More on Exalted Mormons Creating and Populating Worlds

PlanetsMormonism Research Ministry’s website contains a 2011 article sparked by Mormon denials (including a pointed and clear denial found on lds.org) of the long-standing doctrine in Mormonism that exalted Mormons will one day create and populate their own worlds. The article contains many quotes from Church manuals and Church leaders that prove the doctrine is not mere “folklore” as some claim. What follows are few more instances of the teaching from official Mormon sources that suggest the doctrine is more than just a popular myth.

All are dated within the past 17 years except the first quote in the list. The first one is older, from a 1959 Sunday school course. Even though it’s almost 55 years old, I’ve included it because, according to Apostle Boyd K. Packer, “The doctrines [of the Church] will remain fixed, eternal…” (Quoted in Teachings of the Living Prophets, 7).

ABRAHAM’S BLESSINGS MAY BE YOURS…[Abraham’s descendants] would be privileged to dwell with and become like God, sharing with him the rule of the universe. They should have an everlasting inheritance upon this earth, even after it becomes a celestial kingdom. Through their children born on earth and their spirit children born to them after the resurrection, they should have the power of eternal lives or eternal increase, eventually being able to create worlds and people them with their own spirit offspring. These earthly and spirit children will constitute the kingdom over which they shall rule.” (Archibald Bennett, Family Exaltation, Course 20, Genealogical Training Department for the Sunday Schools of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1959)

“Exaltation means godhood, creatorship. ‘As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be.’” (Apostle L. Tom Perry, “Learning to Serve,” Ensign, August 1996, 15, quoting Spencer W. Kimball)

“[When we receive eternal life] our spirits will be changed. We will become able to want what God wants, to think as He thinks, and thus be prepared for the trust of an endless posterity to teach and to lead through tests to be raised up to qualify to live forever in eternal life.” (President Henry B. Eyring, “Adversity,” Ensign, May 2009, 24)

“[Peter’s and John’s] righteous lives opened the door to godhood for them and creation of worlds with eternal increase. For this they would probably need, eventually, a total knowledge of the sciences… After our feet are set firmly on the path to eternal life we can amass more knowledge of the secular things. [[A highly trained scientist who is also a perfected man may create a world and people in it, but a dissolute, unrepentant, unbelieving one will never be such a creator in the eternities.]] Secular knowledge, important as it may be, can never save a soul nor open the celestial kingdom nor create a world nor make a man a god, but it can be most helpful to that man who, placing first things first, has found the way to eternal life and who can now bring into play all knowledge to be his tool and servant.” Apostle L. Tom Perry, “The Tradition of a Balanced, Righteous Life,” Ensign, August 2011, 51, quoting Spencer W. Kimball. The text in double brackets is found in the original source quoted by Mr. Perry (as quoted by him in his August 1996 Ensign article referenced above), but Mr. Perry replaced it with ellipsis in this article. While the idea of creating and populating worlds is clearly present without the omitted text, I’ve included it for context as an aid to the reader.)

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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50 Responses to More on Exalted Mormons Creating and Populating Worlds

  1. Mike R says:

    Sharon,
    the information that MRM has provided to document the fact that Mormon leaders have
    taught that Mormon males will become Gods and populate worlds /planets with their
    offspring , is abundant and clear for anyone to read . In public interviews or on official
    church web sites that this doctrine will be downplayed, dodged, or even denied is’nt
    surprising given the chameleon behavior that Mormon authorities are known for .
    Ever careful to project a public image that sells well these men can’t be trusted to be to
    consistently forthright about some of it’s history or doctrines .
    The Mormon people who render allegiance to these men deserve better , they are the victims
    of a broken trust . The Mormon people are told that to criticize their leaders is to show signs
    of a spiritual sickness , but such intimidation won’t stop those Mormons who want God’s best
    in their lives . It’s time for the Mormon people to do the right , and safe , thing by exchanging
    their apostles for the ones who Jesus did send out to teach about God, salvation , these men
    are found in the New Testament .

  2. falcon says:

    Isn’t this the whole point of Mormonism? Become a god, get your own planets. Of course it sounds goofy but that’s why Mormons dig it. The more outrageous or convoluted an idea, the more people in cults (sorry, can’t think of a better word) embrace it.
    It’s all about being in the spiritual gifted and talented group; the ability to scarf down loads of spiritual meat. It makes someone feel special to think that they have received this super secret message from the Mormon deity and are able to accept it.
    Mormons don’t want this talked about openly. I know when I tell people about Mormonism, especially the becoming gods of their own planets part, their eyes get wide and their mouths are agape. It’s like, “Are these people nuts!”
    I’d like to hear from our former Mormons as to what their exposure was to this teaching and how they reconciled it in their own thought processes.

  3. vikingz2000 says:

    I no longer consider myself a Mormon after about 50 years of active membership. Having stated this, though, the notion of becoming a god this isn’t so far fetched to me. Let’s reason this out.

    Jesus prayed to his father, not a ‘great spirit’ or whatever, but very personally to his father in heaven. Then Jesus resurrected and ascended into heaven that I’m pretty sure is the same heaven where his father in heaven dwells. And I think it very unlikely that Jesus ascended up to heaven and then when he got there discarded his body. Hence, it seems very plausible and reasonable to me that if Jesus has a corporal body, then so does his ‘father in heaven’. And we know from scripture that the Holy Ghost is something else different from Jesus and his father in heaven, so let’s not dwell on that for the moment.

    Okay, so where do we, or where can we reasonably go from here? Well, it appears that god, aka, father in heaven has been around a very long time. I would think that Jesus and all of us are *going to be* around a very long time, as well. What are we going to be doing ‘for ever’ (that’s a very long time!). I don’t see anything so bizarre as to think that ‘The Plan’ is for us to become like the ‘father’, any more than it’s bizarre to think that Jesus died for everyone’s sins, resurrected making it so that we will one day resurrect as well; even the fellow that was eaten by a shark (and later pooped out) while on holiday in Hawaii. Now that’s pretty bizarre to me!

    I am not so arrogant to think that I know everything there is to know about my eternal existence, i.e., what God has in store for me, i.e., what ‘the Plan’ is ***in the eternities*** (and I don’t think it’s playing a harp and singing hallelujah to God forever and ever). If you think you know everything that going to happen, well… what can I say?

    Anyway, I think all of this god and planet creating stuff is bizarre to you because you want it to be for whatever reason. But if you are totally honest you can’t say *for sure* that becoming a god like your god (father in heaven) is so, so, beyond total rational conjecture any more than a lot of other thinks that Christianity purports.

    In any event, I just don’t believe that Mormonism with its Masonic influenced temple ordinances are commensurate to ever becoming so refined as to become one day in the eternities like a god of some sort. I don’t that Mormonism has the exclusive rights to that if indeed it is a true aspect that’s in store for all of us who merit or want it.

  4. falcon says:

    What came first, the Mormon temple or the “you can become a god and have your own planets” teaching?
    It would seem to me that the Mormon god would have revealed to Joseph Smith the entirety of the “restored” gospel up front. But, alas, that doesn’t seem to have happened. As has been pointed out on this blog many times, the Mormon god did a slow roll-out of his plain and precious truths.
    I guess one of two things were going on. Either the Mormon god didn’t think that Joseph Smith was spiritually mature enough to handle the news or the Mormon god hadn’t progressed far enough himself to totally comprehend this.
    I don’t think it was the latter because according to Mormon lore, there are millions and billions of gods who were men who now rule their own personal solar systems.
    No, the slow roll-out was all Joseph Smith’s doing because he himself “progressed” as he would change things as he went along. This has been a main feature of Utah style Mormonism.
    It needs to be pointed out that not all sects of Mormonism buy-into the god-planet paradigm. I guess we could say that there is a lot of confusion about what this restored gospel actually is. How many views of God did Smith have before his death? I think it’s about four.
    No telling what he’d have come up with had he lived. We know what Brigham Young conjured up.

  5. falcon says:

    viking,
    You wrote:
    “I think it very unlikely that Jesus ascended up to heaven and then when he got there discarded his body.”
    Jesus had a resurrected body. He’s the first born from the dead. He didn’t discard His body when He ascended to the Father.
    ….and
    “……if Jesus has a corporal body, then so does his ‘father in heaven’”
    The Bible teaches that God the Father is a spirit. He doesn’t have a body.

    With my apologies, what you are doing is speculating and this is where folks get themselves into trouble especially when they form religious doctrine. It’s best to stay with a correct interpretation of what the Bible teaches us about God.
    The Word/Faith people like to teach that we are little gods. They draw these erroneous conclusions based on the verse in Genesis that we are made in the image of God. So off they go thinking they are gods and command things to be so by speaking out the Word.
    Consider this:
    Teaching that God, who is pure spirit (John 4:24), has His own spirit body is to teach something definitely not found in Scripture. There is no biblical basis for such a teaching. This teaching would be more in line with Mormonism than orthodox Christianity.

    CREATION

    Kenneth Copeland teaches that God created the Universe, and everything therein, out of a spiritual substance known as faith, by forming a mental picture of the creation in “the insides of Him,” then by using words as containers for His “faith,” projected the image outwardly into the reality of creation.

    For example, in his tape, Spirit, Soul, and Body, Copeland says, “Faith is real, is a power, is a force. It’s used by God at His will. This world and everything in it was created by Him and He used His faith to do it. Now you couldn’t really and truly say that He created it out of nothing because faith is something, the whole thing was born out of the force of faith that was resident inside the being of God.”

    Copeland’s misunderstanding of faith and creation has a New Age ring to it. If the universe was created out of God’s faith, and if this faith is the actual life and personality of God, then the creation is merely an extension of God (pantheism or panentheism), thus making all things divine.

    http://www.watchman.org/reltop/unbiblcl.htm

    Personally I’m glad you are out of Mormonism and I value your participation here.

  6. falcon says:

    Here’s some interesting information. We’ve presented some of this in the past. Does knowing this have any impact on the faithful Mormon? Probably not. But for those Mormons who have reached the contemplative stage in their Mormon walk, it’s one more piece of information to consider.

