Getting Mormons to know the doctrine

BYU professor Robert L. Millet spoke at Education Week in Provo, Utah on Tuesday (August 19, 2008). According to a report on the Deseret News blog Mormon Times, “false ideas” about the LDS Church held by non-members come from “dumb Mormons” who don’t really know what the Church teaches.

Though said in jest, Dr. Millet’s words must sting Latter-day Saints who are trying to do as LDS Apostle M. Russell Ballard directed: to use the internet and other forms of new media to engage public discussions about the LDS Church. Mr. Ballard said,

“We cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches.”

Yet, according to Dr. Millet, Church members are ill equipped to explain what the Church teaches. Mormon Times reported:

Church general authorities find the situation frustrating as well. Millet told how, after a question and answer session with non-Mormons, an apostle told him, ‘We have a lot of work to do.’

“That work is to help those who are not LDS to understand its doctrine. It also includes getting members of the LDS Church to know the doctrine. ‘We’ve got to get on the same page,’ Millet said.”

Getting on the same page sounds like a great idea, but I don’t know why there would be any optimism about actually accomplishing that goal. Throughout the history of Mormonism, even the leaders of the LDS Church have been unable to “get on the same page” doctrinally.

For example, in his Education Week lecture Dr. Millet told of an LDS apostle who was asked if Mormons believe they will become gods and “be in charge of universes and planets”:

“According to Millet, the apostle said he didn’t know anything about that planetary stuff, but that the point was for us to strive to become more like God and more like Christ. The apostle quoted several scriptures that indicated the possibility of becoming more like God, including 2 Pet. 1:4 which speaks of partaking of the divine nature. Details of the post mortal condition are sketchy, the apostle said according to Millet, but looking forward to living forever with his family, ‘That’s godhood as I understand it.'”

A student manual produced by the LDS Church for its Church Educational System provides the details of which this apostle seemed to be unaware:

“The Father has promised us that through our faithfulness we shall be blessed with the fullness of his kingdom. In other words, we will have the privilege of becoming like him. To become like him we must have all the powers of godhood; thus a man and his wife when glorified will have spirit children who eventually will go on an earth like this one we are on and pass through the same kind of experiences, being subject to mortal conditions, and if faithful, then they also will receive the fullness of exaltation and partake of the same blessings. There is no end to this development; it will go on forever. We will become gods and have jurisdiction over worlds, and these worlds will be peopled by our own offspring.” (Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 2:48, quoted in Achieving a Celestial Marriage Student Manual, 132, 1976)

Some LDS leaders can’t even stay on the same page with their own teachings. LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie provides an example of this. In his book The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ, Mr. McConkie wrote:

“Salvation is free. Justification is free. Neither of them can be purchased; neither can be earned.” (page 346)

In another book, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Mr. McConkie wrote,

“‘Salvation is free’ (2 Ne. 2:4), but it must also be purchased; and the price is obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.” (volume 3, page 426)

Dr. Millet himself has not always been on the same page as LDS leaders. In Bridging the Divide: The Continuing Conversation between a Mormon and an Evangelical, Dr. Millet explained that Christ’s Atonement began in the Garden of Gethsemane, and was finished on the Cross:

“We believe that what began in Gethsemane was completed on the cross, and that Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross are a vital part of His overall atoning mission.”(page 84)

This teaching is at variance with LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie who wrote:

“And as he came out of the Garden, delivering himself voluntarily into the hands of wicked men, the victory had been won. There remained yet the shame and the pain of his arrest, his trials, and his cross. But all these were overshadowed by the agonies and sufferings in Gethsemane. It was on the cross that he ‘suffered death in the flesh,’ even as many have suffered agonizing deaths, but it was in Gethsemane that ‘he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him’” (The Mortal Messiah, pages 127-128).

It seems unreasonable and unfair of Dr. Millet to chastise “dumb Mormons” for not having a firm understanding of LDS Church doctrine when those responsible for formulating and explaining that doctrine apparently don’t understand it either.

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 Truth, Honesty, Prayer, and Inquiry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

180 Responses to Getting Mormons to know the doctrine

  1. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Burning out for the day with a question…does anyone else think these big-honkin’ three part posts help the conversation or do they obscure those of us who are trying to talk back and forth? I’m thinking some of the smaller posts get swallowed up by those…maybe I just woke up cranky today…Blessings till the morrow!!

  2. 4givn says:

    You should try to stay focused of the whole story. Not just pick up pieces here and there, and ad-libbing something else in there to fit what makes sense for the time being. If that was the case, than anybody could take what ever statement they choose, pull a snip-it out, add some stuff, and flop it back out there. I think that society has enough of that with some media outlets. And people know how unforgiving that situation can turn into. People hire writers to try to ensure that ones speech isn’t turned around on them. Sometimes, that isn’t even enough. I am sorry that you find “out of context” so disturbing my freind, but the WORD is not just the little wallet pics, it’s the glossy 8X10. There is a lot more you’re able to see in the big picture. You try so earnestly for justification with your own reason. Meanwhile, Jesus is patiently waiting for you to let him take that burden from you and carry it HIMSELF. What a FREIND we have! W/LOVE

  3. Ralph says:


    Reread section 132 especially v4-20 where it explains what the new and everlasting covenant is. Then if you can, show me where in those verses (ie 4-20) it says that this means polygamy – if you can’t, then stop saying that this is what it means. I showed you in my last posting on this what it means, it is temple marriage, nothing else, and I supported it with a quote from Pres Kimball.

    As I said I would, I found the BY quote that states polygamy is only for a time and not forever – ”If it is wrong for a man to have more than one wife at a time, the Lord will reveal it by and by, and he will put it away that it will not be known in the Church.” JoD 11:266 [page 268] I believe you have the JoD, look it up if you don’t believe me.

    We all (Evs and LDS) believe that God knows and judges us for what is in our hearts, so following this, BY has said ”…that if you desire with all your hearts to obtain the blessings which Abraham obtained, you will be polygamists at least in your faith, or you will come short of enjoying the salvation and the glory which Abraham has obtained” JoD 11:266. This means that if you truly believe inyour heart that polygamy is right and would practise it if you had the chance but for some reason or another you do not get a chance, then it would be counted as if you had and you shall receive the same reward.

    So BY is talking to the people of that day and he was teaching them that they need to accept polygamy whole heartedly without complaining about it. He also said that when God believes its time to stop the practise He will tell the church and it will be stopped. And the new and everlasting covenant according to D&C 132 is temple marriage which is still being performed today, NOT polygamy.

  4. Andrea says:

    Since Cluff is copying and pasting, so shall I.
    God spoke the universe into being, created the stars & the angels -which is what is being referred to in Job 38:7 as “sons of God” (Sons of God thread)

    Cluff quotes Isaiah 29:11-14. I wrote:
    When reading all of Is 29 it does not appear that verses 11-12 have anything to do with the BoM. It says “the vision (is) like the words of a book” – it’s an analogy. The point of Is 29 is talking about how the people are so far removed from God even though they say they love him, they are blind to the destruction that will come upon them because they aren’t listening to Him. (BoM in Context thread)

    Eccl 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. It doesn’t say that the spirit shall return also “as/where it was”. It says God gave us our spirits. This doesn’t point to us living as spirits with God before we were born on earth. God created us; it isn’t very difficult for me to understand that a God who gives each of us our very own spirit already knew our personalities before that spirit existed within us. Writers create characters in their heads that have 3-dimensional personalities –cannot God do the same? We all have a purpose here (and I am beginning to understand mine now that I am Christian and no longer Mormon, so no need to re-evaluate, thank you) –is it possible that God chose a specific spirit [created in his mind] to accomplish a certain thing & infused it into a freshly fertilized egg? Not saying that this is expressly what I believe, just asking if it could be considered as an alternative explanation.

