Unpaid Mormon Leaders Get a Pretty Sweet Deal

Late last year (2012) a copy of the 2006 Mission President’s Handbook was posted on an individual’s blog site. This document, produced by the Mormon Church as a practical instruction manual for mission presidents, “contains basic policies and guidelines established by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to help you lead your missionaries and direct the work” (6). The book is not intended for general readership; “general” readers have found that it contains some things that are surprising in light of the public face that the Church puts forth.

PaycheckOne such surprise is found in Appendix B, Family Finances. It begins,

“While you are serving as mission president, the Church reimburses the necessary living expenses for you, your wife, and your dependent children. Dependent children are defined as those who are under age 26, have not been married, and are not employed full-time. Living expenses include food, clothing, household supplies, family activities, dry cleaning, personal long-distance calls to family, and modest gifts (for example, Christmas, birthdays, or anniversary).” (80)

Additional reimbursable or paid expenses are also listed including (but not limited to) medical expenses; support for children serving full-time missions; dance lessons (and the like) for elementary and secondary school-aged children as well as their school tuition, fees and books; undergraduate college tuition; a gardener; a housekeeper; internet and other utilities; babysitters; transportation expenses including the use of a car and all fuel and maintenance expenses; and personal health and life insurance premiums.

The handbook instructs,

“The amount of any funds reimbursed to you should be kept strictly confidential and should not be discussed with missionaries, other mission presidents, friends, or family members.” (80)

One can only speculate about the reasons for this confidentiality among friends and family. But the mission president is also instructed to keep mum about these financial benefits to the taxman.

“Because you are engaged in volunteer religious service, no employer-employee relationship exists between you and the Church. As a result, any funds reimbursed to you from the Church are not considered income for tax purposes; they are not reported to the government, and taxes are not withheld with regard to these funds…

“To avoid raising unnecessary tax questions, please follow these guidelines closely:

“Do not share information on funds you receive from the Church with those who help you with financial or tax matters. Any exceptions should be discussed with the Church Tax Division.

“Never represent in any way that you are paid for your service.

“If you are required to file an income-tax report for other purposes, do not list any funds you receive from the Church, regardless of where you serve or where you hold citizenship.” (82)

Eric Johnson and Bill McKeever did some calculations on a hypothetical mission president serving in the state of Utah. This imaginary Mormon Church leader ended up with benefits equaling $99,500 per year. Furthermore, Eric Johnson writes,

“It must be mentioned that tithing on these items are not supposed to be paid. Unlike other church members, this family can receive temple recommends without paying tithing on “income.” Hence, for the value of this compensation, which we list here at almost $100,000, the tithe amount would be at least $10,000. So, this particular mission president—who, remember, is considered a “volunteer”—is getting compensation for at least $110,000! Not bad for someone who is not supposedly getting a wage!”

Indeed.

Listen to the series of broadcasts, Mission Presidents’ Compensation parts 1-5, on MRM’s Viewpoint on Mormonism found in the podcast archives (28 January – 1 February 2013).

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.
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84 Responses to Unpaid Mormon Leaders Get a Pretty Sweet Deal

  1. Old man says:

    Shem.

    Judging from your response to Grindael & Kate I don’t think you could have read one word of what I posted previously. I have spent a lot of time researching the tax situation in the UK & have posted the results in here for your benefit in an effort to show that in this country what your church chooses to call voluntary service is, under UK law & for tax purposes, classed as an employer/employee relationship. It doesn’t matter in the least what the church tells & wants its members to believe, this is the situation here. You would do well to remember that this is not the United States where the church has been able to build a huge tax-free business empire by falsely claiming to be a charity.

    In a final attempt to show you how these things work I will give another link for you to download & peruse at your leisure.

    HM Revenue & Customs – Ministers of religion:
    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/worksheets/sa102m-notes.pdf

    For your further information, in this country at the present time there is a big crackdown on tax evasion. Companies that are or have been investigated include, among others, such household names as Amazon & Starbucks. I have it on good authority that your church is also under investigation & the results of this investigation will be interesting to say the least.

    So, I have a question for you & for any others church members who have been reading these postings.

    If your Church is investigated on suspicion of tax evasion & the case against them is proven, would you feel that you had been misled? Would you agree that the Church had been less than honest?
    A simple yes or no answer will suffice.

    P.S. The church lawyers are not infallible, some years ago the church tried to avoid paying property taxes on the temples in this country & they failed.

  2. Old man says:

    Shem

    “The preacher chooses the ministry as his profession. He receives a yearly Salary as a professional in the field.
    To most of the Christian World the minister is a trained professional who is paid according to his time and education. To the LDS the minister is a man called directly of God, regardless of training or education”

    That statement is so misleading, have you thought how insulting it is to the many thousands of Christian Ministers throughout the world? Are you merely repeating what you have been told without giving it a thought? Is it you or your church that is so arrogant? Do you really believe that a man simply decides that he wants to be a Minister, no different in essence to being a Doctor or a Bricklayer? You are trying to make it appear that God chooses a minister of your church whereas a minister in any other Church simply “chooses” what he wants for himself. The truth of the matter is that God does not choose ministers in your church, they are selected by people higher in rank than themselves who claim to know Gods will & often, as can be proven, are very much mistaken in their selections. You know that this is so. A Christian minister, contrary to what you are trying to say, is usually although not always, called directly by God. By way of example, did you know that the present Archbishop of Canterbury was in the oil business until he was called directly by God to enter the Church?

    Shem, Stop using church propaganda & start using the mind that God gave you, it could change your life.

  3. Kate says:

    Old Man,
    You bring up a good point about Ministers being called of God. I know that my own Pastor owned a business and gave it all up to follow the call of God. He tells the story sometimes. He is living on a lot less money than if he would have ignored that call and kept his business. The problem with the LDS is that they are taught Christian Ministers are in the employment of Satan. There’s a film in the temple ceremony that shows this, unless the church has removed that. The LDS believe that being paid for ministry is not of God and I think that getting the word out about Mission Presidents and higher ups in the church being paid, compensated, reimbursed or whatever they want to call it, is very important. Bishops and Stake Presidents aren’t paid, yet they are not the equivalent of a Pastor or Minister. Rarely have I seen a Bishop stand up in front of the flock and preach the Word of God. Rarely have I seen ANYONE stand up in front of the flock and teach the Word of God now that I think about it. Bishops and Stake Presidents also have no formal education in religion or counseling.

    “It doesn’t matter in the least what the church tells & wants its members to believe, this is the situation here. You would do well to remember that this is not the United States where the church has been able to build a huge tax-free business empire by falsely claiming to be a charity.”

    This was the point I was trying to make about tax evasion in other countries. I’m sure the LDS church sneaks it’s way through tax loopholes in the United States, but that doesn’t mean that other countries have the same tax codes or loopholes. Thanks for all your information on this subject!

  4. shematwater says:

    Old Man

    I simply describe what I have seen through my experience in life. It has nothing to do with propaganda, as you claim.
    You may also want to note that I said most church operate in this way. I did not say all. I know there are those that do not. I also know that many do not require formal training, but would still prefer it. However, in my experience most people choose the ministry as a career. Most believe that God calls them to that profession, but it is still a profession.

