Myths Be Gone

Myths & RealityThe LDS Church has posted a 10 minute video on it’s web site titled, “Myths & Reality.” Originally produced to answer common questions from journalists during the 2002 Olympics, the video has been updated and is now available to the public.

“Myths & Reality” opens with a minute and a half of man-on-the-street clips of people stating what they “know” about Mormons. Most of the statements are incorrect; the video subsequently seeks to dispel three of the “misunderstandings” raised. The spokesman, Steve Young, explains,

“In the next few minutes we want to show you some things we hope will dispel some myths about us, because the myths are still out there, alive and well.”

The first myth addressed is “Mormons Practice Polygamy.” The video spends 50 seconds on this topic, stating that Mormons discontinued the practice of polygamy over 100 years ago. Steve Young then explains that Mormons are “bothered” when Fundamentalist Mormons are called “Mormons” because these people are not Mormons. Gordon B. Hinckley “state[s] categorically that this church has nothing whatsoever to do with those practicing polygamy,” and the video moves on.

Myth number 2 is “Mormons Care Only For Their Own.” The video deals with this by spending 1 minute and 55 seconds highlighting the LDS Church’s laudable humanitarian efforts worldwide.

The final myth addressed is “Myth #3: Mormons Are Not Christian.” This topic is apparently considered the most important of the three; more time is given for this issue than the other two myths combined: about 3 minutes and 50 seconds.

The spokesperson during this segment is Sharlene Hawkes, a former Miss America. She says that it’s hard for Mormons to understand this myth because “We are Christian to our core.” Ms. Hawkes suggests one reason people might think Mormons are not Christian is because of the nickname “Mormon.” Mormons prefer that the full (correct) name of the Church be used because “it includes the name of the Savior” and that’s important to Mormons.

Ms. Hawkes tells viewers that Mormons love the Bible and try to follow the example of Jesus Christ, but that they are “different from other Christian faiths in important ways.” Ms. Hawkes talks about these important differences, including the Book of Mormon (a “companion to the Bible”), the belief in modern prophets and continuing revelation, the commitment to temple-building, the LDS Church as a restoration of the ancient church, the large missionary force, the focus on families, the work of compiling genealogies and how “even those who have passed on can be linked to us in an eternal family chain.” The video then concludes with Gordon B. Hinckley extolling Christ.

We can’t really expect much more than this in a 10 minute video. Still, it doesn’t seem to me that many bona fide myths were dispelled. In fairness, the LDS web site says these are the questions journalists were raising in 2002, but it also says the video “has been updated and posted on Newsroom today to help counter persistent myths about the Church.”

Are these really the questions people are asking today — the “misperceptions” they struggle with? How could anyone in America today who watches television or reads the newspaper think Mormons still practice polygamy? Are people really hung up on the misperception that Mormons aren’t actively engaged in humanitarian relief? In fact, the man-on-the-street which initially raised the issue spoke in glowing terms of how Mormons care for one another, not criticizing that they don’t care for others. Could this be a straw-man myth?

I do think “Myth #3” is a current and persistent question coming from those outside of Mormonism. But the video did next to nothing to address the question and inform people in a meaningful way.

Journalists today clearly know and promote every “reality” contained in this video. The LDS Church’s Public Relations department has publicized all of these things many times over. I wonder if it has ever occurred to the LDS Church that perhaps the things they call “misperceptions” persist because they never adequately answer the questions.

Surely there is a better way, even in under 4 minutes, to clarify the charge, “Mormons Are Not Christian.” Maybe they could have done something like this:

“This is a complex issue and not easily explained in a short video. We believe we are — and define ourselves as — Christian. In fact, we believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the truest form of Christianity on earth today and that Mormons are better than any others at following the teachings of Christ. Though we share some things with other Christian churches, Mormonism is different and unique in important ways. The foundational differences that cause some to claim Mormons aren’t Christian are found in the way we define the nature of God, the nature of Christ, and the content of the Gospel. Mormons differ significantly from traditional Christians in each of these areas — and others. Our Prophet has explained that we worship a different Christ than the Christ worshiped in traditional Christianity. Some people believe this strips Mormons of the title ‘Christian’; we disagree. We are Christian to our core. That is, we accept our Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Redeemer of the world; differences in theology — who or what God is, and who Christ is — don’t affect that.”

What are your ideas for a myth-buster reality-promoting video segment discussing “Mormons Are Not Christian”?

About Sharon Lindbloom

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

  1. falcon says:

    I think the myth buster should address progression to godhood within Mormonism. That topic will never be touched by the Mormon church myth busters however since it goes right to the nature of God and demonstrates exactly why Mormons aren’t Christian in their theology and doctrine. Besides it’s not really technically a “myth” since they believe that they have the potential to become a god. Mormons really don’t want to discuss this too much.

  2. HankSaint says:

    “is the truest form of Christianity on earth today and that Mormons are better than any others at following the teachings of Christ. ”

    Well I don’t know about other Mormons, but being one I have a hard time agreeing with the above. I have lots of Christian friends, who I admire because of their love and dedication to their faith.
    Do I live better than any of them, I wish I could only be as good as some of them are.

  3. pallathu says:

    The LDS Church should have made a video for the reporters on “speculations”, and name it something like “speculations and Reality”.

  4. Natman says:

    If only “The Church” could state their beliefs so straight forward, but then that might lead to the actual “understanding” of the LDS faith.

  5. Rick B says:

    Here’s my question I have been asking for years. Why is it LDS can say

    Steve Young then explains that Mormons are “bothered” when Fundamentalist Mormons are called “Mormons” because these people are not Mormons. Gordon B. Hinckley “state[s] categorically that this church has nothing whatsoever to do with those practicing polygamy,”

    But when Christians say, LDS (MORMONS) are not Christian because, list the massive Differences, then we are called hateful or other names, were not loving because we say LDS are not Christian and state why, but the double standard or hypocrisy that comes from LDS towards the RLDS, FLDS and other off shoot groups is ok. Why? Rick b

  6. Jacob5 says:

    Wow, I was wondering if any of you would mind becoming spokesmen for our church, I mean. You truly have great insight on what it is to be, “Mormon”.
    Now, sarcasm aside. Despite what some of you may say, and I am sure you are going to dig up some quote from some past member of the church, but LDS members are not in a habit of being exclusionary about who is christian and who is not. How many official church websites are out there, how many commercials are made that say, “We are christian and you are not.” We don’t make creeds of what it means to be christian and then bash people on the head who say they are not christian for not believing in a creed.
    And this whole mormons becoming gods thing. Tell me if any of this is a misinterpretation:
    1. We are God’s children.
    2. We are made in his image.
    Now, I also was born from earthly parents. As I grew up, I took on traits of my parents. These are represented both physically and through my talents. I was capable of doing many of the things my parents have done. But, I will never exceed my parents position or experience, because I will always be in an earlier stage of development compared to them. I do not recognize any other person as my parents. Now, if any of you care to attend any of our church meetings (in a reverent manner mind you) you will notice that for the most part we cover the basic points of our gospel in regular church meetings. This is not because we want to keep every member in the dark as to our “true” nature, but it has been my experience, even with myself, that, for the most part, people have enough difficulty with the basics as it is. This does not mean we are forbidden to further study deeper doctrines of our gospel, but it means that the church places more value on establishing the base of our religion. You don’t throw a beginning swimmer into the deep end until you are sure they can swim well enough to stay afloat.

