Mormon Apostle on Sins of Omission

It has been awhile since this 5-minute video was posted at its Deseret Book website, but it has recently been making some waves in the blogosphere. In this Q&A with a Mormon apostle, a young LDS boy asks David Bednar, “If you, like, stop reading the scriptures, what is the best way, how is the best way, to get back into reading them?” Dr. Bednar takes this opportunity to provide an object lesson for his audience.

Please watch “The Lord’s Side of the Line”:

I am troubled by this video.

Maybe it’s my mother’s heart that makes me feel sorry for the little boy as he struggles to hold back his tears.

Maybe it’s the way Dr. Bednar’s illustration feels like a threat, similar to a misguided parent who tells her child, “If you get out of bed the boogeyman will get you!”

Maybe it’s the way the lesson communicates to the little boy that he will never be safe.

Maybe it’s Dr. Bednar’s implied message that if a person makes a “mistake” and crosses the line there is no way back.

Maybe it’s the bottom-line Mormon teaching that staying on the Lord’s side is 100% about behavior and 0% about Jesus or the Holy Spirit.

Maybe it’s Dr. Bednar’s total neglect of any mention of God’s love and mercy — the one thing that would comfort this frightened little boy, and the one thing that everyone needs most of all (Titus 3:3-7).

I am troubled by this video. What do you think of it?

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.

This entry was posted in LDS Church, Mormon Culture and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

128 Responses to Mormon Apostle on Sins of Omission

  1. faithoffathers says:

    RickB,

    I have tried many, many times to explain our doctrine on faith and works, etc. But you guys cannot understand it. I don’t even think you can restate what it is that I am trying to explain. Maybe I bare some of the blame for that- I recognize that I do not explain it perfectly. But I have tried every way I know how. And still, you guys do not seem to understand it and are unable to restate or summarize it back to me. That is fairly telling, in my opinion. When that happens, it usually means that people have motives other than understanding and learning. And I think that is true here.

    I have certainly appealed to the New Testament many times, but you guys simply do not see the points that I try to shine the light on. And that is fine. But please do not claim I do not try to back stuff up with the Bible. Go back and read the threads wherein faith and works are debated. I quote a verse and explain my point, then you guys quickly jump to another verse which doesn’t say what you claim it says. Then you jump to some other source, going further away all the time from the point and verse I bring up. In short, I don’t think you guys understand the Bible very well.

    Why am I here? Good question. I accept up front that nobody who posts critical views here is likely to change their minds or even consider anything anybody says that is positive toward the church. It would be naive of me to think you guys will admit anywhere that you are mistaken in your understanding of our doctrine. Ultimately, I post here so people who may be lurking who just might have open minds will have another angle and opinion on our doctrines and faith. And my approach is simply to point out the double standards and mental blocks employed by almost all those who spend their time criticizing our religion here. And in the process, I try to explain our doctrine more clearly.

    It is a challenge at times to not get frustrated and even somewhat agitated toward posters here. But I try to control that for the most part. And sometimes I need to do better.

    I think most reasonable and intelligent people can see through the arguments posted here by our critics. I do not see the critics who post here as good representatives of Christianity in general. I imagine you all see yourselves as mainstream Christians. But I really think you guys are very much on the fringe, and almost anybody can see that. But I do respect to some degree the passion you guys feel toward your idea of truth.

  2. Rick B says:

    Fof, everything you said to me, I can say about you. Sadly you don’t quote as much scripture as you claim, and you do avoid many questions and scriptures that would prove you wrong.

  3. grindael says:

    grindael, You are incorrect in almost 100% of your posts. You just cannot get anything correct regarding our doctrine or me.

    Funny, no one else sees it that way but you.

    Concerning two parts of the atonement- one unconditional and the other conditional, you said in your last post, “That is the first time that you even admitted it FOF, so perhaps we are making progress.” And as always, you are lying and misrepresenting me. I have been saying this all along. Here is a portion of a post from me 8 months ago:

    “As a result of His atonement, all mankind will be resurrected- good and evil. And all who repent of their sins and follow Him will be forgiven of sins and live with Him and the Father for eternity. Thus, one part of the atonement is unconditional, another is conditional.” http://blog.mrm.org/2013/07/mormon-doctrines-are-just-the-same/comment-page-3/#comments

    Ahem, I was speaking about THIS CONVERSATION. Not one 8 months ago. (And that link is to the wrong comment, genius).

    You have absolutely no credibility. Your sole mission here seems to be to mislead people about those bad mormon folks and their doctrine. Those who believe your claims deserve to follow you.

    I’m not the one who has plagiarized and misquoted the Book of Mormon, etc. And I never said that “mormon folks” are bad, I said I have lots of Mormon friends, who are nothing like you. Want me to dig up that quote? It was in THIS CONVERSATION, genius.

