Worship of Joseph Smith?


It’s Throwback Thursday!
The following blog article originally posted at Mormon Coffee on January 17, 2006.


Reading the December 31, 2005 issue of Church News I came across this:

“As Latter-day Saints we no more worship Joseph Smith than we do Peter or any of the other ancient apostles. Peter, in fact, is an apt comparison. Both Joseph and Peter fearlessly obeyed the Master in conveying His gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. Both men dedicated their lives to the work of the Kingdom, ultimately suffering a martyr’s death in the cause of Christ. To both men we give our honor, respect, reverence and love—but not our worship.” (p. 16)

This topic of whether or not Latter-day Saints worship Joseph Smith interests me. I’ve tried to figure out why people think Mormons worship Joseph. The fact that many do is evidenced by the constant denials coming from Mormons and the LDS Church. I suppose it could be rumor, but rumors usually die out in the face of reality. Mormonism gets plenty of good press which should put a stop to unfounded rumors. That leaves me thinking that perhaps the rumors won’t die because there is something within Mormonism that keeps them alive.

So I asked the question on [answeringlds.org] web site, “In practical terms, how does LDS reverence for the Prophet Joseph Smith differ from LDS worship of Jesus Christ?” I had hoped to get some definitive answers from Latter-day Saints pointing out something unique in their worship of Christ that is not found in their behavior and feelings toward Joseph; for I am not aware of any differences.

By that I mean that Mormons sing songs about both Joseph and Jesus. They celebrate the births of both. They commemorate the deaths of both. They display statues of both. They testify of both, etc. So how is the general public to know the difference between how Mormons honor Joseph but worship Jesus?

My web question didn’t generate any responses of substance. Several non-Mormons and ex-Mormons wrote that Latter-day Saints do indeed worship Joseph Smith. The Mormons who responded to the question merely asserted that they don’t. [To see the responses visit answeringlds.org, click on “Interactive,” “Past Questions and Answers.” See #57.]

The comment from Church News caught my attention because of the comparison between Joseph and the Apostle Peter. If, as is implied, Latter-day Saints reverence both Joseph and Peter in the same way, then I would expect to find LDS songs, statues and celebrations in Peter’s honor just as I find in honor of Joseph.

But they are not there.

In fact, I’ve visited many LDS sites and I can’t remember seeing even one statue or monument depicting a biblical prophet or apostle—unless it also included Joseph Smith.

Of course, the mere fact of the display of a statue or monument does not indicate worship given. Consider how many LDS monuments there are to the Mormon pioneers, yet no one (or hardly anyone) accuses Mormons of worshiping these people. Consider the extensive statuary of the Catholic Church… Well, maybe that’s not such a good example.

At any rate, I think the rumor that Mormons worship Joseph Smith persists because there is fuel for the fire. LDS veneration of Joseph may be misunderstood (as Mormons say), but surely the mistake is an honest one and wholly understandable.

I’m not sure which side of the debate I come down on. Perhaps the truth of the matter lies in the way Latter-day Saints define the word “worship.” Or, as one Mormon responder to my web question implied, the difference lies in the one to whom the honor is given: If it’s given to man, it is reverence; if given to deity, it’s worship. Whatever the case, as Latter-day Saints continue to interact with non-Mormons in sharing their feelings about Joseph Smith—to borrow the words of Ricky Ricardo— “They got a lotta ‘splainin’ to do.”

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.
This entry was posted in Joseph Smith, LDS Church, Mormon Culture and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Worship of Joseph Smith?

  1. falcon says:

    I don’t know Sharon?
    This sort of reminds me of the “Why do Catholics pray to statues?” question I use to get as a practicing Catholic. It does smack of idolatry.
    The problem is that the LDS folks see Joseph Smith as the receiver and guardian of the “new dispensation”. I’d have to find the reference but isn’t there the thought that the LDS have to get Joseph Smith’s stamp of approval before entering the Celestial Kingdom. That, in-a-way, is like the concept of St. Peter at the pearly gates image.
    “As promised by John the Baptist, this blessing was given to Joseph and Oliver shortly after they received the Aaronic Priesthood. The ancient Apostles Peter, James, and John appeared to them in a secluded location near the Susquehanna River and conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood upon them. Joseph later declared that he heard “the voice of Peter, James, and John in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna county, and Colesville, Broome county, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times!” (D&C 128:20).”
    “In the years that followed, Joseph Smith was visited by many other priesthood holders from ancient times. These messengers from God came to restore the priesthood keys necessary to make the full blessings of the gospel available to God’s children. They also came to tutor the prophet who would stand at the head of the dispensation of the fulness of times.”

    So it’s little wonder that it might be thought that Joseph Smith might receive some pretty heavy distinction and maybe even a little bit of a worship(ful) attitude by the LDS.
    Didn’t Joseph say he did more than Jesus to keep the church together? No ego this guy Smith.

  2. makeitshine says:

    As a mormon I never felt we worshiped Joseph but I also never felt we worshiped Jesus either. I have heard mormons now say they do worship JESUS as god though.

    So at what point is a person worshippable as god in mormonism? Thomas worshipped Jesus right? The problem is that mormons don’t distinguish between the eternal “personhood” of Jesus as the Word of God and the created personhood of the rest of us.

    The meaning of the incarnation is that a new person did not come into existence but the eternal person of the Word of God became flesh. The Word (Son) has his being eternally in the Father. We have our created being in Christ.

    The person of Christ (Word of God) is at the center of all creation and our being as creatures, but we are not Him. We are distinct created persons made in His image.

    We enter into a relationship with Him not into a relationship with ourselves. We will always be “I” and God will always be “THOU”.

    Created beings can never be fully God as Jesus was. We can only become sons of God (gods with a little g) by grace and partaking the divine nature through our “marriage” to Christ and the 2 becoming one flesh. Then we can call the Father “Our Father”.

    I’m not even sure who or what is considered God to mormons. Is it the priesthood, is it the holy spirit? Those seem to be the only unchanging things. To Christians Father, Son and Holy Spirit are eternal and unchanging. It took me a long time to see how badly put together and confusing the mormon doctrine is. It is definitely NOT Biblical.

    To mormons we were all just eternal persons/intelligences who got put into spirit bodies by heavenly parents, then physical bodies, so we are all the same kind of beings, just at different stages.

    There’s lots of scriptures to back this up but im on my phone at the moment so I can’t paste easily.

  3. makeitshine says:

    I like to think of the Word of God as like a quantum field of energy that makes up the universe, but as revealed to the St. John, there is a personal dimension to this field. John calls the Word “He”.

    1 JOHN 1:1-3
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    Vs 10
    He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

    Many other cultures have observed this “field” as more like a “way” or path to heaven but did not know of his personhood as revealed in Jesus to his apostles. The “Tao” of Lau Tzu. The Vedic Akasha, the bhudddist Indras Net of jewels, the Wakan Tanka of the Sioux. The Logos of the Greeks. They were observing God in his creative activities.

