Six Reasons I Take a Cautious Approach to Seeming Changes

When some changes to Gospel Principles were publicized, the Mormon response was varied. Some of the more intellectual Mormons with quaint positions (such as a denial of vivaporous spirit birth, denial of the past progression of God from mere mortality unto godhood, and denial of the existence of a female-gendered Heavenly Mother) were undoubtedly happy to see what they thought might be an institutional step to back off of traditional notions and allow for more theological diversity within the rank and file. One Mormon wrote,

“Aaron actually made my day by posting that chapter on Exaltation. I was really hoping for some significant changes. I recently participated in a conversation with a member online comparing our differing understandings of exaltation. I noticed that the Gospel Principles manual made an assertion(s) that was never made by Joseph Smith or by the scriptures, and I pointed out the part that I didn’t agree with. I’m glad to see that part was changed in the revised addition. I think this definitely a good thing!” (>>)

Others disputed that steps were being taken in this direction. shematwater, a Mormon commenter at Mormon Coffee, took a more “milk before meat” kind of position:

I will just say that for one who understands ALL the doctrine of the church, and who has read and studied, and learned concerning the words of the Prophets, nothing has changed from what was written to what is now written.

All that has happened is they have omitted certain items and topics that are difficult for the average person to truly grasp, and thus these topics or more a stumbling block then they are a blessing. This does not make them false, nor does it mean the church is denying them as doctrine. All it means is that they are looking after the spiritual welfare of the members. (>>)

At the end of the day, the Mormon Church is a fog machine, not a lighthouse beacon. The changes to Gospel Principles please all sorts of people in the Mormon Church with contradicting reasons to be pleased. I take a cautious and pessimistic approach to analyzing seeming changes from the Salt Lake institution. I am attempting to be optimistic about God at work, pessimistic about the depravity of unregenerate humanity, and realistic about changes (or lack thereof) that are taking place. Until we see the miracle of repentance, confession, tears, and godly sorrow, I implore anyone with an unchecked optimism to practice discernment and avoid naivety. Expect God to do great salvific things, but don’t be to quick to recognize a change as of repentance when it is done without integrity, clarity, and repentance.

Here are six reasons to be cautious:

1. Historically, when a Mormon teaching has died, it has died silently. Leaders lack the integrity to denounce it, and lack the pastoral love of their people to make clear contrasts between what is being taught and what was taught. The most important blog post I’ve read on this issue was at, called, “How Does Mormon Doctrine Die?”. The best example is that of the lifting of the priesthood ban. The Church lifted the ban, but never from the highest institutional channels explicitly denounced the theology that leaders once used to justify the ban. So the theology largely still continued among the Mormon people, and only started to die off with the effects of deemphasis, silence, and time. Had the Mormon Church denounced the theology once used to justify the ban, and named names, it would have called into question the reliability of the historic succession of its prophets and apostles.

2. Mormonism attempts to keep old doctrines by using new, euphemistic, cryptic language. For example, the Mormon Church replaced the statement in chapter 47, “These spirit children will have the same relationship to them as we do to our Heavenly Father” with “These spirit children will have eternal increase”. This will function in different ways for different people. For a few, it will draw back from the explicit nature of the potential worship-relationship between our future spirit children. For many others, it will simply continue this notion, yet with a short phrase that isn’t so clear.

3. Mormonism teeters between minimalism and maximalism. As I have argued elsewhere, Mormonism teeters between minimizing what is doctrine to what is explicitly stated in its canon, and maximizing what is doctrine to the modern-day oracles of God who give a stream of continuing revelation. The former is regulatory, the latter is expansive and helps Mormons feel their need for something beyond the canon. The changes to Gospel Principles are useful for those who want to minimize what outsiders can engage, yet maximalism still lives on in strong ways that are irrevocably part of Mormonism until traumatic changes are made to the larger worldview and religious system.

4. Mormonism employs a deceptive “milk before meat” philosophy. As quoted above, shematwater interpreted the changes as a milk before meat stategy:

“All that has happened is they have omitted certain items and topics that are difficult for the average person to truly grasp, and thus these topics or more a stumbling block then they are a blessing.”

In another context a Mormon writes,

“I would be careful bringing [up] this matter with any nonmembers… [H]ow to address this [Lorenzo Snow Couplet theology] with nonmembers[?]. My advice: don’t. This is difficult doctrine. Remember, milk before meat.” (>>)

The popular internet Mormon apologist Jeff Lindsay even writes that such topics can be beyond meat, being a kind of “dessert”:

“I personally feel that the whole of issue of ‘gods’ is an advanced topic that we don’t know a lot about, so I consider it as meat (actually, dessert) that doesn’t need to be served as the first course.” (>>)

Mormon Ian M. Cook writes:

“Fundamentally you are right, we need to stand up and distinguish ourselves from the pack.

“I have an experience though that makes me think twice about it that way. I was about 16 and I had recently learned some of the deeper doctrines of the church etc. Not sure where I heard it, but I happen to be sitting on the school bus talking to a bunch of people about LDS doctrine. I was teaching the plan of salvation. The other kids were really interested. I went so far as to teach the three degrees of glory and then I told them we could become Gods.

“I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but later, I was helping this guy build a house and I didn’t realize it but he was a recent convert to the church and the step father of one of the kids that were listening to the conversation. He told me that his step son really liked what I had to say, up until I got to the Gods part. It turned him away from the church.

“I have felt bad about it since then. This kid was the only member of the family that did not join the church. This was based on what I taught.

“Perhaps he would have found this out later and left the church anyway. I can’t help but think that he could have been converted more spiritually and then he could have accepted those teachings.

“Milk before meat as they say.” (>>)

Mormon apologist Daniel Peterson once wrote,

“I myself prefer not to discuss certain things in certain venues. And the fundamental nature of God is one of those things…” (>>)

5. Mormonism prides itself in using non-”creedal”, ambiguous, amorphous theological language that functions at different layers in different contradicting ways for different people. This is related to #2 and #4. Mormonism seems to appreciate the usage of language that does’t yield enough the kind of clarity that causes unwanted problems. One example here is the change in Gospel Principles in the 90’s from becoming Gods to becoming “like” God. For outsiders, this usually brings to mind the notion of becoming morally pure and sinless like God. For insiders, it more often than not denotes the act of becoming equal with God in knowledge and power (if you take the Prattian view) or achieving the level of knowledge and power that God has now (if you have the Brighamite view; cf. the relevant MRM article). It denotes becoming a God worshiped and prayed to by our own spirit-children. Some Mormons are uncomfortable with this and choose not to think about it and even opt for a re-invented Mormon theology that denies the traditional understanding of the Lorenzo Snow couplet. But more often than not the euphemisms like becoming “like God” serve a purpose of obfuscation, not clarification.