    That is why I really do not like exchanging with you. It always distracts from real discussion and is always based on your lies and spin. And I am tired of it. I really don’t have time for people whose minds are in such a very,very small box and have no interest in respect and dialogue. You do not understand even the most basic of our doctrines. A reasonable and wise person usually recognizes their limits. Please clue in to yours.

    Unfortunately, FOF, it is you who don’t. I’ve laid it out plainly, broken down the comments plainly, and still you don’t get it. That’s ok, you don’t want to. You want to misrepresent, because that is your nature. Everyone can see that. You are not fooling anyone. The fact that you have admitted that the atonement is conditional, means that Mormon Grace is too. You have admitted it, but don’t understand why it is and simply want to deny it to make yourself look more Christian. This is because you want to believe your own interpretation, not that of your leaders, who I have quoted extensively. You live in a bubble of denial and I’m going to keep on preaching the truth whether you like it or not. And since I’m one of the mods here, if you are so “tired” of it, you know what to do, don’t you? But you keep breaking your word that you won’t engage me, because I keep making you look foolish. We all know what people are that can’t keep their word now, don’t we FOF?

    A reasonable and wise person knows when they have been beaten. Since you have not given us any evidence that I’ve misquoted anything, or have it wrong (you never answered any of my questions from the last post only made silly accusations and derogatory comments) then I can confidently say that you are still doing what you always do, running away from the truth.

  4. grindael says:

    Funny how FOF is the ONLY ONE who is capable of understanding anything. Yes, very funny, that.

  5. fifth monarchy man says:

    FOF said,

    But that does not counter in the least the passage showing that the apostles could not heal because their faith was not sufficient. And per the words of Christ- that faith to heal comes from fasting and prayer.

    I say,

    First of all Christ never once in all of Scripture says “that faith to heal comes from fasting and prayer.”

    However Scripture does say that ….

    1)Faith comes from not from works but hearing the word of Christ (Romans 10:17)
    2) We should look to Christ and not works to perfect τελειωτής our faith (Hebrews 12:2)
    3) The only time he was asked about increasing faith he did not provide a list of works to perform but instead immediately provided grace that only Christ could give to the inquirer( Mark 9:24-25)

    Do you really not see why your works plus Grace approach might be insulting to me and my Lord?

    peace

  6. Mike R says:

    Fof F , let me break down that first paragraph above that you stated to Rick :

    you said, ” I have tried many, many times to explain our doctrine on faith and works ,
    etc. But you guys cannot understand it . ”

    What we understand is what your leadership has taught on this issue , we simply don’t
    believe it . Your attempts to explain your view on faith and works seems to purposely
    downplay works because you know our position on this in relation to salvation , hence
    when you say that you are “saved by grace ” that just does’nt say enough . You should
    always say in the same line , ” I am saved by faith PLUS works — doing all the rules,
    laws, in our gospel . That is what your leaders have taught . That’s all I can say to you .
    I believe the New Testament record , your latter days prophets have mixed in their
    rules, laws , ordinances onto what Paul taught , hence —-Gal 1:8 . We simply don’t
    these to be accepted by God and receive eternal life .

    you said, ” When that happens , it usually means that people have motives other than
    understanding and learning . And I think that is true here .”

    calling into question people’s motives is something that Mormons like you will sooner
    or later resort to when you can’t dominate the conversation with your vast knowledge
    on Mormon doctrine . Did’nt you call what we believe about salvation by faith alone
    ” socialism ” , or easy believeism ? ” , should I go on ? Fact of the matter is , you have
    more than a few times resorted to what’s called , the pot calling the kettle black .
    I think this tends to overshadow the times you actually do make some points to
    consider .
    All in all , you are simply another Mormon apologist who has been around long
    enough to know how to put the best possible face on MormonISM , and in attempting
    to do so you can fool a lot of people into thinking that the Mormon church is the very
    same church that Jesus established through His apostles 2000 years ago . However ,
    your attempts don’t fare to well because we expose your leaders to be only latter days
    imitators of the true apostles in the New Testament — 2Cor 11:13 .
    The Mormon people don’t deserve that kind of ruse .

  7. faithoffathers says:

    fifth monarchy man,

    Ummm. I just quoted the passage from the incident wherein the apostles asked Christ why they could not cast out the evil spirit from the boy. Christ responded that casting out such spirits requires fasting and prayer. And when the father first approached Christ, he told them that His apostles could not cast the spirit out. Christ said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you.”

