“I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all substantially correct.”

LDS scholar Daniel Peterson wrote an article for Mormon Times, published in its Defending the Faith section, titled, “God’s sheep recognize his voice.” The main point Dr. Peterson seems to be making in this article is that Mormons (Mormonism) do not really reject non-Mormon religious experiences and doctrines.

A natural question to put on the table, then, is: What about Joseph Smith’s alleged First Vision, in which he claims he was told, “I must join none of [the existing churches], for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: ‘they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men…’” (Joseph Smith – History 1:19).

Dr. Peterson tackles this objection stating, “When Joseph Smith learned that the then-existing Christian churches were corrupt, that didn’t mean that they were totally wrong. To say that something is ‘corrupt’ means that it has been damaged. We speak of ‘corrupted texts’ or ‘corrupted files,’ intending to say that they have been infected or tainted — not that their original content has been replaced by something completely different.”

I wouldn’t think Dr. Peterson needs to be reminded that what Joseph Smith actually “learned” was that all the churches were wrong; all their creeds (i.e., a summary of what they believed) were an abomination to God (i.e., detested by Him), and the professors (i.e., those who publicly unite themselves to the visible church – church members) were all corrupt (i.e., depraved, tainted with wickedness. This definition is supported by the cross reference of Jude 1:4 as provided by the LDS Church).  Furthermore, the doctrines taught in these wrong churches were not God’s truth; rather, they were “the commandments of men.” (Definitions offered here are from Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary).

Such a forceful denunciation from Joseph Smith does not seem to square with Dr. Peterson’s next assertion: “In fact, many mainstream Christian doctrines were and are substantially correct.”

That’s an interesting assessment, but I can’t imagine where Dr. Peterson finds it in Mormonism. Though admittedly not scholars, LDS leaders (i.e., prophets, seers and revelators), over a long period of Mormon history, have taught things like:

  • “…the so-called Christian world was grovelling in darkness”
  • “Christianity was converted into Paganism”
  • “…the religions of the day were hatched in hell”
  • “Christianity… it is a perfect pack of nonsense …the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work”
  • “Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast”
  • “…the so-called system of Christianity is not only an error and a snare, but is a monstrous iniquity”
  • “For hundreds of years the world was wrapped in a veil of spiritual darkness, until there was not one fundamental truth belonging to the place of salvation that was not, in the year 1820, so obscured by false tradition and ceremonies, borrowed from paganism, as to make it unrecognizable; or else it was entirely denied”
  • “…the prevailing apostate darkness in the sects of Christendom…False churches, false prophets, false worship – breeding as they do a way of life that runs counter to the divine will”
  • “When inquiring and scientific minds delve into the narrow and bigoted creeds of the apostate sects of Christendom it is not surprising that they rebel against those dogmas falsely set forth as the tenets of true religion” (for more examples and references for these quotes, see A Response to Latter-day Saints Who Say, “We Never Criticize Christian Churches” at mrm.org)

Does the teaching of past LDS prophets and apostles engender the idea that “many mainstream Christian doctrines were and are substantially correct”?

In the Mormon Times article, Dr. Peterson provides an example of a “substantially correct” mainstream Christian doctrine. I’ll blog about that example here at Mormon Coffee on Thursday.

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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66 Responses to “I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all substantially correct.”

  1. miketea says:

    Same old problem here it seems to me. "Follow the prophet!" the Mormons cry. Challeneged with something the prophet said they say, "Dan Peterson has a handle on this. Read him." So you quote Dan Peterson to another Mormon who says, "Yes, but he doesn't 'speak for the church' and this 'isn't official doctrine'. Let me explain what this really means." So you end up following the bloke in the pew who seems to feel he knows the mind of the prophet better than the prophet knows the mind of God. Until you meet the next Mormon who says, "Follow the prophet!"

  2. Verne Brown says:

    Peterson's article should make the thinking mormon shake their head. Why would Peterson make such statments that are so contrary to the well documented historical position of mormonism? I think it is because today's information age it is no longer possible to hide the foundational teachings of mormonism from investigators or members as they once could. So, true to mormon form, they morph the message to make it more consumable and less dividing. If the Christian Churches are as good as Peterson states – then there is no reason for restoration.

  3. f_melo says:

    That´s a great article! I was just talking to someone in my family about that – about how the church rejected historic Christianity and said it was an abomination, etc. The person said, "that was in the beginning of the church", we don´t think like that anymore. I´m really getting sick of that kind of response, and i usually get so frustrated that i just give up. It´s interesting how today the one to follow is Thomas Monson, yet how would he be there if it weren´t for the others that came before him – he´s building upon a foundation laid by JS, BY, etc., you have to take that into consideration because if those foundations are false it means the current "prophet" is set upon a false foundation, it doesn´t matter if he says nicer things about other religions than his predecessors.

    Amazing how subtle the Mormon Church is in changing the member´s perceptions.

    I remember on my mission, how we would recite only the part of the first vision account that talked about "God and Jesus´" appearance, and then just tell people that God told Joseph to not join any of the churches at the time. Now i know why they want the missionaries to memorize just that part, because if they open JS-History and read it, they will have to read "God´s" declaration of how evil Christianity was(for some and it is not anymore, as if that makes sense).

