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. David says:

    I see no members of the church post here anymore.

    I can't say I am surprised.

  2. falcon says:

    So I really have a problem understanding why Mormons just don't get it when it comes to Joseph Smith and his "visions" and "visitations" by heavenly(?) Beings.
    Take for example Smith's claim to one of the women he was trying to get into his harem about an angel appearing to him saying that this angel (who had a sword) would kill Smith if he didn't practice polygamy. Come-on folks, do you buy that line? Think about all of the rationalization a Mormon would have to do in order to buy that fish story. It's beyond preposterous, but that's one of the key elements in Mormons believing it. The wilder the story the more they figure it must be true.
    Then we have the story (someone help me here) about Peter, John and John the Baptist appearing to Smith and one of his home boys reinstating the priesthood. Mormons really get all juiced-up about the priesthood. First of all the appearances of these Biblical characters (did I get them right) is a fantasy of Smithian proportion. He could really bring it when it came to this type of fiction. And then the "reinstatement" of the priesthood isn't even Biblical……since Mormonism is suppose to be the reestablishment of first century Christianity. Can someone find that any where in the NT?
    This is the type of thing that happens when people latch on to someone's reported mystical, supernatural occurrences. Pure nonsense! I don't know what's its like to get your brain so fried with desire that common sense takes leave of itself.

  3. wyomingwilly says:

    Kate, you hit the nail on the head with your assessment of the teaching track record by Mormon
    prophets.Considering that some of the words used to describe their doctrinal pronouncements are
    " unpolluted guidance", we need to evaluate these claims . What we see really does amount to confusion
    over their "revealed " truth. When you also consider how these men are so reluctant to admit that
    they have misled their followers with errors in scriptural interpretation, it should indicate to all LDS
    that their leaders are only offering human wisdom yet calling it God's truth[Jer.23:16]. This behavior
    has revealed a pattern from Mormon prophet to Mormon prophet. The precious Mormon people deserve
    better spiritual guides—Matt 15:14. ww

  4. wyomingwilly says:

    falcon, I had to wonder just how much Ben , the Mormon mentioned by Sharon above, actually looked
    into all these supposed " 180 years " of lies about his Church ? Eric Johnson in his review of the book,
    "What every Mormon(and non-Mormon) should Know ", mentioned that author Lane Thuett was raised
    LDS and when Lane heard of these "lies" about his Church he took three months to investigate them.
    He came to the conclusion that it was his leaders who were the ones lying to him. I have to wonder
    just what Ben bases his assessment of Mormonism on? I guess it is just his emotions, it just feels
    right to him. Dangerous ground—Prov.14:12 . ww

  5. falcon says:

    Back at least three decades ago, Oral Roberts reported seeing a fifty foot, hundred foot (?) Jesus. This was the impetus for Oral to build the City of Faith which had as its anchor facility, a medical hospital. The hospital was to combine the best of medicine with the best of faith and prayer. Not a bad idea really. Anyway Oral had all kinds of trouble getting approval for the building because the Tulsa area already had enough hospital beds. He persevered and eventually the City of Faith Center was built. It eventually went broke, basically.
    A few years after he had had his vision, Oral was asked about the fifty/one hundred foot appearance of Jesus he had seen. He explained that he saw it in his "mind's eye". OOPS! That would have been a nice detail to have, right? Actually I'm OK with people having visions that aren't actually there physically. The Bible is replete with such accounts, especially the Book of Acts. But what we need to ask is, "Are these visions authentic?" That is, do they come from God or from demonic forces or just some wishful thinking on the part of the recipient?
    Joseph Smith and his buddies were into "second sight vision". They would "see" things. Given that Smith acknowledged a god other then the God revealed in the Bible and that he was fond of using a seer stone for divination purposes, it's not really difficult to figure out what was going on with Smith.
    A person with a magnetic personality and the gift of gab and story telling can convince folks willing to believe all sorts of wonderful magical things. It's not lack of faith or skepticism that's the enemy of faith, it's gullibility.

  6. Engkei says:

    F Melo,
    Sai baba is said to have raised someone from the dead. I am not sure how this event fits into Hinduism, but the story is here.

  7. Engkei says:

    Those other sources may have also been an impact, but I was thinking more about zoraster. Its made a lot of contributions to western religious thought. Linear time is also a big one, along with resurrection.

    "The Babylonian captivity of the 6th century B. C. transformed Judaism in a profound way, exposing the Jews to Zoroastrianism, which was virtually the state religion of Babylon at the time. Until then, the Jewish conception of the afterlife was vague. A shadowy existence in Sheol, the underworld, land of the dead (not to be confused with Hell) was all they had to look forward to. Zarathustra, however, had preached the bodily resurrection of the dead, who would face a last judgment (both individual and general) to determine their ultimate fate in the next life: either Paradise or torment. Daniel was the first Jewish prophet to refer to resurrection, judgment, and reward or punishment (12:2 ), and insofar as he was an advisor to King Darius (erroneously referred to as a Mede), he was in a position to know the religion thoroughly. "

  8. Dale, The answers that mormons give to those questions are so dumb, I would have to take a sharp knife and carve off a huge chunk of my IQ just to reply to them.