  4. Mike R says:

    I don’t believe that Mormons worship Joseph Smith . They do however have a over emphasis on him that has caused some non Mormons to accuse LDS of worshiping him , at least in their minds .

    If the Mormon church was really the exact same church which Jesus established through His apostles 2000 years ago , which it claims to be, then we would see a lot less emphasis of Joseph Smith than we do . But Mormons have altered the N.T. picture of Jesus’ church by lifting their prophet (Joseph Smith , Brigham Young etc ) up to a position he is not entitled to . The Mormon prophet is claimed to be the mouthpiece of God on earth ; he is claimed to be the ruling king of God’s earthly kingdom today.
    Claiming that one man occupies these type of offices today is a reason why non Mormons could think that Mormons worship their prophet , especially the first one Joseph Smith .

    One thing is for sure : the Mormon church is not the restored church of Jesus Christ , rather it is the substituted church of Jesus Christ . It’s leaders have annointed themselves to be Jesus’ spokesmen and substituted a good imitation church in place of the true one .

  5. falcon says:

    Let’s face it. If we follow Mormonism to its illogical conclusion, folks on Smith’s planets are now worshiping him, right? He’s in the program big time as a huge producer. Think of all of those women he was sealed to who are now producing spirit babies for Smith’s planets.
    The Mormon god of this world has dibs on the worship of the Mormons on this planet. After all, he and his goddess wives procreated them on or near the planet Kolob.
    How can anyone be a Mormon? Seriously!

  6. RikkiJ says:

    @Mike R

    You’re both right and wrong. Mormons may not worship JS, Jr. consciously that is with knowledge undeterred. However, the LDS Church worships him. Read the following:

    >a href=”https://www.lds.org/music/library/hymns/praise-to-the-man?lang=eng” title=”Praise to the Man Hymn”>Praise to the Man

    Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
    Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
    Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
    Death cannot conquer the hero again.”

    What, what does it say? Mingling with Gods?

    “”Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them,” (D&C 132:18, 20).

    Now according to the King Follett Discourse:

    “He will then take a higher exaltation, and I will take His place, and thereby become exalted myself.” (Joseph Smith, Jr.)

    Evidently some can argue that the resurrection needs take place for exaltation (according to LDS), however, exceptions can be made for those who have been faithful.

  7. Ralph says:

    I’m with MikeR, I will admit after being in the LDS church for over 40 years (I was born into it) I sometimes think that we do give JS more air time than he should have, but we do not worship him. Just as the RC claim they do not worship the crucifix, they use it to help them focus on God. Or those who bow down in front of the cross and cross themselves, they claim they don’t worship it. Since we can’t read another’s thoughts or heart, I think instead of making accusations we should take them at their word. It is ultimately between them and God if they are doing the wrong thing or not.


    ‘Mingling with Gods’ – when you reach heaven won’t you be mingling with your God even though you will not be a god? Mingling just means to hang around, so just because it states that in the song does not mean that JS has achieved Godhood yet, but that he is able to be with God right now. That happens after the resurrection and judgement.

    The only person who has achieved Godhood without being resurrected is Jesus, and He achieved that status before this world was created as He was the one who created it and all the universe it exists in.

  8. makeitshine says:

    Ralph, Jesus didn’t ACHIEVE God status before the world. He was eternally God as the Word in the bosom of the Father from eternity. Time is created, created things change. God doesn’t change. This is what the Bible says and what we are trying to tell you but you aren’t listening.

    Go back and read John 1 and tell me how mormon theology can fit. It Can’t. Josephs “translation” of its a joke.

  9. cattyjane says:

    Mormons dont worship JS anymore than Christians worship Paul or John the Baptist. The way i understood it when i was LDS is that God used him to restore what man had screwed up. So as an lds we honored that he was used by God to do that but we didnt worship him. Christians do the same thing with Paul. They talk about Pauls big revelation and how he was sent to the Gentiles. Paul is a huge deal in the Christian church. For the Jewish people it is Moses who is elevated in status above other people used by God, but he isnt worshiped as God. Just highly respected because of his righteousness. This is also true for Islam. Mohammad is respected because of his role in giving the Quron but he isnt worshiped as a God. Just respected by those who decide to follow his teachings.
    I think this is the case for all of these religions. None of these prophets or teachers are Gods or worshiped as a God. Their teachings, however, are essential to each of these religions existence. Since the religion would fail without their contributions its expected that their names would be revered in each congregation.

  10. falcon says:

    Ralph wrote:
    “The only person who has achieved Godhood without being resurrected is Jesus, and He achieved that status before this world was created as He was the one who created it and all the universe it exists in.”

    You don’t say Ralph. And you know this how?
    You’re quite a student of the Bible Ralph. Did you not notice that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. He’s the First Born from the Dead. It’s the resurrection that proves that Jesus is God.

    Your problem Ralph is that you’re following false prophets that are totally clueless and expounding out of the futility of their own imaginations.
    I will continue to pray for you Ralph that the Lord God will reveal Himself to you, and in learning who He is and what He has done for us, will accept the offer of eternal life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

  11. Mike R says:

    Rikkij, I hear what you are saying . Mormonism has far to many egregious teachings to take their claim of being Paul’s or John’s modern day counterparts seriously . But I still think that if we tell LDS that they worship Joseph Smith we will not be given much of a listening ear from them . I personally have never accused LDS of worshiping Joseph Smith , and I don’t see any reason to change my view .

    Your mention of that Mormon hymn should cause LDS to think about how their leaders have given Joseph Smith way to much emphasis / important than he deserves . It’s food for thought every LDS should ponder , hopefully some will recognize that it is inappropriate and cause them to wonder why and that can lead to them listening to God instead of their leadership — good things can take place when that happens .

    One thing that I’ve learned in ministering to the Mormon people is that there can sometimes be a difference between what a rank and file LDS believes about doctrines , and what his/her leaders have taught on the subject . More than a few LDS have not much knowledge of what Mormon leaders have taught about important doctrines . So I try and remember to ask them what they believe before I quote their leaders . It helps to get the dialogue off to a healthy start etc .

    Ralph , you said , Since we can’t read another’s thoughts or heart , I think instead of making accusations we should take them at their word .”

    I give you a ” thumbs up ” on that .

    You also said , ” The only person who achieved Godhood without being resurrected is Jesus , and He achieved that status before this world was created …”

    Sorry Ralph but I have to give you a ” thumbs down ” for that comment .

    Makeitshine was spot on when she said ” Jesus did’nt achieve God status before the world .”

  12. falcon says:

    Don’t you wonder where and how Mormons come up with the stuff like Ralph regularly treats us to?

    What do you think Mike?
    What hooks guys like Ralph into the dubious speculation of these would be “prophets”. What Ralph wrote concerning Jesus is just mind-blowing in its ignorance. It’s a real slippery slope once they except the first false premise of the self-appointed prophets. I’ve always said that this isn’t even very good heresy.
    I believe the true believers think they have access to this super spiritual highly secretive information that is revealed to them and confirmed by spiritual experience. This is why there are so many loose cannons going off all over the spectrum of Mormonism with it’s various sects and cults.
    I would encourage anyone to read “Under the Banner of Heaven”; a very good chronicling of a couple of brothers in Happy Valley who went off the rails.