  4. wyomingwilly says:

    Well said Mike. Considering that Mr. Petersen has no authority to set Mormon doctrine, LDS are left
    to watch him try and explain certain " controversial " subjects. Perhaps if he was more specific in this
    article we might see exactly what he's trying to prove.


  5. falcon says:

    OK, let's give Mormons a year, they can pick which one, before which nothing counts. Is that fair enough for them? Then let's have them articulate, as clearly as they can, the Mormon church's position on basic fundamental doctrine of the orthodox Christian faith. That is the old, compare and contrast routine.
    My point, I'm willing to ignore their history and all of the weird and wacko writings and utterances of their goofy prophets and look to the Bible, the Word of God, as our guide regarding basic doctrine. Would they do it? Of course not. They'd be running back to the writings of their "prophets" which they conveniently ignore when it doesn't serve their purpose.
    The apostle Paul was very clear when he wrote about people that make their chops on visions that they have claim to have seen. Mormonism is established on the shifting sand of a foundation, meaning the utterances of prophets who do little but prophesy out of their own imaginations. Mormonism is a game of "button-button-who's-got-the-button". They scream "cold, cold" as we get closer and closer to the button because when revealed, the "truth" of Mormonism proves to be nothing more than creative story telling that changes with each telling and teller.
    I would think that at some point these hardcore Mormons would figure it out. But alas they don't because they are having way too much fun playing creative revelation. And man does it feel good to the taste, but it leaves a sour stomach.

  6. RalphNWatts says:

    I would have thought it was very obvious, a lie is a lie regardless of how much truth is in it. It could be 99% accurate, but that 1% makes it a lie.

    According to God, anything that deviates just a little from His way is an abomination and corrupt enough that it cannot save. But that does not mean that it is 100% lie. So there, with God, it’s black and white.

    So we humans pick up the grey matter and use it to build bridges to help people come to an understanding of the truth. Yes, all you have is corrupted as it has lies throughout it, but its foundation was originally in the truth so there is still truth found within it. This is what we teach and believe – that all other religions are corrupt and cannot bring people back to God’s presence, but that all religions, Christian or otherwise, do have elements of truth that can be used to assist people to find God’s true path.

    So the quotes given are all a matter of perspective and they are all true, even the one from Dan Peterson.

    BTW – Mike Tea, I had never heard of Dan Peterson until I came onto this site, neither do most people I know over here in Australia, so I don't know why you made the comment you did. He is most likely just someone known around the SLC area.

  7. miketea says:

    It is a good "get out of jail" card isn't it? You quote a rophet until he gets quoted back to you and then you quote an academic who knows "what he really meant when he said…", until the academic says something awkward and unorthodox when you say "He doesn't speak officially, prophets do; and then it starts all over again. "You know Willy I hardly ever find Mormons quoting "official sources" today. They always quote Peterson, or Robinson or some other academic or amatuer apologist. Those giants in authority when I was a Mormon are not even knon by this generation. They are like sheep without a shepherd. They subscribe to something that no one seems able to explain clearly even though they are sure it is true.

  8. f_melo says:


    So, your religion isn´t corrupt at all, not even 1%? If it is, then how is it different from Christianity?

    Now, do you care to tell us what are the "99%" accurate teachings of Christianity? I must say i´m extremely anxious to see your response.

    "all you have is corrupted as it has lies throughout it, but its foundation was originally in the truth so there is still truth found within it.

    You realize that statement describes modern mormonism as well, don´t you? Except that Mormonism was never founded on truth.

    Also, you have to prove that Christianity is corrupt, you´re just pulling that out of Joseph´s hat. I realize its Liturgy and understanding of certain doctrines has changed throughout time, yet the doctrine has remained the same since the Bible has been perfectly preserved from a very early date, and the Gospel is indeed simple. Even though there are doubts about certain points of doctrine, that doesn´t mean it has lies in it, to say that is to say the Bible has lies in it. Now compare how pure the doctrine of Christianity has remained in 2000 years with Mormonism in less than 200 – there is no comparison!

    How do you guys have the courage to scream "persecution!" every time we point out the "corruptions"(to be nice) in mormonism and yet you get to say our religion has lies throughout it, and we can´t call you persecutors of Christianity, we have to simply accept you as you are as part of Christendom? Really?

  9. falcon says:

    Your phrase "according to God" is quite interesting since you don't qualify that you are speaking of a god that doesn't exist. Is this the god that is one of millions perhaps billions of gods? Is this the god that spends his time with his many goddess wives procreating spirit children who will then become mortals and then gods themselves? Is this the god who was a sinner, which would have included lying, deception and perhaps forgery?
    Which part of Christianity do you want to pick Ralph as being true? How about the nature of God? How about the veracity of the Bible? How about salvation, heaven and hell? What about the atonement? What about the conception of Jesus and the Virgin birth?
    You see Ralph, Christianity and Mormonism have nothing in common. There isn't any truth in Mormonism because Joseph Smith was led by a spirit of deception and the father of all lies. Smith's religion has led you on a path of separation from God for eternity.
    Sorry Ralph, there isn't such a thing as being a little bit pregnant.