    “The truth of the matter is that God does not choose ministers in your church, they are selected by people higher in rank than themselves who claim to know Gods will & often, as can be proven, are very much mistaken in their selections. You know that this is so.”

    I know that people are called directly by God, through the authority He has given to his servants on the Earth, and that God does not make mistakes.
    You have now joined the rest of the people here in applying double standards. You claim that the Archbishop was called directly by God. I beg to differ, as God is only opperating directly through His church that He has organized on the earth in these last days. As the archbishop is not a member of that church, and is thus not called by the proper authority, it was not God that issued that calling to him.

    See how easy it is to simply assert a matter of faith as a matter of fact? This is so common among the Christians that post on these blogs. They seem to think it a proven fact that their faith is true, and a proven fact that others are false. These things are beyond proof; at least any kind of proof that man can come up with.
    You cannot prove that our leaders are not called by God, nor can you prove that yours are, so stop claiming such as fact.
    I have no desire to prove that our leaders are called by called. I am merely trying to explain the difference that I see between our leaders and those of other religions. The difference is there, whether people want to admit it or not; and that difference is, in large part, the fact that in most Christian churches the ministry is seen as a profession, while in ours it is not.

  5. Old man says:

    Kate.
    You are very welcome to any info I have provided & I thank you for taking the time to read my posts. I do have a tendency to ‘go on a bit’ but just put that down to the onset of old age J

    Shem,
    I had hoped we could have a genuine dialogue but as you continue to ignore almost everything I say or ask, that isn’t likely to happen. It saddens me to say this but your replies are typical LDS. In other words, ignore what you can’t answer. I had intended to go through your comments point by point but I don’t think anything will be gained by such a move so instead I’ll reply to just a few of the more important ones.

    “I know that people are called directly by God, through the authority He has given to his servants on the Earth, and that God does not make mistakes.”
    Correct, God does not make mistakes, thereby proving that many leaders in your church were not called by God. People however, do make mistakes & yours was to hand over control of your life to men rather than God. These men claim to have greater knowledge than you; they claim to have authority over you, even to the point of determining the most intimate details of your life. & Yet they cannot offer a scrap of scriptural evidence to prove their case. That is not how God wants it to be, & shows how little the leaders of your church know about Him or His ways. Can you not see that the reason there is no temple today is because a temple is not needed? Can you not see that the reason the temple is not needed is because God dwells in the heart of the believer? Can you not see that because God dwells in the heart of the believer He can speak directly to those who are His? God has no need of “middlemen.” & those who claim to be His middlemen are the very same false prophets Christ warned us of. As a direct result of the above Prophets in the old testament sense were no longer needed & became obsolete at the cross 2000 years ago.

    “As the archbishop is not a member of that church, and is thus not called by the proper authority, it was not God that issued that calling to him”
    Basically a repeat of what has already been said. You believe that God will call a man only if he is a member of your organization. That kind of arrogance does not belong in a Christian Church. Do you know better than God? To which church did your prophet belong when he claimed that God called him? Was God silent for nearly 2000 years & then decided to call a man who did not belong to your church? If you believe that Satan deceives only those who do not belong then it stands to reason that he also deceived Joseph Smith.

    “This is so common among the Christians that post on these blogs. They seem to think it a proven fact that their faith is true, and a proven fact that others are false”
    What would you have them do Shem? This is a Christian site & if your beliefs run contrary to Scripture they have no option but to declare them false. Ultimately all “Christian” belief has to be measured against the teachings of Christ. Any other way ceases, by definition, to be Christian.

    “You cannot prove that our leaders are not called by God, nor can you prove that yours are, so stop claiming such as fact”
    No one can “prove” anyone is called of God, however, it is obvious that there are ministers in all Churches who are not called by God, for example, the Catholic priests in child abuse cases. Having said that, it can just as easily be shown that a large number of ministers in your church were not called by God & for exactly the same reason as above. I wouldn’t make such a claim if I had no evidence for it so please think carefully before you ask for proof, unless of course you want your church leaders to be exposed as liars & hypocrites.
    As regards leaders, I have none, I’m simply too old for any of that nonsense. Neither am I a member of any man made church but, if you twisted my arm, I might be made to confess that I do belong to the one true Church………….Gods Church.

  6. grindael says:

    Old Man,

    Wow.

    I think that is why almost every ex-Mormon I have met in the last few years (that have not become atheists – many, many do) is non-denominational. Not all, but most.

  7. shematwater says:

    Old Man

    “yours was to hand over control of your life to men rather than God.”
    I have handed nothing over to any men. My life is in the hands of Christ, and that is where it will stay. However, I am not so arrogant as to think that God has not revealed more knowledge to others than he has to me. God has always revealed a greater knowledge to a select few and then commanded them to use that knowledge to organize his Kingdom on Earth. He did this with Abraham, with Moses, Elijah, and then again with the Twelve Apostles. You claim that such men are not needed, and yet the Bible declares that they are. (Ephesians 4: 11-13) The prophets are not middlemen that we have to go through to get to Christ. They have never claimed this. They never acted like this in the Bible. The prophet is simply there to keep the kingdom organized and running smoothly, so that there is no confusion among the body of Christ.

    “You believe that God will call a man only if he is a member of your organization.”
    That is not accurate. What I said was said in sarcasm, and was not meant to be taken literally. The real truth is that God will not call a person to minister to any church other than his church. He may call a non-member to minister in his church, but would then require that they be baptized. This was the case of many people in the early days, and is the case today with some. God will not issue a call for a man to serve in the catholic church. But he may command a Catholic to accept the truth, be baptized, and then serve in his church.

    “What would you have them do?”
    I would have them discuss, rather than try to shut down a conversation with such statements as this. These things are not said to stimulate interaction, but to block certain ideas and thus stop any discussion in those areas.

    “it is obvious that there are ministers in all Churches who are not called by God”
    I disagree. As you said, God does not make mistakes, but men do. By your reasoning King David was not called of God, as evidenced by his adultery and murder. Saul wasn’t either, as he really went off the deep end. Yet the Bible tells us that these men were called of God.
    A man can be called of God, and then fall into sin. This is not evidence that God did not call him in the first place. Thus your claim that it can be shown that some ministers are not called of called is illogical and contradicts the Bible.

  8. Old man says:

    Shem.
    I very much doubt if there is anything to be gained by continuing this conversation, you either ignore what I say or you distort what I say, but I will answer one last time & then for me it will be finished.

    “I have handed nothing over to any men. My life is in the hands of Christ, and that is where it will stay. However, I am not so arrogant as to think that God has not revealed more knowledge to others than he has to me. God has always revealed a greater knowledge to a select few and then commanded them to use that knowledge to organize his Kingdom on Earth”
    That is not so, you have handed yourself over to the authority of men & your spiritual life is in their hands. I repeat what I said in my previous post “These men claim to have greater knowledge than you; they claim to have authority over you, even to the point of determining the most intimate details of your life. & Yet they cannot offer a scrap of scriptural evidence to prove their case”

    “He did this with Abraham, with Moses, Elijah, and then again with the Twelve Apostles. You claim that such men are not needed, and yet the Bible declares that they are”
    Show me where I said they were not needed, all I said as regards leaders was, “As regards leaders I’m simply too old for that nonsense” & to put it in context, I was referring to the kind of leaders you have in your church. Please don’t twist my words to suit your argument.

