What Mormons believe

Mike Huckabee is getting hammered, ridiculed, and condemned for asking a reporter if Mormons really believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers. But, according to the official Latter-Day Saints website, Mormons DO believe that. Read it yourself here. A sampling:

On first hearing, the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some—especially to those unacquainted with latter-day revelations. But both the scriptures and the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers.

See, Mormons believe that God has a body (“of flesh and bones“) and sexually engenders us all with his wife, our “Heavenly Mother.” She gives birth to us all as spirit children,” who pre-exist until we are born into this world. Furthermore, a man who has reached the highest level of salvation (the Celestial Kingdom) and who has that special marriage ceremony in a Temple will, upon death, become the god of his own universe. He and his wife will then populate that universe with spirit children of their own. Our God, therefore, is a perfected human being who got his universe. As a Mormon slogan puts it, “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be.”

(The links are to official Mormon sites. For more on the Heavenly Mother, which officials try to play down though the teaching is in official documents and Mormon piety, see this and this. I don’t want to mischaracterize the religion. If I have any of this wrong, please correct me.)

I will hand this to the Mormons: They have succeeded in filling in the gaps of our knowledge with a vision of the afterlife that is very appealing: getting to be a god; sexual relations for all eternity; the ultimate fantasies of sex and power. This, by the way, underlies the Mormons’ famed “family values.” The Mormon religion involves the apotheosis of family, turning family into a religion, or, a Christian might say, turning family into an idol.

But it sounds like Mormonism is just a few modernizing revelations away from being the ultimate postmodernist religion: a Heavenly Mother for the feminists; self-deification; a universe of your own.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Bror Erickson

    It gets worse than that. Both Satan and jesus evidently had to present plans for saving Humans to God. Satan wanted to die on the cross, and freely forgive mankind. But Jesus evidently, thought that the corss was a good idea, but that man should have to contribute something to their salvation, they shouldn’t be freely forgiven. That is why Satan was banished, and Jesus remained because the Father liked Jesus’s plan better. So they effectively attribute the doctrine of justification by faith alone to Satan.

  • Bror Erickson

    It gets worse than that. Both Satan and jesus evidently had to present plans for saving Humans to God. Satan wanted to die on the cross, and freely forgive mankind. But Jesus evidently, thought that the corss was a good idea, but that man should have to contribute something to their salvation, they shouldn’t be freely forgiven. That is why Satan was banished, and Jesus remained because the Father liked Jesus’s plan better. So they effectively attribute the doctrine of justification by faith alone to Satan.

  • Bror Erickson

    As for family values mormon style they are way over rated. no one can Drink, but just about every woman on the block is on anti-depressants, The typical meth user in Utah? A house mom between the ages of 18 and 34. Its an epidemic here.

  • Bror Erickson

    As for family values mormon style they are way over rated. no one can Drink, but just about every woman on the block is on anti-depressants, The typical meth user in Utah? A house mom between the ages of 18 and 34. Its an epidemic here.

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com Theresa K.

    Thank you for saying it. Most people, especially Christians, don’t want to discuss these points. It’s kind of a weird reverse- P.C. rule not to mention certain points of Mormonism.

    Now that we’ve said it, I must admit that I wouldn’t necessarily NOT vote for a Mormon. I also wouldn’t necessarily vote for a Baptist preacher, either. Both have skewed theology, in my opinion. Recently, a confessional Lutheran in my state ran for office and I wouldn’t have voted for her (she wasn’t in my district, anyway) due to skewed theology. Should religious beliefs play a part in my vote? Yes and no. In a perfect world, I want to vote for someone who’s beliefs match mine. I don’t live in a perfect world, though, and I have yet to find a candidate with beliefs that match mine. The best I can do is read, listen, evaluate and pray. Then choose the best I can. And I might end up wrong…

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com Theresa K.

    Thank you for saying it. Most people, especially Christians, don’t want to discuss these points. It’s kind of a weird reverse- P.C. rule not to mention certain points of Mormonism.

    Now that we’ve said it, I must admit that I wouldn’t necessarily NOT vote for a Mormon. I also wouldn’t necessarily vote for a Baptist preacher, either. Both have skewed theology, in my opinion. Recently, a confessional Lutheran in my state ran for office and I wouldn’t have voted for her (she wasn’t in my district, anyway) due to skewed theology. Should religious beliefs play a part in my vote? Yes and no. In a perfect world, I want to vote for someone who’s beliefs match mine. I don’t live in a perfect world, though, and I have yet to find a candidate with beliefs that match mine. The best I can do is read, listen, evaluate and pray. Then choose the best I can. And I might end up wrong…

  • Paul W.

    Actually Bror Erickson, you got the “plans” presented wrong.

    Satan didn’t say any thing about “dieing on a cross” and his plan was to save us all by removing our agency (Ability to choose). We would have no choice but to follow God. Lucifer (Satan) wanted all the glory for himself. Here’s the quote from Pearl of Great Price, Moses 4: 1-4:

    1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.
    2 But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.
    3 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;
    4 And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.

    It had nothing to do with forgiveness and everything to do with wanting power form himself.

    It is Christ who forgives freely through Faith. Faith is more than just belief…it requires action.

  • Paul W.

    Actually Bror Erickson, you got the “plans” presented wrong.

    Satan didn’t say any thing about “dieing on a cross” and his plan was to save us all by removing our agency (Ability to choose). We would have no choice but to follow God. Lucifer (Satan) wanted all the glory for himself. Here’s the quote from Pearl of Great Price, Moses 4: 1-4:

    1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.
    2 But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.
    3 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;
    4 And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.

    It had nothing to do with forgiveness and everything to do with wanting power form himself.

    It is Christ who forgives freely through Faith. Faith is more than just belief…it requires action.

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    I think the critical exposure of Mormon theology that Romney’s candidacy is causing is a good thing. I just hope people are hearing the critical coverage and not just the wishy washy “Jesus is my savior” double talk.

    That said, beliefs matter when it comes to voting for a candidate, but only insofar as they might affect how he would act in his office.

    It is therefore important to know exactly what it is that the office has the power to do, and what it does NOT have the power to do. Listen for answers to questions on the matters which he could really affect.

    For instance, what I find at the top of my list of what matters most with a President is foreign policy. This is probably the one area in which the President has the biggest effect on what this country actually does or doesn’t do.

    Religious beliefs might help you speculate on what position a candidate might take on issues he can influence, but in-and-of-themselves they are irrelevant to whether or not a Christian should or shouldn’t vote for a person who is going to serve in the left-hand kingdom. He might not even hold positions consistent with the official beliefs of his religion. Many people are ignorant of what their religion actually teaches, or outright disagree with them.

    The Mormon “Jesus and Satan are brothers” doctrine is certainly heresy, but I’d like to know how this might affect how a President makes decisions in his office. And how about the crazy doctrine of becoming a god of another universe when you die? How would that affect his policies? Would his foreign policy take this belief into account? How?

    By contrast, the Mormon belief in the U.S. being a messianic nation where the New Jerusalem will be located is certainly something that could have direct bearing on a President’s actions in office. THIS is something worth serious consideration, especially from a Lutheran’s perspective of the proper division of the two kingdoms.

    But before you rule out a Mormon candidate for this reason, consider that the typical Christian candidate has a similar perspective. The typical “Left Behind” Millennialism offers a very similar and dangerous foreign policy perspective when combined with the common American belief in the U.S. being a messianic nation. As a matter of fact, it might be worse because such a belief also includes the idea that we must help prepare the way for the new Jerusalem to begin in the Middle East instead of keeping our interests here at home.

    Since there isn’t currently a candidate who has a correct understanding of the division of the two kingdoms, we are forced into the usual mode of choosing the lesser evil. Perhaps it would be better to have a President who thinks a Millennial theocracy will be in the U.S. rather than in Jerusalem.

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    I think the critical exposure of Mormon theology that Romney’s candidacy is causing is a good thing. I just hope people are hearing the critical coverage and not just the wishy washy “Jesus is my savior” double talk.

    That said, beliefs matter when it comes to voting for a candidate, but only insofar as they might affect how he would act in his office.

    It is therefore important to know exactly what it is that the office has the power to do, and what it does NOT have the power to do. Listen for answers to questions on the matters which he could really affect.

    For instance, what I find at the top of my list of what matters most with a President is foreign policy. This is probably the one area in which the President has the biggest effect on what this country actually does or doesn’t do.

    Religious beliefs might help you speculate on what position a candidate might take on issues he can influence, but in-and-of-themselves they are irrelevant to whether or not a Christian should or shouldn’t vote for a person who is going to serve in the left-hand kingdom. He might not even hold positions consistent with the official beliefs of his religion. Many people are ignorant of what their religion actually teaches, or outright disagree with them.

    The Mormon “Jesus and Satan are brothers” doctrine is certainly heresy, but I’d like to know how this might affect how a President makes decisions in his office. And how about the crazy doctrine of becoming a god of another universe when you die? How would that affect his policies? Would his foreign policy take this belief into account? How?

    By contrast, the Mormon belief in the U.S. being a messianic nation where the New Jerusalem will be located is certainly something that could have direct bearing on a President’s actions in office. THIS is something worth serious consideration, especially from a Lutheran’s perspective of the proper division of the two kingdoms.

    But before you rule out a Mormon candidate for this reason, consider that the typical Christian candidate has a similar perspective. The typical “Left Behind” Millennialism offers a very similar and dangerous foreign policy perspective when combined with the common American belief in the U.S. being a messianic nation. As a matter of fact, it might be worse because such a belief also includes the idea that we must help prepare the way for the new Jerusalem to begin in the Middle East instead of keeping our interests here at home.

    Since there isn’t currently a candidate who has a correct understanding of the division of the two kingdoms, we are forced into the usual mode of choosing the lesser evil. Perhaps it would be better to have a President who thinks a Millennial theocracy will be in the U.S. rather than in Jerusalem.

  • Paul W.

    I would like to point out to the poster one common misstep and one error in describing our thought on “deification”.

    You said,
    “Furthermore, a man who has reached the highest level of salvation (the Celestial Kingdom) and who has that special marriage ceremony in a Temple will, upon death, become the god of his own universe.”

    I want to point out that our scriptures and theology sate that “They will become gods”…not just the man. One cannot reach exaltation without the other. To us “godhood” means eternal families and the eternal perpetuation of Loving Relationships as well as perfecting our Intelligence and Tallents.

    Secondly you describe this “exaltation” as “self-deification”. This is an error. We believe that it is impossible for us to exalt ourselves…we are in a fallen state and removed from the presence of our Heavenly Father…hence the need for the Atonement of the Savior.

    I take issue at this because if you look at my previous point “self-deification” is exactly what Satan was trying to accomplish when he rebelled against God. It is a Satanic pursue. Latter-day Saints put their faith in Christ and are perfected in Him.

    I know you probably didn’t mean anything offensive and were just trying to describe our idea of exaltation briefly, but as you can see a-lot can be read into the words “self-deification”.

  • Paul W.

    I would like to point out to the poster one common misstep and one error in describing our thought on “deification”.

    You said,
    “Furthermore, a man who has reached the highest level of salvation (the Celestial Kingdom) and who has that special marriage ceremony in a Temple will, upon death, become the god of his own universe.”

    I want to point out that our scriptures and theology sate that “They will become gods”…not just the man. One cannot reach exaltation without the other. To us “godhood” means eternal families and the eternal perpetuation of Loving Relationships as well as perfecting our Intelligence and Tallents.

    Secondly you describe this “exaltation” as “self-deification”. This is an error. We believe that it is impossible for us to exalt ourselves…we are in a fallen state and removed from the presence of our Heavenly Father…hence the need for the Atonement of the Savior.

    I take issue at this because if you look at my previous point “self-deification” is exactly what Satan was trying to accomplish when he rebelled against God. It is a Satanic pursue. Latter-day Saints put their faith in Christ and are perfected in Him.

    I know you probably didn’t mean anything offensive and were just trying to describe our idea of exaltation briefly, but as you can see a-lot can be read into the words “self-deification”.

  • Joe

    Paul W. – based on your posts I am going to go out on a limb and guess that you are a Mormon (no offense intended if Mormon is not the preferred term). But I would like to understand your theology of becoming a god. Does this make you equal to the Heavenly Father or does this make you a lesser god. Sort of like a junior god? It is my understanding that Mormon’s reject the Trinity – so what status does Jesus actually hold? Is he a lesser god?

    These questions are not intended as any sort of a rebuke or a challenge. I am curious, I have read some materials for various places and am left a bit confused.

  • Joe

    Paul W. – based on your posts I am going to go out on a limb and guess that you are a Mormon (no offense intended if Mormon is not the preferred term). But I would like to understand your theology of becoming a god. Does this make you equal to the Heavenly Father or does this make you a lesser god. Sort of like a junior god? It is my understanding that Mormon’s reject the Trinity – so what status does Jesus actually hold? Is he a lesser god?

    These questions are not intended as any sort of a rebuke or a challenge. I am curious, I have read some materials for various places and am left a bit confused.

  • S Bauer

    If you want an interesting read that helps put the role of religion in America into perspective, try “The American Religion” by Harold Bloom. Bloom argues that the “religion” that “sprung up” from the American soil and that exemplifies the religious thinking of many Americans has very little to do with historic Christianity. The most intriguing thing about his analysis is that the “American religion” lies as a hidden nexus connecting the Southern Baptist Convention to the Mormon church. As Bloom defines it,

    “The American finds God in herself or himself only after finding the freedom to know God by experiencing a total inward solitude. In this solitary freedom, the American is liberated both from other selves and from the created world. He comes to recognize that his spirit is itself uncreated. Knowing that he is the equal of God, the American Religionist can then achieve his true desideratum, mystical communion with his friend, the godhead.”

    In other words, Huckabee and Romney could quite possibly be soul mates in spite of the outward descrepencies between their faiths. Since Bloom is an agnostic Jew, his book has a refreshing look into these issues without the traditional axes to grind.

  • S Bauer

    If you want an interesting read that helps put the role of religion in America into perspective, try “The American Religion” by Harold Bloom. Bloom argues that the “religion” that “sprung up” from the American soil and that exemplifies the religious thinking of many Americans has very little to do with historic Christianity. The most intriguing thing about his analysis is that the “American religion” lies as a hidden nexus connecting the Southern Baptist Convention to the Mormon church. As Bloom defines it,

    “The American finds God in herself or himself only after finding the freedom to know God by experiencing a total inward solitude. In this solitary freedom, the American is liberated both from other selves and from the created world. He comes to recognize that his spirit is itself uncreated. Knowing that he is the equal of God, the American Religionist can then achieve his true desideratum, mystical communion with his friend, the godhead.”

    In other words, Huckabee and Romney could quite possibly be soul mates in spite of the outward descrepencies between their faiths. Since Bloom is an agnostic Jew, his book has a refreshing look into these issues without the traditional axes to grind.

  • Craig

    Hopefully it will be OK if I jump into this discussion. I am a Mormon and concur with what Paul has said.

    Official sources state that individuals have the potential to become “joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17), implying some level of deification, but don’t go so far as to place anyone in the same category as The Father, Son or Holy Ghost. Some Mormons speculate that they will become Gods (capital G) in the hereafter and these same members usually also believe that God the Father was once a mortal man, but that isn’t a core doctrine of the Church.

    As to the question of the relationship between God the Father and Jesus, Mormon theology holds to the Biblical relationship summarized in John 5:30
    “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”

    There are numerous similar scriptures in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon indicating that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is obedient to His Father’s will. At the same time, Mormon’s also believe that God the Father and Jesus Christ have a perfect unity of thought and purpose.

    Also, thank you for the respectful tone of your posts. Respect for each other’s positions seems to be a rare species in the blog world.

  • Craig

    Hopefully it will be OK if I jump into this discussion. I am a Mormon and concur with what Paul has said.

    Official sources state that individuals have the potential to become “joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17), implying some level of deification, but don’t go so far as to place anyone in the same category as The Father, Son or Holy Ghost. Some Mormons speculate that they will become Gods (capital G) in the hereafter and these same members usually also believe that God the Father was once a mortal man, but that isn’t a core doctrine of the Church.

    As to the question of the relationship between God the Father and Jesus, Mormon theology holds to the Biblical relationship summarized in John 5:30
    “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”

    There are numerous similar scriptures in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon indicating that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is obedient to His Father’s will. At the same time, Mormon’s also believe that God the Father and Jesus Christ have a perfect unity of thought and purpose.

    Also, thank you for the respectful tone of your posts. Respect for each other’s positions seems to be a rare species in the blog world.

  • Bror Erickson

    Paul W.
    Sorry if I got the details wrong. I must have heard them wrong from the mormon I was talking too. Suppose that is expected on some level, not every Lutheran you talk to is going to have it all strait either.
    But I have to say it is rather perplexing that every mormon I talk to has a different variation, and none can say authoritively what the Church teaches.
    However, we Lutherans don’t believe in Free will in spritiual matters. We may choose freely to plant a tree, but we can’t make a decision for Christ. And we do believe that Faith requires action, but not ours. The required action comes from Jesus. We don’t contribute in any way to our salvation. That is the Christian, Biblical belief. So I still think that you unduly attribute to Satan, the work that Christ has done. Even if Satan didn’t want the cross. In our belief it is Satan who would have you think you can work your way to heaven, and become your own god.

  • Bror Erickson

    Paul W.
    Sorry if I got the details wrong. I must have heard them wrong from the mormon I was talking too. Suppose that is expected on some level, not every Lutheran you talk to is going to have it all strait either.
    But I have to say it is rather perplexing that every mormon I talk to has a different variation, and none can say authoritively what the Church teaches.
    However, we Lutherans don’t believe in Free will in spritiual matters. We may choose freely to plant a tree, but we can’t make a decision for Christ. And we do believe that Faith requires action, but not ours. The required action comes from Jesus. We don’t contribute in any way to our salvation. That is the Christian, Biblical belief. So I still think that you unduly attribute to Satan, the work that Christ has done. Even if Satan didn’t want the cross. In our belief it is Satan who would have you think you can work your way to heaven, and become your own god.

  • Paul W.

    Hi Joe,

    Mormon is fine. I use the term Latter-day Saint because I like it and I find it more descriptive of what I believe than the term “Mormon”.

    As far as your questions about “godhood” go…much of what I will say is really speculative because our doctrine and scriptures really don’t go into that much detail…other than to say that a couple who are married for eternity by God’s authority will become gods themselves in the Resurrection because they have no end and continue in the seeds.

    If you are familiar with biblical language and Abraham “seed” or “seeds” often refer to children and posterity. The New Testament also says that we may become “Heirs of God and Joint Heirs with Christ”.

    I don’t believe that I will ever be “equal” to God just as on Earth I will always be my father’s son. For us, to be a Father or Mother is the greatest and most important of all positions because it means the continuation and perpetuation of loving relationships. For us God’s greatest title is Father.

    If in his infinite wisdom, he through his Son, exalts us to the type of position he holds, so that we become Heavenly Parents. . .does this make him any less? I say no!. . .It gives him an increase. . .much as my children give my parents an increase. . .an increase in family and love and the things that matter most.

    As far as Jesus goes…we reject what many Christians call the “Trinity” because it posits what we see as a view of God that is “three persons in one substance”…or basically three expressions of one being. We see this as inconsistent with the New Testament and Modern Revelation.

    We refer to the Father the Son and the Holy Ghost as the “Godhead”. We believe that they are three distinct individuals perfectly united (one) in purpose and mission.

    We believe that Jesus Christ was with the Father from the beginning and that through him all the worlds were created. We belief that he is the Son of God and redeemer of the world. I wouldn’t say that he’s a lesser god…He is part of the Godhead…Creator…Redeemer…Advocate with the Father…etc. We see him as our eldest brother and through his atonement we can become as I mentioned before “Heirs of God and Joint Heirs with Christ” Romans 8:17.

    Anyway, I hope that answered your question…let me know! Oh, and don’t worry so much about offending me;) I’m just some guy anyway…

  • Paul W.

