The Main Claim of Mormonism

Lee Benson at Mormon Times wrote about the “big image problem” Mormons are plagued with. According to LDS researcher Gary Lawrence, “We’re not as popular as we think we are.” Though Americans are very aware of the LDS Church (84 percent have been exposed to missionaries, members and/or Mormons in the media), people don’t really know what Mormonism is about. Lee Benson wrote,

“… of that 84 percent, just 14 percent could correctly answer the main claim of Mormonism: that it is Christ’s original gospel re-arranged on the Earth.”

I’m not entirely certain what is meant by that particular phraseology, but to me it makes perfect sense. To rearrange something is to change it, and if there is anything Mormonism has done, it has changed Christ’s original gospel.

Christ’s original Gospel teaches of the eternal God becoming a man; in Mormonism’s rearranged gospel an eternal intelligence was organized into a man who later became a God.

In the original Gospel the veil in the temple was torn asunder, signifying that we now have direct access to God in Christ; in Mormonism’s rearranged gospel people are required to approach a new veil hanging in a Mormon temple and practice secret key words, signs and tokens that will one day grant them access to God’s kingdom.

In the original Gospel Jesus created all things; in Mormonism’s rearranged gospel Jesus “organized” eternally pre-existent matter to make this earth; He wasn’t necessarily involved in the organization of the other worlds that exist under the dominion of other Saviors in other universes directed by other Gods.

In the original Gospel God so loved the world that He gave His only Son; in Mormonism’s rearranged gospel God gave one of His many begotten sons.

In the original Gospel Christ died to rescue unworthy sinners from God’s wrath unto eternal life in His presence; in Mormonism’s rearranged gospel Christ’s sacrificial death ultimately only rescues those who prove themselves worthy of eternal life.

Mormonism has definitely rearranged Christ’s Gospel. As for me, I’ll stick with the original.

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 Gospel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

167 Responses to The Main Claim of Mormonism

  1. MichaelP says:

    I won't argue that you belive that, but I will point out some troubling consequnces of your belief. If the Bible says that God has eternally been God, which I think it does, then he has always, always, always been greater than us. But you diminish his nature, it seems, by stating that he may not have been. And as to the discussion of his nature, if he was once just like you and me, then that really diminishes who he is now. It also elevates us to a place where we can be equals to him…. To be continued.

  2. MichaelP says:

    The continuation…

    I think this is dangerous, and this comes from the assumption, which I know is different from your assumption because it amounts to worshipping idols. If we can worship ourselves possible as we worship God, or think that we will be worshipped as he is worshipped, then we are not putting him first. Now, I am willing to bet that the response will essentially be that you do worship him and him alone, but I see the mere acknowledgement of the possibility that you can be a god distracts from the one true God.

    And all of this starts from the assumption regarding God's past. If he has always been God, and is the only God, then his nature in relation to us is that he is always above us. This opposes what it is you say, and they are not compatible.

  3. MichaelP says:

    The continuation…

    I think this is dangerous, and this comes from the assumption, which I know is different from your assumption, because it amounts to worshipping idols. If we can worship ourselves possible as we worship God, or think that we will be worshipped as he is worshipped, then we are not putting him first. Now, I am willing to bet that the response will essentially be that you do worship him and him alone, but I see the mere acknowledgement of the possibility that you can be a god distracts from the one true God.

    And all of this starts from the assumption regarding God's past. If he has always been God, and is the only God, then his nature in relation to us is that he is always above us. This opposes what it is you say, and they are not compatible.

  4. AmandaBland says:

    I think I understand where you are coming from.

    "you cannot separate your faith from your works like we can"

    Well, James doesn't seem to think you should separate faith from works:

    James 2:17, 20-24 says,
    17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."

    20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
    21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
    22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
    23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him forrighteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
    24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    I don't see after reading these passages that you can comfortably take the position that faith can be separated from works AND still believe the bible to be the word of God. The concept of faith seems to be so watered down in Christian circles that it has almost completely lost its meaning. Faith is more than just religious affiliation, more than just believing really really hard- it's a walk (walk the talk). A walk we take as we follow our Saviors example. Its perseverance through life's trials- it's repentance and godly sorrow for our sins- everything that we do that brings us closer to God and keeps us on the path back to live with Him again. And faith ultimately gives us hope that our sins cannot keep us from the blessings of heaven when we trust in the Lord's almighty power. THAT is faith. Faith in our footsteps.