    “The prophets are not middlemen that we have to go through to get to Christ. They have never claimed this.”
    They may not use the word but this is exactly what they claim to be. You must believe everything you are told & there can be no disagreement. Say they are wrong & you are deemed “unworthy” One day you may realise that God doesn’t work this way. You have totally ignored the facts I gave you concerning the work of the Spirit in the life of the believer. If you had read & understood you would not be saying the things you do.

    “The real truth is that God will not call a person to minister to any church other than his church. He may call a non-member to minister in his church, but would then require that they be baptized. This was the case of many people in the early days, and is the case today with some. God will not issue a call for a man to serve in the catholic church. But he may command a Catholic to accept the truth, be baptized, and then serve in his church.”
    What is Gods church Shem? Is it the Mormon church or the Church founded by Christ? It cant be both so please let me know.

    “I would have them discuss, rather than try to shut down a conversation with such statements as this. These things are not said to stimulate interaction, but to block certain ideas and thus stop any discussion in those areas.”
    I have been watching the debates on this site for several years, only now choosing to say something, & in all that time I don’t think I have seen a member of your church discuss or debate an issue using only the Bible as their base. The people here, as I said previously, are Christians & when they wish to debate they argue from Scripture. When all’s said & done, that is the only basis for Christian belief. I do not see them trying to shut down a conversation but instead they attempt to engage you in a dialogue using the Bible as a reference point. If a point cannot be made (& this applies to both sides) using scripture then there is no valid Christian point to make.

    I said
    “It is obvious that there are ministers in all Churches who are not called by God”

    You responded with
    “I disagree. As you said, God does not make mistakes, but men do. By your reasoning King David was not called of God, as evidenced by his adultery and murder. Saul wasn’t either, as he really went off the deep end. Yet the Bible tells us that these men were called of God. A man can be called of God, and then fall into sin. This is not evidence that God did not call him in the first place. Thus your claim that it can be shown that some ministers are not called of called is illogical and contradicts the Bible.”
    Again, you distort or perhaps misunderstand what I say. I was talking about men being called directly by God & that is rather different to being called by God via a third person, While I would agree with you that men can fall into sin as did Saul & David those men were not indwelt by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit was upon them at times but did not dwell in them in the way that true Christians have been indwelt from the time of Pentecost. A man who continues in sin is not indwelt by the Spirit, that is scriptural. Would a man who, being a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit, continuously lie & deceive, as have the leaders of the Lds church since it’s foundation. Would a Christian church allow convicted child abusers to continue having access to young children as has happened in your church? Shem, you show a lack of understanding in spiritual matters & I am beginning to think that you would rather have your life directed by men who are responsible for such things than by God. Please research these things if you cannot take my word for it. Pray about it & come to know the truth, the truth that sets you free from the chains of legalism, the law & the Lds church.

  9. Mike R says:

    Old Man , you brought out some good reasons why people need to ask the hard questions when
    they hear some Mormons promoting a clever advertising of trying to convey the thought
    that their church has no “paid ministry” or in how it uses terms like ” living allowance” ;
    “salary” ; ” only necessary support” etc.
    Fact of the matter is that the Mormon church is a enormous financial empire skillfully advertising
    itself as Jesus’ true church , the heirarchy of which does’nt think their supporters are worthy of
    knowing just how much their income really adds up to .
    As for Mormon leadership being called of God goes ; they are called alright , called by other
    men to help run this huge corporation because of their training or background in business , not
    because Jesus has actually called them to be officers in His church in these latter days .
    I’m glad you are wise enough to see through Shem’s rationale about LDS leaders being
    ” non-professionals ” , as compared to non-Mormon ministers .
    Thanks for your contributions here . God bless you as follow Jesus alone .

  10. shematwater says:

    Old Man

    I think it is time you stop trying to tell me what my faith is. It is a bad habit of almost everyone on this blog, and it is rather annoying.

    “That is not so, you have handed yourself over to the authority of men & your spiritual life is in their hands.”
    I will repeat what I said: I have handed nothing over to any men. My life is in the hands of Christ, and that is where it will stay. Don’t tell me what my faith is, or what my faith is in. You do not know me, nor do you know my faith. I have put my life in the hands of Christ, just as all truly faithful men have done before; yet I am willing to submit to his appointed ministers, just as all truly faithful men have done before.

    “Show me where I said they were not needed, all I said as regards leaders was, “As regards leaders I’m simply too old for that nonsense” & to put it in context, I was referring to the kind of leaders you have in your church.”
    And my point is that the Bible declares that the kind of leaders we have in our church are needed. We need prophets and apostles; men of God with greater faith, knowledge and understanding then we have to keep the body of Christ together and in unity. I understand your words fine, but they are not in agreement with the Bible.

    “They may not use the word but this is exactly what they claim to be. You must believe everything you are told & there can be no disagreement.”
    Again you show you do not know our faith, so please stop trying to tell me what it is. Whether we agree with these men or not makes precious little difference if we do not seek God directly and have a personal relationship with him. This is no more or less what you would claim concerning the Bible. So, unless you think the Bible acts as a sort of middleman between you and Christ don’t try to twist our faith into something it isn’t.

    “Is it the Mormon church or the Church founded by Christ?”
    Well, since Christ founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, than it is both, or either, however you want to look at it. This is Christ’s church and his kingdom on Earth.

    “I don’t think I have seen a member of your church discuss or debate an issue using only the Bible as their base.”
    This may be a Christian site, but it is devoted to the attack on the LDS and anything that is related to it. I don’t care what religion you are, if you are going to discuss mine you better be prepared for us to use what we believe in. Your entire point makes no sense, unless the purpose of this blog is to shut out any real discussion of the LDS faith, which makes no sense.

    “I was talking about men being called directly by God & that is rather different to being called by God via a third person”
    I understood you perfectly. It is you who does not understand our faith. A man is never called simply via a third person. That person goes through the formalities, yes, but the calling is always directly from God.

    “While I would agree with you that men can fall into sin as did Saul & David those men were not indwelt by the Holy Spirit…A man who continues in sin is not indwelt by the Spirit, that is scriptural.”
    Again, your words do not match scripture. David was a man of Great Faith, who did have the spirit dwelling in him in the same way as at Pentecost. Yet he fell. And no, I read no place in the Bible that says a man cannot fall into sin after the spirit has fell upon him. This is not scriptural.

    To end this, I have prayed about it, earnestly. I have done so on more than one occasion. Every time I pray I feel more deeply that this is Christ’s church, set up through his direction by Joseph Smith. Nothing can ever change that fact. You might as well try to convince me the sun doesn’t shine.

  11. Rick B says:

    Shem said

    I think it is time you stop trying to tell me what my faith is. It is a bad habit of almost everyone on this blog, and it is rather annoying.

    It’s not so much that we are saying or telling you what your faith is, we are putting info out their for people and telling them what Mormons wont say. We have ex-Mormons here like Kate for example who have been active Mormons for most of there life who claim that after they left the church they would find out things that they were never taught while in the Church.

