Life is Short and Evangelism Should be Urgent

BYU Student Camille CleverleyI’ve been out of town for about ten days. When Stacie and I returned to the Salt Lake City airport on Monday I stood by some newspaper vending machines and rocked little John’s stroller as my wife went to the bathroom. I glanced over and was shocked. The body of BYU student Camille Cleverley had been found dead in Provo. I was then again shocked by the circumstances: she had fallen off a cliff near Bridal Veil Falls the same day my wife and I went there for her birthday celebration.

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Life is so precious and so short. God knows what day we will die but we don’t. Every breath is a gift from above and not even our next minute is guaranteed. If the Lord wills, we will live another day (cf. James 4:13-16).

On Tuesday I received an e-mail from Andy Bird, Utah’s most active evangelist and one of my best friends in Utah:

Sunday morning our Pastor started off his fantastic sermon by sharing a story that happened just this week . The message was powerful and I am going to take a shot at summing up the story he shared before he did an exegesis of 2 Corinthians 5 for you…. A few folks were down in our Pastor’s basement having a conversation and fellowshipping (playing pool). One young man (Seth) asked Pastor Hurlbutt some questions regarding the urgency of Evangelism. The Pastor replied with a great answer that included the urgency that you never know when someone will take their last breath. Seth then decided that he would be intentional starting this week to share his faith. He was going to meet his friend Ben for some outdoor recreational activities. Ben brought along a friend of his Christopher, but Seth was determined to share the Gospel with Ben. Seth had been sharing the Gospel for a good part of the evening with Ben before they decided to go up in the canyon to enjoy the view.

As Ben and Seth were sitting on a boulder, Ben had already begun that turn of faith in Christ and asked Seth in their conversation…..How he could get right with God. Seth then shared how Ben could profess that to…God. As they continued they heard the other friend behind them say something about a bear. Before they had much chance to react Ben was struck by Christopher in the head by a metal pole. Christopher then attacked Seth, Seth was struck in the side but managed to run away. Seth made it away to safety. Unfortunately he found out later that Ben was dead. This was a premeditated attack from Christopher. We still do not yet know the motives. The real story here is that Seth shared the Gospel with this young man just moments before his last breath. Seth was asked to speak at Ben’s funeral and share what he and Ben had been talking about on the boulder. It seems like Ben made a good profession of faith just moments if not seconds before he was struck dead by Christopher.

The News Story can be found here.

This story is so striking to me as it reminds me that we must be intentional, persistent and have a sense of urgency when we share our faith. It is a very blunt reminder of the real status of man. The additional light to this story is that Seth got to share the Gospel at the funeral and that Seth has shared the Gospel with a few other friends and in just a few weeks two of them have put their trust in the Lord! Ultimately I am reminded again of the Sovereignty of God as through a conversation, question and a tragedy ….. eternity is now forever changed. To God be the Glory forever!

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104 Responses to Life is Short and Evangelism Should be Urgent

  1. amanda says:

    Aaron, i usually respect some of your insights, but the premise of this one is quite repugnant.

    and to all of you that suggest that mormons don’t believe in Jesus’ gospel…just because we understand His gospel differently, does NOT mean we believe in a diff jesus…and i’d be careful to come to any conclusions in that vein. This is precisely what turns most people off from evangelism—it is neither the just OR merciful interpretation that it claims to be.- what about people (past and present) in this world who are incapable of hearing evangelists preach THEIR saving message—are they doomed to hell? i think your interpretation of Jesus’ Gospel is repugnant…Jesus has a plan for ALL of us, not just the RICK B’s of the world who evidently were given all knowledge and have come to know the “real” Jesus. get over yourselves, seriously. you don’t know a damn (pardon the pun) thing about this girl and her personal relationship with the Savior.

    Aaron, i’d be very disappointed if you felt the need to “edit” my comments. there is nothing in this statement that could be HALF as offensive as the very premise of your OP-ED piece. and if you do, i’ll take it that you don’t truly wish to be challenged on your interpretation of Jesus and HIS gospel, not’s version of his Gospel.

    and i say this with the MOST amount of respect that i can possibly muster at the lot of you.