Christian ethics, on the other hand, demand maximal clarity, especially when dealing with the fundamental nature of God. Borrowing a quote on Jakob Böhme, John Piper recently tweeted, “Let it not be said of you: His writings are like a picnic to which the author brings the words and the reader the meaning.” (John Piper)

6. When Mormonism makes corrections to its own teachings, it confusingly refers to them as “clarifications”, implying that the same teachings have persisted to now only with elucidated language. In my experience, Mormons have a penchant for describing fundamental, contradictory changes as natural progressions. Moving from Adam-God to post-Talmage theology, for example, has been described to me as God’s plan for moving the church line upon line, precept upon precept. The 1978 revelation to lift the priesthood ban is spoken of as a clarification overriding a mere past “policy” of church. The 1916 formalization of the Elohim/Jehovah naming conventions are spoken of as a clarification of what was Mormon doctrine all along, despite the fact that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young had radically different usages of the terms. As Mormon historian Thomas Alexander writes,

“Perhaps the main barrier to understanding the development of Mormon theology is an underlying assumption by most Church members that there is a cumulative unity of doctrine. Mormons seem to believe that particular doctrines develop consistently, that ideas build on each other in hierarchical fashion. As a result, older revelations are interpreted by referring to current doctrinal positions. Thus, most members would suppose that a scripture or statement at any point in time has resulted from such orderly change. While this type of exegesis or interpretation may produce systematic theology, and while it may satisfy those trying to understand and internalize current doctrine, it is bad history, since it leaves an unwarranted impression of continuity and consistency.” (>>)

All these things considered, I am driven to take a cautious approach when discerning the movement of Mormonism. The Mormon Church is an evil, corrupt, dysfunctional organization that lacks integrity, institutional repentance, and a real pastoral love that yields clarity, crisp contrasts, and more practical bottom-up measures of correction and methods to afford checks and balances. For 179 years the Mormon Church has moved its people in a direction with theological momentum. This has affected real people that I love. When people flippantly give the Mormon Church a free pass for all this momentum it has created, I have to wonder if they have the same dwelling Holy Spirit that I do. I am not content to suppose that certain unsavory teachings and beliefs in the Church will simply die out in four or five generations to come. Playing the endless game of quasi-ecumenism over shallow common ground won’t do. Today is the day of salvation, and in accordance with the gospel-call to get on board with the kingdom of God, we are to call persons and institutions to repentance and the fullness of joy in the truth of Jesus Christ.

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164 Responses to Six Reasons I Take a Cautious Approach to Seeming Changes

  1. Ralph says:


    Whether we know the reason or not, God knows anyway as it was He who determined it.

    Like I asked in one of my previous posts, why were men who had mutilated genitals not allowed into the congregation before Jesus’ Atonement (Deut 23:1) but after It they were? What was the reason/doctrine behind that according to the Bible? Is it in there explicitly or does one have to try and find it by tying verses together? Again, why were Levites not allowed to officiate if they were deformed in any way, including broken hands and feet (Lev 21:17-20)? I know that the sacrificial animal was not allowed to have a blemish or broken bones, but that symbolised Jesus and that is clearly explained in the scriptures? Why the priests – I can’t find that explicitly in the scriptures? Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses, He did not destroy it. Thus these exemptions had their time of validity but now are no longer necessary to live by. This does not mean that the doctrine/reason for them does not still exist – its just a newer, higher ‘law’ is in force which we live by that allows these people the freedom to join and officiate.

    Just because I (and most likely many LDS) don’t know what the doctrine/reason was does not mean that there wasn’t any. And just because the stance has changed does not mean that the reason/doctrine has died. Its just now God has chosen to give us a newer, higher ‘law’ which gives these people the freedom to hold the priesthood.

    If this fits in with your 6 points, then so be it. But God does not have to make an accounting to us, we need to make an accounting to Him. So if He decides not to tell us why then that is His choice – this has precidence in the Bible and this is still valid today.

  2. falcon says:

    As Christians dealing with Mormons we need to keep banging away on the basic issue which is the nature of God and how Mormonism contrasts with the clear teachings of the Bible. Most people will get it. In fact I think most Mormons will get it. The “readers” that come here need to be exposed to the truth about who God is; the One, eternal, everlasting, unchanging diety. This is in contrast to the Mormon god who is a man who through his own efforts at self-improvement became a god. Add in the ancillary mother god and eternal procreation via Celestial continual sex, and I think that will be enough to make most folks barf.
    The need to hide it all, should tell us all we need to know about Mormonism and it’s occult foundation. This is nasty business; not merely heretical, but Satanic at it’s core. Satan, through his servant Joseph Smith, replaced the living God with a billion or so other gods and promised men they could become gods also. Believing a lie, many Mormons can’t comprehend the truth as evident by what we see being written by the Mormons who “contribute” here. By rejecting God, they have been given over to their own desires to be a god. It’s not enough for some to reject God but they must mock Him. It’s obvious who they represent. Spiritual warfare can’t be more evident than what we witness here daily.

  3. mobaby says:


    Salvation is not something YOU do, it’s an amazing gift that GOD gives to you. People are brought to faith by the hearing of God’s Word preached, God’s law brings conviction for your sin, and then the good news of Christ crucified for your sins – brings you to repentance and then faith. All have fallen short of the glory of God and are without hope, there is none righteous, not one. We are lost in our sin and without hope. However, God does not leave it there, we have been purchased through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Our sins are washed away by God’s perfect sacrifice. Hearing this truth preached, causes people to understand their sinfulness and fall before God because of His great mercy. God Himself came and took on flesh to die for our sins. This is the great truth of Christianity, and it is not changed or revised, the Bible has not been rewritten and edited – the CODEX SINAITICUS (available online for review) is a complete copy of Christian scriptures from over 1600 years ago. Other individual books and sections of scripture go back even further, and they attest to the reliability of scripture. These changes ro Gospel Principles shows the continuing shifting sands of Mormonism. Build your life on the solid rock of Christ, not an institution that is constantly revising, changing, and rewriting it’s history – this is not a firm foundation.

  4. Doc Sarvis says:

    mobaby: Thanks for the reference to Codex Sinaiticus – it’s one of the most fantastic things I have ever found on the internet. I’m putting up a link:

    I have steered many people of all faiths to it to show the enduring beauty of the Bible.

  5. Ralph, if a fellow Mormon in your ward asked if the theological doctrine that was once used to justify the priesthood ban was still extant, what would you briefly say to him or her? You essentially seem to be saying, “it’s still there”, but you’re not explaining how you know that, or whether you even know what “it” is. I need something more than a naked assertion. Otherwise it just sounds like blind faith in a fog machine?

    Where are your living oracles to provide the lighthouse beacon of clarity when you need them?

    Take care,


  6. HankSaint says:

    As Mormons dealing with C—–l Christians we need to show them how the Restored Gospel, once lost, has all that one can find in the NT along with a Living God, who continues to speak through His prophets giving us a continuous stream of revelation, and not listen to the Siren, a tinkling and tickling in the ears of those now deceived by corrupt Professors of Religion who buy their Degrees in Theology only to spout the word of man, in continuous rhetorical precepts and false doctrine.

    The guest and visitors can come here to sort through the truth as we point out the deflections, misunderstanding of stating doctrine that even the Saints don’t state or believe. Using snippets, nuggets, and some small aberrations of our doctrine and principles in the hope of promoting the lie of the borrowed talking points they barely research themselves, not willing to confirm what they only read in Books and Pamphlets that have been proven over and over to have little to no merit.

    They talk about our religion as if in our Meetinghouses and Conferences we preach about the plurality of Gods, that God was once a man, and there is a Heavenly Mother. I often wonder what Meetinghouse and GC they frequent? As for me, I find that we teach the simple and pure gospel found in the Bible, Book of Mormon, D&C, and Pearl of Great Price along with approved teaching Manuals. My testimony comes from the study, pondering and prayer involved to know the truth by the Gift of the Holy Ghost. If I want to believe in the small aberrations of our Doctrine, the snippets and nuggets of past Prophets then I will do so personally by study and prayer to find what I personally believe or decline to believe.