    Some have wondered where Smith got his descriptions of the afterlife as first described in Section 76 of the D&C.
    In D. Michael Quinn’s excellent book “Early Mormonism and the Magic World View,” he gives a very fascinating source of Smith’s “revelations” on the afterlife. Quinn offers an exhaustive examination of the sources for the 1832 D&C Section 76 “Vision” of the “three degrees of glory.”

    In fact, Smith’s description of the “Celestial Kingdom” was not only a copy from earlier written works, but also very controversial to the Latter-Day Saints.

    The diaries of Orson Pratt and John Murdock from the 1830’s record their efforts to reassure members who questioned the 1832 vision of heaven. The two men described countless excommunications of Mormons, including branch presidents, who denounced “the degrees of glory” as a “satanic revelation.” Even Brigham Young had a hard time with it at first and described it as “a trial to many.”

    ……in 1758 a man by the name of Emanuel Swedenborg wrote a book about his visions of the afterlife. Swedenborg insisted: “There are three heavens,” described as “entirely distinct from each other.” He called the highest heaven “the Celestial Kingdom,” and stated that the inhabitants of the three heavens corresponded to the “sun, moon and stars.”

    Where did Joseph Smith get his ideas for the Mormon concept of heaven?
    “At its worst, heaven can be an ‘effective tool for manipulation,’ says Paul Knitter, emeritus professor of theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati. “If you can get people to believe in a certain heaven, you can get them to do anything.’ David Koresh told his followers in Waco that if they died with him, they would go directly to heaven.”

    http://exmormon.org/d6/drupal/Swedenborg-Joseph-Smith-Three-Degrees-of%20Heaven

    We can only hope that doing some personal research will eventually quell the fears many Mormons have about questioning their religion, it’s history, claims and doctrines.

  7. Mike R says:

    Viking,

    Let me comment on some of what you said . You stated : ” I no longer consider myself a Mormon
    after about 50 fifty years of active membership . Having stated that though , the notion of
    becoming a god this is’nt so far fetched to me .”

    I rejoice that you are no longer a Mormon . I hope you can say that the Mormon church is a false
    prophet led organization . It’s important that you can acknowledge this fact because if not you
    can be hindered from discovering where they have misled you about important doctrines .
    For those who have been Mormon , once they walk away from the Mormon church and dismiss
    their leaders as authorities in their lives , it takes time to replace some of the false teachings
    ( God , salvation , etc ) which they learned from these men , with the truth .
    This being the case I can’t be quick to judge some of the things you have stated about God , as I
    don’t know your story . Having said that I’ll briefly mention a few things , and then I’ll direct
    your attention to the excellent articles that MRM has to offer on this subject .
    When you say that in your opinion the notion of becoming a god is’nt far fetched , I would
    say that according to what Mormon leaders have taught that a man can become a God ( not
    just a ” god ” ) . Can man become ” like ” God ? The Bible says Yes . Can man become exactly
    like God , which Mormon leaders have taught ? No.
    The Bible teaches that God was always God , He is not some rank and file man , one among
    millions , who learned how to earn the position of Almighty God . In Mormonism what God
    became ( Almighty God ) a Mormon male can also ; and what God had to do ( works , secret
    temple oaths/ tokens / penalties ) Mormon males were told to do also ; and what God finally
    received (worship), reformed Mormon males can also one day as Almighty Gods over their
    own progeny on their own planets/worlds . That is Mormon doctrine , not Bible doctrine .
    The Bible presents a Creator who is so Majestic and unique , there is only one such God , and
    He has always been such . He has a wonderful future for those sinners who bow before Him
    and confess their in ability to save themselves by following the rules , laws , of some ” Plan ”
    laid out by men , rather He will forgive , cleanse, and give eternal life to those who trust Him
    by faith and accept His Son as their substitute on the cross .

    You said concerning our future beyond death : ” If you think you know everything that’s going
    to happen, well ….what can I say.”
    I assure you we don’t know everything about what eternity holds for believers , we only cling
    to what the Bible reveals , and don’t go beyond that into certain notions or theories which can
    lead to false teachings . Your whole reasoning about this seems to be coming from a caricature
    of heaven that some have mentioned which is that of playing harps forever ,etc so since this is
    obviously inaccurate then Mormonism has the answer . Sorry , but that is not ” plausible ” nor
    ” reasonable ” .
    Lastly , you said , ” I think all of this god and planet creating stuff is bizarre to you because
    you want it to be for whatever reason .” Ouch . I won’t comment on that .
    Please Viking I hope you can see that it is imperative to not let the effects of Mormonism rob
    you of knowing the truth about God , and His Son . It’s not a easy road you’re on , but please
    realize that Jesus is still there to hear your feelings . Healing from the effects of following false
    prophets is available in Him . Study the Bible and see for yourself what it reveals about Jesus.
    Don’t allow fear or confusion stop from reading the New Testament .
    We’re praying for you . Take care .

  8. vikingz2000 says:

    >>>“It would seem to me that the Mormon god would have revealed to Joseph Smith the entirety of the “restored” gospel up front.”

    In the NT is says that Jesus grew from grace to grace. Everything has its beginnings and periods of growth. Almost everything is a process not a single event happening. To think that God would reveal all that there is in the whole scheme of things is not reasonable and very untenable. We still have much to learn. Do you not think that we will continue to know more about ‘god’ and what he/she/it is all about if we do survive our mortal deaths and end up in ‘heaven’? To think that we now know everything there is to know about ‘god’, is absurd (to me, anyway).

    >>>“…according to Mormon lore, there are millions and billions of gods who were men who now rule their own personal solar systems.”

    Yes, “Mormon lore.” No where in LDS canonized *scripture* does it give any details about godhood and most certainly not anything about men “who now rule their own personal solar systems”. These and other similar declarations purporting to be canonized LDS scripture are the products of non-LDS ‘lore’, notwithstanding that there are many Mormons (GA’s as well the ‘regular’ member) who believe this is ‘fact’, but in actually it’s only their own conjecturing.

    >>>“How many views of God did Smith have before his death?”

    This is the point I’m making, so please ponder it without anit-Mormon bias. The point is that sure JS *may* have changed his mind about a lot of things just as I change my views about a lot of things (religious) as well. JS in his own right was growing from “grace to grace” (knowledge) just as all seekers do. I personally don’t think whatever JS declared is necessarily capital ‘T’ truth, but he was a reasonably intelligent fellow and had his ideas just as we all do (some–Mormon and non-Mormons–think he was a sort of ‘genius’). Hence, just as in faith traditions other than Mormonism I think it is VERY plausible that we could become as ‘gods’ having ‘eternal increase’ (spirit children) in the ***eternities*** (again, a VERY long time). There are more stars (not planets, which there are even more of) in the conceived size of our universe than there are gains of sand on the whole planet Earth (University of Hawaii research)! And then there could be plausibly an infinite number of ***universes*** (according to many cosmologists). There’s lot of room ‘out there’ for a lot worlds created by advanced beings.

    What I’m saying (and hopefully with all due respect to your ideas) is that we know so little about ‘god’ and what’s really going on that we practically know NOTHING. The analogue is if you live to be 100 years old (the numerator) over a denominator of ‘infinity’ (eternal ‘time’) compared to a child who lives only for ten years over the same denominator of ‘infinity’, mathematically they BOTH equate to having lived ZERO years! There is, in all senses no difference. Hence, ‘eternity’ is a long time and what we could be doing in that time frame is beyond imagination. If you were to continue to live on this earth with a young, vibrant mind and body for ‘just’ ten thousand years from today, can you imagine how ‘smart’ you could be compared to everyone else who ‘only’ live 80 or so years? Imagine then, having access to a ‘font’ of knowledge so vast, so all inclusive with a *perfect* mind and body for a million years (which in Earth geological time isn’t all that long)?

    I think there is far, far, more to ‘Jesus’ and ‘heaven’ than most everyday, run-of-the-mill Christians realize. They squabble about wording in the NT and interpretations, many of which are moot. “God is a spirit” — okay, but the scripture goes on to say that we must then worship god “in spirit”. So, does this mean we have to somehow crawl out of our physical bodies in order to worship god? You can drive a truck through what the “God is a spirit” scripture means, or what the author of that line meant it to say.

    Peace and understanding to you.

  9. Rick B says:

    Hello everyone,
    I want to share something here mainly for Mormons and people thinking about joining the church.
    I am leaving with my wife and some friends, 20 people total, we are going to Isreal, this will be the second time for me and my wife, and the 17th time for our pastor and his wife.

    We are leaving Friday the 29th and will be back December 14th.
    Now whats the point of all of this? Well I read the Bible, It mentions Isreal, I am going and have been their. It mentions Jews, I talked with them and walked with them and ate their food. It mentions the dead sea, My wife went in, I did not becasue I am a hard core land lover.

    The Bible mentions the sea of Galliee, We ate in a resturant on the sea, and then took a boat across it. This time we are going to Petra and Mount Caramel. Then my 12 year old daughter will be going on a missions trip to Isreal in Feb.

    Now can any mormons say here, we read the BoM, it mentions this piece of land, and we have been their? It mentions this body of water and we went their? It mentions this people group, and we walked with them and talked with them? You guys cannot do it, and any mention of Bible lands does not count since they are already in the Bible.

  10. fifth monarchy man says:

    Viking said,

    I am not so arrogant to think that I know everything there is to know about my eternal existence, i.e., what God has in store for me, i.e., what ‘the Plan’ is ***in the eternities*** (and I don’t think it’s playing a harp and singing hallelujah to God forever and ever).

    I say,

    I can’t claim to know the details of what I will be doing in eternity I am be confident that I will not be creating worlds because a world’s creator is entitled to receive glory from that creation and I as a Christian am not interested in glory

    I want nothing more than to see all praise and glory go the one true God.

    quote:

    For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
    (Romans 11:36)

    I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.
    (Isaiah 42:8)

    :end quote

    It’s my hearts desire to see God’s glory increase forever.

    To want for yourself something that rightfully belongs to the one true God is the root of all sin. and obviously there will be no sin in eternity.

    peace

    peace

  11. grindael says:

    In the NT is says that Jesus grew from grace to grace. Everything has its beginnings and periods of growth. Almost everything is a process not a single event happening. To think that God would reveal all that there is in the whole scheme of things is not reasonable and very untenable. We still have much to learn. Do you not think that we will continue to know more about ‘god’ and what he/she/it is all about if we do survive our mortal deaths and end up in ‘heaven’? To think that we now know everything there is to know about ‘god’, is absurd (to me, anyway).