  7. Rick B says:

    Jacob said

    Despite what some of you may say, and I am sure you are going to dig up some quote from some past member of the church, but LDS members are not in a habit of being exclusionary about who is christian and who is not.

    Funny you should say that, here’s a quote for you,

    Steve Young then explains that Mormons are “bothered” when Fundamentalist Mormons are called “Mormons” because these people are not Mormons. Gordon B. Hinckley “state[s] categorically that this church has nothing whatsoever to do with those practicing polygamy,”

    So who do I believe? You or your Prophet and this LDS person who agrees with your prophet? Rick b

  8. Jacob5 says:

    Well you are comparing apples and oranges here. We do not in any way make any clame to connection to any chuch that comes from any post apostolic organization. The FLDS and the Community of Christ (No longer the RLDS) makes clames to the original leadership held by Joseph Smith or to the point when our church discontinued plural marriage. We do not change or alter any creeds made by other churches or that we claim authority based on any of the other churches in the world today. Those other churches do with regards to our church. I mean do any protestant churches call themselves the Reorginized Catholic Church. Do the Lutherans say that they derive their authority because their organization based on their leader being the son of the then Pope of the Catholic church, no.
    Now the whole deal about why we believe we maintain the continued line of authority of our church is enough to start a whole new argument. But for this specific line it is sufficient to say that for the basis of what Mormons generally refer to as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But, by the way, we do not exclude their faith in Christ, which is the real point, not the who is mormon and who is not bit.

  9. jabroni says:

    Rick B,

    Your question is a very valid one. I often wonder that as well, as it is a blatant contradiction. You or I would say that, just as we have a right to define who is and is not part of our religion, the LDS Church has a right to define the same thing for their faith.

  10. pallathu says:

    Jacob5, I have to agree with you that we are God’s children and we are made in his image. But your analysis of defining God is leading you astray.

    Have you read anywhere in the Bible what does God look like (brain, hands or belly)? You are trying to define God from what you look like. Brother, God created human beings in his image with his quailities of holiness, grace, love, compassion etc etc… In India, a girl was born with 6 legs. Does that mean God has 6 legs?

    We are his Children through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Read Galatians 4:5-6.

  11. jer1414 says:

    We are not all literal children resulting from mother and father gods, nor are we embryonic gods just a little further behind our God in progression.

    Eph. 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the ADOPTION of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

    Jn. 1:12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.

  12. Lautensack says:

    Jacob5 you’re not exclusionary about who is a “Christian” but you are exclusionary on who is a follower of the “Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ” I fail to see the difference. You say the FLDS and RLDS (though one follows the more closely the teachings of Joseph Smith Jr. and Brigham Young) are not members of the “Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ,” then when Biblical Christianity as a whole says that none of the LDS groups are Christian you claim unfair. Both points are in the video being discussed. Your point on doctrine is of course a red herring trying to move the discussion away from the fact that the LDS Church does single groups out and says that they are not part of the “Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Also I have never understood why the LDS would want to be associated with groups of people who’s “creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” (PGP JSH 1:19)

    I also argue that you can become greater than your earthly parents or else we would never move forward because our parents didn’t think of phones you could drive with, more than one computer in a room, thats just ridiculous, oh and don’t even get me started on string theory or Einstein’s theory of relativity, no were still in the stone age…yeah. On those grounds your analysis fails, because according to your theory we should be getting slower, weaker, and dumber as a race, not smart, faster, and stronger. To never exceed your parents position is again false because well I know a young man who is his father’s boss. As for experience I am not sure how you’d judge that one, but I know quite a few people with “more experience” than their fathers and mothers who do nothing but collect a welfare check and have done that all their lives. Thats 3 for the day.


  13. thereishope says:

    I think the easiest way to explain the difference between traditional Christianity and Mormonism is that the ultimate goal here on earth for a traditional Christian is to glorify God, for a Mormon, the goal is to become a God. That is how I explain, in a few words, to people who ask me how Christians and Mormons differ, without going in to the more complex doctrinal differences.

  14. Rick B says:

    Jacob said

    But, by the way, we do not exclude their faith in Christ, which is the real point, not the who is mormon and who is not bit.

    So Jacob, when the BoM says that their is only TWO CHURCHS, the “Real” Church which LDS believe to be their Church and the Church of the Devil, you mean to tell me you do not believe that? If you do believe that, then your Scripture is clear we cannot both be Christian as we do not believe the same things to be true and were not both of the same Church.

    You said before

    but LDS members are not in a habit of being exclusionary about who is christian and who is not.
    Then if that scripture is true, then your church does state

    It seems the BoM is clear from that Scripture. and since it is to long to post here, I think you need to read what Bruce M said about that verse. he is clear, it means what it says and says what it means, in Mormon Doctrine, he goes to great lengths explaning who is the true church and who is not.

    On my blog you can read the quote from Bruce here,

    Other wise it is to long for this post. Rick b

  15. amanda says:

    I had absolutely ZERO issue with the message of the video. I am sure no one is surprised. I honestly have no idea how ANYONE could take issue with this. And if you do, I suggest you find bigger more important issues in the world to focus on 🙂

  16. Jacob5 says:

    Wow, what a difference a day makes. Let me go through these one at a time.
    1. God’s image: When Adam was made, where does it get confusing as to whose “image” and “likeness” man was made in. Does it say “quailities of holiness, grace, love, compassion” as the only attributes given to our first parents? When Christ was born, does he have any other form than what we typically associate with being a man, I mean wouldn’t it also be obvious if you believe in the trinity. If Jesus is another incarnation of God, then wouldn’t it stand to say that that is what God looks like. No I to claim to be an authority on the Holy Trinity, so if I am getting this wrong, I apologize. Now for the 6 legged girl bit, come on. You really want to use that one? It was an obvious genetic abnormality. this is part of the situation with being mortal. Disease, malformations, etc. I mean, if we have disease or genetic mutations, does that mean that God has disease and genetic mutations. I certainly don’t believe that. The whole embryonic thing is your personal view and not that of my faith. You again only think of things in terms of this mortal existence.
    2. LDS, RLDS, FLDS: Okay, again, RLDS is now the Community of Christ, and although they probably get it right more times than any of the commenters I have seen on this site, they still have turned away from many points of what it is to be LDS. And again I say that that is an entirely new conversation right there. The FLDS became seperate when they were excommunicated from aposing the then prophet and president of the LDS church, so that also defines them as not members. And again we lay no claim to any of your churches teachings or leadership. That is yours to do with as you please.