    “Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith (ISBN 1-4000-3280-6) is an investigative nonfiction book by best-selling author Jon Krakauer, first published in July 2003. It is a juxtaposition of two stories: the origin and evolution of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and a modern double murder committed in the name of God by brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who subscribed to a fundamentalist version of Mormonism. The Laffertys were formerly members of a very small splinter group called the School of Prophets, led by a man named Robert C. Crossfield (also known by his prophet name Onias). The group accepts many beliefs of the original church at the time when it ceased the practice of polygamy in the 1890s but does not identify with those who call themselves fundamentalist Mormons. The book examines the ideologies of both The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the fundamentalist Mormons polygamous groups, such as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (“FLDS”). ”

    Now maybe Mormons don’t “worship” Joseph Smith but there’s an influence that is neither spiritually or emotionally healthy. It’s also very seductive as we have seen from the testimonies of former Mormons who post here. A constant refrain is, “How could I have believed that stuff? It’s embarrassing!”

  13. cattyjane says:

    @Mike R,

    Excellent response. I agree with you fully.

  14. Mike R says:

    Falcon, Ralph is a knowledgeable Mormon and his tone on here is respectful , I think he would be someone I would like to have as a neighbor . But sadly Ralph is lost , he prefers to belong to a false prophet led organization , but hopefully one day he will come into the light and walk out the door of his Ward and walk over to the Lord Jesus Christ trusting Him alone to receive salvation , no prophet, no secret temple rituals , just Jesus –Jn 14:6 ; Heb 7:25 . Until then we will continue to minister to him .
    He does come up with some ” doozies ” sometimes does’nt he ? Oh well , what else should we expect when a follower of a false prophet tries to defend their leader ? You have provided him with the true salvation message , so we get to pray for him to accept it .

    cattyjane, thank you .

  15. falcon says:

    Yes, I do know the difference between “except” and “accept”. I just didn’t demonstrate it in my last post. Too many thoughts swirling around in my very fertile mind.

    The Gnostics were a group in the early history of the Church that claimed to have “secret” knowledge.
    Irenaeus writes:

    “I have deemed it my duty, after reading some of the commentaries … of the disciples of Valentinus and after acquainting myself with their tenets through personal interaction with some of them, to unfold to you, my friend, these … mysteries … I do this so that you … may in turn explain them to all those with whom you are connected and exhort them to avoid such an abyss of madness and blasphemy against Christ. (Against Heresies I:preface:2)”

    I like how Irenaeus puts it: “……avoid such an abyss of madness and blasphemy against Christ.” He could have been talking about Mormon prophets.

    “Gnostic doctrine strongly emphasized the distinction between flesh and spirit, regarding all created matter as evil. They rejected the God of Israel, refusing to believe that he was the Father of Jesus Christ, and they eventually constructed a system of spiritual beings, called “æons,” whose interaction with the created world would bring salvation. The means of salvation, the teachings, the meetings, and the methods of gnostic teachers varied from teacher to teacher, and many of their specific practices will always remain unknown.”

    “Jennifer Trafton and Rebecca Colossanov wrote in “Gnostics: Did you Know?” that “The Gnostics sometimes claimed that secret truth had been handed down by one apostle to a select group of insiders. But Christian opponents like Irenaeus argued that the true church represented the teaching of all of the apostles passed on in many locations.”

    “The word “Gnosticism” comes from the Greek word gnosis, which means “knowledge.” Gnosticism rejects the doctrines of original sin, human depravity and salvation through the substitutionary death of Christ. It emphasizes transcendence through inward, intuitive knowledge, i.e., “gnosis,” of the “divine spark in each individual.” (source)”

  16. RikkiJ says:

    Something LDS do not know. Joseph received the fulness of the priesthood or the second anointing otherwise known as exaltation before the resurrection on Sept. 28 1843

    When they sing the hymn ‘mingling with gods” it’s because Joseph Smith, an LDS god is mingling with the other gods. When they sing praise to the ‘man’ it is a god they are singing praise to.

    Simple as that. But it can be argued from the opposite point of view, but only that LDS do not worship him consciously. They are unaware that they are singing a hymn to an LDS god.

  17. makeitshine says:

    So if one gains exaltation in this life and the second annointing – the fullness of the priesthood and then wouldn’t it follow that they could not sin, would be able to walk on water, raise the dead just like Jesus (aka God)

    Jesus- humble, celibate, kingdom is not of this world.

    Joseph – big ego, sexual passions -many wives, wanted to rule this world.

    Pretty big difference.

  18. makeitshine says:

    How did Jesus resurrect? Because he IS the life and the light. Death has no power over life just like turning on a light in a dark room makes darkness dissapear. Death could not hold life.

    Why will we resurrect? Because HE (the life) is in us!

    John 14:6 – “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

    Pay attention here:

    Jesus doesn’t say I’m full of life or life is in me, he says I AM the life.

    He doesn’t say I show the way. He says he IS the way. Why? Because he is the Eternal Word of God – the path to heaven.

    He says he IS the light. The light that enlightens every man so we can also be lights to the world – but we are not THE light.

    9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11H

    John 1:6-
    6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8He was NOT THAT LIGHT but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

    Now if Jesus is just our spirit brother and a separate being from us then how is it that he is in us? Are the light/christ and the spirit being jesus 2 different realities? How did this spirit being Jesus create the universe? Mormons say he organized the matter by the direction of the father that our spirits incarnate into.

    Christianity teaches that he (God) is everywhere filling all thing. He is both outside of and imminent within creation. The spirit world and physical world are both created by the one GOD. The spiritual is just the higher dimensions of creation that we can no longer perceive since we are cast out of the garden. I have no idea how the mormon god can exist INSIDE a spiritual created world, guess he is in the realm his higher god created for him.

    At least the gnostic were consistent -they rejected the old and new testament and had their own scriptures.

  19. RikkiJ says:

    Joseph Smith’s exaltation and endorsement of evolutionistic theism is certainly a far cry from the God of the Bible. The one God, in three persons, as taught by the primitive early church, endorsed by evangelical churches today and very succinctly presented here:

    “The nature of God is often debated by other religions and cults. Thus, when the issue of the Trinity comes up, many point to this verse as evidence that this is not a biblical teaching. After all, it is argued, there are three gods referenced here: the Father, whose voice comes out of heaven; the Son, Jesus, who is being baptized by John the Baptist; and the Holy Spirit, who came down upon Jesus as a dove. Therefore, how can God be “one” when this clearly shows He is three? The answer is quite simple. Indeed, God is one (Deut 6:4; Mark 12:29), yet He is revealed in three Persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As one Christian apologist has put it, we should think of God as being one “what” (the unity of His essence) revealed in three “whos” (the individual Persons making up the Trinity). Each is distinct from the others, so it makes sense that they are described as separate.

