With a Sincere Heart

“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” Moroni 10:4

I was talking with a Mormon elder the other day. He challenged me to read the Book of Mormon (I have) and put the Moroni 10:4 promise into practice. Elder A. had just commented on the importance of LDS missionaries making an effort to understand, from a non-member’s perspective, what they tell investigators; therefore, I tried to explain a problem I have, as a non-Mormon, with the Moroni 10:4 challenge.

“Elder, this doesn’t seem like a valid test for me to use and here’s why. The Book of Mormon promises that if I ask God (while meeting certain criterion) whether the book is true, He will tell me it is true by the power of the Holy Ghost. But in order for me to believe the promise, I must already believe that the Book of Mormon is true. Because, if I don’t already believe the Book of Mormon is true, why would I exercise the promise given in Moroni 10:4? Why would I trust something that I don’t yet know or believe is true?”

Elder A. said, “You don’t need to believe the promise; you just need to do it.”

I explained that the book I do believe — the Bible — does not tell me to discover truth in the way the Book of Mormon suggests.

Elder A. quoted James 1:5.

I talked about the difference between praying for wisdom (as the Bible passage instructs) and praying to know if something is true (as the Book of Mormon instructs). I told Elder A. that I had prayed as I read the Book of Mormon some years ago, and that I believe God answered that prayer. With wisdom and discernment given by God, I came to the conclusion that the Book of Mormon is not true.

Elder A. informed me that of course I would reach a negative conclusion if I doubted or wondered if the book might be false. He said the honest investigator must pray with an open mind, with no preconceptions regarding the validity of the Book of Mormon.

“But Elder,” I said, “what you suggest is impossible. In order to use the Moroni 10:4 test, an investigator must begin with confidence that the Book of Mormon is true and Moroni 10:4 is an actual promise from God. Therefore, he cannot pray as prescribed in Moroni 10:4 with a completely open mind while bearing no preconceptions about the validity of the Book of Mormon. He is unable to do that because he must already believe the book is true enough to impart true promises from God.”

Elder A. disagreed. He did not want to discuss the matter further, so we let it drop.

But as explained by Elder A. this is really an impossible situation. Either an investigator believes the Book of Mormon and so “tests” its truthfulness according to Moroni 10:4, or the investigator questions the Book of Mormon, including the Moroni 10:4 promise, and thereby loses any ability to discover the truth.

Friends, the Moroni 10:4 truth test is a stacked deck. As good as it may sound, it’s simply not viable. I encourage you to consider instead the commended method for discerning truth as described in Acts 17:11.


For further reading:
Burning in the Bosom
Praying About the Book of Mormon – Is it Biblical?

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Book of Mormon, Truth, Honesty, Prayer, and Inquiry. Bookmark the permalink.

91 Responses to With a Sincere Heart

  1. falcon says:

    This is pretty cool. Thank you Sharon. What I find interesting are the accounts of long time Mormons who start doing some serious study and end up concluding that what they thought was true isn’t true. Things just don’t add up. I was reading a review on the book “Quest for the Gold Plates: Thomas Stuart Ferguson’s Archaeological Search for the Book of Mormon”. Through his intense study and search he failed to identify a single BoM city, mountain, or river, and ends up in disillusionment with JS and his loss of faith in Smith as an alleged prophet. He realized that the exposure by renowned Egyptologists of the BoA papyri, was nothing more than pagan funeral texts, and demonstated that JS was unable (by any means) to translate Egyptian hieroglyphics. Now, the average Mormon will say that Ferguson’s findings are all lies from men because they contradict the spiritual feeling they have received from God. So, your dedicated Mormon has to suspend their intellect to continue to believe something that is not true. It’s called mind snapping.

  2. Anubis says:

    “…if these things are NOT true”. The play on the word “NOT” creates a psychological loop in your brain.

    No matter how you look at it these thing are “NOT” true but forcing God to answer means that you didn’t believe his word the first time. He not only has provided evidence to you which proves mormonism false but he also warned us in St. Paul’s writings. (including the angel of light teaching a different gospel ie. Moroni)

    The Mormon measurement of truth comes from that burning in the bosom with is totally untrustworthy. Both my wife and I had that special burning in our hearts about the Book of Mormon. The problem was that same burning would show up watching my kids plays, seeing people treat each other nice and during totally fictional movies.

    It’s the emotional response to the situation that provides the Mormon “spirit” or measurement of truth. The Mormon church knows how to “FAKE” it calling it “Heartsell”. http://blog.mrm.org/2007/06/strategic-emotional-advertising/

    The Jehovah Witnesses that show up at our door say they just know without a shadow of a doubt that their church is the right one. They too have had a burning. Just ask one.

    So how do you tell who’s right and who’s wrong about the personal “burning”. With Facts!

    Even a Mormon can see that the JW’s are a cult yet when presented with FACTS about Mormonism they muster up blind faith to hold onto the fictional and ever changing theology.

    …”faith in fiction is a damnable false hope”- Thomas Edison.


  3. Rick B says:

    Many LDS have asked me to pray about the BoM. I have honesty prayed about the BoM and God spoke to me very clearly, this is what He said, He said, Acts 17:11.

    Know here are a few more problems.
    1. If I pray about the BoM and tell the LDS Acts 17:11 or the Book is false or any other answer that, yes the BoM is true, they always tell me I did not pray with a sincere heart. Why is it always on me? Also why is it always I was not sincere, as that seems to me the LDS honestly do not want to hear any thing other than what they want to hear.

    2. I have posted on (un)Fairlds boards and read how many LDS claim they are life long TBM and they have never gotten the burning in the bosom. Why if they do believe the BoM would God not answer them.

    Then lastly, I am a serious Chili head, I eat peppers and sauces so hot they would melt steal, I even won an award for a hot dry rub I made. Anyway, this stuff gives me and friends a burning in the bosom. So maybe the people who recived this burning simply ate some hot food. Rick b

  4. Alex D says:

    Anubis just made a great point in comparing JW’s to LDS… so great, in fact, that (in my opinion) it bears repeating:

    “The Jehovah Witnesses that show up at our door say they just know without a shadow of a doubt that their church is the right one. They too have had a burning. Just ask one.

    So how do you tell who’s right and who’s wrong about the personal “burning”. With Facts!

    Even a Mormon can see that the JW’s are a cult yet when presented with FACTS about Mormonism they muster up blind faith to hold onto the fictional and ever changing theology.”

    — One thing I might add to that last paragraph is the possible difference between how a Mormon would go about explaining the Jehovah’s Witnesses as a cult VS how the Christian crowd would attack it. The majority of Mormons (I assume) would toss them aside as a false religion simply based on the assertion that the LDS faith is the “one true church” before bringing FACTS into the equation; it’s just easier that way. —

    I am a bit curious… To those of you who have researched into the Jehovah’s Witness faith) Do they have a scripture that relates an intense internal feeling with a spiritual validation for truth, or is it something that is interpreted for them by a leader in that faith?

    Either way, our brains should never have to take a backseat to “feelings” (aka, our hearts) when judging the validity of information.

  5. eric017 says:

    This is my first time posting here. A short disclosure: I was born and raised in a VERY active LDS family in Idaho. Shortly after my mission, I became inactive and eventually came to call myself Agnostic. About two years ago, I accepted Jesus and wow, has my life changed!

