A Personal Relationship With Jesus

Mormon Times guest blogger Kate Jensen wrote about some of her memories from growing up in Texas in the 1980s. In a piece titled “To see forever,” Ms. Jensen provided a little background on her Mormon faith as she explained, “its true that all church members seek to develop and maintain personal relationships with God the Father and the Savior, Jesus Christ through the Gift of the Holy Ghost.”

I was interested in Ms. Jensen’s reference to developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ because, as she was growing up in Texas in the ‘80s, LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie was speaking out publically against seeking, developing and maintaining a personal relationship with Christ.

On March 2nd 1982, Mr. McConkie spoke at Brigham Young University and delivered an address he titled, “Our Relationship With the Lord.” He began by telling his listeners that he would explain what must be believed relative to the Father and the Son “in order to gain eternal life.” He continued, “I shall express the views of the Brethren…everyone who is sound spiritually and who has the guidance of the Holy Spirit will believe my words and follow my counsel.” Bruce McConkie, as a Latter-day apostle, counseled (in part),

  • “Now, it is no secret that many false and vain and foolish things are being taught in the sectarian world and even among us about our need to gain a special relationship with the Lord Jesus.” (Our Relationship With the Lord, typed transcript, 2)
  • “…the devil would rather spread false doctrine about God and the Godhead, and induce false feelings with reference to one of them, than almost any other thing he could do. The creeds of Christendom illustrate perfectly what Lucifer wants so-called Christian people to believe about Deity in order to be damned.” (3)
  • “We worship the Father and him only and no one else. We do not worship the Son and we do not worship the Holy Ghost.” (5)
  • “Now, in spite of all these truths, which ought to be obvious to every spiritually enlightened person, heresies rear their ugly heads among us from time to time. There are those…who have an excessive zeal which causes them to go beyond the mark. Their desire for excellence is inordinate. In an effort to be truer than true they devote themselves to gaining a special, personal relationship with Christ that is both improper and perilous. I say perilous because this course, particularly in the lives of some who are spiritually immature, is a gospel hobby which creates an unwholesome holier-than-thou attitude.” (18-19)
  • “Another peril is that those so involved often begin to pray directly to Christ because of some special friendship they feel has been developed. In this connection a current and unwise book, which advocates gaining a special relationship with Jesus, contains this sentence: ‘Because the Savior is our mediator, our prayers go through Christ to the Father, and the Father answers our prayers through his Son.’ This is pure sectarian nonsense.” (19-20)
  • “Now I know that some may be offended at the counsel that they should not strive for a special and personal relationship with Christ. It will seem to them as though I am speaking out against mother love, or Americanism, or the little red school house. But I am not. There is a fine line here over which true worshippers will not step.” (20)
  • “ And you have never heard one of the First Presidency of the Twelve…advocate this excessive zeal that calls for gaining a so-called special and personal relationship with Christ.” (21)
  • “I am well aware that some who have prayed for endless hours feel they have a special and personal relationship with Christ that they never had before. I wonder if this is any or much different, however, from the feelings of fanatical sectarians who with glassy eyes and fiery tongues assure us they have been saved by grace and are assured of a place with the Lord in a heavenly abode…I wonder if it is not a part of Lucifer’s system to make people feel they are special friends of Jesus when in fact they are not following the normal and usual pattern of worship found in the true [LDS] Church.” (22)
  • “I do not suppose that what I have here said will be an end to controversy or to the spread of false views and doctrines. The devil is not dead and he delights in controversy. But you have been warned, and you have heard the true doctrine taught.” (24)

As a Christian, I treasure the amazing, intimate relationship I have with my Savior – a profound and deeply personal relationship He graciously offers to all people who seek Him. I find it impossible to believe that a true apostle of Jesus Christ would teach such things; for, as Jerald and Sandra Tanner have pointed out,

“From beginning to end the New Testament stresses the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In Matthew 11:28 we find Jesus Himself saying: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ This same theme continues right into the book of Revelation where Jesus says: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.’ (Revelations 3:20) The Apostle Paul certainly taught a close personal relationship with Christ in his epistles. For instance, in Philippians 3:8-10 we read: ‘Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;’”

Now this–the call through the Word of God to a special, personal relationship with Jesus Christ–is true doctrine.

About Sharon Lindbloom

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

  1. Kate says:

    As a Mormon, I never had a personal relationship with Jesus. It was the father to whom we prayed, Jesus was demoted to our spirit brother who loved us enough to atone for our sins. We never prayed to him. Now I am grateful to know the true God of the Bible. Jesus is so much more than my spirit brother and I am thankful to have a personal relationship with him. Reading Bruce McConkie’s words made me sick. I guess in order to have the masses believe in and follow false teachings and false prophets, one has to first get them away from the true and living God and his Word.

  2. Brian says:

    Amazing. So many interesting items in this article you’ve written, Sharon. Thanks! I don’t really know where to begin. There was one item that jumped out at me. Bruce McConkie states the following:

    “We worship the Father and him only and no one else. We do not worship the Son and we do not worship the Holy Ghost.”

    From his statement, I deduce he is saying he does not worship Jesus Christ. In response to Bruce McConkie, I would remind him that in God’s word, we read of several instances where people worship Jesus. And what was Jesus’ reaction? Did he rebuke them? No. Tell them that all spiritual people know this is wrong? No. He accepted their worship. Why is that, Mr. McConkie? I will give you the reason: he is God.

  3. Mike R says:

    Kate, what a great statement ! It reminded me Acts 26: 18 .
    Brian, you made your point very well. The Bible is clear on this issue.

    I think this thread topic might not be well received by those Mormons who have
    been lured from Christian churches into joining the Mormon church as they have
    at one time learned something quite different from what Apostle McConkie is
    teaching. They might argue that they indeed have a personal relationship with
    Jesus, however it would beneficial to their eternal well being to remind them that
    the Jesus they have traded for can’t actually give them eternal life since He’s only
    their brother, and Lucifer’s brother. This is not the Jesus we meet in the Scriptures,
    rather, it is ” another Jesus” [ 2Cor.11:4] One who has been revealed by particular
    prophets who were predicted to arise in the latter-days– Matt24:11 .
    One quick note on McConkie and worshipping of Jesus . Spencer Kimball said
    he worshiped Jesus , and McConkie at the end of his life claimed he did to, though
    we probably don’t know exactly what he may have meant by that term.

  4. falcon says:

    No ego with McConkie was there. Excuse me, what a jerk! It’s the old “Listen to me, I have the truth” routine of the false prophets and apostles that do and have inhabited the Mormon Church.
    I’ve talked before about how one of my main goals when my daughter was growing-up was to “cult proof” her. I did this first and foremost by teaching her the main fundamental doctrines of the orthodox Christian church. I did this informally as we would be driving along in the car having discussions about religion.
    The second thing I taught her was how cults operate and what they do to seduce people. I must say it has served in well. At twenty-four years old, she still comes to me with questions and I always go back to the fundamentals. Vince Lombardi, the legendary Green Bay Packers coach use to say, “Football is a simple game. It’s blocking and tackling.” What he meant, of course, is if players are sound fundamentally, they will be successful.
    There are about nine things that a Christian needs to know well when it comes to Christian doctrine. When some cult comes pounding on the door all that is necessary is compare their doctrine to that which has been handed down to us from the Church Fathers who learned it from the apostles who learned it from Jesus.
    Interlopers like Joseph Smith can claim visions and revelations and a new word from the Lord, but if it doesn’t agree with the doctrine that leads to eternal life, it needs to be dispatched immediately.
    It’s really not that hard.

  5. falcon says:

    The Mormon concept of God is not a restoration of anything because what they believe about God was never apart of the early primitive Christian Church. The paper trail is there for any Mormon to examine if they have the curiosity and courage. The Mormon concept of the nature of God isn’t even in the BoM which further tells us that Joseph Smith and the “prophets” who followed him, were pretty much in a free flow state of consciousness regarding who God is.
    The confusion over whether or not Mormons should have a personal relationship with Jesus is further evidence that these folks don’t know if they are on foot or horseback. Delusion, confusion and a rash of emotions is part-and-parcel of the Mormon experience.
    Knowing who Jesus is, is the starting point to having a personal relationship with Him. Seeing Jesus as less than God incarnate won’t lead to salvation. Basing one’s view of Our Lord and Savior on the shifting sands of Mormon doctrine, is a dead end.