  9. Engkei says:

    F Melo,
    If you read mormon writings carefully, you will find that there is definately an appeal made to believers already. There is also an underlying assumption that the truth is within and around the bible only. As if that was the only choice. For example Moronis promise, and the writings of JS in JS history. He prayed the prayer in the woods, to know which church is true. Never thinking that they were all false, or that perhaps there could have been any else.

    The mormon appeal to cultures outside of the US might be something totally different. In fact it must be to appeal to Muslims, hindus and buddhists. I think they are always encouraged to pray in the name of christ to ask if its true. but the underyling assumption isn't there.

  10. Engkei says:

    F Melo,
    "As a missionary i didn´t read the Bible the way it was supposed to be read"

    how was it supposed to be read?

  11. Engkei says:

    I think everyone would put a pleasant spin on everything they believe. Do you honestly expect an LDS person to say 'oh gee my religion IS wrong, i guess I better stop believing it and promoting it"?

  12. Kate says:


    Take for example Smith's claim to one of the women he was trying to get into his harem about an angel appearing to him saying that this angel (who had a sword) would kill Smith if he didn't practice polygamy. Come-on folks, do you buy that line?

    My family has a 2 volume, hard back copy of our family history and genealogy from the side who have been involved with mormonism since it began. I can tell you that one of my Aunts who was sealed to Joseph Smith absolutely did NOT want to be. She was single and had never been married (the other Aunt was a widow with children) her brother talked endlessly to convince her it was right and then Joseph sent his brother Hyrum to talk to her. The women back in those days didn't have the rights and freedoms that we women enjoy today. I would imagine it was very hard for them. Here's the sad part about that Aunt. After Joseph died, she remarried and had 5 daughters. One was handicapped and the other four died young with no children. She thought that the reason she didn't have any posterity is because she remarried when she should have remained faithful to the prophet Joseph Smith. That part broke my heart. My heart goes out to all of those women who really had no choice and had to live that. I know that some believed it and were more than happy to be involved, but a lot of them had it forced upon them. We didn't receive this family history until a few years ago. I had no idea that Joseph Smith was a polygamist until I was 39 years old! We were taught that it started with Brigham Young and the move west. Too many widows yada yada yada….. I was so shocked when I found out the truth of it all. I'm sort of a "black and white" person. I wasn't able to rationalize any of it. When I was studying before I decided to get out, I would read something and then ask myself this question "where is Jesus in any of this?" It didn't take long for me to realize he wasn't in mormonism at all.

  13. Violet says:

    Instead of sarcasm, maybe an honest answer would be appropriate. BY had 54 wives, and built a mansion for his favorite (with church money obviously). If someone asks about BY, and there are 12 million LDS, why would a mormon get defensive? Isn't polygamy still in doctrine and covenants, section 132, or 123 or something? The question is not a stupid one. And if someone does ask a stupid question, the bigger person could maybe still give a polite answer.

  14. Violet says:

    The Word of Faith movement is just that, a movement. It is not true Christianity. Its a fraud. Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen. 'If you just believe, you, you, you. . . ' That puts the responsibility on the person. Its the person's fault if they were not healed, its because they did not have enough faith. That is not biblical at all. We have faith in Christ Jesus for what he has done for us. Not faith in my lawn will be greener, my bank account will be bigger or my aunt will be healed. Two completely different faiths. Works are done to show our faith, not works to prove our faith to God. Two different works too.

  15. Violet says:

    I don't think any of us on this blog are anti-anything. I believe we are pro-true biblical Christianity. Mormonism likes an 'Us against Them', 'All other churches are Satan', and most of us aren't falling for that argument at all. Most of us feel great compassion that lds have been misled for so long. Its not just misled, its every minute is filled with church activity, paying tithing, doing, going, striving, comparing, excelling. I would like my neighbors to rest for just a minute. Really. And I am not being snotty. God loves them. And that's all I would like them to know.

  16. falcon says:

    Emotions and religion seem to go together. Some people really do get fired up and are quite demonstrative regarding their enthusiasm for God. For them a religious service is like going to a sporting event. I think the mistake these folks make is thinking that the more emotionally they react in a service, the more the Spirit of God is present. I heard one such TV preacher not long ago stating that the Spirit of God is drawn to enthusiastic worship. I don't know about that. It seems that that might be kind of unprovable.