  5. germit says:

    I can only do short posts on this system, so here goes. TEX, I don't think the absence of explained doctrine is so much a function of time or threat. The threat is already there, rival 'mormon' groups in the dozens, but the LDS feel no compulsion to explain the differences. WHY? The LDS faith seems to be built on the alleged authority of special servants and personal testimony/witness to the truth of the BOM and the prophets(s).

  6. AmandaBland says:

    I think your comment about faith being a work (yeah, i know) is really just going in circles. What the Lord has asked of us is pretty clear. I won't delve into this more since I have talked relentlessly regarding the matter.

    Here's food for thought (not in any way a statement of the church's position):

    Can God take away my agency, and still be God? Lautensack, I submit that it is still our choice to repent, because God cannot/will not take away our agency- because if He did, he would no longer be God…and we know that won't happen…If it seems I'm talking in circles, it's true…but to understand any concept of God, you have to understand circles 🙂 FORGIVENESS is a gift from God- our repentance is a choice that only we can make- it's called submitting our will to you believe in free agency? WE have to humble ourselves. In the scriptures there are countless tales where God has compelled His children through circumstances to repent, and some do…some don't. God cannot/will not take away our agency.

  7. germit says:

    This kind of 'foundation' is NOT friendly to the kind of explanation and teaching that orthodoxy went thru. The LDS say 'Monson' is God's guy….the Flds say "Jeffs is God's guy"…..BOTH groups claim the BofM as true, and their interpretation as the anointed one. Do you see where this is hea
    ded ?? I'm the rookie in this MC crowd , but I for one do NOT expect this situation to clear up over the years, rather it will multiply as various "prophets" and versions of 'the true mormonism" pop up with really an irrefutable type of position: if you pray with sincerety and faith, have a humble heart, etc, OUR gospel and prophet will make sense to you… can these not be SEEN as 'equal' claims, whose to say THIS prophet or that is right or wrong ??

  8. germit says:

    More to the point: Mormons, esp Mormon LEADERSHIP are not at all expected to or interested in the kinds of explanation that I THINK you are talking about. They consider such to be the 'wisdom of men", "evidence of contention", "denying the witness of the Spirit", and I could go on.
    These are just GERMIT's musings, but the kind of careful, REASONED, thought out positions you hear and read from DOF and others are, I find, anamolous to most LDS, esp as any given apologetic converstion goes deeper.
    Feedback welcome.

  9. AmandaBland says:

    I see your point and concern.

    If the restored gospel, Martin, is a farse, then yes, it would be undermining Christ. The restored gospel claims Christ as the high priest and at the helm of its' organization. If the restored gospel is HIS gospel, then how could it possibly undermine the One who has organized it? One important concept to apply when thinking of the priesthood- is that it is God's priesthood that is used to organize and bring about the gathering of Zion. In conference, priesthood leaders are taught that unless they are worthy (meaning they are submitting their will to the Lord), their priesthood is essentially not valid. So in order for the priesthood to work, the will of the Lord must be implemented- how is this teaching undermining Christ? It isn't.

  10. AmandaBland says:

    I see your point and concern.

    If the restored gospel, Martin, is a farse, then yes, it would be undermining Christ. The restored gospel claims Christ as the high priest and at the helm of its' organization. If the restored gospel is HIS gospel, then how could it possibly undermine the One who has organized it? One important concept to apply when thinking of the priesthood- is that it is God's priesthood that is used to organize and bring about the gathering of Zion. In conference, priesthood leaders are taught that unless they are worthy (meaning they are submitting their will to the Lord), their priesthood is essentially not valid. So in order for the priesthood to work, the will of the Lord must be implemented- how is this teaching undermining Christ? I think not 🙂

  11. germit says:

    If you want "exhibit A", or should I say "exhibit DOF", read his post carefully; in the 3rd paragraph you can find what I'm talking about….and remember DOF is actually INCLINED towards reasoned, thot out discussion. Consider the crowd and mindset of SLC and reconfigure as needed.

