In an article for Tabletalk magazine author and pastor Kevin DeYoung wrote,
“There is one foundational question each of us must face…This question is so important that if you get this one wrong, you are going to get most everything else that really matters wrong. The foundational question is the famous query Jesus posed to the disciples at Caesarea Philippi: ‘Who do you say that I am?’ (Mark 8:29).”
Rev. De Young remarked on the surprising content of Jesus’ foundational question. Jesus didn’t ask about the disciples’ tolerance (i.e., “Are you open-minded?”) or their intentions (i.e., “What will you do for Me?”), but rather about what they believed. “Jesus is interested in faith,” Rev. DeYoung wrote, “He begins with doctrine.” This is because Christian faith begins with a right understanding of Jesus, “not just what He taught or what He did, but who He is.”
In the exchange at Caesarea Philippi, Jesus first asked what the general public thought – “Who do people say that I am?” He asked His disciples (Mark 8:27). Various opinions were offered: Jesus was John the Baptist, Elijah, or maybe one of the prophets. But the disciples had a different answer. “You are the Christ,” Peter declared.
Rev. De Young pointed out a foundational difference between the opinions of the masses and the belief of the disciples: For the general public, Jesus was “one of;” for the disciples, Jesus was “the One.”
Though the people elevated Jesus and put Him in very good company, they were wrong. Rev. De Young wrote,
“It sounds very lofty to call Jesus a prophet, a popular teacher, a wonder worker, a good man, a brilliant example, or part of a long line of enlightened figures. But all of these descriptions miss the point. In all of them, you are saying Jesus is one of (see v. 28). And if you say Jesus is only one of and not the One, you haven’t understood Him. You don’t see who He really is. He is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt 16:16).”
I can’t help but think of how Mormon doctrines make Jesus “one of” rather than “the One.” For according to Mormon leaders, Jesus is not the Christ, the Son of the living God; He is a Christ, a Son of a living God.
A Christ: “Sin is upon every earth that ever was created … Consequently every earth has its redeemer, and every earth has its tempter; and the people thereof, in their turn and time, receive all that we receive, and pass through all the ordeals that we are passing through” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 14:71-72).
A Son: “Jesus Christ is not the Father of the spirits who have taken or yet shall take bodies upon this earth, for He is one of them. He is The Son, as they are sons or daughters of Elohim…Among the spirit children of Elohim the firstborn was and is Jehovah or Jesus Christ to whom all others are juniors.” (The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Salt Lake City, Utah, 30 June 1916, quoted in Ensign, 4/2002)
A God: “But if God the Father was not always God, but came to his present exalted position by degrees of progress as indicated in the teachings of the prophet, how has there been a God from all eternity? The answer is that there has been and there now exists an endless line of Divine Intelligences—Deities, stretching back into the eternities, that had no beginning and will have no end.” (B.H. Roberts, New Witness for God 1:466).
Indeed, President Gordon B. Hinckley was right when he said that the Christ of whom Christians speak is not the Christ of Mormonism. The Jesus of Mormonism is merely “one of.” But, as Rev. De Young noted about the Christ of Christianity, He is the One.
Solid, the first sentence you cited was from Elder McConkies pen . The rest of what I cited
from him, which you did’nt use, is interesting because from it we learn that : the Mormon
church heirarchy have claimed sole authority from God as His legal channel of communication
from which orthodox teachings come . They have determined what is orthodox, who is a
heretic and who is a true christian . One man at the top of this ecclesiastic power is the sole
person who can receive instructions from God binding for all of those who have shown their
submission by voting for him . Does’nt sound like an arrangement that I want to be a part of.
( if I choose to use a non-biblical word like “orthodox” to describe what I feel is a biblical
truth, then McConkie’s first sentence is something I might live with etc. )
You said, ” One can say they follow the true teachings of the Apostles, but that teachings is
Orthodox in nature because it has too bend according to written Creeds voted on by a group
of Bishops and a Sun Worshiper . ” No bending , the Apostles teachings recorded in scripture
are sufficient . This one man , a “sun worshiper” had no more authority over those who strive to
follow Jesus than THE one man THE earthly king , THE prophet , has over those who are trying to
follow Jesus today. Most of these people already know this, but some do not , hence they feel
in order please God they vote for this man twice a year to rule over them. Jesus said
Beware of false prophets.
Kate, nice to hear from you again! I think I understand where your going with the sun analogy.Light, heat and energy are the same thing but humans perceive it in three different ways, the same way God, Jesus and the holy spirit are made of the same stuff but humans see them as different. The objection that I have is none of those three things are none of them are subservient to the other two. Jesus made a point of reminding his follows that the father was greater then him. How can God be greater then himself? I would argue he can’t be unless Christ is a separate being from God.
How do you explain my body, soul and spirit but there aren’t 3 of me standing here? As long as you believe LDS teachings about the nature of God, you will never “get it.” How do you explain that in the Book of Genesis God is referred to as Elohim which is plural, but Elohim is used throughout the Bible as singular? In the Bible, the word Trinity is never used, the Triune God is referred to as The Godhead “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9) What does this mean? “All the fulness of the Godhead bodily?”
