I was browsing the Desiring God web site the other day. I read an article where Pastor John Piper responded to the question, “How willingly do people go to hell?” Quoting C.S. Lewis’ statement, “All that are in hell choose it,” Dr. Piper wrote,
“…this leads some who follow Lewis in this emphasis to say things like, ‘All God does in the end with people is give them what they most want.’
“I come from the words of Jesus to this way of talking and find myself in a different world of discourse and sentiment. I think it is misleading to say that hell is giving people what they most want. I’m not saying you can’t find a meaning for that statement that’s true, perhaps in Romans 1:24-28. I’m saying that it’s not a meaning that most people would give to it in light of what hell really is.”
After vividly presenting the biblical description of hell, Dr. Piper noted,
“But whatever [a person] believes or does not believe, when he chooses against God, he is wrong about God and about hell. He is not, at that point, preferring the real hell over the real God. He is blind to both. He does not perceive the true glories of God, and he does not perceive the true horrors of hell.
“So when a person chooses against God and, therefore, de facto chooses hell—or when he jokes about preferring hell with his friends over heaven with boring religious people—he does not know what he is doing. What he rejects is not the real heaven (nobody will be boring in heaven), and what he ‘wants’ is not the real hell, but the tolerable hell of his imagination.
“When he dies, he will be shocked beyond words. The miseries are so great he would do anything in his power to escape. That it is not in his power to repent does not mean he wants to be there. Esau wept bitterly that he could not repent (Hebrew 12:17). The hell he was entering into he found to be totally miserable, and he wanted out. The meaning of hell is the scream: ‘I hate this, and I want out.'”
When I read this I was reminded of two things. One was a statement made by Joseph Smith in 1842. In this discourse Joseph was describing the burden he was under as a prophet, having people constantly looking for his faults. He said,
“I see no faults in the Church, and therefore let me be resurrected with the Saints, whether I ascend to heaven or descend to hell, or go to any other place. And if we go to hell, we will turn the devils out of doors and make a heaven of it. Where this people are, there is good society. What do we care where we are, if the society be good?” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 5:516-517)
Whether joking or using hyperbole to make his point, in this flippant statement Joseph demonstrated that he did not perceive the true horrors of hell. Otherwise Joseph, who claimed to represent Almighty God, could not have treated the subject of eternal separation from that God so indifferently, nor could he have placed the “good society” of his friends above the true glories of God.
The other thing I was reminded of when I read Dr. Piper, in my opinion, flows directly from Joseph Smith’s irresponsible statement quoted above; I have often heard Mormons express a similar sentiment to Joseph’s. They don’t talk about kicking the devil out of hell, but they do talk about their conviction that eternity in heaven would be hollow if they couldn’t be “together forever” with their families. They say things like LDS Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland recently said: “I wouldn’t know how to speak of heaven without my wife, my children. It would…it would not be heaven for me” (Mormon Temple and Eternal Family; Mr. Holland’s remark is found at the 4m45s mark).
Like Joseph Smith, Mormons who think this way do not perceive the true horrors of hell. Nor do they perceive the true glories of God. When they die they will be “shocked beyond words.”
Therefore, Christians, take this challenge spoken by Charles Spurgeon to heart:
“If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”
Drop to your knees, Christians; then go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel.
Comments within the parameters of 1 Peter 3:15 are invited.
I guess Mormons are just very fortunate that their religion doesn’t have hell. I left the Catholic church decades ago because, in part, they had purgatory and I wasn’t really interested in burning off the remaining residual effects of my forgiven sins. Although I could have earned indulgences to help shorten the stay, I opted years later for a different route.
Mormons must be comforted in their universalist system. They don’t have indulgences to earn but they do have works that can be performed that will merit them progressively higher rewards which includes becoming a god and ruling their own planetary system. In the Mormon system of “if it feels good it’s true and spirit led and if it feels bad it’s false and not spirit led”, hell must be a real buzz kill.
Years after I had left the Catholic church and rejected God and the notion of purgatory, hell and indulgences, I found new life in Christ and began to read and study God’s Word the Bible. I found truth in Jesus, God’s literal revealed Word and in God’s revealed written Word. My faith isn’t based on how something makes me feel, thinking that feelings are part of a revelation process or spirit, but rather on what God tells me about himself in His Word. Do I get personal revelations from God? Of course but they are consistent with what he has already revealed in His Son Jesus Christ and in the Bible.