    It is pretty clear- the apostles had not fasted and prayed sufficiently to cast out the evil spirit. The fact that He didn’t answer with words doesn’t mean that righteous works are not a means of strengthening faith. He healed the boy. That healing act likely increased the man’s faith. But not every person who sees a miracle has their faith strengthened. Few of the Jews of Christ’s time were truly converted or believed through witnessing miracles. But I think Christ knew that this man was humble enough that he would have an increase of faith as a result of the healing.

    True- truly hearing the word of God can increase faith. But it requires humility and desire as well. Not every person who hears the word believes.

    James helps out here- “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass.” James 1:22-23

    The passage from Hebrews does not state that looking to Jesus strengthens our faith. The clause about Christ is not necessarily a causal clause as you suggest. Christ is certainly the author and perfecter of our faith. But what does “looking to Christ” mean? You guys have been telling me that Elder Bednar’s counsel to look to the Lord’s territory and face him is wrong and bad and flawed. So what do you mean by “looking to Christ?”

    Faith results in works. And doing those good works results in increased faith. As you said before, repentance results in faith. And repentance is a work- changing one’s mind and subsequent behavior.

    Can you restate what I have tried to explain about the role of works in grace and faith?

    RickB- what passage of scriptures proves me wrong?

  8. Rick B says:

    FoF,
    It’s almost pointless saying anything since you either will ignore them, or you wont bother giving any real answer.

    You said

    “Yes- works are required. But they are not what saves us.”

    How could the theif be saved if he did no works?

    How can the religious leaders ask Jesus, What works must we do? And Jesus replies with, No works are needed, only believing in Me.

    If any form of Works are needed, why did Jesus not mention them? That would have been the perfect time.

    When the Jailer asked, what Must I do to be saved, Paul said, Believe on Jesus. Why did Paul not mention works if they play a role in any form?

    when Paul said, I did not and was not sent to baptise, and I dont even remember how many I did baptise, if it really is a requirment and a work that must be done.

    Why does the Bible say, we are saved by grace and not of works, if works in any degree are required?

    How can people on their death bed, or people about to be excuted be saved if works play any role and they cannot do any?

    And before you say, works are not required, read this.

    Lets start with what the LDS church teaches about these things. Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie, salvation must be understood in light of these two definitions:

    1. “Unconditional or general salvation, that which comes by grace alone without obedience to gospel law, consists in the mere fact of being resurrected. In this sense salvation is synonymous with immortality; it is the inseparable connection of body and spirit so that the resurrected personage lives forever.”
    2. “Conditional or individual salvation, that which comes by grace coupled with gospel obedience, consists in receiving an inheritance in the celestial kingdom of God. This kind of salvation follows faith, repentance, baptism, receipt of the Holy Ghost, and continued righteousness to the end of one’s mortal probation” (Mormon Doctrine pp. 669-670).

    McConkie Also said

    “those who gain only this general or unconditional salvation will still be judged according to their works and receive their places in a terrestrial or a telestial kingdom. They will, therefore be damned.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 669).

    On pages 211-212 of his book The Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer Kimball the LDS PROPHET chastised members who

    “are doing nothing seriously wrong except in their failures to do the right things to earn their salvation”.

    Bruce McConkie goes on to say again,

    “Salvation grows automatically out of the resurrection, and the coming forth in the resurrection constitutes the receipt of whatever degree of salvation has been earned.” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:196).

    Then in volume three of the same set, he wrote,

    “Salvation is free,’ but it must also be purchased; and the price is obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel” (3:461).

    The Encyclopedia of Mormonism states that

    “for repentance to be complete, one must abandon the sinful behavior…Failure to alter outward actions means that the sinner has not repented, and the weight of the former sin returns” (3:1217).

    Spencer Kimball teaches,

    “discontinuance of sin must be permanent”

    (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 176).

    President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote,

    “To enter the celestial and obtain exaltation it is necessary that the whole law be kept…Do you desire to enter the celestial Kingdom and receive eternal life? Then be willing to keep all of the commandments.” (The Way to Perfection, pg. 206).

    Mormonism teaches that this lifetime is a probation period. Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie stated:

    “One of the great purposes of this mortal probation is to test and try men, to see if they will keep the commandments and walk in the light no matter what environmental enticements beckon them away from the straight and narrow path” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.229).

    The purpose of this lifetime is for the Mormon to prove himself worthy of exaltation. To fail in that capacity will result in never reaching that celestial goal.

    President Joseph Fielding Smith said

    if they rebelled and refused to comply with the laws and ordinances which were provided for their salvation, it would deny them the great gift and they would be assigned, after the resurrection, to some inferior sphere according to their works. (Doctrines of Salvation 1:69)

    I can add much more that proves works and baptism is required, and I really dont care if you tell me otherwise, I will listen to your prophets and apostles, over you who dont even agree with them.