1 John 5:7 states “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the
Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD”
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, The Prince of Peace.”
John 1:1, 14, John 10:30, Matthew 1:23
What about LDS scripture? Others here have posted what is written in the Book of Mormon and it pretty much lines up with the Trinitarian view. Check out Mosiah 15:1-4, Alma 11: 26-29. You also need to read an original 1830 Book of Mormon because some verses have been changed to fit with today’s LDS beliefs. An example of this is 1 Nephi 11:21, the 1830 edition read: “Behold the Lamb of God, yea even the very Eternal Father!….” It now reads: “Behold the Lamb of God, yea even the SON OF the very Eternal Father!…..” There are more of these, why the changes?
Not to be rude, but are you serious? This Christian woman was trying to help me see that three things can exist inside of one, she wasn’t trying to show me how energy isn’t subservient to light or heat. It was just an analogy. Of course the Godhead is more than this analogy. I would ask you the same question I asked of SolidLDS, how do you explain my body, soul and spirit, but there aren’t 3 of me standing here? Can my body be subservient to my soul or my spirit? Can my soul be subservient to my body or my spirit? Interesting……You have me thinking!
Last night I experienced great anger. After working myself down I was able to see why I was angry.
1. I am angry at the way I had treated blacks when I was a Protestant in the Jim Crow south.
2. I am angry at the way you and your people want to make folks think that saying a word that describes a person who lies about my religion is the same thing as a Jim Crow Protestant meant by the “n” word. But then again, you and your people have a need to get people to stop thinking clearly about my Church so they will only hear what you say. One of the ways you do this is to get people thinking we are like the KKK.
I suggest that if you are not one of the ones that are knowingly creating these lies about my Church, you might want to think very hard about who’s teachings you follow.
Kate, I understand that’s what the analogy was implying, I was more trying to show that no analogy could ever perfectly show every nuance of the trinity. To me the trinity is “a minute to learn, a lifetime to master”.
My answer to your question about the body, soul and spirit would be to equate out to a gloved hand (i’m making this up on the fly and would love you to point out any flaws in my logic.” A gloved hand has three parts; the glove, the hand and the impulses from my brain that make it move. Someone that had never seen a hand would look at the combination and see one thing (a glove). But in reality there are three seperate things made of different material (cloth, flesh and electricity) that just look like one thing. We have a body (glove) soul (hand) and spirit (will). Three separate things made of different material but looking like one piece when in reality it’s not.
To me this is a sort of anti-trinity. In the trinity God is one substance that appears to be three. The body is three seperate substances that appear to be one. Sort of like the Mormon Godhead, the beings working toward a common goal.
Fred, in your comments to Sharon , when you said , ” your people” just who are you referring
to ? While I can’t speak for Sharon , I’m sure she would agree with me that it s imperative that
we take Jesus’ warning [ matt 7:15] concerning false prophets very very seriously . So when
shine the spotlight of God’s word on important teachings of Mormon prophets what do we find?
You may have felt that some individual on this blog has offended you or lied about your Church,
but don’t go so far and dismiss MRM as “liars” . Sometimes learning that we may have been misled
hurts , but considering your salvation is at stake here, it behooves you to stand for truth . God
will direct you to truth if you step back and let Him .
You know, I should probably take a break from posting. I go from being incredulous, to indignant, to slow burn, to, yes, a sort of rage.
I really go internally nuts when people diminish God and confess that they believe that “god” is a former man who progressed to deity status and lives on the planet Kolob with his many goddess wives.
I get some very unkind thoughts!
I can’t figure out why they can’t see it and then I realize what Jesus said about how the Spirit of God draws people.
There are two types of believers, those who commit too a God that needs not communicate anymore, hence a Cannon of Scripture that cannot be added too for God has spoken His last Word; being there is nothing more to reveal versus a living Doctrine and a living Church (Revelation) that believes God still loves us, hence He communicates through His Chosen Prophets and Apostles as He has always done.
“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7)
I can understand why some get frustrated and internally nuts, they are in denial of Gods love and His continued works and glory.
38 And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no aend to my works, neither to my words.
39 For behold, this is my awork and my bglory—to bring to pass the cimmortality and deternal elife of man.
Book of Moses, worth reading for it expands on Gods love and mission.
There are two types of believers, those of us who trust in the true and living God of the Bible, and those who trust in a god made up by a man using a rock he found in a neighbors well. A Mormon god who’s nature has been changed over and over depending on which prophet is at the head of the LDS church at the time. Thomas Monson could change the nature of the Mormon god tomorrow and Mormons would gladly change who they believe their god is. God never changes. The Bible tells us so. Quoting from the book that Joseph Smith made up using so called “magic” and divination has no affect on true believers. If you want to convince true Christians that Mormonism is THE Christianity and the only true church on the earth, you need to do it from the Bible. Which you cannot do because the Bible and Jesus himself are in direct contradiction to Mormonism and all it teaches. HMMMM….who to believe? Jesus himself? Or a man who convinces people he has a magic rock?
