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The fact is, in Christianity Salvation has one definition. In Mormonism, there are many definitions according to your leader. No wonder LDS are confused about it all. No wonder you don’t understand God’s Grace. My point is Mormons have MANY definitions of Salvation and according to your leader, the definition you are trying to defend, yes you are Saved BUT ( there’s that word at again) with conditions. Read it, he said it. You cannot live with God without completing those conditions or in other words, works. I believe your apostle ( who actually has authority), not you and I’m done beating this dead horse to death as well. For Mormons it’s a combination of Grace and works, Grace alone won’t get you there.
Ive been racking my brain and praying hard trying to think of ways that I can help present the simple message of James chapter 2 to someone so hung up with non Biblical presuppositions as your self .
I do realize that unless God opens your eyes you will never be able to comprehend this stuff. but here I go once more into the breach.
The closest parallel to James 2 is Mathew 7:16-20. please try and read this as written with out assumed LDS commentary overriding the plain mean of the words.
You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
Did you catch it?
healthy trees don’t labor to produce good fruit. Good fruit just comes naturally to healthy trees.
by the same token
Diseased trees don’t produce bad fruit because they are not trying hard enough. That very idea is laughable.
Diseased trees produce bad fruit because they are diseased. end of story. There is no other way to see this.
All James is saying in chapter 2 is that good (saving faith) produces good works by definition. So we can look at a persons life and do a little fruit inspection and make a determination of whether or not that person has saving faith or not.
Because we are not God and can’t see the intentions of the heart fruit inspection is the only way we can possibly judge if someone has faith
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
I’m praying hard that the scales will fall from your eyes
FOF said, “If obedience or works does not increase faith as you insist, how is our faith strengthened? By squinting our eyes real tight?”
FoF, I think you are just having a hard time understanding what other people are saying. Fifth monarchy man gave and excellent response. I am not trying to add to it but just share my thoughts. For a Christian, when they except the Word of God, Christ, they enter a “relationship.” (My EO world likes to use the world communion) I think the term “relationship” is a word that is thrown around so much in the evangelical world that the meaning almost gets lost on Mormons. “Yea, yea, yea, relationship. Sure. But what else are you DOING?” Is the look I see when some LDS hear that word. Sometimes even a roll of the eyes. How are Christians increasing their faith? They love God and they are maintaining and strengthening their relationship. Much like a marriage. In fact that is why the Church’s relationship is compared to a marriage. Christians are doing the things they would do to mantin a good marriage. They show up, they communicate, they listen, they do kind and loving acts towards one another. Yes, all those things are works. But the couple isn’t waiting to find out if they are married after years and years of works. They are already married! They are already joined together. Yes, there can be divorce. But God doesn’t divorce us, he is always faithful. If there is a divorce it is because we walk away from God. Not because we sin or make a mistake, but because we completley deny and walk away from the relationship. To continue the analogy of Christ as the Bridegroom… We don’t earn our marriage to Christ either. He is the groom, he has proposed to all of humankind, and it is our job to accept or decline. But once we accept, works should flow out of us with love for our new husband. We work on our relationship because we are so in love.
Does any of that make sense?
So yes, their will be works, sin and repentance… But we aren’t earning anything. We are already married! The “what now?” Is to keep communing with God. Be the faithful spouse. We are born again to God and are being alive in that relationship that will continue through the eternitities.
I had to comment on this because I noticed no one else has engaged you on this..
You told Kate “Did you know that the Jewish Priests in Jerusalem gave approval for a temple to be built in Egypt by Jews in that country? The actual document giving approval for the construction of the temple has been discovered. Actually, there were two Jewish temples in Egypt- one in Heliopolis and another in Elephantine. I know that it is the common claim of our critics that no legitimate temple could exist outside of Jerusalem. But that is simply not the case. It wasn’t the case in ancient times. And it is not the case today.”
Here are some LDS apologists from FAIR making the same case. But is it a valid claim? The area known as the Land of Onias.
Key point, the temples within the Land of Onias were built AFTER Jesus. These were not “ancient jews” or “ancient temples”. They did not believe in Christ and where still preforming sacrifices. Just because these temples were built by Jews does not mean that they were authorized by God’s word.
