A Counter-Creed to “Practical Mormonism Atheism”

Practical Mormon Atheism The Contraries
1 Even if Mormonism is false, it is still worth believing and ought not be refuted. Mormonism, if false, ought not be “left alone”, but ought to be refuted and engaged and deconstructed.
2 Faith is ultimately irrational. Faith is partly but vitally rooted in evidence that can be publicly scrutinized.
3 Even if you don’t believe in God, you should still stay on the membership rolls and consider yourself a Mormon. Those who turn atheist can keep attending as welcomed guests, but ought not attend as members, and ought not self-identify as a member of any religion they no longer believe in.
4 If the LDS Church isn’t true, there is no God. There are plenty of reasons to believe in a first, Most High, absolutely ultimate God outside of Mormonism.
5 How you live your life is more important than what you believe. Beliefs are primary and behavior is secondary, because the only behavior that matters is that which flows from true and right belief.
6 I can’t believe in a God who demands worship. God is a jealous God who demands that he be praised and worshipped as the best of all beings, and will harshly punish those who refuse to worship him.
7 It doesn’t matter if it’s true. What matters is whether it is official. “Non-official” teachings of our tradition, culture, literature, and institution ought to be scrutinized.
8 I proudly mentally disassociate from the content and implications of my belief system. We love systematic, integrated theology, and thinking through the implications of our worldview.
9 The Church is true. Even if I don’t believe this or basically understand it, I can bear testimony of it. We insist that neither we nor our children bear such testimony until we basically understand and believe what this means.
10 There was a conspiracy to fundamentally corrupt the Bible. It is untrustworthy and we look elsewhere for truth. We trust the Bible to not have been fundamentally corrupted, we encourage the study of original Biblical languages, and we value exegesis and examine the teachings of our leaders against the most probable original meaning of the text.
11 Apart from Mormonism, I have no good reasons to believe that Jesus rose from the dead. Outside of Mormonism there are good reasons to believe in the resurrection of Jesus.
12 The existence of my personhood is not owing to any god. My personhood is not co-eternal with God or any other intelligences, rather God himself created my essential personhood at a point in time.
13 Everything is matter and nothing is immaterial. Not everything is composed of matter. Some things are immaterial spirit.
14 There is no ultimate personal being who is the ground of all other being. There is an ultimate being from whom absolutely all other things (not to be relativized to one generation of the gods) come.
15 There is no first cause. There is a first cause.
16 There are impersonal eternal laws that govern everything. All eternal laws come from an ultimate personal being.


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88 Responses to A Counter-Creed to “Practical Mormonism Atheism”

  1. falcon says:

    The bottom line for me is challenging the basic premise(s) of Mormonism and contrasting the basic doctrines of the LDS in particular. The reason I say “LDS” is because this particular sect has its own particular spin on the “restored” gospel. If someone examines the basic beliefs of the other sects (of Mormonism) you will find that they vary, not in just a few minor areas, but in the major doctrines.
    So what are the premises of the Mormonism that are totally wrong? First of all that there was a great falling away from the gospel in the first century after the apostles died. There is no proof that Mormonism in any of its forms existed in the first century. So to say something has been restored would mean that it would have to be proven that it existed in the first place.
    The second premise is that the Bible has been corrupted due to copying errors and a conspiracy among Catholic monks in the middle ages to leave Mormonism out (of the Bible). This is so childish that such a claim can be knocked out of the park with the batter blind folded.
    As to the very basics of Mormonism? Start with the most critical doctrine which is the (doctrine) of the nature of God. Not only is the LDS sect totally out in left field on this one, that any Mormon worth his salt knows that Joseph Smith started out with one view of who God is and ended up with an off the wall concept that only the truly naive and uninformed would believe. In addition to that, his successor, Brigham Young, came up with his own view that is embraced even today by the FLDS while rejected by the LDS. So much for living prophets hearing from God.

  2. cattyjane says:

    #9 oh goodness. Do I comment or not.

  3. Mike R says:

    I think that it is sad that there are Mormons who turn to atheism after they discover that their
    leaders are’nt what they claimed to be . I don’t understand why they would go that far in their
    reasoning . It seems to me that after being manipulated by men who claim to be God’s latter days
    mouthpiece a person would return back to the innocent party — the Bible . To me this issue
    is similar to when people find out that a T.V. preacher has bilked them out of a lot of money ,
    what do they do ? Reject God , or return to the safe harbor of God’s word and as a wiser and
    stronger , christian because of what they experienced they’re able to help warn others ?
    People hurt this way need our understanding and time to heal .

    We seek to warn the Mormon people that their leaders have fooled them . LDS are sincere
    people who have been detoured by these men into accepting their teachings . The Bible warns
    this can happen , and would especially would be prevalent in the latter days . May the Mormon
    people return to the source from where this warning came —-God’s word ( Matt 24:11 ) and
    follow the Savior who took time to warn them in the first place .
    People hurt and damaged by counterfeit prophets , whether those like in the Mormon church
    or on t.v. , can find in Jesus rest and healing for their lives . For many this will take time , but
    He will be there with arms outreached desiring to gently reassure them that He is real and
    can help .

  4. Kenneth says:

    I would add to #6 that worshipping God with our whole lives brings the deepest fulfillment possible. In part, he demands it because He knows that it is good for us.

  5. cattyjane says:

    Mike R,
    Just speaking from experiece here, and it may not be like this for everyone else. For me it was a lack of trust for the tranlation and interpretation of the NT. I think its fear of being tricked again. I have no doubt in my mind when reading the OT but I struggle with the NT, I know that must seem weird to everyone.

  6. Mike R says:

    cattyjane ,

    I certainly have not experienced the damage to one’s emotions and faith that some Mormons
    have as a result of discovering their leaders have deceived them . I would just hope they
    would not throw out the baby with the bathwater by turning from God and His word and
    become atheists . If Jesus warned that certain men would arise and mislead people into
    joining their organization then hopefully those people, after discovering the deception , would
    know that Jesus warned this would happen and not go so far as to give up on Him personally .
    I realize that false prophets damage people .

    Thanks for sharing about your journey . I appreciate your willing to share what you have gone
    through .

  7. MJP says:


    Interesting to hear that it is the NT you are concerned about. I find it fascinating that it is only the NT that has you worried about forgery. Like others, I have never been in the mindset of LDS, but I admit I struggle with the logic: why would forgers only forge the NT and not the OT? There are many, many verses in the OT that point to Jesus, and that reiterate the essential message of the NT.

    I happy you are coming out of Mormonism and are willing to share your journey and struggles here. My apologies if I don’t quite “get” them as I have never been in your shoes.