  6. Mike R says:

    In my conversations with Mormons I have found the vast majority of them
    to be decent people who are striving to serve God. They have reminded me
    that they are Christians who seek to live as Jesus taught, they testify of their
    devotion to Him. All this is good and proper. There is however an ominous
    undercurrent to all this as LDS are counseled that having a testimony of Jesus,
    striving to gain a personal relationship with Him is not enough to secure God’s
    approval to gain entrance to His presence in Heaven- eternal life. This is because
    LDS must submit to a modern day prophet’ s spiritual guidance as well:
    ” President Ezra T. Benson cautioned that ‘ one who rationalizes that he or she
    has a testimony of Jesus Christ but cannot accept direction and counsel from the
    leadership of His church is in a fundamental unsound position and is in jeopardy of
    losing exaltation.’ ” [ Church manual, Search These Commandments” p.5 ]
    Ms Jensen, in the story above needs to know who the God is that they have directed
    LDS to. What have these men revealed about God and Jesus beyond what the Missionaries
    give to people . That is the most important question Ms Jensen needs to answer.

  7. falcon says:

    I agree that piety, being devout, having zeal and leading a morally upright life are all exemplary qualities. But any religion can have disciples that exemplify these characteristics. These things are sort of what religion is suppose to produce. At the end of the day, what sets Christianity a part is that God has provided a means of salvation to believers that isn’t incumbent on their behavior but on His. God the Father, through His Son Jesus Christ, has provided an antidote for our hopeless sin laden condition.
    The problem with Mormonism is that what God has provided isn’t enough for them. God, who reveals Himself in His Holy Word, isn’t even enough for Mormons. They have to add on Joseph Smith and their modern prophets to a god that obviously is not sufficient. The Mormon god, after all, is just a sinful man, who through clean living and hard work, transferred himself into a god just like countless other sinful men.
    It’s no wonder that Mormons don’t get too excited about Jesus. He’s no different than their uncle Gus who they see once a year at a family reunion.

  8. Mike R says:

    May we encourage our LDS friends to make a choice? A choice that is of the highest
    importance, the very highest. Choose between a relationship with Jesus as is revealed
    in the Bible, or continue to with the Mormon version . They are not the same . A choice
    must be made. The Bible reveals God’s will for those who are reconciled to Him by what
    Jesus did for them on the cross is to be placed in a personal relationship with Jesus, this
    as in normal relationships, involves one on one interaction. Believers in Jesus want to
    thus communicate with their Savior, this involves worship and prayer: Matt 14:33; 28:9
    2Cor.12:8-10; Acts 7:59 etc. Mormon leaders however have counseled LDS that the
    Father is only to be worshiped, not the Son. The Mormon First Presidency has made that
    clear several times. This being the case , it would appear that sincere LDS have another
    type of “relationship” with Jesus Christ. It seems that by this term it only means to emulate
    Jesus, He’s their example for how to conduct their lives etc. Thus Mormon leaders have
    short-changed sincere LDS by their claim of authority to provide trustworthy scriptural
    guidance. It has been claimed that ” The living prophet: OUR SOURCE of pure doctrine ”
    May our LDS friends return the prophets that God has actually provided for our safe
    spiritual guidance, and dismiss their so-called “latter-day ” prophets. God is waiting.

  9. Kate says:

    Mike and falcon,

    Great posts. Falcon I have a question for you, it’s a little off topic, you were raised Catholic and I’m wondering how you came out of the religion. Coming out of Mormonism made me a little angry for awhile and I’m wondering if you experienced that. Do you also witness to Catholics?

  10. falcon says:

    Anger wouldn’t begin to characterize my feelings when I was twenty years old and walked away from my Catholic faith. I was down right hostile. I stopped believing in God and wanted nothing to do with religion. Over time and through a series of miraculous events, God led me to the cross where I collapsed; a miserable sinner with no hope. He then raised me to my feet and taught me how to walk by His grace and in the Spirit without being confined by religion. This is what a relationship with Jesus is all about.
    Now to your second question as to whether or not I witness to Catholics? OK, here comes the difficult part. In some ways your question presupposes that Catholics aren’t Christians or aren’t saved. Believe me, I have some real problems with Catholic theology, but I’m a little more forgiving in my views as to who is saved and who is not. I embody a contradiction like saying I’m a liberal-conservative.
    When my dad, who died at 92, was coming to the end of his trail, I had to ask myself a real hard question which was, “Does my dad have faith in Jesus?” That is, “saving faith”. In-other-words, if I were to walk my dad through a series of questions in an attempt to ascertain his spiritual status, how would he answer? It was my belief that he was saved whether or not he ever prayed the sinner’s prayer or walked down the aisle of a Crusade or had all the theological ducks lined up just right.
    Years ago, I asked my mother the standard question, “If you were to die today and stood before Jesus and He were to ask you, ‘Why should I let you into my heaven?’, what would you say?” She replied, “Because of what you (Jesus) did for me.” BINGO! My mother is now 94. She watches the Catholic channel on TV non-stop. I don’t mess with Catholic theology with her because the point (for me) is that she knows how to get to the father.
    So while I’m a real stickler for correct doctrine, I tend to cut folks a little more slack than I used to regarding what it takes/means to be saved.
    I can’t, however, cut Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses et. al. any slack. That’s because they acknowledge another god. It isn’t that they’re off a couple of centimeters in their theology.

  11. Mike R says:

    I ran across this testimony of Staci Lee, a former Mormon.
    ” I was a Mormon, so when I finally read the Bible without trying to find my LDS
    beliefs in it, it got a lot easier to understand….and told a different story than I
    expected…The Church of Jesus Christ LDS gives people a false Jesus not just by
    redefining Him, but by allowing Mormons to simply incorporate Christ into their
    lives.In Mormonism( as perhaps in mant religions), a person can begin to do what
    they think is more Christ-like , donating money to charity, visiting the sick, praying
    etc,., without ever having to personally meet and go up against God one on one.
    Christianity is not this way. There is no making Jesus a part of the life you already
    have…..Mormonism gives people the right words to hold, the good ideals to shoot
    for. What it does not and cannot give it’s people is GOD Almighty. Believing God is
    my father and Jesus my brother makes salvation/atonement not as significant an
    issue.The belief that I can become a goddess keeps me from prostrating myself before
    the One unimaginably Worthy and Holy God that there ever is and ever will be, in fear
    admiration, and utter awe and worthiness . My salvation came when I finally saw God
    for who He truely is….”

  12. Brian says:

    Thanks for telling us of your spiritual journey, falcon. And Staci’s testimony was also quite profound.

    “The Mormon concept of the nature of God isn’t even in the BoM.” That’s an amazing point, falcon.

    Imagine for a moment how Bruce McConkie might answer the question: “Is there more than one God?” I can picture someone then responding, “The Book of Mormon asks this question too. But it gives a short, one-syllable answer. An answer very different from yours.” I wonder what his reaction would be?

    In the quotes above, he comes across as rather strident. I was struck by his regard for Christians (or sectarians, as he seemed to prefer). He characterized those who actually believe the promises God has made in his word as fanatical, glassy eyed, and fiery tonged. I think those of us who believe God’s promises are not fanatical, we simply take God at his word. Now, I confess I am sometimes glassy eyed (such as when it’s gotten late and I am tired). What about fiery tonged? I think the trophy for that would have to go to Bruce McConkie.