    Jesus did not even START his ministry until he was past 30 years old. He had plenty of time to prepare BEFORE he started teaching. This is how God operates. Paul did not go right out and preach either. Jo had (according to him) from 1820 to 1830 to prepare. He said that he was taught by angels. Your analogy, is totally flawed. What did Jesus do? He was “about my Father’s business”. What did Jo do? Looked for buried treasure with peep stones and conned people out of money searching for treasure that was never found.

    This is the point I’m making, so please ponder it without anit-Mormon bias. The point is that sure JS *may* have changed his mind about a lot of things just as I change my views about a lot of things (religious) as well. JS in his own right was growing from “grace to grace” (knowledge) just as all seekers do.

    Ah, but you don’t take into account Jo’s OWN STATEMENTS, where he flat out lies about what he taught and when he taught it. He said in 1844 that he “ALWAYS” taught a plurality of Gods. This is just false. It’s demonstrably false. So, are we to believe Smith, who has been caught in so many un-truths that it boggles the mind? Also, Jo taught that he had his “calling and election” made sure, and that he was personally taught by God. (He also claimed to have “seen” so many Biblical figures or been taught by them that he could describe them, like he did Paul and his “nasally voice” that he said he got from his “big roman nose”.) Hilarious stuff. He said,

    These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the gospel TO KNOW FOR A CERTAINTY the character of God, and TO KNOW that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did (June 7, 1844)

    This isn’t about what WE think, it is about WHAT JO SAID. It doesn’t pan out. I can get into this in depth, but I’m sure you wouldn’t want me to. The condescension in your last paragraph is just staggering.

  12. vikingz2000 says:

    @ fifth monarchy man

    >>> “I am be confident that I will not be creating worlds because a world’s creator is entitled to receive glory from that creation and I as a Christian am not interested in glory.”

    First of all, what makes you so confident? I’m confident that I ***could be*** a type of ‘god’ after being sent to ‘god school’ by god (let’s say, my current heavenly father–the same one that Jesus has) for thousands or hundreds of thousands of Earth years, which again, is a very brief amount of time compared to infinite time, because it’s a reasonable conjecture and quite possible. Second of all, maybe becoming a god like my father in heaven god is how I glorify his name. I have sons and daughters. Seeing them grow up and become like ‘me’, i.e., responsible citizens with good careers and families of their own, ‘glorifies’ me. It’s not a boastful notion, but rather a notion that fulfills the role that I had as a father. In Mormon scripture it says (about god), “This is my work and my glory: to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (human kind).” For me, that is very tenable and reasonable explanation as for what god is all about to some degree. You don’t like stuff like this because it’s ‘Mormon’ stuff or ‘Jo Smith’ stuff. Which brings me to say:

    @ grindael

    You’re too hung up about Joseph Smith. Moses committed murder, and David of the OT had concubines which displeased god, yet was tolerated (but having Uriah killed wasn’t). No ‘prophet’–nobody–is without sins (some of which are very bad), but god forgives whom he forgives and chooses who he chooses to do whatever.

    I’m certainly not a JS fan boy, nor anyone else’s for that matter (except for Jesus only–I’m a Jesus fanboy). And as a Christian, I read Christian and non-Christian holy books that inspire me and then I come to my own conclusions about how I conceptualize god to be and ponder ‘what it’s all about’. “In my father’s house there are many mansions.” In other words, whatever ‘religion’ or religious views someone has, as long as that particular religion or views espoused brings that person closest to god (and ‘god is love’ it says in the NT, so what does that ‘look like’) then that’s the ‘right’ or correct religion for that person. In my view god isn’t about ‘isms’–Christian or non-Christian–but about proactive, loving actions shown toward our fellow beings. Even as a Christian, I believe that God will accept into his kingdom ***anyone*** who has lived that kind of life. So who cares what JS said, or the apostle Paul (Do you really think women should keep silence in the church?). My salvation isn’t based upon them, or what they taught although they both taught *some* interesting stuff that I find rings true, or at least is good ponder over. In other words, I don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. And by doing this I still believe I am striving to walk that narrow and straight way of actualizing Christ-like love. This may not be your kind of Christianity, but it’s mine, and respectfully, to each his or her own.

    And finally, I fail to understand what you mean by “The condescension in your last paragraph is just staggering.” I may come across as being passionate in expressing my views, but I do not wish to offend nor even convince anyone that I’m right, and they are not. Believe what you want, and I’m sure some of the things you believe in are what I believe in as well. And let JS believe what he wants. Let the apostle Paul believe what he wants. Let anyone believe what he or she wants to believe. And hopefully some portion of whatever those beliefs are include being gentle, kind, and loving to everyone–friend or foe–as Jesus taught. Pray for people like JS and Brigham Young. Pray for me! And I think we all need to be reminded to lighten up more, as well.

    Just my thoughts, is all.

  13. TJayT says:

    Great artical Sharon. While I can see why the leadership would want to focus less on the exact details of what being a joint heir with Christ will equally trying to say that it’s not something that is still taught today, or to pretend that it isn’t a logical outcome of putting a number of our beliefs together is going to far. As the good people of MRM have pointed out, the belief that we will share in Christ’s ability to create everything both visible and invisible (including other souls) is pretty foundational to LDS theological thought, and Imho is something we not only can’t but also shouldn’t shy away from.

  14. Mike R says:

    TjayT,

    I think it’s more than just ” shying away from ” or ” focus less on the exact details of ” this
    doctrine of Mormonism which teaches that Mormon males can create their own kingdoms
    and eventually rule over them on some another world /planet . Have Mormon leaders in public
    interviews ( print or web ) played word games in answering questions about this issue , or
    even attempted to deny it ? That’s the point here . I can’t understand why decent people
    can follow and render allegiance to men who treat them the way Mormon leaders do the LDS
    people . They are wealthy business men posing as church officers , from denying full access
    to church archives , to not trusting their followers to disclose to them their “salaries ” , to
    telling their followers that to criticize their teachings is to suffer from a ” spiritual sickness ” .
    When will it end ?
    The Mormon people deserve better, because they are being short changed . ( Matt 24:11 ) .
    I hope you will soon walk away from Mormonism and stand with Jesus alone [ Rom 10:9-10 ]
    you don’t need latter days prophets like Mormonism in the picture .
    I pray God will give you the strength to make that decision soon .

    Take care . I hope you have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow with your family .

  15. falcon says:

    Viking,
    It’s one thing to say that someone has learned more about God and another thing to totally go off the rails in regards to the doctrine of the nature of God.
    Joseph Smith started out pretty conventional in his view of God. He ended up declaring that god was once a man and that men can accomplish this same thing and that there are millions if not billions of gods in the universe was an eventual LDS/SLC outcome.
    That’s not learning more about God. That’s just mindless speculation. Look where Brigham Young ended up regarding his Adam-god doctrine.
    Paul talks about having a revelation about Jesus and that he wasn’t taught the gospel by men. Then after a certain number of years he went up to Jerusalem and visited with the apostolic leadership and presented to them the gospel that he preached. He concludes that they could add nothing to what had been revealed to him.
    Do you see the difference?
    In-the-end, Joseph Smith depicted the Mormon god as the Egyptian fertility god Min (see BoA). This “god” is on a throne exposing himself.
    Is this learning more about God? I’d say no. This was simply Joseph Smith in a creative frenzy.
    You seem to be saying that you read a lot and then come to conclusions. While I would be in support of someone studying a lot, I’d wonder by what authority you shape your conclusions?
    The Church Fathers grappled with heretics for the first 400 years of church history. There was no bigger question then, “Who is Jesus”? It was well answered.

    I don’t think I’d depend a lot on non-Christian sources to tell me who God is but then that’s just me.

  16. fifth monarchy man says:

    Hey Viking,

    I hope you are well

    You said,
    First of all, what makes you so confident?

    I say,

    The consistent testimony of scripture.

    Only God creates. It’s just that simple. Even the word “create” is restricted to Yahweh in the Scripture. We humans can “make” ie rearrange but we never create.

    Even the Father,Son and Holy Spirit don’t “create” worlds alone they create as a unified Trinity.

    The whole sad tale of mankind’s rebellion is one of trying to blur this all important creator/creature distinction. From the devil promising that Eve would be like God to the tower of babel to the antichrist rebels are always trying to take for themselves what rightly belongs to God alone.

    you say,

    Second of all, maybe becoming a god like my father in heaven god is how I glorify his name. I have sons and daughters. Seeing them grow up and become like ‘me’, i.e., responsible citizens with good careers and families of their own, ‘glorifies’ me.

    I say,

    This comment demonstrates that your thinking is twisted from the very start. You have set your own-self up as the standard.

    You look at yourself and assume that God would be like you. That is the essence of idolatry.

    What you should have done is look at how God has revealed himself in scripture and tried to be more like him.

    When Jesus chose to reveal himself to us he did not Glorify his Father by exalting himself by creating a world but instead he made himself nothing and humbled himself as a servant (John 17:1-5, Philippians 2:1-11).

    you said,

    I read Christian and non-Christian holy books that inspire me and then I come to my own conclusions about how I conceptualize god to be and ponder ‘what it’s all about’.

    I say,

    Spoken like a true rebel. When you make your own fallen self the final authority it’s no wonder you believe what you do.

    A Christian on the other hand will listen to what God says about himself and test everything by God’s revealed word. I pray that you give that approach a try

    Peace

  17. grindael says:

    I think there is far, far, more to ‘Jesus’ and ‘heaven’ than most everyday, run-of-the-mill Christians realize. They squabble about wording in the NT and interpretations, many of which are moot. “God is a spirit” — okay, but the scripture goes on to say that we must then worship god “in spirit”. So, does this mean we have to somehow crawl out of our physical bodies in order to worship god? You can drive a truck through what the “God is a spirit” scripture means, or what the author of that line meant it to say.

    What is wrong with this paragraph? You don’t see it? Far more to Jesus than “run of the mill Christians realize”? The people that devote their entire lives to his teachings? The people who have died for him, bled for him, preached the gospel for him, those people? For you to even make that comment is simply condescending. And thinking that Christians don’t realize, or haven’t heard the “spirit and truth” analogy you give is another one. A better translation is the NIV,

    24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    I’ll let you figure out what that means.