  8. cattyjane says:

    Im sure if “coming out of Mormonism” is the correct statement to make about where I am. I would say that I am completely out of Mormonism. There is not a doubt in my mind that the doctrine and teachings of that spin off Mason religion is false. I am out of that and out for good!
    There are many places that point to the time and character of the Messiah in the Old Testament MJP, I agree with that. The Old Test has been preserved and translated much more accurately. We have the Targums and the Masoretic texts to go from. I don’t want to get into too much detail about my concerns for the NT. I do know that whatever my concerns with the translation or accuracy of the NT is, the so called Revelation of Joseph Smith doesn’t provide any answers or clarity to those issues. Especially since it was proven in court that he couldn’t read Greek, Hebrew or Egyptian. Why would I trust that even in the slightest bit? I do have a couple of things that provide a strand of confidence in the NT. As long as it doesn’t get pulled loose, it should be something to build on.

  9. Old man says:

    Mike R
    “I think that it is sad that there are Mormons who turn to atheism after they discover that their leaders are’nt what they claimed to be. I don’t understand why they would go that far in their reasoning.”
    What you say brings to mind the maxim ‘once saved always saved’ & if that saying is true then a couple of questions need to be asked
    Would a true Christian join the LDS? The answer has to be no, unless the non-Christian doctrines of the LDS had been deliberately withheld by the salesmen, a.k.a. missionaries. To my mind it follows that any true Christian having joined the LDS would, as in the case of my ex, return to Christ after finding they had been deceived.

    It’s my belief that the vast majority of people joining the cult are nominal Christians, i.e. people having a belief in a God but with no saving knowledge, so my second question is this:
    Is the person joining the cult a nominal Christian? If the answer is yes then it’s fairly easy to understand why the majority of people leaving the LDS become atheists. For them the LDS is Christianity & having seen that it is false any beliefs they may have had concerning Christianity & God will also be false.
    I don’t think it’s beyond the bounds of possibility that the LDS is responsible for many millions of people losing their salvation, not from joining the church, but from leaving it.

    I’m fascinated by what you say concerning the NT. In my ex-wife’s case it was from reading the NT ‘properly’ i.e. without a Mormon looking over her shoulder to explain what it meant, that finally caused her to leave.
    There is much I could say concerning that subject but I’ll leave it at that for now 🙂

  10. falcon says:

    Is the NT accurate? That’s one question. Another question is, “Is the NT true?”.
    The NT accuracy has been well established. I could point you to several books that address the topic one being “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell.

    You can read this:

    or watch this:

    I think the video would be the best place to start.

    So, is the NT accurate is it true?

  11. MJP says:

    I have no doubt the NT is accurate and true, and that there is no significant alterations to the translation. In addition to the works by McDowell, andother great source is Lee Strobel’s A Case for Christ.

    As best I can, I understand the doubt that may be present in some LDS concerning the Bible, and the New Testament. Its what has been at issue within Mormonism and what Mormonism itself calls into question. It is reasonable that there may be some doubt and some hesitation to believe what yet another group says about it.

    All I can say is to read the text as it is presented in the book itself. It speaks for itself. However, it is also wise to seek counsel of those with more knowledge, through books and through talking with more mature believers. Prayer is also wise, here, as God certainly will lead one to the right place. Do these things without prejudice.

  12. cattyjane says:

    Thanks guys for your understanding. I will look at that video tonight Falcon.
    I think a lot of the reason people turn to atheism is out of frustration. I think the reason why I didnt is because I was already studying some things with regard to the Hebrew language and archeology of Old Test events. So I had a very strong believe in the God of Israel even when I lost my belief in the LDS church.
    The reason I say people turn to atheism out of frustration is because there are so many “christian denom” to choose from. It seems easier to either back out of religion altogether or choose a religion that doesnt involve wading through the different christian ideology. Its just overwheming.

  13. Mike R says:

    Old man ,
    you pose some interesting questions . I do believe that there are persons that are saved sitting in
    audience Sunday mornings in the local Ward , they have been fooled by Mormonism’s cleverly
    designed facade that makes it appear to be Jesus’ church —restored . But I happen to also
    believe that in time these persons will become aware of their being detoured and then leave .

    # 1 and 3 in the list Aaron posted caught my eye . Mormonism creates such an environment that
    if a Mormon no longer believes it is the truth they will stay in the church . Family relationships,
    and the moral teachings can be reason for this , but it’s got to be a very difficult for a person
    to stay in the organization and be quiet after discovering it is not ” God’s organization .”

  14. falcon says:

    I think the video is a good place to start because the basic questions are addressed.
    Here’s the deal. The information is available. In-other-words we can know whether or not the NT translations we read today accurately reflect the message as it was originally written. That’s knowable. But the other question, is it true is a whole other matter. The basic claim of the NT is that Jesus is the Messiah. Is that true? Does mankind need a Savior? At that point, I will admit, it becomes a matter of faith.
    I came to the conclusion that I needed a Savior and that Jesus fulfilled the requirements presented in the OT and then revealed in the NT.
    If Jesus is God, then receiving the gift of eternal life through faith in Him is very serious business. If Jesus is not God incarnate, then take a pass on the whole deal. What Paul says is true in that if we have put faith in the resurrected Christ and He wasn’t resurrected, then we are among men most to be pitied.
    I have no doubt that the NT is accurate in that it does reflect what the authors penned under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I believe that God protects His Word. It’s in His interest to do so.

  15. MJP says:

    I don’t view scripture as something we can prove 100%. Historically, we have a good idea most of what it says is true, and therefore reliable as a history. Like any history, there is some divergence of memory when pen was put to paper. This does not mean the events described did not happen, nor that the different descriptions are not true. If we look at any even in history, there are different recollections describing the same event. Its probably happened within your own family.

    I trust the Bible, and the NT, as a reliable historical document for a variety of reasons. Where I cannot say scripture is 100% provable is that it is a matter of faith whether to believe the spiritual claims made in it. This is much the same as what Falcon is saying: its a matter of faith and personal belief. Nonetheless, because of the historical accuracy, I am comfortable accepting the spiritual truths it outlines.

    When I go through the left side of the list above (in no apparent order), I cannot accept much of what is written because of the above differentiation. There is a verifiable side to scripture, and a side wherein we cannot verify anything using measurable results. Thus, I don’t believe that everything is made of matter, which is measurable. While faith is not measurable, it is rational: it must be because I justify it based off verifiable evidence. Measurability and rationality are not equivalents. If something is false, it is not worth a dime. If something is false, it is ultimately misleading and wrong. It should not be followed. Everything is based on Jesus, and who am I to question worshipping Him? Worshipping God is not a bad thing to be condemned.

    In the end, I have to say my faith is in something rational and something accutely real.

  16. flicka says:

    Is the right side of the chart above options for atheists Mormons to stay in the Mormon church?
    Was happy to find mrm.org in 2012 after realizing that my faith was in Jesus Christ and not in Joseph Smith. Did an internet search for the George Albert Smith manual and found Bill McKeever’s comparison with the Bible. Have also appreciated this blog, many articles by Sharon and the Videos on youtube by Aaron also. You have been quite the help to me in leaving the Mormon church. Thank you.