  12. MichaelP says:

    Well, Amanda, I am glad you better understand my position, and I really do not like having to go through the contention to get there, but at least with a common understanding of that we can move forward.

    While James does say that, we see Paul saying, in multiple places, that our salvation is by faith, and not by works. So what do we do these apparent discrepencies? Do we ignore one over the other? Of course not, but we do need to look at the context of the rest of the Bible. (I'll arguably be too simple in this, for the purpose of brevity) A goodplace to start is Romans where Paul essentially does away with the requirements of the law. Most Mormons have stated he got rid of Mosaic law, though there is little evidence to prove this contention.

    I always like to look at what Christ said to so many who he healed: "Your faith made you well." It has been countered with his telling them to do something, but it was not the something after that made them well. It was the faith.

  13. MichaelP says:

    Sorry, got too long… This actually is part of the prior post by me…

    So, when I say that we separate faith from works, this is why. Works get us nothing. When we believe, we have already been healed, just like those he healed in the streets of Israel.

    You, on the other hand, do not make this distinction, even though you use the same words we do in that it is the faith that saves us. The problem is that you attach works that prove the faith, and that faith without the works is non-existant.

  14. MichaelP says:

    Amanda, as to agency and God's soveriegnty, what did God due to Pharoah's heart? Did God take away his agency?

  15. germit says:

    someone with a better knowledge of biblical history can clean this up, but my understanding of 'they have Moses and the prophets' is a direct reference to the Scriptures, such as they had them at the time, NOT a reference to a particular person or office at THAT time. Again, pipe in and correct this one and all if I'm off on this. My point is the WRITTEN account of what God had said and done was given great weight, obviously by both Jesus and the Jews.
    If in fact he were a real servant of God, I would concede the point about the humility necessary to receive him; if in fact he was a FALSE prophet , then maybe it's DISCERNMENT that characterizes this same group of doubters.

  16. germit says:

    the 'servant of God', true or false , I referred to above was Joseph Smith, I didn't make that too clear…..sorry about that.

    PS to Ralph: the statement 'bob or bill or susan is ON A DIFFERENT SPIRITUAL PLANE/LEVEL" just gjives me the willies. I've heard such stuff from many circles and groups and have found it to be a certain red flag of something WAY wrong: JESUS is on a different level; some of us know HIS embrace and voice with stronger familiarity, I'll admit, but you are wandering into gnostic waters.

  17. Lautensack says:


    Please point me to where I said that men do not choose God, or that it is not the man who repents? God doesn't need to do these things. Now I agree with Paul that a man who's mind is set upon the flesh cannot please God and with Jesus who said that all who sin are slaves to sin. This is the moral choice every men makes prior to regeneration. I absolutely affirm the free agency of man, insomuch that every man chooses to reject the creator and worship and serve creatures instead. This was in no way God forcing men to sin. The difference in your view and mine is not that of agency but the bondage of the sinful will. When a man sins he is a slave to sin and cannot free himself rather all he can and wants to do is sin. Do men seek God? Scripture tells us that none do, rather Christ is the seeker saving the lost. I tell you the truth since Adam there has not been one man who sought God prior to God seeking him. It takes the efficacious work of God to free the man from sins slavery, remove the sinners heart of stone and give him a heart of flesh, raise him from being spiritually dead to spiritual life. Now when a man is regenerated, that is made spiritually alive can he still choose evil, yes, but now he has the capacity to choose God. Also not only does he have the capacity to choose God, but put his trust in God, and God will continue to work in him.

    A question for you, if God cannot efficaciously work in the lives of men, If he cannot actually convert men, do you pray that God might convert men?

    Or are your prayers more along the lines of the following:

    Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Christians Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to you of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been exalted. Lord, I know you do not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. You give grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will not gain the exaltation bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not your grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not-that is the difference between me and them.


  18. Lautensack says:

    You are correct the short hand for the Pentateuch was Moses, and the Prophets well the prophets in the Jewish Bible. Thus according to Jesus about 2/3 of the OT is enough to warrant repentance unto salvation. This passage is not speaking to a continued line of prophets as though there were something that looked like the LDS Church in the ancient world.