The temple Tel Arad was ancient. This temple was used by Jews. But within it was a statue of Asherah AKA “The Queen Of Heaven” whom Jeremiah condemned in Jeremiah 43:17 as well as Jeremiah 7:18.
Ultimately there is still no biblical credibility to modern LDS temples. There were Jews who acted in a way contrary to God’s commandments, who rejected Christ, building temples in Egypt. So what?
Notice you have no evidence of Christian temples used for ancient rituals. None.
Temples are not to built outside of Jerusalem. Temples are used for sacrifice and worship. Disobedience doesn’t change that.
Temples are not to be built outside Jerusalem. They were to be used for sacrifice and worship***
I read with interest the link provided by FofF concerning a Jewish temple in Egypt, but I certainly can’t believe that it was an ‘official’ temple. Perhaps I missed the reference, (I read the article twice) but nowhere did I see anything about Jewish priests giving approval for such a structure.
As far as I’m aware, under the Jewish religious system there could be only one temple, many synagogues to be sure but only one Temple. The Temple contained the Ark of the Covenant & the Holy of Holies, the place where God dwelt. That was the most sacred place imaginable to a Jew, so why would approval be given for another Temple?
If Chapter 28 of 1 Chronicles is studied it will be found that God gave instructions to David concerning the first Temple, but he (David) was not allowed to build it as he was a warrior & had shed blood (1 Chronicles 28:3) David was however permitted to make preparations for the building which was to be built by his son Solomon. The reason I mention this is that according to the article the Jews in Egypt were soldiers & therefore it’s extremely unlikely that they would have been given approval to build a Temple even if the Jewish faith had permitted it, which it didn’t.
Just a quick comment which follows on from what Brewed said about a Temple built in Egypt after Christ.
Twenty or so years ago I did do a limited study of the Jewish community in Egypt at the time Mohammed, came to power around 600AD. It’s known that this community were not true Jews in the sense of following all Jewish customs & traditions; they were in fact mainly apostate. It’s certainly possible that they could have built a Temple but as Brewed said, it would not have been authorized by God, especially when it’s remembered that God destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem because there was no longer any need for one.
I was thinking that if I was reading you correctly, your frustrated that we cannot explain back to you your views on Grace vs works, or grace plus works. Then it seems someone else posted that, that was what they thought you said also.
If thats the case, then why does it matter if we can explain it back to you or not? And I think if we tried we would have problems doing it anyway since it is so confusing to do so.
As I have said before, as Christians, all we need to do is believe, why is that so hard. Plus you keep saying, works strengthen our faith, well the problem with works is this, People who die right away, it could be they are on the death bed with a terminal illness, or about to be executed. Sadly Muslims who come to Christ in the Islamic countries can and are executed for converting to Christianity and for sharing their faith. So if they convert and it is known and they get executed or killed a day or two later, they were unable to do any works.
What about people in any country who convert, then for some reason they die right away. Maybe they had a car accident, or fell down the stairs or something. These things do happen, yet these people cannot do works. Thats whats so great about God who loves us, we simply believe He died and we do not need to do any works.
Now We get to do works, and as others have said, those works are the works He prepared for us. I am a Chef, I have help cook for Police here in MN many times for Funerals, or the Republican national convention, and many other things to help support our Police. I even have photo’s for a portfolio of this. I have blessed people in my Church by making wedding cakes for people who are getting married.
I have friends in my church who are auto experts and have blessed me by doing brake jobs or other jobs simply for cost of parts. So these are things that are works that we do for fellow believers, and non-believers alike. Yet they do not save us. Jesus is not going and saying, Great Rick feed 300 people and great, this guy worked on his car, so they are saved, or are moved father up the ladder.
Sadly this guy Tim, who is crippled and born and must like in a wheel chair all his life and cannot work at all and maybe is mute, even though he believe in Me (Jesus) sadly he cannot be saved, or cannot move up the ladder in salvation, because he was born Mute and crippled as a result of sin, or some accident, and he had no control over it, but o-well, thats to bad.
Sorry FoF, but God is not like that and thinking that way.
