From the Mailbag (3/8/11)

After relating his conversion-to-Mormonism story consisting of feelings, miracles, and other experiences, “Ben” concluded,

I had a lot of other spiritual experiences [on my mission] and over the years since then. I won’t take up any more of your time but I share them with you so that you can understand why I am a member of the church as well as many others. I really am not one for religion but I know this is the Savior’s restored church and he wanted me to join it. What else could I do?

It’s important to understand that for more than 180 years a lot of lies have been circulated about the church. It’s only to be expected that Satan would mount a campaign against it. If your information about the church comes from those sources then of course you will have a negative perspective. You seem like a fine person. I hope you will ask the Lord for guidance; I know He will give it to you. He is quick to hear the prayers of His daughters. You can be filled with that love that is precious beyond measure, be baptized and have all of your sins washed away, and marry your sweetheart forever in one of the church’s beautiful temples. And then when your turn to step into eternity comes you will be ready.

Hi Ben,

Thank you for sharing your story with me. It sounds like you have had some amazing spiritual experiences in your life, as have I. While I understand first-hand how powerful these experiences can be, I also know that they cannot be the arbiter of truth. All religions have miracles. Even the magicians in Egypt were able to deceive Pharaoh and his people by turning sticks into snakes. Pharaoh’s sorcerers and magicians duplicated one after another of God’s miracles, but there was one thing they could not do: reconcile sinful people to the all-holy God.

Jesus also talks about false miracles in Matthew 7. He warns that even if prophecies and miracles are attached to His name, they can be fraudulent. The result of being led astray by these deceitful workers will be the Lord saying at the last day, “Depart from me. I never knew you.”

Therefore, it’s important that we heed God’s Word and not trust our experiences or our feelings to determine what is true. God tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart is deceitful above all things. We can actually be led away from truth by following our hearts.

When someone close to me began investigating (and eventually joined) the LDS Church, I went to the LDS bookstore and bought a triple combination and The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I prayerfully read them all and went back for more. I read Jesus the Christ, The Articles of Faith, The Doctrines of Salvation (vols 1-3), Mormon Doctrine, The Gospel Through the Ages, etc., etc. What I found, beyond a shadow of a doubt, was that Mormonism teaches people to worship and serve a different god than the God of the Bible. I had a choice to make: Follow my heart (that wanted desperately for Mormonism to be true), or remain loyal to God as He has revealed Himself and His instructions in His Word. On paper it looks very black and white, but you can imagine the turmoil I went through as I wrestled with the ramifications either choice would bring. In the end, I chose God over Mormonism. And though it cost me dearly, God has been faithful to me. And now, 20+ years later, He has even restored what I lost when I chose Him and His truth over what I wanted to be true.

When I began my investigation of Mormonism, reading these first books, I did ask the Lord for guidance (as you have suggested). Now and then, as I read, and as I heard the tender testimonies of Latter-day Saints, I would feel overwhelmed and would think, “Maybe this is the true Church. Maybe what I’ve been taught in my Christian faith is wrong.” But each time I would immediately sense God asking, “But who do they say that I am?” I always came back to that question, that extremely important question.

Ben, whatever eternal promises the LDS Church makes, if they are not rooted in the one true God, they are worthless–no matter how much we may want them to be true. For the one who follows a false god, there will be no forever family; there will be no cleansing from sin. Instead, this person will stand before Christ and be told, “Depart from me. I never knew you.”

My prayer for you, Ben, is that you will long to know God as He truly is; that you will pant for Christ as a dear pants for water; that you will seek Him with all of your being; and that you will love Him with all your heart, might, mind and strength.

“Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:14-15)

Praying you will choose the one true God,

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.
This entry was posted in Truth, Honesty, Prayer, and Inquiry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

125 Responses to From the Mailbag (3/8/11)

  1. f_melo says:

    "It’s important to understand that for more than 180 years a lot of lies have been circulated about the church. It’s only to be expected that Satan would mount a campaign against it. If your information about the church comes from those sources then of course you will have a negative perspective."

    It´s not about having a negative perspective, it´s about truth. In my path so far as a Christian, when i was doing research to figure out the historicity of the Bible since that wasn´t an issue in the Mormon Church and i never even felt the need for it because all was taken care of by the prophet, i read articles, comments, debates, researches, etc. The difference between the discussions about the Bible and the discussions about mormonism, is that when the Bible is being discussed, there is no evidence or proof that can ultimately say that the Bible is wrong, or that it is a myth. The Bible describes John the Baptist as a prophet of God and a man of honor. That´s exactly what we find when Josephus talks about him in an extra-biblical document. As to its historicity, it´s being proven true in every new major archaeological discovery. Now, some people will say that the Bible is a fake story that the writers placed in a real world scenario – just like there are many novels that use true places like NY, etc. but the story they describe in it is a creation of their imagination, and it was pieced together using different religious practices and customs of the time and then adapted to establish Israel as a superior race. Or you can have the true perspective on it, and believe it for what it says it is, since it´s a legit ancient document, and by further studying it, you can determine that events such as the physical, literal resurrection of Jesus is the only explanation for Christianity to emerge the way it did, with its unique beliefs and the worshiping of Jesus as God. Of course, much of the Bible you´re going to have to believe by faith, and you can do that with a clear conscience that you know that it isn´t a document written as a fable cleverly devised to manipulate people. There´s no solid evidence of such a thing, all you have is poor speculation. That´s what the mystery religions are all about – they are acknowledged to be fables full of symbolism designed by men for their own purposes. For me it has to be real and true, otherwise there´s no reason for taking it seriously other than to use it to make those cool motivational posters that don´t actually inspire anyone.

