The ‘Careful Finagling’ of Repentance

I read an article about repentance in the August 2009 Ensign magazine. “Mending Quilts, Mending Lives” illustrates the idea of repentance in a story about a damaged quilt.

While making a quilt, one of the quilters accidentally put a hole in the fabric when she carelessly handled a pair of scissors. The author wrote,

“We were all upset and knew the quilt was ruined. I remember my grandmother telling us not to worry because with iron-on tape and some careful ‘finagling’ she would be able to make the hole almost invisible. Sure enough, she fixed it, and although a patch now covered the unsightly hole, we had to look closely to find it” (page 16).

As the story unfolded, 37 years later the author of the Ensign article decided to use the quilt in a Young Women’s meeting to teach about life and repentance. When she looked for the patch that had repaired the quilt, she could not find it. She wrote,

“Then I was reminded of the words in Doctrine and Covenants 58:42: ‘Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.’ I knew what I needed to share with the young women… Just as I had been unable to find the patch in the quilt, so it is with our lives–if we truly repent, it can be as if a sin had not been committed and even the Lord will remember it no more” (page 17).

As I read this, it made me think a bit about the Mormon perspective and teaching on repentance. The words that follow the Doctrine and Covenants passage that the author quoted (D&C 58:43) explains what it is (in Mormonism) to “truly repent.”

“By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins–behold, he will confess them and forsake them.”

The LDS pamphlet “Repentance Brings Forgiveness” clarifies the Mormon position on this:

“Abandonment of Sin…The forsaking of sin must be a permanent one. True repentance does not permit making the same mistake again.”

Because, if sin is not permanently abandoned, the former sins return:

“And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God” (Doctrine and Covenants 82:7).

It has been taught that,

“We also have to forsake the sin and never to repeat it not even in our minds. …In order to remain forgiven we must never commit the sin again” (Mormon Missionary Discussion F, Uniform System for Teaching Families. 1981, pp. 35-36).


“Those who receive forgiveness and then repeat the sin are held
accountable for their former sins” (Gospel Principles, 1997, page 253).

So if the quilt in the Ensign story represented a real life, it would not have one patched tear in the fabric, but hundreds — maybe thousands. There would be patches upon patches upon patches. Indeed, there might be more patches than quilt!

And herein lies the problem with Mormonism’s impossible promises of forgiveness and cleansing. In real life, relying on what Mormonism says God requires for “true repentance,” it can never be. The frequency and depth of our sin is more than can ever be patched and repaired.

The Bible presents God’s forgiveness this way:

“He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:10-12).

God does not patch us up and send us on our way to see how well we’ll do. Instead, this is what He does for us:

“[I]f anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).

God does not merely repair our sin-torn souls. He reweaves the fabric of our lives, replacing the beat up, stained and battered cloth with a beautiful new quilt of His own design.

About Sharon Lindbloom

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

173 Responses to The ‘Careful Finagling’ of Repentance

  1. Michael P says:

    Ahh, Mosser and Owen. This article is very popular with Mormons and I understand why. However, what is often overlooked is that these two have written books on why Mormonism is wrong, and even have done so after that comment. The article does little to enhance their cause, though it is a bit of a rallying call.

  2. shelli says:

    Jason, You quote theses guys and tell Rick to look into them. Funny how you dodge questions like crazy, are you this dis-honest on your website?

    Since you are so dis-honest, how can we trust you to lead us to the truth?

  3. setfree says:

    nice to meet you. i’ve had a chance to look in on Jason’s website, and so far from what I’ve seen, I’d have to answer, yes, he is.

    I just read the Mosser and Owen article myself. I appreciate that there are people like them who want to spend this much time digging into all Mormon apologetics. There certainly are lots of Mormons out there trying to trail down some small ounce of proof about their religion…

    But Michael P is right, Mosser and Owen weren’t saying Mormonism is true, they were still calling it a cult. They just said y’all are spending lots of time and energy and money trying to validate your particular worldview, and that many ev’s aren’t aware of how far many Mormons have gone to try to scrape up some help.

    It’s really sad, to me, because the evidence FOR Mormonism is soooooo hard to find and so far far away and in the end, not concrete… whereas the evidence against is so easy to see, easy to find, overwhelming and stacked to the roof.

    A hopeful thing I see happening is that with folks like Mosser and Owen on the case, and so much LDS scholarship pursuing the matter, is eventually there will be more LDS scholars out there saying “sorry guys, we tried, but it’s just not true”.

  4. setfree says:

    I was just thinking a little more on the Mosser/Owen ev rally call.

    What’s truly a shame is that these Mormons who are trying to trace any teensy thing back to the middle of nowhere to prove that they’re in the right religion… is that they could be using their time to track down God/Jesus, and see how wonderful He is.

    Those of us who come out here and argue the ideas are here because we love you Mormons, and want to see you freed from the cult and safe in Christ.
    It’s not a happy place to be. We are sacrificing personal time with Jesus to help you.

    And you think it’s a HAMMER that some ev’s want more ev’s to get on the Mormon task! Hardly! It’s a heart-pain, an ache for you guys that drives people like Mosser and Owen to read all that stuff the “scholars” write. We’re not worried about being outdone. We’re worried that you guys may never find your way out!

    I could hope that all LDS would read all their own “scholarly” work, to see for themselves what the conclusions are.

    But I would more hope that the big issues, all the big problems that have already been brought up, would convince the LDS to get studying the Bible, and get more of God/Jesus going on in their lives, instead of hanging on to a church that is clinging to the edge with their fingernails…

  5. shelli says:

    It is really rare I reply here, but as far as Jason goes, it’s really sad that he quotes Christians like Owen and Mosser, yet does not spend as much time reading the Bible.