    Hi Joe,

    Mormon is fine. I use the term Latter-day Saint because I like it and I find it more descriptive of what I believe than the term “Mormon”.

    As far as your questions about “godhood” go…much of what I will say is really speculative because our doctrine and scriptures really don’t go into that much detail…other than to say that a couple who are married for eternity by God’s authority will become gods themselves in the Resurrection because they have no end and continue in the seeds.

    If you are familiar with biblical language and Abraham “seed” or “seeds” often refer to children and posterity. The New Testament also says that we may become “Heirs of God and Joint Heirs with Christ”.

    I don’t believe that I will ever be “equal” to God just as on Earth I will always be my father’s son. For us, to be a Father or Mother is the greatest and most important of all positions because it means the continuation and perpetuation of loving relationships. For us God’s greatest title is Father.

    If in his infinite wisdom, he through his Son, exalts us to the type of position he holds, so that we become Heavenly Parents. . .does this make him any less? I say no!. . .It gives him an increase. . .much as my children give my parents an increase. . .an increase in family and love and the things that matter most.

    As far as Jesus goes…we reject what many Christians call the “Trinity” because it posits what we see as a view of God that is “three persons in one substance”…or basically three expressions of one being. We see this as inconsistent with the New Testament and Modern Revelation.

    We refer to the Father the Son and the Holy Ghost as the “Godhead”. We believe that they are three distinct individuals perfectly united (one) in purpose and mission.

    We believe that Jesus Christ was with the Father from the beginning and that through him all the worlds were created. We belief that he is the Son of God and redeemer of the world. I wouldn’t say that he’s a lesser god…He is part of the Godhead…Creator…Redeemer…Advocate with the Father…etc. We see him as our eldest brother and through his atonement we can become as I mentioned before “Heirs of God and Joint Heirs with Christ” Romans 8:17.

    Anyway, I hope that answered your question…let me know! Oh, and don’t worry so much about offending me;) I’m just some guy anyway…

  • Joe

    Within the godhead – who is first among them? If your rejection of the Trinity is based in part on Christ’s submission to the Father’s will then I it seems that you are placinng the Father above Christ in authority. Do I understand that correctly?

    You’ll also have to forgive me if I don’t understand any thing based on what you called the new revelation (I am assuming that is the book of morman). I have not read it.

  • Joe

    Within the godhead – who is first among them? If your rejection of the Trinity is based in part on Christ’s submission to the Father’s will then I it seems that you are placinng the Father above Christ in authority. Do I understand that correctly?

    You’ll also have to forgive me if I don’t understand any thing based on what you called the new revelation (I am assuming that is the book of morman). I have not read it.

  • http://www.parentalrights.org Rich Shipe

    Dr. Veith, thanks for answer Huckabee’s question! I’ve been amazed at the amount of coverage of his question yet not a single reporter or commentator answered the question!

  • http://www.parentalrights.org Rich Shipe

    Dr. Veith, thanks for answer Huckabee’s question! I’ve been amazed at the amount of coverage of his question yet not a single reporter or commentator answered the question!

  • Don S

    Personally, I think Huckabee has been “hammered, ridiculed, and condemned” more for the manner in which he approached things rather than what he actually said. In context, he asserted, first, that Mornonism is a religion, not a cult, but that he “really does not know much about it”. Then, he innocently asked the reporter this obviously controversial question (to which I am sure he already knew the answer). The reaction was based on his approach — he as a Southern Baptist minister, claiming that he did not know much about Mormonism. Not a very credible claim, since Mormonism and its expansionist goals are of great concern to evangelicals, and particularly to Southern Baptists, and all Baptist theologians I know have a very good idea of basic Mormon tenets, and believe it to be a cult. It just seemed very underhanded to many.

  • Don S

    Personally, I think Huckabee has been “hammered, ridiculed, and condemned” more for the manner in which he approached things rather than what he actually said. In context, he asserted, first, that Mornonism is a religion, not a cult, but that he “really does not know much about it”. Then, he innocently asked the reporter this obviously controversial question (to which I am sure he already knew the answer). The reaction was based on his approach — he as a Southern Baptist minister, claiming that he did not know much about Mormonism. Not a very credible claim, since Mormonism and its expansionist goals are of great concern to evangelicals, and particularly to Southern Baptists, and all Baptist theologians I know have a very good idea of basic Mormon tenets, and believe it to be a cult. It just seemed very underhanded to many.

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    “…we reject what many Christians call the ‘Trinity’ because it posits what we see as a view of God that is …basically three expressions of one being.” ~Paul W.

    This is a mis-characterization of the doctrine of the Trinity. “Three expressions of one being” is the heresy of modalism.

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    “…we reject what many Christians call the ‘Trinity’ because it posits what we see as a view of God that is …basically three expressions of one being.” ~Paul W.

    This is a mis-characterization of the doctrine of the Trinity. “Three expressions of one being” is the heresy of modalism.

  • Rick

    Check out mrm.org. It answers a lot of questions regarding Mormon theology.

  • Rick

    Check out mrm.org. It answers a lot of questions regarding Mormon theology.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Thanks, Paul W and Craig, for your explanations of Mormonism. I’m curious what you think about the “Heavenly Mother.” Who is she? Do you think she is alluded to in the Bible in any way?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Thanks, Paul W and Craig, for your explanations of Mormonism. I’m curious what you think about the “Heavenly Mother.” Who is she? Do you think she is alluded to in the Bible in any way?

  • Jon

    >>The Mormon “Jesus and Satan are brothers” doctrine is certainly heresy, but I’d like to know how this might affect how a President makes decisions in his office.

    From a Latter-day Saint’s perspective, I think it would probably cause him to have great respect for the freedom to make choices in this country.

  • Jon

    >>The Mormon “Jesus and Satan are brothers” doctrine is certainly heresy, but I’d like to know how this might affect how a President makes decisions in his office.

    From a Latter-day Saint’s perspective, I think it would probably cause him to have great respect for the freedom to make choices in this country.

  • Jon

    >>But I have to say it is rather perplexing that every mormon I talk to has a different variation, and none can say authoritively what the Church teaches.

    You’re probably asking them questions where there is no authoritative teaching from the church.

    >>Check out mrm.org. It answers a lot of questions regarding Mormon theology.

    It answers questions about Mormon theology from an Evangelical and critical angle. The site exists for the purpose of convincing Mormons to leave their church. Personally, I don’t think it’s a great place to go to understand what Latter-day Saints believe. If you don’t trust the church’s official site (www.lds.org), you can always go to http://www.fairlds.org or http://www.jefflindsay.com.

  • Jon

    >>But I have to say it is rather perplexing that every mormon I talk to has a different variation, and none can say authoritively what the Church teaches.

    You’re probably asking them questions where there is no authoritative teaching from the church.

    >>Check out mrm.org. It answers a lot of questions regarding Mormon theology.

    It answers questions about Mormon theology from an Evangelical and critical angle. The site exists for the purpose of convincing Mormons to leave their church. Personally, I don’t think it’s a great place to go to understand what Latter-day Saints believe. If you don’t trust the church’s official site (www.lds.org), you can always go to http://www.fairlds.org or http://www.jefflindsay.com.

  • Jon

    Hi Veith,

    The only official place the idea of a Heavenly Mother is really alluded to (that I’m aware of) is an LDS hymn – O My Father. You can see the lyrics here: http://www.onlymormon.com/Hymns/292/ . The belief doesn’t really come clearly from the scriptures. I believe it is simply a logical conclusion that people have come to based on other doctrines.

  • Jon

    Hi Veith,

    The only official place the idea of a Heavenly Mother is really alluded to (that I’m aware of) is an LDS hymn – O My Father. You can see the lyrics here: http://www.onlymormon.com/Hymns/292/ . The belief doesn’t really come clearly from the scriptures. I believe it is simply a logical conclusion that people have come to based on other doctrines.

  • P.C.Brown

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I want to refer back to the Huckabee statement. I think that Huckabee and Romney are the best presidential options out there. I would be happy to vote for either one that got the nomination. I personally think Romney has more successful business, and politial experience and savy to bring to the table; and is less likely to do or say something that is not in the best interest of the nation at large. Huckabee’s statement just demonstrates that fact. Who do we want for the President of our nation, representing us to the world, one who is respectful of other beliefs or one who is openly critical of any not his own? I think that is the real issue that get’s under people’s skin, more than the doctrinal interpretations.
    Take Isaiah 14:12-14
    “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
    13 – For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
    14 – I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

    How many ways are there to interpret this? Every faith probably looks at it different, perhaps varying a bit because the different wording of different translations might give different focus or interpretation. Perhaps different people in the same Faith may look at it differently.

    I (personally, not speaking for the LDS Church) perceive it as Isaiah refering to the known doctrine, at the time, of Satan falling from Heaven; and using it to compare the King of Babylon to Lucifer and prophecying that he too would fall in similar fashion for similar reasons.

    That is my interpretation because it seems to me to be logical and consistent with the Bible and other revealed truth.

    The point is, with a million different interpretations of different passages of the Bible out there, not to mention the beliefs of non-Christian religions or those who can’t quite get into religion at all, why the cheap dig?

    Now aside from politics, I would like to clarify with Bror Erickson, who said: “-Lutherans don’t believe in Free will in spiritual matters. We may choose freely to plant a tree, but we can’t make a decision for Christ. And we do believe that Faith requires action, but not ours. The required action comes from Jesus. We don’t contribute in any way to our salvation. That is the Christian, Biblical belief. So I still think that you unduly attribute to Satan, the work that Christ has done. Even if Satan didn’t want the cross. In our belief it is Satan who would have you think you can work your way to heaven, and become your own god.”

    I have questions about your statement but don’t want to come across critical. I really would like clarification about the real differences in our beliefs rather that just semantics.
    1. When you say you “don’t believe in free will in spiritual matters” I don’t understand. Does that mean you aren’t free to choose to follow Christ? Not free to be Lutheran or Mormon? Or, not free to choose the consequences of choice? Or do you mean that truth is absolute and does not change depending on the will of man? Or, are you refering to the belief that we must subjugate our own will to the will of God? I believe that is true; but, it is also a choice we must make that God won’t force upon us – as Joshua told Israel ” …choose you this day whom ye will serve; . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15.

    2. As Latter Day Saints we have taken the Name of Christ upon us in the waters of Baptism. We strive to make our lives a reflection of Him as best we can, however imperfect that may be. Even so, I could never “make a decision for Christ.” How could that be? I could only hope to boldly speak His words.

    3. Belief is an intellectual understanding or acceptance of an idea, Faith is commitment to a belief, sufficient to cause a desire and will to actually live by that belief. True Faith is a faith based on absolute truth – ultimately Christ.
    Christ commanded us to follow Him, to obey him, to do His works. He set the ultimate example: John 17:4 (Jesus, praying to the Father) “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” Why are we warned in Romans that works is not how we are saved? Because the right works for the wrong reasons won’t cut it, ie. to be seen of men, to satisfy pride, etc. Why are we told in James that Faith without works is dead? Because, just believing it without living it also won’t cut it. The bottom line is that God wants us to do, as best we can, what Christ did perfectly: submit our WILL to God’s will. This is done knowing all the while that it is not possible to save ourselves. Christ’s atonement is the only way salvation comes. He overcame physical death that all mankind will be resurrected as a free offering to all. This is one definition, or one level of salvation given to all with no effort on our part. He overcame sin that we may be reconcilled to God and overcome spiritual death through repentance. This gives us the hope of returning to God, our Father in Heaven and to His Son, Jesus Christ who is one with the Father and has inherited all that His Father hath. He stands at the right hand of the Father, not because He is lesser; but, because He is a separate being – the only begotten Son. The degree that our works (our free will choice to submit to God’s will) allign with God, will determine our degree of glory (1 Cor. 15:39-41), or type of heavenly mansion (John 14:2). This is another level or definition of salvation. I do not believe I can work my way to heaven or become my own god. All I am and have, comes from God. My very breath is His to give, or not. Anything I may accomplish or do that is good is because He enabled me, taught me. The only thing I can offer him, that he has given to be my own, is my free will. If I choose to allign my will to His, He will bless me, not because I deserve it, but because He has promised it.

  • P.C.Brown

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I want to refer back to the Huckabee statement. I think that Huckabee and Romney are the best presidential options out there. I would be happy to vote for either one that got the nomination. I personally think Romney has more successful business, and politial experience and savy to bring to the table; and is less likely to do or say something that is not in the best interest of the nation at large. Huckabee’s statement just demonstrates that fact. Who do we want for the President of our nation, representing us to the world, one who is respectful of other beliefs or one who is openly critical of any not his own? I think that is the real issue that get’s under people’s skin, more than the doctrinal interpretations.
    Take Isaiah 14:12-14
    “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
    13 – For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
    14 – I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

    How many ways are there to interpret this? Every faith probably looks at it different, perhaps varying a bit because the different wording of different translations might give different focus or interpretation. Perhaps different people in the same Faith may look at it differently.

    I (personally, not speaking for the LDS Church) perceive it as Isaiah refering to the known doctrine, at the time, of Satan falling from Heaven; and using it to compare the King of Babylon to Lucifer and prophecying that he too would fall in similar fashion for similar reasons.

    That is my interpretation because it seems to me to be logical and consistent with the Bible and other revealed truth.

    The point is, with a million different interpretations of different passages of the Bible out there, not to mention the beliefs of non-Christian religions or those who can’t quite get into religion at all, why the cheap dig?

    Now aside from politics, I would like to clarify with Bror Erickson, who said: “-Lutherans don’t believe in Free will in spiritual matters. We may choose freely to plant a tree, but we can’t make a decision for Christ. And we do believe that Faith requires action, but not ours. The required action comes from Jesus. We don’t contribute in any way to our salvation. That is the Christian, Biblical belief. So I still think that you unduly attribute to Satan, the work that Christ has done. Even if Satan didn’t want the cross. In our belief it is Satan who would have you think you can work your way to heaven, and become your own god.”

    I have questions about your statement but don’t want to come across critical. I really would like clarification about the real differences in our beliefs rather that just semantics.
    1. When you say you “don’t believe in free will in spiritual matters” I don’t understand. Does that mean you aren’t free to choose to follow Christ? Not free to be Lutheran or Mormon? Or, not free to choose the consequences of choice? Or do you mean that truth is absolute and does not change depending on the will of man? Or, are you refering to the belief that we must subjugate our own will to the will of God? I believe that is true; but, it is also a choice we must make that God won’t force upon us – as Joshua told Israel ” …choose you this day whom ye will serve; . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15.

    2. As Latter Day Saints we have taken the Name of Christ upon us in the waters of Baptism. We strive to make our lives a reflection of Him as best we can, however imperfect that may be. Even so, I could never “make a decision for Christ.” How could that be? I could only hope to boldly speak His words.

    3. Belief is an intellectual understanding or acceptance of an idea, Faith is commitment to a belief, sufficient to cause a desire and will to actually live by that belief. True Faith is a faith based on absolute truth – ultimately Christ.
    Christ commanded us to follow Him, to obey him, to do His works. He set the ultimate example: John 17:4 (Jesus, praying to the Father) “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” Why are we warned in Romans that works is not how we are saved? Because the right works for the wrong reasons won’t cut it, ie. to be seen of men, to satisfy pride, etc. Why are we told in James that Faith without works is dead? Because, just believing it without living it also won’t cut it. The bottom line is that God wants us to do, as best we can, what Christ did perfectly: submit our WILL to God’s will. This is done knowing all the while that it is not possible to save ourselves. Christ’s atonement is the only way salvation comes. He overcame physical death that all mankind will be resurrected as a free offering to all. This is one definition, or one level of salvation given to all with no effort on our part. He overcame sin that we may be reconcilled to God and overcome spiritual death through repentance. This gives us the hope of returning to God, our Father in Heaven and to His Son, Jesus Christ who is one with the Father and has inherited all that His Father hath. He stands at the right hand of the Father, not because He is lesser; but, because He is a separate being – the only begotten Son. The degree that our works (our free will choice to submit to God’s will) allign with God, will determine our degree of glory (1 Cor. 15:39-41), or type of heavenly mansion (John 14:2). This is another level or definition of salvation. I do not believe I can work my way to heaven or become my own god. All I am and have, comes from God. My very breath is His to give, or not. Anything I may accomplish or do that is good is because He enabled me, taught me. The only thing I can offer him, that he has given to be my own, is my free will. If I choose to allign my will to His, He will bless me, not because I deserve it, but because He has promised it.

  • P.C.Brown

    Sorry, this is just to correct my login email.

  • P.C.Brown

    Sorry, this is just to correct my login email.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    I lived in Salt Lake City for two years, and have Mormon relatives, so I’ve had a fair amount of exposure to the LDS “church.” I know many Mormons who are wonderful people, but that is insufficient cause for me to consider Mormonism as true.

    Here are my reasons for rejecting Mormonism:

    1. The God of Mormonism is not the God of the Bible. The idea of eternal progression (as Dr. Veith already pointed out: “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be”) is completely contrary to the God as revealed in the Bible:
    –”God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.” (Numbers 23:19)
    –”Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.” (Isaiah 43:10)
    –I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” (Isaiah 44:6)
    –”I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.” (Isaiah 45:5)
    –”I am God, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22)

    2. The Jesus of Mormonism is different than the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of Mormonism is one of many spirit children born to the father and mother who happen to be the gods of this world (there are other gods and goddesses over other worlds). The Jesus of the Bible is eternally one with the Father and Holy Spirit, not the product of a heavenly marriage.
    Does this matter? The true identity of Jesus is crucial. I could name my cat “Jesus” and create a religion in which I worship it, but that would not make my religion Christianity. Why not? Because my cat is not Jesus. Likewise, Mormons may claim to worship “Jesus” but that does not make their religion Christianity, because they have a radically different Jesus.

    3. The Book of Mormon has absolutely zero historical foundation. We do not have any manuscripts, and the book describes history in ancient America that simply never happened. There are manuscripts for other Mormon scriptures, such as the Book of Abraham. Joseph Smith “translated” an Egyptian papyrus he came upon as having been written by Abraham. It turns out, now that we can read hieroglyphics, that Smith completely mistranslated this document.

    4. The Mormon view of church history is defective. To Mormons, the gates of hell did prevail against the church until Joseph Smith restored the “true” church of Mormonism.

    5. More on the Mormons’ defective view of history: the early church had none of the practices that characterize modern Mormonism: temples, temple rituals, holy underwear. The early church also had none of the practices that distinguished 19th century Mormonism: polygamy, all-white priesthood.

    I cannot help but come to the conclusion that Mormonism is not a latter-day revelation of Jesus Christ.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    I lived in Salt Lake City for two years, and have Mormon relatives, so I’ve had a fair amount of exposure to the LDS “church.” I know many Mormons who are wonderful people, but that is insufficient cause for me to consider Mormonism as true.

    Here are my reasons for rejecting Mormonism:

    1. The God of Mormonism is not the God of the Bible. The idea of eternal progression (as Dr. Veith already pointed out: “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be”) is completely contrary to the God as revealed in the Bible:
    –”God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.” (Numbers 23:19)
    –”Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.” (Isaiah 43:10)
    –I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” (Isaiah 44:6)
    –”I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.” (Isaiah 45:5)
    –”I am God, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22)

    2. The Jesus of Mormonism is different than the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of Mormonism is one of many spirit children born to the father and mother who happen to be the gods of this world (there are other gods and goddesses over other worlds). The Jesus of the Bible is eternally one with the Father and Holy Spirit, not the product of a heavenly marriage.
    Does this matter? The true identity of Jesus is crucial. I could name my cat “Jesus” and create a religion in which I worship it, but that would not make my religion Christianity. Why not? Because my cat is not Jesus. Likewise, Mormons may claim to worship “Jesus” but that does not make their religion Christianity, because they have a radically different Jesus.