  10. falcon says:

    So is there "truth" in the Joseph Smith produced Book of Abraham which has been shown to be not only a farce but a comical portrayal of the Mormon god. My recollection of the excellent article here on MC by Andrew Watson, exposed (forgive the pun) the Mormon god for whom Smith said he was. The facsimile from the BoA that Andy referenced shows the Egyptian god Minn sitting on his throne exposing himself. This was a fertility god, if memory serves me right, that Smith said was his god.
    Now is there truth in this or will our Mormon friends dance around this with some feeble excuse for Smith. This would indeed be comical except for the fact that Mormons follow Smith with an un-dieing devotion. Smith was not only a liar and a fraud but also a fool.

  11. falcon says:

    So that is the biggest lie of Mormonism that god is a former man who became a god. There's no way that Mormonism can be reconciled to Christianity while a lie like that is perpetrated. This idea that modern day Mormonism tries to promote, that all religion, especially Christianity has some light, is an attempt to soften what Smith and Co. actually believed and taught. Smith was hostile towards the Christian faith and the arrogance that he and his followers showed to their neighbors incited violence against the sect.
    To try and find some sort of common ground in this modern age, between Mormonism and Christianity, is total folly. The Community of Christ and the Temple Lot sects might be able to gain some sort of recognition given their basic doctrine regarding the nature of God, but their recognition of Smith's early work would put them outside the main stream of Christian thought.
    And finally, it was Mormonism's own keeper of the doctrine, Bruce McConkie, who raised the hackles of the Catholic bishop of Salt Lake City by referring to the Catholic faith in most unflattering terms. The bishop's protestations caused the then "prophet" of Mormonism to make a hasty retreat. Even the most venerated McConkie, the man the Mormon authorities looked to for guidance on doctrine, can't get his book published by the Mormon church today.
    What's true and what's a lie changes, as we all know, in Mormonism.

  12. clyde says:

    Years ago one of the priesthood lesson was that truth did exist somewhere on earth from the death of the apostle to the restoration by Joseph Smith. I just vaguely remember the lesson. I also remember A preacher or minister of another faith wrote a book called "What Would Jesus Do?". I am not to sure if the priest manual had the same name but a section in the manual was What Would Jesus Do a section for applying lesson principle to your life. You might be thinking wow they borrowed an idea from a corrupt preacher. I see that somebody in the churches curriculum department saw an excellent idea and some truth in what a preacher had written.

  13. Ralph,

    I don't know Dan Peterson either, but he seems to have engaged the Mormon prophets seriously in an attempt to "interpret" their message for today.

    The issue here is not who Dan Peterson is, but how he interprets the Mormon prophets. Does he misrepresent them? If he did, what does that say about publishing the piece in Mormon Times? Has the current LDS movement apostatized from it's roots?

    Looking at an even bigger picture, I have a very real problem with a movement that sends it's missionaries around the globe with the message "Listen to the Prophets", then, when we do, it says "No, don't listen to that."

    It seems to me that you listen to the Prophets when you like what they are saying, and ignore them when they don't. If you do that, what makes you different than me in your standing before God? Why should someone else get to the highest heaven, and not me, if we are both doing the exact same thing?

    Sorry Ralph, I might start to take the LDS Prophets seriously when LDS do.

  14. falcon commented

    …there isn't such a thing as being a little bit pregnant

    That's borrowed from one of the Church Fathers isn't it? Augustine, maybe? Athanasius? The context was about how Christ could not be partly human and partly God in the same way that someone could not be partly pregnant.

    I wish I could remember it…

  15. wyomingwilly says:

    Ralph, don't go from here thinking that we believe that everything in Mormonism is wrong or false.
    There actually is in Mormonism much which is good , in my opinion . The great dividing line is what
    do Mormon prophets/apostles teach about God and salvation. If they are wrong on these fundamental
    issues then the rest are'nt going to count for much , as far as eternity is concerned. When Joseph
    Smith had his alleged visitation from God, how did he articulate that info to his apostles who then
    taught others? I think this might give us some insight on this important tenet of Mormonism.


  16. f_melo says:

    Falcon, take a look at this article – http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/article-13162-seal

    Ida Smith believes that the translation of the sealed portion of the BoM by Nemelka is true, and when she shared it with her brother Hyrum, he wrote back:

    "“Your eternal future is at stake here,” Hyrum wrote in an e-mail. “You have been duped by a very clever, seemingly sincere, diabolical guy.”

    for a second i thought the guy was talking about Joseph Smith…

    " Such was the consternation among Ida Smith’s intimates after her conversion to the sealed portion that her family, Sen. Bennett and apostle Holland all tried to dissuade her from following a man who claims not only to being mentored by 2,000 year-old beings from Mormon mythology called the three Nephites, but also says he’s the reincarnation of Hyrum Smith. Her family’s pleas fell on deaf ears"

    What about Joseph telling stories about being tutored by ancient prophets/apostles? Isn´t it the same thing?

    "Then there’s the welter of court filings documenting Nemelka’s criminal history and highly litigious personality, which also illustrate, among other things, his contradictory claims over the years as to the origins of his translation. Whether you subscribe to critics and former followers who see Nemelka as a charismatic charlatan with a talent for writing and an ability to manipulate disenchanted former LDS members, or, as Ida Smith believes, a mortal messenger of the divine channeling her great-great grandfather, it’s arguably difficult to conjure up a more intrinsically Utah tale."