    Cluff said: “people all over the world..feel the Holy Spirit about JS first, then realize that the same spirit testifies of Christ.”
    If a spirit testifies first that JS is a prophet and then that Jesus is the Christ and the Savior, I would not trust that spirit. Even demons and Satan know Jesus is Christ.

  5. Andrea says:

    Woops, last line should have read as “If a spirit testifies first that JS is a prophet and then that Jesus is Christ and the Savior of the world, I would not trust that spirit. Even demons and Satan know Jesus is Christ.” (Hate when I forget to close my italics)

  6. GRCluff says:

    Andrea said:
    “When reading all of Is 29 it does not appear that verses 11-12 have anything to do with the BoM.”

    Sorry I guess I should have given you better context:

    Sometime in this month of February, the aforementioned Mr. Martin Harris came to our place, got the characters which I had drawn off the plates, and started with them to the city of New York. I refer to his own account of the circumstances, as he related them to me after his return, which was as follows:
    “I went to the city of New York, and presented the characters which had been translated, with the translation thereof, to Professor Charles Anthon, a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. Professor Anthon stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian. I then showed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic; and he said they were true characters. He gave me a certificate, certifying to the people of Palmyra that they were true characters, and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was also correct. I took the certificate and put it into my pocket, and was just leaving the house, when Mr. Anthon called me back, and asked me how the young man found out that there were gold plates in the place where he found them. I answered that an angel of God had revealed it unto him.
    “He then said to me, ‘Let me see that certificate.’ I accordingly took it out of my pocket and gave it to him, when he took it and tore it to pieces, saying that there was no such thing now as ministering of angels, and that if I would bring the plates to him he would translate them. I informed him that part of the plates were sealed, and that I was forbidden to bring them. He replied, ‘I cannot read a sealed book.’

  7. Jeffrey says:

    I’m seeing the analogy in Is 29 as well, not speaking about a literal book. That annoying little word “as” doesn’t help your case much Cluff.

  8. johnnyboy says:

    Hey Germit..

    I understand that Christ came to fulfill the Law of Moses. I was making a point by being facetious. Just having a bit of fun if you will by taking it to an extreme that somewhat mirrors the extreme comments I was reading here in this post.

  9. Eric the Red says:

    Ralph, just out of curiosity, when did God tell the Mormon church to stop practicing polygamy? Is there a record of this revelation in the standard works? Thanks in advance for the help.

  10. Ralph says:


    Read all of the “Official Declaration 1” in the end of the D&C, that answers your question. But just to help you here are a few excerpts from it which shows God bringing a halt (temporary or altogether we do not know) to polygamy in the LDS church. These are all dated sometime in 1890. Note what I have bolded.

    ”And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.

    I have had some revelations of late, and very important ones to me, and I will tell you what the Lord has said to me. Let me bring your minds to what is termed the manifesto. . . .

    But I want to say this: I should have let all the temples go out of our hands; I should have gone to prison myself, and let every other man go there, had not the God of heaven commanded me to do what I did do; and when the hour came that I was commanded to do that, it was all clear to me. I went before the Lord, and I wrote what the Lord told me to write. . . .”

    It is clear that in these writings Pres Woodruff received a vision from God and showed him what would happen if the church did not stop practising polygamy. Pres Woodruff then stopped the practise according to the will of God.

    The other thing is that only those men who were told by the prophet to take more than one wife were allowed, no one else – although there were most likely many that liked the idea and did it anyway using the name and practise of the church as their back-up. But these men did the wrong thing. So if the prophet did not receive any revelations to tell any man to take another wife, then the practise should have stopped anyway – official declaration to the church or not. And that in itself would be God stopping the practise.

  11. Arthur Sido says:


    “Accusation #2: Mormons don’t know their doctrine.

    How does the evangelical know? Because Sido and others say so (even though he didn’t go to BYU). Please be fair.”

    I don’t have to be a graduate of Breedem Young to know what mormonism teaches or doesn’t teach because I sat through Sunday after Sunday of faith affirming stories for over five years as a mormon. Do only mo’s who graduate from the Y have an authoritative voice? BYU does or does not offer degrees in theology? Again, the point here and the point of the post in the first place is that mormons don’t know their own doctrines because they aren’t taught in mormon churches. Save your breathless exhortations to not tell you what mormons believe, even in the vaunted temple ceremony it is a story shown in the form of a cheesy video and a bunch of handshakes and oaths. Yes, I have been through the temple and have the certificate to prove it (suitable for framing I might add!) Mormonism, I will reiterate, is a faith that stands or falls on the story of whether or not Smith was telling the truth about his highly suspect encounter in a grove of trees.

    Eric, the mormon prophets received new revelation to stop practicing polygamy in 1890 in the Official Declaration 1 (aka the 1890 Manifesto), which is in the D&C. Oddly it seems to coincide with Utah trying to become a state, which I am sure is coincidental. God would never change His mind about an eternal doctrine for political reasons.

    No wonder mormons don’t teach doctrine when the “prophet” can announce that it is null and void at will if it serves a political purpose.

  12. Arthur Sido says:


    “Reread section 132 especially v4-20 where it explains what the new and everlasting covenant is. Then if you can, show me where in those verses (ie 4-20) it says that this means polygamy – if you can’t, then stop saying that this is what it means.”

    Ralph, Smith starts off his writings in verses 1-3 (funny you direct us to verses 4-20 when it is in 1-3 that Smith explains why he is writing this)

    “1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines—2 Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter. 3 Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same. ”

    The entire reason for writing D&C 132 is to address Smith’s polygamy and to tell Emma to shut up and take it. It is especially authoritative because God speaks in King Jamesy sounding language, so it must be true! Smith was secretly “marrying” other women as early as 1830’s but God didn’t see fit to reveal it until he got caught messing around.

  13. Eric the Red says:


    Thanks for the help. Strangely my D&C doesn’t have your info. It is copyrighted 1979. All I have is Official Declaration which says nothing about a revelation and then a statement by Lorenzo Snow accepting Woodruff’s Manifesto as authoritative. Perhaps they left it out of my copy. I will do further research. Oh, now I see, I am looking at a Quad. What you quoted is not from the Manifesto, but from Excerpts from Three addresses by W Woodruff regarding the Manifesto. Gotcha! What is strange to me though is that the strong Manifesto does not give any indication of a revelation from God (i.e., “I publicly declare my advice…”). The Excerpts seem stronger though. Just musing.