    But anyway, I began questioning church on my mission. I met many folks who believed their religion was true using precisely the same spiritual evidence, the very same ‘burning in the bosom’. I realized there are many other experiences in life that illicit the same emotional response. Watching the Olympics will bring tears to my eyes, as will any heartwarming story on the news. Certain Grateful Dead songs to this day will cause a ‘burning in the bosom’. Does this mean the Grateful Dead are true? Of course not!! The question doesn’t even make sense. It simply means I’m human.

    In my opinion, Smith co-opted basic human emotions when he penned Moroni 10:4. He isn’t the first religious leader to do this, and certainly won’t be the last. But consider the lifelong TBM living in “Zion”. Kids start at an early age reciting platitudes of “knowing the church is true”, “knowing Smith was a prophet” ect. in Primary. The family and most the people in the kid’s life are LDS. Early in development, all sense of family, community, well-being, and safety are tied up with the “only true church on the face of the earth”. So what happens when the kid gets a little older and starts to have questions? The Sunday School lessons point them Moroni 10:4, so they can “have a testimony of their own”. Of course a “burning in the bosom” experience is forthcoming when the kid asks if the BoM is true, because so much of the kid’s emotional and psychological well-being are endangered by it not being true. Having a negative response is akin to realizing that everything one knows and loves in life is suddenly a lie. Indeed this type of emotional crisis often happens when Mormons realize the church isn’t true for the first time.

  6. eric017 says:

    Comment from above continued (Apparently I’m limited to 2000 charactors):

    Mormons are some of the smartest people I have ever known. But, I think, the Moroni 10:4 catch-22 mind trip that started early results in checking the critical thinking skills at the ward house door. Gospel Doctrine class use to drive me bananas, because no one would ask any hard questions, you know, the ones that don’t have easy answers. Indeed all the answers were provided in the manuals put out and updated yearly from the church curriculum department. The thinking had been done.

    I’ll leave y’all with one final post. I have often in my life (before I became a Christian of course) wished more than anything that the church was true. Dealing with my parents and family would have been so much easier. But as I often told my parents, “You didn’t raise me to be a liar”, and all the evidence points to the LDS church not being what it claims, and the BoM an albeit creative work of early 19th century fiction. Things have changed since I’ve become a Christian. Mormons might be very good people, and the church may do some great things in the world. But I don’t believe the gospel it preaches leads to salvation, and I wouldn’t trade my relationship with Jesus for anything.

  7. chuck5000 says:

    Alex, you said, “our brains should never have to take a backseat to “feelings” (aka, our hearts) when judging the validity of information.” You are right, when it comes to making temporal decisions. But there is not enough information available to rely entirely on yourself to make spiritual decisions. That would infer that you know as much as God. You cannot even pretend to profess that you know more than God. That is clearly obvious to anyone who believes in God. God knew this and testified of it through his prophets:

    Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: (Isa. 29:13)

    There are not enough books available to hold the knowledge of God, yet you limit yourself to one book with a few thousand pages. There are some things that can only be taught and learned by the spirit but cannot be written down. Paul experienced this very thing “How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” (2 Cor. 12:4) How do you provide evidences of those things to someone else if not through testimony and feelings?

    How else can God touch your life if not through feelings? It’s interesting how Christians continually try to remove God from their methods of gathering evidence. Why? You claim to believe in him and accept him as your God, but you limit the amount of influence he can have in your life by suggesting the only viable way to acquire FACTS is through evidence than can be understood and accepted by the human mind. That is too bad because God loves all of his children and would love to communicate with you today and you limit all of your communication with God to reading his word from the distant past.

  8. Seeker says:

    As a recovering RLDS/Restoration person, I have often been told to “hang in there” and the burning in the bosom experience would come. Ironically, I was always led to Luke 24:32. Seems these folks got the burning sensation, too. However, the verse reads: “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us along the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” It was not some wo-wo-wo, Ouija Board phenomenon; it was solid, God given proof.

    A friend of mine, who is RLDS, delights in telling me that every time he asks for something, BAM, there is the Holy Spirit speaking as clear as a bell. I must be lacking something because that never happened to me while I was in The Church. I’ve got something better. I’ve got the Bible. It may be from the distant past but the message is as up-to-date as tonight’s headlines.


  9. pallathu says:

    This is the best apologetic article I’ve ever read on why it is foolish to accept the Mormon Religion on its face value and its claim that it is true. I would say it is more than apologetic – it is a revelation from God. Thank you Sharon for writing such a great article.

  10. Lautensack says:

    Chuck500 wrote:

    “How else can God touch your life if not through feelings? It’s interesting how Christians continually try to remove God from their methods of gathering evidence.”

    It seems to me that you believe God cannot touch your life through you mind and only your heart. You who so often accuse Christians of limiting God now do this. Also it should be made clear that this bifurcation of heart and mind, a Hellenistic concept that the Jews didn’t have by the way, hence why when Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:4-5 he added the words “and all your mind”(Mark 12:30), is simply a cop out answer to say that trusting your God given mind is bad and trusting your heart is good. So next time when you feel like stealing go ahead and steal because it feels right? Wrong. You bring up Isaiah 29:13, pointing see heart, trust your heart, however what you don’t know because of how western we really are is that the word in the original language, Hebrew, is (Lamad)(Bet), which is translated in the KJV both heart and mind, among other things. This is the concept of the spirit, unfortunately due to the atomonist nature of the world we live in we divide the spirit so much that we forget the whole saying only part is all of spirit. So Chuck why don’t you trust the rest of your spirit and only rely upon a part? As for Christians not communicating with God that is a lie, in fact Christians don’t go through a prophet to communicate with God they go directly to the living God in Jesus Christ. The thing is even the devil masquerades as an angel of light, and he is the great deceiver therefore is something is told to us by the accuser it will not correlate with scripture. Think of it this way, if I pray about cheating on my wife and I receive a yes, do I do it? No, of course not, same thing applies to the Book of Mormon.
    As for your “modern prophet” what modern revelation has been made since 1979? Has there even been a prophecy since then?


  11. chuck5000 says:

    Lautensack, you are quoting Mark 12:30 out of context. This scripture refers to the first commandment and loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. It has nothing to do with learning truth.

    There is nothing in your heart, if it be right with God, that would tell you to something you already know is wrong. Do you honestly believe God will make you “feel” it is ok to do something wrong? The context of my remarks are about finding truths and evidence, not whether or not we are justified by sin. Don’t confuse the two. So I am not certain how you can correlate committing sin to knowing the word of God. You are comparing the two of the ten commandments to the Book of Mormon. It would be easier to understand if your analogy used the Bible as a comparison instead of sins. How can someone come to know the Bible is the word of God? Is it your mind only?

    I do trust the rest of my spirit. I also use my mind. However, unlike Christians, it is not my mind only. I allow God to confirm the truths through the Holy Spirit touching my heart as we are taught in the Doctrine and Covenants 9:

    8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
    9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong;

    But my question still stands, you all rely solely upon your minds by removing your hearts. Why?

