Mormon Jurors Not Welcome

Last week The Associated Press reported,

Defense asks for no Mormons on murder trial jury

OGDEN, Utah — An attorney for a man charged with aggravated murder have filed a motion to keep off the jury any members of the Mormon church who might believe that the only way for him to be forgiven by God is to be executed.

Sharon Sipes, a public defender for Riqo Perea, filed the motion in 2nd District Court. She says a belief among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that the only way to receive true forgiveness from God after committing a serious offense is to shed one’s own blood.

Sipes says that although the church has indicated blood atonement isn’t part of official doctrine, members widely believe it.

Perea, 21, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder in a gang-related 2007 shooting. Perea could face the death penalty. (Wednesday, 11 February 2009)

Mormon leaders unapologetically taught the doctrine of individual blood atonement from the early years of the LDS Church into the twentieth century.

Mormonism’s founder Joseph Smith said,

“I am opposed to hanging, even if a man kill another, I will shoot him, or cut off his head, spill his blood on the ground and let the smoke ascend thereof up to God…” (March 1843, Documentary History of the Church 5:296).

LDS Apostle Jedediah M. Grant, second counselor to Brigham Young, taught,

“I say, there are men and women that I would advise to got to the Presidency immediately, and ask him to appoint a committee to attend to their case; and then let a place be selected, and let that committee shed their blood. We have those amongst us that are full of all manner of abominations, those who need to have their bloodshed, for water will not do, their sins are too deep a dye … I believe that there are a great many; and if they are covenant breakers we need a place designated, where we can shed their blood … Brethren and sisters, we want you to repent and forsake your sins. And you who have committed sins that cannot be forgiven through baptism, let your blood be shed, and let the smoke ascend, that the incense thereof may come up before God as an atonement for your sins, and that the sinners in Zion may be afraid” (September 1856, Journal of Discourses 4:49-51).

Mormonism’s second prophet Brigham Young told the Latter-day Saints:

“There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins, and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world … Now take a person in this congregation who has knowledge with regard to being saved in the kingdom of our God and our Father and being exalted, one who knows and understands the principles of eternal life, and sees the beauty and excellency of the eternities before him compared with the vain and foolish things of the world, and suppose that he is taken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin he knows will deprive him of the exaltation he desires, and that he cannot attain to it without the shedding of his blood, and also knows that by having his blood shed he will atone for that sin, and be saved and exalted with the Gods, is there a man or woman in this house but would say, `shed my blood that I might be saved and exalted with the Gods?’ All mankind love themselves, and let these principles be known by an individual and he would be glad to have his blood shed. That would be loving themselves, even unto an eternal exaltation. Will you love your brothers or sisters likewise, when they have committed a sin that cannot be atoned for without the shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood?” (February 1857, Journal of Discourses 4:219).

Joseph Fielding Smith, the man who became Mormonism’s tenth prophet, wrote,

“Man may commit certain grievous sins–according to his light and knowledge–that will place him beyond the reach of the atoning blood of Christ. If then he would be saved, he must make sacrifice of his own life to atone–so far as the power lies–for that sin, for the blood of Christ alone under certain circumstances will not avail… Joseph Smith taught that there were certain sins so grievous that man may commit, that they will place the transgressors beyond the power of the atonement of Christ. If these offenses are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins even though they repent. Therefore their only hope is to have their own blood shed to atone, as far as possible, in their behalf” (circa 1904, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:134-135).

Then LDS Seventy (later LDS Apostle) Bruce R. McConkie wrote,

“But under certain circumstances there are some serious sins for which the cleansing of Christ does not operate, and the law of God is that men must then have their own blood shed to atone for their sins” (1966, Mormon Doctrine, 92).

BYU professor Robert Millet was once asked about the early LDS teachings on blood atonement. As he tells the story, statements made by Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Jedediah Grant prompted the inquiry. Dr. Millet replied,

“I’m aware of those statements. Yes, they were taught, but they do not represent the doctrine of our Church” (2003, “What is Our Doctrine,” The Religious Educator, Volume 4, Number 3, 18).

It’s no wonder at all that many Mormons believe in individual blood atonement and mistakenly suppose it to be an official doctrine of the LDS Church. If it’s true that many Mormons believe this teaching, it’s wise for any defense attorney representing someone charged with a capital crime to choose a jury devoid of Latter-day Saints. While these folks would probably be smart, honest and thoughtful jurors, it could be risky if they agree with Jedediah Grant who said, “We would not kill a man, of course, unless we killed him to save him…” (Deseret News, July 27, 1854).

If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins,
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:7-9)

For further reading:
Blood Atonement – If It Was Never Taught, Why Do So Many Mormons Believe It?

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 Forgiveness and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

166 Responses to Mormon Jurors Not Welcome

  1. Amanda says:

    Rick, (i’m in idaho, i was just saying that I couldn’t’ promise any cool pictures anytime soon!)

    “A few problems with what you said, The majority of LDS either try and answer, but as One guy showed, the LDS cannot agree, so we cannot get a straight answer. Or the LDS, If they do not know, never say, Sorry I dont know, they either try and answer or remain Silent, And the Silence does not look good.”

    What exactly is it that you require from LDS? It seems your standards are unfair. Remember, LDS are just people, trying to do the best they can with the knowledge they have. We aren’t lemmings, told EXACTLY what to say in EVERY circumstance- we have our own wills..and our own weaknesses. It’s unrealistic for you to make our behavior a stumbling-block to testing the restored gospel. If you look for our flaws, you WILL find them. But it is not about us! We preach of Christ’s restored gospel, that we humbly cannot deny. To make it about LDS and their alleged erratic responses to questions by those who have little intention on accepting the answer– is missing the point.

    “Then your quote from D and C contradicts the Bible. The reason why I say that is because, The Bible says, Be ready in season or out of season and give every man an answer thats asks. ”

    I think the implied nuance in this scripture is that if you receive a sincere question, give a sincere answer. To say that because you haven’t gotten the answer you want, or expect–that it has not been answered. I also believe that many of these questions or ‘issues’ that are raised are not always a sincere query for understanding–rather in most cases they are a snare in order to capture those for the purposes OF contending.

    “So Contention is not of the Devil.”

    The savior testified and taught:

    2 Timothy 2: 23-25
    23 But foolish and unlearned bquestions avoid, knowing that they do gender cstrifes.
    24 And the servant of the Lord must not astrive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
    25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

    Contention is defined by the will of the Devil, not the will of the Lord:

    Gen. 13: 8 Let there be no strife.
    Prov. 10: 12 Hatred stirreth up strifes.
    Prov. 13: 10 Only by pride cometh contention.
    Prov. 15: 18 he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.
    Prov. 18: 6 fool’s lips enter into contention.
    Prov. 18: 19 their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
    Prov. 22: 10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out.
    Prov. 23: 29 who hath contentions.
    Prov. 26: 21 As coals . . . so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
    Acts 15: 39 the contention was so sharp between them.
    Rom. 2: 8 unto them that are contentious.
    1 Cor. 1: 11 there are contentions among you.
    1 Cor. 11: 16 if any man seem to be contentious.
    Titus 3: 9 avoid foolish questions . . . and contentions.
    James 3: 16 where envying and strife is, there is confusion.

    “And the Bible tells us to search the Scriptures, and to Knock, ask and seek. I asked, knocked and seeked out these things, God tells me they are false, you say they are true, so where at square one again.”

    Personal responsibility is key here. You make decisions based on what you know–and God holds you accountable if you are willingly doing what you know is right.