  19. Lautensack says:

    Anyone who denies that man is a free agent is irrational, however free agency is a different thing from free will. Pharoah still had and made a choice, he acted on his agency, his will however was enslaved to sin.


  20. Lautensack says:

    Amanda wrote: what is "this" in the scripture? Well, grace. Grace is not our own doing…(which is why we cannot boast of ourselves because our faith and works is meaningless- only has worth to the extent that the Savior dictates its' worth-and He has by giving us commandments) w e know this because the ultimate price was paid by the Savior, not by us. Grace, as performed by the Savior on the cross, is what saves- I believe I agreed on this point entirely. This gift is given to us with ONE condition: Faith in Him who saves.
    This is the first major disconnect I think we have, here you are turning faith into the one necessary work which will produce more works. This allows one to boast in their one work, mainly faith. Rather it seems that the "this" is referring to "been saved" if we follow Paul's argument. If we have been raised from death to life, (2:5) what is it that we did in this process? You say the one condition is faith, now I must ask where does faith come from? Is it something intrinsic, that men who are slaves to sin (John 8:34) and have their mind set upon the flesh (Romans 8:7-8) can exhibit?

    You continue with a discussion where you seem to qualify saved in this sense to simply the resurrection. Christians believe in the resurrection of all men, both the just and the unjust. (Acts 24:15) Thus while Christians believe that God's grace saves to the uttermost ((Hebrews 7:25), perfecting forever those who are being sanctified (Hebrews 10:14), "for those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified." (Romans 8:29-30) such does not seem to be the case in Mormonism, rather Jesus gets yo in the door (salvation) and you do the rest (exaltation/glorification). Biblically the two are inseparable, those who are saved are also glorified. (Romans 8; Ephesians 2:5-6; Colossians 3:1-4; Hebrews 10:14)

    As for Ezekiel 36:25-27 and repentance, how can a man who has his mind set upon the flesh repent? (Romans 8:8 cf. 2 Peter 3:9) Repentance is a gift from God (2 Timothy 2:25-26), rather it is because the new heart has been given, the man has been born again, that repentance can even happen. (John 3:3-8 cf. Romans 8:7-8) This in now way means that God cannot command all men everywhere to repent. (Acts 17:30)

    Also you cite a verse addressed to the Church not unbelievers. John is exhorting the believers at Ephesus to return to their zeal in opposition to falsehood. (Revelation 2:2-4) This has about as much to do with the unregenerate man as Revelation 3:20 does, which is nada.


    P.S. For more on the Paul James, faith/works conflict I posted a blog a while back. Here's the Link.

  21. AmandaBland says:

    No- When God changes our hearts, we have to initially submit and humble ourselves first- then God can change us.

    I had this interesting discussion with my husband last night where we found ourselves going in circles. It was kind of fun. Sometimes I wish we all lived closer and we could meet at a local Postum/Coffee house and just talk about this stuff.

  22. MichaelP says:

    Just to clarify– in your view, we have to initially submit our hearts before God can change us, or does God change our hearts, we submit, then God seals the deal?

    Also, do you have a response to God's hardening of Pharoah's heart?

    Hope your day is going great!

  23. AmandaBland says:

    Of course God is the miracle worker– but he cannot do that unless we submit our will- make ourselves willing to do all that He asks. God cannot take away our agency- or He would cease to be God- so to suggest that we don't play a part in our salvation is to say that we have no agency and that God has not asked us to submit our will. Mormons are going to hell…so why can't God just change us? Clearly you think there is something else that I should be doing, or something different in order to secure my salvation.

    I do pray that God will soften the hearts of men- sure. That is an expression to ask God to give men every opportunity to chose Him. Sometimes that means we need trials, humbling experiences before we will choose Him. We still have to choose.

    I have never prayed a prayer like that. Not even close.

  24. Amanda, I am grafted into God's people by faith in Jesus, not by priesthood. And your question is puzzling, but even in Israel only the sons of Aaron were Aaronic priests. In other words, those of the tribe of Judah, etc. were God's people but they weren't Aaronic priests. Hebrews 7:13-14 even makes it a point to say that Jesus was not an Aaronic priest:

    "For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests."