  14. GRCluff says:

    My qualifications towards knowing the doctrine:
    (Since that is the topic of this article)
    1. Graduated from BYU – with 9 EXTRA credits in religion.
    2. Sixth generation Mormon, yes I said 6. My ancestors joined in 1831, met Martin Harris on a canal boat. Moved to Kirkland.
    3. All 4 of my grandparents were children in polygamst families. None of my grandparents or any of their siblings were polyamst.
    4. Have in my possesion family journals on what went on in Nauvoo w/JS.
    5. Read the BoM cover to cover, stopped counting at 15 times.
    6. Served as a Missionary 2 years 79-81.

    Do you think I might know something about what is going on, has gone on in the Church?

    The angry overtones from fo-mos is the tone they need to continue to convince themselves that they never felt the spirit of God as it testified of the truth. Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Deal with it.

    He WAS commanded by God to practice polgamy. Deal with that too. It has happened before. It’s in the Bible. The fact is, I wouldn’t be here today if he hadn’t.

    The Holy Spirit testifies of truth. It always has. It testifies about JS. It always does. That is his function.

    Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Joseph Smith accursed: and that no man can say that Joseph is the Prophet of the restoration, but by the Holy Ghost.

    Compare 1 Cor 12:3

    I am patiently waiting, trying to keep an open mind. Does the HG touch my heart when you bad mouth JS? No, not at all.

    To contrast, I read a chapter of stories about my ancestors in Kirkland and Nauvoo. Did the HG touch my heart? Yes, several times.

    Now I can be clear about who is telling the truth.

    Simple, easy, straight forward.

  15. GRCluff says:

    Matt 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
    14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
    15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
    16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
    17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

    I think we need another re-write for our day:

    GRCluff 16:13 When bloggers came into the Mormon Coffee website, the topic frequently turned to the founder of Mormonism. We asked one another, saying, Whom do people say that Joseph Smith was?
    14 And they said, Some say a gold digger, others an adulterer, not worthy of a founder status of any religion.
    15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
    16 And GRCluff answered and said, He was a true prophet, gifted of God.
    17 And God has answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, GRCluff for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but our Father which is in heaven.

  16. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Good topic for discussion.

    I am always striving to learn the doctrine better.

    But what is the point of this discussion? The underlying message in most of these threads is this “Your leaders a deceitful, liars, misinformed, naive, whatever.” This topic is no different. Here’s how things invariable turn. I can count on it like the rising of the sun. Turn a legitimate debate (members needed to improve their gospel knowledge) to a criticism of the Lord’s anoited.

    Just because I may be limited in my knowledge has nothing to do with what the prophets are teaching. That is my fault. One quote to suffice.

    President Ezra Taft Benson counseled: “One of the
    most important things you can do . . . is to
    immerse yourselves in the scriptures. Search them
    diligently. Feast upon the words of Christ. Learn the doctrine. Master the principles that are found therein”. BYU slogan “The glory of God is Intelligence”. Some may say that members don’t know the doctrine (even this Millet guy…I have never even read an article by him) that is fine with me and only persuade me to repent. But don’t blame it on the GA’s. That is a huge leap that is simply not accurate.

    Obviously, Mormonism stands or falls with the JS story. But no more so than does Christianity stand or fall with the story of the Resurrection or Paul vision on the road to Damascus or Stephens vision of the Father and the Son. Everything in this world stands or falls on the validity of the story being presented.

    Getting sleepy. See you soon, people.

  17. Arthur Sido says:


    “He WAS commanded by God to practice polgamy. Deal with that too. It has happened before. It’s in the Bible. The fact is, I wouldn’t be here today if he hadn’t.”

    Where was anyone COMMANDED to be polygamous in the Bible? Not that someone being polygamous is recorded in the Bible, but commanded. I hear this all the time from mormons to excuse polygamy, in the case of Abraham especially, but where is the command? There is a difference.

    You don’t think it odd or coincidental that Smith was practicing polygamy for a decade, and then was found out and all of a sudden decided to spring a new “revelation” on his people?

    “The angry overtones from fo-mos is the tone they need to continue to convince themselves that they never felt the spirit of God as it testified of the truth. Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Deal with it.”

    Call me crazy but I don’t care for being lied to and I am more than a little ashamed that I was deceived by the lies of men. So I and many other fo-mo’s (can I copyright that term?) are strident at times about those who are still caught up. Paul was pretty strident towards Jews who rejected Christ. Contending for the faith is a direct command, and when I see someone who is living in a lie that has no promise, no Good News, no salvation as it’s end, we are called to preach the Gospel to them. Not agree to disagree, not go along to get along but to open the Word of God and declare to the mormon, the muslim, the atheist that they are lost and dying without Christ. I take no pleasure in seeing men like Gordon Hinckley die outside of Christ anymore so than I do anyone who is lost. Despite the religious trappings, there is no basis for salvation for mormons who die. I hope it doesn’t come across as anger, I am not angry at you. I am angry at Smith and his successors

    I testify to you that despite your credentials, Joseph Smith was not a prophet because he was a liar and there is no need for prophets today. I pray you can deal with that

  18. germit says:

    Good morning one and all: DOF, thank you for your dialogue; maintaining such in a ‘hostile environment’ is not easy and speaks well of your desire to see all men come to know the truth. Now if you could only find it….(small joke)
    Your middle question ‘why does Christ need grace?’ is actually several tough questions rolled into one and I will save that for tonight, if I can resist posting all 3 before noon (MC is like potato chips). I could give you a better answer about question #3 if I knew which verses you were looking at, but I would make a comment about the ‘precious truths lost’. That’s a neat trick, a miracle, I suppose: consider two facts: ALL of the Pauline material was written between 50AD and 70AD, perhaps a little later. Even Luke was written in the early 60’s and the LATEST gospel written, JOHN, before 100 AD. With THOUSANDS of copies of many of the epistiles (not all full copies, admittedly), I’d say the ‘removers’ got very busy, very quickly, and boy were they ever THOROUGH!! They managed to remove the same material from thousands of early manuscripts, scattered throughout Asia minor and north Africa !! Did these guys have CIA training or what?? Talk about a concerted effort done with amazing success. Believe it if you will, it seems to fly in the face of some ‘wisdom of men’ as Cluff so elegantly puts it. More on pre-pauline use of “GRACE” in my next post.

    Jesus became a man, taking the form of a bond-servant, made in the likeness of men (Phil 2:7,8) and as you’ve noted STILL HAS THAT BODY. That is an orthodox position, and always has been; I’m not sure where you got the idea we thot otherwise. Early heresies denied that Jesus had a real body, and those groups were fought using those $%^&#@ creeds that you love so much. Yes, Jesus was and is an exalted MAN, but HE was, and still is GOD, and there is the mystery, we hold that HE is fully BOTH. That is hard to get our mind around, but we would say the bible teaches it. More later:GERMIT

  19. 4givn says:

    Hey Ralph,

    I really don’t think that it would take a prophet to get an idea about what will happen when a man breaks the law of the land. Here is my idea of what might happen, Baliff, lock them up! But please sir, god told me to do it.


    You really ars going out on a limb w/ your rewrite of the GOSPEL. It sounds like there might be a Pharisee in that tree somewhere. Though it makes sense to you, the “flesh and blood” was revealed in THAT time.

