Steve Redinger’s Two-Gospel Paradigm for Understanding Mormonism

Usually when we speak of “two gospels” we are speaking of the contrast between the true gospel of Biblical Christianity and the false gospel of Mormonism. Steve Redinger (who calls himself Hick Preacher after the figure mocked in the pre-1990 LDS temple ceremony) teaches of an expanded way of thinking about things, namely that Mormonism itself has two distinct gospels—even two different systems of religion.

I’ve personally met and hung out with Steve. He’s a reflective thinker and a kind man. He has great insight into how Mormonism and Christianity are each integrated worldview systems. I commend his YouTube videos to you.

What do you think about Steve’s two-gospel-paradigm for understanding Mormonism?

What do you think of Steve’s “Little Dog Salvation” parable?

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81 Responses to Steve Redinger’s Two-Gospel Paradigm for Understanding Mormonism

  1. If you’re gonna play Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” can’t you at least play the original? Maybe there’s an issue of copyright and royalties.

    Apt choice of backing track, anyway.

    Good point, though. I had suggested earlier that LDS teach two Gospels, one for “public consumption” and one for the “secret deal”. At least one Mormon poster went ballistic at the suggestion. I’m expecting similar reactions to these videos.

  2. falcon says:

    This really isn’t that difficult to parse and the speaker does a great job with it. There are two different Mormon gospels and perhaps even more. When the Mormons came to Nauvoo, something went wacky with what was already an aberrent system. The temple ceremonies and the polygamy bear this out. The Community of Christ and Temple Lot sects of Mormonism have a different take on the Mormon gospel than to the Salt Lake City denomination and the FLDS sect.
    Do a side by side comparison of the doctrines of SLC Mormonism, Community of Christ and Temple Lot sects. Contemporary Mormon followers of Joseph Smith recognized that even within Mormonism, Smith went truly off the deep end in Nauvoo. Prior to that Mormonism was monotheistic and monogamus. But Joseph Smith followed the pattern of cult leaders past and present and began introducing doctrines and practices that were very offensive to even many of his followers.
    So what we have here is the SLC sect of Mormonism with their public consumption gospel based on the preNauvoovian Mormon doctrine and the secret temple gospel. All very Masonic Lodge like.

  3. st.crispin says:

    Hello Aaron,

    When I viewed Steve Redinger’s trash videos what immediately struck me was just how uniformed Mr. Redinger is about even basic LDS doctrine, faith and religious practices. Sadly, this type of hackneyed, gross misrepresentation of LDS doctrine typifies much of what is wrong with Mormon “criticism” and underscores the basic intellectual dishonesty of such theological hatchet-jobs.

    Mr. Redinger fabricates a straw-man argument that there are “two Mormon Gospels”. This is of course utterly false and if Mr. Redinger knew anything at all about LDS doctrine he would know that is simply not the case.

    Mr. Redinger, in a manner so typical of contra-Mormon criticism, goes on to selectively quote, misquote, and quote out of context various LDS sources to bolster his argument that investigators are not told the “Fullness of the Gospel” and implying some dark conspiracy to mislead sincere investigators.

    This false accusation (like so many made against the LDS Church) could not be further from the truth. If Mr. Redinger had bothered to read the missionary discussions or even just talk to a knowledgeable Later-day Saint he would have quickly been corrected of his many misconceptions.

    Contrary to Mr. Redinger’s false accusations, investigators of the LDS Church are indeed taught the “Fullness of the Gospel” by the missionaries. Not only that but the LDS missionary discussions cover the “meat” of many distinct LDS doctrines such as:
    1. God the Father is distinct from Jesus Christ and has a body of flesh and bones and is an exalted and glorified man;
    2. The preexistence of us as spirit children of our Heavenly Father;
    3. The Great Apostasy;
    4. The restoration of the priesthood;
    5. The potential we have of being married for time and all eternity through temple covenants;
    6. The eternal nature of families;
    7. Our potential for eternal progression; and
    8. The nature and purpose of the House of the Lord.

  4. st.crispin says:

    Thus, contrary to Mr Redinger’s false accusations, from the foregoing it is clear that investigators are indeed taught the distinct LDS doctrines by the missionaries and also in the investigator’s Gospel Essentials Sunday School class. I know this because this is what I taught my investigators when I was a missionary and when I taught the Gospel Essentials class.

    The accusation made by Martin that: “LDS teach two Gospels, one for ‘public consumption’ and one for the ‘secret deal’ ” is completely false and belies a basic lack of understanding of the LDS Church, its people and culture.

  5. Stuart, in your view, where does the “milk before meat” principle as practiced in Mormonism fit into all of this? I have had many Mormons tell me that my desired topic of conversation (usually the eternal nature of God and deification) is too meaty and requires either more belief on my part to talk about, or even the context of the Celestial Room in the temple.

    In my experience, eternal progression is usually expressed to prospective converts with watered-down language that make it more acceptable.

    Grace and peace for those who worship the Heavenly Father who absolutely never sinned,


  6. st.crispin says:


    It is often said that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is simply beautiful and beautifully simple. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple enough that a child can understand its basic precepts and yet profound enough to excite and enthrall the deepest thinker.

    I have taught LDS doctrine for over 28 years to all age groups and levels of understanding. Some individuals grasp the profound eternal significance of various doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ more quickly and readily than others. It really depends upon the spiritual maturity and humility of the individual. For many individuals (myself included) the doctrines of the Church are learned “line upon line and precept upon precept”. This is the “milk before meat principle” to which you refer. Many doctrines (for example the Law of Tithing or the Word of Wisdom) must be experienced and lived first before the eternal nature of the doctrine and its great spiritual blessings become apparent.

    Even Joseph Smith was initially uncertain as to the practice of various doctrines of the Lord and had to inquire of the Lord as to how to proceed (i.e. the building of temples and the ordinances and covenants made therein). From my own experience every time I go to the temple (about twice a month) I learn something new and my appreciation of the Eternal and Infinite Atonement of Jesus Christ deepens.

