Worth Fighting Over

Stormy Sea

The June 2008 issue of Tabletalk magazine included an article rooted in the biblical book of Jude. Noting that Jude speaks directly and forcefully to the issue of false teachers, the Tabletalk article by Niel Nielson explains,

“Notice that Jude isn’t writing to [his readers] about voices calling from outside the visible faith. These people have ‘crept in unnoticed,’ that is, they are inside the congregation of God’s people. …the deadliest recommendations [i.e., encouragement to follow a different spiritual path] may come from those who claim to be fellow believers, because they masquerade as people of the light, they use ‘Christian’ vocabulary, and they assert that their views are faithful to our most holy faith.”

Dr. Nielson continues, noting the harsh language Jude uses to describe these false teachers and their terrible, eventual end (Jude 12-16). “And yet,” Dr. Nielson writes, “Jude’s burden for his readers is to urge them to contend – to fight earnestly – for the faith once for all delivered to the saints…”

For Christians who engage in faith conversations with Mormons, Jude’s instruction to contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3) provides very important direction for our method and motivation. While many Mormons are uncomfortable with the idea of “contending” (indeed, most Mormons understand contention to be “of the devil” – see 3 Nephi 11:29), Christians recognize the God-revealed necessity of it.

Knowing, then, that Christians must engage in earnest contention for the faith, the question must be asked: What is this faith? Dr. Nielson writes,

“It is the ‘once for all’ revelation from God, gloriously complete in providing all we need to know about God and His plan, purpose, and expectations for His creation.

“Jude gives his readers two clues for recognizing these false teachers and their recommendations: they pervert the grace of our God into sensuality, and they deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (v. 4). While this list is not exhaustive, it provides very helpful tests.

“First, does a particular viewpoint rationalize sexual sin, in this case by co-opting the very grace of God? Beware, Jude is saying, of any teaching or perspective that would use the grace and love of God as the means for justifying sexual sin…”

Anyone who followed the conversations here at Mormon Coffee last June might recognize Joseph Smith’s polygamy as an example of what Jude is talking about. Joseph did not merely marry multiple women illegally; he asked for other men’s wives and young daughters, promising eternal rewards for those who complied with his requests. Did this not “pervert the grace of our God into sensuality”? While the Word of God promises forgiveness of sins and eternal life freely given through His grace to any and all who surrender to Him, Joseph Smith perverted that offered gift, turning it into something gained via gratification of Smith’s own desires.

Dr. Nielson continues with the clues Jude provides for recognizing false teachers,

“Second, does a particular viewpoint diminish the exclusive glory and truth of Jesus Christ as the only King and Savior? Beware, Jude is saying, of any teaching or perspective that undermines His deity, diminishes His uniqueness, doubts His kingly claims over the creation, or adds or subtracts from His Gospel.”

Again we can see the teachings of LDS prophets as examples of what Jude warns against. Mormonism robs Jesus of His uniqueness, teaching that He is just one of many billions numbered among the pre-existent sons of God; Jesus is Creator of some things, but not all things; Jesus is the Savior for this world, but other worlds have other Saviors; Jesus’ deity is no different than that achievable by any of us who work hard and prove ourselves worthy of Godhood (exaltation).

Using the “clues” provided by Jude, Mormon prophets are exposed as false teachers. Consequently, Mormonism is exposed as a false religion leading millions of people away from a saving relationship with the one true God. If ever there was anything worth contending over, surely, it is this.

For more information on the Jesus of Mormonism see:
Creator or Created? That is the Question.
Who is the “Living Christ” of Mormonism?

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Truth, Honesty, Prayer, and Inquiry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

200 Responses to Worth Fighting Over

  1. Others have commented that in John 3:5, Jesus is referring to physical birth, followed by spiritual rebirth (e.g. Jackg “I’m glad shem brought up John 3:5, because it shows where Mormons lack in biblical interpretation”).

    I fully concur with this interpretation. In fact, I think its far less “mysterious” than it sounds to us.

    Commonly, the imagery and metaphor of “water” is used in the Biblical texts to represent the darkness and chaos of this world (e.g. Gen 1:2, the Flood Narrative in Gen 7-9, the Exodus, Psalm 69, the reference to there being no “sea” in Rev 21:1).

    Though the language might appear mysterious and “religious” to us, I think Jesus is teaching something that is profoundly plain; in order to get into the Kingdom of God, you’ve got to be born into this world and then born again by the Spirit. The Kingdom does not belong to those who are not born into the world, which might include angelic beings, demi-gods, laws, principles and precepts and, arguably non-human creatures.

    In other words, the Kingdom of God belongs to, and comprises, human beings. To qualify for entry, one must first be a human being.

    To use the imagery of Dan 7:14, the Kingdom belongs to the “Son of Man”; Hebrew; “bar enosh”, which (I understand) is non-gender specific and more precisely translated as “human being”, though this latter term is less poetic.

    I often wonder if the associations we bring to the Biblical texts makes them far more complex than they were intended to be.

  2. falcon says:

    The major theme of this thread is that Christians are to defend “the faith”. The main source for defending the faith is God’s Holy Word the Bible. What else would someone use to defend the faith? It’s difficult, if not impossible to have a discussion with someone regarding the faith if that person is using a means other than the Bible to determine the truth. It’s also problematic if the person isn’t using a systematic approach to understanding the scriptures.
    Folks who down grade God’s Word as authoratative in manners related to the faith, favoring instead revelation and/or a “word from the Lord”, open themselves up to all sorts of doctrinal error. It sounds so “spiritual” to claim direct revelation from God. It gives the one claiming such a “word” a sense of spiritual authority and superiority. When someone says that God told them something, that pretty much ends the argument. If an appeal to the Scriptures isn’t respected as authoritative, there is no other place to go.
    In his book “Under the Banner of Heaven” Jon Krakauer chonicles several different Mormons who are hearing directly from the Lord. One such man is Robert Crossfield. He wrote and published a book titled “The Second Book of Commandments”. He wrote and published it himself, under the other name he is known by:the Prophet Onias. It’s a compilation of 205 revelations Crossfield/Onias has received from the Lord since 1961. “The still small voice of the Lord” suddenly came to him, revealing that he had been chosen to serve as God’s mouthpiece-that he was a holy prophet of the Lord. One of the first words that God gave to him was the correctness of plural marriage. Most of his revelations confirm that the leaders of the LDS Church had “cut themselves off from the voice of the Lord” and betrayed some of Joseph Smith’s most impoortant tenets-including the sacred principle of plural marriage.
    One “prophet” is as good as the next I guess. Who’s to say God isn’t speaking to this guy?

