A biblical definition of “Christian”

There has been some discussion recently on another Mormon Coffee thread about the biblical definition of the word “Christian.” Some years ago I studied out this question. When I had my answer I wrote the following:

What is a Christian?

The word “Christian” is used 3 times in the New Testament.

“…And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.” Acts 11:26

“And Agrippa said to Paul, ‘In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?'” Acts 26:28

“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” 1 Peter 4:16

The Greek word, ‘Christianos,’ means simply “follower of Christ.”

What does it mean to follow Christ?

“And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'” Luke 9:23

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13, 14

“‘And you know the way to where I am going.’” Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” John 14:4-6

“‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”’” Matthew 7:21-23

One who follows Christ is one who does the will of the Father.

What is the Will of the Father?

“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40

“Then they said to him, ‘What must we do, to be doing the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.'” John 6:28, 29

“And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” 1 John 3:23

The will of the Father is to believe in Christ.

What does it mean to believe in Christ?

“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” James 2:19

“And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.'” Mark 1:23, 24

Clearly the belief of these demons, recognizing who Jesus is and understanding His presence, is not what Scripture refers to when we are told to “believe in Him.”

What does it mean to believe in Christ?

“…’The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'” Romans 10:8-13

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:18

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12

Believing in Christ is not just a head knowledge, but requires complete trust and reliance on Christ, and Christ alone, for all that salvation means.

What is Salvation?

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” Romans 5:8, 9

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” John 5:24

“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.” Colossians 1:21, 22

Salvation, then, is being justified by Christ’s blood, saved from the wrath of God, passing from death into life, being presented unto God holy and pure.

Where is Salvation’s Eternity?

“If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” John 12:26

“…If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father…” John 14:28

The eternal dwelling place of those saved through Christ is in God’s presence, in His kingdom.

What is a Christian?

A Christian is a follower of Christ. A follower of Christ is one who does the will of the Father. The will of the Father is believing in Christ. Believing is not merely acknowledging, but trusting Christ alone for personal salvation. Personal salvation is being reconciled to God, having the promise of spending eternity in His presence.

The relevant question we are tempted to ask here, then, is “According to the biblical definition, are Mormons Christians?” This is not a question we can answer; thirteen million Mormons represent thirteen million different hearts. We can, however, look at the LDS faith system and examine the gospel it promotes. We can determine if Mormonism helps or hinders a person who desires to be a true follower of Christ.

Setting aside, for this discussion, the question of who the Christ of Mormonism actually is, my erstwhile essay on the biblical definition of “Christian” continued,

As we have seen, God has a specific definition attached to the word ‘believe’ when He reveals salvation and His Son to us in Scripture. Mormon doctrine does not allow for the granting of personal salvation to those who trust in Christ alone to be reconciled to God.

[Consider what] Brigham Young taught:

“no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are…” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, p. 289)

“All those who believe in their hearts and confess with their mouths that Joseph Smith is a true Prophet, at the same time trying with their might to live the holy principles Joseph the Prophet has revealed, are in possession of the Holy Spirit of God and are entitled to a fullness.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 9, p. 312)

The Book of Mormon…says:

“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23)

Joseph Smith, the LDS Priesthood, personal worthiness…Mormonism teaches that God requires all of this (and more) to be added and combined with Christ, in order for an individual to gain a place in God’s presence for eternity. Therefore, based on my understanding of the biblical definition of “Christian,” I regard Mormonism to be a severe obstruction for any Latter-day Saint longing to follow Christ.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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116 Responses to A biblical definition of “Christian”

  1. Michael P says:

    Hey Cluff, which version of the story do you quote on who restored the priesthood?

    On John– Oh, they can change their minds on that choice at any time. (In the voice of the church lady– “Isn’t that convenient…”)

    Sorry for the sarcasm, as these are serious subjects, but I couldnt resist given your tone yourself.

    See, we get into this back and forth about what the facts are. A fact is that there are different versions out there about the restoration of the priesthood. It is also a fact that this is not recorded in any official document until after Smith supposedly restored the church.

    As to the idea of John being able to change his mind, care to reference any Biblical/BoM/authoritative sources on that one?

  2. GRCluff says:

    Berean cont:

    You thought I was done? I’m just getting started.

    4. You said: “What will I say to Moses? “How did you show up at the Mount of Transfiguration in Matt 17:3 when you are a murderer ”

    Check this out:
    1 Nephi 4:17 And again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this cause—that I might obtain the records according to his commandments.
    18 Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit, and took Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off his head with his own sword.

    So, one of the major prophets of the BoM killed a drunk man and stole his Bible!

    Apparently, killing is not murder when God COMMANDS a prophet to do it. Moses was a prophet, and he was just following a commandment from God.

    I think you need to enroll in those 9 credit hours at BYU – they are available online, and institute classes are available at any major college. These kind of errors are not at ALL acceptable. If you are going use your attack mode against Mormons you will need to appear a little more credible.

  3. Berean says:

    3. The BoM and D&C 7 state clearly where John & the 3 Nephites are supposed to be – alive and on the earth “to bring souls unto thee” (D&C 7:2) because “thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory…and prophesy before nations” (v.3). They can change their mind and do whatever they want after the Lord gives them a command? I don’t see that option in the text. Authoritative references?
    You’re really sticking your neck out on this one.

    There are many doctrinal problems in your posts. “Mormon Doctrine” on page 639 states that Peter, James & Moroni received resurrected bodies..nothing about John. D&C 7 is a lie because John died like all men. None of this squares with the Bible because nobody receives a glorified, resurrected body until Christ returns (Matt 24:29-31; 1 Thes 4:16; 1 Cor 15:51-52). Is Christ at Adam-ondi-Ahman (for Mormons)? Has He touched the Mount of Olives upon his return (Zech 14:4)?

    4. I was reading that passage about Laban the other day and it made me think about Shiz in Ether 15:31 where he got his head cut off and then he raised himself up on his hands and struggled for breath with no head. Only in the BoM could this happen – unbelievable (funny). Moses didn’t commit murder because God commanded him to kill? Take another look at Exodus 2:12. God DID NOT COMMAND Moses to kill the Egyptian. Where do you get this? Did God command Joseph Smith to kill two out of the three people he shot at Carthage Jail? (HOTC, Vol.7, pp.101-103). I guess this reasoning makes sense now when Ralph said that he would “rob banks and kill people if Joseph Smith told me to.” The problem for Ralph on that line, using your response Cluff, is that a prophet told him to kill – not God. Still okay?

    I think you need to ask BYU for a refund on your religion classes. I would like to recommend to you a good Sunday school class at maybe the local
    Baptist church to learn the basics of the Bible. Your ignorance of the Bible is pathetic and laughable!

