This kind of talk doesn’t sound like the gospel. (And to top that off, it sounds creepy!)
I simply cannot imagine that a man truly heart-broken by his own sin, truly heart-broken by the unbelievable grace of Jesus, truly liberated by free forgiveness, truly melted by God’s astounding patience through over-and-over again sinful habits, truly indebted in love to neighbors and spouse and family, confessing sins daily, celebrating grace and pursing a life that honors Jesus out of joy… I cannot imagine such a man speaking like this. To me it is inconceivable.
I am too much of a piping hot mess of a sinner to be a Mormon. I need a Physician whose scalpel goes much deeper, whose forgiveness is given much more freely. I need the kind of grace that offends people. I need grace that is even more unbelievable and shocking than my sin:
“Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered! Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin!” (Romans 4:4-8)
Adding this one in response to Kate’s comment:
For a good exercise read Luke and then the Book of Acts. Pay attention to the first couple of verses of each and you’ll see that Luke wrote these (books) to a specific person. It’s the whole story right there. Luke said that he investigated all of these things. Just think who was available for Luke to talk to at the time he was “investigating”.
It’s important to understand God’s covenants because these (covenants) provide us with the foundational information that we need regarding who Jesus is and what the atonement is all about.
For example, it was necessary that the sacrifice for sin be perfect and only God could “be” that sacrifice because He a lone is perfect. That’s why “Who is Jesus?” is such an important question to be answered. If Jesus is seen as other than God incarnate, then anyone could have been the sacrifice.
He can’t be a created being of “like” substance with the Father but He must be of the “same” substance (with the Father).
So “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”, is not just a verse saying that there was a man named Jesus walking around Galilee at a certain point in history. Who Jesus is is critical because if He’s not God then His death on the cross isn’t what we claim, as Christians, that it is.
That question, in my opinion, is the one you need to get an answer to. I wouldn’t pursue anything else but that one question at the place you seem to be at right now.
I agree that is a major hangup for me. RikkiJ has given me some good info about that.
So the bottom line is if Jesus isn’t God, of the “same” substance with the Father, then he can’t provide the perfect sacrifice for sin.
The Arian’s believed that Jesus was created by the Father. So there was a time when Jesus “was not”. That stands in stark contrast to what the apostle John wrote about Jesus in the opening lines of his Gospel.
The NT continually echos with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The early Church was left to explain how there could be these three identifiable “persons” but only one God. So the Church Fathers were forced by the proliferation of heresies, to find vocabulary that could explain the concept of the Triune God.
It’s kind of like with the technology revolution. There was no vocabulary to explain the reality of hardware, software and all of the internet applications.
In the end, however, the Church Fathers maintained what the Scriptures taught.
I posted regarding Paul’s apostleship as confirmed by the New Testament Church and Luke and Peter.
Have you had a chance to read that post?
Scroll down to May 17,2013 @ 9:35 pm
Catty, read john chapter 6. It’s interesting…
While I understand what FoF is saying, I agree that it is not as clear as it could be. Let us try this.
A young man wants a car. He gows with his father to the dealership and picks one out. Now, in order to get that car his father tells him that he has to earn the money, as well as get a license. Well, after a number of months the young man is still far from having enough money, but to his surprise his older brother buys the car for him on his birthday. However, he is told that before he will receive the keys he must complete a driving course and get a license.
Now, tell me, is the car a gift from his brother, or did he earn it by taking the class and getting a license?
I will give my opinion. It was a gift, graciously given, but with the understanding that without being fully prepared to receive it it would do no good. That is what I believe in. Through his mercy Christ has given us the most wonderful gift of salvation; but before he will hand us the keys, so to speak, he first requires that we prove we are able to receive it. After all, what good is a new car to a five year old who cannot use it? What good to a teenager is a set of welding tools if he never learns the proper use of them? In like manner, what good is salvation to the soul that never learns what the purpose of it is and how they can be blessed by it.
This is why we can call salvation a gift, and yet still speak of being required to do something in order to gain it. God will not give us this gift if we are unalbe to receive it do to our actions.
When one person fulfills the law that does not remove the requirement of others to do the same. After all, it did not take just one person getting a driver’s license to allow everyone to drive. Christ fulfilled the law in that he paid the price. So, going on the driving analogy, the cost of the license and the driving classes have been paid, and all we need to do is pass the course and gain the license. Christ paid the cost, and he passed the course 100%. He fulfilled the law. But not it is up to us to “work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philipians 2: 12
And on a last note, almost inveribly, when Paul speaks of the law he is speaking of the Law of Moses, and not the moral or higher law that Christ taught. We no longer practice the law of Moses, which was added to the law of the covenant 430 years after Abraham (Galatians 3: 17), but practice the higher law that God had before given to Abraham through Covenant, re-established through Christ, and restored through Joseph Smith.
