‘Raising the Bar’ at Mormon Coffee

When Mormon Apostle M. Russell Ballard called on members of the LDS Church to defend their faith on the Internet, I immediately thought to myself that this will probably end up badly. It seems that I am not the only one who has noticed.

In December 2007, Ballard bemoaned what he saw as an abundance of outsiders defining what the LDS Church teaches. He called on members to no longer “stand on the sidelines” and urged them to join in the conversation by using what he called “the modern printing press,” the Internet. As faithful followers, many have done so, and in many cases it hasn’t been pretty.

Ballard’s marching orders came with a set of “things to avoid,” but sadly, many Latter-day Saints have ignored his counsel. Instead of utilizing the admonition of Proverbs 15:1, many Mormons have responded with personal attacks against those who question Mormonism’s truth claims.

In a commentary published in the February 27, 2009 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune, Ken Kuykendall writes how “Mormons have taken the mandate to new heights, commenting on every possible story. All too often, they forget Ballard’s advice about civility. At times, LDS commenters on sites such as The Salt Lake Tribune’s can be shrill, self-righteous, dismissive and downright insulting. They egg on the critics, rather than persuade them. Even with strong opinions on controversial topics, it doesn’t have to be that way.” I concur with Kuykendall’s assessment. You can be firm and passionate about your position and still convey it with a respectful tone.

I’ve seen Kuykendall’s example expressed too many times on Mormon Coffee. This site is meant to be a forum for an intellectual exchange of ideas around the subject of Mormonism. I am amazed at how many (certainly not all) Mormons respond when their faith is challenged. I personally view Mormon Coffee as a type of house where participants are invited guests. People who understand this concept should also appreciate the fact that there should be a certain level of decorum that demonstrates appreciation for the invitation. I am not at all against pithy comments or tongue-in-cheek remarks, but outright name calling and innuendo regarding a person’s intelligence level have no place here. We have tried to curtail this by implementing rules and even reproof to offenders, but it appears that some see no problem in being bad houseguests.

Please know that I am not defending or ignoring similar conduct by non-Mormons. This is certainly not a one-sided problem. I understand we are all human and prone to let our emotions get the best of us. Sadly, because blog responses are usually done in a rapid-fire manner, many participants don’t let their rebuttal cool off as they might with a regular letter or email.  I know I am not completely innocent of this. In fact, as I write this the Holy Spirit is reminding me of when I have been less than careful in how I express myself.

From now on we are going to “raise the bar,” an expression of which I am sure Mormons and non-Mormons are very familiar. We are going to continue to assume commenters are mature enough to police themselves; however, if someone wishes to disrespect their invitation by using ad-hominem on other participants, their entire comment will be removed and they will not be allowed to post for seven days. After three infractions your invitation will be revoked and you will no longer be welcome to participate at all. Now some will say, won’t this be rather subjective? Yes it will. So the best advice I can give is keep it as civil as possible, and you won’t notice a thing.

So please, come share your thoughts, but let us do so in a manner that honors what we claim to be.

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125 Responses to ‘Raising the Bar’ at Mormon Coffee

  1. Ralph wrote earlier “So do you believe in destiny?”

    Would it make a difference if I did? (LOL)

    I mean, if stuff was meant to happen, then it would happen if I believed it was meant to happen, or if I didn’t.

    It sounds good in a Hollywood movie, but perhaps its an unanswerable question in real life. Also, it doesn’t appear to be high on the agenda in Biblical writings.

    Now, faith in the person and character of God and an understanding of His modus operandi – that’s a different question altogether.

  2. Enki commented on an earlier post of mine suggesting that God was “cleaved” to his creation.


    Thanks for reading my post.

    I guess one issue we’ve all got to face here is that we have absolutely no clue whether anyone takes any notice, so thanks for your acknowledgement.

    Anyhow, I don’t know how far down the metaphysics path you want to go, but I hope you got my point that there is an important distinction between God and His creation.

    Most pertinently, I object to the implication of the LDS message, that God emerged from the cosmos. To me, its completely the wrong way round – in the beginning, there was God, and the cosmos emerged from Him (Gen 1:1, John 1:1).

    The outworkings of the LDS world (God) view are quite devastating, because God, in whom our faith and salvation are invested, is now subject to forces outside His control. No longer is it sufficient for us to rest in His person and character. Now we have to fear that even God could be overwhelmed by something greater than Himself and in this eventuality, all is lost.