  4. If LDS folks are Christian, what, in God’s name, are they doing by associating with a movement that so misrepresents the one whom they aspire to follow?

  5. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    I am way out of the loop. Just came across this quote from CS Lewis that I thought was beautiful.

    “We profanely assume that divine and human action exclude one another like the actions of two fellow-creatures so that ‘God did this’ and
    ‘I did this’ cannot both be true of the same act except in the sense that each contributed a share. In the end we must admit a two way traffic at the junction….We have nothing that we have not received; but part of what we have received is the POWER OF BEING MORE THAN RECEPTACLES.”
    Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer pp 49-50

    I don’t think he could have summed up Moroni 10 better.

    Come unto Christ is the first step. Grace allows us to do this enabling us to become perfected in Christ. If we then refuse to deny ourselves of all ungodliness the road comes to an end. His Grace will not save us if we refuse to do our part. Lewis gets it! We are more than RECEPTACLES, which seems to be the major doctrine being taught by this crowd. To me that is Christianity.

  6. Jeffrey says:

    Here is Bereans points 1 and 2 that he was unable to post. Doing him a favor burning one of my posts, so you better say thanks Berean! hah. [By way of explanation, Berean accidentally posted this comment on the wrong thread. It has since been deleted from that thread and, thanks to Jeffrey, now appears here. Part two of Berean’s response will be found above. -Mod.]

    1. The Priesthood: Peter, James & John didn’t restore the Melchizedek priesthood because they never had it. Only Christ holds that office. It is unchangeable & untransferable (Heb 5:5-10; 7:24). The Aaronic priesthood was done away with – “changed” – by Christ (Heb 7:11-12) when the veil of the temple was torn (Matt 27:51). Mormons don’t even meet the criteria anyway for the Aaronic priesthood. Don’t Mormons say they are from the tribe of Ephraim? They are not qualified because the Aaronic priesthood was through the tribe of Levi. By Mormons supposedly giving this to 12 year-old boys they are also in violation of Numbers 8:23-25 where males were given the Aaronic when they turned 25 and they lost it when they turned 50. Speaking of qualifications, do Mormons meet the criteria for the Melchizedek priesthood in Hebrews 7:3&26? Nope…nobody does except Christ. You don’t think JS met Moses? According to D&C 110:11 in 1836 at the Kirtland Temple “Moses appeared before us.” There is no confusion on my part.

    2. Alma 40:11 is in direct conflict with the Bible because “spirits..whether they be good or evil” don’t go to God for reassignment. Surprised? Yes, at your redefining of terms and reasoning. What you call “spirit prison” isn’t what it says in Alma 40:13 where it says “outer darkness”. That’s a completely different place in Mormonism. No, I don’t believe in eternal progression because it’s not taught in the Bible.

    “Sit around, play your harp and sing Glory Glory” – you’re quite a sarcastic fellow aren’t you? I won’t return the sarcasm in light of Mormon teachings. Bible verses to support your wacky view? No, I guess not. God’s going to “role his eyes”? Will he spread his wings and rustle his feathers (Psa 91:4)? Will Christ stick out his tongue that is a sword (Rev 1:16)? It appears they don’t teach hermeneutics at BYU.

  7. Rick B says:

    D.O.F. Said

    His Grace will not save us if we refuse to do our part.

    This is the problem with Mormonism, You cannot be saved with out works. If someone Calls out to the Lord to be saved and they are on their death bed, then in Mormonism they cannot be saved, because they have not done works or kept the law.

    As believers in Christ, we can be saved right before our point of death, even if that will come as a result of exectuion from comminting murder.

    Go back and read the OT, account of the Mercy seat, and the Ark. If we remove the Covering of the mercy seat and look into the law, we will die on the spot. The law can and will never save us. We have to go out of our way to remove mercy in order to look into the law, sadly the result is death.

    Read the account with Moses and the Serpents. The reason the Jews refused to look at the serpent on the pole and live, was because the law told them not to make and worship graven imiages, Yet if they broke the law and looked at the serpent on the pole, they would have lived. That was what GOD, Not moses said to do to be saved. Now in the NT we See Jesus on the Cross, look to him to be saved. Rick b (LDS priesthood holder)

  8. GRCluff says:

    Berean said:
    “None of this squares with the Bible because nobody receives a glorified, resurrected body until Christ returns”

    Matt 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
    53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

    Is this the same Bible that you called square? Who were the saints seen in the city? Zombies? If the graves were opened and saints arose…

    [Insults and some sarcasm removed by moderator.]

  9. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Cluff…have you ever read “Border Lines” by Daniel Boyarin? The alternative to Hellenistic thinking is generally thought to be Hebraistic thinking. Alot of Messianic Jews today will tell you that the Christianity has strayed from its Jewish roots and followed Greek thought.

    Not saying I’m a proponent of that theory (I can’t imagine not sleeping in on Saturday) but if you are arguing against the direction the church went in history your other option would seem to be to go back to the Law of Moses…I guess you need to report to your local synagogue this Sabbath. Remember, Jews repeat twice a day “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God! The LORD is One!” I also don’t believe they have an eternal progression program…oi vey!

  10. GRCluff says:

    Berean also said:
    “Only Christ holds that office. It is unchangeable & untransferable ”

    You referenced the 5th Chapter of Hebrews, but you left out the relevant part.

    Heb 5:1 For EVERY high priest TAKEN FROM AMONG MEN is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
    2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant,…
    4 And no MAN taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

    You have a rather obvious context problem, and your interpretation of the Bible is quite strange, I must say.

    If Christ was the only why priest, why would verse one say that they (the high priests) are taken from among men?

    And verse 5 says it all. MAN does take the priesthood upon himself when called upon AS WAS AARON. How was Aaron called- by a prophet- Moses.

    I can think of only one true prophet that can claim the same honor, via Peter, James and John.

    I can say that I am one– taken from among men — ordained a High Priest — but not having much compassion on the ignorant. I guess I need to work on my tone. Think compassionate, kind … take a deep breath.

  11. Arthur Sido says:


    “I seriously doubt that you had a “real” testimony in the first place, so there is still a chance for you. Did God answer your prayers in the affirmative when you prayed to know the Chruch was true? Tell me yes, absolutely and completely, then you can become a son of perdition.

    I was in the Church 10 years before I knew it was true the way God has always intended– how long were you a member before you dryed up and blew away?”

    I had no doubt at all that the church was true. I felt the “burning in the bosom”, I testified on testimony sunday, I argued with those mean Christians on chat boards in defense of mormonism, I was completely and utterly convinced it was true. Then I found that I had been deceived. While mormons would consider me an apostate, the only thing I have become an apostate from is a false gospel.