    When I go for my Temple Interview, I’m not asked if I believe in a Heavenly Mother, in Plural Gods, or that God was once a man. I do not wish to speculate on doctrine that has not been fully revealed and all the details that would be needed to understand the working of Eternal Progression

  7. Mike R says:

    You’re mad and getting somewhat sarcastic,and
    you’re attempting to deflect the issue by the
    use of red herrings.The issue is,Mormon leaders
    have publicly taught that the doctrines of
    Heavenly Mother,Plurality of Gods, and HF once
    being a man, as truth.This is the point.The point
    is not that these doctrines are being taught in
    EVERY meeting you attend.They have been taught
    in a consistant manner thru the years.
    I’m looking right now at the LDS Melchizedek
    Priesthood course of study for 1946 and it is very
    explicit in what it teaches about God not always
    being God, and how YOU can be a God just like
    Him. Next I pick up the Mel.Priesthood study guide
    for 1974-75 and it teaches you that: “….a
    correct idea of his [God’s] character,perfections,
    and attributes….” are necessary for working
    faith.It then proceeds to teach you that you can
    develope the SAME attributes that HF has.
    That’s 30 years of teaching the same “truths”.
    The topic of this blog is that it seems some of
    these distinctly LDS doctines are being slowly
    de-emphasized,and why would that be? What you
    need to be concerned about is not how frequently
    these doctrines are being discussed, but, are
    they true.The stakes are quite high.Worship of
    a false God has eternal consequences.

  8. setfree wrote “I can actually feel the pieces of my brain twisting and stretching to try to incorporate the ‘truth’ as seen and believed by Mormons.”


    I have never been a Mormon, but whenever I try to get my head around Mormon teachings, I get this same feeling; something like putting your brain into a blender.

    It makes me feel ‘bruised’, hence my metaphor above of the ‘bruised’ and abused wife syndrome.

    Its not just my sensitivities that get pummeled; its any hope that we can actually come to some meaningful understanding of the Bible.

    LDS say they love the Word of God, but they torture it, rack it and crucify it at every opportunity. Presumably, its because it refuses to affirm their program.

  9. LARRY CLARK says:

    Hank, I’ve read your posts and you certainly are sincere. Having spent 29 years in the LDS Church, I understand the pull to believe at all costs. The Church started out and was against something, and in a few years, they were for the thing they were against, a few years later they were against it again, and now the are sort of, kind of, celestially for it – polygamy. Is God the author of confusion? 1 Cor 14:33. Not trying to beat you up about polygamy, but I always had a problem with it and as a little kid used to ask my mom why did they do it. Her answers did not help (life was hard, men died kicked by horses, etc) but I just kept thinking: what if my dad had 20 or so wives and was sleeping with a different one every night – it gave me the creeps.
    – Well I don’t have to tell you about the changes, from reading your posts it’s clear you are aware of them and chalk it up further revelations received by the prophet. Please just do one thing – put your trust in the Bible, read it and pray about it. It doesn’t change and neither does God.

  10. HankSaint wrote “…a Living God, who continues to speak through His prophets giving us a continuous stream of revelation”.

    Judging from the biography that emerges from contemporaneous accounts of his character (not the ‘Disneyesque’ propaganda from SLC HQ), I am sure that Joseph Smith had absolutely no intention that the idea of ‘continuous revelation’ should be used to overturn his own revelations.

    The sole intention of this doctrine was to rubbish what everybody else had said, including the Biblical authors, so that Joseph Smith could put himself their place.

    Its rather like Severus Snape hissing to Harry Potter “You dare use one of my own spells on me!”.

    The irony, as Aaron points out, is that the LDS movement has been quietly killing off Joseph’s less marketable ‘revelations’ by stealth, under the guise of this “continuous stream”. But, instead of fronting up and saying ‘we were wrong, and we’re sorry’, they’ve done it like mice gnawing at the timbers at night.

    What happened to polygamy being an essential qualification to exaltation? There were some scratching, nibbling noises in the night and in the morning, it was as if it had never been there.

    Come on! These guys are supposed to be from the same mold as Abraham and Moses. Imagine Moses coming down from the Mountain and the Israelites saying “What did God say? What are the terms of His treaty?”, only to be answered with “There’s so much we don’t know”.

    And, its not like Joseph Smith didn’t think he knew. It was plain enough to him, and when I read it, even I can understand it (even though I think its garbage). Do your current prophets resemble Joseph in ANY way?

    Your ‘continuous stream of revelation’ is useless. It can’t even tell me which God to worship.

    If it can’t get me past Commandment Number 1, what possible reason is there to believe it can tell me anything meaningful about anything to do with God, life, salvation, or anything that’s important?

    Continous ‘revelation’? Continuous garbage!

  11. Ralph,

    The word or concept of the gospel does not occur in the OT. I know that oftentimes Mormons use the word “gospel” in a manner similar to “the path of Mormonism” but Hebrew religious orientation of Pre-Christian times was in many ways fundamentally different that we see post NT. There were definitely many God-fearing Gentiles – ones I would expect to see in paradise. For the “why’s” of it all, Jesus said that he came for only the lost sheep of Israel (Matt 15:24), though he made some notable exceptions. Why were the apostles only supposed to go to Jews before The Great Commission (Matt 10:5)? How does all of this fit into the larger scheme of things? We don’t really know. However, we do know that God was the one who gave certain things to Israel first then the nations. Also he barred some Israelites from certain posts or activities. Where is the equivalent in Mormonism? I stated that I can point a person to where the prohibitions came from. Can you show us where the ban on blacks was legitimately instituted by God?

    If a Mormon cannot show where the ban came from then one has to wonder if the ban was ever legit to begin with. I would go further and say this is true of many “changes” that have taken place in Mormondum. On what basis were changes made to The D&C and The Book of Mormon? Don’t these changes contradict the narrative of the Comprehensive History of the Church? Are church materials considered scripture? If so on what basis can they be changed? If not, then are they potentially fallible? Is scripture potentially fallible?

  12. Jason ,

    Since you took the liberty of answering my question(s) with a question, I will do the same for you? On what basis do we know that God does or does not have 8 heads? The way we know anything, except for the most rudimentary things of God, is by His revealing Himself to us. One does not look at creation and discern theological notions like theosis, eternal progression, original sin, etc. Christians and Mormons share some of the same scriptures (The Bible) and this a major point of agreement (I know it may not seem like that at times but compared to Atheists and Hindus it is). So if you ask me a question on the nature of God I will have hopefully derived my answers from scripture. Can the same be said of you? It seems like you have a pre-established theological point to make (that God is by nature a finite, corporeal being) and then you want to reason from there. It seems like you just want us to accept that a total apostasy took place, and that are theology is part of that apostasy or at least a product of said apostasy . I maintain that there is a historical continuity between my belief in a transcendent all-powerful being who is not an exalted creature, and that of the ancient Hebrews and Christians.

    If you want me to get real specific I would state that God is a transcendent, immaterial being that has the ability to enter into his creation. As for Michael, I do not think he believes that God has 8 heads; I think he was trying to make a point. I would reject what he said based on word choice. God is not a “creature”. I maintain the creator-creature distinction. So in a way, at least on that point, it appears you agree with Michael’s verbiage.

    P.S. Will you at least throw me a bone and admit that the “alien,” transcendent God we worship is not particular to just Evangelical Christians?

  13. Lautensack says:

    Just a simple question, do you believe in the plurality of Gods, that God was once a man, there is a Heavenly Mother, that you will one day be creating your own planets, and these other peripheral aberrations of the LDS Church? Notice I am not asking you to explain why you believe these things or even if you think they are taught by the LDS Church, just if you personally believe that in some sense or another are true.


  14. falcon says:

    Never underestimate the power of a person’s desire to believe. Some of you may recall my story of when I took my daughter to a local college to hear a presentation by the “Amazing Randy” the debunker of paranormal phenomonon and other hoaxes. After his very impressive presentation he had a question and answer session. Someone asked him, “Why do people believe this stuff?” His answer; “Because they want to!”
    Desire and passion when used properly can propell someone to great accomplishments. Desire and passion can also get people to make foolish decisions and even commit crimes (hence, crime of passion). Our Mormon friends are totally sold out to the Joseph Smith story. The real hard-core will twist themselves into a pretzel to maintain their belief in it.
    The reason I took my daughter (at the time in middle school)to see the Amazing Randy is because she was driving me nuts on the topic of the paranormal. It was all she wanted to talk about 24-7. Her desire to want to believe all of this nonsense was giving me a headache. I used it to teach her about the paranormal, the occult and new age cults. It paid off in helping her develop a sense of discernment, and as a bonus, I cult (religious and other wise) proofed her.
    I must admit, there are times when I ask myself, “Why am I even discussing this stuff (Mormonism) with these people (Mormons). It reminds me of the endless, tedious discussions I had with my kid, so long ago, about the paranormal. It got to the point, with my daughter, that my bones ached and my head hurt because it eventually became so incredably boring. But my tenacity paid off and my hope in continuing this is that the “readers” who come here seeking answers will be turned away from the distructive cult of Mormonism and into the arms of our living, loving Savior; the eternal, everlasting God.