    Fortunately, we have passages like Isaiah 43:11-13, to remind us that this cannot be the case.

  3. Kevin says:

    Ralph, I do not understand your logic at all, you seem to be very terminal in your conclusions by allotting only limited explanations; and once again you use a logical fallacy. Whether I take the Garden of Eden story literally or figuratively is not the point. Personally I think your way is a narrow way of looking at the relevance of the Genesis.

    My question was, does it matter if Genesis occurred at a specific point in time that someone can pin point?

    Here is a quote that i really like, “Faith should allow us to bridge gaps where no information exists. Faith, however, should not conflict with facts and reality.” New evidence doesn’t always mean a greater understanding, sometimes it means a great divide between understanding the evidence.

    Undoubtedly, there are fossil records and DNA records, etc, etc, etc… Spin it how you want to.

    Why are we trying to put God in a box?
    Why must one persons conclusion (in this example, only led to NT authors as liars) develop terminal logic?

    When it comes to LDSORG I also look at the facts, and I along with many others who were once member have come to the same conclusion, which is that the organization is not led by God, it implements a dangerous level of mind control, and emotional cripples individuals.

  4. Kevin says:

    Here is a basic question I would like to ask all of the LDSORG posters.

    If you are true, or claim to be a true organization of God, that promotes truthfulness and unwavering ethical standards..

    How many lies can the “One true church” tell before they are now longer a true church?

    I am not comparing Mormons to Evangelicals or any other religion. Mormons claim something that a lot of other religions claim, like the Moonies, and that is they have the whole truth.

    How many lies do the men have to make before it is no longer Gods true church?

  5. liv4jc says:

    Ralph, what scientific standard would you like us to apply to the Bible that we have applied to the BoM? Does archaeology, geograpy and recorded history by numerous cultures bear out the truth of the records of the Bible? Can we say the same of the BoM? Does DNA evidence bear witness that people claiming to be descendants of Israel (Jacob) share a common DNA profile? Did the prophecies in Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Isaiah concerning the fate of Israel and Judah come to pass? Does Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22, among others, prophecy of the death of Jesus for our sins? Could Jesus determine the time of his coming and the date and manner of his death? Did Isaiah tell Cyrus’ mother when to have him, what to name him, and to be sure he became the King of the Medo-Persians so he could conquer Babylon and free Judah? Did the prophecies of Daniel concerning the rise of the four kingdoms come to pass with perfect detail? I happen to have a very high view of scripture, since it makes internal claims that it is the word of God and true throughout. Psalm 19 and 119 declare it as pure and true. Fulfilled prophecy is also the way God proves that His word is true. Read Isaiah 41:21-24. I have never found a claim that God’s word makes to be false, or found a supposed contradiction that could not be explained. I for one will stand with the truth of the Bible against the claims of secular science. There is enough verifiable truth to say that what cannot be verified is also true.

    How can we even begin to compare the BoM to the Bible and apply the same standards to both? The BoM is a vapor. The only manuscript we had was spirited away, never to be seen again, by the ghost of a dead Indian. Does God hide the proof of his communication with men? I have looked upon biblical Greek manuscripts and even though I am not a prophet, I did not die. We have to use the standard of the “lack of evidence” rather that “supporting evidence” as our evidence against the events in the BoM ever occurring.

  6. falcon says:

    I don’t think I said that because Joseph Smith was convicted in a court of law after a warrant was sworn out for him being a disorderly person and an impostor that therefore the BoM is false. That sounds a little too much like Mormon logic which I try to avoid. My point was getting to Joseph Smith’s character and the fact that I didn’t make this up just like I didn’t make up the fact of his bank fraud charge or his defrauding of women for the purpose of sexual gratification. In the last instance he used his position of authority within a religion to exploit and emotionally manipulate these gals. Add to this that we know his “translation” of the BoA was another con job, and a pretty clear picture of his character emerges. It all centers on honesty. There’s a ton of other evidence to prove the BoM false also. Just one of these facts would be enough for most people to not believe anything JS said or proposed.
    Again, the desire to want something to be true is so strong within Mormonism that all common sense is jettisoned in order to maintain and protect the myth of Joseph Smith. Don’t ever let a crack appear in your testimony or it’s all over.