    We receive revelation when the prophet communicates with the church. The mistake you make is that you expect a prophet to be a fortuneteller. As a rule, the prophet tries to restore faith and remove false views about the character of God and His doctrine. He testifies of Christ “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10)

  12. Just for Quix says:

    It is offensive to claim that Christians have a commitment of faith of the mind only. As I’ve stated before, after all that I’ve studied, and continue to study, if my commitment were a commitment of the mind only I would have remained an agnostic, or chosen to be a historical-Jesus-only materialist, or possibly eventually concluded in favor of Jewish tradition.

    It is through faith that I find a vibrant core of faith and doctrine in the Bible, and choose to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord, and what I believe about the qualities of that relationship. I study the earliest manuscripts we have: the Gospel of Mark and three major letters of Paul, Galatians, Phillipians and Corinthians, all of which authorship is not disputed, and see historical reasonableness to consider the doctrine and tradition of the high Christology contained therein. One can conclude these are merely the musings of a superstitious and Messianic Jewish cult, and that there is nothing more to take from these documents than that. My mind can accept that. It is thru faith I take the leap to also have a conviction of the heart to trust, learn and obey that doctrine of Jesus: who He was, and what He did as Messiah.

    However, what do I do when I see Mormonism has plainly discredited the trustworthiness of faith and doctrine within the Bible, and plainly teaches a Christology that opposes that which is testified within the earliest works we have? (Including those that came thereafter.) If Mormonism wants to be its own gospel and reject the Bible in word like it does in deed it would at least be more honest. But no “burning in the bosom” can make the Mormon gospel a Christian one. Even if I could have such a “burning” about Mormonism, were that even possible given what I know of Christian history and Mormon history, should that outweigh the need to align my testimony, one of heart, soul and mind, to that of the apostles and prophets within holy scripture? I believe not.

  13. Lautensack says:

    How am I quoting Mark 12:30 out of context? In Mark 12:29-30 Jesus is quoting Deuteronomy 6:4-5 “Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'” However in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, the words “and with all your mind” are left out. My point in using this text was that it was not until the Greek influence came about that the bifurcation of the spirit happened.
    Actually Chuck prayer about the Book of Mormon is unbiblical according to 2 John, because it teaches that anyone who doctrine contrary to that which was taught, by at least John, is not to accept their teachings. Since Mormonism rejects that Jesus is the Word become Flesh who created everything, including matter, our spirits, and life itself, we should reject its teachings. As for using our our minds and rejecting our hearts why do you use your heart and reject your mind? Christians do use their hearts, and their minds, but our ultimate authority is neither it is scripture. So while my mind might tell me that macro evolution is true, I do not believe it because it is incompatible with scripture, just as if my heart tells me that its ok to fornicate I don’t believe it because it is incompatible with scripture.
    Oh and Chuck I have a spirit of prophecy, just as the prophets of old did, what did they do? They told of the impending doom and encouraged repentance and belief in the God of Scripture. This is of course through union with Christ, which is because my life is hidden with Christ in God. However since I do not believe that this is what you mean by prophet but rather revelator and seer, would answered my question from my previous post, allow me to repeat it: As for your “modern prophet” what modern revelation has been made since 1979? Has there even been a prophecy since then?


  14. chuck5000 says:

    Lautensack, the scripture is out of context to what we are discussing. We are talking about receiving truth, not loving God. If the topic we are discussing is about loving God, then your context would be accurate. However, it is not so you are out of context.

    1) Mormonism does not reject the teachings of Jesus as you claim. “8 And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.” (Mosiah 3)[among many others]

    2) I have already clearly stated I do not reject my mind. Please re-read my last comments, I made it very clear that I do not rely on my heart only. (Doctrine & Covenants 131:6 It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.)

    3) I have also stated “We receive revelation when the prophet communicates with the church.” But just to entertain you, 1995, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” But regardless of what I point out, you will not accept them, so why truly are you asking this question? What is your real intent?

    1 Peter 3:15 says “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:” Again I ask, why do you take your hearts out of the equation? If you don’t, then why are you condemning Mormons for using their hearts? Who are you to judge our righteousness?

    JFQ, you said “Mormonism has plainly discredited the trustworthiness of faith and doctrine within the Bible.” It’s offensive when you make these blanket statements without any evidence. They are false and lies perpetuated by ignorance.

    You also say, “it is offensive to claim that Christians have a commitment of faith of the mind only.” But that is what this post is about. You are all claiming it requires evidence you can rationalize in your mind. You are confirming it is of the mind only whether through faith, study or what ever means you choose, if you do not use your heart. So you are offending yourself along with your fellow Christians. I am merely using your words.

  15. Lautensack says:

    I was not speaking of loving God either but the fact that the Hebrew concept of the Heart and the Mind are one thing, and it was not until the Greek influence that the bifurcation of heart and mind enters into the thought only through the influx of Hellenistic thought. Yes, while I agree that the verse is about loving God, you seem to be missing the point, the point is that both Heart and Mind are SPIRIT, so playing one against the other, as you do is folly. You point to D&C 9 and 131 yet if my study comes to a conclusion that is different than yours you reject my study based upon the concept that my “heart was contrite.” My friend if you seek to keep this bifurcation, which is your prerogative to do so, understand that the heart will understand wisdom, but not comprehend knowledge, the mind will comprehend knowledge, yet not understand wisdom. There is a difference in the two. Wisdom is the correct application of knowledge, knowledge is the acquisition of facts and truths.
    Also you say that you do not reject the biblical teachings of Jesus, such as creation, so I will plainly ask did Jesus Create matter, your spirit, and everything anywhere in any place or universe or what have you that is not of the essence of God?
    Actually I find that you bring up Hinckley’s talk being rather funny, because there was nothing new about that, that had been around in LDS teachings for many generations. Maybe I should have been more specific, where are the prophecies like those of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Hosea, John the Revelator, etc?


  16. Jacob5 says:

    I find it utterly disheartening to hear of a christian church giving arguments against prayer. Against faith even.
    I wonder what it is that truly defines your faith in your religion. What do you do when you come to the end of what is empirically provable and are asked to take an extra step? Is your faith in Christ defined simply by provable incontravertable facts? Because if that is try, then why is it that not everyone is Christian if you can give such facts?
    Faith in Christ is exactly that. I doubt anyone in this forum has direct first hand knowledge in Christ works. But I don’t need such proof to define what my faith is. I have prayed about it, and I do believe in Christ and what He did for me.
    God is our Father and He does not leave people in the dark who truly seek His light and knowledge. And when you strive to follow His teachings and put your heart in the proper place to receive His truth, you will not need any advanced studies, thesis, etc. to define what your faith is. For although God does bring truth to this world, it is our responsibility to develop our faith.
    Know this that the same arguments you make against our church is the same argument atheist make against christianity. So, just as it may prove to be impossible to prove to athiest of God’s existence as well as Christ’s importance, it is the same division between us.

  17. chuck5000 says:

    Lautensack, you are grasping for straws with trying to equate the love of God to acquiring truth. Let’s try to be a little more intellectually honest.

    Also, there is no “burification” or division in what I am sharing. You, like most Christians, choose to interpret what I say to conform to your understanding by applying your own definitions and twisting what is really being said. Try for once to see what I am saying for face value without reading between the lines. For some reason, most Christians put deeper meaning and intention into things that require no intellectualism, and it’s so nauseating. You talk and twist things to conform to your ideas. You attempt to make things appear so intellectual when they are not. Why must you always do this?

