Three Evangelical Perspectives on Witnessing to Mormon Missionaries

This article was originally posted at Dan Phillips’ blog, Biblical Christianity. I am re-posting here as a part of a three-article simultaneous posting between Tim and Bridget, two other evangelical bloggers. Please see their articles as well.

Getting turned down and even having doors slammed in your face isn’t fun. It’s emotionally and physically draining. I know because many Mormons are rude to me on a weekly basis here in Utah on evangelistic outings. No matter how positive and polite I try to be, that I am trying to convert them from their Restoration to our Great Apostasy doesn’t go over well. “Get a job.” “What are you, an anti-Mormon?” “You should be ashamed of yourself.” “What did the Mormons ever do to you?” “How much money do you get paid to do this?” “Don’t you have anything better to do?”

All that, but at least I still get to pick up the phone and talk to my mom whenever I want. Mormon missionaries are typically only allowed to send letters/email once a week, and make a phone call twice a year to their family. Once on Christmas, and once on Mother’s Day. They eat lots of Ramen noodles, Mac and Cheese, and anything else cheap that a budget-conscious bachelor pad might serve.

Mormons tell us all the time to take our tough and deep questions to the young missionaries, because surely these guys know the answers. But that is hardly the case. These are a bunch of young 19 and 20-year-olds who are playing the part of a Mormon tradition that is designed to help them plant deep roots of Mormon commitment and belief. Many of them are on their mission to participate in an adventure and figure things out for themselves, not yet having the deep belief in Mormonism that they wish they had. The two-year-mission largely functions in Mormonism to solidify that belief. It’s a spiritually formative time in their life, and it’s our duty to plant seeds of truth in love.

When a new set of missionaries (they usually cycle out to different proximate areas every three months or so) knocks on my door, it’s usually because I have requested a new video resource they have advertised (do this!), because I have filled out a card in one of their Visitor’s Centers or public events (never pass that up!), or because a neighbor feels like I really need to be converted (hey, they care!). I’m more than delighted to have them over. Know that you can practice warm hospitality without welcoming them as fellow believers. Welcome them in, have them sit down, and bring them somethings to drink (save snacks for a bit later to keep them a bit longer).

Ask them where they are from, about their families, and what their post-mission plans are. They will want to quickly segue to their religious message. They usually ask me, “So how much do you know about the Church?” I am forthright about my knowledge of the Mormon faith. “I have studied it for years, I find it fascinating, but I have some grave concerns.” But what I know about the history and larger movement of Mormonism is inconsequential for the moment, because “I would love to hear what you two individually believe.”

Allow the missionaries to spend some time delivering their message, but look for points at which you can ask questions about the fundamental nature of God. Because I never know how short or long their visit will be, or if they will ever return, I make it a point to quickly get to the heart of the matter. For me that usually entails asking if they believe God once was a mere man who had to progress unto godhood, and whether they believe this mere man was once perhaps a sinner. The responses are varied, but usually heartbreaking and shocking. (See God Never Sinned)

The most important passage that I know to share with a Mormon is Isaiah 43:10:

“Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.”

I recommend using this passage even if you only have a few minutes. Ask the missionaries to “share their testimonies”, and patiently listen. They have a series of affirmations they will articulate here, usually something like, “I know the Church is true and has the restored priesthood, I know that Jesus is the Messiah, I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and I know the Thomas S. Monson is a modern-day prophet of God.”

“Thank you for sharing your testimony. Would you mind if I shared a testimony as well?”


“The testimony I have to share right now isn’t my testimony, it is God’s testimony.” At this point I try to avoid using terms like “Bible” and “scripture” and “word of God”, and instead use the term “testimony of God.” Referring to God’s written revelations as the testimonies of God is perhaps the clearest and strongest way we evangelicals can communicate the nature of scripture to Mormons.

I open up the testimonies of God and put my finger under the passage to help them simultaneously read with their eyes as they listen with their ears: “God bears witness of himself in Isaiah 43:10, testifying, ‘Before me no god was formed [PAUSE], nor shall there be any after me.’ If we trust the testimony of man, how much more should we trust the testimony of God himself.”

This also works great in the beginning of a longer conversation, as it preempts the feelings-oriented Mormon epistemology that they want to promote. Mormon missionaries are taught to foster a kind of atmosphere and attitude among listeners. The next step for them is to help you identify a set of positive emotions with the Holy Spirit. By preemptively referring to scripture as the “testimony of God”, I have made it more difficult for them to appeal to human feelings as the chief, decisive vehicle of God’s authoritative revelation.

Other topics that are great to cover are the unique priesthood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7), the explosively good news of the justification of the ungodly (Romans 4:4-8), and the importance of putting our feelings and thoughts in a system of checks and balances that realistically takes into account our finiteness and depravity and God’s authority and omnipotence (Isaiah 40:8; Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). A wonderful list of passages put together by James White for witnessing to Mormons is available here.

You will inevitably be asked to read a section of the Book of Mormon and pray about that. On that issue please see an article by Bill McKeever.

A great way to get them to come back is not to hog the conversation, but to let them have their say. Practice using questions as a way of drawing out the topics you would like to address. Our interactions are not an endless emergent “conversation”, but neither are they an overwhelmingly aggressive monologue (I have learned this the hard way). Keep a mental note of three or so tough questions that went unanswered, and write them down for them.

“Would you guys please research the answers to these questions, and come back another time to share what you found?” Insist on it with a free dinner. In some areas, Mormon missionaries are not allowed to eat meals at the houses of other Mormons. This is designed to encourage them to eat with non-Mormon households or at a Mormon house with non-Mormon guests. The problem is that many missionaries end up eating a lot of those Ramen noodles. Your kitchens are the solution to this wonderful problem.

At the end, they will ask for someone to close in prayer, usually the head of the household. Use the opportunity to pray to our awesome and eternal God. Thank God before everyone in the living room for the free and immediate gift of justification, forgiveness, and eternal life. Thank him for transforming your heart to love and follow Jesus. Thank Jesus that in him we have all the riches of knowledge and wisdom and understanding, and that without him, we have nothing, and that with him we have everything. And beseech the Spirit to help everyone in the room to pursue the truth of the gospel, lest we suffer that awful punishment that the Bible describes as never-ending.

Get their phone number in case you have to reschedule, and use that number to remind them of the dinner appointment that you’re looking forward to. Trust me, this is important. They forget (either literally or sometimes intentionally) to show up and either never come back, or call to apologize, since something came up. Sometimes they are lazy, sometimes they are just busy. Give them the benefit of doubt and stuff them full of more dinner. Serve a dessert twenty minutes after dinner is over so that they feel obliged to stay longer than they would have. Keep inviting them over and over to eat more dinner, discuss more issues, and address more of the outstanding questions. It won’t last forever, so make the best use of your time. Ron Rhodes writes,

“Don’t move forward in a mad rush to discuss spiritual things, especially if you have the opportunity to work toward developing a personal relationship. When the Lord opens the door for witnessing, however, be ready to walk through it.

