Good, but not true?

“One of the greatest difficulties is to keep before the audience’s mind the question of Truth. They always think you are recommending Christianity not because it is true, but because it is good. And in the discussion they will at every moment try to escape from the issue ‘True-or False’ into stuff about a good society, or morals, or incomes of Bishops, or the Spanish inquisition, or France, or Poland—or anything whatever. You have to keep forcing them back, and again back, to the real point. Only thus you will be able to undermine…their belief that a certain amount of ‘religion’
is desirable but one mustn’t carry it too far. One must keep on pointing out that Christianity is a statement which, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

—C.S. Lewis
God in the Dock, 1945, p. 101 [HT: Apologetics 315]

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30 Responses to Good, but not true?

  1. Clyde6070 says:

    This little statement covers a lot of ground and I commend Aaron for putting it out. One thing that is interesting is why, when someones idea of God differs from another, They are not Christian?

  2. falcon says:

    I’m going to make this very simple for you. I think rick has done a variation of this in the past. Here goes.
    I, the falcon, am a Mormon and a holder of the priesthood!
    I don’t believe Joseph Smith was a prophet. I don’t believe the BoM is inspired scripture. I don’t believe Thomas Monson is a prophet. I don’t believe the LDS is the one true church. I reject the Mormon conception of who Jesus is.
    I don’t believe in the Mormon priesthood, Celestial marriage, baptism for the dead, the BoA, or the Doctrine & Covenants.

    I, the falcon, am a Mormon and a holder of the priesthood.

  3. Rick B says:

    Clyde said

    One thing that is interesting is why, when someones idea of God differs from another, They are not Christian?

    I dont believe for one minute you really care about an answer to this question.
    I also believe you know the answer to this question,
    and why is it, you say these things yet take again as an example, why LDS want to be know as Christians, yet like I have said, and Falcon pointed out, if we dis-agree with you, we cannot be know as Mormons.

    And why is it, RLDS, and FLDS, and other mormon splinter groups cannot be know as LDS? This is very typical of you mormons, and again Jesus has a word for this, It starts with the letter (H) and sums it up nicely in one word.

  4. falcon says:

    You really don’t get it. You wrote,
    “One thing that is interesting is why, when someones idea of God differs from another, They are not Christian?”
    I’m hearing a big “DUH”.
    I just went through a lengthy statement rejecting all aspects of Mormonism including who Mormons think Jesus is and yet claimed to not only be a Mormon but a priesthood holder. The latter despite the fact that I reject the Mormon priesthood.
    This is called “cognitive dissonance”.
    The “idea of who God is” is the fundamental issue. If you reject the Christian God, does it make sense that you can be a Christian? The Christian Church spent the first four hundred years of its existence battling with heretics and developing very precise language which defines who God reveals Himself to be within Scripture.
    I was reading John 1:1 last night and the subsequent verses in this first chapter of John defines clearly who Jesus is.
    He is God. He has existed from the beginning. He was the Creator. He, God, became flesh, and dwelt among us. His glory was beheld. He is the only begotten from the Father. He is full of grace and truth. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten God is in the bosom of the Father. He has explained Him.
    Now clyde, as a Mormon, you believe that Jesus was a created being. The offspring of a god who was a man but who, through obedience to certain ordinances, principles and clean living, morphed into a god, and one of his goddess wives.
    The reasons definitions are important is primarily if Mormons bill themselves as Christians, there is an accepted definition held by folks who will then assume that Mormons believe the same as Christians do when it comes to the nature of God. You don’t!

  5. Clyde6070 says:

    You fail to answer the Question. Unless you mean I have to believe the way you believe. If I question your concept of God I am not Christian.

  6. Clyde6070 says:

    What is interesting is what I see from history. 1700 years the concept of the trinity became the way, the only way, that God was to be seen. Any other ideas were heretical. If the trinity is wrong then for 1700 years your idea of God is wrong .
    Wow this is so neat. I post part of my comments and three others pop up.
    The bible is a neat source. Some comments by Jesus don’t seem to jive with the concept of the trinity. When He says only my Father knows when I will come again and I ascend to my Father And your Father and to my God and your God it seems that He is talking about someone who is more Divine than Him.