    Again, with the Gospel, you study it out in your mind (knowledge) as I have stated, and then ask God if it is true (heart). How is that dividing the two?

    I also notice you craftily avoid any of my questions as Christians most often do. Can you tell me how the Holy Ghost works in you if not by feeling?

    I have provided the revelation you sought, now you want more. You wouldn’t accept it if I shared one as you cannot accept the revelation I have provided. Do not pretend. I see through your desire to want proof. Only the wicked require such proof. There is plenty of revelations to be had, but you close your eyes to it as evidenced by that which has already been provided. D&C 64:34 “the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind;”.

    If, you cannot accept any of the many revelations and prophecies given prior to the time cutoff provided, what makes you think you would accept any after? Try to be more sincere in your requests and lest combative. If you can honestly say you accept the revelations prior to 1979, I will in fact provide more. Otherwise, to what end would I provide them? You would not accept them anyway.

  18. Michael P says:

    This is an interesting read going through these posts.

    I am not sure the Mormons here understand Lautensack’s points, and they are correct to say different usages of words is being applied. Lauensack is saying that wisdom comes from applying both heart and mind. The quote in question, in the original language, supports this. Loving God is not context he is bringing it out, but then again, how are we to fully love God? Well, we must know him, and to know him, we must study his word and not rely on our feelings alone.

    Chuck, I know your quote the D&C, and that’s all nice, but could you apply that to the missionary attempt to convert? We (as recipients of said missionaries) are told to read the verses and pray if it is true. We are not told to study, pray, and believe. We are told to believe first, then learn about it. And we must learn about it through Mormon sources.

    Jacob, we are told to have an answer for what beleive and why. Paul tells us this, so the praying about it is only part of the answer. Sure, eventually, we will run into the point where it is faith only. This is why it is faith, and such a discussion would be fruitless. But when you have no answers to so many questions, it leads to more questions. The “I prayed about” answer will only go so far before it loses strength.

    Emotion. All of us here have surely expienced some emotion at a religious event. And, this is not a new comment, but all of these are very different experiences from very different theological perspectives. A comparison of emotion is something that cannot be resolved. What basis do we have to compare? The tangible, the evidence, the facts, the history–whatever you want to call it. Ultimately, we have to look what’s behind the emotion and why.

  19. Lautensack says:

    I believe you are missing the point, yes Mark 12:30 and Deuteronomy 6:4-5 are about loving God. However from the use of the word heart in the Hebrew meant both mind and heart, and is translated as both into your English bible. My point was that this disunion of Mind and Heart was not something that existed until Greek thought entered Jewish. Therefore when you read passages such as Isaiah 29:13 you must understand that in the original language this is the concept of spirit, that is heart and mind, among other things, being far from God. I’m sorry if you didn’t understand that I wasn’t thinking or writing in a western “mind set” but rather a Hebraic one, which seems reasonable when dealing with a Jewish Messianic Sect, right? (I of course refer to Christianity, or as Paul put it the Way.)
    You say that only the wicked require proof so Peter, John, and Thomas were wicked as they required proof? You also require proof of a sort, your “testimony” is “proof” to you that Mormonism is true. Therefore do not say that you are without proof, for that argument is a lie. Now what you submit into evidence as proof or fact might very well be fiction, though you may not be open to that concept, and refuse to double check your standard against the other evidence entered into testimony. While it may be true that people all over the world have spiritual experiences with the One True God, to say that the One True God is the only spiritual being whom people experience would be utter folly on our part and a grand deception of the advisory. As such spiritual experiences are not self-authenticating, they must be tested against the Word of God, the prophets are subject to the Prophets. So yes while God can and at times does communicate through emotions He is not limited by emotion as your belief system would claim. He can and does use as many venues as there are facets of spirit, which is far more than your religion would like to allow in the realm of “heart.”


  20. Jacob5 says:

    (Mind you this is not a derission of the bible) Why is it that more people don’t believe in the bible? If there is such overwhelming evidence, then why don’t more poeple become christian?
    Could it possibly be that even after all the proof in the world, there is still a point of faith? Isn’t there a part of the bible that, even if locations, groups of people, or even artifacts or cities, can be proven, that there is still something else that people need to believe in the bible and its teachings? If so, what is that? Is it not faith?
    Now if it be that you have faith without complete evidence, I submit to you that we have faith without complete evidence. So I say, “because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
    Side note: Are we now restricted to just 3 posts, because this was actually supposed to be my 4th post but it got rejected saying I can only post 3 comments. If this is a policy change, perhaps it should be updated to the rules which still says 4 comments only.
    Thank you.

  21. chuck5000 says:

    Lautensack said “He is not limited by emotion as your belief system would claim”. This is the kind of lies I am referring to. Please stop with the lies. I have said it many times and I will say it again, our belief system IS NOT LIMITED TO EMOTION! What is it with Christians constantly trying to portray our belief system in a bad light using slander and lies? And yes, All of you do it. Why?

    To quote another scripture showing my point.
    D&C 8:2 Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.

    Contrary to what you teach that it is the mind only, please do not use diversionary tactics. Answer the question, how does a Christian receive and answer to prayer if not by feeling?

    Also, based on your analysis of the scriptures, it would require someone to have extensive knowledge of Hebrew and Greek to understand the scriptures. God is not selective like that. The Gospel is simple enough for a child to understand. So for you to claim that some much knowledge is required to understand is false doctrine and incorrect. This is what I meant by Christians “twist things to conform to your ideas.” Reading so deep into a scripture about loving God to conform it into answers to prayers? Yet you continue to show the world I am correct in my analysis of the situation.

    I have drawn the conclusion that most of your doctrines are included in the doctrine of the LDS Church. But because you do not believe in the LDS Church and the LDS Church has more of the truth and more doctrine, you try to twist those doctrines to be different so you can speak out against the doctrine of the LDS Church.

    When the discussions finally end, most Christians wind up saying they believe the same things, but our Gods are different, or the doctrine sounds the same but has slightly different meanings. The only reason this is the case, is because Christians constantly twist the truth to conform to their beliefs.

  22. clarity67 says:


    Interesting read thus far…. I would respectfully submit to you that neither you or any of us were there as witnesses in the flesh when Our Lord and Savior arose from the tomb triumphant over death How is it that you KNOW for a certainty that is indeed a veritable fact?? How can anyone know, now, having not been there? What evidences (other than than the written accounts contained in the Bible) validate this reality and from what source are they derived? And what is it really that speaks to you personally to let you know that the accounts of those prophets and apostles in Holy Writ are the truth?? Truth is revealed as stated in John 14:26 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you.” and John 15:26…”But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, EVEN THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me.” With much sensitivity and respect for your remarks, all the Greek and Hebrew training under the heavens will never reveal to you what God himself will reveal through the Spirit of the Holy Ghost. As the Savior said to Peter, “…Blessed art thou Simon Bar-jona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven”. MATT 16:17 God knows all things and He for sure knows the truth to this ongoing dilemma spelled out in the preceeding remarks. True Christians will be mindful of all of the ways that the Spirit may communicate the truth. Certainly, Mormon theology allows for likely the most broad acceptance of these “venues” and “facets” you refer to in your last post- see D&C 46. Bottom line, truth is truth, independent of how many people accept it, recognize it, believe it or live it. Be sure that you’re not stepping over it in your race to condemn anothers’ pursuit of the same.

