New Article: Questions for Glenn Beck

Politically there is probably much that I share with conservative commentator Glenn Beck. The problems he sees plaguing our country I also see, and much like him, I want America to open its eyes to see the dangerous path down which we are heading. Beck is also an entertainer, an erudite one, and for me, this is what sets him apart from many of the less-than-stellar entertainer pundits I hear coming out of Hollywood. It is no secret that Beck is unabashedly Mormon, and while I can agree with him on political and social issues, when he calls on me to join hands with him to invoke the Almighty, I have to draw the line. It isn’t because I don’t like Glenn Beck, it is just that my biblical worldview prevents me from uniting with him spiritually. Despite his LDS membership, experience tells me to be cautious regarding what he might personally believe. For me, Glenn Beck is still much of an enigma, and because of this I have many questions I wish he could answer for me.

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Perhaps you can list some concerns you may have as well.

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75 Responses to New Article: Questions for Glenn Beck

  1. iamse7en says:

    I take several issues with your article, but let me jump on the most obvious lie:

    …are you not aware that Joseph Smith not only instituted socialism via his "Law of Consecration" and "United Order," he claimed God ordained it (See D&C 104)?

    To claim that the United Order is "socialism" is false and ridiculous. Let me highlight the most important differences. United Order is implemented by the voluntary free-will actions of men. Socialism is implemented by external force, the power of the state. The United Order is operated upon the principle of private ownership, individual management, and personal accountability. Socialism is operated on the principle of collective or governmental ownership and management. A system that is based on property rights, private ownership, and completely voluntary actions cannot be likened to socialism, at all. These are the foundations on which the United Order are based. In fact, they are the same foundations/principles on which free-market capitalism is based.

    Bill, as a side note, I have a question for you. What do evangelical or born-again Christians think of Obama's collective salvation view – that your individual salvation DEPENDS ON the collective salvation of other people. Obama has stated this theological viewpoint several times. Thank you.

  2. Rick B says:

    What really surprises me is, he seems so smart and wants to seek out the truth and expose lies. Yet when it comes to Mormonism he is so blind and does not seek the truth or want to debate what he believes. instead buries his head in the sand and refuses to look into the facts like he does with Politics

  3. f_melo says:

    You´re right – it´s not socialism, it´s communism.

    Lets read it for ourselves, shall we?

    D&C 104:

    1 Verily I say unto you, my friends, I give unto you counsel, and a commandment, concerning all the properties which belong to the order which I commanded to be organized and established, to be a united order, and an everlasting order for the benefit of my church, and for the salvation of men until I come—

    4 Therefore, inasmuch as some of my servants have not kept the commandment, but have broken the covenant through covetousness, and with feigned words, I have cursed them with a very sore and grievous curse.

    Yeap, it seems voluntary to me… lol…

    So, not only JS claimed it to be from God, but those who don´t obey it will be cursed!

    Lets continue a little bit:

    68 And all moneys that you receive in your stewardships, by improving upon the properties which I have appointed unto you, in houses, or in lands, or in cattle, or in all things save it be the holy and sacred writings, which I have reserved unto myself for holy and sacred purposes, shall be cast into the treasury as fast as you receive moneys, by hundreds, or by fifties, or by twenties, or by tens, or by fives.
    69 Or in other words, if any man among you obtain five dollars let him cast them into the treasury; or if he obtain ten, or twenty, or fifty, or an hundred, let him do likewise;
    70 And let not any among you say that it is his own; for it shall not be called his, nor any part of it.

    Yeap, that´s how i would define private property alright.

    iamse7en, tell me, if that came from God, why did it fail so badly, so many times? You know, all those systems bring is poverty and misery, just look at the countries that apply it… i don´t understand how an all-wise God would come up with such a sucky plan…

    Oh, The city of Orderville says hi:,_Utah

  4. f_melo says:

    "salvation DEPENDS ON the collective salvation of other people"

    That´s not Christianity, sorry…

    That´s probably part of some emergent gospel…

  5. "United Order is implemented by the voluntary free-will actions of men."

    So is American socialism if we all vote in politicians who implement it.

  6. olsenjim says:

    How the devil do you post messages that long?

    I am limited to posts of about 250 words.

  7. olsenjim says:


    Make what you will about the united order, LDS theology is more in line with the principles found in the U.S. constitution than any other religion, IMO. Consider that in our theology:

    1.Individual moral and free agency is an absolute fundamental extending from before this life. This idea of being free to choose is nowhere emphasized like it is in our religion. On the other hand, evangelical theology minimizes individual agency, even claiming that man has no say in his own salvation- God chooses whom He will save based on criteria that nobody knows or understands. God predestines some for heaven and the others go to hell. This is very contrary to the American concept of freedom.

    2.The law of the harvest. LDS are criticized by you and others because we emphasize the concept of the individual receiving rewards for individual merit and effort. If that is not American, nothing is. EVs absolutely disassociate this concept of man being blessed and improving himself through sweat and tears. If anything, the EVs theology is very much socialist- somebody has done the work and there is nothing else for us to do. You can say you do good things as a result of gratitude, but the truth is your beliefs remove responsibility from the individual and the cost of personal disobedience. It is as if the atonement results in a blank check with the individual not having to check himself and weigh the real cost of his sins- once saved, it is a done deal, no guilt, no accountability.