    Your comments to berean are pretty strident and inaccurate. It is ironic that you quote Matt 27 to defend ghosts appearing to Joesph Smith and restoring a priesthood they never held when the verses that precede that account tell us of the veil in the temple being rent from top to bottom, the way to God reopened by Christ’s sacrifice and doing away with the need for an earthly temple forever, it’s purpose being fulfilled and the human priesthood being replace by our perfect High Priest.Last time I checked, the mormon temple still has a veil in it…

    Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
    (Heb 10:18-22)

    Context Cluff context. I wonder if they taught you that in those 9 hours of extra credit at the Y?

  12. Arthur Sido says:

    Cluff, speaking of context you left out verse 3 in Hebrews 5. I assume that was an honest oversight on your part, and not an attempt to be deceptive by ignoring a key verse in the middle…

    Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. (Heb 5:3)

    I think it is YOU who left out the relevant part. The human priests he is speaking of are the priests under the OLD COVENANT who had to offer sacrifice for their own sin as well as the people. It is not speaking of an ongoing need for a human priesthood. You are going to dig an even deeper hole for yourself by getting into Hebrews because if you read Hebrews in context and don’t “accidently” skip over key verses, it destroys the mormon notion of a “restored” priesthood. I don’t want a restored priesthood of 18 year old kids styling themselves as “elders”, Christ is sufficient for me.

    Geez, and you accuse Berean of being ignorant of the Bible. This is basic stuff, the Old Covenant administration being replace by the New, the old temple done away with by the new in Christ, the old sacrificial system replaced by the perfect sacrifice of Christ, and on and on. Mormonism tries to return people to an Old Testament faith, as if Christ never happened which is ironic since you cry all the time about having the name of Christ on your signs. How about you recognize Him for what who He is instead of trying to turn back the clock 3000 years?

    You need to get yourself to a Bible believing Christian church this Sunday and take a basic Sunday school class. I can recommend some good introductory books on Christianity for you if you like.

  13. Sharon Lindbloom says:

    Please, friends, discuss your differences with respect and stick to the issues at hand.

  14. GRCluff says:

    Michael P said: (in the most respectful manner possible)

    As to the idea of John being able to change his mind, care to reference any Biblical/BoM/authoritative sources on that one?

    Sure, heres and old one:
    (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 18: 21 – 22.)

    Now these men lived in the first century of the Christian era on this continent; and when that generation all passed away they also lived in the second century of the Christian era, and ministered to the ancient inhabitants on this land. And when the second century had all passed off the stage of action they also lived in the third century; and in the fourth century the Lord took these three men from the midst of the remnant of Israel on this land. Where did he take them? I do not know, it is not revealed. Why did he take them away? Because of the apostacy of the people, because the people were unworthy of the ministration of such great an holy men; because they sought to kill them… their wickedness became so great that the Lord commanded them to depart out of their midst. And the remnant of Israel, from that day to the present—between fourteen and fifteen centuries—have been dwindling in unbelief, in ignorance, and in all the darkness which now surrounds them; but notwithstanding their darkness and misery, the three Nephites, for many generations, have not administered to them, because of the commandment of the Almighty to them.

  15. Michael P says:


    Isn’t that the same source that is not authoritative because it is thought not to be an accurate transmission of what was spoken?

    So, why should you take this seriously when you deny the Adam/God sermon from the very same source, among others?

    Do you see our frustration in following what Mormon’s believe?

  16. 4givn says:


    Heb.8:1(i) The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.(i/)

    It IS that simple my friend, if you want to beleive that restoring OT traditions merits something, then that is on you. Remember that when you do that, it will take what Christ has done for you/all and tramples it beneath the feet of men.

    You also seem to be digging pretty deep into your churches history. Was that quote from a prophet of yours? If so, do all the quotes from the old prophets hold dear to you as to be the words of your god?

    I hope this doesn’t put you on the spot. If you don’t feel comfortable answering them, you don’t have to. I know that your family is most likely deeply rooted into that faith and you have contention in trying to ensure it.

  17. Berean says:

    Jeffrey & Sharon:

    Thank you very much for cleaning up my mess that I left here late last night. Jeffrey, a special thanks to you for burning one of your posts on my behalf. I’m glad you thought it warranted it.


    The context of Hebrews 5:1-4 is talking about the priesthood of Aaron from the Old Testament. In verse 5 it says “So also CHRIST”. There is nobody else but Him now. Move on to v.6 and we see Christ replacing and doing away with the Aaronic priesthood and taking the Melchizedek Priesthood all to himself. This completely flows with Hebrews 7:11-12 especially v.12 where it says, “For the priesthood being changed”. That priesthood (Melchizedek) is unchangeable (v.24) which also means it’s untransferable. You, nor Peter, James & John meet the criteria for that priesthood. Nobody has it but Christ. You can think you do all day long, but that doesn’t make it so. You have no priesthood authority. As a Christian, I get my authority from Christ (John 1:12).

    Your source from the JOD to validate John being able to change his mind and check out of his commission given to him by Christ in D&C 7 doesn’t wash out. Is your reference authoritative on what the Church teaches today? You made reference that this is what your church teaches. I called Salt Lake City today and asked/stated what you said about John. I got some laughter back at me on the phone. It appears that you have new revelation. John didn’t change his mind and he didn’t have the option of it either.

    The JOD reference says it was a “commandment of the Almighty to them.” That changes things and then it’s not a choice for John. Your initial statement doesn’t fly with this.

    God isn’t subjective to our whims while waiting for us to make our move and then He counters. His will and plan has been established since the very beginning. For Mormons to believe that the gates of hell prevailed against the church in Matt 16:18 is another reason they can’t be defined as “Christians”.

  18. GSwarthout says:

    > The context of Hebrews 5:1-4 is talking about
    > the priesthood of Aaron from the Old Testament.
    > In verse 5 it says “So also CHRIST”.

    With you so far

    > There is nobody else but Him now.

    You certainly can’t get that from the above.

    > Move on to v.6 and we see Christ replacing and
    > doing away with the Aaronic priesthood and
    > taking the Melchizedek Priesthood all to
    > himself.

    Actually verse 6 says “As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”

    This says nothing about the Aaron priesthood and says nothing about Christ being the only holder of the Melchizedek priesthood.

    > This completely flows with Hebrews 7:11-12
    > especially v.12 where it says, “For the
    > priesthood being changed”.

    Which priesthood was changed? The Levitical (Aaronic) priesthood or the Melchizedek?

