Flawless Righteousness

The April issue of Ensign magazine (pages 38-42) includes an article by LDS Seventy (First Quorum) Richard J. Maynes. “The Eternal Importance of Honesty” is itself a breath of fresh air in its own honesty. The article clearly reflects traditional LDS teachings, the sort of ideas Mormons like to believe aren’t really Church doctrine.

To begin, Mr. Maynes expresses the imperative of being honest:

“The big questions for each Latter-day Saint are these: Will I be true to the covenants I have made with the Lord in the waters of baptism and in the holy temple? Will I be totally honest with the Lord?”

Then he goes on to explain what it means to be honest with the Lord.

“…when we are honest, we act upon our knowledge by obeying the commandments.

“…being honest with [Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ] means we are true to the covenants we have made with Them (see Deuteronomy 6:2-5; 8:11). We make promises to the Lord when we are baptized, and we make additional promises to Him as we participate in temple ordinances.

“There is nothing more important than being true to the covenants we have made with the Lord. Our eternal life depends upon the principle of honesty.”

Mr. Maynes then explains the inverse,

“…when we break a commandment, we are actually breaking our word, our promises, and our covenants. We are also being dishonest with the Lord and, as a result, we are subverting His work.”

Mr. Maynes’ article then includes a story about marble sculpting in the Golden Age. After pointing out that an excellent sculpture requires flawless marble as its base, Mr. Maynes writes,

“In a gospel context we as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are expected to be righteous, not just appear to be righteous” (emphasis mine).

Finally, in a section subtitled “Honesty and Gospel Principles” Mr. Maynes writes,

“The doctrine taught by Jesus Christ and revealed to prophets throughout the ages is true and needs to be understood and applied is we want to return to live with Him and His Father. Basic principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ are not negotiable. They represent the foundation upon which life is lived in the celestial kingdom.

“It is true that we can exercise our agency and choose not to live celestial law, but it is also true that we will ultimately be compelled to accept the result of that decision when our inheritance is justifiably telestial or terrestrial.

“Honesty is the trait that connects the promises we have made to the Lord to our everyday actions. If we are honest we will keep the covenants we have made in the waters of baptism…and we will keep the covenants we have made in the holy temples of the Lord…

“Remember, the Lord expects us as members of His Church not only to appear to be good but also to actually be good.”

My question to Latter-day Saints is this: When you made your covenants with the Lord at baptism, and as you renew them each week during sacrament, do you promise to try to keep His commandments? Or do you promise to actually keep them? If you’ve been to the temple, did you promise to try to keep your covenants? Or did you promise to actually keep them?

Mr. Maynes’ article does not talk about repentance. It does not talk about trying to keep covenantal promises. It says that eternal life depends on being honest with the Lord by actually keeping and obeying all covenants and commandments. One cannot appear to be good or, by implication, merely be getting better; one must “actually be good,” which is defined as “keeping the covenants” made at baptism and in the temple.

Mr. Maynes’ teaching, as unwelcome as it may be to Latter-day Saints who recognize that they are not keeping their covenants, is entirely consistent with that of many LDS Authorities. For example, Spencer W. Kimball made it clear that “Trying is not sufficient” (Miracle of Forgiveness, 164). President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, “To enter the celestial and obtain exaltation it is necessary that the whole law be kept…” (The Way to Perfection, 206).

Here’s the problem. Mormonism says that God requires people who wish to spend eternity with Him “not only to appear to be good but also to actually be good,” in that they keep all their covenants and obey all the commandments. But the Bible says, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).

What, then? What hope have we? This:

“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law” (Romans 3:21-28).

My friends, you cannot achieve eternal life through the restored gospel of Mormonism. It is impossible. But God offers you another way, a sure and perfect way, to be reconciled to Him and embrace His gift of eternal life: receiving the flawless righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.


About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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111 Responses to Flawless Righteousness

  1. Olsen Jim says:

    “we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually.” Ether 3:2

    I could add many more verses, but won’t waste the space.

    Critics like yourself often cite 1 Ne 3:7 to accuse us of attempting the impossible.

    Ever read 1 Corinthians 10:13? It is the inverse corollary of 1 Ne 3:7 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

    God makes it possible to resist every temptation. How is that different than saying that when God commands us to do something, He will always prepare a way for us to do it?

    Although I do get very tired of the faith vs. works debate, it allows for the demonstration of how shallow and devilish is the doctrine of being saved by grace alone without effort.

    Proponents of such doctrine find themselves opposing Gods commandments and the very clear teachings of Christ. They cannot help but find fault in a person who advocates obeying Christ. Somehow, there has to be something wrong with that simple, unqualified claim. Every statement from the Master Himself is qualified and dismissed in the siphon of the socialist gospel of believism and do nothing.

    It wasn’t an LDS who said simply “God helps those who helps themselves.” Strange to think your gospel is at odds with that very basic proverb.

  2. rvales says:

     6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as hthey did.  7 iDo not be idolaters jas some of them were; as it is written, k“The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.”  8 lWe must not indulge in sexual immorality mas some of them did, and ntwenty-three thousand fell in a single day.  9 We must not put Christ2 to the test, oas some of them did and pwere destroyed by serpents,  10 nor grumble, qas some of them did and rwere destroyed by sthe Destroyer.  11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but tthey were written down for our instruction, uon whom the end of the ages has come.  12 Therefore vlet anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.  13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. wGod is faithful, and xhe will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.  14 Therefore, my beloved, yflee from idolatry.  15 I speak zas to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 1 Cor 10:6-14
    So now what does this mean in it’s context? And what is the way out that God provided? *Just a hint Paul was talking about the wandering years the Isrealites spent in the desert and how they did not trust God to meet their needs when they were hungry or thirsty. But don’t take my word for it. Search out the scriptures 1 Cor 10:1-14, at least*

  3. MJP says:

    Jim, I appreciate that, but you simply saying you believe something and do something does not mean that what is conveyed is the same thing. I understand your position better than you give me credit for, but I question your outward expression of that position and its basic Biblical premise. (Your position is that you feel god calls us to greatness and excellence, and we should do all we can to get there.)

    I know you do not think you are being outwardly expressive, but I read that very differently. And others (not necessarilly here) have said the same thing about LDS in general, that they have a superiority complex (actually, that thought has been expressed here). I read the items I reposted as evidence of that goal. And as I also stated, you do not expressly state outwardness is your aim, but I did state that it is inferred. That opinion will not change, unless you feel it wortwhile to discuss my points.

    My points concern the emphasis of the Christian on humbleness before Christ, which necessarilly includes a humbleness before others. That is a far cry from what you wrote here, which emphasizes excellence and greatness and did not touch on humbleness.

    So, again, if you are willing to discuss the role of humbleness and how it works in terms of being ‘excellent’ I would love to hear.