  23. Michael P says:

    Chuck, stop with the angry whining about lies. These are not lies. They are conclusions. You can disagree about the conclusions, but do not call them lies. This makes you sound like a poor sport. Many things are similar, but few are the same. The slightly different meanings are actually much bigger usually. And we are not twisting a thing. Remember, and this has been said many, many times, we have different meanings behind different words. Trinity is a good example. No need to rehash the debate, but to us Trinity is a triune God, manifesting his one and only self in three parts. To you, it is three gods manifesting themselves for one purpose. This is but one example of our different terms. So, really, stop with the whining and face the fact that our two faiths are much more different than you acknowledge, or at least acknowledge that through our eyes, your faith is vastly different from ours. It matters not what you think it should be, it matters what it is.

  24. Sharon Lindbloom says:

    I would ask that all of us charitably give each other the benefit of the doubt regarding our comments. Rather than assign what we might consider to be misinformation a label of “lies” and “slander,” please think of it as “wrong” or “mistaken.” I know it is frustrating when we believe we are misunderstood, but please, let’s speak to one another respectfully. Thanks.

  25. Michael P says:

    Sharon, you are right, and perhaps my response was a bit over the top. Though I am tiring of the “its all lies” bit, I need to be remember patience and that the perception our friends have is that we are intentionally twisting their words. It is a two way street, and such rhetoric will only raise the defenses. So, Chuch, and expecially after reading your post on another thread, I hope you understand and take this apology. I’d rather work with you to gain mutual understanding rather than against you forcing a belief. Sharon, thank you for the reminder.

  26. Lautensack says:

    Chuck, please state where I have lied or slandered your religion? You say you believe your religious experience is not limited to emotion, I ask if your mind tells you something that your heart does not agree with which do you trust? If your “mind” tells you the book of Mormon is a lie but your “heart” tells you it is true which do you submit to? I am truly sorry if I did not get my point across clearly, I am not trying to use “diversionary tactics,” actually I am advocating unity of spirit. As to your question I though I gave it a clear answer but apparently not. Yes, God can speak through emotion, He can also speak through intellect, He can also speak through creation, vitality, character, even the will, and of course His Word. As for you believing the same doctrine as me, are you saying you believe in the Historical Doctrine of the Trinity as put forth in the Athanasian Creed, or salvation by grace alone? If not then we assuredly do not share common doctrine.

    clarity67, I agree that if the Resurrection never happened then my faith is in vain. This is the entire point of 1 Corinthians 15. Outside of the Biblical account of Jesus resurrection we have the testimony of the 12 apostles and others who at least thought they saw Jesus raised. I of course mean their martyrdom, if it was all a hoax or scam by them they would not have died in such horrific manners willingly. Therefore there is their testimony outside of the Biblical account. This is different from the martyrdom of say Modern Muslims because their testimony is not eyewitness testimony but that which they have read. I do agree with you that the Holy Spirit will lead us to all truth, but I also believe that No one can come to the Son unless the Father who sent Him draws them, and all that are drawn by the Father will come. (John 6:36ff)


  27. Lautensack says:

    The question then is not are “True Christians mindful of all of the ways that the Spirit may communicate the truth?” The question is are True Christians willing to believe what God has reveled prior to them? If the answer to that question is YeS, then no matter what spiritual experience we may or may not have, if it does not correlate with what has been previously revealed then the “True Christian” must reject it as false. I agree Truth is Truth, and Jesus Christ is Truth itself, however Truth by its nature is exclusive, lest it no longer be true. Therefore to proclaim the Truth is to be exclusive, as such to proclaim that which is True will be offensive and condemn another’s beliefs. The thing I believe many Mormon’s forget is that by their claim to truth they condemn our beliefs, and even you in saying I should not step over truth to condemn another’s pursuit of it is in fact condemning my beliefs. Therefore the fact that we correct others who we believer are falling into the pit of hell is not evil, but necessary, it is only the manner in which we do this that matters, and should be with gentleness and respect.

    Jacob5 to answer your question pleas read 2 Corinthians 4, the god of this world has blinded them.

    Sorry for the back to back posts, that’s three for the day so Happy Belated Saint Patrick’s Day, and God Bless.


  28. Rick B says:

    One evidence that we have that Jesus rose from the dead. the Jews asked Pilot to secure the tomb, Pilot told them to secure it the best way they could, so the jews used roman solidars, roman solidars were trained to kill and skilled in the art of fighting. would 12 guys risk their life to take on trained soliders with weapons to steal the body of Jesus? Rick b

  29. Jacob5 says:

    I would like to clarify something.
    I has been regarded completely that our use of testimony is merely “emotions”. But I will say this. When I search and receive confirmation of my testimony, it is not necessarily a “burning in the bossom” but an overwhelming confirmation of truth. With the scriptures we only hear of the writer giving their personal feeling or description of what happens when being guided by the Holy Ghost.
    Emotions are our reaction to situations. Some things make us happy, or sad, etc. Some people do have an overwhelming emotional reaction. This in no way denounces the experience of the spirit. Perhaps all of you feel differently when you know that truth is being taught to you. For those of our EV brothers and sisters, consider how you felt when you first had faith in Christ. Even though we have different faiths the fact is it is still a very good feeling when we come to receive Christ and His teachings. When I reflect upon His teachings and all that He has done for me, I feel great, as if my heart is somewhat lighter. When I follow His commandments I feel more peace in my soul. When I read scriptures I do so with a prayerful heart. And when I discover new truths I know they are true.
    When man teaches there could be possible confusion, but when God teaches, it is always with a clarity between the heart and mind. Of those times when I felt the Holy Ghost, there was no confusion or struggle between the two.
    I hope this is taken in the spirit in which it was given.
    Also I would still like to have an answer on my question on the comment amount.

    Sorry for the delay in answering your question, Jacob5. Yes, you are correct, the per day comment limit has been reset at three for the time being. We hope this will encourage additional people to join in the conversation.

  30. Rick B says:

    Feelings mean nothing, I mean feelings do not prove truth. I did drugs and felt great. I am A trained fighter, when I fight I feel great. I could lay out many things that make me feel good, does breaking the law by driving over 100 miles equeal truth? While for me, speed is fun, it is still wrong. Hope this helps.

    Jesus never said, Feeling good makes it true. Rick b

  31. spence32 says:

    Hi, I just stumbled on this site. My name is Spencer. I consider myself an easy-going guy and don’t get worked up too easily.