  15. HankSaint says:

    Thanks Lautensack. for your sincere question. I imagine there are many theories, ideas, concepts and philosophies you lean towards and want to believe. So it is with me, when first joining the Church some 50 years ago, and learning the doctrines of the Church, I have over the course of time progressed in my firm beliefs I had about certain things, such as the six day of Creation, plural Gods, polygamy, God as once a man, and a Heavenly Mother. Initially these topics were slowly learned over time, and each and every-time I ran across one of these small aberrations of doctrine, I would find the source, read the full context, and gain as much information as I could. I learned that not much was spoken or taught about such things, there was little to no details, and speculation amongst members was the norm, but facts and evidence was of little value since little was ever spoken of these topics.

    Your question is a good one, you ask if I believe these nuggets of doctrine. Here is what I believe, and cannot deny. All of them are topics that have been mentioned by our Prophets in the past, so of course I believe they are spoken of. Can I find them in our own Scriptures and Teaching Manuals? No, not with any clarity or substance. Personally I have to believe in two things, one is the known or that which is revealed by the Holy Ghost or my testimony, and second, that which makes common sense to me. I have no problem with Doctrine and Beliefs I have a testimony of, which include that Jesus is the Christ, the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God.
    What I don’t have a testimony of are my common sense beliefs, that we Have a Heavenly Mother, God was a Righteous man once, and there are more then one God.


  16. falcon says:

    Thanks for your honesty. Please elaborate on your last statement:
    “What I don’t have a testimony of are my common sense beliefs, that we have a heavenly mother, God was a righteous man once, and there are more then one God.”

    *what do you mean by “common sense beliefs” for example?
    *expand on “that which is revealed by the Holy Ghost”. Draw a distinction if you will between the Holy Ghost, in Mormonism and the Holy Spirit in Mormonism. Are you basing your convictions on personal revelation?
    *please elaborate on who, in your personal belief system, Jesus is.
    *are you saying that the BoM, in your view, is actual history, or a spiritual book only.

  17. Ward says:

    Hank – Thanks for the response above. I really appreciate your tone. It did not come across to me as condescending or arrogant. It came across as a person sharing. You certainly have a long history with your faith. And it seems that you have tested it a lot over the years. I can also see your impatience with me for focusing on your “small” things and ignoring your testimony issues. Lautensack asked you if you believed in specific issues, and I didn’t see answers to those specific items. I am really not trying to pin you down so that I can throw it back in your face repeatedly (like the alien god stuff). I am wondering how you agree and disagree or agree to disagree in meetings and discussions with other Mormons. I don’t expect you to answer this here on MC. That might be too personal for all of us. But, I can imagine that there are times when you roll your eyes at the comments you here, and keep silent. I have similar times in my own church. Take care. While you may not agree with some of our comments and thoughts, in an important way, MC is a community of acquaintances and friends who truly care about each other. Thanks for being here now.

  18. HankSaint says:

    Thanks for your civility Falcon, I find discussing any topic can be friendly when both sides wish it to be so.

    Lets start with what we are often accused of, “The Warm Fuzzies”, which we both know is a swipe at our Testimonies. Lets talk about Peter and his testimony that Jesus is the Christ. I dare say you would not call that a warm fuzzy of a Testimony, for did not Christ declare, “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven”. So what is the roll, calling, or responsibilities of the Holy Ghost, what say you Falcon, as for me He is a witness to all mankind, that Jesus is the Christ, our Lord and Savior. He is a testifier to all truth, and is one who can and does answer the claim in James 1:5

    What do I mean by my common sense beliefs? Lets begin by acknowledging there is little esoteric knowledge of the small aberrations of our doctrine concerning these snippets given out by some of our Prophets. Plural Gods, Heavenly Mother, and God once a man, if not common sense to many people, then why would a Church such as our still be growing, expanding, and viable as ever after some 170 years? It’s not some secret that these concepts are not a part of our history, and that if I was to go into a class or meeting, any of these topics would and could be discussed. But what we don’t have is but little information, or scriptures to support anything but speculation as to the what, when and how. So I put these aside as my Common sense beliefs, they may not be those of many others, but at least in our Church it is not beyond the pale of solid doctrine that will be revealed eventually.



  19. Joheshua says:

    Interesting you brought up Hinckley. I loved that man. Thought he was the best President the church had ever had. But I find it interesting when he was asked the question regarding “as man is God once was and as God is man may become directly he was less than honest. He stated, “…I don’t know a lot about it, I don’t know that others know a lot about it” Then, when members got upset he said, “You need not worry that I do not understand some matters of doctrine. I think I understand them thoroughly.” Those are contradictory statements! Let me put it in layman’s terms, and please allow me a little leeway, this is what I took his statement to mean.

    Q: President Hinkley, do Mormons really believe that as man is God once was and as God is man may become ?
    H: Listen, that’s not what we teach. Someone might have said something like that a long time ago, but I don’t know the context and I don’t really get it. But I will say that we don’t really believe that nor do we teach it, it’s just something someone said one time, you know, off the cuff.


    Q: President Hinckley, what the heck do you mean we don’t believe that or you don’t understand that? I thought you were a prophet of God!
    H: Listen, I just told them that to get them off my back. We can’t have the world thinking that Mormons are a bunch of loonies that believe we can become a god.
    Q: But we do, don’t we?
    H: Of course we do, but they don’t need to know that!

  20. Joheshua says:

    He knew the doctrine, he knew it was taught, and he believed it. What he did was answer the question in a dishonest, vague way so as not to come off looking like some fringe cult that thinks their members can become gods.

    You quoted Hinckley as saying, “small aberrations can lead to large and evil falsehoods.” What evil falsehoods is he referring too? Because the snippet we are talking about concerns man’s progression, does it not? So does that mean that the belief that a man can progress to become a god is an evil falsehood? I am thoroughly confused, which I assume is the whole point. Talking in circles until the whole idea is lost in an array of fancy words and quotes taken out of context.

    As far as your request for me to expound on the myriad of teachings concerning: plurality of gods and what planet God comes from? No thanks. Over to you to expound on this because, quite frankly, I never bought it.

    I never claimed to have more information. My statement was simply that I wish Mormons would have the intestinal fortitude (balls) to admit openly what they believe instead of hiding behind vague statements and the belief that “we don’t cast our pearls before swine”. It’s public relations at it’s finest (or worst, depending on which side you find yourself).

  21. Rick B says:

    I,ve been gone for about 3 weeks now, I had little to no computer access so I have not read the last topic on this question or the over 100 replies to this question.

    So I will ask these two questions.

    1. Do the LDS make these changes known to the public? or did they make these changes and not tell anyone? And if you say, yes we told the church, do the LDS have it written in the newest edition of the book so people years from now will be aware of these changes, and LDS wont be trying to say it never happened.

    2. If the name of the book is “Gospel Principles” how can you go and change these principles like that? It seems to me they really are not gospel principles if they can be changed or removed with such ease. Rick b

  22. Michael P says:


    I, too, did not see an answer to Lautensack’s questions. If you don’t have one, please say so, but I ask you not hide behind vague answers. Vague answers are kind of what is at issue here with Mormonism, and the ability to shift that vagueness to fit different views. Consequently, the vagueness gives you an ability to say yes to one group and no to another, all the while saving face.