  13. falcon says:

    There’s a big difference between viewing Jesus as God and as a valiant older sibling. The twisted thinking of Mormonism presents a god, a Jesus, a Holy Ghost and a Holy Spirit that are antithetical to the reality of who God is. However if a Mormon is in a brain lock, viewing God as less than he really is, the “logic” of Mormonism makes sense. And at the point where a Mormon comes to understand and believe in God as He is, (the Mormon) will have no choice but to leave Mormonism.
    It isn’t the funny underwear, the temple costumes or the bizarre rituals that Mormons perform that are most repulsive, it’s the whole sale rejection of God and the embracing of the men to gods scenario.
    Growing-up I thought God was my enemy. It was His job to catch me doing something wrong and send me to hell for it. Christ’s death on the cross, in my mind, made it possible for me to get to heaven if I was good enough. To keep the faithful in line, the Catholic church had a very strict legalistic system. I finally got to the point where I could see the hypocrisy of it all and I dropped out of the program.
    Even today, their are fundamentalist Christian groups who while holding to the basic doctrines of the faith, rule by guilt and shame. While preaching a salvation message of a personal relationship with Jesus, they attach so many rules to the Christian “walk”, that they rob the believer of the joy God intended us to have.
    The Mormon system has the double wamy of preaching a false god and a false gospel, but also a legalistic religious system that strangles its members and holds them hostage in an impossible rule-bound system.
    One thing that I would say to a Mormon who is interested in establishing a relationship with the Biblical Jesus is that if you do come to faith in Him, don’t allow yourself to be bound-up in religious law. The “personal” in personal relationship, is getting to know Jesus without the confining restrictions of a formal religious system.
    The Apostle Paul, in one of his letters said to those he had preached to, “I purposed to know nothing else but Christ and Him crucified.”
    It is all about Jesus.

  14. gpark says:

    I’d like to address three things. 1) Jesus is, indeed, worthy of our worship, and He received worship many times in Scripture. The instances below occurred during His time on Earth. In the verses in which Jesus is addressed as Lord, a form of Kurios is used. The meanings, from http://www.searchgodsword.org/lex/grk/view.cgi?number=2962 are, as follows: he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord; the possessor and disposer of a thing; the owner; one who has control of the person, the master; in the state: the sovereign, prince, chief, the Roman emperor; is a title of honour expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants greet their master; this title is given to: God, the Messiah.

    Matthew 8:2-3, NKJV, 2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. (Jesus received worship here.)

    Matthew 9:18, NKJV, 18 While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.” 19 So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples. (Jesus received worship here.)

    Matthew 14:28-33, NKJV, 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” (Jesus received worship here.)

    John 20:24-29, NKJV, 24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
    (Jesus received worship here.)

    See, also, Philippians 2:9-11, NKJV, 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (This is instruction that Jesus is definitely to be worshipped!)

    2) Being in relationship with Jesus
    Jesus said, in John 15:5-6, NKJV, 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. (Jesus instructs here that He is the one in Whom we must abide and, without Whom we will be cast out. This is definitely instruction, from Jesus, that we must be in relationship with Him!)

    Romans 7:4, NKJV, Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. (We are the bride of Christ!)

    3) Prayer to Jesus
    John 14:13-14, NKJV, 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

    Acts 1:24-25, NKJV, 24 And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen 25 to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.”

    Acts 7:59-60, NKJV, 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

    Acts 8:24, NKJV, Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.”

  15. falcon says:

    When the Apostle Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus, he went from a man who was wrapped-up in religion to a man who found his God, his Lord, his King and his Messiah. In-other-words, Paul’s life was transformed from a person who tried to please God through religious rituals, strict adherence to dietary laws and the observance of religious holy days to a man who accepted the fact that only through Jesus Christ could he find spiritual contentment and completeness.
    There’s only one thing that really pleases God and that’s faith in Him and a transformed life in gratitude for what He did for us through Jesus. Believers are enslaved to Christ. Mormons are enslaved to a religious system that they suppose will pay benefits in the end, specifically to become gods and goddesses. This is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mormonism is a weird concoction of a man for whom lust and power were a driving force. This is what Joseph Smith was enslaved to.
    There’s enough 19th century evangelical Christian revivalism mixed in to Smith’s strange religious invention to give Mormonism a spiritual ambiance. Some piety, devotion, zeal and morality serve to disguise the trap from the prey.
    The escape route from a bad ending is through Jesus Christ; not religion and certainly not vain attempts to please God through a series of empty works.

  16. Arkwelder says:

    I like this blog. It seems very balanced and even-handed. I’m a Mormon, but I still like to come here because it seems worthwhile. The greater crime, and McConkie was arguably the ring leader in all this at one time, is proposing the Mediator himself needs to appoint mediators between himself and his followers. I don’t know if everyone here has read McConkie’s mean-spirited letter to BYU professor Eugene English, but the underlying message was clear: “Forget about Jesus; I am your Jesus.” Speaking of relationship, I recently wrote a blog post passionately denouncing “saved by works”. I don’t think the GAs are corrupt, ill-intentioned men, but they sure “come near to [the Lord] with their mouth and honor [him] with their lips, but their hearts are far from [him].” …And McConkie, unless someone can enlighten me, was the worst one. Anyway, if you’re interested: http://failmo.blogspot.com/ . It’s at the top. I am not a first time poster, but I am a first-time-with-Wordpress poster. Don’t know if I am welcome here, but I like the fair, reasoned approach, and I strive to do the same.

  17. falcon says:

    The Bible’s pretty clear on who Jesus is. The Apostle John says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” He also writes, “He was in the beginning with God.” Further: “All things came into being through Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” Finally: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
    To Mormons Jesus is the offspring of a mother/father god/goddess combination who produce numerous future gods. The Jehovah Witnesses see Jesus as sort of super angel.
    Now if someone sees Jesus as a created being and not God incarnate, they’re heading down a road that will have all sorts of aberrant and heretical doctrine. People in cults get short changed by their leaders in many different ways. First of all the image that they hold in their minds is of a lesser being, not God. Because Jesus is not, in their view “God”, He doesn’t deserve to be worshiped, praised and adored because those are things reserved for God. The Jesus of the cults certainly doesn’t deserve to be prayed to.
    Paul writes about believers having the Spirit of Jesus. Who then is this “Spirit of Jesus” if Jesus isn’t God incarnate.
    Why even bother with the cults’ Jesus? He’s just kind of an emissary sent by God. The Jesus of the cults can’t really save anyone from their sins because he’s not the qualified Savior. Only God can forgive sins.
    The twisted thinking of the cults gives them a twisted Jesus. Why would they even want to have a personal relationship with him? Only God deserves or demands that type of attention.

  18. falcon says:

    To Mormons, the Holy Spirit is a sort of energy force likened to electricity. The Holy Ghost is another god. How the Mormon Holy Ghost gets to be a god is another one of those Mormon inconsistencies because this being doesn’t have a body, never had a wife or wives and thus cannot reproduce and have a forever family. And how many Jesus’ and Holy Ghosts are there? Do each of the Mormon gods have one?
    Christian theology teaches a unity in the nature of God. There is One God, not many. This is what set God a part from the idol gods of the Hebrews’ neighbors. The Bible is a revelation of Him that He provides for us. Jesus is the living Word; the manifestation of God. He is the Alpha and Omega. He is the beginning and the end.
    To have a personal revelation of Jesus, is to know God as He is meant to be known.

  19. falcon says:

    As a Christian, I have a personal revelation of Jesus Christ. I know who He is and what He did for me. I know Him as He is meant to be known. He is revealed in His Word, the Scriptures that lead us to the Light.
    Jesus says, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem……..And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you….”
    That’s the revelation. That’s the Gospel. There is no addition to the Gospel that leads to eternal life. Jesus words reveals the Living God to us. He is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
    Believing in other gods, no matter what names are applied to them and regardless what some man says about having a restored gospel, will not get someone saved. Only God can provide eternal life.
    Jesus said that false prophets would come proclaiming false gospels. Paul wrote that men should heed the warning and not follow men puffed up by visions they claim to have seen. Paul also said that anyone, even an angel, proclaiming another gospel is accursed. That’s pretty sobering.
    People blinded by spiritual delusions accept darkness as light. Sincerity is not enough, nor is piety, devotion, zeal or clean living. Only God can dictate the means of salvation. He’s done that clearly in His Word. False gospels lead to eventual spiritual destruction regardless of how sincere or well meaning a person is.