Rejecting the notion of hell because it makes someone feel bad to think about it doesn’t change the reality of its existence.
May I suggest that what Lewis meant is that all those who go to hell would be more comfortable there than in the presence of the Almighty. It is not that people really want to go to hell, but that their guilt and shame make heaven an even more uncomfortable place. Maybe? That is the way I see it anyway.
I also suggest that Joseph Smith’s point about hell is intended to point out the whole underlying philosophy of the Gospel. And that is that the whole design of God is for us to become something. It is counter to the idea that heaven is merely a physical or material reward or place for certain behavior. Rather, the real reward is what has become of our natures, desires, and capacities. So in a sense, he is saying that we should focus on having ourselves changed through the atonement. Then we will change our environment from the inside out. This is the opposite to the way the world thinks- they want to compell others to change behavior rather than beginning by changing one’s self.
Regardless of which religion we belong to, I strongly believe that when we die we will be shocked beyond words. And after the day of judgement, again we will be shocked beyond words even if we thought we were ready for which ever eternal residence we enter (ie heaven or hell for you lot, one of the degrees of glory for the LDS). Reason being is that it will all be beyond our greatest dreams/imaginations on what we thought about it.
At least Charles Spurgeon said something right. Even as an LDS member I would agree with the quote above.
Nothing is more repugnant to an unregenerate heart then the idea of God doing what he wants with His own creation. Make no mistake about it – God casts people into hell. They do not want to go, God does not merely give them want they want, and He certainly does not step aside and let some outside force take over. There is no red tape in the afterlife; God justly follows the council of His own will and justly sends every individual to either His heaven or His hell.
David, if a person was to truly believe in an eternal hell, grasp the suffering of the place, and maybe even get a taste of it, then I would agree with you: Nobody would choose to be there when given a choice between eternal heaven or eternal suffering. But this would be a decision not based upon an understanding of the depths of our depravity compared to God’s righteousness, which causes us to turn to Him in repentance, but one based upon choosing bliss over suffering. Not having that knowledge I think that some people will rather be in Hell, because it is the one place that they can finally get away from the God that they hate. In John 3:19-20 we read,
Paraphrasing Paul in Romans 1 we find that all that needs to be known of God (not just the “God of the Bible”) is evident to men. But because men consciously suppress that truth, due to their willful unrighteousness, God turns them over to a depraved mind to do what their hearts naturally want to do. God does not add hardness to their hearts, He removes a measure of His common grace allowing men to do what they want, resulting in the evils that we see around us. Ephesians 2:1-3 also teaches that all men are children of wrath because of their disobedience. In verse 4 we learn that it was God’s mercy that saved us from our natural condition, causing Paul to exclaim in verse 5, “By grace you are saved!” This being God’s specific grace that raises the elect to new life, not based upon works that they have done (not even “choosing” Jesus), but based upon the gift of faith that is granted by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). Apart from that grace all men, in my opinion, would choose Hell over God.
I’m in favor of being shocked now while there is still time to be shocked and still time to do something about it before it’s too late. I would rather be shocked with joy as I enter into the presence of the Almighty rather than be shocked upon realizing that I am eternally separated from the Almighty because I chose to put my eternal destiny into the story of a false prophet. A person has to decide which “shock” they want. Yeah, it’s all about the choices. For LDS, they would call it agency. I’d like to tell you about a few “shocks” in my life that have brought me to where I am in Christ presently.
I had a great aunt who was a believer/follower of Christ. She was on her death bed, completely incoherent and basically out of it and had been for quite some time. She was able to die at home per her request so as was the family custom, we had our vigil. Family would take shifts around the bed. When one thought that the time had arrived we would be beckoned. Out of nowhere my aunt sits straight up in bed with her eyes wide open and said:
“Look….it’s…sooooo…beautiful…just like they said!”
At that point she fell back on the bed and was instantly dead.
The next was my grandmother who was also a devout Christian. (Mormons would call her an evangelical). She was fully overcome with cancer and almost in a coma. She was able to die at home at her request, but a nurse had to be there. The family vigil still took place. We were alerted. My grandmother opens up her eyes very wide, lifts up her arms and reaches forward and says:
She was instantly gone at that moment.