  17. RalphNWatts says:

    So Kate and Falcon,

    Would you encourage people to read the BoM, BoA, D&C and other LDS promoting literature with an open mind? Or would you give them your biased opinion first and then encourage them to read it? Or would you tell them to steer clear from it? What if they were someone that was a new Christian, say 3 months after their conversion (eg converted from an atheistic background, or non-Bible believing background), would you recommend to them to steer clear of anti-Christian materials or even LDS-promoting materials? Or would you encourage them to read it with an open mind or after they hear your biased opinion?

    Let’s face it, you have a biased opinion, and so do I, so to really allow someone to research into something properly we need to allow them to do it without our biases interfering, otherwise we have brainwashed the person into a bias against or for what they are reading.

  18. f_melo says:

    "Or would you give them your biased opinion"

    Ralph, by biased opinion, do you mean undeniable facts?

  19. f_melo says:

    The way it is supposed to be read is, for example, for the epistles of Paul, as a letter, one long argument making a point, and actually taking every verse seriously. I didn´t read it like that – i would just read through it not paying attention to what Paul was actually saying, but i was looking for for those verses that "confirmed" mormon teachings, of course, when taken out of context. It is what you called the LDS lenses.

    Besides that you have to have, if possible, a knowledge of the background, you must stick to the context, etc.

  20. f_melo says:

    That´s a pretty shady character. You can´t compare that with Christianity… Engkei you´re just grabbing for anything remotely related and using it as if it is pertinent to the discussion.

  21. f_melo says:

    That smells like those people who claim that Christianity borrowed everything from ancient pagan religions. When you take a look at that stuff more closely, it gets clear that things are not similar at all. So, i´ll take a look at that and i want to actually read about it from historians, because from what i´ve seen before i have a hard time taking those claims seriously at all.

    For a terrible, poorly documented example of that kind of deception, take a look at this video:

  22. Kate says:


    would you recommend to them to steer clear of anti-Christian materials or even LDS-promoting materials? Or would you encourage them to read it with an open mind or after they hear your biased opinion?

    If a new Christian asked me about the LDS faith, I would answer their questions honestly. I would also encourage them to read and study absolutely EVERYTHING to do with the LDS faith and Christianity. How can one know what to truly believe if they don't study and research for themselves? I would have no reason to lie to them or steer them clear of anything related to the LDS church because they will see all the facts for themselves when they study it. No problem. I don't feel that I am biased either. Truth is either truth or it isn't. LDS leaders are either truth or they aren't. To me, Christ is truth. So I'm going to ask you the same question, would you encourage people to read the Journal of Discourses and all of the LDS church's history? Would you tell them right off the bat that you believe you are going to progress to godhood and be ruler of your own world with millions of eternally pregnant wives and they can too? Would you tell them all about the Masonic temple practices? Polygamy, racism, Adam God Doctrine? Would you lay the ENTIRE LDS religion out for them to ponder and study? Or would you pull the old "milk before meat" routine?

  23. f_melo says:

    Ralph is still here, he shows up when he thinks he has a decent argument, or he can point out flaws in other people´s arguments, as he did with me last post. Talking about that, what a coincidence, i had just got a book in the mail, the world Jesus knew, and i had no idea how the practice of baptism was present in the Old Testament, that book has a section on it, and now i understand it. So, you have pretty much the same symbolism, except for the receiving of the Holy Ghost, and again, in no way was it how the LDS portray it in their first principles and ordinances of the Gospel.

    You also have Mantis Mutu every once in a long while, but his arguments are not very good.

  24. falcon says:

    You seem to have settled into a mantra of "your opinion", "your interpretation" and now "biased opinion". Here's the problem that you have Ralph, you think like a Mormon. Your whole orientation is to religion. A Christian's orientation is to accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior and developing a personal relationship with Him. That's not religion.
    And please Ralph, save me the "brainwashing" charge. You belong to a cult that uses cult tactics and strategies to get people sucked into the cult and then fear mongering to keep them there.
    And would I encourage someone to read the Mormon standard works and LDS literature? Why would I have them do that? What would be the point? Mormonism claims another god, not the God of the Bible so we already know it's phony. Would I encourage them to read the Satanic Bible? What, just for fun?
    And what antiChristian material? Quite frankly, I don't care if they read it. When someone comes to Christ they are putting their faith in him and not some religious denomination. If you'd get yourself born again Ralph you'd get it. Christians don't tell people not to read certain things for fear they'll jump ship. In Mormonism the fear is that people will find out the truth about the cult, that's why they are discouraged (to put it lightly) from delving into the history of Joseph Smith and the Mormon church. Mormon leadership knows that once someone "gets it", they're gone.
    I'll continue to pray for you and your family Ralph, that you will come to know the God of the Bible and in knowing Him you will secure for yourself and your family eternal life through Jesus Christ Our Lord'; who lives and reigns in everlasting glory. Praise to His name.