  2. jeff says:

    Like I said Geoff, I’m done. I’m sure there will be an article posted later on that we will disagree on. Until then, good day to you and your family.

  3. Blake says:

    Rick b. said: “Blake said We believe he won’t simply leave some that he could save to hell and you do.”

    “So Blake, you dont believe people will Go to hell, how do you handle the story of the rich man in flames and torment that Jesus spoke about. How do you handle the verses in the Book of revelation that state Jesus (God) saying depart from me into everlasting fire, other verse that speak of eternal destruction can be added if you need them.”

    Rick, I’m going to presume that you aren’t incapable of making basic doctrinal distinctions of your own doctrine. The key difference between what I said and you attributed to me is huge. It is this: “some that he could save….” You see, only your view Jesus could unilaterally save everyone. He chooses not to. On my view he cannot save everyone because they are free to say no to him. I don’t believe that it makes any sense to say that a being is loving if he could save everyone and chooses to damn some (double predestination) or leaves some he could save to hell (single predestination). We differ on that view and I’m glad that we do.

  4. Seth R. says:

    I don’t think the debate that has ensued was really the point of the original post, so I’ll not join the fray.

    I will say though that it doesn’t bug me in the slightest if Aaron wants to reserve longer posting privileges for administrators.

    And neat picture Aaron. It reminds me of home.

  5. Falcon says:

    All I can think of as I read the last ten posts or so is the phrase that I believe Dr. Walter Martin coined, “The Maze of Mormonism”. For some reason everytime I read the posts I get the feeling that I’m not getting the whole story from our Mormon friends. I don’t know if it’s an attempt to sound intellectual and philosophical but the arguments get lost in the verbosity. So what I know about the Mormon concept of Jesus, I’ve had to go find in sources other than the Mormon posters here.

  6. Geoff J says:


    All you need to know is that Jesus answers the prayers of Mormons and assures us that we are indeed “right with God”. If that is disappointing to you because of your evangelical theology preferences all I can say is take your complaint up with Jesus (or change your theology).

  7. Ralph says:

    Gee, blink and you miss a bit. I was too busy yesterday, and look what’s gone on. Yes I agree with the main theme – life is too short (even for those who live >100) and precious. But the afterlife is more important, which is why we should MAKE the opportunities to try and assist all to come unto Christ to be saved by Him – NOT wait for them.

    I understand if this next section gets cut out according to the rules of the blog, but to all the LDS on this site that are getting offended/frustrated/etc, this is their site and you are a visitor. You do not have to be here if you do not want. And its fair that the administrators get the ‘run’ of the board because that is what they are there for. It is the same on most, if not all, other blog sites I have contributed to. So quit your whinging as it does not help towards your case. (PS I am LDS so this I not an attack from the outside)

    I think we can agree to disagree on whether we are discussing the same or different Jesus. I would like to say, however, that regardless of this, we do believe differently about Him and God. It is this difference that causes our beliefs to be mutually exclusive – only one (or neither) can be true. This follows on that only one of these beliefs will ultimately save. I have said this a number of times while commenting on this site. But this is where the need for evangelising/proselytising comes in. We should all want as many to be saved as possible – and again, as life is short we need to make the opportunities to discuss Jesus with others.

  8. Falcon says:

    Is Jesus the spiritual offspring of a mother and father god?

  9. Ralph says:

    Falcon – I don’t know about “offspring”, but I do know that He is the spiritual child of a Heavenly Mother and Father, and so are you. So I guess I know/believe in a different Falcon. So who am I talking to now?

  10. Jesus was a spirit child of two parents but maybe not an “offspring”? Come on now, let’s just be frank, OK? The hedging gets old.

  11. Falcon says:

    Well that would make Jesus a created being. I kind of figured we were talking about a different Jesus. It’s just taken us awhile to get there. It’s amazing how we can wax eloquent about these things, when the point can be gotten to quite quickly.

    It would appear that there is a pantheon of gods of which Jesus is higher up in the order because He was created first? If there is anyone out there that can tell me how this works, I would sincerely appreciate it. I’m just looking for accurate, honest information.

