2009 Gospel Principles criticizes the “pagan beliefs” of those “called Christians” in “false Christianity”

The Gospel Principles 2009 manual essentially calls classical Christianity “false Christianity” and its theology of God “pagan” and its adherents those who are “called” Christian.

If we talked about Mormon beliefs and Mormonism and Mormon members this way, we’d get priesthood-slapped.

Yes, you heard me right. Let me explain.

In chapter 16 it implicitly taps into popular assumptions about Nicaea and then says that “false Christianity” (that the “Roman emperor adopted”) “taught that God was a being without form or substance.”

My first reaction was that the New Testament teaches that Jesus is the image of the invisible God, and that God is spirit, etc.

But then it struck me: WAIT, did a 2009 LDS Church manual just make a delineation between true and FALSE Christianity partly the basis of teaching that “God was a being without [spatial] form or [material] substance”?

Mormonism has been complaining for a long while now that anyone should make pronouncements about what is and what is not true Christianity. But here we have it in the 2009 manual: Mormonism has essentially fired a shot at Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Eastern Orthodoxy as being “false Christianity” for teaching the “pagan”[1] idea that “God [is] a being without form or substance.”

Here is the quote (with emphasis added):

Soon pagan beliefs dominated the thinking of those called Christians. The Roman emperor adopted this false Christianity as the state religion. This church was very different from the church Jesus organized. It taught that God was a being without form or substance.

Make no mistake, the manual is not doing ALL of what Mormons complain that the wide range of countercultists do, but it is hypocritically doing a great deal of it. The manual digs its criticism in by calling these people with pagan beliefs those “called Christians”. It in effect is calling them so-called Christians. So the manual isn’t merely criticizing the religious systems (which teach God is spirit and not a material substance) as false Christianity; it is also suggest its adherents are merely “called” Christians.

Ask yourselves, what kind of vehement reaction do evangelicals get when we speak of Lorenzo Snow couplet theology as “pagan” and of Mormonism as “false Christianity”[2] and of Mormons as those “called” Christians? Look, I don’t believe it’s inherently wrong to say someone’s beliefs are pagan, or that a religion is a false Christianity, or that many of its adherents are only called Christians[3]. Mormonism is a false Christianity with pagan beliefs and with many adherents that are merely “called” Christians. But I’ve been given a lot of grief for saying those kinds of things, with the premise that saying such things is unethical. I just am calling out the LDS Church for its hypocrisy on this.

I would rather that they just get all McConkie on us[4]. We’re big boys. The more cards we have out on the table the easier it can be for us to tackle the big issues!

[1] Ironically, at other times in Mormon history the “pagan” concept of God has been glorified, not criticized.

[2] When the GP manual essentially says traditional Christianity has “pagan beilefs” and is a “false Christianity”, it isn’t flattering. It might help some Mormons feel better to explain, “But hey, it didn’t say traditional Christianity is non-Christianity, it just says it is FALSE Christianity”, but it seems like an exercise in missing the point. At the colloquial level evangelicals don’t make a big distinction between the two. I’m reminded of Paul in Galatians 1 who said he was disturbed that people were turning to a “different gospel”. Paul immediately then says, “not that there is another one”. That’s how I feel about “false” Christianity. Like Paul can speak of a “different” gospel that is no gospel at all, I can speak of a different, false Christianity that in theological essence is no Christianity at all. But that’s not all that can be said on the issue. I would agree with Rob Bowman’s articulation elsewhere that Mormonism is within sociological Christianity but not within the Biblically theological Christianity. Inasmuch as Christianity is a historical, sociologically identified movement that is marked by a general focus and devotion to the historical person of Jesus, Mormonism is Christian. But inasmuch as Christianity is the body of believers that is faithful to the essential doctrines taught in the Bible, Mormonism is not Christian.

[3] It would however be wrong to stereotype all Mormons as non-Christians. Not all Mormons believe in the distinctives of traditional Mormonism, and frankly some Mormons are struggling evangelicals-in-embryo.

[4] “You talk about teaching false doctrine and being damned. Here is a list of false doctrines that if anyone teaches he will be damned. And there is not one of these that I have ever known to be taught in the Church, but I am giving you the list for a perspective because of what will follow. Teach that God is a Spirit, the sectarian trinity. Teach that salvation comes by grace alone, without works. Teach original guilt, or birth sin, as they express it. Teach infant baptism. Teach predestination. Teach that revelation and gifts and miracles have ceased. Teach the Adam-God theory (that does apply in the Church). Teach that we should practice plural marriage today. Now, any of those are doctrines that damn” (Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie, p.337).

