Defending the Faith at Temple Square

A healthy Mormon and Christian Debate at Salt Lake Temple Square with host Dave Bartosiewicz

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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172 Responses to Defending the Faith at Temple Square

  1. Rick B says:

    I understand the two guys are not the same person, I never said that, and if you feel I did, quote me.
    Now why are you here, you clearly stated it is pointless to be here.
    I posted those quotes because not only do those guys not agree, but you LDS here cannot agree among yourselves.

    The Guy on the Video cannot make up his mind, and many times I have seen over the years on this blog, LDS dont even agree with each other. If you guys cannot agree, then how can we trust you and why should we. You guys cannot speak for your leaders, your opinions as well as the average LDS on this blog are nobody’s when it comes to authority. Only your prophet can speak for God, he said so. So anything you say, really has no weight to it. So why should we listen to you? You guys even reject what your prophets say, and they supposedly claim you know what they mean and what they meant to say. As MJP and Sharon have pointed out, you keep dodging MJP’s question, and Sharon said you wont be here posting ling if you cannot answer it.

    Sharon said to FoF

    faithoffathers, you have ostensibly responded to MJP but you have completely mischaracterized what he said while not dealing with any of the points he raised and ignoring his question. Please respond to MJP in a way that reasonably engages his comments or don’t respond at all.

  2. falcon says:

    That’s true with FOF leaping over the LDS leadership and confessing that Jesus was always God.
    The odd thing however is that FOF’s HF was a man then a god. So the Mormon Jesus of this planet must have been the only one that was an eternal god and then became a man. That would be a sort of reversal of the process. I wondered how the Mormon Jesus pulled that off?

    All of the other gods had to work their way through the Mormon system on a planet some where. Think of it. There’s all of these millions and billions of gods and Jesus jumps the line. Could it be, if we could trace the lineage back, that the Mormon Jesus was the first Mormon god?

    As has been pointed out continuously, the LDS folks never think through the implications of what they are saying. It’s all surface level mumbo jumbo that they lap up like thirsty dogs. They don’t care if they’re drinking out of a putrid cesspool.

  3. Mike R says:

    Falcon, what’s really sad is that decent people have become deceived by men who have come
    claiming to be Jesus’ apostles for these latter days . I think what I said in a previous thread
    about what Mormon authorities have taught about Jesus /Jehovah is enough for any honest
    seeking LDS who is concerned about counterfeit Christs , to dismiss their leaders as well
    meaning imitators of Jesus’ true apostles who have introduced ” another [ imitation] Jesus ” —
    2 Cor 11:4 . God help the Mormon people to take the time to get alone with the Bible and
    seek Jesus .

  4. grindael says:


    When that happens, (getting close to Christ in a personal relationship) this happens. I have David’s Book. The last few chapters are all about Jesus and getting close to him, not a Church. This is really sad. The hypocrisy knows no bounds:

    “I never thought it was right to call up a man and try him because he erred in doctrine, it looks too much like methodism and not like Latter day Saintism. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be tramelled.” –Joseph Smith, Sermon Delivered on 8 April 1843. (The Words of Joseph Smith, 183-84.)

  5. Mike R says:

    grindael, glad to see another Mormon discover the difference between the religion of
    Joseph Smith , and a relationship with Jesus Christ . I love what Kate always says , ” It’s all
    about Jesus ! ” Only the true authentic Jesus has the ability to completely forgive and give
    eternal life to those who come to Him and ask . No Temple , no tall ladder of rules , laws ,
    regulations to climb up in order to live in God’s home . Jn 14:1-6 ; Heb 7:25 .

    That quote by Joseph Smith was a smoke screen .

  6. PaleRider says:

    I have not heard back from Clyde 6070 but I would like to re-address a question I posed to him, regarding Moroni 10:32, to our other LDS friends e.g. faithoffathers, shematwater because it has great implications, the verse reads-

    “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.”

    FoF-Have you denied yourself of all ungodliness? Do you love God with all your might, mind and strength?
    PR-This verse is not only a conditional statement but it is definitive in its implication, if ye shall…then is his grace…and if by the grace…ye can in nowise…
    So have you denied yourself of all ungodliness?

  7. Clyde6070 says:

    Pale Rider
    What you ask is a self assessment question. Instead of asking these question I ask myself if I have treated other as well as I should have. What does Matthew 5:48 say? Am I perfect? Are You perfect? Are we striving for that? I think I am but I am taking very small steps to achieve this Goal.

  8. falcon says:

    Is that what that verse is talking about i.e. reaching sinless “perfection”. I think it would do you well to look into that a little more. It may have a profound effect on your thinking.
    But here’s the escape clause for our LDS folks. The LDS member in the video alludes to a practice which would allow an LDS member the option of completing the work of perfection in the next world i.e. after death. So a Mormon could claim the progression clause in Mormon theology and have the expectation of reaching the highest rung of the Celestial Kingdom after death. In fact Andy Watson had a Mormon tell him that he was planning on doing just that. He wasn’t all that concerned about hitting the temple ritual circuit all that hard.

    Here clyde, I’m going to help you out a little bit with the meaning of “perfect”. It may change your perspective a little.

    The word “perfect,” in the Bible, can and does mean “complete” or “finished.” Jesus was made “perfect” through suffering (Heb. 2:10; 5:8–9). He completed or fulfilled God’s plan for Him as our Savior by suffering for us.

    “Perfect” can also have the meaning of “mature” or “grown up.” In Philippians 3:15, the apostle Paul speaks to “as many as be perfect” (KJV). The NKJV translates this phrase “as many as are mature.”

  9. falcon says:

    A Mormon male is not going to become a god without being “perfect” in terms of sinlessness. It’s just the way the system works. Certain things must be checked off the LDS system list in order for a male to be able to reach the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom and be crowned with LDS glory.
    So the whole point, less the Mormon male lose total confidence, is the idea of progression. The other part of this is that the Mormon male needs to be kept hooked into the system. If they get too discouraged they may just back off and not work as hard or be as dedicated to LDS Inc.
    Why do Mormons get so apoplectic when someone “leaves the church”? It’s very simple. The church is the means by which the person is suppose to reap the benefits of all the goodies that Mormons suppose they will be rewarded by working in the system. The other reason is that if someone leaves it means that means that they have rejected the system. This is just not done. After all the LDS church system is perfect and right and good and so are the leaders. These leaders after all, it is said, would never lead a follower astray. Besides that, when these leaders speak, the thinking has been done.
    Now the problem with the latter, of course, is that these leaders who would never lead anyone astray and who are in charge of all of the thinking, often get rejected in terms of what they thought and said by later generations. What is then invoked is the “opinion” or “folk doctrine” clause in the LDS church in order to preserve the notion of the perfect leader. How that works logically is a real mystery to those of us outside the Mormon bubble but it works just fine inside the dome.

  10. Kate says:


    This letter to David is appalling. We have a little thing in this country called freedom of speech. It’s amazing to me how we let a multi billion dollar corporation dictate what we can and can’t do. They threaten to take away our Salvation if we don’t comply. Actually it was made quite plain in the pamphlet from the first presidency when I left, that I no longer had a relationship with Christ. I was invited back to ” Once again dine with the good Shepard.” Or something like that. It insinuated that I no longer have a relationship with Him for leaving the church. Spiritual blackmail. I did not lose My relationship with Jesus, I found it. I did not lose my Salvation, I am promised it by Jesus himself. No multi billion dollar corporation can give me those things, and I am certainly not required to buy those things with my money or my works.