    With Mormonism, the discussion is a whole different story. The historical documents from the church itself are the sources for the "anti mormons". They are not lying, they are just reporting on what the church didn´t find faith-promoting enough to let its members know. When i started investigating mormonism i would always check what i found with the Church website. The first was the stone in the hat – i thought, no way, that can´t be true, but sure enough there it was. I read about Joseph having a gun in the day of his "martyrdom" and killing three people. I went to check it in the church website, and there it was(except for him killing 3 people). The kinderhook plates were there too, etc., etc. The church apologists actually managed to do more damage to my "testimony" than to protect it. Why?
    It was because they were obviously being dishonest and disingenuous, and no Church that claims to have the truth would ever have the need to do such a thing. I could easily figure out that the "anti mormons" weren´t lying to me, or giving me a negative perspective on mormonism. What about that guy from BYU who first published the first version of the first vision… is he an anti mormon too?

    Also, if there are lies about the Church we can easily find out about it and throw them out. That´s usually not an issue though, the truth is much worse than all the lies created it about it.

    Sharon, your response was perfect! You´re right, many people from different religions claim to have those spiritual, peace-giving experiences, but that doesn´t mean that they are true. I am very impressed that you were able to keep in your mind that question Jesus asked Peter in the middle of so much emotional turmoil.

  2. f_melo says:

    Speaking of archaelogy:

    "King Solomon's Wall Found—Proof of Bible Tale?"

    How many BoM defensive walls found so far = 0

  3. falcon says:

    Those who have hung around here very long, know that one of my main interests is supernatural or spiritual phenomenon. Shortly after I was saved thirty-nine years ago, I learned about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which is cited often in the Book of Acts starting in chapter one and then of course in First Corinthians chapters 12, 13, and 14. I was green as grass as a Christian even though I had been raised Catholic. But one thing about the Catholic church in the era I was brought up, it was very open to a move of God's Spirit which might include physical healing or even the appearance by say, the Virgin Mary (i.e. Our Lady of Fatima, for example). So the idea of supernatural phenomenon was not new to me; at least the idea.
    Anyway to make a long story short I sought the Baptism and received it in quite miraculous fashion as I spoke in tongues and this was accompanied by a Word from the Lord. The Word went something like this:
    "I feel compelled to tell you that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit to a Virgin, was born, walked this earth, taught many things, died on the cross, arose from the dead ascended into heaven and will return to establish his kingdom."
    When I finished I looked at the person who had laid hands on me to receive this Gift of God and the person was crying and said, "I've been praying that you would become a Christian." Now that's the shortened version of a process that was a year in the making from the time I first started considering that there might just be something to this whole deal of Christianity and (the story) includes many other accounts as to how God led me to Himself by His Spirit.
    OK, should we play, "Can you top that" and whoever has the most dramatic testimony "wins"? That's not really how the truth is determined. The Bible is very clear as to who God is, who Jesus is, what Jesus did on the cross, and what the means of salvation is.
    If someone tells me who their God is, I will tell you who the author of their spiritual/supernatural experiences is. And when I know who the author of their experiences is, then I know by which spirit the are operating.
    People can be sincere, pious, devout, strive for clean righteous living, have positive emotions about what they believe and even claim supernatural experiences, but if the author of their faith and hence their experiences isn't God, then they are not operating within His Spirit.
    Satan is very clever and can provide people with all kinds of affirming feelings and supernatural occurrences. God gave us His revealed Word the Bible to guide us and keep us on track. When people askew God's Word and settle for an imitation/fake scripture, a fake prophet, and a fake church, they will also have false promises and no salvation. Fake prophets promise much but can deliver nothing.
    While I'm very open to the supernatural, over the years I've become one of the biggest Christian skeptics when it comes to what people claim. I hope maturity has something to do with it, but it's also understanding the deeper things of God as is revealed in His Word. I have a pretty high threshold of believability before I'll accept what someone tells me regarding what the Lord told them, or a vision they have seen, or a prophecy spoken by them or someone else.
    God expects nothing less of us then to be constantly vigilant and questioning of what we are told.
    False prophets, as in Mormonism, have it made because people buy the program with their emotions, supposing it's spiritual and directly from God. God expects us to have our intellects fully engaged and working with our spirits in concert with His Holy Spirit.
    Our mantra should be, "Show me the evidence."

  4. Violet says:

    Belonging to a specific church has nothing to do with Christianity.
    Abraham Justified by Faith

    4:1 What then shall we say was gained by [1] Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in [2] him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:

    7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
    and whose sins are covered;
    8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

  5. Violet says:

    God's Promise has nothing to do with following 'the prophets', the old testament law.
    The Promise Realized Through Faith

    13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

    16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

    The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

  6. f_melo says:

    "People can be sincere, pious, devout, strive for clean righteous living, have positive emotions about what they believe and even claim supernatural experiences, but if the author of their faith and hence their experiences isn't God, then they are not operating within His Spirit."