    I think that this tale actually follows very closely a NY tale of a boy named Joseph Smith… the similarities are astounding!

  17. falcon says:

    So if we look at basic orthodox Christian doctrine, what would Mormons point to as "some truth"? Because when I examine Mormon doctrine I don't see any truth or light. As I have often done, here's a list of basic Christian (orthodox) doctrine.
    1. The Bible is the Word of God.
    2. The Trinity; One God, three persons.
    3. The deity of Christ. He is God.
    4. The virgin birth of Christ.
    5. Christ died for us. The blood atonement.
    6. Jesus' resurrection.
    7. Saved by grace, a part from works.
    8. Jesus second coming.
    9. The judgment of God.

    When we examine Mormonism in light of these nine Christian doctrines, there is no truth or light in Mormonism. Couple that with the life and character of Joseph Smith and the subsequent "revelations" of other Mormon prophets and we have a religious sect that has no relationship to Christianity. Add in the claims of Mormonism to be restored Christianity, when there's no historical record of Mormonism being any where in the first century, and you have a religious cult locked in spiritual darkness.

  18. f_melo says:

    "When Taggart gave Smith a copy of the sealed portion, Smith was entranced. She had been waiting for this her whole life. The first thing Ida’s brothers Denis and Hyrum did, when she gave them a copy, was to research Nemelka. “It never occurred to me,” she says. “Just read the damned book and you’ll know what I am saying.”

    Wow, what double-standard! How come they didn´t do that before they joined mormonism, why didn´t they research about Joseph Smith? That´s exactly what mormons ask from people – don´t research, just believe us.

    Ok, that´s it – back to the Article!

  19. f_melo says:

    Exactly! Peterson is just being PC. Like it has been discussed here in the past, in the beginning the Mormon Church wanted to be as far away as possible from traditional Christianity. Yet, now, as they try to put one of theirs in the White House they have changed the discourse. They have to do that to become popular and accepted by the public in general. That is also used to take the focus from the fact that the Mormon Church "is the only true and living" church on the face of the planet. In the beginning of the Church that "truth" was boldly proclaimed. Today, that concept is carefully introduced in those dumbed-down missionary discussions.

    As a mormon i don´t remember ever being taught correct Protestant doctrines, or their point of view. All i remember were teachers who converted from catholicism(mostly), but they weren´t active… so they barely knew anything from their previous religions. The teaching that "all churches have some truth in them" was never accompanied by an exposition of what those truths were. I´d always guessed they were talking about good moral principles… i never really researched other religions, i had the true one already.

    WyomingWilly said "There actually is in Mormonism much which is good , in my opinion"

    In my opinion there isn´t. The good moral principles taught by the church are nothing more than ways of coercion – the law is used unlawfully to pressure people into a blind state of obedience. To think that is pleasing to God is to make a big mistake. Everything else that is good in the Church as religion is concerned comes from members who already had that with them even before they joined the Church. A person that was caring and charitable before joining, would still be like that afterwards – the only stories that are remarkable are of those who overcame addiction, yet i´d bet they amount to 0,000000001% of the cases, and it could not be linked to the work of the Holy Spirit through the Church, because then they would have to explain why it didn´t work for the other 99,99999…%. Also nobody else would be able to be helped out of addiction by any other religion.

    So, i will only buy that that "all churches have some truth in them" when they actually hold classes where they correctly teach those doctrines, so that people can be aware of what truths they are talking about.

  20. falcon says:

    A friend of mine has met twice with a couple of young missionary boys who, as it turns out, know next to nothing about Mormonism. The boys came to his home the first time by "accident" and the second time they specifically sought out my friend because they are hungry for information about Mormonism. He spent about three hours with them on the last visit and he reports it is a pathetic sight to see how these boys have been deceived by the Mormon church. Get this, they didn't even know that Joseph Smith was a polygamist.
    He's walked the boys through the basics with documentation directly from official Mormon publications and their eyes keep getting wider and their chins are close too touching their chest with their mouths agape. So when we talk about the "truth", they are now being exposed to it and their shock, I'm guessing, will give rise to depression and anger as they work through the emotional sequence.
    The standard throw away lines, "Mormon scholars have answered those questions long ago", aren't going to work for people who recognize that they've been duped. In God's Word it says that the darkness can't overcome the light. When it comes to the basic truths of the Christian faith, Mormonism isn't any where in the ball park. Mormonism isn't even tail gating in the parking lot. In the words of Chris Farley's Saturday Night Live character Matt Foley Mormonism is "living in a van down by the river".
    Christ came to set the captives free. Mormonism is religious oppression of the spirit. It lies, deceives and enslaves people to a form of religion that isn't even a good counterfeit of orthodox Christianity. It's effective in deceiving some people because they don't take the time to examine its claims.

  21. f_melo says:

    *********** edited ***********

    "The standard throw away lines, "Mormon scholars have answered those questions long ago", aren't going to work for people who recognize that they've been duped"

    The realizing that you have been duped is the worst part. I wasn´t that upset about JS´s adventures as a rock-gazing treasure hunter, what angered me was the fact that i hadn´t heard a word about that in Church ever! What angered me is that the Church intentionally kept those facts out of the books because they were not "faith promoting". That for me was proof enough that the Church was 100% false.