    You can claim all you want, Nothing is secret or has been held back, I will say, Maybe for some strange reason your special and have heard everything and know it all, But I have been to LDS services, and had Mormons over my house, or been to SLC and meet many mormons who have admitted, Their is much they have never been taught or heard. I have said before, when I was in SLC touring the temple, Me and my friend, would ask questions and when ever some person in the group or near us in a group would say, wow, thats a good question, that group would be moved away from us and I have also said, I have had MM’s sit in my house and flat out lie to my friends. My friends would ask questions and the Mormons would answer them, then I would say, no, your lying and say, This is what your church really says, or the BoM says or what ever, Then they would not admit they lied, they would not claim, I’m sorry I was simply Mis-informed, they would then cry persecution or call spirit of contention and claim they need to leave.

    I’m sorry but if you dont know what your church teaches or what you believe, you should not talk, otherwise, admit you dont know and made a mistake, but once you cry persecution or spirit of contention Then as fas as I am concerned, Thats makes you both a liar and shows you dont want to have an honest talk.

    I believe most mormons on this blog really dont care about the truth, Take Conner for example, I mentioned books he could read that will answer all his questions, I even posted my email address and said I would mail him some books at my own expense, and sadly he has not written me yet.

    Now Before you claim, well he is busy, he was not so busy as to write me promptly and tell me I am wrong, and after telling him I would mail him books which provide evidence, he all of a sudden stopped writing.

    Then if you claim, well the books probably speak out against Mormonism and he does not want to read that stuff, let me say, the books have nothing to do with Mormons and dont mention them.

    I find this happens a lot among Mormons, they claim they want the truth, but then when it is offered they turn it down. Sadly someone else on this blog Non-Mormon person claimed they did not agree with something I said and how I said it, I asked them to write me privately so we could talk, and as of yet, I’m guessing it is going on 3 weeks or longer, they also have not wrote me and they even since stopped posting on this blog.

    I dont understand How people can tell me I am wrong, but then wont discuss it with me, or claim they really do seek the truth, but then when offered books free of charge, refuse them or make no effort to say sure, I will take them and read them.

  12. Rick B says:

    Shem, Here is a verse that goes along with what I said,

    Pro 12:1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction [is] stupid.

    You do hate correction.

  13. Old man says:

    Shem

    I’m not going to engage in any more point-by-point rebuttals. From the beginning of this debate you have twisted & distorted my words in order to construct “straw men” that you can knock down. To date you have not answered, possibly not even thought about, the tax related questions I asked in my original posting never mind the other questions you refuse to answer.

    Of course I don’t know you personally & neither do you know anything about me, but I know far more about your beliefs, & by that I mean church doctrine, than you realise. Your faith is not based on the truth of scripture but upon what you have been told by men who claim to have been appointed by God. Rather than investigate the claims of those who are of a different persuasion to yourself, as I & others here have done year upon year in respect of your church, you believe everything your leaders tell you. You base your faith on the belief that they are appointed by God, &, as you care to put it, “yet I am willing to submit to his appointed ministers,” They are not appointed by God Shem, they are chosen by other men who themselves are not appointed. The proof of this is demonstrated every time they lie, hide the truth, charge an admission fee to Heaven or change “unchangeable doctrine” Incidentally, I can’t help but wonder why anyone should pray as suggested in the BofM (Moroni 10:4) for “wisdom” to determine if the church is true when most church doctrine is not to be found within its pages. Doctrine once considered to be unchangeable or as Brigham Young put it, “will always be so” has been changed many times. Please don’t bother to respond when I mention these changes, I’ve heard all the answers & there is nothing you can add.

    I feel I must mention one point that you make, not in defence of anything I have said in previous posts but in defence of this site. Rick B put it very well & to that I will add a little more. You say the site is devoted to attacking your church, but I see nothing that would lead any fair-minded person to draw a conclusion such as that. I have no axe to grind, I do not know any posters on this site neither have I communicated with any of them, my only bias is towards the truth. This is, as I have said several times now, a Christian site & it is incumbent upon all Christians to present the truth & correct error, that is scriptural & is all it does. What is actually being seen in your response is the persecution complex that seems to be inherent in Mormonism & goes hand in hand with obfuscation & distortion

    Let’s get down to the basics, Joseph Smith was a complete fraud (proven) He was not a martyr (proven) The book of Mormon is a 19th century fraud (proven) The men you follow are deceivers (proven) I probably sound angry & you are right in thinking that I am, although my anger is not in any way directed at you, it is directed at the leaders of your church. I am saddened that you choose to follow such men. Wealthy men who run a multi billion dollar corporation, men who would extort money from pensioners who have barely enough to keep body & soul together, men who use guilt as a method of control over vulnerable people. Christ founded a Church based on love charity & compassion, the primary concern of the church you belong to is to make money, a tiny fraction of which, (less than 1% of its revenue, less even that Wallmart) is given to those in need. Compare this to the 37% given by a much less wealthy Christian denomination. Don’t even attempt to deny this; I am well able to produce data to back up my argument.
    Your leaders will one day have to answer to God for their wrong doing, make sure that you are not among them.

  14. shematwater says:

    Old Man

    Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, called by Jesus Christ and ordained by the ancient apostles (proven); Joseph Smith was a martyr, gunned down by a lawless mob because he taught the truth of Christ to a wicked and corrupt world (proven); the Book of Mormon is an ancient record, written by the prophets of God that lived on the American continents, and preserved by the power of God to come forth in this last day (proven); the men are follow are prophets, called of God by his power and through the authority of his priesthood (proven).

    I don’s care what this site claims; it is an attack on the LDS. I have no persecution complex; but I do have the evidence of the behavior of people on this site. You say I am blinded as to the truth of my religion, and yet everyone here is blinded as to the truth of this blog, and all other blogs of this nature. The purpose of this blog is not to bring people to Christ, but to destroy the faith of the LDS. You do not convert a person by attempting to prove them wrong. You convert them by proving yourself right.

    Now, I couldn’t care less what research you have done, or how well you think you know the doctrine of the church. I don’t care how much you are able to quote, or how prolific you are in your reading. Knowledge and understanding are two vastly different things. No, I have not read as much as you; I have no doubt about that. But I understand so much more than you, as I have seen over and over again in your posts (this includes all those posting here).
    You claim the prophets are middlemen, and that is not what they are. If that is what you think than you don’t understand what a prophet is, and it doesn’t matter how many quotes you give, they will not change your lack of understanding.
    Quite honestly, you are like everyone else on this site. You think you know the truth; but that truth has been so distorted by false ideas and false conclusions that any resemblance it holds to the truth becomes merely coincidental. The problem is that you have no faith, for the things that you see as being so evil are what make this a truly blessed church. The Lord does require certain things, as he has always required them. Who are we to erase his laws.

    Rick

    Your whole attitude is one of “Let me tell you what your church really teaches.” All your examples are of you straitening out others as to what they believe. It is shown so clearly in this statement “I’m sorry but if you dont know what your church teaches or what you believe, you should not talk”

    The fact of the matter is that I know more of the doctrine of my church than you ever will. You may have more quotes to throw around, but you have no understanding. I am perfectly willing to accept correction, when it is correct. But I cannot remember a single time when you were correct in this matter. I am not saying you never are, only that it is so infrequent as to escape memory.
    It is you that cannot accept correction, not me.