    Falcon, that was something i´ve been thinking about, especially because that´s the second line of defense of Mormonism when someone isn´t "moved" by a testimony. "The church does so many good things and has so many good programs, it encourages its youth to remain chaste and not drink alcohol, etc."

    I remembered once reading about the Hitler youth, and i decided to look it up on youtube –

    My heart started pounding when i listened to what those people were saying… i´ve heard and seen some of the exact same things in the Church so many times before. I also noticed how well educated, beautiful and disciplined they were, and how that was used as a means to brainwash them into worshiping Hitler who later lead them to commit those atrocities. That was scary, and your words brought that back to mind. People need to learn to trust in God, not in men, otherwise who can guarantee us that history isn´t going to repeat itself?

    So many New Agers and mystics talk about an evolutionary leap that will take people into a new age of peace and prosperity – and it sounds beautiful. Yet when you start digging a little deeper you find out that once again, those beautiful things that most people aspire to achieve are being used to manipulate them into hating Christians and anybody else who claims there´s objective truth, and there is only one God and only one way.

  7. falcon says:

    Last night I was watching a program on the Simthsonian Channel on the search for the real Indiana Jones. Anyway it got into the whole Nazi occult connection. Himler was the dude that was trying to spiritualize the Nazi movement. I was just half watching it because I was practicing my guitar or something but I do remember part of it having to do with this building Himler built. I'd say it was like a Nazi Temple. It's still around today. I'll have to see if I can find the information.
    So there was definitely a spiritual side to Nazism.

  8. Ben, I'm not even sure if your reading this or not, but if you are you said to Sharon,

    It’s important to understand that for more than 180 years a lot of lies have been circulated about the church. It’s only to be expected that Satan would mount a campaign against it. If your information about the church comes from those sources then of course you will have a negative perspective.

    Many LDS have also made this claim, but here is the problem, The information that we provide is either from the Bible, which contradicts what your BoM and D and C teaches. Or the information we use comes from the LDS church, it's books, prophets, presidents Etc. We never say JS said or taught….

    Then an LDS member says, show me where, and you see us saying, Well I'm not sure, I just thought he did, No we provide sources. The problem then comes from you guys saying, These people never meant what they said, or they did not say thus saith the Lord or things like that. If your serious and want the truth then you really need to look into what your church really said or did, not simply believe them when they say, Were telling you the truth, trust us on that, we would never lie to you. Satan says the same thing, Believe me I would never lie, God not real. you can be a God, Trust me I know more than God.

  9. Violet says:

    I think of China. If you control the information (the bible is translated incorrectly), then you control the people. If LDS may only refer to LDS, then they will never have the truth. If someone told you, do not look up anything, ever, ever, ever, wouldn't your gut instinct, your sixth sense, throw a red flag and say what are they hiding? If its the truth, everything in the world would reinforce it, not work against it.

  10. falcon says:

    Some months back Andy Watson did an excellent series of articles here on MC about the Mormon god Minn (I think the name is). This god was recognized by Joseph Smith in his wonderous "translation" of the BoA. The facsimile that Smith recognized as "god" was this Egyptian fertility god sitting on a throne exposing himself.
    Now my guess is that since Smith had no clue that the text he was "translating" was a common Egyptian funeral (text) and not the writing of Abraham as Smith claimed.
    So when Mormons talk about their god, that's the god Smith identified with. If I remember right this god was a fertility god. Funny that Smith the polygamist would choose such a god. What's kind of amazing is that there are Mormons who will rationalize, justify and make excuses all day long for the reprobate Smith.
    Why don't they get it? I think we know. It was also very difficult for some of the Hebrews to give-up their foreign gods.

  11. wyomingwilly says:

    Ben said that for 180 years there have been lies circulated about the Mormon church. There is truth in
    that statement. However, I have to wonder if he has actually looked into what Mormon prophets and
    apostles have taught for 180 years ? These men claim to be the mouthpiece of God, they relay spiritual
    truth from God to all LDS. The fact of the matter is that these men have left a track record that is evidence of
    their not being reliable spiritual guides. The inaccuracy of their teachings on important doctrines, their
    indecisiveness , confusion as teachers over what is spiritual truth and what is'nt , clearly reveals that
    these men are providing information from their own minds , not from God [ Jer.23:16 ] . In short these
    men are not trustworthy teachers on many important doctrines. [ part 1 ]

  12. wyomingwilly says:

    [ part 2 ] But Ben may ask how can Mormon prophets/apostles be false prophets when they are so
    sincere , live morally upright lives, dress well , are good neighbors etc ? I really feel that many LDS
    reason this way. They feel that a false prophet means the person is immoral, diabolical etc. So since
    their leaders are morally upright men then they could'nt possibly be false prophets ! May our LDS
    guests realize that when someone claims the office of a prophet, and then goes on to teach falsely
    on important doctrines this man then is a false prophet , and unless he admits his error of misleading
    his followers he will be punished by God, and sadly those that sustain his error will be held accountable
    also–Matt.15:14; Isa.9:16 . May LDS dismiss these men from their lives, and cling to Heb.7:25

  13. Falcon, I read the article, I like you think it is really sad that so many Mormons are believing a lie and will sadly find out after death when it is to late they they were serving a false god and here Jesus say to them, Depart from me into ever lasting Fire. And for all of eternity they will be tormented by the fact they heard people like us sharing the truth with them and they rejected it because they wanted to believe a lie.