Update: Sharon showed us another McConkie quote: “And virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy Spirit” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.269).

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40 Responses to 2009 Gospel Principles criticizes the “pagan beliefs” of those “called Christians” in “false Christianity”

  1. Janet says:

    I guess that is why we are here, to discuss the differences of what we call the Restored Gospel versus our concern that many of our Christian Friends have been duped and have fallen prey to doctrine that was taken over and changed according to man, and not validated by those who would have held the Keys of the Kingdom spoken of when Peter received them.

    “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    I think the discussion should be more about authority and keys.
    If the Keys were taken after all the apostles were killed and martyred, who then had the authority to speak for God. We find that Nicea was everything but acting with authority, and man was only able to vote in a populous sense the doctrine of Christ.


  2. “Wow, how very unChristlike. Mormons don’t attack anyone.”

    Has anyone ever heard THAT lie before?

  3. iamse7en says:


    Mormons have been saying this for years. I’m not quite sure why you’re shocked to read this. I would completely agree, as well. Of course we believe it’s false christianity. That’s the whole point of the restoration! Joseph Smith and all his successors have been teaching this since 1820. And I think it’s hard to deny there was a HUGE pagan influence on the development of christianity’s doctrines and traditions. We don’t say that pagan influence is what ultimately corrupted christianity – it was a lack of revelation/prophets & apostles – but we do believe there are many pagan beliefs/traditions in modern christianity today. Any historian knows that.

    So why is it so shocking that the 2009 Gospel Principles would say pagan beliefs dominated christian thinking – and that it’s a false christianity? We’ve been saying this for years.

    And you say the same about us. (Except for the pagan part, because there is no pagan influence, maybe an American one, but not pagan.) You believe we worship a fake Christ, a fake God who has body parts and passions. You believe it’s a false Christianity. And that’s fine. We’ll find out who was right at judgment day.

  4. Aaron,

    Can you provide the entire “gospel principles” manual (obviously not here)? I ask, because if my understanding of your select passages is correct, then I am already vindicated. Back on the “One God” thread I made the point that I had been presented the argument by Mormons that it was Pagan Greek thought itself (usually Platonism) that brought creatio ex nihilo to Christianity and thus farther into apostasy. This one carries even more authority because it is an “official” source. I wonder where Mormons get this idea?


    “If the Keys were taken after all the apostles were killed and martyred, who then had the authority to speak for God.”

    This is the shaky starting point of Mormonism that gets too little attention. The answer is they were not taken. Ancient bishops saw themselves sitting on or in “cathedra petri” the chair/seat of Peter.

    Please be consistent. Your church holds to the idea of “common consent”. Also, are you really upholding the last 180 years (or so) of the quorum of the 12 as a model for order and theological consistency, indeed “the keys”?

  5. David, it’s available here. I don’t remember any explicit mention in the manual of creation ex nihilo.

    Ironically, Platonism as I understand it affirmed the eternal pre-existence of matter. Creation ex nihilo is the exact opposite in this regard.

    The vote in Mormonism to affirm the 1916 First Presidency statement which formalized the Jehovah/Elohim distinction and the senses of the “fatherhood” of Jesus seems much more problematic than the debate at Nicaea. That statement did damage control on Brigham Young’s disastrous Adam-God theology (which had its own wildly different Elohim/Jehovah naming conventions), rejected Joseph Smith’s own identification of Jehovah as the Father, attempted to patch together contradictory theology (monotheism, modalism, binitarianism, and polytheism [or cosmic henotheism, whatever]) in different parts of Mormon scripture, then came up with its own artificial Elohim/Jehovah naming convention. Mormon author Kevin Barney admits:

    “The Elohim = Father and Jehovah = Son equations we use in the Church today are simply conventions adopted by the Church in the wake of the 1916 [First Presidency] statement drafted by James Talmage. In the vast majority of 19th century LDS sources, Jehovah was the Father, and this convention doesn’t hold for the OT either.