  17. Kate says:

    I think part of the reason people turn to Atheism is the indoctrination. We are taught some very wrong things about the nature of God and His Son. The God Christians believe in is belittled and mocked by Mormonism. I believe that it’s only by the a Grace of God that some of us cling to the Jesus of the Bible when coming out of Mormonism. I have a Facebook friend who is leaving Mormonism and he has said some very harsh things about the God of Christianity and he says he wants nothing to do with a God like that. He’s been LDS all of his life, 40+ years.

    The Bible is made untrustworthy, just look at article of faith #8. We have to memorize and pass off the articles of faith in primary. More indoctrination. It’s no wonder some people have a hard time turning to the Bible when coming out of the LDS church.

    What’s interesting to me is that most converts to the FLDS come from the LDS church. Once these people start to study it doesn’t take them long to figure out the FLDS clung to the faith invented by Joseph Smith.

  18. Flicka, welcome and thank you from all of us at MRM!

  19. MJP says:

    Kate, I think you make a good point in discussing how the NT and the God of Christianity is apparently treated in the LDS church.

    I think this demonstrates the importance of LDS distortion of our views and a very clear lack of desire to get them right. Not only is it hypocritical, but it leads to a view that only aids the Mormon to stay in Mormonism rather than explore Christianity.

  20. cattyjane says:

    I was able to watch part of that video you linked on here. I think ive heard that innformation before about how historic texts are dated. One thing I would like to mention is that the dead sea scrolls canot be used as a source to compare the accuracy of scripture. The dead sea scrolls were buried because of erors in the text. When errors were made to scrolls while coping them they could not be burned or destroyed if they contained the name of God because this would be considered desecration of the name. So instead they were buried.
    I do have a question tho. They claim the original texts of the NT were written sometime between 70 and 90 AD. This is around the time of the destruction of the second temple and long after the death of the Christian Messiah. Why the gap? Why were they written only after the temple was destroyed? Im hope you dont mind me asking.

  21. MJP says:


    I have never heard that argument before. Can you please cite it? I searched for it and have not been able to find it.

    The original texts of the NT can be reliably written prior to 100 AD without issue concerning their authenticity. Bear in mind that Christ died in about 33 AD, and most of the authors of NT books were eyewitnesses and disciples themselves to Jesus personally. Others were disciples to those who were eyewitnesses to Jesus. 70 years after the crucification of Jesus then is not a problem, as it is well within the bounds of living that long, especially for a second generation.

    There is much written on this topic that is worth a look.

    And let me ask you something, if you don’t mind: what is keeping you from accepting that the NT may in fact be reliable and accurate?

  22. Mike R says:

    flicka ,

    Welcome !

  23. falcon says:

    Do you think that the Holy Spirit, given to the Church on the day of Pentecost, is/was able to maintain the integrity of the message of the NT?
    I don’t get your question about the 70-90 AD as the approximate date of the writing of the NT. I don’t see a gap problem. If you read the introduction to Luke and Acts I think you’ll see that the author did a lot of research. It took time. Also, take into consideration how old the Apostle John was on Patmos when he penned the Revelation of Jesus Christ that was given to him.
    What you said regarding the Dead Sea Scrolls has a ring of Urban Legend to me. It sounds a little too LDS like.

  24. MJP says:

    catty– here is a site that will get you started in researching the time lines of the documents from the New Testament.


    As I said above, there are many, many things written about this, and I have found this evidence compelling enough to wonder how people deny its truth (that there is no problem in stating the NT documents are reliable histories and are written by people who had good reason to know what actually happened).

  25. Rick B says:

    Hello Kate.
    You said

    I have a Facebook friend who is leaving Mormonism and he has said some very harsh things about the God of Christianity and he says he wants nothing to do with a God like that.

    I have a question for you and any Ex-Mormons who want to reply.
    Can you tell me some of the things that your fiend said about God, and if you cannot or do not want to post them here, can you email me with them.

    I’m asking for input from Ex-mormons as to why they blame God when they find out the Church is false and why they go on to atheism if they dont become Christians.

    I’m asking because I want to try and share with Christians on my new show what Former LDS go through and deal with if I know why they tend to blame God them maybe we can find ways to minster to them. Thanks. Rick

  26. faithoffathers says:


    How do you reconcile #5 above with this statement from Christ from the end of His sermon on the mount wherein He outlined primarily behaviors and motives, “Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man who built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” Matt 7:25

    Christ never drew strict theological or intellectual boundaries between those who are saved and those who are not outside of believing on Him enough to do what He said. It certainly seems like an emphasis on doing rather than intellectual belief or any other type of belief independent of behavior. And this is also reflected in the invitation to be “doers of the word and not hearers alone, deceiving your own selves.” How would a person be deceiving himself if he heard truth and believed it? The answer is that one deceives himself if he believes in the word but does nothing about it. There really is no indication from Christ that anything beyond believing in Him enough to DO is required. And whether a person is willing to do what Christ taught really seems to be the test.

  27. Mike R says:

    Fof F ,
    Those that are willing to do what Jesus taught will find that they don’t need the latter days
    prophets of Mormonism at all .

    Did’nt you say that you believe that most ex Mormons are morally and spiritually inferior people ?
    You fancy yourself a intellectually superior person to anyone here . But you won’t be the first
    super smart person to get saved , it will be harder for you , but it can happen . Start by dismissing
    your leaders as your teachers . There’s a better source for spiritual truths —- the N.T.

  28. faithoffathers says:

    Mike R,

    Your history of me is like your history of the church.

    No, I didn’t ever say anything like that. But that is a very quick way to change the topic (do you guys every stay on topic?)

    Do you have a genuine response to my question and point? Or are you only interested in personal combat?

  29. falcon says:

    You need to reference the Jesus you are talking about. Given that you’re a member of the LDS sect of Mormonism, the Jesus you believe in is not the Jesus revealed in the Bible.
    I would concur with Mike. You need to stop listening to those dudes who say they are prophets of the LDS sect.
    What this has brought you is a Jesus who the Mormon prophet Brigham Young said was conceived by actual physical sex between the Virgin Mary and the Mormon heavenly father. This was the same guy who said that Adam was God. The LDS prophets have told you that Jesus was also the spirit offspring of the Mormon god of this world and one of his polygamous wives. And just a little extra, Joseph Smith depicted the Mormon god in the BoA sitting on an Egyptian throne exposing himself. This was the Egyptian fertility god Min.
    You see FOF I’m not going to let you come here and talk about Jesus and what He said and what saving faith is. You have no clue what saving faith is because you believe in a different gospel and plan of salvation which would qualify as the apostle Paul said, “a doctrine of demons”.
    I don’t care how tedious it is to have to continually repeat this because this site gets hundreds of hits a day and the questioning Mormon needs to know the truth about the LDS sect of Mormonism.