Yes, there is a law, and we must obey it, but anyone who thinks in their heart that doing so is all that is required does not know the gospel, but is deluded. We cannot obey the law perfectly, and even if we could that would still be insufficient for us to attain salvation. That power is not in us, and thus we must look to God and his Son for salvation, for only through them can such be gained.
You constantly tell us that we do not understand Mormon doctrine but once again you show us that you really don’t understand Christian doctrine.
You say this
“Through his mercy Christ has given us the most wonderful gift of salvation;” & then you contradict yourself by saying. “but before he will hand us the keys, so to speak, he first requires that we prove we are able to receive it.”
I do understand what you’re trying to say but I’m afraid your analogy simply doesn’t work. Salvation is a free gift or it isn’t & no matter how you may try to explain away the LDS doctrine of work based salvation you cannot succeed. If you attach conditions it is no longer a free gift. By the use of that analogy you are in effect saying that we must DO SOMETHING apart from believing & that contradicts Christs words. You are putting the cart before the horse & by so doing are showing that you do NOT understand what salvation is about. Belief comes first & there is no need to prove anything, let me explain.
A popular claim among Mormons is to say that Christians feel free to do as they like as long as they ‘believe’ This is a travesty of the truth, Christians are bound by Gods moral laws as much as any Mormon, but, & this is something that Mormons seem unable or unwilling to grasp there is a vital difference, Christians are, of necessity, John 3:3 ‘born again’ something that seems alien to Mormon thought. Through that spiritual rebirth they have become new creatures & Gods laws are written on their hearts. They have no need to prove themselves over & over in order to ‘earn’ a free gift. A sincere belief in & a true knowledge of the Christ of the Bible coupled with a repentant heart is enough. Once that simple truth is known & understood & has been accepted into the life of the believer everything else falls into place & good works will always follow without coercion. Why is that so hard to understand? All that is required from us is that we believe. John 3:16
Mormons love to quote from James concerning the necessity of works, they say, ‘do good works to prove you believe’ when what James is actually saying is that the desire for good works will spring naturally from the heart of the believer, the one who is truly saved.
In a nutshell, Mormons do good works because they have to; Christians do good works because it is in their hearts to do so.
Ps. the ‘law’ that Paul mentions in Galatians 3:17 was a temporary addition to the law (promise) already given to Abraham & was intended only for Jews. It ceased to have any relevance after the atonement.
I would like to make clear that I personally think that many Mormons do good works because it is in their hearts to do so. The problem is not with this. The can never do enough of them to ‘earn’ salvation. The problem is with the hierarchy of the Mormon church who has instituted forced regulations (their “commandments”) as a kind of cattle prod for those members who they deem are “weak in the faith”. The continued failure of the Mormons to “redeem Zion” and the excuses they give that the church as a whole has NEVER been “worthy” of living the “higher law” to do so is a perfect example of this. If there are (as I believe) many Mormons who are truly sincere to do good works, then there should be a whole lot of them living the Mormon “law of consecration”. The church Hierarchy should have (long ago) instituted it, and those that could not live it should have been ejected from the church. But the Mormons claim that God has “compromised” for the sake of the unrighteous (the dogs that Shem describes) and so God’s whole church is now living a “lower law” because of it. This kind of thing was all done away with because of Christ, and His Grace. This is what the problem with Mormonism is. Forced regulations instituted by men for the sake of their own consciences, and under the guise of some eternal “plan of salvation” that totally contradicts the message of the Christ. This was anathema to the church in Paul’s day, as it is today.
I was not implying that Mormons only do good works because they have to, that solitary sentence to which you refer was my simple way of summing up Mormon doctrine, & it was not directed at the individual members. Many people of all faiths or even no faith do good works because they want to & I was doing nothing more than contrasting the Mormon way of salvation with Gods way. Perhaps if anyone cares to read my post in its entirety that much might become clear. The whole tenor of my argument was that no matter how Shem or any Mormon for that matter, attempt to say otherwise, Mormonism teaches salvation through works.
[Old Man, I only wanted to clarify this very concept, I wasn’t implying that you thought anything else. I personally think that you feel the same way that I do about it. Sorry if I didn’t make myself clear about that. I only wrote what I did, because I felt your comments would be taken out of context.-grindael]
The real problem is that we have a very different view of what a gift is.
So, let us go back to the analogy I gave and say that the brother just handed over the keys to one who had not yet learned to drive and had no license. What then? That is the problem that I have with your doctrine (and just for the record, I never once made a claim to have a good understanding of your doctrine, only of mine). From what you say just being given the car is enough, but there is no logic to that. People are not changed overnight, but through a gradual process.
Now, I do claim that you don’t understand our doctrine, and now it seems that you don’t really understand what we say about yours.