  20. Mike R says:

    Falcon said, ” Mormons are enslaved to a religious system….”
    I think the word “system” was the right word to use as the Mormon “gospel is
    said to be “the plan of salvation”. It’s an elaborate plan, Jesus being merely a
    part of this plan. Striving to keep the myriads of doctrines, rules , of this plan
    is what Mormons are attempting to do. This is why Mormons are heard testifying
    of “the prophet” because it is thru this one man that God revealed this plan, this
    is why Mormons testify of “the Church”, because this is the only place on earth
    where this plan is available. Christ serves as their example in trying to navigate this
    plan, after all He did successfully, perhaps they can to. But this will be no small feat
    as faithful Mormons are told that to submit to their prophet is to gain God’s favor
    and ultimately win back their place with Him in heaven. Submitting to the prophet
    therefore is taken as a test of faithfullness to God, and this scenario really becomes a
    test for Mormons when they are confronted with the behavior of their prophet who has
    added to and subtracted from this plan , this ladder of “requirements” [G.P. 1997,p.305]
    with his spiritual guidance . This system contains in large part, the “precepts of men”
    [2Nephi 28:14] therefore it is our prayer that sincere Mormons look the Bible , the record
    Jesus has provided us with to reveal His gospel . This gospel is short and complete–
    1Cor.15:1-4. No ladder. No new rungs added to a ladder constructed by human carpenters.

  21. Mike R says:

    Arkwelder, welcome. You brought out some interesting points relative to the
    leadership of your church. From my perspective, and I think the rest here
    would agree, is that the Mormon people are decent people striving to serve
    God, unfortunately they have fallen victim to what Jesus warned would arise
    in the latter days, namely false prophets. There is a very real danger in
    submitting to a false prophet. With this said, it seems that you are’nt so sure
    that your spiritual leaders have been trustworthy in their claimed authoritative
    position. Could you dismiss them as authority figures in your life ? Care to share?

  22. Kate says:

    Arkwelder, welcome ! This is a great blog for us exmormons and also Mormons who are having questions. The articles by Sharon, Aaron and Eric (there may be others, sorry these are the names I remember) are always thought provoking and I would like for all Mormons to read and ponder them. One of the biggest problems with LDS members is that they don’t stop and think or question what Mormonism teaches. They just go along with whatever they are told by leaders. Hopefully you will come to see the truth in the Bible and that it can be trusted and is reliable.

    Mike and falcon,
    As always, 🙂 great comments. I love reading what you two post here. It has been very helpful to me as I am transitioning! I’m off on a 2 week vacation, so I’m going to miss reading every morning! Have a great day!

  23. falcon says:

    Thanks for posting and being part of the discussion. We don’t often get Mormons of your brand on this blog. Generally we get bomb throwers or folks who are so deep into the Mormon system that they can’t imagine why people just don’t jump into the Mormon program whole hog.
    I’ll apologize in advance if it appears I’m too pointed in my remarks or if my humor appears a little too sarcastic or cynical.
    Believe me, my motive is to give a hearty defense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and cause Mormons to consider that just maybe Joseph Smith’s religion really isn’t as advertised.
    Anyway, I appreciate you stopping by and participating in this forum.

  24. falcon says:

    Vacation is no excuse! You are required to be here daily. It’s your calling.

    OK, any left over guilt and shame from your tenure in Mormonism should have just surfaced.
    Have a great time. I’d like to do one of those vacations. My wife, daughter and I went to New York City last July and had a blast. I haven’t been off the farm since. I’ve got a fifth wheel camper that’s become a lawn ornament! I bought a kayak a week ago and it hasn’t touched the water yet.
    I think I’ll un-retire so I have some time!

  25. Kate says:


    Sorry, this place is great but I’m going to be too busy looking at the birthplace of Leonardo Divinci and riding on the great canal in Venice, visiting the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, touring Pompeii and looking at the famous Mt. Vesuvius! I have never been to New York City and that is on my to do list! We are flying out of New York but I won’t get to see anything but the airport! 🙁 We also have a farm so I know how time consuming that is! You need to break out the fifth wheel and do some camping!!! We are big campers! So much fun! Well I’m out the door for reals this time see you when I get back!

  26. mantis mutu says:

    “…that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”
    (from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, as quoted in Sharon’s blog)

    I’m not always a fan of McKonkie’s doctrinal views, but his overall criticism of Evangelical rhetoric in this talk has my rather strong sympathies. It’s a criticism that was to be a losing battle, as the rhetoric has become stronger among Mormons since McKonkie’s day. As the New Testament clearly explains, our identity with Christ (“relationship” certainly isn’t a biblical term of Christological identity) is found through two avenues: the sacraments (baptism, eucharist, etc.), and the personal assurance of the Holy Spirit. And our identity with Christ is not in itself an endpoint, but the beginning of our identity with our Father in heaven. If you do not believe my doctrine here, then I suggest you give the Gospel of John a good, thorough re-read.

    The faithful, hopeful yearning that Paul expresses in the Philippians statement is not one of a “personal relationship” in some mystical, present sense, but rather, is of one of an equal identity with Christ in the heavenly future: to “be found in him”–to be found in “his righteousness” at the final judgment before God. In my opinion, Paul would agree fully with McKonkie’s view that the “personal relationship with Jesus” that so many swear by is an illusion that assaults the very foundation of Christian hope and faith. With very few exceptions, the “personal relationship” with Jesus begins at the Judgment bar of God for the faithful, and until then it is our faith and the personal assurance provided by the Spirit that are our Christian foundation. Assuring us that the personal relationship with Jesus (and God) will indeed be the ultimate reality of this world.

    Sincerely, mutu.

  27. Mike R says:

    Mutu, welcome back. I must say you’re still trying to convince us your theories.
    Your expressed approval of Elder McConkie’s ” criticism of Evangelical rhetoric ”
    in his talk tells me then that you agree with his “we do not worship the Son” because
    “we worship the Father and Him only” . Is this what you’re saying? If it is then you
    have placed yourself out of bounds with the N.T. scriptural record. Then you said
    that the term, “relationship” is’nt a term found in the Bible , so presto no such dynamic
    is available presently for a believer in the risen, living , Lord Jesus. This term only
    is one used to describe a reality that IS Biblical. You should know that Mormons have
    a similar scenario with terms they use , so your whole point here is mute. As for asking
    us to re-read John’s gospel to varify your “doctrine” , why stop there ? Taking the whole
    N.T. in account we see your doctrine evaporate . After Jesus’ ministry in the Gospels , we
    observe the life of His new church, His followers, filled with the Holy Spirit , were
    actively engaged in a lifestyle that had a direct interaction with their Savior who was
    literally alive and fullfilling His promise to them to personally be involved with them.
    He was their Savior, Lord , and Mediator, which must necessitate a interaction between
    them. It was the Father’s will for this arrangement . For Christians to simply be thankful
    to Jesus for dying for them means to demonstrate this by giving thanks and praise to Him
    Himself. Mutu, may you one day come to see this dynamic, this “relationship” with the
    Lord Jesus Christ for what it really is. M.R.

  28. falcon says:

    Who is Jesus?
    Mormons can use evangelical sounding language but at the end of the day, they don’t know Jesus. That is what a personal relationship with Jesus is all about. It’s knowing Him. The apostles certainly had a personal relationship with Jesus. Paul did also as He saw Jesus and had a personal revelation of Him.
    At the end of the day, Mormons are polytheists who see Jesus as just one more god in a pantheon of gods. You can try and shoehorn Mormonism into Philippians but the Mormon shoe won’t fit the Biblical account.
    I can understand why Mormons can’t have a personal relationship with Jesus and rail against it. Mormons don’t know Jesus. How could they have a personal relationship with someone they don’t know.
    I have a personal relationship with Jesus. I know Him personally. I speak to Him. He speaks to me. His Spirit indwells me. I access the Father through Him.