  8. olsenjim says:

    3.LDS theology holds that man is free to exercise self-discipline and strive for something better- that the more he overcomes in this life and the more he learns, the further ahead he will be in the next life. In EV theology, striving to be obedient is even looked down upon as selfish. It is as if any change in the individual is a result of God waving a magic wand over the person and presto- they are made into something totally contrary to their desires and nature. Fairy tale stuff. And yes- we believe God changes our nature, but is in conjunction with personal desire, effort, and faith.

    It is no coincidence that no other religion esteems the United States of America and its constitution more highly. We believe the founders were not only inspired of God, but that the Constitution and Declaration of Independence approach the status of scripture.

    Protestantism is the leftover religion of Europe. As Tolstoy noted, “Mormonism is the American religion.”

  9. Bill McKeever says:

    I can't count how many times I've read the New Testament and completely missed the concept that God saves people according to the "American concept of freedom." And to think Jesus dying for my sins is a socialistic concept as well. Wow, that's a keeper.

    So Jim, if you want to talk about the cost of personal disobedience, let me ask how will you be judged for your personal disobedience, I mean, you do sin, don't you? Or have you denied yourself of all ungodliness?

  10. Martin_from_Brisbane says:

    OK, don't flame me here. This is not intended to be a political post.

    As one who lives outside your shores, I get uncomfortable when I sense American Christians (of whatever shade) binding their sense of Christian identity to American political values.

    I agree fully with Bill's comment that

    I can't count how many times I've read the New Testament and completely missed the concept that God saves people according to the "American concept of freedom."


    What about the 90% (ish) of the world's population who can't (or don't want to) live in America?

    Even so, some of the posts here seem to be saying you can't be Christian if you have socialist aspirations.

    I don't want to get into a debate about how socialism is of the devil (which could equally apply to capitalism, for that matter), but one pitfall that seems common here is to impose modern ideas of "isms" onto the Bible. For me, the Biblical authors did not think in terms of "isms", but they did think in terms of Kingdoms (which get their respective cultural values from the character of their Kings) and their worldview was formed from the perspective of the mediterranean/middle eastern nuclear extended family.

    This last point is important in considering the Biblical perspective on collective ownership, for example. I think it was perfectly natural for Biblical characters to share stuff because they were sharing it in the context of extended family – they were literally and figuratively "brothers and sisters". Further, they were bound much more tightly in domestic intimacy than we would probably find comfortable. For example, I wonder if the idea of a private bedroom for each family member would have sounded very strange to them (even if they were attracted to it) (note the sleeping arrangements in Luke 11:7).

    So, to extrapolate from that environment in order to get politcal capital for socialism or capitalism or any other modern "ism" seems to me to be a dangerous and precarious course.

    My question for American Christians is that if you take the "Americaniaty" out of your Christianity, what are you left with?

    Hopefully, you'll have Christ (and maybe this is what Mr Beck is missing).

    Remember, Christ will be there, long after you, me and the Grand Old US of A have long since passed away (Heb 13:8).

  11. olsenjim says:


    Completely disconnecting actions from consequences is certainly a fundamental problem with socialism. Yet, this is really at the heart of your theology.

    Yes, Jesus died for our sins. But we have responsibility to repent and obey. Jesus is the author of eternal salvation "unto all them who obey Him."

    EVs have twisted the whole concept into what is very much a socialist principle- another party has carried my burden, therefore I have no responsibility other than mental acknowledgement.

    Another comparison- LDS doctrine holds all men on equal ground in that all individuals will have a fair opportunity to understand and accept the gospel. EV theology says that we are not on equal ground- we are born evil and God saves whom He will save- some are divinely chosen for no apparent reason- others are not. This very much resembles the claims of the monarchs of Europe- kings chosen of God to rule for no apparent reason while others never have a chance.

  12. olsenjim says:


    I agree with you. I think God draws far fewer boundaries and places fewer labels than we do. I think we will all be surprised by the degree to which that is true. God loves a person no less or no more as a result of which system of government he or she happens to be governed by. Even which religion a person belongs to.

    That being said, moral equivalence on some things is weak.

    Is personal liberty superior to servitude and slavery?
    Is personal accountability to be preferred over no accountability or misplaced accountability?
    Is the opportunity to "sink or swim" of more value than guaranteed mediocrity?

    I believe these things do matter. I think they matter to God. And when Bill and others claim that LDS lean towards socialism, I feel compelled to point out the ridiculous nature of their argument. And traditional America (not modern America by any means) can really be considered the antithesis of socialism/communism.

  13. f_melo says:

    You´ve got to remember though, that Utah is not a theocracy only because the U.S. Governement intervened.

    Seriously, who do you think you´re deceiving here, with all that talk about personal freedom, etc.?