You said “A popular claim among Mormons is to say that Christians feel free to do as they like as long as they ‘believe’”
It would be more accurate to say that your doctrine allows for this kind of thinking, and thus becomes a dangerous doctrine. As I once asked someone else, what can you say to call someone to repentance? You know a friend is living an immoral life, so how do you bring the message of repentance? After all, if I believe; if I have the spirit indwelling in me, then I am saved and there is absolutely nothing that I do that can in anyway affect that salvation, for good or ill.
Actually, answer this very simple question: Once I have the spirit indwelling in me, is there anything that I can do to loose that and thus loose salvation?
You said “Christians are, of necessity, John 3:3 ‘born again’ something that seems alien to Mormon thought.”
Then you don’t know our thoughts as well as you claim. Yes, we believe in being born again. We more commonly call this conversion, but it is the same thing. As it states on LDS.org (http://www.lds.org/topics/conversion?lang=eng)
“Conversion includes a change in behavior, but it goes beyond behavior; it is a change in our very nature. It is such a significant change that the Lord and His prophets refer to it as a rebirth, a change of heart, and a baptism of fire. The Lord said:
“Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;
And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God” (Mosiah 27:25–26).”
The only real difference seems to be that you believe this is a single event, while we believe it is a process that takes some time; and how long it takes depends greatly on us. A person gains faith by hearing, but they strengthen their faith by doing, and in this way they slowly change and become born again through the fire of the spirit that is in them.
You said “In a nutshell, Mormons do good works because they have to; Christians do good works because it is in their hearts to do so.”
You really have no clue about our doctrine.
“Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness…
But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned.” (D&C 58: 27,29)
A person who does things only because they have to is damned, not saved. It is those seek to do righteousness with a joyful heart, praising their Lord in all things and truly loving the work they are called to do that are saved. Your summation is thus incorrect. In Mormonism we do what is required because we want to, not because we have to. I am always amazed at how hard this is for people to comprehend.
You said “Ps. the ‘law’ that Paul mentions in Galatians 3:17 was a temporary addition to the law (promise) already given to Abraham & was intended only for Jews. It ceased to have any relevance after the atonement.”
This is exactly what I said, so I am confused as to why you simply repeat me.
Grace is a gift, it cannot be achieved by any type of works. There’s no way around it. The Bible clearly states:
“But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” (Romans 11:6, ESV)
Therefore any salvation from God cannot be achieved by works. It’s that simple.
Thanks for taking the time to explain.
You say I have no clue about your doctrine so may I respectfully remind you that my ex-wife with whom I still have a close relationship became a member of the LDS almost 50 years ago although for a lot of that time she was inactive. Obviously we have spent many hours discussing Mormon theology so I do know something, quite a lot in fact, about your beliefs. Could it be that the LDS have different doctrines in the UK or are you just putting up a smokescreen?
I’m afraid I really don’t have time to cover everything you mention so I’ll just reply to the one item. Perhaps if I have time later on I’ll reply to the rest.
You say that the LDS believe in being born again & you provided a link directing me to the LDS site. I have read through all of it & while the information appears, on the surface, to be Scriptural I cannot accept that the LDS believe in Spiritual rebirth in the Christian meaning of the word. While it’s trying hard to appear Christian, being born again clearly has a different meaning in the LDS organization. So, I have a question for you. Most of the quotes used are from the BofM I could find only two from Scripture, Matthew 18:3 & Luke 22:32 & it’s clear from the context that those verses are concerned with pride & not spiritual rebirth. If your church really does believe in being born again then why does it not quote John 3:3 ? Sorry Shem but from the quotes I have read I do not believe that Mormons know what ‘being born again’ means.
Finally, the reason I mentioned Galatians was to clarify what you said. It could possibly be thought that the ‘law of Moses’ you mentioned was something different to the law given 430 years earlier when it was in fact a temporary addition to that law. I was not arguing or disagreeing with you.
Did I ever once say that Grace was not a gift. I do not recall ever making such a statement and know of no leader of the LDS church who ever has made such a statement.
Grace is a gift from God, freely given through the atonement of the Son. We do not deny this. We merely point out that the gift is not given to everyone, but that God chooses who will receive it, and has revealed on what basis he makes that choice.
It is like a store advertizing that they are giving merchandise away; all you have to do is come down and accept it. Or, maybe you would prefer the idea of a scholarship giving money to anyone who puts in their application.
What grace is not is a person walking down the street handing out money to everyone without regard for what the people will do with the money. God does not give his grace to those who will misuse it, or carelessly toss it aside. He will look on our hearts and judge whether or not we are willing and able to accept his gift, and he will decide to what degree he will give it.
You said “I have read through all of it & while the information appears, on the surface, to be Scriptural I cannot accept that the LDS believe in Spiritual rebirth in the Christian meaning of the word.”
Are you joking. You read the doctrine, and you obviously see what we believe, but you choose not to accept that we actually believe it? No wonder you do not understand our doctrine, because you refuse to.