  17. Jacob5 says:

    3. The Parent analogy I used: While it may be true that I used the concept of early parents, I still stand by the basic analogy. YOU CAN NOT REPLACE YOUR PARENTS. You cannot exceed their experience that comes with age. What they do with their knowledge and experience is beside the point, and not what I said. The fact still remains that you cannot replace who they are, your parents, and if you question that then I will let you study in greater detail about when a man and a woman love each other so much, and get married, 😉 But we do not say we will become God for we worship only one God and we can never become his equal. And you will find not teaching in our church no matter how much you try to twist our scriptures or what any other member may have said.
    We abelieve in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. That is it pure and simple.
    4. Okay, now the two churches thing. Now I admit there were those members who have taken up very zealous positions in the past about listing out what specific churches are the church of the devil. But, as to my view of it, The “real” Church is the one that teaches all that is needed for salvation (the finer points may be argued, but I don’t see this main premise as readily arguable point), and the church of the devil is exactly the opposite. Does the scripture list out any specific church, and I feel that those who wish to do so may gravely err because “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” Just as Christ explained us who our neighbors are, I feel it a great disservice to our fellow man and to God to label any child who is doing their best to follow Christ, or at the very least, to be doing good in general, of the devil.

  18. jer1414 says:

    Jacob5 said “But we do not say we will become God”
    Of course Mormonism does not teach men can become “God” himself, no one is saying that. It DOES teach man can become “A” god (one of many in existence).

    and he said “for we worship only one God”
    Which God? The Father, the Son,or the Holy Ghost(since Mism defines them as 3 separate gods)?

    And yes, I do have a problem with the message. I have a problem with any message that is misleading- The message should have stated that although Mormonism uses the same familiar terms of “God”, “Jesus”, “gospel”, those terms are defined differently and should have explained exactly how they are different in Mormonism (i.e. God is one of many exalted men, men can become gods, etc.).

    Although it was suggested those with a problem with the message find more important issues to focus on, I disagree in in that teaching and guarding the truth, putting off falsehoods, and warning about false teachers IS important, as scripture states.

  19. Jacob5 says:

    Well, if there is a question about whom we worship. We pray to God our Father through His Son Jesus Christ. We also believe that it is through the Holy Ghost that we receive answers to our prayers. So, there is only one God we worship.
    Now I believe we have stated it quite clearly as to our belief in eternal progression not deific subplantation. If you have a problem with that, that is not my problem. If you find that teaching as unacceptable, then you are free to make that choice, just as we are free to make our choice.
    I have my faith that it is true. There is now emperical way for me to prove to you suffice it to say I believe it.
    I am sure there are things you believe in that I do not accept, but for me it is enough for me alone to have my beliefs (and I will defend them) and to be at peace with that.
    But I must say that I owe all of you a great deal of thanks, honestly. I have found a new desire to study my faith and to find that it is strengthened. So, in those regards I do thank all of you as my neighbors as well as brothers and sisters.

  20. falcon says:

    “Subplantation”, I like that word. Of course Mormons aren’t going to subplant their god. I think conceptually, the Mormon approach to progression to godhood has been described as kind of an escalator. The god you pray to is several steps up the escalator from where you are now. You’ll never catch-up to him. The nature of God is what really separates Mormons from the Christian mainstream. That’s why it’s not considered under the umbrella of normative Christianity. It’s a different religion. Which is all well and good but please don’t represent yourselves as if your just another evengelical Christian denomination. The Mormon concept of the nature of God was never taught in the primitive Christian church. It was “revealed” to Joseph Smith. If Mormons want to believe that fine. But please, don’t hide behind Christian terms that a different meaning for Mormons. It appears disceptive and dishonest.

  21. jer1414 says:

    Jacob, I am not sure you understood me, as you repeated again that your “belief in eternal progression not deific subplantation”. I agreed with that and said no one is saying that Mormonism teaches such a thing. We all understand that Mormonism teaches man may become “A” god, not replace their own (you called it “deific subplantation”). Again, no one is claiming that is a Mormon teaching. We ARE saying that eternal progression involves men becoming gods, one of the infinite number that exist – a huge and very significant departure from Christianity. And like Falcon said above, “If Mormons want to believe that fine. But please, don’t hide behind Christian terms that have different meaning for Mormons. It appears deceptive and dishonest.” AMEN.

    As far as which God you worship, it sounds like you say you worship one God (father) but through the power of another God (Jesus), and you receive answered prayer through another God (the Holy Ghost, not the Father?). And so if Mormons worship one God as you say, is it God the Father, and not Jesus and Holy Ghost (since Mormonism defines them as 3 separate Gods)? Thank you for helping me understand these teachings.

  22. Jacob5 says:

    Well, first of all. I think both of you do get it pretty well. Thank you for your honest response and understanding of our position of exaltation.
    We do not lay any claim to “normative” Christianity. The moment we upheld Joseph Smith’s first vision we stated clearly that we do not continue from those lines. Because when Joseph Smith Jr. said he saw to personages, that alone goes against several Christians norms that there was no revelation, and that the notion of the Holy Trinity is not something we believe in.
    Now, as for the questions. When we pray, we pray to God the Eternal Father and we close our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. Because of Christ’s position he is an intercessary for us. He is the one who brought atonement, and thus it is in his name we pray to God. But we do not pray directly to Jesus because he is still not God the Father who created all mankind, even Jesus Christ who is our Elder Brother. Now it is through the Holy Ghost that we receive word from God because the whole situation of our lives is that we are incapable of being in God’s presence in general (that is not to say impossible, certain things must occur, again another discussion there) and also because in order to allow us to have free agency we must be allowed to rely on our faith. Because as Jesus said to Thomas, “because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) So that is why I say that it is through the Holy Ghost we receive our answers. The Holy Ghost is not making up his own decisions. But he is capable of giving us what we need to know from God. Just like the leadership of any organization. You have the head of the leadership, and those who were appointed by the head have authority to speak in his name inasmuch as they are in unity of purpose and knowledge.
    So, in conclusion, we worship only one God. We pray to only one God. And we hope to receive blessings from only one God.