    I’m at peace with you feeling differently than me. All I can do is share what I know–beyond that, I am not responsible for your decisions and whether or not you accept it- only how I treat you. It obviously has to be your choice. That is the way God intended because God is not a Tyrant.


    “Martin makes an excellent point: LDS mixes the will of God with the will of LDS leadership.”

    So we should all ignore the words of the prophets in the old testament and apostles in the NT, say goodbye to Isaiah, Abraham, Paul, Peter, Adam, Moses..the list goes on.
    This argument Martin makes calls into question your own reasons for believing the bible.

    Seems that the rejection of modern day prophets is a position of convenience.

  2. mrgermit says:

    Amanda: your wrote

    What exactly is it that you require from LDS? It seems your standards are unfair. Remember, LDS are just people, trying to do the best they can with the knowledge they have. We aren’t lemmings, told EXACTLY what to say in EVERY circumstance- we have our own wills..and our own weaknesses..

    I would have an easier time accepting this statement, which seems right on the money to me, if the LDS would stop making such a big deal about the diversity among the christian churches, as if that proved something… the LDS are allowed to be “only human” and diverse, but ortho’s are NOT ?? Not saying that you’ve made that point , Amanda, but I sure wish I had a quarter for every time I’ve heard that one on MC (since it seems MY bail out $$$ has been hung up some where). What’s good for the Mormon Goose should be good for the Ev. Gander….

    .or so it seems to GERMIT.

  3. Amanda says:


    “Joseph did not turn to the Bible for answers; he just wrote his own. Maybe Satan inspired Joseph Smith to write these words to lock in his followers.”

    Apparently you aren’t as familiar with Joseph Smith as you think, or claim to be.

    It is clear that Joseph Smith studied the bible AT LENGTH, through parental leadership and personal study. You really ought to read His testimony regarding the first vision, and the verses in the bible that led him into the grove of trees to begin with. James 1:6

    Yeah, I’m sure satan would want someone to write an entire book that testified of Jesus Christ. That doesn’t make any sense, Linda, and you know it.

  4. gundeck says:

    And we are off… Once again subsentive questions regarding a doctrine taught by the Mormon prophets becomes, “Read the Book of Mormon. Read the Book of Mormon. Read the Book of Mormon.”

    Honestly FoF do you think that all we read is books that agree with our opinion. I honestly spend a good bit of time reading liberal critiques of the Bible and non-Reformed Christian works. As for commentaries on the bible let me tell you my shelves are full.

    What does any of this have to do with your changing doctrines? I asked a series of questions; How can a doctrine, delivered from a prophet, inspired by God, change like you propose? How does a doctrine make the unofficial list? How, is a good Mormon to know what teachings from past prophets are official, unofficial, true, or false? What doctrines taught by Jesus or the apostles in the New Testament are now in the unofficial doctrine list?

    While these questions were posed to Shemetwater anyone who can explain this to me, would be welcome. None of these were rhetorical. As I have read the BoM, please do not tell me that any of these questions are answered there. Don’t you think that before anybody lectures me on reading books that Mormons hold as “divinely inspired” “revelations” that you should be able to explain the Mormon doctrines regarding divine revelation and inspiration?

  5. mrgermit says:

    Linda wrote:

    You read the BoM to give you faith in LDS leaders. I read the Bible precisely so I don’t have to trust my church leaders. The Bible hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

    I would change her statement just a little: i trust my leaders only so far as they are teaching and walking out the WORD…. the BOOK judges them, and me, I don’t assume that what I get from any church leader is from GOD, it goes thru the BOOK,

    could MY interpretation be flawed ?? absolutely, that’s why this process is to be done in COMMUNITY and with accountability, and of course prayer and the Holy Spirit.

    Linda is dead on that this process keeps us from exalting any man or woman to a level that is unhealthy and therefore morphing into some kind of “mediator” role.
    this can happen just as easily within a group that holds orthodox theology, it happens every month of every year…..power and position seems to be a superdrug…

  6. Amanda says:


    “so the LDS are allowed to be “only human” and diverse, but ortho’s are NOT ??”

    of course everyone is allowed to be human. And LDS only point out that it is BECAUSE of this weakness men have that an apostasy ensued! Thus the need for modern day revelation and priesthood authority. Moses was just a man, yet through Him, the Lord gave the Jews the 10 commandments (which was only part of the laws given to the Jews, through prophets).

    The gospel is perfect, mankind is not…and it is BECAUSE the gospel teaches the redemption of mankind through repentance and faith on Jesus Christ, that the two are not contradictory–they are complimentary and can function as ONE, only with the acceptance of His gospel…and how does one accept His gospel?
    Ephesians 4: 5-15

    5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
    6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
    7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
    8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
    9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
    10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
    11 And he agave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
    12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
    13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
    14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
    15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

    So we ALL should come and unify under HIS direction. LDS simply claim that HIS direction comes through the priesthood, which has been restored to the earth as a blessing to ALL mankind who hears His voice.

  7. shematwater says:

    I would like to answer a few comments about what I said.
    First, maybe I misunderstood some people wrong in what they meant, but I still don’t see this complete contradiction. Also, even if there is, the Doctrine of Blood Atonement has not been taught by the church leaders in so long that we don’t have current guidance concerning it. We are left to our own understanding, and are expected to ask God if our conclusions are wrong or not. While I have had no definite answer that I am right, I have also had no definite answer that I am wrong.

    Concerning what was said in the article, by not giving personal commentary the author allowed the reader to go with their own thoughts and interpretation of the quotes. As many non-members have already been taught some form of this doctrine (most of it incorrect) the author did not need to say anything to get the audience to see the intent. Also, while I never made a comment directly about what she said, I gave a deciption of how I have alway interpreted the quotes given, and shown how, I believe, they have been misinterprated.

    Now, I can list several doctrines that were taught that are no longer taught, and because of that we are not required to live them. Plural Marriage, and Blood Atonement are the biggest two. Now, even in the Bible it speaks of not giving all the doctrine at once, which is why I mentioned Paul talking about milk before meat. This is exactly what he meant, that we cannot receive all doctrine at once. In 1 Corinthians chapter 3 he discusses it, and again in Hebrews 5. Isaiah also talks about it in chapter 28 (line upon Line, precept on precept). The entire concept of these scriptures is that no man should be taught more than he is able to comprehend.

    As to the reference to the Doctrine and Covenants, I think you are missing the meaning when you say it contradicts teh scriptures. If you read the whole section (verses 53-63) you will see a different meaning, one that lines very well with 2 Peter 3:16 – As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
    In the D&C the Lord is saying that when a person come to the church they will receive the knowledge that they need to progress (line upon line) and they will receive it in this way because others will try to wrest (or twist) the meaning of the doctrines in an attempt to destroy the church. He is not telling us not to teach the word, but simply warning that many will try to destroy the church in this way.

    Also, contention is of the Devil, and there is no other way to look at it, because it cannot be of God. Yes there were contentions among the Apostles, but noe of it was started by Christ. The Apostles were all men, subject to temptation and occasionaly making errors. So, of course contention arrose among them, but it was instigated by satan.

    On a final note. I am not going to say that anyone here has not had an answer to their prayers, as I would not know this. However, can you say that the LDS have not had an answer to our prayer? Of course you can’t. So the question really becomes, who answers whose prayer. AS God will never devide his children it is safe to assume that if God answered one of us, than Satan answered the other. As I doubt you can say with any more confidence than I can that I was answered by God and you were answered by the Devil the whole question of praying becomes an unaswerable one.