  9. fifth monarchy man says:

    FOF says,

    Christ responded that casting out such spirits requires fasting and prayer. And when the father first approached Christ, he told them that His apostles could not cast the spirit out. Christ said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you.”

    I say

    I just can’t believe this.

    You continue to look at the passage yet twist the plain language until it means exactly the opposite of what it says. Perhaps you are getting thrown be the word “fasting” You do know it is a variant not found in the oldest manuscripts

    Let me try one more time.

    Jesus morns the fact that the apostles have no faith. The fact that they have no faith is evidenced by the fact that they did not pray. This is not rocket science!!!

    If they prayed with faith the boy would have been healed. that is the point of the story. The boy’s father did not have much faith but he “prayed” with the faith he had to Jesus and the boy was healed.

    This could not be more clear

    you say,

    Not every person who hears the word believes.

    I say,

    Correct. The scripture is clear that only Christ’s people will believe when they hear the Word.

    quote:

    but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
    (John 10:26-27)

    End quote:

    you say:

    But not every person who sees a miracle has their faith strengthened.

    I say,

    Exactly!!!!! The difference is not works but God’s grace.

    quote:

    No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—
    (John 6:44-45)

    end quote:

    You say,

    Can you restate what I have tried to explain about the role of works in grace and faith?

    I say,

    I Think so. You are claiming that grace is a gift that is added to our works to make up the deficit in what is required to earn salvation

    It’s like a store keeper who accepts less than the retail price for an item all that he asks is that we give what we have and he makes up the difference.

    The problem is this is not at all how the true Gospel works

    quote:

    And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
    (Romans 4:5-6)

    end quote:

    Now a question for you FOF

    Who is the blessed person in Romans 4:6 who God counts righteous with out works????

    peace

  10. fifth monarchy man says:

    FOF says

    The passage from Hebrews does not state that looking to Jesus strengthens our faith.

    I say,

    Of course it doesn’t “looking” is a work the passage says that it is not works but Jesus who strengthens (perfects) our faith that is the whole point.

    You say,

    The clause about Christ is not necessarily a causal clause as you suggest.

    I say,

    The clause plainly says that Jesus (not works) is the perfecter of our faith

    You say,

    But what does “looking to Christ” mean?

    I say,

    The passage is not about what you do “look” it is about what Christ does “author and perfect our faith.”

    you say,

    So what do you mean by “looking to Christ?”

    I say,

    The very next verse tells you exactly what “looking to Christ” means it means to consider what he did for us!!!!!!!!

    quote:

    looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself
    (Hebrews 12:2-3a)

    end quote:

    peace

  11. RikkiJ says:

    Wow these are a lot of topics on-going. Kudos to FaithofFathers for keeping on top of all these items.

    Faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end is necessary for salvation. But those things do not do the saving. Those things and works strengthen faith in Christ. And that is why the power of grace and the atonement become active when we act and obey and repent. It is not that those things are doing the saving, but they strengthen our faith.

    All of Paul’s statements are to this affect- he is saying that the works do not save us- Christ does. But he is absolutely not saying that faith, repentance, baptism, obedience, service, good works are not required. And the talk which grindael absolutely massacred and misrepresented explains this quite well if you read the whole talk.

    How else is faith strengthened? There is no good answer to this question if repentance and works are not inherent in belief and faith. This is precisely how works and faith are formulated together in the gospel. It is the only way a person can consistently make sense of all the NT passages on the topic.

    It is true that faith produces works, but this is not what the prophets of the LDS have stated. They clearly explain that works are absolutely necessary to salvation. Keeping all the commandments are necessary, without which one cannot be saved.

    You have stated: … good works are not required

    Bednar isn’t an authority on the same level Prophet Fielding Smith is (a prophet who has the fieldstrings to formulate doctrine), and he (Prophet) aptly summarized it this way: “Complete obedience brings eternal life. But to be exalted one must keep the whole law … to receive the exaltation of the righteous, in other words eternal life, the commandments of the Lord must be kept in all things.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation: Sermons and Writings of Joseph Fielding Smith, 2:6).”

    It is clear that without ‘commandment keeping’ or ‘works’ one cannot get exaltation(true salvation). It is absolutely required. The Book of Mormon states:

    “for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do“(2 Nephi 25:23) – Grace is entirely earned, as clearly translated by Prophet Smith above.

    Contrast this with what Paul clearly describes, “For by grace you have been saved [if understood in properly this refers to true salvation or reconciliation with heavenly father] through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NASB)

    It is truly mind-boggling that this is so difficult to understand. Repentance, obedience, service, good works, and following Christ’s servants are all inherent in “belief.” That is the only way the New Testament does not contradict itself. Only way. Being required to work does not mean we earn our salvation in a true sense. We are saved by grace- 100%.