    I was raised in the south, and my family had to move around a LOT. My mom would take us from church to church, baptist, evangelical, non-denominational christian, even a church called the church of the Holy Spirit of Promise to the Gentiles…long name, eh? 🙂 My point being is this:
    All of these churches would use noise, music, and emotions at times to bring us goosebumps or burning in our bosoms…and many many times, members of these churches would confuse this with being filled with the Holy Spirit.
    I am now LDS. I will admit, members and leaders alike of the Church will use music and other things in the same way. Members can easily confuse their emotions or even 🙂 heartburn lol (see above), with the influence of the Holy Ghost. I know I have in my life. Who hasn’t?
    One thing I KNOW of a surety though: I have received a direct answer from God that His Church exists on the earth, and that Joseph Smith was a His prophet. I know it. I am more sure of it than anything else I am sure of in my sometimes crazy life.
    So, why this site? So many people in the world have changed for the better, have left their addictions and their sins through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I learned so many things through the many churches I went to in my youth. I learned a lot in how to really trust in God and be humble, to place my life in Jesus Christ and let the Savior pilot me. And I would never say anything bad about them or their doctrines or their churches! They are out to do good, out to follow Christ, and have great intentions. So why attack them? I’m not asking a rhetorical question here, I really want to know what you all think about this. I’m sorry if a member of the Church has hurt you, but golly aren’t we all offended and offensors at times?

  32. Michael P says:

    Rick and Jacob, while I appreciate your sincerity in saying its not about emotion, the problem with this stance is that the “burning in your bosom” is a completely subjective, and more importantly vague, definition. I know you sincerely believe it to be much more than emotion, but it lacks any real test, and is very open to question whether or not it is indeed emotion.

    And actually, I would submit that God’s teachings are not always crystal clear, as Christ is another good example. First, if it was so clear, why didn’t all the Pharisees believe he was the savior? They, after all, were the most educated in scripture. Second, what of his disciples, none of them got who we was until the very end, and not all of these at the same time. Third, his teachings are not always clear. What does it mean to say the meek will inherit the earth? Who and what makes a peacemaker?

    And you are right, Christ never said feeling good makes it true, but Joseph Smith did say something about that burning. Joseph Smith is a cornerstone, no?

  33. clarity67 says:


    Let me first express my sincere apology for what you have indicated is a condemnation of your belief. This was and is not my intention. Accepting your explantion, I recognize that the Mormon claim of possessing the “whole” truth, or a fulness of the gospel, is indeed a bold and, yes, very polarizing claim that often leads to a negative and even offensive reaction. While I am sensitive to that, the bottom line is the same as what I referred to before. Either the resurrection happened or it didn’t. Same thing with Joseph Smith- either he saw what he said he saw, or he didn’t; and I believe that we both agree that GOD KNOWS THE TRUTH of this. Therefore, it is now up to us to receive from God, who we agree is the ultimate source of truth, our answer. You’re right, “truth is exclusive”. So, be sure and be wise. I was not attempting to be smug when advising you not to step over the truth, rather simply to focus on how you can REALLY KNOW! Your point of comparing new revelation against the old is well made and accepted, but remember the hard time that the Pharisees had understanding the Savior’s “new doctrine” because they left no room for the possibility that God would reveal more than they already had. It made no sense to them for many reasons, but mostly because they didn’t see with their “spiritual eyes” and only focused on the letter of the law and intellectual interpretation. Let me clarify- I am not calling you a Pharisee, I am simply stating that the heavens are not sealed and God will reveal truth at any time he sees fit. And who shall stay his hand?

  34. clarity67 says:

    Lautensack, not back, sorry….

  35. Rick B says:

    one thing that really bothers me is, when people simply reject the truth because of the hardness of their hearts. just like you mention the pharisee’s not seeing the truth, the lds cannot see the truth.

    their is zero evidence, yet despite the lack of evidence you guys claim, well, God knows the truth. Yes God knows, but read your Bible, we are TOLD NOT TO BE IGNORANT. God did not die for us and give us His Word so we can go through life being ignorant and unsure of the truth.

    It simply boils down to our hearts are wicked and evil and we love darkness rather than light, just as the Bible tells us.

    Their is no evidence for the BoM, you with lack of Evidence, you guys call upon blind faith, but then when we give evidence for the Bible, you guys find ways to say it cannot be true and theirfore reject it.

    Kinda like my post in another thread. Pauls two anchors in the Book of Acts were found, yet no evidence for the 2 million dead from battle in the hill Curmoh that supposdly is now modern day New York.

    Or the 2 witnesses in the Book of revelation, we see them get killed and the whole world rejoices, yet how come the disaples that were told they would never die until Jesus returns, so they could preach the gospel so people will come to Christ, no one ever see’s them or has them knock on your door to share the gospel. Rick b

  36. Jacob5 says:

    Let me first say that worldly education doesn’t enter into it.
    I think Jacob 4:14 best explains the answer to your question.
    “But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble.”
    In our church we have very reacurring things when we teach. The doctrines are always being taught so that even though we may study further points of the gospel, we establish a firm base in the root doctrines so that we don’t overshoot the mark.

  37. clarity67 says:


    I’m not sure if you are still grasping the obvious. The absence of evidence does not by itself negate truth. For example, where is the tangible physical evidence that endures today for everyone to see that shows where Moses parted the Red Sea, and the list goes on and on….. But if you believe the Word as written, then Moses did part the Red Sea by the power of God. The same point is true for hundreds of events that really happened and are depicted in the prophet’s accounts in the Bible for which there is no enduring evidence. By the way, Mormons absolutely believe the Bible to be the word of God, in case I misread your post. As for your argument that three Nephite disciples elected to tarry until the Lord comes, and “where are they?, why don’t we see them knocking on your door?”….well.. when was the last time you saw the apostle John doing the same? He is here. The Bible says he is, but why don’t you ever hear from him?? Rick, I am truly not trying to be argumentative. My only point from my original post is that we are often confronted with differing opinions and subjective viewpoints. However, truth is, knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come.” D&C 93:24 Truth is not speculation, commentary, or conjured meanings, and interpretation. What happens, happens. And, what happened in the past, happened in the past. Whether someone chooses to believe it now or not does not change the fact that it happened. No comment, spin or bias will change the transcendant importance of the infinite atonement that DID HAPPEN in our behalf because of a loving Savior. I need no further witness than that of the Holy Ghost.

  38. Lautensack says:

    I agree either the resurrection happened or it did not. However from the evidence it can be concluded that the resurrection did happen. People such as Simon Greenleaf, an avid atheist, a founder of Harvard Law School, oh and he literally wrote the rules of evidence for the U.S. legal system. When he weighed the facts, using the legal system of the United States, the evidence was overwhelming and he became a Christian. You say I should stick to things I know, and in making such a statement, you assume that I speak of things that I do not know or understand. Therefore I must ask you to apply the same skepticism to what you think I know and not assume to know what I know.
    As for your Pharisaical argument, Jesus did not destroy or abandon the law but fulfill it. They did not believe Moses according to Jesus and that is why they did not believe Jesus. Also you assumed I did not believe revelation could continue to happen, my argument is not based upon a closed cannon, rather that prophets are subject to the Prophets, and that we are to test all spirits as many false Prophets have gone out into the world, and the clear teaching that God is not the only spiritual being in the world with whom we have spiritual experience.
    As for John, where do we read that he will not die, Jesus does not say this, as John himself states (John 21:23) this echoes Romans 9:20 “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”
    The question is how do you know that the spiritual witness you have been given is the Holy Spirit? Many people claim to feel God, some even claim to hear His audible voice, how is your experience valid and the experience of people such as John Wesley, St. Patrick, Buddah, Osama Bin Laden, or mine, which all claim things radically different than yours are not valid? What is your standard?