    Mormons, church membership is not a relationship with Christ. Pick up a Bible and find Him. The church doesn’t want you doing this because it leads people out of the church. The truth really does set you free!

  11. MJP says:

    Clyde, why don’t you want to answer whether you have denied yourself of ungodliness? This seems to me the more appropriate question, because even those who do much good in the world around them can be quite ungodly. Striving for perfection is an inward goal, too. I don’t want to be perfect– I know I can’t be perfect without Christ.. Therefore, I want to walk under Christ, conforming my ways to his.

  12. faithoffathers says:


    Your interpretation of the verse from Moroni is that grace is only available after a person has perfected himself. And this is simply and very clearly not the case. I understand that at every point the critics will choose to make assumptions and conclusions that are the most damning and favorable to a critical spin, but it simply is not a reasonable thing considering all the verses in the Book of Mormon which address the topic of grace.

    Why choose this one verse which can be interpreted in this extreme fashion while ignoring the dozen I offered which show that grace is inherent in the whole process of following Christ? It really seems to point to significant bias. Grace is given to us as we repent and keep trying to follow Christ. Why ignore Ether 12:27? This verse could not be more clear in explaining that it is only by grace that a person is able to see a weakness made into a strength.

    It goes right along with the claims of many here, like grindael and kate, that according to our doctrine, grace only applies to the resurrection offered to every person, good and evil. It is incorrect and obviously intended to make our faith and doctrine look as unreasonable as possible.

    It is a funny thing that you critics so often claim that as members, we shift around and change our positions and cherry pick the statements and passages of scriptures that suit our arguments. But it is oh so hypocritical for you folks to make this accusation. You guys are the ultimate cherry pickers. You ignore conference after conference of talks that talk about faith and grace and obedience as well as the majority of Book of Mormon passages that state things that contradict your arguments. You are no different than attorneys trying to manipulate language and the context of things to portray things in as one-sided a way as possible.

    And that is what is so frustrating about interacting with people whose sole intent is to make you and your faith look bad. There is absolutely no integrity in it. None.

  13. MJP says:

    It saddens me that so many otherwise intelligent and sincere people cannot see Mormonism for what it is. Mormonism is a false religion based on the stories developed by a creative story teller in the 19th century. Is it a cult? I’ll leave that question unanswered as I don’t care, really what it is labeled. I do care that people are drawn into rejecting the one, true, everlasting and loving God for a created being.

    The more I post and read about Mormonism, the more I am convinced that faith, no matter how strained, is king. The king is not the King Eternal. The faith is in something else. I am not sure if it is the LDS church, their own efforts, Joseph Smith, Monson, The BoM, another book, or something else. I cannot put my finger on it yet.

    They say their faith is in Christ. But then, they say they have to do whatever Christ told them to reach salvation– not stated but meant exaltation. The goal is not merely to be kept from the outer darkness– the goal is to reach the highest levels of heaven. Faith alone does not take them there. Grace does not take them there. The very specific efforts take them to the highest levels of heaven. Sure, faith and grace are present, and reaching the top is not possible without those, but reaching the top is also not possible without the effort.

    This is explained by the rationale that a thankful child works to show his gratitude. It is explained by stating that Jesus and Paul told us works are good. I am not aware of any specific verse in the Bible wherein we are told specifically that works are required for heaven. To the contrary, any time we see a statement on works as a part of salvation it is tied inseparably to faith. References to works are there not to save, but to show evidence of our faith. In Isaiah, we are told that our works are filthy rags to God. I can only conclude that working to show gratitude is simply off base and not what God commands.

    To be fair, I see how this concept makes sense and can be attractive. Who doesn’t want to be grateful and demonstrate our thankfulness to someone who gave a gift? But the idea that we have to pay God back, or act like we are trying to pay him back distorts the idea of it being a gift. A gift is something freely given, without asking for anything else in return. Generally, when given a gift, a simple thank you will suffice. So it is how we are to approach God and the gift of his Son– we are to thank him. We are to thank him with all our hear and soul, but we cannot work our way to pay back his gift or to show our gratitude and expect something better from him in return.

    That LDS expect a higher place in heaven is where they ultimately err in their theology. I would have little problem if they simply believed that they must do more to show their thanks, and this doing more is demonstrated through certain acts. I’d agree more if they said their works are simply their way to say thanks, and that they got nothing additional from God for those works. I can’t say I’d fully agree, but at least they could not say they get extra credit for working.

    But they do believe they get extra credit and extra benefits. They believe they can become gods, just like Christ, and unknown gods before him. Nowhere in the scripture can they definitively come up with this doctrine– it is from their leaders. The leaders have a hard time supporting the theory, but it continues to this day in various forms and levels. A progression is not denied, though, a progression they can share. There, again, is little to no evidence beyond the sayings of previous leaders of this concept, yet genuinely smart and sincere people buy into it.

    I could go on with other examples. Evidence for the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, Adam/God, the lost church, lost civilizations in the New World, specific rituals to be performed, polygamy, eternal marriage, marriage required for exaltation, etc. all have problems, significant problems in their support thereof. Yet, people believe them.

    It all starts with the prayer over the Book of Mormon to allow God tell reveal its truth. This is shown by a “burning in the belly”, a testimony, that it is true. No other evidence is needed nor requested. It comes down to a matter of faith. And ultimately, the Mormon can say that despite all the lack of evidence supporting the faith; the evidence showing it to be a created faith, changing on the fly; and the lack of Biblical and historical support showing a different message that was previously lost, a strong faith in the LDS theology proves their religion to be true.

    It all saddens me because in any other situation, they would not act so contrary to logic. It saddens me because there is another option to them. Its right there in front of them. That option is Jesus Christ, the living God, the King Eternal. He’s there, waiting with open arms to save them from their sins and will provide eternal life with Him.

    I pray LDS will consider the true God and begin to question their reliance upon the created Jesus. I pray that they will be set free in Him, and realize His true greatness and saving power. I pray that those of us posting here always remember this is the aim, and to allow God to work in us to help share the Gospel with those that need to hear it. In this anonymous and online blog, it is easy to hide behind secrecy, but the message is no less real, and the people engaging in discussion are no less real. I pray we are able to discuss with love and tenderness, being strong when we need to be strong. I pray those with whom we discuss are open to our message, and do not dismiss our message out of hand.

    I believe God is using this site for positive things, and I pray we all continue to uplift its purpose in positive ways.

    God bless.

  14. Kate says:


    “It goes right along with the claims of many here, like grindael and kate, that according to our doctrine, grace only applies to the resurrection offered to every person, good and evil.”

    Please stop lying. Go back and read my comment to you yesterday at 10:37 am. How can anyone take you seriously? I specifically said (twice) that for Mormons it’s a combination of Grace and works. Why don’t you show some integrity and answer my question? Can you be exalted without doing those works? Come on, teach us your religion. You claim we have it wrong but you won’t even answer a simple yes or no question.

    I have seen you completely ignore when the discussion gets too deep for you. I have seen you throw temper tantrums to avoid answering basic, honest questions about your religion. Simple yes or no questions. Yesterday I witnessed you saying this is fruitless . In my opinion it is fruitless for someone to come here, act like a troll and never answer questions, misrepresent what others have said and constantly complain. What good does that do? We answer your questions and we are quick to put forth our beliefs and why we have those beliefs. It would be more fruitful if you would do the same. Please stop whining, be an adult, and answer my simple yes or no question. Can you be exalted without doing those works?