  7. Clyde6070 says:

    I do care about the answer. You and Falcon seem to mix apples and oranges. Think of this,
    I, Clyde, am a catholic.
    I don’t believe the Pope is the vicar of Christ. The priesthood of the catholic church is bogus.
    I,Clyde, am a catholic.
    I, clyde, am a presbyterian.
    I don’t believe in their concept of church leadership but I am a presbyterian.
    Where does it not make me Christian?
    You seem to be dealing with a church and not Christianity.

  8. Kate says:

    Oh please Clyde, Christian denominations all believe in the Trinity. That is the Christian God. You don’t believe in the Christian God. You believe in the Mormon godS with a big fat capital S. Mormons are not Christians because they don’t believe in the Christian God and Christians aren’t Mormons because they don’t believe in the Mormon gods. It’s simple and you know it. Mormons don’t believe in the Traditional Christian Christ of the Bible. Your own prophet Gordon B. Hinkley stated this in a public interview.

    President Gordon B. Hinckley, responding to a question regarding whether Latter-day Saints believe in the “traditional Christ,” stated:

    “No I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the dispensation of the fullness of times.”

    He then goes on to say:
    “Am I Christian? Of course I am. I believe in Christ. I talk of Christ. I pray through Christ. I’m trying to follow Him and live His gospel in my life. ”

    Your prophet didn’t believe in the traditional Christ that the 12 Apostles taught about. He believed in a false Christ made up by Joseph Smith. This isn’t surprising because Jesus tells us in the Bible that this would happen:
    Mathew 13:22, Mathew 24:24

    So for Gordon Hinkley to then say that he is a Christian is a false statement. He believed in a false Christ. There is only one Christ who Saves and he can’t be found in Mormonism.

  9. falcon says:

    I pretty much have no idea what you’re talking about but you do serve a useful purpose here. That purpose is two-fold. First of all you demonstrate to the lurkers what total nonsense Mormonism is. Secondly, it gives us an opportunity to introduce those who are seeking after God, to the God of the Bible and not some fictitious entity created by Joseph Smith.
    There is nothing more important than knowing who God is and what He has done for us. Who He is is revealed in the Bible. Jesus’ disciples knew who He was. Those who were taught by the apostles defended this knowledge against the attacks of the heretics. In doing so they had to define terms and develop language/vocabulary to express, in particular, who Jesus is and how He relates to the Father.
    The early believers in Jesus were Jews. They believed there was one God. The challenge they faced was how do you say that God is one when there are two identifiable realities, the Father and the Son.
    So why the Nicene Creed? It’s purpose was to set boundaries and to use precise language for the faith. One such word they used to explain the relationship between the Father and the Son was “homoousios, of one substance or being. This word, the bishops felt, helped to explain how God could be one yet twofold.
    That term allowed the bishops to say that in whatever way God is God, Christ is God. The Biblical term “begotten” expresses the idea that Jesus comes into being eternally from the Father. Jesus is not made.
    The bishops responsibility was to teach what they had received from the apostles. The apostle Paul said, “That which I have received I have handed on to you.” The bishops were the connection to the apostles.

  10. Mike R says:

    A few notes on the statement by Gordon B. Hinckley that Kate mentioned. Hicnckley said:
    ” Am I a Christian ? of course I am . I believe in Christ. I talk to Christ. I pray through Christ.
    I’m trying to follow Him and live His gospel in my life.”

    First, I have little doubt that he is sincere in his testimony here. But a testimony has to be
    anchored in the words of Jesus , and the teachings He gave to His apostles who took those
    teachings to the world. While Mormons would qualify as ” christian” under the common
    Dictionary definition of that term , there is more to it than that and with good reason .
    Paul warned those he discipled not to be misled by men who would arise even from among
    them but who would proceed to teach a “another Jesus ” and “another gospel” , teachings
    that altered what Paul taught ,these teachings would clearly not be condoned by Jesus —
    Gal. 1:8 ; 2Cor11:4,13 ; 2Tim.2:15-18. Unfortunately, because those who teach false doctrines
    can use the same terminology as Paul did in his teachings that would then greatly produce more
    people being deceived by the aberrant definitions of those terms. When Paul mentioned Jesus or
    gospel of salvation , or even God , he and other apostles taught what those terms mean, and this
    serves as a template for us today to evaluate the teachings or testimony of prophets like
    Mr Hinckley . Mr Hinckliey said he believes in Christ . What Christ? His Christ shares a
    common beginning in heaven with Satan , His brother . That’s not Paul’s Christ . Hinckley
    said he talks of Christ.But does he talk TO Christ ? [ cont]

