Mormons Want People to Ask Questions

In an article published last week in The Tennessean (31 October 2011), the journalist interviewed Latter-day Saint Emily Halverson. Emily told the reporter that in middle Tennessee, far outside the so-called Book of Mormon Belt, people are curious about Mormons but reluctant to bring up the subject. Emily and her husband, Jared, have talked about how they might open up the topic for conversation with non-Mormons.

“’We’ve joked about, if you’re meeting someone who is not a member, saying “What’s five things you always wanted to ask a Mormon?”’ she said. ‘We want people to ask questions.’”

As I think about it, the list of questions I’d like to ask Mormons seems to have no end.

Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson once wrote a book (now out of print) filled with “Questions to Ask Your Mormon Friend.” All of them are good and interesting questions, but my personal favorite is “Why does the Mormon Church ignore Jesus’ role as prophet of God’s church?”

McKeever and Johnson point out the bedrock assertion of the LDS Church that modern-day revelation is essential; the true church must be (and according to Mormonism is) guided by a living prophet. Mormons rally around this fundamental claim, and criticize Christians for not being guided by a living prophet today. But they are mistaken.

As McKeever and Johnson detail in their book, the prophet spoken of in Deuteronomy 18 is none other than Jesus (see John 5:46, 6:14, 7:37-40). The apostle Peter repeated Moses’ prophetic and solemn words for his audience in Jerusalem:

“…God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’” (Acts 3:21-23)

McKeever and Johnson write,

“Peter’s message was clear. We must listen to the words of the prophet prophesied by Moses…

“The bodily resurrection of Christ proves that He forever lives. Jesus is the final authority. To disregard His words is to bring destruction upon oneself. This fact, coupled with the aforementioned passages, demonstrates that Christ’s church does have a living prophet guiding it today: His name is Jesus! He is to be our source of truth…

“True followers of Christ readily accept the revealed Word of God which has been a time-tested truth throughout the centuries and which Jesus said ‘would not pass away’ [Mt. 24:35]…

“It is by God’s Word, the Bible, that all things are compared, including the words of those who claim to be modern prophets.” (Questions to Ask Your Mormon Friend, 79-81)

From this question, many others logically follow. But I would like to turn this over to you. Mormon Coffee friends, what are your top questions for Mormons? Ask away–and also, perhaps, explain why the answers really matter.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Jesus Christ, Prophets, Truth, Honesty, Prayer, and Inquiry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

107 Responses to Mormons Want People to Ask Questions

  1. Mike R says:

    Grindael, your description of the “keys” and authority that Jesus’ apostles possessed as
    described in the N.T. makes much more sense than what Mormonism has to offer on this issue.
    In reading what you said about Jesus and the Advocate , I’m not real clear on what you
    stated. Exactly where does the person of the Holy Spirit enter this picture ?

  2. 4fivesolas says:

    Solid LDS,
    I can’t help but notice that when you ask for Scripture reference for the Keys being given to the Church and Grindael and I do just that – you don’t deal with the Scriptures we elaborate on, but rather you resort to Mormon Scripture which contradicts the Bible. In other words, you cannot refute the Bible passages, you can only appeal to Mormon “revelation” which does not line up with Christian Scripture.
    You still have not answered why Scripture says in the past God spoke to us by the Prophets, but now in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son. We are lead by the eternal Prophet – the living Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us the Keys of forgiveness through His life, death on the cross, and resurrection.

  3. madsenmom says:

    A question I would like to ask a Mormon is why is it so hard for you guys to accept the free gift of salvation through Christ’s death on the cross? It is clearly written all over the NT that He is the only way to Heaven and by trying to add to his death by making yourself more worthy is just offensive.

    “But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore he is able, ONCE AND FOREVER, to save those who come to God through HIM. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin….” Hebrews 7:24-26

    “And so dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him…..” Hebrews 10:19-22

    We don’t need priests and prophets to intercede for us. We are called to go boldly into the throne ourselves. We have been given all the tools and “keys” necessary for our salvation they are clearly laid out in the NT. We must believe in Jesus Christ and accept the FREE gift he gave us by dying on the cross that is the only way. We don’t have to do temple work, baptisms for the dead, wear garments, make sure we pay 10% to our church, and so on, and so on, and so on. By thinking you must do all of those “extra” things you are minimizing Christ’s death on the cross.

  4. Ralph says:


    John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

    John 17:21-23 That they all may be ONE; as thou, Father, art IN me, and I IN thee, that they also may be ONE IN us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be ONE, even as we are ONE: I IN them, and thou IN me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

    John 14:20 On that day you will realize that I am IN my Father, and you are IN me, and I am IN you.

    Now lets pair this up with another scripture you referenced above for the Trinity as well as your concluding statement leaving in the emphasis that you placed in there –

    “Anyone who has seen me HAS SEEN THE FATHER. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am IN the Father, and that the Father is IN me?”

    “This is perfectly clear. God is ONE, the Trinity.”

    So we have the Bible saying that the true believers will become ONE as Jesus and Heavenly Father are ONE and the true believers will be IN Jesus as He is IN Heavenly Father.

    Well there’s the doctrine of the Trinity taken to the logical conclusion – you will become a part of your Trinity. So you too believe that you can and will become God.

  5. Solid LDS says:

    “In other words, you cannot refute the Bible passages, you can only appeal to Mormon “revelation” which does not line up with Christian Scripture.”

    May I ask what was there to refute? Matt 22:14

    The final verse of the parable of the marriage of the king’s son states, “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). Joseph Smith added a key phrase in his inspired revision of the Bible: “For many are called, but few are chosen: wherefore all do not have on the wedding garment” (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 22:14;

    If you were to understand Temple and Temple Ordinances including the the verses regarding the ten virgins you would also understand the Wedding is only for those who are already members of His Kingdom here on the earth. Five were prepared and five were not, only 50 percent of those chosen will be prepared for the final triumph of Christ return.