  23. Arthur Sido says:


    “Well, if there is a question about whom we worship. We pray to God our Father through His Son Jesus Christ. We also believe that it is through the Holy Ghost that we receive answers to our prayers. So, there is only one God we worship.”

    Interesting. Christ asked an important question to Peter when He asked him, who do they say that I am. There were a variety of answers, but then Christ asked THE big question: but who do you say that I am? Peter responded “You are the Christ, the Son of God.” That is the big question, and answering that question incorrectly negates any claims of believing in Jesus. Muslims believe in Jesus in a way. Jews believe in Jesus in a way. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons believe in Jesus in their own way. But the way we see Christ is not nearly as important as who He has claimed to be. If you fail to answer the question that Christ put to Peter the way that Christ has revealed, all your claims to belief are void. Unbelievers in New Testament times believed all sorts of things about Christ. The Pharisees and scribes even believed He healed and cast out demons. But they didn’t believe that He was who He said He was, the Son of God. Not the created Son, but the eternal Son.

    “But I must say that I owe all of you a great deal of thanks, honestly. I have found a new desire to study my faith and to find that it is strengthened.” I hope you honestly study, not just what mormonism teaches but what others say. It is easy to hide away behind “I have a testimony” and never consider anything else. It takes a great deal more courage to examine your beliefs honestly. If they are true, they will stand scrutiny.

  24. Lautensack says:

    Jacob5 Wrote:
    Because as Jesus said to Thomas, “because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
    Jacob, what was it that Thomas said when he believed(that Christ had been resurrected)? John 20:28 (KJV) “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.” Thomas attributed the title “my God” to Jesus, clearly an act of worship and reverence, therefore one must ask do Mormons revere and honor the Son as they do the Father (John 5:23), or do they revere and honor the Son differently than they do the Father?


  25. Rick B says:

    The LDS claim the trinity is 3 seperate Gods. What About when Jesus said, Before Abraham was, (I AM). He said right their He was/is God. So they wanted to kill him. Rick b

  26. Jacob5 says:

    Well, first. Please do not belittle my testimony. Because that is as much a part of my personal faith as my heart is important to maintain the life of my body. I will duely show respect to you for your faith and testimony.
    Second, I do not believe any differently than what Peter says. Christ is the Son of God. Now other than putting up your own personal beliefs and views of the scriptures, you do nothing to invalidate my belief. So that argument only comes down to me saying “’tis so” and yours is only “’tisn’t”. Sorry buddy, I am sure you have faith in your belief, but that does not change mine.
    I study the scriptures I have read them out and have searched in prayer. I do examine my faith, and it rings true to me as the day I first heard it. If anything, these little comment sessions have truly brought me to an even greater knowledge of my faith, as I have had to research some scriptures that I honestly will say, I did take for granted. But as I reveiwed them once again, it still holds true for me, aside from the fact that I have gained a greater understanding.
    As far as I have learned I AM was a miss translation of the name Jehovah. The same as when Moses said that he was told to say that he was sent by I AM. This may have done either because a literal translation may have ocurred or out of respect for the translator to not overly use that name. But, this does not show me any difference to me as we believe that Jehovah is different from Elohim.

  27. Lautensack says:

    Jacob5, unfortunately your exegesis of Exodus 3:14 is incorrect. “And God (Elohim) said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM.” If you are in fact saying that I Am is a miss translation of Jehovah, you are saying that Elohiem said he was Jehovah, rather the words for I AM THAT I AM is AeHiYeH ASHeR AeHiYeH, continents (Aleph He Yod He) (Aleph Shin Rosh) (Aleph He Yod He) the continents for Jehovah, are (Yod He Vav He). Therefore God was actually saying I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE (I am in future tense). However either way according to your exegesis or mine I AM is Elohim. Therefore when Christ used the title I AM he was referring to the name Elohim gave Himself. Please explain this according to your theology.


  28. jer1414 says:

    Jacob said “Because when Joseph Smith Jr. said he saw to personages, that alone goes against several Christian norms”.

    Not only does Scripture warn about those who claim visions (Jer. 23:16) and false Christ’s that will appear (Matt. 24:24), this vision goes against what Scripture says (thus the Christian “norm”). It also goes against what the Book of Mormon says too (Alma 22:10, 31:15). No where in either book does it declare God is physical, a man, an exalted man, that God progressed, that He had a father, or anything of the kind. It declares exactly the opposite. Scripture declares that God IS spirit (not HAS one, but IS a spirit being) in John 4:24. Spirits do not have flesh and bones in Luke 24:39. Scripture declares God to be immortal and invisible, unlike man who is visible and physical. It also declares that God learned from no one, that nothing compares to Him, that He is the ONLY God and is every where present. More could be said regarding this and the Trinity as well, but I will remain brief here.

    You mentioned that you don’t pray to Jesus or worship Him, but in Scripture Jesus is prayed to and worshipped. He claimed to BE God, not “a” God, not one of many gods. The Jewish people knew exactly what He was claiming, which is why they threw stones at Him.

    That said, although I disagree with you, I appreciate your thoughts. I am glad you are taking an honest look at the teachings of your church. I pray you will examine them against the Scriptures and prove all things, hold fast to that which is true.

  29. Jacob5 says:

    Well, first off. It was enough to be stoned by simply saying the Lord’s name in general. That is why when the name came in the scriptures they instead said Adoni as to show great reverence. That is also why we have the title of Lord in the English version, whereas in the original Hebrew old testament text uses the name of “Jehovah” over 5,000 times. But for a non-believer to claim that he was “Jehovah” that was outright blasphemy. But I guess all they could do to hime with any immediate action at the time was through rocks. I am sure if they had more they would probably have used it.
    As far as saying I don’t worship Jesus, I am sorry. After further review I have learned better. I did misspeak. The flesh is weak but the spirit is willing. We do worship Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
    As to the body of flesh and bone. Just as Jesus Christ was resurrected, and as we believe we will be resurrected we believe that God the Father is also a resurrected being. That we say that at some past point in some unknown eon that God had also a reason to have a resurrection does not take away from us the divinity of God because his existence is as it is now. He is God and was always God. Christ says himself that what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. (John 5:19)
    Jer1414, thank you for your kindness. For even if we may yet dissagree with doctrine we may yet agree that to love are neighbor is still a commandment. And that by loving one another we may yet show people that we are disciples of Christ.