  7. subgenius says:

    what you said is “1. Joseph Smith was a convicted disorderly person for being involved in “treasure hunting” with his magic rock.”….and your statement is false except that he was indeed “convicted”…all other elements of your remark are bias and based on your own supposition and are arguable. They are, as is the issue with most modern evangelical religions, prejudicial and culturally diluted..ergo spawned from the apostasy – and apparently “Mormon logic” isnt the only brand of logic you avoid.
    Your claim that he defrauded women for sex is based on your own assumption. There is no “proof” of this motive; again your own bias and prejudice imposes a judgement on circumstances. Your own sort of fill-in-the-blank game.
    To sum up your logic regarding JS – convicted of crimes obviously makes the BoM false? -apply that logic to Jesus- was he not convicted? Does he not have a controversial woman in his history?…and please, spare me any claims that i would even equate JS with Christ, because i emphatically state that JS is not equal to Jesus….JS is simply the first of modern men to be called as a modern day prophet….Falcon, your arguments are weak and shallow.

    Your DNA assumptions are ill-informed. There is no definitive Jewish gene! quite simply because Jewish is not a “race”. Though the major Jewish groups have DNA trace (Y) that have supposed origins in the middle-east, there is also significant influence from the Ethipoian conversions as well as the Kurdish. There are also major implications from the “maternal” aspect of genetics (disregards the Y-chromosome you know)….quite simply without the major DNA records from ancient times, most Jewish evidence is inconclusive. Granted, many Jewish interest groups will sway evidence in the direction of a Jewish gene actually existing, what a surprise!
    However, to-date no Jewish gene definitively exists and “Jewish” still refers to religion NOT race

    P.S. my testimony is not cracked, because it is not sealed shut…it is wide open!

  8. subgenius says:

    Andy Watson
    Your incest logic is amusing….i suppose since we all share the common bond of Adam and Eve, then incest is unavaoidable, right?….a fact you seem to be comfortable with.
    a warrant is “evidence”? you wrote “Does that prove he was a bad guy? Nope. But it gives evidence of it, doesn’t it?”….Jesus might disagree with you on that point….MichaelP claims that the warrant for Jesus gives evidence that Jesus was a bad guy….mmmm love that reasoning.

    Kevin you wote”Faith, however, should not conflict with facts and reality”….your faith disregards miracles? Miracles are such because they contradict facts and reality…walking on water, pregnant virgins, Lazarus, etc…geez, one of these days you should test your faith in the deep end of the pool.

  9. Michael P says:

    Sub, try again. We’re not talking aout Jesus. We’re talking about Smith.

    That is a good spin, but is not relevant. But to be fair, if only knowing Jeses was brought to court for heresy, then yes, it would be evidence putting him in poor light. But we know more, don’t we, about Christ?

    We also know more about Smith, don’t we?

    So, do you care to answer my claim? Or are you going to dpin and dodge again?

  10. falcon says:

    Oh come on sub, are you that totally naive. Please spare me the arguments regarding Smith’s activities with these women as being opinion. I would think after this amount of time on MC you’d do a little more than give an answer that a naive Mormon believer would accept. I call those “all better now” explanations. Kind of like when a toddler gets a boo boo and momma kisses it and says “all better now”.
    Sub, Smith did “it” with the women he seduced. You are either a total babe in the woods or your desire to protect your fragile testimony overrides any realistic view of human nature. He told those women that by hooking-up with him they’d secure their salvation and that of their families.
    Your little apostasy rant mixed in with some cultural mumbo jumbo was right out of the Mormon canned playbook. I can’t figure out if you’re a Naive Believer or an Arrogant Believer but I’m beginning to see a mixture of both. What a revelation of the Mormon psychological mindset you present.

  11. Kevin says:

    Sub, your approach to my statement is rather odd, basically your saying that because I believe that scientific proof like facts and reality should not contend with faith, therefore my faith disregards miracles.

    I would like to quote Magellan now, “The church tells me the world is flat, I know it is round because I have seen the shadow on the moon, I have more faith in a shadow then in the church”.

    My point being, there is DNA evidence and fossils records (or lack there of) that strongly contradict the LDSORG, ignoring those facts is having useless faith. While on the other hand I can look at the facts of reality such as Magellan did; I do not have my faith in Christ waiver, but embrace the new found knowledge and see how it fits into the picture.

    A miracle does not have to be an unexplained event in order to be classified as a miracle. I think your view of a miracle is very limited scope, you , like Ralph, see to want to put God in a box and dictate to Him what He is allowed to do.