    If Utah had been allowed to still be a theocracy to this day, no member of the church would have their free-will as they have now. They would be under full obligations of their temple covenants that all that you are, have or will acquire, and even your life, has to be given to the church.

    I sincerely ask you all to pray that the mormon church will never ever have that kind of political power again. Seriously. It would be worse than the middle ages, no question.

  14. f_melo says:

    " the more he learns, the further ahead he will be in the next life."

    Right, because if we are to become gods, we better start learning how here.

    "In EV theology, striving to be obedient is even looked down upon as selfish."

    Don´t think so. Nobody can be obedient through the LAW – that´s what the scriptures says "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10)
    So, if your are going to strive to be obedient, you better obey all of the law, because the second you break 1 commandment no matter how small it is, you´ve broken the entire law.

    2 Corinthians 9:8 – "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work"

    See, your merits mean nothing, we all disobey the laws of God in one point or another. Yet when Christ saves us, through His grace He brings forth fuit from us, the believers, that is if we truly have the saving faith we profess.

    John 6:28-29 – 28 "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    See how we can truly do the work of God? That´s the only way to be truly obedient to God´s commandments.

  15. Bill McKeever says:

    Answer my question, Jim. You made an issue about the cost of disobedience. I asked, "how will you be judged for your personal disobedience, I mean, you do sin, don't you? Or have you denied yourself of all ungodliness?"

  16. olsenjim says:

    Your question or series of questions is probably the most common gimmick employed by the EV critic.

    If I do not repent, I am exposed to the law. If I repent, I am covered in Christ. That is how I am judged.

    It is not that complicated.

    (Here come the quotations from Kimball, right?).

    Are you saved Bill? Is it a done deal? Are you accountable for your actions? Does God reward individuals based on their works?

    My point about EVs is that they seem to not believe in repentance- or at least that it is not required to be saved. Yet, that is probably the most common invitation extended by Christ if you consider His own words. Total disconnect.

  17. Bill McKeever says:

    Jim, this is no gimmick. Answer my question. You come on here always talking a good game about obedience and works. I want to know if I am communicating to an obedient, forgiven Mormon or just another big-talking hypocrite. Now, "how will you be judged for your personal disobedience, I mean, you do sin, don't you? Or have you denied yourself of all ungodliness?"

  18. f_melo says:

    He´s lied about his church here a few times already… I don´t know if lying for the Lord counts for them as a sin.

  19. wyomingwilly says:

    Jim, " EV'" don't believe in repentance ? Where on earth did you get that from ?
    I have to be think that you're exaggerating again. You're establishing a pattern Jim.
    Also, are'nt you the one who said a while back that "EV's are mentally deficient
    in understanding Mormon doctrine ?


  20. Bill McKeever says:

    WyomingWilly is right to question Olsenjim's assumption that evangelicals don't believe in repentance. Olsenjim's comment has no basis in fact and is intended only to inflame. My observations tell me that many of the Mormons who post here don't seem to take repentance seriously.

    Guys like Iamse7en,Geoffw77, and Olsenjim come into conversations, accuse everyone they diagree with of being liars and ignorant, but when their assumptions are refuted with evidence they too often respond with more personal innuendo or scurry back into the darkness. Part of the repentance process is making amends with those you've transgressed. I don't see a lot of that from Mormons who continue to make outlandish comments here are Mormon Coffee.

    For instance, Iamse7en called me a liar for one of the questions I raised for Glenn Beck and then made the unfounded conclusion that the United Order was voluntary. Myself and f_melo responded with quotes from Mormon scripture showing this was not at all true. Does Iamse7en begin his repentance process with an apology to me? No.

    Geoffw77 accuses Sharon of lying in her article on the alleged expulsion of Mormons from Iceland. He announces that "HUNDREDS died fleeing their persecutors during the Missouri War. Even HUNDREDS more Mormons perished from exposure fleeing their persecutors after the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyram Smith." I respond by showing that Mormon historians like Turley, Walker, and Leonard admit that the LDS Church never "made a full accounting of their casualties" and estimated deaths in the "dozens." Still a horrible atrocity, but not the exaggerated HUNDREDS mentioned by Geoffw77. On that same subject B.H. Roberts said "careful estimates" put the number at people killed at about 50. Did Geoffw77 ever have the decency to begin his repentance process by apologizing to Sharon? No. All we get are crickets chirping.

    After I posted my third challenge for Olsenjim to demonstrate if he is really a forgiven commandment keeper, I wondered if I was too strong to imply that he might just be a big-talking hypocrite. In retrospect I don't think I was too strong with that implication. It seems to me that these guys are nothing more than M. Russell Ballard's trolls and I admit I am growing very weary of them.