    In my experience in teaching a specific topic such as eternal progression I focus on official LDS doctrine (which is much more limited than you would think) and leave the theological speculation to the High Priests.

  7. Stuart, if you’d like to come, I’ll be giving a workshop tomorrow at the Compassionate Boldness conference on this issue of “official” doctrine.

  8. st.crispin says:


    Thank you for the invitation. I would like to hear your “take” on official LDS doctrine however, my wife and I already have plans for Friday night. I hope to come to the conference on Saturday.

  9. jeffrey b says:

    Crispin “Even Joseph Smith was initially uncertain as to the practice of various doctrines of the Lord and had to inquire of the Lord as to how to proceed (i.e. the building of temples and the ordinances and covenants made therein)”

    Had to inquire of the Lord did he? about ordinances made in the temple? Yeah, hardly.. the only inquiry he had to make was to the master mason of his lodge..

  10. I’d have to add that its a good topic, well referenced, but poorly presented (as a web-based presentation).

    I’m not saying that presentation is more important than content, but poor presentation provides the viewer with an excuse to tune out. This is an example of presentation actually hindering the message, which is a pity because there has obviously been a lot of thought put into the content.

  11. St Crispin;

    Exactly which of the quotes of the LDS prophets that Steve has referenced fail to inform us of “basic LDS doctrine, faith and religious practices”?

  12. Berean says:


    When I started to read your post I was started thinking about your opening statement on the “Discovering the God of Christianity” thread:

    “OMG – Here we go again – the nature of God!”

    Well, I’m thinking the same exact thing as I read your usual rhetoric of “intellectual dishonesty”, “It’s all false”, blah, blah, etc. You sound like a “broken record” while offering nothing substantial to refute what is being said. I noticed that you “popped your parachute” on the discussion regarding the nature of God and have now arrived back with plenty to say about a Youtube video of some man from Oregon. I don’t get it.

    I’d like to offer an idea and a challenge. Mr. Redinger used many LDS scriptures, manuals and books to back up what he was saying. I have those same maerials myself and it seems pretty clear. Instead of wasting your time and posts in talking about Mr. Redinger, why don’t you take all those materials, every quote, scripture, etc, and tell us exactly what it all really means. You have 6 posts a day and I am ready to learn. You have given us your LDS credentials so I am convinced that you have the experience and knowledge to set the record straight as you said, “line upon line”.

    I’ve been to many wards and attended Gospel Essentials classes. I never had the pleasure of meeting a teacher like yourself. The vast majority of the ones I came across knew very little and didn’t want to answer questions anyway. The last Gospel Essential class I went to there were converts who were baptized and been in the LDS church for 6 months telling me that the LDS Church still believes in the Trinity and that there are no “Gods” (Abraham 4) and were clueless about becoming a god (exaltation/eternal progression).

    Please set the record straight. Explain to us what those things Mr. Redinger said really means. This is the world wide web. The world is listening and reading. This is your big chance to help out the LDS Governing Authorities. Please teach us.

  13. st.crispin says:

    Jeffrey B.,

    In response to your questions:
    Many of the revelations contained in the Doctrine and Covenants and singular moments in the History of the Church came about as direct answers from the Lord in response to questions asked by Joseph Smith. For example the Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood and its conferral by John the Baptist upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery resulted in part from their fervent prayers.

    It is a common misconception that Joseph Smith stole the LDS temple ceremony from the Masonic order. The historic facts do not bear this out. The concept of a temple and its ritual was a part of Mormonism years before Nauvoo and before Joseph Smith became a Mason on March 15, 1842.

    The simple fact of the matter is that Joseph Smith was told about a temple where the Lord would appear in the Latter Days even before the LDS Church was organized in April 6, 1830. The angel Moroni before delivering the Book of Mormon gold plates to Joseph quoted the saviour, saying, “The Lord, whom ye seek, will come suddenly to his temple” (Malachi 3:1 and 3 Nephi24:1) and repeated this verse over a period of four years beginning in September 21, 1823 and continuing until September 22, 1827. Shortly after the organization of the LDS Church on April 6, 1830 The Lord told Joseph Smith : “I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God; …I will suddenly come to my temple” (D&C 36:8). From June 1830 to February 1831 Joseph Smith received a revelation called the book of Moses. It contains a large portion of the completed temple endowment.

    The Kirtland Temple was dedicated on March 27, 1836. A week later the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the temple. Other holy messengers appeared; Moses, Elias, and Elijah who restored the priesthood keys , including temple and genealogy work (D&C 110). The full temple ceremony developed gradually. In the Kirtland Temple a partial endowment was administered, and washings and anointings were performed.

  14. st.crispin says:


    Joseph Smith’s close friend, and also a Mason in Nauvoo, Franklin D. Richards, who became an apostle in 1849, stated: “Joseph the Prophet,was aware that there were some things about Masonry that had come down from the beginning and desired to know what they were, hence the lodge. Masons knew some keys of knowledge appertaining to Masonry were lost. Joseph enquired of the Lord … and he revealed to him the temple ceremony” [cited in Bradley, Don, “The Grand Fundamental Principles of Mormonism – Dialogue April 2006].