    Again, where do you find anywhere in the whole of Christendom anyone who speaks for God, where do you find any authority to preach His Gospel? Man does not choose, but God does choose those who keep their Covenants and abide His commandments. He command all men to be baptized to be able to enter into His Kingdom, that is also Biblical.

  6. 4fivesolas says:

    Solid LDS & TJayT – One thing that is interesting about the parable of the wedding feast – the wedding garment was traditionally provided by the host. The guest who was cast out did not wear the garment PROVIDED BY THE HOST.
    Jesus is the host – He has provided the garment of righteousness, HIS righteousness, which covers our sin. We don’t knit together our own garments (which are filthy rags), we need do to be clothed in the righteousness of Christ. That is how we are acceptable – not based on our own works, but based on Christ’s perfect sacrifice on our behalf – he takes all our sin to the cross, he gives us his righteousness – the garment to cover our sin.

    Solid LDS – You still have not responded to Hebrews 1:1-2a – this is written to Jewish believers. They understood what it meant – do you?

    Also, we have clearly demonstrated that the Keys of forgiveness are given to the Church (from Scripture). Our Pastors have the authority to announce the forgiveness of sins through Jesus to struggling sinners looking for a Savior. Jesus established His Church on His forgiveness through his death and resurrection and it has remained.

  7. Mike R says:

    Christ’s original apostles or the apostles of the Mormon church , that’s the choice , for me
    it’s one or the other. The Mormon church claims to be Jesus’ church the claim is that it
    “… conforms , for instance , to the New Testament pattern of the Lord’s church. In it are
    found the same authority, the same organization, the same ordinances, the same teachings
    and doctrines that were found in the primitive church. ” [ Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doct.
    p.129 , 1958 ed . he echoed what Pres. Charles Penrose had testified to much earlier].
    There are two things about this claim that need to be noted : 1. it is bold, and 2. it is false .
    Claiming to be endorsed by Jesus Himself or perhaps from visions/ visitations from one of His
    apostles is not a new claim by those who claim to be God’s mouthpiece , the prophet He uses
    today to dispense His important spiritual truths through. Some of these prophets also try and
    convince people that there was a complete apostasy of Jesus’ church, His true followers being
    exterminated so Christianity sickened and died . How unfortunate sincere people fall for such
    lies. Mormon leaders have veered from the description of the Church Jesus’ apostles were
    trained to minister to 2000 years ago , they have ran way past the saving truths that Jesus
    gave these men to preach in their missionary travels . What Mormon leaders have done with
    the term ” priesthood” has been to use this term in such a way as to justify their many false
    doctrines. It’s crucial that the Mormon people test their apostles claims and teachings 1Jn4:1;Rev2:2 .

  8. spartacus says:

    Would really like to hear the personal perspective of some LDS on these questions:

    1) Do you personally believe what the LDS church teaches about God being our literal spirit/heavenly Father who was once a man himself w/ his own Heavenly Father who was once a man himself w/ his own Heavenly Father, on and on into eternity past beyond which we don’t know anything else?

    2) Did you feel disappointed that God was not the Ultimate Reality (as most people consider a God-candidate to be) but rather the glorified human described in the first question?

    3) Do you and, if so, What do you find worshipable about this god?

    4) How do you feel about Heavenly Father spending millenia w/ all his spirit children and then sending them all for testing and, upon judgement, abandoning the vast majority of them for all eternity (even if it is to a wonderful environment)?

    5) Do you look forward to doing the same with your spirit children when you become a god/heavenly parent?

  9. Solid LDS says:

    “Also, we have clearly demonstrated that the Keys of forgiveness are given to the Church (from Scripture). ” 4fivesolas

    You demonstrated what? LOL, keys of forgiveness? How about explaining the Keys of the Kingdom and its sealing powers which you just completely ignored? I really sounds like you make it up as you try to explain something that is little understood by the Christian Church, maybe you should first understand that a real apostasy took place and exactly for the same reason that people like you long ago tried too tell God how to run His Church, His Doctrine and His Kingdom here on earth.

    Hebrews 1:1-2
    Amusing that you completely misunderstand context and are mighty in conveying contextomy by completely distorted its intended meaning. Problematic is you don’t address the question posed. This scripture never implies God would cease speaking through those He Choses to be His spokesmen. Ask your self what is Paul suggesting? He is trying to establish a pattern.

    What is the pattern? to convince Jews that God the Father had followed an established, historical pattern in the manner in which he sent his Son to be the Messiah. By reading the rest of Pauls epistle you would have understood the unchanging pattern God uses to reveal truth to his children. To use this verse to claim that God changed the pattern is not in harmony with the rest of Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews.
    “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)


  10. Solid LDS says:

    “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: “(Ephesians 3:3-5)

    Is God a God of confusion? We are asked constantly why do Mormons believe there should be Prophets in our day. Why? well lets look at 1Corinthians 14:33

    For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Corinthians 14:33)

    “All Churches of the Saints”, a very obvious indicator that He is speaking to one Church, the Church of the Saints. Is there diversity of beliefs proclaimed by the various churches who claim to be Christ’s? Yes, there is disunity and contradiction amongst the various sect and denominations in Christendom. Is this pleasing to God, one would have to wonder why God allows such disunity and confusion. “For God is not the author of confusion”.

    Why did Jesus go to John to be baptized? Because he had authority from God to perform the ordinance. John held the Aaronic Priesthood. This is an important characteristic of a prophet. Prophets are invested with God’s authority.