  3. falcon says:

    So when it comes to defending the faith, the Christian turns to the authoratative source the Bible. This is in contrast to a revelation, impression, or word someone claims as to have gotten from the Lord. The first thing a prospect is told when approached by Mormon missionaries is to pray about the BoM and God will reveal to (the prospect) if it is true.
    So if someone takes up the challenge and reports back that God revealed that it’s not true; end of discussion right? Of course not because the only acceptable outcome, to a Mormon, is a finding that it’s true. So, what if the prospect says that they will look into the research that has been done on the BoM and also do some study on the life of Joseph Smith and the history of the Mormon church in addition to studying the Bible, to determine if the BoM and the Mormon church are true. Is this acceptable to a Mormon? A big NO!
    This concept about praying about something and receiving a direct message from God in order to determine the truth of a matter is chock-full of problems that are obvious on the face of it. First and foremost among the problems is the incredible potential for someone to be self-deceived. The desire of one’s heart, a confused mental state, stress, outside influences, all play apart in what someone might “hear”.
    In the case of “pray about the BoM” to determine its truth, there’s an expectation planted in the mind of the prospect that they will receive a “burning in the bossom” or some other emotional feeling. The prospect is preset, conditioned, to expect that outcome. It’s really a psychological ploy and an unreliable test for the truth.
    So how do we determine the truth in matters of faith? That first and best source is what God has already revealed in the Bible. Guided by solid principles of Biblical interpretation and a prayful heart, God will speak as He already has.

  4. shematwater says:


    I guess being called a devil worshiper, ignorant, and naive isn’t personal slander. O yeah, I forgot. As long as you call everyone in a group these things no single person can accuse you of slandering them.

    Please. What you said was a personal attack, just said in a way that is not quite as blunt. To say what I said is pathetic is to call me pathetic.

    Now, as I said, I cannot give the references you want, because they do not exist. I can give you references to where the milenial reign is described, where we are told that this Earth will also be resurrected and move to orbit Kolob. I can reference where we are told that all those who inherit the Celestial glory will live on this earth in the Eternities. I cannot give you references about the generation of God the Father, because he has told us he will not give us this information. However, since we are also told that he is following the same plan that set up by his Father, I am willing to follow simple logic and say that everything that has been revealed concerning this earth in some way happened to his.

    The LDS church does not answer all questions, but it gives enough information that most questions can be answered by any who has the willingness and intelligence to seek them out (this is not said personally, but in general, I don’t want to be accused again).

  5. shematwater says:


    You said: “I ask because it seems you are very confident of your status once you are baptized, and sin is covered by the grace of God. Sounds like you could be quite lazy after you are baptized.”

    Not really. In Mark 16: 16 it says “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be cdamned.”
    So faith is actually more important than Baptism. Notice how both bring salvation, but the loss of just one brings condemnation. Baptism only takes hold if you truly have the faith required to accept it.

  6. jackg says:


    Thank you for your insight regarding the Kingdom of Heaven belonging to human beings.


    Could you provide an exegetical study of the entire pericope in which Mark 16:16 is found that gives you the impression that baptism is NECESSARY for salvation and which support your commentary? Looking forward to what you have to offer.


  7. Michael P says:


    Three thoughts on your relpy to me.

    First, your reply has nothing to do with my comment. Reread it to see why.

    Second, which is it, then? Baptism, or faith that saves? I hear you talking out of both sides of your mouth. You say faith is more important, but baptism is still necessary, if I understand you right. But if faith is more important, why would baptism be necessary? Why couldn’t it be that if someone believes but is not baptize still be saved if faith is more important. I would think then that baptism might be something God could overlook if you believe enough, if we go by what you say.

    Third, it actually says just someone who does not beleive will be condemned. It does not say if you are not baptized you will be condemned, even though it specifically says a lack of faith will condemn you. So, this can be read to say that even if you are not baptized, you won’t be condemned but contrarilly if you don’t believe, you will be.

    Now, this topic is way off the original topic of the post. But the differences in Mormonism and Christianity are huge, and it is worth fighting over the differences, if only so that on-lookers will be able to discern the differences. Our views on this direct topic are but one of the many

  8. setfree says:

    Last year, when I had a lot of free time, I began an intensive study of the BofM. I just began looking at it again yesterday, starting in 1Nephi.

    What I wanted to comment on was this: how “Nephi” always tells the story to give glory to himself. He’s the one that is righteous enough to hear the Lord. He’s the one that is righteous enough to get his family (even his righteous father) to humble themselves. He’s the only one who never falters.

    Leaving the Nephi/JS similarity and true authorship of the BofM aside, what has been given to the LDS as “scripture” in the BofM is distinct from the Bible on these grounds: it promotes self-worship rather than Jesus/God worship.
    In fact, the Lord is seen as secondary to a good man. Case in point: Nephi can get “the Lord” to come visit him whenever he has a question. Kind of like a genie in a lamp.

    Ooooh, the gulf between Mormonism and Christianity, between the Bible and the Mormon scriptures is so great, even with all of the plagiarism and theft of similar language.

    While on this topic, in the BofM, Joseph Smith has stolen several prophecies about Jesus, and applied them to himself. Anybody want a list? I’ll be happy to comment further.

  9. falcon says:

    You’re doing the Mormon thing again regarding interpretation of scripture. I spent a lot of time and several posts explaining what Biblical hermenutics, exegisis and interpretation are and what the basic fundamental principles are in achieving a proper understanding of God’s Word.
    The first three levels of learning are 1) knowledge (to know something) 2) comprehension (understand what the knowledge means and finally 3)application (putting it to work). It appears to me that you are flunking at all three of these basic levels when it comes to the topic at hand. If Mormonism teaches that you have to be baptized to be saved, that’s fine for Mormons. But that’s not what orthodox, Biblical Chrisitanity from the first century on till today teaches.
    Mormonism outside of this world doesn’t exist. So if Mormons want to participate in a religion that has baptism as a requirement for salvation knock yourself out but, it doesn’t work in God’s program in eternity.
    The only reason I keep doing this is for the questioning Mormons who show-up here looking for information but not posting. Because for those Mormons who post here, this is nothing but a merry-go-round. I persevere however for the sake of those who are looking for a way off the sinking ship of Mormonism.

  10. Michael P says:


    I’d love to see such a list…

    In my limited knowledge, I could probably start it, but I’d love to see what you have…

  11. Ralph says:


    I am sorry, but the last half of Mark 16 is an inclusion in the Bible and thus the verses you use about faith and baptism are invalid – I guess the Bible is perfect and without error then.

    As far as faith and/or baptism for salvation, I have said this a number of times – no matter what we do and how much we try and follow the commandment and lifestyle Jesus gave us, without faith in Him first, it will do nothing towardss our salvation. So faith is the most important thins in our salvation. It is our faith that then drives us to do what Jesus wants us to do. So if we o not believe in Jesus then even if we get baptised, it will not ‘save’ us. However, if we have true faith in Jesus, then we would want to do what He ha told us/exemplified for us to do – and one of these things is baptism. If e follow Hiss teachings/command/example then we will be saved. If we don’t follow his teachings/command/example then we will not be saved even though we claim to have faith in Him. That I believe is the premise for Shem’s argument using the verse from Mark 16 about faith AND baptism saves but no faith no saving (regardless of baptismal status).


    Your list of ‘three levels of learning’ are incorrect from a Biblical perspective. First and foremost when it comes to learning from and about God is the Spirit and the understanding it gives to one on spiritual matters. Your first level – knowledge – is inconsistent with the Bible as the Bible says that God will use the unlearned and unknowledgeable in His church to confound the wise and learned (Matt 11:25; 1 Cor 1:27; Isa 44:26; 1 Cor 1:20).