    Please read what I have said above, there is a clarity of explanation that the prophets(LDS) have so clearly stated that without keeping all laws and all good deeds, one cannot be exalted. Paul explains again that grace is the opposite of works, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.” (Romans 11:6,NASB)

    Keeping all commandments to be exalted (truly saved) is the opposite of grace. It is works keeping.

  12. grindael says:

    Repentance is not a work. It is a gift from God. To Mormons, everything is a “work”, because they have to keep inventing ways to justify their gospel of works. Yes, repentance is changing one’s mind, but that is not a “work”, because it is God who does it. In Acts, we see the true formula at work:

    19 “So then, King Agrippa, I [Paul] was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. (Acts 26)

    We do not do the works to ENABLE us to repent or gain conditional grace, we are granted repentance and grace from God, which is then PROVED by our works. We are not forced to do works, we do them because we have had a change of heart. In the Second Book of Acts, Peter tells the assembled Jews ““Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”. He wanted them to change their minds about Jesus. And when they did, he said,

    “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

    Whom THE LORD our GOD will call. Here, Peter was echoing the very words that Jesus declared to him:

    44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. (John 6) As Peter said again, Jesus brings us to repentance:

    30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (Acts 5)

    Later, Peter would praise God and say, ““So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.” (Acts 11) In one of his letters, Peter says that “9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3)

    Repentance is a free gift to all, but is given to only those who are called by the Father, those who have faith in Jesus Christ, who (as Paul and Peter state) patiently leads us to repentance:

    4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2)

    All of this is from God, who has everything to do with it, (not of ourselves) from God who does not count our sins against us:

    7 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5)

    As Paul wrote to Timothy,

    And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.( 1 Timothy 2:24-26)

    Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances…. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations. (Ezekiel 36:26)

    Not of works, lest any man boast.

  13. MJP says:

    You know, I have never seen a response to the question of what value is grace if a specific work is not completed that keeps someone from exaltation. I wonder if I will ever get one.

  14. Rick B says:

    FoF, I really dont think you could answer questions or be honest if you tried. So I was thinking, and something tells me you either will ignore what I say, or if you answer me, that answer will be No.

    You claim you cannot answer everyone here becasue you dont have enough posts, and you claim the reson your here is to inform lurkers of things we wont.

    So Prove us wrong if you can and do this. You have 6 posts per day, as we all do, and you have dodged some hard questions from me, Oldman, Falcon, grindael, and others.

    So why not simply use one post per person, and answer our questions in full with great detail?

    I notice as of today you only replied once under the newest topic. So dont make excuses and claim you dont have enough posts to reply to us.

    Now since I dont fell your honest, here is how I see this playing out. If you dont answer me and just act as if I never even wrote this, then that tells me you cannot answer me or any of us who have asked you to answer us. That alone should tell all lurkers everything they need to know.

    Now if you answer me, but claim No you wont do this, then again that tells me you cannot and your simply not as honest as you claim.

    if you do say yes, (Which I dont see happening) then something tells me, you wont really give much in the way of replies.

    Honestly, if God says He is the only one, No other gods exist, how can you claim God is wrong and really back it up?

    How can Jesus and Paul and others claim works are not needed, and strangly Jesus did not baptise anyone, so why would He claim it is required to be saved, then not do it? Thats a tough one for you.

    What about when you were asked about the first God? I could go on, but show us your as honest as you claim, and address these questions that came up as a result of talking with you. Even MJP ended with asking a question, you could address that also. But again, something tells me you wont touch this.

  15. faithoffathers says:

    RickB,

    I am reminded of a three-year old child holding his breath until he gets what he wants. Using your logic, if I have any honesty in me or if what I am saying is not absolutely ridiculous, I should be able to fight off the countless arguments, criticisms, and inquiries of 15 people at once. Is this reasonable?

    I have a busy surgical practice and cannot always post here. You just need to deal with the fact that one person cannot respond to and engage consistently with 15 others who hold a completely contrary position.

    That being said, I will give brief responses to the issues you raise.

    One God- we believe we have one God. You guys like to say that we believe the Godhead is made of three Gods. While that is true, they can and are referred to accurately as ‘one God’ just as a married man and women can be referred to as ‘one.’ As far as other Gods, it is much more nuanced and complicated than you think. The Bible does not give one consistent message on this matter, despite what you think. And modern scholarship very clearly supports what I am saying here. It really does no good to argue about it in a forum like this- nothing is ever accomplished. And I simply do not have the time to get into the details and lines of evidence that you and others will simply dismiss with no thought.