    I do not wish to convince any person in these threads that the LDS faith is the only correct faith. I simply wish to clarify the beliefs of my church.

  8. gundeck says:


    How do you in one sentence claim an apostasy and in the next quote from Ephesians? If there is one single book in the Bible that refutes a great apostasy it is Ephesians.

    We are taught that Christ is the head of the Church (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:15; 5:23), Christ is the cornerstone of the Church (Ephesians 2:20), Christ is the Savior and Sanctifier of the Church (Ephesians 5:23, 26-27), Christ gives the Church its ministry workers (Ephesians 4:11-16), Christ loves and sacrificed himself for the Church (Ephesians 5:25), Christ nourishes the Church (Ephesians 5:29), The Church members dwell and Grow in Christ (Ephesians 2:21-22; 4:15), the Church is the means God choose to manifest His Wisdom (Ephesians 3:10), the Church submits to Christ (Ephesians 5:24), and most importantly the Church is the Body of Christ and members of the Church belong to His Body (Ephesians 1:22-23; 3:6; 4:4, 16; 5:23, 30).

    Does this sound like the prelude to the great apostasy? Before you answer take a look at Revelation 2 and particularly Revelation 2:2. You will see that the Church in Ephesus, the very same Church receiving Paul’s Epistle, is being commended for testing those that claim to be apostles, and for finding them to be false.

  9. mrgermit says:

    Amanda: liked your post, or most of it……and here in Eph. we have the ‘Fruit” of one faith, one LORD, one baptism…..the evidence of the “unity of the faith”
    Mature, Christ like and Christ honoring LOVE:

    15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

    so again , I tell you, you will (or already have ) encounter someone who has more mature love in their little toe than you have in your whole body…..are these people part of the “one faith, one LORD, one baptism” are these people part of the “unity of the faith” or are they excluded because they are NOT LDS, and really don’t want to be…??

    I know you don’t like playing these “what if” scenarios, but when you play the “one true church ” card, they come looking for you.

    GREAT POST, Gundeck


  10. gundeck says:


    I would like to honestly thank you for the compliments that you have given me. I enjoy your posts, you always present a face of love that crosses over this impersonal medium. You constant attitude of patience is an example that I wish I could always live up to.

  11. rick b says:

    As far as my spice goes, I have a buy now account set up with Paypal only account set up on my blog, as far as a picture goes, if you buy some, I would like a picture if possible with a sign stating what state your in, like from the post office or a bank, or some type of land mark.

    Now not to change the subject, but here are verses on the issue of Contention.

    John the baptist said

    Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

    Jesus said

    Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

    Notice here in these verses, the People were offended because of him.

    Mat 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this [man] all these things?

    Mat 13:57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

    Granted Jesus is both Perfect and Speaking the truth, they were offended by the Truth, but still People who claim they are Offended or I am being Contentions means nothing, It in my mind is simply a way to avoid the truth, by claiming it is not true but of the devil.

    Here is two more things Jesus said, that Could be taken as a spirit of Contention.

    Mat 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

    Mat 15:15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable.

    Mat 15:16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?

    Jesus calls the leaders Blind, and says to His Disciples, Are ye also yet without understanding?
    In today’s words, Jesus would be saying, Are you also Stupid?

    Something Else Jesus said to his Disciples,

    Luk 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken

    He called his Disciples, Fools and slow of heart.

    Can you believe Jesus did this!

    John 2:15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables

    He whipped the people and overturned their stuff, if that is not mean and a form of Contention I don’t know what is.

    Now lets look at this verse,

    Col 4:6 Let your speech [be] alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

    Notice in this verse the word SALT. I have been in the restaurant business for around 20 years. We use salt to draw blood out of meat, and it draws impurities out of food, it helps slow the growth of yeast in bread, and in the Scripture the use of yeast always refers to Sin and false Doctrine. We use the salt, (Truth) to slow down or kill doctrinal error, and when salt is poured and your hand has a cut on it, it hurts.

    We read in Scripture
    Galatians 4:16 puts it, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” I could say that, because I share the truth with you and you get mad, you feel it is Contention.

    Paul says in
    2Ti 2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

    2Ti 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

    Paul points out these two people as teaching false Doctrine and says it is a canker. Paul even goes so far as to name names. This could also be taken as Contention.
    Rick b

  12. rick b says:

    Amanda said

    It is clear that Joseph Smith studied the bible AT LENGTH, through parental leadership and personal study. You really ought to read His testimony regarding the first vision, and the verses in the bible that led him into the grove of trees to begin with. James 1:6

    Yeah, I’m sure satan would want someone to write an entire book that testified of Jesus Christ. That doesn’t make any sense, Linda, and you know it.

    Amanda, Which first vision should we trust? Then when you said Satan would want someone to write a book that testifes of Jesus, the problem is, a lot of the BoM is word for word copies of the Bible, so why bother with the BoM, then much of the BoM contrdicts the Bible, so how does that help me?

    Then as I Posted before, My Bruce Mc Challange, not once has any Mormon been able to answer that challange, in the years that I have had it. But in short it says, show me how the BoM gives me something that I need to know for making my salvation sure that the Bible does not give me, or give me something from the BoM that clears up things in the Bible that are confusing and again it cannot be done. Rick b

  13. Ralph says:


    There is nothing wrong with telling the truth as long as it is the truth. Misrepresenting others’ beliefs, ideas, thought processes, etc is not truth.

    Yes, the truth can offend people. As the saying goes – truth hurts.

    What is meant by ‘contention’ in the BoM is the arguing, fighting, bickering, etc that goes on with some conversations. Jesus never argued or started a fight. What He did was answer questions or call people to repentance. When it came to cleansing the temple, that was not a fight, it was a cleansing – He moved the people out, He did not go in there to maim or kill anyone. But He is the Son of God, He was more than authorised (for lack of a better word) to do what He did. It’s the same with when He called people fools in Luke 24:25. Remember in the sermon on the mount He said that those who call others fool are in danger of Hell fire? He is teaching that we are not to do that. It all comes down to judging – He is the final judge and His judgment is righteous, so He can call people fools. Whereas our judgment is not perfect and righteous, so we are better not to jump onto someone and call them a fool because of our own foolishness.

    I have never claimed that you were contentious that I can recall. I do think you are a bit stubborn now and then – but that’s the pot calling the kettle black, just ask my wife!

    As far as blood atonement goes, for those questioning what I said, I said “…I do not believe that it is ‘official’ doctrine…” I am not saying that it is or it isn’t – I do not know, but it is not TAUGHT these days as ‘official doctrine’, however I do not know if it is in the official handbook as doctrine or not (yes I have seen both handbooks and read some of them too as I had them in a calling – never looked up this topic but there are many other ‘eye-openers’ in there). I do know it has been taught in the past by church leaders, but I do not know if it was officially in the doctrine category or just a teaching category. I never said it was not official doctrine as Gundeck has tried to quote me as saying.

  14. Martin_from_Brisbane says:

    Ralph said “There is nothing wrong with telling the truth as long as it is the truth. Misrepresenting others’ beliefs, ideas, thought processes, etc is not truth.”

    Hi Ralph. It must be a timezone thingo, because whenever I scan over the latest posts (usually on a lunch break), I usually end up with yours. I really hope you don’t think I’m “picking” on you.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your statement. My biggest problem with Mormonism is that it is a massive, monumental misrepresentation of the Gospel of the Christ of the Bible. It is also a gross misrepresentation of the “restored” Gospel of Joseph Smith, but the two are mutually exclusive in any case.