    8:4-5 even says, "Now if he[Jesus] were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things…"

  25. AmandaBland says:


    Our definitions of "saved" are different. We understand life after death differently, so the term "saved" means something different to me than it does to you. Our doctrines are so vastly different on many levels- so it is very difficult for you to require me to define the restored gospel with the same cultural meanings mainstream Christianity has adopted…they just don't mean the same thing. I tried to help you understand, if you are truly interested in these differences, read D&C 76,43#37

    You completely misunderstand me. What I said was CHRIST SAVES and sets the parameters of our relationship with Him. HE has said to have faith in Him…and FAITH can only be verified through works. Faith is not just belief it is belief followed by action. And I believe that I referenced plenty of scriptures to this effect. So works don't save us, but they are necessary in order for us to have real faith in Christ. I'm not sure how much more simply I can state this. ANY LDS OUT THERE want to help me explain the relationship between works and faith because apparently I am unable to get through.

  26. AmandaBland says:

    Many in your faith do not share your belief and often preach otherwise. Since we are commanded to be baptized- how do those who don't have a chance here on earth get the chance to do the same the Savior did, when He showed us all the way?

    Thank you for your comment

  27. MichaelP says:

    You are unable to get through because you cannot separate your faith from your works like we can.

    Faith, to you, seems to be too closely tied to the works to separate. See, this differs from our faith which sets the saving at the moment of faith and while our faith will produce works, the works add nothing. Contrasting this to your faith, the works seem to be required to show the faith, so faith is not valid until the works are done.

    You are right that our faiths are so radically different, which is why I continue to push the point, because when you speak to most people, they do not know of the differences, and that leads to the impression you (Mormons) are pulling the wool over people's eyes when you use our language to describe something that is so very different.

    I hate to cause such frustration, but it is necessary to get to the point sometimes. Did this help?

  28. Martin_J says:


    I like your style.

    The Priesthood of Christ is one of those big-ticket themes of the Bible that’s easy to miss if we’re not careful to read scripture from the viewpoint of those who wrote it. Releasing the Bible back into its native environment is hard work for us, not least because we don’t see Priest and Temple operating as they did in Biblical Times. We’d rather keep the Bible as a domesticated pet. But its rather like keeping a Cheetah on a chain in the back yard; we’ll never really appreciate what it truly is until we see it sprinting after Springbok on an African plain.

    The writer of Hebrews tackles this particular subject head-on. His principal concern is to persuade Jewish believers not to lose confidence in Christ by reverting to a reliance on the law. He argues that the law points to Christ because his audience was in danger of getting it the wrong way round.

    The term ‘the law’ is the subject of some debate among theologians. My conviction is that it is short-hand for ‘the law and the prophets’, or the system of religion including scripture, priest and temple. To the NT Jews like Paul, ‘the law’ was both something that they did and it was something that was done to them. For example, Paul claims that he was a product of the law and he supported and promoted it, as did all the good Pharisees of his day (ctd…)

  29. Martin_J says:

    The problem was that the law didn’t deliver. It wasn’t a case of optimizing the people’s observance of the law – the Temple that Jesus visited was a well-oiled machine that was the product of generation upon generation of devoted effort. The Gospels record Jesus’ acknowledgement of the success of the Pharisees in applying the law to the tiniest detail (Matt 23:23). Despite this fantastic enterprise, and despite the fact that it was ordained by God, its failure was apparent in several outcomes; there was no Davidic King (1 Kings 9:5), Israel was under occupation and still in a kind of exile (Ex 6:6-8), the land was not healed because it was full of demons (2 Chron 7:14), the physical cloud of God’s glory was not present in the temple (2 Chron 7:1), the corrupt behavior of the priesthood demonstrated that God’s law was not written on their hearts (Jer 31:33). All of these were promises derived from God’s covenant with Abraham, but none were a reality in NT times. In short, God was not present among his people as promised (2 Sam 7:25-26).

    So, the question behind the NT was this; if the system had failed, what was it all about? The answer, according to the NT was that law was not an end in itself, but it foreshadowed the real deal (Heb 10:1), the mission of Christ. Thus Paul writes that the law testifies about Christ (Romans 3:23), it brings us (specifically the believing Jews) to Christ (Gal 3:24) and that Christ is the end of the law (Romans 10:4). In other words, the purposes and intents of scripture, priest and temple are brought to a climactic conclusion in the life and ministry of Christ himself. (ctd…)

  30. Martin_J says:

    This idea was sealed upon the minds of the early Christians by the sacking of Jerusalem and its temple in 70AD. To them, God had rolled up the former things like an old cloak that had served its purpose. The old system of priest and temple was spent; its job was finished, like an old wineskin (Matt 9:17).