    3. The Book of Mormon has absolutely zero historical foundation. We do not have any manuscripts, and the book describes history in ancient America that simply never happened. There are manuscripts for other Mormon scriptures, such as the Book of Abraham. Joseph Smith “translated” an Egyptian papyrus he came upon as having been written by Abraham. It turns out, now that we can read hieroglyphics, that Smith completely mistranslated this document.

    4. The Mormon view of church history is defective. To Mormons, the gates of hell did prevail against the church until Joseph Smith restored the “true” church of Mormonism.

    5. More on the Mormons’ defective view of history: the early church had none of the practices that characterize modern Mormonism: temples, temple rituals, holy underwear. The early church also had none of the practices that distinguished 19th century Mormonism: polygamy, all-white priesthood.

    I cannot help but come to the conclusion that Mormonism is not a latter-day revelation of Jesus Christ.

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    I would like hear from the LDS people here on the saying “As man is, God once was; as God is, man shall become” .

    Would you view this proposition as a completely false one, one which is incomplete and so untrue as stated but could be made true by additional words, or is one that could be accepted as one possibly true statement of what LDS teachings are based on reasonable conjecture even if not taught directly in LDS public literature.

    Next: I always had the idea that the church nowhere PUBLICLY teaches this doctrine explicitly, but that anyone who has gone through the ceremonies of the temple for sealing and eternal marriage would find it extremely difficult to avoid this statement in the natural sense of the phrase as being correct and complete as to what it says, and in fact THE core teaching of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    Any comments that are direct and too this specific point?

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    I would like hear from the LDS people here on the saying “As man is, God once was; as God is, man shall become” .

    Would you view this proposition as a completely false one, one which is incomplete and so untrue as stated but could be made true by additional words, or is one that could be accepted as one possibly true statement of what LDS teachings are based on reasonable conjecture even if not taught directly in LDS public literature.

    Next: I always had the idea that the church nowhere PUBLICLY teaches this doctrine explicitly, but that anyone who has gone through the ceremonies of the temple for sealing and eternal marriage would find it extremely difficult to avoid this statement in the natural sense of the phrase as being correct and complete as to what it says, and in fact THE core teaching of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    Any comments that are direct and too this specific point?

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    “As man is, God once was; as God is, man shall become”

    more to the point i would like to here the answer to THIS question:

    would it be possible for ANY mormon who has gone through the temple ceremonies for marriage to say categorically or uncategorically that this statement is false in any context?

    Let me put my cards on the table here: I sense a “shuck and jive ” going on here. I have been told many times that this is a “higher knowledge” that the uniniciated are not ready for , and so it is not necessary to acknowledge that this is in fact, not merely conjecture, but is in fact THE core and central unifying concept behind the entirety of LDS teaching.

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    “As man is, God once was; as God is, man shall become”

    more to the point i would like to here the answer to THIS question:

    would it be possible for ANY mormon who has gone through the temple ceremonies for marriage to say categorically or uncategorically that this statement is false in any context?

    Let me put my cards on the table here: I sense a “shuck and jive ” going on here. I have been told many times that this is a “higher knowledge” that the uniniciated are not ready for , and so it is not necessary to acknowledge that this is in fact, not merely conjecture, but is in fact THE core and central unifying concept behind the entirety of LDS teaching.

  • inexile

    This is a wonderful discussion! Very insightful. I also appreciate the respectful tone of the discussion that I find on this blog. (Craig (#9))

    As I follow the discussion, I wonder if the various topics under discussion aren’t bound to leave things somewhat unsatisfying because they skirt the heart of the matter. I’d like to understand what the LDS Church believes about the doctrine upon which the Church stands or falls – justification. How is it that sinful man is justified before the holy God and is therefore able to stand before Him in heaven?

    P.C. Brown started to go there (#21) saying, “The bottom line is that God wants us to do, as best we can, what Christ did perfectly: submit our WILL to God’s will.” Is that really the “bottom line” for the LDS?

    You recognize that “we all fall short…” “This is done knowing all the while that it is not possible to save ourselves.” So, how is that shortfall overcome?

    What does it mean when you say that “Christ’s atonement is the only way salvation comes.”? What was the ‘atonement’ that He made? What is the meaning and place of the cross in LDS theology?

    When you say, “He overcame physical death that all mankind will be resurrected as a free offering to all,” what do you mean that “mankind” is the “free offering to all”?

    “This is one definition, or one level of salvation given to all with no effort on our part. He overcame sin that we may be reconciled to God and overcome spiritual death through repentance.” How many levels are there and what makes the difference in how one comes in at one level or another?

  • inexile

    This is a wonderful discussion! Very insightful. I also appreciate the respectful tone of the discussion that I find on this blog. (Craig (#9))

    As I follow the discussion, I wonder if the various topics under discussion aren’t bound to leave things somewhat unsatisfying because they skirt the heart of the matter. I’d like to understand what the LDS Church believes about the doctrine upon which the Church stands or falls – justification. How is it that sinful man is justified before the holy God and is therefore able to stand before Him in heaven?

    P.C. Brown started to go there (#21) saying, “The bottom line is that God wants us to do, as best we can, what Christ did perfectly: submit our WILL to God’s will.” Is that really the “bottom line” for the LDS?

    You recognize that “we all fall short…” “This is done knowing all the while that it is not possible to save ourselves.” So, how is that shortfall overcome?

    What does it mean when you say that “Christ’s atonement is the only way salvation comes.”? What was the ‘atonement’ that He made? What is the meaning and place of the cross in LDS theology?

    When you say, “He overcame physical death that all mankind will be resurrected as a free offering to all,” what do you mean that “mankind” is the “free offering to all”?

    “This is one definition, or one level of salvation given to all with no effort on our part. He overcame sin that we may be reconciled to God and overcome spiritual death through repentance.” How many levels are there and what makes the difference in how one comes in at one level or another?

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Regarding inexile’s comment (#26)
    I think that the issue with Mormonism goes way beyond just looking at their doctrine of justification. In the reformers’ conflict with the Roman Catholic Church in the 1500s, they were dealing with a church that still got most of its doctrine correct, as expressed in the creeds. The Catholic church still had the right God and the right Jesus. When dealing with Mormonism, we are talking about a religion that is at odds with a wide range of historical and Biblical expressions of Christian doctrine. So, while looking at the Mormon doctrine of justification is very important (and I agree, it hasn’t been addressed much here yet), it is only the tip of the iceberg.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Regarding inexile’s comment (#26)
    I think that the issue with Mormonism goes way beyond just looking at their doctrine of justification. In the reformers’ conflict with the Roman Catholic Church in the 1500s, they were dealing with a church that still got most of its doctrine correct, as expressed in the creeds. The Catholic church still had the right God and the right Jesus. When dealing with Mormonism, we are talking about a religion that is at odds with a wide range of historical and Biblical expressions of Christian doctrine. So, while looking at the Mormon doctrine of justification is very important (and I agree, it hasn’t been addressed much here yet), it is only the tip of the iceberg.

  • Paul W.

    If you want a good statement of LDS thought/belief on Christ and his “Atonement” or Justification including some scriptural references, a good place is here:
    http://mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/basic-beliefs/jesus-christ-our-savior/the-gospel-of-jesus-christ

    On problem with this blog format is that no one wants to be too long winded…hopefully some of you that are interested can take a look there to get some questions answered. No doubt other questions will be raised and that will be great for our little chat here…

  • Paul W.

    If you want a good statement of LDS thought/belief on Christ and his “Atonement” or Justification including some scriptural references, a good place is here:
    http://mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/basic-beliefs/jesus-christ-our-savior/the-gospel-of-jesus-christ

    On problem with this blog format is that no one wants to be too long winded…hopefully some of you that are interested can take a look there to get some questions answered. No doubt other questions will be raised and that will be great for our little chat here…

  • Bror Erickson

    P.C. Brown,
    Faith without works is dead, so are works without faith. Faith is a gift of God, it comes through hearing the Gospel preached. Faith is not our work, so neither are any of the good things Christians do in faith. They are god’s works which he prepared for us before hand.
    We Lutherans have nothing against good works, we only have something against looking to them for assurance when we stand before God’s Judgment, and bragging about them. (Though we are all guilty of it, we recognize it as being wrong and repent.) We do not take away from Christ’s work of Salvation on the cross, by trying to add to that simple and glorios event that saved us from sin, death, and the devil. Why would we want to pollute Christ’s work of salvation, with dirty rags? The blood on those filthy rags can only be cleaned by the blood of Christ, so he gets the credit for anything we have done that could remotely be considered good.

  • Bror Erickson

    P.C. Brown,
    Faith without works is dead, so are works without faith. Faith is a gift of God, it comes through hearing the Gospel preached. Faith is not our work, so neither are any of the good things Christians do in faith. They are god’s works which he prepared for us before hand.
    We Lutherans have nothing against good works, we only have something against looking to them for assurance when we stand before God’s Judgment, and bragging about them. (Though we are all guilty of it, we recognize it as being wrong and repent.) We do not take away from Christ’s work of Salvation on the cross, by trying to add to that simple and glorios event that saved us from sin, death, and the devil. Why would we want to pollute Christ’s work of salvation, with dirty rags? The blood on those filthy rags can only be cleaned by the blood of Christ, so he gets the credit for anything we have done that could remotely be considered good.

  • Craig

    I also am wary of posting long dissertations on theological matters on a blog. It also seems a little redundant to post answers to questions on LDS theology when the web sites mormon.org and lds.org contain the totality of valid LDS scripture and other teachings.

    I think that there are a couple of factors at play that contribute to the confusion surrounding Mormon theology. First is the fact that things written about the LDS church are rarely neutral. From the inception of the Church, there were believers and detractors. Second are the layers of doctrine that exist in religious belief.

    Most religions have central, core doctrines that are non-negotiable and define the religion. In Christianity, that doctrine is likely the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of all Mankind – the Promised Messiah of the Old Testament. Then, there are important, but non-core doctrines. For example it appears that within Christianity there are varying views on the necessity of Baptism for salvation. Finally there are fringe doctrines. These are beliefs that are held by a small number of adherents, but are not contrary to the core doctrines enough to place the individual outside of the faith.

    Within the LDS church all three of these exist.

    The LDS “Articles of Faith” are a collection of 13 statements of the basic, core beliefs of the Church. Similar, but expanded statements of core beliefs are contained on the website mormon.org. The scriptures are also a source of core beliefs.

    The website lds.org contains all of the major addresses of the leadership of the Church along with lesson manuals, and of course, the scriptures of the Church. This source defines and expounds on all of the important and core doctrines of the Church.

    Finally, individual members of the Church are allowed the freedom to speculate and/or believe nearly anything that isn’t in direct opposition to the core beliefs of the Church – especially if they don’t set themselves up as a spokesman for the Church and teach or parade their speculative views. The majority of the “troubling” aspects of Mormon theology fit into this category. While believed by some, or even most Mormons they are not core beliefs of the Church.

  • Craig

    I also am wary of posting long dissertations on theological matters on a blog. It also seems a little redundant to post answers to questions on LDS theology when the web sites mormon.org and lds.org contain the totality of valid LDS scripture and other teachings.

    I think that there are a couple of factors at play that contribute to the confusion surrounding Mormon theology. First is the fact that things written about the LDS church are rarely neutral. From the inception of the Church, there were believers and detractors. Second are the layers of doctrine that exist in religious belief.

    Most religions have central, core doctrines that are non-negotiable and define the religion. In Christianity, that doctrine is likely the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of all Mankind – the Promised Messiah of the Old Testament. Then, there are important, but non-core doctrines. For example it appears that within Christianity there are varying views on the necessity of Baptism for salvation. Finally there are fringe doctrines. These are beliefs that are held by a small number of adherents, but are not contrary to the core doctrines enough to place the individual outside of the faith.

    Within the LDS church all three of these exist.

    The LDS “Articles of Faith” are a collection of 13 statements of the basic, core beliefs of the Church. Similar, but expanded statements of core beliefs are contained on the website mormon.org. The scriptures are also a source of core beliefs.

    The website lds.org contains all of the major addresses of the leadership of the Church along with lesson manuals, and of course, the scriptures of the Church. This source defines and expounds on all of the important and core doctrines of the Church.

    Finally, individual members of the Church are allowed the freedom to speculate and/or believe nearly anything that isn’t in direct opposition to the core beliefs of the Church – especially if they don’t set themselves up as a spokesman for the Church and teach or parade their speculative views. The majority of the “troubling” aspects of Mormon theology fit into this category. While believed by some, or even most Mormons they are not core beliefs of the Church.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Paul W provided a link on the LDS views on justification and atonement, and one does not have to read very far to see that this is nothing like atonement and justification provided in the New Testament, especially in Galatians and Romans.

    In Mormonism, we must:
    –become worthy to live in Heavenly Father’s presence
    –learn and follow principles and ordinances
    –seek to follow Christ’s example

    That’s a lot about what we have to do for God rather than being about what God does for us in Christ. Our problem is that we are not worthy, we don’t learn, and we don’t follow Christ’s example, and no matter how hard we try, we will not attain to these things.

    The Christian answer is the cross:

    “All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
    and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.” — Isaiah 53:6 ESV

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Paul W provided a link on the LDS views on justification and atonement, and one does not have to read very far to see that this is nothing like atonement and justification provided in the New Testament, especially in Galatians and Romans.

    In Mormonism, we must:
    –become worthy to live in Heavenly Father’s presence
    –learn and follow principles and ordinances
    –seek to follow Christ’s example

    That’s a lot about what we have to do for God rather than being about what God does for us in Christ. Our problem is that we are not worthy, we don’t learn, and we don’t follow Christ’s example, and no matter how hard we try, we will not attain to these things.

    The Christian answer is the cross:

    “All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
    and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.” — Isaiah 53:6 ESV

  • Bror Erickson

    well said Kevin.
    on this you are Lutheran.

  • Bror Erickson

    well said Kevin.
    on this you are Lutheran.

  • Paul W.

    Kevin N,

    Though I don’t agree that our view “is nothing like atonement and justification provided in the New Testament”…I do agree with the following statement you make:

    “Our problem is that we are not worthy, we don’t learn, and we don’t follow Christ’s example, and no matter how hard we try, we will not attain to these things.”

    That’s exactly spot on, why else would we need the “Atonement”. It seems to me that you are just stating the fact of our fallen state.

    Latter-day Saints do not claim the ability to do all of these things…It is through Christ and our Faith in Him and his perfect life and being that we are made perfect. I think it is our language and emphasis on on “doing” and “acting” that troubles you, but Jesus tells us that (regardless of how ineffectively we may do so) we need to have Faith in Him. Faith is a principle of action! And when we practice our Faith in Christ, then are we Perfected in and through Him. This is what the New Testament teaches.

  • Paul W.

    Kevin N,

    Though I don’t agree that our view “is nothing like atonement and justification provided in the New Testament”…I do agree with the following statement you make:

    “Our problem is that we are not worthy, we don’t learn, and we don’t follow Christ’s example, and no matter how hard we try, we will not attain to these things.”

    That’s exactly spot on, why else would we need the “Atonement”. It seems to me that you are just stating the fact of our fallen state.

    Latter-day Saints do not claim the ability to do all of these things…It is through Christ and our Faith in Him and his perfect life and being that we are made perfect. I think it is our language and emphasis on on “doing” and “acting” that troubles you, but Jesus tells us that (regardless of how ineffectively we may do so) we need to have Faith in Him. Faith is a principle of action! And when we practice our Faith in Christ, then are we Perfected in and through Him. This is what the New Testament teaches.

  • Joe

    Paul W. I agree that “Faith is a principle of action” BUT I do not agree that it is MY action. As a Lutheran, I believe that the only actor who has or even could do anything related to my salvation is Christ. Indeed, I believe that is it simply impossible for ME to have faith. My faith is only possible becuase the Holy Spirit gave me faith. It is not my action; it is not my decision and any good works that result from it are not mine. As Luther put it in his explination of the Third Article of Apostle’s Creed:

    “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. This is most certainly true.”

    Thus, we can’t practice our faith. Only Christ can do it for us.

  • Joe

    Paul W. I agree that “Faith is a principle of action” BUT I do not agree that it is MY action. As a Lutheran, I believe that the only actor who has or even could do anything related to my salvation is Christ. Indeed, I believe that is it simply impossible for ME to have faith. My faith is only possible becuase the Holy Spirit gave me faith. It is not my action; it is not my decision and any good works that result from it are not mine. As Luther put it in his explination of the Third Article of Apostle’s Creed:

    “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. This is most certainly true.”

    Thus, we can’t practice our faith. Only Christ can do it for us.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Paul W:

    The LDS site puts the emphasis on the things we need to do. Yes, Jesus is thrown in to get us over the hump. We aren’t good enough, so Jesus is there to help by making up for our deficiencies.

    According to the New Testament, we are dead in our sins, and our salvation is 0% due to us, 100% due to Christ. Even our faith is a gift from God:

    “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” –Ephesians 2:8,9 ESV

    Christianity is all about what God has done for us in Christ.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Paul W:

    The LDS site puts the emphasis on the things we need to do. Yes, Jesus is thrown in to get us over the hump. We aren’t good enough, so Jesus is there to help by making up for our deficiencies.

    According to the New Testament, we are dead in our sins, and our salvation is 0% due to us, 100% due to Christ. Even our faith is a gift from God:

    “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” –Ephesians 2:8,9 ESV

    Christianity is all about what God has done for us in Christ.

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    #25 & #25

    There seems to be a patent dishonesty among the mormon/LDS posters here.

    They don´t deny anything at all in Vieth´s original post. They just say it is not official and is speculation.

    Vieth invited any Mormon here to say that he is wrong on anything because he does not want to mischaracterize the Mormons. Hmmm.

    Ok. now I would like ANY mormon poster on here to disagree with Dr Vieth AND send us to any official statement that would disown ANYTHING that Dr. Vieth posted.

    You won´t respond because there ISN´T anything. What Vieth reports is widespread and very commonly held among 90% of all mormons who have been sealed in the temple. YOu mormon guys here know this. Why are you trying to mislead us here?

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    #25 & #25

    There seems to be a patent dishonesty among the mormon/LDS posters here.

    They don´t deny anything at all in Vieth´s original post. They just say it is not official and is speculation.

    Vieth invited any Mormon here to say that he is wrong on anything because he does not want to mischaracterize the Mormons. Hmmm.

    Ok. now I would like ANY mormon poster on here to disagree with Dr Vieth AND send us to any official statement that would disown ANYTHING that Dr. Vieth posted.

    You won´t respond because there ISN´T anything. What Vieth reports is widespread and very commonly held among 90% of all mormons who have been sealed in the temple. YOu mormon guys here know this. Why are you trying to mislead us here?

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  • Paul W.

    I’m not sure what you’re referring too #36? How have I in my explanations been misleading? I’ve tried be quite open and frank about my beliefs. And it seams until
    your accusation of “patent dishonesty” we’ve had a civil and interesting conversation.

    I think I tried to correct what I saw as a couple of errors in the original post with my #6 post…

    I think you are correct that much of what he said is a good characterization of popular LDS thought…though some of the finer details of what he describes are not official “binding” doctrine but more popular speculation in nature. For example he states,

    “See, Mormons believe that God has a body (”of flesh and bones“) and sexually engenders us all with his wife, our “Heavenly Mother.” She gives birth to us all as spirit children,” who pre-exist until we are born into this world.”

    The “official” “binding” part of this, I think, is “Mormons believe that God has a body of “flesh and bones” and that we pre-existed and spirit children of God.

    The speculative “Non-binding” part of this statement is that He, “…sexually engenders us all with his wife, our “Heavenly Mother.””