  15. Old man says:

    Shem

    Until you check & answer the valid points others & I have made you cannot claim to have understanding. The understanding (wisdom) that you claim for yourself is not based on knowledge, & understanding without knowledge is merely blind faith. You have shown by your consistent refusal to check if the things said in here are true, that you have no interest in facts & therefore you cannot possess any real understanding. To reach understanding you must first have knowledge. When you have gained knowledge then God will, if asked, grant understanding. As an example of what I am talking about I’ll refer you to James, the passage so popular with your missionaries, when trying to convert people to your beliefs. Verse 5 is always twisted into a meaning that was never intended, do you know what James is talking about in 1:5? He isn’t talking about praying to know if something is true as your church tries to tell people, He’s talking about asking for wisdom. What is wisdom? It is the correct application of knowledge. How then can you have wisdom if you do not have knowledge? When you have knowledge understanding becomes possible. I’m well aware of what your church says about such things; they hate the very idea of people thinking for themselves, somewhat reminiscent of the Catholic Church in medieval times. In spite of what you say understanding & knowledge are directly related & you cannot have one without the other.
    I’m an old man Shem, I’ve lived a long time & have experienced more than you can imagine. Do you really believe that I have knowledge but am without understanding? Do you think that you are the only one here who has that? That would be a very foolish assumption to make. With respect Shem, & I’m sorry to say this, you claim much but know little.

    You seem to think that I have come in here to convert you, how wrong you are I don’t attempt to convert you or anyone else, that is not something I am able to do. It is not the work of anyone here to convert, that is Gods work. My original purpose in coming here was simply to present the facts concerning taxation in this country. You had no idea about taxation laws here & I attempted to put you right without raising any religious points, however rather than accept the word of an honest man you basically told me I was wrong. Why? Simply because, even though the evidence was there, you could not accept that your church would do anything illegal. Don’t expect me to sit quietly while you in effect, call me a liar. Believe whatever you wish Shem that is your choice but at least have the integrity to check the facts first.

    Concerning what you have said about Joseph Smith & the organization he founded being proven true I’ll just say this, putting it as simply as I can. How could you possibly know that? You have never checked the historical facts, & your church certainly hasn’t told you any real history. If they had you wouldn’t be in here defending it. Read your history, as it seems to me you’re putting the cart before the horse & letting faith override fact.

    Ps. the apostle Paul commended the Bereans for doing what you have stubbornly refused to do since this discussion started, they checked the facts & did the research. Only after that did they accept what Paul told them. Before making any more outlandish claims perhaps you could do the same.
    I’m a little tired of banging my head against the wall so I think this will be my last post here, at least on this subject. Thanks to everyone including Shem.

  16. Rick B says:

    Shem said

    Your whole attitude is one of “Let me tell you what your church really teaches.” All your examples are of you straitening out others as to what they believe.

    What ever shem, I have said this before and will say it again, I have said to MM’s what do you believe, then they said to me, tell us what you believe Rick? I said I believe I believe in the trinity, Grace alone no works, Jesus is God not a God, and other things, Then MM’s responded with, we Believe the same as you do. Shem, I know you will claim, Well I was not their so I dont know, But for a MM to say that is a flat out lie, You guys dont believe the same thing as we do. You use the same names and terms but the definition is vastly different. This happen Twice to me. Sadly MM’s do lie, and maybe they are told to do so or do it for some other reason they do lie.
    Again, I have said, I will gladly have any Mormon on this blog sit in my house, I will have local MM’s over my house and will show you by what they say or dont say that they lie. But No mormon has ever said, yes Rick, we would love to come over, I suspect it’s because they know what they will hear and see.

  17. shematwater says:

    Old Man

    “When you have gained knowledge then God will, if asked, grant understanding.”

    This is wrong. God gives knowledge as well as understanding, and it is only through the knowledge that God gives that one can truly understand.
    1 Corinthians 12: 8 “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit”
    Matthew 16: 16-17 “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”
    It is not through reading and study that we gain true knowledge or understanding, but through the power and workings of the Holy Spirit that all who profess faith should have in themselves. Without this power of Spirit true knowledge is not possible, no matter how much we read or what we study.

    “however rather than accept the word of an honest man you basically told me I was wrong.”

    I never once said you were wrong in what you said concerning the tax laws of your country. I said that I would leave the whole thing in the hands of the church’s tax office, as they are able to deal with the details of tax laws than I am. I merely pointed out that your interpretation of the guidelines listed failed to see that they did not instruct one to commit tax fraud, but to rather instructed them to have such matters handled through the church tax office. It is you who has refused to accept that this is what the guidelines say, and you have no evidence to contradict it beyond your own assumptions.
    I stated, very directly, that until your government declares this illegal than I am not going to accept your word for it, and that is all.

    “Do you really believe that I have knowledge but am without understanding?”

    No. I think you have understanding in many things, just not in this area. If you can claim that the prophets are middlemen between us and God than you have no understanding. It is as simple as that. That is not me denying any evidence, but stating a simple fact. They are no more middlemen than the Bible is to the rest of Christianity. If you don’t understand that then you have no understanding as to what a prophet is and what their function is. You do have understanding in other areas, just not in this one.

    “How could you possibly know that?”

    Through the power of the spirit as it sheds knowledge and wisdom to my mind. Through the most sure witness a man can have I know this work is true, that Joseph Smith is a prophet, that the Book of Mormon is a holy record, and that this church is lead by prophets today. I know more of history than you want to believe. I also know much that is printed as history is not history, but fabrication, having no direct evidence. Yet you and others will accept much that is unproven and unsupported, because it lends itself to what you already accept as being the historical truth. I am not sorry that I am more guarded in what I will accept as proof from the various historical documents, for only in being so guarded can we hope to gain a true understanding of what happened in the past.

    On a last note, we understand James 1: 5 perfectly well. It is an injunction to pray about anything for which we lack sufficient wisdom in ourselves to know how to properly act. This is exactly what Joseph Smith did, as he had the knowledge of what the sects were teaching, but lacked the wisdom to determine which was the true church. In the modern day we advise people to be humble enough to seek out God before claiming such wisdom themselves. In what way do we misuse this passage?

    Rick

    “I believe in the trinity, Grace alone no works, Jesus is God not a God, and other things”

    Putting things this way it is possible for one to say they believe the same thing and not be lying. After all, there is no explanation of what is meant, and if they were unfamiliar with the meanings you give to the various terms than they may get confused.
    So, if you want to accuse them of lying maybe you should give a more detailed description of your doctrine first.

    Personally, if I was in the area, I would love to come over to your house. It sounds like a blast. I am a daring sort, and enjoy a good bible bash with the enemy from time to time. You are right that I know what I would hear, but that is partly what makes it so fun. However, I live to far away at the moment, and don’t have the time or money to make such a visit feasible. Maybe when I am better situated in life I will accept that invitation.