    When i was arguing that with a friend, that person told me they don´t share that information because people are not spiritually "prepared" to deal with it without risking their testimony, like it had happened to me. I then asked, well, if that´s the case, how come the Bible hasn´t been censored yet? There are many awful things that weren´t hidden or removed(such as Moses murdering that egyptian), they tell the truth and it doesn´t matter how hard or ugly it is, it´s not necessary to hide those parts of the Bible for people to believe in it, and it should be the same with Mormonism. As it turns out that´s just a very lame excuse for intentional deceit.

    After all, if the Church is true and the "Spirit" of God confirms that and he can´t lie, exposing those facts should do no damage to anybody´s testimony, the truth always prevails – only liars and deceivers are afraid of the truth…

    Also – if i had been taught the doctrine of Blood Atonement as taught by JS, BY and others before my baptism, i would have never been baptized. That doctrine is blasphemy and it mocks the blood of Jesus.

  22. falcon says:

    It's pretty funny that the basis for the "truth" in Mormonism is how something makes you feel. So I guess if I feel good about orthodox, Biblical Christianity then it must be true. Based on my witness and testimony Mormons must accept my truth as their truth, right? After all, isn't that what Mormons are asking Christians to do?
    This concept that my feelings indicate that God has spoken to me is rife with false assumptions. The first of course is that God speaks to us through our feelings. Now I wouldn't deny that we are by nature creatures of emotion and not logic, but when it comes to spiritual matters, things can get awfully confusing if folks depend on their feelings.
    I was reading something one time and actually it's the only time I've seen something like this, but the writer was saying that there's generally so much sexual suppression in a group of people that in meetings/services, this can often be manifested in ways that are not conducive to spiritual clarity. Take that where ever you want, but I get the drift perfectly. It's also necessary to recognize that things come out of peoples' souls that they confuse as coming from the Spirit of God.
    So in applying the Mormon standard of "truth", especially as it relates to Christianity, truth would be whatever makes the Mormon feel good. That is, after all, the definition of hearing a message from God.

  23. f_melo says:

    "I have a very real problem with a movement that sends it's missionaries around the globe with the message "Listen to the Prophets", then, when we do, it says "No, don't listen to that."

    That made me laugh!

    "It seems to me that you listen to the Prophets when you like what they are saying, and ignore them when they don't."

    Martin you´re forgetting that sometimes they speak as men and sometimes as aliens… hmm, i don´t think i said that quite right…

  24. f_melo says:

    "Years ago one of the priesthood lesson was that truth did exist somewhere on earth from the death of the apostle to the restoration by Joseph Smith.

    I have to ask you as i asked Ralph, what truths?

    "You might be thinking wow they borrowed an idea from a corrupt preacher. I see that somebody in the churches curriculum department saw an excellent idea and some truth in what a preacher had written"

    Why would they need to, aren´t they guided by the Holy Ghost to begin with? What you´re saying is inconsistent even with Church teaching instructions – the Church instructs Sunday School teachers to not go outside the outlined lessons , not even into older Church materials – there was also a talk in the Ensign about that!

    If you have to go outside for truths that means your super holy ghost priesthood powers are out of tune…

  25. wyomingwilly says:

    F Melo, I'll have to be honest with you if I did not understand from where you have come from, I would
    probably take exception to your comment of how you said that there is no good in Mormonism. When
    you were a Mormon you treated people respectfully because it was your belief to do so, right? That is
    a good principle that Mormons live by. It is one small example. What I experienced helping facilitate
    an ex-JW support group helps me to know, in a small way, where you are coming from in some of your
    emotional responses here. You go through several phases upon leaving a religion like Mormonism/JW.
    First there is the shock in finding out that you have been misled. Then you get angry at those that
    misled you. But because you know Jesus , through spending time with Him you'll come to feel sorry
    for those who misled you and are still in Mormonism. This takes time. It's a blessing for me to see you
    participate here as I love to hear of former LDS. I can't make our disagreement an issue. Thanks ww

  26. Ralph said

    According to God, anything that deviates just a little from His way is an abomination and corrupt enough that it cannot save. But that does not mean that it is 100% lie. So there, with God, it’s black and white.

    Ralph, you need to read your Bible. If you read the book of acts, you will read an account of how the apostle Paul had a slave girl who was possessed following him around and saying, this man proclaims the way of God and how to be saved. She was telling the truth, he was doing that. But Paul rebuked the demon and had it leave her.

    It might be the case that LDS have "some truth" in what you teach, but still you need to have some truth to spread lies. I am a baker and work in the restaurant business, If I made a batch of cookies, but went and added just a Tablespoon of fresh dog poop to the cookies and told you it was in their would you eat them? I told you it was in their and did not lie.

    How about I tell you I have some cookies and you eat them, but only after you eat them I tell you then about the dog poop. You would not like that, It's the same way with Mormons, you wait until people convert, then fill them in on the missing stuff, and you use the guise of, Milk before meat.

    The milk before meat excuse does not work with people that really study before deciding. But then the people that study before deciding, like us Christians on this blog, we then hear, well your confused and are getting your facts wrong. Problem is, you dont want to tell us where we are wrong, you dodge questions and simply tell us we really dont want to know. So you judge our hearts and motives, but then tell us we are judging you. Funny how that works.