    I’m certainly not a JS fan boy, nor anyone else’s for that matter (except for Jesus only–I’m a Jesus fanboy). And as a Christian, I read Christian and non-Christian holy books that inspire me and then I come to my own conclusions about how I conceptualize god to be and ponder ‘what it’s all about’. “In my father’s house there are many mansions.” In other words, whatever ‘religion’ or religious views someone has, as long as that particular religion or views espoused brings that person closest to god (and ‘god is love’ it says in the NT, so what does that ‘look like’) then that’s the ‘right’ or correct religion for that person. In my view god isn’t about ‘isms’–Christian or non-Christian–but about proactive, loving actions shown toward our fellow beings. Even as a Christian, I believe that God will accept into his kingdom ***anyone*** who has lived that kind of life. So who cares what JS said, or the apostle Paul (Do you really think women should keep silence in the church?). My salvation isn’t based upon them, or what they taught although they both taught *some* interesting stuff that I find rings true, or at least is good ponder over. In other words, I don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. And by doing this I still believe I am striving to walk that narrow and straight way of actualizing Christ-like love. This may not be your kind of Christianity, but it’s mine, and respectfully, to each his or her own

    You have your opinion Viking, and are certainly welcome to it. But that doesn’t mean that your worldview is the correct one, and that you are justified in telling me that I should not hold Jo Smith accountable for what he taught. God will accept anyone who has love towards their fellow man? How do you answer this then,

    17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. 23 And Jesus, looking around, *said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus *answered again and *said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus *said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10)

    That man did everything right. Loved God and his neighbor, followed the 10 commandments of which those are the first two. But he could not part with his land and do as Jesus asked. He was then condemned by God. He could not enter the kingdom of God. This is not God accepting anyone for believing anything as long as they love their neighbors.

    Otherwise, Paul would not have preached to the Gentiles. This “anything goes” is simply modernism. You don’t seem to get that. If you don’t understand why some WOULD care what Joseph Smith said, I’m not going to explain that to you. If you don’t want to “convince anyone” that you are right, then you wouldn’t be here. You wouldn’t be criticizing Christians for “squabbling”. That would be a natural thing, if everyone believes what they want, which is already the case for much of the world. What you are doing is trying to promote your own worldview, which isn’t what Jesus taught. You say,

    You’re too hung up about Joseph Smith. Moses committed murder, and David of the OT had concubines which displeased god, yet was tolerated (but having Uriah killed wasn’t). No ‘prophet’–nobody–is without sins (some of which are very bad), but god forgives whom he forgives and chooses who he chooses to do whatever.

    That’s the whole point here. (Joseph Smith). If you don’t get that, I can’t explain it to you either. Yes, the Bible is full of men that had problems. Who said that Jo Smith had to be “without sins”? I sure didn’t. You are injecting that into the conversation. That is not the point at all. It is what he said and taught, and then contradicted himself in his life and teachings. If someone is a bonafide whatever, they must stand up to scrutiny. David, for example did many things wrong, but he did many things right. He did not contradict his own teachings about God. He truly had weaknesses of the flesh, which God condemned and punished him for. Where is that in Mormonism? They can’t even admit that Brigham Young taught that Adam was God, that Jo slept with many women, broke the law, committed adultery and it goes on and on. Christians don’t believe that we must accept David as a prophet or we lose our salvation. Mormons teach that you must believe Jo Smith or you have no salvation without him. Jo, to get around his own sins taught that “not all sin is sin”. This is ludicrous. It is simply a way to get out of being held accountable. If I say that I’m a Christian, and flagrantly commit adultery and teach that it’s ok, I simply am loving my neighbor, I’m not really a Christian, am I?

    You say you are not a Jo Smith “fanboy” yet you defend his teachings. That’s ok, but you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. And then another condescending comment:

    I am striving to walk that narrow and straight way of actualizing Christ-like love. This may not be your kind of Christianity, but it’s mine, and respectfully, to each his or her own.

    You don’t even know me. Great, you have love for your fellow man. Good for you. But that won’t do you much good if you worship a false God, one you say teaches things that aren’t in the Bible at all. My pointing this out, doesn’t mean I’m intolerant, or don’t love my fellow man. It just means I’m pointing out that what you are trying to teach here, (your worldview) isn’t what Christ taught. You take part of his teachings and apply them to justify the rest. You don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater? That is not what the Bible teaches. Peter taught,

    2 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

    4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness[b] to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.

    Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; 11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. 12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.

    13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. 14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! 15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness. 16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

    17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

    Peter was gentle, kind and loving, but didn’t mince words. I don’t either. You can’t have it both ways. Either you believe what is taught in the Bible, or you don’t. You can’t just believe anything and claim to follow Christ. As for women keeping silent in the church, what church? What branch? Why did Paul tell the Corinthians that? What problems did they have there? You may want to study up on things before you make generalized comments. How do you answer the fact that Paul also says,

    5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head. (1 Corinthians 11)

    If they were to keep total silence in the church, then how could they pray or prophesy in the church. By sign language? There were other reasons why Paul said that women should keep silent. If you read the Bible, you will figure it out.

  18. falcon says:

    We’re really not free to do the 12 step thing where by people acknowledge a god whoever they conceive him to be. I don’t think God gives us that sort of leeway. It’s basically a way of creating a god that we can make up to suit ourselves.
    God reveals Himself in the Bible. It’s not really that difficult to determine who He is; what His attributes are.
    It’s man’s folly to suppose that through his own intellect, he can conjure-up a god.

  19. vikingz2000 says:

    May I ask what denomination of Christian are you all? Are the regulars who post comments from different Christian persuasions, or are you all of the same denomination?

    Thanks (and have a great Thanksgiving day).

  20. Old man says:

    Vikingz2000
    Some of this is off topic but I feel that certain things should be made clear, so in response to your question
    I belong to no sect & no denomination; I am a member of THE Church, by which I mean I am a member of the body of Christ. He is the one I follow & I therefore have no need of a latter day prophet. My dogma is derived from scripture alone, i.e. if it can’t be found in the bible it’s irrelevant & will play no part in my Christian walk.

    An example of what I’m talking about can be found here http://www.lds.org/topics/baptisms-for-the-dead
    “Because He is a loving God, the Lord does not damn those people who, through no fault of their own, never had the opportunity for baptism. He has therefore authorized baptisms to be performed by proxy for them. ………The validity of a baptism for the dead depends on the deceased person accepting it and choosing to accept and follow the Savior while residing in the spirit world. ……..”

    The LDS tell us that such work is ESSENTIAL thereby making it dogma but such teachings CANNOT be found anywhere in the bible unless one is prepared to take ridiculous liberties with 1 Corinthians 15.

    Now for a brief word on doctrine, a subject that seems to cause a lot of confusion among non-Christians. Most seem to believe that different doctrines means different dogma but that is not so, all Christians believe the SAME dogma. Doctrine is simply the interpretation of a difficult passage that is not directly related to salvation. It is these differing interpretations & NOT different dogma that give rise to the many different denominations.

    To sum up, Christ, being who he claimed to be, made everything apart from himself redundant as regards the good news of the Kingdom. The Gospel is a closed canon & ANYONE claiming to have additional revelation is in effect saying that Christ lied.

  21. falcon says:

    Viking,
    I claim no denominational label. I was raised Catholic, left the Church at twenty and became a heathen. At 26 I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior and was born again.
    I guess if I had a label it would be Biblical Christian. I became really interested in Church history and Christian apologetics decades ago. That’s what led me to a study of Mormonism.
    I really don’t even know who is what around here when it comes to Christian denominational labels with the exception of Sharon. Oh wait, I think one of us belongs to the Eastern Orthodox tradition but I can’t remember which one.
    I would say that those of us who participate on this blog don’t get to hung-up on denominational labels. We all endorse the basic doctrines that all orthodox Christian denominations embrace. I’d list those for you if you’re interested.

  22. fifth monarchy man says:

    Viking,

    Old man is right denominational differences mostly boil down to secondary disagreements about things like the form of church government. Besides that there is a wide range of belief within a particular denomination there are often very liberal and very conservative individuals and churches in any given denomination. Often a person belongs to a particular denomination because of cultural reasons or because or mere convenience.

    Knowing what denomination a person belongs to tells you very little about what that person actually believes about the important things.

    Instead of asking about what denomination someone belongs to it would probably be better to ask what they believe the gospel is or who Jesus is to them personally.

    As for me a pretty good summary of my beliefs could be found in the 1644 London Baptist confession of faith but I am not bound to any document but the word of God and no earthly organization has my unqualified allegiance. All who love Christ and his Gospel are my brothers regardless of the flavor.

    peace

  23. Rick B says:

    Viking,
    I leave with my wife for Isreal first thing in the morning, so I will have my laptop and post as I can.
    But as for me, keeping it brief, My parents were Atheist and I grew up as one. My brother meet some christians and got saved, I once in a while would ask him or his friends questions. I finally gave my life to Jesus when I was 21. I am 43 now. The only book I read daily and year round is the Bible.

    I read books about Mormonism, and they are typically the church published books, so I can study and know Mormonism better in my quest to share Jesus with them. I dont read comanteries or books written by believers. I know and understand people as good as they may seem or sound can put their twist or bend on the scriptures, so I stick to what God revels about Himself in the Bible, what the Apostles taught and Jesus said.

    As far a denomanation, I make no claims to any, I am a bible believing Christian and according to the Bible, the Church is not a building we meet in, put the people are the Church.

    I have no time to get into what you said, so I will leave it to others, but I will say this. You are wrong in your views and remember, as Falcon said, we cannot just believe what we want about God and who He is. Moses was told to strike the rock to bring forth water the first time. The second time he was told to speak to it, but instead he struck it again.

    As a result he misrepresnted who God was, and God did not allow him to enter the promise land.

    We also read in Job, Job’s friends were way off base as to who God was, God got angery with them, He did not just say, it’s fine what you believe, as long as you believe and are sincere.

    Lastly we know the Bible states we are not allowed to take the name of God in vain. But even though it says that in the ten commandents, the Bible says, God places His word above His name. So he takes His WORD more serious than His name. So that means He takes how we view Him very seriously and we simply cannot believe what we want about Him.