Our understanding of being born again is exactly the same as what you have yourself described, with the one difference in how long such a change can take. There is no other different. If you can’t accept this than that is not because of our doctrine, but because you are unwilling to admit that our doctrine is not what you characterize it to be.
I don’t understand your complaint about Matthew and Luke, as the entry is on conversion, and these use that term (or a dirivative of it). There are eight references in the New Testament and five in the Old Testament to conversion. Yet there are only three in the entire Bible to Being Born again. These references (especially John 3:3,7) speak more directly to Baptism than to the complete doctrine of conversion. In John 3: 5 Christ clarifies the meaning of Born again as being ‘born of water and of the spirit.’ This means that baptism is the outward ordinances that symbolizes our rebirth, and through which we are washed of our sins; our previous life being buried in Christ, and our rising again in newness of life. This is only one step in conversion, however, and the process continues from there.
Here is a good talk, titled “Born Again” that explains this very well, though it has much you will likely disagree with (http://www.lds.org/liahona/2001/07/born-again?lang=eng).
What you call Born Again we call Conversion, and we look to many scriptures to fully understand what this means and what a mighty change of heart can be caused by such a conversion. To us the term Born Again refers mainly to that introductory ordinance when a man is washed of his old life and changed by the spirit as it rests upon him.
“Are you joking. You read the doctrine, and you obviously see what we believe, but you choose not to accept that we actually believe it? No wonder you do not understand our doctrine, because you refuse to.”
No I’m not joking, I see what you SAY you believe but that’s simply the standard Mormon method of using Christian terms but with a very different meaning.
As for not understanding your doctrine did you even notice that I mentioned my ex-wife who has been a (mostly inactive) Mormon for close on 50 years, do you think that having been so close to someone for that length of time I wouldn’t have learned something about the doctrine of your church? You may pull the wool over some people eyes but you certainly won’t pull it over mine.
I’m going to repeat a short version of something I said on another topic because it’s directly related to what we’re discussing.
“When I became a Christian (more years ago than I care to remember) I carried on living as I had always done, I did nothing to change my way of life apart from praying & reading the Bible more……….One day my sister said this to me “I don’t know what’s happened but you’ve changed” I hadn’t really noticed until she said that but I was seeing things in a different light & over a period of time the things I had previously enjoyed were no longer enjoyable, in short, I was slowly but surely becoming a ‘new’ person, the old man was fading away.”
That Shem had nothing to do with me, I did nothing, it was all Gods work, done without me even being aware of it & it’s so different to what your church teaches. There is no ‘after all we can do’ it is all of God & if Mormons truly were reborn they would already know this in their hearts & I would not be here to talk about it. How can there be any genuine conversion or rebirth when you do not know or follow the God of the Bible?
You then say this
“I don’t understand your complaint about Matthew and Luke, as the entry is on conversion, and these use that term (or a dirivative of it)”
Ok, I’ll tell you once again, those passages have nothing at all to do with being reborn (or conversion as you like to put it) & the LDS use of them only serves to back up what I have said, you use Christian terms but the meaning IS NOT Christian. I wish you knew something about context because then you might understand Christ is talking about the need to learn humility, not about conversion or rebirth.
“There are eight references in the New Testament and five in the Old Testament to conversion. Yet there are only three in the entire Bible to Being Born again.”
There is only ONE mention of baptism for the dead in the entire Bible yet you build an entire doctrine on that single verse? Enough said.
It doesn’t really matter if you are in constant dialogue with President Monson. If you refuse to see the doctrine for what it is then you will never understand it. It is as simple as that. You have eyes but you do not see.
You say “There is only ONE mention of baptism for the dead in the entire Bible yet you build an entire doctrine on that single verse? Enough said.”
Actually, there are 16 verses in the Bible that speak to Salvation for the dead. Just because there is only one that uses the specific term does not mean it is the only one to speak on the doctrine.
Also, this statement kind of just ignores everything that I said. I do understand context, and the context of John 3: 3 is baptism, and nothing else, which is what I pointed out. It is being born of water and spirit. The very context of this chapter is why we do not use the term to name the doctrine that is given deeper understanding in other verses that use the term Conversion.
Again, I do not understand your complaint with Matthew or Luke because Christ in these passages is discussing conversion, a large part of which is casting off pride and humbling oneself before God. What he is saying is that in order for us to truly become converted this is what we must do, and unless we are converted, being changed in this way, we will not enter the Kingdom of God. Nothing is being taken out of context.
Now, regarding your story, I would disagree with your assessment.
You claim “That had nothing to do with me, I did nothing”
Yet you already declared that you consciously made the choice to start “praying & reading the Bible more.” Thus you started by making a choice, and through that choice you invited the spirit into your life. It then worked in you to strengthen you, so that when other choices came you had the strength to choose righteously. The process, being gradual, was unnoticed by you, as is the case with all gradual processes. But you obviously made choices to act in a certain way, starting with prayer and the scriptures.