    And to DOF,

    You are correct that LDS doctrine relies on the authenticity of Smiths stories, sad but true. Christianity has parables, not fables. It has the RESURECTION, not the hidden facts of Smiths death. Christinity has the ROCK of Christ. Which even the devil cannot even undermine. IF (that is a big word) the LDS was Christ centered, than there would be no need for works exaltation. The humble would be exalted. Glory would be given to God for the works(fruits) of man. NOT, that the man receive justification for them, by his doing.

    Play nice kids. W/LOVE

  20. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Top of the morning…I’m reposting my “context” comment for two reasons…one for giggles…and two it seems some people don’t even know which side I’m on…I’m getting it in quick before the blogatrons awaken and swamp me out of site…

    DoF…context isn’t that hard to establish really. If you simply begin reading a book at the beginning and establish definitions according to the author it is really elementary to keep yourself in context. We have manuscripts of the original languages so we can also do word studies to get definitions of the word the author used in Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic. Isn’t it amazing how each of us finds the same context when we use this inductive/logical approach?

    For example I read Doctrine & Covenants Section 84 and in context Joseph Smith says (1) there is to be a temple built in Independence, Missouri IN HIS GENERATION…I live there…ain’t one…

    (2) that without the priesthood NO MAN can see the face of God the Father and live…so how did a teenager who didn’t even know about a priesthood see God and not die? or was it really an angel? why would the LDS church lie then?

    See…context is elementary my dear Watson…

  21. Andrea says:

    Firstly, according to 2 Nephi 27:16, Isaiah 29:11-12 is a corrupted text leaving out “plain and precious truths” so why are you quoting it?

    Secondly, the part about the sealed book is not a prophecy, it is an ANALOGY within a larger prophecy.

    Thirdly, Anthon was an expert in Greek, Latin, and coins. He was not an expert in Egyptian. Indeed, at that time no Egyptian had ever yet been translated into English (thus allowing JS to get away with his ruses), so how could he know “that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian”? Anthon said many things –half of them support the Mormon claim, and half of them are the complete opposite, so what do I trust? He also said “It consisted of all kinds of singular characters disposed in columns, and had evidently been prepared by some person who had before him at the time a book containing various alphabets, Greek and Hebrew letters, crosses and flourishes; Roman letters inverted and placed sideways were arranged and placed in perpendicular columns, and the whole ended in a rude delineation of a circle, divided into various compartments, arched with various strange marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican calendar by Humboldt, but copied in such a way as not to betray the source whence it was derived. I…well remember that the paper contained anything else but Egyptian hieroglyphics.” (letter to Mr. E. D. Howe, of Painesville, Ohio; Feb. 17, 1834) Either way, it appears Anthon is lying about something so we must throw his whole story out. Either before or after Harris saw Anthon he took the paper to Dr. Samuel L Mitchill as well, and that is another fascinating subject in itself. Why? Well, I don’t have the room for it right now and…

    …this subject doesn’t have much to do with Mormon doctrine. These discussions would be better postings on one of the Book of Mormon threads. If you would like to continue this conversation there I would be happy to do so.

  22. jackg says:

    My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    It is evident that Mormons don’t really want to dig into their doctrine or theology or whatever. They know nothing about biblical exegesis, but are experts at eisegesis. For all of us FoMos, we were once there as well. We know about God’s prevenient grace because we have experienced in our lives. Of course, we didn’t recognize it for what it was until we were liberated from the bondage of Mormonism and came to tast the sweet taste of grace. Only then was I able to recognize and acknowledge the prevenient grace that was always there. So, let’s spend more time praying for those who have been victimized and are still being victimized by the false teachings of Joseph Smith. We have to remember the ultimate decision a Mormon must make if they were to concede to anything that we point out to them. They would have to question their belief system, which is not an easy thing to do. Ultimately, they would have to denounce the Mormon Church and the teachings of Joseph Smith and recant on their testimonies. We know God’s grace is sufficient for them, but they don’t understand the truth and totality of that grace. It’s very sad to us because we know the beauty of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. They don’t know that, yet.

  23. Andrea says:

    “Pres Woodruff received a vision from God and showed him what would happen if the church did not stop practising polygamy.” The Bible calls us to obey the laws of the land, unless it goes against God’s laws. In Daniel’s time, a decree went out that no one could pray except to the king’s god, but Daniel knew that was wrong. He faced the lion’s den willfully knowing he was right with God, but Woodruff et al were scared of going to jail for Him. Yes, it is very convenient that this “revelation” came after the U.S govt told the territory of Utah that they would be denied statehood unless they stopped practicing polygamy. I could go on with many other convenient revelations, but this thread is not the place for them.

    Regarding what jackg just posted, and relating to Berean’s post on Adam’s Road, there are 4 moments/things that stand out for me in my journey to Christ. The first is the incident at Girls Camp I related earlier on this thread. Third is the 6 months I lived with my sister and she witnessed to me everyday; fourth is the events leading up to and the moment when I was saved. (This is in chronological order, not order of importance). Number 2 on that list happened when I was 16 or 17. I was spending the night with a friend and she told me I just HAD to listen to this song! She popped in “Lift Me Up” by Jars of Clay; I got into the sound of the music, but I was also affected by how she really got into the music. I have carried that memory with me and to this day, that song (even though it was 10 years before I heard it again) is one of my favorites. It was one moment in time that lasted about 3 minutes, but it had a profound impact on me and I will never forget it. So, thank you Kari Hollerback!

  24. Rick B says:

    Many people have replied to you saying things I would have pointed out, so let me say this. The point in all of what I posted fit the topic at hand, LDS do not know their own Doctrine, add to that, the LDS prophets, leaders, scripture and LDS god do not seem to agree.

    One says it is forever, then God changes that, the BoM and the Bible do not agree, and they do not agree with God or the prophets, it a huge mess. Then we have Former Mormons pointing out how your wrong, like forgeting to quote verse 1-3, you start at verse 4.

    So let me add a new doctrinal mess.

    Now here is the subject of Negros and them not being able to receive the same rights as white people according to the Prophet B Young and Bruce Mc. But even this has since changed and has been tried to be buried.

    In the 1958 edition Mormon Doctrine ( I happen to own a copy), pg 477 says,

    Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES can they hold this delegation of authority from the ALMIGHTY. The GOSPEL message of salvation is not carried AFFIRMATIVELY to them….Negroes are NOT EQUAL with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned.

    So please explain how we go from UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES to the change that it is ok in the newer versions of Mormon Doctrine? Also please explain this, B Young clearly states here in

    JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES VOL 10 PG 110 (again I own these books)

    Shall I tell you THE LAW OF GOD in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of cain, the penalty, under the LAW OF GOD, is DEATH on the SPOT. THIS WILL ALWAYS BE SO.