  14. Engkei says:

    Its not that LDS members don't read things outside of their faith, its just that they read everything through an LDS filter.

  15. Engkei says:

    Very interesting. All religions have miracles. There is a guy in my neighborhood who is a bible literalist. He is planning to publish a book, and one section is about miracles. I listened to it, and found that every 'miracle' he talked about could also be viewed in a different light, where its not a miracle at all. He believes everything I am sure as everyone here at MC. Just the bible, and he has devoted over 20 years of study to it.

    I met a christian some years ago, he actually stated that the age of miracles are over. Maybe some minor healings, but really nothing big is going to happen. At least not until the rapture something like that. No speaking in tongues, no raising from the dead, no angels to be seen. He said that some of these things may be claimed, but chances are they aren't from god.

  16. violet says:

    I was wondering about The Mormons series on PBS. My mormon friend said it leaned against the mormon faith. I thought the historicity proved mormonism false. Did LDS membership decrease as a result or did most mormons just dismiss the series altogether? I cannot understand how mormons could watch The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon on youtube and dismiss that too.

  17. f_melo says:

    You´re absolutely correct! If they were the true church they wouldn´t have to jump through so many hoops to masquerade the truth. There wouldn´t be any truth that isn´t faith-promoting, and not useful.

  18. f_melo says:

    Engkei, very few LDS(comparatively) read material that´s doesn´t have a faith-promoting view. The Mormon leaders will use the word "anti mormon literature" to keep them from ever touching anything that´s reports facts on the church that don´t show the church to be the only "true" church on the face of the earth.

    So you don´t have to officially ban any literature, but a mormon knows that the devil is trying to deceive them and make them lose their eternal promises, so they´ll stay away from anything without the leaders even telling them about it. When they dare to do it, they get a bad feeling, and they conclude the spirit left them and that´s Satan´s influence. So it´s all subliminally set up from the get go. The correlation guys also make sure to omit anything said by past leaders that would get them to think about their beliefs.

    In that documentary i referred to Falcon, it talks about Hitler´s BDM girls. The testimonies of the women involved in the Nazi party and war is that they didn´t question what was going on because they blindly trusted that Hitler would do what was right. One guy even said that Hitler was considered to be God or akin to God. That´s all leaders have to get you to do, to place you on the same level as God and blindly trust you, as it is the case in the Mormon Church – that´s exactly what you hear from the Mormons, it doesn´t matter if it appears to be dishonest business, the prophet is always doing what´s right.

    The filter part you´re talking about comes with the teaching of the doctrine. Once it is established that Joseph is a prophet of God the next thing that is accepted is that every doctrine he taught was true and therefore everything else has to be interpreted according to his revelations. Of course, they have to denigrate the Bible as a safeguard because the brainwashing isn´t very effective on everyone.

  19. Engkei says:

    F Melo,
    Yes, that is a good description of the LDS filter. Part of it is a limited scope of acceptible material. The other part is how they read and view the material. 'Satans influence' in a sense that is correct, as doesn't the name or word 'satan' mean adversary or enemy? Anything which acts against a person or a people could be said to be 'satan' relative to the person or people in question. I am sure that Satan would act against any form of Judeo-Christian religion, and even Islam. The title satan is from the Bible and the Koran. Anything which works against the religion related to either book.

  20. falcon says:

    What you are talking about is dispensational theology. The idea is that there are different "dispensations" in God's program. Folks that endorse this approach will say that at the closing of the cannon of scriptures things like speaking in tongues etc. ceased. The Bible verse(s) they point to are at the end of First Corinthians chapter 13. That's Paul's treatise on love. He says that all of these gifts of the Spirit will end when the "perfect" comes. Those that subscribe to dispensational theology say that the "perfect" is the Bible.
    To me, it's obvious that the "perfect" is Jesus. There will be no need for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit when Jesus returns. That seems to make sense to me. There are people who are very uncomfortable with spiritual manifestations. Part of it I'm sure is because spiritual phenomenon can be difficult to qualify. Although Paul gives quite detailed instructions on all of this, there are those who fake it and those who are easily taken in by pure emotionalism. What's interesting to me is that dispensationalist claim for cessation applies to only the miraculous. The other things listed there in First Corinthians 12, 13, and 14 that are not miraculous haven't disappeared according to the dispensationalist. Paul mentions prophecy, tongues and knowledge as those things that will disappear. I don't think anyone would say that knowledge has disappeared. It's the same with the offices of the church mentioned in Ephesians. It talks about prophets, evangelists, apostles, pastors and teachers.
    Dispensationalists want prophets and apostles to disappear but not evangelists, pastors and teachers.

  21. f_melo says:

    "'Satans influence' in a sense that is correct, as doesn't the name or word 'satan' mean adversary or enemy?"

    That´s the meaning of the name which refers to a real entity – a fallen angel.

    "Anything which acts against a person or a people could be said to be 'satan' relative to the person or people in question."