    As much as I have room left, I would like to address your comment on God being the author of sin. Your conclusion that he created us out of nothing and thus he created our sin does not hold water. Your statement can be analogized to the parents of Hitler for creating his evil just for him being born, or blaming any criminal’s choices on his parents for him being born.

    You are also mistaken on your conclusion of obeying Christ in the sense of grace v. works, and it misses the point. If you do not see the point now, after we have been over it so many times, there is no point in repeating…

  4. liv4jc says:

    In my last post I apparently forgot that when it comes to debating members of groups outside of Christianity it is necessary to define terms. Jim knows well enough that the LDS definition of the term “fallen nature” is completely different than that of Christianity. In LDS folklore the fall of Adam and Eve is what gave them their free agency, their ability to know right from wrong, their ability to choose to do right instead of wrong, and therefore their ability to choose to obey God’s commands, which determines whether or not they will return to live in his kingdom. If one does well enough, that same fall is what allows one to become a god. I stand by my conviction, whether Jim likes it or not, that if a person truly has “free agency” then their refusal to obey God’s commandments is a choice. I wonder if Jim wears a CRT ring? The biblical view of the fall consigns all men to a nature that is marked by the inability to live a sinless life, although we can make moral choices. This inherited sin nature (not inherited sin) from our federal head Adam is what makes the blood of Christ necessary (Romans 5:12-20). Ephesians 2 tells us that without Christ all of us are dead in our trespasses and sins and under God’s wrath, and someone has already brought up Paul’s dilemma in Romans 7. Can a former Mormon like Setfree or Jackg confirm whether or not I am right concerning LDS doctrine of free agency? What were you taught while still in the church?

  5. falcon says:

    Christian Posters.
    You are doing an outstanding job here of defending the Gospel of Jesus Christ and using God’s Word to confirm what God has revealed to us. Now the problem, as I think I’ve pointed out in the past, is that cult members have their brains scrambled, so to speak.
    So while your exegesis is solid and your reasoning clear and understandable to someone who is thinking straight, this won’t be so with someone caught in the web of a cult and the spirit that drives it. We have to learn how to talk to these guys in ways they understand. So think about how Joseph Smith would talk to them. The presentation has to be slightly off kilter with fantastic claims and bizarre promises.
    That’s why people get attracted to this stuff, the same way people do to UFOs, psychic phenomenon, and the healing power of crystals. I don’t say this to be insulting, it’s just a fact. Before a Mormon can get it, there has to be at least a small amount of doubt that the organization to which they are pledging their devotion, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
    Actually, in some ways, it’s like an ice dam that is holding back a large quantity of water. If the season is right and the warmth of the sun has a chance to melt the ice, the water will break through and flow freely. If the warming season isn’t long enough, the ice will harden again, perhaps harder than it was previously. We can only hope that the Lord sends a long warming season.
    John 6:44

  6. Chicago friend says:

    Sharon Lindbloom wrote: “Mr. Maynes’ article does not talk about repentance….”

    On page 42 Mr. Maynes’ article states: “A person of integrity repents of behavior unbecoming of a member of the Church, embraces new habits and lifestyles, and tries to eliminate personal flaws.”

  7. Jay K says:

    Here’s a point that I’m not sure got fully across:
    Personal righteous is something to strive for in the Christian faith, but it’s not a requirement to be with the Father in Heaven.

    Plenty of biblical evidence for this has already been provided.

  8. Chicago Friend, while Mr. Maynes mentions repentance in a list of things that he believes defines a person of integrity, he does not talk about repentance as a substitute for actually keeping all covenants entered into with the Lord and obeying all commandments. Nor does he talk about repentance as a remedy for broken covenants and other sin. The two things I most often hear Mormons say regarding the LDS requirement (in order to gain eternal life) of keeping both covenants and commandments are, “I’m trying,” and “That’s what repentance is for.” But LDS doctrine, and Mr. Maynes’ article, do not suggest viability for those “loopholes.” What I understand Mr. Maynes to be saying is this: honesty with the Lord includes admitting when one has failed (repentance), but real (or true) honesty with the Lord, that upon which eternal life depends, is found in doing what one promises to do at baptism and in the temple (i.e., keeping one’s covenants and obeying the commandments).

  9. olsen jim commented

    How can a person become an honest person if he does not set the highest goals of honesty?…But if the goal and standard is never set, it will never be achieved.

    jim and other readers,

    Need a paradigm shift?

    The fundamental flaw in this thesis is that it’s not true. At least, its not true if we regard the Bible as the measure of what is true and what isn’t.

    OK, what I object to here is the idea that people will not be honest (or virtuous, lawful, upright, righteous) unless they are told to be honest.

    The situation that’s usually referred to is of a parent telling a child to do the right thing. But it’s not really about creating honesty in the child, rather it’s about fostering the values of honesty.

    Human beings, and adults in particular, are adept at finding ways to express the latent honesty/dishonesty within them; it’s just that adults are more experienced at being able to do it, and still get a positive outcome (reward).

    E.g, Niccolo Machiavelli

    A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests.

    …and there are ALWAYS reasons to protect our interests.

    The revelation of the NT is that the message to people to “be better people” is water off a duck’s back. Telling people to be more honest does not create more honesty; all it does is expose how dishonest we are.

    Paul describes it like this

    For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire.

    Romans 7:7-8.

    What is needed, according to Paul and the rest of the Bible, is a movement of God upon the human heart. Only God can get to the place where the law fails to penetrate.

    If simply telling people to be good is enough, then we’d all be good people by now; and the religionists would be right. The fact is, they are not.

  10. …and it’s not as if the Bible was written in an irreligious culture. On the contrary, it was written (the NT in particular) in a highly religionized environment. The issue facing the NT authors was not “how do we get the message of righteousness out there”, but “why aren’t we righteous, given that we’ve got so much religion?”

    The solution that they came up with was unique in all of human history – a stroke of pure genius in one sense, or a revelation in another. It was not “let’s work harder at our religion”, because they had already exhausted all the resources that their religion had placed at their disposal (consider the Pharisees).

    It was the belief that God had lived amongst them, fully human and fully divine, and had become the righteousness that they so badly needed.

    But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

    Romans 3:21

    He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

    1 Cor 1:28-30

    How do we “acquire” this righteousness? By faith in Christ, of course.

    For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.

    Romans 1:17

    In Christ, God does what the law cannot do – He succeeds in making us righteous, when we have faith in His ability to do so.