  18. Old man says:

    Apologies to all, I said I was finished with this debate but I can’t let it go without saying this to Shem
    You say you are defending your church against attack from people who know nothing about it. That’s perfectly understandable so why don’t you defend it? Simply claiming that you have “more understanding” gives the distinct impression that you have no defence to offer. You selectively quote scripture but you don’t seem to have any real understanding of what is being said, as with all cults Scripture is all too often misused &/or taken out of context.

    “If you can claim that the prophets are middlemen between us and God than you have no understanding. It is as simple as that. That is not me denying any evidence, but stating a simple fact. They are no more middlemen than the Bible is to the rest of Christianity. If you don’t understand that then you have no understanding as to what a prophet is and what their function is. You do have understanding in other areas, just not in this one.”
    What you fail to see is that the time of the prophets ended more than 2,000 years ago, why on earth would God need more prophets after sending his own Son? Christ was & is the fulfilment of all O/T prophecy; He is the one of whom the prophets spoke. What need is there of more when the reason for them is long gone? Certainly the gift of prophecy is still with us but in a very different sense to a Mormon prophet. Why do you flatly refuse to accept what Scripture is telling you?

    “I know this work is true, that Joseph Smith is a prophet, that the Book of Mormon is a holy record, and that this church is lead by prophets today.”
    In reply I say this;
    If Christ is WHO he claimed to be then Joseph Smith could not possibly be what he claimed to be. This is not open to debate; you cannot argue against Gods word & it is Gods word that speaks against you Shem. You say the spirit gives you knowledge & understanding & I say you have been deceived, read Pauls warning about even the elect being deceived. If what you claim were true, knowledge of the above would already be with you. I say again God did not call Joseph Smith neither did He appoint your leaders. Claiming He did & claiming they are restoring the church is not only to deny the Spirit who, as in John 15:26 testifies of Christ (understand what that means) but is to come perilously close to calling God a liar. Christ came from God, He is God, & He brought salvation to all men yet you are prepared to tell anyone who will listen that God had to turn to a mere man in an attempt to restore truth because Christ failed. If Joseph Smith spoke the truth, if your leaders speak the truth, then Christ lied. Which is it to be Shem? There is no middle ground. If you cannot understand this then I am sorry for you. You claim to be led by the Holy Spirit yet so much of what you claim is undeniably & demonstrably false By all means defend your church, I would expect nothing less, but please do it using scripture & verifiable facts.

    If, as you claim, Mormons understand James 1:5 correctly then why do Mormon missionaries always use the passage incorrectly, in an attempt to gain more converts? They use James as a conversion tool “Pray & God will show you if the BofM is true” You put the cart before the horse, prayer is never used in place of scripture as a means to discover truth, the truth is discovered in scripture. Don’t you understand that James is writing to people already converted, to Christians?

    A point you raised in a previous post needs answering.
    “The purpose of this blog is not to bring people to Christ, but to destroy the faith of the LDS.”
    If reading Gods word can destroy Mormon faith it is a sad reflection on the truth of Mormon doctrine.

    Ps. you told Rick that you enjoy a good bible bash with the enemy, do you see Rick as being in partnership with Satan? Or are you saying that you will use Scripture to contend with Satan. I’m not trying to be awkward, I honestly don’t know.

  19. shematwater says:

    Old Man

    Lets get right down to it.

    You ask “do you see Rick as being in partnership with Satan?”
    No, I do not; at least not knowingly. However, I do believe that anyone who aligns themselves with any other church is being deceived by Satan, and thus is unknowingly in partnership with him. As the Scriptures state, there are but two churches, the church of God and the church of the Devil. If you are not in the church of God than you are in the church of the devil. Thus any discussion in which the doctrine of any other church is discussed or compared with that of the true church is a Bible bash with the enemy, as it is taking on the lies and false doctrine that Satan has caused to be spread throughout the world.
    However, I made that comment more in jest than anything else. I do not see Rick and an enemy. He is a son of God and by virtue of that parentage is equal to me in all respects.

    You state “If reading Gods word can destroy Mormon faith it is a sad reflection on the truth of Mormon doctrine.”
    The problem here is that the majority of this blog is not from the Bible. Take this very article as an example. It never once even mentions that Bible, but quotes from a confidential record of our church. Of all those posting on this thread, few have referenced the Bible beside me and you, and we are equal in doing so. The majority of the articles of this sight, as well as the posts, are of the same nature. Grindael is a great example of one who rarely uses the Bible in anything he says.
    The Bible, when rightly understood, can have no effect on our faith except to strengthen it. But this website does not use the Bible very often. It focuses primarily on our doctrine and our scripture in an attempt to tear down our faith.

    You claim “They use James as a conversion tool “Pray & God will show you if the BofM is true”
    How frequently have you discussed this with the missionaries? Just curious.
    In all my time with the missionaries I have never once seen them use James 1: 5 in this manner. Even in the manual they use, “Preach my Gospel,” it is not used in this way. It is mentioned once, as a passage that inspired Joseph Smith to pray to God about which church to join. It is Moroni 10: 3-5 that is referenced in support of praying concerning the truth of the Book of Mormon and the work of this church. You can read it all right here http://www.lds.org/manual/preach-my-gospel-a-guide-to-missionary-service/what-do-i-study-and-teach/lesson-1-the-message-of-the-restoration-of-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng.
    We do not misuse James’ words. We use them in the way they were intended to be used, as Joseph Smith did. We use the words of Moroni in the way that you claim we use the words of James.

    As to everything else you say, you have given me nothing to defend against other than your assumptions. You claim that we don’t need prophets today, but have not yet given one reference to prove this. You say that if the restoration is true than Christ lied, but give nothing to substantiate this claim. You make a lot of statements that you claim as fact, and yet all you give is your claim that it is fact.
    Now, I have read the Bible many times, and I have never read anywhere that states we do not need prophets today. I have read nothing that would indicate that anything that Christ said contradicts the work that He started in this day through Joseph Smith. Show me the evidence of your claims before you demand of me a defense against them.

    Lastly you said “Christ was & is the fulfilment of all O/T prophecy; He is the one of whom the prophets spoke.”
    This is a false statement, that is proven false by the Bible itself. Not all Old Testament Prophecy concerned Christ. John the Baptist was also prophesied of (Isaiah 40: 3). And, if you pay attention, so was the great apostasy (Amos 8: 11-14; 2 Thessalonians 2: 3), the coming forth of the Book of Mormon (Isaiah 29: 9-12; Ezekiel 37: 15-17), and the rise of this church (Daniel 2: 34-35, 44-45).

  20. shematwater says:

    “if only you understood what was being said.”
    I understand what is being said very well. It is obviously you who do not really understand it.

    “How do you know that the knowledge you seek is coming from God”
    I know it just as all the ancient prophets knew it. Just as Elijah witnessed that the Spirit of God comes in the still small voice and recognized it as that Spirit, so to can I recognize the spirit of God. All that persuades to do good is from God; and all that persuades to do evil is of the devil. The spirit that testifies to me of the truth is the same spirit that persuadeth me to do good, and thus it is from God.