    I also cannot understand how people like Jason can say our God is this or that, or we cannot understand the Bible, but yet people like Jason are so very dis-honest and dodge questions and throw up smoke screens.

    Makes you wonder, did they read Miracle of forgiveness or like Rick posted, the 14 fundamentals or the BoM for that fact?

    It’s gotta be hard to lie so often and try and keep everything straight. How can LDS lie so often then go to the temple or even try and share Christ with people?

  6. Enki says:

    “On the one hand it could be something like sleep/dream paralysis (which I’ve had myself-having a sleep disorder) or it could be a demonic presence.”

    Well, it did happen when I was in a very, very deep sleep. But it was particularly vivid. I have told my housemate, and he thinks it was just the result of stress from being unemployed for awhile last year. I am unemployed again, but nothing like that has happened again. Its not as quite as stressful this time around because the complete circumstances are entirely different. I honestly thought that I would never be employed again ever. This time I am much more confident that employment will eventually happen.

    About twenty years ago I had another strange happening. I remember reading the account of Jacob wrestling with an angel, and the story just gripped me so much. I thought ‘curious’. And then a few nights later I woke up feeling like there was someone on top of me, but as I woke up the influence just left me. It felt so crushing. But I swear I heard and felt the bed and mattress lift up, as if a person had jumped off the bed. It was only me in my dorm room. Its totally possible its a sleep disorder, and people experience various distortions in the dream state or semi-waking state. As someone mentioned before, maybe this isn’t the greastest place to write about it. Its kind of got me spooked.

  7. Enki says:

    Well, my experiences with the monotheistic faiths have not always been good ones. In fact I have recieved some pretty major psychological trauma from people believing in the monotheistic faiths. I used to think that it was a result of them not understanding their religion, but now I think it was ‘reasonable’ behavior given what they believe in. I say ‘reasonable’ because I would have thought that being caring and compassionate would be a higher value than trying to enforce compliance.

    I have heard some strange screetching and howling sounds in a church just before they started to speak in tounges. It sounded a little bit like wind, and perhaps some voices. I told some people this in a ministry years ago. They were excited and amazed that I heard ‘the holy ghost’. I was just really, really taken aback, because I was trying to tell them I found it scary and uncomfortable.

    Someone on this board suggested a webpage sometime back “jesus is lord”. That was some freaky webpage. I especially didn’t like all the focus on the negative, and the fearmongering. A recording of people in hell? I am SO glad I didn’t open that link to listen. But just seeing the flattened dark images that looked like someone ran over. I had some fitful sleep after spending sometime at that webpage. It seemed like the person made that webpage to harm others.

    Later that week, I was working on the roof, and still wrapped up mentally about the webpage, I found myself almost walking off the roof. I caught myself just in time to keep that from happening. The REALLY freaky part was that the next day a woman was walking near where I was working fell from a standing position. She sustained a compound fracture. I didn’t see her, but people who saw her and took care of her said that her broken leg looked ‘weird’, like she fell from a much higher distance. This type of thing makes me feel uncomfortable. It could mean nothing, but it is an incredible coincidence.

  8. Enki wrote “In fact I have recieved some pretty major psychological trauma from people believing in the monotheistic faiths. I used to think that it was a result of them not understanding their religion, but now I think it was ‘reasonable’ behavior given what they believe in. I say ‘reasonable’ because I would have thought that being caring and compassionate would be a higher value than trying to enforce compliance.”


    I’ve heard stories like yours from a number of people, and every time I hear it I get upset.

    The thing is, you’re absolutely right in one respect; being caring and compassionate should be of higher value than enforcing compliance.

    However, you’re absolutely wrong in another respect; the urge to get other people to comply does come from a distorted view of the Christian Gospel. What I mean is, this urge often stands on the premise that we need to comply with some sort of behavioral standard before we can experience God’s love. This is the opposite to the Gospel that says God loves us and redeems us first. Behavioral modification comes as a result of this redemption; it is an outcome of redemption, it is not its cause.

    In other words, nobody pre-qualifies for God’s love, just as nobody is disqualified from it. Theologically, its a faith-works issue, but its this latter point that more accurately diagnoses a works-based, rather than a faith-based, worldview, in my opinion.

    I may be in a minority, but the way I see it is this; how I respond to God’s love is up to me, but how I behave towards others in a God’s-love sort of way is not up to me. His love towards us is a love of un-modulated generosity, patience, benevolence, integrity and honesty, regardless of whether we think we deserve it or not. And that kind of love is what should frame our relationships with others.

    The next time someone tries to modify your behaviors, or even if you try to modify theirs, ask this question; are you doing it for their benefit, or for yours? Qui bono?

  9. Rick B says:

    Jason, you false prophet and sheep killer, You run away from the questions?

    Even if you reply to me here, can you tell everyone in your own words why you run from honest questions and cannot answer them? I’m not the only one to point this out. You wolf. Rick b

  10. Jason Rae says:

    Michael, I am aware of their other works as well as “New Mormon Challenge” but none of that lessens the sobering conclusions of their groundbreaking paper which btw remains true today. The evs are still doing a sloppy job of answering LDS apologetic or in many case they don’t even answer at all.


    shelli, there is no dodging as you say but rather we only get six posts per session and must choose carefully what to respond to etc. Would be far easier to answer all questions if there were no limits not to mention the myriad topics that pop up in the dialog. It’s not possible to get them all all the time.

    I answered one of David’s core questions, what other specific questions do you want me to answer?