  21. 4fivesolas says:

    I think you and Tolstoy may be right in that Mormonism is the American religion. Not fashioned after Scripture, but springing from philosophies of the day, some of them distinctly American ideas. This can be seen in the revivalist preachers of Joseph Smith's time and the tenor and tone of the book of Mormon which borrowed heavily from that style of preaching. It can be seen in the food restrictions – out of the dietary concerns of the day came Joseph Smith's Word of Wisdom – just as the temperance movement grew out of this same philosophy growing to take over the country. Likewise, Unitarian Universalists of that time adopted temperance and went on to influence other Christian denominations such as the Baptists and Methodists. Obviously, Joseph Smith experimented with socialist ideals which grew in other parts of the world to take over entire countries. American Israelism, with both the idea that the U.S. is a uniquely ordained work of God and the idea that Native Americans are descended from Jewish Nation were both popular ideas of the time that are woven into the BOM and Mormon "theology." It is obvious to any observer that Mormonism is an American religion springing from the social and religious context of the time, the BOM addresses the religious concerns of Joseph Smith's time period, and incorporates the popular American ideas of the time. It is truly an American religion and bears no resemblance to the faith and teaching of Scripture, a calling to trust in Him alone for salvation by grace through faith – Christ's ultimate fulfillment of the sacrificial system established in chosen people far away from American with eternal benefits for all who trust in Christ crucified for their sins throughout the world. It is a radical, completely non-nationalistic message – it is for all people everywhere. Contrary to all world religions, Christianity proclaims forgiveness through Christ finished work, completely apart from anything we say or do. On the other hand, salvation by works is the American religion, it is the Muslim religion, it is the Mormon religion, it is the religion of the world, it is the universal world doctrine.

  22. olsenjim says:

    Big Bill,

    You banned me a while back for being "snarky." Hmmmmmm. I think if we looked in the dictionary under that word we would find your recent posts.

    I answered your question regarding how I will be judged for disobedience, but here it is again:

    If I repent, I am covered by the Savior Jesus Christ. If I do not repent, I must pay the debt to justice in full myself.

    Not too complicated in my opinion.

    So Bill- are you saying you believe a person must repent to be saved? And what does repentance mean?

    Many a EV has stated here and elsewhere that the only part we have in our salvation is the act of believing in Jesus. Do you believe there is something more you must do personally?

    In fact, many have even stated that we don't even choose to believe- God chooses those whom will believe.

    By the way, I heard you last week on a radio program claim the only role grace plays in LDS theology is in the resurrection- salvation from sin is fully a function of works.

    I don't think I heard you say one thing that was not "outlandish" about us.

  23. Bill McKeever says:

    Not so fast, Jim. IF YOU REPENT? Are you telling all of us that you have not yet repented of your sins? Make it clear to us, Jim. Have you repented of your sins? If you were to die right now, do you have the assurance that all of your sins are forgiven?

  24. Rick B says:

    Correct me if I am wrong here, But LDS accuse us Christians of saying we do not believe in repentance. I think it is the LDS that seem to deny repentance. According to what I have read, people on death row cannot be saved, and people on their death bed cannot be saved. So that shows repentance means nothing. Am I wrong? If so where, why and how. Rick b

  25. Martin_from_Brisbane says:


    Thanks for your response.

    I was thinking about going back to how Joseph Smith's attempts to "share" believers' possessions, but you can probably guess what I was going to post, and others have picked it up (for instance, f_melo).

    Anyway, here's a bigger question for believers of all stripes: should Christian faith be pietist, magisterial, or both?

    (I think those are the right words)

    What I mean is:

    Pietist leans towards religion as an internal, personal experience. The Pietist is more likely so say, "I have a personal relationship with God. I'd like you to get the same kind of relationship, but if you don't, I'm not going to interfere."

    Magisterial leans towards religion as a social entity. The Magisterialist is more likely to say, "Our society/nation should be governed by Christian values, even if individuals within that society profess no allegiance to Christianity".

    The devil's in the details, as they say. On the one hand, the Pietist is saying that God has no place in social or national governance and religion is a private affair. On the other, the Magisterialist is saying that individual conscience can (and should) be violated when that individual opposes social or legal norms and religion is a public concern.

    As a footnote, I know the American founding fathers thought about this a great deal, but they were reacting to a (malfunctioning?) magisterial system. If they were to run through the same arguments in the context of the Biblical worldview, instead of the context of George III and his taxes, would they be right?

  26. f_melo says:

    Sure – there´s so much stuff a mormon must do to even start thinking himself to be worthy of the Celestial Kingdom…

    Mormons are so righteous they have to help GOD do HIS work. God really needs help from us and He can count on the mormons for it, because they are just anxious to obey Him in every single thing He commands, and where the people of Israel failed, they will succeed!!!!!!!! Go Mormons, you righteous, worthy ones!

  27. f_melo says:

    In order to repent and earn your place in the Celestial Kingdom you have to do a lot of stuff that the church requires, only after that you may (or not) achieve the forgiveness of your sins. So if you wait to straighten up your life when you are in your death bed it is already too late. But if you were ignorant of mormonism´s gospel you´ll have an opportunity to hear about it in the Spirit-world and will have a chance to accept it or reject it. Once you accept it you will have to wait for your ordinances to be performed in your stead by someone living, in the temple.

    If you reject it you´ll be assigned to either the terrestrial or the telestial kingdom, no hell for you at all(good deal, right?).