“The exception to this rule, of course, is if you know for certain that you will never see that particular Mormon again. Then you will want to cover as much doctrinal ground as possible, biblically refuting the most blatant heresies in Mormon theology and giving a strong personal testimony of what Jesus has done in your life.” (Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons [1995], p. 29)

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107 Responses to Three Evangelical Perspectives on Witnessing to Mormon Missionaries

  1. setfree says:

    “I’ve got to figure out a way to find me some”.

    Me too! I need to work on an opener as well.

    LOL! Falcon, you cracked me up, thanks for the refreshment!

  2. GRCluff says:

    Enki asked:
    What do you experience here?
    I would say it is about 30% fanaticism, 60% intellectualism and 10% stupidity. I do feel the same spirit I felt when I was a missionary when I author a response occasionally, but that just allows me to justify my beliefs based on my foundation of spiritual testimony. I enjoy the challenge related to defending my belief, and I like to stay open minded to conflicting ideas.

    Martin said:
    Firstly, you seem to think that sending out young missionaries who don’t know too much is a good thing; as if ignorance and folly were vitrues.

    Did you not read the Bible verse I quoted? Read the verse before and the verse after to put it in context. Paul clearly meant exactly that. Read 1 Cor 2 1-5.

    The power of God is made evident through the witness of the Holy Ghost. LDS missionaries can rely on that alone because that power is readily apparent to the humble seeker of truth- not so much to the wise and mighty. They are the perfect representatives of Christ BECAUSE God can work through them in spite of their weakness.

    You all are forced to rely on a less reliable foundation of intellectualism and Biblical history. Sorry, that approach is not Biblical.

  3. falcon says:

    I’m convinced that given a straight forward presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a straight forward presentation of the gospel of Joseph Smith, folks will choose Jesus and not Joseph. Mormons have to do a major puff job on Joseph Smith and Mormonism to get someone to sign on to the program. At the same time, Mormonism has to paint a major conspiracy to get their own folks to believe things about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church that aren’t accurate or even true.
    Let me give one simple example. The Mormon church teaches that the Council of Nicea made-up the Christian creed. The idea is that the doctrine of the nature of God did not exist before this time. Now that’s a wholesale lie. The writings of the Church fathers regarding the doctrine of the nature of God goes back at least 150 years before Nicea in fact the doctrine of the nature of God goes back to the first century. But such information blows a major hole in Joseph Smith’s gospel because it negates a need for a restoration. In addition to this, Mormons have had to invent elaborate conspiracy theories to explain away the obvious; and that is there is no Mormonism in the NT or the OT for that matter. So anyone with any amount of critical thinking will see that the basis for Mormonism to exist is……nonexistent.
    So providing some information for Mormon missionaries that they won’t get from the Mormon church will go a long way to get these boys wondering why in the world they’re beating their brains out for a lie.

  4. subgenius says:

    God’s Testimony?
    a missionary intervention? amusing indeed.
    i find it curious that in one discussion Isaiah 43:08 is used in reference to Christ…..which means surely 43:10 is Christ as well? see also 43:11.
    personally, i like the context of this reference, particularly Isaiah 43:07 which says:
    “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
    others called by my name?…wha?
    or kick it old school with my favorite from Genesis 3:22
    “Behold, the man is become as one of us”
    Us? Us? ….. Us?
    this is a contrary statement with regards to God in Isaiah 43:10. Isaiah 43:10 is clearly an exclamation of singular distinction which aptly applies to Jesus, however Genesis 3:22 clearly refers to plural, to contemporaries, to “like” beings.

    Botom line, yes some Mormon missionaries will fall, yes, some will succumb to the temptations many will put forth, whether it be an earthly temptation or, as described above, a spiritual one. This surely happens among all “missionaries”. for example, i work with a gentleman, non-mormon, who went on a “mission” for 2 weeks in Cuba..came back talking about how attractive all the women were, little else.
    Mormon have the ability for self-criticism and often welcome self-doubt and spiritual challenges in order to be forged from that fire….a quality seldom seen outside of our organization.
    Inevitably this evangelical ruse will be exposed and rebutted at the MTC….of course the Holy Ghost will have exposed this before then.

    insightful post, thanks

  5. jeffrey b says:

    Cluff said :
    “You need to keep in mind the perspective we (LDS missionaries) try to keep. It is all about the witness, and the direction of the Holy Spirit. For me, the Holy Spirit was often present when our audience was sincerely interested, but quite lacking when the audience was not.”

    Well Cluff, I’m sorry the holy spirit leaves you when opposition presents itself. Perhaps your holy spirit is a scaredy cat that can’t take the heat?

    I don’t know about you Cluff but the true holy spirit is always with me, and He especially tries hard to correct me when I’m being wrong. He doesn’t leave if I’m a jerk, he prods me to turn away from my ignorant ways.

    I really feel bad that most Mormons think the holy spirit is someone who is only around when theirs a kissy kissy hug hug party going on but runs out the back door as soon as one feels uncomfortable..

  6. GRCluff says:

    Mike R:

    I don’t doubt that some leave based on a lapse in belief, it could happen.

    In my case, however, it would be sin. Sin has a way of compromising ones integrity. We start out accepting some vice, then end up denying what we once knew. I would be lying to myself to justify my change of heart.

    I know today that God has clearly communicated the truth of the JS matter, and of the restoration of his Holy Preisthood, but I don’t doubt that could all go away with a few poor choices. As my heart changes, my mind must follow.

  7. subgenius wrote

    Mormon have the ability for self-criticism and often welcome self-doubt and spiritual challenges in order to be forged from that fire….a quality seldom seen outside of our organization.


    I’ve got bucketloads of self-criticism and self-doubt. I’d be happy to offload some of my surplus onto others.

    Perhaps, this is what drives me to faith in Jesus, not faith in my ability to follow him.

    Anyway, your assertion that everybody else is self-assured and closed to criticism smacks of the self-assuredness that you deride.

    In any case, how would Joseph Smith (and his successors) measure up against your scrutiny? Now, where is his quote about doing a better job thatn Jesus in setting up the church, when you need it…?

  8. Enki says:

    ” Joseph Smith, junior, will again be on this earth dictating plans…”

    What is that the second coming of J.S.? Will he be coming in the clouds with great glory?

  9. Michael P says:

    Hank, you say: “I don’t see the difference between you and I when I claim that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, what else could that mean. He saves mightily, loves unconditionally, and forces no one to Heaven.” Yes, he is your lord and savior, just as he is my lord and savior. But he is the only lord and savior in existence to me, but to you he is the only one you concern yourself with.