  25. falcon says:

    In the old days…………….we use to get a lot of Mormons showing up here, all TBMs, but they went away. Things use to get lively to the point of being out of hand. I think what happens is that the TBMs soon figure out it's a lot more fun to go on the Mormon blogs and talk about how they're going to rule their planets.
    It's really no fun for them to come here because the Christians who post here, some exLDS know the Mormon program. So within a short time the TBMs paint themselves into a corner and give their testimony or say they're being persecuted.
    Let's face it, it's just a waste of time for the TBMs when there are folks around who know the Mormon program. No potential converts in the bunch; just those who want to expose the truth about Mormonism and lead folks to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

  26. falcon says:

    Excellent Kate,
    What I was referring to was Mormons who would come to a knowledge of the "angel with the sword" story and not be totally repulsed by it. I can understand a woman caught in a cult believing the dude's a prophet and being manipulated into marrying him.
    You tell a very sad story here about your relatives. They were trapped with no way out really.

  27. RalphNWatts says:


    You claim "Christians don't tell people not to read certain things for fear they'll jump ship."

    I have heard a number of Traditional Christians tell others not to read certain things as it would/could damage the readers' faith in God. I have heard many Traditional Christians tell people not to read the BoM or LDS literature because it is from the devil and it might persuade them to join the LDS church. OK, so you may not have a problem with people reading that stuff, but many others that I have met do and actively teach others not to read anything that is anti-Christian, especially if it is literature from another religion, like the LDS, JW, Hindu, Mulsim, etc. Kate the other day said that she wouldn't show her mother any LDS literature even though it supports her opinion and not her mother's.


    You have a bias towards Traditional Christianity. There have been many times in the past where others have given you a perspective that is different to yours with the evidence from archaeology, history and Bible, and you argued against them without listening to their side. That showed your bias. I am not saying you are wrong or right, I am just saying that everyone has a bias whether 'undeniable facts' come into play or not.

  28. falcon says:

    I'm guessing that the main reason that questioning Mormons have a problem with their questioning is because they would have to question the validity of their own spiritual experiences. They were told, and believed, that if they read the BoM with a sincere and humble heart and asked God to reveal to them if it is true and having been preconditioned to believe that a positive feeling indicated the Holy Ghost testifying to the truth of the BoM, and then you start finding out some things that aren't consistent with the burning in the bosom phenomenon, what do you do?
    Well a Mormon has to then question whether or not the burning in the bosom feeling was really produced by the Holy Ghost and if it wasn't, then what? OK now the Mormon questioner has their whole spiritual life falling apart; the supposed answers to prayers, the close moments with God in church, I'm mean where does the Mormon go now. It's the reason I believe so many Mormons become atheists. Because if what they've been feeling isn't an accurate picture of spiritual reality, then what is?
    I would say to that Mormon, the first thing you have to do is put aside your ideas about feelings and spirituality and hearing from God, testified to by feelings.
    It's maybe not as dynamic or fun, but I'd say kick your intellect into gear, get a Bible, learn the principles of inductive Bible study and get to it. You'll discover God and if by chance your prayers, meditation, Bible reading/study and fellowship with God's people makes you feel good, it's all a bonus, at least in my book. One of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is joy. That doesn't have anything to do with being happy, it has to do with knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and having confidence that having placed your faith in Him, you will have eternal life.

  29. f_melo says:

    "You have a bias towards Traditional Christianity. There have been many times in the past where others have given you a perspective that is different to yours with the evidence from archaeology, history and Bible, and you argued against them without listening to their side. That showed your bias. I am not saying you are wrong or right, I am just saying that everyone has a bias whether 'undeniable facts' come into play or not."

    Ok, Ralph, but how do you justify the Book of Abraham, for example where the translation is demonstrably false and it was not written by the hand of Abraham as the title page says and JS claimed? How do you deny JS use of the seer stone? Are those anti mormon? Is that a bias? No. Just as well as i could check a Bible translation by looking at the original manuscripts, all anyone has to do is to take the papyrus and check the real translation and see that the two don´t match. That´s simple and straightforward. All a person needs to do to find out that the Mormon priesthood system is man-made, is to check the Book of Commandments and then take a look at D&C, to see how the revelations were tampered with and added to, you also have the fact that it is easily seen that the BoM has much of the Bible plagiarized – it was a good thing for me to keep using the KJV because i could easily see how the BoM copies much of the themes and words used in it. Paul says "what wretched man i am" because of his weaknesses, and coincidently Nephi says the same thing for the same exact reason, "what wretched man that i am".
    Sorry, but that´s no bias, that´s fact that can be demonstrated by the Church own documents. The only way to keep a person from seeing that is if you go out of your way to spiritualize events and say, for example, that the BoA papyri were just an instrument of inspiration through which God opened Joseph´s mind to receive that revelation – and that´s just pathetic.