I am sorry, but your story illustrates the doctrine of the LDS church so perfectly I find it kind of funny. This is exactly what President Lorenzo Snow taught.
“The child grows from childhood to boyhood, and from boyhood to manhood, with a constant and steady growth; but he cannot tell how or when the growth occurs. He does not realize that he is growing; but by observing the laws of health and being prudent in his course he eventually arrives at manhood. So in reference to ourselves as Latter-day Saints. We grow and increase. We are not aware of it at the moment; but after a year or so we discover that we are, so to speak, away up the hill, nearing the mountain top.”
We do not deny the need for Divine assistance in our lives, and that it is only through that assistance that we are enabled to perform the works that God desires us to do. President Snow also taught “So in reference to the Latter-day Saints; they could not possibly come up to such a moral and spiritual standard except through supernatural [heavenly] aid and assistance.”
L. Snow said,
And we, if it was necessary for Him; our Lord, to have divine assistance, will find it all the more important to receive His assistance. And in every circumstance and condition surrounding the Latter-day Saints, while in the performance of their duties, they are entitled to supernatural aid from the Holy Spirit, to help in the various conditions surrounding them, and in the duties that they are required to perform. Conference Report, April 1898, p.12
This was the second time that Snow used this quote in a Conference address. In the same Address he said this,
We are going back to Jackson county, Missouri, one of these days. Now if it was proper to wish it I would not care if it was tomorrow, if word should come for us to go back to Jackson county and build up a great city there. The day will come when Latter-day Saints will be selected all may not be called at once, but those who are worthy will be called. There will be no poverty in that day. There will be plenty of food, clothing and other necessaries of life; and the father who has a family, if called suddenly to depart this life, will know that his wife and children will be taken care of, that provision will be made for their sustenance and comfort. But this is the United Order that we sometimes hear mentioned, but the time perhaps has not yet come to establish it. But the Latter-day Saints will never be satisfied with any other arrangement that might be proposed. The nations of the earth have for a long time been trying to establish some principle by which they can be financially sustained, united and live in peace, but have not succeeded. But the Lord has revealed a principle clearly and definitely so that there will be no mistake about it. The system will bring financial union to the Latter-day Saints, and we will be satisfied with it as we are now with the principles of the Gospel. It will suit us. It is something that is natural. And then you and I will have no trouble about our children’s temporal welfare. This will take place and whoever goes to Jackson county will meet with that sympathy and friendship that were not met with in early days, and because of the absence of which the people were allowed to be driven out. Conference Report, April 1898, p.14
These are things for the Latter-day Saints and for every man and woman to think about, and we should commence to prepare and fit ourselves for the United Order. As far as spiritual things are concerned we are pretty well united, but when it comes to temporalities we often differ. But you will see the day, if you live properly, observe the Word of Wisdom and do that which is required, you will go back to Jackson county, many of you whom I am addressing this afternoon. I am sure of this.
He was wrong. A false prophet. Why believe anything he said? This man was not a prophet, and not qualified to be giving spiritual advice. The Mormons will NEVER live the “Law of Consecration” They have tried it three times. There is no room for it in a corporation.
“Actually, there are 16 verses in the Bible that speak to Salvation for the dead.”
I never at any time mentioned Salvation for the dead, I said “Baptism for the dead”
Why do you always have to twist or change what I say? Why not show me 16 verses that speak of Baptism for the dead?
“Also, this statement kind of just ignores everything that I said. I do understand context, and the context of John 3: 3 is baptism, and nothing else, which is what I pointed out. It is being born of water and spirit. The very context of this chapter is why we do not use the term to name the doctrine that is given deeper understanding in other verses that use the term Conversion.”
Obviously you DO NOT understand that context cannot be defined by a single verse. Context is derived from surrounding verses or even by the entire chapter. Therefore the context of John 3:1-12 is NOT baptism at all rather it is to show that Judaism, which was represented by Nicodemus, would not qualify a man for Gods Kingdom, a complete change, regeneration or rebirth (from above) was necessary.
“Now, regarding your story, I would disagree with your assessment.”
Did I ask you to assess MY story? Perhaps you would like to give me points out of ten? Just who are you to tell me that you know my experience better than I know it myself? I’m tired of your arrogance. You come in here behaving like a schoolmaster lecturing recalcitrant children, you can never be wrong. When someone, anyone, says something that catches you out you will distort what he or she have said to boost your ego. You are completely unprincipled in the way you debate an issue. Thankfully after tonight I wont be coming in here again to read any more of your so called truth. You can’t even speak the truth about what you clearly read (see my last posting on the topic ‘the distinctive plan of salvation’ to see what I mean) so how can you speak the truth about the things you know nothing of?
“Yet you already declared that you consciously made the choice to start “praying & reading the Bible more.”