    I personally think it is a miracle that each and everyday the Sun raises in the east, even on the day I cannot see the sun due to cloud cover. Sure I understand the mechanics behind how our solar system works, but that doesn’t change how I feel about the event.

    Facts and reality doesn’t shake my faith, and although you want to say I am in the shallow end, I would contend that my faith is stronger then ever before because I am not threatened by new evidence.

    I have faith in Jesus Christ, and I do not try and quantify my faith as some sort of thing that can be measured.

  12. liv4jc says:

    “Faith” does not call us to deny all evidence that what we believe is false. “Faith” does not call us to believe in a God in spite of a lack of evidence. God never calls us to pray and ask ourselves if His word is true, or if He exists. God has given us ample proof of His existence, which is what Paul declares in Roman’s 1:18-20. All men are without excuse when they deny the existence of the God revealed in the Bible, and they will not stand on the Day of Judgment for that lack of belief, because all men have enough knowledge of God and His law to be held accountable for their sins.

    Jesus never called anyone to believe that He was the Son of God based upon faith alone. John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus and heard God the Father declare that Jesus was His son, but what do we see in Matthew 11:2-6? We see John sending two of his disciples while he is in prison to inquire if Jesus is the Messiah, or if they should look for another. You see, John, even though he had faith, was confused about why he was in prison when the Messiah had come. The Messiah was supposed to free Israel from her oppressors and bring about God’s kingdom on earth. John had introduced Jesus as the one who would bring “judgment and burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matt 3:12). What is Jesus’ response?

    “Go and tell John these the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” (Matt 11:4-6)

    Jesus appealed to scripture, specifically Isaiah 29:18, and the fact that he was performing miracles that only God could do.

  13. liv4jc says:

    In John 10:24-26 the Jews confront Jesus and ask Him to tell them if He is the Christ. What is His response? “I did tell you, but you do not believe. Go and pray and ask my Father in Heaven if I am the Christ, and if you pray in faith, you will get a witness from the Holy Spirit that I am the Christ.”

    No, this is His response,

    24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
    Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.”

    Jesus consistently tells the Jews that if they cannot believe that He is the Christ, at least believe because of the works that he does, John 10:37,38; 14:10,11. Evidence, not faith alone, gives us proof that what we believe is reasonable.

    And what did Nicodemus say to Jesus in John 3:2,

    ”Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”

    Jesus also appeals to them to look to the Scriptures for proof of who He in John 5:38-40.

    Of all of the Gospels, John’s contains the most miracles and statement made by Jesus that He is God incarnate. These are given as evidence, not based solely on faith alone, that Jesus was who he claimed to be, and John was reporting as an eyewitness to these events. What is John’s purpose for writing his gospel?

    And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ,the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:30-31)

  14. liv4jc says:

    And what does Luke give as the purpose for writing His gospel?

    Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed. (Luke 1:1-4)

    Why else would Luke give us the Acts of the Apostles if it was not to give us evidence of the events that we believe in by faith?

    So, you see, the Bible is given to us as proof and evidence that what we believe is based in fact, not faith based upon belief alone. It is reasonable to have faith, because it has supporting evidence. And the Bible itself has external evidence that it is a book based in reality because the people and places recorded in it existed, and many still do.

    The same claims cannot be made for the LDS scriptures. The D&C contradict the Bible. A contradiction is the basis for a lie. One is true and one is not. LDS place more faith in the D&C than the Bible, so they believe JS over God. The BoM has no supporting evidence and one is called to make a subjective belief in it based upon prayer and a feeling. The prayer itself is biased because one is made to believe that if they did not get a witness to its truth, it is not because it is not true, but because they did not have enough faith. There is never a call to thoroughly investigate its claims as there is in the Bible. It is presumed to be true, although no evidence can be found to support it.

  15. subgenius says:

    i did not dispute whether JS had sex with anyone, i disputed your assertion that “sex” was his motive and that he used “fraud” to achieve that motive’s goal, and obviously you are less than informed on what being “sealed” means……again, you read without comprehension.

    Just because you say so does not make it so. Just your assertion that if the warrant says it then it makes it true is enough for me to know you do not take this serious enough to understand…maybe if i swear out a warrant for you, then you will understand? My point being, i was responding directly to the assertion that the warrant makes something true, which it does not, therefore the warrant is not sufficient evidence, it is circumstantial and carries no weight. If you have other evidence, then please present it.

    correction – i do NOT contend that, YOU do…see above where YOU said “Faith, however, should not conflict with facts and reality”…when you decide what you do actually contend, drop me a note.