  15. MJP says:


    I’ll simply add here that my comments in the last couple of days have been in good faith and describing your faith as I interpret it. My interpretation comes from multiple sources, and not from thin air. I provided the rationale for the interpretation. I left room for grace to do more than get you to the starting line, up to and including helping you on your way. I’ve seen no evidence, though, to suggest that faith and grace can get you to the finish line without your own works.

    Pardon me if that observation does not sit will with you, but without something showing that you can get to the finish line– which is exaltation– without the works, I have no reason to believe that faith and grace can take you there. Grace can abound and be everywhere. Faith can be strong and plentiful. But if they cannot take you to the finish line without works, they are not everything.

    This is a simple concept that is supported by logic and truth. The truth stands apart from everything else and can be reached no matter the bias behind it. I hope you understand that. I hope you understand that I am not “out to get” you.

    I therefore hope you understand that Kate’s question, which I also bring to you, can you be exalted without the works? I’ll add can grace take you, alone and without works, to exaltation?

    I pray that you are confident enough in your faith to directly answer this question.

  16. falcon says:

    So do Mormons have to “do” anything other than “believe” in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to become gods? I think they probably have to cover a few other bases. For a Christian, we depend solely on the finished work on the cross for our salvation. Our lives are transformed by out faith.

    But Mormons are on a little different glide path. They have the mistaken impression that their are millions and billions of gods who by obedience to the Mormon system, became gods. That pathway is open to all faithful LDS members also.

    Requirements for Exaltation:

    “The time to fulfill the requirements for exaltation is now (see Alma 34:32–34). President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “In order to obtain the exaltation we must accept the gospel and all its covenants; and take upon us the obligations which the Lord has offered; and walk in the light and the understanding of the truth; and ‘live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God’” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:43).”

    “To be exalted, we first must place our faith in Jesus Christ and then endure in that faith to the end of our lives. Our faith in Him must be such that we repent of our sins and obey His commandments.”

    So far so good, right? OOPS “He” I guess by that they mean “Jesus” has a couple of other things that need to be completed. Here they are:

    “He commands us all to receive certain ordinances:”

    1. We must be baptized.
    2. We must receive the laying on of hands to be confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    3. Brethren must receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and magnify their callings in the priesthood.
    4. We must receive the temple endowment.
    5. We must be married for eternity, either in this life or in the next.

    In addition to receiving the required ordinances, the Lord commands all of us to:

    1. Love God and our neighbors.
    2. Keep the commandments.
    3. Repent of our wrongdoings.
    4. Search out our kindred dead and receive the saving ordinances of the gospel for them.
    5. Attend our Church meetings as regularly as possible so we can renew our baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament.
    6. Love our family members and strengthen them in the ways of the Lord.
    7. Have family and individual prayers every day.
    8. Teach the gospel to others by word and example.
    9. Study the scriptures.
    10.Listen to and obey the inspired words of the prophets of the Lord.

    OK boys and girls do you understand that it’s through grace and by faith and no additional works and you will make the cut and be a god?
    You may ask about all of these things on the list. Aren’t they works? Absolutely not! They are requirements which are NOT the same as works.
    Is that about right?

  17. falcon says:

    So what I’ve listed above is the Mormon system by which someone may become a god. That looks like a pretty long laundry type to-do list in order to make the grade. It appears to be a little more added on to grace and faith.
    Is any of this outlined in the Bible? Did the NT writers proclaim a gospel where by men would become gods if they followed the above list?
    Now Mormons, do you even begin to sense why those who believe in the historical, Biblical Christian message, reject you as being Christians?
    In case you haven’t noticed, the Mormon god and Mormon gospel have no resemblance to that which was taught and practiced in the first century church. If you want to know what the apostles taught and believed, start with the Book of Acts and read through Revelation. That is what the apostles taught. The Gospel writers present the Lord Jesus Christ in His time on earth. The rest of the Bible expounds on what the message was that Jesus preached and testifies as to who He is.

    ……….and just for fun. Go take a look at what the Community of Christ and Church of Christ Mormon sects teach, practice and believe. For extra measure check out the beliefs and practices of the FLDS Mormon sect.
    I think it would be an eye opening experience and might lead you back to the Bible and the message presented there.

  18. falcon says:

    Now I can see how the faithful Mormon might get a little confused. The LDS church teaches that they will receive exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom through faith in Jesus. But didn’t we just see a whole list of works that must be done in addition to faith in Jesus. I think these LDS expounders of the LDS doctrine are a little confused. But let’s take a look at the blessings to be received.

    What are some blessings that will be given to those who are exalted?

    Our Heavenly Father is perfect, and He glories in the fact that it is possible for His children to become like Him. His work and glory is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

    Those who receive exaltation in the celestial kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ will receive special blessings. The Lord has promised, “All things are theirs” (D&C 76:59). These are some of the blessings given to exalted people:

    1. They will live eternally in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (see D&C 76:62).
    2. They will become gods (see D&C 132:20–23).
    3. They will be united eternally with their righteous family members and will be able to have eternal increase.
    4. They will receive a fulness of joy.
    5. They will have everything that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have—all power, glory, dominion, and knowledge (see D&C 132:19–20). President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote: “The Father has promised through the Son that all that he has shall be given to those who are obedient to His commandments. They shall increase in knowledge, wisdom, and power, going from grace to grace, until the fulness of the perfect day shall burst upon them” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 2:36; italics in original).

    Do you notice that they quote Bruce R. McConkie? What? How can that be. I thought he was not looked upon with such great favor any more.
    Anyway I think the above list of blessings should be given to all of those who have been identified as possible converts to the LDS church. I think #2 would be of great interest to those folks and the public at large.

  19. Kate says:

    Since I can’t get a simple yes or no answer here, I have posted a link to this exact question that Shawn McCraney had on one of his shows. He is talking to an LDS man and this man explains it all. The truth is NO, LDS Mormons cannot live with God for eternity without doing the LDS Mormon works.

  20. falcon says:

    This line looks like it could have been written by Lucifer:

    “They will have everything that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have—all power, glory, dominion, and knowledge (see D&C 132:19–20).”

    Is it any wonder that these Mormon males are on such a head trip? They think they will have Gods’ power. They will be omnipotent. Just like God. They will have all glory! WOW!! God’s glory, Jesus’ glory will be theirs. They will have dominion. What does that mean? They will rule! YIPPIE SKIPPIE!! I can see the bumper sticker on the back of all these LDS cars in Utah; “Mormon Men Rule”. And last but not least, they will be all knowing. They will have all knowledge.
    Man, to be a god! AWESOME!!!!
    I’ll end with this. I think it’s self-explanatory when it comes to the Mormon gospel and where it came from. It wasn’t revealed to Smith. He conjured it up himself with some help from the dark side. It’s amazing what a magic rock and a hat started isn’t it?
    The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil [died] before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 268).

    Joseph Smith taught: “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God. … He was once a man like us; … God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 345–46).

  21. far says:

    The discussion relative to divine grace seems to be suffering from Same-Term-Different-Meaning Syndrome, a malady all too common to the Mormon-Christian dialogue. Here’s my attempt to add some clarity.