    I honestly think Jesus forgot about those details of "His" doctrine when he spoke to the thief hanging beside Him on the cross, or maybe the gospel writers just got lazy and didn´t want to record that laundry list of requirements… go figure…

  28. olsenjim says:


    Repentance is not a one time deal. That is why it is such a fundamental principle and action in the gospel. (And probably why Christ emphasized it so much).

    Critics love to ask the silly question of us- are you perfect? Truth is there is more than one way a person can be perfect. And the critics are asking are we free of sin. Being perfect has other meanings that apply to perfect attributes (that I don't think EV consider). A person can repent and be sinless after being forgiven of the Lord. But that does not mean he has perfect attributes. And perfecting attributes takes a lot of time and effort and practice. I believe that is the real reason underlying our need to strive for obedience. Anyway- too much for this audience or discussion.

    I have no obligation to tell you where I am in this process. I have told you the process and how it applies. I attempt to repent every day. That does not mean I do not sin. The Lord forgives sin as we repent. And repentance is something to be worked at and approached every day.

    Now, do you care to answer any of my questions. Or is that not the way you roll?

  29. olsenjim says:


    I can see why you left if that was your understanding of the gospel.

    Every person will receive a chance to understand and accept the principles and ordinances of the gospel. Those not afforded that opportunity in this life will have it in the spirit world. (EV love to call this a "second" chance- math not being their strong suit- it's actually a first opportunity).

    When a person accepts Jesus Christ and has a change of heart and repents, he or she is forgiven of sin. A person can certainly experience this as they approach death. If he or she is sincere in their repentance at that point, I don't think anybody can say he won't be saved. But if a person has had ample opportunities to understand the gospel and has rebelled up to the last minute- I think that may be a different story- just my opinion.

    Any EVs here desire to explain the role of repentance according to your religion? If you do believe in it, please explain it. The whole death bed scenario doesn't apply to most people, although it may be interesting to talk about or illustrate aspects of salvation.

  30. f_melo says:

    i honestly didn´t understand your comment:

    "I can see why you left if that was your understanding of the gospel."

    You explained it exactly the way i did, i don´t see any difference…

    "EV love to call this a "second" chance- math not being their strong suit- it's actually a first opportunity"

    The reason they say this is because of scriptures like this:

    Romans 2:14-15 – " For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)"

    See, if that´s the case everyone has had a chance in life, and all were "afforded that opportunity in this life", and won´t need another one. As to how that exactly works i´m not sure, but mormonism cannot explain the exact criteria for their "spirit-world chance" or "second chance" either:

    Example, D&C 137:5-6 – "I saw Father Adam and Abraham; and my father and my mother; my brother Alvin, that has long since slept; And marveled how it was that he had obtained an inheritance in that kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins."

    Care to answer why Alvin didn´t need to receive the temple ordinances, and how come he was not in spirit-prison just like everyone else who didn´t have the gospel should have been?

    Your doctrine is much more confusing than you claim the Bible to be.

  31. f_melo says:

    If anyone wants to check the laundry list of requirements for you to START your repentance process, this is a good source(kind of a beginners guide, if anyone wants the hard core stuff read that book "Miracle of Forgiveness":

    "When a person accepts Jesus Christ and has a change of heart and repents, he or she is forgiven of sin. A person can certainly experience this as they approach death."

    Really? The person is forgiven of ALL her/his sins???? So why do you have to take the sacrament every sunday, isn´t that to renew your baptismal covenants and be cleansed from the sins you committed that week?

    You make it sound so simple… i´ve had friends who have broken the law of chastity, and it took them months to be allowed to act fully as members of the church again… it´s not simple at all – it´s a purgatory for sure.

  32. f_melo says:

    "Any EVs here desire to explain the role of repentance according to your religion?"

    I´m going to answer you according to my understanding of it so far.

    First we have to read Luke 7:36-50.

    Verses 41-43 say: "There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged."

    See, those whom God forgives the most are the ones who love Him the most – that´s how repentance in Christianity works, it´s not about you trying (and failing) to be your best, it´s about you loving God because He´s forgiven all of your sins.

    Does that mean that our faith in Christ is a license to sin?

    Galatians 2:17 – "But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid."

    Sin comes through the law. If we are born again, even though we sin, our trust(faith) in Christ will justify us, because of HIS blood that was shed for us on the cross. We are not going to stop sinning, and when we do we should repent not because of man-made requirements, but because we love Him, because He took our punishment upon Himself.

    That´s my understanding of it – if anyone feels the need to complement it or correct it, please, feel free!

  33. rvales says:

    There are two things that confuse me in this; the thought that someone could die before the get the opportunity to be saved seems to undermine God's sovereignty (in that if God intends for someone to get the 'message' it's gonna happen one way or another before their demise) and also that the acceptance needs to be of the principles and ordinances of the gospel and not Christ's finished work on the cross. It appears that the mormon theology, as I understand you saying in this, diverts a lot of sovereign authority from God.