Ahhh, the good ole’ hand in the glove trick. Mormons love to use a glove to demonstrate all sorts of things. If I’m understanding your explanation correctly, you are saying my body, soul, and spirit are ” sorta like the Mormon Godhead” if so, you need to show me where my body, soul and spirit can stand side by side, separate from each other because that is how Mormonism says Father, Son and Holy Ghost are. Separate. Not in one. Even though Jesus himself said that “I and my Father are One.” I think I’ll stick with Jesus, not the glove. 🙂
Been a member for 50 years, could you be more specific in any Doctrine changes, I think like most Evangelicals you make it up as you go along.
Kate, I actually thought of the glove analogy while I was looking at my work gloves. Funny that it’s a common mormon teaching tool. It’s amazing the things from childhood we subconsciously remember.
When can your body and soul stand next to each other? When you die leaps to mind. It’s pretty clear that the body and soul are two separate things, and its arguable that the soul and spirit have the same kind of relationship ( though it’s not my view keeping the number three correlation works for us here). If that’s the case then you could lay all three side by side and that would be three of “you”.
You bring up a good point with John 10:30. From what I read the greek word used here is neuter and many non lds scholars say it could just as easily mean oneness purpose. If the writer wanted to convey oneness of person then the masculine form would have been a far better word to use.
Later in John 17:21 we read of Jesus praying for the believers ” that all of them may be one Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may belive that you have sent me.” I doubt jesus is talking about believers becoming one substance with each other and then later with God. He’s explaining how he and the father are one in purpose, just as we all should be one with him.
I think I’ll stick with Jesus the way he described himself in the bible and not try to put words in his mouth 🙂
Solid, once again we have the charge that Christians are lost without continuous revelation and a closed canon of scripture. As a student of the scripture the Holy Spirit reveals truth to me every time I read it. That truth is confirmed when I read multiple commentaries that affirm that my understanding is correct, systematic theologies that help me understand the over-arching message of God, or speak with other Christians about our common scriptures and the common understanding that we have of them. The Bible is so deep that we still learn from it. That is continuous revelation with a foundation and guide. Like I said in my last posts, LDS have no standard by which to judge revelation, whether it be personal of from the prophet. When the prophet speaks, the thinking has been done. That “spirit of prophecy” is your foundation, not the Word of God.
As for your request for Kate to provide the evidence of changes, have you ever visited the MRM main site and explored the links? Have you ever gone to UTLM.org? There are numerous ministries dedicated to exposing the thousands of changes in church doctrine. From the view of an outsider looking into LDS doctrine I can see the morphology very clearly. You have been blinded by your traditions. If you refuse to read the rock-solid, documented evidence that is presented by the various ministries that have spent countless hours compiling it for your benefit, then you are simply doing nothing more than sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling “LA LA LA LA LA I don’t hear you!” and the conversation here is a waste of your time, for you refuse to listen and be healed. May God have mercy on your sould and grant you vision.
liv4jc you claim countless and all I asked for was just one. One should be a easy task, now the premises is you’re going to show me at least one LDS Doctrinal change, did I get that right?
As far as no need for further scripture, isn’t that only a opinion, where in all of this does man allow God too decide? After all this is Gods Gospel, or the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Plan of Salvation.
When one decides he does not want anymore, then I’m sure God is willing to abide by your desire and close the mind for further revelation. Gods Word (Bible) is sufficient for your salvation, that I’m sure of, but for one to enter into a Celestial Glory, that which your doctrine does not teach would mean you would actually have to have a desire to learn more.
I was Mormon for 40 years. Not far behind you in the numbers game. The Book of Mormon clearly shows a Trinitarian God. I’ve shown you one doctrinal change from the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon. So let’s look at that one again and another:
1 Nephi 11:21, the 1830 edition reads: “Behold the LAMB OF GOD, yea even the VERY ETERNAL FATHER!….” It now reads: “Behold the Lamb of God, yea even the SON OF the very Eternal Father!…..”
1 Nephi 14:40″….that the LAMB OF GOD IS THE VERY ETERNAL FATHER AND THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD .” it now reads: “….that the Lamb of God is the SON OF the Eternal Father and Savior of the world.”
Like it or not, spin it, twist it or not, this shows Joseph Smith believed in the Trinity when he wrote the Book of Mormon. This is a doctrinal change! Brigham Young comes along and preaches that Adam is God. This is a doctrinal change. Brigham Young dies and oh whoops! Adam is not God! This is a doctrinal change. Don’t give me the “it wasn’t official” crap either. People believed Adam was God for many years, the FLDS still believe this today as doctrine because they truly believe Brigham Young was a prophet of God. People died believing Adam was God.