    Mormon Grace—“This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.” (the definition is much longer, but this quotation captures the essence, I believe)

    Christian Grace—“In Christian theology, [grace is] the unmerited gift of divine favour, which brings about the salvation of a sinner.” (despite the fact that I found it in an online dictionary, I think this is an accurate understanding of grace from the Christian perspective)

    It seems to me that, according to these, or similar, definitions, the Mormon and the Christian are talking past one another on the issue of grace (as on so many, many topics). Personally, when I hear a Mormon (or anyone, really) expound on a theological topic, my first question is, “So, what do you mean by that?” (thanks to Greg Koukl and his excellent book, “Tactics,” for bringing us Columbo Tactic #1). Hence, when one of my LDS friends emphatically claims, “Oh, we believe we’re saved by grace, too!” I reflexively respond, “Really? Well, what do you mean by ‘saved’ and what do you mean by ‘grace’?” Helps keep the conversation from going sideways right out of the gate.

    Attention all Mormons within earshot! When a Christians says, “We are saved by grace,” what he or she means is “We are saved by grace ALONE, through faith ALONE, in Jesus Christ ALONE.” From a Christian perspective, ANY other requirement for eternal life (i.e., living in the presence of God the Father after death) constitutes works-based righteousness, which is heresy within Christian orthodoxy.

    Given the LDS definition of grace from the referenced site above, I suppose I can see how the Mormon can claim that both resurrection, as well as eternal life/exaltation come from Mormon Grace. Nevertheless, Mormon theology as put forth by LDS leaders, both past and present, and correlated material published by the LDS Church teaches a “grace and…” doctrine of salvation/eternal life that, in a Christian understanding, can only be termed works-based righteousness.

    By the way, I’ve lurked here for a long time and thought I would finally get in the game. Hello all.

  22. faithoffathers says:


    You stated previously that, “When a Mormon is asked if they are Saved by Grace they aren’t exactly lying by saying yes. Mormons believe Grace will get everyone a resurrection, but only those who do the works of Mormonism will live in the presence of God.”

    My inclusion of you along with grindael in claiming we believe grace only applies to the resurrection was based upon this statement. This is usually the context wherein our critics make such a claim. But reading further on, I do see where you stated that exaltation involved a combination of works and grace. So I apologize for included you along with grindael. The statement above sounds very much like the argument our critics make when they insist we believe grace does not apply to our spiritual salvation. Your assessment is still incorrect, but you didn’t make the same claim grindael did.

    What is the number of times I have to explain this before you and others will no longer claim I am avoiding or running from this question? 23? 42? Some other number?

    We are saved 100% by grace.
    We must obey Christ and repent to be saved.
    Works are a part of obeying and repenting.

    Does that suffice as an answer to your question? I will repeat it:

    We are saved 100% by grace.
    We must obey Christ and repent to be saved.
    Works are a part of obeying and repenting.

    Bettter? I recognize that the statements in my answer seem contradictory to you. But they not necessarily. I see perfectly well how they are not contradictory. Do you think that getting me to repeat this over and over will somehow result in an inability for me to see how they are not contradictory?

    I will repost what I said to you on May 23rd. But I am not optimistic in thinking you will, at some point, again claim that I run from this topic or won’t explain it.

    “I think the best demonstration or analogy of all this is found in the movie “The Ultimate Gift.” I would encourage people to see this movie. I can’t think of a better example of the very principles I am trying to describe .

    In the movie, James Garner plays an elderly, super-rich, oil tycoon who is dying. He has many children and grandchildren. But they are all spoiled brats, and he does not want to leave his empire to any of them. But he does have one grandson in whom he recognizes the potential for greatness and goodness. The kid is in his early twenties and living a somewhat riotous and rebellious life. But the grandpa dies, he records a video in which he leaves a message to this one grandson. He outlines 10 (I think) tasks which this grandson must complete, after which the grandpa promises “the ultimate gift.” These ten tasks include selling everything the kid has and giving it to the poor. Working on a farm building fences for many months. Working in a poverty stricken community in a third world country. And on and on- the young man must complete these tasks that require and develop selflessness, honor, trustworthiness, mercy, and decency in the heart of the kid. After a long time, the grandson completes the tasks. He meets with the attorneys of the deceased grandpa who manage his will and huge empire. They show the boy the final video from the grandpa wherein this oil tycoon places the grandson as the equivalent of President and CEO of his empire.

    This fits my description of grace, mercy, and works perfectly. The grandson does absolutely nothing to create the empire of the grandpa- he contributed in no way to its development and success. This can be equated to our salvation.

    The ten tasks from the grandpa are the “laws of the gospel” or the requirements which Christ has given us to qualify for His grace. We must meet those requirements, or in Scott’s talk, His “law.”

    The boy didn’t “earn” the empire because he did nothing to create it. But he was required to complete the tasks before receiving it. And the inheritance was the result of grace on the part of the grandpa.”

  23. MJP says:

    I have a feeling FoF will ignore this comment, but alas. FoF is repeating the mantra, yet again, that grace is what saves but shows no evidence how this is so if works are required. I also see no answer to the question on whether or not grace matters if no works are completed.

    As to the movie, I see a works based contract that must be fulfilled by the wayward grandson. This is also very different from what I see in the teaching of the lost son as told by Christ.

  24. Kate says:


    I agree with MJP, we ‘re asking you a simple yes or no question. Either yes, or no. Will you receive exaltation without doing those works? When you say,”Yes! We are saved by grace alone, but….” you are adding works to Grace. This is exactly what the LDS Mormon in Shawn’ s video was doing, but he finally admitted, I mean proclaimed, that yes you have to do works or you will not live with God in eternity. Why would you believe this over what Jesus plainly tells us? What God’s Word plainly tells us?

    Thank you for admitting that I wasn’t saying Grace only applies to the resurrection. I know you feel I am still wrong, of course I disagree. Grace is not sufficient to get you to exaltation, we both know that.

  25. faithoffathers says:


    Don’t know how to say it any clearer- works are required for salvation and exaltation, but those works are not what saves.

    Jesus tells us, “whosoever heareth these saying of mine of doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man who built his house upon a rock……” He said this at the conclusion of the sermon on the mount. “These sayings” are all those things He taught in that sermon. He could not have been more clear- works are required. But they are not what saves.

    You argue that belief is the only thing required. But that still requires something of us before grace will be extended to us. And that is contradictory to your definition of grace- something that requires nothing. We simply recognize that action is a part of belief. In my opinion, to think otherwise is naive and completely unjustified.

    Action is inherent in belief. That is the only way that all the passages from the Bible on the topic can be reconciled. And it is completely consistent with all of Christ’s metaphors, analogies, and teachings.

    MJP- I really can’t make it any simpler than the analogy in the movie The Ultimate Gift.

  26. MJP says:


    Than if that is your best example and explanation, I reject it. Not only does your description of the movie have nothing to do with the Bible, it describes a works based system wherein we have to work to receive a conditional gift– if we don’t work, we don’t get the gift. Its therefore no longer a gift– it is a contractual obligation.

    Grace is not contractual. It is a gift. We can offer anything in the world, and no matter how generous the offer is it is still a contract if something is required. Grace, though, is getting something we don’t deserve. We only honor a contract when its terms have been fulfilled, ie when the parties have fulfilled their obligation(s).