  29. falcon says:

    So who is the Mormon Jesus. Brigham Young, one of the Mormon prophets who claimed direct revelation from the Mormon god, said that Jesus was the literal off-spring of the Mormon god having been procreated by him in an actual sexual union with the Virgin Mary. This sets-up a incestuous relationship between the Mormon god and Mary since she would have been one of his procreated spirit children in the pre-existence.
    To Mormons Jesus is the valiant older brother who received a calling and was faithful to that calling in his death on the cross. No wait, according to Mormon lore the atonement actually took place in the Garden not on the cross. So this Jesus that Mormon proclaim is useful in that he provides for Mormon the portion of the work they failed to do while trying to become gods.
    This Jesus, as well as Mormonism, doesn’t appear in the Bible. Is it any wonder Mormons can’t have a personal relationship with Jesus.
    Mormons can try and sound adroit, sophisticated, reasoned and even intellectual about Mormonism and the Mormon Jesus. But they are as lost as a dunce because of their rejection of the Jesus who is revealed in God’s Holy Word, the Bible.

  30. falcon says:

    There really is no way that a Mormon will favor the idea that someone can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. First of all Mormons don’t see Jesus as God incarnate. Mormons reject the Christian doctrinal view of the Trinity. Mormons dance all around trying to express the notion that Jesus is just a created being. In that, they are like the Jehovah Witnesses.
    The Church Fathers fought the early heretics tooth and nail as the heretics attempted to bring Jesus down to (for them) manageable size. But Mormons not only reject the Biblical Jesus but they reject the Father as revealed in the Word and also the Holy Ghost. But Mormons do leap to embrace the heretical views of the nature of God proposed by a man who prior to being an inventor of religion, attempted to make a living by spotting buried treasure in the ground by use of a magic rock. Now there’s a guy you can put your faith and trust in.
    God the Father invites us to become born again by His Spirit through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. When a person is regenerated by God’s Spirit, he/she comes into right standing with God. Having gained eternal life through Jesus, we also enter into a personal relationship with Him. He becomes not only our Savior, but our Lord. Guided by the Holy Ghost we are first justified and then sanctified. It can’t get any more personal than that.

  31. Mike R says:

    falcon, it sure leaves a guy scratching his head trying to figure people out like
    our friend Mutu. Was he really saying that a relationship with Jesus that His true
    followers testify of , is but an illusion? It seems he’s out on a limb with his theory.
    Going further on this theme, we observe that Elder McConkie chides those who are
    “…. not following the normal and usual pattern of worship found in the true Church.”
    Normal and usual pattern of worship? Really? I read where Mormon authorities
    have counseled LDs to worship Heavenly Father only. Then a while later it is taught
    that worship of Jesus is ok. Going still further with this, I read where prayer to Heavenly
    Father is the norm , not to anyone else! Is this an example of the authoritative spiritual
    guidance from true prophets and apostles in the New Testament Church? Incredible.
    LDS are fond of testifying of their love and adoration being a part of their relationship
    with Him [ yes the word “relationship” is used ] , they are counseled to demonstrate their
    gratefulness to H.F. by praying to Him and thanking Him , etc. Yet this normal aspect
    of worship is not returned to their Heavenly Mother, as the counsel from Mormon
    leaders is that prayer to HM is not appropriate Christian behavior/worship.
    Our hearts go out to the Mormon people who have been detoured by their leaders into
    embracing false teachings on fundamental doctrines . Elder McConkie was fond of
    saying that one could lose their soul by embracing false teachings on fundamental
    doctrines. At least he got that right .

  32. Brian says:

    Dear Arkwelder,

    Welcome, friend. Thanks for participating here! It’s always nice to see new people.

  33. mantis mutu says:

    Mike R.,

    Thankyou for your response.

    Your words:
    Your expressed approval of Elder McConkie’s ” criticism of Evangelical rhetoric ”
    in his talk tells me then that you agree with his “we do not worship the Son” because
    “we worship the Father and Him only” . Is this what you’re saying?

    Yes, we worship the Father, and Him only, but we have no right or reason to worship Him except through the Son, Jesus Christ. McKonkie would certainly agree, though the partial quoting of his talk here might suggest otherwise. Mormons do not believe Jesus is the material, human manifestation of an incorporeal, utterly un-human Father, and we therefore do not see Jesus as an alternate Being for worship in the Godhead. Given the metaphysical reality of the Trinity–and Augustine’s cosmic views further mystifying and removing the Father from humanity–I understand full well why many Christians would prefer to pray to Jesus than to this God who is too lofty to even hear our prayers and feel our pathetically tainted sense of “love.” I understand that many Christians do not choose to imagine their Heavenly Father in such terms; nevertheless, it is their spiritual inheritance within classical Christianity. Luther’s love-hate relationship with Augustine definitely found solace in a more loving Father, but even he saw Jesus primarily as a Savior from God’s wrathful Justice, not as a Savior into His holy Justice. Again, this sort of a vision inspires prayers to go to the Son rather than the Father. But please enlighten me to the New Testament passages that warrant this direction of worship?

    In Mormon Christology (the Gospel), Jesus’ righteousness and resurrection redeem us from death (the grave) and restore us to the holiness of the Father to receive a final judgement. In Jesus, we are restored to the Father’s presence, and through Jesus, we can be restored to our Father’s eternal life as fellow sons and daughters of God, made equal in every sense with the Son through his atoning blood. We therefore worship the Father through Jesus. We never worship the Son independent of the Father. The Son, like us all, received everything through our Father in heaven.

    I apologize that my “theories” do not strike you as the Gospel of Christ presented in plainness by the Book of Mormon. It is of course not the “Mormon Gospel” presented within polemical Evangelical forums or conversations, and unfortunately it is not the “Gospel” presented so plainly and clearly by the Mormon missionaries, nor the Mormon Church generally. I will not apologize in behalf of the failings of my fellows, but I will apologize in behalf of the Word of God delivered through the prophet Joseph Smith in the Book of Mormon. It is the fulness of the Gospel that every believer in the salvation of Jesus Christ should be entitled to hear with power and clarity. As well as every other man and woman descended from the first Adam.

    Sincerely, mutu.

  34. Mike R says:

    Mutu, thanks the reply. You resorted to the use of a red herring several times in your
    reply. Perhaps I did’nt articulate well what I wanted you to know about this vital
    teaching[ worship of Jesus] and you misunderstood me, but what you said needs to
    be corrected and I’d like to address that. I’ve been up since midnight last night so I’m
    very tired. I will address your comments tomorrow . Take care.


  35. mantis mutu says:


    Red Herring???

    Because I point-blank answered your question in my opening sentence–that, Yes, not only do Mormons like myself indeed worship the Father alone, but then took the time to further explained the the theological reason for it? And then testified to the Christological reason for it?

    Red Herring, indeed. The stinky fish that clarifies, apparently.

    Mike, I’m truly sorry that I don’t deny the centrality of Jesus Christ in Mormon faith and worship as you perceive and understand it. You can call red herring all you want, Sir, but at the end of the day your Christology in some key aspects is a world apart from mine, yet your belief in Christ is no more central to Salvation than mine. I hope in your response tomorrow you can find the time to correct the plain Gospel as I have spelled it out in my “dodge-ball” of a response. It certainly isn’t Evangelical Gospel, but I’d truly like you or anyone here to point out to me how it is not biblically sound.

    Sincerely, mutu.

  36. gpark says:

    Mutu commented: “Again, this sort of a vision inspires prayers to go to the Son rather than the Father. But please enlighten me to the New Testament passages that warrant this direction of worship?”

    Mutu, please note the verses I quoted in my previous post: Matthew 8:2-3: Matthew 9:18; Matthew 14:28-33; John 20:24-29. Please add to these Matthew 15:21-28, in which the woman with a severely demon-possessed daughter answered Jesus’ verbal challenges so satisfactorily that Jesus healed the woman’s daughter and commented on the greatness of her faith.