  11. falcon says:

    God’s standard is sinless perfection. Nothing else is acceptable to be able to enter his presence. Now I must insert here, again, we are talking about thee holy and righteous, almighty, everlasting God; not a sinful man who through his own efforts, became a god.
    Now this idea of becoming perfected and hence a god is dependent on a whole different program. A false one I might add that appeals to human ego and pride. It wasn’t obtained through any sort of revelation but rather through the creative mind of a totally deceived human being.
    Mormons have rejected God for the false hope of becoming gods themselves. Once they’ve bought into that lie, their entire mental perspective gets flipped and they are no longer able to see who God really is and receive the revelation they are so fond of, from Him.
    Let me just say, from the Mormon perspective, trying is indeed not enough. To become a god, they have to overcome sin and transform themselves into deity class just like all of the other gods before them have. This is truly a pagan religion that doesn’t seek and certainly doesn’t know God.
    Before I received Christ as my Savior, I had to acknowledge the depth of my sin, recognize that I couldn’t achieve the sinless perfection God demanded, and accepted His offer to declare me righteous through faith in the shed blood of Christ. God made a covenant in His blood that I agree to through faith. He did for me what I will never be able to do for myself. Having received this gift of eternal life through faith, I now walk in a newness of life in gratitude for what God did for me through His Son Jesus Christ.
    To repeat, I know that there is nothing good in me, that is my nature. I can never get good enough to satisfy a holy and righteous God. He has satisfied the requirement of the law for me. It is the gift of a loving and merciful God.
    Mormons need to repent of their blasphemy. No amount of pious sounding language will make-up for the fact that they have rejected God and His plan.

  12. setfree says:

    In Acts 13, Paul preaches a sermon. What’s really terrific about it, imo, is that he sums up the whole Bible in just a few verses.

    And here’s his conclusion.

    Acts 13:38-39 “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man (Jesus) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him ALL THAT BELIEVE ARE JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”

    end of story.

    That’s the glad tidings, the gospel of the Grace of God.

    the other side of the coin?

    ” James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

  13. falcon says:

    I guess if Mormons want to live under the Law they will be responsible for keeping the whole Law. It really doesn’t make any difference however because the Jews were trying to live the Law in order to please God. The Mormons are insisting on adherents to the Law in order to become gods themselves. Major difference!
    It all comes down to motivation. As Born Again believers in Jesus Christ, we conform our behavior to God’s standard out of gratitude for what he did for us in Christ Jesus. Being human, even our best efforts aren’t going to be enough. God in His infinite Wisdom and mercy has planned a way for us to be reconciled to Him, so we can be in His presence for all eternity. That plan was completed when Jesus provided the perfect sacrifice for sin. He was the qualified Savior because He is/was God incarnate.
    Praise be to His name!

  14. MJP says:

    Falcon said, “It all comes down to motivation.” I agree completely, which is why I am spending so much time on pride and the emphasis on becoming “excellent”. The motivation for excellence is not just to follow God’s word, but to become gods later on. I know the claim is that the motivation is to follow god’s instruction and that the rewards are a sidebar, but I fail to see how you can separate the two. Becoming a god is a big deal, as is status within the LDS church (for example– what level of temple are you and how much has been revealed to you?).

    Ralph, in another thread said, “…”if He has promised a reward, part of believing in him is acknowledging that you can and will receive that reward in the end.” This tells me that there is a consience effort to receive that reward through LDS religion.

    As a Christian, you realize there is a reward at the end, but don’t care about what it is. Its incidental and secondary to being with Christ in the end, which is the ultimate reward. We have no idea what those will be, but that does not matter in the slightest. The aim is not to have riches, but to be with our Lord and Savior into eternity. What more matters?

    And we only get that by believing in Him and trusting in His saving grace. We realize that nothing we can do, no matter how much we try or what we do is nearly sufficient to reach his standards.

    Contrast this with the LDS plan which emphasizes the rewards which are only attained through getting as close as you can on your own efforts, and Christ’s grace comes through to cover the difference that you are not able to attain.

    I like Setfree’s simple and powerful summary. Christ justifies everything on His own, and the violation of any law is a violation of the entire law.

  15. setfree says:

    I think… that much of it boils down to something as simple as this: it is easier to have faith in a to-do list than it is to put all your faith in someone you’ve never met, who claimed to be God. After all, you can see yourself, and you always have. But dropping your good works strategy and accepting Jesus as your Savior takes REAL FAITH.

    Think about it. The major world religions are successful because they tell people something that people believe intuitively. Do good, get good. Do bad, get beat.

    Then, darned it all, the Bible comes along and says: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death

    Put simply, are you living good? Good for you! Does it cause you to see righteousness in yourself? Believe in your own potential? Pat yourself on the back?

    Too bad.

    You doing right makes life better for you. And now you want reward on top of reward?

    How about this? No one does good, not one. What you think is good is not. Your best behavior – do you really want to go up to heaven and stand in line and be judged for it? Against whom? How many people do you want to be compared against, in the whole “did the best I could” way of thinking?

    God says: Take MY Righteousness in Jesus Christ, a free gift I have provided you. Let me forgive you right this minute, and start to make a new creature out of you. Give the reigns of your life to me; abide in Me. And when your life here is over, you can be with Me, the best place to be!

    Joseph Smith is burning in hell for teaching people to believe that God was once a man. Mormons don’t have any concept of who God really is, so how could they put that kind of faith in Him?

  16. Olsen Jim says:

    Do you really think when Paul used the phrase “all that believe,” he was using such a narrow definition of the word “believe”- a mental acknowledgement or agreement with the proposition that Jesus is the Savior?

    Then it all comes down to “who you know.” The ultimate plan of nepotism. Doesn’t matter how faithfully a person tries to follow Christ. It doesn’t matter how much a person sacrifices to serve others or forget about their own interests. Ghandi- burn in hell. Most of Africa- burn in hell. The majority of humanity is damned for no other reason than they were never exposed to the teachings of Jesus. Salvation is all in a mental act of “believing” Jesus is the Messiah.

    You folks can point to all the seemingly peculiar things in LDS history and laugh and point the finger, but I gotta say- this doctrine of easy believism is a far-fetched fairy tale.

    Of course your response will be- “it is in the Bible.” But among the many various interpretations for such verses, realize that you are choosing to believe the interpretation that by far requires the least from yourself. Such an interpretation requires you to explain away not just about every principle and lesson taught from the OT, but also explain away much of the NT verses.

    You talk a great deal about LDS believing what they want to believe out of personal mental protection. But it sure seems the inverse is much more likely.

    Who is more likely to be rationalizing away scripture- the girl who believes she has to do next to nothing to be saved via a process of mental acknowledgement or the girl who strives her whole life to live obediently to the commandments of Christ? Which approach is more appealing to our fallen, lost natures?

    The scriptures could not be more clear in teaching that man will be judged by his works. Do you want to go through the scriptures in both the OT and NT that teach that?

  17. Olsen Jim says:

    The claim that we reject Christ is a phony distraction. Who is the more grateful- the girl who dismisses her own sins as unimportant because Christ paid for them all- or the girl who tries to live obediently, doing her best to avoid sin because she knows that ultimately, the more she sins the more Christ had to suffer for her?

    You guys have an established pattern for turning things upside down, but reality is reality. Despite your attempts to make right wrong and wrong right, God does not change and is no respecter of persons- that means He is fair and does not consider station, title, appearance, etc. It does not mean that he has no interest in people’s behavior as you will argue.