    Rick aka ‘the hammer’, see the comment to shelli, but what specific questions do you want me to answer? There are few topics that I do not discuss publicly but most everything is fair game.

  11. Michael P says:

    Jason, do you care to list or cite the items Christian community has failed to answer?

    It is interesting to see how you say you have answered all questions/statement when you haven’t. You aren’t the only one, though. Hank has done this quite a bit.

    I’ll give you guys a benefit of the doubt here and say that you think you are answering. But you really are not because you reply in a way that avoids the heart of the question. This way you can say you have answered, but its a politician’s answer, which is really no answer at all.

    Or maybe you just don’t get the question because the it is so foreign to your thinking. Or maybe you are just so in tune with Mormon thinking you cannot answer in any other way.

    I don’t know the why, but I do know that you dodge the questions.

    Actually, the desire to focus on Mosser/Owen is a good example, because they are not on your side. And the “admission” you are focusing on is at best to your side that Christians need to get past some old and basic stereotypes of Mormonism because Mormons are explaining them better. They are not saying Mormons are right or that Christians are wrong. Your focus on it is a rallying call and that’s it. It gives you a false hope because you now think you are “winning the war”. You’re not winning, yet you still use this article even though the above truths are brought forth.

  12. Jason Rae says:

    Michael, I fully understand the position of Mosser/Owen. They are not pro-LDS etc. That’s obvious.

    ” Jason, do you care to list or cite the items Christian community has failed to answer? ”

    Are you joking?? Read the paper. Or how bout you spend a few days at BYU talking with LDS apologists like they did? This isn’t armchair research and the results are sobering to the amateur critics especially on this board.

    Michael: “A third conclusion we have come to is that currently there are, as far as we are aware, no books from an evangelical perspective that responsibily interact with contemporary LDS scholarly and apologetic writings.

    No books.

    In a survey of twenty recent evangelical books criticizing Mormonism we found that none interact with this growing body of literature.

    The evs are inept.

    Only a handful demonstrate any awareness of pertinent works. Many of the authors promote criticisms that have long been refuted; some are sensationalistic while others are simply ridiculous.

    Insert Falcon and Rick B. here.

    A number of these books claim to be “the definitive” book on the matter. That they make no attempt to interact with contemporary LDS scholarship is a stain upon the authors’ integrity and causes one to wonder about their credibility.

    So all those zanti books on your shelf? Toss em. Useless. So who Michael isn’t answering the questions??

    Seriously, just read the paper and take up any one issue say “Textual Evidences for the Book of Mormon” or King Benjamin’s coronation and address it. But their paper is just scratching the surface.

    The funny thing is Mosser/Owen to great lengths to point that you guys are losing the battle and you do not know it. And wow, how true that is.

    The Wolf

  13. Michael P says:


    Just read the paper? What paper? I have read the article, and know what it says, is that what you are referring to?

    See, you use it as something it is not: a defense of Mormonism. Saying that Mormons have gotten more sophisticated says nothing except you’ve gotten more skillful in presenting your gospel. It certainly does not make it right, and that is my charge. And yes, you did not address it except to say you know they are not friends.

    A few thoughts stemming from this discussion, if the scholarship is so good: why hasn’t any one substantial, Christian or not, offered support for LDS scholarship?

    Why haven’t your leaders embraced it and made a point of teaching everyone about it?

    Do not confuse a couple of Christians opinion as authoritative. Certainly, we should not dismiss it as hooey, but it does not necessarilly mean they are right or that we have to follow it.

    In short, do not take too much from this article, because it just is not there. Unless you are prepared to give a list as I asked before.

  14. Jason Rae says:

    Michael, I think it’s up to each person to interpret the paper however they want. I respect Mosser & Owen as scholars of high caliber even though their stance is against the BoM. As well, I’ve heard of evs reading their article and looking into LDS claims deeper and converting. It’s really up to each individual isn’t it?

    And now a few words from Satan:

    ” And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out. ”

    The Wolf

  15. Rick B says:

    Jason, You lie so much I dont think I can trust honest answers from you.

    Let see here, Questions you avoided.

    Hell: If it is not the burning place the Bible says, why Did Jesus speak about it as such, and the apostles, And the reference from the Book of Revelation?

    Your Prophets cannot agree, and they claim to speak for God and no one else can, Yet you guys claim they are wrong on many subjects, even if you go about disagreeing in a round about way, Why is that.

    Why are you so dis-honest, I know you will say your not. Above you said very few topics you wont talk about in public, but that is the first time you said that. People accuse you of dodging questions and lying, but I do not see you providing us the evidence to show how were wrong.

    I’m sure others can provide stuff, but I think thats enough to work with for now. Wolf Hunter.

  16. Jason Rae says:

    Wolf Hunter, I did answer: metaphor. The 91st Psalm says:

    “He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you shall take refuge.”

    So you think God is a chicken? (I guess with the evs that’s a real possibility)

    The bible is filled with metaphor, usually to make a point. Hell is real and not a state anyone would want to be in but God doesn’t open the gate to the fire pits and shove 14 year old girls in. That’s retarded.

    Wolf Hunter Slayer

  17. Ralph says:

    I’m a little perplexed. I thought we worked out ages ago I was the wolf! 😛

    RickB, do we now need to change your name to ‘Peter’? 🙂

  18. Jason Rae says:

    ” Your Prophets cannot agree, and they claim to speak for God and no one else can, Yet you guys claim they are wrong on many subjects, even if you go about disagreeing in a round about way, Why is that. ”

    Correction Rick, they claim to be the ones authorized to receive revelation for the church not for individual members. Members can and often do receive personal revelation pertaining to their own family and life.