    That´s not anti mormon bias, those are demonstrable facts.

    You´re right thought, i do have a bias in favor of traditional Christianity of the protestant kind. When i see, for instance, the case of a archeologist saying that Jericho, which is found exactly how the Bible describes it, that it happened a long time before and the Hebrews then incorporated it into their writings as if they were the ones involved in it. Then when i look for a second opinion i see the flaws on that person´s judgement, and i, of course, will simply acknowledge the fact that the Bible is right and that archeologist is wrong in her interpretation of the evidence. But that has nothing to do with mormonism, because you can´t do that kind of stuff in mormonism.

  30. f_melo says:

    Kate, great answer! You´re absolutely correct – when mormons pull that "bias" card, they always forget about the stuff that isn´t faith-promoting.

  31. f_melo says:

    "If someone asks about BY, and there are 12 million LDS, why would a mormon get defensive? Isn't polygamy still in doctrine and covenants, section 132, or 123 or something?"

    Violet, you hit the nail in the head! Why would they get defensive, are they ashamed of their own beliefs? If you attend the mormon church you´ll notice that there nobody has a problem talking about becoming gods and creating worlds, etc. But try to have a conversation about that around people who are not mormons – they´ll get very shy all of a sudden. That´s one of the most curious things i´ve observed so far in a church that claims to have the truth, and yet its members are absolutely afraid of openly talking about their beliefs.

    Now, compare that to Christianity.

  32. Violet says:

    I was raised to not believe in any organized religion. God is in the flower. Not to get to 'Jesus freaky' because it was compared to being brainwashed like a hare krishna, a moonie, or even the third reich. I believe if a person has made it to 25 or 30, they pretty much have had a critical thought process once or twice. All of us, who have made it to adulthood, who want to raise children, or contemplate how our parents were raised, investigated religion at least a little bit.

    Most non-lds have a conflict regarding mormonism. Its all or nothing. Either you (a) are 100% in (js, golden plates, chariots, steel, a roman-empire size civilization leaving no traces; or (b) the non-lds are out of the circle of truth.

    See Steve Hassan's video, ex-mormon conference. 'If you don't believe, t.e.r.r.i.b.l.e. things will happen to you. LDS believe Jesus rose from the dead, but compare their Easter holiday with a Christians. Easter is everything for Christians. For mormons, its nice, but really, where are the crosses?

  33. Ralph,
    Here is my thoughts. I cannot tell you how frustrated I get with Christians who tell Mormons what they believe is wrong, yet they have never read the BoM and they only tell Mormons they are wrong because they heard a pastor say so. I suspect their are very few Christians in this world like me. I think for myself, not just say, I heard this or the pastor said that.

    Here in MN I listen to talk radio, I am a talk radio junkie. I dont keep it one sided, I listen to the liberal side from the National Public radio, then I listen to the conservative side with the local K-Talk raido, who has Rush Limbaugh and Jason Lewis and others. And no I dont agree with them on everything. I went on the radio and tried laying into Jason Lewis for how he was in my mind promoting false hood about the Bible, he refused to talk to me, changed the subject and hung up on me.

    When I first started talking with LDS I would go to them, ask questions and say, I heard you teach this is that true. They would say no we dont, then I would find sources Like MRM or the Tanners and show the LDS, They would accuse me of reading anti mormon books or using anti mormon sources, so I spent my own money and bought the entire JoD, the 4 Standard works, the Original D and C and tons of other books, I read them and then went to the LDS and tried showing them the problems I found. Guess what Ralph, the LDS would refuse to look at them, I even went to Utah to tour the temple area and ask questions.

    Guess what Ralph, I had security called on me for asking questions and LDS refused to speak with me when others were around. I talk loud, but it's because I am hard of hearing, and I asked one Female MM some questions, a group was touring where I was asking my question, some one from that group walked up and said that was a great question, Immediately her partner took this group of about 6 and said lets go over here and walked them away.

    Your lying to yourself if you think LDS do not do that kind of stuff. Seriously I keep putting this challenge out to LDS who like you claim LDS do not lie and a up front and honest about what they believe. I keep saying I will give any LDS member my phone number and where I live, You can meet me a my house or a public place like a coffee house or restaurant Etc, when we have a time and place set I will contact some Local MM's from a church and have them meet us, You or who ever takes me up on this challenge is not allowed to say who you are or whats really going on because then that will change how the MM's act. I will ask honest questions that I always ask, and will provide LDS books with problems and contradictions in them.