    Brevity is the soul of wit…and the key to actuall having someone read your post. “Good things, when short, are twice as good” or “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do”…get my point?

  16. Kevin says:

    Sub, I am fully aware of what I said, and I am fully aware of what you said, degrading the conversation into a na-ah you said this and I said that is not a constructive engagement. How disappointing, seeing that you are picking on one word, contend, its apparent that you did not read my whole post, if you are not going to respectfully address at least 50% of my post then I have lost respect for you.

    Since you did not comprehend my point of contention, I have no desire to spell out the differing points to you, once you are able to understand the contention, maybe, then maybe, we can talk.

    Out of sympathy,
    For some odd reason you decided to attack my depth of faith in regard to miracles by measuring my level of faith. I contended that your faith is useless if you do not consider facts and reality (i.e. BOM swords, coins, horses, elephants, etc,etc…)If you ever decide to pass through the vial and look at fact and reality drop me a note, I’d be more then happy to enlighten you.

    Sub, I am going to have to exclude myself from any further engagement with you, it is hard to have a reasonable conversation with someone who will not address the topic.

  17. Michael P says:

    Sub, look at wht I said. I have not said the warrant makes it true, have I? I have said it is evidence of Smith being a charlatan, not that it makes it so. This is a point you still have not addressed.

    Further, in your demonization of Falcon’s claim you said it was his opinion but that is exctly what you offer. You are right to say it is not determinitive, but you are wrong to say it carries no weight.

    The existence of that warrant really does cast a cloud on him, like it or not. If you were to issue one on me those that did not know me might look more negatively on me. Michael Jackson was acquitted for abuse charges but people still look at him negatively for that.

    So it is with Smith. And since neither you nor I were there, all we can do is look at historical evidence, and there is enough evidence to suggest he was a charlatan.

    His case would be much stronger if: we had the plates, the BoA was translated correctly (see Sharon’s article read the article that she quotes from– it states that the BoA is directly from Mose), the first vision story was consistent, he didn’t call himself bigger and better than Jesus, if he didn’t seek to wed already married women under threat of death and on and on I could go with elements of his story that are problematic. And then because we have that warrant, what are we to do with it? Circumstantial evidence actually is important, and as former investigator you should know this.

    So, my point is to suggest that your argument– that Falcon is only giving his opinion and is therefore worthless– is faulty.

    It is faulty because the existence of the warrant carries great weight in determining who he was and is corraborated by other evidence. It is also faulty because it is only opinion in and of itself. Its an opinion calling an opinion faulty but where your opinion is the only one true. Lastly, it is faulty because its existence, factually, may not point to his true character, but it might.

  18. Ralph says:


    The ‘Cohen gene’ is linked to Aaron as someone said earlier. Now you are saying it goes back to Israel (Jacob) Why not go back 2 generations and look at Abraham – he is the supposed father of the majority of the Arabic people through his 5 other sons. Then there is Jacob’s brother Esau and his progeny that are also part of the Arabic nations. But this is what one book has to say about this gene

    [Michael] Hammer, Karl Skorecki, David Goldstein, and colleagues studied Y markers from three hundred Jews, including more than one hundred cohanim, and found that half of the Jewish priests shared the same genetic signature, compared to less than 5 percent in the lay Jewish population.

    Kevin Davies. Cracking the Genome: Inside the Race to Unlock Human DNA. New York: The Free Press, 2001.

    It appears from research that it does go back to Aaron (and Moses) but if only 5% of the Jewish lay population (ie familial not tradition/religion) have this gene then it does not go all the way back to Jacob – so it’s a good marker for the Levite tribe (ie Aaron’s and Moses’ descendents), but not the Jewish tribe. So if the Lamanites are from the tribe of Joseph through Manassah, not Jews nor Levites, then this marker cannot be used to test whether or not they are from one of the tribes of Israel.


    You said ”My point being, there is DNA evidence and fossils records (or lack there of) that strongly contradict the LDSORG”. But that is my point, the DNA and fossil evidence also contradicts the Bible if you want to take the creation and fall literally.