    I do not mean to be overly contentious, but only to put forth the issue as I see it. If I hide behind vagueness we’ll never move forward. You will not understand what it is we have a problem with and I’ll never get a true answer.

    You sound like a good man…

  23. falcon says:

    I’ve got about fifty different directions I could go, but let me focus on one thing in particular and that is the concept of personal revelation or revelation knowledge. God did indeed reveal to Peter that Jesus is the Christ. No question about it. And the revelation was supported by the OT scriptures. Do I believe in personal revelation? Absolutely. Does God speak to me? Yes he does. Is it an audible voice coming out of the heavens. No! Is it an inner conviction, a thought, an inaudible voice? Yes, yes and yes. How do I know if my impressions are true. Well it depends on the type of revelation I receive.
    Most of the folks who are regulars here know that I’m not a dispensationalist. What’s that? It means (in part) that at the close of the canon of scripture and at the passing of the original twelve apostles that the manifestation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased. They would point to First Corinthians 13:8-10 for support of this point of view. I don’t agree with their position based on the same scripture reference.
    Anyway, as most here know, I’m an independent contractor when it comes to religion. I don’t belong to a church or denomination. I fly, for better or worse, solo but do have a network of Christian friends.
    OK, here’s the bottom line; I don’t believe in personal or prophetic revelation when it comes to the basic fundamental doctrines of the “Church”. They’re set in stone. They flow from scripture and unlike some of my reformed minded theological buddies, I would say the traditions of the Church going back to the first century.
    So for personal revelation I would point to such examples as in Acts 10:1-48, Acts 9:10-12, Acts 13:2, and Acts 21:10-11. These are things that I’d put in the category of a Word of Knowledge, perhaps a vision and so forth. I believe that God’s gifts as manifested through the Holy Spirit are active and available today for believers.

  24. falcon says:

    Let’s see how can I put this: I don’t have to seek revelation knowledge regarding Mormon doctrine whether it be well or ill defined by the Mormon leadership. It’s a slam dunk for me to determine it’s false. I know it’s false based on the scriptures. It’s like I know Islam is not the pathway to God, or Hinduism, I don’t have to pray about it.
    I know God’s Word. I find my answers there. It’s the standard by which I measure any “doctrine” or “word” or “revelation” that someone might offer. I know the questions to ask and where to go and get the answers. I stand on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ and His revealed Word. So when someone comes along with a new revelation,as Joseph Smith did, I’d tell him to take a hike.
    So I know the Mormon church is not true, I know that Joseph Smith is not a prophet, and I know the BoM is not a revelation from God. I know based on solid evidence and from the gift of discernment God has blessed me with.

  25. setfree says:

    Aaron and all,
    I’d REALLY like to get into a discussion of the LDS view of spirit witness. Has it been done yet?

  26. Free says:

    Falcon wrote above:

    Let’s see how can I put this: I don’t have to seek revelation knowledge regarding Mormon doctrine whether it be well or ill defined by the Mormon leadership. It’s a slam dunk for me to determine it’s false. I know it’s false based on the scriptures. It’s like I know Islam is not the pathway to God, or Hinduism, I don’t have to pray about it.
    I know God’s Word. I find my answers there. It’s the standard by which I measure any “doctrine” or “word” or “revelation” that someone might offer. I know the questions to ask and where to go and get the answers. I stand on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ and His revealed Word. So when someone comes along with a new revelation,as Joseph Smith did, I’d tell him to take a hike.
    So I know the Mormon church is not true, I know that Joseph Smith is not a prophet, and I know the BoM is not a revelation from God. I know based on solid evidence and from the gift of discernment God has blessed me with.

    That’s very good Falcon. The Bible (the Word of God) IS the measuring stick.

    Considering Jesus Christ Himself used It while being tempted by Satan in the wilderness. I’m just sayin’…

  27. Mike R says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiance concerning
    the teachings you heard in your LDS meetings,
    it was breath of fresh air.

    The words you used to describe the three LDS
    teachings[HM; Plurality of God’s; HF not always
    God ] were ” aberrations”/ “snippets”/ “out of
    context quotes”.
    As I was pondering these, and if I understood
    you clearly, the following thoughts came to
    mind.Concerning, “out of context quotes”, I try
    to make sure that a quote is in context.
    Concerning, “snippets”, in my last post I looked
    at a “snippet” ( a 30 yr.slice ) of LDS teaching
    material relative to one of the three doctrines
    mentioned above, it was clearly consistant with
    what was taught both before and after this time
    ( 1946-1974-75 ).Therefore the negative context
    in which you seemed to use the word,’snippet”
    is not accurate.
    Lastly, concerning, “aberration”. In Webster’s
    it says, ” to deviate from the right path, or
    NORMAL course…” Is the LDS doctrine of a
    Heavenly Mother[HM] an aberrant belief? I’m
    sure you don’t feel that way. It would be a
    normal way of life to tell our mothers here how
    much we love and appreciate them.Yet, Gordon B.
    Hinckley seems to have counseled LDS to refrain
    from praying to their Heavenly Mother[Ensign 11-
    1991].Since prayer is talking to God, would this
    mean you have not told your Heavenly Mom that you
    love her? Is this NORMAL for LDS? The reason I
    ask this is that based on the three words you
    chose to use(see above) to describe your view
    of certain LDS teachings, they don’t seem to
    be the best words to have been used.That being
    said, I hope you really do consider that these
    teachings are either,”good doctrine”[1Tim.4:6]
    or they are not. God Bless you in seeking Him.

  28. setfree says:

    There was no way, not anyway at all, that somebody claiming to be a Christian was going to get me to see that my church had anything wrong with it whatsoever. My church was the Only True One, the one and only superior church to all the other churches, with knowledge regained that all the others had hopelessly lost and didn’t even care to find.

    It’s not just a matter of who thinks they’ve got it all put-together out here. It’s a matter of how they view everything. Even just considering that “the church” may be lying, hiding things, deceiving you is to consider having to rethink your entire life! Every decision you have made. Every thought you have had. This is not light stuff.

    I remember the day that my mother called me to tell me she didn’t believe the Book of Mormon was true anymore. I couldn’t believe my ears! She was the one who always “knew” the church was “true”.

    And as my floor dropped out from under me, I wondered, what in the world am I supposed to think now?

    My first question back to my mom was “what about Joseph Smith?”. She said, nope.

    It was the first time in my life I ever was forced to consider things from the outside. It was extremely difficult and earth-shattering at that moment, and for the next quite-a-while.

    Thank God for God. When I began to read the Bible, having let go of all the presumptions about it, and saw I could understand it, I was amazed. I prayed “God, I don’t know what I’m getting myself into, but please forgive me and let Jesus be my Savior”. That was my prayer. Pathetic?

    God took it anyway, and has cleaned up my life and solidified my belief in Him and His Word.

    Mormons say “what kind of feelings” do I get from the Holy Spirit?

    Not feelings, not anymore. No emotional hoopla. Just certainty, heart-knowledge instead of just head-knowledge. Core-deep, absolute, cemented Knowledge of the Truth. It’s awesome.

    I hope someone out there has benefited from this little view into my life.

  29. Ralph says:


    If the question came out in a class I was in I would keep silent on the matter as what I said above is my opinion only, not church doctrine. As David pointed out, there is no real reason/doctrine given in the Bible why different groups of people were left out of various aspects of the congregation/religion/priesthood/etc except the reason that it is what God had determined at that time. For all of these exclusions, I believe that the reason is still there because God does not change His mind – He has a plan mapped out and there may be what looks like changes in direction but it all goes forward and it is all in His control. He has just instituted a higher law/doctrine that allows for the overcoming of the lesser but not its destruction. For example the Law of Moses compared to the gospel Jesus instituted while on this earth.