    I know LDS will disagree, so I’ll make this quick. Who do you trust? Is it Christ who gives you everything you need for life in this world and the next, or do you have to go through various endowments and temple ceremonies to earn the required quota of loyalty points?

    When you stand before Jesus at the final judgement, what is your defence? Here’s a suggested strategy – write down every reason why God should let you into his heaven, then strike out every one that contains the word “I”.

  15. Enki says:

    Rick B,

    You said the following:
    “…We use salt to draw blood out of meat, and it draws impurities out of food, it helps slow the growth of yeast in bread, and in the Scripture the use of yeast always refers to Sin and false Doctrine.”

    Matt. 13: 33 is definately an exception that contradicts your statement
    “Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. ”

    Something else to consider is that some researchers in nutrition say that grain is not really a human food, its more appropriate for birds and mice etc… BUT if you DO eat grain it should be sprouted and/or cultured, such as in bread making. This is to break down the many hard to digest elements of grain. One promoter of this idea was Dr. weston Price. This is probably still a difficult idea for most people to swallow considering how common grain consumption is in the world at this time. It is totally possible however to live and thrive without grain at all.

    The growing and eating of bread is a curse from eating the forbidden fruit, causing adam and eve to be cast out of paradise. The other curse is a difficult childbirth. Gen. 3:16 and Gen 3:17.

    The author of the online webpage “wai says” notes the following on the page, “Zombie-food”:

    “Wheat- and dairy products contain opioid peptides influencing endorphin receptors in the brain. These peptides are physically addictive, causing dependence, asthma, obesity, apathy, ignorance and numbness.”

    Consuming grain in essense casts you out of paradise. Some Raw foodist women state that childbirth is quick and painless when they have been doing raw food for some time.

    I believe the original source of the stories of the bible were probably written about the time when agriculture was just starting. There is a sense of distrust of people practicing tilling, which is commonly practiced in the production of grains and pototatoes. Cain was a tiller of the ground.

    “And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his coffering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect…” Gen 4: 2-5

    I live not far from some fields which are tilled every year for the preparation of a grain harvest. Its near a wonderful trail near a bay, at least its wonderful when airborn soil isn’t being blown onto the trail after being tilled. The word “Abomination” comes to mind when this is happening. If you have ever read or watched 1984, there is a special mention of grain production. Its also a major culprit for carbon emissions, the tilling causes the crumb structure of the soil to breakdown faster. I have read somewhere that our current global environmental problems actually started about 50,000 years ago with the advent of agriculture and the practice of tilling.

    There has been some paradigm shift, such by the time of the N.T. bread is the most common symbol for all things good. “I am the bread of life” ” am the living bread” “give us this day our daily bread”. Its also central for the feast of the passover, eucharist, sacrament.

    Consider the following from “Edible Plants and Animals” by A.D. Livingston and Helen Livingston. page 149

    “..If the truth be told, the real staff of life for mankind as a whole has probably been neither wheat nor rice, but instead the wild acorns from white oak trees. (Quercus alba) and other species of oak that grow in America, Europe, Asia, and Africa…”

    The word Druid has a special relationship to oaks. From the webpage Earth Mysteries maintained by
    written and produced by
    Chris Witcombe – Sweet Briar College – [email protected]

    “Dru-wid combines the word roots “oak” and “knowledge” (wid means “to know” or “to see” – as in the Sanskrit vid). The oak (together with the rowan and hazel) was an important sacred tree to the Druids. In the Celtic social system, Druid was a title given to learned men and women possessing “oak knowledge” (or “oak wisdom”).

    Just somethings to think about!

  16. Enki,

    Thanks for your thoughts on food and agriculture.

    You’ve touched on an important aspect of Biblical interpretation; when we read the Bible should we look for a revelation of religion or a revelation of God?

    I submit that if you look for a revelation of religion, then you’ve got a hard task reconciling a myriad of contradictory commands. You’ve noticed at least one – do we eat bread with leaven or without leaven? There are plenty more. For example; do we build an altar in one central location (in Jerusalem), or do we build them all over the place? Is it considered “work” to pull your donkey out of a well on a Sabbath? And so on.

    The right approach, I believe, is to look for a revelation of God. The main justification of this view is that this is how the authors of the NT treated the OT. For example, the Tabernacle and Temple are not interpreted as pointing towards an ideal system of religion, but as pointing towards God and His Christ. The concentric zones of holiness in the physical layout of these structures tell us that God is holy, and that he is separate from us. The entry of the High Priest once a year tells us about the access that Christ has, covered by the blood of his own sacrifice, in whom we also have access to the Holy of Holies. The author of the Book of Hebrews makes the case at length.

    It is not peripheral that Jesus, the Lamb of God, is described as being the true Temple in the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:22). It is the person of Christ himself who gives the city its light (Rev 21:23); the city does not gets its light from the machinery of religion.

    Ever wondered what the light of the world was? If Jesus was promoting a new system of religion, or an organization headed by a dynasty of priests and prophets, he would not have said “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), he would have said something like “My system is the one to follow”.

  17. mrgermit says:

    Martin, what did you have for lunch?? …..this was rather clever:

    When you stand before Jesus at the final judgement, what is your defence? Here’s a suggested strategy – write down every reason why God should let you into his heaven, then strike out every one that contains the word “I”.

    PS: I’ll have what Martin’s having……


    I hope……

  18. rick b says:

    Jesus said to His disciples: “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees” (Matthew 16:6), which is hypocrisy. Paul writing to the Galatians concerning the problems that were existing there said, “Don’t you know that a little leaven, leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9). Writing to the Corinthians concerning an incestuous relationship he said, “purge out the old leaven” (1 Corinthians 5:7). And always leaven is used expositional, as a type of evil of sin, because leaven is actually the process of deterioration by rotting.

    And thus, it makes a beautiful type of sin that has a way of permeating the total person. It has a way of rotting, it has a way of destroying, its influence is permeating and rotting; not destroying necessarily, but rotting, and permeating.

    Jesus is giving a series of parables in which He is illustrating the same truth, or making the same warning all the way along, that the church is not going to be perfect. That there will come into the church evil influences, that will actually permeate themselves through the entire church.

  19. shematwater says:

    You question of whether or not to trust Christ or the ordinances is not a fair question, as it makes it out that you cannot do one and the other. To it my answer would simply be, I trust in Christ, and he has directe me to partake in all these ordinances. My trust in Christ is why I do them.
    As to when we stand before Christ at the jusgement, I refer you to Matthew 25, and the parable of the sheep and goats. Which will you be? One of the sheep who can say that they did all that was required of them, or one of the goats who paid no heed to his lords commands.
    I hope to stand before the Lord and say, I have done my best, and I leave the rest in your hands.

    When it comes to interpreting the Bible no one, on these threads, can truly claim to know the true interpretation. I have seen people interpret the same passage of scripture in so many different ways, all claiming the true interpretation, that it becomes useless to try and reason it out. The only thing anyone, while on these threads, can truly accomplish is explaining their interpretation to others so that others may understand where the belief comes from. This is all I really want to do (though I know I get very defensive and agressive some time, which I apologize for).
    What no one should do is mock the beliefs of another, or claim that there is no possible way that their belief could be correct. We are speaking of religion, philosophy, and things that are not part of the physical world. We cannot hope to prove to anyone that we are right. Each must find the truth on their own. All we can do is share ideas, perspectives and view points in the hope that in doing so we can help each other find the truth.

    GOD bless us all.

    PS As I understand the word in scripture, contention is a violent effort or struggle to obtain, or to resist, something. This is of the Devil. God uses violence to end contention that has already started, but does not instigate the contention.