    But I offer one simple analogy. Consider a dad trying to discipline and get the attention of a 6 year old boy who is very distracted and being ‘naughty.’ Imagine the father holding the face of the child and looking directly into the eyes of the boy. In the context of Israel rejecting and ignoring their God and drifting off into wickedness and idol worship, that God emphasized His supremacy and sole role as their God in emphatic fashion, and appropriately so. That is a crude way to see the statements that you guys love to quote from the Old Testament about one God.

    Neither Paul nor Jesus ever said that works are “not needed.” I would be very interested if you found a statement from Christ where He says this. (It doesn’t exist). Paul taught that our works don’t save us. That is entirely different than saying that works are “not needed.”

    As far as baptism, one could consider the fact that Christ Himself was baptized. That should communicate to anybody that baptism is pretty important. Then the John 3:5 conversation with Nicodemus should also be considered (I get that you do not see it in the same light that I do). Whether Jesus baptized others really is beside the point. It really doesn’t prove anything either way. But the text is not consistent- one verse says he baptized, another says He didn’t.

    As far as “the first God.” I don’t know and I couldn’t care less. I can’t think of anything that has less import for me. Your insistence that I explain something that I know nothing about is like a cancer patient with limited education insisting on knowing the molecular mechanisms through which a chemotherapy agent works. Or a patient undergoing an operation demanding to know exactly how the surgical equipment works. For folks who aren’t willing to explain (or can’t) the most basic doctrine of their religion (trinity), this strains credulity.

  16. MJP says:

    “Paul taught that our works don’t save us. That is entirely different than saying that works are “not needed.””

    OK, then why is one not exalted if he does not work? That seems like the absense of works will preclude us from being exalted. Why won’t you address this point? If you choose to respond, please state where works are required to be exalted.

  17. MJP says:

    It is interesting to see FoF’s response to the question of the first god but then criticizes us for our treatment of the trinity.

    We can all address the trinity. Many have done so in the thread on Nicea. We just question your motives for harping on it and not providing your understanding of it. We further recognize the limitations of our ability to adequately describe it. This does not mean we don’t care about it.

    You, though, should care about the question of the first god, as your process had to start somewhere, right? The eternal principles have to have their root somewhere, don’t they?

  18. grindael says:

    As far as “the first God.” I don’t know and I couldn’t care less. I can’t think of anything that has less import for me. Your insistence that I explain something that I know nothing about is like a cancer patient with limited education insisting on knowing the molecular mechanisms through which a chemotherapy agent works. Or a patient undergoing an operation demanding to know exactly how the surgical equipment works. For folks who aren’t willing to explain (or can’t) the most basic doctrine of their religion (trinity), this strains credulity.

    Of course FOF is lying here. The first Mormon God actually is the most BASIC doctrine of Mormonism, because Jo Smith said so,

    Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you—namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one—from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power. And I want you to know that God, in the last days, while certain individuals are proclaiming his name, is not trifling with you or me. (J. Smith, April 7, 1844)

    The same as all the gods before you…. And so, eternal life is something that has no import to FOF. This is rich. Of course he can hypocritically use an argument that it is incomprehensible, but when others on this thread did so with the Trinity, FOF is all over them. See the double standard, lurkers? See how Mormons can’t even understand their own concepts about God? See how it doesn’t matter? See how FOF has to jump through hoops to try and distance himself from it? What more do you need?

  19. Rick B says:

    FoF said

    RickB,

    I am reminded of a three-year old child holding his breath until he gets what he wants. Using your logic, if I have any honesty in me or if what I am saying is not absolutely ridiculous, I should be able to fight off the countless arguments, criticisms, and inquiries of 15 people at once. Is this reasonable?

    O-please! stop crying will you? Every single Christian poster here has claimed you avoid questions, run from hard topics and many have asked you more than once to reply to them, yet you dont, becasue you simply cannot. Like I said, how hard is it really to just take a day off and use one post per person and reply honestly to us? Then you bring up issues like the trinity, then get mad at us when we try and address it, thats being a hyprocite.

    FoF said

    I have a busy surgical practice and cannot always post here. You just need to deal with the fact that one person cannot respond to and engage consistently with 15 others who hold a completely contrary position.

    Could have fooled me with how often you post.

    FoF said

    That being said, I will give brief responses to the issues you raise.

    One God- we believe we have one God. You guys like to say that we believe the Godhead is made of three Gods. While that is true, they can and are referred to accurately as ‘one God’ just as a married man and women can be referred to as ‘one.’