    Also, some laws were given by earlier prophets JS/BY that were eventually rescinded. You may remember the Higher Law of Moses that was replaced by the Lesser Law of carnal commandments.

    ” The first set of tablets Moses brought down from the mount contained The Higher Law. This Higher Law contained part of the fullness of the gospel. This law was replaced by a Lesser Law called the law of carnal commandments, because the people had forgotten their God and worshiped a golden calf while Moses was upon the mount. God also took away the High Priesthood and gave them a lesser priesthood which was named after Aaron, the brother of Moses, hereafter know as The Aaronic Priesthood. – ”

    Were you not aware of the Higher Law being rescinded? In a similar vein there are things the church cannot teach and/or practice today for a variety of reasons. You should be capable of realizing that there is precedent for such activities done in God’s name.

  19. Enki says:

    If only more people felt the way you do. How could so many people believe directly opposite? This is obviously something promoted in the LDS faith that you cannot receive ‘salvation’ without works and being ‘worthy’. It is a very difficult and failing proposition, and abusive to varying degrees.

    What about on the physical plane? There does seem to be some amount of truth to LDS ideas about physical laws. For example the W.O.W. Anyones general lifestyle does make a difference on how healthy you are, although some of the most interesting discoveries about orac values do not agree with LDS dietary rules. (for example whole ground white tea has the highest orac value of any food or beverage known) In chinese medicine alcohol is an accepted medium for extracting components of herbs, and is felt to make them more enjoyable to consume, and thus greater benefit. The way the W.O.W. was written sounded like it was just good advice, but its now part of the requirements for entering the LDS temple. These rules and anything similiar, are they then just rejected by christians as having nothing to do with salvation, as far as they are works?

    Getting back to the general topic of the thread, I don’t understand the purpose of ‘repentance’ if one is already ‘saved’. In the evangelical christian idea, isn’t the idea of being saved sort of like ‘opting in’.(visualize filling in a check box ‘yes’ when someone says the salvation prayer) In the LDS idea, its more like everyone is ‘saved’, and the only truely dammed are those that ‘opt out’, that actively go against the LDS faith, and perhaps christianity in general? Its a bit of a simplification, as not opting out is probably going to get someone to the terrestial or telestial kingdom, and one has to ‘opt in’ to obtain the celestial kingdom. Is this a fair generalization of both points of view? Its been about 20 years since regularly attended church services.

  20. Enki says:

    Jason Rae,
    Some fundementalists point out that references to god with a human form are also metaphorical.

    D&C 19 states that ‘eternal punishment is gods punishment, endless punishment is gods punishment.”

    D&C 76 describes at length the desinations of various people in the afterlife according to their level of knowledge, and their degree of conformation to that knowledge.(works) Everyone is ‘saved’ except those that specifically ‘opt out’, and LDS scripture is specific in stating that god is active in peoples placement in particular ‘degrees of glory’.

    Jain philosophy is entirely different from Christian and Mormon philosophy, but its worthy of a comparision. How I understand it is that their law of karma is unbending.Your deeds determine your fate after you die. There is no god to assist, no god to place you in ‘hell’, you must work out the karma on your own in this life, or many lives after you die. Its perhaps an oversimplification. Do you believe that its only you that determine your fate, simliar to this. (without the reincarnation)

  21. Enki wrote “I don’t understand the purpose of ‘repentance’ if one is already ’saved’.”

    Great question.

    I’ve used this analogy before, and I ask for your indulgence as I repeat it.

    Its rather like the difference between becoming an American citizen and living according to American law. The Biblical equivalent is crossing the Jordan into the Land, and living according to the law of the Land.

    In being ‘saved’, we’ve got to be ‘saved’ from something. In Christian terms, this is being saved from the wrath of God. Again the Biblical analogy is God pouring His wrath out on Egypt, which means that we’ve got to escape from Egypt to escape the judgement.

    Repenting is more than just acknowledging sin and saying ‘sorry’. Its not less than that, but the Biblical idea carries a whole change of orientation and direction. Its a ‘metanoia’, or a change of mindset, so that we no longer live as if something other than God was ruling our lives (Rom 6:13).

    If I become an American citizen and live in America, I drive on the right hand side of the road. That’s because its the American law. I don’t drive on the left hand side of the road, like we do here in Australia, because I am no longer living in Australia. Its a trivial example, but I hope you see the point; that we no longer live as if we were not living in the Kingdom. To do so would be inappropriate at best, and treasonable at worst. See Romans 6.

    However, its not quite as cut and dried as my analogy suggests. Repentance is both part of what it means to enter the Kingdom, and part of what it means to live in it. In other words, I think we live in the Kingdom when our behavours and actions align with the rule of the Kingdom.

    If you want to know what that this rule looks like, you can see it perfectly expressed in the person of Jesus. His rule is very, very different from what we think ruling means (for example, Matt 20:25-28).

  22. Enki says:

    Jason Rae,
    Sorry, the previous post did not include quotes from your previous post. I hope it makes sense.

    A point of interest, I will as time permits do some research into parallels between the law of moses and other scriptures of cultures. Some have suggested that Biblical stories, laws, and codes have been lifted and corrupted from other sources. I don’t exactly expect that many other people here will look much into these. And I am not versed enough to pull commentary for most topics here, thats for sure!

    The Code of Hammurabi is said to be the inspiration for the ten commandments. Other codes have parallels to other aspects in the ‘torah’ and writings in the o.t. The Sumerian Code,The Hittite Code, The Middle Assyrian Code,The Neo-Babylonian Code, The Words of Ahiqar, The Teachings of Amen-em-opet,The Teachings of Ptah-Hotep. Well…that would be a LOT of reading to confirm any likeness for oneself!