  20. Linda says:

    thank you for clarifying. You articulated very well what I meant.

    Amanda, what doesn’t make sense to me is why would I read more writings of someone who’s character is very flawed, especially if I’m looking for God’s words? JS made prophesies that did not come true; he had multiple secret wives before polygamy was “revealed” to him and even before he told Emma.
    And also, the BoM professes of a very different Jesus than the one I know. Jesus did not do a poor job of relaying God’s message while he was here. JS did not need to restore the gospel or anything, and especially not change it up as much as he did.

    RickB, thank you for backing me up. When I finally parted with my local LDS missionaries, that’s exactly what I told them, that the Bible was sufficient for me.

    Gundeck, thank you for your posts as well. Very intelligent.

  21. Linda says:

    Thank you for your posts as well. I always enjoy them. Another hypothetical: when Jesus returns, will he thank LDS for changing everything up so much? Did he really screw up so badly on getting the message right the first time he was here?

  22. Ralph says:

    Martin and Linda (and others),

    When Jesus comes and all of His believers are taken up to the heavens before the burning of the world – what are you going say when you see the LDS there as well?

    And what are you going to do when you stand before Him in judgement and He asks about how you accepted His other words/prophecies to you and your generation? Because you will know then that the BoM is God’s word, as Nephi said –

    2 Nephi 33:11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.

    2 Nephi 33:15 For what I seal on earth, shall be brought against you at the judgment bar; for thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey.

    I have my witness of the truthfulness of the BoM, as well as the Bible and I know it is from God. You have your witness of your beliefs and you say it is of God. Only one of us is correct the other has been deceived, I agree with you there. But your question works in the other way as well as I have shown. It’s highly subjective and rhetorical unless you have ABSOLUTE physical proof and not spiritual. Lack of evidence does not mean something is false so you can’t say the BoM is not true because there is no evidence.

  23. Linda says:

    We do have real evidence that JS’s translation of the Book of Abraham was false. That’s enough to keep me from reading anything he’s written. JS’s words have no authority.

  24. Martin_from_Brisbane says:

    Ralph said “what are you going say when you see the LDS there as well?”

    To be totally honest, I’m not entirely sure how I’ll react on that day. I’d like to think that I’d be quite assured in my Faith in Jesus. But the Biblical pattern, when even the most righteous folks are confronted with God, is the excruciating and inescapable self-realisation of their own unworthiness. Self-assurance is not a feature of these accounts.

    If I see heaven filled with LDS, I’d be really happy (sincerely). I’d like to think that I’d say something like “I thank God that in His Grace he has saved all these people – worthy is the Lamb that was slain, for by his blood he purchased people from every tribe and nation” (Rev 5:12 and Rev 5:9).

    I also sincerely believe that if I’m standing shoulder to shoulder with LDS before the throne, we’d both be saying something like “It wasn’t my efforts that got me here, it was Christ’s”.

  25. Gundeck says:


    I am trying to figure out a way to respond to your last posts without sounding rude.

    I believe that in order for us to know God he must reveal himself. He has done this in 2 ways his natural revelation in creation (Heb 2:14-15) and his divine revelation (1 Cor 1:21; Rom 15:4). God has spoken to us in various ways (Heb 1:1). This he has caused to be written in the Scripture contained in the Old and New Testaments (Prov 22:19-21; Luke 1:3-4; Rom 15:4). Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, the Word made flesh (John 1:1-3), is the climax of God’s revelation (Matt 1:23), all Scripture points to Him (Luke 24:27) and the age of the prophets is over (Heb 1:2). While God’s divine revelation is in Scripture we require the Holy Spirit testify to its truthfulness (1 John 2:20, 27) and to comprehend what is revealed inside them(1 Cor 2:9-12). The truth contained in the Scripture does not change (James 1:17; Mal 3:6).

    This is what I believe concerning the revelation of God.

    I am honestly trying to understand your doctrine of revelation, I cannot see how you can ignore the teaching of your divinely inspired prophets. I do not understand how your Church can leave a doctrine important to salvation untaught. I cannot understand how a prophet can leave a doctrine important to salvation up to the subjective understanding of individual believers.

    Your Church is only 180 years old. Along with thousands of Reformed Christians I am reading John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion to celebrate the 500 anniversary of John Calvin’s birth. The Institutes were written in 1559. My own confession the Westminster Confession of Faith was written in 1648. But you say that blood atonement has not been taught for a long time?

  26. shematwater says:

    I have yet to read a prophecy made by Joseph Smith that is not true. Now, some have yet to be fullfilled, but that does not mean they are not true. I have seen several examples of this argument, but none really seem to hold up when I examine them.
    Now, if there was no need for a new Gospel (or restored one) what was the point of the protostant reformation. Obviously some thought that the church that had been passed to them from the time of the Apostles needed some correcting. If it never did than the Catholic church would be the only true church.

    In conclusion, the Bible is sufficiant for any who wish to attain salvation and live in heaven. However, as it says in Rev 22: 12 “…my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” What reward will you receive from your works? So, while the Bible is sufficiant to get all to Heaven, I believe more is needed to get us the best reward once we get there.

  27. mrgermit says:

    Ralph: I understand that you are solid in your position on JS , the BofM , and you faith, but you overplay this card

    Lack of evidence does not mean something is false so you can’t say the BoM is not true because there is no evidence…

    to the point of CERTAINTY…..I might agree, but if I had showed you pages of info on Bernie Madoff’s background and character, would you have been interested in his ecomomic schemes ?? Probably not, even if my case was not airtight…just not worth it, you’d (wisely) say. We can , and do, make decisions of trust, based on less than 100% knowledge about something….this doesn’t mean we’re lazy, just that 100% is too high a mark to hit. Judgment is built on TRUST, and sometimes TRUST has to go with the “best guess”.


  28. faithoffathers says:


    You said “We do have real evidence that JS’s translation of the Book of Abraham was false.”

    This claim leads to a different topic than this thread, but your statement is very much an opinion and is very likely based on unsupported fundamental assumptions. We have evidence that the Book of Abraham is true. But it requires looking at the actual text, something critics rarely do. Criticism of the book is essentially always directed at the circumstances of its translation or the life of its translator- very similar to the Book of Mormon.

    Again, another topic, but I couldn’t let that statement slide.


  29. Linda says:

    Is the Rosetta Stone an “unsupported fundamental assumption”? Are records of Joseph Smith’s multiple secret marriages an assumption? Isn’t it recorded in LDS records that JS prophesied that Christ’s return would be in 1891? Why do you keep telling me to read his works when his lack of character and cult tactics are so evident to me? His word is all you have, and that’s just not enough to elevate him to such an exalted status.

  30. Ralph says:


    I know nothing about the Rosetta Stone so I cannot comment on that.

    If JS multiple marriages were so secret why do (and did) many people know about them?

    As far as I know, there is nothing in the LDS records where JS prophesied that Jesus would return in 1891 – he said that he was told by God that if he lived to 85 yrs old he would still see Jesus’ face. Then he went on to say that he was left to wonder if that meant the beginning of the Millenium (ie Jesus’ Second Coming), or that he (JS) would get another vision with Jesus talking to him, or that he would die before then and see Jesus face to face after death. The reference to this is D&C 130:14-17

    “I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following: Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter. I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face. I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.”
    (emphasis mine)

    Notice JS says that he did not believe that Jesus would come anytime before his 85th birthday, which was in 1891. Most LDS critics just say that JS said that Jesus would return by JS 85th birthday and leave out the rest of the quote.