    Through revelation Joseph Smith learned from the Lord that the teaching method of Masonic ritual had great merit, but not the Masonic meanings. There are vast differences between Mormon and Masonic rituals:
    1. Covenants in the LDS temples are between man and God; in Masonry they are between man and man;
    2. In an LDS temple everyone is equal before God; rank in Masonry is very important;
    3. Jesus Christ is the central focus in an LDS temple. However, Masonic ritual refers only to an impersonal God.
    4. Adam and Eve, representing mankind, are important in the LDS ceremony. there is no mention of Adam and Eve in Masonry.
    5. The LDS temple includes marriage for time and all eternity; there is no mention of this in Masonry.
    6. The LDS temple includes a plan that enables all mankind to return to God by performing ordinances for those who are deceased; Masonry does not deal with an afterlife.
    7. In the LDS temple priesthood, or authority of God, is stressed; in Masonry there is scant reference to authority.
    8. Mormonism is a church; Masonry is a fraternal organization.
    9. LDS temples have a baptismal font rsting on the backs of twelve carved oxen representing the 12 tribes of Israel (as in the Temple of Solomon); there is no such font in Masonic buildings.
    [attribution to Gilbert Scharffs: “Setting the Record Straight – Mormon and Masons”

  15. falcon says:

    I just purused our friends masonry/LDS comparison and I give it a big so what? Joseph Smith borrowed the rituals from the Masons period. “Mormonism is a church; Masonry is a fraternal organization.” Another big “so what”. How does that negate the fact that Smith was a mason and he ripped-off the rituals from Masonry. “Baptismal font” again, so what? It proves what? Your trying to tell us there are vast differences between the rituals and then list a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with rituals. Looks like an information dump to me with very little attached to it to bolster the argument that Joseph Smith the peep stone looking occultist and Free Mason, didn’t rip-off his rituals.
    And we’ve got lost Masory stuff too. WOW, aren’t we so fortunate that Joseph Smith could restore all of these things. Smith was a con man of ill repute. He didn’t care where he got his information from.
    Smith made it up as he went along and he didn’t care much where he got his “inspiration”. If you want to buy into it, have at it, but I’d think that after a while you’d start to figure it out.

  16. st.crispin says:


    The primary charge made by Mr. Redinger in his little video series is that investigators of the LDS Church (i.e. prospective converts) are somehow deliberately kept uniformed about distinct LDS Church doctrine and therefore are denied “informed consent” in making the decision of whether or not to be baptized into the LDS Church. This accusation is completely and utterly false. Investigators right from the very beginning are told about many of the distinct LDS doctrines.

    Either Mr. Redinger is uniformed about even basic LDS doctrine, faith and religious practices – a distinct possibility given some of his bizarre statements about the LDS Church (i.e. the whole two gospel paradigm he presents and his suggestions that the LDS Church preaches Trinitarianism) or Mr. Redinger is knowledgeable about about LDS doctrine in which case his false accusations constitute a deliberate gross misrepresentation of LDS Church doctrine and policy and belies a fundamental intellectual dishonesty. It is this intellectual dishonesty, as displayed here, that typifies much of the criticism made against the LDS Church.

    As I stated in previously, investigators at the very beginning are taught the distinctive doctrines of the LDS Church. From my own mission almost 30 years ago (if my memory serves me correctly) the 6 missionary lessons discuss the following topics:

    Lesson 1: The Nature of God; God the Father has a body of flesh and bones and is an exalted and glorified man; [no trinitarianism here]; Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is the Saviour of the world. The Holy Ghost bears witness to the truth; Joseph Smith’s First Vision.

    Lesson 2: Heavenly Father’s Plan of Salvation and the central role of Jesus Christ as Saviour; our pre-existence as spirit children of our Heavenly Father; why we come to the earth – to receive a mortal body and be tested as to our faithfulness; What happens after death: assignment to spirit prison or paradise; Judgement.

  17. st.crispin says:


    Lesson 2: Judgement and assignment to one of the 3 Kingdoms of Glory (Celestial, Terrestrial or Telestial) or Outer Darkness; our potential for eternal progression in the Celestial Kingdom.

    Lesson 3: The Great Apostasy and the necessity of the Restoration of the Priesthood; What is the priesthood – the divine authority to act in the name of God; The restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood by John the Baptist in May 1829 who conferred it upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery; the restoration of the Melchezedek Priesthood by Christ Apostles Peter, James, and John in June 1829 who conferred it upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery by the ordinance of laying on of hands; the vital importance of having living prophets and apostles leading the Lord’s Church. The Book of Mormon: what it is and how it came to be.

    Lesson 4: Making and keeping covenants with God (i.e. the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, and Law of Tithing); the importance of baptism as a covenant one makes with Heavenly Father to take upon oneself the name of Jesus Christ; enduring to the end.

    Lesson 5: The House of the Lord; the nature and purpose of LDS temples; the covenants made therein; the potential of marriage for time and all eternity through the sealing power of the temple; the purpose of genealogical work in the LDS Church and proxy baptisms for the deceased.

    Lesson 6: The true and living Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; the importance of modern revelation; the importance of following God’s anointed prophets and apostles;

    I am sure that there have been some modifications of these basic missionary discussion lesson plans over the past 30 years. Nevertheless it is plain that these lessons discuss some very “meaty” theological topics and discusses the distinctive doctrines of the LDS Church. These basic missionary discussions are further expanded and elaborated upon in the Gospel Essentials class that investigators attend when they first go to the LDS chapel.

  18. Berean says:


    You’re still wasting time, posts and procrastinating. We are still waiting for you to explain the verses in D&C 84, the institute manuals, “Mormon Doctrine” and other LDS resources quoted in the video. What do they really mean according to Crisp? I hope that you haven’t developed your own form of Mormonism like many other Mormons that I know. If you have, shall I call it Crisponism?

    Your recap of the missionary lessons is out of date. I recommend that you read the newest version of “Preach My Gospel” – the LDS missionary manual. We can start with lesson 1 which is entitled “The Restoration”. The nature of your god is discussed and nowhere does it say that your god is an exalted man. Joseph Smith said that is the first principle of the gospel in the King Follet Discourse. I’m just wondering why LDS missionaries and other Mormons get this “deer in the headlights” look when I ask them about their god being an exalted man?

    Why do they tell me that your church doesn’t believe it or teach it? I had a 76 year-old man who accompanied some young missionaries at my house who told me he personally had seen Jesus and that nowhere did Joseph Smith ever teach that your god is an exalted man. When I tried to read to him the quotes he became enraged. Why is that?

    Why do other Mormons get red-in-the-face (embarrassed) and start giggling when asked about their god being an exalted man? Why do Mormons start coughing, clear their throat and get nervous when asked about this fundamental teaching? Why the “INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY”? You see, it goes both ways.