    Where does this this higher law and carnal law thing happen with moses? I thought it would be interesting to read. The BOM states that the Nephites kept the law of Moses while believing in Christ. First is there any evidence at all that anyone in the new world knew of the law of moses. Second question is for an evangelical christian, does this statement make sense?

  23. Rick B says:

    You are a wolf, and the Bible speaks of more than one wolf, so no I am not pulling a peter.

    Jason, Again Good dodge, you sure your not a dodge ball player. You bring up Psalms, but that does not prove your point on Hell. You cannot or will not tell me why Jesus spoke of Hell and mentioned the Rich man being tormented and speaking about wanting his brothers to avoid this place if it was not real.

    Plus Jesus makes Hell out to be real Fire by saying

    Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

    Jason said

    Correction Rick, they claim to be the ones authorized to receive revelation for the church

    Compare to the Prophet who said

    First: The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.

    BY said Adam IS GOD, And our salvation hangs upon that fact, yet LDS deny he taught that or claim it was false, YET

    Fourth: The prophet will never lead the Church astray.

    According to the Prophet, the Prophet speaks for the LORD in EVERYTHING, Adam God, Yet the prophet cannot lead the church Astray, Again Adam God.

    The prophet said

    Sixth: The prophet does not have to say “Thus saith the Lord” to give us scripture.

    Great dodge here by the prophet, this way the prophet can teach false things like Adam God, and you guys can claim, well he never said God told him that, or teach other lies like Plural wives and say, thats of God. Gotta love the LDS Prophets. Rick b

  24. Ralph says:


    I was just referring back to the conversation about what my name means. Ralph = wolf.

    The reason I called you ‘Peter’ has nothing to do with the Bible but ‘Peter and the Wolf’, as Peter was a wolf hunter.

    Now your push for “First: The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.” meaning our personal lives as well is fruitless. You need to look at the full context of our church and see how it is interpreted by the members understanding. We teach that the Prophet is the only one who receives revelation from God for the whole church. No one else can receive it. However we teach that we all receive revelation about our own stewardships – eg callings, family, personal issues, work, etc. No one else can receive revelation for those spheres of stewardship. The Prophet can receive a revelation that is directed at one person only about what God wants them to do, but in general, the Prophet only gains revelation for the church. It is up to the individual to listen to the Prophet and incorporate his teachings into their lives using the principle of personal revelation. But you will most likely find that most of what the Prophet says is already in the lives of the members.

    We have discussed Adam/God many times and you do not wish to accept any of the LDS proposals of what is possibly meant, you just want to keep bashing away with your own interpretation – so that’s your problem there not mine any more.

  25. Enki wrote “Some have suggested that Biblical stories, laws, and codes have been lifted and corrupted from other sources. I don’t exactly expect that many other people here will look much into these…The Code of Hammurabi is said to be the inspiration for the ten commandments. Other codes have parallels…”

    Actually, you’ll find there’s much scholarship on ancient texts, a fair amount of which is undertaken by Christians and of interest to Christians.

    One theme that is frequented more that you might expect is the similarity of structure between the Suzerain Treaties and the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20 etc).

    Again, Enki, you are right in one respect; the language and literary forms of the OT reflect much of the language and literary forms of the surrounding cultures. I suggest that its not the form that makes the OT special, it is its perspective, especially the perspective that YHWH of Israel is not just a tribal deity but the Lord of ALL creation.

    Another example, would be the comparison between the flood narrative of Gen 7-9 with the tale of Utnapishtim in the Gilgamesh Epic. The mechanics of the stories are strikingly similar, but the view of heaven that each present could not possibly be further apart. Whereas Gilgamesh describes the gods ‘cowering like dogs against the outer wall’ at the flood, the Genesis describes God as commanding the flood and ‘remembering’ Noah (Gen 8:1 – the verse at the crux of the chiasm).


    “The BOM states that the Nephites kept the law of Moses while believing in Christ. First is there any evidence at all that anyone in the new world knew of the law of moses. Second question is for an evangelical christian, does this statement make sense?”

    No, there’s no evidence of ancient New World knowledge of the law of Moses.

    And, speaking as an Ev, Yes, it makes perfect sense. The BoM borrows Biblical language as an attempt to equate itself with the Bible. However, though the language might sound Biblical, its perspective is not.

  26. Jason & All,

    Did you see the date on that paper “Fall ’98”. Is this supposed to be current? What next? Are you going to bring out that infamous quot by Mouw?

    Tell me you have more than this cut and paste job from the internet. Mosser and Owen belong to a brand of apologetics called the “pander and slander” method. They slam those in their own camp in order to gain an audience with those in the camp they are supposed to be helping. As such not many people take them seriously, and that goes double for most of us here. I once was part of an email exchanged with him at and the guy came off as being a bit of tool.

    So, can we get back to the issue at hand – salvation.

  27. Jason Rae says:

    David, I know the paper is from 1998. How does that change anything? Since 98 there have been maybe two books that answer LDS apologetic in a scholarly way. And even then as Mosser/Owen point out the issue is “made much more complex”.

    You can marginalize the M/O conclusions all you want but you do so at your own peril. Why not take up the issues they actually raise and address them?? Are you afraid of what you might find?

    You see David, the majority of what we now know about the Journey of Lehi through Arabia, Yemen and Oman absolutely could not have been known by 23 year old Joseph Smith in 1829. The details could only have been written by someone actually on the ground in ancient Saudi Arabia.