    Where does the Orthodox Christian Church today claim authority, facts are they can’t and have to turn to the Bible as there sole claim to fame, a self proclaimed fame based on apostate teachings and with a assumption of God giving them authority and power by taking it upon themselves.

  11. 4fivesolas says:

    Solid LDS –

    The Keys of the Kingdom? Oh yes we have the keys – forgiveness through Christ death on the Cross for our sins clearly proclaimed, sins confessed and forgiven. This is the Keys to the Kingdom.

    You fail to understand Hebrews 1:2 – Jesus is appointed heir of all things. He is our living prophet. Jesus has fulfilled all things.

    Why did Jesus go to John to be baptized? Scripture says it was to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus, who was without sin, perfectly fulfilled the law on our behalf – doing for us what we could never do. Did he need a baptism of repentance? – No, but we are credited with his righteousness, and he takes our sin.

    It amazes me when people like yourself denigrate Holy Scripture. It is the very voice of God to us – showing us how through Christ we have eternal life with God. God speaks to His people through his Word – Jesus is even referred to as the Word in flesh. Read through the Bible from cover to cover – you will see God’s plan of the sacrifices, the Passover, that were ultimately fulfilled in Jesus death on the cross. Jesus is our passover lamb.

    Christianity is the author of confusion? Have you heard of the Mormon prophet’s belief of Adam God? Or blood atonement? Or that their god was once a man who now lives on or near something called Kolob? The belief that there are many gods? Mormonism contradicts Scripture in so many ways in so many places – the Mormon god truly is confusing. A false prophet with a false claim of authority is irrelevant.

  12. Kate says:

    Who is being ordained into the Mormon priesthood? Boys, starting at 12 years old. Are these boys even aware of what is happening? Are they old enough and mature enough to understand what it means or what is expected of them? What about the older teenage boys who bless or pass the sacrament with a hangover? I witnessed this so many times growing up. I would run into these boys on a Saturday night, they would be so drunk and then I’d see them up there in front of the congregation blessing and passing. Is this what God ordains? Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t someone have to be a direct descendant of Levi to hold the Aaronic Priesthood? Mormonism claims to have restored the Biblical Priesthood and temple practices. Really? How many animals are being sacrificed in the LDS temples? I’m also wondering why the LDS don’t use the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible. Once again I have to ask, where is Jesus in any of this?

  13. Mike R says:

    Kate, It’s such a blessing to see how you are free in Jesus, to see that you notice that Mormonism
    has erected such a complex system of “requirements” for people to do in order to receive a right
    relationship with God . I too look at this huge autocratic corporation and ask , “where is Jesus
    in all this ? ” It seems like He’s got buried under all the “obligations” placed on the shoulders of
    the Mormon people. These precious people need to know that there’s a better way—Matt11:28

  14. TJayT says:

    Hi spartacus, here are my thoughts on your questions;

    1: Right now no. I’m leaning toward Blake Ostler’s arguments on the subject. I haven’t read all of his books but what i’ve heard and read conform with my beliefs.

    2: I don’t find it disappointing. God is the creator of all and gives hope that we can truly become better than we are.

    3: That he is our creator, lord and master. That he loves us enough to give us the chance to be more like him.

    4: As I understand the degrees of glory God will be able to move through all three, so there’s no reason for him to abandon any of us.

    5: Again I don’t see why I would have to abandon any of them. I’m sure I’ll enjoy watching them progress.

    A question for you based on question 4; Do you belive that God will cast all that don’t believe in Jesus into hell, and if so how do you feel about a God that would do that to the vast majority of humanity?

  15. Kate says:

    Could you give some reference as to your answer to #4? I have been taught at church that Jesus can pass through all three but God does not. God stays in the Celestial Kingdom and if you are not in the Celestial Kingdom, you will not live with God. Jesus can visit you though.

  16. Mike R says:

    Solid, respectfully, but it is you who does’nt seem to” get it”, 4fivesolas has directed your
    attention to Jesus as our High Priest and prophet and that is the message of the N.T. Not
    quite sure what you mean by a “real apostasy” but your leaders have been quite clear that
    a complete apostasy of Jesus’ church occurred, an extermination of his true followers so
    that Christianity sicked and died. That’s ridiculous , and yet you accuse 4fivesolas of telling
    God what to do and how to run His Church ! Apparently you still have’nt come to see the great
    truth of Heb.1:2. The pattern of the old covenant in respect to prophets, which Mormonism
    seems bent on promoting, was indeed fullfilled , it had to be. Hints of God’s new arrangement
    with prophets is seen in Mark. 12;1-8; Lk.24:25-27. The very verse you cited( Eph.3:3-5) works
    against your theory,it was indeed through apostles and prophets that this truth was spread.
    Notice it says “prophets” not “prophet” . We do not see the Mormon system of one man at the
    top as the prophet, we do see a First Presidency , and we do not see a whole herd of High Priests.
    The earth shaking, history altering, event that happened with the coming of Messiah , the Savior
    of the world, did indeed change some patterns. You cited 1Cor 14:33. That verse speaks of the
    very spiritual guidance that has emerged from Mormon priesthood heirarchy . One example,
    Acts 10 Peter is directed to accept all men as eligible for eternal life . Mormon prophets had
    another plan however, as black men were considered “unworthy” . A black man was once
    ordained , then years later this was revoked, then un-revoked decades after that ! cont.

  17. Kate says:

    Sorry that should have said, you will not see God, not that you will live with God.