  11. Mike R says:

    Mr Hinckley said he talks of Christ , that he prays through Christ . But does he talk TO Christ
    does he pray to Christ, or merely use “in Jesus’ name” at the end of his prayer to Heavenly
    Father? The N.T. reveals The Father’s arrangement for those who embrace the gospel of
    salvation , and it involves being reconciled to Him by what Jesus did on our behalf , as our
    substitute, He becomes our Savior and also mediator . We can experience a intimate relationship
    with The Father by coming to His Son , getting to know Jesus by thanking Him for His
    sacrafice for us, praising Him , worshiping Him , for all He did, and does for us, is a vital
    part of the life of a person who has come to Jesus . We express our gratitude and praise verbally
    to the Father and we get to do the same exact thing to the Son , this is part of christian
    worship. A one on one interaction with our risen Savior by prayer honors the Father it brings
    Him glory . In counseling his followers to refrain from praying to Jesus, Mr Hinckley
    has short changed them , but false prophets do that , they detour sincere people from what
    the true apostles of Jesus want people to experience from God. Mr Hinckley does say that he
    prays through Christ , but since Mormons are counseled not pray to Jesus , then what he
    means by praying “through” Jesus constitutes something less than actual interaction or
    petition to Jesus Himself . Christians in accordance with the N.T. teaching on this issue do
    pray through Jesus as He is mediator but also to Him as friend.

  12. falcon says:

    Mike brings up some good points.
    Remember how Jesus talked about people doing things in His name and yet He will tell them that He never knew them on the day of judgement. That’s why it’s so important to know who Jesus is. Coming up with one’s own definition ignoring what the Bible clearly teaches, doesn’t get one into the family of God.
    In Acts 19:13-16 some men were trying to cast out a demon by saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” The evil spirit answered, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”
    Just because the men used the name of Jesus didn’t mean they “knew” Jesus. For their trouble the man with the demon jumped them and beat the tar out of them.
    It’s important to “know” Jesus. Merely making up a Jesus isn’t going to get the job done when it comes to a person’s eternal destiny.
    It’s important to get it right where Jesus is concerned. The fact is that only God could make the sacrifice for the sin of mankind. Only God could reconcile mankind to Himself. In order to be the qualified Savior, Jesus needed to be God incarnate.
    Christians depend solely on Jesus’ sacrifice for our salvation. There are no works that can merit us eternal life. A righteous life is the result of faith, of being born again. We are, through our works, living sacrifices to God. As such we are showing gratitude to Him for what He has done for us.
    It’s ironic that Mormons will reject the idea of One God with three distinct persons but will fully embrace, without question, the idea that there are millions, perhaps billions of gods who once were men. They will hold-on to an idea that their wives can be goddesses.

  13. Clyde6070 says:

    What I see is someone holding the sign that says Gal. 1:8 ; 2Cor11:4,13 ; 2Tim.2:15-18. They are not realizing that it might apply to themselves. No apostles were at the counsel of Nicea only Bishops. Why Paul made these statements might possibly still have been bothering the church years after they were made. One must also remember that the winners write the history. The traditional Christ may not be the right Christ.
    I believe in the 11th article of faith. I can worship God the way I see Him. I will allow you to worship Him the way you see Him.

  14. Mike R says:

    Lastly, Mr Hinckley stated : ” I’m trying to follow Him and live His gospel in my life.”
    Again, I have no doubt that he is sincere in his testimony here, but considering that a
    relationship with Jesus involves more than just knowing about Him, following His
    example on how to live etc, it involves knowing Him, not just knowing about him —
    Jn 17:3 — and to know Him takes place when we communicate with Him . He is our
    partner as we travel thru this life . He is alive today and deserves our devotion , this
    only enhances our relationship with the Father who established this very scenario for
    us to experience because of our new birth [Jn 3]. But Mormons are counseled against this very
    intimate communion with Jesus because of their submission to the precepts of a “modern -day”
    prophet [ 2 Nephi 28:14 ] . This brings us to the gospel of Jesus that Mr. Hinckley says he is
    following . This would be the current edition of the Mormon gospel since what Mormon apostles
    before Mr Hinckley taught as “gospel truths” have been revised and altered from what they originally were when restored and preached to everyone . So while he is attempting to follow “a
    gospel ” , those who have a desire to follow Jesus and seek to know and accept His true gospel
    of salvation —Rom 1:16 — will find that gospel in the preaching of His apostles in the
    New Testament. Unlike Mormon apostles, those apostles were trustworthy and reliable guides
    and their gospel is STILL mighty to save all who embrace it–Heb7:25