  30. Lautensack says:

    Jacob5, you still have not answered the question about the I AM. In Exodus 3:14 the word for God is Elohim, God said unto Moses, I AM that I AM. You have said that this is a “miss translation” of Jehovah. Therefore if it is a mistranslation then is Elohim claiming to be Jehovah? If it is not a mistranslation when Jesus used the title I AM (John 8:58) was he claiming to be Elohim? It can only be one or the other. Which is it and how do you justify it with your theology?


  31. jer1414 says:

    Jacob, you said “(God) is God and was always God”, but Mormonism teaches that God is an exalted MAN. I am also concerned that first you said you didn’t worship Jesus, now you are saying you do. It is very important to know who you worship. This is critical and I urge you to search out the Scriptures on this point. You have claimed to worship “one God”, yet you now are saying you worship TWO Gods, since according to Mormonism, the Father and Jesus Christ are TWO Gods. Please read Deut. 10:20 “You shall fear the LORD your God; him ALONE you shall worship”. All throughout Scripture we are commanded to worship ONE God, and we are commanded to worship the ONLY God (Isaiah 43:10, 44:6, 45:5, etc.). Please think about the implications as you compare your beliefs to the Scriptures.

  32. Jacob5 says:

    Actually, I was getting to that. I just ran out of space and comments. No where does Elohim claim to be Jehovah and vice versa. We believe that Christ has always been our mediator, as he was the savior of mankind. Now since it was an eventuality that Christ would make the sacrifice he is regarded at all points of time to the Savior. So, we blieve that Christ was the speaker as He was the “Word” of God. Just like Moses was the prophet and Aaron spoke for him. Exodus 4:16, “He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you [Moses] were Elohim to him [Aaron]… ,” Got that one from wikipedia interestingly enough, since no where in the English bible do we even see Elohim. I guess I should try to study some Hebrew to find where Elohim is actually used. In my church we receive a clearer view of who Elohim is through modern revelation.
    If you have any further questions, read this.
    Some may ask when de we determine what our leaders say is doctrine or not, it is when you have the name of the church on it. Our scriptures bear that name. Our churches periodicals and teaching manuals bear that name. There are many books written by leaders of the church, and we do study them in hopes to can further knowledge, but they are mearly asides from our core beliefs, which should be studied and compared with what is approved.
    Some may comment on the first two names given to our church. But I tell you they may have given by enlightened men, however it was still men trying to come up with the name, but the name we bear today was given by revelation.
    In closing we pray to God our Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

  33. Lautensack says:

    You wrote the following on January 15th, 2008:
    As far as I have learned I AM was a miss translation of the name Jehovah. The same as when Moses said that he was told to say that he was sent by I AM.
    You also wrote the following on January 16th, 2008:
    No where does Elohim claim to be Jehovah and vice versa…We believe that Christ has always been our mediator, as he was the savior of mankind. Now since it was an eventuality that Christ would make the sacrifice he is regarded at all points of time to the Savior. So, we blieve that Christ was the speaker as He was the “Word” of God. Just like Moses was the prophet and Aaron spoke for him.
    So when the bible states,”And God said unto
    Moses, I AM THAT I AM…” and the word used for God is Elohim (Aleph Lamad He Yod Mem) not Jehovah (Yod He Vav He) thus Jesus was claiming to be Elohim or according to you speaking for Him, though you thought He was claiming to be Jehovah previously.
    However in Hosea 13:4 “Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt…” The word for LORD is Jehovah, and the word for God is Elohim. Literally translated this says “and I (the LORD)Jehovah, (God) Elohim of you from land of Egypt.” Therefore at least Jehovah claimed to be Elohim. Also throughout the book of Genesis singular verbs are used with the phrase “Jehovah Elohim” This is why in your Bible you see the phrases “said the LORD God” or “I am the LORD God” and the phrase “LORD God” is found more than 500 times in the Old Testament Scriptures. It is a singular verb used with the Hebrew words “Jehovah Elohim.” To say this is describing two separate gods is a gross misunderstanding of the Hebrew language. I do urge you to study Hebrew, because the truth has nothing to hide.


  34. jer1414 says:

    Jacob, no matter how nicely you word it, you have admitted that you worship TWO separate Gods. See Exodus 34:14: For thou shalt worship no other god; for the LORD [Jehovah], whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

    Do you realize you are in violation of the first commandment as recorded in Exodus 20:2-3,
    I am the LORD [Jehovah] thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (See also Deuteronomy 5:6-7)

    The fact of God’s uniqueness is the most basic truth revealed in Scripture. It is central to properly worshiping God! Please heed the words of Lautensack above. And may I also strongly recommend using the “Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible”, which allows you to look up any Scripture passage along with every Hebrew or Greek word behind the English words.

    I truly hope you will look into God’s Word and examine these issues. I pray you would understand what it says and deal properly with the knowledge you gain. May God bless you as you seek Him.

  35. Jacob5 says:

    Okay, jer, my words are layed out. Where do I say I worship “TWO” Gods? Where does it say that I pray to anyone other than God the Father?
    Actually I just got finished studying the New Testament last year. I love studying about Christ and His early church.
    Now here was what I wanted to post yesterday:
    Actually LORD is a translation of Adonai which the Jews spoke in place of Jehovah. (
    Then for those of us who believe that Jesus is part of the Godhead He Himself is a God then for Jesus saying He is Jehovah and saying He is God He is not saying He is Elohim. He is saying He is that God who is Jehovah or Jehovah God which is very much a part of Hebrew use of adjectives after the main noun.
    Jehovah was the one speaking to the Old Testament people. Jesus is Jehovah. Jesus is the Word of God. Hence He is the one who speaks for God.
    But you should understand that LDS belief is that Elohim is the Father and the Jehovah is the Son.
    The covenant or proper name of the God of Israel. It denotes the “Unchangeable One,” “the eternal I AM” (Ex. 6: 3; Ps. 83: 18; Isa. 12: 2; Isa. 26: 4). The original pronunciation of this name has possibly been lost, as the Jews, in reading, never mentioned it, but substituted one of the other names of God, usually Adonai. Probably it was pronounced Jahveh, or Yahveh. In the KJV, the Jewish custom has been followed, and the name is generally denoted by LORD or GOD, printed in small capitals.
    Jehovah is the premortal Jesus Christ and came to earth being born of Mary (see Mosiah 13: 28; Mosiah 15: 1; 3 Ne. 15: 1-5; D&C 110: 1-10). Although Ex. 6: 3 states that the God of Israel was not known by the name Jehovah before Moses’ time, latter-day revelation tells us otherwise (Abr. 1: 16; Abr. 2: 8; cf. JST Ex. 6: 3)

  36. amanda says:


    Speaking of not worshiping more than one God…why do Evangelicals worship the bible and reject the notion that God spoke to “other sheep” and brought about scripture in this generation? Gods purposes could be BIGGER than the Bible??? NO!! Now that is idle worship. Bible was for man, not man for bible 😉

    Ev’s always say, “Consult the bible, Consult the bible!” What about consulting our “Father who art in Heaven” and see what he thinks about it?