  20. RikkiJ says:


    Your description and explanation of these verses is very much needed in the LDS church.

  21. Ralph says:


    If Jesus is resurrected, never to die again and has a physical body, then how can He be ‘in us’ as you have pointed out? How can He be everywhere as you are trying to state? Or are you confusing God the Father with God the Son/Jesus? Or would it be God the Holy Spirit you are talking about?

  22. falcon says:

    Jesus has a resurrected body. Read the description in the NT. Jesus is no longer limited by His human body.
    One of the attributes of God is that He is omnipresent. Jesus is God not “a god”, a created deity as the JWs and your sect of Mormonism teaches.

    So Ralph, do you believe what the Bible tells us on this topic?

    “But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.” (Romans 8:10)
    “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
    “….so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” (Ephesians 3:17)
    “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)
    “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5)
    “Jesus said, ‘Remain in me, and I will remain in you.'” (John 15:4)
    “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

    Now if you want an explanation for how this can possibly be, I suggest you pray and ask God to reveal Himself to you. Then you can receive Jesus through faith and He will dwell inside of you.
    You believe in a limited god. In fact you believe you will be “a god”. Until you can wrap you mind around the meaning of the incarnation and what God has for you in Christ Jesus Our Lord, you will remain lost in your futile thinking.
    Jesus is the truth, the way and the life. No one gets to the Father except through Him. Coming to Jesus in faith Ralph, will assure that you will be with Him for eternity.
    I will continue to pray for you and your family that you will come to know Him through faith and in so doing, attain to eternal life.

  23. falcon says:

    The problem you have is that what is taught by your particular Mormon sect is not supported by the Bible. I think you have enough intellectual horsepower and common sense not to buy-into the lame excuses given for this by your particular sect of this religion, but your not exercising it.

    When we come to Christ in faith, accepting His finished work on the cross as total payment for our sins and transgressions, we are spiritually born again. Our spirits are regenerated by the Spirit of God. Our bodies then become the temple of the Holy Spirit as God indwells us as believers.

    What you have come to accept through what you think are genuine spiritual experiences are nothing but the manifestation of your soul. That’s why, as Christians, we constantly stand on the Word of God and not our experiences or someone’s witness.
    We have spiritual experiences, revelations from God, miracles, healings, dreams but they flow from the Spirit of God and not from our souls.
    I don’t know if you understand that’s why people of every variety of religious belief can claim spiritual experiences. It’s coming out of the latent power of their souls and not from the Spirit of God. In addition to this, Satan can counterfeit spiritual experiences. That’s what we see with occult practices. Why do you think we here at MC are continually pointing out the occult foundation of Mormonism.
    The problem is that you’ve bought into the Joseph Smith myth with your emotions and that makes it true in your mind.

  24. makeitshine says:

    That’s great what you said falcon. Coming out of mormonism it’s a struggle to understand spirituality and experiences. Mormonism today isn’t near as into occult as Joseph was which is kind of a suprise. Why don’t the modern prophets use seer stones? Is that why they can no longer prophesy? Are they now practicing more discernment, I think yes to a point. I read a good book that helped a lot ironically it’s called the “pearl of great price” by a woman who practiced about every kind of new age, eastern and occult type things before becoming Christian. She did healings, Astral travel, past life regressions and really thought she was spiritually gifted by God to do this. She worked with “spirit guides” which were really familiar spirits/demons that were lending her powers she later realized. Even though she really desires to help people she was being led into pride and spiritual egotism by letting these beings in. I believe Moroni and many other of the beings Joseph encountered through his occult activity to be spirit familiars he conjured up.

    The path to true spirituality is flat on our face in repentance before God.


  25. makeitshine says:

    @ralph your answers are in my above post but I will come back and address this further. Headed out now. Short answer is that Jesus is a divine “person” we are created “persons”. His personhood was and still is not limited to his human created body- earthly or reasurected. Jesus was not a spirit being in heaven before the incarnation. He was simply the infinite light/son/word of God.

  26. falcon says:

    We had a former Mormon posting here at one time who addressed the “spiritual” experiences he had specifically while a Mormon missionary. I had some interesting e mail exchanges with him outside the MC blog. He figured out what was going on in his case and had baled out on the LDS program.
    I wish I (could also) remember a video testimony I saw of a former Mormon who related some really spooky experiences he had while a Mormon. It was all familiar spirit stuff. It led him into adultery thinking he was to practice polygamy. I know of one other Mormon who had a similar experience.

    It’s a seducing spirit and these Mormons think they are really into some really legitimate experiences. Pick-up a copy of “Temple Manifestations” if you can. It’s written by a Mormon. That’s the one where one of the LDS leaders talks about having the signers of the Declaration of Independence appear to him begging that the temple work be done for them. They are called “choice spirits”.

  27. cattyjane says:

    Good question.

  28. falcon says:

    See, in some ways, providing Scripture to the Ralphs is sort of unproductive. These folks have been taught that the Bible is corrupted and unreliable. So to them, it can’t be trusted. And here is why these false prophets and teachers can pull the “revelation” routine and get people to think they are getting their information directly from God. This is especially true if strong emotions serving as conformation is present.
    These false prophets have free rein to run hither-and-yon making all sorts of pronouncements that their followers accept without hesitation. That’s the reason why Mormonism has so many different sects and “revelations” that are operative in one era and vanquished in another.
    Everything is subject to change and the faithful are trained to just keep pressing on like nothing has happened. Just keep following the leaders. They will never lead you astray. That is, until they do, which is often!

  29. makeitshine says:

    @Ralph – OK so the second part of your post you said
    “Or are you confusing God the Father with God the Son/Jesus? Or would it be God the Holy Spirit you are talking about?”

    God is One. Where the Holy Spirit is there is the Son and Father. The Holy Spirit IS the Spirit of the Father and Son. You cant have the Father or Christ in you without His Spirit, which is the Holy Spirit. They are never separated and operate as one reality but each “person” with distinct functions (don’t think of the “persons” of God as humanoid spirit beings, God in his infinite glory is without form, yet he creates all forms)

    So take what Falcon wrote about Christ being in us from those scriptures and add this about the Holy Spirit.

    Orthodoxwiki –
    “A person can abide in Christ, accomplish His commandments and be in communion with God the Father only by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in his life. Spiritual life is life in and by the Holy Spirit of God.”

    The Holy Spirit is the life giving spirit
    The Son (Word/Light) IS the Life.
    When we worship we do it in Spirit (Holy Spirit) and in Truth (Christ)

    Now what about the Father…look he is in us too! Why? Because he’s Omnipresent God!

    John 14:23 – Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

    In order to mentally know the trinity (as much as possible) you have to let go of the idea that the Father is somehow in the Shape of a Man or a spiritual “being”. Rather he is the infinite source of all being, created human spirits and angelic spirits included. Created things cannot comprehend Him, especially in this fallen state.