  15. Rick B says:

    Clyde said

    I believe in the 11th article of faith. I can worship God the way I see Him. I will allow you to worship Him the way you see Him.

    The problem is Clyde, You cannot worship how you want, you must worship God HOW HE WANTS.

    He said we must worship Him in spirit and in TRUTH. John 4:24

    God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

  16. Mike R says:

    Clyde , the warning that scriptures like Gal. 1:8; 2Cor 11:4 etc do apply to anyone , especially
    today . That includes me and you . Paul’s warning here is a valid criteria for me to evaluate
    anyone’s “gospel” , especially anyone who claims to be a prophet or apostle. Mormon leaders
    fail that test , it’s that plain and simple. This has absolutely nothing to do with “allowing ”
    someone to worship who or what they wish to . You consistently fail to grasp what we are
    trying to communicate to you about counterfeit gospels . You seem to quick to defect
    the spotlight over to some other scenario. Can you please track with what is being said here?

  17. falcon says:

    I would agree with Mike. Please pay attention. Stay on task. Focus!
    When the bishops met at Nicea it was recognized that they were the authorities within the Church. Their lineage went back to the apostles. We have writings by the Church Fathers that go back to the second century pressing right up to the time of the apostles. What they articulated regarding the nature of God is clear. They had to defend the deity of Jesus against those who would make Jesus less than he is.
    The bishops led the Christian community. They were the overseers of the Body of Christ. They were charged with teaching what they had received from the apostles. By the end of the first century, the leaders were the bishops. Paul instructed Timothy regarding the appointment of leaders. Ignatius of Antioch said, “Where the bishop is, there the Church is.”
    To repeat: By the time the third century rolled around, it was understood that the bishop was the guarantor of the apostolic tradition. The bishop was charged to teach what was received. The bishops were the decision makers at the council. This was a gathering of those most responsible for what the Church taught.
    Mormons are willing to throw aside the wisdom of the early Church and follow, without question, men who claim to be prophets, but who don’t recognize who God is.
    Joseph Smith started his religion believing in the Christian tradition regarding the doctrine of the nature of God. He must have spent an inordinate amount of time staring into his magic rock because before he was through God was nothing more than a glorified man. In order to satisfy his sexual desires, Smith allowed that the only way to be truly deified was to take many wives.
    What a total fool and fraud!

  18. spartacus says:

    As Clyde 7080 said, “This little statement covers a lot of ground.” Unfortunately, despite valuing this statement so much as to “commend” Aaron for posting it, Clyde immediately changes the subject with a red herring. I would understand this maneuver if there was some real challenge being offered by Aaron that you didn’t want to discuss, but it almost seems, in this case, Clyde – even when you admire the statement – that you can’t get away from tossing red herrings – Perhaps out of habit? Or maybe a part of Clyde recognized what Aaron was getting after here and, subconsciously, he went straight to his usual defenses.

    Well, whatever the case, this statement of C.S. Lewis, like many of his, does cover a lot of ground, a skill particularly admired in Lewis’ work. I think it would be interesting to consider how LDS and (traditional) Christians might interpret it in relation to the other.

    Lewis speaks of two perspectives of Christianity – as Truth or as good – which lead, respectively, to two different responses to Christianity – “infinitely important” or “moderately important.”

    I can imagine an LDS person, with Christians in mind, reading this quote and focusing on the “moderately important” vs. “infinitely important” latter part of the quote, with passing thoughts of how the LDS religion is both true and good. The LDS would think of how great a point this is to all the Christians who don’t take religion seriously and don’t live as they ought – considering Christianity (the corrupted version certainly, let alone the restored version) as “moderately important” and thus of little effect on how they live.