Wow. The circle keeps going, it seems. Faithoffathers is very comfortable in this circle. I have attempted to explain the LDS view of grace and works. Apparently, that was missed… Alas. But little by little nuggets come out, like the admission that salvation from death and sin are different. Not to us, and not to Christ. We are dead in our sin, because sin equals eternal death. Sin is separation from God, which can only be bridged by accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross.
This is apparently very different from the LDS view of sin and death. As I understand the LDS view, there are varying degrees of sin, though I don’t fully understand the relationship between sin and death with them.
But it is very important, I think, to lay out our position that we die from our sin without accepting Christ. Certainly, we ought not continue so sinning, but without Christ sin kills us eternally. The wages of sin are death.
MJP, you and others here have done a great job in trying correct Fof F’s faulty reasoning about
how a person is saved . He admits frustration in trying to clearly explain to us the place works
occupy in relation to salvation . In all honesty he’s only experiencing a normal reaction at being
unable to explain this because he’s been trying to fit Mormonism into the N.T. , and that simply
does’nt fit well , hence the blurry picture he has painted . In trying to make this easier for us to
grasp he resorts to analogies or movies and such. Nice try but no dice . Now he is saying that
” Works have a indirect influence on our salvation ” . Not sure what he means by “influence”
but no matter because in all his explaining to date on this issue he’s only giving us his opinion .
I prefer listening to Mormon authorities , and they have taught that eternal life ( exaltation) is
earned by works, that to inherit eternal life requires compliance to the rules, laws, regulations
of the “restored ” gospel ; that the reward of eternal life comes through doing good works ; that
salvation is based on merit and obedience to laws so it is only obtained through compliance
with God’s commandments ; that LDS are ” candidates ” for salvation who must qualify for
eternal life by doing the rules, laws , regulations , that are the Mormon gospel ; that the saving
grace of Jesus Christ brings exaltation to no one who does’nt comply with all the works of the
“restored” gospel .
The Mormon salvation message is a works system , a plan , that a person must enroll in and
comply with it’s laws , rules, in order to become worthy to receive eternal life . Faith in Christ
is a part , but it’s not sufficient enough alone to gain eternal life . The N.T. teaches otherwise.
I appreciate the presence of those ex-Mormons here that share about the difference between
the Mormon “way” to receive salvation compared to the true gospel of grace they’ve found in
the N.T. , they’ve lived the Mormon gospel “system ” .
Now here’s something that is quite telling : Fof F thinks that his leaders have taught that
Jesus has existed forever as a perfect God , that He was always God . But they have’nt .
Because Fof F can’t get this right why should anyone take his explanation of how salvation
is received ? This behavior on his part is enough for me to dismiss him as a well meaning but
inaccurate source for information concerning these issues .
That is worth repeating, as is the whole analogy, often. And applying that to humans, it is the Spirit of God that inspires each and every person to bear their own good fruit as tailored to their individually given gifts by the Spirit. This is why regulations don’t work. They destroy the work of the Holy Spirit. Mormonism is chock full o’ regulations that have destroyed the work of the Holy Spirit.
Old Man and Brewed,
Thank you for responding regarding the temple approval and placement. I just havent had the time to get on here and reply. Old man you also made a good point that I was hoping to get at with the arc of the covenant….One arc of the covenant written by the finger of God, one temple location designated by god, one temple design commanded by god…ONE TEMPLE.
Bewed & cattyjane also anyone else who may be interested;
I realise this is way off the topic but I think its important enough to mention in here as it was raised initially by FofF
I have just this evening finished watching a BBC documentary by a Jewish Historian; it was fascinating stuff to be sure. Yes, just as FofF told us there was a Jewish temple built exactly where the link provided by him said it was, but what was not made clear in that same article was something that Brewed touched upon in her post, not only did those Jews worship the God of Israel they also worshiped the Queen of Heaven, Asherah the Canaanite Goddess. This Temple was however destroyed by the Persians at the request of the Egyptians & it was only after its destruction that those apostate Jews asked for permission to REBUILD it. Permission to rebuild WAS given by the Authorities in Israel as FofF told us, BUT, & it’s an important but, it was a conditional permission. There were to be NO SACRIFICIAL OFFERINGS, only offerings of seed & fruit. That fact alone is enough to tell us that this new temple was really only an imitation of the original & was SOLELY for the use of apostate Jews. No true Jew would ever worship in it as, leaving aside the worship of Asherah, there was no way their sins could be covered. As this Jewish historian made clear, according to Jewish law there could be only one Temple & One God.