    “To illustrate, I recently saw a question from a confused Saint about Psalm 110:1. He understood that the use of small caps for the first occurrence of LORD in that verse is the divine tetragrammaton, YHWH, or Jehovah. But on that understanding, he couldn’t make any sense of the passage. If we assume this must refer to the preexistent Christ, then the Christianized, messianic interpretation of this passage is nonsensical, because according to that reading the second occurrence of ‘Lord’ (without the small caps) is the allusion to Christ, not the first. Only if you let go of the modern Mormon convention can you read the verse in that way.”

    In fact, one way the 1916 event was all the more worse than the actual Council of Nicaea is that soon after it the Mormon Church removed a part of its own scripture, the Lectures on/of Faith.

    So they reversed prior Mormon theology, they rejected the teaching of their founding prophet, they voted on their own Mormon theology, and then they subsequently removed some of their own Mormon scripture. And it wasn’t ~292 years after the death of Christ. It was 1,883+ years after the death of Christ. And members or representatives from wards or stakes didn’t even get to practically participate in any meaningful public debate with higher leaders at their Conference. Like other Conferences members voted to accept the statement largely out of submission to and trust of the leadership, not through any helpful, serious member-driven scrutiny or vetting.

    All that within a theological framework that traditionally teaches we sinners can become Almighty Eternal Everlasting Most High Gods of our own 40 billion spirit children expecting our own prayer and worship.

    That makes the Council of Nicaea look relatively angelic. Even more so once you learn that many of the LDS assumptions about Nicaea are false.

    On a related note, we had an interesting exchange with Ostler over a pertinent issue.

  6. Aaron,

    Hence, why the better informed Mormons have argued that it was the responses against neo-platonism by early bishops that gave rise to creatio ex nihilo, not that platonism itself or Greek thought itself. I see problems with that too, its just that argument is not as bad as the one here.

    I thought that the BY-Pratt duel does not bode well for Mormon catholicity and authority. I also think that the events surrounding the 2 manifestos (including the read-smoot hearings) makes the quorum of the 12 look contradictory as some apostles were conducting plural marriages at the same time other apostles were trying to excommunicate and/or prosecute Mormons for plural marriage.

  7. liv4jc says:

    The idea that Christianity apostasized from the original church that Jesus established is so far from having any merit that it is laughable. To believe that the Mormon church was the original church established by Christ is wholly without merit because there is no evidence to affirm this. It would have taken a conspiracy of monumental proportions to remove LDS doctrine from the pages of the Bible and history. In order to have apostasized the scriptures that we know as the Bible would have had to have been either lost or wholly corrupted beyond recognition. With the overwhelming support of manuscript evidence it is easy to determine that the Bible we have today is a faithful representation of the original writings. There have been fallings away from Biblical teaching, but the Bible itself has been our remnant, and those who have been able to read it have maintained the doctrines contained in it since its inception. It is our standard, and until anyone can prove that the doctrines contained in it are not the doctrines established by Jesus Christ Himself then the burden is upon those with “restored” truth to produce evidence of the “great apostasy”. Fortunately for us we also have the writings of men who affirm the doctrines of the current protestant/evangelical body of believers. We did not derive our current doctrines from those men, but when comparing them with the doctrines that we learn from reading the Bible we find that we are in agreement. These affirmations of current doctrine were made long before the council of Nicea and were partially relied upon by those who met at Nicea to refute the Arian heresy.

  8. fourpointer says:

    Which is more pagan–to believe that there is ONE AND ONLY ONE GOD, who exists in three Persons? Or to believe in a pantheon filled with a multitude of “gods”? Jews and Christians believed in one TRUE AND LIVING God. Greeks, Romans, etc all believed that there was a multitude of “gods.” Seems to me that the Mormons belief in a multitude of “Gods” is more in line with Greek and Roman mythology than is monotheistic Christianity.

    Plus, we can provide the writings of men who lived at the time of the apostles–Polycarp, Ignatius, Irenaeus–men who studied under the apostles of Christ, and whose writings teach the very same things we believe. Can any of our Mormon friends provide any writings that support their belief that they are following what the early church taught? Or that detail when those “plain and precious truths” were removed? And which “plain and precious truths” were removed?

  9. Rick B says:

    So according to this article we Christians are wrong in what we teach, but then when I tell Mormons they have another gospel and are not Christians they get mad at me. So which is it. we both are Christian and you do not teach a different gospel, or you do teach a different gospel and are not Christians like us. Rick b

  10. “As an official document from the First Presidency, the orthodoxy of the Church regarding the Godhead was established. What Nicaea and Alexandria accomplished for the Catholic Church, this document [the 1916 FP statement] accomplished for the Latter-day Saints. Regardless of what had been said before, this was the new standard for doctrinal accuracy.” Brian W. Ricks, “James E. Talmage and the Nature of the Godhead” (M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 2007), 132.