    His word (JS) is not all I have – I also have God’s word through the Holy Ghost saying that JS was a true prophet – and I have not elevated him to an exalted status, I revere him as a prophet as I do Moses, Peter, etc. I know you disagree and I don’t want an argument nor do I want/expect you to rehash your arguments about him just accept my answer and agree to disagree.

  31. Amanda says:


    “why would I read more writings of someone who’s character is very flawed, especially if I’m looking for God’s words? ”

    Why do you think the information you have gathered thus far about Joseph Smith wasn’t written by ‘someone whose character is very flawed’?? You might want to balance your information input a bit ‘especially if (you) are looking for God’s words’ 🙂

    Rick B,

    “Amanda, Which first vision should we trust?”

    The account that is widely published by the church–but we know that is a loaded potato of a question–so I’m not sure why you asked…?

    “Then when you said Satan would want someone to write a book that testifes of Jesus, the problem is, a lot of the BoM is word for word copies of the Bible”

    And I’m not sure how the similarities in the language is a problem..? They both testify of Christ coming to certain peoples…they both use similar language–how are you so sure these facts don’t call the validity of the bible into question with that same logic?

    And there are no repetitions in the bible of previous statements/teachings in the bible?? The ENTIRE NT is a compilation of accounts that copy each other–all different authors- scholars suspect. And if God’s word is the same yesterday, today, and forever–why would the Book of Mormon follow some different foreign format? If it did, another stumbling block would emerge: you would be using that against Joseph Smith and say it is too dissimilar from the bible- therefore it is a fraud.

    The truth about your perception is that you are fitting the facts into your own biases about the church-rather than giving it a fair shot-WITHOUT the constant input of adversarial accounts. Lending our ears to Satan’s influence whilst trying to follow the Savior: logical? Giving equal consideration to what Islamic nations say about the Holocaust than that of the Jews: logical? You have to acknowledge that everything true has an equally represented foe that will play an adversarial role. There is a lot of negativity surrounding the restored gospel- and this fact will never change, but it also cannot be the basis for any decisions regarding faith…as long as we humbly ask God His will, we cannot go wrong.

    “But in short it says, show me how the BoM gives me something that I need to know for making my salvation sure that the Bible does not give me, or give me something from the BoM that clears up things in the Bible that are confusing and again it cannot be done. ”

    This is tantamount to demanding proof that there is such a thing as calculus when you are only willing to operate under the assumption that algebra is the most advanced form of math- without any proof of the implied assumption! Well, you will never fathom the existence of calculus if you are unwilling to give up on that false assumption- and allow the person claiming there is such a thing as calculus, to teach you. Otherwise, what’s the point?

    If you believe that God’s word begins and ends with the bible, then how could someone possible attempt to ‘clear things up’ for you? If you are unwavering in this false assumption, then how will ANYONE EVER compel you to rethink your interpretation of the bible? It’s an impossible task you set before me. I hope I was able to communicate the logical dilemma in your rhetorical question.

    But in an attempt to offer you what you ALREADY know the restored gospel claims, baptism by proper priesthood authority is key to invoking the name of the Lord in our purposes here on earth:

    Matt. 16: 19
    19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    This is very clearly denoting an organization that is authorized with ‘keys’ to act in His name. One cannot simply take it upon themselves without being called of the Lord, and ordained as His servant. This reality is a fundamental teaching of the restored gospel.

    In both the BoM and D&C it speaks specifically of being baptized by water and fire:

    2 Ne. 31: 13-14, 17
    D&C 33: 11
    D&C 39: 6

    Christ said that we need baptism- He showed the way and was baptized by one holding priesthood ‘keys’. The book of Mormon is further testimony of the fullness of the gospel, and the organization of His priesthood on the earth. The God of the universe organized this world, He organized His sheep when He came to the earth–Why would He not organize His sheep in the last days? Before His coming?? He is ‘gathering as a hen gathers her chickens’. The literal gathering of Israel!

    Don’t take my word for it. Take the discussions (again, if you already have)…go to church and listen to what is being taught-and let the seed grow. You won’t understand or have a perfect knowledge of things–I certainly don’t. But as the BoM promises: It will begin to be delicious to you.

    Alma 32: 28
    28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

    It is way past my bedtime! Have a nice day 🙂

  32. Ralph said “If JS multiple marriages were so secret why do (and did) many people know about them?”

    I think this arises from the fact that estimates vary. I’ve read some that say JS had 11 wives, others that he had 33.

    This poses a few problems for me;

    * Whatever culture you’re in, it is commonly acknowledged that a wedding is a public thing, involving the family and community. A secret wedding is fundamentally, a private arrangement and not a marriage, which runs contrary to the 6th of the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:14) (there are exceptions, of course, with a Romeo and Juliet scenario, but that’s not what JS was getting into).

    * Some of JS’ arrangements involved women who were simultaneously married to other men, which is a blatant sin against the 6th Commandment. Even if these arrangements were non-sexual, they are nothing short of sacrilegious.

    * It gets worse. A whole boat-load worse. I think that JS instituted the LDS practice of Celestial Marriage so that he could secretly woo his women into a phony blessing ceremony, whether they were already married or not, after which he could get into their under-garments.

    Its one thing to sin, another to sin and not repent and yet another to sin, not repent and institute a religion to justify your sin.

  33. mrgermit says:

    Ralph: about meeting you in the hereafter….or vica versa……

    this guy said it well

    “It is our duty to promote the spiritual unity of the universal church, by the exercise of brotherly love to all who bear the image of Christ…We yield everything which is not required by the word of God; but in what this word requires, we have no compromise to make. We rejoice to see, in many who do not take our views of divine truth, bright evidence of love to Christ and his cause. We love them for Christ’s sake; and we expect to unite with them in his praise through eternal ages. We are one with them in spirit, though we cannot conform to their usages in any particular in which they deviate from the Bible. The more abundantly we love them, the more carefully we strive to walk before them in strict obedience to the commands of our common Lord. And if they sometimes misunderstand our motives, and misjudge our actions, it is our consolation that our divine Master approves; and that they also will approve, when we shall hereafter meet them in his presence.”

    – John J. Dagg, Manual of Church Order (Harrisonburg, VA: Gano Books, 1990; originally published 1858), 303-04.

    Not bad, for a baptist….or so GERMIT thot…..

  34. faithoffathers says:


    You demonstrate my point. Critics assume that the papyri that remain today are the complete collection that Joseph purchased from Michael Chandler in 1835. If you look at all the actual eye-witness accounts of the papyri, it is clear that what we have today is only a portion of the original papyri (the papyri passed through the hands of many people, and it is likely that a portion of the papyri were burned in the fire that destroyed the Wood Museum in Chicago in 1871). The main argument of critics depends upon the assumption that the existing fragments are what Joseph translated as the Book of Abraham. This is a big assumption. The rosetta stone doesn’t help us translate papyri that we do not have.

    Interestingly, the main themes and claims of the Book of Abraham are largely corroborated by ancient extra-biblical legends and texts that speak of the life of Abraham.

    Thanks for the response.


  35. mrgermit says:


    Interestingly, the main themes and claims of the Book of Abraham are largely corroborated by ancient extra-biblical legends and texts that speak of the life of Abraham.

    and thoroughly not corroborated by what scraps of the Book of Abe we do have….

    thanks for the afternoon laugh…..

    your friend

    PS; have not forgotten about Isaiah 2… has been a little hectic and will get more so for about 2 weeks

    blessings on you and yours

    PPS: I have a personal goal to read 20 min. daily in the BofM till I’m done (with the book, that is, not dead…..)