    I don’t understand how people who believe that gospel can turn around and advocate anything virtuous, honest, moral, or lawful in the public arena. Really- it is so inconsistent for you to make the stands you do here about obedience and commandments, then turn around and rally for public standards of morality, etc. Makes no sense.

    I think there is a reason that people who believe such things also happen to be the ones most often who are out there criticizing other religions. I think you are still trying to convince yourselves that you are right, and tearing others down seems to help that effort. Or at least distract from it.

  18. MJP says:

    Jim, let me pause for a second– do you understand what our faith is? I mean sincerely, do you understand what our faith entails and restate it? It seems you do not, for you continually misrepresent what it is we consistently tell you. I know, I know, you’ll say we misrepresent what it is you tell us.

    But here is an attempt to state what it is you believe. To start, you believe in the restoration of the gospel of Christ before it was corrupted by men as exemplified through the creation of the creeds. Before the gospel was perverted by men, you believe that man lived with direct revelation from god, and that he spoke directly to mankind, and most importantly through the prophets. You believe that Christ, a man, lived essentially a perfect life and was made perfect through doing everything he was supposed to do. As such, he was able to become a god and inherited all the powers of his father. He’s thus in a very real sense our brother.

    Chirst did die, and when he did he still offered a way for us to be saved as well. However, he offered what is essentially a bi-partisan contract, wherein after believing in him and accepting the holy ghost, repenting of your sins and being baptized (by one who has authority) he will fill in the gap with his grace the space between what it is you can do to warrant salvation and what is required.

    Now, salvation to you means that you go to one of three places, and each has differing levels. Where you go depends on everything you have done to follow Christ’s commands, essentially all the temple rules etc. The highest level is then basically where you become a god, and have inherited all the powers of the father and the son.

    Now, it is difficult to summarize all this here, but I hope I have gotten all the basic right. But to even summarize further– faith saves, and faith is shown through action and obedience. Grace covers all, but really only serves to cover that which you cannot do. Can you do the same?

  19. falcon says:

    Here’s the deal with OJ, he can’t understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He can’t even repeat it. He keeps saying what he wants it to be, not what it is. I’m not saying the guy is demon possessed but he’s under a spirit of deception and delusion that won’t even allow him to “repeat”, I said “repeat”, the Gospel much less understand it.
    I don’t think he’s stupid. But he’s certainly got some sort of spiritual blockage there that won’t even allow him to function at the very basic level of learning which is to “know” something. He can’t even hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Man that’s spiritual bondage that’s not explainable in the natural realm.
    It’s a spiritual disability, is the only way to explain it. Think of it, he can’t even accurately repeat the Gospel of Jesus Christ despite dozens of presentations of it. The spiritual bondage that Mormons are in is the direct result of their willingness to embrace a demonic religion founded by a guy who drew his power from that world. They don’t see it. They can’t see it.
    What did Jesus say to His disciples, “These can only come out with prayer and fasting”.

    John 6:44

  20. MJP says:

    Falcon, you may be right. But I am trying to assist him in opening his eyes. Maybe if he sees this trend he will begin to struggle with it. However, it is also entirely possible that he just simply has no desire or, as you say, ability to see it.

    I’d still like to see what he has to say about my restatement of LDS beliefs, and also if he has the ability to restate ours, at least to give it a good go. I would not expect 100% accuracy, but at least a showing of some understanding.

    Its not a trap, merely a request to come together and share some ideas and come to understanding. If we cannot understand, meaningful discussion is useless.

  21. Jay K says:

    You said “Such an interpretation requires you to explain away not just about every principle and lesson taught from the OT…”

    Did you state this while being aware that the Old Covenant was done away with (prophesied in Jer 31:31-34, accounted for in Heb 8:13, 2 Cor 3:7-11, etc)? Paul expounded on the doing away of the law described in the OT all over Romans (I’ll save you the recap).

  22. rvales says:

    Jim said, “or the girl who tries to live obediently, doing her best to avoid sin because she knows that ultimately, the more she sins the more Christ had to suffer for her?”

    Jim did Christ suffer less for the chaste school teacher who spent her weekends giving to charity and feeding the needy and more for addict who spent years lying and stealing and doing whatever it took to get his next fix? Or did he suffer for them both the same?

  23. Olsen Jim says:


    I appreciate the exercise you attempt- seriously. I have asked for such a dialogue and summary from the EV posters here many times and have NEVER really had a response.

    To be very honest, I had trouble finding anything in your summary of our doctrine that is accurate. Maybe a couple of things on the surface- but I really wouldn’t fully agree with much of it.

    I do not mean that as a criticism. It is actually helpful for me to see what you think our religion is about.

    I am very interested in such an exercise. Before explaining what I think is wrong in your summary, I will summarize your religion from my perspective:

    You believe God created the universe out of nothing, including man.

    You believe God is a different species than man. Man’s existence begins sometime after conception.

    Man is born with an evil nature. He is lost forever due to that nature.

    Given man’s nature, he can never fulfill God’s law.

    God gave the Law of Moses to Israel to show the futility in trying to keep the law.

    Christ came, as God incarnate, and died on the cross to pay for mankind’s sins.

    I think you believe in the universal resurrection- some do, some don’t.

    Man’s duty is to see his own fallen state and accept Christ as the savior and believe on Him- I would say that “believe” does not include necessarily obeying- am I right?

    God chooses whom he will save. He works upon them through the Holy Ghost (another manifestation of Him) to soften the heart of the individual and convict him of his need for Christ.

    Salvation is a done deal once a person has been worked upon by the Spirit and after he has accepted Christ.

    The change in behavior seen in a Christian life is the result of being saved, and not the cause. No work a person does is connected to whether he is saved.

    After this life, those who are saved will dwell with God in eternal happiness, singing His praises forever.

    Those who do not accept Christ will suffer eternal torment in a lake of fire.

    How did I do?

  24. MJP says:


    First, I’d love to know what is inaccurate. You say “fully agree.” What does that mean? Are you suggesting that on the surface it is correct, but needs clarification? If so, I’d agree.

    Now, onto your summary, and my response:

    1) God created everything, including man.
    2) God is God, and man is man. You use the word “species” but God really isn’t species, he’s God. “Species” seems a word from LDS lenses. Life begins at conception, but God knows us from everlasting to everlasting, ie he knows when we will be born.
    3) Man is born with a fallen nature, which is not necessarily evil. We just have a natural tendancy to be away from God, and this is a direct result of Adam and Eve at the tree.
    4) I actually believe it is possible to fully live a perfect life, but very, very, very difficult. Because of its difficulty, virtually every man has fallen, and any fall keeps us from God.
    5) God gave the law to Moses so people could live it. They were commands and God required people to follow.
    6) God took the form of a man through the person of Christ who died for our sins, but through doing so gave us life by his death.
    7) I’d say I’d agree that will be raised to face judgement.
    8) Seeing our fallen state is not a duty, but a requirement before being saved. So, in that sense, it is the Christian’s duty to see that, and certainly God hopes for it. Believing requires obedience, but then we have to ask obedient to what.
    9) There is the elect, which assumes that God chooses who he will save. But you and I do not know who that is, so it is our duty to tell everyone. I also believe that it is very possible that God wants all to come to him but he knows who will and who will not come to him. Not sure which one it is, and so regardless, we need to preach to the ends of the earth.
    10) Salvation is a done deal upon belief.