    > That priesthood (Melchizedek) is unchangeable
    > (v.24)

    So the Aaronic priesthood wasn’t eliminated, it was that priesthood that was changed.

    > which also means it’s untransferable.

    Well, no, it doesn’t. Here is the verse: “But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.”

    So Christ’s priesthood is unchangeable, but that doesn’t preclude any others from holding the Melchizedek priesthood, now does it. Unchangeable in no way signifies unchangeable.

    > You, nor Peter, James & John meet the criteria
    > for that priesthood.

    You left out your biblical citation for this.

    > Nobody has it but Christ.

    And this, as well.

    > As a Christian, I get my authority from Christ
    > (John 1:12).

    Uh, John 1:12, says nothing about authority or priesthood. You must be confused. Here is the text: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name”. You’ll notice the only thing given to His believers is the power to become a son of God.

    > Matt 16:18

    Doesn’t preclude an apostasy. Martin Luther, from who you get your skewed view of the priesthood, concurred.

  19. GRCluff says:

    Berean and Michael P:

    A couple points of clarification. My quote from the JOD was from Orson Pratt. I had to do some searching to find someone in the church that could validate my opinion on the matter. I’m sure I heard it somewhere.

    Brother Pratt is speaking about the 3 Nephites in particular, not the apostle John, but in my mind they are in the same boat.

    As far as the JOD goes, I have never read them or studied them in any way, but they are in the path of my search engine, and that is where I found validation. I will say that the Adam God theory is constantly quoted out of context, just because people who use it are not looking for truth, they just want to find any out of context quote possible to make us look bad. They do the same kind of mud slinging in politics.

    It has never been about what SLC will confirm, but about my opinion as a practicing Mormon. However, I reserve the right to change my opinion at any time. Before you get all pissy about that, relax, it is a minor change.

    As I researched the topic, I have become convinced that the 3 Nephites, and John were probably commanded to abandon the people of earth during the dark ages because of apostacy and unbelief. It would not have been a choice on their part.

    If you want more Mormons ammo, heres one. A quote from JS said that the 3 Nephites and John could have gone to another planet to serve their God. Put that one in your spam Gun to twist Mormonism out of its socket.

  20. Arthur Sido says:


    The entire point of the book of Hebrews is the explanation of the greater priesthood of Christ. It is a contrast between the priesthood of men through the levtical priesthood that oversaw the temple ceremonies and the greater High Priesthood of Christ. There is no mention of a single person in the New Testament who holds the priestly office of Melchizidek other than Christ. You are arguing from silence. The only two times we see Mel. mentioned in the Bible are the man himself in the OT and Christ fulfilling that role of the greater High Priest in the New.

    The old priesthood, properly called the Levitcal priesthood, has been replaced. You seem to be missing the distinction between the old covenant priesthood and the New Covenant priesthood held by Christ alone, as mediator between God and man.

    Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. (Heb 7:11-12)

    Notice it is “priest” singluar who arose, not a new priesthood. Mormons don’t seem to get that it is not about restoring the old priesthood of the Levites. Mormons assume that because we see a priesthood of men in the OT, we must need one now, but they never seem able to explain why we need to restore a priesthood when the whole purpose of the human priesthood has been fulfilled and the office is filled by Christ. Why would you need a human priest when you have Christ, why would you need a priest of the Levites when the temple ceremony and sacrifice is obsolete?

  21. Michael P says:


    I’m impressed you still throw the sarcasm out, trying now to bait us in.

    I think the last quote you lobbed in should be left alone.

    Have you ever read the sermon where BY discusses Adam/God? Seems like he’s saying it is true, and that the salvation of those listening depends on their belief of it. Its pretty clear to me. You can find a link to it several places if you have not read it.

    As to the Nephites and John abandoning the people of earth, that, too sounds a bit far fetched, whether commanded to or not. Don’t you agree?

  22. GRCluff says:

    Michael P:

    Since I haven’t met any of the 3 Nephites personally, I tend to agree that they are not around. At least not on this planet. Is that what you were asking?

    The Adam God theory in my mind is just an extension of my belief in eternal progression. If some of us are ahead of others in that regard, Adam being the first could be closer.

    Remember that we believe in the pre-existance of mankind’s spirits, and things that we did as spirits before we were born could easily count to our benefit. Adam must have done something right in the pre-existance to become the first man.

    I’m sure that BY had some more specific knowledge on that matter, being in the presence of JS for so long and being a prophet etc. I won’t rule it out entirely, but I don’t think I agree with the far fetched conclusions that many aunt eye Mormons attempt to establish as our “rock solid most important teaching” . That is quite rediculous.

  23. Michael P says:

    Actually, Cluff, I am questioning your use of words here: “As I researched the topic, I have become convinced that the 3 Nephites, and John were probably commanded to abandon the people of earth during the dark ages because of apostacy and unbelief. It would not have been a choice on their part.”

    It is indeed obvious they are not here. But you say they were probably commanded not jsut to leave, but to abandon, and to abandon because of apostacy and unbelief. (This was even after you said John could change his mind.)

    Adam/God. That’s not what BY said. BY said that Adam is OUR God. He also said that those listening had their salvation resting on whether or not they accepted the doctrine. I’ll ask again, have you read the sermon?

    I agree that it is not one of your most important teachings. In fact, I’d even argue that you don’t teach it. But BY did, and his comments seem pretty straight forward…

  24. Berean says:

    GS: You’re coming in a little late in the discussion here. Many of the questions you asked were already discussed above. However, I’ll recap.

    Nobody else is mentioned in Heb 5:5 – only Christ. The second part of this verse is quoted from Psa 2:7. It is in the singular tense.

    Which priesthood was greater? The Melchizedek. Jesus was not called after the order of Aaron (Heb 7:11) because Jesus was from the tribe of Judah (v.14). The priesthood of Aaron was through the tribe of Levi. The Old Testament priesthood was changed and done away with at the crucifixion when the veil of the temple was torn in two (Matt 27:514). The atonement of Christ made it possible for us to have a one-on-one relationship with the Father without the OT priesthood. Christ is the fulfillment and completeness of both priesthoods. That is why it was changed (v.12). There is no perfection or righteousness through Levitical law. Christ is the fulfillment, perfection for us and “a better hope” (v.11&19).

    Nobody can hold the Melchizedek Priesthood but Christ. Do Mormons meet the criteria in Heb 7:3,16&26? Not a chance! Ask yourself these questions: Are you without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life? Do you have the power of an endless life (indestructible)? Are you holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and made higher than the heavens? No, you aren’t. You don’t meet the qualifications.

    This priesthood is unchangeable because Christ has it permanently. It is untransferable because “All power is given unto me in heaven and earth.” (Matt 28:18). Nobody has all power but Christ. This is another disqualifier for Mormons.