  34. f_melo says:

    "the acceptance needs to be of the principles and ordinances of the gospel and not Christ's finished work on the cross"

    They use John 14:15 to explain it:

    "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

    Then they list the commandments, which supposedly Jesus revealed to Joseph Smith, that should be kept if one wishes to live with God again.

    Yes, they undermine God´s sovereignty, they destroy the Gospel and institute a new law in its place.

  35. olsenjim says:

    Again, I think you misunderstand.

    In the spirit world, it is not simply mormons who are in the paradise portion (I am sure there will be plenty of mormons not on the "paradise" side). I truly do not think it matters what religion anybody has been at that point. More importantly, the degree to which a person has followed their conscience in living correct principles is the degree to which they will enjoy peace and light in the spirit world. The more they know and understand, the more they will be accountable. And this fits very well what the NT verses say.

    BUT, truth is truth, a person cannot be saved in ignorance. In other words, a person can be a fabulously kind, generous, honest person, etc., but he or she must understand the principles of the gospel and salvation and choose to follow them before living with Heavenly Father. So it is in the spirit world that people will have the chance to get "up to speed" or to learn these laws, etc. Nobody can enter that Kingdom without accepting Christ, which is hard to do if a person knows nothing about Him.

    Some people have claimed we are universalists, which is very untrue- God doesn't save everybody. And people's beliefs and religion do matter. God's laws are unalterable- He is a God of order and does not break His own laws. But He is also a very fair and just God and ensures all people have equal opportunity to act from an informed position before being judged.

    It is the perfect blend of law and mercy.

  36. f_melo says:

    "So it is in the spirit world that people will have the chance to get "up to speed" or to learn these laws, etc."

    That fits fine in your theology, but all of that is law, not gospel. There´s a huge difference.

    Galations 2:16 – "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."

    So, it makes no sense whatsoever to get "up to speed" with anything, because law doesn´t save anybody, only condemns us all.

    "a person cannot be saved in ignorance." – JS doctrine, not in the Bible. Sure, we have to know Jesus one way or another, but it isn´t our level of knowledge that saves us.

    "but he or she must understand the principles of the gospel and salvation and choose to follow them before living with Heavenly Father."

    You should tell that to Peter in Acts 2, because 3.000 people were baptized without understanding all the principles of the Gospel. Peter just told them to repent and be baptized.
    You should also tell that to the Christians who were being slaughtered everyday by Nero, because i guarantee you they didn´t have the chance to sit down with missionaries and be taught all of those principles, unless you go so far as to say the won´t be going to the Celestial Kingdom because of their lack of knowledge.

    The gospel is very simple, much more simple than what mormons call simple.

    "Some people have claimed we are universalists, which is very untrue"

    I implied that before because of your doctrine that everyone will be saved from death(resurrected), and there´s no hell(only outer darkness for the devil, his angels and apostates like me), not in the sense that your god will EXALT everyone. In mormonism there´s a very clear distinction between Salvation and Exaltation.

  37. olsenjim says:


    Thanks for the thoughtful response.

    Your comments and the verses you cite offer perspective on repentance, but don't necessarily define it or its role in our salvation.

    I think our differences may stem from the fundamental beliefs we have about the purpose of this life and the nature of God (not exactly small details).

    In my view, God's highest concern and investment is in what we become. He certainly desires for us to praise Him and give Him credit for that which He absolutely deserves. BUT, I believe he desires those things because it is in our interest as individuals to return to Him that which is rightfully His. I very much doubt He depends upon or needs my praise or attention. He simply loves me and knows that I desperately need to feel and express those things to grow and develop.

    To me, the gospel is more than about accounting. By that I mean that God has a greater and broader interest than paying debts and assigning blame. Those things are absolutely necessary. But there is a purpose far more grand than God being praised by His creations. He is bigger than that.

    As I told Bill above, one can be clean from sin but not perfect. I believe the goal is to be not only cleansed from all sin, but to become perfect in attributes. In short, to become like the Savior. What good does it do to be freed from sin if you are still a jerk to others. What good does it do to have transgressions washed away if you are left with somebody who only wants to idle away his time playing video games. And I suppose you could say that those things are "sins" in themselves. And that may be true, but I hope you get my point. And that is that God greatly desires for us to become something great and wonderful.

    You mention motivation and repenting out of love for God. I could not agree with you more. Simple love for God should be our greatest motivation. If Christ suffered for my sins, and if my repentance and obedience diminishes to some degree the “amount” of sin I commit, then if I love Christ I will desire to repent of my sins and try my best not to sin because it has direct relationship to His suffering. The less I sin, the less He had to suffer.

    You said “we are not going to stop sinning.” While I agree that I will never be a “non-sinner” in this life, I believe it is a matter of degrees (yes I know the verse about one infraction breaking the whole law- and I think the application or point of that verse is different). Again, what we become is the goal. If we can overcome the propensity to be a drunk, or be an adulterer, or short-tempered, or lazy- whatever it is.

    Consider an 8 year old child. He can be pure and free from sin through Christ. Consider what that child contributes to the world- he is largely dependent on others for his care and keep. Now consider a 50 year old heart surgeon. He or she too can be cleansed from sin through Christ. But consider what that surgeon can contribute to others. The difference is the surgeon has BECOME something through experience, discipline, work, and practice and God’s grace.