    You´re applying the concept of an adversary, not talking about the actual angel of light that God kicked out of heaven. I forget the word for that, but when i remember it i´ll edit this comment.

    Also, that´s when we see the importance of studying what the Bible says, because when you don´t have that foundation you can take everything in it to be metaphors and apply whatever way you feel like, as the mormons do in the temple to scare people. Mormons are also scared of praying out loud about important things because Satan will listen to them and try to spoil their plans – they are also taught that Satan can´t penetrate their minds.

  22. falcon says:

    Our Mormon friend who wrote to Sharon (referenced in the article above) claims that lies have been told about Mormonism. Probably so…………so what? Does that make the things that are factual not true? I was raised Catholic. Does anyone think that there were lies told about the Catholic Church and Catholics? I went to Catholic school and I don't ever remember a nun or priest ever saying anything about other religions. It just wasn't part of the program. I can't remember even anyone railing against Martin Luther. In fact my remembrance was that the Catholic church needed some reforming.
    We did hold to the idea that the Catholic church was God's one true Church but we didn't believe that those who weren't Catholic couldn't realize salvation.
    I think the "lies" claim of Mormons is all apart of the "persecution complex" which Mormons seem to, at some level, enjoy and wear as a badge of honor.
    Facts are stubborn things. The facts about Mormonism can be found in Mormon publications and historical documents. The real enemy of Mormonism is their own documentation which is plentiful.

  23. Engkei says:

    F Melo,
    "Satan" can refer to a person, such as peter. Matthew 16:23,Mark 8:33 So its not always refering to a spirit being. I think in some senses people use it as concept, or evil intent.

    "Mormons are also scared of praying out loud about important things because Satan will listen to them and try to spoil their plans – they are also taught that Satan can´t penetrate their minds. "

    I have never heard those, any foundation for either statement at all?

  24. Engkei says:

    F Melo,
    Interesting stuff, thats the difficult part, Christians aren't as unified in teaching as I am led to believe. I guess I shouldn't be surprised there have been hundreds if not thousands of various ideas and movements around the Christian bible. Dispensationalists seem to have an edge up in some ways. It eliminates having to produce spiritual manifestations, and calls into question any manifestation, and strictly places questions on spiritual matters on the Bible. Not depending upon propecies or additions to scripture, which would have to be tested.

    So fakers are not considered, fraudulent claims etc… The problem might be that it eliminates the possibility of experiencing a miracle. or Reduces it perhaps, as one has to have faith and a sort of expectation for it. Then again one can see miracles where there isn't any, just because one wants to have one, or are expecting something. So you believe that jesus is currently active in producing miracles, visions, manifestations of various kinds presently? How would you tell if its real or not?

  25. falcon says:

    There is a Christian religious movement now that is very fond of identifying people as apostles and prophets. I was reading a blog where someone was all upset about this. It doesn't really upset me but I wonder why someone would need to have themselves identified as being an apostles or prophet. I think we serve God in what ever manner He calls and leads us and it's not necessary to attach a label to it.
    But anyway this guy was all bent out of shape about the whole thing. I looked in the Bible and there were men identified as apostles other then the original twelve. The broad definition is "one who is sent". The narrow definition is someone who was chosen by and who had seen Jesus. I guess it depends on the definition.
    The blogger didn't like modern day prophets either. Prophecy is one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit so I would think that someone who God has blessed with and who exercises the gift of prophecy would be a prophet. In fact, in the Book of Acts, Paul stops and stays at the home of Phillip the evangelist. We are told that Phillip had four virgin daughters who were prophetess. In the same place (Acts 21:8-11) we are introduced to a "prophet" named Agabus. Agabus foretells what will happen to Paul in Jerusalem. Agabus preferences his remarks by saying "This is what the Holy Spirit says:……"
    So the first century Church was a miraculous, Holy Spirit led Church. The Book of Acts also chronicles many instances of false prophets and the manifestations of supernatural fakery and/or demonic activity.
    When Mormons talk about instances during certain temple ceremonies where the spirits of dead people are observed, it isn't rocket science to figure out what's going on. Nor when we hear the factual accounts of Joseph Smith's involvement in the occult does it take a major amount of discernment to determine by what spirit he operated.
    The problem we see is that there are Mormons who support all of this and think that what Smith was involved in is really groovie. Having bought a lie and given themselves over to a deceitful spirit, they are now reaping the results of their actions.

  26. Engkei says:

    I caught part of that series, and it was fairly balanced. Certainly it had voiced opinions which were not favorable to the LDS faith. One of which was from jews about their ancestors being baptized. They were offended because they were killed for being jewish, and they didn't want anyone to think that they would even choose to become LDS in the next life. That didn't make sense to me at all.

    The series had commentary from active LDS, and some leadership. One question was particularly embarassing, but i don't recall what it was. he was caught completely off guard on the question, where all he could say was 'oops'. Why and how do they dismiss criticism? Opposition in all things….The theory is if they get criticized its proof that their religion is true.

  27. f_melo says:

    "'Satan" can refer to a person, such as peter."

    Peter was acting like Satan, he wasn´t The Satan. Luke 10:18 "1And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."