  11. Janet says:

    “This is the shaky starting point of Mormonism that gets too little attention. The answer is they were not taken. Ancient bishops saw themselves sitting on or in “cathedra petri” the chair/seat of Peter.”

    Unwittingly you have just shown that the Roman Catholic Church held the Keys of Salvation, and the Authority to act in Gods name and with power. What are you going to now do with Sol Fide. Protestant reformation disagrees and if the true Keys were held by Peter and passed down to the Romans Catholics, you create a huge problem with works and grace. Maybe even with Baptism.


  12. grindael says:

    “Joseph’s account of the “restoration of the priesthood” makes much of two priesthoods, Aaronic and Melchizedek, the first of which was conferred at this time by John the Baptist, the second at a later date by Peter, James, and John themselves. This, however, is only another example of his proclivity for rewriting his early history to answer the logic of later events. The concept of two priesthoods evidently dates back no further than March, 1835 (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 107). Neither “Aaronic” nor “Melchizedek” priesthood was mentioned or even implied in any document of prior date. On this point some of the church’s historians have been led astray, accepting Doctrine and Covenants, Section 28, as a revelation given on Sept. 4, 1830, whereas the text is a rewritten version of the original that postdates Section 107. Compare the original revelation in Book of Commandments, Chapter 28. It should be added that Smith, Biographical Sketches, p. 131, makes no more of this “restoration of the priesthood” on which ultimately the Mormon claim to authority rests than that one morning Joseph and Oliver “sat down to their work, as usual, and the first thing which presented itself through the Urim and Thummim, was a commandment for Joseph and Oliver to repair to the water, and attend to the ordinance of Baptism. They did so.” It may be that the incident amounted to no more than this; that Cowdery’s broad imagination later supplied the visitation from John the Baptist, and that Joseph seized upon Cowdery’s story for its value to his legend.” http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/dalemorgan/dalechapter6.htm#Chapter6

    Smith added so much to prior revelations, that it shows his duplicity and questions all of his early accounts of priesthood authority being restored by angels. In smith’s world, it is not what is ‘removed’ like he claimed about the Bible, it is what is ‘added’ to his revelations that makes him suspect.

  13. Janet,

    I am loosly quoting St. Cyprian here: All the bishops sit in the chair of Peter. In the early church the “chair of Peter” was held by all the bishops not just the bishops of Rome; Peter has a place of distinction in church history for many reasons but a big one is he is seen as the first Christian.

    A monarchial episcopate is a development. The bishop of Rome did not have a universal see in the early church. Not only was a universal, monarchial episcopate (like the one you have) a development, but even the office of bishop that we see later (like 5th or 6th century) is itself a development. The primitive church, and its local bodies, was headed by presbytoi (elders) not by a single bishop, not by single prophet. The only government that is given in the NT is that of deacons and elders.

    What I have given to you is even agreed to by many/most Catholic scholars – even bishops. Not only was the office of a single bishop a development but a sacerdotal priesthood is one too; about a hundred and fifty years of Christianity went by before we begin to see the beginnings of a Christian priesthood. The authority and priesthood in your church was not the one present in the primitive church. Both were developments.

  14. “Our beliefs and actions may differ from those of others, but we, as good Christians, do not criticize other religions or their adherents.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin, Ensign, November 1996, 70. (online here)

    I have little problem with Latter-day Saints designating the rest of the Christian world as “false Christianity,” but I do expect consistency. If Mormons want to call us false Christians, they can’t get upset if evangelicals return in kind.

    However, I’ve spoken with a friend who has been reviewing the Gospel Principles manual, and he has lamented to me that the problem is that this is not really a 2009 manual. It’s a 1978 manual and the church has done a fairly shoddy job updating it. I’d wager this passage has not been changed from earlier versions of the manual; I have the 1997 version in my lap right now and it’s exactly the same there.

    Truth be told, I think that most of the LDS church manuals are poorly done, and often express archaic ideas and sentiments that a good number of church members today would like to leave behind. Just check out what the current marriage prep manual (last updated in 2003) says about women working outside the home:

    Wives, come home from the typewriter, the laundry, the nursing, come home from the factory, the café. (Spencer W. Kimball, 1976)

    Even if you believe that a woman’s proper role is in the home, implying that the only work women can get is that of secretaries, maids, nurses, factory workers, and waiters? Who thought that would be a good message for women in 2003?