What about polygamy? Are you a practicing polygamist? According to Pres. Hinkley, polygamy is an abomination to God. That is a doctrinal change. According to Joseph Smith and D&C 132, you can not make it to the Celestial Kingdom without practicing it in this life. Another reason the FLDS broke away and still practice it. They wouldn’t consent to the doctrinal changes. You need to do some research. The LDS church is fantastic at records. Check them out.
“I think I’ll stick with Jesus the way he described himself in the bible and not try to put words in his mouth.”
Sorry, you set yourself up for this one 🙂 Please show me in the Bible where Jesus says he is our spirit brother and is the offspring of a father/mother, god/godess. Where will I find that? Please show me where Jesus says he is separate from the Father and Holy Ghost, that they are not One. Please show me where he says that Satan is his spirit brother. If you believe what Mormonism teaches about Jesus, you ARE putting words in his mouth. A lot of words actually….
Touché my verbal fencing partner. 🙂 I could throw out all sorts of things that you have heard a million times before. Jeremiah 1:5, Ephesians 1:4, Jewish tradition, Matthew 3:16-17, Deut. 14:1, Mal. 2:10, Matt 27:14 etc, etc. There are places in the bible that hint to every one of these things (the exception may be a Heavenly Mother. There are hints of it in some Jewish traditions but I don’t think it’s explicitly in the bible).
Do these (and many other positions of the Lds) need modern revelation for clarification past what is hinted at in the bible. Yes, without a doubt. But the fact of the matter is a Triune God is AT BEST merely suggested by the bible, and in many places doesn’t make any sense at all. And since you believe in a closed cannon the weight of proving the theory biblically lies squarely on your shoulders.
Btw, thanks for the mental workout. You make me think 🙂
Solid, I assume you didn’t read my posts from several days ago which paralleled Kate’s last post about the BoM teaching on the nature of God. Based upon her last post I dont think it’s necessary to provide “just one changed doctrine”. Yoir argument is outmatched by documented LDS history. Excuse me for being unclear i didn’t mean to say that there are thousands of doctrinal changes i meant that there are thousands of pieces of written evidence that your doctrine has changed. Kate is correct. Unfortunately for you the LDS church has done a great job documenting their history.
As for a closed canon I’m actually open to the possibility that God could still speak today if he wanted to, but I would check that new revelation against the Bible we currently possess. If it didn’t match current revelation then it goes in the round file, with LDS doctrine. Sorry, but your prophets are proven as frauds by their unbiblical revelation, not to mention their unBoM and unD&C revelations as Kate pointed out. If Monson says tomorrow that God told Him that he no longer has a body would you believe him? Speaking of Monson, with all the chaos going on in the world today, where’s God’s living messenger? Why doesn’t he tap into the LDS treasury and buy some air time to tell us what to do. Why doesn’t he go all Joseph Smith and aay something good like, ” Thus saith the Lord, repent and be a Mormon and vote for Romney and Huntsman lest I smite you with a most vexational vexing and make you like potsherds. Even so. Amen” Not that I would believe him, but it would make for good TV…
“The Book of Mormon clearly shows a Trinitarian God”
Statement like the above are usually made by those who just want to be right, but the truth revealed is that they just don’t really get it. Some are bent on hopeless and useless assertions that the Book of Mormon is trinitarian, that it only refers to one God even though the actual reading clearly disputes this.
Zenos teaches about the Godhead, this verse is clearly Zenos praying to God the Father and about the Son. Alma 33:11
And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son.
Continue with verses 12-16
And now Alma said unto them: Do ye believe those scriptures which have been written by them of old?
Behold, if ye do, ye must believe what Zenos said; for, behold he said: Thou hast turned away thy judgments because of thy Son.
Now behold, my brethren, I would ask if ye have read the scriptures? If ye have, how can ye disbelieve on the Son of God?
For it is not written that Zenos alone spake of these things, but Zenock also spake of these things.
For behold, he said: Thou art angry, O Lord, with this people, because they will not understand thy mercies which thou hast bestowed upon them because of thy Son.
Now this is enough right here to prove that the Book of Mormon is not teaching a Trinitarian God, and this is obviously not prove of changed doctrine.
“Brigham Young comes along and preaches that Adam is God. This is a doctrinal change.”
How so? Church’s official position on Adam-God is clear it is not the doctrine of the Church. Argue all you want, but until we can actually communicate with BY and allow his theory to be revealed then the only comment that should concern any LDS member is that the Standard Works where all doctrine is found does not as of yet contain the Adam God Theory.
Once more, you have not shown doctrinal changes.
What about polygamy? Are you a practicing polygamist?
What about it, how does this prove doctrinal change.
Book of Mormon states — the doctrine of polygamy is still in our standard work, Doctrine and Covenants, section 132. Mormons are instructed not to practice polygamy during this life but the practice will be permitted in heaven. Today if a Mormon man outlives his first wife (after having a temple marriage) he can marry again in the temple. This would guarantee him two wives in heaven.
Where is the doctrine changes you want to believe in?
“With all the chaos going on in the world today, where’s God’s living messenger?”