    He does dave mi

    ghtily, but to you only after you have done all you can do. Loving unconditionally is kind of moot to our discussion, and I think he can “force” someone to heaven. Of course, I would not use the word force, but he can control our hearts, and that when he specifically calls his beckon cannot be resisted. He is, after all, God. He much more often does not, but he can, has and will.

    You also say: “Yes there are different meaning to Evangelicals, and to clarify them you need to have Creeds and made up terms, such as Triune God, Rapture etc, etc” How often have we quoted the Creeds? Also, do you care to make a case as to why creeds are necessarilly bad?

    Sincere prayer– do you mean to tell me I have not prayed sincerely?

    Repentance? Which way is it? Are we to forgive others, or are we to seek forgiveness from others? Christ told us we are to forgive others, and this is relevant to our salvation. Its not like AA here.

    Alas, before going off in a direction that I did not intend, I think this is enough to suggest that not only are our views very different, but that your four items are not sufficient to explain everything necessary without further questions.

    Accepting your word is not sufficient. “Sincere” prayer is not sufficient because it is so subjective. Reading the Bible is not sufficient to support your claims because some very real and strong opposition to them comes from the Bible.

    The reality is that one must accept what LDS say without really knowing more. I know you disagree, but that is to be expected.

  10. jackg wrote

    God, who is omni-EVERYTHING, by the power of His Word spoke into nothingness–and the power of His Word generated nothingness into matter that immediately obeyed His voice because of the honor that is naturally commanded on the grounds of His holy character.


    As an important side-issue, did you notice that the Biblical basis of our salvation rests on the same principal? What I mean is, our salvation rests entirely upon His holy and unchanging character. We are saved because of who God is, which makes the “who is God” question really, really important.

  11. falcon says:

    I always thought this Mormon spirit leaving deal was kind of odd. But it all fits with the Mormon feelings based religion. That is, if I feel good, I have the spirit, but if I feel bad, I don’t have the spirit. If someone challenges me and I feel bad, I don’t have the spirit. Strange thing this Mormonism and the spirit that guides them. He leaves when things get tough or challenging.
    In Christianity that’s not the way things work, but then we don’t have a feelings driven faith. My faith is the same whether I’m emotionally up or in the dumper. The Holy Spirit in Christianity lives within the believer. He doesn’t leave. It was the promise of the giving by God of the Holy Spirit fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. We’re taught in the Bible that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We don’t need buildings made of wood and stone. We don’t need rituals because our lives are living sacrifices to God.
    Once Mormons get off the emotional roller coaster of a feelings based religion, they open themselves up to the Holy Spirit and the guidance He provides the believer. I’m guessing that one of the reasons so many Mormon missionaries bail on the program is because they feel lousy most of the time when they’re on their mission. Under this feelings based religion they probably process the idea that they are working like dogs and they feel bad (despite their efforts) so the spirit must not be with them. So they jump ship. Just as well. They’ll save themselves from sticking a whole lot of money and a whole lot of time in a religion that gives little back while demanding more all the time. At least they can have some relief from the Mormon machine and gain the possibility of finding God.

  12. Michael P says:

    Hank, after some comments you’ve made regarding Smith, do you still wish to maintain that you are not allegiant to him or that you don’t prop him up?

  13. Enki says:

    The ancient greek language indeed lacks an indefinate article, the way that john 1:1 is translated causes some confusion and problems. Here is some discussion about why the NWT of john 1:1 is translated as ‘a god’. Others are argueing that it appears to demote the position of christ.

    Some years ago I had several copies of the bible, one evanglical friend of mine didn’t particularly like the James moffit translation, because it didn’t take an overly abundant stand on if he was god, or a god, or just had divine qualities. (Moffatt) – “the Logos was divine”. Tranlation can be a difficult process, especially one one language has different properties than another. I am sure it takes much study to understand why translations are made the way they are. Below is some statement which justifies why the NWT text is translated as it is.

    “In the Greek text there are many cases of a singular anarthrous predicate noun preceding the verb, such as in Mr 6:49; 11:32; Joh 4:19; 6:70; 8:44; 9:17; 10:1, 13, 33; 12:6. In these places translators insert the indefinite article “a” before the predicate noun in order to bring out the quality or characteristic of the subject. Since the indefinite article is inserted before the predicate noun in such texts, with equal justification the indefinite article “a” is inserted before the anarthrous θεός in the predicate of John 1:1 to make it read “a god.” “

  14. grindael says:

    What JS was trying to do, as was David Koresh, Jim Jones and those like them, was to try and elevate themselves to God. “I am like Christ, I am a man and will become a God.” Or that they are Christ. They turn the focus away from God and put it on themselves to justify their belief system. There is no ‘Creed’ that replaces the Word of Life. I believe those words in red because they came from HIM. I believe what Paul and the Apostles said because Jesus affirmed them. We know this, and they did nothing to take away from HIM. The first presidency comparisons are only a tool for Mormons to liken their system to their mistaken Godhead beliefs. Again, that is why we have scriptures that make only ONE GOD, the true Christian teaching: “For in Him the fullness of Diety dwells in bodily form” that is why The term “the almighty” is used 44 times in the Bible. The last verse referring to the almighty is Jesus claiming to be the almighty. How many almighties do we have? Only one and He Jesus, sits on the throne alone! That is why “God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.” (1TIM3:16) The teaching of the Bible concerning the Trinity might be summarized thus. God is a Tri-unity, with each Person of the Godhead equally and fully and eternally God. Each is necessary, and each is distinct, and yet all are one. The three Persons appear in a logical, causal order. The Father is the unseen, omnipresent Source of all being, revealed in and by the Son, experienced in and by the Holy Spirit. The Son proceeds from the Father, and the Spirit from the Son. With reference to God’s creation, the Father is the Thought behind it, the Son is the Word calling it forth, and the Spirit is the Deed making it a reality.

  15. grindael says:

    I could easily have said that “why didn’t John say that Jesus is one of many God’s” Still your Greek argument does not hold any water. I understand the rules of Greek Grammer. In English, we can recognize the subject of a sentence by looking at word order. In Greek, we must look at the word endings. John 1:1 is trickier than most verses, because both “God” (theos) and “Word” (logos) have the same ending. The usual way to mark off the subject clearly was to add “the” to the subject and leave it off the direct object. That is precisely what John did here.
    To conform to standard Greek grammar. E.C. Colwell demonstrated in an article in the Journal of Biblical Literature in 1933 that it was normal practice to omit “the” in this type of sentence. John was simply using good grammar, and making it clear that he intended to say, “The Word was God” rather than “God was the Word,” a statement with some theological drawbacks. John constructed his sentence in the one way that would preserve proper grammar and sound doctrine, declaring that “the Word was God.” As to seeing with spiritual eyes: I have no problems with John seeing God with spiritual eyes, I DO with David Whitmer because he was easily deceived. If Joseph had the plates, why the secrecy? To hide something. It is ludacris to believe that only Joseph could see them. He set it up to trick them, preying on their religious hopes, carrying them around in a box, and if accounts are to be believed left them in the woods while he translated using a stone in a hat! Come on, and you expect me to take that on faith??? I did, and lost 13 years of my life. As to the Throne of God, it still only said ONE Throne, for ONE GOD. Others may get thrones, but john wasn’t looking at them. He was looking at the ONE Throne of the ONE GOD.