  12. Falcon, since nothing in Mormonism is truly created, I think you’ll have to qualify “Jesus is a created being”.

  13. Ginger says:

    I can’t believe we’re back to the ol’ “Different Jesus” argument. It comes up once a month or so and no one can just agree to disagree and respect each others’ different opinions.

    I love the original topic of this post. It’s true that no one knows when he will die. Death has been a big part of my life lately as my grandfather recently passed away. Religion can be a difficult subject for some people to discuss (not here, obviously) even with cherished family members. It was interesting to me that Grandpa let me know that I was the only person who willingly and openly talked about the afterlife and loved ones who have passed before us. This may have been because others were uncomfortable discussing death with a dying man, but whatever the reason, when he brought it up, we talked.

    Grandpa had plenty of time to prepare for the end of this life. He was 94 and fighting cancer–he knew it wouldn’t be long. As for his large family, any one or more of us could have been killed travelling to the funeral. From my great aunts on down to the youngest of my cousins, our lives are at risk every day.

    I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on the sharing of the Gospel and here’s what I’ve decided: My relationship with God is VERY personal. I’ve never been comfortable sharing my deepest religious feelings with others. However, I have shared a lot on occasion. I believe that if one keeps a prayer in his heart always, that the Holy Ghost will let him know with that warm, peaceful feeling when it’s time to open up. Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ opens a wellspring of love inside one–love for the person one is sharing with, love for God and Jesus Christ, and love for the whole world! God’s word should never be delivered with a mean spirit, belligerence, or confrontational attutude. It’s a message of love, after all.

  14. Ralph says:

    Aaron, The reason I objected to the word offspring is that for some people means that the mother was pregnant and the child was born. The things I have read about this from church material say that the spirit children were formed from intelligences by our Heavenly Parents, but do not say how. So although some church members (both past and present and ‘high ranking’ ones) have made comments about pregnancy and birth when it comes to how spirit children are formed – that is their opinion – it is not LDS doctrine becuase none of the Prophets have stated it. The fact is we do not know – it just says that they are formed. But if you want to use offspring in relateion to we are Their children then yes I will agree to that.

    Falcon, if you are wanting some honest information, and are not going to try and tread it into the ground (I do realise you do not believe in what I will have to say), ask the mediators for my email address and you and I can discuss it. If we do it here on the open board others will interject and argue and it will get confusing – as well as it is slightly off topic. But I don’t mind the mediators giving you my personal email address for a private conversation (no bashing as you said you wanted information, not an argument.)

  15. amanda says:

    Ralph, i think its interesting that you feel the need to correct me, but somehow i should take it to heart because you’re mormon? that’s ridiculous 😉

    my complaint was with the premise of the article…and for a site that encourages even debate, and accuracy, and all perspectives both mormon and anti-mormon…then it’s ridiculous to expect me to bow down to the premise. my anti-anti-mormon comments keep these guys busy looking through their bibles, and passing their free time trying to convert me. as far as i’m concerned, i’m providing a service here.


    there is a common mistake that many of us are making– we are getting soooo far down the “i think” road that we are discussing the mysteries of God…quite casually, i might add. there is MUCH we do not know, or will EVER know in this life…so to discuss or expect others to give detailed and sure comments about those mysteries is going beyond the mark. If it was important to our heavenly father for us, as his children, to know all of these very spiritual matters, he would teach us…but it is very possible that we wouldn’t understand it anyway- He has apparently found it expedient to give us the bible, book of mormon, and a modern day prophet to lead and guide our paths in a sufficient manner to bring us back to Him…we can learn or realize the details later. it’s not important or possible to answer those questions, not only because we don’t have the answers, but the answers would blow us away. it would be like trying to explain quantum physics to a liberal arts major (trust me, i know first hand that it doesn’t work)

  16. Ralph, your point seems moot, since whether you use the language of begotten, conceived, sired, offspring, or child, you still have a problem: Mormonism teaches that Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother are of the human species and are embodied with flesh and bones. So no matter how much haze exists around what is official or not, the LDS worldview itself implicitly suggests that the uniting of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother(s) and the siring of spirit children is at the very least similar to how humans on here earth do it (indeed, it makes much less sense to think about the Father and Mother merely shaking hands and then watching a spirit baby drop from the sky in a blanket from a stork). And to consider that, my friend, even a remote possibility is pagan and offensive to God. At the flick of his proverbial finger or the breath of his proverbial mouth, God can create entire universes—with intelligent people in them—from nothing. God has always been God (Psalm 90:2), and, to put it bluntly, never needed to go to a Single’s Ward to find a wife for temple marriage and eventual deification.