    You will clearly see LDS lie about what they believe and dodge questions and do all kinds of things I accuse them of, and guess what Ralph, I have NEVER had a Mormon take me up on this challenge, and I suspect every LDS member knows I am correct and that is why they never will. You will never see me as a christian tell you, sorry I cannot answer that question because we need milk before meat, or you will never see me give you a reply about what I believe when in fact I believe something different. I am so straight forward about what I believe and can defend what I believe and back up everything I believe to the point I have made other Christians mad at me because I pull no punches and do not hold back, where other Christians have stated I should hold back.

    I have stated before, I am here to share Christ with the lost and shine a light in the darkness to expose lies and deceit, If that means I make people mad so be it. I am not here looking for a pat on the back and a scratch behind the ears and told I am a good boy. If you dont like me or people dont like me, I really dont care, all that matters is I hear the words well done good and faithful servant from Jesus, Not DEPART FROM ME, FOR I NEVER KNEW YOU, YOU WORKER OF EVIL, simply because I cared more about what man has thought.

    So back to the point at hand, I tell people read the BoM and study the LDS teachings and see for yourself the problems, I tell Christians, If you go to share the gospel with someone who clearly says the Bible is full of problems and contradictions and you then ask them, have you ever read the Bible? and they say No I have not, do you really want to talk with them? They clearly have a bias that the bible is wrong even thought they never read it.

    I tell Christians to show the same respect to the LDS, You cannot sit here and tell an LDS member they are wrong if you never read their books, I can tell LDS they are wrong because I read all the standard works for myself and saw the problems. So Ralph, I do defend the LDS in some ways against the ignorant Christians, and I even mentioned this on my Mormon blog years ago, so I have an electronic time stamped form of evidence if people try and say I am lying. To bad the LDS really are not more honest as they claim.

  34. RalphNWatts says:


    I would recommend anyone to read any LDS material they can get their hands on when they are investigating or new members. Then tell them if they have questions to come and ask. As far as LDS believing we can become gods and creators of our own worlds, it’s in the first 2 or 3 chapters of the ‘Gospel Principles’ manual which all new members are taught from, so there is no cover up of it from new members. The ‘eternally pregnant’ remark is just an opinion based upon some of our doctrines and past comments of church leaders which were not the prophet at the time. It may be true, but it may not. We have not been told how the spirit bodies are formed, just that it needs 2 parents. But think about it – it’s a spirit body and the parents have a physical body, there will be differences in how spirit children come about compared to how our physical children are conceived and born here on this earth. Yes, I agree with the ‘old milk before meat routine’, but if someone is like me and wants to research as much as possible, then I will let them, as long as they come and ask their questions from the right source.

  35. RalphNWatts says:


    Here you do show a bias. There are eye witness accounts stating that the papyri JS had in his possession was over 8 metres in length together. There was also a description of the section that JS said contained the BoA writings. What we have available to us now is less than one eighth of what JS had, and none of it resembles what he said was the BoA. You can say what you like about the things JS wrote on the sides of the papyri we have now, but he could have been trying to translate it without God’s help to see if he could do it, where as with the section that contained the BoA he could have translated that with God’s help. But you don’t want to acknowledge that this is plausible, your bias points you to say that what we have is all that JS had because the writing on the sides are in JS hand writing, it means that JS could not translate the language and made up the BoA. If you were unbiased, you would include in your comments the evidence that we may not have the BoA section of papyrus which indicates that the jury is still out.

  36. RalphNWatts says:


    What can I say. Although we have butted heads now and then, I like the no holds barred way you do things. Yes, it is best that one researches their subject before doing anything else about it, as the source of their information, if it is from outside or a third party, could be incorrect. It is estimated that up to 30 percent of scientific papers have incorrectly referenced their manuscript because the person just uses another paper that has made reference to the information they wanted, rather than them actually reading the original paper itself.

    As far as telling the truth, I always try to do that. I have mentioned a number of times that as a missionary I taught one lady. She went out and borrowed 3 books from the library about the LDS church after our first lesson. One was an LDS book, another was a general book about the religions that have grown up over the last 2 centuries and the third was from an ex-member who had in there the temple ceremony as well as other things like that. All the questions she had, like do we believe that we can become gods, etc, I answered truthfully and explained the answer. Her comment was usually she couldn’t believe that but she was grateful for our honesty. Eventually she joined the LDS church and was ostracized by her friends and family.

  37. RalphNWatts says:


    I have heard that argument before – where is the cross? As you probably are aware, we LDS believe that the Atonement started in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus started His suffering for the sins of the world, went on to His crucifixion and death, and culminated in His resurrection. Without any one of these steps the Atonement would not be able to save us from both physical and spiritual death. Since Jesus is alive and His resurrection was the final part of the Atonement we look to a living Christ for our eternal life. So we focus on the whole Atonement and the fact the tomb was empty, not on His death only. Hence, no crosses or crucifixes adorn our buildings. However, if my daughters buy or receive as a present a cross necklace/earrings/bracelet, I would have no problem with them wearing it if they wanted, but I draw the line at a crucifix.