I hope that puts to rest the assertion made not just by FofF but by other Mormon apologists, that the LDS Temples are the genuine article.
I forgot to say, I very rarely watch TV so I’m sure you’ll agree that was quite a coincidence, turning it on & seeing that documentary, especially in the context of what was discussed yesterday.
That is absolutely amazing! I love that you were able to watch that! Im going to have to see if I can find that online. I wish that they would go more into this topic on here about the Temples being that the Temple is such a significant thing within the LDS faith. I didn’t even know anything about the Jewish temple until I started studying the Jewish faith. I think that understanding what the true Temple of God is for and comparing it to the uses of the LDS temples today might help some people to see that it cannot possibly be a reformation. Although they may just fall back onto the revelation of their prophets. To me it was loud and clear that the lds temple was something entirely different than the Jewish temple.
I think FoF is so convinced his salvation/exaltation is not based on works that he fails to see how absence of works ultimately affects his salvation/exaltation. In other words, I am not sure he is capable of understanding that his ultimate eternal destination is inseparable from his works.
He can say all day that it is not the works that save him, but he can’t work around the consequence of not completing the works– at best a lower heaven where he will not enjoy eternal and full communion with God, and certainly not godhood. It is logically impossible to reach the CK if you don’t work under the LDS program. As such, it is logically impossible to state that works do not save someone, even with the qualifier that works are not ultimately what save people. All that qualifier gets you is the ability to say its something else. It does not destroy requirement for works.
On the qualifier, I can understand how they can believe it is faith/grace that is what ultimately saves them. I can understand the point. I can see how they believe that all the works and the opportunity to make it to the CK are not possible without Christ’s sacrifice and his grace. I am not saying there is no logic, nor any draw to such a position. However, I cannot see how the program is not about works at all when works are required, that they are left out of the CK if they fail to complete the works.
As to the works themselves, FoF’s argument has centered around such things as being a good person, following the Sermon on the Mount, his movie about the grandkid having to change his behavior, etc. His argument has not addressed the very specific things the LDS must do in their Temple. This is a very big problem, and weakens his position tremendously. His position that following the Sermon on the Mount is difficult and is work is not inaccurate– yes, its tough to always do the things listed by Christ– but that is a very different topic than doing rituals. He’s required to perform rituals, and his avoidance of that makes it seem like he is trying to hide it.
In the event he is not trying to hide it, he is trying to make the point that our position that works are not required for salvation hypocritical. He’s trying to say that we require works, too, for our salvation. He has made a comparison to accepting Christ into our life to the works LDS are to perform, as if accepting Christ were an action akin to a work.
He’s doing everything he can to avoid the direct answer to the question of what good is grace without works under the LDS program. I do believe he is sincere in his answers, and that he is trying to explain himself as honestly as he can within his understanding of faith. But through all of this, the answer to that question remains unanswered. He’s said that everything good in life is a result of grace. Fine, but what happens at death if we haven’t worked?
Ultimately, I am not sure he can answer the question about grace any more than with what he has answered it. But I am still left wondering, what good is grace if someone does not work. To me, at least, grace seems rather empty in the end if you have to work to reach the highest level in heaven. I don’t think grace is any good under that program.
I really pray FoF, and any others, is able to see that grace abounds from the true Christ, and all it takes is setting aside his pride and accepting Christ into his heart. This grace will save, will provide living water to those who drink it. I pray he partakes.
I am rapidly reaching the conclusion that there is very little point in trying to explain the doctrine of grace to a Mormon apologist, or any other Christian doctrine if it comes to that. Equally there is little point in an apologist trying to explain Mormon doctrine, as far as I can make out the two are mutually exclusive, there is very little common ground either in understanding or the meaning of words.
The best we can hope for is that any Mormons reading these posts who have not yet gone past the point of no return will respond to what they read here & will desire to know more, Once a decision has been taken to read more ‘anti-Mormon’ literature & to do more unbiased research then it invariably results in a decision to leave the LDS. I’ve been posting here for about 9 months & have already seen several take that step.