  12. setfree says:

    Hi Michael P

    I’m actually rewriting the BofM for myself to take out any extraneous and distracting language. It’s a depressing project though, so I have to do it in small pieces.

    Are you familiar with the word stats in the JST of Genesis by the way (where JS tries to write himself into the Bible)? Pretty funny stuff.


    In 1Ne 4:13, “the Spirit” says that it’s better for one man to perish than for a nation to dwindle and perish in unbelief. This is to support the “commandment” to kill Laban in order to get the Old Testament and geneology. Of course, those of us who love the Bible understand that the “one man” who needs to perish for “the nation” is Jesus. (Jhn 11:50)

    In 1Nephi 11:30, we see “angels descending upon the children of men”. Which of course, we know is supposed to apply to Jesus (Jhn 1:51)

    In 1Nephi 15:18, JS writes that his bringing forth of the BoM is what is meant when Abraham is told by God that “in your seed, all of the nations of the earth will be blessed”. He says it again in 22:7-9.

    Did you already have all of those? Do you have more?

  13. falcon says:

    As usual you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. If it weren’t for the questioning Mormons that show up here, I wouldn’t even waste my time with you. Your use of Bible verses is, as usual with Mormons, a grab bag of let’s see what we can find and paste it onto a topic. Following your train of thought, we should all stay ignorant, which is basically the Mormon approach. It’s all about “feeling” and “revelation” a couple of things that are easily manipulated by Mormons. It’s all part of the con job started by Joseph Smith and perpetuated by a string of false prophets. The “spirit” you hear from comes out of the occult practices of a religion that attempts to masquerade as Christianity.
    For the lurkers: the Bible tells us to “study ourselves to be approved” and “without knowledge the people perish”. The Bereans searched the scriptures daily to see if these things (that Paul preached) were true. God’s Word is “Spirit breathed” and therefore the knowledge God provides for us comes directly from the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that when the Spirit of truth comes, He will lead us into all truth. On the road to Emmaus, after his ressurrection, Jesus appeared to two disciples, “And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:27)
    The thing that needs to be understood is that the spirit of Mormonism is not the Holy Spirit spoken of in the Bible. What Mormons engage in is “spiritism”. Contacting the dead through temple rituals is just a Mormon seance. So when Mormons talk of following the spirit, the question that must be asked is, “What spirit is that?” It’s obvious from the practices of Mormonism what spiritual force they are tapping into. Surrendering to the spirit of Mormonism will lead to false knowledge, but that’s what (Mormonism) is counting on.
    The bottom line is that Mormonism seeks to keep it’s people ignorant.

  14. falcon says:

    When it comes to defending the faith, Christians need to 1)know the Word of God 2) understand the Word of God 3)be able to apply the Word of God and when the Christian moves to higher order thinking (as we must) they can 4)analyze the Word of God, that is break it down into it’s component parts 5)synthesize those components, that is see relationships between the parts and develop insights and connections in a creative way and finally 5) evaluate; being able to judge and take a measure of Biblical/spiritual information.
    It goes without saying that this process is led by God’s Holy Spirit, the Spirit revealed in the Bible. Proverbs 1:2-6 gives vital information on this topic:
    “To know wisdom and instruction, to discern the sayings of understanding, to receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the naive, to the youth knowledge and discretion, a wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will qcquire wise counsel, to understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles.”
    The writer then turns to God and says in Proverbs 1:23 “Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.” Here we see the proper relationship between the God breathed Word of God and being led by the Holy Spirit. This is critical. Mormonism depends on “feelings” and “revelation” and less on the Word of God. The Word of God is ancillary to the “impressions” that a Mormon is to receive from God. Revelation rules in Mormonism. There is no proper role for the Word of God in testing the spirits.
    Joseph Smith, like all religious charletons, was able to convince people that he was receiving messages directly from God. Looking at Joseph Smith’s personal history we see a foundation that was not dominated by the Spirit of God, but rather he choose a different path with a spirit guide named Moroni.

  15. falcon says:

    Now we know that the spirit that Mormons speak of is not the Holy Spirit of the Bible. In fact Mormons draw a distiction between the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost. We also know that Mormons confuse “feelings” in such a way that the feelings become the spirit. Mormons are conditioned to run away from people, places and materials that cause negative feelings because that means, in Mormon folk lore, that the spirit isn’t there. This effectively keeps Mormons ignorant of any information that would prove Mormonism, the LDS church and/or the prophet as being false.
    There’s another real strangness in the Mormon-spirit connection that my friend Andy/Berean recently explained in a correspondence.
    “One has to understand that Mormonism is all about spiritism-plain and simple. What goes on in the temples is nothing but spiritism which is occultic. The accounts of what is seen and said in the temples by Mormons themselves verify this kind of activity. A book was even written about this entitled “Temple Manifestations” by Joseph Heinerman. I’ve heard the personal accounts from Mormons of their experiences in the temple in addition to hearing of them tell of their superstitions on this side of the veil of what they think is going on with their friends and relatives. Mormons think the veil that separates us from the dead is very thin despite what it says in Luke 16:26 (“great gulf fixed”). They think their relatives, friends or otherwise are hanging around watching everything they are doing. For many Mormons this makes them nervous. Why? It indirectly keeps them in line and keeps them scared in obeying the Mormon law. An example of this would be the Word of Wisdom (dietary restrictions: no coffee, tea, alchohol, tobacco).
    Occultic activity is rampant within Mormonism, but the Mormons don’t realize that it’s actually evil and of the devil.
    (continued on the following post)

  16. falcon says:

    (continued from above)

    They have been snookered into thinking that these visitations and verbal dialogues that are taking place in the temple or otherwise are those of their relatives and them on this side of the veil. For those that have studied occultic activity like this it is well known esspecially from the Bible and theology that what is taking place are fallen angles masquerading as deceased relatives. This is what goes on in seances or in homes that are supposedly haunted by ghosts. People that have left Mormonism have told of relatives appearing to them in dreams or other wise begging them to return to Mormonism. That is why it’s crucial that Mormons who have left be given the true Gospel and accept the true Jesus to pray over this and spiritually rid themselves of this evil activity that was once apart of their lives.”
    So when a Mormon claims that “the spirit” comes before knowledge, we need to understand what spirit they are claiming and how and why that ruse is perpetrated. Mormonism is famous, of course, for drawing on Biblical or Christian terms and vocabulary in order to make someone think that it’s the same. This of course is deceiving.
    1 Timothy 4:1-2 sums up Mormonism quite well: “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron….”
    This perfectly sums up Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophets and Mormonism.

  17. Michael P says:


    I was thinking of two things to get started, and both are way off from where you were. But, I cannot remember the verses, but where in the Bible, they quote a place in the OT where it speaks of two sticks coming together. These sticks are the Bible and the BoM.

    The second is more in line with what Smith said, saying he has done more than Christ.

    But what you post is fascinating stuff, I think. Thanks for sharing, and Smith is not given enough credit for how creative he was.

  18. shematwater says:

    I have given much thought to what I have said in previous posts over the last few days. Much of what I said was unnecessary and probably should not hae been said. I do have a bad temper at times. For this reason I have elected to try and explain what I have said in a more clear fashion for those who did not understand what I meant (and I perfectly understand this, as I could barely make it out reading it again).