    You’re not breaking “new ground” here by avoiding and spinning. Your failure to explain the LDS references stated in the video above will tell me that the presentation in the videos are correct and that you don’t have a clue. The LDS Church deliberately holds back on many of its teachings/doctrines to investigators. I’ve sat in on many Gospel Essentials classes and know it to be true. I have a testimony.

  19. St Crispin wrote “Investigators right from the very beginning are told about many of the distinct LDS doctrines”…

    …but our objection is that Investigators right from the very beginning are not told about the many distinct LDS doctrines.

    I defy you to deny that there are many doctrines, in the light of the quotes and writings that Steve Redinger has referenced.

    I warn you to be careful not to confuse your own interpretations with what your prophets actually wrote and said. How do we know that you’re not just another apostate? Do you have the right to modify or re-work the “revelations” of your prophets?

  20. st.crispin says:


    I have been attending the Compassionate Boldness Conference in Draper, Utah today and thus I have not been able to respond to your post until just now (6:30 p.m. MST).

    I must state that I do not appreciate your rather abusive tone and your personal belittling of me does not encourage me to respond. Please try to raise the level of civility here.

    I have listened to Steve Redinger’s videos a couple of times now and it is my belief that he is making his comments concerning a “Two Gospel Paradigm in Mormonism” or that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints being a “church that houses two different religions” out a lack of knowledge of the basic tenets, teachings and practices of the LDS Church rather than through any premeditated malevolence. Nevertheless Mr. Redinger’s ignorance of LDS doctrines and practices does not negate or excuse his false accusation that the LDS Church is deceiving potential investigators by not providing them with a full disclosure of its doctrines.

    Mr. Redinger repeatedly sates that the “LDS ward is monotheistic and Trinitarian”. Such a statement is flat out false. Anyone who is even a little bit acquainted with Mormonism and has actually visited an LDS Chapel and participated in its classes would understand and know that LDS theology is definitely not monotheistic and Trinitarian.

    All of the principles, tenets, doctrines, and beliefs of the LDS Church are taught in its various Sunday school classes. For example on the very first visit to an LDS chapel an investigator may learn about the nature of God while attending the Sunday School class and would learn from this year’s Teachings of the President’s of the Church curriculum that:

    “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of spirit.” [p.41 Teachings of the President’s of the Church manual].

    Does that at all sound monotheistic or Trinitarian???

  21. st.crispin says:


    In the same chapter the investigator would learn: “God Himself was once as we are now, an is an exalted man.” [p.40 Teachings of the President’s of the Church manual]. Does that LDS teaching sound monotheistic or Trinitarian???

    If this new investigator were to attend other LDS Sunday school classes he would learn about the distinctive LDS doctrines taught by the missionaries I mentioned above but in even greater detail and depth.

    The vicious accusation that the “LDS Church deliberately holds back on many of its teachings/doctrines to investigators” is flat out false. Making such false accusations is INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY.

  22. Berean says:


    I’m not sitting around waiting on you to respond to me. This thread has been up for a few days and all you’ve done is called it “trash”, but have offered no definitive rebuttals to the material presented (D&C 84, Mormon Doctrine p.333, etc.) Lastly, I’m not “belittling” you nor am I being abusive – grow up. You’re still playing “dodgeball” with the specifics. You came right out the gate saying the presentation is “trash”. Okay, I’m asking you to put your money where your mouth is.

    As before, all you’ve done is say that what was presented is not true and that investigators are told the whole story. After going to numerous wards and sitting in the Gospel Essentials classes, I’m telling you “it ain’t so, doc.” Your giving unspecified, general remarks. I want you to explain the verses, LDS manuals, etc., in specifics that mention the “two gospels”. The videos above were more than just about the Trinity.

    Every ward I’ve been to the Gospel Essentials classes use the Gospel Principles book. I brought the “Teachings of the President’s of the Church – Joseph Smith” book with me just recently. I even took it with me to the priesthood meeting. They didn’t use it and nobody wanted to talk about page 40 (god is an exalted man).

    Investigators will learn this “on the very first visit to an LDS chapel”. May I be blunt? That is the real “trash” and I say that after attending many wards in my city and attending Sunday school classes and priesthood meetings. The last ward I went to I couldn’t get the Gospel Essentials teacher to even answer the simple question of what is the difference between a sin and a transgression? He has been a Mormon for 80 years! Baptized converts in his class told me that your church believed in the Trinity. Go figure?

  23. Berean says:

    It’s obvious to me that you don’t have a good explanation of D&C 84:19-20, 26-27; Mormon Doctrine page 333, LDS Church manual “Achieving a Celestial Marriage” and other references used in the videos of this thread. You are filling time and space talking about what goes on in your ward maybe, but not addressing the “trash” you referenced to begin with. You’ve been defiant and in denial when the clear facts have been presented to you. When you’ve called me out I’ve given you what you asked for (Dr. Durham, remember?). You come on here and spin/redirect and want a “softball” given back to you…sorry, can’t do that after what Joseph Smith said in JS History 1:19.

    I leave you with this last account of intellectual dishonesty. The last ward I went to I was met at the door by the bishop. He asked why I was there. I told him that LDS missionaries had not been honest with me about what the church teaches and what I am learning in the books isn’t matching up with what my Mormon friends tell me. I told him that I was there to learn.

    I pressed the issue of your god being an exalted man. I was told, “That was only Joseph Smith’s opinion”. Can you believe that? I asked if what is said at Conference is scripture, authoritative and true. I was told, “Yes”. I then pulled out the November 2008 Ensign and read page 75:

    “One of the over arching truths of the Restoration is that God lives and dwells in His heavens, that HE IS AN EXALTED MAN with a body of flesh and bones”

    The Mormons at the ward immediately started back-tracking on their statement and gave even more excuses. I asked them, “Why the intellectual dishonesty? Are you ashamed to answer about who your god is?”

    That, Crisp, is intellectual dishonesty to the core. It’s deceptive, misleading and disgusting. The LDS Church makes it sound Christian, but then later the paganism comes out. That’s why Mormonism is a non-Christian cult.