    If ‘blind faith’ in God is a sin (even after all the evidence I have seen and heard) then let me have at it, Aaron.


    The word ‘Trinity’ is not found in the Bible, that does not mean that there isn’t something like it around does it? The Israelites had a religion (I used the wrong word earlier – gospel; OK I got it) and when they left Egypt that religion also became their government system. If someone was excluded from the ‘congregation of the Lord’ (Deut 23:1) it would be both religiously and legally enforced. Other exclusions were similarly enforced. Imagine living your life believing in and serving your God. Then after 5 months in army service fighting for your God an archer gets lucky and you are told that God no longer wants you in His worship or service. The Blacks were allowed to join the church and had full fellowship – no segregation – except they were not allowed the priesthood for a time. God only knows why as far as I can tell and its His call not mine. But now due to God’s love and mercy they are allowed.

  30. HankSaint says:


    I’m glad you didn’t go all fifty different directions, one is enough to exhaust me. I want to say right up front, you’re the first poster, Christian, Evangelical who has ever admitted that Peter received his testimony from Father in Heaven. I also agree that it is a voice, a distinct voice that penetrates the very soul. Audible in the sense it is personal and most likely is not heard by others. You mentioned that some believe that the manifestations of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost have ceased. So here we go again with my common sense, but this time it is so strong as to be much more then just a sense, but a conviction that God never ceases to be the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I have a sense that since some believe that the Cannon of Scripture is closed, and God does not speak again, then are we to believe that prayers are not answered in such away that at times we actually hear a voice. I have heard countless times that a testimony is based on objective proof, intellectual reasoning, etc, etc. Sorry but I rather be a atheist then believe I can’t feel, hear, or have visions of Gods Glory and His proof that the Bible is a living testimony. You might have noticed I did not mention the BOM or other scriptures.
    But lets just talk about the Bible for now, and how one knows that it testifies of Jesus, and that He is the Christ. Can a non-believer have that same witness, and if so how does it come about? I imagine that it first starts with Faith, believing but not seeing. Small or large, the tiniest and smallest bit of Faith is all that one needs. Faith allows one to ponder, read, study and experiment. It opens channels that were never apparent before, it bring a sense of humility, and introspection. I believe that as we see in the picture of Christ knocking at the door, it is apparent the door has no latch and Christ cannot enter unless one opens it from the other side. Prayer is the latch, a invitation for Christ to come in and sup.

  31. HankSaint says:


    You stated it was not necessary for you to receive revelation about the Book of Mormon, that it is a slam dunk to determine its false.
    I respect that, and as you know and I know, there are two ways of proving that, one is objectively and intellectually, which is apparent the choice you made. I did both, the first was a subjective experience, hearing a audible voice in my heart and soul, penetrating every part of my body, age I knew this was 11 yrs. old and not a member. Question, was it a good spirit or a evil spirit? In a way you seem to have contradicted yourself, but that is my opinion. You stated that you also knew from a Spirit of discernment. Why should I doubt that you experienced that? I don’t. Why would you doubt that I also have stated a truth about my experience, you can’t. Where does that leave us? well the nicest way would be to agree that we both disagree, but in a sense agree that revelation is well and alive. Second is that personal study, objectively looking at facts and historical events, reading anti-books, and find answers that satisfy me, has led to a objective conviction that all is well, and I’m on solid ground. I don’t believe that another person can really convert another to the truth, but I do believe that James 1:5 say it all for each individual.


  32. I think Ralph raised an important issue concerning the relationship between OT religion (or Gospel, if you like), the NT and (presumably) the Ev Gospel.

    The reason I think its important is because I’m very concerned with the consistency of the Gospel over the ages, and I get very uncomfortable with the kind of response that is based on a ‘that was then, but this is now’ approach.

    In looking into the OT ‘Gospel’, its worth recognizing the importance of the Exodus in how it shaped Israelite self-identity and religion. If the Ten Commandments contain the ‘essence’ of this ‘Gospel’ in its purest form, notice how they are prefaced; “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt…”(Ex 20:2). The essential relationship between God and His people is one of creator/redeemer and redeemed community. Notice that they didn’t get themselves out of Egypt (how could they?), and then, by doing good stuff, somehow got God to take notice. Its all about what God does from start to finish.

    What marks this redeemed community? Paul argues that its not circumcision, but faith. Why? Becuase Abraham, the father of them all, was marked by faith before he was marked with circumcision (Rom 4:3-10).

    What is the purpose of this community? To tangibly live out and demonstrate the character of their God (Ezekiel 48:35) – to ‘incarnate’ Him.

    The Gospel of the OT is that God redeems us feeely and then tells us how to live so that the world sees Him in us.

    The Christian Gospel does not change any of this. But we see it prefectly fulfilled in Jesus, the ‘Immanuel’. We need to understand the NT in the light of the OT, not the other way round.

    I would agree that the Ev movement has sometimes presented the ‘big’ Gospel of scripture as a tiny ‘to-do’ kind of checklist, but that’s been the subject of some Ev heart-searching recently.

    Even so, there’s a robust, enduring message about starting the journey of faith by simply putting one foot in front of the other

  33. falcon says:

    Of course the Father revealed Jesus to Peter. I don’t know any Christian who doesn’t believe that. That’s the way it works. The Father draws us to Jesus. If we examine Paul’s letter to the Galatians, we see how the Father “revealed” Jesus to (Paul). Galatians 1:11, “For I would have you know brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” and Galatians 1:15-16 “But when He who had set me apart, even from my mother’s womb, and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me…….”
    In the second chapter Paul then talks about how after an interval of fourteen years he went to Jerusalem and submitted the gospel that he preached to the apostles to make sure that he was accurately representing it. Why did he go to Jerusalem? Galatians 2:2 “And it was because of a revelation that I went up:…..”
    In two thousand years of Christian history people have claimed revelation, words of knowledge, visions, and miracles that they say they have received from God. The task for the Christian is to sort out the true from the false. Paul talks about this very thing often and does so, again, in his letter to the Galatians. Look at Galatians 1:6-9. Paul writes: “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”
    The task for the Christian is to sort out the true claims from those that are false.

  34. I’m a former Mormon and current non-believer. If anyone wants to hear what I have to say about the changes, please follow the link below to my blog:

    I would appreciate any comments or responses you may have.

  35. HankSaint says:

    Revelation is communication from God to His children. This guidance comes through various channels according to the needs and circumstances of individuals, families, and the Church as a whole. When the Lord reveals His will to the Church, He speaks through His prophet. Prophets are the only people who can receive revelation for the Church, but they are not the only people who can receive revelation. According to our faithfulness, we can receive revelation to help us with our specific personal needs, responsibilities, and questions and to help us strengthen our testimony.

    “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7

    21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Pet. 1:21

    As much as you deny there is a Prophet and apostles on the earth, does not make it so. When they were all killed off or died, we were left with the precepts and doctrine of man, hence Churches built up on Creeds, a system of belief, principles, or opinions not based on revelation or authority, (Priesthood).