    That the LDS hierarchy doesn’t have an official position on things like whether God the Father had sexual intercourse with Mary to conceive Jesus doesn’t make the issue go away. It rather exasperates it. It shows that the very issue isn’t important enough to the Mormon Church to have a position on, and it still leaves open the possibility that the infamous scene in The God Makers where God the Father knocks on Mary’s door for a sexual tryst just might have some truth to it.

  17. amanda says:

    sorry, i know this is off topic, but i must give props to aaron and his poetry skills…BRAVO, i read one, and was quite impressed…if you ever need someone to put it to lyric/music, let me know- i’m serious- email me, i’ll send you some of my songs.

    sorry everyone, but you should all check it out.

  18. Ginger says:

    Falcon, under the Nicean Creed post, you commented: “I was reading through Ephesians one time and decided to highlight in blue the pronouns that referred to the Father and in Red the pronouns that referred to the Son. It was a very interesting exercise. It had me scratching my head in a few places, but it helped point out to me the unique work of each.”

    Wow! I’m impressed that ANYONE in today’s world would think that was a worthwhile way to spend precious time. I’m putting a note in my Bible now to try it one day. Thanks for the idea! 🙂

  19. Ralph says:

    So Aaron, how do you then explain Acts 17:28-29 when it says that we are God’s offspring?

  20. Ralph, good question. I hope you won’t mind if I borrow the words of a friend, Rob Sivulka:

    Doesn’t Acts 17:28-9 teach that humans are in the nature of God since the passage says we are His “offspring”?

    LDS often use this passage to make humans out to be the same species as God. After all, like begets like. But as usual, LDS fail to take into account the context. The Apostle Paul already claimed that God is the maker of the world, the Lord of heaven and earth, who does not dwell in a temple made with hands, because He doesn’t need anything; we exist because of Him (vss. 24-8). Contrary to what LDS believe, He’s the originator of all things outside of Himself (LDS don’t think God created matter or even us as intelligences, for example). This is why He does not resemble the vain idols that the Greek pagans made.

    LDS also fail to take into account that the Bible clearly teaches that there is only One who is truly begotten of God (i.e., has the same nature as God). The Greek term “only begotten” that is used of Jesus in such passages like John 1:18 or 3:16 is the term “monogenes”. “Mono” means “one” and “genes” means “of a genus or kind”. Since God is not a man by nature (Hosea 11:9) and we are, we are not literal begotten children of God. As C. S. Lewis pointed out, we are children by creation, and not by begetting. We are in His spiritual image, but certainly we are not in His nature.

    So the term “offspring” is simply a symbolic way of saying that we originated from God. It is as figurative as the “hand” (Acts 7:56), the “eye” (Psalm 32:8), or the “feathers” (Ps. 91:4) of the Lord. (>>)

  21. amanda says:

    what context aaron, do we fail to take into account? the evangelical paradigm???

    see, these differences make it even MORE necessary to have a mouthpiece on this earth today, to bring His sheep into His fold…ONE church. it’s a matter of context isn’t it? whose context is superior? God’s! i think we can both agree…so then how is man to be sure where to find that context…well, through His prophets. consider the bible you love so much, there is a purpose for modern revelation, just as there was in the beginning. Prophets do not replace Christ, in fact, on the contrary, they are an instrument in His hands for the gathering of Israel…consider the role of ancient prophets…their role today is the same….gather Israel. how can the Lord gather his sheep if we are all gone off to “his or her own way”—with our OWN context–left to figure it out on our own, or take our pastors word for it, even though he HAS to concede that he does not have anymore authority than you do. i’d like to believe, and DO believe that the Lord does not leave us comfort-less in these times. He has a mouthpiece on this earth that gives us His context. it’s WONDERFUL!