    I seriously wonder if any of the people who write these manuals are younger than 70.

  15. Jack, your description of the correlation committee sounds like a description of the Golden Twelve, the same guys who speak at General Conference.

    I wonder if the quote (in the original post) extends far back as 1978. I’ll have to check. It really is just an expression of the teaching that we are apostate Christians with abominable creeds. I don’t foresee them ditching the actual substantive idea we are “false Christianity”, but I do foresee them using softer language to express it.

    The 2009 edition is a significant perpetuation of traditional, conservative Mormonism. Given the scale and granularity of the changes, the correlation committee obviously went through the 1997 edition with a fine-tooth comb. What was kept in was consciously kept in.

    And the manual will probably be widely used in the church for another 10-15 years (even beyond these 2 years of priesthood and Relief Society class usage). That means it will probably be used till when I’m something like 38 or 43-years-old. Nothing to sneeze at or blow off. That’s affecting millions of people who are traveling like the rest of us to their eternal deathbed someday.

    And since most Mormons aren’t consciously aware of the kind of ebbs and flows of Mormon tradition and the kind of thing the McConkie-era represents, and since these Mormons aren’t trained like the smarty-pants minimalist neo-orthodox internet-defender Mormons to significantly critically filter the manual of things they don’t like, this will be a significant perpetuation of breathing life into the momentum that the beast of Mormon traditionalism is.

    They might make light of the manual, but we certainly shouldn’t. This manual will most likely have a bigger doctrinal impact on mainstream Mormonism in the next ten years than the New Testament will.

  16. Aaron, I think you misunderstand me. I’m not looking to minimize or sneeze at the impact these poorly-written manuals will have. I’m lamenting it. I think Mormons really suffer under the weight of leaders who are highly out of touch with the younger generations of the church.

    I’m not sure if your first comment is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but I’ve been told that the “Correlation Committee” is the Quorum of the Twelve & the First Presidency. However, there are other people who work on these manuals. Most of the GAs don’t even write their own Conference talks, they hire speech-writers; I highly doubt they spend much time writing or revising these manuals.

    Still, I have to wonder who else it is that works on these manuals and whether or not the GAs don’t merely surround themselves with Mormons who think the same way they do.

  17. Sorry for misunderstanding the spirit of your comment. I’ve elsewhere been talking to others who make light of the manual, so perhaps I was projecting my frustration with that onto you.

    As I understand it the committee does have apostolic oversight but is not equivalent to the Golden 15, etc.

    “Most of the GAs don’t even write their own Conference talks, they hire speech-writers”

    I am inclined to believe they have the help of speechwriters too, but out of curiosity is there any good proof of this?

    Grace and peace in Christ,


  18. My writing teachers at BYU went over it, talking to students about how they could become speech writers for GAs.

    Sadly I didn’t take down more specifics than that. I merely joked about how I was pretty sure they weren’t going to hire a non-LDS speechwriter and probably tuned out.

    BTW, “hire” may have been the wrong word. For all I know, they work pro bono because they love the church. But my writing teachers did say that they use speechwriters.

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  20. Ralph says:

    I think the big difference here with what the LDS manual (and most LDS) say about other Christian religions compared to what the Evs and others say about the LDS church is this –

    We LDS are calling you ‘Christian’ albeit false in your belief system. We acknowledge that you do believe in Jesus Christ, just differently to us.

    You Evs (and others) are saying that we LDS ARE NOT ‘Christian’. And that is what we LDS have issue with.

    That is a big difference between how you handle this and how we handle this. We believe in Jesus as our Savious and Redeemer, that He is the Son of God and that He is THE Christ. Thus we believe in Christ making us Christian – but yes we believe about Him differently to you.

    So are you willing to do what we LDS do (as proven in the excert above from the Gospel Principles Manual) and acknowledge that we are ‘Christian’? Or are you going to sit and whinge that we are saying that you believe in Christ (ie you are Christian) but your belief system is false?

  21. mobaby says:


    Wouldn’t followers of false Christianity be false Christians? Does Mormon teaching say that followers of the FLDS are Mormons following a false Mormonism, or do they say they are not Mormons? Would practitioners of false medicine be false Doctors, or would they be real Doctors practicing false medicine? I don’t think your reasoning holds up.