  36. falcon says:

    So last night I checked-out the “Signs and Wonders Conference” again on God TV (channel 365-Direct TV) and the speaker says, “And five years ago God revealed to me……” and he tells what God revealed to him. I didn’t have any problem with what he said because there wasn’t anything in the message/revelation that ran contrary to orthodox Christian beliefs/doctrine. Now whether or not God revealed this to the speaker and what the means was by which he received it, I don’t know. But this is pretty common stock and trade within what’s known as the “prophetic movement” a subgroup within evangelical pentecostalism. This is pretty common operational procedure among this group of Christians. They are getting constant “revelation”, having Words of Knowledge, prophesy, speaking in tongues, working of miracles and so forth. Is it true? That’s the challenge for the believer to sort out.
    In Galatians Paul is very clear that there was a false Gospel being preached that ran contrary to orthodoxy. He called it out and condemed it. That’s what we as orthodox Christians do with the gospel of Mormonism. We examine it, compare it to the Gospel that Paul preached and writes about and we reject it as being false. As I said before, it’s really a slam dunk when it comes to Mormonism or the gospel of the Jehovah Witnesses for example.
    As a Christian, I must admit that I get more than a little frustrated with Mormons and sort of pull my hair out because they can’t see it. But these false gospels can be very compelling (with their stories) and emotionally seductive and satisfying.
    The true Gospel of Jesus Christ is found in the Bible. It’s not complicated or difficult to find. It draws a sharp contrast between that which reflects God’s revelation and that which doesn’t. One of the first tip-offs that a false gospel is being preached is to see how the proclaimers of the “new light” treat the Bible.

  37. HankSaint wrote earlier about the apparent lack of evidence for the Exodus, and quotes atheist’s website (

    What are you trying to say here, Hank? Are you supporting atheism?

    I’m going to take a guess that you don’t, but you’re using Mr Tobin’s argument (that there’s no archaeological evidence for the Exodus) to justify faith in the BoM (for which there’s no archaeological evidence, as has been noted above).

    If you’re a believer in the LDS 8AOF, then you should be relieved to know that Mr Tobin’s arguments are not as convincing as he would like to believe they are. I take the view that it is possible to find a fit between the archaeology and the Biblical account, though the picture that emerges is somewhat different from the classically presented story.

    Firstly, looking for the Exodus in the 12th Century BC may looking in the wrong century. The 15th Century seems be a better fit because the region was in a state of international upheaval (see Ex 23:28), and the Egyptian records talk about the expulsion of the Hyksos peoples at this time.

    Secondly, looking for “Israelites” doesn’t go far because the word wasn’t used to describe a tribe at that time. However, a word similar to “Hebrew” (“Apiru” – vagabond) was.

    Thirdly, the body of people involved may have been more fluid than we acknowledge (see Ex 12:38). It may be that a large number of them dispersed and gathered sporadically around the ‘core’ group in this time. How else did they get the materials to build the tabernacle? The central ‘core’ (the ‘Moses and Aaron’ group), however kept its identity.

    For more info, look here;

    I’m curious. We’ve heard this same objection before, quite recently, from LDS here. Has it got into circulation through LDS manuals?

  38. Ralph,

    I am fully aware that there are concepts in the Bible that do not necessarily have a term coined in the Bible to describe them (“The word or concept of the gospel does not occur in the OT”). However, you dodged the question entirely. Where was the authority to institute the ban? Was there a ban on blacks in the priesthood in the first century church? Again I can point to the chapter and verse where the ban on those with disabilities in the Levitical priesthood comes from. You cannot do the same with the pre-1978 ban on non-whites. If you cannot show me where that ban came from, it would appear that ban was a result of good-old-fashioned racism.

    Lifting the ban helped to “solve” the “problem”, but where did the “problem” come from in the first place? Like other changes in Mormonism, the impetus behind the change seems to be political and driven by popular demand and not from God. The fact that sports programs from other universities were threatening to boycott BYU, and other such negative actions were threatened by other groups, had nothing to do with it did it? And U.S. government involvement had nothing to do with the manifesto of 1890? Again, these are reasons why non-Mormons are skeptical of “changes” in Mormonism.

  39. falcon says:

    I don’t deny there are apostles and prophets on the earth. I fully believe there are. I’m not a dispensational cessationalist. Ephesians 4:11-13 says “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of service to the building up of the body of Christ;….”
    Let’s be straight-up here, I don’t recognize the Mormon churches prophets as being prophets, nor their apostles for being apostles. That’s the task for the Christian to sort out the false from the true. That’s really been the topic I’ve been emphazing in my last several posts.
    Get into the Bible. Read what it says. It’s God’s revelation to man as to who He is and what He has done for us through Jesus Christ. It is not a complicated book nor a difficult exercise. That’s the real nub of this Hank; discerning the true from the false.
    God the Father revealed His Word through His Son Jesus Christ; who was the living Word. Jesus taught His apostles about the kingdom of God. God’s Word was preserved by the Holy Spirit through the Church. Let me get specific; in order for Mormonism to “work” in the mind of the Mormon, the Bible has to be seen as a corrupted text and the Church seen as having fallen into apostasy and the Gospel of Jesus Christ as being lost. This is not only a convenient fantasy, but is easily debunked by doing a thourogh study of the history of the Church. The problem with Mormons is they accept the notion of a corrupted Biblical text and an apostasy as being true. Without that belief, there is no need for a “rstored” gospel. So it behooved Joseph Smith to reject the Gospel that is so clearly presented in the Bible, to in effect reject the Bible itself and in the end he embraced a god who isn’t a god and taught a blasphemous gospel making men into gods. Can you see why it’s a slam dunk for a born again Christian to reject Mormonism?

  40. HankSaint says:

    Falcon, all good points. So the tip off seems valid, so what do we see Joseph doing. Well lets ask what would God have his prophet Joseph do? Make changes, add lost verses, and correct doctrine, as we see the Prophet did do. If one ever checks out these corrections, one would be amazed at the accuracy of words we find there in.

    The KJV account of Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness states that Jesus went there “to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered” (Matt. 4:1-2). The JST reads: “Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit, into the wilderness, to be with God. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, and had communed with God, he was afterwards an hungered, and was left to be tempted of the devil” (JST Matt. 4:1-2). Luke’s record (KJV) says that Jesus was “forty days tempted of the devil” (Luke 4:2). The JST reads, “And after forty days, the devil came unto him, to tempt him” (JST Luke 4:2).

    God’s Dealings with Mankind. JST passages bearing on God’s dealings with mankind include the following: Genesis 6:6 (KJV) states that “It repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” JST Genesis 8:13 (Moses 8:25) renders this passage thus: “And it repented Noah, and his heart was pained, that the Lord had made man on the earth.” Exodus 7:3, 13; 9:12; 10:1, 20 (KJV) all state that God will harden Pharaoh’s heart. In each of these the JST reads that Pharaoh will harden his own heart:

  41. falcon says:

    This is the bottom line; you are either going to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ as clearly presented in God’s Word the Bible, or you are going to reject it in favor of another gospel. The task, as I have pointed out, is to discern the false from the true. When someone comes to me and claims a “revelation” or a “vision” or a “Word from the Lord” or a “prophetic utterence”, I test it against what it says in the Bible.
    Hank, Mormonism, fails this test miserably. So the only thing left for Mormons to do is declare the standard by which we measure these things by, as being defective. In effect, if something fails to meet the standard, Mormons change the standard, right?
    I can tell you have a zeal for God and a desire to communicate with our Heavenly Father and to know Him and His Christ. The problem Hank is you’ve taken a wrong path. I know you feel that you’re receiving messages/revelations from God, but if those messages don’t line-up with the Biblical standard, you’re just having a good emotinal buzz. I see this all the time with Christians also. The “feeling” is not the standard by which we measure if something is coming from God. Something that seems to be a “confirming” feeling, a “sense”, can be totally off the bubble. It can be a tough lesson to learn as I so well know.
    So I don’t deny revelation, or apostles or prophets or the active manifestatins of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit; but I accept these things within the context of God’s Word. I reject, out-of-hand, those who claim to be apostles and prophets and those who claim special revelation knowledge that do not comport with God’s Word. It’s not that tough Hank, really.

  42. mobaby says:


    How are you testing the accuracy of the changes or “corrections” that Joseph Smith made to the Bible in the JST? What is your standard for checking this? I suggest you compare his changes against ancient manuscript copies of the scripture and see if these changes are indicated. This is the only reasonable way to do this.