    Will continue…

  25. MJP says:

    11) The changed behavior starts as a result of believing, but that is not all. It would be naive to think that some human effort is not needed to change behvavior. But the motivation changes once Christ is accepted. But the self control does help one stay focused on Christ, but you are correct to suggest it is the result, not the cause.
    12) After Chist returns, we will dwell with him forever. However, it is not as you say, singing his praises forever. Certainly we will be worshiping him forever, and figuratively singing his praises, but that characterization is too simple. As I have stated before, we have no idea exactly what it will be like, but we don’t care one way or another. Being with Christ is the important part.

    Now, each of these is overly simplistic, and it would take a long time to go into detail to sort them out. Likewise, I appreciate your effort, and ask that you take these seriously when responding and representing our faith.

    Misrepresenting is one thing, but when you and those in your faith get bent out of shape when others misrepresent your faith, it is fair to ask the same standard from you when discussing ours.

  26. oj commented

    The claim that we reject Christ is a phony distraction.

    …well, Christ appears in the name of your “church”, and he’s there in the preparatory gospel, but Milton R Hunter saw no need for him whilst expounding, at length and in great detail, how God became God. Here’s Milton again…

    We accept the fact that God is the Supreme Intelligent Being in the universe. He has the greatest knowledge, the most perfect will, and the most infinite power of any person within the realm of our understanding. . . . 
Yet, if we accept the great law of eternal progression, we must accept the fact that there was a time when Deity was much less powerful than He is today. Then how did He become glorified and exalted and attain His present status of Godhood? In the first place, aeons ago, God undoubtedly took advantage of every opportunity to learn the laws of truth and as He became acquainted with each new verity He righteously obeyed it. From day to day He exerted His will vigorously, and as a result became thoroughly acquainted with the forces lying about Him. As he gained more knowledge through persistent effort and continuous industry, as well as through absolute obedience, His understanding of the universal laws continued to become more complete. Thus He grew in experience and continued to grow until He attained the status of Godhood. In other words, He became God by absolute obedience to all the eternal laws of the Gospel–by conforming His actions to all truth, and thereby became the author of eternal truth. Therefore, the road that the Eternal Father followed to Godhood was one of living at all times a dynamic, industrious, and completely righteous life. There is no other way to exaltation

    I’m sure that someone will pull out some Mormon who says that Christ is important, but who are we to believe? These guys just make it up as they go along to justify their self-appointed mission as prophets from God.

  27. falcon says:

    The point is that the god, the christ, the spirit and the plan of salvation of Mormonism is not that of the Bible or orthodox Christianity. So if anyone is phony it’s the LDS church that continues to proclaim a false christ and tries to say it’s the same christ as the Christ of Christianity.
    Mormons need to stop this phony game they play of trying to say they accept Christ when the clearly don’t.
    Honesty? Mormons need to start exercising some honesty.

  28. Olsen Jim says:


    Thanks for the response. I absolutely take you at your word, and accept that what you claim to believe is your actual faith and religion. I have no reason to think you are false. I may disagree about doctrines, but if you say those are your beliefs, I belief you- no questions.

    The problem I see is that if I outline my beliefs, I will be told that I am lying about or misrepresenting our doctrine or that I don’t understand LDS doctrine.

    I will respond and give you a reasonable summary of our religion when I have the posts and space- tomorrow, hopefully.


    Your logic doesn’t really follow- Milton Hunter talking about how he thinks God became God doesn’t really cover the topic of our salvation does it? First, Hunter was a member of the Seventy, and although I respect the Seventy, they have never been the authorities on doctrine for the church.

    Second, again- his statement about God supposedly progressing doesn’t provide the context to talk about the role of Christ in the plan of salvation. Your point really isn’t made at all.

    And please don’t tell me I don’t accept Christ or believe in Him- that is so condescending and pathetically arrogant.

    Listen to any general conference in its entirety and tell me we don’t emphasize Christ. Read the BOM in its entirety and tell me it doesn’t emphasize Christ. The typical LDS covenants to take upon him His name and follow Him every single week. Every prayer, talk, lesson, testimony, ordinance in every one of our meetings is done in His name. The atonement is the center of everything to us.

  29. rvales says:

    I don’t know about the other posters here but I don’t have a problem with you laying out your beliefs it’s when you lay out your beliefs as the official LDS doctrine and it doesn’t jive with official statements from the church. You can express your beliefs please just acknowledge where they differ from the status quo and quit trying to convince us that your square peg fits into their round hole. And this is my frustration with the leaders vs lay of the LDS. We learn one thing from your books, talks, and official publications and another thing from each individual. Now you can absolutely bet that I differ on some doctrine with our other Christian posters here, and for that matter even some that I go to church with every week, but we differ on non essentials that have no bearing on our actual salvation. And we can acknowledge our differences instead of trying to convince outsiders that any difference of opinion is only their imagination.

    Now in regards to Christ being center, I believe whole heartedly that you feel you are worshipping Christ. I have my opinions on this but they are the same that have been expressed ad nauseum here so I won’t open that can of worms. Instead I’d like to restate an earlier question as it seems my comment may have gotten lost in the fray…aboved I asked “Jim did Christ suffer less for the chaste school teacher who spent her weekends giving to charity and feeding the needy and more for addict who spent years lying and stealing and doing whatever it took to get his next fix? Or did he suffer for them both the same?” what are your feelings on this?

  30. falcon says:

    We have official (as far as that goes) proclamations from the Mormon church regarding their doctrines and practices but it seems that the individual Mormon exercises their own “revelation” if we want to call it that. Joseph Smith opened a can of worms with his decree that individual Mormons could receive personal revelation from the Mormon god. This of course has an attractive feature to it but it also allows for a great deal of confusion as various personal “revelations” compete with one another. It’s a head trip though for a Mormon thinking they are getting super secret messages from the Mormon deity.
    I think there are something like seventy different versions of the one true (Mormon) church out there vying to be the number one real deal. There’s a ton of ego operating as all of these Mormons want to be heard and given attention.
    Actually, for all we know, the Mormons who show-up here and post are at the bottom of the pecking order in their wards, but they can empty the contents of their minds (here) regarding their views of Mormonism and get a little ego boost. Who knows if anyone in their little Mormon world even listens to them.