    And that is God’s desire for us- to become great in our ability to contribute to other people, in this life and the next. And without obedience and repentance, that can never happen.

    I personally love the passage from Luke 7- likely because I have sinned so much in my life and I know which of the two I am. But the passage is perfectly consistent with everything I believe about repentance and the gospel.

  38. olsenjim says:


    Not everything that has the word "law" in it must be thrown in the garbage. It is as if EVs have an aversion to that word.

    By "law, ordinances, principles" etc.- I refer to all those concepts, actions, and eternal principles upon which salvation depends. You know, like- faith in Jesus Christ, His atonement, forgiveness of sin, the Holy Ghost, resurrection, etc. etc, etc. The majority of the worlds people through history have known nothing other these things.

    Do you believe people will live with God, yet know nothing of Christ's atonement?

    I am making no attack on the atonement of Jesus Christ. Please try to follow.

    You said "it isn't our level of knowledge that saves us." I contend, rather, that it is our response to what we know that determines where we will be in the spirit world. Ultimately, our knowledge will affect our destiny and salvation, and we will receive knowledge only as we respond correctly to what we already understand. So it is a combination of what we know and how we act upon that knowledge.

    As far as your point about Peter's ministry- yes, faith, repentance, baptism- first principles of the gospel. They are the bedrock of our faith and we practice and work on those things throughout our lives. I am not completely sure of your point. The longest journey starts with a single step. Where did Peter say there was nothing more to learn? Peter taught the people to repent, then be baptized. And who is going to repent without faith in Jesus Christ? There is nothing contradictory there for us at all.

    Salvation has several meanings. Yes, as you note- one of those meanings is to be saved from death through the resurrection. But in our terminology, it can also mean simply entering the Celestial Kingdom. It can also be synonymous with exaltation. Depends on the context.

    Hell, too, has many definitions, which I explained on another recent thread.

  39. wyomingwilly says:

    Jim, you said, " Again, what we become is the goal. " Since Mormon prophets/apostles have taught that God and His wife sexually produced you to come to earth and start the process ( repentance being one part ) of eventually growing up to become exactly what your Heavenly Father became— Almighty God, and since He is worshipped by you, is it acurrate to say that you'll be in that same position one day and worshipped by your children as in Rev. 4:8-11 ? Is that the goal that you are referring to?


  40. olsenjim says:


    Please show me where "Mormon prophets/apostles have taught that God and His wife sexually produced" me.

    Truth is we have no idea how spirits are organized and what role God has in all that. Where did you get your information? Bill McKeever?

    I could not care less if I am ever worshipped and haven't the slightest idea if that is in my future.

    The goal I am referring to is becoming the absolutely best being possible- the most honest, sincerest, humblest, most patient, and most capable of helping others. I find it ironic that EVs criticize LDS for supposedly always wanting only to be rewarded for behavior, yet cannot seem to understand the value in such a pursuit.

    After being forgiven for sin and contemplating the great sacrifice of Christ, it feels amazing for a person to feel and be the recipient of God's love. Do you think it is wrong to want to possess some degree of that type of love and extend it to others somehow?

    (Or are we going back to the socialist religion and the concept of finite resources- in this case, a finite supply of divine love?)

  41. olsenjim says:


    You are coming to this question with an assumption. That is that God said somewhere that all people will be given the chance in this life to be taught the gospel of Christ.

    Do you believe that a person must accept Christ on Christ's terms? If so, then it is simply a matter of defining those terms.

    I see no way that what I have explained on this thread diverts or affects any authority from God. Can you show me otherwise?

    You may disagree with the terms that I believe have been set by God. That is fine. You simply believe in different terms than me. But we both believe that God is the source of those terms of salvation. Make sense?

    In other words, I believe God requires faith, repentance, baptism by a commissioned servant of Christ, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end of life in faith in order to be saved. I am either correct or not. I believe these are the terms God has set. Just because man may be involved in some of these things does not necessarily mean they originate from man. Right? That is like arguing that the Bible originated from man and is therefore "man-made" and not of God.

  42. wyomingwilly says:

    Jim, as far as not answering a question, ( perhaps you forgot ? ) I had
    asked you a few days ago if it was your destiny to one day become an
    Almighty God and be worshiped, I referenced Rev.4:8-11 . ( I also stated that
    you had a Mormon brother who testified to this as his destiny. )
    Care to give a direct answer ?

  43. rvales says:

    By your own admission you believe that God requires enduring to the end of life in faith, if your life has already ended before you start in the faith aren't you already disqualified?

    Hebrews 9:27 says that man dies once and then faces judgement. 2 Peter 3:9 says that God wants everyone to come to repentance and be saved. So if God wants everyone to be saved but Hebrews says that immediately after death (of which there is only one) there is judgement then I would understand this to mean that God will make a way for everyone to have an opportunity for salvation to save them from the judgement they deserve after death. And since Ephesians 1:4 tells us that God chose us (christians) in [Christ] before the creation of the world to be blameless and holy in his sight I would have to conclude that God is sovereign to see that this happens before death.