    Regarding the question of God’s Exaltation in the Bible. It is not there in explicit terms. No where does it say strait out that God is an exalted man. However, having said this, let me explain my reasoning in giving the refence I did.

    So that there is no misunderstanding, I never thought it was possible to see this in the Bible until a few months ago.

    I believe that I am the literal spirit child of the Father (Heb 12: 9, Acts 17: 29). I also believe that Christ is a spirit child of the Father. I believe Christ was chosen before the foundation of the world to be our savior (Abraham 3: 7). I believe he was the God of the Old Testiment (Ex. 3: 14 and John 8: 58), at which time he was spirit (Ether 3: 16-17). I believe that once he had fulfilled the atonement he was resurrected and exalted (Heb 2: 10 – made perfect, Heb 10: 12 – after the atonement).

    With the assumption that these things are true I was reading in the Bible when I came across the reference given before (John 5: 19). Hving been in contemplation on the doctrine here given, when I read this in John my mind was opened, and I saw that all that Christ has done, his Father has done before him. The logical conclusion came that the Father was once a spirit, he was born into a world, and he has now risen and become exalted. Christ would not have been able to do the same without his Father doing it first.

    This is what I meant when I said from the LDS perspective. Following the assumption that LDS doctrine is true this interpretation is possible.

  19. shematwater says:

    As to baptism and faith, and why both are important.

    First, while it is true that Christ does not say in Mark that you will be condemned without baptism, he does say it is necessary for you to be saved.
    The idea that because he only sites a lack of faith as being condemning that Baptism is not needed is a very lose idea that is not truly in the scriptures.

    I believe Ralph did a good job at explaining this, but I would like to add one this. Know that I am not trying to convince you of anything, nor do I really care what scholars say about how to interpret scripture. I am simply explaining the meaning I see in the verse, and the reasoning behind it.

    So, to understand what I am going to say you must again go on the asumption that LDS doctrine is true, in this case the Degrees of Glory.
    In order to be saved (receive a fullness of the Father’s glory) one needs both baptism and faith. This is in reference to the Celestial Kingdom.
    If you are not baptized you cannot enter this kingdom. However, even if you are baptized, if you do not have the faith you will be damned, or receive only the Telestial Kingdom.
    So, with both you receive the highest. Without faith you receive the lowest. Without baptism you receive the middle, or Terrestial Kingdom.
    Thus faith is the more important of the two, because without it you will drop two degrees, while without baptism you will drop only one.

    While it is not truly as simple as this, this allows those who do not have a full understanding of the LDS doctrine to understand the difference between the importance of these two principles, and how they each effect our salvation.

  20. Michael P says:


    To be fair, it may make sense from an LDS perspective. But that perspective must make some assumptions and some leaps that you cannot find in the Bible. For example, you leave out that God says there are no other gods. That alone throws a huge wrench in your conclusion. If he says that, and he does, then the existence of any other god makes him a liar or a very dumb god, and your conclusion must fail if the Bible is his very word.

    Of course there are more examples, but I hope you understand my point, which is that Mormonism reaches its conclusions without a full understanding of what the Bible actually says. It does not seek to reconcile its entire message but rather pulls out that which supports the assumptions made. Stated a second way, it uses the Bible to prove what it thinks is already true rather than finding truth based on what is actually in it.

    Alas, I doubt this will make a dent in your thoughts, but if you are open minded, it just may.

  21. shematwater says:

    Now, on a final note, I have discovered something about these threads, and the approach most Christians take when learning about the LDS church.

    When you are learning about any philosophy or belief system, the only way to truly understand it is to assume they are right. You start with the simpliest things. You assume these are right, and move on to the more complex ideas. This does not mean you must agree with the philosophy, but you must assume it is right, and reason from there, or you will not understand the concept.
    You take this approach to all philosophies, regardless of what you believe. If you believe you have the truth, this is still the best way to understand other’s beliefs. However, if you are not sure of what is true, this is the only way for you to truly learn what is true.

    Most Christians believe they have the truth, and so are not looking for it. They also seem to believe that if they use this approach when learning about the LDS church they are either spiritually weak, or they are setting themselves up to be deceived by the vile devil worshiping occultists (and yes we have been directly called devilworshipers). As such they approach their study of the LDS church with the assumption that it is all wrong. For this reason they never come to a full understanding of the LDS doctrine as they refuse to let their reason understand it as it was meant to be understood.

    This is not a trap for anyone. It is the simplest and most effective method for finding truth in any study. Even scientists who research the universe start with the assumption they are right.

    As I said before, I find the LDS church to be the least confusing of all religions that I know anything about. This is not because I believe it, but because when I assume that other religions most basic doctrine is true, and then build on it from there, I find that I have too many questions left unanswered.

  22. Michael P says:

    OK, then Shem, do you understand our faith?

    Also, am I right to suggest that your assumption is that the faith that is correct has the least amount of unanswered questions?

    If so, then should we start a list of unanswered questions in Mormonism, like solid proveable evidence there was an apostasy to begin with? Or why Joseph Smith was the chosen one when he had such a close attachment occultic practices? Or why there is so much evidence that links him as a fraud?

    I bet you will argue that these suggestions have answers through the spirit and that the links to JS are twists of hitory and logic. But I would suggest you take your own advise and assume our position is true as you consider the truth.


  23. falcon says:

    Michael P,
    Your phrase “….answers through the spirit” are basically the theme of my posts. When I was posting regarding; knowing, understanding, applying and then analyzing, synthesizing, and finally evaluating, I was talking about a cognitive process; a learning model or a hierarchy of learning. Mormons don’t want to mess with anything like this because it’s academic and intellectual. They want to have feelings, impressions, revelations.
    Now this comes right out of 19th century evangelical Christian revivalism of which Joseph Smith was familiar as a participant. You mix the fervor and emotion of the revial with his practice of folk magic and you end-up with a dangerous combination. Actually he discovered what all religious charletons discover and that is how to manipulate people’s emotions and call it a move of the spirit.
    Smith and his home boys were always having second sight visions (which basically means they saw something in their imagination) and all kinds of spirit appearances and angelic visitations. Smith knew how to use the power of suggestion and persuasion to get people to “see” things in the spirit.
    Being a pentecostal and a consumer of Christian TV, I often tune in revivals and conferences and watch the preachers. They’ve got their theology right most of the time, but their practices (in way too many cases) is just plain emotionalism sold as spiritual experiences. Watchman Nee, the Christian Chinese mystic, talks about this sort of thing in his book “The Latent Power of the Soul”. He’s kind of interesting.
    “In China are fortune-tellers whose feats of prediction are well-known…..They have devoted much time and energy in perfecting their art. And their predictions are amazinly accurate. Buddhists and Taoists have their miraculous performances too. Thouygh evidence of deception is not lacking, apparently supernatural manifestations are undeniable.”
    Mormonism doesn’t claim the Spirit of the Bible, but a different spirit.

  24. Ralph says:

    So Falcon,

    You are Pentacostal. As I said in my first post above, I have a friend who is Pentacostal and they say that their religion/faith/church (whatever you wish to call your denomination/group) openly allows people to have sex before they are married (ie fornication) as long as they are in a ‘committed’ relationship. Now if I remember correctly, the article above mentions that people who teach these kinds of things (ie sexual relations outside of God’s ways) are false teachers.