  22. Ralph says:

    Which is why Aaron, I pointed out that we are children of Heavenly parents and objected to the use of the word ‘offspring’. We do not know how the spirit children come about. Yes we teach that our Heavenly Parents have physical bodies, but wouldn’t that mean that a physical parent has a physical child – not spiritual? But if offspring was only to mean what you are pointing to for our beliefs, then you cannot accept what your friend has said. You cannot go both ways.

  23. Robert says:

    And now once again…we see why Mormons get such a bad rap about how they “spin” things.

    We cannot even agree that we worship different God’s let alone anything else!

    God is not all things to everyone in a contradictory way…He’s either “flesh and bone” or “spirit only”…not both…

    Jesus is either created or He’s not…

    Very simple…not my opinion…just what the bible says…not “my belief”…the bible…

    Let’s quit spinning this stuff. We don’t worship the same God’s….one of us is in serious trouble…

    This is no different than those in the bible worshipping Baal, or Diana, or Ra…different gods than YHWH…


  24. Falcon says:

    Several years ago some Jehovah Witnesses came to my door and wanted to engage me in a religious discussion. I told them I wasn’t interested but I would like to pray with them. Their eyes got as big as saucers (I thought they were going to go into cardiac arrest) and the woman says “We don’t worship the same god you do.” I replied, “Well then, I guess we don’t have a basis for discussion.” They left, but I learned a great deal from that little encounter. One thing that impressed me with the JWs was that they recognized that their god was different from my God. The second thing that impressed me was that they freely admitted it. Is it proper and correct to talk about their god and my God? Is it just a matter of semantics? Same God, different description or different God. One thing I do know, we’re talking about sharing our faith here and about salvation. Only one God can save.

  25. Robert says:

    I think it’s just honesty to admit we are worshiping different Gods, because we are.
    And I do agree…only the true God can save, that’s why I said, one of us is in trouble…

    I’m perplexed at Mormons who insist that the God as described in the bible is the same god that they worship? Mormonism used to be very direct about this but now, the current climate of Mormonism is that they would like to be considered just “another sect of Christianity.”

  26. Seth R. says:

    Remember that Mormonism doesn’t have a professional clergy or magisterium enforcing the doctrine. In fact, Mormonism isn’t half so interested in orthodoxy (right belief) as in orthopraxy (right practice).

    This is why you see a great deal of continuity in the ethical side of Mormonism, but on the doctrinal side… well it looks like a moving target. We aren’t really enforcing our orthodoxy, so it tends to shift as generations come and go.

    That’s why you’ve got apostle Orson Pratt way back when asserting that God conceived Jesus with Mary “in the usual way” (or was that Joseph F. Smith?), but now most lay Mormons (but not all) would consider that to be a load of crap, if they were actually aware of the quote or stopped to think about it for a second (which most don’t).

    Most Mormons don’t have a high degree of awareness of the doctrinal shifts in their religion. This does not make them dishonest, just unaware. There simply is no professional elite in our religion making sure that the orthodoxy is “taken care of.” It’s kind of left to mind itself.

    Which puts more informed Mormons, like Blake and Geoff (and other Mormon bloggers) in a bit of a bind. They know that Orson Pratt said what he said. But they are also aware that most of their fellow Mormons no longer subscribe to what he said. So there’s a real tendency to hedge – at which point, they are accused of dishonesty.

  27. Seth R. says:

    I’m a tidy person by nature, so of course, the Mormon religion’s moving-target-orthodoxy bothers me.

    But I have ultimately come to terms with it. Mormonism, much like Judaism, is an ethical religion first and foremost. If you ask a Jewish rabbi about “where did God come from?” or “what is the ontological nature of God?” you are likely to be told to mind your own business and focus on being a good Jew. Likewise, if I were to ask my bishop whether God has a God, or whether the Holy Ghost is male or female, or a lot of the stuff being discussed here, I might get a bit of an answer. But then I would be told bluntly to quit wasting my time and focus on reading the Holy Scriptures, serving my neighbors, praying regularly, and being a good father.

    I think the short answer is that most Mormons don’t care about the issues raised here. But they do care a great deal about the Sermon on the Mount. Which is “true religion” as they see it. They see these metaphysical mind-games as only remotely connected to their business as worshipers of God.