    Ask yourself this question: Where in the New Testament does it state that anyone other than Jesus had the Melchizedek priesthood? Jesus never gave the Melchizedek to anybody. Peter, James and John can’t give something that they don’t have.

  25. Berean says:

    John 1:12 says a lot about authority. “But as many as received him, to them gave he POWER”. In the Greek this word “power” is “exousia”. I invite you to scroll down to the bottom of your LDS Bible at the footnote for this verse. What does footnote 12b say? “GR (Greek) authority”.

    Mormons want to know where Christians get their authority? It’s right there – full authority to proclaim every detail the gospel of Christ including preaching, baptism, marriages, etc. Mormons have no authority because they have relied on an invalid priesthood through the Aaronic and Melchizedek for which they are not qualified.

    Is there going to be an apostasy? Yes! Martin Luther and those before him and after him are correct. Is this view of the apostasy different than the Mormons view? Yes! How so? Mormons believe that ALL have ALREADY apostasized (between 1 AD and 1820). Christianity teaches that there will be an apostasy (“falling away”) leading up to the coming antichrist (2 Thes 2:3). However, does this involve every person? No, because Mormons have not looked at 1 Tim 4:1 where it says, “SOME shall depart from the faith”. “Some” is not “ALL”.

    All throughout scripture God always has a remnant of His people left even under the most dire of circumstances (Noah and his family?). Even during the Tribulation there will be 144,000 Jews who will proclaim the gospel (Rev 7:4-8). There will be a great multitude of people that come to Christ during the Tribulation that do not take the mark of the beast (Rev 7:9-14; 20:4).

    To say there was a total apostasy is to credit Jesus with a gross lie and is blasphemous (Matt 16:18). Christians received a kingdom that cannot be moved (Heb 12:28). The Church grew daily (Acts 2:47). Christ is the head of the Church (Col 1:18) and He has all power (Matt 28:18). The gates of hell could not overtake him as Mormons say it did. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Any shepherd that loses his sheep is not a very good shepherd (John 10:11).

    More later.

  26. GSwarthout says:

    > Nobody else is mentioned in Heb 5:5 – only Christ.

    Correct, but beside the point. It doesn’t say Christ is the only holder of the priesthood, now does it?

    > The Old Testament priesthood was changed

    Yes, that is what scripture says.

    > and done away with at the crucifixion when the
    > veil of the temple was torn in two (Matt
    > 27:514).

    Scripture does not say this and your citation is incorrect.

    > That is why it was changed (v.12).

    Again, your citation doesn’t support your conclusion.

    > Nobody can hold the Melchizedek Priesthood but
    > Christ. Do Mormons meet the criteria in Heb
    > 7:3,16&26? Not a chance!

    Alas, your citation does not say what you would like it to say. Nowhere does it limit the Melchizedek priesthood to Christ alone. Did Melchizedec himself meet those so-called requirements? Of course not.

    > It is untransferable because “All power is
    > given unto me in heaven and earth.” (Matt
    > 28:18). Nobody has all power but Christ.

    Unless you are saying that Christ wasn’t all-powerful before He received the Melchizedek, you are too far out on a limb here.

    > Ask yourself this question: Where in the New
    > Testament does it state that anyone other than
    > Jesus had the Melchizedek priesthood?
    > Jesus never gave the Melchizedek to anybody.

    Ask yourself this question: What authority and power did Christ give his apostles?

    > John 1:12 says a lot about authority. “But as
    > many as received him, to them gave he POWER”.
    > … “GR (Greek) authority”.

    Mmm, k, but the power to do what, the authority to do what? That is answered in the part of the verse you ommitted.

    It does NOT give the authority to perform baptisms, despite what Martin Luther would have you believe. Is there any evidence in the primitive church of this priesthood of all believers? No, it is heretical and not born out by scripture.

  27. Andrea says:

    cluff, I can no longer take anything you say seriously. It is clear from the following comments that you have not even read BY’s doctrine -not theory, doctrine. “The Adam God theory in my mind is just an extension of my belief in eternal progression. If some of us are ahead of others in that regard, Adam being the first could be closer.

    Remember that we believe in the pre-existance of mankind’s spirits, and things that we did as spirits before we were born could easily count to our benefit. Adam must have done something right in the pre-existance to become the first man.”

    First off, you assume that -being the first man and long dead- Adam may have already been exalted and become a god of his own world. That is partially correct (if Mormonism is correct), but BY taught that the world Adam created and is god of IS THIS ONE.

    If the mods will permit, I’ll sum it up here:
    “I tell you more, Adam is the Father of our spirits. He lived upon an earth; he did abide his creation, and did honor to his calling and Priesthood; and obeyed his Master or Lord, and probably many of his wives did the same, and they lived, and died upon an earth, and then were resurrected again to Immortality and Eternal Life. Our spirits and the spirits of all the human family were begotten by Adam, and born of Eve. I tell you, when you see your Father in the Heavens, you will see Adam; when you see your Mother that bear your spirit, you will see Mother Eve.(The Essential Brigham Young [Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992] pp 96-97, 99 -this is a reprint of the JOD sermon) All bolded emphasis is mine.

    Also check out JOD 1:50, 6:275, and 9:148.

    Mods, if you decide to delete the quotes/summary that is fine as I realize it has nothing to do with the topic. I only ask that the book references be left in so Mr. Cluff can educate himself. Thanks.

  28. LDSSTITANIC says:

    GSwarthout…unlike the BoM we can refer to the orignal languages in Scripture to help sort out meaning. The Greek word “metatithemi” is used in verse 12 which is defined principally in Strong’s as “to transpose (two things, one of which is put in place of the other)” I think the context is clear that the Aaronic order has been set aside and the Melchisedec order has replaced it.

    Secondly, the concept of priesthood of the believer has reference to the Old Covenant order of priests who were placed between God and the people. Our High Priest (Jesus) has made the way for us and we each have full access to God without needing any mediator other than Him. This is borne out in Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

  29. 4givn says:


    Matt 28:19 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,…
    All you have to do is read the whole thing my brother.

    By the way, don’t get hung up on just chapter 5 of Hebrews. Try reading chapter 8, the exact point is written there.

  30. mike bennion says:

    Dear LDSTitanic,

    a good treatment of the LDS position on the priesthood is this article.

    How do Latter-day Saints support the doctrine of Melchizedek Priesthood authority from the Bible?
    James A. Carver, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Jan. 1986, 54

    Mike Bennion

  31. GB says:

    The Greek word “metatithemi” is used in verse 12 (of Heb 7) means “of-being-transferred” according to scripture4all.org.