  31. MJP says:

    Jim, I appreciate that you accept my beliefs. For the most part, they will be along the lines of everyone else here, though some may be slightly different in how we express. It should also be pointed out that I myself may have slightly misstated our beliefs. I am open to correction.

    I must say this, though, in regards to you and your beliefs. The trouble I have with LDS stating their doctrine is that they are all over the place and even more leave out important aspects.

    I’ll even use you as an example– you said following nothing can get you into the CK based on belief alone, then later come out and say that to get full exaltation, within the CK, you have to do more. While it may be ‘honest’ to say that there is nothing really required to reach CK, it is not complete when discussing the idea of salvation.

    Please, correct me if I am wrong, but the LDS idea of salvation is very different, and is only fully achieved at exaltation. So, when discussing the idea of salvation, it is not honest to say that it is achieved through faith alone and instead say you can reach the CK on faith (which may be a true statement, but it is not everything).

    Really, there are two different problems in play– one is the not telling everything, and the other is the shifting goal posts and definitions. Within your faith you may be safe, but to those outside, you seem to do these things.

    Now, Jim, I am sincerely open to see what it is you have. I am very interested in what you have to present for your beliefs and where I was wrong above. Just the same, your beliefs are your beliefs, but it is fair to call into question your beliefs when puttng them against what past authorities have said (and it is fair for you to do the same to us).

  32. MJP says:

    Jim, just had another thought– the difference between your reaction and mine comes not from me being mean spirited, but from a fundamental difference in expectations regarding religion. See, we believe in standards that are consistent and traceable. This is apparent through all these threads. This authority and standardization is not as present in your faith, or at least that is how it appears to us. It so appears because you often seem to dismiss what past leaders have said on important topics.

    “Its their opinion and not doctrine” is a common line, even applied to Paul and other writers of the epistles.

    I am not critiquing now, only stating what I see as facts (notice the use of the words ‘seems’ and ‘appears’). You can certainly tell us when these observations are not true.

  33. falcon says:

    I don’t know the degree to which God holds people responsible for continuing to reject his call despite repeated clear presentations of His plan of salvation. I have a friend who has a son in his early thirties. The son has a legitimate case of ADD with all of the symptoms. My friend tells me that when faced with a situation that calls for a decision, the son always chooses the wrong path, consistently.
    So is the son responsible for his unwise decisions and what often are dire results? I can’t get inside the young man’s head and determine his culpability for his decisions. But I do know that the results are a sort of reaping what has been sowed.
    Mormons sow the seeds of deception and reap a harvest of eternal separation from God. And it’s not like they don’t know better. But when faced with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they consistently make the wrong choice.

    John 6:44

  34. falcon generalised

    Who knows if anyone in their little Mormon world even listens to them.

    …sorry, falcon, but that’s a little too steep.

    I can’t even be sure if anyone in my Church listens to me (I think they do, BTW), so it’s not a charge I would lay at any poster’s feet (Mormon or otherwise).

    However, I do agree some of the above posts; its OK for olsen jim and other posters to post what they think, but there are obvious differences between what he thinks and what the likes of Joseph Smith thought.

    What’s the problem in honestly admitting that JS said such-and-such, but I’m not entirely satisfied with it…

    …and what’s the problem with acknowledging that the Mormon prophets DID contradict each other…

    …oh, I was forgetting that a Mormon can believe whatever he or she wants to, as long as he or she believes the Mormon Church to be True, and Joseph Smith to be a true Prophet. These two are the only truths that bind the whole enterprise together, because nothing else does.

  35. olsen jim challenged me with

    And please don’t tell me I don’t accept Christ or believe in Him- that is so condescending and pathetically arrogant.

    I was actually referring to the express teachings of Milton R Hunter. Unless I am mistaken, there is no rebuttal to these teachings from from any LDS authority, so we are left with no option but to consider it to be LDS doctrine. It also lines up with other LDS teachings, such as the so-called “full gospel”, which LDS find out about after they have got through the “preparatory gospel” thing.

    When I consider the various statements that come out of the LDS movement, the overall impression is that they admire Christ, but they don’t worship Him as God (I’m thinking of many of Ralph’s previous posts). So, to them, Christ is something of a super-hero, not unlike Clarke Kent.

    OK, so Clarke Kent is not a Biblical character, but his Biblical equivalent might be something like the Archangel Michael, or Moses, Elijah or Abraham.

    The Bible presents a profound difference between how we should regard these characters and how we should regard Christ; we are meant to admire these characters, but we are to worship Christ.

    Furthermore, these other “super-heroes” demonstrate what it means to be subordinated to the authority of the Kingdom, but Jesus is presented as the ultimate authority, e.g.

    …to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

    Eph 1:10. or

    We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

    2 Cor 10:5

    So, when I see Milton R Hunter produce something that owes no allegiance to Christ, my reaction is to demolish it, take it captive, and force it to submit to Christ.

    OJ, this is the Christ I believe in. Does he look anything like the Christ that you believe in?

  36. Mike R says:


    Ga-day mate.

    Just a quick note concerning your citing of
    Mormon general authority Milton R. Hunter.
    You were correct in citing his book as a
    reference of Mormon doctrine. Mr. Hunter
    was given the asignment by the heads of the
    Church to produce a study manual for the
    Mechizedek priesthood quorums of the Church.
    It was reviewed and then recommended by George
    Richards,President of the Council of the Twelve

  37. falcon says:

    I said “who knows?” which is a speculative question not a definitive statement. When we read posts by the Mormons that are all over the board and aren’t in agreement with what their prophets said, wrote and practiced it makes one wonder what their (Mormons’) level of understanding of their own religion is. They seem to make it what they personally want it to be. The leadership isn’t any help since they don’t appear too interested in clearly up the murky pool of Mormon belief. Gordon B. Hinkley wouldn’t even publicly acknowledge that Mormons believe they will/can become gods.
    My other point is that Mormons posers show up on internet sites giving their opinions, which is fine, but when those opinions are at odds with their organization and its history, it makes one wonder. I guess we can’t blame them, to a degree, because they are caught in a Maze that most eventually walk away from.

  38. Chicago friend says:

    Sharon Lindboom wrote: “What I understand Mr. Maynes to be saying is this: honesty with the Lord includes admitting when one has failed (repentance), but real (or true) honesty with the Lord, that upon which eternal life depends, is found in doing what one promises to do at baptism and in the temple (i.e., keeping one’s covenants and obeying the commandments).”

    When a Mormon is baptized unto repentance, they promise to repent of sins. The Lord promises to forgive them when they repent:

    21 And he that will hear my voice shall be my sheep; and him shall ye receive into the church, and him will I also receive.
    22 For behold, this is my church; whosoever is baptized shall be baptized unto repentance. And whomsoever ye receive shall believe in my name; and him will I freely forgive.
    23 For it is I that taketh upon me the sins of the world; for it is I that hath created them; and it is I that granteth unto him that believeth unto the end a place at my right hand.