That’s an outright lie, are you going to show me where I said that I made a conscious decision? Why didn’t you include the first part of that sentence? “I did nothing to change my way of life apart from” I was already praying & reading the Bible & after making a commitment it was only natural to read more, no conscious choice was made & neither did I imply that such a choice was made.
“I am sorry, but your story illustrates the doctrine of the LDS church so perfectly I find it kind of funny. This is exactly what President Lorenzo Snow taught.”
My story illustrates nothing of the kind & you know it. Your false prophet is saying something completely different to what I said & his words are diametrically opposed to my story. He was talking about works while I was showing that NO WORKS were involved. Stop distorting everything I say; you are as false as the prophets you follow.
It’s quite possible that this post will be deleted if it is then so be it. I make no apologies for anything I have said, I am saying what many others in here think about Shem & his antics. I will not sit back & be spoken to in such a way by a man who feels that any means are acceptable as long as his goals are achieved.
I have found it very difficult to get a Mormon to link down anything with certainty. There is always enough room in what they say so that they can maneuver there position to fit their goals. I had a discussion with Shem to define the word ‘fact’. He took it to be a subjective thing… Pinning them down is near impossible. The response to most anything will be “well, not really…”
You’re spot on with your assessment. It’s very difficult to argue with anyone when they keep moving the goalposts.
One final thing that I forgot to mention in my last post was this
“Thus you started by making a choice, and through that choice you invited the spirit into your life. It then worked in you to strengthen you, so that when other choices came you had the strength to choose righteously.”
I don’t like referring to the Holy Spirit as ‘it’ so if you don’t mind I’ll call Him ‘He’ As you are now saying that He, the Holy Spirit, has been working in me for many years will you also tell me what spirit is at work in you? Obviously it cannot be the same Holy Spirit or you would find yourself in agreement with me over such important matters of Doctrine.
Now I really am finished & you will read nothing more from me.
I would love to pin things down. The real problem is that in general you never listen when I try to, but claim that I don’t know my own doctrine and come up with every method you can to twist the real doctrine into something that you can more easily not believe in.
Oh, and the term fact has always been a subjective term, which is what I was saying. History is, by its nature, a subjective thing, which is also a point I was making. The context of that discussion was a subjective one.
I am perfectly fine in setting out the truth, to those who will actually listen and accept it when I do so. But it becomes a waste of time when the person I am talking to has already decided what the truth is and is unwilling to accept correction.
To all those here
Old Man said “Why do you always have to twist or change what I say? Why not show me 16 verses that speak of Baptism for the dead?”
I don’t twist, I clarify. You mentioned a doctrine, giving it a certain name and declaring that we base it off one scripture. The problem is that the doctrine is not Baptism for the Dead. The doctrine is Salvation for the dead, of which baptism is just a part, or beginning, just as baptism for us is just a part or beginning. The doctrine that you claim is based off only one verse is truly based on several. That one aspect of the doctrine that you try to characterize as the entire doctrine is only mentioned directly once, and it is the only part of the work that we do that is mentioned directly. But to claim it is the entire doctrine, and that that one verse is the only one that speaks to the doctrine, is a false claim that needed to be clarified and correct, which I did.
Old Man said “Did I ask you to assess MY story?”
No you didn’t. However, you offered as proof of your doctrine, and thus you gave me license to question it. You presented evidence, and I addressed the evidence. Nothing more, and nothing less. That is what is proper in a debate, and there is nothing I have done that is improper.
I never once questioned the truth of your story, nor did I ever once try to judge you or any action you made. You gave a story, and then you gave your assessment of it. In return I gave my assessment.
Of course this is why I don’t tell personal stories; because in doing so I give those here license to assess them and criticize what I have said. It has happened before, and it would happen again. How many people have told me that I have only communed with demons when I have asserted my experience with the spirit? How many times have you thought such. I have no doubt that you yourself would do it if I gave such a story. That is the nature of debate, and if you cannot handle that then you shouldn’t be here anyways.
You said “you can never be wrong.”
You show your lack of understanding and your own arrogance. I have been wrong, and I am wrong on many things. However, I am rarely wrong when it comes to the doctrine of my church. I have been blessed with the spirit of Knowledge, and you may think it arrogant to say so, but it is the truth. I know the doctrine of my church. However, on occasion I have been in error, and when I know my error I correct it and apologize for it. Such is rare when it comes to the doctrine of the church, but it does happen.
Of course, your accusation is more applicable to everyone one this sight who is not LDS. When have you ever admitted that you were wrong when it comes to our doctrine. When has anyone on this sight ever admitted error in their understanding. The arrogance is not mine, but your. Yours, Grindaels, Ricks, Falcons, Kate and everyone else who is here misrepresenting and lying about our doctrine. There are a few exceptions in those who come more for discussion (such as Kenneth) but the vast majority of you think that all you are so superior in thought and understanding that you have never even once considered the idea that you could be wrong.