    Time’s up…I’m moving on. I leave you with Joseph Smith’s French:


  24. Ralph says:

    Here is a definition of ‘intellectual dishonesty’ from the internet

    Intellectual dishonesty is dishonesty in performing intellectual activities like thought or communication. Examples are:

    – the advocacy of a position which the advocate knows or believes to be false or misleading

    – the advocacy of a position which the advocate does not know to be true, and has not performed rigorous due diligence to ensure the truthfulness of the position

    – the conscious omission of aspects of the truth known or believed to be relevant in the particular context.

    All point to the fact that someone knows about some info, whether they have that info or they have decidedly not researched the info, but have decided to disregard it and support the opposite position. Now do LDS use this approach? I would answer that yes, some do. I personally try not to but I am after all only human. Do other people/groups use it? Yes they do. For instance the word ‘adieu’ in the BoM – some critics say that it is not an English word, while others make it out to sound like that word was included in the original text on the plates, but being a French word it should not be there. The last argument is very hollow as the word was translated from the original text, not transcribed, thus any choice of word/phrase could have been placed in there which meant the same as adieu. The former argument falls flat when some proper research is performed. If one looks up ‘adieu’ on an online dictionary or Wikipedia they will find that the word has been in the English language since sometime between 1325 and 1375. It’s as easy as that to find information that is in exact opposition to the first argument. Thus to be intellectually honest, one must include that evidence in their argument but then provide a full and proper rebuttal to prove their point that in fact it was not an English word and thus should not be in the BoM.

  25. Ralph says:

    I could go on with a list of other intellectually dishonest examples used against the LDS church, but I won’t for now, just one I think is suffice.

    To be honest at this point in time I have not have the opportunity to listen to the videos so I cannot comment on it but I will try to later.

  26. Ralph,

    Thanks for your refreshing honesty.

    Yes, “adieu” has been used in the English language – Shakespeare used it in his Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act 5, Scene 1, 330 etc). Obviously, JS had heard of the word or he wouldn’t have used it. However, why someone in 19th Century North America would translate “Reformed Egyptian” into the language of the 17th Century English Royal Court beats me (unless he wanted it to sound like an authentic alternative to the Authorized Bible of King James the First).

    But, we’re getting off topic.

    I think Berean’s sign off was more irony than theology. It looks more “goodbye”, than “see you later” (or whatever the French equivalents are).

    Mind you, Berean rightly notes that St Crispin has managed to dodge any responsibility to actually explain what’s going on with the statements in the LDS doctrine(s) that Steve Redinger has referenced.

    Come on! LDS have young people over the globe knocking on people’s doors, telling them to believe this stuff. What’s wrong with asking for some explanation that goes beyond the assertion that it must be right because the LDS prophets said so.

  27. Berean says:


    You’ve lost me with your discussion about the word “adieu”. This topic is not about that word. I know full well the history of it in the Book of Mormon (Jacob 7:27), what it means in French, secular uses of it, etc. All I can say is, “Who cares?” Come on Ralph…lighten up, my friend. I was merely telling Crisp “goodbye – see ya later” because I am finished trying to get him to answer the questions that Martin and I have asked.

    Crisp said that the videos were “trash” and “intellectually dishonest” and “false”. My requests of him were noted above. My time is important and I chose not to waste it any longer in “pulling teeth”. Crisp had his chance. He blew it with his personal “dodgeball” game. He gave his LDS credentials and talked a big game. In my opinion, he failed to back it up so he has no credibility. That’s it. So, for me it’s “adieu” – I’m moving on to other things.

    It’s just a little humor and I thought Crisp would recognize the word and probably appreciate it since your prophet used it to sign off at the end of Jacob. See how sharp you are Ralph? You picked up on it right away! It was my way of patting Crisp on the back after giving him a nudge in the same place for playing “dodgeball”. Okay? We have to lighten up around here sometimes.

    Adi….nevermind – Take it easy,


  28. Ralph says:


    Sorry there. I was tired and had had a bad day (probably bad week is better to say). I just was not thinking. Its Monday morning and I am still not thinking but feeling better.

    Anyway Ciao !

  29. Ward says:

    I spent a year in France long ago when I was 8. I learned to be about as bilingual as an 8 year old could be. And, I really had an easy time studying French in High School. But, I digress…

    There are three forms, at least, of taking leave (see all the hoopla about adieu above.)

    1. Au Revoir – I always have used this as a final goodbye, to someone you aren’t maybe going to see again. Sometimes it includes “va avec Dieu”, as in goodbye, go with God.
    2. Adieu – goodbye, farewell, or even “adieu-va” as in Godspeed.
    3. A bientot – bye-bye – but kind of a see you later.

    I was taught to say a bientot when ending a phone conversation, or when leaving a friend you would see tomorrow or sometime soon.

    Sometimes we are a little thin skinned, and maybe take things the wrong way. The word play on adieu was very skillful, but misinterpreted. A bientot might have been a more hopeful ending because it hopes to connect on the morrow. However, I like adieu because it has “dieu” in it. Go with God. Rest well, see you in the morrow. Va avec Dieu…Vaya con Dios, mes amis!

  30. st.crispin says:


    Again, you continue with your abusive tone and snarky personal insults. Really, that is entirely unnecessary and only serves to lower the level of discussion.

    It is not my responsibility to answer open ended questions about any subject.

    You asked vague questions such as explain D&C 84:19-20 which talks about the Melchezdek Priesthood and 26-27 which talks about the Aaronic Priesthood. These verses seem self-explanatory to me. What needs explaining?

    If you can formulate a precise and specific question about a particular topic or LDS scripture then I might be able to respond. However, I cannot respond to such an open-ended and vague inquiry to explain such and such verse or comment.