    Jesus’ life on Earth began with people worshiping Him. See: Matthew 2: 9-11, NKJV, 9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

    And Matthew 28:9, NKJV, shows that , after His resurrection, people worshiped Him. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.

    See, also, Revelation for verses in which Jesus is worshiped: Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

    Revelation 15:3-4, NKJV, 3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: “ Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints 4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord [original word is κύριος , from supremacy – see website in original post] , and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.”

    People also prayed to Jesus. (Please see original post, plus Acts 1:21-24; Acts 7:59-60.)

    Philippians 2:9-11, NKJV, 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

  37. falcon says:

    My buddy Mike R. just called me from his top secret location and sends his regards and his regrets in not posting here and answering your post. Alas, his computer went down. Actually it is dead and gone and not just a matter of running out of diesel fuel. He is actively searching for a brand new one and is considering a Cray Super Computer due to it’s processing speed and storage capability.
    I think gsparks has done a good job of stepping up to the challenge and answered your questions.
    For those of us who subscribe to the Biblical and traditional orthodox view of the nature of God, we can feel some of the frustration that the Church Fathers felt in dealing with the early heretics. At least one of the Church Fathers said that it was impossible to argue logically from the Scriptures regarding these matters because the heretics had an uncanny and creative manner of twisting and massaging (the Scriptures). The Church Fathers finally had to appeal to tradition and show the line of succession going back to Jesus, the apostles and the early disciples.
    Mormonism, quite frankly, isn’t even good heresy. It’s a hodge podge of religious thought that mixes in everything from polytheism to polygamy to occult practice and symbols. So it’s more than a little difficult to have a discussion with a Mormon regarding having a personal relationship with Jesus when such a thing is not possible in the Mormon system.

  38. mantis mutu says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful and cordial post, gpark.

    I get a sense from reading your post (perhaps I am wrong) that you believe that as a Mormon I do not believe in the divine (deity) status of Jesus. If so, nothing could be further from the truth. While Mormons, like JWs, soundly reject the Trinity, we are not in any way similar to JWs in our perceptions of Christ the Son and his relationship to the Father. As you may know, Mormons, unlike JWs, fully acknowledge and testify that “the LORD” YHWH of the Old Testament was the pre-mortal Jesus. That is not some recent theological accommodation, but a clear, foundational teaching that goes back to Joseph Smith. Unlike JWs, Mormons believe that the word κύριος as it appears in the New Testament in reference to Jesus sometimes definitely identifies him as YHWH of the Old Testament, just as the term is typically used in the Septuagint. 1 Corinthians 8:6 certainly identifies Jesus as YHWH: “yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one LORD, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” What Mormons do not believe, however, is that this verse establishes some kind of metaphysical sameness between God and Christ that satisfies the indivisibility principle embodied by the ultimate Ideal/God of Platonism and its offshoots. We do not believe that Jesus in an alternate, human/material expression of the Platonic Ideal; rather, we believe he is our sole, divine mediator to God, the literal Father of our spirits; and additionally, that Jesus is the ultimate human agent of God the Father—not standing simply for God, like a prophet; but standing fully in behalf of God the Father as his Only Begotten Son. And we further believe that Jesus has been this ultimate agent of God since the beginning of the Creation of our heaven and earth. (Though we do not believe that our Creation described in Genesis was God the Father’s first or only creation. Far from it! (though how far exactly, I can only begin to imagine.))

    In this life, the sacramental Christ (and the real, mortal Christ it represents) is our essential food and drink in our journey back to the Father’s presence; and in the next life, the sacramental, resurrected Christ is our beginning in accessing the fullness of our Father’s heavenly inheritance. That is the summarizing vision of Mormon liturgy, as we believe it’s been restored to Joseph Smith through the LORD. As I’ve been testifying here, Christ is therefore not an alternate object of worship from the Father; he is our complementary (and necessary) object of worship along with the Father. While Christ was fully dependent upon the Father for the full heavenly inheritance he received, the Father appointed him (as he was the only one worthy) to be the one whom we place our utter faith on in accessing that same inheritance. That is the crux of the true “Mormon Gospel.” In Mormon worship, therefore, prayers are always directed to the Father through the Son, Jesus Christ. To say that Mormons do not truly worship Jesus—or somehow slight Jesus—because we do not separate him from the Father in our worship is really a sham of Mormon belief and worship. I have clarified the Mormon position here—not to confuse or hedge—but to reveal the sham of the original blog for what it is.

    If one chooses to judge Mormon Christology/Gospel through the standard and expectations of Evangelical Gospel, one can surely find a Jesus who lacks; however, the same judgment and lack can be answered on the head of the Evangelical vision of Jesus simply by switching the standard of judgment. While I have no intention of returning the favor of the original blog by switching that standard of judgment and riling up my Evangelical brothers and sisters on this board, what I have done is clarify the Mormon Gospel through its rightful standard of judgment. And for this I was accused of pulling a red herring. And that’s too bad. It’s an obvious fact that few here want a true and respectful dialogue of beliefs. Instead of discussing Mormon Christianity in a spirit of fairness, too many are just hell-bent on screaming how “Mormon” and “Christianity” are mutually exclusive terms. So again, gpark, I thank you for your cordial and thoughtful post.

    To add to your list of NT scriptures that acknowledge Jesus’ place in worship, I’ll add two from the Book of Mormon: Alma 19: 29, and 3 Nephi 19: 14-29. I’d like to spend time discussing the specifics of how these scriptures relate to the argument at hand, but I unfortunately don’t have the time right now. However, I look forward to returning to it tomorrow. If you look at 3 Nephi 19 you will find a more explicit act of worshiping Jesus than you will find anywhere in the Bible. Yet the fullness of the context explains perfectly well why worship of Christ cannot be rightly done independent of worshiping the Father. The Son simply is not an alternate expression of the Father; rather, he is the fulfillment of the Father. For each of us.

    Till then—sincerely, mutu.

  39. falcon says:

    I give you credit for being thoughtful and articulate and even sophisticated in your exposition of the Mormon Jesus, but all that aside you’re as lost as an atheist who rejects Jesus out of hand.
    Since you brought it up, this is why Mormons aren’t Christians. The Mormon Jesus has no power to save you from your sins because he is not God incarnate. He’s basically some sort of representative of the Godhead.
    In some ways, your ability to articulate and believe the perspective that you have concerning Jesus stands in your way of actually being able to come to saving faith. Miscalculating who God is has serious consequences. Believing, as I’m sure that you do, that you will become a god, stands in the way of you knowing who God really is. And to take it all back to Joseph Smith, you’ve really got yourself in a bear trap there.
    As much as Mormons hate it when I say it, at the end of the day you’re left following a man with a magic rock who put it in his hat and supposed by shoving his fact into the hat he could decipher some golden plates which he said he found. Sorry to take you there but no matter how you try to dress it up, Mormonism is just old heresy.
    What a man like Smith said about anything regarding Jesus is not only suspect but it’s really not worth anyone’s time to consider. The Church Fathers actually had some gravitas. I would suggest you spend your intellectual horsepower on reading what they wrote and less time pondering the depths of Smith’s mind.

  40. falcon says:

    So there you have it mutu.
    Joseph Smith is your go to guy as you indicated in your post. You didn’t provide any authoritative quotes from the Smithster so I’m not quite sure how you know what he thought but I’ll take it you’ve examined his work and found him to be an enlightened prophet of some sort.
    To be honest, I would have been more impressed if you had quoted some heretic from the third century. Talking about what Joseph Smith meant is to me a little like talking about what Jim Jones or David Koresh thought. Koresh, I understand, had a great grasp of the Scriptures and could quote from the Bible at length. There were a number of people who thought the guy was really on to something. I’m sure there were a few dumb-bells in the crowd but there was some sophistication and intelligence present in the Branch Dividian sect.
    So you want to follow what Joseph Smith said about Jesus. I don’t think that’s a very good move. I know there are Mormon types who want to engage in deep discussions and debate with Christians regarding the nature of God and specifically Jesus. I kind of avoid it, really. Why? Because in a way it allows the Mormon an opportunity to put a pretty veneer on a really poorly made piece of furniture.
    I believe that God leads people to Him through the Holy Spirit. We can only pray that since you appear to be sincere and honest in your approach to seeking God, that He will enlighten your soul and quicken your spirit to come to a knowledge of His saving grace.
    God grabbed hold of an atheist reprobate like me and miraculously saved (me) by His grace through faith. I will pray that He will lead you to see Him as He is.