  44. jacob151 says:

    Here is a major difference. With Communism, they take, you don't have a choice. With the Law of Consecration, you give, you do have a choice. The punishment came to those who chose to live the law and eventually faulted on it.
    Sure upstanding church members such as yourself could understanding the difference between a man coming to have faith in Jesus Christ as opposed to someone having a gun held to their head and told that they have to believe or else.
    Let us also consider Acts 5:11 what happened to Ananias and Sapphira when they withheld part of the money for selling their land? Now for what purpose would they have had to be giving the money for the land they sold? I am sure you already have a good answer for that. But whatever it was, there must have been some great law or commandment they they didn't follow which meant their lives would be taken if they lied "unto God." And, last time I checked, I haven't heard of any member of our church giving up the ghost for not paying their tithing.

  45. jacob151 says:

    Well, their are such things as unpardonable sins. Willfully taking the life of an innocent child of God is one thing. By "innocent" I mean that person not doing anything against you that would warrant taking his life (i.e. threating your life or someone elses, etc.) If that man is truly innocent of the crime, and for some reason they just get found guilty, justice of course will be meted out by God.
    Also the who concept of deathbed repentance has many different levels of problems. Which would you concider more sincere, a child doing something wrong and coming to you after doing it, or a child who only apologizes after being caught. Now I know you have the belief that accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior and they are saved, but how sincere is it when a man is faced with the realization of judgement for his sins at his last moment in life and then simply saying a few words and he can get out of his full judgement especially if he had the whole of his life to make such a decision. Of course, I will default to God's final judgement on the matter as he can see the man's true heart.

  46. Bill McKeever says:

    No Jim, for the time being it's not going to work that way. You've already demonstrated your distain for what many of us here believe and hold sacred and you are certainly allowed your opinion. However, many of the posters here have served many years as former members of the LDS Church, as well as others having spent years of extensive study on the subject, and still you constantly insist none of us know what Mormonism teaches. So this is going to be your moment to clarify what you, as a Mormon, claim to believe. The rules will be very simple. Answer my questions or find a better way to spend your time. Understood?

    Let's begin with the questions I've sent you before. I don't think anyone would argue that repentance is more than a "one time deal." What I'm trying to understand from you is what justifies you before God. You said that my "beliefs remove responsibility from the individual and the cost of personal disobedience." I then asked you, ""how will you be judged for your personal disobedience, I mean, you do sin, don't you? Or have you denied yourself of all ungodliness?" Since Moroni 10:32 makes it clear that denying ALL ungodliness is required before you receive the grace that is sufficient, I ask again, have you denied yourself of all ungodliness?

  47. rvales says:

    Can you give biblical backup in regards to the unpardonable sin that you mentioned?

    Who are we to say how sincere a deathbed confession of sins is? And since there isn't a grading scale for sins it seems that a deathbed confession isn't much different then an early in life confession since we all continue to sin until our dying day.

  48. jacob151 says:

    Sorry f melo, we are trying to get those ordinances done as quickly as we can. You are welcome to join our church and help us with this wonderful work.
    As for the thief. Have you already forgotten our concept of paradise. This is part of the spirit world. Perhaps the Savior saw something in the man that was of a contrite nature. I don't know. That is something we will only learn the final outcome of in the next life. But it is always more important to repent while in the regular course of your life. This would have to do with the Lord wanting a broken heart and a contrite spirit (Pslams 34:18). But again it is for God to judge the heart of a man, for no one can know such things but He who created us all.

  49. wyomingwilly says:

    Jim, maybe I should have asked you what kind of Mormon you are. There are Mormons
    who have posted on various internet cites who have lost confidence in their leaders and
    who then decide to believe what they want to , but incredibly they still defend the church !
    Whether this is because of family or the power of Mormon culture in them, I don't know. So
    are you a Temple worthy Mormon ? Do you sustain your priesthood leaders ? If so
    you'll appreciate that I am going to consult them on the question you asked. Even though
    you said " we " , I'm sure you're not speaking for the Church. Were you produced by a
    sexual union between your Heavenly Father [HF] and His wife [HM] ? Let's see:

  50. jacob151 says:

    Try 1 John 3:15. I guess the exact usage of the words I chose comes from the Book of Mormon, which you would outright reject. But if you also look in 1 John 5:11,13, and 20 you can read that "eternal life" is what comes to those who believe on the Son of God, Jesus (I know that is an entire argument with you in itself). So if a murderer doesn't have any "eternal life abiding in him" that could easily be interpreted as the murderer not receiving forgiveness for what he had done. I would like to hear your take on the idea.
    As for the rest of the above statement, I did say, "I will default to God's final judgement on the matter as he can see the man's heart." If you truly read my statement, you would understand that I am not making an explicit statement as to the course of the individual in the situation. I posed questions to you and anyone else who is reading, how you would consider the sincerity of such an individual. Or are you now in the habbit of interpreting my words as well?

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