  24. falcon says:

    Viking,
    I don’t know if this applies to you but coming from a Mormon back ground it just may.

    I see where Mormons who have joined us here and asked the same question were really hung up on the “one true church” scenario. In their minds there just has to be a one true church that represents God on earth and is led by a living prophet.

    Old Man hit it right alluding to the Mystical Body of Christ which is made up of all of those who have been born again by the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
    As far as needing to be led by a modern day prophet who is hearing from God and then speaking to the people, let me say a couple of things. I’m a believer in the operation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as outlined specifically in First Corinthians 12 & 14. Ephesians 4:11-16 also discusses this and emphasizes the offices within the Church. So, in-other-words, there is no need for one person identified as “the prophet” to lead the body of believers. God distributes His Gifts through the Holy Spirit as He sees fit and the Body is to work together to do God’s will.
    Within this there are modern day prophets, in a sense as there are both men and women who God has given the gift of prophesy. To see how this all operates read the Book of Acts.

    So this idea of a “one true church” led by a “living prophet” is a wrong-headed idea. Joseph Smith lost a bunch of followers early on when, in order to solidify his power, dumped the Book of Commandments and took up the D&C.
    Consider:
    Church of Christ -Temple Lot (Temple Lot, Independence, Missouri)- one early leader, Granville Hedrick, called Joseph Smith a “fallen prophet”. This group teaches that there has been apostasy from the restored gospel faith. This group was also involved in a lawsuit with the RLDS over ownership of the Temple Lot. By 1869 they purchased the original “temple lot” in Independence Missouri.
    How does the Temple Lot church differ doctrinally from the LDS and RLDS?
    In contrast to the LDS and RLDS, the Temple Lot group have no first presidency, high priests or patriarchs, and no prophet as leader (having 12 “apostles” instead). In common with the RLDS group, they reject the Pearl of Great Price, the doctrines of celestial marriage and eternal progression, and baptism for the dead.

    Check out this website and ask yourself, who has the Mormon “restored” gospel and has an apostasy taken place within Mormonism. The bottom line is that none of them have the “restored” gospel because there was no need for one or a “one true church”.

    http://klaravonassisi.wordpress.com/tag/temple-lot/

  25. Mike R says:

    Viking,

    Have you come to the point in your life where you can say that the Mormon church is
    a false prophet led organization ? Or do you still recognize Mormon leadership as being
    God’s exclusive authorized revealers of the gospel of salvation today ?
    I’d like to hear your reply to this question , do you care to share ?
    May you have a great Thanksgiving .

  26. Kate says:

    vikingz2000,

    “May I ask what denomination of Christian are you all? Are the regulars who post comments from different Christian persuasions, or are you all of the same denomination?”

    This is strictly a Mormon thing. I too was hung up on different Christian denominations. That’s why I chose a non denominational Christian church to attend. I was having NOTHING to do with any one denomination. That has all changed for me now because I truly understand that it’s not about a ” One true church” but about Jesus alone. One interesting thing that I have learned is that all Christian denominations have the same core doctrines. All Biblical. They all teach and believe the same core doctrines. From the Bible. One thing I didn’t realize as LDS is that there are nearly 100 different denominations of Mormonism. I guess the LDS leaders forget to teach that. Which one of them is correct? Who has the real restoration that Joseph Smith revealed? If one wants to practice real Joseph Smith Mormonism they better sign up with the FLDS.
    Let me just add one thing to think about. Christianity lives and dies on the person Jesus Christ. Mormonism lives and dies on the person Joseph Smith. I choose Jesus, who do you choose?

  27. vikingz2000 says:

    A ‘thank you’ to all who took the time to post a response to my question(s). I think I have a clearer idea about what or how most of you practice Christianity. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like those who responded aren’t members of a specific denomination, e.g., none of you are Methodists in the Methodist church, or Episcopalians, or Catholics, etc., etc.. It would seem that you are, as Falcon said, ‘Biblical Christians’ (to apply some sort of moniker). If this is the case, then does this mean you don’t ever ‘go to church’? What about community worship with like believers and receiving a sacrament of bread and wine (or water, or grape juice)? What about baptism? Who would baptize you or your children? Questions only if you have the time to respond.

    The explanation that many of you seem to agree upon (and which seems reasonable to me) in that although there are many Christian denominations with ‘secondary’ differing interpretations of Biblical passages, everyone is pretty much on the same page as far as dogma about Christ (although there are ‘Christians’ like the JWs and perhaps even the Westboro Baptist church members who may be exceptions). Hence, it seems this is the reason why so many proponents of various Christian denominations will not acknowledge Mormons as being Christians because Mormon dogma in not ‘just’ about the Bible, but other canonized scriptures as well. And historically this rift has even been more emphatic because the SLC Utah LDS church never wanted to participate in any ecumenical councils comprised of various other denominations (although this stance appears to be changing). Doctrines such as Jesus and Lucifer being brothers in a preexistent earthly life, and the prospect of other ‘gods’ rather than just one capital ‘G’ God, etc., is just so radical as to be seen beyond or outside the realm of biblical Christianity. All of this, then, gives me a clearer idea why you think the way you do about Mormonism.

    ‘Mike R.’ asked me a direct question so my response is: I have posted a few times on this blog and I am sure that I mentioned that my wife and I left the Mormon church (we no longer consider ourselves believing, practicing Mormons) about five or so years ago. There were many reasons for this, but the single most reason that relieved me of any guilt or angst (which you can no doubt imagine would cause when abandoning your faith of more than half a century of active membership) was about coming to the firm realization that the Mormon church was not what it claims to be, i.e., the one and only true church on the earth. So, Mike R., I don’t ascribe to “Mormon leadership as being God’s exclusive authorized revealers of the gospel of salvation today”. I don’t believe Jesus is ‘exclusive,’ but far more ‘inclusive’ than the current SLC Utah LDS church is. Is Thomas S. Monson a ‘true’ prophet? I no longer believe he is the ‘one and only’ prophet that speaks and acts ‘exclusively’ for Christ. In brief, I describe myself as being an inquisitive, multifaceted, dialectically evolving, mystically nuanced, pragmatic Christian, although I’m sure that many aspects of my Christianity may differ from yours.

  28. Old man says:

    Vikingz2000

    It might be helpful if there was a definition of ‘Christian’ that was acceptable to all but unfortunately I don’t know of one. No doubt everyone here have heard people say “I’m as much a Christian as anyone else” & that to me is a perfect example of people creating their own definition.
    Anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s my definition.
    A Christian is a person who has believed Christ, (John 3:16) & having believed, has experienced spiritual rebirth. (John 3:3)
    Perhaps that’s overly simple but I really don’t see any need for further qualification :-)

    At the present time I do not attend any ‘Church’ the reasons for this are personal & known only to one or two people here, no doubt the time will come when once again I will experience ‘community worship’ but until that time comes I can worship & talk to the Lord wherever & whenever. In a sense it could be said that there is a form of community worship in this forum.

    From the way you phrase your questions I can only assume that you see baptism as necessary to salvation so let me say right away that I disagree, if that were so then a great many people who have believed would still not be saved & I see no biblical warrant for that.

    Be that as it may I was baptised about 40 years ago, a good while after becoming a Christian. My children also have been baptized, they were raised as Christians but it was left for them to decide about baptism when they became adults. I see no justification for infant baptism.

  29. fifth monarchy man says:

    Viking,

    you said,

    If this is the case, then does this mean you don’t ever ‘go to church’? What about community worship with like believers and receiving a sacrament of bread and wine (or water, or grape juice)? What about baptism? Who would baptize you or your children?

    I say,

    It is wrong for Christians to neglect the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25). To do so is to needlessly deprive ourselves of some of the blessings that Christ has provided for us. I realize that coming together is sometimes not possible due to various circumstances but it is what God has intended for his children overall and I pray that all Christians would find a bible believing fellowship that they could share life with. At the very least it will provide accountability and someone to help shield from error. Iron sharpens Iron

    As far as Baptism and the Lord’s supper go these are very important commands/ordinances of our Lord (I would not call them sacraments). They are not in any way necessary for salvation but important none the less.

    Jesus gave these commands to his church and not to any specific person or office. We are all priests (Rev 1:7). That is yet another benefit of the New Covenant bought and payed for by Christ that is missing in Mormonism.

    you say,

    I don’t believe Jesus is ‘exclusive,’

    I say,

    Jesus is exclusive (John 14:6).

    There is only one way to God and that is by completely forsaking our own righteousness and accepting the Grace provided by the work of Jesus on behalf of sinners. If salvation could be had in any other way he would not have died. It’s just that simple

    peace

  30. falcon says:

    Viking……………..asked a series of questions. Here are my answers.

    If this is the case, then does this mean you don’t ever ‘go to church’?

    Oh brother, I must admit this to everyone on this blog? There was a period of time/years when I didn’t attend any church on a regular basis. I’ve been attending what I’d call……let’s see….a reved up service at a non-liturgical Lutheran church for about 18 months. My wife and I are not “active” in this church beyond that and maybe participating in some charitable outreach. BTW, George Barna in his research, found born again believers not attending church, more typical then one would imagine. I think he wrote a book about it.

    Who would baptize you or your children?

    More self-disclosure. My wife and I became parents for the one and only time when we adopted an infant when we were 40 years old; after 18 years of marriage. That’s a life change believe me! Our daughter was not baptized until she was 12 years old by immersion in an Assembly of God church. I believe mainly in a believers baptism but I don’t get all wound up if someone wants to baptize infants. I don’t think it matters much who baptizes someone. I’ve done it myself when I was heavily engaged in pastor type work. I don’t think there’s any qualifications to baptize someone, in God’s eyes, except that the person doing it is a believer.

    ………..will not acknowledge Mormons as being Christians because Mormon dogma in not ‘just’ about the Bible, but other canonized scriptures as well.

    It’s mainly because Mormons believe in a different God.

    Hope this answers your questions.