As for the Apologists, as always, that’s in Gods hands all we can do is try to sow a few seeds. If they are receptive to the prompting of the Spirit as they claim to be then those seeds will eventually bear fruit. If nothing happens then as far as I’m concerned the Holy Spirit is NOT present in their lives, it is rather, a spirit of deception. I don’t say that to be offensive, I sincerely believe it to be the truth. Non Mormons are asked to pray to see if the Bof M is true, I have yet to see any apologist admit to praying to see if what we say is true.
I firmly believe that God touches all of us in one way or another as we search for truth in his word. Only those whose hearts have become hardened against the Gospel of Christ will not see it. It will take a revelation from God to remove the blindness from their eyes.
MJP, you’ve done a great job in dismantling Fof F’s faulty reasoning about faith vrs works .
His views are his views , they are not consistent with the New Testament message about
how a person receives eternal life .
Fof F says his leaders have taught that Jesus has existed forever as a perfect God , that He was
always God . That is wrong . So the bottom line here is : since Fof F can’t get this right , then how
can anyone take his explanation of how a person is saved seriously ?
I for one would like to hear from FOF again on this topic. I’d like to know if he understood me and how I could improve in my attempt to share what James chapter 2 is about in the future.
While we are at it I also wonder if he is satisfied with my explanation of why I accept the book of Genesis as Scripture while rejecting the BOM.
It’s seems that every time these threads get interesting the Mormons move on to the next one.
Thanks. I don’t want to get too negative regarding LDS here, but I have to say that at some point it just seems they close their eyes and cover their ears while singing “LALALALALALA”. I can think of a number of reasons and justifications they might give, but all of them will fall short when confronted with plain reason.
And their views are their views, whatever their views are and whatever their genesis. To an extent, what Mormon doctrine is depends upon who you are talking to, or so I have come to find. Despite LDS.org and other Mormon sponsored websites, and a very centralized teaching system, the variety in opinion concerning doctrine is astounding. How they deny what previous leaders have said says volumes about how the current church views these previous leaders.
MJP, well said . I think people can see where the problem lies with discussing faith vrs works
with some Mormons because these Mormons are good at mixing Mormonism into the New
Testament record about how a person can be forgiven and receive eternal life ( LDS exaltation) ,
and that mixing will only create a mess , a picture that is blurry . When a Mormon like Fof F
can’t even admit his leaders taught that Jesus was not always God , then how in the world can
we accept his view about faith vrs works being consistent with the New Testament testimony ?
Mormon apologists are’nt General Authorities .
It took me over 20 years to wake up to the lie that is mormonism. There is hope, especially now with the internet. So don’t think that your efforts are in vain. I was one of the true blue believers. I could give apologist answers to almost any weird doctrine that another member would ask me about.
I spent the last 10 years reading information off the internet and all the apologists explanations, and they do a really good job of convincing people they know better and to just trust them. Many people don’t give their own brains enough credit and just think to themselves “wow, these guys are way smarter than me. Their explanations are pretty in depth and researched. They must really know what they are talking about. If these guys can believe in the church and provide explanations then who am I to really question?” I was one of those people.. my wife was one of those people. Lucky for me she eventually decided to research history and take it upon herself to know about these things. Then she slapped my justifying apologist brain silly and woke me out of the haze of lies. Thank God for her.
Once you take off the mormon goggles and start giving your brain more credit, thats when you realize that the apologists explanations are pretty half assed at best (no matter how lengthy or wordy they are). Thats why they all got fired at FARMS. Everyone knows why they got fired. It’s like the whole two Hill Cumorahs issue. Who am I supposed to believe? Joseph the grand prophets words or some apologist? Joseph was pretty adamant about where things took place within BOM geography.
All these apologists did was bring neon targets right onto the issues which the church desperately wished would just go away. They should have fired the guys at FARMS years ago! This would have at least given them another 20-30 years of denial!