Now, maybe this will be deleted, and that is up to the moderators. But it is perfectly true, and anyone who reads these threads consistently knows that it is so.
Let me offer a challenge to everyone posting on these threads. Give me one post that you made in the past ten years in which you admitted that you had made an error in regards to the doctrine of the LDS church. Please show me where you have done so, and I will do the same. Let us see who is more arrogant and who is willing to admit mistakes when they occur.
All Shem can do is call names. He says,
It is NOT based on several. I am going to prove that you are wrong. DEAD WRONG. STUPID WRONG. Jo DID call it a “doctrine” and he DID base it on ONE scripture. He said so. Here it is:
WRONG AGAIN SHEM. AS USUAL. History may be “subjective” (as is your “spirit of knowledge”) but the actual quotes speak for themselves. That is where your problem lies. You want to believe your OWN made up version of what was actually said. Sorry, but that doesn’t cut it, and so you have to resort to calling people liars that actually know what they are talking about and have the ACTUAL QUOTES to back it up.
I am not wrong, and I will respond to this to show just how ignorant you are of things.
Now, I will admit that in the Days of Joseph Smith the doctrine was most commonly referred to by the term Baptism for the Dead. However, even at that time it encompassed much more than just that single ordinance, and only a fool or a liar would claim otherwise. It was referred to by this title because this was the first ordinance performed for the dead, and it was not until a little later that other ordinances were performed for the dead (after the temple was build).
Even in saying this I will also point out that Joseph Smith himself used the term Salvation for the Dead on occasion to explain the purpose of the said baptisms.
In D&C 128, a letter written by Joseph Smith, we get the greatest discourse on Salvation for the Dead. In verse one Joseph Smith states “I now resume the subject of the baptism for the dead” which he clarifies in verse 5 as “conforming to the ordinance and preparation that the Lord ordained and prepared before the foundation of the world, for the salvation of the dead” and thus we see that the purpose for baptizing the dead is for their Salvation.
Just look through the Topical Guide for once and see for yourself. There are only five references to Baptism for the dead in the Doctrine and Covenants, but over a dozen under the heading of Salvation for the Dead.
Going back to D&C 128, the very first thing that Joseph Smith references in Revelation 20: 12, not 1 Corinthians 15: 29. Granted at this point he is speaking primarily of the recording of such ordinances, but it is still in relation to the Dead, and he declares that John, when he wrote this passage in Revelation, was thinking on the subject of Salvation for the Dead.
He then quotes from Matthew 16: 18-19 to show the power of the Priesthood in doing this work, and in verse 11 states that it through this power that Jesus describes that such work is possible.
He next references Hebrews 10: 40, in which is declared that the dead cannot be made perfect without us, and thus he teaches that it is through the work for the dead that salvation and perfect is brought to all people.
He then does quote 1 Corinthians 15: 29 (fourth verse from the Bible), but gives no direct explanation until after he also quotes Malachi 4: 5-6. In this he once again refers to the doctrine as Baptism for the Dead, but he does not describe it as merely the ordinance of baptism, but a welding link that will bind all generations together, without which salvation is not possible. He uses the term Baptism for the Dead, but he is speaking to much more.
Here we have Joseph Smith references 5 passages of Scripture as directly relating to this doctrine. He speaks to the Salvation of the Dead which is made possible through the Baptism of the Dead.
It is also true that in the modern day the doctrine is more often referred to as Salvation for the Dead, or Redeeming the Dead. The reason for this is because more ordinances are done for the dead than just baptism, which did not happen until after a Temple was prepared in which this could be done.
It may be said that Baptism for the Dead is a doctrine, which is one of many doctrines comprising the more complete doctrine of Salvation for the Dead. Other such doctrines included in Salvation for the Dead are the other ordinances performed on their behalf, as well as the doctrines concerning Genealogy and the keeping of records. But this is not how the subject is generally discussed or taught. Rather there is the doctrine that Salvation is made possible for those who have dead, and the method through which this is made possible begins with our work in performing baptisms on their behalf.
I am not wrong in what I have said.
You said: “But it becomes a waste of time when the person I am talking to has already decided what the truth is and is unwilling to accept correction”
Is there a truth? Or is the truth, like a fact, subjective? I think you are confusing concepts when you address what a fact is. How we view facts may be subjective, but the fact itself is not. As an example, finger prints on a gun mean that a particular person held that gun, but the meaning of that can be something different. That person may have fired it, but he may not have. It is up to the person reviewing the situation to decide if the presence of finger prints (a fact, a statement of reality), is enough to prove who fired the gun.
See, a fact has no meaning in and of itself, but it reflects a particular reality. It is important you understand this concept.