    What a joke, I am married and can say, me and my wife are one, but also we are two sepreate people and I cannot go to a movie or out to eat with my wife and then say, we are “One” and only pay for one person. If I told you I was married and you you said, tell me about your wife and then I told you about me, you would think I’m crazy. I would sound crazy if I said, let me describe my wife, then described myself. We are two sepreate people, but when it comes to God the father, Jesus, God the father and the Holy Spirit are ONE GOD, not three sepreate Gods all agrring.

    Jesus said to the religious leaders, I AM, That I AM He was talking about was the I AM Moses saw and spoke to in the burning bush. The Jews wanted to Kill Jesus for saying that. Also If God the father has a father, and Jesus and the holy spirit are seperate Gods, even if they are “One” in that they agree with each other, they are still 3 sepreate Gods. So that means God the father lied when He said, I know of no other gods. He should have said, I know of two other Gods, My son and the holy spirit.

    Also maybe you should re-read your scriptures. In the pearl of great price, It states God says, I Created, the heavens and the earth, and I know of no other gods.

    But then a few chapters later it says, I God sat in the councel of the Gods and WE created. So How can God say, I know of no other Gods, then later say, I sat in the councel of the Gods. Wow, that makes no sense.

    FoF said

    As far as other Gods, it is much more nuanced and complicated than you think. The Bible does not give one consistent message on this matter, despite what you think. And modern scholarship very clearly supports what I am saying here. It really does no good to argue about it in a forum like this- nothing is ever accomplished. And I simply do not have the time to get into the details and lines of evidence that you and others will simply dismiss with no thought.

    Really FoF, are you stupid? The Bible clearly says, No other gods exist, yet you claim they do and it’s to complcated to explain. You mean, you cannot simply make anything up that would sound good and it would take to long to do it.

    FoF said

    But I offer one simple analogy. Consider a dad trying to discipline and get the attention of a 6 year old boy who is very distracted and being ‘naughty.’ Imagine the father holding the face of the child and looking directly into the eyes of the boy. In the context of Israel rejecting and ignoring their God and drifting off into wickedness and idol worship, that God emphasized His supremacy and sole role as their God in emphatic fashion, and appropriately so. That is a crude way to see the statements that you guys love to quote from the Old Testament about one God.

    Really? God clealy states No Other Gods exist, The Bible is so clear on that, that to say other wise is an out right Lie.

    FoF said

    Neither Paul nor Jesus ever said that works are “not needed.” I would be very interested if you found a statement from Christ where He says this. (It doesn’t exist). Paul taught that our works don’t save us. That is entirely different than saying that works are “not needed.”

    Really FoF, Did you ignore what I said about 100 times now where the Mormon Prophets and presdients went to Jesus and said,

    John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

    John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    Now Just as the Mormons did not exist back then, they ignore what Jesus said, just as the religious leaders who asked that of Jesus. Jesus should have said, you want works, well here you go, You must do this.

    The Prophet Spencer Kimball Achieving a Celestial Marriage manual pg 30 makes it very clear we must do certain things to enter the temple to be saved. he gives a list of 6 things called (TEMPLE RECOMMEND INTERVIEW). it says When you are interviewed for a temple recommend you will be asked about,
    1. Church attendance
    2. Payment of tithes and offerings
    3. Loyalty to Church leaders.
    4. Moral cleanliness.
    5. overall faithfulness and worthiness.
    6. Obedience to the Word of Wisdom.

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

    God and Jesus in the Bible never state any of this.

    Now your false prophets have said these things also.
    On pages 211-212 of his book The Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer Kimball the LDS PROPHET chastised members who

    “are doing nothing seriously wrong except in their failures to do the right things to earn their salvation”.

    FoF, Did you notice it says, EARN YOUR SALVATION. I thought salvation was by Grace alone, yet it say EARN.

    Bruce McConkie goes on to say again,

    “Salvation grows automatically out of the resurrection, and the coming forth in the resurrection constitutes the receipt of whatever degree of salvation has been earned.” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:196).

    Then in volume three of the same set, he wrote,

    “Salvation is free,’ but it must also be purchased; and the price is obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel” (3:461).

    Again salvation is free, yet it must be purched. Really?

    Now when you claim the Bible never says works are needed, did you read this,

    Act 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

    If we do works, then that was a small list of things we should do.

    But here is more from your prophets claiming works are needed for salvation.

    President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote,

    “To enter the celestial and obtain exaltation it is necessary that the whole law be kept…Do you desire to enter the celestial Kingdom and receive eternal life? Then be willing to keep all of the commandments.” (The Way to Perfection, pg. 206).

    President Joseph Fielding Smith said

    if they rebelled and refused to comply with the laws and ordinances which were provided for their salvation, it would deny them the great gift and they would be assigned, after the resurrection, to some inferior sphere according to their works. (Doctrines of Salvation 1:69)

    Spencer Kimball teaches, a mere willingness to try to overcome sinful tendencies is not enough. He asserted,

    “Trying is not sufficient. Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin.”