    While the idea of a Heavenly Mother is popular in Mormon thought and Jon #20 mentions a Hymn where it states “reason” tells us we have “a mother there” (in heaven) and I actually just thought of another official reference (sort of) from the 1995 document “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” found here: http://www.lds.org/languages/proclamations/family/start_here_0.pdf I quote one part: “All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”

    Here “heavenly parents” are mentioned. However, I don’t think the idea of “Mother in Heaven” is binding on the Saints…meaning I’m certain one could be a member of the Church in good standing without holding this belief at all. Also, when he states God, “sexually engenders us all with his wife”, this is a bit of conjecture based on a line of logic that goes something like this…if we have “Heavenly Parents” with physical bodies…how else would they create children but by similar means that we do now (sexually). Sounds logical enough. That being said, I’ve only ever heard these kinds of statements (or the term “celestial-sex”) by anti-Mormon sources…never at church meeting or during any personal or public religious study.

    I don’t think anyone has been “patently dishonest”. I think the tone of your post is rude and unnecessarily accusatory.

  • Paul W.

    I’m not sure what you’re referring too #36? How have I in my explanations been misleading? I’ve tried be quite open and frank about my beliefs. And it seams until
    your accusation of “patent dishonesty” we’ve had a civil and interesting conversation.

    I think I tried to correct what I saw as a couple of errors in the original post with my #6 post…

    I think you are correct that much of what he said is a good characterization of popular LDS thought…though some of the finer details of what he describes are not official “binding” doctrine but more popular speculation in nature. For example he states,

    “See, Mormons believe that God has a body (”of flesh and bones“) and sexually engenders us all with his wife, our “Heavenly Mother.” She gives birth to us all as spirit children,” who pre-exist until we are born into this world.”

    The “official” “binding” part of this, I think, is “Mormons believe that God has a body of “flesh and bones” and that we pre-existed and spirit children of God.

    The speculative “Non-binding” part of this statement is that He, “…sexually engenders us all with his wife, our “Heavenly Mother.””

    While the idea of a Heavenly Mother is popular in Mormon thought and Jon #20 mentions a Hymn where it states “reason” tells us we have “a mother there” (in heaven) and I actually just thought of another official reference (sort of) from the 1995 document “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” found here: http://www.lds.org/languages/proclamations/family/start_here_0.pdf I quote one part: “All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”

    Here “heavenly parents” are mentioned. However, I don’t think the idea of “Mother in Heaven” is binding on the Saints…meaning I’m certain one could be a member of the Church in good standing without holding this belief at all. Also, when he states God, “sexually engenders us all with his wife”, this is a bit of conjecture based on a line of logic that goes something like this…if we have “Heavenly Parents” with physical bodies…how else would they create children but by similar means that we do now (sexually). Sounds logical enough. That being said, I’ve only ever heard these kinds of statements (or the term “celestial-sex”) by anti-Mormon sources…never at church meeting or during any personal or public religious study.

    I don’t think anyone has been “patently dishonest”. I think the tone of your post is rude and unnecessarily accusatory.

  • http://www.politiporn.com Chris

    After following this whole string of comments, which was educational for me to some degree, I’m still missing out of the part where Christ & Satan are brothers. Although, I’m not a practicing Christian nor a Mormon, I do recall that Christians believe that Satan was cast out of Heaven and that at one he was God’s favored angel. So then who made the angels? And if the angels had a maker, would they not call him “Father?”

  • http://www.politiporn.com Chris

    After following this whole string of comments, which was educational for me to some degree, I’m still missing out of the part where Christ & Satan are brothers. Although, I’m not a practicing Christian nor a Mormon, I do recall that Christians believe that Satan was cast out of Heaven and that at one he was God’s favored angel. So then who made the angels? And if the angels had a maker, would they not call him “Father?”

  • Bror Erickson

    Chris,
    John 1:14 says:
    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (ESV)

    The word for only here in the Greek is monogenes, used to be translated only begotten, and I’m not sure why that changed. So as where we Christians refer to God as Father, and presumably angels could also, Jesus would be His only son in the sense of begotten. This means that the rest of creation, angel or human, does not refer to God as Father in the same way Jesus does. This by the way also rules out any sense of us humans having been begotten by the father in the way I begat my son.

  • Bror Erickson

    Chris,
    John 1:14 says:
    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (ESV)

    The word for only here in the Greek is monogenes, used to be translated only begotten, and I’m not sure why that changed. So as where we Christians refer to God as Father, and presumably angels could also, Jesus would be His only son in the sense of begotten. This means that the rest of creation, angel or human, does not refer to God as Father in the same way Jesus does. This by the way also rules out any sense of us humans having been begotten by the father in the way I begat my son.

  • FW

    #38 paul w

    what I meant by patently dishonest, is that you don´t characterize mormonism in the day to day 90% common way it is believed.

    So great you would not excommunicate anyone for believing there is a heavenly mother, becaus everyone who has been through the temple has been told this officially by the church. and there is no other logical conjecture that could be made about these things even if they are not public teachings… in fact what other conjecture COULD one make?

    Let me get this right again: so you are saying that there is NOTHING in error in Veith´s original post. but you said he was in error….

    you know full well, of course that you are skipping the part of what you learned when you were sealed in the temple, as though that is not “official”. and you are pretending , dishonestly therefore, that the public writings of your church are 100% of the official doctrines… and you are hiding the fact that this stuff , is considered to be a higher knowledge that only temple mormons are ready for.

    Yeah. I would call this something that certainly appears dishonest. to color or characterize something in a way that presents in in a less that candid way, or to omit facts. yes that too seems dishonest to me.

    and the reasons for this of course are … marketing,, your church would be an extremely hard sell to catholics or other christians if you told them up front the reality of what you really believe. yes that is very dishonest. I am sorry if you feel that calling this all dishonest is considered by you to be rude. Prove me wrong and I will appologize.

    again show me ONE quote from a prophet or general authority that disowns ANYTHING vieth states and says it is heresy.

    You cannot sir.

  • FW

    #38 paul w

    what I meant by patently dishonest, is that you don´t characterize mormonism in the day to day 90% common way it is believed.

    So great you would not excommunicate anyone for believing there is a heavenly mother, becaus everyone who has been through the temple has been told this officially by the church. and there is no other logical conjecture that could be made about these things even if they are not public teachings… in fact what other conjecture COULD one make?

    Let me get this right again: so you are saying that there is NOTHING in error in Veith´s original post. but you said he was in error….

    you know full well, of course that you are skipping the part of what you learned when you were sealed in the temple, as though that is not “official”. and you are pretending , dishonestly therefore, that the public writings of your church are 100% of the official doctrines… and you are hiding the fact that this stuff , is considered to be a higher knowledge that only temple mormons are ready for.

    Yeah. I would call this something that certainly appears dishonest. to color or characterize something in a way that presents in in a less that candid way, or to omit facts. yes that too seems dishonest to me.

    and the reasons for this of course are … marketing,, your church would be an extremely hard sell to catholics or other christians if you told them up front the reality of what you really believe. yes that is very dishonest. I am sorry if you feel that calling this all dishonest is considered by you to be rude. Prove me wrong and I will appologize.

    again show me ONE quote from a prophet or general authority that disowns ANYTHING vieth states and says it is heresy.

    You cannot sir.

  • FW

    #38 paul w

    and further more, to not address my challenge directly and still to dissimulate AND call me rude for challenging your honesty…. well , I predict that you will either dissimulate some more or you will simply not respond honestly or at all, because you cannot.

    it is not in you to do so because THIS is how your church has taught you as a missionary to present your church to those outside of the church.

    so here I am not only calling you dishonest. I am calling your entire church dishonest. this IS how missionaries are trained to present things. JUST as you are doing. This is NOT right Paul w and you know it. and I am not sensing any shame at all. wow.

  • FW

    #38 paul w

    and further more, to not address my challenge directly and still to dissimulate AND call me rude for challenging your honesty…. well , I predict that you will either dissimulate some more or you will simply not respond honestly or at all, because you cannot.

    it is not in you to do so because THIS is how your church has taught you as a missionary to present your church to those outside of the church.

    so here I am not only calling you dishonest. I am calling your entire church dishonest. this IS how missionaries are trained to present things. JUST as you are doing. This is NOT right Paul w and you know it. and I am not sensing any shame at all. wow.

  • Bror Erickson

    FW,
    what happened to Lutheran Legalist :)?

  • Bror Erickson

    FW,
    what happened to Lutheran Legalist :)?

  • FW

    #43 Bror

    He died with a more careful reading of romans 6-8.

  • FW

    #43 Bror

    He died with a more careful reading of romans 6-8.

  • FW

    #38 Paul w

    Furthermore, Paul, just to know that I am not picking on you. Check any posting on here that has to do with what Lutherans believe and we Lutherans will go to extreme lengths to show where we DIFFER from whoever asks us about our faith. we don´t try to sucker people in by withholding parts of our beliefs that we know they would find distasteful. We take them immediately there.

    This is what honesty looks likes to Lutherans. To call you NOT that, therefore is not rude.

    Maybe you don´t really mean to be dishonest Paul. I accept that. Your church teaches you a different standard of honesty then Lutherans hold to. I accept that.

  • FW

    #38 Paul w

    Furthermore, Paul, just to know that I am not picking on you. Check any posting on here that has to do with what Lutherans believe and we Lutherans will go to extreme lengths to show where we DIFFER from whoever asks us about our faith. we don´t try to sucker people in by withholding parts of our beliefs that we know they would find distasteful. We take them immediately there.

    This is what honesty looks likes to Lutherans. To call you NOT that, therefore is not rude.

    Maybe you don´t really mean to be dishonest Paul. I accept that. Your church teaches you a different standard of honesty then Lutherans hold to. I accept that.

  • FW

    #38. paul w.

    I did not mean to exclude our other christian brethren from this standard. I admire greatly that Kevin N and others who are not lutheran disagree with us in a respectful way but are very honest about letting us know exactly where they believe that we Lutherans are wrong and assert that they think that they are right and why. They are also great examples of what honest men and women look like Paul.

  • FW

    #38. paul w.

    I did not mean to exclude our other christian brethren from this standard. I admire greatly that Kevin N and others who are not lutheran disagree with us in a respectful way but are very honest about letting us know exactly where they believe that we Lutherans are wrong and assert that they think that they are right and why. They are also great examples of what honest men and women look like Paul.

  • Paul W.

    FW,

    First, I don’t think you understand Mormonism in the “day to day 90% common way it is believed”.

    Second, you say, “So great you would not excommunicate anyone for believing there is a heavenly mother, because everyone who has been through the temple has been told this officially by the church.”

    Actually, I think you misunderstood me. I meant that one could NOT believe or even DENY there is a “Heavenly Mother” and be a full, practicing, member of the Church. Also, there is no mention of a “Heavenly Mother” in the temple sacraments.

    Third, you say, “you know full well, of course that you are skipping the part of what you learned when you were sealed in the temple”

    Could you please be more specific here about what questions/accusations you have that I could answer more “honestly”?

    Are you referring to what I addressed in post #11…godhood…seeds…and all that?

    I see you saying that I’m being “secretive” and even perhaps “unintentionally dishonest” and even dare I say “brainwashed”, without any specifics…

    I thought I tried to answer you “challenge” directly…

    Could you possibly state your specific questions/challenges individually and directly so that I can better address them?

    P.S. I still find your line of interaction with me a bit rude and disrespectful. I find your accusations of even “unintentional dishonesty” offensive when I have been what I thought was very forthright and transparent. I haven’t tried to “sucker” anyone. Does anyone else here feel this way? Maybe I can do better, but I’m starting to question your honor. Please be more civil with me. I don’t understand your hostility.

  • Paul W.

    FW,

    First, I don’t think you understand Mormonism in the “day to day 90% common way it is believed”.

    Second, you say, “So great you would not excommunicate anyone for believing there is a heavenly mother, because everyone who has been through the temple has been told this officially by the church.”

    Actually, I think you misunderstood me. I meant that one could NOT believe or even DENY there is a “Heavenly Mother” and be a full, practicing, member of the Church. Also, there is no mention of a “Heavenly Mother” in the temple sacraments.

    Third, you say, “you know full well, of course that you are skipping the part of what you learned when you were sealed in the temple”

    Could you please be more specific here about what questions/accusations you have that I could answer more “honestly”?

    Are you referring to what I addressed in post #11…godhood…seeds…and all that?

    I see you saying that I’m being “secretive” and even perhaps “unintentionally dishonest” and even dare I say “brainwashed”, without any specifics…

    I thought I tried to answer you “challenge” directly…

    Could you possibly state your specific questions/challenges individually and directly so that I can better address them?

    P.S. I still find your line of interaction with me a bit rude and disrespectful. I find your accusations of even “unintentional dishonesty” offensive when I have been what I thought was very forthright and transparent. I haven’t tried to “sucker” anyone. Does anyone else here feel this way? Maybe I can do better, but I’m starting to question your honor. Please be more civil with me. I don’t understand your hostility.

  • Paul W.

    Also, I think you can see in my posts the huge deferences between “Lutheranism” and “Mormonism”. Even in our discussion of Christ’s Atonement. I have to admit that I find some of what you guys are saying you believe a bit troubling to me and I have some questions for you all. It seems to me that you take some ideas in the NT too far…do you deny Man’s ability to choose? I’ll have to state my questions better later…hopefully I can get on again tonight.

  • Paul W.

    Also, I think you can see in my posts the huge deferences between “Lutheranism” and “Mormonism”. Even in our discussion of Christ’s Atonement. I have to admit that I find some of what you guys are saying you believe a bit troubling to me and I have some questions for you all. It seems to me that you take some ideas in the NT too far…do you deny Man’s ability to choose? I’ll have to state my questions better later…hopefully I can get on again tonight.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Paul @48, you asked if we “deny Man’s ability to choose”. And I think the answer you’ll get from Lutherans is: sort of. Of course, man has the ability to choose in his day-to-day activities (I’ll have this for dinner, etc.), but as regards our relationship with God, he makes it clear that he predestined us (well before we were born, and thus well before we could have a say in the matter) and gave us the faith to believe in his forgiveness that saves us. So can we, by our own choice, believe in him? No, that is a gift from God.

    But God also makes it clear that man can choose to reject him. That is the choice he gives to us. So we see that if we are saved, it is to God’s credit alone, and if we go to Hell, it is our fault alone.

    This one-sided choice would seem quite weird, but there is a handy comparison in our life: namely, our life. I didn’t choose to be born and have life. But I can choose to end my life (though that would be a bad idea). My life was not my choice (it was my parents’, and ultimately, God’s), but my death may be. That our eternal life is the same way is not surprising.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Paul @48, you asked if we “deny Man’s ability to choose”. And I think the answer you’ll get from Lutherans is: sort of. Of course, man has the ability to choose in his day-to-day activities (I’ll have this for dinner, etc.), but as regards our relationship with God, he makes it clear that he predestined us (well before we were born, and thus well before we could have a say in the matter) and gave us the faith to believe in his forgiveness that saves us. So can we, by our own choice, believe in him? No, that is a gift from God.

    But God also makes it clear that man can choose to reject him. That is the choice he gives to us. So we see that if we are saved, it is to God’s credit alone, and if we go to Hell, it is our fault alone.

    This one-sided choice would seem quite weird, but there is a handy comparison in our life: namely, our life. I didn’t choose to be born and have life. But I can choose to end my life (though that would be a bad idea). My life was not my choice (it was my parents’, and ultimately, God’s), but my death may be. That our eternal life is the same way is not surprising.

  • Paul W.

    tODD @48,

    In your estimation, are some “predestined” with faith or given the gift of belief while other’s are not?

    I have a hard time with this line of reasoning…could you give me some NT verses so that I can try to understand…

  • Paul W.

    tODD @48,

    In your estimation, are some “predestined” with faith or given the gift of belief while other’s are not?

    I have a hard time with this line of reasoning…could you give me some NT verses so that I can try to understand…

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Paul (@50), the two NT passages that come to mind are Ephesians 1:3ff and Romans 8:28ff. The Mormon translations use the word “predestinate”, which seems to be synonymous with “predestine”. (?)

    As to your first question, I’m not sure I could give an answer as you’ve asked it. Those verses make clear that those who know God — who are justified, glorified, whom God calls his children — were predestined by him to be so. I don’t know of any verses that support the idea that some people were damned because God didn’t predestine them — people are always condemned because they reject Jesus and his salvation, instead choosing to rely on themselves.

    I realize that there’s a seemingly logical hole there, but as a Lutheran, I’m content to believe things as they are written rather than trying to use my own limited understanding to make the Bible say what it does not. Thus I believe that all who are saved are saved only by God’s work, and yet I believe that God wants all men to be saved.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Paul (@50), the two NT passages that come to mind are Ephesians 1:3ff and Romans 8:28ff. The Mormon translations use the word “predestinate”, which seems to be synonymous with “predestine”. (?)

    As to your first question, I’m not sure I could give an answer as you’ve asked it. Those verses make clear that those who know God — who are justified, glorified, whom God calls his children — were predestined by him to be so. I don’t know of any verses that support the idea that some people were damned because God didn’t predestine them — people are always condemned because they reject Jesus and his salvation, instead choosing to rely on themselves.

    I realize that there’s a seemingly logical hole there, but as a Lutheran, I’m content to believe things as they are written rather than trying to use my own limited understanding to make the Bible say what it does not. Thus I believe that all who are saved are saved only by God’s work, and yet I believe that God wants all men to be saved.

  • FW

    “As man is, God once was; as God is, man shall become”

    It would not be possible for ANY mormon who has gone through the temple ceremonies for marriage to say that this statement is false in any context.

    THIS is in fact THE core and central unifying concept behind the entirety of LDS teaching.

    You , deliberately, obscure this fact, BECAUSE it marks the LDS church as utterly other than christianity. Your church has taught you to do this as a missionary.

    again show me ONE quote from a prophet or general authority that disowns ANYTHING vieth states and says it is heresy.

    You cannot sir.

    This is not honest Paul. You know this. I can state this as politely as I can , yet the fact remains.

    I am waiting for you to deny anything I have said here as being the plain and simple truth.

  • FW

    “As man is, God once was; as God is, man shall become”

    It would not be possible for ANY mormon who has gone through the temple ceremonies for marriage to say that this statement is false in any context.

    THIS is in fact THE core and central unifying concept behind the entirety of LDS teaching.

    You , deliberately, obscure this fact, BECAUSE it marks the LDS church as utterly other than christianity. Your church has taught you to do this as a missionary.

    again show me ONE quote from a prophet or general authority that disowns ANYTHING vieth states and says it is heresy.

    You cannot sir.

    This is not honest Paul. You know this. I can state this as politely as I can , yet the fact remains.

    I am waiting for you to deny anything I have said here as being the plain and simple truth.

  • FW

    #50 paul w:

    Honesty would require this of you paul w:

    “The central core idea that unifies all our teachings is that by following the ordinances of the Church, mankind can become gods and godesses and create their own planets. This is the desired end result that our church aims for.” “Now let´s discuss further how our church is different from your own……”

    You start by stating, in a simple way, without artifice, deliberately accentuating the differences, what is the most radical difference, and then go from there. I know you might nuance this differently , but in essence this is what you believe to be true.

    After this, any talk of Jesus and justification with you would be irrelevant to christians. You know this too.

    This is what looks like honesty to me Paul and nothing less than this.

    You have been trained by your church not to do this Paul.

    There is a reason why you have been trained this way. It is not an honest or honorable reason.

    You know this. I sense that you personally are trying to be an honorable man. This does not remove the force of what I am saying here or allow me to be less candid with you.

  • FW

    #50 paul w:

    Honesty would require this of you paul w:

    “The central core idea that unifies all our teachings is that by following the ordinances of the Church, mankind can become gods and godesses and create their own planets. This is the desired end result that our church aims for.” “Now let´s discuss further how our church is different from your own……”

    You start by stating, in a simple way, without artifice, deliberately accentuating the differences, what is the most radical difference, and then go from there. I know you might nuance this differently , but in essence this is what you believe to be true.

    After this, any talk of Jesus and justification with you would be irrelevant to christians. You know this too.

    This is what looks like honesty to me Paul and nothing less than this.

    You have been trained by your church not to do this Paul.

    There is a reason why you have been trained this way. It is not an honest or honorable reason.