  19. spartacus says:

    contd. ( from a moderated post directly above)

    As a Christian, viewing the LDS religion as false, I would take this statement a different way. Sure, Lewis was speaking of all people, not just LDS, and was including professed Christians, when he was making this point of getting people to realize the ultimate importance of ultimate truth and how it should ultimately (and completely) define one’s life – because in the end that’s what Truth does – defines your life ultimately and completely.

    However, in particular to LDS, the importance would be that Truth is the ultimate importance, not the goodness – not the goodness of the leaders, of the members, of the programs, of the friends, of the family, etc.

    This is because Truth is Reality and however good something might appear, feel, and for all practical purposes be, if it is not True, then it is not Real – it is a mirage, and like any mirage will do nothing REALLY for the thirsty wanderer. The mirage gives hope, something to work for, make progress toward, and admire and feel better about one’s self and one’s situation and future, but, in the end, it has no reality, no power to save the wanderer – or any of his friends and family that go along with him.

    So, while LDS (more specifically devout LDS [and devout people of any religion]) might take their religion as “infinitely important” and live accordingly, the real point of Lewis for all people was that Truth is the start, key, and foundation – it is the Reality against which your hopes are realized or dashed, your actions are fruitful or in vain, your life of true importance, or a sad mistake.

  20. falcon says:

    Good points.
    There is this belief in current society that what an individual thinks, believes and feels is truth. There’s a big difference between truth and what someone constructs as their personal reality. What is that saying, “perception is reality”. Notice that the word “perception” isn’t defined as truth. People get into all sorts of entanglements and trouble when they confuse their own perception as truth. It is their reality, but it’s not necessarily the truth.
    The twin to this is situational morality. That’s morality not based on the Biblical standard established by God, but is a system of belief that changes depending on circumstances. In this way of thinking, slavery wouldn’t be seen as immoral but merely a personal choice dictated by circumstances. People can pretty much excuse themselves for whatever they choose to do.
    In the case of Mormonism there is ample evidence to, at the very least, debunk the idea that there was a great apostasy and that original Christianity needed to be restored. Such a claim is ludicrous. However Mormons choose to believe the Joseph Smith story and all of the subsequent doctrines he promoted as time went by.
    What the problem is is that there exists in Mormonism a type of devotion, sincerity, piety and morality to make it appear to be true. This is supported by the notion that “the church may not be perfect but it does a lot of good”. People holding to such a view fail to recognize the harm the LDS church does to the lives of members. These folks are not only ship wrecked as far as their eternal destiny goes but also in terms of having their lives controlled in an unhealthy manner.
    God’s truth is revealed in the Bible. Creating a separate reality is foolish.

  21. Kate says:

    The Council of Nicea has been a very interesting and enlightening thing for me to study. As a Mormon I just went along with and believed whatever I was told about it. I see Clyde is doing the same. I ask myself all the time why I was such a sheep… why did I just follow blindly when the Truth was there for me all along? I didn’t study on my own, I just trusted what the LDS church taught. What little study I did do was only out of LDS church approved manuals. No bias there 🙂 I also see Clyde doing “The Bible isn’t trustworthy” routine. I would suggest that Clyde study the Council of Nicea and the early Church Fathers. Study from all different sources. Read and study the Bible, fully trusting in it’s reliability and truth, Don’t just take the LDS church’s word for it.

  22. Mike R says:

    Falcon, it’s sad to see how some Mormons just won’t examine to any great extent the claims
    of their leaders. It seems they just can’t get past the mantra of ” when the prophet speaks the
    debate is over ” , that they’ve been taught . You mentioned the great apostasy doctrine invented
    by their leaders , this is practically a conspiracy theory disguised as “gospel truth” . Then there’s
    the council of Nicea in 325 and how Mormon leaders have distorted it to try and bolster their
    claim for the need of the real unpolluted truth about God which they restored in 1830 . All
    of this is laced with no truth and some half truth , and that won’t suffice when it comes to
    knowing the truth about God and receiving eternal life—Jn 17:3 ; Rom 1:16 .
    Maybe one day Mormons like Clyde will cease with his answering a question with a question
    and his seemingly refusal to cite scriptures in his attempt to prove the claims of his
    leaders on the important issues of God/Jesus/salvation etc. Mormon apostles have
    claimed to be personally directed by Jesus for a long time now , time enough to evaluate their
    teaching on these issues to see if they have been reliable guides in spiritual truths from Jesus .
    It seems that many Mormons care more about the lifestyle of their leaders at the expense of what
    these men have taught as gospel truths . If you live an immoral , conniving lifestyle you’re a false
    prophet, because false prophets are always that type of individual, right? Yet Paul said: Gal1:8

  23. Zankin says:

    I love this, I think that it’s an incredibly valid point most people need to be reminded of.