  22. mobaby says:


    Also, notice the title of the article says “those CALLED Christians” not “the Christians in False Christianity.” If I said “those called Christian Scientists practice neither science and believe a false Christianity” it would not mean I think they are truly scientists just wrong about some things.

  23. Ralph,


    Is that a typo or some type of colloquial aussie slangism? Did you mean whine? I ask cuz I really I really like aussie slang.

  24. Ralph says:


    The doctor analogy is funny because unless the doctor has an ‘D’ in their degree description (eg PhD, MD, DSc, etc) they are a ‘false’ doctor. Here in Australia doctors have an MBBS, meaning they are bachelors. They are given an honourary title of ‘doctor’, thus a person with a PhD is a ‘true’ doctor whilst a person with an MBBS is a ‘false’ doctor – which is the Australian system. Thus the Aussie doctors are false doctors! Just a fun side note.

    Your first question comes back to the definition of ‘Christian’. If a Christian is a believer in Jesus as the Son of God and The Saviour and Redeemer of the world, then someone who believes this is Christian. If you want to define Christian as someone who believes in the Trinity, then that is getting down to specifics that can be debated. Its like Bill Clinton – if someone belonged to the Democrat party but did not believe him when he denied the claims against him, does this person believe in a different Bill Clinton to the one everyone else is talking about? No. Does this make them a false democrat?

    One can believe in the same figurehead (ie Jesus The Christ) and claim the title Christian because of this, but because of other beliefs in their system be classed as a ‘false’ (or ‘different’) Christian as opposed to non-Christian (which denotes an unbelief in Jesus as The Christ) because they do believe in The Christ.

  25. liv4jc says:

    Ralph, a Mormon living in another time without access to all of the information regarding the nature and being of Jesus Christ and salvation might have gotten away with saying that they were a Christian because they believe in Jesus Christ, that He was the Savior and Redeemer of the world, that He is the Son of God, etc. Certainly the Christians who first believed did not have a theology that was as developed as ours. It has been stated that a definition of the doctrine of Trinity was not produced until Nicea, but that doesn’t mean that Christians prior to Nicea did not believe in a triune God, or that the Trinity is false doctrine that is not contained in the Bible(having discussed this issue with a mutual friend I know you have been shown evidence that supports this statement). You, on the other hand, have been given ample proof that the LDS Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible, but is the Jesus of the LDS church. You have been given ample evidence that salvation is not by the works the LDS church requires, but is by repentance and faith as a gift of God. You have been given ample evidence that Jesus is not the literal physical (or even spiritual in the LDS sense) Son of the Father (except in the incarnation), but is mutually eternal and preexistent with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Because it has been shown to you that you have a false Jesus Christ, then you cannot truthfully call yourself a follower of the Biblical Jesus Christ. If you want to claim to be a follower of the LDS Jesus, that’s fine, the same as a Muslim can say he is the follower of the Muslim god Allah.

  26. Ralph says:


    I never thought about it but since you asked I looked it up on the net. Its a British term that we Aussies most likely kept with us. It does mean whine and complain, which are words also used here in Australia. The SMH had a blog this week about Aussie slang and how Seppo (American) slang was ‘taking over’ in the younger generation. It gives a few terms that are becoming extinct. If you want to look it up its in the ‘All Men Are Liars’ blog on http://www.smh.com.au.


    I have not been given ‘ample’ proof that the ‘LDS Jesus’ is not the Jesus of the Bible. I have seen interpretations from both perspectives (ie yours and mine) that support either ideologies about Him, which is why I still believe the way I do. Same with the ‘fatih/works/grace’ issue – I believe that the ‘interpretation’ of the Bible that I have been given on this issue is the correct one, not yours. The ‘mutually eternal and preexistent’ statement is hollow as we LDS believe that Jesus (and all of us) are mutually eternal and preexistent with Heavenly Father – ie I have been ‘alive’ from forever as an intelligence/spirit to forever as a resurrected immortal from before this life to after this life respectively. All of what I believe in can come from the Bible when interpreted one way, just like all you believe in comes from the Bible when interpreted another way. So it is you that has the ‘false Jesus’, not me. So now in your terms you are not a Christian – if I am correct and you are not.

  27. mobaby says:


    I have to tell you, after some of the debate that has recently been occurring here on Mormon Coffee that you are a very reasonable guy.

    As for Bill Clinton, well, I avoid him altogether.