    This is not the first time I have found out about this, in Finland the Pentacostals also teach/believe the same, which has either rubbed off from or to the Lutheran church in Finland – don’t know which way it goes. The reason I say this last part about Finland is that there was a rumour going round in the general Christian community that the Lutheran church of Finland was going to remove all references to fornication from the Bible because of how many people these days do it and they don’t want to scare people off.

    So wnat is the Pentacostal church in your neck of the woods on this point? Is it just a ‘local’ apostasy that covers Australia and Finland, or is it a cae of you are saved once you believe in Jesus regardless of what you do – as these Pentacostals teach?

  25. falcon says:

    I guess it’s time for me to declare victory and move on to another topic. I can always tell when a Mormon has lost the argument and has nothing left to offer. You’re a pretty funny guy, not very well informed, but funny. Isn’t this usually the point where Mormons run out of substative content, get frustrated and start calling people homosexuals or pornographers?
    Well nice try buddy, but no cigar. You’ll have to try and bait somebody else. I’m declaring victory and moving on.

  26. Andy Watson says:


    It sounds as if your “pentecostal” friend has gotten him/herself caught in some form of a perverted religion and has applied the “pentecostal” label to itself. Titles and names can be very misleading. I was raised in a Pentecostal family and we attended the Assemblies of God church. This is mainstream Christianity with them adhering to speaking in tongues as being relevant today. They also did not believe in eternal security (salvation is secured to the believer for all eternity – Ephesians 4:30). These are not issues to divide over in Christianity. The AG Church believes all that the other mainstream churches do in regards to the nature of God, deity of Christ, salvation by grace through faith, etc. I attend a Southern Baptist church now.

    The AG Church profoundly taught that fornication is a sin as stated in 1 Cor 6:9 right along with adultery. Fornication is named all by itself again in 1 Cor 6:18. Your friend’s church has obviously overlooked these verses and anybody who is thinking seriously about the Bible knows just using common sense that God would not condone fornication. This is a no-brainer.

    When “pentecostals” in the mountains of Appalachia drink strychnine and handle poisonous snakes and focus their entire “worship” service around these events as stated in Mark 16:18 as defense, they are in error as much as the Mormons are for basing a church doctrine around 1 Cor 15:29. Paul was bitten by a viper and unharmed in Acts 28:3-6. Paul wasn’t deliberately looking for it to handle to fulfill Mark 16:18. It just happened and Paul was unharmed and that was in God’s will for Paul at that time.

    As always, people need to test what they are being told by God’s Word – 1 Thes 5:21. Your friend and those in this “pentecostal” church would be well served to reference the verses mentioned above to see if they are in error. They have no excuse just like the Mormons for engaging in religious practices that are condemned in God’s Word – the Bible.

  27. shematwater says:


    Concerning the one God references: First, what is the definition of God. As it is so frequently pointed out by other Christians, we do use an expanded dictionary when it come to defining words.
    Now, I get this from the online dictionary dictionary.reference.com

    1. the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.

    2. one of several deities, esp. a male deity, presiding over some portion of worldly affairs.

    Now, let us consider these two basic definitions. The first (with a capital letter) is the One God, supreme over all things, the creator and ruler. The second (with a lowercase letter) is one of many dieties that have part in existance.
    Thus there is only one God, or supreme being who rules over all the others. But there are many gods who do exist.

    The one God, or supreme being is the Father. In the New Testiment, when speaking of the Father and son in the same sentence, Jesus is never called God. In Mark 1: 24 and Luke 4: 34 he is refered to as the Holy One of God, but not as God. In 1 Corinthians 8: 6 he is called Lord, and not God. In Ephesians 4: 5-6 he is again called Lord, as the Father is God, over the Lord. 1 Timothy 2: 5 calls him the mediator between God and men.

    Now, the Son is God, because he is the leader of this generation, and after the Judgement he will take his role as the Supreme created of the worlds on which our children will live. However, he is only called God when it is only him we are taking about. If we are talking of the Father and him, the Father is God and the Son is Lord.

    Now, Isaiah 43: 10 is the favorite evidence that there are no other gods. So, I would look closely at the text of verses 10-12. He calls himself the LORD in each verse. He calls himself God only in 10 and 12. In verse 11 he doesn’t call himself God, but the savior. So, in this particular reference, as far as I understand it, He is refering to the fact that there is only one savior, which is the LORD.

  28. shematwater says:


    As to the questions you give.

    As to provable evidence, why not prove that Christ rose from the Dead? I do not need provable evidence of the Apostacy to believe in it, just as you do not need provable evidence in the Resurrection to believe in it.

    However, I think the reformation period is proof enough. After all, if there was no apostacy what was the need to reform the church? The reformation is only necessary if you except that the church had become corrupt enough to require a restart. If there was no apostacy we should all be Catholics. This is really all the proof I need to believe what I do.

    As to the rest, the evidence you speak of is so flimsy that it can’t really be called evidence. It is basic assumptions that cannot be proven, or the stories told by men who publically swore to destroy Joseph Smith. Can we really take any of it seriously.
    (I really like the refence to “linking” as it is just another way of saying you really have no proof but you believe it anyway.)

    As to Spiritual answers, I would love to know what is so horrible about receiving a witness from the spirit. Was Peter comended when I said “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Didn’t Jesus answer this with “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt 16: 16)
    Now, those who heard Peterpreaching on the day of Pentacost, when they heard his words “they were pricked in their bheart.” (Acts 2: 37) Seems like a spiritual witness, doesn’t it?
    In Acts 5: 32 we are told that the spirit will also testify to us.
    So, why are the LDS always being ridiculed for trying to attain that which is promised to the faithful, that which Peter was blessed with?

    People receiving answers through the spirit are all through the Bible. What of Elijah and the Still Small voice? Yet you deny this. Well, I will take the witness of the spirit over the learning of men any day.

  29. Michael P says:


    I asked you if you understood our faith. It is clear you do not. I’d also say it is fairly apparent that you do not take seriously God’s own words that there is but one God. Your use of the dictionary to prove your point is creative, but very faulty, especially given the context of our immediate discussion. Here’s why: you say that there are more questions answered under your faith. Here’s one: if there is one supreme being, why don’t you emphasize that? It seems you believe in an endless heirarchy of gods but never seem to settle on what is supreme. I expect you to answer that these other gods don’t matter, but when God says there is only one God and that we are not to worship any other, how do you reconcile that? He knows of no other gods, not one. This is but one reference to that idea.

    Further, in your response you say Jesus, who is not God, is God in the NT. Notice the big “G” you used. Here again, this cannot be if there is only one. This is a serious problem for you, and you have to get very creative to get around it.

    You then make another mistake regarding our faith, which is why I asked if you understand our faith, of course by first assuming it is right to get the understanding. You assume that we think the spirit does not speak to us, and you could not be more wrong. The spirit speaks to us everyday. The difference is that we check what we hear against the written word the spirit left for us. The Bible is God breathed, is it not? The spirit is either God, as we say, or his messenger of sorts, as you say. Why would he not continue to speak, and why should we not rely on what was written by those led by the spirit? We should rely on those words to check on what we think is from a spirit.