Those were a couple of “good” shocks that got my attention. I’d like to give you two more and the last one will be a fraction of my personal testimony. I will follow Falcon’s lead in doing so since he was kind enough to share that personal part of his life.
A woman presented herself to our pastor and her name was Miranda. She was heavily involved in the occult. She knew she was possessed and was seeking deliverance. Her mother was a witch and her father was a warlock. She was absolutely tormented by the entities that were within her. At that time the pastor lived up the street from me. He made the mistake of bringing Miranda home with him to give her rest and pray over her. In very short order the woman grabbed a knife and tried to murder his two children. She was subdued. The pastor’s kids were taken to my folks house who they knew very well. They were absolutely terrified and insisted in sleeping with my parents in their bed with them that night.
The deacons were summoned at the church where Miranda was taken. The assistant pastor related later how he was shaking while driving to the church knowing what was to come. All knew they had to “pray up” and fast before arriving, but were steadfast on 1 John 4:4. It was the classic all-nighter exorcism and it was the movie “Exorcist” come to life. You have no idea what horror and fear can be until you see what demonic hosts can do to a person. For any doubters, they become believers immediately.
Her jewelry that she was wearing was one of the sources of her bondage. Her parents had given it to her and made her wear it. The demons forbid her from removing it and when they were removed she tried to swallow them. Through much prayer and through the power of Jesus Christ her demons were expelled one after another. It wasn’t through the name of Mary, Pope Benedict, the Dali Lama, Ghandi, Buddha, Confucius, Joseph Smith, Charles Russell or any other religious person or false god. It’s Jesus Christ!
Our Mormon friends love to bear their testimonies so I hope they don’t mind if I share just a small part of mine that deals with “shock” and “hell”.
I grew up in an evangelical home – Pentecostals to be exact. We were in church every time the doors were open. My parents were devout and lived godly lives and made sure the rest of us did or we had to better fake it if we weren’t redeemed. I knew all the Bible stories. I knew the Gospel message and had even memorized a good bit of Scripture. I was armed to lead someone to Christ. Problem was…I wasn’t there. Like most young people, I thought I was invincible and would live forever. I believed the lie of Satan that I had plenty of time to get things right LATER and I could always pull off a “death bed” conversion if I had to.
I joined the Army after high school. I decide to start jumping out of perfectly good airplanes and get pretty risky with my pursuits. I kept playing games with God and always making “deals”. You know what I mean: procrastinating. Oh, how I remember exiting the aircraft out the back door giving up some wishful prayer asking God to let me live through another jump. Being a classic, spiritual knucklehead I would whisper the words of Stephen in Acts 7:59, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Ha ha…what an idiot I was…like that was going to help me. Yeah, I had religion. No, I didn’t have a relationship with the risen Messiah. I was lost – big time.
All that changed the day I walked into the duty room and was handed my orders to go overseas to a hot zone. I got scared. I really could die now and I knew I needed the Savior. To put it bluntly: the thought of going to hell scared the hell out of me.
I flew to St. Louis where I was to catch my MAC flight. I met my uncle there. He was a WWII vet who had lived through the Battle of the Bulge. He shared with me his “foxhole conversion”.
He had been brought up just like I had and knew the Gospel, but wanted to play games and juggle death thinking he could whip it. After watching all his buddies get blown away at the Battle of the Bulge, nearly freezing to death and then facing death square in the face with bullets whizzing past his face he called out to God and begged Him to let him live with the promise that he would serve Him the remainder of his days. He lived and he kept his promise. He became born-again & faithfully served Christ until 2008 when he died.
My uncle shared with me and the fear of hell and the very real chance of me going there without the Savior made me realize that the game was up. Right there in his basement I got on my knees and he led me in prayer to the Savior. When I got up I was born-again and I knew it. My worry and fear was gone. I flew out and when I landed at my destination and saw the machine guns lined up along the runway I had peace throughout it all.
What is missing today and not very popular is the teaching about hell. It doesn’t make people happy and nobody wants to talk about it. Telling people only the things that makes them happy isn’t giving them the full counsel of God. People say, “You scared the hell out of me!” I’m of the opinion that we should be asking our spiritual leaders, “Would you please scare the hell IN me?”