    You know this. I sense that you personally are trying to be an honorable man. This does not remove the force of what I am saying here or allow me to be less candid with you.

  • FW

    #48 paul w

    “by their fruits ye shall know them…..”

  • FW

    #48 paul w

    “by their fruits ye shall know them…..”

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Aside from doctrinal issues (the nature of God and Christ; justification), Mormonism has the basic problem that it simply isn’t true. I addressed some of its historical problems back in #23.

    Being that they cannot provide any objective evidence for the truthfulness of their prophets and scriptures, they fall back on a subjective “burning in the bosom.” But that is Biblically absurd; why should I pray about the truthfulness of a religion that contradicts the Bible at so many significant points. It is much better to rely on the objective truth of the Old and New Testament than to rely on the subjective feelings one may get by praying.

    I have no more reason to believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet or that the Book of Mormon is a further revelation of Jesus Christ than I have for believing that Mohammad was a prophet or that the Koran supersedes the Bible. The parallels between Mohammad and Joseph Smith are numerous: both claimed to receive direct revelations from God, both changed Jesus into something other than what he is in the Bible, both wrote a book claiming to be scripture, and both had multiple wives. Why should I choose Mormonism over Islam?

    I’ll stick with Biblical Christianity.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Aside from doctrinal issues (the nature of God and Christ; justification), Mormonism has the basic problem that it simply isn’t true. I addressed some of its historical problems back in #23.

    Being that they cannot provide any objective evidence for the truthfulness of their prophets and scriptures, they fall back on a subjective “burning in the bosom.” But that is Biblically absurd; why should I pray about the truthfulness of a religion that contradicts the Bible at so many significant points. It is much better to rely on the objective truth of the Old and New Testament than to rely on the subjective feelings one may get by praying.

    I have no more reason to believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet or that the Book of Mormon is a further revelation of Jesus Christ than I have for believing that Mohammad was a prophet or that the Koran supersedes the Bible. The parallels between Mohammad and Joseph Smith are numerous: both claimed to receive direct revelations from God, both changed Jesus into something other than what he is in the Bible, both wrote a book claiming to be scripture, and both had multiple wives. Why should I choose Mormonism over Islam?

    I’ll stick with Biblical Christianity.

  • Paul W.

    FW,

    @52 you say…

    ““As man is, God once was; as God is, man shall become”

    It would not be possible for ANY Mormon who has gone through the temple ceremonies for marriage to say that this statement is false in any context.”

    Again, you show your lack of understanding. I think I made it quite clear that Mormons believe we can become Heirs of God and hence “gods” in post numbers 6 & 11. You are right that this is connected the the temple sealing. You can read the some historical LDS marriage text and the long standing and current temple sealing ceremony in full here: http://www.lds-mormon.com/veilworker/marriage.shtml

    However, the couplet that you quote by LDS President Lorenzo Snow, “As man is, God once was; as God is, man shall become”, is not scripture. It is a fact that we believe that God can exalt us through his Son. However a faithful Latter-day Saint could easily disagree with or deny “As man is, God once was…”. This is not taught in the Temple as you claim. That being said, it is something that is popularly believed to some degree by many (including myself). I don’t think anyone pretends to know much about this idea and we don’t spend much time on it.

    You are also misguided if you think this statement from post #53 is an “accurate and honest” expression of the “core” of LDS teaching:

    “Honesty would require this of you paul w:

    “The central core idea that unifies all our teachings is that by following the ordinances of the Church, mankind can become gods and godesses and create their own planets. This is the desired end result that our church aims for.””

    You seem obsessed with the details and mechanics of what we call “exaltation”, and leave out important details of how and why God exalts us. A more accurate statement of “core” belief would need to include some amendments and probably be much longer. Something along these lines:

    “The central core that unifies all Latter-day Saint teaching is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is this Faith, that necessarily moves us to endeavor as best we can, to live the kind of life he perfectly lived, including participation in ordinances (or sacraments) of the Gospel. These sacraments (baptism, confirmation, weekly communion, temple endowment and the sealing of husband & wife) help us make and keep covenants that apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ to our lives. Through the Atonement God saves us from our fallen state, which inflicts us with physical and spiritual death. The Atonement provides for the resurrection and immortality of all mankind. It also provides for the exaltation of those who become the “sons (or daughters) of God”. This exaltation takes form in the sealing of families…of husbands of wives…that they continue in posterity for eternity…as gods…as “Heirs of God and Joint Heirs with Christ”. This is the desired result that the Church and (in our belief) the Lord aims for. He said, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)”

    P.S. Sorry this isn’t very “saintly”, but you’re still being a bit of an ass to me. We have differences a plenty and I have been quite vocal about them.

    Also, I think talk of Jesus, the Atonement, and Justification is quite relevant, and a much more interesting discussion than we’re currently having.

    I think everyone here now knows Mormons believe God means to exalt us as his children…as couples…as gods…etc. How shocking…how blasphemous…

    That blasphemy aside, I’m much more interested in discussing our differences in regard to Justification and the NT scriptures and history surrounding these doctrines. Regardless of what you may think, Jesus of Nazareth, his ministry, death, and resurrection, as the only begotten Son of the Father and Savior of the World is central to my personal Faith and relationship with God.

  • Paul W.

    FW,

    @52 you say…

    ““As man is, God once was; as God is, man shall become”

    It would not be possible for ANY Mormon who has gone through the temple ceremonies for marriage to say that this statement is false in any context.”

    Again, you show your lack of understanding. I think I made it quite clear that Mormons believe we can become Heirs of God and hence “gods” in post numbers 6 & 11. You are right that this is connected the the temple sealing. You can read the some historical LDS marriage text and the long standing and current temple sealing ceremony in full here: http://www.lds-mormon.com/veilworker/marriage.shtml

    However, the couplet that you quote by LDS President Lorenzo Snow, “As man is, God once was; as God is, man shall become”, is not scripture. It is a fact that we believe that God can exalt us through his Son. However a faithful Latter-day Saint could easily disagree with or deny “As man is, God once was…”. This is not taught in the Temple as you claim. That being said, it is something that is popularly believed to some degree by many (including myself). I don’t think anyone pretends to know much about this idea and we don’t spend much time on it.

    You are also misguided if you think this statement from post #53 is an “accurate and honest” expression of the “core” of LDS teaching:

    “Honesty would require this of you paul w:

    “The central core idea that unifies all our teachings is that by following the ordinances of the Church, mankind can become gods and godesses and create their own planets. This is the desired end result that our church aims for.””

    You seem obsessed with the details and mechanics of what we call “exaltation”, and leave out important details of how and why God exalts us. A more accurate statement of “core” belief would need to include some amendments and probably be much longer. Something along these lines:

    “The central core that unifies all Latter-day Saint teaching is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is this Faith, that necessarily moves us to endeavor as best we can, to live the kind of life he perfectly lived, including participation in ordinances (or sacraments) of the Gospel. These sacraments (baptism, confirmation, weekly communion, temple endowment and the sealing of husband & wife) help us make and keep covenants that apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ to our lives. Through the Atonement God saves us from our fallen state, which inflicts us with physical and spiritual death. The Atonement provides for the resurrection and immortality of all mankind. It also provides for the exaltation of those who become the “sons (or daughters) of God”. This exaltation takes form in the sealing of families…of husbands of wives…that they continue in posterity for eternity…as gods…as “Heirs of God and Joint Heirs with Christ”. This is the desired result that the Church and (in our belief) the Lord aims for. He said, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)”

    P.S. Sorry this isn’t very “saintly”, but you’re still being a bit of an ass to me. We have differences a plenty and I have been quite vocal about them.

    Also, I think talk of Jesus, the Atonement, and Justification is quite relevant, and a much more interesting discussion than we’re currently having.

    I think everyone here now knows Mormons believe God means to exalt us as his children…as couples…as gods…etc. How shocking…how blasphemous…

    That blasphemy aside, I’m much more interested in discussing our differences in regard to Justification and the NT scriptures and history surrounding these doctrines. Regardless of what you may think, Jesus of Nazareth, his ministry, death, and resurrection, as the only begotten Son of the Father and Savior of the World is central to my personal Faith and relationship with God.

  • Paul W.

    tOOD #51,

    Thank You! Great verses. I see were you’re coming from.

    I just wanted to clarify something for everyone here…it seems obvious this is a Lutheran oriented blog. I am not here in an effort to try to convince, or convert anyone of or to Mormonism. I merely saw the post here and thought it would be helpful to have an LDS perspective in the discussion. I’ve also been trying to point out with limited success that not all LDS agree on every point. I personally respect all of your beliefs and interpretation of the scriptures. I would like to understand your point of view better. That does not mean that I have to agree with them in my life just as you can respect me and try to understand my point of view without accepting that point of view personally.

    Ok tODD,

    This gets into (especially Rom 8: 29-30) a subject where I think I can at the same time sort of agree with you and disagree with you. Mormons believe in a “pre-mortal” existence as spirits. We also refer to this “predestination” as “foreordination”. This is a belief that as Romans states he did “forknow” us and ordained us or called us all to salvation and exaltation. So, in some sense we have a similar idea here but also I believe drastically different. We also believe that we can “act for ourselves” and choose to accept or reject this calling. I think when we accept it is because we’ve done as God meant us to…I think you said something similar before…but when we reject Him it is because we’ve rebelled against him.

    I think the core difference here though is that we do believe that people have some input in their salvation by choosing to accept God’s gift and calling.

    If I understand you correctly, you believe that you really have no influence on the matter, because everything you do for good is because God meant you to do it and not because of a choice to do it.

    Here’s a question though, if a person is tempted to, but chooses not to rebel against God (as someone here said a person could (choose to rebel) in your view), would that not in someway be a choice to follow God? …Just a question.

  • Paul W.

    tOOD #51,

    Thank You! Great verses. I see were you’re coming from.

    I just wanted to clarify something for everyone here…it seems obvious this is a Lutheran oriented blog. I am not here in an effort to try to convince, or convert anyone of or to Mormonism. I merely saw the post here and thought it would be helpful to have an LDS perspective in the discussion. I’ve also been trying to point out with limited success that not all LDS agree on every point. I personally respect all of your beliefs and interpretation of the scriptures. I would like to understand your point of view better. That does not mean that I have to agree with them in my life just as you can respect me and try to understand my point of view without accepting that point of view personally.

    Ok tODD,

    This gets into (especially Rom 8: 29-30) a subject where I think I can at the same time sort of agree with you and disagree with you. Mormons believe in a “pre-mortal” existence as spirits. We also refer to this “predestination” as “foreordination”. This is a belief that as Romans states he did “forknow” us and ordained us or called us all to salvation and exaltation. So, in some sense we have a similar idea here but also I believe drastically different. We also believe that we can “act for ourselves” and choose to accept or reject this calling. I think when we accept it is because we’ve done as God meant us to…I think you said something similar before…but when we reject Him it is because we’ve rebelled against him.

    I think the core difference here though is that we do believe that people have some input in their salvation by choosing to accept God’s gift and calling.

    If I understand you correctly, you believe that you really have no influence on the matter, because everything you do for good is because God meant you to do it and not because of a choice to do it.

    Here’s a question though, if a person is tempted to, but chooses not to rebel against God (as someone here said a person could (choose to rebel) in your view), would that not in someway be a choice to follow God? …Just a question.

  • Bror Erickson

    Paul W.
    To answer your question it is not more our choice than it is for you to keep breathing. The fact that I choose not to commit suicide does not make my life my choice.
    Now there are some other questions building on the other thread, we would like you to answer.
    Also as far as your doctrine of Pre-existence, how does that Jive with John 1:14 where Jesus is the Fathers only begotten Son? How can he be this if God is begetting Children with the Holy Mother all the time?

  • Bror Erickson

    Paul W.
    To answer your question it is not more our choice than it is for you to keep breathing. The fact that I choose not to commit suicide does not make my life my choice.
    Now there are some other questions building on the other thread, we would like you to answer.
    Also as far as your doctrine of Pre-existence, how does that Jive with John 1:14 where Jesus is the Fathers only begotten Son? How can he be this if God is begetting Children with the Holy Mother all the time?

  • FW

    #57 paul w

    why do speculation when we can know what is real by looking at the one true God who has no beginning, no end, and was not made or was the result of a sexual relation between a man and a woman?

    this is like ” if god made a stone so big he could not move it could he?” what would any answer to a speculative question prove or verify?

    Here’s a question though, if a person is tempted to, but chooses not to rebel against God (as someone here said a person could (choose to rebel) in your view), would that not in someway be a choice to follow God? …Just a question.

  • FW

    #57 paul w

    why do speculation when we can know what is real by looking at the one true God who has no beginning, no end, and was not made or was the result of a sexual relation between a man and a woman?

    this is like ” if god made a stone so big he could not move it could he?” what would any answer to a speculative question prove or verify?

    Here’s a question though, if a person is tempted to, but chooses not to rebel against God (as someone here said a person could (choose to rebel) in your view), would that not in someway be a choice to follow God? …Just a question.

  • FW

    #56 Paul W

    “I think everyone here now knows Mormons believe God means to exalt us as his children…as couples…as gods…etc. How shocking…how blasphemous…

    That blasphemy aside…”

    Paul. This IS my point. I doubt that many people DO know this about your church.

    And as you point out many times, while it IS the common belief of Mormons, and it IS even a fundamental of your church by inescapable logical conjecture at the very minimum, it is nowhere prominent in official writings of your church.

    so just how would people know? THIS is exactly where I see the dishonesty to be Paul. If you mormons always led off with THIS statement, or at least put it somewhere prominently in your introduction to mormonism I would then no longer accuse you or your church of patent dishonesty. Do you see where I am coming from and why? Of course you do.

    May the Lord bless you to know the True Peace of God that exceeds all human understanding. You do not yet know him. Brother Bror and Todd here are trying their best to help you understand this.

    Please listen carefully to them. You are not yet understanding anything they are saying. You sense this as well. I will pray to God to stirr your heart with their words to you.

    Sincerely,

    Frank

  • FW

    #56 Paul W

    “I think everyone here now knows Mormons believe God means to exalt us as his children…as couples…as gods…etc. How shocking…how blasphemous…

    That blasphemy aside…”

    Paul. This IS my point. I doubt that many people DO know this about your church.

    And as you point out many times, while it IS the common belief of Mormons, and it IS even a fundamental of your church by inescapable logical conjecture at the very minimum, it is nowhere prominent in official writings of your church.

    so just how would people know? THIS is exactly where I see the dishonesty to be Paul. If you mormons always led off with THIS statement, or at least put it somewhere prominently in your introduction to mormonism I would then no longer accuse you or your church of patent dishonesty. Do you see where I am coming from and why? Of course you do.

    May the Lord bless you to know the True Peace of God that exceeds all human understanding. You do not yet know him. Brother Bror and Todd here are trying their best to help you understand this.

    Please listen carefully to them. You are not yet understanding anything they are saying. You sense this as well. I will pray to God to stirr your heart with their words to you.

    Sincerely,

    Frank

  • PeteS

    Paul W #33 said:
    “Jesus tells us that (regardless of how ineffectively we may do so) we need to have Faith in Him. Faith is a principle of action! And when we practice our Faith in Christ, then are we Perfected in and through Him. This is what the New Testament teaches.”

    A question that comes to my mind is, how perfectly do we have to “practice our faith?” And where in the New Testament does it teach that our actions perfect us in and through Jesus? Are you saying that without our actions we are not perfect in Christ?

    I know that the Bible says, “By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (Hebrews 10:14).”

    When you look at the context of Scripture, in other words, comparing this passage with other Scripture passages, it is clear that we have been made perfect in Christ. It’s a done deal. Yes, faith is essential, it is what receives the gift, and as the gospel creates and feeds our faith, we are being sanctified, or made holy, growing in our faith and love which expresses itself in actions. It seems that you are saying that our actions lead to our salvation. We say that we have salvation, it’s promised to us and not dependent in the least on what we do. Rather, our faith follows our salvation, it’s a result of what we have received by which we say “Thank you” to God.

  • PeteS

    Paul W #33 said:
    “Jesus tells us that (regardless of how ineffectively we may do so) we need to have Faith in Him. Faith is a principle of action! And when we practice our Faith in Christ, then are we Perfected in and through Him. This is what the New Testament teaches.”

    A question that comes to my mind is, how perfectly do we have to “practice our faith?” And where in the New Testament does it teach that our actions perfect us in and through Jesus? Are you saying that without our actions we are not perfect in Christ?

    I know that the Bible says, “By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (Hebrews 10:14).”

    When you look at the context of Scripture, in other words, comparing this passage with other Scripture passages, it is clear that we have been made perfect in Christ. It’s a done deal. Yes, faith is essential, it is what receives the gift, and as the gospel creates and feeds our faith, we are being sanctified, or made holy, growing in our faith and love which expresses itself in actions. It seems that you are saying that our actions lead to our salvation. We say that we have salvation, it’s promised to us and not dependent in the least on what we do. Rather, our faith follows our salvation, it’s a result of what we have received by which we say “Thank you” to God.

  • PeteS

    Here’s something else to consider, some quotes I found:

    Milton R. Hunter, a member of Mormonism’s First Council of the Seventy, wrote in The Gospel Through the Ages, p 104:

    “Mormon prophets have continuously taught the sublime truth that God the Eternal Father was once a mortal man who passed through a school of earth life similar to that through which we are now passing. He became God – an exalted being – through obedience to the same eternal Gospel truths that we are given opportunity today to obey.”

    Hunter, also writes:

    “We accept the fact that God is the Supreme Intelligent Being in the universe. He has the greatest knowledge, the most perfect will, and the most infinite power of any person within the realm of our understanding.” “Then how did He become glorified and exalted and attain His present status of Godhood? In the first place, aeons ago God undoubtedly took advantage of every opportunity to learn the laws of truth and as He became acquainted with each new verity He righteously obeyed it. From day to day He exerted His will vigorously, and as a result became thoroughly acquainted with the forces lying about Him. As he gained more knowledge through persistent effort and continuous industry, as well as through absolute obedience, His understanding of the universal laws continued to become more complete. Thus He grew in experience and continued to grow until He attained the status of Godhood. In other words, He became God by absolute obedience to all the eternal laws of the Gospel by conforming His actions to all truth, and thereby became the author of eternal truth. Therefore, the road that the Eternal Father followed to Godhood was one of living at all times a dynamic, industrious, and completely righteous life. There is no other way to exaltation.”

    Hunter further wrote in the chapter, How Men May Become Gods:

    “Thus all men who ascend to the glorious status of Godhood can do so only by one method – by obedience to all the principles and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If to obtain eternal life means to enjoy the same type of life that God lives and to experience similar experiences, then those people who receive it to the fullest degree shall actually be Gods.” (The Gospel Through The Ages, pp. 114-117)

    An official publication of the LDS Church states:

    As shown in this chapter, our Father in heaven was once a man as we are now, capable of physical death. By obedience to eternal gospel principles, he progressed from one stage of life to another until he attained the state that we call exaltation or godhood. In such a condition, he and our mother in heaven were empowered to give birth to spirit children whose potential was equal to that of their heavenly parents. We are those spirit children. (Achieving a Celestial Marriage p 132)

    A former President of the LDS Church stated:

    Some people are troubled over the statements of the prophet Joseph Smith…the matter that seems such a mystery is the statement that our Father in heaven at one time passed through a life and a death and is an exalted man. This is one of the mysteries….the Prophet taught that our father had a father and so on. Is not this a reasonable thought, especially when we remember that the promises are made to us that we may become like him? -Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1: 10,12

    These quotes seem to be saying more than you, PaulW, are saying. I understand you to say that you can not believe certain things and still be an LDS member in good standing. However, if beliefs differ that much, and it surely seems that what you are saying differs to a good degree from what past LDS leaders have officially said, isn’t it imperative to work out those differences or, as Scripture tells us, mark and avoid?