  18. Mike R says:

    It’s unfortunate that while we get claims from Mormon authorities that they offer the one
    channel of communication that God uses to dispense His truth to mankind, yet these men
    have offered only the precepts of men ( 2Nephi 28:31) on some very vital doctrines, doctrines
    that affect one’s salvation . Despite their vacillating on important issues these men have the
    gumption to claim that what they offer is reliable spiritual counsel and that the Mormon prophet,
    the High Priest, is the one source of pure doctrine for mankind.
    Our authority? The word of our Creator, given to us as our roadmap to spiritual truth. Man’s
    nature has never changed thru history he is still in need of the timeless truths the Bible offers.
    God has promised to meet anyone there , and through His Spirit reveal these timeless truths.
    Perhaps when we can start to consistently live the truths then God will reveal more, but until
    then we are told to watch out for religious men who might try and introduce ( 2Pt2:1) false
    teachings attempting to ” teach for doctrine the commandments of God “. Not all such men
    would be violent or immoral individuals, and that would add a appealing feature to their claims
    of “authority” . You might ponder that fact . May you come to see in Jesus the ultimate prophet
    who also is the Savior, we can trust Him to be a trustworthy guide in spiritual truth , the truth
    that leads to eternal life—Heb7:25

  19. grindael says:


    As for your logical conclusion, Christ in that instance is speaking of UNITY. You seem to have forgotten to finish the quote. That is what makes us “one” with God, taking upon ourselves the divine nature. Jesus specifically said that if you have seen me, you have seen the Father speaking of his incarnation. Here is the part that gives it context:

    “I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity, Then he says, “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me MAY BE IN THEM and that I myself may be in them.

    He did not say that we would BE the Father incarnate, as he was, he was speaking about the divine nature, the love of God IN us, that changes our nature.

    Remember, that Paul states,

    9 For in Christ all the fullness (pleroma) of the Deity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) lives in BODILY form,

    We are not God in bodily form, as Jesus was then. Unless you are saying that YOU are God the Father in bodily form?

    Joseph Smith once believed in a Trinity (or at least a modalistic version of it), changing the Bible to reflect this:

    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)

  20. grindael says:


    Your quoting Fielding Smith does nothing to bolster your argument about keys. Where, in any instance was Priesthood ever ordained on any of Jesus Apostles, by the laying on of hands? Give me one scriptural reference. In fact, give me one scriptural reference where anyone in the new testament is ordained (formally by laying on of hands) to any priesthood. You mistake authority for priesthood. We are given authority to act for Christ when we take on his name. When Christ came the Levitical Priesthood and the office of the High Priest ended, because Jesus became our one and only High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary by reason of the power of his indestructible life. I showed you were keys of authority were given to the Church. THAT is in the Bible. The Mormon “priesthood” is not._johnny

  21. grindael says:

    Mike ,

    The Advocate is the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, I will send you the Advocate/Comforter, I will not leave you alone, I will come to you.

  22. Dale says:

    Solid, I have to be honest and say that your interpretation of Hebrews 1:1-2 is from outer-space.

    Yes, it establishes that God had a pattern–a pattern that came to a climax in his Son, Jesus the Christ. No where does that verse support the continuation of prophets. The fact that you would try to shoe-horn such a simple verse into Mormonism makes me question your interpretations of all verses from here on out. Hebrews 1:1-2 is very clear that Jesus is the ONLY major prophet to us in this age.

    Also, the sad fact is that you are looking to Mormon prophets for clarity and believe that’s what they offer. This is not the case.

    You say God is not the author of confusion, but you fail to mention how often the Mormon prophets have disagreed with one another. Half the time, Joseph Smith didn’t agree with himself. Do his numerous accounts of the First Vision where he sometimes is 16 and other times 14 create the clarify you crave? How about Brigham Young’s Adam/God doctrine, which the church later renounced? Is that clear enough? Brigham Young said polygamy is an eternal principle, but the Church isn’t practicing it now.

    The unfortunate truth is that the LDS Prophets flip-flop and flim-flam. Then we have true believing Mormons like you trying to say how much clarify they create.

    If you truly believe that God is not the author of confusion, you would realize that LDS prophets can not be speaking for Him.

  23. TJayT says:

    Kate, nice to talk to you again 🙂

    As far as I know the idea that God can’t/won’t visit the lower glories hasn’t been taught by the leadership of the church. If I had to guess the idea comes from a misinterpretation of D&C 76, specifically verses 77 and 86.
    76: These (terrestrial) are they who receive of the presence of the son, but not the fulness of the father.

    86: These (telestial) are they who receive not his fulness in the eternal world, but the holy spirit through the ministration of the Terrestrial.

    Most interpret this to mean Gods will only be in the Celestial and Jesus will only be in the Celestial and Terrestrial. But the verses don’t say this. All they say is 1: God and Jesus will spend most of there time in there respective glories and 2: those outside the Celestial Kingdom won’t recive God’s fulness (exaltation). There isn’t anything here stopping God from going between any of the kingdoms he’s created so I don’t see why he wouldn’t.

  24. TJayT says:

    Sorry that really is verse 77, not 76.

  25. Mike R says:

    In my last post above, the line which was , ” teach for doctrines the commandments of God “,
    should have read , ” Teach for doctrine the commandments of MEN .” This was a reference
    to the behavior of Mormon apostles , a behavior that they accuse other religious of ! The
    claims of false prophets seem to resound with their authority, their power, their uniqueness
    as God’s sole spokesman , and their followers as being THE true christians . We don’t need
    another prophet like these, we need a Savior. This Savior has equipped His body of believers
    with the means to spread His gospel as well as conduct the affairs of each local assembly of
    believers. Former Mormon Latayne Scott has some wisdom concerning the supposed complete
    apostasy espoused by Mormon leaders: ” According to Mormon doctrine Jesus founded a
    church in New Testament which He promised to protect….This church was not just identified
    as a group of people, but also as something intimate to Him—His Bride. The Mormon Jesus
    was quite a bridegroom— not only did He stand aside and let the world ravage His bride, He
    watched without comment as they actually killed His bride, the church .Then 1750 yrs later,
    He apeared to Joseph Smith and asked him to get Him a new bride. Would you want to ‘marry’
    a bridegroom like that ? Not me—I’ve escaped to the arms of the all powerful Faithful and True.
    Praise to His name. “