  38. Brian says:

    Dear Violet,

    Thanks for this wonderful post. Romans 4 is just astonishing, isn't it?

  39. jackg says:


    You use the word "bias" as a catch-all. What kind of argument do you think you're presenting? Do you think it's cogent?


  40. jackg says:


    You're right about the empty tomb. If Jesus didn't resurrect His death would have meant nothing. But, He died for our sins, and that happened on the cross. He overcame death that we might have eternal life, and that happened when He resurrected. Gethsemane was the place of preparation. The question of the cross in the LDS Church is valid because Paul specifically taught that he was not ashamed of the cross. Why his focus on the cross in this context? What are your thoughts on this?


  41. f_melo says:

    "but he could have been trying to translate it without God’s help to see if he could do it, where as with the section that contained the BoA he could have translated that with God’s help."

    Absolutely baseless assumptions. That´s all you have – assumptions.

    Ralph, it doesn´t matter if the thing was 8 meters or 8 feet, the fact still remains that the fac-similes are demonstrably wrong and have no relation to the hieroglyphs, the Egyptian dictionary and grammar is a joke, and that "new" detail about Abraham knowing astronomy was stolen from Josephus. If that doesn´t prove that Joseph made it all up, nothing will… You´re the one biased, but one day you´re not going to be able to run from the truth anymore.

  42. Violet says:

    What about the LDS who teach people who know nothing about the bible, the nature of God, or the nature of sin when mormons have been studying the bom their whole life, not reading the bible in context, yet announce they are from the Church of Jesus Christ (of LDS)? Isn't that deceptive in itself.? Why don't they call themsevles the Church of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, the Prophets (of Latter Day Saints?)

  43. Violet says:

    He didn't just die. He suffered the worst possible death for sinners. Its easy to give up one's life for someone who is worthy, a good guy. I would take a bullet for my children, but a poor lousy awful person, that is what Jesus did. While He was on the cross, God could have saved him, but God gave us His son's blood to cover our sins. We are saved by his stripes. Its too gory for mormons. You look to a living Christ but your Christ is different from the biblical Christ. That is the point of Christ Jesus is our Heavenly Father. We don't pray to God, and Jesus is His son. They are one. If you focused on the empty tomb, why the rituals, tithing, perfection, progressing to become gods? Why the Kolob, planets, spirit children, eternal marriage. Sounds like a religion that focuses on self-improvement, idolizing happy families. What about those people who don't measure up? Conform or be cast out. What about the ones who are cast out? Tough luck?

  44. Ralph, I really am glad you like my no holds barred approach, I just wish more believers would take that approach. Anyway, If I think a mormon is lying or simply ignorant I will say so, but on the other hand I have noticed many believers that really dont have a clue and call them on the carpet also.

    I read in the Bible Jesus rebuking people that do not like Him or believe He was God, but then on the other hand I noticed Jesus rebuking His own followers and even His family. I want people to rebuke me if I am wrong, but at the same time I want people who feel I am wrong to back it up. I hate it when Christians tell me they dont like my style or approach and try and rebuke me for it, Then I give them examples of Jesus saying and doing things like I did, and the response I get is well your not Jesus.

    That is not being honest with me, But now if I said something that was a lie for example, Like maybe I said, Hey guys Ralph said….

    And you then come here and say, Rick I dont recall saying that can you quote me, and I never do, then I would expect even fellow believers to call me out and rebuke me for lying or giving the appearance of lying. Sadly that is a rare thing. But I try to be fair and honest and rebuke all who need it and give detailed examples and evidence of why I do or say what I do.

  45. Violet says:

    No one is arguing your sincerity, your kindness, your intelligence, or your devotion to Christ. What I believe, most of us are saying, is that your defense is purely emotional. There are no facts to hold up your case. It would fall apart in court. Scott Peterson was convicted on purely circumstantial evidence. There is nothing to prove mormonism. There were loving, good mormons, 50 who died defending their faith, but more than that were brutally murdered in the Mountains Meadows Massacre. There is nothing JS could do that was wrong in your eyes. Its like a mother defending her son. I would make up a million excuses too. The facts speak for themselves, archeologically, historically, linguistically, copying from the bible, famous war story written before the bom, teenage girls, becoming political leader as well as prophet of town, money with js' face, js burning a printing press (how is that possible? freedom of press?) There is nothing he can do that you can see wrong, ever. The bible says if someone comes to your house to preach ANOTHER gospel, do not let them in. It doesn't even say False gospel. It says another. If the bom is not another gospel, I don't know what is.