  • PeteS

    Here’s something else to consider, some quotes I found:

    Milton R. Hunter, a member of Mormonism’s First Council of the Seventy, wrote in The Gospel Through the Ages, p 104:

    “Mormon prophets have continuously taught the sublime truth that God the Eternal Father was once a mortal man who passed through a school of earth life similar to that through which we are now passing. He became God – an exalted being – through obedience to the same eternal Gospel truths that we are given opportunity today to obey.”

    Hunter, also writes:

    “We accept the fact that God is the Supreme Intelligent Being in the universe. He has the greatest knowledge, the most perfect will, and the most infinite power of any person within the realm of our understanding.” “Then how did He become glorified and exalted and attain His present status of Godhood? In the first place, aeons ago God undoubtedly took advantage of every opportunity to learn the laws of truth and as He became acquainted with each new verity He righteously obeyed it. From day to day He exerted His will vigorously, and as a result became thoroughly acquainted with the forces lying about Him. As he gained more knowledge through persistent effort and continuous industry, as well as through absolute obedience, His understanding of the universal laws continued to become more complete. Thus He grew in experience and continued to grow until He attained the status of Godhood. In other words, He became God by absolute obedience to all the eternal laws of the Gospel by conforming His actions to all truth, and thereby became the author of eternal truth. Therefore, the road that the Eternal Father followed to Godhood was one of living at all times a dynamic, industrious, and completely righteous life. There is no other way to exaltation.”

    Hunter further wrote in the chapter, How Men May Become Gods:

    “Thus all men who ascend to the glorious status of Godhood can do so only by one method – by obedience to all the principles and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If to obtain eternal life means to enjoy the same type of life that God lives and to experience similar experiences, then those people who receive it to the fullest degree shall actually be Gods.” (The Gospel Through The Ages, pp. 114-117)

    An official publication of the LDS Church states:

    As shown in this chapter, our Father in heaven was once a man as we are now, capable of physical death. By obedience to eternal gospel principles, he progressed from one stage of life to another until he attained the state that we call exaltation or godhood. In such a condition, he and our mother in heaven were empowered to give birth to spirit children whose potential was equal to that of their heavenly parents. We are those spirit children. (Achieving a Celestial Marriage p 132)

    A former President of the LDS Church stated:

    Some people are troubled over the statements of the prophet Joseph Smith…the matter that seems such a mystery is the statement that our Father in heaven at one time passed through a life and a death and is an exalted man. This is one of the mysteries….the Prophet taught that our father had a father and so on. Is not this a reasonable thought, especially when we remember that the promises are made to us that we may become like him? -Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1: 10,12

    These quotes seem to be saying more than you, PaulW, are saying. I understand you to say that you can not believe certain things and still be an LDS member in good standing. However, if beliefs differ that much, and it surely seems that what you are saying differs to a good degree from what past LDS leaders have officially said, isn’t it imperative to work out those differences or, as Scripture tells us, mark and avoid?

  • FW

    #62 PeteS

    Pete, I think what Paul W has ended up telling us is that 100% of temple mormons believe EXACTLY what you quoted and that this is not optional. But because this information is not made prominent in official LDS publications, that he is free to imply , dishonestly, that this is merely a small and competing school of speculative thought within his church.

    He first did everything he could to obscure the fact that this IS official church doctrine.

    First he threw out a partial truth that you could still be a mormon and not believe all this. (The reason this is partially true, is that this is considered a “higher knowledge, not for general public distribution, that is taught explicitly only in the temple. Paul could not tell us THIS is so, because temple ceremonies are not to be divuldged to others. so mormons who have not been to the temple are mormons in good standing without knowing this core information. got it?)

    Then he wanted to engage in issues , like justification and free will that would make him seem like another protestant, This is clear obsfuscation. No christian is going to find this discussion of free will and justification meaningful with a person further removed from our faith than a hindu.

    Yes paul, just because your name is “paul” does not mean that you have anything at all in common with the apostle paul. and just because you use the same terms as christians does not mean that you have ANYTHING at ALL in common with christians.

    In fact you have 0% in common with christians.

    I hope that you DO in fact understand this. This is merely a statement of fact. Not an insult.

    put it in the reverse if it makes you feel better. Lutheran, catholic, and protestant christianity have NOTHING in common with mormon teaching.

    Your church in fact teaches this!! Your church claims to be the ONLY true church. the only one that can claim to have the real Jesus Christ.

    You teach that the church ceased to exist completely(!) and was only recreated with the coming of the angel moroni to Joseph Smith. This can only mean exactly what I have just said yes??

    But now you and your church are trying to say they are christian in exactly the same sense that catholics and protestants regard themselves to be christian. WHY is this Paul?

    The end does NOT justify the means Paul.

    Paul then suggested that EVERYONE knows about this mormon doctrine of becoming Gods, and that this was his excuse for not being more transparent here. How would anyone know this when the mormons deliberately downplay this core teaching?

    THEN he got upset and said I was rude etc because I called him AND his church dishonest and challenged him to disown ONE SINGLE thing Vieth said. Remember his post #6 called vieth on “ERROR” not “inaccuracy” or “technicality”. Why was it rude then to call him dishonest and challenge him on this. I invited him to correct me and promised to apologize accordingly…. That seems fair to me. I apologize Paul for my delivery and style, but I don´t think I need to apoligize for content.

    Paul W.: The truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth.

    Why is it that the teaching of becoming a god must be kept secret or diliberately downplayed? Why IS this?

    If progression to exhaltation and godhood IS the truth and is unique to mormonism, why is it not something that you all boast about and shout from the mountain tops? WHY is this ?

    Can you at least answer THIS question honestly for us?

    I am curious if there can be honesty, and some respect towards us here at least here on your part.

  • FW

    #62 PeteS

    Pete, I think what Paul W has ended up telling us is that 100% of temple mormons believe EXACTLY what you quoted and that this is not optional. But because this information is not made prominent in official LDS publications, that he is free to imply , dishonestly, that this is merely a small and competing school of speculative thought within his church.

    He first did everything he could to obscure the fact that this IS official church doctrine.

    First he threw out a partial truth that you could still be a mormon and not believe all this. (The reason this is partially true, is that this is considered a “higher knowledge, not for general public distribution, that is taught explicitly only in the temple. Paul could not tell us THIS is so, because temple ceremonies are not to be divuldged to others. so mormons who have not been to the temple are mormons in good standing without knowing this core information. got it?)

    Then he wanted to engage in issues , like justification and free will that would make him seem like another protestant, This is clear obsfuscation. No christian is going to find this discussion of free will and justification meaningful with a person further removed from our faith than a hindu.

    Yes paul, just because your name is “paul” does not mean that you have anything at all in common with the apostle paul. and just because you use the same terms as christians does not mean that you have ANYTHING at ALL in common with christians.

    In fact you have 0% in common with christians.

    I hope that you DO in fact understand this. This is merely a statement of fact. Not an insult.

    put it in the reverse if it makes you feel better. Lutheran, catholic, and protestant christianity have NOTHING in common with mormon teaching.

    Your church in fact teaches this!! Your church claims to be the ONLY true church. the only one that can claim to have the real Jesus Christ.

    You teach that the church ceased to exist completely(!) and was only recreated with the coming of the angel moroni to Joseph Smith. This can only mean exactly what I have just said yes??

    But now you and your church are trying to say they are christian in exactly the same sense that catholics and protestants regard themselves to be christian. WHY is this Paul?

    The end does NOT justify the means Paul.

    Paul then suggested that EVERYONE knows about this mormon doctrine of becoming Gods, and that this was his excuse for not being more transparent here. How would anyone know this when the mormons deliberately downplay this core teaching?

    THEN he got upset and said I was rude etc because I called him AND his church dishonest and challenged him to disown ONE SINGLE thing Vieth said. Remember his post #6 called vieth on “ERROR” not “inaccuracy” or “technicality”. Why was it rude then to call him dishonest and challenge him on this. I invited him to correct me and promised to apologize accordingly…. That seems fair to me. I apologize Paul for my delivery and style, but I don´t think I need to apoligize for content.

    Paul W.: The truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth.

    Why is it that the teaching of becoming a god must be kept secret or diliberately downplayed? Why IS this?

    If progression to exhaltation and godhood IS the truth and is unique to mormonism, why is it not something that you all boast about and shout from the mountain tops? WHY is this ?

    Can you at least answer THIS question honestly for us?

    I am curious if there can be honesty, and some respect towards us here at least here on your part.

  • FW

    #62 Paul W and all here

    I dont believe in a religious test for our government. Those of you here who have read my posts for awhile know this very very well to be true.

    In THIS case, with ROMNEY. I could NOT vote for a man whose church has taught him to be deliberately dishonest in exactly the same way Paul W is demonstrating to us here.

    Paul W is really just showing us exactly how missionaries are trained to present their church to other christians.

    consider that romney and all adult mormon males have had this intensive training for two years of their life and have many more years on top of that in training other young men how to be missionaries.

    I could make a strong case that Mormons uniquely enshrine dishonesty as one of their doctrinal tenants. “this is a higher knowledge that non- temple mormons are not ready for, so we SHOULD dissimilate here”.

    There is no other religion that makes dishonesty a high art form to be practiced and massaged like a good sale pitch. Any dishonest sales pitch you have ever had pitched to you is FUNDAMENTALLY based on the same “principles” as the mormon missionary sales pitch.

    I get the feeling that PaulW is here precisely to hone his skills and “defend” his church (and romney) by portraying it dishonestly.

    Simply Amazing.

    Consider the “world view ” that this represents. Please!

    Ok you other Lutherans and protestants here. Convince me that I should ignore this fact and vote for romney if he is the one nominated by the republicans.

    It looks like “Would you buy a used car from this man?”

  • FW

    #62 Paul W and all here

    I dont believe in a religious test for our government. Those of you here who have read my posts for awhile know this very very well to be true.

    In THIS case, with ROMNEY. I could NOT vote for a man whose church has taught him to be deliberately dishonest in exactly the same way Paul W is demonstrating to us here.

    Paul W is really just showing us exactly how missionaries are trained to present their church to other christians.

    consider that romney and all adult mormon males have had this intensive training for two years of their life and have many more years on top of that in training other young men how to be missionaries.

    I could make a strong case that Mormons uniquely enshrine dishonesty as one of their doctrinal tenants. “this is a higher knowledge that non- temple mormons are not ready for, so we SHOULD dissimilate here”.

    There is no other religion that makes dishonesty a high art form to be practiced and massaged like a good sale pitch. Any dishonest sales pitch you have ever had pitched to you is FUNDAMENTALLY based on the same “principles” as the mormon missionary sales pitch.

    I get the feeling that PaulW is here precisely to hone his skills and “defend” his church (and romney) by portraying it dishonestly.

    Simply Amazing.

    Consider the “world view ” that this represents. Please!

    Ok you other Lutherans and protestants here. Convince me that I should ignore this fact and vote for romney if he is the one nominated by the republicans.

    It looks like “Would you buy a used car from this man?”

  • Craig

    I’ve read a lot of “Mormons aren’t Christians because…”

    Maybe a better place to start is with the following:

    What is a Christian?
    What would you say are the core (essential) doctrines of Christianity?
    How does a doctrine come to be a core Christian doctrine?
    Who defines which doctrines are core to Christianity?

  • Craig

    I’ve read a lot of “Mormons aren’t Christians because…”

    Maybe a better place to start is with the following:

    What is a Christian?
    What would you say are the core (essential) doctrines of Christianity?
    How does a doctrine come to be a core Christian doctrine?
    Who defines which doctrines are core to Christianity?

  • FW

    #65 Craig

    Wow I am soooo glad you asked this question!

    To respond to your lead-in “mormons are not christians because…”

    Who has authority to define the words “christian” and “christianity” and “core christian doctrine” would be an honest start only if mormons started with the premise: “we are the only true christian church and you are apostate and no true church. You are therefore not christians.” Mormons start out rather with the LYING premise that they claim to be “christian” in the same sense we are. fair enough?

    Fact: Mormons claim that the Church of Jesus Christ ceased to exist until the Mormon Church was created. Mormons assert that what traditional christians ARE, the MORMONS are utterly NOT.

    FACT: It is not rude or unreasonable therefore for anyone to confirm this to be a fact! In fact honesty demands this!

    FACT: Christians are extremely honest about proclaiming this. Mormons are extremely and actively dishonest about proclaiming this.

    FACT: Mormons (1) declare all christian churchs completely and utterly apostate and that Christ does not exist in them. That the church of Jesus Christ in fact ceased to exist on earth until the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith (2) That the purpose of Jesus is to be part of a plan for all families to progress to become exhalted Gods and Godesses and create their own planets.

    FACT: The mormon church is now (1)ACTIVELY AND AGRESSIVELY downplaying and actively hiding both of these core Mormon teachings (you see this with PaulW here), and (2) are trying their best to posture as just another protestant sect.

    FACT: THIS IS ALL EXTREMELY DISHONEST CRAIG!

    Now to answer your other far more important questions:

    What is a christian? A christian is one who has the TRUE Christ living in Him because of his baptism. One mark of a christian, interestingly, is that he or she will suffer. A Christian is not defined by following a set of morals or ordinances specified somewhere. Jesus did not come to be a teacher or moral example.

    Who is the real Jesus? He is the One:

    Who said His only purpose was to suffer & die.
    Who is the ONLY begotten son of the Father.
    Who said you had to be PERFECT to be right with God. Who was born of a virgin.
    Who said you had to hate your father and mother.
    Who said to sell all you have and give it to the poor. Who said you had to eat His body and blood. Literally.
    Who said that His church would NEVER vanish from the face of the earth till his ultimate return.
    Who says there is only ONE true God.
    Who claims to be the ONE true God.
    Who affirms that The Father and the Holy Spirit are the ONE true God.

    There is much more. I am being honest here and trying to accentuate differences between us and mormons.

    Does THIS look like the Jesus or christianity that you know Craig?

    What is the essential doctrine of christianity?:

    “Christ-ianity.”

    Jesus is not the center. Christ is the ONLY essence-ial.

    Who said this was so? Who defines this?

    Jesus Himself in numerous places. What I or ANY church says contrary to this is irrelevant.

    Jesus says:

    The old testament is ALL about His person.
    His apostles say the NT is ALL about His Person.
    To know and see Him is to know everything about God. Not just everything necessary. Everything.

    In MANY places and ways Jesus and his apostles make this unitary thematic point over and over that Jesus is THE Way, THE truth, THE Life. Not AN example of, or even the main example of……! Without His Person, truth and life would cease to exist!

    I will leave you with this:

    “In many and various ways, God spoke to His people of old by the prophets, but now in these LATTER DAYS, He has spoken to us by His Son.” Hebrews 1:1-2a

    Jesus himself is the final word, the (1) final, (2) complete, and (3) fully revealed, revelation of God.

    Lutherans, along with all other Christians, are therefore authorized by Christ Himself to have only ONE doctrine:

    The birth , life , death and resurrection of Jesus for the reconciliation of the entire cosmos to God.

    There is nothing added to this. Where we speak otherwise as the church, we speak only as men without any Divine authority.

    ALL other doctrines are merely in support of this unitary proclamation.

    Got it?

  • FW

    #65 Craig

    Wow I am soooo glad you asked this question!

    To respond to your lead-in “mormons are not christians because…”

    Who has authority to define the words “christian” and “christianity” and “core christian doctrine” would be an honest start only if mormons started with the premise: “we are the only true christian church and you are apostate and no true church. You are therefore not christians.” Mormons start out rather with the LYING premise that they claim to be “christian” in the same sense we are. fair enough?

    Fact: Mormons claim that the Church of Jesus Christ ceased to exist until the Mormon Church was created. Mormons assert that what traditional christians ARE, the MORMONS are utterly NOT.

    FACT: It is not rude or unreasonable therefore for anyone to confirm this to be a fact! In fact honesty demands this!

    FACT: Christians are extremely honest about proclaiming this. Mormons are extremely and actively dishonest about proclaiming this.

    FACT: Mormons (1) declare all christian churchs completely and utterly apostate and that Christ does not exist in them. That the church of Jesus Christ in fact ceased to exist on earth until the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith (2) That the purpose of Jesus is to be part of a plan for all families to progress to become exhalted Gods and Godesses and create their own planets.

    FACT: The mormon church is now (1)ACTIVELY AND AGRESSIVELY downplaying and actively hiding both of these core Mormon teachings (you see this with PaulW here), and (2) are trying their best to posture as just another protestant sect.

    FACT: THIS IS ALL EXTREMELY DISHONEST CRAIG!

    Now to answer your other far more important questions:

    What is a christian? A christian is one who has the TRUE Christ living in Him because of his baptism. One mark of a christian, interestingly, is that he or she will suffer. A Christian is not defined by following a set of morals or ordinances specified somewhere. Jesus did not come to be a teacher or moral example.

    Who is the real Jesus? He is the One:

    Who said His only purpose was to suffer & die.
    Who is the ONLY begotten son of the Father.
    Who said you had to be PERFECT to be right with God. Who was born of a virgin.
    Who said you had to hate your father and mother.
    Who said to sell all you have and give it to the poor. Who said you had to eat His body and blood. Literally.
    Who said that His church would NEVER vanish from the face of the earth till his ultimate return.
    Who says there is only ONE true God.
    Who claims to be the ONE true God.
    Who affirms that The Father and the Holy Spirit are the ONE true God.

    There is much more. I am being honest here and trying to accentuate differences between us and mormons.

    Does THIS look like the Jesus or christianity that you know Craig?

    What is the essential doctrine of christianity?:

    “Christ-ianity.”

    Jesus is not the center. Christ is the ONLY essence-ial.

    Who said this was so? Who defines this?

    Jesus Himself in numerous places. What I or ANY church says contrary to this is irrelevant.

    Jesus says:

    The old testament is ALL about His person.
    His apostles say the NT is ALL about His Person.
    To know and see Him is to know everything about God. Not just everything necessary. Everything.

    In MANY places and ways Jesus and his apostles make this unitary thematic point over and over that Jesus is THE Way, THE truth, THE Life. Not AN example of, or even the main example of……! Without His Person, truth and life would cease to exist!

    I will leave you with this:

    “In many and various ways, God spoke to His people of old by the prophets, but now in these LATTER DAYS, He has spoken to us by His Son.” Hebrews 1:1-2a

    Jesus himself is the final word, the (1) final, (2) complete, and (3) fully revealed, revelation of God.

    Lutherans, along with all other Christians, are therefore authorized by Christ Himself to have only ONE doctrine:

    The birth , life , death and resurrection of Jesus for the reconciliation of the entire cosmos to God.

    There is nothing added to this. Where we speak otherwise as the church, we speak only as men without any Divine authority.

    ALL other doctrines are merely in support of this unitary proclamation.

    Got it?

  • Paul W.

    FW,

    I don’t even have time to reply all of your ramblings and accusations, and I’ve grown tired of you and your accusations of dishonesty. The fact is, you seem to want to hold all Mormons to a concrete set of elaborated doctrines as somehow “the only thing that matters to them” and a standard that not even the Church holds them to. You want to deemphasize Latter-day Saints belief and reliance on Jesus Christ…I refuse to accept this…Jesus Christ provides the only means, in my belief, by which any man or woman can come back into the presence of God. I acknowledge that this means something different for us that it does for you!

    You claim I am dishonest and misleading, when I have been very forthright about my doctrinal differences with you…See post #56 where I even post a link to a page with the full temple sealing ceremony. Is that an example of me wallowing in secrecy and dishonesty?

    How about this one….here’s a link to all the text of the temple ceremony (past & present I think) presented by a person that is not LDS: http://www.lds-mormon.com/veilworker/endowment.shtml

    By the way, I think its funny when I hear the term “Temple Mormon”. I have never heard this term in Church. I have only ever heard it by vicious ani-Mormons like Ed Decker. The Fact is, virtually all believing “Mormons” are what you call “Temple Mormons”…it is not some select group.

    I’ll finish here: “Fact: Mormons claim that the Church of Jesus Christ ceased to exist until the Mormon Church was created. Mormons assert that what traditional Christians ARE, the MORMONS are utterly NOT.”