  27. clyde says:

    Gee that is scary f melo. You should probably read book 2 of the complete calvin and hobbes pages 133-147 and then come back and say that was funny but we still don;t see Eye to eye on the question of religion. I have been watching the rushdie affair about the author who was condemned to death by the ayatollah. Fanaticism is scary. It is interesting that when something is said like " the professor are all corrupt ' an explanation has to be given. If you have something in common such as the bible there is truth being taught out of it. We have to discern. What happened to the old saying-All religions are equally right , all religions are equally wrong and all religions are equally useful.

  28. f_melo says:

    WW, i respect you, feel free to take exception to any comments i make, if i state something i have to be able to defend it, so, no problem, speak your mind – and if i´m wrong i´ll admit it, as i usually do when people point out.

    "When you were a Mormon you treated people respectfully because it was your belief to do so, right?

    I understand that i treated people respectfully because that was how i was educated by my parents. That´s how they are. I can´t say that that´s because what they had been taught in mormonism because 1)That behavior isn´t something that is an exclusive consequence of mormon living, those are basic God-given principles 2)That was the general behavior of my family even before the first ones were converted – the only thing that actually changed was that they no longer would drink alcohol, and would spend their sundays in church working for the church 3)If that´s the case then all mormons should behave respectfully – and that´s not what happens, that will depend on the education they receive at home, and at times even atheists are far more respectful than some mormons.

    For me it gets even worse when i think that Mormonism steals those basic God-given principles as if they belonged to the Church and they often say and imply that you can´t live an honest, clean, decent, chaste, hard-working life without it… and that´s very wrong. I´ve witnessed that a lot from the pulpit, and even got that from some of my family who thought that i was going to go sleeping around with girls, getting drunk, and would live a life of lawlessness/confusion/darkness because i didn´t have the Church to guide me! Seriously, i´m not joking here, not even exaggerating.

    They also use those principles as some sort of a sign that they are the true Church… and when you don´t do them voluntarily they use that to coerce you, saying you either do them or you won´t receive – name the hundreds of blessings – Or when things go wrong in your life they will blame you for not doing those things… i could go on and on but i think i´ve made my point.

    "where you are coming from in some of your emotional responses here.

    I wasn´t emotional when i wrote that comment, i promise, because you can clearly see when i am. You´re missing a bit of context and that´s probably my fault – you have to consider that comment as referring to religion. I was not talking about the Church programs that teach you how to be "highly-effective people", those are certainly good, but that´s not religion/revelation, those are self-improvement programs, it´s good for your secular life, sure, but it is used as evidence to confirm a spiritually dead message/lies, and because of that i could argue that good principles are being used with evil intentions, to accomplish evil in the long run(final judgement).

    "You go through several phases upon leaving a religion like Mormonism/JW. First there is the shock in finding out that you have been misled. Then you get angry at those that misled you. But because you know Jesus , through spending time with Him you'll come to feel sorry for those who misled you and are still in Mormonism. This takes time. It's a blessing for me to see you participate here as I love to hear of former LDS. I can't make our disagreement an issue. can't make our disagreement an issue. "

    Me either. I hope i clarified my position, if not then i´ll be quiet :P. That paragraph is 100% correct, and i believe i´m beginning to approach step 3, finally…

  29. f_melo says:

    "i could argue that good principles are being used with evil intentions, to accomplish evil in the long run"

    Another example of that would be the nationalistic spirit in Nazi Germany. Is that good? It definitely is! Is there good that can be found in Nazism? You could argue that there is but Hitler used good principles as a means to manipulate people, for his own purposes – and it turned out as one of the darkest moments in world history.

    So, i ask, when good principles are part of an overall evil plan based on lies, should we overlook the context and commend the organization for those good principles?

    Some of you could think that i´m exaggerating by using Nazism as an example – but not so fast, because so far what we have seen of mormonism with political power when BY was "king" of Utah wasn´t pretty, and hopefully we´ll never see a mormon in the White House to find if out how it turns out.

  30. falcon says:

    Sorry Clyde but just because someone is using the Bible doesn't mean that truth is being taught out of it. Mormons, for example, scour the Bible trying to find something that supports what Joseph Smith and subsequent false prophets taught. Mormons twist, whittle, massage and generally torture the Scriptures to make it fit Mormonism. We see it constantly on this blog; absolutely terrible Biblical interpretation and exegesis of the text by Mormons. I won't look for it now, but one of the Church Fathers was absolutely exasperated with the heretics because of their shameless distortion of the Biblical text; used to support their heresy.
    So this idea that Mormons give some sort of grudging nod to the Bible means they are extracting truth from it, is false. It's the same with the JW and any other aberrant heretical sect or cult.

  31. f_melo says:

    "Gee that is scary f melo"

    Yes, it is. I´m not advocating violence though. I´m talking about how evil it is SPIRITUALLY.
    The political part also should be no surprise for anyone who knows basic history – In this fallen world there should definitely be a separation between Church and State, at least for us, gentiles.

    "Fanaticism is scary"

    I´m not a fanatic, again i´m not advocating violence, my argument is a spiritual one.