    It’s not about “This makes for a good life.” as much as it is “True”
    Thank you!

  24. Clyde6070 says:

    I find it interesting when A mormon makes a comment you seem to all band together make assumption and pat yourselves on the back without thinking how he came to his conclusion. I made a simply comment of why, when someones idea of God differs from another, They are not Christian? I would like to know what makes a christian is it his beliefs or action. that are most important?

  25. Rick B says:

    Clyde said

    I made a simply comment of why, when someones idea of God differs from another, They are not Christian?

    Clyde, give us a break, this question has been answered and you simply dont care or want to hear.

    Again, Your Scriptures, prophets and teachers have all said and teach, their are only TWO CHURCHS, the church of God the real Church, which Mormons believe is their church, and the Church of the devil which all other church belongs to.

    Now If you claim to be christian, and dont believe what we teach, or what we believe, then it stands to reason, you are not a christian. Yet despite this, LDS want to be know as Christian. Yet LDS will not say, Christians are Mormons if we dont believe what they teach and believe.

    This have been proven by my “What If” question. Every Mormon that I have spoken to on this blog and in person said, I cannot teach what I believe, yet call my self a Mormon. Also Mormons will not let RLDS and LDS call themselves Mormons since they have slightly differing beliefs.

    Now please explain this double standard. Some how I suspect you wont explain it, you will simply insist were not answering you and keep beating your drum about how your a Christian, but we wont admit it.

  26. falcon says:

    We’ve told you time and again. If you don’t want us to draw assumptions, it’s your responsibility to explain yourself. You continue to post mainly three to five sentences that are nothing more than lame Mormon talking points. I’d suggest, as Kate has, that you not just swallow what the LDS church feeds you and do some independent study. In order to do that, you’re going to have to ignore the scare tactics that the LDS church uses to intimidate its members.
    As to all of the Christians jumping on something you post, what do you expect? That’s what we’re here for. To provide an answer for those who want to know the hope that is within us. We are called to defend the faith. What do you want us to do? Post a bunch of sappy platitudes about how everyone should just love one another and not disagree?
    The LDS church is not true, period. There are, by latest counts, a hundred different sects of Mormonism all claiming to have the “truth” and a prophet who has the “true message”. All of these false prophets set-up shop claiming the restoration of the “true” gospel. The sad thing is that people chase after these false prophets hanging on their every word.
    Doing some independent study is the responsibility of every individual if he can get past the need and desire of a “prophet” telling him what to think.

  27. Kate says:

    “when someones idea of God differs from another, They are not Christian?

    Why yes, if someones idea of God differs from what the Christian God has revealed about himself, that makes them not a Christian. Are you suggesting that the god the Hindus worship or the god that Scientology worships are the Christian God? I bet the followers of those gods would strongly disagree with you about them being Christians.

    “I would like to know what makes a christian is it his beliefs or action that are most important?”

    The most important thing to me is to know the true nature of God. Who is God and who is Jesus? I put my faith in the true and living Christ of the Bible who is God incarnate just as John 1:1-3, 14 says. What about my actions? I will show you my good works by my faith in Him, not because I will get another gold star on my star chart, working my way to the celestial kingdom. Good works flow through me for two reasons. First, by my faith in the One True God and second because they were laid out before hand that I may walk in them Ephesians 2:10. Mormons are so caught up in working their way to the celestial kingdom, earning their exaltation and becoming gods, that they totally miss God and the Christian message altogether. I know that you are missing the message just by these two questions you asked. Clyde, step back from Mormonism and start studying just who the Christian God is. I promise you aren’t going to lose your soul if you look at something not LDS church approved.