    I think the context is clear and the translation correct, that the Aaronic order was CHANGED, not eliminated.

  32. GB says:

    After reading some (but not all, yet) of the posts here it is apparent that there is some question about who/what is the Biblical Jesus.

    Critics of the Mormons claim that Mormons don’t believe in the Biblical Jesus because they don’t believe in the Trinity. Yet the term “trinity” is nowhere found in the Bible. (What happened to “sola scritptura”?)

    The Mormons claim that they do believe in the Biblical Jesus, but not the concept of God as described in the doctrine of the Trinity.

    Could one of you many critics of the Mormons answer three simple questions for me? (Of course, if you supply Biblical support for your answers they will carry more weight with all on this forum).

    1) Do you believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected to a physical body of flesh and bones and thus returned to life?

    2) Do you believe that Jesus Christ currently has a physical body of flesh and bones and is alive?

    3) Do you believe that Jesus Christ will forever have a physical body of flesh and bones and live?

  33. Arthur Sido says:

    GB, I would encourage you to call the Dividing Line with James White and see if he concurs with your interlinear interpretation of Hebrews 7:12. I will admit that I don’t have a solid background in Greek, but I will check with my pastor who has many years in Greek and see what he has to say and post his response on the Fo-Mo Chronicles.

    In the meantime…From the New Testament biblical record who in the church holds the levitical priesthood? None of the apostles are ever mentioned as holding a Levitical priesthood as their source of authority. In fact, when Paul defends his apostleship in 1 Corinthians he makes no mention at all of the levitical priesthood. In the pastoral epistles (1 Tim, 2 Tim, Titus) we see the qualifications for being an elder, and yet we see no mention of the levitical priesthood much less the Melchizidek priesthood. If that were really vital to being an elder such that the lack of it negates a church from being a “true” church and disqualifies any ordinances performed without it, you would think it would warrant mention in these key verses spelling out the qualifications to be an elder.

    Examine the New Testament forwards and backwards and you will find no sign of the apostles claiming authority because of the Levitical priesthood. Smith “restored” a priesthood to the church that was never there in the first place. Indeed I would hazard to say that at least in the case of young John and fisherman Peter, they never held the Levitical priesthood at all and there is no record of them receiving it, so how would their ghosts have passed it on to Smith and Cowdery?

    Let me see if you or GSwarthout or cluff knows the answer to these two questions: what was the purpose of the Levtical priesthood and what need is there for it under the New Covenant administration?

  34. GRCluff says:


    It seems like you are asking me to defend something I don’t believe.

    I am a practicing Mormon, and I don’t believe that Adam is God the Father. I could be wrong, BY may know something I don’t but I don’t believe it.

    It is not taught anywhere in the LDS Church today. The only time I hear it, it is from an aunt eye Mormon source.

    I went to 4 years of early morning Seminary and graduated – nothing.

    I went on a mission for 2 years, baptised 50 people – nothing.

    I graduated from institute at BYU – nothing.

    I took 9 extra credits of religion at BYU – nothing.

    I took tons of grief for the 9 extra credits from Mormon Coffee posters – nothing.

    Ahh – but I DO remember reading about it in the aunt eye Mormon tracts they handed me when I went up to campus. They had to stand off campus, and the garbage can recepticles for their materials were ON campus.

    I would like you to defend something like that in Christianity. Lets see..

    All the Catholic nuns are married to Christ, right? Christ is now a polgymst then right? Now can I reject Chrisianity?

    Unless you can defend that belief, I will never become a Christian like you. It doesn’t matter that you don’t believe it– you still have to defend it. The Pope still teaches it, and he should be a credible source for all Christians.

    Now I am going to bring it up with every Christian I see, just so I can justify not being a Christian myself.

    A little off, right?

  35. Arthur Sido says:


    “All the Catholic nuns are married to Christ, right? Christ is now a polgymst then right? Now can I reject Chrisianity?

    Unless you can defend that belief, I will never become a Christian like you. It doesn’t matter that you don’t believe it– you still have to defend it. The Pope still teaches it, and he should be a credible source for all Christians.”

    Cluff, first your argument is silly because you are comparing two things that are completely dissimilar. The suggestion that nuns being celibate and being “brides of Christ” means that Jesus was polygamous is intentionally offensive. I disagree vehemently with the orders of nuns in Rome, but to say that women giving up married life to serve Christ is analogous to a dogmatic statement on a doctrinal issue from a self-proclaimed prophet is ridiculous.

    Second, the pope is not a credible source for all Christians, the pope doesn’t speak for me or any other Protestant. To be a mormon one must affirm the man who holds the office of the President of the mormon church as a “prophet, seer and revelator” which leaves one very little wiggle room when that man speaks on a matter of doctrine.

    Any thoughts on my question regarding the Levictical priesthood?

    Maybe you should ask for a refund on those nine extra credit hours, it seems you didn’t get much out of them…

  36. JessicaJoy says:

    Mike, what is your take on the article from the Ensign that you shared with us? I read it and was reminded once again, this time by the author of the article, that the Bible is missing some key LDS doctrines.

    As the article states, “The knowledge of an order of the Melchizedek Priesthood has faded from the biblical text.”

    Since the Bible is missing the key doctrines on the order of the Melchizedek Priesthood, the article in the Ensign provided one of the more bizarre interpretations I have seen on two passages in Scripture that are problematic for their view of a need for a priesthood function in the church apart from Jesus.

    First of all, their interpretation of Scripture would have us believe that the “rock” referred to in Matthew 16:18 is “the rock of revelation” even though the passage is talking about the foundation of the church and uses a play on words with Peter (petros which means ‘a little rock’) and Jesus said He would build His church upon “this Rock” (Petra/bedrock), meaning He would build the church upon Himself. I do not know how a person arrives at the idea that He meant “rock of revelation” except through imposing their pre-conceived view on the Scriptures (eisegesis).

    Looking at I Peter 2:4-9 we see that Peter got Jesus’ meaning loud and clear and that’s why he informed the believers (continuing with the rock word play) that they were “lively stones,” built upon the chief corner stone, which is Christ, and that Christ is precious to those who believe, but He is a “rock of offence” to those who “stumble at the word…”

    Peter went on to explain to the believers that they were “a holy priesthood” (v.5) and “a royal priesthood (v.9)…”

    The key doctrine on the NT priesthood can be found in Hebrews, I Peter 2:5&9, and Rev. 1:6. Believers in Christ are priests with direct access to God through Christ’s atonement. Christ is our High Priest. There is no need for OT priests in the new covenant.