    Go back and read my posts and falcons on here and also on the trinity blog post like 5 times and then read all of John 1 like I keep saying. John is the theological gospel, it was an “insider” book in the early church.

  30. makeitshine says:

    @Ralph – Hope I’m not confusing you more, and that this answered your question where I said “His personhood was and still is not limited to his human created body- earthly or reasurected.” – This is how Christ can be in us, upholding the universe, and also inhabiting a human body at the same time. Space and time are not an issue for the Omnipresent, Infinite, God. They are only issues for created beings. Great is the Mystery of the incarnation.

  31. falcon says:

    Have you posted some where on a MC thread regarding your emerging theology of the doctrine of God? I’m asking because I haven’t seen it any where.
    Here’s a site for you to add to your recipe and evolving thoughts on the nature of God.


  32. makeitshine says:

    @Cattyjane and Ralph – take 10 minutes to listen to link on “Mere Christianity” skip to 4:21:00 and go to about 4:30:00 – This is the part where he is talking about time, and Jesus, and also about the Trinity.

    Now about Paul – yes he is revered for his vision, but its not about the vision itself, its where it led him. Christ opened his eyes to understand the scriptures, and he preached Christ not just from his vision, but according to the scriptures.

    1 Corinthians 15:3 – For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:6After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

    Then look at these people Paul came to- They were also practicing discernment testing the message.

    Acts 17:10- And the brothers immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night to Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
    11 – These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

  33. cattyjane says:

    No I havent. Sharon never gave the ok to post it, so I didnt do it. I didnt want to be disrespectful. It doesnt matter anyway. I have my reasons and you have yours. God will have to give mercy at some point where we dont get things exactly right. There is just to much information out there. I know you guys rely heavily on the Nicene creed for your reasons behind your beliefs. I dont feel comfortable doing that because that was the birth of Catholicism. I base what I believe on the language, culture and content of the text. I think that will reveal a better understanding than a list of beliefs.
    Just a side note.Judaism also has had leaders come along and define what constitutes true Jewish beliefs. I see Christianity as the same thing. Both of these religions have many branches of interpretation attached to them about what a person must believe in order to fit into one of these categories. I dont think God works in this same manner. I think this is mans way of doing things. From what i have read in scripture we are called to have faith in the God who revealed himself at Mt Sinai according to Isaiah 43:10.

  34. cattyjane says:

    I dont think we will get it right. I decided im not going to pick a religion. Im going to do my best to obey the commandments given by God, to give charity to those in need, and honor him the best I can. Im still going to go to help out with charity events at churches but im not tying myself down to a specific faith. I dont think it matters in that case. I think if they are doing good to others than it is contributing to the healing of this world and its good. I would rather spend my time on this earth helping people in need than trying to pin point every little detail about what is true or not true in religion. Im not condeming anyone for it. Im just speaking for myself. I find more peace when i focus on how to help others through charity rather than digging through doctrine for my own understanding.

  35. makeitshine says:

    Don’t laugh but I have no idea what the Nicene Creed says. I would have to Google it.. ( I mean I have read it of course.) But I couldn’t recite it. My beliefs come from the words of Jesus and the apostles, reading the Early Fathers who were taught by the apostles and the trifold experience of how God works in the human to bring about the salvation. I get it though with too much info. It’s hard to sort it all out.

  36. Brian says:

    This is an interesting post. I could not say what or whom is the object of worship for the LDS people, though I suspect the object would vary from individual to individual. I think that the most important thing or person in one’s life is that person’s object of worship. If that object is not God, then one’s worship is idolitry. Idols might be oneself, a political party, drugs, family, money, romance, or a religious institution. Sadly, idolitry is not uncommon in America. It may not be uncommon among the LDS people.

  37. Mike R says:

    catty , your frustration is a good sign . Now maybe you will consider the answer to your quest to find God and be accepted by Him . I assure you that it’s not about trying to nail down every little detail about is is true religion , or doctrine . You don’t have to pick a religion . You said that you’re going to do your best to obey the commandments given by God etc . How about obeying the invitations given by God?
    The big one is found in Matt 11:28 as Jesus was voicing God’s will for you when He asked ” Come unto Me ” — that means for us today to approach the living Savior in prayer . That’s God’s will for all who want to know Him in a fullfilling way . Don’t fall into a trap — Jn 5:39-40

    Filling our heads with knowledge can still leave us empty if the 18inch gap to our hearts is not bridged . After we learn ( knowledge ) that Jesus is the Savior , He then wants our hearts (relationship) . Catty , if you were the only sinner that was on the earth Jesus would have still went to the cross for you . Give your heart to Him , He’s alive and you can call upon His name and pour your heart out to Him .
    The gospel that saves is simple : Rom 3:23 ; 5:8,10; 6:23 ; then Rom 10:9-13 . Call upon Him today .
    Helping people in need is awesome . We get to do it in Jesus name . That glorifies God in a complete way .
    Take care .

  38. falcon says:

    OK it’s time for me to do my deconstruction of cattyjane’s current thinking. I’ll pick out a few things.
    I must remind all that when you came here to MC you were a lapsed Mormon who was meeting with the Mormon missionaries for the purpose of possibly entering the LDS program again. If I remember right, you said that you had been married and divorced but I don’t know if that played a part in your decision to give Mormonism another whack. You thought we were all pretty ignorant here regarding Mormonism but then changed your mind when you began to investigate this religious sect.
    So you wrote the following in your above posts:
    *you guys rely heavily on the Nicene creed for your reasons behind your beliefs.
    To clarify. The Nicene creed came out of a meeting of Christian bishops and they were answering the question as to if Jesus, the Son, was of the same substance as the Father. The creed reflected that thinking. So I guess I’d ask you. Do you believe that Jesus is of the same substance as the Father? I’d back up a little bit prior to the Council of Nicea; call that formative and the Nicene Creed as summative.
    *I base what I believe on the language, culture and content of the text. I think that will reveal a better understanding than a list of beliefs.
    What in the world do you think the bishops’ summary reflected? They were living the language, the culture and the content reflected in their beliefs. They were not all that many years removed from the apostles. Less than a hundred years I’d guess or pretty close. These Church Fathers were deep thinkers and knew the implications of what they were saying.
    *im not going to pick a religion.
    That’s good! I wouldn’t either, but then that depends on what you mean by “picking a religion”? Too many former Mormons are still hung-up on this idea of the “one true church”. The “Church” is the Mystical Body of Christ consisting of all those who are born again by the Spirit of God as a result of their putting their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation.
    *to do my best to obey the commandments given by God, to give charity to those in need
    OK so you’re currently into commandment keeping and good works. I really don’t focus much on either. I’ve place my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and let my life reflect that faith. I’d rather focus on Him and the relationship I have with Him and walk in the Spirit and by so doing not giving opportunity to the flesh.
    *we are called to have faith in the God who revealed himself at Mt Sinai according to Isaiah 43:10
    HMMMMMM……….HMMMMMMM……..AHAHAHAHAHAHAH…….Now what exactly is the falcon to make of this? I’m doing a little reading between the lines here. How about, “To have faith in God and Jesus whom He sent.” Do you have any problem with that?
    I think you’re a little too much OT but that’s fine. Just not my orientation. I’m covered under the New Covenant and that’s where I tend to remain.