    Again how can this be the law of God THAT WILL ALWAYS BE SO, YET IT IS NO LONGER SO?. Any thoughts on why the doctrine changed. In light of the fact that the PROPHET spoke this and claimed it was a LAW of God. Rick b

  25. germit says:

    DOF: here is at least the beginnings of an answer about ‘why so few references to grace in the gospels’; I assume by pre-Pauline, you meant the gospels. As an aside: let all christian posters who are smarter than GERMIT (I think that’s pretty much the entire roomful) add to this as needed. It’s great to have that kind of back-up, by the way. Simple question: what would you rather have, a SERMON about GRACE, or a LIVING, BREATHING, PERSONIFICATION OF GRACE?? Not much of a question, right?? While Jesus was with us, we got GRACE in the FLESH:

    “The Word became a human being and lived here with us. We saw His true glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father. FROM HIM ALL THE KINDNESS AND ALL THE TRUTH OF GOD HAVE COME DOWN TO US….the law was given by Moses, but Jesus Christ brought us undeserved kindness and truth. No one has ever seen God (my note: NO Body= NO SEEING HIM). The only Son….has shown us what God is like.” John 1: 14,17,18
    See also John14:9 where to see Jesus is to see the Father. I think the point is simple: Jesus wanted to do much more than just TALK about the Father, HE gave us a sermon in the flesh: HE EMBODIED THE FATHER WHO HAS NO BODY SO THAT WE MIGHT SEE THE FATHER. The heart of the Father (Grace) can then be seen in all that His Son does, says, wishes, prays, and wants. He is like GRACE on two feet. Later, the verbal explanation of who Jesus is and was(incorporated in the gospel of salvation) will include many references to GRACE because how better to explain Jesus than by GRACE ?? Jesus giving long talks about how he lived dependent upon the Father might have sounded like ‘look at me, I’m so humble…’. Maybe you’ve known people like that, although in Jesus’ case, it would have been accurate. Maybe better to just model that life, knowing that HIS life would be written about later by Paul and others.
    This is a ‘start’ at an answer. I’m thinking on the ‘middle question’. Have you thot of anything to add to the LDS idea of ‘grace’??

  26. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Germit…I was surfing at work today (shhhh no telling) and I came across…seems to be what you were looking for. Definitely the majority are LDS…interesting threads tho. They had one on the Adam’s Road Band also…Blessings!

  27. Just for Quix says:

    As a former Mormon and regular LDS Gospel Doctrine and SS teacher I’ve seen far too many Mormons who treat Paul’s epistles like they’re a group of good suggestions –maybe like General Conference talks — preferring to see in the Gospels as what is most trustworthy about the NT.

    The historical fact is that the Christology of Paul and the dates they are written predate the canonized Gospels, though scholars certainly believe there was an early “Mark” that not only informed the canonized Mark but also Matthew and Luke that came later. Mark speaks of a very “human” and action-oriented Jesus in many ways with more emphasis on miracles and healings than on teachings. Yet, it still culminates in His Passion.

    The Gospels have bias and nuance that come as a result of when they were written and to whom. That is not to dismiss their value at all. Yet, it is reckless to think the “real Jesus” message is all about works and “not Grace”, missing the internal-faith-radiating focus of what separates meaningful works from futile ones.

    Certainly Paul’s perspective is shaped by His conversion experience. Yet the passion, breadth, and depth of the body of His writing — not to mention His life’s example in action — elevates his epistles to more than good suggestions. They are scripture for Believers. Paul’s focus on standardization of theology for Believers beyond the call-to-belief focus of the Gospel evangelists, demands that anyone who has progressed from a seeker to a Believer in Christ take seriously the standards of faith conformity he advocates. We should consider them weighty along with what the Gospels teach.

    Paul doesn’t teach blind trust nor thoughtless trust. So I don’t advocate we shouldn’t be thoughtful and careful or nuanced in our study of his epistles. He wrote to differing audiences as did the evangelists. Yet in my experience I find Mormons generally unwilling to treat Paul’s teachings with this sobering weight.

  28. GRCluff says:

    Andrea said:
    “Firstly, according to 2 Nephi 27:16, Isaiah 29:11-12 is a corrupted text leaving out “plain and precious truths” so why are you quoting it?’

    Quite an interesting statement. Let me put on my analyst hat for a moment.

    You use a quote from a book you don’t believe in to convince me stop using quotes from a book I shouldn’t believe in?

    Is that, do what I say not what I do? The pot calling the kettle black?

    Now the ironic part. I DO believe in the Bible. Some parts WERE translated correctly. You believe in the Bible right?

    So let me get this straight. You use a verse from a book you CLEARLY reject to convice me not to quote from a book we BOTH accept? And the reasoning you use is equally comical. You seem to say that I shouldn’t quote from a book I don’t believe in.

  29. GRCluff says:

    4givn said:
    “Cluff,You really ars going out on a limb w/ your rewrite of the GOSPEL. It sounds like there might be a Pharisee in that tree somewhere. Though it makes sense to you, the “flesh and blood” was revealed in THAT time.”

    Lets see. The Pharisees rejected the true prophet (John the Baptist) of the current generation because he failed to meet their flawed interpretation of the Word of God. Their motto, accept only dead prophets.

    That discription fits you a little better I would think.

    Peter accepted the true prophet of the current generation by relying upon direct communication with God. Hmmm. Fits me a little better.

    No, I’m not saying the Christ was only a prophet. He is God and savior. I’m just saying I use the same approach as Peter to find the truth.

    Since you use the same approach as a Pharisee, you would reject Christ just like they did. How do I know? You reject JS. It is the same spirit that testifies of both.

    You worship a false God. The real God is the Christ the Mormons teach.

  30. Berean says:


    I wasn’t going to say anything to you, but I will out of sincerity and concern. This is not just my opinion. You are/have lost a lot of credibility on here and many are starting to wonder about you. When you state a Bible chapter and verse and then write your name in there in replacement of that book and then also insert Joseph Smith’s name in there…well, people are going to start thinking that you are getting a little nutty, okay? I’m very surprised that Sharon and Aaron have let you go this far with this. I doubt I would get very far on a Mormon blog if I replaced Moroni 10:3-5 with “Berean 10:3-5” now would I? If you need to take a break from MC we understand. Bottom line: get a grip and soon!

    Earlier I addressed Isaiah 29 in full depth citing the historical facts as outlined in JS History 1:63-65. I compared that to the text in Isaiah and we see that it is the exact opposite of what happened with Martin Harris and Charles Anthon. Isaiah never prophesied of Joseph Smith and Mormonism. Let me know when you are ready to discuss “the stick of Joseph” in Ezekial (another attempt by the Mormons to validate themselves in the OT and a big blunder it is on their part).

    Your Mormon resume that you laid out was impressive until I read your “Cluff 16:13” line in replacement of Matthew 16:13, then it all went away. However, I did notice that you kept mentioning one city in particular numerous times as dating to your family lineage and that would be the city of “Kirkland”. There is no “Kirkland”. There is a Kirtland, Ohio where a lot of Mormon history is. Ironically, in this city and at the temple there Martin Harris, whom your ancestors met on the canal boat, stood up in 1838 and said that neither him nor any of the other witnesses ever saw the golden plates with their naked eyes. When that happened many people left the church and he got excommunicated. David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery got the boot that year too. 1838 – not a good year for the Mormons.

  31. Berean says:

    Once again and as we always should, we have to define our terms. This is why the doctrine issue is a problem with Mormons because they don’t know what they believe or they have confused it with what the Christians believe. I think one reason for this is because of the LDS Church’s ever-going attempt to make itself mainstream and sound Christian. On another blog that I visit the Mormons over there are saying that they are “saved by grace” just like the Christians. If that were only true the Christians could shout with exuberant joy! Sadly, they have forgotten Moroni 10:32, 2 Nephi 25:23 etc., that refutes the idea because they have to do things on their own first before Christ can do anything for them in the grace department. That is not Christian grace.