    Finally, you, like most Mormons, laugh off evidence of Smith’s actions. But an honest look at the accusations and evidence against him it is very hard to think there is not truth to them.

  30. jackg says:


    I think if you took an honest look at the history of Mormonism, you will find at least one reformation period in its short history; otherwise, you would all still be looking like the FLDS Church, which maintains that they hold true to the teachings of the prophet JS. Going from polygamy to non-polygamy is reformation; going from Adam-god doctrine to NO Adam-god doctrine is reformation. The list goes on and on, but I think these examples are sufficient to prove my point. Hope this helps you, and I truly hope you begin a quest for Truth.


  31. shematwater says:


    No, I do not understand your faith, but I do understand some of it. I know you believe in the witness of the Holy Spirit, but the difference is that you test God by the Bible, and not the Bible by God. You hear the spirit whisper, then you go to the Bible to see if you can find what it said. Thus you rely on your own skills and biases to test what the spirit says.
    The LDS teach us to read the Bible, to study it out, and to decide what we think it means, then to ask God. If we are right he will tell us, and if we are wrong he will tell us. If we are wrong we go back to the Bible and try to figure out where we went wrong.
    I understand the difference, I believe that the method taught by the LDS church is more in line with the prctices of the ancient Prophets and Apostles than that taught by the Main Christian world.

    As to the Capital G when speaking of Christ, as I pointed out, when it is only him we are speaking of we give him that Title, as he will have it in the eternities. However, when speaking of him and the Father together, we do not call him God, but Lord. There is no problem in this.

    As to the Evidence of Joseph Smith, I do not laugh it off. The evidence is very real, and to many it is sufficient for them to reject him. What I am saying is that the nature of the evidence is sufficient for us to accept him. When a man joins a group, and is then kicked out for not abiding by the regulations set forth, are you really going to trust him when he begins speaking out against those he once called friends. I for one will feel highly sceptical about his testimony.
    Now, other evidence, like the “Spalding Manuscript” or Swedenborg is all assumptions. You assume that because these things existed they had a direct influence on Joseph Smith. I do not say that it is not without merit, but I do say it is not true evidence, as you can in no way prove that Joseph actually read (or even could read) these documents.

  32. shematwater says:


    All the evidence I have ever seen (and I have seen wuite abit) is of this nature. Either it is the testimony of men that no honest man would trust, or it is the assumption that things influenced Joseph without any proof.

    As such, to accept this evidence, though very understandable, is not the only logical conclusion that one can come too. To reject the evidence is just as reasonable.


    There was no reformation, only a splintering of apostate groups. The FLDS may claim what they want, but they organized under false authority, so they could not be the original religion taught by Joseph Smith.

    As to the doctrine you claim was changed, I really don’t want to get into that on this particular thread. Both doctrines you mention have been discussed on other threads, and I would suggest you reference those.

    Suffice it to say that I have not seen a change in any doctrine from what Joseph Smith taught, or what was taught by any of the early leaders, therefore no reformation has occured.

  33. Michael P says:

    Shem, no, we are following what scripture says we are to do. Testing what the spirits tell us against the scriptures, not our emotion. You say you come back to the Bible, but you have to add your own texts to prove your point. These texts cannot be holy scripture because they do not align with what the Bible says. The other texts were created to help form a basis for your faith, but even they are not reliable (ie, the D&C on polygamy). These texts only go so far as your emotions lead you, so you are rather led by emotion than by scripture.

    The evidence against Smith is strong, though I do understand why you don’t buy into it and why you minimize it. I would to if I believed like you. But the truth of the matter, such that Smith read a lot and was involved in spiritual matters before he was supposedly visited suggests that he indeed did have access to a lot of information through a nearby library. Also, it is important to look at the historical era in which he lived– one of great spiritual fervor. Finally, you dismiss the folks who spoke out against him, does this include his mother? Or any of a number of respected Mormon leaders? Honestly, I think you underestimate his intelligence and education.

    Big G Christ cannot exist when God says there is only one. He says there were none before, and none after him, so your theory is contradictory. If there is only one, then there is only one. There, logically, cannot be more than one. It is impossible, unless you say that’s not what he meant. And I think I have heard this argument before that what he was talking about was importance and reverence, not numbers. But this is a very shallow interpretation that does not stand to Biblical scrutiny.


  34. Michael P says:


    As to your understanding of our faith. It is clear you really do not understand it, not even close. I appreciate your answer on how we view scripture and how we approach it, but there is much more.

    But this whole idea is a real annoyance for me from Mormons. You expect us to portray your faith accurately but I have yet to see a Mormon accurately portray ours. If you have a standard to apply to yourself, you must apply it to others.

    Quite frankly, I am not surprised you don’t fully get our faith. I am confident you try to portray it accurately. But remember, we sincerely try to portray your faith accurately, too. Of course, we view it differently, because we believe different things, and these things are important to us.

    That brings me to a related point on why we fight. We believe we hold the truth, and that truth is important to everyone, whether or not they get it. We do not say, like you do, that each faith has an element of truth that points to salvation. While we do say each faith has some positive traits, they lack the one way to be saved: Christ and saving power through faith. Any perversion of that belief should be quashed, and any faith that lacks that element is wrong, and we are unequivocal on that point.

    Do not underestimate the importance of this to us. As Paul says, if Christ did not die on the cross and rise again to save us, our faith is worth nothing. And this is what you present: Christ’s triumph over death is not the central part of your faith, but rather a side show. The central part of your faith is obedience to your Christ and faith that he can help you finish what you started. Christ’s role may be big, but the most important part is your effort.

    We cannot stand idly by and ignore this threat. Of course, we must be respectful, and I hope I have been. But standing for the truth is something we are told to do, and we are told it will be difficult, but nonetheless, we must do it.


  35. shematwater says:


    I never claimed to understand your faith, but you do claim to understand mine. I specificly said that this is the knowledge I have. If I am wrong please correct me, and I will acknowledge my error.
    However, I have yet to see anyone speaking against the LDS church to ackowledge an error, even when it is proven to them, which has been done. You continually tell us we do not know our faith when we have explained it very plainly to you. This is my objection.

    As to Christ being the center point of our faith, you are in error here again. You follow the common false premise that if one believes personal wors to be important that person must believe they are more important than Christ’s atonement. This is not true, and never has been. All of it is important, yes, but to different degrees, and if you actually understood our faith you would know this. This is one reason we believe in the degrees of Glory, because of this verying importance.

    To put it simply, because of Christ’s atonement all men will be in one of the Kingdoms of Heaven (excpet those who blaspheme the Holy Ghost). Those who work righteousness will be in the second, while those who also have faith will be in the highest.
    The Atonement is very much central to our faith, as without none of us would have a chance at even the lowest glory of Heaven, but would be in OUter Darkness with Satan throughout eternity. Christ has done what was needed to get us to heaven, which is the most important part, but we must work with him to get us to the highest levels.

    You can claim we downplay the Atonement all you want, but it is not true.

  36. Michael P says:

    Shem, this last post was very interesting. First, you really show the hypocrasy I described by egtting all huffy then very radically misrpresenting another faith.