    The main thing, I would say, is that you’ve come to that place in your spiritual life that you know if you died you’d have eternal life. Eternal life is secured by putting your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation. Jesus is our Savior and He is also our Lord. He sits on the throne of our life and we conduct ourselves in a manner that reflects this.

  39. cattyjane says:

    Always a pleasure corresponding with you.
    You said that too many former Mormons are hung up on a one true church. I ask you what is wrong with that? A better question might be how is that any different from Christians believing that their religion is the one true religion? Im not trying to be obstinate, its a serious question. Its annoying to me that this group was so set on me not returning to the LDS faith because it was a lie, but just expected me to leave and join a christian church without making sure it was true. Everyone told me to investigate the church and see the lies that were being taught to me. I did and you guys were right, but when I started investigating the Christian faith I became the enemy on this site. How do I know Christianity isn’t just a huge cult in itself. What would make any of you think that I ever trust a religion based on the testimonies of other people? Ive listened to plenty of testimonies in my time and I have no doubt that they were talking out the other end.

    Another thing you said was that I am currently into commandment keeping and good works. Well ya I guess I am since God kinda is to. Maybe Im wrong but I have yet to see a verse that says we can kill, steal, dishonor our parents, commit adultery, fornicate, be drunken idiots, or destroy our neighbors. If you find it let me know. Maybe I have this living a righteous life thing all messed up. I just figured when the NT stated that these people who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God meant what it said. But lets stay away from the works verses grace topic. That one just never ends.

    You also said I live to much under the OT. I know that the OT is where God revealed his character and his nature. This is where we discover the unconditional love that God has for his people. We see how disobedient the people are and yet God continues to cry out to them to bring them unto repentance. Many people see God as being cruel in the OT but I don’t see that at all. I think those people haven’t read the OT with understanding.

    You asked if I have a problem in faith in God and Jesus whom he sent. No Falcon. No problem in believing that God sent the Messiah at all. Scripture states that a prophet like Moses would be sent to deliver the people. Just as we say God delivered his people Israel from Egypt (even tho it was Moses that led the people out), we say that God will deliver us again by his promised Messiah. Power and authority was given to Moses to do Miracles and lead the people to the promised land. The same is true about the Messiah. He is given power and authority by the God of Israel to deliver his people.

    You talked about the whole assurance of salvation thing. I know what the promise of God is to those to attach themselves to his name and obey him. I trust that God will be merciful and I pray that he looks at the Messiah and remembers his righteous death. I pray that his blood would atone for where I have fallen short of living a righteous life. If it is up to my understanding of things than I will never make it. I trust that God is able to judge my heart and my intentions fully and he will know if my intention was to serve him or myself. I believe there will be millions of people who will stand before God thinking that they will make it in based on a prayer and be horrified when they realize they wont enter. One of the requirements of the Messiah is that he will be able to look at a person and rightly judge their thoughts and intentions without asking any questions. This should shake a person in their boots. I know a lot of religious people who do things to make their own name greater and not Gods. This should make people do an inspection of their hearts. I don’t pray to God like a genie and hope that I escape Sheol. I pray that he changes me and makes me a devoted servant like Daniel. If I am devoted to God than what do I have to fear?

  40. Mike R says:

    catty said to Falcon , ” You said that too many former Mormons are hung up on a one true church . I ask you what is wrong with that ? A better question might be how is that any different from Christians believing that their religion is the one true religion ? ”

    Is it a common reasoning that many ex Mormons can experience when they are in transition from Mormonism to discovering what the N.T. teaches about the ” church ” to be looking for a one fellowship of non Mormons to join in worship with ? Of course it is . That’s understandable . By reading slowly through the N.T. they can see that there is no one exact name/title that the body of Christ went by , or placed above the door of their place of worship . Born again believers in Jesus are the body of Christ , the Church , not one particular denomination etc . Salvation comes not by joining any denomination —it is the Christ of the church who saves , not the church of Christ .

    catty said ” It’s annoying to me that this group was so set on me not returning to the LDS faith because it was a lie , but just expected me to leave and join a christian church without making sure it was true .”

    There you go again with another unfounded , and unwarranted , accusation . Why do you keep doing this ? That you are confused , and angry , is apparent these last several weeks especially , and that is unfortunate .We are not guilty of telling you to join a church without making sure it was true .
    We kept pointing you to the N.T. to find your bearings , and that you should consider finding a local place of worship and fellowship when you feel ready . But any and all church organizations must be evaluated by using the Bible , especially the N.T. , and that type of advice for you is sound .

    you said , ” … but when I started investigating the christian faith I became the enemy on this site.”

    So you became our enemy because you started to investigate the christian faith ? You’ve got to be kidding . Why would we encourage you to study the N.T. or “investigate the christian faith ” and then call you an enemy ? You’re not an enemy to me , and I seriously doubt anyone else would think of you as their enemy in a personal way .

    you said , ” How do I know that Christianity is’nt just a huge cult in itself .”

    Well you may never know the truth about ” Christianity ” , but if you put half as much effort into studying the N.T as you have with the O.T. then maybe you will find out what this Jesus Nazarath is all about . Hint : It’s not really about ” christianity ” , it’s about His claims , who He is , and then trusting in Him .

    you said , ” Maybe I have this living a righteous life thing all messed up.”

    Not really . As long as you understand that the N.T. teaches that we do’nt do good works to get saved , we do them because we’ve been saved , they flow out of a heart which is grateful at God’s mercy for pardoning condemned sinners . We GET TO live a life that glorifies Him . This all starts by coming personally to Jesus . Eph 2:8-10 .

    you said , ” I know that the O.T. is where God revealed his character and his nature . This is where we discover the unconditional love that God has for his people .”

    How true . People can also discover how this great love of God further unfolds with the advent of the babe born at Bethlehem who came to seek and save the lost — Jn 3: 16-18 ;Luke 19:10 .

    It’s getting very late so I’ll cut this short with this last reply :

    you said , ” I don’t pray to God like a genie and hope that I escape Sheol . I pray that he changes me and makes me a devouted servant like Daniel . If I’m devouted to God then what do I have to
    fear ?”