  36. Linda says:

    I’m just amazed at how many excuses you make for JS.
    I hope there’s a blog soon about cult tactics.
    Good bye everyone. It’s been real. Much love and peace to all of you.

  37. Martin_from_Brisbane says:

    FoF said “The main argument of critics depends upon the assumption that the existing fragments are what Joseph translated as the Book of Abraham.”

    …well they do have written annotations in JS’ own hand that match his own lexicon…

    ….and why don’t we see any of the text in the surviving fragments in any part of the BoA?

    …and why did JS get his chronology so horribly wrong? I mean Abraham was around at about 1900 BC (give or take a century or two), but the surviving texts date from the 3rd Century AD.

    Whatever BoA is, it is not a “translation”.

  38. shematwater says:


    I will attempt to explain my understanding of the doctrine of revelation. Please tell me if it makes sense.

    First, in the most basic sense, Revelation is any communication that God has with mortal men. Some men are called to specific positions on the Earth, and receive revelation for those positions. The best example is a prophet. This calling has the authority to receive revelation that is intended for the world. However, the local leaders, such as Bishops, have authority to receive revelation for the area they preside in. They must submit to the authority of the higher leaders, but in daily managing of the Lord’s kingdom at a local level they receive the revelation. More personally, parents have the authority to receive revelation concerning their family. And every person has the authority to receive revelation for themselves. No one can receive revelation for any person who is not under their authority.

    Now, as to continuing revelation through prophets, I will site three scriptures.
    First, in Amos 3: 7 God states “surely the Lord God will do nothing, except he reveileth his secrets unto his servants, the prophets.”
    In Ephesians 2: 19-20 Paul tells us we “are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief ccorner stone.”
    Also in Ephesians 4: 11-15 he says “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” (A similar statement is found in 1 Cor. 12: 48.)
    These passages tell us that Prophets and other positions in the church were established by Christ for the clarifying of doctrine, so that we can all be unified. As long as there is a division among the believers as to what is true doctrine these positions will be necessary.

    As to changing, or not teaching doctrine necessary for salvation, I have not seen this happening. There are several doctrine that is not necessary, as we can learn and understand it once we reach heaven, but all that is necessary for us to reach heaven is taught. Now there are doctrines that were ended to further the temporal needs of the church, such as polygamy, and those that were ended for the spiritual need, such as Blood Atonement. These, though true and Celestial laws, are not required because of the condition the world, and more especially the Saints, find themselves in.
    Two examples I know from the scriptures are these. In Hebrew chapter four Paul writes how the Gospel that he and the other Apostles were teaching was originally taught to ancient Israel, but because they lacked the faith to live it they were given the Law of Moses instead. Second, in the early chapters of the book of Acts the saints live what is called the United Order. In other words they sold everything they owned and gave the money to Peter and the Apostles. This was required of them. In chapter five Ananias and his wife are killed because they did not follow this command, and then lied about it. However, no church in the modern day lives this United Order. The LDS tried when they were first organized, but due to insufficient faith the command was taken back and replaced with tithing, a law they could obey.
    God will not try you beyond that which you are able to bare (Acts 15: 10, 1 Cor. 3: 2, 1 Cor. 10: 13). If the majority of the saints cannot live a law he will take away and replace it with a lesser law that they can abey (one with the same principle).

    I have to go now, but I will try to explain anything that is not clear in a day or two.

  39. Linda says:

    Amanda wrote: Why do you think the information you have gathered thus far about Joseph Smith wasn’t written by ’someone whose character is very flawed’??
    Because the latter are not claiming to be God’s chosen messenger whose job it is to “restore” God’s Word.

  40. shematwater says:

    I have to say a few things concerning Joseph Smith. First, yes his character had flaws, but than so did every other prophet that ever lived (Christ being the only exception). People are quick to point out the flaws of Peter, yet people still believe what he wrote. Paul actually was active to the executing of the saints, yet he is the favorite of the New Testiment prophets. Flaws in character are no reason to dismiss a person as prophet.

    As regards the plurality of wives, yes Joseph had several. The two numbers given, 9 and 33, and both accurate. He had nine while he was alive and several more have chosen to be sealed to him since he died, making a total of 33 that will be married to him in the eternities. The secret wives were not really all that secret, but descrete. From all my research I have found he had only one additional wife before the 1840’s, and had no sexual relation with her. This was a diplomatic marriage to connect the two families, and she later wrote a book about how great it was. As to the immorality of it, you must also condemn Abraham and Jacob as both these men lived Polygamous lives. Also, this practice was revealed to Joseph very early on, possibly as early as 1831, and shared with a few close friends, yet never taught or practiced as Joseph hated the idea. According to Martin Harris it wasn’t until Joseph was told he would be striped of his priesthood if he did not teach it that he finally did so.
    On the final accusation, there is only one record of Joseph Smith ever telling a married woman she had to marry him instead. In this case, when her and her husband agreed Joseph informed them that this had been their final test, and that they now were garunteed exaltation (they could not loose it) and he resealed them as husband and wife.
    The accusation rises from some wicked men taking the prophets words, as he taught the church leaders before making public, and using them to seduce married women. Joseph never did this, nor did he condone this, and several people were excomunicated for the practice.

    Lastly, I will mention the supposed prophecy that Christ would return in 1891. Linda did a nice Job in her explanation. I would also add that most people use a quote from the books History of the Church, Vol. 2, page 182. The most complete quote I can find at this time of this passage is this: “it was the will of God that those who went Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh—even fifty-six years should wind up the scene.” Now, if read simply without any attempt of analysing the words, one can instantly see where people get the idea that this is a prophecy of the second coming. However, since it contradicts everything else that Joseph Smith said on the subject it requires a little analysis. If you read it this is directed towards the priesthood leaders, telling them that it was the Lords will that they prune the vineyard one last time before the second coming. So, is it not possible that the 56 years mentioned is not saying when the Lord will return, but the time given to these brothers to serve the Lord in this life? If this is a prophecy of the ministry of these men it was fullfilled, as they were all dead, or had left the church, by 1891, or 56 years later. Their scene was wound up. I have full convidence that this is the intent of this prophecy.
    Another thing you might like to note is that this is note a quote directly from the Joseph Smith. It is a journal entry from another man (I believe Parley P. Pratt) who is reported what the Protphet said in a meating at a previous time (not too long distant).
    I could go into other prophecies, but I will wait for them to be brought up before I do.

    Thank you all for listening.

  41. Amanda says:


    And satan would not have ANY desire to attack the credibility of the prophet of God? riiiiiiiight.


    Your efforts are in vain, unfortunately. Their rejection of Joseph Smith as a prophet stems from skepticism, not faith–no amount of fact or historical accounts will change that until they change their attitude in approaching the gospel.

    There is one thing missing from your historical account, as I understand it– those women were sealed to Joseph posthumously, and it was an error of doctrine by the saints of that time–those women vainly wanted to be sealed to a prophet of God. As for the other living relationships he had, it is important to point out, on top of the relevant perspective you give, that Joseph did not live very long–and when he was living he was in jail or on the move to avoid persecution–He wrote letters home to Emma constantly expressing his undying devotion to her and his children and exhibited tremendous concern for their welfare instead of his own.

    I doubt anyone peddling false perceptions of Joseph Smith would be willing to read these letters and acknowledge the beauty there. This obsession that many have with Joseph Smith’s DARK side is a bit perverted and employs romanticism rather than reality.