  37. Arthur Sido says:


    It is “idol” not “idle”…

    We don’t “consult” God as if He is an equal, His Word tells us what He has declared. Thus sayeth the Lord, not Thus sayeth the prophet of the mormon church. Christians don’t worship the Bible, we worship the author of the Bible, the one and everlasting God. He has spoken finally and completely, and neither I nor you need Joseph Smith, Brigham Young or GBH to tell us what He means. Ironic that you complain about being misrepresented and then intentionally misrepresent Christian doctrines. I think the word for that might be hypocrisy.

  38. amanda says:


    I’m pregnant with my third child—have two other kids in diapers who have been throwing up all week long– and just happened to find myself IDLE at the computer wasting my pertinent points on semantic-obsessed readers. Sometimes people need a little context.

    What is Christian doctrine Arthur? Perhaps you need a lesson in how the New Testament was formed and the religious battles that ensued centuries after Christ was crucified to determine what “doctrine” was. Don’t get on your high-horse about doctrine. Do you have the original writings of the authors of the gospels??? No. No one does. These authors were actually MEN, were they not? Testifying of Christs’ divinity? Not God himself wielding a pen to paper? Are you an authority on the interpretation of the copies of copies of copies of copies of these gospels? So how do you place so much stock in what the bible says if you HAVEN’T addressed God directly regarding these writings. The bible has to be legitimized through your personal relationship with Him, not Him legitimized through your personal possession of the bible. This is where IDOL worship is relevant- placing words on a page above the legitimacy of a living God. Didn’t the Reformers movement rely on the notion that one should seek a personal relationship through humble prayer in Jesus’ name? Who said anything about being equal with God? So if I pray to a loving Heavenly Father, somehow I deem myself to be on His level? Ludicrous. Aren’t we all hypocrites? A hypocrite accusing another of being a hypocrite, now THAT is irony.

  39. jer1414 says:

    Jacob, you asked, “Where do I say I worship “TWO” Gods?”
    (1) God the Father (Elohim) whom you worship and pray to, and
    (2) “As far as saying I don’t worship Jesus, I am sorry…We do worship Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.” on 1/14/08
    Mormonism defines God the Father and Jesus as TWO separate Gods.

    Christians do not worship the Bible. We do believe the Bible to contain the Word of God and we do accept it as such. You argument of “These authors were actually MEN, were they not?” doesn’t make sense, since it was also men who wrote the BoM, the Articles of Faith, etc. and men who lead the Mormon religion, so surely you understand the idea of men being inspired by God. I realize you have been led to believe that the Bible came about through “copies and copies”, that it’s been mistranslated, and that groups of men wrote it from various later discussions. These insinuations are wrong. You may be surprised at how the Bible is confirmed by history, geology, archeology, textual transmission, etc. A short article about Manuscript Evidence can be found at

    I also realize you’ve been taught that the “other sheep” mentioned confirms the Book of Mormon. In short, it’s referring to non-Jewish Gentiles, but if you care to read more, there’s a good article on MRM on this topic.

  40. Lautensack says:

    Don’t trust everything you hear on Wikipedia. Jehovah is not a translation of Adoni, actually orthodox Jews will not even utter the Holy Name (YHVH) so in its place they say Adoni and translate the name into English the LORD (note all caps, lower case for Lord is Adoni is actually translated Lord in the KJV) not Jehovah, Yahweh, or Yahveh because that would be disrespectful to the Holy Name. The only reason that Jehovah was coined if you will was because they took the vowel sounds from Adoni and placed them in the Holy Name (YHVH). However Elohim is in the Hebrew text and is always translated God. You want to believe that Elohim is God the Father, and that is fine, but to say that Jehovah (YHVH, Yod He Vav He) never claimed to be Elohim or that Elohim never used the title Jehovah (YHVH) is a lie. The text does not lie, for the Jews there was no difference hence why the writer of 1 Samuel used the (YHVH) and Elohim interchangeably, this is clearly seen when he is speaking of the Ark of the LORD and the Ark of God, for there were not two Arks but one Ark, and yes the words used for God and the LORD were Elohim and Jehovah (YHVH) respectively. (1 Samuel 5:ff) There is no way around the text. Either God the Father had nothing to do with the Bible and Jehovah took His name, or Elohim is the One true God who’s name is (YHVH). Again I urge you to study Hebrew for yourself and then as we are told in John 5:39, “search the scriptures” because they testify of Jesus, who is the true God and Eternal life (1 John 5:20)


  41. amanda says:


    You misunderstood the argument I was making. I was pointing out that you HAVE to have FAITH FIRST that these men (who wrote the bible, OR the BoM) were inspired of God. You can’t get that simply by researching biblical history (or BoM DNA history). You have to PRAY and ask your Heavenly Father, LIVE by its’ precepts and reap the fruits of that faith. I was not rejecting the Bible in my statement. I was pointing out the importance of priorities…hence the idol-worship comment. I still believe that evangelicals place the bible before their own relationship with God. Why? Because they outright reject the notion that God makes His own decisions with whom he calls to be a prophet, and when…when he wishes to bless his people with further communication, through prophets and additional scripture. They use the bible as the litmus test for the Book of Mormon, when quite frankly, the Book of Mormon gives needed context to the bible…but evangelicals will never discover that as long as they place the bible before what God thinks.

    I put an antagonistic view of the bible (that is alive and well in intellectual/historical circles) in order to point out that the bible has its’ naysayers too. But a testimony comes through prayer and faithful living by abiding by its’ precepts. The same is true of anything else that is ACTUAL scripture, which is why LDS missionaries ask their investigators to put the BoM to the test— read it, pray about it, abide by its’ precepts and judge it by the fruit that it brings, (or for the sake of argument, might not bring). I find it foolish to put limitations on what God has done, is doing, or WILL do for His children simply because we are limited by our own ignorance of His purposes. Think of the Jews, they were so concerned with their current practices that they didn’t know Christ, all LDS wish of Evangelicals is to avoid that same mistake of pride.