    "If you have something in common such as the bible there is truth being taught out of it. We have to discern"

    Agreed(Falcon is right, i take that back), i don´t see your point. I´ll point again though,that the LDS use the Bible to confirm the lies of Joseph Smith. Is the Bible good? Yes! Should we commend the LDS for using the Bible? IMO only if they are using the way it is supposed to be used, as the infallible word of God that faithfully teaches the Gospel of Christ, and most important of all, it is taught to be believed as such and taken to be authoritative in setting their beliefs and worship!

    "what happened to the old saying-All religions are equally right , all religions are equally wrong and all religions are equally useful."

    I don´t agree with that saying. Radical terrorist Islam isn´t right at all, and it isn´t useful for good purposes.

  32. wyomingwilly says:

    clyde, so what are you saying ? If Mormons are the true followers of Jesus, what does that mean
    non Mormons are ? [ hint : it's the opposite of "true" ] . Can you acknowledge that ?


  33. wyomingwilly says:

    f-melo, We serve an Awesome God !


  34. f_melo says:

    Definitely! It´s something else to be a Christian, my mind is little by little getting better as it undoes all the twisting it´s been trough all these years. Little by little my emotional side is getting healthier as well, and i can have better relationships as i learn to not be so judgmental of others.

  35. wyomingwilly says:

    clyde, you said, " …..when something is said like, ' the professor are all corrupt ' an explanation has
    to be given. " You do realize that those who were mentored by Joseph Smith, his apostles etc, did
    explain what this phrase meant. Even today , from time to time, a Mormon authority testifies that
    non- LDS followers of Jesus are not His true followers, and as I tried to drop a hint to you as to what
    this then makes all of us who claim to follow Jesus is that we're all false followers, false christians,
    Do you see this ? Joseph Smith fired the first shot, as it were, in this whole episode.


  36. Violet says:

    10. There is a hell.

  37. falcon says:

    Help me out here. Wasn't there a part in one of the temple ceremonies where they had a corrupt Christian preacher coming for money. The whole idea was to generalize this to the Christian clergy and impugn their reputation and paint them (all) as bad, nasty, and greedy?
    I was actively involved in lay ministry as an avocation for over five years. I would call on public schools as part of my "real" job. One of the secretarys in a school was acting really kind of strange to me and I finally figured out she was a Mormon. One of the professional staff's mother-in-law attended the church I was serving and was very complimentary and the (professional staff) person would relay that to me. I could never figure out what the attitude was all about with the Mormon woman but finally put the whole deal together.
    I was automatically suspect because I was a pastor of a Christian church. Despite my friendly and out going demeanor, the Mormon still looked at me cross-eyed.

  38. falcon says:

    Yea, that goes along with the judgment of God. I'll have to expand that one a little bit to also include the Bema judgment seat of Christ which is different from the separation of the sheep and the goats. For some reason, Joseph Smith was uncomfortable with hell so he got rid of it.
    It's really pretty interesting, isn't it that Mormons give this vague indication that there is some truth in other religions. I don't know what those truths are since I've never seen or heard it explained by Mormons what they see as common truth. If it has something to do with morality I'd simply add that even atheists can be very moral people. I guess they have some truth also right along with the Free Masons who Smith borrowed heavily from.

  39. jackg says:


    It is frustrating when they use the "not spiritually prepared" argument. Today's Mormons are ignorant of the true past of their religion, and when confronted respond by vehemently defending against such truths. It's all rather sad.


  40. jackg says:

    Yes. I don't know if it's still in there, but they showed a priest in a collar and likened him to a wolf in sheep's clothing. I guess it's important for Mormons to be PC nowadays, so it wouldn't surprise me if that scene has been changed. BTW, did you know that Gordon Jump played Peter in the film?


  41. jackg says:

    But, Falcon, you would be told to go back to the drawing board until your good feeling was about JS and the BOM. You see, your good feelings would not have come from the Holy Spirit if you still cling to biblical Christianity.


  42. jackg says:


    There are indeed religions that cannot bring people back to God's presence, and I have to tell you that Mormonism is one such religion. The JS version of Jesus Christ has Him doing just enough to get you to where you can then work for your entrance into God's Kingdom. In Mormonism, the Work of Jesus Christ on the cross just isn't enough. Oh, it's enough to bring about resurrection, and the Mormon perspective on resurrection is akin to universal salvation. Mormonism uses the same words of Christianity, but they have a different meaning. Salvation is coming into God's presence, not merely entering into one of three kingdoms as a resurrected being. The Mormon salvation program of temple ritual puts the focus of salvation on man's works. Yes, we will earn rewards in heaven based on our works, but salvation is not a reward–it's a free gift of Life to those who believe in Jesus Christ. Religions don't save people, Ralph, Jesus Christ does.


  43. Clyde, I'm in luck. I have the complete Calvin and Hobbes, so I read the pages you suggested to f-melo. Very funny stuff, But cults/religions or people lying about what they believe and needing to cover things up, thats not funny. Space man spiff and the booger monster is funny, Hobbes taking a bath in the washing machine is funny, people lying about what they believe is not funny.

    Also what many Christians now and dont say, or dont know is, Christianity is not a religion. Religion is man trying to work his/her way into heaven and pleasing God. Christianity is a relationship with the true and living God. I have a relationship with my wife and close friends, I do not have a religion with them. Religion I would do things to please them and make them happy and then hope it is enough to get in good with them.