  39. chuck5000 says:


  40. Lautensack says:

    In a previous post on March 16, you state that you did not believe in a bifurcation of mind and heart, yet in your recent audio post you submit that there is a bifurcation calling the mind flesh and the heart spirit. Therefore you reject that the mind is spirit, though through biblical exegesis from the original languages this is clearly not the case as the word for heart and the word for mind in Hebrew is the same, and it is also translated spirit and soul as well, in different places. Also you state that spirits cannot trick your spirit, if this is the case then why do both Paul and John tell us to test all spirits? Therefore I submit to you that both the mind and the heart are both spirit, at least according to the biblical account. In your last post with one hand you say that you trust your mind, yet later in the post you reject it in the end, when it is at odds with the heart. Thus I did not lie, because while you accept the mind with your lips you deny it in action, as you admit. I assume, correct me if I am wrong, that this is because you reject the mind as being part of the flesh, I must ask then are your thoughts physical? By this I do not mean what your thoughts are of but the actual thought itself, is that physical, can I see, touch, taste, smell, or hear it, not the product of the thought, but the thought itself? If you cannot what makes it physical?


  41. chuck5000 says:

    Lautensack, the Scholarly or theological interpretation of the Bible from the original languages does not apply to my comments. If those descriptions mean something to you, you are welcome to “muddy” your understanding by trying to apply those interpretations to what I am saying, but they in fact carry no meaning within the context of my explanation. So please do not ask me to interpret my speech into the context of your interpretations. I stand by what I said and there is no division between the two within my intended meanings. If you do not comprehend what I am saying, I am not certain how to help you understand as I have said the same thing many times over.

    You said, “Also you state that spirits cannot trick your spirit, if this is the case then why do both Paul and John tell us to test all spirits?” I am guessing you are referring to 1 John 4, at least in part. I don’t see anywhere in that description where it talks about a spirit deceiving our spirit. It is making reference to our physical senses. Which also is what I stated in my audio, our physical selves can be deceived, but our spirits cannot. Alma 32:35 “…and whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernible, therefore ye must know that it is good;…” So your statement about mind and heart being both spirit is not exactly accurate within the context of what I am sharing.

    I do not reject my mind, I check it against my spirit and the truth I receive from God because my mind can be deceived, as I stated in my audio (please listen again). I think the big hangup you are having is because you are trying to split hairs. The difference is I do not rely SOLELY upon my mind. I can answer your question about it being physical by asking a question. If I disconnect your brain, can you continue to have thoughts?

    Look at it this way, your mind is how you get some of the data in and your spirit is how you confirm the truth of the data you put in as well as receive additional truth from God.

  42. Jom86 says:

    I apologize for dragging this up again, but if you don’t mind, I’d like to go back to the “heart, mind, and soul” verse for just a moment. The way I understand it, Chuck equated heart with spirit, but would it not be more accurate to equate it with soul? (And forgive me for quibbling over what may seem like semantics, but I just want to make sure I’m on the same page as everyone else.) It would just make more sense to me, because you seem to be stating the spirit is infallible, but I know for a fact how easily my heart can be misguided. Both evidence from my own life and the Bible itself would indicate this (See Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”)

    With that being said, perhaps it is right to think of our hearts (emotions) and our minds (knowledge) as being in conflict over our beliefs, and it is only the soul (wisdom perhaps?) that can provide the unity between the two? Or maybe not 🙂 I’m obviously no scholar.

    And one last question for everyone in general: Do you think it is possible that however strongly you believe what you believe, someone else who believes something opposite, can believe it just as strongly? It’s just, Spence32’s comment, “I am more sure of it than anything else I am sure of in my sometimes crazy life.” is almost word for word something I’ve said before in my life about Christianity. I honestly believe he meant that statement and would stake his life on it, just as I meant it when I said it (and still do) and would stake my life on my faith. So what does this mean for us? If he KNOWS with a spirit know, and I KNOW with a spirit know, what does that mean for us? Our faiths don’t make room for each other, so one of us has to be wrong, but in our heart of hearts and in the very core of our being we both KNOW. Is that possible? Or is one, or perhaps both of us mistaken?

  43. chuck5000 says:

    It says in the Bible there is only “One Lord, one faith, one baptism,” (Eph. 4:5). However, I’m not certain there has to be a wrong, but perhaps a less right. I’m not certain why it always has to be right or wrong.

    From the Christian perspective, we are all saved by grace through faith in Christ, nothing else required.

    From the LDS perspective, we are all saved by grace through faith in Christ, after all we can do. I would add, that from the LDS perspective, the “all you can do” will determine your degree of happiness in the life to come.

    So either way, we all attain heaven. But by the doctrine we adhere to not all will get to live in the presence of God.

  44. clarity67 says:


    Back to John for just a moment. Reread John 21:20-23 and tell me where it says that his request was NOT granted by the Lord? I will concede that to the contrary, and I may stand corrected in this regard, these verses do not state emphatically that he was premitted to tarry, however, from these verses we cannot draw the certain conclusion that this desire was NOT ever granted either. From this account we do not know. Gratefully, 3 Nephi 28: 6-7 and D&C 7 shed more light on the subject than we previously were privileged to. This one thing is not pertinent to yours or my salvation, but it does demonstrate your point in the contradiction of evidence. And here, simply put, the historical biblical account says that John died on the Isle of Patmos likely between 98 and 100 AD. So here we are- the new contradicts the old. So, in your words, does it not pass the test? Or, and I hope I am not reaching, but….does your viewpoint allow for the possibility that that information was kept from the record for some reason known only to God, and now revealed differently as the truth? I think the answer is we may not know. But lets not shoot past the mark. Going back to the original subject, I believe that the important SAVING truth of the gospel is really all we need to focus on. All of the answers to these ancillary questions will be answered in due time though they may or may not be worthy of our deep study. To answer your question, I dare say that Osama Bin Laden and Buddah will be accountable for their own reception of whatever “Spirit” they have witnessed. THe Lord alone will judge their hearts. As for St Patrick, Wesley, Luther, and others, I am curious as to your take on this since these men lived prior to Joseph Smith and the creation of this nation in which we enjoy religious liberty. Look forward to your response.

  45. Lautensack says:

    How do the original languages of the bible not apply to your comments? Do you reject the words of the bible in the original Hebrew? While I am not saying you have to believe anything written in the bible, to say that the mind and the heart are not used interchangeably for the concept of spirit and soul in the Hebrew Old Testament shows that you have no idea what the original language even stated, or the context in which they understood spirit. Also your intended meanings are filled with double speak, saying that you accept the mind then a few sentences later you reject such a concept calling it the arm of flesh.
    You use Alma 32 as a proof text stating that our spirits cannot be tricked. However that same text says that we are not given perfect knowledge therefore one must at least concede that because we lack perfect knowledge we could be tricked. (D&C 131:6)
    You mention 1 John 4, I would also include 1 Thes. 5:21, however you state that your spirit cannot be tricked, but the physical can. If the spirit cannot be tricked then why test the spirits, as the test is the very thing that would trick us?
    As for your definition of spirit I don’t agree with it because I find it unbiblical. Spirit is so much more than simply the heart, it is heart, mind, character, vitality, imagination, will, etc. And as for you comment about thoughts still happening after the brain is severed from the body, yes I do believe we will still think. Do you; or do angels and exalted men who have not been given a body yet not think? (D&C 129)

    John 21:23 “So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” John seems to be making it clear that the statement was not about John not dying but about Christ’s will being done.