    My main complaint about Mr. Redinger’s accusations is that he states that the LDS Church deliberately deceives potential converts by not teaching its doctrines. This could not be farther from the truth. An investigator receives from the missionaries many hours of personal one-on-one instruction on the distinctive LDS doctrines. Further to that instruction an investigator is required to attend LDS Sunday school which is at least two hours of instruction each Sunday. On top of that an investigator must have a baptismal interview before being baptized during which the investigator is asked if he believes in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, does he accept the Book of Mormon as scripture, does he accept and agree to abide by such distinct LDS doctrines as the Word of Wisdom, Law of Tithing, Law of Chastity; does he accept that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, does he accept that President Thomas S. Monson as a prophet of God, and so forth.

    After baptism the new member receives at least two hours of doctrinal instruction every Sunday through Sunday school classes and also often has the opportunity of attending LDS Institute classes during the week. This level of doctrinal instruction continues throughout the individual’s involvement with the LDS Church.

  31. st.crispin says:


    Given the extensive doctrinal education covering all LDS doctrinal subjects an investigator and new member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints receives, it is particularly galling to hear Mr. Redinger make the absolutely false accusation that the LDS Church deliberately conceals its doctrines from investigators and new members. Such an accusation is flat out false.

    Investigators are specifically taught that Heavenly Father has a physical body of flesh and bones and they undoubtably see the LDS video on the First Vision a number of times.

    Your comments that some members of the LDS Church are unfamiliar with the doctrine that God the Father has a physical body of flesh and bones seems very, very odd given just how pervasive this doctrine is taught and portrayed in LDS art. I have taught the Gospel Essentials class for many years and I know what the curriculum covers. However, I cannot vouch for the degree of doctrinal knowledge of any particular member.

  32. St Crispin objected to the accusation that the “…LDS Church deliberately deceives potential converts by not teaching its doctrines’

    …so, what do you make of the statements by your prophets that refer to a “preparatory Gospel” and a “full Gospel”?

    How do you respond to the Trinitarian-like language of the “Preparatory Gospel” and the intrinsic polytheism of the “Full Gospel”?

    Why the difference? Do we have to be initiated before hearing the “full Gospel”? What’s wrong with hearing it up front? Are you afraid that that the potential converts who think they are coming into a true kind of Christianity will turn tail and run when they hear about the spooky stuff? How much confidence have you got in the power of your own Gospel?

    You obviously believe that there is only one LDS Gospel, but it seems that you don’t believe the express statements of the very prophets that you would have us believe.

    Mormonism is such a bizarre religion. On the one hand LDS send missionaries all over the globe, yet on the other they hate it when the world examines the message they bring.

  33. st.crispin says:


    In response to your questions:

    1. You ask: “what do you make of the statements by your prophets that refer to a “preparatory Gospel” and a “full Gospel”?

    In response I cite Bruce R. McConkie in Mormon Doctrine (p.333) wherein he states: “the preparatory gospel is a lesser portion of the Lord’s saving truths, a portion which prepares and schools men for a future day when the fulness of the gospel may be received, a portion which of itself is not sufficient to seal men up unto eternal life or assure them an inheritance in the celestial world. The preparatory gospel ‘is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments.’ (D&C 84:27).”

    In contrast “the fulness of the gospel consists in those laws, doctrines, ordinances powers, and authorities needed to enable men to gain the fullness of salvation.” The preparatory gospel is administered by the Aaronic Priesthood as in days of the Jews under the Mosaic Law and is preparatory in nature in that it prepares one for the Fulness of the Gospel which is found in the Melchizedek Priesthood. The Fulness of the Gospel is evidenced and made manifest through the bestowal of the Holy Ghost conferred by one holding the Melchizedek Priesthood.

    Given that the LDS Church confers the Holy Ghost upon its baptized members by laying on of hands and through the power and authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood and all its keys (or divine authorization) constitute the governing or presiding authority in the Church, the LDS Church is said to have the Fulness of the Gospel. The Aaronic Priesthood operates in the LDS Church under the direction of the Melchizedek Priesthood for example the blessing of the sacrament (holy communion) is conducted by holders of the Aaronic Priesthood (deacons) under the direction of the Melchizedek Priesthood (bishop)

    The critical distinction is the priesthood authority whether it be Aaronic or Melchizedek.

  34. st.crispin says:


    2. You ask: “How do you respond to the Trinitarian-like language of the “Preparatory Gospel” and the intrinsic polytheism of the “Full Gospel”?”

    In response I will state that there is no distinction in definition of the nature of God between the Aaronic Preparatory Gospel and the Melchizedek Fulness of the Gospel. In LDS doctrine the depiction of the Godhead is that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost are three distinct individuals (or Gods) who are one in purpose, aim, and corporate unity.

    In contrast, the Trinitarian doctrine describes the Godhead is that of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost who are of the same “substance” or “essence” and thus one God or the “Triune” God.

    Thus one can see that the LDS definition of the Godhead (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost) is indeed “Trinitarian-like” but the critical distinction being under the LDS doctrine the Godhead is one in purpose and hence 3 distinct Gods whereas in the Trinitarian doctrine the Godhead is one in “substance” and hence one indivisible God.

  35. st.crispin says:


    3. You ask: “Do we have to be initiated before hearing the “full Gospel”? What’s wrong with hearing it up front?”

    In response I will state that there is no “initiation” requisite to hearing the Fulness of the Gospel. The LDS missionaries (both sisters and elders) teach the Fulness of the Gospel which consists of those laws, doctrines, ordinances, powers and authorities required to enable men to gain the fulness of salvation the first principles of which are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost (Articles of Faith, 4).

    The fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is taught directly to all potential investigators of the LDS Church. One merely has to peruse the LDS Gospel Principles manual which constitutes the teaching curriculum in the Gospel Essential Sunday School class to verify that the “meat” of the LDS doctrine is indeed taught to all investigators and new members alike “up front”.

  36. st.crispin says:


    4. You ask: “Are you afraid that that the potential converts who think they are coming into a true kind of Christianity will turn tail and run when they hear about the spooky stuff? How much confidence have you got in the power of your own Gospel?”