One common belief that is shared among abstract religions of the world like the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses is the denial of eternal torment. The similarities between these two are great, but this issue of not having an eternal hell/lake of fire is a “lovebug” doctrine among these two camps even though they can’t stand each other.
I was recently talking with some JW’s about this issue of hell. One of them said, “I was brought up Catholic and my grandmother was always talking about hell. It scared me and I didn’t like it. Then the Witnesses talked to me and told me there was no hell and I liked that much better!”
At that moment the two witnesses looked at each other & started laughing. I almost thought of laughing too out of shock at the naivety & lunacy of this kind of thinking. All I could think of was 2 Tim 4:3-4. I led them through some Scriptures such as Matthew 25:41, 46; Mark 9:43-48; Isa 66:24; Rev 20:10, 14 and many others. We spent two weeks talking about Luke 16:19-31. I gave them 9 reasons why that is not a parable, but rather a true, literal account. I then asked them this question:
“Isn’t there a possibility that the Bible teaching about hell is true? Is there a possibility that even though you don’t like the teaching, does that mean that the teaching is NOT true?”
Shockingly, they answered that it was possible. For Mormons, there is a hell, but it’s not like the Bible describes it and it’s only temporary. Hell will empty out after 1000 years and the worst sinner dirtbag gets the telestial which is described as being beyond anyone’s mind to comprehend in how great it is. Somehow the Mormons can’t explain what the words “eternal”, “day and night” and “forever” seem to mean when the Bible describes how one will be tormented in flames where the worm never dies and there is gnashing of teeth.
In JW land if you’re a lucky sap who died before 1914 you get another go at it after Armageddon – just like with the Mormons – more chances after death. Yippie! For the JW who apostasizes or the “goat” who rejects the Watchtower these days since 1914…well, you’re just annihilated like the JW jesus who was dispersed into gases by the JW jehovah.
While it may make one feel better, that doesn’t mean it’s true. For the Mormons, the Book of Mormon talks a lot about the lake of fire and hell: Jacob 3:11; 6:10; Alma 5:56; 2 Nephi 9:16; Mosiah 2:38-39; 3:27. Alma 34:30-35 says that the Mormons only get one chance and it’s in this life. The BoM is “the most correct book on earth” and “contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel”. Mormons today don’t care.
The JW’s don’t like the teaching of hell so they just leave out those verses in their corrupt version of the Bible – the NWT. Think I’m kidding? Here is what the NWT looks like – nothing but a straight line:
Mark 9:46 —–
Mark 9:48 —–
Sharon referenced that quote about Smith supposedly going to give the devil the “heave-ho” if he ends up in hell. Joseph was a real comedian in his own mind and the gullible who bought into his woodland tale. I wish it were possible to get a glimpse of Joseph Smith in hell right now and I wonder if he would be mouthing the words of the rich man in Luke 16:27-28?
Don Carlos Smith, Joseph’s brother said: “Any man who will teach and practice the doctrine of spiritual wifery will go to hell, I don’t care if it is my brother Joseph.” For Don, he doesn’t care what Joseph has to say in the pit shoveling brimstone with Judas and Hitler on 3rd shift smoking sulfur pipes.
I only wish the big screens at LDS Conference could show us Smith and Young in the pit for just 5 seconds so the Mormons could wise up. Most Mormons would still want to go where Smith is anyway. I wish the JW’s could see Russell with Smith and Young so they would know there is a real hell.
The demons know there is one and that is why they said this in Matt 8:29. There is plenty of room in hell. It’s obviously a big place: Prov 27:20. Where is the LDS version of Jonathan Edwards of Christianity that warned of hell? Are LDS bishops warning their people of the pending hell if they don’t repent? Of course not because they have given themselves over to fables (2 Tim 4:3-4) and won’t take the godly counsel of 2 Cor 6:2. The majority are inactive and counting on their family to do the work for them by proxy – and Mormons bash Christendom for “saved by grace alone”? Get out!
The fear of eternal torment is what the Mormons need. I wouldn’t wish outer darkness on any of them. I don’t want them shocked at death.
No Longer Fearing,
I think we agree here (though I am not sure). The point I was trying to make is that heaven and hell are very personal choices for God and are not the result of consequences (impersonal forces).