    The way I understand your faith, and this is supported by your description of the movie, is that God does not have to offer his kingdom, but does. That is the grace. However, our receiving that grace is predicated upon us fulfilling specific duties. Even if God is there to help us along in fulfilling them (more grace– as he does not have to help us) the duties have to be completed before we receive his kingdom. Failure to complete the duties will be a bar to us receiving the kingdom.

    If I am misrepresenting anything, please say so, and be specific. Yet this is honestly the way I understand your faith to work, based off of your description.

  27. faithoffathers says:

    MJP- and under your theology, if we do not believe (something), we cannot be saved. Do you not see that you are also insisting that a person must do something to receive grace? How is that not a “contractual obligation?”

    And it is all about becoming something, not just doing a list of duties. We must be something to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and feel comfortable there. That does not happen overnight or result from no effort of our own.

    In the movie, the list of projects the grandson must complete are intended to create a certain character and integrity and love within the grandson. It is the same thing with the works that are required of us in the gospel. The same principle applies to God’s “Kingdom.” It is just as much, if not more, a matter of who God is than some physical kingdom. Hence the term “divine nature” in the New Testament.

    Also in the movie, the “ultimate gift” could very well have been the character and traits of the grandson after completing the projects, and not just the oil empire.

    Understand that it is not a small measure of grace that results in the boy inheriting a multi-billion dollar empire. How many people would agree that, in our economic system, doing 6 months or one year’s worth of work is truly “earning” a multi-billion dollar empire that took decades and untold energy and effort to create? The same is true in my faith regarding salvation and grace. This earth life is but a blink of an eye in the eternities. To be a partaker of the “divine nature” and inherit everything God has is not a small matter. It is impossible to over-estimate the measure of grace involved in such a undeserved gift and “inheritance.” All from trusting and following Christ.

    Grace is the foundational power by which we develop into anything that is good. And that is precisely what God wants for us- to become something good and fit for His kingdom.

  28. MJP says:


    Again, if all you can say about our ‘contract’ you have a very superficial understanding of doing something and taking action. Its not the first time I have heard the claim that believing is an action. If it is, then that’s the only action we require. Where does that leave you? Does it really strengthen your position except to say we believe that that belief is an action and therefore an action is required? Does it make you feel better to say we are hypocrites for requiring the action of belief?

    If that is all you have, it is not much a victory.

    Grace, to us, as far described above (new post), is very different than grace is to you. But ultimately, this is about whether works are required for ultimate salvation, to you, exaltation. See, grace to us gives us ultimate salvation. Grace, to you, apparently does not give ultimate salvation– works are required but are made possible by grace.

    I could go into great detail over your last post, and the goals of God for our lives. Suffice it to say, though, that we believe God simply wants us. He does not merely want us to become something good and fit for his kingdom. Sure, he wants us to be good and all that. I would be a fool to deny that. But he wants our hearts more than he wants our actions.

    As I read your latest description of the movie, I couldn’t help but think that what you are describing is merely a program designed to make people do good things. This is not what God’s plan for us is about. Its not a program to make us do good things and good people. There are many good people out there who will spend eternity in hell. Being a good person has nothing to do with following God. Following God means to be within his fold and accepting his sacrifice on the cross to cover our sin. Following God means we recognize we are sinful, and there is nothing good we can do to cover our sin short of accepting God’s cover.

    Yes, good works will spring forth once we have made that commitment, but the works do not affect our salvation. Once we believe (and if you choose to call that a work, go ahead), we are given his grace such that we can inherit eternal life with Him. The works mean not a thing in the final analysis; it is our heart that matters. Now, certainly, the Bible does say that we will be rewarded for our works. I don’t know what that means, except that it does not mean we will become gods. All other ‘gods’ of this world are dead or will die, so we cannot become gods.

    Whether you call it a list of duties or becoming something, the works are required. You have not denied that, nor can you.

    I am reminded of the parable of the lost son by way of your movie. You probably know the story well, but Jesus tells of a young man who decides to run off with his portion of his inheritance and blows it all playing around. He comes back to his father, who welcomes him with open arms, throwing a great feast for his returned son. His brother sees the welcoming and objects because he was always there, doing what he was supposed to do. He is jealous and angry his wayward son received such a welcome while he gets nothing for staying behind and doing everything he is supposed to do.

    Keep in mind this story is proceeded in Luke by two additional stories about losing something then rejoicing when it is found. The sheep, the coin, and the son were all rejoiced over when they were found. The son had to do nothing but return to his father. In returning to his father, he did note how he had sinned against him and asked for forgiveness (a work– you decide), admitting he was not worthy to be called his son, but that was it. His father did not require him to attend the temple or anything like that before he was restored to the status of “son”.

    I can’t help but contrast this picture with the one you paint with your movie. Which is the ultimate gift?

    Now, I did ask you awhile ago what you would say to someone who gave you a gift of one million dollars stating that any attempt to pay him back would be an offense. I’m still curious what you would expect him to say if you tried to pay him back?

  29. cattyjane says:

    I have a question *raises hand*

    Where in the OT were these Mormon temple ordinances recorded as being performed? If they are not performed in the OT than how did those people receive exhaltation? If you say by vicarious works than when did these things start being done and what is your proof?
    Also, what was the laws ordinances that were declared by the God of Israel in the OT and stated to be eternal? Why does the LDS not keep these? Why is what Joseph Smith said more Important than what God wrote TWICE with His own finger and declared eternal with His words? If you believe this is done away with im curious to know why?

  30. faithoffathers says:

    MJP- you are trying to differentiate by degrees. You still think a person needs to meet certain requirements before receiving grace. Grace is conditional in your faith and theology. That is the main point. But you are trying to peel yourself away from that reality by pointing out that grace requires more in our doctrine than in yours. So you simply cannot say that grace is unconditional in your religion or that a person has to do nothing to obtain grace. Because that is not true.

    The story of the prodigal son does not support what you are arguing. The father in that story never equates the faithful son with the prodigal son. When the son who had never left questions the father about his offering the fatted calf upon the return of the prodigal son , the father says, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.” The father is pointing out the difference between the brothers and the fact that there is no reason for the “faithful” brother to complain. He does not say they are equal in the household.

    As to your last paragraph and question- I think it is flawed and unrepresentative analogy. It simply does not apply.

    I get the rest of your post- I think I understand your position. But this is not sufficient to show that mine is incorrect or that we believe our works save us as the critics so frequently claim. But I appreciate the effort.

  31. cattyjane says:

    Your right, you dont believe they save you but you do believe they help you acheive a higher status within the levels of heaven. Im curious how that fits into Temple ordinances in the OT since lds claim they must be performed in the temple and only by worthy temple card holders. Also, why do you not perform the proper OT cleansing ceremonies that the OT prophets had to perform before entering the holy temple? Well actually…why do you have all og these temples when God only called one place Holy for His temple. Hence the reason why the Jewish people do not have a temple standing at this time, because a muslim mosque is sitting in its spot and would result in a holy war.

  32. Old man says:

    FofF said this to Kate
    “Don’t know how to say it any clearer- works are required for salvation and exaltation, but those works are not what saves.”

    Works are NOT required for salvation & that is made abundantly clear throughout the N/T Read Pauls letter to the Romans. Read what Christ himself says in Matthew 7:21 speaking of those who base their salvation upon works. Jesus is turning away those who thought they would enter the kingdom due to the works they have done.
    Read Galatians 2:16
    “know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.”
    Read Ephesians 2:8
    “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
    Notice that the ‘good works’ mentioned in those verses are the same good works mentioned by James & they refer to works done AFTER being saved, but, & this is important, Paul makes it clear that those works have nothing to do with salvation.