  30. falcon says:

    So what is saving faith? It isn’t intellectual assent, believing in an historical Jesus. It’s not a sort of temporal faith, throwing a prayer up to God in case of a personal crisis or current need.
    Saving faith is first of all understanding who Jesus is as the qualified Savior. He is God incarnate. He paid the price for the sin of mankind by shedding His blood on the cross. Being God incarnate, Jesus was the perfect sacrifice.
    When we place our faith totally in Jesus as the Savior, we are born again by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit indwells us and we become a living temple. Having been born again through faith in Jesus and being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we are transformed. Faith causes us to be justified, the indwelling of the Spirit leads us to be sanctified. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus Our Lord.

    Will FOF come to faith in Jesus and be saved? Hard to tell. The Lord has shown me that FOF’s heart is bound in a chain. Only God can loose FOF from his spiritual bondage.

  31. jaxi says:

    Rick B,

    I’ll take a swing at your question. As someone who used to be LDS, I have watched a good number of family and friends leave. Quite a few become atheist/agnostic. What I noticed is that many end up reading a lot atheism literature. I did. Atheism attacks a spaghetti monster type God. The Mormon God fits the same attacks that can be made for the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Mormons are told over and over that they are Christian. So once atheism has debunked all gods with a similar nature as the Flying Spaghetti Monster, they can’t picture any God being real. They have been burned and don’t feel like giving anything religious a chance again. They don’t want to put any more energy into it because they have wasted so much of their lives in something false. Many of the arguments atheists use against the God of Christianity cannot be applied to the nature of the Christian God but to apply to the Mormon God, in which Mormon were taught was the Christian God. I would say most Mormons coming out of Mormons need a basic course in the nature of God. I did. My husband did. We were willing to open our hearts up again and listen. Leaving Mormonism for some is like a very bad divorce. Some people can leave a relationship like that and start dating again. Others need time. And some may become haters of the opposite sex forever.

    I also had someone that left tell me that they are mad at God because they searched for God their whole lives and they were deceived, why didn’t God stop them from becoming deceived when they were so sincere, and they just don’t feel like God is there. That he dumped them all alone on this planet without any clear cut, plain as day evidence to who God is. I think some of that stems from how Mormons are trained to evaluate truth about God. You ask God and he tells you. If he doesn’t tell you, you weren’t serious enough. When I was Mormon I felt that if I got someone to read the Book of Mormon, that God would witness the truthfulness to them and they would be forced to accept of deny it. God would make it clear to them and its on them. That’s why exmormons are so scary to Mormons, especially the ones that were active, cookie cutter mormons that didn’t leave because of sin or offense, and found God elsewhere. How could God tell them the Book of Mormon is wrong and to go elsewhere? It doesn’t make sense to the Mormon worldview. I think some leave the LDS Church, knowing its false, but still want a similar way to establishing spiritual truth as they did while being Mormon. I know an exmormon Christian who never “felt the Spirit” in Mormonism and still hasn’t felt a feeling anywhere reminiscent of the feeling described by Mormons while being Christian. He doesn’t need the feeling to believe in God and what God has done. Yet, because of his upbringing, he still gets concerned that he is not getting these feelings.

    To sum up my rambling. Many people who leave Mormonism, unknowingly take some of their Mormonism with them, whether that be how they view God or how to determine truth about God or other things. Every exMormon is different and it takes getting to know them, and how they view the world,their experiences within Mormonism and their expectation from religions and faith. ExMormons will sometimes surprise you. In some ways they can be very well educated in matters of faith, even more so in some areas than Christians, yet in other areas you may have to start over like you are talking to a kid. You may find yourself going back and forth between offending them that you have seemingly talked down to them and confusing them so much that they may be embarrassed to ask such a basic question. My husband and I were like that. Some sweet souls would try to explain scripture stories to us and would be very impressed in how much we knew. But then again we would also have to say things like, “wait, wait, wait. Who is God? What does incarnation mean and why does it matter? I’m a sinner?”

    Many leave Mormonism with tons of baggage. They are all different and you have to figure out what they are carrying. ButI think nature of God and discerning truth about God are two things that almost always have to get discussed.

  32. cattyjane says:

    Thanks I will look at that time line.
    This link talks about the writings of the scriptures. This is the section I copied that deals specifically with mistakes.
    “Moreover, the scroll may contain no errors whatsoever. While some mistakes may be corrected by scraping off the ink of a letter made in error and rewriting it, if a mistake is made in writing any of the names of God, no correction may be made because God’s name may not be erased. The entire sheet of parchment must be buried or placed in a genizah, and the scribe must begin that section of the Torah again. Once the sheets of parchment are completed, the scribe checks them each three times with the help of someone else who uses a Tikkun (a specially prepared printed text).” http://scheinerman.net/judaism/Synagogue/torah.html

    I guess the issue I have is why wait till the temple is destroyed to write about these things? Why wait until the Messiah is dead? Its just odd to me. It seems like they would have been keeping record while they were with him. I was speaking to someone about this issue today and he made a good point. He stated that there must have been earlier writings because in all of the NT there is no recording of the destruction of the temple in 70AD. This would have been very significant and yet no one wrote of it. So it must have still been standing when these things were written. I think that is a fair argument. Don’t you?

  33. cattyjane says:

    I will agree with you that we must be willing to obey the instructions that were given by God. We are not allowed to act like heathens and do whatever we want. That would be taking on the name of God in vain. However, you say that you are commanded to follow the teachings of Christ right? How do you obey the teaching the Father gave in Deuteronomy 4:2 and Deuteronomy 12:32 where we are commanded not to add to his commandments. The reason for this is because the essence of His word is truth and his instructions are eternal Psalm 119:160. Proverbs 30:6 states that if we add to his words we will be proven a liar. So before you tell me that I have to apply this to everything after Deuteronomy let me explain what I mean by add and take away.
    I am speaking specifically to the commandments given by God to the people. Direct commandments and instructions on how we come before him. Jesus/Christ/Messiah did not add or take away from any of those commandments. In fact he stated it himself in Matthew 5:18. Here he states that not even the smallest letter of the commandments/instructions will disappear until all things have been completed. Messiah never gave any new commandments and he never told us that any were done away with. Now before you jump up and down and say “yes he did, he gave us a new commandment John 13:34”. I say really? This is new? So before Jesus said this we didn’t have to do this? This is nothing more than the 6 commandments that are in the 10 commandments about how we are to treat people, do not murder, honor our father and mother, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness and do not covet. Nothing new. The Messiah came to explain all that was written in the Old Testament scriptures about him. That is what is meant when he says “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets (Old Testament this would be the Torah and the Prophets writings). I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill (explain and reveal) them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen (yod and tittle), will by any means disappear from the Law (Torah) until everything is accomplished.”
    So I ask again. How is it that you obey his teaching when you add the teachings of these false prophets to your approach towards God? Did Messiah say to be sealed in the Temple? Did Messiah say to baptize for the dead? Did Messiah say to learn secret handshakes and wear fig leaves? Did Messiah say to obey the Words of Wisdom written by Joseph Smith? Where are the Messiahs teachings on these things that seem necessary to return/go be with the Father in heaven? Surely the Messiah, the one who was promised to us to explain all things would not forget such important teachings.