  19. liv4jc says:

    Ralph, my point is that the DNA of the Native Americans is as unique as any other isolated population, and bears no resemblance to Middle Eastern people groups. You even said that DNA points to the Amarinds coming from Asiatic stock. But this is a straw man, anyway. You pick one point, pervert it, then knock it down, as if that is the only evidence against the events of the BoM ever occurring. I understand that you and Sub are outnumbered on this thread so I don’t expect an answer to all of my posts, but come on, have a little bit of intellectual integrity. You cannot even compare the overwhelming weight of evidence that exists to at least show that the Bible is a book of history. It cannot prove that the God it reveals exists, but it comes close if you believe the prophecies were written before they occurred and believe the eyewitness accounts of miracles in the gospels and Acts. The BoM has none of this. Like I said, “It is a vapor.”

    Sub, thanks for the advice about my literary style. I’ll keep that in mind while I read, “And it came to pass” over and over again, or JS’s ramblings in the D&C and PoGP. Talk about verbosity. It is one of the hallmarks that reveals it was written by JS. All of his books read the same: pompous grandstanding. Why not try actually answering the claims in my post instead of making a personal attack?

  20. subgenius says:

    if you can not see the issue anyone would have with a “I know the Bible is true because the Bible says it is true” argument, then..?
    Your Isaiah 29:18 is a stretch, read 29:11 for the context, or better what of 29:20? 42:19?
    Perhaps we have different take on “evidence”, see Hebrews 11:1 – Many evangelicals seemingly function as natural men which brings me to 1 Cor 2:14…this verse describes how the “truth” is known by us.
    When you claim that your Faith relies on “reasonable” evidence you expose the notion that your faith is anchored to the natural man of 1 Cor 2:14, thereafter your ramblings and disjointed references fall to earth. I agree that you should mind John 5:39 becuase your lengthy post illustrates your extensive “search” through the scriptures.

    On DNA – Y-markers disregard maternal genealogy which is covered in genetics 101. This science is not conclusive on either side of this topic, please stop the Google searches. Jewish is a religion not a Race!

    Thank you for the relief.

    I did not suggest that Falcon’s opinion was anything other than opinion, it was he that was claiming that his opinion was FACT, but he has offered no conclusive evidence to that end. Your warrant argument is a sad indictment on typical evanmgelical “judgement”.

    All ye Evangelicals,
    so quick to point at and shout “false” at Mormons, yet we all see your behavior warned in the following
    1 Timothy 6:2-5
    Though your many varied churches suffer from the cultural dilution of the recent Apostasy,
    It is I that say to you, worship under the dictates of your own conscience, and allow others the same.

  21. Michael P says:

    Sub, on 9/19 you said: “it seems there are no actual factual elements in Falcon’s list…just opinion, supposition, and inciteful assumption…..
    but to answer your question, YES, i have a real desire to discuss “FACTS”…not commentary.
    i think my listed response to Falcon shows the fallacy of his statements, and there is in FACT, no facts in his list.
    Perhpas you should read DC 132 as well. Taking scripture and history out of context seems to be a popular Enangelical activity.”

    You here say that his list was nothing by opinion, and that you say that you offered a satisfactory response to his list. In reviewing the list, you offered nothing but your opinion. Go back and check, if you need to.

    You have done more than just state his opinions are faulty because they are opinions. You have stated that there is a true alternative and that alternative is what you offer. Yet, you have failed to offer any substance of your own.

    You don’t have to like the warrant argument, but it would be great if you could do more than say it “is a sad indictment on the typical evangelical judgment”. Discuss the reality of the argument I made, which goes beyond just that the warrant exists. It exists along with a host of other pieces of story that all come down to the same conclusion.

    I am not declaring him guilty before considering him innocent. In other words, I haven’t looked at one piece of evidence and said “That’s it, he guilty!” Rather, I am making the case that he certainly looks guilty based on all the evidence. We cannot have a trial, but we can examine the facts and come to a conclusion.

    When I look at the facts, the same facts you can see, this is my conclusion.

    A final thought: I will worship to the dictates of my conscience, but that conscience tells me to make you aware of the faults in your faith. I’d appreciate it if you would not stifle debates with such comments. Believe it or not, they are not helpful…

  22. liv4jc says:

    Sub, the point is that the gospel and epistle writers, Matthew especially, used many OT prophecies and verses that in their native context were fulfilled in their day, but they applied them to current events and to Jesus. And Jesus also applied them to himself and the events that were occurring through Him.