    Engkei, if you take one passage out of context that´s the interpretation you´re going to get. You have to consider everything the scriptures have to say about him and the name as a whole. When was the last time you read the Bible from cover to cover?

    "I have never heard those, any foundation for either statement at all?"

    Nothing officially written so far as i can remember – but just ask any of them, that´s part of the oral tradition.

  28. Engkei says:

    F Melo,
    Its not out of context, its a possible meaning of the title 'Satan', its correctly used. Something or someone in opposition to another, an 'adversary' or 'enemy'. And yes if he was acting as a enemy then the title fit. There is even one instance where 'satan' refers to an angel sent by god, but its not translated that way because of its context. Numbers 22:22

    There is something odd however, one scripture says that satan moved david to number israel. 1 Chronicles 21:1, yet another, 2 Samuel 24:1 states that it was the Lord who moved David to number Israel.

    But yes, it appears that the title 'the satan' refers to a particular being.

  29. Engkei says:

    But living here at my in laws, I saw a shaddow of someone walking when someone wasn't there. I thought it was my imagination, but someone else here saw it also. But nothing has happened recently. But i am still skeptical because it could have just been imagination, or the results of being tired, or forgetting that maybe I bought something and got change that way i just forgot etc…

  30. falcon says:

    I have absolutely no clue what it was you experienced that's why we don't count an experience as objective truth. About the only thing we can do is consider it. I don't doubt that God can send a roaring sound, have people speak in tongues, multiply money or clothing or that someone can see an aura.
    Here's one for you. One time I was in a church and a candidate for the pastor's position spoke. The congregation chose him. He destroyed the church. One of the women reported to me sometime later that when the guy got up to speak she saw a black aura around him????????????????????
    I had never heard of such a thing but I asked someone I trusted about it. He told me that an aura like that generally means "death". Well it certainly was the death of that congregation.
    I think the best way to approach any of this is to "consider" it. I'd observe the person who reports this type of thing over time and see what sort of fruit they have in their lives and what their grounding in the Word is.
    I watch GodTV quite often because it's the home of the modern prophetic movement. I'll listen to some of these folks and often not be overly impressed with what they have to say. However the audience goes just bonkers. I'm thinking, "There's nothing here folks, just some guy speaking emotionally and with a lot of confidence."
    People often get manipulated out of their own desires to experience something supernatural.

  31. falcon says:

    We could have a full blown discussion here on the validity of (Christian) supernatural occurrences, but the fact of the matter is that they are all subjective and open to whatever meaning a person wants to assign to them. I believe what the OT and NT reveals about God's supernatural workings in the lives of people. I also believe what Jesus said about false prophets and about signs and wonders that could lead astray, the elect, if possible.
    So we really need to get down to what the source of the manifestations are. We all know to well that Joseph Smith was an occultist and what the source of occult powers is. We also know that when Joseph Smith conjured up his BoM he used occult means to do it. We know that subsequent Mormon "prophets" and many rank and file Mormons claim seeing "spirits" during dead dunking and other such temple rituals borrowed, we all know, from the occult based Free Masonry. Joseph Smith's other work of fiction, the BoA, includes a facsimile with a drawing of what he said was the Mormon god. In reality it was the Egyptian fertility god Min sitting on a throne exposing himself.
    It would all be really funny if it weren't so serious. It's serious because Mormons have been duped by a form of spirituality that is more in line with occult spiritism.
    So dear Mormons ii would behoove you to leave this false religious cult and seek after God.

  32. f_melo says:

    "'We could have a full blown discussion here on the validity of (Christian) supernatural occurrences, but the fact of the matter is that they are all subjective and open to whatever meaning a person wants to assign to them. I believe what the OT and NT reveals about God's supernatural workings in the lives of people."

    Falcon, one thing i also notice in the miracles contained in the Bible is that when God "interfered" He left no doubt that He was the one performing the miracle – miracles were the signs that testified that God had called a a person to speak in His behalf, and they could be fire coming down from heaven as well as a fulfilled prophecy. Miracles can be imitated as we see with Moses and the Egyptian priests, but after the show down God established once and for all who was the mightier humiliating Egypt´s most important deities.

    Jesus´ miracles were also above anything else any pagan ever did, such as bringing the dead back to life, bringing sight to the blind, etc., and eventually His own resurrection, something that only God can perform.

  33. Engkei says:

    Well, I did say I was skeptical of my own experience. It didn't mean much really, other than its nice to have charity from time to time, at least that is what I got out of it. Maybe also that the usual limitations that I see in life may not be as real as I think.

    I didn't know that Christians even believed in auras, or even saw them. What exactly about that pastor caused the 'death' of the church? Its an interesting story. The problem with supernatural stuff is that most of the time it cannot be tested or reproduced. How often do people get change teleported back into their pocket?Teleportation is interesting there are some people who think we can eventually use it as a means of transportation. Some claim that a few atoms have already been sent this way. I often wonder who do they know its the same few atoms in one place or another?

  34. Engkei says:

    "just some guy speaking emotionally and with a lot of confidence." I think I know what your talking about. There are people who just think because someone has charisma, or talks loud and fast that they are smart or have something of value to say. Its annoying because I usually see past it right away, and I am annoyed how many people buy into it for that reason. Its what they want to hear and its said in a very exciting way, thats it….