    You then wrote: “No, I do not understand your faith, but I do understand some of it.” You are saying you understand some of our faith.

    I think you do not understand our intentions, friend. We talk about what you faith looks like from our point of view. What we conclude is from looking at what you believe and applying it to rational thought based on our assumptions. Our assumptions are based on what we find in the Bible and test everything based on the Bible’s own entirety. Of course, we use revelation, but we have discussed this difference in our faiths just earlier.

    Your discussion on the atonement makes no sense, and you really do not get our faith. Christ is central, his death, resurection and mercy to us. Its all about him, that you don’t see that is a large part why do you don’t get our faith.

    Our faith really is that simple. It truly is.

    If you want to know another persons faith, ask them.

  37. Ralph says:


    Interesting statement “If you want to know another persons faith, ask them.”

    If it should be done in that manner then why do many on this site tell us what we believe in instead of asking us and listening to what we say? Why do they say that we are wrong in what we say we believe because they surmise from their reading that the underlying doctrine of our church says differently?

    Yes we can use our own understanding when reading about something we do not understand, but sometimes that is incorrect. I have shown in the past some ‘interpretations’ of the underlying doctrine of your faith that outsiders have and you say that it is wrong, that is not how you believe and then explain how you believe. but when it comes to us LDS you dismiss what we say even when we show you proof that you have misinterpreted it. So why should we listen to or ask you what you believe in if you don’t show us the same curtousy?

    Things can always be ‘interpreted’ further than they should be and that happens many times on this site about the LDS doctrine. Why don’t you listen to us and stop arguing if we say that is not what we believe and it has never been taught and you have just misunderstood/misinterpreted what you have read?

  38. setfree says:


    A good many of us on this site are ex-Mo, so we know how LDS are taught, what they believe (basically), and why. By “basically”, I mean that LDS views vary a lot, but in similar ways and for the same reasons.

    The reason we’re out here attempting to “share our faith” and point out the errors in the LDS faith is because we want all of you to come to know what the Bible really says so that you can experience salvation (eternal life with the Almighty God)and the full life here and now “in Christ”.

    Those of us who left Mormonism to be with Jesus know the difference between what we thought we had in Mormonism compared to what we really have now, and we want you to have Him too.

    Will be praying for you again tonight Ralph.

  39. Ralph says:


    I know there are some ex-LDS on here and that they (including you) have some understanding about the doctrine of the LDS church. I say some understanding because even though I have been in the church for all my life and I have done much reading and studying, I still do not know nor understand all of the doctrine. In saying this, I have in the past written responses to LDS on this site to correct something wrong that they wrote about our church’s beliefs. My question to you is if you see someone misrepresenting the LDS church on this site regardless of whether they are LDS or non-LDS, are you going to stand up and let them know they said the wrong thing? Or are you just going to tell the LDS off because now you believe that we are wrong?

  40. Michael P wrote “But, I cannot remember the verses, but where in the Bible, they quote a place in the OT where it speaks of two sticks coming together.”

    That would be Ezekiel 37:15-28. Please read it.

    When I read it, I find it really, really, really hard not to see the prophesy relating to the reconciliation of two nations; for example Ezekiel 37:22 “one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all”.

    However, Joseph Smith managed to see this text as a prophecy concerning the Bible and the Book of Mormon. He thought the two “sticks” referred to two “books”. It shows you just how good he was at interpreting the Biblical message.

    We’ve covered this in depth on another thread.

  41. jackg says:


    You speak as if you have authority, but your words really ring empty. Either you are in denial or you are purposely misleading others by saying Mormon doctrine has not undergone reformation, which is really a line subtract a line and subtract another line sort of way as opposed to the line upon line concept the Church wants everyone to buy into regarding modern leaders changing what past leaders have said. I think this truly shows that past “prophets” have not been all that “true.” The only possible reason you do not see any change in doctrine is because you have been blinded by the fog of Mormonism, which is why I see you as a victim and in need of prayer–and I am praying for you to be freed from the bondage of Mormonism.


  42. jackg says:

    From yesterday’s “The Daily Bread,” the title of the devotion was “A Donkey in Lion’s Clothing,” and references the last book of Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia,” in which an ape named Shift find’s an old lion’s skin and uses it to disguise himself so he could claim to be Aslan, who is the real king of Narnia. An alliance is formed with the enemies of Narnia to deceive and control the citizens of Narnia. The young king Tirian doesn’t fall for the deception, and with Aslan they defeat the counterfeit lion.

    As a result of studying God’s Word and being filled with the Holy Spirit as a citizen of the Kingdom of God, I can honestly conclude that JS was a counterfeit prophet. Although harsh to the ears of Mormons, I have had to conclude that he was an instrument in the hands of Satan, who is always trying to deceive us and rule over us.

    Recently, Mormons have been attempting to interpret specific passages of Isaiah to try and prove their point, but miss the forest for the trees. They neglect to accept the simple interpretation of Is. 43:10, which is the passage God is using to save Mormons (He used it in my case, as well). Isaiah 14 speaks about Satan: “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, who once laid low the nations! You said in your, ‘I will ascent to heaven and I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit” (12-15).

    Mormonism is founded on the precept that they will make themselves like the Most High and become gods. When God reveals Is. 43:10, He shatters this illusion in a powerful way in order to bring redemption, which demonstrates His amazing love for those enslaved to bondage that leads to an eternity absent of His Divine Presence.


  43. setfree says:

    Are you talking about LDS people believing God could be a sinner, or something else?

    Michael P,
    I’m glad you brought up that verse. That one and the other ‘scripture mastery’, as you well know by now, are just brain-washing devices, right? I mean, once we’ve been made to memorize something with a certain understanding, then once we run into it in our reading, we almost automatically lose track of what we’re reading and try to fit in the explanation. It’s horrible. And it’s wrong.

    I sure have been loving your recent posts. God bless!

  44. Michael P says:

    Ralph, you misunderstand my point, or maybe you just refuse to see it. That’s OK. This forum is certainly against you, and thus you are in a defensive posture. However, the point is simple: if you want to get upset that someone might misrepresent your faith in a radical manner, do not misrepresent others. Rather, stand by your mantra that if you want to understand a faith, ask someone of that faith.

    Certainly, you have to admit that it may be very difficult to understand a faith that you do not buy into, but remember that when you call us out for misrespresenting your faith. Some of are actually former Mormons, others are not. But I think all sincerely try to present Mormonism as it truly is. You may not like that picture, but do not tell us that we are insincere.

    Yours and Shem’s attempts to tell us what are faith is proves the above, because I think you are sincere in how you present our faith. It is a wrong presentation, and really, that’s OK. I don’t expect you to get it. I only find it hypocritical to not want others telling you what you believe and then turn around and tell others what they believe.

    I’ll also quickly respond to your post about calling out those who misrepresent your faith, even as a non-Mo. For me, it is difficult to know what is a misrepresentation, because you do not have a single standard, and your beliefs are all over the place. If I see something I know to be out of bounds, I will correct, but defining that is tough. Hope that makes sense…

    Martin and Set-Free– thanks for reminding me of that verse and the discussion. I do think Mormons ofen get very creative to reconcile their book using the Bible…

  45. Ralph says:

    Gee, don’t know what happened in my last post to change the text like that. Sorry for any inconveniences.