    It can’t be made any clearer than that. The only thing we can do to gain salvation is believe (John 3:16) & we are saved. When we are saved we become a new creation & good works will naturally follow, why is that so difficult to understand? Perhaps, as I’ve said on several occasions it’s due to our human pride that we feel the need to do it by our own efforts. Certainly works are evidence of faith but there is nothing in Scripture that tells us we are saved through works, to the contrary, Scripture is opposed to works as a means of being saved. So why bother to do good works at all? Well, contrary to what Mormons are taught the Christian really has no option, once he/she has been SAVED THROUGH GRACE good works becomes part of the new nature & that leads us on to Matthew 16:27 where we are told

    “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds.”

    Obviously that passage refers to a reward for good works but when do we get that reward? We get it when we enter Gods Kingdom; we get our reward for any good works we do AFTER we have been saved.
    So, to sum up, Scripture makes clear that we are saved through Gods Grace & by no other means; the only part that works play is in the gaining of unspecified rewards & that, only after being saved through Gods Grace, a free gift to us paid for by Christ on the cross.
    I do not have to prove to God that I am worthy of being saved; if that were a requirement then I would remain dead in my sins & could never be saved.

  33. faithoffathers says:

    Old man,

    Forgive me, but I think your interpretations of those scriptures are naive. Let’s look at each of them:

    Matthew 7— This statement comes from Christ at the end of His sermon on the mount. In that sermon, He gives instructions on loving one’s neighbor, forgiving, praying to be heard of God and not man, fasting in secret to be recognized by God not man, giving alms to the poor in secret to be seen by God and not man, and on and on.

    In other words, Christ instructs us to practice the religion of humbly and quietly following Him with true intentions, not to be seen of man. He then says, “whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doing them, I will liken him unto a wise man who buildeth his house upon a rock……” In other words, do what I have instructed you to do. Do not do things to be seen of others and praised. Then the passage you quote- “Not everyone who sayeth unto me Lord, Lord will enter into Heaven, but he that doeth the will of my father.” He is actually supporting my argument- do the works with the right intention. Do not do those outwardly and highly religious acts which are intended to get attention from others. It is a huge difference. And the true meaning of this passage has passed you over, my friend.

    The other passages of scripture do not say what you think they say. Can you show me one that says works are not required? They certainly say that our works are not what saves us. But they do not say we are not required to obey and perform works. And this is perfectly consistent with my interpretation and faith. We must obey. But our obedience does not do the work of salvation. Christ does, 100%.

    And in none of those passages does it say that works come “after” being saved as you insist. You are reading into the texts things that are not there.

    Obedience, repentance, and action are implicit or inherent in “belief.” John 3:16 does not contradict what I am saying. None of these scriptures do. Am I really the only one here seeing that?

    cattyjane- you project onto me motives from pure conjecture and speculation. How do you know my motives? How do you know that I do not obey God the very best I can because I love Him and am grateful for the infinite sacrifice of His son to rescue me from damnation? You don’t. So why rely upon the clearly biased framework of trying to “achieve a higher status in the levels of heaven?” That is judgement, and it is unsupported and even condemned by Christ. Was Christ’s submission to the Father wherein He said, “not my will, but thine be done” motivated by a selfish desire to exalt Himself? You really should not judge others this way. Obedience is not necessarily motivated by selfishness. In fact, it is much less often a result of selfishness than disobedience is a result of selfishness.

    The ordinances performed under the Law of Moses were intended to draw the minds of the people to the future sacrifice of Christ to save His people. That set of ordinances and covenant was fulfilled with Christ’s atonement. But those were not the only ordinances performed before Christ’s ministry. The topic of the temple is a big one and most certainly beyond the scope of this thread. But the temple did play a role in the ancient church. And it was to have a future role as described in many scriptures- Isaiah 2 and Malachi 3 among them.

    Last post of the day!

  34. Rick B says:

    I have said before and will say it again since you either ignored what I said, or you ignored what I said.
    We are saved by Grace alone. Now the best way to put this is, Lets say Ted Bundy was about to be executed and the were about to stick the needle in his arm for lethal injection. And he was asked by a pastor, Do you want to give your life to Jesus? Do you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart Jesus rose from the dead and is God. And Ted said Yes pastor, I believe that, Then he is saved and he gets executed.

    He will enter heaven and be with Jesus for ever.

    Now on the flip said. lets say, Mother Teresa never confessed Jesus as Lord, never mentioned His name and did all her good works, then died an old, old lady, she will go to eternal damnation for all of eternity for rejecting Jesus. Was that clear enough for you?

  35. jaxi says:


    I LOVE your comparison of Mormonism to that movie. In order to demonstrate what Mormonism believes you used a fictional story. How fitting. The problem is that the story Christ told was that of the prodigal son. And your movie and the parable are not on the same page, just as Mormonism is not on the same page with God’s word.

    Your interpretation of the prodigal son is really depressing because it demonstrates how much you just don’t get it. The Father in the parable is not pointing out a difference between the brothers. Telling someone what they have is not telling someone else what they don’t have. He didnt say to the brother, don’t fret you get this and he gets that, which is less. He is simply trying to get the jealous brother to stop worrying what his brother is getting and to realize that it won’t affect his own reward. I can’t find one scripture in that parable saying that the brother who stayed in a higher status.

    What makes me sad is that what you don’t realize is that every single one of us is the prodigal son. We have all sinned against heaven and before God. We are not worthy to be sons and daughters. We would be lucky to be accepted as servants, based on our actions. And that is all the prodigal son aspires to be, a servant, not a son. His sins brought about complete humility. He came to his Father in humility leaving his sinful life behind and offering him his will and his service (or works). The father’s love was so great, he accepted him with open arms.

    Do you see the difference in the stories? The prodigal son came to God and offered him his life and the Father accepted him. He didnt have to go through a bunch of performance evaluations. His broken heart and contrite spirit were enough.

    I think the last scripture in the parable is the most important. “It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.” We are ALL dead in our sins until we come back to God and are given life. That is the major point, to come back to God, to recieve life.

    The scripture about the other brother is about not becoming jealous justbecause one does more good works than another. It doesn’t say anything about one brother being better or getting a higher status. Even tax collectors and sinners enter the kingdom of heaven before the works driven Pharisees.

    The main point is, Mormonism is not based on the Bible. It’s its own thing, that needs comparisons to fictional movies for people to understand what the Mormon kingdom of heaven is all about. Ask a Christian, they will give you a Bible. Because the Bible supports Chrisitianity, not Mormonism. You can love your man made religion all you want, because you like it, because it gives you the warm fuzzies, because it inspires you, much like that movie did… But it will always come down to that it didnt come from Christ and like the movie, it’s simply not true.

  36. PaleRider says:

    Clyde6070-What you ask is a self assessment question. Instead of asking these question I ask myself if I have treated other as well as I should have. What does Matthew 5:48 say? Am I perfect? Are You perfect? Are we striving for that? I think I am but I am taking very small steps to achieve this Goal.