Glad you asked. Hinckley and the 7 years of famine, I was there when he warned us to get our house in order. This was given at a General Priesthood Session, since that warning we went from good and plenty to the chaos you just mentioned.
Also how about the Proclamation to the World on Family and Marriage?
You are a lost soul my friend. Try telling all those people who died believing Adam is God that it wasn’t “official” and by the way, where are these people? They believed in a false God. What does God say about this? I won’t bother telling you because you will just spin it. I encourage you to research it for yourself. That is how you learn. As to your supposed “revelations” by Hinkley, what is so great about those? There’s always some sort of chaos in the world. Today is nothing new. Where are the revelations from the last several general conferences? I’m sorry, but put more food in your stores and don’t look at pornography aren’t revelations. I can tell that you are one of those Mormons who believe in the LDS brand of Mormonism no matter what evidence is shown to you. You would rather do mental gymnastics than believe that the LDS church is wrong.
Verbal fencing partner 🙂 I like it! I just find it refreshing to be able to put my questions and thoughts out to someone LDS who has a mind to think outside the LDS box! This is great! I’m scratching my head at the scriptures you you posted. Let’s look at Jerimiah 1:5, of course he knew us before he formed us. God knows the end from the beginning. This doesn’t mean we were his literal spirit offspring. That is quite a jump! Putting words in his mouth so to speak 🙂 I could do this with every scripture you posted, but really I don’t see the point.
“And since you believe in a closed cannon the weight of proving the theory biblically lies squarely on your shoulders.”
You have this backwards. The Bible and Christianity have been here for 2,000 years, Mormonism is only about 180, it is up to Mormonism to prove it’s theories and doctrines. The Bible tells us to test all things. Jesus himself said to beware of false prophets and that many false Christs’ and false prophets would arise to lead away even the very elect if possible. Who claims to be a prophet? How many prophets have the LDS church had? Aren’t they to be tested by their fruits. There are 200 different sects of Mormonism, all with their own prophet and apostles, which one is to be believed? The FLDS are the only ones ( I am aware of) who still follow all the teachings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. We never hear, “oh it isn’t official”, or “it was just his opinion” from them. It’s funny because every sect of Mormonism believe they are the only true church with the only true prophet.
Kate, It’s true that Jeremiah 1:5 could be looked at that way. But that’s not how the Jews looked at it in Christ’s time, or look at it now. According to jewfaq.org the idea of a preexistence is well documented in Jewish belief, and this is a scripture they point to. I also didn’t get the idea to us it or Ephesians 1:4 from the Lds topical guide, I got it from the Wiki page on preexistence under Christianity. I haven’t looked into the pages history but I can only assume it means there are Christians that agree with me somewhere. 🙂
And of course, as I said before, I’m more then willing to admit that there are merely hints for preexistence (and other Lds doctrine) in the bible. Christians have been reading things into scripture for years. A few beliefs that aren’t specifically taught in the bible but have been thought to be hinted at are: the trinity, creatio ex nihlo, that Jesus became sinful on the cross, prohibition, the burning of witches and slavery (actually a whole list of things about Africans). I’m sure there are more but these are the things that I can think of off the top of my head. There is nothing wrong with interrupting scripture in different ways. Man has been doing it for centuries. But it still means that these teachings aren’t biblical, and imo when it looks like they may have been wrong I’ll go with the bible. I don’t see a Triune God in the bible. I see a lot of places where it makes more sense for them to be separate. There are Christian and secular scholars that agree with me. So I’ll keep believing that they are separate.
[cont] You said “The Bible and Christianity have been here for 2,000 years, Mormonism is only about 180, it is up to Mormonism to prove it’s theories and doctrines.“ Two thoughts. First I was only speaking of the Trinity. If it’s true you should be able to prove it from a biblical point only, since Christianity has been going with it for 1600 years. Second I agree with you 100% that it’s the Lds’ job to prove there Doctrine. We’re the upstarts so we should be able to prove ourselves. That’s why I’m here (not to prove the Lds positions are true to you or anyone else, but to test them for myself).
You said “There are 200 different sects of Mormonism,”. Honest question that I’m not looking for a specific answer to; Aren’t there something like 20,000 or 30,000 different sects of protestants (not counting the Catholic and Orthodox sects)? While I’ll agree that the vast majority of these wouldn’t have any significant theological differences some do. I’ve heard some believe in baptism by immersion and that anyone that isn’t will “burn in hell”. Others say anyone that doesn’t take the bible as 100% literal your not a christian. What are your thoughts on this and how it relates to the Lds movement and it’s sects?