  26. spartacus says:


    Gospel Principles 1997 and latest version of GP – “[celestial kingdom members] will live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ forever (see D&C 76:62).” p.297 and “[terrestrial kingdom members] will be visited by Jesus Christ but not by our Heavenly Father. (See D&C 76:73-79)” p. 298 and “[telestial kingdom members]will be visited by the Holy Ghost but not by the Father or the Son. (See D&C 76:81-86, 103-6.)”

    personal statement- I agree that the wording could be understood as you summarize but the overall structure of the verses “who” “where” “why”and “with whom” seem to support the apparent official interpretation of the LDS church as represented by their publications.

  27. spartacus says:


    Thanks for answering my questions. Would love to here from others (especially if they agree with #1). Some follow up:

    1-I’m more familiar with LDS church statements than I am with Ostler’s – could you give me a synopsis of his view of God’s once human/not ultimate-ness.

    2-You say you are not disappointed “that God was not the Ultimate Reality” which seems to indicate that you accept that he is not the Ultimate Reality – that is, above all and the source of all. But then you say that he “created all.” Please clarify if you think he is in fact the Ultimate Reality and source of all that exists/is reality. Or please clarify what you mean by “created all” if he is not the ultimate reality but an entity progressing within a system he did not create.

    3- “that he is our creator” – my understanding is that God “organized” everything under his domain, not “created” it. Also if you believe God sired us within the heavenly parental unit then again it doesn’t seem like “creating”. Also if you go back to JS teachings on intelligences and spirit bodies supplied by the parental unit then again it doesn’t seem like creating. “Creating” is a common description of what a God/Ultimate Reality does – so this word is important – if you didn’t mean it in this particular way, I understand and don’t look to nitpick. However it does seem to be crucial to what a worshipable God would be – worshipping our creator is considered appropriate, the worshipability of a father is where I get confused. Your clarification of your position would be appreciated.

    4&5-your response in consideration of my Fact Check would be appreciated. (contd.)

  28. spartacus says:



    Lastly, your questions to me.

    First, My ultimate belief about people’s judgement and destiny is that God is just and we’ll all agree with his final judgements as the Bible says (somewhere-forgive my technical ignorance, i would research the verses but I need sleep). I believe statements like “Jesus is the only way to the Father”, “there is no other name by which we are saved”, and that people will be judged by the light that was given them. However, I don’t believe that these statements necessitate knowledge of the name “Jesus” in order for pre-Christ and non-gospeled people to be saved through Christ. Does God bring knowledge of Christ to people through other more direct means, “dreams” and such? Sure. I am not so eager to judge people’s destinies based on my knowledge and understanding of the Bible. Exactly who will and who won’t be saved with or without explicit acceptance of Christ is not important for me to know let alone conject (is that a word;) I simply know that God wants reconciliation and relationship with all of us through Christ thus the command to spread the Gospel.

    Secondly, while I dislike the thought that many will apparently spend an eternity without God-the source of all Good-thus left with the not Good. I respect God’s respect for our decisions to follow or to continue to rebel. I also respect God’s respect for his image-bearing creatures in the form of apparently not annihilating them. I also take some comfort that God will condemn people according to their offenses (see verses about ~”it will be better for Sodom and Gomorrah at the day of judgement”~). And, as stated above, I take comfort in God’s justice and goodness. (cont’d later)

  29. spartacus says:

    (cont’d now)
    Where I come from with question 4 is that, while I can understand the Ultimate Reality judging his creatures and sending those who don’t want him away, I have trouble understanding a literal Father who does so with his disobedient children. As a Christian I believe we are simply the creatures created by The Creator, it is only after we accept Christ and become adopted sons of God that we are then in a Father/child relationship-in which God is awfully good, merciful, and graceful to us.

    My understanding of LDS is that “God” is our literal Father and sends his children away and then only accepts back a tiny remnant (if any-considering the standards for the Celestial Kingdom) into his presence/relationship, affectively abandoning or shunning all of the rest (if not all – ditto.) because their not good enough. Actually it’s not if their good enough, (as there will be valiant=good nonbelievers damned to Terrestrial) but valiant believers who did the right tasks (temple). Even given the need for justice this seems inappropriate for a good father to do.

    Also if you do consider the intelligence/spirit body teachings then you seem to really just have an employer promoting or demoting, which is understandable but then problematic again for worshipability (question 3).

  30. spartacus says:

    sorry for the multi-posts – lots of things to respond to, and the “their/they’re” mistakes- I don’t get much sleep these days. (wish there was a way to edit after posting) Good night and Good day, and May God Bless You All and the family and friends of the missionaries killed recently, in the Name of Jesus the Christ, Amen.

  31. gpark says:

    How grieved our great God must be that a people chooses to encumber themselves with a set of rules and regulations that far surpass the US tax code in complexity when He has said, Come unto Me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. He sent His only Son to die for us that we might be “saved to the uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25). Perhaps, Solid LDS, I posted the below before you came to the site; but, I ask, respectfully, that the moderators allow me to repost it.

    The Bible says that Jesus is “able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 7:25, NIV) . How is a universal or general salvation that only gets one into the ‘lowest’ level of Heaven, unless one performs works done for the purpose of earning for oneself a higher place, ‘complete’ salvation.