  16. Enki says:

    For comparision, there is the hindu word “OM”.
    “Most religions indicate that creation began with sound– In the beginning was the word…
    For the Hindus & Buddhists, Om is the primordial sound, the first breath of creation, the vibration that ensures existence. Om sign signifies God, Creation, & the One-ness of all creation.”

    Its interesting that connected to this word is the trinity.

    As for the number of people who can sit on god’s throne…I don’t know. Is this like the question of how many angels can sit on the head of a pin? I don’t fully understand hindu theology, but Brahman is the ultimate reality, and apparently they have the goal to eventually dissolve oneself into the brahman. One website compared it to a doll made of salt, exploring the depths of the ocean. It made me think of the phrase, “no one can see god and live”. That is to say that your absorbed into god, and don’t return to earth.

  17. shematwater says:

    I have missed much of the conversation as I have only a few hours each day to be on this site, however I would like to say a few things.

    First, MICHEAL

    I was perfectly serious when I said that Faith, Repentance, Baptism, and the Holy Ghost were sufficient to gain the Celestial Kingdom. Baptism is the strait gate by which one enters that Kingdom. All the temple seremonies and covenants are to gain the higher levels of that kingdom, but this basic set of principles is all that is needed for entrance (that is why it is an article of Faith).
    Now, I know these things bring up more questions, but that doesn’t matter. If you require the answer to every question that comes up before you will believe you will have faith in nothing. One must accept the lower doctrine (or the milk) before they can learn the deeper doctrine (or the meat). I know the LDS are critized for this approach but it is the only sound way of teaching. You do not teach Calculus to one who has not first learned Algebra, and you do not teach the deep doctrines to one who does not know the first doctrines.

  18. shematwater says:


    I don’t know if it has been pointed out, but I would like to give you my take on the “men on the moon quote.”
    As given above the quote is thus “Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon?…when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the ignorant of their fellows. So it is in regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain.”

    There are two ways to look at it. First life does not have to mean mortal life, thus there could be spirits, angels, or gods living in these areas, which we would not be able to detect.

    However, I would point out the end “I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain.” Notice that this is what he thinks. In his mind there is no question that there is life there. Why? Because it was not “Created in vain.” This is the only actual doctrine he is putting forth, that nothing is created in vain, all things have a purpose, and to him that pupose was to support life.

    I will post later about the kinderhook plates.

  19. grindael says:

    Sadly, there is clarification of this, by someone who heard it from the “prophets” mouth:
    In an 1892 LDS publication under the heading “THE INHABITANTS OF THE MOON,” this interesting information is given by Oliver B. Huntington:

    “Nearly all the great discoveries of men in the last half century have, in one way or another, either directly or indirectly, contributed to prove Joseph Smith to be a Prophet.

    “As far back as 1837, I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do — that they live generally to near the age of 1000 years.

    “He described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style.

    “In my Patriarchal blessing, given by the father of Joseph the Prophet, in Kirtland, 1837, I was told that I should preach the gospel before I was 21 years of age; that I should preach the gospel to the inhabitants upon the islands of the sea, and to the inhabitants of the moon, even the planet you can now behold with your eyes.” (The Young Woman’s Journal, published by the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Associations of Zion, 1892, vol. 3, pp. 263-64) What troubles me is that BY made his comment from the pulpit and according to him:
    “I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom…I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. The people have the oracles of God continually.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 95). Makes you kinda cringe…doesn’t it? But you have a choice…leave the shadow of these arrogant men behind…come to Christ…Pray about it, he will lead you away from them… no, it was not spirits or angels or gods…just weird quaker men…

  20. Mike R says:


    A few notes on Jn.1:1

    The JW’s rendering of , “a god” at Jn.1:1 in
    1950, when they produced their NWT, surprised
    the scholarly community.The greek at Jn.1:1
    simply does not read that way.In their NWT
    at Jn.1:1 there’s a footnote directing the
    reader to the appendix for additional comments.
    To justify their, “a god” rendering, the
    appendix quotes from three greek scholars,
    none of which agree with the JW’s,but by
    selected partial quotes it appears they do.
    This dishonesty did not help the JW’s case.

    The reason that JW’s like to refer to Jesus
    as a god (little “g”) is that it supports
    their particular belief that Jesus is not
    really unique,it reduces Jesus to one of
    many as He was just the first creation by
    Jehovah God,the first of His angelic sons
    In this way JW’s are similar to LDS, where
    Jesus was just the first spirit child born
    of Heavenly Father and one of His wives.
    Both groups wrench Col.1:15 from its context
    to prove this.
    Jesus is unique.The Eternal God who became
    man and dwelt among us, lived the perfect
    life that we could not, and died for our
    personal sins that we could be reconciled
    to our Creator.
    Grindael was right, the Jesus of Mormonism
    (and Jehovah’s Witnesses) is not the Jesus
    of the Bible.

  21. falcon says:

    I think we need to see the two year missionary stint by young Mormon men as a sort of weeding out process. What’s really happening is that Mormonism is getting rid of the dead wood. Those that leave the Mormon faith, and they do so in droves, probably aren’t really good god material anyway. This way the rest of the group doesn’t have to spend time coddling these slackers and gumming-up the Celestial highway. Besides, these guys probably won’t be kicking in their 10% and doing their callings as expected. So the reality is that this two year boot camp serves a very important function within this autocratic religion. I don’t know how it effects the pool of bachelors for the young Mormon women, but better they not marry these guys anyway because they aren’t going to be the type to bring these gals into full goddess mode.

  22. HankSaint says:

    “It seems that Mormon missionaries would be a great group to evangelize. I’ve got to figure out a way to find me some. They’re a rare commodity where I live although I saw four of them in a restaurant about a month ago. If I’d been alone I’d have pulled up a chair and introduced myself. I’ll figure something out.”

    LOL, just go to the LDS web site, leave your phone number and address, bingo two full time Missionaries right to your door steps.
    Seems a rare commodity can be more of a common thing if one does the work.


  23. HankSaint says:

    “In my Patriarchal blessing, given by the father of Joseph the Prophet, in Kirtland, 1837, I was told that I should preach the gospel before I was 21 years of age; that I should preach the gospel to the inhabitants upon the islands of the sea, and to the inhabitants of the moon, even the planet you can now behold with your eyes.”

    LOL again, please put down your antiquated source materials and get real.

    It was not Joseph Smiths Father that gave that Blessing. I will allow you time to do the personal research necessary, and then you can get back with me and show your hard evidence to prove me wrong.