    “Scripture is very clear on this point, the truth is to be found in Gods word, read 1 John 4:1 & make sure you understand what John is saying. “Test the spirits,” means to know, by reading Gods word, whether something is true or false. This then is the only test of truth, “is what I believe confirmed by Scripture”?”
    Actually, John does not say to test anything by the scriptures. His test is actually much simpler. “Hereby know ye the spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” There is actually no passage in the Bible that tells us that the Bible is the final test. We are told to read the scriptures and to study them, for only in doing this can we gain knowledge and understanding. But it never once places this as the final stage of our learning.
    Take, for example Abraham. It was written that “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” (Genesis 9: 6). But, when God came and commanded Abraham to offer Isaac as an offering, this being in direct opposition to what the scriptures state, Abraham did not question it, but went about to obey the command. Why was this? Because he had tested the spirit and found it to be of God, and thus was willing to obey, trusting that God knew what he was doing.
    If the scriptures are the end of all evidence than Abraham should have rightly rejected this spirit that gave him this command, and it contradicted scripture.

    “You readily tell others that you understand all via the Holy Spirit”
    I never said I have all understanding. I said I can have it, through the Holy Spirit, and only in this way can anyone have real understanding. Get my words strait.

    1 Corinthians 1:18
    What does this verse have to do with anything?

    “Of course I can’t show you a place in Scripture where it says Mormon prophets are no longer needed, as Mormon prophets are not mentioned at all in Scripture.”
    Odd, isn’t it. Especially considering that the prophets of today fill the same role that the prophets of the Old Testament filled. Just as Moses was a religious leader that was sent to organize the kingdom of God and keep it running smoothly, as were all the other prophets, so to in the modern day we have prophets who are on earth to direct the kingdom of God and keep it running smoothing.
    When I ask for proof that prophets are not needed all I am asking is proof that the system and means by which God taught his people for the first 4000 years of this Earth’s existence is no longer needed. Can you show me that?

    “How many more times must you be told before you understand?”
    I understand perfectly. I just don’t see this being taught in the Bible, and thus I reject it as being the true gospel of Christ.
    “Christ was & is the culmination of Gods plan of Salvation for mankind, nothing can be added, nothing taken away, it is all there in Christs life & death.”
    While I agree that the plan hinges around Christ’s life and death, and that this event was the grand crescendo of the plan, I do not agree that it is all the plan, or that nothing that occurs after it is not part of that plan.
    “God’s plan is complete & has no need of restoration by self-appointed men.”
    First of all, self-appointed men could never have restored the gospel, and that alone is proof enough for me. Second, if God’s plan was complete than what was the point of the last 2000 years? Why continue existence after the plan was finished? And why all the prophecy of the last days? No, Christ is the central figure of the plan, and it all revolves around his life, death, and resurrection; however, it is not complete until after Christ has returned, the millennium has occurred, and Satan is cast into outer darkness for eternity. Until that final end of all things God’s plan for his children is still in motion, and we are all part of it.
    “you are claiming that Christ failed & God had to turn to men to put things right.”
    I am claiming nothing of the kind, so stop trying to twist my words. I have never once said that Christ failed in anything. That is an assertion that you have made, and have failed to support it in any way whatsoever.
    Christ failed at nothing, but won the greatest victory of our existence. It is men who failed several decades later, and until you can get this through your head you will always prove your ignorance as to what we teach.

    “May you know Gods truth in your heart Old Man for by following the heretical dictates of false prophets you are truly lost.”

  21. Rick B says:

    Shem said

    Rick

    “I believe in the trinity, Grace alone no works, Jesus is God not a God, and other things”

    Putting things this way it is possible for one to say they believe the same thing and not be lying. After all, there is no explanation of what is meant, and if they were unfamiliar with the meanings you give to the various terms than they may get confused.
    So, if you want to accuse them of lying maybe you should give a more detailed description of your doctrine first.

    Let me say this, I should give a more detailed description of my doctrine first? Really? Saying I believe in Grace alone with no works is not clear enough? Mormons teach they must do works, How can it get any more clear? Then add to that Mormons are famous for dodging questions, they always fall back on, milk before meat, Or they claim, I sense a spirit of contention. When you guys do this it really is hard to believe your open with what you believe.

    Then if you can ever come to my house, even though we strongly disagree on this blog and it seems at times we dont like each other, your always welcome to my house. That goes for anyone, all you need to do it let me know your coming so I can plan to be here.

  22. shematwater says:

    Rick

    ” Saying I believe in Grace alone with no works is not clear enough? Mormons teach they must do works, How can it get any more clear?”

    When you understand that our doctrine teaches that our works cannot save us, than no it is not enough to simply say “Grace alone no works.” We can agree with this, as we believe that it is the grace of God that saves us, and not our works.
    I am not saying that the confusion is going to be automatic, or even common. I am simply saying that it is possible, and thus the accusation of lying is not proven true by what you said.

  23. Rick B says:

    Shem said

    When you understand that our doctrine teaches that our works cannot save us, than no it is not enough to simply say “Grace alone no works.”

    Yes you say works dont save you, but your church also teaches, We are saved by Grace, PLUS WORKS, AFTER ALL WE CAN DO.

    So we/I believe Jesus did it all and it is Done and Finished. LDS believe Jesus paid for us with His death, but that was not enough and you must do works to help out.

  24. shematwater says:

    Rick

    I know the differences in Doctrine. That is not the point. If you are going to explain the differences than for one to claim we believe the same is not being accurate.
    However, if you are not going to explain the differences than one who is unfamiliar with them may not recognize your meaning, and thus can honestly agree with you, thinking that you are saying the same thing.

    Now, I don’t think that you have accurately portrayed our doctrine in your statements here, but at least you have now tried to identify the differences.

  25. Rick B says:

    Shem, This is why I say MM’s and Mormons in general are deceitful.
    If MM’s dont know these basic doctrines then they should not be going out doing Missions.

    How can they tell me what I believe is wrong and corrupt according to what JS taught and the BoM says if they dont know what they believe? If they ask me what I believe and I tell them and they claim they agree, then Your church is not teaching them what you believe since they claim to believe what I do and you admit we dont believe the same thing.

    Now if they claim they believe what I do, but then when I point out the differences like I did with you and they claim, yes thats true we know that, then that proves they dont believe what I do and they just lied to me. So either they are liars or they are ignorant, and JS said, a man cannot be saved in ignorance. Either way it is lose lose.

  26. shematwater says:

    Rick

    Nice twisting of words. I am always amazed at how skilled you are at mixing things up.

    “if they dont know what they believe?”

    I never said they don’t know what they believe. I said that some may not fully understand what you believe. That is the difficulty here. They know what they believe, and what is taught in the church. But if they don’t know what you believe, then simple statements like the ones you gave may not sound foreign to them.

    I actually find this entire discussion amusing when we consider the many times that people have told advised caution in how one explains their doctrine to a Mormon, as the terms are similar but carry different meanings. Now I am agreeing with this advice, and you are telling me that such proves deception on our part. I have to smile at this.

    “then that proves they dont believe what I do and they just lied to me.”

    No. This is only proven if they continue to say we teach the same thing without admitting the error on their part. If all you gave were those simple statements they could honestly, and without any deception, claim to believe the same. If you then explain the details and they still claim this then, and only then, you have proven deception. However, if you explain the details and they then admit that they do not believe the same thing, you have proven that there was no deception, only a misunderstanding.