  42. mrgermit says:

    Amanda: JS no doubt wrote some beautiful prose to his first, and what should have been his only, wife. I’m sure in some part of his compartmentalized brain, it all made sense to him… much so that he was even able to make it sound OK to others. He’s not the first to do this, and he won’t be the last. That’s how men are sometimes. Do I find any virtue there ?? What little shred of virtue is to be found is on Emma’s side, clinging to the one love of her life….desparatelly wanting the “other women” to NOT be true…..and yet there they were. I’ll give Emma a few points for misguided fidelity. That’s about it.


    PS: ironic that JS gets a pass on stuff that you and your husband would go “EEWWWWW!!!!” if anyone you knew personally were doing it today..

  43. mrgermit says:

    PS to Amanda:

    According to Martin Harris it wasn’t until Joseph was told he would be striped of his priesthood if he did not teach it that he finally did so.

    THIS is what is perverted.

    thanking GOD that LDS families don’t do this (for now)

  44. shematwater says:

    In truth, from what I understand the sealing of women to the Prophet after his death is not completely false doctrine. The part I left out is that for the sealings to have any lasting effect Joseph Smith, as well as Emma and all the wives he had in life, must except them. If he does not except them as valid sealings they will not be his wife in the eternities.

    Also, as I stated, I am simply trying to explain things from an LDS perspective. I do not think in in doing so on these threads I will ever convince anyone that it is the true Gospel of Christ.

    To comment on your PS from the post above, I never gave Joseph Smith a pass on anything that I would not be perfectly willing to let anyone else do. The real problem is that you misunderstand what Joseph Smith taught and practiced so you perceive it in this way. I have full faith in polygamy, and believe it would solve several social problems that the United States is currently facing (such as single mothers). However, it needs to be regulated, and the LDS church has set down very good guidelines for it. If you actually take the time to see what was taught, and not corrupted version that apostates practiced you might understand this.
    You cannot give me one thing that Joseph Smith actually did that I would not approve of, except, as he said, having an excess of laughter and being light headed.

  45. Amanda says:


    “JS no doubt wrote some beautiful prose to his first, and what should have been his only, wife.”

    Then this should also be true, “Abraham no doubt wrote some beautiful prose to his first, and what should have been his only, wife.”

    What of that, Germit? I suppose Abraham was a pervert, too.

    And practicing polygamy today is different than when it was commanded of God. God sacrificed His only begotten son for a purpose that was eternally wise–all of God’s purposes are eternally wise–but the fact that at one point, a sacrifice had to be made- does not mean we continue to make these sacrifices ALL of the time. Polygamy had a function- in the OT and during the restoration– it is a mortal law to satisfy mortal needs–it is not an eternal law. This is an important distinction.

    Also, you don’t know what my husband thinks, so let’s be fair and leave him out of this– don’t take that the wrong way, either– I know you meant no disrespect. But the reason I say this is because you seem to make accusations about things you know little about- a recurrent theme. You take a set of facts, and fill in the rest with your own imagination!

    The example of Martin Harris’ account of JS’s reluctance to teach polygamy is a prime example. Doesn’t that fly in the face of everyone’s crude and perverted conclusions that JS USED his priesthood authority to abuse young women and coerce them into marriage??? No, what it means is that JS had difficulties obeying God on this matter. You should then ask God why He commanded it at that time…

    I find it equally problematic that you refuse to balance these accusations with all of the hundreds and thousands of positive accounts by the people who ACTUALLY knew him best. It is not Joseph Smith who thought highly of himself–just about everyone who came in contact with him loved him and supported him, and sacrificed a great deal for their prophet. If you call Emma out for misguided fidelity- you must also make judgments on the hundreds who knew him and loved him–while you sit over 150 years away from these events. I don’t know how anyone would feel comfortable doing so on the basis of a few ‘records’ of people they also do not know personally.

    OK, things just got busy talk later,


  46. shematwater says:


    How is following the commands of God perverted?

    Also, if you are glad the LDS do not practice this right now, how do you feel about the Islamic faith?

  47. mrgermit says:

    shematwater: following the commands of GOD is never perverted (in reality, though it might be seen that way by others…..think of fornication and promiscuity, for example)

    I’ll work up a few bullet points for JS in regard to this, if the thread doesn’t run out (which it might)

    I’m not a good source to critique Islam except to note that their view of women in general seems very low, to me, and they also seem to lean toward power and intimidaton to control people in general and women in particular. Those are IMPRESSIONS of mine, more than anything. I’m not aware of where they are with POLYGAMY, and if those views are uniform throughout Islam.

    Keep in mind that I judge JS , as I’d judge AnYONE after the 1st century according to BOTH the OT and NT……. so , among others, he will run afoul of “husband of one wife”. More later.


    PS to MandyBlandster…..sure, no more ‘asides” about your honey….this wasn’t so much guessing on my part as giving him, and you, the moral benefit of the doubt.

  48. gundeck says:


    Thank you for your response. You have clearly laid out you positions. While I disagree with your view of Hebrews 4 and I think that Amos 3:7 has more to do with Amos’ stated purpose of announcing guilt and punishment on Israel than knowing all the secrets of Gods intent, I do thank you for the time you took to answer my question. The Apostle Paul himself never claimed full knowledge of everything (1 Cor 13:12).

    If I understand you correctly you believe in a changeable God that will resend His Law on our ability to keep it. As you can imagine I do not see the same thing. I see an immutable God (Jas 1:17; Mal 3:6). I also believe that Gods Law is inviolate and holy, but that we all fail to keep it (Matt 5:17-19; Rom 3:10; 7:12, 22, 25 Jas 2:10).

    Once again thank you for a clear and well thought out presentation of your beliefs.

  49. shematwater says:


    I thank you for your response. I will say however that you misunderstood one point. Never did I say God changes, as he doesn’t. If I had I would have made a false statement. However, as God is perfectly just, and will not tempt us beyond that which we are able, I believe he set up two laws from the beginning. While he first gives us the higher law if we are unable to bear it he will replace it with the lesser. In this way God if perfectly just, and he has not changed.

    Other than this one point I think we understand each other.

    So what you are saying is that if God actually did Command Joseph to take plural wives, and to teach the practice it would not be perverted. However, since you do not believe he was commanded of God it is perverted.

    Aslo, in the islamic faith a man can have as many of four wives. This is standard, though some do see this more as a suggestion, meaning it would be difficult to have more.

  50. mrgermit says:

    Shem: interesting thot on Islam…..i don’t have a lot to reply other than to say that without the life of Christ inside someone, we (all of us) are left with some version of doing what seems right to us…. and for some, that’s doing what the imam, or mullah says is God’s will….no surprise, to me, that this goes “bump” into what GOD revealed in HIS WORD. Did they get the idea from the OT ?? Maybe, but again, God has given us more information in the NEW, and then you guess get “seconds” and “thirds”……

    I think I can agree with this:
    So what you are saying is that if God actually did Command Joseph to take plural wives, and to teach the practice it would not be perverted. However, since you do not believe he was commanded of God it is perverted.

    God’s power and rest to all of us this weekend;

    PS: one historical take: JS’ reluctance to teach on polygamy was, in GERMIT’s opinion, NOT because the idea was hard or tough to accept (unlike BY, I would add) but he wasn’t sure how public he wanted the “principle” to be…..till he knew how it would go over (if at all). LORD knows, it wasn’t going over too well at home (and never did…..) so I think he was testing the waters on this , and seeing if it would sell.

    cynical of me…..yeah, I know

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