    Your leaders teach works are required for salvation. Show me where all these works that your leaders teach are stated By Jesus or God or any place in the Bible.

    FoF said

    As far as baptism, one could consider the fact that Christ Himself was baptized. That should communicate to anybody that baptism is pretty important. Then the John 3:5 conversation with Nicodemus should also be considered (I get that you do not see it in the same light that I do). Whether Jesus baptized others really is beside the point. It really doesn’t prove anything either way. But the text is not consistent- one verse says he baptized, another says He didn’t.

    Yes I agree Jesus was baptised, whats your point? The Bible tells us Jesus did not baptise anyone, so if it is required for salvation, then did Jesus not do it, or tell people it was required for salvation.

    Then as far as Nicodemus goes, It is not talking about Baptism, but pysical Birth.

  20. RikkiJ says:

    Neither Paul nor Jesus ever said that works are “not needed.” I would be very interested if you found a statement from Christ where He says this. (It doesn’t exist). Paul taught that our works don’t save us. That is entirely different than saying that works are “not needed.”

    I believe Grindael discussed this earlier, but it’s something that’s worth repeating:

    Jesus did answered the question as to what works need to be done to receive eternal life:

    1. ‘Jesus answered them and said, “… Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”‘(John 6:26-27,NASB)

    2. ‘Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”'(John 6:28,NASB)

    3. ‘Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”'(John 6:29,NASB)

    The definition of any work to be done is not commandment keeping or abiding by laws, ordinances or doing good. It’s to believe in Jesus Christ. This faith produces works, but only faith in Christ saves. It’s a gift(grace). Nothing earned.

  21. TheHorusOrionRa says:

    I just found this site. I am a seeker of truth. If what people are posting on this site true then I will believe it. How can I find if this stuff is for real? Are Mormons good or bad?

  22. Mike R says:

    TheHorusOrionRa,

    Since this blog /ministry ( MRM) is centered on challenging the authoritative claims
    of the leadership of the Mormon church , that’s where the conversation is directed.
    Mormonism holds the Bible to be God’s word , so we have some common ground with
    them with which to see what it says about God, man’s condition , and how man can
    know God and receive His greatest gift —- eternal life . Eph 2:8

    You ask , ” Are Mormons good or bad ? ”

    My opinion : the vast majority of Mormon are decent people who want to know about
    God and live for Him . So they are not bad people at all .
    Unfortunately , they have been detoured by men who I believe Jesus was warning us all
    about — namely false prophets [ Matt 24:11] , hence my concern for their spiritual
    health compels me to try and bring that to their attention , hopefully a consistently
    respectful manner .

  23. Rick B says:

    TheHorusOrionRa,

    You can read the replys and the topics, do some of your own research, you can also read over the MRM website and all that it has to offer.

    You can also ask questions under each topic, but really cannot just start asking any and all questions. Lie if the topic is about the blacks and the priesthood, You wont get far asking questions about the trinity or can we trust the Bible for example.

    Some times in the course of talking about certain topcis, side questions do arise, but we try, and not always do it, try and keep things on topic.

    If you want to you can write me at, [email protected]

    We can talk and I will do my best to answer your questions. But it’s up to you if you want to write me or not. Rick

  24. TheHorusOrionRa says:

    Mike R
    You wrote about being concerned of false prophets. I have read your scripture but would like to clarify what makes a prophet true or false? The scripture seems to be saying that people aren’t always what they appear to be. How can one tell the difference?

  25. TheHorusOrionRa says:

    Sorry. The before comment was meant for Rick B. Today was long day for me, I do apologize.

  26. Rick B says:

    Hey TheHorusOrionRa?
    You said you were a seeker of truth, now you seemed to go missing after Old man asked you a question and I asked a question.

    Are you really seeking the truth? Or did you leave due to some questions?

  27. TheHorusOrionRa says:

    Rick, I am still new to this whole thing and do not live on this site. I felt that you gave a sufficient response to my first post. I definitively want to know truth. I have posted on different articles with questions anyone can answer. For example i asked a few questions about blacks in the mormon church. I think I dont want to limit myself to only one persons view. That is why I don’t email. If someone really wants to help me as Christ would, they would answer my other posts honestly and straightforwardly. I would appreciate patience and not being attacked because I don’t follow another persons timeline. I read other things besides just this site; the bible for instance. Thank you to anyone that responds to my posts and questions. May God bless.

  28. TheHorusOrionRa says:

    I can’t seem to find that question by Old man. Could you repeat what the question was please?

Leave a Reply