  28. Daniel says:


    The thing is, orthopraxy must necessarily follow orthodoxy. I may not always live what I profess, but I will always live what I believe. See this quote by John Piper:

    And the bridge from theology to this practical life is doxology, because Christian morality is not willpower religion. Christianity and its morality is not, well, “God has the authority to tell us what to do, I’d better grit my teeth and do what he says so that I can go to heaven.” That’s not Christianity, or Christian living. Christian living is the spillover of worship. It’s the practical outworking of a heart stunned by a glorious, sovereign, saving God. Or it’s nothing, worse than nothing.

    Throughout the Bible, God is presented as one who judges thoughts, motives, and attitudes above outward actions. Read Matthew 12:33-35. Right actions must necessarily follow a right heart, which requires right doctrine.

  29. Falcon says:

    I appreciate your post. I was thinking that in a way what you are describing is like a religious service organization. Pick a project to help the community, work hard, make personal strides to self-improvment and the results are beneficial all around. As a member, don’t get to hung-up on the history of the service organization or the by-laws. That’s cool. It’s the social end of things. Sounds like you’ve come to resolution regarding the “doctrine” of the Mormon church. Message is: don’t be concerned with it. Go with the flow.

  30. Seth R. says:

    Nice quote Daniel.

    But it seems to deal more with core beliefs that are actually shared by both Mormons and Evangelicals. What the quote speaks to are motivations of the heart. I think it has only tenuous connection to the question of whether Christ was “created” or “uncreated” and related debate. The philosophical idea of an “unmoved mover” for instance has little relevance to the belief life of most normal people.

    A person can purify the heart and believe in the Atonement with either doctrine. Believing that Christ is one’s “Elder Brother” or not has little to do with that.

  31. Daniel says:


    I do agree with you regarding the doctrinal debate and sharing of core beliefs, for the most part. However, the one thing I believe this quote does speak to that Evangelicals and Mormons (on the whole) disagree on, is the nature of works and the role in salvation, which is a whole separate argument that has been argued on this site before (see my postings on Aug. 16:

  32. Daniel says:

    I think ultimately what it comes down to, is that only God can change and orient our hearts to align with his. Otherwise, all of the orthopraxy in the world will be worthless, because ultimately they will be coming from wrong (selfish) motives, no matter how you try to reconcile it. As Paul quoted the prophets in Romans 3, “There is no one righteous, not even one.”

  33. Rick B says:

    Geoff said But I will point out that this “different Jesus” approach is self defeating because it assumes there is such a thing as “a different Jesus” and you just said you don’t really believe that. What you really mean is that you think Satan is answering Mormons prayers or that their own minds are giving those answers.

    The Problem with what you say here is this, You believe you here from Jesus, you deny the idea that you could be hearing from the devil or a demon, So then explain this,

    Paul in the Book of Acts encounters a slave Girl possesed by a demon, that Girl spoke the truth about what Paul was doing, He rebuked that Demon anyway, So we have a case of a demon speaking the truth.

    Then, Jesus speaks about the day of Judgment, He says, people will say to me on that day, LORD, LORD, Did we not perform miracles in your name? did we not cast out demons in your name? Jesus says, I NEVER KNEW YOU. Here’s the question, If Jesus never knew them, and tells them to depart into everlasting fire, yet they thought they knew Jesus, then who were they following if not Jesus?

    And since Jesus clearly states, they did miracles and cast out demons, Did they do it by His power even though they never knew him, or did they do it by the power of Satan?

    Then when Satan comes to Tempt Jesus in the wilderness, Satan claims to own the earth and quotes scripture. Jesus never called Satan a liar, this implies Satan used some truth, and was off a little on his scripture, but again had some truth to it.

    Then the Bible speaks of Doctrines of demons, Doctrine is just a fancy word for teachings, so we have teachings (Doctrines) of Demons. Maybe your following those. The Bible also speaks loud and clear about False teachers and false Prophets. What about the people in the Bible who were lead to their death by false prophets/teachers?