  37. JessicaJoy says:

    The article went on to try to explain how Hebrews 7 does not exclude Mormons from holding office in the Melchizedek priesthood because the word “unchangeable” in Hebrews 7:24 does not mean it cannot be transferred.

    The article does not explain where the Melchizedek priesthood was ever conferred upon humans.

    The article does point out that Melchizedek was a type of Christ which I agree with, but it does not explain how Mormons meet the criteria for being a part of the Melchizedek priesthood.

    As Berean pointed out, no one can possibly meet the criteria for this priesthood except Christ (Hebrews 7:3&26).

  38. Berean says:

    For the benefit of our Mormon readers who like answers more than unsubstantial one-liners, I will continue to give thorough, simple answers the best I can with the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

    When the veil of the temple was torn in two at the crucifixion, what does that mean? Christ, our perfect sacrifice, now replaced animal sacrifices for forgiveness of sins – our atonement (Hebrews chapters 9 & 10). We now have complete access to the Father because of what Jesus did for us. The Levitical priesthood was now obsolete.

    Mormons can argue night and day about the Melchizedek priesthood. If one cannot prove that Jesus gave this priesthood to the apostles, then they can’t give believers something they don’t have. Nobody meets the qualifications for the Melchizedek (as has been referenced above). Melchizedek has no traceable geneaology. I encourage Mormons to do a study on Melchizedek outside of LDS comfort zones to learn more about him to understand the Biblical text better. We all know how important Abraham was in the OT. He owned the priesthood. Abraham recognized that Melchizedek had a higher authority than he did (Heb 7:7).

    No, I’m not going out on a limb here. Christ was and is all-powerful. He was the “Mighty God” (Isa 9:6) at the Virgin Birth. At an LDS ward priesthood meeting I was informed that Jesus was NOT the “Mighty God” when He was born. Jesus had the Melchizedek before the Virgin Birth (Psa 110:4) and sustained it throughout (Heb 5:5-6). This is another reason why Mormons are disqualified.

    What authority did Christ give the disciples and all believers who are his children (John 1:12)? It’s in the Great Commission – Matthew 28:19-20. Evidence of a priesthood of believers? Yes, in 1 Peter 2:9 & Revelation 1:5-6.

    By Mormons taking on a priesthood (Aaronic & Melchizedek) that they are not qualified for and have no authority, are more reasons why they don’t fit the Biblical definition of “Christian”.

  39. Berean says:

    Why the hostility towards Martin Luther? Mormon Apostle Russell Ballard had nice things to say about him:

    “We owe much to the many brave martyrs and reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Huss who demanded freedom to worship and common access to the holy books.” (Ensign, May 2007)

    Actually, the Mormons already believe that Christ is a polygamist:

    “Next let us inquire whether there are any intimations in Scripture concerning the wives of Jesus…it is necessary that He should have one or more wives by whom He could multiply His seed, not for any limited period of time, but forever and ever. If all the acts of Jesus were written, we no doubt should learn that these beloved women [Mary, and Martha her sister, and Mary Magdalene] were his wives.” (Orson Pratt, “The Seer”, p. 159)

    “It will be borne in mind that once a time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction, it will be discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married on that occasion. If he was never married his intimacy with Mary and Martha, and the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and improper to say the best of it. Object not, therefore, too strongly against the marriage of Christ.” (Orson Hyde, JOD, Vol.4:257)

    “Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas. He [Jesus], according to Cephas, had a numerous train of wives. A belief in the doctrine of a plurality of wives caused the persecution of Jesus and His followers. We might almost think they were Mormons.” (Jedediah Grant, JOD, Vol.1:341)

    Heavenly Father is a polygamist too:

    “We have now clearly shown that God the Father had a plurality of wives, one or more being in eternity, by whom He begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus His First Born” (Orson Pratt, “The Seer”, p.172)

    These are more reasons why Mormons are not Christians!

  40. Michael P says:


    That you have not studied BY’s claim to Adam/God is really the point.

    He said it, at least the JoD says he did. It is published in LDS materials even fairly recently that he said it. And you know nothing of it, except that us on the outside like to throw it out to you guys.

    I don’t want to focus on this one issue directly, but rather demonstrate this as an example as to why we on the outside do not think of you as Christians. One of your prominent leaders is recorded as saying that Adam is OUR god. Rather than say he was wrong, you sweep it under the rug

    With these nuggets still out there, is it any wonder why we view your take as heretic?

  41. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Berean…could you clarify what constitutes an “unsubstantial one-liner?” Surely you are not suggesting that unless we use 6,000 words our posts have no substance. I’m hoping I was tired and misread that…

  42. GRCluff says:

    Arthur said:
    “Cluff, first your argument is silly because you are comparing two things that are completely dissimilar.”

    You say this regularly, because you seem to miss my point on a regular basis. Yes, they are similar in an important way, perhaps the only way.

    Adam being our God is an off the wall concept once taught by a Mormon authority figure that I don’t happen to agree with.

    In a similar fashon, Christ being married to every Catholic Nun is an off the wall concept taught by a Christian authority figure that you may not agree with.

    So, your asking me to defend the first concept is JUST like me asking you to defend the latter.

    They ARE the same with regard to the point I am attempting to make. Why must you make it difficult by being so obtuse?

    In that light you arguments fall flat. You don’t answer to the Pope? Well I don’t answer to BY either. He lived over 100 years ago. You just make my point for me.

    When President Monson mentions that Adam IS in fact our God and my salvation depends on my understanding his true identity, then it will matter. Go find another stupid concept to harp on. (Please).

    On the Levitical Priesthood:

    Christ made a point to recognize the authority that John the Baptist had as a Levite and a holder of the Levitical Priesthood. How? By going out of his way to be baptized by him. If the Levitical priesthood was being replaced, he wouldn’t need to do that, right? Is that enough Biblical evidence?

    I prefer to recognize the event that occured on May 15, 1829. That is when John the Baptist himself appeared to JS to confir the Aaronic priesthood for our use in this dispensation. That is all the evidence I need. It is still an active priesthood.

  43. Michael P says:


    Do you deny, then, BY’s authority in the church? He’s the one who made the call on Adam.

    See, we over here do not think the Pope has ANY authority. Some do, but that’s irrelevant to us. Arguing so confuses the issue.

    If you wish to deny the authority Young had, we can talk. Otherwise, your comparison is not valid.

    That you don’t agree with Young on the matter is a side issue. It is that he was your prophet, and spoke in this sermon as a prophet, that is relevant because it raises this important question:

    How much do you have to believe your prophet and why or why not? If you can pick and choose based tn loose standards, his authority doesn’t carry much weight, don’t you think?