  34. Mike R says:

    Fof F,

    I guess my history of you is like the history your church —- what you /they have produced and want people to accept as accurate information is something to be leery of .

    ” No I did’nt say anything like that ” . I was’nt exactly sure of the actual statement so I asked it
    as a question , but I think you did say it or something very similar . It did’nt surprise me that
    you would deny it altogether .

    I did respond to your comment . Now you may not think it was a ” genuine ” response , but we
    have discussed the sermon on the Mount before . You failed to be convincing then , so why
    rehash it again .

    Combat with you ? I would’nt stand a chance since I don’t have a PhD like you so I would’nt
    measure up to your level .

  35. Old man says:


    “How do you reconcile #5 above with this statement from Christ from the end of His sermon on the mount wherein He outlined primarily behaviors and motives,”

    #5 says How you live your life is more important than what you believe.
    I would simplify ‘the contraries’ to read:
    How you live your life is determined by what you believe.
    The proof of that is demonstrated in scripture so let me ask you a couple of questions.

    Do you believe that a person becomes a new creation in Christ by following orders? Or
    Do you believe that a person becomes a new creation through belief in & a saving knowledge, of Christ?

    It’s all very well quoting Matt. 7:25 but without knowing or believing exactly WHO Christ is, the new creation that Paul speaks of (2 Corinthians 5:17) cannot come into being.
    It is only by becoming a new creation, through knowledge of the person of Christ that a person is saved. I wont say it’s easy to follow the rules (commands) although many do so but relatively few have those rules ‘written on their hearts’ & follow them as if they were their own rules. That my friend is the major difference between Mormon & Christian,
    For the Mormon the rules are imposed from without & are followed as an obligation even though many of those rules are NOT to be found in scripture. For the Christian the rules come from within, being part of the new creation & NONE of them contradict scripture. You may say that Mormons have the Spirit but I contend, like Falcon, that they do NOT have the Spirit of Christ, if they did then the deception practised by Mormon salespeople could not continue, the major shifts in doctrine would have happened & the publication of the recent conflicting essays would not have been necessary.

  36. grindael says:

    How do you reconcile #5 above with this statement from Christ from the end of His sermon on the mount wherein He outlined primarily behaviors and motives, “Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man who built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” Matt 7:25

    What is the foundation of Christ’s message? Belief in Jesus and the one who sent Him. Over and over again Jesus says this. What did Jesus say immediately before that parable?

    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

    This was the problem with the Jews. They followed Regulations which were more important to them, than the will of the Father as directed by the Holy Spirit. How do you explain this, FOF?

    Christ never drew strict theological or intellectual boundaries between those who are saved and those who are not outside of believing on Him enough to do what He said. It certainly seems like an emphasis on doing rather than intellectual belief or any other type of belief independent of behavior. And this is also reflected in the invitation to be “doers of the word and not hearers alone, deceiving your own selves.”

    Aaron never says to be “hearers only”. Here FOF creates a false dichotomy (again). He is not addressing this:

    Beliefs are primary and behavior is secondary, because the only behavior that matters is that which flows from true and right belief.

    This is EXACTLY what Jesus said,

    30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 31 If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from people. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

    FOF then says,

    How would a person be deceiving himself if he heard truth and believed it? The answer is that one deceives himself if he believes in the word but does nothing about it. There really is no indication from Christ that anything beyond believing in Him enough to DO is required. And whether a person is willing to do what Christ taught really seems to be the test.

    But that is EXACTLY what Aaron said, but the doing is secondary to the believing. He didn’t just leave out that you don’t have to do anything. Christians are not FORCED to do anything by Regulation. We have the Holy Spirit to guide us. That is why Mormon “prophets” are superfluous. You don’t seem to get this FOF, but I’m not surprised.

  37. grindael says:

    It would be more efficient to simply say that you will not engage in a conversation about the topic with me. Or, you could simply not respond to me.

    That is what you hope for, FOF. Keep hoping. And you do advocate that others that don’t believe as you are spiritually inferior, though you didn’t use those exact words. You did say though,

    I have never really brought this topic up because it is not my intent to make anybody really doubt their faith- even if I think their faith is apostate.

    Faith is belief in God. You write that you think that everyone’s belief in God is “apostate”, (traitorous, not true, etc) or inferior to yours, (or is a false faith superior?) because your faith (belief in God) is “true”. Of course you won’t use the word “church” here, (how then can you blanket criticize everyone who disagrees with you) so you have to go after people’s belief in God, their faith. You call any critics “largely dishonest”. And then you also said that you never apply the word “apostate” to individuals. Already caught you in that lie, didn’t I?

  38. johnsepistle says:

    I hope to possibly have more time later to contribute to this discussion, but I wanted to add a couple points to hopefully help cattyjane a bit. First, it’s very doubtful that the Dead Sea Scrolls were discarded texts. They weren’t buried, per se; they were sealed away in pots and stored in caves. Furthermore, many of them consisted of whole scrolls; but in rabbinic Jewish practice, as I understand it, an error in writing the divine name only requires that portion of the scroll to be discarded, not the entirety of the scroll. Additionally, there were a wide variety of texts in those caves, both biblical and extrabiblical. So I think we’re safe in taking the Dead Sea Scrolls seriously in contributing to our understanding of the history of the Hebrew scriptures, because they aren’t merely discarded pieces.

    Second, as regards the dating of the New Testament, I take it that you’re mainly referring to the standard dating of the Gospels. After all, many New Testament documents, such as most of Paul’s letters, are all but universally agreed by scholars to date prior to 70 AD. One thing we have to remember is that cultures in the first-century Mediterranean were not writing-based cultures; they were orality-based cultures. People of that time had a very strong preference for hearing things from witnesses’ mouths, rather than having them conveyed through the medium of written documents. Thus, it isn’t surprising for there to be a bit of a gap between the events themselves and the earliest canonical Gospel (though I’d date it at least a few years before 70, personally). And if we accept some sort of hypothesis regarding written sources, those sources may well date to even closer to the events themselves. But in any case, given the relatively short gap (as compared with other events and their earliest literary records), we can be reasonably confident that the Gospels, as Greco-Roman biographies (or histories, as in the case of the two-volume Luke-Acts), do faithfully reflect the earliest oral traditions surrounding the life of Jesus – traditions of which the early disciples/apostles remained gatekeepers until the production of the literary sources we know and treasure as scripture today.