    As you begin to engage with real Book of Mormon scholarship you will start to realize that is could not have been fabricated by anyone in the 19th century and especially a frontier American farm boy.

  28. Rick B says:

    Jason said

    As you begin to engage with real Book of Mormon scholarship you will start to realize that is could not have been fabricated by anyone in the 19th century and especially a frontier American farm boy.

    Jason can tell jokes as well as play Dodge ball.

    I have read the BoM, besides being over 4,000 changes in less than 200 years, no foot notes stating Changes were made, and taking the few Doctrinal changes out, we still have pure fiction.

    If we remove all the filler words of, And it came to pass, If we remove all the parts that are word for word taken from the bible, we really have very little left.

    I know for the T.B.M, Truly Blind Mormon, you believe every word as Scripture, But after all these other things are removed, the things that are left still do not help me to know Jesus better.

    A story about a guy that breaks a bow of Steel, A conflicting story of the tower of Babel, A boat with no windows sealed air tight, then has holes with plugs and starts filling with water, does not give me a more clear vision of who Jesus is. These are just a few of the Stories. So Jason, Good laugh, and good dodge ball player. Rick b

  29. Rick B says:

    I am not looking to re-hash Adam God, And I know you think your correct in your answers.

    My question to Jason was, Why can 1 Prophet claim he does not need to say, Thus saith the Lord to give us Scripture. So now if a LDS prophet says something you guys dont like, you can claim, Well the Prophet did not say, THUS SAITH THE LORD. So that proves he was only giving an opinion.

    But in the case of Adam God, BY did say IT WAS SCRIPTURE/DOCTRINE and our salvation hangs upon this info. Very bold statement.

    Then If the prophet cannot lead the Church astray, and this Church is made up of people, So the Prophet leads people astray.

    Now we both know you will disagree, But at the very least, LDS back in the day BY gave the Adam God believed what he told them, So some believed he was speaking truth given by God. So he lead some astray. Rick b

  30. Michael P says:

    Jason, I’m glad you’ve “heard” of ev’s joining your church because of this article, but is there any proof? Before you answer, consider how many Mormons leave when they start to consider the claims of Mormonism. We have lots of proof of this.

    In the end, the article won’t buy you much, as I have been saying.

  31. Jason,

    The point is the paper is not current and not reflective of the current situation. I am fully aware of issues raised by Owen, Mosser, and the school of thought they come from (much of which originates from Biola University). The point is the article proves zero. It reminds me of Muslims who pull out quotes from raging liberal, “Christian” scholars that slam the Bible.

    I am also aware of the issues surrounding the Book of Mormon and Lehi’s journey. I think Mormons take evidence in a one-sided manner. I have been told for years by Mormons that history and archeology do not matter that the BoM is an issue of faith. Suddenly, when one piece of evidence falls in Mormonism’s favor then scholarship is the greatest thing in the world. I would love to get into it with you on issues that relate J. Smith’s authenticity as a prophet but that is way beyond the scope of this thread (which is supposed to be about salvation).

  32. Ralph says:


    From the perspective of a career researcher, any documents older than 2 (sometimes 3) years are classed as out of date. We still reference the original manuscript that reported a finding, but when we read for research purposes to determine where we need to go in the future we only use documents from the past 2 years. Even text books are out of date at the time of publishing as they take about 5 years to put together. We only use them as informative references, not research references. So the fact that the paper was written back in 98, over ten years ago, is very important as it places the paper in the out of date category.


    When you say that “I have been told for years by Mormons that history and archeology do not matter that the BoM is an issue of faith. Suddenly, when one piece of evidence falls in Mormonism’s favor then scholarship is the greatest thing in the world.” then you should look at some LDS-critics. DNA evidence does not support the BoM, and I agree with that fact from the evidence shown in scientific papers. Everyone (well everyone I know of) on this site like to point this out and say its another nail in the BoM coffin. But I have read through these scientific papers and their timelines given for rates of mutation and generations does not fit the Bible either. If you want to use those scientific papers to prove the BoM wrong, then you are also shooting yourself in the foot by proving the Bible wrong. So this statement of yours about the use of scholarship goes both ways.

  33. Jason Rae says:

    Michael, every year approximately 300,000 people respond to the powerful message of the Book of Mormon and commit to baptism and a life of following Christ. How many do you think leave each year? 100,000? Either way the number joining is significantly greater than those that exit.


    David, there is far more than a single piece of evidence. One popular site lists over 100 specific high probability evidences for the Book of Mormon.


    Ralph, obviously the paper is very old but the conclusions reached are what we find interesting: the evs are losing the battle and don’t know it, LDS apologetic research is of extraordinary high caliber etc etc. Mosser/Owen explain the scene quite well. That’s really what we care about.

    The evs weren’t keeping up then and the song remains the same today. The only thing out of date would be specific instances of research but basically the same attitude/situation prevails among evs today and probably will 10 years from now.

  34. Rick B says:

    Jason, So what if 300,000 people join the LDS church. The Bible say the road to destruction is wide, thats why, and the Bible says People want their itching ears tickled.

    also the LDS are far from Honest telling people what you really believe, You lie to them, but then claim, Milk before meat. And as usual You and many LDS refuse to answer questions. Rick b

  35. jeffrey b says:


    I second what Rick B said.. Haven’t you read the book of Revelation buddy? There’s going to be more and more people denying the ONE true God in the end.. It just looks like the LDS church is doing a good job of ushering in the end times.. It will only get worse, therefore more people joining the ranks of a false church led by a false prophet is exactly whats supposed to happen.