    Barnes Notes on the Bible, referencing the KJV phrasing of Hebrews 7:25, Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost… defines the phrase “to the uttermost” as follows – ‘This does not mean simply “forever” – but that he has power to save them so that their salvation shall be “complete” – εἰς τὸ παντελὲς eis to panteles. He does not abandon the work midway; he does not begin a work which he is unable to finish. He can aid us as long as we need anything done for our salvation; he can save all who will entrust their salvation to his hands.’

    Notice, we “entrust our salvation to His hands”… our complete salvation. The only place that works have in the process is that they are the natural (or should I say supernatural) outflow of a heart regenerated by, (cont.)

  32. gpark says:

    and filled with, the Holy Spirit (the third Person of the Trinity, the other Comforter, sent to guide us into all truth).
    The salvation paid for by Jesus with His life is not an “after all you can do” salvation or a partial salvation. It is a complete, “to the uttermost” salvation!

  33. Kate says:

    I don’t think what you are saying is correct. I was taught for 40 years that God himself does not leave the Celestial Kingdom.

    “This earth will become a celestial kingdom when it is sanctified. Those who enter the terrestrial kingdom will have to go to some other sphere which will be prepared for them. Those who enter the telestial kingdom, likewise will have to go to some earth which is prepared for them, and there will be another place which is hell where the devil and those who are punished to go with him will dwell. Of course, those who enter the telestial kingdom, and those who enter the terrestrial kingdom will have the ETERNAL PUNISHMENT which will come to them in knowing that THEY MIGHT, IF THEY HAD KEPT THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD, HAVE RETURNED TO HIS PRESENCE as his sons and his daughters. This will be a torment to them, and in that sense it will be hell.” (Answers to Gospel Questions, v. 2, p. 210)

    You said: 5: Again I don’t see why I would have to abandon any of them. I’m sure I’ll enjoy watching them progress.

    There is no progression between kingdoms.
    “No progression between kingdoms. After a person has been assigned to his place in the kingdom, either in the telestial, the terrestrial, or the celestial, or to his exaltation, he will never advance from his assigned glory to another glory. That is eternal! That is why we must make our decisions early in life and why it is imperative that such decisions be right” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 50).

    Maybe you have been taught differently, which wouldn’t surprise me in the least. From what I have learned in the past year, teachings have been all over the place and inconsistent.

  34. Kate says:

    So I have a question. I have a few relatives who were never active in the LDS church. When they passed away, family members did their temple work for them. According to Spencer W. Kimball, they have their estate as non believers in Mormonism. So why the temple work? If there is no progression, then why was temple work done for them?

  35. TJayT says:

    Sorry it took me so long to post back, things went a bit crazy yesterday.


    Thanks for the fact check. I had always assumed it was just something we Mormons pondered about but hadn’t really been written down anywhere. Personally I still believe it’s a position not truly supported by Lds scripture, but I’m not the kind of person that just ignores everything that doesn’t support his position, so I’ll answer questions 4 and 5 with that in mind.

    1: I can’t pretend to discuss the idea with any great authority, like I said I’m still waiting for his books so I can really dig deeply into the issues. But from what I’ve heard and been able to piece together the idea is something like this; God has always been divine and is co-eternal with everything else that’s eternal (matter and “intelligence”). At some point after the creation of spirits went into his own mortality (somewhere other then earth) lived sinlessly, laid down his life, then took it up again as Jesus would do later. In this model God is the end all God of God’s and Lord of Lords. He didn’t need anyone to atone for him because he was divine and never sinned. God would also be the spirit father of every being in existence and Jesus atonement would pay for everyone, everywhere.

    Like I said, I don’t know enough to truly knowledgably discuss the topic in depth. It does conform to my belief that God never sinned and the fact I always thought an infinite regression was silly. I do know quite a bit about the arguments for infinite regression though, so if you’d like to discuss it with me I’ll give it my best. [cont]

  36. TJayT says:

    [cont]2: Forgive me, I misunderstood what you meant by Ultimate Reality. If your asking that if my belief in Ex Materia makes me feel that God is somehow lesser then the answer is no. Just because there are things that are Co-Eternal with God doesn’t make him any less in my eyes.

    3:I had to do some digging because I was only familiar with the modern teachings of spirit creation. It’s true that at the end of JS’ life he felt our spirits where co-eternal with God and weren’t created at all, but merely gathered together by him. But the understanding continued to evolve and now most Lds believe spirits where organized from intelligent matter the way physical things where organized from physical matter.

    The way I use the term create is to bring into existence something that wasn’t there before. It doesn’t necessarily mean a material wasn’t used, just that it was formed into something that didn‘t exist. In this way he is our creator, the same way a painter creates a painting or a sculptor a sculpture. He’s is our reason for existing, and I think that is worthy of praise and worship. He’s also our father in the same since Geppetto is Pinocchio’s father. Since as our father he’s our mentor, teacher and friend I would say these are reasons to worship him as a father.

    4: They’ll still be with at least one member of the Godhead (or two if you believe Jesus will be bouncing around all three kingdoms) So at least they wouldn’t be without God’s love, and I’m sure he could converse with them indirectly the same way as he does now. I‘m sure he‘ll be sad, but in the end Free Agency is an amazing gift and we must all choose our own destiny.[cont]

  37. TJayT says:

    [cont]5: This is getting pretty deep into speculation territory since I have no idea the rules any spirits “under me” would have to follow or if all the glory would go to God or Jesus (something I‘m one hundred percent fine with) or any number of other points. However, if everything works exactly the same way as it has here then my feelings would be; at least they wouldn’t be without some sort of Godhead figure with them and almost all would have the opportunity to make it to whatever sort of Kingdom I was in. I would be happy that they had a shot and that they where given freedom to chose there path. I’m sure it will be sad that they didn’t choose to follow in my footsteps but at least they got to develop and grow and will get to spend eternity doing whatever crazy awesome stuff it is people do in heaven.