    The priestly ministry of Christ is worked out at Calvary, in which he had taken the blood of the new Covenant into the true Holy of Holies and “obtained an eternal redemption for us” (Heb 9:12). If the OT priests and temple were a kind of ‘dress rehearsal’, then this was the real deal. There’s no longer any need to repeat the rehearsals, which is why Christians no longer practice animal sacrifice.

    Prior to getting married, you’d probably do a wedding rehearsal. Having done the wedding proper, you don’t go back to the rehearsals again and again. If you did, people might think that you’re constantly getting out of the covenant you’ve made with your spouse and they would quite rightly question whether your arrangements had anything to do with marriage at all.

  31. Martin_J says:

    By his work at the cross, Christ has done all that was needed to inaugurate the New Covenant and he has done all that us needed to implement or apply it. He has done it when the best of us failed. He is the Great High Priest who has gone into the heavens, and when we are in him we enter with him into the presence of God himself. The curtain is now torn, the way is now open, we are now fully and perfectly reconciled to God. What’s more is that in Christ, God’s people truly fulfil their vocation as a royal priesthood and a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9). Our mission differs from Christ’s only in this respect; he brings mercy and we benefit by receiving it. Too often, the idea of priesthood has been used to claim that only one ‘ordained’ or anointed class has the right to mediate between man and God, whereas the NT view is that priesthood is all about being a living demonstration of God’s mercy.

    The LDS view does in fact run contrary to this notion. Given that so much LDS theology is garnished from orthodox sources (albeit by a ‘pick and mix’ method), the only distinctive of the “restoration” was the restoration of the priesthood. Fundamentally, this says that the Gospel cannot function without an earthly priesthood and the earthly priesthood does not exist unless it can trace its mandate to Joseph Smith jnr. The explicit LDS position is that there is no access to God other than through this “restored” priesthood; we cannot enter into an LDS temple without the intervention of the LDS priesthood. If we can’t get into the temple, we can’t get to God.

    Its as if the curtain were sewn up again.

    To re-introduce priest and temple in the sense of the LDS restoration is to undo Christ’s unique mission. It is to fall into the error that the writer to the Hebrews warned his audience against.

    (End … finally)

  32. germit says:

    very good posts, Martin. Understanding what came BEFORE the New Covenant helps us understand how NEW it really is. Seems to me that there is no way to rry and 'restore' the old without making light of (even unintentionally) God's real plan of REPLACING the old with the new. Every attempt at a 'restored' Old Covenant is really saying "God, your New Covenant, summed up in Christ, just doesn't quite do it". Needless to say, I'm sure my LDS audience sees this very differently. Good work Martin.

  33. germit says:

    Martin has already asked this in so many words, but I'll give it a shot as well. Amanda , what biblical reason does anyone have to believe that HIS gospel would include an "AARONIC priesthood" for all believers ?? It seems to me that using some kind of backwards logic like "we must have authority to accomplish God's work, the AARONIC priesthood authority gives us authority, therefore.. is not really looking at scripture with a fair appraisal. What does the Book say ??

  34. Ralph says:

    I still don't understand what you say GRCluff and I are at odds about. We both agree that He has a physical, immortal, glorified body, which is doctrine. So please explain what your point is as I don't understand what you're saying.

  35. TXNathan6152 says:

    I stand corrected, and I thank you. I forget that the apostles were laying out theology as they were writing their letters (just look at Romans or Colossians, for example). You're right: unlike Christianity, Mormonism is not theology-driven. It requires essentially a testimony of the Church, of the Jesus as revealed by their latter-day prophets, of Joseph Smith as a prophet of God, and of the Book of Mormon. Then follows a program of works, all other doctrine being secondary. Mormons say faith is their basic, and I have no reason to doubt them — but their faith is very vague. Listening to the General Conferences, one hears little but platitudes in there, little philosophy or theology at all. To end with a quote from C.F.W. Walther: "To perceive as clearly as possible everything that God has revealed, that is something in which a non-Christian has no interest. However, the moment a person becomes a Christian, there arises in him a keen desire for the doctrine of Christ."