  31. falcon says:

    I’m back to this idea that Mormons think that there’s one true church that needs to be led by a prophet and if a faithful Mormon does the program they will become a god.
    Where in the world does a notion like that come from?
    Well it comes from false prophets themselves. The other day my sister-in-law was in a second hand store run by a Christian ministry. She was looking at the book section. I guy who looked like an old version of Grizzly Adams saddles up to her and observes that none of these authors knows what they’re talking about. He said that the only person who had the real scoop was “Ellen White”. This guy was as sincere and sure of himself as anyone could be. He was also pretty arrogant.
    Ellen White has visions. She was a founder of the Seventh Day Adventist religion.
    Consider this:
    Ellen White described the vision experience as involving a bright light which would surround her and she felt herself in the presence of Jesus or angels who would show her events (historical and future) and places (on earth, in heaven, or other planets). The transcriptions of White’s visions generally contain theology, prophecy, or personal counsels to individuals or to Adventist leaders. One of the best examples of her personal counsels is found in a 9-volume series of books entitled Testimonies for the Church, that contains edited testimonies published for the general edification of the church. The spoken and written versions of her visions played a significant part in establishing and shaping the organizational structure of the emerging Adventist Church. Her visions and writings continue to be used by church leaders in developing the church’s policies and for devotional reading.

    On March 14, 1858, at Lovett’s Grove, near Bowling Green, Ohio, White received a vision while attending a funeral service. On that day James White wrote that “God manifested His power in a wonderful manner” adding that “several had decided to keep the Lord’s Sabbath and go with the people of God.” In writing about the vision, she stated that she received practical instruction for church members, and more significantly, a cosmic sweep of the conflict “between Christ and His angels, and Satan and his angels.” Ellen White would expand upon this great controversy theme which would eventually culminate in the Conflict of the Ages series.[27]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_G._White

  32. Mike R says:

    Viking,

    Thanks for your reply to my question . It’s good news to hear that you no longer believe in
    Mormon prophets . Much of what you said in your first post on this thread was typical of
    those Mormons who leave Mormon prophets behind but still have much Mormonism in
    their minds . It takes time to replace false teachings with the true ones . For this reason I
    don’t get to frustrated with them when they still believe some of the teachings ( such as
    about God etc , ) they learned as Mormons . Having said that it’s important to realize
    that if they come on here with some attitude in defending a Mormon doctrine then they
    will be admonished , but it will be in love with their best interests in mind . I hope you
    understand this . I have no doubt that you and your wife will experience God’s direction
    in your lives concerning who He / Jesus are because you are reading the Bible and that will
    pay off sooner or later in helping you to remove any confusion about God or a relationship
    with Him. Also, there’s quality aid available in listening to those ex Mormons who have
    transitioned out of Mormonism to Jesus . It’s all about Him — no prophet , no temple ,
    no religious organization .
    I hope you have great weekend .

  33. Kate says:

    Vikingz2000

    ” If this is the case, then does this mean you don’t ever ‘go to church’? What about community worship with like believers and receiving a sacrament of bread and wine (or water, or grape juice)? What about baptism? Who would baptize you or your children? ”

    I live in a small town in Utah and the only Christian churches here are the non denominational church I attend sometimes and a Baptist church. I love the Pastor at the non denominational church. He was born into a Mormon family as well and converted to Christianity after meeting his wife who was born and raised Christian. I will be honest, I have struggled going to this church because it’s so different. I am trying to work through that. I had my name and records removed from the LDS church in 2010 and I still haven’t been baptized in a Christian church. My husband and our boys are still on the LDS records. Yes, they are still technically LDS. They don’t attend church with me but I think if I would get active, my husband would go with me. Sometimes it’s hard to be the leader :)
    The questions you ask are so typical of us who have left the LDS church. It’s stuff that is spewed by the leaders and is taught in teaching manuals. Some of it is stuff that was passed down from generation to generation.
    Thinking back, I am amazed that I never once thought to study the history of Christianity or the Nicene Council, I never even knew there were writings of the early church Fathers. I was Christian illiterate. How could I possibly have ” known” that Christianity was false? I didn’t know anything about it. I was LDS because that is what my family had been since the 1830’s. I have spent the last few years not only studying Christianity but researching Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and yes, even Scientology. I have been looking at different religions because I’m curious as to what others believe, why they believe it and also to know for myself that those religions are false.
    As far as Baptism goes, I will eventually be baptized, I don’t feel it’s a requirement for my Salvation though.

  34. Old man says:

    Falcon

    “Where in the world does a notion like that come from? Well it comes from false prophets themselves.”
    What you say might be in a different context but it does remind me of something I read this morning, a GC address given by Dean L. Larsen in 1985. The topic was “By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them” here’s a few quotes from it.

    “The Savior acknowledged that there would be imposters who would attempt to pass themselves off as his authorized representatives. He warned of false prophets who would come in sheep’s clothing but who would have their own selfish motives to fulfill. “Ye shall know them by their fruits,” he said………. In addition to the record of the good works performed by the Savior, we are given the personal affirmation and testimony of the Eternal Father regarding Jesus’ divine nature and calling.” Two quotes are then given from Matthew.
    This is immediately followed by
    “In a similar fashion we have the Lord’s own testimony as to the divine calling of Joseph Smith.” & to confirm Smiths prophetic calling numerous quotes (5 in all) are then given from articles written by Smith. Is it in order to call that circular reasoning? The rest of his address is a mixture of convoluted thinking, propaganda & hero worship such as,

    “The fruits of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ are the real test of Joseph and his work. Among these fruits which are easily available for assessment today are the scriptures that came from his efforts. These, of course, include the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. They are tangible fruits that cannot be displaced by all of the commentary of those who have an interest in reconstructing history. They contain the revelations of God. The value of the eternal principles which they propound can be tested by daily application.”
    I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry after reading that little gem, it says a lot when the only support that can be found for these false prophets is what comes out of their own mouths.

    For anyone who may be interested, here’s the link
    http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1985/10/by-their-fruits-ye-shall-know-them

  35. vikingz2000 says:

    Thanks again for all of your responses and sharing a bit of your own journeys.

    I see that some of you have differing views, but don’t seem too bothered about them. For example, I would have thought baptism would be an all important Christian requisite for all of you (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:16, John 3:5, etc.), but some of you don’t think it is.

    @ ‘Old Man’: The reason why Dean L. Larsen can make statements based upon his type of logic is basically because of two reasons: One, is the epoch in which talks like this were given, i.e., like this one in the eighties when the Internet wasn’t as pervasive as it is today and so GAs could get away with making statements like these without undue repercussions. And the other reason, notwithstanding ‘back in the day,’ is that even today there are many Mormons who are either academically lazy, or are any of the various types of ‘social Mormons’ who just accept what is said by the LDS propaganda machine without bothering to verify or reason things out. Along with these (but not as many) are the ‘apologists’ of all sorts and types and of varying degrees of scholarship (or no scholarship at all!) who will defend the faith just because that’s who they are, i.e., “My country right or wrong, like my mother drunk or sober”.

    I’ll state again, though (if I haven’t already done so in some ways) that although I am no longer a ‘Mormon’, I am very grateful for having been ‘Mormonized’ for many reasons. While growing up it kept me from ‘the sins of the world,’ e.g., smoking, drugs, alcohol, illicit sex and maybe even some type of STD. It afforded me with marvelous growth experiences to develop social and leadership skills, as well as foreign language skills (my 30 month mission to Italy), and so many other great benefits while especially raising a family of seven kids. It taught me selflessness–to give of my time and money. But, like I said, the watershed momment (among other important moments or events as well) was coming to the conclusion and conviction that the LDS church wasn’t, or couldn’t be the one and only true and living church on the face of the earth. It doesn’t make logical or rational existential, demographic and biblical sense to me.

    Having said this I don’t really give a rat’s rump about what JS did or said that seems to be the justification for a lot of disparaging remarks against him. I mean, yeah, sure, there are issues (major ones if true), but I do try not to judge anyone, but rather just assess situations. I’ll let God deal with (judge) JS. And if anyone wants to know my opinion of him and the movement he started, then I am more than willing to tell that person what I think.

  36. fifth monarchy man says:

    Hey viking,

    You said,

    I would have thought baptism would be an all important Christian requisite for all of you (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:16, John 3:5, etc.), but some of you don’t think it is.

    I say,

    I’m not sure I understand you. What about those verses makes you think that baptism is “all important” or a “requisite”?

    I completely agree that baptism is an important commandment but the Bible even in the verses you mention emphasizes that faith is the determining factor and baptism is secondary.

    Is it possible that you are reading some presuppositions into these passages?

    You need to try and let scripture interpret scripture. For example when read in context it’s plain that John 3:5 is not even talking about baptism, it’s contrasting physical birth (water) with regeneration (spirit). check at the very next verses

    quote:

    That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
    (John 3:6-7)

    end quote”

    you say,

    Having said this I don’t really give a rat’s rump about what JS did or said that seems to be the justification for a lot of disparaging remarks against him.

    I say,

    I don’t know much about JS. The fact that he was a false prophet and lead people astray is pretty much all I need to know.

    quote:

    But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
    (Galatians 1:8-9)

    end quote:

    However I think that some people who are unfamiliar with the true gospel might be under the impression that JS could be a prophet of God and it’s important for those folks to understand what his true character was so they won’t be deceived.

    Don’t you agree?

    quote:

    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
    (Matthew 7:15-16)

    end quote:

    peace

  37. 4fivesolas says:

    Mormon apologist Scott Gordon appeared recently on the Lutheran radio program Issues Etc. and came within a razors edge of denying the basic gist of exaltation of man to godhood and getting our own planets, and basically did deny the “As man is, God once was” part of the couplet.

    http://issuesetc.org/2013/11/15/2-the-beliefs-of-mormonism-mormon-apologist-scott-gordon-111513/

    Also, there was a response to Scott Gordon by Bill McKeever on a subsequent show:

    http://issuesetc.org/2013/11/18/1-responding-to-mormon-apologist-scott-gordon-bill-mckeever-111813/

    The host of Issues Etc. was very gracious and kind to Scott Gordon while at the same time disagreeing with him on a foundational level. I think these programs are worth a listen just to see where Mormon apologists are going – seeking to further blur the distinction between historic creedal Biblical Christian beliefs and those promoted by Joseph Smith and the LDS. One question I have is this just a desire to blur the lines, or are Mormon apologists starting to redefine what it means to be LDS. Are they beginning to create a new LDS where multiplicity of gods and exaltation of man will begin to fade out of belief? I am not sure but it could be.