  24. HankSaint says:


    The story of moon men was recorded by Oliver B. Huntington in 1881 and published in 1892, half a century after Joseph Smith’s death. Hunt ington was not one of Joseph Smith’s scribes nor did he record the story during the prophet’s lifetime so that it could be verified by the prophet. Huntington is the only source of the story.

    I’m waiting for your version.

    Regards, Richard.

  25. Michael P says:

    What’s interesting Shem is the question of when LDS address those next questions. I’m not suggesting you answer them, but in your presentation do you tell your audience that more exists to the four simple facts? In other words, do you tell them that calculus exists or do you simply say that those four things are it? If you tell them more exists, how do you address the more? Do you give them insight into what it is, or do you just gloss over and it and not discuss at all?

    See, part of my concern with your (LDS) thoughts on this is that I can teach someone calculus from the beginning. Whether they get it is not relevant. I can teach them because their’s nothing to hide. In contrast, I get the feeling LDS hide this further information and that it is hidden for fear of people losing faith. LDS then withhold that information until the person warrants enough faith to be sure to buy whatever is next in line.

    I’ll stop and say that I see how you justify the belief that it is until they will understand it. But I propose that it is a subtle difference that leads one to say what I just said. Belief and strength in belief vs. understanding are two different things. If you fear people leaving because they won’t buy into it until they have another understanding is indicative that something is wrong with the belief system.

    Common sense suggests that a belief system should be believable up and down the ladder no matter what is understood below a given doctrine.

  26. Regarding Tim and Bridget’s linked blog posts:

    I like Tim’s post and I will take his advice on giving the missionaries an oasis. If only millions of evangelicals would invite the missionaries over and share a personal testimony of what God has done in their life.

    I really appreciated Bridget’s fair summary of “option #3″. I do think it can be integrated with the main elements of option #2. Option #2 as stated seems to be unique for what it does not do, not for what it does do. In other words, why not gush over our precious Jesus and share our personal testimonies and love for our faith, be inquisitive with questions for the missionaries about their own beliefs, and then combine that with some hard-hitting apologetic issues? People are so different, we never know what instrumentally will impact them. Holistic engagement ideally address the intellectual, emotional, and physical parts of the people we are reaching.

    Since most evangelicals are not up to speed on the apologetic issues, they probably need to focus on sharing simple truths from the Bible and their own personal testimonies, with a few very basic apologetic issues sprinkled in if they can. If the Christians here in Utah would take a more active role in doing option #2, I’d be a happy man as long as it didn’t remove the urgency of the gospel, the high stakes involved, and the unfathomable importance of worshiping God as he is really is lest we be idolaters.

  27. falcon says:

    Statistically speaking, one of two missionaries will leave the Mormon church (go inactive). I think that’s a point we have to keep in mind. If we spend some time with the missionaries in a positive way demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ we can perhaps plant a seed that will come to fruition at some point in time. For me one of the many tragedies of Mormonism is the number of people who leave the Mormon church and become, for lack of a better word, godless. In reading “testimonies” of many of these folks, they are so happy to be free from the culture of Mormonism that they don’t want anything to do with God. When they crossed Mormonism off their list they crossed God off also.
    I know that one of the reasons that I gave some consideration to the idea that maybe there was a God was because of some kind and patient people who shared Christ with me when I was openly hostile to the whole concept. This was over a period of time and eventually I found God on my own.(?) So if missionaries can see Christ in us then when that time comes when they have had enough of “whatever” related to Mormonism, maybe they’ll give Jesus a look-see.

  28. grindael says:

    The story of the moon men is just one example of how Joseph Smith tried to hoodwink his followers with information that could not be proven at the time. The info comes from OB Huntington, was published in the Young WOMENS Journal, an offical publication of the Church, and was also given in a sermon over the pulpit by Brigham Young. But it is the same as it ever was, the Mormons just cannot believe these half buried truths, and have covered up the silly, arrogant and dangerous teachings of BY and others who went wild in the isolation of Utah. Mountain Meadows started the end of that, or who knows how violent it would have gotten (or did) you have no idea whats locked up in the First PRes Vaults. Dont Preach to me Hank Saint, and laugh about antiquidated sources. You do not have an open mind, you think it all a good joke. THEY SAID IT, BELIEVED IT YOUR PROPHETS TAUGHT IT AND YOU CANT EXPLAIN IT. THAT IS THE STORY OF MORMONISM. Ill still pray for you, you need the help.

  29. Ralph says:


    Here is what Dr Julius Mantey has to say about John 1:1 –

    ”If the Greek article occurred with both Word and God in John 1:1 the implication would be that they are one and the same person, absolutely identical. But John affirmed that “the Word was with (the) God” (the definite article preceding each noun), and in so writing he indicated his belief that they were distinct and separate personalities. Then John next stated that the Word was God, i.e., of the same family or essence that characterizes the Creator. Or, in other words, that both are of the same nature, and that nature is the highest in existence, namely, divine.”

    Note he states that ”John affirmed that “the Word was with (the) God” (the definite article preceding each noun), and in so writing he indicated his belief that they were distinct and separate personalities.

    Now to be thruthful, Dr Mantey does go on using some other scriptures from the NT to show that Jesus was God, but that ”Christ and God are the same in essence and that both are divine and equal in nature.” But he states that the underlying translation left here in John 1:1 is that the author, the apostle John, believed that God and the Word are two distinct and separate personalities – which can also be, in my opinion, translated as being distinct and separate beings, unless the being was schizophrenic.

    (Excerpts from written by Julius Robert Mantey, A.B., Th.D., Ph.D., D.D. Professor of Greek and New Testament Northern Baptist Theological Seminary Chicago, Illinois)

    But since the word ‘theos’ can also be translated as divine or deity in this verse (ibid) there are other meanings that this verse can have other than Jesus = God. So it’s all in the translation and interpretation – you wish it to mean one thing and have the evidence to back it up; we believe it means another and there is also evidence to back it up.

  30. Enki says:

    For those of us that don’t read greek, how are we supposed to be able to judge what is the most accurate translation of Jn 1:1? What do you do with other examples of “singular anarthrous predicate nouns”? John 6:70, John 9:17 I am sure there are other examples, but as I understand it there is no ‘a’ in the original either.

    There are some other translations other than the NWT which translate similiarly.

    “1808 “and the Word was a god” – The New Testament, in An Improved Version, Upon the Basis of Archbishop Newcome’s New Translation: With a Corrected Text, London.
    1864 “and a god was the Word” – The Emphatic Diaglott (J21,interlinear reading), by Benjamin Wilson, New York and London.
    1935 “and the Word was divine” – The Bible—An American Translation, by J. M. P. Smith and E. J. Goodspeed, Chicago.
    1955 “so the Word was divine” – The Authentic New Testament, by Hugh J. Schonfield, Aberdeen.
    1978 “and godlike sort was the Logos” – Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Johannes Schneider, Berlin. ”

    “John 1: 1 – 3
    The Logos existed in the very beginning,
    the Logos was with God,
    the Logos was divine.” -James Moffatt translation

    MikeR- Some others have translated it differently before and since the NWT. It shouldn’t really have been that much of a suprise. There is some concern over the doctrine of Arianism, it sounds like its been a subject of dispute for sometime.