  42. Lautensack says:

    Of course we must trust that the writers of the Bible were inspired, however we also believe that all of scripture is breathed out by God, therefore not only were the writers inspired but scripture itself is. However to believe such a thing blindly God does not ask of us, because if He did or if the test of prayer was the only test given to us then how could we tell if your prayer to God was correct and mine incorrect or if we were both wrong and the Islamic fundamentalist was correct. We all have existential experiences through prayer about the books that we regard as scripture and those that we do not. However our experiences do not self authenticate because our hearts are wicked and our minds are debase, therefore God gave us prophecy in His word the bible to confirm it was Him who inspired the words. None of the biblical prophecies have been proven false, the same cannot be said for those of Joseph Smith Jr. or Mohammad, two men who claimed to be prophets inspired by God. On top of that the bible is historically accurate, again the same cannot be said for the Book of Mormon, the other Mormon scriptures, and the Qu’ran. Therefore, though all three of us can assert that we know “our” scriptures are the true ones, only the Bible holds a shred of evidence outside of an existential experience which is not commonly shared by all who inquire about it in prayer.
    As for the Book of Mormon giving needed context to the bible, what context is this? As I have read the Book of Mormon many times through, both systematically and cover to cover and prayed about it, yet discovered nothing in it that helped me in faith or explain the bible I am curious to what you mean by that.
    We could all bare our testimonies of our experiences of prayer but they are not self authenticating or we would all get the same answer, however to assume Christians don’t pray, especially about these matters, is a brash statement of self righteousness.


  43. Jacob5 says:

    1. I didn\’t say that Adoni was a translation of Jehovah. Adoni was used in place of Jehovah because it was forbidden to say it.
    2. As far as how the bible was proven. Where is the physical evidence of the parting of the Red Sea. Does anyone have it. Does anyone here believe it still. I do, without the evidence. What about the fiery serpents. Any of those in any nature book for the middle east? And all the poeple had to do was to look upon a symbol placed on a staff to be cured of the venom. I believe without the evidence. Do you? How many people in this world still doubt the world flood and that only eight (8) people survived? Some people even erringly search for Noah’s ark. I believe without the evidence. Do you? Has anyone proven the possibility of turning water into wine? Or what about curing someone of blindness by simply spitting on the ground and rubbing the mud into someones eyes, any proven evidence to that? Now I say that if God the creator of all can do all these things and if any of you believe those things without having to have them proven to you, I say that there was a boy who went to God for an answer of which church to join and he got a very person answer of join none of them.
    I am sorry but your doubts to my faith is not enough to negate it. Your interpretations of the scriptures does not negate it. Your shallow arguments does not negate it. If this were the Church of Joseph Smith, I’d be worried, but it is not. I accept his human failings. I accept his times of weaknesss. But I submit to you 1 Corinthians chapter 1. For as much as you try to use your interpretations and knowledge to disprove my church you only succeed in your own failure. I don’t need to prove to you anything, because my belief does not hinge on your belief. My faith comes from my God, no matter what you may chose to use my words for.

  44. Lautensack says:

    Jacob5, you clearly missed the entire point of my previous post about the Holy Name and Elohim.
    As for the miracles in the Bible, yes, we never found the ark, we never found a wooden structure from thousands of years ago. I don’t know about you but I have seen a lot of dead wood rot and turn to “dirt” when just sitting out for a few, months. You point to the Red Sea being parted, well for that to have happened there must have been a Red Sea… oh we found that, right where the Bible said it was. Oh no, God preformed a Miracle of wrath, actually the glory of God’s Wrath does not really fit with your theology does it? Then you assume that we do not believe the Miracles of Jesus who Christians believe was God, the Son of the Blessed One. Well of course Jesus had divine power, He also made the lame walk, the dumb speak, the deaf hear, and the dead rise. Now of course it takes faith to believe the miracles, I will give you that, but, God made the evidence for the Bible so clear you would have to be a fool to not believe it was the Word of God, the same cannot be said for the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith’s Prophecies, and certainly not the Book of Abraham.
    As for 1 Corinthians 1:18ff, you assert like the Greeks I seek wisdom, however you fail to see that most Mormons like the Jews require a sign, a wonder even if it is an experience within themselves. That is why Paul goes on, because it is Christ Crucified that is the wonder and wisdom of God. This of course is foolishness, which is why it is a stumbling block to so many, God’s revealed Word in Jesus Christ and the Bible, not empiricism or reason, the two ways humans know things, but Revelation which is backed by both.
    Of course you faith does not hinge on my beliefs, nor should it ever, but how do you know it is God, do you test all spirits? Have you ever had a wonderful physical experience that turned out to be horrific in the end? If so could the same thing not be said of spiritual ones?

  45. amanda says:


    I do not believe I have ever once claimed that Evangelicals do not pray…I would like you to quote me in this instance, because I believe any comments you might be referring to, are being taken out of context (inadvertently, perhaps).

    I adamantly disagree that the bible has “evidence” that it is divinely inspired…only the evidence that the Holy Ghost can bring.

    I will reference a very prominent scholar who once considered himself saved…Bart D. Ehrman. You should read a few of his books…it might interest and surprise you (however, I must state that I don’t agree with the entirety of his perspective, I think it adds context to this discussion). After much research into bible history and this so -called evidence you claim exists, he became more confused as to whether the bible was actually scripture. Ironically, he followed the same evangelical belief that somehow evidence would exonerate the bible in its’ claims- and ended up putting his trust in “evidence”- which failed him. This process he undergoes only outlines the point I am trying to make. Evangelicals are kidding themselves if they think they can PROVE the bible is scripture anymore than LDS can prove both the bible and BoM are scripture outside our own testimonies gathered through experiences with the Holy Ghost.

    Coming full-circle with other remarks that have been made, a personal relationship with God is more important than the bible itself. It is only inspired if our relationship with God dictates this reality to us. The same is true of the Book of Mormon, and the reality of a living prophet. Even a testimony of Joseph Smith is a gift of the Spirit–not the gift of “existential evidence”. Many times it is suggested, on this site, that LDS just do what the prophet says without thinking. Follow blindly. When actually, it is our personal relationships with the Father that dictate this reality to us. We follow a prophet because the HOLY GHOST testified to our hearts.