  28. falcon says:

    It astounds me the degree that Mormons are able to rationalize, alibi, parse and just plain suspend credulity in order to make Mormonism work for them. Given the degree to which they will go to keep the fantasy going, I would say that they can make anything true.
    Take Joseph Smith’s first vision story. How many revisions does the guy get before Mormons will begin to be even a slight bit suspicious? Generally speaking, Mormons are content to accept an explanation that Smith was just expanding and providing more details as he went along. These so called “details” are major revisions.
    Here’s a good summary from the MRM website.
    “From all available lines of evidence, therefore, Joseph’s First Vision story appears to be a fabrication. There was no revival [as described by Smith] anywhere in the Palmyra area in 1820. Joseph was welcomed, not persecuted, by the Methodists. His 1832 account represents him as perceiving from his personal Bible study that all the churches were apostate, while his 1838 account said it “never entered into my heart that all were wrong.” His 1832 version claimed only a vision of Christ, while the 1838 story transformed this into the Father and the Son. No one ever heard such a story until after he dictated it in 1838. In the light of such strong contradictory evidence, the First Vision story must be regarded as only the invention of Joseph Smith’s highly imaginative mind. The facts and Joseph’s words discredit it.”
    So why do I bring this topic up. I do it because the theme of this thread is finding the “truth”. The Mormon church attempts to isolate and insulate its members from the truth by claiming that anything contrary to what they pronounce is persecution.

  29. Mike R says:

    falcon, you mentioned the First Vision , there’s some important things about this alleged
    event that Mormons and especially anyone investigating the claims of Mormonism needs
    to think about . I’m going to list these below , references are available upon request.
    1. Mormon authorities have claimed : the First Vision is the most important event since
    Jesus’ miracles and resurrection .
    2. the First Vision is the very foundation of the Mormon church .
    3. upon this event’s truthfulness rests the validity of the “restored church ” .
    Concerning the importance of this event , that it constitutes a major part of Mormonism’s
    “restored gospel ” , so important it seems that one must give accent to it’s truth before baptism
    can be administered . With all this as a backdrop we now need to ask the question : what was the
    gospel of salvation Mormon Missionaries traveled and preached such as Brigham Young?
    In 1832 Brigham Young served as a Missionary , he states: ” When I came into this church, I
    started right out as a missionary, and took a text, and began to travel on a circuit. Truth is my
    text, the Gospel of salvation my subject, and the world my circuit .”
    We ask what was this “gospel of salvation” that Brigham preached ? Did it include the most
    important event since Jesus’ resurrection? Before Mr. Young baptized someone did he ask
    if they believed in the truth of this event ? What should we do with those who come preaching
    a gospel of salvation revised from what Paul taught ? Have Mormon leaders actually been
    directed by Jesus to teach their ” restored gospel ?”

  30. Mike R says:

    First vision cont.
    I’ll offer some ” food for thought” on the last few questions I posed above , if anyone reading
    this is investigating the truth claims of the Mormon Church they are encouraged to pursue this
    issue further .
    I asked the question: ” What was this “gospel of salvation ” that Brigham Young preached as
    a Mormon missionary in 1832 ? and did it include the necessity of embracing the truth of the
    First Vision as a true event before baptism ? answer: It does’nt appear there is any evidence
    that this event was part of his gospel of salvation message like it is today .

    The question was asked : ” What should we do with those who come preaching a gospel of
    salvation revised from what Paul taught? ” Answer: We should dismiss their message—Gal1:8.
    The gospel of salvation that Paul preached was completely sufficient to save to the uttermost
    anyone who comes to God and asks to be forgiven –Heb 7:25 . Paul preached this good news
    in his travels —Col.1:23 . That same gospel is still mighty to save today .
    The question was asked : ” Have Mormon leaders actually been directed by Jesus to teach
    their ‘restored gospel’ ? Short answer—no . A examination of what Mormon leaders
    have taught as “gospel truth” ever since they claimed that Jesus appointed them to do so
    reveals a track record of unstable doctrinal offerings , a pattern of vacillating on important
    teachings said to be part of the gospel of Jesus . This behavior is not new –Eph4:14
    2Cor 11:3,4. Jesus knew men would arise and offer good counterfeit gospels : Matt7:15

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