  41. falcon says:

    Don’t ask me why, but I’ve got the sneaky suspicion that Mutu is telling us what he believes regarding Jesus and not what the Mormon church teaches. I remember that quote from the BYU professor that “In Mormonism you can believe whatever you want. You just can’t teach it.”
    So I guess the question is, is Mutu telling us what he thinks/believes or is he telling us what the LDS church and its prophets have actually taught over the years? I have the sense that like all things Mormon, the LDS church has been all over the block with its nature of God theories.
    What Mutu says makes absolutely no sense when one views what his church has taught about Jesus. Jesus can’t be YHWH if he is a created being brought forth by procreation from some god above him. YHWH is the ETERNAL God the Creator, not a created being.
    But stop and think for a moment. Mormonism is a constantly evolving mish mash of doctrine, teaching and practice which leaves open the opportunity for the rank and file to develop their own ideas (about the nature of God).
    So for you Mormons who come here seeking the truth about God, I’d say ignore the blue smoke and mirror illusions put out by some Mormons.

  42. falcon says:

    I can see why the more intellectually oriented Mormon has difficulty reconciling the religion in a manner that will maintain some sort of personal integrity. I have a theory that for folks who want something deeper and more meaningful, dressing-up in costumes and doing some rituals lifted from Free Masonry isn’t really going to cut it. Nor will all of the foolish and laughable tales that form the basis of the Mormon religion.
    But here’s what I think. There’s a number of these folks who have the intellectual horsepower and common sense to know that Joseph Smith pulled a giant gag on a bunch of superstitious farmers and it went so well that he just kept rolling with it.
    So here’s a man or woman who’s job and perhaps family obligations have him/her stuck in this fraudulent religion. What do you do? Well in some cases I’m afraid what’s done is like trying to paint a rusted out junker car. A little body puddy and some slick paint applied lavishly keeps the Mormon busy and somewhat entertained, but underneath all they really have is a rusted out bucket of bolts.

  43. mantis mutu says:

    Falcon, I am not responding to your senseless and utterly disrespectful polemics against Mormon faith. However, while you address nothing specific that I raised (though I indeed challenged you, or anyone, to pick up your Good Book and do just that), you did at least point out one fair criticism of my post as a whole. As you say,

    I’ve got the sneaky suspicion that Mutu is telling us what he believes regarding Jesus and not what the Mormon church teaches. I remember that quote from the BYU professor that “In Mormonism you can believe whatever you want. You just can’t teach it.”
    As I said, the plain Gospel that I laid out in my earlier posts is the Book of Mormon’s clear teaching of Christ’s salvation to the Father. But I didn’t quote the book directly; so lest I continue to hear these accusations, here you go, Sir:

    Redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.
    Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.
    Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
    Wherefore, he is the first-fruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.
    And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him.
    Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement —
    For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.
    (2 Nephi 2: 6-11)

    The typical response I get when I present this Gospel to Evangelical listeners is either an ambivalent or a positive one. It usually strikes them as biblically sound, or at least biblically inoffensive. To some it even sounds like good, plain Christian doctrine. To those informed of their faith, however, it is clearly not Evangelical Gospel. And it truly is not, for it strikes at the heart of Trinitarian belief. It also strikes at the heart of Calvinistic determinism, in all its various shades.

    In this Book of Mormon Gospel, as I explained in my earlier posts, Christ is the specific one who raises us from the grave and restores us to God (the Father’s) presence for a final judgment. In this Gospel, very contrary to traditional Christian Gospel, the basic assurance of Christ’s redemption is not a place in heaven with God, but a restoration from death and the grave—and subsequently, a restoration to God’s presence for a final Judgment. Without Christ, we remain in the grave and get no final accounting before God. Period. Why any Christian thinks these “rights” come independent of the resurrected Lord is truly a shame. The ultimate message of hope in each one of the NT Gospels is salvation from the grave!

    Yet when we understand the Nicene Fathers and their ambition to separate Heaven and Hell along the neat lines of “Christian” versus “Heretic” and “Pagan,” we see where Jesus’ plain Gospel of faith and righteousness got muddied up severely. And ever since, there has existed among Christian religion a strong inclination to divide Heaven and Hell along the neat lines of “right faith” versus “wrong faith.” While one would think Luther and Calvin were in a good position to take this crude Heaven versus Hell condition out of basic Christian dogma, in most respects they merely changed the rules of judgment. It became a matter of “Protestant” versus “Catholic,” “Faith-inspired” versus “Works-inspired,” “Pre-destined versus “Well, shucks…,” or some similar-such spin.

    I suggest we take the Book of Mormon’s council and let our faith in Christ lead us to a joyful life awaiting his basic salvation before the Father’s Judgment seat, and leave the final Heaven versus Hell judgment at that point to Christ. After all, that is his specific call, is it not?

    I joy for the day when Christians across the faiths can read John 14:6 through the plainness restored by the Lord’s word found in the Book of Mormon. Without Jesus Christ, you are stuck in a grave. And without faith in Christ, the grave is indeed your ultimate and unfortunate hope. Without Christ you would never see heaven, for you would never see God, the Father—not even in judgment. Your life would remain unaccounted for, entirely.

    However, with Christ, you know that the grave is not at all reality. For anyone. You await God’s judgment with the hope and love of all Christ’s true disciples. At that place, neither your religion, nor any of your religious experiences, will save you. (And I speak of Mormons as much as anyone.) Only your faith in Christ’s atoning blood will save you on that great day. It will be the eternal gift enjoyed by all his truly penitent, righteous followers.

    And the wicked will have none of it. Whatever their faith.

    Sincerely, mutu.

  44. falcon says:

    Well where should we start? How about your comment calling my presentation, “senseless and utterly disrespectful polemics against the Mormon faith”, Really? It didn’t take you long to go to a variation of the prosecution card that Mormons play when their backs are against the wall. I don’t blame you for wanting to ignore the obvious because the basic facts about Mormonism isn’t a lot of fun to have to defend.
    A sweep of your hand and it’s all better, right? This is what is known as denial. I’ve been down this road with Mormons before. Mormonism, its history and practices aren’t really pretty and it’s something that faithful and thoughtful Mormons, like yourself, have to ignore.
    The blunt truth that you follow a guy whose means of divination was to put a magic rock in a hat, shove his face in the crown of the hat and see scripture messages from “God”, is so ridiculous and farfetched that anything that comes from it is nonsense.
    So where does an intellectually oriented Mormon go but to try to ignore it and tease out some sort of meaning while ignoring the obvious?

  45. falcon says:

    So Mutu,
    You quote the BoM. Man am I impressed. That’s the book that was written with the help of a magic rock in a hat right?
    Do you believe in the God of the BoM or the god that Joseph Smith switched to as he got his full mojo on? Because the god you suppose that folks are going to be judged by is one of many gods in the Mormon pantheon. I don’t know if the god you acknowledge will have his many goddess wives there (at the judgement) because it isn’t all that clear if she/they are part of the Mormon godhead. Do you see Mutu how ridiculous your meanderings about the Nicene Fathers and heaven and hell and Luther and Calvin and saved and unsaved are in light of the fact that you don’t get God right? I could play your game and wax eloquent about Greek and Roman philosophy and the effects it supposedly had on early Christian thought on and on but it would be a fools errand.
    Here’s your problem Mutu, your lost. Period. And it’s not because of what you quoted in the BoM or even your exposition on the resurrection, the final judgement or what boat Calvin and Luther missed.
    You’re wandering around seeing trees but missing the forest. The source of your faith is not the Spirit of God. Your faith (sigh) has as its source a man given to folk magic who told tall tales about all sorts of appearances of heavenly beings including an angel with a sword that supposedly threatened to kill him if he didn’t start marrying more women.
    As a Mormon, you own this legacy Mutu. But you want to skip right past the obvious and try and dress this tramp up in a tuxedo.
    I will continue to pray for you that God will open up your spiritual eyes of understanding as He reveals Himself to you as He is.