  39. falcon says:

    To engage with you concerning the topic is not for your benefit because you don’t listen anyway and have proven, as rick has pointed out, are a liar.
    You are, however, a useful foil in order to answer the questions of those who come here and are doubting Mormonism. To present useful information to them and allow you to expose yourself for what your are, is useful.
    As I pointed out, the Lord has revealed to me that your heart is bound in a chain of enormous links and your pride is keeping you from coming to Him in faith.
    You have no clue what saving faith is and are holding out hope that if you do enough work within the LDS system, you will become a god.

  40. falcon says:

    I think we’re all familiar with the tactics and strategy that FOF uses here; as I’m sure he uses on other blog sites. He moves through the internet like a personal hoard of locusts attempting to devour all that’s in his path. In doing so he makes it his goal to create as much confusion as possible.
    It’s a well established tactic within Mormonism to lie. It’s called lying for the Lord. The lies are used to cover-up what the LDS church doesn’t want people, members and non-members, to know about the history and practices of the religion.
    I was just watching a couple of videos of former Mormons who talked about how they got into all sorts of trouble in LDS classes they were teaching by merely stating historical facts. One talked about asking the participants, I believe there were over twenty in the group, to raise their hands if they knew that Joseph Smith practiced polygamy. I think four raised their hands. These were active Mormons; true believers.
    Lying is an acceptable practice within Mormonism. It’s part of the religious DNA of the leaders and those who are LDS apologist wannabees. The idea is to withhold, distract, confuse, obfuscate and hide information that causes folks to see exactly what Mormonism is all about.

  41. falcon says:

    We’ve been discussing why some former Mormons become atheists rather than seek out and come to know God in a personal way.
    The simplest and probably the most accurate answer is that when someone has been lied to repeatedly, it’s not all that easy to develop trust.
    For me another question is, “When does someone go from becoming one of those lied to, to become one of the persons doing the lying?” I think it’s when a Mormon realizes that there are huge discrepancies in the Mormon narrative and that in order to keep the whole thing from falling apart, they need to get creative.
    For some at the top I would guess it all has to do with protecting the corporation. For the amateur Mormon apologists it’s a cult mentality mind-set; the belief system must be protected at all cost. These folks have just too much invested in the system to give-it-up and walk away.
    How do they justify their lies? It’s the old deal with the ends justify the means.

    Here’s part one of a nine part video presentation by Ken Clark that discusses the topic of lying for the Lord.


  42. cattyjane says:

    Yes I would agree with you that during the times before the destruction of the second temple it was mainly an oral tradition that was passed down, except for the Old Testament scriptures which were read in the synagogues. So I can see your point about the teachings of Jesus students being mainly oral. Also Pauls were all letters to different churches so I guess that is different.
    Do you have a source for the part you stated about only removing The Name from parchment rather than burying the whole thing? And when I said bury, I didn’t mean in the ground, I meant in caves and jars and stuff like that. Thanks for your help on this. 🙂

  43. grindael says:


    I was a Mormon who became an atheist for 25 years after I left the church. I didn’t go on a bender, I didn’t break the law, I simply lived my life, got married and worked at my living. I just cut God out of my life completely. I actually read and quoted the Bible, but mostly to enhance my personal poetry and other writings. Here is an example of what I wrote back in the 80’s, it may be instructive as to how many ex-Mormons think after they leave the Church. This is from my 400 page Book of Poetry (Lyrical Ballads), called Dreamsongs. This part of the book is called “Passages, A Fall From Innocence”. This particular book has this for an introduction:

    “And the Lord God said, behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” -Genesis (circa 1400 B.C.E.)

    “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” -Jeremiah(circa 600 B.C.E.)

    “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not, I will lead them in paths that they have not known…” -Isaiah (circa 700 B.C.E.)

    “I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.” — Aleister Crowley, “The Book of Lies” (circa 1913 A.D.)

    Part Four: Second Fall

    i. mass hysteria

    Holy communion, what an illusion!
    A thousand years of voodoo.
    Just leftover history of a world
    on the brink of insanity.
    And what do they do?
    Well, I’ll tell you!

    They indoctrinate the youth
    with their own versions of the truth.
    Such marvelous mysteries
    unreachable by such as you and me

    It’s mass hysteria
    prepackaged and sold,
    God’s own words
    (at least that’s what were told).
    It’s mass hysteria
    on the local T.V.
    brought to you and me
    by the smooth-talking clergy.

    And what do they do
    behind their closed doors?
    Why they traffic with
    all the dealers and whores.
    Locked up inside
    their mansions of stone,
    the T.V. version of the happy home.

    Holy religion, cornerstone of society!
    Practiced in such false sobriety.
    Just leftover history of a world
    on the brink of insanity.
    And what do they do?
    Well, I’ll tell you …

    They indoctrinate the youth
    with careful versions of the truth.
    Such marvelous mysteries
    unreachable by such as you and me.
    unless you’ve got the money.

    It’s mass hysteria
    prepackaged and sold.
    Gods own words
    (At least that’s what we’re told).
    Just Mass Hysteria
    and superstar clergy,
    completely on the up and up –
    just read the disclaimer
    right on T.V.
    Oh no, you’ll have to excuse me.
    I just can’t live with the absurdity …

    ii. searching

    Where is the innocence?
    I’m afraid it just came and went.
    Where are a young boy’s dreams:
    Locked inside with those silent screams?
    What are they telling me:
    that I am someone I cannot be?

    Where is my heart and soul?
    Are they to be the price of growin’ old?
    Where is the truth I saw:
    Locked inside with the letter of the law?
    What are they telling me:
    That I am someone I cannot be?

    Searching for the truth,
    finding no answers in solitude.
    Caught up in a mystery,
    waiting for something to set me free.
    Searching for peace of mind,
    could it be something I left behind?
    Caught up in a mystery,
    waiting for something to set me free.

    And I’m still searching…

    Where go the promises?
    Lost with all of my innocence.
    Where is security
    without the promise of destiny?
    What are they telling me:
    that I am something I cannot be?

    Where go the lonely ones:
    When they lost what they should have won?
    What happens to the truth
    when you’ve got nothing left to lose?
    What are they telling me:
    That I am someone I cannot be?

    Searching for the truth,
    finding no answers in solitude.
    Caught up in a mystery,
    waiting for something to set me free.
    Searching for peace of mind,
    could it be something I left behind?
    Caught up in a mystery,
    waiting for someone to set me free.

    And I’m still searching …

    It was all about trust. Placing trust in Jesus alone changed my life forever. Fast forward close to the end of this Book (or Journey), “Shadows of Paradise”

    Fifth Shadow: Of Paradise

    Part Two: Novum Testamentum

    ii. one of us

    If I could grasp the thought
    of such a perfect love,
    maybe I could see the reason
    You would come down from above.