    Not everyone is going to join the Mormon church and become white and delightsome and bake cookies and sing hymns, unless I missed that part of Revelation. They are going to seek out ones who claim power and authority and get that itch on their ears taken care of.

  36. Ralph and Jason,

    I have no problem going with you down the rabbit hole of why the Bible has withstood archeological inquiry and the BoM has not. However, I am afraid given the subject of this thread that my comments might be deleted. Suffice it say I think the idea of “Reformed Egyptian” speaking Jewish, Native Americans with Greek names is well . . . ridiculous.

    In keeping inline with the topic at hand (salvation), can you tell me how one can finagle the LDS gospel past the book of Romans?

  37. Rick B says:

    David w, I’m sure you know all of this but in case you did not let me share.

    The Bible makes salvation Easy, Jesus and Paul both said, Believe in Jesus and your saved. But the LDS church teaches all of this.

    Prophet Spencer Kimball Achieving a Celestial Marriage manual pg 30 makes it very clear we must do certain things to enter the temple to be saved. He gives a list of 6 things called (TEMPLE RECOMMEND INTERVIEW). it says When you are interviewed for a temple recommend you will be asked about,

    1. Church attendance
    2. Payment of tithes and offerings
    3. Loyalty to Church leaders.
    4. Moral cleanliness.
    5. overall faithfulness and worthiness.
    6. Obedience to the Word of Wisdom.

    In Gospel Principles pg 125: WE MUST KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD. To make our repentance complete we must keep the commandments of the Lord (see D and C 1:32). we are not fully repentant if we do not pay tithes or keep the sabbath day holy or obey the word of wisdom. we are not repentant if we don’t sustain the authorities of the church and don’t love the lord and our fellow man.

    Add to that also pg 241 Eternal marriage is ESSENTIAL FOR EXALTATION. Our exaltation depends on marriage. Then over on pg 242 it says “and in order to obtain the highest, a man MUST ENTER INTO THIS ORDER OF THE PRIESTHOOD [MEANING THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT OF MARRIAGE];” “and if he does not, he cannot obtain it” (D and C 131:1-3)

    This is so much bondage how can you be sure your saved? Then to do all this could take years, but if MM’s knock on your door and you decide to believe them, then die the next day how can you be saved? If I knock on your door, Preach Jesus, tell you that all you need to do as Jesus and Paul stated was, To believe that Jesus is Lord and Died for you, you can be 100 percent sure your saved. If you end up dying or killed that day or the next, you are going to be in heaven. Rick b

  38. Michael P says:

    300,000 in, huh? Good for you. That is a successful number, but I am curious your thoughts on those who leave. My number would be greater that yours, and greater than 300k. From what I understand, leaving your church does not have to include having your name deleted from church records.

    Also, it is kind of a meaningless number without a comparitve one, ie how many people join and leave other churches.

    Others have addressed other issues as well that are important to consider when considering numbers who join.

    Also, don’t forget that relying on numbers alone is a faulty way to claim truth.

  39. Franco40 says:

    Michael- 300k isn’t really that successful when one considers that the net increase hasn’t moved in absolute terms over the past 10 years.

    This puppy is in the maturity to declining phase- you LDS folks need to convince the boys in SLC that a re-branding of your ‘church’ is in order. I reckon you need one message for the demographics that are not inetrnet savvy and another for those that are net wired. Now you will probably say that the ‘net is no threat to your ‘church’….but I say there is so much ‘meat’ out their in cyber space…you need to deal with that at the MM level…all IMO.

    Ralph- the temple is Sydney was right by my house where I grew up. Legend has it that some of the local boy were targeting all things American at the time. They took out the KFC & McDonald’s sign….but had no luck with moroni!! LOL!

    Kevin…please give me some more on the temple as a profit center idea. Many companies I know choose to treat cost centers as profit centers if there is associated revenue elsewhere in the organization that is tied to that ‘cost center’. I would imagine someone in SLC is tasked to run income statements on temple performance, including tithing…even though the tithe is allocated to cover other church related expenses.

  40. Ralph says:


    I never heard about the KFC or Maccas but as far as I can remember no one thought that we were being ‘targeted’ or discriminated against so maybe the legend you heard was correct. Most of us just thought it was funny that they missed an easy target.

    Quick question – I grew up in Newie, back there now but lived in Oatlands and Dundas Valley. Where bouts did you live (Carlingford, Ryde, etc)? Are you anywhere near there now? Just wondering cause I most likely would never meet anyone here at MC except poss Martin. But I’d have to get my passport in order to go to the banana republic.

    Going along those lines, if anyone here comes over to Australia and want to visit I’d love it – you’re always welcome.

  41. Franco40 says:

    Ralph- I grew up in Beecroft…but I am living on the lower north shore now.

    I remember how it took some time for the local council to approve the statue being placed where it is atop the temple. There seriously was a local challenge to take it out as this was the first LDS temple down under…but that statue is made of pretty stern stuff. LOL!

    You seem to be a reasonable guy and double bonus points for being an Aussie. I have a little tale that I could tell you regarding some MM’s that visited me a while back. I doubt whether it would be appropriate to post it here….but I am confident that you would understand the (Aussie) humour- so let me know and I will e-mail you directly………..

  42. Ralph wrote “I most likely would never meet anyone here at MC except poss Martin. But I’d have to get my passport in order to go to the banana republic.”

    Ralph, anytime you’re north of the border, you’d be welcome. Just watch out for the Mortein LOL.

    PS Welcome, Franco

  43. Michael P says:

    Exactly, Franco, and welcome as well. 300k is not a lot, and there was a bit of lost sarasm there. And the number is meaningless without some sort of comparison.