  38. 4fivesolas says:

    Viking,
    I do believe those Biblical texts regarding baptism are accurate and reliable. It is a promise of God given to us in our baptism that we belong to Jesus. Just as the Jews passed through the Red Sea to be saved from the Egyptian army, just as Noah and his family passed in the Ark through the water to salvation (1 Peter 3:20-21), just as the chosen people followed Joshua across the Jordan river into the promised land, we pass through the water and are given the promise of a clean conscience in Jesus. He has washed us and cleansed us and made us His own. God does the work in salvation, and He does the work in baptism, uniting us to Christ crucified for our sins. Jesus death on the cross is our victory – we are clothed in his death and resurrection in our baptism. I am a baptized Christian – God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit has put His name on me and called me His own. I am united with Christ in that my sin has been placed on Him and taken to the cross. Jesus in the “great commission” as it is called, told his Apostles to go make disciples by 1)Baptizing them and 2) Teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:16-20) It’s important enough that Jesus told His Apostles to do it. Think about that. Jesus also promised in that Scripture to be with us always, meaning the Jesus presence on earth in the Church would never end. He has been with His people (the Church) ever since. God’s promises are sure and true – our own sinful hearts are not – have mercy Lord!

  39. falcon says:

    4/5
    I don’t see the LDS church is SLC giving up on the god-maker program. It’s what the restored gospel is. Remove it and what does the LDS church have. There wouldn’t be a point for the temple rituals. If they did give up the man to god program then they’d be like the Community of Christ or Temple Lot groups. Now they are like the FLDS with the exception that they don’t practice polygamy at least in this world.
    The bottom line is that the leadership of the LDS church doesn’t want people to leave. They can stay and believe anything they want as long as they don’t teach it and be sure to chip in 10% of their earnings.

  40. 4fivesolas says:

    falcon,
    You could be right. I think there are those within LDS that are trying to edge closer to Christianity, but the desire to keep the idea of a “living prophet,” the BOM, and an exalted view of Joseph Smith will possibly forever keep them from abandoning the entire program. I personally pray two things – that individual LDS members eyes be opened to the one true God who became flesh – Jesus Christ – and His death and resurrection for our sins to completely and forever save us without any merit or worthiness in us. And secondly I pray for something cataclysmic to shake the LDS to the foundation. I don’t know what that cataclysm would look like, because I already look at the Book of Abraham and the Egyptian it was “translated” from and I see a flashing neon sign saying ‘beware this is a fabricated religious text.’ But something could possibly happen that would forever alter the standing of the LDS in the eyes of its members and bring about a major realignment. What could it be? I have no idea. I do pray that it would happen though.

  41. Mike R says:

    4fivesolas ,

    I think that if one of the Mormon apostles were to turn to Jesus and get saved , and then tell
    everyone of the inner workings of the Mormon hierarchy that would probably shake a sizable
    amount of the membership up enough to leave .

    Many knowledgeable Mormons have no choice but to downplay or deny some of the “unique”
    teachings by their leaders of the past . This has been strong the last few decades to help their
    church be seen in a more positive light and be more accepted as a christian denomination .
    Whenever there is a predominately non Mormon audience Mormons like Mr Gordon will put
    on their P.R. hat and proceed to snow them , and his claiming that ” we” ( LDS) believe Jesus
    has always been God is a good example of this because Mormon leaders have taught otherwise .
    Thankfully a lot of Mormons are seeing that they can’t put confidence in their leadership any
    longer and are walking out the door . Hopefully these Mormons will realize how they were
    detoured into believing a imitation gospel created by latter days imitation apostles , and
    return to the true gospel preached by the apostles Jesus did direct to teach — it’s available
    in the New Testament .

  42. grindael says:

    I mean, yeah, sure, there are issues (major ones if true), but I do try not to judge anyone, but rather just assess situations.

    They are true. (those major issues). And we are all commanded to judge and beware of ‘false apostles’ as Jo surely was. As the risen Christ told John:

    2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. (Revelation 2)

    It is interesting that right after Christ tells us not to judge hypocritically, he says,

    15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7)

    And,

    21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (ibid)

    Jo claimed to do all of those things. But his “fruits” (adultery, lying, megalomania, etc. show that he was a false prophet). To “test” someone requires judgement. Wanting to avoid the term to seem politically correct or whatever doesn’t make it any less than what it is (judging), and that we are commanded to judge and test men who claim to be prophets and speak in Christ’s name. Jo was a wicked person. He encouraged men to commit adultery, murder and was a notorious liar. He taught heresy. Slice it anyway you want, and don’t give a “rat’s rump”, that’s your choice, man, but the man did have those “major issues” and Christians have every right to judge him by his works.

  43. Old man says:

    Vikingz2000
    It really doesn’t matter that Larsen was speaking in the 80s, it doesn’t matter that there was no internet to contend with & it doesn’t matter that people are too lazy to check what is true & what is false. The issue as I saw it was, & still is, that of ‘circular reasoning’ the LDS method of reasoning that is still employed today. That, coupled with the manipulative use of scripture to ‘prove’ something, has been a characteristic of the LDS since it’s inception & I believe it’s right to show that the methods used ‘back in the day’ are no different to the methods used today.

    You say this.
    “I am very grateful for having been ‘Mormonized’ for many reasons. While growing up it kept me from ‘the sins of the world,’ e.g., smoking, drugs, alcohol, illicit sex and maybe even some type of STD. It afforded me with marvelous growth experiences to develop social and leadership skills, as well as foreign language skills (my 30 month mission to Italy), and so many other great benefits while especially raising a family of seven kids. It taught me selflessness–to give of my time and money”

    To be honest, this is something I don’t understand. While I’m not accusing you of arrogance there is a definite tendency among Mormons (I know you have left the LDS) to belittle anyone outside of their organization in exactly the way you describe above. It’s tantamount to saying that only Mormons can live moral lives.
    My children didn’t need to join the LDS to avoid doing those things & I know atheist families who can say exactly the same. As regards giving time & money, there are families that have been torn apart by the relentless LDS emphasis on ‘time & money’ there are people, my ex-wife included, who have been driven into poverty by an extremely wealthy business entity masquerading as a church. (Give us your money & God will bless you)
    With respect, I don’t think you can use the LDS as a moral example when it is so inwardly corrupt. Matthew 23:27-28

    You said
    “Having said this I don’t really give a rat’s rump about what JS did or said that seems to be the justification for a lot of disparaging remarks against him.”

    Grindael has already covered that so I’ll be brief. What you say is very much an oversimplification, We aren’t talking about a minor swindler here, no one is making disparaging remarks about a man who was merely a ‘lovable rogue’ we’re talking about an evil man, the founder of an organization that for nearly 200 years has turned people away from the truth of the Gospel, an organization that has become obscenely wealthy on the backs of the vulnerable people it has deceived. So yes Viking, it is right that we should judge such men

  44. falcon says:

    Viking,
    I’m really glad you are posting here and sincerely hope you continue. What you present gives me, for example, another experience with a former Mormon at a certain stage in their spiritual walk.
    I remember Jack Garcia, a former Mormon who used to post here, telling me that it took him five years to get the Mormonism out of his mind. Even after some time, there was a period where he wished Mormonism was true but God made it very clear to him that it wasn’t. Jack ended up in Bible college and the last I knew, he was serving in Christian ministry. He had a very interesting story to share as do all former Mormons.
    Mike R. hit the nail on the head. Leaving Mormonism takes time. I don’t know where you will end-up in the days, weeks, months and yes years a head but I’d also encourage you to stay in the Word and allow He who has begun a good work in you complete it in the Day of Christ Jesus.
    I think what Kate shared is very revealing. Like you, she had spent her life in Mormonism and didn’t know anything about Christianity. Unfortunately, many/most nominal Christians don’t know that much about Christianity. That’s why when put upon by some Jehovah Witness door knockers or Mormon missionaries, they can so easily be taken in.
    Not to give you too much advice, but if I were in your position I’d study the basic doctrines of the Christian church and also take a good look at the first 400 years of Church history.

  45. Old man says:

    4fivesolas
    “And secondly I pray for something cataclysmic to shake the LDS to the foundation.”

    I can assure you that there are a couple of things ‘in the pipeline’ which will shake the LDS, perhaps not to it’s foundations, but nonetheless enough to cause the loss of many of it’s members. One of these is to do with tax evasion over here (the UK) a subject I touched on when I first joined this forum at the beginning of the year, early next year may see something positive happening on that front.
    As for the other all I can say for sure is that it appears to be something big & once again large amounts of money are involved.

    It’s unlikely that anything on the religious side of things is going shake the Corporation. I don’t believe the average LDS members is going to be swayed by religious arguments, but they may well be swayed when they find that the leaders of the Corporation, far from being prophets & apostles are actually more akin to conniving businessmen who are seemingly more interested in maintaining & enlarging a business empire than in bringing people to God. The large numbers of people who leave the LDS only to become atheists evidences this, it wasn’t the truth of scripture (apologies to those here who did leave for that reason) that caused them to leave, it was the fact that they had been deceived by the people they trusted.

  46. johnsepistle says:

    Hello there, viking2000,
    I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving. As an occasional commenter here at Mormon Coffee, I’d like to take some time to provide my thoughts on some of your questions as well. A lot of the commenters here affiliate (to whatever degree) with non-denominational congregations. I imagine that that helps with the transition out of Mormonism, for those here who are ex-Mormon. I’m not ex-Mormon (and have never been over to the Mormon Corridor, though that’s a major goal to visit), and I do belong – have for most of my life, since I became a Christian – to a small evangelical denomination. We don’t have a congregation near where I am at the moment, so I attend a Nazarene congregation. I can concur with other commenters here that, among those Christian denominations and congregations that are focused on glorifying God in Christ and on upholding the Old and New Testaments as authoritative, the denominational differences tend to be relatively minor. On most of the truly central things, all speak in a harmonious chorus echoing the fairly consistent witness of the church throughout the ages. I would regard baptism as ‘necessary’ as an obligation but not as a prerequisite. It does, however, customarily manifest outwardly the rite of entrance into the living community of God’s kingdom on earth. But at any rate, the church is not limited to this denomination or that. I fellowship with members of other denominations regularly, with pastors of other denominations regularly. Actually, probably the lion’s share of my friends are either pastors or training for that ministry (as am I) – Methodists (of various varieties), Episcopalians (of various varieties), Lutherans, and others galore. We don’t always see eye-to-eye on this or that, but you’d be surprised what kind of unanimity you can get from us on what’s truly central.