    Sacrificing everything you are
    because you love us
    To suffer, die and be crucified
    because you love us
    To love us enough, love us enough
    To become One of Us.

    If I could grasp the thought
    of becoming a slave,
    maybe I could see the reason
    For all that You gave.

    Sacrificing everything you are
    because you love us
    To suffer, die and be crucified
    because you love us
    To love us enough, love us enough
    To become One of Us.

    If I could grasp the thought
    of total conformity,
    maybe I could see the reason
    you emptied Yourself in humility.

    Sacrificing everything you are
    because you love us
    To suffer, die and be crucified
    because you love us
    To love us enough, love us enough
    To become One of Us.

    Because You love us
    Because You love us
    Enough to become one of us
    Because You love us
    You love us..

  44. grindael says:


    A Sefer Torah is written on sheets of parchment that are sewn together. Therefore, if one misspells the name of God, or makes some other mistake with it, one cannot erase it. That individual sheet, must then be buried in the ground, or placed in a genizah (or storage area) until it can be buried (in a cemetery). A special box is constructed and the Sefer Torah is then buried. The link is from a 1930’s article that explains this.

    Hope this helps. The Qumran Caves were not a genizah. Here is an in-depth article about why they are not considered as such.

  45. johnsepistle says:

    I don’t think that anti-intellectualism is the best route to go here in responding to faithoffathers. The problem is less intellectualism, and perhaps more a matter of intellectual pride – made worse by the fact that it’s unwarranted, as faithoffathers is considerably less theologically and biblically astute than he appears to think himself to be. Nevertheless, even though faithoffathers has a history of dialogical misconduct here, his points (few and far between though they may typically be) deserve an answer – that’s what grace is about.

    So faithoffathers has stated some concerns about Contrast #5. I’ll take a stab at addressing some of those concerns. First, a great deal of this comes down to what we mean by “belief”/”believe”. This list was drafted by Aaron, who is a nuanced thinker, and between that factor and the context, I take it that “belief” here is more than a merely cognitive issue – though not less. Rather, “belief” is here being used, I suspect, in the more full-orbed Christian notion of faith, which combines cognitive and attitudinal factors: it is a whole stance or attitude toward life (and particularly toward God), which inherently includes propositional content. If Aaron meant less than this, I trust he’ll let us know.

    Now, in light of that notion of “belief”, let us consider here what Aaron wrote under the column of Practical Mormon Atheism: “How you live your life is more important than what you believe.” I take this proposition to be an essentially moralistic one: that what matters is the specifics of behavior as disentangled from “belief”. This is indeed a common view in our culture: that one’s views or attitudinal stances are pragmatically irrelevant, and that all that matters is the mere externals of basic ethical conduct. (Usually this is coupled with a strong notion of individual autonomy.) I have encountered quite a few Latter-day Saints who either adopt this perspective or else employ it for rhetorical advantage when backed into a corner.

    Let us next consider the corresponding item that Aaron wrote in the Contraries column: “Beliefs are primary and behavior is secondary, because the only behavior that matters is that which flows from true and right belief.” I take this to be expression a position that strongly integrates external behavior and “belief”. Aaron’s explanatory clause here includes clear echoes of both Hebrews 11:6 (“Without faith [i.e., ‘belief’] it is impossible to please God…”) and Romans 14:23 (“…everything that does not come from faith is sin”). Together, these passages are plausibly taken – and are taken by numerous Christian traditions, most prominently the Reformed tradition – to indicate that, in the absence of faith (whereby the atoning work of Jesus Christ is introduced into the equation), even our most virtuous human acts are irreparably tainted by sinful qualities.

    If this is so, then it makes clear something that is quite reasonable even independently of this strong position: That behavior and belief must remain integrated, as the Fifth Contrary here expresses. Behavior is not something that maintains its character in a free-floating way. External actions are not unimportant, but they receive their meaning from motives and ideas in a contextual way. It is in this way, I think, that behavior is “secondary” in relation to “belief”.

    In this connection, I’m reminded of a statement by G. K. Chesterton, made in his newspaper column of 2 February 1907: “People talk as if reasons and explanations were not important; as a matter of fact they are the only thing that is important. From a man’s deeds you can only discover what he does; you must listen to his words to discover what he means. When he acts you will only learn what he has succeeded in doing. But when he speaks you will have learnt what he was trying to do. If I have to make a selection between Creed and Deed (I should prefer them both) I should certainly select Creed. […] What impresses us is not a man’s actions, but his avowed reasons for his actions. Words are sometimes more important than deeds.”

    Now, faithoffathers attempts to leverage a couple isolated teachings of Jesus and of James against this position. However, we must respond to the totality of the biblical revelation, and not to a couple denuded points. The biblical revelation, including the teachings of Jesus and James, teaches the Fifth Contrary and not the Fifth Point of Practical Mormon Atheism. Incidentally, no one here is actually advocating “belief independent of behavior”, so faithoffathers has simply mischaracterized the Fifth Contrary. Rather, the Fifth Contrary is about “belief that characterizes and directs behavior”, and so maintains a characteristic logical priority over that behavior. Jesus and James are speaking within a Second Temple Jewish context, in which a considerable deal of “belief” (in the cognitive aspect, and even in the attitudinal aspect) could be ideally presumed upon (e.g., many characteristics of Jewish monotheism). Neither Jesus nor James ever says that the contents of one’s beliefs are unimportant with respect to behavior. Rather, their context dictates that they stress certain behaviors – but, note, they do so in an integrated way, in accordance with Aaron’s Fifth Contrary.

  46. cattyjane says:

    Thanks for the link I will check it out.

    I think its important for people to understand that our belifs do not create truth. Just because we believe something to be true does not mean it will be. Islamic extremests are a good example of that. This is why it is so important to know if what you believe is true or not. If a person knows that the doctrine they practice is a lie but they continue to do it, they will be lef without an excuse when they stand in judgement before God. That is a scary place to be. Once we know the truth we become accountable to act on that truth, whatever the price may be.

  47. falcon says:


    You took an interesting journey. You went from being a TBM to being an atheist to being a born again Christian. The one thing you didn’t do, is become one of the liars!

    That is something that every Mormon who uncovers the truth behind the Wizard of Oz religion of Mormonism must do. They either have the integrity to call it what it is, or become part of the charade. Perhaps there is that middle ground of person who is so trapped in denial that they just keep swallowing the ridiculous explanations that are given by the machine.
    I watched a video of Michael Quinn who, despite all of the evidence that he has uncovered, is still into the religion of the buried golden plates. My heart ached as I listened to his explanation of his continuing faith in Smith as it was based on experiences he had had with the Father early in his (Quinn) life. I guess these experiences were so profound that he transferred them to Mormonism. I’ve seen this same thing with our Aussie sometimes poster Ralph. He’s had experiences therefore Mormonism is true.
    What these experience driven folks don’t quite put together is that there are religious people of every belief system known to man who’ve had spiritual experiences.
    Who was it, Crazy Horse or Sitting Bull who had visions and mystical experiences. There’s a book titled “Black Elk Speaks” that is full of spiritual mystical experiences on this Native American. So I guess we should all sign-up for primitive native American religion based on the mystical experiences of these people.