  44. Ralph says:


    Can you please show me where points 1-5 are against the Bible’s teachings please – as I believe that I can find them taught in the Bible somewhere. Number 6 is just for these latter-days, but there is something similar in the OT.


    I don’t get down to Sydney very often now – too much going on with work and family. My email address is [email protected] if you want to tell me your yarn. Its good to have a third Aussie here even if the second is an ex-pom.


    I am immune to Mortein now because I lived in Logan for a year and a half. If I come up I’ll bring my golf clubs so you’d better watch out. 🙂

  45. Rick B says:

    Ralph, How about you show me where they are taught in the Bible, and not just taught in the Bible, but where it says in the Bible in order for us to enter the temple.

    You might be able to some degree some me these in the Bible, I know Tithing is in their, but it is not in their as a means of salvation or entering the temple. You guys twist things to fit your needs. Rick b

  46. Rick B says:

    Ralph, The Prophet said this,

    Prophet Spencer Kimball Achieving a Celestial Marriage manual pg 30 makes it very clear we must do certain things to enter the temple to be saved.

    The 6 things listed are NOT REQUIRED For salvation According to Jesus. Also these 6 things are not found in the OT as ways of entering the temple, the OT is clear who can and cannot enter the temple.

    So you need to prove to me from the Bible where the LDS prophet is Right about these things BEING REQUIRED for salvation, or please explain how He can add things to the Bible, be wrong about it and still be an honest prophet of God. Rick b

  47. Ralph says:


    So you agree that these are found in the Bible?

    1) The Jews brought the ‘traditions’ of the Israelites through and they gather together as families or friends to worship every Saturday, showing that the Israelites in the OT most likely did the same. But over all, some sort of worship service, whether kith and kin or ‘church’ service, can be found in the OT and NT to edify all involved.

    2) Malachi 3:8-9 “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are acursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.” I can’t find anywhere in the Bible that says we still do not need to pay tithing. And if we don’t we are cursed – what does that mean?

    3) The Bible is full of examples of people who did not show loyalty to the leaders of the church at the time. But Paul said in Thess 3:7 about the leaders of the church at his time.

    4) Well if the Bible doesn’t teach this then I guess I can go out and party !!!! 😛

    5) Do you really want to say this is not in the Bible?

    Now let me ask you a question – Do you know what is the first and most important question in the temple recommend interview? Do you believe in Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost?

    Now with that question out of the way, the temple is for the faithful so let me ask you another question – Please show me your faith WITHOUT your works? (James 2:18)

    The recommend interview places an ’emphasis’ on works as a level of showing faith in Jesus and God. ONLY the faithful can enter – if you cannot keep the faith by showing works then you cannot enter the temple. And as you keep telling me, without faith one is not saved.

  48. Rick B says:

    Ralph, Seriously, Go back and re-read what I said.

    I am saved by believing In JESUS ONLY. Not Believe in Jesus, Enter the temple, pay Tithes, be baptized and pay undying loyalty to a church leader.

    For us Believers it is Jesus Period. For cult members it’s Jesus and……..

    Plus I spent years on the (un)fair LDS boards, Many an LDS member said that lied to enter the temple. Look at the WoW, I bet the only part you follow to the letter is you dont drink coffee or tea. Do you abide by the rest of it, eating meat sparingly or in times of Famine.

    Go back and study the temples in the OT, Only the High priest could enter the holiest of Hollies ONCE A YEAR, and Gentiles non- Jewish born could enter. Not even Gentile converts could.

    Then people who were hurt, Blind, maned their stones Crushed or removed were not allowed to enter. You seriously do not know the Bible as well as you think, You listen to your leaders take a verse or two out of context, and you think great I got those Christians now. Show me from the Bible where I am wrong. By the way, Wheres Jason, I’m still waiting for answers to many questions.

    Yet again, No real surprise that I cannot get answers to questions by a mormon who claims to have them, Instead he says after I ask hard question, I cannot talk about that in Public. Kinda goes against Scripture that says, Be ready in season and out of season to give every man that asks for a reason for the hope that lies with in you. Rick b

  49. Rick B says:

    Ralph said

    Now let me ask you a question – Do you know what is the first and most important question in the temple recommend interview? Do you believe in Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost?

    Better yet, Do you know what Jesus said? Jesus said the GREATEST Commandment is, to love the LORD your God. Jesus went on to say, the second is, To love your Neighbor, and in Doing these ALL THE LAWS ARE FULFILLED.

    What else did Jesus say? the religious leaders, Could be the Modern LDS prophets, Asked Jesus, WHAT work(S) must WE DO. Jesus said ONLY ONE WORK, not many works is to believe on Him who the father has sent. Again we simply need to love God and believe on Jesus, other wise no works since Jesus said if we do that (Love) we are fulling all the Law.

    How is this possible? Well if I love God, then I wont want to lie, kill or steal, If I love my neighbor, I wont want to steal his wife and tell him he cannot be saved unless I marry her, Kind of like JS did. The Jailer asked Paul, WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED. Paul said, Believe on the Lord Jesus, Paul did not say, Believe on Jesus and pay Tithes and submit to your leaders and marry multiple wives Etc.

    Again, Paul did not say, Jesus and……

    It was Jesus Period.

    If you dont agree then show me in the Bible where I am wrong, and tell me if Jesus and Paul lied when they said what they did. Rick b

  50. Michael P says:

    What I want to know is how such qualifications are even necessary to enter the temple at all. At Jesus death, the veil to the temple was torn so that all can have access to it. I want to know how and why this has changed to the Mormons, where only the worthy can enter.

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