    Spot on! This is no secret, and the Church is not downplaying this…it is one of the first things we tell people in our missionary efforts…I reject your post New Testament creeds. I believe in the God and Christ of the Bible. See this talk given by an Apostle at our most recent conference: http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-775-15,00.html

    I am not what you refer to as a “traditional-Christian”, I am however a “Mormon-Christan” and I rely on the Faith and Grace of Jesus Christ for my Salvation and Exaltation. I acknowledge the fact that this may mean something different for me that it does for you.

    Some of what you claim as “factual” in your last post is not in fact provable by the Bible itself, only by your long standing interpretation of the bible. I interpret the Bible differently than you in many respects. Part of your last statement also shows (to me) the need for a restoration of primitive-Christianity and true religion with authority…”Where we speak otherwise as the church, we speak only as men without any Divine authority.” Though I believe the Bible is scripture and the word of God, I am not enslaved by this belief. I belief that the words of God in the bible were given to the original writers through the Spirit of Truth…or Comforter…or Holy Ghost…what ever you want to call him and that God continues to reveal truth today. I believe truth can come from many sources and in many forms.

    The Latter-day Saints declare that God lives, that His divine authority exists on earth today, and that He directs his Restored Church. I believe this is true. I don’t require you to do so and I don’t condemn you if you don’t.

    I don’t believe that my church is perfect. I believe God is restoring and perfecting our knowledge as we go along. I believe that there is good in other churches and beliefs and that Christ blesses the lives and future of all who seek him.

    Farewell and may God bless you…

    P.S. Merry Christmas everyone, I’m off to enjoy the my family and calibrate the Birth of the Savior! (I acknowledge this may possibly mean something a bit different to me than it does to you :) ;) )

  • Paul W.

    FW,

    I don’t even have time to reply all of your ramblings and accusations, and I’ve grown tired of you and your accusations of dishonesty. The fact is, you seem to want to hold all Mormons to a concrete set of elaborated doctrines as somehow “the only thing that matters to them” and a standard that not even the Church holds them to. You want to deemphasize Latter-day Saints belief and reliance on Jesus Christ…I refuse to accept this…Jesus Christ provides the only means, in my belief, by which any man or woman can come back into the presence of God. I acknowledge that this means something different for us that it does for you!

    You claim I am dishonest and misleading, when I have been very forthright about my doctrinal differences with you…See post #56 where I even post a link to a page with the full temple sealing ceremony. Is that an example of me wallowing in secrecy and dishonesty?

    How about this one….here’s a link to all the text of the temple ceremony (past & present I think) presented by a person that is not LDS: http://www.lds-mormon.com/veilworker/endowment.shtml

    By the way, I think its funny when I hear the term “Temple Mormon”. I have never heard this term in Church. I have only ever heard it by vicious ani-Mormons like Ed Decker. The Fact is, virtually all believing “Mormons” are what you call “Temple Mormons”…it is not some select group.

    I’ll finish here: “Fact: Mormons claim that the Church of Jesus Christ ceased to exist until the Mormon Church was created. Mormons assert that what traditional Christians ARE, the MORMONS are utterly NOT.”

    Spot on! This is no secret, and the Church is not downplaying this…it is one of the first things we tell people in our missionary efforts…I reject your post New Testament creeds. I believe in the God and Christ of the Bible. See this talk given by an Apostle at our most recent conference: http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-775-15,00.html

    I am not what you refer to as a “traditional-Christian”, I am however a “Mormon-Christan” and I rely on the Faith and Grace of Jesus Christ for my Salvation and Exaltation. I acknowledge the fact that this may mean something different for me that it does for you.

    Some of what you claim as “factual” in your last post is not in fact provable by the Bible itself, only by your long standing interpretation of the bible. I interpret the Bible differently than you in many respects. Part of your last statement also shows (to me) the need for a restoration of primitive-Christianity and true religion with authority…”Where we speak otherwise as the church, we speak only as men without any Divine authority.” Though I believe the Bible is scripture and the word of God, I am not enslaved by this belief. I belief that the words of God in the bible were given to the original writers through the Spirit of Truth…or Comforter…or Holy Ghost…what ever you want to call him and that God continues to reveal truth today. I believe truth can come from many sources and in many forms.

    The Latter-day Saints declare that God lives, that His divine authority exists on earth today, and that He directs his Restored Church. I believe this is true. I don’t require you to do so and I don’t condemn you if you don’t.

    I don’t believe that my church is perfect. I believe God is restoring and perfecting our knowledge as we go along. I believe that there is good in other churches and beliefs and that Christ blesses the lives and future of all who seek him.

    Farewell and may God bless you…

    P.S. Merry Christmas everyone, I’m off to enjoy the my family and calibrate the Birth of the Savior! (I acknowledge this may possibly mean something a bit different to me than it does to you :) ;) )

  • Craig

    FW:

    So much to respond to…
    So little time…
    I’ll have to address just a few of your statements for now.

    Your quote:
    “[Mormons say] we are the only true christian church and you are apostate and no true church. You are therefore not christians.”

    No one in the LDS Church ever said that there were no Christians. What was said was that the church organizations of the day (Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, etc.) were not organized as the Church organization (not people) and did not possess the same authority as the original Church (apostles, prophets, etc.) Joseph Smith prayed and asked which church to join and was told to join none of them, that their creeds were an abomination to him. Again, the statement is directed to the church organizations, not to individuals who were and are believers and followers of Christ (Christians).

    Your quote:
    “Mormons start out rather with the LYING premise that they claim to be “christian” in the same sense we are. fair enough?”

    Mormons are not lying when they say that they believe that they are Christian (believers and disciples of Jesus Christ). They don’t believe that they are Catholic, Lutheran or Baptist. They do believe that Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists and all others with belief and faith in Christ are Christians as well.

    Your quote:
    “Mormons claim that the Church of Jesus Christ ceased to exist until the Mormon Church was created.”

    Mormons believe that the Church of Jesus Christ ORGANIZATION went into apostasy sometime after the death of the apostles – as do all of the churches of the reformation. If there was no need for a reformation or restoration, all Christians would belong to the Roman Catholic Church

    Your quote:
    “In MANY places and ways Jesus and his apostles make this unitary thematic point over and over that Jesus is THE Way, THE truth, THE Life. Not AN example of, or even the main example of……! Without His Person, truth and life would cease to exist!.”

    From the Book of Mormon:
    And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.

    And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

  • Craig

    FW:

    So much to respond to…
    So little time…
    I’ll have to address just a few of your statements for now.

    Your quote:
    “[Mormons say] we are the only true christian church and you are apostate and no true church. You are therefore not christians.”

    No one in the LDS Church ever said that there were no Christians. What was said was that the church organizations of the day (Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, etc.) were not organized as the Church organization (not people) and did not possess the same authority as the original Church (apostles, prophets, etc.) Joseph Smith prayed and asked which church to join and was told to join none of them, that their creeds were an abomination to him. Again, the statement is directed to the church organizations, not to individuals who were and are believers and followers of Christ (Christians).

    Your quote:
    “Mormons start out rather with the LYING premise that they claim to be “christian” in the same sense we are. fair enough?”

    Mormons are not lying when they say that they believe that they are Christian (believers and disciples of Jesus Christ). They don’t believe that they are Catholic, Lutheran or Baptist. They do believe that Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists and all others with belief and faith in Christ are Christians as well.

    Your quote:
    “Mormons claim that the Church of Jesus Christ ceased to exist until the Mormon Church was created.”

    Mormons believe that the Church of Jesus Christ ORGANIZATION went into apostasy sometime after the death of the apostles – as do all of the churches of the reformation. If there was no need for a reformation or restoration, all Christians would belong to the Roman Catholic Church

    Your quote:
    “In MANY places and ways Jesus and his apostles make this unitary thematic point over and over that Jesus is THE Way, THE truth, THE Life. Not AN example of, or even the main example of……! Without His Person, truth and life would cease to exist!.”

    From the Book of Mormon:
    And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.

    And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

  • FW

    “Mormons believe that the Church of Jesus Christ ORGANIZATION went into apostasy sometime after the death of the apostles – as do all of the churches of the reformation.”

    Lutherans do not in fact believe this. And we acknowledge all other christian churches to be christian in the exact same sense that we are.

    You are arguing and not illuminating.

    an example here is your quoting of the book of mormon. This is deceptive.

    Your church believes that THE work of Jesus christ was to achieve the end of families progressing to exhaltation and becoming gods and goddesses.

    You know full well that this central core idea of mormonism is utterly repugnant to any christian because it is so very foreign to any christian´s faith.

    What is it that you are trying to accomplish here craig?

  • FW

    “Mormons believe that the Church of Jesus Christ ORGANIZATION went into apostasy sometime after the death of the apostles – as do all of the churches of the reformation.”

    Lutherans do not in fact believe this. And we acknowledge all other christian churches to be christian in the exact same sense that we are.

    You are arguing and not illuminating.

    an example here is your quoting of the book of mormon. This is deceptive.

    Your church believes that THE work of Jesus christ was to achieve the end of families progressing to exhaltation and becoming gods and goddesses.

    You know full well that this central core idea of mormonism is utterly repugnant to any christian because it is so very foreign to any christian´s faith.

    What is it that you are trying to accomplish here craig?

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Craig & Paul W:

    You have been addressing doctrinal questions (and I still think you have a different God, a different Jesus, and a different gospel than is presented in the Bible), but you have yet to address the issue of truth. Why should I believe anything that is written in the Book of Mormon or other LDS scriptures? (and I won’t accept a “burning in the bosom” as the answer). Is there even a shred of evidence that any event in the Book of Mormon occurred? The answer, of course, is “no.”

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Craig & Paul W:

    You have been addressing doctrinal questions (and I still think you have a different God, a different Jesus, and a different gospel than is presented in the Bible), but you have yet to address the issue of truth. Why should I believe anything that is written in the Book of Mormon or other LDS scriptures? (and I won’t accept a “burning in the bosom” as the answer). Is there even a shred of evidence that any event in the Book of Mormon occurred? The answer, of course, is “no.”

  • Paul W.

    Kevin N,

    I can’t tell you anything that will convince you to believe as I do, and I won’t attempt to. Spiritual matters are understood and believed by spiritual means.

    I’m going to play devils advocate on you (with your reasoning) though…If I were a non-believer…an agnostic, etc…Why should I believe anything that is written about God in the Old or New Testament? Is there even a shred of evidence that any of the significant religious/spiritual events in either of those books ever occurred.

    The answer, of course, is “no”.

    We cannot prove through imperial evidence the creation, that any of the Patriarchs (Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, etc) spoke with God, that God spoke with Moses and lead the Israelites out of Egyptian Captivity, That the many Israelite prophets where inspired by God, that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, Christ or Messiah, that he suffered and died for our sins, that he was resurrected on the third day after he was laid in the sepulcher, etc.

    The fact is you can’t prove any of these things…historians even question the existence of some, if not all of the individuals I just named…I should I believe they did exist?

    By your reasoning I should just drop the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and God himself. After all, where’s one shred of hard evidence?

    You know as well as I that in spiritual matters it is not hard scientific facts that convince us, but the message. I did not come here suggesting that you should believe what is written in the Book of Mormon, so why act as if I did?

    I will agree with you that I have a different God and Jesus…If you mean to say that you don’t worship the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob…and that Jesus of Nazareth is not the Son of God and Savior of the World.

    Now, I know that you don’t mean this…I think it is safer and more accurate to say that we have differing beliefs about God and Jesus.

    Merry Christmas all!

  • Paul W.

    Kevin N,

    I can’t tell you anything that will convince you to believe as I do, and I won’t attempt to. Spiritual matters are understood and believed by spiritual means.

    I’m going to play devils advocate on you (with your reasoning) though…If I were a non-believer…an agnostic, etc…Why should I believe anything that is written about God in the Old or New Testament? Is there even a shred of evidence that any of the significant religious/spiritual events in either of those books ever occurred.

    The answer, of course, is “no”.

    We cannot prove through imperial evidence the creation, that any of the Patriarchs (Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, etc) spoke with God, that God spoke with Moses and lead the Israelites out of Egyptian Captivity, That the many Israelite prophets where inspired by God, that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, Christ or Messiah, that he suffered and died for our sins, that he was resurrected on the third day after he was laid in the sepulcher, etc.

    The fact is you can’t prove any of these things…historians even question the existence of some, if not all of the individuals I just named…I should I believe they did exist?

    By your reasoning I should just drop the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and God himself. After all, where’s one shred of hard evidence?

    You know as well as I that in spiritual matters it is not hard scientific facts that convince us, but the message. I did not come here suggesting that you should believe what is written in the Book of Mormon, so why act as if I did?

    I will agree with you that I have a different God and Jesus…If you mean to say that you don’t worship the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob…and that Jesus of Nazareth is not the Son of God and Savior of the World.

    Now, I know that you don’t mean this…I think it is safer and more accurate to say that we have differing beliefs about God and Jesus.

    Merry Christmas all!

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Paul W (#70) said: “I will agree with you that I have a different God and Jesus…If you mean to say that you don’t worship the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob…and that Jesus of Nazareth is not the Son of God and Savior of the World.”

    1. Moslems claim to worship the God of Abraham, but that does not make them Christians. If you worship the eternal triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; one God, three persons) then you worship the same God that I do, the same God who is in the Bible, and in whose name we baptize. He is eternally self-existent along with the Father and the Holy Spirit; he is not a creation.

    2. Jesus is the Son of God, but not in a Mormon sense. There is no heavenly mother from whom Jesus came. He is the savior of the world, but not in a Mormon sense. His sacrifice on the cross was completely sufficient: he took my sin, I get his righteousness. This is called substitutionary atonement.

    “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21 NIV)

    “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” (2 Peter 3:18)

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Paul W (#70) said: “I will agree with you that I have a different God and Jesus…If you mean to say that you don’t worship the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob…and that Jesus of Nazareth is not the Son of God and Savior of the World.”

    1. Moslems claim to worship the God of Abraham, but that does not make them Christians. If you worship the eternal triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; one God, three persons) then you worship the same God that I do, the same God who is in the Bible, and in whose name we baptize. He is eternally self-existent along with the Father and the Holy Spirit; he is not a creation.

    2. Jesus is the Son of God, but not in a Mormon sense. There is no heavenly mother from whom Jesus came. He is the savior of the world, but not in a Mormon sense. His sacrifice on the cross was completely sufficient: he took my sin, I get his righteousness. This is called substitutionary atonement.

    “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21 NIV)

    “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” (2 Peter 3:18)

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Paul W (#70) said: “I’m going to play devils advocate on you (with your reasoning) though…If I were a non-believer…an agnostic, etc…Why should I believe anything that is written about God in the Old or New Testament? Is there even a shred of evidence that any of the significant religious/spiritual events in either of those books ever occurred. The answer, of course, is “no”. ”

    This is an area of significant difference between Biblical Christianity and Mormonism. There is more than a shred of evidence for the Biblical record; there are museums and warehouses full of evidence.

    The Bible is a historical record, and the events it describes are embedded in real history. I’ll give just a few examples.

    There are no contemporary extrabiblical references to Abraham, but the account of Abraham in Genesis fits into the time period very well, and there is no reason to doubt that such a person existed and emigrated from Mesopotamia to Canaan.

    All significant Biblical locations can be traced to specific locations: Jerusalem, Megiddo, Ashkelon, Nineveh, etc… Many less significant locations can be identified as well.

    Biblical characters are real people in real history: David, Solomon, Nebuchadnezzar, Artexerxes.

    Plants and animals in the Bible are, for the most part, identifiable as existing in that part of the world.

    The Bible does a good job of describing culture as it existed in various times and places.

    Some events of the Bible can be tied down to specific dates. For example, we can say that Nebuzaradan, one of Nebuchadnezzar’s generals, entered Jerusalem on August 17, 586 BC and then proceeded to destroy Solomon’s temple.

    New Testament events and persons, likewise, tie into historical records very well.

    I cannot “prove” Biblical events scientifically. I cannot prove that the Holy Spirit descended on the believers on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. But I can look back at history and see that something dramatic happened that changed a small group of hiding men into people who went forth boldly with a faith in Jesus and his resurrection.

    I cannot reason my way into Christianity, but that does not mean that Christianity is not a reasonable religion. I’m not asked to blindly believe that Jesus lived among Eskimos in Tahiti in the 1850s, even though all evidence points to the fact that there were no Eskimos in Tahiti in the 1930s. No, I am asked to believe in a Jesus who was a Palestinian Jew under Roman occupation when Herod Antipas was ruler over Galilee and Pontius Pilate was Roman governor of Judea. Within the context of real people and events, I then believe in a Jesus who walked on water and turned water into wine(!).

    The Mormon scriptures have none of this. There were no Israelites in Mesoamerica, nor can a single pre-Columbian site be identified with anything in the Book of Mormon.

    Biblical faith is not blind faith: asking one to believe in something for which there is no evidence. It is a faith that is reasonable and grounded in objective, historical facts. Mormon faith, on the other hand, is blind faith. There is no evidence whatsoever that it is true, but you want people to believe it anyways.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Paul W (#70) said: “I’m going to play devils advocate on you (with your reasoning) though…If I were a non-believer…an agnostic, etc…Why should I believe anything that is written about God in the Old or New Testament? Is there even a shred of evidence that any of the significant religious/spiritual events in either of those books ever occurred. The answer, of course, is “no”. ”

    This is an area of significant difference between Biblical Christianity and Mormonism. There is more than a shred of evidence for the Biblical record; there are museums and warehouses full of evidence.

    The Bible is a historical record, and the events it describes are embedded in real history. I’ll give just a few examples.

    There are no contemporary extrabiblical references to Abraham, but the account of Abraham in Genesis fits into the time period very well, and there is no reason to doubt that such a person existed and emigrated from Mesopotamia to Canaan.

    All significant Biblical locations can be traced to specific locations: Jerusalem, Megiddo, Ashkelon, Nineveh, etc… Many less significant locations can be identified as well.

    Biblical characters are real people in real history: David, Solomon, Nebuchadnezzar, Artexerxes.

    Plants and animals in the Bible are, for the most part, identifiable as existing in that part of the world.

    The Bible does a good job of describing culture as it existed in various times and places.

    Some events of the Bible can be tied down to specific dates. For example, we can say that Nebuzaradan, one of Nebuchadnezzar’s generals, entered Jerusalem on August 17, 586 BC and then proceeded to destroy Solomon’s temple.

    New Testament events and persons, likewise, tie into historical records very well.

    I cannot “prove” Biblical events scientifically. I cannot prove that the Holy Spirit descended on the believers on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. But I can look back at history and see that something dramatic happened that changed a small group of hiding men into people who went forth boldly with a faith in Jesus and his resurrection.

    I cannot reason my way into Christianity, but that does not mean that Christianity is not a reasonable religion. I’m not asked to blindly believe that Jesus lived among Eskimos in Tahiti in the 1850s, even though all evidence points to the fact that there were no Eskimos in Tahiti in the 1930s. No, I am asked to believe in a Jesus who was a Palestinian Jew under Roman occupation when Herod Antipas was ruler over Galilee and Pontius Pilate was Roman governor of Judea. Within the context of real people and events, I then believe in a Jesus who walked on water and turned water into wine(!).

    The Mormon scriptures have none of this. There were no Israelites in Mesoamerica, nor can a single pre-Columbian site be identified with anything in the Book of Mormon.

    Biblical faith is not blind faith: asking one to believe in something for which there is no evidence. It is a faith that is reasonable and grounded in objective, historical facts. Mormon faith, on the other hand, is blind faith. There is no evidence whatsoever that it is true, but you want people to believe it anyways.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    I meant to say “I’m not asked to blindly believe that Jesus lived among Eskimos in Tahiti in the 1850s, even though all evidence points to the fact that there were no Eskimos in Tahiti in the 1850s.”