    I believe that Christianity is defined primarily by a few things – one being the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I think a lot of mainstream Christian services neglect to define that we worship the Holy Trinity, and mostly refer to a generic “God” which is something that needs to get back to historic Christianity. Secondly, Christ’s amazing sacrifice on the cross – perhaps this should be first, since this is the focus and crux of God’s means of relating to and redeeming us. From there I believe that God has given us specific means of relating to Him by which Christ on the cross is communicated/applied to us – through Baptism, Communion, God’s Word. These means are what is spelled out in Scripture, anything else is just people making it up (such as write your sins on a piece of paper and nail it to the cross here at the front – umm, where is that found in Scripture?… or just raise your hand if you want Jesus in your heart, all eyes closed and ever head bowed…hmmm, or empty your mind of all thoughts and center yourself…) and lots of people are making(and have made)things up. Essential Christianity is about Jesus Christ crucified for our redemption – salvation by grace. (Additionally, I think the Reformers got things right – Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Christus.) – Not all of these things are absolute essentials, but having the true God and the right Jesus and having an understanding of redemption through the crucified Lord Jesus Christ are essentials in my thinking.

    In life, when I go to Doctors I want to know they’re real. For my eternal life, I want the real Jesus too.

    Inherently, my definition (and I think it is a true definition) of Christianity does not work together with the LDS view.

  28. fourpointer says:


    as for your Bill Clinton analogy–if someone said, “Yes, I know Bill Clinton. He was born in France, went to college at Eastern Washington University, he’s married to Stella McMulberry, and he died in 1988.” Would we be talking about the same “Bill Clinton?” Obviously, the answer is “No.”

    Now, in the same manner, consider the differences between Christian beliefs about who Christ is, and LDS beliefs about who Christ is–can you truly say that LDS believe in the same Jesus as Christians?

  29. LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie explained the issue like this:

    “And virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy Spirit” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.269).

    Other LDS leaders have clearly stated that non-LDS worship a different Jesus that that worshiped by Latter-day Saints. I have a hard time reconciling the alleged belief in a mythical Christ–a ficticious Christ–as being properly called Christian faith just because the worshiped being is called “Christ.” In my opinion, this is absurd. It seems like nothing more than wordplay, perhaps for the sake of obscuring the truth or avoiding offense. Would that we could all be like Horton: “I meant what I said and I said what I meant; an elephant’s faithful, 100 percent”

  30. liv4jc says:

    Ralph, here’s the problem with your belief system: It stems from doctrines enunciated by one man that was prone to proclamations of revelations he received. There have been many men just like him throughout history, and all of those teachings have been proven false, just like his. They are his opinion passed off as truth. Those revelations evolved over time and became more aberrant in regard to historical Christianity as time went on. These revelations are not backed up by the grammatical historical literary interpretation of the Bible, which is the same hermeneutic we all use when reading other non-fiction works. You wouldn’t interpret the newspaper or a research paper with the same method you interpret the Bible even though they both mean to report facts, not opinion. Furthermore, many of his teachings are from works like the books of Moses and Abraham, which again are nothing more than the musings of his mind. There is no evidence to back them up and they fly in the face of the teachings of the Bible as to the nature of God and man. Yes, you can support your belief system by choosing passages from the Bible that seem to support it when taken out of context from the Bible as a whole. You can also import your theology into scripture as well as anyone else, including Christians, but that doesn’t make it true. The Roman Catholics, Muslims, and Jehovah’s Witnesses do the same thing with the Bible, yet they do not agree with me, you or each other. There is absolute truth and it should be the aim of every person who has recognized their need for salvation to find it. I personally would not base my eternal security on the musings of one man. Especially if those musings are not supported by history, archaeology, common sense, or the Bible, no matter how much I wished it was all true.

  31. Aaron, thanks for the idea for my latest Quick Question for Mormons.


  32. Keith, love it. And I won’t lie, I bursted out belly-laughing over your large-print edition. I WANT ONE!

  33. Enki says:

    Did that LDS publication actually use the phrase, “NOT COOL”? Did someone add this? Something about that doesn’t seem very Mormon. When did mormons ever adopt ‘cool’. LOL!

    About paganism, its interesting. I finally got hold of a copy of the book of Genesis illustrated by R. Crumb. Its SO interesting. Its actually rather painless to read in more modern and direct english. I am not so sure why LDS insist on the KJV.