    (Book of Mormon | Mosiah 26:21 – 23)

    60 And now I say unto you that the good shepherd doth call after you; and if you will hearken unto his voice he will bring you into his fold, and ye are his sheep; and he commandeth you that ye suffer no ravenous wolf to enter among you, that ye may not be destroyed.
    61 And now I, Alma, do command you in the language of him who hath commanded me, that ye observe to do the words which I have spoken unto you.
    62 I speak by way of command unto you that belong to the church; and unto those who do not belong to the church I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life.

    (Book of Mormon | Alma 5:60 – 62)

  39. falcon says:

    I don’t know about this Mormon concept of repentance. I think we’re going to have to get a ruling as to whether what you quoted from the BoM is operating procedure these days; you know with continuous revelation and all. See when this was written, Joseph Smith had a pretty standard Christian take on the nature of God and forgiveness. It was later that he started free lancing a little more and came up with his “men to gods” program. In fact, I think the men to gods deal was his third rendition on the nature of God.
    If I’m not mistaken, polygamy was also condemned in the BoM, then Smith got it on with the sisters, and then again later the Mormons went back to a more conventional view of marriage when the government put pressure on them.
    So I really don’t think the BoM means much in the face of continuous revelation. Besides, the BoM has also been changed countless times and in significant ways. Further more, Mormonism appears to me to be a pretty much cafeteria type religion with folks taking what they want from the buffet table. Personal revelation is a marvelous thing as far as that is concerned.
    But nice to have you here anyway.

  40. grindael says:

    Sharon quoted:

    “The big questions for each Latter-day Saint are these: Will I be true to the covenants I have made with the Lord in the waters of baptism and in the holy temple? Will I be totally honest with the Lord?”

    I quote:

    Apostle John A. Widtsoe boldly asserted: “The Church ever operates in full light. There is no secrecy about its doctrine, aim, or work” (Evidences and Reconciliations, Single-Volume Edition, p. 282). On page 226 of the same book, Apostle Widtsoe said: “From the beginning of its history the Church has opposed unsupported beliefs. It has fought half-truth and untruth.”

    As late as 1850 John Taylor, who became the third president of the church, denied that the church believed in the practice of plural marriage, when he himself at the time had six living wives. In a public discussion in Boulogne-Sur-Mer, France, he stated:

    We are accused here of polygamy, and actions the most indelicate, obscene, and disgusting, such that none but a corrupt and depraved heart could have contrived. These things are too outrageous to admit of belief: … I shall content myself by reading our views of chastity and marriage, from a work published by us, containing some of the articles of our Faith. “Doctrine and Covenants,” page 330 … Inasmuch as this Church of Jesus Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife, and one woman but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again (A tract published by John Taylor in 1850, p. 8; found in Orson Pratt’s Works, 1851 edition).

    Finally, in 1852, after years of deception, the Mormons publicly admitted that they were practicing polygamy.


  41. falcon says:

    I don’t know if the Salt Lake Mormons are that aware of the significant changes that their religion has gone through in regards to its doctrine and practices. Quite frankly that’s why we have the Community of Christ and Temple Lot Mormon sects. Neither of these groups accepted polygamy or the men to gods doctrine. These doctrines were not part of original Mormonism. In fact, I believe the rebellion of the Temple Lot was due to Smith’s wholesale changes in the Book of Commandments which became the Doctrine & Covenants. In-other-words, Smith the prophet saw fit to change his original revelations/prophecies as he wished. Everything in Mormonism can be covered under the banner of continuous revelation. That’s why Mormonism, Salt Lake City style, is seen as being at the least flakey and the worst totally dishonest. Mormons are very fond of continuous revelation but its that very process that has resulted in the doctrinal mess that is modern day SLC Mormonism.
    Given this current discussion, I don’t know if a Mormon on this blog has clearly articulated what it takes to become a Mormon god.

  42. Olsen Jim says:


    Hunter wasn’t talking about our salvation was he? It is totally dishonest to take that context and say we don’t believe in Christ. He was discussing God, independent of us or Jesus. Can you see that?

    Why don’t I quote a manual you write on repairing cars and state that you don’t believe in Christ because He is not mentioned in your manual. Same thing.

    Hunter was not talking about us and our salvation. Be honest please.

  43. olsen jim responded to my objection to Milton R Hunter’s teaching with

    Hunter wasn’t talking about our salvation was he? It is totally dishonest to take that context and say we don’t believe in Christ. He was discussing God, independent of us or Jesus. Can you see that?

    No, I can’t.

    The reason I can’t see it is that the Christ I see in the Bible is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end (Rev 1:8, 21:6, 22:13). He is the Word who was before everything else (John 1:1). He is before all things and in Him all things have their being (Col 1:17). These attributes of His mean that He is intimately involved in ALL THINGS, especially and particularly the “God-things” of our lives, like salvation, redemption, judgment or exaltation, or (literally) whatever.

    So, when you present a process that is somehow independent of Christ, I cannot comprehend it.

    For me, the real question is not whether you acknowledge Christ’s presence in your life, but whether you treat Him as friend or foe; as someone who has a right to be there, or as a stranger and an invader; as the true Master who has absolute ownership of your whole being, or as a usurper of your self-interests.

    Milton R Hunter saw no need for Christ in his particular scheme. I don’t care how you finagle it; denying Christ the Lord ANY part in ANY aspect of your life is an act of rebellion against the One who is THE LORD. It is the original sin.

  44. falcon says:

    Grant Palmer, author of “An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins” wrote a follow up book titled “The Incomparable Jesus”. I listened to an extensive interview with Palmer and one of the things that distressed him about his religion, Mormonism, was its lack of emphasis on Jesus. In fact he talked about an analysis he did of the subject matter covered in subsequent Sundays over a period of a year in Mormon gatherings. The amount of time spent on Jesus was infinitesimal compared to other topics.
    Jesus, despite the fact that Mormons put his name into the title of their religion, does not occupy the same central focus of Christianity. In Christianity, it is all about Jesus. In Mormonism Jesus is a tag line. Notice that in the Mormon testimony, Jesus is an after thought. Joseph Smith, the BoM, the Mormon church and the current prophet get top billing. Jesus, in Mormonism, is an elder brother who set a good example. He’s not God incarnate who paid the total price for sin that those who believe in Him are granted eternal life. In Mormonism, men become gods and reign forever in their private little worlds. In Christianity, Jesus reigns forever.
    Jesus is indeed the Alpha and Omega, the living God who alone deserves our honor, devotion and praise. There is none other. Mormons blaspheme His holy name but they, like all humanity, will bow their knees to Him.

  45. Olsen Jim says:


    Did Hunter suggest in any way that Christ was not the central figure in our salvation? The answer is no.

    He was discussing a topic that did not involve our salvation. HE WAS DISCUSSING WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS GOD’S PATH TO GODHOOD- NOT OURS.