  44. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Cluff…you do make me laugh my friend. Have you never read that the church as a whole is the “bride of Christ?” I think it is just silly to take that metaphor and try to say that a nun truly believes she is becoming a polygamous wife of our Savior. Please document that from the Magisterium (you will be quite some time looking for a source).

    Secondly, John the Baptist did not serve in the Temple although he was qualified. He would not have qualified to be the High Priest however. I challenge any Mormon to ask a Jew how many high priests there were at one time. With a few exceptions due to human arrogance the High Priest was a direct son of Aaron as per the Law of Moses. Here is a listing of them until the Temple was destroyed. After the Temple was destroyed they had no need for one since SACRIFICES could not be offered. Again the TOTAL lack of evidence for anyone being ordained to a priesthood in the Gospels and in the BoM says to me that this is something Joseph came up with after he wrote the BoM.


  45. GRCluff says:

    Michael P:

    Interesting arguments. I don’t doubt that BY had authority, its just that this particular concept is irrelevant to us.

    It’s like God living on Kolob. I think that is one that I can accept. How is that relevant to my salvation? It is a point of trivia.

    What is relevant to salvation is that the priesthood authority was restored via JS, and that the principles of savlation are clarified and taught correctly. Let find a quote by BY on those topics to debate.

    The principles of salvation are: Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Now those principles are taught in the Mormon Church.

    Are you trying to avoid those concepts by bringing up the Adam God theory? I have tryed to debate the theory using contextual arguments, because the common conclusions people make from the JoD record are in error. But that is a hard sell. No buyers on this blog. I find the better argument is that none of it is relevant.

    You used the same approach above with the Pope:
    “Some do, but that’s irrelevant to us.” I can buy that. We could begin to debate when the Pope lost his authority, and was Peter the first Pope. Do you accept Peter? It is better just to push the idea to irrelevant status. It the Pope never had any authority, how could protestants have authority? Don’t open that topic.

  46. Michael P says:


    You seem to be missingmy argument.

    Let me start by answering your questions. I do not accept Peter as a pope, and no pope has had any more authority than any other in relation to accessing God.

    The pope’s claimed authority had direct relation to the reformation because the reformers saw the pope’s authority as false. This supports our argument that we each have direct and equal access to God without a heirarchy to get to him.

    Bottom line: it matters not, on a level of authority, what the pope says.

    Contrast this to your belief in the president. You view the president as your prophet and the one who leads your church. He gets revelation directly from God, and when he does so, his pronouncements are then held by the LDS as true.

    When they speak from a position of authority, as the case in hand was, it is the understanding that such pronouncements should be held as the standard. Yet, this is not the case here, and begs the question, which was not answered by you, of when and why you accept comments from your presidents as doctrines.

    The issue is that you can deny the commandments made by your leaders as opinion in some instances but still regard him as a prophet of God, even when his opinion was given in the context of speaking of God.

    And I’ll also ask this again: have you ever read the Adam/God sermon?

  47. Arthur Sido says:


    “Christ made a point to recognize the authority that John the Baptist had as a Levite and a holder of the Levitical Priesthood. How? By going out of his way to be baptized by him. If the Levitical priesthood was being replaced, he wouldn’t need to do that, right? Is that enough Biblical evidence?”

    Well no, because that is not Biblical evidence. Water baptism by immersion is not a function of the levitical priesthood. That is completely off the mark. Try to stay focused here, the issue at hand is the role of the levitical priesthood and the need for a continuing levitical priesthood in spite of the lack of Biblical command or example of the aforementioned priesthood being continued. So let me ask again, what is the role of the levitical priesthood (and it is NOT water baptism, the rites of Judaism and Christianity are different in intent and doctrine) and what need is there for a continuation of the levitical priesthood under the New Covenant administration of Christ as High Priest?

    I have more thoughts, but I gotta run because a couple of missionaries are coming over in five minutes to tell us about mormonism.

  48. GB says:

    Arthur Sido,

    Who is James White that I should believe any thing he says?


    I see that my one of my earlier posts didn’t actually make it.

    Since there is much discussion here about the Biblical Jesus, I would ask three simple questions.

    1) Do you believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected to a physical body of flesh and bones and thus returned to life?

    2) Do you believe that Jesus Christ currently has a physical body of flesh and bones and is thus alive?

    3) Do you believe that Jesus Christ will forever have a physical body of flesh and bones and thus forever live?

    Please support your answers with scripture as much as you can.

  49. Arthur Sido says:


    “Who is James White that I should believe any thing he says?”

    You are responding to a statement I made on another thread (the “questions” thread) In response, let me ask you. Who is Thomas Monson that I should believe anything he says? Just an old guy who became prophet because he outlives other old guys? Since I reject the whole story of ghosts restoring a priesthood that the men they are alleged to represent never held, Monson is just another guy.

    I assume that means that you are unable to addresss anything Dr. White has written, or you have never bothered to engage it at all. He is one of the preeminent Christian apologists out there, someone with a in-depth knowledge of the original languages and a world class knowledge of other belief systems. You should read some of his material. I have read some of Nibley’s stuff, even own a few of his books. The point is that Cluff, speaking about Nibley said: “Most will not care to look it up at all because they have already made up their minds.” My point is that mormons are at least as guilty of this because they avoid any non-faith affirming material like the plague. Most people witnessing to mormons have read quite a bit of the original material from prophets and interact with it, but many mormon apologists refuse to deal with the arguments made by Christians, dismissing them out of hand.

  50. jackg says:


    You ask questions that don’t really matter as pertinent to your salvation or to the discussion of biblical Christianity. I used to think those questions meant something, too, and that by saying “yes” to them meant I was somehow enlightened. I don’t think we can even begin to fathom what Christ looks like right now and when He appears in all His glory. Like the song says: “I can only imagine what my eyes will see when your face is before me.” The real questions are these: “Do you believe that Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross at Calvary for your sins and that He rose the third day? Do you believe that you are justified by your faith, and that anything you could ever do in the way of works does not earn your salvation or enhance upon the Work of the Person of Jesus Christ? In other words, what Jesus did on the cross was sufficient to save you. Do you believe this? Do you believe in grace, and that it is free, and that salvation is a gift and not anything to earn? All we have to do is receive it. Do you believe this? These are the questions pertinent to this thread. These are the questions that any person must answer in the affirmative if they want to enter God’s presence for eternity. The questions you pose are not necessary to salvation, but are merely incidental to the nature of Jesus Christ. In posing such questions, Mormons shy away from the real questions that identify a Christian. We don’t need to be able to answer your questions, but it is necessary that anyone who seeks salvation can answer the questions I posed with a resounding YES!

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