    Thanks for answering my question. I wasn’t trying for some “Got ya!” moment, I was just wondering your personal take. It sounds like most of my Christian friends and I’m glad to hear you don’t feel that a lot of good people throughout the ages will be without God just because of where or when they where born or died or what information they had in life.

  38. TJayT says:

    To me when it comes to not having God’s presence it really boils down to how important is free will and the consequences that come from it? If you are given the free choice to chose or not chose God (in this life or the next) and for some reason don’t chose God, then bringing you back into God’s presence would violate your free will no matter how he feels about the issue. To me (and I think a lot of Mormons) free will is one of the most amazing gifts God has given us, right up there with Christ’s atonement. To take that away would negate every reason that we’ve come here.[cont]

    Sorry about my multiple posts, didn’t know that would be such a long one.

  39. TJayT says:

    This should be the last one for tonight 😉


    Like I told Spartacus, I think it may have just been something that has been taught but is merely speculation. That said I may be wrong (Lord knows I have been before).

    When I talked about progressing I meant in mortality. While “The church takes no official stance on the issue” I agree that Lds teaching doesn’t sound like you progress to different kingdoms. If you can what’s the point of this life? We might as well have all just gone to the lowest glory and worked our way up.

    As you know I’m no Lds scholar our apologist, but I’m pretty sure the work done for your family members was because you can progress after death, just not after resurrection. Spirits have until the day of there resurrection to repent, come to God, and have work done for them. It isn’t until you everyone has there bodies that the day of Judgment comes and everyone goes to whatever glory they receive.

  40. Kate says:

    I can see where your explanation could make sense but the problem is, we could still live a horrible life here on earth and just have family members do our “work” for us and fix it before the resurrection. That doesn’t seem right to me either. What would be the point of this life? We might as well live as heathens in this life because someone will do our work and we can just progress up from there. I think I’ll just stick with the true and living Christ of the Bible and follow him. Nowhere does he say anything about needing Mormon temple work for me to be Saved, resurrected, or to live in his presence. The Bible tells us that “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD:” It’s God’s gift to us, no amount of rituals or work done in a Mormon temple is going to get us to the place where God dwells. I feel sorry for my Mormon family because they are so busy working their way to where God dwells, and according to the Bible, it is going to get them nowhere. They don’t have faith in the gift that God has given us.

  41. spartacus says:


    I don’t know if Kate’s deceased family members were actual LDS members or otherwise given a “just” chance to accept the LDS Gospel (she only says they were “never active”). If they were members but not really active/valiant or if they were given a just shot to accept the LDS Gospel, then they have no chance to progress after death. The BoM says somewhere that this is the life in which to repent, that upon death our destiny is set (obviously i’m not quoting here but I believe this was the jist – very similar to the Bible). I have read elsewhere where an LDS said that many LDS are under the impression that everyone can progress after death, but that this is not true. Only those who never heard or “received a fair chance” to accept the LDS gospel have the opportunity to do so in Spirit Prison. Upon acceptance in Spirit Prison then the vicarious works can also be accepted and thus provide progression.

    So it comes down to whether her family ever received said chance. Assumedly, if they were nonactive members then they did receive such. If they were not members at all but went through the missionary lessons then this would assumedly qualify as a fair chance.

  42. Kate says:

    They were baptized members. This is why I am asking the question. I know the answer, I was just trying to get TJayT to think about it. According to Mormonism, my family members heard the Mormon gospel and didn’t care much about it. I don’t know if they ever rejected, except my Grandfather who openly rejected (he was also baptized) yet family members insisted on having his “work” done a year after he died. He believed in God and he was a better person than most. He took care of people, fed them when they were hungry, would literally give them the shirt off of his back and had a genuine love for people. I have seen more Christ like love from him than any member of my LDS family. I will never believe that he is not in heaven because he rejected Mormonism. This whole thing shows that Mormonism is a mass of confusion. Today’s LDS are so far removed from the founding fathers of the religion, they may as well consider themselves a separate religion from Joseph Smith’s Mormonism.

  43. TJayT says:

    Personally I don’t like the idea of “doing work” for people that had the chance but didn’t. It doesn’t make any sense to me either. That said doing that work doesn’t exactly hurt anything. It’s not like it forces God to do something he wasn’t going to before. I’m sure most Mormon’s theory on it is baptize everyone just in case and let God sort it out. Since I don’t know every man’s heart or what they thought and did in the last moments of there life I guess it’s better to be safe then sorry.

    I believe Kate’s grandfather is in heaven. As far as teaching go he will live with Christ forever and ever. I have many great mainstream Christian friends that live for Christ better then some Lds I know. It’s a shame that we in Utah have let our culture overrun Jesus much of the time. But I’ve also known many “Christians” that where awful people, and there are many Lds inside and outside the Mormon belt that also live a great Christian life (whether or not they are Christian is another discussion). What people do or don’t do to each other doesn’t make a church right or wrong, it just shows that humans for the most part “suck”.

  44. spartacus says:


    On your last sentence there – True, Jay, True…

    I also agree that they are probably playing it safe. I probably would too, if I were LDS.

    I still wonder about your basis for the worshipability of the LDS God. I am making a distinction between thankfulness (for creating us), praise (for jobs well done-creating, judging,etc.), and worship (which I assume has a certain amount of awe inspired by the greatness and DIFFERENCE between the worshipper and the worshippee). [I’m sure God smirks at the idea of being called a “worshipee”]

    I can’t ever see worshipping my earthly father no matter how good he is. So I have trouble worshipping a LDS heavenly father no matter how good and powerful he is. I remember when I was younger and thinking of God as “my Father”, I even thought of heaven as being a process of us becoming little gods, but even then I wondered about why my Father, even God, would want his children to worship him. This was before I understood the adoptive nature of the Father/child relationship spoken of in the Bible- which preserves the creature/creator relationship which I think is necessary for worshipability.What are your thoughts on this thankfulness/praise/worship distinction and the appropriateness of the earthly father/heavenly father analogy and it’s input into the question of worshipability?