    Here’s a link to get you started:

    Let us know how many of Joseph Smith’s changes you find indicated in this ancient record of the Christian scriptures.

  43. HankSaint says:


    Will it change mainstream Christianity? You see if you are going to site the Codex you mentioned, you have to be prepared to accept or reject the following:

    The version of the New Testament has some few interesting differences. It includes two works which have since been dropped from both Catholic and Protestant Bibles – “The Shepherd of Hermas”, a heavily allegorical work full of visions and parables and “The Epistle of Barnabas”, which contains highly-charged language about the Jews as the killers of Christ. It also includes entire books which, after the Reformation, Protestants decided to drop from their Bibles: the Old Testament books of Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Maccabbees 1&2 and large chunks of Esther and Daniel. And the running order of the books is different, reflecting subtle shifts in the priorities of the believers over the ages. The Codex omits the words which Protestants add to the end of The Lord’s Prayer, and Catholics omit: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever (Matthew 6:13).

    Other differences include it saying that Jesus was “angry” as he healed a leper, where the modern text says he acted with “compassion”. The story of the stoning of the adulterous woman – “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” is not there. Nor are Christ’s words about his executioners from the cross: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. And its Gospel of Mark ends abruptly after Jesus’s disciples discover his empty tomb – omitting the 12 verses on the appearance of the resurrected Christ – and leaving the disciples exiting in fear. The Codex leaves an unusual blank space where the verses should be. “That’s a very odd way of ending a Gospel,” says Juan Garces, the curator of the Codex Sinaiticus Project.

    The Big Question: What is the Codex Sinaiticus, and what does it reveal about the Bible?
    By Paul Vallely
    Tuesday, 7 July 2009

  44. Michael P says:


    I read the article, and it doesn’t really help much. I love that it quoted Bart Ehrman, and that it clearly seeks to raise problems in the Bible and destroy its credibility. Reread the last three sections.

    Truth be told, I am no expert in this field, but I do consider myself adept at seeing bias, and this is very biased.

    Alas, I’ll let others check it out and determine their own thoughts, but the article has its own problems from what I see.

    For the others who want to read it, here it is:

  45. HankSaint says:


    It’s not a either/ or to me since I have accepted the common sense thinking that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
    I refuse to tell God what He can and cannot do. If your satisfied the Bible is the final word, and a testament that Jesus is the Christ I give you credit for finding that to be true. You admitted that striving for a subjective answer to the book of Mormon was not going to happen since it’s a slam dunk deal already in your mind of its false origin and fictitious writings. I find it presumptuous to claim another has taken a false path, when the facts and evidence have not yet prove the Book of Mormon anything other then true. The hypocrisy of the accusations is that we have found so many variants and wild claims of the how, what and why of the BOM, and not just one easy to understand how it was fraudulent.

    We have it being plagiarized, then a litany of different sources it must have come from, we have Joseph the story teller, then there is, he had friends who cooperated in the fraud, including all 11 witnesses, Tom Donofrio, “Plagiarism is hard to prove”, ex mormon, who did a research paper on the Book Joseph borrowed from, and used 2-3 word phrases in the creation of his story. I have seen and read everything to date, yet no one can really nail the coffin lid down with any hard evidence, Hmmm very interesting problem not yet solved.


  46. Michael P says:


    I think you really miss a key aspect of Falcon’s comments, and one that most every EV here has made: revelation continues! God still speaks to us today, and you do not have revelation cornered!

    I think you are so engrained in your thought you really fail to see the other side, and that it is even possible for it to exist. I have expressed frustration at this many at times, that Mormons love to call people to ask a Mormon to get an answer about Mormonism, but fail miserably when someone of another faith tells them what that other faith beleives. This is very hypocritical, and I hope you see why.

    You have been an LDS for some time, I think you said 50 plus years, and I assume that you’re entire life is built upon your faith. So, it is probably very difficult for you to change your thoughts on the matter, but as long as you fail to not look past your own nose, you will not.

    Maybe you want it that way… But there is a whole new world out there for you to see, and you’ve already been told what it is. God himself has told you what it is, but are you listening?

  47. setfree says:

    I want to address the JST issue Hank brought up.

    Specifically the 15 verses that Joseph Smith “restored” to the last chapter of Genesis (Inspired Version Genesis 50:24-48).

    These verses are VERY significant as they are the first “Biblical” mention of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

    “A seer (Joseph Smith) shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins…
    and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins…
    the fruit of thy loins shall write (Book of Mormon), and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write (Bible); and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together unto the confounding of false doctrines, and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to a knowledge of their fathers in the latter days; and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.”

    This is truly an important part of “missing” Bible text, to be so clear about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith!

    What’s funny about it is some particular verbiage.

    In these 15 added verses, the word “loins” appears 13 times. Eleven of the 13 times it appears with “fruit of”, i.e. “fruit of my loins”.

    The word “seer” happens 6 times.

    Interestingly enough, Moses (in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) never used the word “seer” at all.

    He also never used the “fruit of [the] loins” expression. He used the expression “fruit of [the] womb”, but only twice in all 5 books.
    In fact, the “fruit of [the] loins” expression only occurs once in the entire KJV Bible!

    Isn’t it interesting that whoever the schemer was that took those remarkable prophetic verses out of the Bible about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon also bothered to take every other “seer” and “fruit of loins” reference out of all the writings of Moses?

    😉 Yeah right…

  48. Ward says:

    I read the article as well. One of the interesting points of all of this, is that we have this document and thousands of scripture segments and fragments. Investigators could and do spend lifetimes researching these resources, and can put forth dialogues based on real evidence and data. Is this article biased? Sure. But someone could go back to the evidence to support of counter an argument. There are earlier fragments to compare this with. Scholastic efforts come out of evidence, and different people can go look at the evidence. Conclusions can be drawn, which are based on fact, theory, or hyperbole. And that is just the point, in that we can look at tangible, verifiable writings. This is what troubles me about many of our arguments here. It always seems to get to a point where someone says, well, I have made up my mind by faith alone. I am not opposed to faith, but I keep finding Mormon foundations lacking. Peace.

  49. setfree says:

    Oops, my reference above should have said Genesis 50:24-38, not 48.

    I also forgot to mention that in all 5 of Moses books, he only ever used the word “loins” 7 times total. This is approximately a loins to verse ratio of .0012, where Joseph Smith’s added verses have a loins to verse ratio of .87.

    And let’s not forget what Joseph Smith “restored” to Luke 10:23

    “23 All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it. “

  50. falcon says:

    Come-on Hank,
    First of all I take a couple of days and a whole lot of posts with Biblical support to lead you through the topic of revelation, as it’s seen by Chirsitans. I hate to say it, but this happens all the time with Christian posters; that is, we present a case, point by point and Mormons don’t get it. I don’t know if it’s a function of Mormon thinking or if Mormons just don’t want to get it. But MICHAEL P saw what was going on here. I’m not going to repeat everything I wrote, but hopefully the folks that come here to read, understood my presentation.
    Now to the BoM; please Hank, I know you aren’t that niave or ill-informed. But I’ve been down this road before with Mormons. I remember a year and half ago or so, having a Mormon tell me here on this site the same thing you have. I presented a truck load of documentation that the BoM is false. The Mormon poster’s response: “This is evidence from men, not from God.” So in other words, it doesn’t matter how much real life evidence we provide proving that the BoM was a figment of Joseph Smith’s imagination, Mormons always fall back on their testimony. It’s a dead end topic when Mormons want to ignore the evidence that over whelmingly proves the BoM is false. This is another one of those cases, I’m afraid, were Mormons deny reality in favor of a “felt revelation”. It’s a dead end topic.

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