  46. Lautensack says:

    Amanda darling, one I am not sure you understand what an “existential experience” is. I am pretty sure I never said “existential evidence” proved the bible, why because we all have existential experiences, please understand existentialism before making the statement that “a testimony of Joseph Smith is a gift of the Spirit–not the gift of “existential evidence”” and not confuse it with empiricism. I could feel that the HOLY GHOST testified to my heart to murder babies, could you tell me that I would be wrong to assume this was the HOLY GHOST? If so how would you prove it, your testimony? But I have my own, therefore who’s is valid mine or yours? We all have “existential experiences” where we know in our “hearts” that it is God speaking to us, but ours conflict, therefore they both cannot be true, one or more must be false. Thus we, both you and I, use reason to interpret our experience to say it was the Holy Ghost. Unfortunately for LDS their testimony is not supported by evidence outside of their testimony. Does all the outside evidence prove the bible is inspired? No, but it lends a lot of weight, more than any other “inspired” religious text. Does someone’s unbelief disprove the bible? Only if my unbelief that it is snowing outside disproves that is is snowing outside and I am going to have to snow blow.

    As for your scholar of course I could point to other scholars who would refute him, however I do challenge you to look up the work of Ivan Panin,
    Simon Greenleaf, and Sir Lionel Luckhoo.

    Oh and I am sorry for drawing the conclusion that evangelicals don’t pray, perhaps a better conclusion would be that according to the following you believe they don’t trust prayer. “You have to PRAY and ask your Heavenly Father, LIVE by its’ precepts and reap the fruits of that faith.”


  47. amanda says:


    Ok, you got me. I was being intellectually lazy. I just skimmed through your response and made a bad conclusion as to what your point was. However, you must give me this…If existentialism meant what I decided it meant, I had a pretty good retort, eh? I owe you a more appropriate response, and will get to it in the next post, right after this one.

    Would I be negating my own testimony to say that well, your answers regarding the Book of Mormon are authentic as well? It’s an uncomfortable reality but it seems one must come to this conclusion (as evangelicals often do) in order to remain consistent with their beliefs… but is the world and the matter of faith this black and white? I have come to realize that perhaps it isn’t, only to God who knows all things could make black and white conclusions. Since we are eternally limited, I think it is dangerous to make black and white conclusions regarding someone’s understanding of God and the legitimacy of their testimony. The only thing I can say is what I know, not what you know…and would expect the same intellectual honesty from you. (but not the same intellectual laziness from you as I displayed). So the my quote you referenced, I was merely suggesting what the words actually suggest. I believe that process is a good one for anyone to follow, but I can only answer for myself- not for others. I don’t believe I was attempting to say, “so therefore, evangelicals don’t trust prayer”. I was just stating a principle/process I believe in.

    In terms of your scholarly references, I know they exist, and I am not attempting to marginalize them- I thought Doctor Ehrman’s experience was unique to the conversation I thought we were having 😉

    (The thought of killing babies panders to emotional impact rather than rational impact. I don’t think there is a that stark of a difference between what your faith dictates and what mine dictates)

  48. amanda says:

    “On top of that the bible is historically accurate”

    Which part of the bible? I would be more confident in the old testament than the new, given the early Christian politicking. However, this is my personal opinion, and not something I’ve heard at church.

    In terms of evidence for the Book of Mormon, the fruits of the spirit are the only evidence I need. As you suggested earlier, there are scholars who would disagree with Dr. Ehrman…suggesting there is evidence to say the opposite of what he postures in his opinions..the same standard needs to be applied to the so-called DNA “evidence” that many have hurriedly attempted to use against the validity of the Book of Mormon. Evidence evolves doesn’t it? Sometimes evidence we have is incomplete yet we still try to draw a complete picture before we have a more complete context. Scientists and scholars have always been guilty of this. This phenomenon is therefore extremely problematic in having ANY confidence in what scholars say about evidence at any given time. Hence the need for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    I have never had a negative experience from following, or believing the doctrine taught in the Book of Mormon. It has only brought true direction, love and joy into my life…nothing can negate this. And I would be ungrateful to not stand as a witness. I share it out of love, because I desire the same for my neighbors. These conversations can go around in circles…but the Book of Mormon stands solidly as the word of God- it speaks for itself.

    And no, after it…I can’t say I have a full grasp of existentialism– I’ll have to call my brother Aaron (I’ll give you his number if you ever get cast on “who wants to be a millionaire”- he’s my English language life-line).

  49. lillym says:

    I was just reading this exchange (been away from this blog for a while). I came back here because I’m continually amazed by the way the Mormons ignore the complete fraud of the “book of Abraham”.

    I’m completely at a loss to understand this among the Mormons. If there was indisputable proof that Mattew, Mark, Luke and John were frauds and who made up every word – I would have to reject Jesus as the messiah.

    And yet Mormons either don’t know or don’t care about the book of Abraham. I can understand why people who are born into Mormonism defend it and believe in it – I can’t understand why a rational thinking adult would choose to join the church when this information is readily available.

    At this point I’m thinking there’s nothing that can be done for someone like that, besides pray for them? (obviously asking this of the evangelicals here, as I understand the Mormons won’t be sympathetic to this goal. 🙂 )

    I recently had a long conversation with a Jewish guy in Boston who studies religion. He regularly meets with followers of many faiths, and he met up with a whole group of Mormons who were on their missions. He told me that none of them actually “believe all that stuff about the seeing stones, or any of the stuff in the BoM.” I was like “HUH? Of course they believe in the BoM!” and he went on to say that when he challenged them on many of these things, they brushed it off and told him that it wasn’t important, and told him that they don’t take Smith’s work seriously?!!! So what’s the deal? He’s under the impression that the Mormons are a nice group of people who don’t truly adhere to anything written in their books of scripture.
    I was just at a loss for words on that one.

  50. jer1414 says:

    Amanda you said “I was pointing out that you HAVE to have FAITH FIRST that these men… were inspired of God”

    This is true regarding the BoM, you have to believe it first, but this is not so for the Bible. Although there are nay-sayers when it comes to anything (Bible included), many non-Christians recognize the Bible as historically accurate. The Smithsonian Institute recognizes the Bible as a historical document. Read “Evidence the Demands a Verdict” if you’d like a better understanding of Biblical reliability.

    You said “I still believe that evangelicals place the bible before their own relationship with God”, “they place the bible before what God thinks”, “reject the notion that God makes His own decisions…”
    I’m sorry for your choosing these accusations, as they are false.

    You said “In terms of evidence for the Book of Mormon, the fruits of the spirit are the only evidence I need”.
    This would depend on considering only the “faith promoting fruits”.

    You said “Evidence evolves doesn’t it?”
    The problem for the Book of Mormon is that the “continuing evidence” is always revealing more and more that the book is not at all historical. Perhaps that is why the “most correct book” is in continual need of correction (most recently, being republished to modify the American Indians ‘principle’ ancestry).

    Lautensack summed it up quite nicely, “Unfortunately for LDS their testimony is not supported by evidence outside of their testimony.”

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