    No one here prays to God like He’s a genie either . As far as a Daniel being a devoted servant of God , you’re right he was , and if he had been born a few centuries later he would have no doubt joined John , as one example, in being a devoted servant of God because John had come to God God’s way —
    Jn 14:6 . Daniel like John would have discovered the God of Israel the Savior ( Isa 43:10-11 ) had come to earth to save His people –Jn 8:23-24 ; 58 ; Heb 9:14 . To be devoted to God is to be a witness of Jesus , that’s God’s arrangement now — Acts 1:8 . So if you choose to not personally come and meet the risen Savior by calling upon His name Acts 9:14,21 ; Rom 10: 9-13 , then it’s not so much what you have to fear as to what you will miss out on : Acts 4: 12 . And NOBODY here wants to see you miss out on the wonderful gift God has for those who honor Jesus . Jn 5:19 ; 1Jn 4:10 .

    catty , please take a long break and get alone with your Bible . Your Messiah has come , talk to Him .
    He loves you so very very much .

    If you want to , listen to Meredith Andrews sing ” He has Come For Us ” . It’s a beautiful song .

  41. falcon says:

    I think Mike has done a good job answering you and I’d concur with what he has written. Let me add a few of my own thoughts.

    *A better question might be how is that any different from Christians believing that their religion is the one true religion?
    I’m truly a little confused here. Are you talking about specific denominations of Christianity or are you talking about Christianity? I, and others, have told you we aren’t into denominationalism. What we are into is faith in Christ. I won’t elaborate any more on the Mystical Body of Christ which is His Church and peopled by all those who have come to place their faith in (Jesus) for their salvation. I don’t have membership in any particular denomination.

    *I have yet to see a verse that says we can kill, steal, dishonor our parents, commit adultery, fornicate, be drunken idiots, or destroy our neighbors.
    …….and neither have I. That’s called licentiousness i.e. giving license to practice unrighteousness. I haven’t run into anyone who has come to faith in Christ who thinks they can sin with impunity. I have a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ and the life I now lead is in obedience to Him.

    *his blood would atone for where I have fallen short of living a righteous life.
    NO, NO, NO and NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell quite that loud. That’s Mormon, “After all that I can do” thinking, and it reveals a lot about where you are currently. You have missed the whole point of Jesus’ vicarious death on the cross. The Bible tells us plainly that if we break one of the commandments we break all of them. It’s an impossible task. This is a key area where you fall short in your understanding of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. You keep wanting to do this thing yourself. Get it? Who are you trusting for your salvation? You are trusting yourself, hoping you can be righteous enough and because of your efforts, God will save you based on your good intentions. Intentions aren’t enough. What’s that old saying? “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I am not going to depend on my intentions or attempts to lead a sinless life to be saved. I am going to depend totally, completely and without reservation on the sacrifice made on my behalf by the Lord Jesus Christ.

    *I believe there will be millions of people who will stand before God thinking that they will make it in based on a prayer and be horrified when they realize they wont enter.
    Salvation is not secured through saying the sinners’ prayer. Salvation is secured by faith.

    So there you are. I’m still curious. Do you understand what the bishops discussed at the Council of Nicea? It was about whether or not Jesus is of the same substance as the Father?

  42. cattyjane says:

    They are not the same substance. The Messiah is given by God to deliver the people. The same way Moses was sent to deliver the people. I do believe that he is given authority and power from God. Much like a prince is given power and authority by his Father the king. Im not sure why i would trust the council of Nicea. Were any of them Jewish? Were any of them taught in Rabbinical schools? Where does there credibility to analyze the text come from? From what I understand they were comvbining different beliefs in order to bring everyone under one religious practice. The Jews were doing the same thing during Jesus time. There were many different Judaism groups. They agreed on most things accept for who the messiah would be and what would be the nature of his coming. The Sanhedrin was the group that was trying to nail down doctrine and say what is and isnt as far as truth. I would say that group today would be the ultra orthodox. So what type of people were included in this council of nicea?

  43. makeitshine says:

    I dont really like the word substance, I like essence better. Substance makes me think of matter and I dont believe “matter” is anything but energy lol.

    Jesus is homoousios with the Father – (homo – same) (ousion- substance or essense)

    I’ve said it before, there can only be One infinite “thing” substance, essence, whatever you want to call it. That is God. You can’t have two or infinite things, how could you? ! Either you are it, or you exist as a participant in it (a created thing) God is the One infinite “thing” whatever He is. Jesus identifies himself as the I Am, therefore he is God. He also says I and my Father are one. Since he is God, he is infinite, and since there can only be one infinite thing, he is also that thing.

    My own speculations here – I’m strange but I like to think of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) as being like infinite conscious energy, from which all creation flows. (think string theory, there is no real “matter” everything is reduceable to vibrating energy) Creation participates in and is “made”out of this energy, but it is not the energy itself, kind of how a sand castle is made of sand, but the castle itself isn’t the sand. If you kick it over there is no more castle. It would be that easy for God to withdrawl himself from creation and anihilate it. Anyhow this helps me, but may not help someone else. Maybe its not good to speculate too much on what God is but I cant help myself sometimes!

    Anyhow, I’m not much of a historian, but from what history I have read here’s how I think It went.

    Jesus taught his apostles directly all things. He also left them with power and authority to carry out his mission of building up his Church. After he ascended the apostles went out to the synagogs preaching that the messiah had come and it was Jesus. They gained some followers. Christianity stared as a sect within Judaism, and many of the first Christians were Jews initially. It was first called “the Way”. These were the Jews that believed the Messiah had come and that it was Jesus. The gentiles were also taught and brought into the community. So it would make sense that those who believed Jesus to be the messiah would follow the people he taught directly (and their sucessors) and enter into the communtiy and worship that they were establishing right.

    The revelation of Christ as God is part of the inner mystery of the Church. It wasn’t something just taught out on the streets. Once you were baptized into the community then that is where you learned who Jesus is. The Messiah is God himself! That is Gods ultimate revelation!

    There was ONE community, though spread out, and you were either in or out, but there was quite a bit of freedom in certain areas for belief that would need to be ironed out. There was never a time when all CLAIMING to follow Christ were all teaching the same thing though, so it can be tricky to navigate. Now Orthodoxy would say that they know what community they identify with in every age starting with the apostles and writers of the New Testament. Most of the gnostic groups rejected these writings and had some very strange ideas. Anyhow, when there were disagreements they would come together to council and make decisions and come to a common mind led by the Holy Spirit. This is seen in the pages of the new testament already. It was the new model Jesus left them with.

    The apostles appointed bishops to head of each community. Any person or group that did not agree with the community/common mind was considered to be outside of it. It really is a good method that way you don’t get one person with all the power. There were lists of Bishops also so things were being kept track of. I would suggest reading the letters of Ignatius of Antioch, one of the earliest bishops to see how the church was functioning at the time, but maybe just get through the new testament first at your own pace.

    Christianity had only been legalized for a decade or more before the Nicean council, it wasn’t exactly a decadence to be a bishop at that time. You were likely going to be tortured or killed. Many of the bishops at the council were missing eyes and limbs.