    PR-Yes it is a self assessment question based on the words of your prophet and it is deep and probing, I would continue to ask myself that question if I was you. Matthew 5:48 is a correct declaration by the Lord, and since he imputes His righteousness to me because of His work on the cross, then I am made perfect in Him. Your prophet isn’t telling you to try to take small steps towards that commandment, or that by you trying you’ll achieve your goal, whatever that ‘goal’ is.

    faithoffathers-Your interpretation of the verse from Moroni is that grace is only available after a person has perfected himself. And this is simply and very clearly not the case. I understand that at every point the critics will choose to make assumptions and conclusions that are the most damning and favorable to a critical spin, but it simply is not a reasonable thing considering all the verses in the Book of Mormon which address the topic of grace.

    Why choose this one verse which can be interpreted in this extreme fashion while ignoring the dozen I offered which show that grace is inherent in the whole process of following Christ?
    You guys are the ultimate cherry pickers.

    PR-After a person has perfected himself? This is the problem, you can’t. I am simply asking you a question based on your prophet’s words. Why do you not answer the question? There are many people that are wondering the same thing and would love for a priesthood holder to expound on the profundities of the words you claim are from God. So what does Moroni 10:32 mean to you?

    You can call it cherry picking, I have no problem with that characterization. Are you saying you don’t use quotes and scriptural references that you ‘pick’ in order to drive home your point or draw out for analysis? You demonstrate a lot of insecurity for someone that knows that the ‘restored’ gospel is true, but refuses to answer direct and honest questions from people outside your faith or those that have left.

  37. Old man says:

    You say I’m naïve & if you mean by that that I am “having or showing unaffected simplicity of nature or absence of artificiality;” then perhaps I am & I thank you for the compliment, albeit an unintended one.
    As it’s rather late here, well after 1am I’ll have to limit my response to the following.

    “The other passages of scripture do not say what you think they say. Can you show me one that says works are not required?” They certainly say that our works are not what saves us. But they do not say we are not required to obey and perform works…

    Yes I can show you one that says works are not required, more than one in fact, read through my post again & you will see them. The passages I quoted show exactly that & I’ll say once again, there is no passage in the N/T that says we MUST do good works, not one. Show me one that says we must & we can talk about it but until that time I’ll just say that you’re doing exactly what you accuse me of doing, reading something into the text that isn’t there.

    “…And in none of those passages does it say that works come “after” being saved as you insist. You are reading into the texts things that are not there.”

    Am I? Read Ephesians 2:8-10 again, Verse 10 says
    “For we are God’s handiwork, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
    That can only mean AFTER we are saved. Your problem my friend is that you make something, which is inherently simple, into something that very few can understand. Given that Mormons, or indeed any cult cherry picks verses to support their false doctrines that’s understandable but please don’t imagine for a moment that Christians do the same. What we believe is the result of 2000 years of study by Godly men who were naïve enough to accept the simplicity of the Gospel.

    “Obedience, repentance, and action are implicit or inherent in “belief.” John 3:16 does not contradict what I am saying. None of these scriptures do. Am I really the only one here seeing that?”
    You put the cart before the horse; all those things you mention would make salvation conditional. Obedience, repentance & action are the RESULT of, NOT the MEANS of, being saved. Again I’ll be naïve & accept the simplicity of John 3:16
    Being able to say ‘I believe Christ died for me’ is a wonderful thing FofF & truly, it’s all you need to do.
    Anyway, sorry to disappoint you FofF but if I need complicated doctrines unsupported by Scripture in order to be a Christian then I guess I never will be one, but, I can say this, I will leave this world with Gods peace in my heart.

    I’m too tired to say anything more on this matter tonight, I am quite old you know 😉 so I’m sure you’ll understand if I leave anything further for another time.

  38. fifth monarchy man says:

    FOF said,

    The father is pointing out the difference between the brothers and the fact that there is no reason for the “faithful” brother to complain. He does not say they are equal in the household.

    I say,

    Man you make my head hurt. That is the oddest reading of a parable I have ever heard.

    It is obvious that both the oldest and the youngest son posses all that the father has. That is the whole point of the symbolism of the robe and the ring these are the tokens of the youngest son’s special standing in the eyes of the father.

    How do you read the parable of the vineyard workers?? In it the master of the house gives each of his charges an equal share regardless of the amount of work that they did.


    Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.”
    (Matthew 20:15-16)

    End quote:

    That is what grace looks like.


  39. fifth monarchy man says:

    FOF said,

    Can you show me one that says works are not required?

    I say,

    For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
    (Romans 3:28)


  40. Rick B says:

    FOF said,

    Can you show me one that says works are not required?

    I can show you one also, but first let me ask this, FoF, do you read your Bible? A few of us have given verses answering your question. Here is the verse.

    Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

    Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    This very clearly and plainly states, NOT OF WORKS. So can you tell me what I am missing? How does NOT OF WORKS, Really mean, OF WORKS?

  41. MistakenTestimony says:


    You said, “The topic of the temple is a big one and most certainly beyond the scope of this thread. But the temple did play a role in the ancient church. And it was to have a future role as described in many scriptures- Isaiah 2 and Malachi 3 among them.”

    I figured that in the morning you could speak more on this, but then I remembered that you are a tritheistic monolatrian. Tomorrow, you could wake up and renounce your temple statement, the BoM, and even the entire LDS corporation, but if you still rejected the Trinity it wouldn’t matter. All of these little theological debates are all just proxy wars and symptoms of your anti-Trinitarianism, and until the disease is addressed there will only ever be a spring of lies and darkness that flow from it. You are outside of Christ and therefore against Him. Hard truths.

  42. Clyde6070 says:

    I think I will try not to comment on this blog any more. I will do what Paul says to do in Philippians 12:2. The critics on this blog have all ready made up there mind about what LDS have to say.

  43. Clyde6070 says:

    It should be Philippians 2:12.

  44. Mike R says:

    Far, welcome .

    I’ve been following this dialogue between Fof F and those here who are trying to help him see
    his error concerning how a person can receive salvation ( eternal life ; LDS – exaltation ) .
    I was struck with how difficult is has been for him to explain this , but the N.T. is pretty simple.
    Former Mormon , Andy Poland sums it up well : ” I know I am going to heaven and it is because
    Jesus did all the work to get me there . He credited me with His righteousness the moment I
    believed that I could not do it and that His righteousness was enough to get into heaven . ”

    I was saved in the 6th grade vacation Bible school at my church when the teacher shared with
    me the ” Roman Road” of salvation : Rom 3:23 ; 5:8,10 ; 6:23 ; 10:9-13 . Simple , concise , and
    powerful . Works do not “qualify” us to receive eternal life but Mormons are told to qualify by
    complying with the rules, rites, laws , regulations that is the Mormon gospel system — it is
    exaltation earned by works .
    Now one reason why Fof F ‘s explanation of how faith/grace vrs works is kind of fuzzy is
    because he is making the mistake of mixing together grace, faith and works . This only messes
    up, blurs , the simple and clear picture as presented in the N.T. It’s like mixing oil and water .
    In Mormonism it’s not salvation by grace alone , but grace coupled ( mixed ) with obedience to
    all the rules, rites, laws, regulations that is the Mormon gospel . Gal. 1:8 speaks to this .