  36. Lautensack says:

    Ralph, yes however you disagree on how he evolved to this state, something rather important.


  37. Lautensack says:

    Amanda wrote: Of course God is the miracle worker– but he cannot do that unless we submit our will- make ourselves willing to do all that He asks.
    Did Jesus ask Lazarus if it was okay to raised him from the dead?
    Also it seems we are using different terms for agency, you seem to have redefined agency into a form of libertarian freewill, rather than simply meaning men actually make choices, not diverging into a discussion of how. I absolutely affirm that men make choices that affect the world. I also believe that men actually have reasons for making those choices. I thought we were discussing the latter however it seems that you insist I do not believe the former.

    Amanda wrote: why can't God just change us?
    He does change some of you, such as RickB.

    Amanda wrote: Clearly you think there is something else that I should be doing, or something different in order to secure my salvation.
    Indeed you are exchanging the truth about God for the lie, worshiping and serving the creature rather than the creator who is blessed forever, Amen. As for you doing something differently God commands all men everywhere to repent. He also ordains that men should come to him through the preaching of the cross which is foolishness to the world but to those who are being saved it is the power of God.

    Now you say you have never prayed a prayer like that, however can you see anything in that prayer that disagrees with your theology?


  38. Martin_J says:


    Thanks for going to the trouble of reading my incredibly long post. Its kind of embarrassing to put down so many words, but where there has been so much mindless vandalism done to the Gospel, much needs to be done to restore it.

    In hindsight, I might need to correct myself though; don't Cheetah hunt Thompson Gazelle, not Springbok?

  39. Ralph says:

    Actually, that is not important. There is no official doctrine about 'how He evolved to that state' at all, so we can disagree with our ideas, if we have any (I don't). But I still don't see why you say we disagree because I have said nothing about what I believe in this manner.

    If you want to know, I believe that there was intelliegences that were organised somehow (we do not know how) into spirits. These spirits then came to this earth to gain a physical body. After death and resurrection those who enter the Celestial Kingdom will become exalted and will be given their inheritence as Jesus was – being all power and authority. Again I have said nothing about God. So where do we disagree?

  40. germit says:

    DOF: reread Lautensack's comment below this one and add "Amen" for Germit. In your church, the tough questions, when they are answered at all seem to be answered by 1)hard working guys like yourself on blogs or BYU or something like that. Your leadership does a very good job of "laying low", that's as nicely as I can put it. There were a FEW times when Jesus flat would not reply to someone (Pilate, the Pharisees), MOST of the time HE fielded alll kinds of questions from all kinds of people, NOT just from HIS inner circle. That's what I meant by the 'intentions of the NT'. I just don't see that in your upper levels. They should be taking YOUR classes and videos.

  41. germit says:

    DOF: you have a reply about 4 or 5 entries below, the system shuffled it down a bit. THAnKS

  42. MichaelP says:

    Here's another point I look forward to a response on. Great questions, Lautensack. I don't see many differences, but I would think there is probably a Mormon response. I'd sincerely like to see it.

  43. DOF says:

    We can debate about the response to Pilate. But for sure Jesus would not answer the chief priests as in Mark 15. Why? Because they should have known better. The point is He didn't need to somehow prove who He was. As you state, His journey to the cross tells volumes. He was not obligated to give a OT sermon about the Messiah, just as the prophets today have not duty to try to prove to unbelievers who they are. A matter of fact statement should be enough for us who claim God as our King.

  44. DOF says:

    I agree with you about the spritual plane thing. And I am confident that the GA's would never make such a claim.

  45. germit says:

    You wrote: "Mormonism is not theology driven…." that, as far as I can tell , is the understatement of the century. Look closely at their history, and I THINK you'll find pricious few theologians, I would even say that they discount the exercise as working AGAINST faith: the more we KNOW, the less we trust…..not that I've ever seen that WRITTEN anywhere official, but I catch that from those who post here; even apologetics is kind of love/hate, the farther something is from PERSONAL testimony and subjective experience, the more it seems to be held with suspicion. That's why the will QUOTE C.S. Lewis, but they are not likely to PRODUCE a C.S. Lewis. Blessings, GERMIT

  46. Ralph says:


    What disagrees with our theology in the prayer you wrote? Let’s see –

    We are taught to give all thanks, glory and praise to Heavenly Father, not take it upon ourselves as this prayer has done.