    Take Adam and Eve, They started the first religion, They knew they were wrong for disobeying God, So they tried to cover themselves with works of their hands, The sewing of Fig leaves. God said thats not going to work, Then God covered them. hope that helps.

  44. Violet says:

    There is so much more. The history of masonry, secrets, rituals, the building of the temples, 14.4/1 or something like that, Solomon's temple. Mormonism is so filled with rituals, secrets, and made up prophecies like if a man and a woman are together and one is married, the only way to atone for that is murdering one of them or both. Because the sin was so egregious that it can only be made up for by killing or something like that.

    Compare the gore of that with we worship the cross that killed Christ Jesus. What?! We worship Christ Jesus, not the cross. We worship the death and the cross was the murder weapon. Obscene. Mormons may not have a cross but can have blood atonement. Makes my head spin.

  45. falcon says:

    Sounds like Mormons want to throw Christians some sort of bone with the Mormon talk of "some truth". I'm waiting for a list of what that portion of truth it is that Mormons think Christians have. If a religion has a totally different God, that's pretty much the end of the conversation. There is no truth after that. Get God wrong, and everything is wrong because that "truth" is being applied to a false god.
    There is no truth in Mormonism. Not even a little bit and it's because they are polytheists who claim the existence of millions and billions of gods and claim they will become gods. There is no truth in that!
    God sent His only begotten son that who ever should believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life. Mormons redefine not only who the Father is but also Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Mormons redefine what salvation is making it into a two part program the second of which depends on their works in order to become gods.
    Now seriously, what has any of that got to do with Christianity? What sliver of that is contained in Christian doctrine? None of it!
    In order to be saved, someone needs to know who Jesus is and accept as total payment for their sins, His death on the cross. Mormons don't know who Jesus is and their salvation quest relates to them becoming gods themselves. Mormons are lost because there is no truth in what they believe. They turn away from God to follow the aimless ramblings of a man who claimed to have a magic rock. Is there anything more pathetic than that?
    Jesus holds out His nail scarred hands inviting those who would seek to know Him, into His eternal rest. He is God, the qualified Savior. No impostor will do. A fake Jesus with a fake salvation leads to a fake sense of peace born of ignorance. Feeling good about something or feeling bad about something doesn't make it true or false. The Word of God tells us who He is, it also tells us who we are. We are separated from Him until we come to a knowledge of who He is and what He did for us. Jesus is indeed the Truth, the Way and the Life. No one gets to the Father accept through Him. Coming to Christ is a gift of God as we are led by His Holy Spirit.

  46. falcon says:

    Finding the truth about Mormonism or Christianity really isn't that difficult to do. The information is readily available. Where Mormons stub their toe is thinking that they are receiving confirming feelings from God that means he is speaking to them. This is such a foolish operating procedure but if someone believes it, it's almost impossible to disabuse them of the notion. It's really what keeps people locked in the myth of Joseph Smith; that and fear.
    Modern day Mormons are trying to sell the idea that they recognize "truth" in other religions. What I've been asking is 1) what are those truths? and 2) Do Mormons have these "truths" confirmed via communication from God by positive emotions?
    My sense is that this is strictly a type of PR move on the part of these modern day Mormon apologists. The problem is that it doesn't matter what these folks think because they have no authority in the Mormon church. The higher-ups in Mormonism stick pretty much to lolly pops, rainbows, and sunshine pronouncements and rarely if ever say anything of consequence. The faithful fall out of their pews in ecstasy when these dudes make their generalized feel good statements and then go away and fill it up with their own meaning.
    The truth stays hidden.

  47. Violet says:

    That is exactly where the cult aspect comes in. Everyone else can see it but they cannot. Its like the guy who just got out of Scientology. Everyone was telling him for years and he couldn't see it. Mormonism is insidious because the families keep people it. Like the old shunning in the Amish or when a JW leaves, the entire group stops talking to them. The peer pressure and everyone telling you, your entire life, its true, its true, its true. People are led to believe if they do not 'know the church is true', then it is they that are crazy or worse, evil. Its a crime against humanity. Not one shred of evidence, yet academics are snowed. Watched the masons on history channel today. Its power, prestige and being one of the select, elect. Ego. Which is the opposite of Christ. Pride. Awful.

  48. clyde says:

    You might check out the thirteenth article of faith. Ideas come from everywhere that is why we are told to choose the right. It is also a way to learn wisdom.

  49. falcon says:

    I had three JWs show up today but I had just gotten home from teaching a couple of classes and it was an ice box outside. I didn't have the patience to deal with them. My buddy Andy, after spending several months, every Saturday with the JWs came to the conclusion that dealing with them on Scripture is a huge waste of time because of the way their minds are bent. It's best, he says, to stick with the veracity of the Watch Tower organization and all of their prophesies that have never come true.
    And have I mentioned countless times that I'm coming closer to embracing Calvinism?

  50. clyde says:

    I am glad you liked it. I liked the last one with water balloons.
    You said,' Religion I would do things to please them and make them happy and then hope it is enough to get in good with them'. In doing that it seems that you are serving them. when you serve man you serve God. My conclusion may not be exactly right. I can;t seem to express what I am trying to say. I think that you are doing things that are pleasing to God without realizing you are doing it.

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