    Also Christianity is not a religion. Its a revelation about a person, and that person is Jesus. Its also a gospel and a way of life. It has institutions/organization because of course it cant be completely unorganized. The insitution (community) provides people with tools for for healing, guidance and help with our spiritual life and helps us cultivate our relationship with Jesus. Its not about HAVING to do this or that to “get to heaven”, that is what cults are and yes some Christians do act like this. Early Christian worship was also a continuation of the Jewish worship, but it was “Christened”

  44. falcon says:

    OK finally we get down to it. I guess I just had to keep at it until I asked the probing question to smoke out where you are at, at this time.
    For the lurkers, who may have just found this site, let me see if I can review. Correct me if I’m wrong cattyjane.
    I can’t remember what you were before you became a Mormon. None-the-less you were something. Then you converted to the LDS church. Then you went inactive. Then you decided to connect again with the Mormons and were being visited by some Mormon missionaries in anticipation of getting back into the program. Then you showed up on this blog, argued a lot with us because you didn’t think we had a clue, started e mailing some of the posters directly, discovered Mormonism was bogus, and didn’t re-up with them.
    So then you began to “study” and “research” and over a short period of time developed an interesting view point, I’d say.
    From what I’ve been able to surmise, based on what you’ve written, you are now a sort of quasi-Jew who believes the Messiah has come but this Messiah (you don’t seem to like to say Jesus) is not of the same substance as the Father. In-other-words, this “Messiah” is not God incarnate. He’s sort of like a super-prophet. Not unlike the JWs who believe that Jesus is a kind of super-angel. You appear to have settled into some form of Arianism.
    And if I’m remembering this correctly, you do not accept the New Testament.
    As far as salvation goes, you believe you earn your salvation by keeping the commandments, doing good works and if you behave properly, the Messiah will grant you eternal life. A performance based criteria dependent on how well you do with the commandments and good works.

    Not to insult your intelligence or zeal, but I think your lacking some critical information. From what you’ve written, I don’t think you’ve really gotten into what Nicea was all about. I’ll leave it there believing in the old adage that, “If I tell you, you will doubt me. But if you say it, it’s true.” I’d say, keep studying.

  45. cattyjane says:

    I have no idea what Arianism is but ill be sure to look that up.
    My family i grew up with was baptist. I didnt really know about the religion. I just went to church. I actually started studying with the misssionaries when i was 15 until my mom put a stop to it. I joined at 19. Got married to a nonmember at 23. Went inactive. Started going back at 28. Went inactive again. Started meeting with the missionaries again at 32 and officialy left at 33, this year.
    As far as the NT i think there are some traslation issues but nothing super critical. I dont know about the salvation thing. I think works and messiah go hand in hand.
    Im not anything as far as religion goes. Im just studying things and trying to pick a path. I would say im just open right now.

  46. cattyjane says:

    Ok i looked that up. Good job. Guess my ideas come close to that. What I noticed tho is that this wasnt some open minded friendly meeting that these bishops were having. This Nicene Creed was made because Arianism was becoming more mainstream and Emperor Conatantine didnt like it. He exiled those on the council who refused to accept the Nicene Creed. Arius, deacon Euzoios, and the Libyon Bishops Theonas and Secundus. He ordered all of Arius books burned and anyone who kept his writings to be put tp death. Interesting fact is that his son and successor Constantius II was an Arian Christian. Constantius II actually tried to reverse the Nicene Creed. After Contantius came Emperor Julian who was a devotee of pagan gods. He basically had an anything goes opinion on the matter. Emperor Valens was his successor. He pushed once again for the Nicene Creed. This doesnt sound like a debate for truth but a battle of policy and agenda. Sounds like a battle of republicans and democrats just religion based. These things took place back when the church was the law. This is nothing more than policy of the times.

  47. Rick B says:

    I gave my life to Jesus is 92, in all my years I have been a believer I have never read the Nicene Creed.
    It is not something that is required to read or know to be saved. So for me I dont make a big deal out of it. I read the bible and only the bible.

    Then when you mention religion, I have said this before, but christianity is not a religion.

    Religion is man or women working their way to God by doing good works or doing things they think are “good works”.

    Christianity is a relationship with the living God. I have a relationship with my wife, my kids, friends and family. I do not have religion with them. I hope you understand the difference.

  48. makeitshine says:

    Rather than worrying about the politics, or who killed who, when it came to doctrinal disputes I like to ask. Were they right and examine the consequences of getting Jesus wrong (arianism). Just look at Mormonism and Jehovah’s witnesses and you get your answer pretty easily! You get Jesus wrong and everything else topples out of place and you have to invent all kinds of ways or doctrines to try and put it all back together.

    I held an Arian view for a while, it’s kind of natural after leaving mormonism. How did I come out of it? Reading the Gospel of John a million times (and then the Fathers). I dont even know why Mormons and Jehovahs witness have this in their cannon, it’s the best defense against them! Joseph had to completely rearange it to make it fit his theology.

    Also simple logic:

    When a cow has a baby that baby is a cow, and when a human has a baby, it’s a human. When God has a Son, it has to be God also. Jesus had God as his father, so he is God. He had Mary as his mother, so he is human. If he were just another prophet he could had just been a human that the Father poured his spirit on and gave powers to. There would be no reason for the Virgin birth – the whole point of it being that a new person was not coming into existence, but the eternal Son of God was entering the creation.

    Gods qualities are to be infinite, eternal and unchanging with no beginning or end . If the Father has these qualities so does the Son.

    So was the son eternal or did he come into being at some point in time? Well…..

    Jesus SAID he was older than Abraham, so we know he was at least around before the creation.

    John 8:58 – Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

    Revelation 1:8 – “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

    Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

    Read John, read John read John!

    RickB is right though, that its about a relationship 🙂 Still I’m glad people defended the truth though.

  49. falcon says:

    I was going to say what makeitshine said but she beat me to the punch. Good on you MIS!
    If you focus on the political, you won’t get the theological point. Also, I’m wondering about the source of your information. Be really careful because there are groups and individuals who have an ax to grind regarding Nicea. For example you wrote:
    “Arianism was becoming more mainstream and Emperor Conatantine didnt like it.”
    Nope! That’s not what was going on. Way too simple an explanation and it, in itself, has an agenda attached to the statement.
    So, as I alluded to earlier, I think it’s better if you discover these things on your own as MIS said she did.
    Go to some good sources and discover what exactly the debate was about. I hinted at it when I said it was about whether or not Jesus was of the same substance as the Father. If you avoid the NT you won’t find your answer because that’s where the bishops went for their information. When the apostle John writes, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” He meant something specific.
    When the writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews 1:1-3:
    “Long ago, at many times and ain many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but bin these last days che has spoken to us by dhis Son, whom he appointed ethe heir of all things, fthrough whom also he created gthe world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and hthe exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. iAfter making purification for sins, jhe sat down kat the right hand of the Majesty on high….”

    This means something. What does it mean regarding who Jesus is?

    There is absolutely nothing more important than getting Jesus right. In order to do that you have to search the NT and also examine what was written be the pre-Nicean fathers.
    If Jesus is just a prophet then He can’t make satisfaction for sins. Only God can do that.

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