    Crumb actually adds some interesting footnotes. He notes something about Melchizedek being a priest of “El Elyon”. (the most high god) But he says its also the proper name of a pagan sun god. Any Comments about that? Crumb didn’t comment on El shaddai, but I found that had something to do with ‘the breast’ implying nourishment and comfort. There is some connection to this concept and a pagan goddess. Any comment on that?

    On a side note, I absolutely loved reading about the story of Joseph. In my experience with LDS ‘seminary’ I think I slept through that, and just wished that I got more sleep. Amazingly I finally got the connecting elements of the story. Perhaps mormons should issue a comic book for all scriptures. Man at first I felt ‘dense’ that I finally ‘got it’ from a comic book. But on second thought its really because I just enjoyed reading the story, and I didn’t feel forced into arriving at an LDS understanding of the story. Thats probably the biggest complaint that I have about organized religion and group review of stories, I never found it enjoyable, or true to the text, and they often have an agenda at arriving at a particular outcome or understanding.

  34. Enki says:

    Oh yes, I wanted to add that its wonderful to read text without the verses! Crumbs book is only divided into chapters, not verse. I think its true to the intent and content of Genesis. Some of its content is rather shocking and unexpected when viewed graphically.

    For example the story of Onan casting his seed upon the ground. Also some stories of incest. Whats up with Abraham and Sarah constantly referring to themselves as brother and sister? I know that they were worried about him being killed on account of her being his wife. But in each case when those poor gentile folks get into trouble they say it wouldn’t have happened if they were upfront about who they were.

    Well to top it off he says that in fact she IS my sister. I missed that in sunday school and seminary. I don’t know how, but it caught my attention now!

  35. ctwm says:

    so this last video, and with out any offence being given, but
    this guy does not even understand, and needs to do more education!! lol
    I am LDS, and did serve a mission! I served in the Canada Toronto West Mission.
    and Pres. Paul K Sybrowsky and Pres. Allen C. Ashton were my mission presidents!
    I know the church is true, through my "own prayer" and testimony!, not by others!!

    that does not attack other religions but only states Historical Facts! its proven by history! and if anyone
    want to take offence to that then be my guest. im not offended by what he said, im just replying to
    make some corrections… and clear up a misunderstanding.

  36. ctwm says:

    what do you mean pro bono??

    and the General Authorities do write there own talks!! I know a few of them.
    President, now Elder Paul K. Sybrowsky! he was my mission president!
    he is a amazing man!
    now, about the speechwriters, I would say that a few of them have help, but most do not if not any!!
    all of the talk are inspired, and scripture!
    just to clearify Ms. Jack Meyers. 😉
    no offence is ment to be given!

  37. ctwm says:

    Ms. Jack Meyers,
    the General Authorites half to Approve of everything the church submits!
    the new missionary lessons manuel, etc….. EVERYTHING!! they are busy men!

    there was once a man that thought that the old men were taking advantage of the mormon people
    and getting rich off the tights of the church, but He knew, and I mean he KNEW!!!!! Heber J. Grant!!, which when
    Heber J. Grant, became a Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that man then said
    He appologized to the other 14 men!! because HE knew that if there was any Corruption in the church Heber J. Grant would Give it ALL AWAY!!
    that is a personal story, and Historical fact.
    Heber J. Grant is my Uncle, which means Jedidia M. Grant is his father and Jedidia is my, so many Greats down the line…..
    please if you have any questions feel free to reply.

  38. ctwm says:

    I totally agree with you Ralph.

    I've served my mission, and talked with alot of people in Canada!
    and those who say that the church of jesus christ of latter day saints, does not beleive in the same
    Christ as they do, is totally wrong, those who say this are quoting their pastor, from what I have heard, others are miss informed. We beleive in the same Jesus 100%
    now the difference is this, that alot of religions thing christ is everywhere and no were at wonce, etc. and so on.
    the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Beleive that Jesus Christ and our Heavenly father have physical bodies. That is the only difference, well for the most part.
    we can hen peck every inch of things but in general… that is one of the differences.

  39. ctwm says:

    you can have a dam nice live, living with out religion!
    and infact all members of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints will not make it in to heaven, and
    alot of the other religion members will not make it!!
    you do not half to be LDS to make it into heaven!
    there are a ton of non LDS people who do amazing work, and are to be commended for their work!
    which they live a Principal based life! if you want some references Please Ask Me! 😉

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