctly the letter would disappear from the golden plates indicating that the letter was written down correctly. If this is how the BoM was translated then they should be zero changes ever made.

    Second of all, You claim JS made these changes to clarify problems, well then the jokes on you I guess. I had two MMs sit in my house, I had them open their newest 1980 or so book of Mormon up, I used my 1920 version. I showed them in mine where JS according to the BoM claimed Blacks will get white skin, these MM’s BoM said they would be Pure.

    So white was changed to pure, I can see black turning white, not black turning pure. Then I pointed out to them, there is zero foot notes in my BoM as well as their indicating these changes have been made. I gave them time to look through both copies to show me where it said the changes have been made, they could not do it. So much for honesty in the Mormon church if they cannot mention changes made in the BoM, and we must find this out on our own.

  37. parkman says:

    “First of all, Joseph Smith didn’t change anything. “; “You claim JS made those Changes, But I call BS on that.”
    You are correct that some wording has been changed in the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith corrected much of the 1830 edition in the 1837 edition of the Book of Mormon. Those with the authority from God have also updated words to reflect the changes in the language.

    Remember, there was a time when it would have been correct for us to have intercourse over this subject. Because most people only think of intercourse as being sexual, now the word intercourse means something other than communicating with each other.

    Back when gay meant happy, I was happy to be gay, at Christmas I even put on my “gay apparel” as the Christmas carol says. Now I must be careful to just say that I am happy.

    “Adding “Son” to those completely changes the doctrine from God being the Eternal Father and Savior of the World.”
    If Joseph Smith was the type of person that you say he was, he would have been smart enough to be sure his teachings were more pleasing to the general public. Instead, he taught us what was of God the Father. Clarification of the words written in the book have been needed to insure that it continues to happen.

  38. Rick B says:

    Parkman said

    Joseph Smith corrected much of the 1830 edition in the 1837 edition of the Book of Mormon. Those with the authority from God have also updated words to reflect the changes in the language.

    Again, I am calling bull on this. The LDS church taught and many believe JS stuck his face in his hat with his magic rock. If that did happen, then their should not need to be any changes.

    Then with the issue of Black turning white, saying no, no, it was pure, does not clarify things, it only causes confusion. Many blacks were waiting to turn white, then as I said, their is zero footnotes indicating any changes were ever made. That alone is a issue.

  39. parkman says:

    ” I showed them in mine where JS according to the BoM claimed Blacks will get white skin, these MM’s BoM said they would be Pure.”; “So white was changed to pure, I can see black turning white, not black turning pure.”; “Many blacks were waiting to turn white…”

    I see that you are among those who have not figured out that there is a difference between the curse put upon part of Noah’s family and the curse put upon part of Nephi’s family. As long as you believe they are the same curse you will not get to the truth.

  40. Kate says:

    parkman,

    “Adding “Son” to those completely changes the doctrine from God being the Eternal Father and Savior of the World.”
    “If Joseph Smith was the type of person that you say he was, he would have been smart enough to be sure his teachings were more pleasing to the general public. Instead, he taught us what was of God the Father. Clarification of the words written in the book have been needed to insure that it continues to happen”

    Joseph Smith preached the Holy Trinity which was pleasing to Christians everywhere. It’s his later teaching that God was once a man and lived on an earth and was a polygamist that was very off putting to the rest of the world and also some of his leaders. Former leaders of his church turned against him and said he was a fallen prophet. In fact wasn’t it one of these former leaders that was going to “out” his polygamy in the Expositor? Polygamy that he vehemently lied about in public? I’ll bet not even those former leaders knew the extent of his polygamy. He had to come up with a way for his followers to accept his lust for women and what better way than to receive a revelation that man can become god but he has to practice polygamy here in this life to reach that goal. Rick keeps bringing up the rock in the hat, had I known that is how he actually “translated” the BoM, I would have resigned years earlier. Why isn’t this taught at church?? How correct can the BoM be using a hat trick? So not what I was taught!

  41. parkman says:

    ” Joseph Smith preached the Holy Trinity…”
    Only when you filter what he taught through your manmade definition of trinity.

  42. Rick B says:

    Parkman, you have lost your mind, Regardless of the curse and who it was for, Blacks turning white vs becoming pure does not clarify anything, it only makes it worse.

    Here is another problem, well maybe not for you since it is clear you dont care.

    Alma 46:15 And those who did belong to the church were afaithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ btook upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or cChristians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come.

    Supposedly according to the BoM this verse or chapter was headed as About 73–72 B.C.

    So then in acts we read

    Act 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

    First off, If the Bible is true, they were not called christians and that word was never used until the Book of acts. Second of all, Jesus was not around in BC 73-72 so there was no such word or person as Christian. Just JS plagiarizing the Bible to write his book of fiction that is leading people to eternal darkness for all of eternity.

  43. parkman says:

    “Second of all, Jesus was not around in BC 73-72 so there was no such word or person as Christian.”

    I do not know why Joseph Smith used the word “Christian” to deescribe people before Christ’s earthly life when trnslating the title for the group, nevertheless just like there were Jews who were following the Old testament Prophetes in a Chrict like life before Christ was bore, there were Nephites who followed new world Prophets and lived a Christ like life.

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