  35. falcon says:

    I would say that it's more than a little troubling when someone builds a religious movement let a lone an entire religion on a vision or visions they say they have had. In the case of Joseph Smith, even a modest amount of investigation will yield enough information to, at the very least, cast serious doubts on the veracity of his claims. The Boy Smith, like any good spinner of yarns, expanded and improved on his first version of his "in the woods" experience and along the way gave several versions of what happened in the woods. The changing story seemed to occur every time there was a crisis of leadership in Smith's group.
    Interestingly enough, his story in its basic form, sounds a lot like a famous evangelist of that time, Charles Finney. What's interesting is that as a result of his vision, Finney launched an evangelical movement that drew thousands to make a commitment to Jesus; the Jesus of the Bible. Smith, on-the-other hand, started a religion that among other things taught that God had once been a man who morphed into becoming a god, that men could do the same thing, that to reach the highest level of reward in his (Smith's) religion, men had to practice polygamy, and that rituals stolen from the Free Masons were all apart of that ancient wisdom that had been lost but now was being restored by the "prophet" Smith.
    While Finney drew people to Jesus, the mantra of the Mormon religion became a confession of faith in the Mormon church, Joseph Smith and the BoM. Do we see a theme developing here? With Finney it was all about Jesus. With Smith, it was all about Joseph. People, it seems, would rather believe a good story and the accompanying good feelings it generates, than the truth. Devotion to an idea gives people something to believe in and a life's purpose. It doesn't even have to be true, just believed.

  36. Engkei says:

    F Melo,
    Well, there are people who want to try and bring a wholly mammoth alive again, 'resurrect' it. It wouldn't be the same animal, but its from a few intact cells. Its strange stuff that is for sure. There are pagans who believe that they can correct congenital birth defects, like say flat feet. One claimed that he got his vision back through meditation. I haven't heard anyone pagan claiming any resurrection in the present day. But there are people who claim the idea of resurrection came from sources outside of christianity.

  37. Engkei says:

    F Melo,
    The main thing to remember is the 'satans influence' thing in the LDS faith is a defense mechanism. They don't want any information which might prove their religion wrong. If it feels hostile, offensive or attacking in any way, this defense mechanism is particularly effective. People picketing an LDS temple might be very easily viewed as a sign by them that their religion is true. Especially if it looks like an angry mob.

    There may not be much one can do to reach someone who is just way into their religion. I was never moved by anyone who seemed like they wanted to start an arguement, or talk me out of the religion. What was more effective was certain cultish authoritarian things which were internal to LDS culture and organization. Why the Bishops wifes idea about a scripture passage was deemed correct just because it came from her. Nobody wanted to even examine the passage after she commented on it. But I did, and she just looked at it surprised, like 'OH man it really does say something else!"

  38. Engkei said

    But there are people who claim the idea of resurrection came from sources outside of christianity.

    You really need to provide more detail as to where your going with this, I have a hard time replying to you when I am not sure what your point is, or where your going?

  39. Kate says:

    I think for me when I was LDS, I didn't listen or want to read anything that wasn't "church approved" because we are taught that we have the only truth and Satan tries very hard to deceive us through unbelievers. The LDS don't think "red flag" when leaders tell them not to read things. They honestly believe the LDS leaders are trying to protect them from evils. It's so weird to be out of the LDS church and see things for myself. For those of us born into mormonism, it's just the way we grew up. It's tradition and it's comfortable. I know a lot of mormons who are inactive but will defend the faith and they get upset if anything is said about the LDS church. It's mind boggling to me. I think one of the worst things Joseph Smith did (and the LDS church still does today) is convince people that the Bible can't be trusted because it's not translated correctly. When I finally decided to read it on my own, I wanted to get a new Bible not affiliated with the LDS church. I didn't want all the added stuff like chapter headings and the Bible dictionary etc… I didn't even know which translation to buy. There were so many! I ended up getting a NKJ version. I have studied, read and marked it so much all ready. Our church uses the NIV and I like it too, but didn't realize that it was OK to read different translations! I truly believe that if mormons would just go out and buy a Bible, sit down and truly read and study it, that would be all they need to realize they are worshiping a false God and a false Christ. It's all in there!

  40. Kate says:


    I think the "lies" claim of Mormons is all apart of the "persecution complex" which Mormons seem to, at some level, enjoy and wear as a badge of honor.

    You are absolutely right. We were taught in primary as children how persecuted the mormons have been, especially in the beginning. I always thought that there were hundreds upon hundreds killed over the past 180 years. I just discovered recently that the number is actually quite small. Around 50 or so. This really angers me because the mormons butchered more than twice that many at Mountain Meadows. I was also taught that after Joseph and Hyrum were killed, the saints moved west with Brigham because of persecution. I recently read that it was a few months afterward and that the mormons were involved in killing men that they believed to have been in the mob. I really want to do more research on this, but I did read it.

    Facts are stubborn things. The facts about Mormonism can be found in Mormon publications and historical documents. The real enemy of Mormonism is their own documentation which is plentiful.