    We are taught to pray for God to soften others hearts so they can receive the truth about Him and His Son, not to boast that we have it and all else do not.

    That’s 2 things to start off with, but there are others. This prayer is boastful and critical, much like a group of people in the BoM who we teach were in the wrong in the sight of God.

    If you go into the Bible dictionary on the LDS website and look up prayer, then you will find more wrong with what you have written that disagrees with our doctrine.

  47. Martin_J says:

    DOF wrote "The point is He didn't need to somehow prove who He was."

    Yup, they should have known better. But Jesus took everyone by surprise. Who would have thought that his coronation would involve a crown of thorns, and his enthronement would involve getting nailed to a cross?

    Even so, his patience in explaining himself to his critics is one of the distinctives of his mission. For example, in Luke 7:19-23, you'll notice that Jesus takes no offense at the challenge of John's disciples but he seems to welcome the opportunity to point them to the evidence.

    When I read the Gospels, I see the notion of public scrutiny indelibly stamped into the life of the Kingdom. The most confronting image is of a God who gets nailed, spreadeagled and naked to a cross in full view of his critics.

    When I look at the LDS movement, I see secret (quasi-masonic) rituals, the privatization of religion and the shirking of any responsibility to explain anything to anyone.

    What happened to Peter's commendation to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15)?

    Hey, this Bible stuff is hard work, but its fun isn't it? Lets talk about it some more.

  48. Lautensack says:

    Um… the prayer does give thanks to God, or did you not read the first line?

    You wrote: "We are taught to give all thanks, glory and praise to Heavenly Father, not take it upon ourselves as this prayer has done."
    Who's taking glory for them self? The prayer is all about God's grace. If you are to be consistent with what Amanda has presented about the human will and agency, then the difference between the converted and the unconverted cannot be that God supernaturally converts sinners but that sinners convert themselves. While you may never pray this way, theologically the prayer is consistent with the view presented by man's agency, because to ask "God to soften others hearts so they can receive the truth about Him and His Son, not to boast that we have it and all else do not." Would mean that man's agency, I use the term here as Amanda describes it, has been taken away, something Amanda asserts God cannot do. I believe her position is constant with the LDS view.


  49. Lautensack says:

    You may not have used the term "God" however you have described the progression/evolution to godhood. As such you indirectly are making statements about "God," statements about His nature that are inconsistent with GRCluff.


  50. Lautensack says:

    Was God the Father once a man? Clearly a teaching of Joseph Smith and of great importance to him. Gordon B. Hinckley supposedly didn't know very much about it when speaking in the public sector however when speaking to LDS he uses quite different rhetoric, that would make those who hear him believe He has authority on such things.

    Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith , 357. (2002 Covenant Edition)

    God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power, was to make himself visible, – I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form…

    Sunday Interview – Musings of the Main Mormon
    Gordon B. Hinckley, April 13,1997 San Francisco Chronicle –

    Q: There are some significant differences in your beliefs. For instance, don't Mormons believe that God was once a man?

    A: I wouldn't say that. There was a little couplet coined, “As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become.'' Now that's more of a couplet than anything else. That gets into some pretty deep theology that we don't know very much about.

    Don’t Drop the Ball General Conference Address Oct 1994, as quoted in an article by the same name in Ensign, Nov 1994.

    On the other hand, the whole design of the gospel is to lead us onward and upward to greater achievement, even, eventually, to godhood. This great possibility was enunciated by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the King Follet sermon (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 342–62; and emphasized by President Lorenzo Snow. It is this grand and incomparable concept: As God now is, man may become! (See The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, comp. Clyde J. Williams, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1984, p. 1.)

    If hiding the truth from people is what you mean by clear, or laying your cards on the table then sure, your prophets do that however if actual honesty is required I am not so sure they do this in the public sector.


Leave a Reply