  46. Violet says:

    Interesting article on front page of mormon research ministry website referring to a mormon who wrote an entire book on the 'steps' of the atonement and how it started in the g of g.

  47. f_melo says:

    "All the questions she had, like do we believe that we can become gods, etc, I answered truthfully and explained the answer."

    It´s interesting because mormon missionaries are not straightforward about those "deeper" things… that´s why people join it thinking that they are joining a Christian Church. A lot of the people here that i know that are members of the church and come from lower economic classes have no clue that mormonism is a polytheistic religion.

    What is curious is that she actually went to check it out and eventually joined it… I had a 15 year-old do the same to me, and her case was the opposite. She figured out quite quickly the doctrine of men becoming gods, even though we said that we "would become like him". She said no, and never joined. Smart girl! Put me to shame!

  48. Ralph, LDS can dismiss the Cross, or even act as if it is nothing, and LDS can place more focus on the garden but here is the problem. The OT speaks of the Cross and never the garden. Go back to Genesis, God told Lucifer his head would be crushed and that crushing came at the Cross when Jesus Died.

    After God created the nation of Israel and Moses came onto the scene, we see the Cross when God told everyone to kill a lamb (Jesus is our lamb) and put the lambs blood on the door, The blood formed a Cross, No mention in any way of the garden. All who were in the houses with the Blood (Under the Cross and blood of Christ) Were saved. I'm speaking of the pass over in case someone is not sure.

    After Moses and the children of Israel were wandering the dessert they would set up camp. If you look into the way the camp was set up it formed a Cross, so when Jesus looked down He would see the Cross.

    You can read detailed prophecy's of the crucifixion to come and How exactly Jesus would die, how His clothes would be gambled for, how He would be offered a sponge with Vinegar Etc. Again no prophecy's of the garden.

    Go back to Cain and Able, Able pleased God, Cain did not, Why? Able gave animal sacrifices and as the Bible tells us, their is no forgiveness of sins with out the shedding of blood. Cain was a tiller of the ground, we ARE NOT SAVED BY ARE OWN WORKS. The garden offers up no sacrifice of blood. Jesus Goes onto say, You search the scriptures because THEY TESTIFY OF ME. The OT speaks of His coming to die and exactly how it will happen. LDS go out of their way to remove the power of the Cross and focus on things that God never intended, Like the garden. Lucifer hates the Cross, it spelled his damnation and our rescue for eternity.

    So you listen and follow your father and remove the power of the Cross, Even the bible says THE CROSS IS FOOLISHNESS TO THOSE WHO PERISH. Clearly the Cross is Foolishness to the LDS. How sad for you guys, The thing that says and played a major role in our salvation is rejected by so many.

  49. f_melo says:

    "As far as LDS believing we can become gods and creators of our own worlds, it’s in the first 2 or 3 chapters of the ‘Gospel Principles’ manual"

    Ralph, if that´s there, it´s extremely watered down… it doesn´t say that with so much clarity – a person who doesn´t know more about the religion will never read that they´ll become gods who will create their own world. What i´m seeing you doing is a lot of rationalization…

    " so there is no cover up of it from new members"

    I just laughed real hard! Are you joking? There´s no cover up? There are MAJOR cover ups! Polygamy is one of the classic examples of the cover up! "Oh, no, that stuff was a loooong time ago, it was just a practice because of the widows(yeah, right), and it´s not doctrine". (dedicated to Gordon Hinckley, the national liar).

    "But think about it – it’s a spirit body and the parents have a physical body"

    And that makes no sense whatsoever – shouldn´t we reproduce after our kind?

    "Yes, I agree with the ‘old milk before meat routine"

    So, you agree with practicing deception. Good to know. You know, i get sick and tired of mormons justifying that *** using Jesus, but usually they always take Him out of context.
    What Jesus was holding back from the Apostles was revealed later, it was not a new fantastic doctrine that taught that God was the spaghetti monster, or an exalted man, it was simply that the Gospel was to be shared with the Gentiles. Even the things that Jesus said in secret to the disciples, He commanded them to reveal after He was gone.

    John 18:"20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing."

  50. f_melo says:

    Ralph, if the Garden was a necessary step, why only Luke spoke about it? Why we don´t hear about that Garden ever again?

    That´s just Joseph trying to be better than other religions, saying that he knows more…

    "but I draw the line at a crucifix"

    1 Corinthians 1:18 "18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."

    That´s in your Bible, Ralph. Interesting also that the Mormon Church puts no references to any of those words, even though the word "cross" is one of the most important words in the New Testament.

    Ralph, that´s a testament to your ignorance of the Cross, and your stubbornness to not take the Bible seriously. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul says that Jesus died for our sins, not bled for our sins.

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