    This is why I don't call myself an "anti- mormon." How can historical church documents and words and revelations given (and written) by mormon prophets and apostles be "anti-mormon?" Still, mormons don't want to see or read any of it. They hide behind the "new prophet trumps old one" belief. I believe that if these men were truly prophets of God, everything would line up from the beginning prophet to the present day prophet. God says he's not the author of confusion. That is what mormonism is, one big mess of confusion. I have often wondered why there are no new revelations being written in the D&C. Could it be that the leaders are in such a mess from previous leaders, that they want to make sure no one can come back in a few years and use their words against the church? Just a thought.

  41. Engkei says:

    Rick, its ok, its like the world wrestling thing… Its not going anywhere really, as it doesn't concern mormon/evangelical debate. Resurrection is a common doctrine to both isn't it? So does it really matter?

  42. Engkei says:

    I used a James moffit translation, even while at the tail end of my mormon experience. My main beef was why was it a question of which church was true? (christian) Why did they assume that the truth was only christian of some type?

  43. falcon says:

    Good post Kate.
    I've got several different translations here but I've got a New American Standard Version that I've had since I first got saved 39 years ago. I had to have it recovered once. I like it because to my knowledge it's about the closest to the original language as there is.
    It's interesting how Mormonism keeps people locked in by telling them not to go outside the Mormon church for information. They do the scary Satan thing to impose fear. Once they can't control people by fear, the gig is up. Unless someone is really into the Mormon culture, I can see why they go inactive. Two-thirds on the rolls are in that category.

  44. falcon says:

    What happened is the guy came in and really started beating the sheep from the pulpit with his Shepard's staff. He killed the church. It dissolved within six months. He was controlling and in his preaching style, very abusive. He obviously had some significant emotional issues.
    I really don't know that much about auras in the Christian sense of it. In this case, it was like a black shroud. If you look at some religious paintings you'll see a bright hallow effect painted around the head of the "saint" or religious person. That might be a place to start in determining what the history of this is.

  45. Well you said people try to say it did not happen, or that was what I understood you to say. Those people really dont want Jesus to be raised from the dead, because as Paul said, if He (Jesus) did not raise from the dead then were living for nothing.

  46. f_melo says:

    It is a defensive mechanism for sure.

    Yes, what drove me out of the mormon church was the church itself.

    "Why the Bishops wifes idea about a scripture passage was deemed correct just because it came from her. Nobody wanted to even examine the passage after she commented on it. But I did, and she just looked at it surprised, like 'OH man it really does say something else!""

    That´s something extremely important, to be able to see that there´s something wrong, if there´s something wrong. One thing that i´ve learned so far is to trust God. Everytime i pray for something significant to my soul, i receive an answer. If i was to deconstruct everything i could probably say that that wasn´t God, but it´s too much of a coincidence how much my life has changed. I shouldn´t be out of the mormon church, i should be planning to eventually get married in the temple. Yet, this happened. So, i have no question that there´s truth out there, and there´s a God and He does answer prayers in a way that we can see and recognize that He is behind it. The Bible is one of those truths, and you know, the more i think of it, it is best that things worked out the way they did so that no man could claim a monopoly over Salvation.

  47. f_melo says:

    "When I finally decided to read it on my own, I wanted to get a new Bible not affiliated with the LDS church."

    hahahah That´s exactly what i did. I had my mission Bible with all the LDS-distorted scriptures highlighted with little comments on the sides talking about church doctrines that i thought related to them. As a missionary i didn´t read the Bible the way it was supposed to be read, i just looked for the verses and parts that supported church doctrine.

    The first thing that i did was also to buy a new Bible, clean of any of that nonsense.

  48. f_melo says:

    "Why did they assume that the truth was only christian of some type?"

    No, Engkei, they didn´t assume. They believed Jesus for who He was and they believed the Bible records to be telling the truth – thus they concluded that Jesus is God and He is truth. The denomination disputes come out of a need to get the teachings of Jesus right, so that one could know the way of Salvation. God took care of that as well through His very words in the Gospels.

  49. f_melo says:

    "Well, there are people who want to try and bring a wholly mammoth alive again, 'resurrect' it. It wouldn't be the same animal, but its from a few intact cells. Its strange stuff that is for sure."

    The day they command that to happen with their voice and nature on its own obeys it without any human interference(other than the voice command, of course), let me know.

    "But there are people who claim the idea of resurrection came from sources outside of christianity."

    Those are not really resurrections. They are either reincarnations(Nimrode being reincarnated as his own son Tammuz) or being alive in a lower realm(i think that´s the case of Osiris, i´m not sure).

  50. Dale says:

    Perhaps the scariest thing I've encountered lately when talking with Mormons or looking into their faith is how they always put a pleasant spin on EVERYTHING that brings their religion into question.

    Q: Why haven't we found the many coins mentioned in the BOM?

    A: Those might not be coins. They could be weights and measures.

    Q: Doesn't the BOM index list them as "coinage?"

    A: The index isn't divinely inspired, just the text.


    Q: Why did Brigham Young say that you had to live polygamy to get to the Celestial Kingdom, and your church doesn't follow that rule?

    A: A scribe probably recorded what BY said incorrectly. It took a later prophet to understand that.


    Q: Why did Joseph marry women who were already married?

    A: They were probably just sealed in marriage, but not living a real marriage as we know it today. Therefore, it's perfectly acceptable.

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