    Lastly , Fof F tried to describe to Kate how salvation is obtained . My comments in brackets :
    ” We are saved 100% by grace ” [ that would be grace alone , that’s N.T. , great ].
    ” we must obey Christ and repent to be saved ” [ to obey Christ in order to be saved is to come
    unto Him –Matt 11:27— and admit you’re a sinner and deserve eternal death , then ask Him to
    pardon you , He then forgives , and you are reconciled to the Father and have eternal life ] .
    ” works are a part of obeying and repenting ” [ works are a part of obeying Christ —but not for
    salvation to be received from Him , that’s completely by His grace through our faith ] .

    Let’s all keep in mind that F of F has already made a big step by believing that Jesus was always
    God because his leaders have taught otherwise . Hopefully one day soon he will discard what
    they have taught about how a person receives salvation as well . That’s my prayer .

  45. fifth monarchy man says:

    Mike R said,

    Let’s all keep in mind that F of F has already made a big step by believing that Jesus was always
    God because his leaders have taught otherwise .

    I say,

    Lots of people have commented on how Christians and Mormons speak two different languages but use the same words. I hope this is not just another case of Mormon equivocation on FOF’s part.

    I’ve talked to Mormons who have said something similar to what he did but then out of the other side of their mouth said. “Everyone has something of the Divine in them”

    I hope that is not what he means by “Jesus was always God “.


  46. fifth monarchy man says:

    FOF said,

    Can you show me one that says works are not required?

    The word of GOD says,


    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,
    (Romans 4:4-5)

    end quote:

    Nuff said


  47. falcon says:

    I listed what a Mormon must do to be exalted, that is, become a god. I didn’t have any Mormon disagree with me regarding this so I’d say they have given tacit approval to the LDS concept of works. To say that a member of the LDS church doesn’t have to earn their place in the Celestial Kingdom is pure folly. The entire LDS program is based on obedience to the (LDS) system of works.
    Why is it so difficult for a member of this sect to admit the obvious?

    As Christians, we believe as the Bible tells us. We are separated from God because of our sin. There is nothing we can do other than accept be faith the gift of eternal life that God is offering us through Jesus Christ. The life we lead subsequent to our acceptance of God’s free gift is testimony to our faith. Pretty simple. Paul asks if we should go on sinning that grace might abound even more. He than says something like, “May it never be. How should we who have died to sin continue in it?”

    The entire LDS system is based on the concept that men can become gods and in order to accomplish that certain things must be done and done on a consistent basis. It’s a form of “law”.

    Finally we ask what is the source and authority for the LDS manufactured concept of men becoming gods by obedience to the religious system. It’s certainly not the Bible which is the standard for God’s revelation to mankind. Unfortunately for Mormons the source of their information is not God but a man who was a false prophet.

    Oh and clyde,
    “The critics on this blog have all ready made up there mind about what LDS have to say.”
    Do you have anything of substance to add that we don’t already know based on the history of your religion and what your “prophets” have written and said. You really haven’t been much of a source of enlightenment regarding the LDS/Mormon religion. This is in regards to both knowledge and understanding. I think we’ve pretty much got a handle on the program.

  48. cattyjane says:

    You are completely right. I shouldnt judge if you are performing those works out of selfish desire or out of a heart that is trying to please God. I apologise.
    I would be really interested to hear your argument as to how the lds temple ordinances relate to the biblical temple ordinances. This is a huge reason as to why I left the LDS faith. Those ordinances share more of a history with masonry than they do with the actual Biblical temple.
    You made a very good point with the parable of the lost son. I agree with you there.
    If you claim that Jesus did away with the Mosaic law, how do you defend that? If you dont believe the old test that when God used the word forever he meant forever than I will point out that in your New Test scriptures Jesus said himself that he did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it. When you fulfill something you dont take away what was there before. Also it says that neither jot or tittle will pass away until this earth has passed…yet its still here. When he spoke of the commandments he gave to the people he said a NEW commandment I give to you…not replacement. But out of all of these things none of them seem to be considered by the lds faith. Its weird to me. Its like the church decided what appealed to them from the Jewish and Christian faith and then ran with it with their own spin. Well I shouldnt say Jewish because the lds temples are not even built to the temple specs ordained by God himself. Just doesnt add up.

  49. cattyjane says:

    Guess I should clarify a bit…if all the lds ordinances are so important why were they not performed in the beginning? Why are the laws your leaders have given you more important than the laws ordained by the God of Israel himself?

  50. MJP says:

    FoF, others have spoken about the story of the prodigal son. I’ll add my 2 cents. The story’s focus in not about the older brother. The story is about the younger brother screwing up royally, returning to his father, who welcomes him home with open arms, needing to do nothing except to show up. The older brother is there to represent those who think they are better than the younger brother types, and the father tells him to shut up and be happy his younger brother has returned home. The way the father treats the younger brother indicates his intent to restore his younger son to a full position as son.

    Its a story about how our Father treats us when we come to him. The focus is on the joy of the Father when we come to Him. He’s there with open arms, ready to throw a big party and restore our full position as his child. To those who have been good and look down on the younger brother types– he says be happy they are back, and don’t think you are better because you’ve never left. So, we are told that God rejoices when sinners come back to him– a message that he merely wants us to come to Him.

    Bear in mind the two stories preceding this one describe a shepherd rejoicing over finding a lost sheep, and a woman rejoicing over finding a lost coin. The emphasis is clearly that God rejoices when the lost return to him, and as evidenced by the lost son, they are restored fully as children of God upon their return.

    As to the “condition” of accepting Jesus, if you want to count that as a victory– go right on ahead. Its a very small victory, claiming that Jesus’ gift that we are free to accept or reject creates a conditional salvation. The only condition is whether we accept or reject his offer. We are free to accept or reject any gift, large or small. Nothing more is required. The offer is open to anyone, including you. Its hardly a difficult condition– it can be accepted within a second. But, if you wish to ascribe the proposition ‘conditional’ have at it. I can accept that criticism.

    I’ll be direct on the proposition that your works save/exalt you: you aren’t saved/exalted without them. This means there is a gap in your logic. You say that words don’t save/exalt you, but you have not denied that you are not saved/exalted if you don’t work. You can’t say that, from what I can tell.

    This means you have to explain how, if works don’t save/exalt you, what, precisely, does if you have to work to be saved/exalted. You’ve not done that. You’ve said grace is a power to help you do stuff, but that does not answer the question. You’ve said grace is a gift, an offer, given by God but that you have to show certain character traits, which are shown by performing certain works. But this does not explain how salvation/exaltation is achieved without works.

    I get that you ascribe salvation/exaltation upon the will and goodness of God. But what remains unanswered is how that is achieved without works. The final touch may be of God, but works are an inseparable ingredient to your salvation. As McConkie stated (not Bruce, but the other one), you’re left with a DIY project wherein you have to work, to perform specific labor and ordinances, to gain the benefit of God’s offer.

    My question: your reaction to a person who gives you a million dollars and does not ask to be paid back. Your evading this is interesting. You say its because it is flawed and unrepresentative, so you are not going to answer it. Yet this question has everything to do with the discussion. Show us where the Bible instructs us that we a) have to pay him back or b) where our salvation is unequivocal in stating salvation is conditional upon works. I can show you plenty of verses wherein we are told God saves us by faith, and that our works are worthless. Isaiah calls them used feminine hygiene products.

    The question asking your reaction to someone giving you a free, large, gift and not wanting to be repaid has everything to do with how we view God. Your comment that it is flawed and unrepresentative is quite interesting, indeed, and reveals a different view of God.

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