    Back to defining terms. Over and over again on this thread the mention of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost is talked about. What is the Mormon definition of these:

    Holy Spirit – The Spirit of Heavenly Father which enlightens every man. This is the spirit that comes from a man that became a god that lives near Kolob.

    Holy Ghost – The third member of the LDS godhead; a spirit man – a personage of spirit; a son/child/offspring of heavenly father and heavenly mother. He is one of the three gods in the godhead. He is not omnipresent.


    Holy Spirit/Ghost – Third member of the Trinity; He is a person. He is fully God, co-equal, co-eternal, omnipresent. He was not created. He has always been just like the Father and the Son.

    The Mormon spirit is another spirit (2 Cor 11:4) and not the Spirit of the Bible. When Mormons cite 1 Cor 12:3 or whatever else it doesn’t matter if it’s another spirit that comes from an exalted man on Kolob. We must define our terms or we are talking past each other and getting nowhere.

  32. GRCluff says:


    Come on know, I’m just trying to make my point in an unconventional way. You guys have all heard the conventional approach too many times. What Paul and Peter both said is that we should seek the inspration of the Holy Ghost in deciding who/what we believe. It’s not my fault that they chose to put that teaching into the context of believing in Christ. That happened to be the question of the day.

    I am just attempting to teach the proper approach to finding truth by updating the context to the same question in OUR day. The context of today is “Who are the true prophets of God, called to direct his kingdom on earth?”

    I happen to believe that the same approach that was taught in the verses I re-wrote should still be appropriate today. God is and unchanging God, his relationship with mankind is still the same.

    If you examine it more carefully maybe you can see the genius of it. Move the context to the question at hand, then use the teachings applied to that concept in the Bible to understand the correct approach today. It allows us to apply the scripture to ourselves more readily.

    BTW, your definitions are wrong– at least for the Mormon belief in HS and HG.

    They are one in the same personage of spirit defined by Gospel Principle as:

    …a spirit that has the form and likness of a man. He can be in only one place at a time, but his influence can be everywhere at the same time.

    Not unlike your belief in Trinity- a spirit God, except the third member of the Godhead, NOT one in substance with his Father.

  33. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    We seem to be talking to each other of late. But at least it is good, constructive dialogue.

    I agree with everything you said. What better way to teach Grace then to display the living reality of Grace.

    But that doesn’t really satisfy me! Why not? Because if His life alone was meant to demonstrate key gospel principles then why would He verbally teach anything? What comes to mind is the Sermon on the Mount. A list of attributes to obtain, things to do, a prescription for the true disciple. Of course you recall His famous conclusion,

    ” Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

    So to paraphrase and change your quote a bit… “a sermon about PERFECTION, or a living, breathing personification of PERFECTION?? Not much of a question, right?? While Jesus was with us, we got PERFECTION in the flesh.”

    He was Perfection, yet He still felt it was vitally important to speak about it.

    Thoughts on Grace.
    Moroni 10: often cited to say LDS try to earn grace. Noticed recently that v32 starts off how? “Come unto Christ”. I think that is the key. Coming to Christ (by His terms) unlocks access to the full power of His grace.

    Any thoughts on why Christ needs Grace from the Father?

  34. Berean says:

    If you want to re-write verses by dropping your name and Joseph Smith’s in there and the moderators let you, then go right ahead. I just thought I would give you a friendly “heads up” that you are starting to sound nutty. It’s not a good way for people to learn. I’ve never heard that kind of teaching in the Gospel Essentials or Gospel Doctrines classes at the wards that I have been to. I will ask if that is okay the next time I go.

    Once again, your doctrine of God doesn’t match with what the beloved Joseph Smith said. God is an unchanging God? Joseph Smith said:

    “I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity, I will refute that idea” (King Follet Discourse; Teachings of…)

    If God was once a man, a sinner on another planet who through eternal progression became a god and lives on Kolob with his wives, then that makes him someone that has changed.

    Definitions – aah, the problem. One Mormon publication differs from another. Which one is reliable? Not enough space to list them all out here. Yes, they are one in the same but yet different. One is omnipresent and the other is not. One indwells each Mormon while the other is a separate god/spirit man.

    Don’t be so critical of the word “Trinity”. Joseph F. Smith, a Mormon prophet, used the word in his own vocabulary of Mormon terms.

    “The Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit, he constitutes the third person in the Trinity, the godhead.” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., pp.61-62)

    In Christianity, the Holy Spirt is not ” a spirit God”. He is God. He is one completely with the Son and the Father. He is spirit just as the Father is. The Son has a physical body. All three are co-equal, co-eternal, three in one, and fully God. It’s a difficult thing to understand. Our minds can’t grasp it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. We don’t try to rationalize the God of the Bible and make him like one of us because He isn’t. He never was and never will.

  35. 4givn says:


    I do carry a lot of pride with me sometimes, that is one of the things that makes me a sinner. However, I don’t ever remember having enough arrogance to try to rewrite the Gospel. Christ wasn’t “a profit”, HE IS THE PROPHET. Well, I guess since (you said) that the GOD of the BIBLE is a false God, that means i’m heading to the lake of fire. Boy, I hope God has stocked that lake with fish. Oh, and one more thing, don’t you dare baptize me by proxy until i’m done fishing. Gone Fishin’. W/LOVE

  36. LDSSTITANIC says:

    I repeat my challenge to Cluff or Defender or any other LDS since they keep going back to the first vision…how could Joseph have seen God the Father and not died? He teaches clearly in D&C, Section 84 that without the priesthood NO MAN can see God the Father and live.

    I believe he was given his priesthood sometime later correct?

    So…what gives?

  37. germit says:

    DOF: Hope you are having as good a week (or better) than I. As apologists, there is always the temptation to take OURSELVES too seriously, thinking that it is TRUTH we are tight faced about: that’s why the humor, and I’m glad you can laugh at me once in awhile, take a number, there are OTHERS laughing at (hopefully WITH) me as well. My comments do NOT mean to suggest some kind of antagonism between praxis and preaching: BOTH are essential, and like two wings of an airplane. Praxis seems to be getting more airplay, lately, within the ev. christian circles (esp. the emerging church crowd, don’t know if you are down with Brian McClaren and all that), and maybe rightly so: we’ve had so many “Leap of Faith” and “Elmer Gantry” type blowhards, that shutting up and DOING something can be a breath of fresh air, but as you’ve wisely noted, the scriptures (BOM included) are full of the essential nature of speaking, teaching, preaching, instruction, etx. One of my points, revisited now, is that Jesus would have known, or at least trusted the FATHER to take care of, a future written record of many things that HE Himself did not elaborate on. Just because Jesus did not speak on something does not mean that this represents a reflection on its relative ‘weight’ or merit in the faith. Jesus did not confront heresies, or very few, because they weren’t around (yet), for example. The ‘be ye perfect’ command, to me, is a big push to trust in Christ’s righteousness, and get in on HIS perfection (thru HIS blood sacrifice) because I am not perfect, and my EXPERIENTIAL perfection just cannot, to my mind, be what he is talking about. I would be happy to reconsider. If anything, after walking with the Lord for more years than I want to admit, I keep finding new and creative ways to be self centered and self absorbed (selfish pig-dog syndrome: don’t let me infect you or your kids) For what it is worth, I think it is, or was, the Wesleyan tradition within christian Methodism that (cont’d)