  46. Lautensack says:


    Now we both know I do not accept the works of Joseph Smith, so they prove nothing, however if John did live, which I believe he did not, he would surly be failing in completing the last commandment of Christ. “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20
    As for your comments on Osama and Buddah, were their spirits tricked, because your fellow LDS would claim that spirits cannot be tricked.
    As for Patrick, Wesley, Luther, the others and myself, I do have a spiritual witness which teaches me something quite different than the LDS believe, all testified of the Trinity and the saving grace of Jesus Christ apart from works. However because you make a point about being prior to Joseph Smith instead we will look at deciples of the Apostles, Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp, both martyred for their faith. Both believed in Jesus Christ God become man (see Ignatius’ letter to Polycarp, Polycarp’s letter to the Phillipians) We can look to Irenaeus a deciple of Polycarp, writer of Against All Heresies taught in His work that God created all things and that Jesus was God, and that the Father and the Son were two different persons, but God is One. Thus are we to deny their testimony as they were closer to apostelic influence than you are, first and second generation church leader who were killed at the hands of the Romans for their faith, something drastically different than the LDS faith, taught to them by the Apostles?

    P.S. sorry about the delay internet went down last night prior to this post.

  47. chuck5000 says:

    Lautensack, unlike you, I have never claimed to know what the Hebrew Old Testament shows. How will God hold me accountable for not knowing? Show me the commandment to study Hebrew. Are you trying to say that if someone does not understand the Hebrew OT, they will miss the truths of God? So now salvation is selective? Interesting.

    There is no double speak, I do accept the things of the mind when they are CONFIRMED by the spirit. If they are not confirmed, I question if it could be something I made up or even a thought that was put there by Satan. How is this double speak? Are you saying Satan cannot deceive you? That your mind is capable of discerning the differences?

    You are right, that same chapter (Alma 32) talks about lack of perfect knowledge. “faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things” (Alma 32:21).
    Also see (Alma 32:33-36) You will see, even after your “mind is expanded” you do not have a perfect knowledge and you need faith. Yet you can discern by the spirit the things that are true.

    Why test the spirits? Because Satan can “APPEAR” as an angel of light. This tricks the physical senses; vision.

    You are starting to blur the line. I agree your spirit can have thoughts, but we are talking about the MIND (physical thought not spiritual) and the HEART (the spirit). Based on the beliefs you hold, God does not share his word through the heart (the spirit, be it spiritual feelings, thoughts, etc.)

    So again to recap: As I study and learn things with my MIND (physical thought, perception, etc.), as pray and ask God if these things are true and I receive answers of the heart (the spiritual senses of thought, feelings, [Eph.5:9]) to confirm or reject the things I learned.

    If this is not how you confirm truth, will you explain how it can be done by relying on your physical mind only? Are you claiming you have the capacity in the flesh to understand the word of God by your own accord?

  48. Lautensack says:

    I understand that you refuse to agree with what the bible is clear about in the original languages, and I am not saying that we must study in the original languages to know God. What I am saying is that to deny that the MIND is spirit is to deny what is plain in the original languages of the scripture. If you simply want to go by the English Bible, why does it say that the heart is evil? (Gen 6:5, 8:21, Jer 17:9, Mat 15:19 etc)
    You ask, “If this is not how you confirm truth, will you explain how it can be done by relying on your physical mind only? Are you claiming you have the capacity in the flesh to understand the word of God by your own accord?” This is what I am trying to say, the MIND is not of the physical but the spiritual. How is this so hard to understand? The spirit is much more than the heart, which you equate to spirit. You have created false dichotomy in your attempt to explain spirit without the MIND. Why else would we be told to be renewed in the “SPIRIT of your MIND” if the MIND were not spiritual (aka SPIRIT)? (Ephesians 4:23)
    As for your argument of the devil appearing as the Angel of light, it makes no sense to say that a spiritual being cannot affect us spiritually. Or do you not believe that the physical can affect the spiritual and vice versa?
    However because you have this heart-mind dichotomy set up allow me to pose another question, I will even accept it in your unbiblical definitions of Heart and Mind, if your “mind” tells you the book of Mormon is true but your “heart” tells you it is false which do you submit to?


  49. clarity67 says:


    At the risk of beating a dead horse here, I would question the thought (if you were bold enough to accept the fact that John does still tarry here) that he would be disobedient. The fact is more likely that neither you or I would even recognize him if in fact he lived in our respective neighborhoods and was following the last admonition of the Savior with vigor, and yet not revealing his apostolic identity. With separate regard, I am curious as to your statement that “all testified of the trinity and the grace of Jesus Christ apart from works.” With this, I will assume you reject the doctrine of the Father having a body of flesh and bones, and any other contradicting concept where the account of Joseph Smith’s first vision differs with the trinity doctrine, yes? In a very sincere attitude, I will admit that I have an extremely difficult time with the word “trinity” because of its nearly countless definitions and the often ridiculous attempts at analogous comparisons. With no contentious intent and no hidden agenda in the following request, will you please explain YOUR view of the being that we worship and can you lend further light as to what has led you to conclude such. I hope that I am not being terribly presumptuous, but while I would say that we may agree to disagree on some aspects of the scriptures, the nature of God and his purpose for us as his children is primary and I would be truly interested in your response. Don’t misunderstand, I know we differ. Nevertheless, I’ll look forward to your response.

  50. Lautensack says:

    I would be happy to share the doctrine of the trinity with you. It springs from the fact that there is One God, (Deut 6:4-5, James 2:19) yet Father(Phil 1:2), Son (Col 2:9), and Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4) are called God, we also see all three present at one place and time (Mat 3:16-17). Thus we have a delima. The Trinity is the explanation of these passages, and those like them, without the denial of any of them. Tri-theists and polytheists deny the Oneness of God while Unitarians and Modalists deny the threeness. Both are unacceptable if we want to be biblical.
    However your Doctrine of God(hood) must ultimately spring from your Christology. If you believe that Christ was/is God made Flesh, (God taking on human nature)(John 1:1,14), God is not man (Num 23:19), and that Christ was both fully human and fully God (Phil 2:5-11). Then Christ is in essence the “God-Man” who is fully God and fully man, of two distinctly different natures (Godhood and Manhood), which are without separation, confusion, division, or change. If we understand Jesus in this way the Trinity is much easier to grasp.
    Thus the three persons of God share the nature, essence, substance of Godhood, we will call this being. So these three distinct persons all contain within them the fullness of being and are in perfect relationship with one another. I have used love to explain this relationship before and I doubt very much that it will fit here but I will link to it for you.
    As I am running out of space, and lack the eloquence of words my possessors possessed I would also suggest the Historical Creeds Here, mainly the Chalcedonian, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds, found on the right hand column of the page, as well as this article by James White which better explains the latter part of my post.

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