  45. Kate says:

    I have a couple of problems with baptism for the dead. First, why do Mormons believe that Jesus isn’t powerful enough to Save us? Why do the LDS need to help him out by baptizing dead people, who a lot of the time worshiped him in Truth while they were alive? Meaning the Truth that is taught in his Holy Word? Jesus Saves. He does not need us mere humans to help him out, this is a blatant slap in the face of Christ! Before you say that everyone has to be baptized in his name, think about the thief on the Cross. Besides, Mormons cannot possibly baptize every dead person who ever lived, so what about the ones that would be left out? Second, Mormons walk the graveyards and take names off of headstones and do work for these people. The Popes of the Catholic church have LDS temple work done for them. I’d like to see the fit of the LDS people if the Catholics baptized every LDS prophet a Catholic. There would be a lawsuit to be sure. I think that this should be illegal. I have said on this site before that it is illegal to do anything with a deceased person’s name and this should be true for the LDS taking names of the deceased for their own religious purposes. It is so disrespectful! What are your thoughts on this?

  46. TJayT says:


    I suppose I don’t see why you the Lds God is not awe inspiring and different from us mere mortals. To me God is just as much my creator as he is a Father. Like I said before, I think a great analogy is Geppetto and Pinocchio. I’m sure if you asked Pinocchio if Geppetto was his father or creator he would tell you he was both. Add to that the fact God is for all intents and purposes omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient one realizes God isn’t anything like us now, even if you believe that he’s just an exalted man (which like I said before I don’t).

    I agree I could never worship my father (or any man that’s ever lived on Earth, save Jesus). No matter how amazing and perfect someone seems to be/have been, they will always disappoint you somehow. God is never going to let us down though. That is what’s so amazing about him being perfect and holy. He’ll never let me down, ever, no matter what. He’s the beginning and end. Even if there was nothing else about God I knew I would feel this worthy of worship.

  47. TJayT says:


    Mormons do believe Jesus is powerful enough to save us all. Heck, according to Mormons Jesus is powerful enough to save Hitler. But in Mormonism there’s a difference between salvation and exaltation. Faith in Jesus is enough to get us to heaven to live with him forever more. Baptism is needed for exaltation, not salvation.

    The thief on the Cross went with Christ to paradise. But paradise and heaven are two separate places in Lds theology. The thief believed in Jesus and so he now waits with the other righteous souls for the first resurrection. Only after that would he be judged and sent to a heaven.

    I can’t speak with any real knowledge on how the Mormons are going to baptize everyone. I imagine the answer is along the lines of “During Christ’s reign he’ll tell us everyone’s names as well as who they want to get married to if they died single”. It seems like I’ve heard something like that before, but I could be wrong.

    I didn’t realize you could just pick names out of cemeteries and do there work. I always though you had to prove you where related to them somehow. I won’t lie, that seems both silly and strange to me. I’m just glad no one ever tried to make me do it. I think it would be AMAZING if the Catholics baptized the Lds prophets vicariously. It would give me a laugh for months, turn about is fair play right? I don’t see why there would be a lawsuit, after all Mormons don’t believe the Catholics have any sort of sealing power so it wouldn’t be any different then a Wiccan trying to call up the soul of Brigham Young and ask him about Adam-God (that‘s something I‘d pay to see). But to be blunt I’m

  48. TJayT says:

    [cont]a bit sacrilegious compared to many of my Lds counterparts, so maybe it’s just me.

    I don’t see anything illegal about the practice because there not defaming the person or using there name for any sort of gain. Some may feel it disrespectful, and if some of that person’s immediate family has an objection then I don’t feel Mormons should just go do it anyway. But that’s just my two cents, whatever that’s worth.

  49. spartacus says:


    I can see where you are coming from with your answers about worship, considering your take on the nature of God the Father. It sounds a lot like what I thought of as a teen, as I noted earlier. I just don’t think it aligns well with the consistant teachings of the LDS leadership. Which is ok. From what you have said here it sounds like you are not looking to be the best LDS member you can be but the best truth believer/liver you can. I respect that. It’s been great talking to you about these questions. See you in other subject threads.

  50. Kate says:

    In Christianity, Salvation is the same as exaltation. Living with God again. I should have worded my question differently. So here’s the question I was asking. Why isn’t Jesus powerful enough to get a Mormon exalted? Why isn’t he powerful enough to exalt us all?

    “I didn’t realize you could just pick names out of cemeteries and do there work. I always though you had to prove you where related to them somehow.”

    The LDS have been baptizing the 6 million Jews who died during the Holocaust, there was quite a deal about it. The Jewish community was outraged. I read a list a few years ago and on it were Alexander the Great, Adolf Hitler, Vlad the Impaler, Ted Bundy, Bonnie and Clyde, Mary (said she had two husbands, God the Father was one of them) Jesus was on that list, sealed to Mary Magdalena, all of these had dates that their work was done. You can check out who is on the International Genealogical Index. Some of the names were pretty funny actually. Mickey Mouse was on there LOL! I’m sure that one was done as a prank. I know Mormons don’t think it’s a big deal to find names and dates of the deceased (I’ve read they even scour the obituaries for info) and do LDS temple work for them, but for those of us who are not Mormon it is disrespectful. I would dare say that most people today (except third world countries) have heard of Mormonism and have chosen to reject it in this life, which would mean they have had a chance to hear the Mormon gospel and according to LDS scripture, they already have their reward. No chance of progressing.

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