And of course I have to end with ON GUARD! *insert fencing smiley here*
Ha ha ha! OK, here’s what I think for what it is worth. I have only been out of Mormonism for about 11 months now. I have been studying the Bible and Christianity for about 2 years. I am a baby Christian so bear with me. From what I understand, the Church that Christianity speaks of is the Body of Christ. Christianity doesn’t look at “churches” the way Mormons do. It’s not about an organization, but a personal relationship with Christ. So to me, in Christianity, it doesn’t matter what church you belong to, it’s having that personal relationship with Jesus, my Pastor has also taught this. Also from what I’ve studied and observed, Christians ( of any sect) are surprisingly solid on the core beliefs of Christianity. Yes, the different sects may do minor things different, but doesn’t God love variety? I would think he does just by looking at the world around me. As long as the core doctrines are kept in tact, I don’t see a problem with worshiping a little differently on the minor stuff. The difference with the LDS sects is that they all claim everyone else to be in apostasy and that they alone are the only true church. That creates a huge problem. Mormonism also changes the core doctrines of Christianity such as Jesus being begotten the same way as you and I are begotten, the Atonement in the Garden, not fully on the Cross, just to name a few. I see this as another gospel Galatians 1:8 . Then we need to look at the additional scriptures being added to the Bible. I see a huge problem with Joseph Smith putting a brown rock into his hat and stuffing his face into it and translating the Book of Mormon. (cont)
Why wasn’t I taught this in church during 40 years as a Mormon? I was taught that he used the Urim and Thummim and LDS pictures show him with the plates right in front of him or even on his lap, yet according to those who were there, the plates were in the woods somewhere and he used the rock in the hat. What about the Book of Abraham? Studying this book is what started my journey out of the LDS church. The history of Mormonism sure doesn’t line up with the deceit that I was taught from a Sunbeam on up. I think the LDS church is trying to change some of that now. The internet hasn’t exactly been a good friend to Mormonism. I just can’t look the other way or spin or twist things. To me, truth is either truth or it isn’t. I guess I’m pretty black and white on most things. I know Christians aren’t perfect and have done things in the past such as the Inquisition and witch hunts, etc. , but the difference is, they don’t try and hide it or leave Christians to do mental gymnastics to make it OK. The truth is out there for anyone to study and no excuses are made for the atrocities. Men do make mistakes, but if you claim to be God’s only mouthpiece on earth, you better darn well be, otherwise your mistakes are fair game and everyone around you should be testing your claims and your fruits against the Word of God just as Jesus tells us to do. In my opinion, the only way LDS teachings are hinted at in the Bible is by torturing the scriptures. Your turn! 🙂
I checked out a site called Judaism 101 and clicked on the nature of God. Interesting stuff. I was interested in a few quotes:
G-d is Neither Male nor Female
This follows directly from the fact that G-d has no physical form. As one rabbi explained it to me, G-d has no body, no genitalia, therefore the very idea that G-d is male or female is patently absurd. We refer to G-d using masculine terms simply for convenience’s sake, because Hebrew has no neutral gender; G-d is no more male than a table is.
G-d is Eternal
G-d transcends time. He has no beginning and no end. He will always be there to fulfill his promises. When Moses asked for G-d’s name, He replied, “Ehyeh asher ehyeh.” That phrase is generally translated as, “I am that I am,” but the word “ehyeh” can be present or future tense, meaning “I am what I will be” or “I will be what I will be.” The ambiguity of the phrase is often interpreted as a reference to G-d’s eternal nature.
So Judaism teaches that God has no physical form (so does Christianity) and that he has always been God. That doesn’t fit in with Mormonisms view of God. Mormonism teaches that God has a body and was once a man, not always God. Another thing we have to look at is the fact that most (not all) Jews don’t believe Jesus was the Messiah. Mormons tend to live more in the Old Testament, while Christians live by the New Testament. Even so, you can not say that Mormonism’s view of the nature of God is anywhere close to that of Judaism.
Kate, Thank you for sharing your view, and an early happy anniversary to you. I commend anyone that is willing to look deeply in themselves and find there true faith, even if it leads them to a place different from me.
I’m always honestly surprised when I hear that people hadn’t been taught some of this stuff when they where at least in young men/women classes. Maybe it’s because I had some awesome teachers, or because of where I live (I’m in north-eastern Utah near the boarders of Colorado and Wyoming) and there is less of an Lds culture here, or because I have always had more Christian then Mormon friends, but I had heard about the Urim and Thummim not being used after the loss of the 116 pages, and the fact that JS used a hat so he could see his “magic rock” shine. I had heard about the BOA controversy and the fact that the plates where hardly ever there. Maybe it’s just a cultural reason that you hadn’t heard of it? Or that I’m slightly younger (I think about ten years or so). Mormons need to learn more of there history. It’s true that it’s much easier to find alternate viewpoints now that the internet has exploded, but it also brought out organizations like FAIR and MormonThink (I actually didn’t know they existed until after I started posting here). A think we can both agree the healthy debate about Mormon doctrine that will come from the internet can only help, it will either show the Lds lies or strengthen there position. [cont]
I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree about most Lds doctrine twisting the bible. I look at the Trinity and Creatio Ex Nihlo I feel like I’m watching the Olympics when read them into it, but I honestly see where your coming from. I must say thank you again for your fair and honest questions and answers. I have enjoyed the discussion immensely.