    “Arianism became so widespread in the Christian church and resulted in such disunity that the emperor Constantine convoked a church council at Nicaea in 325 (see Councils of Nicaea).”

    I haven’t read the article, its quite lengthy, but its enough for me to understand that its a big issue.

  31. Michael P says:

    Falcon wrote: “So if missionaries can see Christ in us then when that time comes when they have had enough of “whatever” related to Mormonism, maybe they’ll give Jesus a look-”

    I think the best way to show anyone Christ is to live like Him. Even LDS who don’t really know what and who Christ really is will see something different when they encounter a true Christian.

    It can be confusing to those on the outside who see so many who profess Christ go out and live such horrid lives. They see no difference between them and those who are not Christian. And when they see that they see no reason to follow someone who offers nothing different than what they already know. And what they know doesn’t come witht he guilt of being Christian.

    And that brings in a point of being open and forgiving. Too many Christians look down on the little sinners and prop themselves up. When they do this, they turn others off from Christ.

    But this is not what Christ did, is it? He lived a perfect life, and challenged the Pharisees to stone him if they could find a sin to stone him for. They couldn’t. He also spent significant amounts of time with the “little sinners” and ultimately died an inglorious and humiliating death. He forgave people freely and did not judge.

    But he also spoke the truth with confidence. He challenged those who needed to be challenged and lifted up those who needed lifting. He was a courageous and bold man who went right after the religious establishment.

    So, what does it mean to live like Christ? I presented three things here alone: live a life free of sin, forgive and do not belittle anyone no matter their sin (respect all) and be bold in the truth and speak up.

    I think people will react positively to these traits. They’ll have nothing to condemn, will see the positive power and be more apt to check out someone who is confident in what they believe.

    Of course these three traits are three out of many and we should not forget others.

  32. HankSaint says:


    LOL again. I don’t mind you stating what ever you wish, but I have to laugh that when it comes to accuracy you fail miserably. What you do is unwittingly criticize Joseph Smith and suggest he made some statement that is unprovable and try to pass it off as another bulls-eye. But when you are faced with the reality of being totally wrong you try to throw up additional mud hoping some will stick.
    Well you say, how about the Mountain Meadows Massacre or what does the Church have locked up in its Vault, a very careless and fruitless line of criticism that only shows others you can’t stay on tract and prove one issue at a time. It really is sad and I suppose the visitors and guest get frustrated when they are hoping you will come back with some hard evidence to prove Richard wrong, interesting indeed.

    All were asking for is the true facts, you stated that it was Joseph Smiths father that pronounced the blessing, please show us prove of that, or that he even was in the room when the blessing was given.

    Post Script:
    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    T.S. Eliot

    Regards, Richard.

  33. HankSaint says:

    Close examination reveals that Huntington was only ten years old when he was given this blessing and that his recollections were made over fifty years later. Also, it turns out that the blessing was given by his own father, not Joseph Smith’s father.

    According to a copy of the blessing in the Church archives (Blessing Book, vol.9, pp.294-95), it was only one of many given the same day at the same meeting, and none were recorded in detail at the time. Orson Pratt took sketchy notes as the blessings were given, then filled in details later by consulting those who were there. An examination of the blessing shows that the recorded blessing was much more vague than Huntington remembered.

    It also appears that Huntington may have picked up on a rumor that Joseph Smith had given a description of the inhabitants of the moon. This description, which Huntington recorded in his journal, is the original source of the anti-Mormon claim that Joseph described the moon inhabitants. Because his journal is also cited in a Young Woman’s publication of the Church, it supposedly gives more credibility to the critics. The statement, which appeared in a two-page article by Oliver B. Huntington entitled “The Inhabitants of the Moon” in the Young Woman’s Journal, is as follows:

    As far back as 1837, I know that he [Joseph SmithJ said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we d~that they live generally to near the age of a 1,000 years.
    He described the men as averaging nearly six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style (Young Woman’s Journal, Vol.3, p.263). Reference Stephen W. Gibson

  34. grindael says:

    The statement is in Oliver Huntingtons Journals. It doesnt matter if he was 10 or 100 at the time. He was there. Who gave the blessing is not as relevant as 1. Oliver said Joseph Told him about the men in the moon 2. He was given a blessing written down by Orson Pratt that affirms the statement 3.Brigham Young preached the doctrine over the pulpit and said all his sermons were scripture. You know I have to admire the saints from the 1800,s. At least they didnt lie about stuff. They believed in Joseph and repeated his elaborations no matter how crazy they were. You, on the other hand can’t admit to anything. Oh there were a lot of blessings, oh Orson only took quick notes, oh maybe it was maybe it wanst Father Smith… Ya know, I was 12 when they landed on the moon. I saw it on TV. I remember oswald being shot on TV when I was six. I think I would have remembered if JS told me there were men on the moon when I was 10, and expecially if I was with him a long time after that. Your arguments hold no water, it was said, said from the pulpit, you just have to accept it.. Try.,

  35. grindael says:

    And I have not failed miserably at anything, I succeeded – in getting away from a dangerous cult. I do not want to do a treastie on MM, its been done and the saints deny responsibility. (The dangerous doctrine of blood atonement was taught by YOUNG and was in the temple ritual) I mearly mentioned it becuase it was a turning point, and the saints were more closely watched by the Feds, eventually polygamy was ended (fastest ending eternal commandment ever given by GOD) And salt lake could then concentrate on investing the churchs money in land, insurance companies and malls.

  36. Mike R says:


    I think what is important to remember is that
    in Jn.1:1 when it refers to Jesus as God that
    it is in agreement with the rest of the N.T
    testimony concerning the person of Jesus,i.e.
    He was God in human flesh,not some lesser god
    or angel.[the Watchtower Society likes to call
    Jesus a god since He is only the arch-angel
    Michael to them]
    Concerning those other Bible versions you
    1808 The N.T. in An Improved Version,Upon the
    Basis of ArchBishop Newcome’s Improved
    Version.” Notice the word, ‘improved’?
    Newcome’s text originally read, “the Word was
    God”(1796).It was changed after his death by
    the Unitarian Church(the deny that Jesus is
    1864 The Emphatic Dialglott: the interlinear
    side does say, “a god”, yet if you look across
    the page to the translation side it says,”the
    Logos was God”.
    Both Moffatt’s and Goodspeed’s version say,
    “divine”.What is important to realize is that
    both of these men described what they meant by
    this term in their commentary on the gospel of
    John, i.e. Jesus is divine as God is, etc.
    Lastly, you stated that Arianism was “infect-
    ing” the Church.This was,nt surprisng since the
    Apostle Paul warned the Church that heresy
    would come and to be on guard against it, see
    Acts 20:28-30.
    Enki, when looking at the Person of Jesus Christ
    consider His claims, consider what the whole of
    the N.T. record declares of Him. Follow this
    Jesus, you won’t be disapointed. Jn.6:68.