Often times there are those (not just Mormons) who try to make it sound like God merely steps out of the way and lets consequences take over. It is an attempt to get God “off the hook” over sending people to hell. Even if this were true, God is the author of the consequences; he is also the author of the binary *choice* of heaven or hell. Why even create a hell if does not want any of His creatures to go there?
Also, it is God who keeps people in hell. If they could climb out somehow they probably would succeed as they have an eternity to try. There is no third option of a nice place for goats. At the very least God limits the choices to merely two (how dare He do that). God does not need to add hardness to men’s hearts (although He can and has as evidenced in scripture) as mankind is already headed to hell and the one shot out is Jesus. One does not go to hell for rejecting the Son.
What we are touching on is historic monergism, indeed the gospel itself, and this is something distasteful to Joseph Smith. He had a man centered theology hence why he could make that retarded and blasphemous quote about building heaven in hell with the Latter-day Saints.
This thread demonstrates very effectively the truth that apostate Christianity is filled with false doctrine and misunderstandings.
David- you said “The point I was trying to make is that heaven and hell are very personal choices for God and are not the result of consequences (impersonal forces).”
So let me get this straight- God sends people to hell because He wants to, and His decision has nothing to do with consequences of behavior? Wow.
I suppose such a doctrine is consistent with the belief that God chooses whom he will save based on criteria that we cannot understand and is not based on any choice on the part of man.
This is such a depraved doctrine. Tell me you do not believe this.
I always find it interesting when a Mormon refers to teachings outside of Mormonism as “depraved doctrine.” Mormons believe in universal salvation. However, for Mormons, salvation does not mean salvation in the way Christians mean it. For the Mormons, salvation is not the same as living eternally in the presence of God. The Telestial and Terrestrial kingdoms are not places where God dwells eternally. The problem with Mormon thinking is they think God dwells in places; hence, their emphasis on temples. But, God dwells in our hearts. We are the temples. With regard to this thread, Mormons still want to put works into the discussion. We forget that eternal life with God is based on the relationship we have with Him right now. If we don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ right now, we won’t have a relationship with Him for eternity. And, relationship is not based on our works, but on our faith; hence, we are justified by our faith and NOT our works, so that no one can boast (Eph. 2:9). Now, will a relationship with Jesus Christ mean that we will have good works? Absolutely. Again, works are the fruit of a saved soul, not the ticket to salvation. Jesus is the ticket to salvation and eternal life! He taught us the proper perspective regarding works and relationship with Him in Matthew 7. It’s about relationship, and hell is best described as living eternally in the absence of God, while heaven is living eternally in the presence of God.
I noted with interest Andy Watson’s description of his dying grandmother: “My grandmother opens up her eyes very wide, lifts up her arms and reaches forward and says:“Jesus…Jesus…Jesus.”
But what do we read on page 343 of the LDS church manual Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: Brigham Young? “President Young’s lifelong conviction of the Seer and his work was confirmed at his deathbed in a final expression of recognition and anticipation: ‘Joseph, Joseph, Joseph.’” The difference in “anticipation” is undeniable.
It seems like you have a publication in progress. I always found films like the exorcist really cheesy. Sure is dramatic, scary etc…I saw films like that when I was in my early teens, and I think they have more effect on youth you aren’t as familiar with science, and life in general. I found as I get older that sort of stuff isn’t as scary. When I “Blair witch project” came out people told me how scary it was, I didn’t find it scary at all. I just saw it for what it was, a very low budget film.
“God sends people to hell because He wants to, and His decision has nothing to do with consequences of behavior?”
The first part yes, the second part not exactly. Mankind is at war with God; natural, unregenerate men do not love the one true God and their “good” deeds are as filthy period rags to Him. Men are guilty before God for “Sin” and “sins”.
Mormonism denies original sin and I see this as a huge problem. If one man cannot or did not introduce Sin into the world then One Man cannot take it away. So “yes” I do believe in monergism and God having the right to do what he wants with his creation. If God did not want anyone or anything to go to hell, it would not exist. I maintain the creator-creation distinction, you do not, so I could see how all of this would seem loathsome to you.
I get this from the Bible, so loathsome or not, there it is. To merely not like a truth does not make it any less true. I find it near laughable that you think that we went apostate when it is you and your religion that looks much more like every other man-centered religion out there. God’s undeserved mercy VS. merit.