Judaism 101 is where I got my information about there views on the preexistence (jewfaq.org). I agree it’s an interesting site. Your correct that Judaism believes in an incorporeal and eternal God. There is debate about if always believed that, (it stems back to when they stopped using Gods name) however I’m more then willing to cede the point to you. But it’s also interesting to look at the similarities that can be found throughout. Judaism is a religion that has hardly any solid doctrine. Almost everything in the religion is up for debate, despite the fact both you and I would agree they did have prophets that where God’s mouthpieces and he could have very easily cleared the whole mess up (something you have commented about in the Lds church). Some of the many theories that they do have are a belief in the preexistence, multiple heavens, eternal marriage, the idea that hell isn’t forever, that non-believers can get into heaven, and the idea of a heavenly mother (I found it strange they would even speculate about this one unless they at one point that God was at least male).
Does this prove that the Lds position? Not even a little. But it’s fun to look at some of these things and wonder where JS got all the ideas from. It could very easily be a coincidence. But like I said, fun to look at.
I haven’t even begun to study Judaism. That was the first time I even looked it up. There are interesting doctrines from what I have read. I have basically stuck to Christianity and it’s doctrines because I truly believe that Jesus has fulfilled the Old Testament and He gave us a new one. I’m right smack in the middle of Utah and in this small community there is a very strong LDS culture. Very frustrating at times. I have to ask you, doesn’t it bother you or make you wonder that Joseph Smith used a magic rock in a hat? That bothered me so much. I just can’t see God using this to bring forth scripture. Especially when Joseph had been using it to con people into believing he could find them buried treasure on their property. What are your thoughts on this?
“I’m always honestly surprised when I hear that people hadn’t been taught some of this stuff when they where at least in young men/women classes.”
This is more common that you think. This is a huge reason people leave. Check out this link to a video by John Dehlin, he was right on the money. http://www.youtube.co/watch?v=uZQJc5SxnVs
Another source that I used was Heart of the Matter by Shawn McCraney. He shows the differences between Mormonism and Christianity. Like me, Shawn had been a Mormon for 40 years. He was a lot more active than I was. He has some really good shows. He showed me where Joseph Smith got all of his ideas from. This year he is going through the Book of Mormon and it’s been interesting.
I don’t know if I will ever join a denomination. Mormonism ruined me on that. I consider myself a non denominational Christian who just follows Jesus.
I didn’t mean to come across sounding like some Judaic Theology expert because I’m far from that. I have just looked into it a little bit. I suppose I do look at the O.T. differently then you do. I see definitely see Jesus fulfilling the prophesies of the coming Messiah, but I don’t see him sweeping away everything that came before and starting fresh. I see him gently realigning the Jewish teachings to what they where before men came and tried to complicate everything and then using them as a foundation to expand and bring new teachings and truth to the world. That’s why I find it interesting to study historical Judaism. Again it doesn’t prove anything but it’s fun.
I feel the same way about JS using the shiny stone as I do Moses using a stick to beat the crap out of Pharaoh and his gods (metaphorically speaking ;)) or Jesus using mud and spit to heal a man. God uses the things around us to work his will. It seems like that’s how it’s always been done in the past so I don’t know why he would stop now. That said I used to feel quite a bit like you do now (that’s why I left Christianity behind in my early teens and actively preached against it through my early twenties, hence the reason I’m so far behind the loop on Lds criticisms now). It wasn’t until I had been away from Christianity a decade that I could come back and look at things again. [Cont]
[Cont]I’m going to be honest and say I’m not nearly as well versed in the history of JS as I should be. I’ve always focused more on doctrine. From what I remember money digging was a popular sport in New England at the time, he was always working for another man and nobody that he ever did money digging for pressed charges against him for fraud (I seem to recall something about a man’s family pressing charges, but that wasn’t until after said man became Mormon and testified in JS’ behalf). Nothing there seems all that scary, but please let me know if I’m missing something. On the note of if it actually worked or not I know there are stranger things in heaven and earth. We still have an old man that does water divination around my town. He can tell you where to dig your well and how deep it needs to be with nothing more then a forked stick. I have no idea how he manages it but I’ve seen it work more then once.
I’m afraid your link to the video by John Dehlin was broken. I did look up Shawn McCraney and started listening to the Mormon Stories interview with him. I’m still tying to read all the information Falcon sent my way, as well as Liv4jc so it may take me awhile to get through it all. If I where Christian I would be non-denominational myself. But I couldn’t ever be Christian because I’ll go to my grave swearing God and Jesus are two separate beings 😉
It might help to quote a little more of Alma 33. Verse 1:
1 Now after Alma had spoken these words, they sent forth unto him desiring to know whether they should believe in ONE GOD, that they might obtain this fruit of which he had spoken, or how they should plant the seed, or the word of which he had spoken, which he said must be planted in their hearts; or in what manner they should begin to exercise their faith.