    We know it can and does happen. Rick b

  34. Falcon says:

    The comments here have delineated out a clear picture of the Mormon concept of God, Jesus and the role of faith vs. works. I would think that any person reading these posts would be clear that while similar vocabulary is used, the meanings (of the words and intent) are different. The Jesus that our Mormon friends have described here, is not the Jesus I know. Merely parioting Christian terms does not get anyone saved. My question for our Mormon friends: do you believe in the same god as the Jehoviah Witnesses?

  35. amanda says:

    falcon, we all understand Jesus differently (i.e. on a personal level) there is only ONE Jesus. i know Him better today, then i did in high school.

    and no, we don’t believe the same as jehova’s witness (is that a serious question?/???) in their characterization of Jesus- or Jehovah…they believe they are separate, we believe they are one and the same. that doesn’t mean that they’re beliefs don’t reference the same Jesus that we believe, we just Characterize Him differently…that does not mean there are two of them, or three for that matter, in the bible.

    it’s a matter of characterization, and understanding/lack of understanding, and interpretation. if there are differences, that doesn’t mean there are 3 Jesus’ in the bible. is it possible for evangelicals to admit that they aren’t DIFFERENT but understood differently. (the restored gospel is certainly needed)

  36. amanda says:

    ***forgive the grammar mistakes, i was proofreading to the sound of “wow wow wubzy” on noggin (my daughters favorite TV channel).

  37. Geoff J says:


    All I know is that when I pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ he answers my prayers through the Holy Spirit.

    Since there aren’t two or three Jesus’s in heaven I imagine that the real Jesus listens to your prayers too (even if you aren’t as good as most Mormons at hearing what he has to say back to you…)

  38. Rick B says:

    Geoff, can you answer my question? Or do you simply avoid it, if you cannot answer it, thats fine, but at least state you cannot, do not simply avoid it. Rick b

  39. Seth R. says:

    “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

    “Knowing Jesus” is to be had in reaching out to your fellow man. Not in dry academic debates.

    The Buddhist woman who spends her life serving her neighbors and community knows Jesus better than the evangelical who publicly confesses Jesus and correct evangelical doctrine, but then spends the rest of his life in his basement playing video games.

  40. Falcon says:

    Was that an insult about me not being very good at hearing God’s voice? I certainly expect more from you. On second thought, no I don’t!

    I got it, same Jesus, different characterizations. Mormon characterization, Jehovah Witness characterization, Ev. Christian characterization. Mormons are saved, JWs are saved, Ev. Christians are saved. It doesn’t matter who you think Jesus is, it’s sufficient for salvation that He is in the equation. Or do you have to believe in and accept Joseph Smith and the current living prophet to be saved? After all that’s what we’re talking about here, sharing the Gospel so that people can be saved.

  41. amanda says:

    thanks falcon for amusing me.

    well, the REAL question is whether or not YOU believe that someone can be misled (in your mind) about Joseph Smith, but have a strong testimony of the Savior and a strong relationship with Him…and be saved. i believe the answer is no. and i think this position is completely ridiculous, considering that theoretically that person already met YOUR standard for being saved.

    do we HAVE to believe that Jesus Christ has ordained a prophet here on this earth, in order to be saved? well, saved in what sense? going to heaven? yes. but can you receive celestial blessings without receiving temple covenants? no…and can you receive temple covenants without a recommend? no…and can you get a recommend without having a testimony of the restored gospel? no…and can you have a testimony of the restored gospel without recognizing indirectly that Joseph smith HAD to be a prophet? no.

    it’s impossible to disconnect the Lord’s mouthpiece with the Lord. can you believe in Jesus’ word but ignore what His prophets have counseled? no because that’s like ignoring the Lord.

    so i guess i sort of answered that question.

    Geoff, honestly, i don’t think i’ve read a SINGLE post of yours without laughing out loud. you seriously OWN the debate (no offense to his present opposition).

  42. Falcon says:

    Man am glad I don’t have to do all that stuff that you have to do to be saved. You may want to consider receiving Jesus as your personal Savior through faith.

    Oh and your comment to Geoff, I believe that’s what’s known as home cooking. I’m picking Aaron. He regularly wipes the floor with Geoff.