  46. mantis mutu says:


    All your posts here are as “senseless and disrespectful to Mormon faith” as the modern atheist who mockingly writes off Judeo-Christianity because that ol’ Santa-of-a-man, Moses, claimed that God spoke to him alone on some desert mountain, and left nothing of Himself but all those nifty little edicts inscribed on stone tablets–before He mysteriously disappeared in the cloud that conveniently concealed Him from public view.

    Like that modern atheist who further writes off Judeo-Christianity because Moses claimed that same God did such silly things as command Israel through the edicts of a couple little stones…some silly name I think he called them…Urim and Thum…ah, something like that. Almost as silly as that nifty little rock collection must’ve looked that adored the chest of Israel’s Grrrrrreat High Priest, there. Again, all by command of that silly God of Moses. That is, the silly God of Judeo-Christianity. The silly little God that demanded all those nifty temple and priestly implements be packed up good and tight in their desert journeys–lest any of those poor Israelites see the holiness of God and be damned because they defied God’s central gig that such things be looked upon only by the EYE OF FAITH! That is, unless you were one of God’s special, special little pets–like Moses or Aaron, there. So glad we have advanced as a race beyond such silly, petty elitism! Men like these must’ve surely been sham-artists of the highest rank. In today’s world of enlightenment, they of course wouldn’t last a day.

    Today we live in a era where scientists of great wisdom dig around in the dirt and find these nifty little stone implements, and tell us fabulous stories about how these “magic” bits of crafted stone allowed us to conquer the strongest of prey and predators, and even delivered us from those dank caves of yore, to land us in this splendid civilized world we now live in. If these scientists had half a brain, wouldn’t they know the great God of heaven would never script such a silly little history for so splendid a creature as humanity?! The creature he fashioned specially in His glorious image!

    The things we humans dream up of silly little things like stones!


  47. falcon says:

    Nice try Mutu,
    but your not going to win your argument with that approach. That’s a technique that our old Aussie Mormon friend Ralph Watts use to try. I labeled it the “argument from equivalency” . That is, in essence, try to disparage the Bible and Christianity and try to draw a similar comparison with the criticisms of Mormonism. This is what Mormons do when they run out of ammo in trying to defend the indefensible Mormon prophet Joseph Smith and his ridiculous claims. It always happens. Mormons get to about the second level of their arguments, it doesn’t work, and it falls apart. I figure the next thing you’ll go to is the old “I bear my testimony” technique.
    You’re a little more sophisticated then the average Mormon I run across, but it all breaks down (for Mormons) after a point.
    I remember one of our exMormon posters writing one time that one of the things that led him out of Mormonism and truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was that he just got sick of defending (Mormonism). It’s a drag when it’s so obvious fraudulent.
    That’s why I insist on taking Mormons back to the basics of their religion and won’t allow them to engage in esoteric and philosophical musings which appear to have some wisdom but are devoid of the Spirit.
    Congratulations, however, because you lasted longer than most Mormons before breaking down. You’ve got a choice at this point. You can either attempt to put some fresh paint on your Mormon testimony or honestly, humbly and sincerely seek God.

  48. mantis mutu says:


    In the world of wisdom and argumentation, ALL faith systems “break down” at a certain point.

    In fact, I have quite a few people I call friends who say they ALL break down rather quickly. And they certainly don’t make exception for my faith of choice. I thought that was a main point in my narrative analogy, but perhaps not.

    Another main point that you apparently didn’t get was the uncanny resemblance between Moses’ faith claims, and those of Joseph Smith. The “Oooo, I have seen awesome things–and have been given an awesome message to share” is hardly a sidenote for the crackpots only within the Judeo-Christian tradition. From Moses’ burning bush and mountain theophany–to Jesus’ transfiguration and later resurrection, Joseph Smith’s forrest theophany and golden plates hardly strike a note on the bizarre scale; nor on the silly. In the case of the angels and the plates, like most of Moses’ and Jesus’ miracles, they were verified by select witnesses. But the strength and truth of the accompanying revelation will always be proven by those who see only with an eye of faith. Just like all those poor Israelites who turned their gold and silver over to Moses for the inner temple furnishings–to never see any of their wealth again. That has always been the LORD of Israel’s way.

    Sincerely, mutu.

  49. falcon says:

    Given your description then, everyone’s claim to supernatural phenomenon and occurrences are equally valid. I’ve recounted numerous such happenings claimed over the centuries by folks who have seen, for example, the Virgin Mary. Go check out Our Lady of Fatima or Lourdes for example.
    Jump on board this one. Bernadette encountered the Virgin Mary. They exhumed Bernadette’s body and found it perfectly persevered. No decomp.
    So what should we make of that?
    Here’s the problem with Mormons. They’ll accept any and every sort of supernatural occurrence without regard to its legitimacy when it comes to their religion. That’s why you jump right on board the occult practicing Smith’s claims. I’ve got a book here chronicling some of the most ridiculous and idiotic claims by Mormon leaders including one where Wilford Woodruff claims that the signers of the Declaration of Independence appear to him wanting temple work done for them.
    Here’s the problem, once you sit at the Mormon table you are obliged to eat the whole buffet. Attempting to legitimize Smith’s fraudulent claims by attempting to draw a parallel between them and the Bible is a desperate attempt to salvage a sinking ship.
    The Bible talks about folks who suppress the truth and the more they suppress it the harder their hearts become. That’s a perfect picture of what we see in cult type religious sects like Mormonism.
    God has brought the truth of His Gospel to light in His revealed Holy Word the Bible. Interlopers like Smith conjure up a story with the help of magic rocks and other demonic means and people hop on board. You justify all of this and call the darkness, light.
    I will continue to pray for you that the Spirit of God will enlighten your spirit and mind to come to an understanding of who God is and what He did for us through His Son Jesus Christ.

  50. falcon says:

    It’s pretty easy to see by which spirit Joseph Smith was operating and it wasn’t the Spirit of God. When Moses was demanding that Pharaoh let his people go, the magician’s in Pharaoh’s court pulled-off some pretty spectacular supernatural events. That’s a clear example of the Spirit of God and the spirit(s) of the occult.
    In the Book of Acts Paul blinds a magician (by the power of God) who had been fooling the people with his hocus pocus. In Ephesus the people came to Paul and burned their occult books of enchantments in rejection of demonic spirits.
    There is a clear distinction between the Spirit of God and the occult spirits that roam about looking for naive folks to seduce.
    When the Mormon temple in Manti was dedicated, Joseph Smith’s occult seer stone was placed on the altar. So by what spirit are the folks who visit that temple influenced by. Why do Mormons get all excited about the possibility of seeing the supposed spirit of a dead person during the dead dunking ritual in the Mormon temple? It’s called necromancy and for the record, those aren’t the spirits of dead people that show up.
    Mormons accept rituals from the occult embracing Free Masons and consider it ancient “wisdom”. Add to this the occult symbols that adorn the Mormon temples and the rejection of the cross and it’s pretty easy to see by which spirit Mormonism operates.
    The spirit of this world has blinded Mormons to the light of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There’s a clear distinction in the Word of God between God’s Spirit and the spirit of the anti-Christ. Slapping some Christian terms and borrow here and there from the Bible is nothing but a camouflage for the occult practices of Mormonism. The rejection of God, the denigration of His Word, and the proclamation of a substitute gospel make Mormonism a counterfeit.
    So Mutu, having accepted and embraced the spirit of Mormonism, you are prevented from clearly seeing God’s Gospel that leads to eternal life. It’s bad enough that you have done this but my guess is that you are married and you have led your family down this path of spiritual destruction.

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