If they had fired the apologists earlier on they could have dismissed most internet sources as “bunk” or “half truths” or “lies”. They could continue not giving any answers at all or say they are going to answer them soon (which is what they are trying now). By creating an apologist department for the church, the Apostles unwittingly diminished their own authority on doctrinal matters. It usually takes a number of years before the Higher ups in the Church realize there is a problem going on within the lower ranks. Problems trickle up very slowly from the bottom. I learned this fact while serving a mission in south america. Its just funny that the General Authorities took as long as they did in realizing their mistake. The problem for the Church is the prideful apologists wanted to be part of this thing called the internet and loved the bigger status it brought to them. Their audience still lives on and funds their little non think tanks over at the Interpreter.
And now that the Church has dropped them all, the MORG can just work with PR departments internally to come up with “answers” to pressing issues regarding historical “problems”. Why Christ’s true church even needs a PR department is a whole other ball of wax.. but whatever. The PR guys will slowly release what they think are decent enough explanations on some random website or publication that not many members outside of Utah will read. Eventually by the time it gets to some ward out in Alabama, or England, or Africa, most people will think that a problem has been solved and is not a big issue, or they don’t believe that the Church officially said anything at all and they go on with their daily ward lives. Kind of like how the church quietly dropped all history of the Church references from the Scriptures. They said it was because nobody has access to these works. But then when you open up the Joseph Smith Papers, the introduction boldly says that the reason this project was instituted was because the history of the church was extremely inaccurate and could not be relied upon as a historical reference. UH OH! I guess the critics of the Church were right all these years! I am surprised no website has commented on this yet.
I still meet members telling me that drinking coke is wrong. When I explain to them that the Church changed that officially last summer, they don’t believe it. I can even show them the Church news websites where it says it, and they still don’t believe it. They need to hear it from the pulpit or else it isn’t true. The problem is the General Authorities will never do this, they are too busy giving faith promoting stories from the pulpit. Real doctrinal issues aren’t a big issue for them.
I have seen this happen over and over and over again. The other problem leaders in Salt Lake face is even when they send out official rule changes from the pulpit, the members disregard them! I remember years ago when the Church came out and told every ward that they could no longer hold missionary farewells or devote a whole sacrament to missionaries leaving. This really bummed out many members. They couldn’t understand why this was happening. Eventually people realized that in Utah, almost every sunday some missionary is leaving on a mission. So sacrament meeting gets a little bogged down if every week is a missionary farewell.
The problem was that this was obviously a regional problem, not a worldwide problem. You have wards out in the world where there is ONE guy leaving and he is the only missionary from the ward in over 20 years and the Church tells him he can’t have a farewell!!
Well, fast forward a few years and guess what? We are back to having farewells in sacrament. We just don’t CALL them farewells. Looks like the members didn’t really care what the leaders in SLC said.
I’d be curious to see how that rule is applied in wards in SLC now.
Thanks for your well-reasoned response to my post; I pretty much agree with all you said.
I wasn’t meaning to imply that the efforts made in here, not just by me, but by everyone concerned, were a waste of time. I have seen members of the LDS moved to the point where they have had to look again at their beliefs, Cattyjane being a case in point (hope you don’t mind me using your name Catty) I was talking in general about some of the apologists in here. No matter what evidence is placed before them, & by evidence I mean 100% factual evidence, if it doesn’t fit what they want to believe then it’s ignored or glossed over as of no consequence.
I really do believe that a mindset such as that needs something more than a well thought out argument to bring them around. Perhaps the following is where you & I would agree to differ but there is no doubt in my mind that their hearts have become hardened against the truth & only a touch from God will cause them to rethink their position. Obviously I don’t know how you feel about such things but I’m one of those ‘oddballs’ who believe that a person can be so oppressed, yes oppressed but not possessed, by a spirit of deception that they’re incapable of seeing the truth. I’m convinced that the same deceiving spirit, which I believe controlled the early LDS church, is as strong & active in the LDS now as it ever was. Witness the responses to much of Grindaels articles; it’s beyond my comprehension how anyone can read all the factual evidence presented by him without having doubts about their own beliefs, at least to the point where they would be willing to do further research from a non-Mormon source.
“Lucky for me she eventually decided to research history and take it upon herself to know about these things. Then she slapped my justifying apologist brain silly and woke me out of the haze of lies. Thank God for her.”
I realise you were being serious but I had to laugh when I read that. I was imagining the scene, her slapping your apologist brain silly, think slap; think slap. 🙂
But of course you’re right, Thank God for her.