  37. Oliver B. Huntington was born in 1823. According to LDS author John Heinerman, in 1892 Huntington wrote, “In my Patriarchal Blessing,” given by the father of Joseph the Prophet in Kirtland (Ohio), 1837, “I was told that I would preach the gospel to the inhabitants upon the islands of the sea, and–to the inhabitants of the moon, even the planet you can now behold with your eyes.” (Young Women’s Journal, 3:262, as quoted in People in Space, John Heinerman, 1990)

    For a more lengthy quote from Heinerman’s book outlining other Latter-day Saints’ testimony of LDS leaders’ teachings regarding men on the moon, see Inhabitants of the Moon: Truth or Fiction.

  38. falcon says:

    I was thinking about the Amish practice of “rumspringa” in regards to the two year stint Mormon boys spend trying to convince people that Mormonism is the real deal. It’s like a rite of passage for young men in this religious clan. However “rumspringa” among some Amish sects is a little different in its rite of passage. These Amish teenagers, for a time, have the rules suspended and they are allowed to experience the world. Some maybe just soup-up the buggies but others do some drinking, smoking, chase around in cars, go a little nuts. At the end of their time of “running around” they have to choose whether or not they want to join the Amish community and live by its rules. Interestingly most choose to be baptized and stay with the program.
    Now contrast that with Mormonism. The boys go through intense training and indoctrination, go out and live a very challenging life for two years trying to shag some converts, and when it’s all over, half drop out.
    What’s wrong with this picture especially when it’s contrasted with Amish youth? What I propose is that the Mormon experience of the missionaries results in something called “identity foreclosure”. That is the “acceptance of parental life choices without consideration of options”. The Amish however provide an example of “identity achievement” which is a strong sense of commitment to life choices after free consideration of alternatives”.
    When these Mormon missionary kids wake-up and realize they’ve been programmed and indoctrinated and really had no chance to make some free choices they bolt the clan. They get driven out by an uptight controlling culture, inconsistent doctrinal teachings and practices, and a whitewashed history that bears no resemblance to reality. Is it any wonder that half the missionaries leave and two-thirds of those on the rolls are inactive.

  39. falcon says:

    Now I’m not suggesting that it’s a good idea for young people to go out and live a life of total or semi debauchery in order to determine their true identity. I’m contrasting the rite of passage of the Amish and that of the Mormons and the results.
    I was reading an entry on another blog regarding the experience of a teenager at a Mormon youth conference. The mother of the young woman wrote the following:
    My daughter’s Youth Conference this year was after her school began, so she missed the first half, but came up for the weekend activities. She is a upbeat and really great all around girl, but she had a cold and may have not been fully up to her game. The one activity that really shook her and my husband up was an event they held on the last day. They made up the building to be the 3 kingdoms and took the kids through them explaining what types of people will end up in each kingdom (i.e., murderers and sinners in Telestial). The big kicker was that at the end, each child was given a slip of paper with their name written on it and the kingdom they had been chosen to attend. The leaders explained that they had been judging them throughout the week and their kingdom was based on their actions. My daughter was one of only a few that got Telestial, she was very hurt. The kicker for her was her close friend who was chosen for Celestial and could see no wrong in the leaders judging everyone. It really opened my daughter’s eyes as to how brainwashed members are.”
    So what’s the result of this “activity”? The woman writes: “Anyhow, my daughter has started fresh research and discussions with me. She can now see how irrational and impossible it all is and we are working together to remove her from the church’s clutches.”
    I believe this goes under the heading of “with friends like this who needs enemies.” Our TBM guests here really don’t have much to fear from Christian apologists. They have a poison that’s killing off their members. I just hope these young people find Christ.

  40. Enki says:

    Mike R,
    That doesn’t really answer the question if a “singular anarthrous predicate noun” is being used there. I never used the word ‘infected’. The point was that there was a lot of confusion. I had no idea that church councils were held on this issue, one being in Nicaea.

    If the original was so clear on this issue, why was there a council on it? I am sure there are other passages where there are confusions on how to translate things. Do you believe the results of these councils?

  41. Mike R says:

    The fact that a council is held is not
    unusual, controversies need to be add-
    ressed.Heresy can cause confusion[see
    2Tim.2:17-18 ]
    The statement you used which said, “Arianism
    became so widespread in the Church and re-
    sulted in disunity…” was where I drew the
    heresy “infection” from, sorry for attributing
    that to you directly.(I was typing this out
    at 2am while getting ready for work)

    As far as the decision of Nicea in 325,I do
    believe that the rejection of Arianism was
    the correct decision.
    As far as where the “singular anarthrous
    predicate noun” study enters into this,I
    have to say that while I have read a few
    articles on this and other points in
    Greek grammar, I don,t think you need to
    get that deep etc. As I mentioned to you
    Jn 1:1 does not stand alone.Take your
    Bible and go through the Gospel of John
    and see the picture it paints of the
    person of Jesus Christ.Did He have the
    prerogatives of God?
    I hope this helps.

  42. liv4jc says:

    Enki, there is no doubt that John 1:1 should be translated as it stands in all modern translations, except the New World Translation. That is what the Greek text says. Now, if a particular group, such as JW’s, Smithians, Oneness Pentacostal’s, etc. want to deny that Jesus is God they have to import their theology into that verse to change its meaning, but the text and grammar stand on their own.

    But like Mike said, there are many other verses in John that support this claim. Some of my favorites are the “I am He” statements made by Jesus himself. Make no mistake, when Jesus said this the Jews of His day knew exactly what he meant, and they wanted to kill Him because of it:
    John 8:24-28, John 13:19-20, and John 18:4-8. This is important because “I AM” was the name Moses was told to give to the Israelites in Egypt when he went to free them, It is also what God calls Himself in Deut 32:39

    See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides me;

    Also in Isiaih 41:4, Isaiah 41:10-13, and Isaiah 48:12-13.

    And perhaps the most famous verses of the Smithians to prove that they are gods in embryo, John 10:31-38

    Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

  43. Enki says:

    Are you catholic? I thought evangelicals had certain distain for commentaries, opinions, or doctrines formed indirectly from the Bible, or outside of the bible. I don’t know why, but I just want to know what it says, and for some reason its not enough to compare with other verses.