  38. germit says:

    sees this idea as you do (that moral perfection is actually possible for us, this side of eternity) I know that is the plain reading of the text, but I just don’t think that is what Jesus meant, and if that constitutes a ‘Bible problem’ of some sort, I will man up and own it, but my experience and my understanding of other scriptures tells me the ‘moral perfection’ in this life just does not fly, and those who think they are OH SOOOOO CLOSE (that I’ve know) have been OH SOOOOOO FAR (and the last to know it). EVERY mature man and woman of God that I have known testify to their inability to do all the Savior asks, and often willfully so. Such is my story, I know I speak for only GERMIT on that.
    Coming unto Christ, and on His terms gets my full OK: why call HIM ‘Lord Lord’ and then do what we want….if this sounds like waffling, well, the truth is sometimes I LIKE waffles: I’m not proud of that at all, and I’m hoping to learn to like something else (potato latkes, maybe) more and more as I LEARN, over time, that selfishness and ME-Firstedness just does not get it done. More stuff tonight about Jesus and grace: HIS earthly life is not such a riddle, but HIS resurrected state offers some trouble. Thanks for the push to know the mind of God , and the steadfastness of Christ. GERMIT ps to Johnny: could I buy you a near-beer sometime and shoot some stick (pool)??

  39. Arthur Sido says:


    To reiterate:

    ““He WAS commanded by God to practice polgamy. Deal with that too. It has happened before. It’s in the Bible. The fact is, I wouldn’t be here today if he hadn’t.””

    You may have missed it, but I asked a pretty straight forward question to a pretty bold claim. Where does God command anyone to be polygamous? Not record that people were polygamous, but God actually commanding some to be polygamous as a blessing to them. Still waiting on that answer. Someone with 9 extra credits in religion should have no problem with that.


    “He was Perfection, yet He still felt it was vitally important to speak about it.”

    His preaching on perfection is designed to show us our utter dependence on Him, not as a call to be perfect in our own effort. The only perfection we experience is that imputed to the Christian by grace through the gift of faith granted by God. Men are not only not perfect but in fact just the opposite, totally depraved, dead men in our tresspass and sin. It is only through the shed blood of Christ that our sins can be remitted and that we can be reconcilled to God. You can’t tithe enough, abstain from coffee enough, serve in enough callings to earn God’s favor. You seek to stand on your own two feet and show God what you have done, the Bible calls us to fall on our knees and see what Christ has done.

  40. GRCluff says:

    LDSTITANIC asked :
    “how could Joseph have seen God the Father and not died? He teaches clearly in D&C, Section 84”

    Just pull in the proper context:

    D&C 84:17 Which priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years.
    18 And the Lord confirmed a priesthood also upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations, which priesthood also continueth and abideth forever with the priesthood which is after the holiest order of God.
    19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
    20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
    21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
    22 For WITHOUT THIS no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
    23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;

    Then find a correlating verse in the Bible:
    Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.

    Then find the right quote:
    “We may see God by the quickened spirit,” explained Elder John A. Widtsoe. “No man who lives merely in a carnal world can ever know God. There is power in man to lift himself out of the material world into the spiritual realm. So declares this revelation. It emphasizes that ‘The flesh may be quickened.’ It does not necessarily mean that we can see God with these mortal eyes. We do not fully know the procedure, but whatever it means it cannot be realized except as man rises out of his carnal manner of living” (Message of the Doctrine and Covenants, 47).

    That power is the power of the priesthood.

    How could Joseph Smith see God before receiving the priesthood?
    97 – 98″We cannot tie the hands of the Lord

  41. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Then I can only assume Joseph lied again. First off…there was never a temple built in Independence as he (or he said Jesus) said in verses 4-5 of Section 84.

    By his own words: “For WITHOUT THIS (priesthood) no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.” he should have been one dead boy!

    I’m thinking that’s why Brigham Young and others tried to help him out by saying it was an angel instead.

  42. GRCluff says:

    Arthur asked:
    “You may have missed it, but I asked a pretty straight forward question to a pretty bold claim. Where does God command anyone to be polygamous?”

    Here it is:
    Jacob 2:30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will COMMAND my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

    You should read verses 24-29 to put it in context.

    Maybe I should clarify a little. When I said “It’s in the Bible”, I was referencing the practice of polygamy, not the commandment to practice.

    Maybe an example can clarify my belief on the concept:

    We “shall not kill” except in times of war when god commands us to defend our freedoms. In a like manner we “shall not practice polygamy” except in times of few men when god commands us to defend the rights of women to be married and have children.

  43. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    You mentioned “One of my points, revisited now, is that Jesus would have known, or at least trusted the FATHER to take care of, a future written record of many things that HE Himself did not elaborate on.”

    Why do you not consider this to be the BoM? Isn’t that exactly what it purports to be? The restorer/clarifier of points left vague/carelessly transcribed/blantanly removed, etc. (I can imagine some 4th century celebate priest saying “this marriage thing has got to go”)

    Wesley was onto something because the scriptures would not let him get away from it. Sure he was perplexed but without the restoration scriptures the inconsistencies were hard to tackle. It is not really a “Bible problem” but simply the result of an incomplete record. Jesus has clarified the issue with the BoM and D&C. To me the seeming inconsistencies in the Bible now become clear with the Restoration scriptures.

    Our discussion wasn’t about Perfection. You have chimed in on that before. I was simply stating that if grace was so central and crucial (I am not agruing that it isn’t, to the contrary) then why didn’t He talk about it. What is the explanation? Wouldn’t we expect it to be there throughout the text? Rather the scripture talk about Jesus needing grace and the apostles needing grace. Nothing about us sinners. So why does Paul all of a sudden make it central? Are we missing some text? Is it a new gospel? Just curious?

  44. 4givn says:


    I still have yet to see anything to support the apostacy. I have read that John and a few Apostles are to never to see death. Which tells me that they are still preaching today. Now in D&C 84 that the priesthood has always been and will be. How can YOU even conclude that the “vision” is true.
    Christ Himself has addressd this stuff in Matthew 24:23-26 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, beleive it not. For there shall arise false Christs’, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefor if they shall say unto you, behold, he is in the desert: go not forth: behold he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. W/LOVE

  45. Arthur Sido says:

    Cluff, what you said was: “He WAS commanded by God to practice polgamy. Deal with that too. It has happened before. It’s in the Bible. The fact is, I wouldn’t be here today if he hadn’t.”