And the same thing can be said for truth, I think. A truth is, well, true. If I know what is true, why should I give in? The same can surely be said of you. Why should you give in? And this is where the discussion takes meaning: we are arguing over what is the truth. Unless we say that there is no truth, and it is up to us to decide our own truth, we both cannot be right. And just as you accuse me of deciding on what is the truth and not accepting correction, why in the world cannot I levy the same charge against you? The answer is there is no reason why I cannot levy it on you, and I do levy it on you.
So, unless you are going to argue from a prospective of relativism, I suggest you understand that we are debating facts that in and of themselves have no meaning, and that we are debating what is truth.
You are the ignorant one. I QUOTED Jo, who said it was a “doctrine” and was based on one verse in the New Testament. That is what he said. You are just diverting the issue with your “Salvation for the Dead” additions. You are wrong but will never admit it because you live in the Mormon Bubble of Denial.
Fact and Truth are not the same thing, and I do not treat them as being the same. What is true is true and cannot be altered, regardless of any evidence offered or argument given. However, a fact is not what is literally true, but is accepted as true, and is thus subject to alteration as what is accepted changes.
Take your fingerprint. Say my finger print is found on a gun. I swear that I have never touched it, yet, according to you, it is a fact that I did. That is accepted and would be accepted by most people. But suppose a few months later it is shown that someone copies my fingerprint and planted it on the gun, a possible scenario. It is no longer a fact that I touched it, but only a fact that my fingerprint was on it, and even that can be contested to some extent.
Thus we see that your accepted fact was not true, even though it was a fact at that time.
When you ask me what is true you will get a different answer than if you ask me what is fact. As I say, truth is truth, but fact is merely our acceptance of something as being true, whether it really is true or not.
I know you hate to be wrong, as your arrogance and conceit can’t handle it, but let me point out a few things about your quotes.
First, they are not quoting Joseph Smith, so you have out right lied concerning them. They are quoting Wilford Woodruff who is summarizing words and events in his journal, and is thus not providing the full words of Joseph Smith or the complete doctrine.
Right here you have proven your ignorance in trying to claim one man’s words are those of another.
Second, in the first quote he does not say that it is based on one verse. He states that all that is needed is one verse, not that this was all that was actually had. Given the fact that Joseph Smith quoted five different verse from the Bible, both Old and New Testament, when teaching this doctrine, you make yourself a fool for making any claim that he used only one.
Third, the second quote you give make no mention as to where or how frequently the doctrine is spoken of in the Bible, only that it is taught there.
Now, I have to assume you didn’t read a word I said past the point that I said you were ignorant. I admitted gladly that during those early years when the doctrine was first taught it was most frequently referred to as Baptism for the Dead, and I explained why that was. However, in the modern day we do not refer to it by that title very often, which I also explained. In my previous posts I never once said anything that contradicts this.
As usual you have failed to prove anything as you misuse quotes, twist their meaning, and generally lie about what is being said.
That’s an absolute lie. Woodruff wrote in shorthand, and took down Smith’s words accurately. Woodruff writes He [Joseph Smith] said… Where you get your idea that this is NOT Jo is just crazy talk. Fantasy. You are getting more and more creepy with your absolute denial of what are the FACTS of something right there in black and white. I think you need professional help, I really do. The quote was written BY Wilford Woodruff IN HIS JOURNAL. There is no “they” who are quoting Woodruff. I took the quote DIRECTLY OUT OF HIS JOURNAL WHICH HE HIMSELF WROTE WHILE LISTENING TO JO SAY THOSE EXACT WORDS. You can’t be that dumb. No one can be that dumb. But there you are inventing “they” who have “summarized” Woodruff. If this wasn’t so pathetic and desperate, I’d be laughing myself silly that you can’t comprehend what a Journal entry is.
The second quote was to show that Jo actually CALLED IT A DOCTRINE. You denied that it was one. You can’t remember back that far, obviously, but you did. Now you are lying that you didn’t. You are schizophrenic. You need professional help. Here it is again,
The problem is that the doctrine is not Baptism for the Dead. The doctrine is Salvation for the dead ….
Nope. Jo called it the DOCTRINE OF BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD. In fact your saying that it is not called a doctrine “often” in these days is another outright lie. You never said that. Here is something from lds.org:
I keep PROVING that you are lying, and you keep denying the proof. But I POST my proof. You POST NOTHING but your lame opinion. You never quote anyone to back up your claims. Your conceit and arrogance can’t handle the truth, so instead you live in a Mormon Bubble of denial. Of course you can’t prove any of this, only deny the truth. You have shown NO PROOF to back up your lying allegations. You can only name call, because you are desperate. Desperate to disavow that Smith said what he said. Desperate to have people believe the lies you keep repeating. Desperate because you know that you are living a lie. I feel sorry for you Shem. It must be very lonely in that Mormon Bubble where reality can’t come and intrude on your fantasy world.
STOP LYING. JUST STOP. For your own sake, STOP LYING.