  44. Enki says:

    Philippians 2:5-6
    “5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
    6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: ”

    This verse appears to be taken out of context, but I believe that J.S. or one of the LDS presidents has said that one should desire to be god, not just simply become a god. I don’t know where that sermon came from, perhaps an LDS person could help. Some have compared this idea to Hinduism, I am not sure of the exact teaching, but it has something to do with the idea that you are divine, you just don’t know it yet.

    The ‘I am’, its interesting you said, “This is important because “I AM” was the name Moses was told to give to the Israelites in Egypt when he went to free them, It is also what God calls Himself in Deut 32:39.”

    Its difficult to know the exact origin of the ‘I am”.

    “Egyptian creation texts repeatedly stress the belief of creation by the Word. When nothing existed except the One, he created the universe with his commanding voice. The Egyptian Book of the Coming Forth by Light (wrongly and commonly translated as the Book of the Dead), the oldest written text in the world, states:

    I am the Eternal … I am that which created the Word … I am the Word … ”

    “According to the Egyptian philosophy, man is born mortal but contains within himself the seed of the divine. His purpose in this life is to nourish that seed, and his reward, if successful, is eternal life, where he will reunite with his divine origin. ”

    The list of the 42 Negative Confessions is interesting to read, do you see any similiarities to some of them, to the ten commandments?

  45. On Phil 2:5-11

    This is a remarkable passage for many reasons.

    Firstly, it could well be the first part of the NT to have been written down. There’s a fairly strong case that Paul incorporated someone else’s hymn of praise to Christ when he wrote his letter to the Philippians between AD 54 and 62. I find this significant in refuting modern Arianism; it is commonly argued that the original Gospels had a low Christology, but the deity of Christ was gradually emphasised until he was “promoted” to being fully God at Nicea in AD325. Phil 2:5-11 demonstrates the complete opposite; the earliest forms of Christianity (just 2 to 3 decades after Jesus’ death) started out with a very high Christology, and it was the Gnostics and Arians that introduced foreign ideas to it.

    Secondly, in case you missed it, the passage has a very high Christology. Not only is Jesus equated with God at the beginning, the passage ends by ascribing to Jesus an attribute that belongs to God alone; see Isaiah 45:22-23. If the Philippian hymn retains any of Isaiah’s message about there being only one God, and if it introduces the relationship between Father and Son, then it must drive us to the conclusion that the earliest Christian writings were trinitarian.

    Finally, Paul holds Jesus up as the example to follow (Phil 2:5). Notice the trajectory; whereas the World would say that you can acquire immortality by asserting or exalting or protecting yourself, the NT Gospel says that we become like God when we empty and humble ourselves. Being “like God” is to adopt His attitude of service and humility.

  46. Mike R says:


    I personally believe I’m on safe ground,as a
    Christian,to base my beliefs on God’s Word.

    If the question is: Is Jesus God? Then it’s
    important to see what the entire Gospel of
    John,in this case, says about Him.
    This is what I was attempting to convey to
    I’m not Catholic.

  47. Becoming “like” God;

    Previous discussions have touched on the Orthodox idea of theosis, and whether it bears any resemblance to the LDS idea of eternal progression. Briefly, the orthodox view is that we become like God in his expressed character whereas the LDS view is that we become like God in his ontological nature.

    Here’s what Theophylact of Bulgaria (Greek Orthodox Archbishop, circa 1050 to 1108) wrote, commenting on Matt 19:29;

    You, then, O reader, hasten to sell your possessions and give to the poor. Possessions are, to the wrathful person, his anger; to the fornicator, his disposition for debauchery; to the resentful person, his remembrance of wrongs. Sell these things and give them to the poor demons who are in want of every good thing. Return the passions to the creators of the passions, and then you will have treasure, which is Christ, in your heaven, that is, in your mind which has been exalted above this world. For he who becomes like the Heavenly One has heaven within himself

    I think LDS and Evs can “get” the virtue thing that Theophylact is promoting. However, I can’t see how the “heaven within himself” thing can be reconciled if heaven is a planet orbiting a star called Kolob; or, even, if it is a future state that does not intersect with our present reality.

    I don’t think Theophylact’s views on theosis support LDS ideas of eternal progression.

    Neither do Paul’s, in Phil 2:5-11.

  48. Enki,

    You’ve drawn some interesting parallels between the religious ideas of the Hebrews and their neighbours.

    I wonder who borrowed from whom? (It seems to me to be just as presumptious to state that the Hebrews borrowed from the Egyptians as to state that it was the other way round.)

    Perhaps some idea of timeline would be useful? All I know (and I’ll cast the net as wide as I can), is that the “I am” of Genesis can be placed somewhere between the 15th and 7th Century BC (depending on how liberal your view of the OT is), whereas the “Book of Breathings” (a common funerary text, mistakenly understood as the basis for the Book of Abraham) was in circulation around the 3rd to 1st Century BC (?).

    That would suggest that Egypt borrowed from Israel. Maybe, after 15 centuries, the Egyptians finally woke up to the idea that their pantheon of gods had to start from somewhere.

    …so by this reckoning, the LDS church will maybe get there in about 10 centuries time… (I wish they’d hurry up!)

  49. HankSaint says:

    grindael stated, “And I have not failed miserably at anything, I succeeded – in getting away from a dangerous cult.

    Anyone who sets up such a lame straw-man, and then is rebutted with correct facts and evidence to me and other guest and visitors must be consider to have failed miserably.

    Like I said earlier, you make a accusation that is incorrect and then continue on with out missing a beat, ignoring my correction and then
    continue on with other peripheral issues as if it was OK since there is more such as Blood Atonement, Polygamy, and loose ended speculation about money, land, and insurance Companies. Your posting is like a loose cannon that when loaded and ready to fire is only filled with blanks and lacking in any live ammunition. You unwittingly prove to be less then creditable, so for whatever your reasons for leaving the Church it can not be for any accuracy in faulting Church history with lame facts and straw-man tactics.

    My sense it that you accomplish little to attract others to Evangelism, and more to assist us LDS to attract new investigators. Keep up the good work, you make it so much easier for our Missionaries to find new converts.

    Regards, Richard.

  50. Ward says:

    Once again, Richard, I am amazed at your manner with people. You give yourself a lot more credit for your arguments then I for one feel are warranted. You cut and paste whole sections from FAIR, and then don’t acknowledge Sharon’s admonishment. Grindael may not argue as skillfully as you want, or maybe is quite skillful indeed, for you try so hard to dismiss him as a loose cannon, filled with blanks, lack of any accuracy at all. He has a testimony, whether you want to admit it or not. You do yourself no favors by being so dismissive, and, IMO, arrogant. I can only assume that this approach is working for you, since you take this stance regularly, but I would encourage you to get feedback from others, not just here, but maybe from your church network. I myself would find it difficult to sit under your leadership, because all I would hear from you is the arrogance and belittling. You can do better than this. You can argue without put downs.

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