    So now you are backpedaling. Now what you are saying is: “Maybe I should clarify a little. When I said “It’s in the Bible”, I was referencing the practice of polygamy, not the commandment to practice. ”

    If you are going to make strongly worded dogmatic statements like you did, you better be willing to defend them. In fact, not only is polygamy not commanded in Scripture, it generally was a sign of rebellion and led to misery (see Hagar and Sarah). Polygamy was not some onerous duty that Smith had to perform, he grabbed women, some of whom were already married or were very young, for his own lustful desires and then tried to cover it up by lying about it and finally claimed that God had commanded it. But mormons don’t dig into the Scripture, they just take on face value that if the prophet says God commanded polygamy in the OT and he commanded it now, it must be OK when in fact it is not commanded in the OT and it was not OK then, it was not OK when Smith & Young were building harems and it is not OK now when Warren Jeffs and his followers do it. The reason mormonism doesn’t teach doctrine is that mormons look at all Scripture through the lens of what the prophet has told them.

    DoF, where are you saying it is recorded that Christ needed grace? I missed that post. Christ didn’t preach on grace because it wouldn’t have made any sense to a Jewish audience before the cross and the empty tomb. Judaism was and is a religion of works that had to be performed over and over to atone for sins, instead of a once for all perfect sacrifice that provided propitiation for Christ’s sheep.

  46. germit says:

    DOF: happy Labor day weekend: the dog gets fed early, holiday or no, so I’m up typing already: enjoy your family and friends today and don’t swear on the golf course (tho I’ve been told that was the closest that Jesus ever came to sinning)

    why do you not consider this to be the BoM? Isn’t that exactly what it purports to be? The restorer/clarifier of pts left vague, carelessly transcribed, blatantly removed, etc

    Simply put: if that were my view of the Bible, I might well trust the BoM. As it is , I believe the same God who took all the time and trouble to inspire over 60 authors, took an equal amount of time and trouble to preserve the same book (which is actually 66 books in one). I will agree with Cluff, that ‘God certainly values HIS watch’ , and would kick the $%&*^^&%# out of anyone who tried to destroy it, once again, it is a LOW view of God and what HE is capable of that throws the LDS view off. I fully trust the Bible, the LDS trust in that greatest of books has been tampered with, and that sets the stage for the ‘golden bible’. Specifically, I’ve done enough study of early church history (not as much as I need to: I should be sitting at Falcon’s knee) to doubt strongly the stuff about ‘careless transcription’ and ‘blatantly removed’. The manuscript evidence for the NT is masssive, and quite unlike ANY OTHER WORK OF ANTIQUITY that I’m aware of. I’d recommend F.F. Bruce’s ‘The NT Manuscripts: Are they Reliable’, a very small but powerful book (there are many others)
    And of course , for me, there are the character issues that follow the BoM’s ‘translator’. Had this man not later shown me his skills with the BofAbe and the Kinderhook plates, well who knows, I might give him a look-see. Ralph’s blurb on the Bof Abe is convincing enough for Ralph, and sound FAIR-ish and FARMS-ish, but seems far fetched to me. Do I have the bar set too high, or just set in the wrong place??

    THere are very few ‘bible problems’ , by the way, that old book is solid. GERMIT

  47. Rick B says:

    Cluff, when it comes to the Issue of Polygamy Tell me a list of Good things that are recorded in the Bible as a result.

    Here is a list I find, Jacob loved Sara not Leah. when it comes to Hagar, we now have all the violence and war as a result of that union. King David had a man killed for His wife, the wife lost a husband and child. their are plenty of horrid examples, and no you being alive is not a good thing in the sence of, look at me I am a result of polygamy.

    I,m talking about women being blessed like happy marraiges, not like Sara and Leah, or women losing husbands and kids to murder due to lust, or little girls being Raped under age.

    Now CLuff About the JS seeing God issue, I have asked that same question, and I find these problems in your reply.

    First off we do not hold D and C to be scripture from God. 2. show me chapter and verse where it says Moses holds the priesthood. 3. if you show me where moses holds the priesthood, then explain how God told Moses you cannot see me or you will die, and God allowed moses ONLY to see his back side, but then moses even said he could not handle seeing even just that, for fear of dying. So your ideas are flawed. Plus show me chapter and verse where Jesus, Peter, Paul or the others state, you must have the priesthood to do anything.

    I do not recall Jesus ever saying to his followers I bestow upon you the priesthood so you can go and do this and that, It just is not in the Bible.
    Rick b

  48. GRCluff says:

    Titanic said:
    (Does a ship really talk?)

    “By his own words: “For WITHOUT THIS (priesthood) no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.” he should have been one dead boy!”

    You are not the first to ask that question:

    The quote I found on that questions is:

    “How could Joseph Smith see God before receiving the priesthood?

    “We cannot tie the hands of the Lord,” President Joseph Fielding Smith taught. “The Father and the Son appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith before the Church was organized and the priesthood restored to the earth. Under those conditions the Lord could appear to one who sought for light as he did in the case of Joseph Smith.

    “Now that the Church is organized, and the power of the priesthood is here, no one can see the face of God, even the Father, without the blessings of the gospel and the authority of the priesthood” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:4).

    Joseph Smith declared: “Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was. I suppose that I was ordained to this very office in that Grand Council” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 365). In a sense, then, the Prophet may have had the required authority through this foreordination.”

  49. GRCluff says:

    Arthur said:
    “he grabbed women, some of whom were already married or were very young, for his own lustful desires and then tried to cover it up by lying about it and finally claimed that God had commanded it.”

    If you are going to make strongly worded dogmatic statements like you did, you better be willing to defend them. The best defense would be many children from his many polygamst unions.

    I can accept the fact that JS introduced the commandment to practice polgamy. My family journals use the term “wives” with respect to JS, another evidence that will validate that particular claim.

    We have NO ONE professing to be descended from JS who was not born to his legal wife. If he was truely given to lustful pursuits, wouldn’t we have a few descendents of JS running around somewhere? Even the Reverend Jackson had children from his affair, and that in a time where birth control and conraception was available.

    Another topic that must be pulled into this discussion is the nature of eternal marriage. It is quite possible to be married on this earth to one person while sealed to another for time and all eternity. All the widows who remarry? All the divorced who remarry without a temple divorce?

    They are two seperate events, and the uneducated can be decieved into thinking they are one in error.

    To put the idea into context, the Catholic Church does something similar with nuns. They seal themselves to Christ when they become nuns. No one is foolish enough to suggest that Christ was an adulterer and had sex with his “nun” wives.

    So why do you continue to suggest that JS had sex with every woman who requested to be sealed to him? Maybe you should look at the dates of those sealings? How many happend after his death?

    I don’t care about women who claimed to be “sealed” to JS. I want evidence of sex. I need evidence of marriage on earth, not temple sealings.

    The reality is– You are taking a fairly chaste man who taught about polgamy an

  50. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Cluff…with all due respect I smell waffles. So you are telling me that the Lord is free to do as He pleases until His church gets restored and then His hands are tied again and He has to play by the Mormon rules…interesting concept.

    So how does the clean-up crew get him out of the whopper of the temple Jesus said would be built in his generation in Independence? Section 84 claims to be revelation from Jesus to Joseph. Funny Jesus doesn’t mention that default clause about NO MAN can see God the Father–except of course if the church gets lost and we need to pop down to talk to some kid in a grove of trees.

    BTW-My name comes from a video I saw of Lyndon Lamborn who was excommunicated from the LDS. This isn’t even someone who got converted by Christians…poor fellow doesn’t know what to believe now. But he described the church as the LDSSTITANIC and the image stuck with me.

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