    I am talking about anything in general. If you see someone (especially a non-LDS) say something wrong about the LDS church, will you rectify it according to your knowledge of our church? And since you are an ex-member, you should know whata is a correct representation and what isn’t.


    I do make inflammatory comments now and then about the Traditional Christian beliefs based on things I have read and found out about your faith, and I usually give the qoutes or references – its nothing more or less than what most do on this site. Then I accept the comments as they come in. This does a couple of things, but mainly it helps me to understand what you think/believe.

    For instance the teachings and quote I have from Martin Luther where he says that when one believes in Jesus they can commit hundreds of murders and adulteries a day but will never lose their salvation. Most here argue that he was just using hyperbole or strong language to make a point that we are saved by faith WITHOUT works. OK, that’s fine, but the way he said it it sounds more like we are saved through faith DESPITE our works – big difference.

    But when it comes to the LDS and our explanations, most of you throw it out the window and just accept your own thoughts/prejudices as fact. I wont give examples as it will just bring up another ‘argument’ that has happened many times in the past.

  46. Michael P says:


    I disagree on the comparison, because when your past leaders say something directly concerning salvation, then that speaks volumes. Adam/God for instance. That was said with the affirmation that salvation depends on it. Check out the sermon. Same thing with polygamy. The list can go on and on about these items, and when they are brought up, they are very much dismissed by LDS. But they are said unequivocally! Sorry, but when your leaders speak they speak with an authority about your faith that Luther does not have in ours.

    I am not familiar with the quote by Luther but I would agree with him, quite frankly. Now, I would guess that person really did not believe, but in the event he did, then he would be saved. We cannot read hearts, but we can trust God to save us if we believe even if we sin afterwards. I could go on, as there is much to talk about on the issue of sinning post salvation. But to say it short, once we believe, we are given full freedom to do whatever we want and not lose it, but there are far more reasons why we shouldn’t. For instance, when we sin, we harm our witness, we harm God’s image to the non-believing public (which is what you use Luther’s quote for), we harm other believers by tempting them to sin, we bring down God’s kingdom on earth, among other reasons not to sin.

    But, we are saved depsite our works, not only without our words. I believe it is a matter of the heart fully.


  47. shematwater says:


    Please show me where I was wrong, as I asked. I never said you do not believe in revelation, only that you put it in a different place than the LDS. What I said was that to the LDS revelation was there the confirm the Bible, while to the rest of Christianity the Bible is there to confirm revelation. There is a large difference between the two approaches. Please explain to me how this is wrong, as it is what many people have told me in conversation.
    I am perfectly willing to admit my understanding is wrong, but youwill have to show me the truth about it is before I can do that.

    As to changing doctrine, again, this has never happened. People can claim it all they want, but it is not true.
    For example, Polygamy: This was practiced in the Early church, and no longer is. Obviously a change in doctrine.
    Yet, in the Book of Mormon, book of Jacob, Chapter two, verse thirty, it tells us “For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.” So, God has already proscribed that only at certain times, when it is deemed necessary by him, shall this law be practiced. As such, for him to comand the ending of it when he did does not change the doctrine of Plural Marriage, but works within the doctrine.

    The same can be shown for most claims to changed doctrine. Those that this cannot be shown for where never doctrine, but misinterpretations spread by those unlearned in the way of the Lord.

    Thus, I will always hold that, although practices may change, the doctrine on which they are based has not, and never will.

    (There was a great discussion on the falsity of the whole “Adam/God theory” on a previous thread if you care to look it up. I would be willing to go into it again, but only on a person basis, as I am in no mood to go into it agian with dozens of people at the same time.)

  48. Michael P says:

    Shem, you contradict yourself in the same paragraph. Of course, you do it by saying that the cdonstant is that it is OK for you to change doctrine, and that this has been true. But nonetheless, you change doctrine. Whether the changes are OK according to your faith does not negate that the changes occur. And be careful with the words you use, b/c later you say that the doctrines are just practices.

    And this OK to change doctrine comes from the “revealed” source, not the Bible. So, based on a Biblical attempt to review this belief, we would look at the Bible to confirm what is said in the BoM. And I know of no verse that allows such drastic and free flowing change of doctrine in the Bible. The best I can think of is the shift in covenants, ie Abraham to Christ and the like. But even there, a careful study shows that all the OT points to Christ and the New Covenant. The change in doctrine is just not there.

    So, following the Biblical example, taking your Book of Jacob Example and your interpretation of that, we would take that verse and put it with the Bible. It fails.

    In the end, I do not mind you misrepresenting our faith, but just as you say you are perfectly willing to admit a wrong understanding, so are we, but we must be prven wrong Biblically. And this standard takes on a view of the entire thing and is the result of careful study. Picking verses and ignoring others will not do. Our standard is high.

    Again, I do not get huffy that you get our faith wrong. I do get huffy that you get our faith wrong and then complain when we get yours wrong. This is a double standard, and I just hope that you apply the same standards to everyone.

    Adam/God, I am familiar with several arguments you present for it, and do not wish to rehash. I only use it as an example of how your past leaders are recorded as saying something that you have since backed away from.

  49. Ralph says:


    If you say that we are saved DESPITE what we do then you are presenting something different to what I have understood from other Christians who say we are saved WITHOUT works. If you have a ‘DESPITE what we do’ ideology then one can be a faithful homosexual, adulterer, fornicator, murderer, etc and still be saved, which we know is not true (Gal 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:3-4, 1 John 3:15). Where as most Christians I talk to say that once ‘saved’ our lives are changed so we do not want to do evil and this brings about good works by following Jesus commands/example. Without the manifestation of these works it proves the person did not have real faith and thus was not saved. That is ‘saved without works’. The works are a manifestation of faith and without the works the person was not saved. Thus one cannot be saved ‘DESPITE’ their works in this scenario as without the good works it shows they did not have true faith and thus were not saved.

    As for Martin Luther, I know you prescribe to a church without authority figures and also without authority.

  50. setfree says:


    (It’s good to see you understand salvation by grace.)

    “I know you prescribe to a church without authority figures and also without authority.”

    (see the following)


    All of the following is from an ex-Freemason:

    “…Freemasonry claims to be the repository for the Keys necessary to enter into that Grand Lodge Above, where God dwells. To be admitted, you must join the Brotherhood, learn the secrets of Freemasonry (the secret handshakes, secret tokens, and secret words), and become more and more virtuous. These qualifications have to do with a person becoming worthy of heaven by virtue of his own efforts…”

    “…Belief in the false god of Freemasonry and participation in its “secret” ceremonies causes most Masons to reject or be hostile toward those who preach the real Jesus of the Bible and His free gift of salvation. By their actions, they have “black-balled” Jesus from the Masonic lodge…”

    “…I believe that Masonry has many nice people who believe that they are going to Heaven because they have learned the Keys of Freemasonry, and haven’t done anything major wrong. They have good morals, high virtues, and believe in family values. They have been taught by Masonry that they will go to the same place as their Christian “Brothers.” Masonry misleads well-meaning people into the mistaken belief that anyone can make it to Heaven without Jesus Christ…”

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