Amen David, and Amen five times to your response to my comment above. I was reading the BoM last night, and between sniggers, I was reading in 1 Nephi, wherefore it seemed expedient to him that he should write two books and name the first book after himself and the second book after himself also to save room on the plates, but let me take up a bunch of room on these plates by writing that I don’t want to take up a bunch of room on these plates…Sorry, got lost in the utter stupidity of the BoM for a second. My point was that I always imagine JS to be writing about the Catholic church whenever he writes that the church of the Lamb went apostate, because he wrote that God sent blessed men (or something like that) to the promised land with the corrupted book, etc., and it was common belief in JS’s day that the people came to America to escape religious persecution at the hands of the State Church. Well, who has become the State Chuch now? The SLC sect of Smithism or the apostate Protestant denominations?
But how like the RC church is Smith’s church? We have the same synergism when it comes to salvation, works after conversion/baptism to attain heaven, the doctrine of purgatory (reminiscent of preaching to souls after death, baptism for the dead, etc.)? The Catholic church is quickly moving toward the universalist viewpoint of Smithism.
What we have in both RC and Smithism is a savior that cannot actually save anyone. Are we to believe that an omniscient God knew who would not believe in Jesus, but still had him die for sinners (payed their penalty) even though he knew He would send them to Hell? If Christ truly paid everyone’s penalty, then everyone would be saved. But we know that is not the case, so either the Father is denying the Son’s propitiation for certain people based upon their power to save themselves by making a “choice” for Jesus, or Christ only died for those He had elected before the foundation of the world (Romans 8 and Ephesians 1).
Love it: “I get this from the Bible, so loathsome or not, there it is. To merely not like a truth does not make it any less true. I find it near laughable that you think that we went apostate when it is you and your religion that looks much more like every other man-centered religion out there. God’s undeserved mercy VS. merit.” True, true, true.
Smith’s ego was such that he had no problems making comments like the one quoted by Sharon above. It is not surprising, nor is it out of character for the megalomaniac that he was. Smith called himself a god to his people, and said he was greater than Jesus because he (smith) was the only one who could keep a church together in all the world. It is in his character to believe he could do anything, even make hell a heaven, in defiance of God.
Here are some other quotes from Smith that show just how awesome he thought he was, fitting right in to the quote by Sharon above:
“In your hands or that of any other person, so much power would, no doubt, be dangerous. I am the only man in the world whom it would be safe to trust with it. Remember, I am a prophet!”
This was probably his favorite line when seducing women.
“Don’t employ lawyers, or pay them money for their knowledge, for I have learned that they don’t know anything. I know more than they all.”
His great lawyerly knowledge worked well when he destroyed the Expositor Press and got him shot Carthage.
“I combat the errors of ages; I meet the violence of mobs; I cope with illegal proceedings from executive authority; I cut the gordian knot of powers, and I solve mathematical problems of universities, with truth-diamond truth; and God is my ‘right hand man’.”
Yeah, he did great with the Book of Abraham, the Kinderhook Plates & the ‘Caractors’ from the Detroit Maunscript he copied as coming from the gold plates.
Who needs God when you have smith? Hope his hell scenario worked out for him, I’m sure he’s been trying like hell since he got there to “make a heaven out of it.”
Well this is certainly an unpleasant topic. I guess it’s not all “sunshine, lollipops and rainbows” as Leslie Gore sang in the 60s. Yup, there are real consequences to getting it wrong. And nobody who frequents this site can miss the message that God is delivering. That is, there is one God and one mediator between God and man and that is Jesus Christ. It’s important that people get it right about who God and Jesus are. God is not one of many (gods) and Jesus isn’t the offspring of one of the countless gods and one of his many goddess wives.
Excuse me please, but what utter stupidity Joseph Smith promoted. It was obvious Smith didn’t know God because when he had his questionable vision, he would have known that who he saw wasn’t God. The reality is that Smith never saw anything as his changing account testifies to. But off and running Smith decided to have his own scripture, his own god, his own jesus and his own spirit. He also decided to eliminate that unpleasant business about hell as the destination for folks who in one way or another rejected Jesus and God’s plan of salvation.
What fools these folks are who reject the Living God and His Christ while at the same time ignoring the consequences of their decision.
I vote for synergism over monergism. We are not acted upon, but respond to God’s grace in our lives.