    The early prophets and writers of the Psalms had an extremely high view of God’s word and believed it to be pure and true, and not contradictory. One revelation did not contradict another in regards to God’s nature and purpose. Evidence of the truth of God’s word is given in fulfilled prophecy. God says something will occur, and it does, with amazing detail. This is evidence of his omnipotence, omniscience, and immutability, which he claims as three of His attributes. So I don’t just claim the Bible is true because it says it is true, I can believe it is true because of it’s internal claims to truth and external evidence to its truth.

    I also have a very strong spiritual witness to the truths revealed in the Bible, but it is also verified by actual evidence that I see around me such as the depraved nature of humanity, which was my spiritual state before being saved by the grace of God. My faith is attested to by my new spiritual nature and my understanding of who I am compared to a Holy God, not based solely upon a feeling that the Bible is true.

    So I see you using ad hominum attacks against the Christians who post here. You fail to answer questions raised against the BoM and JS as prophet, while attacking the personal character, intelligence, and qualifications of the questioners, or the source materials they use to prove their argument.

  23. Enki says:

    I don’t take being overlooked personal. It might also be that someone is reading, and thinking, but not yet responding, and maybe they never will. It doesn’t mean that you were not heard, or that you did not have an impact.

    Your points about god/creation are good ones. It sounds like the better belief is to believe that god is the source of everything, rather than god being secondary, and subject to the powers of the universe. That certainly places a greater level of respect to god. If it were the other way around, than the universe would be god, which I think is a proposition of some other religions perhaps.

    The idea of god being cleaved to creation, like a man to a wife…I don’t completely understand. It almost sounds like the physical universe is an extension or perhaps some other aspect of divinity, or somehow infused into all of existence. Thats not generally an LDS concept, if it is, I missed that one in sunday school.

    The original question had to do with duality, god/creation, good/evil, spirit/body etc… in some faiths there is the idea that ultimate reality has no duality.

  24. Enki says:

    Falcon & Sub,
    “Jewish is a religion not a Race!” Sub how many jews have you ever met and talked to? Have you ever watched a single episode of ‘Seinfield’? Jews routinely mention ‘cultural’,’ethnic’ and ‘religious’ jews. If if were strictly a religion there would be no other category. I have heard jews identifing themselves as being 1/4 jewish. So, even if its a false idea, its one which has some power, at least as a concept and a belief. With the formation of the state of Isreal, could there be a ‘national’ jew?

    There is some scriptural basis for the idea of a jewish ethnicity. YHWH selected a group of people to be a ‘peculiar people’.(easily identified by habits, custom and appearance)Deut. 14: 2, Deut. 14: 2. The selection is repeated again to N.T. christians. 1 Pet. 2: 9, Titus 2: 14. So, in theory there could also be a genetic difference, and other ways to ID a christian from pagans.

    LDS church members were attempting to accelerate this process by a number of means. One is the practice of plural marriage. Some LDS viewed this practice as achieving a number of objectives. In addition to genetically modifying the LDS people, it also winnowed out those who were not totally committed to the faith.

    “…He introduced it for the express purpose of raising up to His name a royal Priesthood, a peculiar people.
    – Brigham Young”

    “Some Church members have presumed that polygamy was thus designed to ensure a larger number of descendants than would be possible under monogamy. This need not be the case: polygamy was, as we have seen, an effective tool for “winnowing.” Any family willing to make the sacrifices attendant to plural marriage were unreservedly dedicated to the restored gospel.”


    Polygamy is part of a breeding program to genetically mark mormons. Its assisted by the temple garments, to ‘bridle ones passions’.Alma 38: 12. The garments curreassist the mormon in practicing monogamy

  25. Enki says:

    falcon & Sub cont…The garments currently assist the mormon in practicing monogamy, which also is a directed form of breeding.

    The ancient jews prohibited marriage with non-believers. Deuteronomy 7:3-4
    Christians are prohibited from marriage to a non-believer. 2 Corinthians 6:14

    So, over time if a people only marry within the faith, are small in number, and have selective sexual practices like monogamy and polygyny, a ‘peculiar people’ can be created.

    Deut. 22:10 provides an interesting image. I have seen women who fathered children from two different faithers, of different races. This passage is a sort of symbolic assist against adultery, which would work to undue the selective breading of monogamy and polygyny.
    Other symbolic assists are prohibitions of planting different types of seed in a single field, and mixing different types of thread in a single fabric.

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