  27. Rick B says:

    Shem,
    I did not twist your words and I know that Most MM’s know more about what I believe vs what they believe even if they or you dont care to admit that.

    If a MM asks me what I believe and I say for example, I believe in Grace alone, no works, that to me is so simple, Grace alone, no works, really how hard can that be? NO WORKS, How more clearly can I spell this out? If the MM are so dense that they dont understand what no works means, then they should not be out telling me that they agree and believe as I do, when they know and are taught they believe in Grace, PLUS WORKS, Grace plus no works, vs grace plus works are not the same. How hard can that be?

  28. shematwater says:

    Rick

    Now we have a small problem, because we do not believe in Grace plus works. Things are much more complicated than that, and your attempt to make them simple is what would cause the confusion.

    As any missionary will tell you, our works cannot save us, and thus salvation is through the Grace and God, and through this Grace alone, without our works. This is true doctrine.
    Works do not play a part in our salvation; they simply prove our faith.

    Again, when you try to make things simple confusion is bound to follow, and it is not accurate to claim deception when this happens. You may assume everyone knows your doctrine, but that is only an assumption and thus can only lead to a further confusion of the issue. Maybe you should approach things from the opposite assumption; that they don’t know anything, and see how the conversation progresses.

  29. Rick B says:

    Shem said

    As any missionary will tell you, our works cannot save us, and thus salvation is through the Grace and God, and through this Grace alone, without our works. This is true doctrine.
    Works do not play a part in our salvation; they simply prove our faith.

    Well Shem, it seems we have a problem, A.of F number 3 says

    We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

    Notice the part that says

    all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

    So it stands to reason if your NOT OBEDIENT to the laws you cannot be saved.

    I have had MM tell me, people who are not baptized cannot be saved and people awaiting death on death row cannot be saved.

    ‘After all we can do’ includes extending our best effort. ‘After all we can do’ includes living His commandments. ‘After all we can do’ includes loving our fellowmen and praying for those who regard us as their adversary. ‘After all we can do’ means clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick and giving ‘succor [to] those who stand in need of [our] succor’ (Mosiah 4:15)—remembering that what we do unto one of the least of God’s children, we do unto Him. (See Matt. 25:34-40; D&C 42:38.) ‘After all we can do’ means leading chaste, clean, pure lives, being scrupulously honest in all our dealings and treating others the way we would want to be treated. (“After All We Can Do,” Christmas Devotional, Salt Lake City, Utah, Dec. 9, 1982; quoted in Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson.)” (“Savior accomplished atoning sacrifice through His grace,” LDS Church News, 02/03/96, page 14.)

    “President Harold B. Lee treated the topic of working out one’s salvation in one of his books, Stand Ye in Holy Places: ‘We hear much from some persons of limited understanding about the possibility of one’s being saved by grace alone. But it requires the explanation of another prophet to understand the true doctrine of grace as he explained in these meaningful words: “For,” said this prophet, “we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Ne. 25:23.) Truly we are redeemed by the atoning blood of the Savior of the world, but only after each has done all he can to work out his own salvation.’”(“Work out salvation with fear and trembling,” LDS Church News, 09/14/91, page 14.)

    “As is the case with all gospel principles, the doctrine of individual accountability grows out of the atoning sacrifice of Christ. Teaching these principles, Nephi testified that we are saved by grace, but only “after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23.) It is by the grace of Christ that we have granted to us the materials of life with which we can build, but God does not do the building for us. The responsibility of building with those materials is ours. The plan of salvation is in a large measure a do-it-yourself project” (Joseph Fielding McConkie, Seeking the Spirit, page 99.)

    “In the plan of salvation God does for human beings only what they cannot do for themselves. Man must do all he can for himself. The doctrine is that we are saved by grace, ‘after all we can do’ (2 Ne. 25:23)” (Robert J. Matthews, A Bible! A Bible!, page 186.)

    “To explain how much confidence we should have in God, were I using a term to suit myself, I should say implicit confidence. I have faith in my God, and that faith corresponds with the works I produce. I have no confidence in faith without works. My faith is, when we have done all we can, then the Lord is under obligation, and will not disappoint the faithful; he will perform the rest” (President Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, page 155.)

  30. Rick B says:

    The Prophet Spencer Kimball Achieving a Celestial Marriage manual pg 30 makes it very clear we must do certain things to enter the temple to be saved. He gives a list of 6 things called (TEMPLE RECOMMEND INTERVIEW). It says When you are interviewed for a temple recommend you will be asked about,

    1. Church attendance
    2. Payment of tithes and offerings
    3. Loyalty to Church leaders.
    4. Moral cleanliness.
    5. overall faithfulness and worthiness.
    6. Obedience to the Word of Wisdom.

    Notice it says “Obedience to the Word of Wisdom.” Yet Many LDS members do not follow this. Also we read in Gospel Principles pg 125: WE MUST KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD. To make our repentance complete we must keep the commandments of the Lord (see D and C 1:32). we are not fully repentant if we do not pay tithes or keep the sabbath day holy or obey the word of wisdom. We are not repentant if we don’t sustain the authorities of the church and don’t love the lord and our fellow man. Yet again many LDS do not meet this requirement.

    If we do not do these things, we cannot be saved, Grace is free and comes as a result of God loving us, Not because of the works we do.

  31. shematwater says:

    Rick

    Mosiah 18: 8, 10
    “as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light…
    …Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, AS A WITNESS BEFORE HIM that ye have entered into a ccovenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?”

    I have never denied that works are required. I simply stated the fact that it is not the works that save us. Our works are a witness before God of our faith and our devotion. Yes, one must be baptized, as that is the evidence of our faith. If we claim faith and yet refuse to be baptized we have proven that our faith is not enough. However, even if we are baptized, that act cannot save us except through the grace of God and given to us according to our faith. If we have not the faith the act of baptism is meaningless. If God does not ratify the act through his grace it is meaningless.
    Just like in school, one can write all the papers they want, but unless they are excepted by the teacher it does them no good. But if they don’t write any paper than that also does them no good. In the end it is the teacher, and only the teacher, that determines the grade.
    So, we can rightly say that it is “Grace alone no works” and still accurately describe the doctrine of our church. We cannot say that works are not required at all, or that they do not have some bearing on the case, which is why you need to clarify the details.

  32. Rick B says:

    Christians dont believe we must be baptised to be saved. If I reject God all my life, then come to my death bed, am told I will die any moment, then call upon the Lord , then drop dead I will and am saved despite the fact I wss not baptised.

    Also I could be on death row, their putting the needle in my arm to execute me, I can call on the name of the Lord and be saved, then die. Thid is grace with out works. Mormonism does not teach or believe this.

  33. shematwater says:

    Rick

    I know what you believe. I also know what I believe. The point is that not everyone has an understanding of both, and thus to give simple definitions of statements is generally not enough, as such can lead to some confusion. If this is the case then an accusation of deception is wrongly applied.

  34. RikkiJ says:

    @Shematwater If I am to enter the celestial kingdom and have eternal life (communion with the Father)? What are the requirements for doing so? Isn’t this salvation?

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