  43. Which is why Aaron, I pointed out that we are children of Heavenly parents and objected to the use of the word ‘offspring’. We do not know how the spirit children come about. Yes we teach that our Heavenly Parents have physical bodies, but wouldn’t that mean that a physical parent has a physical child – not spiritual? But if offspring was only to mean what you are pointing to for our beliefs, then you cannot accept what your friend has said. You cannot go both ways.

    Ralph, “offspring”, when considered in Acts 17, should be read in context. Taking that word and then speaking of its denotation or connotations within Mormonism is a different issue with a different worldview.

    In other words, to say that the term “offspring”—within the context and worldview of Mormonism—suggests physical copulation doesn’t stop me from reading “offspring” differently in other non-Mormon contexts (like Acts 17) where the word has a different usage. How Mormonism relates to the usage of the term “offspring” within its own worldview should have no real bearing on how the word should be read in a first century Christian text.

  44. Ralph says:

    Sorry about any confusion with my comments Aaron, I was at work yesterday with a thousand things on my mind. Its been a wonderful sunny Saturday today and I have relaxed quite a bit. There are 2 main meanings for offspring – 1 progeny; 2 product of (ie industrial, creation). So if spirits are formed from intelligence then this to can mean offspring. I have no major problems with the term that we are God’s offspring, as I pointed out it uses it in the Bible. Just to stop people twisting my words when I am writing on these sites I prefer to write using words that can cover a plethora of meanings. In stating that I am a child of God – it means either by adoption (as written in some sections of scripture) or as progeny. But since I don’t know (and neither does anyone as far as I know) how spirit children are formed so someone doesn’t get the wrong idea that I mean through sex, I like to use different terminology. On the flipside, if it is through sex, it doesn’t phase me either.

    We believe in the same ‘person’ Jesus (ie born to Mary in Bethlehem, suffered and died to pay for our sins, etc) but we believe in His deism differently. This means that we also believe in God differently (ie Trinity vs 3 personages) – thus making (in my view) a different God, and I can accept that. I have stated this in a different post on this site.

  45. Falcon says:

    By reading the last few posts, I have had clarified what Christian apologetics has deduced and that is, the Mormon belief system is so inconsistent with normative Christianity that it can’t be considered Christian. Before we go into the “who gets to decide what’s Christian” debate, I might ask “who gets to decide what’s Mormon?” There have been at least 40 sects of Mormonism and I would guess the Utah church has no problems calling them apostate. What gives them the right? Who’s to say that Warren Jeffs isn’t holding to the traditional Mormon doctrine as outlined by the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith. I would say, in this light, that the Utah church is apostate when compared to the fundamentalist sects of Mormonism.
    As presented here, it’s plain to see that the Mormon gospel does not have the power to save, but it has the power to deceive. The hard core folks who write here aren’t going any where. I can see the need however, to be available for those LDS members who are having the veil of deceit lifted and need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the saving grace of Our Lord.

  46. Seth R. says:

    Oh, I call them all “Mormon.”

    No problem with that.

    And I think Mormons are Christians too. No worries here.

  47. Robert says:

    Can this be twisted up any more than it is??

    Is there one Mormon in this commment section that can answer a question clearly or make a point succinctly?

    Has any Mormon here ever read the bible from cover to cover?

    Attention: We worship Jesus! The Jesus of the bible.

    Anything else than that Jesus as described an idol.

    Clear or not clear?

  48. Rick B says:

    Robert said Is there one Mormon in this commment section that can answer a question clearly or make a point succinctly?

    My money says, no. I see lots of honest questions getting ignored, Then when you remind them they ignore that also. That should tell an honest outsider that the LDS do not have all the truth as they claim.

    Why fear any question if you either have the truth or a prophet with a direct line to God, why cannot you ask them, they ask God and give a reply? Oyea the Prophet makes up stuff and claims it is of God, when he cannot think of a really good answer, then he simply refuses to seek God on any given subject. Rick b

  49. Seth R. says:

    Yup, read the Bible. Cover-to-cover. I’ve read the New Testament repeatedly.

    As for clearly answering a question, I don’t know what the question was. Haven’t gotten around to wading through the whole debate/threadjack yet.

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