    You made some doctrinal points and raised some doctrinal questions earlier, and for my part, I commend and encourage you. Transitioning out of Mormonism is a thorny process that involves a retooling of the mind and heart (I’ve walked a few friends down that path), so keep strong in the journey. I think the most important thing is how we approach God – how we understand him, our attitude toward him, etc. – so let’s start there.

    I am highly confident that, whatever our heavenly future does hold, it does not involve becoming Gods in the way that the Father or the Son or the Holy Ghost is God. (One could maybe, by extension of the term, speak of our future as one of ‘godhood’ in some other sense that retains a traditional Christian understanding of the sharp distinction between the eternal Creator and the creation; some Christian traditions, particularly the Orthodox, have historically spoken in those terms more freely than others. But all of that is very different from the typical Mormon approach, which is based on a very different theology and a very different anthropology.) I have this confidence because God has revealed himself to us. We are not left to guess, or to merely conjecture. The scriptures are very clearly suffused with a notion as the inimitable Divine Other – personal but eternal and transcendent to the entire created order. The one God alone is uncreated and self-existent; all else is created and contingent. (The Father does not have a body, but is pure spirit, as per John 4:24 – commentators are agreed on this, and no, one could not “drive a truck through” the alleged vagueness of this passage.)

    What isn’t at issue is whether these beliefs or Mormon beliefs are ‘bizarre’ or ‘weird’, but whether they are scripturally acceptable, logically plausible, and internally consistent. And the traditional Christian outlook on the world is all of the above. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are all God – one God, in fact. None of them attained that position through a process of growth, though when the Son added to himself a human nature, he did grow in his humanity. We will not become Gods as they are a God, precisely because their sort of Godhood is something that, by its very essence, cannot be grown into. (Hence, ‘becoming a God’ of that sort cannot be our ultimate means of glorifying God. Rather, we glorify God by pointing to him as the inimitable Ultimate and celebrating his unbounded virtues.)

    I fully affirm that we have a potentially glorious future held out before us – but the most ‘glorious future’ must be defined in terms of the real nature of reality, wherein all things were created to glorify God, and we were made to be in eternal relationship with him and to share in his love. If that is by thousands of years of singing, so be it; if that is by colonizing other worlds so that his praises can ring from every corner of the physical universe, so be it; though Jesus’ discussion of the resurrection seems to preclude the notion that physical begetting of children would be involved (and, at any rate, that would create issues of theodicy by positing a cyclical worldview rather than the underlying linearity of the biblical worldview).

    Furthermore, what we must realize is that God is the one who defines the life of his kingdom, not us. It is not up to us to decide how we would like to conceptualize God. I am all for the use of reason in our task of understanding God, and I believe – as per natural theology – that truths can be validly deduced about God simply by the way he has created the world. But above all, he has revealed himself in history, and the inspired record of the living witness of his people is found in the scriptures. It tells us that the kingdom is about a life of discipleship to Jesus, who is the unique self-revelation of God and who is the only means of access to God. This discipleship is about more than what we believe, but not less; it is about more than how we treat other people, but not less. And part of what a “Christ-like love” means is how we in practice view God and the whole of the creation that he has made.

    God has also called us to be good stewards of our lives, and that includes adhering to truth and avoiding falsehoods. It includes not following those who falsely claim to speak for him as false prophets or false apostles. God calls us to evaluate such people. Pointing out Joseph Smith’s teachings or (unrepentant) conduct is not simply about faultfinding or ‘judging’ in the pejorative sense. His fate is for God to decide, and that isn’t my concern. What is my concern is whether he is someone I am supposed to trust as a teacher of God’s people, and God has made very clear that there are certain standards. A true teacher/prophet/apostle represents God rightly, neither distorting our view of God or presenting us with other gods. A true teacher/prophet/apostle will fit into the story of God’s redemptive work in the world, and will play a clear role in furthering that ministry rather than hindering it. A true teacher/prophet/apostle may not be perfect, and may even sin egregiously; but a true teacher/prophet/apostle will have an ongoing relationship with God that will lead him or her to repent of egregious sins, particularly so as to avoid modeling serious sin for God’s people. If these are the standards that God calls us to employ (and they are), then when Joseph Smith fails them (and he does, and so do his successors), we are indeed right to make that evaluation. That is not being ‘judgmental’, but merely truthful.

    I’m sure there were a wide variety of subpoints in your earlier comments to which I could give more direct attention here, but I think that I’ve hit the main ones. If you have any questions at all for us, this seems like a perfectly fine space for it. I’m glad that you’re asking questions, and I hope that we can help.

  47. Mike R says:

    John,
    great post , as always you articulate well . You separated your comments into 8 paragraphs
    so I’ll make some comments on each individually to save me from typing those paragraphs out.
    1. you said to Viking : ” ….but you’d be surprised what kind of unanimity you can get from us
    on what’s truly central.”
    Amen .
    2. you said , ” Transitioning out of Mormonism is a thorny process that involves a retooling of
    the mind and heart, so keep strong in the journey . ”
    Well said . It will take time , but it will happen to those who don’t throw the baby out with the
    bathwater . Jesus took time to warn all in the latter days about imitation prophets and their
    gospels , so for those who have been deceived by these men it’s vital to recognize that what
    they are experiencing is what Jesus said would happen by following false prophets . The remedy
    is to discard the ” restored ” gospel introduced by Mormon prophets and anchor belief in the
    teachings of Jesus and His authentic apostles , because the Bible supplies the truth about God
    sufficient to know who He is , to receive forgiveness from Him , and to be given the gift of
    eternal life —Jn 17:3 ; Rom 1:16 — that gospel is still mighty to save to the fullest all those
    even today who accept .

    3. you said , ” I am highly confident that, what ever our heavenly future does hold , it does
    not involve becoming Gods in the way that the Father or the Son or the Holy Ghost is God ….
    I have this confidence because God has revealed Himself to us . We are left to guess , or to
    merely conjecture . ”
    Again , well put . God says in Isa. 43:10 that He wants man to know and understand who He
    is so that no one will be misled into believing in the false gods of around them . God is unique .
    Mormon leaders drifted from teaching about One true God into introducing false doctrine :
    Gods and Goddesses , deities above that of our one true Creator God .

    4. you said, ” The Father , Son and Holy Ghost are all God —one God , in fact . None of them
    attained that position through a process of growth ….We will not become Gods as they are a
    God …”
    That’s the Bible’s testimony . Mormon missionaries once taught that the Father , Son and Holy
    Ghost is one God , but then they succumbed to apostasy by teaching otherwise . It became
    ” three Gods ” , neither of whom were always God . The eternal Most High God at one time
    during his life in heaven was far from being such , in fact He had to even learn how to be able
    to part the Red Sea for the Israelites for example . Such egregious teachings about our God
    is good reason to disqualify any latter days prophet who comes claiming to be personally
    directed and supervised by Jesus to teach — such as Mormon prophets claim .
    By lowering God to this level it’s easier for Mormon males to justify their goal of becoming
    Almighty Gods themselves one day , becoming fathers over a vast kingdoms of worshipers .
    ( I even had a devout Temple Mormon admit to me that what is described in Rev 4: 8-11 about
    the Lord will one day also be experienced by him because he will become an Almighty God as
    well .

    5 & 6 , you said , ” Furthermore , what we must realize is that God is the one who defines the
    life of His kingdom , not us . ”
    That’s the bottom line here with this issue what exactly we will be doing with God in heaven
    after we go to be with Him . Whatever He has for us there will be so glorious , so we can say
    ” so be it ” as you mentioned . Now we can either anchor our hope and beliefs in what the Bible
    records about this or we can turn to the latter days prophets of Mormonism who have run way
    past the Bible’s teachings about God and man and thus succumbed to introducing man made
    doctrines about eternal life with God . Considering their teaching track record since 1830 , it
    would be safer to stick with those apostles in the Bible when it comes to important doctrines .

    7. you said , ” A true teacher/ prophet/apostle represents God rightly , neither distorting our
    view of God or presenting us with other gods. ”
    And this is why we must dismiss Mormon prophets/ apostles as teachers . They have attempted
    to mimic the claims of the apostles through whom Jesus established His church and sent out
    to teach the truth about Him and what was necessary to forgiveness and eternal life —Rom 1:16
    Col 1: 21-23 . But their teachings about God /Jesus have identified them as not being sent by
    Jesus . This is a problem that was long ago predicted to happen in our day —Gal. 1:8 ;
    2Tim 4:3-4 .

    John , thanks again for your contributions here .

  48. 4fivesolas says:

    Old man,

    You have me intrigued. Not sure how big it is, but my first thought is “persecution!” Whatever it is may be shuttled away to the “we are uniquely down-trodden and despised – this is just the heathen persecuting us” area of religious thought among Mormons. I think it would have to be fairly huge to break out of that category.

  49. Old man says:

    4fivesolas

    “……Not sure how big it is, but my first thought is “persecution!” Whatever it is may be shuttled away to the “we are uniquely down-trodden and despised – this is just the heathen persecuting us…….”
    That’s certainly possible but it’s my belief that they wont get off the hook so easily this time.

    What I mentioned concerned secular matters & is also an ongoing investigation so I’m not sure if it’s right to discuss it here however, I will say this. Should it be proven that the LDS have been engaged in illegal activities & at the present time that certainly appears to be the case, then it can only impinge negatively on their portrayal of the LDS being the only organization appointed to speak for God.

    Articles of faith 12 & 13 tell us this
    12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers & magistrates, in OBEYING, HONOURING & SUSTAINING the LAW.
    13. We believe in being HONEST, TRUE, chaste, benevolent & in doing good to all men………….

    Hopefully the question that a Mormon will be asking in the near future is this.
    Can I trust the church with my life when the men I trusted live to a different standard to the one they have laid out for me?

  50. Pingback: “The fulness of his kingdom” – Mormons becoming like God | Mormon Coffee

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