The Book of Mormon then defines that ONE God. Notice the changes made to the original BOM text:
And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother OF GOD, after the manner of the flesh.(1830)
And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the SON of God. (1 Nephi 11:18) (Current altered text)
And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, even THE Eternal Father! (1830)
And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, even the SON of the Eternal Father! (1 Nephi 11:21) (Current altered text)
These last records …. shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God IS the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world. (1830)
These last records …. shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the SON of the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world. (1 Nephi 13:40) (Current altered text)
This thought of Jesus as the ONE God in the flesh, is also found in the Lectures on Faith, voted on by the church as binding scripture in 1835 (canonized):
“There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power overall things … They are the Father and the Son: The Father being
a personage of spirit, glory and power: possessing all perfection and fulness: The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made, or fashioned like unto man, or being in the form and likeness of man, or, rather, man was formed after his likeness, and in his image;–he is also the express image and likeness of the personage of the Father: possessing all the fulness of the Father, or, the same fulness with the Father; being begotten of him, and was ordained from before the foundation of the world to be a propitiation for the sins of all those who should believe on his name, and is called the Son because of the flesh.” (Lectures on Faith, 5:2, emphasis mine)
In the questions and answers, at the end of each lecture, we find clarification:
Q. What is the Father?
A. He is a personage of glory and of power. (5:2.)
Q. What is the Son?
A. First, he is a personage of tabernacle. (5:2.)
Q. Why was he called the Son?
A. Because of the flesh.
Q. Do the Father and the Son possess the same mind?
A. They do.
Q. What is this mind?
A. The Holy Spirit.
We find this in an early Mormon publication:
“The Scriptures discover not only matters of importance, but of the greatest depth and mysteriousness. There are many wonderful things in the law of God, things we may admire, but are never able to comprehend. Such are the eternal purposes and decrees of God, THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY, the incarnation of the Son of God, and the manner of the operation of the Spirit of God upon the souls of men, which are all things of great weight and moment for us to understand and believe that they are, and yet may be unsearchable to our reason,
as to the particular manner of them.” (Evening & Morning Star, Vol. I, INDEPENDENCE, MO. JULY, 1832. No. 2. page 12, emphasis mine)
Smith, even changed a verse in the Bible, to make this more clear:
KJV: All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.(Luke 10:22)
JST: All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it.(Luke 10:22 JST, emphasis mine)
And Brigham Young was perfectly clear about Adam being the father of men’s spirits. One does not need to “ask” him. We have his teachings about it over a thirty year period, and him stating emphatically in 1873 that it was a “revelation” from God that He was indeed Adam. Because the Church rejected the doctrine, doesn’t mean that Young didn’t teach it, and claim it as a revelation. _johnny
August 17, 1949
The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of DIRECT COMMANDMENT FROM THE LORD, on which is founded the DOCTRINE of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle.
President Brigham Young said: “Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to.” (First Presidency Statement, emphasis mine)
They changed the “doctrine” in 1978, BEFORE all the “seed of Cain” had received their “blessings”. This is a direct contradiction to a COMMANDMENT from God, that they could not lift the ban, until that happened. _johnny
That should be, before “all the rest of the children” had received their blessings, not the “seed of Cain”._johnny
You can find the John Dehlin video on Youtube under “Why people leave the LDS church.”
Joseph Smith and company also used divining rods for various things. The Bible clearly tells us in Deuteronomy 18:9-13 that divination shouldn’t be used and “Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.” I can’t see God using a seer stone to bring forth scripture. He also warns us about “familiar spirits” just something to think about. Study Joseph Smith’s family and what they were into before he started with writing the Book of Mormon. Interesting stuff! Here’s a link to utlm.org about the Smith fraud. http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no68.htm The fact that it was covered up and lied about by LDS is what bothers me the most about the whole thing.
I have pointed out some of what you posted. Unfortunately it is lost on the Mormon posters. Had I known there were such huge doctrinal changes made to the Book of Mormon, I would have left Mormonism a lot sooner than I did. The sneaky way the LDS church changes things is appalling to me. Every LDS member should be upset and sickened by this. Great posts as always!
I’ve been reading the above posts and for someone who considers themselves a new Christian, your spiritual maturity says you’re much older and wiser! This has nothing to do with you being an ex Mormon, but like the rest of us, you were once in darkness and now are in the Light. Knowing God’s attributes has shown you that the things other people say and do must spiritually agree with you. Learning God’s Word and developing a strong relationship with Him is the best way to know whether or not His Truth is present. Also, I can tell that you are sincere in trying to educate those who do not understand God’s Word. Many come here to argue or bash each other (both sides) when the goal of every Christian should be to show someone the love of Christ in all we say and do.
Mormons, I thank God for bringing me to Utah in 2001 as it started me on my path to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’ve studied more while here than in my previous 35 years combined! I’ve learned that my relationship with Christ is growing everyday and that He is perfect and unchanging. I count it as a privilege and an honor to be a lowly servant, a pile of dust, a mere vapor. I thank Him for my home in heaven, which awaits me, where there will be one purpose: to praise Him continually, night and day. I need no other world to rule or wives or anything which would keep me from eternally serving Him!
Only by showing God’s love can we ever hope to introduce someone to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.