    In response I will state that converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints find the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is indeed lead directly by the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    Every week thousands of individuals around the world make this life-changing discovery as they enter the waters of baptism, take upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ and receive the confirming power of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I have witnessed the transformational change brought about by faith in Jesus Christ among humble individuals hundreds of times.

    There is no “spooky stuff” in the LDS Church. Your term “spooky stuff” is only your misconception of the beauty of Gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed, someone from outside of Christianity, say a Hindu for example, would look upon the sacrament of the Last Supper (wherein the blood and body of Jesus Christ are consumed by his followers) with absolute disgust and consider such behavior as ritualized cannibalism – “spooky stuff” indeed.

    I have every confidence in the saving power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who is my Lord and Saviour. There is one LDS Gospel practiced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which is the Fulness of the Gospel as administered by the power and authority of the Melchizedek priesthood. I am not responsible for people (i.e. Mr. Redinger) who deliberately choose to misinterpret, misconstrue, and misrepresent the doctrine of my Church.

    In summary, the Gospel of Jesus Christ (or Mormonism as you put it) is a remarkably coherent and logical religion as compared to the generally incoherent and illogical apostate religions of men.

    There, I have used up my 6 posts.

  37. Enki says:

    The borrowing of ideas doesn’t have to be 100% plagiarized. That was a point made on a criticism of christianity. In the same way, Mormonism doesn’t have to incorporate everything as it appears in masonic rituals.

  38. chrispray says:

    Without trying to restate what has already been said…I was born in the LDS church, served a full time mission, was endowed and married in the temple and have been a veil worker. LDS doctrine has been ingrained in me as a child and as an adult and I would consider myself quite “informed” on LDS doctrine.

    Steve’s representation of the “Trinitarian-LIKE” message that I taught as a missionary, as well as the transition from “milk” to “meat” that a new convert goes through is fundamentally accurate. The only way you can say that investigators are given the “fulness” is to redefine “fulness” to mean whatever they happen to be taught.

    If “fulness” is defined as some of the LDS apologists have done so above, then the implication is that everything not taught to an investigator is not included in the “fulness” of the gospel and by extension is not important or necessary. It’s like saying it’s the “fulness” but not the whole “fulness”.

    Unlike some missionaries (described above) I wouldn’t lie when asked a direct question (although I might side step). I wouldn’t say that what we did as missionaries was completely “cloak and dagger”, but let’s be honest…missionaries hold stuff back – and are taught to do so (at least they were when I went through the MTC).

  39. “When first teaching this doctrine, do not teach everything you know about it.” (Instructions to missionaries regarding the doctrines of the Creation and the Fall in Preach My Gospel, p. 50)

  40. st.crispin says:


    I agree with much of what you have said but to offer a point of clarification the LDS term “Fulness of the Gospel” is a distinct theological concept and is expressed in the fourth Article of Faith: We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    As Bruce R. McConkie stated in Mormon Doctrine p. 333:
    “Those who have the fulness of the doctrine do not necessarily enjoy the fulness of gospel knowledge or understand all of the doctrines of the plan of salvation.”

    Thus LDS missionaries are called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to explain the “Fulness of the Gospel” as defined above. It is not their responsibility (and generally not their ability) to provide (for example) a profound theological discourse on the more subtler aspects of Pauline or Johanine New Testament literature. LDS missionaries are generally 19 year olds fresh out of high school (or 21 year olds for the sister missionaries) and not possessors of Masters of Divinity degrees from some theological seminary. Thus by necessity the missionary message is kept simple.

    The forum of the Gospel Essentials Sunday school class for investigators and new members provides a much fuller explanation of the basic principles taught by the missionaries in their 5 lesson format.

    I do not believe that “missionaries hold stuff back” (whatever that means) but they adapt their message to the capacity of the investigator. The missionary lesson on the First Vision and Restoration certainly contains a lot of theological “meat” and is quite controversial and even explosive from a theological viewpoint. The First Vision (God the Father and Jesus Christ visiting Joseph Smith) is a core teaching of the missionaries and refutes the notion of the missionaries teaching a “trinitarian-like message”.

  41. Stuart, let me briefly drop a note here. The First Vision story itself does not necessarily challenge Trinitarianism. Simultaneous theophanies of both the Father and the Son theologically don’t preclude that the persons revealed are most fundamentally immaterial and of the same spiritual essence. To an outsider who isn’t familiar with how the First Vision story functions within Mormonism, the First Vision story can function still in a preparatory gospel kind of way.

  42. st.crispin says:


    You quote: “When first teaching this doctrine, do not teach everything you know about it.” (Instructions to missionaries regarding the doctrines of the Creation and the Fall in Preach My Gospel, p. 50)

    It should be self-evident that an LDS missionary must adapt his teaching to the learning capacity of the investigator. Hence the principle of teaching “milk” before “meat”. For example, as a missionary I had the opportunity to teaching people of the Hindu faith and the Muslim faith who had very limited knowledge of Christianity and thus I had to adapt my lessons to their limited level of understanding. In such cases I certainly did not teach everything I knew about a particular LDS doctrine and thus I stuck to the basics.

    Conversely, I also had the opportunity of teaching the message of the Restored Gospel to a Baptist minister, Jewish Rabbi and a Jesuit seminarian. While teaching such knowledgeable students I could have a much more profound and comprehensive discussion of various distinctive LDS doctrines because they possessed a much deeper intellectual foundation of these theological concepts..

    The missionary lessons are kept simple and are adapted to the learning capacity of the investigator. In the Gospel Essentials Sunday school class investigators and new members are taught a much fuller explanation of the basic Gospel principles taught by the missionaries.

  43. st.crispin says:


    Your claim that:
    “The First Vision story itself does not necessarily challenge Trinitarianism”

    constitutes a radical departure from classical Trinitarianism which rejects the anthropomorphic concept of God the Father – in other words God the Father having a physical body of flesh and bones.