    So the “lied to” become the “liars” when they uncover the truth and then perpetuate the lies most often by omission. They know better but they deny, excuse and omit to protect the perpetrators of the lie. It’s sick and very much like family systems where one of the members is committing acts of abuse and the rest of the members cover it up and often protect the predator and condemn the prey.

  48. Kate says:

    When I said my friend ( He’s my age and we actually went to school together) said some pretty harsh things about the Christian God, I was putting it mildly. He used very profane language and so no, I won’t repeat it. You have to understand the level of anger some feel when finding out their entire life has been a lie. He is very extreme in his anger, hopefully one day he will be able to let that go and move on. I was angry for awhile, but it was at the church, not God.

    The angry friend that I mentioned sent me links to atheist websites . He’s the only one that has though. It’s interesting seeing the different paths Mormons take out of Mormonism. My nephew was really angry too but he ended up watching Heart of the Matter with Shawn McCraney ( so did I) we were both watching it at the same time but didn’t know it. I had no idea he was questioning and he didn’t know I was either. We have reached very different places though. He leans more towards Atheism and I’m a Christian. He never mentioned any atheist websites, only sites that compare Mormonism and Christianity . From talking to him it seemed to me that he felt if Mormonism was a lie then Christianity could be a lie too. He doesn’t trust anything with religion. I guess there’s more than one way to reach Atheism.

  49. faithoffathers says:


    You have articulated pretty closely what I have attempted to explain several times here. I have often stated that behavior is inherent in “belief.” You, instead, describe it as the two being “integrated” together. I largely agree with you on this. I have actually been the one here who has attempted to make the connection between belief and actions. And I have come up against considerable opposition.

    In a post above, I stated that “Christ never drew strict theological or intellectual boundaries between those who are saved and those who are not outside of believing on Him enough to do what He said.” In other words, the important test is whether we have enough of the practical belief in Christ to do what He says. The two really cannot be separated. A person cannot say they believe in Christ if he or she does not follow Him in behavior. I have been saying this for a long, long time here.

    My loving critics here will interpret this to mean that I believe our works save us. And there is nothing I can do or say, no passage of scripture, that will convince them otherwise. The truth is, I believe we are saved by faith in Christ. But that faith cannot be separated from behavior. Belief motivates behavior. But that faith or belief is also strengthened by Christ-like behavior. And that is why Abraham’s faith is said to have been “perfected” by his works.

    A case in point is grindael’s response appealing to Matthew 7. Christ said at the end of His sermon on the mount that “whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them I shall liken him unto a wise man……” But grindael responds with the classic claim that our works do not save us and claims that this is what Christ was saying. In fact, he says, “What is the foundation of Christ’s message? Belief in Jesus and the one who sent Him. Over and over again Jesus says this. What did Jesus say immediately before that parable?

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

    Grindael is trying to separate belief from works. At least it seem like he is. And he (and so many other critics) are using this verse from Matt 7 to argue that our works or behavior are not the focus of Christ’s teachings. And in fact, the opposite is true. Christ is condemning the behavior that is motivated only by the desire for praise of the world. He is absolutely not condemning behavior in general.

    The sermon on the mount is absolutely about behavior- giving alms in secret, praying in secret, fasting in secret, forgiving, not lusting, etc. The emphasis is behavior motivated by private, “secret” religion, not the desire to be seen and praised by other people. Christ is absolutely not saying in that verse that our works or behavior is secondary or that they don’t matter. He is saying that we must not be motivated by the desire for praise and recognition.

    I have tried to point out this connection between behavior and belief, works and faith, for a long time here.

    Again- as I said above, the important things is belief in Christ enough to behave the way He instructed us to. If we can do that, our faith and belief is strengthened, and the cycle continues.

    What I have been arguing for is the idea that if the belief we hold in Christ is sufficient to get us to follow Him in action and behavior, getting a theological nuance or detail wrong about Christ’s nature a billion years ago or the precise nature of His relationship to God is not a damning thing. In other words, I believe it is not more important to get those details correct than it is to do what Christ wants us to do in our behavior. If a person believes in Christ enough to follow in behavior, he or she is a disciple of Christ. In my experience, evangelical Christians insist that first and foremost, and far more important than any behavior is getting all the theological nuances details right about a whole list of things (uncreated, not the brother of satan, God in the flesh, not the literal Son of God, etc. etc.). They seem to claim that if you get any of those details wrong, you are screwed and going to burn in hell no matter what your behavior or motives are. And I cannot imagine anything more like the Pharisee mindset.

    That being said, I do believe it is important to study and learn everything we can about Christ, His nature, His relationship to the Father, etc. But it is the relative weight between this information and the willingness to follow and obey that is the point of disagreement, at least from my perspective.

  50. MJP says:


    Where does it say that to be saved we must go to Temple rituals?

    That’s the rub. I know, I know, you have no doubt Peter and Paul practiced them, but you have absolutely no evidence they did.

    Further, you misconstrue our argument and yours. We believe we can be saved without performing specific works, you don’t. Your position is that if we beleive Christ enough, we will do what He says. I get that, and always have. But that misses the myriad of statements of Christ and His disciples that say that it is the faith that saves, not the works. Your position also requires clear evidence that Jesus taught that we had to perform temple rituals in order for you to make it work.

    As far as I know, the Bible has none, nor does the Book of Mormon (if I am wrong on that, I am wrong, but to my knowledge there is nothing even in the BoM to show Jesus required these very specific acts). If the Bible does not have any, nor does the prime book of Mormon scripture, it had to come from elsewhere. Now, you can absolutely claim that Jesus still reveals things to us and these requirements came after, but I hope you see that your position is not based on the Bible, or even the Book of Mormon.

    Its interesting to read that you think we say that if you get any of the nuances wrong, you will burn in Hell. Its not just getting one of the nuances wrong, its getting them all wrong. Take for instance someone describing a horse by saying he is grey; has big, floppy ears; loves peanuts, has a huge trunk; huge large, round feet, and primarilly lives in Africa and India. Those descriptors describe an elephant, not a horse. A horse can be grey, can have floppy ears, and even love peanuts, but the as the descriptors move on in the wrong direction, they begin to describe an entirely different animal. So it is with your descriptors of Christ.

    The point of disagreement goes far beyond the relative weight between the information about Christ and a willingness to follow Him.

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