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    I meant to say “I’m not asked to blindly believe that Jesus lived among Eskimos in Tahiti in the 1850s, even though all evidence points to the fact that there were no Eskimos in Tahiti in the 1850s.”

  • FW

    #73 Kevin n

    i am lost here . do the mormons somewhere teach this about the eskimos?

    craig and paul w

    I could hold up the evidence in and surrounding the bible to be as reliable and strong as evidence of any historical fact that happened around the same time. i can do this using the standard rules of evidence that secular lawyers and historians use to evaluate the credibility of such things. can u name ONE event in history around the time of jesus that you feel is true? if so, how do you know that? and what evidence would you use to support that claim.

    This same thing cannot be said about the contents of the book of mormon or the events surrounding what Joseph smith claims to have happened to him. using the standard rules of courtroom evidence and the standard rules and criterion of historians, the book of mormon and joseph smiths story do not come even close to holding up.

    btw kevin N. what you have written is the simple truth.

  • FW

    #73 Kevin n

    i am lost here . do the mormons somewhere teach this about the eskimos?

    craig and paul w

    I could hold up the evidence in and surrounding the bible to be as reliable and strong as evidence of any historical fact that happened around the same time. i can do this using the standard rules of evidence that secular lawyers and historians use to evaluate the credibility of such things. can u name ONE event in history around the time of jesus that you feel is true? if so, how do you know that? and what evidence would you use to support that claim.

    This same thing cannot be said about the contents of the book of mormon or the events surrounding what Joseph smith claims to have happened to him. using the standard rules of courtroom evidence and the standard rules and criterion of historians, the book of mormon and joseph smiths story do not come even close to holding up.

    btw kevin N. what you have written is the simple truth.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    FW,

    No, the Mormons don’t believe that Jesus lived among Eskimos in Tahiti in the 1850s. But there is just as much evidence that he did as there is for anything written in the Book of Mormon, which claims that Jesus appeared to the descendants of the Israelites somewhere in the pre-Columbian western hemisphere.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    FW,

    No, the Mormons don’t believe that Jesus lived among Eskimos in Tahiti in the 1850s. But there is just as much evidence that he did as there is for anything written in the Book of Mormon, which claims that Jesus appeared to the descendants of the Israelites somewhere in the pre-Columbian western hemisphere.

  • Craig

    FW:

    You said, “Lutherans do not in fact believe this.”

    WHAT????

    Everything written on the subject states that Martin Luther and later reformers rejected many of the doctrines of the Catholic Church.

    Here is just one of many quotes from Martin Luther in his work, “On the Councils and the Churches (1539)”

    “. . . They [the Catholic Church] know and confess that, on many points, they are wrong, and have the Scriptures and God against them besides; and yet they would force their way through against God, and knowingly defend wrong as right . . . God reigns on our side, and the devil on theirs.”

    Evidently, ideas have changed recently,
    “On October 31, 1999 in Augsburg, Germany, the Lutheran World Federation signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification with the Roman Catholic Church. The statement is an attempt to narrow the theological divide between the two faiths. The Declaration also states that the mutual condemnations between 16th century Lutherans and the Roman Catholic Church no longer apply.”

    Why was the reformation necessary if Lutherans and other reformers had the same theology as the Catholic Church?

    And, while researching my facts on this topic, I came across this statement on the Missouri Synod web site:
    “Of course, personal salvation is not merely a matter of external membership in or association with any church organization or denomination (including the LCMS), but comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone. All those who confess Jesus Christ as Savior are recognized as “Christians” by the Synod—only God can look into a person’s heart and see whether that person really believes. It is possible to have true and sincere faith in Jesus Christ even while having wrong or incomplete beliefs about other doctrinal issues.”

    So, it appears from the standpoint of Lutheranism, a Mormon can be saved as much as anyone else.

  • Craig

    FW:

    You said, “Lutherans do not in fact believe this.”

    WHAT????

    Everything written on the subject states that Martin Luther and later reformers rejected many of the doctrines of the Catholic Church.

    Here is just one of many quotes from Martin Luther in his work, “On the Councils and the Churches (1539)”

    “. . . They [the Catholic Church] know and confess that, on many points, they are wrong, and have the Scriptures and God against them besides; and yet they would force their way through against God, and knowingly defend wrong as right . . . God reigns on our side, and the devil on theirs.”

    Evidently, ideas have changed recently,
    “On October 31, 1999 in Augsburg, Germany, the Lutheran World Federation signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification with the Roman Catholic Church. The statement is an attempt to narrow the theological divide between the two faiths. The Declaration also states that the mutual condemnations between 16th century Lutherans and the Roman Catholic Church no longer apply.”

    Why was the reformation necessary if Lutherans and other reformers had the same theology as the Catholic Church?

    And, while researching my facts on this topic, I came across this statement on the Missouri Synod web site:
    “Of course, personal salvation is not merely a matter of external membership in or association with any church organization or denomination (including the LCMS), but comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone. All those who confess Jesus Christ as Savior are recognized as “Christians” by the Synod—only God can look into a person’s heart and see whether that person really believes. It is possible to have true and sincere faith in Jesus Christ even while having wrong or incomplete beliefs about other doctrinal issues.”

    So, it appears from the standpoint of Lutheranism, a Mormon can be saved as much as anyone else.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Craig (@76), since it is not ours to judge, I won’t say that there won’t be members of the LDS church in heaven. What I will say is that, if they’re there, they’re there in spite of the LDS church’s teaching. That if they confess Jesus Christ as their Savior, and by so doing confess what the Bible plainly teaches (but the Book of Mormon does not), they are doing so in contradiction to what LDS leaders and would-be prophets have said.

    One problem with discussing matters like this between Mormons and non-Mormons is that Mormons use words in a completely different way than everyone else. Or so I have observed. I could talk to Mormons about Jesus, heaven, hell, salvation, and all that, and we could both agree with all the words we said, and yet not agree in principle in the least. It is frustrating.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Craig (@76), since it is not ours to judge, I won’t say that there won’t be members of the LDS church in heaven. What I will say is that, if they’re there, they’re there in spite of the LDS church’s teaching. That if they confess Jesus Christ as their Savior, and by so doing confess what the Bible plainly teaches (but the Book of Mormon does not), they are doing so in contradiction to what LDS leaders and would-be prophets have said.

    One problem with discussing matters like this between Mormons and non-Mormons is that Mormons use words in a completely different way than everyone else. Or so I have observed. I could talk to Mormons about Jesus, heaven, hell, salvation, and all that, and we could both agree with all the words we said, and yet not agree in principle in the least. It is frustrating.

  • FW

    todd is right.

    i keep going back to vieths original post. you men seem to be agreeing that his post is essential correct.

    thanks for the confirmation!

  • FW

    todd is right.

    i keep going back to vieths original post. you men seem to be agreeing that his post is essential correct.

    thanks for the confirmation!

  • FW

    I am still not sure what you men are trying to accomplish here. It seems you are trying to prove the proposition that you should be considered as just one of many protestant sects by protestant christians.

  • FW

    I am still not sure what you men are trying to accomplish here. It seems you are trying to prove the proposition that you should be considered as just one of many protestant sects by protestant christians.

  • FW

    it also seems like you guys are practicing to see how your usual approach works with us lutherans. it doesnt very well. does it?

    btw. don´t quote luther to a lutheran. quote the lutheran confessions. or better scriptures (OT+NT). Luther is far from inspired. He was great but he does not speak for me in my faith.

    the Lutheran confessions on the other hand… you can hold my feet to the fire ALL you want with those.. those ARE my own personal confession of faith as well craig and paulw. I believe that those are an accurate and faithful proclaimation of what the bible says.

    Here is how a Lutheran views the difference between the bible and our confessions by the way:

    bible=believe it!
    confessions=do you believe it?

    by the way. what the Lutherans worked up with the roman catholics that you quoted… what they did does not square with the Lutheran Confessions. This is rather easy to demonstrate. but that would have to be in a side email. not here on the blog. it is those documents (the book of concord) and subscription to them as being a faithful witness to scriptures is what actually defines who is lutheran and who is not. ok?

    and I don´t personally subscribe to those confessions because of the perceived authority of who wrote them. I subscribe to them because they are such an excellent reflection of what the scriptures teach.

    so here is yet another area where we differ greatly.

  • FW

    it also seems like you guys are practicing to see how your usual approach works with us lutherans. it doesnt very well. does it?

    btw. don´t quote luther to a lutheran. quote the lutheran confessions. or better scriptures (OT+NT). Luther is far from inspired. He was great but he does not speak for me in my faith.

    the Lutheran confessions on the other hand… you can hold my feet to the fire ALL you want with those.. those ARE my own personal confession of faith as well craig and paulw. I believe that those are an accurate and faithful proclaimation of what the bible says.

    Here is how a Lutheran views the difference between the bible and our confessions by the way:

    bible=believe it!
    confessions=do you believe it?

    by the way. what the Lutherans worked up with the roman catholics that you quoted… what they did does not square with the Lutheran Confessions. This is rather easy to demonstrate. but that would have to be in a side email. not here on the blog. it is those documents (the book of concord) and subscription to them as being a faithful witness to scriptures is what actually defines who is lutheran and who is not. ok?

    and I don´t personally subscribe to those confessions because of the perceived authority of who wrote them. I subscribe to them because they are such an excellent reflection of what the scriptures teach.

    so here is yet another area where we differ greatly.

  • FW

    #77

    todd is saying btw that if someone were to to actually believe what the lds church teaches, they would not be going to heaven. we don´t believe that about roman catholics or protestants or orthodox christians. ok?

    so repent! In the name of Jesus who bought you with his blood.

    I would like to see you two men spend eternity as Jesus has prepared a place for you. It would complete my joy.

  • FW

    #77

    todd is saying btw that if someone were to to actually believe what the lds church teaches, they would not be going to heaven. we don´t believe that about roman catholics or protestants or orthodox christians. ok?

    so repent! In the name of Jesus who bought you with his blood.

    I would like to see you two men spend eternity as Jesus has prepared a place for you. It would complete my joy.

  • FW

    “All those who confess Jesus Christ as Savior are recognized as “Christians” by the Synod—only God can look into a person’s heart and see whether that person really believes. It is possible to have true and sincere faith in Jesus Christ even while having wrong or incomplete beliefs about other doctrinal issues.”

    this does NOT apply to you two craig and paulw. Please be very very certain about this. IF you believe in the Jesus your church teaches you to believe in you are going to spend eternity with satan and his angels. I cannot look into your hearts. I can only HOPE that you reject in your hearts what your church says about Jesus.

    if I describe craig as a 5´6″ crossdresser from new jersey, i would assume that you and THAT craig are not the SAME Craig. This is only common sense. The Jesus you all describe and the one I believe in are MORE different than that… comprende? of course you do!

    I am still not sure just what you are trying to accomplish here besides hone your argumentative skills….. this is not an honest conversation. I have

    (1) obviously, and very sincerely, taken the time to truly know about and understand your faith. especially having spent a year at BYU… I could present the mormon faith to any mormon in some great detail and have them say that I am correct. you can´t even come close to this with us Lutherans!!!!! You are totally lost as to what we believe.
    (2) I am not trying to say my faith is the same basically as yours.
    (3) and I am not trying to present your faith back to you in a way that a temple mormon would not recognize for argumentative ends and purposes.

    you two have done the exact opposite in all three cases.

  • FW

    “All those who confess Jesus Christ as Savior are recognized as “Christians” by the Synod—only God can look into a person’s heart and see whether that person really believes. It is possible to have true and sincere faith in Jesus Christ even while having wrong or incomplete beliefs about other doctrinal issues.”

    this does NOT apply to you two craig and paulw. Please be very very certain about this. IF you believe in the Jesus your church teaches you to believe in you are going to spend eternity with satan and his angels. I cannot look into your hearts. I can only HOPE that you reject in your hearts what your church says about Jesus.

    if I describe craig as a 5´6″ crossdresser from new jersey, i would assume that you and THAT craig are not the SAME Craig. This is only common sense. The Jesus you all describe and the one I believe in are MORE different than that… comprende? of course you do!

    I am still not sure just what you are trying to accomplish here besides hone your argumentative skills….. this is not an honest conversation. I have

    (1) obviously, and very sincerely, taken the time to truly know about and understand your faith. especially having spent a year at BYU… I could present the mormon faith to any mormon in some great detail and have them say that I am correct. you can´t even come close to this with us Lutherans!!!!! You are totally lost as to what we believe.
    (2) I am not trying to say my faith is the same basically as yours.
    (3) and I am not trying to present your faith back to you in a way that a temple mormon would not recognize for argumentative ends and purposes.

    you two have done the exact opposite in all three cases.

  • FW

    craig and paulw

    a challenge to you:

    I have read the book of mormon, the pearl of great price, d&c, the ensign on a regular basis, and of course the bible. I have prayed about this and God has impressed on my heart that mormon scriptures are not of God.

    Google the internet for “Book of Concord”. you can find the entire thing online or order it from concordia publishing house.

    read the whole thing, pray about it, and get back to me. THEN we will be on the same page. me having done all that with YOUR scriptures….and you with my personal confession.

    you will need to do nothing short of this if you want to argue with the big dawgs here on the Lutheran blog and be persuasive. you will need to understand us alot better than you can by just surfing the net for a couple of hours to find talking points. You are still missing the CORE of what we Lutherans believe. how will you be able to be persuasive if you can´t even tell us in your own words what our core belief is? there is only one really. It should be simple…..

    I have shown your church the respect of reading everything they threw at me to read,and so have shown you the respect of understanding your faith.

    I would ask you to in turn respect with my faith now . AFTER you have read all that, feel free to frame what you have read in your own words. This will just show me that you gave it a serious read and tried to understand the true implications of it all.

    Just as I am showing with your faith here.

    ok?

  • FW

    craig and paulw

    a challenge to you:

    I have read the book of mormon, the pearl of great price, d&c, the ensign on a regular basis, and of course the bible. I have prayed about this and God has impressed on my heart that mormon scriptures are not of God.

    Google the internet for “Book of Concord”. you can find the entire thing online or order it from concordia publishing house.

    read the whole thing, pray about it, and get back to me. THEN we will be on the same page. me having done all that with YOUR scriptures….and you with my personal confession.

    you will need to do nothing short of this if you want to argue with the big dawgs here on the Lutheran blog and be persuasive. you will need to understand us alot better than you can by just surfing the net for a couple of hours to find talking points. You are still missing the CORE of what we Lutherans believe. how will you be able to be persuasive if you can´t even tell us in your own words what our core belief is? there is only one really. It should be simple…..

    I have shown your church the respect of reading everything they threw at me to read,and so have shown you the respect of understanding your faith.

    I would ask you to in turn respect with my faith now . AFTER you have read all that, feel free to frame what you have read in your own words. This will just show me that you gave it a serious read and tried to understand the true implications of it all.

    Just as I am showing with your faith here.

    ok?

  • Paul W.

    Wow FW, you are some piece of work. I will look up the Book of Concord…sounds interesting.

    1. Regardless of how much studying you have done It still doesn’t sound to me like you understand Mormonism as much as you think you do.

    2. I’m trying to “accomplish” anything here…my first posts were to mainly agree that the original poster was fairly accurate…and I only offered a couple of clarifications according my understanding.

    3. It sounds to me like you (FW) are the one trying to “hone” your arguing skills. You started it…I’m not interested in arguing with you and I have actually agreed with you on several points…points you said I would somehow deny.

    4. You have been mainly confrontational and augmentative…you have no interest in understanding other people or listening to another’s point of view. You just want to bulldoze your point through. Well Have fun…you won’t get far in life that way. I hope you don’t treat others that way you’ve treated me.

    5. I have not condemned you and I will never try to predict how God will judge you. That fact that you have done so with me for my beliefs, tells me all I need to know about you as a person….

    1 Judge not, that ye be not bjudged.

    2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

    3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

    5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

  • Paul W.

    Wow FW, you are some piece of work. I will look up the Book of Concord…sounds interesting.

    1. Regardless of how much studying you have done It still doesn’t sound to me like you understand Mormonism as much as you think you do.

    2. I’m trying to “accomplish” anything here…my first posts were to mainly agree that the original poster was fairly accurate…and I only offered a couple of clarifications according my understanding.

    3. It sounds to me like you (FW) are the one trying to “hone” your arguing skills. You started it…I’m not interested in arguing with you and I have actually agreed with you on several points…points you said I would somehow deny.

    4. You have been mainly confrontational and augmentative…you have no interest in understanding other people or listening to another’s point of view. You just want to bulldoze your point through. Well Have fun…you won’t get far in life that way. I hope you don’t treat others that way you’ve treated me.

    5. I have not condemned you and I will never try to predict how God will judge you. That fact that you have done so with me for my beliefs, tells me all I need to know about you as a person….

    1 Judge not, that ye be not bjudged.

    2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

    3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

    5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

  • Paul W.

    Correction to my #2 above:

    I’m “not” trying to “accomplish” anything here…

  • Paul W.

    Correction to my #2 above:

    I’m “not” trying to “accomplish” anything here…

  • FW

    #85

    not judging you personally paul. reread my post. I cant read your heart.

    I am not even judging the teachings of your church. they are so very contrary to the teachings of the bible that they judge themselves to be from the author of lies.

  • FW

    #85

    not judging you personally paul. reread my post. I cant read your heart.

    I am not even judging the teachings of your church. they are so very contrary to the teachings of the bible that they judge themselves to be from the author of lies.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    I agree with FW. It is one thing to judge a person, it is another thing altogether to judge doctrine by the Holy Scriptures. We easily fall into sin and error when we fail to do this.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    I agree with FW. It is one thing to judge a person, it is another thing altogether to judge doctrine by the Holy Scriptures. We easily fall into sin and error when we fail to do this.

  • FW

    craig and paulw:

    I am sorry to sound rude when I assert that anyone who TRULY believes what the mormon church teaches will go to spend eternity with satan in hell. This is something that all Lutherans and protestants and roman catholics are truly united on craig and paulw.

    got that?

    I think this is called truthfulness and truth in advertising. I wish that you mormons would be equally as forthcoming.

    it would strike me as refreshing and a breath of fresh air, not rude at all! After all. I am quite certain that I will be spending my eternity with the REAL Jesus Christ in heaven.

    repent! these are the latter days.

    come quickly Lord Jesus!

  • FW

    craig and paulw:

    I am sorry to sound rude when I assert that anyone who TRULY believes what the mormon church teaches will go to spend eternity with satan in hell. This is something that all Lutherans and protestants and roman catholics are truly united on craig and paulw.

    got that?

    I think this is called truthfulness and truth in advertising. I wish that you mormons would be equally as forthcoming.

    it would strike me as refreshing and a breath of fresh air, not rude at all! After all. I am quite certain that I will be spending my eternity with the REAL Jesus Christ in heaven.

    repent! these are the latter days.

    come quickly Lord Jesus!

  • FW
  • FW
  • FW

    Futher, the Book of Mormon is false based on the TOTAL absence of any archeological evidence, AND based on the many errors of fact…. there are no metal weapons found ever in the new world, let alone steel ones. No metal coins…. no evidence of nephite cities or culture. a son of Joseph was put in charge of the temple in the new world… this is prohibited in the book of Leviticus..only sons of aaron could serve…. and on and on and on…….

    The mormons call the truth of the book of Mormon to be the very foundation of the truth claims of the mormon church…..

    craig and paulw : watch this video and pray about it.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3518122935543352086

  • FW

    Futher, the Book of Mormon is false based on the TOTAL absence of any archeological evidence, AND based on the many errors of fact…. there are no metal weapons found ever in the new world, let alone steel ones. No metal coins…. no evidence of nephite cities or culture. a son of Joseph was put in charge of the temple in the new world… this is prohibited in the book of Leviticus..only sons of aaron could serve…. and on and on and on…….

    The mormons call the truth of the book of Mormon to be the very foundation of the truth claims of the mormon church…..

    craig and paulw : watch this video and pray about it.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3518122935543352086

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