    You stated: “So, when you present a process that is somehow independent of Christ, I cannot comprehend it.”

    Again- would you include a discussion about Jesus in a manual about car repair? Would you be unable to “comprehend” such a manual if it didn’t include a discussion of Jesus?

    Your logic is incomprehensible.

    I really believe our conversations here are not at all productive. We seem to disagree about everything and nothing is ever settled. The LDS doctrine and religion is the topic, and LDS who post here NEVER feel our religion is represented fairly. I am not claiming to be a victim, I am saying that the supposed goal of these discussions is never accomplished.

  46. Mike R says:


    I would like to briefly comment on somethings
    that you asked Martin. It’s not my intent to
    speak for him, but I need to bring a point or
    two of yours up.

    Concerning Mormon general authority Milton Hunter,
    you said,

    ” He was discussing a topic that did not involve
    our salvation.He was discussing what he thought
    was God’s path to Godhood–not ours.”

    First of all, Mr Hunter was discussing what he
    was TAUGHT was the truth about God’s progression
    to Godhood, not merely what he “thought” was the
    truth about this doctrine. This is classic Mormon
    doctrine. He learned it, and in turn was teaching
    to others.

    As to your statement that he was’nt actually
    discussing our path, well that is really a
    half-truth.In the paragraph that Martin cited
    it ends with, ” There is no other way to exalt-
    ation.” That “way” is also the path we are to
    follow to exaltation.This is plain to see when
    we read the very next words on the same page:
    ” How Men May Become Gods “.

    Jim, you also said, ” We seem to disagree about
    everything and nothing is ever settled….LDS who
    post here never feel our religion is represented

    I certainly don’t like the tone the conversation
    sometimes takes, but to be honest, there are times
    when “our” doctrine is’nt fairly represented either.As far as agreeing about everything,I think
    given the authoratative claims of your leaders,
    that the conversation is always going to slide to
    that, after all, this is the only subject that
    matters( in my opinion). Concerning these
    claims, even your own leaders have said there is
    no middle ground. We both can’t be right.

  47. MJP says:

    I have to agree with Mike R. It seems the desire of LDS is to dicsuss and not have any sort of questions. That’s fine on a level, but the idea falls short when trying to discern what the truth is. The truth of the LDS faith is really hard to discern, because everything is not what it seems in the LDS faith. Here are some examples:

    Grace saves us– but only comes in after you’ve done all you can.
    We reject polygamy– but really only practice, and if called to practice again, we must practice it.
    We believe in one god, but both the father and the son are separate gods, and there are others out there, too. (But we only worship one, though which one gets worshipped is not entirely clear).
    Works do not save because of Christ’s atonement– but we still have to work to be saved.
    Being saved is based on faith, but to really be saved (reach the highest level of salvation, you have to do stuff).

    There are more, but this list creates the picture.

    It is also hard to discern the truth in Mormonism because the past says different things than the present. This has been discussed ad nauseum, but because it has been discussed so much indicates there is a real problem with this disconnect. That the apparrent disconnect exists does not mean that the LDS side is definitively wrong, but it means it is fair to question it.

    Christians have a problem with leaders saying one thing today and changing it tomorrow. We have a problem when people start with only half of a truth.

  48. grindael says:

    I for one would have to disagree with the line of thought that Mormons don’t believe a ‘christ figure’ is central to their salvation. Sometimes they stress the path that ‘the father figure’ took and concentrate on that, BUT, it has been taught (trust me I have read the quotes) that for every world there is always a ‘christ figure’ that redeems that particular world. It is not well known Mormon Doctrine, but it WAS taught. So I would have to agree with Jim Olsen on his point.

    For what it’s worth. Their picture of works in relation to those ‘christ figures’ is a whole different argument. Also, their definition of who Christ was in relation to the Godhead did evolve in the Church. Up to the 1900’s they called the Father figure Jehovah, who was the creator. It was B.H. Roberts or Penrose that read the bible and associated Jehovah with Christ, thus changing the doctrine which became the standard after the 1900’s.

    That may be why there is some ambiguity about the Christ figure in LDS theology.

  49. grindael says:


    I would like to say to you in particular that I do not ‘disagree’ with everything Mormons say about their doctrine. Where I come from is what Mormons NOW believe in relation to what they believed in the first half of Church existence.

    Mormon Theologians of the 19th century made many ‘blanket’ statements that their doctrines were always taught the same from Joseph Smith to the present. This is certainly not so. Their have been major evolutions in Mormon Doctrine.

    But the statements of constant communication with God and ‘knowing His will constantly’ don’t jibe with the many documents available to read about how these evolutions took place. You may be frustrated because you believe the Mormon Doctrine pretty much as laid out by McConkie and the like, but much of Mormon Doctrine has undergone significant evolution, and not all ‘by revelation’. This is in opposition to established (true) history. Please look at your Church History with an eye open to this, because it will help you to understand where some of us are coming from.

    Bottom line, you can’t have it both ways. If your Church wants to admit that such as Brigham Young, evolved teachings of the Church in the light of their own understanding, that would be great, but then it opens the door that they are not really prophets, but men who only work on impressions of the spirit, like Christians claim.

    McConkie admitting Young taught false doctrine, and those that do would be thrust down to hell (book of Mormon) and then saying he was a great prophet, make this very hard for Mormons. Especially when such as Wilford Woodruff said God would ‘remove a prophet from his position’ before he let them lead the Church astray. I for one, cannot reconcile it in my mind. Can you?

  50. Olsen Jim says:


    Thanks for pointing out something upon which we can agree.

    A note about Jehovah and Elohim- the two terms and their history are very interesting and extremely nuanced. Many non-LDS scholars would argue that the two terms can be used interchangeably, even if referring to two different individuals- again, a separate topic, but interesting. My point is that the “evolution” in the use of these terms is not without some linguistic basis.

    I think it is important to constantly try to see reality accurately. And I think it is very easy to get an unrealistic picture of our church history, from both sides.

    Many like to think that God handed Joseph Smith and his successors a neatly organized and complete blueprint for all doctrine and organizational issues of His kingdom. That didn’t happen.

    But this is the standard against which the church is often held to- perfection from the outset.

    I understand very clearly the point that if these men claim to be prophets, they should be accountable for their words in a way different from others.

    But if we want to know the truth, we have to be willing to throw in a healthy dose of reality and reasonableness into the equation, even giving some benefit of the doubt at times.

    Consider the statement that is attributed by some to Joseph Smith about people living on the moon. On the surface, this is ridiculous, and anybody claiming such a thing could easily be dismissed.

    But consider a couple of things. First, mankind knew very little about the conditions on the moon in the 1830s- it could have been believable back then.

    Second, Joseph had “translated” the book of Moses wherein God tells Moses that He has created “worlds without number” like this one. The doctrine of infinite other planets wherein God’s children dwelt was certainly a big revelation.

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