  44. The First Vision itself no more precludes Trinitarianism than the various theophanies at the baptism of Jesus.

    I personally don’t think it’s outside of the realm of possibility that the Father would appear in a theophany. The Holy Spirit appeared as a dove and the Father sounded a voice from above at the baptism of Jesus. But just because a theophany happens doesn’t mean the being or person being revealed is fundamentally and essentially material. And just because theophanies happen simultaneously doesn’t mean the persons revealed once existed apart from being in relationship or that they are separate, essentially independent beings.

    Also, remember that we also reject the anthropomorphic concept of Christ’s deity. Christ has a permanent resurrected physical body because at the incarnation he “became flesh” and added a human nature to himself. That doesn’t mean his deity (his first nature) is material, etc.

  45. chrispray says:


    The difference between presenting the gospel “simply” and presenting the gospel “palatably” is a fine line indeed.

    I believe that defining the “fulness of the gospel” as the “first principles and ordinances” as described in the 4th article of faith is inadequate and inaccurate. This is self evident. “First principles” naturally imply “second” principles.

    “Fulness” would also involve (but not be limited to) priesthood, temple ordinances, further light and knowledge, understanding the nature of God (an exalted man), understanding the potential of man (Godhood), as well as the plurality of Gods. Only then do eternal families, 1st and 2nd estates, etc come into perspective (from the LDS point of view). Some of these things are discussed during the typical investigating process and some are intentionally avoided.

    I think you would be hard pressed to find a knowledgeable LDS member who would define the “fulness” of the gospel by referring solely to the 4th article of faith – unless it is for the purpose of winning an argument such as this one.

    One thing that makes discussion between Christians and LDS difficult in forums such as this, is when the definitions and concepts of words tend to change to suit the purposes of the argument at the time. We can’t give one definition in Elder’s Quorum and another in a blog post.

  46. jackg says:

    My fellow Christians,

    I really think we all give crispin way too much attention and validation. He works from faulty presuppositions in his reasoning and, therefore, cannot understand the truth of the biblical gospel. I pray wisdom will prevail, Christians. God bless you all!

    Peace and Grace!

  47. st.crispin says:


    You state that I work “from faulty presuppositions in (my) reasoning and, therefore, cannot understand the truth of the biblical gospel.”

    Really, would you care to elaborate on what you mean by your comment.

    Perhaps it is you who “works from faulty presuppositions in (your) reasoning and, therefore, cannot understand the truth of the biblical gospel.”

    I have found through personal study and experience that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the most Christ-centered and most bible-centered faith on earth. This is because the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints is indeed the Lord’s Church established and run be the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    This great truth can be verified by any humble soul who is willing to place their faith in Jesus Christ.

  48. st.crispin says:


    As a point of clarification the definition provided in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism for the term Gospel of Christ is:

    “Gospel of Jesus Christ: “[T]he Book of Mormon and other latter-day scriptures define it [gospel of Jesus Christ] precisely as the way or means by which an individual can come to Christ.” In all the scriptural passages, salvation is “available through his [Christ’s] authorized servants” who (1) believe in Christ; (2) repent of their sins; (3) receive baptism; (4) receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; (5) endure to the end. “Although emphasis is placed on truths necessary for salvation, LDS usage of the term ‘gospel’ is not confined to the scriptural definition. Latter-day Saints commonly refer to the entire body of their religious beliefs as ‘the gospel.’ By the broadest interpretation, all truth originating with God may be included within the gospel.”
    [Noel B. Reynolds 2:556-558 “Gospel of Christ”; Encyclopedia of Mormonism]

    Thus both of our definitions are correct. This is why LDS state that the Book of Mormon contains the Fulness of the Gospel even though it does not mention such matters as celestial marriage or exaltation.

  49. SteveRedinger says:

    Just a note for those who refuse to believe that Mormonism defines itself as having Two Gospels.

    Mormon Doctrine page 333 and D&C 84 say so.

    The Aaronic Priesthood presides over the Preparatory Gospel. The Melchezedic Priesthood Presides over the Fulness of the Gospel as stipulated in the D&C secion 84.

    LDS worship in Sacrament Meeting is presided over by the Bishop- an office in the Aaronic Priesthood. The Sacrament is administered by those presided over by the Bishop all about the Aaronic Priesthood or Elders exercising their Aaronic Keys.

    The Sacrament Prayer has its roots in the Book of Moroni. This book declares God is Eternal from Eternity to all Eternity, from everlasting to everlasting. It is a Book of Mormon Prayer originating from 3 Nephi Ch 11 which declares the Father, Son and Holy Ghost to be One. The Book of Mormon over and over gives commentary of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost being One God.– And if there is no Christ there is no God (2 Nephi 11:7).

    In Sunday School which meets in the Ward Building does teach things of the Fulness of the Gospel–

    Yet please note that classes housed in the LDS ward building are not the same as Priesthood Ordinances exercised with authority in Ward Sacrament Worship.

    Theologically Ward Worship is with out dispute Aaronic Priesthood based, rooted in the Book of Mormon and early D&C which are theologically Trinitarian-Like (oneness theology) in nature.

  50. SteveRedinger says:


    I have taken note of your objections. Yet you should consider the nature of using a short video on such a profound topic. A full exposition of this idea and the support for Mormonism having two distinct systems of theology is extensive.

    Bits and pieces of it have existed for years among some of the finest LDS writers- Like Eugene England, J. Frederic Voros, and even Van Hale.

    I would first recommend: Moving Gracefully Toward Godhood; WAS THE BOOK OF MORMON BURIED WITH KING FOLLETT? By J. Frederic Voros, Jr. March 1987 Sunstone pp 17&18

    The language of your objections are still quite mild considering the implications of the idea Two Gospels has upon your LDS Religion. Your objections from my view are quite superficial to the overall idea.

    There is much evidence that even Joseph Smith taught multiple theologies in the same era depending on conditions- one theology was the public, the other esoteric and private. The Public theology named Jehovah as the Heavenly Father– and taught that The Son was the same being as the Heavenly Father– the esoteric theology was that God was not really Eternal and Elohom was the Heavenly Father, and Jehovah was a separate God-Being, the Son.

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